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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00


    Friday, November 06, 2009

    Update: Bp. Tobin stays strong, and Rep. Kennedy backs off

    My friend Josh at Catholic Vote Action gives us an update on the ongoing "dialogue" going on between Congressman the-church-isnt-pro-life Kennedy and Bishop oh-yes-she-is-are-you-stupid Tobin

    Bishop Tobin recently granted an interview to the Providence Journal:
    At another point the bishop addressed what he called the question of whether church leaders are “trying to impose our moral or religious beliefs on Congressman Kennedy.” 
    His answer: “Well, the fact is he professes to be a Catholic.” Speaking of Catholic legislators generally, Tobin indicated that the church’s view is that, “if someone is clearly and consistently and obstinately opposed to the church on something as serious as abortion — which again is a grave and intrinsic evil — then they really have to question their membership in the church and their participation in the life of the church.”
    Josh further tells us:
    Kennedy didn’t apologize to Bishop Tobin, but he did backtrack a little. From the Providence Journal:
    Kennedy accepted the invitation in a letter last week and said his comments “were never intended to slight the church.” Kennedy acknowledged that “the church has always stood for health-care reform.” He added, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”

    Kennedy also said that no group “is getting everything it wants” in the medical overhaul. The church “has every right to promote its position,” he said, but if a group “seeks to impose absolutes on the debate, we are left standing idle instead of moving our nation forward.”
    That last argument is a canard. Question: What is causing the biggest logjam in moving health care reform bills? It’s Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s insistence on having abortion coverage. If she relented on that, this process could move forward.
    I totally agree.

    Thanks again, papists, for heading my call to contact Kennedy's office demanding that he apologize, and for contacting Bishop Tobin and supporting his strong, public response to Kennedy's slander.

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    Picture: Climate Change jerks vandalize La Sagrada Familia Church in Spain

    Hands off my cathedral, kids:

    Greenpeace climbers hang a big banner reads "World Leaders Make The Climate Call" at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. AP/David Ramos {what does that even mean?!}

    In honor of your stupidity I'm going to keep my electric space heater on all night. Seriously.

    update - and here's another photo {ph/t - The Courtier}:

    I'm not sure if this was a separate occasion, or what the timeline was. But I hope they were prosecuted.

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    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Good: Church of Scientology convicted of fraud in France

    This couldn't have happened to a nicer, ponzi-schemed "religion":
    "A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than euro600,000 ($900,000) on Tuesday but stopped short of banning the group as prosecutors had demanded.

    The group's French branch immediately announced it would appeal the verdict.

    Olivier Morice, lawyer for civil parties in the case, said the verdict was "historic" because it was the first time in France that the Church of Scientology has been convicted of organized fraud.

    ... Belgium, Germany and other European countries have been criticized by the U.S. State Department for labeling Scientology as a cult or sect and enacting laws to restrict its operations." (AP)
    Evidently those countries have more common sense than our state department.

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    Update: Abp. Dolan backs Bp. Tobin, demands Rep. Kennedy apology

    Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York - who evidently has a modest blog of his own on the Archdiocese of New York website! - yesterday wrote about the regrettable situation of Rep. Kennedy's stupid, anti-Catholic remarks:

    Over this past weekend, several people mentioned to me Representative Patrick Kennedy’s blast at bishops for allegedly dividing the nation on the issue of healthcare; you can view the video here. His remarks were sad, uncalled-for, and inaccurate.

    The Catholic community in the United States hardly needs to be lectured to about just healthcare. We’ve been energetically into it for centuries. And we bishops have been advocating for universal healthcare for a long, long time.

    All we ask is that it be just that -- universal -- meaning that it includes the helpless baby in the womb, the immigrant, and grandma in a hospice, and that it protects a healthcare provider’s right to follow his/her own conscience.

    This is what the President says he wants; this is what we bishops say we want.

    Bishop Thomas Tobin, Representative Kennedy’s bishop, has a good point: Mr. Kennedy owes us an apology.

