Category Archives: Blog
The St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC celebrated the canonization of Pope John Paul II this weekend with a name change and several other events spanning almost a full 24 hours Saturday and Sunday. The shrine, located adjacent to Catholic University and down the street from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, has been owned by the Knights of Columbus since 2011 after it was previously known as the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. Earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated it a national shrine, after it was previously an archdiocesan shrine.
Events started off Saturday with a showing of a documentary on Pope John Paul II. Later that evening, a Eucharistic Procession called “In the Footsteps of John Paul II” took place, starting at the Shrine. The procession started out by going to the Basilica before winding its way through the campus of Catholic University (with multiple stops for adoration and prayer) and then made a final stop at the Saint John Paul II Seminary before going back to the shrine.
Should the Vatican bow to the heavy hand of the United Nations?
Well, if its latest repot is any indication, the UN’s “blue helmets” and gang of third world dictators think so!
In its own words, the UN now “recommends that the Holy See undertake a comprehensive review of its normative framework, in particular Canon Law, with a view to ensuring its full compliance with the Convention.” You read that correctly.
Bottom line: the UN is making crystal clear what we’ve all long suspected – it wants the Vatican to fully submit to UN authority!
Please sign this urgent petition now and call on Congress to censure the UN’s anti-Catholic power grab.
Catholic Advocate is leading the charge to fight back, but we can’t do it alone. Everything we hold dear – opposition to abortion and homosexual marriage – could soon be dictated by UN bureaucrats hostile to our faith. And we need to build our own army to fight back.
Use this opportunity to send an unmistakable message to the UN, Congress, and anti-faith bigots everywhere: we will not yield to any radical, anti-Catholic power grab!
A game-changing pro-life initiative that you need to know about is happening right now.
The House of Representatives is considering a major new bill that will change everything.
You see, it’s called: H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” and, if passed, would permanently end forced taxpayer support for abortions under Obamacare!
This is the one-shot opportunity we’ve been waiting for!
Follow this link to send a letter to your member of Congress demanding they vote for the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion.”
Friend, how badly do you want to get Planned Parenthood and other Gosnell-style abortionists out of your wallet?
How badly do you want to say “thanks, but no thanks” to forced taxpayer-funding of abortion? This is your chance.
But make no mistake: Planned Parenthood won’t let this one go without twisting arms and calling in favors while cutting smoke-filled, back room deals. With its billion dollar annual taxpayer-funded budget, the nation’s largest abortionist will not go down without a fight. And we’ll need everyone’s contribution to get this done.
We may only have one shot at this one.
It’s a New Year and Congress is back in session.
The team here at Catholic Advocate is ramping up our efforts to fight for life and religious liberty in 2014. We have a lot planned for the coming year, including efforts to fight for conscience protection legislation, ban taxpayer funding of abortions, and expose how our representatives and senators have voted on issues pertaining to life, marriage, and religious liberty.
I hope you’ll join in our efforts throughout the year. We’ll keep you up to date about our activities, progress, and of course, what’s going on in Congress. In the meantime, please join our team in praying for our leaders in Congress to protect our most sacred right – life.
||O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life – the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Faithful Catholics across America are hearing our message and joining with us in an effort to hold our elected officials accountable. More importantly, citizens of all faiths are rising up in outrage over what is happening to people at companies like Hobby Lobby, whose devout owners are suing the federal government to avoid being forced to purchase health insurance policies that violate Church teachings.
Americans are waking up to the dangers of a federal government that assaults our religious liberty and imposes suffocating burdens on charities…a government that in many ways is seeking to replace the Church and all other forms of local civic society as the sole provider of services for the needy.
In 2014, Catholic Advocate will launch a three-stage program aimed at reversing this drift towards secular socialism.
PHASE ONE – Catholic Advocate plans to commission a study examining federal, state, and local regulations and laws that affect Catholic social institutions. For example, did you know that in some communities, food banks and soup kitchens have been forced to shut down or suspend services due to absurd regulations? In one area, a particular church was not allowed to donate food to a shelter serving our most vulnerable citizens.
