Thursday, November 29, 2007

Life Teen Catholic Youth Ministry?

Life Teen Catholic Youth Ministry?

Richard Salbato 11-26-2007

Two years ago I returned from Fatima and Panama to be close to my children and grandchildren. My daughter was teaching Bible Study and Confirmation Classes at Lake Arrowhead Catholic Church and three of my grandchildren were attending the Confirmation Classes. As part of the Confirmation Classes the students were required to attend the Sunday 6:30 PM Sunday Life Teen Youth Mass and from there to the Confirmation Class. I attended this Youth Mass one time and found it very disturbing to say the least, because of the music and the socialization during the Mass. It seemed very charismatic to me, so I asked my daughter about it. She said that this was part of an international group called, Life Teen, and that the Confirmation students were required to belong to Life Teen in order to be confirmed.

Not long after that my three grandchildren went on a mandatory Life Teen two day retreat about 100 miles away. They all came back very upset, and even crying, about what they experienced at the retreat. They attended a Mass where everything was very disrespectful: people speaking in tongues, singing hip-hop music, waving arms in the air, and hugging each other. That was not the worst part, they also attended Eucharistic Adoration, where they were unable to pray because of the speaking in tongues, loud hip-hop music and disrespect before the Body and Blood of Christ including talking and inappropriate clothes.

My daughter, who taught the Confirmation Classes, decided to pull her children from the Life Teen group but the pastor told her that if they left Life Teen they could not be confirmed. It was then that she consulted me and we had all the remainder of my grandchildren Confirmed with the home schooling groups. When the pastor found out that we confirmed them outside of his parish, he fired my daughter as teacher of the Confirmation Class.

I have wondered about Life Teen ever since, because I know it to be part of the Charismatic Movement within the Catholic Church and I am very much against this movement, which I was in at one time.


What is Life Teen?

Life Teen is a Catholic Youth Ministry organization and movement originating in the United States. It was established in 1985 at St. Timothy’s Parish in Mesa, Arizona. Pastor Father Dale Fushek, Youth Minister Phil Baniewicz, and Music Minister Tom Booth came up with the plan aimed to revolutionize youth ministry and bring the message of Jesus Christ to teenagers in a way they could understand it. It was decided that a new approach was needed to evangelize the Catholic youth in their area. According to Life Teen sources, they now have over 1000 individual programs in the United States and around the world. Life Teen programs are typically established in individual parishes. Monsignor Dale Fushek founded Life Teen, one of the largest international Catholic teen organizations, that today has about 120,000 youth enrolled in 1,080 programs in 20 countries.

Father Fushek had led St. Timothy’s to grow to 6,000 registered families with 8,000 attending weekend Masses. Bishop Thomas O’Brien, then head of the Phoenix diocese, bestowed the “monsignor” title on him in 2002 when Fushek was also the diocese’s vicar general and second in command for the diocese.

He coordinated the Valley visit of Mother Teresa in 1989 and was vicar of worship for the Mass at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe for the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul II.

The fruits of Father Fushek seem wonderful would you not agree. But this is just another example of why people need to be more careful about their spiritual life and their trust in others. Fruits can be good or bad even when they appear good.

To understand Life Teen Masses, Life Teen Adoration and Life Teen retreats check out their propaganda video at: or their web site at It is easy to see why teens love this social movement but what are the risks to their souls? You will see below the real reason for the founders of Life Teen’s interest in your children.

Co-founders of Life Teen arrested for pedophilia

Monsignor Dale Fushek, Phil Baniewicz, former priest Mark Lehman, Bishop O’Brien, and Life Teen Inc. have been arrested, and/or sued on criminal and civil charges of pedophilia. The new bishop, Olmsted, has worked hard to clean up this mess and help the victims of the abuse.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, once second-in-command of the Phoenix Diocese and founder of the nation's top church-based program for Catholic teenagers, has been arrested on 10 misdemeanor counts involving sexual misconduct with teenage boys and young men.

Two co-founders of Life Teen, the nation's largest Catholic youth ministry based in the Valley, were accused in a lawsuit of covering up and helping carry out sexual attacks on a 14-year-old boy two decades ago.

