PTC: ABC Lawyers Should Win “Best Comedy Writing” Award

June 30, 2008

ABC and its Affiliates Offer Absurd Arguments for the “Right” to Show Indecent Content on Broadcast TV in Front of Children

LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ criticized Disney-owned ABC and its affiliates for challenging the broadcast indecency fine for airing an indecent episode of “NYPD Blue,” which showed a graphic display of female nudity.

The broadcast at issue aired on February 25, 2003 at 9:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain Time zones. The PTC, its members, and concerned citizens across the country spoke out against the nudity in this episode of “NYPD Blue.”

“After reading their arguments challenging the FCC’s indecency fine against ‘NYPD Blue,’ we believe ABC’s attorneys should win an Emmy for ‘Best Comedy Writing.’ Their primetime comedy writers haven’t written anything nearly as funny in years,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“They argue that they are not opposed to indecency rules, yet they don’t want the rules to be enforced. That’s akin to saying that they’re in favor of the speed limit but against any enforcement when people drive too fast.

“They show a fully-naked woman from behind; the camera ogling her up and down with saucy music playing in the background. And in denying that a naked woman’s buttocks has either a sexual or excretory function, they say it is ‘just a muscle.’ Why not just show her bicep, then?

“ABC has also made the preposterous assertion that no viewers complained to the FCC about the nudity in ‘NYPD Blue’ when the reality is that thousands of Americans from all over the country exercised their First Amendment rights to contact their government about the misuse of the airwaves that they own. Many of those concerned citizens used the PTC website to file those complaints with the FCC. The law is clear: people have the right through the FCC to complain about the indecent material airing in their communities regardless of how they are informed about the material. For ABC to declare otherwise is like saying that only those who fight in Iraq or Afghanistan can log a formal opinion about the war.

“ABC must believe that corporate namesake, Walt Disney himself, would agree that airing the ‘F-word’ and showing naked women on television are not indecent. Would the same man who brought the world Mickey Mouse really think that? Surely he would agree with the unanimous, bipartisan FCC ruling that the ‘NYPD Blue’ episode was indecent.

“The simple remedy for ABC is this: wait until after 10:00 pm in all time zones to air such graphic material. Unlike network television promos, the broadcast decency law does not say ‘10 pm, 9 pm Central/Mountain time.’

“Poll after poll indicates that the American people are fed up with the river of inappropriate material flowing into their homes, which is why Congress weighed in to raise the fines to those broadcasters who violate the broadcast decency law. The Congress should again step up to the plate and vote on Senator Jay Rockefeller’s bill about expletives and nudity on the public airwaves. If the networks would act more responsibly, there would be no need for government involvement. They should cease their irresponsible legal challenges to the reasonable, time-honored standards established by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court,” Winter said.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

Champions of Faith DVD

June 30, 2008

The Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition on DVD is a groundbreaking film that showcases the intersection of sports and faith in Major League Baseball by profiling many of the most accomplished and devout figures in the game both on and off the field. Major League baseball champions Mike Piazza, David Eckstein, Jeff Suppan, Mike Sweeney, Jack McKeon and Rich Donnelly lead an All-Star line-up in this moving and uplifting sports special that tells the story of faith in baseball like no other film ever made.

Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition serves to humanize some of the most celebrated and accomplished ballplayers of our time and restore the “sports hero” to its proper place in the American culture. You will laugh, cry, stand, cheer and be awed by the captivating personal stories captured in these interviews and the thrilling game highlights provided by Major League Baseball Productions. This inaugural production of Catholic Exchange’s new film & video division provides some of the big­gest names in our national pastime with a unique forum to discuss faith, family, teamwork, sac­rifice, leadership, humility and the many virtues and spiritual lessons they have learned from the game.

Famed Catholic author and men’s leader Steve Wood recommends Champions of Faith highly for this exact purpose: “The new DVD, Champions of Faith, is just the kind of media tool that will reach men - even those men who seem uninterested in the Faith. This DVD is a perfect gift for any man, a great resource for youth groups, and an ideal tool for fathers and sons to watch together.”

Additionally, you don’t need to be a baseball fan to be moved by these inspiring stories from the heroes of our National Pastime. Man or woman, boy or girl, sports fan or not, you will walk away from this film touched and enlightened with a deeper understanding of how the central truths of our faith can make a difference in your own life.

Champions of Faith already has received rave, “two-thumbs-up” reviews from viewers of all different backgrounds.

