31 August 2007

Quick Quiz

Can you guess which Governor pictured above is the Pro-Life Republican and which is the Pro-Choice Democrat?

Answer: It's a trick question. They both support mandatory state funding of the cloning and killing of babies for medical research, to the profit of large corporations. Of course, they both will try to mislead you about this horror, euphemistically known as embryonic stem cell research.

Neither is Pro-Life. Neither is Pro-Choice. The culture of death is mandatory.

30 August 2007

Playground Terrorism Thwarted by Heroic Educators

So, it has come to this, has it? From MyWay news:

Colo. School Bans Tag on Its Playground
Aug 30, 7:44 AM (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.
"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.

Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.
Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object.

In 2005, two elementary schools in the nearby Falcon School District did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles.


No word on the effect this measure will have on homeschools.

Global Government is Your Friend

Colleen Hammond has compiled a round-up of links on the "inevitable" Avian flu pandemic and the coming response by the UN, a response that will trump US law. How? Read on. You may or may not remember I posted something on this earlier this year, focusing on the coming "prohibition of community gatherings" (Catholics: read "the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass") as part of the government population control response. Don't worry, though. I'm sure it will come to nothing and, hey, the Cardinals are still in the race!

Mary Knows Her Son

In honor of Our Lady, and being reminded of my constant need of her protection, I just had to post the following piece. From the wonderfully-named Cornell Society for a Good Time site, via Heartland Catholic, this beautiful poem from Joyce Kilmer, whose best known work was the treacly sweet Trees:

Robe of Christ

At the foot of the Cross on Calvary
Three soldiers sat and diced,
And one of them was the Devil
And he won the Robe of Christ.

When the Devil comes in his proper form
To the chamber where I dwell,
I know him and make the Sign of the Cross
Which drives him back to Hell.

And when he comes like a friendly man
And puts his hand in mine,
The fervour in his voice is not
From love or joy or wine.

And when he comes like a woman,
With lovely, smiling eyes,
Black dreams float over his golden head
Like a swarm of carrion flies.

Now many a million tortured souls
In his red halls there be:
Why does he spend his subtle craft
In hunting after me?

Kings, queens and crested warriors
Whose memory rings through time,
These are his prey, and what to him
Is this poor man of rhyme,

That he, with such laborious skill,
Should change from role to role,
Should daily act so many a part
To get my little soul?

Oh, he can be the forest,
And he can be the sun,
Or a buttercup, or an hour of rest
When the weary day is done.

I saw him through a thousand veils,
And has not this sufficed?
Now, must I look on the Devil robed
In the radiant Robe of Christ?

He comes, and his face is sad and mild,
With thorns his head is crowned;
There are great bleeding wounds in his feet,
And in each hand a wound.

How can I tell, who am a fool,
If this be Christ or no?
Those bleeding hands outstretched to me!
Those eyes that love me so!

I see the Robe — I look — I hope –
I fear — but there is one
Who will direct my troubled mind;
Christ’s Mother knows her Son.

O Mother of Good Counsel, lend
Intelligence to me!
Encompass me with wisdom,
Thou Tower of Ivory!

“This is the Man of Lies,” she says,
“Disguised with fearful art:
He has the wounded hands and feet,
But not the wounded heart.”

Beside the Cross on Calvary
She watched them as they diced.
She saw the Devil join the game
And win the Robe of Christ.

29 August 2007

New Blog on the Roll

From a frequent commenter on this blog, called Retrocatholic. Check it out.

Panel Discussion on EWTN Features Monsignor Schmitz

Panel Discussion on EWTN re: Summorum Pontificum

On Wednesday, September 12th, at 10:00 pm ET, 9:00 pm CT (3:00 am GMT), EWTN, the Global Catholic network, will be broadcasting a live panel discussion on the Holy Father's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, hosted by Colin Donovan. Msgr. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute of Christ the King, will be among the panelists.

28 August 2007

Ron Paul Video Worth Watching

Why isn't this guy leading in every poll by 60 points?

Fatima Conference Talks Online

Greetings! If you are at all interested in the Blessed Mother's apparition in Fatima, Portugal and its implications for us today (and if you're not, you should be), there is a great new resource online.

Last week, there was a conference in Brazil under the title, "Fatima: the Only Way to World Peace". Some of the heaviest hitters on the subject of Fatima gave multiple presentations. The talks are available online here. They can be heard on Windows Media Player, Quicktime or Firefox.

The conference begins with the story of Fatima itself. If you have never heard the whole story, or haven't in awhile, this is a good place to start. Christopher Ferrara's talks on the consecration of Russia and the failure to release the entire Third Secret are especially informative. He discusses the recent exchange between Italian Catholic journalist Antonio Socci, author of "The Fourth Secret", and Cardinal Bertone's response to this book.

I'm not going to tell you what you should think about these two questions: 1) Has Russia been consecrated, as Mary instructed, to her Immaculate Heart? and 2) Has the entire Third Secret been released? But I will say that you might want to listen to these talks before solidifying your position.

27 August 2007

Forget Global Warning, What Will We Do About Prostitots?

The trend in all clothing for many years now has been largely deplorable, of course. But the drive to lure children into dressing as mini-streetwalkers--or what the secular press has dubbed "prostitots" is especially appalling. If Barbie is not racy enough for you and your children, then check out the Bratz dolls that are all the rage with girls these days. These dolls make Barbie look like Sally Field in the Flying Nun.

I realize that for many readers of this blogs, the modesty debate would more likely take place around full-length skirt vs. pants, but it is noteworthy that even that most feckless of anti-culture publications, the Post-Dispatch, has seen fit to publish the following article on STLToday.

I can applaud the writer for standing up for the idea that young girls can be so immodestly dressed as to be scandalized, and for calling for some level of parental responsibility. But when she feels compelled to qualify her remarks and protest her commitment to free expression, it steals some of the thunder of her point. Still, a decent effort from a secular outlet.

Forget global warming, what will we do about prostitots?
By Dana Loesch

While at the playground a couple weeks ago, a mother walked her daughter over to me as I chatted with another mom and kept an eye on Liam and Ewan, the latter of whom is known to occasionally eat sand. The mother coughed one of those “LOOKIT, ATTENTION PLEASE” coughs and I stopped my conversation with the other mom.

“Hi,” she said. Her daughter scowled, hip out and arms crossed. “Your son is Liam?” the mother asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “Is something wrong?” I glanced at Liam who was laughing and climbing up one side of the playground equipment with another boy.

“He said I was wearing streetwalker clothes,” spat the girl.

