Archive for April, 2012

Ready to fight the real ‘war against women’?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

 by Janet Morana and Georgette Forney



April 25, 2012 ( – Rallies are planned across the country this Saturday to give women a chance to stand united in opposition to the much-heralded “War against women”.But is there really such a war being waged in the United States?You bet there is. This war is evident nearly everywhere we look.

Turn on your television and you can see it raging on MTV and VH1 and CMT, where rappers, rockers and even country crooners spew misogynistic lyrics while provocatively dressed women degrade themselves with their dancing. The war is on in Hollywood, where the most common role for an actress is that of hooker with a heart of gold, and where at least one movie out of three includes a completely gratuitous scene in a strip club. It rages in the entertainment media, which delights in getting women to take their clothes off for the camera. Why do we have such a hunger to see accomplished, talented, beautiful women naked? Because it devalues them.

The war on women is waged in the tastefully appointed offices of plastic surgeons, who reap the rewards of a culture that values only large breasts and unlined faces. Did you know that most breast implants will leak or break over time, with sometimes devastating consequences? Should it matter? Does it?

Does is matter that hormonal contraceptives – the Pill and its descendants — are indisputably linked to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, cervical, liver and breast cancer, blood clots, elevated blood pressure, decreased desire, sexual dysfunction and stroke?  The Pill began its war on women in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s when it was tested on unsuspecting women – some of whom died. “Why would you want to put a Class 1 carcinogen in your body three out of four weeks, when you’re only fertile 100 hours a month,” asks Angela Lanfranchi, a New Jersey oncologist. “The Pill is bad.”

The war is carried on in the media, where female politicians – liberal and conservative – are subjected to endless critiques of  their clothing choices and hairstyles that no man in the political arena has ever faced, except perhaps John Edwards and his $400 haircut.

The war against women is particularly vicious in strip clubs and on porn sets, where many of the women twirling on poles or being violated in sometimes unspeakable ways have been trafficked from distant parts of the world—places where desperation trumps common sense and women accept a stranger’s offer of a good job, only to find themselves enslaved, abused and addicted. Brothels and nude bars are full of women whose right to choose, if they ever had one, was surrendered at the border crossing, and men whose sense of entitlement enables them to overlook the humanity of the women they are victimizing.

While battles are raging on many fronts, abortion is the nuclear weapon in the arsenal of the war against women. Nowhere is the war waged as effectively, and as horrifically, as it is in the abortion clinic, where there is no “doctor-patient relationship” and where every abortion stops one heart and breaks another.

The women’s movement of the 1960s and 70s set out to prove that women can do anything men can do, and in many, many ways, that’s  true. But somewhere along the way, women began to devalue their unique gift, the ability to conceive and give birth to new life. They have thrown it away in exchange for sexual liberation and a “get out of jail free card” if an “unplanned pregnancy” should intrude.

What a terrible trade-off that has turned out to be for millions of women, and their babies.

“I wish that in the 70s, when I was pro-choice and believed the jargon ‘My body My Choice’ that someone would have told me that ‘my choice’ would haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Leslie Brunolli of San Diego, a regional coordinator in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. “That choice left a devastating imprint on my life that no other choice I have ever made compares too.” Thousands of women join Leslie every year to say they regret that choice, and millions more still suffer in silence.

The diabolical tragedy of this war on women is that we wage it, very often, on ourselves. Like Chinese women in an earlier age insisted on binding their daughters’ feet, even though they themselves were crippled; and women in some African cultures still hold their daughters down to allow the same barbaric genital mutilation they endured, many American women insist that abortion be kept legal and accessible for their daughters.

We would love to stand with our sisters on Saturday to fight this war against women, but the truth is, we are on opposite sides of the battle line.  A grass-roots effort known as is rallying troops for nationwide rallies, but for them, the enemy is the GOP, Christians and Catholics, paternalistic white men who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant, and pro-lifers. They see an abortion clinic and they think choice. We look at the same clinic, and we see the ultimate exploitation of women.

Until we can all recognize the true nature of this war, we will remain a nation divided.

Here are some of the organizations that are part of the coalition’s “War Against Women” activitites:
Americans United For Separation of Church and State, Catholics for Choice, Feminist Peace, National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Rock the Slut Vote, The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women, This Slut Votes

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, are the co-founders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

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Coming to a TV Near You: ‘The Catholic View for Women’

Monday, April 16th, 2012

New EWTN Talk Show Focuses on Culture of Christ

by Marge Fenelon, Register correspondent

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 11:09 AM


When Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Janet Morana and Teresa Tomeo get together,  something fantastic happens — it’s called The Catholic View for Women.

It’s a new EWTN talk show. Several pilot shows ran on the network last year,  garnering reviews so favorable that EWTN not only contracted for a full series,  13 episodes of which will air this fall, but also created a brand-new set.
The trio traveled to the Irondale, Ala.-based EWTN studios in March to tape the  fall season.

The idea for the show was conceived by host Janet Morana, executive director  of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More awareness campaign. The  concept spent five years in gestation before EWTN approved the production of six  episodes in 2010.

“I’d look at [secular] women’s talk shows, and say, ‘This is why Catholic  women are getting poor information, because they’re not getting the truth of the  Church,’” Morana explained. “We see a strong need to help catechize women who  are where we were so that they won’t fall away like we did.”

Morana shared her concerns and ideas with author and syndicated Catholic  talk-show host Teresa Tomeo. Tomeo’s daily morning radio program, Catholic  Connection, is produced by Ave Maria Radio and also airs on Sirius/XM  Satellite Radio. Tomeo liked Morana’s idea and approach and suggested Astrid  Bennett Gutierrez, executive director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, as a  third host.

