Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - October 31, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 31

4:00 – Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue
Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue teaches you how to promote and defend traditional marriage in non-religious terms. It’s a great how-to guide to answer those tough questions you've struggled with. Author William May shows you how to navigate the pitfalls and avoid making this a gay vs. Christian issue. May brings into the legal definition of marriage the rights of children, and provides sensible guidelines on how to avoid common traps that hinder communications for advocating public policy about marriage. Marriage is the only institution that unites kids with their moms and dads, and that has been recognized by every culture, society, and religion, each according to their own competencies. Bill joins us to look at how to get that interest recognized in laws, societal institutions, and individuals, and begin to rebuild a marriage culture.

5:00 – Angels All Around Us: A Sightseeing Guide to the Invisible World
In Angels All Around Us Anthony DeStefano explains the awesome and mysterious reality of the spiritual dimension that surrounds and permeates our very existence. All aspects of the spiritual realm are discussed, including the existence of angels and demons, the whereabouts of loved ones who have passed, the gift of grace, heaven, hell, and even the presence and activity of God in our lives. Anthony is here to help readers embrace a certitude that makes it easier to act according to their moral beliefs, give them a greater sense of the richness of life, and show them that no amount of suffering-physical, mental, or emotional-will ever be able to destroy the profound sense of inner peace that they can experience on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oklahoma bishop switches to ad orientem celebration of Mass in cathedral

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma
CWN - October 29, 2012

The National Catholic Reporter calls attention to the decision of Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to celebrate Mass ad orientem in the city's cathedral. This summer Bishop Slattery announced that he would celebrate Mass in the traditional manner, facing with the members of the congregation toward the altar. The bishop said that he was not requiring other priests in the diocese to adopt the same practice, but explained that he had chosen the ad orientem posture as a means of combating some of the "unforeseen and largely negative effects" of the liturgical changes since Vatican II. Bishop Slattery observed that "people who exercise authority are expected to face directly the people they serve, like a teacher sitting behind her desk." The priest who offers the sacrifice of the Mass is not in a position of such authority, he said, and should be seen, with the people, addressing God.

A little glimpse into why so many Catholics see abortion as THE biggest threat to human life

Photo: Wow.

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

By GREG SMITHPublished: March 14, 2012, NYTimes

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.
When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.
Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - October 29, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 29

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Catholics Called to Witness: Inspiring Catholic Voters to Live Their Faith
Catholics Called to Witness is a faith-based organization dedicated to upholding and promoting religious liberty, “our first, most cherished liberty” and the following three non-negotiable principles as stressed by Pope Benedict XVI, while encouraging the Catholic community to participate in the public arena. The ministry is best known for their YouTube video on Catholic voter responsibility entitled “Test of Fire” which has received millions of views. We talk to one of the members of the CC2W team, Adrianna Gonzales.

4:40 – Entering the Year of Faith With a Purpose: Catholic Renewal and Evangelization
Alpha for Catholics is a practical tool that parishes use to inspire Catholic renewal, answer the call to the New Evangelization and the call of Christ and His Church to "go and make disciples of all nations". The Alpha course is an effective tool for awakening faith in people who are on the fringe of the parish life, faithful Catholics and those outside the faith and a perfect tool to use during this Year of Faith. National Director Deacon Steve Mitchell joins us.

5:00 – Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion
Why do the media so often miss or misunderstand major news stories? One reason is that, in today's complex and pervasively religious world, understanding religion is vital in accurately reporting and interpreting current events. Paul Marshall is here to discuss how, all too frequently, journalists and commentators do not take religion seriously and therefore fail to grasp the religious context of the news. These examples range from the 2004 U.S. presidential elections, to Iran, Iraq, the papal succession and most notably the nature of Islam.

5:30 – Does the Recent Nobel Prize in Medicine Indicate an End to Embryonic Stem Cell Research? / Why Old Faithful Should Not Have Personhood Rights
Moral theologian Father Thomas Berg and other bioethicists are praising the work of Shinya Yamanaka, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in medicine, for helping to “put human embryonic stem cell research largely out of business.” But now some are questioning the ethics involved. We talk to bioethicist Wesley Smith about this as well as whether Old Faithful should have personhood rights – Yes, you read that correctly. Wesley will explain.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Green Bay bishop urges parishioners to vote against candidates who support abortion, gay marriage

11:09 AM, Oct 26, 2012
GPG n Feast Day - Shrine 0816
Green Bay Bishop David Ricken is shown here at the outdoor mass for the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary in August. In a letter to parishoners this week, Ricken addressed the issues Catholics should consider when voting Nov. 6.
Written by Press-Gazette
Bishop David Ricken, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, noted in a recent letter to parishioners that voting for candidates who support what he calls “intrinsically evil” positions, such as abortion and gay marriage, could “put your own soul in jeopardy.”
Ricken’s letter, dated Oct. 24, notes that the church has a responsibility to “speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the ‘common good.’” It goes on to note principles to keep in mind in the voting booth on Nov. 6, including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage.

Read Bishop David Ricken's letter.

