Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.

"But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness," destined to become the home of the Kennedy family. "There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning.

During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford's own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.

"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats." Yes, it was Indians that taught the white man how to skin beasts. "Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. "Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments.

Here is the part [of Thanksgiving] that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.

"All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way.

Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace.

"That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened?

It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh?

What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!

But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently.

What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.

"'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote. 'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'

Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? What's the point?

"Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?

'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.'

Bradford doesn't sound like much of a... liberal Democrat, "does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes.

"Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47)

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves.... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London.

And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'"

Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today -- and if it isn't, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the pilgrim experience?

So in essence there was, thanks to the Indians, because they taught us how to skin beavers and how to plant corn when we arrived, but the real Thanksgiving was thanking the Lord for guidance and plenty -- and once they reformed their system and got rid of the communal bottle and started what was essentially free market capitalism, they produced more than they could possibly consume, and they invited the Indians to dinner, and voila, we got Thanksgiving, and that's what it was: inviting the Indians to dinner and giving thanks for all the plenty is the true story of Thanksgiving.

The last two-thirds of this story simply are not told.

Now, I was just talking about the plenty of this country and how I'm awed by it. You can go to places where there are famines, and we usually get the story, "Well, look it, there are deserts, well, look it, Africa, I mean there's no water and nothing but sand and so forth."

It's not the answer, folks. Those people don't have a prayer because they have no incentive. They live under tyrannical dictatorships and governments.

The problem with the world is not too few resources. The problem with the world is an insufficient distribution of capitalism.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Does Barry the Butcher want this fight?

November 19, 2008


Catholic League president Bill Donohue discusses what’s at stake regarding the religious rights of health providers:

“For the past several months, the Bush administration has been drafting regulations that would protect the rights of doctors, nurses and health workers from being discriminated against if they refuse to perform or assist in abortions, as well as other morally contentious procedures. At stake are the religious rights of these professionals. We urge President Bush to move quickly before the next administration begins.

“President-elect Barack Obama has pledged his support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a bill so draconian that it would jeopardize the right of Catholic hospitals and doctors to refuse to perform abortions. Now the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has sent him a letter calling on him to make good on his pledge. But if he were to do that, it would lead, in the words of one Vatican official, to the ‘equivalent of a war.’

“To put it differently, were FOCA to become law (it needs to be reintroduced in the House), the culture war that the Vatican official was referring to would come to a boiling point. In practical terms, this would mean the closure of every Catholic hospital in the nation: No bishop is going to stand by and allow the federal government to dictate what medical procedures must be performed in Catholic hospitals. Make no mistake about it, the bishops would shut down Catholic hospitals before acquiescing in the intentional killing of an innocent child. Were this to happen, it would not only cripple the poor, it would cripple the Obama administration.

“It is for reasons like these that the Catholic League urges President Bush to move with dispatch in instituting rules protecting the religious rights of all health care workers. If Obama wants to undo them, it will set up a confrontation he will surely regret.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama

November 14, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama,

As American Catholics, we, the undersigned, would like to reiterate the congratulations given to you by Pope Benedict XVI. We will be praying for you as you undertake the office of President of the United States.

Wishing you much good will, we hope we will be able to work with you, your administration, and our fellow citizens to move beyond the gridlock which has often harmed our great nation in recent years. Too often, partisan politics has hampered our response to disaster and misfortune. As a result of this, many Americans have become resentful, blaming others for what happens instead of realizing our own responsibilities. We face serious problems as a people, and if we hope to overcome the crises we face in today’s world, we should make a serious effort to set aside the bitterness in our hearts, to listen to one another, and to work with one another

One of the praiseworthy elements of your campaign has been the call to end such partisanship. You have stated a desire to engage others in dialogue. With you, we believe that real achievement comes not through the defamation of one’s opponents, nor by amassing power and using it merely as a tool for one’s own individual will. We also believe dialogue is essential. We too wish to appeal to the better nature of the nation. We want to encourage people to work together for the common good. Such action can and will engender trust. It may change the hearts of many, and it might alter the path of our nation, shifting to a road leading to a better America. We hope this theme of your campaign is realized in the years ahead.

One of the critical issues which currently divides our nation is abortion. As you have said, no one is for abortion, and you would agree to limit late-term abortions as long as any bill which comes your way allows for exceptions to those limits, such as when the health of the mother is in jeopardy. You have also said you would like to work on those social issues which cause women to feel as if they have a need for an abortion, so as to reduce the actual number of abortions being performed in the United States.

Indeed, you said in your third presidential debate, “But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, ‘We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.’”

As men and women who oppose abortion and embrace a pro-life ethic, we want to commend your willingness to engage us in dialogue, and we ask that you live up to your promise, and engage us on this issue.

