Tag Archives: Catholic Church

14 of 58 churches burned by Muslim Brotherhood are Catholic, says Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ spokesman

Agenzia Fides logoToday, Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies is reporting an interview of the spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Bishops.  The interview is with Fr. Rafic Greiche.

The full article from Agenzia Fides is below:

Fr. Rafik Greiche58 churches and Christian institutions were attacked and set on fire in Egypt in past days. This was reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Rafic Greiche (pictured left,) spokesman of the Catholic Bishops of Egypt. “Out of 58 churches attacked 14 are Catholic, the rest belong to the Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant communities” says Fr. Greiche. “The attacks against the churches took place all over the Country, but are concentrated especially in the areas of Al Minya and Assiut, because it is there that we find the headquarters of the jihadists (radical muslims,) responsible for this violence,” adds Fr. Greiche.
“It should be emphasized – the priest says – that Muslims who live in the vicinity of the affected churches have helped men and women religious to put out the fires of the religious buildings.”
“This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims”, emphasizes Fr. Greiche. “It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism”, concludes Fr. Greiche.

Click here to read this article at Agenzia Fides’ website.

“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians,” says Egyptian Catholic Bishop Kyrillos

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father has today reported that the Coptic (Egyptian) Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Egypt, Bishop Kyrillos has stated, “The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians.”  Islamists, being the Muslim Brotherhood or other dangerous radical groups like them.

The following is the full article from Aid to the Church in Need:

Bishop Kyrillos“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians”: With these words the Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan (pictured left,) commented on the latest Islamist attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in Egypt.

The bishop made his comments while talking to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on Monday, August 12th. 

The Bishop was referring among other things to events in the towns of Sohag, Fayum and Beni Suef and on the Sinai Peninsula, where churches have been attacked by Islamists and Christians have been threatened. There have also been fatalities.

In the town of Sohag, there were reports that Islamic extremists had raised the black Al-Qaida flag over a church.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had accused Egypt’s Christians of being jointly responsible with the military and the forces of the Mubarak regime for toppling the Islamist head of state Mohamed Mursi on July 3 of this year.

“This is absurd, of course. 33 million Egyptians had demanded his resignation. We Christians (by the way, there are only 8 million Christians in Egypt) were not the only ones to demonstrate against Mursi,” Bishop Kyrillos said.

In view of the current security situation, the bishop said he was worried but that he did not wish to reproach the law enforcement forces. “The police and the other organs of the state are at present busy keeping the Islamists under control.”

The Bishop stressed, however, that the climate had changed considerably for Egypt’s Christians since the fall of Mursi. “We feel at home again in Egypt,” Kyrillos explained.

He went on to emphasize that non-Christian publicists would now speak up for the Christians by stressing that the Christians should not be expected to pay the price of democratization.

The Bishop also saw it as a positive sign that in Sohag or Assiut, for example, moderate Muslims had defended Christian churches against demonstrating Islamists.

“This is the true Egypt: Christians and Muslims are united,” Bishop Kyrillos continued.

According to him, this year’s message from Pope Francis at the end of the Islamic fast of Ramadan was received very positively.

For the first time the Pope had use the opportunity to address Muslims worldwide personally. In previous years, the letter had been published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the Pope’s behalf.

The Bishop criticized the deposed Muslim brothers for refusing to accept the new government’s offers of reconciliation.

“The problem is that they (Muslim Brotherhood) still want to have an Islamic state. The majority of Egyptians are happy, however, that this has not come about. They want a liberal state,” Bishop Kyrillos claimed.

The bishop is optimistic with regard to the future constitution. A 50-strong committee would soon be revising the constitution drawn up under the Islamist Mursi and adopted by referendum.

Representatives of Egyptian Christians would also be collaborating in this effort.

“All social forces will work on it. I am confident that state and religion will be separated. After all, mixing them is the source of much evil.”

Orthodox Pope Tawadros IIThe Coptic-Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II (pictured left,) the head of the largest Church in Egypt, made a plea on Monday for the avoidance of further bloodshed in the face of denominational tensions.

According to media reports, the Patriarch has suspended the weekly audiences in his Cairo cathedral for fear of attacks (by the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Previously, 16 Egyptian human rights groups had accused the Islamists of stirring up feelings against Egypt’s Christians since June 30th, the day of the mass protects against Mursi.

The human rights groups also criticized the state for not doing enough to protect Christian institutions and individuals.