The lawsuit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, also claimed that the Life Teen program at St. Timothy's parish in Mesa had "a social culture which inappropriately focused upon sexual activity . . . and fostered an environment that led to inappropriate sexual behavior."

Named as defendants in the suit were Life Teen co-founders, Monsignor Dale J. Fushek and Phil Baniewicz, along with former priest Mark Lehman, resigned Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the Diocese of Phoenix, St. Timothy's Parish and Life Teen Inc., the program founded at St. Timothy's parish in 1985.

This is not the full story. There appears to be more: The lawsuit repeated and expanded allegations brought to the diocese by William J. Cesolini, who said he was sodomized at St. Tim's parish in 1985 by Lehman while Fushek watched and performed sexual acts on himself without stopping to help or report the attack to authorities.

Cesolini, a one-time seminarian, said he regained his memory of the decades-old molestations in February 2003 after another priest made an unwanted sexual advance on him. He went to a church-paid counselor, who helped him gradually recover the details of the trauma. (Emphasis mine)

Monsignor Dale Fushek was arrested in 2005 for sexual misconduct with minors and accused of using Life Teen as a grooming ground for victims.

The charges stem from the accounts of six men who all say they were drawn into unwanted sexual situations by Fushek when they were involved with Fushek's Life Teen program at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa between 1985 and 1994.

The Maricopa County Attorney's five-page criminal complaint against Fushek reads like a Reader's Digest condensation of New Times' investigative piece "Cross to Bare," published last February. The cover story detailed the sometimes lurid life in the inner sanctum of the Life Teen program Fushek created at St. Tim's in the mid-1980s.

Four of the six men cited in the criminal complaint first spoke publicly for that story, which outlined what one victim called "Dale's tried-and-true method for getting teenage boys in bed with him."

The charges include five counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors, three counts of misdemeanor assault and two counts of indecent exposure.

"Acting in his capacity as a Catholic priest," the complaint reads, "Dale Joseph Fushek used a relationship of trust to perform criminal acts, including but not limited to sexual activities, improper sexual discussions and physical contact, upon vulnerable minor and adult victims."

The complaint states that in the mid-1980s, Fushek contributed to the delinquency of a minor, Marc Tropio, by engaging in discussions including "questions by defendant about Marc Tropio's masturbatory conduct and/or other sexual activities. At the time, Dale Joseph Fushek misrepresented them as part of the Catholic sacrament of confession. The physical contacts included defendant inviting Marc Tropio into his bed then engaging in kissing and snuggling. Said contact was unwelcome by Marc Tropio."

The five other victims describe a similar pattern of conduct, one that began with Fushek engaging certain teenage boys in his parish in explicit sexual discussions that eventually led to what victims perceived as unwanted sexual advances by the priest.

In a January discussion with New Times, Paul Pfaffenberger, leader of the Arizona chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, summed up the coming story and criminal complaints.

"We're beginning to hear this same story again and again," Pfaffenberger said. "That there was unwanted sexual contact by Dale Fushek, and that it came about through this very manipulative grooming process associated with Life Teen. There is definitely a pattern of behavior beginning to form."

Prosecutors have not finished their investigation of Fushek, says Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney. The misdemeanor charges needed to be filed now, he said, to avoid problems with the one-year statute of limitations on the misdemeanors.

"There may be more charges in the future," he said.

There are essentially two tiers of allegations against Fushek -- soft-core and hard-core.

At the time of the New Times story, the amount of evidence supporting the misdemeanor charges was much greater than evidence supporting felony charges.

The six men accusing Fushek in the misdemeanor complaints are all credible witnesses, mostly men in their 30s with families and professional careers and little to gain except embarrassment from coming forward with their stories.

Most didn't know each other before this year, and all tell chillingly similar stories. Most have friends or family members who can substantiate their versions of events.

At the same time, however, none claims that Fushek ever forced the physical relationship beyond inappropriate discussions, creepy canoodling and his own nudity.

The county attorney investigation began, however, because of much more serious charges in a lawsuit filed in January by a former Life Teen member named Billy Cesolini.

Cesolini claims to have recovered memories of convicted pedophile Mark Lehman performing oral sex on him in 1985 at the rectory at St. Tim's while a fellow priest, Fushek, watched and masturbated. Cesolini was 14 at the time.

Manning, Fushek's attorney, called Cesolini "delusional" and his claims "laughable."