    A small proviso - President Obama has never said he wants to protect the helpless baby in the womb.

    I'll repeat my action items from yesterday's post on this same issue:
    • Contact Rep. Kennedy (through his press secretary kerrie.bennett@mail.house.gov) and demand he apologize to Catholics for his ignorant and hateful comments
    • Contact Bishop Tobin (through his communications director - kdavis@dioceseofprovidence.org) and thank him for standing up for Catholics, and for the truth.

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    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Stupidity: Rep. Kennedy attacks the Church, and Bishop Tobin takes him to task

    Patrick Joseph Kennedy II, a democrat US House representative from Rhode Island and the son of the late Edward Kennedy, viciously smeared the Church in an interview with CNSNews.com (updated - fixed):



    Transcript of Kennedy's comments:
    “I can’t understand for the life of me how the Catholic Church could be against the biggest social justice issue of our time, where the very dignity of the human person is being respected by the fact that we’re caring and giving health care to the human person - that right now we have 50 million people who are uninsured,” Kennedy told CNSNews.com. “You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life-saving health care? I thought they were pro-life?” said Kennedy. “If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health care reform because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive. So this is an absolute red herring and I don’t think that it does anything but to fan the flames of dissent and discord and I don’t think it’s productive at all.”
    Local Bishop Thomas Tobin wasn't about to let Kennedy get away with it, responding:
    “Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. But the Congressman is correct in stating that “he can’t understand.” He got that part right.

    As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.

    Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.”
    "Irresponsible. Ignorant. A Disappointment. Owes us an apology."

    ... now that's taking the gloves off language. As Bishop Tobin is justified in using. Kennedy completely deserved this strong rebuke, because of his pro-abortion record, and because of his recent comments which are squarely against the facts, and unabashedly anti-Catholic.

    Action items - updated:
    • Contact Rep. Kennedy (through his press secretary kerrie.bennett@mail.house.gov) and demand he apologize to Catholics for his ignorant and hateful comments
    • Contact Bishop Tobin (through his communications director - kdavis@dioceseofprovidence.org) and thank him for standing up for Catholics, and for the truth.

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    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Stupidity: Pro-aborts launch petition so *seniors* can keep abortion coverage

    Someone should tell the folks writing NARAL's petitions that marijuana isn't legal (yet). They actually have posted a petition - and almost 32,000 people have signed it - which reads in part:
    "Anti-choice extremists at the Family Research Council are launching an outrageous media and lobbying campaign claiming that Congress' health-care reform bills will deny seniors the medical care they need in order to pay for abortion."
    Yes, you read that correctly - NARAL is worried that seniors might lose their medical coverage for abortion.

    I'm very sure that Family Research Council is not worried that seniors will be paying for their own abortions. Seniors paying for abortions out of their medical coverage, after all, does not seem to be a very large demographic. 

    FRC has been airing very powerful ads showing that abortion coverage and rationing of care for the elderly are both major (separate) problems in the current health care reform plans. But apparently NARAL's media division really thinks FRC could be so stupid as to think that senior citizens are paying to have their pregnancies aborted. 

    And NARAL is happy to launch petitions referencing this as a real issue!

    Often in the debate over abortion, the pro-life movement is caricatured as "unscientific".

    Well, maybe we can begin to make the charge that the pro-abortion movement is illiterate and biased.

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    Friday, October 02, 2009

    In Vogue: "Contraception fights global warming"

    From Salon, a simple message:
    "Want to combat climate change? Use birth control. Family planning is a green technology."
    This sort of argument has been around for some time, in fact I blogged about a parallel argument early last month.

    You know what also is a green technology? Genocide.

    I mean - think about it: less people, less environmental impact.

    The logic is perfect.

    Oh, and lethal.

    (Still, we should pray for the author, Frances Kissling, who wrote in June of this year that "It's hard for pro-choicers to admit sometimes a woman shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion -- but we have to." Now there's a concept.)

