Friday, February 27, 2009

The True Best Movies of the Year

2009 Culture of Life Movie Awards

Winners Include "Juno" and "Bella"

MADRID, Spain, FEB. 25, 2009 ( This is the week for movie awards, and the results are out for the best picture, actors and screenplay, from the perspective of a culture of life.The Madrid archdiocesan weekly magazine, Alpha and Omega, distributed by the newspaper ABC, gives special awards for the production of major films in defense of life.

The Alpha and Omega awards highlighted five pro-life films released in 2008, four related to abortion and one to euthanasia: "Juno"; "Bella"; "4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days"; "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; "The Princess of Nebraska."

The magazine director, Miguel Angel Velasco, said: "Given the tendency to reward movies that represent the 'culture of death', [we] wanted to reward others that, in one way or another, defend the 'culture of life.'" The awards announcement stated: "At a time when the dignity of the weakest human beings is trampled with impunity by politicians and legislators of numerous civilized countries, movies seem to emerge that run against the current, celebrating the positive value of life, even in circumstances of extreme pain." It continued: "And these are not militant, discursive or reactionary films, nor are they directed by pro-life leaders. They are heartfelt and poignant human stories that give testimony of the simple joy of living."

International issues
The statement also commented on movies such as "Oh, Jerusalem" and "The Kite Runner" that give a "hopeful look at the most worrisome international conflicts" and treat the issues "with intelligence," with the goal of uniting people rather than dividing them. Similarly, judges considered that movies such as "In the Valley of Elah" give a critique on the new forms of war and military intervention, separated from moral codes. Other movies, such as "The Wave," can alert us to populist and authoritarian temptations that can easily flourish in countries facing a moral, economic and cultural crisis."

Juan Orellana, film critic and one of the judges for the awards, says that, these movies "confirm the good health of the American independent cinema, the German cinema and animated film." Orellana pointed out that there is now an exciting mix of family films. In 2008, he explained, several films defended novel and original forms of life and there are others -- like "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" -- that have managed to grasp "the gravity of the historical moment" in which we find ourselves, and offer a response of hope and transcendence.

The film awarded best Christian picture to "Guadalupe," a family drama that shows the power of the image of the Virgin Mary. A scientific study of the image becomes a journey of personal discovery for a family that must confront its past.

Great works
Auxiliary Bishop César Franco of Madrid, who chaired the judges committee, lauded the good movies as "works of the human spirit that address the human question." He continued: "There are two ways to make movies, just like there are two ways to live:" one "open to the values of the individual," and the other closed. Man will always do great works in all fields, and humanity will bear fruit in works of art, he said -- "man is called to beauty." The prelate stated that viewing movies can be "a catharsis" that brings a person "to the depths of human beauty."

Other winners of the 2009 Alpha and Omega awards are:

Best Film, Best Screenplay: "Juno," director Jason Reitman and screenplay writer Diablo Cody
Best Film, Best Director for Life: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Julian Schnabel
Best Leading Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"
Best Supporting Actor: Ciarán Hinds, "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"
Best Leading Actress: Tammy Blanchard, "Bella"
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Clarkson, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Best Cinematography: Sergey Trofimov and Rogier Stoffers, "Mongol"
Best Film With Christian Theme: "Guadalupe," director Santiago Parra
Best Soundtrack: Alberto Iglesias, "The Kite Runner"
Best Family Film: "Horton Hears a Who!," directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino
Best Historical Drama: "O, Jerusalem," directed by Chris Kraus
Best Educational Film: "The Wave," director Dennis Gansel Best Animated Film: "Wall-E," director Andrew Stanton

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Gay" Anger = Maritalphobia

Decency and the promotion of marriage are demonized in America today. Anyone who is not pro-Homosexualism is automatically considered a violent hater of "gays". This article shows that it is really the "gays" that are the violent haters of those who stand for marital and family decency.

Targeted Proposition 8 supporter urges Catholics to ‘stand up’ despite critics

Sacramento, Calif., Feb 26, 2009 / 06:05 am (CNA).- The owner of a family-owned ice cream shop and restaurant in Sacramento who has been targeted by angry phone calls and e-mails and obscene Valentine’s Day cards because of his support for the Proposition 8 campaign says Catholics should “stand up” for marriage despite the consequences and the “lies” of extremist activists.

The passage of Proposition 8, which overturned a California Supreme Court decision instating same-sex “marriage,” prompted major protests from homosexual activists and their allies.
Allan Leatherby, 46, told CNA that he and other family members decided to contribute to the Yes on 8 campaign after Bishop of Sacramento Jaime Soto personally called him to ask for his support.

Members of the Leatherby family, which owns Leatherby’s Family Creamery, gave $20,000 to the campaign. “It was a response to his personal request. Otherwise we might not have supported it in that amount,” he explained to CNA.

“Obviously as Catholics we value marriage,” he said, saying they saw some “huge red flags” about the effects of same-sex marriage.

When the family’s support for Proposition 8 became public, protesters targeted their business. The ice cream shop was picketed, employees in company sweat shirts were harassed and angry callers phoned the business. The business reportedly received hundreds of angry e-mails and was targeted by bloggers.

Leatherby also received obscene Valentine’s Day cards in the mail.

“There is no way we could have prepared for the kind of reaction we got,” he said. “Business is actually down and that worries me. Can a business sustain that kind of negativity in the long-term? God only knows.”

After the election, business increased because Proposition 8 supporters deliberately frequented the business, but their numbers have decreased.

Leatherby’s Family Creamery and its owners enjoy a good reputation in the Sacramento area because of the business’ donations of ice cream to area charities. Leatherby himself is an active volunteer and built stairs and helped renovations at Hope House, a former AIDS hospice.

