Matthew and I just wanted to pause and thank all of our readers, both new and old, for coming here each day. Thank you. Thank you very much.
As a result, we have had our best month ever here on CMR.
I meant to write a post a few weeks ago when we passed the 4 million unique visitor mark on CMR. I didn’t get around to it then and we are now just over 4.4 million unique visitors with just about 7 million page loads lifetime.
This all has made 2010 a remarkable year for the website passing the 2, 3, and 4 million unique visits marks just this year!
Matthew and I would never have guessed at this when we first started CMR.
Thank you everyone for your readership, your loyalty, and for making this the funnest place on the Catholic interwebs!!
May God bless all of you.
Posted by Patrick Archbold
November 30, 2010
Editor’s Note: AlwaysCatholic extends a big thank you and congratulations to Creative Minority Report for a job so well done!
Matthew and Patrick helped to launch AlwaysCatholic by responding to our call for help in our initial stages.In fact, Patrick was the very first visitor to our site!
They put us on their blogroll immediately and have continued to support AlwaysCatholic by publishing many of our posts on Creative Minority Reader.
The two reasons that we are becoming so well-received also on the Catholic blogosphere is because of the hard work of the staff of ACBlog but so importantly, the support of CMR.
Yes, Patrick it is the funnest place on the Catholic interweb but also the most charitable place with two guys that are a class act!
A few months back I was watching one of my beloved movies from childhood, “The Sound of Music”. I loved the part when the nuns sing “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” Maria, of course, is the main character who is as much as a handful as you can get in a monastery full of strict nuns. Her personality, as the Mother Superior realizes, was made and loved by God Himself. It was that very personality that found her true vocation.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan seems to be a more complete version of Maria von Trapp. Where Maria leaves the Religious life to answer her true vocation, Archbishop Dolan clearly knows where his vocation is. However, Dolan is like Maria in one way…His personality is larger than life and full of joy.
Believe me this is not a bad thing. To the contrary, a loving, fun, exciting personality is a joyous thing in a vocation to the priesthood and Religious Life. Only one problem (spoken from experience) there is a time for joy and laughter but there is also a time for reverence and awe.
In the movie, Maria shows her true awe and reverence at her Nuptial Mass. Ironic, since she was already living the Religious Life and had access to the Mass everyday. It took just the right place in life for Maria to understand decorum , awe and reverence.
Now given that analogy, here is my opinion : (yeah I know that and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee) when this election took place EVERYBODY on the Catholic Blogosphere was
soooo excited and I published Lisa Graas piece because she was the most sensible.Her post follows my comments)
I like Archbishop Dolan BUT (and there always is a but) I was not impressed with the very,very informal way he handled himself in the sanctuary and at the Mass. I appreciate his demeanor and it is necessary to have people like him and many like ourselves with outgoing personalities to get this orthodox Catholic thing going…
But…in the sanctuary there are no room for personalities…I prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass because the ONLY place a priests personality comes through is at the homily. He worships facing east with us as he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and it is not about him… Well, enough ranting about that…
I was pleased that Bishop Kincanas didn’t get it (Deo Gratias) although I still had reservations about Archbishop Dolan. Now, we will see… I hope I don’t have to come back again soon and say I told you so.
Michael Voris and Me…On ‘What is Archbishop Dolan Thinking?’
by Lisa Graas
November 26, 2010
Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV (of which I am a premium subscriber) brings up a comment made by Archbishop Timothy Dolan on Fox and Friends. I was not tuning in to the show and so I am hearing about it now for the first time in the video excerpt Mr. Voris provides.
I have to agree with Mr. Voris on this one wholeheartedly. Failing to say that you believe Jesus is God because you’re afraid it will offend someone is inexcusable in that we cannot refrain from strongly objecting.
Faithful Catholics who are involved in politics are bound to end up debating both conservatives and progressives who are not Catholic or who are Catholics who don’t understand or value their own Faith. We see some rather shocking views on both sides of the aisle. With progressives, we generally take issue with a government that is becoming too socialist and policies concerning abortion, contraception and homosexuality. With conservatives, our disagreements generally have something to do with healthcare, immigration, war or poverty.
All of the issues we Catholics disagree with conservatives and progressives on have something to do with human dignity. It can be said, then, that if there is one thing Catholics can claim unity on during these troubling times, it is that we all seek to advance human dignity. Those of us on the Left and those of us on the Right in the Catholic Church in America share a desire for justice which is reflected in our desire to help in the fulfillment of human dignity. Ultimately, the goal of the Catholic Left should not be to “convince the Catholic Right to vote for Democrats” and the goal of the Catholic Right should not be to “convince the Catholic Left to vote for Republicans”. We should all be working together to make both parties reflect our values.
In my meanderings around the online political community, I’ve seen an appalling level of ignorance about dignity on both the Left and the Right. I know that my Catholic compatriots on both sides of the political aisle would agree with that, though they may point fingers of blame in different directions depending on whether they identify more with Republicans or Democrats. We all should be identifying with our Catholic values FIRST. Until we do, we will be talking past each other when we discuss these issues…and we will continue to talk past each other unless we, and the people we deal with daily, can come to an authentic understanding of what dignity is.
