No to FOCA Campaign

(Postcards delivered to Representative Jim McDermott and Senators Murray & Cantwell)

Bulletin (February 1, 2009)

Last week we heard St. Paul say that the world in its present form is passing away. As followers of Christ, we do not place our hopes on this world. We live with our eyes on the prize: eternal life with Christ in the Communion of Saints. We are citizens of heaven – but precisely because of that we strive to be good citizens here on earth. That is part of the requirement for attaining heaven. This is one of the paradoxes of our Christian existence: the more we focus on heaven, the better citizens we become.

You can see this paradox in our Catholic schools. Our forefathers (and in this case, especially our “foremothers,” like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) founded Catholic Schools so that we would have the freedom to teach our children what is most important: Salvation in Christ by means of the Sacraments. In the process, Catholic schools have brought great benefits to our nation. We have educated children of poorer families and they have excelled, especially in areas of service such as hospitals, education, government, police, fire departments, etc. And, in doing this, we have saved taxpayers enormous amounts of money.

Last year (according to a study published in the Wall Street Journal) Catholic schools saved United States taxpayers $19.8 billion. Now, I realize that, when we are hearing about bailouts of $850 billion or more, twenty billion doesn’t seem like much. But consider this: twenty billion is half again the number of years that the universe has been in existence (according to the Big Bang theory). A billion dollars (in denominations of $100) would weigh twenty-two thousand pounds. If you laid out hundred dollar bills on the ground, a billion dollars would cover twenty-six acres! So when you think about it, to save our fellow taxpayers $19.8 billion is an enormous contribution – especially at this time of economic crisis.

Even our humble parish school makes a big contribution. We save Seattle taxpayers around $2 million each year. Now, we don’t operate our school with the specific goal of bringing tax relief to fellow citizens, but we also need to recognize the great contribution Holy Family School makes to the community.

Something similar could be said about Catholic hospitals. Our religious Sisters – in caring for the sick – virtually founded the hospital system in this country. Even today, about 16% of the community hospital beds are in Catholic hospitals. Last weekend, I spoke to you about a threat to the Catholic hospital system: the so-called Freedom of Choice Act. It would make abortion not just legal, but a “right.” If abortion is considered a right, the government could require doctors and hospitals to perform abortions – or lose their licenses.

The United States Bishops have made it clear that they would close Catholic hospitals rather than participate in the killing of unborn children. For that reason – and much more – they have asked Catholics to exercise their citizenship by speaking out against sweeping legislation such as FOCA. Last Sunday, I asked you to prayerfully consider filling out a courteous post card to our legislators. I was pleased that you filled out and signed some fifteen hundred cards addressed to our two senators and our local representative. We are hand delivering them to the local offices of Representative Jim McDermott and Senators Patti Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Gary Samaniego & Steve Stilwell delivering postcards to office of Senator Maria Cantwell (January 29, 2009):

If you have not yet filled out a card, please do so this week. You can mail it yourself or drop it off at the parish office.

Some parishioners have mentioned to me that they have already written to our Senators and Representative. (See below for a letter written by Mrs. Colleen Terlicker, with a response from Senator Patty Murray). The responses they have received indicate that these legislators do not stand with us, but intend to support FOCA and other measures that would promote and fund abortion -with our taxes. That is no surprise, but it makes it even more important to communicate with those who represent us. News reports in past weeks indicate that some lawmakers are trying to use the bailout to surreptitiously allocate money for such things as condoms and shoring up Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in our country. We are at a watershed moment in our country’s history. Much is at stake. It is vital that each of use exercise our citizenship. Once again, I remind you that we are citizens of heaven and for precisely that reason we must strive to be good citizens here on earth.

Finally, I would like to ask you to put some events on your calendar: Feb 7, 9:30 a.m. - Mass for the Sick at Mount St. Vincent. March 7, 10 a.m. to noon – Liturgy Workshop for Holy Family liturgical ministers (lectors, ushers, etc.). March 31, 7 p.m. – Presentation on the Mass by Dr. Tom Curran. April 19 – visit of Fr. Frank Pavone to Holy Family Parish.

Gracias por su respuesta a la Campaña en contra de FOCA. Mas de quinientas personas firmaron tarjetas dirigidas al Representante Jim McDermott y las Senadoras Patti Murray y Maria Cantwell. Es muy importante que expresemos nuestra oposicion a la promocion del aborto en este pais y por el mundo.

