Vol 3 No. 2 Dedicated to St. Joseph By & For Santa Clara Valley Catholics Mar./Apr., 1996

Publisher - Marc Crotty

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VIEW FROM THE PEW is publshed by an association of Catholic laity in the Diocese of San Jose, California. For a paper copy subscription of this newsletter a suggested donation of $15 (not tax deductible) will put you on the mailing list. For all inquires, and Letters to the Editor, please write to: Box 700084, San Jose, CA 95170-0084

(c) 1996 View From the Pew - Articles may be copied, provided due credit is given to VFTP.


A lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood (PP) is being settled out of court after Planned Parenthood's own tapes showed that pro-lifers were peaceful citizens, not dangerous lawbreakers. The offer to withdraw all charges against eight sidewalk demonstrators came from PP, after the agency realized it could not win.

In a suit filed under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, PP argued that eight pro-life demonstrators from the South Bay blocked the entrance to a clinic and broke other laws ranging from threats to assault.

To bolster their opening arguments, PP lawyers cited a set of videotapes taken by clinic workers. The tapes were not, however, entered as evidence.

Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) attorneys requested that the tapes be put into the record, confident the tapes would show what happened, according to defendant Marc Crotty.

The pro-life demonstrators came across as peaceful and law-abiding. Meanwhile, PP escorts (pro-abortion volunteers who accompany women from the parking lot to the clinic) made remarks that a reasonable person would construe to be threats. Most dramatic, Crotty said, was the statement, "I wish I had a gun," repeated twice on tape by escorts talking about pro-lifers.

Crotty went through the tapes and came up with twelve minutes worth of video evidence showing that PP escorts threatened the pro-lifers, not the other way around.

In reality, Crotty said, the danger is inside the clinic, where lives are ended. Mothers often approach the clinic with "head down, tears in their eyes, dead in the face," he said. When they leave after an abortion, the boyfriend or woman friend with the patient often swears at the pro-lifers. No matter what, Crotty said, "We abide with them. Especially after an abortion, they still need counseling. We try to be there for them whether they keep their baby or not. We don't judge." In addition, he said, the pro-life team prays, by name, for individuals who work at the clinic.

While facing abortion takes one kind of energy, facing a lawsuit takes another. "A lawsuit is worse than you realize," said Crotty, who has been living with this on since June, 1995.

It takes money, too. Crotty has spent about $2,000 of his own money for expenses such as copying legal paperwork, making the 12-minute videotape, and mileage. In the past, he had made donations to LLDF. Since being named in the suit, members of his extended family and parish have given financial support to LLDF.

Under the federal FACE law, defendants can be held personally liable for actual damages, statutory damages of $5,000 per violation, and punitive damages, as well as the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. In this lawsuit, PP was seeking statutory damages of $5,000 to $15,000 from each counselor, as well as punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

For many people, that could mean the loss of their house. The risk is real, and, as intended, it has had a chilling effect on participation, Crotty said.

For those who continue with a sidewalk presence, FACE has translated to subdued behavior as people try to avoid being sued. Crotty, who is married and the father of four, took the risk of being present outside a clinic because he believed in his cause and trusted that God would protect him. Pro-life demonstrators are "the last line of defense for these women," he said. "Maybe only a couple out of a hundred will turn away but those two are worth it. Also, if we're not there, it's as if all of society is saying abortion is OK."

As for trusting in God's mercy, Crotty, 40, said it may seem unrealistic to some. But "this is the modern Calvary, and we need to be there at the foot of the cross." His faith turned out to be well founded, he said.

All eight defendants have been brave in the face of the lawsuit, Crotty said, but without LLDF, their courage would have been for naught. The defense was so complicated that "without LLDF, we would have been devastated, torn to pieces. In court, we would not have been able to defend ourselves, so numerous and so serious were the charges--which were all lies."

The defense was coordinated by a team of five attorneys: Frank Hughes, Katherine Pak, Joseph Moless, Ben Koller, and Stephanie Casper. The majority of the work has been pro bono, although two defendants have been able to use coverage from their homeowners' policies to help pay for some legal work.

Defendant Ginny Hitchcock said she is "so confident in the help we have received from Life Legal and from the attorneys that I haven't really worried. They are doing a really good job. I am so grateful to them."