Click here to read this article at Aid to the Church in Need’s website.

Catholic Bishop: U.S. Ambassador sent erroneous analysis of support for Muslim Brotherhood

Minya EgyptIn an interview published August 1, 2013, Bishop Hanna of Minya, Egypt made many comments of great importance regarding the June 30, 2013 revolution in Egypt.  Included in his comments is one about the errors of analysis by the Obama Administration’s U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson and others.

Below are some excerpts from the interview by Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies:

  • “Western chanceries (administrative offices in Catholic dioceses) “have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people” and now “remain floored and ambiguous before the scenarios opened by the revolution of 30 June,” while the Islamists “emphasize the role of Christians in that uprising also to justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against (Christians) them.”
  • “In past days, blogs close to the Muslim Brotherhood have labeled the new structure found by the country after the overthrow of President Morsi as the “Military Republic of Tawadros”, indicating Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and his Church as the true architects of the popular uprising which led to the end of the Islamist government.”
  • “It is obvious” Bishop Hanna explains to Fides “that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to explain their political failure by resorting to the theory of ‘Christian conspiracy’.  To emphasize the role Christians had in the collapse of the Islamist regime will also serve to justify future terrorism against (Christians) them.”
  • “There is a plan of other attacks against churches, priests and religious that might be carried out when public controls in squares and neighborhoods – stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood finish.”
  • At the same time, even the Coptic Catholic Bishop (Hanna) confirms the wide participation of Christians in the anti-Morsi uprisings: “It is certainly out of place to speak of ‘Christian revolution’.  At least 30 million Egyptians took to the streets. But among the demonstrators there were always so many Christians (only 8 million Egyptians are Christian.)
  • In the West, however, the Egyptian facts have exposed the errors of analysis of North American and European diplomats: “The U.S. Ambassador” says Bishop Hanna, “continued to send reports in which it repeated that in Egypt the only force supported by the people were the Muslim Brotherhood.  They staked everything on political Islam, without seeing that the Islamists had won the election only because the people would not vote the leaders of the old regime.  But they (Muslim Brotherhood) took us into a tunnel where everything was getting worse by the day.  And at some point, the patience of the Egyptian people is over.”

Read the full story here from Agenzia Fides.  Agenzia Fides is an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927.

The 13 anti-Catholic “power tactics” of Saul Alinsky, (Barack Obama) and community organizations

alinskysmallIn his book Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky states “Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them.  In the world of give and take, tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.  Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves.” p.126

Saul Alinsky’s 13 “power tactics” are inconsistent with Catholic teaching and prove to be anti-Catholic as you will see below.  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and current community organizers have followed and do follow the “power tactics.”  These tactics are found on pages 127-134 of Rules for Radicals:

1.  “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

2.  “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.  It also means a collapse of communication, as we have noted.”

3.  “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.  Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

4.  “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

5.  Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule.  Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

6.  “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.  If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with tactic.”

7.  “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday.

8.  “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”

9.  “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

10.  “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11.  “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside;  this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.”

12.  “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying “You’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue.  Now you tell us.””

13.  Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities.  One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and “frozen.”…  Obviously there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks…  Furthermore, any target can always say, “Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?”  When you “freeze the target,” you disregard these arguments…  Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target.”

If a community organization on this list (click here) is in your Catholic diocese and has any of its parishes as members, then they use the anti-Catholic “power tactics” listed above.  Take these steps (click here) to remove them.

Change Agents V1To learn more about the history and damaging influence of Saul Alinsky on prominent Catholic clergy and laity click on → Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing Among Religious Bodies, which is available at Amazon.  By Stephanie Block.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Courageous Egyptian Catholic and Orthodox bishops under threat of martyrdom warn about Muslim Brotherhood

Bishop KyrillosCatholic and Orthodox bishops in Egypt (also referred to as Coptic Catholics and Coptic Orthodox/Coptic Christians) are under daily threat of being martyred for their faith by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet they show exceptional courage in the face of this threat.  Bishop Kyrillos, the Catholic bishop of Asyut in Upper Egypt (pictured left) said:

“I can’t discount the possibility of single acts of violence by the Muslim Brothers… “

He states the Muslim Brotherhood’s name in a country where he could be murdered by them at anytime.  Catholic and Orthodox priests and laity are being murdered and their churches burned down by jihadist muslims.  Read the full story here about Catholic Bishop Kyrillos and Orthodox bishops in Egypt.  Read a previous story about the courage of Egyptian Catholic bishops in the face of Muslim Brotherhood terror here.

