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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Republicans in House vote to abolish Okhrana's Death Panel; Senate Dems sure to restore it.

From the Nation Journal via Yahoo! News:

House Votes to Abolish Medicare Payment Board

Dang, that is one Orwellian bureaucratic title.

The House voted to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board on Thursday – a board that Republicans once derided as a “death panel” and that even some Democrats don’t like because it could bigfoot Congress. But the repeal is likely to die in the Senate.

The vote was 223 to 181. While the repeal bill isn’t going anywhere – President Obama has threatened to veto it – it’s another chance for some political theater.

Seven Democrats voted with the Republicans even though some legislation that Democrats normally won’t support was attached. And 10 Republicans voted against it.

The IPAB was created in the 2010 health care overhaul law as a last line of defense against out-of-control Medicare costs. The 15-member board of experts from across the health-care field has the power to step in and cut Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals if they seem to be spiraling too high.

It would take some power out of the hands of Congress, so some Democrats have joined Republicans in opposing it. The Congressional Budget Office has said abolishing IPAB would raise the deficit by $3.1 billion over 10 years, so Republicans have tacked on medical malpractice reform legislation to pay for it.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the medical-malpractice legislation would save the federal government $57 billion, meaning it would easily cover the cost of the IPAB repeal. After the first $3 billion is used to cover IPAB, the next $54 billion would go directly toward the deficit.

Democrats complain that is an unrelated issue. And they are accusing Republican leaders of intentionally undermining Democratic support and Senate passage because they want to keep the IPAB issue alive as a political attack theme this election year.

Fyodor's Headlinks

Just another day in Obamastan..

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Rosary for Religious Freedom

Friday, March 23 at 12:00 Noon Eastern time

All are encouraged to join with Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA in a recitation of the Rosary for the intention of preserving and defending the constitutionally guaranteed right to Religious Liberty on Friday, March 23 at noon .

This will be done live from the studios of WHYF AM 720 in Shiremanstown. All are invited to tune into the station for the live broadcast at 12 Noon.

For those not able to hear the station over the air, WHYF is simulcast on the web at www.YourHolyFamilyRadio.com

A Dialogue on the Harmony of Church Teaching and Women’s Health

Courtesy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, PA:

A recent roundtable discussion that included obstetricians and gynecologist at Holy Spirit Hospital's Center for Women's Health along with clergy and lay specialists, provides both insightful and informative in the living out of the faith in such important matters. The discussion relates the core of the Church's instruction on artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs to the care and treatment of women patients and their partners.

A Dialogue on the Harmony of Church Teaching and Women’s Health

On March 8, Msgr. William King, Diocesan Vicar General, sat down with Dr. Faith Daggs and Dr. Damon Cudihy at The Birthplace, the OB/GYN floor at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, to discuss the relationship between the Church’s moral teachings and women’s health. Mrs. Victoria Laskowski, Diocesan Director of Marriage and Family Ministries, and Fr. Paul CB Schenck, Diocesan Director of the Respect Life Office, joined in the conversation.

The purpose of the discussion was to relate the core of the Church’s instruction on artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs to the care and treatment of women patients and their partners. Dr. Daggs and Dr. Cudihy were very informative and insightful in their discussions about the positive application of their faith as practicing Catholics to their effective practice as physicians dedicated to providing their women patients with the best of care and therapies.

What does the Church teach about contraception?
Is contraception, or sterilization or abortion-inducing drugs necessary and essential to women’s health?

