Friday, January 31, 2014

Disgraceful demonstration by radical feminists in Stockholm’s Catholic Cathedral

In their latest sacrilegious public demonstration in support of abortion, the extreme neo-fascist feminist organization Femen interrupted evening Mass on January 30 in Stockholm’s Catholic Cathedral.
 Holy Mass was interrupted by three bare breasted women with messages painted on their breasts reading, ‘my body my choice’, ‘FEMEN’, ‘abortion is sacred’ and ‘never again’. They also held up a banner with the text, ‘Catholic Church out of my body’.

The action was obviously planned in advance and they had photographers on hand to record the incident and their disgraceful behaviour.
Since posting this Blog post the group has struck once more this time in Madrid.
Topless Femen activists attacked the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, this past Sunday night as he got out of his car and tried to enter a Madrid parish to celebrate Mass. The activists blamed the cardinal for the Spanish government’s bill seeking to restrict abortion.
The feminists threw bloodstained underwear at the cardinal while pushing their bare breasts onto him and shouting “Abortion is sacred” and other vulgarities.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Controversial Lunacek report to come before European Parliament on Feb 4th

We reported in December about the Lunacek report which was adopted by the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. This report will come before a plenary session of the European Parliament next week (February 4th).

According to a report issued by European Dignity Watch the rapporteur Mrs. Lunacek is getting nervous. From the beginning, she’s imagined that her “Report on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination ongrounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” would pass plenary this upcoming 4th of February without debate — and without major resistance from the public. After all, the committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) had voted in favour of the text with a solid majority last December. But with more and more citizens all over Europe taking an interest in the Report’s actual contents, massive opposition is growing. So far, more than 100,000 emails from concerned citizens have reached MEPs and the protests are only getting louder.

This is the second time in a scant few months that large popular protest from across Europe arises against an ‘own-initiative’ report on areas where citizens do not want to be told by politicians how to live, what to think and how to educate their children. Just like Mrs. Estrela, the rapporteur of this report, Ulrike Lunacek, tries to pass it quickly and without debate (and thus avoid any exposure to the public until after the vote). Last December, Mrs. Estrela learned her lesson. In the end, she was firmly reminded that as an MEP she is elected to represent European citizens — not the shadowy lobby groups that pushed for her report — whose views differ considerably from her own pro-abortion agenda. With this defeat fresh in her mind and with massive email protest against her own report, Mrs. Lunacek is now getting nervous.

Mrs. Lunacek now answered her critics saying that her sole noble intention is to advance equality.
A look beyond the equality rhetoric shows very quickly: The contrary is true. This report is not about equality, but about special rights, protections and privileges for LGBT people. Citizens all over Europe are sending a clear message now: Equalty yes, but for all citizens, not just for some!

The EU Fundamental Rights Agenda applies to all citizens independently of their individual choices on how they live their sexuality. But the Lunacek Report uses the LGBT cause to divide the world in two: those who should enjoy special rights and special protection on the one hand (that is, LGBT persons), and all others who don’t seem to deserve the same rights and the same protection on the other hand. Of course, no rights or protection is denied to anyone in this report, but one doesn’t need a university degree to see that this is the logical consequence of Lunacek’s political agenda.

This is not equality but quite the contrary: It is the belief that fundamental rights should be more rigorously applied to one social group than others.

The full European Dignity Watch report can be found on this link.

Please call on your MEPs to vote against the Lunacek report.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

British Medical Journal Study condems overuse of IVF

The Irish Times reports today on a new study published in the British Medical Journal that claims 'in vitro fertilisation' (IVF) is being overused and not needed in 95% of cases. 
Whilst one would always wish to help couples who have difficulty in conceiving a baby IVF is not the answer, it is intrinsically morally wrong and should be banned in all cases.
We have on many occasions highlighted the immorality of the IVF process and the potentially serious consequences for both women and their babies. We have also previously reported on NaPro Technology, the safe and moral alternative to IVF which does not commodify babies or exploit women.
NaPro Technology rather than trying to bypass the causes of infertility, aims to identify and treat such causes, is non-invasive, and it does not impinge on any moral or ethical considerations. Apart from all of this, NaPro Technology has been seen to be extraordinarily successful in helping women to achieve pregnancy.
See article dated April 2nd 2013, which links to a number of previous BLOG POSTS

The Irish Times article reads
In vitro fertilization (IVF) to help couples to have children is being increasingly employed on “weak” grounds, while children born through it are at higher risk of health problems, new research warns.

