The Catholic Defender: The Torture Debate

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 31st, 2015

BenThis past December 16, 2014, Retired M.D., Ben Carson (Opinion Columnist and internationally known retired neurosurgeon) wrote an article entitled, “Democrats Wasteful Torture Report” in which he writes, “The recent release of a Senate report commissioned by Democrats regarding torture of terrorism suspects in order to obtain vital information was, in my opinion, a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money.”

Ben Carson addresses the fact that three suspects of the planning on the attack on the Twin Towers, were water boarded and other interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation “played a part in apprehension or annihilation of many upper echelon terrorists leaders, including Osama Bin Laden.”

From the article, Ben Carson is clear that the purpose of the Democrats were to present their last major statement on the Bush administration. It was intended to be an embarrassment on the Bush Administration. But was Ben correct in his observation of the Democrat report? Was this report solely to throw one last jab at President Bush?

There is no doubt that the extreme liberal left will always love to take a pot shot at President Bush, but I think that the intent of the Democrats is far more reaching that hitting the CIA? I think the motive of this biased report without one Republican participating nor any one individual involved ever interviewed, was to limit damage control of the huge loses this past November. The GOP gains were at least 11 added seats in the House of Representatives, winning 24 Governors races, retaking the Senate, and taking a majority in the State races all across the Country. It was a wave that spoke loudly against President Obama and his policies.

So, with the projected transfer of power that was going to take place in January, the Democrats wanted to make sure they produced this torture report while they still had their majority.

dianne-feinstein-cia-torture-reportDianne Feinstein defended her torture report creating the narrative that America exercised torture. She posed the following questions: “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?” “Is it time to publicly examine how our country ended up torturing people?”

I remember during this time that members of the Democratic Party like Nancy Polosi denied ever receiving any report given by the CIA in the interrogation given in the above situation written by Ben Carson. The evidence was overwhelming that the Congress was in fact briefed on what was taking place with the individuals involved. But the media was very silent in reporting the Democrats intent and purpose in presenting the biased torture report.

Now going back to the original question, what was the intended goal obtained by the Democrats as a result of the torture report? It was to sow seeds of division among the vast opposition against the policies of the Obama Administration. Torture is being used by the liberal left to cause fractures among the Christians who have been the blunt of liberal attacks coming from the Gay Marriage ordinances, to the IRS going after Conservatives throughout the Country.

So, what the Democrats have done was to create the narrative that Americans committed acts of torture and set the case of what they define what torture is. So much so that people began to divide over questions on torture. Since the time just before Christmas, this battle now has caught fire among the Christian community. Close associations have been ripped apart as their views on torture and what constitutes torture has intensified.

Bishops listen to proceedings during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, MarylandThe United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, in their guideline of torture: “Torture is a Moral Issue: A Study Guide”, chapter II states, “Torture assumes many guises, from electric shocks and burning with cigarettes, to sexual humiliation in various forms, even rape. Detainees may be threatened by attack dogs, or told that unless they cooperate their family members will be harmed. Detainees may be beaten, deprived of sleep, hooded for long periods. The list goes on of ways that pain is caused or that detainees are terrorized. And some parties to the debate argue, as we said, that some practices under discussion do not actually constitute torture. Or they may argue that when torture has occurred, it was inflicted by misguided individuals whose actions were unauthorized.”

Because of the recent danger of attacks taking place affecting America, the Bishops recognize, “Intelligence-gathering for the sake of national security undoubtedly is an essential government function.”

The study guide further states and asks, “There are many means of intelligence-gathering, and it is pursued in many settings. Among them are detention centers where prisoners are questioned: prisoners of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or of actions against terrorist cells around the world. What methods of obtaining information from these prisoners were to be permitted?

usccb 2Here is a very important statement coming from the intent of the USCCB, “For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

What is taking place is that the pro-Democrat report on torture has become the rallying cry against conservatives who do not agree with the basic redefinition of what constitutes torture. I listened to the argument as I saw people I care about dividing up blocking each other and unfriending each other on Facebook. People began inserting their own interpretation of what constitutes torture and began threatening others and banning others who differed with their interpretation.

It was very difficult for people to remain neutral as these camps intensified. I began attempting to address this problem to the office of the USCCB and found that this was no easy thing to do, it is hard to get a hold of anyone as I was sent to several different offices as no one seemed interested on answering the question. I eventually spoke with the Diocese of Austin and Barbara Budie who is their spokesman for the Diocese on social concerns. Barbara was very involved with the USCCB and was very helpful answering questions on the intent of the Bishops guidance.

sleep 1On the issue of sleep deprivation, what the Bishops considered torture was the prolonged interrogation without sleep that could run 180 hrs with limited breaks, little food and drink. That would constitute as torture. But sleep deprivation in itself was not torture, it is the obvious abuse of it.

On the question of isolation, using a hood or placing a Prisoner in isolation was not torture, but again it would be the abuse of placing a Detainee in darkness for days and weeks without interaction, without opportunity to exercise, without food or water would constitute as torture.

The big one that people seem to base most of their argument on is water boarding. Water boarding does not cause “SEVERE” pain or suffering, but admittedly, it is not a pleasant experience. It creates the reflex of drowning. Does this constitute torture? It depends who you ask. Of course if you ask Dianne Feinstein and the international Red Cross, that would be a huge yes.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the detainees were entitled to minimum protections provided under the Geneva Conventions, including prohibitions against torture and humiliation.

Vice President Dick Chaney stated, “Definitions, and one that was provided by the Office of Legal Counsel, we went specifically to them because we did not want to cross that line into where we were violating some international agreement that we’d signed up to. They specifically authorized and okayed, for example, exactly what we did. All of the techniques that were authorized by the president were, in effect, blessed by the Justice Department opinion that we could go forward with those without, in fact, committing torture.”

Dick-Cheney-liarVice President Chaney was asked, “When you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?” His response was, “For a lot of stuff. Not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff. To draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding judged by our Justice Department not to be torture and what the Japanese did with the Bataan Death March and the slaughter of thousands of Americans, with the rape of Nanking and all of the other crimes they committed, that’s an outrage.”

