Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do you have a copy of Policy Options 2009?

As you know, the Archdiocese is looking to close more Catholic elementary schools. They have hit DC and southern Maryland. Now there target is Montgomery County. I have been saying this for months.

In order to do this, they need to get "buy in" from the members of the Archdiocese with a series of meetings currently being held around the diocese until May 9th.

Since I was not invited to these meetings, I wrote to the Archdiocese requesting a copy of Policy Options 2009 and received the following reply:

Thank you for your e-mail request; currently our draft policy options are for review by those formally invited to attend regional consultation meetings by their pastors. I ask that you please let us know your name and parish, and after we have the support of your pastor we would be happy to send you a copy for review. Thank you

Catholic Schools Office
Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260

From a practical standpoint, even if I sent in a letter and they get it by May 1st, who knows how long it will take to hear back from the pastor and then. It can easily take one or weeks.

So, do you have a copy of the document? Would you like to send me a copy of it? Send it to Your name and email address will be kept confidential.

Now, I wonder who is being selected to review this document?

- How many reviewers have children in Catholic elementary school?
- How many have had children in Catholic elementary schools?
- How many are members of Parish Councils?
- How many are faithful to the Church or are they cafeteria Catholics?
- How many are part of the Social Justice crowd, interested more in social programs than education?

According to one source, who attended one of these meetings, out of the entire meeting only one or two had children currently enrolled in Catholic schools. Only one or two! (I will provide more details about the meeting tomorrow but it is a real scandal.)

Take a moment to request a copy of the document!

More tomorrow on this.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Policy Options or Setting the Stage for School Closings?

As you may have seen in one of my earlier postings on Archbishop Wuerl's Letter on Education or the Catholic Standard, there are a series of consultations around the Archdiocese of Washington on Catholic Schools/Education.

What worries me the most that this is the same basic methodology they have used to close schools in the District of Columbia and southern Maryland (both of which I have written about before).

A report is circulating entitled: Policy Options 2009. This report is produced by the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Office.

To request a copy, so that you may send your comments by the May 10th deadline, send an email to: Remember to request a .pdf or word version.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another great story...Pro-life in Action

A friend of a friend, sent me this story...

Lauretta Ruppert is a 17-year-old senior at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School who has just returned from a week pounding nails and painting walls with Habitat for Humanity. This trip fulfilled Lauretta’s senior service requirement, but it’s not the first time she’s spent her vacation volunteering. Each year, Billy, Lauretta, and 16-year-old sister Sarah spend a week in June with Catholic Heart Work Camp, cheerfully volunteering for work that most of us wouldn’t want to do for pay. Several summers ago, Lauretta was part of a group which was assigned to clean the home of a disabled and mentally ill elderly man who hadn’t cleaned in many years. While many girls her age were spending that first week of summer at the beach or the pool, Lauretta spent that week ankle deep in mildew, mold, and vermin.

For the rest of the story, click here.


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Monday, April 27, 2009

Msgr. Pope's Blog

Periodically, I like to highlight blogs I find interesting and useful. One of them is that of Msgr. Pope, Pastor of Holy Comforter - St. Cyprian Church, in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

According to some of his parishoners, whom I have worked with in the past, he is well liked and respected by them.


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bishops and Catholic Universities

The Bishop D'Arcy of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, IN has written a very thoughtful and clear letter regarding the visit of the Most Merciful, Lord High Barack Obama to Notre Dame.

A couple of excerpts:

1. The meaning of the sentence in the USCCB document relative to Catholic institutions is clear. It places the responsibility on those institutions, and indeed, on the Catholic community itself. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” — “Catholics in Political Life,” USCCB.

2. When there is a doubt concerning the meaning of a document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where does one find the authentic interpretation? A fundamental, canonical and theological principal states that it is found in the local bishop, who is the teacher and lawgiver in his diocese. — Canon 330, 375 §§ 1 & 2; 380; 381 § 1; 391 § 1; 392, & 394 §1.

3. I informed Father Jenkins that if there was any genuine questions or doubt about the meaning of the relevant sentence in the conference’s document, any competent canonist with knowledge of the tradition and love for Christ’s church had the responsibility to inform Father Jenkins of the fundamental principle that the diocesan bishop alone bears the responsibility to provide an authoritative interpretation.

I consider it now settled — that the USCCB document, “Catholics in Public Life,” does indeed apply in this matter. The failure to consult the local bishop who, whatever his unworthiness, is the teacher and lawgiver in the diocese, is a serious mistake. Proper consultation could have prevented an action, which has caused such painful division between Notre Dame and many bishops — and a large number of the faithful.

Now, does Archbishop Wuerl consider himself to be the teacher and lawgiver of the archdiocese? I have heard many times from priests that he is a teacher. Yet, Georgetown University, Holy Trinity Church and other Catholic institutions in this diocese continue to ignore "Catholics in Public Life."

Archbishop Wuerl, do you or do you not agree with this?

