Friday, December 25, 2009

Best wishes!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Texas Planned Parenthood director has change of heart, becomes pro-life

Texas Planned Parenthood director has change of heart, becomes pro-life: "College Station, Texas, Nov 2, 2009 / 10:51 pm (CNA).- A director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas has resigned after eight years with the organization because watching an ultrasound of an abortion triggered a 'massive' change of heart."

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Listen- originally by darrendraper

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

"I didn't know that"

from the post "Au revoir, mes amis", in The Dawn Patrol
Last week, at the Envoy Institute Catholic apologetics conference, I was approached by a young man who told me he had been raised Catholic but was now attending a nondenominational Protestant church. He said he got a feeling out of the Protestant services that was greater than anything he had felt at a Catholic Mass.

"But you realize," I said, " that at the Catholic Mass, Jesus is really and truly present on the altar?"

I expected an argument. Perhaps the man would say, "He's present at my church just as much as He is in the Mass."

But he didn't. He looked at me innocently and said, "No. I didn't know that."

I told him what I could, and urged him to ask one of the priests present at the conference what was really happening during the Mass. He did end up speaking to a priest there -- for about nine hours, I am told, praise God.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Mike Scott for Iran protesters

Mike Scott reads aloud from a book during a Wa...Mike Scott - Image via Wikipedia

Mike Scott, his wife Janette and Waterboys’ webmaster Ian Barratt have created a 3-minute video titled LET THE EARTH BEAR WITNESS in tribute to the Iranian protesters. The film shows fantastic images of the uprising in Iran to a soundtrack of a split-new Waterboys with a lyric by the great Irish poet WB Yeats. Says Mike: "Let The Earth Bear Witness is inspired by the amazing scenes of hundreds of thousands of Iranian people standing up for their rights and freedom. I took the words from two old Yeats poems, in which he was writing about Irish freedom fighters. But his words apply to any freedom fighters, anytime, anywhere in the world." The Waterboys' team is working on a version with subtitles in Farsi.

(news taken from here)


William Butler YeatsWilliam Butler Yeats via

They shall be remembered for ever
They shall be alive for ever
They shall be speaking for ever
The people shall hear them for ever

Let the sea bear witness
Let the wind bear witness
Let the earth bear witness
Let the stars bear witness!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Joffé making movie about Opus Dei's early years

Opus Dei founder gets 'The Mission' treatment, from America | The National Catholic Weekly - Remember The Mission, that great 1986 film about eighteenth-century Jesuits in the Paraguayan jungle, starring Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons? Its British director, Roland Joffé, is making a new Catholic drama - about the early life of Opus Dei and its founder, St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.

There be dragons will benefit from Opus Dei collaboration, but it has not been commissioned or financed by the organisation. "The film team asked us for help in gathering information and we gave them access to the documentation. That's the beginning and end of our collaboration with this film," says Opus Dei's former information officer.

(...) "A drama of passion, betrayal, love and faith", say the production notes. "An action-packed story set at a murderous period in history, with lessons for the present in revealing the importance and eternal power of forgiveness.

Read the rest of the article here. Found through this blog (thanks!).

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

A very holy and joyful Easter to you all
and to all your families and friends!
fra Angelico, Resurrection, 1450. Thanks to Museum Syndicate. Click to view larger image.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Earthquake in Abruzzo

from Il, April 6, 2009
The hours pass as they try to save as many survivors as possibile from the terrible earthquake that hit Abruzzo last night. Marco Gentile lives near Aquila and is one of tens of thousands of people who have had to leave their homes during these last hours. He tells what people are experiencing at this dramatic time.

Marco, how is the situation now?

The situation is very serious, especially because the center of the city of Aquila was destroyed, and many historic buildings collapsed there. Now no one can enter the city, so there is no access to relief services.

Outside of Aquila, how is the general situation?

In the suburbs around Aquila the general condition is very serious in many cases, especially in the direction of Pescara where the town of Paganica had about 80% of its homes destroyed.

What was your experience of the terrible moments this night?

I was sleeping, of course, when we heard this violent shock; I think it lasted about thirty seconds. We immediately jumped up and started running down the street, my wife and I and our two children. My house wasn’t badly damaged because it is a one-family house; some houses, especially the older ones, were completely destroyed.

And the historic buildings?

The facade of the Sant’Elia church of my suburban neighborhood collapsed. Almost all the churches were heavily damaged in Aquila. I spoke with a friend who is still in Aquila, and he said that all the churches, the Duomo, the Church of the Holy Souls, and San Marciano, are seriously damaged. Then the most serious thing is that the Students House collapsed, as well as even some new buildings. They tell me that the hotel Duca d'Abruzzi has collapsed, but I have no confirmation of this news.

Are the emergency services coming?

The relief situation seems good; they have already set up camp in the suburbs and are distributing meals. In general, I see that people are very scared, but not desperate; people are aware of what has happened and that everything possible is being done to remedy it. Several convoys are also on their way I just came from Aquila and passed several of them coming from both Rome and the Adriatic.

