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New Blog Journal

by Catherine Frakas 02 Jan 2007

Catholics In the Know

Friday, March 18, 2005

Feeding Tube Removal

As we all know, Terri's feeding tube was removed today and the diatribe by her husband's attorney was sad, for as I watched, it seemed to be more political in nature. For all to remember, this action is getting us closer to Soylent Green. For Catholics, food and water are not extraordinary life support, but ordinary. There is more protection for my dog and cats, than for Terri and others like her.(and I love my animals very much and they are an integral part of the family.)Pope declares feeding tubes a 'moral obligation' By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY Posted 4/1/2004 4:45 PMPope John Paul II has stunned Catholic health care providers, ethicists and theologians by announcing emphatically that it is morally obligatory to continue artificial feeding and hydration for people in a persistent vegetative state, even if they remain so for years. Pope John Paul II called continuing artifical feeding tubes for people in a vegetative state basic care. By Plinio Lepri, APSOURCE:In Tallahassee, the Florida House on this passed Thursday passed a bill to block the withholding of food and water from patients in a persistent vegetative state who did not leave specific instructions on their care. Hours later, however, the Senate defeated a different measure 21-16. Remind me not to retire to the state of Florida.This is an older post, but its words are powerful.Article from Priest For Life Website. SOURCE:Statement on Terri SchiavoCardinal Renato MartinoPresident of the Pontifical Council for Justice and PeaceVatican CityMarch 7, 2005The courts have ruled again and again. Unfortunately, the deadline for the removal of the tube delivering food and water to Terri Schiavo is quickly approaching. I am sorry to have to use the word deadline but this is the most accurate way to describe what will happen. Without the tube which is providing life-giving hydration and nutrition, Terri Schiavo will die. But it is not that simple. She will die a horrible and cruel death. She will not simply die, she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days even weeks. How can anyone who claims to speak of the promotion and protection of human rights-of human life- remain silent? Is this not a question of the right to life? I believe that I must speak out about this in the same way that I would speak of the protection of the unborn and just as I would concerning any injusticeHas due process in this case been truly served? Have all options been employed? Where is love? Where is human compassion? No one would ever wish to witness the suffering of another, especially a loved one. And I am sure that no one could ever choose to witness suffering or a cruel death being inflicted upon another, especially one who is loved. How then have we come to this point?If it is true that the process has been fair and that all legal avenues have been exhausted, how is it that this woman, who has done nothing wrong, will suffer a fate which society would never tolerate in the case of a convicted murderer or anyone else convicted of the most horrendous crimes? Again, it is an issue of human rights. It is an issue of the right to life, and as I stated earlier, no one can be the arbiter fo life except God himself!The State of Florida has many laws on its books which protect animals, whether they be household pets, domesticated farm animals or animals destined for slaughter. (And please pardon me as I make this analogy. I am not comparing Terri to an animal. I only want to show the protection that the courts afford to animals in the State of Florida.) These laws prohibit[s] anyone from intentionally committing an act to any animal which results in cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering (828.12). It is also unlawful to keep an animal in a place while failing to supply a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water(828.13).Are these laws not enforced by the same courts, are these not the same laws established by lawmakers in order to protect other creatures of God?However, in just a few days, [if her husband and the courts have their way, ]this is exactly what will happen to Terri. She will be completely deprived of water and food. She will have excessive suffering and pain inflicted upon her which will lead to her cruel death. Yet we have come to the point of asking whether due process been fully carried out and all options exhausted on behalf of Terri? This is unbelievable! Is it not sufficient enough to say that there are still questions that must be answered? We plead, we make the urgent appeal for the life of a helpless human being...a person with whom we all share our God given human dignity. How can anyone say that her best interests have been taken into consideration?In his Message for the Eleventh World Day of the Sick (11 February 2003) His Holiness Pope John Paul II stated: And while palliative treatment in the final stage of life can be encouraged, avoiding a treatment at all costs mentality, it will never be permissible to resort to actions or omissions which by their nature or in the intention of the person acting are designed to bring about death.Palliative care, by its definition is the alleviation of suffering and relieving pain. In the last stage of life, it is this care for which we all must hope because, if the feeding tube is removed and Terri is forced to die this slow, terrible, painful death, we must ask ourselves, And who will be next? Will this open the door for a state to decide whether this or that incapacitated person should die...not be allowed to die a dignified death but that they should have death inflicted upon them?It must stop here and now. The courts, the judges and everyone involved with this must understand that all of the questions involved in the case of Terri Schiavo have not yet been answered. Society must realize that we can never inflict this sort of death on a human being, on any other creature, without each and every one of us and society as a whole suffering a terrible fate.Please pray for all of those involved.Francis- Reported by Bro. Francis Patrick Mary, OLSM(s), Correspondent-at-Large @ 5:31 PM