According to Barbara Budie, the USCCB bases much of it’s guidelines from the Geneva Convention. Article 3 of the Geneva Convention states:

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions: 1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

geneva6(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

Another source that people refer to torture comes from the United Nations, they refer to Article 1 1. “For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. 2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.”

From this we can see the quotation of the USCCB which is being used by both groups who seek to define torture. From the pro-torture crowd, I’ve heard them ask this question: Would Jesus support or conduct waterboarding? For them, this is a “gotya” question as they want to unite Jesus interrogation and suffering with a person being interrogated today. I have been threatened myself that I would be banned by certain individuals if I thought Jesus would waterboard a Detainee?

daThen the other side of the line will respond that Jesus states, “He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.” Luke 22:36-38

Does this mean that Jesus would use a sword Himself. Not at all. ”It is enough,” seems to imply that Jesus intends to prepare the Apostles to face the world’s hostility. Dave Armstrong quotes Matthew 18:34-35, “When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Jesus is speaking of the debt that is to be paid in full for the person suffering in Purgatory. Jesus is using a temporal understanding of what prison life was like that His listeners would clearly identify with the afterlife.

The USCCB in the guideline is clear that torture is not to be used. The Guideline states, “The use of torture must be rejected as fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of the human person and ultimately counterproductive in the effort to combat terrorism (No. 88).”

Mark 1The Bishops through the guideline recognizes, “Torture is much discussed and debated today in the media and in the courts. Questions have been raised, even in cartoons, as to how to define torture, and what constitutes torture. Some argue over what constitutes cruel and inhumane, while others say, I’II know it when I see it. And some, who might have dismissed a given practice as torture, have quickly changed their minds when it was done to them.”

Barbara Budie was very clear that the Office of the USCCB wants charity to prevail in this matter. The idea that people condemning others and attacking others to justify their position on torture is not coming from the Catholic Bishops. The Church is calling people to dig deeper into the study of torture and how we can best serve the Lord and the nation. What are the boundaries? Charity is to be stressed.

The New York Times: “Defender of Waterboarding Hears From Critics,” by Mark Oppenheimer, February 26, 2010.

“There’s nothing unusual about partisans of the Bush administration defending waterboarding as a useful form of “enhanced interrogation.” Others will go even further, calling the technique “torture,” but saying it may be a necessary evil. What is a bit unusual is the case being made by Marc A. Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

In “Courting Disaster: How the C.I.A. Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack,” Mr. Thiessen, a practicing Roman Catholic, says that waterboarding suspected terrorists was not only useful and desirable, but permitted by the teachings of the Catholic Church.

This does not square, to put it mildly, with the common understanding of Catholic teaching. In the past month, Catholic bloggers and writers from across the political spectrum have united to attack his views, and to defend their own: that waterboarding is torture, and that Roman Catholics are not supposed to do it.

thessMr. Thiessen makes two basic arguments. First, he says that waterboarding, the simulated drowning technique used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, and others, is not torture. “I didn’t get into the Catholic theological stuff of it until I sat down to write the book,” Mr. Thiessen said in a phone interview. So when Mr. Bush asked him, in 2006, to write a speech explaining the C.I.A.’s interrogation program, Mr. Thiessen asked himself other kinds of questions.

“There’s a standard of torture in civil law,” he said, “which is severe mental pain and suffering. I also have a common-sense definition, which is, ‘If you’re willing to try it, it’s not torture.’ “

Thousands of American soldiers have been willing to undergo waterboarding as part of their resistance training, Mr. Thiessen notes; therefore, it stands to reason that it is not torture.

Second, he invokes Catholic teaching to defend what he calls “coercive interrogation.”

The catechism states, “the defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to do harm,” and Catholic tradition accepts that this might involve killing. And, Mr. Thiessen writes: “If this principle applies to taking human life, it must certainly apply to coercive interrogation as well. A captured terrorist is an unjust aggressor who retains the power to kill many thousands by withholding information about planned attacks.”

Also,EWTN (“Eternal Word Television Network”) has hosted two explicit defenses of waterboarding — most recently by Thiessien, as well as Fr. Joseph Sirico of the Acton Institute, not to mention Q&A from Judy Brown of the American Life League questioning whether torture should be considered “intrinsically evil”. The point is that people are dividing themselves along the lines of what torture is while at the same time everyone opposes torture.

vatican 1Another concern is that people are making statements like this, “I am against abortion, but in cases of rape or incest, my gosh I am not a radical fanatic like you, so in those situations it should be permitted, but I’m against abortion!” THEY JUST DON’T GET IT!”

That Catholic Church is clear that it opposes abortion for cases of rape and incest. The recent vote by the House of Representatives to stop abortions after 20 weeks went 239 to 179. Only 1 Republican voted against the measure while only 3 Democrat’s voted for the bill. 176 of the Democrats voted for abortion for any reason at any time. Incredible. To attack Pro-Life Catholics who oppose abortion is a huge mistake by those who equate waterboarding with torture.

Another quote that is circulating the net, “Another example of how the ‘CATHOLIC torture defenders’ are trying to silence concerned Catholics! EUPHEMINISM’S ON TORTURE (OOPS I MEAN WATERBOARDING!) ACTIONS TO ADDRESS TORTURE (DANG IT I MEANT WATERBOARDING).”

It is clear that they are equating waterboarding with torture, and those doing so are challenging now even Pro-Life Catholics who are conservative. This new area of separation strikes directly at what the objective of the Democrat’s report on torture was originally intended to achieve. That was an objective goal of the report.

waterboarding_saves_lives_t_shirt-r51ef80c7531b4361bffe14e410f0b863_va6mk_512To equate waterboarding with abortion and Artificial Birth Control is not what the USCCB have been saying, not at all. Nor is it the intention of the USCCB to cause division among the flock on the question of torture or what it is. That is still being watched and the Church will continue to study the issue even as 99.99% of people already agree on what torture is.

