Andrew, Mario, and the Big “But”

New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, was recently quoted in the Wall St. Journal calling himself “an observant Catholic.”

Observant of what?

He is divorced, has a live-in girlfriend and does not love his neighbors as he loves himself.

He pronounced from his seat of power: “If that’s who they are (pro-life) they have no room in the State of New York.”

In other words: “You observant Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews and Muslims … all who believe in the sanctity of human life … get ye to the catacombs.

Andrew has a Nero problem. He thinks the right to live in his Empire State comes from him, and the right to defend life doesn’t exist because he says it doesn’t.

If Andrew ever read the U.S. Constitution, he’d know better. If he ever read the Bible, he’d apologize. If he ever read what the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Magisterium teach maybe he would be an observant Catholic.

Stranger than his comment is the fact that he made it in the context of a meeting he had with N.Y’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The meeting Cuomo said “heartened him.”

If he meant what he said about pro-lifers, he should have called in the National Guard and had the Cardinal evicted from New York.

Extremists like Andrew Cuomo are a joke, and you need a heart of stone not to laugh at his pomposity. But there are others who have done real damage to Church credibility, the rights of the unborn and the pro-life movement.

Their joke is a real killer.

Think Mario Cuomo, Andrew’s father, who in September 1984 in a speech at Notre Dame University rationalized that there is a difference between public morality and private morality. While he was personally opposed to abortion, as a public official, he could condone it and Catholics would be justified in voting for him as well as other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

Think also of Archbishop Joseph Bernardin* of Chicago who equated the killing of unborn children with sub-standard housing and other social issues. He called his equation “the seamless garment.”

Mental gymnastics such as they invented are a pestilence that plagues the church to this day. They have spawned a stream of Catholic quislings such as Joe Biden, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy and Kathleen Sibelius, to name a few, who have gone so far as to insist on tax funding for the slaughter of the innocent.

The quislings say they are “personally opposed to abortion but…” But what?

But let the babies die.

*Archbishop Bernardin was made Cardinal posthumously.

Betty LaRosa, Trustee
Life Education Council

Why Gay? – Why Straight? – the Homosexual Dilemma

Based on the complexities and controversies of this subject, it would seem to be more appropriate to have books written by scholars and intellectuals who are well equipped to deal with this topic in depth rather than writing about it in a blog.

However, there may be some fundamentals that can be established as a framework for a bit of edification and discussion. Here goes.

Probably there have always been gay and certainly straight members of the human species. According to the National Geographic’s Genographic Project all living human beings are descended from one common African ancestor who lived about 140,000 years ago. (The Project leaders have nick-named this common ancestor “Adam.”) They claim all human beings alive today are descended from this “Adam” and we can all be traced back to his DNA. (Current differences in race and nationalities are attributable to a long period of mutations or genetic markers which have occurred throughout the many generations since “Adam.”) So it would be safe to assume gays appeared well before the time of “Sodom and Gomorrah.” However, based on the estimated number of gays as opposed to the number of straights, gays would appear to be anomalies in Nature.

According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law which is considered a sexual orientation think tank, their April 2011 research report estimates that 1.7 percent of American adults are gay. Quoting from their website, “The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, The Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.”

Let us assume then that about 1.7 percent of American adults are gay or homosexual while another 1.8 percent according to the same April 2011 report may be bi-sexual, etc. The result is that the overwhelming number of adult Americans is straight or heterosexual. This is obviously in accordance with Nature since men and women are sexually compatible while homosexuals are not. The force of Nature is to have each species in existence to reproduce with the goal of transmitting DNA from one generation to another.

Therefore are gay inclinations uncommon in that these acts are against what seems to be this force of Nature? Further, is homosexuality something that is inborn or genetic? Dr. Francis S. Collins is one of the world’s leading scientist/geneticist and head of mapping the human genome. In his book entitled, The Language of God, published in 2006, he states that sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and whatever genes are involved represent predispositions not predeterminations. (See page 260 of the aforementioned book.)

