Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Dream: That All The Children Of The Nation Will Be Cherished Equally

File:Easter Proclamation of 1916.png

I remember my first visit to Washington DC - a most remarkable city.  One of the highlights, after my visit to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, was to stand on the spot where Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech.  I was talking to a friend yesterday who had just come back from Washington and he was telling me about the thrill he had standing on that spot and I was musing over my ow visit.

That moment, 28th August 1963, was an important one in the history of the US and it symbolises the struggle of black people for freedom, expressing the hope that one day all men and women, regardless of colour, would be recognised as equal.  That it was uttered by a Christian pastor is no coincidence, because what Dr King had to say emerged from Christ's teaching on the inherent dignity of the human person regardless of what others think or what limitations a state or its ideology try to impose.

That moment was the moment when America faced the reality of her history of oppression - a black man standing in front of the monument of one of the greatest of US Presidents, challenging those who governed the so-called "land of the free".   It will be forever etched in the consciousness of the US.

Well, we are coming to such a moment in Ireland, when someone will have to take a stand and challenge those who govern this country to take seriously that intention of the founding fathers and mothers of our Republic to cherish "all the children of the nation equally", as enshrined in the Proclamation of the Republic of Easter 1916.  Again, while this idea is in keeping with the ideals of those who fought for freedom in the early years of the 20th century, it too is an expression of Christian teaching: that all children, regardless of colour, state or age, are to be cherished.  We carefully note that the Proclamation says that ALL the children of the nation are to be cherished - that includes the unborn, those who are the most vulnerable.

Will we see a moment in the near future, when a public figure, a Churchman perhaps, will stand at the GPO, at the very spot the Proclamation was read for the first time, and challenge this government to stay true to the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers, to protect innocent human life?  We can but hope.

We have a lot to learn from Dr King and his allies, particularly Rosa Parks who, in making what seemed like a small gesture, set the fire for the eventual collapse of apartheid in the US.  Remember that our small gestures in favour of life may well be as significant. 

Whether our public representatives want to acknowledge it or not: abortion is the civil rights issue of our time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bishops's Letter, Minister's Diktat, And A Twiddling Taoiseach

Enda and his mobile phone

What a week!  It seems that time is flying and more and more things are popping out of the woodwork to be dealt with.  Hence the spaces between posts - not that I have nothing to say - you should all know me by now, I tend to have too much to say at times.  I grab a few moments.....

Since my last post a few things of note have happened.  First of all the Bishops have released their statement for the Day for Life in Ireland which falls this year on the 7th October, feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (or as a friend pointed out this morning - the anniversary of Lepanto).   I have tried to find the statement online, but I do not think it is up yet - I trawled through the Bishop's Conference website and found nothing - it's not a great website and it can be difficult to find things on it, so maybe I missed it.

Anyway, the statement is good: it is clear and states quite catagorically that abortion is wrong, never necessary to save the life of a woman and that the child conceived is a human being worthy of the right to life.  There is a wonderful sentence in it worth noting: "From that moment [fertilisation], each of us did not grow and develop into a human being, but grew and developed as a human being" (emphasis in the text).  That is a marvellous way of stating the facts and undermine the argument proposed by those who promote and defend abortion that the "embryo" or "foetus" is not a human being. 

I am always amazed that in this era when science and medicine are so advanced, there are people out there who claim the embryo is not human, but becomes human (it seems) when the woman assents to the pregnancy.  Talk about hocus pocus and medieval ideas! The pro-abortion lobby are positively backward when it comes to scientific facts and then they have the gall to accuse those who respect human life as being stuck in the past and not as progressive as them.  Poor deluded creatures, their blindness has made fools of them all. 

The Bishops also point out that the government does not have to legislate for abortion to comply with the ruling of the European Court - someone should tell the bright sparks in the government because all we hear out of them is that we may have no choice.  Personally I believe they know, but well, politicians tend be selective when it comes to truth, and on this issue, even though it will cost innocent human lives, they'll fiddle the same old tune. 