First of all, no where does the Bishops say that waterboarding itself is a sin. It might be a practice that many would think is boarderline to torture, but no one is calling it a sin (except those who are supporting the liberal left).

I myself am still praying and studying the matter, in my service in Iraq, I was a leader that helped changed the face of the War in Iraq. I was involved at the Division level in placing a Standard Operating Procedure that helped changed the image caused by the abuse of Abu Ghraib. Abu Graib would fall under my Unit’s theater of operation. What we incorporated in our handling of Prisoners of War helped change the direction that many Iraqi young men took who began signing up to support Americans. This did a great deal in lowing the amount of attacks on U.S. Soldiers saving American lives. What we did had great impact on the local community.

At no time did any one of our interrogations of any Detainees ever employed the use of torture by anyone’s perspective. The only credible position in defining waterboarding as torture I have been able to find comes from Malcolm Nance, a former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the U.S. Navey’s Survival Evasion, Resistance and Escape School. But even from his perspective, he comes far short of calling it a sin. He has not implied such authority. For Catholics, that must come from the Bishops and I am sure that all this is weighing in on their research and prayer.

So as I began with this article with the Democrats report on torture, I think that the desired affect taking place is the ultimate collapse of people of faith. The extreme liberals want to see the end of faith in America as they hate it terribly. They want to see people fighting one another so that they, the liberals can return to power.

USCCB 1What all of us really needs to do is take a deep breath, exhale, and then really take to heart what the call of the USCCB is, to show love and charity. As tension continues to build in the world of the internet and Facebook, we still will be meeting together all across the Country when we go to Mass. It is there that we all receive the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let us keep a prayer for this Country that we continue to live out our faith in the land of the free and the brave. God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people. Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nations leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will. Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: I Love You Mom

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 30th, 2015

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JCI remember the promise Our Good Lord made to St. Faustina consoling her that for the dying, if someone prays the Divine Mercy Chaplet the soul would find peace.

This hits home for me literally as my Mother would be told she had two days to live. She developed a massive blood clot that lodged in her right lower leg causing it to turn blue.

Without circulation, her leg did not make it. When I arrived at the hospital, the Doctors did not believe she would survive the knife. They gave her two days to live.

My Brother and I took Mom home to die as she didn’t want to die in the hospital, but at home with her family around her.

As soon as we got her in her bed, I elevated her leg giving some comfort, I placed a rosary above the site where it was dead, and bathed the area with holy water and prayer.

Mom’s medication such as Morphine helped at times, but what helped her most was praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with me.

She felt at peace with herself and she was able to rest. This went on for about 10 days when I had to get an extension on my leave as Mom was living longer that what the Doctors projected.

I was sitting next to her bed when Mom asked me,
“Do you believe that the Lord will receive me when I pass”.

momI told Mom, “Mom, you know He will receive you! You can trust in His word and stand on what He says”.

That’s when I began to sing to her a song we sing at Mass, “Be Not Afraid”! Gigi, my wife, was standing on the other side of the bed when she saw Mom’s rosary on her desk so she gave it to Mom to hold.

As we were singing the song together, Mom was holding her rosary. It was at this point I noticed the rosary change from silver to gold in her hands. What a sign this was for us and I will write here that the Lord gave my Mom another 18 Months.

Mom was finally taken by the Lord on 1 August 2006. I will never forget how the Divine Mercy Chaplet made such an impact for my Mom.

“All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

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The Catholic Defender: This is a great debate on Homosexuality

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 27th, 2015

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Covenant-1God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: ‘Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1).” God re-establishes man’s dominance over all the earth (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 9:2-3), as well as the call to Multiply (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 9:1).

With Noah, God resets his creation with the promise of a new covenant, “I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.” God added, ‘This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow (rainbow) in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow (rainbow) appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. As the bow (rainbow) appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings–all mortal creatures that are on earth. God told Noah: ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all mortal creatures that are on the earth.” Genesis 9:1-17

Noah-1This covenant that God makes with Noah is the first since the fall of Adam and Eve. God is re-establishing his relationship with man and the rainbow is the sign of this everlasting covenant. As a child growing up, this story of Noah and the Ark was very basic, God spared His creation giving the rainbow as the sign of this covenant.

Let me ask you what sign does the rainbow represent that most young people today would identify with? Is it the covenant with Noah? No, not hardly, it is the sign or the flag of the Gay Agenda. This is not the only sign the Homosexual movement has taken to identify themselves.

The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus is often times seen as an advocate representing the people of God. This has always been what the Old Testament Queens of Israel had done. The Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus as the advocate that will keep the Church in line with the Lord’s teachings (John 14:26, 15:26). 1 John 2:1-2 also refers to Jesus as the advocate before the Father.

For Christians, Mary is seen as an advocate before the Lord, Jesus is seen as the advocate before the Father, and the Holy Spirit is seen as the advocate for the Church. However, like the Homosexual movement has tried to hijack the sign of the covenant, they are also trying to hijack who and what the advocate is.

Gay-footballOne of the major homosexual publications goes by the name “”. This publican even calls Pope Francis their “Person of the Year” because they are trying to twist his words as if he was accepting the Gay Agenda. They will not be so elated with the Pope after his words at the end of the recent synod on the family. What the Homosexual advocacy groups is doing is what the Secularist have always attempted to do, to water down the religious foundations of our Country and form them into their own identities.

What these pro-homosexual groups do is go after any residual spark where religious freedom is still practiced and attacks them using Judicial activism, the media, and the ignorance of the low information crowd. One of the stories I noticed on their publication, “Advocate” features Vegas Elvis Chapel not marrying Gays. The purpose? To get Gay activist motivated to begin working on forcing a change.

With the Secularizing of America, these tactics employed by the Gay Agenda are in step with how the Atheists, the Muslims, and the Non-religious have been pushing what looks like Socialism, Communism, and Marxism into this Country. All of it is to ware down the foundations of America.

The Catholic Church and others have been on the receiving end of attacks by the Progressive Movement in the United States going back to the time of President Theodore Roosevelt. The Government take over of healthcare, the destruction of the traditional family, and the changing of our laws and foundations has used Public schools and higher education as a principle means to change the format of America.