Dr. Daggs: I would not say that these are essential and necessary to women’s health care. Certainly, they have been incorporated as treatments for a variety of gynecologic disorders. In particular, oral contraceptives have been used as a medical panacea for many women’s health conditions – painful periods, irregular cycles, ovarian cysts, endometriosis – when actually there’s not great data that this therapy is effective for all of those conditions.
Sterilization doesn’t serve any purpose other than destroying the tubes and disrupting one’s fertility. It doesn’t treat any known medical conditions, and there is some research that shows it actually may produce problems for a woman. It can potentially lead to adhesions or scar tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, and in some cases may even be related to future disruptions of a woman’s cycle and/or pain.
Abortion generally is not used as a treatment – therapeutically, so to speak – for a pregnancy. There may be some very rare medical conditions in a woman where there may be a consideration to terminate a pregnancy because of her failing health. The main one that comes to mind is cardiomyopathy or primary pulmonary hypertension. However, even in that realm in the last ten years, there are small case series, particularly in England, of other therapeutics being able to be used to manage those women medically to carry them through pregnancy, at least to viability.
I don’t see them as essential and necessary, particularly since there are a variety of medical and surgical therapies that are alternatives and available, and that were used even prior to the advent of contraceptives or have been developed subsequent to the availability of contraceptives.

Dr. Cudihy: The short answer is no, I don’t see that contraceptives are ever an actual form of women’s health care. When it comes to contraception, a woman’s fertility is actually a healthy condition. If a woman is able to conceive, that means there is something working right with her reproductive system. There’s not a malady in need of treatment. … Our first approach is not to do harm. If I make a decision to destroy a woman’s reproductive system, I’m actually doing harm to her normally functioning system.
Unfortunately, contraception is treated like a panacea. I think it’s more of the snake oil of modern medicine. … If I thought it was an effective treatment for endometriosis, for polycystic ovarian syndrome or for irregular cycles, I would use it. But there are much better ways to treat those conditions that actually get to the heart of the problem.
When it comes to abortion, there are some situations where a continued pregnancy may pose a significant risk to a woman’s health. There are other situations where a woman’s health may be endangered, for example uterine cancer or an ectopic pregnancy. These are situations where there may be a procedure necessary, but the action in these situations is not a direct abortion. The child’s unfortunate, unavoidable death is a secondary effect. But I want to be clear that I don’t believe that direct abortion is ever necessary for a woman’s health. …

Is contraception ever a threat to a woman’s life or health?

Dr. Cudihy: Very much so. Few people are aware that the World Health Organization, as of 2005, has included hormonal contraceptives as what they define as a Group I carcinogen. [Emphasis mine. F.G.] Carcinogens are those things that we know cause cancer. Some examples of other carcinogens in this category would be asbestos, radioactive phosphorus, tobacco products and radon. For the World Health Organization to make that statement was pretty striking. That means that they looked at the evidence and saw that there was really no debate anymore about whether or not this is a cancer-causing agent.
The types of cancer that are most associated with the birth control pill would be breast cancer, cervical cancer and liver cancer. One of the unfortunate things that has been promoted is the idea that birth control pills are actually preventive against cancer. It’s important to understand that although there are studies showing it probably does decrease the rate of ovarian cancer and potentially uterine cancer, when you look at the net effect – because breast cancer is so much more common in particular – it is an increased risk of cancer.
We’re hearing that contraception is basic preventative health care. I’ve said more than once that it is preventative, but not in the sense that people think. When it’s used to apparently treat endometriosis, irregular cycles or pelvic pain, many times it’s preventing the woman from ever receiving a proper diagnosis and preventing her from having a treatment that will cure the disease. Contraception is not preventing a disease – it’s preventing diagnosis, treatment and cure of the disease. It’s an easy way out for us physicians to avoid having to address it. … An approach that actually seeks to diagnose the problem and treat it requires more work. It requires some imaging studies, some blood work, even surgery. And while it’s more work, it’s what the woman deserves if we are really concerned about her health.

In the delivery room, immediately after delivery, some physicians will ask a woman what type of birth control she would like to start, or if she would like to have a tubal ligation. Is that a necessary follow up to delivery?