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    Friday, September 25, 2009

    BC residents hand out copies of "Da Vinci Code" to oppose Opus Dei retreat center!

    In follow-up to my previous post, these folks need to work on their critical reading skills:
    Residents of a quiet West Coast community say they will fight plans by a Catholic organization featured in the novel The Da Vinci Code to build a spiritual retreat in their town.

    Opus Dei was depicted in the fictional bestseller by Dan Brown as a powerful and insidious secret society involved in a bloody conspiracy that reached up into the highest levels of the church. The real-life organization, however, says there is nothing sinister about its plans.

    ... The project will have benefits for the community, but those opposed to the plan have been handing out copies of The Da Vinci Code to encourage opposition, Sarraf said.
    Here is a picture from the planning meeting:


    "Skeptical residents search the slides for Opus Dei's hidden plans of world domination."

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    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Outrageous: Italian PM calls Pope Benedict a liar in newspaper

    Watch it. That's my pope you're talking about:
    The Italian newspaper Il Giornale, owned by the family of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, carries a headline today dominated by the words “Ha mentito” - “he lied”, referring to Pope Benedict XVI. The paper is busy stirring up trouble over the claims by Swedish TV, due to be aired tonight, that the Vatican knew in advance about the Holocaust-denying background of Bishop Richard Williamson before his excommunication was lifted.

    The words “he lied” are admittedly taken from the programme. But it’s a malicious allegation: Benedict has told no lies whatsoever regarding this matter, even if Vatican officials working for him have a case to answer. (UK Telegraph Blog)
    Damian Thompson has the full background.

    Here's hoping the Vatican press office vigorously and competently defends the pope against these unfair accusations.

    I mean, there's a first for everything.

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    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Forget sex, the media knows that attacking the Catholic Church sells

    First, the lie is spread around with a press release headline: Ohio Catholic Priest Comes OUT as a Drag Queen with a Billboard Dance Hit.

    Then it builds with more sensationalism in the press release itself: "In celebration of Gay Pride Month, Big Mama Capretta reveals the surprise truth about her identity. By day, Capretta is none other than Father Anthony, a proud practicing Catholic priest from Columbus, Ohio! Big Mama Capretta's new hit single 'Big Mama's House' is currently #25 on the U.S. Billboard Club Play dance chart."
    Next, the Advocate, an "award-winning LGBT news site", basically copies down the press release and offers it as "news", contributing to the believability of the lie begun by the press release.
    Finally, huge entertainment blogs take the Advocate "story" as "news" and run with it. My personal favorite? Perez Hilton who pipes: "If the church ever wants to point fingers again, they should start in their own backyard."
    Well, sorry to rain on the parade, but this guy has been "out" since the 1980's, and the Catholic "Church" he is part of is actually the Columbus Community of Charity Independent Old Catholic Church, an "all-inclusive and welcoming congregation" .... yadda, yadda, you know the story (actually, oddly-enough, attendance at their "masses" are "open only to membership." So much for being inclusive).
    In other words, Father Anthony is as much a Catholic priest as calling myself "DJ-AMP" makes me a musical artist. 
    Now, with these facts in hand, let's look at what is actually happening each step of the way in this story:
    1) A PR firm realized the only way to promote this guy is to spread the claim he's actually a priest of the Catholic Church. This is false advertising because he is not a Catholic priest, and they knew that.
    2) LGBT news sites happily continue the rumor because it plays into their stereotypes about priesthood, hypocrisy in the Church, etc. Never mind that it takes about five minutes of research to dismiss the lies spread by the press release. The Advocate is not even trying for journalistic integrity.
    3) Celebrities like Perez Hilton who - idiot that he is - have a significant force in shaping today's pop culture, continue to perpetuate myths and lies about the Catholic Church. Remember this gem of a quote: "If the church ever wants to point fingers again, they should start in their own backyard." Try to imagine for a second if Perez Hilton had said that in reaction to a press release claiming a Hasidic Jew was a transvestite, etc.
    Oh that's right, such things will never happen, because anti-Catholic prejudice is still acceptable, LGBT news sites aren't bound by the facts, and press firms have realized that when sex can't sell, attacking the Church will do.

