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From the AP:

Authorities are investigating whether a Catholic charity violated state and federal law by helping a 16-year-old illegal immigrant who was in the organization’s care get an abortion.

Workers with Commonwealth Catholic Charities helped the girl travel to and from the procedure in January and signed a consent form for the abortion, Joanne Nattrass, the charity’s executive director, said in a statement Thursday. She declined further comment.

Four of the Richmond-based charity’s workers were fired, according to a letter by David Siegel, head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ refugee resettlement program.

The federal department is looking into the charity’s actions and the role played by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The conference receives $7.6 million a year in federal funds to place unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in foster care until they’re reunited with relatives, sponsored, or returned to their homeland. The girl is from Guatemala but was living in Virginia when the abortion took place.

Federal law bans the use of federal money to pay for abortions with exceptions for rape, incest or threats to the life of the mother. Virginia law requires parental consent for an abortion for a girl under 18.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities serves children in the Richmond area as a subcontractor of the bishop’s conference. The conference “appears to have been aware of Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ actions,” Siegel wrote in his April 23 letter to HHS’ deputy inspector general, Timothy Menke.

In a letter nearly a week later, the conference acknowledged some responsibility for the incident and said it has revised agreements with the more than 1,700 Catholic Charities offices nationwide to explicitly bar services that contradict Catholic teachings. Catholics are strongly opposed to abortion, and it isn’t clear why the organization assisted the teen.

“There were significant supervisory errors that resulted in a failure to do everything possible to avoid the abortion,” said the letter, signed by Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Richmond diocese; John C. Wester of the Salt Lake City diocese; and Michael P. Driscoll of the Boise, Idaho diocese. All have some link to the youth resettlement program.

Federal officials were surprised and disappointed that the Catholic charity used funding to help a minor get an abortion, said Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families in HHS.

“That is at odds with federal policy and is a possible violation of Virginia state law, so we have referred this case to HHS’ inspector general,” Wolfe said in a statement. “Our agency is one that supports human life and we take that responsibility seriously.”



This disgusting story comes from the great Curt Jester:

choiceonearth2007.jpgFor the last several years Planned Parenthood has been selling their “Choice on Earth” Holiday cards and the ones to the left are this years products. This is one occasion where I am totally fine with them using holiday cards vice Christmas cards.

The images used on their cards once again give absolutely no indication of the reality of “choice”. Two images are of a mother with a child, yet Planned Parenthood offers zero services for those who want to keep their child.

Mark Steyn wrote quite accurately recently “What’s the “pro-choice” line? “Every child should be wanted”? Not anymore. The progressive position has subtly evolved: Every child should be unwanted.” But in some ways for PP every child is a wanted child, at least wanted by their abortionists so that they might get their bounty. But this view towards families is not just a recent development, but one with a steady message since at least the seventies. Anybody with a large family can attest to the questions they get about them being “all theirs” and the glances turned their way for making a societal faux pas. Though I once had the same attitude in my enlightened liberal days.

Considering the recent news of environmental activists saying having a child is selfish and damaging to the environment and the recent books as Mark Steyn notes such as “”Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.” Planned Parenthood and radical environmentalist are natural allies except the part about the pill damaging the ecosystem with hormones. But Planned Parenthood and radical environmentalist have always had their convenient blind spots when it suits their purposes.

The card with the doves though is obviously the most annoying. Whether the dove is seen as a symbol for the Holy Spirit or as a symbol for peace it is still inappropriate. Blessed Mother Teresa said “I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion”

But I guess the reality of babies ripped apart and removed by suction is not the best image even for a “holiday card.” Even contraception doesn’t lend itself to the comfy holiday image they are trying to portray. A tree decked out with condoms and pill packages just doesn’t hit it out of the park.

Though the question is exactly what holiday are these cards for in the first place? Christmas with the celebration of the birth of our savior is obviously not it. They see a pregnant young mother as a target and not something to rejoice in. The miracle related during Hanukkah with the traditional Jews defeating secularist Jews when Judaism had been outlawed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes does not really fit into a holiday they would be happy about. The made-up of holiday of Kwanzaa doesn’t fit the bill considering the historic roots of Planned Parenthood and their view on blacks that extends to the present day with a concentration of their clinics being in poorer black neighborhoods. Well how about the secular holiday of Christmas where the overriding message is “Family is important.” Somehow abortion and contraception is not really family friendly. If only they would start making those dime-a-dozen holiday TV movies with the message “Preventing family is important” then PP would have a match.

The obvious demonic perversion and exploitation of Christmas by America’s leading abortion mill/political lobby leaves the author speechless.

Of interest also is Dawn Eden’s report of PP’s slogans in other countries, including “Quality rather than Quantity” (Zimbabwe,) and “Two is better than Too Many (Hong Kong.)

In a bold marketing ploy, Planned Parenthood will award a new iPhone to the winner of a t-shirt design contest. The winner will create a “hot new t-shirt design” on one of the following themes:

  • Safe is Sexy
  • Prevention
  • Planned Parenthood is For Everyone [ahem.]