En relacion esto, el cardenal Justin Rigali arzobispo de Filadelfia, ha calificado de "muy decepcionante" la decisión del nuevo presidente americano Barack Obama de revocar la prohibición de destinar fondos federales a organizaciones que promueven el aborto en países en vías de desarrollo. La decisión de revocar la conocida como "Política Ciudad de México", que puso en marcha el ex presidente George Bush hace ocho años, se hizo pública el tercer día de mandato del nuevo presidente. El cardenal Rigali, que es también presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro vida de la Conferencia Episcopal de Estados Unidos, afirmó que "una administración que quiere reducir el aborto no debería destinar fondos federales a grupos que promueven el aborto".

Las críticas del Vaticano llegaron el pasado sábado cuando el arzobispo Rino Fisichella, presidente de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, afirmó al diario italiano "Il Corriere della Sera", que "entre las muchas cosas buenas que podría haber hecho, Barack Obama ha elegido la peor. Si este es uno de los primeros actos del presidente Obama, con todos los respetos, me parece que el camino hacia la decepción ha sido muy corto", añadió el arzobispo.

Por su parte el arzobispo Elio Sgreccia, anterior presidente de la Academia Pontificia para la Vida, afirmó a la agencia italiana ANSA "supone un duro golpe no solo para nosotros los católicos, sino para toda la gente en el mundo que lucha contra la matanza de inocentes que ha traído el aborto".

Al lado positivo, Obama acogió una petición de la Iglesia de firmar una orden ejecutiva para prohibir la tortura. Al respecto, el obispo de Albany, monseñor Howard Hubbard, presidente del Comité "Justicia y Paz" de la Conferencia Episcopal, dijo que los obispos "agradecieron la orden", y que ésta "dice mucho de nosotros, quiénes somos, lo que pensamos sobre la vida y la dignidad humana, y como actuamos como nación".

Letter to Archdiocesan Pro-Life Coordinator, Jim Thomas:

Dear Jim,

Greeting and thanks for sending all the materials for the campaign against FOCA. We ran out of postcards at our last Masses (both English and Spanish). If they are available, could you send us three or four hundred more of each for this coming weekend?

The ones we collected this weekend we will hand deliver to the local offices of Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative McDermott. I'll ask those who deliver them to take a picture, per the indications in the handbook you sent. I am copying this to various people on our Respect Life Committee.

Thank you, Jim. And thank you, all, who helped us organize this important pro-life effort here at Holy Family.

Fr. Phil Bloom

P.S. Gary Samaniego and Greg Miller put up a No to FOCA banner in our parking lot, off Roxbury Street (pictures below).

Dear Senator Murray

Thank you for your reply to my request.

However, you do not seem to understand that I request we do not kill unborn children by abortion. And I do not think my tax dollars should pay for such killing. These children are also your constituents in this district, and are all our brothers and sisters around the world. They have no voice but ours-yours and mine.

To me, the greatest evil in the world is the killing of such innocents. Once born, many stand up for the right to life, but seem to ignore it for the weakest and most vulnerable. Our constitution guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And leading this list is the right to life.

This is not a matter of choice, such as whether to build a bridge or put a toll on a road or any such community project-this is a person's life. I think you would find the majority of your constituents understand that life is the first priority and is not ours to take, except in self defense, and abortion is not a matter of self defense.

Please reconsider your position.


Colleen Terlicker

On Jan 28, 2009, at 7:19 AM, wrote:

> Dear Mr. Terlikcker:

> > I realize that we disagree about the Freedom of Choice Act. I know your views on this issue are powerful and deeply felt, and please know that I respect your views.

> > As a United States Senator, I represent all Washingtonians, including those with whom I disagree. Sometimes I cast votes that are unpopular with certain constituents; it is the nature of democracy that the people of Washington state, and the nation, will be divided on some issues.

> > This does not mean that I take your concerns lightly. On the contrary, I believe it is with those whom we disagree we must pay particular attention. It is important to have our assumptions challenged. I know of no other way to ensure that opinions are based on fact and principle. Still, it is often true that at the end of the day, reasonable people will come to different conclusions about the issues which challenge our nation. Not everyone will always agree with me, but Washingtonians should expect me to listen to their concerns and to be honest and straightforward with my answers.

> > Again, thank you for contacting me. Please stay in touch.

> > I hope all is well in Seattle.

Gary Samaniego & Steve Stilwell delivering postcards to office of Senator Patti Murray (January 29, 2009):

They would only allow pictures outside of the Senators' offices. At the office of Representative Jim McDermott, they permitted no photos.


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Not a surprise, but still a disappointment: U.S. taxes will fund foreign abortions and abortion advocacy (as of January 23, 2009)

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