I am not going to write about homosexual priests in the Catholic Church.
For the record please do not continue to accept the false conventional wisdom that this has something to do with paedefilia.
Both the media and the church have hidden the true nature of the church scandal.
I want to write about the other scandal with regard to abortion.
When I was studying religion in high school the Jesuits taught me about the nature of giving scandal to other Catholics or even those who did not share my religious beliefs.
Giving bad example was deemed a very serious sin and it is something I have scrupulously guarded against my whole life.
Is this another teaching that the Church does not seem to care about in today’s modern world?
If this is not bad example or scandal, I have no idea what is!
The left will have rendered another Catholic teaching null and void.
It is common knowledge that the vast majority of Senators and Representatives in Congress, who are Catholic, pay no attention to the Church’s teaching on abortion, euthanasia or same-sex marriage.
They march to the inner drum beat of their political conscience and not their moral conscience.
Their duplicity in the culture of death is an affront to their voters and especially to their fellow Catholics.
It is not just their participation in these abject evils but it is the temerity with which they publicly beat their breasts and tout how loyal and faithful they are to their Catholic faith.
These self-professed good Catholics are reminiscent of the good Germans during the war, who considered themselves good and loving husbands and wives, and maybe kind and generous to a fault.
These were the Germans who thought of themselves as good people as to convince themselves that their participation gassing the Jews or euthanizing the elderly and the so-called useless eaters did not reflect on the state of their characters or of their souls.
I have more respect for Adolph Hitler who was a lapsed Catholic…a very lapsed Catholic but never uttered a word about how loyal he was to the Church.
The Church was always regarded as his enemy…an enemy he would deal with when the time arrived.
Every time someone of dubious reputation would say to me, I am good person I think about what guilt, sin or crime are they stowing down deep in the darkest recesses of their souls.
So is it with Senators Dick Durbin, Illinois,Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont; Claire McCaskill, Missouri, and Barbara Mikulski, Maryland.
Former senators, Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry turn a deaf ear to their church on abortion.
These are just a few of the high-profile members of Congress who have faithfully and loyally supported abortion on demand and all the dictates of Planned parenthood through most of their political lives.
Yet church leaders just let them go on touting what great Catholics they are.
What effect does their moral effrontery have on others, especially Catholics in the pews?
Does not their support of abortion encourage others to either be silent about its abject evils or even support abortion on demand as well?
Is this not the sinful scandal I was taught in high school?
Does it not mean anything to our church leaders any more?
Are they so much a part of our pagan culture that they only complain when our religious freedom is at risk?
There is at least one Catholic priest who is screaming from the top of his lungs.
I know there are many others who have spoken out, such as good friend Joseph Naumann the Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas.
Below is a letter Father Frank Pavone, the Director of Priests for Life has written has written to the most outrageous Catholic in Congress, former Speaker of the House nancy Pelosi.
Please read it and then if you are Catholic go to your pastor with it and ask him to put it in the bulletin. One can easily get a copy on-line if necessary.
Or pass it on to anybody who will listen.
Dear Mrs. Pelosi,
Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, “What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?”
Given the fact that the Gosnell case has been national news for months now, and that Congress, where you serve as House Democratic Leader, was about to have a vote on banning abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, this was a legitimate question.
Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, You obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.”
Mrs. Pelosi, the problem is that you’re not interested in giving an answer.
Your refusal to answer this question is consistent with your failure to provide an answer to a similar question from me and the members of my Priests for Life staff. Several years ago, we visited your office with the diagrams of dismemberment abortion at 23 weeks, and asked the simple question, When you say the word ‘abortion,’ is this what you mean? In response, nothing but silence has emanated from your office.
In what way is this refusal to address an issue of such national importance consistent with the leadership role you are supposed to be exercising?
Public servants are supposed to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Apparently, you can’t. Otherwise, you would have been able to explain the difference between a legal medical procedure that kills a baby inside the womb and an act of murder — for which Dr. Gosnell is now serving life sentences — for killing the same baby outside the womb.
Moreover, you stated at the press briefing on June 13, As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.
With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible.
You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them.
Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches.
And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.
Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason.
And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not “have anything to do with politics” reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.
Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office.
We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them.
Fr. Frank Pavone National Director, Priests for Life
Tic tock…tick…tock…the noise can be deafening even to someone who has lost more than half his hearing ability.
I can feel my internal clock, ticking away the seconds of my life.
During my whole life I seem to have been obsessed by time and its passage.
Think of how many expressions fill our lexicon with pithy meaning about time.
Time is running out.
In the nick of time.
It is just a matter of time.
Time on my hands.
It’s about time
The time of your life.
How many working mothers speak of quality time with their children?
Time is a wasting, as my dad used to say.
