Wednesday 26 August 2015

Cardinal Lopez Trujillo will be spinning in his grave to hear of Workshops held at the Pontifical Council for the Family

Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo
What would the late Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo think about recent events at the Pontifical Council for the Family, of which he was the President from 1991 till 2008?

I knew the late Cardinal personally.  He was one of the world's greatest defenders of the sanctity of human life and church teaching on the precious value of the family. He was SPUC's guest in Britain in 1996 and 1999.

In June 2005, he wrote to Archbishop Peter Smith, the then  archbishop of Cardiff, about the Pontifical Council for the Family's close working relationship with the Society. His Eminence wrote:
"We have seen that Mr John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has undertaken a most laudable cause [sic] especially with the NGOs involved in promoting the values of family and life and he has been most helpful to our dicastery precisely in that field".
Reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's homily at His Eminence's funeral, the Catholic News Agency said:
‘“Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, whose motto was "Veritas in caritate", dedicated "his entire life to affirming the truth", said the Pope.’
How times have changed at the Pontifical Council for the Family (PCF)!

According to Catholic World Report, three separate Workshops have been held this year under the auspices of the PCF looking at “the possibility of an evolution of the ecclesiastical doctrine of marriage”. We read that the workshops, while perhaps not “secret,” were not publicized.

Catholic World Report states:
Among the participants was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Father Schockenhoff also serves as an advisor to the German Bishops’ Conference ... In addition to Communion for the divorced and remarried, Father Schockenhoff urges approval of homosexual clergy and finds “stable” homosexual pairs to be ethical ... Support for the Schockenhoff’s position was offered by Father Gianpaolo Dianin, an expert on pastoral care of the family and a member of the Theological Faculty of Triveneto ... On the issue of the Eucharist and “irregular unions” it was noted by Father Dianin that today, given contemporary challenges that secularism has put on Catholic marriages, there are numerous pastors who wish to do “something” for their parishioners but feel constrained by Church discipline that “understands little” of the hardships.
These Workshops at the Council are not an isolated example of opposition to doctrinally sound care of the family now prevailing at the PCF. [See my blogpost of earlier today as to why SPUC is concerned about the reception of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics and my blogpost regarding SPUC's position on same-sex marriage entitled Children are being sacrificed on the altar of adults' sexual "rights"]

SPUC's representatives at a meeting about the Family Synod last January organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family were ignored in the report of the relator of the English speaking group when they sought to raise concerns about the omission of any reference to abortion in the Family Synod's final relatio. The relator preferred to draw attention to  a call for the church to address the "rights" relating to transgenderism.

Moreover, when SPUC's representatives joined fellow delegates to ask Archbishop Paglia, the current president of the PCF,  for his opinion on the proposal to admit the “remarried” to Holy Communion without amendment of life, he would not engage directly with their concerns. His Excellency told them not to worry and that a change in the discipline would only be for a small number of cases.

From my experience of Cardinal Trujillo, over many years, His Eminence will be spinning in his grave to hear of what is happening today at the Pontifical Council for the Family (established by Pope John Paul II in 1981 "for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and guidelines of the ecclesiastical Magisterium, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission").

How tragically prophetic - in particular the last sentence below - are the words of a study signed by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, on 13th May 2006, and presented to Pope Benedict XVI under the title "The Family and Human Procreation":
It is true that the natural institution of marriage and the family has never been prey to such violent attacks as it is now. New models of the family have emerged from radical movements ... Homosexual couples claim the same rights as those reserved to husband and wife; they even claim the right to adoption.
... It is not a matter of an alternative activity or one in competition with other sectors of pastoral care ... The centrality of the pastoral care of the family and of life in the Church's pastoral ministry thus characterizes her action. Today, the new evangelization in which the family is called to participate finds itself having to respond to challenges that it is not an exaggeration to call epochal. Those challenges more closely connected with the family concern the civilization of love and the service to life through responsible fatherhood and motherhood.
The Holy Father Benedict XVI said to the Bishops representing the Episcopal Commissions for the Family and Life of Latin America: "It is therefore indispensable and urgent that every person of good will should endeavor... to safeguard the fundamental values of marriage and the family. They are threatened by the current phenomenon of secularization"
It seems to me that the spirit of secularisation is alive and well and presiding now at the Pontifical Council for the Family.

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Why SPUC is concerned about reception of Holy Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics

I am occasionally asked: Why is SPUC, through Voice of the Family, engaging in the Family Synod; and, in particular, why is SPUC so concerned about the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics?

