Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cardinal Burke, a man of direct words

A. First of all, I would underline the need for much prayer and fasting. The alarming rapidity of the realization of the homosexual agenda ought to awaken all of us and frighten us with regard to the future of our nation. This is a work of deceit, a lie about the most fundamental aspect of our human nature, our human sexuality, which after life itself defines us. There is only one place these types of lies come from, namely Satan. It is a diabolical situation which is aimed at destroying individuals, families, and eventually our nation.

After fifty years of this, we have many adult voters who support politicians with immoral positions because they do not know their Catholic Faith and its teaching with regard to same- sex attraction and the inherent disorder of sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. Therefore, they are not able to defend the Catholic Faith in this matter.

What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity. Charity means speaking the truth, especially the truth about human life and human sexuality. While we love the individual, we desire only the best for one who suffers from an inclination to engage in sexual relations with a person of the same sex. We must abhor the actions themselves because they are contrary to nature itself as God has created us.

The virtue of charity leads us to be kind and understanding to the individual, but also to be firm and steadfast in opposing the evil itself. This confusion is widespread. I have encountered it many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not “ politically correct.” But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.

From an interview with Cardinal Burke -   http://www.thewandererpress.com/ee/wandererpress/index.php?pSetup=wandererpress&curDate=20130905

Cardinal Burke goes on to say that Nancy Pelosi must be denied Communion as she persists in grave sin, i.e. supporting abortion. 

To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.

On freedom of conscience and coming persecution of Catholics in the public sphere:

A. If the present government, which can be described in no other way than totalitarian, is not held back from the course it is on, these persecutions will follow. It will not be possible for Catholics to exercise most of the normal human services whether in health care, education, or social welfare becausein conscience they will no longer be able to do what the government demands: to cooperate in grave moral evil. We are heading in that direction and even see it now.

I never thought I would ever say this, but we should follow the example of France. The French people have a government that is sadly much like our own. In a totalitarian way, it passed and is trying to enforce a bill giving legal recognition to so- called marital unions between two persons of the same sex. The French people are out on the streets in protest — one demonstration had upwards of two million people. There has arisen in France among the people the will to resist the government and that is what we need in this country.

We cannot go along with government policies and laws which are destroying the most innocent and defenseless among us. This will also redound to great harm to those who have grown weak through advanced age or serious illness. This is all a pattern: the complete corruption about the truth of human sexuality which has already wrought such terrible harm to individuals and families and to our society has to be stopped.

And his reason for hope:

A. The greatest sign of hope for me is the young people I meet who believe more than my generation and recognize how bankrupt our culture is and want the truth. They realize that this whole bill of goods we have been sold with regard to abortion, same- sex unions, and so forth is ultimately destructive. So I would say that is the greatest single cause for hope.

But his hope is not without trepidation as these young people are entering a world that is extremely hostile to the beliefs they have been raised with. 







 
 
 
s.

 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Canadians and the issue of abortion

Bewilderment - that is my enduring sentiment as I try to engage more people and more churches in the 40 Days for Life vigil here in Halifax.  (I should mention here that I really dislike that word "engage" but it seems to have found its place in our vocabulary.)

This is year six for the vigil in Halifax. And this is my sixth year being the coordinator. I hope and pray that God has someone else in mind for this soon, because I feel as if I am reaching the end of my resources.  And it is always good to have a change of leadership.

So, every year I visit the churches in the Halifax/Dartmouth area, bringing posters and flyers to all the churches that I can reach. The first year, I naively wrote a letter to every pastor and priest in HRM in the month of July. Two mistakes, first July is a dead month and probably a lot of these letters went unread and second, pastors and priests simply do not respond to letter mail. I don't know why that is, but it is definitely true.

So the next strategy was to call for appointments. I did this in the second year, trying to meet with as many pastors as I could. One day I was really excited as I had six appointments all in one day!  I thought I had hit the jackpot. Every pastor I met with was very nice and seemed genuinely interested; however as time moved on, not a single one ever contacted me again about the vigil and not one of them ever came to pray, nor did a single member of their congregations. Which makes me wonder if the posters and flyers were even displayed. Surely out of several hundred people, one person would respond with a phone call or an email. Nope, not one.

Next strategy, try to find people in different churches, people who already come to the vigil and ask them to speak to their pastors and their congregations. That effort failed as well, except for one elderly woman who has convinced four people from her church to come out. She is the only one who has met with any success.

