Sacred Heart Church, Manville NJ
 
 
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
† Sacred Heart Parish Membership

Welcome to Sacred Heart Church in Manville, NJ. We invite you to register and become a part of our parish community by calling the Parish Office and making an appointment with the Pastor. Every family in the parish is required to be registered in our parish. If you are not registered we are unable serve you by issuing testimonial letters in connection with sponsorship for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Matrimony. We cannot give recommendations for Catholic schools or character references.

The regular use of the envelopes is the present system of supporting our parish. We ask you to use them. Record of your contribution for the year can be available to you for Income Tax purposes, upon request. Every working member of Sacred Heart Parish is expected to contribute to the support of our church. Please register, when you move into the parish and notify us also when leaving or changing your address, as soon as possible.

† Sacrament of Baptism

Arrangements should be made at least one month prior to the Baptism, preferably during the pregnancy. Parents must be registered and practicing members of our parish for a minimum of three months. Parents must pick up a Baptismal book (there is a $5 fee for the book) at the parish office and read it before attending the required one-hour instructional session "Baptism Basics". The Baptism Basics session is offered in both English and Polish.
For English call Deacon Tom Giacobbe at 908-725-0072
for Polish call Fr. Mariusz Mazurkiewicz at 908-725-0072.

Godparents: Ideally, both sponsors should be practicing Catholics. If it is not possible to find two practicing Catholics, one sponsor can be non-Catholic as long as they practice a Christian religion. (The other must be Catholic.) Keep in mind that the non-Catholic would not be a godparent to the child, but a witness to the Baptism. You must obtain a letter from the godparent?s parish called a "Certificate of Eligibility" stating that they are able to be a Godparent.

After attending Baptism Basics and obtaining the "Certificates of Eligibility" for the godparents, the parents must call the parish office 908-725-0072 and make an appointment with the Pastor. The Pastor is the only person able to schedule a Baptism. Baptisms cannot be scheduled until the meeting with the Pastor takes place.

Baptisms usually take place on Sundays at 1:00PM and are private ceremonies.

There will be no Baptisms performed during Lent, on Easter Sunday or on Christmas Day.

† Sacrament of Matrimony

In order to have your wedding performed at Sacred Heart Church, at least one of the parties must be a registered and practicing member of Sacred Heart Parish. Diocesan policy requires at least a one-year advance notification to the Pastor and participation in Pre-Cana Instruction. A schedule of Pre-Cana classes is available at the Parish Office.

Before you make any arrangements for your wedding, please call the parish office 908-725-0072 for an appointment with the Pastor to see if the date you desire is available.

For Catholics who were not Baptized at our parish, a Baptismal Certificate from the parish of your Baptism must be provided. In addition, you must provide certificates of First Communion and Confirmation. Christian, but non-Catholics must provide a Baptismal certificate and a letter of freedom to marry from their pastor. All documents must be dated no later than 6 months prior to the wedding date. A copy of the Wedding Pamphlet can be obtained from the Parish Office.

† Religious Education for Children

Grades 1 through 8 are taught in our Religious Education Program. To have a child enrolled in our program, the parents must be registered members at Sacred Heart Parish.

Grades 1 thru 6 meet on Tuesdays at St. Mary's Parish Center on Brooks Blvd. Grades 1-3 from 4:00 to 5:15PM and Grades 4-6 from 5:45 to 7:00PM.

Grades 7 and 8 meet on Wednesdays at the St. John Neumann Catechetical Center here on Parish grounds. The time of their class is 5:45 to 7:00PM.

It is our policy that the children attending Religious Education classes at Sacred Heart Parish will receive First Holy Communion
at the end of 2nd Grade and Confirmation at the end of 8th Grade.
It is expected that the children attend the entire religious program, Grades 1 through 8.

Tuition:
$110 for the 1st child
$90 for the 2nd child
$80 for the 3rd child
Any other children attend for free

† Interments

When someone dies, the family should phone a funeral home of their choice. The funeral director will determine in what cemetery the deceased is to be interred. In the event Sacred Heart Cemetery is the cemetery of choice, the funeral director will then notify the cemetery manager of the need for a grave opening.

It will also be necessary for families to meet with the cemetery manager. A mutually convenient time will be arranged by the funeral director.

Grave openings are done by the cemetery superintendent
and his staff only.

Interments can be scheduled for Monday through Saturday,
with the exception of Sundays, holydays, and holidays.

Standard vaults or better are mandatory for all interments.

In the case of a family plot or plots that were purchased prior
to need, any unpaid account balance must be satisfied in advance
for a lot in which an interment is to take place.