There is much we can do together. There is much that we can do to help women who find themselves in difficult situations so they will not see abortion as their only option. There is much which we can do to help eliminate those unwanted pregnancies which lead to abortion.

One of your campaign promises is of grave concern to many pro-life citizens. On January 22, 2008, the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when speaking of the current right of women in America to have abortions, you said, “And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.”

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) might well undermine your engagement of pro-life Americans on the question of abortion. It might hamper any effort on your part to work with us to limit late-term abortions. We believe FOCA does more than allow for choice. It may force the choice of a woman upon others, and make them morally complicit in such choice. One concern is that it would force doctors and hospitals which would otherwise choose not to perform abortions to do so, even if it went against their sacred beliefs. Such a law would undermine choice, and might begin the process by which abortion is enforced as a preferred option, instead of being one possible choice for a doctor to practice.

It is because of such concern we write. We urge you to engage us, and to dialogue with us, and to do so before you consider signing this legislation. Let us reason together and search out the implications of FOCA. Let us carefully review it and search for contradictions of those positions which we hold in common.
If FOCA can be postponed for the present, and serious dialogue begun with us, as well as with those who disagree with us, you will demonstrate that your administration will indeed be one that rises above partisanship, and will be one of change. This might well be the first step toward resolving an issue which tears at the fabric of our churches, our political process, our families, our very society, and that causes so much hardship and heartache in pregnant women.

Likewise, you have also recently stated you might over-ride some of President G.W. Bush’s executive orders. This is also a concern to us. We believe doing so without having a dialogue with the American people would undermine the political environment you would like to establish. Among those issues which concern us are those which would use taxpayer money to support actions we find to be morally questionable, such as embryonic stem cell research, or to fund international organizations that would counsel women to have an abortion (this would make abortion to be more than a mere choice, but an encouraged activity).

Consider, sir, your general promise to the American people and set aside particular promises to a part of your constituency. This would indicate that you plan to reject politics as usual. This would indeed be a change we need.

Go here to add your name or post it to your blog!

10,000 Masses for the unborn

As of 11/15/08, 9 Masses have been scheduled to be offered as part of the effort known as "10,000 MASSES FOR UNBORN BABIES".

The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization is pleased to announce the first annual 10,000 MASSES FOR UNBORN BABIES effort.

From January 13th through January 21st, it is hoped the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered at least 10,000 times for the following intention: For the protection of unborn human persons.

Will you help the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization with this effort? If your answer is "yes", then you may follow these 2 steps:

  1. Click here to find out what you need to do to have one or more Masses offered as part of the 10,000 MASSES FOR UNBORN BABIES effort.
  2. After you have completed step 1, you will need to register the time(s), location(s), etc. of the Mass(es) In order to do that, please click here.
Click here for more information.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's going on in SC v.2

I was going to to this myself, but since Joseph Bottum at First Things blog already did it, I'll be lazy and post his work here.

Posted by Joseph Bottum on November 16, 2008, 3:00 PM

The following documents are useful in clarifying the truth of what Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina, said in the aftermath of the November 4 election about conscience, voting, material cooperation with intrinsic evil, repentance, and the reception of holy communion. The truth in this case has been distorted by media reports, which have unfortunately been taken at face value by certain ecclesiastical authorities and by those in the Catholic blogosphere supportive of the Obama candidacy. We publish these documents in order to set the public record straight on a matter of grave importance to both the Catholic Church and the United States—and as a challenge to all concerned in this matter, which has drawn worldwide attention, to tell the truth.

1. Pastor’s Bulletin Column, St. Mary’s, Greenville, November 9, 2008.

Dear Friends in Christ,

We the People have spoken, and the 44th President of the United States will be Barack Hussein Obama. This election ends a political process that started two years ago and which has revealed deep and bitter divisions within the United States and also within the Catholic Church in the United States. This division is sometimes called a “Culture War,” by which is meant a heated clash between two radically different and incompatible conceptions of how we should order our common life together, the public life that constitutes civil society. And the chief battleground in this culture war for the past 30 years has been abortion, which one side regards as a murderous abomination that cries out to Heaven for vengeance and the other side regards as a fundamental human right that must be protected in laws enforced by the authority of the state. Between these two visions of the use of lethal violence against the unborn there can be no negotiation or conciliation, and now our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president. We must also take note of the fact that this election was effectively decided by the votes of self-described (but not practicing) Catholics, the majority of whom cast their ballots for President-elect Obama.

In response to this, I am obliged by my duty as your shepherd to make two observations:

1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.