Speaking with CNA on Wednesday, Leatherby explained his support for Proposition 8, saying he disagreed with characterizations of same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue.

“I have men’s and women’s restrooms in my establishment. Is that discrimination? No. Why? Because men and women are different!

“They’re equal in dignity but they’re different. A relationship between a man and a woman is different than a man and a man or a woman and a woman, hands down,” especially when children are considered.

Leatherby explained how Leatherby’s Family Creamery didn’t know what would transpire on the day after the election as angered opponents began to organize protests.
He said a friend overheard a protest group say they were going to start picketing and contacted him. Some opponents of Proposition 8 and some members of the gay and lesbian community also called to warn they would be boycotting.

There were rumors of a “sitdown” where protesters would not allow customers to enter the ice cream shop.

“We got a call from police department and the sherrif’s department saying ‘we are concerned for your safety’.”

Angry and violent e-mails and blogs increased concern about the protests, leading law enforcement to ask if they could position a patrol car at each location.

Leatherby then contacted members of his and his wife’s large families, asking for their support.

Others heard about the protests against the Leatherbys, resulting in an “outpouring of support” from those who wanted to make sure they didn’t go out of business.

When the shop opened, picketers were stationed out front carrying “vulgar, crazy signs.”
However, there was also a long line of people waiting to go into the store to show their support.

“That was just tremendous, to have that support,” Leatherby told CNA.

“Now I know how George Bailey felt at the ends of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’,” he added. “It’s nice to have friends.”

Asked to describe the kind of critical comments he had received, Leatherby said Proposition 8 opponents have been “all over the board.”

“Most of them associate me and my family with hateful, spiteful people that would drag homosexuals out into the street and beat them up.

“It’s amazing. Because of the lies that are told about this, about how supporters are hateful, so many people have bought into that!”

“A majority of Californians are not hateful people. It’s a lie to say that.

“They don’t hate gay people, they support marriage.

“You can’t hold those beliefs any longer unless you’re considered hateful?” Leatherby asked.

“Is Mother Teresa a hateful person? She has the same beliefs I do.

“One of the first houses she opened in San Francisco was an AIDS house for gay men. Some of the first people she reached out to were gay men,” Leatherby noted.

“If it wasn’t so horrible, it would be silly,” he said of the criticisms.

He said the phone calls accusing his family of hate are “vulgar, swearing, for the most part just angry,” explaining his mother took one such call on Tuesday.

“You accuse me of hate, could you please listen to what you are saying?” she said to the caller, according to Leatherby.

“They’re so emotional and so angry that they don’t’ take time to sit back and think about it,” he said.

He noted that he and his business had even been threatened.

“Our employees, little 16-year-old girls, have been threatened physically because of my family’s stand,” he said.

Not all the interactions with critics have been negative.
Leatherby recounted his meeting with a 70-year-old man who was critical of his support for Proposition 8.

“After talking with him, I said I used to work at a certain house for gay men dying of AIDS.

“He broke down in tears and said, ‘one of my partners died there’.”
Leatherby offered to buy him lunch, where he learned that the man had grown up in a Catholic orphanage.

“The man said ‘the Catholic church had done more for me than anyone else in my life.’

“He said he had been abused before he entered the orphanage, and said he wouldn’t have been gay if he had had a strong man in his life.”

Relatives of gays tell Leatherby they support him, but it’s “very difficult” for them.

“Some gays come in and say ‘I wasn’t for Proposition 8, but we don’t agree with the boycott, and how they’re treating you, so we’d like you to know we’re not in favor of that.’”

He recounted how one man had told a television station he had voted for Proposition 8 after noticing the difference between the two sides and the different examples of their advocates.
CNA asked Leatherby what he would say to those Catholics who are wary to support marriage publicly for fear of economic and social consequences.

“I think we have to stand up,” he replied. “The biggest fear is: if you don’t, you’re going to be in violation of hate crimes very soon,” warning that people “could be dragged to jail.”

He predicted others will “stand up” following his lead.

“To stand alone is always difficult,” he said, adding that many people have come in and spoken with his family in support.

“We’ve been very public when the news media has asked us to step up and I hope that would encourage other people to step up” and not “cower,” Leatherby told CNA.

Copyright @ CNA (

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama Needs to Change

FIAMC Statement on Obama and Life Issues

"Obama Promised to Be a Force for Positive Change"

ROME, FEB. 17, 2009 ( Here is the statement released today by the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations about new threats to human life under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

* * *The election of Barak Obama as President of the United States marked an important watershed in American history and culture. Running for office in a time marked by economic and geo-political turmoil, Obama promised to be a force for positive change, political reconciliation and effective government. Unfortunately, President Obama has begun his term with actions that will undermine respect for human life, human dignity and religions freedom. We call upon Catholic physicians and health care providers, and all people of good will, to spare no effort in convincing President Obama to reverse these decisions.During the 2008 campaign, some Catholics and self-identified Catholic advocacy groups endorsed Barak Obama for President based in part on his support for economic justice and foreign policy, and in part on his pledge to try to reduce the number of abortions by increased social spending on support for pregnant women. Yet as a legislator and as a candidate,

Obama had taken positions utterly opposed to respect for human life.

For example:

-- Obama has long been an advocate of abortion on demand, and has touted his 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in the United States;

-- Obama opposed every limitation on abortion, including laws requiring parental notification and consent before minors could obtain abortions;

-- Shockingly, as a state senator, Obama actively opposed any protections for infants born alive after failed abortion procedures and misrepresented his record on this issue during the 2008 campaign;

-- Finally, during the campaign, Obama proudly proclaimed his support for the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA)

-- the most radical expansion of abortion license in the world

-- and promised to sign the law as President.In addition to his unqualified support for abortion, Obama has promised to provide federal funding for stem-cell research that destroys human life at the embryonic stage.Since taking office, President Obama has engaged in a series of actions that indicate that he is prepared to implement his prior support for abortion.

