And Bishop Joesph Martino will not let it be served up as a sacrifice to expedency:

“He’s a feisty guy. He’s got his views and he lets them be known,” said David Gibson, a former Vatican radio journalist and the author of two books on Catholicism. “I don’t think he cares about winning any popularity contests — that’s not in the equation for him. He just wants to do what is right for the people of his diocese.”

The showdown over Saturday’s pre-parade Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral started with a letter to organizers last month. In it, Martino said he would temporarily close the church if the event “should honor pro-abortion officials and the Catholic Church is seen to be involved in this honoring.”

He is taking an active participation in the function of “catholic” institutions in his diocese:

Martino also blasted the Diversity Institute at Misericordia University, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, for sponsoring lectures by a gay-rights advocate last month. Calling the speaker’s beliefs “disturbingly opposed to Catholic moral teaching,” Martino demanded the school disband the institute and disclose the names and content of classes that purport to teach Catholic sexual morality.

“It is not only my right, but my obligation to ensure that authentic Catholic teaching is being provided in all Catholic institutions in this Diocese, and that viewpoints in opposition to this teaching are not being presented as acceptable alternatives,” Martino wrote in a statement.

The Church’s job is not to win a popularity contest, it is to be a depositary for truth and a path to salvation. It looks like this fellow has read the job description and understood it. We need more like him.

In Robert Caro’s first volume on Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power there was a line that was used to describe Lyndon Johnson in his early political years:

Lyndon goes the way the wind blows

Apparently on Abortion as the American Spectator reports so does Michael Steele.

But the reality of Steele is quite different. He is proving himself to be a shape shifter who is trying to please everybody, but in the end delivering a completely muddled message. Ultimately no pro-choice independent or Democrat is going to be more inclined to become a Republican as a result of that GQ interview, because Steele comes off like a bumbling clown who is trying to have it both ways. The mere fact that we have to have a whole debate over what he means demonstrates that he’s doing a terrible job at communicating. And lest we forget, communication was supposed to be his strong suit.

That is the political reason for rejecting him. Captain Ed agrees:

I have seen the man speak with conviction and passion at conservative events and leave everyone mightily impressed, but now we have to wonder whether Steele just tailored the message for the audience, as he appears to have done with Hughley and GQ. I don’t necessarily buy that, as he has easier ways to get media air time than being in the Republican Party, but it’s hard not to ask the question these days.

One thing is certain: he’s a lot less media savvy than most of us thought. And since he doesn’t seem to have much skill in organization, we have to ask ourselves why we should support his continued tenure as RNC chair.

You tell me what pro life person is going to give to the Republican National Committee with him in charge?

Some National Review readers are a little more flexible but on this subject a Catholic can’t be. I’ve seen enough “Roman Catholics” who are personally opposed to abortion but vote the other way. I can’t stomach it. If Mr. Steele doesn’t have the courage of his convictions to stand up for his own expressed beliefs I have no use for him. I suggest he take advantage of the Lenten season to avail himself of the sacrament.

I don’t think he will last to the end of next week. It’s just an amazing bit of timing that Rush is off the air for the next two days when this is happening.

I didn’t cover the goings on in Connecticut concerning the Church. Just about every other Catholic blogger did.

Was the bill outrageous, of course it was? Was it Anti-Catholic? Without a question. Was it an attempt to undermine the church? Why Soitenly.

Well then Mr. Loud mouth Catholic why didn’t you bother to deal with it?

Because this is part of the job description of the Church. Of course it is going to be attacked. Of course people are going to try to marginalize it of course people want a weak, faithless church.

The Church is the longest and strongest bastion standing between us and the gates of hell. As long as that is the case it will always be a target. The day it stops being a target is the day that I will start worrying if it is being true to itself.

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. John 15:18-24

We already know the end of this story overall, we just have to make sure our personal story doesn’t end on the wrong note.

I give the guy full marks for honesty.

OÖN: Why did you become a priest and not a professional magician?
Smetanig: Because I would like to change the church.

It will take a better magician than him to make the faith disappear. How many of our liberal catholic friends would give this answer to they why am I a Catholic instead of the correct one?

Hey while there is life and confession there is hope.

You know, embryonic stem cell research was not against the law in the US during the Bush administration but federal funds weren’t spent on it. Adult stem cell research have produced actual benefits and are pooh poohed, but that doesn’t kill humans and thus doesn’t produce the vital ingredient that makes embryonic stem cell research the priority it is.