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    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Cameron Diaz: “We don't need any more kids. We have plenty of people.”

    Oh Cameron:
    Cameron Diaz has said in an interview in the July issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine, which comes out tomorrow, that “We don't need any more kids. We have plenty of people on this planet.” (LifeSiteNews)
    Previous gem from Miss Diaz:
    “If you think that rape should be legal, then don’t vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote,” she said.
    Maybe her publicist could also begin sending her highlights from world census data.

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    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Huh? Video game company pays people to fake protest as Christians

    I actually blogged about this game some time ago, on an offbeat friday.

    But now I'm not smiling:
    Video game giant Electronic Arts has admitted it funded a group of fake protesters who pretended to be Christians as a publicity stunt to spur interest in its upcoming action game very loosely based on Dante’s “Inferno.”

    The game company hired a group of almost 20 people to stand outside the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the Associated Press says. The phony protesters passed out amateurish material and held signs bearing slogans such as “Trade in Your PlayStation for a PrayStation,” “Hell is not a Game” and “EA = Electronic Anti-Christ.”

    Holly Rockwood, an EA spokeswoman, said the charade was arranged by a viral marketing agency hired by the company.

    ... A web page in the crude style of 1990s web design was also created in connection with the stunt. It depicted crosses crushing the word “sin” and placed images of the King James Bible among phony condemnations and thinly-veiled promotions of the game.

    “A video game hero does not have the authority to save and damn... ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE. and he will not judge the sinners who play this game kindly,” the site said. (CNA)
    I think EA's move is especially bone-headed considering how many Christians might be interested in a game that at least tries to include "spiritual" things, and considering how many Catholics might get a kick out of the game for its gag value. 

    I mean, getting to play Dante as he slashes his way through hell? It sure beats Tetris.

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    Friday, March 20, 2009

    "Some Catholics Disappointed in Obama"

    Only some:
    He garnered the majority of Catholic votes in the 2008 election, but a number of Catholic groups now say President Obama is showing a complete lack of regard for their beliefs.

    They count his decisions to lift restrictions on abortion and stem cell research among the most offensive.

    ... "President Obama has already reached out and won the Catholic vote," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said.

    "That's what happened in the last election in spite of the very loud voices of some extreme uber-Catholics who really want to paint this black and white picture -- to engage us in this endless culture war," he said.

    O'Brien, whose group supports access to contraception and abortion, said Obama presented Catholic voters with a social justice agenda they can support. (FOX politics)
    "Extreme uber-Catholics" - hey, I like the sound of that!

    "American Papist: Extreme Uber-Catholic." =)

    update: Back to Obama: "President Barack Obama Offends Mentally Disabled With Special Olympics Remark" & "Offensive Joke, Offensive Treaty".

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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Outrageous: Take them at their word - Excommunicate them.

    How Robert S. McElvaine slunk his way into a Washington Post's "On Faith" column I'll never know. Unless the column is a joke.
    McElvaine's entry ("impeach the pope") sure is laughable and - I would argue - actionable. It's clearly offensive. Some quotes:

    "Amid all the justified outrage we all feel at Bernie Madoff and the AIG bandits, let us save some intense outrage for Pope Benedict XVI."

    "I am a Catholic and the idea that such a man [as Pope Benedict] is God's spokesperson on earth is absurd to me."

    "Let's start a movement within the Catholic Church to impeach Pope Benedict XVI and remove him from office. While we're at it, let's replace him with a woman.
    He reversed the excommunication of a Holocaust denier. Will he excommunicate me for pointing out that he is a misogyny denier?
    If this be heresy, make the most of it."