So the scientific DNA evidence is saying there may be tendencies of attraction of some toward those of the same sex but free choice remains in play. It would seem homosexual behavior is probably something chosen by an individual and not something absolutely preordained.

Now why would some relatively small number of individuals choose to follow the gay life style? Clearly, men and women were made for each other based on the complementary of anatomies. Not to desire one of the opposite sex upon which human nature is based is a sign of brokenness – something that inhibits attraction to the opposite sex. For example, there always remains the interplay of Nature and Nurture which influences all of humanity to a significant degree. As such all humans are flawed to some extent and we see the consequences of these defects in our daily news headlines and in our own lives.

According to the Judeo Christian tradition all homosexual acts are gravely evil as well as other serious sins such as covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, slander, ruthlessness, etc. In the Christian tradition sin is the consequence of not worshipping the Creator who is evident from His Creation.

Taking the passage from the book of Romans, chapter 1, verses 18-32 which best describes this condition you can readily see the consequences of rejecting the revelation of God in Nature. This passage from Romans is shown below in its entirety, using the NIV translation:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

This rejection of God leads to a darkening of the mind causing dishonorable passions. By stubbornly refusing to worship the Creator our minds eventually prefer to remain in this state of darkness. Thus, all manner of sin results and this passage from Romans lists the these sins such as homosexuality as well as covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, slander, ruthlessness, etc. In effect all sin is caused by rejecting God and worshipping creatures, especially oneself.

So, just as we all have a common ancestor called “Adam,” gays and straights both have a predisposition to sin. This tendency is not predetermined by our DNA since one must opt to sin. By truly worshiping our Creator we are given a choice to reject all manner of sin. This is truly in our DNA.

PS: Consider this quote from Pope St. John Paul II:

The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.

Lauren Hill, 1995 – 2015

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

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

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:


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.



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

Under the Influence?

Are we as a nation under the influence of the Evil One? Wow! What a question in this post-modern day age of the 21st century. Such an inquiry or issue like this would have been seemingly more appropriate during the Dark Ages and through the Medieval Era. However, after the progress of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, etc., it would now appear that science and all the other remarkable advances in technology have all but abolished the need for such concerns.

But is it really such an outdated and ludicrous question?

Since 1973, abortion on demand has been the law of our nation and as a result 57 million unborn lives were extinguished by millions of mothers. (Some women have had more than one abortion.) They have decided to “terminate” their pregnancies using legal abortion procedures which in effect rip apart the fruit of their wombs. In virtually all these cases the fathers of the unborn have participated and encouraged these women to take this course of action. In addition, a significant number of parents also join in and insist that their daughters rid themselves of these “inconveniences” (pregnancies). This great number of individuals involved in the killing of the unborn must be supplemented by those doctors, medical workers and others in the pro-abortion industry that promote and carry out this human tragedy.

As a consequence, a great portion of our nation’s population is permeated with a culture-of-death mindset and must be by necessity deeply scarred emotionally and spiritually. There has to be a collective hardening of hearts and an epidemic of self-centeredness in our society that is likened to an infectious disease. In effect, our populace is carrying the weight of all this corporate sin and guilt which abortion brings to the collective psyche of our nation.

This is our nation’s burden and therein, one may discover the influence of the Evil One. Our country is now imbued with the values of the profane and the Father of Lies. So it would seem that, yes, we as a nation may be under the influence of evil.

The solution to this struggle is first of all to continue to promote pro-life values more than ever before in order to weaken the hold that the Evil One has on our culture. And we must pray for the advent of a great revival necessary to hasten the return of the values that were once held by our once great and proud Judeo-Christian nation.

An Un-sung Pro-life Hero

Bill Draghi is one of the unsung heroes of the pro-life movement. He is a retired math teacher/computer programmer, married with five children and grandchildren. Six years after his retirement, Bill was inspired to do sidewalk counseling at the American Women’s Services abortion clinic located at 228 Main St. in Woodbridge, NJ.