Abortion, the bishops point out, is not a solution to a difficult problem, but the  delberate taking of human life and it can never be a genuinely humane or compassionate solution.  It is an evil that brings more evil, destroying not just the life of the baby who is killed, but the woman who has the abortion and society in general which becomes less humane and compassionate as it gets used to the killing of the innocent.  As the bishops correctly point out, as we listen to all the hard cases, it has proved by international experience that once abortion has been legalised, even if only for very restricted cases, it quickly becomes more widespread than was first intended (although to be honest, many of those arguing for abortion intend to have abortion on demand - their talk of restrictions is nothing more than a Trojan horse - as experience teaches us).

Meanwhile the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, is berating RTE for its unbiased coverage of the Children's Rights Referendum.  Now to be honest I never thought RTE could ever be accused of unbaised reporting, but if they are finally getting their act together, they should be supported. The issue is, once again, the McKenna judgement whereby both sides in a referendum campaign must be given equal time to explain their position: the government doesn't like this.

Meanwhile (you'll love this), after another minister in the same government told the Catholic Church to keep its nose out of the forthcoming abortion debate, Minister Noonan has told the Churches that he expects them to issue statements very soon supporting the government position on the Children's Rights Referendum.  This is an interesting development - a government minister telling the Christian Churches what positions they should take on certain issues: is this a diktat?  What about separation of Church and state?  This crowd just get worse. 

And meanwhile, our Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, on a visit to the Pope with other representatives of the European Political Group of which his party is a member, was twiddling away on his mobile phone during the Pope's speech.  Lord knows what people think about Ireland when they see our political representatives behave in such a childish way.  But really, is this the best we Irish can get to run our country?  Thanks their actions against the Pope and the Vatican, this government has already brought much criticism of Ireland from foreign diplomats and governments - when will they stop showing us up in public with their adolescent rebellion against Catholicism?

Not sure if you saw this, if not, please read it - John Water's excellent article on the Children's Rights Referendum.  As always, Waters sheds light on issues usually ignored in Irish Society today. That man deserves a knighthood!  We must drop a few hints with the bishops to put in a word with the Holy Father.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Few Thoughts

I have been reflecting a little on the wording of the Children's Rights referendum coming up in November.  Last night coming back from my brother's wedding practice (yes, we are finally getting rid of him!! Say a prayer for his fiancee, I think she needs her head examined, but anyway....), I was listening to the debates on Newstalk - Marc Coleman's programme, though someone else was standing in. If Marc had been there the debate would have been more robust because, while there were a few concerns expressed, most were happy with the wording and it went unchallenged.

I have a few thoughts at this initial stage, and perhaps the questions I am asking will be answered in the debate and I am set at ease.

First of all - do we need such a referendum?  Surely children have the same rights as other citizens.  When we get to giving some citizens more rights than others, is that not questionable?  Is this referendum just an attempt to respond to recent crises in an easy way rather than just use the provisions that are already there?

Secondly, I agree with the change in allowing the children of married people to be put up for adoption - there are cases where someone who marries a widowed person cannot actually adopt the children because they had been born in marriage. However, I believe this should only happen with the agreement of the living parents.  Despite the hard cases, I do not think the State should have the power to conduct forced adoptions.  Yes, the wording says "in exceptional cases", but to be honest that will be abused by the State and social workers.  Enshrining this in the Constitution is dangerous.

Thirdly, I do not like the idea that the State can see itself as being a substitute for parents, ie "supply the place of parents" - that is beyond the remit of the state and I think enshrining this in the Constitution is dangerous too.   We have seen various States and regimes attempting to do that, most notably the Soviet Union.   And given that the Irish government's recent history on child care has been appalling and fatal for some children (facts conveniently ignored by the media), can we actually trust the State to look after these children?  

Finally, this wording diminishes the rights of parents with regard to their children.  There are difficult cases, hard cases, but as the legal adage goes, "hard cases make bad law" - is this referendum an attempt to enshrine these bad cases in the Constitution (some of these articles are a response to actual cases)?  If so we need to tread very carefully. 

