***Money, money, who’s got the money?: With continuing revelations about dioceses paying hush money to silence victims of sex abuse and to cover up their criminal negligence, the faithful in the pews have good reason to be skittish about plunking their hard-earned dollars in the collection basket. How much will go to enrich lawyers — both those representing the victims and diocesan lawyers defending their bishops? [Hmm…has a bishop ever sent his lawyer to defend a Catholic pro-lifer arrested while trying to save babies at an abortion mill?] How many parochial schools and parishes in the U.S. have been "consolidated" so property could be sold to pay the price of perversion? Multi-millions have gone up in smoke already with heaven knows how many more lawsuits coming! When the big judgments roll down, what Church assets will be sold to pay the bill? [We nominate two: Archbishop Weakland's wreckovated cathedral and Cardinal Mahony's Rog Mahal complete with food court — but honestly…who would want them?]

*** Insurance will cover it, you say? Not likely. In 1990 a one million-dollar judgment was levied against the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Diocese of Winona for sex abuse by a priest dating back to the 70s. The insurer refused to pay because the bishops knew about the priest for 15 years and should have expected he'd do it again. The company won in court and the dioceses paid the bill. Patrick J. Schiltz, interim dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, who has represented dioceses in sexual misconduct cases says, "In all of these hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, a very tiny percentage is going to get picked up by insurance." So who pays? Look in the mirror — the faithful in the pew. Which brings us to a point a friend has been making for months and we quote: — "NEVER PUT CASH IN A COLLECTION BASKET. NEVER. NOT EVEN A DOLLAR. THEY CAN GET BY WITHOUT YOUR DOLLAR UNTIL YOU CAN WRITE A CHECK. BUT NEVER GIVE THEM CASH. IT'S TOO GREAT A BURDEN ON THE HONEST, AND IT'S AN UNFAILING SOURCE OF ENABLING FUNDS TO THE EVIL. NEVER PUT CASH IN A COLLECTION BASKET." [And give nothing, not a plug nickel, if you're in a parish where heresy is being preached from the pulpit.]

*** Is it just a coincidence coincidence that many of the bishops named in the recent scandals are icons of modernist dissent in the Catholic Church in America? Weakland, the highest ranking accused [so far] , has persecuted the Milwaukee faithful since the ‘70s destroying churches, punishing orthodox priests, gutting the liturgy, etc. His resignation is long overdue. Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL, accused of both sexual harassment and financial irregularities, made news for banning perpetual adoration in his diocese.

Mahony, who hired a public relations firm to polish his tarnished image, [And just who is paying for that, pray tell?] uses his West Coast Religious Education conference to feature the most malicious faith-wreckers in the country. The list goes on and on. But there aren't many good guys in this story. When two thirds of the bishops in the U.S. are implicated in the transfer and cover-up of sexual predators, is it any wonder their record in fighting contraception and abortion is so abysmal? As Pogo said, "We've seen the enemy and it's us."

*** Take a rest from bishop news…ants have feelings too! Affective education and values clarification have created a generation of morons who can't tell the difference between man and beast. We all know "ethicist" Pete Singer thinks babies have fewer rights than piglets. Now another liberal loon speaks. Stephanie Boyles of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently said, "Ants are sentient beings, like we are, and have a right to life like we do, and they shouldn't be shown the level of disrespect the producers of ant farms show them." [Stephanie, get a life!]

***Back to the bishops…as if the sex scandals aren’t bad enough the August 12th document on Jewish/Catholic relations, Reflections on Covenant and Mission, released by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) repudiates 2000 years of Catholic teaching on evangelization. According to the committee, "campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church." [Huh?? Did Jesus goof when He said, "Go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit?] The new joint goal according to Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal quoted on the USCCB website is "the healing of a sick world and the imperative to repair the damage we humans have caused to God's creations." If the committee is right, Jesus misinterpreted His mission to bring the good news to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." [What was He thinking? And how to explain that embarrassing Pentecost sermon from that ignorant fisherman?] The committee document, as usual, claims Vatican II as the source of this nonsense. [Do they never tire of this disingenuous claptrap?]

Criticism of the document was immediate and Cardinal Keeler, the bishops' moderator for Catholic-Jewish relations, backpedaled furiously on August 16th saying the document "does not represent a formal position taken by the USCCB or the bishops committee." [They never do.] Fr. John Echert of Mother Angelica's EWTN network called the document an “embarrassment (that) lacks any teaching authority…. If a document such as this gains approval, as it currently stands, I will seriously consider the prospect that we are moving into one of the signs of the end times; namely, apostasy." [The moral: If it came from a committee of the USCCB, caveat emptor!]

