November 22, 2010

VATICAN CITY (VIS) — Given below is the text of a note issued by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. concerning certain remarks by the Pope on the use of condoms, which appear the new book “Light of the World”.

“At the end of chapter eleven of the book ‘Light of the World’ the Pope responds to two questions about the battle against AIDS and the use of condoms, questions that reconnect with the discussions that arose in the wake of certain statements the Pope made on this subject during the course of his 2009 trip to Africa.

“The Pope again makes it clear that his intention was not to take up a position on the problem of condoms in general; his aim, rather was to reaffirm with force that the problem of AIDS cannot be solved simply by distributing condoms, because much more needs to be done: prevention, education, help, advice, accompaniment, both to prevent people from falling ill and to help them if they do.

“The Pope observes that even in the non-ecclesial context an analogous awareness has developed, as is apparent in the so-called ABC theory (Abstinence – Be Faithful – Condom), in which the first two elements (abstinence and fidelity) are more decisive and fundamental in the battle against AIDS, while condoms take last place, as a way out when the other two are absent. It should thus be clear that condoms are not the solution to the problem.

“The Pope then broadens his perspective and insists that focusing only on condoms is equivalent to trivialising sexuality, which thus loses its meaning as an expression of love between persons and becomes a ‘drug’. This struggle against the trivialisation of sexuality is ‘part of the great effort to ensure that sexuality is positively valued and is able to exercise a positive effect on man in his entirety’.

“In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that ‘the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution’ to the problem of AIDS.

“In this the Pope does not reform or change Church teaching, but reaffirms it, placing it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility.

“At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat to another person’s life. In such a case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered practice of sexuality but maintains that the use of a condom to reduce the danger of infection can be ‘a first act of responsibility’, ‘a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality’, rather than not using it and exposing the other person to a mortal risk.

“In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary change.

“Many moral theologians and authoritative ecclesiastical figures have supported and support similar positions; it is nevertheless true that we have not heard this with such clarity from the mouth of the Pope, even in an informal and non-magisterial form.

“Thus Benedict XVI courageously makes an important contribution to help us clarify and more deeply understand a long-debated question. His is an original contribution, because, on the one hand, it remains faithful to moral principles and transparently refutes illusory paths such as that of ‘faith in condoms’; on the other hand, however, it manifests a comprehensive and farsighted vision, attentive to recognising the small steps (though only initial and still confused) of an often spiritually- and culturally-impoverished humanity, toward a more human and responsible exercise of sexuality”.

Real Christians Say ‘No’ to Bullying and Homosexual Behavior

October 28, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (MetroCatholic) — A coalition of pro-family leaders today urges Christian families to be faithful to biblical morality and discerning in the face of false and irresponsible accusations. Christianity and traditional values are not the cause of teen suicides, and attempts to link the two are deceptive and will ultimately harm children.

“Gay” activists nationwide are fueling an effort to indict traditional moral values as “guilty until proven innocent” in some bullying incidents involving teens. Their proposed solutions end up sexualizing teens at young ages into known high-risk behaviors and silencing concerned parents.

Now, the U.S. Department of Education seems to be joining the effort, setting the stage for implicating traditional morality as the cause of some cases of bullying, and using the force of federal government to force pro-homosexual, pro-”transgender” indoctrination programs onto local schools.

“Just say no” to these outrageous and unsubstantiated claims, said Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association ( “Bullying can be prevented without endorsing homosexual behavior. Activist adults essentially are saying that American parents who want their kids to avoid high risk homosexual sex acts and remain abstinent until traditional marriage, are harming kids. This is preposterous, and local parents and communities need to resist enforced political correctness.”

