Lauren Hill, 1995 – 2015


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I mentioned Lauren Hill in my February 14th post, Choose Life / Choose Death. Lauren passed away on April 10th. Respect Life Weekly Update has the news:

LAUREN HILL, who was an inspiration to millions of people around the world with her life-affirming fight against a rare form of brain cancer has passed away on April 10, 2015. Lauren posed a study in contrast compared to those who push for assisted suicide in the wake of BRITTYANY MAYNARD’S death, and ultimately raised millions for cancer research as the basketball player played her way into our hearts.

Courageous Bishops and Priests – The Soldiers of Christ

salvatore_cordileone
There are some courageous bishops and priests and one such bishop is Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, who has compiled a faculty handbook for use in his archdiocese which is scheduled to go into effect August 1, 2015. The handbook is to be used by the four high schools run by the archdiocese. The “preamble” to the document reads as follows: “We, the Archdiocesan High Schools, affirm that we are educational institutions of the Catholic Church, and as such strive to present Catholic doctrine in its fullness, and that we hold, believe and practice all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be true, whether from the natural moral law or by way of revelation from God through Scripture and Tradition.” It then affirms the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity, the inviolability of human life, its affirmation of marriage being between a man and woman, a rejection of all sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, including fornication, same sex marriages, pornography, etc. and describes them as being “gravely evil.”

This is all in accordance with what the Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims. Since a bishop of a diocese is considered a shepherd of his flock, Archbishop Cordileone is doing his job in governing, teaching and sanctifying as exemplified by creating the faculty handbook. He has this right to do so under the provisions of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion.

However, the secular society in the San Francisco area, a bastion of a gay friendly culture, was outraged by his actions. Bay area lawmakers deemed him to be intolerant and objected that the faculty handbook would curtail the freedom of his students and teachers to choose who to love and marry and how to plan a family. Petitions were initiated to oppose his efforts, deeming he is creating a culture of fear and denying the right of students and teachers to follow their own consciences.

Cordileone responded by saying a Catholic school should promote the vision of the Catholic faith, and teachers who adhere to the faith are best suited to the task. He calls upon his teachers not to violate the Church’s teachings publicly or privately. This Archbishop is courageously engaged to resist the culture’s imposition of its secular agenda which is in opposition to the rights of religious beliefs held by Cordielone and his flock. Truly, these secularists are the intolerant ones.

The Archbishop notes that there must be resistance to the “tremendous pressure the contemporary culture places on everyone to conform to a certain agenda. This pressure is exerted relentlessly in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in academia, in corporations – in short, all the influences of popular culture.” Any Catholics endorsing these contrary views “creates a toxic confusion about our fundamental values.”

There are many organizations that disapprove of the archdiocese’s position and among them is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This foundation is one of the nations’ largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organizations.

In addition, Sam Singer’s world famous public relations-firm has been hired by “concerned parents” in this dispute with the Archbishop. His declared objective is to attack Archbishop Cordileone and wants Pope Francis to intervene. Singer has been described as one of the most powerful people in the San Francisco Bay Area with an ability to impact the news on behalf of his clients.

There are and will be many forces arrayed against this lone Archbishop who is a culture warrior and a soldier of Christ. He will persevere and prevail but only with the help of many prayers being offered on his behalf to our Lord.

Cowardly Bishops and Priests vs. Courageous Ones

For the past 31 years, Patricia Jannuzzi has been a Catholic school teacher in the diocese of Metuchen, NJ. She was recently punished by the diocesan bishop, Bishop Bootkowski, who placed her on administrative leave for writing a post critical of the homosexual agenda along with her support of the concept of traditional marriages and families. (Also, she may not have her teaching contract renewed for the next school year as a result of this controversy.)

Her post is shown below, slightly edited for clarity and spelling.

“See this is the agenda…one minute they argue they are born this way and it is not a choice (in order to get 14th Amendment rights equal protection which was carved for permanent characteristics… unchangeable characteristics such as race and disability..but once they are under the 14th amendment they will argue everyone should be able to choose a gay or lesbian lifestyle…in other words they want to reengineer western civ into a slow extinction We need healthy families with a mother and father for the sake of the children and humanity.”

Essentially, she is saying that there is a gay agenda and as a consequence it may radically change western culture while marriage should only be between and man and a woman. Her comments of a traditional marriage are firmly rooted in the teachings of her church.

There is some evidence of a gay agenda and this may be exemplified by a book written in 1989 entitled After the Ball–Why the Homosexual Movement Has Won.