As a Catholic, Hitchcock took hope from the fact that every time there was a significant action in the case, such as a deposition or a hearing, it fell on a Church feast day, such as the birthday of the Virgin Mary, the feast of the archangels, or the feast of the Immaculate Conception. "That makes me all the more confident."

Hitchcock said her faith sustained her even during arrest. As she was being booked, the arresting officer asked questions about her pro-life activity. "He got a good education," she said. "Every so often I wonder, 'Why did this happen?' There's a reason. People out there, people we might not otherwise meet, need help. It is a good opportunity to witness."


The Catholic Womenís Network (CWN) Jan./Feb. 1996, page 3, launched another Ďad hominemí attack against the VIEW, a tactic usually employed when a discussion of the issues and real differences between two parties wants to be avoided.

CWN charged that this type of newsletter (the VIEW et. al.) belittles the local bishop.

The VIEW has never belittled Bishop DuMaine and, in a subsequent phone conversation with the VIEW publisher, the CWN editor admitted her error.

Since this serious charge was made in print and was probably seen by the paperís claimed 12,000 readers, and in the interest of ethical journalistic practices, we believe a written retraction of this false charge is definitely in order.


The Diocese of San Jose's workshop for catechists, "Circles of Nourishment," drew almost a full house Saturday, Feb. 10 at Archbishop Mitty High School.

The turnout was impressive. Six hundred people can't be all wrong, can they? The View From The Pew thinks so. What they're spreading is not Roman Catholicism.

The presider for the opening prayer service was Jeannine Leichner, head of catechetics in the diocese. (There was a priest on-site, Fr. Al Larkin, but he offered only the welcome.) In the misty feel-good of Marty Haagen songs in multiple languages and a planter pot of incense being wafted about, the ladies carried the show.

Sr. Anne Marie Mongoven, O.P., was the homilist. Mongoven is a professor of catachetics and theology at Santa Clara University and co-author of "Living Waters," a catechetical series used by most of her students, some of whom were seminar presenters at the workshop.

Mongoven stressed in her homily that we, the people, are endowed with inalienable spiritual rights that are being addressed--finally--in the post-Vatican II church. Sister described "the pain of women oppressed." She said we had lived through "dark times" of Church history, before Vatican II opened the windows for women--and anyone else who felt suffocated by the rules.

As proof of this new openness, the prayer service and the seminars that followed were run by women: the ratio of presenters was about 35 women to 12 men. the ration of participants was about the same.

VIEW reporters were able to attend four seminars: Catechetical Methods I, Snakes Don't Talk Now and They Never Did!, The Table of the Lord, and Teen-agers and Sex.


This seminar was offered by Ann Liebmann, confirmation and junior high coordinator at Ascension Church in Saratoga; and Terrie Trotter, director of catechetical ministry at St. Mary's Church in Los Gatos. Liebmann gave the group the Living Waters' definition of catechesis: "Catechists create conditions which will encourage people to seek and accept the Christian message and integrate it more fully in their lives."

Both Liebmann and Trotter stressed that children or adults get drawn into the faith by role model, shared stories and good examples. So catechesis should be "getting to know and love sense of belonging." Even snack time is a community tool. And, oh yes, "We have a wonderful tradition of rich rituals. This can bring them in."

The catechetical method is Experience, Message, and Response. Involve the kids by talking about their pets, for example, and move from taking care of pets to Jesus' taking care of us. Jesus is the Message. And the Response will be discussion, questions, projects, service, etc. Facts and memorization are generally pooh-poohed, except for providing a certain amount of Catholic identity. "It can help them feel grounded."

Liebmann and Trotter had some good project ideas, like making a class quilt for the beatitudes and using a boomerang to illustrate how love goes out, but comes right back. Spending half the CCD period experimenting with boomerangs is probably a waste, but time is no object, if what you're teaching is "community."

The main idea is that we have to attract these kids by our charisma, our tools, our bright ideas, our loving natures, our willingness to serve, our understanding, our (your buzzword here). There is a de-emphasis on God, Scriptures, Tradition. They say over and over that "you can't bring them in" with facts. Let kids be together -- eventually it will click. As proof, Liebmann told the success story of a high school boy who raised his hand after many years of CCD and asked: "Are you telling me Jesus is God?" A disinterested observer might say this was not a success story but an amazingly negative moment for this catechetical method.