Authentic Christians will remember several key concepts from Scripture:

1. Homosexual behavior is always a sin, God’s plan for sexuality is male/female marriage, and God has not changed His mind about this (Genesis 19; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

2. Jesus described marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that humans were created male and female “from the beginning.” Gender change is a defiant and ungrateful sin against God’s direction and design (Matthew 19:4-6)

3. Violence against children is wrong. Jesus was very clear in his protection of children and also had harsh words for those who would forbid children from knowing His truth and love ( Luke 17:2; Luke 18: 15-16). “Gay” activists want to keep children from knowing, loving and following the real Jesus Christ. At the very least, schools must not interfere in the desires of parents to raise their own children to follow Christ and live out biblical morality.

4. School boards aid child corruption and insult faithful families when they allow “gay-straight alliances,” homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the “gay” lobby.

“None of this is related to the real issue of bullying,” said Linda Harvey, president of Mission America (, who has been monitoring the homosexual agenda directed to youth for fifteen years.” Any incidents of bullying and name-calling can be punished without forcing acceptance of offensive behaviors. Communities must not allow themselves to be manipulated into supporting pro-homosexual bullying prevention plans, and believers in Jesus Christ need to stand up against this corruption of youth.

“Traditional morality is not responsible for harassing speech. Are healthy nutrition programs or the First Lady’s anti-obesity initiative responsible for slurs and insults to overweight students? Of course not,” Harvey said. “Bullies act for a variety of reasons, and schools need to punish the behaviors, not become the thought police. Administrators who use good judgment will refuse to aid and abet false accusations.”

“It’s time that extremists stop exploiting tragedy to push a selfish political agenda,” said J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs of Liberty Counsel ( “Liberal pressure groups have been shameless. They use talk of ‘bullying’ as a Trojan Horse to silence traditional values. Yes, anti-bullying policies are appropriate and necessary, but we a need broad, comprehensive anti-bullying strategy; not legislation rooted in segregation and discrimination, which singles out one special interest group for preferred treatment over others. Ironically, this unseemly political push actually amounts to ‘Bull Connor bullying’ on the part of homosexual activists.”

Traditional values always help families and students, not the opposite, as extremists are trying to claim.

These pro-family leaders have signed on to this statement:
Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans for Truth
Gary Glenn, President, American Family Association of Michigan
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Rena Lindevaldson, Associate Director, Liberty Center for Law & Policy
Matt C. Abbott, Catholic columnist,

Presbyterians Send Mixed Message on Sexuality

July 10, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — The 2010 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took two actions late Thursday that pointed in opposite directions regarding the denomination’s decades-long debate over human sexuality. On the one hand, the PCUSA commissioners meeting in Minneapolis voted to send out for ratification in local presbyteries another constitutional amendment to delete the denomination’s standard requiring church officers to exercise “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” On the other hand, the assembly turned aside attempts to convey the PCUSA’s blessing upon same-sex marriages.

The votes were close, reflecting the divided state of the denomination. The deletion of “fidelity and chastity” passed by a 53 to 46 percent margin. The proposals to redefine marriage were sidelined in a 51 to 49 percent vote. The assembly voted instead to send out for study around the denomination two documents on civil union and Christian marriage, one upholding the church’s confessional teaching on the marriage of man and woman and the other putting all views of marriage on a level and urging “mutual forbearance.”

The “fidelity and chastity” standard has been the subject of 4 nationwide presbytery votes in the last 14 years. It has been affirmed in all those votes.

Alan Wisdom, IRD’s Vice President for Research and Programs and Director of its Presbyterian Action committee, commented:

    “These votes are not a cause for rejoicing. Leaders of the PCUSA are still confused about the biblical teaching that channels sexual expression through the marriage of man and woman. But we can take comfort that people in local Presbyterian churches do uphold the teaching. They have proven that in 4 votes over the past 14 years to confirm the ‘fidelity and chastity’ standard for church officers. It is unfortunate that we will have to summon them again to defend that biblical standard in another set of presbytery votes over the coming year. But defend it they will.

