Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pope Francis's Visit

Pope Francis’s Visit

          The historic visit of Pope Francis to the United States just ended.  For me, as a teacher in a Catholic school, it was very exciting.  We did all sorts of preparations, and being in a Catholic school in California, the canonization of Father Junipero Serra was particularly special.  In general, it was a time of celebration for American Catholics.

          But, of course, there were those who saw the pope’s visit as a political opportunity.  Facebook was saturated with memes showing the pope and including some quote undermining the Church, which of course the holy father never said.  Sadly, these things are “shared” ad nauseum, even after they have been debunked.  On the other side, some people criticized everything the man did, as if he were a politician rather than a shepherd of souls.

          I’ll admit that I would have liked to see a more explicit condemnation of abortion in his address to Congress, especially when the funding of Planned Parenthood is such a hot topic.  But the pope’s pro-life credentials are unquestioned; who am I to critique his judgment on what needed to be said?

          His speech to the United Nations was extremely powerful, and beautiful.  Throughout his visit, the holy father stressed the importance of religious liberty, and raised issues that challenged politicians on both the right and the left.

          What I would really recommend is reading the interview he gave as he flew back to Rome.  This gave his impression of the visit, and I think provided a clear window into his heart.  Especially for Catholics with any concerns about the holy father’s visit, this interview will leave you impressed and hopeful.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Planned Parenthood: Lies and Murder

Planned Parenthood: Lies and Murder

Warning: The above video demonstrates a very important, but very disturbing truth.

Planned Parenthood is finally on the defensive.  For years, many of us in the pro-life movement have known the disgusting, behind-the-scenes workings of the abortion industry.  And for a long time, we have been ringing the bell, but no one has been listening.  Now the Center for Medical Progress, with their undercover videos, have exposed the shocking truth to the world, and the abortion industry, especially its giant Planned Parenthood, is finally feeling some heat.

Despite the release of numerous undercover videos exposing illegal and disgusting acts, it is amazing how many people have no idea of the firestorm taking place.  This is largely because of a well-orchestrated media “cone of silence” that has tried to keep the revelations found on the videos quiet, downplayed, or falsely discredited.

For those who have not seen the videos (and please don’t watch them after you have eaten), they show officials from Planned Parenthood or representatives from companies who buy fetal tissue discussing with an undercover investigative reporter the ins-and-outs of their business dealings.  (The above video also shows a former stem cell research employee discussing an experience that led to her conversion from the industry.)

Why are these videos creating such a stir (among those who have been exposed to them)?  Abortion has always been disgusting, but everyone knows that Planned Parenthood is involved in it on a multi-million dollar scale; and though many people don’t know much about the exploitation of children through the use of their body parts, the American public has had a surprising tolerance for medical research on human subjects, with or without their consent.  Nazi Germany would be proud.

There are many things in these videos that are finally striking a chord in even some of the hardest of hearts.  First, the buying and selling of fetal body parts is illegal.  Companies have found ways around this law by paying exorbitant amounts for “shipping and handling” or some other service, and claiming that the body parts themselves are being donated and not being sold.  The haggling over prices on the videos clearly exposes this game for the scam that it is.

Second, although Planned Parenthood likes to lie that it is all about women’s health, the videos clearly show PP representatives explaining how they can adjust the abortion procedures they use specifically in order to get more “intact specimens.”  Despite showing that women’s health is clearly not the priority, this is also against the law.

Finally, the cavalier attitude displayed on the videos is what is most sickening.  We hear representatives talking about the difficulty of getting intact specimens because “the abdomens are almost always ripped open.”  We see one “doctor” holding a little baby’s heart and explaining how without the proper care the heart will be “smooshed” between her fingers.  People talk about the good fortune of getting a “delivery” (live birth) because that can produce an entirely intact fetus.  Nevermind that this living baby, under the law, should be cared for; not left to die so that it can be sold at a premium.  All of these things make it impossible for pro-choicers to continue to deny that abortion kills a child.

The response from the abortion lobby has been swift.  There have been legal battles over the videos.  The public is constantly being deceived with the line that these are “heavily edited” videos whose real meaning can’t be discerned.  Although the videos most people have seen are heavily edited - portions of conversations that last better than an hour sometimes - the full, unedited versions are available, and prove that the editing did not falsely portray innocent business.

The fallout has also already begun.  Numerous companies and states have withdrawn financial support from Planned Parenthood, and at least one research company has terminated its relationship as well.  Republicans in Congress pushed a bill to stop federal funding of the massive abortion giant, but Planned Parenthood’s faithful Democratic allies in the Senate promptly shut that down.  They have also found loyal supporters in both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.

So what’s next?  What I hope for is that what Father Frank Pavone has been saying will finally come to pass: “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.”  Hopefully these videos from the powerful pro-life warriors at CMP will finally help America take an honest look at abortion.

Note: I always like to include, in any post about abortion, a reminder of the healing that is available for the countless people suffering from abortion.  God continues to love you desperately, and He makes all things new.  Visit for one organization that seeks to help in this desperately needed ministry.