28 February, 2010

What have the Olympics revealed about God & Country!

   The goosebumps have hardly left my arms as I write this post in the wake of the triumph of our hockey team over Team USA; the athletic finale to the Vancouver Olympics, which have been the single greatest standard of excellence in setting an all time Winter Olympic high for gold medals won by a single country! My sense of patriotism and pride in the Canadian accomplishments these past 17 days, has brought me to my feet several times in singing our national anthem. For the "first time ever won on our home soil" gold of Alexandre Biladeau, to the final gold of the hockey victory I suspect that there have been few equals in the outpouring of national pride  now being demonstrated up in these hours!

Believe me, I give thanks and praise to God for these victories!!

Yet, I can predict there are in both the theist and atheist camps, those who would object to my confidence in saying that God is responsible for this explosion of patriotic fever, which grips all Canadian citizens from Kandahar, Afghanistan to the furthest corners of the globe. Either God does not exist, or He does not concern himself with such concerns... but I ask you to consider this.

Every other image, ritual and moment of media coverage has been an expression of paganism (as reflected in the depictions of the faiths of the first nations), or explicitly commercial in nature. The name of God has hardly if at all been heard in the coverage or either of the opening and closing ceremonies, save for the hearty and full throated acclamation of   God in a request for his protection and blessings in its concluding stanza's of the Canadian national anthem - offered from the lips of citizens, athletes and the not so svelte types like me. * In the midst of an entirely secular/pantheistic broadcast, he makes his name known to the farthest extremes of the earth (and beyond in the International Space Station with its Canadarm - another source of immense national pride).

(Every notice that kids who can set up these new fancy T.V. sets for 'Gramps" to watch the big game seem to be getting younger every year! The Chinese script doesn't seem to faze them a bit!)

That Canada is blessed as a nation is undeniable... no matter how hard the MSM and Olympic organizers work to keep us from knowing it! The name of God rings loud and often these days in Canada. As a Canadian Catholic, it is an exceptionally wonderful feeling to experience, for I believe in the power of the name of God. His name stands in countenance to those of the forces which adore powers other than those of the Christian God (or no God or all) who have tried so hard to stamp out of the public square.

Canada is the best and most faithful friend that America will ever have; their single greatest source of imported energy and the largest source of fresh water in the world. In every serious world conflict that follow our assumption of full sovereignty in striking an independent foreign policy from that of Great Britain, the blood of Canadians has mingled with that of Americans in World War I & II, Korea, and first Gulf War. From the ethnic conflicts of the Balkans and Africa - to Afghanistan and other covert actions in the war on terror, whenever asked, Canada has done its part. Our relationship is not one of neighbors. We're family.

Pride in country is in no way an insult to either of our two nations both on and off the ice!

It was a terrific Olympics with all the essential trophies (Most overall medals - USA; Most EVER Gold medals at one winter Olympic - Canada) residing for at least the next four years on our continent.

Now if Mexico can win the World Cup, it would be the perfect continental trifecta!




Vatican Video for priest... Alter christus Part One

Vatican Video for priests Alter Christus Part Two

Vatican video for priests Alter Christus Part Three


The puck will be dropped in a few minutes for the gold medal match in the Olympic hockey tournament... Canada vs USA.

Win or lose, this has been the most successful Olympics ever for Canada. We have surpassed our total of gold medals in any winter Olympics. In fact if we win this gold medal match, we will stand alone as the country which won more gold medals than any other country in Olympic history (a record we now share with Russia).

Go Canada Go!!!


Prediction: Canada 4 USA 2

An abrieviated version of an old chestnut

The Perfect Priest

The results of a computerized survey indicate the perfect priest preaches exactly fifteen minutes. He condemns sins but never upsets anyone. He works from 8:00 AM until midnight and is also a janitor. He makes $50 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $50 weekly to the poor. He is 28 years old and has preached 30 years. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all of his time with senior citizens.

The perfect priest smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls daily on parish families, shut-ins and the hospitalized, and is always in his office when needed.

If your priest does not measure up, simply send this letter to six other churches that are tired of their priest, too. Then bundle up your priest and send him to the church on the top of the list. In one week, you will receive 1,643 priests and one of them will be perfect. Have faith in this procedure.

One parish broke the chain and got its old priest back in less than three weeks.


Why should the state pay for an elective medical procedure such as an abortion?

The issue of abortion has spawned a few comments in a previous post on state-funded medicare such as we have in Canada. Some have used the phrase "universal health care" as meaning that every service should be paid for, while I have taken a different position.

The advocates of abortion always say that it is a safe procedure and not a threat to the health of the mother. Common sense also sells us that pregnancy is not a life-threatening condition (with  extraordinarily few exceptions).

Why should state funded health care be used to pay for an elective procedure? We do not pay for elective cosmetic surgery... we do not pay for chiropractic services... we do not pay for psychological services (just to name a few). Some of these services may  be needed to save someones life or health (especially for people who suffer from depression or chronic pain conditions). If it is just for the state not to fund these services, why should abortion necessarily be included among the procedures that state funded?

"Universal" health care coverage mean that everyone is provided with necessary medical services. It does not mean that every medical procedure available will be paid for by the plan. It is my opinion that abortion is the precise definition of an elective procedure (assuming that the health of the mother is not threatened) and therefore there is no reason why it should be paid for by the state. This is not promoting discrimination, nor is it a sexist position any more than paying for penis enlargement surgery (which is not currently paid for) is a sexist orientation to men. It is simply a matter of rationalizing our health care dollar so as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number.

I look forward to your comments.

25 February, 2010

Archaeological dig uncovers support for biblical account of Solomon's 1st temple

Archaeologists have unearthed a series of structures in Old Jerusalem which seems to validate the biblical account of the first temple, built in the 10th century BCE by King Solomon. Once again we seem to be presented with the reality that although the Bible is not a history book, it is a book whose writings are rooted in the history of a people.

This has particular resonance for me as I am currently reading N.T. Wright's history of the resurrection in which he continually argues the same point. It's always nice when these lessons of faith serve to be supported through secular academic research!

Click on the title to this post to read the article yourself!

23 February, 2010

Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans

American Health Care Solution?

The American government has been brought to its knees by its inability to deal with how to provide health care coverage for its citizens. In place of the insane mismash of legislation that is the Obama Health Care Initiative, I wonder if the following would be another way of framing their argument such that it might be acceptable to both camps involved in the current legislative paralysis.

Why NOT pay for your health care through the tax system. It could be formulated, implemented and effective within one current legislation if it can provide universal coverage as attached to universal suffrage.

PART 1.  Caring for the "widows and the orphans"

1. Provide all health care for those under the voting age, and those after a certain age so as to ensure coverage for the vulnerable in American society.

