Gay Marriage Trumps Freedom of Conscience in European Court

Standing Against Christian Persecution

Gay marriage trumped freedom of conscience in the European Court of Human Rights yesterday.

The Court handed down rulings on four contentious cases which had been brought before it by British citizens. In three of the cases, it ruled with the British government and against the citizens.

Here’s how it went:

1. British airways employee Nadia Ewelda won the right to wear a cross around her neck to work without being fired. Part of the reasoning was that other British Airways employees were allowed to wear religious symbols of other faiths, including turbans and scarves.

2. A British nurse lost the right to wear a cross around her neck to work. The Court based this ruling on the idea that the cross might somehow pose a job hazard by accidentally touching an open wound or something.

3. Two other British citizens, a registrar and a relationship counselor, lost their cases. They had been fired for refusing, on the basis of their religious beliefs, to participate in civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples.

Religious groups are hailing these rulings as “victories,” based on the lone case that allowed a flight attendant to wear a cross to work. This which confounds me. Christians consistently lose in the courts, as the many atheists who buzz by this blog every time I write on the subject try to remind us, and I think these rulings are no exception to that.

One of the things that struck me about these rulings is that they were so specific. Evidently, the European Court of Human Rights does not rule on broad issues of law in the same manner that our Supreme Court does. These rulings were basically, “We uphold this case, but not this.” If the court ruled on principles of law rather than just the specific cases, it didn’t come through in the news stories I read.

I’m not sure what that means in terms of the scope of these rulings. If these truly are specific rulings on specific cases and not on broad points of law, then that could be significant in terms of impact. I’m not saying that’s how it is. I don’t know.

I may not understand the scope of these rulings, but I do know that they were not a “victory” for Christians or freedom of conscience. I also think they were a harbinger of what’s to come for all of us.

Advocates of gay marriage here in the United States are quick to say that re-writing the legal definition of marriage will not impact religious liberty, that no one will be forced to perform gay marriages if it is against their conscience. This clearly flies in the face of the collective experience throughout the Western world.

So far as I know, in every country that has legalized gay marriage, or, as in the case with this ruling, civil partnerships, it is just a matter of time, and usually not much time, before people are losing their jobs because they do not want to participate in performing these marriages.

The Los Angeles Times article describing these court cases reads in part:

By Emily Alpert
January 15, 2013, 1:14 p.m.
A Christian employee was wronged when British Airways insisted she remove the small cross she wore around her neck, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday.

But judges rejected claims by three other British Christians who claimed they had been discriminated against in the workplace, including two who had refused to provide their services to couples of the same sex.

Religious freedom is “one of the foundations of pluralistic, democratic societies,” the European court wrote, but religious freedom can nonetheless be restricted where it “impinges on the rights of others.”

Judges decided 5-2 in favor of Nadia Eweida, who was sent home without pay for violating the British Airways uniform code more than six years ago. At the time, its rules banned any visible jewelry. Eweida returned to work several months later after the company changed its policies, but continued to press her case against the British government for failing to protect her freedom of religion.

The European court found that British courts had failed to strike a fair balance between her rights and British Airways’ wish to “project a certain corporate image.” Other employees had already been allowed to wear other kinds of religious apparel, including turbans and head scarves, without any impact on the British Airways brand, it added. The court ordered the British government to award Eweida more than $2,600 in damages and $40,000 for expenses.

“I feel vindicated, that Christians have been vindicated, both here and in Europe as well,” Eweida told the BBC after the decision was issued, a cross visible around her neck.

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he was “delighted” by Tuesday’s decision, a rare bit of British government praise for the European court. The ruling was also cheered by rights groups.

“Nadia Eweida wasn’t hurting anyone and was perfectly capable of doing her job whilst wearing a small cross,” said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the civil liberties group Liberty. “British courts lost their way in her case and Strasbourg has actually acted more in keeping with our traditions of tolerance.”

Religious conservatives were also pleased Eweida had triumphed, but their enthusiasm was dampened by the fact that the European judges turned down the three other discrimination claims. Although it sided with Eweida, the court said a British hospital was justified in barring a nurse from wearing a crucifix because it could touch an open wound or a patient might pull on it. Protecting health and safety were more weighty reasons to ban the cross than buffing a corporate image, it concluded.

Judges also rejected the claims of a relationship counselor and a former registrar who balked at providing their services to same-sex couples. The counselor was fired for violating company policies that he had agreed to; the registrar was disciplined and warned that if she did not perform civil partnerships, she would be terminated.

Christian groups argued that other registrars could have performed the service. “What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold,” said Mike Judge, spokesman for the Christian Institute, in a statement Tuesday. (Read more here.)

Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. Part 1: Your Vote = Their Power

Your Vote = Their Power 

Politics is about power.

The two political parties are not political parties as we once knew them. They are consortiums of special interests. They operate on behalf of these interests for one purpose: to get and keep power.

Everything else they say is a lie.

