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  • The Power of a Bold Bishop

    by Deal W. Hudson

    An article published yesterday in the Scranton Times announced, “Bishop takes his place on the national stage with his staunch anti-abortion stance.” Bishop Joseph F. Martino wasn’t the only bishop who spoke boldly during the presidential campaign, but he was noticed, in part, because Scranton is Vice-President Elect Joe Biden’s hometown.
    Martino was also noticed because he quite literally crashed a seminar on “Faithful Citizenship” being held against his wishes at St. John’s Catholic Church. Objecting to the spin being put on the bishops’ conference document, Martino told those attending the seminar, “No social issue has caused the deaths of 50 million people,” adding, “This is madness, people.”
    The Scranton Times rightly observes that Bishop Martino has not become a national figure merely because of his prominence during the election. But the article fails to note a very important and pertinent fact: Catholics in Pennsylvania did not vote for Barack Obama as they did nationally: Self-identified Catholics in Pennsylvania voted 52 percent to 48 percent for McCain.
    The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this fact but made no attempt to discover the reasons for the anomaly. Pro-life activist Brian Gail from Philadelphia has no doubts as to the cause; he credits Scranton’s bishop for this result: “One man did this, and did it all but singlehandedly. His name is Bishop Joe Martino.”
    Other Catholics involved in the campaign agree with Gail and view the numbers in Pennsylvania as something to build upon. Bud Hansen Jr. from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, was co-chair of Catholics for McCain. “I am happy to say that our efforts were not in vain. The results tell us that we can re-build the Catholic vote in our state, starting from the grass roots. There is no question that there are very major problems that we are facing at this time, including the economy, immigration, healthcare, and especially national security, but all these issues can be dealt with at the same time that we are protecting life.”
    Also not mentioned in the Scranton Times profile was the most important thing the bishop said the night he walked in on the “Faithful Citizenship” seminar: “No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” he was quoted as saying in the Wayne County Independent. “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.”
    Nothing stirs the pot like a bishop declaring his independence from the bishops’ conference. Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, told the Scranton Times “that people perceive him to be a spokesman” for the U.S. bishops, when “the views he has voiced do not represent the U.S. bishops as a whole.”
    But the bishops are clearly divided over “Faithful Citizenship” — there is no unified understanding of its interpretation. Furthermore, Father Reese does not mention the 100 bishops who did speak out in the last six weeks of the campaign.
    The Scranton Times article concludes that Bishop Martino is now “disliked” in his diocese, quoting William Parente, a political science professor at the University of Scranton. Parente suggests, “The solution to the problem is for the papal nuncio to promote Bishop Martino to a commission in the Vatican where he can start fresh, and we can appoint one of the local clergy who would be more popular as the new bishop.”
    Bishop Martino may not be popular among the Catholic Left, but he has become a hero to Catholics all across the nation, and that is what has some people (perhaps Parente?) worried. No doubt Bishop Martino is unconcerned about a loss of popularity among some of his flock.
    That the majority of Pennsylvania Catholics bucked the national trend and voted against Obama is a fact that requires further investigation. Such study will very likely reveal a lesson in leadership — one that will be of particular interest to all the bishops as we approach consideration of the Freedom of Choice Act.
    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • Publius804

      “The solution to the problem is for the papal nuncio to promote Bishop Martino to a commission in the Vatican where he can start fresh, and we can appoint one of the local clergy who would be more popular as the new bishop.”
      ____________________________

      I didn’t know defending Truth was to be judged by favorable/unfavorable ratings – Parente is a left wing clown, another typical college “educator”.

    • V

      …is troubling though. While it’s a victory, I don’t think it’s a great victory on the part of the bishops that Catholics marginally voted for life. Self-identified Catholics who listed the economy as their top concern is also troubling(not that either party could singlehandedly take the country out of the recession, it seems a threat to one’s standard of living exposed the fact that politically most people exist with a vague cultural utilitarianism, and concern for the unborn went out the window. It seems that for many when times were good concern for the unborn existed, times were bad things degenerated rapidly to Bill Clinton’s infamous saying: “It’s the economy stupid”.

