By Efrain Cortes
Lights, cameras, and...Action:
Fellow Catholics, on Friday May 20, 2005 father James Sichko, of the Lexington diocese, hosted his first annual, "An Evening Among Friends." According to Art Jester, Staff Writer for the Lexington Herald Leader, the event was "a fundraiser for St. Mark Catholic Church...Which is trying to retire a $1.9 million debt from a recent building program for new worship space and added classrooms, a gym and a kitchen for St. Mark School."
According to Mr. Jester, "Two Richmond charities, the YMCA and the Kids Konnection, will also receive money from the event."
And indeed, all of these are worthy and important causes that should be supported by everyone in the Lexington diocese. However fellow Catholics, it is of the utmost importance that we not compromise the teaching of the Catholic Church in the process. For this is exactly what has happened at the first annual "An Evening Among Friends" fundraiser. And so the question that we must ask is: Is this what the Lexington diocese is to expect from what father Sichko has told the Herald Leader will be, "a yearly event?" This is a question in need of an answer. But first things first fellow Catholics. If the teaching of the Catholic Church has truly been compromised by the event, then in what way has this happened? Well I am glad you asked.
The headliner for the first annual "An Evening Among Friends," was none other than TV icon Regis Philbin, co-host of "Live with Regis and Kelly" and former host of the blockbuster game show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."
Okay, so far-so good, so how exactly has Catholic teaching been compromised here? After all, Regis Philbin is himself a Catholic who according to the Cross Roads, the diocesan newspaper, "...Has donated [a] library to his high school alma mater, Our Lady of Solace in the Bronx, NY, [my old stomping grounds] and a theater to his college, the University of Notre Dame, to name but two of his charitable endeavors."
But one "charitable endeavor" that has, perhaps unwittingly, escaped mention by the Crossroads is the $1,000, which according to CNN Sports Illustrated (CNNSI), Mr. Philbin contributed to the Bill Bradley 2000 Presidential Campaign. Now Bill Bradley, for those of us who may be unfamiliar with the former U.S. Senator, is a staunch pro-abortion Democrat who is in favor of killing babies up until the ninth month of pregnancy through the criminal procedure of partial birth abortion. In fact, Mr. Bradley, on his official 1999 presidential campaign website stated:
"I am strongly pro-choice. I believe that the decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a private one between a woman and her doctor, and we must protect that privacy."
And just one year prior, on September 9, 1998, according to Lifesite.net, "pro-life groups and University of Notre Dame alumni held a demonstration...to protest the hiring of pro-abortion...New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bill Bradley..."
According to Lifesite.net, Prof. Charles Rice of the Notre Dame Law School said, "Bradley's appointment is indefensible, it sends a message to the students that it is acceptable and even commendable for a legislator to support abortion."
And indeed, what message is father James Sichko sending the students of St. Mark Catholic School by allowing Mr. Philbin to ascend the St. Mark Catholic dais and explain to them what an important role his "Catholic faith" has played in his life? Is father Sichko sending the message that if they were to become rich and famous like Mr. philbin, then they, as "good Catholics," would then be free to financially support the abortion agenda of radical, liberal politicians?
And what are we, as Catholics loyal to the teaching magisterium of Rome, to do about Mr. Philbin's financial support of such a radical, liberal politician? Are we to ignore this blatant disregard for innocent life, are we to neatly sweep it under the rug simply because there is a "debt to be retired?" Are we to promote Mr. Philbin's appearance all over our Catholic radio station, are we to roll out the red carpet, and extend Mr. Philbin a free pass simply because his "star power" demands it? Or are we to stand up, and speak out against such an injustice? Well, at 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' fellow Catholics, we are compelled to stand up, and speak out! The sin of abortion is an abomination that should not be supported in any way, shape, or fashion by anyone who would call himself a Catholic - Regis Philbin included!
Now, there is no question that Mr. Philbin is a bona fide TV legend. According to the Cross Roads, Mr. Philbin "holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most hours on television with over 15,000 hours on air." This is ground breaking stuff fellow Catholics. But Mr. Philbin has broken new ground in more ways than one. In an editorial piece by Jeff Epperly published in Baywindows.com titled, Who wants to be a (gay) millionaire, Mr. Epperly proclaimed:
"...there's another reason to watch "Millionaire."
And what was that reason fellow Catholics? Well, according to Mr. Epperly, in the January 23, 2000 episode of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," Mr. Philbin did something that no game show host had ever done on any game show in television history. In that episode, Mr. Philbin helped to legitimize same-sex Couples! How did Mr. Philbin do this? According to an article by Bernard Weinraub, of the New York Times, it was done "quietly and quite nonchalantly."