“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken said in the letter. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”
While Ricken’s letter does not specify who should get parishioners’ votes, Republican candidates typically oppose abortion rights while Democrats, to a large degree, support them.
On the abortion issue, for example, President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have different views. The Democratic incumbent supports access to abortion without restriction, mandating free contraception for women and changing his mind this year to endorse gay marriage. Romney is socially conservative, opposing gay marriage and abortion rights and saying the government should not mandate free contraception.
Ricken’s guidance on these issues carry a lot of weight in this region — the diocese has 304,614 members in 16 counties. Across the state, Catholics make up more than 25 percent of the population, or 1.5 million people, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies’ 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catholic Chapel To Open Near Okla. Abortion Clinic

Father M. Price Oswalt, one of the leaders behind the perpetual
 adoration chapel in Warr Acres, Okla.
WARR ACRES, OKLA., October 26 (CNA, EWTN News) Catholic pro-life advocates in Oklahoma plan to open a perpetual adoration chapel and counseling offices next to an abortion clinic in hopes of serving women in need and ending abortion through prayer.
"We are 20 feet from the abortionist," Father M. Price Oswalt, a leader of the project, told CNA Oct. 25. "We're going to have some signs in our windows that say 'Pregnant? Need help? Come here.' That will draw people in."
Fr. Price hopes the adoration chapel will "end abortion through prayerful reflection and prayerful means."
"It's the ultimate good right next to the ultimate evil," he said. "Good will triumph."
The priest, who is rector of the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague in Prague, Okla., helped plan the chapel and an attached counseling office with the support of the Holy Innocents Foundation. The chapel's building is next door to the Warr Acres, Okla. abortion clinic Outpatient Services for Women.
The clinic is one of the three main abortion providers in the state.
Fr. Price emphasized that women considering abortion need help.
"Most of the time those women are in crisis mode," he said. "They don't really know what they want. They've been talked into an abortion most of the time.
"If they come to us, we can say, 'we can help you , we can help you find options, we can talk to you, we can be your friend.'"

He said the chapel and the foundation's counseling staff aim to be "compassionate and loving" and not "in their face." The center will refer women to the pregnancy center network Birth Choice, which has an office with an ultrasound machine a mile away from the clinic.
The chapel will seat about 50 people. It will have statues of the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of pregnancy St. Gerard and St. Gianna Molla, whom Fr. Price called "the martyr of modern-day motherhood."
The back of the chapel will have a memorial to the unborn where people can write their name and the name of their children into a book.

Fr. Price rejected one critic's claim that the chapel will make women feel guilty.
"A chapel can only help the subconscious, and the conscience, come to life," he said. "When you're in the presence of God, then the Holy Spirit works on you. He helps convict you of whatever you need to be convicted of.
"Going in front of a building that has a chapel in it may call you in and then God can work as God works," he said. "But the guilt is from the act that's been performed. That's the reality."
Anyone feeling guilty, he said, should remember "that there's hope, and that there's reconciliation with God."
Confession and Mass will be available at the chapel when a priest is available. Organizers hope to have a continuous prayer presence at the chapel, whose tabernacle is a gift from the Sisters of St. Joseph in LaGrange, Ill.
"Many will be reconciled to the Lord, especially if they've already committed abortion, they have one in their past or are contemplating it," Fr. Price said.
The priest found inspiration in a similar project by Fr. Stephen Imbarrato in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. In North Dakota, the Diocese of Fargo approved a Catholic chapel across the street from an abortion clinic.
The chapel in Warr Acres is not funded by the archdiocese, but it operates with the permission of Archbishop Paul Coakley. He will celebrate a Mass dedicating the chapel.
Fr. Price appealed for prayer partners and financial partners to help meet the chapel's monthly operating expenses and its $365,000 mortgage.
The Holy Innocents Foundation website is

