Quest for a Culture of Life in America with Steve Koob

Steve Koob, founder and executive director of One More Soul, hosts a weekly program in which he interviews some of the people making a significant contribution to the Culture of Life. The hope and prayer is that Radio Maria listeners will be inspired by these guests, and will find ways that they too can foster a Culture of Life in their community, Church, and family.

December 09, 2014 – Bishop James Conley on Liturgy, Synods and the Diocese of Lincoln

Two weeks ago, Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz told us about his Extraordinary Synod on the Family experience. As President of the USCCB, he led the delegation representing US Catholics. Approximately a month earlier, we talked with Jeff and Alice Heinzen, who participated in the Synod as Auditors.   
It is always an honor for us to have the attention of a bishop, and so we are very grateful to have Bishop James Conley of Lincoln Nebraska as our Guest.  Just two years into his position in Lincoln, he is proving to be a courageous shepherd as were his immediate predecessors, Bishop Glennon P. Flavin and Bishop Emeritus Fabian W. Bruskewitz.  On March 25th (Solemnity of the Annunciation and Incarnation of Jesus), Bishop Conley issued his Pastoral Letter, The Language of Love–on contraception.  He freely admits it is a current version of Bishop Flavin’s 1991, IN OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST: A Pastoral Letter To Catholic Couples and Physicians on the Issue of Contraception.  Both bishops are recognizing contraception as the root cause of many (or even most) of the pastoral challenges in the Church and problems in society.
Bishop Conley has also taken a courageous liturgical step by indicating that all Advent Masses in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ will be celebrated ad orientum–with the priest facing Liturgical East–toward the Risen Son.  See the article posted at
I will be asking him about the Diocese of Lincoln, in particular what are the fruits of having very solid shepherds leading the flock.  What are his plans for the future, and how will the Synods impact the Diocese of Lincoln?
Bishop Conley recently became the Episcopal Advisor to the Catholic Medical Assn. What does he expect the future CMA to look like?

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December 02, 2014 – Motherhood–Part II—The certain (almost) path to sainthood

Two weeks ago we interviewed two examples of mothers on the way to sainthood by virtue of their acceptance of all the children God was willing to send them–Darlene (12) and Kimberly (7).  Both of these mothers are married to men who are healthy, hard-working and have good jobs.  The response from a couple listeners suggested that such “supernatural” (or God) planned families were only possible (or responsible) for those couples who had good (secure and at least adequate) finances.
In this week’s program, Joe and Christine tell their life story that begins with the belief,  “that being open to life was healthy and that God would help us feed, clothe and provide for as many children as we received. This agreement/commitment from the beginning of our marriage removed a ton of fear, doubt, over thinking, and stress from our life. Our mission was to grow a healthy family.” 
And grow they did–to 10 children–and still growing with number 11 miraculously en-route to 50 year-old Christine and unemployed, disabled and seriously ill Joe. This is how God treats a family that left a secure and comfortable career in law enforcement to operate and live in a missionary facility committed to feeding and caring for the poor!?
Are they angry with God? Do they wish they had not trusted God?  Should they have been more prudent and “responsible” in planning their family? Did they consider whether there might be serious reasons for resorting to Natural Family Planning? How are they surviving having lost their income, health insurance, food and lodging (both were provided by the mission)?
I hope you will listen to Joe and Christine’s story.  It is truly a Christmas story of tragedy and trust, generosity and faithfulness.  

