Thursday, September 29, 2011

PMA Backs Pro-Life Stance vs. RH Bill

The medical experts have already spoken! Truth be told, this issue has already been settled long ago by dozens of studies conducted by credible and prestigious medical and scientific institutions around the world. If our pro-RH bill friends have trouble accepting this great fact simply because it doesn't support their position on this issue, then who else are they going to believe?


THE PHILIPPINE Medical Association (PMA) has backed the pro-life position that life begins at fertilization, saying this scientific fact should be the basis of the reproductive health (RH) bill.

In a statement sent to the Senate, the PMA also rejected the RH bill's penalty clause on doctors, and argued that the religious beliefs of patients should be respected.

The group of doctors demanded “utmost respect” for physicians’ rights, which are being threatened by the RH bill.

The bill will require doctors to provide RH services. Those who object on the grounds of conscience must refer the patient to another doctor, or face penalties.

“They (physicians) must be left undisturbed to decide what is best for their patients,” the position paper, signed by PMA president Dr. Oscar Tinio and PMA Commission on Legislation chairman Dr. Bu Castro, said.

Moreover, the PMA said a patient’s right to exercise his or her religion “must be accorded full respect,” and that patients are entitled to quality health services.

The government should prioritize maternal and child health care over the distribution of contraceptives, the group added.

While the first phrase of the statement appears to be in support of the RH bill, the PMA said it only supports the bill “insofar as it is founded strongly on the principle that ‘life or conception begins at fertilization.’”

Not ‘frog biology’

The PMA said the assumption that life begins at implantation (normally on the 14th day from the start of fertilization) is wrong because there is already a living individual from fertilization.

It said the so-called “pre-embryo” stage of fertilization, advocated by Clifford Grobstein and Richard McCormick, S.J. in 1979, had conclusions based on “frog biology.”

“The PMA does not support the studies done on frogs but rather it supports the scientific data that a new cell, the zygote, comes into existence at the ‘moment’ of sperm-egg fusion, an event that occurs in less than a second," the position paper said.

The statement added that there is no human embryologist in the world who would deny that life begins at fertilization.

“The PMA thus abhors any procedure, machination or scheme or medication that will interrupt any stage of fertilization and prevents its normal growth to adulthood until the stage of natural death,” the statement said.

Contraception treats a woman’s body as though there was something wrong with how God created it, the PMA said.

“In an age that has become very weary of dumping pollutants into the environment, it is so ironic that people are so willing to dump pollutants into their bodies,” the statement said.

Among the health risks of contraceptives mentioned in the statement are high blood pressure, stroke, and some forms of cancer.

It added that preventing the fertilized egg from implanting into the wall of the uterus is considered an early-term abortion.

Oral contraceptive pills work by preventing ovulation, but in case of "breakthrough ovulation" and fertilization, the hostile environment created by chemicals in the uterine lining could prevent implantation. Pills have also been declared Group 1 carcinogens by a research body under the World Health Organization.

“Some speak of ‘accidental pregnancies’ as if getting pregnant were like getting hit by a car … But the truth is that if a pregnancy results from an act of sexual intercourse, this means that something has gone right, not that something has gone wrong,” the PMA statement said.


Source: The Varsitarian

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life Trailer



Learn more about the pro-life cause in the Philippines. Order your copy of this Human Life International (HLI) documentary on this site. This video was aired over EWTN last month.Link

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly News (Fourth Week of Sept 2011)

1. The Pope Has Come to Germany, He Speaks of God

L'Osservatore Director Reflects on First Days of State Visit

ROME, SEPT. 24, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the signed editorial by Gian Maria Vian, director of the semi-official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, published today, on the second day of Benedict XVI's four-day state visit to Germany. The editorial is titled "The Sun Over Germany." [Read More]

2. PNoy Ignores Abortion Groups' Meddling in RH Issue

MANILA, Sept. 23, 2011—Is President Benigno Aquino III going to seek the Obama administration’s backing in its bid to pass the “reproductive health” (RH) bill? [Read More]

3. Why The Haste On RH Bill? CBCP Official

MANILA, Sept. 22, 2011— An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has dismissed Malaca├▒ang’s idea of finally putting the Reproductive Health (RH) bill being debated in Congress to a vote. [Read More]

4. 'Gay Marriage' - Equality or Burning Consciences?

