27 September 2012

Inconceivable! The Princess Bride turns 25

Truly one of the most charming and funny movies of all time, it's hard to believe that It has been twenty-five years since the release of The Princess Bride.

Eminently quotable, fun and wholesome, it is that rarest of movies that delights the entire family regardless of age or gender. Of course, like a pimple on the Mona Lisa, there is a single indefensible use (by a child, no less) of the Lord's name in vain, And one semi-defensible vulgar expression. Because the movie is so otherwise perfect, these really stand out. You probably wouldn't notice them in Reservoir Dogs.

Since I consider Vizzini to be my personal hero, fashion guru, and probable ancestor, I urge you to watch this film again. If you haven't seen it yet, escape that rock you're under and do it right now. As Vizzini said, “Do you want me to send you back to where you were - unemployed, in Greenland?!”

To tide you over until then, here is a nice write-up on the movie that got me hankering to see it again.

As You Wish: Little-Known Facts About The Princess Bride on Its 25th Anniversary

26 September 2012

Something to Remember as You Contemplate That Organ Donor Card

The grisly truth should come as no surprise to readers of this blog.  From the New York Post:

Organs taken from patients that doctors were pressured to declare brain dead: suit

Feast of St. Isaac Jogues and St. Jean de Brébeuf

From Wikipedia:

Saint Isaac Jogues (January 10, 1607 – October 18, 1646) was a Jesuit missionary who traveled and worked among the Native Americans in North America. He gave the original European name to Lake George, calling it Lac du Saint Sacrement, Lake of the Holy Sacrament. He is regarded as a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1930 Jogues, St. Jean de Brébeuf and six other martyred missionaries, all Jesuits or laymen associated with them, were canonized as "The North American Martyrs," or "St. Isaac Jogues and Companions." Their feast day is October 19 in the U.S., September 26 in Canada (note: Sept. 26 is their feast day in the traditional calendar, even in the U.S.).

Born in Orléans, France, Jogues entered the Society of Jesus in 1624. In 1642, he was sent to New France as a missionary to the Huron and Algonquin allies of the French. While on his way by canoe to the country of the Hurons, Jogues was captured by a war party of Mohawk Iroquois, in the company of Guillaume Couture, René Goupil, and several Huron Christians. Taken back to the Mohawk village, they were tortured in various gruesome ways, Jogues himself having several of his fingers bitten or burned off.

Jogues survived this torment and went on to live as a slave among the Mohawks for some time, even attempting to teach his captors the rudiments of Christianity. He was finally able to escape thanks to the pity of some Dutch merchants who smuggled him back to Manhattan. From there, he managed to sail back to France, where he was greeted with surprise and joy. As a "living martyr," Jogues was given a special permission by Pope Urban VIII to say the Holy Mass with his mutilated hands, as the Eucharist could not be touched with any fingers but the thumb and forefinger.

Yet his ill-treatment by the Mohawks did not dim the missionary zeal of Jogues. Within a few months, he was on his way back to Canada to continue his work. In 1645, a tentative peace was forged between the Iroquois and the Hurons, Algonquins and French. In the spring of 1646, Jogues was sent back to the Mohawk country along with Jean de Lalande to act as ambassador among them.

However, some among the Mohawks regarded Jogues as a sorcerer, and when the double-calamity of sickness and crop failure hit the Mohawks, Jogues was a convenient scapegoat. On October 18, 1646, Jogues was clubbed to death and beheaded by his Mohawk hosts near Auriesville, New York, along with Goupil and LaLande.

Today, the Shrine of the North American Martyrs, maintained by the Jesuits, stands on or near the site (ten years after Jogues' death, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in approximately the same place). Brebeuf and five of his companions were killed in Canada in 1648 and 1649.

25 September 2012

Meatless Friday Tuesday: Replacement Ref Edition

BREAKING: JaMarcus Russell eyeing return to NFL after discovering games can be won by throwing interceptions.