Due to the difficulty and expense involved in the disposal of flower arrangements, only a manageable amount of floral arrangements (four) are permitted to grace the casket during the graveside service. These floral arrangements will be removed and disposed of by cemetery personnel at their discretion, usually within three to five days after interment.

† Cremations

Catholics can be cremated now, but those who are interested in cremation often have many questions. Perhaps the following will help.

Cremation is the process by which the body of the deceased is reduced to its basic elements. Cremation is permitted for Catholics as long as it is not chosen in denial of Christian teaching on the Resurrection and the sacredness of the human body.

Although cremation is permitted, Catholic teaching continues to stress the preference for burial or entombment of the body of the deceased. This is done in imitation of the burial of Jesus' body.

When cremation is chosen for a good reason, the full course of the Order of Christian Funerals should still be celebrated, including the Vigil Service (wake), the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal. The preservation of this order allows for the greater expression of our beliefs and values, especially the sacredness of human life, the dignity of the individual person and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through its funeral rites, the Church commends the dead to the merciful love of God and pleads forgiveness of their sins.

The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body be present during the Vigil and Funeral Mass, and that if cremation is to be used, it take place following the Rite of Final Commendation.

Church teaching insists that cremated remains must be given the same respect as the body, including the manner in which they are carried and the attention given to their appropriate transport and placement. This includes a worthy container to hold the cremated remains.

The cremated remains of a body are to be buried or entombed, preferably in a Catholic cemetery, and using the rites provided by the Order of Christian Funerals. The following are not considered to be reverent dispositions that the Church requires: scattering cremated remains, dividing cremated remains, and keeping cremated remains in the home.

Whether one chooses burial or cremation, personal choices should be respected, but they have to be known first. Families need to carefully think through and discuss their burial options with each other.

(From "Catholic Teaching on Cremation: Questions and Answers from
the Bishops of New York State," New York State Catholic Conference)

† Marriage and Same-Sex Unions

A growing movement today favors making those relationships commonly called same-sex unions the legal equivalent if marriage. This situation challenges Catholics ? and all who seek the truth ? to think deeply about the meaning of marriage.

Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and woman. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. Man and woman are equal. However, as created, they are different from, but made for each other.

Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan for creation. The natural structure of human sexuality makes man and woman complementary partners for the transmission of human life. Only a union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity willed by God for marriage. The permanent and exclusive commitment of marriage is the necessary context for the expression of sexual love intended by God both to serve the transmission of human life and to build up the bond between husband and wife.

In marriage, husband and wife are equal as human beings but different as man and woman, fulfilling each other through this natural difference. This unique complementarity makes possible the conjugal bond that is the core of marriage.

For several reasons a same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage. Therefore it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.

The marital union provides the best conditions for raising children: namely, the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. When marriage is redefined so as to make other relationships equivalent to it, the institution of marriage is devalued and further weakened.

It is not unjust to deny legal status to same-sex unions because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. The state has an obligation to promote the family, which is rooted in marriage. Therefore, it can justly give married couples rights and benefits it does not extend to others. Some benefits currently sought by persons in homosexual unions can already be obtained without regard to marital status. For example, individuals can agree to own property jointly with another, and they can generally designate anyone they choose to be a beneficiary of their will or to make health care decisions in case they become incompetent.

Marriage can only be the union of a man and a woman and must remain such in law. In a manner unlike any other relationship, marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society, especially through the procreation and education of children. Marriage is a gift to be cherished and protected.
† Questions on the Paschal Triduum
When does the Triduum begin and end?
The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday.

May another Mass besides the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
be celebrated on Holy Thursday?

Ordinarily, no other Mass may be celebrated on Holy Thursday. However, by way of exception, the local Ordinary may permit another Mass in churches and oratories to be celebrated in the evening, and, in the case of genuine necessity, even in the morning. Such Masses are provided for those who in no way are able to participate in the evening Mass.

How are the Holy Oils, consecrated and blessed on
Holy Thursday, to be received in the parish?

A reception of the oils may take place at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The oils, in suitable vessels, are carried in the procession of the gifts, before the bread and wine, by members of the assembly. A text for this can be found in the Sacramentary Supplement 2004 recently published by Catholic Book Publishing Company.

When should the celebration of the Lord’s Passion take place? Normally, it should take place in the afternoon, at about three o’clock to enable people to assemble more easily. However, pastoral discretion may indicate a time shortly after midday, or in the late evening, though never later than nine o’clock. Depending on the size and nature of a parish or other community, the local ordinary may permit the service to be repeated.

Does the Church encourage any other liturgical celebrations
on Good Friday?

On this day, the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer could appropriately be celebrated with the participation of the people in the churches.


