Thursday, January 31, 2008

Catholic School and Their Teachers -- A Calling, Not Just a Profession

When I arrived home last night, the front page of the Gazette ran a story on Catholic Schools Week featuring a number of the local schools in Montgomery County. This is of course in commemoration of Catholic Schools week. (Note: The paper version is much longer than the online version.)

However, the one thing that is missing from the article: How much money Catholic schools save the state and the county each and every year. It is estimated that each child costs the State of Maryland apx. $10,000. A school of three hundred children saves a whopping $300,000.

Yet, Rep. Ana Sol Gutierrez (who also represents the illegal alien constituency in Mont. County), Rep. Jeff Waldreicher (a proud member of NARAL) and Sen. Richard "Legalize Marriage for Homosexuals" Madaleno Jr. refuse to even support a couple of small tax breaks for Catholic school teachers and supporters.

It is time that the Archdiocese of Washington and the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) draw a line in the sand and says "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." Either support us or we will do everything we can within the law to encourage our faithful not to vote for you.

It is time you stood up to them. You may be surprised at the support you may find.

What have you got to loose? At this point, not much.


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lent is almost upon us!

Ash Wednesday is February 6th.

Have you begun to think about it?

I know that I did not until yesterday, when I was reading about the wild and crazy Mardi Gras activities in Brazil. Suddenly it dawned on me (duh) that it is around the corner.

As kids, we always asked each other, what are you going to give up? I will save the story of my friend Pete for another day.


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MCC and the Death Penalty: A Case for It

As we know, there is a push among many Catholics to end the Death Penalty.

Here is what the Catechism says:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."

However, there are some who commit crimes so heinous, so egregious that the only way the pubic will ever be safe is via the death penalty.

Take the case of Brandon T. Morris:

A state prison inmate who shot a correctional officer in the head while the officer pleaded for his life was sentenced to life without parole yesterday, to the displeasure of the victim's family and co-workers who had hoped for a death sentence.

After shooting Officer Wroten with the guard's gun early in the morning of Jan. 26, 2006, Morris briefly took a hospital visitor hostage, carjacked a taxi and forced the cabbie at gunpoint to drive him into nearby Pennsylvania, where the car crashed. Morris fled back into Maryland, where he was captured in an industrial park.

Given the amount of effort that it will take to guard him, as the article rightly points out, this is the perfect case for the death penalty.

The MCC instead of working to abolish it, should support it in specific circumstances, such as Brandon Morris, Jeffery Dahmer and the Unibomber.


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Archbishop's Appeal: Where does the money go?

On January 3, 2008 I (like hundreds of others) received a letter from Archbishop Wuerl regarding The Annual Archbishop's Appeal.

I opened it and examined the contents: the letter, the brochure and the return envelope.

The focus of the brochure is of course on who is giving and where is the money going. In this case, it highlights the University of Maryland Catholic ministry and Project Rachael -- both good programs. It also highlights two families who are contributors to the Appeal.

Then it suddenly struck me: nowhere does it say where all of the money is going exactly. It talks in generalities. Millions of dollars each year is given but where it goes, who knows.

Now, let me say this right here and right now: I do not think that the money is being spent on lavish parties, hobnobbing with the Hollywood crowd or massive stone monuments to the Archbishop. However, I would like to know who is getting the money. If I am giving, then I and all Catholics in the Archdiocese should know where it is going. A complete list would be nice. Don't you think?

So, off I went to the website. Low and behold, it gave me the same high level information that it gave in the brochure. It tells me the category of support, such as education or special ministries, and then lists a couple of the specific organizations. It does not give the entire list, nor does it tell the amount each received.

What I did notice right off the bat, in both the printed and on-line versions: How much each parish is assessed down to the last penny. I really can't tell you how Holy Redeemer in DC is assessed $10,292.30. But, it is important to know how much you are going to have to pony-up, including the thirty cents (for those in Holy Redeemer).

So, I asked a good buddy to request the complete list (exactly whom did the money go to) from the person listed on the website. So, he did and a reply was received that it would be forthcoming on the website in a couple of days. So, he checks every day.

