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The growing pro-life culture 40 years after Roe v. Wade

29 Jan

kwky-Jean-MarkJANUARY 29, 2013 — Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog and editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine, was a guest on KWKY Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, this morning.

He appeared on the Catholic Radio Iowa Morning Show with Jeanne Wells and Dowling Catholic Hall of Famer Mark Amadeo. They interviewed Patrick about his experience at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. It was Patrick’s first March in 10 years, and the Jan. 25 march also commemorated the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the ruling that legalized abortion across the United States. More than 55 million children have died at the hands of abortionists since 1973.

Listen to the full interview by clicking here.


Are we living in post-Christian America?

12 Jan

WOR-710AMJANUARY 12, 2013 — Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog, was a guest on WOR 710-AM Radio in New York City this evening.

He appeared on the Ask the Lawyers program with host Michael N. Connors. Michael interviewed Patrick about his latest editorial in Legatus magazine, which argues that perhaps the United States is no longer a Christian nation as President Obama asserted in 2008. They also discussed the court cases opposing the Health and Human Services contraception mandate and the election results from last November.

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Catholic vote on the rise

10 Nov

NOVEMBER 10, 2010 — Exit polls from last week’s general election show that the pro-life Catholic vote is back! More than 55% of Catholics voted for the GOP — a 20-point increase since 2008. But that’s only half of the story. More importantly, 17 pro-life Catholics will be added to the Congress in January, while roughly 26 pro-abortion Catholics will be departing.

In his post-election analysis, Deal Hudson wrote that “perhaps the biggest news of all for Catholics on election night was the emergence of a pro-life Catholic Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) to replace Nancy Pelosi, a pro-abortion Catholic. With Boehner at the helm, Catholics can be assured that a real fight will be underway for ridding our nation of federally funded abortions.”

And Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee observed that “the election results were good in the Senate, as well, where the net shift in the pro-life direction will be from four to seven votes, depending on the issue. No senator is being replaced by a successor who has a weaker position on abortion.”

On the marriage front, Iowa voters ousted three of its seven activist Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex “marriage” last year. Legate Brian Brown, who heads the National Organization for Marriage, said that “judges in Iowa began this fight by refusing to follow the Constitution, refusing to listen to the people and putting their own view of marriage on the citizens of Iowa.” Brown called the election results “a massive victory for judicial accountability.”

As many pundits have said, November’s elections weren’t so much a nod of approval to Republicans as they were a rejection of big government, massive federal spending and a health care law that is destined ruin the best (albeit an imperfect) health care system in the world. Just as the Democrats were scrutinized by faithful Catholics and other conservatives over the past two years, so too will the GOP be scrutinized between now and 2012.

As faithful Catholics, we’re not only called to hold our elected representatives accountable, but we’re called to pray for them — especially our president and high court judges. In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul writes: “I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority” (1 Tim 2: 1-2). Without the prayers of the faithful, our nation would already be lost. So our continued prayer for those in office is now more urgent than ever.

With gay activists now targeting the Defense of Marriage Act and three new judges to be appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court — plus a host of other issues — this is no time for faithful Catholics to sit on the sidelines congratulating themselves on November’s victories. It’s time to pull together — not for a political party, but for the values we hold dear as members of the Body of Christ.

Patrick Novecosky is the founder and editor of The Praetorium.

The right kind of health care reform

24 Aug

AUGUST 24, 2009 — I used to marvel at how the U.S. Post Office could move a letter from Miami, Florida, to Fairbanks, Alaska — more than 5,000 miles — for only 44 cents! After doing a little research, I wondered no longer. The post office can’t even move my utility payment half a mile down the street for the price of a stamp.

Most analysts estimate that the USPS will spend $7 billion more than it takes in this fiscal year. As a result, the government monopoly has floated the idea of a five-day delivery cycle, a move that would require Congressional approval. Although the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for its operations, it’s still mandated to provide mail service to everyone in America, and Congress maintains oversight.

Similarly, most government-run programs are running massive deficits. The Government Accountability Office estimated that by 2027, the combined costs of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and net deficit interest will eat up all federal revenue. Furthermore, Amtrak would cease to exist without government subsidies. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Disasters.

