Friday, 10 June 2011

The Tablet ignores the plight of the unborn in its whitewash of post-war Europe

The Tablet editor's pen
This weekend's editorial in The Tablet says:
"The last 60 years of European history, which saw the rise of the European Union, are an unprecedented story of peace and prosperity ... Never before have so many European Governments conducted themselves in accordance with the recognisably Christian principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
Really? Let's do a fact-check.

In the UK alone since 1967, there have been over seven million people killed by recorded abortions - at least one million more people than the estimated total of Jews killed by the Nazis.

Here are some approximate* abortion statistics from the other large western European countries:
  • Germany (since 1996 alone i.e. not including pre-reunification East or West Germany): c.1.9 million
  • France (since 1976 alone): c.6.5 million (France was the first country in the worldwide to legalise the use in abortions of RU-486 - the Zyklon-B for unborn children.)
  • Spain (since 1986 alone): c.1.4 million
  • Italy (since 1980 alone): c.4.5 million
The total for the UK plus these countries as above equals 21 million, more than the estimated total of extra-judicial Nazi killings of non-combatants (Jews plus other groups e.g. Catholic clergy, Russian POWs etc.) - and that's according to the broadest definition and highest estimate of those Nazi killings. It also equals the highest estimated total of extra-judicial Communist killings in eastern Europe.

Needless to say, the total number of abortions in Europe since the second world war is much higher when one includes the smaller western European nations, or eastern Europe countries before or after Communism. None of these figures include the countless (though almost certainly millions of) abortions caused by abortifacient birth control drugs and devices. And then one could add the millions of people killed in embryo research (more than two million in the UK alone since 1991); through assisted suicide and euthanasia, or through the pro-abortion population control programmes which the EU and its member-states are promoting, bankrolling and imposing throughout the world.

An era in which Europe has killed tens of millions of innocent children - and The Tablet calls it an era of "peace", "prosperity", "democracy", "human rights", "the rule of law".

Need I say more? Yes, one thing: Tabula delenda est.

* Accurate abortion statistics for different countries can be difficult to source and verify. Readers are invited to email me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk if they can provide more accurate statistics than the ones I've quickly sourced here.

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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Russian pro-lifers are driving down a road to pro-life success

Igor Beloborodov (pictured), a Russian demographer and a leader of the Russian pro-life movement, has written a fascinating account of how Moscow officialdom tried to stop the 3rd annual Moscow pro-life car rally:
"It was a high-ranked law-enforcement official—a police colonel, a deputy chief of police from the local police department. For a long time he tried to find any fault with us, and since he failed, he charged us with having no permission from the city authorities, then with carrying out an unauthorized rally, then with standing on the grass, etc.

His rudeness and cynicism perfectly supplemented each other. The road policemen and the colonel walked on the grass not less intensively, smoking and throwing cigarette stubs. And when our people stepped out from the grass they were charged with obstructing the sidewalk.

Though a moving motorcade cannot be considered as a meeting, the police official told us that since we got out of our cars we hold a meeting. He didn’t care about the fact that it was the request of police to stop and get out of the cars."
I'm often amazed at just how ridiculous the attempts of our opponents to obstruct our pro-life message can be! Well done Igor and everyone involved in the rally! Igor is a key organiser of the World Congress of Families Moscow Demographic Summit in Moscow later this month, where SPUC will be represented. Also, Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, had the pleasure recently of joining Igor on Russian TV in a one-hour round-table discussion on the demographic crisis facing Russia and the world.

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 9 June

David Cameron: pro-IVF
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I would stay outside this clinic for the rest of my life to stop one abortion


Watch this short video for a very compelling mini-documentary on a powerful Catholic pro-life witness outside an abortion clinic in Sydney, Australia. It's 40 Days for Life witness, a wonderful initiative in which I've participated in England (and in Australia!).

There are two principal interviewees in this video clip, one of whose statements I found much more believable than the other. But both made for compelling viewing. I was so impressed by the young man who said that if he had to spend the whole of the rest of his life outside the abortion clinic in order to help stop one abortion, it would be worth it.

That's the attitude we should all bring to our pro-life work, whatever that work may be.

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 8 June

Jack Kevorkian and his death machine
Abortion
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Catholic Voices' definition of "Catholicity" undermines the Gospel of Life

St Paul. Not Catholic Voices material!
Catholic Voices, which is run by Dr Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero, is inviting people to apply for its 2011 speakers programme. Applicants are asked to "please bear in mind", among other points:
"Catholicity. You need to be a practising Catholic, in communion with the Church and content with its leadership – that is, not angry or upset with Rome or the bishops of England and Wales." [my emphasis]
Are you a Catholic teacher angry with the bishops' education service for welcoming and helping draft pro-contraception sex ed proposals? Catholic Voices says: You're not Catholic enough for us.