Also, check out the new “Holiday” card selection from the world’s largest abortion provider. Noel!

(Big H/T to the Conservative Donnybrook)


There is a certain charm in knowing that one of the most former of former American archbishops, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, lately of the see of Washington, is still making waves in that town from the Bishop’s Conference to the White House.

I take this from Catholic Insight, as posted by AMDG:

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick is no longer archbishop of Washington, but even in retirement, he is holding to his position of accommodation with “pro-choice” Catholic politicians. Furthermore, he is always ready and willing to enunciate his views in this regard to the secular media.

In a late October interview with the Associated Press, the Cardinal criticized statements by the Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, who stated as long as five years ago that priests should not give Holy Communion to Catholics who publicly support abortion. Recently, Burke repeated this stand with respect to Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, on the grounds that the politician is “a Catholic who has been publicly espousing positions contrary to the moral law and … knows it.”

McCarrick opposes Burke’s position based on a vague rule of his own; namely, “that no elected official will ever perfectly fall in line with every policy position the Church takes” (LifeSiteNews, Oct. 16, 2007). McCarrick mentioned euthanasia and the death penalty. (Editor: The latter indicates his confusion: opposition to the death penalty is a prudential option, not a mandatory teaching of the Church.)

Papal and magisterial teachings against abortion, contraception and euthanasia, solemnly re-affirmed over the last 40 years — notably in the 1995 encyclical Evangelium vitae — seem to be regarded by the Cardinal as optional for Catholic politicians. This has been his position since at least 2004, when he first issued such statements and held a private meeting with then-Democratic presidential candidate and “pro-choice” Catholic, John Kerry.

Archbishop Burke, on the other hand, is one of a group of U.S. bishops who have asked their priests to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians. In 2004, he had asked several such politicians to meet with and be counselled by him. When they refused, he issued a ban that remains in place in his archdiocese.

(. . .)

A Princeton University professor says the scandal of pro-abortion Catholics threatens more damage to the Church than that of pedophile priests, although the latter receives more press coverage. “Nothing undermines the cause of justice and cultural reform and renewal more than the bad example of prominent Catholics who have made themselves instruments of what Pope John Paul II bluntly described as ‘the culture of death,’” says Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (LifeSiteNews, August 13, 2007).

U.S. bishops continue to be divided on this issue, with the great majority refusing to be engaged at all. In mid-November 2007, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was to vote on a document spelling out guidelines for Catholic politicians. It put great emphasis on the life issues and recommended that one be guided “more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group.” Unfortunately, there was no mention of what the bishops themselves should do to fulfill their duties such as adhering to Canon Law 915, which states that “those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Many U.S. pro-life activists are increasingly angry at the do-nothing attitude of their ecclesiastical leaders, especially after their disastrous handling of homosexual sex abuse cases that came to light in 2002 and for which the bishops themselves have denied any responsibility.
Archbishop Burke has received support from the American Life League (ALL), the Knights of Columbus, various brother bishops and the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of priests.

If U.S. bishops “continue to be divided on the issue” we have the political and moral equivocations of certain high-ranking members of the hierarchy to thank.


Preserving legalized baby killing (clinically referred to as “abortion”) is the stated goal of the Democratic Party. In Massachusetts, there is a disproportionate number of politicians and politicos who are Democrats, pro-abortion, and nominally “Catholic.”

Archbishop of Boston Sean Cardinal O’Malley, In a recent and much maligned statement, drew the obvious line between the party and the “faithful” who swear fielty thereunto.

From the hellish Boston Globe:

( . . .)

In his sharpest comments about the political landscape since he was installed as archbishop of Boston four years ago, O’Malley made clear that, despite his differences with the Republican Party over immigration policy, capital punishment, economic issues, and the war in Iraq, he views abortion as the most important moral issue facing policymakers.

“I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church’s position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues,” O’Malley said.

Acknowledging that Catholic voters in Massachusetts generally support Democratic candidates who are in favor of abortion rights, O’Malley said, “I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I’m concerned.”

“However, when I challenge people about this, they say, ‘Well, bishop, we’re not supporting [abortion rights],’ ” he said. “I think there’s a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions, and I think if they did that, then the party would have to change.”

(. . .)

So, anyone who associates himself with the party of death should find some new friends.

By the way, His Eminence said that such an association on the part of Catholics “borders on scandal.” A priest of my acquaintance, on hearing this, said “well, such a statement leads one to wonder what it would take to constitute actual scandal.”


I heard a good sermon at mass yesterday.  Father told us about the Bishops’ new statement on “Faithful Citizenship” (released just in time for the Silly Season) saying that it was about 40 pages long and could reasonably cause one’s eyes to glaze over.  The message regarding pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians, preached Father, could be boiled down to this:  Accept the teachings of Christ and His Church, or no more Holy Communion.  Father said that a certain African cardinal had recently stated that the bishops are arguing over what “any second-grader can tell you” about serious sin, scandal, and Communion.  Father went on to say, to the amusement of the congregates, that “it shouldn’t take 40 pages to state this . . . unless you are engaging in equivocation, I guess.”

