The Radiance Foundation’s TooManyAborted.com “We’ve Been Guttmacher’d” Video

July 24th, 2015

TooManyAborted.com is a creative pro-life project of the Radiance Foundation, which was co-founded by Ryan Bomberger. Here is an example of their work, a short video entitled, “We’ve Been Guttmacher’d” —

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Comment on US Office of Personnel Management Data Hack

July 11th, 2015

Here is my comment on the massive personnel data hack at the US Office of Personnel Management, mentioned in this 7/10/15 story in the Wall Street Journal, “OPM Director Katherine Archuleta Resigns After Massive Personnel Data Breach”

“The results of this data loss will reverberate for a century — if we can survive it. I’m afraid the data will, among other things, be sold to the highest bidders. The reaction of the White House reminds me of a typical and recurring Chicago Way moment, after a political appointee messes up an agency or bureau — “Oh, now we’re going to have to hire a real expert to run the place” — until the real expert fixes things up well enough so the next political appointee can be hired. Real change includes reform, but somehow the reform got left out of the change agenda. . .”

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Evacuate Christians and Other Minorities from Iraq and Syria Now to Avoid Complete Genocide

July 2nd, 2015

Given that no world power is willing to step in to effectively defend the Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria facing genocide and slavery by ISIS, the only realistic alternative to genocide is to evacuate the minorities — NOW. The minorities must be sheltered by all countries of good will.

The lack of effective defense of these minorities will be seen by a future age as a great crime of neglect and cowardice. Personally, I am ashamed at the lack of action by our government.

As long as the Iran nuclear deal is the predominant Western concern with the Middle East, no Western power would arm or significantly aid any but Shiite factions in Iraq or Syria, lest the talks be disrupted. This geopolitical realpolitik has sadly made the Christian and other non-Shiite minorities in Iraq and Syria expendable and subject to the attacks of ISIS. The Western powers therefore have a moral obligation to evacuate the Christians if they are not going to defend them.

One charity that “supports the rescue, restoration, and return of Middle Eastern Christians and other ethno/religious people to a home where they can live and practice their faith free from fear” is the Cradle Fund. Please support the Cradle Fund.

#WeAreN

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Aphorism LXXXVII

May 31st, 2015

If you quit the Catholic Church over the priest sex abuse scandal, did you also quit watching sports because of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, or quit politics because of the Dennis Hastert and Sinn Fein sex abuse scandals, or quit supporting government or the police because of the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal, or quit watching the BBC because of their own pedophile scandals, or quit supporting the UN because of sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers?

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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On How “Building the Kingdom of God” is a Misnomer

May 24th, 2015

In song and in sermon, Christians are often exhorted to “Build the Kingdom of God.” But because the Kingdom of God is a gift, “building the Kingdom of God” is a theological misnomer:

Certainly we cannot “build” the Kingdom of God by our own efforts—what we build will always be the kingdom of man with all the limitations proper to our human nature. The Kingdom of God is a gift, and precisely because of this, it is great and beautiful, and constitutes the response to our hope. And we cannot—to use the classical expression—”merit” Heaven through our works. Heaven is always more than we could merit, just as being loved is never something “merited”, but always a gift. However, even when we are fully aware that Heaven far exceeds what we can merit, it will always be true that our behaviour is not indifferent before God and therefore is not indifferent for the unfolding of history. We can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter: we can open ourselves to truth, to love, to what is good. This is what the saints did, those who, as “God’s fellow workers”, contributed to the world’s salvation (cf. 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Th 3:2). We can free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that could destroy the present and the future. We can uncover the sources of creation and keep them unsullied, and in this way we can make a right use of creation, which comes to us as a gift, according to its intrinsic requirements and ultimate purpose. This makes sense even if outwardly we achieve nothing or seem powerless in the face of overwhelming hostile forces. So on the one hand, our actions engender hope for us and for others; but at the same time, it is the great hope based upon God’s promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad. (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, Saved in Hope, 35)

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Cardinal Francis George on Evangelization, Mission, Communion, and the Ecclesiology of Faith and Culture vs. Church and State

May 17th, 2015

Here’s another one of my favorite talks by the late Cardinal Francis George, OMI, on the Ecclesiology of Communion, given at Leeds Trinity University in 2012 —

–in which he made a critical distinction between the ecclesiology of of Faith and Culture versus that of Church and State, and he emphasized the Vatican II teaching on the Church as the sacrament of the unity of the human race (Lumen Gentium, Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1). These distinctions have profound implications for pastoral and educational practice.

This talk requires several separate hearings to capture some of the prescient points the late Cardinal shared.

I’m assuming that some of this talk will be included in Cardinal George’s forthcoming book, A Godly Humanism: Clarifying the Hope that Lies Within, which is due from Catholic University of America Press in June, 2015.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Catholic Christian Answers to an Atheist

May 17th, 2015

Why Do We Follow Jesus as Catholic Christians?

Jesus taught that the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13), and to love one another as he loved us (John 13:34). By His willing acceptance of human suffering and death, Jesus transformed and transcended the meaning of suffering and death.

