It’s only May, and many of us are weary of the never-ending news cycles about the 2016 Presidential election. With our primary election still several weeks away, and both major party candidates reasonably certain already, many Californians have a “why bother” attitude. I’d like to suggest an antidote for election fatigue but first, allow me to take this opportunity to gently nudge those news-weary voters: in addition to Presidential hopefuls, other candidates are on the California Primary ballot including those running for U.S.
An adult convert to the Catholic faith, Judy Barrett served as Respect Life coordinator for the Santa Rosa Diocese for nearly two decades and is involved in many Church-related activities. For over ten years she has been a member of the Santa Rosa Diocese communications committee and occasionally writes for The North Coast Catholic. Since 2006, she has been a member of the CCC Religious Liberty Committee. She graduated from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) in 1979 and is an inactive member of the California Bar.
She lives in Northern California.
By Monday, we will know the outcome of Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court case that will decide whether state laws banning same-sex “marriage” violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Here in California, a bill – which fortunately is struggling – seeks to legalize physician assisted suicide (SB 128).
In a few months, thousands of lay people, priests and bishops from around the world will gather in Philadelphia for the triennial World Meeting of Families, initiated twenty years ago by Pope St. John Paul II to highlight the dignity and importance of the family in human culture. The multi-day congress will feature an international line-up of speakers on theological and practical issues that affect family life.
“Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has become necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra- uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but the taking of a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices.”
“No shame, no blame, no names”
Early one recent morning, a man rummaging for recyclables in dumpsters behind a Merced, California apartment complex made a heart-stopping discovery. He heard a noise and began digging to the bottom of the dumpster. There, among discarded pizza boxes, household garbage and bags of trash, he found an hours-old baby girl wrapped in a towel, cold and dirty, with her umbilical cord dangling.
“It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.” Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies, 1938
For several days I’ve sat at my desk, attempting to write about the third Fortnight for Freedom beginning on June 21. This year’s theme is “Freedom to Serve”. Where do I start? I want to convey my deep concerns about the chipping away of our personal freedom to practice and publicly witness our faith. I want to raise a sense of urgency about the marginalization of the Church in the public square. I want to talk about how restrictions on religious freedom are impeding the ability of Church-related organizations to provide social services such as adoption.
Is the Church’s canonization process a “good ol’ boy network”? That was the opinion expressed by someone in a letter to a Bay Area newspaper a few days after the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II. The letter writer, who also groused that the Church has seemingly forgotten about Mother Teresa of Calcutta, is apparently uninformed: Mother Teresa has beenBlessed Teresa of Calcutta since 2003. A second miracle is required for her canonization.
One of my gifts to a friend this Christmas was a “Gratitude Kit” consisting of 52 small thank-you cards and a handsome little journal to keep track of a note sent each week to someone who has extended an unexpected act of kindness or who in some way has gone above and beyond the expected—the barista who always spreads cheer with her smile, the co-worker who does a favor, a neighbor who stops by with a garden bouquet for no special reason, that sort of thing.