Vol 6 No. 3
Dedicated to St. Joseph By & For Santa Clara Valley Catholics

May/June, 1999
Editor - Jane Anderson
Publisher - Marc Crotty

View Says Goodbye - On Paper
      This is the last issue of View From the Pew - in print form. After the May/June issue, we will publish only on the Web as Catholic View From the Pew. We are where we've always been for a few years on the Internet:

      This has not been an easy decision. The View began six years ago when Art Brew and a few like-minded individuals decided to fight the architectural and liturgical changes at St. Simon's Church in Mountain View. Computers and Pagemaker made it possible to get the word out. Surely it would be possible to reverse a wrong, spiritual turn. 

      Current publisher Marc S. Crotty was there from the beginning. Jane Anderson joined the band three years ago. For everyone involved, the View was a labor of love - plus the economic largesse of Jim Holman, who publishes The Faith in San Francisco but continued to support the View. 

      A group of dedicated distributors put up with anger and rejection in the parishes. One person was even attacked by a nun. Red-faced priests with admonishing fingers greeted others. Stacks of newsletters were thrown into parish waste cans. 

      The paid subscriber list hovered around 400 for several years. These 400 readers have been very loyal, but after six years, the number should be several thousand. A large base is necessary to have the credibility required to effect change, and the View has not gotten the numbers. 

      The presence of heretical Modernism in the diocese of San Jose is worse now than when the View started. Aberrations abound in Renew, small faith communities, "The Institute," liturgical and catechetical conferences, sex-ed and indifferentism in Catholic schools. The diocese appears to be paving the way for a lay-run, lukewarm, secularized American church.

      The diocese claims about 425,000 Catholics under its jurisdiction. Of that number, the "October count" found that about 80,000 attend Mass on any given Sunday. Of that 80,000, we estimate that 10 percent actually hold to the "same sense and same meaning" of Church doctrine. For example, only 10 percent (perhaps) would follow the Church's prohibition against contraception, sterilization and abortion. We don't mean to pick out these sins of the flesh necessarily (there are worse), but they present a clear demarcation between Catholicism and Protestantism, between Catholic Truth and Catholic error.

      The View was not making a difference among the 72,000 we wanted to convert, and we were striking out with the 8,000 on our side, too. Some opposed our "Capitol gang" style. Some felt uneasy around any criticism of the Church. Others just wanted to forget about the abuses until reason is restored.

      For these reasons, we decided to take our own advice: 

      Two years ago, publisher Crotty was invited to a gathering of Catholic newsletter publishers and editors. They sat around patting themselves on the back for the church abuses they had publicized. Crotty listened to the round-robin litany of good deeds and finally asked the all-important question: What changed as a result of their stories? Were any altar rails saved? Were any babies saved? Were any people brought back to the church? Did any priests have a change of heart? 

      Icy silence.

      In the last issue of the View, we questioned the efficacy of the pro-life movement. What good do pro-life picketers do? How many babies do they save? Ten out of 1.5 million a year? Twenty? Two hundred? The number of saved babies palls in comparison to the number lost. We concluded that pro-life efforts should be re-directed. Project Gabriel, explained elsewhere in this issue, might be one such effort.

      What has the View accomplished? We have some loyal readers, yes, but they are the ones whose hearts are already with us. We value them, but we have been preaching to the choir.

      So - we're not going to do it anymore. 

      Well, almost. We will keep our "voice" at minimal cost by maintaining an active Web site. We intend to update the site as often as necessary, but at least every other month. We will defray costs by accepting donations and by selling the articles to any other publication for a $50 fee and a site referral. 

      Several people have sent checks for newsletter subscriptions in the past two months. We have not cashed these checks because we intended to make this announcement. Readers who wish to have the checks returned should notify us of this intention, and the checks will be returned. Otherwise, we will use them as a donation.

      We thank our subscribers, distributors and contributors for all your support. Now go out and buy a computer if you don't have one - and look us up! 

      Lady of Peace first to sign up with Project Gabriel

      Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Santa Clara has become the first church in the South Bay to sign up as an active participant in Project Gabriel, the baby-saving effort that has succeeded in the Oakland Diocese.

      Project Gabriel, which began in Texas seven years ago, is a national baby-saving movement that offers direct and compassionate service and care to women in crisis pregnancies. Churches and pro-life agencies work together to provide friendship and emotional support, pastoral care, counseling, medical aid, financial assistance, education and employment opportunities to expectant mothers. 

