Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I think President George W. Bush (GWB) did a great job of explaining why we need to go into Iraq. His analogy with the drunk driver was very clear - you don't wait till the drunk driver hits somebody before you make him stop his car. GWB listed the number of missing weapons - how much clearer does he need to be?
Hmmm - I wonder if they can't find those weapons because the Iraqi guys have smuggled them into another country - perhaps the USA? Let's pray and hope that is not the case.
In the Washington Post

The Vatican wants you to vote for a patron saint for the internet. Go to this site: This takes you to, and translates from Italian to English.

Among the personages set for beatification this year is Fr. James Alberione (Ven. Giacomo Alberione), SSP, STD, founder of the Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul, a major Catholic publishing house. He also leads the Internet patron race with 26.5 percent of the vote.

The others in the top six are Gabriel Archangel, St. John Bosco (San Giovanni Forest), founder of the Salesian order and a promoter of youth education; Saint Alfonso Maria de Liguori, a bishop and prolific writer; and Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest and missionary who favored use of technical advances to spread the Gospel. He died of hunger in Auschwitz after offering his life in exchange for a condemned fellow prisoner. Finally, there's St. Clare of Assisi (Santa Chiara), who saw visions on the wall; she's the patron saint of television.

St. Isidore is not one of the choices.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Pro-capital punishment proponents, take note: "Don't take vengeance and don't bear a grudge against the members of your nation; love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18.)
In the "I've always wondered that" Department
Read what Dennis Prager writes in Jewish World Review:
Why Jews and blacks vote Democrat

The odds are that you have wondered at one time or another why the great majority of Jews and nearly all blacks vote Democrat. There are, after all, no other ethnic or racial groups that so overwhelmingly and consistently vote either Republican or Democrat.

Moreover, given Jewish values and given blacks' views on a host of important social issues, there is really no compelling reason for blacks and Jews to vote Democrat.

Clearly then, it is not Democratic Party positions that explain why so many Jews and blacks vote Democrat. Something deeper must be at work.

That something is fear in the case of Jews and anger in the case of blacks. And both the Jews' fears and the blacks' anger are a result of their respective collective memories.

The problem with these memories is not that they are inaccurate; it is that they are no longer accurate. And they therefore paralyze the two groups who hold onto these memories, Jews and blacks.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Christianity in Europe sadly has been in decline since the 1500's. Disunity is not what Christ wanted, but that is what is happening in Europe. So the next time I hear someone say we should change the US laws because that's how the law is in Europe, I think I'll cry because it's not Christ-like to smack 'em. My German cousin says that church-goers have to pay an extra tax to support the church, so few people are going except to be baptized, married or buried. Sad.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Pope John Paul II is lobbying European governments to officially recognize the European Union's Christian roots, but diplomatic sources said Thursday that secular opposition is likely to block his efforts.

But another official said that in seeking a strong mention of Christianity, the Vatican was facing its own reality. Pope John Paul has often expressed concern at the decline of religion in Europe. "The Vatican must now look on Europe as missionary territory," the official said. "They need to conquer lost ground."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Rush Limbaugh says:
It’s your party [Democrats] that thinks judges know better than the people how they should live. You’re the ones who want activist judges who will “find” things in the Constitution that you cannot get into law by the will of the people. As a caller so wisely asked on Wednesday: Why should we be free of the government on abortion, but it must control every other aspect of our lives?

Hispanics now the nation's largest minority group
Hispanics have surpassed Americans of African origin and are now officially the nation's largest minority group according to the Census Bureau.

Expect this to cause a big argument because there's status in being the number 1 minority. You get all the benefits. The only reason this isn’t erupting just yet is due to the fact that Hispanics don't vote in the numbers that the African-American population does. However, if they start and those numbers get close, then you're going to have a knockdown drag out over who is most entitled to the nation's safety net program.

There’s an interesting side bar to this story which led me to wonder, among other things, where would the black population be today were it not for abortion? (A lot of them would've been smokers, and you know how liberals love to slurp up tax revenues on them!) You can hear the rest in the audio links below, along with how this is going to cause the Dems to do all kinds of U-turns on positions like immigration, down the road. When they see a national day off to commemorate Pancho Villa Day, they're going to be with Pat Buchanan, trying to close off the borders. You just wait and see.
For those who think Republicans discriminate, remember the Constitution prohibits states from discriminating against whites too. Giving minorities an extra 20 points toward admission to the University of Michigan is discriminating on the basis of race, so it is illegal. Read Ann Coulter's article in Townhall.