I cannot help but think of Chesterton's comment on socialism, applicable I believe here too since the government here in Ireland today is a left-wing government on social issues.  He said: "Socialists are specially engaged in mending (that is, strengthening and renewing) the state; [but] they are not specially engaged in strengthening and renewing the family."  Is this referendum about consolidating State power over children (albeit, I accept, with noble intentions), but striking at the heart of the family?

Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, said that this referendum was "not a charter for breaking up families" - I think she believes that.  However I think, perhaps, despite her noble intentions, in reality and in practice it may well become that.   We shall see how the debate pans out.  Unless my concerns are seriously addressed though, I think I will be voting no.

The Blood Of The Martyr

Someday, in my dreams, I will be waking up on this morning in Naples, having participated in the festivities for the feast of St Januarius and witnessed the miracle of the liquification of his blood.   Once expressing this wish to a friend of mine a while ago he said, "Don't bother, Naples is hell" - I know, I know: but just one day.

I have always had a fascination with St Januarius - as a child I would read and reread the story of his life and the accounts of the miracle.  So little is known about him and yet he is so influential.  Come his feast day the people of Naples hold their breath hoping the miracle will happen and God's blessings will be given.  When it has not happened the city faced difficulties, even disasters.   Call it superstitious, but it's no harm having our presumptions challenged now and again, to have to wait on the blessing of the Lord, keeps us from taking things for granted.

Anyway, until I can get to Naples, I content myself with prayer, devotion and the accounts of the miracle.  This year Taylor Marshall has a good article and video of the miracle.  A question: does anyone out there have a relic of St Januarius?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Children's Rights Referendum Wording

The government has announced the date and published the wording of the Children's Rights Referendum.  The referendum will take place in Saturday 10th November (only the second time we have had a referendum on a Saturday), and the wording is as follows:
1. The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

2.1 In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

2.2 Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

3. Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.

4.1. Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings -

i brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or
ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

4.2. Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred to in subsection 1 of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child.
The wording requires careful study, but the first thing that strikes me is section 2.2: forced adoption? 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Walsingham 2012

Today our Fraternity members in England gather at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham: please remember them in your prayers.  

The Shrine, known as England's Nazareth, was founded in the 11th century following a revelation from Our Lady to Richeldis de Faverches who was told to build a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth.  A large shrine which grew up around the Holy House and became one of the most important in medieval Europe.  Find out more here.

I am leading the pilgrimage, so it will be a joy to visit this beautiful shrine.  All our members will be remembered in the prayers and Masses offered.  While the Shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII following his revolt against the Church, one of the country chapels which lined the route to the sanctuary, the Slipper Chapel, which is a mile from Walsingham, remained intact, and here at the end of the 19th century, Catholics restored a shrine in honour of Our Lady: we will have our Pilgrim Mass in that tiny medieval chapel tomorrow morning at 9am (GMT). Send your Guardian Angels with your intentions.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Holy Cross

Relic of the True Cross in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome

On this feast of the Holy Cross, I wish you every blessing.  As we face difficulties in these times let us never forget that for the enemies of Our Lord the Cross was an instrument of death, disgrace, despair and damnation, but for the Lord it became the new Tree of Life, the throne, the instrument of redemption, the hope of all men and women.  And so it is for us, and so too all our crosses. May the Lord grant us the grace to embrace the Cross and carry it with joy as the symbol of our triumph.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Holy Troublemaker

Today's feast is one which should warm the hearts of all our priest-preachers - the memorial of the great St John Chrysostom, he of the "golden mouth" who inspired the people and was a thorn in the side of a corrupt and sinful Imperial Court.  He was a particular scourge for the haughty Empress Eudoxia. 