SPUC is a non-confessional human rights organisation which has in its ranks members of all faiths and none. In common with virtually every other pro-life group in the world, many, if not most, of our members are Catholics.

All members of the Church enjoy the freedom to share their views with members of the hierarchy and with each other. In fact all Catholics have a duty to do so in certain circumstances. The Code of Canon Law states:
According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons. (Canon 212)
The Church has always taught that marriage is an indissoluble union of one man and one woman, which ends only with one of the death of one of the spouses. If a person “remarries”, without the first marriage being declared null by the Church, they are guilty of adultery. They cannot therefore receive Holy Communion until they have confessed this sin and resolved to amend their lives. This has been very clearly taught by the Church throughout her history and Catholics at every level of the Church have a right and a duty to defend this teaching.

This doctrine has been authoritatively restated numerous times in the last few decades including in the following documents:
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 22 November 1981

- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of the Faithful who are Divorced and Remarried; 4 September 1994

- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Concerning some Objections to the Church’s Teaching on the Reception of Holy Communion by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, 1st January 1998

- Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of the Faithful who are Divorced and Remarried, 24 June 2000

- Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 22 February 2007

- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responsum to the question "Can a confessor grant absolution to a penitent who, having been religiously married, has contracted a second union following divorce?"22 October 2014
You will note that the most recent decree was promulgated by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith during the pontificate of Pope Francis and since the Extraordinary Synod. In other words, the position adopted by SPUC is exactly that of the Church’s magisterium, both past and present.

Nevertheless the question remains: Is it in SPUC 's remit to campaign on this issue?

In November 2011 SPUC’s Council, our policy-making body which is elected by our grass roots volunteers, adopted a motion that the Society should “to do its utmost to fight for the retention of the traditional understanding of marriage in the history, culture and law of the United Kingdom, namely the exclusive union of one man with one woman for life; and accordingly instructs its officers and executive committee to conduct a major campaign to this end...” The defence of the traditional understanding of marriage is therefore now clearly part of SPUC’s remit. The vote of Council on that occasion in support of the resolution was unopposed.

The reason why marriage is so important is because all aspects of sexuality, marriage and the family are closely interconnected. In his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae Pope John Paul II taught:
“It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection. Sexuality, which enriches the whole person, "manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love". The trivialization of sexuality is among the principal factors which have led to contempt for new life.”
I am convinced that we cannot defeat abortion if our society does not value marriage as the exclusive and indissoluble union of one man and one woman. I have had the privilege of speaking about this topic at conferences in various parts of the world. Marriage is the natural habitat of unborn children, the place where God intends them to be conceived, educated and nurtured. When we destroy the habitat we end up destroying children too. The statistics bear this out; four out five aborted children are conceived outside of marriage. If an organisation that worked to protect orang-utans refused to do anything to protect the rainforest they would be generally considered to be failing in their duty. Similarly any organisation fighting to defend unborn children must defend their natural habitat, which is the family founded on marriage. It is for this reason that SPUC will continue to fight for the traditional understanding of marriage.

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Sunday 23 August 2015

My promise to African Catholic bishops at Ghana bishops' pro-life conference this month

A quiet moment with Fr. Nicholas Afriyie 
Secretary General of Ghana's
Catholic Bishops' Conference
In a talk earlier this month in Accra, Ghana, at a pro-life conference organised by the Ghanaian Catholic bishops' conference I explained how African families are gravely threatened by western governments, international agencies as well as by Vatican departments.

A little earlier this year, in June, a consultative meeting of African prelates had been held in Accra which culminated in the 45 bishops and 5 cardinals who represented episcopal conferences across the continent expressing their intention to present a united determination to defend Church teaching about marriage and family at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family.

I therefore finished my talk with a promise that my family would be praying for them. I said:
Thank God for the African bishops. My family and families throughout the world will be praying for you in the coming months – that you continue to be courageous apostles of the unchanging and unchangeable Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the family, the Gospel of life.

Ghanaian Catholic Bishops' Pro-Life Conference 7th and 8th August

The conference was entitled Protecting Life and Family Values in the continuing Culture of Death. It was a two day event and the first day was held in a building in the grounds of Holy Spirit Cathedral, Accra. 13 of Ghana’s 20 bishops and archbishops attended for most of the event, with a few leaving in the afternoon. The seven bishops who did not attend were either out of the country, on holiday, or ill.
Uju of Culture of Life Africa addresses conference

The second day of the conference was directed at young people who heard excellent talks, including unambiguous teaching from two bishops, and an inspirational address from Obianuju Ekeocha (Uju for short), founder of Culture of Life Africa, who also addressed the bishops and their guests on the first day..