Do devotions have a particular importance in Good Friday?
The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2002) provides the proper perspective in paragraphs 142-145. Clearly the central celebration of this day is the Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. In no way should manifestations of popular piety, either by the time or manner in which they are convoked substitute for this solemn liturgical action. Nor should aspects of the various acts of piety be mixed with the Good Friday celebration, creating a hybrid. In recent times, Passion Processions and celebrations of the Stations of the Cross and Passion Plays have become more common. In such representations, actors and spectators can be involved in a moment of faith and genuine piety. Care should be taken, however, to point out to the faithful that Passion Plays are a representation which is commemorative and they are very different from “liturgical actions” which are anamnesis, or the mysterious presence of the redemptive event of the Passion.

How does the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday begin?
The Veneration of the Cross begins with one of two forms of Showing of the Cross: The first form begins as the deacon or another suitable minister goes to the sacristy and obtains the veiled cross. Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, the veiled cross is brought to the center of the sanctuary in procession. The priest accepts the cross and then standing in front of the altar and facing the people, uncovers the upper part of the cross, the right arm and then the entire cross. Each time he unveils a part of the cross, he sings This is the wood of the cross. In the second form of the veneration of the cross, the priest or deacon goes to the church door, where he takes up the uncovered cross. Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, he processes to the sanctuary, stopping at the door of the church, in the middle of the church and before entering the sanctuary to sing the acclamation, This is the wood of the cross.

How is the cross venerated by members of the Congregation
on Good Friday?

After the showing of the cross, the priest or deacon may carry the cross to the entrance of the sanctuary or another suitable place. The first person to adore the Cross is the priest celebrant. If circumstances suggest, he takes off his chasuble and his shoes. The clergy, lay ministers and the faithful then approach the cross. The personal adoration of the cross is an important feature in this celebration and every effort should be made to achieve it. The rubrics remind us that “only one cross” should be used for adoration. If the numbers are so great that all cannot come forward, the priest, after some of the clergy and faithful have adored the cross, can take the cross and stand in the center before the altar. In a few words he invites the people to adore the Cross. He then elevates the cross higher for a brief period of time while the faithful adore it in silence. It should also be kept in mind that when a sufficiently large cross is used even a large community can reverence it in due time. The foot of the cross as well as the right and left arm can be approached and venerated. Coordination with ushers and planning the flow of people beforehand can allow for this part of the liturgy to be celebrated with decorum and devotion.

When should the Easter Vigil take place?
The Vigil, by its very nature, ought to take place at night. It is not begun before nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday. The celebration of the Easter Vigil takes the place of the Office of Readings. The Easter Vigil begins and ends in darkness. It is a nocturnal vigil, retaining its ancient character of vigilance, and expectation, as the Christian people await the resurrection of the Lord during the night. Fire is blessed and the paschal candle is lighted to illuminate the night so that all may hear the Easter proclamation and listen to the word of God proclaimed in the Scriptures. For this reason the Service of Light takes place before the Service of the Word. Since sunset varies at different locations throughout the country, local weather stations can be consulted as to the time of sunset in the area.

Where is the Paschal Candle placed during the Easter Season?
The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at Morning and Evening Prayer. After the Easter Season the candle should be kept with honor in the baptistery, so that in the celebration Baptism the candles of the baptized may be lit from it. In the celebration of funerals the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate that the death of a Christian is his own Passover. The paschal candle should not be otherwise be lit nor placed in sanctuary outside the Easter Season.

† Blessing of the Food
The Polish Easter Tradition of Blessing of the Food
As in most European countries, the Easter Season in Poland is a time of great pageant and picturesque customs. Some of these, like the tradition of releasing convicted criminals from prison on

Holy Thursday are no longer practiced, but the majority of the
rest are still to be seen across the Polish countryside at Easter time. Holy Saturday, begins the transition from the sorrow of Easter, reflective of the sufferings of the Passion and Crucifixion, to the joy of Easter, anticipating the Resurrection and Redemption.

Perhaps the first sign of this change is the Њwiкconka, the traditional blessing of the food. The table of a home would be
filled with all sorts of food and delicacies to be eaten in the Easter feast.

Blessed Easter Fare - Święconka
On Holy Saturday, the food is blessed either at home or the Parish Church. At home the table is laid with finest linen and on it are spread ham, coils of sausages, cakes of all kinds, in the center of which is the homemade coffee cake, Baba, and homemade bread, colored eggs, Pisanki, salt and pepper, wine, vinegar and horseradish mixed with grated beetroot. In the center of the table is placed the Paschal Lamb made of butter. Sprigs of green decorate the plates upon which the food is placed and the edges of the table. If the food is taken to a church, a little of each article of food mentioned above is placed in a small decorated basket.