The next time you feel like bowing down to your political party, remember this, and stand upright.

Don’t bend your knee to the R and the D. Register for whichever party, or as an independent, as you please. Vote according to your own understanding and conscience. I have no desire to influence you in that. But do not confuse your party’s trumpeting claims of moral superiority with actual moral superiority. Do not, ever, take the cross down off your mantelpiece and put the Republican elephant or the Democratic donkey in its place.

Both parties actively encourage such idolatry. They do it because they benefit from it. They win elections with the votes of people who slavishly follow them and believe in them as if they were Christ Himself. Winning elections is how political parties get power. Power is how they control the purse strings and the facilities of government. Power is the payback for lying to you.

They get power by lying to you. They keep it by almost but not quite fulfilling their promises. Holding you on a leash of unfulfilled expectations by always trying but failing to do the things they promised when you voted for them is axiomatic to making sure that you keep coming back to them again and again. If they actually did what they said they would do, the vote-getting engine would go dead. It takes showmanship and adept political choreography to create an unending series of cliff-hanger battles that will keep you focused and rooting for your team.

It also requires an excuse for repeatedly failing to deliver. Political parties have to hide the obvious. They can’t just say, sure we’re the party of life, but even after 40 years of trying, we’re still too dumb to find a way to overturn Roe. The other guys can’t say, of course we’re the party of the American worker, but we’re such idiots that after 40 years of deep thinking we still can’t come up with a way to stop exporting your jobs. Even the most besotted kool-aid-drinking party loyalist might gag on this.

So … what’s a political party to do when it has no intention of doing anything it says but it wants to make sure that the voters don’t figure this out? Easy. They tell you that the Other Party is the Devil. They claim that they are still your white knight, trying desperately to ride to the rescue, but the Other Party, those black-hearted wraiths from the deepest pit of political hell, overcome them in spite of their heroic efforts. The only way to make this work is if the two parties play off against one another so they can keep the attempt-failure cycle spinning. If either one of them decided that the thing to do was represent the people, the jig would be up.

In truth, political parties have no use for working people except for their votes. Political parties don’t care about either a woman’s right to chose or an unborn baby’s right to life. What they do care about is using those issues to motivate you to send them money and march to the polls on election day to deliver your vote.

That’s how they get power. Power is what they want, and they will tell you anything it takes to get you to give it to them.

It’s a simple equation: Your Vote = Their Power.

What about the various alliances political parties form with religious groups? You know, the lefty churches who have mutilated the Gospels one way to suit the Ds, and the righty churches who have mutilated the Gospels the other way to suit the Rs.

Here’s how that works when the television cameras are off. Religious groups don’t have the power of government. They can’t enact taxes or call up armies. They can’t pass laws or issue mandates. Those are all powers of government. However, religious groups do have a potent power of their own. People think their religious leaders speak for God. They listen to religious leaders because they believe in their prophetic and moral voice.

We live in a country where the way you get control of the power of government is to win elections. You win elections by getting lots of people to vote for you. You can’t win elections by telling voters “I’m going to go in there and represent special interests and do things that will take away your livelihood, cost you your home and that fly in the face of every moral belief you cherish.” That’s not a winning strategy. So, they lie.

But lies, when they are such obvious lies as these have become, need a cover. What better cover than the moral gloss of religious leaders, lending their prophetic and moral voice to your self-serving, special-interest-supporting agenda?

Party leaders don’t care about religion and they don’t respect the religious leaders they con into supporting them. I know this. Let me repeat that: I know it. I’ve seen heads of denominations go in to talk to legislative leaders. These preachers are all puffed up and sure of themselves when they walk in. They are certain that these men who they got elected and who promised them, gave them their word, that they would be for something like, say, pro life legislation, just don’t understand what they are doing when they are killing this legislation. These religious leaders are sure they can set things right. I’ve had them tell me so in just those words.

“I’m going to talk to him and set things right,” they say. They are so sure, so certain of themselves and their relationship with these powerful men.

Then, I’ve seen them come back out of those meetings on their knuckles and their knees, totally bamboozled and beaten.

What’s even more disheartening is that I’ve never, with the single exception of the Catholic Bishops, seen even one of these religious leaders stand back up like men and go to war with the legislative leader. They smarm around to me and tell me things like “I’ve got to maintain contact with the Speaker,” or “I don’t want to lose access.” One of them even told me, “He lets me have his personal cell phone number.”

They keep on supporting these liars. What’s worse, they let them kill the pro life bills behind closed doors and never call them to task over it. They support them in the next election, proclaiming as if it was true that this is a 100% pro life politician.

I want to emphasize that I have seen and heard this myself. I’ve seen it not once, but over and over with different legislative leaders in different sessions of the legislature. If you want to know why nothing ever changes, this is a big part of the reason.