Even a pastor and his wife, (she was convinced all the ladies in her bible study would come out with her) couldn't get anyone else from their church to come with them. And it turns out his congregation dismissed him as pastor, in favour of a younger pastor - I also guess the new pastor is a man who avoids controversial issues.

So fast forward to year six. One pastor, who had previously told me he and his church couldn't broach this subject due to some women in his church being too sensitive about it, has told me that he was warned if he spoke about this, people would walk out.  Now Catholic priests who are too outspoken on certain subjects get put into rural out-of-the-way parishes, but Protestant pastors can get fired. So they have a lot more to lose if they take some risks. This pastor assured me this year that he is going to speak about the issue of abortion and he is going to join us at the vigil and will encourage others from his church to do the same.

Today, while making some follow-up phone calls to churches, I had one priest say I have a question. I responded "great, I love questions". He then asked me why do we hold the vigil at this time of year. His problem with the timing, the weather is not good in Canada. As I sit here typing, it is a balmy 21 degrees Celsius here in Halifax, the sun is shining, and everyone here knows that fall is our best season. The months of September and October are the best months of the year. What is he talking about?  At that point, I just had to go and take a walk before I dove into full self-pity mode. 

As I walked and prayed, I realised that this is just one more excuse in a long line of excuses that people give for why they cannot come out and support 40 Days for Life. How sad that a good priest gives that excuse, when facing some rain and wind could actually be a sacrifice that he could make for the unborn.

I look at the wholehearted response of Americans to the 40 Days for Life vigil (in some cities the same size as ours, they get a thousand people out to pray; here we get less than 200).  And then I look at Canada. Even Toronto with a population of 2 1/2 million had trouble getting someone to organize their vigil and last year, they seemed to have the same trouble filling prayer times as we did here with far fewer people. 

I have to conclude that there is something dreadfully wrong in this country. Have we simply given up any hope of changing the situation on abortion?  Part of me says yes, that is so. Even our members of Parliament cannot put forward common-sense resolutions and meet with support; all attempts at private members bills that are abortion-related, are simply thwarted and all discussion is shut down.
Not one single bill has passed that is pro-life in our country in the past twenty or more years. Compare this with the US where numerous bills have passed in state legislatures that curtail the tsunami of legalized abortion.

Is it because health care in Canada is run by the government?  The fact that abortion is completely paid for by our taxes means that the government has the last word on whether or not someone can have an abortion, and I don't believe one single abortion has ever been denied. At least in the US, people can still object to abortion because it is a private matter, and not a government decree.

Is it because Canadians are resigned to abortion?  And if they are, why are they more resigned to it than our American neighbours?  Are we made of different stuff?  Is our country more repressive?
Are we as citizens more docile and reluctant to fight for things that we believe important?  Are we wimps?

So many questions in my mind. So many without answers. But the more I work to promote this pro-life vigil, the more convinced I am that there is something wrong at the heart of Canadian Christians. It appears that we have lost our collective soul.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Black Abortion


A powerful video. Please send this to someone who needs to hear this.  A black friend, a black pastor, someone of the African American race. So many simply do not know this simple truth: the black race is decreasing at an ever-increasing rate.  Why?  the answer is simple: in America, half of all black babies are aborted.

We should be seeing more blacks at pro-life events than whites. But we don't. They simply do not know what is happening to their race.

Monday, September 16, 2013

False Logic from Pro-Choice


This young man is pro-abortion because he thinks there are too many people on the planet.  But he doesn't offer to get rid of himself, just someone else. Why should he have the right to live and why should he decide who doesn't have that right?

As if that faulty thinking is not bad enough, he has been duped by the population-bomb propaganda of the 80's, which is now in disrepute.

I would recommend that this young man read this article in the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/opinion/overpopulation-is-not-the-problem.html?_r=1&

The world population is now estimated at 7.2 billion. But with current industrial technologies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that the more than nine billion people expected by 2050 as the population nears its peak could be supported as long as necessary investments in infrastructure and conducive trade, anti-poverty and food security policies are in place. Who knows what will be possible with the technologies of the future? The important message from these rough numbers should be clear. There really is no such thing as a human carrying capacity. We are nothing at all like bacteria in a petri dish.       

Isn't that the crux of the question?  People are not like bacteria in a petri dish. People are innovative and creative and solve problems. This young man is in favour of eliminating future "problem-solvers" and he thinks he is part of the solution. It seems to me that his lack of creativity is part of the problem.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

If the kids are missing

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.  Psalm 127: 3-5

I was invited by a member of a Pentecostal church to a gathering of young married couples to speak about the 40 Days vigil coming up here in Halifax.