Spending on White House dinners soars under Obama

October 25, 2012 | 6:27 pm
by Richard Pollack, Washington Examiner

President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives, including nearly $1 million on a 2010 dinner for Mexico's president, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
Pop superstar Beyonce performs during the state dinner reception for President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. The tent constructed on the White House's South Lawn was built to include a stage for the performance. Beyonce and her husband, hip-hop star Jay-Z, have raised millions of dollars for President Obama's campaign. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.
Presidents have long used formal dinners to court foreign heads of state and to dish out fine food and wine to reward political, financial and show business celebrities and supporters.
But current and former government officials said the documents obtained by The Examiner point to an unprecedented upsurge in White House spending on such events.
The Obama extravaganza two years ago for Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which included a performance by pop star Beyonce, cost $969,793, or more than $4,700 per attendee, the documents show.
The Calderon dinner was held on the South Lawn in a massive tent adorned with decorated walls, hanging chandeliers, carpeting and a stage for Beyonce's performance.
Guests rode private trolley cars from the White House to the tent. Celebrity guest chef Rick Bayless from Chicago’s Topolobampo restaurant was imported to prepare Oaxacan black mole, black bean tamalon and grilled green beans.
The dinner for the prime minister of India -- which was famously crashed by Virginia couple Michaele and Tareq Salahi -- cost nearly half a million dollars. Dinners for Chinese President Hu Jintao and British Prime Minister David Cameron were of the same level of extravagance.
A knowledgeable government official who made the documents available to The Examiner said the extravagant spending seemed unfair with so many Americans out of work.
"It just kind of takes your breath away to see the expenditure of money that has occurred since 2009," the official said.
Gary Walters, who ran presidential household operations for 21 years during Democratic and Republican administrations, before retiring in 2007, told The Examiner the costs reflected in the documents were "excessive. They are high."
The chief usher of the White House from the Reagan to George W. Bush presidencies, Walters consulted a former White House colleague and said neither of them could recall entertainment costs anywhere near those revealed in the documents provided to The Examiner.
"The highest [cost] event we could remember was $190,000 to $200,000 range, and that was for a very large dinner outside that was probably somewhere in the vicinity of 500 people with two different tents," Walters said, noting that the event was held under President Clinton.
Data for state dinner costs under Bush were unavailable because he signed an executive order in 2001 that put all presidential documents under seal for five years after a chief executive leaves office.
Spokesmen for the presidential libraries of Clinton and President George H.W. Bush were unable to locate data for dinners held in those years.
State dinner costs are a closely guarded secret, the officials said, because of concern about offending governments whose dignitaries receive less opulent bashes than others.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
The documents also reveal that the Obama White House retained an outside planner for the dinners. Bryan Rafanelli, a Boston-based celebrity event planner who was retained last year, managed former first daughter Chelsea Clinton's 2010 nupitals. His firm's website boasts that he produced "State Dinners hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama."
Rafanelli's business partner, Mark Walsh, is deputy chief of the State Department's Office of Protocol, which reimburses the White House executive residence for the events.
An attorney, Walsh worked on the 2008 presidential campaigns of both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to his official online biography.
Under a long-standing agreement, state dinner expenses are sent by the White House to Walsh's office for processing. His name does not appear in any of the documents obtained by the newspaper.
Asked about the propriety of a White House contractor having a business relationship with a federal official in a position such as Walsh, Walters said, "I don't think it looks very good. Does it smell right? No."
Walters said he never used outside event planners because "I believed the White House residence staff could do the job."
A spokesman for Rafanelli declined to make him available for comment.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - October 26. 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 26

4:00 – Kresta Comments: Obama campaign compares first time voting to losing your virginity / Analyzing the terrorist group Ansar Al-Sharia / Answering questions from our listener feedback line

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:20 – Lance Armstrong, Doping, the Effect on Clean Athletes and Christian Witness in the Sport
Cyclist Lance Armstrong been stripped of his seven Tour de France crowns after overwhelming evidence and testimony of his use of performance enhancing drugs has come to light. We talk to Olympic cyclist Erin Mirabella who has pointed out that Armstrong and other cyclists were able to fool the testing agencies. She is with us to discuss Lance Armstrong, doping, its effect on clean athletes and Christian witness in the sport.

The Myth and the Reality of 'I'll Die in My Bed'

What Cardinal Francis George Really Said

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 3:30 PM, National Catholic Register
Darren Leow
– Darren Leow
At long last, the Archdiocese of Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has definitively affirmed what exactly he said in relation to the much-quoted statement about him dying in his bed, and his successors dying imprisoned and martyred.
I first heard the quote used by a Catholic speaker sometime in 2010. If you're a Catholic reader or conference attendee, you've no doubt heard it as well. It's taken on rather mythic proportions... so much so, that I suspected that it might not be factual. The quote has even made its way into the Cardinal's Wikipedia entry.
Over the years I've heard numerous commentators and speakers and writers refer to this quote. Many have described it as "prophetic." Others have incorrectly stated that it was made in response to the current Health and Human Service contraception mandate. Some have attributed it to Archbishop Charles Chaput; others attributed it to Cardinal George. Some thought it was in a column by the Cardinal, others thought it was said in a speech.
The earliest online usage I could find of the quote itself dates to May, 2010.
Call it the journalist in me, but I was never comfortable passing on the alleged quote or using it until I had confirmation about it. In fact, the last few times I've heard the quote used, I've suggested that those using it might want to track down the source. In May of this year, I reached out to the Archdiocese of Chicago to find out if the Cardinal had indeed said it, when it was said, and the context in which it was said.
Susan Burritt, media relations director, said that the quote could not be found in any letter or speech. It was, therefore, not something they could verify or confirm. Burritt noted that it was most likely said by the Cardinal in response to a question, and that it was said sometime in 2010.
"It was a hypothetical statement made in a different context, and intended to dramatize the danger of our living in an increasingly secularized culture," Burritt told me at the time.
With the publication of Cardinal George's most recent Catholic New World column, the source has not only been found, but confirmed by the man who originally uttered the statement.
Cardinal George confirm that he said it, and also adds that the quote has most frequently been used without his important follow-up sentence.
Here's the salient section from the Cardinal's column.
"Speaking a few years ago to a group of priests, entirely outside of the current political debate, I was trying to express in overly dramatic fashion what the complete secularization of our society could bring," writes the Cardinal. "I was responding to a question and I never wrote down what I said, but the words were captured on somebody’s smart phone and have now gone viral on Wikipedia and elsewhere in the electronic communications world. I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: 'His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.' What I said is not 'prophetic' but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse."
So, as a corrective, for all those writers and speakers out there desirous of using the quote, when used it should be used in its entirety.
"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."
The Cardinal's entire column is well worth reading. The end, in particular is quite poignant.
Analogies can easily be multiplied, if one wants to push a thesis; but the point is that the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence. Few there are, however, who would venture to ask if there might be a better way for humanity to organize itself for the sake of the common good. Few, that is, beyond a prophetic voice like that of Dorothy Day, speaking acerbically about “Holy Mother the State,” or the ecclesiastical voice that calls the world, from generation to generation, to live at peace in the kingdom of God.
God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”
The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history.

