Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.


43 and Still Going Strong

01-24-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Double extra points to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for actually finding a way to send a bill to the President to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill was vetoed but we knew it would be, still it was the first serious attempt by legislatures to live up to their promises. A surprise to no one was that Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. What's annoying is that despite the cries from PP that loss of taxpayer funding will seriously damage its ability to offer services they still come up with millions to support political campaigns.

Triple double extra points also go to Speaker Ryan for inviting the Little Sisters of the Poor to the State of the Union Address. It was a subtle way of reminding everyone that Catholics are still fighting the "contraceptive mandate" of the Affordable Care Act and that there are some of us who still believe in a very robust definition of religious freedom. I realize that the Little Sisters of the Poor are not Muslims and so don't expect the President and his people to defend them in any way or tell the nation how the Sisters for over 100yrs in the US have cared for the poorest of the poor elderly in their nursing homes. Just expect to hear as their case comes to the Supreme Court how these self-sacrificing women are pawns in the war on women, nefariously planning to take away birth control from all women. Still I appreciated the gesture by Rep. Ryan as an acknowledgement that there are other religions that deserve respect.

Then during the last Republican candidate debate Sen. Ted Cruz was taken to the woodshed over his comment linking Mr. Trump to "New York values". It seems the Senator doesn't know that Mr. Trump's great-great grandfather was Zeus so he better be careful. Immediately the media went into hyper overdrive deeming the comment a massive and campaign sinking insult. By the media in this case I mean the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. They let us know and continue to let us know how deeply hurt they were by this comment. Well I guess so since they are all New Yorkers and see the world through the lens of New York, which for them is the only way to see the world. In 2008 the same media couldn't grasp why some people were offended when then candidate Obama showed distain for those who "cling to their guns and religion". But that's old history.

But what about those "New York values"? Well we know from the Census Bureau that New York has the second highest abortion rate in the county (Delaware being first). Some 35.3 per 1,000 women according to the 2010 Census. Other than Delaware no other state was in the 30's. So I guess New York values are unique.

Despite the dominance of New York values, 43yrs post Roe v. Wade we are committed as ever to protecting the child in the womb and offering women a better alternative and true reproductive health care. And with the Little Sisters of the Poor we are committed to caring for those whose life is in decline. No matter what stage of development or what stage of decline we will value human life and care for it in practice and defend it in law.

"It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace." Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101

Love, Fr. John B.

BACK TO LIST