Wednesday, February 13, 2008

California Public School Teacher Placed on Leave After Showing Abortion Film

This story was discussed at length on The Catholic Channel today, and I agree with the consensus of the people who discussed it: this was very inappropriate for several reasons: it was not age-appropriate, the parents were not consulted and were upset that this was shown to their kids without their knowledge or consent, and it was not part of the curiculum for the chemistry class. I am pro-life and I oppose all abortion, at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason...but this was over the line, and stunts like this give pro-lifers a negative reputation.

A California science teacher has been placed on administrative leave after coming under fire following the showing of a pro-life film, The Silent Scream, that details an abortion procedure. First-year teacher Randy Yang showed the movie to five eighth-grade classes at Russell Middle School.

Yang aired the film following completion of work in the chemistry classes he teaches and eighth-grader Xhynah Cabugao told the San Jose Mercury News that some of the students were upset by it.

He reportedly let his class decide on watching a film on the water cycle or on abortion and that the classes voted to see the pro-life movie.

"They're like, 'Ewww, that's gross, why do we have to see that?'" he said. "Everybody was kind of disgusted."

The newspaper said Yang is not a tenured teacher and indicated he told students to avert their eyes if they didn't want to watch the film.

Luis Gonzales, assistant superintendent of Milpitas Unified School District, told the newspaper that Yang has not been in class since the day he aired the movie.

story here

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pope denounces 'macho mentality'

Pope Benedict XVI denounced a "macho mentality" leading to violence and discrimination against women in some cultures, while noting that "natural differences" exist between the sexes.

"There exist places and cultures where the woman is the target of discrimination, where she is underestimated for the single reason that she is a woman,'' Pope Benedict said during a meeting with secular participants of a pontifical council, in remarks that also touched on the importance of marriage and the family.

He urged Christians to engage "to promote a culture that gives a woman the dignity she is due, in law and in deed''.

But the Pontiff also said it was critical not to erase sexual differences created by God. I'm glad he clarified this. I think too many people confuse 'equal' with 'identical' and tend to forget the physical differences between the sexes.

"Woman must be able to contribute to the construction of society by emphasising her 'feminine genius','' Pope Benedict said.

story here

Catholics Who Attend Mass Are Divorced Less and Have More Children: USCCB Poll

More reason to live our faith:

Last April the USCCB Subcommittee on Marriage and the Family Life commissioned a poll on marriage and family issues, to be conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The final product, a poll of 1,008 self-identified Catholics, shows, as put by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the Chairman of the subcommittee, a "mixed picture." Amongst many other findings, the poll indicated that Catholics who attend Mass frequently are the least likely to get divorced and are more likely to have more children. Contrary to the culture of death that exists today, where so many babies are aborted.

"Not surprisingly, the study paints a mixed picture. It gives us reasons to be grateful and hopeful. It also raises concerns and presents us with challenges," said Archbishop Kurtz about the poll's findings.

What is most distressing, said Kurtz, is that the study shows that self-identified Catholics are just as likely as the overall population to obtain a divorce.

"In terms of marital status and certain attitudes about marriage, we see that Catholics are very similar to the general population. Sadly, this trend also holds true for divorce. Here both the good news and the bad news are the same: in general, Catholics are neither more nor less likely to get divorced than anyone else."

Nevertheless, said the Archbishop, an important fact revealed by the poll is that those Catholics who go to Mass more frequently, and demonstrate an overall higher level of commitment to the faith, generally have much lower rates of divorce and are much more familiar with the Church's teachings on marriage. On the other hand, those who rarely or never go to Mass are significantly more likely to obtain a divorce.

story here

Monday, February 11, 2008

Archbishop Burke seeks dissident priest's reconciliation

Archbishop Burke really has his hands full, between the pro abort/pro stem cell coach Rick Majerus at St. Louis University, and this dissident priest.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis said Feb. 5 that he is "safeguarding the unity of the church" by insisting that a suspended and excommunicated priest associated with the lay board of a suppressed parish meet with him. The archbishop and the priest, Father Marek Bozek, met later that day. Archbishop Burke would not discuss the meeting because he said it was private and pastoral. A priest of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Father Bozek was suspended in December 2005 by his bishop for abandoning his assignment and his diocese to take a job as pastor offered to him by St. Stanislaus Kostka Corp. at their church in St. Louis. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish was suppressed by the archdiocese over the governing board's refusal to bring parish structures into conformity with canon law. The corporation that runs it is considered to be functioning outside the communion of the church. In December 2005, Archbishop Burke declared that the six members of the lay board and Father Bozek were excommunicated.

story here

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Polls: John McCain Trails Pro-Abortion Barack Obama, Leads Hillary Clinton

I've been hoping that Obama would take Hillary out in the primaries, but I may need to reconsider that. I think Hillary would actually be easier to beat in a general election, because of the large negative turnout she would provoke.

Several new polls of the three most likely candidates to appear in the November presidential elections show John McCain ahead of Hillary Clinton, but trailing Barack Obama. McCain appears to be the likely nominee while Obama and Clinton are in a close race for the right to represent Democrats.

A new poll from Rasmussen Reports of registered voters nationwide shows McCain running three points ahead of Clinton, 46 to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

However, he trails Obama by a 44 to 41 percent margin with 15 percent of Americans undecided.

McCain held a lead over Obama during the latter part of January but Obama's surge nationally and against Clinton in the Democratic race has helped his standing in comparison with the Arizona senator.

Six of the last seven national polls show Obama ahead with just one showing McCain with a one percent lead over his Illinois colleague.