American Catholic bishops do not currently live under the immediate threat of martyrdom that the Egyptian Catholic bishops do from the Muslim Brotherhood.  But, the Muslim Brotherhood does exist in America.  See minutes 8:25 to 9:23 in the video below from the Center for Security Policy:

American Catholic bishops should allow experts on the Muslim Brotherhood threat to America to speak at Catholic meetings in their dioceses.  American bishops who will not allow this type of information in their diocese can reflect on the bravery of their brother bishops in Egypt.  Egyptian Catholic bishops, who speak openly about the jihadist muslim threat knowing they could be murdered by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood for doing so.

Thank you to our American Catholic bishops who endorse the Catholic radio stations who cover the subject of radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and its existence in America.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Egypt’s Catholic Bishops’ support removal of Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi

Fr. Rafik GreicheEgypt’s Catholic Bishops’ support the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi as stated through Father Rafik Greiche (pictured at left,) head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  Excerpts are taken from the article that was published in Aid to the Church in Need (ACN.)  ACN is an international charity dependent on the Holy See, providing pastoral relief to needy and oppressed churches.  Full story is here.  Read excerpts below:

Father Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, emphasised that the military’s ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was not a coup d’état. “The army carried out the will of the people…  A number of western media are now presenting it as a coup d’état. But a putsch happens when officers take power and act without the endorsement of the people. But this is exactly what did not happen in Egypt yesterday. Moreover, the army wanted to prevent the bloodshed the Muslim brothers were threatening. This is why they took action.”

“The ousting of Morsi and the political new beginning is a joyous day for us Christians in Egypt and for all Egyptians. We hope that we will not be excluded from the political process that lies before us.” It is too early to speculate about the future of the Islamist Muslim brotherhood. However, their failure was apparent to all Egyptians, he stressed. “The Muslim brothers were not ready to govern. Moreover, their focus was on setting up an Islamic caliphate and not first and foremost on Egypt. The people were no longer willing to accept this.” However, Father Greiche worries that the Muslim brothers who were ousted from power may take revenge and cause unrest. The first instances of Islamist violence against Christian institutions have already taken place in this context, according to Father Greiche. “Attacks were carried out against a Catholic church near Minya yesterday and the day before that. The building was slightly damaged and particularly Christian businesses in the surrounding area were affected.”

Father Greiche further emphasised that it is now the job of Azhar University in Cairo, the most important Islamic institution in the country, to return the young people who were misled by the ideology of the Muslim brothers to the right path.

Support the courageous Catholic bishops and the other christian leaders like Pope Tawadros of the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Church who support the removal of the jihadist muslim group, the Muslim Brotherhood and their leader Mohamed Morsi.  These christian leaders are risking their lives.  I don’t think enough of us in America understand their sufferings of murder, rape and church burnings at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

What does Barack Obama think of the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi?  Well, it was reported in the June 18 edition of Sadi al-Balad that Ramses Naggar, the legal counsel for the Coptic (Egyptian Orthodox) Church, said that during U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson’s June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she “asked him to urge the Copts not to participate” in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Why would an Obama administration official working at his direction urge the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Pope to not allow his flock to demonstrate against the people responsible for murdering his people and attacking his churches?  Maybe, because Barack Obama has Muslim Brotherhood advisors in the White House.  Possibly, as many as 7 to 15 according to some sources.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

How Alinskyianism entered Catholic parishes (and intersects with “Common Core” standards)

