31 luglio 2008

Record Check: Planned Parenthood

Do you know the reality of Planned Parenthood’s record? You may be surprised at these statistics and facts about the nation’s number one abortion provider:

1. Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 by Margaret Sanger, a birth control advocate and proponent of eugenics. In her 1932 article, “A Plan for Peace,” Sanger argued, “a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.”

2. Planned Parenthood is the number one abortion provider in America, performing over 290,000 abortions each year (In 2005, latest year statistics are available, according to The Wall Street Journal).

3. Planned Parenthood abortions are up. According to a recent investigation by The Wall Street Journal, “even as the total number of abortions in the U.S. has dropped, the number performed by Planned Parenthood has grown steadily.” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told the paper “that she has encouraged more Planned Parenthood clinics to offer abortions,” in order to make up for independent abortion providers who are closing their doors at a fast clip.

4. Planned Parenthood is a very profitable “non-profit.” According to its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood had a $114.8 million “excess revenue over expenses” for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.

5. Planned Parenthood is literally a billion dollar enterprise. The latest Annual Report also showed total revenues at $1,017,900,000 – over one billion dollars.

6. Planned Parenthood relies on your tax dollars. The latest Annual Report records revenues of $336.7 million came from “government grants and contracts” – one third of its total revenues, and nearly three times the amount of that same year’s “excess revenues.” Yet, Planned Parenthood continues to lobby Congress for increased funding and special discount drug purchases for its clinics.

7. Planned Parenthood’s “One Million Strong Campaign” it its most aggressive advocacy campaign ever. The organization plans to spend at least $10 million “to recruit patients, as well as their friends and families, to lobby legislators and vote for candidates who support Planned Parenthood’s agenda,” according to the Los Angeles Times. This is three times the amount they have spent on past elections.

Source: Susan B. Anthony List


Planned Parenthood has $1 Billion in revenue. They are exempt from taxes. I'm convinced that future generations who have woken up from this current intellectual stupor will equate this bloodbath industry to some other of society's worst crimes against humanity.

Watch this: VIDEO

Senator Michelle Bachmann speaks out in favor of defunding Planned Homicide.

Capello backs Ronaldinho-Milan partnership

ROME (AFP) - England coach Fabio Capello said the acquisition of Ronaldinho has made AC Milan favourites for the Serie A title.

Milan have not been champions of their country since 2004 and last season they finished a dismal fifth - missing out on Champions League qualification - despite winning the World Club Cup.

However, they have bought well over the summer, bringing in Italy international defender Gianluca Zambrotta from Barcelona and box-to-box French midfielder Mathieu Flamini from Arsenal.

But the piece de la resistence was surely the capture of Ronaldinho, whom Capello believes can return to his top form.

"It is lucky for Milan that he is going to the Olympics," Capello said in an interview published in Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He will return match-fit and motivated following his year off."

The twice former world player of the year enjoyed three successful seasons at Barcelona, winning two titles and the Champions League, but lost his way last season amid rumours his commitment was waning as his love for the night-life affected his performances and attitude.

But Capello believes he can still get back to his form of old.

"If he has the desire to get back to his best, to rediscover his old self, to become once again one of the best three players in the world, he's gone to the right place.

"Milan has everything to put him back into orbit."

Milan have had a good pre-season, even winning the Tim Trophy earlier this week - a three-way competition between Italy's biggest three clubs, Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, where they each play 45 minutes against their two rivals on the same evening.

Milan won both their mini-matches on penalties following draws to claim the trophy, considered quite prestigious despite its format which usually sees the teams playing virtually two separate line-ups in their two matches.

With that success, their summer signings and the fact that Milan will not be distracted by the Champions League this coming season, Capello agrees with Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon that Milan are title favourites.

"Great transfer signings and Tim Trophy success; Milan are favourites for the scudetto if, as I believe they will do, they concentrate on the championship," said Capello.

"Europe can wait this time. (Coach Carlo) Ancelotti will use his best team in Serie A."

However, Capello admitted that the pressure is on Milan who, despite winning the Champions League in 2007, have a lot to prove in their own domestic championship.

"Milan can't wait any longer. Waiting makes you grow old. It's important to pick the right signings," said Capello, suggesting that maybye Milan still need some new faces, particularly with striker Marco Borriello facing two months on the sidelines.


Loss of Clerical State for Paraguay's President-Elect

Fernando Lugo Had Been Bishop of Society of Divine Word

ASUNCION, Paraguay, JULY 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has granted a reduction to the lay state for the president-elect of Paraguay, a former Catholic bishop who had been suspended "a divinis."

The apostolic nuncio in Paraguay announced today the Pope's decision regarding Fernando Lugo.

Archbishop Orlando Antonini explained at a press conference that the Holy Father "granted [Lugo] the loss of the clerical state, with all the obligations, as a priest and bishop of the [Society of the] Divine Word."

The nuncio said Lugo's request was accepted because "the people have elected him" and "his clerical state is not compatible with the pr! esidency of the republic."

"Having examined all the circumstances carefully, His Holiness Benedict XVI has granted him the loss of his clerical state with the consequent loss of its inherent rights," he added.

A January 2007 decree signed by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, had announced the suspension "a divinis" of Lugo, for having declared himself a candidate for the Paraguayan presidency. The Code of Canon Law prohibits this.

On Dec. 18, 2006, Lugo had requested the loss of the clerical state to become a candidate in the elections.

On April 20, 2008, the day after winning the election, Lugo asked the Church, and Benedict XVI in particular, for forgiveness for the sorrow his disobedience to canon law had caused.

According to a communiqué read by the nuncio, the Pontiff is now exhorting Lugo "to be faithful to the Catholic faith in which he was baptized and to lead a life that is consistent with the Gospel."

Lugo will take office Aug. 15.

30 luglio 2008

Beyond Obama's Beauty

By KENNETH BLACKWELL | February 14, 2008
source: www.NYsun.com
It's an amazing time to be alive in America. We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viable African-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first frontrunning freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first.

We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender.

Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics.

The reality is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its time America takes a closer and deeper look at him.

Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton.

Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise our taxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military weakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he lost.

Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls. Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant.

Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America. But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial "beauty."

Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong Il, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists — something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on "the rich."

How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

Finally, look at the social issues. Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" — hijacked — Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. His spiritual leaders endorse homosexual marriage, and he is moving in that direction. In Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban — ban — on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood, and San Francisco values, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr. Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of "bringing America together" means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.

But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and — yes — they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president. Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama. In an election of firsts, let's first make sure we elect the person who is qualified to be our president in a nuclear age during a global civilizational war.

29 luglio 2008

Campaña en el sur de Irak para la restauración de las iglesias cristianas

Campaña en el sur de Irak para la restauración de las iglesias cristianas
En primera fila, la comunidad de Basora de los Caldeos

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO, lunes, 28 julio 2008 (ZENIT.org).- Las comunidades cristianas de las provincias del sur de Irak han lanzado una campaña para la restauración de las iglesias que la incuria y las guerras han dejado inservibles.

La noticia, difundida por el sitio Baghdadhope, ha sido dada por el padre Imad Aziz Al Banna, de la archidiócesis de Basora de los Caldeos, quien explicó que la comunidad local cristiana ha pedido al Gobierno la correspondiente financiación y trabaja en colaboración con la oficina que se ocupa de los intereses de los grupos no musulmanes y con el Ministerio de Planificación y el Consejo de la Provincia de Al-Basrah.

Al Banna recordó además la reciente reapertura de la iglesia de Um Al Azhan, en Al-Amarah, en la cercana provincia de Maysan, y subrayó su confianza en la acción de conservación del patrimonio religioso cristiano por parte de las instituciones públicas, subrayando que la situación relativa a la seguridad anime esta iniciativa, urgente ahora que algunas familias que habían huido del sur de Irak están retornando.

Menos conocida y numerosa de las de Bagdad y del norte del país, la comunidad cristiana del sur de Irak tiene raíces antiquísimas que, según el sacerdote siro-ortodoxo de la iglesia de la Virgen, el padre Sam'an Khaz'al, se remontan al siglo IV, demostrando que Basora era ya entonces un lugar de difusión del cristianismo hacia los territorio del golfo arábigo.

Hace cerca de un mes, reabrió sus puertas la iglesia caldea de Um Al Azhan (Nuestra Señora del Dolor) en Al-Amarah. El edificio, construido en 1880, ha sido restaurado y a finales de junio acogió una Misa y un bautismo celebrados precisamente por el padre Al Banna.

Aunque en la zona viven sólo 18 familias cristianas y a pesar de las dificultades actuales en las provincias meridionales, en la iglesia se celebrará una misa mensual y se realizarán cursos de catecismo durante todo el verano.

"Son incontables en Irak los edificios de culto destruidos o dañados durante la guerra o en el curso de ataques contra las diócesis locales" explica un artículo de "L'Osservatore Romano".