The girl, who I later found out was nearly 8-years-old, was wearing a thin, white miniskirt through which I could see her bright pink undergarment, wedge sandals, and a low-cut, green tube top. A big silver chain completed the outfit and her face was all made up.

I’m not going to lie; my first inclination was to laugh, my second was to ask how she knew what a streetwalker was. It was completely rude what Liam said and I don’t allow that behavior but I know from where it stemmed. Guess!!
A couple weeks earlier, while back-to-school shopping with the boys, my friend, and my friend’s school-aged daughter, we stopped in several mall stores and I remarked that much of the clothing was completely inappropriate and “looked like streetwalker clothes.”

Because I am such an awesome parent.

I am totally cool with people dressing and acting however they want, but here’s the thing about that: If you allow your little girls to dress up like the celeb-u-skanks in the tabloids, people might think that they are skanks and that you’re screwy for dressing your kid up like a lil’ Paris Hilton.

I apologized to the mother and the girl before calling Liam over. I asked him what had happened. “She told me that she liked me and tried to get by me and I don’t like her and I said she was wearing streetwalker clothes. What she’s wearing is inappropriate, mom.”

“That is not your place. What you said was rude and hurt her feelings and you need to apologize for that. That is NOT what a gentleman would say.”

And then my hair went gray and I hobbled back to my rocking chair with my 10 cats.

He apologized and she accepted and he walked back towards play equipment while the little girl went to talk to her friend. That’s when I turned to the girl’s mother.

“Can I ask you something? How old is your daughter?”“She’ll be 8 in December.”

“OK, and you let her dress like that?”

“She picked out her own clothes,” said the mother and judging by her reaction, I estimated that she had patience for one more question before she went all Stage Mom on me.

“All I’m saying is that her wardrobe choices do her a disservice.”

I didn’t want to come off and say the kid looked like a prostitot, but lady, COME ON. You’re the parent here. The conversation ended at that point. I’ve not seen her at the playground since.

I find it unsettling that such girls’ clothing is available at nearly any store and that so many young girls are tracking the fashion trends of trashy starlets. Society is trying to turn girls into women way before they’re ready.

It’s not a recent phenomenon; Britney Spears was only recycling with her schoolgirl debut. Some 13 years before her, the industry got in trouble for marketing minor Anabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow as a sex kitten - before Lwin, the industry exploited the teenaged Runaways. If all else fails, sell females with sex! I think it’s ironic that anyone would find that “empowering.”
Like I said, it’s nothing new; however, I liken it to the proverbial frog and pot of boiling water. Put the frog in the pot with the water boiling and the frog will jump out. Put the frog in a cold pot of water and gradually turn up the heat and the frog will never know.

In its quest to sexualize young girls for profit, society has lost touch with what it is to be a lady.

24 August 2007


Just when I think that the Archdiocesan newspaper of record is coming around, it prints something that just makes me scratch my head. Maybe it is just a last, lingering breeze of Spirit of Vatican 2 (tm) air that makes me shudder. The editorial in the August 24, 2007 is a case in point.

The Archbishop has recently appointed a layman, Dr. David Mueckl, as assistant to the moderator of the archdiocesan curia. I am sure that Dr. Mueckl is a fine man and well-qualified for the position. We wish him every success. But the editorial and, hence, this post, aren't about him at all.

The editorial instead is a paean to the wonderful empowerment of the laity that was one of the long overdue and utterly stupendous results of the Second Vatican Council. In so opining, the Editors prop up so many of the threadbare sloganistic propositions of post-Vatican 2 liberals, propositions that have been exposed so many times before and yet continue to be thrown out as established fact. Here is the editorial, with my comments in green:

Laity come to fruition within Church

The recent announcement of the appointment of a Catholic layman, David Mueckl, by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke to assist in the work of the archdiocesan curia is a great blessing not only for the vicar general, who moderates the governance of the archdiocese, but also for the whole archdiocesan family.

Besides the considerable work of addressing the functioning and coordination of a vast network of archdiocesan agencies and offices, the newly created role of assistant to the moderator will aid in completing the strategic pastoral plan of the archdiocese.

Far beyond the immediate benefit of lay assistance in this position, however, is the symbolic significance it bears. As usual, symbolism trumps all else. It is more important that a layman fill a visible leadership role than that laymen actually receive the necessary graces to grow in holiness and attain eternal life. Much like in political liberalism, it would be more important that a TV show "celebrate" alternative lifestyles than to enact laws that reinforce and enable virtue. Once again we see recognition of the truth that the laity have a legitimate, rightful, necessary and indispensable role in the exercise of Church leadership and authority. Where does it say this? Where in the Scripture or in Tradition does it say that the laity have a "rightful, necessary and indispensable role" in the exercise of Church leadership and authority? Not merely assisting the clergy, the laity are called to work with the clergy, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in living out the witness of the Body of Christ, the Church.

This "living out the witness" is primarily accomplished by the sanctification of the laity so they may live out their vocation in the world. To be witnesses for Christ to the world. The laity are not called to live out a false clericalism, to usurp the functions, and parrot the vocation of, the clergy. This is confirmed in the Vatican 2 document Apostolicam Actuositatem, the decree on the apostolate of the laity. It encourages lay apostolates, and the use of the talents of the laity in the world. "Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ." In temporal matters, it authorizes the collaboration of the laity and clergy, yet even here the laity are to be "fully subject to higher ecclesiastical control in the performance of this work."

All too often some, both clergy and laity, have mistakenly seen the ever emerging and unfolding role of the laity as something which undermines, supplants or stands in competition with the role of the clergy. Yet the reason this has occurred is that the "empowerment" of the laity has been interpreted in such a way that the laity seek to usurp liturgical and sacramental roles from the priest, and governance roles from the ordinary. And very little is being done to change the misperception or to end the usurpation. Such is to misunderstand that role completely. Clergy and laity are two sides of the same coin, together bound into a single offering placed at the feet of our Lord.

Source of all blessings, he calls for and deserves both sides of the coin, the full homage of the people he calls to be his own.

Not to acknowledge the gifts of the laity, not to allow them to make their unique contribution to the Church would be to deny our Lord his due. He is the dispenser of those gifts; he is the one to whom they are pointed. I have never personally witnessed any member of the clergy who was dismissive of the gifts or role of the laity. I think this is a red herring.

He sows seeds of leadership and service, within both clergy and laity. He intends to bring those seeds to full harvest. This can be done only when the full Body of Christ is allowed to offer its combined gifts, unified in the Holy Spirit. "So we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another" (Romans 12:5). We are, clergy and laity, indeed one.