Democrats don't have the constitution for racial equality

"The 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits states from discriminating on the basis of race. It says: Nor shall any state "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." That amendment grew out of the Republicans' first big dust-up with the Democrats over race – the Civil War. Then, as now, Democrats demanded the right to discriminate on the basis of race. The 14th Amendment sternly informed Democrats that they would have to stop. Democrats dropped slavery but desperately clung to state-sanctioned race discrimination for another hundred years.

It took a Supreme Court ruling in 1954 and a Republican president sending in the National Guard to force Democrats to stop their infernal race discrimination. In the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause prohibited the states from engaging in race discrimination in education. Democrats responded with massive resistance."

"If colleges wanted to admit only legacies, or only tuba players, or only people who got astonishingly low SAT scores – to ensure some of their graduates would be U.S. senators one day – the Constitution wouldn't stop them. What the states, including state colleges, cannot do under the Constitution is discriminate on the basis of race."

"Liberals love this system of pretend-law, because it allows them to get away with murder – sometimes literally, as in Roe v. Wade."

David Limbaugh writes about giving Saddam Hussein one last chance to come clean
On trusting a murderous dictator

We had already found plenty of smoking guns by 1998 when Saddam ejected the inspectors. If we know he had chemical and biological weapons and an ambitious nuclear weapons program then, why should we assume he has since eliminated them?

President Bush has repeatedly said that the burden of proof is on Saddam Hussein to demonstrate that he has rid himself of these weapons. It is not up to the world to prove he still has them.

Isn't that a reasonable position for the president to take? We're not asking Saddam to prove a negative but to show us how he destroyed his weapons. That was supposed to be the purpose of Iraq's Dec. 8 declaration, which, predictably, was entirely fraudulent.

Besides, what incentive does this tyrannical sociopath have to disarm? Power is his very reason for existence. He's about as likely to disarm voluntarily as he is to drain his own body dry of blood. Not only is power his lifeblood; it is the only thing he understands, the only language he speaks. Which is why it took a deadly serious threat of invasion before he would readmit the inspectors.

He has certainly never had to pay a heavy price for refusing to disarm and for failing otherwise to comply with the Gulf War treaties, including routinely shooting at our planes in the no-fly zones.

Ask yourself: Is this woefully guilty man entitled to the presumption of innocence? What evidence is there in history of megalomaniacal dictators rehabilitating themselves? Is it even a remote possibility that Saddam has eliminated these weapons on his own?

We're talking about a man who launched a brutal war against his neighbor Iran, who invaded the tiny country of Kuwait, who routinely kills his own generals and who gassed thousands of his own people, and some want to give him the benefit of the doubt? Would we have trusted Hitler to dismantle his war machine and curb his imperial appetite? Oh, sorry, I forgot that some did.

But many of these people urging us to trust Saddam are the same ones who insist we cannot trust our own leaders. Yes, this bizarre group of people is telling us we should place our trust in a proven murderer and impute criminal intent to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell, all of whom, by the way, the American people believe in overwhelming numbers to be trustworthy."

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

My Two Cents Worth
In this morning's homily at the National Shrine in Washington, DC, the homilist was talking about the pro-life movement. He said perhaps some folks are like Jonah, who thought it would be a good idea to reform the Ninevites as long as it wasn't him who had to go tell them to reform. Other folks may be like the Good Samaritan, who probably feared what would happen if he got involved (perhaps someone would think he was the one who beat the guy.)

My husband and I met while doing pro-life work at an emergency shelter for pregnant women. I've heard similar stories of how volunteering in the movement has benefited not just the pregnant women, but also the volunteers themselves. Volunteering changed my life and gave me a more positive view of women in a crisis pregnancy. When you listen to their stories, you hear a plea for support and love. Please open your ears and respond to their plea. If nothing else, at least give some money to a local crisis pregnancy center so that volunteers will have the resources to help these women. I think that this will do more good than marching in Washington DC. If every Catholic practiced what we preach, abortion would not be necessary because every woman would have the resources she needs to give life to her child.
This will make you sick.

