What’s Behind the UN Attack on the Church?

Silent No Moreleonardo-da-vinci-nothing-strengthens-authority-so-much-as-silence

“As faithful Catholics continue to contend with the United Nations report attacking the Church for her teachings on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, it may be time to look closely at the real agenda at the United Nations. For more than two decades, the UN has dedicated itself to attempting to diminish the influence of the Church on life issues.

In an October 2013 Crisis article entitled, “Kicking the Church out of the UN,” Austin Ruse, the president of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), suggests that the reason for the hostility directed at the Church is because the Church has obstructed the goals of the population control zealots at the UN. “Starting at the Cairo Conference in 1994, the Church has been able to block an international right to abortion…the Holy See has consistently handed the Catholics for Choice, the Norwegians, the United Nations Population Fund and all the other uglies at the UN defeat after defeat.”

Despite its non-voting status at the United Nations, the Holy See has stood as the major barrier to the UN goal of universal access to abortion and contraception for young girls and women throughout the world. While the Church was unable to convince all countries—including the United States—of the evils of abortion, the Vatican, as a sovereign state, continues to play an important role at the negotiating table in areas in which the Church has a stake in helping to ensure the right to life and the dignity of the person.

The UN has attempted to end that influence. In 1999, decrying the Vatican’s role in encouraging the United Nations to block funding for abortion services, Frances Kissling, then-president of Catholics for Choice—a group that claims to speak for pro-abortion Catholics, yet has no actual membership—began a campaign to remove the Vatican from the UN. A strong media presence and a letterhead funded by the abortion industry and pro-abortion organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, Operation See Change, as Kissling called her campaign against the Vatican, attempted to persuade the United Nations to revoke the Vatican’s status as a permanent observer.

The efforts to expel the Vatican continue today. Austin Ruse’s C-FAM recently announced that Catholics for Choice has re-launched its See Change Campaign demanding that the Vatican’s observer status be reduced to that of a non-governmental organization—barring Church officials from negotiations. And, as Ruse, who has a front row seat for the UN negotiations, writes: “a nasty Norwegian diplomat at the UN” who “frequently badmouths the Holy See” has suggested that it is time that the Holy See be expelled.

Perhaps it is now time for the Church—including the laity—to stand up to the bullying by the various committees of the United Nations—including the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It is time to expose the real agenda of the United Nations—most notably the UNFPA—to expand the lucrative contraceptive and abortion industry throughout the world, and remind others that the true protector of children remains the Catholic Church” (Anne Hendershott, Crisis Magazine).

St. Seraphina-March 12 Feast Day

CatholicSaints2st. seraphina 

                Seraphina was born in San Gimignano, Italy, to a poor family. “As a little girl she learned to sew and spin, spending most of her time at home. Upon her father’s death, she was struck with a strange and paralyzing illness. She became misshapen and ugly, in constant pain, unable to get out of bed or even to move. Her mother took care of her but had to leave her for hours at a time to attend to her work. Seraphina’s only consolation was the crucifix, and she realized that she was called to imitate the suffering Christ. Yet she never complained. She managed to remain serene, and something beautiful shone out of her face. Then she was struck another blow. Her mother died, and she was left completely destitute, her neighbors repelled by her appearance and her sickness, her only friend a girl named Beldia who visited her and brought her food.

            In her reading, St. Seraphina had heard of the great sufferings of Pope St. Gregory the Great and he became her special saint. She prayed to him, drew strength from the sufferings that he had to endure, and prayed that he would obtain for her the patience she needed to bear her own sufferings. She was now so weak and helpless that it was clear to everyone she could not live very long. Eight days before her death, alone and almost completely forsaken, St. Gregory appeared to her and told her: “Dear child, on my feast day, God will give you rest” (in those days his feast day was celebrated on March 12). On that day, she died. The whole city attended her funeral and from that moment everyone began to pray to her. On the place where she had lain, her neighbors found white violets growing, and even today in the village of San Gimignano where she lived, the white violets that bloom in March are called Santa Fina flowers. She died on March 12, 1253, at the age of fifteen” (EWTN).