Without getting into the minute details of ObamaCare, it’s sufficient to say that the government doesn’t have a good track record of running its programs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new health care reform bill introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) will cost $880 billion over 10 years. That alone is enough put the brakes on yet another disastrous government boondoggle.

President George W. Bush added $2.5 trillion to the public debt over his eight years. President Barrack Obama has more than doubled that in less than three months — and the meter keeps running.

However, I’m encouraged by prelates like Sioux City Bishop R. Walter Nickless who wrote that “no health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform.” He joins a chorus of bishops across the country who are calling for principled reform that will reduce wasted spending, increase access and help those most in need.

“The Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem-cell research,” Bishop Nickless writes. “We refuse to be made complicit in these evils, which frankly contradict what ‘health care’ should mean.”

As legislation begins to move through Congress, we must make our voices heard. Tea Parties and massive rallies have drawn national headlines, but we also have to make sure our congressmen know that health care reform has to respect all human life, include guarantees that it won’t add to our already crippling deficit, and that conscience rights are protected for health care workers who object to controversial procedures.

Massive government spending is not the answer to health care reform, nor is it the answer to the recession. Let’s work hard and pray for a solution that respects life and the private sector.

Patrick Novecosky is the editor of The Praetorium and Legatus Magazine. This editorial appeared in the October 2009 issue of Legatus Magazine.

Obama and the new holocaust

7 Jun

JUNE 7, 2009 — Piles of shoes several feet high filled a glassed-in room. Next to it was another room filled with eyeglasses. Then I saw the room filled with human hair—clumps of hair and even long braided hair which had been shaved off of women destined for the gas chambers. Despite the fact that it was over 50 years old, the braid looked freshly cut. Coming face-to-face with the remnants of horror and mass murder is life changing. The camp commandant at Auschwitz testified at the Nuremberg Trials that up to 3 million people died there. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has revised this figure to 1.1 million.

My 1997 visit to the Nazis’ largest death camp in southern Poland is still fresh in my mind after more than 12 years. The memories came rushing back after hearing of news reports of President Obama’s June 5 visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Buchenwald is a place “where people were deemed inhuman because of their differences,” Obama said. “These sights have not lost their horror with the passage of time.” Even though more than 50 years have passed, he said, “our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished. I will not forget what I have seen here today.”

The main gate at the Auschwitz death camp

The main gate at the Auschwitz death camp

He’s right. My experience left me with the same feeling. I left changed forever after seeing the ovens that the Nazis used to cremate the remains and erase their crimes. It was almost surreal to walk under Auschwitz’s iron gate crowned with the infamous motto “Arbeit macht frei” — work brings freedom — an obvious lie … and everyone involved knew it.

There are no words to describe the horror of standing in a place where millions of innocent human lives were so callously extinguished. It’s important that the world never forget the holocaust in order that it may never happen again. Civilized human beings should never permit the wholesale slaughter of a race of people under any circumstances.

If you’ve ever stood in front of an abortion mill and recognized what goes on inside, the feeling of horror is no different than that of visiting a Nazi death camp. There’s no question that the Nazis were good at killing. The abortion industry, however, has perfected it. Their efficiency would have left even the most hardened Nazi in awe. Hitler himself would be proud. Every state in the union has “clinics” where women can come to have their child exterminated. There were over 1 million abortions in the U.S. last year — 50 million dead since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the new holocaust in 1973.

Since taking office in January, Obama has consistently made pro-abortion appointments to key administration positions like the head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. One of his first acts was to reverse the Mexico City Policy, sending millions of dollars to fund abortions overseas. Obama issued an executive order on Jan. 22 reversing the Bush administration policy that bans the use of federal dollars by non-governmental organizations that discuss or provide abortions outside of the United States.

Life is good. Really good.

Life is good. Really good.

Interestingly, despite his popularity, Obama has shown himself to be incredibly out of touch with the American public. A spate of polls in May revealed that the majority of Americans are against abortion on demand. A Gallup poll, conducted from May 7-10, found that about 51% of Americans call themselves “pro-life” and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking that question in 1995.