If America had been taken over by a foreign power, this takeover would simply employ the same tactics using propaganda that would deconstruct Americans stand on freedom. They would employ using re-education camps brainwashing young people to accept the enemy takeover. The encouragement to use drugs, anything that can help alter and ease mind control to facilitate the takeover of America. Remember the movie Red Dawn anyone?

Noah-2The battle lines are drawn, in Texas, we have the Mayor of Houston who has called for Christian Leaders to turn over their sermons and homilies over to the city government so they can inspect what they preach?

On Sept. 25, 2014, a resolution was passed by the local city council, (which was not passed by the people of Austin) for rainbow crosswalks on Bettie Naylor and 4th street. This is just another measure that the Gay Agenda is receiving support by a few people. Just like the upcoming St. Patrick’s Parade, the Gay Agenda is becoming more and more pushed by the ultra-left Progressive movement.

Throughout the Country, Christians are finding themselves on the short end of the stick going head to head with the Gay Agenda, from calling the Gay lifestyle a sin, to actually making cakes, taking pictures, and being forced to marry them.

The Gay Agenda wants to make it a crime if Ministers are not willing to marry homosexuals. This is a great attack on religious liberty and freedom in following what the Church has always taught. The Church needs to wake up, I hope that the actions taken in Oklahoma City recently that sparked outrage over a “Black Mass” will become more and more open as Christians take a stand for our Constitutional rights.

Noah-3Houston’s Mayor is a practicing lesbian, she continues to flaunt her sexuality with no fear from the voter. They depend so much on the low information or “I don’t care” crowds.

Senator Reid and the Democrats have already put into motion to strip the 1st Amendment of the Constitution away from the American people, they will want to take the bible out of public life and eventually out of our homes. Is this a scare tactic? No, not at all, this is a real threat. If the Democrats maintain power in the Senate, look out.

How do we face this threat? I love the story coming out of Tennessee that the Secularist attacked a local high school for have the a prayer before the football game. Something that was part of the tradition of the school going back 80 years. So, all that was offered from the PA announcer was a moment of silence. That is when a young girl on the cheer-leading team began to pray the Lord’s Prayer, quickly she was joined by her mates, then the football team, then the opposing football team, then the crowd in the stands.

That is a great example and how the sleeping giant can wake up to be a great bear, a great lion that will stand up for our religious rights and freedoms that have been trampled upon now by the radical left.

Church, where are you at in your communities? Are you hiding under a rock wishing the bad to go away, complaining how bad it is getting, wishing someone will do something? Like the brave cheer-leaders who challenged the Secularist in the open, we too need to come out into the open. First by voting in people who will stand up against the Progressives and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party itself have been hijacked by the ultra-left. It is no longer the peoples party that represented the common man, but it has taken on the special interest of the ultra-left agenda.

ronald-reaganThen we need to challenge lawfully those who seek to take away our fundamental rights, to teach our children the true history of our Nation, to love the meaning of our flag, to stand up for the Constitution of the United States of America. President Ronald Reagan warned: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

So, Church, we have the power to vote, the power to pray, and the power to act (lawfully) to stand up against those who seek to destroy faith in America.

I for one, will hold fast to the original sign of the rainbow that God gave the world through Noah. The rainbow represents the first covenant God makes with mankind since the fall of man. It is important that the Church of the living God lift high the banner of Christ.

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The Catholic Defender: Pro-Life March in Austin Texas

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 25th, 2015

IMG_1824Today began early as there was a Rosary prayed at the Austin Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. This was a prayer vigil that officially began the day (7:00 A.M) to pray for those thinking about abortion as well as those involved with taking human life.

At 9:15, the faithful prayed the Living Rosary as children pantomimed the Joyful Mysteries as students lead the congregation in praying the Joyful Mysteries. The Dominican Sisters of Mary organized the event.

Next was a Consecration of the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living to Our Lady of Guadalupe. There was a procession of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe praying: O Virgin Mother of Guadalupe, we joyfully come before you today, deeply grateful that you are the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of His Church. We greet you as the Mother of Life and as the perfect model of all who say yes to life.

We ask you today to bless and direct our work to promote the Gospel of Life. We entrust to you the efforts of the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living. Under your protection we place the prayerful, humble and noble work of those volunteering on behalf of God’s special gift of life. Give them the courage to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Help them to show the love of Christ to those in distress, those who are most helpless and defenseless, those who are loved the least, and those who are in need of forgiveness.

IMG_1826May the work, the volunteers and the projects of the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living grow and flourish under your gentle care. Lead us, your priests and people, to the full glory and splendor of the Kingdom of Life. Amen!

At 10:00 Holy Mass began with a procession of the 4th degree Knights followed by several priests from the Diocese of Austin and Corpus Christi. They were trailed by the three Bishops who participated in the Mass. Most Rev. Joe Vasquez, the Bishop of Austin was the Celebrant, Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, Bishop of Corpus Christi, and Most Rev. Daniel Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop-Elect of Austin offered this Mass in memory of the lives lost since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision 1/22/1973.

This was held at the St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Austin January 24, 2015 and this was standing room only, the church was filled to capacity.

Tonight as Fred Williams and I were on Deepertruth Radio, we were talking about the events of the the March for life that took place when I noticed that the Associated Press was reporting the crowd to be 1,500 people? The actual number had to be at least 5 times that amount.

IMG_1845That was hard to swallow knowing that the Liberal media will report using damage control as they see their agenda being threatened by the result of people turning away from abortion.

Texas recently voted a very pro-life Governor in Greg Abbott, who is also a devout Catholic who thanked the Pro-Life in their support for Pro-Life legislation. His wife, Cecilia Abbott read a strong message from Governor Abbott and pledged to be a very public personality in defense of human life.

Cecilia Abbott spoke of how Texas has become a leader supporting the toughest abortion restrictions in the Nation. It could get even tougher as the New Orleans federal appeals court is looking at the question that abortion clinics must maintain a hospital credential. That is something that should be automatic. If the court decides on the side of life, Texas will be left with eight abortion facilities throughout the State.