Denmark shocked by story of brain-dead donor’s recovery

Carina Melchior did not die after her respirator was removed. She is now undergoing
 rehabilitation and may make a full recovery. About 500 people immediately
removed their names from Denmark’s organ donor register.
The world of organ donation in Denmark is in turmoil. A documentary was aired earlier this month which showed family members reacting in anguish to the news that their 19-year-old daughter was brain dead after a car accident, agreeing to donate her organs and allowing doctors to turn off her respirator. About 1.7 million viewers tuned in to the heart-rending drama.
But Carina Melchior did not die after her respirator was removed. She is now undergoing rehabilitation and may make a full recovery. About 500 people immediately removed their names from Denmark’s organ donor register.
Doctors at Aarhus University Hospital were embarrassed by the incident. “We are overjoyed that the young woman survived and that she is moving on after the accident,” Claus Thomsen, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said. "But we made a mistake underway and made the family believe that their daughter and sister would die.”
The hospital acknowledged that the question of organ donation should not have been raised as there were no unambiguous signs that brain death would occur. New guidelines have been introduced to ensure that relatives will only be approached about organ donation if no more treatment options are available. There was no risk of a false diagnosis of brain death, the hospital insisted.
But in more bad publicity for the hospital, a Danish tabloid profiled a man who had been falsely diagnosed as brain dead in 2002. He recovered quickly.
Aarhus University Hospital is investigating both cases, although it insists that the correct procedures were followed in the earlier case.
Carina’s family is now suing the hospital for damages. Her family’s lawyer claims that she keeps asking whether her doctors were trying to kill her. "Those bandits in white coats gave up too quickly because they wanted an organ donor," Carina's father told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. ~ Copenhagen Post, Oct 18; Medical Daily, Oct 18

War on Women Fails: Romney Catches Obama With Women Voters


by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 10/25/12 10:57 AM

The War on Women meme has failed, as Mitt Romney has caught up with women voters, according to a new AP poll released today.
Romney holds 47 percent support from likely voters to Obama at 45 in the new survey, which is a better standing for the former governor than the previous AP poll last month, which had Obama leading 47-46 percent.
However, the big news is that, among women, the gender gap is closing. Romney is now even with women when pitted against Obama, with both candidates getting the support of 47 percent of women voters. That is a drastic turnabout from the last poll, which had Obama ahead with women 16 percent.
This is despite millions in advertising from the Obama campaign and pro-abortion groups attempting to paint Romney as anti-woman.
On the economy, Romney has gained as well. Women favor Romney over Obama on the economy by 49 to 45 percent. Last month, Obama had the edge, 56-40. Women say Obama understands their problems over Romney 50-43, but that is down from an Obama 58-36 edge last month.
AP released more information about the results of the poll:
After a commanding first debate performance and a generally good month, Romney has gained ground with Americans on a number of important fronts, including their confidence in how he would handle the economy and their impressions of his ability to understand their problems.
At the same time, expectations that Obama will be re-elected have slipped: Half of voters now expect the president to win a second term, down from 55 percent a month earlier.
Monica Jensen, a 55-year-old independent from Mobile, Ala., says she voted for Obama in 2008 but will shift her vote to Romney this time, largely because of the economy.
“I’m ready for a change,” she said. “I want to see the economy go in a different direction.”
Ginny Lewis, a Democrat and 72-year-old retired district attorney from Princeton, Ky., says she’ll vote for Romney because “I’m tired of the Republicans blaming all the debt on Democrats, so let them take over and see what they do.”
The AP-GfK poll was taken before a remark by Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock about abortion and rape that has drawn national attention. Democrats quickly seized on the comment, looking to link Romney with the pro-life candidate and attempting to paint him as anti-woman. Romney disagrees with the comments but he has endorsed Mourdock.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the incident was “a reminder that a Republican Congress working with a Republican President Mitt Romney would feel that women should not be able to make choices about their own health care.”
The Associated Press-GfK poll was conducted Oct. 19-23 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,186 adults nationwide, including 839 likely voters. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; for likely voters it is 4.2 points.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Father of Slain SEAL: Who Made the Decision Not to Save My Son?

On meeting Obama: “Could not look me in the eye … like shaking hands with a dead fish.”

6:18 PM, Oct 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER, Weekly Standard

Middle east in flamesCharles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reveals details of meeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the publically broadcast memorial service for the slain Americans at Andrews Air Force Base only days after the attack. And, in a recent radio appearance, Woods publicly questions who made the call not to send in back-up forces to possibly save his son’s life, as well as the three other Americans killed in Benghazi (which includes the American ambassador to Libya).

“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that your son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
“It just didn’t feel right,” he says of his encounter with the commander in chief. “And now that it’s coming out that apparently the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” Woods says, he wants answers on what happened—and why there was no apparent effort to save his son’s life.
“Well, this is what Hillary did,” Woods continues. “She came over and, you know, did the same thing—separately came over and talked with me. I gave her a hug, shook her hand. And she did not appear to be one bit sincere—at all. And you know, she mentioned that the thing about, we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video. That was the first time I had even heard about anything like that.”

