Monday, April 27, 2009

Mary Ann Glendon Says No To Notre Dame

April 27, 2009

The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:
  • President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.
  • We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,
Mary Ann Glendon

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bruskewitz Makes It Clear - Notre Dame NOT Catholic

April 3, 2009

The Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C
President, University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Reverend and dear Father Jenkins,

Permit me to add my name as well to the long list of Bishops of the Catholic Church who are utterly appalled by your dedication to immorality and wrong-doing represented by your support for the obscenity called “The Vagina Monologues”, and your absolute indifference to the murderous abortion program and beliefs of this President of the united States.

The fact that you have some sort of past connection with the State of Nebraska makes it all the more painful that the Catholic people here have to see your betrayal of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University. I am

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
The Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz
Bishop of Lincoln

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Letter to Phyllis

Easter Sunday, April l2, 2009

Dear Phyllis:

Regarding the enclosed “material” you sent, and a request for a reply.

The crux of so munch of this anti-Catholic material is laughable in a way. It all commits logical fallacies called either the STRAWMAN fallacy, or the fallacy of EQUIVOCATION, or the fallacy of DIFVOCATION (aka “distinction without a difference”).

In the strawman fallacy a false position is raised about something, and then it is shot down. It’s typical of adolescents who says to his parents “You hate me because you never give me anything.” When in fact, the parent has sacrificed left and right, hither and yon, but refuses to give the kids things that would do him or her harm. Well, the tactic plays out in anti-Catholic circles. For example, people that hate Catholicism will claim that the Catholics are taught to worship Mary. Then they quote verses from the Bible that say only God should be worshiped. Well, the fact is that Catholic teaching ONLY allows God to be worshiped, and never anything else, including the mother of Jesus.  So their claim about Catholicism is false, and their argument without validity. Catholics love and honor the mother of Jesus just as Jesus loved and honored his mother. We should be like Christ, right? Then we should do what Jesus did? Did he love and honor his mother?  How simple is this?

In the difvocation fallacy two different words or phrases are pitted against each other (they are vocalized differently) but then they are claimed to mean exactly the same thing. When it comes to the fallacy of DIFVOCATION those that hate Catholicism will say that Catholics are taught to HONOR Mary, which is true. But then the arguers will claim that there is no difference between the concept of HONOR and WORSHIP. But, in fact, there is a huge difference, and to Catholics the concept of “honor” is far different from “worship.” We are told, for instance, to honor our mother and father, but we are not told to worship them, or even obey when instructed to do something immoral.

In the equivocation fallacy two words that sound the same, and perhaps are spelled the same (equal vocalization) are given two different definitions by the different parties. It sounds and looks like they are talking about the same thing but in fact the underlying definitions are different, and so no agreement can be reached. When it comes to the fallacy of equivocation those that hate Catholicism will say that the Eucharist is a graven image because it is made by man. Their physical senses claim that the host (bread) and blood (wine) are bread and wine not the body and blood of Christ. The equivocation involves the term Eucharist, which to the Catholic hater means “just bread and wine, thus a graven image” but to the Catholic Eucharist indicates “a miracle of substance, changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, not caused or made by man.”  Where the writer of the literature you sent has it in his or her mind that MAN made the bread and wine, to the Catholic it is GOD that not only made the substance of the bread and wine, but through a miracle change it’s inherent substance into the real presence of Christ. The Euchrist is a gift from GOD, not a gift from MAN.

Equivocation is also involved with the word “prayer” or “pray.” While pray can mean to “worship” it can also mean to “request” or “communicate” with those in heaven. The material you sent suggest that prayer can ONLY mean worship, so when we pray to Mary or other Saints we are worshipping them. But Catholicism has never, NEVER used the word prayer that way when referring to those in heaven.