The vital ingredient is the sin. The sin of murder, the sin of complicity to murder, the sin of being paid to murder and the sin to say that evil is good.

This is the reason why embryonic stem cell research is such a priority, because it produces a sin that can help damn humans. That is all it is good for.

If you are not a Catholic you likely think that is nonsense, you have the right to think that and call me a nut all you want. This doesn’t make it less true.

The difference is people see heaven and hell and God and the devil as an interesting thing to debate and discuss or dismiss. I see and state that it is reality. Like anything that is actually real and exists it needs to be addressed in our lives as much as the snow on the sidewalk.

Update: Via Glenn what a surprise:

Members of Congress and advocates for fighting diseases have long spoken of human embryonic stem cell research as if it were a sure avenue to quick cures for intractable afflictions. Scientists have not publicly objected to such high-flown hopes, which have helped fuel new sources of grant money like the $3 billion initiative in California for stem cell research.

In private, however, many researchers have projected much more modest goals for embryonic stem cells. Their chief interest is to derive embryonic stem cell lines from patients with specific diseases, and by tracking the cells in the test tube to develop basic knowledge about how the disease develops.

Or to put it another way, its all about the tax dollars.

BTW this is listed as an update because this was a scheduled post.

I mentioned the letter I sent to the Bishop of Worcester Mass. concerning my visit to Anna Maria College and the letter I received in response from Anna Maria’s president Jack P. Calareso.

I stated that I would hold off putting up my letter until I talked to him to get permission to put his response up. I’m pleased to say that he has not only given that permission AND said he would welcome questions or comments from readers about the college AND referred me to specific posts at his blog , AND sent me a copy of an article of his from the Catholic Free Press.

Anyway the letters are below the fold with a few comments after them… Continue reading “A tale of Two letters”

Via the corner and the Catholic key Archbishop Naumann bottom lines it:

I am also concerned personally for Governor Sebelius. Her appointment as Secretary for HHS places her in a position where she will have to make many decisions that will in all probability continue her personal involvement in promoting legalized abortion and her cooperation in this intrinsic evil.

I am also concerned that the appointment of Governor Sebelius places another Catholic supporting legalized abortion in a prominent national position. She joins Vice-President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and unfortunately a host of Catholic Senators and members of the House of Representatives who support legalized abortion contrary to the clear and consistent teaching of their Church. It saddens me that so many Catholics, to gain political advancement, have chosen to compromise their Catholic faith by their failure to defend the most fundamental of all human rights – the right to life.

I am reminded of the powerful scene in A Man for All Seasons, the play about the heroic Catholic English Martyr, St. Thomas More. After Richard Rich has perjured himself in order to make it possible to convict Thomas More of treason, the Judge asks Thomas More if he has any questions for the witness. Thomas More notes that Richard Rich is wearing a chain of office and asks what it signifies. He is told that Richard Rich has been appointed Attorney General for Wales. Thomas More then paraphrases the Gospel saying to Richard Rich: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?”

This is where the rubber meets the road. The soul. If you are a Catholic Pol you have to decide if you actually believe in Catholicism or not. And if you do is your soul worth it? Ted Kennedy is near death. A knighthood won’t do him much good for much longer.

I may tweak these people with the ” …rest of your life after that it’s up to you” line. The Archbishop’s is actually trying to save their souls, to give the warning. May he succeed.

Update: The Curt Jester got there ahead of me.

The Curt Jester uses my favorite phrase in an article about another priest who needs a visit to his confessor:

The only reason to be Catholic is because it is true – that’s it.

He elaborates:

I just don’t understand what their ecclesiology can possibly mean other than just being a form of Catholic tribalism. If I believed what they believed of the Church I would denounce the Church as evil and would want no part of it. The Protestant so-called Reformers were at least honest in realizing their theology of the Church was quite at odds with the Church.

This is what drives me nuts about pseudo Catholics. When I sin I tend to know I’m sinning. It bothers me and my inability to conquer it is painful and embarrassing particularly when I’m trying to teach my kids. These guys along with people like Andrew simply re-define sin so they can have their sin without the guilt. I know I need confession, and I know I need the prayers of my fellow believers if I’m going to win the race. These guys are trying to convince themselves that they’ve already won. Madness.

But in the end it will be little comfort to me or anyone else if we all suffer the same fate. This is why we have lent to help us from that fate.