Friday, July 29, 2011

Discovering the Wisdom of Saint Ignatius

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The Spiritual Exercises by Saint Ignatius of Loyola are often presented as a magnificent sequence of logical arguments that can lead a person to amend his life, save his soul, choose his state in life or make important resolutions.

While all these treasures are found in this work, we need to have an even broader vision that will allow us to see yet another treasure that is rarely pointed out. That treasure is his wisdom. If someone wants to have mental balance, nervous equilibrium and wisdom, let him read The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. His way of thinking is not just speculative reasoning. Rather there is no more sensible or logical way to think about the concrete problems of life today than that of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Anyone who becomes familiar with, and used to, his reasoning acquires a truly extraordinary and structured soul.

What is it about The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius that we should especially praise? First of all, the wisdom by which he lays out the topics. He always goes straight to the central points of a topic. For example, his consideration of sin leads us to reflect upon the gravity of sin and the rights of God. By taking conclusions about the gravity of sin, people then gauge the gravity of their own sins. From a central point, he always develops his reasoning in a logical, simple, direct and irrefutable way. We are left with the alternative of either admitting we have no faith or that he is right.
Saint Ignatius teaches us to be completely honest when considering our private lives. However comforting or painful this honest vision may be.

Secondly, Saint Ignatius teaches us to be completely honest when considering our private lives. The Exercises are laid out in such a way as to make us fully objective when considering our defects, virtues, circumstances and duties. The saint teaches us to fight against those numerous and devious (although mostly semi-subconscious) maneuvers that we often employ to avoid knowing ourselves. His logic is like a straight arrow that forces us to look at things head on and with all honesty. We see and recognize ourselves as we are. At the time of our spiritual self-examination, we are put in a position where we will not lie to ourselves or to God.

However comforting or painful this honest vision may be, we can then draw helpful conclusions and resolutions.

Finally, Saint Ignatius supplies us with an admirable equilibrium between the intelligence and the will on the one hand, and the sensibility on the other. He bases his arguments on reason, not sensibility or feelings. Nevertheless, once reason dominates, he asks man’s sensibility to follow reason. Thus, Saint Ignatius asks us to think about a topic and then imagine a place or situation that will help stir up good movements in our souls. That is to say, he tries to bring human sensibility into line with the logical arguments. If however, your sensibility or feelings are not moved by the argument, he advises us to carry on with the exercise without them because that is what reason indicates we should do. This is a marvelous equilibrium!
Saint Ignatius does everything possible to stir in us the right natural dispositions to accept the orientation God wishes to give us.

Saint Ignatius also strikes a balance between the supernatural and the natural. At every moment he asks us to make an act of love or make an act of the will. He asks our souls to “exercise” but he also constantly asks us to stop and ask God for an insight to consider this or that thing. We are asked to stop and ask God to move our souls in the direction He desires for us. In other words, he bends over backward to stir in us the right natural dispositions to accept the orientation God wishes to give us. This truly shows an extraordinary fullness of wisdom.

In this regard, Saint Ignatius is so opposed to everything that our times have of arbitrary, wild and crazy. All saints are the opposite of the hippie. Charles Manson, for example, was characteristically unbalanced, with regard for neither thinking nor law, a kind of wild beast loose in the world.

In Saint Ignatius we have the exact opposite. We have composure, logic, common sense and a sense of measure. From this standpoint, he is an incomparable master of wisdom.

The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on July 31, 1970. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ireland: Ban the Seal of Confession and Eucharistic Congress

Last week Irish Deputy Enda Kenny spoke of his determination to ban the seal of confession, now a member of his Fine Gail party is calling for the cancellation of the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Dublin in 2012. Even worse, the proposal to cancel the Eucharistic Congress first came from a dissenting group of Catholic priests called the Association of Catholic Priests.

The Guardian reports:

"Senator Cáit Keane said the Eucharistic Congress,which is scheduled to be held in the capital’s Phoenix Park in June,to be put off in the light of the row over the Vatican‘s attitude to clerical child sex abuse inquiries in the republic.

"She said she backed suggestions from a group of rebel Catholic priests that one of the largest liturgical Catholic events be postponed.