2. Determine the average annual cost of health care for these citizens.

3. Divide it by the number of tax payers.

4. Each tax payer contributes their share to this cost through direct taxation.

PART 2.  "Treat others as you would have them treat you"

1. Determine the average cost of health care for individuals between the ages of majority and retirement (non-elective procedures only - including emergency plastic surgery) *

2. Multiply that cost by the factor of 47 (65-18=47) to determine balance of personal health care account. (This factor could change if the retirement age was raised)

3. Divide by number of taxpayers

3. Every citizen who files a tax return will either:

-pay a premium equal to this amount ("scaled to income" if desired by government) for government insurance marketplace which would provide annual average for care, with a percentage of unused funds to be carried forward in a personal care account.

-receive a tax deduction for up to the same amount if a taxpayer purchased his/her own private coverage

PART 3.  "Members of the community"

1.   Only taxpayers who vote in national, state or local elections will qualify for government assistance or subsidy for health care coverage (dispensations)

2. Only citizens will qualify for subsidy, provided that charities could buy insurance or cover care costs for immigrant communities (legal or otherwise) without the patient being subjected to legal ejection from the country if he/she needed medical care

NOTE:  *  Abortion services, when entirely a voluntary and elective procedure would not be covered by government funding or subsidy

So... with a particular interest to any American readers, what are the strengths, weaknesses or whatever of this as a framework for getting over the Congressional paralysis over this issue.

Cristina joins the conversation (what can we discuss?) from a position of faith

Cristian Alarcon, a remarkable person of faith and intellect, offers the following as her contribution to the ongoing debate about the appropriateness of what we discuss, as well as modeling how we can do so in charity and truth.

I offer my response below her text.

Thanks Cristina!!!

Fr. Tim

Interesting thread! If you don’t mind, I would like to gently point out something to those who have been critical of your choice of posts on this blog.
I am referring here to your concluding words after posting “Church Teaching on Homosexuality: Wisdom or Bigotry?”

Here are your own words:

“These conclusions are hardly considered "correct" or proper in today's marriage debates. Is it possible that "common knowledge" on this question, just like the public consensus regarding of the safety of children with priests, has turned against the proponents of the gay rights movement?”

The remarks above can hardly be considered to be a threat, or to provoke hatred, or to be close-minded. In fact, quite the opposite. They unjudgmentally invite us to share our thoughts.

The sense I get is that some posters are terribly bothered by this approach.

I would like to suggest that perhaps the problem they face in these discussions is the blindness engendered by political correctness. Most of us are so afraid of saying something that could potentially be perceived as bigoted, that a paralysis sets in which readily hinders any further discussion that may bring new insights into a specific field.

At the risk of sounding preachy, may I point out that truth liberates, whereas falsehood enslaves. There is a common truth within every human being, what is referred in tradition as the “nature” of man. This truth needs to be apprehended and discovered, but it cannot be imposed.

If the ideas a poster is promoting correspond to the true nature of man, regardless of peer reviewed research and statistics, both of which can be readily manipulated, then the test will be that these ideas will have withstood and will continue to withstand the test of time and of culture. If on the other hand the ideas are detrimental to the good of man and of society, then eventually this will become palpably obvious, and the ideas will eventually die out of their own accord.
Love and truth must go hand in hand. The mere possibility that some ideas are needing to be “imposed” by force upon individuals or upon society as a whole, is a sure sign that those very ideas may not be strong enough in and of themselves to be convincing, nor true to the goodness they purport to contain.


Cristina: Thank you. JPII repeated many times that it is the role of the church to "propose, never impose" its beliefs, morality or world vision.

In this I believe, everyone can agree.

Where we seem to run into conflict is when the Church publicly campaigns for this same vision as a model for how to order our society - protect life, creation and ensure that we are granted the absolute freedom of belief as we do. This carries with it the concomitant right to argue and vote our beliefs into law if we are able to convince the majority of our fellow citizens of the wisdom we propose.

I truly have come to believe that this is what in means to be created in the image and likeness of God. It is our essential freedom of will - the right to choose good or evil. This is the one gift that was not lost to sin. Genesis tells us that this was the gift that polluted by our desire to KNOW all that is good or evil - thereby negating our ability to choose (all things in nature being oriented to what is true, good and beautiful - to know absolute truth would deny us the choice to do otherwise. God's primordial gift, imprinted into our heart and soul must be respected lest God stand in opposition to his very nature.  We would then no longer be free, but marionettes controlled by God. Thus, if God grants us this absolute right, then we must offer it to all we meet.

As I previously wrote: we can choose to follow the teachings of Christ and his Church, and receive our reward in the life to come. Others are free to walk their own path. If we are right, and come our day of judgment we will receive our reward but God will not impose his will on everyone and bring them into the new creation. He will respect the choices of those, who with their lives, chose to walk away from him in life. He will not force them to live in His presence in the next.

Ergo, God sends no one to hell, but simply respects the free will of those who exercised their desire to remain separated from Him.

It's the old position of Blaise Pascal: If God exists, he had every thing to gain by following the prescripts of his Church. If God does not exist, he had nothing to lose. He chose to walk the path of hope.

I'm just trying to do the same.

Fr. Tim

22 February, 2010

Some perspective for those who are concerned with first impressions in these discussions

A WOMAN was flying from  Melbourne to Brisbane.  Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sydney.  Along the way  the flight attendant explained that  there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted  to get off the aircraft, the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.

He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, 'Kathy, we are in  Sydney for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?'  

The blind lady replied, 'No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs.'

Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Guide dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

True story... Have a great day and remember...



A classic, updated for we aging "boomers"

I can't find the code to embed this video into the blog, but anyone over born in the 1950's and earlier will appreciate this!

Here's to our "golden years"!!

Fr. Tim

Freyr helps open an investigation of that place within us where the negotiation between acceptance/approval, orthodoxy and compassion

Freyr, a regular in the comments of this blog, offers an insightful posting that was inspired by the discussion re: the appropriateness of posting controversial material such as the Reker Study report from Catholic Online.

Your thoughts would be appreciated, for I believe that he shines a light on an essential process; essential that is if one holds to the positions of Catholic Christian orthodoxy in these post modern times - especially in its moral teachings.

He gives us a language that we can use to discuss how we must negotiate societal norms in that place where beliefs are tested by the pastoral/personal reality and belief of others.

Thanks to Freyr for this thoughtful contribution.

Fr. Tim

Freyr said...

"They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." Sec 2358, Catechism

There is a fallacy present in our culture that says acceptance must include approval. This is not the case. Unfortunately acceptance without a blanket approval is both difficult and painful for all concerned.

In my own case it means I have had to face this with people I care a great deal about. It is far easier to shut the door, close off the emotions and distance yourself... it hurts less that way. Love does cost something... it means feeling that pain in the full knowledge that to cut off the pain would mean cutting yourself off from the person.

I believe we are called to be there, to listen, to be engaged with people and involved in the world around us. I have seen Catholics isolate themselves so that the only people they ever talk to are other Catholics, a siege mentality if you will. I am told that the reason for this is because they need the support. But I wonder...

You cannot accept someone if you never look upon their face, if you never walk with them a while, if you never listen. If you are honest with yourself this will leave you conflicted.

If you do not feel the need to give both acceptance and approval then you are lacking in compassion. If you approve of something you believe is wrong then you risk losing yourself. If you retreat from facing this dilemma, then you are lacking in faith.