En junio de 2007, uno de los momentos más difíciles vividos por los cristianos en el país, culminado con el asesinato en Mosul del padre Ragheed Ganni y de tres subdiáconos, fueron tomadas como objetivo dos iglesias en el barrio Dora en Bagdad: la de San Juan Bautista y la de Santiago, esta última con el intento de transformarla en mezquita.

Anteriormente, en diciembre de 2004, provocó dolor e inquietud el atentado que devastó el obispado caldeo de Mosul. El patriarca de Babilonia de los Caldeos, el cardenal Emmanuel III Delly, dijo que había sido destruido el más bello símbolo de la Iglesia Caldea de Irak.

Traducido del italiano por Nieves San Martín

Aprobación vaticana al primer Máster en Ciencias Religiosas por Internet

Al Instituto Superior de Ciencias Religiosas de Barcelona (ISCREB)

Por Miriam Díez i Bosch

BARCELONA, lunes, 28 julio 2008 (ZENIT.org).- Un centro de Barcelona se ha convertido en el primero del mundo en ofrecer un Máster en Ciencias Religiosas por Internet con la aprobación de la Santa Sede.

Según ha contado su director, Antoni Matabosch, a Zenit, "el ISCREB se ha convertido en el primer centro del mundo a quien la Congregación para la Educación Católica le ha concedido la aprobación formal de ofrecer el Máster en Ciencias Religiosas por Internet".

La Diplomatura por Internet funciona desde el curso 2003-2004, después que el Vaticano le concediese el permiso, en julio de 2003, como centro piloto para desarrollar esta modalidad de estudios.

De esta manera, el ISCREB es la primera institución docente en el campo teológico que obtiene el permiso para poder dar grados académicos - Diplomatura (Grado) en tres años y Máster en dos años - por vía telemática, en lengua catalana y castellana. El Máster es en la especialidad de Identidad Cristiana y diálogo.

El Instituto Superior de Ciencias Religiosas de Barcelona (ISCREB) ha incrementado este curso un 11 % su alumnado, pasando de 648 en el curso 2006-2007 a 730 en el 2007-2008.

Esta cifra ha aumentado gracias a los alumnos virtuales que cursan la Diplomatura en Ciencias Religiosas a través de la modalidad Teología x Internet, ya que dentro de un campus virtual situado en la web del centro (www.iscreb.org) los estudiantes gozan de un acompañamiento personalizado de profesores y tutores.

El próximo curso en el segundo semestre (de febrero a junio) se impartirá de forma presencial un Postgrado coorganizado por el mismo ISCREB y la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona sobre Religiones y Diálogo. Para el curso 2009-2010 está previsto que continúen los estudios hasta obtener un Máster en la misma especialidad.

El primer ciclo de estudios (tres años) ofrece un tratamiento completo de los principales termas teológicos, bíblicos, morales, históricos y del pensamiento contemporáneo, con la finalidad de proporcionar a sus alumnos una sólida formación académica.

Los estudios presenciales del ISCREB ofrecen en el segundo ciclo dos especialidades: la de Teología Bíblica y la de Diálogo Intereligioso, Ecuménico y Cultural.

Otra novedad del ISCREB es que en el próximo curso adaptará todas sus titulaciones de segundo ciclo al Espacio Europeo Universitario, dentro del proceso de Bolonia, en el que la Santa Sede está completamente implicada. Así, explica Matabosch, "lo que hasta ahora se denominaba "Licenciatura", el próximo curso se llamará "Máster"".

El Instituto Superior de Ciencias Religiosas de Barcelona está ubicado en el edificio del Seminario Conciliar de la archidiócesis y su web es www.iscreb.org

25 luglio 2008

Cases of Forced Abortions Surface in China

by Louisa Lim, NPR
A slogan on a village building outside Baise in southwest China, reads, "Keep the birth rate low to enhance the quality of the population."
Morning Edition, April 23, 2007 · During the past week, dozens of women in southwest China have been forced to have abortions even as late as nine months into the pregnancy, according to evidence uncovered by NPR.

China's strict family planning laws permit urban married couples to have only one child each, but in some of the recent cases — in Guangxi Province — women say they were forced to abort what would have been their first child because they were unmarried. The forced abortions are all the more shocking because family planning laws have generally been relaxed in China, with many families having two children.

Liang Yage and his wife Wei Linrong had one child and believed that — like many other couples — they could pay a fine and keep their second baby. Wei was 7 months pregnant when 10 family planning officials visited her at home on April 16.

Liang describes how they told her that she would have to have an abortion, "You don't have any more room for maneuver," he says they told her. "If you don't go [to the hospital], we'll carry you." The couple was then driven to Youjiang district maternity hospital in Baise city.

"I was scared," Wei told NPR. "The hospital was full of women who'd been brought in forcibly. There wasn't a single spare bed. The family planning people said forced abortions and forced sterilizations were both being carried out. We saw women being pulled in one by one."

The couple was given a consent agreement to sign. When Liang refused, family planning officials signed it for him. He and his wife are devout Christians — he is a pastor — and they don't agree with abortion.

The officials gave Wei three injections in the lower abdomen. Contractions started the next afternoon, and continued for almost 16 hours. Her child was stillborn.

"I asked the doctor if it was a boy or girl," Wei said. "The doctor said it was a boy. My friends who were beside me said the baby's body was completely black. I felt desolate, so I didn't look up to see the baby."

Medical sources say fetuses aborted in this manner would have been dead for some time, so the tissue is necrotic and thus dark in color.

"The nurses dealt with the body like it was rubbish," Wei said. "They wrapped it up in a black plastic bag and threw it in the trash."

This was also the treatment given to the stillborn baby of He Caigan. Family planning officials turned up at her house, in the countryside several hours outside Baise, before dawn on April 17 to force her to go to the hospital. This would have been her first baby — but she hadn't married the father, in contravention of family planning laws. She was already 9 months pregnant, just days away from delivery.

"They told me I'm too young, I couldn't keep the child and I should have an abortion," she said. "I'm too young to get a marriage certificate — I'm only 19 and my boyfriend's only 21."

After the forced abortion, her boyfriend left her. She said that she's still in great physical pain and that her life had been ruined.

An eyewitness, who requested anonymity for fear of the consequences, said that he counted 41 occupied beds on just one floor of the maternity hospital in Baise and that he believed none of the women he saw had come to the hospital of their own free will.

Coerced abortions such as these were not unusual after China's one-child policy was first introduced in 1980. But a law passed five years ago guarantees China's citizens a degree of choice in family planning matters. When contacted for comment, an official at China's State Commission for Population and Family Planning said she'd heard nothing about forced abortions in Guangxi and asked for more details. But in Baise, a family planning official surnamed Nong acknowledged that such behavior would violate regulations. Despite the fact that these allegations refer to events that happened just within the last week, he said an investigation had already been held.

"We were very surprised to hear of these accusations," Nong said, "but our investigation concluded some individuals who were dissatisfied with our family planning policies were fabricating stories. These facts simply don't exist. We really love and care for women here."

Official figures published by the Xinhua news agency shed some light on why a forced abortion campaign might be judged necessary. They show that the Baise government missed its family planning targets last year. The recorded birth rate was 13.61 percent, slightly higher than the goal of 13.5 percent. This is significant because the career prospects of local officials depend upon meeting these goals.

Wei Linrong and her husband Liang Yage, were incensed by their treatment, seeing it as little short of murder.

"I think their methods are too cruel," said Wei, "my heart really hurts. Such a tiny baby, it was innocent. And they killed it."

"Every time we talk about this child, we both cry," Liang added. "We can't bear talking about this child."

Liang and his wife risked further official disapproval by contacting a Christian group overseas to publicize their plight. China may once have depended on its state apparatus of control and fear to silence those who suffer human rights abuses at the hands of its officials. But China's victims are angry, and they want their voices to be heard.

UN Secretary General Nominates Abortion Advocate for Top Human Rights Post

....this can't possibly get anymore backwards. Why not nominate Michael Vick as the new head of PETA? Or place Adolf Hitler at the head of some kind of "Diversity Taskforce."

By Samantha Singson

(C-FAM - NEW YORK) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to name abortion advocate Navanethem “Navi” Pillay of South Africa as the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) this week despite reservations from the United States.

According to the New York Times, the United States has privately raised concerns about Pillay’s nomination to the top human rights post because of her strong support for abortion. Pillay is a founding member of the international non-governmental organization Equality Now, a group that has spearheaded campaigns for abortion access in Poland and Nepal. Pillay remains on the board of the organization which receives major funding from pro-abortion foundations including George Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation.

In her interview with the Judicial Service Commission in 1994 when she was being considered for membership to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, Pillay expressed concern that including a “right to life” article in the South African Constitution would create problems in relation to abortion. “This is the one clause [the pro-life lobby] are going to latch on to for their cause…” Pillay said.