Dr. Daggs: No. Certainly, there are situations where undertaking another pregnancy and another delivery is a particular concern to a woman’s health. However, the delivery room is not the most appropriate place to enter that discussion, even if the woman has no risk factors. There’s quite a bit of study looking at women who were counseled regarding tubal ligation during pregnancy and shortly after delivery and who accepted those procedures. Afterward, they showed a particular amount of regret.
Family planning is an important discussion to have. We’re truly called to be responsible parents. For some families, it may be that they can be open to many children; for some families, it may not mean that for a variety of reasons. If a woman has post-partum depression, she might not be ready to entertain another pregnancy.
It takes two people to conceive, and so the responsibility is shared. Ideally, it’s a shared decision – not just one person has to take a medication, wear a device or have a surgical procedure.

Dr. Cudihy: There tends to be an attitude that women are somehow hapless victims of their own fertility, that somehow the potential for them to conceive is a disease state. It breaks my heart to hear a woman tell me about how she was pressured into having a sterilization the day of her delivery. She delivers and then is convinced to be sterilized the same day.

Pope John Paul II taught that there may be reasons for a woman to delay pregnancy, where it may be morally incumbent upon her to do that for her health and her family’s sake. Would you say at that time that oral contraceptives would be appropriate?

Dr. Daggs: I would not say that oral contraceptives would be appropriate because we have legitimate medical means for a woman to know and understand her body, and for she and her partner to work together to use that in order to space or avoid pregnancy altogether.
Natural Family Planning has many names: fertility awareness, Billings Ovulation Method, Sympto-Thermal Method, the Creighton Model. All of these are based on a 50-year science of knowing what’s going on in a woman’s body hormonally, and using the biological indicators of that can be readily taught and observed regardless of the amount of education or training a woman has. Often, these methods are an aid to their health. We use Creighton Model in our practice. That’s been medically adapted to help us manage a whole host of gynecologic conditions.

Dr. Cudihy: Unfortunately, in those rare situations that we have a patient that we may need to advise them to avoid having children again, there is no reason why we should feel that we have to put them on some kind of birth control pill or sterilization when there are more effective or equally effective methods that do no harm to her body.

Knowing the harm that contraception, sterilization and abortion cause, and knowing that there are safe, moral and effective methods regarding family planning, why are women still choosing the former?

Dr. Daggs: It’s ease. It’s the almighty dollar. In general, Natural Family Planning is not a moneymaker so it’s not well known to people. Also, I think there may be a sense that women feel like it is totally their responsibility in a relationship, that society has shifted this responsibility totally to women. Particularly with the legalization of abortion, it’s really allowed men to abdicate in a significant way their responsibility as partner in this decision for a family. Certainly there are contraceptives that men use and men can be sterilized, but we’ve really allowed men as a society to abdicate their responsibility.
I think women maybe feel that they have no other choice, particularly if their spouse or their partner is not participating in this very important part of their relationship. I’m sure they participate on other levels in terms of finances and child-rearing, but often this is pushed off onto the woman. The women’s movement said to women, “You need to grab what’s yours in terms of education and career,” and that’s all good. But how incredibly sad – from a woman who is a career woman and a mother and a wife – that a woman would assume that she had to deny her ability to be a mother and to destroy what’s part of her feminine genius in order to have a career. I have been blessed with more than the usual number of children, but I don’t feel like that’s been a hindrance to my career. [Emphasis mine. - F.G.]

Is the Church’s teaching as it addresses contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in conflict with good health practices for women?

Dr. Daggs: I do not believe so. What we do day-in and day-out is take care of women, and we do it in a manner that is consistent with our faith but medically cogent and scientifically sound, without using sterilization procedures, contraceptives or referring for termination of pregnancy. It allows us to be better physicians. … From a medical standpoint, I feel like I am really managing women’s health care in terms of using investigatory tools and then treating in ways that are complementary to their body that aren’t going to mask something that’s going to cause further damage.

So it’s not a matter of Church against medicine, or medicine against Church?