Seven couples gather once a month for sharing and last night was their first gathering of the year; so they were going to discuss plans for the church for the year, new ministry proposals, etc.  It was a happy, informal gathering with lots of in jokes, compliments on the host's homemade pizza, friendly teasing, that sort of thing. 

Being the matron of the group along with the woman who invited me, we just hung back on the sidelines and enjoyed a cup of coffee while they carried on. Very likeable people, warm friendly people.  But I kept wondering where were the kids?  Seven couples, and there were a total of three children.  Three couples each had one child. 

Now I don't know why the others didn't have children; there could be any number of reasons, infertility being the worst of course. But it struck me that there was something wrong with this picture.

If these are the young couples of one Pentecostal church here in town and they aren't having more than one child per couple, (and my friend told me that this was about it for the young people in their church, there weren't many more in their congregation of about 150), we have a real problem.  If Christians aren't willing to have children, they have completely bought into the one-child mindset that our western society has indoctrinated everyone with.

Children are a sign of hope. When a man and woman have a child, their world changes. It is no longer about them. It is about the new person that has joined them and it is about that person's future. And it becomes about family. Take away the children and you have basically sterilized the concept of family.

I know there are couples who cannot have children and I know that is a heartbreaking situation. And I would never dare to criticize their situation or to give advice.  But four of seven couples without children doesn't say infertility; it says choice. 

How sad.  Because if Christians aren't having children, then they are admitting that it is all about them and they have lost hope. I heard one young pastor actually say that Christian couples are afraid to have children in this world and another Christian couple said that they felt called to ministry not to having children. That is simply wrong. Christian couples witness to the world about their faith precisely with their families, by doing well something that the world has abandoned - the raising of new souls for the Kingdom.

I thought of a similar gathering of Catholic couples and I had to admit that the Catholics would win.  Just in strength of numbers. If seven young Catholic couples got together to share their faith once a month, we are automatically assuming that these are couples to whom their faith matters.  I would venture to guess that seven Catholic couples would mean at least 12 to 15 children at such a gathering. 

It really is time for pastors to break the silence on this entire issue of family, children, abortion and contraception. Because the contraceptive mentality will destroy the church more quickly than loss of faith.  And by "church", I mean the entire body of the Christian church, not just one denomination. We are all in this together folks, it is not Catholics against non-Catholics, we form one body in Christ.
       

Monday, September 9, 2013

Decline in Abortion Access

~ Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at Guttmacher Institute, commenting on a Huffington Post report (“Anti-abortion laws take dramatic toll on clinics nationwide”) that “54 abortion providers across 27 states have shut down or ended their abortion services in the past three years,” August 26. - See more at: http://www.jillstanek.com/2013/09/139701/#sthash.VVNRYcFg.dpuf
h/t www.jillstanek.com


And what has been going on that is different in the last three years?  I am convinced that the presence of praying believers outside abortion clinics (eg www.40daysforlife.com) is the big difference.  Prayer really does change things.  As this praying effort continues, we will continue to see more clinics close.

I personally am praying that someone who works in the abortion clinic here in Halifax has a conversion; I am waiting to hear about that medical personnel who leaves and comes out to tell us why. 

If you live in Nova Scotia, won't you consider joining us this fall?  The 40 Days for Life vigil begins here in Halifax on Wednesday, Sept 25 at 8 am and will continue through until Sunday, Nov 3.  And the opening prayer service is on Monday, Sept 23 at 7 pm at Canadian Martyrs Church, Inglis Street in Halifax. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A week's vacation

We just returned from a week's vacation in Parrsboro Nova Scotia. This is a little town on the Bay of Fundy which boasts the world's highest tides.  My husband and I spent a week with our middle daughter and her husband and six children.  A delightful week.  Some pics of the week.

Jacob and Sister Ilaria (my youngest daughter),
member of the Franciscans of Halifax

No trip is complete without the ever-present Teddy

An afternoon's hike at Five Islands

Almost everyone is in this shot


The rugged beauty of Nova Scotia's coastline

Sister Ilaria with her godson Ben

Elena running the backwards 200 metres, part of
"Olympics" that Jacob organized
 
 
A great time, next year we plan on all the family meeting together in Northern Wisconsin. Look out Delta Lodge, seven adults and eleven children!