Didn't St. Paul also write that there are different gifts in that one Spirit?

From 1 Corinthians 12: "28 And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors? 30 Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"

It is crucial that we not make the mistake of thinking that the reason for lay leadership and ministry is that there is a reduced number of clergy to fill these vital roles. True, these are separate realities. Yet I can't help making a connection that perhaps the editors would not intend by this sentence. Is it perhaps possible that there are fewer clergy to fill "these vital roles" of ministry because their unique sacerdotal vocation has been watered down and usurped by the laity?

Indeed, the clergy can take the place of the laity no more than the laity can replace the clergy. If priestly vocations were to experience explosive growth, there would be no less need of lay leadership and charisms. Indeed. And, also, no more need. The need, whatever it may be, is not a function of the number of clergy.

One of the great blessings of Vatican Council II has been the empowering of the laity in roles of living witness. Does anybody else have a natural gag reflex whenever someone uses the term "empowering"? I mean, come on, is the Church and our role in it really about power? Power? How about getting to Heaven? Does that count anymore? These include vital roles of ministry in the celebration of the Eucharist; the addressing of the spiritual needs of the hospitalized and homebound in pastoral care; spiritual counseling and sacramental preparation; and so many more. Here is exactly the false pseudo-clericalism of the laity that has brought so much confusion among both the clergy and the faithful, and has resulted in the banalization of the Mass and the emptying of both the Churches and the seminaries. Books could be, and have been written, on the disaster of the omnipresent laity blundering about the sanctuary. The laity, so knowledgeable in the business and management arena, bring a vast wealth of experience, expertise and insight to the administration of the Church, both locally and universally. Indeed, we see this in our own new curia assistant.

The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest fraternal organization, have championed the cause of lay ministry and witness, faithfully serving in leadership roles for 125 years. Their witness today includes the areas of evangelization; marriage; and the fight against embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, euthanasia and assisted suicide. In addition to parish-based councils, for nearly a century we have had college campus-based councils, giving witness in areas of pressing need such as hurricane and other natural disaster relief. Eventually they will join parish-based councils. The Knights are, of course, but one of numerous lay Church ministry organizations.

See, this is a perfect example of authentic lay apostolate. The Knights do so much good work, charitable and fraternal, witness to the Gospel, and support the priests and bishops in their proper work. They don't function as a training mechanism for pastoral associates or try to run a parish as a type of lay board of trustees. And yet, I do believe that their founding, as the editorial acknowledges, 125 years ago, was well before Vatican 2, was it not?

We celebrate the arrival of our newly appointed curia assistant and look forward to working along with him and all the Catholic faithful, both laity and clergy, in building the heavenly reign on earth. Yes, welcome, Dr. Mueckl. In that spirit of welcome, I will pass over that comment about building the heavenly reign on earth.

From Archbishop Burke

The following is from the Archbishop's column in this week's Review:

Solemnity of St. Louis of France

On Saturday, Aug. 25, the Church universal celebrates the memory of our principal patron in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis IX, King of France. The patronal feast, which is a solemnity in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, will be transferred to Sunday, Aug. 26, so that a greater number of the faithful of the archdiocese may participate in the Solemn Pontifical Mass at 5 p.m. If possible, please participate in the Holy Mass on this coming Sunday to ask the intercession of St. Louis, King of France, for the many needs of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

I also encourage you to familiarize yourselves again with the life of St. Louis. St. Louis is a model for husbands, fathers, heads of state, for those who carry out the work of charity and for all of us. He was truly a man who gave himself completely to Christ in his vocation and life. He became more and more conformed to Christ, giving his last energies of life to leading a crusade to safeguard the holy places of our Lord’s redemptive Incarnation.

New Metropolitan Cross

At the Solemn Pontifical Mass for the Solemnity of St. Louis on Aug. 26, I will bless and use for the first time a new Metropolitan Cross commissioned by the archdiocese and created by Fratelli Savi ecclesiastical goldsmiths in Rome. Claudio and Piero Savi completed the Metropolitan Cross in these days. It arrived in St. Louis last week. The Metropolitan Cross is truly a work of art, worthy of the great beauty of the Sacred Liturgy and of our cathedral basilica.
The Metropolitan Cross is a symbol of the unity of all of the dioceses in the Province of St. Louis, namely, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Jefferson City and Springfield-Cape Girardeau. That unity binds the dioceses of the province to Rome, the see of the bishop of the universal Church. The other symbol of the office of the metropolitan archbishop is the pallium, which is imposed by the Roman pontiff as a sign of the bond of unity between the Church in the province and the universal Church. The Province of St. Louis encompasses the entire territory of the State of Missouri.

The Metropolitan Cross is carried in procession before the archbishop, especially on the occasion of special celebration for the entire Province of St. Louis, for example, the ordination of a new bishop for the province. It is carried in such a way that the image of Christ crucified is facing the archbishop to remind him of his solemn responsibilities as a true shepherd of the flock who, like our Lord, the Master, should lay down his life for the sheep entrusted into this care.

The front of the Metropolitan Cross has the image of Christ crucified at its center. At the extremes of the upright and crossbeams are the symbols of the Apocalyptic Lamb, of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of the four evangelists. On the reverse side of the cross are the coats of arms of the Archdiocese of St. Louis (the metropolitan see) and the dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Jefferson City and Springfield-Cape Girardeau (the suffragan sees). The inside of the Metropolitan Cross is a reliquary containing relics of St. Louis IX, King of France; St. Vincent de Paul, St. Catherine Labouré, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Pius X, St. Maria Goretti and Blessed Pius IX.

Following the Solemn Pontifical Mass on Aug. 26, it will be possible to view the Metropolitan Cross. More information on the Metropolitan Cross is contained on Page 1 of today’s Review.

May St. Louis of France intercede for us and for the many needs of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. May we follow his example in giving our lives totally to Christ in our vocation in life.

Unexpected Boost for U.S. Tourism as Rosie O'Donnell Travels to Canada

Gay Canada Praises Sung as Rosie O’Donnell’s Gay 'Marriage' Cruise Ship Parks in Halifax

HALIFAX, July 13, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) –

Former talk show host and outspoken homosexual Rosie O’Donnell, whose homosexual “family” cruise arrived in Halifax Tuesday, used the occasion to praise Canada’s openness to the aberrant lifestyle, while at the same time bashing US President George W. Bush for his attempts to alter the US Constitution to outlaw same-sex “marriage.”