--With a nod to Desmond Bishop. I feel for 'ol Badger Catholic. Not a good sports day in Wisconsin.

24 September 2012

Taking Faith and Mission Seriously

Fisher-More College in Fort Worth, TX has begun its new semester as all decent Catholic colleges should begin-- with its faculty taking the Oath against ModernismIts newsletter entry is here, with some nice photos, too.

20 September 2012

Bishop Peter Elliot to Speak in St. Louis September 29-30

As usual, I am scooped on a St. Louis Catholic event by another blog, even though I was kindly informed by Credo St. Louis itself of the event.  As usual, I blame my paying job.  But hey, its nice to have a paying job, yes?

To quote NLM about the event:

The St. Louis Chapter of the Latin Liturgy Association is pleased to welcome liturgist Bishop Peter Elliot to St. Louis Saturday and Sunday, September 29th & 30th, 2012 for a public lecture and Holy Mass at Historic St. Mary of Victories Chapel downtown. His Excellency is an international authority on liturgy, and on the Anglican Ordinariates now authorized by Pope Benedict XVI. The public is invited; free of charge.

The lecture is titled “
Benedict XVI and the Liturgy: Vision and Practice” and will take place Saturday evening, September 29th at 7:30 PM.

Bishop Elliot will celebrate Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form in Latin at 9 AM on Sunday, September 30th.

Both will take place at historic St. Mary of Victories Chapel 744 South 3rd Street, in downtown St. Louis (
Map & Directions).

What-Can-U-Sa? or, Can I Have My Money Back?

Ol' Chick Fil-A bows to Chicago business pressures and 1) decides not to fund pro-sanctity-of-marriage groups, and 2) issues a pablum-y statement to mollify homosexual agitprop groups.

Nothing surprises anymore.  And of course a business' first rule is to be profitable.  However, if this were the course of action, it would have been nice to make this public before convincing every marriage supporter and their brother to swell their coffers in the last couple of months.  No, take the money of the gullible citizen desperate for any effort to stand athwart the tide of the cesspool, THEN, change course and please the sodomites.  

Mark Twain is rightly chuckling at lots of us today.  He knew a rube when he saw one.

"Ending"? It Would Be Something Just to Slow It Down

Yesterday's post on the Al Smith dinner scandal addressed one specific incident involving the head of the USCCB that mystifies faithful Catholics.

This post from Crisis Magazine on the workings of the USCCB staff as an incubator for anti-life, anti-Church, political insiders addresses the general situation.

No surprise, I guess, but it sure demoralizes.

Ending the USCCB’s Path to Progressive Politics?

19 September 2012

Evangelization: Done to Death by Dialogue

The Al Smith Dinner is a month away.  

Cardinal Dolan's invitation to the most virulently pro-abortion politician to occupy the office of President has already cleared the news cycle.  The scandal and protest of faithful Catholics and other pro-lifers has already cleared the news cycle.  The decision of His Eminence to maintain the invitation in the face of protest has also cleared the news cycle.  

So, in a nation with a short attention span, why revisit the issue?  For purposes of clarity, and in the hopes of trying to rouse complacent Catholics from the sleep of meekly submitting to our emasculation in the so-called "public square". 

Christopher Ferrara has posted a piece on The Remnant which dissects the larger problem exemplified by the Al Smith invitation, called The Cardinal Virtues:  Engagement, Dialogue and Civility.  Though known as a firebrand, in this piece I think that Ferrara treats the subject with honesty and charity.  He is not disrespectful to the Cardinal, nor do I wish any disrespect to him.  He does point out the disastrous logic of His Eminence's position.

It is a symptom of a colossal problem, fatal to the interests of the Church of Christ.  As we near the 50th Anniversary of the undeniable disaster of the Second Vatican Council (or of its implementation, if you insist), pointing out the obvious is still, regrettably, topical.  Catholics must wake up to the reality of the consequences of a failed approach to secularism-- and then change that approach.