God has placed a mechanism within us that alerts us when we are defying His natural laws. Even homosexual lobbyists know deep down that homosexuality is contrary to God's created order. [Read More]

5. Homosexual Activists Pressure PayPal to Drop AFTAH and other Family Organizations as ‘Hate’ Groups [Read More]

6. Wanted: Pro-Life Medical Students, Doctors, Nurses

There are plenty of pro-life doctors, nurses and medical students out there, but many may feel isolated and alone. They need us. They need our support. They need to meet other pro-life medical students and physicians. [Read More]

7. Another Priest Removed For Explaining Church Teaching on Homosexuality, Now in Texas

EL PASO, September 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just after news broke that a priest in Canada had been suspended from active ministry for speaking out against abortion and homosexual behavior, news has also broken that a Texas priest who stirred controversy last month by publishing essays that condemned the homosexual lifestyle is being removed from his parish, ABC-7 reports. [Read More]

8. Facebook, Google, Social Media Sites ‘Actively’ Censor Christian Content: Study

MANASSAS, VA, September 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new study has found that Google and other major social media sites such as Facebook have “actively” censored Christian and conservative viewpoints. [Read More]

9. Reclaiming Our Story: A Register Editorial on Catholicism and Culture

Who tells the story of the Catholic Church — secularists, the faithful, ideological opponents, or cultural allies? [Read More]

10. Pope Expresses Grief, Compassion for German Abuse Victims

Erfurt, Germany, Sep 23, 2011 / 05:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict was moved and “deeply shaken” by his meeting with clerical sex abuse victims in Germany, expressing his profound grief and compassion for their suffering. [Read More]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Born This Way?


Why Labeling Oneself Gay Is Wrong and Tragic

by Alan Medinger (+)


Researchers have been trying for years to determine the cause of homosexuality. In effect, what they are trying to do is to identify some characteristic that makes homosexuality attracted people different from heterosexually attracted people. As Dr. Satinover points out, their efforts have come to naught. None of the studies, so highly touted in the media as proving a genetic cause of homosexuality, has been replicated in further studies. I might point out also that most of these studies have been by researchers who themselves are homosexually oriented. This itself certainly does not discredit their research, but one has to wonder why the other 95-97 percent of researchers don’t come up with similar findings. It may just point to how much gays want to believe that the condition is who they are.

The concept of a homosexual person is quite recent. Even the word “homosexual” was a nineteenth-century creation, developed with the emergence of psychiatry. For millennia mankind had recognized homosexual behavior, but saw it as just that – a behavior engaged in by some people. And although some people were clearly observed as engaging in frequent and exclusive homosexual behavior, no need was found to see these people as different in any way but their behavior.

Looked at historically, the gay identity seems to have come about as a defensive measure, a means of giving legitimacy to certain feelings and behaviors. The formation of the gay subculture and its associated political movement over the past thirty years has been largely an effort to give an identity to people who feel same-sex attractions. In this respect, the gay identity is part of a political strategy, used by gay leaders to do what political people have always done: expand their power and influence by convincing people to identify more and more strongly with their group. An “us-them” attitude, a powerful sense of victimhood, and a sense of superiority empower the gay movement and expand the concept of being a homosexual person to the point at which viewing the world from any other perspective becomes almost impossible.

The truth is, however, until someone can come up with a description for homosexuality that goes beyond merely describing the direction of a person’s sexual and romantic attractions, our using “homosexual” as an identity obscures truth and sows seeds of confusion.

Is this just an argument over terms, or does it matter whether we use homosexuality as a behavior or an identity? I maintain that it matters a great deal – especially for the homosexually oriented man or woman. How a homosexual person views his or her homosexuality not only determines their [sic] current identity, it can in large part determine that person’s future. When a woman decides that she is a lesbian, or when a man decides that he is gay, a number of things happen:

1. Other beliefs about homosexuality become accepted and enforced.
2. Life becomes limited and narrowed (as life is viewed in the confines of the “gay” prism).
3. Obedience is Christian teaching is made more difficult (if not impossible).
4. The prospect of change becomes less likely.
5. It is living a lie.

Reversing all of the above is a difficult process and usually a long one, but let me describe five elements that will be a part of the process:

1. Consciously dropping the identity.
2. Breaking certain ties (i.e., ties with the “gay” subculture)
3. Coming to believe that being gay and lesbian is a false identity.
4. Focusing on who you (really) are: (a man or woman, as your own basic biology attests)
5. Living the life (in the real world of healthy men and women, though not out of blind conformity nor as a program of denial but with a loving acknowledgement of unmet needs)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Courageous Brother's Testimony



This was the testimonial that one of our brothers in Courage gave during the NARTH Conference on homosexuality. I salute Bro J. for giving 'face' to our struggle and for his exceptional courage.


My father was an overseas contract worker. By the time my mother gave birth to me, he was not around until I turned five years old.

The first time I saw him, I did not feel like I really want to see him. He was a stranger to me. And I was a stranger to him also. He just looked at me and said, "Oh, you're my youngest son." He did not embrace or kiss me at all. After that encounter, he remained a stranger to me. We did not have any bonding moments at all.

I was raised by three important women in my life - my mother, my aunt who is my father's sister, and my other aunt who is my father's first cousin. I am the youngest in the family of four boys. I grew up in a devout Catholic family and very active in church involvement.

Many have said I was a good son and praised my mother for her way of upbringing me. I was obedient to my parents. I did household chores diligently, I was religious and was academically excelling. I have built a good reputation in our town.