During that interview, Pillay also expressed concern that the constitutional article did not define whether or not such a right begins at conception, leaving it “open to litigation” which could potentially threaten women's “reproductive rights.” When pressed on why she would be so opposed to a reasoned debate on the issue, she responded with the question, ‘why have not other rights been put in there as patently as this one which would be the woman's right to, reproductive rights, for instance?”

Pillay became prominent for her role as presiding judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a post she occupied from 1995 until her appointment to the International Criminal Court in 2003. Pillay has been a favorite among women’s groups and is consistently endorsed by feminist NGOs for top level jobs at the UN, including Secretary General. Radical feminist NGOs first endorsed Pillay for the High Commissioner on Human Rights post four years ago, but the job went to Canada’s Louise Arbour.

The High Commissioner is the principal UN official with responsibility for human rights and is accountable to the Secretary-General. According to UNHCR definition, the High Commissioner is charged with the task of leading the international human rights movement by acting as a “moral authority” and coordinating and streamlining human rights within the UN system. This would include all of the human rights treaty monitoring bodies which have increasingly overstepped their mandates to pressure more than 60 sovereign nations on their abortion laws in recent years.

Critics are concerned that Pillay will adopt the same positions on social issues as her predecessors, Canada’s Louise Arbour and Ireland’s Mary Robinson. Both Arbour and Robinson support abortion as a human right. Both also enthusiastically endorse the “Yogyakarta Principles,” a document claiming homosexual rights as binding human rights including same-sex “marriage,” adoption by homosexual couples and state-funded sex change operations.

A formal announcement from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Pillay’s nomination is expected this week.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

24 luglio 2008

Will Pro-Choicers Respect Conscientious Choice?

Will they? I doubt it.

Cardinal Addresses Possible Regulations on Abortion Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The chairman of the U.S. bishops pro-life committee says an issue is being discussed by members of Congress that should be a matter of agreement between "pro-lifers" and "pro-choicers": respect of conscience.
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, affirmed this in a letter Friday to members of Congress. The cardinal's letter responded to a debate that arose when the New York Times reported on July 15 that it had a draft of proposed federal regulations on the conscience rights of health care providers.

According to the Times article, "The Bush administration wants to require all recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control."

A California Representative responded to the news by circulating a letter calling on members of Congress to write President George Bush to oppose any such regulations, even though as yet, they are still unpublished.

Yet Cardinal Rigali said the issue "should be a matter of agreement among members [of Congress] who call themselves 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice': the freedom of health care providers to serve the public without violating their most deeply held moral and religious convictions on the sanctity of human life."

He clarified that his own statement was not a public comment on "the details of an unpublished draft allegedly leaked from a government agency." But, the cardinal added, the critics' charges of the possible regulations "are sweeping enough that a few general comments on conscience protection in health care seem warranted."

Nothing new

Cardinal Rigali first explained that there are already laws protecting rights of conscience in health care, the first having been passed in 1973.

"Some of these laws address such rights in a specific context, such as abortion or AIDS prevention; some explicitly address both abortion and sterilization; and some try to ensure respect for individuals’ moral and religious convictions in programs receiving federal funds regardless of the specific issue," the cardinal noted. "The critics’ surprise that conscience protection may apply beyond the specific issue of abortion seems based on a lack of knowledge of existing federal law."

Nevertheless, the cardinal added, "despite Congress’ frequently demonstrated concern about conscience rights over 35 years, none of these statutes has been clarified or enforced through implementing regulations."

As a result, he said, some institutions might be violating the laws unawares, and some victims of discrimination may not know they have legal recourse for their situations.

"It seems the statutory policy is clear and needed, and at the same time is relatively unknown, misunderstood and unenforced," Cardinal Rigali wrote. "This is a paradigm instance calling for the executive branch to reaffirm and implement the statutes, especially as fundamental rights are at stake. If the administration is preparing regulations along these lines, it would simply be performing its proper task in an area of law where that is long overdue."

Tiny or pervasive?

The cardinal's final point called into question the logical soundness of abortion-supporters' arguments.

He explained that "efforts to protect rights of conscience are being attacked by critics as a threat to women’s 'access' to abortion arid birth control. This is an interesting charge. For many years, pro-abortion groups have insisted that abortion and related services are 'basic' and mandatory aspects of health care."

"They have opposed conscience clauses, dismissively calling them 'refusal clauses,' claiming that they protect an irrational 'refusal' by a tiny minority of religious zealots to comply with this supposedly objective medical standard," the cardinal continued. "Now they have reversed their stand, claiming that conscientious objection to these procedures is so pervasive in the health care professions that policies protecting conscience rights will eliminate access to them."

"Obviously these two claims cancel each other out," Cardinal Rigali affirmed.

He added: "I would suggest, however, that if a procedure really elicits widespread ethical disapproval from conscientious health professionals, and must be imposed on unwilling physicians and nurses by force of law in order to be available at all, it may not be as 'basic' as pro-abortion groups imagine. I would add that patients with pro-life convictions, including women who require a physician’s care for themselves and their unborn children during pregnancy, deserve 'access' to health care professionals who do not have contempt for their religious and moral convictions or for the lives of their children.

"This issue provides self-described 'pro-choice' advocates with an opportunity to demonstrate their true convictions. […] [I]s the 'pro-choice' label a misleading mask for an agenda of actively promoting and even imposing morally controversial procedures on those who conscientiously hold different views? Reactions to efforts to reaffirm and implement laws on conscience protection may provide an answer."

Youth Day '11 to Bring Hope to Spain

- I'm going to do everything possible to attend this one!!!!! -

VATICAN CITY, JULY 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- World Youth Day 2011 will bring Europe a message of hope, not controversy, says a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi commented on the next World Youth Day, to be hosted by Madrid in three years. Benedict XVI announced the venue for the event when he closed World Youth Day '08 in Sydney last Sunday.

Father Lombardi acknowledged on Vatican Radio that "[Europe] is a continent where the confrontation between faith and the problems of modern society, of secularization is always alive."

He added: "The Pope often speaks of the risk that Europe might lose its fundamental values, linked to Christian tradition and to the faith's contribution to the continent's development.

"This will certainly be one of the topics and objectives of the next Youth Day, but without controversies and without the will to oppose the world that surrounds us."

Father Lombardi recalled the Pope's most recent trip to Spain: for the 2006 World Meeting of Families in Valencia.

He said that the Holy Father's message at that event was "entirely positive, centered on the beauty of being Christian, a positive message also for today's family."

"At a time when the family is going through great difficulties, to be Christian is a positive message," Father Lombardi affirmed. "I believe this should also be the spirit of the next Youth Day in Spain: a message of hope, a message that shows how faith offers a beautiful and great contribution for the future of our societies and of the world, as truly happened in Australia."

Father Lombardi mentioned the disappointment expressed by some people that, because of organizational and security problems, it has not been possible to organize a World Youth Day in Africa.

"So we return to Europe," he said, "though the intention is to involve the African continent in every possible way."

18 luglio 2008

UN Committee Pressures Slovakia over its Concordat with the Catholic Church

UN Committee Pressures Slovakia over its Concordat with the Catholic Church

by Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) At the most recent session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) meetings in New York, committee members pressed countries on abortion in the guise of talking about maternal mortality, family planning and contraceptive prevalence. Lithuania, Nigeria, Finland, the United Kingdom and Slovakia were all questioned on their abortion laws during their reviews by the committee.

While abortion is not mentioned in the treaty, in recent years the CEDAW Committee has questioned more than 60 nations on their abortion legislation. The committee has even gone so far as to create their own "general recommendation" that reads abortion into the text even though the nations negotiated the treaty made sure that controversial issue was never mentioned. Delegations often go along with the committees’ line of questioning on abortion by providing data and answering queries on the subject during their reviews.

During Lithuania’s review, committee members pressed the government delegation on access to contraception and on proposed legislation that seeks to defend prenatal life and would pose restrictions on access to abortion. Japanese committee member Yoko Hayashi stated that governmental restrictions on abortion “contradict the full enjoyment of women’s reproductive health rights that are protected by CEDAW.” The CEDAW document is silent on "reproductive health rights."

The United Kingdom was similarly taken to task by the CEDAW committee because of concerns over access to abortion in Northern Ireland. In response to committee queries over whether there was a possibility of changing the abortion legislation, the Irish representative responded that abortion was a matter of criminal law and that no change in legislation could occur in Northern Ireland without consent from all parties.

One committee member fired back that the government was not adequately addressing the abortion issue and that not taking action on the matter is “incompatible with obligations under the CEDAW convention.”

Sylvia Pimentel of Brazil took exception to Slovakia’s concordat with the Holy See, particularly on the right of health care workers to conscientiously object to performing or aiding in abortion. Pimentel claimed that it is “discriminatory to refuse to legally provide reproductive health services to women” and that CEDAW state parties “must refrain from obstructing women from pursuing their health goals.”