Cast your vote in a poll on overturning Roe v. Wade at Fox News. So far, 64% say it should be overturned.

Bush is going into the heart of Democrat Dick Gephardt's territory.
"President George W. Bush is in St. Louis today promoting his economic plan. White House spokesman Scott Stanzel replied, "By reducing taxes and removing obstacles to growth, the president's plan would strengthen our prosperity throughout the country. "The president has often said that his top priority is to protect the American people and secure the homeland," Stanzel added, "and his administration has made historic investments to protect our citizens."

Bush is slated to arrive at Lambert Field at midmorning. He'll head to JS Logistics, 4550 Gustine Avenue, to deliver an economic address and participate in a discussion with some of the company's owners and workers."

On the St. L P-D editorial page:
In 2003, Missouri Right to Life is urging enactment of a law that requires an opportunity for a woman to sit down with a doctor ahead of time to go over her medical condition as it would be affected by an abortion. Obviously, helping with abortions is not a goal of Missouri Right to Life. However, it is a goal of Missouri Right to Life to reduce the harm that abortions do to women. At least two women have died during or right after abortions performed in Missouri abortion clinics in recent years, and uncounted numbers have endured trauma. Abortion is not risk-free.

Medical journals are reporting long-term consequences of abortion that were unknown when Roe v. Wadewas handed down, including almost twice as many premature births in later pregnancies (Obstetrics & Gynecology 1999), significant increases in breast cancer risk (Journal of National Cancer Institute 1994), measurably higher rates of clinical depression (British Medical Journal 2002), and a 154 percent higher risk of death from suicide (Southern Medical Journal 2002).

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Joke Day
Found on the Christian Joke Page
The Athiest and the Loch Ness Monster

An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air then opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my God! Help me!"

At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place and, as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the clouds.

"I thought you didn't believe in Me!"

"Come on God, give me a break!," the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"

Then the Atheist continues, "God, please let the Loch Ness Monster become religious."

God replies, "So be it."

The scene starts up, atheist falling.

The Loch Ness Monster folds his claws together and says, "Lord, bless this food you have so graciously provided...."

A Christian Pet

This Christian couple felt it important to own an equally Christian pet. So, they went shopping. At a kennel specializing in this particular breed, they found a dog they liked quite a lot. When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash. When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied equally fast, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed, purchased the animal, and went home.

That night they had friends over. They were so proud of their new dog and his major skills, they called the dog and showed off a little. The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well. This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn't thought about "normal" tricks. Well, they said, "Let's try this out." Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!" Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the man's forehead, closed his eyes in concentration, and bowed his head.

The Computer Contest

One day Jesus and Satan were arguing about who had the greatest computer skills. They argued and argued. When they had drawn a crowd of onlookers and were still going at it hot and heavy, the angels--fallen and not--started to take sides and make bets.

Well God had had quite enough of this and decided to intervene. He told Jesus and Satan that there would be a progamming contest between the two that would settle the argument of who was better. They both began program-ming day and night to win the contest. They were at their computers for an eternity when ZAP came a flash of lightning from God and their screens went blank.

The day of reckoning had come. "Well, let's see what you have done", said God.
So, Satan reboots his computer calls up his program and the screen is blank. Nothing! He turns, smiles and looks at Jesus.

Jesus reboots his computer, calls up his program, and an infinite universe appears: Colorful, luminescent, in breathtaking 3-D, with populations of people and animals, building, working, eating, loving, giving birth, and dying.
"THAT'S NOT FAIR," shouted Satan.
"Oh, yes it is," God said, "Jesus saves."
Stuff everyone ought to know
The pro-life movement still has a long way to go, even after 30 years. This is in a Washington Times editorial:
30 years after Roe vs. Wade
Bluntly stated, Republican control does not mean pro-life victory. Republican-appointed justices from Sandra Day O'Connor to David Souter have voted to uphold Roe, for example, and we hear constantly about a "big tent," which simply means welcoming abortion supporters into the party, thereby undermining pro-life efforts. Democrats, by contrast, never talk "big tent." Current chat that Washington is now "so conservative" serves mainly to make the political left more vigilant and aggressive — and more generous in giving money to abortion groups.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly has an article about a highly knowledgeable defector from Saddam Hussein’s immediate circle – one, moreover, willing to talk. His name – or more precisely one of his many aliases – is Jassem Abdullah. He managed to escape from Baghdad four months ago.

