Friday, September 5, 2014

‘Seal of Confessional’ case headed to U.S. Supreme Court: Must a priest testify to what was said in the confessional? Next on FOT

Several months ago the Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled that a priest from the diocese of 
Professor Ciolino
Baton Rouge must divulge what transpired during a sacramental confession. Canon Law strictly prohibits priests from breaking that seal, or even acknowledging that there was a confession. 

The Diocese of Baton Rouge has now appealed that ruling to the United States Supreme Court and joining us Tuesday to discuss this matter will be Professor Dane Ciolino, the  Alvin R. Christovich Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Professor Ciolino graduated cum laude from Rhodes College in 1985, and magna cum laude from Tulane Law School in 1988, where he was inducted into Order of the Coif and selected as Editor in Chief of the Tulane Law Review.

The Diocese has released a statement that says in part:

“[T]he Louisiana Supreme Court's ruling strikes a very hard blow against religious
freedom, and one which the diocese and Father [Jeff] Bayhi feel compelled to vigorously contest. That ruling, left undisturbed, would result in a trial during which the plaintiffs would be permitted to offer evidence regarding what transpired during a series of alleged confessions, with Father Bayhi and the diocese utterly unable to defend themselves …”

Join Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll as they discuss these matters with Professor Ciolino Tuesday morning at 9 (CDT) or the re-broadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on

Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines; FOT is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, and Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raunchy textbooks and too many churches next on FOT

Our old friend, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, will join us Tuesday to
Brad Dacus
discuss the case of one school’s raunchy ninth-grade’s textbooks and a California city’s refusal to permit a new church because there are already too many in the area.  Brad has been a frequent and favorite guest on FOT and is always involved in something that affects faith or parenting.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll for a lively discussion with Brad, live at 9 a.m. (CDT) Tuesday or for the re-broadcast at 9 p.m. Faith On Trial is broadcast on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM (KWKY); 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming at
Faith On Trial is underwritten by Attorney RickMcConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100  Westown Parkway, West Des Moines; and Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No ‘right to die’ at hands of doctors in New Mexico

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing several New Mexico legislators and a medical association have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the New Mexico Court of Appeals in favor of reversing a state judge’s decision to allow doctor-prescribed death.

In January, Judge Nan G. Nash of the New Mexico Second Judicial District ruled that physician-assisted suicide no “right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying.”

“Suffering patients need understanding and sound medical treatment, not encouragement to kill themselves – and especially not through doctors who pledge to ‘do no harm,’” said ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “New Mexico law clearly criminalizes deliberate assistance in someone else’s suicide. The lower court was wrong to invent a right to doctor-
Catherine Glenn Foster
prescribed death that does not exist – placing New Mexicans at risk of coercion and an early grave.”

As the ADF brief filed in Morris v. King explains, “The overwhelming majority of States – and the U.S. Supreme Court – reject a fundamental right to die or to physician-assisted suicide. New Mexico, too, has banned physician-assisted suicide to assert its compelling interests in preserving life, protecting the vulnerable, and upholding the integrity of the medical profession.”

“With the growth of and trailblazing improvements in palliative care, there is no excuse to destroy life simply because it grows imperfect, old, or frail,” the brief continues. “By prohibiting assisted suicide, more attention and focus can be directed toward palliative care and research improving the latter days of a person’s life, rather than making a so-called problem go away.”

ADF attorneys filed the brief on behalf of five state senators, six members of the state house, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

“Doctors have a fundamental duty to try to heal patients and not prematurely deny families the opportunity to honor and cherish their loved ones in their final days,” added ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “We hope the court will affirm this respect for life as the people of New Mexico have always done.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sneeze, ‘Bless you.’ Say what? Now go to the principal’s office!

Jeremiah Dys
Next on FOT: Kendra Turner said she was rebuked by her teacher at Dyer County High School and thrown out of class for violating the teacher’s ban on the words “bless you.”

 “She said that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class and that’s when I said we have a constitutional right,” Kendra told a Memphis television station. Another student sent the television station a photo taken inside the teacher’s classroom showing a list of banned words. Among the censored words are "dump," "stupid," "my bad," "hang out" and "bless you."
“The assistant principal said if I didn’t want to respect my teacher’s rules then maybe my pastor should teach me because my freedom (of) speech and religion does not work at their school,” she said.

Tuesday on FOT we’ll discuss this matter with Jeremiah Dys, Kendra’s attorney and senior counsel for Liberty Institute.
Jeremiah graduated from Taylor University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts, and from West Virginia University College of Law. Before joining Liberty Institute in 2013, he provided leadership in advocacy on the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom for a public policy organization associated with Focus on the Family.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll as they discuss this and other school matters with Jeremiah Tuesday morning at 9 (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio; 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 and streaming on  The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m.

Faith on Trial is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola,Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 1200 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055 and Confluence Brewing Company, off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Court upholds Iowa rule banning web-cam abortions

An Iowa trial court today upheld a rule from the Iowa Board of Medicine that regulates chemical abortion by requiring that a physician physically examine a woman before providing abortion-inducing drugs. The physician-approved regulation, which was adopted by an 8-2 vote of the Board of Medicine, would protect women from potentially dangerous misuse, such as taking the drug too late in pregnancy or during an ectopic pregnancy, by requiring an in-person exam by a physician rather than a videoconference. This practice is sometime called “telemed abortion.”

“Women can die when life-ending drugs are carelessly administered,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Iowa’s regulation and today’s decision demonstrates that doctors agree that chemical abortion can be dangerous for women and requires a careful examination. Providing these drugs without a physical examination by a physician amounts to nothing less than reckless gambling with the lives of women.”

During the litigation, Planned Parenthood admitted that, under its preferred method of chemical abortion, a physician never physically meets with a woman. Moreover, staff members—such as certified medical assistants (CMAs)—conduct physical exams or ultrasounds instead of doctors or other licensed healthcare providers.

Today’s decision acknowledged that chemical abortion is not safe for some women, and that the Board’s purpose was to ensure the health and safety of women considering chemical abortion by requiring physician presence. Such presence promotes the necessary physician-patient relationship and helps ensure examination by healthcare personnel trained to recognize the dangers inherent in the chemical abortion process.

The court also rejected Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the regulation is invalid under the U.S. Constitution, finding that the regulation poses no “undue burden” to women seeking chemical abortion in the state of Iowa.

Monday, August 18, 2014

More on the Tempe, Arizona Planned Parenthood rape case (and others) Tuesday on FOT

Natalie Decker
Last week we brought you the story of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Tempe, Arizona that failed to report the rape of a young woman because “it was not worth the hassle.” (See previous post.) Tuesday we will discuss this matter with Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Natalie Decker who is leading the call for an investigation of the Tempe clinic. Natalie serves as legal counsel with the ADF’s Center for Life. She earned her J.D. from the University of Iowa,

Natalie will discuss this case as well as several others involving Planned Parenthood clinics with Deacon Mike Manno and his co-host Gina Noll Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m.
Iowa Catholic Radio (KWKY) broadcasts from the Catholic Pastoral Center at Sixth and Grand in Des Moines.  Faith On Trail is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055 or at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From today’s program: ADF report on the Tempe PP clinic

This is the Alliance Defending Freedom report on a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Tempe, Arizona for allegedly not reporting the rape of a minor as required under Arizona law: