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I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love ...
"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III
Below is their letter to the faithful:
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty continues. Our concern and alarm flows from a mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which punishes the Church for its firmly held beliefs and consistent teaching. This mandate – published in the federal register without change, despite claims of “accommodations” – would force Catholic employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs, sterilization and contraception.
Some falsely suggest that the HHS mandate is about contraception. This is primarily about religious liberty and our First Amendment rights to the free exercise of our religion. Make no mistake about it – this government mandate is a step which will inevitably lead to other mandates that continue to strike at the heart of our Faith and the constitutional liberties we have been guaranteed. The mandate cannot stand – it must not stand!
This same mandate also, alarmingly, purports to tell churches what type of activities the government thinks are religious. Catholic schools, hospitals, nursing homes and Catholic charities do not qualify for a religious exemption. Why? Because they serve non-Catholics. Under the government’s view, Jesus and his disciples would have been deemed not religious enough. We have entered dangerous territory – the government is defining religion and limiting its practice. This is an unprecedented and gross infringement on our religious freedom. We did not pick this fight, but neither will we run from it.
Religious liberty does not belong to the Democrats or Republicans, it belongs to all Americans. Long before these mandates were issued, the bishops in the United States worked for health care reform and universal coverage that respects all human life from conception to natural death and includes language to protect religious conscience and practice of all citizens. Our fervent entreaties were answered with promises that we had nothing to fear. We cannot now sit idly by and let this happen. We cannot, as a Church, be silent because some have sought to politicize our plight. Please visit www.pacatholic.org to send a message to your legislators in support of conscience rights. Our voices and yours must be heard. The mandate must be rescinded. Our freedom and liberty must be preserved. And in this effort, we must remain steadfast.
Throughout history, Catholics in times of need have turned to God through prayer and fasting, as these practices allow us to grow closer to the Lord, inspire us to do His will and invoke His protection in answer to our prayers. During the Fridays of Lent, the faithful are obliged to abstain from eating meat. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics are also asked to fast – eating only one full meal, and, if necessary, two much smaller meals – to aid our spiritual life. Recognizing the efficacy of prayer and fasting as well as the challenges we face in overcoming the recent attack on our religious freedom, we, the Bishops of Pennsylvania, request that all Catholics dedicate the regular Lenten Friday practice of prayer and abstinence as well as the additional practice of fasting on Friday, March 30, to the preservation of religious liberty. On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the Church may be granted the basic right to practice what she preaches, and for our political leaders, that their eyes may be opened to the rights of all Americans, including those of faith. We will join with the over 3 million Catholics in Pennsylvania to mark this day of prayer, fasting and abstinence for religious liberty.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, we know the Lord walks with us during times of trial and concern. Let us do all that we are able – prayer, fasting, abstinence and the exercise of faithful citizenship – to uphold the freedoms of Christ’s Church and to grow closer to Him.
Here is a printable version of the Pennsylvania Bishops’ Letter on Religious Liberty.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:21 PM
Talk about a war on women! Half the victims of the commiefag redefinition of "women's healthcare" are women. Where's the Geneva Convention when we need it?
Nestled within the “individual mandate” in the Obamacare act — that portion of the Act requiring every American to purchase government — approved insurance or pay a penalty — is an “abortion premium mandate.” This mandate requires all persons enrolled in insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium from their own pockets to fund abortion. As a result, many pro-life Americans will have to decide between a plan that violates their consciences by funding abortion, or a plan that may not meet their health needs.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule regarding establishment of the state health care exchanges required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As a knowledgeable pro-life source on Capitol Hill informed LifeNews, as authorized by Obamacare, “The final rule provides for taxpayer funding of insurance coverage that includes elective abortion” and the change to longstanding law prohibiting virtually all direct taxpayer funding of abortions (the Hyde Amendment) is accomplished through an accounting arrangement described in the Affordable Care Act and reiterated in the final rule issued today.
“To comply with the accounting requirement, plans will collect a $1 abortion surcharge from each premium payer,” the pro-life source informed LifeNews. “The enrollee will make two payments, $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered. As described in the rule, the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment. Furthermore, insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premiums without disclosing that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month fee to pay directly subsidize abortions.”
The pro-life advocate told LifeNews that the final HHS rule mentions, but does not address concerns about abortion coverage in “multi-state” plans administered by the Federal Government’s Office of Personell Management (OPM).
“There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act to prevent some OPM (government administered) plans from covering elective abortion, and questions remain about whether OPM multi-state plans will include elective abortion,” the pro-life source said. “If such plans do include abortion, there are concerns that the abortion coverage will even be offered in states that have prohibited abortion coverage in their state exchanges.”
The final rule indicates: “Specific standards for multi-state plans will be described in future rulemaking published by OPM…”
Set to go into effect in 2014, the unconstitutional provisions found in Section 1303 of the Obamacare Act compel enrollees in certain health plans to pay a separate abortion premium from their own pocket, without the ability to decline abortion coverage based on religious or moral objection.
That provision was the subject of a legal document that Bioethics Defense Fund’s Dorinda C. Bordlee, lead counsel for the group, submitted to the Supreme Court in February.
“This violates the Free Exercise Clause because religious exemptions are made for groups such as the Amish who morally object to purchasing any insurance, but no exemptions are made for Americans who have religious or moral objections to abortion,” Bordlee said.
“President Obama’s healthcare overhaul includes an ‘abortion premium mandate’ that blatantly violates the conscience rights and First Amendment religious rights of millions of Americans,” AUL president Charmaine Yoest said. “Nowhere in the Constitution does it require Americans to violate their beliefs and pay for abortions.”
ADF Senior Counsel Steven Aden says Americans should not be compelled to pay for other people’s elective abortions.
“No one should be forced to violate their conscience by paying for abortions, but that’s precisely what ObamaCare does,” he explained. “ObamaCare requires that employees enrolled in certain health plans pay a separate insurance premium specifically to pay for other people’s elective abortions and offers no opt-out for religious or moral reasons. Such a mandate cannot survive constitutional scrutiny.”
BDF president and general counsel Nikolas Nikas said the individual mandate not only forces individuals into private purchases, it also effectively mandates personal payments for surgical abortion coverage, without exemption for an individual’s religious or moral objections.
He told LifeNews in an email, “Like a Russian nesting doll, the individual mandate has nestled within it a hidden, but equally unconstitutional scheme that effectively imposes an ‘abortion premium mandate’ that violates the free exercise rights of millions of Americans who have religious objections to abortion.”
The latest from the frontlines of the Women's War on the Constitution. First, five stories on the activities of Generalissima Subversivus, behind whose skirts Benito cowers...
Here's three on the helpless little law student who has been greatly oppressed by penile-Americans:
Did I miss the deadline for alternative opinions on Sandra Fluke?
What with liberal women constantly talking about their vaginas suddenly pretending to be offended by the word "slut," and conservatives pretending to be as pussified as liberals about the nasty names they've been called, I never got an answer to the most pressing question about Sandra Fluke: Who are you again?
Was Fluke dragged out of obscurity after the women of America took a vote and chose her as our spokeswoman? (BEGIN ITAL)Please, Sandra, we know how deeply private, publicity-shy and terribly busy with law school you are, but we need you to speak for us!(END ITAL)
I don't think that happened. Rather, Fluke is the latest in a long line of my absolute favorite liberal typology: hysterical drama queens.
From Murphy Brown to the Jersey Girls, Cindy Sheehan, Joe Wilson and the New School's Jean Rohe, these fantasists inject themselves into a boiling-hot public debate and then claim victim status when anyone criticizes them.
At least since I've been keeping score, liberals had their first brush with the dark night of fascism in 1992, when Dan Quayle said of a fictional TV character: "It doesn't help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown ... mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice."
Suddenly, it was 1939 Germany and multimillionaire Hollywood elites were the Jews.
At the Emmy Awards ceremony that year, the creator of "Murphy Brown," Diane English, took the occasion to say: "I would like to thank our sponsors for hanging in there when it was getting really dangerous."
Really dangerous? You want "really dangerous"? Try being a pedestrian crossing Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica when Diane English is being driven to the airport! (A year earlier, English's husband mowed down the matriarch of Santa Monica's Chez Jay, killing her, while driving his wife to the airport.)
Marge Tabankin, executive director of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee, said: "The community feels targeted. It's created a chill and fear reminiscent of the '50s. Let's face it: We feel we're being used as whipping boys."
Yes, Hollywood liberals have got balls to spare, and that's why I admire them so much.
But the Academy Award winners of liberal martyrdom are the Dixie Chicks. In 2003, Chick Natalie Maines sucked up to a Bush-hating London audience by saying, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
What an odd coincidence that the only city Maines attacked Bush in was London! In a way, it was lucky for the band that, in their entire 60-city world tour, Maines claimed to be embarrassed by Bush only in London and not, say, Lubbock, Texas.
But at least we had heard of Murphy Brown and the Dixie Chicks before they demanded we all stand in awe of their raw courage.
Fluke was an absolute nobody who simply thrust herself into the limelight. She's more the Jean Rohe iteration of the liberal drama queen.
Rohe, you will recall, was the student speaker at the 2006 New School commencement proceedings, who bravely insulted the official speaker, Sen. John McCain.
As Rohe described her decision to attack the invited speaker, every person she talked to the day before the ceremony hated McCain with blind fury. At two graduation ceremonies a day earlier, attacks on McCain brought wild cheers from the audience.
Rohe's resolve to tell the audience what it wanted to hear was only hardened when she was told there would be media at the event.
Sensing that fake heroism was within her grasp, Rohe explained: "It was something I didn't want to do, but knew I had to out of an obligation to my own values" -- such as the value of being popular, of getting a standing ovation and of being praised for her courage.
Liberals' idea of questioning authority is to check with the authorities to see if a "Question Authority" bumper sticker would be popular.
So, back to Fluke: Who is she, and how did she become the spokesperson for American womanhood? If we're allowed to submit names, I think we can do better than a Georgetown law student whose claim to fame is that she belongs to a college club on "reproductive justice."
Pursuing a typical path to liberal heroics, Fluke was an utter nobody whom the Democrats substituted in a last-minute witness-switch to testify about contraception -- as if her haircut isn't birth control enough -- at a hearing on "religious liberty."
Despite her credentials as a heretofore unheard-of "birth control activist," the Oversight and Government Reform Committee declined to accept this 11th-hour witness on the grounds that Fluke did not have appropriate credentials for any congressional hearing, much less one on religious liberty.
That was the Republicans' first foray into "silencing" Fluke's "voice."
Nancy Pelosi used an even less appropriate committee to ensure that Fluke's "voice" would be heard -- the Democrats' Steering and Policy Committee, the normal function of which is to give House Democrats committee assignments.
One longtime Democratic operative admitted privately that Fluke was the least-qualified witness ever to appear before a congressional committee.
As a result of the huge commotion the Democrats' made of Fluke's "testimony," she was ridiculed the same way people in ridiculous situations often are. She was called some mean names: "slut," "prostitute," "law student" ...
In full indignation, Fluke said her critics were trying "to silence women's voices." She said this on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and a number of other national media outlets.
Thus, Fluke became a liberal hero even braver than an actress standing up for abortion rights in front of a Bill Maher audience.
President Obama called Fluke and told her that her parents should be proud of her and to make sure she was OK. Hillary Clinton said conservatives were trying to control women. Bill Clinton called her to see if she had any plans for the weekend.
(Fluke seems to be holding up wonderfully under the nightmare of constant TV appearances. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd think she's enjoying herself tremendously.)
I don't care what liberals believe. Just please stop telling me they're courageous for saying exactly what every non-Fox media outlet in America is dying to hear, or I'll throw up harder than Rick Santorum did when he read John F. Kennedy's speech.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:16 PM
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:12 PM
It looks like conservative protestants are beginning to realize Santorum is the only conservative in the race and that is more important to them than his Catholicism. That's progress, kiddies.
Santorum wins big in South, grabs conservative banner
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:02 PM
From AP via Yahoo! News:
5 Irish immigrants re-buried in PA cemetery
BALA CYNWYD, Pa. (AP) — The remains of five Irish laborers who researchers believe were murdered in 1832 while building a Pennsylvania railroad received a dignified re-interment Friday, more than 3,000 miles from their homeland and nearly two centuries after their first anonymous burials.
People lined up to pay their respects before five wooden caskets at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, just outside Philadelphia. The sounds of bagpipes and gunshot salutes filled the air as more than 100 mourners paid tribute, including Kevin Conmy, deputy ambassador for the Irish embassy in Washington.
"What this does is it just reminds us that the story of Irish in America has many strands," Conmy said. "You do get a sense that justice has been done to these people."
The immigrants were among 57 hired to help build a stretch of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad known as Duffy's Cut. They lived in a shantytown by the rails in current-day Malvern, about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.
Historian Bill Watson and his twin brother Frank Watson, also a historian, led a team that set out nearly a decade ago to find out what happened to the workers from Donegal, Tyrone and Derry. They believe many died of cholera and were dumped in a mass grave at Duffy's Cut.