-- Within the first few days of taking office, Obama overturned the “Mexico City Policy,” a U.S. government policy that denies federal funding to international agencies that promote or perform abortion as a means of birth control;

-- More ominously, when overturning this policy, President Obama indicated his willingness to provide financial support to the United Nations Population Fund, an organization that lost U.S. government funding after it collaborated with the Chinese government’s coercive “one child” population policy.

-- President Obama is filling his Cabinet and Administration positions with supporters of abortion, including Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State (who has long been a proponent of abortion “rights” in the United States and around the world); Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff (who had a 100% voting record with the National Abortion Rights Action League as a member of Congress and a reputation as an aggressive pro-choice politician); Dawn Johnsen, nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (who was the Legal Director for NARAL and part of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project); Eric Holder, Attorney General (who has been a longtime supporter of abortion “rights”); Melody Barnes, Chair of the Domestic Policy Council (who has been a member of the boards of directors for both Planned Parenthood and Emily's List); Ellen Moran, White House Director of Communications (who is the current executive director of Emily's List); and Thomas Perelli, nominee for Associate Attorney General (who collaborated with pro-euthanasia attorney George Felos to successfully starve Terri Shiavo to death).

-- While he has made no move to encourage the passage of FOCA, many are still concerned that the provisions of FOCA will be added piecemeal to other bills and legislative acts.

-- Finally, President Obama has declared his opposition to the new HHS rule that protects the conscience rights of health care providers. The rule was enacted in the last days of the Bush administration in response to many threats to the conscience rights of physicians, pharmacists and health care providers in the United States.In light of these actions and appointments, we are issuing an urgent appeal to President Obama to reconsider his support for abortion and research that can succeed only by destroying innocent human life. In addition, we offer our prayers, encouragement and appeals to Catholic physicians in the United States to educate the public and to oppose these efforts to promote abortion. Finally, we appeal to all members of FIAMC to be vigilant in opposing the new threats to human life and dignity that could now come from the Obama administration officials in foreign policy positions and at the United Nations.

© Innovative Media, Inc.

Catholics Must Not Abandon Society in the Face of Secularism

Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco, the Apostolic Administrator of Valencia writes to warn against a Catholic retreat from public participation in the present culture, indicating the dire need for faithful followers of Christ owning every aspect of human activity. We must not allow the culture to be hijacked by the enemies of the Gospel.

06:51 pm VALENCIA, 22 Feb. 09 (ACI).- El Administrador Apostólico de Valencia, Cardenal Agustín García-Gasco, llamó a los católicos a ejercer la libertad religiosa en el ámbito público porque de lo contrario "condenan la vivencia y expresión de su fe a la clandestinidad social, limitando su creatividad y empobreciendo su aportación al bien común".En su carta semanal "Cultura del amor frente a laicismo de Estado", el Purpurado advirtió que si se acepta esa restricción a la clandestinidad "¿no estaríamos negando el derecho a existir en la sociedad de nuestras tradiciones, costumbres, arte y cultura de inspiración religiosa?".

