Pulpit Politics

09/29/2008 Comment

In a direct challenge to the IRS, a group of pastors endorsed specific political candidates yesterday while preaching from their churches’ pulpits.

The event, known as Pulpit Freedom Sunday, was organized by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund. Its purpose is to challenge the IRS’s ban on church leaders endorsing individual candidates from their churches.

Currently, pastors who make such endorsements risk having their churches’ tax-free status revoked by the IRS.

The Alliance Defense Fund contends this is an unconstitutional violation of churches’ right of free speech.

One of the participating pastors, the Rev. Fran Pultro of Calvary Chapel on the King’s Highway in...READ MORE

Filed under alliance defense fund, churches, irs, politics

The Humble Pope

09/29/2008 Comments (1)

Pope John Paul I. (CNS)

Pope John Paul I died 30 years ago yesterday, on Sept. 28, 1978.

In his Angelus remarks to pilgrims at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI noted the humility of spirit John Paul I displayed during his brief, 33-day pontificate in 1978.

John Paul I, said Benedict, “chose Saint Charles Borromeo’s episcopal motto — Humilitas — as his own, a word that sums up that which is essential in Christian life and which indicates the virtue needed by those in the Church who are called to serve the authorities.”

Added Benedict, “In one of the four general audiences held during his brief pontificate he said among others things and in that very informal way of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, john paul i, vatican

Speaking Truth to Glowers

09/26/2008 Comment

Bishop Jaime Soto.

Catholic leaders sometimes downplay or even disregard Church teachings about homosexuality when speaking to audiences that might respond angrily.

But not Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif.

Bishop Soto “courageously but gently gave a clear presentation of Church teaching on sexuality,” the California Catholic Daily reported, during a Sept. 18 appearance as the keynote speaker at a conference of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries in Long Beach, Calif.

“Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals, but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to...READ MORE

Filed under homosexuality, marriage

YouTube’s Double Standard?

09/26/2008 Comment

An anti-Catholic bias appears to be in place at the popular YouTube Internet video site.

The Headline Bistro news service reported Sept. 26 that “outrage is growing as the site has become home to a string of videos depicting acts of Eucharistic desecration, including flushing a host down the toilet, putting one in a blender, feeding one to animals, shooting one with a nail gun and more.”

The videos remain on YouTube despite its content policy, which restricts users from posting videos that contain hate speech or “shocking and disgusting” elements.

“YouTube has to be held accountable and stopped,” said Thomas Serafin, president of the International Crusade for Holy Relics....READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, eucharist, youtube

Pope Praises Catholic Schools

09/26/2008 Comment

Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, Va. (CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday that Catholic schools are “an expression of the right of all citizens to freedom of education.”

Speaking Sept. 25 at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome to representatives of Catholic educational institutions, the Pope said the state should recognize the equal status of Catholic schools and public schools.

Doing so “will give parents the freedom to choose the school they desire,” the Holy Father noted.

Benedict said that granting equal status of Catholic schools “must not be considered as the defense of a particular interest, but as a precious contribution to the building of the common good of the whole society.”

— Tom...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, catholic schools, education

Stay of Execution — For Now

09/25/2008 Comment

(KRT Illustrations)

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution Sept. 23 for convicted murderer Troy Davis.

The stay was issued only two hours before Davis’s scheduled death by lethal injection.

The Supreme Court will decide Monday whether to hear Davis’s appeal; if not the stay will end automatically and the state of Georgia can proceed with the execution.

Davis, 39, was convicted of murdering Savannah, Ga., policeman Mark MacPhail in 1989.

But seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him subsequently recanted their testimony and four of the witnesses now say another man committed the murder.

The Vatican appealed last year for clemency in the case.

“In the name of Pope Benedict...READ MORE

Filed under death penalty, supreme court

No to Cervical Cancer Vaccine

09/25/2008 Comment

14-year-old girl gets HPV vaccine. (Phil. Inquirer)

A Catholic school in England has banned immunization of girls with a vaccine that inoculates against some forms of the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Supporters of vaccinations against human papilloma virus, or HPV, claim they are needed to ensure that girls who become sexually active do not acquire the virus.

But in a letter sent out to the parents of girls at St. Monica’s Catholic High School in Greater Manchester, the school’s governors noted the vaccine protects against only 70% of cervical cancers and can have serious side-effects.

Detailed documentation of negative side-effects caused by the HPV vaccine has been posted on the Internet here by Judicial Watch.

Msgr. John...READ MORE

Filed under cancer, education, medicine, vaccines

Onward, Christian Soldier

09/25/2008 Comment

Father Sidney Marceaux (Stars and Stripes)

Army chaplain Father Sidney Marceaux died this month in Walter Reed Army Medical Center after decades of ministry to troops, the Pentagon announced Sept. 23.

Stars and Stripes magazine reported Sept. 25 about the death of Father Marceaux, who was serving in Kuwait before he became ill and was transferred to Walter Reed’s Warrior Transition Brigade.

Father Marceaux’s death Sept. 14 was “from a noncombat related illness,” according to a press release.

The future chaplain joined the Army at age 17 and served in the Texas National Guard from 1955 to 1963.

After leaving the military and later entering seminary, he was led back into military service following a training session...READ MORE

Filed under chaplains, military

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