While the rulings of the Committee are supposedly non-binding, abortion activists have brought litigation throughout the world citing CEDAW Committee rulings in support of overturning laws against abortion. Such arguments helped convince the Colombian constitutional court to liberalize that country’s restrictions on the practice.

Under the topic of non-discrimination, CEDAW committee members questioned states on gay rights issues. During Finland’s review, committee members questioned legislation that prevented lesbian adoption. Slovakia was questioned on medically assisted reproduction and “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” against lesbian women who wanted to undergo the procedure.

At the end of the month, official representatives of States parties to CEDAW are scheduled to elect 11 members of the Committee that will serve from January 2009 to December 2012. The CEDAW Committee will next meet again in Geneva in October to review the reports from Bahrain, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mongolia, Myanmar, Portugal, Slovenia and Uruguay.

At first, abortion began as a program of racism and eugenics. Now, it is applied to all races, and in my opinion, the fuel for its fire is directly provided from the depths of hell.

16 luglio 2008

More from World Youth Day Australia

source for all articles below: http://www.zenit.org
3-Minute Showers and
World Youth Day Goes Green

By Anthony Barich and Catherine Smibert

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- World Youth Day 2008 will be the most environmentally friendly event Sydney has ever hosted, says the event's coordinator.

Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney told ZENIT that the organizers have been acutely aware that hosting such a big event "has its own ecological challenges."

He said that experts have been advising event organizers "from the start" on minimizing risks to the environment and, "if anything, leave the environment better off at the end."

It will be more environmentally friendly than any other event Sydney has hosted because pilgrims are mainly walking from venue to venue, and taking public transport.
Pilgrims around Australia also have been involved in a huge tree-planting program that will be a carbon-offset for those traveling to Australia by plane.

World Youth Day '08 airline partner Qantas also provided a carbon-offset program for the pilgrims using the national airline.

"We have dedicated cleaning and waste management strategies to maximize the recycling and we have used, throughout, the minimum packaging that can either be kept or re-used," Bishop Fisher said.

For example, he explained that the pilgrims have also been given a three-minute timer so they keep their showers brief to minimize water use, and that the flashlights in the pilgrim packs have reusable batteries so they "don't end up being thrown out."

"Pilgrims spent much of the time walking or on public transport, which means they're not in cars polluting the environment," he said. "On a per capita basis this group will be far and away the lowest-polluting crowd for an event in Sydney.

"They're using the very minimum of energy and are maximizing the use of recyclable and biodegradable products."

Generation Y Forgot to RSVP: Thousands Register Late for Youth Day

By Anthony Barich and Catherine Smibert

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Generation Y is demonstrating to World Youth Day organizers in Sydney why they weren't called Generation RSVP, says the coordinator of the event.

Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney told ZENIT today that thousands of unregistered pilgrims arrived to the host city on the opening day of World Youth Day, providing an extra challenge for the organizers to accommodate the unexpected overflow.

Thousands stood in line Tuesday at registration stands in Hyde Park, Circular Quay and Broadway. World Youth Day began today in Sydney, and will culminate on Sunday with an open-air Mass presided over by Benedict XVI at Randwick Racecourse. Some 500,000 are expected to attend the closing liturgy.

"This is not Generation RSVP," said the bishop, "this is Generation Y, and they just arrive and decide to register on the spot, and we're getting them in the thousands."

He said that over 100,000 international pilgrims have already arrived, and that organizers are confident of achieving their goal of having 100,000 Australian pilgrims, including 40,000 Sydney residents.

"Some of them we didn't know about; they've been arriving unregistered and we're past maximum capacity, but we're doing everything we can to make sure they get into all the events, get transport passes and accommodation and food," said Bishop Fisher, the youngest bishop in Australia.

24-year-old Sabrina Dias from Mexico was one among those registering late. She said she is in Australia visiting her family, and she "happened to be here at the same time."

"It's an opportunity not to be missed," she added.

Street party
"Look at the streets of Sydney," Bishop Fisher said. "We've never had this before. […] We've never had this many young people full of the faith, of idealism, of enthusiasm for Jesus Christ, his Church and the future of our world."

He added that Sydney is the first World Youth Day where that has been a large participation from the Pacific.

In Cologne 2005 there were 100 pilgrims from New Zealand, 10 from Papua New Guinea and less than 100 from the rest of the Pacific.

This year there are 4,500 from New Zealand, 2,000 from Papua New Guinea and up to 1,000 from each of Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and other small island nations, the bishop reported.

The youth day organizer explained that this was due to the contribution of local parishes and schools to the fairs of the poor Pacific Islands. A contingent from East Timor was also made possible through local fundraising efforts.

Dressed in traditional tapa wraps in colors designed specifically for his parish group, Tonga Rui of Tonga told ZENIT he is excited "at how World Youth Day has been able to unite so many of the Oceanic region."

Bishop Fisher added that the indigenous participation attending the youth event will also be "way out of proportion to their population numbers" due to the support from local communities.

Aboriginal performers are headlining key events throughout the week, as are those from the oceanic islands.


Prime Minister Notes Faith-Reason Partnership

Welcomes Youth to Australia

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The prime minister of Australia welcomed participants in World Youth Day to his country, affirming that faith and reason are "great partners" in history and will be in the future.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke to the youth gathered in Sydney for the 23rd World Youth Day before today's opening Mass celebrated by Cardinal George Pell.

"Australia welcomes the youth of the world to Sydney. Australia welcomes the youth of the world to this celebration of faith and this celebration of life. And as prime minister of Australia I welcome you from every land, every path, every continent on this, our planet," he said.

The leader told the young people that they are the "light of the world at a time when the world has so much darkness."

"Too often in the history of the world when young people traveled in great numbers to other parts of the world, they do so in the cause of war. But you here today are here as pilgrims of peace," he said.

The prime minister spoke about the role of faith in today's world and in history.

He said: "Some say there is no place for faith in the 21st century. I say they are wrong. Some say that faith is the enemy of reason, I say, also they are wrong. Because faith and reason are great partners in our human history and in our human future. Rich in humanity, rich in scientific progress.

"Some say only that which they see wrong in Christianity and in the Church, I say let us speak also about what is right in Christianity and the Church."

Rudd noted that the Church began the first schools and hospitals for the poor: "And I say this, that Christianity has been an overwhelming force for good in the world."

"Australia is a land of great freedom, a land of many cultures, a land of many faiths," Rudd continued. "But also a land deeply shaped by and proud of this nation’s Christian heritage and future. And within that great Christian heritage, we honor deeply the great Catholic heritage of Australia as well."

Catholicism is now the religious tradition with the largest number of adherents in Australia, some 26% of its 20 million people.

"You come here as young pilgrims of the world," Rudd added. "I say to you as I conclude, as Prime Minister of Australia, you are welcome guests in our land. May each of you be enriched by your time here among us in Australia just as you enrich Australia by your time here with us. Welcome to Australia."

Maybe when the USA goes down the tubes, I'll move to Australia. :-)

14 luglio 2008

"If You Wish to Remain Young, Seek Christ"

Pope's Message to Australia and Youth Pilgrims

"If You Wish to Remain Young, Seek Christ"

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of the message Benedict XVI wrote ahead of his trip to Australia to the people of the nation and the young pilgrims who will take part in World Youth Day, to be held in Sydney from July 15 to 20. The note was released today in Australia.

* * *

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be my witnesses" (Act 1:8)

The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! In a few days from now, I shall begin my Apostolic Visit to your country, in order to celebrate the Twenty-Third World Youth Day in Sydney. I very much look forward to the days that I shall spend with you, and especially to the opportunities for prayer and reflection with young people from all over the world.

First of all, I want to express my appreciation to all those who have offered so much of their time, their resources and their prayers in support of this celebration. The Australian Government and the Provincial Government of New South Wales, the organizers of all the events, and members of the business community who have provided sponsorship – all of you have willingly supported this event, and on behalf of the young people taking part in the World Youth Day, I thank you most sincerely. Many of the young people have made great sacrifices in order to undertake the journey to Australia, and I pray that they will be rewarded abundantly. The parishes, schools and host families have been most generous in welcoming these young visitors, and they too deserve our thanks and our appreciation.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be my witnesses" (Act 1:8). This is the theme of the Twenty-Third World Youth Day. How much our world needs a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit! There are still many who have not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, while many others, for whatever reason, have not recognized in this Good News the saving truth that alone can satisfy the deepest longings of their hearts. The Psalmist prays: "when you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104:30). It is my firm belief that young people are called to be instruments of that renewal, communicating to their peers the joy they have experienced through knowing and following Christ, and sharing with others the love that the Spirit pours into their hearts, so that they too will be filled with hope and with thanksgiving for all the good things they have received from our heavenly Father.

Many young people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers. They see poverty and injustice and they long to find solutions. They are challenged by the arguments of those who deny the existence of God and they wonder how to respond. They see great damage done to the natural environment through human greed and they struggle to find ways to live in greater harmony with nature and with one another.