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November 25, 2014 – Inside the Synod with Archbishop Joseph Kurtz

We are especially honored this week to have as our Guest, Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz, who is also the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops–USCCB.  In that latter role, he was the principal representative of the USA in the Extraordinary Synod on Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization, which took place in the Vatican last month. 
This Synod was called by Pope Francis to create a forum for discussion of the many problems the Church is experiencing with the family–a very high divorce rate, creating many single parent households, low Mass attendance, and dissent from Church teaching regarding sexual morality and the permanence of marriage.  Specifically, the Working Document published to direct the Synod concluded that  “three main areas are under discussion in the Church:
·         how the Gospel of the Family can be preached in the present-day;
·         how the Church’s pastoral care programme for the family might better respond to the new challenges today;
·         how to assist parents in developing a mentality of openness to life…”
I am hopeful that His Excellency will share with us what the Synodal Fathers had to say about each of these principal concerns of the Synod.
This Synod has introduced new terminology–The Gospel of the Family, the Law of Gradualism, and the Art of Accompaniment. What do these phases mean and how do they fit into our efforts to revive the integrity of the family?
There is considerable agreement that Pope Francis often says things that are interpreted to mean that Church teaching will be changing in the near future.  But, if one reads his homilies and speeches, one receives a message that is quite different.  Is it possible that the Pope is intentionally vague at times to generate controversy, discussion, and interest in the Catholic church?  Maybe he just wants the free advertising generated by these vagaries. 
What are bishops expected to do between now and the Ordinary Synod, next October?  Will the concluding document for this Extraordinary Synod serve as a guide for next year’s Ordinary Synod?  
These Synods are Pope Francis’ most ambitious project so far in his brief papacy.  They have the potential to make dramatic changes in the Church.  As such, it is important for all of us to be as informed as possible about them.

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November 18, 2014 – Motherhood— the certain (almost) path to sainthood, Kimberly (mother of 7) Darlene (mother of 12)

It seems to me that most mothers who truly take their vocation seriously are destined for sainthood.  It isn’t a certainty, but I bet it would be a probability worth gambling on.  A mother is responding to her most primordial instinct, it seems to me.  Motherhood just comes naturally.

Our Guests today are KC (Kimberly) Schnikter, a 47 yo mother of 7 including a newborn, and Darlene Duke, a 50+ mother of 12 and with several grandchildren.  Darlene is married to PhD engineer circuit-board developer Ron, and she is One More Soul’s part-time bookkeeper.  KC is married to Ed who designs, builds and installs novel equipment for the private aircraft industry.  A year ago they moved their family to a farm with animals and hard work.  KC is also the Executive Director for the Family of the Americas Foundation.

In 21st Century America, women seem to want to avoid having a baby when over 40.  What are they afraid of and are their fears realistic?Are there special blessings that come with a child near the end of ones fertility?  God designed women to be fertile for about a third of their lives. Can we trust Him?

KC teaches the Ovulation Method of NFP.  Do NFP using couples ever get so frustrated with abstinence that they resort to sterilization?  Or do they throw caution to the wind and let God decide–Supernatural Family Planning?

Darlene and KC will discuss how pregnant women are a contradiction to the world and are a living testimony to the beauty of motherhood, love, sacrifice and the value of dying to oneself. It seems like pregnancy is making a comeback with Hollywood stars proudly showing their “baby bumps” and the Toledo Blade’s recent article reporting more births in September through December (pending) than last year by 50 to 100%.  They think it may be due to the particularly harsh winter keeping couples at home and snuggling to keep warm.  Is there a rebirth in the desire for children?

I wonder if  “feminism” is losing its appeal.  Is there still the attitude that you can have it all–education, career, marriage, two children, nice car, home, vacations, etc?  Or is that part of the “war on women”?   

I would say that procreation is THE PRIMARY purpose of marriage(in support of getting to Heaven) and the marriage/procreation act.  Yes, I know the “unitive” end is given more or less equal status, but that was not the case until fairly recently.  I claim that, “the essence of the act is its potential for procreating a new life.”  That is its unique character.  

By contrast, there are many activities that are unitive–sharing a meal, being on a sports team, etc.  I think that God added the unitive part–the delight, satisfaction, pleasure–to the procreative part, so couples would actually participate in the act, and not just once, but keep coming back again and again to assure (ideally) many children/siblings and that both parents would be there to raise them.