Speaking in the Irish parliament,Keane said:“I support the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland request to postpone this event as I believe it is not an appropriate time for an event such as the Eucharistic Congress to take place in this country.

“I believe that everyone will be better served,given the sensitivities around the findings of this report,that it be held at a later date.

The association has over five hundred ordinary priests as members in Ireland.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maxims for the Direction of a Soul that Desires to Obtain Perfection in the Love of Jesus Christ

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.

2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.

3. Often to meditate on his Passion.

4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.

5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.

6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.

7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.

8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.

9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.

10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.

11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.

12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.

13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.

14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.

15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.

16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.

17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.

18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions.

19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.

20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.

21. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."

22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.

23. To pray as much as possible.

24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.

25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.

26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.

27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.

28. Not to complain in sickness.

29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.

30. To drive away melancholy.

37. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.

32. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.

33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.

34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.

35. To do good to those who do evil.

36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.

37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.

38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.

39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.

40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.

41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.

42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.

43. To like the lowest employments.

44. To like the poorest things.

45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.

46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.

47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.

48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.

49. To be silent when you are disquieted.

50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine."

Source: The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ 1927
St Alphonsus Liguori, Pray for us! Sancta Alphonsus Liguori, Ora Pro Nobis! Amen

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ture Role Models and Real Adventure: TFP Summer Camp

Who should young Catholic men look up to as role models? Rock stars? Football players? Actors? At the annual Louisiana Call to Chivalry camp, boys are presented with true Catholic role models to admire and imitate.

Each camp has its own theme and this year’s centered on historical figures of the British Isles. Many skits, lively presentations and a challenging treasure hunt brought life to heroes like Saint Patrick, Saint Kevin, Saint Columba, and Saint Brendon. The participants followed Saint Brendon on his voyage to the new world 300 years before Columbus.
Today’s young Catholic men need true and virtuous Catholic role models to admire and imitate.
They met William Wallace, who insisted that he was not a barbarian as depicted in Hollywood’s version but a champion of good who became the guardian of Scotland. The participants then helped Saint Patrick rescue a camp participant who was captured by druids. Armed with prayer and sheer numbers they chased the druids away.

The camp encourages its participants to not only look up to true role models but to become leaders like them as well. Canoe runs, obstacle courses, and group problem-solving drew out the leader in everyone. Games like “French football,” “Shield Ball” and “Capture the Flag,” can only be won through teamwork and strategy.

The USS Kidd has many examples
of courage and heroism.
Catholic doctrine provides answers and historical figures illustrate it. Teamwork and camaraderie are also necessary for our youth of today.
Essential to true formation, the camp fostered piety through the daily reception of the sacraments of communion, the availability of confession and by concluding the day with a rosary procession. Like the crusaders of old, all participated in a vigil of arms before a relic of the true cross.

The Vigil of Arms before a relic of
the True Cross.
Essential to true formation are the sacraments and an interior life of piety.
Our youth needs good role models, not bad ones. If you are interested in learning more about future TFP Call to Chivalry camps please call Mr. Cesar Franco at (717) 521-8013. Or you may send an e-mail to TFP Student Action at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Second Chinese "Bishop" Excommunicated

The Vatican has officially announced the excommunication of a Chinese "bishop" consecrated with approval on July 14 in defiance of the Holy See.

This was the second announcement of excommunication of a Chinese "bishop" within the past month, in an escalating conflict between Rome and Beijing which prompted one prominent prelate to say: “This is war.”

A formal statement released by the Vatican on July 16 cited canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, which stipulates that anyone involved in consecrating a bishop without approval from the Holy See incurs the penalty of excommunication.

Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang had been warned before the illicit ordination, the Vatican revealed. The statement added that “the Holy See does not recognize him as bishop of the diocese of Shantou, and he lacks authority to govern the Catholic community of the diocese.”

In the same statement, the Vatican complained that some bishops had been unwilling to participate in the illicit ordination ceremony, “and also offered various forms of resistance, yet were reportedly obliged to take part in the ordination.” The statement said that Pope Benedict XVI “deplores the manner in which the Church in China is being treated.”