Those Catholics who have embraced far right views in opposition to human dignity have failed to live up to their duty. Those Catholics who have embraced far left views in opposition to human dignity have failed to live up to their duty. As it stands, we have two large political parties to choose from on election day. Both of these parties have strayed so far from our values that both are indeed practically unworkable vehicles for Catholics to work within to advance respect for human dignity. I will be speaking here to those Catholics on the Left and the Right who know we have to get our act together as Catholics and reject such failures wherever we see them. We need to look to our catechism, particularly what it tells us about human dignity.
Below is information about dignity from the Catechism that every Catholic should agree with, regardless of party.
The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.
Lisa graciously allows AlwaysCatholic to post her work with abandon. We are extremely grateful to have LIsa as a colleague and a friend.
Lisa is a pre-emminent Catholic blogger and we are so proud to have her here on ACBlog.
Lisa’s Blog is http://www.lisagraas.com and is on Twitter @LisaGraas and on Facebook. Lisa also is a regular blogger at David Horowitz’s News Real Blog.
It’s that time of year again! The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have teamed up for the fourth annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
From now until December 10th you are invited to send holiday cards to our American service members, their families, and veterans all over the world. Anyone can send a card and you can send as many as you would like! Please send all cards to
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD
The deadline for this year is December 10th. Unfortunately, if your cards are not postmarked by December 10th they cannot be delivered. After Pitney Bowes collects and screens the mail received in the PO Box, Red Cross workers deliver holiday greetings to service men and women in their communities. Check out how our uniformed men and women and their families expressed their gratitude for the Holiday Mail program when it delivered cards to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Our Holiday Mail for Heroes YouTube playlist features videos capturing last year’s successes.
Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to over 2 million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. At the core of the Service to the Armed Forces mission is our commitment to support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe.
You can support the Service to the Armed Forces mission of the American Red Cross.
Editor’s Note: AlwaysCatholicBlog is asking our readers to send Religious cards only to this program. Religious cards are allowed and do not worry if the serviceman or woman that receives the card is not Christian. They will separate the cards before distributing them to our heroes. Anyway, nothing like acknowledging it’s Jesus’ birthday, right?
From the best on the Catholic blogoshpere about the typical MSM spin attack on Pope Benedict’s recent interview. The MSM excises one paragraph that appears to say that Benedict is changing on condom use. NOT! NOPE. NO WAY!
ACBlog proudly presents the bests of the best in repudiating the nonsense. Enjoy the read, it’s business as usual with the MSM. LOL!
Pope Benedict Not Changing Catholic Teaching on Condoms
A forthcoming book “Light of the World: the Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times” by Peter Seewald is generating significant buzz because it reportedly has the Pope significantly changing Church teaching on the usage of condoms.
But book says the Pope indicates there may be an “exceptional situation” when using condoms may be appropriate, such as cases of sexual intercourse that may threaten the life of another person because of a transmission of a potentially deadline sexual disease. That might justify their usage in instances such as male prostitutes using them to stop the spread of HIV.
“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward discovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants,” the Pontiff said.
“But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality,” Benedict added.
Peter Seewald, a German reporter who conducted the interview, followed up by asking: “Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?”
According to a Catholic News Service transcript, Pope Benedict responded: “She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.”
Concerning this report from the AP regarding remarks from Pope Benedict XVI on condom use, everyone is expecting clarifications. We can be pretty certain of that, but in the meantime, I’ll offer one.
The key phrase that explains everything that will go right over the vast majority of people’s heads? ”Re-develop the understanding”.
From the AFP [emphasis mine]:
Benedict offered the example of a male prostitute using a condom.
“There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be … a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes,” Benedict was quoted as saying.
The scenario offered is of someone in a state of complete ignorance about Catholic teaching. A prostitute doesn’t understand much at all about morality. Perhaps the only morality he can muster is that he shouldn’t do something intentionally that could kill another person. The fact that the Pope used a prostitute as an example shows he’s referring to that type of person. Someone who actively, and as a profession, engages in sex outside of marriage has no inkling of what the Christian moral teaching is on human sexuality. Most of the rest of us have more culpability on the matter than a prostitute. Because most of the rest of us are not prostitutes, we have more “responsibility” than that “first bit of responsibility” a prostitute can muster.
As long as you have an ounce of moral responsibility in you, there is hope that you can “re-develop your understanding”. “Re-developing” your understanding means coming to a more Christian perspective on things. Common sense should tell you that someone who is HIV-positive who goes around intentionally infecting others with HIV is more evil than someone who would say no to that. The Pope was using the extreme example of a prostitute to explain just such a difference.
Does this mean that the Pope is going to approve of the use of condom distribution to prevent AIDS? Nope. His very next statement shows where he is on that.
“But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection.”
The Catholic track record in Africa on this issue is better than the non-Catholic track record.