“This country has a respect for all of its citizens and allows them to all be equal under the law,” she claimed at a reception at Citadel Hill, attended by Halifax city officials and a drag queen. “It’s very, very inspiring for those of us in the United States who have just been nationally shamed by a president who tried to introduce bigotry into the U.S. constitution,” she added, according to a Canadian Press report.

O’Donnell and her same-sex partner Kelli, whose same-sex “marriage” was annulled by their home state of California, launched the cruise last year to appeal to same-sex couples. Many of the same-sex partners took advantage of the Nova Scotia law allowing them to “marry.”

“We’re here to say welcome and please come back again,” said Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly, in attendance at Citadel Hill. “We've always been open to all no matter your orientation.”
From Saint Louis Catholic: Despite repeated attempts, Donald Trump could not be reached for comment.

23 August 2007

Words to Ponder

Venerable Brethren, you are well aware that almost the whole human race is today allowing itself to be driven into two opposing camps, for Christ or against Christ. The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its dire destruction. The preachers of the Gospel are using their talents and energy to extend the Kingdom of Christ; but there are other preachers who, since they profess materialism and reject all hope of eternal happiness, are trying to drag men down to an abject condition.


This was written by (soon to be) Venerable Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Evangelii Praecones. And this was before legalized abortion, widespread contraception, the emptying of Churches, legalized homosexuality, and human cloning.

Please Free Us from the Spirit of Vatican 2!

If you haven't checked out Catholic Church Conservation, you really should. I have long been accustomed to reading about the latest outrage in a nominally Catholic parish or diocese, but this one really got me. Wow. If you think American parishes are bad, Europe is really bad.

Because Sometimes Deportation is Only Two Days Away

New Marriage Law Means Same Day License

Beginning Tuesday, August 28, applicants for marriage licenses issued by Missouri's county recorders of deeds are no longer subject to a three-day waiting period between application and pick-up of license.

"Customers benefit the most from this change. They won't have to make two trips to the marriage license office. It also makes things less complicated for brides and grooms who travel here for their ceremonies, such as military personnel,"said Sharon Quigley Carpenter, St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds & Vital Records Registrar.

"The circuit courts also benefit. Eliminating the need for waiting period waiver requests reduces their workload," said Carpenter.

"Our marriage license records preservation project benefits from a one-trip marriage license. The staff time spent on the second trip, document retrieval, can now be spent scanning more documents and indexing data entry."

Repeal of the three-day waiting period comes about from an amendment to Senate Bill 22 in the most recent regular session of the Missouri Legislature. The change takes effect next Tuesday.


Left out of this story is any coverage of the massive street celebrations by undocumented immigrants and 17-year olds following the announcement. After all, if we can download immoral pictures immediately, get car insurance in 15 minutes, and chat online continuously, why not same-day marriage licenses?

Who needs time to reconsider a quick marriage anyway?

22 August 2007


From Yahoo! News: 50 Pit Bulls at Vick's House Could Be Euthanized

Campaign to Prohibit All Human Cloning in Missouri Launched Today

Important News from the Missourians Against Human Cloning Site:

A coalition of concerned Missouri citizens, doctors, and academics today launched the "Cures Without Cloning" initiative to prohibit human cloning in Missouri. Dr. Lori Buffa, of St. Peters, Missouri, filed proposed ballot language with the Secretary of State's office this morning.

"The Missouri Constitution currently allows for human cloning. It allows for the same cloning method that created Dolly the Sheep," said Dr. Buffa, who serves as chair of CWC. "This initiative will ensure this dangerous, unproven, unnecessary practice is prohibited, and allow us to focus on safe research that leads to lifesaving cures and treatments."

The initiative would amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit the practice of human cloning, and would prohibit taxpayer funding of human cloning experiments. {click here to read the initiative}.

Missourians Against Human Cloning wholeheartedly supports this short, straightforward, scientifically accurate amendment for the following reasons:

The Cures Without Cloning Initiative will close the cloning loophole that currently exists in our Missouri Constitution.

The Cures Without Cloning Initiative will ensure that none of our tax dollars can be spent on human cloning experiments.

The Cures Without Cloning Initiative will allow researchers in our state to focus on the many avenues of ethical research that provide real cures and treatments and real hope for those suffering from diseases.

The Initiative does NOT:

prohibit stem cell research - this is not a stem cell issue, it is a human cloning issue

stop the search for cures and treatments to alleviate suffering

repeal Amendment 2

I hope that each of you will join in supporting this important initiative. It is not enough to file an initiative. Once the ballot title is certified by the Secretary of State, all of us who support this initiative will need to circulate petitions and secure the signatures to place this important legislation before the voters in 2008. The goal is to collect at least 200,000 signatures with a volunteer effort. This will take all of us working together to spread the word across our state. Please sign up today to help with this important effort.

Thank you,

Jaci Winship
Executive Director

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary prayer -

Our Mother of All Peoples, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate, Our Blessed Virgin Mother, pray for us who have recourse to Thee; and through the Triumph of your Most Immaculate Heart, bring us to your Son, that through His Most Precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, we may praise God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Three in One, for all eternity. Amen.

21 August 2007

Feast of St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal

"May we love and serve the Lord reverently with a loving, filial fear of offending our heavenly Father and of displeasing Jesus, our Divine Beloved. As long as we are in this life, we would do well to follow the well-traveled ways to holiness. Fear of God is the first step on this path. We cannot maintain a truly productive desire of serving God unless we have a holy fear of displeasing Our Savior and of being negligent in responding to grace and inspirations.

May all our actions, words, thoughts, and spirit be centered in God, on God, and for God! Let us keep our passions well-disciplined and our spirit pure and faithful. Fidelity to our way of life will help us keep our thoughts centered on God. Then our words will be an inspiration to family, friends, and acquaintances.

Let us do everything in a spirit of peace and love! Attracted by the example and virtues of Jesus Christ our Lord who did the will of His Father, let us walk and even run in the way of God's divine will, not letting ourselves be pulled and pushed about like puppets. Unless we do everything lovingly from a sincere and simple desire for God's glory and the salvation of the world, we will never succeed in obeying this Divine Will. Instead, we will render fruitless the graces of our way of life."

Chicken Pox Vaccine Associated with Shingles Epidemic

From Children of God for Life site, a summary of research first published in 2005 in the International Journal of Toxicology appears below. Counterintuitively, chicken pox vaccines, which address the relatively benign condition of chicken pox, cause a higher occurrence of its much more serious cousin, shingles:

Chicken pox vaccine associated with shingles epidemic

Medical Research News
Published: Thursday, 1-Sep-2005

New research published in the International Journal of Toxicology (IJT) by Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D., reveals high rates of shingles (herpes zoster) in Americans since the government's 1995 recommendation that all children receive chicken pox vaccine.