If you agree with this, then why do you remain silent as Georgetown and others continue to give scandal to the Church?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Georgetown to Honor Biden!

According to the Cardinal Newman Society:

On Wednesday, April 22, Georgetown University Law Center will host an event honoring Vice President Joseph Biden with the “Legal Momentum Hero Award,” in direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 policy against such honors to pro-abortion politicians.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Biden "strongly support[s] Roe v. Wade.” Biden was the co-sponsor of the oppressive Freedom of Choice Act in the 102nd and 103rd congresses. He also voted for federal funding of Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell research, and against parental notification for minors seeking out-of-state abortions, a ban on abortions at military facilities, and a ban on human cloning.

Tomorrow’s symposium is sponsored by the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and Legal Momentum, a women’s rights advocacy group that sharply conflicts with the Catholic Church by promoting “reproductive rights,” advocating same-sex marriage and opposing abstinence-only education programs and pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. Legal Momentum was founded as the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1970.

Where is our Archbishop on this?


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Monday, April 20, 2009

An Open Letter to Archbishop Wuerl

Dear Archbishop Wuerl:

Over 30 of your brother Bishops have spoken out against the abomination of Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama. Some have been very polite and others have come out and laid it on the line. No matter how they have said it, you have not thrown your biretta in the ring (so to speak). Over 300,000 other Catholics have spoken out against this.

Are you worried that by speaking out you will loose any chance of saving the DC Opportunity Scholarships?

Are you worried that the Archdiocese will not obtain any Federal funding for any of our social programs?

Are you hoping that by being silent, the social justice crowd will join you in support of Catholic schools and scholarships?

Are you hoping that by being silent you will help to change immigration policy?

Are you hoping that by being silent, the lifting of the conscience clause on Catholic medical providers will stay in place?

Are you hoping that by remaining silent, you will contiue to receive large Forward in Faith donations?

Let me put to rest those fears to rest once and for all.

President Obama and the Democratic Party couldn't care less what you do or do not think, as long as you allow him to continue to co-op your priests, religious and lay people to get what he wants. And you are doing just what he wants.

Oh, and forget the social justice crowd. There has not been a peep out of them on the DC Opportunity Scholarships, abortion, etc. They are just a bunch of noise makers.

Your brother bishop in NYC has made his voice clear on this matter.

It is your turn.

You are the local bishop in the Nation's Capital. Stand Up. Raise your voice.

Stand Up.

Raise your voice.

Be silent no more!




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Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Prophetic Voice...

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

"I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."

Norman Thomas - 1944

Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 - December 19, 1968), a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eco-Ministry and the Archdiocese

A friend (and yes, I do have one or two or three) let me know that this weekend, the Archdiocese of Washington's Environmental Outreach Department will present Faith , Environment and the Call to Stewardship.

Now, I believe that it is important for us to do what we can to recycle and use things wisely, but does the Archdiocese have to spend money on this sort of thing? You mean, no one else out there is doing/advocating this sort of stuff? When we are closing schools, we are spending money on this? When our beliefs are slowly being eroded, such as in DC and Montgomery County, this is what we are worried about -- ensuring that we are using energy saving light bulbs, soy based inks and ensuring that our tire pressure is correct a la Obama? Are we going to give tire gauges out after each Mass?

Oh, and the best part is that Fr. Peter Daly, pastor of St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick, MD is one of they key speakers. Yes, some of you may know Fr. Daly's columns in the the Catholic Standard. He is the priest that believes that people don't kill people, only guns do. (No word on knives, baseball bats, hammers, and arsenic.) That it is Republicans who do bad things, union bosses are the salt of the earth and illegal aliens don't really break the law. (I wonder what he has to say about Obama, and so far, there seems to be silence.)

What are you guys and gals in Hyattsville thinking?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Center City Consortium - DC Council Hearing

A friend of mine let me know of a hearing at the DC Council of the Catholic schools converted to Charter.

Maureen Holla, the President of the Center City Consortium, speaks about 1 hour and 40 minutes into the video. She has some very interesting things to say.

here, then go to April 2nd, Part 2 Public Committee, Hearing of the Whole.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

DC Council, Catholics and Gay Marriage

Last week, the Washington DC Council voted to unanimous (12-0) to recognize "marriages" to homosexual couples. However, there will need be a final vote on this in May. It probably would have been 13-0 but Marion Barry did not vote.

So, here we have the DC Council voting on this and at least three of the council members are "practicing" Catholics.

Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) is not only a member of Holy Redeemer Parish but she is on the Parish Council.

Murial Bowser (Ward 4) is a member of St. Anthony's Parish.

Vincent Gray (Chair) is also Catholic. However, I am not been able to identify which parish he is affiliated with.

Will their pastors speak with them about this? I hope so, but I doubt it.

Will the DC Catholic Conference lobby against this with them? I hope so but I don't think it will do much good.

Will the Archdiocese say something to them? I hope so but I also don't think it will do much good, even if they do.

