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Pope John Paul II & Providence

Notes from the Pastor [74]

(Please note this is an archival post that is decades old.  Msgr. Awalt passed away a number of years ago.)

When Pope John Paul II arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in 1982, there was a phrase he used in his address that certainly seems to pertain to his life as far as we can judge.  He said “in the design of Providence there are no mere coincidences.” All creation obeys God without thought of hesitancy except us humans.  In the case of Pope John Paul II, we can certainly see God’s hand in bringing him to the papacy.  In his youth, he was subject as were his fellow Poles to the invading forces of Germany and Russia.  He took part in resistance movements.  If he were detected, he would have suffered the concentration camp and/or death.  Yet his work was not detected.  As a youth he was struck by a car and left lying in the street until a German soldier (sic) was instrumental in saving his life.  At Fatima, he came to give thanks for being spared when a knife-wielding assassin was apprehended in an attempted attack on his life.  All of us are aware of his being shot in St. Peter’s Square, greeting pilgrims.  Had the shot been a fraction of an inch closer to his vital organs, he would have died.  Had his would-be assassin shot again, he certainly would have died.  Then we see the hand of God in giving us such a leader. His traveling abroad at his age would have been prohibitive to the ordinary man. Yet his physique as a youth from long hours spent hiking and kayaking have given him the strength to bring God’s message to so many lands and peoples in spite of his physical ailments. While others are guessing who will succeed him as Pope, he is still planning at the age of 80, future trips to distant lands to bring the Gospel himself to the people.

Each morning before his Mass, he arrives at 5:30 and spends two hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He often writes his addresses and letters on a small table in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

The secret of his success, the secret of his resiliency seems to be his oft-quoted phrase from his Master, “Be Not Afraid.”

Each time we attend Mass we pray for him in the Canon. May we be thankful to God for giving us such a successor to St. Peter, the Rock, and pray more earnestly for him as he leads us into the new millennium.

Msgr. William J. Awalt

Catholics for Free Choice is a Fake

Notes from the Pastor [75]

(Please note this is an archival post that is decades old.  Msgr. Awalt passed away a number of years ago.)

It is curious how the media seems always to go to dissenters to comment on the Pope John Paul II’s messages and/or the teachings of the Church.

One of the illegitimate commentators on the Faith is “Catholics for Free Choice.” This title exists only on paper.  It has no serious membership other than a few disgruntled pro-abortionists led by a woman named Kissling.  In addition to not having authentic membership, our bishops have expressly denounced it.  “Catholics for Free Choice” is not a legitimate Catholic voice in spite of its title.  Some think it is Catholic because of the title it has assumed.  We know that this group (small as it is) rejects and distorts Catholic preaching especially on life issues (cf. Letter to the Editor, The Washington Post, Saturday, August 5).

The organization is a fraud.  Its purpose is to weaken the moral authority of the Catholic Church.  So when you see interviews of this woman, or a Letter to the Editor from her, try to let the media (papers, TV, radio) know how uninformed they are in their analysis and interpretation of Catholic teaching.

Get behind the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1011 FIrst Street, NY 10022, to help the group fight bigotry, prejudice and ignorance.

Msgr. William J. Awalt

Letter to the Editor: By Their Fruits You Will Know Them…

Letter to the Editor
May 15, 1992

I perceive that some of you may be discouraged or disheartened by the so-called march for pro-choice or abortion that occurred here in Washington a few weeks ago. Numbers do not make right, even if correctly reported. Take a look at what the media gave little or no coverage to:

At one point in the march a lesbian, self-proclaimed, asked the marchers how many of you are lesbians? The video tape shows nearly half of the marchers in view raised their hands. Their leader has gone on record as saying that if she ever by chance became pregnant and found her “child” male, she would kill it because she hates all males.

In the crowd of marchers there were those who accused the Church of murdering Pope John Paul I. Others portrayed Pope John Paul II in drag. This is a reminder of the ones who in St. Patrick’s Cathedral spit in the face of Cardinal O’Connor at Communion time and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.

Others would prohibit the husband being told by the wife that she intended to have an abortion thereby denigrating the role of fatherhood and reducing him to a stud. So much for family life!