Where can we look for answers? The Spirit points us towards the way that leads to life, to love and to truth. The Spirit points us towards Jesus Christ. There is a saying attributed to Saint Augustine: "If you wish to remain young, seek Christ". In him we find the answers that we are seeking, we find the goals that are truly worth living for, we find the strength to pursue the path that will bring about a better world. Our hearts find no rest until they rest in the Lord, as Saint Augustine says at the beginning of the Confessions, the famous account of his own youth. My prayer is that the hearts of the young people who gather in Sydney for the celebration of World Youth Day will truly find rest in the Lord, and that they will be filled with joy and fervour for spreading the Good News among their friends, their families, and all whom they meet.

Dear Australian friends, although I will only be able to spend a few days in your country, and I will not be able to travel outside Sydney, my heart reaches out to all of you, including those who are sick or in difficulties of any kind. On behalf of all the young people, I thank you again for your support of my mission and I ask you to continue praying for them especially. It remains only for me to renew my invitation to the young people from all over the world to join me in Australia, the great "southern land of the Holy Spirit". I look forward to seeing you there! May God bless you all.

From the Vatican, 14 July 2008 ~ BENEDICTUS PP. XVI ~ © Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

12 luglio 2008

Sin Dios, el hombre no tiene futuro

Por monseñor Demetrio Fernández, obispo de Tarazona

TARAZONA, sábado, 12 julio 2008 (ZENIT.org).- Publicamos la carta pastoral escrita por el obispo de Tarazona (España), monseñor Demetrio Fernández, con el título "Sin Dios, el hombre no tiene futuro".

* * *

Se quiere construir una sociedad sin Dios, y sin Dios el hombre no tiene futuro. Dios es el futuro de nuestra vida, a nivel personal y a nivel social. Si quitamos a Dios de la existencia humana, el hombre se queda sin horizonte. El hombre sin Dios queda amputado en una de sus principales dimensiones, la dimensión religiosa. Esta dimensión religiosa del hombre no se reduce a la esfera privada de la conciencia, sino que por la propia naturaleza humana tiende a expresarse y a vivirse en sociedad.

Dios no es enemigo del hombre. Dios no estorba para el progreso y para la felicidad del hombre. Dios ha sido y seguirá siendo el principal factor de transformación de la sociedad, de respeto al ser humano, de promoción de sus derechos, de fomento de la convivencia. La religión no ha sido, como tantas veces se nos quiere hacer ver, la causa de los enfrentamientos a lo largo de la historia. Cuando el hombre deja de ser religioso, no por eso cesan las guerras y las ambiciones, sino que por el contrario se multiplican. La historia demuestra que cuando el hombre se acerca a Dios, se hace más capaz de crear una convivencia pacífica entre todos.

Oímos continuamente proclamas en contra de Dios y de la religión, y al hacer estas proclamas, se sueña con un progreso que traerá la paz y la felicidad para todos. Pero junto a estas proclamas y como una consecuencia de las mismas, se anuncia el aborto sin medida, la eutanasia legalizada y otros "progresos" que no respetan los derechos fundamentales del hombre.

La vida es el bien fundamental de la persona. Todos tienen derecho a los que han sido engendrados y todavía no han nacido. Desde el momento mismo de la fecundación, tenemos una nueva persona, dotada de alma y cuerpo, con un proyecto genético y vital propio. Truncar esa vida es matar a un inocente. El sentido común y la fe en Dios nos dicen que nadie tiene derecho a suprimir esa vida que ha brotado en el seno materno. Hoy nos presentan como un progreso la libertad para matar al inocente en el seno materno, poniendo al alcance de quienes lo deseen todo tipo de medios. La vida no es respetada, el hombre no tiene futuro por este camino. Cuando el hombre se aleja de Dios, pierde hasta la luz natural para entender esta verdad elemental.

La vida en todas sus fases debe ser respetada, amada, acogida, alentada. No es ningún progreso poder eliminar a los minusválidos, a los que tienen síndrome de Down, a los que por cualquier accidente viven una vida limitada, a veces vegetativa. No hace bien al hombre y a la sociedad esta falta de protección del más débil, incluidos los que llegan a una edad avanzada y, gracias a la medicina, prolongan sus años. Cuando el hombre se aleja de Dios, se vuelve contra el hombre con toda crueldad. Y eso no constituye ningún progreso.

Por eso, nos llena de esperanza la próxima Jornada Mundial en Sydney del 15 al 20 de julio, en la que el Papa Benedicto XVI convoca a jóvenes de todo el mundo. Desde el encuentro fuerte con Jesucristo, estos miles y miles de jóvenes se animan a construir la civilización del amor, que respeta y ama al hombre, especialmente al más débil, en todos los momentos de su existencia. Es urgente construir un mundo nuevo. Y esto no podrá hacerse nunca al margen de Dios. Los miles de jóvenes que acudirán a Sydney y los millones de jóvenes que se unirán desde cualquier rincón del planeta a este acontecimiento constituyen una esperanza y una promesa. En ellos tenemos la esperanza de un mundo nuevo donde el hombre será respetado y amado en todas las circunstancias de la vida.

11 luglio 2008

Expected protests at WYD 2008

When I went to Germany for WYD 2005, the worst protester I saw was some wacked out Protestant with a huge sign that said "The pope is the beast." (the beast from Revelation). I know that argument in and out, I think he needs a history lesson, but when all is said and done he was another Christian trying to spread (his version of) the gospel. This year, it looks worse...

from ZENIT

Sydneysiders have been asked politely, or maybe not so politely, to avoid annoying or inconveniencing World Youth Day pilgrims. Pesky merchants or protestors, or mere nuisances, could be penalized with fines of more than $5,000.

Australian civil rights campaigners are set to challenge the regulation in federal courts. The Combined Community Legal Centers Group has warned that police powers could be used inappropriately during World Youth Day.

Going out on a limb, but I bet these groups lean to the left.

So to just push the issue, the NoToPope Coalition, which includes members of Sydney's atheist, gay and environmental communities, held an "annoying" fashion show this week outside the New South Wales Parliament, in which they paraded in T-shirts sporting messages contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Although only 20 people gathered for the protest, it received international coverage.
Don't tell me the media has no bias... A 20 person protest receiving international coverage? That only happens if the Catholic Church is being protested. Not even anti-Bush protesters get that much attention.

The coalition says it also plans to stage similar protests and hand out condoms as the pilgrims head to Randwick Racecourse on for the youth day vigil July 19.

Of course, because Catholic youth from around the world spent 2 years raising and saving $3500 each for airfare just to have sex with each other in Australia, but they forgot to bring condoms! Honestly, this really pisses me off. Of course this group will say they are trying to promote "safe-sex," but they are just doing this to be an annoyance. If they really care about "safe-sex," go to some third world country ravaged by venereal disease and hand out your condoms there. Don't bother with a bunch of kids, 95% who have committed to saving themselves until they are married, accompanied by priests and nuns who have vowed celibacy. That is like handing out air conditioning units to Eskimos. (oops, I'm sorry, Inuits)

The state government said the regulation is necessary to ensure the smoothness of the event, which will culminate with an open-air Mass on July 20. Some 500,000 people are expected at the event.

Coalition spokeswoman Rachel Evans said the "peaceful protest" would condemn the Pope's stance against condoms, homosexuality and abortion.

One young Catholic leader in the archdiocese and co-coordinator of the "Love and Life Site," Jovina Graham, laughed at the thought of such a scenario, saying, "such protestors obviously are unaware of the peaceful fortitude of these young people while en masse marching to meet the head of the Church!"

McDonald's: those opposing same-sex marriage motivated by hate

source: American Family Association

Throwing out any pretense of being neutral in the culture war, McDonald's has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate.

AFA has asked for a boycott of McDonald's restaurants because of the company’s promotion of the gay agenda. AFA asked McDonald’s to remain neutral in the culture war. McDonald’s refused.

In response to the boycott, McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman suggested to the Washington Post that those who oppose SSM are motivated by hate, saying "...hatred has no place in our culture." McDonald's has decided to adopt the "hate" theme used by gay activist groups for years.

Whitman went on to say, "We stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment." Mr. Whitman has intentionally avoided addressing the reason for the boycott. This boycott is not about hiring gays or how gay employees are treated. It is about McDonald's choosing to put the full weight of their corporation behind promoting their agenda.

McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership and a seat on the group’s board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress in support of same-sex marriage.

McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner said the company will promote issues they approve. "Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world...and we do."

Yeah McDonald's, just another reason to add to the list of why I have boycotted you for 4 years. Besides reducing cattle ranchers to serf-like status, and spreading your disgustingly inferior product all throughout the world, now you jump on this "if you don't support me you hate me" bandwagon. To my liberal friends I ask, how is this attitude any different from the much criticized G.W. Bush statement "if you're not with us, you're against us"?