By the way, the skeptic will see the host and cup at Mass and using their physical senses (not faith) will claim that these elements of communion are only bread and wine, because the physical senses tell him so. But this is “COMMUNION” with Christ, as well as one another. Think about the deep meaning of that word—communion—as you read the rest of this paragraph. The skeptics at the time of Christ looked upon Christ and saw only a man. Their physical senses told them that Jesus didn’t glow in the night, or walk or air; Christ appeared totally human. Therefore, Jesus couldn’t be God. But you believe Jesus was God and is God still today. If God can become man (think of the size of that miracle) why do you claim that God cannot change wine in to his blood. I mean didn’t Jesus turn water into wine? Why is the miracle of the Eucharist so hard to believe? Are you totally without faith? Is your heart so hard that God’s love cannot penetrate with his gift, his presence? We are called to be “one with Christ”. What better way to have a personal relationship with Christ than to make him PHYSICALLY and SPIRITUALLY part of your body each day during Mass. Do you trust Jesus with your life, or are YOU the one to define the terms of your relationship with God? Are you going to worship God’s understanding of his redemption for you, or does it have to agree with your limited, human, finite, corrupt understanding? Is this about your faith in God’s power? Or is it about your lack of faith in God’s supremacy?

So, Phyllis, avoid such fallacies. They are the source of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, if not outward lies. And they will crush your faith and limited God’s power in your life to work miracles.

Now, let’s go back to the Eucharist for a moment, and the “real presence” of Christ. This is not very hard to understand to a Christian who has faith in God’s miraculous power. DO YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST’S POWER, AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER TO WORK MIRACLES HERE ON EARTH? To the skeptic who does not believe in God’s power to work miracles then the Catholic concept of the Eucharist is entirely ridiculous. But, look at the first part of John 6, where Jesus changes regular food into a miraculous food that feeds not just a young boy, but thousands sitting on a hillside. To the people eating, the food seemed just like regular food. But to the Apostles this was NOT the same substance. It was changed by the power of Jesus’ prayer of blessing upon it and the power of the Holy Spirit. The substance was sacramentally changed. Our senses could not see or taste the difference, but our faith indicates that something is different – miraculously different – because GOD did it, not man. So, this argument that bread made by man can ONLY and EVER be bread made by man and not miraculous changed by God, is entirely ridiculous.

Now, in that same chapter (John 6) Jesus teaches about how it is critically important to eat his body and drink his blood if you will have eternal life within you. He says this sort of thing numerous times, and implies it even more times. Fourteen times in all, I recall.  He’s talking about something that the first Protestants could not fathom. They said to each other: “How can he say this” and “It is hard for us.” (John 6:52, 60) And in John 6:66 these first protestors to the teachings of the Eucharist (the real presence of Christ in the sacramental bread) leave Jesus and never follow him again.

Whoa! Did you see what just happened? The people today that claim the Eucharist is NOT the real presence of Christ are direct descendents of those that left Christ in John 6:66.  This is where the Eucharist began, and it’s been in the Church ever since. (And I guess the Protestants have been “in” the church ever since, as well. Woe is me!)

Notice, there was plenty of time for Jesus to say, “Hey, this is only a symbol” it isn’t REALLY ME. But he persists, and because the skeptical Jews think Jesus is talking about real body and real blood, they are grossed out and leave. But Jesus doesn’t change his teaching, and neither do any of the Apostles in their writings later in the NT, nor does the Early Church fathers in their writings. In fact, Paul and some early bishops point out that those that don’t believe in this gift are to be shunned.

Even the word “remembrance” is an equivocation to the uninformed, uneducated Protestant Bible “scholar”. They are totally ignorant of what the concept of “remembrance” means to a Jew celebrating the Passover. When the Jews “remember” they are living out the actual events. It is NOT like looking at a picture album and remembering a birthday party. It is very, very different. To Jews reliving the Passover, and to Catholics reliving the crucifixion of Jesus, this is no picture album remembrance, but we are reliving the actual event, by participating in the eternity of God WHERE THERE IS NO TIME. Thus, the term “remembrance” has two entirely different meanings, and those that hate Catholicism can’t use their fractured definition to take the place of the real thing that Christian teachers have used since the first century. 

Now, I will take time to inform you of one more thing about Catholics and the Bible. And then you need to find a good priest to talk to. (There are bad priests out there whom you need to stay away from.)

First off, you would not have a Bible if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church. Who do you think gave you the Bible, approved the books in it (although Protestants ripped out 7 books in the 1800s), and through numerous councils of the Early Church defended and defined such things as the deity of Christ and the Trinity against heretics, and gave us the creeds that explain what it means to be a Christian? Jesus wasn’t literally around, so who did all that? Was your Church around to defend these basic Christian principles?  

