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March 11, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 50

The Cup of Truth!

     In today's commentary, we discuss the political climate of California, tying in with our news story to the right but delving deeper in giving you the setting for the gubernatorial race this fall in the Golden State and how it purports hope and encouragement to all those who live their faith for candidate Dan Lungren is not ashamed to proclaim his faith. For the editorial "Catholic and proud of it!", click on today's CATHOLIC PewPOINT

"Catholic and proud of it!"

      It's refreshing when a committed Catholic makes no apologies for living his faith as best he can. In the news story we ran Monday it related that Democrats were up in arms over comments Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren made this past week about his faith. Currently serving as California Attorney General Lungren, he chose last week to announce his candidacy for the California Governor's Office which two-term Republican Pete Wilson will vacate after this year. In his announcement speech, he didn't hesitate to assure the people that he was a man of conviction and religious values, stating proudly that he was a Catholic. Hooray for someone standing up for their faith no matter the consequences! And the consequences came fast and furious from, who else, Democrats "outraged" at his remarks. Two of that party's candidates vying for the same office in a Democratic runoff - Al Checchi and Jane Harman dispatched their spokespeople to speak out immediately. One, representing Checchi - the ultra rich corporate raider and former head of Northwest Airlines, stated that Lungren "is trying to mask his extremism in religion," while Harman's camp strongly objected to Lungren's remarks claiming they were "dangerously close to saying we need to have a state religion." Oh come now, did he say he was establishing a Vatican office in Sacramento? Did Lungren say he would appoint only bishops and priests to political positions in the capitol? But to hear the naysayers you would have thought that. No, Lungren was only stating his beliefs in response to questions about moral turpitude, moral leadership in the face of the facade going on in Washington where morality has become a joke and the baser the act, the higher the polls for the president. Lungren doesn't think immorality has a place in politics. He doesn't think it has a place in public life...let alone life! Way to go, Dan. It's about time some one spoke out about the atrocities going on and rather than criticize those doing it, he called for a return to the values God gave us. He also stated, "I believe in penance and redemption." What a novel thing to say by a Catholic and during Lent no less! Again, way to go Dan. But, oh, that wasn't all he proclaimed. No, he went so far as to say, "If we are to be a successful people, we have to be a religious people as well." You know, folks, that goes without saying. Just ask our founding fathers. But in Washington D.C. and other political circles around the country, they haven't got a clue. Then he confirmed that "Separation of church and state doesn't mean separation of public debate and religious values." Right on! We've been saying that for ad infinitum. As soon as one begins to bring moral values or faith into a subject regarding our country - boom, it gets shot down with the cry - "Separation of church and state - religion has no place in it!" Wrong. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, et alii felt quite differently and indicated their support for religion as a vital component of life in America. The clause "Separation of church and state" referred only to the fact that all were free to worship as they wished, with no state religion for that is what they had fled England for and the Anglican Church which King George was forcing down their throats.

     The situation in the world, but especially America today has morphed from the sublime to the ridiculous with the ACLU and a few rabble rousing atheists able to manipulate and sway supreme courts into throwing out prayer in schools, the Ten Commandments in court rooms, creche scenes in public squares, and even ban the words "Christmas" and "Easter" when it comes to vacation time, opting instead for "Winter Break" and "Spring Break." What, folks, are we ashamed of? Why is it we allow this minute minority who oppose God to dictate to the rest? Are we that weak that we're not going to stand up to them and proudly proclaim our faith? That is what Dan Lungren is doing. And for that he is being crucified just as Another was spat on, ridiculed and hung on a cross nearly 2000 years ago! We all know what the press did to another noble, good, upstanding moral Catholic who ran for president in the last election...and we're not talking about Pat Buchanan, but rather Alan Keyes. He spoke from his heart and he spoke the truth and for that he was blackballed not only by the press, but his own black race as well. Ever since Al Smith there has been suspicion about Catholic politicians (outside of Boston or New York) that they would transfer the Holy See to America and set up the Pope as the head of the country or that they would clear everything through the Vatican before acting. Nothing could be further from the truth and many of those fears were assuaged when John F. Kennedy came to the oval office in 1960. However, in the aftermath of his death more facts have surfaced that makes it highly suspect if he ever really was Catholic, much like his brother Teddy today who espouses everything that Holy Mother Church is against - from abortion to homosexuality to sexual permisiveness.