    Well heck, fine with me. Excommunicate him if that's his wish. He's certainly guilty of being an idiot.
    Plus he has insulted a figure beloved by literally hundreds of millions of people. Plus he's ignorant of basic truths of historical fact, demonstrating absolutely no good will or honest desire to verify his libelous claims about the Catholic Church in the process. Plus he does all of this as a Catholic - causing grave scandal to the faithful.

    "On Faith" should be embarrassed to welcome such malevolent contributions.

    And while we're at it, let's add another to the excommunication docket:

    The pope's comment was "irresponsible and dangerous", said Jon O'Brien, head of Catholics for Choice, adding that "few Catholics and even fewer medical personnel agree with his stance." (AFP) [More damning evidence here.]

    At least O'Brien is bought and paid for, McElvaine is trying to draw attention to his new anti-Catholic book.

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    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Bishops of Los Angeles issue letter reassuring gays

    I'm calling this a case of "unteaching":

    The bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, led by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, issued a letter to homosexual Catholics on Friday seeking to ensure them that the Church’s support for Proposition 8 was not meant to diminish their dignity or their membership in the Church. The true aim of the Church’s support, the bishops write, was to “preserve the ordered relationship between man and woman created by God.”

    The pastoral letter, which was printed in the archdiocesan paper The Tidings, is written to all homosexual members of the Church as well as the rest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. According to the bishops, its purpose is to offer reassurance to gays amidst the fallout surrounding Prop. 8’s success that they are “cherished members of the Catholic Church, and that we value you as equal and active members of the Body of Christ.” (CNA)

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    Friday, August 01, 2008

    "Call me biased..."

    So begins a Feministe blogger's post about pro-life positions and organizations. She continues:

    "…but I just can’t wrap my mind around anti-choice rhetoric. I am fairly skilled at seeing both sides of most complex social issues and I even try to give credit to those that oppose my view if their reasoning is sound, but anti-choice stuff…it is just totally illogical to me."

    Oh goodness, what an inexplicable dilemma! Whatever could be the cause of her predicament?

    Let's look at the beginning of the second paragraph:

    "As most of you know, I work in public affairs at a Planned Parenthood affiliate."

    Oh, suddenly this begin to make sense.

    She goes on to maligne the "favorite anti-choice groups [which] makes your blood boil the most."
    And if her blog's title and content wasn't a self-fulfilling prophecy itself, the commentors proceed to misunderstand (with some notable individual exceptions) every truth the pro-life community attempts to reveal and defend.
    A perfect case of what I'm talking about? The blogger denies Margaret Sanger was a racist.
    "Call me biased..."
    No, "bias" doesn't begin to describe it.

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    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Update: Body ID'd as priest who flew on party balloons

    The foreseen conclusion:

    DNA tests confirmed that a body found off the coast of Brazil is that of a priest who disappeared while flying over the Atlantic buoyed by hundreds of brightly colored party balloons, authorities said Tuesday.

    The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli set off from the Brazilian port city of Paranagua on April 20 strapped to 1,000 helium-filled balloons in an attempt to raise money to build a rest stop and worship center for truckers.

    But the 41-year-old Roman Catholic priest soon lost contact with his ground team, and the cluster of yellow, orange, pink and white balloons was found in the water a day later. (CNN)

    The reaction:
    The brother, Moacir de Carli, said the news came as a relief.

    "Now we can have a respectable burial service," he told the Agencia Estado news service.

    For several days after the priest's disappearance, rescue crews in boats, planes and helicopters scoured a vast stretch of ocean and densely forested mountains.
    God rest his soul. And for the rest of us - let's stick to prayer and dry land.

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    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Stuff that ticks me off....