If this trend continues, it’s conceivable that within my lifetime, a future president of the United States will make a pilgrimage at a former abortion mill, lay a wreath and echo Obama’s very words: “I will not forget what I have seen here today. These sights have not lost their horror over time.”

Let’s hope. And let’s pray that this comes to pass.

Patrick Novecosky is the founder and editor of The Praetorium.

Cardinal Bevilacqua addresses Notre Dame controversy

4 May

MAY 4, 2009 — Retired Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, has just released his April 8 letter to Notre Dame University President Fr. John Jenkins.Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua & Fr. John Jenkins CSC

The Cardinal’s office gave permission for me to make the letter public. The letter is posted in its entirety below and without comment as it speaks for itself.

April 8, 2009

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear Father Jenkins:

It was with great distress that I learned of the invitation from the University of Notre Dame to President Barack Obama to speak at this year’s commencement and to be given an honorary degree. While one may understand an invitation to President Obama to engage him in conversation on creating a culture of life, it is not appropriate for him to speak at the commencement exercises of a Catholic university, nor should he receive an honorary degree. Such actions cause confusion among faithful Catholics and send a mixed message regarding the clear Magisterium of the Catholic Church on life issues.

It is my hope and prayer that the University of Notre Dame will rescind the invitation to President Obama to speak at the commencement and withhold the conferral of an honorary degree to him or to anyone who so blatantly disregards the basic moral principles upon which the United States of America was founded.

Please be assured of a special remembrance in my thoughts and prayers for you and all at the University of Notre Dame. May Mary our Mother guide you as you strive to provide the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church to the students at Notre Dame.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia

Obama’s Catholic problem

29 Apr

APRIL 29, 2009 — In just a few weeks, President Obama will deliver a commencement address at America’s most prominent Catholic university. That is, unless Notre Dame rescinds the invitation or the president cancels his appearance. Neither is likely.

Aside from the obvious scandal of having the most pro-abortion president in history speaking at a Catholic institution, it’s readily apparent that the president has a Catholic problem. When he was elected last November, he drew 54% of the Catholic vote. But between February and March of this year, Obama’s approval rating among white Catholics dropped from 80% to 59%, according to a Pew poll. It’s not hard to conclude that the negative reaction to his announced Notre Dame speech — in addition to a number of anti-life measures he’s introduced — contributed to his plummeting approval rating.

Nearly 70 bishops — including the local prelate, Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John D’Arcy — have condemned Notre Dame’s decision to award the president an honorary degree and have him speak at its May 17 commencement. More than 350,000 have signed an online petition organized by the Cardinal Newman Society expressing outrage at the decision. Adding fuel to Notre Dame’s fire, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon announced on April 28 that she won’t accept the school’s Laetare Medal at commencement because of the university’s decision to honor the President.

Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the university’s invitation caused “extreme embarrassment” to Catholics. “Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation.”

The invitation by Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins is in clear violation of the USCCB’s 2004 statement “Catholics in Political Life,” which says, “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Some have called for Notre Dame to be removed from Kenedy’s Official Catholic Directory, and some have lobbied Bishop D’Arcy to rescind Notre Dame’s status as a Catholic university. The truth is, Notre Dame’s leadership has been out of step with the Church for years.

More than 40 years ago the leaders of several major Catholic universities and colleges — including those at Notre Dame — joined the Land O’Lakes rebellion, proclaiming that teaching and research at Catholic colleges and universities should be independent of the Church’s teaching authority in order to be “effective.”

Notre Dame’s administration has never repudiated the Land O’Lakes statement, nor does it require its theology faculty to submit to the Mandatum set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesia. It has clearly abandoned any claim to be a Catholic institution. If Bishop D’Arcy decides to withdraw Notre Dame’s Catholic status, he wouldn’t be changing anything. He’d simply be recognizing this fact.

Here’s another fact the president may want to take into account: The Catholic vote put him over the top in 2008. If he’s considering a second term, he must rethink many of his positions, which are in clear violation of Catholic teaching. If not, his time at the White House could be short-lived.

Patrick Novecosky is the founder and editor of The Praetorium. This article appeared in the May 2009 issue of Legatus Magazine. Reprinted with permission. Note: Content has been updated since publication.