Surely, KC and Darlene will have some home/child/husband management tricks to make an above average size family more charm than challenge.

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October 21, 2014 – Fr Daniel McCaffrey

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is now closed. For the past two weeks we have seen a minor media frenzy over the Catholic Church’s Third Synod in modern times. Actually, this one is called “Extraordinary” because it is really preparation for the “Ordinary” Synod to take place in October 2015.

The Working Document to prepare for the Synod just completed had identified three main areas of concern:
How to better preach the Gospel of the Family;
How to pastorally address various situations caused by couples in irregular relationships; and,
How to encourage married couples to be more open to life.

I have not seen commentary on anything but the middle of these three areas of concern, and there has been an abundance of that, with the secular media concluding that cohabitation, same-sex “marriage” and receiving communion by the divorced and remarried were now going to be approved by the Church, or if not approved at least seen as adding something positive to the Catholic community.

In a recent Life Site News interview*, Fr Daniel McCaffrey asked if the Synod Fathers would be dealing with the the virtually universal absence of teaching and preaching on Humanae Vitae–God’s plan for marriage and procreation. For most of his over 50 year priesthood, Father has been preaching and teaching this great encyclical of now Beatified Pope Paul VI. Father McCaffrey has found the laity wonderfully receptive to this teaching, and they often ask, “Why have we not heard this before?”

The Extraordinary Synod is now formally complete, but the dust is anything but settled. What does Father McCaffrey think will be different because of this two week gathering in the Holy City?

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October 14, 2014 – Deacon Jim Russell

I hold sincere admiration for those men who have answered God’s call to ordination as a Catholic Deacon.  The process of discernment, training and education is challenging on many fronts.  Even if you have the service of a deacon in your parish and know about what he does, I’m confident that our Guest on “The Quest for a culture of life in America” will expand your horizons and possibly pique your interest in the Catholic Diaconate.

Deacon (Reverend Mister or Rev Mr) Jim Russell has been a deacon for the Archdiocese of St Louis for 12 years.  He is a lifelong St. Louis resident, “cradle” Catholic, husband, father of eleven, and grandfather of two. He serves the Archdiocese as Family Life Coordinator for the Office of Laity and Family Life. Prior to his current assignment, Deacon Jim worked in full-time parish ministry for  fourteen years. He is an active supporter of Catholic radio and the Catholic blogosphere; his own posts can be found at the “St. Louis Areopagus,” the official blog of the Archdiocese of St. Louis ( Deacon Russell’s theological interests include the sanctity of marriage and the work of Blessed Pope John Paul II, particularly his “Catecheses on Human Love” (Theology of the Body). Follow Deacon Russell on Twitter:  @MarriageSTL.

Here are some of the questions I have for Deacon Jim:
  • How do 21st Century deacons compare to the first Deacons?
  • How did you perceive or receive your call to the vocation of Deacon?
  • What is involved in becoming a Deacon?
  • I imagine that many pastors consider a Deacon to be the better person to lead marriage preparation? In the AD of St Louis, do the pastor and deacon share marriage preparation responsibility?  If so, how?
  • What does the ideal marriage prep program include?
  • Has marriage been “redefined” by the common acceptance of contraception?
  • If you had been invited to present at the Synod on the Family, what would your message be?

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September 30, 2014 – Dr. William (Bill) Brennan

Dr William (Bill) Brennan spoke last week at the Catholic Medical Assn Education Conference in Orlando.  He recently retired as a a distinguished professor of Sociology at St. Louis University.  In his presentation he exposed how advocates of abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage manipulate words to make their causes appear benign, even noble. His book, Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives, details how word games that Hitler used to stir up hatred toward Jews are used today to devalue key Catholic morals and values.
Dr Brennan has been studying this word manipulation tactic for 30 years and has presented his research at numerous pro-life and pro-family events.  As Culture of Life advocates we need to be able to recognize the common use of language to manipulate and alter our views and understanding of moral issues.
Dr. Brennan also shares ways to more effectively articulate the culture of life message.