This is painful to witness. It hurts. I’ve argued with these religious leaders and tried unsuccessfully to get them to grow spines. I’ve railed at these legislative leaders for being hypocrites and bullies. When I do this, religious leaders hang their heads and shuffle their feet. The politicians usually turn mean and try to take revenge on me inside the process somehow. As for me, I go home and pray and go to confession and then pray some more.

I cling to certain scriptures. One of my favorite Psalms has the words, “If I fly to the highest heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in hell, You are with me. Your right arm sustains me.” Another one begins, “Contend, Oh Lord, with those who contend with me.” And a third says, “Oh Lord, how many are my foes … many are saying to me, ‘There is no help for you in God. But you are a shield around me.”

I pray these Psalms and I ask God to remind me of my own sins, to not let me sink into the pit of self-righteousness or bitterness, but to help me remember that I am just an instrument in His hands, to be used as He sees best.

That’s how I get through it. But it is difficult, and it’s getting more so. The government is doing more and more harm to the people. It is even attacking the Constitution and our basic freedoms. Religious leaders who have allowed themselves to become shameless political groupies for the two parties feed the contempt that supports a surging secularism. There is a war on, and we are losing it.

If you are a Christian, the only side you have in this war is Jesus’ side.

We all want someone else to come in and do the dirty work for us. We want “them” whoever they might be, to save our country, protect our freedoms and work in our interests. That’s probably why we are so eager to believe the absurd, repetitive lies the two political parties tell us. But the fact is that if we want to be saved we’re going to have to do it ourselves, and some of the first people we need to be saved from are both these pernicious political parties and their lying manipulations.

My first bit of advice as I wind down Part 1 of this series is to take down the donkey or the elephant and put the cross back up on your home altar. Give up your false idol of political party and turn back to the Only God, the only One Who can save you, and me, and our great nation, America.

 

 

God Sells Magazines. God and Obama Sell Lots of Magazines.

Big names sell magazines.

Eye-catching covers sell magazines.

Eye-catching covers with big names sell lots of magazines.

Who’s got the biggest name of all?

Let’s look

Double big names, with an Asian twist. How New Age.

The biggest name of all.

And of course, our ultimate destination.

We’re in the Efforts Business, God is in the Results Business

My friend Judge Twyla Gray died a year ago last October after a twenty year battle with breast cancer.

A few months before she died, she gave this speech at TEDxOKC.

Twyla and I were first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives together in 1980. She and her husband, Charles, set up the blind date that kicked off the courtship between me and my husband. Twyla was a brilliant woman whose career ultimately led her to spend many years as a District Judge.

She was also a prayerful Christian and a devoted wife and mother.

I think her comments here say quite a lot about vocation in this life.
YouTube Preview Image

You have to wait a few seconds for the video to start.

Letter Supporting Marriage and Religious Freedom Signed by 1,000 British Priests

This letter was published in today’s Daily Telegraph in the UK. It was signed by just over a thousand priests. 

Maybe American priests need to do something similar.

Letter to The Daily Telegraph, published Saturday 12th January 2012

SIR – After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.

The natural complementarity between a man and a woman leads to marriage, seen as a lifelong partnership. This loving union – because of their physical complementarity – is open to bringing forth and nurturing children.

This is what marriage is. That is why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman. Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society.

We urge Members of Parliament not to be afraid to reject this legislation now that its consequences are more clear.

Rt Rev Peter Brignall

Bishop of Wrexham

Rt Rev Terence Drainey
Bishop of Middlesbrough

Rt Rev Philip Egan

Bishop of Portsmouth

Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon
Bishop of Nottingham

Rt Rev Mgr Keith Newton
Ordinary, Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Rt Rev Daniel Mullins
Bishop Emeritus of Menevia

Rt Rev Philip Pargeter Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Birmingham

Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue Bishop Emeritus of Lancaster

Rt Rev Francis Walmsley
Bishop Emeritus to HM Forces

Rt Rev Mgr Edwin Barnes
Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Rt Rev Francis Baird OSB
Abbot of Prinknash

Rt Rev Dom Aidan Bellenger OSB Abbot of Downside

Rt Rev Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB
Abbot of Farnborough