Uju told the bishops' conference: "IPPF has recently started a campaign to promote vasectomies in Ghana. This is an egregious attack on the African societies and can easily be seen as the castration of men and we reject that. The recent scandal involving planned parenthood in America reveals to the world the true barbaric nature of the culture of abortion. Africans have been called primitive for our dark history of human sacrifice but today the "modern" abortionists are killing unborn babies and then harvesting their organs. This is primitive and barbaric and it is happening in our time."
Little pro-life marcher + transport

The talks were followed by a pro-life march through the streets in which the bishops participated. A similar event took place in an outlying district of Accra in which around 500 altar servers from the archdiocese participated.

As Catholic News Agency reported, the bishops issued a powerful statement in which they said they would continue to resist:
“the persistent and pernicious attempts to impose population control on Africa by wealthy philanthropists, donor nations and international organizations who are pursuing this agenda subtly under the platform of sexual and reproductive and health rights.”

In addition, they reaffirmed that sacramental marriage was instituted by God as a permanent, indissoluble union of one man and one woman. The bishops rejected adulterous unions and same-sex unions as “inimical to the mind of the Creator” and as damaging to “the integrity of the human being and the family.”
The forces of the culture of death are very much in evidence in Ghana. I saw huge advertisement hoardings promoting the pill under the headline “Embracing the power of choice”; the Ghana Times on the day I arrived carried a full page story on a project funded by the Norweigan Development Agency promoting sexual and reproductive health (i.e. contraception and abortion) in poor urban and peri-urban areas of Ghana.There is no time to be lost and I believe Ghanas' Catholic leaders understand that.

However, Africa's Catholic bishops will need all the prayers they can get from our families! Last year a leading cardinal from the west caused great offence in Africa and throughout the church by telling the African bishops effectively to keep out of discussions at the Synod on doctrinal issues relating to marriage and the family saying " ... they should not tell us too much what we have to do."

And now I see that, according to Catholic News Agency, the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund and a major U.S. foundation have helped fund an LGBT activist project intended to counter West African bishops at the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family. I see too that Bishop Felix Gmur of Basel, Switzerland is president of the Lenten fund’s foundation council, which oversees the NGO’s directors group. Will the Bishop Gmur disown this effort to undermine the witness of African Catholic bishops? We shall see.

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Friday 21 August 2015

Don't be fooled by claims that China is easing its One-Child Policy

Reggie Littlejohn
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, whose aims are to combat forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China has written to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to complain about the coercive population controls used in China.

You may well wish to read Reggie's richly-annotated complaint in full. In the meantime, here's a brief summary:
The One-Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.

The UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is complicit in coercive family planning in China. (The UK government, in 2013, gave over £174 million pounds in "core" and "non-core" contributions to UNFPA, as a list of their top donors worldwide shows.)

China has not 'eased', 'relaxed' or 'abandoned' the One-Child Policy, although it periodically tweaks it. These minor modifications are routinely exaggerated. For example, under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua News Agency reported that China would lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child, beginning on January 1, 2014. It was already the case that couples could have a second child if both parents, themselves, were only children. So this minor adjustment did not 'ease' the One-Child Policy. It merely tweaked it.

Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist Party’s announcement is any mention of human rights. Even though it will now allow some couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception. The coercive enforcement of China’s one-child policy is its core. Instituting a two-child policy in certain, limited circumstances will not end forced abortion or forced sterilization.

Further, instituting a two-child policy will not end gendercide. Indeed, areas in which two children currently are allowed are especially vulnerable to gendercide. According to the 2009 British Medical Journal study of data from the 2005 national census, in nine provinces, for 'second order births' where the first child is a girl, 160 boys were born for every 100 girls. In two provinces, Jiangsu and Anhui, for the second child, there were 190 boys for every hundred girls born. This study stated, “sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males.”

To say that China has 'relaxed' or 'eased' its One-Child Policy under these circumstances is entirely unwarranted. Because of gendercide, there are an estimated 37 million Chinese men who will never marry because their future wives were terminated before they were born. This gender imbalance is a powerful, driving force behind trafficking in women and sexual slavery, not only in China, but in neighbouring nations as well.

In China, there are currently 117-118 boys born for every 100 girls born – the worst gender ratio in the world. Nor will the tweaking of the One-Child Policy have a significant impact on gendercide.