Then, you have a problem that has developed into a scandal. Where Christ prayed for us Christians to be one with no division (John 17), now there are thousands (one source claims 35,000) different Protestant denominations. And it’s funny how each one uses the Bible to prove the “church” down the street is wrong. They can’t possibly agree on the basic doctrines among themselves but then they have the arrogance to attack the Catholic Church.  Have you heard the expression “the pot calling the kettle black?” It’s what Protestants do to Catholics.   They all use the same Bible but they can’t agree on what Jesus taught.  What’s missing here? 

Here’s what’s missing: SCRIPTURE!  They ignore those Scriptures that would tell them how to resolve their differences. But of course those Scriptures point to an institution that was present at the time of the Apostles and is present today, that was given by Jesus and the Holy Spirit infallible power to know what is right and wrong… and well, Protestant leaders just can’t bury their pride to accept WHAT THE BIBLE CLEARLY TEACHES. So they ignore it, and they ignore the Church Christ established, an institution that Jesus said would never fail and would never teach anything wrong. Yes, the Bible says that, clearly.

So, the material you sent claims that “Jesus” is the authority. (Matthew 18) as if Jesus was sitting on a throne here on Earth making decisions. Jesus isn’t on an Earthly throne today anymore than God was on the throne at the time of Moses. But Moses was on the throne and telling the people what God was saying. Moses sat in “the chair” and governed the people as God spoke to them through Moses. God has always used earthly people to be his spokesperson here on Earth. There was Noah, Moses, the prophets, Jesus, the Apostles, and the bishops, and today the pope. It all follows a Biblical pattern.

And that pattern is in the material you sent. The first section REGARDING AUTHORITY quotes Romans 13:1 that points to an authority on Earth “which God has established.” So where is that authority, Phyllis?

And then Colossians 1:16ff says there are rulers and authorities created by Christ and even mentions the “church” as under Christ’s rule. Hello?! Are you paying attention?

Then you quote Titus 2:15. This is a letter by Paul to Titus (a Catholic bishop) and what does Paul say to the bishop Titus “TEACH. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” PHYLLIS, WHAT IN HEAVEN’S NAME DOES THAT MEAN?  It means that Christ set up a Church, and then appointed bishops like Titus, and then encouraged Paul to tell Titus to act in Christ’s stead and be His authority on earth.

But don’t be confused, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would protect his bishops from teaching false things. It’s a miracle of God that the Catholic Church is still around and going strong in spite of the error in the personal lives of the men that hold positions of leadership. Remember, just as fallible men wrote infallible Scriptures, so fallible men today (who are ordained by the laying on of hands) interpret those Scriptures (through the power of the Holy Spirit) infallibly. But that power and promise has only been handed down through the one church that has never changed a single doctrine through it’s 2,000-year history. Why? Because Jesus said it would be so.  More on that in a moment…it’s in your Bible. Like you say you have to listen to Jesus in the Bible. The whole Catholic thingy is based on that premise.

But let’s get back to your material. It’s so interesting how it supports Catholic teaching.

In Hebrews 13:17 your material says “OBEY YOUR LEADERS AND SUBMIT TO THEIR AUTHORITY. THEY KEEP WATCH OVER YOU AS MEN WHO MUST GIVE ACCOUNT. OBEY THEM…..” Phyllis, why are you not obeying the in-line authority that these verses are telling you to obey?

Here ARE some more Bible verses that your preacher friends obviously ignore for fear that if they took Jesus’ words seriously they’d have to become Catholic. Phyllis, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church over the centuries you would know nothing about Christ. It is the Catholic Church that protected the teachings and traditions of Christianity, and gave you the Bible, and decided the great heresies over the centuries, and yet today defends Christians again the skeptics and confronts presidents who would kill babies, et al. The Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed came from the Catholic Church. We recite those creeds every Sunday in Mass, does your church?  When you recite the Apostles Creed and you come to “we believe in the communion of saints”  …. What do you think that means? Does it matter what you think it means, or what the writers of that sentence intended it to mean?

