I’m sure that by now most of you have heard the tragic story of little Charlie Gard. The medical and legal battles surrounding 11-month old Charlie have brought global attention to the meaning of life and the proper dignity of death. More specifically, the swirl has centered on the question of who determines the value of human life and who bears the burden and responsibility for making end-of-life decisions. It seems the legal maneuvering and skirmishes for temporal control of Charlie’s destiny will soon be over. The dust will settle and we will soon begin to forget. As tragic as Charlie’s physical situation may seem to be, a real tragedy will result if we do forget and fail to learn. In this blog I would like to offer some personal commentary and observations in the case of Charlie Gard – as testimony to his precious life and its immense value. Continue reading “The Blessed Legacy of Charlie Gard”
The Simple Catholic Snapshots:
- Two Thousand Years Ago a New King was Born
- King Herod Thought his Lifestyle and Kingdom were Threatened by the New King
- Herod Orders the Infant Innocents Slaughtered to Preserve his Status Quo
- Two Thousand Years Later The Innocent are Still Dying
- Mankind Needs the New King More Than Ever
History will look back on the United States with scrutiny and the clarity that only time can provide. The injustice of slavery was righted with the blood of over 750,000. Things are not perfect in this regard but we learned and are slowly righting a wrong.
History will also judge America’s stand on abortion and with all my heart I believe a similar tide will turn. Actually, the tide is turning. The eventual victory will not be won in the courts of law but rather in the hearts of citizens.
Moral behavior can not be legislated externally, it must come from within. The true change in attitude that will eventually protect the innocent unborn must be forged with steadfast resolve and with compassion, mercy and love. Pope Francis’ recent comments on mercy and forgiveness are simple reminders of these obvious facts. I cherish the Catholic Church for it’s unwavering stand on the right to life for all.
When you stand tall, you are often the easiest target. That’s okay, unless you stand tall, your voice can not be heard. Like the soldiers at Gettysburg and Antietam there are inevitable causalities but slowly the word gets out and the truth prevails. Others begin to hear and recognize the heroes of the battle.
Here is a short video news clip [with some transcript below] recently aired on Fox news. The reporter is Charles Krauthammer, a non-practicing Jew, who recognizes the resolve of the Church in the battle to protect the unborn. His comments are in the context of the Pope’s recent decision to extend to priests the lifting of the sanction of excommunication that accompanies the sin of abortion.
In case you missed the language, here are excerpts:
“I think he’s done something wonder,” Krauthammer said … “All that the Pope is doing is extending that delegation of power a little bit lower down as a way to make it easier. I think it really is an act of mercy, and it shows the lack of vindictiveness of the Church imposing its will.”
“But nonetheless the will remains unchanged,” continued Krauthammer. “They’re absolutely rock-rib committed to the idea that this is a terrible thing to do, and it should not be done.”
“And I think years from now, and decades, people are going to look back on the issue and commend the Catholic Church for having held its own, very unpopularly, when there was this sweep and wave of legalizing abortion and to make it like an appendectomy; where the Church was the one institution that would not waver, despite the ridicule and the mockery and the attacks it suffered.
“I think our country will come to some accommodation ultimately, and we’ll thank the Church for holding up that end, and preventing sort of a radical legalization and radical widespread use of abortion.”
I for one would like to thank Mr. Krauthammer for saying what I have known but needed to hear again.
It’s tough in the trenches. The sounds of war can be deafening, tempting a weak soldier like me to lower his voice and drop his head just a little. But then I see the real heroes standing tall and shouting…
… and I stand proud with my Church, the pillar and bulwark of God’s truth.
The time to vote is only two weeks away and frankly I’m pretty tired of the entire three-ring spectacle. I’m saddened that the best our great country can bring forward are these two flawed presidential candidates. Unfortunately, that is the current state of affairs.