There were the strange people, by most standards, the Jane Fondas and the Mayor Kellys and the Jesse Jacksons chose to march with. As Ms. Tyler said so descriptively they were the sexual masochists, transvestites and trans-sexuals, etc. and the cry was today join together as one.

Then there was our shadow senator who said on one occasion “what happens to the mind of a person and to the moral fabric of a nation that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without pain of conscience? What kind of person – what kind of society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually?” Jesse Jackson 1977. Today he could answer that question for he is pro-abortion and marched with the crowd at the April 5 rally.

We were all shocked at the beating of a man captured on film at Los Angeles. In that same city thousands of unborn children are mutilated every day in the pay-as-you-go abortion clinics. The politicians looking for votes wring their hands at the Los Angeles beating but vote yes for the million-plus killed in our “society” each year.

The CRISIS Magazine, May 1992, page 10, reports that The Washington Post (mirabile dictu) polled 881 marchers and compared the answers to the views of the rest of the nation. The differences were as large as 80% to 5%. They were rich, young, white, childless, left-wing, non-Catholics, Northeastern activists.

The pro-abortion crowd in the game of numbers had 500,000 marching in April in the world’s capital. The Question is the one posed by the new abortion convert, Jesse Jackson, what kind of people are doing the marching and who were supporting them by their presence and their words. By their fruits you will know them.

Letter to the Editor: Gag Rule

September 12, 1991
The Catholic Standard

Once again the media has coined a phrase in trying to justify abortion which does not tell the whole story. “Pro-choice” has been canonized without the object of the choice which is to choose to kill human life. Now it is the “gag rule” referring to the right of a doctor to advocate and counsel abortion and refer a patient to a clinic for that purpose.

But there is such a thing as self-gagging. Does a doctor explain “the procedure” for abortion much like a surgeon perhaps to a bypass patient? Would the doctor allow the patient to hear the child’s heartbeat and explain that we are going to stop that, you realize?

Would a doctor in explaining that no pain would be felt by the woman also explain the pain that the unborn child will experience? Would the doctor explain that the unborn is human, a fact which no scientist can disprove? Would the doctor explain that many women down through the years have severe psychological problems, if not guilt (cf. Rebecca Society)?

Would the doctor refer the woman to a clinic in which he has no self-interest, or instead to one where he has invested money earned by his terminating of human life? Would he refer her to a competitor’s clinic to ensure no conflict of interest? Would he suggest that in such a drastic procedure the baby always dies and sometimes the woman, despite modern technology?

What doctor would struggle to save a woman’s life when he has no regard for the baby’s life? Would the doctor suggest a second opinion and thus split his fee?

Where is the law that says the doctor has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? When is the media going to insist that the doctor not gag himself but instead educate his patient about what is actually and exactly going on in an abortion?

There is “gagging” and there is “gagging.” Let’s tell the whole truth in counseling patients.

Msgr. William J. Awalt
Pastor, St. Ann Parish
Washington

Letters to the Editor on Abortion

Msgr. William Awalt loved to write letters to the various editors of newspapers.  When he found that they limited him to one every three months or so, he would get around the restrictions by having others apply their names to his words.  The first letter here he wrote under his own name.  The second was under his brother’s name, Deacon James Awalt.

April 6, 1995
Letter to the Editor

In seeking reactions to Pope John Paul II’s new encyclical, “The Gospel of Life,” CBS interviewed students at Catholic University for an hour and a half hoping to find some criticism and rejection of the Holy Father’s teaching. In speaking to one student, she said she agreed with the Holy Father’s teaching especially on contraception and abortion. She was asked why? She said, “Because I am a biology major, in addition to my belief, and I have seen what has happened to women’s bodies because of the rejection of these teachings.” The interviewer changed subjects immediately. Nothing of this hour and a half dialogue appeared on television. Who got the attention? It was the ever-present Frances Kissling, who represents nobody by her own admission on national TV, but who can always be relied on to criticize the Church and Pope John Paul. So the media continues to show its bias and censorship. As long as they hate us, we are doing okay.

Rev. Msgr. William J. Awalt

Date Unknown
Title:  Abortion

There is no consistency in the principles of the pro-abortion advocates vis-à-vis government and the pregnant mother. When the legality of abortion was argued in the last session of the legislature in Annapolis, the pro-abortion advocates argued that abortion was a private matter between the mother and her physician. Their cry was “Government should stay out of the womb.” They won the fight for legal abortion.