The Vatican praised Chinese Catholics who have resisted the pressure from the government-backed Patriotic Association to accept bishops who are not in communion with Rome. An AsiaNews report cited examples of that resistance:

Bishop Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning was selected by Chinese authorities to be the principal celebrant at the July 14 ordination ceremony. But the bishop refused to participate, and the priests of his diocese surrounded him, inside his cathedral, to prevent authorities from arresting him and transporting him to Shantou for the ceremony.

In Guangdong, 4 bishops were taken into custody and accompanied by police to the ceremony. But when they finally freed to return to their own dioceses, they had the Vatican’s July 16 statement read to all the faithful.

In Harbin, staunch resistance by the faithful has forced the Patriotic Association to postpone another scheduled ordination.

The present battle is within the Chinese Church—between a faction that takes orders from the government and another faction that insists on independence from Beijing and loyalty to the Holy See. Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, referred to the conflict as a "war" remarking: “You can start a new church, but don’t call it a Catholic church.”

Monday, July 18, 2011

TFP Mentioned in Oklahoma Protest Video News Storyersy

For all of you who protested against the blasphemous play in Oklahoma, see what kind of controversy you have raised! Here is a video news report on the protest.

See the link below:

KOKH FOX 25 :: Top Stories - Bible play controversy

Friday, July 15, 2011

Message from Mother Earth or God?

The video asks at the end if Mother Earth is sending a message. We might ask if God is sending a message. The evidence is compelling...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Over 300 Austrian Priests Join ‘Call to Disobedience’

Over 300 of Austria’s 4,200 priests have just signed a pledge to take part in "A Call to Disobedience."

The Call to Disobedience document cites “the Roman refusal of a long-overdue Church reform and the inaction of bishops.” Priests who support the document pledge

  • to pray for Church reform at every liturgy, since “in the presence of God there is freedom of speech”
  • not to deny the Holy Eucharist to “believers of good will,” including non-Catholic Christians and those who have remarried outside the Church
  • to avoid offering Mass more than once on Sundays and holy days and to avoid making use of visiting priests--instead holding a “self-designed” Liturgy of the Word
  • to describe such a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion as a “priestless Eucharistic celebration”; “thus we fulfill the Sunday obligation in a time of priest shortage”
  • to “ignore” canonical norms that restrict the preaching of the homily to clergy
  • to oppose parish mergers, insisting instead that each parish have its own individual leader, “whether man or woman”
  • to “use every opportunity to speak out openly in favor of the admission of the married and of women to the priesthood”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New York Town Clerk Quits over Same-sex "Marriage" Licenses

A town clerk in western New York has resigned to avoid being forced to sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples, citing religious objections to same-sex "marriage."

Laura Fotusky, the town clerk in Barker, New York, said in her resignation letter that she will step down on July 21, three days before such unions become legal.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the same sex "marriage" law last month after the bill narrowly passed the Republican-led state Senate.

The new law exempts religious groups from performing same-sex "marriages" but does not extend those protections to individuals, including government employees.

Fotusky wrote in her letter, dated July 11, she said she believes the Bible takes precedence over man-made laws.

"The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God," she wrote.

"I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure," she wrote.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One More Victory for Adult Stem Cells

Dr. David Prentice reports in that doctors at Northwestern University have shown that adult stem cells can relieve angina pain in heart patients.

About 850,000 American heart patients have angina–chest pain caused by blocked arteries–that persists despite available treatments. The study examined 167 patients with refractory angina; patients received either a low or high dose of their own adult stem cells injected into their damaged heart muscle, or a placebo injection.

The results, published in the journal Circulation Research, showed that patients who received their adult stem cells experienced significant improvements in angina frequency and exercise tolerance. Dr. Douglas Losordo, lead author on the study, says the improvements in the patients treated with adult stem cells were life altering for many patients. Dr. Losordo also noted:

“To put it in human terms, patients who might have been able to sit and watch TV without symptoms could now walk at a normal pace without chest pain, and someone who could walk at a slow pace might be able to ride a bike.”