Sr. Paule Freeberg, consultant to the diocese, has an agenda and it is this: Scripture can be understood only through the "Historical Critical Method" as interpreted by certain unnamed scholars. This is what is known in academic circles as "deconstructionism." This idea is roughly described by the Mad Hatter: "A word means exactly what I say it means, nothing more or nothing less."

Sister Freeberg, for example, applied this method to St. Paul's teaching on the role of women at church (1 Cor. 11). It took the Church 1900 years to realize that St. Paul actually meant that women should not have their heads covered at the Mass, according to this interpretation. Sister also dabbled with the ministerial priesthood being available to women--you had to listen carefully to catch this, but it was there.

This seminar did not convey "the same sense and the same meaning" of sacred scripture and sacred tradition that is taught by the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was not mentioned in the talk; the "senses of Scripture" that Sister was grasping for are described in "The Profession of Faith," paragraphs 50 through 141.


This seminar was offered by Sue Schuttinger, Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas of Canterbury, San Jose, where "the love of God flows from the people of God up, not from the priest down."

Schuttinger herself appears to be a decent, motherly, God-loving person, but she is thoroughly indoctrinated in the Newchurch. She had her seminar folks marching around the room swinging banners, blue flashlights and incense. She had them playing tambourines, symbols, clackers and other noisemakers to make a joyful noise. She had them blessing each others' eyes, ears, and noses. And she had them breaking bread -- French, pita bread, even rice cakes -- in a mock Eucharistic service.

The key words in Shuttinger's Eucharistic experience is "participation." What is the paschal mystery? It is "Jesus' death, rising and our participation in that." The Liturgy of the Word is "the stories of our Tradition." God is present, "first, in the Assembly, then the Word, then the Bread and Wine and finally all the presiders.

Schuttinger makes clear thinking almost impossible because she is such a winning character. She has scores of ideas, she is a compelling example of a happy Christian and she finds meaning in the most bizarre of life's events. For example, she had a religious experience snorkeling and following a turtle through the water.

The problem is: not everyone is Sue Schuttinger. The average person -- especially a child -- might lose the sense of the sacred while eating rice cakes at Eucharist. The average person might forget that the central point is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. But, of course, that is not the central point of Newchurch Eucharist, which is not sacrifice but celebration and banquet. In this Newchurch, there is an avoidance of the notion of sin and sacrifice. As Schuttinger said, "We used to think of Mass as sacrifice and a coming together of sinners, but the people I know aren't like that."

Indeed. Whatever happened to original sin?


Steve Saso of Bellermine College Prep teaches teens in his marriage and family course to abstain from "premature sexual relations." What does this mean exactly?

According to Saso a young man should "Wait until you are mature to have sex. I expect you to be in your 20's, or married, whatever is your value system." This value system, says Saso, can include sexual relations "in a loving and committed relationship."

What Saso is really doing is insulting his students. I know you can't control yourselves and so just wait until youíre past the teen years to begin fornicating.

Saso says that it is better to wait until marriage to engage in sexual relations, but doesnít think that is realistic for todayís kids. So he gives them lots of information on sex--his students are well informed on STDís, statistics, emotional risks, but not the mind of the Church.

There was not a single mention in this seminar about how to live a Catholic life: the Rosary, Confession, the Eucharist, Actual Grace, Godís mercy--these apparently donít exist for Mr. Saso.

Please read The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality published by The Pontifical Council For the Family. It is available on the web at http://www.knight.org/advent

Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ


Pat Buchanan is a practicing and believing Roman Catholic who has not sacrificed his faith on the altar of political expediency. He has the reputation of saying what he means and meaning what he says; a man you can trust. To link to Pat's official Internet Web Page, click here.

Buchanan is the proven leader who will defend American traditions and the values of faith, family, and country--from any and all directions in the cultural war.

He is the only unapologetic pro-lifer who can win the GOP nomination. Buchanan will keep the Republican party pro-life, reverse Roe vs. Wade, defund the abortion industry and get our government out of the abortion racket here and abroad (this includes fetal tissue and human embryo research). Give life a chance! Unite behind Pat now!