When remarks by Pope Benedict XVI regarding the use of condoms, as expressed in the upcoming biography Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, were released for the press, there was much confusion in the interpretation. I’ve already offered some clarification, as have many others of my Catholic compatriots across the blogosphere. As I consider more deeply how serious are the ramifications of this confusion, I thought it best to clarify a bit more.
The Pope gave the example of a male prostitute. I’d like to offer a more detailed scenario, one of a faithful Catholic mother of two grown children. One of her children is a male prostitute and the other is a practicing Catholic who is married to a practicing Catholic wife.
This Catholic mother loves both of her sons equally, as well she should. They both come to her for advice about condom use. What does she advise them?
To the practicing Catholic son, she advises that he follow the Church’s teaching that condom use destroys the procreative aspect of the conjugal act. She explains the Church’s teaching on human sexuality (which he and his wife should have already been instructed in during their Pre-Cana marriage instruction). She advises him also that if he understands and rejects this, that he risks the fires of hell. She is being a good Catholic mother.
To the son who is a male prostitute, she advises, again, the Catholic teaching on human sexuality. She tries to explain it, but he cannot understand it and completely rejects it. He simply cannot get his mind around it. He is adamant that he is going to continue in his lifestyle, no matter what. When she realizes that she is never going to get anywhere with him on this issue, she advises him that if he absolutely insists that it must be this way, then he should use a condom. He agrees that he should think enough of the other person’s value as a human person not to intentionally risk AIDS infection, and she rejoices that he, at least, understands this much about human dignity. It’s enough for her to hope that it is spark enough for him to, as the Pope said, “re-develop his understanding” and come eventually to the fullness of the Faith. Again, as assuredly as she was with her other son, she is being a good Catholic mother.
First, keep in mind that Papa Ratzinger was talking to a guy who had a microphone. How is that the same as an official act of the Vicar of Christ exercising his magisterium?
Also, he was asked if the Church is opposed in principle to the use of condoms. He responded – and it may be important to read all the words. My emphases:
She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.
“Of course” means that the Church’s teaching is pretty clear. Also, just as the Pope clarified in a presser on an airplane on his way to make an apostolic visit, condoms are not a real solution because they fail both to prevent disease and conception. They are not a “real” solution. They are not a “moral” solution because of the motive for their use in most cases. Nevertheless, sin is also wrapped up with “intention” in individual cases. Furthermore, there is a human way to respond to the problems for which some people claim condoms are the answer. Condom use is a more human way in individual cases such as that which the Pope identified in his non-magisterial interview. That doesn’t mean that it is yet a good way. It is simply better than the disastrous way employed before a decision was made to move towards a more human way. Also the word human implies that the acting subject is a person, an image of God.
Pope Benedict advocates right sexuality, not condom use, in fight against HIV
Vatican City, Nov 20, 2010 / 07:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Excerpts of Pope Benedict XVI’s new book are already causing a stir. Though some media reports claim he offers a change in papal teaching about condom use, Pope Benedict in fact says that a humanized sexuality, not condoms, is the right response to HIV.
The Nov. 21 edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (LOR) will release excerpts of the pontiff’s book “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.”
The book contains the Pope’s responses to questions from Peter Seewald, a German reporter who spoke with him over a week last summer about the most sensitive and important questions in Church life today.
The 21 themes treated in the book are edgy and the reception of the Pope’s words is likely to be varied, but his answers offer a unique look into his teachings and his perspective on the Church and the world.
In the excerpts, just two brief paragraphs provide the Pope’s response to a question on sexuality in the world today. He says that concentrating on the use of the condom only serves to trivialize sexuality.
This trivialization leads many people to no longer see sex as an expression of love, but as a self-administered drug. The fight against the banalization of sexuality is part of a great effort to change this view to a more positive one.
The respected, clear-thinking canonist Ed Peters of In the Light of the Law has offered a blistering assessment of the role of the Vatican’s daily L’Osservatore Romano in regard to the latest in a string of media screw-ups.
My emphases and comments.
The continuing mess at L’Osservatore Romano
While many able others are scrambling to respond to the eruption over the pope’s remarks on condom use by male prostitutes, I want to ask a few questions about the occasion of this public relations fiasco, namely, the decision by L’Osservatore Romano [Note these points] to publish  prematurely,  out of context, and  without commentary,  the single most controversial paragraph of the pope’s book, Light of the World, in, if nothing else, apparent violation of the agreement in place between its various publishers concerning a coordinated release of the work. [Elsewhere I mused about the possibility that the Holy See had an agreement with the publisher that they could strike passages deemed inopportune before going to press. So… what happened? No such agreement? Didn’t choose to use it? Just wanted to get out ahead of the story?]I frankly wonder whether, even now, L’Osservatore Romano yet realizes what a serious disservice it has committed by arrogating to itself the role of introducing the pope’s book, Light of the World, and by its making that introduction in such a palpably incompetent manner? [C’mon, Ed. You’ve gotta learn to express yourself!]
Really? The Pope says contraception is ok in some cases? Nope.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that the use of condoms can be justified in some cases, such as for male prostitutes seeking to prevent the spread of HIV.