    • Ann

      I can’t find the breakdowns, but it would be interesting to see the numbers for Catholics who go to Mass once a week for Pennsylvania. Because even nationwide, among those Catholic, McCain won. Not that anyone in the mass media would ever report that fact.

      The 48% doesn’t trouble me. There are a lot of people out there who were raised Catholic in one form or another, when asked on the spot, “What is your religion?” answer “Catholic.” This is going to change as time moves on. I would still prefer, even these 48%, still stay within the church and the church do a better job of teaching them.

      In any case, I would rather have them there at all, and bringing their children for religious education, than not at all.

    • Dan Deeny

      Many thanks for this information on Bishop Martino and the abortion business. Our parish bulletin also printed the advice from the USCCB. At the time I thought it could be interpreted very broadly, but I said nothing and asked no questions.

    • Chrissy G

      Who’s the most well-known Catholic from Scranton right now, and what message do they give the nation about local Catholics and Catholics in general? I’m glad Bishop Martino is getting some attention with his pro-life message, because Biden is a pretty sad representative of Scranton Catholics.

      As for Dr. Parente’s comment about the bishop’s unpopularity: maybe some in the area and at the university resent Bishop Martino, but the Students for Life at U of S and others in the diocese are very committed to being pro-life and are grateful to have a bishop who reflects that.

    • Bob

      The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. This debate was settled 2000 years ago. It’s human life in the womb, destroying that life is murder, this is a no brainer. The percentage of Catholics voting against pro-abortion Obama should have been 100%, not 52%. Imagine Catholics acting like Catholics. The bishops have inherited the Apostolic teaching and office, we are to listen to them. As Christ told the Apostles in Luke 10: “He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you rejects Me.”

    • Mark Sehestedt

      More bishops like this, please!

      As for Parente, I don’t want to misjudge him based on one sentence that could easily be out of context. But it isn’t a bishop’s job to be popular. His job is to lead. I hope more bishops follow his example.

      That being said, faithful Catholics deserve better than either the Republican or Democratic parties. Neither of them are worthy of our support. Opposing Moloch doesn’t mean we must support Mammon.

    • Charles Miller

      for not being collegial when he spoke at the above-mentioned seminar. Ah, the Jesuits, “collegiality” trumps “truth”.

      I have tried to post the link, but just google America magazine and Bishop Martino for the story. Gosh, I regret getting my mother that subscription. But then again, she is a Detroit Catholic. We argue endlessly….

      Pray. Pray. Pray. And speak out whenever and where-ever possible!

    • William

      Charles Miller, for Christmas get your mother a year’s subscription to “Homiletic and Pastoral Review.” A potent and effective antidote For “America,” etc.

    • RK

      That being said, faithful Catholics deserve better than either the Republican or Democratic parties. Neither of them are worthy of our support. Opposing Moloch doesn’t mean we must support Mammon.

      Exactly. We need more Bishops with Bishop Martino’s courage, but we also need them to explain that neither of the two dominant parties offer a real refuge for pro-life Catholics. As explicit as Obama is about FOCA, etc,, we shouldn’t confuse McCain’s relative silence on abortion with a resoluteness about ending it. He would not have done anything about changing the status quo. The GOP is no more a friend to pro-lifers than is the Democratic party.

    • nobody

      The preceding statement is so blatantly false it

    • Jay S

      Don’t be concerned about the 48% who voted for Obama. The article said “self-described Catholics.” Yet, I am sure if you asked those Catholics when was the last time you went to Mass, the reply would be “Easter”. Polls have shown that the more a Catholic goes to Mass, sends their kids to Catholic schools (or at least Christian Formation), they are likely to favor the pro-life candidate. The media will continue to spin this election for Obama, and will never say anything that will hurt his popularity.

    • Mark Sehestedt

      I didn’t see a truly “pro-life” candidate in the last election. McCain was vaguely anti-abortion, though he certainly never made a big issue of it, either in the campaign or his tenure in Congress. He had other priorities, I guess. But his views on embryonic stem cell research are hardly pro-life.