      Here's how it works: A toll-free hotline phone number is posted on large signs throughout the Bay Area. The signs say: "Pregnant and need help? Call 1-800-910-0191. The members of this church community (if the sign is on church property) are willing to assist you." 

      Today, all calls go to a central communication center located in the Pregnancy Center of Concord. Mike and Anne Ronco of St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord brought Project Gabriel to the Bay Area last year. In San Francisco, United for Life has made Gabriel its major project for the year. If enough churches sign up in the South Bay, a South Bay number will be set up. 

      For more information, call 408-732-FREE.

      Letter to the Editor

      Dear Editor: After reading your defense of both the Novus Ordo and Tridentine masses, I am pleased. You have shown that there is room in the Roman Catholic Church for both forms of masses, while still putting down liturgical abuses that are funning rampant in some churches as we speak. And in saying the phrase, "If it's good enough for the Pope, it's good enough for us," you said a huge mouthful. We must not forget that if there is room in the Catholic Church as a whole to have many different rites, there is room to have more than one form of the mass in Latin rite of the church. But what we MUST do is try to eradicate the abuses happening in our church today, and it can start in our parishes. Take an active role in your parish (perhaps the liturgy committee) and slowly replace abuses with a liturgy that is fitting for God and for the glory of His Holy Name. But be careful not to make a parish go into shock from one way of worship to another. Time is all we need, and it can start today. 
      Sincerely, Jonathan P. Sawicki 

      Dear Editor: My husband and I moved 1,000 miles away from our children and grandchildren to be in a traditional community. We moved to Post Falls, Idaho. It is totally traditional. No garbage here. There is daily Mass, two convents, two schools and true Mass. We have retired here. At times, it is difficult not being with our family. But the choice is God or family. We chose God.


      Dim View

      TCI:Pornography 2; Piety 0
      TCI, the cable television provider in San Jose, Calif., and environs, failed to respond to the View when we asked why the company carries two pornographic channels (Spice and Adam and Eve) but not Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network. EWTN is the largest religious television network in the world, reaching 54 million Catholic homes - but not in the Bay Area without a special dish. Write TCI and air your complaints. 

      Crime begets crime 

      Yet another report has surfaced on the connection between some abortion mills and organized crime. The chicago Sun times reported recently that a reputed Chicago rackets boss was arrested and accused of lording over a multimillion-dollar grambling and extortion empire that bought off cops and politicians in the Chicago suburbs for the past 20 years. During the investigation of the reputed mobster, the FBI secreted a video camera in his office at an abortion clinic in Chicago. Not-so-unlikely bedfellows: the rackets and the extremely profitable abortion industry. 

       The Vatican rag 

      The hula is back in ethnic liturgies in Hawaii. It was being performed during First Communion, wedding and funerals by both men and women. It was even performed at the installation of the bishop. Then a disgruntled parishioner took his complaints to the Vatican, and the Vatican ruled the gyrations should stop. The hula dancers were not happy. So Bishop Francis X. DeLorenzo went to rome himself and got the hula reinstated. But now it's called "sacred gesture."

      Bright View 

      Tide is turning, but still no detergent 

      Finally, some good news; columnist Janet Parshall reports in Washington Watch that the tide is turning against abortion. In 1988, 52 per cent of nurses said they would work in ob/gyn clinics where abortions were performed. RN Magazine is now saying that 61 per cent of nurses polled would NOT work in clinics that perform abortions. Sixty-three per cent of the nurses said partial-birth abortions (third trimester) should be banned. 


      If AB804 passes, it spells trouble for homeschools

        There is nothing so dangerous as an educator/bureaucrat scorned. That must be what lies behind the latest effort to make homeschoolers in California squirm.

        The bill, known as Assembly Bill 804, started out as an unnoticed little subdivision (k) to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which creates a new classification of child abuse/neglect. The new classification is "educational neglect." Introduced and written by Southern California Assemblyman Fred Keely, the bill specifies that children can be made wards of the court of it can be shown they suffer from "educational neglect," which could equate to not attending a school. 

        As soon as AB 804 was discovered, homeschool groups got busy and e-mailed everyone on their message lists. Those contacted were asked to mail or call their assembly representatives, especially Keely, whose Sacramento number is 916-319-2027. As a result, the bill was tabled until further notice. 

        Although the bill was not leveled against homeschoolers per se, the effect of its passage could be disastrous. The bill would allow Child Protective Service workers and judges to remove children from homes that do not have children enrolled in public school, a situation that already exists for foster-adopt parents before adoption papers are final. 