The pontiff makes the comments in a book-length interview with a German journalist, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.” The Vatican newspaper ran excerpts of the book Saturday.
Church teaching has long opposed condoms since they’re a form of artificial contraception. The Vatican has been harshly criticized for its position given the AIDS crisis.
Benedict said that for male prostitutes — for whom contraception isn’t a central issue — condoms are not a moral solution. But he said they could be justified “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.”
As always, the condom as contraception is always wrong. Condoms used by male prostitutes for whom contraception is not an issue, might be able to use condoms for reducing the spread of infection.
I went hunting this past weekend. In order to be safe from being mistaken for an animal, the prey, hunters are encouraged or even required to wear a bright orange color. This wise safety measure, of course, assumes that all the other hunters in the woods are not color blind.
Now if you know in advance that all the other hunters are color blind, you have no one else to blame but your self when you end up shot.
Translation? You don’t speak French to a bunch of neanderthals and expect NOT to be clubbed.
This is what happened to the Vatican press machine this past weekend with the “Pope approves condoms” story. Actually, this is what always happens to the Vatican press machine.
Let’s face it. The press getting this story wrong is the expected outcome but yet again the Vatican press office was caught flat footed. Yes, they issued a statement that, while correct, is written in the same language of nuance that got them in trouble in the first place.
I must admit that the whole thing has me scratching my head. The question I keep coming back to is “why?” Why did the Pope try to make this VERY nuanced point when it is obvious to even the most casual observer that the media would get this wrong? Did this nuanced point about male prostitutes really have to be made? I mean, have male prostitutes sworn off condoms because the Pope says they are wrong? Why? Why this point?
Pope Benedict’s new book, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, isn’t even officially out yet but is already at the center of an online media controversy.
The controversy erupted Saturday morning when L’Osservatore Romano unilaterally violated the embargo on the book by publishing Italian-language extracts of various papal statements, much to the chagrin of publishers around the world, who had been working on a carefully orchestrated launch for the book on Tuesday.
Among the extracts was one dealing with the use of condoms in trying to prevent the spread of AIDS, and the press immediately seized on this (e.g., Reuters, Associated Press , BBC online).
And so we were treated to headlines like:
* Pope says condoms sometimes permissible to stop AIDS
* Pope: condoms can be justified in some cases
* Pope says condoms can be used in the fight against Aids
Particularly egregious is this statement by William Crawley of the BBC:
Pope Benedict appears to have changed the Vatican’s official stance on the use of condoms to a moral position that many Catholic theologians have been recommending for quite some time.
Okay, first of all, this is an interview book. The pope is being interviewed. He is not engaging his official teaching capacity. This book is not an encyclical, an apostolic constitution, a papal bull, or anything of the kind. It is not published by the Church. It is an interview conducted by a German-language journalist. Consequently, the book does not represent an act of the Church’s Magisterium and does not have the capacity to “change the Vatican’s official stance” on anything. It does not carry dogmatic or canonical force. The book (which is fascinating and unprecedented, though that’s a subject for another post) constitutes the Pope’s personal opinions on the questions he is asked by interviewer Peter Seewald.
And, as Pope Benedict himself notes in the book:
It goes without saying that the Pope can have private opinions that are wrong.
I don’t point this out to suggest that what Pope Benedict says regarding condoms is wrong (we’ll get to that in a moment) but to point out the status of private papal opinions. They are just that: private opinions. Not official Church teaching. So let’s get that straight.
Among the disservices L’Osservatore Romano performed by breaking the book’s embargo in the way it did was the fact that it only published a small part of the section in which Pope Benedict discussed condoms. As a result, the reader could not see the context of his remarks, giving the reader no way to see the context and guaranteeing that the secular press would take the Pope’s remarks out of context (which they would have anyway, but perhaps not this much). Especially egregious is the fact that L’Osservatore Romano omits material in which Benedict clarified his statement on condoms in a follow-up question.
So L’Osservatore Romano has performed a great disservice to both the Catholic and non-Catholic communities.
Let’s look at the Pope’s remarks and see what he actually said.
Seewald: . . . In Africa you stated that the Church’s traditional teaching has proven to be the only sure way to stop the spread of HIV. Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.
Benedict: . . . In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. [EMPHASIS ADDED] Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.
As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.
For better than a decade now I have been researching and watching the Catholic Campaign for Human Development reach its’ evil tentacles into the Roman Catholic Church in America through the USCCB (U.S.Catholic Conference of Bishops).
Upon first confirming details of our Catholic dollars reaching the pockets of abortion support groups, pro homosexual marriage and lifestyle groups, the now famous ACORN and the numerous Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” type priests and even Bishops who have aided
in heresy in the Church here in America. AlwaysCatholicBlog has made a decision to support two groups that we feel go hand in hand. First, RCN- REFORM CCHD NOW and REAL CATHOLIC TV. Both of these organizations have the heart and soul of the Church as their mission: the Truth–UNVARNISHED.
Please consider donating to local organizations that care for the poor directly instead of contributing to the CCHD collection on Sunday. Even parish priests that are faithful to Rome feel the pressure to take part in this heinous attempt to use our money for immoral purposes that are in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to Church Teaching.