      The best that could be said of McCain is that in the last election he represented the lesser of two evils on some very important issues.

      But year after year, election after election, Catholics keep settling for the lesser evils, and year after year, the evils get worse. Isn’t it time we started insisting on virtue rather than tolerating and even supporting the lesser evil?

    • RK

      The preceding statement is so blatantly false it

    • nobody

      George W. Bush

    • nobody

      Barack H. Obama

    • nobody

      So, the two of you are suggesting that the strict religious caucus of the Republican party, not much of one in the other, resign themselves to obscurity for years to come by not attempting a moral conversion of either party.

      We must inflict horrible damage before convincing the general electorate what?

      That faith is only spread by allowing human catastrophes?

      Please provide biblical references.

    • RK

      George W. Bush

      Hands down self delusion.

      There has been no abatement of legally sanctioned in utero murders during this president’s tenure. The willingness to settle for empty rhetoric is exactly why the pro life movement continues to spin its wheels. Pro lifers ALWAYS drink the GOP kool aid, which is nothing more than sickly sweet sugar. Until social conservatives have the guts to turn their backs on their Republican handlers they’re destined continue being the useful idiots they’ve become for the GOP.

    • ioannes
      George W. Bush

      Hands down self delusion.

      There has been no abatement of legally sanctioned in utero murders during this president’s tenure. The willingness to settle for empty rhetoric is exactly why the pro life movement continues to spin its wheels. Pro lifers ALWAYS drink the GOP kool aid, which is nothing more than sickly sweet sugar. Until social conservatives have the guts to turn their backs on their Republican handlers they’re destined continue being the useful idiots they’ve become for the GOP.

      The President using his executive powers did what he could to reduce the number of abortions. Most recently to ensure that Catholic healthcare workers do not have to violate their consciences. And who are the people screaming about this and everything else he has done the past 8 years. The Democrats and their pro-death allies. Ask yourself RK, why are NARAL, Planned Parenthood and numerous others making public announcements calling for lifting all the restrictions that President Bush put in place when he was in office? The answer is because he did do alot to restrict abortion in so much as he had the ability to. The president cannot pass laws so it is truly disingenous to blame him for not doing more. He also appointed to justices to the Supreme Court that quite possibly would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance. He nominated numerous candidates for other judicial posts and very few were ever voted on. And who blocked most of these appointments? “Catholic” Democrats like Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy. Go and visit the number of bills proposed by pro-life Republicans that were never able to get out of committee.

      I will admit that the Republican Party has a long way to go on this and other social issues but there is no other alternative at this point. The Democrats are even worse and there is no viable 3rd party.

    • RK

      The answer is because he did do alot to restrict abortion in so much as he had the ability to. The president cannot pass laws so it is truly disingenous to blame him for not doing more. He also appointed to justices to the Supreme Court that quite possibly would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance.

      If the Republican Party had any serious intent to address abortion the President and Congress would have gotten behind Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act. But they didn’t. Why? They were more interested in playing partisan politics than in eliminating abortion.

      There is no guarantee that Alito and Roberts would ever reverse Roe. They got through the Judiciary Committee because of their adherence to stare decisis. Roe is established law and these guys don’t want to change established law, even if it is pertaining to abortion.

      It’s a joke. It stuns me how Catholics march off the cliff during every election cycle. They complain about the lesser of two evils or about no viable third party. Meanwhile they waste their vote on a party that just laughs at them.

    • Nathan Cushman

      RK, what’s your soloution? Third Party?

      Not everyone’s in agreement on the issue, but I think most folks would say that it’s morally acceptable to vote third party, if you believe it’s the best choice, and the third party candidate doesn’t hold morally unacceptable positions. But it is also morally acceptable for Catholics to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” if they believe there are only two choices.

      So, my point is that you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that we should support a certain third party candidate, but you may be wrong to suggest that we cannot support a Republican.

      Also, you seem to be “arguing for the sake of arguing” by suggesting that the Republican party is equally as opposed to Catholic morality as the Democrat party. There is almost no evidence to support such a claim.