2. Barack Obama, although we must always and everywhere disagree with him over abortion, has been duly elected the next President of the United States, and after he takes the Oath of Office next January 20th he will hold legitimate authority in this nation. For this reason, we are obliged by Scriptural precept to pray for him and to cooperate with him whenever conscience does not bind us otherwise. Let us hope and pray that the responsibilities of the presidency and the grace of God will awaken in the conscience of this extraordinarily gifted man an awareness that the unholy slaughter of children in this nation is the greatest threat to the peace and security of the United States and constitutes a clear and present danger to the common good. In the time of President Obama’s service to our country, let us pray for him in the words of a prayer found in the Roman Missal: God our Father, all earthly powers must serve you. Help our President-elect, Barack Obama, to fulfill his responsibilities worthily and well. By honoring and striving to please you at all times, may he secure peace and freedom for the people entrusted to him. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, how lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

II. Father Newman’s responses to an inquiry from the Greenville News, November 12, 2008.

Dear Mr. Szobody,

In response to your questions, here are my answers:

Question 1. In your letter, you refer to abortion as the “chief battleground” in the culture wars, and to Obama as “the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president.” You also note that the election was decided by self-described Catholics. In your view, does this result illustrate a disconnect between Catholic theology and the actual practice of parishioners?

Reply 1. In February 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published the results of a nationwide study which revealed that one quarter of all Americans who were raised as Catholics no longer consider themselves Catholics. And even among the 65 million Americans who still call themselves Catholics, fewer than 25 percent practice the Catholic by attending Mass each Sunday. These data point to a disturbing fact of life for the Catholic Church in the United States: the vast majority of baptized Catholics do not live as disciples of Jesus Christ in any observable way, and so we should not be surprised that so many people who call themselves Catholics do not live according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. A careful review of election data reveals a very strong correlation between Mass attendance and political choices. Practicing Catholics who attend Mass vote overwhelmingly for pro-life candidates, and lapsed Catholics who do not attend Mass usually vote for pro-abortion candidates.

Question 2. You say that voting for a pro-abortion politician, when there’s a plausible pro-life alternative, amounts to “material cooperation with intrinsic evil.” In speaking with the diocese spokesman today, he mentioned that this is church policy insofar as people vote deliberately and intentionally while knowing what’s at stake. Does this reflect your view (that a deliberate act, as opposed to an unknowing or ill-informed one, is what amounts to “material cooperation”)?

Reply 2. An uninformed vote is an irresponsible vote, and so I hope that no citizen would ever cast an uninformed vote. In this election, there was no way an informed voter could not be aware that Senator McCain is pro-life and Senator Obama is pro-abortion, and those who chose to vote for Senator Obama, whether because of or in spite or his position on abortion, nonetheless voted for a pro-abortion candidate who has pledged his vigorous support for the Freedom of Choice Act which will abolish current legal restrictions on abortion in every state of the Union, including parental notification requirements and the existing “conscience clauses” which allow Catholic doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals to refuse to be involved in any way with abortions. For this reason, no matter what the intention of the voter, support for Senator Obama was necessarily material cooperation with his clearly stated goal to extend the private and unrestricted use of lethal violence against unborn children throughout this nation and to export the same abroad as part of our official foreign policy. The other issues in this campaign (health care, education, immigration, education, and the war on terror) are all prudential matters over which reasonable people may disagree, but abortion is not the same. In the teaching of the Catholic Church, abortion is murder; it is evil in itself and can never be made good or even morally neutral by any intention or circumstance. A Catholic who gets an abortion, a Catholic who encourages or pays for an abortion, and a Catholic who performs or assists at an abortion are, by the fact of the abortion, automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This automatic penalty does not apply to any other form of murder, and the reason is that abortion is usually murder in secret and it lays the axe to human life at its root. President-elect Obama intends to do everything in his power to make this hidden murder (which has since Roe v. Wade cost nearly 50 million American lives) a fundamental right protected in law and enforced by the coercive authority of the federal government, and anyone who voted to give him this power will be complicit in the legal holocaust which will follow.

Question 3. To be sure I’m clear, are you saying that you’ll administer a no-communion policy unless Obama voters partake in penance, or is this a more broad matter of what parishioners “should” do, left to their own private discernment?

Reply 3. In my bulletin column, I taught that anyone complicit in an evil act must be reconciled to God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion. That is, and has been from the beginning of Christianity, the teaching of the Catholic Church. But the Church also teaches that no one is to be denied Holy Communion unless grave scandal would be given by a notorious public sinner committing a sacrilege. An example might be a known gangster and murderer attempting to receive Communion at the funeral of a Mafia don. Accordingly, I cannot and will not refuse Holy Communion to anyone because of his or her political opinions or choices, even as I continue to teach what the Church teaches about the necessity of being in full, visible communion with the Church before receiving the sacraments. Only those who believe what the Catholic Church teaches and who seek to live according to that teaching should even be interested in receiving the sacraments of the Church, and on the question of the intrinsic and grave evil of abortion, there is and can be no doubt about what the Church teaches.

