June 19, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (061919)

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Positivity: Bishop Paprocki bars pro-abortion Illinois lawmakers from Holy Communion

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Springfield, Illinois:

Jun 6, 2019 / 04:05 am

The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, has decreed that state legislative leaders may not be admitted to Holy Communion within his diocese, because of their work to pass the state Reproductive Health Act. The bishop also directed the Catholic legislators who have voted for legislation promoting abortion should not present themselves to recieve Holy Communiion until they have first gone to confession.

“In accord with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law…Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, who facilitated the passage of the Act Concerning Abortion of 2017 (House Bill 40) as well as the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 (Senate Bill 25), are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion as evidenced by the influence they exerted in their leadership roles and their repeated votes and obdurate public support for abortion rights over an extended period of time,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki wrote in a June 2 decree.

“These persons may be readmitted to Holy Communion only after they have truly repented these grave sins and furthermore have made suitable reparation for damages and scandal, or at least have seriously promised to do so, as determined in my judgment or in the judgment of their diocesan bishop in consultation with me or my successor,” the bishop added.

Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act was passed by the state’s House and Senate just days ago, and observers credited the advocacy of Cullerton and Madigan with helping to secure passage. It is expected to be signed by Illinois’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The bill declares abortion to be a “fundamental right” in the state and would remove regulations on abortion clinics and doctors.

Among the provisions that the bill would remove are regulations for abortion clinics, required waiting periods to obtain an abortion, and a ban on partial-birth abortion. In addition, it would lift criminal penalties for performing abortions and would prevent any further state regulation of abortion.

The legislation would require all private health insurance plans to cover elective abortions, and eliminate reporting requirements as well as regulations requiring the investigation of maternal deaths due to abortion.

Paprocki’s decree formally instructs priests and deacons in the Diocese of Springfield to refrain from administering the sacrament of the Eucharist to Cullerton and Madigan, both Catholics. The bishop also instructed other Catholic lawmakers not to approach Holy Communion, but did not prohibit priests from administering the sacrament to them.

“I declare that Catholic legislators of the Illinois General Assembly who have cooperated in evil and committed grave sin by voting for any legislation that promotes abortion are not to present themselves to receive Holy Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church in accord with canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law,” Paprocki wrote. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 18, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (061819)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: ‘I will give you a hug’: Touching moment Arizona cop saves a suicidal man standing on top of a bridge by offering to embrace him

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Chandler, Arizona (video at link; HT Weasel Zippers):

PUBLISHED: 09:50 EDT, 14 June 2019
UPDATED: 17:29 EDT, 14 June 2019

Sometimes, all it takes to save a life is a hug.

That is what an Arizona police officer learned when he encountered a suicidal man clinging to the railing of a pedestrian bridge in Chandler earlier this year.

On Wednesday (June 12), Chandler Police Department released body camera footage taken in March, which shows officer Aaron ‘Ron’ Little humbly performing an act of life-saving kindness.

According to a statement accompanying the video, which has since gone viral, racking up more than 28,000 views as of Friday, on the evening of March 28, a 26-year-old man climbed the protective railing of the bridge that spans the Price Freeway with the intent to jump to his death.

The recording begins with with Little radioing in that there is a man on the bridge and asking other cops not to come near so as not to ‘freak him out.’

He then begins talking to the man hanging off the railing, telling him: ‘Just come up here, buddy. I just…I’ll hold you, man. I don’t care.’

Little introduces himself as ‘Ron’ and repeatedly pleads with the man on the bridge to come up and ‘please don’t go any lower.’

‘Don’t you want that hug?’ the officer asks. ‘Then come up here; I will give you that hug, man.’

As the man hesitates, the officer redoubles his efforts to talk the man off the railing.

‘Please come up over that fence, please. This is it’s just me and you, man that’s it,’ Little says.

Eventually, the man heeds the officer’s pleas and scales the protective barrier to return to the span.

Once he is back on solid ground, officer Little goes to embrace him.

‘Come give me that hug,’ he tells the man, then adding in jest, ‘I’m not gonna do anything to you, just don’t grab my gun.’

The suicidal man comes into officer Little’s arms and lets out a sob. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 17, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (061719)

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Positivity: St. Louis Blues superfan celebrates Stanley Cup win with her favorite team

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From St. Louis, and Boston (video at link):

June 14, 2019, 2:52 PM

Last winter, the St. Louis Blues were the worst team in hockey, but then they visited 11-year-old Laila Anderson in the hospital. While Laila has a very rare, life-threatening blood disorder, her superfan passion for the Blues never dimmed through months of chemotherapy and home confinement this spring.

Dr. Jeffrey Bednarski of St. Louis Children’s Hospital said Laila responded well to treatment. As she improved, so did the Blues, surprisingly skating into the playoffs with Laila as an inspiration.

They went all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston and Laila wanted to be there with her heroes. Then her mom surprised her with the news of a lifetime.

“What if I told you the Blues called and they want you at the game,” she asked.

She was there Wednesday night when her team won it all. Minutes later, she was on the ice with her favorite player, Colton Parayko and the cup.

“This is just the ending of the best story that will ever be written in history,” Laila said.

Actually, we all hope it’s the beginning.

Other related stories are here, here, and here.

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June 16, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (061619)

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Positivity: From a dumpster to the head of a procession — The story of ‘Broken Mary’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Chicago:

Jun 7, 2019 / 03:08 am

On Friday, May 31, four lanes of traffic on a major thoroughfare in the city of Chicago shut down for an hour and a half, while 3,200 people marched past.