But then again, in having a good image, I asked myself this question, "Did I do it genuinely or was this just a facade to hide something in me that I was ashamed to tell - my same sex attraction, my being homosexual, gay, bading, bakla, and many other labels that people in my surrounding would laughingly tease me. These are the labels I dreaded to hear. I just cannot accept it.

Yet during my teenage years, my same sex attraction began to be more evident and strong. I ignored it. I hated myself for such emotion. I kept on denying it. I was longing for acceptance from my peers. With best effort, I tried to imitate how other boys behave, talk and walk. I was not a good actor. My effeminate behavior seems to be obvious that even if I was not doing anything, others will draw a conclusion that I am gay.

I endured the pain it brought to myself. I could not share it to anyone even to my family to whom I am most afraid to tell.

It was long before I could accept that hard truth that I have gender issues. I was in denial for so many years and it became a heavy burden in my heart. Then I happened to read this book "The Purpose Driven Life." It was then that I realized that being a homosexual doesn't make me a condemned person. I have a choice. I have two options. First, I will not engage in any homosexual acts. I will control my feelings and urges. Second, I will give in to the desires of my heart and learn to live by it. I chose the first option. I remain to live an upright way of life as I believe it.

Then when my job demanded me to work in a distant place and have to work all alone, it was then that I was hooked to a gay networking site and chat room.

Whenever I feel tired or bored, I amuse myself by engaging in gay chatting. I was desiring for a relationship. Yet it only leads me to one night encounters with different strangers. After every encounter, I still feel empty. I said "This is not what I want." My guilt will eventually attack me and I feel bitter and frustrated in the end. After a while, there is again this wishful thinking that perhaps the next one could be the one I am looking for. It becomes a cycle until I get tired of it.

I was at the height of my career when an unexpected incident happened that led to my resignation with the company that I am working for. It was the moment in my life when I was at my lowest. I went home to our province for a vacation to recover from the trauma that it brought me. It was during that month-long vacation when I started to re-establish my personal relationship with God again.

When I was back to Manila to work again, I happened to encounter a support group through the internet. The group is called Courage. It is a group that caters to the needs of persons like me struggling with same-sex attraction and somehow was lost on how to handle it. Without any hesitation, I joined the group.

The wisdom and fellowship I get from the support group was a very liberating experience. I have experienced God's love overflowing through them. The more that I get to know and understand my homosexual issues - its dynamics and root causes, the more that I began to feel okay. Acceptance of it becomes easier then. Knowing also that there are others like me who are also struggling with it and are willing to change, it encourages me more to create a positive change in me.

More than the support group, God leads me also to this healing ministry called Living Waters. There, I learned in depth, the woundings and brokenness I have in my life. There, I understood that my gender issue is just a tip of the iceberg of the many issues I have experienced in the past. I need to address those issues in order for healing to take place. I need God's grace to help me for that.

Truly since I long for healing, God gave me a Christian community where I could establish and nurture healthy relationships especially with the same sex. The brothers made me feel that I am brother. Matter of fact, their way of life influenced me and made me a better man.

I realize I could not do it all alone just as I thought I could. I need support from others. Establishing good relationship with others becomes a healing in itself from all wounds of the past.

I am still attracted with the same sex and perhaps it would be for a lifetime; however, this has not become a big deal anymore. I believe that I still can be a man that God designed me to be. A man that leads, initiates to act on God's will, protects and cares women and children, remembers the commandments of God and upholds it and a warrior against all forms of evil.

To end, let me borrow the words of J.K. Rowling from the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the words that Albus Dumbledore said. "Only in truth will there be understanding, and only in understanding will there be acceptance and only in acceptance will there be recovery."

I have learned the truth and continuously learning. I have understood and accepted it. Now, I am recovering. The gift of my support group and healing ministry and the blessing of my Christian community plays a major role in my healing journey. I will forever treasure and nourish it.

To God be the glory, to Him who perfectly plans my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekly News (Third Week of Sept 2011)

1. Holy Spirit Continues to Build Church, Says Pope

ROME, SEPT. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- As the Holy Spirit continues to build the Church and inspire new charisms, it is the role of the bishop to accept the gifts with gratitude, but also to discern and judge their validity, says Benedict XVI. [Read More]

2. RH Bill Sponsors Questioned on Birth Control Supplies as “Essential Medicines”

MANILA, September 14, 2011–If contraceptives are only meant for birth control, then why are they tagged as “essential medicines” under the RH bill? [Read More]

3. RH Provisions Explained, Myths Blasted at Sympo For 1,000 Students

MANILA, September 15, 2011–A lawyer, a nurse instructor, and a business and strategic management professor threshed out the issues surrounding House Bill 4244, or The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development Act of 2011, in a three-hour symposium Wednesday at Siena College, Quezon City [Read More]

4. Pro-'Gay' Groups Take 'Pressure Tactics' to PayPal

Homosexual activists are pressuring PayPal to not handle donations made to groups that promote traditional values, but one pro-family organization is encouraging the e-commerce business to be fair. [Read More]