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - October 25, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 25

4:00 – Kresta Comments: Richard Mourdock vs. Benghazzi, Israel vs. Palestine and Romney vs. Obama on the Auto Industry

4:20 – Firmly on the Rock: 120 Reflections on Faith in this “Year of Faith”
In this year of faith, Debra Herbeck joins us to discuss quotes and short reflections on the subject of faith. Especially today, many struggle with doubt and discouragement, wondering if their faith is well-founded. She looks at saints, popes, authors, and well-known current Catholics, all who offer inspiring words about what faith is and how to cultivate it.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: Richard Mourdock vs. Benghazzi, Israel vs. Palestine and Romney vs. Obama on the Auto Industry

5:20 – Canon 915, the Church in Russia, Catholics at the polls, and the foundations of democracy
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo is a Diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, Russia who was one of the first priests ordained in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1998. Born in the US, he is possibly best known here for a media firestorm stemming from his denial of Holy Communion to a professed lesbian. We talk about that incident, his work for the Church in Russia and Eastern Europe, Catholic responsibility in elections, and his recent publication on Economics, Philosophy and the Foundations of Democracy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Geneticists Breach Ethical Taboo By Changing Genes Across Generations

An image of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University removing the nucleus from the mother's cell before it's inserted into the donor's egg cell.
An image of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University removing the nucleus from the mother's cell before it's inserted into the donor's egg cell.
Courtesty of Oregon Health & Science University


Geneticist reported Wednesday that they had crossed a threshold long considered off-limits: They have made changes in human DNA that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
The researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland say they took the step to try to prevent women from giving birth to babies with genetic diseases. But the research is raising a host of ethical, social and moral questions.
"That kind of genetic engineering has been ruled off-limits," says Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society. "And it's a very bright line that has been observed by scientists around the world."
There have been lots of reasons for that line. One big one is purely practical, says Dartmouth bioethicist Ronald Green.
"If we make mistakes, we'll effectively be introducing a new genetic disease into the human population — for generation after generation," Green says.
But beyond the risks, Green says taking that step has long raised more far-reaching fears. It's the kind of technology that could be used to try to create genetically superior humans.
"It could easily move into the realm of gene enhancement," Green says. "Higher IQ. Improved physical appearance. Athletic ability. That's a worry to some people — to many people."
But in this week's issue of the scientific journal Nature, Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University and colleagues report that they have crossed that line. They have figured out a way to change the DNA in a human egg.
Mitalipov says his team is trying to prevent some rare but horrible disorders: genetic conditions caused by defects in a certain kind of DNA known as mitochondrial DNA, which only mothers pass down to their kids.
"They are caused by mutations in this mitochondrial DNA, which is pretty small — only encodes 37 genes," Mitalipov says.
So Mitalipov's team figured out a way to pluck these little packets of defective mitochondrial DNA out of eggs and replace them with healthy genes from eggs donated by other women. They fertilized the transplanted eggs in the laboratory and showed they could create healthy embryos.
"What we showed is that the faulty genes, which are usually passed through the woman's egg, can be safely replaced. And that way, the egg still retains its capacity to be fertilized by sperm and develop," he says.
The researchers haven't taken the next step yet: They haven't tried to make babies out of these modified embryos. But they have made baby monkeys this way, increasing their confidence it would work.
And some other doctors hope so, too. Mary Herbert of Newcastle University is part of a team that has prompted a national debate in England by doing similar research. She also hopes to help women who have gone through the trauma of giving birth to a baby with one of these genetic conditions.
"In severe cases, the child will die in the first days of life, or they might live, you know, a few years and then die," Herbert says. "It's like a game of Russian roulette."
But the work raises a long list of questions. One is about the morality of creating embryos in the laboratory for research and destroying them, which some consider immoral. Another is about the safety of the women donating the eggs. And, of course, it's far from clear that the resulting babies will be healthy.
But even if they are, there are still more questions. One is about the very genetic identity of any babies made this way. They'd inherit DNA from three separate people instead of the usual two: from the father's sperm; from the egg of the woman whose egg was fixed; and from the egg of the woman who donated some of her DNA to fix the problem.
"So yes, we're going to have to, perhaps, get used to the fact that people can have three genetic parents in the future," Dartmouth bioethicist Green says.
But beyond that, the move raises those early fears about manipulating DNA to create a brave new world of genetic haves and have-nots, according to Darnovsky.
"Socially, what this would mean is we would be moving toward a world in which some people — and it would be people who could afford these procedures — would have either real or perceived genetic advantage," she says.
Despite the concerns, Mitalipov and Herbert say the real benefits of preventing genetic diseases outweigh such hypothetical risks. Herbert is awaiting a decision by the British government on whether she can proceed to the next step in her research. Mitalipov has already asked the Food and Drug Administration if he can try to make a healthy baby by genetically altering human eggs.

The wrong side of history

Cardinal's CrestCatholic New World
by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary, a devotion associated in modern times with the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917, during the First World War. Mary asked for prayer and penance, which she always requests in these private revelations that echo the public revelation in the Gospel: “Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand.”