Rt Rev Dom Paul Stonham OSB Abbot of Belmont

Very Rev Hugh Allan O Praem

Very Rev Leo Chamberlain OSB MA

Very Rev Dom Michael Clothier OSB

Very Rev Michael Copps OFM

Very Rev Damian Humphries OSB

Rt Rev Anthony Maggs CRL

Very Rev Senan Mahoney OCSO

Rev Emmanuel Mansford CFR

Mitred Archpriest Alexander Nadson

Very Rev Daniel Seward Cong Orat

Very Rev Bernard Swinhoe OSB

Very Rev Henry Wansbrough OSB

Mgr John Allen Mgr Peter Anglim Mgr John Armitage

Mgr Keith Barltrop Mgr Anthony Barry

Mgr Provost David Bottrill

Mgr Anthony Boylan Mgr Vincent Brady

Mgr Christopher Brooks

Mgr John Conneely

Mgr Provost Peter Cookson

Mgr John Corcoran

Mgr Jim Curry

Mgr John Daly

Mgr Canon Gerard Dasey

Very Rev E Alan Denneny

Mgr Walter Drumm

Mgr Gerald Ewing

Mgr Jeremy Fairhead

Mgr Timothy Galligan

Rev Mgr Canon Jeremy Garratt

Mgr Vincent Harvey Mgr Martin Hayes

Mgr Provost Sean Healy

Rev Mgr Philip Holroyd

Rt Rev Mgr Brian Kinrade

Mgr David Kirkwood

Mgr Canon John Maguire

Rev Mgr Thomas McGrath

Canon Sean P McTernan

Mgr Canon John Moran

Mgr Provost Cyril Murtagh

Mgr John Nelson Mgr William Nix Mgr Patrick O’Dea Mgr Gordon Read Mgr Phelim Rowland Mgr John Ryan

Mgr Bill Saunders

Mgr Canon Francis Slattery

Mgr Richard Stork

Mgr Andrew Summergill

Mgr Adrian Toffolo

Mgr Canon Harry Turner

Mgr Canon Aidan J Turner

Canon Colm Acton

Canon Grzegorz Aleksandrowicz

Canon Michael Bell Canon Vincent Berry

Canon Joseph Boardman

Canon Michael Brockie

Canon Pat Browne

Rev Canon Patrick Chrystal

Canon John Clark

Rev Canon Joseph Collins

Canon Francis Cookson

Canon Dunstan Cooper

Canon Philip Cross

Canon Thomas Dakin Canon Colin Davies

Canon Michael Fitzpatrick

Canon Michael Flook

Canon Sean Gilligan

Canon John Gordon

Canon Sean Grady

Canon John Griffiths

Canon John Gunn

Canon Alfred T Hayes

Canon Michael Hazell

Canon Robert Horn

Canon Joseph Kelly

Rev Canon Bernard Lordan

Canon Michael Loughlin

Canon Brendan MacCarthy

Canon Bosco MacDonald

Canon John Madden

Canon Bernard Massey

Canon Anthony McBride

Canon Michael McCreadie

Canon Jonathan Mitchell

Canon Bernard Morgan

Canon Paul Moxon

Canon Bernard Needham

Canon Kenneth Noakes

Rev Canon John F Nunan

Canon Kevin O’Connor

Canon John O’Regan

Rev Canon Timothy O’Sullivan

Canon James Pannett

Canon Luiz Ruscillo

Canon Timothy Russ

Canon Colin Taylor

Rev Canon Paul Townsend

Canon Tom Treherne Canon Peter Turbitt

Canon Gerard Wharton

Rev Richard Aladics

Rev John Berry

Rev Raymond Blake

Rev Sir Charles Dilke Bt Cong Orat

Rev Peter G Edwards Rev Ian Farrell
Rev Timothy Finigan Rev Stewart Foster Rev Peter Geldard Rev Marcus Holden Rev Ian Ker