Question 4. You also note the Scriptural admonition to cooperate and pray for governmental leaders. In your view, should the Catholic Church at large and Catholic individuals in particular seek to work with the Obama administration to accomplish church goals?

Reply 4. Christians in every nation have the moral duty to respect legitimate authority, to cooperate with those in authority to promote the common good, and to pray for those in authority that they will discharge their duties in conformity with the law of God. For this reason, I insisted my bulletin column that Catholics in America must pray for President-elect Obama, respect the authority that will be his after his inauguration, and work with him in good faith on any matter that does not require us to oppose him, like his support of abortion. The Catholic Bishops of the United States have reiterated these principles at their meeting this week in Baltimore.

Question 5. What reaction have you received from parishioners?

Reply 5. The responses from the people of St. Mary’s to my bulletin column have been supportive and congratulatory by a margin by nine to one.

Finally, as background information for understanding the context in which the text of my bulletin column was written, please have a look at the eight principles which guide all pastoral practice at St. Mary’s.

III. Greenville News story, November 13, 2008. Note that the reporter misreports what Father Newman said in the written interview. Note also that the diocesan spokesman is supportive of Father Newman.

Priest advises penance for Obama vote

Parishioners shouldn’t take Communion until they do because of president-elect’s abortion view, he says

By Ben Szobody

The priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn’t receive Holy Communion until they’ve done penance.

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman told The Greenville News on Wednesday that church teaching doesn’t allow him to refuse Holy Communion to anyone based on political choices, but that he’ll continue to deliver the church’s strong teaching on the “intrinsic and grave evil of abortion” as a hidden form of murder.

Both Obama and Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, support legal abortions. Obama has called it a “divisive issue” with a “moral dimension,” and has pledged to make women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a “priority” as president. He opposes a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court decision.

At issue for the church locally and nationwide are exit polls showing 54 percent of self-described Catholics voted for Obama, as well as a growing rift in the lifestyle and voting patterns between practicing and non-practicing Catholics.

In a letter posted on St. Mary’s Web site, Newman wrote that “voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

Catholics who did so should be reconciled to God through penance before receiving communion, “lest they eat and drink their own condemnation,” Newman wrote, echoing a I Corinthians admonition for anyone who partakes “without recognizing the body of the Lord.”

The response from parishioners has been supportive by a margin of 9 to 1, Newman said. He also cited Scripture in urging parishioners to pray for Obama and cooperate with him wherever conscience permits.

Bishops in Baltimore for their annual meeting this week are wrestling with how to explain church teaching on abortion in light of voters’ choice of Obama, who is Protestant, and Biden, who is Catholic, according to The Associated Press.

Francis Cardinal George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told colleagues that “the common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed.”

Bishops have more vocally spoken about abortion this election season, though the issue hasn’t generated as much public debate as the decision in 2004 to deny then-presidential candidate John Kerry communion because of his abortion views.

Stephen Gajdosik, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, told The News that calling parishioners who voted for a candidate who supports legalized abortions to penance is a question of how best to deepen a flock’s relationship to God and a move left up to local priests. He said such a move is appropriate and in line with church teaching.

In an e-mail interview, Newman cited a survey earlier this year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that showed fewer than 25 percent of the 65 million Americans who call themselves Catholic attend Mass each Sunday, a “disturbing fact of life” that he said shows the vast majority of those baptized into the church “do not live as disciples of Jesus Christ in any observable way.”

Mass-attending Catholics, he said, “vote overwhelmingly” for candidates who oppose legalized abortion.

The Catholic dilemma coincides with a split in Protestant circles between those who consider abortion as a non-negotiable moral concern when voting, and emerging groups such as Sojourners who call for candidates to be evaluated on a “consistent ethic of life,” abortion and the Iraq war included.

Newman calls abortion the “chief battleground” in the so-called culture wars, and different from “prudential” matters such as health care, education or the war on terror. A Catholic who gets an abortion, encourages one or assists in the procedure is automatically excommunicated from the church, Newman said, a penalty he said doesn’t apply to other forms of killing.

“The reason is that abortion is usually murder in secret and it lays axe to human life at its root,” he said. With nearly 50 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, Newman said Obama would seek to make “hidden murder” a legally protected right, and anyone who voted to give him such power “will be complicit in the legal holocaust which will follow.”

Asked about the moral weight of abortion, Gajdosik said that if only three abortions per year took place in the United States, while an objectively immoral war took thousands of innocent lives, then the war might outweigh abortion as a moral concern.

