Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pope Encourages Young People To Put Their Lives In The Care Of Mary
Benedict XVI invited young people to put themselves under the protection of Mary.

The Pope said this today at the end of the general audience in Paul VI Hall, on the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"We raise our gaze to heaven to contemplate the splendor of the Holy Mother of God, who the liturgy invites us to invoke today as our queen," the Pontiff said.

"Dear young people," added the Holy Father, "put your lives and each of your projects under the maternal protection of the one who gave to the world a savior."

Speaking to the sick, Benedict XVI continued: "As you wait to regain your health, ask her each day for the strength to confront with patience the trials of suffering."

To the newlyweds present, the Pope said: "Cultivate a sincere devotion to her so that she will be at your side in your daily life."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michigan Governor Removes Petition From Website

As reported earlier, Governor Granholm of Michigan had placed a petition on a public website for the overturning of Michigan's law against embryonic stem-cell research. Now, it seems, she's backed off:
Michigan Gov. Jenifer Granholm’s office has removed its petition supporting embryonic stem-cell research from the governor’s publicly funded website.

The governor’s action came less than a week after the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to either ban the petition or allow pro-life groups to place their own petition supporting the ban on embryonic stem-cell research on the website.

“The battle is not yet over. She [Granholm] has not yet answered our lawsuit,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center. “It’s important to keep in mind that the website in question is paid for and owned by the people of this state; it is not Gov. Granholm’s personal property. Yet, she only allowed people who supported her position to use the website to petition the leaders of the legislature -- a clear case of discrimination against citizens who are pro-life.”

Law Center spokesperson Mallary Hernly said the issue is one of “fundamental fairness.”

“It is not about Governor Granholm voicing her opinion,” he said in a press communiqué. “It’s about only allowing persons who agree with her position to use a publicly funded website to communicate with their legislative representatives.”

The Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Lansing on behalf of the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life – Lifespan.

The lawsuit also seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violated the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website.

Further, it is not yet apparent whether the governor’s action is a principled end to the discrimination or simply an attempt to put the lawsuit to rest.

329 Days and Counting...

Vatican Plans Pilgrimage Flights To Various Destinations

From The Guardian:
The Vatican may have territorial limits, its own post office and even a football tournament, but it has hitherto lacked what all real states offer: an airline.
That will be put right this month as the Vatican launches its first charter flights for pilgrims from Rome to Lourdes, with some of the world's top religious destinations to follow, including the shrine of Fatima in Portugal and the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico.

"The spirit of this new initiative is to meet the growing demand by pilgrims to visit the most important sites for the faith," Father Cesare Atuire at the Vatican pilgrimage office, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, told La Repubblica. He said that with 8 million visitors a year, Lourdes was an obvious first destination.

The flights come thanks to a deal with Italian charter airline Mistral, whose blue and yellow colours coincidentally match the Vatican's, noted CEO Valerio Vaglio.

Mr Vaglio said the headrests on passengers' seats would sport the logo "I'm Searching for Your Face, Lord", while religious guides would be on hand, alongside the usual stewards.

The inaugural flight will include Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former head of the Italian Bishops Conference, La Repubblica said.

Mistral was launched by the Italian action and comedy film star Bud Spencer and today it is controlled by the Italian post office. Mr Vaglio said that at night, the aircraft flying pilgrimage routes will have their seats removed and be converted back to flying sacks of mail.

Father Atuire hinted that luxury would not be a selling point. "The cost of the packages will bear in mind that the customers will be pilgrims," he said.
H/T American Papist

Monday, August 13, 2007

This Is Just Sick A service offering a complete "revenge package" in which people can destroy the financial status and relationships of their enemies at the click of a mouse is being offered over the Internet.

For as little as $20 a month, customers of the Web site can make the credit ratings of people they dislike plummet, and even have them suspected of fraud.

Victims' bank accounts can be shut down remotely and all their essential utilities cut off.

Fake e-mails and text messages which purport to come from someone else, such as the victim's spouse, can be sent containing false accusations of affairs or sexual liaisons.

The new "revenge" services are the latest example of the harm the Internet can cause individuals.

A British House of Lords committee report published last week described criminality on the Web as so bad that it was like "the Wild West."

The Web site, which also offers to create perfect "novelty" copies of any documentation necessary to enable the customer to gain revenge, promises its services "can create mayhem."

"CA [Confidential Access] can make it so someone couldn't even get an ice cream cone on credit again," the site promises.

One way of doing this, it explains, is to apply repeatedly for credit using the victim's name and multiple addresses, leading inevitably to a red flag from Britain's Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (Cifas) or similar agencies.

Credit is then stopped until an investigation by Cifas decides whether the subject has been the perpetrator or victim of fraud.

The story continues...

In addition, there was provided this Editor's Note:

At one point Monday morning, the front page of had been replaced by a lengthy ad offering content optimization on RSS feeds.

What appeared to have been the original front page later reappeared, with "revenge" services no longer offered, but many other fraudulent documents such as fake driver's licenses and bank statements still available.

People who provide "services" like this should be in jail. Period. The world has become almost un-navigable outside of the Internet so when people can destroy lives this easily, you can't help but be a bit frightened...

Michigan Governor Being Sued for Discrimination

CNA: The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for discrimination against citizens who oppose embryonic stem-cell research. The law center is a national public interest law firm, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The governor is allowing citizens to use her office’s website to submit a petition urging legislators to lift the state’s legal restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research.

However, the governor has refused the request of pro-life groups to place a petition on the same website opposing efforts to lift the ban.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of three pro-life organizations, the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life - Lifespan, after the governor refused their request.

“Governor Granholm’s decision to use public funds to discriminate against citizens who disagree with her on the issue of stem cell research violates our clients’ constitutional rights of speech, association, equal protection, and petitioning,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, in a press release.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Lansing. It seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violates the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website.

It also seeks injunctive relief ordering Granholm to cease discriminating against citizens based on their views about legal restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research in Michigan.

Monday, August 06, 2007

NFP vs. Contraception IV

As promised, here is number four...enjoy