You see fellow Catholics, in that episode of "Millionaire," according to Mr. Weinraub, "a contestant...embraced his gay companion onstage...The audience cheered, Regis Philbin, the host, grinned, and the network was not flooded with phone calls." At one point in the show, according to Mr. Weinraub, while Coughlin (the contestant) answered questions, Mr. Philbin commented, "Your partner, Mark, is in the audience; hey, Mark, Philbin said as the audience cheered." Finally, After being stumped by the million dollar question and choosing to walk off with $5000,000., Mr. Philbin called to coughlin's gay partner and said, "hey, Mark, come down." According to Mr. weinraub, "In its own quirky way, the quiz show...has quietly and quite nonchalantly broken sexual...barriers on television."
And Mr. Epperly, in his editorial agreed wholeheartedly. Mr. Epperly stated:
"There is a reason why members of the religious right go bonkers over such forays in the popular media. They know that featuring gays in everyday components of American life, such as game shows and commercials and sitcoms, means that more and more people - especially young people, who watch the most television - will become comfortable with the notion of homosexuality...They are losing the war and we are winning it."
You see fellow Catholics, WAKE UP!! We are in the midst of an all out culture war and, unlike us snoozing Catholics, the homosexual lobby knows it! They get it, they understand what many of us Catholics do not. And that is, that the winners of this war will be those who successfully influence the young! And useful idiots such as Mr. Philbin are dragging the culture and the young – such as those gathered before him from St. Mark Catholic School, kicking and screaming in the opposite direction and leading them directly into the clutches of mortal sin! Yes, listen up fellow Catholics - especially young Catholics, homosexual acts are gravely sinful! Do not let the foolish antics of a television personality convince you otherwise. Homosexual activity is the wicked scourge for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, homosexual activity is the wicked scourge that will deny us entry into heaven, and homosexual activity within the clergy is the wicked scourge that has infected this very diocese, and Mr. Regis Philbin, seems to be in support of such wicked activity! Let's see the Herald Leader, or the Cross Roads for that matter, report that!
Now, according to the Cross Roads, when Mr. Philbin was asked "how his faith affected his personal and professional life, Regis Philbin said, faith is the basis of everything. I asked for a lot of guidance in my prayers, and I asked for a sign or hint of where my life was going." Sounds pretty good, does it not? But what the Cross Roads is not telling you and I is that in asking for that "sign or hint of where his life was going" Mr. Philbin did not only turn to prayer, but Mr. Philbin unabashedly disclosed to those gathered before him that he had also turned to astrology. This is a practice that is unequivocally condemned by Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
But perhaps, Mr. Philbin’s involvement with astrology is merely a thing of the past. Perhaps, it was simply a one-time act of desperation by a young struggling entertainer searching for answers.
Well fellow Catholics, the fact of the matter is that Mr. Philbin has actually been steeped in astrology for years. According to Howard Sheldon, Mr. Philbin’s long time friend and personal astrologer, Mr. Philbin has relied upon sheldon’s astrological services “for about 36 years.” Also, according to Mr. Sheldon's website, he has been invited to "predict" the future on the “Live With Regis and Kelly/Kathie Lee show” 22 times as of Labor Day of 2003. And furthermore, in a personal letter to Sheldon Mr. Philbin stated:
“I remember only too well how you warned me not to go to NBC in 1981 and I went. Disaster. And I remember how you told me to go to New York in 1983. I didn’t want to but I went anyway, mainly because you said it would be a hit and it was. And now in 1988 who else would I want to predict the future but you.”
Now, in light of all of this fellow Catholics, let us now take a look at what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about astrology.
Paragraph 2116 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
"All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone."
This is the teaching of the Catholic Church, this is the teaching that every Catholic - Rich or poor, famous or unknown must live and die by. But yet, in an interview with Patricia Sheridan, of Post-Gazette.com, when asked, "Do you believe in that sort of thing?" Mr. Philbin answered:
"I do believe in astrology. I think there's a certain force, that comes from the sky and the heavens and all of that, around you depending on the alignment of your planets. It can affect your life. Of course, you always have the free will to overcome whatever it gives you, but I think there's something there."
Now, is this the faith Mr. Philbin was referring to when he told those gathered at St. Mark that, "faith is the basis of everything?" I shudder at the thought fellow Catholics.
And so you see, for the sake of raising a few thousand dollars the true and incorruptible riches Holy Mother Church offers us all have been unduly compromised. Is this what the Lexington diocese is to expect from what father Sichko has boldly proclaimed will be, "a yearly event?"
It certainly seems that way fellow Catholics. For at the event, Mr. Philbin announced to the crowd that the scheduled speaker for the second annual "An Evening Among Friends" will be none other than comedian Bill Cosby.