St John was a brilliant man, he could have had a shining career in the service of the empire, but he chose to become a priest, and as such gained renown for his holiness and his preaching. He was extremely well educated and so his sermons were brilliant.  He did, however, have a bee in his bonnet: he saw, correctly, that Christians were not living as well as they should.  The Roman persecutions had ended a generation before and it seemed Catholics had become too comfortable, as tends to happen when peace is restored.  When he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 398 he had the position to promote genuine reform, and he had great success.  The ordinary people loved him and came to hear his sermons.  Many of them changed their lives and began to live the Gospel. 

However, when a bishop or priest preaches reform, some people are not happy, and when the secular authorities are nominally Catholic and living scandalous lives, then problems soon emerge. So too with St John: the Imperial Court was appalled at his preaching - it felt the sting of his tongue as he railed against the vices which were commonplace in the palaces.  The empress was particularly offended both by the sermons and John's lifestyle - he was very ascetic and not inclined to come to her extravagant banquets - indeed he condemned them and said they were a waste while people were poor and starving.  His work on behalf of the poor showed her up, and so she decided to get rid of him. 

In a manner we are all familiar with, Eudoxia summoned the Council of Bishops and had John deposed as Patriarch in 403 and sent him in to exile.  As he left the city he was surrounded by the people in tears. Their sorrow soon turned to anger and the empress, as the one blame, got the brunt of it.  A devastating earthquake also terrified her and she saw it as an expression of God's anger with her for exiling the holy Patriarch: and so she called John back to his See: the people were delighted.

If Euxodia thought John would change, she was wrong: he continued his programme of reform.  In 404 following a wild party in which a silver statue of the empress was unveiled, and other extravagant banquets, John again criticised the hedonism.  Indignant, Eudoxia had him exiled, and this time he would not return.  He died three years later as a vengeful empress was attempting to drive him even further from his people and his See.  In 438 he finally returned, as a canonised Saint, when his relics were translated from the place of his death, Comene, to Constantinople.

The story of St John is a timely one.  We too have rulers who are nominally Christian, yet live lives that do not conform to the Gospel and run their countries in a manner which is repugnant to the Christian faith: some of them are actually putting measures in place to persecute Christians for adherence to Christ's teaching, as we see in the push for gay marriage in the UK and abortion in Ireland.   Yet we have these same rulers rubbing shoulders with the Pope or handing out John Paul II Awards.  Perhaps we need a John Chrysostom to point out the inconsistencies to these leaders.

St John preaching against the proud Empress Eudoxia.

In other news, I ask your prayers for the members of the Fraternity in England who will be making their first pilgrimage to Walsingham as the Fraternity.  The pilgrimage takes place on Saturday and Sunday, one of the highlights being Mass in the Slipper Chapel on Sunday morning at 9am.   I hope this will become an annual event for the Fraternity in England.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Another wonderful Marian Feast - the Holy Name of Mary - happy feast day to you all.  Suppressed following the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council it was restored by Blessed John Paul II, and I am glad it is.  It is an opporunity for us to reflect on Our Lady's role in our salvation which begin with an angel calling out her name: Hail Mary, or more correctly, Rejoice Miriam!  As our name is an important part of who we are, so too Mary's serves as potent symbol of who she is and what she has done for love of God and what she does for love of us.  As the song from the musical West Side Story goes:

"The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .

And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me!"

Ah - I know he's singing about his girlfriend, but just that bit brings Our Holy Mother to mind - Maria - what a beautiful name.  Sure look, we might as well take a moment and listen to the song and pretend Tony is getting down to say his rosary (you might have to close your eyes to indulge that particular fantasy!).  We'll let Jose do the honours:

As the battle for life begins, the Pro-Life Campaign is hosting a National Seminar on Saturday the 22nd September next at 11.30pm, more information here.  The report from the "expert group" set up by the government is due soon, and we are expecting it to recommend legislation for abortion. 

As you reflect on what this will bring to Ireland, just look across the water and see what over forty years of abortion have brought. Here's a disturbing story which shows exactly where the medical profession is now in Great Britain.  A child born at just under 22 weeks is left to die, despite desperate appeals from his mother to put him on medical support to give him a chance to live: doctors refused.  The little boy took two hours to die - a sign that he may well have pulled through and lived.  However, given that children are aborted every day at a later stage in pregnancy (a woman can kill her child as long as she is in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy), there was no will to keep him alive.   The mother was told that if the child had been born two days later they would have treated him. 