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September 23, 2014 – Steve Ray

I’ll confess to not having heard of Steve Ray until last week when he popped up on my radar screen. He is a fascinating person who converted to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism–primarily Baptist–twenty years ago–along with his wife Janet and their four children.  He wrote a book to explain to his disappointed dad why he became Catholic.  The book–Crossing the Tiber–was so convincing that Mom and Dad became Catholic,  along with many other family members, as well as total strangers who have read this still popular book.

Crossing . . .  been followed by 6 other books, working on 4 more, annually leading 100 pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Ireland, Marian Shrines and other Catholic sites, and being a frequent guest and commentator on both Catholic and secular radio and TV networks.

You will be amazed by Steve’s dad’s decisions and advice that led to Steve starting and running a multi-million dollar clearing services company that he eventually sold to become a full-time Catholic evangelist.

For most Catholics, evangelization is a new thing.  What are we supposed to do to participate in the “new Evangelization”?  Steve has the answers.

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September 9, 2014 – Catholicism’s Rise, Fall, and Future – Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw is working on book number 22. His writing spans 50 years of focusing on the Catholic Church, primarily in the United States. American Church:The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America is his mini-history of the immediate past Century of Catholicism.

He hypothesizes about the benefits that accrued to Catholics as they were gradually melded into the predominantly Protestant American scenery. Did Catholics retain their identity or absorb a Protestant one? What was the “Elephant in the Living Room” that tipped the scales away from Catholics being a “sign of contradiction” to being a common secular American.

“Russell Shaw has lived his own life of Christian witness with uncommon integrity, humility, and keen intelligence. His skill animates every page of American Church. He has captured the story of the Church in the United States with honesty and love, and it’s a privilege to call him my friend.” + Charles J. Chaput, O. F. M. Cap. Archbishop of Philadelphia.

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September 02, 2014 – “I tried to kill myself!” Debbie Tells Her Story

“Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams apparently took his own life, law enforcement officials said.”

The world of entertainment was shocked by this posting three weeks ago. Interest in suicide quickly became super high. It seemed that every news program and talk show was talking about Robin Williams, his acting career, his personal life, and how/why he committed suicide.

Debbie is a personal friend, but I did not know of this part of her life. I know her as a wife, mother, and grandmother who is totally committed to life–living her own to the max, deeply in love with her family, and completely dedicated to ending abortion and creating a Culture of Life, especially in southwestern Ohio.

So, I was taken aback when she called and offered to tell her story on Radio Maria’s “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”. I had to ask myself if this was a good topic for this program. I believe it is, if for no other reason than on average over 100 people kill themselves every day in the USA. There are Suicide Prevention Resources like the Hotline—> 800-273-8255 and web sites with stories and educational resources.

Another reason this topic is timely is the steady push for “assisted suicide” legislation and the sanctioning of medical insurance coverage for “end-of-life counseling”.

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August 26, 2014 – National Day of Rememberance for Aborted Babies – Monica Miller, Eric Scheidler & Gary Anderson

Millions of our American children have been legally murdered in their mother’s wombs to satisfy a disordered craving for immoral sexual activity. Most of their bodies were flushed into urban sewage systems; their remains known but to God. But a precious few–their bodies rescued from dumpsters and garbage bags–have been dignified by burial in hallowed ground at sites scattered around our country.

Today, we call attention to these unwanted children who never nestled in their father’s arms or suckled at their mother’s breasts. Instead, they have been sacrificed on the alter of convenience, accommodated by the professions of medicine, law, and religion.

