Program #0218 for Thursday, January 19, 2012: New Vicar for New Evangelization, new rector for seminary; global abortion genocide of girls; Supreme Court ruling favors religious freedom; local baker puts charity first

January 19, 2012

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Today’s host(s): Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Susan Abbott

Today’s guest(s): Fr. Roger Landry, executive editor of The Anchor, the newspaper of the Fall River diocese; and Gregory Tracy, managing editor of The Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston archdiocese

Links from today’s show:

  • The Anchor
  • The Pilot
  • Some of the stories discussed on this show will be available on The Pilot’s and The Anchor’s websites on Friday morning. Please check those sites for the latest links.

Today’s topics: New Vicar for New Evangelization, new rector for seminary; global abortion genocide of girls; Supreme Court ruling favors religious freedom; local baker puts charity first

Summary of today’s show: Scot Landry and Susan Abbott review the headlines of the week with Fr. Roger Landry and Gregory Tracy, including the big news that Cardinal Seán has asked Bishop Arthur Kennedy to be the new Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization and Msgr. James Moroney to be the new rector of St. John’s Seminary; also this week Fr. Roger’s hard-hitting editorial on the global genocide of girls, the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the ministerial exception, and a local baker who puts Catholic charity first and foremost by providing bread for the poor in a unique way.

1st segment: Scot welcomed Susan back to the show and noted she had car trouble this morning. They discussed how we often fail to appreciate the miracle of our cars that help us in our commute. Susan said this week the religious education office is working with new catechetical leaders to see how they’re doing in their first year. They’re also doing some pastoral planning sessions. Scot said there are three rounds of consultations going on and religious education teachers went through round 1 this past week. Scot said this week, priests are getting a glimpse at draft groups of parish clusters. He emphasized that the materials shared at those consultations become available the afternoon of the meetings at Planning2012.com. He encouraged listeners to go the documents and also repeated that everything is in draft stage right now, just to get feedback. Susan also asked everyone to keep this process in prayer.

Scot said today Cardinal Seán is announcing a new vicar for the New Evangelization and a new rector for St. John’s Seminary and that’s our first story after the break.

2nd segment: Scot and Susan welcome Fr. Roger and Gregory back to the show. Scot said this week’s Pilot has a big headline. Bishop Arthur Kennedy has been appointed Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization as of July 1 and Msgr. James Moroney has been named to replace him as rector of St. John Seminary.

Scot said Bishop Kennedy was ordained a bishop for Boston on September 14, 2010. At the time it was expected a replacement as rector would be named. He’s done a great job expanding enrollment at the seminary bringing it from 25 seminarians to a full-enrollment of more than 100. It’s not clear yet what Bishop Kennedy will do, but Scot’s sense is that he will oversee a lot of the Year of Faith activities and oversee efforts to strengthen evangelization efforts in parishes.

Susan said this is great news and pointed out that he is also a native son of West Roxbury. She said she has worked with Bishop Kennedy with her work at the Master of Arts in Ministry program and Theological Institute for the New Evangelization at St. John’s. As sad as she might be to see him leave the seminary, the appointment of Msgr. Moroney takes away the sadness. Scot said one Bishop Kennedy’s responsibilities will be to oversee expansion of TINE.

Fr. Roger said Bishop Kennedy has done an extraordinary job in just five years. Cardinal Sean, who has placed a premium on seminarian formation, has taken a spectacular rector and put him in a place to lead formation of the laity and shows how important this task is to Cardinal Sean. It underscores the priority that Cardinal Seán is giving to this initiative for new evangelization. Fr. Roger said if Cardinal Seán had done a nationwide search for a replacement rector, everyone would have picked Msgr. Moroney. He said everyone expected Msgr. Moroney would be a bishop by now, but thanks to the bishop of Worcester, where he’s a priest, for giving him to the archdiocese for this task. Msgr. Moroney has been traveling the world educating priests and laity on the new translation of the Mass. He said bishops of other dioceses will be willing to send their seminarians to St. John’s based on Msgr. Moroney’s leadership because they will be happy to have their new priests be like Msgr. Moroney. Fr. Roger said this bolsters Cardinal Seán’s hope that St. John’s will be a regional seminary.