Domingo 22 de Febrero de 2009

Cultura del amor frente a laicismo de Estado

La historia reciente muestra la debilidad y el fracaso de una cultura social y política basada en el laicismo radical. Ningún Estado es Dios ni puede pretender ocupar su lugar ante la persona humana.Las mismas relaciones familiares no pueden ser comprendidas desde un esquema de egoísmo materialista. Es más, cuando estas concepciones tan reductoras se imponen, las relaciones familiares se ven afectadas y dañadas en su mismo núcleo pues la estructura de la familia se apoya en el pilar del amor incondicional entre esposos y consanguíneos y en el extraordinario universo de virtudes humanas que hace aflorar la conservación, crecimiento y restauración amorosa, generosa, abnegada de cada uno de los vínculos familiares. Mientras el Estado es incapaz de amar, la familia es el santuario del amor y de la vida personales, la fuente primaria de humanización de la entera sociedad.El triunfo del laicismo radical como ideología de Estado pasa también por el silenciamiento de Dios en la vida pública. En ocasiones, dicho silenciamiento se disfraza bajo nobles finalidades. Esto sucede cuando se quiere conseguir el consenso entre las diversas posturas pagando el peaje de mantener la ausencia de Dios, de omitir los principios de la ley natural o de prescindir del potencial humanizador del Evangelio vivido activamente desde la libertad religiosa.El compromiso social y político de los católicos no puede en modo alguno aceptar esa censura intelectual y moral. Al contrario, la actuación de los católicos en la sociedad y en la política está impulsada por una cultura que acoge y da razón de las instancias que derivan de la fe y de la ley natural, y las sitúan como fundamento objetivo de proyectos concretos. La libertad sirve también para liberarnos de las presiones que intentan reducir la libertad religiosa a la conciencia singular o, como mucho, a la intimidad privada y familiar, sin derecho a que cada persona pueda expresarse legítimamente en sus ámbitos profesionales, artísticos y culturales, sociales y políticos.Si falta ese ejercicio de la libertad religiosa, los mismos católicos condenan la vivencia y expresión de su fe a la clandestinidad social, limitando su creatividad y empobreciendo su aportación al bien común. Si aceptásemos esa restricción a la clandestinidad ¿no estaríamos negando el derecho a existir en la sociedad de nuestras tradiciones, costumbres, arte y cultura de inspiración religiosa? Este patrimonio es fruto de muchas y sucesivas generaciones, que lo han trasmitido vivo a las actuales para que éstas, incorporando su propia creatividad, la transmitan a las futuras. Esta sociedad no es patrimonio del Estado, sino de las personas, de los ciudadanos. Entre ellos están también los ciudadanos de religión católica.El compromiso social y político del fiel laico en el ámbito cultural comporta hoy algunas direcciones precisas. La primera es asegurar a todos y a cada uno el derecho a una cultura humana y civil, que viene exigido por la dignidad de la persona, sin distinción de raza, sexo, nacionalidad, religión o condición social. Se trata de un principio básico que implica el derecho de las familias y de las personas a una escuela libre y abierta; la libertad de acceso a los medios de comunicación social, sin monopolios ni controles ideológicos; la libertad de investigación, de divulgación del pensamiento, de debate y de confrontación. El compromiso por la educación y la formación de la persona constituye, en todo momento, la primera solicitud de la acción social de los cristianos.La segunda dirección para el compromiso del cristiano laico se refiere al contenido de la cultura, es decir, a la búsqueda de la verdad. La cuestión de la verdad es esencial para la cultura. El compromiso del cristiano en el ámbito cultural se opone a todas las visiones reductivas del hombre y de la vida, porque el compromiso cristiano está con la verdad y contra las diversas formas históricas de falsedad, mentira y alienación humanas.En tercer lugar, los cristianos deben trabajar generosamente para dar su pleno valor a la dimensión religiosa de la cultura, que eleva la calidad de vida humana en el plano social y en el individual. En el centro de toda cultura está la pregunta que remite al misterio más grande: el de Dios. La verdadera religiosidad da vitalidad e inspiración. Cuando se niega, se relega, o se excluye la dimensión religiosa de una persona o de un pueblo se niegan también legítimos valores artísticos y culturales que entroncan en el derecho a la personalidad.Animo a todos los fieles católicos y a toda persona de buena voluntad a romper con la cultura de la vaciedad y la desesperanza, para construir el nuevo modo de vivir que surge del Evangelio. Una cultura de la dignidad humana para todos con libertad, con verdad y con apertura a Dios. Tomando inspiración en unas palabras de San Vicente Mártir, pronunciadas durante su martirio, considero que la libertad y dignidad de cada persona humana, sus derechos innatos fundamentales, la verdad de la vida y de la familia no podemos simplemente “susurrarla”. Debemos proclamar la Cultura del Amor alto y claro. Este es el horizonte de progreso irrenunciable. Que ésta sea hoy la inspiración de todos los que buscamos hacer una sociedad mejor.Con mi bendición y afecto,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Media Twist: The Williamson Interview Was Not Released Until the Lifting of the Excommunications

A conspiracy against the Pope behind the negationist bishop
By Andrea Tornielli (Il Giornale)

It is an unofficial dossier, of only a few pages, dedicated to the origins of the Williamson case, much read in the sacred palaces [that is, the buildings of the Vatican where the offices of the Curia are, especially the Apostolic Palace] these days. It is a dossier that reached the desks that count in on the Vatican side of the Tiber and that puts together dates and circumstances, suggesting that what happened in these latest days could be more than a series of coincidences. According to the dossier, the filming and airing of the interview with the prelate denying gas chambers and the reality of the millions of Jews dead during the Shoah, in the eve of the remission of the excommunication of the Lefebvrist bishops was somehow orchestrated by circles seeking to put Benedict XVI in trouble. Circles that might have been helped by some opposition from within, someone contrary to the reconciliation with the Fraternity St. Pius X.The dossier minimizes neither the absurd words pronounced by Williamson, nor the gravity of their coincidence with the Day of Memory, which especially hurt the sensibility of the Jewish world, but it hints to the possibility of interventions aimed at creating the case. Williamson – says the dossier – was interviewed on November 1st 2008 “at the Bavarian seminary of the Fraternity St. Pius X”. The bishop was in Regensburg where he came to ordain to priesthood a Swedish former Protestant pastor. The bishop is reached by the journalist Ali Fegan, of the TV show “Uppgrad Gransking” (“Mission Research”). They talk for one hour. At some point, Fegan reminds Williamson certain negationist statements on gas chambers he had released many years earlier in Canada. The bishops answers by saying the well-known enormities, knowing that his words, in Germany, constitute a criminal offence: “for the things I am saying you could take me to jail since we are in Germany…”The interview was aired on January 21st, the very day of the signing of the decree of remission of the excommunication.

The authors of the show guarantee that it was a coincidence, while the “Dossier Williamson” does not rule out the possibility that the info about the remission of the excommunication was somehow leaked to the Swedish network. During the same show there was also an interview with the French journalist Fiammetta Venner, a well-known militant of the homosexual movement and active in pro-choice campaigns. On the eve of last september’s journey of Benedict XVI to Paris and Lourdes, together with her lover Caroline Fourest – with whom she shares many anti-religious battles and ties to the Grand Orient of France – she authored a book titled “The New Papal Army. Legion of Christ, Opus Dei, Traditionalists”, very harsh against the Pope and against the Lefebvrists, accused of connections with the circles of the French far-right. The dossier insists on the French origin of the case and on the role played by Venner and Fourest in this story. On January 20, on the eve of the airing of the show, the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed in advance the contents of the interview and will go as far as to write that “the Central Council of Jews in Germany “ had been “already informed” of the negationist statements of the bishop.But the decree had been already penned and personally delivered into Fellay’s hands by Card. Giovanni Battista Re, the head of the Fraternity St. Pius X, called to Rome for the occasion. Therefore, when the news of the Williamson interview begun to spread around, it was already to late to do anything. On January 20th, the Diocese of Stockholm and the head of the German Lefebvrists release two distinct communiqués to deplore all forms of anti-Semitism. The news was already in the open, but its scope and its consequences are not perceived in the sacred palaces.A complicated mystery, then, or a series of coincidences? The dossier circulated does not contain evidence. It limits itself to compare hypothesis and data. One thing is sure: not many, in the Vatican, believe that the Williamson case was just a coincidence.
Paolo Rodari also has an interesting story.
(, 3 February post)

Prayer for the Maligned Pope

Aid Group Invites Prayer for Pope on Sunday
Says He "Incarnates Rationality" in Midst of Attacks

KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, FEB. 20, 2009 ( Noting that this Sunday is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the charity group Aid to the Church in Need is inviting believers to a day of prayer for the Pope.