He was so taken by his experience during a “40 Days For Life” commitment that he decided to continue to do sidewalk counseling all year round. Bill is at this clinic virtually every day despite any and all weather conditions. He is present there in the bitterest cold winter days and during the hottest humid sultry days of summer. His schedule coincides with all the hours that this clinic is opened.

When the forces of evil are there doing their work of killing the unborn, Bill is there with his three sandwich-sized pro-life signs, praying. Two of them are on each of his left and right flanks fastened with cords around his neck and a third at his back. One says, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” another “Choose Life – Let Your Baby Live” and the third reads, “Adoption Not Abortion.” Bill holds a fourth larger sign about 36” by 54” with his extended left hand. This larger one is framed with PVC piping and rests on the sidewalk. One side shows a photo of a three month old baby, and faces the heavy traveled Main St. road in Woodbridge, while the other side faces the abortion clinic and shows a picture of an 8 week old unborn child and has the words inscribed on it, “Heartbeat at 22 Days”. Bill also holds a rather large crucifix in his right hand which is about 14 inches high and gets heavier to hold with time so he rests it on the top of the PVC frame.

This clinic is not really conducive for close contact with the women and men entering the building. When facing this abortion mill there is a driveway entrance on the left. Virtually all must enter the driveway and park in the rear parking lot. There is a side entrance to the building which is used for entry. The only legal access for sidewalk counselors at this location to interface with those seeking an abortion is to shout out to those going into the abortion mill. Bill usually cries out, “Please save your baby. No one has to kill their baby. There is help for you and your baby ma’am.”

Bill has been present there for the past six years as a witness that it is wrong to kill the unborn. I try to be with Bill for an hour or so each week, usually on a Friday or Saturday. He is a remarkable man. I sense in Bill a saintly and humble soul. We pray together and talk about various topics dealing mostly with pro-life issues. Bill actually keeps a record of how many women enter this abortion clinic and how many changed their minds about having an abortion.

He indicated to me that about 70 to 80 go in there for an abortion each week. He estimates that about half going in for an abortion are Black, one third are Caucasian and the remainder are Hispanics and Indians who are about evenly divided. When I asked him about the number of babies saved through his counseling he humbly answers, “I can only count as saves those women who come up to tell me they have changed their minds about having an abortion and they usually say it is because of me being there and seeing my signs or they and/or their escorts give me a thumbs up.” So in the six years of prayer and sacrifice that Bill has made being at that abortion mill day after day, year after year enduring brutal winters and hot humid summers, he can claim that 150 babies were saved.

About three months ago Bill told me this inspiring story. Earlier that very day a car parked in front of the clinic, a woman came out and opened the door on the rear passenger side to take a little boy out of the car. This mother told Bill that, “I was going in there to abort my child a little over four years ago. You were there like you are now telling me to save my baby. I was so moved that I changed my mind and left. Here is my four year old son. I wanted you to know this and thank you.” I asked Bill what was the boy’s name, Bill responded with a beaming smile. “Manuel, and he is a good looking kid.”

I have been blessed to meet this saintly pro-life hero and have a deep and abiding respect for him and have asked Bill to pray for me. “For the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

What is the source of human dignity?

God is the supreme source of human dignity. His Son Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, became like us in all things except sin. His perfect sacrifice offered on our behalf to His Father gives us an opportunity to have an everlasting relationship with Him. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us we are made in the image and likeness of God and as such have transcendent worth and value. As human beings we alone among all other creatures are capable of knowing and loving God. Thus, human dignity is an intrinsic quality that cannot be taken away from us.

Unfortunately, a wholesale denial of God and His Commandments as exemplified by the forces of radical secularism can lead to an erosion of certain ethical principles and an attack against our God-given rights.

Before Creation, before time itself began, God for some mysterious reason decided to create the Universe. In one place our Catholic Liturgy comments that “God’s Love creates us.” Perhaps from our limited human perspective this may sum up why we are here.