By Stephanie Block


Recently, while preparing an article on Common Core national standards, someone suggested that I might be interested in the “open letters” written by a group called Catholics for Truth in Education operating in Illinois from 1974 into the 90s.  Interestingly enough, a set of these “open letters” just happened to have been sitting on my bookshelf for over a decade, waiting to be examined.
There may have been other Catholics for Truth in Education publications, as well, but the materials in my possession begin around the time of the first Alinskyian Call to Action conference[i] in 1976, an event that galvanized dissent within the Catholic Church of the United States and attempted to manipulate the bishops into supporting it.  The ecclesial and social landscape which the “open letters” describe was chaotic, experimental, and hostile to traditional worship.
The first “open letter” examines a 1977 planning document titled the “Position Paper on Networks of Regional Parishes for Corporate Reconstruction” written by the (since deceased) industrial/organizational psychologist Dr. Robert R. Newsome.[ii]
Newsome was on the cutting edge of “parish renewal.”  To pioneer various renewal strategies and incubate a reformed Church, he conceived of an “alliance” of Chicago parishes, the Parish Corporate Renewal Network, which would operate unmolested until other structures replaced it.    A 1977 request grant request for the network wrote that “the project faces a challenge of dramatically changing the way Catholic parishes serve themselves and the secular community of which they are a part.  Heretofore, parishes have principally focused upon the salvation and grace of their members.  The purpose of this project is to unleash the capacity of parishes to be apostolic organizations with a new vision, mission, and capability for developing the greatness and well-being of mankind.” [iii]
For a Catholic to separate “the greatness and well-being of mankind” from “salvation and grace” is quite extraordinary but Newsome proposed to accomplish it in three phases.  The first targeted parish staff and created five teams of laity for re-education and training.
Once properly prepared, they would function like a virus inside the parish community, moving with “a clear, shared vision and mission” but anticipating “rejection.” (page 5) Small faith communities with the unappealing title of “Corporate Reflection Centers” were to be formed throughout each parish during this next (second) phase and each would model the new vision: “This vision of corporate man is one in which unity in diversity rather than uniformity is values.”
By phase three, the parish was ready to move out into the community at large, seeking “partnership” “with all men of good will for the sake of the transformation of the urban community and the world.” (page 6)  Unsophisticated by today’s standards, where we no longer alert people that they are to be transformed but simply launch into the process, Newsome’s project was remarkable forthright.
jack egan
Then, there was Msgr. John (Jack) Egan – who not only served on Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation board but co-chaired the 1976 Call to Action conference’s plenary sessions –and who also served on the Board of Advisers for the Parish Corporate Renewal Network.  Incarnate in Father Egan, the elements of organized Church dissent, organized secular political activism, and a reorganized parish were intrinsically related to one another.  Easy enough to see in hindsight.
Msgr. Egan writes:
     Working with parishes through my diocesan post in Chicago’s Office of Urban Affairs, I saw the parish as a neighborhood institution with great potential for influence.  Neighborhood issues of housing, police protection, education, availability of health services and sanitation affected the daily life of parishioners.  The parish priests and people could not afford not to be involved.  Citizen-parishioners along with their clergy became key actors in community organizations which not only improved the quality of life in their own neighborhoods, but had a great effect on the life of the city of Chicago.
     Today there are more cities in the nation boasting of strong citizen groups than ever before.  Generally speaking, the growth of community organization in our urban areas has been supported both financially and morally in large measure by parishes which recognize the critical relationship between critical human problems and the dignity of persons in their neighborhoods.  I would venture to say that without Church support most of the community organizations would either have been neither developed nor sustained.[iv]
By the second “open letter,” five months later, the US bishops had responded to the 1976 Call to Action recommendations, many of which were too radical for implementation.  However, a “Project for Parish Renewal” was approved as a “major priority” for every US diocese[v] and Catholics for Truth in Education watched the process, as it unfolded in Chicago, closely.
From the advantage of 35 years in the future, one can see that, for some, “renewal” was an honest endeavor.  To them, it meant simply a reinvigoration of parish life that might include building new schools, improving resources, or developing ministries.  For the reformers, however, “renewal” was consciously and deliberately ordered toward ideological “transformation.”  A transformed parish would have little resemblance to a Catholic community.  The third “open letter” documents the push of various Network clergy for women and married priests, acceptance of divorce, homosexuality, and birth control, as well as belief in a non-hierarchical Church structure that was to be separated from Rome.  The Network “theological adviser,” a philosophy professor[vi]  hired to conduct talks in Chicago-area parishes about Network’s vision for restructuring, is quoted spouting pure liberation theology. “Someday this world will be The Kingdom,” he assures listeners.  “The Kingdom is the state of affairs – the here and now.”
Maybe somebody’s Kingdom, but not Christ’s.[vii]
One gets lost in among the interconnected names and groups who are pushing this transformative, un-Catholic form of “renewal.” Equally numbing are the grey, bureaucratic details that comprise this or that version of the new structure.  The interesting bit, however, is where the action leads.  Once parishes are restructured and “properly” retrained, what are they primed to do?
