Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Abp Listecki on Planned Parenthood scandal: A picture of your child is worth a thousand words

I am a Baby Boomer and the most significant means of information, when I was growing up, was the television. The TV brought happenings right into the living room – there was no dependency upon radio commentary to paint a picture; the picture was there for everyone to see. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” was experienced by everyone and it was shared as something that could be appreciated. The picture would speak for itself, as it often presented the reality. Sometimes the images could be inspiring, like the first steps taken by an American on the moon. Other times, it could be transformative, such as pictures of the Vietnam War that caused men and women to protest our involvement.

The stark reality of pictures can also help understand the consequences of various actions. Have you seen the recent anti-smoking television ads from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? They show individuals who, because of smoking, have had limbs amputated, eyesight lost, birth defects to newborn babies and tracheotomies performed because of breathing problems. At the end of some of the videos, an on-screen graphic text tells us that the featured person passed away and gives the date of their death – a shocking ending. These are hard ads to watch, for these are real people and real consequences, but many would defend these stark presentations, by stating that they save lives.

However, many of these same proponents would object to the pictorial demonstration of an abortion, which shows the fetus – a human being in utero – being carved up. Many would say that this graphic depiction was too brutal for the sensitivity of the public. However, perhaps when we hide the reality or consequences of the action, we allow an avoidance of the responsibility for what is actually happening.

Recently Planned Parenthood was discovered to haggle over the price of body parts of aborted fetuses. Of course, there really is no problem if you consider the fetus to be anything other than a human being, convincing yourself that it’s not a child. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that we condemned human experimentation by doctors in Nazi concentration camps.
Some so-called “enlightened” legislatures block proposed laws that would require potential mothers to have a short period of time before they make a decision to abort their children. Yet, these same individuals would support informed decision-making in all other circumstances. Ultrasounds have helped women caught in the dilemma of unplanned pregnancies, to see pictures of their children and understand their struggles for life. A picture of your child is worth a thousand words even before the child can say “mama.”

The majority of the American public finds late-term abortions repugnant. It doesn’t take much effort to understand that an early abortion is just a child not allowed to develop. I guess we as a society still need to develop, so I pray that no one decides to abort us before our chance to live. Our hope is in the Lord’s encouragement to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

See with God’s Eyes,

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee

Theology On Tap last night with Archbishop Listecki

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Too cool, St. Galgano and the Sword in the Stone

via CatholicOnline
The legendary sword in the stone still stands in Italy. While connected to Arthurian legend and British history, this Sword in the Stone is associated with a Catholic saint. Visitors can see it in the Montesiepi chapel, near Saint Galgano Abbey in Chiusdino, in Tuscany.

The legend surrounds the story of brave knight Galgano Guidotti, who was born in 1148 near Chiusdino. After spending his youth as a brave knight, Galgano decided to follow the words of Jesus in 1180 and retired as a hermit near his hometown.

Galgano is said to have stuck his sword onto a rock in order to use it as a cross for his prayers. One year later Galgano died, and in 1185 Pope Lucius the 3rd declared him a saint.

After Galgano's death, according to legend, countless people have tried to steal the sword. In the chapel you can see what are said to be the mummified hands of a thief that tried to remove the sword and was then suddenly slaughtered by wild wolves.

The sword was believed to be a fake for years. However, recent studies examined the sword and the hands, and the dating results as well as metal and style of the sword all are consistent with the late 1100s, early 1200s. This lends credence that the story on which the English sword and the stone is based on originated with Guidotti in Italy.

These days the sword is protected by a Perspex screen to protect it from the attempts to remove it from the stone, one of which resulted in the sword being broken. If the true-born king of England does indeed come along he had better also be able to break through plastic, as well as remove the sword from the stone.

Also The Guardian: Tuscany's Excalibur is the real thing, say scientists

HT Jimmy

Cupich says Chicago archdiocese will act on climate change

CHICAGO — Chicago’s Catholic archdiocese is the nation’s first to monitor its buildings’ power and water usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

Archbishop Blase Cupich joined US Environmental Protection Agency officials Friday to mark the Church’s stewardship initiative, an answer to Pope Francis’ entreaty to preserve the earth.

In 2014, the archdiocese’s energy costs were nearly $30 million. That included $13.5 million for electricity and $16 million for gas. The benchmarking process doesn’t save any money.
continue at Crux

It seems that most parishes do something similar, primarily for financial considerations.

A long defeat

Quote source: Tolkien's letter to Amy Ronald, December 15, 1956.
Art: Prologue Battle: Mordor, acrylic by Paul Lasaine (

Hoping MM doesn't mind me borrowing this.  