The study, which was written by researchers in Britain, Australia and the Netherlands and is published by the British Medical Journal today, states the risk of extending the benefits of IVF to childless couples could be outweighing the benefits.

“IVF was developed for women with fallopian tube disorders and severe male infertility, but in recent years it has been applied to wider conditions, including unexplained infertility,” according to the team, led by Dutch-based Dr Esme Kamphuis.

    The two parents are both carriers of the CF gene, and the risk of them having a child with CF was one in two without PGD, Dr Tim Dineen said. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA WireFirst pregnancy in Ireland using new screening technique
    Until now the only option available to women with this form of infertility has been to accept IVF treatment using donor eggs. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish TimesBaby born after ovaries ‘reawakened’
    One cycle of IVF can cost about €5,000. While a tax rebate can be claimed on some of the outlay, the financial burden on those seeking treatments is still significant. Photograph: Alan Betson Health insurers to discuss covering IVF treatments

The first IVF birth took place in 1978, and it took until 2003 for the first million IVF babies to be born. However, a second million were born by 2005. Since then, three million more have been born.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Video shows need for peri-natal hospice care

One Day More is a support group for parents who have received a difficult pre-natal diagnosis. This could be news of terminal illness (fatal foetal abnormality) or disability.
The parents featured on this video all received a distressing diagnosis about the health of their unborn baby.
Cliona and Maura both gave birth to babies who only lived for a very short time. Cliona's son John Paul was born with anencephaly and lived for just 17 minutes. His whole family got to spend these precious moments with their little brother, son, grandson. Maura's daughter, Laura lived for 7 months with Edward's Syndrome. Her family was lucky enough to be able to have her at home for Christmas.
Liz was told that her son's limbs were not growing and an abortion was suggested by medical staff. Liz says she would have benefitted hugely at the time from speaking to someone who had been through a similar experience to offer words of comfort and support.
Helena was repeatedly given poor pre-natal diagnoses for her baby Luke. The pregnancy was difficult and all predictions indicated that Luke would be born with a serious illness and disability. After a stressful and heartbreaking 9 months, Helena gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
All of the parents in this group want to promote peri-natal hospice care and would like to be contacted by anyone going through a similar experience as them.
For more information go to this link

Monday, January 27, 2014

Galway facility to produce adult stem cells

In a major stride forward in the area of stem cell production, the Irish Independent reports that a new facility, attached to University College Galway, has been licensed for the production of adult stem cells.
It is good to see that this initiative is based on the culture of adult stem cells for the production of therapies bearing in mind that the use of  adult stem cells is perfectly ethical, as compared to the unethical and controversial research using embryonic stem cells that involves destruction of existing human embryos.
The Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) was granted the license to operate by the Irish Medicines Board, and will now proceed with stem cell research at the university.

This is the first facility to be licensed in Ireland for the purpose of manufacturing adult stem cells.

According to the Independent report
The groundbreaking facility will enable some patients with arthritis and diabetes to access clinical trials of stem cell therapies.

The Irish Medicines Board has granted the license to the new Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland at NUIG.

The centre aims to culture adult stem cells to tackle conditions like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

The centre is one of less than half a dozen across Europe in academic centres.

Stem cells are human cells that can develop into many types of tissue, and they serve as the body’s repair mechanism.

The Galway facility will take small samples of bone marrow from adult donors and these will then be cultured to make billions of stem cells.

The cells will then be injected back into the donor.

The first trial in Ireland will investigate how they help diabetes patients who are suffering reduced blood flow to lower limbs.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Vatican Information Service reports that Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, presented the Holy See's periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child  (CRC) last week.

