By Fr. George Welzbacher
November 2, 2008
It's a scream that nobody hears. It's the scream of a baby being butchered or being scalded to death with a saline solution inside its mother's womb. Here in the U.S.A., with nearly fifty million such babies already done to death within the past thirty five years, the massive slaughter of the innocent unborn has seemingly become a non-issue, or at best an issue that is acknowledged but which, for a majority of Americans, is simply shrugged off. "You've got a problem with that? Well, that's YOUR problem! We're concerned with the REAL problem: What to do about the ECONOMY!" And if thanks to voters' unconcern, FOCA (the "Freedom of Choice Act") becomes the law of the land, as one of the candidates for high office has pledged that, should he be elected, so it will be, to those fifty million missing will be added tens of millions MORE before another generation has passed. For FOCA mean "NO restrictions of ANY kind for abortion on DEMAND!"
But if far too many voters are turning a deaf ear and a deaf conscience to the screams of the defenseless, there is One Who hears those screams, and they call forth His wrath! As indeed we were reminded last Sunday in the passage from the Book of Exodus: "Thus says the Lord: You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. IF EVER YOU WRONG THEM, AND THEY CRY OUT TO ME, I WILL SURELY HEAR THEIR CRY! MY WRATH WILL FLARE UP, AND I WILL SLAY YOU WITH THE SWORD...." Exodus 22:2 1. And the Book of Proverbs adds the warning that AMONG THE THINGS THAT GOD MOST DETESTS, THAT HE FINDS TO BE "AN ABOMINATION," ARE "HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD." (Proverbs 6:17) In this context Americans would do well to remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: "I tremble for my country when I recall that God is JUST". words prompted by a conscience uneasy at his own and at so many of his countrymen's denying to fellow human beings the unalienable right to liberty with which, as he himself had written, all men have been endowed by their Creator. These words of Jefferson apply with even greater force today to those who by active connivance or simply by passive indifference would deny to innocent millions their fundamental right to LIFE! How long, one may reasonably ask, will God WITHHOLD His wrath? Though it well may be that the chastisement He inflicts upon us will take the form not of direct intervention but of simply allowing us to pull the roof down upon our own heads through the consequences of the choices we have made. It's no great challenge to the imagination to conjecture that in the not too distant future fifty million additional Americans could make all the difference between our nation's survival and its demise. Could not even less than half that number produce an impressive number of combat divisions? And those fifty million missing Americans will surely have included a multitude of minds gifted with the insight or the genius to make a significant contribution to the solution of our nation's problems. We are as impoverished by their absence as we would have been enriched by the power of their minds. And to state the matter baldly, even crudely, those fifty million Americans, had they been allowed to live, would be energizing our economy today as much with their productive skills and presumable dedication as with their need for food, clothing, housing, education and transportation. Aren't we being told, after all, that a big part of our current economic problem is the mismatch between an excess of housing and a shortage of buyers? Though admitting that is not to let Congress off the hook. ACORN's powerful friends in CONGRESS successfully opposed at least two major appeals from the current administration to set up a regulatory authority with powers sufficient to have reined in Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's extravagant urging our lending institutions to offer hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to high-risk borrowers. It was in fact the policy of Congress, for political advantage, to do all that it could to promote such extravagance on the part of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Well, the election is upon us, and FOCA may well become the law of the land, Heaven help us! And the very same people who have precipitated our economic crisis may well be tasked by the voters with finding a solution, Que sera sera! But an outrageous insult offered to America's believing Christians by comedian and would-be Senator Al Franken calls for-but will probably not elicit-an apology no matter how the election goes. Mr. Franken has apologized to his own political party for his one-liners about rape and oral sex, but he has to date offered no apology whatsoever for his persistent public mockery of the Christian religion and of the Catholic Faith in particular. May I quote from a respected local commentator Katherine Kersten, writing in the Star Tribune for October 22nd. The occasional long dashes in rendering the language of Mr. Franken are a replacement for his actual choice of words, language so obscene and scatoiogicai as to be unfit for direct citation here.
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Vulgar Mockery of Christians: Is This What We Want in a U.S. Senator?* * * * *
By: Katherine Kersten, in the Star Tribune of October 22, 2008 ...
[would-be Senator] Franken finds Christ's crucifixion to be a barrel of laughs. For example, in his 1999 book Why Not Me? he wrote about his discovery-as a fictional former president ... of "the complete skeleton of Jesus Christ still nailed to the cross" during an archeological dig. At the Franken Presidential Library gift shop, visitors can buy "small pieces of Jesus' skeleton."
"We would like to display Jesus' skeleton at some future point," Franken went on, "It's merely a matter of designing and building an exhibition space... . Until then he's very comfortable in a box down in a basement near the geothermal power station.
Very funny. Anybody want to try ajoke like that about Mohammed?....
In Franken's world, God has a mouth as foul as Franken's. In one book, he has God refer to books about liberal media bias as _________. Later, he describes God as having _____________.
But Franken saves his sharpest barbs for those weirdos, Catholics.