The basket is lined with a white napkin, and another napkin covers the food until the church is reached. Every housewife tries to make her basket look the prettiest by tying a decorative bow on the handle with a sprig of green or maybe a pretty little branch of pussy willows, or little flowers. The basket is carried to the church by the housewives or children. Easter Day (Wielkanoc) opens with the Resurrection Mass, Rezurekcja.

After the services in church, the family returns home and gathers around the table to eat their breakfast, consisting of the blessed fare. An egg is cut into as many pieces as there are persons present, with a few extra slices for guests who may drop in. Each person takes a piece of the “the blessed egg” as it is passed by the head of the household, exchanging greetings of Wesoіego Alleluja - Happy Easter, and wishes for a long life and happiness.


The Symbolism of the Easter Foods
The LAMB, either meat or a symbolic lamb in the form of cake or butter, is the ancient Passover food by whose blood the Israelites were saved. Jesus is our Paschal (Passover) Lamb by whose blood we are saved.

HAM celebrates the freedom of the New Law which came into effect through Jesus’ resurrection, in distinction to the Old Law which forbade certain meats. Sausage (KIELBASA) is a Slavic addition to enhance the celebration; its links remind us of the chains of death which were broken when Jesus rose.

BREAD, especially the PASCHA, a special round loaf, made of rich dough and raisins, and decorated with a cross, reminds us of Jesus, the risen Lord, who in the Eucharist is the food of our earthly journey and the true bread of everlasting life.

EGGS are a sign of hope and resurrection. Jesus comes forth from the tomb like the chick comes from the shell at birth.

HORSERADISH represents the bitter herbs prescribed in the original Passover meal as a reminder of the bitterness and harshness of the life of slavery in Egypt. It reminds us of the bitterness of Jesus Passion by which he entered glory.

WINE is the drink of the Passover meal and the Last Supper.
Its sparkle reminds us of the glory of Easter. Wine gladdens our hearts and helps us enter into the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord.

BUTTER, CHEESE, AND DAIRY PRODUCTS are also included in the basket to celebrate the end of the Great Fast of Lent and the richness of Salvation which flows from the death and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

SALT, which symbolizes wisdom and preservation from corruption, is included to remind us that Jesus did not undergo corruption in the grave.

VINEGAR is included in some traditions. It reminds us of the vinegar which was offered to our Lord as He was dying on the cross.

CAKES and PASTRIES remind us of the sweetness of the Lord, as does EASTER CANDY.

† Roe v. Wade
What is Roe v. Wade?
It is the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. A woman who said she was pregnant from rape and wanted an abortion (“Jane Roe” in court documents) sued a Texas district attorney (Henry Wade) to prevent him from enforcing a Texas law banning abortion except to save the mother’s life. On January 22, 1973, the Court decided this case, and a similar case (Doe v. Bolton) in which a woman denied an abortion by a hospital review committee (“Mary Doe” in court documents) had challenged Georgia’s law. The Court struck down both laws, with the effect of striking down similar laws in all the other states as well. Jane Roe (whose real name is Norma McCorvey) later admitted having lied about the rape. Horrified at these decisions’ impact, both she and Mary Doe (whose real name is Sandra Cano) are now among those urging their reversal.

What did Roe v. Wade do?
It said the right of privacy (not mentioned in the text of the Constitution) “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.” The Justices ruled that a state may not restrict abortion at all in the first three months of pregnancy (first trimester). It may establish guidelines only to protect the mother’s health during the next three months (second trimester). After “viability,” when the unborn child could survive if delivered (which the Court placed at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation), the state may prohibit abortion unless it is deemed necessary to preserve the mother’s “life or health.”

So Roe allows states to prohibit abortion after viability?
Well, no. In the companion case Doe v. Bolton, which the Court said must be read together with Roe, “health” was defined in the abortion context to include “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient.” By this definition, abortion must be allowed in the ninth month if the abortionist says it is needed to serve a woman’s emotional well-being. Thus all meaningful limits on abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy were discarded.

Did the Court find that life doesn’t begin until birth?
No. It argued that uses of the word “person” in the Constitution do not seem to include the unborn. Then, citing wide disagreement as to when human life begins, the Court said it “need not resolve” this difficult question. Instead of considering the scientific evidence that life begins at conception, or even allowing legislatures to protect those who have never been proven to be anything but human beings, the Court decided to treat unborn children merely as “potential life” - and to prevent the people or their elected representatives from determining otherwise.