“Early research across multiple disease categories suggests that stem cells generated within the body in adults may have a therapeutic benefit. This is the first controlled trial treating chronic myocardial ischemia patients with their own stem cells to achieve significant reduction in angina frequency and improvement in exercise tolerance.”

“There is an emerging notion that our bodies — even the bodies of patients with significant disease — contain this natural biology that can heal. We are just beginning to understand and exploit this pre-installed mechanism for self-repair.”

These results confirmed previous studies reported in 2010 by scientists in Florida and Brazil. A Spanish group had also shown some improvement in angina patients’ symptoms.

Previous research has also show the ability of adult stem cells to shrink enlarged hearts and also long-term evidence that adult stem cells can treat chronic heart failure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Protest: God and Jesus Banned from National Cemetery!

Written by Robert Ritchie

God_And_Jesus_Banned_From_The_Houston_National_Cemetery.jpgIn a very shocking development, the use of the names of God and Jesus are banned at the Houston National Cemetery, the 2nd largest in America, where 70,000 veterans are buried.
According to local volunteer and veterans groups that work at the cemetery, the Houston National Cemetery has told veterans and volunteers alike that they can no longer use the word "God,""God bless," or "Jesus" at any and all funerals or condolence cards.
Such words have been called “offensive?”
In response to this ban on God and Jesus at the Houston National Cemetery, veteran groups have started a law suit against U.S. Veterans Affairs Department officials and Houston National Cemetery director Arleen Ocasio.
It accuses them of banning members of these groups from invoking the names of God or Jesus at burials and forbidding the recitation of religious messages unless the deceased's family submits the text to her for approval.
Thank God, veteran’s groups are fighting back, and we need to support them. So, please:
One military veteran described what is happening in these terms:
“To have the director of this facility try to censor religious speech, to censor the name of God, is a slap in the face to not only every American who believes in God, but it's a slap in the face to every veteran who fought for our freedom.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sony's Woes: The Curse of the DaVinci Code

Written by John Horvat II

The_Curse_of_the_DaVinci_Code.jpgTimes have not been good for electronic media giant Sony. The New York Times recently carried a short article that reported the company has lost 37 percent of its market value over the last six years. It has been hit by one disaster after another. Future projections do not look good either.

While there are many explanations that analysts offer to explain the dismal performance of this once stellar company, there is one explanation that is never mentioned: the Curse of the DaVinci Code.

It has been six years since Sony began production of the movie, The DaVinci Code, based on the bestselling yet now forgotten book with the same title by Dan Brown. The book’s blasphemous affirmations denied the Divinity of Christ and claimed He was married to Saint Mary Magdalene and had children, which offended countless faithful at the time. Numerous books and studies debunked these absurd and horrific theses along with others that author Dan Brown nevertheless affirmed were true.

From the moment production began, it appears as if the Curse of the DaVinci Code descended upon Sony and there it still remains.

One has to admit that the evidence is pretty compelling. Almost immediately Sony was hit by waves of negative publicity from the film and even hired an expensive Hollywood public relations firm specialized in “reputation management.”

Among those protesting the Sony film was the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign. Eleven American Catholic bishops eventually joined in encouraging protests in front of theaters. By the time it was all over, outraged Catholics had logged in an impressive 2,092 theater protests across the nation.

Because of the negative publicity and protests, domestic box office receipts for The DaVinci Code were disappointing and the film won no academy awards.

Over the years since then, the fortunes of Sony have been plagued in other areas with a long litany of problems, infighting, delays and mistakes.

Many will remember the famous case of the Sony’s lithium ion batteries used in laptop computers that mysteriously started to catch fire in 2006. The company had to scramble to control damage and spent nearly $434 million on recalling and replacing the Sony batteries in 10 million laptops from Dell, Apple, Lenovo and other companies.

In 2007, Sony had huge problems in the marketing and developing of PlayStation 3, its game console, which it had hopes of making a new cash cow. Factory delays, high production cost and a bad marketing strategy resulted in a $2 billion loss as it struggled to stay in the market.

These and other problems all fit well into the plot of the Curse of the DaVinci Code. Sony seems to have had more than its share of misfortunes.