Join Patrick J. Buchanan, the only authentic conservative who can win the GOP nomination and defeat the Clintons in November. To help, call Del McLaughlin 415-324-3411, or Doug Zeitz 408 934-1345. To join the "Brigade Update" Listserv, send a note to brigade-Request@lists.buchanan.org with the message "subscribe brigade" and nothing else. Linda Muller who manages the List can be contacted at lmuller@iquest.com.


Chuck Wojslaw unveiled his platform for his race for the 16th Congressional District seat. The Republican candidate idetified family values, lower taxes, and quality education as his key issues. According to Chuck, "We need to get taxes low enough to allow one of the parents the option of staying home so that they can instill in their children a value system that promotes: love of God, family, and country, discipline, hard work, education, and respect for authority."

You can help this Roman Catholic activist by contacting his campaign office at 923-7775, or writing to 302 Toyon Ave., Suite 239, San Jose, CA, 95127.


Bishop DuMaine celebrated mass at St. Nicholas Church in Los Altos, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's infamous Roe vs. Wade decision. About 175 pro-life Catholics attended the Mass which was con-celebrated with St. Nicholas' pastor, Fr. Gary Thomas, and eight other priests.

After mass, the people took signs in hand and began the procession to Los Altos city hall. While there were TV cameras from five bay area stations, apparently none of them included a segment on the march in either their early evening or night time broadcasts.

At the end of the march Sandra Gaddini of St. Nicholas parish, gave an impassioned speech from the steps of city hall describing the social ills that accompany the abortion mentality.


Some women want to be priest. Are they crazy? Itís a job with low pay, long hours and lots of funerals.

Yet feminists keep clamoring for the job, and they wonít take no for an answer. They have the media convinced that most women are behind them. Men are reluctant to tell them to back off for fear of being labeled femophobic.Ē

The Pope is not one to shrink from the truth, however. In May, he issued a statement that said women were not in line to be priests--period. The statement was definitive, that is, it defined Catholic teaching.

Nevertheless, the debate didnít stop, mostly because acrimonious debate make better news copy. So in November the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed Pope John Paul IIís statement that only men can be priests. A collective sigh of relief should be heard across the land: Now mother only need worry about losing their daughters to the U.S. military.

But there is no rejoicing. The Dec. 12 issue of The Valley Catholic, the San Jose Dioceseís newspaper, chose to soothe the ruffled feelings of females with its page 1 story: Canon Law Society: Church can ordain deaconesses. Also on page 1 was the beginning of a feature on Women as models in Bible history. All this to offset the stories inside that explain the Popeís directive on male priests and the subsequent action of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Valley Catholic wanted to suggest that even though women canít be priests, maybe they can be the next-best thing: permanent deaconesses. The position, reserved for virgins and chaste widows in ancient history, was akin to the pagan goddess/vestal virgin tradition. The fact that Christianity moved away from goddesses and other forms of paganism should not be lost on todayís Church leaders. Instead, paganism is making a comeback: In some parish ceremonies, we now pray to the East, West, North and South Winds, the Goddess of the Earth, etc. Maybe thatís why vestal virgins are starting to look so good.

Modern-day deaconesses probably wouldnít have to be virgins anyway. Todayís deaconesses, if they became legal, would probably date, marry, divorce, be single mothers, be gay, have alternate careers, etc. Every exception except the ability to hear confessions would probably be made, just to keep them shut up -- which wouldnít work.

The job of deacon has been restricted to males, most of them testing the waters, waiting to hear the call. Women who want the job of permanent deaconess may be hearing another kind of call: the call to push the frontier for feminism. Itís certainly not a call to be second banana.

The Canon Law Society of America sees the diaconate as a legal possibility for women, probably because the new Universal Catechism does not come right out and say Women canít be deaconesses. It says: This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men (or single men), constitutes an important enrichment for the Churchís mission. (1571) Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination (of which the diaconate is the third degree of ordination). The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same in their ministry...The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason, the ordination of women is not possible. (1577).

No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders... Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of Godís call...must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church.(1578)

According to the Catechism, then, women cannot be deacons because deacons are third degree priests, and priests can only be men. The Canon Law Society and the Valley Catholic err in suggesting that this is a path women can or should pursue. If women want Holy Orders, let them become sisters like Mother Teresa and Mother Angelica. If that isnít good enough, they arenít cut out for Holy Orders anyway.


