October 7, 2015
I MET JERRY MONDESIRE in January 2006, during my first appearance on "Inside Story. " I don't remember the other two panelists on the weekly 6ABC current-affairs program, or even the moderator. But I do have a clear mental image of Jerry that day. He wore a shimmery lavender tie, a perfectly tailored gray suit, his hair was slicked back and he was sporting a pencil-thin mustache that hadn't been seen since they started making movies with sound. I instantly fell in love. Yes, I knew that we were as far apart as two human beings could be when it came to our philosophies, he as the head of the NAACP in Philadelphia and me as the Joan of Arch Conservatives.
September 25, 2015
SINCE MARCH 2013, when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires became Pope Francis of the Universe, I've written about him at least 20 times. My first words, just a few hours after he'd been selected by his fellow churchmen in Rome, spoke of "a gentle warrior" who married the twin characteristics of the Jesuit soldier of Christ to the peaceful caretaker of all creatures, great and small whose name he'd adopted as a symbol of his mission. At that point, I had no idea how prophetic my words would be. Francis has turned out to be a true warrior in his own fashion.
September 25, 2015 |
ABOUT 25 anti-abortion activists rallied outside a Center City Planned Parenthood yesterday morning to help kick off a national "40 Days for Life" blitz of anti-abortion protests. It went the way most anti-abortion protests go: with pamphleteering anti-abortion activists praying, singing and exhorting passing patients to "Change your mind! Keep your baby!" while those women, ushered inside by volunteer escorts, reacted with tears, middle fingers or averted eyes. But it was unusual in that organizers hoped it would be the flame to ignite an explosive anti-abortion fervor in the thousands of Catholic faithful coming to town this week for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis' visit.
September 21, 2015 |
Fifteen years after its approval in the United States, the abortion pill mifepristone is used in nearly a quarter of all abortions, a proportion that has grown steadily even as the national abortion rate has fallen to a historic low. Federal data also show that mifepristone, brand name Mifeprex, has accelerated the shift toward early pregnancy terminations - before 10 weeks - when it is safest and has the greatest public acceptance. Maker Danco Laboratories says more than two million women have used its "early option pill.
September 18, 2015 |
NEARLY FOUR MONTHS ago, Pope Francis decried global warming as a man-made catastrophe requiring immediate ecological activism and blamed modern materialism for turning the planet into "an immense pile of filth. " Yesterday, a few folks in Philly didn't mince words in their opinions of the pollution-busting pleas the pope made last May in his encyclical, Laudato si '. Paganism, declared one. "What is environmentalism but nature worship?" said Gene Koprowski, marketing director of the Heartland Institute.
September 9, 2015
FOR THE rest of America, this has been the Summer of Donald Trump. For Greater Philadelphia, it has been the Summer of Pope Francis, transformed from global religious leader to ringmaster of a festival. We have witnessed the expanding semifiasco of Philadelphia laying out, pulling back and then re-folding the welcome mat. Hotel rooms that were said to be as scarce as water holes in the Sahara are now available. That seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. It also seemed impossible selfie sticks would be banned.
September 4, 2015 |
In expanding the Catholic clergy's ability to forgive women who have had an abortion, Pope Francis this week earned praise from both sides of one of the United States' most polarizing social issues. In a letter Tuesday, the pope said rank-and-file clergy can grant absolution to those who repent with "contrite" hearts during the Holy Year of Mercy, also known as a Jubilee year. Previously, such forgiveness required the approval of a diocese. Bishops in Philadelphia, Camden, New York, and elsewhere have long allowed their priests to grant absolution for abortions, but many other dioceses did not. Pro-choice and antiabortion leaders from across the Philadelphia area praised the pope's stance as opening up a more understanding dialogue.
September 4, 2015 |
IN HIS LETTER Tuesday about the upcoming Holy Year that starts in December, Pope Francis expanded on the general idea that all people who seek forgiveness will be forgiven as an experience of God's mercy. He added that during this special year, also known as a Holy Year of Mercy, all priests will have authority to forgive women who have had abortions. In many parts of the world, only bishops have had the authority to forgive abortion. Francis' letter doesn't represent a change in the church's doctrines.
August 19, 2015
DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I met a gentleman, and he eventually decided we were "soul mates. " I agreed. Over time, we shared our life stories, good and bad. I confided that I'd had an abortion at the age of 18, which has haunted me all my adult life. Recently he was reciting a chronology of my life. When he got to the abortion, he said, ". . . and then you became a child murderer. " His comment stunned me. He finds nothing wrong with it. Was this total disrespect, or am I overreacting?
July 24, 2015
I AM A BIT HOT under the collar at the Rev. Clenard Childress. Tell you why. First, the best way to prevent abortions is to promote a sound sex-education program in the schools and communities and strongly encourage the use of contraception. Second, instead of putting the burden on women to be more sexually responsible, share the burden with men (and boys) to be more sexually responsible by keeping their zippers zipped. That was the message that both Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby (his conduct with women notwithstanding)