Wasn’t the Court only continuing a trend toward “liberalizing” abortion laws begun by the people and their elected representatives?
No. In the years leading up to Roe, proposals to weaken laws against abortion were introduced in most states but usually not enacted. Some states did add narrow exceptions to their laws, and a few legalized abortion for any reason, generally up to 20 weeks’ gestation. But then the trend reversed. New York’s legislature voted to restore legal protection to unborn children (a move blocked by the governor’s veto). And in 1972 the people of Michigan and North Dakota overwhelmingly voted to reject proposals to loosen their abortion laws. After studying public opinion against legalized abortion, demographer Judith Blake concluded that a Supreme Court decision striking down state laws would be “the only road to rapid change.” Roe created a national policy more extreme than the law of any state, and it disrupted the democratic process by which the American people had begun to deal with the conflicting claims of the abortion debate.


In the past three decades, haven’t people come to accept the policy of Roe v. Wade?
No. Public opposition to legalized abortion remains strong. The vast majority of Americans oppose the policy of unlimited abortion set down in Roe, and most believe abortion should not be legal for the reasons it is most often performed. In Zogby International’s April 2004 poll, 56 percent would ban all abortions or allow them only in cases of rape or incest or danger to the mother’s life; these cases make up a tiny percentage of legal abortions. In fact, only 13 percent in this same poll agreed abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during a woman’s pregnancy.

Do all legal experts approve of Roe?
No. Roe has been criticized by several Supreme Court justices, and even by legal experts who favor legalized abortion. Justice Byron White called it “an exercise of raw judicial power.” Yale law professor John Hart Ely has said that Roe is “a very bad decision…It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Edward Lazarus, former clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun who wrote the Roe opinion, says that “Roe, as constitutional interpretation, is virtually impossible to defend.

Has the Supreme Court spoken more recently about the validity
of its decision in Roe?

In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court abandoned Roe’s trimester framework, but reaffirmed Roe’s holding that no abortion could be banned before viability. Three Justices said they were doing this not so much because the original case was rightly decided, but because it had been the law for a long time and many people had come to rely on the availability of abortion. They said that “a decision to overrule should rest on some special reason over and above the belief that a prior case was wrongly decided.” But if one realizes the decision was wrong, it is doubly wrong to keep imposing it on the country. In his Casey dissent, Chief Justice William Rehnquist noted that in the previous two decades the Court had “overruled in whole or in part 34 of its previous constitutional decisions.” Reversal of Roe is long overdue.

Haven’t many states banned parial-birth abortion, the killing of children in the process of being born alive?
Yes, but even those laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court on the basis of Roe v. Wade. By a 5-to-4 vote, the Court has ruled that even these laws must include Roe’s exception for the mother’s “health” (without explaining why her health could require killing a mostly-born child instead of completing a live delivery). Given the Court’s definition of “health,” such an exception would make the laws largely meaningless.

What is Roe’s impact on society?
Abortions in the U.S. have risen to well over a million a year, with one-fourth of all pregnancies ending in abortion. Problems that some claimed Roe would alleviate – “unwanted” children, child abuse and abandonment, etc. – have worsened. Many women have been maimed or killed by legal abortion, and abortionists have been protected from legal scrutiny by courts applying Roe. Many more women bear heavy emotional scars from abortion, and increasingly they are making their stories public to warn other women. Far from emancipating women, Roe has helped create the expectation that women will resort to abortion – to “fit” into college and the workforce, and to free men from unwanted parental responsibility. It has blocked progress toward a society that welcomes women with their children.


Have courts applied Roe to other issues?

Courts have used Roe to strike down safety regulations protecting women, as well as laws protecting children born alive during abortion attempts. Judges have invoked Roe to argue for a constitutional right to assisted suicide, to nullify federal regulations protecting handicapped newborns from lethal neglect, and to demand legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

What would happen if Roe were reversed?
Abortion would not automatically become illegal. Rather, the people and their elected representatives would be allowed to begin enacting abortion policies that respect the lives of both women and their unborn children. The move away from the Court’s policy of virtually unlimited abortion would likely be gradual, leading to improvements in cultural attitudes toward women and children and in concrete support for women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Would this mean a return to dangerous “back alley” abortions?
No. Claims that thousands of women were dying from illegal abortions at the time of Roe were fabricated for political purposes, as a chief strategist later admitted. Due to the development of antibiotics and other medical advances, maternal deaths from all abortions (legal and illegal) dropped from 1,231 in 1942 to 70 in 1972, the year before Roe. Medicine has made more advances in the last thirty years, and women can be offered options that are safer for them and their children than abortion.

Why are abortion advocates so strongly committed to
retaining Roe?