The View From The Pew makes a lot of people nervous.

"It's too divisive." "It's too nasty." "If you can't say something nice, better say nothing."

Some of these comments come from folks who agree with us. These are Catholics who would like to see traditional liturgies, more priests, more nuns, fewer "extraordinary" ministers, orthodox CCD training, truly Catholic schools.

These are Catholics who believe in the Second Great Commandment of Christ: "Love Thy Neighbor."

Is the VIEW unloving? No. The VIEW believes in the Truth--the truth that Christ taught, the truth the Holy Spirit continues to teach through the Church. Truth can turn people off. Try telling a group of people that contraception is evil. Or abortion. You may not get booted out of the room; more likely you will get dead silence, sarcastic looks and avoidance. Does that change the position of the Church? ?No. Does that change the Truth? No.

Christ Himself said His message would set brother against sister and father against son. Yes, it even sets Catholics against Catholics.

The great Catholic theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand said: "The fact that many orthodox Catholics fight heresies is not deplorable; on the contrary, we should rejoice that there still are faithful Catholics, and that they raise their voices against heresies, for God expects that of them." (The Charitable Anathema) Roman Catholic Books.

Von Hildebrand was very familiar with the idea that Catholics should shut up and "stick together." However, he said that true communion obliges us to keep the faith--as Christ handed it down to us through the Apostles.

The Catholic Church is not a club. It is not an extension of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. It is God's Church. Its truth comes from God Himself in the words of Jesus Christ, and by divine inspiration through the Apostles and scribes. Its truth continues through the Magisterium and the Holy Father.

If the VIEW seems nasty, listen to these words of Blaise Pascal:

"It is as much a crime to disturb the peace when truth prevails as it is a crime to keep the peace when truth is violated...For it is written that there is a time for peace and a time for war and it is the law of truth that distinguishes the two. But at no time is there a time for truth and a time for error, for it is written that God's truth shall abide forever. That is why Christ has said that He has come to bring peace and at the same time that He has come to bring the sword. But He does not say that He has come to bring both the truth and falsehood."



If you are looking for orthodox Catholic worship, you can't go wrong at the Croatian mission in Willow Glen. You won't be running into any crowds there either. The homilies are orthodox. Confession is available before Mass. There's even a couple of nuns in habits. Mass in English is offered at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Mass in Croatian is at 11 a.m. For more information call the Assumption of Mary, 408-279-0279. The mission is located at 901 Lincoln Ave., San Jose.

The Nurturing Network, a highly successful pro-life group that assists women in crisis pregnancy and finds sheltering homes for them and their babies, has moved its headquarters from Idaho to Carmel, California. Their new address is:

200 Clocktower Place
Suite 200A
P.O. Box 223099
Carmel, CA 93922

At the end of the Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader said, "Everything that has happened in Eastern Europe in these last few years would have been impossible without the presence of the Pope and without the important role that he played on the world stage."


A Time magazine-CNN poll showed that 75% of Catholics don't think that sex before marriage is wrong.

In Australia, 80% of the baptized Catholic population no longer attend Sunday Mass. The suicide rate among young Australians is the highest among the world's industrialized nations.

Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco, said in a recent television interview, that the largest group of Christians in the United States are "Catholics who don't go to church anymore." File name: Views


Diocese of San Jose (Dioecesis Sancti Josephi in California)
Established January 27, 1981
Most Reverend Pierre DuMaine, D.D., Ph.D.
First Bishop of San Jose; ordained June 5, 1957; appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and Titular Bishop of Sarda April 28, 1978; Episcopal Ordination June 29, 1978; appointed Bishop of San Jose January 27, 1981. Office: Diocese of San Jose, 841 Lenzen Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126-2700

Church of the Ascension
12033 Miller Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070

St. Mary's Church of Los Gatos
219 Bean Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

St. Thomas of Canterbury
1522 McCoy Avenue, San Jose, CA 95130

Bellarmine College Preparatory
850 Elm Street, San Jose, CA 95126-1899

St. Nicholas Church
473 Lincoln Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94022

Archibishop Mitty High School
5000 Mitty Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129

Webmaster: RACOX & Associates