    Close to the top of the list .... anti-Catholic condom-throwers:
    When Catholic youth around the world converge in Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day, they will be handed condoms in an attempt to protest the Pope’s unwavering opposition to abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

    The NoToPope Coalition, a group of abortion, homosexual and atheist activists, including Raelians and the Socialist Alliance, will reportedly number between 1,000 and 5,000 protestors. They plan to distribute condoms to pilgrims en route to the Papal Mass at Randwick Racecourse July 20. (LifeSiteNews)

    I remember people doing this at WYD '05 in Germany. I'm not sure if it was the same group, but it's a good thing I never personally saw them in action because I would have given them a piece of my mind - to start.

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    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    If you were a Jesuit at a Catholic University Parish...

    ... you would decide to "come out" as gay during Sunday Mass, right?

    Before a packed church of some 400 on the campus of the famed St. Joseph's University, Father Thomas J. Brennan announced that he is homosexual. During the Mass he spoke of his homosexuality as one of "the worst kept secrets" on campus. He failed however to mention that homosexual acts are considered intrinsically evil by the Catholic Church.

    ... this year, the University has, according to a comment by Frank Morris, Executive Director of the Office of Mission in the campus newspaper, dedicated Ignatian week to race and diversity. [LifeSiteNews]

    Matt Archbold of CreativeMinorityReport was there. No word from Fr. Brennan, the University, or the diocese.

    And in Chicago, Donald MacGuire, SJ, faces even more abuse charges.

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    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Burke vs. Giuliani and matching wits with an unarmed foe

    Mainstream journalism favors ruts, by which I mean regular, predictable patterns of reporting ... ready-made stories, as it were. "Open box and reheat contents" fare.

    One issue (or rut) that American journalism favors during election campaigns is the "Catholic bishop threatens to deny pro-choice Catholic politician communion" story.

    I'm not saying this isn't real news, I just wish the media would learn that there are other topics in which Catholic principles run up against contemporary political practice. Anyway, that's not my real point. I'll get to that in a bit.

    To start us off, a(nother) report from the Associated Press:

    Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke, who made headlines last presidential season by saying he'd refuse Holy Communion to John Kerry, has his eye on Rudy Giuliani this year....

    .... Burke, the Archbishop of St. Louis, was asked by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch if he would deny Communion to Giuliani if the former New York mayor approached him for the sacrament.

    "If the question is about a Catholic who is publicly espousing positions contrary to the moral law, and I know that person knows it, yes I would," the paper quoted the archbishop as responding.

    Burke has said of Giuliani: "I can't imagine that as a Catholic he doesn't know that his stance on the protection of human life is wrong. If someone is publicly sinning, they should not approach to receive Holy Communion."
    And what brilliant, philosophically-cogent, intellectually-nuanced response did Guliani give in return?

    Asked about it Wednesday while campaigning in New Hampshire, Giuliani said:

    "Archbishops have a right to their opinion, you know. There's freedom of religion in this country. There's no established religion, and archbishops have a right to their opinion. Everybody has a right to their opinion."

    Is he trying to sound like a stuck record-player? Maybe he should finally switch-out the disc labeled "moral-relativist/religious-pluralist/double-speak" which he's had set on repeat for the last umpteen years. Laughable.

    It's not even like Guliani was even caught-off guard by the question. He routinely gives these kinds of silly responses when asked about his Catholicism. Take another example from the same article:

    Last week, Giuliani compared the scrutiny of his personal life marked by three marriages to the biblical story in which Jesus said only someone who was free of all sin should try to stone an adulterous woman.

    "I'm guided very, very often about, 'Don't judge others, lest you be judged,'" Giuliani told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

    "I have very, very strong views on religion that come about from having wanted to be a priest when I was younger, having studied theology for four years in college," he said.

    Goodness gracious - did he study remedial theology?! I think my patience (never one of my strong points) with his ramblings and obfuscations is about at an end. Seriously, stop trying to fake being a Catholic to gain votes.

    At least demonstrate some courage about your (lack of) convictions.

    Oh! And don't even get me started on the cross-dressing. Yep, that's Giuliani on the left.

    [/end of rant.]

    (By-the-by: Good for Abp. Burke! Fidelis has more.)

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