Rev Michael Marsden Rev Paul Mason

Rev Aidan Nichols OP

Rev Andrew Pinsent Rev John Saward

Rev Alexander Sherbrooke

Rev Paul Watson

Rev Benedict Bullen Abuo

Rev William Adams

Rev Dominic Adeiza

Rev Andreas Agreiter MHM

Rev John Ahern

Rev Andrew Alexander CJ

Rev Jim L Allen Rev Andrew Allman

Rev Michael Amalados

Rev Joseph Alex Angodage OMI

Rev David Annear Rev Stewart Ansbro

Rev Matthew Anscombe

Rev Oliver Antao

Rev Francis Antwi- Darkwah

Rev Ivan Aquilina

Rev Michael Archer

Rev George Areekhuzhy

Rev Vincent Gabriel Arnold OSB

Rev Kingsley Arulananthem

Rev John Ashton SDB

Rev Michael Ashworth SJ

Rev Anthony G H Attree

Rev Benedict Austen OSB

Rev James Austin Rev Francis Austin

Rev Cyril Axelrod CSsR

Rev Roman Badiak Rev John Baggley

Rev Christopher Baker

Rev David Baker Rev John Ball

Rev Graham Bamford

Rev John Bane

Rev David Barnes

Rev Nigel Barr

Rev Lee Barrett

Rev David Barrow

Rev T Bartnik SDB

Rev Michael Bateman

Rev John Batthula

Rev Michael Beattie SJ

Rev Gordon Beattie OSB

Rev John Beirne

Rev William Bellamy

Rev George Bennett

Rev Lee Bennett

Rev Bill Bergin

Rev Chris Bergin

Rev Jerome Bertram Cong Orat

Rev Kazimierz Bidzinski

Rev Jonathan Bielawski

Rev Robert Billings

Rev Denis Blackledge SJ

Rev John Bland IC

Rev James Blenkinsopp

Rev Peter Blundell

Rev Brendan Blundell OFM Com

Rev John Boland

Rev Andrea Bord

Rev Chad Boulton OSB

Rev Bill Boyd SDB

Rev Bernard Boylan

Rev Cornelius Boyle

Rev Terry Boyle

Rev John P Bradley

Rev Owen Brady

Rev Michael Branch

Rev Michael Brandon

Rev Laurence Brassill OSA

Rev Martin Breen

Rev Raymund Brennan

Rev Tom Breslin

Rev Malachy Brett

Rev Silvio Briffa

Rev Charles Briggs

Rev Marcus Brisley

Dom Nicholas Broadbridge OSB

Rev Paul Brophy

Rev S D Brown

Rev Michael Brown

Rev Alexander J B Brown

Rev Joseph Brown SDB

Rev Andrew Browne

Rev Antony Brunning

Rev Gary Buckby

Rev Martin Budge

Rev Sylvester Bukenya

Rev John Bosco Bukomba

Rev Paul Burch

Rev Timothy Burke

Rev Michael Burke

Rev David Burns

Rev James Burns

Rev Peter Burns

Rev Gerard Burns

Rev Andrew Burns CSsR

Rev Peter Burns OSB Rev Peter Burrows

Rev Francesco Buttazzo

Rev Keith Butterworth

Rev Alfred Buttigieg SJ

Rev Keith Byrne OSA Rev Gerard Byrne

Rev Denis Caddle OAR

Rev John Cadwallader CJ

Rev Malcolm Cairns

Rev John Cairns

Rev Xavier Calduch

Rev James Callaghan

Rev Kevin Callaghan CSsR

Rev Francis Calnan SCJ

Rev Raymond Camilleri OFM

Rev Charles Cammack MHM

Rev Duncan Campbell OP

Rev Gordon Campbell

Rev Michael Campion

Rev Francis Capener

Rev Darren Carden

Rev Brendan Carmody SJ

Rev Dom Matthew Carney OSB

Rev Patrick Carroll Rev Sean Carroll

Rev Louis Caruana SJ

Rev Louis Catterall SMM

Rev John Causey

Rev Pietro Celotto CS

Rev John Chandler

Rev Bernard Charnock

Rev Mongkhon Charoentham

Rev Neil Chatfield

Rev Paul Chavasse Cong Orat

Rev Eric Cheetham

Rev Gregory Chillman OSB

Rev Simon Chinery

Rev Anto Chittilappilly

Rev Anthony Cho OFM

Rev Jacob Choi OSA

Rev Dominic Chukka

Rev Aloysius Church SJ

Rev Krzysztof Ciebien

Rev Bogdan Cisek

Rev John Clancy CSsR

Rev Edward Clare Rev James Clark Rev Peter Clarke

Rev Roger Clarke

Rev James Clarke

Rev Martin Clayton

Rev Damien Clemas AA

Rev Anthony Cogliolo

Rev Michael Cole

Rev Ray Collier SSC

Rev Allan Collins CSSp

Rev John Collins

Rev Martin Collins

Rev Michael Collis

Rev Christopher Colven

Rev Augustin Conesa

Rev Mark Coningsby

Rev Philip Conner

Rev Mark Connolly CSSp

Rev Thomas Connolly

Rev Francis Conway OFM

Rev John Cooke

Rev Leo Cooper

Rev John Cooper

Rev Robert Copsey SOLT

Rev Edward Corbould OSB

Rev Eamon Corduff

Rev Charles Corrigan CSsR

Rev Anton Cowan

Rev Peter Coyle

Rev Ronald Crane

Rev Tom Creagh- Fuller

Rev Thomas Crean OP

Rev John Cribben

Rev Michael Crumpton

Rev Janos Csisco

Rev Bryan Cunningham

Rev Thomas Cunningham

Rev Christopher Cunningham

Rev Brendan Curley

Rev H A Curtis

Rev V J Curtis

Rev Anthony Cussen SMA

Rev Justin Daanaah Rev Victor Dakwen

Rev James Daley MHM

Rev John Danford

Rev Francis Daniel OMI

Rev Francis Davidson OSB

Rev Jeremy Davies

Rev Jeremy Davies

Rev Royston Davis

Rev Stephen Day

Rev Philip de Freitas

Rev Bernard de Smet OSB

Rev Anthony de Vere

Rev Tesfamichael Debesay Negusse

Rev Patrick Deegan

Rev Salvador Del Molino IMC

Rev John Delaney OFMCap

Rev Edward Delphine OSB

Rev Anthony Delsink

Rev Robert Devaney

Rev Martin Devenish MCCJ

Canon Robert Dewhurst

Rev Richard Diala CM

Rev Paul Diaper

Rev Gary Dickson

Rev Casmir Dike

Rev Stephen Dingley

Rev Michael Docherty

Rev John Docherty OAR

Rev Anthony Doe Rev James Doherty

Rev Francesco Donega

Rev Daniel Donohoe SDB

Rev Brian Doolan

Rev William Dowds MHM

Rev Francis Doyle

Rev Anthony Doyle

Rev Tom Dubois

Rev Richard Duffield Cong Orat

Rev Joseph Duggan SJ

Rev Michael Dunn OP

Rev Michael Dunne

Rev Roy Dunstan CRL

Rev Wieslaw Duracz Rev Sean Durcan

Rev Bruce Dutson Rev Paul Dynan
Rev Philip Dyson Rev James Eamer CP Rev Patrick Earley Rev James Early