In a statement today signed by the president of Aid to the Church in Need, Father Joaquín Alliende, the international charity pointed to attacks against Benedict XVI. It noted a "resurgence of the unsavory and aggressive attitudes that many thought belonged to the past."

Though the statement makes no mention of specific issues, it alludes to the turmoil surrounding Lefebvrite Bishop Richard Williamson and an interview in which the prelate denied the gassing of the Jews during the Holocaust.

That interview aired at about the same time as the bishop, along with three other Society of St. Pius X prelates, had their 20-year excommunication lifted, in the framework of Benedict XVI's continuing efforts to heal the schism with the society. Despite repeated reiteration of the Vatican's respect for the Jews and the Pontiff's motives in lifting the excommunication to seek Church unity, the issue was still seen by some as an affront to Jewish-Catholic relations.

Aid to the Church in Need contended that the "dignity of the papacy and the person of Benedict XVI himself have been crudely insulted." They noted manipulation of facts and an "unworthy dealing with the truth."

This, they said, "does grave damage to the dialogue between civil society and the great religions."

However, the statement continued: "In the midst of these strident attacks, the historical personality of Benedict XVI emerges untouched, as a figure who incarnates rationality, lucid wisdom and courteous kindness. That is why many young people find in him a living image of the Good Shepherd."

"For next Sunday we are inviting all those who believe in a God of truth and love to join us in a day of special prayer," the statement concluded. "Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten and strengthen Pope Benedict XVI as a prophetic witness of the Gospel of Jesus and a guide for a humanity that longs for peace."

© Innovative Media, Inc.
Reprinting ZENIT's articles requires written permission from the editor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Firefighters Win Lawsuit Against Vicious Homosexualists

God bless these noble firefighters who have won a fight against homosexualism.
The news story below shows the true face of and devouring nature of the homosexual vice!
Here is a true hate crime and a crime against every type of moral decency. It reminds me of the same crime reported in the book of Genesis when the homosexualists of Sodom sought to rape Lot's guests (the Angels of God: the Triune God Himself: Genesis 19). We must admit that, at it's root, that is what homosexualism is, the attempt to violate God Himself by a complete perversion of the truth. Homosexualism is not about human rights it is a direct attack on decency and a mockery and denial of true religion.
In the face of violent attacks against the decent citizens of our nation we need to coin an appropriate term for the now popular hatred directed toward us who will not tolerate this onslaught of licentious activity and accompanying propaganda. Call it homosexualism (the ideology which denies the immorality of homosexual acts and actively promotes that activity; here we are no longer talking about weaknesses or tendencies but of an ideology which calls evil good and promotes it as if it were good; nor are we dealing with the rights of citizens in the privacy of their homes, this ideology is in the school books and in civic parades, it is promoted by public and private businesses and is prevalent in popular culture [e.g. 2009 Grammy Award performances] brain washing the American people and particularly corrupting our youth, even our girls!). We may also call this ideology disguised Christophobia because, as I have said, the ultimate end of such perversion is a complete rejection of (and renewed attempt to destroy) God whose name is Jesus Christ, perfect man and perfect God.
Firefighters forced to participate in ‘gay pride’ parade win lawsuit

San Diego, Calif., Feb 19, 2009 / 09:45 pm (CNA).- A California jury found on Tuesday that four firefighters, who were ordered by their superiors to participate in the city’s “gay pride” parade were sexually harassed, and awarded them monetary damages from the city.
The case dates back to July 2007 when four San Diego firefighters were informed by their superiors that they would be participating in San Diego’s annual “Gay Pride” parade. Though the four men protested, they were ordered to dress up in full uniform and ride on the fire engine along the parade route.
During the event, explains a statement from the Thomas More Law Center, the firefighters were subjected to “vile sexual taunts and gestures.”
Some of the comments hurled at the firefighters along the parade route included: “you can put out my fire; you’re making me hot; give me mouth-to-mouth.” When the firefighters did not respond, some people in the crowd turned hostile and started yelling obscenities at them.
Other bystanders directed lewd acts at the firefighters, such as exposing their genitals, grabbing their crotch, and blowing kisses.
Shortly after the parade, the four firefighters filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego. The first trial ended in a hung jury. However, the jurors of the retrial, which ended yesterday, found in favor of the four firefighters “on all nine questions in the verdict form,” reports the Thomas More Law Center.
The four men were awarded a combined total of $34,300 for emotional distress. In addition, Fire Chief Tracy Jarman has stated that participation in future parades will be voluntary.
Charles S. LiMandri, West Coast Director of the Thomas More Law Center, reacted to the ruling, saying, “This is a victory for all people who are willing to stand up for what is right when it comes to defending our basic freedoms of speech and religion. No one should be forced to be subjected to sexual harassment on the job – not even male heterosexual firefighters who are being harassed by homosexual men at a Gay Pride Parade. All city officials should now think twice before ever making such a wrongheaded decision to violate their employees’ rights in such an improper manner again.”
Co-counsel in the case, Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Joe Infranco added in a statement, “Many people may mistakenly think the ‘gay pride’ parade is merely a ‘fun’ event. They never would have imagined the crude sexual harassment these firefighters were forced to endure.”
Deputy City Attorney Don Shanahan stated that the city will appeal the verdict.
Copyright @ CNA (

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coming Attractions

There are several upcoming events which the world awaits from the activities and the pen of our great Holy Father.