5. Tell FOX News NOT to Go Liberal on Homosexuality

FOX Contributor and GOP strategist Margaret Hoover compares opposition to homosexual “marriage” to past racial discrimination — an analogy rejected by most Blacks. [Read More]

6. Fr. Pavone Considering Founding New Religious Order

Amarillo, Texas, Sep 15, 2011 / 05:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has said that if his bishop does not allow him to return to full-time pro-life work, he will consider being incardinated in a different diocese or founding a religious order to continue his pro-life ministry. [Read More]

7. CNN Poll: 62% Want All or Most Abortions Made Illegal

A new CNN national poll of Americans finds results that are almost identical to a Gallup survey earlier this year, and it shows 62% of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal. [Read More]

8. The Cohabitation Revolution: Kids Pay the Price

September 12, 2011 (Breakpoint.org) - I have some good news and bad news on the marriage front. [Read More]

9. The U.K. Still Loves the Pope

EDINBURGH, Scotland (EWTN News/CNA)—“Pope Benedict XVI came, saw and conquered,” Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh said on the first anniversary of the papal visit to the U.K. [Read More]

10. Millions Come for Marian Procession

Naga City is bracing for the arrival of an estimated three million people as the northern city prepares to conclude its year-long commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the pilgrimage of Our Lady of Pe├▒afrancia. [Read More]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

US-Based Psychologist Talks of Hope & Healing for Homosexuals



This is a news report of the recently concluded NARTH Conference on homosexuality held last September 10, 2011, at the Philippine Heart Center. The conference was successful as there were more than 200 people in attendance. The following day Dr. Wong also had an open forum with us in the SSA ministry and it was an incredible and fruitful learning experience indeed. Thanks to Bro. R for writing this report. You can also find this article on CBCP for Life website.


MANILA, September 12, 2011—A US-based clinical psychologist and co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH) shed more light on gender identity, sexual abuse, prevention, healing and other concerns regarding same-sex attraction in a whole-day conference attended by over 200 counselors, clinical psychologists, educators, pastors, religious formators, parents, and groups catering to individuals with same-sex attraction problems.

In “It’s Complicated: A Conference on Understanding Sex, Gender, Transsexuality & Homosexuality,” Dr. Melvin Wong debunked myth after myth about homosexuality by discussing the issue through medical, political, and theological lenses. He reiterated that homosexuality is a developmental disorder and that science has found no “gay gene” so far.

Repeating what he wrote in his book, Raising Gender-Confident Kids (2008, Armour Publishing, Singapore), Wong pointed out that “gender identity and gender orientation have a lot to do with early childhood parenting, and [provide] practical steps to raise gender-confident kids.”

“Normalizing” a disorder

Wong decried how the West, particularly American academia and society in general, has been so brainwashed by the pro-gay movement’s agenda of normalizing what used to be a gender identity disorder in its bid to promote gayness, the “gay lifestyle,” and same-sex union. He said he himself lived through how the DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) of the American Psychological Association (APA) was revised “by the fiat of a small committee vote” in 1973 in order to declare that homosexuality was no longer a disease. (He preferred the word “disorder” because of the stigma attached to “disease.”)

The Chinese-American psychologist related how he himself had been a victim of harassment by pro-gay APA members who were against his clinical practice of helping persons who wanted out of their homosexuality.

“I didn’t force these people (who came for treatment),” he pointed out. “They came knocking at my door.”

He then narrated the case of a colleague, Dr. Robert Spitzer, the leading proponent of the controversial revision, who made an eventual turnaround on his decision. To update the audience on the status quo, Wong noted that the APA in 2009 released a statement finally acknowledging the possibility of gender orientation change (via what is called “reparative therapy”), but that “this [statement] was totally ignored by (mainstream) media.”

Finding hope, healing

In a separate interview, the California-based psychologist — who has traveled to China to help treat trauma patients — talked of the opportunities he has had of providing hope and facilitating healing in the people who come to him.

“I am a pain-chaser. Wherever there is terrible pain, I go there. I am in the business of looking for pain and healing it,” he said.

“Psychology is all about transformation, all about change,” he added. “I am here to give hope. The cross of SSA may be hard to bear, but it can be a blessing in disguise.”

Among those in the audience who shared their experiences was JP Balanza of the tsupport group Courage Philippines, giving a moving testimony that recounted his growing up without a male role model, as his father was an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). This deficiency drove him to a secret addiction to pornography and “acting out” his homosexual desires till he found healing and change via Courage.

Wong pointed out how disastrous the social costs of the Philippine government’s labor export policy has been.

The conference did not end without the psychologist answering queries during the open forum. He addressed one question about understanding the relationship between homosexuality and depression, describing the life-and-death internal dialogues of the SSA sufferer, which often leads to the point of becoming suicidal.

To the question, “How do we deal with the rabid pro-gay opposition in this country?” his reply was: “Tell the truth, but befriend and serve them, instead of polarizing them.”