Rev William East Rev Richard Ebo

Rev Andrew Ebrahim SDB

Rev Ignatius Edet Rev Tim Edgar

Rev Robert Ehileme SMM

Rev David Elder

Rev Anthony Elder

Rev John Elliot

Rev David Elliott

Rev Simon Ellis

Rev John Eze MSP

Rev Reuben Ezebuofor

Rev Josaphat Ezenwa

Rev John Fairhurst SJ

Rev Isidore Faloona OFM

Rev Marcel Fangoo CSSp

Rev Robert Farrell Rev Joseph Farrell

Rev David Featherstone

Rev John Feeley Rev Joseph Feeley

Rev Anthony Fernandes SDB

Rev Malcolm Ferrier Rev Michael Fewell

Rev Kevin Firth Rev Simon Firth

Rev Kieran Fitzharris SVD

Rev Sean Flannery OAR

Rev Martin Flatman

Rev John Fleming

Rev Gerald Flood

Rev Francis Flynn

Rev Kieran Flynn SMM

Rev Frank Flynn

Rev Maurice Flynn OCD

Rev John Fordham Cong Orat

Rev Bernard Forshaw

Rev Thomas Forster Rev Andrew J Foster Rev David Foster Rev Peter Foulkes Rev Kevin Foulkes Rev Peter Fox

Rev Bernard Fox MHM

Rev Anthony Frain SDB

Rev Jesus Frances OAR

Rev Anthony Franey

Rev Gerald Freely

Rev Russell Frost

Rev Tony Furlong IC

Rev Joseph Gabiola

Rev Andrew Gallagher

Rev Michael Gallagher

Rev Michal Garbecki MIC

Rev John Garry SPS Rev Austin Garvey Rev C S Geddes
Rev Daryl George Rev Matthew George Rev Paul J Gibbons Rev John Gildea

Rev Brian Gilmore SVD

Rev Peter Glas

Rev Malcolm Glaze

Rev David Glover

Rev Dominic Golding

Rev Thomas Goonan SM

Rev Krzysztof Goralski

Rev Piotr Gordon Rev Maurice Gordon

Rev Timothy Gorham OSB

Rev Brendan Gorman

Rev David Gornall SJ

Rev Martin Gowman OSB

Rev Paul Graham OSA

Rev Donald Graham Rev David Grant Rev Reg Gray OFM Rev Brian Gray

Rev Andy Graydon

Rev Patrick Greasley

Rev Charles Michael Grech OFM

Rev Julian Green

Rev Martin Griffin MSFS

Rev Austin Griffin

Canon Michael Griffiths

Rev Gregory Griffiths

Rev Damien Grimes MHM

Rev Bernard Guest CMF

Rev Roger Guiver

Rev David Gummett

Rev Mark Hackeson

Rev Peter Hackett SJ

Rev Kentigern Hagan OSB

Rev Bernard Hahesy

Rev Kevin Hale

Rev Denis Hall

Rev Henryk Halman FDP

Rev John Hancock

Rev Stephen Hardaker

Rev Richard Hardstaff

Rev Paul Hardy

Rev John Harris

Rev Philip Harris

Rev Jonathan Redvers Harris

Rev Michael Harrison

Rev Peter G Hart Rev Austin Hart
Rev John Hartley Rev Edmund Hartley Rev David Hartley Rev Richard Harvey

Rev Gerard Hatton

Rev Gerard Haugh

Rev James Hawes

Rev Padraig Hawkins

Rev Simon Hawksworth

Rev Raglan Hay-Will Rev Colm Hayden Rev Andrew Headon Rev Simon Heans Rev Ian Hellyer

Rev John Heneghan

Rev Kevin Hennessey

Rev Simon Henry

Rev Patrick Hibbert

Rev Jonathan Hill

Rev John Hindley

Rev John Hitchen

Rev Dom Xavier Dinh Ho OSB

Rt Rev Dom Jerome Hodkinson OSB

Rev Thomas Hoole Rev Kevin J Hooper Rev Tim Hopkins Rev Michael Hore Rev John Horn

Rev Ian Hoskins

Rev Peter Houghton

Rev Angelus Houle

Rev Austin Hughes SCJ

Rev Paul Hughes
Rev John Humphreys Rev Andrew Hurley Rev Peter Hurley Rev David Hutton Rev Patrick Hutton