I sometimes wonder why God allows this world to continue existing.  Given that our governments, hospitals, medical staff and various highly-influential groups are engaged in the massacre of innocent little children, I sometimes wonder why God allows it.  Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, as she looked at the state of the US once said that if God did not punish America he owed Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.   When you see the silent holocaust claiming the lives of little children you'd have to agree with her.  Why does God allow this? 

This is very much a Jeremiah question (Cf. Jer 12): the prophet asked the Lord why he allowed evil men and women to prosper while they persecuted the good and the holy. We too might ask: "Lord why do you allow abortionists and their supporters to live when they kill your little children and persecute those who fight for life?  Lord, why do you allow pro-abortion politicians to live while they manipulate the laws and constitutions of our nations to legislate for the murder of our most vulnerable of our citizens?"  As a friend of mine would say, "It's all a mystery", and it is: King David filled the Psalms with such questions and, in faith came to the same conclusion as my friend, as did holy Job. 

God has a bigger plan and included in that is the call to conversion.  He desires that all people be saved and will not use the tactics of anger and hatred - the devil uses them.  Our part is to pray, make sacrifices and work, within the bounds of charity, to bring this holocaust to an end.   But, as we all know, it takes strength to say no to anger: may the God give us the grace to resist this anger.  Not anger, but love; and, yes, that love will be tested.  It will be tested by politicians who call us bigots like the UK deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - who is now trying to squirm his way out of it for political expediency.

Time to call upon Holy Maria for help: Sweet Mother of us all, watch over us, watch over our little children.

Related to all this, there is a new movie coming out in the US exploring the theme of discrimination against Christians.  Called Last Ounce of Courage it looks at how believers have become, not only strangers in society, but are under pressure to hide, and perhaps even renounce, their religious practices.  It stars a young Catholic actor, Hunter Gomez, in the one of the lead roles.  Kevin Jones has an interesting article on it here.   It raises interesting questions.  Here is the trailer:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Today is Our Lady's birthday - her official, liturgical birthday, though we do not know the actual day of her birth.  If the visions of Medjugorje are authentic, then we would know her birthday to be the 5th August, since that is the date the alleged visionaries claim Our Lady told them she was born; but that would make no difference to the liturgy, she would not be the only Queen to have two birthdays: Elizabeth II of England has an official birthday in June and her actual birthday in April: the June date allows for better weather for official celebrations.

How do we celebrate Our Lady's birthday, after all we cannot give her gifts or throw her a party...or can we?  One of the wonderful dimensions of the Catholic faith is our attitude to feasts - from early times we have made festivity an important part of the liturgy.  We attend Holy Mass, have processions and then we party.   In Ireland that was part of our religious experience for centuries until the parties lost their religious/devotional elements and disintegrated into drunken orgies.  The bishops then felt the need to ban these celebrations, and so one of the few colourful elements in what was for the most part a rather austere Church was lost. 

Now I do not agree with the drinking and hanky-panky, but it is a shame that the drab became the dominant experience for many.  We Irish were never great at liturgy, and we still struggle with it, hence the liturgical crisis of the last fifty years.  While it would be good to recover some of our ancient traditions in the renewal, we might also learn from other traditions in the Church, particularly the Mediterraneans.

In the meantime, I think it would be quite appropriate to celebrate Our Lady's birthday with a little fiesta.  Holy Mass (offered for her intentions, perhaps), Rosary, a Holy Hour with her Son, and a nice meal and a toast to the Holy Mother.  Perhaps a little music and dancing, but no hanky-panky!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Later Finally Comes!

What a week it has been! I have been in overdrive the last few days and catching news in snatches.  As for blogging: later, later, later, and later never comes!  I wonder how some other blogging priests do it - they must be great at multi-multi-tasking (sic).