Archbishop Tomasi told the Committee
“The protection of children remains a major concern for contemporary society and for the Holy See,” the prelate said. “... Abusers are found among members of the world’s most respected professions, most regrettably, including members of the clergy and other church personnel. …”
“Confronted with this reality, the Holy See has carefully delineated policies and procedures designed to help eliminate such abuse and to collaborate with respective State authorities to fight against this crime. The Holy See is also committed to listen carefully to victims of abuse and to address the impact such situations have on survivors of abuse and on their families. The vast majority of church personnel and institutions on the local level have provided, and continue to provide, a wide variety of services to children by educating them, and by supporting their families, and by responding to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Egregious crimes of abuse committed against children have rightly been adjudicated and punished by the competent civil authorities in the respective countries.”
“Therefore, the response of the Holy See to the sad phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors has been articulated in different ambits. On the level of the Holy See, as the Sovereign of Vatican City State, the response to sexual abuse has been in accord with its direct responsibility over the territory of Vatican City State. In this regard, special legislation has been enacted to implement international legal obligations, and covers the State, and its tiny population.”
“On the international level, the Holy See has taken concrete action by the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. In 2000, the Holy See acceded to the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, as well as the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The Holy See then promotes and encourages these international instruments.”
“At the same time, the Holy See as the central organ of the Catholic Church has formulated guidelines to facilitate the work of the local Churches to develop effective measures within their jurisdiction and in conformity with canonical legislation.”
“Local Churches, taking into account the domestic law in their respective countries, have developed guidelines and monitored their implementation with the aim of preventing any additional abuse and dealing promptly with it, in accordance with national law whenever it occurs. … The result of the combined action taken by local Churches and by the Holy See presents a framework that, when properly applied, will help eliminate the occurrence of child sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel.”
The Permanent Observer explained that “the Holy See’s 'Periodic Report on the CRC' is divided into four Parts: Part I deals with general considerations, including the nature of the Holy See as a subject of international law. Part II responds to the concluding observations of the Committee to the Holy See’s Initial Report, and, in particular, questions concerning reservations; the Committee’s four principles and the duties and rights of parents, the education of girls, education about health, and education on the CRC. The Holy See also discusses the principles it promotes concerning the rights and duties of the child within the context of the family. Part III presents the international contributions of the Holy See in advancing and promoting basic principles recognized in the CRC on a full range of issues pertaining to children (e.g., the family, adoption, children with disabilities; health and welfare; leisure and culture; and special measures to protect children, including questions pertaining to sexual abuse, drug addiction, children living on the streets and minority groups). Finally, Part IV addresses the implementation of the Convention in Vatican City State.”
“In the end, there is no excuse,” the prelate repeated, “for any form of violence or exploitation of children. Such crimes can never be justified, whether committed in the home, in schools, in community and sports programs, or in religious organizations and structures. This is the long-standing policy of the Holy See. … For this reason, the Holy See, and local Church structures in all parts of the world, are committed to holding inviolable the dignity and entire person of every child—body, mind, and spirit.”
“Pope Benedict XVI,” the prelate concluded, “speaking to the Bishops of Ireland in 2006 had these important words to say: 'In the exercise of your pastoral ministry, you have had to respond in recent years to many heart-rending cases of sexual abuse of minors. These are all the more tragic when the abuser is a cleric.' … Likewise, Pope Francis clearly … undertook new action and has announced the creation of a Commission for the Protection of Minors, with the aim of proposing new initiatives for the development of safe environment programs for children and improving efforts for the pastoral care for victims of abuse around the world.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The tragic death of Tom O Gorman

There have been many expressions of grief following the shocking murder of Tom O’Gorman last week. Tom was a committed pro-lifer, who worked with the Iona Institute and the gruesome details of his murder have caused great distress to all his friends.  At the time of writing no arrangements have yet been finalized for Tom’s funeral but a beautiful and very well attended prayer vigil was held in his memory last week.
One of the most touching articles, penned by Patricia Casey, was published earlier this week in the Irish Independent on Monday January 20th and is reprinted below
GRIEF makes us all raw. The loss of an individual in circumstances that cannot be contemplated, let alone spoken of, has starkly confronted hundreds of people whom I know, and myself, over the past week. We learnt of the death of our friend Tom O'Gorman as we woke up on Sunday morning.
Also in this section

The actual details were only made public on Monday and they brought with them revulsion, despair and hopelessness: revulsion at the desecration that had taken place, despair that any human being could descend to commit such vile acts and hopelessness because there seemed no way forward.

We were locked in a state of horror that froze all thoughts except of Tom and the manner of his death. In the confused melee of emotion there were questions that were unanswered.

Was the person who carried out this terrible deed mentally ill? If so that might help explain the nature of the deed. But still no answers were forthcoming.

There was also anger, first of all that he had died at such a young age, when he was in his prime, anger at the manner of his dying and anger compounded by the content of some of the reporting.

In the circumstances of a death such as this, there are no social or cultural norms to guide us as there are with timely deaths such as the loss of a parent or elderly friend in ripe old age.

The loss of Tom did not occur in his bed, surrounded by loved ones. No! It was premature and disturbingly violent.

We respond to such loss in a state of emotional and social blindness. We instinctively telephoned each other to talk about him.

We did so repeatedly and endlessly. We tried to understand the mind of the person who could carry out such a deed. And we were numb with sadness.