Prosecutors have been tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation of those considerably more serious charges.

The strength of felony criminal charges likely would hinge on testimony from Mark Lehman.

Lehman spent 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting several children in the late 1980s. He might have served more time if not for a letter to the judge by Dale Fushek asking for leniency.

Lehman could not be reached for comment for this story. In February, however, when reached at his central Phoenix home, Lehman said he could not speak on advice from his attorney.

"I would very much like to tell the whole story to you," he said then. "But the way the world is, I've been told I can't."

At the time, New Times learned of two other former priests who had claimed to have witnessed alleged assaults by Fushek. New Times failed to locate those two priests. It is unknown if county prosecutors have interviewed these men in relation to more serious charges.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted suspended Fushek from public duties last December, when Cesolini and his attorney first approached the diocese. Six months later, Fushek resigned under pressure as pastor at St. Tim's.

Fushek's star first began to fade with the fall of his mentor, former bishop Thomas O'Brien, who, after a series of New Times stories and another investigation by then-County Attorney Rick Romley, signed an agreement granting him immunity from criminal charges if he would take a reduced role in the church and admit that he allowed priests accused of sexual misconduct to continue working with minors. He also admitted to transferring problem priests to new parishes without alerting parishioners about the priests' past. In several cases, priests accused of sexual contact with a minor at one parish allegedly continued abusing children at successive parishes.

After signing the agreement, O'Brien then began stating that he had not actually agreed to the seemingly apparent terms of the agreement. That debate was quickly silenced when O'Brien was arrested in a hit-and-run incident that left a man dead. O'Brien resigned as bishop and was later convicted of the crime.

Deputy county attorney Barbara Marshall asked that Fushek be held on $50,000 bond because, she said, "based on past experience with similar defendants, we feel that flight is a serious risk."

Indeed. Besides O'Brien's run from the scene of a fatal accident, three Valley priests -- Patrick Colleary, Joseph Henn and Joseph Briceno -- have left the country and refused to return to face charges.

Instead of bond, however, Maricopa County Commissioner Barbara Hamner had Fushek placed under house arrest at his home where he will wear a bracelet monitoring his whereabouts. He was also ordered to surrender his passport.

Father Dale Fushek leaves the Church

Was Father Dale Fushek ever really a Catholic, or was he more interested in the Charismatic movement and sex in the name of God? That is easy to answer because he has now opened up a non-catholic Praise and Worship Center in Mesa, AZ and claims he is resigning from the priesthood.

The magnetism and the following that Catholic priest Dale Fushek developed during 20 years as pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa may still be alive two years after he was indicted on seven charges of sex-related behavior with male teens between 1984 and 1994.

Fushek is on administrative leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and cannot represent himself as a priest, pending the resolution of his case. Though he waits for the Arizona Supreme Court to rule on whether he should be allowed to have a jury trial, Fushek is applying his personal style of spirituality to the Praise and Worship Center, which was launched Thanksgiving Thursday morning at the Mesa Convention Center with a two hour service and 550 people in attendance.

The ministry is billed as nondenominational and intended to complement — not take the place of — people’s primary worship elsewhere. The next service is expected to be Dec. 23.

Thursday’s services featured prayer, music, praise and a message. But it was not a Mass, nor was the Holy Eucharist served — steps that would have violated Catholic canons.

“When he was put on administrative leave, he was told not to administer the sacraments and to not present himself as a priest,” Jim Dwyer, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, said Friday. “If he is not violating that, we wouldn’t have to know specifically what he is doing.”

The Praise and Worship Center answers some key questions about the new ministry on a Web site, The site spells out the ministry’s mission statement, among other things.

“We heard about some of the promotional materials that were done, but we didn’t know if it was ever going to take place,” Dwyer said. “We made it clear to the Catholics at St. Timothy’s that it wouldn’t be (regarded as) an official Catholic service. But other than that, we have no control on what he does as a Catholic citizen.”

Mark Dipree, a former priest, is working with Fushek in the ministry. The Web site listed 2029 N. Alma School Road, Suite 107-14, Chandler as the address for the Praise and Worship Center, but the location is a mail drop, not a church office.

