Friday, 12 April 2019

In loco Rei Republicae: The government, not parents, are primarily responsible for the moral formation of children, insists Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education

Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education (in England) makes it crystal clear, in his letter (9th April 2019) to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), that, in his view, the government, not parents, are responsible for the moral formation of children, not least in matters relating to relationships education to be made compulsory in schools in September 2020 (Relationships Education in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education in secondary schools).

When I was a teacher in the early 70s, my colleagues and I understood very clearly that we acted in loco parentis [in the place of a parent]. According to Damian Hinds, this is no longer the case. Head teachers, firmly guided by government policy, and with the full force of the law, are to lead in the formation of children on the most fundamental moral issues – and parents will be relegated to second place.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) states, Article 26, section 3, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.

Nodding in the direction of the UNDHR, Mr Hinds’ letter to the NAHT refers to parents as the “primary educators” of their children. However, it quickly becomes overwhelmingly clear that this reference is PR of the worst kind. It’s a lie.

It’s a lie because the one means through which parents can exercise their role as the “primary educators” of their children – to withdraw them from Relationships Education or Relationships and Sex Education classes – is either being completely  denied to them (at primary school) or partly denied at secondary school where parents can “request” that their child be withdrawn from sex education lessons only, and with the final decision remaining firmly with the head teacher.

And it’s a lie as the following extract from Mr Hinds’ letter makes perfectly clear:

“Parents and carers are the primary educators of their children, and it is right that they are involved in developing how schools deliver relationships education.  Key to an effective consultation is space and time for parents to input, ask questions and share concerns, and for the school to decide the way forward. What is taught, and how, is ultimately a decision for the school. 
With or without my emphases in bold, above, the meaning of Damian Hinds’ words is as plain as a pikestaff: It’s the government’s job, according to Damian Hinds, to decide the policy which dictates the formation for children on the most fundamental moral and ethical issues.
In his letter Mr Hinds clearly explains how the Government’s policy will succeed in enforcing its policy in schools [my emphases added]:

  • “In 2014, we introduced a requirement for all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” 

  • “In addition, schools are required to comply with relevant requirements of the Equality Act 2010 … They must comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty, which means, in making decisions, having due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.” 

  • “Our policies on fundamental British values and relationships education, as well as the Public Sector Equalities Duty, complement and build on one another.” 

The Government’s policies, to which Mr Hinds refers, are set out in its latest Guidance and Regulations regarding the proposed content and delivery of compulsory Relationships and Sex Education in schools. These policies include encouraging secondary school children to “explore” their developing “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”. They include dangerous and immoral lifestyle choices being presented as equally valid as marriage.  And they include abortion being presented simply as one of the available options during pregnancy and pupils being signposted to contraceptive and abortion services, without any parental knowledge or consent.

In his letter Damian Hinds stresses “his strong belief in school autonomy” and “allowing head teachers’ discretion” which responsible parents will rightly seize on in order to engage robustly with schools on what their children are being taught. The head teacher’s “discretion” provides a small opening for parents whose children attend schools where head teachers are unhappy themselves about the government’s policies. But the head teacher’s “discretion” is very much a double-edged sword, with head teachers allowed to introduce an LGBT agenda into the school if they are so minded. In such cases, parents’ wishes would be cast aside as head teachers have the full backing of the law to veto the outcome of any consultation with parents.

“In modern diverse Britain”, to coin a phrase in his letter, it is very clear that parents are to raise their children in loco Rei Republicae.  Sir Edward Leigh rightly warned, in 2017, in the House of Commons that parents would view these new compulsory school subjects as “a State take-over bid for parenting”

Mr Hinds has gone far too far and he will continue to be strongly resisted by parents throughout England.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

"Brain death" is not death: Leading experts gather in Rome

An important conference on brain death takes place in Rome next month. Its full title is "Brain Death" A Medico-legal Construct: Scientific & Philosophical Evidence and it's organised by the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family.