      You could honestly claim that the Republican party isn’t “pro-life enough,” but you cannot claim that they are just as bad as the Democrats. Just look at their voting records. Look at the policies they promote. Look for the party you where you find most Catholics who would mark “I STRONGLY agree with Pope Benedict on moral issues.”

      You will find time and again, that on every clear moral issue (as opposed to confusing economic issues like how to help the poor), the Republican party has at least a sizable group who support Church teachings, while most Democrats will be opposed.

      Yes, there may be some who just “tell us what we want to hear” (like McCain), but even they will come through when it counts more often than those who vocally oppose pro-life measures.

      I’d love a perfect party, with the exact right Utopian platform, and I would love to see legislation pass (like instant runoff elections), that would give third parties a chance. But as it is, we have two parties, and it’s clear which one of them bears greater animosity toward both faith and morals.

    • RK

      RK, what’s your soloution? Third Party?

      The solution begins by admitting that the Republican party (along with the Democratic party) is bankrupt. The next step is for Catholics to recognize that they’ve been manipulated by the silly phantasm of the “lesser of two evils”. What’s “utopian” about suggesting we should stop allowing ourselves to be lied to.

      If you think McCain is the only one who tells Catholics what they want to hear I believe you’re dead wrong. This is the modus operandi of the party and has been for decades.

      Legislation is a function of special interest politics. Abortion foes are unable to leverage votes on Capitol Hill. Thus nothing ever really happens. There are a handful of sincere pro-life legislators but they are marginalized and mostly irrelevant.

      If Catholics ever realized that they could have real clout by their sheer numbers and if leaders emerged who weren’t interested in politics then some viable leverage could be realized. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen. Catholics don’t want to rock the boat. They’re too compliant and too respectful of the political process–a process that continues to betray them.

    • nobody

      LOL, could you please list references!

      Your man on the streets opinion means nothing.

      Catholics are no better than the average voter.

      Actually in some northeast states they are worse!

      Massachusetts and Connecticut Catholics like the Kennedy

    • RK

      LOL

    • Billy Valentine

      Bishop Martino is great. I’d love to get him to come speak at Franciscan.

    • JT

      RK

      It doesn’t seem from the conversation here that you want to find some common ground with us on the pro-life issue. We have to deal with the facts we’re faced with in each election, not the “only if’s.” There is a world of difference on the life issues between the two parties. You will find virtually 100% of pro-lifers working for and in the Republican Party, and virually 0% within the Democrat Party. There is a reason for this. Yes, we all wish this was a perfect world and the Republican Party were run by the likes of us here, but it isn’t, so we have to go with what we have. Supreme Court justices Roberts and Alito are great (Catholic) advocates to have on the Court, but they too can only do so much. I sure wouldn’t want to trade them in for 2 more Ginsburgs. God is in control of all this and He uses us little people to carry out His desires here on earth, and right now, most of those little people are residing in the Republican Party, for better or worse.

      When we vote, we have to make difficult choices, but you seem to be saying “don’t vote,” at all because everyone is corrupted. That’s not the answer to any of this. We are often times (most times??) confronted with the lesser of two evils when we vote, but we still have to do it, always knowing we can try to do better next time.

      I agree with you that Catholics could have tremendous clout if we could all align ourselves and vote as a block–we could change the world. But it’s regretfully not going to happen that way, at least not right now. I love to rock the boat, but I just can’t get everyone I know to do it with me, so I do what I can, which is to vote for the most pro-life candidate I see running for each office. It’s usually a Republican. This IS NOT throwing my vote away.

      I hope we can at least agree on a few of these things.

      JT

    • nobody

      RK,

      These gals don’t think so:

      At a NARAL New Mexico fundraiser, Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem called President Bush, because of his pro-life record on abortion, “more dangerous to this country’s citizens than terrorists.”

      Asked to comment on Steinem’s remark, Chris Lalley, director of media relations for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, used terrorism comparisons to describe the president.

      “We think President Bush is terrorizing women’s rights,” Lalley told LifeNews.com.