But here…

Try Matthew 18:17ff  where Jesus says to the Apostles during instruction on how to deal with a belligerent church member who is sinning: “If he refuses to listen even to the CHURCH, then treat him as you would a Gentile or tax collector.” Jesus does not say, if he refuses to listen to ME, Jesus. And there’s that nasty word “CHURCH” in that verse. Yes, Jesus established a Church to ride herd on those of us who couldn’t tell right from wrong, and then promised that the Church would NEVER make a mistake in its teachings of faith or morals. Notice that there was no promise that the leaders of the church would never make mistakes in their personal lives. (I’m told the pope goes to confession frequently.) Don’t confuse the personal behavior of a church leader with the teachings of the church. Certainly the presidency of the United States is different than the behavior of some of our recent presidents.

Okay, you wanted Bible, so let’s get back to the Bible. How well do you know it?

Matthew 18:18 Jesus says to the Apostles: “Whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Sounds like Jesus is giving them AUTHORITY, Jesus’ authority to make rules about what is right and wrong. Are you obeying Jesus, Phylllis? If you want to, you better be obeying the Church.

Lookie here: Luke 10:16 “those who listens to you listen to me… those who reject you reject me…and the one who sent me.”  If you are going to listen to Jesus, you better be obeying those he left in charge.

Phyllis, there are dozens of verses like these that put the onus on YOU to obey the CHURCH, because only the Church that Jesus established is infallible enough to INTERPRET what Jesus meant.

Could the Church ever be wrong about what it teaches on faith and morals?  Well, DO YOU BELIEVE JESUS?  In John 16:13 Jesus says the Holy Spirit will guide the Apostles and their successors into ALL TRUTH. Not some truth. ALL TRUTH. The Church is pronounced by Christ to be infallible.  In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says that “my church (there’s that nasty word again) … the gates of hell will NOT prevail against it.”  That is the CHURCH is perpetual, never ending.

So, Phyllis, where is that Church that existed at the time of Christ and Jesus says will never error in its teaching, and will be around until the end of time? Where is that Church? Was your church or denomination around at the time of Christ? How old is it? Can your pastor be traced back, through the laying on of hands, to one of the Apostles? Only Catholics, Orthodox and a few Anglicans do claim that, and frankly I think the Anglicans that could claim that died off.

In John 16:26 Jesus says, “the Holy Spirit…will teach you everything and remind you of all.”  That dang infallibility thingy. Jesus said this. You wanted to obey only Jesus, well, pay attention. He’s talking to you.

And there are many, many more Scripture passages that your preachers ignore. Like Eph 3:10 where it says that the wisdom of God comes through the Church. And 1 Tim 3:14-15 that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth” (not the Bible, which didn’t exist for several hundred more years).

So, next time TBN airs Common Ground, you would do yourself an eternity of good to pay attention, and not challenge the Holy Spirit like you are currently doing.

In the meantime, find a good priest and get to confession. Jesus said to the first Church leaders, “Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven, and whose sins you do not forgive, they will not be forgiven.” (John 20:23)  And don’t give me this crap about how you won’t confess your sins to a man. A priest is the representative of CHRIST. Did you learn absolutely NOTHING as a child growing up in The Catholic Church? Were you sleeping or goofing off the whole time and ignoring the instruction you were given?

Phyllis, do not blame the church for your own lack of attentiveness.

Finally, if I am completely wrong, then the Bible, Jesus and the Apostles and the great saints of old are wrong, and I guess only Phyllis is right. How amazing could that be?

Get to the real Church Phyllis.

Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.

Executive Producer - Director

My Aggrivation with Uninformed Anti-Catholics

Recently, TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) aired one of our specials: "Common Ground". Although the airing was in the middle of the night (3:30 AM ET) we received approximately 100 direct orders, and our wholesalers also supplied perhaps another 100 units to customers. Almost universally we receive many compliments, astonishment and even a few tears from people who are thankful for this Kensington Church Production.

But occasionally we receive a dismissive letter (long and stuffed into a number 10 envelop) of how "completely wrong" Catholicism is. The infallible tenor of these letters is always amusing, as if the writer was part of the universe's creation. Universally, the letters (and ancillary material stuffed in with it) are textbook examples of three fallacies evident in 99% of all anti-Catholic literature. It's amazing that such writers, and even authors of such books can ignore such basic knowledge about reason, logic, and true Catholic teaching.