Dr Joseph Seifert, president of the Academic Human Life and the Family, says:
"This Conference brings together top-notch philosophers, theologians, medical doctors, research scientists, and pro-life activists to spread the truth about both the momentous good of human life until true death and the great evil of taking human lives by extracting unpaired vital organs from the living."
Talks include:
  • "Brain Death" is not death: clinical experience, from Paul Byrne M.D., a neonatologist, former clinical professor of pediatrics at University of Toledo, College of Medicine, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, who is also speaking on Consent Policy and “Brain Death”
  • "Brain Death" is not death: Philosophical and scientific evidence in brief, from Joseph Seifert, DDr. Phil. Habil., Austrian Catholic philosopher, former Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair of Realist Phenomenology at the International Academy of Philosophy and president of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family, who is also speaking on Fundamental Philosophical Errors and unThomistic Character of Lee and Grisez’s pro-“Brain Death” Rationale
  • Insights into Integration: What Makes an Organism a Whole? from D. Alan Shewmon, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Neurology at University of California, Los Angeles
  • Substance and Organism as a Whole Sed Contra to Moschella’s pro-“Brain Death” Rationale, from Dr Doyen Nguyen, a physician specialized in hematopathology and a moral theologian - who is also speaking on “Non-Heart-Beating” Donors, an Alternative to “Brain-Dead” Donors?
  • The "birth" of "brain death", from Dr Thomas Zabiega, a neurologist
  • Apnea Test Procedure versus Aggressive Therapy for Alleged “Brain Dead” Patients, from Dr Cicero Coimbra, a neurologist
  • Critique of the “Brain Death” Concept in the Writings of Robert Spaemann and Wolfgang Waldstein, from Fr. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., Mag. Theol.
  • Truth, the Foundation of a Culture of Life, from Bishop Athanasius Schneider (a live video presentation)
Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's director of research, said:
"It's good that serious scholars will be addressing the vexed issue of 'brain death' at this time. As well as supplying us with sound empirical evidence on the question whether brain death constitutes actual death, the all-important philosophical question of what counts as actual death will be addressed. The writings of the late Robert Spaemann on this subject constitute a powerful witness against philosophical systems which try to separate the human person from the self-organising bodily human individual. Such approaches undermine genuinely ethical approaches to vital organ donation and respect for our most disabled brothers and sisters."
Earlier this year, during an interview with LifeSite on the Organ Donation presumed consent legislation passed by the British Parliament, Dr McCarthy raised his own concerns about the brain death concept, saying: " ... supposedly brain dead people (such as pregnant women who are given high tech medical support) can appear to survive for months while demonstrating integrated bodily activity of a kind that arguably indicates that life still remains."

Please see conference details and programme here.

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Friday, 22 February 2019

New independent group of MPs are united in support of abortion

I understand that the new independent group of MPs in the House of Commons are disagreeing on strategy and organization.

It's a sad commentary on these politicians that one thing on which they are completely united is the killing of unborn children - despite the fact that even the most ardent public figures supporting abortion, such as Peter Singer, the philosopher, acknowledges that:
"there is no doubt that from the first moments of its exisetence and embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being"
- and despite the fact that numerous studies show that abortion is associated with the experience of mental health problems, including a substantially increased risk of suicide.

Voting records on pro-life issues of the recently ‘defected’ MPs

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Will there be any pastor who, like St Peter Damian dares to speak the truth to the Holy Father?

During recent days, I have been in Rome. I have joined with other lay Catholics, from all parts of the world.

We participated in a silent demonstration, either individually, or as representatives of our associations and journalistic groups, united by love for the Church, Her doctrine and Her institutions. We gathered for an event under the name of Acies Ordinata, a title which the Tradition of the Church reserves for the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who gathers together the army of Her faithful ones and scatters Her enemies: terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata (Song of Songs 6:3,9).

Front line, Acies ordinata, Piazza San Silvestro, Rome, February 19, 2019, photo by Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
As children of the Church Militant, we joined together to profess publicly our Catholic faith, but also to break down the wall of silence: the sepulchral silence of the Pastors of the Church in the face of an unprecedented doctrinal and moral crisis.

The Church of San Silvestro in Capite, in the piazza in which we gathered for our demonstration, contains the relic of the head of Saint John the Baptist. The Percursor of the Messiah was reduced to silence by Herod, but his mute tongue continues to speak to our hearts. We stood, in a respectful and ordered manner, to express symbolically the resistance of those who do not give in before silence. We held in our hands the Holy Rosary, and we read texts of the Catholic Tradition, because we fortify our resistance with prayer and study, convinced that only by recollection can one be prepared for action.
100 Catholic laity assembly in Piazza San Silvestro, Rome on February 19, 2019.

The summit of the presidents of the Bishops' Conferences of the world, which opens on Thursday, 21st February, in the presence of the Holy Father, is an historic occasion to confront not only the theme of the sexual abuse of minors but also the theme of moral corruption, which includes every violation of Divine and natural law, beginning with the widespread incidence and acceptance and promotion, by leading church officials, of homosexual relationships, including their promotion in Catholic schools with the encouragement of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales.

On the subject of homosexuality, Learning to Love, An Introduction to Catholic relationship and sex education (RSE) for Catholic Educators, published by the Department of Education and Formation

We are appealing to the silent bishops, asking that some of them may have the courage to break their silence. Will there be any Pastor who will by inspired by the example of St Peter Damian whose feast day is celebrated,Providentially, on 21st February in the liturgical calendar of the Church and on 23rd February in the traditional Catholic calendar?

The Book of Gomorah, St. Peter Damien, Piazza San Silvestro, Rome, February 19, 2019, photo by Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
 According to the Catholic World Report in an interview with Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, the Catholic essayist, journalist and author:
Pope Benedict XVI, in his September 9, 2009 general audience, noted that the Benedictine monk, cardinal, and Doctor of the Church, St. Peter Damian (1007-72), was 'one of the most significant figures of the 11th century … a monk, a lover of solitude and at the same time a fearless man of the Church, committed personally to the task of reform, initiated by the Popes of the time.'