If Fushek is convicted, he likely would have to register as a sex offender, which would restrict him from being around youth. A Web site called continues to solicit funds for Fushek’s legal defense, and it uses the same address as the Praise and Worship Center.

“He misses the community that was removed from his life. ... He misses working with the youth,” that site notes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Terri Schiavo Was Brain Dead" and Other Media Lies

Terri Schiavo Was Not Brain Dead

Schindler Family Asks George Stephanopoulos and Mainstream Media to Correct Inaccurate Reporting Regarding Terri's True Medical Condition
TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- Yesterday on This Week, George Stephanopoulos, in an interview with Senator Fred Thompson, commented that Terri Schiavo's autopsy proved she was "brain dead." The New York Times also reported on this interview, repeating that the autopsy proved Terri was "brain dead."

This is patently false and Terri's family is requesting that the media immediately stop using this offensive and inaccurate expression to describe her condition.

Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, says, "Brain death is an authentic diagnosis, not some catch phrase that should be loosely used based upon a 'summary of widespread response' or opinions that have been written about my sister. We are requesting that the media take a few minutes to research the facts regarding Terri's case and, more importantly, her condition. In doing so they would learn that not one doctor ever diagnosed Terri as being 'brain-dead.' This includes those who wrote her autopsy report. All of this information is easily available and accessible."

Rarely, if ever, mentioned in media reports are the more than 40 doctors' affidavits submitted to the court that either contradicted that Terri was in a so-called PVS or stated that she could have been helped with proper rehabilitation.

The media also fails to report the medical records confirming that Terri at one time was beginning to speak, or the videos of Terri interacting with her family and her surroundings, all of which prove that she was very much alive, and very much responsive

Schindler added, "This has been a major problem with the mainstream media - not just that they are writing that Terri was brain dead, but how they continue to inaccurately and irresponsibly report blatant falsehoods regarding my sister's condition."

Schiavo's autopsy itself proved that, prior to her death, she was never dying, was physically healthy and would have lived a long life had she not been dehydrated over a period of two weeks. Furthermore, the autopsy was unable to determine whether or not Terri was actually in a persistent vegetative state, as her estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, and his attorney claimed in their quest to have her killed.

Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri's sister, adds, "If the media took the time to research Terri's case, perhaps they would understand that she was simply a woman living with a disability, just like the 50 million persons living with a disability in our country today, and was in need of only love and compassion. The media's continuing quest to somehow justify her death is offensive to her memory and even more offensive to the tens of thousands of people who live with cognitive disabilities similar to Terri's."

"Terri was a daughter, a sister and a friend who was loved by many who feel the pain of her loss every single day. She was guilty only of having a brain injury and being dependent on others for her care. Sadly, in today's culture, this was not enough to save her from being killed," said Vitadamo. "My sister fell victim to an ever-growing and dangerous 'quality of life' standard used to decide whether one should live or die."

About the Schindler Family: Mary and Robert Schindler as well as Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo and Bobby Schindler now work for The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida, an organization dedicated to promoting the Culture of Life, embracing the true meaning of compassion by opposing the practice of euthanasia.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ronald Paul and Ronald Reagan

Ronald Paul and Ronald Reagan

Ron Paul was one of only 4 Republican congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for President. He led the Texas delegation to nominate Ronald Reagan.

"Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country."
- Ronald Reagan

Spanish king tells Chavez to "shut up"

Spanish king tells Chavez to "shut up"
By EDUARDO GALLARDO, Associated Press Writer 30 minutes ago

SANTIAGO, Chile - The king of Spain told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to "shut up" Saturday during a heated exchange that soured the end of a summit of leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

Chavez, who called President Bush the "devil" on the floor of the United Nations last year, triggered the exchange by repeatedly referring to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist."

Aznar, a conservative who was an ally of Bush as prime minister, "is a fascist," Chavez said in a speech at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

Spain's current socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, responded during his own allotted time by urging Chavez to be more diplomatic in his words and respect other leaders despite political differences.

"Former President Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people," he said, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of state.

Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, but his microphone was off.

Spanish King Juan Carlos, seated next to Zapatero, angrily turned to Chavez and said, "Why don't you shut up?"

The Venezuelan leader did not immediately respond, but later used time ceded to him by his close ally Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to answer Zapatero's speech.