Sooo…IT’S TIME TO SHUT DOWN CCHD! Donate directly to local agencies that help the poor instead of putting $$ IN THIS SUNDAYS collection! Tell Bishops why: PH:202-541-3210 Fax: 202-541-3329 email: email@example.com DO THE RIGHT THING! TIME TO STAND UP FOR OUR FAITH!
We are giving LisaGraas.com the floor on this as she has done the work of a dozen people on this issue. We are publishing the following links so that you may have instant access to read about this scandal before placing your money in that collection basket this weekend. Please consider that the Bishop(s) who are so willing to do all this specific detailed reform were insulting well-meaning good Catholics who merely questioned what CCHD was doing with Catholic dollars last year at this time.
IT”S TOO LATE BISHOPS MORIN AND SOTO (newly appointed Bishop of CCHD Committee)! NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE DISMANTLING OF CCHD AND REBUILDING FROM THE FOUNDATION UP WILL SUFFICE. YOU CAN KEEP LYING TO YOURSELVES BUT WE CHOOSE TRUTH! SO SHOULD YOU!
This is the opinion of Sofia Guerra, Editor of AlwaysCatholicBlog. I am publishing Lisa Graas’ work as a research tool only and please ask the reader to understand that this is my opinion and my opinion alone concerning this travesty in our Church.
Lisa Graas is a Catholic convert and mom of four who blogs on U.S./Kentucky politics and Catholic culture. Lisa is a pre-emminent Catholic blogger and we are so proud to have her here on ACBlog. Lisa’s Blog is http://www.lisagraas.com and is on Twitter @LisaGraas and on Facebook. Lisa also is a regular blogger at David Horowitz’s News Real Blog.
I never thought in a million years that a Catholic bishop would agree to allow abortion in a Catholic hospital…but it is happening in Connecticut. I was reading this story about Bishop Lori and his attempt to defend religious freedom in that state. As I read, I had decided I would write a blog post thanking him and defending him on the matter, but then I read this part and was shocked beyond imagining:
While the Connecticut legislature did not pass that bill, it did pass legislation forcing Catholic hospitals to assist in possible chemical abortions after cases of rape. In his pastoral letter, Bishop Lori revisited the 2007 controversy over the “Plan B law,” which he said was “aimed at Catholic hospitals.”
That law forbade medical professionals from administering an ovulation test to determine whether a rape victim’s use of emergency contraception might cause an abortion. Only by examining both a pregnancy test and an ovulation test, can physicians know whether the drug endangers a human life.
After attempting to fight the law, Bishop Lori stated in 2007 that “reluctant compliance” was “the only viable option.” The state’s Catholic hospitals currently provide the drug after performing only the pregnancy test, despite the documented risk of chemical abortions.
Commenting on the matter in his recent letter, Bishop Lori said the “Plan B law” had severely harmed the religious freedom and conscience rights of all citizens, especially healthcare professionals.
Editor’s Note: Please go to Lisa’s blog & finishing reading the article. I am with Lisa on this completely. This is beyond the pale. I knew Bishop Lori personally when I lived in Wash, D.C. when he was Monsignor Lori & the asst to James Cardinal Hickey. I am shocked that he caved, but NOT surprised. Sad, sad commentary on the lack of courage to defend the Faith.
George Soros the ex-Nazi (can you ever be an ex-Nazi?) and overall bad guy openly and blatantly shows us today that he owns Obama and the Democrat Party.
Soros’ “Center for American Progress” released a report today which illustrates and defines the way Obama can “fundamentally transform” America in 30 Executive actions.
The abominable report is posted as follows with the link to his site for further review. When you, dear reader are finished at his site, it might be time to pull out the Rosary and pray for our future here in America. It’s THAT bad.
Here at AlwaysCatholic we try to inform the reader of all things moral or immoral that shape our society so that as Catholics we can respond as the Body of Christ.
Here, reader, is YOUR opportunity to be recognized and counted as being AlwaysCatholic. Read this report. Send an email to Soros and his Center for American Progress. Send a copy to the Bishops Conference and ask your Bishop, what can be done about a man who spews evil and is using his wealth and power to control our lives. See if you get an answer. I doubt it.
Then go to the polls every election, particularly the locals elections and vote! Take it a step further and run for a local office. Make a difference. Remember, being “Always Catholic” means just that.
ALWAYS CATHOLIC…NO MATTER WHAT!!
Here is a summary of the report from Soros’ site, the pdf file is at the link at the end of this piece. Go to the site. Read the full report for yourself. Now it’s time to do the right thing.
The Power of the President
Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change
A podium bears the seal of the President of the United States.