The September 10 conference, organized by Bagong Pagasa, a Makati-based Evangelical Christian SSA support group, with Catholic support groups Courage Philippines, Ichthus, and After Call, with contributions from Exodus International and Bo Sanchez’s Light of Jesus Catholic Charismatic Community, tackled other aspects of the issue – the basics of homosexuality, transsexuality, and sexual abuse; diagnosis and prevention issues, particularly what teachers, parents, and churches can do; and the basic do’s and don’ts of counseling on unwanted gender issues.

Besides being co-founder of NARTH, Wong – who currently holds private practice in San Francisco and Fremont, California – is also affiliated with the American Association of Christian Counselors, Exodus International, The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, and the California Association of Psychology Providers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Word Exposed


Help Keep The Word Exposed Alive!


Dearest Donor,

Thank you for your interest to partake in this endeavor! As you may already know, The Word Exposed is a TV program produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc. It airs Sundays from 7 to 8 a.m. on TV5 and is hosted by no other than our beloved Bishop Chito Tagle from the Diocese of Imus.

Since its first airing on August of 2008, the program has captured over 40,000 fans on Facebook alone and is gaining at least a thousand more each month. However, we fear that our show may cease to air due to depleting funds. It is because of this that we are appealing to you for help!

By pledging to donate at least 300 pesos a month, you help support us in our evangelization ministry! Through this regular contribution, you allow us to continue producing the show that has become a source of spiritual nourishment to many Filipinos here and abroad!

We look forward to having you become a part of this worthy cause.


Yours sincerely,

Fr. Emmanuel L. Alfonso, SJ
Executive Director
Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc.

-oOo-

For more information, write or call:

Jesuit Communications
Sonolux Bldg., Seminary Drive
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
1108 Philippines

Tel: (632) 426.5971 to 72
Fax: (632) 426.5970
E-mail: jescomprod@gmail.com
Web: www.jescom.ph

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly News (Second Week of Sept 2011)

1. Benedict XVI Praises US for Resilience After 9/11

Assures Prayers on 10th Anniversary of Attacks

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 9, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is praising the people of the United States for their "resilience in moving forward" after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which left some 3,000 dead. [Read More]

2. Santiago Admits RH Bill Needs Cleaning Up

MANILA, Sept. 7, 2011–Pro-RH Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago admitted Monday that the “reproductive health” or RH bill being debated by lawmakers still needs to be cleaned up of all references to population control. [Read More]

3. New Planned Parenthood Defector Hopes to Glorify God and Save Lives

Sherman, Texas, Sep 9, 2011 / 04:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ramona Trevino has a compelling story to tell about her exodus from the nation's largest abortion provider. But in her first public appearance, she chose to emphasize what God accomplished through a vigil outside the clinic she used to manage. [Read More]

4. NY Bans Clergy From Praying at 9/11 Event

THE mayor of New York City has disallowed clergy from praying at an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, sparking indignation from leaders who have pointed to the pivotal role religious groups played in the heroic response to the tragedy. [Read More]

5. Casting Crowns Lead Singer Remembers 9-11

MCDONOUGH, GA - Casting Crowns lead singer Mark Hall says he remembers feeling helpless and then praying aloud for the people in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. [Read More]

6. U.S. Govt. Largest Population Control Promoter in Philippines

A diplomatic cable recently published by the controversial website Wikileaks confirms the depth of support by the U.S. government for population control initiatives in the Philippines over the past 40 years, including support for the highly contested Reproductive Health (RH) Bill currently under consideration in the Philippine legislature. [Read More]

7. New Documentary Shows Collapse of Russia’s Population

In its latest short Internet documentary, the Population Research Institute (PRI) pays a visit to Russia, to discuss the country’s plummeting birthrates and skyrocketing death rates. [Read More]

8. British MP Urges Government to Force Churches Into Same-Sex Unions

LONDON, U.K., September 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A member of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is calling for a ban on marriages at Christian churches if they refuse to also perform same-sex unions. [Read More]

9. The Catholic Church Must Compassionately and Boldly Share The Truth About Homosexuality

September 9, 2011 (CatholicAnchor.org) - “It looks so good how can it be wrong?”

This was a comment by a friend who watched a recent news report about 856 same-sex couples lined up to be the first to be “married” under the new law in New York. [Read More]

10. John Paul II's Reaction to 9/11

The former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See recalls the late Holy Father's response to the terrible events 10 years ago. [Read More]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On the Nativity of Mary


Meditations by St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept 8).


Before the birth of Mary the world was lost in the darkness of sin. "Mary was born, and the dawn arose", says one holy father. Of Mary it had already been said, "Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising?" - Canticles 6:9. As the earth rejoices when the dawn appears, because it is the precursor of the sun, so also when Mary was born the whole world rejoiced, because she was the precursor of Christ, the Sun of Justice, Who being made her Son, came to save us by His death; hence the Church sings, "Thy nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, announced joy to the whole world; for from thee arose the Sun of Justice, who has given us life eternal". So that when Mary was born, our remedy, our consolation, and our salvation came into the world; for through Mary we received our Savior.