From the full article, these excerpts.  It is a little long (no surprise to any reader), but it is worth reading in full.  I had a hard enough time cutting what I did:

 The Cardinal Virtues
Engagement, Dialogue and Civility

In a recent posting on the website of the Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Dolan defended his decision to invite Barack Obama to the annual Al Smith Foundation Dinner on October 18.  The defense presented demonstrates the total surrender of the Catholic Church to the Zeitgeist and the powers that be in America.

Dolan begins by praising an address by the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus to the annual Knights Convention, in which the Supreme Knight “exhorted us to a renewed sense of faithful citizenship [Cardinal Dolan’s emphasis], encouraging us not to be shy about bringing the values of faith to the public square. This duty, he reminded us, came not just from the fact that we are Catholic, but also from the fact that we are loyal Americans.”

In the Year of Our Lord 2012, America is descending into an abyss of utter depravity, with the blood of tens of millions of aborted children on its hands and militant homosexualism on the march. Yet as America becomes another Sodom, faced imminently with the fate of all Sodoms, Cardinal Dolan’s idea of “faithful citizenship” is not to be “shy” about bringing our “values” to the “public square.”  The “public square,” of course, is that great temple of the American civil religion, peopled by all loyal Americans—a place so much bigger than any one church, including the Church of which Cardinal Dolan happens to be a prince, consecrated to his office with a vow of blood martyrdom.

Referring again to the Supreme Knight’s speech, Cardinal Dolan writes of a “promising initiative of the Knights of Columbus to foster civility in politics… Americans are fed up with the negativity, judgmentalism, name-calling, and mudslinging of our election-year process, and eagerly want a campaign of respect, substance, amity —civility! [Dolan’s emphasis].”

Dutiful servitor of the Zeitgeist, Cardinal Dolan calls for the one virtue the new order demands of everyone: civility.  Let’s everybody be nice, not allowing our differences about such matters as the death of millions of innocent children or the demands of militant homosexuals for legal recognition of their sodomitical relations to give rise to any sort of unseemly acrimony.  Civility—with italics—that’s the thing!

Turning to his decision to invite Obama to the Al Smith Dinner, Dolan offered the excuse that “the Al Smith Dinner is not an award, or the provision of a platform to expound views at odds with the Church. It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.”

With all due respect, whom does the Cardinal think he is kidding? An invitation to the Al Smith dinner is an honor to the invitee, and is most certainly a platform for the promotion of views “at odds with the Church”—by which the Cardinal means “at odds with” the divine and natural law. Obama’s very presence in an honored position on the dais promotes his diabolical program even if he says not one word in defense of it.


“I am receiving stacks of mail protesting the invitation,” Cardinal Dolan admits. But those stacks of mail will not deter the Cardinal from his uniquely American mission of civility. “Let me try to explain,” he writes. The Al Smith dinner, the Cardinal explains, is intended “to show both our country and our Church at their best: people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility [Card. Dolan’s emphasis], and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate.”

People of faith? What faith, exactly, do Catholics have in common with Barack Hussein Obama? We know the answer already, but the Cardinal provides it anyway: the faith of Vatican II, which replaces preaching with discussion and conversion with dialogue: “the teaching of the Church, so radiant in the Second Vatican Council, is that the posture of the Church towards culture, society, and government is that of engagement and dialogue. [Card. Dolan’s emphasis] In other words, it’s better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one.”

Quite simply, this is baloney.  The Church was commissioned by Our Lord to be a sign of contradiction to the world, just as Our Lord was to the Pharisees at the cost of His own life. To the extent Our Lord dialogued and engaged with unbelievers it was for the purpose of correction and enlightenment. But Cardinal Dolan will not be engaging or dialoguing with Barack Obama in order to correct or enlighten him. Rather, the Cardinal will join the rest of the crowd of jolly, faithful citizens in fêting the man he has honored by inviting him to the dais, applauding his remarks, laughing at his prepared jokes.