Mary at Fatima also entered into the history of the modern world when she told three unlettered peasant children that the Great War then being waged, President Wilson’s “war to end all wars,” would soon end, but that a greater menace to world peace would arise in Russia, whose errors would spread throughout the world and bring untold millions to violent death. In the end, however, Mary promised that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. This promise, too, echoes the Gospel itself: the risen Christ is victorious over sin and death.

Eternity enters into human history in often incomprehensible ways. God makes promises but gives no timelines. Visiting the shrine at Fatima, pilgrims enter a huge plaza, with the spot of the apparitions marked by a small chapel to one side, a large church at one end, an equally large adoration chapel at the other end, and a center for visitors and for the hearing of confessions. Just outside the main grounds, a section of the Berlin Wall has been re-built, a stark witness to what Mary had talked about almost a century ago. Communism in Russia and its satellite nations has collapsed, although many of its sinful effects are still with us.

Communism imposed a total way of life based upon the belief that God does not exist. Secularism is communism’s better-scrubbed bedfellow. A small irony of history cropped up at the United Nations a few weeks ago when Russia joined the majority of other nations to defeat the United States and the western European nations that wanted to declare that killing the unborn should be a universal human right. Who is on the wrong side of history now?

The present political campaign has brought to the surface of our public life the anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicitly anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades. The secularizing of our culture is a much larger issue than political causes or the outcome of the current electoral campaign, important though that is.

Speaking a few years ago to a group of priests, entirely outside of the current political debate, I was trying to express in overly dramatic fashion what the complete secularization of our society could bring. I was responding to a question and I never wrote down what I said, but the words were captured on somebody’s smart phone and have now gone viral on Wikipedia and elsewhere in the electronic communications world. I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” What I said is not “prophetic” but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse.

An earlier Archbishop of Chicago once tried his hand at reading the signs of his times. On May 18, 1937, Cardinal Mundelein, in a conference to priests of the archdiocese, called the then-German chancellor “an Austrian paper-hanger, and a darn poor one at that, I am told.”Why did Cardinal Mundelein speak in a way that drew applause from the New York Times and local papers and brought the German government to complain bitterly to the Holy See? The government of Germany, declaring its ideology the wave of the future, had dissolved Catholic youth groups and tried to discredit the church’s work among young people through trials of monks, priests and religious sisters accused of immorality. Cardinal Mundelein spoke of how the public protests of the bishops had been silenced in the German media, leaving the church in Germany more “helpless” than it had ever been.
He then added: “There is no guarantee that the battle-front may not stretch some day into our own land. Hodie mihi cras tibi. (Today it’s me; tomorrow, you). If we show no interest in this matter now, if we shrug our shoulders and mutter … it is not our fight, if we don’t back up the Holy Father when we have a chance, well, when our turn comes, we too will be fighting alone.”

“When our turn comes …” Was Cardinal Mundelein a prophet as well as an administrative genius? Hardly. At his death in 1939 he was well known as an American patriot and a friend of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but he also had a Catholic conviction that no nation state has been immaculately conceived. The unofficial anthem of secularism today is John Lennon’s “Imagine,” in which we are encouraged to imagine a world without religion. We don’t have to imagine such a world; the 20th century has given us horrific examples of such worlds.

Instead of a world living in peace because it is without religion, why not imagine a world without nation states? After all, there would be no American ambassador recently killed in Libya if there were no America and no Libya! There are, obviously, individuals and groups who still misuse religion as a reason for violent behavior, but modern nation states don’t need religion as an excuse for going to war. Every major war in the last 300 years has been fought by nation states, not by the church. In our own history, the re-conquest of the secessionist states in the Civil War was far bloodier than the re-conquest of the Holy Land by the now despised Crusaders. The state apparatus for investigating civilians now is far more extensive than anything dreamed up by the Spanish Inquisition, although both were created to serve the same purpose: to preserve a government’s public ideology and control of society, whether based on religion or on modern constitutional order.

Analogies can easily be multiplied, if one wants to push a thesis; but the point is that the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence. Few there are, however, who would venture to ask if there might be a better way for humanity to organize itself for the sake of the common good. Few, that is, beyond a prophetic voice like that of Dorothy Day, speaking acerbically about “Holy Mother the State,” or the ecclesiastical voice that calls the world, from generation to generation, to live at peace in the kingdom of God.

God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”

The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history. This October, let’s pray the rosary so that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen the bishops and others at the synod as they deliberate about the challenges to preaching and living the Gospel at this moment in human history.

Catholic New World

Halloween: The Real Story!

By Father Augustine Thompson, O.P.
The Crossroads Initiative

10/31/2011 - Halloween (podcast)

Can Catholics celebrate Halloween? In this national radio interview, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio explains the origins of Halloween as a Christian rather than pagan celebration, as often supposed. Teresa Tomeo and Dr. Italy also discuss how Catholics can best use these special days of Oct 31st, Nov 1st and 2nd, to recover the original meaning of the feasts of All Saints and All Souls day, allowing them to remind us that ALL are called to the heights of holiness and that life in this world will some day come to an end for each of us but that, for the Catholic, death is a door, not the end of the story.

The Truth About HalloweenWe’ve all heard the allegations. Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped Church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. If you let your kids go trick-or-treating, they will be worshiping the devil and pagan gods.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.