This child being, then, destined to become the Mother of the Eternal Word, God enriched her with such great grace, that in the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, her sanctity exceeded that of all the Saints and Angels together, for she received grace of a higher order; one which corresponded with the dignity of Mother of God.


O holy child! O full of grace! I, miserable sinner that I am, salute and adore thee. Thou art the beloved one, the delight of God; pity me, who on account of my sins have been hateful and abominable in His sight. Thou, O most pure Virgin, knewest from thy very childhood so well how to gain the heart of God, that He never did and never will refuse thee anything, and grants thee all that thou askest. My hopes are therefore in thee; recommend me to thy Son, and I shall be saved.
Amen.


When Mary was destined to be the Mother of God, she was also destined to become the Mediatress between God and sinners. Hence the angelic Saint Thomas says, "that Mary received sufficient grace to save all men"; and therefore Saint Bernard calls her, "an aqueduct, that of her plenitude we all may partake".


O my Queen, Mediatress of sinners, perform thy office, intercede for me. My sins shall not prevent me from trusting in thee, O great Mother of God; no, I trust in thee, and so great is my confidence, that were my salvation in my own hands, I would place it in thine. O Mary, receive me under thy protection, for that is all my desire.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Am Not Gay...I Am David




This morning, I received an e-mail from a rector asking for help about SSA after reading this article from holyspiritinteractive.net. In a nutshell, it basically says that labeling oneself as a homosexual is a false identity. Quoting this article, "One is not a same-sex attraction, but instead experiences this attraction."

Just a side quip. The other night I watched Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington. In spite of all the stereotyping of homosexuals throughout the movie and after all the laughter has subsided, I find one redeeming value in the end. Remington CHOSE not to be gay. We can see in the film that he did not want what was happening to him and it is noteworthy to mention that he did not resign himself to the 'weird' circumstances he found himself in, but instead TOOK ACTION with the help of his friends to remedy his situation albeit with a twist. Yes, he did have some hesitations at first, but he had to make a choice and I think he made the right one. I know that sounds oversimplistic as SSA is a very complicated issue, but I think it is worth the effort to try to do the same in real life.

I am Not Gay...I am David.
by David Prosen

Are people born "gay" or do they choose to be gay?

The answer to both questions is no—although in many passionate debates generated by this topic, we are quick to dismiss objectivity. In reality, these questions provide a smoke screen to a much bigger problem that is pervasive in our society, in religious circles, politics, and clinical settings. The problem I speak of is the idea that homosexuality is an identity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that every individual must "acknowledge and accept his sexual identity" (no. 2333). This refers to the "physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity" of both genders which are "oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life" (Ibid.). At the most basic level, our identity is rooted in the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God—"Male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27).

I used to believe I was a "gay" person. I had been attracted to the same gender for as long as I could remember. Because this attraction was present from early on in my life, without my conscious choice, I concluded that I must have been born this way. After all, that’s a logical conclusion . . . right?

The attraction I had to the same gender when I was a little boy was normal and similar to what many boys experience. Boys look for heroes, role models who they respect and want to emulate. For me, the attraction to men started out with normal admiration but then began to take some dysfunctional turns. As a child, I was often made fun of and told by my peers that I wasn’t like them. This made me question what the difference between us was. At this point, shades of covetousness characterized my admiration. I secretly wondered, "If I looked like so-and-so, would I be accepted?"

In puberty, this attraction or admiration became eroticized. The derogative homosexual label was given to me by my peers, and I yielded to their accusations because I truly did have a sexualized same-sex attraction. Eventually, I embraced this label and called myself "gay."

Although I didn’t freely choose same-sex attractions, I did willfully choose to act upon them. My decision to sin brought me intense pain, loneliness, and—worst of all—separation from God. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explained this reality in a statement that observed, "As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood."

Eventually, in my brokenness, I responded to the Lord’s loving call to forgiveness and healing. He has brought me through the valley of shame and out of the darkness of my past and shined His light of truth upon the many lies I believed about myself—especially the one that claimed that I was a "gay" person.

Defining Terms

By defining myself as a "gay" male, I had taken on a false identity. Any label such as "lesbian," "bisexual," or even "homosexual" insinuates a type of person equivalent to male or female. This is simply not true. One is not a same-sex attraction, but instead experiences this attraction.

In his book, Growth into Manhood, Alan Medinger shows that homosexual tendencies and behaviors have been around for thousands of years, but the idea of a homosexual identity only began to evolve about 150 years ago with the emergence of the term "homosexual."

In a later study, Medinger further demonstrates his findings, revealing a number of untruths that tend to surface when one accepts homosexuality as an identity:

I must have been born this way.
If I was born that way, God made me this way.
If God made me this way, how can there be anything wrong with it?
It’s in my nature and I must be true to my nature.
If it’s my nature, I can’t change.
If I try to change I would be trying to go against my nature and that would be harmful. +Accepting myself as gay feels so good—I feel like a thousand pound load has been lifted off of my back—so it must be okay.
If people can’t accept my being gay, then something is wrong with them.
If people can’t accept my being gay, then they don’t accept me because that’s who I am.