    “The decision to shelve attempts to redefine marriage was a relief. The sexual revisionists had seemed to have a solid majority to enact their agenda at this assembly. They had taken down ‘fidelity and chastity’ and they were gunning for marriage last night. But somehow, by God’s grace, they came up short. The commissioners took a second look and decided that they weren’t ready to tinker with this sacred institution established by God in creation and blessed by Jesus himself. We give thanks for that reprieve, but know that we have much work to do in helping Presbyterians and others to reappropriate the beautiful heritage of biblical teaching about how God brings together man and woman in marriage.”

White House Fetes Lesbian Banned from Cross-Dressing at Prom

June 23, 2010

By James Tillman and Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, DC, ( – Earlier this year Constance McMillen was refused permission to attend her high-school prom with a female date while wearing a tuxedo, an event that catapulted her into the national media spotlight. Now her newfound notoriety has received an added boost, after the White House invited her to a reception honoring lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT) scheduled for Tuesday at 5pm.

Both President Obama and Vice-President Biden were expected to attend the reception.  Openly gay Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh also planned to attend.

“I really hope the attention my case has generated will help encourage Congress to pass a federal law barring LGBT discrimination in schools so that no one else has to go through what I did,” said McMillen.

McMillen said she was grateful that “President Obama recognizes the difficulties that LGBT youth still have.”

But Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis for the American Family Association, disputes the contention that McMillen’s rights of free speech were violated.

“She was just unhappy that the school would not normalize her sexuality. And they were absolutely right to do so,” he told

McMillen’s Mississippi high school cancelled the school-sponsored prom, citing the disruption caused by McMillen’s attempts to attend it dressed as a boy with her girlfriend.

Besides offending the moral sensibilities of many families in the Bible-belt with children attending the school, school officials had concerns that the wearing of a tuxedo by a girl would contravene the school’s strict dress code, which states, “Clothing and general appearance are not to be the type that would cause a disturbance.”  The school’s dress code is generally “conservative,” also forbidding skirts above the knee, muscle shirts and exposure of undergarments.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) intervened and filed a lawsuit against Itawamba Agricultural High School, which then canceled the prom. School officials said that McMillen would be permitted to attend a parent-sponsored prom with her girlfriend.

However the ACLU contends that on prom night McMillen went to a “decoy” prom that only a few other students attended, while the rest of her classmates attended another event.

The ACLU maintains that the school district violated McMillen’s free-speech “right” to cross-dress and has caused McMillen to be repeatedly humiliated and harassed.

Fischer, however, said that McMillen has hardly ended up the victim in the whole exchange. Besides getting honored at the White House celebration, McMillen has appeared multiple times on national television, received a $30,000 dollar college scholarship from openly lesbian TV host Ellen Degeneres, and is going to be the Grand Marshall of the New York City Pride parade on June 27.

Just several days before the Pride parade a benefit concert, “All Love, All Woodstock,” is being held on June 25, the proceeds of which will go to McMillen’s college education fund and to the ACLU.

Fischer expressed concern that the White House’s honoring of McMillen is “going to ratchet up the pressure on every school to capitulate.”

“We’re going to see the normalization of homosexuality, one senior prom at a time, unless we have school superintendents and school boards that will have enough spine to stand up against that pressure and refuse to capitulate.”

Public schools may soon face federal coercion to accommodate homosexual values. McMillen was scheduled to meet with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who hopes to pass the Student Nondiscrimination Act, prohibiting discrimination in schools on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The ACLU has supported this legislation on the grounds that discrimination in schools is “an unacceptable daily reality.”

FRC Responds to Release of First Ever GAO Report on Federal Funding for Abortion Advocates

June 16, 2010

WASHINGTON, (MetroCatholic) — This morning at a Capitol Hill news conference, Family Research Council joined members of Congress including Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) as well as other pro-life leaders to discuss the Government Accountability Office’s first ever report on federal funding for abortion advocates. The report was requested by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and other key members of Congress.