And that is a true enough statement.  The irony, however, is that the USCCB’s guide to “Faithful Citizenship” specifically addresses moral equivocation.   It basically says that to equivocate certain issues (say the legitimacy of abortion and economic justice) is a moral and intellectual trap.  We are charged with protecting our fundamental rights and liberties (i.e. life) before considering other rights, liberties, and privileges.  It is not all the same.

This would seem to refute the “Seamless Garment” theory posited by the late Jos. Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago and since echoed by many, many others.  Bernadine thought of abortion as a component or constituent issue in a great mulligan stew of issues affecting human dignity, rather than the mainstream view of abortion as a singular aberration.  He concluded that Catholics should work toward the holistic resolution of all problems dealing with human dignity: poverty, homelessness, economic injustice, etc., along with abortion.

Critics of the Seamless Garment have called it a kind of moral equivocation.  They propose that, by elevating all human dignity issues to the same level as abortion, the theory detracts from abortion as a singular barbarism that must be resolved before any serious discussion of humanity can commence.

It would seem that the recent statement from the Bishops does cast abortion into the pot with all the other social justice issues of the day (torture, racism, capital punishment, etc.)  But the statement regarding moral equivocation, by any thoughtful analysis of the whole document, certainly singles out abortion, the murder of innocent children, as foremost in terms of moral priority.


When I was a kid, we had about six or seven kids with Down Syndrome in my school.  They came from all over the county to the primary division of the severe retardation unit at Cannonsburg Elementary.  I don’t know if rural Boyd County, Kentucky, had a proportionate ratio of Down Syndrom cases for its rather small population, but I do know that, on the periphery of my childhood, I had a schoolyard acquaintance with the kids.

Closer to home, my mother taught the retarded (in another division) in the county schools for years.  When she retired a few years ago, she said that there were one or two Down Syndrome cases in the whole county.

So, where did the all the Down Syndrome kids go?

The answer:  They were diagnosed in vitro in a eugenics scheme funded in part by the government, and aborted by their mothers on the advice of their physicians.

Read this analysis from With Good Reason:

It is deeply troubling to note today that in many sectors the medical establishment appears bent on making sure that children with Down Syndrome actually don’t exist.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends screening all pregnant women for Down Syndrome, and the latest prenatal tests allow doctors to determine whether a baby might have the abnormality as early as 11 weeks gestation.  In fact, studies indicate that more than 90% of unborn children who test positive for Down Syndrome are aborted.

There is, of course, a name for what is happening here. It’s called eugenics—or, more precisely, the “new eugenics” (a topic on which I’ve written before). While we can wholeheartedly embrace genetic research that strives to prevent or eliminate Down Syndrome, we simply cannot tolerate a biomedical ethos that strives to eliminate Down syndrome children.

In the wake of the new ACOG recommendations, the Washington Post ran a touching first-person account of parenting a child with Down Syndrome. The mother who wrote the piece noted quite cogently:

Certainly, these recommendations will have the effect of accelerating a weeding out of fetuses with Down syndrome that is well underway. There’s an estimated 85 to 90 percent termination rate among prenatally diagnosed cases of Down syndrome in this country. With universal screening, the number of terminations will rise. Early screening will allow people to terminate earlier in their pregnancies when it’s safer and when their medical status may be unapparent to friends and colleagues.

I understand that some people very much want this, but I have to ask: Why? Among the reasons, I believe, is a fundamental societal misperception that the lives of people with intellectual disabilities have no value — that less able somehow equates to less worthy…  [W]e’re assigning one trait more importance than all the others and making critical decisions based on that judgment.

In so doing, we’re causing a broad social effect. We’re embarking on the elimination of an entire class of people who have a history of oppression, discrimination and exclusion.

This also brings to mind a New York Times story from earlier this year which described how parents of children with Down Syndrome are trying to create a greater awareness about the positive aspects of parenting these children:

Sarah Itoh, a self-described “almost-eleven-and-a-half,” betrayed no trace of nervousness as she told a roomful of genetic counselors and obstetricians about herself one recent afternoon.

She likes to read, she said. Math used to be hard, but it is getting easier. She plays clarinet in her school band. She is a junior girl scout and an aunt, and she likes to organize, so her room is very clean. Last year, she won three medals in the Special Olympics.

“I am so lucky I get to do so many things,” she concluded. “I just want you to know, even though I have Down syndrome, it is O.K.”

Sarah’s life, and the lives of other individuals with Down syndrome, add a richness to society that cannot be measured.  And this is so for one simple reason: Sarah, and all children with Down, are human persons. But we live in a culture that is rapidly losing its capacity to recognize human personhood where it is to be found. We well have reason to fear that, in our technical sophistications and narcissistic obsession with the unimpeded pursuit of every personal preference, there is very little separating us from a new barbarism.

(. . .)


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