Scot clarified Msgr. Moroney is a priest of the neighboring diocese of Worcester. He said Msgr. Moroney had been serving as a professor at St. John’s for liturgy. He’s served on a many international commissions and has run the US bishops’ conference’s secretariat for liturgy for a dozen years. Susan said she is thrilled and echoes everything Fr. Roger said. She added that he’s brilliant, humorous, and self-deprecating and often has people at conferences and talks enthralled.

Scot recommended listeners go to CatholicTV.com and watch Msgr. Moroney’s program called “New and Eternal Word” on the new translation and then each week he has short reflections of each Sunday’s prayers of the Mass.

3rd segment: Scot said in this week’s Anchor, looking toward the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Fr. Roger wrote an editorial on the pro-choice genocide of baby girls.

On Sunday, we mark the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that with its companion Doe v. Bolton made abortion legal in the United States for all nine months of pregnancy. These revolutionary decisions have since been celebrated by radical feminist groups as a milestone advance in the cause of women’s freedom and rights, not just in the United States but internationally. The decisions, they argued, give women control over their destiny by giving them control over their bodies and whatever was in their bodies. They saved women’s lives, they maintained, by preventing deaths in the ubiquitous “back alleys” by coat-hanger-wielding pseudo-doctors. The euphemisms they employed tried to claim that what was growing in them wasn’t human life: at worst, the ‘fetus’ was akin to a parasite or a wart; at most it was merely “potential” human life. The whole moniker of “freedom of choice” always scrupulously avoided mentioning a direct object to specify and morally qualify what one was actually choosing.

Over the course of the last four decades, however, the various pro-choice mendacities, exaggerations, and euphemisms have all been exposed. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, once one of the most notorious abortion doctors in the country before his conversion from the grisly practice and to Catholicism, testified how wildly the pro-choice movement inflated and outright invented claims of maternal deaths in botched back alley abortions. “Jane Roe” herself, whose real name is Norma McCorvey, testified that her whole case was based on the lie that she had been raped and couldn’t receive an abortion. Advances in embryology and in technology have made abundantly clear that what grows within a woman is clearly a human being at the very stages of existence all adult human beings have traversed. And as the discipline of demography has gotten more advanced and the pro-choice mentality has metastasized, the direct object of the “fiction of choice” has become increasingly apparent. Not only has it been exposed that the choice of abortion is the decision to end the life of a developing human being, but increasing numbers across the globe, the choice has resulted in a disproportionate slaughter of baby girls.

Scot said Fr. Roger then goes on to provide some of the stats on gender-selection abortions and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis abortions. Fr. Roger said it’s become apparent that pro-choice is the slaughter of young women, as opposed to be ing pro-women as pro-choicers claim. Across the world, there is a gap of 160 million girls across the world. Based on the statistical averages and biology, there should be 160 million more girls in the world today, which is mainly attributable to abortion. In China, rather than there being an expected 106 girls to every 100 boys, there are 120 boys for every 100 girls and in Beijing it’s more than 200 boys for every 100 girls. There are 21 countries with unnatural levels of boys in their populations. What will happen in the future when these boys can’t get married as adults. Violence will rise, sexual trafficking and exploitation, pornography will all increase. Even in the US, lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban testing in the womb to determine sex or race in order to perform abortion in order to protect unborn girls, but the so-called pro-woman pro-choice groups have come out in opposition to the law. Scot said abortion is more important than protecting women for these groups.

Susan said as a member of Feminists for Life, this is the biggest lie that has ever been sold to women. they have bought the lie that abortion is a right and this is for their good. Scientifically, no one doubts whether this is human life. Now the question is whose life takes precedence and that’s the slippery slope. She remembers before legalization of abortion people claimed that there would be no slippery slope to sex selection abortions or the like. Scot said science is on the side of the pro-life community. It reveals the lies and it clearly says abortion is business in this country and those behind it will do anything to protect it.

Scot said to Greg that people will object to the editorial for using words like genocide and feticide. Greg said to call it anything less would fall into the trap of euphemisms and softening the truth. He points out that this isn’t us imposing our personal choice or morality on others. He noted that the CIA had a report a few years ago that one of the biggest problems facing the world in the future is the imbalance of men. This isn’t a moral statement, but a national security judgment.

Scot said to Fr. Roger that he ends his editorial by warning that eugenics is coming to the US through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in which people can select for certain traits in their children including gender. What happens is that they manufacture human beings in the laboratory then examine the embryos for their genes and discard, i.e. kill or freeze the rest. Couples are flying in from all over the world to do this in the United States because it’s already illegal in other countries. This is the pro-choice mentality taken to the extreme, that we should be able to choose everything about our children and if we don’t like them we can throw them out like so much wasted food.