As it is, he said, the weight of large numbers of innocents “slaughtered” should be the overwhelming issue of concern to Catholics.

Gajdosik said that for someone to be guilty of cooperating with evil, a person would have to know what’s at stake and purposefully vote anyway for the candidate who supports legalized abortion.

Newman said, “An uninformed vote is an irresponsible vote,” and that no informed voter this year could have mistaken the candidates’ abortion positions.

No matter the intention of the voter, Newman said a vote for Obama is “material cooperation” with his goal of extending the use of lethal violence against unborn children.

Asked if he would actively deny the sacraments to Obama voters, Newman said he won’t because the church teaches that no one is denied communion unless it would cause “grave scandal,” such as in the case of a notorious public sinner.

However, he said he’ll continue to teach the necessity of being in “full, visible communion” with the church before receiving the sacraments.

IV. Father Newman’s response to thousands of emails received after the AP story ran, making clear that both the Greenville News and the AP misreported what he had said.

Last Sunday, 9 November 2008, I published a column in my parish bulletin which attracted the attention of the local newspaper, the Greenville News, which published a story on Thursday 13 November. That story, in turn, attracted the attention of the Associated Press which was quickly picked up by news services throughout the English-speaking world. In the past twelve hours I have received over 4,000 emails from around the globe, and whether praise or blame is being assigned, it usually for something that I have not done. The AP story and, perhaps worse, the headline attached to the story gave the impression that I intended to deny Holy Communion to anyone who voted for Barack Obama last week. This, of course, is absurd is on its face, and the two documents I have attached to this email are a brief attempt to the falsehoods and misrepresentations present in the AP story and other based upon it. . . .

In truth, had I known while writing the original bulletin that my words would be read beyond my parish, I would have given much greater care to my formulation of the problem posed by voting for a pro-abortion politician. These columns are written every week for our little bulletin and are almost always written in haste against the deadline of getting the pages printed at the end of a busy week. Last week’s column was no exception to this rule and was not meant to be a careful or systematic treatment of even one part of a complex issue.

Thank you.

V. Statement of the diocesan administrator, November 14, 2008.

Statement of Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin

Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston

This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion. As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions.” The Catechism goes on to state: “In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.”

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God. Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.

We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child. Let us pray for them and ask God to guide them as they take the mantle of leadership on January 20, 2009.

I ask also for your continued prayers for me and for the Diocese of Charleston.

VI. Greenville News on Msgr. Laughlin’s Statement, November 15, 2008.

S.C. diocese critical of Greenville priest’s Obama comments

By Eric Connor

South Carolina’s Charleston-based Roman Catholic Diocese said Friday that it doesn’t believe parishioners who voted for Barack Obama should have to seek penance before partaking Holy Communion, a condition a Greenville priest suggested this week because of Obama’s stance on abortion.

The priest, Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday.

“As administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings,” Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin said Friday in a posting on the diocese’s Web site. “Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.”

On Friday, Newman said in a message posted on St. Mary’s church Web site that his original statement had been misunderstood. Newman said that he didn’t intend for his comments to be seen beyond his parish and that he has received more than 3,500 emails from across the globe both in support of and condemning his comments.

In Friday’s posting, Newman said that voting for Obama isn’t “in itself or by itself a mortal sin” but that “a vote for a pro-abortion candidate can be a mortal sin if the intent is to support abortion, that abortion is not merely one issue among other important issues, and that no Catholic should endorse a pro-abortion politician if a plausible pro-life alternative is available.”

Earlier this week, Newman wrote to his parishioners in a church news bulletin that anyone “voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

Newman advised parishioners who voted for Obama to do penance before participating in communion “lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”

On Friday, Laughlin said in his posting that “… if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.”

Laughlin said in the statement that “we should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child.”

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston told The Greenville News that calling parishioners who voted for a candidate who supports legalized abortions to penance is a question of how best to deepen a flock’s relationship to God and a move left up to local priests.

The spokesman, Stephen Gajdosik, said such a move is appropriate and in line with church teaching.

Obama opposes a constitutional amendment overturning the historic Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade.

During the presidential campaign, Republican John McCain and his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, expressed support for overturning the high court’s abortion decision.

What's going on in SC?

I just got irritated a little bit right now.

It would seem that Father Newman is backpeddling on what he wrote in his original letter that has caused a nationwide furor for either his head, or his canonization. He wrote in yesterday's bulletin that his comments must be read in light of "Faithful Citizenship", the document Catholics for Obama cited when claiming Catholics could vote for Barry the Butcher without complications from Church teaching and the pesky Vatican.

And Monsignor Judas is even more deserving of the nickname I gave him. According to an article from the Catholic News Agency he supported Father Newman before he condemned him.