It's Lent and we are walking towards Golgotha once again...

20 February, 2010

Ordinary Hero's - excellent reflection on grace in everyday people

Michael Brandon, host of Freedom through Truth blog, posts an excellent article on encountering Christ in the ordinary "hero's" we meet in life. It reminded me of the homily that was preached at my mother's funeral when the preacher spoke of our obligation to be "everyday saints".

It's well worth the read if you want to be inspired in finding such earthly vessels of grace among the people of your daily life.

19 February, 2010

Canadian strikes REAL GOLD!!

Our country is wrapped up in Olympic fever these days as we celebrate each triumph and victory of our athletes. Yet today I celebrate another Canadian today, whose victory is not found on the slopes of Vancouver, but is marked by the cures and souls won for God by Brother Andre Bessette who will be formally declared a saint in October of this year.

Eternal life with God... that's a prize worth attaining, no matter whether we are Olympians

Lent is a BUSY time for priests!

G'day all,

I am sorry that I have not kept up with as many daily blog postings as usual but Lent is a VERY busy time for one priest in a parish this size. I'll dedicate Sunday evening and Monday to writing out a number of posts on a variety of issues and post them throughout the coming week. I trust (PLEASE GOD!!) that things will calm down to something a little closer to normal in the next few days once we are truly launched into this penitential season. Until then, I'll take whatever free time that comes my way and post as I can.

Thanks for your understanding!

Fr. Tim Moyle
St. Anne's Parish,
Mattawa, Ontario

17 February, 2010

We Are the World - for Haiti

Why I maintain this blog: A reflection and some thoughts. Feel free to make suggestions if you think I can better accomplish what I am trying to achieve - generating a conversation

Martin & Reddog:  Thank you for your posts in this thread. I had never heard of Dr. Reker before I read the news story about his study (I think I provided a link as well as publishing the summary).

You each raise a central point of this blog that I would like to address, namely what articles I publish on the blog. I will copy this same text (although maybe with a bit of editing to clean up the grammar) into a posting in its own right.

Yours are not the only criticism that I get about the variety of topics that I post on the blog. In fact I catch more flack from fellow Christians who object to the fact that I post comments such as your which argue the opposite to Dr. Reker's study (they often think that I am harming the Christian position by exposing readers to anti-life or other positions contrary to traditional Christian stands on moral issues).

I also freely admit that some of what I post is politically incorrect - at least as that term has come to be understood as saying something that one group or another might find offensive (as you both did with this article).

Yet that is exactly what I intend to continuing doing! No where in my the initial post did I give my opinion - and I clearly stated that I was throwing it out there for discussion. Please don't draw some conclusion as to my intent in posting any article other than to accomplish that which I repeatedly stated: to foster discussion of important topic of faith, morals and societal life. Wherever "the rubber hits the road", there are bound to be heat, conflict, dirt and noise. But these are necessary consequences of making progress in understanding these issues.

Some of what I post will generate discussion or rancor from one group while another causes the same for others. It is my firm conviction that we should not shy away from these discussions just because people might get upset, and that each time something like our exchanges on this topic occurs, it serves to shine a light on a subject to bring clarity and knowledge to those who read it. Let me take it a step further: if you (or anyone) wants to recommend something for posting, I'll be happy to oblige so long at it fits the parameters I began this blog with - that it's something that relates to the intersection of faith and life.

One final point: in the face of allegations of "bloody hands" and the occasional questioning of my head, heart or charity, I have never responded with accusation or acrimony. I assume the best of intentions on everyone's part and do my best to follow the same route in my postings. I try to be humble and charitable in all that I write. All that I ask of you is only what I demand of myself - that we be truthful, charitable and open to each others arguments. There is no attempt on my part to use these pages to "convert" anyone or coerce people into believing the same as I do. I do not believe that it is your intention to convert me either!

I trust that you will in the future comprehend this a little better and will continue to join in the no-holds barred dialogue and debate as you have done previously.

Fr. Tim

The question of ANH (Artificial Nutrition and Hydration

Here is the position of the Catholic Church on when it is acceptable to remove extraordinary means of care for people in a permanently vegetative state, at least as it applies to nutrition and hydration:

The church’s view is that giving food and water to a person through a feeding tube is not a medical intervention but basic care.

This is always a difficult area in which to balance the moral, religious, pastoral and practical issues of someone that we love in life. I pray that this clear guideline might make the decision easier for families to make in difficult times.

Click here if you want to read the original document

A father-in-law's heartfelt tribute upon the death of his son-in-law: George Weigel on Dr. Rob Susil, NM, PhD, (RIP)

Robert Charles Susil, 1974-2010

By George Weigel

Four days after my son-in-law, Rob Susil, re-entered Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he would die of an aggressive sarcoma on Feb. 5, the Church marked the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and read the Gospel of Simeon’s prophecy to Mary—that a “sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35). That image of a sword, often described as a sword of sorrow, is the first of the traditional “seven dolors” of Our Lady of Sorrows, commemorated throughout the Church on Sept. 15, the day after the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Yet if Our Lady is the first of disciples and the model of Christian discipleship, then the sword of sorrow must pass through each disciple’s life, too, configuring us more closely to the Son from whose pierced side flowed blood, water and the Church.

All of us who loved and esteemed Rob Susil have been pierced by that sword in recent weeks. He and my daughter, Gwyneth, had fought gallantly against his sarcoma since it was diagnosed in March 2008, with the able assistance of the entire Hopkins medical family, of which Rob, as a specialist in radiation oncology completing his Hopkins residency, was a valuable and beloved member. There are, however, things that even the best medicine cannot do, at even the greatest medical centers in the world. So those who loved Rob and shared his deep Catholic faith prayed for a miracle, and were joined in that prayer by people all over the world. The miracle did not come; we know, however, that those prayers opened channels of grace and healing of which we are unaware, but for which we are grateful.

When Rob and Gwyneth first started seeing each other seriously, and after we were introduced, my wife said, “So, what do you think of Rob?” “Think?” I replied. “Smart, handsome, funny, 110 percent Catholic, loves Gwyneth, and likely to have an income. He’s straight out of son-in-law Central Casting.” He was so much more, though.

Rob was a brilliant young scientist, who held M.D. and Ph.D. degrees—and who didn’t tell me that he had co-authored numerous scholarly articles until I saw the galley proofs of a forthcoming one when I was helping him and my daughter move into their first apartment. He had a great appetite for learning; weakened by chemotherapy and anemia, he was nevertheless maintaining his research program, and the day before his last hospitalization, I was planning to drive him to Philadelphia so he could work on an academic paper with a colleague. He was an extraordinarily committed husband and father: he and my daughter shared one of the great marriages I have been privileged to witness, packing a superabundance of love, devotion and mutual support into five and a half years, and his joy in being “Daddy” to William was itself a joy to behold. And he was a man of faith, whose faith sustained his good humor, his clear-mindedness, and his determination during an illness about which he, a consummate young professional, knew all too much. That faith was matched by Gwyneth’s; more than one friend, in the week before Rob died, described Gwyneth’s strength and dignity as that of a biblical heroine. I am a suspect witness, of course, but I could not agree more.