According to sources from both Jerusalem and Rome, the Holy Father's first pilgrimage to Israel and the surrounding region will take place during the second week of May.

We also are eagerly awaiting the new social encyclical which includes a reflection on and proposed solution to the present world wide economic crisis.

Additionally we may expect at any time volume two of Jesus of Nazareth (the Pope's biography of Jesus Christ, the Son of God) treating the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Lord. A way to summarize volume one is to consider it dedicated to presenting the Luminious Mysteries (the revelation of Who Jesus of Nazareth is: the I AM, the Logos of the Father, and of His mission: to bring God completely and permanently into the world).

Further, the mass of Anglican conversions promises to take place as early as Easter. I'll post the relevant article below.

Finally, the next major step in Christian unity (during this Pauline Year) would be a visit to Russia (under the new Patriarch Kyril XVI) and full communion with the Orthodox Churches.

Our German Shepherd is ever active as he completes his eightieth second year of life (born and baptized Holy Saturday 16 April 1927) and his fourth year as Supreme Pontiff this Spring (elected 19 April and installed on 24 April 2005).

Traditional Anglican Communion Conversion

Here is a report by Anthony Barich on the Anglican conversions waiting to happen. Also, see American Catholic, which broke the story on the web (htpp//

“The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood. The TAC is a growing global community of approximately 400,000 members that took the historic step in 2007 of seeking full corporate and sacramental communion with the Catholic Church - a move that, if fulfilled, will be the biggest development in Catholic-Anglican relations since the English Reformation under King Henry VIII.

TAC members split from the Canterbury-based Anglican Communion headed by Archbishop Rowan Williams over issues such as its ordination of women priests and episcopal consecrations of women and practicing homosexuals. The TAC's case appeared to take a significant step forwards in October 2008 when it is understood that the CDF decided not to recommend the creation of a distinct Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church - as is the case with the Eastern Catholic Churches - but a personal prelature, a semi-autonomous group with its own clergy and laity. Opus Dei was the first organization in the Catholic Church to be recognized as a personal prelature, a new juridical form in the life of the Church. A personal prelature is something like a global diocese without boundaries, headed by its own bishop and with its own membership and clergy. Because no such juridical form of life in the Church had existed before, the development and recognition of a personal prelature took Opus Dei and Church officials decades to achieve.

An announcement could be made soon after Easter this year. It is understood that Pope Benedict XVI, who has taken a personal interest in the matter, has linked the issue to the year of St Paul, the greatest missionary in the history of the Church. The Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls could feature prominently in such an announcement for its traditional and historical links to Anglicanism. Prior to the English Reformation it was the official Church of the Knights of the Garter.

The TAC's Primate, Adelaide-based Archbishop John Hepworth, told The Record he has also informed the Holy See he wants to bring all the TAC's bishops to Rome for the beatification of Cardinal Henry Newman, also an Anglican convert to the Catholic Church, as a celebration of Anglican-Catholic unity. Although Cardinal Newman's beatification is considered to be likely by many, the Church has made no announcement that Cardinal Newman will be beatified.

Archbishop Hepworth personally wrote to Pope Benedict in April 2007 indicating that the TAC planned a meeting of its world bishops, where it was anticipated they would unanimously agree to sign the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to seek full union with the Catholic Church. This took place at a meeting of the TAC in the United Kingdom. TAC bishops placed the signed Catechism on the altar of the most historical Anglican and Catholic Marian shrine in the UK, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, before posting it up in the main street in an effort to gather public support.

Archbishop Hepworth, together with TAC bishops Robert Mercer and Peter Wilkinson, presented the signed items personally to Fr Augustine Di Noia OP, the CDF's senior ecumenical theologian, on October 11, 2007, in a meeting organised by CDF secretary Archbishop Angelo Amato. Bishop Mercer, a monk who is now retired and living in England, is the former Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. Bishop Wilkinson is the TAC's diocesan bishop in Canada.

TAC's Canadian Bishop Peter Wilkinson has close ties to the Catholic hierarchy in British Columbia, which has also met the CDF on the issue. He has already briefed Vancouver archdiocesan priests. One potential problem for the Holy See would be the TAC's bishops, most of whom are married. Neither the Roman Catholic nor Eastern Catholic churches permit married bishops. Before he became Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger discussed the issue of married bishops in the 1990s during meetings of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission exploring unity, before the Anglican Church's ordination of women priests derailed it.

One former Anglican priest who became a Catholic priest told The Record that the ideal end for the TAC would be to become the 28th Rite within the Catholic Church, along with the Eastern Churches, which have the same sacraments and are recognized by Rome. The TAC's request is the closest any section of the Anglican Church has ever come to full communion with Rome because the TAC has set no preconditions. Instead it has explicitly submitted itself entirely to the Holy See's decisions. Six days prior to the October 11 meeting between TAC bishops and the Holy See - on October 5 - the TAC's bishops, vicars-general of dioceses without bishops, and theological advisers who assisted in a plenary meeting signed a declaration of belief in the truth of the whole Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The declaration said, in part: "We accept that the most complete and authentic expression and application of the Catholic faith in this moment of time is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, which we have signed, together with this letter as attesting to the faith we aspire to teach and hold."

Statements about the seriousness of the division between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church caused by issues such as the ordination of women priests were emphasized at the worldwide Lambeth Conference held in the UK in 2008. At the conference, three Catholic cardinals - Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and the Prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Ivan Dias, the Pope's personal envoy, all addressed the issue.