(Logo: )
(Logo: )

The report revealed that six organizations connected to the abortion agenda received over a billion dollars in federal funds between 2002 and 2009. The six organizations are Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Council of the United States, Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment Ken Blackwell made the following comments:

“Giving taxpayer money to organizations that promote and provide abortion, even if the money is not used for that purpose, frees up other funds for abortion purposes and gives the government’s stamp of approval to their abortion related activities.

“By funding Planned Parenthood and their allies, we are unwittingly supporting an abortion organization and everything they do. When taxpayer money goes to abortion groups for any reason, it supports the work of the abortion industry. We should not let abortion companies benefit financially from taxpayer funds.

“We urge Congress to bring an end to funding for abortion providers by enacting the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. We applaud Congressman Mike Pence for introducing this commonsense bill which would simply ensure that funds go to organizations that are not in the abortion business.”

Source: Family Research Council

CONTACT:  J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller of the Family Research Council,

Web Site:

Masculinity, Marriage, and Sexuality to Be Discussed on CatholicTV Talk Show

May 28, 2010

WATERTOWN, MA (MetroCatholic) – On June 8, Fr. James Farfaglia will be interviewed on the live CatholicTV talk show “This is the Day”. Fr. Farfaglia will discuss ideas from his book “Man to Man”.

Man to Man explores what it means to be a man and covers topics such as masculinity, sexuality, and leadership. The subtitle of the book is: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. Father Farfaglia encourages men to be everyday heroes.

Fr. Farfaglia felt a powerful inspiration to write the book after waking up late one Sunday night. He knew that he needed to get away to write the book and literally went away to an island to work on the book.

This is the Day airs at 10:30AM ET at and on CatholicTV. The show is rebroadcast at 7:30PM.

Father Farfaglia is presently the pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Aside from his duties at St. Helena’s, Father Farfaglia has his own internet ministry. In 2002, he developed his own electronic parish. His homilies have been frequently featured on Catholic Exchange and Spirit Daily. Father Farfaglia is also the spiritual advisor to Hope House, a home for unwed mothers and he was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Human Life International.

More information about Fr. Farfaglia and his book can be found at:

Episodes of This is the Day are posted on the site’s archives starting the same night of the broadcast day. All videos at the website are viewable in full-screen. Paste this URL into your browser in order to access the “This is the Day” video archives.  

CatholicTV broadcasts across the US on Sky Angel channel 142, and selected cable outlets in New England and in Chattanooga (TN) where CatholicTV is available on FiTV channel 153. To find out where to watch CatholicTV visit:  

CatholicTV is a nationally-broadcasted television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at Heeding Pope Benedict XVI’s call to greater utilize the power of television and new media, the CatholicTV Network features its cable TV station, Catholic web site, mobile apps and widget. Celebrate Mass online; pray The Rosary; enjoy programs on prayer, the saints, the Scriptures and the Catholic Church on America’s Catholic Television Network.

“This is the Day” can also be seen on demand at or downloaded via The hosts, Director of CatholicTV, Father Robert Reed, and General Manager, Jay Fadden discuss various topics of the week and respond to viewer mail (you may email the show at [email protected] )

Christopher West taking break from speaking to reflect on advice

April 15, 2010

Exton, PA (CNA/EWTN News) – Catholic speaker Christopher West has taken a six-month sabbatical at the Theology of the Body Institute after mutual agreement with the Institute’s board of directors. The popular presenter cited family obligations and the need to reflect on advice he has received about his teaching methods.

The sabbatical from teaching and travel was for “personal and professional renewal,” a press release from the Institute says.

“Christopher is taking this leave to attend to family needs, and to reflect more deeply on fraternal and spiritual guidance he has received in order to continue developing his methodology and praxis as it relates to the promulgation of the Theology of the Body,” the statement continues.

The Theology of the Body Institute said it regrets the interruption to upcoming 2010 events but reported that it will continue its education and outreach programs and offer other faculty members and instructors during West’s sabbatical.

After a controversial ABC interview last year, West became a center of criticism for his interpretation and presentation of Pope John Paul II’s teachings on sexuality, popularly known as the Theology of the Body.