When I put Gwyneth’s hand into Rob’s at the foot of the altar at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda, Md., on Aug. 14, 2004, the day of their wedding, I was able to get out three brief sentences before my throat tightened up and my eyes became misty: “You two are great. Be great for each other. Let Christ be great in you.” Gwyneth and Rob were all of that, and more, as they finished medical school together, did residencies together, brought William into the world together, and felt the sword of sorrow pierce their souls together. All of that good lives on, I am certain—as I am certain that I shall pray for the divine assistance through my son-in-law’s intercession in the future.

The Myth of over population presented in a 2 minute video

16 February, 2010

With Thanks to "Vic & Carol" who passed this along to me. It could be enlightening to challenge the various syllogisms that construct the argument as a whole!

With H/T to my friends, Carol & Vic J from Mattawa! You should listen someday to their story, if I could convince them to launch their own blog. Being people of such very good heart and character, any thoughts they would share on the subject of their choosing, would be of benefit of others.

This  is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and  suffering that I have  seen...  

A  man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began  to have a good conversation. They talked about so many  things and various subjects. 
When they eventually  touched on the subject of God, the barber said: 'I don't  believe that God  exists.'   

'Why do you say that?' asked the customer. 'Well, you just have  to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.  Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick  people?  Would there be abandoned  children? If  God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain!   I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of  these things.'  

The  customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because  he didn't want to start an argument..  
The barber  finished his job and the customer left the  shop.. 

Just  after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street  with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back  and entered the barber shop again and he said to the  barber: 'You  know what? Barbers do not exist..'

'How can you say  that?' asked the surprised barber.  'I am here, and I  am a barber.. And I just worked on you!'

'No!' the  customer exclaimed. 'Barbers don't exist because if they  did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and  untrimmed beards, like that man outside.'   

 'Ah,  but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do  not come to  me.' 'Exactly!'  affirmed the customer. 'That's the point! God, too, DOES  exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him  and don't look to Him for help..  

That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the  world.'

I hope you share it with everyone!

I just did!

Fr Tim

15 February, 2010

Church Teaching on homosexuality: Wisdom or Bigotry?

Sonya Corbitt posts on "Catholic Online" an article in which she argues for the position of the Catholic Church on the subject of the gay agenda (or gay advances if you wish). Drawing upon the findings of research, (developed using the tools of modern social science) she offers a persuasive argument that there is a statistically great risk to the psychological well being of children when raised in a male same-sex union. The argument that demands the elimination of "heterosexualism" from modern society is shown in a comprehensive study published by Dr. George A. Rekers, Ph.D., Professor of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, to offer a "unique danger" to children raised within a gay male led family.

"Rekers cites numerous national and international studies that revealed:

• Households with a homosexually-behaving adult uniquely endanger children.
• Households with a homosexually-behaving adult expose children to significantly higher rates of psychological disorder, (particularly depression), suicide, and substance abuse in homosexually-behaving adults, which results in higher rates of child depression, child maltreatment and neglect.
• Households with a resident homosexually-behaving adult are substantially less capable of providing the best psychologically stable and secure home.
• Households with a homosexually-behaving male contribute to a potentially higher risk of removal due to the sexual abuse.
• A husband/wife relationship is significantly healthier and substantially more stable socially and psychologically.
• The best child adjustment results from living with a married man and woman compared to other family structures.
• Compared to a family without a homosexually behaving adult, empirical evidence and 30 years of Rekers´s own clinical experience with children strongly support the conclusion that a home with a homosexual-behaving individual subjects a child to a set of disadvantages, stresses, and other harms that are seriously detrimental to a child´s psychological and social development.

This review is an extensive survey of many, many studies and their research; the science behind it was used at state levels to guide public policy regarding child custody decisions, adoption, and foster parenting, as well as to defend and uphold laws to this effect in other states and on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America. These laws were upheld by the US Supreme Court.

It lays out the empirical evidence regarding the higher frequency of domestic violence, pedophilia, and sexual disease transmission by homosexual adults to children compared to married couples with children, among other scientific findings."

These conclusions are hardly considered "correct" or proper in today's marriage debates. Is it possible that "common knowledge" on this question, just like the public consensus regarding of the safety of children with priests, has turned against the proponents of the gay rights movement?

What's your opinion folks, Wisdom or Bigotry?

Read and sound off.

Fr. Tim

Bringing a comment discussion to the floor for consideration by any and all

reddog said...

The anti abortion movement, as it has developed over the last 40 years, in America, has lost.

Nobody minds if abortion becomes less popular as an option in cases of unwanted pregnancy. Nobody mourns the decrease in the numbers of abortion clinics. If Planned Parenthood is hounded out of business because of a too stident and militant attitude about abortion, that's OK. Whether or not abortion is health care and should be subsidized by the government or healthcare insurance is a civil matter, unrelated to the legality of abortion.

Currently, girls and women have the choice of whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. Thay can raise the child as their own, it can be raised within the family by others, with participation by the mother or given up for adoption. These options have always been legal, never threatened and never will be.

The goal of the hard core anti abortion movement is and always has been the recriminalization of abortion. Not only will that never happen but the more the anti abortion movement agitates for this goal, the more they demonize themselves in the public eye. Good, that's the way it should be. These people, most of them operatives of the Catholic Church, do more against their cause than for it. They rail against an enemy that really isn't there. Look hard, you will find no opposing hard core pro abortion movement. Even Planned Parenthood isn't that. Abortion is just a small part of their program.

Chastity, artificial birth control, STD prevention, Church sanctioned heterosexual marriage, obediance to Catholic teachings and any number of other issues, pro and con, that Catholic sponsored, Right to Life activists espouse, are not associated in most peoples minds with abortion and almost nobody thinks they should be regulated, prohibited or encouraged by civil law.

In the end, the Church hides behind the barricade of its assertion that core teachings of Catholicism constitute somekind of bizarre, arbitrary "natural law", that must be recognized as true and inviolable by all of humanity. This is in direct opposition to the protection of minorities and dissidents that is a cornerstone of our democracy and that the Church itself has used for generations to secure its place in society. If you want to overturn this principle with "natural law", go ahead. Let me warn you though, it's a sword that cuts both ways.
15 February, 2010
Fr. Tim Moyle said...

Reddog: I appreciate you taking the time to write but I beg to disagree. A clear majority of people in the USA now support legislation that reflects most of what the pro-life position is asking for.

I know that P.P. might be responsible for a great deal of good, but so long as they are the agents of abortion, either directly or indirectly, they are to be opposed. For anyone who believes that, well before birth, a separate human entity comes into existence, it is akin to saying that someone was a good father, husband and all round "bon vivant," if you can just over look his being a serial killer!

A pre-born human may depend upon its mother's body for nutrition and a safe environment within which to mature, but it is an independent human person all the same a some time before the end of its gestation.

A majority of state governments now have on the books, or are currently enacting (from the pro-life point of view,) legislation that more and more is limiting the right of choice on the part of the mother to a point, prior to birth. This is, in my opinion, a very good thing.