New Book Exposes Eugenics Mandate in Reproductive Rights Agenda

Part I: Power, Money, and Science Unite to Exterminate the World's Poor

by Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) A book recently published by Harvard University Press explains how eugenics united some of the richest and most powerful elites of the twentieth century into a movement "to remake humanity by controlling the population of the world," answering to no one and bringing untold misery upon the world's poor. The book, "Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population," was written by Columbia University historian Matthew Connelly and shows why today's reproductive rights advocates are "faithfully reciting a eugenic catechism without the faintest idea where it comes from or where it can lead."

In 1952, at a secret, invitation-only gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, John D. Rockefeller III brought together what would become the modern population control establishment. Setting the agenda for the following decades were the heads of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, National Academy of Sciences, and top scientists "from embryology to economics," including past and present Nobel Prize winners.

From verbatim transcripts of the "Conference on Population Problems," just one of the countless number of such meetings the book exposes, Connelly found that what drove them were the questions of how many people the world could hold along with "whether 'industrial development should be withheld' from poor, agrarian countries like India." By decreasing mortality and encouraging "breeding," development would increase inferior populations and further degrade "the genetic quality of the human race." They decided radical measures to reduce birthrates were justified in order to save "Western Civilization" from being dragged down by the growing humanitarian demands of Third World countries.

Thus was born the Population Council, which would in turn become the nexus of the entire population control movement, going on to coordinate the work of the United Nations, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – founded three weeks later – as well as major pharmaceutical firms.

The founder of IPPF, Margaret Sanger, selected for its first director general the psychologist C. P. Blacker, who called for a strategy of "crypto-eugenics," saying "you seek to fulfill the aims of eugenics without disclosing what you are really aiming at and without mentioning the word."

When Nehru presented India's first population-limitation policy in December 1952, the population establishment found a willing government that would allow them to start experimenting on its people to find a cheap contraceptive "to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles and among the most ignorant people," as Margaret Sanger put it. Years later, Planned Parenthood would import the experiments back into poor neighborhoods in the United States. Sanger said, "I believe that now, immediately there should be national sterilization for certain dysgenic types of our population who are being encouraged to breed and would die out were the government not feeding them."

According to Connelly, it wasn't until President Lyndon Johnson, prodded by a few highly influential advisors, that American funding soared, turning Sanger's vision of forcing birth control on the world's poor into reality in India and beyond. As the initiatives gained unstoppable momentum, the brutal consequences shocked even the most enthusiastic population controllers.

Part II: Creating "Crises" and "Shock Attacks" in the "War" on Population

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) In the new book "Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population," Columbia University historian Matthew Connelly shows how the population control movement created "future projections as evidence" of overpopulation then justified "casualties" in the war on population caused by coercive methods. These included such "shock attacks" as quotas for millions of shoddy vasectomies and IUD insertions without follow-up care, public humiliation of poor families with three or more children, bulldozing entire neighborhoods that displaced countless thousands of the poor, and knowingly unloading defective IUDs that crippled poor women.

According to Connelly, when Malthusian theories used to justify eugenics fell out of favor, population controllers invented new theories. Founding members of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) returning from the Vietnam War, transferred the counterinsurgency tactic of "population control" to USAID's strategy. Chinese missile scientist Jian Song used computer generated modeling to create the appearance of "precise forecast" of disaster for China if the government did not limit women to bearing one child.

Africa, along with India, was the target of many such contrived scenarios, even though according to Connelly "the continent was a net food exporter and featured some of the lowest rates of growth in the world." What's more, he says family planning advocates ignored the fact that fertility was already falling in China and in other target countries, and ignored the "accumulating body of evidence showing that high fertility was not, after all, correlated with poverty." He demonstrates that fertility rates fell in developing countries between 1950 and 2000 whether or not they were subjected to population assistance programs.

Despite the facts, the movement's tactics became increasingly coercive in the late 1960s due to the zeal and connections of people like U.S. Army general William Draper. Working with John D. Rockefeller, Draper helped convince President Johnson to include population control in the 1965 "war on poverty." Johnson tied humanitarian aid to developing nations' achieving fertility benchmarks set by the UN and USAID, even vetoing food aid shipments to India in the midst of its dire famines. Draper founded the Population Crisis Committee, today's Population Action International, with the goal of creating an American public sense of urgency by tapping into the fears of the day, such as drawing a causative link between the lack of family planning in the slums with the chaos caused by youth in the late 1960s and calling for a "crash program for population stabilization."

Along with former Secretary of Defense and World Bank President Robert McNamara, Draper convinced Congress to earmark unprecedented levels of funding for USAID population programs between 1967 and 1971. So much money flooded into the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) that officials did not know how to spend it. This along with growing skepticism in the third world of U.S. backing, then 90 percent of the total, led Draper to call for the creation of a fund centered at the UN which would "sanitize" U.S. funding, give the appearance of international consensus, and circumvent national governments. The initiative became the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Part III: Feminist “Reform” Makes Population Control More Coercive

A new book by Columbia University professor Matthew Connelly documents the way the “reproductive rights” leaders at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) rose to power by exposing the abuses of the population control movement but then supported even larger and more coercive programs.

In 1973, twenty years after formally establishing global population control, the movement’s leaders believed it was spinning beyond their control. In response to bad press about out-of-control sterilization campaigns in India and elsewhere followed by a groundswell of popular backlash, John D. Rockefeller was persuaded to re-brand the movement from a “war” on population to a campaign for women’s rights. Likewise, General William Draper’s Population Crisis Committee sponsored the “feminist unity” platform at the 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest.

In Connelly’s view, “reproductive rights” advocates exploited protests against population control beginning with the Bucharest conference and managed to gradually take over the movement by the time of the UN’s 1994 population conference in Cairo. Connelly believes the feminist focus on abortion rights essentially returned the movement to Margaret Sanger’s original vision of eugenics which maintained that poor women needed government-funded birth control and abortion because they could not be left alone to make their own choices about fertility.

According to Connelly, it is for this reason that UNFPA and IPPF supported China’s one child policy “with eyes wide open” from its inception in 1980. “As the IPPF and UNFPA stepped up support, China’s program became ever more coercive,” he says, citing eyewitness reports of women “handcuffed, tied with ropes or placed in pig baskets,” while “every day hundreds of fetuses arrive[d] in the morgue.” IPPF officials, “untroubled” by the reports, reassured donors that Chinese government policies were not compulsory, even during a campaign that resulted–in 1983 alone–in 16 million women and 4 million men undergoing mandatory sterilization, 18 million IUD insertions (required for all mothers) and 14 million abortions of “unauthorized pregnancies.” Connelly says IPPF and UNFPA did not even issue “a pro forma injunction to avoid coercion–something that was standard in previous campaigns,” and senior UNFPA staff argued against “too narrow an interpretation of voluntarism.”

That same year, UNFPA awarded the architect of the one child program, Soviet-trained army general Xinzhong Qian, its first Population Award. Indira Gandhi, whose reelection as India’s prime minister was thwarted by populace outraged over her government’s abusive population policies, was the co-winner. UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar offered them his “deep appreciation” for “marshal[ing] the resources necessary to implement population policies on a massive scale.”

Connelly concludes that the entire population control movement was not just brutal but unnecessary since fertility rates have fallen equally in countries with or without population programs. He wrote the book in hopes that his account of the world’s first transnational movement will make readers skeptical of other global governance movements. Unaccountable to people, he says, they too can bring great human suffering in the name of making the world a better place.

Pope's Next Encyclical in the Works

Expected to Give Fresh Look at 21st Century

By Jesús Colina

ROME, JULY 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is reportedly working on his third encyclical this summer, which could be ready as early as this fall.

The Pope's secretary of state confirmed the existence of the document in an interview with the APCOM news agency last May. He even proposed a possible title: "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in the Truth) and said this, the Holy Father's third encyclical, could be ready in the fall.

"For now, it is a hypothesis," Cardinal Bertone said. "I don't want to say that the title will definitely be this -- for now, yes, and for the moment, it's this idea, but later, a successive inspiration could arrive."

According to the secretary of state, the encyclical "comes and goes from the Pope's desk, because he doesn't want to repeat common concepts of the Church's social doctrine, but wants to offer something original, according to the challenges of today."

"We could think of the great problem of globalization and the other problems that afflict the international community, such as the food crisis and climate change," the cardinal said. "These are themes that could motivate an evaluation and commentary from the Church from the moral point of view."

Sneak preview?

The Holy Father may have given an insight into the themes of his encyclical when he addressed the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences last May. Their meeting was focused on "Pursuing the Common Good: How Solidarity and Subsidiarity Can Work Together."

He cited the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in noting that the academy's session was devoted to examining the interrelationship between "four fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity."

"These key realities," the Pontiff said, "which emerge from the living contact between the Gospel and concrete social circumstances, offer a framework for viewing and addressing the imperatives facing mankind at the dawn of the 21st century, such as reducing inequalities in the distribution of goods, expanding opportunities for education, fostering sustainable growth and development, and protecting the environment."