Some are already saying that the event should have been anticipated.

In fact, I know that a researcher from the National Laboratories of Gran Sasso, Giampaolo Giuliani, after the shock of last week said that it was necessary to evacuate the city: although he predicted this shock would occur in 24 hours, it happened after one week.

How do the next few days look?

It’s hard to say. Another serious thing is that the company I work for is closed now and for the next two or three weeks because the building was substantially damaged. This is also a problem: our area already has few industries, and these have been hard hit. It is a problem, especially in a very difficult economic time.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Unexpected pro-life statement... from Iran

Universal Declaration of Human RightsImage by Jordan Lewin via Flickr

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute - (NEW YORK – C-FAM) As the sun rose on the last day of negotiations at the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) at the United Nations (UN) today, delegations were still embroiled in a contentious debate over language concerning “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” which some radical NGOs and UN committees have interpreted and used to promote abortion. As UN member states came together at the closing meeting to adopt the document, delegations took the floor to define abortion out of the document.

Up until the eleventh hour, the contentious term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” remained in the draft document. Just prior to adoption, Iran took the floor to object to the phrase which has never before been included in any negotiated UN document. Iran stressed that the term remained problematic for a number of delegations and urged the Commission to revert back to previously agreed upon and carefully negotiated language from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, which is understood not to create any right to abortion.
Continue to read the original article here.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Faith Is a Blush

is unwilling to be alone,
and man cannot forever remain impervious
to what He longs to show.
Those of us who cannot keep their striving back
find themselves at times
within the sight of the unseen
and become aglow with its rays.
Some of us blush,
others wear a mask.
Faith is a blush
in the presence of God.
by Abraham Heschel. Thank you, Suzanne.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today's liturgy in italian art: the Temptations of Christ

Beato Angelico. (click on the image for higher res. Thanks to the great Museum Syndicate website)

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Wondering about the Wordless Days

I'd like to refresh the habit of the wordless day, when I post just an image, as many other fellow bloggers do. But I started with a "Wordless Saturday" without checking if such thing existed at all.

That's why I made a little inquiry, google-ing (in blog search) "Worldless Monday" and so on, for each day of the week. It resulted that, apart from the overwhelming Wordless Wednesday (249,870 entries), all the others were much lower, spanning from 1213 entries (Thursday) to 158 (Saturday). Here's the situation:

Now, I'd like to know: why Wednesday?

Is it for the assonance of the initial "W"?

Is there a story about a special Wednesday that I never heard of?

Hints, anyone?

What should be the ideal Wordless Day of the week, in your opinion? and why?

Until I get to know a good reason to join the WW club, I'll keep posting Wordless Saturdays, thus reinforcing its poor statistics. :o)

Enough words for today.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Eluana has died

Breaking: Italy's "Terri Schiavo" Dies Suddenly ( - By Matthew Cullinan Hofman - ROME, February 9, 2009 - Eluana Englaro, Italy's "Terri Schiavo," has died only four days after doctors began a "gradual" reduction in her food and water intake with the intent to cause her death.

The announcement was made by Italy's Health Minister on the floor of the Italian Senate, which was debating a bill that would have saved Englaro's life.

Although no cause of death has been announced, earlier news reports indicated that Englaro's intake of nutrients was being replaced with a heavy dose of sedatives. Palliative medication in high doses can cause a patient to die prematurely.

The news follows public statements by Englaro's physician that she has enjoyed almost perfect physical health during the 16 years following her car accident in 1992, which left her bedridden and in a minimal state of consciousness. She was 38 years old.

Although euthanasia is illegal in Italy and Englaro's body functions were not dependent on machines, her father received a decision from Italy's final appeals court in 2008 allowing him to remove hydration and nutrition in order to kill her. The ruling was based on the notion that food and water constitute “medical treatment,” which can be withheld at the patient's discretion.

Englaro's father claims that his daughter would not have wanted to live as a "vegetable."

The decision to allow Englaro's dehydration death was met with protests throughout Italy during the weekend, and over the past few weeks. The Italian government under Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attempted to pass emergency legislation through the Italian Parliament to save Englaro's life after an earlier attempt was blocked by the country's president, a former communist. However, the legislation was still in process when Englaro's death was announced.

Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schindler, commented to about Eluana’s death saying, "I’m very sad to hear about Eluana. Our family grieves for her." He added that he was "surprised at how quickly she has passed away."

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International denounced Englaro's killing and expressed puzzlement at her quick death.

"To intentionally dehydrate a person to death dehumanizes them because it denies them the basic care due to a human person. We turn them into an object," he told LifeSiteNews. "Everybody deserves basic care, which includes food, fluid, and warmth as long as it is necessary to sustain life. This is not extraordinary treatment."