When the only reason for terminating that life is the decision on the part of the woman who brought it into existence not to want to take responsibility for its life after birth, (especially when there are tens of thousands of infertile couples who want to adopt - many of them rendered such by various sexually transmitted diseases contracted in their youth) it does not meet a standard sufficient to permit the termination of another's life.

Does this mean the recriminalization of abortion? Yes it does. However though, just as infanticide is illegal under the criminal code today yet those convicted of it are most likely to receive mandatory treatment than punishment.

And yes, compassion, understanding and sufficient societal resources need to be provided to sustain the woman when needed. I do point out however, that the overwhelming number of women who birth, continue with their normal daily routines to within a few weeks of delivery. Perhaps such women could be afforded maternity leave prior to birth, and for sufficient time afterward to regain one's normal health if they choose to place the child for adoption. There certainly is no moral stigma attached to being pregnant and offering the child up for adoption. It is even possible if desired, for her to maintain a role in her child's offspring if that is found to be the most successful method of adaptation for all the parents involved and in the best interests of the child.

This seems only logical to me.

IF it is wrong for one human person to deliberately end the life of another simply as an expression of free will (I can't kill anyone I choose to eliminate - it's called murder!), then it should also be wrong to take a life just because it is dependent upon its another for sustenance and life. Any infant would meet that qualification of life, pre-or post birth!

Freedom does not stand in opposition to the authority of truth (and yes, I freely admit to believing that there is such a things as "absolute truth," at least as it is expressed by the law of the land,) but rather it forms itself in accordance with that truth.

The law by times may be "an ass" as the saying goes, but there is a reason behind its depiction as the balance scales of justice. The key of a successful society is that it is based upon the principle that everyone is "equal under the law"; to understand that which passes from conventional wisdom in a culture or society, is oft times, in a flash replaced by an entirely new understanding of a question. An understanding brought forth into the public's consciousness by new knowledge, as the logical outcome of the fruits of science and technology.

There is an excellent chance that similar progress can be made within our Canadian culture as well, if voices that speak for the pro-life cause are not silent in the face of demands from the pro-choice partisans to be quiet. I intend to do what I can to make the argument for life where ever and whenever I can. As a Catholic and a priest, I must do so; and it is a commitment I wholly and freely believe accept as worthy, and because I am free to do so.

I hope this blog will continue to be a spot where many people will read and perhaps participate in this debate so that maybe we can find a common understanding as to how to balance the rights of the mother and the pre-born child that grows within her, particularly if the gestation of the child is not a DIRECT PHYSICAL THREAT to the health of the mother.

This will not satisfy everyone in this debate, but it can save thousands of Canadians who will carry forth our genetic stock, diversity in genetics being a "good" in human and non-human biological health.

This act must be seen in that context. Just as cleaning the environment does not simply depend upon the acts of governments or corporations, but firstly upon the acceptance of citizens to pay the price for the good of all, so too the protection of species demands we ensure future generations the same freedoms we enjoy today.

Fr. Tim

How to act at a time of death

Brett & Kate McKay write an simple etiquette on how one responds to a death of a family member or friend. Death is always a part of our existence, and it is almost certain that we will experience the death of others before we face our own. As a priest I appreciate how difficult this time can be for mourners and their friends. Alas, I also have experienced more than a few inappropriate moments when people committed some major faux pas that has made the grief experience worse for the people intimately involved.

Click here or on the title of this post to read it for yourself if you want to review how to act in such difficult times.

14 February, 2010


Bruce Tallman, Dr. Min.
Spiritual Director
"Helping people grow in faith and love since 1983"


If we ask how God, who is supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful, and
all-loving, could allow the disaster in Haiti, it leads us to a larger
question: why does God not prevent all accidents, illness, famine, and war?
Why does God allow suffering in general?

Pat Robertson, an ultra-conservative televangelist from the United
States, said that God was punishing Haiti for "making a pact with the
devil." Some Haitian preachers are claiming the same thing on the streets
of Port-Au-Prince, talking about Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical Flood,
and Judgment Day.

A few years ago, some Christians maintained that, because New
Orleans had a reputation for being "sin city," God sent hurricane Katrina
to punish them. A few centuries ago, John Wesley stated his belief that the
great Lisbon earthquake in the 1700's was God's wrath against sin.

Such explanations must be categorically rejected. It reminds me of
the biblical story of the woman caught in adultery. When asked if she
should be stoned to death as the Law of Moses demanded, Jesus replied "Let
the one who has never sinned cast the first stone." All her accusers
eventually dropped their stones and walked away because they knew they had
sinned too.

When a tower fell and killed some construction workers Jesus asked
his disciples if they thought these men were any more sinful than anyone
else? If God struck Haiti, New Orleans, or Lisbon for their sins, God would
have to do the same to all of us. God is not on the side of one person or
nation over another. God is always on the side of the crucified, no matter
what their nationality, race, or religion.

God did not want the double tragedy of an earthquake in Haiti, one
of the poorest countries on our planet. A more widespread explanation for
Haiti's woes is that foreign countries isolated Haiti when its slaves
revolted and gained independence, it has had a string of brutal and corrupt
governments, and Haiti is geographically located in a hurricane zone and on
a fault line.

God does not want or cause suffering in general either. We know
that God allows human freedom. God also apparently allows a certain freedom
in the natural world. Most of the time nature serves us well, but natural
laws will proceed even if humans are in the way. God did not cause the
earthquake in Haiti, the shifting of tectonic plates did.

Getting back to our question of why God allows suffering, we have
to also ask: to what extent should God eliminate suffering? Should God
eliminate all pain? Pain, which is part of nature, serves us well in most
cases. For example, if you put your hand on a hot stove, the pain tells you
to withdraw it. If God eliminated our ability to feel pain, we would
quickly destroy ourselves. Pain is also a great motivator. Most medical and
social breakthroughs have come from a desire to alleviate or prevent pain.

Most of us have experienced a broken heart at some point from being
spurned by someone we loved. To eliminate all pain, God would have to make
us into robots who could not do unloving things like rejecting people.
However, then we also would not be able to love, since love requires free

Pain also serves us well spiritually. The ecstasy of gaining love
and the pain of losing it makes us more humble, wise, and compassionate.
Suffering should not be glorified, no one should purposefully seek it.
However, we can make use of it as a great teacher.

Just as we suffer if our children suffer, God must suffer with us.
In fact, that is what the cross, the central icon of Christianity, is all
about. It declares that God knows what it is like to suffer as a human
being. God suffers with us. The cross is the universal symbol that God is
not in bliss, off somewhere else while we suffer on earth. God is right in
the middle of our pain. Sometimes though the suffering is so senseless that there is no adequate explanation. As Rabbi Harold Kushner said long ago, sometimes all you can do is drop your theological explanations and just be with people, hold them in your arms, and cry with them in their grief. That's what God does. God does not leave us alone in our sorrow.