Goldman's research supports that shingles, which results in three times as many deaths and five times the number of hospitalizations as chicken pox, is suppressed naturally by occasional contact with chicken pox.

Dr. Goldman's findings have corroborated other independent researchers who estimate that if chickenpox were to be nearly eradicated by vaccination, the higher number of shingles cases could continue in the U.S. for up to 50 years; and that while death rates from chickenpox are already very low, any deaths prevented by vaccination will be offset by deaths from increasing shingles disease. Another recent peer-reviewed article authored by Dr. Goldman and published in Vaccine presents a cost-benefit analysis of the universal chicken pox (varicella) vaccination program.

Goldman points out that during a 50-year time span, there would be an estimated additional 14.6 million (42%) shingles cases among adults aged less than 50 years, presenting society with a substantial additional medical cost burden of $4.1 billion.

This translates into $80 million annually, utilizing an estimated mean healthcare provider cost of $280 per shingles case.

After a child has had varicella (chickenpox), the virus becomes dormant and can reactivate later in adulthood in a closely related disease called shingles--both caused by the same varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It has long been known that adults receive natural boosting from contact with children infected with chicken pox that helps prevent the reactivation of shingles.

Based on Dr. Goldman's earlier communications with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Goldman maintains that epidemiologists from the CDC are hoping "any possible shingles epidemic associated with the chickenpox vaccine can be offset by treating adults with a 'shingles' vaccine." This intervention would substitute for the boosting adults previously received naturally, especially during seasonal outbreaks of the formerly common childhood disease.

"Using a shingles vaccine to control shingles epidemics in adults would likely fail because adult vaccination programs have rarely proved successful," said Goldman. "There appears to be no way to avoid a mass epidemic of shingles lasting as long as several generations among adults."
Goldman's analysis in IJT indicates that effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine itself is also dependent on natural boosting, so that as chickenpox declines, so does the effectiveness of the vaccine.

"The principal reason that vaccines in Japan maintained high levels of immunity 20 years following vaccination was that only 1 in 5 (or 20%) of Japanese children were vaccinated," he said. "So those vaccinated received immunologic boosting from contact with children with natural chickenpox. But the universal varicella vaccination program in the U.S. will nearly eradicate this natural boosting mechanism and will leave our population vulnerable to shingles epidemics."

For decades it was thought shingles increased with age as older individuals' immune systems declined. However, Goldman's new research shows this phenomenon seemed primarily due to the fact that older people received fewer natural boosts to immunity as their contacts with young children declined.

Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D. served for eight years as a Research Analyst with the Varicella Active Surveillance Project conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS). The project was funded by the CDC.

About Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D.: Currently serves as Founder and Editor-in- Chief of the peer-reviewed medical journal Medical Veritas (www.MedicalVeritas.com). Has recently authored five manuscripts concerning varicella, herpes zoster, and capture-recapture published in the European journal called Vaccine.

Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology, 24(4):205-213, Universal Varicella Vaccination: Efficacy Trends and Effect on Herpes Zoster. Also, Vaccine, 23(25):3349-3355, Cost-benefit analysis of universal varicella vaccination in the U.S. taking into account the closely related herpes zoster epidemiology.
The above article, of course, does not touch on the moral question of whether it is morally permissible/impermissible/encouraged/discouraged to receive this or any other vaccine that has been derived from aborted fetuses. This has been covered in the 2005 letter from the Pontifical Academy for Life, which, barring breaking news, will be covered in my next post.
I had a very brief email discussion with my spiritual director on this issue, and his initial comments made me to understand that I need to do more research. So you, the readers, will unfortunately bear the brunt of this research if you decide to read subsequent posts. ;-)

20 August 2007

Poison Pajamas? Made in China? Impossible!

From the Financial Times site:

Poison pyjamas add to China export scares

By Geoff Dyer in Shanghai
August 20 2007

The safety problems affecting Chinese goods spread from toys to textiles on Monday as New Zealand said it would investigate allegations that imported children’s clothes contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde.

The government ordered the probe after scientists hired by a consumer watchdog programme discovered formaldehyde in Chinese clothes at levels of up to 900 times regarded as safe. Manufacturers sometimes apply formaldehyde to clothes to prevent mildew. It can cause skin rashes, irritation to the eyes and throat and allergic reactions.

The Warehouse, a New Zealand retailer, issued a recall at the weekend for children’s pyjamas made in China after two children were burned when their flannelette nightclothes caught fire.


18 August 2007

Archbishop Burke Names ICRSP Priest to Lead Implementation of Summorum Pontificum

Archbishop Burke has named Reverend Karl W. Lenhardt, of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, as the Archepiscopal Delegate for the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Father Lenhardt is the Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, and is Vice-Provincial of the ICRSP for the United States. He is pictured in the above photo second from the right, in a Traditional Mass celebrated then-Cardinal Ratzinger in Weimar, Germany.

As another impressive sign of the Archbishop's commitment to the faithful implementation of the Motu Proprio and thus of the Holy Father's wishes, the appointment will enable and ensure the appropriate training to Archdiocesan priests, servers, choirs, etc., and will help coordinate the appropriate resources to assist them.

Having a priest experienced in the traditional form of the Mass to lead the implementation of Summorum Pontificum will greatly help ensure that the extraordinary use will be celebrated throughout the Archdiocese in the way to best ensure its benefits to the faithful.

17 August 2007

Unfortunately, It is All There on the Package Insert

From LifeSiteNews.com:

Birth Control Pill Creates Blood Clot Causing Death of Irish Woman
Family warns others to beware of the health risks of the pill

By Elizabeth O'Brien

DUBLIN, August 17, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An Irish woman has died of a blood clot after taking the birth control pill for several years. Her family and an investigating doctor have publicly attributed her death to the use of the contraceptive.

Please pray for the soul of this poor woman and for all who use contraception.

Sancta Gianna, ora pro nobis!

The Restoration's New Phase-- Two Rural StL Parishes to Provide Weekly Traditional Mass

From the article in the St. Louis Review:

Two rural parishes planning to begin weekly Latin Mass in fall

by Jean M. Schildz, Review Staff Writer

St. Joseph Parish in Apple Creek and sister parish St. Maurus in Biehle plan to celebrate a regular weekly Tridentine Latin Mass beginning this fall.