     Now from the Golden State comes a refreshing, conservative candidate who does not hide his faith under a bushel basket or use it as leverage to get votes. Rather, it could hurt him in "New Age-leaning" places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. But he spoke out regardless of the consequences because he is a man of conviction, something sorely lacking in politicians today, especially ones who inhabit the White House today! Lungren is not afraid to stand up for Christ and proudly proclaim "I am a Catholic!" More of us need to do the same. While the press may try to bury Lungren, it's interesting to realize that many reputable opponents are falling by the wayside. The Republicans have held office in the Governor's chair for the past 16 years. Democrats had hoped to unseat the "elephant" and place the donkey in Sacramento, but the ass keeps stumbling! First many thought Senator Diane Feinstein would run but she chose to stay with the senate; secondly they enlisted former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, but he declined. That left the door open for Checchi and Harman, a three-term suburban LA (Rolling Hills) congresswoman to throw their hats in the Democratic ring along with Lt. Governor Gray Davis, the most liberal of the lot, who most likely will slug it out with only one of the three emerging the Democratic candidate. All are pro-abortion. Meanwhile, the lone pro-lifer in the gubernatorial race Lungren has no opposition save a San Francisco opponent who is a medical marijuana activist from San Francisco (no wonder California gets such a bad reputation!). So the scenario is that Checchi is rich but inexperienced, Harman unknown, and Davis lacking the charisma to attract voters. Add to the fact that Davis' albatross could be the fact he was "Governor Moonbeam's" chief aide. That moniker, of course, was given to Governor Jerry Brown for his wacky politics. Speaking of Brown, he too was Catholic. In fact he studied to be a Jesuit priest. But seldom did he call on his faith which Lungren does. That leaves Lungren a pretty clear path to winning the race for Governor come November. The conservatives hope to mount a solid campaign, having endorsed Lungren along with Vista businessman and our neighbor Darrell Issa for the U.S. Senate. Lungren is unabashedly staunchly anti-abortion and won't back down from it. Issa leans heavily toward pro-life as well. It's a good team not for politics but for the resurgence of morality in America even if it does start on the "left coast" because on the other coast, or should we say, on the banks of the Potomac, the scales tip heavily away from justice, prudence and good to everything satan is advocating. On Tuesday the County of Santa Barbara, a fairly conservative stronghold in former President Ronald Reagan's backyard, held an election which should serve as a litmus test for the rest of the nation on the issue of abortion where strong pro-life Republican Tom Bordanaro was to face sentimental Democrat Lois Capps, widow of the former 22nd Congressional District incumbent, the late Walter Capps. Unfortunately she is strongly pro-abortion and all the culture of death factions have jumped on her bandwagon. It's pretty hard to jump on Bordanaro's since he has two things going against him. One, he's handicapped, wheel-chair bound and he's Catholic. But those are not weaknesses, those are strengths, for Bordanaro is unabashedly pro-life like Lungren. Both are not afraid to proudly proclaim their beliefs. As Californians, we strongly welcome both Bordanaro to Congress and Lungren to the race for governor and encourage them to continue the course. By the time you read this we should know the results of the Bordanaro-Capps race, but for Lungren there are many months to go. Our advice: Stay the course. Don't be afraid, Dan, to continue to proudly proclaim: "Catholic and proud of it!"

Michael Cain, editor

The Cup of Reparation and Sacrifice

     Lent is the time to drink deeply from the Cup of Reparation and Sacrifice in atoning not only for our sins, but also the sins of others. For the readings, meditations and liturgies of today and tomorrow, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 1998

THURSDAY, March 12, 1998


Today's prayer is the Prayer of Saint Gertrude in which we can make reparation for many souls - one thousand to be exact in freeing them from Purgatory - by reverently and worthily praying this prayer and willingly drinking from the Cup of Reparation and Sacrifice.

     Eternal Father, we offer Thee the Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners in the world, in our Church, in my home, and in my family. Amen.

For more devotions of Lent, click on WAY OF THE CROSS

Medjugorje Monthly Message for February 25th

      Dear children! Also today I am with you and I, again, call all of you to come closer to me through your prayers. In a special way, I call you to renunciation in this time of grace. Little children, meditate on and live, through your little sacrifices, the Passion and Death of Jesus for each of you. Only if you come closer to Jesus will you comprehend the immeasurable love He has for each of you. Through prayer and your renunciation you will become more open to the gift of faith and love towards the Church and the people who are around you. I love and bless you. Thank you for having responded to my call! For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE


March 11th in Church History

660 and counting, hoping and praying..

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


Holy See turns attention to Permanent Deaconate with new norms, rule out any possibility of women deaconnesses!

      A day after releasing a Vatican document for training on Ecumenism, the Holy See issued new norms for Permanent Deacons throughout the world. It is especially pertinent to America where nearly two thirds of all deacons reside and minister. The documents were released by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Clergy in Rome. For more, click on Deacons to read more.


     VATICAN (CWN) -- A new Vatican document, released today to explain the role of the permanent deacon, also makes sets forth the reasons why it is unrealistic to expect that women might be admitted to the diaconate.

      The 48-page document, entitled "Fundamental Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons," is accompanied by a 63-page "directory" for the ministry. The documents were presented to the press in Rome today by Cardinals Pio Laghi and Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefects respectively of the Congregations for Catholic Education and the Clergy.

      The diaconate is one of the three ordained ministries within the Catholic Church, along with the priesthood and the episcopacy. The permanent diaconate, restored to active use in the Roman Church by Vatican II, has attracted nearly 23,000 men to the clerical state. Of those 23,000 permanent deacons, roughly 90 percent are married men, and roughly two-thirds live in North America-- predominantly in the United States.