Catholics for Truth in Education concludes by letter #4 that, for one thing, they are to be drawn into Alinskyian community organizations and their activism.  Letter # 9, five years later, describes an archdiocesan program structured exactly along those lines, including parish listening sessions to make people “feel important” (yes, that’s what the archdiocesan materials say), analysis of these sessions for purposes of developing strategic plans, provision of “theological reflection and leadership training,” all aimed at ecumenical political activism.  “A major part of this renewal is getting the Catholic laity involved in performing the social ministry of the Church,” Dr. Newsome opines, “including the building of better neighborhoods and communities.”[viii]  Community organizing is a means to this end.
But there are others.  Letter #5 takes the reader on a romping survey of the most exciting liberationist activity at the time – which is where, oddly enough, it intersects with contemporary Common Core national standards (and why, I suspect, I was encouraged to read the “open letters”).  In the middle of discussion about theological movements in Latin America and their challenges to Church teaching, the reader is introduced to a process for controlling groups of people called “Management by Objectives.”  (MBO)
MBO had initially been introduced into the business world as an accounting system.  Like education reform pedagogy called “mastery learning” – later called “outcome based education” and still later reintroduced through the Common Core national standards – or psychology’s value clarification techniques, MBO was a systematic attempt to reprogram the individual’s values and actions.  Simply stated, the process begins with predetermined goals (or standards) to which the individual is held accountable.  Of concern to Catholics for Truth in Education, several dioceses around the country were using MBO strategies as part of their pastoral planning for renewal.
Almost prescient for a time that predated a global Internet and cell phones, Catholics for Truth in Education worried about computerized data collection schemes that supported MBO aims.  What must have seemed paranoid to most readers then has an air of prophesy to a generation that lives with the reality of government monitoring of citizens.  The people who recoiled from Huxley’s Brave New World couldn’t have fathomed the level of invasiveness that would become possible and tolerated.
The “letters” written throughout the 1980s[ix] drown the reader with descriptions of specific programs, practitioners, and tactics.  So many Catholics were dancing behind the Pied Piper of “change” with little curiosity about where he was leading.   Catholics for Truth in Education examined dozens of re-education programs in the Chicago Archdiocese – among them the once ubiquitous RENEW[x] – and explained the relationship of each to Call to Action dissent and a socialistic world view.
The end product, however, was never about the Church, not really, but about society.  The Church had to be transformed so that it wouldn’t be an obstacle to transforming society.  Catholics for Truth in Education harangues about Marxist infiltration and apostasy are easy to dismiss as alarmist but, after decades of chaos, the Church in the U.S. faces serious persecution for holding on to the last shreds of Catholic integrity.  The old, bureaucratic liberals, who still push their un-Catholic agendas – JustFaith and Nuns on the Bus, Alinskyian organizers and New Agers, I’m looking at you – are comfortable with that.
Historical facts are hard to dispute – and they have led to the results that are very much what Catholics for Truth in Education feared: too many Catholics who reject Church teaching.  After her death, the son of Catholics for Truth in Education’s founding president, Mary Catherine Davis, wrote, “The more that time passes the more things big and small I see my mother was right about.”
Yes, she was.
Change Agents V1Spero columnist Stephanie Block edits the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper and is the author of the four volume Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing Among Religious Bodies, which is available at Amazon.
[i] For a detailed history of the relationship between Alinsky-trained clerics and the Call to Action dissenting movement in the US Catholic Church, see “Underground Call to Action:” http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1318&CFID=66214206&CFTOKEN=51725830
[ii] Robert R. Newsome also wrote a book, The ministering parish: methods and procedures for pastoral organization, Paulist Press, 1982.
[iii] “Request for Foundation Assistance from Parish Corporate Renewal Network (Internal Corporate Renewal Network),” August 1, 1977, page 1.  Six foundations were approached using this document: DeRance, Inc., George Halas Foundation, Lewis Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Inc., Raskob Foundation, and the Dr. Scholl Foundation.  The last of these foundations publically distanced itself from the whole business, according to “open letter #4.”
[iv] Msgr. John J. Egan, “Do we need parishes?” Parish Ministry, Nov-Dec 1980, pp 2-3, as quoted in Catholics for Truth in Education “open letter” #9, part 2 (June 1983).
[v] “A Call to Action: Five-Year plan of Action” Origins 8, 5-28-78.
[vi] The November 1984 “open letter” quotes this Network theological adviser telling his students, “ We affirmed the Church is dead and found it a liberating revelation,” and “Isn’t being a Catholic one of the biggest blocks to being a Christian?” 
[vii] See John 18:36…and Romans 14: 17. 
[viii] Jack Houston, “’Parish renewal’ project sparks a Catholic battle,” Chicago Tribune, 5-31-79.
[ix] “Open letters” #6-9 sport the by-line of Peter S. Newman, editor.  The other issues carry no attribution.
[x] See also Mary Jo Anderson, “Buried in the Fine Print: An Inside Look at RENEW 2000,” Crisis, March 1999; Frank Morriss’ “Restructuring the Church into Their Own Image: The Link Between RENEW and the New Biblical Scholarship,” Wanderer Forum Foundation Quarterly, June 1992;  Beth Drennan, Esq., “Background Check of RENEW 2000 Contributors Reveals RENEW 2000 Texts Laced with Call to Action Names,” Women Faith and Family, 1998.  Drennan has also published another discussion of the Call to Action elements found in RENEW 2000 in “Paulists’ RENEW 2000 Is Just a Front for Call to Action,” The Wanderer, 9-10-98.