Little by little, society's morals are slowly being eroded. Little by little, our pastors and bishops do not fight the good fight but seem to be more interested (at times) in being a good social service agency than fighting for morality.

Update: This morning on WMAL (630AM), there was a report on this and Susan Gibbs, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese said that if this was as important a vote as they say it is, then why is it not open up to public discussion. Good point. But even if we would be able to convince the three Catholics to vote against it, it would still pass.


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Prayers... Request for Fr. William Finch

One of my readers has notified me that Fr. William Finch, Pastor or St. Raphael (Rockville, MD), died of a heart attack after Holy Thursday Mass.

Please keep him, his family and all of the members of St. Raphael in your prayers this week.

For those intersted in attending the wake and Funeral Mass, click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lesbian Friendly Catholic Churches in Washington DC?

Recently, I stumbled across a website entitled: Conference for Catholic Lesbians, Inc.

As I browsed their website, I came across a section entitled: Welcoming Places for LGBT Catholics. When I clicked on Gay and Lesbian Friendly parishes, it provided a list for Maryland and Washington DC. Here is the list:

- Dahlgren Chapel of Georgetown University (DC)
- St. Aloysius (DC)
- Holy Trinity (DC)
- St. Matthew Cathedral (DC)
- St. Rose of Lima (Gaithersburg)

First, the Conference of Catholic Lesbians is part of the network of dissident groups, such as Voice of the Faithful, Call to Action, etc.

Now, in reviewing their website, this organization is pushing for lesbians to live in a homosexual lifestyle, while maintaining that they are Catholics in good standing. This is of course in total opposition to the beliefs of the Church.

In looking at the various parishes/churches above, I would believe that Holy Trinity and at the Dahlgren Chapel of Georgetown University, would easily look the other way (and even possibly encourage) gays and lesbians to live a life that is totally opposed to the Church, while considering themselves faithful Catholics.

St. Rose of Lima is a parish that I have discussed previously on this blog. However, if you have noticed, their weekly bulletin does not have much on events dealing with homosexuals. Maybe it is because of the attention they have received via this blog. Maybe it is something else. But it is hidden under the radar.

St. Matthew's is a different matter, or maybe I am simply unaware. I know that St. Matthew's for many, many years has had outreach program (Courage) and now has Always Our Children. These are in line with Church teachings. However, maybe there is something that I am not aware of.


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Help Stop Maryland Senate Bill 785

The second of the two bills in the Maryland General Assembly, which represent an erosion of respect for human sexuality and disregard for our society's foundational relationship have unexpectedly advanced in the General Assembly and could become law. Please write and urge our legislators to stop this.

According to the Maryland Catholic Conference:

Senate Bill 785 codifies language regarding same-sex domestic partnerships by exempting them from the inheritance tax. While providing such a benefit is easy to do without including a problematic definition of domestic partners, the ultimate purpose of SB 785 is to expand the list of "limited" benefits available to domestic partners so as to eventually render such relationships legally equivalent to marriage. That would force state courts to recognize them as such, and is what happened in California and Connecticut. If SB 785 is approved, it would be the third such "limited" benefits bill passed in little over a year and the first to restrict such benefits to same-sex couples only.


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Monday, April 6, 2009

Help Stop Maryland Senate Bill 566

This is the first of two bills which the Maryland General Assembly is attempting to pass that would represent an erosion of respect for human sexuality and disregard for our society's foundational relationship. Please help to fight it.

According to the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC):

Senate Bill 566 is a transgender rights bill that would codify in law a distinction between one's "gender identity" and one's "assigned sex at birth." The bill is well intentioned and the Church respects the dignity of each individual. However, such a distinction manifests an egregious violation of our society's basic understanding of the human person, and the natural complementarity of the sexes. As written, the bill does not include protections for religious institutions, which would be required to comply with the employment and other provisions of the bill in regards to transgendered individuals.

My only gripe I have with the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) on this is: Where the heck were they when we were fighting this in Montgomery County? They were AWOL.


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anti-Catholicism and Georgetown University

Well, for a "Catholic" university, it seems that quite a number of anti-Catholic things seem to take place:

March 21: Desecration of the Our Lady of Fatima statue. University did not seem to do much. Washington Post did not report it. Guess it will not be classified as a hate crime and therefore, no one will undergo sensitivity training on Catholicism. Wonder if the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) will push a bill to make this sort of stuff a hate crime. Probably not.

March 30: The unofficial student club H*yas for Choice is sponsoring a workshop titled: Sex, Lies, and Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

March 31: Being Religious AND Pro-Choice. Hear representatives from Catholics for Choice and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom discuss how they incorporate their pro-choice beliefs with their religious beliefs. And most of all, come see why being religious doesn't mean you can't be pro-choice.

Once again, the Jesuits really can show everyone how to run a Catholic University.

Where is Fr. Reese on this or is he still to busy defending the Most Merciful, the Lord High Barack Obama and stem cell research, and his visit to Notre Dame.

For more, click here.