"We ask the question, how did she actually die? She wouldn’t have died in just a few days of dehydration," he added.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eluana's last days

Eluana Transferred Late Tuesday Night to Clinic for Death by Dehydration -By Hilary White - ROME, February 3, 2009 ( – Eluana Englaro, who is often referred to as “Italy’s Terri Schiavo,” was transferred late Tuesday night to a hospital that has agreed to participate in her killing by removal of her food and hydration tube. Television news coverage showed a group of pro-life activists gathered outside the clinic in Eluana’s home town of Lecco at about 1:30am, as an ambulance took her away, some shouting “Eluana, wake up!” and “Don’t kill her!”

Eluana Englaro, 38, suffered brain damage in a car accident in 1992 and has since been in a state of diminished consciousness. Eluana’s father, Beppino Englaro, who has been petitioning the courts for over a decade to euthanize his daughter, said her transfer to the new facility is “the first step... towards the liberation of my daughter. It seems we have finally succeeded.”

Beppino Englaro’s lawyer told media that La Quiete, a private clinic in the north eastern town of Undine, had agree to participate in her killing. Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the government is searching for a new way to prevent her death. The removal of Eluana’s food and hydration tube is set to be carried out in three days.

Death by dehydration has been described by medical authorities as “horrible” and “agonizing.” It was a common form of torture used by totalitarian states, including in well-documented cases by the Nazis in their death camps.

In cases of severe dehydration, toxins build up in the body and the body's chemical balances are disrupted. This disrupts the electrical system that triggers the action of muscles, including the heart. The tongue and lips crack and bleed. The eyes recede into their orbits. The skin becomes so sensitive it peels off upon firm contact. The lining of the nose can crack and bleed. Dried brain cells can cause convulsions. The mouth becomes dry and saliva thick, and there is cracking of the mucous membranes of the mouth and lips. The blood thickens, increasing the risk of stroke. As fluid decreases in the body, blood pressure drops and the heart rate increases, possibly causing shock and heart attack.

The move to kill Eluana has roused the ire of many in Italy, including Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, said on Tuesday, “Stop this murder!”

“To stop giving food and liquids to Eluana is equivalent to abominable murder and the Church will not cease to proclaim this loud and clear.” Interviewed by the Rome daily La Repubblica, the cardinal said that Eluana’s court-mandated death by dehydration “will represent a defeat for the respect of human life.” His comments come after Pope Benedict XVI spoke on Sunday against euthanasia, saying it is a false answer to suffering.

The consequences, both legal and moral, should Eluana Englaro be euthanized in a Catholic Country, will be dire, pro-life advocates have warned. Carlo Caffara, the archbishop of Bologna, said at Mass last weekend, “In the body of this woman, and in her fate, there is an image of the fate of the West.”

Eluana has become a “‘sign of contradiction’ between a culture of death and a culture of life,” he said. “Her martyred body has become the question addressed to every conscience that reflects on man's destiny: To whom does man belong? Who has dominion over man's life and death? Who owns man?”

“The spiritual event of the West has come to the end of the line: If the life of man does not belong to man but to God, no one has control over it for any reason, [but] if the life of man belongs to man, it is consistent to hypothesize circumstances in which everyone can do what he wants with his life or ask others to put an end to it,” Cardinal Caffara continued.

The killing of Eluana, said Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, the director of the Rome office of Human Life International, is going to be disastrous for others in similar situations in Italy. Msgr. Barreiro said, “It would create a precedent whereby judges, against the law, can decide it's right to kill patients. We are not fighting for Eluana's life because she has limited signs of consciousness but because of her dignity as a human being.”

Pro-life legal experts have been especially concerned that should Eluana be “legally” killed by dehydration, it would create a “back door” through which euthanasia could be legalized. The government is considering legislation that would allow the creation of “living wills” that could specify the removal of food and hydration.

In November, health and welfare minister, Maurizio Sacconi, issued a statement that in Italy it is “illegal” to remove the food and hydration of helpless disabled patients with the purpose of ending their lives. Secretary of Welfare, Eugenia Roccella, also said that there is “no obligation” for government-funded health care facilities to implement the court’s decision that patients can be dehydrated to death.

In January, two pro-life advocates launched a legal challenge to the appeals court in Milan, arguing that the decision to allow Eluana’s killing had been made without sufficient medical examination to determine her condition. At that time, more than 700 Italian doctors had signed an open letter opposing the killing of Eluana, saying that such an action is an attack against the “basic rules of good medical practice as established in the declaration of Helsinki.”

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Read related coverage:

700 Italian Doctors ask that Eluana’s Life be Spared

It is “Illegal” to Stop Food and Hydration of Vulnerable Patients: Top Italian Minister

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Friday, January 2, 2009

I apologize

Only ten minutes ago I realized that comments were blocked on this blog, I don't know since when! :o( Please believe me, this was not intentional at all - what's the point in blogging if you don't allow comments?!? I hope I have fixed this now. Sorry for the inconvenience. Sigh...

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

A white New Year's Day here in Milan. Our neighborhood looks somewhat sweeter with some snow on it.

(I forgot! Photos were taken by my son, whose nickname is Eureka, who also blogs here)

All the best in 2009!

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