Littlejohn concludes that in her opinion, the Chinese Communist Party will never abolish the One-Child Policy, because the government is exploiting the One-Child Policy as social control, masquerading as population control. The One-Child Policy is enormously profitable for the Chinese Communist Party.
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Thursday 20 August 2015

Hunger and poverty not caused by "overpopulation" new data shows

I am grateful to Fr John Fleming, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who has written to me to draw attention to Population Research Institute's analysis of World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, prepared by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division.

Fr Fleming writes:

In his excellent analysis of that report, Jonathan Abbamonte of the Population Research Institute, demonstrates the way in which the world has been seriously misled by population controllers. All the emphasis from international bodies such as UNFPA and USAID has been on encouraging and coercing developing countries to embrace their population control policies which have as their centrepiece “sterilisation and abortifacient contraception pills and devices with bribes and other methods of coercion”.

Abbamonte explains that the latest figures predict that world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. The default position of population controllers has always been that population growth has been and will be the single biggest cause of catastrophic outcomes for the planet:
1. Widespread famines as the world struggles to feed the people;
2. continuing low life expectancy in developing countries; and
3. high infant mortality rates among developing countries.
But, as Abbamonte points out, relying on the information contained in the new Report, the facts are actually these:
1. Despite the rapid rise in population over the last two and a half decades, “the percentage of people living with hunger in developing countries has actually dropped from 24% to 14% over the same time period.”
2. “World average life expectancy at birth in the early 1950’s was 48 years for women and 45 for men. Today those numbers are 73 for women and 68 for men. By 2100, life expectancy at birth will have risen to almost 85 for women and 82 for men worldwide and even higher in developed nations—92 years for women.”
3. Infant and childhood mortality are set to decline sharply worldwide. “By 2100, the rate of deaths among children under the age of five will fall as much as 82% in less developed nations and 80% in the world’s least developed countries.”
So it seems that the world is well placed to receive the predicted increased population.

Among other things, Abbamonte concludes: “Population alarmists would have us believe the world is overpopulated with too many people placing too great a strain on the environment and our resources. While it is true that we all share limited resources on this one planet we call home, hunger and poverty in the world today are largely the result of underdevelopment, civil strife or conflict, and poor distribution of wealth, not an excess in today’s population. Environmental degradation, although a pressing problem, has much more to do with an irresponsible disposal of waste, corporations cutting corners to meet their bottom lines, poor urban planning and excessive urban sprawl, and a culture of waste that has been fostered in developed nations.”

Abbamonte’s analysis of the new data provides plenty of food for thought.

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Tuesday 18 August 2015

Family Synod documentation omits "greatest ever threat to man and human society"

Fr Mark Pilon
With the benefit of hindsight, the wisdom of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae – mocked by so many outside the Church and neglected by so many within it – comes ever more clearly into focus. Pope Paul VI warned that artificial contraception would increase marital infidelity and lower moral standards, that women would be treated as mere instruments to satisfy the desires of men, and that governments might even impose the use of contraception on their peoples. Whether we look at divorce rates, at the explosion of internet pornography, at the vast worldwide scale of the abortion industry, or at the imposition of contraception by individual governments and by international organisations, who can possibly maintain that he was wrong with any of these predictions?

Humanae Vitae was not, however, a one-off foray by the Catholic Church into the arena of sexual morality. As the late, great Fr John Hardon S.J. detailed, the Church's condemnation of contraception dates back to the earliest ages. In 1930, Pius XI's encyclical Casti Connubii referred to the intrinsically evil nature of contraception. More recently, both John Paul II (particularly in Familiaris Consortio) and Benedict XVI have reaffirmed the importance of this teaching. So the encyclical of Pope Paul VI was part of a continuum of Catholic teaching, given in recognition that “the Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings” (Humanae Vitae opening paragraphs).

Against this background, the absence of the topic of contraception from the documentation issued in preparation for this year’s Synod on the Family can only be a deliberate decision to shift the official stance of the Catholic Church, and is the more worrying for that reason. An excellent article by Fr Mark Pilon – a priest of the diocese of Arlington, Virginia – sets the omission in context. Fr Mark’s focus is on the questionnaire (lineamenta) sent out to prepare for the 2015 Synod and he observes:
“How strange it is, then, that a Special Synod called by the Pope precisely to counteract the contemporary negative forces undermining marriage and the family, and to strengthen the family as the basic institution of human society and the Church, should say little or nothing about the role that the virtually universal practice of contraception has played in causing this crisis. This virtual ignoring of the tremendous impact of contraception on married life and societal stability was confirmed by the absence of a single question in the 2015 Synod lineamenta which deals directly with the problem that contraception plays in the crisis facing marriage and family life in our day.”
The lineamenta led in turn to the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document produced by the Vatican for the forthcoming Synod. The manner in which the Instrumentum Laboris undermines the teaching of Humanae Vitae is explained in Voice of Family’s analysis of the document.