Jesus’ “New Commandment” to love as he loved could not simply have evolved to radical altruism through a biological process, where altruism arises to a point, but could only have been revealed–introduced as something completely new–as a Divine Gift by Jesus.

This love-teaching of Jesus is an historic fact in human culture.

We Catholic Christians remember Jesus’ New Commandment of Love both in the way we live and in our celebration of the Eucharist. By consuming the Body and Blood of Christ in the appearance of consecrated bread and wine as a living, present, continuing act of Love, we declare our unity with this Love, Who is God. In so doing, we proclaim the Resurrection of Christ.

The Catholic Church is first of all the sacrament–both a sign and an instrument–of the unity of the human race in union with God (Lumen Gentium, Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1). We believe that we are not the slaves of God, but his friends (John 15:15). This friendship and freedom are God’s gift to us.

In believing in Jesus and in sharing in his Church as Catholic Christians, we listen to the truth which makes us free (John 8:32). To reveal this truth and freedom Jesus suffered death and rose from the dead for our sake, and gave us the gift of His Church.

Hope requires trust in that which greater than ourselves–not in the state, which in the end can enslave–but in God, Who frees.

Without this Christ and His Church, there would be no transcendence of suffering and death, no hope of human unity, no hope of eternal life, no hope that the poor in spirit will be blessed, or that the meek will inherit the earth, or that the merciful will obtain mercy, or that those who hunger and thirst for justice will be satisfied (Matthew 5:5). Those who reject belief in God and His Church risk rejecting these good things. In the end, the atheist to be consistent must reject also the Beatitudes.

A world without the living Love of Jesus Christ is a world without hope of overcoming slavery, strife, despair, and violence.

Science is necessary to offer healing to a point, but cannot offer lasting hope, nor a sure path to human unity without another failed and destructive attempt at totalitarian government–since to enforce universal atheism will once again require totalitarianism.

Belief should not reject science. Far from it. Neither does science contradict belief. But science has yet to demonstrate that it can in and of itself overcome pseudo-science. The (1) persistence of quackery in medicine (witness daytime TV and late-night infomercials, and intellectual thralldom to the unproved theories of Freud for the better part of a century), the (2) politicization of the social sciences which have weakened science as a positive force, and (3) continuing breaches of scientific ethics at universities all speak to the reality of science as an imperfect work in progress, not as a finished product.

Today both Christian belief and science are weakened forces, but both still seek truth. It is possible, and desirable, to embrace Christian belief while respecting and practicing science.

Once one recognizes that there is an aspect of Love that is transcendent, beyond what science can explain, one has entered into the truth of belief in God.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Iraqi Dominican Sister Diana Momeka, OP, barred by State Department from Entering US to Testify on ISIS; Then Visa Granted; Testifies on 5/13/15

May 3rd, 2015

Iraqi Catholic nun Diana Momeka, OP, D. Min., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena of Mosul, which has ancient roots in her country,

_Sister_Diana_Momeka_OP

has reportedly been recently denied a temporary visa by the US State Department preventing her testimony in the US about persecution of Christians by ISIS. Sr. Momeka earned a doctorate in ministry at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union in 2012, where she gave the commencement address, as described by the Adrian Dominican sisters’ website.

Ironically, the news of this denial spread on the 4/29 feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of Sr. Momeka’s order. Please see this Reuters story for more.

Here’s a 5/3/15 update on the State Department’s response from religious freedom advocate Nina Shea.

The public witness for peace, justice, and holiness in Christ’s name is a particular charism of Dominican sisters in the tradition of St. Catherine of Siena.

Perhaps the US Congress can hear Sr. Momeka’s testimony via Skype!

Update: on 5/9/15, foxnews.com reported that the temporary visa was granted.

On 5/13/15, Sr. Momeka testified at the US Congress.

Here’s the video of Sr. Momeka’s testimony on 5/13/15 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee–

Here’s the full text of Sr. Momeka’s testimony National Catholic Register.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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A Seminal Lecture on Religious Freedom by the Late Cardinal Francis George; New Book Preview

April 30th, 2015

A more probing and prayerful mind than that of the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago can probably not be found.

Several of Cardinal George’s important presentations can be found on Youtube. Here is one of my favorites, in which he offers, along with his views on religious liberty, something of a theology of history, leading up to his recasting the challenge of religious freedom today as Faith and Culture, not simply Church and State:

Francis Cardinal George. O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago presents Dignitatis Humanae: The Second Vatican Council’s Document on Religious Liberty @ St. Procopius Abbey, Tuesday, September 4, 2012:

Here’s the announcement on Cardinal George’s forthcoming book, A Godly Humanism: Clarifying the Hope that Lies Within, which is due from Catholic University of America Press in June, 2015.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Podcast on St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, on Her Feast, 4/29

April 29th, 2015

Here’s a podcast on St. Catherine of Siena, whose feast is 4/29, from the School of Catholic Thought at the St. John Paul II Catholic Newman Center in Chicago.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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