The crowd, much bigger that 1,500, gave thunderous applause when Mrs. Abbott said, “Because of you, Texas leads the nation in defending those who do not have a voice”.

IMG_1849Another keynote speaker, George P. Bush, Son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is possibly considering a run for the Presidency in 2016, potentially can reach out to Hispanic voters. The Hispanic culture historically and culturally are strong in family values. That is a concern to Pro-abortion supporters.

George P. Bush, 38, is newly installed as the Texas Land Commissioner looked at the results of last November’s election supporting Pro-life legislation. He stated, “It’s not just about what we say about this issue, it’s what this issue says about us as a people and as Texans”.

Recently, Texas had more that 40 abortion clinics in 2012, but now only 17 still are functioning. It could go down to 8 very soon pending the federal appeals court.

The issue at hand is whether abortion clinics should be made to meet hospital-level operating standards. That is something that the Abortionist do not want. They worry that the money it takes to upgrade their clinics would stop their business.

We need to support this legislation to fight abortion in Texas.

IMG_1846Abby Johnson was another keynote speaker who played a major role on the stage. She introduced a lady who was a survivor of abortion who gave a very inspiring talk of her life. Abby Johnson is a recent convert to the Catholic Faith a couple of years ago.

I met Abby Johnson a couple of years ago when she spoke in Belton Texas and what a great story she is. She was once an abortion clinic director in the largest clinic in Texas. This was in Houston, when she resigned in 2009. It was previewing an abortion on ultrasound that changed her mind forever.

Abby Johnson reported that it was very important for people to pray at the abortion clinics because when a woman sees people praying for babies, 70-75% of them will change their mind of carrying through with the abortion. This is a major reason the abortionists do not like prayer vigils at clinics or the use of ultra-sound.

Abby Johnson published a book, Unplanned, in 2011 which covers her conversion to the Pro-Life and how Planned Parenthood works to make money.

IMG_1839Bishop Joe Vasquez led thousands of Pro-Life faithful on a well orchestrated March that took them to the Texas State Capital Building. There were many people from all over the area who marched to stand up for the unborn child.

The Knights of Columbus were following close behind in their colorful regalia package of authorized colors, capes, chapeaux, and tuxados. Not to mention their swords.

This march was filled with families, with young people, people of all ages. Psalms 22:9-10, “Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts. Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.”

Psalms 127:3-5, “Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

IMG_1844Psalms 139:13-14, ” For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well;”

Isaiah 44:1-2, “But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”

Isaiah 49:1, “Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5, “‘Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Matthew 18:10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

IMG_1852Galations 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Ephesians 4:1-3, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 6:14-16, “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.”

IMG_18512 Timothy 3:12-13, “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.”

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

Heavenly Father, as the author of life, touch with compassion the hearts of those women and men who, with your help, have conceived human life and now think of abortion not parenthood. Help them to understand that their newly created child and all children are made in your image and likeness and made for eternal life with You.

IMG_1847Dispel their fears and helplessness and give them true and generous hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a parent alone can give. And when your children turn away from you through abortion, penetrate their hearts to seek your loving forgiveness and healing power.

Finally Lord, soften the hearts of the abortionists and enlighten all elected officials to protect the unborn, to accept your loving grace and to recognize the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Amen.

2 Timothy 1:9-10, “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

As you watch this video, perhaps the Associated Press and the secular media outlets were only counting those under 15?

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The Catholic Defender: Jesus Calmed The Raging River Through The Eucharist.

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 22nd, 2015

Eucharist 6Father Antonio Reinardi gathered the faithful together ringing the bells and began a Eucharistic procession deep in prayer. Father led them in the following devotion coming from Psalms 51:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.”

The scene is Canosio Italy, a small village centered in the Diocese of Saluzzo in the Val Maira region. In 1630 the Calvinist heresy was trying to gain a foot hold among the people there. Because of the division, the people’s faith was challenged and their moral was low. Religious ignorance and persecution can do that to any nation.

Eucharist 7The celebration of Corpus Christi had just been completed the day before when a terrible flood came to Maira  as the result of a torrential rainfall. The river flowing through the town over flowed it’s banks causing serious flooding.

The flood waters washed away large stones from the base of the mountains causing massive mudslides and damage that threatened Canosio. This was the scene that Father Antonio Reinardi found his Parish in.

Speaking for the people in procession, Father Reinardi made a solemn vow to the Lord that if the Canosio were saved from the destruction of the flood, he would begin leading the people celbrating a perpetual annual feast of Corpus Christi.

Father Reinardi leading the procession with the Blessed Sacrament praying the “Miserere” (Miserere mei, Deus, Latin for “Have mercy on me, O God”) which was composed by then Pope Urban VIII! It is taken from Psalms 51!

As the procession came closer to the raging flood waters they prayed as they moved on when Father blessed the area with the Monstrance. At that moment, all at once the rain just stopped and the flood waters receded back to their normal level. This scene so revived the local people of Canosio that even to this day since 1630, they have kept their vow celebrating and observing what the Lord did this day.

Eucharistic 4Zechariah 9:16 states, “On that day the LORD their God will save them for they are the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.” Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus reminds us that prayer can divert natural disasters, that prayer can make a difference for people as it did here in Canosio Italy in 1630.

Isaiah 63:7-9 states, “I will talk about the kind things the Lord has done. I’ll praise him for everything he’s done for us. He has done many good things for the nation of Israel. That’s because he loves us and is very kind to us. In the past he said, “They are my people. They are children who will be faithful to me.” So he saved them. When they suffered, he suffered with them. He sent his angel to save them. He set them free because he is loving and kind. He lifted them up and carried them. He did it again and again in days long ago.”

Unlike the Israelite in the Old Testament were not faithful, let Jesus Catholic Church be faithful today in keeping our vows of Baptism and faith as these good people of Canosio.

I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord. You have spread so much beauty over the earth and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty. And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed Your beauty, my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You and my soul recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good, and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.

EucharistMy Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here You light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.