      The new Vatican document suggests that the permanent diaconate envisioned by Vatican II has now reached a sort of "maturity" after a period of 30 years. For that reason the Holy See has published this guide to the three essential functions of the deacon: the proclamation of the Gospel, the service of the liturgy, and administration of charitable works.

      "We now need to set out universal norms" for deacons, Cardinal Laghi explained, pointing out that different episcopal conferences have developed widely different usages. He said that the example of the United States, with 15,000 permanent deacons, had helped to guide an international dialogue.

      Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos observed that there have been no widespread concerns about abuses of the deacon's role. Rather, he said, the new effort is a matter of "stimulating this sacramental and spiritual force, which gives life to the Church." Indeed the two documents contain no striking new teaching or discipline regarding the role of the permanent deacon.

      However, the documents do lay to rest one argument which has been raised frequently by proponents of priestly ordination for women. The text makes it clear that the ordination of women as permanent deacons is not a possibility. Msgr. Jose Savaira Martins, the secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, explained: "While 'deaconesses' indubitably did exist in the early days of the Church, they were not ordained as priests were; they simply received a blessing, which was not a sacrament."

      If women cannot be ordained to the clergy, reporters asked, would it be possible to revive the ancient practice in which some women received a blessing to work as deacons without being ordained? Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos responded: "In editing this text we wished precisely to avoid any new confusion on the idea of the diaconate. To go back to such a practice in the Church would cause confusion in the language."

Patriarch of Moscow to Pope: "Let's play ball, but I'm calling the shots!"

      Trying to have his cake and eat it too, the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Alexei II revealed that plans for talks with the Vatican are on again after he had squelched them last year. However, Alexei has placed restrictions on the potential meetings, warning the Pope that Catholics do it his way and for them not to proselytize to anyone other than fellow Catholics. If they don't, they suffer the consequences. Sounds like a threat to us. For more, click on Russia to read more.


      VATICAN (CWN) -- According to the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, Alexei II, talks have resumed toward the goal of setting up a meeting between himself and Pope John Paul II.

      The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church made that disclosure in Moscow during the celebration of an Orthodox feast, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. However, the Patriarch said no such meeting could take place until the Vatican approves a statement condemning the "proselytism" of Catholic communities, especially in Ukraine.

      A planned meeting last year between the Pope and Patriarch Alexei, scheduled to take place on June 21 in Vienna, was canceled because of heavy pressure from the Orthodox synod, which took a hostile stance toward "Catholic proselytism."

      Patriarch Alexei also said that the Pope would not be welcome to visit Russia until the Eastern-rite Catholic churches drop their claims for the restoration of parish properties which were seized by the government during the years of Communist rule, and handed over to the local Orthodox churches.

      Russia's Orthodox Patriarch said on Sunday that if he were to meet with Pope John Paul, the Catholic Church would have to agree to end its evangelistic efforts in his country and only minister to those who are currently Catholic.

      Patriarch Aleksei II said he had already confronted other churches conducting evangelistic efforts in those countries traditionally claimed by the Russian Orthodox Church, including Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Russian recently passed laws making it more difficult to register and run new non-Orthodox churches, causing protests from Christians outside the country, but with branches inside it, including the Catholic Church.

      "We will continue preparing for a meeting between the heads of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches," the patriarch told reporters Sunday during a visit to the Greek Embassy in Moscow. "However, we consider it necessary that at this meeting, both sides condemn proselytizing," he said. He added that a planned meeting with the Holy Father in Austria last summer was canceled because of the unsettled matter of Eastern-rite Catholics in Ukraine, who are demanding the return of property seized under Soviet rule.

Congressional Vote in Santa Barbara could serve as litmus test for the rest of America

     Still waiting election results from Tuesday's vote for the 22nd Congressional District, pro-lifers were holding their breath and praying that their candidate, wheel-chair Catholic Tom Bordanaro can defeat strong pro-abort Democrat Lois Capps, widow of deceased incumbent Walter Capps, who has had the sympathy of the press and the financial support of pro-abortion factions. For more, click on Pro-life battle to read more.


     SANTA BARBARA, California (CWN) - A special election for a California congressional seat on Tuesday has turned into a litmus test for nationwide congressional elections this fall as well as the role social issues will likely play.

      Pro-life Republican Tom Bordanaro is facing pro-abortion Democrat Lois Capps, the widow of the former incumbent, Rep. Walter Capps' who died while in office on October 28, for the 22nd Congressional District seat. Bordanaro is a Catholic wheelchair-bound two-term assemblyman who has said he would vote against House Speaker Newt Gingrich for re-election to the post because of his failure to act on important social issues, while Capps, a former religion professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has said is a supporters of wide-ranging abortions rights, and has said she will vote to uphold President Clinton's veto of a ban on partial-birth abortions.

      The election has also received national attention because of the focus brought by numerous special-interest groups. Among groups buying huge blocks of radio and TV advertising time were Americans for Limited Terms, the Campaign for Working Families, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, National Right To Life, and Americans for Job Security.

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"He who despises the word must pay for it, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded."

Proverbs 13: 13

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

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March 11, 1998 volume 9, no. 50         DAILY CATHOLIC