SOURCE: AP/J. Scott Applewhite/em>
By the Center for American Progress Staff and Senior Fellows, Compiled by Sarah Rosen Wartell | November 16, 2010
Introduction and summary
Concentrating on executive powers presents a real opportunity for the Obama administration to turn its focus away from a divided Congress and the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage. Instead, the administration can focus on the president’s ability to deliver results for the American people on the things that matter most to them:
* Job creation and economic competitiveness
* Educational excellence
* A clean energy future and energy independence
* Quality affordable health care
* Consumer protection
* The home foreclosure crisis
* Accountable government delivering results at lower cost
* Sustainable security for the nation
In addition, the key legislative accomplishments of President Obama’s first two years in office, most notably health care and financial reform, now need to be implemented effectively. Both the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act require hundreds of separate rule- makings and other agency actions to implement the legislative framework.
The public has made clear its disgust with Washington’s ways—the same sentiment that helped to bring President Obama to office. It would be a welcome relief from watching legislative maneuvering to see the work of a strong executive who is managing the business of the country through troubled times, doing more with less, each day working to create a stronger economy and a more effective government.
The Obama administration, of course, is already using the capacity of the presidency to drive change in the public and private sector. For example, it promoted the forma1tion of Skills for America’s Future, a new public-private initiative in support of the president’s goal of 5 million more community college graduates and certificates by 2020. At the recent White House Community College Summit, convened by Dr. Jill Biden, industry, labor unions, community colleges, and other training providers made commitments to help put this initiative into action.
Similarly, President Obama’s recent trip to India provided an opportunity for him to win agreements that will bring significant economic benefits to U.S. firms and American workers. Trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs in the production of aircraft, energy generation equipment, advanced machinery, and telecommunications services, among others.
There is much more the president can do. The list below of ideas from the Center for American Progress’s policy experts offers just some of the many possible actions the administration can take using existing authority to move the country forward.
Specifically, in the energy and environmental arena, the president can:
* Reduce oil imports and make progress toward energy independence.
* Progress toward reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 17 percent by 2020.
* Conserve federal lands for future generations.
* Manage public lands to support a balanced energy strategy.
* Convene and engage hunters and anglers in the development of a fish and wildlife climate adaptation plan.
* Generate solar energy on U.S. Air Force hangar roofs.
On the domestic economic policy front, President Obama can:
* Direct an assessment, strategy, and new policy development to promote U.S. competitiveness.
* Launch the new consumer financial protection bureau with an aggressive agenda to protect and empower consumers.
* Increase the capacity of small businesses to expand hiring and purchases by accelerating the implementation of the Small Business Jobs Act.
* Promote automatic mediation to avoid foreclosure where possible and speed resolution.
* Create a web portal to empower housing counselors, reduce burdens on lenders, and speed up home mortgage modifications.
* Help stabilize home values and communities by turning “shadow REO” housing inventory into “scattered site” rental housing.
* Promote practices that support working families.
Elsewhere on the domestic policy front, the Obama administration can:
* Partner with the private sector in health care payment reform.
* Focus on health care prevention in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
* Streamline and simplify access to federal antipoverty programs.
* Replace costly, inhumane immigration detention policies with equally effective measures.
In the education policy arena, the president can:
* Launch an “educational productivity” initiative to help school districts spend every dollar wisely to best prepare our children for the 21st century.
* Ensure students can compare financial aid offers from different postsecondary institutions.
* Improve the quality, standards, and productivity of postsecondary education.
In improving the performance of the federal government, the president can:
* Scrutinize federal spending programs and tax expenditures to achieve greater returns on public investment.
* Build the next-generation Recovery.gov web site to track all public expenditures and performance in real time.
* Use new information technology for faster, more transparent freedom of information.
* Create a virtual U.S. statistical agency.
* Collect data on lesbian ,gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans in federal data surveys.
And in the foreign policy and national security arena, the president and his administration can:
* Rebalance our Afghanistan strategy with greater emphasis on political and diplomatic progress.
* Promote domestic revenue generation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
* Appoint a special envoy for the Horn of Africa and the southwest Arabian Peninsula region.
* Appoint a special commission to assess contracting practices in national security and foreign affairs.
* Use executive branch authority to mitigate the impact of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy if Congress does not repeal it.
* Redouble support for Palestinian state- and institution-building efforts.
* Pursue dual-track policy on Iran while sharpening focus on Iranian human rights issues.
* Reinvigorate the U.S.-Turkey strategic alliance. Develop a comprehensive policy on the Russia-Georgia conflict.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the important policy objectives President Obama can pursue over the next two years, but it illustrates the range of important executive branch work beyond proposing and negotiating legislation.
Statement from John D. Podesta
November 15, 2010
In the aftermath of this month’s midterm congressional elections, pundits and politicians across the ideological spectrum are focusing on how difficult it will be for President Barack Obama to advance his policy priorities through Congress. Predictions of stalemate abound. And some debate whether the administration should tack to the left or to the center and compromise with or confront the new House leadership.
As a former White House chief of staff, I believe those to be the wrong preoccupations. President Obama’s ability to govern the country as chief executive presents an opportunity to demonstrate strength, resolve, and a capacity to get things done on a host of pressing challenges of importance to the public and our economy. Progress, not positioning, is what the public wants and deserves.