Cardinal Dias, who favors welcoming traditionalist Anglicans into the Catholic Church, bluntly told the Anglican Communion's 650 bishops that they are heading towards "spiritual Alzheimer's" and "ecclesial Parkinson's".

"By analogy, (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's) symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer's. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson's."

Cardinal Kasper warned Anglican bishops that Rome would turn to smaller ecumenical communities if the Anglican Communion at large proved unapproachable ecumenically.
This is bad news for the Anglican Communion, but good news for the TAC.”

Sunday, February 1, 2009

False Teachers

"...When the rhetorician is more convincing than the doctor, the ignorant is more convincing among the ignorant than the expert." Gorgias 459b

This is a great line in Plato's Gorgias illustrating the present day common error of listening to the most popular opinions rather than the truth from those who are actually qualified and know and propose the truth (viz. those ordained by Christ and following Christ). If this were a world of saints then the crowds would not be easily deceived on the truth and right living. But as it is we need the authority from heaven for certainty's sake.

Ratzinger Foundation

Ratzinger Foundation on Key Aspects of Pope's Theology

"Not a Theology for All Times ... But Rather a Theology for This Time"

MUNICH, Germany, JAN. 29, 2009 ( Here is a translation of the introduction Siegfried Wiedenhofer, one of Benedict XVI's former assistants, gave Nov. 12 at the launch in Munich of the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Foundation. The foundation is the project of a group of Joseph Ratzinger's former doctoral and postdoctoral students, known as the Schülerkreis (Circle of Students).

His address was titled "Key Aspects of the Theology of Professor Joseph Ratzinger."

* * *

In seeking to give a brief overview of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, one is of course first confronted by the problem of its range. Joseph Ratzinger is among the most prolific theologians of our time, and probably of the history of theology as a whole. His published work to date is contained in the bibliography that has been produced by the Schülerkreis, and in particular by Vinzenz Pfnür, and which will soon be published: 130 books and writings, numerous of which have been translated into many languages, and over 1300 articles, many of which are also available in translation.

But the breadth of the themes is also stunning. Most of these writings are from the field of dogmatic theology and take up the exposition of the main tenets of the Christian faith. However, he began as a fundamental theologian and has continually dealt with particular foundational questions, such as the question of faith and reason, questions of theological method, and especially questions of ecumenical theology. But this is also a theology that understands itself to be particularly in the service of the ecclesial praxis of the faith.

Thus there are also many writings such as homilies and meditations that emerged directly from pastoral tasks, and writings that pertain to ecclesial praxis and would ordinarily be considered to belong to the field of practical theology: writings about spirituality, about the liturgy, but also about ethics, particularly political ethics. In addition, his interpretations of dogma almost always have a strong exegetical dimension, and he has also contributed several recognized works of theological and dogmatic history. A final characteristic that makes an overview of Joseph Ratzinger's theology difficult is the fact that his theology is a dialogical theology through and through -- a theology that develops not only through a listening to what the sources have to say, but also through a critical conversation with other perspectives, a conversation that is not afraid to identify errors and sometimes to argue quite polemically. What Joseph Ratzinger said in his first book, his dissertation on Augustine, surely applies to his own work as well: "Like every great theology, Augustine's grew out of polemics against error, which here too showed itself to be the fruitful power without which living intellectual movement is hardly imaginable."

On the other hand, like probably every other great theology, Joseph Ratzinger's is marked by a great inner unity. By this I mean not only a deep integration of thought and belief, reflection and meditation, but also the unity of his fundamental theological vision. It is true that the theology of Joseph Ratzinger has in fact been read, criticized, and taken up in quite different ways, but the decisive aspect of this basic vision can be fairly clearly identified, in my opinion.

1. The theology of Joseph Ratzinger is not a theology for all times or a theology about history, but rather a theology for this time, and this time is for him above all the time of a fundamental crisis.

In the first place, there is the crisis of the Catholic Church, out of which the Second Vatican Council --prepared for and accompanied by a broad stream of Catholic reform theology -- sought to lead us. The theology of Joseph Ratzinger is a part of this theology of reform. Nonetheless, it differs from the work of the other theologians of reform, in the main, in that the question of the identity of faith and Church soon found its way to the fore in his theology. This came about because for Joseph Ratzinger after the Council, the ecclesial and theological situation in the Catholic Church increasingly emerged as a crisis such as had not been seen since the 13th century, as he once said. In addition to this first diagnosis of crisis, there is -- in connection with the great departure from tradition in the last third of the 20th century, and also in connection with the collapse of communism -- his diagnosis of a fundamental crisis in morality and meaning in modern culture and society, which finds increasingly decisive expression in the charge of relativism. Finally, toward the end of the second millennium and in the beginning of the third, in light of the new sense of globalization, he also diagnoses and reflects upon a fundamental crisis of Christianity and its truth-claim.

2. A theology in such a time of crisis and transition must concentrate upon what is essential in Christian faith, its identity and specificity, as these are recognizable in the basic structure and constitution of the faith.

This essence of the faith can be summarized in three decisive aspects of Ratzinger's understanding of Christian faith: the rationality of faith, faith's historicity as centered in the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the personal nature of faith as summed up in love.

The rationality of faith as a claim to truth, a claim of knowledge

The theology of Joseph Ratzinger had developed above all in conversation with the Fathers of the Church and with the theology of the High Middle Ages, especially in conversation with Augustine, then also in conversation with Bonaventure -- thus on the whole much more strongly in dialogue with the tradition of Christian Platonism than with Christian Aristotelianism. It is from the ancient Church's constitution of Christian theology, to which he continually makes reference, that 1) the epistemological claim of Christian faith, its truth claim, and 2) a dialectical relationship of faith to reason, philosophy, and science, come to be a dominant strain of his own theology.