It’s true that the ancient Celts of Ireland and Britain celebrated a minor festival on Oct. 31 — as they did on the last day of most other months of the year. However, Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Feast of All Saints or "All Hallows" falls on Nov. 1. The feast in honor of all the saints in heaven used to be celebrated on May 13, but Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved it to Nov. 1, the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome. Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV commanded that All Saints be observed everywhere. And so the holy day spread to Ireland. The day before was the feast’s evening vigil, "All Hallows Even" or "Hallowe’en." In those days, Halloween didn’t have any special significance for Christians or for long-dead Celtic pagans.

In 998, St. Odilo, the abbot of the powerful monastery of Cluny in Southern France, added a celebration on Nov. 2. This was a day of prayer for the souls of all the faithful departed. This feast, called All Souls Day, spread from France to the rest of Europe.

So now the Church had feasts for all those in heaven and all those in purgatory? What about those in the other place? It seems Irish Catholic peasants wondered about the unfortunate souls in hell. After all, if the souls in hell are left out when we celebrate those in heaven and purgatory, they might be unhappy enough to cause trouble. So it became customary to bang pots and pans on All Hallows Even to let the damned know they were not forgotten. Thus, in Ireland, at least, all the dead came to be remembered — even if the clergy were not terribly sympathetic to Halloween and never allowed All Damned Day into the Church calendar.

But that still isn’t our celebration of Halloween. Our traditions on this holiday centers around dressing up in fanciful costumes, which isn’t Irish at all. Rather, this custom arose in France during the 14th and 15th centuries. Late medieval Europe was hit by repeated outbreaks of the bubonic plague — the Black Death — and she lost about half her population. It is not surprising that Catholics became more concerned about the afterlife. More Masses were said on All Souls’ Day, and artistic representations were devised to remind everyone of their own mortality.

All Souls DayWe know these representations as the "Dance Macabre" or "Dance of Death," which was commonly painted on the walls of cemeteries and shows the devil leading a daisy chain of people — popes, kings, ladies, knights, monks, peasants, lepers, etc. — into the tomb. Sometimes the dance was presented on All Souls’ Day itself as a living tableau with people dressed up in the garb of various states of life. But the French dressed up on All Souls, not Halloween; and the Irish, who had Halloween, did not dress up. How the two became mingled probably happened first in the British colonies of North America during the 1700s when Irish and French Catholics began to intermarry. The Irish focus on hell gave the French masquerades and even more macabre twist.

But, as every young ghoul knows, dressing up isn’t the point; the point is getting as many goodies as possible. Where on earth did "trick or treat" come in?

"Trick or treat" is perhaps the oddest and most American addition to Halloween, and is the unwilling contribution of English Catholics.

During the penal period of the 1500s to the 1700s in England, Catholics had no legal rights. They could not hold office and were subject to fines, jail and heavy taxes. It was a capital offense to say Mass, and hundreds of priests were martyred.

Occasionally, English Catholics resisted, sometimes foolishly. One of the most foolish acts of resistance was a plot to blow up the Protestant King James I and his Parliament with gunpowder. This was supposed to trigger a Catholic uprising against their oppressors. The ill-conceived Gunpowder Plot was foiled on Nov. 5, 1605, when the man guarding the gunpowder, a reckless convert named Guy Fawkes, was captured and arrested. He was hanged; the plot fizzled.

Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes’ Day, became a great celebration in England, and so it remains. During the penal periods, bands of revelers would put on masks and visit local Catholics in the dead of night, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration: trick or treat!

Guy Fawkes’ Day arrived in the American colonies with the first English settlers. But, buy the time of the American Revolution, old King James and Guy Fawkes had pretty much been forgotten. Trick or treat, though, was too much fun to give up, so eventually it moved to Oct. 31, the day of the Irish-French masquerade. And in America, trick or treat wasn’t limited to Catholics.

The mixture of various immigrant traditions we know as Halloween had become a fixture in the Unites States by the early 1800s. To this day, it remains unknown in Europe, even in the countries from which some of the customs originated.

Witches - All Souls - All SaintsBut what about witches? Well, they are one of the last additions. The greeting card industry added them in the late 1800s. Halloween was already "ghoulish," so why not give witches a place on greeting cards? The Halloween card failed (although it has seen a recent resurgence in popularity), but the witches stayed. So, too, in the late 1800s, ill-informed folklorists introduced the jack-o’-lantern. They thought that Halloween was druidic and pagan in origin. Lamps made from turnips (not pumpkins) had been part of ancient Celtic harvest festivals, so they were translated to the American Halloween celebration.