An 11:15 a.m. Sunday Latin Mass will be celebrated on a rotating basis alternating months at the two Perry County parishes. The first Latin Mass is set to take place Nov. 4 at St. Maurus.

Father Anthony A. Dattilo, pastor of both parishes, will celebrate the Mass.

It is being added at the request of parishioners, he told the Review in an interview this week.
His decision to add the Mass has received "a very positive response," he said.

Father Dattilo noted there has been strong interest for some time at the two parishes to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. Some parishioners, he said, had asked that the Latin Mass be celebrated even before last month’s release of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum," which allows for greater use of the Tridentine Mass.

Priests who wish to say the Tridentine Mass no longer have to first receive permission from their bishop, according to the pope’s pronouncement.

Father Dattilo said he and his parishioners prayed for this. "I see it as important. It’s a liturgical tradition of the Church that’s beautiful and holy, and I think a lot of people prayed for it. It’s not something that just dropped out of the skies. I thought I’d be an old man before this would happen. People desired this."

The closest regular Latin Mass within the archdiocese for his parishioners has been at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in South St. Louis. A weekly Tridentine Mass has not been celebrated regularly in Perry County for years. Sts. Joseph and Maurus are part of the archdiocese’s Ste. Genevieve Deanery, which encompasses the southernmost point of the archdiocese.

The Latin Mass at the two churches will be offered in addition to the regular Sunday Masses. "The English Mass, or new order of the Mass, will stay the same. We’re adding a Mass, not deleting or changing one," Father Dattilo stressed.


What draws him to the Latin rite is "the reverence in it. Everything is so directed toward God. It could be in any language as far as I’m concerned." He also appreciates the silence during the Mass, adding that "the mystery of faith comes across."

The 45-year-old priest admits he needs "to brush up on the Mass," as he wrote in a recent parish bulletin. Father Dattilo said he learned part of the rite a long time ago and now has to relearn it. Ordained in 1990, he first attended a Tridentine Mass at St. Agatha in South St. Louis when he was a seminarian. The Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Bernard E. Granich. "He was the first one that I ever saw celebrate the Tridentine Mass. It was very beautiful," he recalled.

Father Dattilo plans to get some personal training in the rite and also has found helpful resources on the Internet.

Missals and servers’ books from Ecclesia Dei of Chicago have been purchased to train servers and others. Instruction on how to say the Latin prayers, for example, is given phonetically in the materials. A St. Maurus parishioner who served at Latin Mass as a youngster will assist in the training. Another St. Maurus parishioner has volunteered to be a cantor. Father Dattilo is hoping others join her from both parishes to form a choir.

Both parish churches, he added, are suited for a Latin Mass "because they’re old-fashioned churches." Very minimal changes were needed, he said.
Wonderful news, and wonderful story. God bless this priest and his parishioners. It is nice to see that first parish community go out and be the cutting edge for the success of the motu proprio and the restoration of the sacred in our liturgies. There were also two positive letters about the traditional Mass in the Review today. Kudos to the editor.

Note, that Father is young; he was furthermore exposed to the traditional Mass in his seminary days. This is how souls are won-- people of a good will who come to the traditional Mass are affected by it. The seeds we plant now will bear great fruit.

Note, too, that his parishioners requested it, and that he "willingly accede[d]" to their request, as Summorum Pontificum directs. Great, great news.

Anybody who wants to volunteer to serve, sing, or otherwise support this priest and parish should do so. The phone number, from the Archdiocesan website, is (573) 788-2330.

Clearly Wrong? Well, I Should Think So

My thanks again to reader Jay P., who urged me to begin posting on the organ donation issue. It seems Providential, as Father would say, because the media is increasingly covering the subject. Here is a disturbing story with a Homer-esque headline, from The Tidings, the LA Archdiocese's newspaper, if you can believe it:

Botched organ harvesting: 'Clearly wrong'
By R. W. Dellinger

On the face of it, and supported by additional facts dribbling out from police reports and court records, the newest transplant case to hit the front pages of newspapers seems surreal - like a bizarre comic scene from a sequel to Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" movie.

Here is what the reports allege:

Dispatched by the California Transplant Donor Network on February 3, 2006, San Francisco transplant surgeon Dr. Hootan Roozrokh and a colleague entered the operating room at Sierra Vista Medical Center in San Luis Obispo at 11:20 p.m. They got to the O.R. even before the Sierra Vista doctor, who was supposed to be in charge of removing the patient from life support and verifying that his heart had stopped beating, arrived.

Their mission? To harvest the organs of one Ruben Navarro.

Five days earlier, on January 29, after the 25-year-old disabled man had been found unresponsive at a long-term care facility, he was taken to nearby Sierra Vista, put on life support and admitted to the intensive care unit. Rosa, Navarro's mother, gave her consent for organ donation at some later date.

On that late February night, nurse Jennifer Endsley asked the visiting physicians why they were in the operating room before staff supervisor Dr. Laura Lubarsky was present. In response, all Endsley received was cold stares before being totally ignored.

When Dr. Lubarsky arrived around midnight, Dr. Roozrokh told respiratory therapist Mark Winekoff to remove the patient's breathing tube. According to the police report, when Winekoff looked at Dr. Lubarsky she motioned to do as he was told.

After a few minutes, the transplant surgeon supposedly instructed another nurse to give Navarro 100 milligrams of morphine and 40 milligrams of Ativan, a sedative. Some 18 minutes later, Dr. Roozrokh ordered the dosages to be repeated, saying they needed more "candy."

The surgeon is also accused of administering Betadine into the patient's stomach through a feeding tube. The antiseptic is part of a sterilization procedure done to the bodies of organ donors after they're dead.

But Navarro didn't die. And after more than 30 minutes had passed, when the organs were no longer viable, the transplant doctor and his colleague abruptly left the O.R. and hospital.
The patient, who was frothing from the mouth and shivering, was taken back to the I.C.U. He died seven hours later on February 4 at about 8 a.m.

At the end of July, some 18 months after Ruben Navarro died, felony criminal charges were filed against Roozrokh, the 33-year-old transplant surgeon, for prescribing excessive amounts of drugs to hasten Navarro's death to harvest his organs. It's believed to be the first time in the United States such serious charges were leveled against a doctor involved in harvesting organs.

The district attorney's office of San Luis Obispo County accused Roozokh of abusing a dependent adult, administering a harmful substance and prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose. If convicted on all counts, the physician could receive up to eight years in prison plus a $20,000 fine.