The international response to Haiti has been, I believe, due to God
moving peoples' hearts and consciences to reach out and help take this
crucified nation off its cross. The response has been like the beginnings
of a resurrection: God overcoming horrific pain and death.

Perhaps, if the international aid continues, Haiti will be fully
resurrected as a much safer and stronger nation than before. Let us all
pray that this is what happens.

Happy St. Valentine's Day

by Ronald J. Rychlak

Last year, my Constitutional Law class was discussing the so-called war on Christmas, part of the effort to remove all things religious (or at least all things Christian) from the public square. One of my students argued that holidays did not need to have a religious basis. As an example, she mentioned Valentine's Day. I asked her whether she had ever heard of the St. Valentine's Day massacre. Of course she had; everyone has.

The St. Valentine's Day massacre took place in Chicago in 1929. It is believed that Al Capone's gang from the south side of town dressed like police officers and mowed down seven members of Bugs Moran's north-side gang. The carnage finally motivated Chicago officials to crackdown on the gangsters of that era.

My point in mentioning it, of course, was that Valentine's Day was once known to virtually everyone as St. Valentine's Day. It's not clear when people dropped the "Saint," but it's clear that a change has taken place. It's hard to find any references to "St. Valentine's Day" in the broader culture today; but once upon a time, St. Valentine was a very popular saint.

The Catholic Church actually recognizes several different saints named Valentine or Valentinus (including St. Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa, St. Valentine of Genoa, and St. Valentine of Strasbourg). Most people, however, trace the story of St. Valentine back to a Roman priest in the year 270. He was arrested and imprisoned for performing marriage ceremonies for Christian couples at a time when such ceremonies were prohibited (as married men were exempt from the Roman army). Valentine also may have aided other Christians who were being persecuted during the reign of Emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II).

Valentine was brought before the emperor and told to renounce his faith, but even under extreme torture he refused to do so. According to legend, couples whom he had married brought him flowers and gifts while he was in prison, which gave rise to the tradition of giving flowers and gifts in his honor.

Valentine tried to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity, but his efforts were not well received: Claudius had Valentine executed outside Rome's Flaminian Gate on February 14, 270. According to another legend, while still in captivity, Valentine restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. On the day before his execution, he sent her a farewell message and signed it, "from your Valentine." That, of course, is said to have established another tradition.

More than two centuries later, in 496, Pope Gelasius marked February 14 as a celebration in honor of Valentine's martyrdom. According to some accounts, this date was chosen to preempt a pagan fertility festival known as Lupercalia, which took place at about that same time. Lupercalia involved a lottery by which young people would draw the name of a mate for a year. With the new holiday, Gelasius instead had participants draw the name of a saint to emulate for a year.

Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is unclear, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a devout and heroic priest who facilitated Christian love. It is no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. The French nobleman Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, wrote a Valentine note to his wife that is still on display in the British Museum.

Unfortunately, the heroic story of Valentine's piety has been almost completely eclipsed by the "flowers, candy, and cards" holiday that we know today. Gelasius's efforts to Christianize mid-February seem to have come to naught, and we are left in the ironic position of celebrating romance on a day named after a celibate priest.

This may simply be further evidence that secularists would like to remove Christianity from all such holidays -- whether Christmas, Easter, or St. Valentine's Day. (Interestingly, St. Patrick's Day has survived intact so far, but it also is celebrated as a secular day, not a Christian one.) That leaves it to Christians to try to keep Christ in Christmas and other holidays. As for my part, let me wish readers a lovely Saint Valentine's Day.

13 February, 2010

Sisters of Life in Toronto

During my visits to New York when I would visit my dear friend Fr. Richard Neuhaus (RIP), I had a few opportunities to meet members of the Sisters of Life Community. This order of religious, founded under the inspiration of Cardinal John O'Connor (RIP) has dedicated themselves to working and praying for the cause of life.

(As as aside, I am pleased to also say that a very talented young woman from my current assignment here in Mattawa is approaching the day of her final vows with this community... may God be with you Sister!!)

Click on the title of this post to read an article published in the National Post (Holy Post Blog) about the establishment of a convent of these sisters in Toronto where they work diligently to assist women so that they will make a pro-life decision and bring their unborn child to birth.

Please remember to pray for communities such as the Sisters for Life in their ministry.

Chesterton quote (Freyr: Thanks for the correction)

I like Theodore Dalrymple

Thanks to Mark Shea for this post. The text below is taken from the "Catholic & Enjoying It!" website. Click on the title of this post to view the original document.

There was nothing left that could conquer Rome; but there was also nothing left that could improve it. It was the strongest thing that was growing weak. It was the best thing that was going to the bad. It is necessary to insist again and again that many civilisations had met in one civilisation of the Mediterranean sea; that it was already universal with a stale and sterile universality. The peoples had pooled their resources and still there was not enough. The empires had gone into partnership and they were still bankrupt. No philosopher who was really philosophical could think anything except that, in that central sea, the wave of the world had risen to its highest, seeming to touch the stars. But the wave was already stooping; for it was only the wave of the world.