Science tells us the process of the Creation of this Universe began some 13.7 billion years ago and the very vastness of our Universe was necessary to support life on a planet such as ours. Astronomer Hugh Ross quips, “Given the vast quantity and time and resources involved in creating a cosmic home for humanity…only one conclusion makes sense: The Creator of the cosmos places an extremely high value on and has a purpose for human beings.” In chapter 14 of his book The Creator and the Cosmos, Hugh Ross lists twenty six “parameters that the universe must have within narrowly defined ranges for life of any kind to exist.”

So the latest science postulates that the universe had a beginning at the precise moment of the “Big Bang” and it seems one may logically infer that everything that exists must have a cause. If you go back in time you cannot go back infinitely so you must arrive at the first cause. This first cause by necessity must, in itself, be uncaused. Nothing can exist without a cause except for God. Therefore, God exists. (Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King’s College, gives a detailed explanation of the five proofs of God’s existence in an article entitled The First Cause Argument.) These proofs are based primarily on the teachings of ancient Greek philosophers and medieval theologians, e.g., Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas. The latest cosmological science, postulating the “Big Bang”, supports the teachings and conclusions of these ancient minds.

So we have a God, Who out of an act of love creates an exquisitely fine-tuned Universe to support his creatures, culminating with the first man, Adam, our first common ancestor. The latest modern day science, using the forensic tools of DNA has posited the existence of the first man whom they nicknamed “Adam.” Spencer Wells, a geneticist and historian, used DNA technology to explore human history. He has traveled the world collecting blood samples in far-flung cultures. He sought to learn how closely we are related. Wells concluded that all human beings living on earth today are descendants from a single ancestor who lived some 60,000 years ago. This quest for “Adam” is an ongoing project undertaken in a partnership between IBM and the National Geographic Society. By analyzing genetic changes in the Y-chromosome of people in all regions of the world, Wells and his colleagues concluded that all humans alive today are descended from a single man. “We’re all effectively cousins, separated by 2,000 generations,” he said.

Now on August 12, 1950, Pius XII wrote an encyclical entitled HUMANI GENERIS (CONCERNING SOME FALSE OPINIONS THREATENING TO UNDERMINE THE FOUNDATIONS OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE), which in part was written to combat the errors of Modernist theology which relies heavily on the theory of evolution. The Pope declared in paragraph 37 that Adam is the first true man and all human beings are his descendants. In this document the Pope also condemned polygenism which is defined as the theory that all human races descended from many ancestral types. This theory was born from a secularized interpretation of evolution in part to undermine the Scriptural account of Adam and Eve. However, the latest forensic DNA science used by The National Geographic genome project confirms that all humans are descendants from the one man, named “Adam.”

The book of Genesis gives us an account of the fall of the first Adam and as a result all human beings are part of his fall. We have inherited his sinful nature. This sets up the need for a New Adam to reconcile us with the Creator, God. Despite being a fallen race, God’s Love for humanity is so great that He devised a means whereby we may become reconciled to Him. In the passage of Romans 5:12-19 we see that Paul compares and contrasts Adam and Christ. While Adam filled the world with sin and misery, the grace of Christ (the New Adam) more than compensates for the damage done by the first Adam. Verse 18 reads, “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.” To reiterate, Christ more than compensates for the damage done by Adam’s rebellion.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is one of our Church’s greatest mysteries and underscores the extraordinary honor bestowed upon human dignity. At the moment of Christ’s conception in the womb of the Virgin, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed a human nature. The Catholic Catechism (CC) paragraph 468 tells us that the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, “confessed that ‘there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity.’ Thus everything in Christ’s human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death…’” God then could humble Himself taking the form of a suffering servant and die on the cross on our behalf. (Philippians 2:5-11) “The Church confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man. He is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother…” (CC paragraph 469)

Jesus Christ as true God and True Man greatly exalts human dignity. By becoming our brother, Christ reconciles us with His Father. With God as our Father we become His children and heirs of Heaven. (Romans 8:17 and Galatians 4:4-7)

The past century, and even to the present day, the world has witnessed the growing forces of radical secularism blatantly disobeying God’s commands, resulting in the violent death of hundreds of millions along with many more millions suffering the ravages of war, ethnic cleansing, famine and disease. Today, it is common to kill the babes in their mother’s wombs and declare it to be a good in the name “of a woman’s right to choose.” Likewise outrages such as same sex marriages are celebrated as one’s “civil rights”. The book of Isaiah (chapter 5:20) reads, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil . . .”