The Three Theological Virtues

Lay Catholics logo

The Three Theological Virtues

  1. Faith
  2. Hope
  3. Charity

Blessed Be GodAs published in BLESSED BE GOD A Complete Catholic Prayer Book © 1925 by Very Rev. Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M. and Very Rev. John A. McHugh, O.P., S.T.M.

Frame the Truth and Stay on Message: Please Just Say “Marriage”

Lay Catholics logoBy Kim Lehman

Do you believe that marriage is, and only can be, between a man and a woman? Do you believe it is the bedrock of society? Finally, do you believe that Nature’s God instituted marriage in the beginning? If you said yes to all of these questions, this article is being written for you. Let me explain. Words matter and how you frame a message matters. In fact, whoever defines the language controls the message and frames it in their favor. This is why I am making the case that if you believe the above statement, then you can never use the word “gay” before the word “marriage.” If you do not believe me, then you should study the word battles in the abortion issue. It was through my work with the Right to Life in Iowa that I learned these important lessons of language—first being that you never repeat your opposition’s message or use “their” language. Please read on before you write again to defend marriage.

Again, you never repeat your opposition’s message in order to give your rebuttal. Don’t give them free space on your page. This is by far the biggest error of the right. The opposition said what they said to persuade, and they carefully crafted their words. They have the disadvantage since they must “change” culture, so they are not going to use your words. Christians and pro-life people react with very little strategy when they publish an article. To their credit they want to defend truth and are willing to step out of their comfort zone to speak up—great, and thank you. With that said, to their fault, they are not paying attention to how to fight the battle with words. Consider why the liberal papers flip pro-lifers’ words from “pro-life” to “anti-choice”. This is not an accident and has a definite motive behind it. They want their readers to view pro-life people as an “anti” kind of people, which has the subliminal effect of making the reader want to disassociate with an “anti” group, as opposed to reporting us as “pro” life, which would have a drawing effect. Take also into consideration the abortion industry’s use of “pro-choice” instead of “anti-life”. Why do you think the largest abortion group in the United States call themselves Planned Parenthood instead of Abortions Aplenty? The answer is obvious; they do not want people to view them as advancing more abortion. Words really, really, really matter when engaging in social issues.

Let this be the rule of thumb when you want to engage in the battle of words:

Whoever defines the word, frames the issue in their favor. So long as you use their language, you have yielded and helped them without even knowing it.

My hope is that my friends in this battle for marriage will be persuaded to stop using the opposition’s language. Make no mistake; marriage has been under attack for a long time. You do not have to look far to realize that the younger generation places very little value in the institution. Why is it under attack? I am convinced that marriage is a reflection of the triune God, and a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, with Him as the bridegroom and us as His bride. So in fact, this is far more than what it appears. Let’s face it; God instituted marriage as his plan to populate the earth by creating each new generation and as a reflection of his love. Marriage is about a life-long commitment that includes bringing children into the world. If a couple is unable to have children, they can either adopt or serve mankind in another way. The order of society should still maintain a mother and a father uniting to pro-create and raise children. This is so obvious that it is a wonderment that so many people are confused today. However, it’s not the first time in history that people have lost their way on this issue. The question is: how did we get here? I believe a good place to start in understanding how America fell so fast as to devalue marriage can be found in Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI.