Our Guests today are Monica Miller (Citizens for a Pro-Life Society), Eric Scheidler ( Executive Director of Prolife Action League) and Gary Anderson (Culture of Life Director for Ohio Knights of Columbus).
Monica has rummaged through hundreds of dumpsters and buried the human remains of thousands of aborted children. She is the author of Abandoned, The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars.
Eric is a second generation activist leader of abortion mill presence, sidewalk-counseling, and a multitude of activities aimed at protecting women and children from the abortion scourge.
Gary represents the Knights of Columbus, an organization that has steadfastly supported pro-life for decades by providing free ultrasound machines to pregnancy support centers, and establishing a network of shrines that honor our aborted children.

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August 19, 2014 – Jason Adams

Jason and Linda parent 5 children; Jason has a BA in Secondary Education from Purdue, and an MA in Theology from Franciscan University (Steubenville); he is Headmaster for Lumen Christi Catholic School in Indianapolis; and author of Called to Give Life, A Primer on the Blessings of Children and the Harm of Contraception.

Called to Give Life is of particular interest now because Pope Francis is hosting a Synod of bishops on Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization–actually two Synods–October 2014 and October 2015. These Synods are a response to the Survey Questions (and answers they generated) sent all over the Catholic world in the latter months of 2013. Answers were compiled to determine what challenges families were facing in this time. After collating thousands of responses, the Synod organizers published a “Working Document” that summarized the world-wide responses and determined the questions the Synods sought to address:
How to preach the Gospel of the Family;
How to deal with pastoral issues arising at this time; and
How to promote openness to children in Catholic marriages.

Why is Jason’s book so important now? Because Called to Give Life answers these questions simply, pastorally and logically in a little over 200 pages. It lays out the Foundations for the Church’s teaching that contraception is always intrinsically evil, and thus can never be permitted, and it explains why the Church considers children to be the Supreme Gift of/to marriage.

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August 12, 2014 – JD Author of Drafted To Serve

I was in Chicago for the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show. By coincidence, directly across the aisle from my One More Soul display was author “JD” giving away free copies of his new book Drafted To Serve. Drafted . . . is a book about miracles–not the typical physical healing miracles that drive the canonization process. No, these”miracles” COULD be degraded to mere “coincidences” were they not so astonishing and so common. They are a result of JD being financially strapped and desperate to capitalize on Pope John Paul II’s World Youth Day VIII visit to Denver 21 years ago. JD was quite regularly in hopeless situations, praying for JP II for help–and getting it.

I was at WYD VIII with my friend Jim Vititow and 7 young people. It was an incredible “pilgrimage” that Drafted To Serve gave me an opportunity to relive . John Paul II coined the phrases “Culture of Life” and “Culture of Death” and popularized their use (as in this program’s title “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”). Who would deny JPII’s impact in leading us to a Culture of Life–a still elusive fact, but a victory guaranteed by a faithful God. I’m thinking especially of his Gospel of Life and Theology of the Body.

JD is a Colorado native, married with two sons, a service disabled Vietnam War veteran, having served five tours on swift boats. He graduated from the University of Denver with a dual degree in finance and real estate and currently owns a nationwide business in Denver. Drafted To Serve is his first book, written during three years of nearly full-time effort, which he felt compelled to complete in order to tell the world what happened when Pope John Paul II came to Denver in 1993.

JD and his buddy TP originally agreed to tell no one but the Catholic Church of the events that had taken place. They felt that due to the incredible nature of the story neither wished to step into the spotlight and have their lives turned upside down by the attention the story was certain to generate.

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August 5, 2014 – Dr Dennis Doody

If you have minor children or grandchildren, you should be very interested in knowing the difference between authentically Catholic Pediatrics and what the rest of the profession is willing and eager to do to your children. We are very blessed to have Dr Dennis Doody describe best Catholic pediatrics versus what else is available. Unfortunately, the most common Pediatrics may not be the best for your children and their relationship with their parents.

What about vaccines produced from aborted children cell lines? Is Autism related to aborted baby derived vaccines? What about Gardasil? Why is it being pushed for boys and girls?

Can parents refuse to have their children vaccinated and still have them enrolled in school? Are home-schooled children exempt?