Here in California, we have on our ballots two propositions that directly address the use of the death penalty in criminal cases. Recently, I’ve been asked by some fellow parishioners my opinion as to how to evaluate these issues and how to reconcile them with Catholic principles. I did my best to offer some guidance but will not share those thoughts in this forum.
Today, however I ran across the video below that reminded me that there is one other issue, perhaps even more critical, that relates to a death penalty. I wish I had the ability to think and speak with the clarity of this priest. I thank God for this homily and the courage and strength of the man who delivered it.
The video runs a little under 20 minutes but I strongly recommend that you find a quite place and listen to it completely. The issues he speaks to are certainly controversial but are critically important. Listen carefully to his words and vote accordingly – someone’s life may depend on your action.
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The Simple Catholic Snapshots:
- Abortion is Intrinsically Evil
- A “faithful Catholic” is one who embraces the truth of the Gospel as taught without error by the Catholic Church
- The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is intrinsically evil.
- A “faithful Catholic” can not support abortion as a moral act.
- A “faithful Catholic” that is pro-choice is as real as a unicorn.
I was out shopping at a local mall a couple of days ago and I ran across this poster outside of Walmart.
I’m a sucker for pictures of cute babies so I had to go have a closer look. What I found was an ultrasound image and a small spark of hope for the Pro-Life message.
I’ve just finished reading Trent Horn’s 2014 book Persuasive Pro-Life. For those who have not had a chance, I highly recommend getting a copy. Trent is highly experienced in the field of Pro-Life apologetics and although this book is thorough, it is concise, well organized and easy to read. While delving deeply into various pro-abortion claims and Pro-Life rebuttals, he consistently encourages readers to remember that fundamentally the Pro-Life cause needs to be grounded on the fact that there is a universal human equality that applies to the unborn.
I just ran across this blog posting about mom Courtney Baker and her daughter Emersyn Faith who is 15 months old. Normally this wouldn’t have caught my eye but this article is different. You see, Emersyn has Down Syndrome and the article is focused on the letter Courtney wrote to her doctor who was once strongly recommending and encouraging abortion. I was deeply moved by the faith and strength of this woman and I just wanted to share. An extract of the article is pasted here:
“This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn’t want her to live. He repeatedly suggested we abort. He said her and our quality of life would be horrible.” Emmy’s mother Courtney Baker says, “He was so unbelievably wrong. I want to do something to advocate, but other than my letter to him, I don’t know what yet.”
Emmy was diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome.
About 30 years ago, I read a fascinating article predicting a rise of suicide rates in the United States that would begin near the end of the millennium. This social scientist posited that as the baby boomers reached retirement age, they would struggle to find real purpose in life and, as result, they would begin exercising the option of suicide. The premise behind this theory was that these baby boomers had fashioned their entire life’s meaning around the materialistic acquisition of wealth, and when retirement removed that reason to live, there was nothing left to fall back on.
Two days ago I ran across a recent article [U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High, Sabrina Tavernise, N.Y. Times, 22 April 2016] that also touched on the issue of suicide in our modern society. Recalling the original article, this new one immediately caught my attention. It turns out that the original predictions of increased suicide rates did come true…
but entirely for the wrong reasons.
The Simple Catholic Snapshots:
- Suicide in the United States has Surged to the Highest Levels in Nearly 30 Years
- The Reasons are Complex and Controversial
- Many Blame the Economy, Government, Guns or Divorce
- But Few See the Recent Trend Away From Religion as Significant
- Could it Be That Not Having Faith and Trust in God is a Contributing Factor?
- We are Called as Christians to Extend Ourselves With Understanding and Compassion to All of God’s Children
This is not an April Fool’s Joke.
Get out your calendar right now and save the date.
St. Martin de Porres is truly blessed to be able to host Trent Horn as a featured speaker on Monday, May 2nd 2016 at 7:15 p.m. Michele and I heard Trent speak at the National Conference on Marriage last month and he is simply outstanding. Continue reading “No Joke – Save the Date!”