Dr. Cudihy: Not at all. The teachings of the Church encourage us to want to provide the very best medicine and the very best health care for women. It’s such a false argument to suggest somehow that the Church’s teachings on this matter are in conflict with good women’s health. In fact, it’s the Church’s teachings on the matter that keep us on track in seeking to provide the very best for women. The Church’s positions on this in no way are harmful to women. It’s not because the Church doesn’t care about women that she teaches that contraception violates her human dignity; it’s actually precisely because the Church does care about women that she teaches that. Because of the guidance of the Church on this issue, it’s helped us to be better physicians. In no way do I feel constrained somehow that this is holding me back from providing the best care.
Even though I know this is impossible, if somehow the Pope came out tomorrow with a statement that contraception was now acceptable, it wouldn’t change the way I practice. I see through and through the medical and scientific side that it’s just not good medicine. The Church is helping point us in the direction of good medicine.

Medicine, with the application of Catholic moral principles, is not pure science, but human science. We treat the human person with the dignity of a creature of God, but also with solid scientific principles.

Dr. Daggs: I’d have to say that it’s allowed me to flourish. I was not always of this mind. When I was in my professional education, I had a very different viewpoint that I was kind of saving my fertility and I had a plan. Fortunately, I had a conversion and it profoundly affected my personal life, my marriage and the bounty of life that my husband and I have been blessed with. But also, it profoundly affected by professional life and the way that God has been able to use me to work with women and to be continually humbled by the human body and its complexities, and the gift of fertility. It’s allowed me to achieve more than I could ever do on my own, and even push my own limits in terms of being a professional and being a wife and mother.

Dr. Cudihy: I see the truth of these things being affirmed every day in the office. Most of our patients aren’t Catholic. They come to us not because they know that we don’t prescribe contraception and we don’t recommend In Vitro Fertilization, but because they hear in the community that they’re going to be treated with respect and care. It’s consistent with good science. Good science means we really care about the person. The longer I do this, the more I see the truth being reinforced. Never do I feel that the Catholic Church is holding me back from being a doctor. The teachings of the Church and the guidance of the Church have helped me to be a better doctor.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He's right. He wouldn't be the same wearing anything but black and gold.

Yet another guy who'll never have to buy a beer in any Steeler bar anywhere in the world. We'll see you in Canton, Mr. Ward.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Tearful Ward calls it a career

Wide receiver Hines Ward, one of the most beloved and decorated players in Steelers history, announced his retirement during a tearful goodbye today at team headquarters.

Ward, who turned 36 earlier this month, had been adamant on continuing his career after the Steelers released him. He had a change of heart, Ward said, because he can't "fathom" putting on another team's uniform.

The decision allows Ward to retire as a Steeler, 14 years after the team took him in the third round of the NFL draft. He finishes his career with 1,000 career catches, 12,083 receiving yards, two Super Bowl championships and a Super Bowl MVP award.

"To me it's not about going out and playing one or two more years for another organization," Ward said. "Deep down I know my heart wouldn't be in it."

Ward said he still has a passion for the game and a belief that he can play it. He said he drew some interest from other teams, but he decided to call it a career after consulting former Steelers running back and good friend Jerome Bettis and reading countless messages from fans who didn't want to see him in another uniform.

"You guys have given me the best years of my life and I will never forget that," Ward said of Steelers fans. "I'm happy with my decision. I don't have any regrets."

Bettis, outside linebacker James Harrison and defensive ends Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith were among Ward's former teammates who attended his emotional farewell. Steelers president Art Rooney II, general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin also watched as Ward labored through tears at the outset of the 25-minute news conference, one that he opened by reading from prepared notes.

Ward raised the bar for all Steelers receivers after he made four consecutive Pro Bowls (2002-05) and put up the kind of numbers that may never be surpassed in Pittsburgh.

Ward caught his 1,000th career pass in the Steelers regular-season finale, making him one of eight players in NFL history to accomplish that feat. Ward also is one of just 19 NFL players to achieve the 12,000-yard milestone.

His 86 touchdowns are second in Steelers history to Franco Harris. That total matches the only number he wore during his NFL career.

Ward's value to the Steelers extended beyond sheer numbers.