Roe v. Wade is increasingly recognized as bad law, bad medicine, and bad social policy. Most Americans object to an unlimited right to abortion. Therefore such a policy can be kept in place only by extraordinary life support – by insisting that Roe is untouchable, regardless of the evidence. Abortion advocates know that any return of this issue to the democratic process would produce a very different policy from what the Court created. But false judicial doctrines do not have a right to live. Human beings do.

† Roe Reality Check
Myth: “High Court Rules Abortions Legal the First 3 Months.”
Fact: Abortion is legal through all 9 months of pregnancy.
In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court ruled that abortion may not be restricted at all in the first trimester; in the second trimester abortion may be regulated only for the mother’s health. After “viability, abortion may be prohibited except where necessary to preserve the mother’s health. Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, defined maternal “health” as: “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. Thus, abortion is legal – and cannot be prohibited – in the 7th, 8th, or 9th months of pregnancy if any of these reasons is invoked.

Myth: Most abortions are done because of maternal or fetal
health problems, or in cases of rape or incest.

Fact: Abortions are rarely done for these reasons.
According to an Alan Guttmacher Institute survey, women cite these as the main reason for an abortion in a very small percentage of cases each year:
1% “rape or incest”
3% “woman has health problem” (physical or mental)
3% “fetus has possible health problem”

For all other abortions, the main reason cited is:
21% “unready for responsibility”
21% “can’t afford baby now”
16% “concerned about how having a baby could change her life”
12% “has problems with relationship or wants to avoid single parenthood”
11% “is not mature enough, or is too young to have a child”
8% “has all the children she wanted, or has all grown-up children”
1% “husband or partner wants woman to have abortion”
1% “doesn’t want others to know she has had sex or is pregnant”
0.5% “woman’s parents want her to have abortion”
3% “other”
Under Roe v. Wade, abortions for these reasons or any other reason must be legally permitted.


Myth: Most Americans favor U.S. abortion law.
Fact: Most Americans actually oppose it.
A 2005 Harris Interactive poll claims 52% of Americans favor Roe v. Wade and 47% oppose it. But the poll describes Roe as “the U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortions up to three months of pregnancy legal.”
That’s wrong. The fact is, Roe made abortion legal through all 9 months of pregnancy.
In the same poll, 72% of Americans said abortion should be illegal in the second three months of pregnancy, and 86% said abortion should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy.
Even support for abortion in the first three months is open to question. In a 2004 Zogby International poll, 61% of Americans said abortion should not be permitted after the fetal heartbeat has begun. This occurs in the first month.
So why do 52% of Americans say they favor Roe v. Wade? Because they don’t really know what Roe did.

Myth: Roe said the Constitution includes a right to abortion.
Fact: Yet even legal commentators who support legal abortion have said Roe is not good constitutional law.
Roe v Wade is “a very bad decision…because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”
- John Hart Ely, Yale Law School professor

“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible…[It is] one of the most intellectually suspect constitutional decisions of the modern era.”
- Edward Lazarus, former clerk to Justice Blackmun (who authored Roe)

“Since its inception Roe has had a deep legitimacy problem, stemming from its weakness as a legal opinion.”
- Benjamin Wittes, Washington Post legal affairs editorial writer

“One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”
- Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor

Fact: Supreme Court justices have criticized Roe v. Wade.
“I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment” in Roe v. Wade.
- Justice Byron White

“This Court’s abortion decisions have already worked a major distortion in the Court’s constitution jurisprudence… no legal rule or doctrine is safe from ad hoc nullification by this Court… in a case involving state regulation of abortion.”
- Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Roe v. Wade “destroyed the compromises of the past, [and] rendered compromise impossible for the future… [T]o portray Roe as the statesmanlike ‘settlement’ of a divisive issue… is nothing less than Orwellian.”
- Justice Antonin Scalia

Roe v. Wade “was grievously wrong.”
- Justice Clarence Thomas

“Roe v. Wade… ventured too far in the change it ordered and presented an incomplete justification for its action.”
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Myth: The U.S. abortion rate is relatively low.
Fact: It is among the highest of all developed countries
in the world.

In 1973, the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade deemed “every [abortion] law – even the most liberal – as unconstitutional.”
Today the U.S. has the highest abortion rate in the western world, and the third-highest of all developed nations worldwide.
There are 1.31 million induced abortions annually in the U.S., or 3,500 every day; 24.5% of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion.