Rev Edward Huwanga

Rev Cosmas Ikirodah Rev John Inglis

Rev Dominic Innamorati, SCJ

Rev David Irwin

Rev Christopher Jackson

Rev Ian Jackson

Rev Frederick Jackson

Rev Matthew Jakes

Rev Bengt-Ove Jakobson CHS

Rev Howard James

Rev John James

Rev Dylan James

Rev Habib J Jaujou

Rev Slawomir Jedrych MS

Rev Leonard Jioke

Rev John Johnson

Rev Paul Johnson

Rev Norman Johnston

Rev Paul Johnstone

Rev Michael Johnstone

Rev Michael Johonnett

Rev Peter Jones

Rev Michael Jones

Rev Kevin Jones

Rev Michael Jones

Rev Lawrence Jones

Rev Bryan Jones

Rev Darline Joseph MSFS

Rev Martin Joyce

Rev Cornelius Joyce

Rev Sebastian Mari Kajko CFR

Rev Auson Kamugisha SDS

Rev Jason Karippai

Rev Dominic Kavanagh

Rev Nicholas Kavanagh

Rev Christopher Keen

Rev Seamus Keenan

Rev Peter Kelly MAfr

Rev Gerard Kelly

Rev Chris Kelly CP

Rev Fergus Kelly CM

Rev Daniel M Kelly

Rev Michael Kelly

Rev Tom Kelly SCJ

Rev Joseph Kendall

Rev Jim Kennedy CMF

Rev Thomas Kennedy Rev Joseph Keogh Rev William Keogh Rev Brendan Killeen Rev Malcolm King Rev David King IC Rev Paul King

Rev Kieran Kirby

Rev Michael Kirkham

Rev Peter Kirkham

Rev Michael Kirkpatrick

Rev K Kita
Rev Leslie Knight Rev Peter Knott SJ

Rev Leonard Kofler MHM

Rev Thomas Kolangaden OSB

Rev Vitalis Kondo

Rev Jaroslaw Konopko OFMCap

Rev Marcin Kordel CRL

Rev Tadeusz Kordys

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Hundreds of Thousands Expected at Paris Rally for Marriage

Paris, France, Jan 9, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Supporters of traditional marriage expect hundreds of thousands of marchers to turn out for an upcoming national rally in opposition to President Francois Hollande’s “marriage for all” proposal.

Set to go before France’s parliament Jan. 29, the draft law proposes to redefine marriage as a union “contracted between two persons of different sex or of the same sex.”

The law would also allow “married” same-sex couples to adopt children while also replacing gender definitive titles such as “Mother” or “Father” with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

Some opponents of the proposal say doing so would strip society of sexual differences and would create framework for a “new anthropological order” based on sexual preference rather than unique “sexual otherness.” Opponents also say the move would deny children the biological right of having a mother and father, and that the proposal should have been presented as a referendum to the people.

“La Manif Pour Tous” or “March For All,” a demonstration organized by French satirist Frigide Barjot – whose real name is Virginie Télenne – drew tens of thousands of supporters in the regional demonstrations held throughout France in November and December.

A modest estimate for the first national rally to be held Jan. 13 is projected to draw some 350,000 supporters, one of the organizers, Lionel Lumbroso, told CNA Jan. 4.

“The bigger we are, the more difficult it will be for the government to ignore us,” he said.

Although the “vast majority of the base is Catholic” and founder Frigide Barjot is a Catholic re-convert, Lumbroso said that the movement represents a much greater diversity of the French people because people of different faiths and political beliefs are coming together for a common goal. (Read more here.)

Thousands Support Hobby Lobby!

Thousands of Christians turned out to support Hobby Lobby Saturday!

I have one thing I want to say about this: KEEP IT UP !!!

We must not stop in our support for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being attacked by our government. I plan to buy from Hobby Lobby on a regular basis. I will be there every time I need any thing that they sell. And I'll also be there when I get my paycheck each month, whether I need anything or not.

Remember: They'll know we are Christians by our love ... and by our support for our brothers and sisters who are being attacked for their faith.

Tens of Thousands Pledge Support for Hobby

Lobby

Americans who back the Christian-owned company’s refusal

to comply with the HHS mandate are urged to support the

company by shopping there online or at local Hobby Lobby

stores.

BY MICHELLE BAUMAN/CNA

Hobby Lobby, courtesy of the Becket Fund– Hobby Lobby, courtesy of the Becket Fund

WASHINGTON — More than 64,000 people throughout the U.S. signed up to support Hobby Lobby on Jan. 5 for risking millions of dollars in profit to follow its Christian principles.

Facebook page dedicated to supporting the arts-and-crafts retailer called on “all Americans who value freedom of religion and oppose the HHS mandate’s unfair impositions” to support the company on Jan. 5 by shopping at either their local Hobby Lobby store or online.