The most recent bad news adds to its woes. In June, Sony reported a $3.2 billion net loss, its largest loss in 16 years. It further announced that next year it could see a loss of $2 billion from its operating profit. Among the austerity measures taken, CEO Howard Stringer has just been given a fifteen percent cut in his salary.

In April, someone cracked Sony’s own code – computer code. The firm was hit hard by cyber attacks involving hackers who brought down the PlayStation Network for a month and compromised the security of names, addresses and passwords of nearly 100 million subscribers. The March 11 tsunami in Japan also shuttered many Sony factories and interrupted supply lines. All these problems weigh heavily upon the future of the electronic media giant.

Someone might object that the mere listing of misfortunes does not prove the Curse of the DaVinci Code. Just because something happens after the fact does not mean it happens because of the fact. No connection should be forced upon unconnected events.

This may be true but it is interesting to remember that when The DaVinci Code book and movie came out, the media did everything possible to promote the thesis that Christ was not divine and the church was a medieval fabrication. The proofs? Disconnected facts, forged documents, Gnostic gospels and phony theology. There were no facts to back up the hype around the film, and yet it was presented as something that was true.

Granted, the Curse of the DaVinci Code may not exist. However, at least, the hypothesis is based upon verifiable facts that anyone can check out. One also has to admit that the mysterious case of exploding batteries and unknown hackers from cyberspace entering into the firm’s computer code all read as if from a chapter of Dan Brown’s book. It is certainly easier to believe in the Curse of the DaVinci Code than the actual book itself.

Of course, Sony’s misfortunes could all just be an amazing coincidence, or simply a spate of bad luck. Those things happen… and keep happening.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Protest Now! Brooklyn Museum Hosts Blasphemous Art

Written by Robert Ritchie

Brooklyn_Museum_Hosts_Blasphemous_Art.jpgOur Lord Jesus Christ is attacked once again! Insulted! Blasphemed! This time at the Brooklyn Museum of Art where they will show “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” an exhibit on homosexual and lesbian themes.

As part of this exhibit, there is a blasphemous video by David Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in 1992, with a scene of ants crawling on a crucifix.

This same blasphemous exhibit was removed from the Smithsonian in November of 2010 due to a huge public outcry. Now the Brooklyn Museum of Art has decided to show it!

In my opinion, this is an outrage against the Sacred Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ and we cannot remain silent about it.

And I am sure that you won’t remain silent either!

Moreover, the Brooklyn Museum receives city, state and federal funding, although Museum representative Adam Husted says they are not using tax dollars to directly cover the costs of the exhibit. Sure it doesn't!

We’ve heard that before.

Of couse, the public money does not DIRECTLY fund the blasphemous exhibit, no! But it covers other museum expenses and frees up cash and INDIRECTLY supports blasphemous exhibits such as this ant covered crucifix.

For all of these reasons, it is important that we Catholics speak up and tell the Brooklyn of Art how offended we are.

Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross to save us from our sins – can we not, at the very least, speak out in His defense?

Monday, July 4, 2011

New York Same-Sex “Marriage”: Did Catholic Bishops “Shrink from the Fight?”

Written by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo

After intense lobbying and propaganda by the homosexual movement, and thanks to the earnest efforts of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and some last-minute turncoat Republicans, same-sex “marriage” was approved and signed into law in the Empire State.

The Omission of Catholic Bishops
Nevertheless, neither the efforts by Governor Cuomo—who takes pride in being a Catholic in good standing with the bishops[1]—nor the other factors mentioned above would have sufficed to approve a law that tramples upon natural law and Revelation. It was necessary to neutralize the main power that could prevent such approval—the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It was necessary to ensure that the hierarchy would not mobilize the faithful to stand up in defense of the Faith and morals. And the truth is that the Catholic Church was largely absent during this fight.

This absence is recognized by none other than the ultra secular New York Times, which clearly campaigned for the law’s approval.

On June 25, 2011, under the title, Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces,” Michael Barbaro published in the Times a long and detailed analysis on how the approval of same sex “marriage” was made possible.