    • nobody

      Bush has signed three pro-life bills into law: the Born Alive Infants Protection Act requires health care facilities to provide adequate medical care for newborns who survive failed abortion attempts, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban prohibits a gruesome abortion procedure, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act protects pregnant women and their unborn children by punishing criminals who kill or injure their babies during an assault.

      Click the globe for good listings

    • nobody

      Click over there>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • nobody
    • Baby Rose

      The good Bishop his spoken from his heart. He will be judged more severely if he does not try to lead his flock so as to please Jesus. This shows that his faith is strong & lukewarm Cathoics would do well to immitate his zeal. So much for showing the world the love of Christ as Liberal Catholics lambaste a true man of God. Such a poor witness to Christ.

      RK
      If Ron Paul had garnered more support showing him to be a viable contender….I never heard his stance on life; although he is a Dr. He was more focused on taxes & the structure of Washington. His points were too controversial for the mainstream. Huckabee also with his flat tax and idea to abolish the IRS…although lately that plan sounds better & better.

      Obama is in the back pocket of NARAL & Panned Parenthood who get tons of earmarked funding through the Democrats porkbarreling agendas. The Republicans must completely divorce themselves from this detrimental practice which frivilously wastes so much of taxpayers hard earned wages. It also ticks me off that all on the Hill get insuracnce perks; free healthcare coverage, when they well could afford it with their salaries. In contrast:
      I have carried my own healthcare, at great expense, all of my adult life because Home Services; a program of Dept. of Human Services does not offer any, although I pay fairshare fee to SEIU that is managed by ACORN. I care for a quadriplegic person 24/7. The $ I used to pay my health premiums with goes to pay the salary of a Union rep. which gets us absolutely no needful benefits such as sick leave pay, vacation pay, & most improtantly health care or a 401K. The living wage increases we get now; we always got in the past through lobbyists at zero charge to us. The service I provide allows this person the freedom of living outside of a Nursing Home even though they are considered a ward of the State. I’m glad to do it, but it doesn’t pay much with no benefits & I’m tired of Congress wasting my taxpayer money on wild stupid schemes. Amen.

    • RK

      RK

      It doesn’t seem from the conversation here that you want to find some common ground with us on the pro-life issue.

      I don’t mean to appear to be playing a zero sum game on this, but I’m compelled to express myself regardless of whom it may offend. Like you, I used to vote for the lesser of two evil which was inevitably a less than adequate republican. I came to the realization that there are vested interests on both the pro abortion and the pro life sides who prefer to maintain the status quo.

      I voted for Ron Paul in the recent election because, among other things, he shares my position on the emptiness of most pro life legislation. I don’t share your optimism about Roberts and Alito.

      I will agree with you that ultimately we operate according to God’s good plan. He uses us as instruments and calls us to act according to His mind and will using the resources at our disposal. This includes, of course, using an informed conscience.

    • JT

      RK

      I understand your wanting to stand on principal, but this doesn’t get us very far in the real world of today’s politics. I’ve done similar things like this myself, having voted for Alan Keyes in the past, but I’ve come to learn that this doesn’t help to save real lives on a day by day basis, which is what we need to do given our choices and limited influence.

      Voting for a Ron Paul or an Alan Keyes may make us feel better, but it just further helps to put into office the pro-choice candidate who will indeed enact laws that kill more children. Though deeply flawed, someone like a George Bush did many “small” things to actually save some lives, like preventing federal funding of embyonic stem cell research. It’s not much, but it’s also a great deal when given the alternative of a Gore or Kerry, who would have allowed it. Bush did save real lives, though I wish he could have done more. Our form of government prevents us from doing the things we’d like, but it’s still the best thing going.

      Throwing my vote away on some more ideal 3rd party candidate with no chance of winning could have potentially prevented Bush from becoming president, which would have cost more lives. I too hate being so pragmatic about this, but if I can help to save one baby from dying, I’ve done something important. Yes, I could have stood on my principals, but babies would have died because of it. That’s the reality we’re faced with. It’s not fun, but it is what it is. Now we have Obama, and we’ll soon see what putting a Democrat into office means for the unborn.