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia said, “This entertaining and moving film breaks new ground in giving cultural icons an opportunity to be part of a high quality film and at the same time to speak lovingly of Jesus Christ and how their spiritual lives have enriched their professional careers. This is a prime example of what the Church needs to be doing to reach people where they are. It is a beautiful expression of evangelization through media.”

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix wrote, “I thought Champions of Faith was terrific. The witness to Christ of these baseball stars and their unapologetic love of the Catholic Church was truly inspiring. I hope many of our youth will get to see this wonderful film.”

Bishop Ignatius Catanello of Brooklyn hails it as “a nine-inning faith classic!”

And what do the players themselves say about the film?

“I’ve had some great moments in my life but being a part of this and being able to tell people about my story is one of my proudest moments. It’s not just a sports film, it’s a work of art” - Mike Piazza, Designated Hitter for the Oakland A’s, 12-time All-Star.

“To me it felt like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, my birthday and Easter morning all wrapped into one, seeing this film Champions of Faith. I’ve never been more proud of anything in my life. More proud than anything that I’ve done on the baseball field. This is something that I can show to my kids and grandkids someday. It truly is a treasure. I’m so blessed to be a part of it. I think that every person in America needs to watch this film” - Mike Sweeney, Captain of the Kansas City Royals, 5-time All Star.

“It was very exciting and very inspirational to see the other players share their faith. I think it’s going to be a great tool of evangelization. I think that if you have influence in the Catholic world, I think you should tell people to buy this film because I think it’s going to spread the Word of God. I give it two thumbs up and it’s very, very inspirational” - Jeff Suppan, Pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, MVP of the 2006 NLCS.

Because it is so entertaining and accessible, Champions of Faith is being called “the greatest gift of evangelization this decade”, greater even than The Passion of the Christ, which was limited to adult audiences. If you are looking for the perfect gift for your son, brother, husband, godchild, nephew, neighbor or father; this film is it. There is nothing more inspirational than to hear major athletes at the top of their game talking about something greater than winning the World Series or being named a Major League All-Star, that is, their faith in God, devotion to the Blessed Mother and love for Christ in the Eucharist.

Price: Was $19.95 On Sale $15.95    BUY IT NOW

My First Communion Remembrance Book

June 30, 2008

Limited availability. While supplies last. Ships next business day. Please see Policies for more details.

This treasured keepsake album is a special way to help a child remember the first time he or she receives the Eucharist. Memories of the people, prayers, reflections, photos, mementos and activities leading to and celebrating a child’s First Communion Day are beautifully bound in this sturdy treasury.

PRICE: Was $18.00  Now only $12.00 BUY IT NOW

Handbook of Prayers

June 30, 2008

A compilation of the most loved prayers, devotions, and blessings of the Catholic Faith. The rich design, with a deep burgundy and gold cover, 30 full-page illustrations, and convenient 4 x 6-3/8 inch size make this a truly cherished gift item. OSV

PRICE: $17.95 BUY IT NOW

Only $5.00 - 50 Ways to Tap the Power of the Sacraments

June 30, 2008

Draw Upon The Power Of The Sacraments Living a full Christian family life means more than just going to Church on Sunday. It means being intimate with God - knowing, loving, and serving him. It means relating to God directly and personally. It means letting the sacraments transform your family’s daily life. Popular author and speaker Bert Ghezzi shows how you can highlight the role of the sacraments in your family. Written in 50 short, anecdote-filled chapters, this book presents a practical, useful picture of that spirit-filled, sacramentally powered life that is every Christian’s birthright. A “must read” for every Catholic family that wants to get the most out of life, and the most out of the sacraments! “Outstanding family resource! Bert’s down-to-earth, lively approach brings the sacraments to life in ways modern families can relate to on a daily basis.” - Woodeene Koenig-Bricker, Editor, Catholic Parent magazine About the Author Bert Ghezzi is the author of numerous books, including Guiltless Catholic Parenting from A to Y, Keeping Your Kids Catholic, Sharing Your Faith, and The Angry Christian. He gives his popular workshop, “Keeping Your Kids Catholic,” both nationally and internationally. BUY IT NOW

‘Sarah’s Law’ qualifies for Nov. 4 ballot

June 30, 2008

Proponents note 2008 version of parental notification answers critics’ objections to earlier measures
Contact: Mike Byrne, (866) 828-8355

Sarah’s Law, the latest version of an initiative requiring family involvement in a minor’s abortion, has qualified for the Nov. 4 ballot, the California Secretary of State has determined. The measure seeks to protect minors from the dangers of secret abortions, while at the same time answering objections from opponents to earlier parental notification initiatives.