The first paragraph of this book review reads as follows:

“The spectacular success of the homosexual movement stands as one of the most fascinating phenomena of our time. In less than two decades, homosexuality has moved from “the love that dares not speak its name,” to the center of America’s public life. The homosexual agenda has advanced even more quickly than its most ardent proponents had expected, and social change of this magnitude demands some explanation.”

The Catholic Church’s position regarding homosexuality may be found in the Catholic Church Catechism, (CCC) paragraphs 2357-2359 which is shown below:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Footnotes: 140 Cf. 1 Cor 6:15-20, 141 Cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.

While the Church essentially states that the psychological genesis of homosexuality remains unexplained, homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and under no circumstances can they be approved. However, homosexuals must be accepted with respect and compassion and every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided. As the church attempts to balance its dogma by being pastoral and merciful, it cannot condone homosexual acts. This is representative of the official teaching of Patricia’s church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) also deals with the subject of marriage in paragraphs 1601 through 1666. I would like to quote just two of all those paragraphs which sufficiently supports Patricia Jannuzzi’s post:

1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1).

1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799).

So it would seem Patricia is in conformity with her church’s tenets on the subjects of homosexuality and marriage while the 1989 book entitled After the Ball, presents a probable gay agenda which was remarkably successful.

Now, her bishop’s reaction to Patricia’s post is contained in a public statement that he made which is shown below:

My dear brothers and sisters,

We are a compassionate Catholic community committed to treating our students, faculty and parishioners with respect. We have never wavered from our traditional Catholic teachings.

To that end we need to correct some misstatements with regard to the teacher in question.

The teacher’s comments were disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance. However, she has never been terminated, as some media outlets have reported. She has been put on administrative leave. There has been no interruption in her pay and benefits.

Pope Francis reminds us that we are to accept all of our brethren. We must ensure that our educators steer away from harsh and judgmental statements that can alienate and divide us.

We regret that certain individuals and groups are using inaccurate media reports to push their own agendas.

Signed by bishop Bootkowski

The bishop does not explain what he means by the “Church’s teaching of acceptance.” Perhaps he should have done so since it is a seemingly ambiguous statement. Nor does Patricia’s post as an educator seem harsh since it is in conformity to her church’s teachings.

When Patricia’s post became so controversial on social media, I believe her bishop (Bootkowski) should have taken it as an opportunity to first tell the public she is and remains a teacher in good standing in his diocese. And secondly to proclaim the church’s teaching on traditional marriage and that all sexual activity outside the bond of marriage is sinful. Shown below is an e-mail which I sent to the bishop on 3/24/15

The text of the e-mail is shown below:

Subject: COWARDLY BISHOPS AND PRIESTS VS. COURAGEOUS ONES

Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkowski, DD:

Re:Patricia Jannuzzi, a theology teacher at Immaculata High School in Somerville, NJ

Your excellency, you should have taken this as an opportunity to affirm and proclaim the Church’s teaching on sacramental marriage and the sinfulness of having any sex outside the marriage bond. Unfortunately, you choose to take the “politically correct” and easy way out of this controversy. As a result your actions are conforming to the prevailing culture rather than standing up for what is right in the eyes of God.

Please contrast your actions with the position that Archbishop Cordielone is taking in San Francisco and as a result is under attack for upholding the tenets of our Catholic Faith.

While my statements may seem harsh to you and they are, we are living in an age of the need to confront the prevailing culture of evil in order to overcome this present darkness.

God Bless you abundantly.

(signed)

Luke

Christian leaders must teach and proclaim the doctrines of their churches. They must hold fast to their core beliefs and not be intimidated by the questionable values and standards of today’s society. They must courageously proclaim God’s truths to the culture rather than conform to it. This seems to be a course of action which is necessary to halt our nation’s current chaotic downward spiral toward moral confusion, so that there may be a return to the once cherished Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded.

Update 4/13/2015

It appears that on 4/10/15, Bishop Bootkowski has now made a decision to renew Patricia Jannuzzi’s contract. This is good news and regardless of what prompted this change by the bishop, I thought it worthwhile to praise him for taking this course of action and sent him the following e-mail dated 4/10/15:

Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkowski:

Re:Patricia Jannuzzi, a theology teacher at Immaculata High School in Somerville

Your excellency, thank you for making the decision to renew Patricia Jannuzzi’s contract. You are on the road to becoming one of the courageous bishops that are sorely need in this time of a wayward culture that seems to be worsening each passing day.

I worked with your Dad in Western Electric many years ago and believe his prayers for you are most efficacious. As James 5:16 states in part “the prayer of a righteous man has great power..”

Please remember, we must keep the faith more than ever.

God Bless you, abundantly,

Luke M. Amoroso