Cardinal Dolan asks: “What message would I send if I refused to meet with the President?”  How about this: the right message.  The message that Holy Mother Church will not dignify evil by providing it with a seat of honor; that the Church will not cast her pearls before swine; that the Church will not reduce to a frivolous social occasion what is really a combat—a final combat—between Christ the King and the Prince of Darkness.

Furthermore, at the Al Smith Dinner the Cardinal will not “meet with the President,” as if to remonstrate with him concerning issues of the day. The Cardinal has invited Mr. Obama to festivities at which he will be an honored guest immune from serious criticism, according to that very spirit of “civility” the Cardinal deems the paramount concern of American public life. Not truth, morality and justice, but civility—with repeated italics—is what the event will promote.

“Some have told me the invitation is a scandal,” Cardinal Dolan admits. That is because it is a scandal. “That charge weighs on me,” he reveals, but evidently not very heavily. He replies to the charge: “So, I apologize if I have given such scandal.  I suppose it’s a case of prudential judgment: would I give more scandal by inviting the two candidates, or by not inviting them?”

The rhetorical question is plainly disingenuous: not inviting either candidate would give no scandal whatsoever, and the Cardinal surely knows this. There is nothing in the charter of the Al Smith Foundation that requires presidential candidates to appear and tell jokes at the annual fundraising dinner. And it is the very presence of the candidates that has reduced the event to a standup comedy venue both candidates manipulate for blatantly partisan purposes.

Cardinal Dolan concludes his apologia for scandal with a remark that is simply too much to bear: “In the end, I’m encouraged by the example of Jesus, who was blistered by his critics for dining with those some considered sinners...”

What can one say in the face of such shameless demagoguery? Our Lord, of course, supped with sinners in private, with the aim of reaching their hearts through His preaching, as He did with the sinners and tax collectors who supped with him (to the grumbling of the Pharisees) while He told the parable of the prodigal son recounted in the Gospel of Luke. ...


Writing a scant eleven years before Vatican II neutralized the Church’s opposition to the errors of modernity, the Venerable Pope Pius XII warned the faithful: “The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its dire destruction.” (Evangelii Praecones, 70). No such prophecy of doom from any mere Roman Pontiff will be allowed to dampen the merriment at the Al Smith Dinner, where Catholic clerics will join cheap politicians in gazing adoringly at America’s image in the mirror of their imperturbable civility. For after all, America is always at her best when she glories in herself.

18 September 2012

Says My Wife

While watching No Direction Home, the Martin Scorsese documentary on Bob Dylan, my wife Sharon had this piece of advice:

"You need to spit out the Kool-Aid, baby."

17 September 2012

Preach the Gospel at All Times; When Necessary, Use Sarcasm

OK, St. Francis of Assisi didn't say that.  But, in fairness, he did not say the oft-quoted "Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words", either.  Good advice, but apocryphal.

No, the reason for the title of my post is my constant frustration at my inability to preach the Gospel without my own personality flaws (read: sinfulness) getting in the way.  You see, I am arrogant, and sarcasm is what an arrogant person mistakes for humor.

And I am guilty of sarcasm quite often.  It pervades my parenting, as my wife can tell you.  The patron saint (to-be-named-later) of housewives, Sharon could relate to you her continual mission to remind me that sarcasm is not an effective parenting tool. 

For example, when my oldest son was about three-years-old, the following incident took place.  After he was put to bed, and yet had called me up to see to some whim of his a few times already, he called me to ask for a glass of water.  I replied with considerable fake deference, "Oh, no problem.  Hey, I know what!  How about if I stay up here in your room, all night, while you sleep, just in case you wake up and need anything.  That way I can get it for you right away!  How about that?"

In the very last moment of my son's innocent confidence in the love of his father, he replied, "Wow, thanks Dad!  That's really nice!" 

Well, you can see my problem, yes?  In my own defense, it apparently works on dogs.

Back to the present day.  I started a Facebook account a few years ago to keep up with the doings of certain local notorious heretics who tried to cause trouble for the Archbishop, in order to find out about when protests were to be held, etc.  After the worst of it died down, the account basically went dormant.  Lately, I have had occasion to use it again.

