VOL. 8, NO. 2
April/June 2005

Dear Readers:

This issue of The Defender begins with an article by Bertha Peralta, a guest writer who is a young adult deeply involved in her faith, working as a youth leader in New York City. Her timely article is addressed to young women and young lay ministers.

Following this, we have a hard-hitting article by Father Charles Dahlby titled The Pink Elephant in the Church. He addresses the scandal of homosexuality in the Church. Like the elephant in the living room, it is a problem our bishops appear to ignore.

Mary Solsbak has another special article in this issue about how Planned Parenthood’s (PPFA) teen sex education program uses tax dollars to attack parental rights. PPFA has been the primary source of sex education in public schools with the purpose of supposedly reducing sexual activity. Facts prove the opposite has occurred, and the additional pregnancies feed the abortion mills. Mary investigates many of the PPFA teen publications and websites. You will find the information here more than shocking. The PPFA website, Teenwired.com, itself a borderline porn site, directs teens to other porn sites that dispense information to enable teenagers to satisfy their sexual desires and to bypass the authority of their parents.

Several groups have formed to combat the horrible evil of PPFA. One of these is called WAKE UP, founded by Missy Smith. Smith is no stranger to PPFA. She became involved in the pro-life work exposing the trafficking of baby body parts by the abortion mills. Smith not only talks the talk on television (EWTN), radio, newspapers, and magazines, but walks the walk on the streets holding signs, giving her message, and saving babies in front of abortion clinics. One of the persons she walks with is Dick Retta, who has an article in this issue on how to shut down abortion mills. Missy Smith, being helped by Retta and others, has started a new crusade called Chastity, a choice of a new generation.

In addition to a letter from Father Everett Briggs, we have a short biography about this 97-year-old priest who still carries out a ministry others might find difficult to maintain. You will find this article about a modern-day saint, near martyr, outstanding priest, author, poet, professor, crusader and remarkable man an interesting read. We are fortunate to have him living here in our own diocese.

Our Modern Day Saint article in this issue is about another priest, Father Emil Kapaun, the most highly-decorated chaplain in United States history. Father served as a chaplain in both World War II and the Korean War. It was in Korea where he became a prisoner of war. He died sacrificing himself for his fellow soldiers, literally working himself to death. In his weakened condition, he was unable to withstand the inhuman conditions of the North Korean prison camps.

Jim Fritz

CC Most Reverend Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

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