    • RK

      RK
      Voting for a Ron Paul or an Alan Keyes may make us feel better, but it just further helps to put into office the pro-choice candidate who will indeed enact laws that kill more children.

      Voting for Alan Keyes would never make me feel better.[smiley=wink] and I didn’t vote for Paul because it made me feel better. I voted for Paul because voting for McCain (or Romney or Huckabee or….) doesn’t get us anywhere in the “real world of today’s politics”. We need to come to grips with the fact that we live in a post-Christian world now. The Democratic party and the Republican party are both run by (the same?) corrupt opportunists and they see no value in the Christian agenda, save it’s predictable, controllable voter turnout. Voting for a McCain no better than putting your finger in the dike. Obama’s “centrist” cabinet appointments and the cheerleading of those appointments by neo-conservatives like Lowry, Bennett, Weyrich, Charen, Kristol, etc. demonstrates the shared agenda of both parties like nothing else.

    • JT

      RK

      I just can’t agree with you on this. The Republican Party may certainly have its opportunists, but they also have many wonderful and good individuals in the Party that are trying to and do make a difference. I’d rather have Sam Brownback making decisions for me each day than Ted Kennedy, because I’m stuck having to rely on both of them to represent me. Even one man can make a difference, so we pick the best ones that will help us the most in achieving our goals. I don’t believe Mr. Brownback is the “opportunist” that you refer to. Both parties may be bad, but they ARE NOT equal by any stretch of the imagination–one is far worse, even now. We have to rejoice even in our little victories.

      As Archbishop Chaput says in his most recent publication, Render Unto Caesar, “the nature of the Gospel forces the Church as a community and the individual Catholic as a believer to actively engage the world. That means all of it–including its social, economic, and political structures.” Going further, he states “We will never build God’s kingdom here on earth. When people have messianic expectations of the state, when they ask politics to deliver more than it can, the story ends badly. But neither will we ever be released from the duty to sanctify, humanize, and bring Jesus Christ to the public square in which we live.”

      We do what we can each day, in little ways.

      JT

    • nobody

      “We need to come to grips with the fact that we live in a post-Christian world now.”

      Pry my Bible and crucifix from my cold dead hands!

    • JT

      As far as I can recollect, we’ve been living in a post-Christian world since the death of Christ, and it will continue on as such until the very end of time. Not much suprise there.

    • RK

      As far as I can recollect, we’ve been living in a post-Christian world since the death of Christ, and it will continue on as such until the very end of time. Not much suprise there.

      Apparently you can’t recollect all that well. There was a time when the church was the major force in western civilization. The Incarnation was once recognized as the major force in the development of the Christian world. But something tells me that your sense of history doesn’t go back much further than the death of Kurt Cobain.

    • RK

      ……may be a decent guy. Who knows? I don’t agree with his political philosophy. As I’ve said, I don’t think the Republican party offers much besides being a very inadequate vehicle that social conservatives have latched on to come hell or high water. I think it’s time for a different approach.

    • JT

      RK

      You seem to have lots of complaints but no ideas on how to resolve things. Please lay your plan out for the rest of us so we can join you in the effort. Are you going to start a new Party?

      JT

    • RK

      RK

      You seem to have lots of complaints but no ideas on how to resolve things. Please lay your plan out for the rest of us so we can join you in the effort. Are you going to start a new Party?

      JT

      I figured I would hit a nerve when I dared to criticize the Republican party. It’s funny how people react when you challenge the GOP zeitgeist. Keep paying your dues to RNC, guy–they’re sure to appreciate it….

    • JT

      RK

      On the contrary, I don’t give a general twit about the Republican Party. I’m a Catholic first and a Conservative second. For me, the Republican Party drags up the rear. I know full well what the Party limitations are in trying to build a more just world, but just give us the better alternative.

      The problem is that I can only make the changes I seek for our country either through personal prayer or through the electoral process–that’s the way it’s done here. I have no other choice, so I have to work through the “system.” As I said, stop complaining about everything and tell us what the answer is, as the only way we’ll get real legislation done is by building consensus for it. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, so tell us what you want to do about it.