Named for a 15-year-old girl who died just four days after an abortion left her with a torn cervix and fatal infection, Sarah’s Law will protect the health and safety of young girls and prevent sexual predators from hiding behind secret abortions performed on their minor victims. Physicians in Sarah’s case said that, had an adult family member been aware that she had undergone an abortion, her life likely could have been spared by prompt medical attention.

Opponents of parental involvement have claimed that such laws endanger minors from abusive homes. Sarah’s Law will ensure that young girls in this situation are protected by providing that, if she reports abuse by either parent, the physician could instead notify another adult family member - a grandparent, aunt, step-parent, or adult sibling. The measure also includes judicial bypass provisions and a means by which parents can pre-authorize minor abortions without being informed.

Proponents submitted more than 1.2 million signatures on petitions seeking a rematch on adult involvement in minors’ abortions, after Propositions 73 and 85 were narrowly defeated in 2005 and 2006. On Friday, May 30, the Secretary of State, using random sampling, determined that Sarah’s Law had qualified and will be placed before voters in November.

If approved by voters, Sarah’s Law will require a physician to notify a parent or other adult family member before performing an abortion on a minor girl under the age of 18.

“Legislation was passed in this state in October requiring a minor to bring a parent into a tanning salon to sign a consent form because of health risks,” said Grace Dulaney, Sarah’s Law spokeswoman. “Common sense would dictate that some adult in the family be notified prior to an abortion, a serious medical procedure with significant potential health risks.

“Additionally, many of these minor girls are impregnated by adult male sexual predators who, under California law, are hiding their crimes of statutory rape by coercing their victims to have secret abortions,” said Dulaney. “Sarah’s Law shows that we don’t have to choose between protecting young girls from the dangers of secret abortions and ensuring their safety at home. This is a win-win solution. It’s a progressive law for a progressive state.”

For broadcast interviews: Grace Dulaney, 760-580-5753 (Southern California) or Dolores Meehan (Bay Area) 415-860-7899, Albin Rhomberg (Sacramento) 916-427-1671
For print media interviews: Erica Little, 619-507-8113, Catherine Short 707-337-6880, Albin Rhomberg 916-427-1671
Other questions or interview requests: Mike Byrne, 866-828-8355

Friends of Sarah is preparing a 2008 ballot initiative.

FriendsofSarah.com

BENEDICT XVI INAUGURATES THE PAULINE YEAR

June 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2008 (VIS) - At 6 p.m. today in the basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls, Benedict XVI presided at the celebration of first Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, which also marked the opening of the Pauline Year. Among those participating in the ceremony were the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and representatives from other Churches and Christian communities.

The Holy Father, Bartholomew I, delegates from other Christian confessions, and monks from the abbey of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls walked in procession to the portico of the basilica where, before the statue of the saint, the Pope lit a candle from a brazier which will remain burning for the entire Pauline year. After the Pope the ecumenical patriarch and the representative of the primate of the Anglican communion also lit candles. The procession then entered the basilica through the Pauline Door.

“We are gathered around the tomb of St. Paul, who was born 2000 years ago in Tarsus in Cilicia, in modern-day Turkey”, said the Pope in his homily. “For us, Paul is not a figure of the past whom we recall with veneration. He is also our master, the Apostle and announcer of Jesus Christ to us too. Hence we are gathered here not to reflect upon a past history which has been left irrevocably behind. Paul wishes to speak to us today”. Thus, the Pope explained, the Pauline Year serves “to listen to him and to learn from him, as from a master, the faith and the truth in which the reasons for the unity of Christ’s disciples are rooted”.

“It is of great joy to me”, said the Holy Father, “that the opening of the Pauline year should have a particularly ecumenical character, thanks to the presence of many delegates and representatives of Churches and ecclesial communities, whom I welcome with all my heart”. They include “the Patriarch Bartholomew I, … fraternal delegates of Churches that have especially close ties to the Apostle Paul (Jerusalem, Antioch, Cyprus, Greece) and that form the geographical setting of the Apostle’s life before his arrival in Rome, … and brethren from various Churches and ecclesial communities of East and West”.

“We are gathered here to ask ourselves about the great Apostle of the Gentiles. We ask ourselves not just who Paul was, but above all who he is. … His faith was the experience of being loved by Jesus Christ with an entirely personal love; it was an awareness of the fact that Christ faced death not for some unidentified cause, but for love of him - of Paul - and that, being Risen, He loves him still. Christ gave Himself for him. … His faith was not a theory, an opinion on God and on the world, His faith was the impact of God’s love on his heart. And so this faith was love for Jesus Christ”.