On the one hand, the truth of God has, according to the witness of Christian faith, entered history definitively with the final revelation in Jesus Christ. But this knowledge of faith necessarily requires thought, requires philosophy, because it claims to be a knowledge of all of reality, and because, in any case, it has to make its witness to the truth comprehensible. On the other hand, thinking needs the challenge of faith's recognition of truth, so that it can remain on the right path in the search for the real, one, whole truth, amid the intensifying Western dichotomization of faith and reason, theology and philosophy.

In his conversation with Jürgen Habermas on April 19, 2004, here in the Katholische Akademie Bayern in Munich, Cardinal Ratzinger could speak, in the face of dangerous pathologies of both religion and reason that cannot be ignored today, “of a necessary correlationality of reason and faith, reason and religion, which are called to mutual purification and healing, and which need one another and must each acknowledge this” (Habermas/Ratzinger 2005, 57). It is only through a prolonged struggle with the present intellectual situation that it became evident to him that the question of truth must become a basic question for theology and philosophy: as he says, we do not dispose over truth -- rather, only in acknowledging ourselves to be claimed together by the truth can we escape the dictatorship of arbitrariness and relativism and rescue the true humanity and human dignity.

Against this backdrop, the doctrine of creation, for instance, which J. Ratzinger has continually taken up since his early lectures in dogmatics, acquires an elevated theological significance. Ethical questions, too (regarding education, culture, politics, the state, democracy, and so on) are increasingly discussed. On the other hand, the thought of modernity finds itself the object of a radical critique (explicit for the first time in Introduction to Christianity): While in the metaphysics of antiquity and the Middle Ages the world, as an expression of the (creative) divine reason, was meaningful, comprehensible, reasonable, and transparent to its finality, the dominant modern notion of reason restricts itself to the knowledge of phenomena and the bare facts of history and to the cultural and technical production of goods in the service of man's self-realization. In this reconfiguration of values, according to Ratzinger, reason becomes blind not only with respect to the truth of God, but also -- and in connection with this -- with respect to the difference between bare human existence and truly being human, a distinction essential for man's humanity.

The historicity of faith and its christological center

According to the Christian confession of faith, the truth of God, the subject matter of theology, has appeared definitively in history in the person and history of Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, the decisive sign of God's revelation and salvation in the world -- a revelation which, by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Church, is ever made newly present and effective. God has really bridged the abyss of infinity and has become approachable in a wholly human way, in Jesus Christ and in the witness of the ecclesial community of faith immersed in history. And here we find not only that Christian faith bears a certain claim to absoluteness, but also the importance of the Church as a theme in the theology of J. Ratzinger. The significance of this historical positivity of Christian faith can be seen also in J. Ratzinger's important historical works, in his lectures on dogma, which interpreted faith as a living path through history, and in his dogmatics, which, like few others, rests upon an intensive personal exegetical study of the biblical sources.

The personal nature of faith

According to the logic of Christian faith, the question of truth is, in the final analysis, the quest for a truth that is really humane, that is, the truth of love, which permits the person to realize himself precisely in what most fully characterizes him: his being a person. In this emphasis on personhood as entailed in being human and in faith, we certainly see resonances of the personalist thinking of the period between the World Wars (Scheler, Guardini), which greatly influenced the theological development of Joseph Ratzinger in his early years. For it was possible to show, from this perspective, that the Christian message of the truth of God does not reach man as a foreign message that imposes itself from the outside, but rather that it is a message of life that permits him to live in the full and proper sense. And it is this precisely because it is a message of love. For man lives, finally, from the love that he receives and passes on, first and finally from the love that God is and that has become visible in the history of Jesus Christ. No one can live if he is not able to accept himself. But no one is able to accept himself if he has not already been accepted and loved by another. Truly being human is dependent upon being loved -- but of course what we mean here is true love. For love, in its own concrete expression, is no less multifarious and ambivalent than faith and hope. Thus it is only where love is identical with truth that love is able to offer the salvation of man. And, of course, the inverse is also true: Only where truth is connected with love does truth become a possibility that does not need to be forced upon a person, but rather one that he can take up in freedom. Love is thus the true center of Christianity.

* * *

Naturally one might ask in closing, in light of all this: Why establish a foundation? Do we not have before us a very attractive understanding of Christian faith without the need for such a thing? And don't the unbelievable book sales ("Jesus of Nazareth" alone, for instance, began by selling 200,000 copies just in the first edition of the German) show that this message has in many ways arrived -- that this theology has already generated a strong response?

But in order to remain alive and effective, every great intellectual impulse needs cultivation, elaboration, interpretation, application, concretization, defense against misunderstanding and false criticism, but also expansion, debate, and critique. It was never the goal of Joseph Ratzinger, the theology teacher, to found a school in which every member would be bound to his own theological conceptions. His purpose was always, in the first place, to understand and articulate for the present day the liberating and redeeming claim of the truth of faith -- most often through dialogue but also not infrequently through quite polemical disputation for the sake of this truth.

A foundation that wishes not only to promote the study of his theology but also to foster a theology in his spirit might be aided by a word of guidance from the Council. The Second Vatican Council's constitution on revelation summarizes its fidelity to the previous councils in the expression "vestigiis inhaerens": cleaving to the paths of these councils. To which, however, we ought to add Karl Barth's suggested translation (which, incidentally, Joseph Ratzinger affirmed in his commentary): “going forward along the paths of these councils.” For this foundation is not merely dedicated to the study and cultivation of the powerful theological work that we find before us, but is still more committed to its living future -- in the various modes of reception, continuance, debate, and also criticism -- as an effective orientation along the path of faith.

[Translation by Lesley Rice]

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