Is it possible for a Catholic Physician or PA to practice medicine and be true to their Catholic Faith? Private or public practice?

Dr Doody strives to do just that, but he pays a price-a price others may find unacceptable. Where is the support for authentically Catholic health care? How can you help?

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July 29, 2014 – Robert Reilly

Not very long ago, virtually all people and religions considered same-sex attraction as “disordered” and same-gender sexual activity as disgusting, unlawful, and intrinsically evil. But today, numerous polls indicate that most Americans, including many Catholics, now support same-sex “marriage”.

Where has the “gay rights” movement come from, and how has it so easily (and successfully) conquered America? Robert Reilly believes the answers are in the dynamics of rationalizing sexual misbehavior. He makes his case in Making Gay Okay, How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.

Rationalization or justification, or making to appear normal, is not new to our culture. Consider the rationalization of birth control, abortion, divorce, and co-habitation, to name but a few behaviors now considered normal, but not long ago were shameful.

American institutions–courts, armed forces, schools, Boy Scouts, foreign policy–have fallen in line to accept homosexuality as normal and the behavior as acceptable. What more can we expect? What can be done to stop this assault on decency and common sense. I pray that Robert has some answers for us.

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July 22, 2014 – Charles Rice

Charles Rice is the author of numerous books on constitutional and jurisprudence issues and best known for his over 40 years on the faculty of Notre Dame Law School where he continues to teach “Morality and the Law”. Rice is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He serves on boards for Franciscan University of Steubenville, EWTN, the Center for Law and Justice International in New Hope, Kentucky, and the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor. He and his wife, Mary, have 10 children and over 40 grandchildren.

Professor Rice has written a new book–Contraception & Persecution. This title at first struck me as odd–what does contraception have to do with persecution? Are the Catholic Church and loyal Catholics being persecuted for believing that contraception is intrinsically evil–never to be condoned or practiced? Are we obliged to disobey unjust laws that conflict with the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church?

In a little over 100 packed pages, Professor Rice efficiently describes contraception’s pervasive impact on women, society, and the Church. He also makes the claim that contraception is less about sex and more about God and His First Great Commandment. It takes only a little reflection to recognize the persecution caused by the federal government’s HHS mandate, its promotion of contraception, abortion, and sterilization world wide, and executive branch support for the same-sex-attraction agenda including same-sex “marriage”.

Rice extensively quotes a 2012 Wall Street Journal interview of then Archbishop Timothy Dolan, where he admits that the American bishops have had laryngitis regarding contraception. I will be very interested in Professor Rice’s predictions regarding the clergy’s cure for laryngitis.

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July 15, 2014 – “Have A Heart For The Next Generation”

We have multiple Guests to share their part in “Have A Heart For The Next Generation” — local adults and young people who have a heart for preborn children and want to learn how to stop the killing of their younger brothers and sisters in the Lord. From Dayton, we are expecting Paul Coudron from Dayton Right to Life, Ryan Mahle and Katie Pfeifer, Archbishop Altar HS, and hopefully Bob and Vivian Skovgard

We will also have those from outside the Dayton community who are here to lead the event–Wendy Wright and the Scott and Kathy Heldreth family of 8 children who have traveled all the way from Texas to help educate and train the Dayton “young” and “young at heart”. Wendy is a veteran pro-life leader who “went from Bible College to jail to invitations to the White House”. She is VP of C-FAM (they monitor the often anti-life/family activities at the UN) and a former president of Concerned Women for America.

I am very eager to learn more about “Have A Heart . . .” and these totally committed people who are making a commitment to the culture of life in Dayton.