That mythology and that philosophy into which paganism has already been analysed had thus both of them been drained most literally to the dregs. If with the multiplication of magic the third department, which we have called the demons, was even increasingly active, it was never anything but destructive. There remains only the fourth element or rather the first; that which had been in a sense forgotten because it was the first. I mean the primary and overpowering yet impalpable impression that the universe after all has one origin and one aim; and because it has an aim must have an author. What became of this great truth in the background of men's minds, at this time, it is perhaps more difficult to determine. Some of the Stoics undoubtedly saw it more and more clearly as the clouds of mythology cleared and thinned away; and great men among them did much even to the last to lay the foundations of a concept of the moral unity of the world. The Jews still held their secret certainty of it jealously behind high fences of exclusiveness; yet it is intensely characteristic of the society and the situation that some fashionable figures, especially fashionable ladies, actually embraced Judaism. But in the case of many others I fancy there entered at this point a new negation. Atheism became really possible in that abnormal time; for atheism is abnormality. It is not merely the denial of a dogma. It is the reversal of a subconscious assumption in the soul; the sense that there is a meaning and a direction in the world it sees. Lucretius, the first evolutionist who endeavoured to substitute Evolution for God, had already dangled before men's eyes his dance of glittering atoms, by which he conceived cosmos as created by chaos. But it was not his strong poetry or his sad philosophy, as I fancy, that made it possible for men to entertain such a vision. It was something in the sense of impotence and despair with which men shook their fists vainly at the stars, as they saw all the best work of humanity sinking slowly and helplessly into a swamp. They could easily believe that even creation itself was not a creation but a perpetual fall, when they saw that the weightiest and worthiest of all human creations was falling by its own weight. They could fancy that all the stars were falling stars; and that the very pillars of their own solemn porticos were bowed under a sort of gradual deluge. To men in that mood there was a reason for atheism that is in some sense reasonable. Mythology might fade and philosophy might stiffen; but if behind these things there was a reality, surely that reality might have sustained things as they sank. There was no God; if there had been a God, surely this was the very moment when He would have moved and saved the world. The life of the great civilisation went on with dreary industry and even with dreary festivity. It was the end of the world, and the worst of it was that it need never end. A convenient compromise had been made between all the multitudinous myths and religions of the Empire; that each group should worship freely and merely live a sort of official flourish of thanks to the tolerant Emperor, by tossing a little incense to him under his official title of Divus. Naturally there was no difficulty about that; or rather it was a long time before the world realised that there ever had been even a trivial difficulty anywhere. The members of some Eastern sect or secret society or other seemed to have made a scene somewhere; nobody could imagine why. The incident occurred once or twice again and began to arouse irritation out of proportion to its insignificance. It was not exactly what these provincials said; though of course it sounded queer enough. They seemed to be saying that God was dead and that they themselves had seen him die. This might be one of the many manias produced by the despair of the age; only they did not seem particularly despairing. They seem quite unnaturally joyful about it, and gave the reason that the death of God had allowed them to eat him and drink his blood. According to other accounts God was not exactly dead after all; there trailed through the bewildered imagination some sort of fantastic procession of the funeral of God, at which the sun turned black, but which ended with the dead omnipotence breaking out of the tomb and rising again like the sun. But it was not the strange story to which anybody paid any particular attention; people in that world had seen queer religions enough to fill a madhouse. It was something in the tone of the madmen and their type of formation. They were a scratch company of barbarians and slaves and poor and unimportant people; but their formation was military; they moved together and were very absolute about who and what was really a part of their little system; and about what they said. However mildly, there was a ring like iron. Men used to many mythologies and moralities could make no analysis of the mystery, except the curious conjecture that they meant what they said. All attempts to make them see reason in the perfectly simple matter of the Emperor's statue seemed to be spoken to deaf men. It was as if a new meteoric metal had fallen on the earth; it was a difference of substance to the touch. Those who touched their foundation fancied they had struck a rock. With a strange rapidity, like the changes of a dream, the proportions of things seemed to change in their presence. Before most men knew what had happened, these few men were palpably present. They were important enough to be ignored. People became suddenly silent about them and walked stiffly past them. We see a new scene, in which the world has drawn its skirts away from these men and women and they stand in the centre of a great space like lepers. The scene changes again and the great space where they stand is overhung on every side with a cloud of witnesses, interminable terraces full of faces looking down towards them intently; for strange things are happening to them. New tortures have been invented for the madmen who have brought good news. That sad and weary society seems almost to find a new energy in establishing its first religious persecution. Nobody yet knows very clearly why that level world has thus lost its balance about the people in its midst; but they stand unnaturally still while the arena and the world seem to revolve round them. And there shone on them in that dark hour a light that has never been darkened; a white fire clinging to that group like an unearthly phosphorescence, blazing its track through the twilights of history and confounding every effort to confound it with the mists of mythology and theory; that shaft of light or lightning by which the world itself has struck and isolated and crowned it; by which its own enemies have made it more illustrious and its own critics have made it more inexplicable; the halo of hatred around the Church of God.

11 February, 2010

The Holy Post

At the risk of sending faithful readers and participants in my blog elsewhere, I want to offer a suggestion for an excellent place to participate in similar discussions as I host here - the religion blog of the National Post. If you've never visited there, check it out.

Click here
or on the title to this post to see for yourself.

Just don't forget to share your wisdom here too!!

Fr. Tim

Consistory on the way?

John Allen writes in the National Catholic Reporter that Rome is rife with rumours of an impending announcement of a Consistory (when Cardinals are installed). He reports that Canada may be among the countries about to have a new Cardinal named (Archbishop Tom Collins - Toronto).

Having studied under +Collins when he taught at St.Peters Seminary in London, I can only say that there are very few men whom I have encountered in life who possess the intellect, gentleness and faith as he does. He would be a very worthy candidate to become a prince of the Church. He will do Canada proud!!

The good that the Church does

If you click on the title to this post, you will find yourself reading an article which points out that fully 25% of all the health care institutions in the world are owned and run by the Catholic Church. In these days when people are so likely to point out the sins and errors of the Church, it's good to be reminded of the good that it does as well.

09 February, 2010

Planned Parenthood's Polluted Progenitor - from the woman who (respectfully) puts the 'mad' in Madam!

If the Catholic Church is considered unworthy of participating in public discourse because of the suspect beliefs or values of the past, then perhaps Planned Parenthood's must withdraw from the public square as well given the racist values promoted by their foundress, Margaret Sanger. Watch this short video yourself and see what you think. Just don't forget to leave your thoughts behind in the comments threads!


Fr. Tim

LAST Nightime Shuttle launch... spectacular!

Clearly this man is NOT a Canadian.

Snowpocalypse, the sequel: 'Snoverkill' to hit U.S. East Coast late on Tuesday

As if this family has suffered enough.... more on Dr. Rob Susil, M.D., Ph.D

Friends: Before we lose power for the fourth time here in North Bethesda, I wanted to let you know that, with the airports closed over the next two days because of yet another impending snowstorm, the decision was made this morning to defer Rob's funeral Mass until next week.

1. Friends may call at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Baltimore, MD
     21212, from 3-5 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m. on Monday, 15 February.

2. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (5300
    North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210) at 11 .m. on Tuesday, 16 February, with internment to
    follow at New Cathedral Cemetery (4300 Old Frederick Road, Baltimore, MD 21229).

Ignore any information in the newspapers to the contrary; I know at least one notice went into the Baltimore Sun before we decided to wait until next week.
Gwyneth asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to either The Sarcoma Federation of America (www.curesarcoma.org) or American United for Life (www.aul.org).
With continued gratitude for your solidarity in friendship and prayer --
                                                                             George Weigel

Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads - Learning what works in selling a message in todays culture

06 February, 2010

Dr. Robert Charles Susil, M.D., Ph.D ,, R.I.P.


     Robert Charles Susil, M.D., Ph.D., died this evening at age 35. The bleeding in his lungs had become so intense this morning that there was nothing further that medicine could do. Gwyneth was with him when he died, as she has been with him in a most heroic way throughout this illness.

     Thank you for your prayers for Rob, for Gwyneth, for their son, William, and for the Susil and Weigel families: John and Agnes Susil, Rob’s parents; his brother Chris and his sister Rebecca; Joan, Monica, and Stephen Weigel.  Your solidarity has been deeply appreciated.

      Rob was an extraordinary young man – a man of character, intelligence, faith, professional commitment and skill, humor, and love. We commend his soul to God, in the confidence that the prayers of these past twenty-two months, and particularly those offered so intensely in the past week, have not been in vain, but have opened channels of grace and healing of which we cannot be aware.  
     Because of the dramatic weather situation in the Baltimore-Washington area this weekend, it will not be possible to complete wake and funeral Mass arrangements until Monday, 8 February; I can tell, you, however, that the funeral Mass will be celebrated in Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the likeliest days being Wednesday or Thursday. I shall send out another bulletin with precise information when arrangements are completed. 

Once again, my thanks for your concern, support, and solidarity in prayer.

George Weigel

Go forth, O Christian soul, out of this world:
In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you;
In the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord who redeemed you;
In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
May your rest be this day in peace and your dwelling in holy Zion.