Pro-lifers have long described the many ways the pro-choice movement hurts individual women as well as the cause of women overall. It’s now becoming clear that the pro-choice mentality is disproportionately snuffing out the future of hundreds of millions of women more than the carnage of men, creating a global disparity in sex ratio that leads sober analysts to predict that the surplus of unmarried males in sexually unbalanced societies will hurt women in various other ways: through augmenting the demand for prostitution, kidnapping and female trafficking. When are those who claim to speak for the good of women going to recognize that abortion is bad for women, bad for baby girls, and bad for all of society?

Scot said also before the Supreme Court recently was a case that challenged the ministerial exception, a principle in law which allows religious groups to hire and fire based on religious beliefs.

Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, called it “a great day for the First Amendment.” In a statement issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Lori said the ruling makes clear “the historical and constitutional importance of keeping internal church affairs off limits to the government — because whoever chooses the minister chooses the message.”

Greg said the case doesn’t directly affect the other methods of infringement of religious liberty that have been in the news lately, like regulations requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. But the Court did say that religious groups have freedom in employment by saying that government can’t mandate how people of faith practice that faith. Had they ruled otherwise, the government could have said the Church must ordain women because the current policy is discriminatory and other similar complaints.

This case involved a Michigan Lutheran school teacher who was fired after she threatened to sue the school under a disabilities law. The school said she should have used the Lutheran synod’s internal appeals process.

Fr. Roger said any Catholic who wants religious freedom needs to sit up and pay attention to the Obama administration’s infringements on that freedom. It is no longer just intolerant of us, but is actively trying to shut down our ability to police what we do and follow our internal policies. He noted that this was a unanimous decision, including the four justices appointed by Clinton and Obama who agreed that the administrations efforts in this case were ludicrous.

4th segment: Scot said this Saturday there will be a transitional deacon ordained in the Diocese of Fall River and six men will be ordained at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at 10am. Fr. Roger said they will be deacons until they are ordained priests. In Boston this year the priestly ordination is the end of June and Fall River’s Jason Brilhante will be ordained in early June. He said that it is significant that they are ordained deacons in that they will always remain deacons even after being ordained priests.

Also in the Anchor this week is a story about LaVallee’s Bakery Distributors in Waltham that provides free bread to the needy. CEO Andy LaVallee said:

“We run our company on two real basic values that came out of Pope Benedict’s encyclical, ‘Charity in Truth’, and that is stewardship is a gift from God and that it’s something we’re only in possession of, so what we do with it is important,” LaVallee said. “We feel like it’s a real moral responsibility as a Catholic to do certain things for the community. So we need to take care of some of the Catholic-based food pantries and charities in the area.”

Susan said just the fact that he is aware of and familiar with the encyclical is remarkable. The story notes that as you walk into the facility is that there is a painting of Pope Benedict prominently displayed. they also point out that they don’t give away stale bread.

“If you go to the St. Francis House in Boston, they have a very small kitchen area but they manage to feed about 1,200 people a day,” he said. “If you walk out the back door of the kitchen, it’s adjacent to a well-known five-star hotel. On Thanksgiving Day if you went to this particular hotel you would have seen breads from LaVallee’s set up on all the tables from every country around the world. Just next door inside St. Francis House, the homeless were being served the same exact breads. There’s a symbol here: we could just as well give St. Francis House our stale bread, but that wouldn’t be showing respect and dignity for all people. To me, it’s important to give of the same resources and the same products.”

Greg said it has struck him and wants to reprint it in the Pilot. He noted a quote at the end of the article:

“We’ve succeeded ever since we embraced these two strong biblical truths: stewardship and servant leadership,” he said. “If you’re going to continue to manage your company based on spreadsheets and not developing and helping people around you – your employees, your customers and the community – then you’re going to go through life with an accumulation of wealth, but what good is it? The real goodness is what you can do for other people because it’s more Christ-like, it’s what God did for us.”

Fr. Roger said he met him at a Christmas party at a mutual friend’s home and they talked about his program and how other businesses are joining him. From there he asked if they would be able to get some of that charity at his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in New Bedford.

Greg also pointed out the front-page Pilot story on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day commemoration at St. Katharine Drexel in Boston and recommended listeners read it.

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