And a week later, still no answer. But he notices that there is a new person in charge of the Appeal.

Not certain if the person was fired, quit or moved to another position, he sends an email to the new person. A reply was given that she would attempt to get a complete list and that she was compiling it. It seems that there is no list -- at least one that is made available to Catholics.

That was two weeks ago.

Still no list.

I will keep you posted but I am not holding my breath.


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Maryland Catholic Conference and Illegals: Not Telling the Whole Story, Again.

According to the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC):

Undocumented immigrants are barred from receiving many federal benefits, including food stamps, temporary cash assistance (welfare), permanent housing, social security, the earned income tax credit and most forms of Medicaid.

Once again, the gang at the MCC is stating a correct fact to give you the impression that illegal aliens get nothing. However, the truth is very, very different.

Although they may be barred, in reality we know that there are billions being spent on them.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that illegal aliens cost Medicaid approximately $2.5 billion per year; and, Food Assistance Programs, such as food stamps, WID and free school lunches, approximately $1.9 billion per year.

So, it is costing you, a grant total $4.4 billion per year.

Once again, we have the MCC not quite telling the full story.

Once again, Richard Dowling, Julie Varner and the crew should be given a couple of pink slips.


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rent A Priest and St. Rose of Lima

Recently, I was doing some reading and came across a website called “Rent-A-Priest.” (I kid you not.) Their basic issue “schtick” is that the Church should move to allow married priests.

The site lists information about former Catholic priests (married) who will do various services (marriages, baptisms, etc.) for you, as they like to call it, in the “Roman Catholic tradition.” Now, there are a number of issues I have with this group, especially with how they present themselves – it is very easy for someone to get fooled by this group -- but that is for another time.

What I found really amazing is that one of the members of the Board of Directors of Rent A Priest (Sandy Dowling) is
an active member of St. Rose of Lima Parish (Gaithersburg, MD).

Now, we all know that Rent A Priest is not faithful to the Church but if this is true, and I have no reason to suspect otherwise since the site is updated on a regular basis, what the heck is she doing leading one of the “small faith communities?” What message is she spreading? What message does it send to those of us who try to remain faithful to the message of the Church?


Remember: Help stop the Montgomery Country Transgender Bill. Sign the petition (if you are a registered voter in MoCo.) Click here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pro-Life Movement in Action: Fr. Rosensteel Council (K of C)

In November, I wrote about a fundraiser held for the St. Joseph House by the Maryknights of the Fr. Rosensteeel Council - Knights of Columbus.

A few weeks ago, I was informed that the fundraiser netted over $18,000.00! Wow, what an outstanding job!

I highlight this because this is once again, a magnificent example of the pro-life moment today.

We hear constantly from pro-abortion supporters that those of us on the pro-life side only care about the child before he/she is born. We don't care about the child after it is born. We all know that is not true.

Whenever, I am confronted by this statement, I pull our a copy of the Columbia (the KofC monthly magazine) and just flip through the section on Knights in Action. Knights in Action highlights the good works done by Councils around the world -- building ramps for seniors, raising funds for Special Olympics, picking up trash, are among their many activities.

The pro-abortion side just "talks the talk." The pro-life moment "walks the walk." It is style over substance. The KofC has substance.

Once again, congratulations to the Maryknights of the Fr. Rosensteel Council.


Remember, help stop the Montgomery County Transgender Bill. If you are a registered voter in MoCo, Maryland, click here.

Deacon Dan Stallings

In December, Deacon Dan Stallings of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church was arrested and charged with incest. This despicable act took place in the late 1960's and early 1970's, before he became a deacon.

The moment this was discovered, he was immediately removed from the ministry.

This week, a letter was sent out to all members of the Parish informing them that Deacon Stallings was again arrested and charged for an incident of sexual misconduct in 1998. This took place during his ministry as a deacon.

This is not a case that someone knew something and then moved him to another place, only to do it again, and again. At this point, there is no evidence that anyone knew anything.

This is a terrible time for the people of that parish. It is a terrible time for the clergy and staff. It is even worse for the children/young adults he may have done this to.

It is a time to think about what we can do better.

It is a time for prayer.