It keeps getting more complicated and I concur with Father Z, we need to get to the bottom of this story.

Judas Iscariot is alive and well.

You'll recall I enthusiastically approved of Father Jay Scott Newman's letter to his parishioners that voted for Obama. Well, it would seem that the powers that be in the chancery office don't agree with the Traddy.

It would seem that Judas Iscariot has reincarnated, and his name is Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin. The new administrator of the Charleston Diocese has decided to come out and repudiate the good orthodox teaching of the Church and Father Newman. There is a letter and video on the main page of the Diocesan website condemning Father Newman's teaching. Why are priests being villianized by their superiors when they DARE to speak the truth? Call Father Newman and give him your support at 864-679-4101.

Also, you may call Monsignor Judas Iscariot (pictured above) at the Diocese of Charleston 843-853-2130 and thank him for being a USCCB puppet by spewing ambiguous statements. According to Judas, if you form your conscience "well", and you go against Church teaching, it is alright. Somehow I would think that if someone formed their conscience well, they would agree with Church teaching. Just more of the Vatican II "I'm ok, you're ok" nonsense we've heard for the last forty years.

Currently there is no Bishop at the Diocese of Charleston. Pray that an ORTHODOX good Catholic priest receives the post, and not Monsignor Judas. (pictured above)

From Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., said a pastor who told his parishioners they should refrain from receiving holy Communion if they voted for President-elect Barack Obama did not "adequately reflect the Catholic Church's teaching" on abortion and conscience.

"Any statements or comments to the contrary are repudiated," Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin said in a Nov. 14 statement.

Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's Church in Greenville, S.C., said in a letter to his parishioners that Catholics who voted for Obama, who supports legalized abortion, would have to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of penance before faithfully receiving Communion again. The letter was published on the front page of the parish bulletin Nov. 8-9.

Msgr. Laughlin said that Father Newman's comments "diverted the church's clear teaching on abortion" by pulling it into the "partisan political arena."

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Msgr. Laughlin said that Christ gives everyone "the freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith."

"Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion," he said.

The diocesan administrator also urged Catholics throughout South Carolina to unite to support Obama and other elected officials "with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child." He invited people to pray for the new president and his administration as they take office Jan. 20.

In his letter, Father Newman said members of his parish who voted for Obama had placed themselves "outside of the full communion of Christ's church and under the judgment of divine law."

"Persons in this condition should not receive holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the sacrament of penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation," he wrote.

The priest called Obama "the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president."

Father Newman's letter also reminded parishioners to pray for the president-elect and "to cooperate with him whenever conscience does not bind us otherwise."

"Let us hope and pray that the responsibilities of the presidency and the grace of God will awaken in the conscience of this extraordinarily gifted man an awareness that the unholy slaughter of children in this nation is the greatest threat to the peace and security of the United States and constitutes a clear and present danger to the common good," Father Newman wrote.

Calls made to Father Newman Nov. 14 were not returned.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Priest with BALLS.


Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Greenville, SC told his parishioners in a letter that if they voted for Barry the Butcher, not to come for communion! I love this guy! I want to do an interview with him, but be sure the MSM will get ahold of him and try to destroy him in the days to come.

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.

The rest of the story

Your taxes to pay for abortions in China

One of the good things to come out of the Bush Administration was the suspension of tax payer money to foreign nations to pay for abortions there. Well rest assured that Barry the Butcher, in his eagerness to kill the unborn wherever they may be, will make sure you and I pay for abortions all over the world.

.- Supporters of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are confident that President-elect Barack Obama will reverse the Bush administration’s 2002 decision to stop the $40 million it received in U.S. funding. The policy was instated because of UNFPA’s support for China’s one-child policy, which includes coercive abortion practices.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D – N.Y.) said the funding will be approved by the Democratic majority Congress. Her comments came while speaking Wednesday at a press conference at the National Press Club where the 2008 U.N. report on world population was released.

“You know the president will have to do nothing,” said Maloney. “He will just have to let the will of Congress go through. One of the changes is that UNFPA will be funded,” reports.

Read the full article from Catholic News Agency

A new senator for New York?

There has been much speculation by myself and others as to why Hillary Clinton, who so strongly attacked Barack Obama during the primaries would just lay down and and die on command from the party bosses. Well, it seems that Secretary of State is better than Senator...

From Fox News:

CHICAGO -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, (Well, this is good for her, considering Obama never even considered her for VP) according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.

Clinton, the former first lady who pushed Obama hard for the Democratic presidential nomination, was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the top U.S. diplomat in an Obama administration.

The talk resumed in Washington and elsewhere Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort.

The two Democratic officials who spoke Thursday did so on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Obama and his staff. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment.