New DVD featuring Cardinal Burke “Marriage: God’s Design for Life and Love”

A new DVD featuring Cardinal Raymond Burke entitled, “Marriage: God’s Design for Life and Love,” presents the vision of marriage in God’ s eyes, as “a reflection of divine love that is faithful, enduring, and procreative.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

WI Bills Circulating in State Legislature to Ban the Sale and Use of Aborted Baby Body Parts

State Representatives Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) are currently circulating for co-sponsorship legislation that would ban the sale and use of aborted human fetal body parts. Representative Jacque is also circulating for co-sponsorship legislation that would continue the defunding of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) that began with Governor Walker’s first budget in 2011.

Banning the sale and use of aborted human fetal body parts (LRB 1645/2)

LRB 1645/2 would prohibit the sale and use of aborted human fetal body parts. The bill bans persons from knowingly and for valuable consideration acquiring, receiving, or transferring a fetal body part. It also bans persons from knowingly providing, receiving, or using for experimentation a fetal body part. A fetal body part is a cell, tissue, organ, or other part of, or any material derived from any cell or tissue of, an unborn child who is aborted by an induced abortion. The legislation would also require the abortionist to determine, if medically possible, the gender of the preborn child and report it to the Department of Health Services (DHS). It also establishes new provisions on the proper disposal of aborted fetal remains, through either burial, interment, entombment, cremation, or incineration. The lack of current standard allows for disposal of fetal remains as trash or medical waste.

There is documented evidence of the UW-Madison conducting research on human fetal brain and pancreatic tissue. These preborn children did not consent to their abortions and certainly did not consent to experimentation. We expect Wisconsin’s medical research community to procure fetal tissue ethically; for example, from stillbirths or miscarriages with maternal consent.  Federal law prohibits the interstate trafficking of human fetal body parts. Wisconsin’s intrastate commercial activity must have a similar prohibition so that we can guarantee the highest ethical standards of academic research and medical care in our state.

La Crosse man with cerebral palsy spearheads annual 200-mile ‘Bike to Mary’

LA CROSSE – Between June 21 and June 27, Chris Pundzak led a small group from one end of Wisconsin to the other on a trip that sought to raise awareness for Mary’s role in the life of faith.

And by now this nearly 200-mile trip has become as easy as, well – riding a bicycle.

That’s because for the last three years, Pundzak, a member of Mary Mother of the Church Parish, La Crosse, has led a bicycle pilgrimage from the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill, Hubertus, Wis., to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse. What’s more, he accomplished this trio of trips while contending with the challenges of severe cerebral palsy. Due to complications during his birth 28 years ago, Pundzak was diagnosed at age 5 with the disorder.

Calling it “Bike to Mary,” Pundzak and a handful of assistants have organized the pilgrimage between these two testaments of Catholic devotion to Our Lady as a way to focus attention on Mary not only as Mother of Christians but of all humanity. In choosing the route between Hubertus and La Crosse, he also hopes to raise awareness and funds for the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe – and her part as patroness of the pro-life movement.

The June pilgrimage invites young and old to take part in the six-day trek – averaging 40 miles a day – through rolling moraines and placid kettles that punctuate eastern and central Wisconsin landscape to the bluffs and coulees which form the state’s western extreme. The pilgrimage also includes daily Mass, daily Morning Prayer, Eucharistic adoration, when available, and plenty of time for private prayer and reflection on the route.
continue at The Catholic Times

Also NCReg:
One of my favorite things about being a journalist is writing about great people who do great things. I’m especially interested in people who beat the odds and whose stories inspire others.
Read more:

Bp. Ricken celebrates GermanFest Mass in Milwaukee

Well, it will be interesting to see if Milwaukee is appointed an auxiliary bishop, in the recent past there were two appointed. Now there are none.

First Things (August/September 2015)

This issue includes:
  • Thy Will Be Done; R. R. Reno on: the then-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision; Laudato Si; and The Jenner Moment
  • Facing the Unborn; Richard Stith on a verbal picture of an embryo's future;
  • In Polls We Trust; Robert Wuthnow on the history and utility of polls about religion.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Newsmakers: Implementing Pope's 'Laudato Si' Encyclical

Video at WisconsinEye (the local counterpart to C-SPAN),
"... Senior Producer Steve Walters interviewed John Huebscher, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, and Fr. Michael Irwin of St. Katherine Drexel Parish in Beaver Dam on implementing Pope Francis' laudato si encyclical."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Essential Guardini

Pope Francis regularly cites the works of Romano Guardini.

George Panichas provided some background on Guardini in this Comment from the Spring 2005 issue of Modern Age.