This year the abortion advocates want to add an amendment to the welfare bill now pending in the legislature that would provide state funding for abortions for the poor. Now it seems they want government to enter the womb with funding.

No longer is the decision an individual affair of the mother and her physician, but the taxpayer is to be forced to defray the expenses of the mother’s choice. Thus, I, who believe that the termination of a pregnancy on demand is immoral and unethical, am forced into the decision without any choice.

My appeal to all lawmakers is “be consistent” and “be fair.” If an individual chooses the elective surgery, let that person or their sponsors find the funds outside the public treasury.

James Awalt
Millersville

Letter to the Editor: National Stud Day

When in concurrence, good parishioners like Bernie Saffell would put their names to Msgr. William Awalt’s letters so that they might be published.  Here is one that was sent to The Catholic Standard.  Bernie was a dear friend to us all.  As I recall, he died back in the 1990’s due to an infection from a heart procedure with angioplasty.

Letter to the Editor of the Catholic Standard

With tongue in cheek, but I do believe with a little bit of logic, it might be better to change Father’s Day to National Stud Day in view of recent developments in National life.

Listen to people as they gather around a crib of a newborn child and say he has his father’s eyes, or nose, etc.  Now “lawmakers” who fine and/or imprison those who don’t support “their” child tell us a father doesn’t even have to be told when his child is tortured and destroyed through abortion.  Paid butchers now for fear of malpractice suits have to make sure they destroy and mutilate a child in the womb during an abortion lest by accident the child live and they could be sued.  This they do to the father’s child without even having to tell him.  Talk about withholding information “until the next of kin is notified.”  One doesn’t have to be a lawyer or a genius to know that abortion is the killing of human life.

One of our justices doesn’t believe in overturning prior Supreme Court decisions if proven incorrect.  We’d still have slavery if that were the case.  Someone else says you can kill a child if conception came about through incest or rape.  Why does the tragedy of that conception allow an innocent child to be killed for his father’s sin?  What did the baby do wrong?  Does one tragedy justify another?  Someone else is running around with semen looking for a place to implant it.  Doesn’t that make a “father” a stud?  We are responsible for all our choices.  Why are we not responsible for “pro-choice” deciding to kill a child?  Certainly we are free to choose but morally responsible for the results of that choice.

Radical feminists claim that their body is their own, but so is the baby’.  The child is housed by the mother, but not her body.  Potential fathers are killed in the womb by a sex-choice decision that causes them to be aborted.

When are good and wonderful fathers going to rise up and say enough is enough?  You can’t do this to my daughter and son.  I am not a stud but a father, and trying to be an image of our heavenly Father who loves all life, especially that made in His image and likeness.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.  The road to madness in abortion is paved with illogic, sentiment run amuck.  The Constitutional fathers are spinning in their graves as they are accused of being the authors of a constitution that supposedly allows the killing of unborn babies.

Bernard Saffell

Washington, DC

 

 

Letter to the Editor: The Gender of Priests

Msgr. William Awalt would often become frustrated with articles in The Washington Post.  When they refused to print his letters to the editor he would seek to have them printed in The Catholic Standard.

June 5, 1994

Since The Washington Post doesn’t generally print rebuttals to their articles that show egg on their face, our only resort is our own paper.

On Sunday (Outlook, June 5, C-1) a Gary Wills, whom they say is Catholic – he may be, a logician he is not, tries to take exception to Pope John Paul’s letter to the priesthood, calling for men only to be priests. Taking only one sentence from the whole letter as being the reason why John Paul is wrong he tries to establish a principle that doesn’t apply to John Paul’s teaching. Wills says since all the twelve apostles were Jewish, only Jews should be ordained priests. Gary, the Pope is talking about genders IN PERSONA CHRISTI, not nationalities. By Wills’ “logic,” since only Jews were the chosen people that would leave Greeks, Indonesians, Chinese, as non-qualifiers. Wills is mixing apples and oranges.

The insulting cartoon in The Post accompanying Wills’ letter doesn’t save the irrationality of the article.

Rev. Msgr. William J. Awalt
Pastor, St. Ann’s Parish
Washington, DC