Now fellow Catholics, we are going to have to take into account that like Mr. Philbin, Mr. Bill Cosby is a TV legend. And so, just as we have tossed the teaching of the Catholic Church out the window for Mr. Philbin, we will also have to do the same for Mr. Cosby. You see, like Mr. Philbin, Mr. Cosby has also contributed substantial sums of money to the campaigns of pro-abortion politicians such as, liberal extremist Maxine Waters who according to, ontheissues2000.org, has voted NO on banning the evil of partial birth abortion.
Additionally, Mr. Cosby has contributed to the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign. Jackson, like Maxine Waters, has also voted NO on the banning of partial birth abortion. Mr. Cosby has also contributed to the Eleanor Holmes Norton campaign, yet another pro-choice politician, and in the year 2000, according to James Hirshen of NewsMax.com, Mr. Cosby campaigned for former Vice President, Al Gore, a staunch supporter of partial birth abortion!
And so now that we are a bit more clear as to where Mr. Cosby is coming from, allow us to lay out a few abortion facts that Mr. Cosby may be unaware of and in doing so we will attempt to clarify for Mr. Cosby where we are coming from:
According to Pastor Clenard Childress, a strong pro-life advocate for the black community, "between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched in the U.S. That Number is surpassed in less than 3 days by abortion." According to Pastor Childress, "1,452 African-American children are killed each day by the heinous act of abortion. 3 out of 5 pregnant African-American women will abort their child. Since 1973 there has been 13 million black children killed and their precious mothers victimized by the U.S. abortion industry. With 1/3 of all abortions performed on black women, the abortion industry has received over $4,000,000,000. from the black community."
In other words Mr. Cosby, stop supporting pro-abortion politicians! They are KILLING your people!!
Now, in addition, Mr. Cosby has been a long time affiliate of the NAACP and is routinely invited to speak at their gatherings. Now, the NAACP's National Board of Directors in February of 2004 passed a unanimous resolution supporting abortion rights and endorsed a pro-abortion march in April of that year. In fact, It was due to this decision by the NAACP that in June of 2004, according to newswithviews.com, "officials at the Catholic University of America rejected an application for an NAACP campus charter.
However, the University was forced to reverse its decision when NAACP president Kweisi Mfume threatened to sue and accused the university of "...outright discrimination and intolerance all rolled into one." Mr. Mfume leveled this accusation at the university in spite of the fact that two groups promoting the interests of African American students already existed on campus: "The Black Organization of students at Catholic University of America," and "Minority Voices." And so you see, the real issue here for the NAACP was not one of race, but rather, it was one of abortion!
Do you see where the Lexington Diocese is going to have to go in order to have a Hollywood comedian raise a few dollars for us? In order for the Lexington diocese to reap a bit of financial benefit, the Catholic Church of Lexington will have to virtually ignore Mr. Cosby’s outright disregard for human life, and give a nod to his long time affiliation with an organization that has successfully bullied their immorality upon a Catholic institution. And to further worsen the matter, according to Catholic Higher Education Alert, Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman, in February of 2004, joined African-American gay and lesbian activists in support of homosexual marriage. Also, according to Catholic Higher Education Alert, the NAACP website links to radical organizations such as, "National Gay & Lesbian Task Force," the "National Organization for Women," and "People for the American Way." And the California chapter of the NAACP, according to the Associated Press, has also "endorsed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in [that] state."
This is what we have to look forward to via father James Sichko and his ”An Evening Among Friends” fundraiser fellow Catholics. And should it surprise us fellow Catholics? No it should not. After all, that's Hollywood for ya! Are we sure that's where we want father James Sichko to take the Lexington diocese?
And if our answer to this question is yes, then perhaps father James Sichko will have no qualms whatsoever with leading the Lexington diocese in that very direction, as long as he gets to smile for the cameras and get his name in the paper. That, is what this is really all about, in my humble opinion. And if so, then father James Sichko should consider the fact that his first priority as a Catholic priest should and must be the safeguarding of our Catholic Faith and the flock with which he has been entrusted! True Catholics in the Lexington diocese should be outraged that such outright defamation of our Catholic faith by one of its appointed guardians has, thus far, been allowed to go unchecked!
Now, are we as loyal Catholics, going to allow ourselves to be swayed by the glitz and glamour of sinful Hollywood, are we going to compromise our Catholic faith for the sake of rubbing elbows with the rich and famous? Or are we going to stand firm in the teaching of the Catholic Church, and reject the pomps and works that father James Sichko has set before us? The choice is ours. God bless fellow Catholics.
And...Cut! That's a print!