The U.S. Constitution and the laws of our nation grant the president significant authority to make and implement policy. These authorities can be used to ensure positive progress on many of the key issues facing the country through:
The ability of President Obama to accomplish important change through these powers should not be underestimated. President Bush, for example, faced a divided Congress throughout most of his term in office, yet few can doubt his ability to craft a unique and deeply conservative agenda using every aspect of the policymaking apparatus at his disposal. And, after his party lost control of Congress in 1994, President Clinton used executive authority and convening power to make significant progressive change. For instance, he protected more great spaces in the lower 48 states than any president since Theodore Roosevelt, established for the first time significant protections for Americans’ medical privacy, and urged the creation of the Welfare-to-Work Partnership that enlisted the help of 20,000 businesses in moving more than 1 million welfare recipients into the workforce.
The upshot: Congressional gridlock does not mean the federal government stands still. This administration has a similar opportunity to use available executive authorities while also working with Congress where possible. At the Center for American Progress, we look forward to our nation continuing to make progress. Link to Soros’ Center for American Progress and the pdf file of the above mentioned report: The Power of the President
Podesta calls on Obama to circumvent Congress
Former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta, now the head of the Center for American Progress, called on President Obama to push forward with his agenda using federal agencies and executive branch power Tuesday, even though Democrats were dealt a blow in the recent midterm elections. Podesta said the American people want the president to move forward with his agenda.
“I think most of the conversation since the election has been about how President Obama adjusts to the new situation on Capitol Hill,” Podesta said. “While that’s an important conversation, it simply ignores the president’s ability to use all levels of his power and authority to move the country forward.”
Citing his experience in Clinton’s White House after the GOP House takeover of 1994, Podesta said Obama’s administration “can and should take” the specific measures detailed in a report released by the Center for American Progress, [see article above] utilizing all the tools at its disposal to circumvent Congress in a way to keep his agenda moving forward.
“One of the best ways for the Obama administration to achieve results of that nature, in the short term, is through substantial executive authority to make and implement policy,” Podesta said. “As noted in the Constitution and the laws of the United States give the president the ability and the responsibility to act as the chief executive using authorities granted to all presidents such as executive orders, rule-makings, agency management and public-private partnerships.”
Even though he said that he disagreed with why former President George W. Bush went about using them, he defended how the former president used executive actions in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
“No one can doubt that President Bush, also, when he took office in 2001, made extensive use of his executive authorities,” Podesta said. “Sometimes I agreed with it, often I didn’t, but he was able to move the policy agenda forward using executive authority.”
In an April 2005 speech about the importance of checks and balances in government, however, Podesta opposed the president expanding his executive boundaries.
“I’m convinced that Americans want the president and the Congress to work together to ensure that judges who populate the federal bench and who serve with life tenure are highly qualified men and women whose views are within the constitutional mainstream,” Podesta said in the April 2005 speech, according to a transcript obtained by The Daily Caller. “The filibuster is a means towards that end. Why? Because it encourages presidents to consult with the Senate and to name moderate, mainstream nominees who will judge cases fairly and without bias, and who will have no difficulty garnering the votes of 60 senators that they need to be confirmed. By removing the safeguard offered by the filibuster, the nuclear option would seriously and perhaps irreparably damage an institution that has functioned since its inception under customs and traditions that ensure an atmosphere of careful deliberation and mutual respect.”
Podesta’s staff wouldn’t return TheDC’s request for comment on his change of heart regarding the president’s use of executive power.
By Matthew Boyle – The Daily Caller | Published: 2:47 AM 11/17/2010 | Updated: 1:23 PM 11/17/2010
CreativeMinorityReport.com in my opinion is the best Catholic blog on the Internet. Yes, I’m also a BIG fan of LisaGraas.com & FatherZ (WDTPRS.com). Both of them will agree that the Brothers Archbold really were the fresh air the Catholic blogosphere needed.
Patrick & Matthew Archbold are also probably two of the most kind human beings I have encountered since starting AlwaysCatholic.com . (Ok so my grammar leaves alot to be desired ;) ) I was reading their blog & felt inspired to contact them for some help. They obliged. Big time! Their generosity and their advice has helped us become a recognized blog. We thank them with the deepest of gratitude for everything they have done to help us. Now, I come to the reason why I am giving my dear colleagues (and I hope friends) the credit they deserve.
The Brothers Archbold fit the description “Always Catholic”. It is not possible to pray the Rosary on your knees everyday (especially if you have 5 kids!) or to go to a Weekly Novena when the kids need to be bathed. Its not possible to take part in a daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament when two of your kids are sick and you have to call out of work to take care of them because your wife is sick also. Its not possible to go to Church for Vespers when you get home from work tired with a headache and now its YOUR turn to take care of the kids so the wife can get a 15 minute shower and maybe get a phone call into her sister. These things are possible for single people or the Religious who dedicates their lives to the Church.
What happens to those like Pat and his brother Matt who give everything to blog for the Faith? They are guys like most of us out there that have children and families that love the Faith, but have busy, dutiful lives and think we can’t find the time to be “Catholic”.