He explains the role played by millionaire contributors to the Republican Party who supported the law, the intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering in political and other circles, and states, “The Catholic Church, arguably the only institution with the authority and reach to derail same-sex marriage, seemed to shrink from the fight.”[2]

He notes that Archbishop Dolan refrained from going to Albany during the polemic and traveled to Seattle on the very week when the issue was coming to a vote. And when the archbishop did make a statement against same sex “marriage,” almost in extremis, “it was over the phone to an Albany-area radio show.”

This omission was all the more serious since, as the religious chronicler of USA Today writes, the “key vote” that enabled the law’s approval was that of a Catholic senator, Mark Grisanti (Rep.-Erie and Niagara counties).[3]

Whoever Conquers Public Opinion, Takes the Prize
Unfortunately, the Catholic bishops seemed to have lost sight of the principle that political struggles are not won in backstage maneuvering but by winning over public opinion; and that a few statements, albeit well articulated, are not enough to achieve this. The public wants leadership and is moved above all by example, concrete actions and symbolic gestures.

On their own initiative, some organizations of lay Catholics, including the American TFP, took to the streets to influence public opinion directly. Many Protestant and Jewish leaders promoted rallies in Albany and New York City, particularly Senator Ruben Diaz (Dem.-Bronx), a great defender of true marriage.

Yet, the bishops failed to rally Catholics and encourage them to struggle vigorously against the looming threat, which denies the very principle of morality that “good must be done, and evil must be avoided.” Nor is there any record of their summoning priests to speak out earnestly and repeatedly from the Sunday pulpits; of engaging the media with a barrage of interviews, op-eds, articles and speeches; of marshalling men and women religious and the laity itself for an intense campaign of prayer, sacrifice, fasting and public witness to prevent the collective sin of legalized same-sex “marriage” in the Empire State, a great offense and challenge to God.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah
The nature of marriage as the fertile and stable union between a man and a woman derives from natural law, from human nature itself. It is the cornerstone of the family, itself the basic building block of society. In addition to having been elevated by Our Lord to the level of a sacrament, the conjugal union of one man and one woman reflects the fundamental moral principles of the Decalogue.

The commandments, “do not sin against chastity” and “do not commit adultery” stem from the First Commandment, “love God above all things.” If disobeying God’s Law does not matter, and if it is indifferent to marry according to the laws of nature and Christian Revelation or to enter into a same-sex “marriage” which is its complete opposite, then God either does not exist or He does not take things seriously, which is the same thing (a non-serious God is a contradiction in terms.)

If in addition to following natural law we also prize, as we should, the gift par excellence of the Faith, then we cannot see the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah as a fairy tale. While God obviously does not send punishments like that of Sodom and Gomorrah all the time, there is no doubt that He wanted to turn the punishment of those cities, immersed as they were in the sin against nature, into an example for the whole history of mankind. He wanted to show the seriousness of that sin and His revulsion for it.

Obedient and Respectful Laity, Yet Enjoying the Freedom of Children of God
With the above considerations, we do not intend to issue a judgment on the attitude of the Archbishop of New York or the other bishops of the Empire State but rather to manifest our anguish as faithful and obedient Catholics (who nonetheless enjoy the freedom of the children of God[4]) and register our protest and inconformity with New York’s legalization of same-sex “marriage.”

We pray for our Shepherds and hope that, with God’s grace, they will follow Saint Paul’s advice to Titus: “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.”[5]

“To Thee Have I Lifted up my Eyes, who Dwellest in Heaven”
Like the Prophet David, in our anguish we turn our eyes to God, beseeching His help and protection,“To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven.”[6]

And as followers of the spiritual school of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, we turn particularly to Mary Most Holy, Comforter of the Afflicted, and reiterate our certainty in the victory foreseen at Fatima: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