The national retailer could face fines of $1.3 million per day for following its owners’ religious beliefs, which conflict with a federal mandate requiring employers to offer health-insurance plans covering contraception — including some drugs that can cause early abortions — and sterilization.

The Christian family that owns Hobby Lobby holds moral objections to facilitating any type of abortion, including those caused by “morning after” and “week after” pills.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/tens-of-thousands-pledge-support-for-hobby-lobby?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-01-7%2010:32:01#ixzz2HKig6Sex

Archbishop Coakley: Pray for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty

This letter from Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City was read in the churches in the archdiocese this weekend.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The year 2013 promises to be one of great consequence on many fronts for our Church and our Nation. With the looming threat to our religious liberty posed by the HHS mandate, the rapid erosion of respect for human life and the unprecedented assault on the institution of marriage taking hold in our nation we bishops of the United States are issuing a Call to Prayer.

St. Thomas Becket, whom the Church honors as I write this letter, was a martyr for the sake of justice. As Archbishop of Canterbury he steadfastly defended the rights of the Church against the unjust interference of his king. He wrote, “If we who are called bishops desire to understand the meaning of our calling and to be worthy of it, we must strive to keep our eyes on him whom God appointed high priest forever, and to follow in his footsteps.” In a similar spirit during our November Plenary Assembly we bishops of the United States determined that it is our duty as shepherds to mobilize the entire Church against the threats against people of faith in our day.

Consequently, we have issued a Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. I want to join my voice to that of my fellow bishops in summoning the faithful, clergy and religious of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to embrace this coordinated spiritual effort to combat these looming challenges to the free and public exercise of our faith. We ought to understand this spiritual effort in conjunction with the Year of Faith, inasmuch as we are defending concerns that are integral to our faith as its public consequences. These threats call for a public witness and a concerted spiritual effort.

There are many ways to participate as individuals, families, parishes and schools. Here are five key components to this Call to Prayer.

Beginning now and continuing through Christ the King Sunday on November 24, 2013, cathedrals and parishes are urged to have a monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty.
Families and individuals are encouraged to pray the daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty in our nation.
At Sunday and daily Masses, we encourage that the Prayers of the Faithful include special intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life and the preservation of religious liberty both in our nation and abroad.
Recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church, we encourage abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays for the intention of the protection of life, marriage and religious liberty.
There will be another national Fortnight of Freedom at the end of June and beginning of July 2013. This Fortnight effort will emphasize marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings expected during this time. It will also emphasize the need for conscience protection in view of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate. It will emphasize religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption and humanitarian services as well. The focus will be on the God-given nature of religious freedom and the right to publicly witness to our faith in the public square as well as the rights of individuals and institutions to conduct their professional lives in accord with their religious convictions.
A website with the plan for the Call to Prayer and many additional resources is available at www.usccb.org/life-marriage-liberty. I urge you to participate in this important Call to Prayer for our Nation and our Church. With prayerful best wishes for you and yours during this New Year, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City

Is Christ Real to You?

Today is Epiphany. 

This feast celebrates the time when the wise men found the Christ child and offered him gifts in homage to his divinity. That is why we call it The Epiphany. Epiphany means the revelation of a divine being. In this case, it is the revelation of the divine being: God made human in the form of a baby.

The wise men, with their gifts and their homage, acknowledged this. Their action has become a symbol for more than just their own acknowledgment of Him. It also indicates what was to follow when all people, from all places, in all times, would do the same. In this sense, the wise men are you and me, the gentiles who no longer must stand outside the circle of the chosen people in their communion with God, but who, through the life and death of this baby, may enter in.

We also are chosen, along with the whole human race.

The Epiphany is the feast that memorializes the first understanding and acknowledgement of the divine being by people who were not Jews. It may also be the first time anyone besides probably Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, looked at Him and knew Who He was.

The question for us in this fracturing world of ours is do we know Who He is? Do we acknowledge Him? Are we aware that He is the divine being Who is our salvation and our only hope?

Homage for us is not gifts of precious items. Our gift is, as the Psalmist says, “a broken and contrite heart.” Our homage is fidelity and devotion to Him in the face of a world that is increasingly hostile to those who refuse to deny him by the things they do and say.

Is Christ real to you on this Epiphany Sunday? Will you stand for Him in the months ahead?

It is The Epiphany, the twelfth and last day of Christmas in this liturgical year. Will you live for Him the rest of this Year of Faith?

Join the Discussions of the Year of Faith

Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.

Why I Support Hobby Lobby

A Hobby Lobby store. Photo courtesy of the Becket Fund.

“Our goal is to be a light to the world. Not to just talk the talk, but to walk the walk.”

How do you live a balanced life, honor God and keep your family while running a successful business? This inspiring discussion by the family that founded and owns Hobby Lobby answers that question. Their business practices and their courage in the face of the HHS Mandate are inspiring.

Watch it and then go buy something at Hobby Lobby. We can’t allow the government to destroy this fine business because of the Christian convictions of its owners.

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