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


New York, December 29, 2004 (Catholic League)Catholic League President William Donohue released the following remarks today:Anti-Catholicism in the US is the predominant focus of the Catholic League. But we are not oblivious to what has been happening to Catholics in other parts of the world. Specifically, the rise of anti-Catholicism in Europe and the Arab nations is very disturbing. Moreover, it is not for nothing that these two regions continue to display an abiding hatred of Jews.Through the noble efforts of people like A.M. Rosenthal, Americans have learned of Christian persecution in Arab lands, such as torture, child slavery and the bombing of Christian villages in Sudan. Upwards of 40,000 Christians have been driven out of post-invasion Iraq by Islamic extremists conducting coordinated bombings and systematic persecution.In Northern Serbia and France, vandals desecrated graves at Catholic cemeteries. Emblematic of this growing hostility toward Catholics in Europe is the recent behavior of the European Union. Not only did it refuse to make any reference to Europe’s Christian heritage in the EU constitution, but it viciously rejected the distinguished Italian philosopher Rocco Buttiglione as nominee for EU Justice Minister—simply because he shares the Pope’s views on marriage and the family. Indeed, Buttiglione personally told me that EU governmental elites explicitly called the Catholic Church Europe’s greatest threat.As for anti-Semitism, just this week Sri Lanka refused to accept a team of Israeli medical personnel to help the country’s tsunami victims. (Apparently, the government prefers children to die rather than be treated by Jewish doctors.) The Anti-Defamation League has documented rampant anti-Semitic incidents in Europe. Holocaust memorials have been desecrated in Vienna; a hundred Jewish gravestones were desecrated near Strasbourg in October; sixty Jewish gravestones were destroyed in Birmingham, England in August.That anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism track each other in Europe and the Arab countries is no coincidence: state-sponsored secularism in Europe and a radical interpretation of Islam in the Muslim world both regard Catholics and Jews as the enemy.”Thomas McArdleDirector of CommunicationsCatholic League for Religious and Civil Rights450 Seventh AveNew York, NY 10123(212) 371-3191(212) 371-3394 (Fax) Reported by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM, Correspondent-at-Large @ 3:48 PM

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Tsunamis In South Asia

Yesterday, after massive tsunamis, caused by the fourth largest earthquake in recorded history, inundated coastal areas in seven South Asian nations killing almost 12,000 or more people.; plus millions of survivors.

Report from CNN
London Times Online

On a personal Note: For all that read this, please pray for the repose of the souls involved and peace and comfort for the families that remain.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Your servants departed full remission of all their sins, that through our devout prayers, they may obtain the pardon, which they have always desired. Who live and reign, world without end. Oh Lord, grant them eternal rest; let your perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Father, it is beyond man to know the state of the soul when it leaves the body to stand before you, have mercy on those who now stand in your presence. Amen.Francis

- Reported by Bro. Francis Patrick Mary, OLSM(s), Correspondent-at-Large @ 11:56 PM

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Leap Forward in the History of Salvation

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2004 ( Here is a translation of John Paul II's address at today's general audience, which he dedicated to comment the mystery of Christmas.1. During these days of preparation for Christmas we pray continually in the liturgy, Come, Lord Jesus. It is like a refrain that surges from the heart of believers from all corners of the Earth and resounds incessantly in the prayer of the Church.We have also invoked the coming of Christ a few moments ago with today's O antiphon. The Messiah is invoked using some of the most beautiful titles found in sacred Scripture: King of the Gentiles, Hope of all nations, Cornerstone uniting all peoples.2. On Christmas we contemplate the great mystery of God becoming man in the Virgin's womb. He is born in Bethlehem to share our fragile human condition! He comes among us and brings salvation to the whole world. His mission will be to reunite all human beings and peoples in the one family of the children of God.We can say that in the mystery of Christmas, we contemplate the leap forward in the history of salvation. To the human being, who with sin has distanced himself from the creator, is offered in Christ the gift of a new and fuller communion with him. Hope springs up in our hearts, and the gates of heaven are opened for us.3. Dear brothers and sisters! May the celebration of Christmas be a propitious occasion to truly live the value and meaning of the great event of Jesus' birth. This is the wish that I express to all of you in this general audience, to your families and to your communities.- Reported by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM, Correspondent-at-Large @ 11:13 AM

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Scientific Research and Moral Values

VATICAN CITY, NOV 12, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Pope to the president of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors, Domenico Di Virgilio, on the occasion of the organization's 23rd national congress.DENVER, USA, November 10 (CNA) - Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said the 2004 elections demonstrated the importance of religion for most Americans, even though pollsters and the news media don't take faith seriously, and if they do, they tend to fear and deride it.[10-November-2004 -- EWTNews Brief] CONNECTICUT, Africa, November 10 (CNA) - WAR IS SOMETIMES NECESSARY, SAYS ARCHBISHOP AT ANNUAL MILITARY MASS. Hundreds of Catholics in the U.S. military and their families gathered for the 13th annual Red, White and Blue Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Norwich Nov. 7.- Reported by Bro. Francis Patrick Mary, OLSM(s), Correspondent-at-Large @ 11:57 AM

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Faith is an Aid to Science says Cardinal

