Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Major battle on wording of HIV/AIDS resolution in Geneva.

The 12th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva is currently considering a draft resolution on HIV/AIDS. This resolution contains many good proposals but has also generated considerable debate and controversy. There have been sustained attempts by Brazil, The US, Canada, and the European Union to retain references in the draft resolution, to the 'UN International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights'.

Whilst the 12 guidelines in themselves are uncontroversial they have been inserted into a very controversial document containing an explanatory text and commentary. The international community rejected this document during the 2001 special session on HIV/AIDS because the commentary seeks to overturn all laws that limit sexual activity, including laws against "adultery, sodomy, fornication, and commercial sexual encounters [i.e. prostitution]," and calls for nations to legalize homosexual marriage. The offending text also seeks to impose explicit sexual and homosexual education on children – and other public information programmes that according to the explanatory text should, “not be inappropriately subject to censorship or other broadcasting standards

The commentary also seeks to impose "penalties on anyone who vilifies people who engage in same-sex relationships." Although it is unclear what 'vilification' means in this context, and what 'penalties' would be sought, there is concern that religious leaders may be held criminally liable for upholding the biblical teaching that homosexual acts are sinful. Islamic countries consider the document to be offensive.

The current draft resolution seeks to reference the document in a way that separates the 12 basic guidelines from the commentary and explanatory text. This approach was previously used in a resolution on violence against women in the 2005 Human Rights Commission, however there is strong opposition to this and many countries wish to return to the 2001 solution where all references to the document were removed from the outcome document

The draft resolution was initiated by Brazil and they have made it clear that they wish to retain the references but they also wish to have a consensus text. Egypt on the other hand have warned that if the references remain they will not join consensus and will push for a vote on the text when it comes before the plenary later this week

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am not afraid to vote No to Lisbon, said Dana Rosemary Scallon today. The people must know the truth, that the guarantees are worthless and that the EU will have primacy over Irelands Constitution. Lisbon is not about tidying up the democratic process - it is about tying up the democratic process.

As former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing stated, when he welcomed the Lisbon Treaty wording:
'Public opinion will be led - without knowing it - to adopt the policies we would never present to them directly. All the earlier proposals will be in the new text - but will be hidden or disguised in some way.

I cannot be bought. I have always told the truth about what I saw happening in Europe, especially when it threatened our Constitution and our democratic rights as citizens of Ireland. I have no axe to grind, I am not seeking political office and as I don't run a budget airline I don't have to tread carefully and change my mind for the sake of a few euros.

During my time in office from 1999-2004, the building of an EU Constitution and the move towards and EU Superstate was clearly set out. I stated this pubic many times and urged our political leaders and public representatives to uphold our Irish Constitution - they all refused to do so.

A simple name change will not change the fact that adopting the Lisbon Treaty will undermine our sovereignty and political independence and profoundly weaken Ireland's position in Europe and is the path to a European Constitution, having primacy over Irelands Constitution.

Former Irish Taoiseach, Dr Garett Fitzgerald also stated on June 30, 2007,that proposed changes to the Constitutional Treaty, "had no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum.' Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Jose Zapatero, Prime minister of Spain confirmed that, 'The substance of the constitution is preserved' and that 'not a single substantial point' of the constitutional Treaty' has been let go. Even former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, noted that there had been 'no dramatic change to the substance of what had been agreed in 2004'.

We have already rejected this Lisbon Treaty and in response our political leaders apologised to Brussels.

The Lisbon Treaty will give the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights primacy and a legally binding status. The fact is that in the case of conflict, between the rights contained in the EU Charter and those rights contained in our Irish constitution, the Lisbon Treaty will give the final say to the EU Court of Justice over our Irish Supreme Court.

Voting NO will protect Ireland's Constitution in matters such as the definition and protection of the family; Children's rights; Parent's rights; the protection of life and the child embryo; the right to a fair trial; the right to strike etc. Any so called 'guarantees' and protection of our Irish Constitutional position on these points, are not part of the Lisbon Treaty, they therefore have no legal weight what-so-ever and cannot be relied upon. They are, as we have been told many times, worthless.

This is no longer about the politics of right and left it is about right and wrong. I can no longer stay silent about the wilful betrayal of Ireland's Constitution.
Just as in Article 12.8 of Ireland's Constitution the President states "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution...." ; Article 9.2 calls upon everyone stating; "Fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state are fundamental political duties of all citizens".