I try to ignore the letters, insofar as I often feel compelled to take these people seriously (and they are serious) and provide thorough responses. But experience has taught me that the writers are usually not interested in truth, but only venting their prejudice, and occupying my time from more worthwhile endeavors.

Over the Easter weekend, however, I took some time to respond to one lady, Phyllis (her real name), with the intention of posting it on my Catholic Articles page back on Here's the link
Letter to Phyllis.

My aggravation with the fallacies used by anti-Catholics is modestly evident in this response to a Nineveh's Crossing "customer" who requested a catalog. The letter begins with an explanation of the three major fallacies anti-Catholics use in their frail attempt o debunk Catholicism. It then goes on to explain the Bible to someone who told me to study my Bible more closely. This is also a person who claimed to have been raised in the Catholic Church, so some chastisement is necessary.


My friend and editor from Catholic responded to my PREVIOUS POST about Dr. Oz, Michael J. Fox, on Oprah. This is my response to her.


Mary, you are right when you suggest that embryonic stem cell research is connected to the hip with a thirst for power, and that such power dwarfs any concern for the lives of tiny humans. And while to some "players" the argument is not really all about "therapeutic good" -- that is the horse to which they've strapped their saddle. Thus, revealing their true motives (power and greed) may be a more productive strategy for pro-life researchers and pundits.

Let me explain.

There are two arguments in the embryonic stem cell debate that to the thinking Catholic are attached at the hip, but to those less insightful (and innocent in their ignorance) are separate issues. The first is the search for cures to protect adult life, the second is the protection of embryos, tiny human life. Yes, there is the obvious connection that to kill a life to protect another is evil. But to accept that argument you have to believe that embryos are indeed human life, and most people don't believe that because it is not common sense—that an embryo is human life is not a commonly observable phenomenon. Thus, embryos as human life becomes more an article of faith even with scientific evidence.

I get the sense that the former argument (the search for cures) is more important to one group (those of improperly formed faith), and the latter (protecting embryonic life) is more important to the other (those with properly formed faith). The ratio of importance to these two groups is so large that the other argument is lost in the shadows. And I believe that people like Oprah and Michael J. Fox are at heart not sinister killers of the innocent. In their ignorance they want what is good for the common person. I suggest that they would enjoy supporting life in all its forms as long as it does not seem to conflict with their understanding of life in the throes of battling deliberating diseases. Understand that the effects of Parkinson's Disease is far more a common sense thing than embryonic life. One is easily observable on national television, and the other is essentially invisible and not available to our common senses. Thus, I think the segment with Dr. Oz was a huge (although stealth) stake in the ground for the "hip" -- that is where the two arguments are connected.

The common terminology for that "hip" (which to us "moralists" is "cool" as well as "connected") is NATURAL LAW. No matter what any liberal, atheist, corrupt politician, or demonic figurehead does, they cannot beat natural law. In a big way USSR's dissolution resulted from the slow but real discovery of natural law. Obama can pontificate, and the liberal congress can legislate, and Tony (hypocrite) Blair can "Catholicgate" as much as they want, but in God's timing, (not mine, dang it) they will all come to kiss the feet and the feats of Natural Law. You can't beat it in the long run.

The embryonic stem cell debate occurs on these two levels—health and morality. Many of us yell and scream on the moral side, but the other side of the coin is the physical science of how man is still incapable of manipulating DNA and impersonating God in creating and growing life. When man does mess around with the moral side of things, he simultaneously messes around with physical science (as God knows it, not man's marginalized understanding). The result is cancer. (Pun intended for there is both a moral and a physical cancer, and Dr. Oz mentions the physical, but we "moralists" see that his mention is simply the metaphor for the moral. You cannot separate the psychological and spiritual dimension from the physical—as all good sacramental Christians should fully understand, as well as readers of my book, "The Moral Premise" -- an unabashed plug).