O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: Jesus Calms the Sea For Tumaco Columbia 1906

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 20th, 2015

Tum 3“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41

St. Mark brings to light a scene that took place on the Sea of Galilee, it was evening and Jesus was asleep on a cushion when a major violent squall began breaking over the boat. As Jesus awoke, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet”, be still. Think about the amazement that the Apostles felt as the wind and the Sea obeyed Jesus.

This is an important sign of Jesus that also points to His saving presence in the face of persecution. In the history of the Church we have seen this manifested in many different ways. The following is an example of Jesus working a great miracle through His Eucharistic Presence that defies all natural logic and reason.

tidalwave_0It was 1906, a violent undersea earthquake threatened the Pacific Coast all along the shoreline in Central America affecting Panama and Columbia centrally and the Island of Tumaco stood right in the path of the Tsunamis. Father Bernardino Garcia said of the devastation that followed, “Unexpectedly an enormous wave (a tremendous tidal wave) crashed into the port, reached into the market area and destroyed everything. Boats that had been drawn up on shore were picked up and hurled long distances away, causing heavy losses”.

Considering that I was chased by two huge hurricanes, Katrina and Rita in August/September 2005 as I was stationed right outside New Orleans at the time, I can only imagine the following story.

On the Island of Tumaco, the Catholic Priest, Father Fr Gerardo Larrondo, found himself right in the path of this massive tidal wave. It was January 31, 1906 at 10:00 A.M. when the earthquake lasted nearly ten minutes. Inspired by the villagers that ran to the church, Fr. Gerardo lead a Eucharistic procession to the beach finding the sea already rising flooding part of the beach. This tidal wave was plunging inland a kilometer and a half with a huge wall of water building up forming this massive wave that threatened the inhabitants. Fr. Gerardo proclaimed, “Let us go, my people. Let us go toward the beach, and may God have pity on us.”

sainth06As Father Larrondo reached the beach with the monstrance lifted high he and the people displayed great courage in the face of this tidal wave when it came crashing on the shore. Father made the sign of the cross with the Monstrance when the wave paused and then backed off into the sea. The wave was stopped in it’s tracks by an invisible hand, the hand of Jesus the Lord. People went running through the area exclaiming and proclaiming a great miracle. The massive wall of water that previously threatened to destroy a whole village on Tumaco Island came to an abrupt stop and receded back into the sea as the shoreline went back to normal.

We know that like the Apostles who witnessed Jesus calm the storm as it obeyed His command to be still and be quiet, the world soon became aware of this great Eucharistic Miracle through the outpouring of thanks and gratitude by the people to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like the Apostles, Fr. Larrondo and his faithful congregation “were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this whom even the wind and the sea obey”?

This is a great reminder how the Lord can see us through the greatest challenges of life. Our faith is the great gift for us who believe. May our faith be strong and growing as we await the stormy seas of life and the mounting tidal waves that crash all around us.

James 2:19 states, “You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.” At the Eucharistic table, we see the Lord acting as one, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity in total unity, the Father is the Purpose, the Son is the Passion, and the Holy Spirit is the Power. We see the purpose, passion, and power of God in faith as did St. John the Baptist at the Baptism of the Lord. The Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco Columbia is an example of the manifestation of God’s Presence among us.

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The Catholic Defender Out On Patrol With The Rosary

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 12th, 2015

PatrolA ditty before tonights Rosary on BlogtalkRadio 6:00 Central (1/12/2015).

In military tactics, a patrol usually can range from a small squad size element to a platoon size element. Ordinarily they are a small tactical unit sent out to patrol areas of responsibility.

They are sent out from a base of operations, a small Joint Security Station (JSS) or a larger Forward Operating Base (FOB) for the purpose of combat, reconnaissance, or a combination of both. The basic mission of a patrol is to follow a route that is known by all the personnel from the leader down to the lowest in rank. They can walk the trek or they can be mounted.

The objective can range from keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary to gathering vital information from the people.

patrol 1It is important in our strategy to have good relations with the local community.

The Medics in the past have offered help to Commanders because they have done good deeds helping the people. Getting vital information from the people can be most important to help keep information about enemy activity current and accurate.

The foot Soldier is vital in keeping watch for enemy attack, movement, IED’s, and other enemy activities within your sector of fire.

This also helps maintain and protect the JSS and FOB security keeping at regular intervals looking out for anything out of the ordinary — which if found will be reported or dealt with as appropriate. There are then basically two types of patrols that refer to reconnaissance patrols, which are sent to investigate some feature of interest, or to fighting patrols (US combat patrol), sent to find and engage the enemy.

rosary patrolSpiritually, this is the mission of the Rosary Patrol, we are out patrolling the areas of operation praying for the needs of the Church, the Pope and his Missionary and General Intentions.

It is important to know what the enemy activity is, to be able to identify the enemy who many times will hide among the civilians.

They may look like Christians, sometimes may act like Christians, but in the end, are set out to destroy or cripple the Churches mission.

There are times when we must put on the whole armor of God and ward off the fiery darts of the enemy.

Sometimes, we must take action and stand up for what is right. Some of the enemy’s weapons used against us is our own apathy, our own indecisiveness, our own lack of resolve. When ever we go outside the wire, it is always important to make sure you have your weapon with you.

CameraWhen you hold your rosary in your hand, that is like holding the hand of our Mother Mary who is praying with us.

No Soldier should be without this important weapon.

Each Soldier should also prepare themselves before going into the Danger Zone.

You should always have a copy of the Catholic Catechism and Bible near by.

Like the Old Baltimore Catechism would say, to know God, love God, an serve God.

If you have Internet access, to have deepertruth, Catholic Answers, Defenders of the Catholic Faith, or other sources are vital important information that helps give the Soldier strategy. Before a Soldier goes out on Patrol, Mass is very important, you need to be charged up and fortified with the Holy Spirit to give you courage. You must frequent the Sacraments and be in the state of grace, to avoid sin at all cost.

Mary 5To receive God’s blessing as often as you can helps fortify the soul. It is also important to understand and know your Chain of Command.