Benedict XVI suggested that "we can initially sketch the interconnections between these four principles by placing the dignity of the person at the intersection of two axes: one horizontal, representing 'solidarity' and 'subsidiarity,' and one vertical, representing the 'common good.' This creates a field upon which we can plot the various points of Catholic social teaching that give shape to the common good."

Nevertheless, though the graphic gives an idea of the principles' interweaving, the Pope stated, "the reality is much more complex."

And he said that solidarity and subsidiarity must be placed within the context of the Trinity. He further proposed that these two principles "have the potential to place men and women on the path to discovering their definitive, supernatural destiny."

He added: "The eyes of faith permit us to see that the heavenly and earthly cities interpenetrate and are intrinsically ordered to one another, inasmuch as they both belong to God the Father, who is 'above all and through all and in all.'"

"At the same time, faith places into sharper focus the due autonomy of earthly affairs, insofar as they are 'endowed with their own stability, truth, goodness, proper laws and order.'"

10 luglio 2008

El aborto fue un instrumento de opresión del nazismo y el comunismo

Habla el vice presidente del movimiento provida polaco

VARSOVIA, miércoles 9 de julio de 2008 (ZENIT.org).- Muchos hablan del aborto como expresión de la emancipación femenina y fruto del progreso, pero en Polonia no se ve así: el aborto legal fue impuesto, primero por los nazis y después por la dictadura comunista. Y esto tiene repercusiones.

En una entrevista a Zenit, el ingeniero Antoni Zieba, secretario del World Prayer for Life y vicepresidente del Polish Federation of Pro Life Movements, se pregunta por qué la ONU y la Unión Europea presionan a Polonia para que liberalice el aborto, cuando se trata del país con el menor número de interrupciones voluntarias del embarazo.

A pesar de tener una legislación sobre el aborto muy similar a la de España, Polonia tiene un número bajísimo de interrupciones voluntarias del embarazo. En España en el año 2006 hubo 98.500 abortos, es decir, 270 al día, mientras que en Polonia el mismo año hubo 360 abortos, menos de uno al día.

--¿Cuál es el secreto de estos resultados? ¿Se aplica la ley más rigurosamente, o es que la cultura de la vida es más fuerte?

--Antoni Zieba: No conozco con exactitud la situación en España. Lo que puedo decir es que la sociedad polaca está a favor de la vida. Hemos llegado a este objetivo gracias a décadas de oraciones y de obras de apostolado, realizadas también durante la dominación comunista. Dentro de las estructuras de la Iglesia católica hemos llevado a cabo una intensa actividad en defensa de la vida de los no nacidos.

Esta acción apostólica se intensificó gracias a la actividad de varios movimientos y organizaciones de laicos que se formaron tras el declive del Comunismo en Polonia, a partir de 1989.

Con el final de la censura pudimos distribuir material educativo sobre el valor de la vida de los niños y niñas desde la concepción. Hemos explicado cómo reducir los daños del síndrome post aborto, y hemos dado a conocer la verdadera historia de la legalización del aborto en Europa y en Polonia.

Los primeros que legalizaron el aborto en nuestro país fueron los nazis en marzo de 1943. Querían eliminar a los polacos con el aborto. Después llegaron los comunistas, y con la promulgación de la ley del aborto el 27 de abril de 1956 comenzó su dictadura.

Para muchos polacos, particularmente para los jóvenes, estos hechos deberían suscitar una reflexión y un reconocimiento de que el aborto ha sido legalizado, impuesto y practicado en Polonia por sus enemigos: los nazis y los comunistas.

En este contexto los libros, los folletos, los opúsculos sobre el aborto, distribuidos en las iglesias, en las escuelas, en las calles han tenido un profundo impacto en la sociedad polaca.

A propósito de esto, las enseñanzas de Juan Pablo II sobre la protección de la vida humana desde la concepción hasta la muerte natural han sido inestimables y decisivas para la situación en Polonia.

--¿Cómo ha respondido la sociedad civil a esta campaña de sensibilización?

--Antoni Zieba: En la Constitución Polaca el artículo 38 dice: "La república de Polonia asegura la protección legal de la vida de todo ser humano". Algunos parlamentarios polacos presentaron una petición en la que solicitaban que se añadiera: "desde la concepción hasta la muerte natural".

Por desgracia la Cámara Baja del Parlamento rechazó la petición, pero según los sondeos hechos por el PGB Polka Grupa Badawcza (el mejor centro de investigación sobre opinión pública), el 52% de los polacos está a favor de reforzar la defensa de la vida en la Constitución, mientras que el 35% se muestra contrario.

Más de 506.000 personas firmaron en apoyo de esta petición, mientras que menos de 2.000 manifestaron su desaprobación.

--Usted es e secretario del World Prayer for Life. ¿Qué tarea desempeña esta asociación provida?

--Antoni Zieba: Hablando de la protección de la vida, hay que mencionar el gran y decisivo papel jugado por la oración.

En Polonia se ha desarrollado un movimiento masivo de oración y de adopción espiritual de los niños no nacidos. Una verdadera cruzada para la protección de los concebidos. Estas oraciones han cambiado el corazón y la mente de nuestros conciudadanos y han reforzado el respeto a la vida.

El World Prayer for Life promueve la adopción espiritual de los niños concebidos. El movimiento nació en 1980, cuando aún estábamos bajo la dominación comunista.

La idea de la oración por los no nacidos fue inspirada directamente por el Siervo de Dios Papa Juan Pablo II, durante su viaje a Polonia el 7 de junio de 1979.

En el Santuario mariano de Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, el Santo Padre hizo un importante discurso en el que pidió oraciones por los niños no nacidos, explicando que el hombre no vive sóo de pan, y que debe existir siempre un grupo de personas que rece al Señor.

-¿Cuántas asociaciones provida polacas existen? ¿Cómo se coordinan? ¿Cuál es su relación con la Iglesia católica? ¿Qué tareas asistenciales desempeñan?

--Antoni Zieba: En Polonia hay cerca de 160 entre organizaciones, fundaciones y grupos informales, a favor de la vida por nacer y activos en la protección de las madres y los niños.

La Federación Polaca de Movimientos Pro Vida está presidida por el doctor Paweł Wosicki y agrupa alrededor de 130 organizaciones y grupos. (www.prolife.com.pl/federacja)

La cooperación entre la Federación y la Iglesia Católica es espléndida. Los encuentros entre dirigentes laicos, obispos y sacerdotes es frecuente. En la actualidad, la Federación no tiene relaciones con las Iglesias no católicas.

--En la reciente reunión de los Movimientos a favor de la Vida europeos, que tuvo lugar en Roma, usted propuso instaurar una Jornada por la Vida de carácter mundial, exactamente el 25 de marzo, dedicándola a la oración por la vida. ¿Puede explicar mejor el sentido y la finalidad de su propuesta?

--Antoni Zieba: La oración es la piedra angular de las buenas acciones. En la encíclica Evangelium Vitae, el Siervo de Dios Juan Pablo II escribió que „es urgente una gran oración por la vida que atraviese el mundo entero". Esta oración debe hacerse todo el año, pero estoy convencido de que el 25 de marzo, fiesta de la Encarnación, de la concepción de Jesús en el cuerpo de María, debería convertirse en la Jornada mundial de oración para la defensa de la vida.

La Jornada por la Vida se celebra ya en diversos países, en fechas diferentes. Propongo hacer el 25 de marzo la Jornada mundial de protección de la vida, pero sin renunciar a la Jornada por la vida nacional.

Este día al año en que todo el mundo reza, reflexiona y hace apostolado por la protección incondicional de la vida de toda persona, desde la concepción a la muerte natural, puede representar un día de unidad para todos los militantes pro vida y para los hombres y mujeres de buena voluntad.

--Entre varios movimientos por la vida ya se ha presentado la idea de pedir a todos los países y a las instituciones internacionales de haya al menos un día sin abortos, precisamente el 25 de marzo.

--Antoni Zieba: Esta es una gran idea. Nosotros apoyaremos esta propuesta y recogeremos firmas en una petición dirigida a las autoridades polacas, pidiéndoles que apoyen esta propuesta cuando venga presentada a las Naciones Unidas.

La recogida de firmas es una buena ocasión para recordar a todos que los niños que aún no han nacido son seres humanos protegidos por la Declaración Universal de los Derechos del Hombre, que en el artículo 3 afirma que "Todo individuo tiene derecho a la vida, a la libertad y a la seguridad de su propia persona".

--Mientras en Europa hay un aborto cada 27 segundos y un divorcio cada 30, en Polonia el aborto y el divorcio son mínimos. Sin embargo, una cierta cultura relativista, muy influyente en las instituciones europeas, está presionando a Polonia para que promueva legislaciones radicales socialistas. ¿Qué puede decir al respecto?