We wanted to meet and support each other but we also had jobs and families to attend to. The telephone was not meeting our emotional or spiritual needs.

Then one of our friends organised a prayer vigil -- the huge crowd that attended was proof of the need we all felt to do something to remember Tom and to repair our collective emotional fragility.

I know that text books describe the importance of "social supports" in various aspects of our lives but never have I witnessed how it operates at the coal face of indescribable grief.

The vigil was an experience in healing such as I have never before experienced. And speaking, even to strangers, it was clear they too felt the same.

This powerful service touched both those of faith and those of none.

It swept away the vileness of the previous few days that had inhabited our waking hours and tormented our sleep.

It showed there was goodness and gentleness in the world as well as suffering and wretchedness.

It helped restore our faith in ourselves and in others, confirming that we all have the same needs when it comes to dealing with loss, even in rare and unspeakable circumstances.

It took us to places that many of us do not often journey to.

In our hundreds we gave each other permission to cry, to be silent, to talk and even smile when we thought of Tom.

The words of his friend the celebrant helped us to recognise that this was about remembering Tom but also about helping us, the congregation, deal with such a cruel tragedy.

The tribute to Tom delivered by a close friend did not embellish Tom but spoke of the real man as we all remembered him, with his foibles and his virtues, the same as the rest of us.

The darkness in the Church, except for a few flickering candles, allowed us to weep without embarrassment.

Yet the dim light also told us that hope still existed.

The silence, so profound, that you could hold it, quelled our anger and turmoil and it was finally laid to rest by the lone singer entoning Faure's Pie Jesu -- (good Jesus) .

The words of the last line said it all "sempiternam requiem, sempiternam requiem" (everlasting rest, everlasting rest).

Then the lights slowly illuminated the church. And we reluctantly roused ourselves realising that we could talk and even begin to smile again as we dallied in the aisles, comforted that there was a future transcending the suffering of this world.
Since the time of writing details of Tom’s removal and funeral have come to hand:

Removal to Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock for 5.30pm, Thursday 23rd January

Requiem Mass on (Friday) at 11.30am followed by burial in Castleknock Churchyard.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

40,000 attend March for Life in Paris

Pro-Lifers from all over France and from many European countries responded in large numbers to the call of the March for Life coalition in France, on Sunday last, January 19.
It has been estimated that this year’s attendance was in the region of 40,000 making it the largest pro-life demonstration in the history of the event although as usual police estimates minimized the attendance with their estimate of 16,000.

The pro-life presence included personalities and deputations from many European countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, together with a very large contingent from Spain. The Spanish delegation included deputies, senators and representatives of the larger family associations and pro-life organizations such as ‘Respect for Life’.

There were calls during the march for the immediate withdrawal of disputed amendments dealing with abortion, which had been secretly added to the draft law on equality between women and men and were due to be discussed in Parliament this week.

The attendance included several bishops Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyons, who told the crowd because of abortion ‘200 000 small lives are abolished every year, I think that it is the biggest suffering of our country’.
A message from Pope Francis delivered via the Papal Nuncio Msgr. Luigi Ventura was also read out to the meeting.
"Pope Francis, who has been notified of your initiative to promote respect for human life, welcomes the participants in the march, and invites you to keep alive your attention for this important subject, and reminds you again of the exhortation addressed in the homily for the day of Evangelium Vitae in Rome on June 16, 2013:

"Dear brothers and sisters, look at God as the God of life, look at His law, the message of the Gospel as a way of freedom and life. The living God makes us free! Say yes to love and not selfishness, say yes to life and not death (...) in a word, say yes to God who is love, life and freedom. "

The Holy Father sends you the assurance of his spiritual closeness and prayers and willingly grants you his apostolic blessing. "

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

European Parliament debate on Sexual ane Reproductive Health

The Federation of Catholic Family Associations of Europe FAFCE  have issued a statement relating to today’s debate in the European Parliament on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Following a statement on the behalf of the European Commission on “Non-discrimination in the framework of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)”, a debate took place at the plenary session of the European Parliament this morning. 

For observers of the European Parliament it surprising to see this item on the plenary agenda as a resolution on the issue of SRHR was adopted only a month ago and set a clear limit, namely that SRHR is solely the competence of the Member States and not an issue to be dealt with at the EU level.

The statement of the European Commission was crystal clear and reaffirmed the position adopted by the European Parliament, underlining that the EU should not interfere in the area of SRHR but that it’s the Member States’ responsibility to address this issue. [...]