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July 8, 2014 – Professor Michael Carter

Last week, in the midst of the Fortnight For Freedom events, University of Dayton History Professor Michael Carter made an excellent presentation at St Charles Borromeo Church in Kettering Ohio. I asked him to share his “History of Religious Freedom and Catholicism” lecture with the Radio Maria listeners on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” Tuesday the 8th at Noon ET. He graciously accepted. As we continue our quest for government’s acknowledgement of our right to religious freedom, including the right to act and behave in public according to our beliefs, it is good to take a look back into our history to see if our religious liberty has ever been under such severe attack. I asked Professor Mike what was the situation in the 13 colonies regarding religious freedom? What role did Catholics play in the founding of our country? Compare with the present day attacks on religious freedom by or own government.

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July 1, 2014 – Professor Ray Noble

I have asked Prof Ray Noble to help us understand the Hobby Lobby decision and its ramifications for lower court cases that have been looking to this case for guidance. Did the Court strike a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, or is the decision too narrow to be of great significance?

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June 24, 2014 – Anne Cherney

Anne and her husband gave it back to God! They gave back to the Creator the decision, power and authority that He gives by way of Natural Family Planning (NFP). AND, God generously reciprocated by giving them 10 beautiful children and 34 born grandchildren–17 of each gender, with an unspecified tie-breaker en-route! Praise the Lord from whom all Supreme Blessings flow.

AND, 90% of this large family gets together a couple times per month because they are all within a 30 mile diameter circle. I can only imagine the fun and vitality that all these cousins enjoy together?

Anne gives Fr John Hardon credit for coining Supernatural Family Planning, as well as the encouragement she needed to pursue her Masters Degree at the John Paul II Institute.

Anne does not condemn NFP. She suggests that SnFP is really a more accurate version of natural child spacing. Why? maybe because God created Nature. God and Nature are synonymous. NFP makes Man synonymous with Nature which suggests that Man is God.

That’s my version of how it all works. I’m eager to hear what Anne thinks about that–and much more.

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June 17, 2014 – Fr Matthew Habiger

Conscience is such an important topic and Fr Habiger such an authority that we felt it would be good to continue our conversation from May 27th when Father was our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”. During that program Father taught from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)–Article 1777 and following. This week’s program will explore some additional ways at approaching this critical topic, particularly the teachings of recent popes.

Why is “conscience” such an important topic, you may ask? It is important because one’s conscience is the means by which God communicates to each person. As such we are required to follow our conscience, AND we are required to form our conscience correctly. It is this second part that is not well understood and accepted. Correct formation requires thorough study of the teachings of the Catholic Church as contained in the CCC and in papal encyclicals, like Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae and Familiaris Consortio.

Father Matthew will be referring to an article he wrote, “The Role of Conscience”, which can be found at If you have time, you may want to read at least part of this work before the program.

We will be broadcasting at Noon ET on Tuesday June 17th. You can listen at your computer on . Conscience Part I is archived at

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June 10, 2014 – Robert Muckle

Robert Muckle is one of those long-time Pro-Life warriors that will be in the battle until we win or he goes to heaven. He has served CT Right to Life Corp for almost 40 years, holding offices and organizing the annual Waterbury bus to the March for Life all of that time.

Connecticut has played an important role in the effort to keep contraception illegal and thus slowing the march toward legalized abortion. Eventually it was the legal tangles in CT over their Comstock Laws that paved the way for Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. It seems ironic that efforts to prevent contraceptive access would eventually provide the “privacy” legal arguments that would lead to the legalization of abortion on demand throughout the US.

On June 21st Waterbury Catholics (and hopefully others) will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of closing the Waterbury Birth Control Clinic on June 19th, 1939. How will they celebrate? What does this celebration portend for the future of the Catholic Church in America? Has America’s culture of death reached its zenith?

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June 03, 2014 – Dan McConchie

Americans United for Life (AUL) develops and particularizes pro-life state legislation that protects women and their children as much as possible. AUL attorneys are very creative and finding new arguments that reduce the abortion industry in America, and to some degree around the world.