--Antoni Zieba: Polonia ha sido el primer país del mundo que ha rechazado democráticamente una ley que autorizaba el aborto, y que ha introducido una que protege la vida humana desde la concepción. Y sin embargo, varias organizaciones como las Naciones Unidas o la Unión Europea están presionando a Polonia para que cambie su ley del aborto.

Estas presiones están provocando objeciones y desacuerdos por parte de la población que, sobre todo los más ancianos, recuerda que la primera ley del aborto fue impuesta por los nazis en 1943, y la segunda fue promulgada por la dictadura comunista el 27 de abril de 1956.

¿Cómo se puede pedir a Polonia que restaure una ley favorable al aborto, impuesta por las dos peores dictaduras del siglo XX?

Esta exigencia es aún más inaceptable si se piensa que en 15 años de aplicación de la ley a favor de la vida ha habido resultados óptimos. El número de abortos se mantiene a un nivel muy bajo, 360 en el 2006, mientras en los años 90 el número de abortos registrados era de 100.000 al año, y durante los años de la dictadura comunista se estima que el total de abortos fuese de más de 600.000 al año.

La salud de las mujeres embarazadas está mejorando continuamente, con la constante disminución de las muertes debidas al parto. La mortalidad infantil y el número de abortos espontáneos está en constante disminución.

¿Por qué deberíamos cambiar una ley que funciona tan bien?

[Por Antonio Gaspari. Traducción del italiano por Inmaculada Álvarez]

09 luglio 2008

To Radical Feminism and Back

Interview With Author and Ex-feminist Lorraine Murray

By Teresa Tomeo

DECATUR, Georgia, JULY 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Lorraine Murray went to college with a basic Catholic education, an education it only took a few philosophy classes to undo.

Murray, who has a doctorate in philosophy, is the author of “Confessions of an Ex-Feminist," in which she traces her journey from Catholicism to radical feminism, and back.

In this interview with ZENIT, Murray, who is a religion columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Bulletin, comments on the insights she has gained in her journey back to the Catholic faith.

Q: You were born and raised in the Catholic faith but lost that faith in college. Can you outline the weaknesses in your faith or Catholic education that may have caused your faith to crumble?

Murray: When I headed off to college, I was quickly overwhelmed by the atmosphere of nihilism that pervaded the campus. As a child, I had dutifully memorized the questions and answers in “The Baltimore Catechism,” which was the gold standard for Catholic instruction at that time.

Unfortunately, my Catholic upbringing ignored the nefarious ways that Satan attacks the Catholic faith, so I was unprepared for college courses in which arguments against God’s existence were pervasive. In short, I lacked the tools to defend my faith.

Q: You had earned your doctorate in philosophy and had studied many of the secular thinkers. Did you ever stop and think about actually studying or examining the Bible or Catholic teachings to make sure your had come to the right conclusions?

Murray: Arrogance was my big sin. I thought that my background in philosophy qualified me to critique -- and reject -- Church teachings. Also, I was surrounded by professors who scoffed at claims of the supernatural and thought religion was outdated.

As I pursued my doctorate in philosophy, I studiously avoided examining the great teachers of the Catholic faith, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. And sadly, it never occurred to me to go back and re-examine the faith I had once held so dear, nor did it dawn on me to test some of my conclusions by reading the Bible.

Like many people in their 20s, I thought that I knew it all.

Q: I have spoken with many reverts who share similar experiences such as leaving the Church while never really being familiar with Church teachings. Why do you think this pattern occurs so often and what can lay Catholics as well as priests and other religious do to prevent more people from walking away from their Catholicism?
Murray: I believe it is crucial for priests, who! have received extensive education in theology, to take active roles in parish RCIA programs. Converts to the faith should become well-schooled in the teachings of orthodox Catholicism, so they will really understand the beliefs they are embracing.

I also would love to see more priests leading occasional “refresher” courses open to all parishioners, because many people in the pews are eager to defend their faith but lack the tools to do so. Lay Catholics need to have a copy of “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” handy and to consult it often.

It would also be helpful for folks to subscribe to orthodox Catholic publications so they can learn about Catholic news through the eyes of writers who are well versed in the faith.

Q: What first attracted you to feminism?

Murray: I was quite enchanted by books such as “The Feminine Mystique” and “The Second Sex,” in which woman’s condition w! as painted with dark and dreary brushstrokes. Thinkers such as Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir saw evidence of women’s oppression and misery everywhere they looked.

My own experience showed few signs of oppression: My mother had graduated from college, and I was pursuing a doctorate in philosophy and had received many honors and fellowships. Still, I saw signs of injustice in the world and thought that feminism had the answer.

In many ways, I clung to this “ism” as a way to achieve a utopian society on earth, in which everyone would be happy and equal. It took me a while to see that the cost of this feminist utopia was terrible indeed, since the “ideal world” envisioned by feminists was built on abortion and daycare centers.

Generally, the feminist agenda depicted children as a problem, not a blessing, and marriage as the source of women’s unhappiness, rather than as a wellspring of happiness, security and joy.

Q: In your book you discuss your own abortion, and that even after struggling with the physical and emotional consequences of it, you still clung tightly to feminist dogma regarding abortion and sexual freedom. Why is it so difficult to see the empty promises of the feminist movement?

Murray: For many years after the abortion, I suffered terrible flashbacks, stinging regret and bouts of serious depression. However, when I finally returned to Catholicism, I still held onto many of my feminist beliefs.

For example, I thought artificial contraception was fine, and abortion should remain legalized. I was very upset about having ended my own child’s life, but I still had this ingrained notion that although abortion had been wrong for me, it might be right for other women in different circumstances.

In short, I was a typical moral relativist, failing to realize that some acts, like abortion, murder, and rape, are wrong for everyone. It seems that feminists have so artfully deified the notion of “choice” that it takes many women a long time to recognize the underlying moral truth: Some choices are absolutely wrong.

Q: How did you finally start to make your way back to Christ and the Catholic Church?

Murray: A mysterious series of events happened, and they left me rather stunned and shaken up.

First, my husband, who had little knowledge of Catholicism, went on a business trip to New York. While in the city he stopped in at St. Patrick's Cathedral and, for some mysterious reason, decided to light votive candles in memory of his father and my parents.

When he told me that, I realized I had never prayed for the repose of my parents' souls, although they had been dead for many years.

I also read Thomas Merton's "Seven Storey Mountain," and was very moved by his journey. Little by little, I began to experience a mysterious sense of "someone" reaching into my life and tugging at me.

Q: When you first came back to the Church, you were a self-described “cafeteria Catholic.” What happened in your life that brought you to full acceptance of Church teachings?

Murray: I was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago, and my life went through some serious changes. I truly thought I was facing imminent death, and I longed for spiritual guidance.

Through the grace of God, I found Father Richard Lopez, a religion teacher at a local Catholic high school, and he became my spiritual director. At first he helped me accept the cancer diagnosis, but over time, I began asking him questions about Church teachings, for example about contraception, abortion and euthanasia.

He explained difficult concepts, gave me books to read, and patiently answered my many questions. As I grasped the real truth of the Catholic perspective, I gave up the cafeteria line and started enjoying the full feast.

Q: If you could boil your testimony down to one message for your readers, what would it be?

Murray: God’s abundant mercy is there for every sinner, no matter how far afield he or she has strayed. I was someone who promoted atheism in the classroom, lived according to the precepts of “free love,” and turned my back on traditional notions of motherhood and family. Still, God gently called me home, and through the sacrament of penance, restored grace to my soul.

Case Dropped Against Canadian Priest

Case Dropped Against Canadian Priest

Accused of Exposing Homosexuals to Hatred

By Pete Vere

TORONTO, JULY 8, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Canadian Human Rights Commission has closed its case against Father Alphonse de Valk, the editor and publisher of Catholic Insight magazine.

The monthly magazine drew the ire of homosexual activists after publishing several articles defending marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The articles quoted extensively from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and various papal documents. A complaint was filed with the government commission claiming the articles exposed homosexuals to discrimination, bigotry and hatred.

In dropping the complaint against the 76-year-old Basilian priest, the commission stated: “After examining this information, the commission decided [...] to dismiss the complaint because the material is not likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual orientation.”

Despite the July 4 decision, Father de Valk is still responsible for $20,000 in legal expenses, and concerned for recent decisions affecting Protestants.


“The [homosexual activists] have given up on us because the Catholic Church is powerful,” Father de Valk told ZENIT, but added that there are still a number decisions against Protestants who agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage.

“Now we have to turn back the cases that were already decided,” he said.

The priest cited the "most notorious" of these decisions as the one of the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal against Stephen Boissoin.

Boissoin is a Protestant youth minister who wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper critiquing same-sex marriage and the introduction of homosexual activism in public schools among students as young as six.

The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal ordered Boissoin to pay $7,000 in fines and court costs, and write and publish an apology for his statements.

Another case of liberalism at it's finest - silencing opposing view points under the guise of "tolerance."