Far From Being an Obstacle, Faith Seen as an Aid to ScienceCardinal Martino Addresses Festival in BergamoBERGAMO, Italy, OCT. 18, 2004 ( Modern science is a genuine product of a Judeo-Christian view of the world, and not the product of the Enlightenment, contends Cardinal Renato Martino.When addressing the recent Festival of Science in Bergamo, the cardinal cast doubt on the now habitual consideration that science is the result of the Enlightenment.For the great scientists and theologians of the Middle Ages, such as St. Albert the Great, Roberto Grossatesta and St. Hildegard of Bingen, the relationship between faith and science was almost co-natural, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said.This is how these eminent scientists and believers in God the creator perceived the universe, … the harmony between these two forms of knowledge, he said. However, this harmony between science and faith breaks in an age that corresponds more or less to the beginning of the Enlightenment.In fact, the aude sapere -- dare to think, the programmatic synthesis of the Enlightenment -- presents itself as the attempt of autonomous reason to deny any authority other than itself, the cardinal explained during his Oct. 10 address, entitled Science and Faith at the Service of Man.Precisely to this Age of Reason is dated the manipulation of the Galileo Galilei case, which arose as symbol of an alleged opposition between science and faith, which has led many to uphold the incompatibility between both, Cardinal Martino said.Instead, modern science is the genuine product of a Judeo-Christian view of the world which has its source of inspiration in the Bible and in the doctrine of the Logos, he noted.For example, the characteristic of pagan cosmogony is to present an inevitable cycle of birth-death-rebirth, without beginning or end, and substantially bereft of meaning. This is a cyclical and non-ending view of time in the cosmos in which science was unable to make progress, he explained.However, science needs the capacity to investigate the beginning of processes in the universe and an adequate notion of time is fundamental for the development of differential and integral calculation.It was precisely the lineal and progressive view of the cosmos derived from Christian doctrine which triggers the growth of science, as well as other aspects of human enterprise, Cardinal Martino continued.However, according to the president of the pontifical council, the idea that the Church and science are foreign to each other has been exaggerated by the enemies both of one as well as of the other, he added.To make science within theology is frequently the cause of misunderstandings between theologians and scientists, he said. Among the ideological excesses there have been attempts to weaken an objective reality through a mistaken theory of relativity; attempts to reject the principle of causality through an illegitimate recourse to quantum theories and further approaches that transform the theory of evolution into an ideology, reinforcing the idea of causality and denying purpose to the universe.What all these attempts have in common is the desire to create an ideology of science; they seek to give science a task that is outside its objective, the Vatican official warned.Cardinal Martino recalled that Pope Paul VI stressed that science does not exhaust the whole of reality, but is a segment of it, of truth that can be proved with scientific procedures, and that science is sovereign in its field, but slave in respect to man.In other words, scientism must be avoided, still widespread today, which tends to reduce everything to knowledge of the scientific and refuses to admit as valid ways of knowledge different from those proper to positive sciences, relegating to the confined of mere imagination both religious and theological knowledge as well as ethical and aesthetic learning.Since the start of his pontificate, John Paul II has laid the basis so that science and faith are really at the service of man and the Holy Father has explained the positive complementarity of science in relation to other sectors in the perspective of love, Cardinal Martino said.In this connection, the Pope notes that the understanding of ourselves and of the universe will attain a moment of genuine wisdom only if we are open to the numerous ways in which the human mind arrives at knowledge: through science, art, philosophy and theology.Scientific research will be more creative and beneficial for society when it contributes to unify learning derived from these different sources and leads to a fruitful dialogue with all those who work in other fields of learning, Cardinal Martino said, quoting the Pope.In any case, and following John Paul II, science -- research and application -- are a significant _expression of man's lordship over creation, and given that science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they originate and develop, … the latter find in the person and in his moral values the indication of their end and knowledge of their limits, the cardinal added.Science and technology are precious resources when they are at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all; they cannot, however, indicate the meaning of existence and of human progress, the cardinal emphasized.This is why the false notion of a science free of moral values must be rejected, and why it is illusory to claim the moral neutrality of scientific research and its applications, he added.In addition, Cardinal Martino clarified, science and technology require, because of their own intrinsic meaning, unconditional respect of the fundamental criteria of morality; they must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his real and integral good, in keeping with the plan and will of God.In this connection, Christian revelation is the real polar star for man and the possibility offered by God to be able to find the fullness of his plan of love initiated with creation.This is the path to guarantee that the scientific discoveries will be at the service of humanity, the cardinal said. Man, desirous of knowing the truth, if he is able to look beyond himself and to raise his sight beyond his own plans, is given the possibility to recover the genuine relationship with life, following the path of truth.ZENIT- Reported by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM, Correspondent-at-Large @ 1:20 PM

Thursday, October 07, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 7, 2004 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received members of the International Theological Commission which is celebrating its annual plenary in the Vatican.The Holy Father recalled that the second theme of reflection is natural moral law. It has always been the Church's belief that God gave man, with the light of reason, the capacity to be able to know the fundamental truths on life and its destiny and specifically the norms of moral behavior. Making our peers aware of this possibility is very important for dialogue with men of good will and for coexistence in all levels on a common ethical foundation.Christian revelation, he concluded, does not render this search useless, on the contrary, it pushes us to search, lighting up the path with the light of Christ in whom everything is consistent.___________________________V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican CityUsed with Permission.

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