Instead of political banners, they held candles. Instead of shouting, they quietly prayed the rosary and sang Ave Maria. Instead of a politician or city official, they were led by ‘Broken Mary,’ a statue of the Virgin Mary rescued from a dumpster, who still bears the scars of her past – a crack in the middle where she was broken in half, chipped hands, faded paint with scratches.

The procession event, called “There is Hope for the Broken,” was organized by Chicago parish St. John Cantius, and by Kevin Matthews, who rescued Mary from the garbage in 2010.

But really, Matthews told CNA, the procession was all Mary’s idea.

Matthews first spotted what is now known as ‘Broken Mary’ outside of a dumpster at a flower shop, covered in trash and cracked in half. Mortified, he picked up the heavy concrete statue, brought her home and cleaned her up.

He had her restored to one piece again, but asked that her chips and scratches be left as they were: “No, she is broken, just like me. We all are broken and in need of repair. She represents the broken,” he told the repairman.

After finding Mary, Matthews experienced a profound new devotion to the Mother of God. Although born a Catholic, Matthews had strayed from his faith for many years, and had never learned how to pray the rosary. After finding ‘Broken Mary,’ it became his top priority: praying the rosary and encouraging others to do the same.

On his website, Matthews recites the rosary every day, and anyone can tune in. He has two rosary apps, and he also travels with ‘Broken Mary’, giving talks on her love for the broken, and how she can lead them to her son, Jesus.

Although Matthews now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Chicago procession was something he had been praying about for a while, he said. Matthews was a radio DJ in the city for years, and in many ways it’s his second home, he said.

“I love Chicago, I love the city,” he said. “There’s just so many people that wanted to pray for the city, and still do.”

Matthews connected with Fr. Joshua Caswell, S.J.C., an associate pastor at St. John Cantius in Chicago, because of ‘Broken Mary’ – Matthews was on a Relevant Radio show to talk about his ministry, and Fr. Joshua was a guest on Relevant Radio that same day.

After much prayer between the two of them, they decided to start organizing a Chicago procession with ‘Broken Mary’ in February. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 15, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (061519)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: Trump administration bans government scientists from using aborted fetal tissue in research

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington (HT Weasel Zippers):

June 05, 2019 12:48 PM

The Trump administration will block government scientists from acquiring new fetal tissue from abortions to use in medical research, a major victory for abortion opponents.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Wednesday that announced the change.

The decision comes after months of speculation, as well as backlash from anti-abortion groups that demanded President Trump fire the head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, for saying that research using fetal tissue could provide useful study for treatments of devastating illnesses.

The ban applies to scientists at NIH, the government’s medical research agency. HHS, which is the NIH’s parent agency, in September had already asked most government scientists to temporarily halt the acquisition of new fetal tissue while it reviewed the issue.

It does not apply to outside groups that receive NIH grants to conduct their research, though HHS did announce it would not be renewing a multi-million dollar contract with the University of California, San Francisco, that used fetal tissue in HIV research.

The contract has been renewed every 90 days since the end of September as federal officials have reviewed it, but it won’t be extended past Wednesday, when it was set to expire. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 14, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (061419)

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Positivity: Burying the Lede in Abortion Poll Coverage

Filed under: Life-Based News,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

At The Hill (HT Hot Air):

05/31/19 02:10 PM EDT

… The polling results suggest Americans believe there should be some restrictions on when women can seek abortions.

A plurality — 41 percent — said the procedure should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest. Twenty-nine percent said it should be permitted up until the first trimester of pregnancy, while 17 percent said it should be allowed until the second trimester.

Only 8 percent said abortions should be permitted up until the third trimester, and 6 percent said the procedure should be allowed “up until the birth of the child.”

That is, 86 percent disagree with two positions which have become presidential candidate litmus tests for the left and the Democratic Party.

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June 13, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (061319)

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Positivity: In war-torn South Sudan, two Spanish priests build a shrine to Our Lady of the Rosary

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Juba South Sudan:

May 31, 2019 / 04:00 am

Ave Maria, the parish church outside Mupoi, South Sudan, fell into disrepair decades ago. It was abandoned at the beginning of Sudan’s civil war, and then ransacked. It is dilapidated and practically unusable.

But two strong-willed Spanish missionaries in South Sudan are working to change that. They have a vision for the church, which they hope to turn in a continental Marian Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The church, near Mupoi, in the South Sudanese diocese of Tombura-Yambio, is massive. It was built almost a century ago by Combonian missionaries from Italy.

The missionaries are followers of St. Daniel Comboni, the first Bishop of Sudan, who founded their order in the late 19th century. The Combonians became the leading evangelizing force of Sudan, and were especially successful in converting to Catholicism the tribes in the territory that today comprises the new nation of South Sudan.

Sudan became an independent nation in 1956. Its first prime minister, Ismail al-Azhari, in order to appease the Islamists of the country’s north, expelled all Catholic missionaries from the country. The majority of those missionaries were Italian Combonians.

Their churches, rectories and missions were either abandoned or transferred to young native clergy and religious. Ave Maria was one such Church. But after the missionaries were expelled, and the civil war began, most of the region’s Catholic population fled. The Church building was left to crumble.

But Catholics are returning to the area. And two Catalonian priests, themselves missionaries to the region, are determined to turn the massive Catholic church into the continental Marian Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary.

“Now that the people has returned to this area, our goal is to rebuild physically, but most importantly spiritually, with a comprehensive vision” says Fr. Avelino Bassols, pastor of the mission parish.

Bassols and his vicar, Fr. Albert Salvans, belong to the Missionary Community of St. Paul de the Apostle (MCSPA) made up of men and women, priests and lay people, who have decided to leave everything behind in order to follow Christ as missionaries in the most demanding areas of the globe. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 12, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (061219)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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