Jassem, it turns out, served on Saddam’s bodyguard detail. This is the gist of his comments:

Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction are concealed in two places: a tunnel complex under the main streets of Baghdad and the sand dunes in Ouja, near Tikrit. At Ouja, they are stocked in mobile bunkers. They can be buried deeper under the sand at the flick of a remote control. Jassem said he had been told the bunkers in the sand were built by American engineers but he did not know if this was true.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Did you know?
Polish Catholic King John Sobieski stopped the Turks at Vienna "on a date that ought to be famous in history, September 11, 1683."

Maybe Americans should read history more often.

Is a war of civilizations ahead?
Pat Buchanan

But if a clash of civilizations is coming, how stands the balance of power? In wealth and might, the West is supreme – though wealth did not prevent the collapse of the Western empires and did not prevent the collapse of the Soviet empire. Rome was mighty, and early Christianity pathetically weak. Yet, Christianity triumphed.

If belief is decisive, Islam is militant, Christianity milquetoast. In population, Islam is exploding, the West dying. Islamic warriors are willing to suffer defeat and death, the West recoils at casualties. They are full of grievance; we, full of guilt. Where Islam prevails, it asserts a right to impose its dogma, while the West preaches equality. Islam is assertive, the West apologetic – about its crusaders, conquerors and empires.

Don't count Islam out. It is the fastest growing faith in Europe and has surpassed Catholicism worldwide. And as Christianity expires in the West and the churches empty out, the mosques are going up.

To defeat a faith, you need a faith. What is ours? Individualism, democracy, pluralism, la dolce vita? Can they overcome a fighting faith, 16 centuries old, and rising again?

They say there are liars and liars who use statistics. I'd like to add one. Weather forecasters. They predicted 6-8 inches of snow. We got a slight dusting. Of course, the kids were out of school for a snow day. They didn't even have enough snow to go sledding, so they hung around the house and bugged me while I tried to work from home. I didn't like the work from home situation as much as I thought because I forgot to bring stuff I needed from the office. But at least I now know what I need to take with me. And I need to keep a closer eye on what my kids install on my computer. They had almost filled a 7 gig hard drive in 8 months. I had to clean stuff off to have space to work. I guess I've made my kids too computer literate!
Finally!!!! It's high time the Vatican issues a statement like this.
Vatican Takes Aim at Catholic Lawmakers

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican took aim Thursday at Roman Catholic politicians, telling them church teaching demands they defend "the basic right to life from conception to natural death."

A new set of guidelines approved by Pope John Paul II for Catholic politicians said church opposition to abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage was not up for negotiation.

"Catholics, in this difficult situation, have the right and the duty to recall society to a deeper understanding of human life and to the responsibility of everyone in this regard," it said.

The Vatican stressed it wasn't trying to dictate policy or interfere in matters of state, but to "instruct and illuminate" Catholic political leaders.

And it challenged the idea that ethical pluralism "is the very condition for democracy."

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

At Last!!!!! Can you guess? I'm a Harry Potter Fan.
New Harry Potter book due June 21
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc said ``Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,'' the fifth book of the series on the boy wizard, will be published on June 21.

J. K. Rowling's new Harry Potter book will be published on that date in the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Australia, Kirsty Black, a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury's press relations agency, said in an e-mail.

``The book gets out just in time for the school holidays,'' said Adrian Kearsey, an analyst at Evolution, who rates Bloomsbury shares ``buy.'' ``It's going get a good run during the holidays and get momentum ahead of Christmas.''

National Sanctity of Human Life Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush pleased anti-abortion activists Tuesday by declaring a National Sanctity of Human Life Day and pledging his administration's commitment to ``build a culture that respects life.''
Bush also took care to speak of the need to honor life at all stages. He is urging Americans to mark the occasion at home or in places of worship, to help others in need and to ``reaffirm our commitment to respecting the life and dignity of every human being.''