It is a time for forgiveness, but that may only come with time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Help Stop the MoCo Transgender Bill

Since the Archdiocese of Washington DC is doing nothing (and I mean nothing) about this, it is important that individuals take up the cause.

Therefore, I urge you to sign the petition to get this on the ballot. Once it is on the ballot, we have a fighting chance to stop it.

Here is the link to the petition.

Complete it properly and get it back to them before Feb. 25th.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The MCC, Illegal Aliens and Driver Licenses

The Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) has argued for giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens for a while.

Now, their “shtick” is that this encourages “safe driving and honest identification.”

What a load of cow manure!

What the MCC is supporting is another way to put our nation at risk. That is right folks, the MCC is willing to put all citizens and those here legally in danger, all in the name of helping those who have broken the law in the first place.

In addition, just because you have a license, doesn’t mean you are a safe driver. Why don’t we take the case of the illegal alien who killed a
Marine and his girlfriend before Thanksgiving. Or maybe we should just forget about University of Maryland student in May of 2007?

Why do they flock to MD? Because VA, PA and DC do not allow illegal aliens to obtain a license and they know that MD hands them out like candy on Halloween. Did you know that MD even has special hours at the DMV for illegals? Did you know that Casa of Maryland has meetings in Catholic parishes for illegal aliens on how to obtain driver’s licenses?

Over the last few days, Gov. Martin O’Malley (MD) has decided to comply with the REAL ID ACT. Starting January 1, 2010 the state will begin to require that all drivers prove they are US citizens.

This is very welcome news. Many of us have been saying for the last few years that we need to stop making Maryland a haven for illegal aliens.

Now, the bad news. This does not take effect until January 2010. In addition, anyone born after January 1, 1964 will be allowed to keep their current license till 2017. So, he is giving all those who support illegal aliens 10 years to help change the law. By that time, we will have a new President and he/she (heaven forbid it is Hillary) may repeal it.

So, there you have it.

NB: Guess which organization the
MCC links to? You guess it, Casa of Maryland.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

'Letters for Life" Campaign

Although I really let the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) have it on issues such as illegal aliens, there are times when you have to give them some credit. So, here is one of those times.

The MCC in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus will be collecting signatures in support of "The Pregnant Women Support Act." According to the Catholic Standard, this bill would enable non-profit organizations to receive state aid as they provide counseling, referrals and other assistance to women facing crisis pregnancies.

The idea is based on a Pennsylvania program which has reduced abortions by 3%. Not a huge number, but something that is worth noticing.

Now, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and NOW are probably not going block this overtly, they are going to do on the sly. Why? Well, their "shtick" is helping pregnant women but that is all it is. When you make most of your money by providing abortions, at $300 to $700 per, it is not something that you want to end.

However, what I would like see in the long run is: If this does not pass, then who voted against it? That is who we need to target during election time and remind people who supports life and who supports the taking of a child's life.

Addendum: After thinking about this overnight, one of the concerns I have is that this may be part of the MCC's push for socialized medicine in Maryland. Having seen the MCC operate over the last few years, it fits in well with their modus operandi. (For those of you in Wheaton, it is a Latin phase roughly translated to mean "mode of operation.")

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Transgender Law Given A Pre-Test a Sport and Health Club in Gaithersburg, a man wearing women's clothing walked into a women's locker room and his presence didn't go unseen by real women who were there changing. He never said a word to anyone who saw him.

For the full story, click here.

According to the law, which will go into effect in apx. a month, a man just has to "feel" he is a woman to be a "real woman."

Did we not warn that this would happen?

Now that this has taken place, will the Archdiocese of Washington DC say something or will they continue to remain silent?

Do they remain silent because they are attempting to protect some?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another MCC Myth Busted

One of the issues that the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) and the Archbishops have pushed is for in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

Their arguement is that that these children came to the US, brought here by their parents. They had no choice. They had no knowledge of what their parents were doing. They have lived here for many years and therefore should not be punished. They too should receive a discounted education.

My argument has always been: Why do you want to reward illegal behavior?

Well, it looks like that myth has been busted by The Washington Post on January 14, 2008.