The Holy Father then recalled how many people see Paul as “combative” noting that, “in fact, there was no lack of disputes on the Apostle’s path. He did not seek superficial harmony. … The truth was too great for him to be disposed to sacrifice it in the name of exterior success. The truth he experienced in his encounter with the Risen One was, for him, well worth struggle, persecution and suffering. But his deepest motivations were the fact that he was loved by Jesus Christ and his desire to transmit this love to others. … Only on this basis can the fundamental concepts of his message be understood”.

Focusing then on one of Paul’s “keywords: freedom”, the Pope explained that “Paul, as a man loved by God, was free. … This love was the ‘law’ of his life and, thus, it was the freedom of his life”. Paul “spoke and acted moved by the responsibility of love. Freedom and responsibility are inseparably united. … Those who love Christ as Paul loved Him can truly do as they please, because their love is united to the will of Christ and thus to the will of God; because their will is anchored in truth and because their will is not simply their own will - the decisions of an autonomous ‘I’ - but is integrated into the freedom of God”.

The Pope then went on to consider Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, when the Risen Christ proclaimed “I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting”. By “persecuting the Church”, said Benedict XVI, “Paul was persecuting Jesus” Who “identifies Himself with the Church as one single subject”. This exclamation which transformed Saul’s life “contains the entire doctrine of the Church as the Body of Christ. Christ has not withdrawn to heaven, leaving a group of followers on earth to pursue ‘His cause’. the Church is not an association that seeks to promote a particular cause” but “the person of Jesus Christ Who, even when Risen remained as ‘flesh’. … He has a body. He is personally present in His Church”.

“Through all this we glimpse the Eucharistic mystery, in which Christ continually gives His Body and makes us His Body”, said the Pope and, noting with regret the laceration of this Body, asked Christ to overcome all divisions so that union “may once again become reality”.

Finally, the Holy Father recalled Paul’s words to Timothy shortly before his heath: “Join with me in suffering for the Gospel”. The Pope went on to note that the “duty of announcement and the call to suffer for Christ are inseparable. … In a world where lies are so powerful, truth is paid with suffering. Those who wish to avoid suffering, to keep it away, keep away life itself and its greatness; they cannot be servants of truth or servants of the faith. … Where there is nothing worth suffering for, life itself loses value. The Eucharist - the focus of our being Christian - is founded on Jesus’ sacrifice for us, it was born of the suffering of love”.

“It is of this self-giving love that we live. It gives us the courage and the strength to suffer with Christ and for Him in this world, knowing that this is the way our lives become great, and mature, and true”.

Vatican Information Service 

PAULINE YEAR HELPS RENEW ECUMENICAL COMMITMENT

June 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2008 (VIS) - In the Vatican at midday today, the Holy Father received His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, who has come to Rome to participate in the opening of the Pauline Year and in the celebration of Mass for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

In his remarks, Benedict XVI spoke of his happiness at learning that the patriarch had also called a Pauline Year to commemorate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles. “This happy coincidence”, he said, “highlights the roots of our shared Christian vocation and the significant harmony of feelings and of pastoral commitment we are experiencing. For this I give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who guides our path to unity with the strength of His Spirit.

“St. Paul”, the Pope added, “reminds us that full communion between all Christians has its foundation in ‘one Lord, one faith, one Baptism’. … To the Christians of Corinth, among whom discord had arisen, St. Paul did not hesitate to make a strong call for them all to remain in agreement, for there to be no divisions among them, and for them to unite in the same mind and purpose”.

The Holy Father noted how in our world, with its “persistent divisions and conflicts, men and women feel a growing need for certainty and peace. However, at the same time, they remain lost, as if ensnared by a certain form of hedonist and relativist culture which throws doubt upon the very existence of truth. The Apostle’s guidance in this matter is extremely helpful in encouraging efforts aimed at seeking full unity among Christians, which is so necessary in order to offer humankind of the third millennium an ever more resplendent witness of Christ, Way, Truth and Life. Only in Christ and in His Gospel can humanity find the answer to its deepest hopes”.

“May the Pauline Year”, he concluded, “help Christian people to renew their ecumenical commitment, and may there be an intensification of joint efforts on the journey to the full communion of all Christ’s disciples. And as part of that journey, your presence here today is certainly an encouraging sign”.