Well the spectre of child abuse continues to raise its ugly head in Ireland.  This week the Church's internal auditing office released reports into four dioceses and three congregations: not good reading.  Some have not learned the lessons of the last two decades, and in some cases incredible naivety has been displayed by those who should know better.  To be honest it has been known for decades, centuries even, that sexual contact between an adult and a minor was wrong. 

That said, the bias in the media was made very clear again as news programmes spent a long time talking about the reports and getting reactions in comparison with the paltry coverage they gave to the recent report into the State's handling of child care and the deaths of 200 children in State care in recent times: ministers got off light as did the organisations involved.  But then we expect that now, double standards.

Fr Benedict Groeschel has also hit the headlines for unfortunate remarks.  I know Fr Benedict and he was a great help to me in discerning my vocation.  He is one of the holiest people I have ever met, a man who has spent his entire life in the service of the poor and downtrodden seeking nothing for himself but to serve Christ in the most poor and unwanted.  Few people can claim to have done that.  His books and talks have helped millions of Catholics and non-Catholics come closer to God, and as it seemed the Church was in meltdown and the lunatics taking over, he reminded us of the hope Christ offers and encouraged us to take up our baptismal responsibilities to live and proclaim the faith.  I remember one liberal priest once described him to me as "the most dangerous man I know" - indeed he was, he was pulling the rug from under the dissenters! 

Fr Benedict has not been well for some time, and as a saint (which I believe he is) he has tremendous compassion for all, even the most heinous of criminals and sinners.  Living in a culture where we are to understand that forgiveness and compassion are not to be shown to certain people because of their crimes, Fr Benedict's compassion will not be understood.   As Christians, though, we must remember Our Lord died alongside criminals and ate with sinners and, horror of horrors, forgave them, scandalising polite society.  And a note to liberals: as Christians when we speak of compassion it does not mean tolerance, support or condoning sins or crimes; I understand that secular progressives may have a different definition.  Given all he has been through in recent years, prudence failed him here and innocent people were hurt by his remarks.  He has apologised and withdrawn from broadcasting.  We should pray for all involved.

One of Fr Benedict's great themes was that of death and what happens when the last breath is squeezed out of us: where do we go?  Well there is a very good article by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith on this.  As a priest I frequently meet Catholics who do not believe in hell or purgatory and who honestly believe that when we die there is no judgement but immediate entry into heaven.  There, surrounded by family and friends, they will continue the hobbies they had here on earth and live life their way.  A sort of Valhalla or happy hunting grounds, or indeed pastel-coloured clouds floating around the universe - the sort of thing we saw in the movie The Lovely Bones

Fr Lucie-Smith experiences the same issues concerning the afterlife and the last things.   The great presumption of these times is that we are all going to heaven the minute we die regardless of how we lived or served God.  This presumption is having devastating effects - people no longer see the need to live moral lives or worship God since we are all going to heaven, so it makes no difference what we do.  The irony here, of course, is that if this is true, then everyone ends up in the same blissful existence all together, even those our society spends so much time demonising.  Imagine it, permissive secular socialists on the same cloud as fundamentalist conservative traditionalist Catholics forever and ever and ever.......  That might get them thinking!

And finally, how do make pro-abortion, anti-God Democrats uncomfortable?  You just pray!  Here is the video of Cardinal Dolan's prayer at the end of the US Democrats National Convention. It was a pointed prayer, as they knew it would be - hence their initial refusal to invite him.  It was a very interesting convention - their pro-abortion and pro gay marriage agenda has now been set in stone and they began their discussions by taking God out of the equation, only to put him back in, though most at the convention seem to boo the reinsertion.  Strange goings on. 

Anyway, over to Cardinal Dolan.  My favourite bit is at 3.55 when he prays for Romney and Ryan, at that moment the camera is on a lady who seems to be expressing a difficulty at the idea of praying for the enemies, or at least that's how I read it.

And here's another video from the convention exposing the double standard that is at the heart of the so-called pro-choice position.