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Pope is his Prime Minister, the local Priest are their representatives so we should pray for them knowing they are under attack by the enemy.

The Virgin Mary is a great gift to us as our spiritual Mother. We can trust the Lord with his Mother.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 states, “Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  The Rosary is a devotion that really places you meditatively in the presence of Jesus and Mary as found in scripture.  It is Heavens Peace Plan.

Do not be afraid to use your rosary especially in times of trouble. You can join us tonight live at 6:00 Central here:

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The Catholic Defender: Seth D Ball, The Story of the Converted Catholic

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 10th, 2015

BallIn history we read about great men and women who made a difference in their lives shaping and improving the world. I can think of many here in America. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner, and Henry Ford invented the moving assembly line just to name some examples. We basically have hundreds of such conveniences that we enjoy today. Al Gore claims to have invented the internet? I’m not sure about that one, but here we are and what a great opportunity we have using the internet.

We have had some great men who have made a difference defending America against invaders. I am proud to have served under two of our great recent Generals, General Schwarzkolf during the Gulf War and General Petraeous (who was my Battalion Commander) during the Iraqi Freedom Campaigns.

With all the great men and women who have made a difference in our society, today, some of the great people are not necessarily those in government, though we have some great people serving, but I am honoring those who have accepted the call of Jesus Christ. This is by far the most important factor that can bring America back to her former greatness.

Here at Deepertruth we love to share the many conversions to the Catholic Faith that is having a far reaching impact in helping many people. We remember recent conversions such as Kaleb Patrick Lippert, Nicholas George Wilcha, and Bethanie Rodriguez. There are millions of such voices around the world each year that are coming home to the Catholic Faith.

Ball 10Tonight we have another great story of a young teenager who is making the decision to follow Christ in His Catholic Church. Seth D Ball (16 years old) is a young man who is on fire for the Lord. He has recently joined the Rosary Patrol here at Deepertruth, and he also leads an internet Rosary on Sunday evenings. His faith is already making a huge difference.

Romans 8:37, St. Paul writes, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 states, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Tonight, 1/10/2015, Seth D. Ball will appear on Deepertruth to give his story coming home to the Catholic Faith. When we are talking about the great people today making a difference, the most important are those who choose to follow the Lord. St. Jude writes, “keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Showtime begins at 7:00 P.M. Central and the archive follows immediately soon after. You can listen in clicking here:

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The Catholic Defender: The Judy Alciatore Story

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 9th, 2015

judy 1Tonight at 7:00 P.M. Central, (1/9/2015) Judy Alciatore, God’s writer of poems, will be giving her testimony of how God has called her to write poems for the King of Glory.

Acts 2:18 states, “yes, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

Judy is one of God’s maidservants who through her writings have given encouragement, joy, love to all who read her poems.

Here is an example of one of her short poems thanking God for her Catholic Faith. It is simply entitled “Catholic”:









I want to urge you all to listen tonight as this should really be a blessing to everyone. I will be sending out the show on Facebook before the show, but you can open the show up here.

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The Catholic Defender: My Response To David Rhodes And Company

Posted by Donald Hartley - January 5th, 2015

ross (1)The past few weeks going back before Christmas, I was informed of a rift taking place that was happening between Ross and Margie who had just returned from a very successful pilgrimage of the Holy Land. I was hoping to help them work through this but sides were intensifying and it was literally impossible to remain neutral. Ross repeatedly threatened me that he would block me if I hinted at showing respect towards Margie. It was like us vs them kind of thing and it was all centered on torture. According to Ross, you could not be a good Catholic and accept sleep deprivation, isolation, or waterboarding.

What upset me originally, was how Ross became so adamant and dogmatic about this torture issue that he went after Dave Armstrong at the same time that Dave was suffering from losing his Mother. He was also going after Margie calling them cafeteria Catholics. Margie has later said she actually agreed with Ross but didn’t agree with his demonizing others because of it. Just before Christmas, Margies family suffered a house fire and there was much concern for their loses especially just before Christmas. I thought Ross was wrong for making torture such a major issue during this time. I was traveling from Texas to Missouri when I talked to Ross on the phone, and he was going after me. I told him I am going to celebrate Christmas and that when I return home after the Christmas season, I will look into it. Yet, Ross never let up.

This went on for a few weeks when Ross first unfriended me and then blocked me as he had threatened because he assumed that I supported waterboarding which he sees as torture. I remained silent about this, I was not attacking anyone until I learned how Ross came down on Margie as he did. He was abusive towards her and then I became more involved wanting to encourage Margie and give her support.

I recently fired Ross formally because of the disruption he has called. I became a student of the Bishops guideline on torture which is based from Torture is a Moral Issue. Until I looked at this, I had no opinion based from the teaching and guidance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. After much study, I found it was inconclusive of calling the above issues as sin.

torture-is-a-moral-issue_1So I wrote the Article, The Catholic Defender: The Torture Debate, followed by Ross Earl Hoffman, YOU’RE FIRED because the internet battle continued to deteriorate. I attempted to call the USCCB at Washington D.C. to see if I can get some clarification on this because I wanted to talk to someone knowledgeable. There was no luck in my repeated attempts so I finally called the Diocese of Austin which is where I am located. I was able to speak with people who were knowledgeable and very helpful that I was able to implement for our second radio show on the topic of torture in which I was focusing on chapter 2 of Torture is a Moral Issue.

Recently, I was in Temple for a presentation at St. Luke Catholic Church and stayed for after the Mass and introduced myself to Father Eleocha who was gracious to give me a few minutes to talk with him. I told him briefly what was taking place on Facebook and how torture was being used to divide people. I told him that I had tried to talk with the USCCB and that I did talk with the Office of the Diocese of Austin. Father was very familiar with the office as well as the USCCB’s guideline on torture.

That is when I asked Father these three simple questions: Father, if I participated in an abortion, would I need to confess this? The answer was yes.

Father, if I utilized Artificial Birth Control, would I need to confess this? The answer was yes.

Father, if I was under orders to interrogate a Prisoner of War using sleep deprivation, isolation, and or waterboarding, would I need to confess this? The answer is no. Unless there was an abuse that clearly the Bishops intent would be torture.