            Like St. Seraphina, “Even the greater sufferings that may fall to our share from time to time become easy to bear if we accept them with serenity and patience. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own impatience, our revolt, our refusal to accept it. This irritation increases our sufferings a hundredfold and, besides, robs us of all the merit we could have gained thereby. We see some people pass through a tempest of suffering with the greatest calm and serenity; whereas, others get irritated at the slightest annoyance or disappointment. We can all learn this calm and patience. It is the secret of happiness. An eminent physician, in a conference which he gave to distinguished scientists and fellow doctors, told them that he owed all his great success in life to the simple fact that he had corrected his habit of impatience and annoyance, which had been destroying all his energy and activity. Everyone, we repeat, without exception, can learn this calm and serenity” (Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.).

      

The Rise of Moloch Sneak Peek #1

MC-SPDFreebie-SneakPeekThe Rise of Moloch

When Kale McFarland drove his 2003 rusted pick-up truck to Don’s Pub, the power he felt from the green crystal that sat next to him on the front seat still soared through his veins. He felt a rush of exhilaration more intoxicating than racing Odysseys on a dirt track. The rush was better than playing chicken with a couple of tractors on an abandoned field. This was the kind of rush that made Kale feel like he could take over the world.

It took Kale several minutes to decide whether he should leave the green crystal in the truck or take it with him. Could he slip it into the front pocket of his jeans? Would someone steal it if he left it in the cab of his truck? In the end, Kale decided to lock it in his glove compartment. After all, that’s where he kept other important things like his gun and nobody ever stole that.

Kale stepped out of the truck with a feeling of invincibility that not even a machine gun would have penetrated. He strode into Don’s Pub with a cockiness that lifted his 6’2” frame higher than the 3” heel of his cowboy boots. Kale said “Hey” to some of the locals, stepped up to a bar stool and sat next to a tall, skinny blonde named Sally he had known most of his life. Sally’s boyfriend, Troy, sat next to her on the other side.

“Hey, Sal,” Kale said as he glanced her way with a smile and a wink. “Can I buy you a beer?”

“Hi, Kale,” Sally answered uncomfortably nodding her head toward Troy.

Kale looked at Troy and rolled his eyes disapprovingly. Everyone in and out of Dixon, Iowa knew Troy was a bully. When Troy graduated from high school, he switched from beating up lightweight nerds to beating up his underweight girlfriends. It appeared obvious that Sally was taking the brunt of his bullying tactics now.

“Troy,” Kale said under his breath with a steely-eyed gaze at Sally’s loser boyfriend.

“Oh, hey Kale,” Troy replied condescendingly. “As long as you’re askin’, you can buy me a beer, too.”

On a normal night Kale might have taken Troy on, but tonight he was in a victorious mood. The world was his oyster, so to speak. “Sure, Troy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Kale ordered three draft beers from the bartender and turned back to Sally and Troy. “So, how’s it goin’ with you two?” Kale asked the couple.

“Great! Ain’t that right, Sal?” Troy bumped Sally on her arm like a drill sergeant prodding a soldier to obey his commands.

“Uh…yeah,” Sally whispered to the bar counter.

“What?” Troy asked militantly.

“Yes,” Sally spoke up louder, but when she raised her eyes toward Kale, he saw two purple bruises near her right temple.

“Yes, we’re doin’ great,” Troy reiterated as he wrapped his arm around Sally’s shoulder awkwardly. “How’s your corn this year?” he asked Kale.

Troy was always comparing his family’s farm to Kale’s family’s farm. This always escalated into a “my tractor is bigger than your tractor” conversation.

“One of the best we’ve had,” Kale lied. He certainly wasn’t going to mention anything about the montage of rain clouds that had lingered perpetually over his family’s land all season.