Other people frequently mentioned for the State Department job are Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican; Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and New Mexico's Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, who is Hispanic.

Hillary gone from the Senate would be a great thing, so I don't necessarily think this will happen. But Hillary has to get something for her loyalty, the question remains what that will be.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This says it all

Pro-Life Groups Picket Bishops!

By John Vennari

Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue, organized a unique pro-life demonstration aimed directly at the American bishops. The rally took place on the afternoons of November 9 and 10 across the street from the Marriott Hotel in Baltimore where the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops held their annual meeting.

I traveled to Baltimore for the demonstration as I considered it a historic event. It is the first time, to my knowledge, that a pro-life group held the bishops publicly accountable for the virtual free reign of abortion and pro-abortion Catholic politicians in the United States. The election of the most pro-abortion candidate in American history to the presidency powerfully demonstrates the U.S. bishops’ failure in Catholic leadership.

At the center of the controversy is the U.S. Bishops’ “Faithful Citizenship” document which effectively gave Catholics a “rationale” to vote for a pro-abortion politician.

Randall Terry told CFN: “Our message to the bishops is this: we love our bishops, but ‘Faithful Citizenship’ is a disaster. And it must be scrapped completely, or radically shortened, modified and made unequivocal. The document has so many loopholes in it you can drive a pro-abortion truck through it.”

Even Catholic writer Deal Hudson, usually deferential to the hierarchy, severely criticized “Faithful Citizenship”. In the days leading up to the election, Hudson wrote, "If Obama wins on November 4 with the help of Catholic voters, the biggest factor in his favor will be the bishops' own document and Website, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship."

Hudson noted major loopholes in the document: “ states that Catholics are allowed to vote for a supporter of abortion rights so long as 1) they do not intend to support that position (34) or 2) there are offsetting ‘morally grave reasons’ (35).”

“Visit any of the pro-Obama Catholic Web sites,” said Hudson, “and you will find this message taken from ‘Faithful Citizenship’ Catholic voters can ignore Obama's pro-abortion record because of mitigating factors.”

In fact, a liberal faction of the Knights of Columbus called “Knights for Obama” celebrated the “Faithful Citizenship” document. One commentator on its website said, “The American Catholic bishops’ recent document ‘Faithful Citizenship’ helps me understand I can vote for Senator Obama with a clear conscience if I do not favor abortion.”

It was this bad leadership of the bishops that was the center of the demonstration organized by Randall Terry.

The demonstration began on the afternoon November 9, the first day of the USCCB meeting. The pro-life group prayed the Rosary and held signs that read:

• “Deny Biden Communion – Canon 915”
• “Could We Vote for Herod?”
• “Faithful Citizenship Makes Unfaithful Catholics”
• “My Mother Chose Life” (held by little girl)
• “Should We Serve Herod Holy Communion?”
• “Your Silence: Affirmation of Child Killing”

The bishops had to pass the small group on their way into the hotel. Terry’s co-worker Joseph Landry said of the prelates who walked by: “Some bishops gave us thumbs up of approval, some bishops avoided all contact with us, and some bishops defended the Faithful Citizenship document saying, ‘no matter what we do, the people aren’t going to like it… so it’s no win for us’.”

Perhaps a bishop who complains of “no win” should be reminded that our Lord already foretold, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you.” (John 15: 18) Defending true Catholic Faith and Morals, even it if means irritating people who oppose the truth, is part of the bishop’s job description. By doing what is right, the bishop may lose favor with certain people, but he will win favor with Heaven, which is all that counts.

“Our fear is that the moral fiber of these bishops is cut from the same cloth as the bishops of England who went along with Henry VIII.“ said Mr. Terry, a convert to Catholicism. “What we’re looking for are some St. John Fisher type bishops who will be loyal to Rome at all costs.”
In their public statements about abortion and the duty of Catholic politicians, the bishops seldom quote the modern popes, the popes of the past, or anything from our Catholic patrimony. “They only quote each other and USCCB documents”, Terry lamented.

Around lunch time on Monday, as some of the bishops and USCCB staff filed out of the Marriott, the pro-life group shouted, “We love you bishops”, urged them to defend the unborn and to scrap the “Faithful Citizenship” document.

Mr. Terry politely approached one bishop and another cleric as they were leaving the hotel, but both bishop and cleric scurried away from Mr. Terry as if he were covered with leprosy.

Though the pro-life group was not a large gathering, the bishops obviously felt the sting of our presence. An effort was made on Monday to shoo us away.

Police asked if we had a permit. Mr. Terry responded that we were lawfully assembled, not blocking any entrance or egress.

Shortly after, a representative from the Marriott along with a security guard and three or four policeman approached the group to say we had to leave. The corner on which we stood was about to be power-washed.