The motive behind this debate was made very clear by several groups of the European Parliament: it was intended to put pressure on the Spanish Government that is currently preparing a change of the Spanish abortion law that would introduce a restriction of the access to abortion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spain’s Bill Proposal for the Protection of the Life of the Unborn Child and of the Rights of the Pregnant Woman

The Spanish Government is currently considering the introduction of a new Bill to overturn the very liberal abortion regime passed into law by the previous Socialist Zapatero Government.
The proposed legislation will improve the current situation too some extent but significant problems will still remain. The bill for example will retain a major loophole in the 1985 law: abortion by “risk to mental health of the mother” which can and is being abused in other jurisdictions.

The Bill’s Preamble recalls that both the Spanish Constitution (article 15) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognize the Right to Life as a fundamental right.
That Preamble recalls also that repeated jurisprudence of the Spanish Constitutional Court has firmly established that the unborn child is under the protection of the Constitution and that the State must abstain from interrupting or hindering pregnancy; and that the protection of the unborn child’s life is not absolute, as it must be pondered in some exceptional cases with the dignity of the woman.

Main changes in the new Bill
-       Free abortion - considered as a right by the 2010 law if performed up to 14 weeks of pregnancy will be abolished, as the full 2010 law will be abrogated.

-       Abortion performed up to 22 weeks will not be punished as a criminal offense when there is a serious danger to the life of the mother or to her physical or psychological health. Important and permanent health damage for the pregnant woman due to pregnancy must be certified by two physicians. They must be specialists of the related pathology and they must have no relation with the center that will perform the abortion

-       If the serious psychological danger has its origin in the unborn child having an anomaly incompatible with life, one of the two physicians must be a specialist in the child’s pathology. If the anomaly is discovered after the 22nd week, or cannot be detected before, abortion can also be legally performed.

-       Girls under 18 will need the approval of their parents to have an abortion

-       In no case of illegal abortion the mother will be punished for a criminal offense

-       Every woman that, under the conditions of this law, asks to have an abortion must receive information and advice about:
the diagnosis  about her health and that of her unborn child
the dangers and long-term effects that the abortion might cause for her health
the alternatives to abortion and the mother’s rights to receive assistance from health, housing, employment and social services
public and private entities that could help her and her child in every need that  might arise with pregnancy

All that information -the goal of which must be focused on the protection of the lives of the mother and of the unborn child and the good evolution of the pregnancy - must be individualized, personal and provided by professionals with no relation with the abortion center.

No abortion could be performed until 7 days after the information mentioned above is received 

-       Health professionals will have the right to exercise their conscientious objection to any participation or collaboration in an abortion                            

-       Advertisement of abortion centers, techniques, means and procedures will be forbidden

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gender Ideology is 'absurd' and 'very dangerous': Ecuador's President Correa

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa, who last October threatened to resign if the National Assembly decriminalized abortion, is in the news again. In his last public address of 2013 criticized gender ideology, calling it 'absurd' and 'very dangerous.'

'That natural men and women don't exist, that biological sex does not determine man or woman, but 'social conditions' do, and that one has a right to choose if one is a man or a woman. Please! Come on! This won't live up even to a minor analysis!' exclaimed the president.

'These are not theories,' he continued, 'but pure and simple ideologies.'

He warned the public that these 'ideologies' exist to 'justify the lifestyle of those who generate them.'

'We respect them as persons,' he explained. 'But we don't share these barbarities.' He also said he was in favor of the feminist movement that seeks equal rights for men and women. 'We support it wholeheartedly,' he said. Nevertheless, he declared himself against 'fundamentalisms that propose absurd things.'

This, he said, doesn't seek equal rights, but equality in all aspects: 'That men look like women and women like men. Enough!' he said. 'Don't try to impose this on the rest of us. And don't impose it on the youth,' he said.

'We are, thank God, men and women, different,' he continued, 'complementary.'

He explained that he wasn't trying to impose any stereotypes but said it was good that women keep their feminine traits and men keep their masculine ones. 'I prefer a woman that looks like a woman,' he said to an applauding public, 'and I think women prefer men that look like men.'

He warned his public that he'll be called a 'retrograde and a cave man,' for his remarks, but insisted gender ideology was 'very dangerous' as it destroys natural family, which 'happily, will continue to be the basis of our society,' he said. 'I won't be considered a leftist any more… If one is not for abortion one can't be left wing.'

'These are barbarities,' he exclaimed. 'It has nothing to do with right or left… these are moral issues.'