I contend that the other side has done a good job dismantling marriage by using propaganda. They took advantage of the fact that most people are lazy thinkers and do not like to be controversial. Reframing the language began with a simple word–“gay”, which at one time meant “happy” or “joyful”, yet now it means someone who has sex with the same gender. Not too long ago this sexual act was called perversion. In fact, because of this perversion God’s judgment fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, and men who engaged in this sexual act were thereafter referred to as Sodomites. Like all sins that lead to eternal death, it should be treated for what it is–sin that can be forgiven. Let’s face it, all of us are sinners and need to repent to be restored to God. However, it is evil to say that a sin is no longer a sin. In the case of sexual perversion, many now say that people are born this way. We are all born with a sinful nature—that is, a desire to sin. Not only is everyone born bent to sin, but we are all born with a sexual drive. The reality is, as sinners, we are all given the choice to act upon all types of sinful inclinations or to reject them to do what is right. No one is without sin. Make no mistake—there is no one without excuse. Nature bears witness to the truth. It is black and white. The problem today is that people are buying into the lie that we can’t help ourselves and therefore it must be okay. It is not okay and we must speak the truth, with love and with the correct words.

So let’s get back to what language to use or not to use in defending marriage. You must ask yourself again whether or not you truly believe that marriage is, and can only be, between a man and a woman. If so, then we can say with confidence there is only one kind of marriage. Right? Try not to contradict yourself by putting the word “gay or homosexual” with the word marriage. If it can’t be and doesn’t exist then do not speak it into existence. If you choose to use their language, they will use it against you. How? Once you allow them to create a new kind of marriage by using their language, all they have to do is say you are discriminating against “blank-marriage.” See how subtle, and yet so simple. You become your own worst enemy. This information is probably a decade late, but I’m hopeful that at least some will catch on.

For those of you who have the habit of using their language instead of saying “marriage”, don’t be undisciplined or lazy and think that what I just said doesn’t matter, for not only does it matter, it matters a lot. You must decide what you believe and then speak the words. Marriage stands alone for it is what it is. Do not help your opposition any longer by repeating “their message.” Please! Discipline yourself and stay on message.

If you were to ask me how I say it, I use these words:

  • Defend marriage (number one choice to say over and over again)
  • I encourage you to stop the destruction of marriage
  • I support marriage
  • Please support marriage with me
  • Marriage is a blessing
  • Marriage is under attack
  • Rebuild marriage for the sake of our children
  • Marriage has always been male and female, and I might add, will always be and cannot be anything but one man and one woman
  • We must not let marriage be dismantled
  • Encourage our children to marry
  • Society didn’t create marriage and therefore has no power to redefine it

Never call it “traditional Marriage” for that implies there is more then one kind of marriage (very subtle.) You will notice that your opposition will never say they are destroying marriage or dismantling it. They are very disciplined to use their own language and compel you to use it in rebuttal.

The objective for both sides is to frame the message to get agreement:

  • If you ask people if they support marriage, they will say yes
  • If you ask them if they want to destroy marriage, they will say no
  • If you ask them if society should help rebuild marriages in the US for the sake of our children, they will say yes
  • If you ask people if they want to protect marriage, they will say yes

Remember to frame the issue or your message in a way that the public will support. So stay on message and love all people, and for the sake of our loving God, never agree with a lie by repeating the lie in order to rebut it. Simply state your message. Why give them free advertising? Frame the truth and stay on message.

Best wishes,
Your friend in truth with love,
Kim Lehman, IA


The Student Attacking GW Newman Center Priest is a False Priest in a False So-Called Catholic Church

Lay Catholics logoTwo homosexual students are attacking and trying to remove the Catholic priest who runs the Catholic Newman Center at George Washington University.  Why?  Because he teaches Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

Turns out that one of the aggressor students (Damian Legacy) toward Father Greg Shaffer (the Catholic priest at the Newman Center) was ordained as a priest in the heretical “North American Old catholic church.”

Here is an excerpt from The GW Hatchet story about Damian Legacy’s ordination:

“Now on the precipice of graduation, the openly gay student is an ordained priest within the North American Old Catholic Church, which encourages LGBT members to join its clergy. Legacy was ordained in October, and since then, has held personal morning masses and structured prayer sessions six times a day. He also hosts masses for other students in his City Hall room.”

Read the entire story from The GW Hatchet HERE.  It is entitled “Keeping the faith, defending sexuality.”  There is also a photo of the student appearing to celebrate (m)ass.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.