        Homeschool advisers are urging parents to keep the pressure on their assembly representatives. AB 804 is not dead until it's dead. 

        Some folklore to add to your family history.
        Legends to make those ancestors in the 1500's come alive!

        Life in the 1500's
        Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the B.O. 

        Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water".

        Houses had thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets ... dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.  Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

        There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." 

        The wealthy had slate floors, which would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "thresh hold".

        They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old." 

        Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat." 

        Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes ... for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth." 

        Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".

        Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

        England is old and small, and they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and reuse the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer".

        Veritas Academy: underground school

        Public education has been sending parents rushing to the exits for a long while now, and the Littleton, Colo., high school massacre that killed 14 students and one teacher only exaggerates the need for more private schools.

        Two new Catholic schools are set to open their doors as soon as fall, 1999. Holy Spirit Catholic Church in the Almaden Valley will build a new plant and offer grades K through 8. Enrollment will give first preference to Holy Spirit youngsters, then other Catholics and finally interested non-Catholics. 

        The other school will be Catholic but independent of the San Jose Diocese. Called Veritas Academy, the founders will begin with K-4th grade and then expand one grade a year. The founders, Arthur and Margaret Kalb, refused to be interviewed by View from the Pew because the View "is too controversial." At this point, we prefer not to get on anybody's bad list.  Their brochure states, however, that tuition will be in the $2,500 to $3,000 range, and an informed source told the View the academy will lease facilities from Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara.

        The brochure, which is available at Our Lady of Peace or by calling the Kalbs at 408-629-8691, states that the purpose of Veritas (which means "truth") will be to provide the Core Knowledge Sequence academic program, to foster good character and to offer "solid religious education whose content is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church."

        Veritas is seeking people, supplies and funds. Interested parties may also contact for additional information.
        For more information about Holy Spirit School, call the parish at 408-997-5100.

        Whoa! What in the world is happening with our kids today?

        Let's see...I think it started when Madelyn Murray O'Hare complained that she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school-the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK. 

        Remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem? And we said, OK, we won't spank them. 

        Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said whoa, no one in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. 

        Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and we won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, that's a grand idea. 
        Then someone else said, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the "fun" they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents. And we said, that's another great idea. 

        And then some of our top officials said that it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And we said, as long as I have a job and the economy is good, it doesn't matter to me what anyone does in private. 

        So now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill. 
        Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

        I think it has a great deal to do with "we reap what we sow". 

        Whoa! What a concept! 

        Jim Elliott, Ob.S.B.
        Traditional Oblates of St. Benedict:

        BBC World News
        Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK 

        Israel 'torture' hearing opens 

        A demonstration of one torture method described by detainees (picture of man bent backwards over a chair).

        A landmark hearing has opened in Israel to decide the legality of interrogation methods used on Palestinian detainees which human rights
        groups say amount to torture. 

        Lawyers say prisoners are subjected to: 
        violent shaking which can lead to unconsciousness 
        hanging by their wrists
        sleep deprivation 
        exposure to extreme temperatures 
        deafening music 

        Human rights groups have submitted a petition calling for an end to such practices. They say if the High Court rejects their petition, Israel will be
        the first democratic country to legalise torture.  They estimate around 85% of all Palestinians detained in Israel in a given year are tortured by the government's Shin Bet security agents. 
        Israel says it is only trying to stop terrorism Lawyers who defend Palestinian detainees say prisoners are also routinely threatened with death and have threats made against their families. 

        But the Israeli Government says Shin Bet only employs "moderate physical pressure" to extract information from suspects believed to have direct
        knowledge of imminent bomb attacks. 

        The state's attorney has argued that "the national interest must prevail over human rights" in the fight against terrorism. 

        But the United Nations Committee Against Torture decided in 1998 that the interrogation practices amounted to torture. 

        International ramifications 

        According to one human rights group, Betselem, at least 850 Palestinians are tortured each year by Shin Bet agents. A second group, the Public Committee
        Against Torture in Israel, puts the number at more than 1,000. 

        The petition is being considered by a nine-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Aharon Barak. 

        The High Court has heard numerous petitions aimed at stopping the alleged torture of individual detainees, but this hearing is the first on the
        overall legality of the Shin Bet interrogation practices. 

        Eitan Felner, head of Betselem, said if the court rejects their petition, it could set a dangerous precedent worldwide. 

        ''It will mean that Israel is the first democratic country to legalise torture and this could create a precedent that could even undermine the
        international consensus on the absolute prohibition of the use of torture,'' he added.

         BBC Online