Facebook is the most amazing collection of varia, especially for Catholics trying to take their faith seriously.  But you know this already.  I have Facebook "friends" and "friends of friends" that use it for evangelization efforts.  And God bless them for those efforts, which I in no way deride.

However, I just can't keep my big keyboard shut sometimes.  After (oh-so-nobly, I like to pretend) resisting the urge to comment on a number of different religious-themed takes, I had a sarcasm lapse today.  

In a perfectly helpful Facebook post, a person had linked to site where you could merge the novus ordo calendar into one's Google calendar.  Very helpful, no doubt.  But what got me going was the phrasing-- that there was an application to download "the" "Catholic Liturgical Calendar".  Oh.  The Catholic Liturgical Calendar.  The Catholic Liturgical Calendar.

So, in a moment I regret, I posted the following:

"I can't get it to work.  I try to download the Roman Calendar, but all I get is a greatly abridged version.  It leaves out tons of feast days, there are hardly any octaves, and it uses weird, stultifying terminology like "ordinary time."  What is that?"

I thought that was hilarious for about two seconds.  Then the inevitable reality set in.  Just how many people would that comment convince to give the glories of the ancient liturgy a try, who were not already convinced?  That's an easy question to answer: zero.  And it would more likely put up barriers for some who might have been convinced by a more helpful effort.

So, if you are disgusted with this blog, occasionally or constantly, you have no idea what effect it has on its own author.  It gets hard sometimes to stay constructive and hopeful-- especially recently with all of the bad news and trends for the Church universally, nationally and locally.  And yet, I am recently reminded of the right approach to these things, ironically enough, by the Facebook postings of Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  You see, they constantly quote from the great Doctor of Charity, St. Francis de Sales.  He faced worse times, and overcame worse things.  He preached the truth, but always, always in and with charity.  

If I can't learn to do this then I should sign off.

And so, to end this confessional, I post the following prayer of C.S. Lewis, which I copied and placed by my computer long ago, but too seldom read:

The Apologist's Evening Prayer

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more
From all the victories I seemed to score;
From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf
At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
From all my proofs of Thy divinity,
Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins.  Let me not trust, instead
Of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle's eye,
Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

12 September 2012

Missouri Legislature Overrides Nixon Veto of Religious Exemption to Contraception Mandate

A small victory for life and for religion in a world gone mad. The Review story sticks with the lamentable 'religious liberty' theme, but that's the paradigm chosen, I guess.

Baby-killers are of course upset that some babies might actually be born.

Congratulations and credit to all of our pro-life legislators, and those of you who encouraged them.

11 September 2012

Buchanan Nails It Again

This time on the need to avert war with Iran. Excerpts:

What is Bibi Netanyahu up to?

With all his warnings of Iran’s “nuclear capability,” of red lines being crossed, of “breakout,” of the international community failing in its duty, of an “existential threat” to Israel, what is the prime minister’s game?

The answer is apparent. Bibi wants Iran’s nuclear program shut down, all enrichment ended, all enriched uranium removed and guarantees that Iran will never again start up a nuclear program.

And if Tehran refuses to surrender its right even to a peaceful nuclear program, he wants its nuclear facilities, especially the enrichment facility at Fordow, deep inside a mountain, obliterated.

And he wants us to do it.

How has Bibi gone about getting America to fight Israel’s war?

He is warning, indeed threatening, that if we do not set a date certain for Iran to end enrichment of uranium, and assure Israel that we will attack Iran if it rejects our ultimatum, Israel will bomb Iran and start the war itself.


Thus far, Obama has called Bibi’s bluff, assuming it is a bluff.

The United States has refused to set a date certain by which Iran must end all enrichment. Hillary Clinton said this weekend that we are “not setting deadlines.” And the election, which could give Obama a free hand to pursue his own timetable and terms for a deal with Tehran, is only eight weeks off.


