Jakubczyk on Common Sense

Applying faith and reason to ideas, issues and events in today's world

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John J. Jakubczyk has been active in the Pro-Life Movement since 1975.  He served as President of Arizona Right to Life, Arizona's largest, oldest and strongest pro-life organization.  He was on the board of AzRTL for many years and now acts as the Arizona delegate to the National Right to Life Committee.  As the founder and president of Southwest Life & Law Center, he continues to use his legal skills to assist in advising, counseling and defending women, children, pro-life activists, organizations, as well as victims of abortion. A national speaker, motivator and adviser since the 1980s, he is very familiar with the history of the movement at the national level.   A founder and past president of Ville de Marie Academy, he served as a trustee for 15 years.  He has been an attorney in private practice for 35 years, is active in his church, married, the father of 11 children, and a proud grandfather.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is it finally time to excommunicate them all?

The latest brush-up between a Roman Catholic bishop and a "Catholic" politician who believes that he knows more about church teaching than the Church herself, raises once again the question often discussed among Catholics on the street but never mentioned in the public debate.

Excommunication.

The word itself seems to beg the question. Isn't it some archaic action of the "Pre-Vatican II" Church? Aren't we past all this now that Catholics have been mainstreamed into modern society? And what's the big deal, anyhow? Its only about abortion. And the Church leaders just buried Senator Edward Kennedy with all the pomp and circumstance of a hero's funeral? So what is the big deal about his son Patrick attacking the Church for not quietly taking her seat in the back of the bus and accepting the health care plan proposed by the Democrat party?

Thomas J. Tobin, the Bishop of the Diocese of Providence responded to the criticism with a blistery comment of his own.

“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals."

Bishop Tobin pointed out that
"Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.”

The increased aggressive behavior by Catholic politicians to not only publicly oppose basic church teachings on human rights has escalated over the last year and a half since the publication of the pre-election pamphlet by the USCCB on the responsibility of Catholics in the voting and exercising their civil rights. We all recall Biden and Pelosi attempting to instruct their bishops on Catholic moral teaching. While they showed themselves the fools they are, the media gave them cover and many bishops unfortunately ran for the tall grass. Their collective failure to uniformly use these "teaching moments" would come to haunt them in a big way.

Obama and his dissident Catholic allies made strategic use of their high profile Catholic supporters in getting more of the Catholic vote and neutralizing the previously effective grassroots get out the vote campaigns by pro-lifers in the past two elections. Now with the debate over health care raising the omen of taxpayer abortions, subsidized abortion care by government fiat, and the conflict such laws will create for Catholic doctors and hospitals, the failed efforts of the USCCB to call these politicians and pro-abortion Catholics to account become even more significant.

And do not forget the debacle at Notre Dame this past May.

So what about the state of Patrick Kennedy's soul given his unbridled support for killing unborn children?

And what about the state of the souls of the many Catholic senators, congressmen, governors, state legislators, and cabinet secretaries who have consistently supported and voted in favor of abortion funding, pro-abortion measures, and against even the most pitiful efforts to limit or reduce the need for abortion?

There are currently 161 Catholics presently serving in the Congress. Only 26 have 100 percent pro-life voting records, while 28 have a zero percent rating. Sixty-five have less than a 20 percent pro-life rating and 75 have accepted donations from pro-abortion lobbying groups. One can check for a particular member of congress here.

Then there are the various incidents over the past two years wherein prominent "Catholic" politicians acted contrary to the law that requires we protect the dignity of innocent human life. Thee events range from simply endorsing legislation to pushing through funding. One could recite a litany of actions by these politicians, all of which scandalize the Faithful and are acts that directly cooperate with objective evil.

So I raise the question once again. Is it not time to directly address the scandal?
U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in “Living the Gospel of Life” states clearly:

No one, least of all someone who exercises leadership in society, can rightfully claim to share fully and practically the Catholic faith and yet act publicly in a way contrary to that faith.

If we believe in the teachings of the Church, and these teachings are nothing more than the exposition of the natural law, then those who scandalize the Faith must be called account for the sake of their immortal souls. For our concern is not simply with the protection of the innocent, it is also that none may perish in sin. If we really care about these politicians, then we do not want them to suffer the loss of their eternal souls.

So what are the bishops waiting for?