***Always Our Children pops up again. One of the most infamous documents ever published by the USCC (now USCCB), Always Our Children, promoted acceptance of homosexuality as normal. It continues to be used in many dioceses in the U.S. as agitprop for the gay lifestyle. Released by a committee, it was never voted on by the bishops and was so bad Rome ordered changes. Now AOC is out again, masquerading as a "support group" for parents and friends of gays held at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C. At least two parishes in Arlington have advertised it: St. Bernadette's in Springfield and All Saints in Manassas. Is it orthodox? Unlikely. It's advertised in The Washington Blade, the notorious homosexual weekly. The Blade carries no ads for Courage or Encourage, support groups founded by Fr. John Harvey that adhere completely to the teachings of the Church on chastity.

St. Matthews has a well-deserved reputation as a gay enclave as obituaries in The Blade demonstrate. Tom Sena who died last year was an "office manager for Dignity USA," a radically pro-sodomy organization of gay Catholics. The obit also said, "He attended St. Matthew's Cathedral, where he served as a communion helper and religious instructor." [Exactly what was this gay activist teaching?] Tom also sang with the Gay Men's Chorus (GMC) which performed at his funeral. From other obits in the Blade it appears GMC is a funeral regular at St. Matt's. [The average life span for gay men is the early 40s. Support groups that equate loving your children with tolerating their sin contributes to the perverted lifestyle that kills young men in the prime of life. Is a group named after a scandalous pro-homosexual document, operating in a parish that exposes children to a gay activist likely to be orthodox? Final question: would you feel "comfortable" letting the AOC group take your teenage son on a campout? What a thought!]

***Despite all the “10%” hype, gays represent about 2% of the population. They've multiplied their influence through support groups like Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) whose philosophy is "love the sinner, accept the sin." Parent support groups are crucial to the gay movement. They lend legitimacy and swell the ranks. Why do parents defend a lifestyle that's killing their children? It's a lot easier than facing rage for condemning sodomy as lethal to both body and soul. Parents who lovingly stand for the truth are beacons of light. Even if their children reject them, their loving constancy can pierce the darkness like a lighthouse in a storm. Parents today face many sinful situations with their children. We can only rescue them by prayer and by clinging to the truths of the gospel.

***Where have all the heroes gone? Keep looking. Holy priests exist. And, yes, even bishops. You'll find them laboring quietly in the vineyard: hearing confessions many hours during the week, spending their modest stipends to support the work of crisis pregnancy centers and apologetics apostolates like ours, kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, refuting error by doggedly preaching the truth, visiting the sick, and encouraging the faithful to persevere. Remember, we get the priests we deserve. Pray and fast for holy clerics!

***While we’re on the subject of heroes… we want to recognize one of our favorites, bulldog Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics (LD) who is hot on the trail of Planned Parenthood (PP). Recently a young LD staffer with a sweet voice called every PP "clinic" in the country posing as a 13-year-old girl pregnant by an older man. In states where it was legal, LD taped the calls. Not one clinic employee tried to protect the "child" from sex abuse by an adult. Over and over employees instructed her not to mention her age when she came for the abortion or she "would get her boyfriend in trouble." One worker said, "you've already told me too much" and referred her to another mill warning her not to tell. The employees obviously knew they were dealing with statutory rape, but they chose to protect the predator, not the victim. [Does this sound familiar?] Their actions are ILLEGAL. LD has two lawsuits against PP in the works, one against a clinic that aborted an 11 year old impregnated by a 75 year old man, another where an adult male drove to a neighboring state to have the same minor girl aborted TWICE at the same mill in the course of seven months. No questions asked! We always knew PP killed innocent unborn children. We're just now learning the full extent of their duplicity in aiding and abetting predatory males who molest young girls. [But, hey, it pays the rent…so.bring ‘em on down!]

***The media is all over this, right? The papers castigating the bishops for covering up sex abuse by priests MUST be having a field day going after PP for doing the same thing, right? Well, not exactly. Headlines describe how "abortion foes entrap" clinic workers and use "deceptive" practices. [Funny…When the media sends undercover reporters to Giant to document beef mishandling, they're praised for investigative journalism. When LD imitates them, they're "deceptive." Just goes to show…there's a difference between cows and sacred cows.]

***Wisdom from a favorite saint…"Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I'm here among you to prevent something far worse for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal — who allow scandals to destroy their faith — are guilty of spiritual suicide." St. Francis de Sales

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