"I do not offend by telling the truth," he said. "The Venezuelan government reserves the right to respond to any aggression, anywhere, in any space and in any manner."

In his speech to 18 heads of state gathered in Santiago, Chavez claimed that Aznar in 2000 asked him to distance Venezuela from Cuba and join "the club." Chavez, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, said he'd refused.

Saturday's exchange between Chavez, Zapatero, and Spain's king overshadowed the conclusion of the three-day summit.

Leaders pledged to fight poverty and increase regional cooperation. They signed a landmark accord that will allow nearly 6 million migrant workers in Latin America, Spain and Portugal to transfer social security benefits between their nations. The leaders also vowed to fight "all forms of terrorism" and called on the U.S. to end its economic embargo against Cuba.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Twin boy refuses to die by abortion!!!

From: "Phil Magnan"

Organization: Biblical Family Advocates

Twin boy refuses to die by abortion!!!


Nov. 3, 2007

They say twins share a strong bond - but the one between Gabriel and Ieuan Jones was unbreakable.

When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart,and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.

Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel's suffering sooner rather than later.

Thriving: Gabriel, right, with his twin brother Ieuan, is now a healthy 12lb 6oz at seven months

Mrs Jones decided to let doctors operate to terminate Gabriel's life.

Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.

They then cut Mrs Jones's placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.

But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.

Although he weighed less than a pound, he put up such a fight for survival that doctors called him Rocky.

Astonishingly, he managed to carry on living in his mother's womb for another five weeks - until the babies were delivered by caesarean section.

Now he and Ieuan are back at home in Stoke - and are so close they are always holding each other's hand.

Mrs Jones, 35, a financial adviser whose husband Mark, 36, is a car salesman, said: "It really is a miracle. Doctors carried out an operation to let Gabriel die - yet he hung on.

"It was unbelievable."

"When I felt him kicking madly the morning after the operation, I suddenly knew that he was going to hang on.

"The doctors couldn't believe it when they could still hear his heartbeat the next morning."

Rebecca Jones: 'It's a miracle'

Mrs Jones learned she was expecting twins when she was ten weeks pregnant. She said: "When they told us we were over the moon."

But at her 20-week scan, doctors had some devastating news. One of the boys was half the size of his brother.

They didn't know what was causing it, but somehow he wasn't getting enough nutrients.

Then doctors said his heart was three times normal size and it was likely he would have a heart attack or a stroke in the womb.

Mrs Jones said: "They told us that if he died, it could be life threatening for his brother.

"We had to decide whether to end his life and let his brother live, or risk them both."

They said it would be impossible to keep him alive afterwards as he was so poorly.

It would be kinder to let him die in the womb with his brother by his side than to die alone after being born.

"That made my mind up for me. I wanted the best thing for him."

At Birmingham Women's Hospital, when Mrs Jones was 25 weeks pregnant, doctors tried to sever Gabriel's umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply and allow him to die.

But the cord was too thick, and they could not cut through it.

As a last resort they divided Mrs Jones's placenta so that when Gabriel died, it would allow Ieuan to survive. Mrs Jones said: "I put my hands on my stomach thinking of Gabriel. It was devastating. I had said my goodbyes."

But the next morning Mrs Jones felt Gabriel kicking. A scan showed his heart was still beating. She said: "No one could quite believe it."

Gabriel hung on, and his enlarged heart started to reduce in size. He also gained weight.

Mrs Jones said: "They thought it may be because the placenta had been divided. Inadvertently, it had evened out the distribution of nutrition between them, allowing Gabriel to survive.'

When Mrs Jones reached 31 weeks doctors carried out a caesarian to deliver the twins. Ieuan weighed 3lb 8oz and Gabriel 1lb 15oz. Both were kept in hospital, but since going home they have thrived. At seven months, Ieuan weighs 15lb and Gabriel 12lb 6oz.

Mrs Jones said: "The boys are so healthy, they have huge appetites too. Ieuan is the noisy one, while Gabriel is always laughing, it's like he's just so happy to be here.

"There is such a strong bond between them.

"They are always holding hands and if one cries, the other reaches out to comfort him."

"Doctors tried to break their bond in the womb, but they just proved it couldn't be broken."

More by this author

Phil Magnan, President
Biblical Family Advocates


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