But they also theorized — based on mortality statistics, newspaper accounts and internal railroad company documents — that some were killed. Railroad officials never notified the workers' relatives of their deaths, and they later burned the shantytown.
The burial services on Friday marked the end of a long quest for the Watsons.
"It's a 10-year pilgrimage for us," Frank Watson said afterward. "It's a pilgrimage for truth and for justice."
When the Watsons' team first began excavating in woods behind a manicured subdivision, they unearthed items such as glass buttons, forks and smoking pipes, including one stamped "Derry." Many artifacts are now on permanent display at nearby Immaculata University, where Bill Watson is chairman of the history department.
In 2009, they found human bones. The team uncovered six skeletons in all, and forensic experts found evidence of skull trauma. The brothers speculate that when cholera swept through the camp, these immigrants tried to escape the deadly epidemic but were killed by local vigilantes, who were driven by anti-Irish prejudice and fear of the extremely contagious disease.
Those remains were found apart from the main ossuary, commingled with coffin nails. One set of bones was tentatively identified based on size and the passenger list of a ship that sailed from Ireland to Philadelphia four months before the men died. If DNA tests prove a match to descendants in Donegal, the remains of John Ruddy will be returned to Ireland.
The other sets of bones — four men and a washerwoman — were interred at West Laurel Hill. Identification proved nearly impossible, in part because the remains were so badly decomposed.
Their grave was marked with a 10-foot-high Celtic cross made of limestone quarried in County Kilkenny, Ireland, and paid for by Immaculata.
"It's just the right thing to do, to give these men a Christian burial," said university spokeswoman Marie Moughan.
The cemetery donated the plot for the same reason, said Kevin McCormick, a liaison to the Duffy's Cut Project from West Laurel Hill. Some might argue the dead should rest in peace in their original graves, but disposing of bodies is not the same as burying them, he said.
"Who put them there?" said McCormick. "Was it people who had their best interests in mind?"
The Watsons' ultimate goal had been to find, unearth, identify and repatriate the remains of all 57 workers using DNA analysis, the ship's passenger list and other documents. But ground-penetrating radar indicates the mass grave is too close to active train tracks for the bones to be exhumed.
Still, the evidence and artifacts the team did uncover are valuable, said Kurt Bell, an archivist with the state Historical and Museum Commission.
"It really speaks volumes about the social history of railroads. We don't know a whole lot about the men who built the railroads in Pennsylvania from early in the 19th century," said Bell, a railroad historian. "The Watson brothers have really shed light on a little-known subject."
More data will be coming. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere are studying bone samples for additional information about the workers' lives.
And the Watsons plan to look into another reported potters' field of Irish railway workers in Downingtown, 10 miles up the tracks. Research shows cholera made its way to that camp, Bill Watson said, and he wonders if murder did as well.
"It happened here," Watson said. "Why not there?"
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:53 PM
 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe.  For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:  But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:39 PM
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:30 PM
The Weekly Standard reports on the panic running rampant among the chattering classes:
The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows President Obama's approval rating hitting an all-time low. One month ago, 50% of Americans approved of his job performance and 43% disapproved. The new NYT/CBS poll shows Obama's approval rating dropping to 41% and his disapproval rating climbing to 47%.
The new poll also shows Americans strongly support an exemption to the "birth control mandate" by 57% to 36% for religiously-affiliated employers. By a 51% to 40% margin, Americans support a religious/moral exemption for all employers:
There's a lot of talk that Obama's dive in in the CBS/NYT and the ABC/Washington Post polls is due to high gas prices. That seems plausible. But why couldn't the contraception/abortifacient mandate--the biggest news story for the past month--also play a part in Obama's sinking numbers?
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:20 PM
From Yahoo! News:
Last year, in St. Paul, Minnesota, a man is alleged to have stolen $25,000 worth of Tide over 15 months before authorities captured him. Stores such as CVS have amped up security measures to prevent theft; at some locations the detergent is kept in a locked container and an employee must retrieve it for customers.
So why is Tide the only detergent being targeted? Authorities list several reasons: Tide is instantly recognizable because of its Day-Glo orange bottle; it is one of the most expensive brands of laundry detergent; and it does not have serial numbers, so it cannot be tracked.
On social media, people are calling the theft trend "bizarre" and many are blaming it on the tough economy and rising gas prices. One person tweeted that the thefts are "a result of inflation."
A spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of Tide, called the thefts "unfortunate."
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:13 PM