Fr Mark refers to the great magisterial teachings of many of the Popes, and refers specifically to the way that Paul VI and John Paul II “made it crystal clear how contraception, and the contraceptive mentality, damage marriage [and] undermine married love, family life, and human society”. In his article, which is well worth reading in its entirety, he examines the failures in passing on the Church’s teaching in seminaries and other Catholic institutions of learning. He discusses the reluctance of many members of the Church to speak out on these issues, even in the face of the demographic problems that universal contraception is causing (and is set to cause) in much of the western world. He notes the effect of smaller Catholic families on religious vocations.

Father Mark also observes how “contraception establishes a mentality that rejects life, seeing life as sometimes undesirable” and comments that “that mentality will unfortunately lead many to choose abortion as a last resort to eliminate a new life”. (One of the many false promises of last century’s sexual revolution was that freely available contraception would remove the 'need' for abortion. Subsequent developments have shown beyond all doubt that the demand for abortion actually increases sharply in societies where contraception is more freely available.)

Nor is Fr Mark afraid to name names when it comes to examining why the Church’s prophetic teachings have failed to take root as they should have done. And he is also very clear that moral norms have been watered down “to become just contingent, legalistic, voluntaristic ‘rules’ that can and must be changed with the times and cultural evolutions”.

In response to all these issues, Fr Mark argues that the forthcoming Synod “may well be the last practical chance to make a real contribution to the salvation of marriage and family life, and to western society in general”. All the more alarming, therefore, is his observation that:

“Those responsible for the preparation of the coming 2015 Synod, for some reason, chose not to submit a single study question in the lineamenta, directly dealing with the problem of artificial contraception. Obviously, these Church leaders did not see this moral and practical issue as a significant factor in the collapse of marriage and family life over the past half century. It was as if the extensive papal magisterium of Pope Paul, John Paul II, and Benedict—in brilliantly analyzing the devastating impact of contraception on married love and marriage stability, as well as on demographic survival of society—had never taken place.”

He concludes that contraception is much more than just one moral issue amongst others, and that the Synod “needs to confront this greatest ever threat to man and human society, for time is quite literally running out to reverse the social and moral chaos it has generated”.

(I am grateful to a SPUC supporter who kindly summarised Fr Pilon's erudite article for this blogpost.)

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Anglican bishop sounds warning on assisted suicide bill

SPUC has welcomed an Anglican bishop's warning about the assisted suicide bill due to be debated in Parliament at Westminster on 11 September.

Rt Revd Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol, has warned on his blog that the desire of the seriously ill 'not to be a burden' is "capable of ruthless manipulation".

Bishop Hill also said that "the Christian Church has a long and noble history of seeking to assist people to die well without killing them ... We need more palliative care provision rather than handing out the right in law to take life."

My colleague, Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, told the press today:
"We congratulate Bishop Hill for his courageous witness to the sanctity of human life. He has given a good example to his fellow Anglican bishops and clergy and to all Christians. Seeking to assist people to die well without killing them is both a Christian and a deeply-rooted British value. Christians throughout history are famous for establishing hospices amongst the poorest, whether it be in London in the Middle Ages or in Mother Teresa's Calcutta in the 20th century."
The "Assisted Dying" bill, introduced into Parliament by Rob Marris MP, mean that terminally ill, disabled and elderly people will become second-class citizens and doctors will be turned into killers. You can help stop this happening. If we don’t stop the bill, medical killing will inevitably spread more and more widely. Find out from SPUC's campaign page what you can do to help. Please don't delay. Write to your MP now.

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Monday 17 August 2015

Children and parents betrayed by British birth control policies

Under the headline "GPs put 1 in 20 under-aged girls on the Pill" the Mail is reporting that one in twenty schoolgirls, some as young as twelve, are being prescribed the contraceptive pill by GPs without their parents’ knowledge.