The next time someone claims that Halloween is a cruel trick to lure your children into devil worship, I suggest you tell them the real origin of All Hallows Even and invite them to discover its Christian significance, along with the two greater and more important Catholic festivals that follow it.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - October 24, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Oct. 24

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – The High Cost of Free Love
Drawing from her personal story, as well as her visits with teens around the world, Pam Stenzel talks about the consequences-both physical and emotional-of sex outside of marriage. It’s been her experience that, if given the facts, today’s young people are fully capable of making good, healthy decisions. For years, Pam was on the "front lines" as Director of Alpha Women’s Center, a counseling center for women undergoing crisis pregnancies. Her experiences taught her that before teen pregnancy and STD rates could decline, attitudes of teens toward sex first had to change. Desiring to bring about that change, Pam started speaking nationally full-time and is in great demand both in the U.S.A. and in other countries such as Mexico, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. She is here in MI for a speaking engagement and joins us in studio.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:40 – Physician-Assisted Suicide on the Ballot in MA – The Archdiocese of Boston Fights Back
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley is urging Massachusetts voters to oppose a ballot measure aimed at legalizing physician-assisted suicide. In an opinion piece for The Boston Pilot October 12, the cardinal asked voters to consider the long-term ramifications of the proposed law, which will appear on the ballot in November as Question 2, calling it the beginning of a “slippery slope.” As written, the cardinal said, Question 2 could lead to adoption of “quality of life” standards, putting the mentally ill and the disabled at risk of being targeted for assisted suicide, and perhaps eventually, for euthanasia. He said the disabled and their advocates “fear that misunderstandings and false compassion could result in their being considered ‘better off dead,’ devalued, and treated as second class citizens in respect to their medical care.” We talk to Scot Landry from the Archdiocese about their efforts to defeat this measure.

American Archbishop Named Cardinal in Surprise Consistory

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 5:38 AM, National Catholic Register

A long-serving Curial archbishop from the United States is to be elevated to the College of Cardinals and will be made archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict XVI announced today.
Archbishop James Harvey
Milwaukee-native Archbishop James Harvey, prefect of the Papal Household, was one of six new members nominated in a surprise announcement by the Pope at the end of his weekly general audience.
The full list of the new cardinals, whom the Holy Father will appoint at a consistory on Nov. 24th, the eve of the Feast of Christ the King, are:
  • Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household whom the Pope plans to appoint archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls;
  • Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude Béchara Boutros Raï;
  • Archbishop Baselios Cleemis (Isaac) Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum (Syro-Malankarese rite), India;
  • Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria;
  • Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez, Archbishop of Bogotá, Colombia;
  • Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines.

The Pope invited “everyone to pray for the newly elected, asking the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that they will always love with courage and dedication to Christ and his Church.”
Archbishop Harvey was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1949. He was ordained a priest by Paul VI on June 29, 1975. In 1998, he was named Prefect of the Papal Household by Pope John Paul II, who consecrated him a bishop of the titular see of Memphis. John Paul II later elevated him to the dignity of archbishop on September 29, 2003. During his service in the Papal Household, Archbishop Harvey has gained a reputation as a trusted and valued official, often seen at the Pope’s side on major occasions and responsible for arranging his audiences and other daily engagements.
This is the first time a Pope has called two consistories in one year. In February, the Pope held a consistory in which he created 22 new cardinals. There are unusually no Italians in the small number announced this morning.
As of Sept. 24th 2012, there were 116 cardinal electors below the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave, 4 below the limit of 120 set by Paul VI.

Court blocks Indiana from defunding Planned Parenthood

By Charles Wilson
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana stepped between women and their physicians when it enacted a law that blocked Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortions, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
The ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago effectively upheld decisions by a district judge and a Medicaid review panel that found the 2011 law denied patients the right to choose their own health care provider.
“This is not about an abortion case. This is a case about Medicaid services — non-abortion-related services — and the attempt by the state of Indiana to punish Planned Parenthood and its clients from receiving non-abortion health services merely because Planned Parenthood, without any sort of state or federal money or any Medicaid funds, also provides abortions,” Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said at a news conference in Indianapolis following Tuesday’s decision. The ACLU argued the case on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
The ruling will likely have little impact on Planned Parenthood’s operations in Indiana as funding to its clinics has been largely uninterrupted since Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law attempting to cut the organization off in May 2011. Gov. Daniels‘ spokeswoman did not respond to phone requests for comment Tuesday.
The 2011 law made Indiana the first state to deny Planned Parenthood the Medicaid funds for general health services including cancer screenings. The family planning organization immediately challenged the law with help from the ACLU. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt blocked the state from enforcing the law in June 2011.
The state appealed that order, arguing that federal law says Medicaid cannot be used to cover abortions in most circumstances and that the program indirectly funds the procedures by providing money to Planned Parenthood.
On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the core portion of Judge Pratt’s order, saying the Indiana law effectively intrudes on a person’s right to choose their doctors.
“The defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients’ statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice,” the ruling said.
Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the Indiana attorney general’s office, said the state was reviewing the appeals court opinion. The state can either ask the full court to review the panel’s ruling or appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
The Indiana law affected about $1 million in Medicaid funds out of Planned Parenthood’s state budget of $15 million, said Betty Cockrum, the group’s state president. The appeals court said Judge Pratt also needed to modify other sections of her order that affected about $150,000 in revenue sources other than Medicaid. Cockrum and Falk said that federal grant for sexually transmitted disease testing in 22 counties was set to expire at the end of this year.
Tuesday’s ruling sends the case back to Judge Pratt’s court, where she will decide whether to make the injunction blocking the law permanent. Indiana also is awaiting a final decision on a bureaucratic appeal by the agency that regulates Medicaid. A federal panel previously found the law violated Medicaid regulations.
A federal judge in Phoenix last week blocked Arizona from applying a similar law to Planned Parenthood. A similar law in Texas also is the focus of a court fight.