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Imagine putting a few elephants in the collection basket. At least we don't have this problem in our parish.

Elephant gifts a heavy burden for temple

COCHIN, India (Reuters) - A prominent southern Indian temple saddled with dozens of elephants offered by devotees is planning to charge for their upkeep because turning down the expensive gifts could anger donors who fear divine wrath.
Proof of Bible's authenticity?
The skeptics may soon be running out of reasons to doubt.

"Israeli geologists said Monday they have examined a stone tablet detailing repair plans for the Jewish Temple of King Solomon that, if authenticated, would be a rare piece of physical evidence confirming biblical narrative. The find — whose origin is murky — is about the size of a legal pad, with a 15-line inscription in ancient Hebrew that strongly resembles descriptions in the Bible’s Book of Kings."

Monday, January 13, 2003

Gov. George Ryan is following the Catholic Catechism's teaching on Capital Punishment.

The Catholics Against Capital Punishment web site shows the Catholic Catechism passages relating to the death penalty in the "New" (1997) definitive Latin edition of Catechsim

"2267. Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm -- without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself -- the cases in which the execution of the offender is an abolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent." (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 56)"

Here's an example of putting this teaching into practice:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
On Saturday, Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of all 167 condemned inmates - most to life in prison without parole - saying he felt a moral obligation to act because the system is "haunted by the demon of error."

Friday, January 10, 2003

In a copyrighted New York Times News Service report:

Here's a prediction: In the end, 9-11 will have a much bigger impact on the Arab and Muslim worlds than it does on America.
Since 9-11, the Arab-Muslim world has passed through three basic stages: shock, denial and, finally, introspection. It is quite apparent here in Egypt, where, at least in part because of 9-11, issues that people did not feel empowered to discuss publicly are being tentatively aired.

In part, as a reaction to the religious intolerance unleashed by 9-11, Mubarak surprised his country last month by announcing that, henceforth, Jan. 7 would be a national holiday. Jan. 7 is the Coptic (Egyptian Christian) Christmas, and it has now been elevated to equal status with the Prophet Muhammad's birthday. For the first time, the president's son, Gamal, attended midnight mass, a visit carried live on Egyptian television.

MO State Senator starts move toward school vouchers

Blaine amendment repeal?
A state senator from South (St. Louis, MO) County has filed legislation that could clear the way for tax money to be used for private and parochial school tuition vouchers.

Sen. Anita Yeckel, a Republican from the 1st District, has submitted a proposal to ask the state's voters to wipe the "Blaine amendment" from the Missouri Constitution. That clause from the constitution adopted in 1875 prohibits state tax money from going to religious institutions and their teachers.

She said the new legislature, now with Republican majorities in both houses, could be more favorable toward the proposal. Even should voters approve it, separate legislation would be required to establish school vouchers.

The controversial amendment is named for a 19th-century congressman from Maine, James G. Blaine. He was unsuccessful in getting such a financing prohibition in the U.S. Constitution, though many states, including Missouri, adopted it into their constitutions. Blaine's action was considered an attack on Catholicism.

Removing the Blaine amendment, she said, would not cause the state to cross the legal line that prohibits government from establishing a religion, a restriction on government that she supports.

Last summer the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a private-school voucher program in Ohio was constitutional. Local leaders hailed the victory but noted that nothing would happen toward establishing vouchers in Missouri until the Blaine prohibition was removed.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League will be no more. Unfortunately, it’s not closing down. The nation’s largest abortion rights organization instead is changing its name—to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

A Rose is still a rose. A rat is still a rat.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Hmmm. I wonder if this is true?
Swiss Guard in Pope plot

A Vatican Swiss Guard commander who was murdered four years ago had helped in a plot to kill the Pope while working for the East German Communist secret police, according to a retired Italian prosecutor.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

First, the good news.
Bring out the fireworks! Dance a jig! Kill the fatted calf! Time to celebrate!
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt will not seek re-election
Whether he wins or loses his bid for the presidency, Rep. Richard A. Gephardt has decided against running for re-election next year to the U.S. House seat that he's held for 26 years.
Activists in both parties said they weren't surprised by Gephardt's decision, especially since he resigned as U.S. House minority leader after the Democrats' poor showing nationally on Nov. 5.