And the Americans have sent emissaries, including Secretary Leon Panetta, to tell Bibi we oppose an Israeli attack. The Pentagon does not want war. Three former U.S. Central Command heads oppose a war. And last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said he does not wish to be “complicit” in any Israeli attack.

Implied in the word “complicit” is that Dempsey believes an Israeli first strike on Iran could be an act of aggression.

The Israelis were furious, but suddenly the war talk subsided.

From the clashes, public and private, between these two close allies, it is apparent the United States shares neither Israel’s assessment of the threat nor Israel’s sense of urgency.

Why not? Why, when Netanyahu says Israel is facing an “existential threat,” do the Americans dismiss it?

The first reason is the elephant in the room no one mentions: Israel’s own nuclear arsenal. If Fordow is a difficult target for Israel to destroy with conventional air strikes, it could be annihilated with a single atom bomb.

And Israel has hundreds.

Indeed, if Israel has ruled out use of an atomic weapon, even when it says its very existence is threatened, and neoconservatives claim that Iran’s mullahs are such death-wishing fanatics they cannot be deterred even by nuclear weapons, what is Israel’s awesome atomic arsenal for?

What this suggests is that the Israelis do not believe what they are saying. Their nuclear deterrent is highly credible to all their neighbors. Their existence is not in imminent peril. And the mullahs are not madmen.

When Ronald Reagan was about to take the oath, suddenly those mullahs, assessing that the new American president might be a man of action, not just words, had all the U.S. hostages winging their way home.

When the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini, founding father of the Islamic Republic, ended his war with Iraq on unfavorable terms, fearing America was about to intervene on the side of Saddam Hussein.

Like all rulers, good and evil, Iran’s leaders want to preserve what they have—families, homes, lives, privileges, possessions, power. When suicide missions are ordered, you do not read of ayatollahs or of Iranian politicians driving the truck or wearing the vest.


If there is no reason to go to war with Iran, there is every reason not to go to war. Notwithstanding the alarmist rhetoric of Bibi and Ehud Barak, President Obama should stand his ground. And on this one, Gov. Romney should stand with the president, not the prime minister.

10 September 2012

U.S. Hushed Up Soviet Massacre at Katyn

Though they tried to escape blame for decades, the Soviet responsibility for the Katyn Massacre has been known for some time. Now it appears that our government helped cover it up. Of course, most wars are accompanied by propaganda on all sides. But some is worse than others.

This story reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy, when the protagonist-- who initially enlisted thinking the war was for a noble cause-- realized that his country's pact with communism led to an horrific outcome for those countries put under Soviet domination and moreover put socialists in control in England.

Pat Buchanan called World War II "the unnecessary war". It was, though it is considered an unquestionably noble cause for nearly everyone who studied in in American schools. Yet, as Buchanan notes, it's not easy to see what this country gained in siding with one totalitarian regime over another, half a world away.

World War II defines our country, much as the Civil War did for those who came before it. It would be nice to appraise the mythos based on reality.

07 September 2012

What My Head Feels Like

Summer colds are a nuisance.  Sorry, I'll try to get back to blogging tomorrow.

06 September 2012

Pray for Bishop Finn

I couldn't say it any better than do the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Bishop Finn's trial is set for today. The deplorable Kansas City Star has the story

Update:  Not surprisingly, His Excellency was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of "failing to report", but was found not guilty of the another such count.  Two year probation, sentence suspended.  The deplorable Kansas City Star has the story.

05 September 2012

First Day of Catechism

My six-year-old daughter ("CB") had her first co-op catechism class today, where the following exchange took place:

Teacher: "What must we do to get to Heaven?"

CB: "Die."

Canada Pushes the "Brain-Dead" Definitional Envelope to Ease Organ Harvesting from the Still-Living

Our neighbors to the North have decided that waiting until close to the end of patients' lives to kill them by taking their vital organs was cutting it too fine. It sure would be a lot easier if the harvesters could declare them "dead" at a more convenient time.