Alas, but that’s what it is to being “Always Catholic”! Doing what most of us do everyday, striving to do the right thing giving all to God the glory,living in accordance with our Faith and spending what little time we have trying to spread the Truth of our Church. This is the “Little Way” that our darling Saint Therese taught us in this last century; that the daily things we do in our “Little Way” allow us to be “Always Catholic”.
Pat & Matt Archbold understand this. CMReport is their “Little Way” to Heaven. “The Super Bowl of Babies’ is the kind of piece that MUST be done in the Catholic blogoshphere. MUST is the operative word.
We can carry the mantle “Catholic” until we are blue in the face, but if we are not ready to talk the talk and walk the walk, then we are NOT Catholic is the kind of piece that MUST be done in the Catholic blogoshphere. MUST is the operative word. We can carry the mantle “Catholic” until we are blue in the face, but if we are not ready to talk the talk and walk the walk, then we are NOT Catholic.
So, AlwaysCatholicBlog now thanks you, dear Archbold Brothers. Thank you for giving us hope that Sainthood and holiness comes in all shapes and sizes. That our “Little Way” to Heaven can be found at the end of a computer. That we CAN BE “Always Catholic.”
by Pat Archbold
National Catholic Register
Matt & Pat Archbold Blog
Monday, November 15, 2010
It is half time during the Super Bowl. You just watched some funny commercials from Doritos, Budweiser, or Geico. Then the next commercial hits the tube. This commercial shows dead babies.
A small group of anti-abortion-rights advocates are hoping to recruit a presidential candidate so they can run graphic ads showing aborted fetuses during the Super Bowl, Congress.org reports.
The group hopes to employ the same tactic used during the midterm elections by Missy Smith, an anti-abortion-rights activist who unsuccessfully ran for Washington, D.C., delegate. Smith “took advantage of federal rules that prevent broadcasters from censoring election ads unless they defame others or violate copyright,” according to Congress.org. In the early 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission and federals court ruled that graphic abortion images are not indecent.
I think it is clever to use election law to force networks to broadcast pro-life ads at which they would otherwise balk. That said, I am of two minds about this.
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/12/10
The Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops is nearly ready to begin and the Catholic church leaders will have to decide on a new president who will lead them after some major abortion battles.
The slate of candidates includes one pro-life champion and one bishop who lay pro-life Catholic leaders say presents some concerns.
Held every three years, the elections produce a president and vice president who speak for the bishops for the next three years — that will cover the re-election bid of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
The last three years saw the bishops having to instruct voters about voting priorities at a time when electing the first black American president conflicted with the need to protect unborn children and the Catholic Church’s teachings on the importance of pro-life concerns compared with other political issues.
The bishops also had to weigh in on Obama’s appearance at the most recognized Catholic college — the University of Notre Dame — where he attempted to cover up the extent of his abortion promotion.
Later, they were drawn into the national health care debate, which saw them relentlessly press for language stopping taxpayer funding abortion in a health care reform bill they otherwise supported. In the end, they had to call on the carpet lawmakers who voted for the bill, because of its lack of pro-life protections on abortion funding, conscience issues and rationing.
Now, they will elect new leaders chosen from a slate of 10 candidates compiled from nominations by bishops nationwide. The bishops first cast ballots to elect the president and then choose one of the remaining nine for vice president.
For pro-life Catholics, Archbishop Charles Chaput is likely the leading candidate.
He has pulled no punches when it comes to calling pro-abortion politicians and Catholic groups promoting them on the carpet for violating Catholic Church doctrine.
Chaput rebuked pro-abortion Democrats for a party platform exalting abortion.
“Obviously, we have other important issues facing us this fall: the economy, the war in Iraq, immigration justice,” he said. “But we can’t build a healthy society while ignoring the routine and very profitable legalized homicide that goes on every day against America’s unborn children.”
He also took on Catholic Obama apologist and Malta ambassador Douglas Kmiec for calling Obama and his policies pro-life.
And he took on the Catholic Health Association for endorsing the ObamaCare bill and covering up its abortion funding aspects.
But Thomas Peters of American Papist, says Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona presents concerns for pro-lifers.
“I fear all of this progress in promoting vibrant orthodoxy within the bishops conference is threatened by the impending election of Kicanas,” he writes today.
“Bishop Kicanas has a troubling reputation,” Peters explains. “The arch-liberal Father Thomas Reese has described Kicanas as “the leading liberal hope” among the progressive wing of the Church.”
Peters also calls out Kicanas for what he describes as a “cozy” relationship with and praise of pro-abortion politicians, including former Arizona Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe and former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.
“Not surprisingly, the liberal Catholics at Commonweal Magazine and National Catholic Reporter are adamant supporters of Bishop Kicanas. He is their kind of bishop, indeed probably one of the most liberal bishops in America. And all of this should set off warning alarms for those of us serious about continuing to rebuild orthodoxy in America,” he writes.
Peters’ view is shared by Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register.
Peters adds that Kicanas annoyed pro-life advocates with his response to the Notre Dame scandal and decided to designate three of his diocesan schools as Notre Dame feeders.
The other candidates for the chairman and vice-chairman position include Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans; Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California; Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville; Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown; Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore; Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit; and Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City.