Friday, January 10, 2014

New attempt to push Estrela, radical abortion agenda, through European Parliament

The Federation of Catholic Family Associations if Europe (FAFCE), report that despite the adoption of a resolution on 10 December last, nullifying the appalling Sexual and Reproductive Rights agenda set out in the Estrela report, there is a new attempt to push through this agenda which consists of abortion on demand, restriction of freedom of conscience, compulsory sex education at primary and secondary school together with a number of other issues.
The resolution adopted in December establishes clearly that the issues involved are solely a national competency, not a matter to be dealt with by the European Union. The adopted text was an alternative resolution to the highly controversial and radical report presented by Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela.
However, what was a victory for the EU citizens who mobilized in favour of subsidiarity, parental rights, human dignity and freedom of conscience was considered as a huge defeat by the pro-abortion lobby such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

The European Parliament Socialist and Democrats group (S&D) is now trying to push through the Estrela agenda, which is strongly supported by the commercial pro-abortion lobby represented by IPPF, Amnesty international, Marie Stopes International, ILGA Europe, the European Humanist Federation, the Center for Reproductive Rights and over 30 other NGOs.
The European Parliament plenary agenda scheduled for January 16th includes a Commission statement on “Non-discrimination in the framework of sexual and reproductive health and rights”, i.e. a position on the behalf of the European Commission. Clearly the S&D group is attempting to achieve a new resolution by requesting the use of a procedure foreseen by Rule 110 of the Parliament.
According to Rule 110
"Members of the Commission, the Council and the European Council may at any time ask the President of Parliament for permission to make a statement." A resolution might be added at a later stage: "When placing a statement with debate on its agenda, Parliament shall decide whether or not to wind up the debate with a resolution."
Clearly the S&D group does not respect the decision of the parliament or the principle of subsidiarity on the matter of “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” although it was clearly confirmed by the plenary on 10 December last.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Washington annual march for life

We are now entering the period every January that celebrates unborn life and will see marches for life in various cities around the world. The largest is of course the annual Washington March for Life, which will celebrate its 41st year this January.

Jeanne Monahan President, MARCH FOR LIFE Education and Defense Fund has announced that a beautiful new logo has been developed for this years march.

The announcement and logo are reprinted below  
This year marks the 41st annual March for Life (MfL), and I am very excited to announce that we have developed a new logo for the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. It is our belief and hope that our new logo bridges our history and our future--and we'd like to hear what you think about it, too.

In the early days of the March for Life, and up until security requirements on Capitol Hill stopped the effort, young marchers would personally deliver red roses to legislators in their Hill offices. The roses symbolized the lives of the unborn and were also meant to encourage Members to support policies that protected and built a culture of life.

There is a lot to a red rose; red is a symbol of mourning. We are saddened and always remember the 55 million unique American lives that have been lost to abortion in the past 41 years. Yet a red rose is also a sign of life and love! Our new logo revamps the red rose that has been the symbol of the March for Life for these past 41 years. We believe it conveys life, love, and hope. 

You'll notice the new logo encompasses a mother and child. We march for moms and babies. Abortion not only snuffs out a life filled with potential, it harms a mother emotionally, psychologically and physically.  We embrace every woman and child with hope for happier tomorrows.

We hope that you like our new logo and what it stands for, but even more, we hope to see you at the MfL in two weeks! Stay tuned in the days ahead for more exciting announcements!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Malta: Pope Francis 'shocked' by same-sex adoption

DAMIAN THOMPSON writing in The Telegraph reports: 'In his Christmas sermon, Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta condemned adoption by same-sex couples. He insisted that God's own son was raised by a man and a woman, and not by two men or two women.

How divisive! said the media. But now it turns out that Bishop Scicluna met Pope Francis on December 12. The bishop later told the Times of Malta: 'We discussed many aspects… and when I raised the issue that's worrying me as a bishop [the right for gay couples to adopt] he encouraged me to speak out.'

Indeed, the Pope was 'shocked' to learn that Malta's proposed Civil Union bill allows gay adoption. And Bishop's Scicluna's controversial sermon seems to have been delivered at his prompting.

None of this should be surprising: back in Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio roundly condemned gay adoption and said that gay marriage was diabolically inspired. But confusingly - and I still can't quite figure this out in my head - he did clearly back civil partnerships as the lesser of two evils. (When Archbishop Vincent Nichols appeared to do that, his critics in the Vatican were furious.)