Donation after cardiac death

To understand the Ruben Navarro case, it is necessary to understand "donation after cardiac death," which requires knowing some recent medical history, according to Professor James Walter, chair of the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

In most of the 1960s and earlier, before their organs could be harvested, patients had to undergo cardiac death - the complete and irreversible cessation of cardiac and respiratory function. In short, their hearts had to stop beating.

But in 1968, doctors at Harvard Medical School developed a brain-based definition of death, which became the gold standard for transplantation into the 1990s. To be declared brain dead, patients had to have irreversible cessation of all brain function, including any brain stem activity.

Then in the '90s, transplant surgeons reintroduced "DCD," donation after cardiac death. Instead of waiting until a patient's brain was declared dead, transplant surgeons could start harvesting organs soon after his or her heart stopped. Many of these cases involve patients who after suffering catastrophic brain trauma are left with only minimal brain stem function and need life-supporting ventilators to breathe.

Nearly 100,000 people are on the nation's waiting list for heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas or intestine organ transplants. More than a dozen die every day. In a feature story earlier this year, Forbes magazine reported on Internet organ brokers who charge in the range of $140,000 for a kidney and $290,000 for a heart.

Which begs a question: Under these horrific supply-and-demand pressures, is it any wonder that enterprising transplant surgeons might want to speed up the dying process of patients?
"It seems to me in the Navarro case that several of the guidelines were simply broken and just overlooked," LMU's Walter says. "According to any kind of protocol for transplantation and harvesting of organs, there has to be two sets of medical teams: one that cares for the patient during the dying process, and the second is those who harvest the organ. Dr. Roozrokh was evidently the one who prescribed the 200 milligrams of morphine and 80 of Ativan, which is inappropriate. He should have never had done that."

Another issue, the bioethicist points out, concerns the withdrawal of life support. Withdrawing support to harvest organs is wrong, he says. The only intention should be to remove life support because it no longer benefits the patient. Moreover, it can't bring the patient to any level of suitable quality of life the patient would want.

"So that's an ethical issue," he observes. "It seems in this case the withdrawing of the life support was to harvest the organ, not because the ventilator was no longer beneficial to the patient."

But the overriding issue for Walter is whether the large dosages of morphine and Ativan were given to ease Navarro's suffering or to quicken his death. "If the intention is to speed up the dying, then that's inappropriate," he notes. "The intention should never be to speed up death. That would be inappropriate morally and legally."

Vulnerable populations

Wanda Teays, who chairs the philosophy department at Mount St. Mary's College and teaches bioethics, was particularly struck by Rosa Navarro's plea that her son hadn't died with dignity and that she didn't have the chance to say goodbye to him. But the professor also thought it significant that the young man was physically and mentally disabled, and was from a working class background as well as being Latino.

"There are a lot of people on the organ waiting list, and there are desperate people out there," she points out. "So with desperate people willing to cut corners or worse, we've got a recipe for the vulnerable of the world being sacrificed. And whenever you talk about vulnerable populations, you've got the issues of race and class, and then here you've also got disability."
Teays believes the contrast between Dr. Roozrokh and Dr. Jack Kevorkian is important. The latter - known as "Dr. Death and recently released from prison - acted alone, often in his own van, helping suffering and terminally ill people willingly end their lives.

But when the transplant surgeon took an unresponsive Ruben Navarro off life support and ordered massive doses of a narcotic and sedative, he was in Operating Room 3 of Sierra Vista Medical Center. Moreover, at least six other health care workers stood by, including the patient's attending physician, a supervising staff doctor, a respiratory therapist and nurses.
"There's something brazen about the doctor having that large of an audience," she notes. "But his hubris and lack of respect for the patient didn't go unnoticed."

Teays commends the nurses who stepped forward to express their outrage -staffers like Jennifer Endsley who told investigators she recalled saying, "I don't think this is right."
The academic thought it was "really good" many news outlets ran the Sierra Vista piece as their lead story. And the fact that felony charges were filed, she believes, "raised the flag" that it's not okay to sacrifice any human being for the benefit of others.

"We got a human face on a very important bioethical issue," Teays stresses. "And by using a photo of Ruben Navarro being held by his mother, we get the whole sense that here are these people like you and I. And we could be the ones lying there getting the morphine.

"It means," she stresses, "we just always have to be vigilant now."

'Do no harm'

Ken Zanca, who teaches religious studies and philosophy at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes, also is glad to see how many laymen and professionals were shocked when they heard about what happened to Ruben Navarro.

"When you talk about the 'slippery slope,' the slippery slope in one sense can be the desensitizing of people to wrongdoing," he explains. "We just get used to it, and then we don't notice the incremental decline. But here there's outrage, and this to me is healthy.

"People are seeing this for what it was, and the wrongs are not being fudged. Even people who support physician-assisted euthanasia, they're not saying the ends justify the means in this case. Because here the ends were wasted organs, on top of the destruction and the suffering of this poor victim."

Two major ethical issues pop out at the professor. First is the physician's sacred oath to do no harm. He's convinced that the alleged facts of the case clearly indicated that Dr. Roozrokh was giving morphine and barbiturates "directly for the purpose" of not easing pain, but to hasten death. "To me that seems a patent and self-evident contradiction of the Hippocratic principle," he says.

The second issue has to do with consent. When Rosa Navarro agreed to organ donation, Zanca notes, she didn't consent to speeding up her son's death. "That's another violation of an ethical code," he says. "In the absence of informed consent on the part of the patient, then his custodians must be fully informed of what is going on and the consequences. And they weren't."
Like his colleagues, Zanca is also bothered by the legal point that a transplant surgeon can't be directly involved in the patient's care while alive. He does not understand how the patient's attending physician okayed the transplant procedure, especially the administration of morphine and Ativan. He says it's "staggering" to think that your own doctor would not be your strongest defender against such an illegal procedure.

"I've studied medical ethics questions for quite a while, and most of the cases are excruciatingly complex and involve all manner of need for ethicists to be involved with the science before they make any type of ethical assessment," says Zanca, who holds a doctorate in Christian medical ethics from Fordham University. "Ethics is a reflective discipline that has to catch up with science very often.

"But of all the cases, this one is so abundantly clearly wrong," he adds. "I mean, it's not even an issue. There are so many basic legal as well as ethical principles that have been violated that I see no gray area here at all. This one stinks like a fish that's been left out of the refrigerator too long."

Lightning Strikes; St. Alphonsus Church Burns

From the story on STLToday:

Fire guts 'Rock' Church

By Jeremy Kohler

ST. LOUIS — Lightning struck a storied 135-year-old church Thursday evening on Grand Boulevard, sparking a fire that caused major damage to the midtown monument. The five-alarm blaze gutted St. Alphonsus "Rock" Catholic Church, dedicated in 1872 and widely known for its trademark limestone exterior walls.