Gutierrez was hooked as soon as she heard the idea. “I’m really grateful. I  feel privileged to be here with Janet and Teresa, because they’re my heroes,” Gutierrez said. “That they would pluck me out of my little neighborhood, that  they realized the minority voice must be heard [on the show], is a huge  blessing.”

The mix of personalities, backgrounds and cultural heritage creates the  perfect balance for the co-hosts and forms a solid foundation for lively and  inspiring exchanges on the show. Morana is a native New Yorker, Tomeo is a  Midwesterner and Gutierrez is a West Coast native of Hispanic decent.

What’s more, the women all had one thing in common: Each had left the Church  and come back with the realization that only the Catholic Church holds the  fullness of truth.

As Tomeo said, “There’s an urgency in all three of us to really help women.  That’s where our hearts are at, and that’s where the energy comes from.  Additionally, we’re all staunchly pro-life, and this is a pro-life show. Of  course, we also are good friends.”

The hosts believe the Holy Spirit is the source of what they describe as an  immediate sisterhood that “just clicked” when they began working together. “The  Holy Spirit took our pain and our pasts and works within all of us, using our  different gifts to do something wonderful,” said Morana.

Each show has entertainment, substance, catechesis and “homework” that help  women grow in their Catholic faith. The show’s website  ( offers discussion questions for each episode that  can be used for personal reflection or group discussions.

According to the website, the show’s goals are: “To reach Catholic women in  the pews who are cafeteria Catholics, who have never been exposed to the  fullness of the faith because of poor catechesis; to reach fallen-away Catholic  women like us and show them the beauty of the faith/Church teaching and how  Jesus is the greatest liberator of women and the greatest source of our dignity;  to reach the un-churched, who have completely fallen away from the faith; to  encourage today’s faithful Catholic women, that they can be in the world and not  of the world; to meet women where they are at in their walk with the Lord and  the Church;  to help parents in their efforts to raise their daughters as  faith-filled Catholic women; and to offer a positive, relevant and fun  alternative to today’s toxic TV shows targeting women.”

“I’m so upset with the lack of objectivity in the secular media; it’s  absolutely devastating to women,” said Tomeo. “The media can do so much good,  but, lately, they’ve been doing so much damage.”

As a Hispanic woman, Gutierrez was raised on what she calls “survival mode,” with minimal catechesis and in an amoral environment. Still, she always felt a  strong attraction to the Church.

“What I really want is that women of all ages will be able to see the beauty  of the Catholic Church that I missed for so many years: the Eucharist, morality,  (Church teaching on) sexuality, the truth about the pro-choice lies and all  those things that are misleading women,” said Gutierrez. “I’d like to see  minority women assimilate, but not into the mainstream culture. I’d like them to  assimilate into the culture of Christ.”

Gutierrez, as well as her co-hosts, hopes that the show will become a  catalyst for change and a means to dispel the plethora of myths about Church  doctrine.

“We want women to see that the Church is not the ‘evil monster’ that the  secular media makes her out to be,” added Morana.

The hosts also hope The Catholic View can be a vehicle to let  others know about EWTN and the wealth of information and devotions that it has  to offer Catholics.

“There are too many people in the pews who don’t yet know about EWTN. We’re  so grateful to EWTN for the opportunity they’ve given us,” said Morana. “We’re  excited that they think this is valuable programming.”  (The Register is a  service of EWTN.)

Morana, Tomeo and Gutierrez spend a good amount of time researching for each  show. Before taping, they gather Church documents, conduct interviews and search  for other information that will form a substantial basis for the topics they  will discuss.

During the shows, they quote Scripture, Church documents, the Catechism of  the Catholic Church and writings of the saints and doctors of the Church as much  as possible. Topic ideas come from their own experiences as well as interaction  with friends, acquaintances and viewers.

It’s not only the information that they work hard at — it’s also giving the  show a professional appearance. The hosts shop together, intentionally  coordinating their outfits to complement each other on the set, and they hire a  professional make-up artist to do their hair and makeup, all at their personal  expense. They know they must take their on-air presence seriously in order to  compete with secular shows.

“God’s message deserves it,” Morana said. “It’s his word, his teachings, and  what we’re doing is wrapping it up in a pleasing package so that people open it  up and really appreciate it.”

This season’s shows will focus on women leaders in the Church, EWTN’s  foundress Mother Angelica, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Teresa of Avila, the  single life, discernment, the pill, saying Yes to marriage as a sacrament,  pornography’s effect on women, in vitro fertilization and egg harvesting,  miscarriage, faith and fitness, college life and minority issues.

Doug Keck, EWTN’s executive vice president and chief operating officer,  thinks the show brings something new and innovative to the network’s lineup. “The show has a different format, with a different approach, and allows us to  reach an audience we haven’t been able to reach before in a new way,” he said. “It’s a strong series with great potential, and we’re committed to it.”

Marge Fenelon writes from Cudahy,  Wisconsin.

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Easter is Coming

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

MEVs John and Elaine Testa are greeted by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, during the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco in January.

John and Elaine Testa, who recently made their final promises as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV), sent this beautiful message out to their email list today. Take a moment to read it, and click on the link above to read more about the Testas and their full-time commitment to life.


Easter is Coming

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…. 

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.


I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.


“Take ’em  home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”


The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”


“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.


The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”


The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage  down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:


One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”


“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.


Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”


“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do  you want for them?” Jesus asked.


“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”


“How much? He asked again.


Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.


The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.


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