Thursday, November 14, 2013

US Bishops Defiant

by JesseRay on November 14, 2013

I am proud of our Bishops who today unanimously decided to issue a “Special Message” at the conclusion of their fall General Assembly in Baltimore.

“Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, which violates our deeply-held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all,” they said.

“Despite our repeated efforts to work and dialogue toward a solution, those problems remain. Not only does the mandate undermine our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith, which is their core mission, but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care,” the bishops added.

The full missive from the Bishops of the United States is clear, powerful, and beautifully written. Another excerpt: “The current impasse is all the more frustrating because the Catholic Church has long been a leading provider of, and advocate for, accessible, life-affirming health care. We would have preferred to spend these recent past years working toward this shared goal instead of resisting this intrusion into our religious liberty. We have been forced to devote time and resources to a conflict we did not start nor seek.”

I have not read the entire special message myself, but I hope they concluded it by saying: By the way, we also refuse to pay your silly penalties.

Quotes courtesy of


Help Tom Peters the Papist

by Steve Ray on November 14, 2013

From and friend and fellow worker with the great young man Tom Peters:

On a warm summer night four months ago, I received some terrible news. 

As I was preparing to go to sleep that July night, my phone vibrated on my bedside table. A new text message. Then another. Then another. Something was urgent. Then I read the messages.

He was married only 3 months before this tragic accident

Our friend and co-worker Thomas Peters, widely known as the ‘American Papist’ blogger, was involved in a swimming accident. He had suffered a severe injury and his life was in danger. At that moment nobody knew if he was still alive. ‘Pray!’ was the only request.

Thomas was transported that night by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore. We later learned that he had fractured his fifth cervical vertebra. He was temporarily paralyzed and the prognosis was uncertain. “Please pray” was all we were told. So pray we did.

Over a period of 6 weeks Thomas’ doctors worked to save his life and repair the damage to his neck. Through many surgeries, treatments, and trials, the doctors were able to finally stabilize him.

Thomas continues to recover, having been through in-patient rehab and just recently was allowed to return home where he is continuing the rehabilitation process.

Just yesterday he fired off an email to the CV staff urging us to push back against a NY Times article suggesting that Catholics are unhappy with the Holy Father. He joked about his sore pinky he was forced to use to type. He may be handicapped, but his love of the Church remains boundless.

While Thomas continues his recovery, the financial burden of his accident continues to grow.

That’s why is participating in the #IStandWithThomasPeters day by pledging to send any donation received today to the Thomas Peters Recovery Fund.

There are many ways you can help. Here are a few:

SPREAD THE WORD – Thomas’ faithful friends have created graphics that can be shared on social media urging people to support Thomas in his recovery. Check out the graphics to share here:

PRAY – Please join us in offering up prayers of thanksgiving for his life and prayers of petition for his continued recovery. See the intentions here:

DONATE – The costs of Thomas’ medical treatment, rehabilitation, and related needs are enormous. If we can help ease the financial burden and stress even a little, Thomas will be able to focus on these last two critical months of recovery.

Please consider making a gift of any amount now.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Thomas. We are grateful to God for answering our prayers. 

I just sent in my donation and I’m passing on the news. I hope you will do both as well.