For a previous post from long ago on the moral dangers of organ donation, click here. The Lifesite News story in full is here, with excerpts below:

Canada’s new ‘brain death’ criteria slammed as scheme to increase organ donations

OTTAWA, Ontario, 4 September, 12 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Ontario’s organ donation agency aggressively campaigns to grow a list of registered organ donors, a legal scholar has slammed the updated national guidelines for establishing the moment of death, arguing that the guidelines were deliberately loosened to “increase the proportion of donors eligible for organ harvesting”.

Jacquelyn Shaw, BSc, MSc, LLB, LLM, writing in the McGill Journal of Law and Health, wrote that the updated 2008 Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation (CCDT) guidelines, “dramatically altered the criteria for brain death declaration with the goal of increasing organ supplies.”

In Canada the whole-brain criteria for death has been practiced since 1968, but the new “brainstem” criteria enables doctors to declare a patient brain dead “potentially weeks, or more, sooner than under a whole-brain criterion,” observes Shaw.

This enables the CCDT to hit donor increase targets by “making many more organs available sooner, and in a more transplantable state” – but this begs the question, is someone declared dead under the brainstem criterion really dead?


The updated CCDT criterion of death requires that only the lower part of the brain which is responsible for breathing, wakefulness, and certain other reflexes be shown to be permanently non-functional. “Significantly, the CCDT’s criterion contains no requirement for non-functionality of the brain’s cortex, responsible for conscious awareness, voluntary movement, sensation (e.g. pain), and communication,” wrote Shaw.

“A brainstem criterion could declare dead some patients who are only super locked-in. With damaged brainstems, but intact cortices, such patients might retain pain-awareness, but could be declared brain-dead under CCDT standards, making them eligible for (unanaesthetised) organ harvesting.”

Because not all patients may be actually dead when their organs are harvested, Shaw argued that the CCDT’s brainstem criterion may “infringe patients’ rights to life and to physical and psychological security of the person.”

Shaw said that the USA and other nations have rejected the brainstem criterion of death due to a high risk of error.

Dr. John Shea, MD FRCP(C), who has written extensively about the highly controversial theory of brain death, told LifeSiteNews that respect for life means that “it’s important to determine that a person is actually dead before harvesting organs because if they are not dead, and you harvest the organs, you are essentially killing them.”

“With brain death criteria, there is no absolute certainty that the person is dead,” he said. “Criteria for establishing brain death have been deliberately developed in such a way so that even though a person is not biologically dead, they are declared dead so that their organs can be harvested and no one can be prosecuted.”

“The fact is that people have to be alive when their organs are harvested because their organs are harmed when death actually occurs,” he said.

The gruesome fact that organ donors are often alive when their organs are harvested — a necessary condition to produce healthy, living organs — prompted three leading experts last year to advise the medical community to adopt a more “honest” moral criteria that allowed for the harvesting of organs from “dying” or “severely injured” patients, with proper consent.


Dr. Paul Byrne, an experienced neonatologist, clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Toledo, and president of Life Guardian Foundation told LifeSiteNews at the time that “all of the participants in organ transplantation know that the donors are not truly dead.”

“How can you get healthy organs from a cadaver? You can’t,” he said.


Meanwhile, numerous stories have emerged of awakenings following medical declarations of brain death. In one particularly chilling case, 21-year-old Zack Dunlap, who was in a locked-in state following an ATV accident, recounted hearing doctors discuss harvesting his organs in his presence. Zack showed signs of life mere moments before he was scheduled to be wheeled into the operating theater to have his organs removed, when one of his relatives tried to get him to react by digging a pocketknife under one of his fingernails.


04 September 2012

Communist Party Drops God from Platform

Dog bites man stuff. And of course they want publicly funded genocide, too. No surprise-- if you are Catholic and have ever considered voting for these thugs, check your catechism again.

No, the real problem is deciding exactly which left-wing, intrusive government, anti-free speech, immoral foreign policy candidate for whom not to vote. It gets harder all the time.

What Kind of Work Goes on at My Office?

Apparently, this kind.