"Pregnant women need our assistance now so that abortion is not promoted to them as their only choice"
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Pregnant women need our assistance now so that abortion is not promoted to them as their only choice"
Monday, April 27, 2009
Yours Very Truly,
Mary Ann Glendon
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thirteen indigenous grandmothers, formally known as the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, initial greeting at the Vatican was not pleasant. The group was almost kicked out while performing a prayer and waiting to speak with Pope Benedict XVI.
They went to pray. They went to see Pope Benedict XVI on his home turf. They went to ask that he rescind historic church doctrine that played a role in the genocidal onslaught of millions of indigenous people worldwide.
It is unknown whether the pope has yet personally received the package, but legal scholars and Native activists in the U.S. have nonetheless been paying close attention to the grandmothers' journey.
Friday, April 24, 2009
There are days, and then there are other days. This is one of those other days. I have maintained in a number of postings that the Notre Dame controversy is all about fund raising and not orthodoxy, but the story I read at the National Catholic Reporter website about Ave Maria University simply floored me. Why is Ave Maria using the Notre Dame scandal to poach donations from Notre Dame alumni:
Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida, for example, saw a possibility for financial gain. The university, founded in 2003 and pledging its fidelity to “magisterial teachings,” sent out a mailing attempting to lure Notre Dame alumni to send in contributions and make it their “new alma mater.”
It's not like Ave Maria's founder Tom Monaghan is broke, but apparently the University itself is in questionable financial shape. In the linked article from Ave Maria Watch, there is a copy of a memo written by a faculty member questioning the real financial status of the University--and he does this for moral reasons:
"The point is that without an audit and a clear 4-year financial plan, we cannot appropriately invite students/families into a 4-year undergraduate program in which students/families will be investing over $20,000 a year. If we fail in due diligence, or if we know now that there is a problem but bring them in anyway, then we are failing not only in financial stewardship but also spiritually as regards love of neighbor and truth-telling to these young people and their families. The third question then is whether we can receive an audit and 4-year financial plan that demonstrates sufficient liquidity, and does not presume rosy scenarios regarding revenues. Without this audit and demonstration of liquid assets, I fear that all of us (to different degrees) are participating in something that we may later deeply regret, namely selling to young people and their families a 4-year educational product that we do not have sufficient reason to believe can be delivered."
These are important concerns both for potential students and the current faculty and staff at Ave Maria. I have been where they are at, where I have had to wonder if the need to sell a particular university to prospective students hasn't crossed moral and ethical lines. Most colleges are businesses first, selling a product called higher education. They all bend over backwards, like any business, to make the case they have the better product. This is the first time I have ever seen a university make it's case (and attempt to enrich itself) by tearing down a competitor rather than espousing it's own special niche. From the NCR article:
Dr. Richard Yanikoski, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, said he “took a dim view” of the mailing. “Ave Maria is stooping to an unfortunate level to try to raise $25 contributions on the back of another institution’s controversy,” he said in an April 17 interview with NCR.
It seems to me that when Ave Maria resorts to this kind of fund raising they are admitting they do in fact, have serious financial problems. When one remembers that Tom Monaghan is also one of the largest contributors to the Cardinal Newman Society the picture gets even more interesting. No surprise that the Cardinal Newman Society lists Ave Maria University as one of it's outstanding examples of a orthodox Catholic university and that it began the attack on Notre Dame.
There are all kinds of issues for parents and students at Ave Maria. This is not a university accredited by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) the standard accrediting agency in the South, but by AALE (American Academy of Liberal Education). AALE is itself on shaky ground with the Department of Education and the DOE controls federal monies, such as work study, allocated to accredited schools. The DOE has issues with how AALE actually determines accreditation for it's member schools. There also numerous law suits from former employees and faculty all of which cite the use of deceptive tactics. A number of these involve the Ave Maria Law School, which surprise surprise, is also having financial issues.
Then there are also other interesting issues involving Ave Maria's inviting the religious group Servants of the Home of the Mother as part of their campus ministry. This is a religious group started by a---get ready---Spanish priest, Fr. Rafael Alonso Reymundo in 1982. It is affiliated with the Diocese of Cuenca, in Spain. It's mission is: 1) The defense of the Eucharist, 2) The defense of the honor of our Mother especially the privilege of her virginity, 3) The conquest of youth for Christ.
Given number three I guess it's not surprising this group is involved in vocation discernment at Ave Maria. Problem is, all those discerned vocations seem to be going to the Servants of the Home of the Mother. There is also another problem. This group is heavily involved in promoting the alleged Marian apparition at Garabandal, Spain. This particular Marian apparition has never been approved by the Church at any level. It has also not been condemned outright, unlike other sites. I guess this would be part of mission statement number two.
However, there are questions as to recruiting and retention and the fact that they seem to be specifically recruiting immature or psychologically damaged youth. Given the problems the Vatican has had with other cultic orthodox groups started by Spanish priests who target traditional youth, one wonders just how many of these groups have to implode before the Vatican says BASTA!
In the meantime Ave Maria University has a plate full of real problems. Targeting Notre Dame Alumni for 25 dollar donations seems silly given their founder is reputed to have billions. On the other hand, Monaghan is the same man who said something to the effect that he didn't see why Catholic education couldn't be marketed like pizza.