It is King David that proclaimed time and time again, "I love Your law O Lord. I study it all day long. Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is always with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, because I ponder your decrees ...." (Ps 119:97 ff). When David says he studied God's laws "all day long" he is not referring to pouring over the text of the Mosaic Law, but rather to observing how Natural Law wins out in every case throughout his vast kingdom, especially in his own moral life. It is entirely possible that Nathan (David's prophet in residence) saw the guilt that riddled David after destroying Uriah & Bathsheba's marriage, and confronted David after hearing the roar of the palace rumor mills. Did Nathan hear from God directly? Possibly. But, 2 Samuel 12:1 says that "the Lord SENT Nathan to David". It doesn't say that the Lord had to explain to Nathan what was going on. Natural Law would have prompted a blanket of guilt upon David and the officials that assisted David in his immoral task. And Natural Law would have fostered the kingdom's rumor mill to the hilt (and most of it was probably not rumor). When it came time to write Psalm 51 and Psalm 119 there was plenty of evidence that you can't beat natural law, and in it we have ultimate faith that what is right will prevail.

Thus, Dr. Oz, with Oprah and M. J. Fox at his side, on national TV, is like Nathan popping his head up and saying, "You can't beat Natural Law." Submit you fools! (Except Oz is nice about it... he wants to be invited back to the Queen of daytime television. Which makes me wonder if Nathan came to the King of the daytime court, where all the world was watching and listening.)


Getting back to the sinister debate. There is another force at work that I have never heard mentioned, but I suspect is actively driving the embryonic stem cell argument from a lack of salience or knowledge about the division in medical research groups. In the medical research profession there are at least two groups that could not be more different, yet may appear to have the same credentials. There are medical researchers who look to business models to fund their livelihoods. Their research creates a product (e.g. drugs and therapies) that meet needs, and then they sell their products for a profit. These are profit (not necessarily prophet) oriented companies that get their funding from business investors and enter the free market to make their money.

The second group of medical researchers look to a grant model to fund their livelihoods. Their first step is to create public awareness of a need (real or invented), and then ask the public, through government grants, to fund the research. If this group is successful, their work may result in patents and make the researchers and research institutions where they work, richer. These institutions are university research centers, who have far less money, less sophisticated apparatus, and an inferior infrastructure to support their research desires. The university researchers cannot generally go to the business community for funding unless the business investors see the likelihood of success and a return on their investment. In the case of embryonic stem cell research my guess is that investors are going to fund adult stem cell research because of the vast disparity in success between embryonic and adult stem cell prospects. There are over 70 successful therapies developed from adult stem cells, and utter failure, along with cancerous tumors, resulting from embryonic research.

But the university researches have the "benefit" of a monopoly on the embryonic public debate since no good business will come near it. And further we need to remember that the liberal politics of public universities are attached at the hip to state funding, and a public that is currently sensitized to liberal policies. Thus, liberal university medical researchers are having their moment in the lime-light. What they don't realize is that lime is dumped on corpses to stop the spread of contagious disease. Ah, well, it will take them time, but someday they'll realized that you can't beat natural law, even if it does take time for the cancer to spread a ways.

My instinct is that pro-life pundits should follow the money, and reveal the greed and thirst for power and prestige that university researchers are lusting after. Their celebrity status will be short lived, for sure, as Dr. Oz suggests when he says, "the stem cell debate is dead." But even in a short time lives will be lost, and public dollars squandered.

Dr. Oz made that point, discreetly with Fox and Oprah. So, let's follow the money and reveal the financial and prestige motives of embryonic stem cell researches, which I claim are closer to the surface and more exposed to common sense. Greedy researchers can hide behind their moral claims of improving life for the common good by finding cures of diseases, but they can't hide easily behind their bank accounts and the prestige that running a large state funded research facility offers.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dr. Oz with Michael Fox and Oprah - Stem Cells

Finally, the liberal media and pundits hear from one of " their own" about the problem with embryonic stem cells and what the natural solution is. You can't fight Natural Law, and the sooner we embrace it, the sooner we'll cure diseases like Parkinson's. Click on image for clip from show.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jenkins and Obama: Promotion of the Obscene

I've been praying for:

a) Unity of our bishops on publicly moral matters (by their silence on public issues they appear Protestant, e.g. of different or ambivalent minds).

b) Evidence that my hours of prayer have some effect...although no doubt joined with thousands of other prayers.


----Thanks to Tony Ryan for sending this out------

March 31, 2009
Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:

I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.

This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”

Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.

I sign myself

Very truly yours,

The Most Reverend Thomas Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Rockford