According to the article, it focuses on Marcelino Benitez who:

came to the United States with a friend when he was 15, hoping to join his mother in Loudoun. After walking across the desert for a day and a night, he was picked up in a small truck packed with other border-crossers and drive to Phoenix.

So, now we find out that not all minors who come to the US are brought here by their parents.

Another half truth from the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Personally, as I have said before, it is time to clean house and fire Richard Dowling and then Julie Varner. It is also time for the Archdiocese of Washington to stop supporting those who have broken the law.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Bear and the Athiest (Humor)

Periodically, you need a good laugh, especially for a Monday morning. So, here is a little humor from a friend of mine. Enjoy!


An atheist was walking through the woods.

"What majestic trees"! "What powerful rivers"! "What beautiful animals"! He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charging towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer.

He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time Stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.

"You deny My existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident."

"Do you expect Me to help you out of this predicament?

Am I to count you as a believer"?

The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Open Letter to the Editor of the Catholic Standard

In this week’s issue (January 10, 2008 page 7), you wrote a story entitled: “From many, one family.”

In it, you stated:

“but also in our own communities, where anti-immigrant sentiments can be seen on talk shows and in legislative proposals.”

The issue is not with immigrants as a whole, the issue is with illegal immigrants. Those who have come to these shores following the process -- no problem. We welcome them. Nevertheless, many of us have told you this, over and over. But you just don’t seem to get it.

Why do you continue to twist the story? Why do you not tell the truth?

I expect this sort of stuff from the Washington Post and the NY Times but not the Catholic Standard.

For shame, Mr. Zimmerman, for shame.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The US has an illegal clown problem.

Did you know that January 6 thru 12, 2008 has been designated as National Migration Week by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops?

Did you know that clowns are entering the US illegally because they cannot find work anywhere else? This is an issue of major importance and I am glad to see the USCCB taking a moral stand on this.

How do I know this? Well, take a look at the bottom of the USCCB National Migration Week Poster.

I am not clowing around about this. Hey, this is not funny!

Note: I saw this tip on a comment posted on another web site. So, I cannot take all of the credit.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

MCC on the wrong side of the Illegal Alien Issue in Maryland

Over and over, the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) and the Archdiocese is on the wrong side of the illegal alien debate.

(For those of you in Annapolis, it means those who have entered the country illegally or have stayed past their visa time limit.)

On January 8, 2008, the Washington Times published a poll which asked the following questions of those in Maryland and found the following:

Question: If a Maryland police officer pulls over someone for a traffic violation, should the officer automatically check to see if that person is in the country legally?

YES: 66%
NO: 25%
Not Certain: 9%

Question: If an officer finds that a person pulled over for a traffic violation is an illegal immigrant, should that person be deported?

YES: 55%
NO: 23%
Not certain: 22%

It is time for the MCC and the Archbishop to face the facts and stop wasting our contributions on this issue.

Note: That unlike the MCC, who does not give the number polled, the actual question or margin of error when quoting stats, this one does.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Is there a Gary Cooper in your life?

Not too long ago, I picked up a biography on Gary Cooper at the parish book sale.

Gary Cooper was an excellent actor and had some outstanding roles in a number of movies, such as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Beau Geste, A Farewell to Arms, and Meet John Doe. (Yes, yes, I know that there are a number of others too.) However, Gary Cooper was a well known "playboy" having affairs with a number of his leading ladies, such as Clara Bow, Marline Dietrich, and Patricia Neal, as well as, a number of lesser stars.

One of the things I did not know was that Gary Cooper was a Catholic. He was raised Episcopalian/Anglican but as an adult was not a regular church goer.

How did this conversion take place? Part of it was due to his wife, Veronica "Rocky" Balfe and daugther Maria. Both were devout Catholics. For whatever reason, they stood by him through all of the affairs - both public and private. But, as his health deteriorated, he began to think about his life and the things that he did. Realizing that he wasn't the best husband and father, he decided to change his life around. He began to attend Church and was eventually baptized.

As we begin the New Year, what type of Catholic role model are you?