He is widely considered one of the best blocking wide receivers of all time, and he served as an offensive captain for seven consecutive seasons.

"I don't have to prove nothing to anybody," Ward said.

Monday, March 19, 2012

We know how faithful and observant Jews feel...

...or, the Catholic crackup continues apace.

Let's call it "Cultural Catholicism". In other words, it's an empty sham designed to lead souls to perdition and corrupt the One, True Church.

From the Joplin Globe:

Terry Mattingly: 'Secular Catholics' continue to rise in numbers

As a rule, opinion polls are not as important to bishops as they are to politicians.

Nevertheless, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips recently asked Bishop Joseph Malone, of Maine, if he realized just how out of step he is with current doctrinal trends in his own flock.

“So, Bishop, times are changing,” she said. “Views are changing É So, why not get on board with the 43 percent of Catholics?”

The puzzled bishop replied: “The 43 percent who?”

“Who have no problem with gay marriage,” said Phillips.

“Well, their thinking is outside the realm of Catholic teaching for 2,000 years,” the bishop responded.

The bishop, of course, was talking about how traditional Catholics wrestle with moral issues, while the CNN anchor was describing views now common with a completely different kind of Catholic.

But in the polls, these days, a Catholic is a Catholic.

“I don’t know of anyone who thinks religious identity should be based on polling,” said theologian Tom Beaudoin, who teaches at the Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York City.

Nevertheless, he said, it’s time to note what researchers are learning about the lives and beliefs of what he called “secular Catholics.” For starters, bishops need to admit that they exist and that some of them want to stay in the church while practicing their own personalized approaches to faith.

“Secular Catholics are people who were baptized as Catholics, but they find it impossible to make Catholicism the center of (their) lives, by which I mean Catholicism as defined by the official teachings of the church,” said Beaudoin.

For these believers, there are “things that they learned about faith from Catholicism. Then there are things they learned from their jobs, from school experiences, from their music and from their favorite movies.

“They are hybrid believers and their faith comes from all over the place.”

This is precisely the audience of “liberal” and “nominal” Catholics who were targeted recently with a blunt New York Times advertisement that urged them to quit the Catholic church altogether.

“If you imagine you can change the church from within Ñ get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research Ñ you’re deluding yourself,” argued leaders of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “By remaining a ‘good Catholic,’ you are doing ‘bad’ to women’s rights É Apparently, you’re like the battered women who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go.”

This advertisement probably says more about critics of Catholicism than it does about Catholic life, noted Beaudoin. Still, it could inspire constructive conversations about how “deconversions” are affecting church life.

After all, a 2009 survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 1 in 10 Catholic adults in America has left the faith. Four Americans exit Catholicism for every one that converts to the faith, Pew found.

These numbers matter, said Beaudoin, but it’s more important to see the larger picture, which is the growing number of Catholics who are living their spiritual lives in a kind of tense Catholic limbo.

Some never go to Mass, while others do so occasionally. The vast majority of them have no idea what they would confess, if they ever went to confession, because they disagree with church authorities on what constitutes sin in the modern world.

In the end, it’s impossible to ignore this mass of “secular Catholics” because it’s such a large chunk of today’s church, he said.

In some parts of America, various kinds of “secular Catholics” now constitute a clear majority, while those who affirm traditional dogmas and doctrines are a minority.

Some of these “secular Catholics” eventually leave the church. Others choose to remain on membership rolls, on their own terms, because they find it hard to walk away, said Beaudoin. After all, there are parts of Catholicism that they affirm and they know they can ignore the parts that they reject. They have changed the church for themselves.

From his perspective, Beaudoin said it’s important to believe that this trend is “not the result of lethargy, laziness, relativism, heresy or apostasy. There will be Catholics who insist on saying that these secular Catholics are falling away from traditional Catholic norms. But I think it would be more helpful to talk about them not as having fallen away from the Catholic faith, but as having created new, evolving spiritual lives for themselves.”

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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