Giving birth-control pills to under-age girls is uncaring towards children, undermines parents and exploits an uninformed public. It is uncaring towards children, because it ignores the fact that sexually-transmitted infections among teenagers have risen at the same time as increased provision of contraceptives. It undermines parents by denying them their right and responsibility to govern their children's behaviour. It exploits an uninformed public, because no-one is told that, according to the manufacturers, the ordinary birth-control pill can kill newly-conceived embryos.

In short, schoolchildren and parents are being betrayed by the birth control policies at work in Britain.

If you're a parent worried about what's going on in your children's school - and that includes Catholic schools - that is, you're worried about your children being given access to contraception and or abortion, SPUC's Safe at School is here to help you. Contact Safe at School on 020 8407 3463.

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Friday 14 August 2015

We must oppose the Vatican's Instrumentum Laboris for the Family Synod to defend life and our families

As a parent and as a pro-life leader, I thank His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C., for his merciful support for our families currently under merciless social pressure from the homosexual "rights" agenda and its supporters, including within Catholic Church structures.

Bishop Schneider, in an interview with Catholic Voice published yesterday, described some Irish clergy - including one bishop - as "false prophets who pervert the Word of God".

The Catholic Voice interview asked Bishop Schneider about some Irish clergy who "used the media to [also] encourage voters to redefine marriage" and one Irish Bishop who "stated that Catholics could in good conscience vote for this proposal and admonished them not to vote against it out of hate".

Bishop Schneider replied:
Those clerics who encouraged the faithful to vote for same sex marriage revealed themselves by this same fact as false prophets, as those who pervert the Word of God. They revealed themselves as public liars, to whom are fully applicable these words of Holy Scripture: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Is 5:20) ... To such priests and bishops the Apostle Paul without any doubt would say today these words: “Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13). In order to remedy this situation it is firstly necessary that faithful Bishops teach clearly and unambiguously the truth of Christ and correct explicitly the teaching of these false prophets.
Let me explain just one way in which families, including Catholic families, are under merciless pressure from the homosexual "rights" agenda and its supporters.

As I said when I addressed the Rome Life Forum in May:
... a major way in which the so-called “homosexual rights” lobby is actively undermining the family and the culture of life, is through targeting its message at little children in their schools including, in the UK, in Catholic primary schools. I have little doubt that the same pattern is repeated in other countries too.

I am sorry to have to share with you that homosexual militants are being invited into schools in our country, including into Catholic schools with the blessing of the local bishop, to train teachers how to educate little boys as young as four years old that they might grow up to marry a man rather than a woman – and the same with little girls.

Catholic schools in Britain, and around the world, have long been complicit in the culture of death, providing access to abortion and contraception for the under 16s without parental knowledge. This is happening with the co-operation of the Catholic authorities.
The betrayal of families by leading clerics continues apace not least in the form of the truly scandalous Instrumentum Laboris, the working document produced by Vatican authorities for the forthcoming Family Synod. For the extent of the betrayal of our families at the highest levels in the Church see the analysis by Matthew McCusker, my personal assistant, recommended by Professor Roberto de Mattei on Rorate Caeli as "the excellent analysis by Mathew McCusker, on the site Voice of the Family."

Matthew's analysis concludes:
We urge Catholics not to be complacent or give in to a false sense of obedience, in the face of attacks on the fundamental principles of the natural law. Catholics are morally obliged to oppose the course being taken with the Synod
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Australia: governing coalition confirms opposition to same-sex marriage

Australia’s governing coalition has voted to confirm its opposition to same-sex marriage. Tony Abbott, Australia's prime minister, said the issue should be “put to the people” following the next election.  [BBC, 11 August] Dr John Fleming, a leading Australian bioethicist, said: “The Prime Minister is laudably keeping his pre-election promise that his government would not legislate for gay marriage.  The Labor Party will close off the 'conscience vote' for its MPs in the election after next.  The Prime Minister very democratically wants the people to decide the fundamental issue of what marriage means, while proponents of same sex marriage seem to think that the people can't be trusted to deliver the 'right' answer.”

To see a full news summary for 13 August 2015, click here.

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Thursday 6 August 2015

Christian teachers should be silenced using banning orders, says MP

A Conservative MP has called for Christian teachers to be subject to banning orders. Conservative MP for Sherwood Mark Spencer has called for Extreme Disruption Orders (EDOs) to be used against Christian teachers who teach a traditional view on marriage. Those who say that same-sex marriage is “wrong” will be subject to the tough new restrictions which were drawn up by  Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May in order to curb radicalisation by jihadists. [Telegraph, 3 August]

To see a full news summary for 6 August 2015, click here.

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