Between 1049 and 1054, he composed the powerful book Liber Gomorrhianus, or “Book of Gomorrah”, addressing it to the new pope, Leo IX, who himself would eventually be canonized.

[Matthew Cullinan Hoffman said:] 'The Book of Gomorrah is a letter written to Pope St. Leo IX around the year 1049 in response to an epidemic of sodomy among the priests of Italy, which Peter Damian feared would bring down the wrath of God upon the Church. This plague of sexual perversion was part of a larger crisis of moral laxity in the priesthood, including widespread sexual incontinency and illicit marriages, the simoniacal purchasing of clerical ordination, and the prevalence of a worldly and carnal mentality among the clergy. The laity were outraged by such behavior and were even beginning to rebel against the Church hierarchy in some places, such as Florence and Milan.'
Will there be any Pastor who will dare to speak the truth to the Holy Father, Pope Francis?

The Church does not fear the Truth, because the Church announces to the world the Truth of her Head and Founder, Jesus Christ. And it is above all to Him that we addressed our symbolic action outside the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. We are asking Jesus Christ, that in these calamitous times, He may come to the aid of our weakness and with one single Word save the Church.

Domine ne sileas (Ps 34:22) O Lord, do not be silent!

A father and son participate in Acies ordinata demonstration. Piazza San Silvestro, Rome, February 19, 2019, photo by DianeMontagna/LifeSiteNews

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Friday, 4 January 2019

Population explosion theories to global warming & the brutal reality of the West's population control policies in developing countries

The appalling consequences of brutal population control measures imposed by China, India, South Korea and other nations – but engineered by the United States, the UK, and other powerful western countries – are presented in chilling detail in an Al Jazeera documentary “The Politics of Population Control”.

The documentary begins with the unbearably moving plight of Chinese parents Pang Zhengdong and Hu Aizhen whose three-year-old daughter has disappeared without trace. Kidnappings of little girls are linked to gendercide which is linked to China’s one-child [including forced abortion] policy and the preference for sons in China with the result that, in some Chinese provinces, 135 boys are born for every 100 girls.

Al Jazeera’s statement about the documentary says:
“This gendercide is a result of politically motivated population control policies imposed more than 30 years ago by well-known scientists and extremely wealthy men like John D Rockefeller III who had access to the highest levels of the US government.
“Their organisations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Population Council, which still exist today, triggered worldwide fears of a population explosion, according to Professor Matthew Connelly, a historian at Columbia University in New York. He has researched in detail the development of this movement from its beginnings to its effects today. He said:
‘The Population Council saw its mandate not just to control the rate of population growth, but also to address problems in the quality of population. So they had an explicit mandate to try to do something about the growth of the fertility rates among people who they thought would eventually take over the world if something wasn't done to reduce fertility rates across the board. But especially among people who they thought would be poor parents that would have even more poor children.’
“The fear of poor people having children gained steam in American politics by 1966, where US president Lyndon B Johnson attached conditions to receiving development aid, one of them being that recipient countries must reduce their population.
“This eventually led to the creation of the United Nations Population Fund, which actively channelled millions into population control campaigns in South Korea, China, and India - including forced sterilisations and the mandatory use of contraceptives by poorer segments of society.”
Professor Connelly expresses the worry that what was being done by the world’s wealthiest countries thirty years ago on the basis of population explosion propaganda is now being done by the world’s elite nations in the name of global warming – and, once again, the target is the poorest nations on earth, and the population controllers are setting their sights on Africa.

Correctly, “The Politics of Population Control” identifies the malign worldwide political influence of Dr Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council Study – known, in short, as NSSM 200 – “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests”. The study was promoted and endorsed by Dr Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s National Security Advisor who pressed the need for “US leadership in world population matters” and urged for “strong emphasis” on motivating leaders of “key developing countries” to accept family planning activities.

The policies spelled out in Kissinger’s NSSM 200 led to western governments funding China’s forced abortion regime – and many other terrifying schemes resulting in some of the worst human rights abuses of the past century.

In an article I wrote for Human Concern in 1995, SPUC’s newspaper at that time, I said:

“Henry Kissinger and the other authors of ‘NSSM 200’ were very mindful of the outrage which would certainly be expressed by developing nations if it became clear that their populations were being targeted by the United States and they therefore made the following recommendation: ‘The US can help to minimize charges of an imperialist motivation behind its support of population activities by repeatedly asserting that such support derives from a concern with: a) the right of the individual to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of children … and b) the fundamental social and economic development of poor countries”

Sadly, the Al Jazeera documentary betrays one major blindspot – the fundamental injustice of legalised abortion in the west which has claimed the lives of countless million unborn children and blighted the lives of countless millions of mothers, fathers, and their surviving children. Indeed, the populations of western nations have also fallen victim to the Kissinger-style propaganda and policies which continue to be visited so tragically on developing nations, not least the major target of the Gates Foundation: Africa.

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