His defenders see him as a speaker capable of reaching today’s youth with Church teaching.

His critics have voiced concern about his discretion in speaking about sensitive topics in ways that might arouse unwholesome curiosity. They said his emphasis on purity of intention in human love risks ignoring the dangers of man’s tendency towards sin.

Five Top Marriage Benefits of Natural Family Planning

February 22, 2010

GLENVIEW, IL (MetroCatholic) Chicago-area couples wondering about which birth control to use would be helped to know that a popular blogger has drawn up five winning reasons how Natural Family Planning (NFP) has benefitted his marriage.

Writing on his blog, Dustin Riechmann says, “My wife and I have a great deal of peace about our sex life both from an intimacy standpoint and on the moral/religious/spiritual front. And trust me, that’s saying a lot for a young Catholic couple trying to do the right thing.”

For the first four years of their marriage they used the birth control pill, and when they found NFP, they no longer had any of the “lingering, often back-of-mind” worries about whether they were harming her health, “marginalizing” their intimacy, or reducing their sex life to something less than it should be, Dustin says. He added that “it does require some periods of abstinence and we men aren’t the biggest fans of that idea.”

The Riechmanns have worked in the marriage preparation classes for the Catholic diocese of Springfield, IL for five years and have received more than 7,000 web visits in only a few months. Here are their “Five Benefits of NFP for Marriage,” summarized.

1. A Stronger Bond. My wife and I have always been close and shared a special bond. After all, we got married and have been a happy couple for many years. However, when we started learning about Natural Family Planning and then started to put it into practice together, we grew closer on a level that I never knew was there previously.

When you can talk about the intricacies of your wife’s fertility signs (because you’ve bothered to learn them) and interpret those signs by her side (because you really care), you have a good bond….

2. Open Communication. Listen, I have talked to my wife routinely about basal body temperatures and cervical mucus…. I am confident that I have more knowledge of the female fertility cycle than five generations of my forefathers combined.

Who cares? My wife. She knows that I care about her body, her sexuality and her soul because we routinely communicate about it. You cannot effectively practice Natural Family Planning without improving the level of communication in your marriage…. I simply cannot imagine a more intimate and sacred topic of conversation than that of fertility and the willingness to accept children (or not). My wife and I have these discussions on a regular basis, and it has made us excellent communicators in all aspects of our marriage.

3. Mutual Decision Making. When we decide if we are going to have sex during the “transitional” times between fertility phases, it is a complete and total mutual decision. It really cannot be one-sided and it requires open communication.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times throughout each month where total spontaneity are possible…and fantastic. But there are those times where we have to think together and reach important mutual decisions. For us, this ability to make decisions together has enhanced everything from our finances to our parenting skills.

4. Raises Appreciation of Intimacy. This one rocks. We used birth control for the first four years of our marriage, and we thought we were getting all that we could out of our sex life. We were wrong.

With the introduction of Natural Family Planning, the intimacy in our marriage (both inside and outside of the bedroom) achieved entirely new levels. It wasn’t that things were all that different physically, but they were worlds better emotionally and spiritually.….

5. Marriage Insurance. I think this term really sums up the value of all the other benefits in a very real and tangible way. I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves: The divorce rate for couples practicing Natural Family Planning is less than 5%. For the general population, it is nearly 50%.

Classes in the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning are offered by the Couple to Couple League to married and engaged couples, and can be taken at 15 locations in the Archdiocese of Chicago, IL and surrounding area, including southeast Milwaukee and northwest Indiana. A homestudy course is also available at CCL Central.

The next series of classes in northeast Illinois will begin Sun., Mar. 21, 2010 at 6 pm at St. Irene’s parish in Warrenville, IL, and will be taught by Mike and Denise Kenealy.

To register, and for a list of classes throughout the U.S., go to CCL Central at, (800) 745-8252 Illinois class information is at .

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