I bet there are a lot of faculty and staff affiliated with Ave Maria who wish it would have been the other devout Catholic pizza barons from Detroit who started Ave Maria. Unfortunately for Ave Maria, the Illitch's are involved in trying to resuscitate downtown Detroit and winning a second Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings. They can take hope though because the Illitch's did buy the Detroit Tigers from Tom Monaghan, so there is some precedent. Might be the best thing that ever happened to Ave Maria. Poaching from Notre Dame certainly doesn't qualify.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
What Father Gelis doesn't mention is that this external superior is being imposed over Miles Jesu after an investigation that was started after approximately 19 members in May of 2007 (including members who were former members of Miles Jesu's governing body, Miles Jesu priests, as well as members who had been in Miles Jesu for over 25 years) reported witnessing over the years in Miles Jesu the following abuses: manipulation of possible recruits to join Miles Jesu, financial dishonesty, practices against Canon Law such as non-confidential spiritual direction, not providing all members with adequate health care/insurance, Miles Jesu's teaching that one's salvation strictly depends on joining Miles Jesu, it's prohibition of many members to pursue higher education, it's appointment of a Vicar Directress over the women's branch with no formal education in theology or Canon Law, sexual abuse, and various other abuses that show Miles Jesu has cultic qualities.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
“Harsh as this may sound it is true – but it is not new,” he said, adding that “new battles” bring “an intensity and urgency to our efforts.”
According to the Catholic Key, the bishop invoked the tripartite division of the Catholic Church as the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant. The Church on Earth, Bishop Finn explained, is “the Church Militant.” (The Church Suffering are the souls in purgatory.)
“We are engaged in a constant warfare with Satan, with the glamour of evil, and the lure of false truths and empty promises. If we fail to realize how constantly these forces work against us, we are more likely to fall, and even chance forfeiting God’s gift of eternal life.”
“He has conquered sin and death and has won the prize of life on high in heaven forever. We know the final outcome, but the battle for eternal life is now played out in each human heart.”
Emphasizing that the Church Militant’s battle is “ultimately a spiritual battle,” he said that those who stand up for what is right will be opposed.
“The temptation will be to avoid these attacks. But through our responses we must see what kind of soldiers we are,” Bishop Finn said.
He reminded his audience of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5: “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
“We cannot hate these human enemies,” Bishop Finn stated, telling his audience that “we must find a way to love them. But we need not show them any sign of agreement. We pray for them,” Bishop Finn commented. “To ignore their destructive errors, particularly those that cost the lives of others, is to shirk our responsibility to attend to their eternal salvation.”
Those who openly attack belief in Christ or the Church’s right to exist are in some ways not the most dangerous opponents, Bishop Finn said, because “they show themselves and their intentions more forthrightly.”
“With malice or with ignorance, or perhaps with an intention of advancing some other personal goal, they are willing to undermine and push aside the values and the institutions that stand in their way. They may propose ‘tolerance’ and seem to have a ‘live and let live’ approach to all human choices – even if the choice is not to ‘let live,’ but actually to ‘let die,’ or ‘let life be destroyed.’”
“The constant magnitude of this crime against humanity is staggering. We must never get used to it,” Bishop Finn said. “In the United States there are 4,000 abortions every day.”
The bishop said that Catholics are “absolutely” in a war over abortion and said people should not consider this “someone else’s war.” (All this war talk pretty much excludes any notions of unity, or dialogue, or seeking other than the legal strategy. Oh by the way, plenty of abortions happened before Roe v Wade.)
“We haven’t given up, but it requires a constant effort. We won many people over through good instruction in the truth.”
Noting the legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon and Washington State, Bishop Finn lamented the “steady decline” in the number of people opposed to assisted suicide.
“Unfortunately, there is reason to believe that people are losing their sense of the moral evil of assisted suicide. But we cannot give up,” he told the convention audience. (I'm not as morally concerned about terminally ill adults seeking assisted suicide as I am young gay teenagers committing unassisted suicide. Does that make me evil?)
Warning that Catholics public officials who support the legal right to abortion “have abandoned their place in the citizenship of the Church,” the bishop said they have become “warriors for death rather than life.”
They endanger their eternal salvation, he warned.
Exhorting Catholics to build an “active culture of life” that is “capable of turning back hell itself,” he said those who are not living in God’s life should avoid the “ultimately supernatural battle.”
“The devil… will turn you inside out,” he cautioned, encouraging people to become “prayer warriors.” (This is language straight from the New Apostolic Reformation playbook. Thomas Muthee, the African witch hunter who protects Sarah Palin would be proud.)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
As Catholics we are aware of the many shortcomings and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world. That is why it is inconceivable that Notre Dame University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, should receive and honor anyone who promotes policies that are contradictory to who we are as a people of faith. (Actually, it's the University of Notre Dame. I would hate to see all this reparative prayer not work because people have the wrong university in mind.)
Reparation is the making amends for a wrong done or for an offense against God. By his death on the cross, the Son of God offered his life out of love for the Father to make reparation for our sinful disobedience (CCC #614). (Does God recognize the soul of a corporate entity like a university? If so there should be all kinds of Masses of Reparation said for all kinds of corporate entities, starting with every diocesan corporate entity that moved abusing priests around.)
"I can understand abortion": Montreal cardinal
This is taken from the Cathnews website
Belgium's ambassador to the Holy See lodged the formal protest Wednesday, prompting the Vatican Secretariat to issue its tough statement denouncing the Belgian vote.
The Vatican said it was consoled that Africans and some members of the scientific community had appreciated the pontiff's remarks.
"I don't think it necessarily comes from hostility, but what you got was very instinctive reactions based on presuppositions that turn out not to be the case," he said. (This is another out right lie. The science supports the use of condoms as preventive in all kinds of other places, including parts of Africa.)