What we can say, I think, is that the media read far too much into the Pope's 'who am I to judge?' comment about gay Christians in his impromptu interview on the way back from Rio. If Time magazine gave Francis its Person of the Year on the basis of his relaxed attitude to homosexuality, it should have done its homework more thoroughly.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Undermining Marriage and the Family

The article, reprinted below, on the recently approved legislation on same sex marriage in the UK, was published in the 5th January edition of the London Catholic Herald. The author, EDMUNDMATYJASZEK, is founder and principal of Priory School Isle of Wight and is also a poet and playwright.
"The Bill has passed and is now law. Marriage is not between man and woman, as our Scripture and our Saviour tell us. It can be between man and man, woman and woman. “Wife” does not mean female and “husband” does not mean male. There was already, under the last Labour government no “need for a father” in law. As Catholics, we think differently. Last year Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke of our being “strangers in our [own] land” with this change of law. Will we be allowed to teach our understanding of marriage, of man and woman, of gender, of sexuality outside of our churches and our homes? How long before the first case of discrimination against the tenets of the Catechism if taught in schools? Don’t let us kid ourselves: the lobbies have tasted success and they will not stop.
What are we to do? Quite simply, fight. We have legal rights and should use them to the hilt. We should organise and reclaim the culture for the Christianity that begat it. We should fight for our children, our creed and our country, the Dowry of Mary.
First, the 1998 Human Rights Act, Article 2, Right to Education: “In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the state shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”
Secondly, our religion is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act. Our Catechism is therefore protected. Have confidence in using it. Never apologise.
Thirdly, as the Government’s own website states, parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of any sex education provided, but not from teaching the biological aspects of human growth and reproduction necessary under national curriculum science.
There are cases already of parents banding together to stop totally unsuitable materials being used in schools. If a private person stood up in a class with these materials, the police would be called. Clothe it in officialdom, and it is permitted. Nonsense. Exercise your rights. Organise. Join forces with other Christians, and Jews and Muslims – all those with a love of life and a respect for parents as the primary educators. If parents combined, they could destroy classroom sex education. Christian governing bodies must find their steel and their spine and throw this stuff out. It can be done. It just takes guts.
“Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it do.” That is from 1 Maccabees 3:58-60. Churchill used it at the end of his first broadcast in 1940 as Prime Minister. Let us take a leaf from his book."

Friday, January 3, 2014

UN population reduction strategy for Kenya

The New American has published an important article highlighting the anti-life agenda of the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA and commenting on one of its reports issued during 2013 under the title ‘KenyaSituation population Analysis’.
 We have linked to the complete article but will comment on the report, its implications and will highlight some of the issues raised in the article. 

The controversial report claims that Kenya’s population is too large and growing too fast. UNFPA through the report wants increased efforts to reduce the number of children Kenyan women bear and encourages more “family-planning” and “reproductive-health” schemes to reduce the Kenyan population to levels considered “desirable” by the UN. Millions of dollars have been spent by the UNFPA on schemes aimed at reducing the number of children women bear rather than on ensuring that every woman has a safe delivery.

The timing of the Kenyan report is significant in that the United Nations is currently working to establish the basis of the next phase of its development agenda because many of its earlier programmes are coming to an end.

A series of meetings and conferences have been held in different parts of the world to try to establish the different regional priorities. Needless to say this process has been targeted by ideologues determined to ensure that the final outcome documents contain their deadly anti-life and family agenda and reports like this one are intended to feed into that process.

The New American article comments as follows

The controversial report, produced by the Kenyan government’s “population” minions and the UNFPA, claims that — despite dramatic declines in fertility over recent decades — authorities must do much more to bring the population down to “desirable” levels. Citing debunked claims about what the UN views as “too many” people supposedly resulting in a wide range of real and imagined problems, the radical document outlines numerous schemes to reduce the population. Among the suggested plots: more taxpayer-funded contraception, re-education, “empowering” women, reducing the “demand” for children, and more.

“One issue surrounds the realization of the policy objective of reducing total fertility rates from the current level of 4.6 to 2.6 children per woman by 2030,” observes the report, taking special aim at the poor. “This is because the demand for children is still high and is unlikely to change unless substantial changes in desired family sizes are achieved.” Incredibly, the document also states matter-of-factly that there is a “need for rapid decline in fertility.” Thus, the UN population-control zealots claimed, “the challenge is how to reduce the continued high demand for children.”
The more than 300-page report, dubbed “Kenya Population Situation Analysis,” does not explicitly call for abortion. However, experts say anyone versed in the UN’s deceptive bureaucratic language would see the real agenda clearly. For example, the document is packed with references to so-called “reproductive health” and “reproductive rights.” As then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it in a 2010 speech, “reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”
The article also highlights other issues set out in the report such as delaying marriage, establishing comprehensive sexuality education and so called sustainable development.

