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52 Bishops Against Notre Dame “Betrayal” of Catholic Identity

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LifeSiteNews.com

By Kathleen Gilbert

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, April 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the swell of criticism against the Notre Dame scandal continues to rise, three more bishops have spoken out against the school’s decision to honor president Obama at this year’s commencement ceremony, bringing the total number of opposing bishops to 52.  President Obama is expected to deliver the University’s commencement address and receive an honorary law degree May 17.

Bishop Joseph Galante of New Jersey’s Camden diocese weighed in on the controversy in the April 24 edition of the "Catholic Star Herald."  Discussing how Catholics are expected to integrate Catholic faith and identity into daily life, Bishop Galante said Notre Dame’s honoring of Obama "suggests that our foundational moral principles do not matter."

"These situations are often complex and each situation must be judged on the particular circumstances that pertain by those who are responsible for upholding Catholic teaching in the institution in question, whether at Notre Dame University or elsewhere," wrote Galante. 

"However, it would appear to me to be inappropriate specifically to honor an individual, particularly a prominent public official, who intentionally holds and deliberately advocates positions contrary to fundamental moral principles.

"To do so suggests that our foundational moral principles do not matter. To do so betrays our Catholic belief. To do so ignores the Church’s Catholic identity and our own Catholic identity, which is more than a name or a label, but defines who and what we are at our core," Bishop Galante concluded.

As a publisher’s note in the Catholic News & Herald this week, Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte, NC, wrote: "It is evident that action on the important issue of defending unborn human life must proceed along various fronts simultaneously.

"Public outcry over Notre Dame’s decision must be accompanied by ongoing catechesis in our parishes, public witness by the entire Catholic Church and involvement in the political process in order to promote a culture that protects the sanctity of unborn human life.

"The problem of the lack of respect for the right to life of the unborn is so serious in our society that this multi-front approach is essential.  This is a task for laity, clergy, religious, parents and teachers - in short, for everyone.," wrote Bishop Jugis.

Earlier this month, Bishop Glen Provost of the diocese of Lake Charles, LA, issued a statement condemning the Notre Dame decision as displaying "total disregard" for U.S. bishops’ policy.

"I must express my dismay at the fact that Notre Dame University would confer an honorary degree upon a commencement speaker who publicly, in theory and in action, espouses a position on such a fundamental issue as the life of the unborn that is in direct opposition to Catholic Church teaching," wrote Bishop Provost. 

"With all due respect to the person and the office of the President of the United States, at issue is a far more fundamental principle.  Such an action on the part of the University displays a total disregard for an instruction by the Bishops of this country on the consistency between the actions of Catholic institutions and what the Catholic Church teaches." 

"In this matter, I share the consternation of my brother bishops and of many Notre Dame alumni who have already voiced their objections.  I am in complete agreement with them," said the bishop.  "Appeals to ‘academic freedom’ or engagement should not prompt an indifference to what our actions imply. 

"In reflecting on the need to voice my objection, I am reminded of a statement in the letters of Madame de Sévigné that I read many years ago. 

"Expressing her regret at the death of a dear friend, which could have been prevented by decisive action, she writes:  ‘By saying, "I don’t want to take responsibility for anything," people become responsible for everything.’ 

"For both the individual Catholic living in this climate of moral relativism and for the Catholic institution bestowing an honor, this observation is particularly applicable," wrote Bishop Provost. 

"Honos habet onus ["Honor has responsibility"] applies as well to the one who bestows the honor."

The bishops who have so far expressed disapproval of Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama (in alphabetical order) are:

1. Bishop John D’Arcy - Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN
2. Bishop Samuel Aquila - Fargo, ND
3. Bishop Gregory Aymond - Austin, TX
4. Bishop Gerald Barbarito - Palm Beach, FL
5. Bishop Leonard Blair - Toledo, OH
6. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein - Indianapolis, IN
7. Bishop Robert Baker - Birmingham, AL
8. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz - Lincoln, NE
9. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran - Oklahoma City, OK
10. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú - San Antonio, TX
11. Bishop Paul Coakley - Salina, KS
12. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Houston, TX
13. Archbishop Timothy Dolan - New York, NY
14. Bishop Thomas Doran - Rockford, IL
15. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty - Scranton, PA
16. Bishop Robert Finn - Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
17. Bishop Joseph Galante - Camden, NJ
18. Bishop Victor Galeone - St. Augustine, FL
19. Cardinal Francis George - Chicago, IL; President, USCCB
20. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger - Evansville, IN
21. Archbishop José Gomez - San Antonio, TX
22. Bishop William Higi - Lafayette, IN
23. Archbishop Alfred Hughs - New Orleans, LA
24. Bishop Peter Jugis - Charlotte, NC
25. Bishop Joseph Latino - Jackson, MS
26. Bishop John LeVoir - New Ulm, MN
27. Bishop Jerome Listecki - La Crosse, WI
28. Bishop William E. Lori - Bridgeport, CT
29. Bishop Paul Loverde - Arlington, VA
30. Bishop George Lucas - Springfield, IL
31. Bishop Robert Lynch - St. Petersburg, FL
32. Bishop Joseph Martino - Scranton, PA
33. Bishop Charles Morlino - Madison, WI
34. Bishop George Murry - Youngstown, OH
35. Archbishop John J. Myers - Newark, NJ
36. Archbishop Joseph Naumann - Kansas City, KS
37. Bishop R. Walker Nickless - Sioux City, IA
38. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt - St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN
39. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien - Baltimore, MD
40. Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Phoenix, AZ
41. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk - Cincinnati, OH
42. Bishop Glen Provost - Lake Charles, LA
43. Cardinal Justin Rigali - Philadelphia, PA; Chairman, USCCB Pro-Life Committee
44. Bishop Kevin Rhoades - Harrisburg, PA
45. Bishop Alexander Sample - Marquette, MI
46. Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa, OK
47. Bishop Richard Stika - Knoxville, TN
48. Bishop Anthony Taylor - Little Rock, AR
49. Bishop Robert Vasa - Baker, OR
50. Bishop Thomas Wenski - Orlando, FL
51. Archbishop Donald Wuerl - Washington, D.C.
52. Bishop David Zubick - Pittsburgh, PA

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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