      I do all sorts of things on a personal level to help make a difference. I serve on the board of a Pregnancy Help Center, I have 7 children in a private Catholic school that I founded 8 years ago because I felt the local Archdiocese schools were failing them, both academically and spiritually. I took nearly a year off of work to do this. We now have 150 children in the school, and it’s growing fast, even though we still have to fundraise an addiional $300,000 a year above the tuition to keep it afloat. I’d like to believe these personal sacrifices of mine are making a difference in the lives of many young souls today, so please cut the nonsense about “GOP zeitgeist.”

      I’m still waiting for your answers on how to solve all the national problems we have within the current 2 Party framework, because like it or not, that’s just the way our country resolves things. Lay it out for me, as I’m always willing to listen to a good and smart idea. Thanks much.

      JT

    • RK

      OK. I mistook your comment about starting a 3rd party as sarcasm. My apologies. It sounds as if you’re doing some serious and important things.

      I worked on several Republican presidential campaigns in the past because I figured this was the best way to secure certain values in the political arena. As you say, no system is perfect, but I gradually came to the conclusion that not only was the Republican party inadequate, it was also counter-productive. The lesser of two evils still requires the cooperation with evil

      A recent article I came across says it pretty well….

      http://tinyurl.com/6g6aw7

      I don’t have much time for political activism these days, but Ron Paul, despite his marginal status, is the soundest and most prescient candidate I can recall encountering. He’s quite prolific and his recent book, The Revolution, is a good one. His Sanctity of Life bill defines life as beginning at conception and removes abortion from the courts by placing it with the legislature. I happen to agree with his ideas on foreign policy and economics as well.

      My kids look at me funny sometimes, but I tell them that standing on principle, when well thought out and done for the right reasons, has intrinsic value. There is no better example than Thomas More’s objection to Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn.

      There is an understandable hunger for alternatives to the status quo. We could be in for some turbulent times as a nation in the next few years. Mooring ourselves to right thinking may have never been as critical.

    • JT

      RK

      I have to admit, I’m just not much of a Lew Rockwell fan, even though I’m very sympathetic the the Dilsaver article as a whole and can agree with a great deal of it. Having said that though, the article is still deeply flawed in so much of it’s analysis.

      The problem with this overall philosophy is that it renders its practitioners to the sidelines for every election–they have no real say in what goes on. Yeh, it’s great to stand on principle, but I believe it ultimately costs lives in the end.

      I think we’re just talking past one another and I’m not sure we can find common ground here. Because of our entrenched 2 party system, it forces us to be with one or the other if we want to have any real say in today’s politics. The system may stink, but it’s what we’re stuck with.

      If I can put one marginally pro-life candidate into office over one that’s stongly pro-choice, it can mean real lives saved. Even if it’s just one child over a 4 year office term because of some parent-notification law that the marginal candidate was willing sign and the pro-choice candidate wouldn’t. Yes, I could have stood on my “principle” and let the pro-choice candidate win and then void the parent notification law, but that one little child would have died, perhaps because I was being so principled with my vote.

      I’m just not willing to do that. I’ll take the little scraps I’m given and keep on fighting the good fight. It’s like William Wilberforce fighting slavery in England in 1807. He was only effective in doing what he did by staying within the established political system and fighting the fight every day. After many years of toil, he overcame the corrupted establishment. This would not have happened if he were outside the system where there is no power to change things. One good man can make a difference.

      Thanks for your time on this–it’s been interesting.

      JT

    • RK

      Fair enough JT. As far as I’m concerned, one day of work in the Pregnancy help Center you’re involved with is far more effective than the last 35 years of time spent by well intentioned abortion opponents on behalf of Republican presidential candidates. Raising your children as you are will yield far greater fruit than the republican congressional delegation ever has.

    • JT

      RK

      I certainly agree with you on these points.

    • John William Vondra

      The Bishop makes a good start. There are many other anti-catholic moral issues that needed to be on the front page for all to see and to see The Bishops confronting them.

      The English speaking Catholic Church MUST DO SOMETHING NOW before we go the way of Constantinople.