Vatican Information Service

June 30, 2008 Daily Mass Readings

June 30, 2008

Reading 1
Am 2:6-10, 13-16

Thus says the LORD:
For three crimes of Israel, and for four,
I will not revoke my word;
Because they sell the just man for silver,
and the poor man for a pair of sandals.
They trample the heads of the weak
into the dust of the earth,
and force the lowly out of the way.
Son and father go to the same prostitute,
profaning my holy name.
Upon garments taken in pledge
they recline beside any altar;
And the wine of those who have been fined
they drink in the house of their god.

Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them,
who were as tall as the cedars,
and as strong as the oak trees.
I destroyed their fruit above,
and their roots beneath.
It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,
and who led you through the desert for forty years,
to occupy the land of the Amorites.

Beware, I will crush you into the ground
as a wagon crushes when laden with sheaves.
Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong man shall not retain his strength;
The warrior shall not save his life,
nor the bowman stand his ground;
The swift of foot shall not escape,
nor the horseman save his life.
And the most stouthearted of warriors
shall flee naked on that day, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
50:16bc-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23

R. (22a) Remember this, you who never think of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“When you see a thief, you keep pace with him,
and with adulterers you throw in your lot.
To your mouth you give free rein for evil,
you harness your tongue to deceit.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“You sit speaking against your brother;
against your mother’s son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“Consider this, you who forget God,
lest I rend you and there be no one to rescue you.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.

Gospel
Mt 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”

Interview with Jessii Sweet, Chris Sweet, Nicole Sweet, Justin Dery and Danielle Sweet of Pointe Blank

June 29, 2008

Pointe Blank - ProvidenceRocking Romans: Congratulations on winning the 2007 Rocking Romans Entry for World Youth Day 2008 Music Competition! Tell us a little bit about Pointe Blank. Where are you guys from?
Jessii Sweet: We were all born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts, except for Justin our bass player, who is from Woonsocket, Rhode Island. However, nobody has ever heard of Attleboro, and the closest major city - Providence, Rhode Island - is only five miles away.

RR: What originally drove you to creating music in the Catholic genre?
Chris Sweet: As Catholics, our music organically grew in that direction, and we just started playing music that was relevant to us.

RR: What have you got planned for next year?
Nicole Sweet: Finishing our second album by February is our top priority. We hope to set up a larger tour this summer, God willing.

RR: Have you picked out a name for your second album yet?
Nicole: Well we are actually still working it out. Keep us in your prayers as we discern.

RR: How far away from home will your summer tour go?
Nicole: Hopefully to Australia!

RR: Australia would be fun. What’s the farthest from home you’ve played?
Chris: Well one time we sang karaoke in Florida. It was “I’ve Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher.

RR: What are some of your musical inspirations, Catholic or otherwise?
Chris: I like Switchfoot, because he presents a lyrical honesty not normally found in the Christian genre. Musically, my influences include the Cure, the Strokes, the Killers, Muse and the Smiths.
Justin Dery: Some of mine are U2, the Who, the Beatles and Eric Clapton.
Nicole: Kelly Clarkson has an amazing voice! My original Christian influences were Point of Grace, Avalon and Newsboys. From the old days, it’s Whitney Houston and Pat Benatar.
Danielle Sweet: My influences range from Superchic[k] to the Beatles and from Etta James to everything in between. I’m all over the place!
Jessii: Mine are Newsboys, Third Day, Hawk Nelson, Relient K, Hanson and Postal Service.

RR: What do you think really makes Catholic music different from other contemporary Christian music?
Chris: It seems that Catholic music hasn’t really come into its own yet. However, insofar as there is truth to be found within Catholic life and belief, this will set it apart from other Christian movements within music.

RR: So what do you do in your free time?
Jessii: We all like water sports - crazy flips off the tub are always fun.
Chris: I’m a philosophy junkie - right now my favorite philosopher is Martin Buber - and a music critic.
Danielle: I like painting and playing with Hannah, my cat who wants to be a dog. She barks and rolls over!
Nicole: I don’t have free time. I do laundry and practice vocal to Kelly Clarkson. I love her voice!
Justin: I play Guitar Hero. I’m a music major and play different instruments, but I can barely play one note on it! I also watch House with Danielle.

RR: How much longer until we see a Pointe Blank song on Guitar Hero?
Chris: Guitar Hero 12 - but I have to learn how to play guitar first!
Jessii: We are just looking forward to what God has planned for us next.

RR: Pointe Blank, thanks for your time and congratulations. God bless!

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