Friday, September 18, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican is reportedly taking offense to Barack Obama’s decision to invite a bevy of controversial guests — such as a pro-abortion nun, an openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, and gay activist Catholics — for next week’s papal visit to the White House.
The Wall Street Journal reports that an unnamed senior Vatican official said the Holy See fears that any photos of Pope Francis at next Wednesday’s White House welcoming ceremony with Obama’s guests that openly flout Church teaching could be taken as support for their actions.
Among the Obama administration invites are dissenting, activist Catholic nun Sister Simone Campbell, openly homosexual retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, a transgender woman and a homosexual Catholic blogger.
Sister Campbell is executive director of the social justice group NETWORK and pro-abortion leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” campaign. She is seen as having undermined the U.S. Bishops’ concern over Obamacare’s abortion component when the controversial health care takeover was being debated five-and-a-half years ago.
Her Network organization, widely regarded as having radical feminist leanings, was investigated by the Vatican over the group’s refusal to observe Catholic teaching on abortion, human sexuality and women’s ordination. The investigation concluded earlier this year, resulting in minimal repercussions for the group.
Robinson, who “divorced” his homosexual partner last year, and is a senior fellow for the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, has been invited to religious events in the past by Obama, leading a prayer at the president’s 2009 inauguration and taking part in the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.
Also invited are Mateo Williamson, a biological woman who identifies as a man and a former co-chair of the Transgender Caucus for the pro-homosexual activist group Dignity USA; and Aaron Ledesma, author of the blog “The Gay Catholic.”
The invitation organizer for the White House papal event is Vivian Taylor, executive director of the national LGBT advocacy arm of the Episcopal Church, and a biological male.
The unease caused by the guest list demonstrates Catholic concerns, including that of many bishops, the WSJ report said, that the Obama administration is using Pope Francis’s visit to underplay its differences with the Church on controversial issues such as homosexual “marriage,” abortion and the Obamacare contraception Mandate.
U.S. Vatican Ambassador Ken Hackett, named by Obama to his post in June 2014, said last month that Pope Francis and Obama are not going to waste time discussing any differences they may have. Rather, they will choose to focus on issues where they see eye-to-eye.
According to Hackett these areas are poverty, religious freedom, concern for persecuted Christians and minorities, and peace.
“Then climate, of course,” Hackett said.
“We agree to differ on things like gay marriage,” he said, “but really there are not a lot of other such issues.”
Pope Francis will visit the U.S for the first time September 22-27. In addition to visiting the White House, he will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly, before appearing at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.


Debating Doctor-assisted Suicide

by Steve Ray on September 18, 2015

Here is a great article and list of resources provided by Jimmy Akin on his blog:


After having failed to get a doctor-assisted suicide bill passed earlier this year though the normal legislative process, the California legislators who are in the pocket of the assisted-suicide lobby recently rammed one through in a surprise move.

The time they did it happened to be suicide prevention week!

Now the bill is on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has not announced whether he will sign it or not.

You can use this form to tell him no.

In May, 2015, Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) and I engaged in a cordial, online debate on doctor-assisted suicide.

He, and users of his web site, came up with the questions, and I provided answers.

Since the topic is now back in the news, I thought I’d re-present the exchange.

It got rather lengthy, since there were 18 questions (actually more than that, since some were compound questions) on a sensitive subject, and they could take a few hundred words to answer on average.

For that reason, I’m providing a set of questions with hyperlinks so that you can read the part of the exchange that most interest you.

You can read the original version, on Scott’s blog here.


  1. Why would you use to deny me the right to a painless death at the time of my choosing?
  2. What do you mean by the “common good” in the case of assisted dying?
  3. How is the common good is achieved by making my grandmother suffer, against her will, for an extra month before death?
  4. Oregon already has an assisted dying law. What problems have you seen with Oregon’s experience?
  5. Do you think the folks in Oregon would agree that their law has not worked for their common good?
  6. Do you believe psychological anguish is “pain” in the context of end-of-life decisions about reducing pain?
  7. Would your concerns be alleviated if California law allowed people to issue an advance health directive refusing all assisted suicide options?
  8. Do you believe physical pain can be nearly eliminated by drugs at the end of life, and that doing so is already the common practice?
  9. How many people do you think will be in terrible pain and wishing they had an assisted dying option?
  10. How many people do you think would choose an assisted death only to learn their disease has a cure just around the corner?
  11. How many disabled people do you think would be persuaded to end their lives early for the sake of someone else’s convenience?
  12. Some have argued that assisted suicide is a slippery slope. Can you give examples in which the slippery slope actually happened?
  13. How do you weigh the elements of “common good”?
  14. What does “do no harm” mean in an era when medical science can keep you alive and imprisoned in your own body indefinitely?
  15. If someone is brain dead, would you keep them alive for the common good?
  16. Do you believe pain relief is achievable for all people in the real world?
  17. Does the Catholic Church teach the sanctity of life or reverence for life?
  18. If people choose assisted death often enough, could it reduce the amount of efforts that go into curing those problems?