However, the source of human dignity is a God, who created an exquisitely fine-tuned Universe for us to live in and created our common ancestor in His Own Image. When our ancestor sinned and died leading us into sin and death, the Love and the Grace of God through the merits of His beloved Son restores us to eternal life.

Given the great gift of our human dignity, how then can anyone harm or take the life of another, especially the most vulnerable, the babe in the womb? Remember that the Person of God resided in His mother’s womb for nine months thus sanctifying the lives of all the unborn. This was the beginning of His preparation to empty Himself on our behalf even to death on a Cross.

PS: The CC Paragraph 2270 tells us “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” Paragraph 2271 condemns abortion and goes on to say that any formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. “The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”

Choose Life / Choose Death

Double Rainbow_Wheeler
Late last year, terminally ill Brittany Maynard, age 29, chose to die by her own hand in a well-publicized suicide. She was 29 years old. Brittany used legally-prescribed lethal drugs under Oregon’s assisted suicide law on Saturday November 1, 2014.

She is quoted as saying, “Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more,” Brittany wrote on Facebook. “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type …. Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

Contrast her decision with that of Lauren Hill, 19 years old, also diagnosed with a terminal illness called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) which is inoperable and with a zero survival rate. Lauren not only chooses to live but this St. Joseph University freshman played basketball on the very next day that Brittany Maynard chose to die.

“On Sunday, Lauren Hill played her first and only college basketball game despite her rapidly declining health. She did it in front of 10,250 watery-eyed locals, with a few celebrities to boot. She scored a layup on the first possession of the game, and scored another basket just before the final buzzer. The game was held at Xavier’s Cintas Center, and MSJ beat Hiram 66-55. It very well could have been held at Paul Brown Stadium if not for the Jaguars/Bengals game — the only difference would have been that there would have been more tears.

On the way to the game Sunday, I watched my 8- and 9-year-old daughters in the back seat of the car, innocently tapping away on an IPad, fussing over whose turn it was to play. Ten years ago, that was Lauren. Lauren probably sat in her parents Brent and Lisa Hill’s backseat, no doubt fighting with her younger siblings, Nate and Erin, on the way to who knows where.” (Per Chris Mack, Special for USA TODAY Sports November 3, 2014.)

Lauren wishes to live as long as possible to publicize her illness with the hope that researchers may eventually find a cure so others may not die from DIPG.

Did one choose life thinking of others while continuing to suffer, while the other chose death concerned only with self? Regardless, it is a sad situation in both cases.

Through a Closed Door

Through a Closed Door

Does a bullet fired through a closed door
Kill more acceptably?
Is the trauma of death made easier,
And the bite of conscience less painful,
When the victim need not be confronted?
Like an unwanted kitten drowned in a sack,
Or a faceless innocent of war,
Slaughtered in a hailstorm of bombs from above,
Does anonymity seem to soften the act,
By obscuring the result?

You were there, Lord, in the warmth of conception.
Were You not there too when the partnership was routinely dissolved,
In the chilling void of love and swirl of hospital green?
Did you not breathe in the heavy odor of antiseptic?
See the flash of surgical steel?
Hear the leathal suction?
Know that, to the masked and gowned that were present,
The tiny fetal life was but excess tissue?
An offending cluster of cells,
No more than appendix,
Without future,
Without rights,
Without a whisper of defense.
Is not the rose, cut as a bud, still a rose?

Open wide our eyes that we might see the sacred
Beauty of your creation:
In the flower,
In the kitten,
In the delicate splendor and promise
Of each new human life.

– James Howard Ribbe