Myth: Most American women support Roe v. Wade.
Fact: Most do not.
Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout pregnancy, for virtually any reason. Yet according to a national survey of women published by the Center for Gender Equality, “only 30% think abortion should be generally available.”
In fact, most women say abortion should be substantially limited or never permitted:
- 17% said abortion should never be permitted.
- 34% said abortion should be permitted only in cases of rape, incest, and to save the woman’s life.
And when asked to rank 12 issues in order of importance for the women’s movement, women ranked “Keeping abortion legal” next to last.

Myth: Most abortions are done before fetal organs are functioning.
Fact: Actually, the vast majority are done after the fetal heart has begun beating.
A fetal heart begins to beat at about 21 or 22 days after fertilization. That’s at about 3 week’s development. 77% of abortions in the United States are done well after this point.

Myth: U.S. abortion law has not encouraged the use of abortion as a method of birth control.

Fact: Nearly half of all abortions are performed on women who have already had at least one.
Today, 48% of women having an abortion in the United States have had at least one previous abortion. In some states the repeat abortions is much higher. In Maryland, for example, 71.4% of those having an abortion have already had at least one. And 16.4% have had at least three prior abortions.

Myth: Abortion is legal only when the fetus is in the womb.
Fact: Even a child who is partially-born can be legally aborted.
Partial-birth abortion kills a fetus during the process of delivery.
At first, abortion providers said it was rare, and used only on women whose lives were in danger or whose fetuses were damaged. But Ron Fitzsimmons, then the Executive Director of National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted he had “lied through my teeth.” He admitted that most partial-birth abortions are not done for “extreme circumstances” but are “primarily done on healthy women and healthy fetuses.” In 2000, the Supreme Court said states cannot ban partial-birth abortion even with an exception to save the mother’s life. The Court said such a ban violates “the woman’s right to choose” established by Roe v. Wade.

Myth: If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will automatically be illegal in the U.S.
Fact: If Roe is overturned, abortion policy will be decided through the democratic process in each state.
Before Roe v. Wade, all states permitted abortion if necessary to save the mother’s life, and some permitted abortion in additional circumstances. But Roe deemed “every [abortion] law – even the most liberal – as unconstitutional. As a result, no state can prohibit any abortion at any time during pregnancy. If Roe is overturned, the policy decisions about abortion will be made by the citizens of each state through the democratic process, rather than by courts. Some states will place limits on abortion, in others there will likely be few limits. Not until Roe v. Wade is reversed will the people again be able to govern themselves on the important public policy issue of abortion.

Myth: Roe v. Wade is only about a woman’s right to abortion, not about a right to take life in general.
Fact: Roe has often been cited by state and federal judges to endanger human beings already born.
In 1986, relying on Roe, the Supreme Court invalidated a law intended to ensure care for children born alive during attempted abortions. In 1983, a U.S. district court invalidated a federal regulation to prevent medical neglect of handicapped newborns in hospitals receiving federal funds. The court said the regulation may “infringe upon the interests outlined in cases such as… Roe v. Wade.
In 1980, a New York court cited Roe in a “right to die” case, arguing that the “claim to personhood” of a terminally ill comatose patient “is certainly no greater than that of the fetus.”
In 1993, a Michigan judge cited Roe in dismissing criminal charges against Jack Kevorkian and declaring that the state law against assisted suicide was unconstitutional.
And in 1996, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relied heavily on Roe and its successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in finding a constitutional “right” to assisted suicide.
While some of these rulings were later modified or reversed, they all underscore how Roe v. Wade has been used to argue that ideas of privacy and liberty can trump life itself – after as well as before birth.


Myth: Abortion is standard medical practice; only religious hospitals and some physicians refuse to provide it.
Fact: Even abortion advocates acknowledge that abortion is outside mainstream medicine.
The vast majority (86%) of all U.S. hospitals whether religious or secular, public or private, do not participate in abortions. 71% of abortions in the United States are performed in free-standing abortion-dedicated clinics. Only 5% are performed in hospitals, 2% in physicians’ offices and 22% in other kinds of clinics.
A New York Times Magazine article reports, “The overwhelming majority of abortions are performed by a small group of doctors. (Some 2 percent of OB-GYN’s carry the burden, performing more than 25 per month).”
The medical community’s stigmatization of abortion is acknowledged by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, which says one of its “primary strategic goals is to eradicate the stigma that has become attached to abortion and abortion providers within mainstream healthcare.”

Myth: Roe v. Wade empowers women to choose freely
whether abortion is their best option.

Fact: Legalized abortion has made it easy for others to
pressure women into having abortions.