Andrew Atherton, an elder at the church, said losing the Rock would be "devastating."


"It's just like any other church — it's part of you," Atherton said. "Without that, you're lost."

St. Louis Fire Chief Sherman George said he believed the fire started with a lightning strike. He said the blaze was under control by 9 p.m., about two hours after firefighters arrived. He said that while the walls stayed intact, fire had engulfed the inside.

No one was injured in the blaze, which prompted authorities to close a section of Grand for several hours.George said firefighters tried to battle the blaze from inside but were turned back by heavy smoke and had to rely mostly on aerial trucks. Flames could be seen shooting out of the roof at times.

The building is a Gothic structure, with a towering steeple and flanking spires. The church features an array of stained glass, which was largely spared by the fire.

A former Rock pastor, the Rev. Rick Potts, said he was the last person to leave the church as the fire broke out.


Hundreds of people came to the scene to watch the fire and the battle to contain it. Archbishop Raymond Burke stood with others about two blocks from the church. He called the fire a "great tragedy" and said that church officials are hoping it can be repaired.

(photo above by Sarah Conard of the P-D)

16 August 2007

Aborting Babies to Make Vaccines

Did the title catch your attention?

Because the organ donation posts sparked such a good discussion, both in the comments box and by email, and at other blogs that picked up the posts, I wanted to introduce the first of a series of posts on the current state of the moral fight to resist many vaccines the government and the medical lobby wants to force on us that are derived from aborted fetal cell lines.

Many of the vaccines that state governments require for children to attend school, or for adults to be able to work in certain industries (e.g. the food industry), have been created and produced by killing unborn babies and using the cell lines derived therefrom. Many of us, and more of our children, have received these vaccinations, which include the following:

Chickenpox (varicella)
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A&B
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
some Polio
some Rabies
and the developing Ebola, Smallpox, Avian Flu and HIV

Some of the above vaccines have ethically-derived alternatives, but you would not get them unless you request them.

For example, the Rubella vaccine (the part that makes the MMR unethical) has an ethical alternative available in Japan but not in the U.S. --you can get the mumps and the measles vaccines by themselves, but only if you ask. There is no ethical MMR combination.

I personally find the chickenpox vaccine to be the most morally repugnant, because there is no significant threat to the life of a child who gets it, nearly every child used to get it (which renders them immune for life), and yet there is not a single ethical alternative vaccine for it.

For the past several years, I have been aware of an organization called Children of God for Life. Run by Debi Vinnedge, COGFL has untiringly led the fight against unethical vaccines, supported the production and distribution of ethical vaccines, and sought to procure a clear statement about the morality of receiving or refusing these vaccines from the Church. I have worked with Ms. Vinnedge on some local Missouri issues, too. I unhesitatingly support their work, and their website is full of wonderfully useful information.

It was COGFL that pushed the Pontifical Academy for Sciences to produce its recent statement on vaccines. I will publish a post later on that statement from the Vatican-- a good statement that has been misquoted and taken out of context by enemies of Church teaching (a sadly familiar story).

Until further posts, I wanted to make my readers aware of the issue generally and provide the Children of God site.

The good news is that in most states, including Missouri, a parent can exercise a religious exception to vaccines that violate their religious beliefs. COGFL has a sample letter, which I reproduce below, and links to supporting documentation you will need.

The reception of vaccines derived from aborted babies involves serious issues of moral theology. I am not a moral theologian, but just a Catholic trying to do what is right. At the least, I believe it is incumbent upon us all to be fully informed and to make a careful decision before we just let the pediatrician start jamming needles into our children simply because "it is time for those vaccinations" on his chart.

(from cogforlife): Sample Letter for Catholics. Copy and paste into your own word processing and fill in appropriate information. For supporting Church documentation, click here. For more help, contact us!

From: (Parent Name & Address)
To: (School Name, Administrator, address)

To Whom It May Concern,

In that I am a member of the Catholic Church and that my child, (insert name), is a member of the Catholic Church, I am exercising our rights under ____ State law to receive a religious exemption for vaccination.

The vaccines we oppose are the MMR and Chickenpox and any other that may be required in the future which are derived from aborted fetal tissue. In regard to using such vaccines, the Vatican has instructed the faithful that:

“As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health.” (Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Cells Derived From Aborted Human Foetuses, Pontifical Academy for Life, June 2005).

The State of _____ which is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, has not attested to any sort of risk to the health of the community that would preclude our right to abstain in accord with this teaching. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control has declared rubella to be eliminated in the United States as of March 2005, with less than 10 cases per year over the past 4 years and only one case of Congenital Rubella Syndrome, none of which occurred among native Americans and all of which were self-contained cases. Therefore, as faithful Catholics and firm pro-lifers, as our unvaccinated child does not pose a threat to anyone, we cannot in good conscience use any product that takes its origin in abortion.

The Vatican document also upholds this right in the above document, stating:
“It is up to the faithful and citizens of upright conscience (fathers of families, doctors, etc.) to oppose, even by making an objection of conscience, the ever more widespread attacks against life and the "culture of death" which underlies them... There is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines and to make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems... They should take recourse, if necessary, to the use of conscientious objection with regard to the use of vaccines produced by means of cell lines of aborted human foetal origin.”

Moreover, the Catholic Church teaches that Moral Conscience is sacred to Catholic tenets and must be obeyed as described in the Catechism and numerous encyclicals, especially by the Fourth Lateran Council, "The Divine Law is the supreme rule of actions; our thoughts, desires, words, acts, all that man is, is subject to the domain of the law of God; and this law is the rule of our conduct by means of our conscience. Hence it is never lawful to go against our conscience; as the Fourth Lateran council says, 'Quidquid fit contra conscientiam, aedificat ad gehennam.'" ["Whatever is done in opposition to conscience is conducive to damnation."]

As instructed in Catholic Doctrine, Dignitatis Humanae (Pope Paul VI, 1965),
"It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, attested by Papal Authority as the sure teaching norm for the Catholic faith further instructs on the duty to adhere to Moral Conscience:

1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…His conscience is man’s most secret core and sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”

1777“When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.” (CCC 1777)

1782“Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”

In that the use of these vaccines would be both a violation of Catholic doctrine on moral conscience and in contradiction with the instruction of the Vatican, therefore, under the teachings of the Catholic Church to which my child and I are religiously and morally bound, I submit this exemption in accordance with ____ State Law, Section ___________