Into you hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Robert.
Acknowledge him, we humbly beseech you, as a sheep of your own fold,
a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming.
Receive him into the arms of your mercy,
into the blessed rest of everlasting peace,
and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

05 February, 2010

A "Silent Scream"

If you hold to the view that an abortion is not the killing of any innocent life, I invite you to watch this short movie that was produced by Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

I warn you that it is an EXTREMELY graphic presentation of the abortion of an 11 week old pre-born child, viewed through ultrasound imagery. I do not know how anyone can view this film and hold that abortion is little more than a woman's right to make decisions for her own body.

Take the challenge - watch the movie, and share your thoughts below.

You can reach the movie site by clicking here or on the title of this post.

Dr. Rob Susil - prayers are now more desperately needed than ever!

Here is the latest update on the condition of Dr. Rob Susil. As you can see, his condition is approaching a point where major decisions will have to be made as to continuing his treatment or allowing the cancer to win. His wife Gwyneth has been posting on the blog he began when he first received a diagnosis of cancer; a task she has taken up on Rob's behalf during this latest phase of his battle. When in her latest post, she speaks of desiring at least to grant him enough time to allow their three year old son, William to be able to see Rob in a state that will not traumatize him, it is clear that the situation has indeed become desperate.

I ask you please to offer your prayers of support in the comment threads of this post so that I can offer them to Rob and his family as a sign of hope in these dark hours.

Thank you.

Fr. Tim


Hello to all -

The last two days have been difficult, as Robert has not been able to move any closer to coming off the ventilator.

I met with his primary oncologist and his pulmonologist today and we discussed the fact that if the high dose steroids were going to have any significant effect, we probably would have seen that by now. And while we think that the amount of bleeding in his lungs has slowed, it does not appear to have stopped completely.

It is not good for a person to remain intubated for a prolonged period of time, since the pressure of the vent can cause damage to airways, and a person's breathing muscles get weakened by not being used.  So, we talked about attempting to transition Robert to a different kind of breathing support - something called CPAP or BiPAP.  These are both tight fitting masks, that when worn, provide some additional pressure into the lungs the way a ventilator does, but do not require a breathing tube.  These masks can also deliver high concentrations of oxygen, similar to being on a ventilator.  In order for Robert to be able to transition to CPAP or BiPAP though, he needs to be able to initiate breaths on his own.  So, if we are going to try and make this transition, we need to begin to wean him off his sedation medications.  In addition, before having the breathing tube taken out, his ventilator would be changed to a different kind of setting that would allow us to monitor whether Robert is able to initiate his own breaths with enough force to be safely extubated.  We will try to move slowly towards these goals over the weekend.

Unfortunately, even if Robert seems ready to be transitioned to CPAP or BiPAP, it is possible that once we take the breathing tube out, he will not do well without it.  If that happens, I may have an extremely difficult choice to make (one that he may or may not be able to contribute to, depending on how awake and verbal he is at the time).  The question of whether or not to re-intubate will be a hard one to answer, and is something that I will need to think and pray about seriously this weekend. If he were to be re-intubated, he would likely require a tracheostomy (a surgical opening into his airway that is then attached to a ventilator).  It is possible that with a tracheostomy he could be awake enough to communicate, although not talk, and if he were able to remain comfortable and do that, what a great gift that would be for myself and William.  However, it's a very invasive procedure, one that Robert and I never talked about, and in the face of still having widespread metastatic disease,  I would have to feel confident that going forward with a tracheostomy would actually contribute to meaningful time with our family. 

If he is able to transition to CPAP or BiPAP, it is our hope that over time the bleeding in his lungs would stop and his lungs would start to heal.  That would still leave unanswered that question of how to further treat the remaining cancer, but would hopefully at least allow Robert comfortable and awake time with us.

As you can see, these next few days are critical.  I know how hard everyone has been praying; I ask you again to continue to pray with all your heart for Robert's healing, comfort and peace.


04 February, 2010

Does Plato hold the wisdom to help Tiger Woods get his libedo under control?

Carson Holloway, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha has posted an article on the First Things blog pages. In it he uses the teachings of Plato on the human soul to explain the recently revealed misdeeds of Tiger Woods. I highly recommend it. It provides some profound insights from this combination of ancient wisdom and all to common human failing. You can read the article here.

03 February, 2010

Can a Christian vote for the Liberal Party of Canada? Go ahead... it will probably only cost you your soul!

The leader of the Canadian Liberal Party has strongly come out in favor of a woman's right to have a government funded abortion for no other reason than she would want to have one. In this article in the National Post, he claims that he does not want to see women die at the hands of back street abortionists (as if somehow pro-life advocates would want such a horrid fate for anyone!).

Michael Ignatieff's challenge to the Conservative Party leader (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) to state clearly his support for unlimited abortion services is little more than a cynical ploy trying to paint the (nominally) pro-life Prime Minister as some sort of fundamentalist extremist.

Leaving aside for one moment the flawed logic of Ignatieff's argument (dead women - bad; dead babies - good), clearly no one of any political persuasion is supporting unsafe medical procedures at the hands of unqualified professionals. To try to label the pro-life camp in such a light is an intellectually dishonest attempt on the part of this alleged academic genius for his own political and personal gain. He should not be allowed to get away with misusing human rights in such a sexist and perverse manner.

If and when the next election comes around, it will be important for Christian's of all stripes to point out that the Liberal Party apparently not only stands for the wholesale slaughter of pre-born children, but is also willing to cynically use womens health issues as a political club to attain their own ends.

It is now as clear as can be:  Liberal Party of Canada desires to kill pre-born children (and the aged as evidenced by their stand on euthanasia). To vote in support of such a party is almost tantamount to material cooperation with evil and is something that a Christian should do with  great hesitation and the gravest of concerns, lest they endanger their own soul with their vote. We all will have to stand before Jesus as our Lord & judge at the end of our life. Those who support pro-death parties like the Liberal Party of Canada should expect the millions of souls killed at the hands of abortionists and doctors practicing euthanasia to give evidence of their unworthiness to be granted entry into eternal paradise.

Something to consider whenever the next election rolls around. Something that Michael Ignatieff should consider as well before he continues down his own path to spiritual (and probably... hopefully political) oblivion.

02 February, 2010

Canadian Groundhogs KNOW winter! They've got the red Maple Leaf on their chest

Now, if only they can predict favorable weather and results at the Olympics this month for their fellow two legged Canuck's, we'll give them the most comfortable winter accommodations on the continent!

Let the voice of groundhog and beaver ring out for our Canadian athletes in Vancouver...

C...eh?...N...eh?...D...eh? !!! GO CANADA GO!!!

C...eh?...N...eh?...D...eh? !!! GO CANADA GO!!!

C...eh?...N...eh?...D...eh? !!! GO CANADA GO!!!


01 February, 2010

A Super Bowl thought from a MAN'S perspective

"The Super Bowl is the ultimate man's weekend. A time of the three greatest "all's" of life: Footb-"all, "Alcoh-"all" and Cholestor-"all".

Red Green

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