Not freedom, but “lack of control over one’s life” is associated with high abortion rates, as is “lack of financial and social resources.”
An on-line survey of women who had abortions showed that many women feel pressured by the baby’s father: 85% of fathers offered no encouragement to continue the pregnancy. When women said they wanted to continue the pregnancy, the father’s dominant reactions were: “Slightly Upset 60%, Mad 38%, Very Angry 43%,” compared to “Happy 0.7%”.” 73% of fathers suggested an abortion.
80% of the women surveyed experienced guilt, 83% regret, 79% loss, 62% anger, and 70% depression.
Even a website which encourages women to consider abortion “so they can freely decide if it is their choice” elsewhere posts personal stories describing pressure, coercion or abandonment by the baby’s father.

Fact: Cardinal William H. Keeler, in a January 6, 2005 letter to all U.S. Senators, noted the following points – each of which was documented throughout this series:

- “For over three decades, Roe has sparked more informed criticism and public resistance than any other court decision of the late 20th century.”
- “Even legal scholars who support abortion have criticized Roe for not being grounded in the U.S. Constitution.”
- “Further, in 2000, the Supreme Court relied on Roe to rule that the gruesome and inhumane practice of partial-birth abortion must be constitutionally protected.”

Or, in the words of a former law clerk to Justice Blackmun, the Roe opinion’s author, Roe is a poor choice for a “litmus test” for judicial nominees, for “as a matter of constitutional interpretation, even most liberal jurisprudes – if you administer truth serum – will tell you it is basically indefensible.”

“By any measure,” said Cardinal Keeler, “support for the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is an impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability.

Abortion. Have we gone too far?
The Second Look Project

† What is an Annulment, I.E., Declaration of Nullity

An annulment is a declaration by the Church’s Marriage Tribunal that a marriage, whose validity the law up to this point has presumed to be intact, has been shown to have actually been entered into invalidly. The invalidity pertains to the consent that was given and received by the two parties at the time of the wedding. Technically, the Church does not “grant” annulments. To grant something according to canon law is to suggest that a favor is being given. It is better to say that the Church “declares” a marriage to be null and void. The Church does not consider it a favor to relieve someone of a marriage bond, especially when one considers that the Church looks to marriage as a sacred institution which helps stabilize the fabric of society. According to c. 1060, marriage enjoys the favor of the law. When a person approaches the Tribunal requesting an annulment, he/she is saying to the Church that he/she is in doubt as to the validity of the marriage. The Church places the burden of proof on the petitioner.

WHAT IS THE FORMAL PROCESS?
There are two ways the Church declares a marriage to have been proven to be null and void. One way is through the contentious trial; the other is the documentary process.

The contentious trial is what we are referring to when we speak about a formal annulment process (or ordinary process). The Tribunal follows the canons on ecclesiastical trials as found in Book VII of the Code of Canon Law. This process identifies certain rights and obligations for both the person seeking the annulment (the petitioner) and the other party (the respondent). With the new Code of 1983, the Holy Father (who is the Church’s legislator) saw fit to better safeguard the rights of the respondent. This was done partly to correct abuses which had crept in during those intervening years between the close of the Second Vatican Council and the promulgation of the new Code, as well as to highlight just how serious the Church considers the attempt to have a particular marriage declared invalid.

The proper candidate for the formal annulment process is the sacramental marriage (marriage between two baptized persons) and the natural bond of marriage (specifically, marriage between two non-baptized persons, or between a Catholic and an unbaptized person with dispensation from disparity of worship and possible also a dispensation from canonical form, or between a baptized non-Catholic and an unbaptized person).

In the case of the sacramental marriage, it is important to recall that the valid baptism of the two parties is all that is necessary, and not that the baptisms took place in the Catholic Church. In the case of the natural bond of marriage between a baptized non-Catholic and an unbaptized person, the validity of this marriage rests on the fact that the baptized non-Catholic is not bound to the Catholic Church’s law on disparity of worship. The marriage, although not sacramental, is a valid natural bond. Such a natural bond of marriage may also be a candidate for dissolution as a privilege case.

WHAT IS THE DOCUMENTARY PROCESS?
The documentary process is a method of declaring certain marriages null and void through use of documents alone and not through a trial. There are several documentary processes utilized by the Church. The most common is the process to declare a marriage null and void by reason of a lack of the canonical form of marriage.

The candidate for this type of documentary process is the marriage that was never solemnized according to the marriage ritual of the Catholic Church. Catholics are juridically bound to marry according to the form of marriage established by the Catholic Church. (The Church now acknowledges the canonical form of marriage according to the Orthodox Church as juridically binding for Catholics who enter into such a marriage even without proper dispensation.) When a Catholic does not receive the necessary dispensation from his or her Ordinary from the canonical form of marriage, that Catholic enters marriage invalidly.

The other documentary processes pertain to the favor of the faith causes.