As AUL’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Dan McConchie leads these efforts with great passion and conviction. He was quoted in a recent interview, “Rubio Is Right: Life Does Begin At Conception,” and “It is an undisputed fact that a new human life begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg. Every single embryology textbook says the same thing, and has done so for over 100 years. Despite the left’s wishes to the contrary, this isn’t going to change any time soon, precisely because the science is settled.”

Dan’s compassion is contagious to the point that state legislatures compete for AUL ranking as the most pro-life state. If a state losses a notch in the AUL rankings, the legislators are on Dan’s door-step asking what they need to do to reestablish (or surpass) their prior ranking. Ohio just makes the top third at number 17.

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May 27, 2014 – Father Habiger

Father Habiger is a Benedictine priest in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison Kansas. Since 2003 he has been a full-time member of NFP Outreach where his focus is primarily upon promoting God’s Plan for Marriage and Spousal Love, which includes counter acting the contraceptive and sterilization culture. He does this through parish missions, NFP parish weekends, Theology of the Body seminars, and consultations with priests and bishops during “clergy days”. Father Matthew has his PhD in Moral Theology from the Catholic University of America. He is very well qualified to address the challenging topic of “conscience”.

If you want to do some homework for today’s program, you can read about conscience in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) beginning with:

1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…. His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”

For many people–and clergy are no exception, conscience poses a difficult subject. The CCC says that we must obey our conscience. BUT, we must have a “well-formed” conscience (CCC, 1783), or we will be led astray by the evil one as a consequence of Original Sin.

Conscience poses a very serious challenge for many Catholics in their discernment about sexual morality, particularly in addressing contraception, sterilization, artificial reproductive technologies, and Natural Family Planning.

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May 20, 2014 – Bishop Morlino

I am very excited to be having Bishop Morlino as our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” this week. Bishop Morlino is only the 4th bishop of Madison, it being a fairly young (68 years) diocese comprising 11 counties in SW Wisconsin.

Bishop Morlino has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Philosophy, and a doctorate in Moral Theology with specialization in fundamental moral theology and bioethics. His education and training have been steeped in the Jesuit tradition which often means a life-time in academia. Since 2005, Bishop Morlino has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) which conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences.

As a Jesuit Bishop Morlino has a special kinship with Pope Francis. As you may already know, Pope Francis has called an Extra Ordinary Synod on the family for October 2014 to address the many challenges families face today, and how the Church can better respond to those challenges. The Diocese of Madison has taken the Pope’s questions from the Synod Preparatory Document very seriously by seeking answers to these questions from a great variety of Catholics.

Bishop Morlino is very grateful to God for having 32 seminarians, which is outstanding for a diocese of 277,000 Catholics and 139 parishes.

I really enjoy interviewing bishops. I am always in awe of their position as Vicar of Christ for their dioceses and all the responsibilities that a bishop carries.

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May 13, 2014 – Damon Owens

The recent canonization of Saint John Paul II has drawn new attention to his “Theology of the Body” and its impact on the Culture of Life. His biographer, George Weigel has said that TotB will impact every teaching of the Creed and it will take decades to fully comprehend its influence on the faith and the faithful.

Damon Owens left an impressive career in the business arena to devote his life to full-time work in marriage and family ministry. He has served as Natural Family Planning and Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Newark, founded two non-profit organizations (New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association and Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey), and led initiatives for various pro-life and pro-family organizations such as the New Jersey Catholic Bishops Conference, The Children First Foundation, and Life Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the largest African-American, pro-life ministry in the country. Damon is a certified speaker and has been lecturing for the Theology of the Body Institute since 2005. In December of 2011, Damon was named the Executive Director of the Theology of the Body Institute. He and his wife, Melanie, have been married for 18 years and have eight children.

Many of our listeners are familiar with the Theology of the Body because of Christopher West’s presentations that have popularized TotB throughout the USA and in dozens of other countries in the short span of 10 years.

Owen will give us a brief summary of the Theology of the Body, the work of the Theology of the Body Institute founded by Christopher West, and this summer’s International Theology of the Body Congress in Philadelphia.

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