Now the bad news. Gephardt looks to presidential bid. Adella Jones, his St. Louis spokeswoman, said: "He is running for president of the United States. He's formed his exploratory committee. He's made his intention known, and he's moving forward in that direction."

Dick Gephardt is an ultra pro-abortion, professional politican. Republicans have been unable to unseat this guy, so I rejoice that he is resigning. However, he is a slick campaigner and his ultra-left views make me fear him getting elected president. Oh well, the country survived the Clinton years. Start praying for the elections now. It's not too soon.

Monday, January 06, 2003

The St. Louis Post Dispatch article tells us that nuns are abused as often as other women. And that is News? Of course, they buried the "The results of the nun survey on abuse seem to be in line with many other surveys of women" part deep on page 2 after an above the fold headline on page 1. After the Post gets finished reporting on the abuse of priests and nuns, I wonder when they will report on these sex offenders in St. Louis County. I find this list much scarier than what Catholic religious people have done. Some of them live in my neighborhood and there is no assurance they are reformed or have been treated.

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
442 S Demazenod Dr

Belleville, IL

62223-1023 US on Highway 15, 2 miles east of 255

Thursday, January 1, 2003 - Sunday, April 20, 2003
Guild Center - 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Utilizing the Stations of the Cross as a guide, the Resurrection of the Shroud will take you on a journey with Jesus, from condemnation through resurrection.

I saw this exhibit yesterday. It was awesome. They have a replica of the Shroud. They have an audio tour through the Stations of the Cross that correlates to the Shroud markings. This is very educational and inspirational. I'm more convinced than ever that the Shroud or Turin really is the burial cloth of Jesus.
Here are more Shroud web sites:

Friday, January 03, 2003

Remember the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by marching in Washinton, D.C on Jan 22. I did it in 2000 with my daughter. There is nothing like being there. The news media always ignores this march in spite of the huge attendance.
March for Life Education & Defense Fund

Claim of Cloned Baby Draws Sharp Criticism from Vatican

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2003 ( The reported birth of the first cloned baby is in itself an "expression of a brutal mentality, devoid of any ethical or human consideration," the Vatican says.

"Let's hope that it is an unfounded announcement," Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said over Vatican Radio. "However, even if it is so, I consider it grave, because reproductive cloning and so-called therapeutic cloning represent an extreme of rupture before humanity."

Here's your catechism refresher course for today:
Catechism Song: "12 Days of Christmas"
This song was written during a time of persecution in England between 1558 and 1829 as a catechism song for young Catholics who were forbidden to practice their faith. Each number signifies a teaching of our Faith. The song can be understood on two different levels - the literal meaning of the words, which appear harmless enough to a stranger, and the hidden meaning behind those words which expressed the religious beliefs of a people who could have been killed on account of their Catholic faith.
1st Day
"True Love" represents God and "me" the baptized soul. The "partridge in a pear tree" is Jesus, symbolically shown as a mother partridge pretending injury to lure predators away from her nestlings. The mother dies to protect her young.
2nd Day
"Two turtle doves" are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible; Noah brought two of every kind of species into the Ark; When Mary and Joseph presented the Child Jesus in the Temple, they offered two turtle doves
(Luke 2:24).
3rd Day
"Three French Hens" were beautiful and costly birds in those days. They represent faith, hope and charity, which can be given by God alone; They also represent the three persons of the Blessed Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit; And also the three days Christ spent in the tomb.
4th Day
The "Four Calling Birds" are the four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
5th Day
The "Five Golden Rings" are the first five books of the Bible known as the Law, Torah or Pentateuch; and the five wise and five foolish virgins.
6th Day
The "Six Geese A Laying" are the six days when God created everything.
7th Day
The "Seven Swans A Swimming" represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord; Seven are appointed to assist the Apostles (Act 6:3);
Peter asks Jesus whether he should forgive his brother seven times (Mt 18:21, Lk 17:4) and Jesus answers that he should forgive 70 times seven, i.e., forgive with no limit; The Israelites marched seven days around Jericho with seven priests blowing seven horns (Jos 6:1); the seventh year is the year of the Sabbath; The Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confession, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick; The seven Deadly Sins: Pride (Ecc 10:15), Covetousness (Lk 12:15), Lust (Eph 5:5), Anger (Jos 1:19), Gluttony (Gal 6:8), Envy (Story of Joseph in the Old Testament), Sloth (Rev 3:15); The seven Sorrows of Mary: the Prophesy of Simeon, the Flight into Egypt, the Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple, mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary, Jesus Dies on the Cross, Mary Receives the Dead Body of Jesus from the Cross, Mary Places the Body of Jesus on the Tomb Awaiting the Resurrection.
8th Day
The "Eight Maids A Milking" represent the eight Beatitudes in Matthew's Gospel.
9th Day
The "Nine Ladies Dancing" refers to the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22): Love Joy Peace, Paitient Endurance, Kindness, Generosity, Faith Mildness and Chastity.
10th Day
The "Ten Lords A Leaping" represent the ten commandments which guide our lives; The ten lepers cleansed by Jesus.
11th Day
The "Eleven Pipers Piping" represent the 11 faithful Apostles, not including Judas.
12th Day
The "Twelve Drummers Drumming" represent the 12 points of belief in the Apostles' Creed; The 12 Tribes of Israel; The 12 Apostles.
Brought to you by:
Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS, USA