When I read these, I was floored. I believed each and every statement deep down to my core. When I was engaged in this lifestyle, it made perfect sense to go along with what felt natural. However, it was logical only because it appeared to be truth. In reality, lies had to be built upon lies for them to add up to something with the semblance of truth.

I believed I was gay. But I was also certain that I didn’t choose this for myself, and so I believed that God must have made me this way. However, Scripture verses like the following made no sense in light of my feelings: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them" (Lev. 20:13).

How could a God of love create me this way and then condemn me to hell? I began to do what many other Christians struggling with same-sex attraction do and searched for "pro-gay" theologies for explanations. I desperately wanted to be in a loving relationship with the same gender, but at the same time, I had a gnawing feeling in my heart that this was wrong.

Time for Truth

Looking back, I believe that my search for truth and struggle against accepting this lifestyle was ultimately the way in which the Holy Spirit convicted me. Still, this gnawing feeling—that same-sex attraction was not God’s plan for my life—was not easy for me to reconcile with because I believed that my sexuality alone was my identity.

Ignorance of this distinction is dangerous. My false beliefs regarding my identity deterred me from accepting the conviction in my heart from the Holy Spirit. St. Paul acknowledged this very same process, explaining:

Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . . God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error (Rom. 1:25-27).

Only after I accepted the truth that acting on homosexual attractions was a sin did I begin to ask for the strength and the grace to carry that cross—and the Lord abundantly poured these upon me. Several years later, He showed me that homosexuality was a false identity that I had embraced. And at this point, my integral healing began as I searched out who I really was. My reflections led me to the discovery that I never truly believed I was a man, and yet I didn’t think I was a woman. In that searching process, I realized that I did not fully identify with either gender.

Through the sacraments—especially the Eucharist—as well as counseling, spiritual healing retreats, and much prayer, Christ revealed to me that I am a man. I have many masculine traits that I was never aware I possessed—such as courage and strength. I can never adequately express the tremendous joy I felt when I began to internally recognize and accept the fact that I am a man, I am masculine, and I do belong in the world of men. At the same time this recognition occurred to me, my attraction to men continued to decrease drastically and my attraction to women increased.

Identity and the Church

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the discussion over whether persons are born homosexual or if they choose to be. Neither is true because same-sex attraction is an experience—not a type of person. Accepting homosexuality as an identity, which has largely been affirmed in our culture, brings so much confusion. In order for a Christian to justify homosexual behavior, he or she needs to alter and contort Sacred Scripture.

Many individuals from within are trying to force the Catholic Church to change her stance toward homosexuality because it seems like discrimination against those who are just "being themselves." But it is not discrimination when we identify and seek to correct falsely held beliefs.

The problem has not just effected those dissenting in our Church. There are very good Catholics and even good priests who wrongly assert that people cannot change their sexual orientation. These people may have the best of intentions, but for whatever reason they have bought into the lie that homosexuality is a type of person.

The Church’s response to those suffering with same-sex attraction offers us this perspective:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition (CCC, no. 2358).

There is hope for those who have same-sex attraction, and we must not abandon efforts to help others understand the truth. This is not to say that God will "change" His creation, the person, because He did not make them this way or intend for them to experience this attraction. Rather, God can change the person’s way of thinking by revealing the lie that the individual has accepted and assimilated into their sense of self.

Once the lie is exposed, wounds that led to this lie such as abuse, rejection, or lack of affirmation in one’s gender identity can be addressed, healing can begin, and the person’s true identity can emerge. When this healing process begins, the attraction to the opposite sex for many has increased.

Courage, the Catholic support group for those with same-sex attraction, as well as many Christians, refrain from using words such as "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," "transgender," or even "homosexual." Words can have powerful effects. Because these words are labels which insinuate that homosexuality is an identity, they reinforce untruths and continue to escalate the problems in our society and our Church. As Catholic Christians, I encourage each of us to be careful with our speech and eliminate the use of labels and instead use the words "same-sex attraction" which more accurately describe the experience that these men and women go through.

Heart Knowledge

Earlier, I spoke of the importance of recognizing that I am a man and feeling it internally within my heart. Fr. Larry Richards’ challenging book Be a Man! helped me obtain even deeper healing. Intellectually, I knew that God was my Heavenly Father, but I didn’t really know and believe it with my whole being. And then I read the following passage in Fr. Larry’s book:

When we were baptized, the sky opened up just like it did upon Jesus, and spiritually, God the Father, the Creator of the universe, looked at you and me and said, ‘You are my beloved Son.’ You stopped being a creation and you became a son of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.[4]

Talk about the power of words! In Jesus, we are sons and daughters of the Creator of the universe. He truly loves us more than we could ever imagine. This is our true identity; this is who each of us truly is.