It has been 36 plus years since Roe v. Wade. We all know the travesty of that decision. 50,000,000 dead babies so far. Perhaps it is time to put aside the private conversations and the hopeful polite dialogue, Perhaps the bishops should realize that many of them have been played for chumps. This Congress is poised to destroy the Catholic hospital network. It is angling to force the Church underground. Now is not the time to be reserved. It is the time for action.

The bishop of a diocese is the shepherd responsible for the souls of the faithful, whether they be the saints of the sinners. Sinners generally need more attention and their return to the flock is met with great rejoicing. It is up to the bishops to tell the Bidens, Peolis, Pastors, Grijalvas, and their cohorts that the gates of Heaven are closed to them unless they repent of the grave sins against life.

If they do not care, then we have done all we can do. Otherwise, we may act to bring about some real conversion.

Pope John Paul II's 'Gospel of Life' teaches that abortion is the greatest evil attack on innocent, defenseless life. It is an attack on humanity, on goodness truth and beauty. Only if we respond to the attack on innocent human life with prayer, sacrifice and action, can we end it in our nation. The Bishops need to realize that now is the time.

We may not get another chance.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thirty years ago today - a reflection

On the morning of October 13, 1979, in Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University, those men and women who had successfully passed the Arizona State Bar Exam and were deemed fit to practice law, raised their right hands and and repeated the Oath admitting them to the practice of law. I was among those participants and it was a day that brought pride to my family and friends. It was an exciting day for me, one which offered great anticipation. I was a lawyer and soon to hang out my shingle and begin the noble work of an honored profession.

I will admit that my idealism had been tempered after three years of law school. Learning how the law really works and that there is a difference between justice and the law takes some getting use to. And the shadow of the abortion controversy was ever present. I could not shake myself of the notion that until that evil was lifted from our nation, everything the law touched was somehow tainted.

Yet I was hopeful that God would use me in some small way to make a difference.

Two days later I opened up my office on 324 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, not far from where I lived while attending high school. I would swing by the old house and visit our neighbor, an old Greek hatter, named Georg Falkadis. He made me my first hat and every so often I would stop by, sit with him in his parlor and let him reminisce about the early days of downtown Phoenix.

It was the beginning of an adventure that found one part of me engaged in the general practice of law and the other part drawn to advocacy for the unborn, their mothers and those who who protect them both from the treacherous claws of the abortion industry. After thirty years, it is still the same story. And I hope that through the years, I have done more good than ill, and helped more than hurt. Of course those thirty years have had quite an impact on my life. I met and married a most incredible young lady and we have been blessed to raise 11 amazing children. Those children have been and continue to be the conduit of God's awesome love. I have been involved in a movement that is all about the "other person;" a movement that has allowed me to meet and befriend some of the greatest human beings on the face of the earth. And I do not mean just the famous or important ones when I say this. So many people have given of their time, their talent and their treasure to help save the lives of these little ones and to help women who were without hope. They would open up their homes and take in young women who had been kicked out of their homes. They would give up their Saturdays or maybe even more of their weekdays to sidewalk counsel. Then there were the little old ladies who would come to the office and help with the mailings. This was before computers made things easier. We had the prayer warriors them as we do today. And not just the prayer warriors but also those who seemed to suffer as well, offering their physical ailments for the sake of the children.

Of course we have these same people, or their sons and daughters, or their friends out here today making a difference, one life at a time. Believing that everything will happen in God's time, that we as a people will finally realize that killing our future is so wrong, that we as a people will get on our knees, atone for our sins and seek His forgiveness, I can continue and seek to make a difference each day, open to what ever God has in store.

In keeping that faith, I draw upon the example of my parents, two people who live their faith every day. I can happily say that I know my parents' story and it is a beautiful one; not without tragedy, not without disappointment, but filled with an amazing appreciation for the gifts God has given us. A strong work ethic, a clear sense of right and wrong, and a dedication to family, my parents showed me what love was all about.

So I consider 30 years of practicing law. There have been some very interesting cases and a lot of very ordinary ones. Yet with every client there was a human being and in most cases I learned something from those encounters.

Ironic that while so much has changed, some things have not. It will be interesting to look back years from now and see if I will be reflecting from behind the same desk. After all I still have a six year old to see through school.

Thanks for joining me on a personal walk in the past.