After my discussion with Father Ekeocha, I shared this with others who were wanting to stand up for the Bishops and the Catholic Faith. That is when a meme was created that covered the information I was sharing. I did not notice the USCCB logo that was placed on the meme so it went couple of days posted on our site. During this time Ross and his Clan were totally irate because the meme challenged the heart of their position on waterboarding and torture. The internet chatter among them itself was interesting, as they began to attack me personally with all kinds of lies and misrepresentations.

CD 1 (1)I was given the number by the Diocese of Austin so I could talk with Patrick who chaired the communication department for the Catholic Church in the State of Texas and I explained to him what was going on and about the Logo. I wanted to know what I needed to do. I was concerned that if I told people to take down the meme it would embolden Ross and his group all the more and that I did not want to do. Patrick was extremely encouraging and he told me that our taking down the meme was not a retraction in any way, but we could not use the logo because it was not authorized by the USCCB Public Affairs office. That had nothing to do with the truth of the information that was on the meme.

I immediately ordered that the meme be taken down off of our Facebook page and that happened within minutes. From us, this was no longer a problem, but of course, Ross and his group continue to threaten me over the meme. This is where I will pick up what some of Ross’s group have placed out on the net about Deepertruth and about me. The following is from David Rhodes link:

David P Rhode     Thanks Thomas! If that’s your above attachment I can see it, and I most certainly agree with it! There was a time when I subscribed to his blog and had it delivered via email. Both Donald Hartley and John Benko, who were my FB friends for several years, seemed to be ahead of the curve on some Catholic issues.

DavidThank you David, I do appreciate your thoughts here, we try to keep posting updated material and so, I understand that you are not interested in what we place out on the net. I do apologize if that offended you as that is never our intent. Know that we have had literally hundreds of people who like us to send them via Facebook. Sometimes it is easy to post on someone’s page when after I was asked not to do so. I try not doing that, but once in a while, especially if it had been awhile, it is easy to forget. And yes, many times I would say God bless you because I do want to offer peace and blessing, but I did not spend too much time on any one page when I was sending them out.

Thomas Lavis Wow. I didn’t have a history with them at all and then I got a post on my time line that was attacking a friend. I looked up there claim and found it was not truth at all, but a claim that was assumed and not said by the Church or its bishops. I called them on it on there blog and got blocked from the site. However, I was still getting posts from them? That’s when I had to block them. They also made a meme that looks official from the American Catholic Bishops Counsel. Its there assumption with the Counsels seal, not official at all. They are hinging on being heretics. Best I can say is steer clear. God bless

Thomas..I have already explained the issue of the logo and the meme, that is no longer an issue with us.  The issue that we are addressing between Ross and Margie, you are free to think as you like.  Yes, you were blocked after coming down spamming on the article.  BTW, you were not blocked by me.  I will totally disagree with your accusation of heresy, I have written over a thousand articles here and I would welcome you to find anything that would be hinging on heresy.

David P Rohde You’re absolutely right. That meme got trumped up over the past weekend. It’s bogus and totally not true. If you try to debunk it openly you’ll get slammed (which you apparently did) even blocked. I’ve sent copies of that meme to several FB friends of mine who work for the USCCB in the Communications and Media Relations Office and who on FB originated it. A Priest friend of mine has already mailed a hard-copy version with copies of Hartley’s blog & the meme to Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin, Texas attached to a cover letter. (I read it before he mailed.

David, if you were to have looked at the meme itself, everything on it was true, not withstanding the logo.  The meme did not state that either person we of the USCCB or it’s chair.  It mentions that Father Ekeocha was the Pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church, that Barbara Budie worked at the Diocese of Austin.  Neither was implied to work for the USCCB.  I did state that both were very informed with the USCCB and that was my point.  The logo was not my idea, but after asking Patrick  about it and I reported to Barbara about it, I had it removed.  As for sending the blog to Bishop Joe Vasquez, I welcome the opportunity to explain this if it came down to that.  I have done nothing wrong in all of this and have nothing to hide.

TortureWhat got my local FB Priest friend interested is he made a phone call to the Diocesan Office in Austin. He found out in a few minutes, that there is no Diocesan Office of social teaching as stated in the meme, and only the Bishop or his Auxiliary and immediate Diocesan staff represent the Diocese at USCCB functions. Fr. Hames Ekeocha has a parish assignment in Temple, Texas and is not on the Bishops staff. (Therefore concluding that he never represented the Diocese to the USCCB. This gets even more serious real quick, because the name of this good Priest is being misused as well).

David, this one is very confusing, all anyone had to do was call the Diocese of Austin and the Operator would gladly have sent you to Barbara’s office, you might of had to leave a message as she if often times in meetings or working for the Bishop, but she would call you back.  I’ve talked with her a number of times now and she has been very helpful.  And yes, she is over the Social Teaching department, or what I understood was then name.  Regardless, the Operator would have known exactly who your looking for.  As for Father Ekeocha, I never said he was part of the Bishops staff? I did say that he knew Barbara very well and that he was well informed of the USCCB’s Guideline on torture.  So your accusation that I am misusing Father’s name is itself wrong.  I simply respected his knowledge.

Thomas Lavis They are definitely over zealous cafeteria Catholics. Next thing you know they’ll start there own church!

CD and GregThomas, I have been a strong adherent of the Catholic Faith for nearly 40 years, at no time have I ever accepted anything that you could ever point to as “cafeteria” and if there is anyone who is establishing a church it will be you who follow the church of Ross.

Ladies and Gentlemen, people are being mislead by a few individuals who have an agenda and if you differ from their agenda, your a cafeteria Catholic? This group are the ones who are attacking Catholic Priests, not I.  I love and defend our Clergy.  I ask for the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness as people are choosing to mislead others because of an agenda that the USCCB does not support.

I totally renounce the use of torture and I totally reject those accusations that are being made against Pro-Life Conservative Catholics by some of these individuals who are causing confusion.

God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people. Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nations leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will. Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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