In 2006, he and a guest on his Air America radio show joked about Eucharistic communion wafers-sacred to Catholics as the body of Christ - and compared them to chips and guacamole. In "Dog Confessional," a proposed sketch for Saturday Night Live, Franken depicted "a series of dogs, played by cast members, confessing to a priest, " according to the Washington Post. NBC refused to air it.
In another book, Franken described greeting a New York audience with the words: "Isn't Cardinal O'Connor an _________?"
Franken's campaign did not return a phone call seeking comment.
A front-page article in another edition of The Star Tribune (October 25, 2008), complete with color photograph, gave dramatic illustration to what medical science is able to do today to help rather than to harm an unborn child. The photo, showing two proud parents holding their new-bom twin sons, added emotional impact to a report on a procedure that enabled the twins to escape certain consequences which would otherwise have befallen them if an ingenious new surgical technique had not been employed. And please note, if you will, the surgeon's 'Use of the word BABIES to describe the pre-natal twins (instead of the P.C.- mandated and cleiloerateiy dehumnanizing term fetuses). May I share the Star Tribune report with you here.
* * * * *Minneapolis Doctors Are Now Able to Repair a Rare Problem in Pregnancy.
By Josephine Marcotty, October 25, 2008
When Gavin and Owen Cassellius were bom Wednesday morning at Abbot Northwestern Hospital four anxious adults heaved a sign of relief. Their parents, of course. But also the two doctors who had used a minuscule camera and laser to repair tiny blood vessels in their shared placenta months earlier-fixing an abnormality that likely would have killed one or both of them.
Doctors at Children's Hospital and Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis are the first in Minnesota to offer the still experimental surgery. It means that there is a new and far better option for the 40 to 50 sets of parents in Minnesota who each year find that their identical fetuses have the abnormality known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Before, they had to travel to another state for the surgery, risking neurological damage to the babies if they survived--or terminate the pregnancy.
The twins' parents, Jeana and Jeff Cassellius, said that, presented with those options last July, they knew instantly that the procedure, though still risky, was by far the best choice. It gave them an 80 percent chance of taking at least one baby home.
"We could take control of it," said Jeff Cassellius, 25, of Roberts, Wisconsin. Even if things didn't go well, they could face life without "woulda, shoulda, or coulda. " Now, he said, as he suddenly teared up in front of a wall of cameras at a hospital news conference Friday, nothing would stop them from taking their sons home.
The syndrome occurs in 10 to 15 percent of identical twin pregnancies. One twin receives too little blood through the shared blood vessels of their placenta, the other too much. Left uncorrected, the uneven flow of blood starves one twin and damages the heart of the other. The mother is also at risk because the abnormality creates too much amniotic fluid triggering bleeding and early contractions.
That's how Jeana Cassellius, 26, learned something was wrong.
Late last June, when she was 19 weeks pregnant, her doctor told her she was carrying twins. A week later she started bleeding .... Her doctors in Hudson, Wisconsin sent her to Abbott, where an ultrasound showed that one baby was too big, the other too small.
Dr. Brad Feltis, a perinatal specialist at Abbott, said they had several choices. They could do nothing, risking miscarriage or severely disabled babies. Doctors could periodically remove some of the excess fluid, reducing pressure inside the womb. That still left a high-chance of miscarriage or long-term disablilt.
Or they could try the surgery.
Dr. Feltis and Dr. William Block, a pediatric surgeon at Children's Hospital, learned the procedure in Belgium this year. It's done more often in Europe, but increasing in frequency in the United States. About 10 pediatric hospitals offer it now.
Feltis and Block said they were frustrated by having to send patients elsewhere. Sometimes parents chose to end their pregnancies.
"We thought we needed to provide it here," said Feltis.
Within a week of the diagnosis Jeana Cassellius was on a table in a brightly lit operating room at Abbott. When nurses asked her if she wanted to watch the procedure on overhead monitors, she said: "No way!"....
Block inserted a tiny camera into her uterus. He used it to navigate through her womb to the placenta, where he could see the blood vessels that fed each of the umbilical cords. He found seven that were abnormal. Using a laser attached to the camera, he destroyed the blood vessels by cauterizing them. Some were the width of a toothpick, some the width of a human hair.
In all it took about an hour and a half, he said.
"It's challenging," he said. "The babies are tumbling around in the amniotic sac. One frequently gets in our way, and we have to nudge it aside. "
So far the doctors have dome about six of the procedures at Abbott. When the Cassellius babies were born healthy and nearly full term, they decided it was time to go public with it.
Not all their cases have ended as well as the Cassellius'. They said that so far they're on track with the outcomes of other hospitals that do the procedure: Both twins survive about 76 percent of the time. One twin survives about 80 percent of the time. About 8 percent develop long-term mental handicaps.
But babies Gavin and Owen are doing fine. At this point their parents can tell them apart by names on their hats.
Later, when they get home, they'll try a different technique.
"Nail polish on their toes," Jeff Cassellius said.
* * * * *Our congratulations to Doctors Block and Feltis and to Jeff and Jeana Cassellius! In stark contrast with those who visit a murder-house, aka an abortion clinic, Jeff and Jeana could bring their living babies home!