[1] “One of Andrew Cuomo's first acts after his inauguration as New York's governor…he went to Mass and received communion. …he attended the Jan. 2 Mass with his live-in girlfriend, Sandra Lee…who is also Catholic and divorced…at Albany's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception—presided over by the local bishop, Howard Hubbard.” (David Gibson, “Andrew Cuomo Takes Communion and Revives the 'Good Catholic' Debate,” Politics Daily, Jan. 7, 2011,; “…a photograph of Mr. Cuomo shaking hands with Archbishop Dolan hangs in the governor’s private office.” (Michael Barbaro, “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces” The New York Times, June 25, 2011,
[2] Barbaro, “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage.” (Our emphasis.)
[3] Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Key vote for N.Y. gay marriage 'not just Catholic',” USA Today, June 26, 2011,
[4] Cf. Rom. 8:21; Gal. 2:4.
[5] 2 Timothy 4:2.
[6] Psalms 122/123

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lead Poisoning in China: Where Children are Expendable

Written by John Horvat II

Chinese_Lead_Poisoning__Where_Children_Are_Expendable.jpgBack in 2007, consumers were shocked by revelations that millions of toys were tainted with paint containing excessive levels of lead. The recalled toys were made in China. The reason why the Chinese used the high-lead paint instead of the safe paint it was contracted to use was that it is often a third of the price of safe paints. In other words, Chinese factory managers were willing to put American children at risk to keep their economy booming.

Immediately upon learning of the lead in the paint, American firms took action. Fisher-Price recalled 967,000 plastic toys with the lead paint. Mattel and other toy companies immediately recalled millions of lead-laden playthings that threatened the health of American children. No doubt these firms feared lawsuits. However, they also had the conviction that it is better to fill our landfills with millions of dolls, trains and toy cars than even remotely risk the life or health of one American child.

The case of the lead-laden toys is a dramatic example of the Chinese communist government’s callous disregard for children. Of all consumers, the child is the most defenseless. It is hard to imagine a more heartless crime than profiting from the vulnerability of the child.

However, lead poisoning of children is not something that almost happened back in 2007. The practice continues unabated. The victims are not American children but China’s own.

According to a special report of the group, Human Rights Watch, lead-polluting factories are condemning hundreds of thousands of children to permanent mental and physical disabilities. Not only are these children vulnerable but Chinese government officials are restricting access to lead testing, withholding and falsifying test results, and denying children treatment. Family members and journalists seeking information about the problem are intimidated and harassed.

The 75-page report, "‘My Children Have Been Poisoned': A Public Health Crisis in Four Chinese Provinces," documents how local authorities in four provinces are ignoring the urgent and long-term health consequences of a generation of children continuously exposed to life-threatening levels of lead.

The problem is made much more tragic by the fact that China has a brutal one-child policy that often includes forced abortion. Thus, not only are children being poisoned but it is most likely the parents’ only child that suffers.

"Children with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood are being refused treatment and returned home to contaminated houses in polluted villages," said Joe Amon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Parents, journalists, and community activists who dare to speak out about lead are detained, harassed, and ultimately silenced."

The report documents how local authorities in contaminated areas have imposed arbitrary limits on access to blood lead testing, for example by permitting only people living within a small radius of a factory to be tested. When tests are conducted, results have often been contradictory or have been withheld from victims and their families. And children with elevated blood lead levels who require treatment according to national guidelines have been denied care or told simply to eat certain foods, including apples, garlic, milk, and eggs.

Lead is highly toxic and can interrupt the body's neurological, biological, and cognitive functions. The ingestion of high levels of lead can cause brain, liver, kidney, nerve, and stomach damage as well as anemia, comas, convulsions, and even death. Children are particularly susceptible, and high levels of lead exposure can cause permanent intellectual and developmental disabilities, including reading and learning disabilities, behavioral problems, hearing loss, attention problems, and disruption in the development of visual and motor functioning.

If this report were issued about the United States, there is no doubt whole industries would be shut down and the cause of the poisoning determined. Lawsuits would be initiated. The media would pounce upon the offenders with a vengeance.

Alas, there was a time when economy was connected to ethics and such situations would be deemed immoral. Nations would not trade with those who so disregarded the lives of their citizens. People would refuse to buy those products purchased at the high price of human misery.

However, China, falsely touted as the great power of the 21st century, seems immune to international criticism on this and other issues. As long as they churn out cheap consumer goods for the world, many are content to let China poison her children.