Is there a Gary Cooper in your life?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Traditional Marriage in Maryland - Under Attack Again

Although I find a number of things wrong with the Maryland Catholic Conference, let me take this opportunity to do applaud their statements on marriage.

Last year, there was a very concerted effort to change the definition. We were lucky, in so far as the Maryland Court of Appeals (the highest in the state) upheld the ban on same-sex marriage in Sept. 2007.

However, some in the homosexual community are looking for more smaller changes, which will eventually lead to bigger changes.

Others, such as Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. (D-Mont. Co.), who is openly gay, stated in today's Washington Post: In the end, we decided that marriage equality is what we want. We need to educate people as to why it is marriage and not civil unions that we want."

Again, this brings me back to a much earlier posting on dealing with legislators in the Maryland Assembly: The MCC must remind every Catholic in the Archdiocese, that legislators like Madaleno are not friends of the Catholic Church. When they get into that voting booth, they in good conscience, should not vote for them.

Forget the lobbying day, forget the letters, they will not work. It is time we take the gloves off and target these guys for defeat. If not, we will keep fighting these battles each and every year. Even though we keep winning, there is a toll and we are slowly loosing ground.

Unfortunately, based on our current strategy lead by the bishops, we are fighting a loosing battle.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Return to Tradition

US News and World Report ran a story entitled "Return to Tradition" with a cover photo of the Tridentine Mass at St. Mary in Downtown Washington DC. It was reported all over the various blogs. And that was a very, very good thing.

Having finally gotten around to reading and thinking about the piece for a few days, it seems to discuss two trends. The first deals with Roman Catholics who want to return to older traditions but also implied that we want to return to orthodoxy. The second deals with other faiths who are using or adopting such rituals as communion.

As with any of the types of articles, there is always the obligatory section on the person who disagrees or "poo-poo's" these changes. So, the authors have turned to Rev. Thomas Reese S.J., a political scientist at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (Washington DC). Not only does he claim that this trend is more hype than anything else, he also advocates for the ordination of women.

Who is this Fr. Reese? Fr. Reese is the former editor of AMERICA magazine, which is well know for their not so faithful positions on the Church's teachings.

Anyway, the story goes that in 2005 various Vatican officials forced his superiors to get rid of him. However, after a couple of months, a slightly different story started to circulate along these lines: (1) Fr. Reese resigned over the election of Pope Benedict; (2) His superiors accepted it; (3) His colleagues and friends urged him to reconsider, stay for a few more months and see what happens; (4) He thought about it and requested a withdrawal of his resignation; and, (5) His superiors refused. Personally, I believe that there was pressure, and Fr. Reese gave his superiors the opportunity to get rid of a problem.

To put it bluntly, as I see it, the Catholic Church does not need priests such as Fr. Reese. All they do is to confuse the average Catholic on matters of faith and morals. Nor do we need bishops and cardinals who cover for them or do nothing about them.

Maybe there is a better fit for them over in the Episcopalian Church.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Borders are not absolute?

According to the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) governments do not have the absolute right to regulate borders.

Huh? Did I misunderstand something here? Are they saying that the US government (and all governments) do not have the absolute right to regulate who can come into a country?

Yep, those folks at the MCC have taken a section of the Catholic Catechism (1910-1911) and interpreted it to say that.

After reading that section I don't know how they got that...actually, I do.

It is because they are part of the Casa of Maryland crowd who believe that we should look the other way on the illegal alien issue.* To look the other way on those who have broken the law to come into the US.

Therefore, one way to bolster their argument is to say that governments do not have the absolute right to maintain control of their borders.

If you don't have the absolute right (according to their interpretation) then you don't have the right to deport them. If you don't have the right to deport them, then you don't have the right to deny them a free education. If you don't have the right to deny them a free education, then you don't have the right to...well, you get the point.

Folks, I wish I was making this stuff up but I am not.

Personally, I think that Archbishop Wuerl has some serious house cleaning to do at the MCC, starting with the Executive Director, Richard Dowling.

*Note that I do not use the PC term "undocumented immigrants" as the MCC does. If you have broken the law, then what you have done is "illegal." I guess, according to the MCC speak, pedophiles should probably be called "Adults who love children in a carnal manner."