Are you a Catholic nurse upset with Archbishop Peter Smith for helping pass the pro-euthanasia Mental Capacity Act and whitewashing the pro-suicide DPP guidelines? Catholic Voices says: You're not Catholic enough for us.

Are you a Catholic social worker angry with the bishop's justice and peace network for inviting pro-abortion speakers to address its conference? Catholic Voices says: You're not Catholic enough for us.

So many are the violations of the Gospel of Life by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales - for whom Dr Ivereigh and Mr Valero have worked in the recent past - that the examples could be added exponentially. And there are so many things wrong with Catholic Voices' definition of Catholicity that it's difficult to know where to start.

Firstly, not only is it not unCatholic to be discontented with the Church's leadership, in some cases it is a moral duty. St Thomas Aquinas, the common Doctor of the Church, teaches on the matter:
"There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects." (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4). [my emphasis]
Neither a St Paul, a St Catherine of Siena nor any other holy figure who expressed discontent with the Church's leadership would be Catholic enough for Catholic Voices.

Secondly, Catholic Voices' definition of Catholicity posits a false equivalence between the leadership by Rome and the leadership by the bishops of England and Wales. Rome, through Popes Benedict, John Paul II and Paul VI, has given invaluable leadership to the pro-life and pro-family cause - leadership which the bishops' conference then undermines. For example: both before and since becoming Pope, and immediately before his visit last year to the UK, Benedict XVI has made crystal-clear that Catholics must oppose resolutely the homosexual agenda*, including civil partnerships. Yet no sooner had Pope Benedict returned to Rome that Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, was endorsing gay civil partnerships.

Thirdly, Dr Ivereigh and Mr Valero don't operate according to their own definition of Catholicity. Last year Mr Valero told the BBC that he:
"was very angry too that [sex abuse] could happen in my Church ... [I]t is about the institutional failure of the bishops to handle it and [in] allowing it to continue ... [M]any bishops have resigned [and] others should resign". [my emphases]
Also last year Dr Ivereigh attacked Rome's Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Clergy, Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos, regarding the latter's response as Prefect to the sex abuse crisis, in terms showing no lack of discontent, anger and upset:
"pride and wickedness"; "arrogant"; "shocking"; "damning"; "astonishingly unedifying"; "clericalist hauteur".
And it should not be forgotten that Dr Ivereigh is a former deputy editor of The Tablet, which is notorious for its constant discontent with not only the Church's leadership but with the Church's teachings, including on pro-life and pro-family issues.

There's much more than can - and will - be said about the negative role being played by Dr Ivereigh and Mr Valero in the public square. For now, however, readers of this blog should conclude that their deference to episcopal officialdom is neither Catholic nor pro-life.

* 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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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 7 June

Dana Rosemary Scallon (r)
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Monday, 6 June 2011

Child protection reforms must be wider and stronger than the Bailey review

Paul Tully of Safe at School
The protection of children against sexualisation must go further than today’s Bailey review.

Safe at School, a campaign by SPUC, said that the government must move to ban explicit sex education videos which are being shown to primary school-children. Widely-used material produced by Channel 4 and the BBC is causing upset to children and anger among informed parents who have contacted Safe at School for support.

Political leaders and legal authorities should take a robust stance against the use of such material. Showing it to children is an abuse.

Paul Tully (pictured) of Safe at School told the media earlier today:
“The Bailey review’s recommendations are steps in the right direction but they are nonetheless weak and limited. While it is right for Sir Reg to respond to parents’ worries about children seeing sex online, it is wrong that the review omitted to address parents’ worries about children being shown sex in the classroom. Channel Four’s ‘Living and Growing’ and the BBC’s ‘Whiteboard’ sex education programmes go into graphic detail about sexual organs, masturbation and intercourse. These videos are being shown to primary school children around the country, and many parents' objecting to them are fobbed off.

“We welcome Sir Reg’s stress on parental involvement, but the review’s reliance upon the Advertising Standards Authority and officials responsible for regulating broadcasting and advertising will not be effective. The advertising media are fiercely competitive and the drive to use sexual images and sexual messages to grab attention is very strong. Companies selling condoms and abortions have started advertising on TV and radio, while pro-life groups have been told not to repeat safety information about morning-after pills. What is required is that both governments and the courts take a much stricter line in banning as obscene videos, advertisements and literature which facilitate and legitimise under-age sexual activity.”
SPUC has launched a nationwide petition calling upon the Education Secretary to protect children from explicit sex lessons in primary schools. SPUC and Safe at School are calling upon MPs to support their constituents in gathering signatures for it. Branches of SPUC around the country are now organising events to collect signatures and will be contacing their local MPs to invite support.

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