Saturday, 9 April 2011

Faithful Catholic parents will not give in to episcopal intimidation

The Vaughan Parents' Action Group (VPAG) has reported that Monsignor James Curry, another of Westminister archdiocese's placemen on the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School's board, has been seen physically and verbally bullying the acting headmaster. Do read the full account. Such bullying is reminiscent of the attitude of Archbishops Nichols & Longley towards those faithful pro-life/pro-family Catholics who have been speaking out against the Soho Masses for practising homosexual* dissidents. Two things are clear in the aftermath of these incidents:
  • Not only will faithful Catholic parents not give in to such intimidation, it will only serve to increase their determination, numbers and supporters
  • Archbishop Nichols likes to play the tough man, but the weakness of his positions is being exposed. Only people who are desperate or who are afraid of particular truths resort to intimidation.
* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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Friday, 8 April 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Friday 8 April

Abortion
Euthanasia
General
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Friday 8 April

Cancer patient Lisa Bender & child
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Thursday, 7 April 2011

US priest links culture of death to contraceptive culture

Recently I blogged about how proud I am of Fr Richard Parsons, my local parish priest, and why the clergy of England and Wales give me great cause for optimism for the pro-life movement.

It is also very encouraging to see American priests, such as Fr James Farfaglia (pictured), speaking out boldly against the contraceptive culture.

I agree with Fr Farfaglia when he says:
"[a]bortion is a manifestation of an anti-child, contraceptive mentality that has gripped most Americans. Contraception is the gateway to the culture of death."
In an excellent article, Scott Lloyd has explored the importance of opposing contraception for the pro-life movement. Mr Lloyd explains that recently released statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organisation, show that:
"54% of women who had abortions were using contraception in the month they conceived; 70% used contraception within three months of conception, and 79% used it within six months of conception. Among women who had abortions in the year 2000, 92% were contraceptive users at one time."
Mr Lloyd points out that it is within a context that has accepted the lie that contraceptives are a reliable way of making sex non-procreative that abortions are most likely to occur.

Not only does contraception create a context in which abortions are more likely to occur, but as Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, told young Catholics in Australia last month, many contraceptive methods are themselves abortifacient. Cardinal Burke said that:
"[t]he so-called ‘contraceptive mentality’ is essentially anti-life. Many forms of what is called contraception are, in fact, abortifacient, that is, they destroy a life which has already been conceived, has already begun."
It is therefore vital for the pro-life movement that we continue to oppose the contraceptive mentality that has gripped our culture. I pray that more and more clergy will follow the lead of men like Cardinal Burke and take the sort of courageous stand that Fr Parsons and Fr Farfaglia have taken. That's why I am delighted to see that Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary bishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster, will be praying outside an abortion clinic in West London this month.

We should all take hope from such events. Fr Farfaglia identifies eloquently the immense power of a strong opposition to abortion from the Catholic laity and clergy.
Abortion in America could end tomorrow if the Catholic Church in America were to take a militant and united stand against abortion. But, it can only take a militant and firm stand in favor of the unborn, if the Church were to affirm in practice, and not only in words, that contraception is intrinsically evil.
What Fr Farfaglia says of America is true in Britain too and throughout the world.

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This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 7 April

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 7 April

Tweet this today on #WorldHealthDay
Abortion
Embryology
Sexual ethics
General
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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Government should reject eugenicist Human Genetics Commission report

The government should reject the Human Genetics Commission report which promotes universal genetic testing before pregnancy. As Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, told the media earlier today:
"The Human Genetics Commission is failing abysmally in its job when it says that there are 'no specific social, ethical or legal principles' against pre-pregnancy genetic testing.

Such tests increase the threat that prejudicial attitudes will harm individuals. Already, 90% of unborn children with detectable congenital anomalies like Down's syndrome are killed (by abortion). The new tests give wider scope to such discrimination:
  • The tests may lead to people being subjected to tests as condition, say, of a pre-nuptial agreement or an insurance policy;
  • They may increase the likelihood of abortion merely on suspicion of disability;
  • People who perversely believe that earlier abortions are 'better' than late abortions will encourage such screening;
  • Individuals may be subject to pressure to submit to sterilisation, contraception or abortion.
We risk becoming a eugenicist state like China, where the law mandates genetic testing and pressures couples diagnosed with genetic anomalies to forego childbearing. The future society depicted in Andrew Niccol's film Gattaca, in which genetic discrimination is all-pervasive, is ceasing to be science-fiction and rapidly becoming science-fact. We call upon the government to reject the commission's report."
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This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 6 April