“Good, good. ‘Cause I hear your crop was drownin’ in rain this year,” Troy retorted.

“No, we got lucky. It was one of the best.” The McFarland’s property was drowned in rain and they lost half the harvest, but there was no way Kale was going to admit that to Troy. “So, are there any wedding bells ringing on the horizon?” Kale wanted to change the topic. He was looking directly at Sally when he spoke.

Sally’s jaw dropped so low from the shock of the question, she looked like she was singing the Hallelujah Chorus for the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. “Oh, well, I…I mean we…we haven’t talked about that…”

“But you never know, right Sally?” Troy looked at Sally with a sad, puppy-dog face and spoke in such an ingratiating, whiny tone that Kale thought he might puke.

“I think I’m still a little too young,” Sally answered with surprising confidence.

“What? You don’t want to marry me?” Troy took to the defensive like a bull took to a red cape.

“Relax, Troy. Sally’s just saying she’s too young.” Kale could tell that Troy’s inebriation was beginning to peak.

“I’m warnin’ you, Kale. Don’t get involved in this.” Troy was wagging his index finger at Kale directly in front of Sally’s nose.

Suddenly, Sally grabbed Troy’s index finger and squeezed it menacingly. “Stop ordering people around Troy. We’re all getting real sick of it.” Sally spoke so sternly, her jaw clenched tightly around every syllable.

“Well, Troy, you heard the lady. Stop your ordering people around.” This time, Kale’s index finger wagged mockingly above Sally’s head.

“That’s it! That’s it!” Troy stood up from his seat so fast, the bar stool crashed down to the floor. “Come on, Kale! You tryin’ to steal my girl getting her all flustered with your fancy charms? Come on and let’s take this outside!”

Kale was quickly losing his patience with Troy. He’d tried to be nice, but the punk needed a lesson in manners. Kale stood up slowly, turned to Sally to excuse himself, and punched Troy’s jaw so hard, Troy performed a neat pirouette before he fell backward to the floor.

Sally screamed and glared at Kale before she ran to nurse her coward boyfriend in his agony.

“I think I lost a tooth! I think he lost a tooth!” Troy cried out as Sally knelt to kiss his wound.

Kale paid for the beers with an extra ten dollar bill for the bartender and opened the pub door to exit. The night air was cool and crisp, and the full moon shined down like a floodlight on an outdoor stage. Kale’s truck was illuminated by the moon, and he felt like an actor in a one-man play. He instantly remembered what he had hidden in the glove compartment of his truck, and he moved quickly to retrieve it. A tantalizing tingle ran up his leg at the thought of the green crystal rod. It was his, and he wanted it more than he had ever wanted anything.

Kale opened the passenger door first. Then, he fitted the car key into the glove compartment lock and opened it slowly to make sure the crystal wouldn’t fall out and break. With the compartment fully opened, the green rod gleamed like a priceless emerald in a museum showcase. Kale reached for the crystal with a knowing trepidation, but he was fully prepared for the initial shock and when it hit him, he groaned and fell to his knees in surrender. The green crystal rod was his priestess and he would do whatever she commanded.

When Kale looked up, he knew she would be there. The green of her eyes seemed familiar. The black of her hair like the night sky. Her long sheer black dress blew behind her in the wind. She reached out her hand to help Kale up and he closed his truck door behind him without thinking. Kale left his truck parked at Don’s Pub as he journeyed through the corn fields with Lilith and the green crystal rod.