This was an obvious ruse, since the corner, despite being near a construction site, appeared perfectly clean. Of all the corners in the city of Baltimore, it was more than coincidence that our spot was suddenly picked to be hosed down at this time.

Mr. Terry responded in a civil manner that we would disperse when the power-wash machine arrived, or at 1:45 pm when the rally was scheduled to disband.

The power-wash machine did not arrive until around 2:00, shortly after the pro-life group withdrew.

When I saw the power-wash machine wheeled into place, it occurred to me that perhaps the bishops themselves need to be power-washed by collectively making a traditional Ignatian Retreat in which they spend two full days reflecting on the reality of eternal hellfire and their possible place in the abode of the damned (such a Retreat would be good for us all).

Bishop Sheen once said, “We priests usually don’t lose our souls because we do evil. Rather, we lose our souls because we fail to do good.” This “failure to do good” was reflected in the latest Election. One of the greatest tragedies of the 2008 presidential race is that most bishops, with some exceptions, simply made a weak pro-life statement, or signed a joint pro-life document, or printed a pro-life article in their diocesan newspapers. They never mobilized the faithful to effectively fight for the unborn.

“Not one bishop held a press conference to say, ‘This is the teaching of the Church’,” said Terry. “A handful of bishops put out decent documents but even those were in the Catholic ghetto. The soul of every person in the diocese is in the charge of the bishop. If you want it to reach every soul — or at least as many souls s possible — don’t simply release the message in a church bulletin or in the diocesan newspaper. Have a press conference; buy time on the radio; send out a mailing to everyone in the diocese that says ‘This is the teaching of the Church: we cannot vote for someone who supports the killing of children’.”

Terry commended prelates such as Scranton’s Bishop Joseph F. Martino who publicly said of the Faithful Citizenship document, “the USCCB does not speak for me”. He also commended Bishop Rene H. Gracida Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, who produced a short radio spot in English and in Spanish that said unequivocally, “a Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."

As it turns out, Mr. Terry was not the only one to schedule a pro-life presence at the USCCB meeting. American Life League, the Catholic Media Coalition, STOP Planned Parenthood, Maryland Right to Life and the Baltimore-based Defend Life held a candlelight vigil on November 11. They urged the bishops to sanction Catholic lawmakers who support “legal” abortion by refusing them Communion or through excommunication.

Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, told Catholic News Service, "Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run for the presidency, yet 54 percent of Catholics voted for him. The bishops have said they will try and work with him. Archbishop(Donald W.) Wuerl (of Washington) said he wouldn't seek to deny (Vice President-elect Joseph) Biden Eucharist. Is it any wonder why 54 percent of the Catholic congregation felt like it was OK to vote for Barack Obama?"

Sedlak denounced the scandal of pro-life politicians whose bishops allow them to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis.

"This is in direct conflict with canon law," he said. "These politicians are guilty of the gravest of sins — facilitating the death of innocent children — and yet so many present themselves for Communion week after week. It's causing scandal and confusion in the church and this must cease."

The National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen reported that the bishops stated at their meeting they intend to challenge Obama on abortion and on the Freedom of Choice Act that Obama promised Planned Parenthood he would sign.

Despite the tough talk suddenly emanating from some of the bishops, one can only hope they are truly committed, that they know how to fight effectively, and they know how to withstand an opponent such as Obama who was trained in Saul Alinsky tactics. “CRUSH THE OPPOSITION is a key principle in Saul Alinksy’s Reveille for Radicals. (p. 150).

Pro-abortion forces play for keeps! Based on their track record, one may be permitted to wonder about the collective resolve of the U.S. Bishops. Catholics desperately need to storm heaven for these prelates.

On November 11, John Allen summed up what he saw as the bishops’ response: “‘No retreat, no surrender’ is perhaps the best way to sum up the spirit of the U.S. bishops’ discussion of abortion and politics this afternoon, though the bishops stopped short of adopting any new policy on the denial of communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians.”

There are bishops, such as Scranton’s Bishop Martino, who support denying the Eucharist to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Other bishops oppose this course of action. Yet the bishops' refusal to deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians is not merely bad strategy. It causes confusion among the faithful, promotes sacrilege and bad example. It signals that the bishops are not fully committed to fight abortion with all their strength, and with all the supernatural weapons at their disposal.

Randall Terry, American Life League, STOPP Planned Parenthood and other pro-life groups who assembled outside the Marriott must be congratulated for publicly confronting the USCCB at the bishops’ front door.

For too long, Catholic bishops and their modernist theologians have effectively given great liberty to abortion and to Catholic politicians who are allowed to remain “Catholics in good standing” while simultaneously promoting the slaughter of unborn babies.