Bishop Alan Hopes
Abortion
Embryology
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Please respond today to the Good Counsel Network's urgent appeal for donations

The Good Counsel Network, the London crisis pregnancy centre and good friends of SPUC, have asked me to publish here their urgent appeal for donations. As you will read below, they have had a five-fold increase in the number of women coming to them for help. The Gospel for this past Sunday, which is both Laetare ("Rejoice") Sunday and Mothering Sunday, is our Lord's miraculous multiplication of loaves to feed the 5,000. Please donate to the Good Counsel Network today, and then pray asking our Lord to multiply your donation, thus making many mothers rejoice!

From the Good Counsel Network's blog Maria Stops Abortion:
"Five-fold Increase in Women Coming to Good Counsel - Help Us Feed and House Mothers and Babies Today

It is always a great blessing to be busy in our work. The more women we see, the more women we can offer alternative options and support, and the more of them we can pray for - hopefully resulting in more women keeping their babies.
Through various initiatives to spread our work, we have recently had a more than five-fold increase in the women that we are seeing. And almost all of them are coming to us set on abortion.
This has meant a great increase in the number of women who have chosen life for their children.
What we have not had however is a five-fold increase in the financial support we receive. Nor even a two-fold increase. So I am writing this to ask you to put your hand in your pockets to help us out at his time. We urgently need some lenten sacrificial giving or the weekly vouchers we send out to Mothers who are not entitled to any other support will be threatened by our lack of funds. Our resources are depleting rapidly and yet 23 women are currently dependent on us for food each week and 9 of these are being housed by us.
Many of them will only need our help for about 1 year, before going back to independence, but in their hour of need we cannot let them down.
There are several options for donating which you can see here.
If you can help, please do and please pass this message on to your friends by sending them a link.
We always need your prayers for expectant mums under pressure, especially Ann, Una and Alana.
And lastly if you can help with donations of baby goods please click here to see what we need:
http://www.goodcounselnet.co.uk/Donating-Baby-Items.html and phone us on 02077231740 or email us at info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk to arrange collection or a time for you to drop it off."
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 6 April

Sally Phillips
Abortion
Embryology
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 5 April

By SPUC Congleton branch
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
General

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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 5 April

The "Speaking of Motherhood" roadshow
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Monday, 4 April 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Monday 4 April

Marini McNeilly
Abortion
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Monday 4 April

March for Life, Brussels
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
General
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Sunday, 3 April 2011

I'm proud of British clergy and my parish priest

One of the reasons I'm optimistic about the pro-life, pro-family battle in Britain is because of the number of really fine clergy we have here. So many of them are unafraid to stand up for children and to stand up for parents - despite the shocking disregard for the rights of the unborn, for the welfare of schoolchildren and for parents' rights displayed by the ecclesiastical authorities, as I've commented  so often before .

We saw the British clergy's courageous quality at work last year in SPUC's successful campaign against the previous British government's legislation to force all state-funded schools to teach anti-life/anti-family sex education - legislation which had the support of the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales.

I'm particularly proud of Fr Richard Parsons, the priest in charge of St Theresa's church, Headstone Lane, in Harrow, where my wife and I go to Mass.

We have just got back from a short holiday, enjoying a bit of peace and quiet in the sun. We returned to our north London Catholic parish where we found Fr Parsons busily battling for the right of parents to be the primary educators of their children - a right upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Fr Parsons, in no uncertain terms, was supporting the petition of the Cardinal Vaughan School parents' action group whose top priority, in their own words is "to protect [the school's] high spiritual, moral, educational, cultural and sporting standards".

Quite rightly, one of their key objectives is to persuade the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster "to remove Paul Barber from the Governing Body".

Paul Barber, Westminster archdiocese's director of education has been appointed by Archbishop Nichols to the Vaughan governors' board. As I've noted before, in March last year, it was Paul Barber who sent a shameful message to clergy whitewashing the Labour government's attempt to force all state-funded schools to teach anti-life/anti-family sex education.

Parents, families and the pro-life movement are going to win their battles in the years ahead - and they will do so because of the courage of pastors like Fr Parsons. Thanks Father. Josephine and I enjoyed our holiday - and we loved coming back home to find our pastor battling for parents' rights.

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