Another common theme throughout the report on Kenya is the alleged “need” to prod women into delaying marriage, family, and child-bearing. Some of the proposed methods for achieving that goal include “education,” with a wide range of schemes admittedly aimed at brainwashing African women into having fewer children. “The achievement of lower fertility is complicated by differences between individual fertility preferences and desirable fertility levels,” the report explains. In other words, the UN knows better than African families.

“Investing” in what the UN calls “education” and “health,” the document continues, would “contribute to the attainment of more favorable demographic indicators.” The “favorable” outcomes the population-control zealots are seeking, according to the report, include “lower fertility through enhanced contraceptive use” and “lower ideal family size.” The document also advocates getting more women into the workforce and government-mandated changes in “gender roles” as a way to ensure fewer African births.

“Sustainable development requires Kenya to be in a position to proactively address, rather than only react to, the population trends that will unfold over the next decades,” the widely criticized UN report continues, alluding to another one of the international outfit’s controversial ploys — sustainability — to empower itself at the expense of liberty, humanity, and national independence. “Universal access to sexual and reproductive health is still being constrained by a number of factors that are economic, social and cultural. UNFPA is expected to be in the forefront in supporting implementation of the Reproductive Health Policy.”

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Commencement of Ireland's abortion law mired in disagreement

The Independent report that despite the coming into effect of Ireland’s new abortion law an ongoing disagreement, between Health Minister James Reilly and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has resulted in delay in producing abortion regulation guidelines.
Dr Reilly is insisting that there is no necessity for the guidelines to be in place for abortions to be carried out but the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists disagree and will not be dictated to. There is also disagreement about the source of the proposed regulations, Dr Reilly in a statement said they would come from the Institute but this has been denied by the Institute Chairman Robert
Harrison who says that that the guidelines were being devised by a working group set up by Dr Reilly's own department.
The Independent report says that the obstetricians have insisted they are not responsible for a delay in producing clinical guidelines for the new abortion legislation.

The guidelines for how doctors should implement the law are not in place even though it came into force yesterday.

Health Minister James Reilly has insisted that the one outstanding issue of clinical guidelines "are a matter for clinicians and totally out of our control".

And he said the clinical guidelines for obstetricians would be coming from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

But the institute's chairman, Professor Robert Harrison, said he wanted to set the record straight.

He pointed out that the guidelines were being devised by a working group set up by Dr Reilly's own department.

"The guidelines are coming from the Department of Health, not directly from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists," he said.

It is understood that the working group's clinical guidelines for doctors on how to implement the abortion law have been delayed by the range of different medical professionals involved.

It has to take account of the views of obstetricians, GPs and psychiatrists. The 12-member group contains 10 representatives of the medical professions, one representative from the Department of Health and one from the HSE corporate section.

It is chaired independently by Dr Declan Bedford, a specialist in public health medicine.

The group met for the first time on September 24, 2013.


Prof Harrison said that his institute saw the need to make sure that the clinical guidelines for the abortion legislation were drawn up correctly.

"I don't think there's any controversy at all. This is a very tricky thing. I think they are wise to take their time and get it right," he said.

In a recent interview with the Irish Independent, Dr Reilly said that the guidelines would be in place "very early in the new year". But he said that abortions could be carried out without them. "You can. Absolutely. Totally. The most important thing you need is the panel of experts to review an appeal case," he said.

Under the legislation, a panel of doctors will have to give the go-ahead for an abortion where they believe there is a real and substantial risk to the life of a mother, including threat of suicide.

Doctors have been signed up to these panels, as well as the appeal panels for women who believe they have been wrongly refused permission for an abortion.

A spokesman for Dr Reilly said the working group was set up to prepare high-level inter-professional guidance to implement the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

"There is no legal requirement that guidance be developed for the Act to commence," he said.

The abortion law was hugely controversial, with five Fine Gael TDs and two senators losing the party whip for refusing to vote in favour of it.

About 25 hospitals in the State will be authorised to carry out abortions in these circumstances under the provisions of the Act.

The hospitals will have to provide the registration number of the doctor who carried out the abortion to Dr Reilly and to the Medical Council, as well as the registration number of the doctor who approved the abortion.

There will be an annual report published on the number of abortions carried out.