The collective result of thousands of examples like this is the creation of an “uncivil society,” in which government bureaucrats seize a “monopoly” on helping people. Pope Francis has been speaking recently about serving the needy, and this initiative will be an answer to his call. If government agencies are using force to prevent the Church from helping the poor, you and I must stand up and do something about it.
PHASE TWO – After cataloguing the ways in which governments at all levels are stifling Catholic social services, we will develop recommendations to fix the problems, and an implementation plan at the Parish, Diocesan, city, state, and federal levels.
PHASE THREE – We intend to launch a “call to renewal” to help our fellow man at least once per year and provide resources for our community to learn how they can use God’s gifts to help others. This will be a powerful, visible demonstration of how people in their communities – not agents of a government in a distant capital – are the ones making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
But our ability to achieve these specific goals depends on your continued support.
Time Magazine has named Pope Francis its Person of the Year.
||“How do you practice humility from the most exalted throne on earth? Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly-young and old, faithful and cynical-as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power.” Time.com 12/11/13
We encourage you to read the full profile on Pope Francis here.
This is just the third time in 86 years that Time has bestowed this honor on a Catholic Pope. To put this number in perspective, there have been 8 popes since Time started this tradition. Pope John XXIII was the 1962 Person of the Year (New Pentecost) and Pope John Paul II was the 1994 recipient (Empire of the Spirit).
This is a tremendous honor and I applaud the leftwing media for recognizing a remarkable man and leader.
We have some breaking news to share with you.
First, the Supreme Court just agreed to hear two cases filed over the Obama administration’s abortifacient mandate. As you know, Obamacare forces all health insurance plans to pay for sterilization, contraceptives, and yes, abortion drugs.
Bottom line: this major case impacts religious liberties and people of faith everywhere so Catholic Advocate will remain vigilant.
Second is another Obama move that can only be characterized as a slap in the face to the Catholic church and Catholics everywhere. Right now the Obama administration is actually taking formal steps to close down the official Embassy to the Holy See!
You read that correctly.
His plan? To throw Catholics a few crumbs with a some office space at the Embassy to Italy. It’s outrageous … and unacceptable. Rest assured Catholic Advocate is not sitting on the sidelines for this one either.
And finally, Pope Francis released his new apostolic exhortation out today entitled “Evangelii Gaudium.” It reads:
||“The Synod Fathers spoke of the importance of respect for religious freedom, viewed as a fundamental human right. This includes “the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public”. A healthy pluralism, one which genuinely respects differences and values them as such, does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques. This would represent, in effect, a new form of discrimination and authoritarianism.”
There’s a lot going on. We will keep you informed as things develop.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Friday afternoon, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals – the second most influential court in America after the Supreme Court – ruled 2-1 in favor of two Catholic business owners challenging the Obamacare mandate requiring them to provide their 400 employees with health insurance that includes contraception.
According to a statement from Judge Janice Brown, “The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan.”
Judge Brown also expressed that “it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right – whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy – can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices.”
Religious organizations have praised the rulling, but it is expected the Supreme Court will take up an appeal of this case and make a final ruling on the constitutionality of the mandate.
Can you imagine a priest or minister in the United States being arrested for performing religious services?
Well, it’s going to happen if Harry Reid continues his refusal to allow the Senate to vote on any legislation passed by the House during this government shutdown.
Let us explain: According to the general counsel of the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, current law dictates non active duty military chaplains could face arrest for celebrating mass or practicing their faith on military bases during the government shutdown. Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Military services has confirmed certain chaplains aren’t even allowed on base or more mind-boggling – to volunteer their services.
Friend, this is unconscionable!
Think about the ministries military chaplains provide to our troops and their families on military bases and VA facilities throughout the country – sacraments including last rights, celebrating mass, grief counseling, treating PTDS, and suicide prevention.