A new Time survey has Obama ahead seven points 48 to 41, CNN has Obama leading by 8 with a 52-44 percent advantage and a Cook/RT Strategies poll has Obama ahead two percent 45 to 43.

On the other hand, McCain has a lead in five of the last surveys against Clinton with one from Time showing the two candidates tied at 46 percent apiece and the CNN survey having Clinton ahead by three percent.

story here

Our Lady of Lourdes

February 11 is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

Catholic Culture has prayers, readings and activities for the day.

Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.

And don't forget the plenary indulgence!


Friday, February 8, 2008

Lawsuit after abortion survivor's speech banned

Don't you just love how the pro-aborts constantly try to conceal the reality of abortion? I wonder why...

A lawsuit has been filed against the school district in Rapid City, S.D., after a facilities manager refused permission for a community group to use an auditorium to feature the testimony of an abortion survivor.

"We just don't like to encourage discussion of those types of issues in our facilities," the lawsuit says one of the defendants, Ronald Mincks, announced. Mincks at the time was assistant buildings and grounds supervisor. Yeah...we wouldn't want anything like, maybe, the truth about abortion getting out...

The dispute is over requests by members of the group Citizens for Life to be granted access to an auditorium for after-school events, just as other community organizations are allowed.

The action was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a law firm that defends the right "to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding and litigation."

"Pro-life groups shouldn't be discriminated against for their beliefs," said Byron Babione, senior legal counsel for the ADF. "They have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America.

"The equal access rights of Citizens for Life must be honored regardless of whether school district officials agree with the group's message," he said.

The complaint describes how school district policy, while allowing other community groups to use district facilities for a variety of meetings, twice denied Citizens for Life permission, expressly banning meetings with a religious purpose.

The complaint said Citizens for Life President Allen Carlson in August 2006 asked for permission for the group to meet at Dakota Middle School's auditorium to host a meeting at which Gianna Jessen, a survivor of a saline abortion, would speak.

story here

St. Teilo

February 9 is the Feast of St. Teilo (Wales)

Catholic Culture has prayers, readings and activities for the day.

According to tradition Teilo, or Elios as he was sometimes known, was born about the year 480 AD at either Gumfreston or Penally in south Pembrokeshire. He studied under Paulinus at Ty Gwyn where he met Dewi (Saint David), the two becoming firm friends. Later, the two set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and en route were joined by Padarn.

Upon their return home, Teilo was given charge of the church at Llandaff and the surrounding area. Shortly afterwards there was an outbreak of Yellow Fever and Teilo led his followers to Cornwall to escape its effects. From Cornwall they travelled to Brittany where they were welcomed by Archbishop Solomon of the Church of Dol. They stayed for seven years, during which time Teilo and his followers are said to have planted three miles of fruit trees. He returned to Llandaff where he ministered for many years. He died in 566 AD.

Several churches in south Wales and Brittany are dedicated to St Teilo. He is depicted on a fifteenth century stained glass window in a church at Plogonnec, Finistére, and also in a statue in the Chapel of Our Lady, Kerdévot. In both cases he is shown wearing bishop's robes and mitre and seated on a stag, suggesting, as was the case with many other saints of the time, that he had an affinity with the natural world.

Condom Fallacies

The only thing that mass-distribution of condoms does is to encourage sexually promiscuous behavior.

The issue of wide-scale distribution of condoms is in the news once more. In the days preceding Brazil's Carnival celebrations authorities announced they would be handing out 19.5 million free condoms, reported Reuters on Jan. 28.

A British medical journal, the Lancet, also recently criticized the Church for its opposition to condoms. An editorial in the Jan. 26 edition of the journal chided Benedict XVI for not changing Church teaching so that condoms could be used by Catholics in preventing HIV/AIDS infections.

The simplistic assumption that condoms are the solution to sexually transmitted diseases is, however, increasingly being proved false. In its Jan. 26 issue, the British Medical Journal published a forum on condoms, with contrasting articles for and against on the topic.

Even the article in favor of condoms, by Markus Steiner and Willard Cates, admitted that in addition to condoms there is a need for "risk avoidance and risk reduction approaches." Such measures, they explained, include delayed initiation of sexual intercourse, and mutual faithfulness. How about some 'self control'?

In his article putting forward the "no" case, Stephen Genuis clearly stated: "Firstly, condoms cannot be the definitive answer to sexually transmitted infection because they provide insufficient protection against transmission of many common diseases."

story here

Monday, February 4, 2008

Abortion-Survivor Finds a Home

How cold... to abort a baby because he/she may be blind.

Just think about Helen Keller, Andre Bocelli, Jose Feliciano, Stevie Wonder and you see what a full life blind people can have... and who is anyone to play God and decide whose life is worth living?

A 15-month-old girl whose parents tried to abort her because she is blind, but survived the procedure, has been adopted by a John XXIII Community household in Rome.

The community announced in a Feb. 2 press conference that the baby was diagnosed with an eye condition that blinded her, and her parents opted for abortion. But the pregnancy was already in the 22nd week, and the baby was born alive. Doctors, following Italian law, thus tried to save her and succeeded.

She weighed only 562 grams (1.2 pounds) and had to have a heart operation when she was 10 days old. She had a brain hemorrhage, various infections and respiratory problems.

Her birth parents chose to give her up for adoption.

Now she is 15 months old and weighs 13 pounds; she has been with her new family for eight months.

Her adoptive parents are lay members of the John XXIII Community, and have three biological children, and two other adoptive children. There are 250 such households of the lay community; most are located in Italy.

story here