Today’s Christian Martyrs

Silent No MorePope Francis

The persecution of Christians in contemporary society was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at his Mass on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, March 4, the day before Ash Wednesday, in the Santa Marta residence. The pope said that “the world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes. And we have persecutions: with words, with insults, the things that they said about Christians in the early centuries, the condemnations, imprisonment….But we easily forget. We think of the many Christians, 60 years ago, in the labor camps, in the camps of the Nazis, of the communists: So many of them! For being Christians! And even today…But (people say) ‘today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.’ Yes they do! They are condemned for having a Bible. They can’t wear a crucifix.” Militant Islamism and communism are responsible for murdering Christians and persecuting Christianity, but the insults, the condemnations, and the censoring of religious speech that the Holy Father addresses stem from another source: militant secularism. According to Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, “They are the ones who seek to ban the public expression of religion, make movies that insult Catholicism, paint priests as molesters, ban Bibles from hotels, display vile anti-Catholic billboards, attempt to crash the St. Patrick’s Day parade, sponsor Catholic-bashing artistic exhibitions, force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, and the like.” After hearing the Holy Father’s homily, I thought of one example of militant Islamism and one example of militant secularism that have appeared in the news in the past month: the hundreds of innocent Nigerian Christians who are being murdered today because of their faith, and the 2014 Oscar-nominated song, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” whose nomination was rescinded two weeks later because of a “questionable ruling.” In the end, it is as Pope Francis said, “Christian life is not a commercial advantage, it’s not making a career: It’s simply following Jesus! But when we follow Jesus this happens. Let’s think about if we have within us the desire to be courageous in bearing witness to Jesus. And let’s spare a thought — it will do us good – for the many brothers and sisters who today – today! – cannot pray together because they are persecuted: they cannot have the book of the Gospel or a Bible because they are persecuted.”

Saints Perpetua and Felicity-March 7 Feast Day

CatholicSaints2perpetua and felicity

With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself and others who knew them. This account known as, “The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity,” was so popular in the early centuries that it was read during liturgies.

In the year 203, Perpetua made the decision to become a Christian, although she knew it could mean her death during Septimus’ persecution. Her father was frantic with worry and tried to talk her out of her decision. At 22 years old, this well-educated, high-spirited woman had every reason to want to live—including a baby son who was still nursing. Perpetua was married, but since her husband is never mentioned, many historians assume she was a widow.

Perpetua’s answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, “See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?”

Her father answered, “Of course not.”

Perpetua responded, “Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am—a Christian.”

            Perpetua was baptized before she was arrested and imprisoned. She was known for her gift of “the Lord’s speech” and received messages from God who told her to pray for nothing but endurance in the face of her trials. The prison was so crowded with people that the heat was suffocating. There was no light anywhere and Perpetua “had never known such darkness.” She was very afraid, but in the midst of all this horror, her most excruciating pain came from being separated from her baby. Two deacons who ministered to the prisoners paid the guards so that Perpetua’s mother and brother were able to visit and bring her baby to her. When she received permission for her baby to stay with her “my prison suddenly became a palace for me.” Once more her father came to her, begging her to give in, kissing her hands, and throwing himself at her feet. She told him, “We lie not in our own power, but in the power of God.” Perpetua was sentenced with the others to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena.

            The young slave, Felicity, was even worse off for she suffered the stifling heat, overcrowding, and rough handling while being eight months pregnant. It was against the law for pregnant women to be executed. To kill a child in the womb was shedding innocent and sacred blood. Felicity was afraid that she would not give birth before the day set for their martyrdom, and her companions would go on their journey without her. Her friends also didn’t want to leave so “good a comrade” behind. Two days before the execution, Felicity went into a painful labor. The guards made fun of her, insulting her by saying, “If you think you suffer now, how will you stand it when you face the wild beasts?” Felicity gave birth to a healthy girl who was adopted and raised by one of the Christian women of Carthage.

            Perpetua and Felicity were thrown into the arena so roughly that they were bruised and hurt. Perpetua, though confused and distracted, went to help Felicity up. The two of them stood side by side as their throats were cut.

            Perpetua’s last words were to her brother: “Stand fast in the faith, and love one another.”

            Saints Perpetua and Felicity, watch over all mothers and children who are separated from each other because of war or persecution. Show a special care to mothers who are imprisoned and guide them to follow your example of faith and courage. Amen.