It seems like a no brainer. That’s why the House passed a resolution over the weekend reinforcing that:
||“the performance of religious services and the provisions of ministry are protected activities under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution…”
and urging the Secretary of Defense to:
||“permit the performance of religious services on property owned or maintained by the Department of Defense, during any lapse in appropriations, in the same manner and to the same extent as such religious services are otherwise available.”
Personally, we find this despicable and I’m sure you do as well. How could Harry Reid be so cruel as to deny our service members ministries that, in some cases, could mean life or death? Friend, as people of faith we need to fight back against this travesty.
This should not be happening in America. I appreciate your support in this matter and I know the brave men and women who serve this nation in uniform and their families do as well.
Look at any news medium today and you’ll find story upon story about the federal government shutdown, its impact on the economy and our wallets, and the start of Obamacare’s health care exchanges that use our tax dollars and funds from participants to pay for abortions.
And these are just the headlines for here at home! You’ll also find stories about the violence in Syria, Obama’s negotiations with Iran, and the utter disaster America’s foreign policy has become.
To say we could use some good news right now is an understatement! That’s why I wanted to make sure you heard what the Vatican announced on Monday.
Former Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized as saints on April 27, 2014 – just over six months from now.
The road to sainthood for Pope John Paul II, who passed away in 2005, has been one of the quickest in recent Church history. And though the Vatican has approved only one miracle attributed to Pope John XXIII, Pope Francis has used his authority to allow his canonization without a second miracle.
This is tremendous news for Catholics and all people of faith. So today, despite the uncertainty and turmoil we face, I encourage you to join me in these three prayers – one for our elected leaders tasked with putting aside their differences for the good of the country, one for conscience protections for health care practitioners, and one for those whose bottom line is affected by the government shutdown – and asking for the intercession of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.
||Prayer for Civic Leaders
God our Father,
You guide everything in wisdom and love.
Accept the prayers we offer for our nation.
In your goodness,
watch over those in authority
so that people everywhere
may enjoy freedom, security and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care
Father, in Jesus our Lord, we praise and thank you for your most precious gift of human life and for forming us in your divine image. Keep us, the dwelling place of your most Holy Spirit, ever healthy in body and soul.
Jesus, Divine Healer, pour your grace upon all those afflicted with illness or disease. Protect from all harm those who are vulnerable due to sickness, suffering, frailty, poverty or age, whether elderly or unborn.
Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of all who serve human life in medicine and science, so they will protect the dignity of each person, from conception to natural death, and remain faithful advocates of all entrusted to their care.
Grant those who are called to serve as health care providers renewed conviction in their ministry, and increased wisdom to treat the whole person, and not merely the illness.
Protect the right of health care providers to serve their patients without being forced to violate their moral and religious convictions. Guard them against discrimination, that they might be free to follow you faithfully while fulfilling their professional duties.
Grant our lawmakers the wisdom and courage to uphold conscience rights for those called to the ministry of healing, and help them resist the pressure to become collaborators in the culture of death.
Give us strength to be bold and joyful witnesses to the truth that every human life is sacred.
In your goodness, guard our freedom to live out our faith and to follow you in all that we do.
Father, we ask this in Jesus’ name, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer During Difficult Economic Times
We know that your love is infinite and that you care about all areas of our life.
In this time of economic insecurity, help us to trust that all of our security is in you.
Keep us mindful that you always have and always will provide for our needs.
Apart from you we can do nothing.
We ask that you give our leaders the wisdom to guide our nation and the world
out of the current economic crisis.
Help us to protect the poor and all those who are struggling during this difficult time.
Provide for their needs and give them hope.
Open new opportunities for them and furnish the resources they need to live with dignity.
Encourage those who have enough to share essential resources
with those who lack the necessities of life,
and to do so with humble, grateful and loving hearts.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Pope John Paul II, pray for us.
Pope John XXIII, pray for us.