Isaiah 43:4 states, "You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. . . ." Fr. Larry brought this verse home to me in a very personal way by explaining:

We must enter into a relationship with God knowing that truth. We must know that our relationship begins where Jesus began, with the knowledge that we are loved by the Father. The God of the universe looks at you and says: ‘I love you!’

This touched me deeply. Before this inner healing took place, I had known with certainty that God loved everyone. But when it came to Him loving me personally, I only knew this intellectually— not in my heart. Fr. Larry helped me to connect this truth from my head to my heart.

I am grateful to God for showing me my true identity in Him. Now, I embrace my masculinity and know that I am a man of God. In Jesus, I know I am a beloved son of God who is uniquely and wondrously created, and whose name is David.


David Prosen, a therapist and chapter leader of a Courage support group, holds an MA in Counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is a member of both the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).


Source: www.holyspiritinteractive.net


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly News (First Week of September 2011)


1. Pope: Beauty Can Cause a Conversion

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting people to visit art museums not only for cultural enrichment but also for the opportunity to strengthen a bond with the Lord, to be invited by beauty to "ascend to God." [Read More]

2. Filipinos Ready to Pray 1 Million Rosaries

MANILA, Philippines, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Family Rosary Crusade in the Philippines is spearheading a campaign to get 1 million Filipinos to pray 1 million rosaries in 200 days for all nations in the world. [Read More]

3. UN Plan to Defund PH Birth Control Program Lauded

MANILA, Sept. 1, 2011— Some Catholic bishops described as ‘good news’ the reported plan of the United Nations (UN) to halt giving aid to the Philippine government’s population control program. [Read More]

4. Familiar Issue Revisiting Maine

Homosexual activists are trying to repeal Maine's voter-approved law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but one marriage traditionalist doesn't think the outcome will please repeal supporters. [Read More]

5. Help AFTAH Shine the Light of Truth into the Darkness

In this David-and-Goliath fight against the Homosexual Lobby – which is 1,000 times better funded and organized than the ragtag band of pro-family warriors fighting the normalization of homosexuality — you might wonder if supporting an organization like Americans For Truth really does any good. You bet it does! Please read below for two examples of how YOUR gifts to AFTAH make a big difference. [Read More]

6. Abortion Increases Risk of Women’s Mental Health Problems 81%

A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by leading American researcher Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University finds women who have an abortion face almost double the risk of mental health problems as women who have their baby. [Read More]

7. How to Defend Your Children Against Pro-Gay Lessons in The Classroom

August 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As young people across North America head back to school next week parents need to attend to more than just making sure the back-to-school clothes and utensils are in place. There is an unprecedented attack on morals coming from the school. [Read More]

8. Withdrawing Feeding Tube From Comatose Woman is ‘Euthanasia’: Spanish Bishop

HUELVA, SPAIN, September 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Huelva, Spain says that withdrawing food and fluids from patients “constitutes an act of euthanasia.” Bishop Jose Vilapana’s comments, issued last week in a statement, were made in response to a decision by family members of 90-year-old Ramona Estevez to remove her feeding tube. [Read More]

9. D.C. Padres Baseball Team Promotes Priestly Vocations

Washington D.C., Sep 2, 2011 / 06:02 am (CNA).- A baseball team of 11 Catholic priests and seminarians from the Archdiocese of Washington will play a team of high school and college varsity players to help promote vocations. The team’s first baseman, Fr. Larry Young, can’t wait for the game. [Read More]

10. Homosexuality, Civil Rights, and Natural Law



Massive and successful efforts have been made to characterize homosexuals as normal rather than deviant. Yet heterosexuals are still befuddled about same-sex attraction. And a long series of attempts have been made during the last century to “diagnose” the causes. [Read More]

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Forum on Crimes Against Children and Online Safety



Forwarded invitation from Pro-Life Philippines.


PRO-LIFE PHILIPPINES FOUNDATION, INC. has sought to educate the general public of the repercussions of concocting a tech savvy culture in the country. With the proliferation of the internet and the its ever increasing exposure to our children, we parents, guardians, teachers, catechists, Church & lay leaders, social workers, counselors/ life coaches, youth group advisers & all those who deal with this situation cannot help but be concerned not just by how much our children are receiving, but also by how much they are giving out. The degradation of values as well as the rise of child related crimes show how much importance we need to give to guiding our children as they step into the real (cyber) world.


Resource Person: MR. DANIEL WARTENWEILER, Director, Onesimo Bulilit Foundation Inc.

Venue: St. Joseph Retreat House Conference Room, Loreto Parish
Manzanas Street, Bustillos, Sampaloc Manila (near Legarda LRT 2 station)

Date: September 24, 2011

Time: Saturday, 8:00 -12:00 nn

Registration Fee: P 300.00

For reservations or more information, please call Ellen at 7337027 or you may send us a telefax at 7349425; or a text through mobile # 09192337783; or an email at life@prolife.org.ph. Visit our website at www.prolife.org.ph