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Foes of Abortion Push for Major Bills in Congress

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 — Galvanized by the Republican takeover of the Senate, opponents of abortion are preparing a major push for new abortion restrictions in the next Congress, beginning with a ban on the type of medical procedure they call partial birth abortion.

They say they will also push for some other measures already passed by the Republican-controlled House, including a bill making it a crime to evade parental notification laws by taking a minor across state lines for an abortion and legislation making it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman. They also want to allow hospitals and other health care providers to refuse to perform abortions without fear of penalty, like the loss of federal money.

Falwell Skewers Media for Downplaying Islamic Atrocities Against Christians

By Fred Jackson and Jody Brown
December 31, 2002

(AgapePress) - While Southern Baptists mourn the loss of three of their missionaries in yesterday's terrorist attack in Yemen, a key player in the denomination is denouncing the way the national media covers these stories.

The three Southern Baptists who were gunned down by an Islamic terrorist on Monday are just the latest Christians to be targeted by those who hate Christianity and are out to destroy its testimony. In fact, one pro-family leader cites several recent examples of such attacks on Christians, asks why American leaders continue to describe Islam as a "religion of peace" -- then concludes it must be easier to be "politically correct" than it is to tell the truth.

At the Human Events web site:

Democrats: A Lott of Trouble
By Ann Coulter

"The idea that Lott took the occasion of an old timer’s birthday to introduce a new policy initiative to bring back segregation—a Democrat policy—is ludicrous. Lott is a fine fellow; he just has some sort of liberal-Tourette’s Syndrome that makes him spout Democrat ideas at random."
Ann Coulter gives a background history of the Lott situation.

Daniel Pipes' take on the Islam special on PBS:

PBS: Missionary for Islam?
By Daniel Pipes

What would be the single best way to convert lots of Americans to Islam?

Forget print, go to film. Put together a handsome documentary with an original musical score that presents Islam's prophet Muhammad in the most glowing manner, indeed, as a model of perfection. Round up Muslim and non-Muslim enthusiasts to endorse the nobility and truth of his message. Splice the story of his life with vignettes of winsome American Muslims testifying to the justice and beauty of their Islamic faith.

Then procure U.S. taxpayer sponsorship for the film. Get it shown at prime time on the most high-minded television network. Oh, and screen it at least once during the holiday season, when anyone out of synch with Christmas might be especially susceptible to Islam's appeal.
And that is precisely what the producers of "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" have done. In a documentary The Washington Post calls "absorbing, ... enjoyable and informative" and the Los Angeles Times describes as "thoughtful, flowing, visually stunning," exotic images of the desert and medieval miniatures mix with scenes of New York City and the American flag. Born- and convert-American Muslims speak affectingly about their personal bond to their prophet.