Ecclesiastes 3 is largest reservoir for wise statements about time.
It says that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
When I was little I always had too much time on my hands.
The hours could not go fast enough!
I wanted the time to fly faster so that I could be older…be on my own…free to marry… and have a family.
I remember the eight years in grade school.
I can still see the clock on the wall.
The second-hand seemed to be operating in slow motion.
It took an hour for a few minutes to pass in my childish perception.
I think my whole life has been ruled by time and its keepers.
My mother always wanted me home at a certain hour and was anxious if I was even a minute or two late.
Even as a grandfather it upsets me to be even a minute late for a show, a reservation or a doctor’s appointment.
I am like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, whose nervous refrain was I ‘m late…for a very important date.
In fact I was and am still are several minutes early for all of the above.
I have spent about a third of my waking hours, in offices with ten-year old magazine for company waiting for others–doctors, and dentists,or on the street corners for friends. who are often 20-45 minutes late.
Maybe that is why one of my few indulgences is watches.
I must have 35 watches, 33 of which run on batteries.
I have at least seven “dead” watches in my drawer at any given time.
I like to rotate them so that I may wear three different watches every day.
Maybe that is why I love baseball so much because it is one of the few games that is never over until it’s over.
I can sit and visit with friends or just take in the action slowly and even relax.
I discussed baseball’s timelessness with Gene Shalit on the NBC Today Show in 1974 during three of my 15 minutes of fame.
He brought up golf as being another sport that is theoretically without a clock and that is golf.
Maybe that’s why I hate golf.
I was never any good at it, mostly because my lack of practice and “mastery” of the many different clubs or “sticks” as my late aunt used to call them.
But it was mostly because I never have had the temperament for the game. There was too much waiting!
I remember one time being so frustrated by a foursome dallying on the green ahead of me that I muffed a 2-wood shot that I know would have landed on the green.
That has happened more than once.
Unfortunately baseball does not have the same thrill for me any more–maybe because it is t is becoming interminably slow.
There are too many pitching changes.
Most pitchers run long counts.
They seem afraid to pitch the ball.
I used to thing that my presence at all nine innings of any game had some cosmic significance.
I felt that if I left the game early and the flow of the game changed dramatically, somehow it wouldn’t count.
I gave that idea up a long time ago.
In fact now I go to so many games, I put my own clock on it or limit myself to six or seven innings.
And I will not stay for rain-delays during night games because my relaxation and sleeping habits are so inborn that it would throw the rhythms of my life out the window.
When I watch games or anything on TV I can not waste my time on commercials…unless I know them to be entertaining.
I have worn out three remotes and two thumbs, surfing the multi channels that mostly bore me.
That’s why there is nothing like a movie that will really engage me so that I have no concept of time.
In fact the best moments of my life have been off the clock…that is when I had no idea how late or how long I was occupied with friends, family or just smelling the roses.
My late Uncle Al had the right idea about time.
He enjoyed his retirement more than anyone else I have known.
He had worked long and hard as an insurance adjuster for Equitable Life for many years and when he was not on the clock, he did all the wonderful things he had to deny himself for many years–he read many books, played tennis and took vacations with his lovely wife, the Amazing Grace as he lovingly called my aunt.
I will always treasure the time I got spend with him as my elderly parents declined in the early 1980s.
Uncle Al lived the full life until his time ran out.
Grace had developed Alzheimer’s before she was 70 and Al went a little nuts in the nursing home, as his dark memories of the war in the Pacific haunted him to his grave.
So now as I prepare for the conclusion of my 70 year–my seventh decade in September on this earth, I try to look past that and prepare for an eternity without clock, watches or even sun dials.
One of the attractive features of an eternity of bliss is there is no time.
Time implies deadlines, responsibilities and self-reminders that everyone’s time is running out…some faster than others.
I just saw the movie Gettysburg with Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee.
In one great scene Sheen had to chastise one of his generals. He cut him off in mid sentence several times, telling him…there is no time…no time!
I think that is what Bernard Shaw meant when he said that youth was wasted on the young.
I wonder what it may be like to just “be” and not have to worry about any of the above?
I will miss my watches but then again I will never need them again or any of my clothes or possessions that have so tied me to a present moment that I could never really enjoy.
This is true because I was always looking ahead, sometimes in fear and trepidation for the next moment in time.
I know this is a very sad and even painful admission but it is part of what has made my life and the fact that I even recognize it is a purifying step in the right direction.
Time has been the bane of my existence in many ways.
I blame no one but the fear within.
I know when I die I will shed all the ties of time and all the fears that come with it.
I hope to use what time I have left in preparing for a world without clocks.
That’s what I want to do. That’s where I really want to be. I hope and pray it will be my final destiny.