People should not be afraid to vote no, proclaim loyalty to the State and fidelity to the nation. Our Constitution should be upheld not diluted for political and personal gain.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Ireland for Life have issued the following statement on the effect of the so called guarantees on the Lisbon Treaty

“No to Lisbon is the only means of ensuring the continued protection of the right to life of the child embryo, in Ireland. On the same day as the referendum, the other EU institution, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will vote on a pro-abortion report (‘Document 11992’) ,” said the organisation’s spokesperson, Mrs. Mary Thornton.

The “guarantees” are not part of the Lisbon Treaty nor any other treaty and they have no legal effect in EU law. Declaration 17 on Primacy in the Lisbon Treaty clearly states that
“the treaties and the law adopted by the EU on the basis of the treaties have primacy over the law of the member states.”
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘The Charter’), which is attached to the Treaty, confers extensive rights upon the ECJ. The Charter, which Lisbon makes legally binding on all member countries under Article 6 of the Treaty, will have primacy.

Last June, the European Centre for Law and Justice in a written opinion stated the following;
“If the European Court of Justice were to decide that abortion is a right in interpreting The Charter of Fundamental Rights, it would appear that this decision would be binding on Ireland”
. Abortion could be claimed to be a fundamental human right.

On January 14th, 2009, the European Parliament including Irish MEPs approved a resolution urging states to recognise abortion rights among other so-called ‘rights’. The Catania Resolution was based on the provisions of The Charter.

The fact is that the ECJ would not recognise any protocol which had not already been attached to the Lisbon Treaty. Most seriously of all; what would happen in the intervening period between the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and the possible ratification of an accession treaty sometime, perhaps, in the distant future?

On this basis, Ireland For Life is calling for a ‘No’ vote in this week’s Lisbon referendum

Lisbon Treaty

On Friday next, 2 October, as most of Europe, and large parts of the world are aware, the people of Ireland have to vote for the second time within the space of eighteen months to allow the Irish Government to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon. Why do the Irish people have to vote again? Well, because the answer they gave on the last occasion, rejecting the Treaty, was not the result that the Government and the EU Powers wanted.

The Charter of Fundament Rights, which is part of the Treaty of Lisbon, was described in 2000 by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) as a ‘Godless’ document that would cause ‘moral and social harm’.

Every so often, quotations from the words of Pope Benedict are used to show his approval of the Lisbon Treaty document. So I have decided, therefore, to present some further quotations from the Pope’s addresses on a number of occasions, and hopefully these may give a somewhat more balanced record of what he actually does say on the subject of Europe.. (Certain passages are highlighted to emphasise their content)

‘The “European home”, as we readily refer to the community of this continent, will be a good place to live for everyone only if it is built on a solid cultural and moral foundation of common values drawn from our history and our traditions. Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots. …
‘It was in Europe that the notion of human rights was first formulated. The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right – it is the very opposite. It is “a deep wound in society”, as the late Cardinal Franz Konig never tired of repeating.
‘ … I appeal to political leaders not to allow children to be considered as a form of illness, nor to abolish in practice your legal system’s acknowledgment that abortion is wrong. I say this out of a concern for humanity. But that is only one side of this disturbing problem. The other is the need to do everything possible to make European countries once again open to welcoming children.
Another great concern of mine is the debate on what has been termed “actively assisted death”. It is to be feared that at some point the gravely ill or elderly will be subjected to tacit or even explicit pressure to request death or to administer it to themselves. The proper response to end-of-life suffering is loving care and accompaniment on the journey towards death – especially with the help of palliative care – and not “actively assisted death”.
‘Given the uniqueness of its calling. Europe also has a unique responsibility in the world. First of all, it must not give up on itself. The continent which, demographically, is rapidly aging, must not become old in spirit. …’

[From Address to the Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps, Hofburg, Vienna, September 2007]


‘Unfortunately, from a demographic point of view, one must note that Europe seems to be following a path that could lead to its departure from history. …
‘If, for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Governments of the Union wish to “get nearer” to their citizens, how can they exclude an element essential to European identity such as Christianity, with which a vast majority of citizens continue to identify? Is it not surprising that today’s Europe, while aspiring to be regarded as a community of values, seems ever more often to deny the very existence of universal and absolute values? Does not this unique form of “apostasy” from itself, even more than its apostasy from God, lead Europe to doubt its own identity? And so the opinion prevails that an “evaluation of the benefits” is the only way to moral discernment and that the common good is synonymous with compromise. In reality, if compromise can constitute a legitimate balance between different particular interests, it becomes a common evil whenever it involves agreements that dishonour human nature. …
‘A community built without respect for the true dignity of the human being, disregarding the fact that every person is created in the image of God ends up doing no good to anyone. For this reason it seems ever more important that Europe be on guard against the pragmatic attitude, widespread today, which systematically justifies compromise on essential human values, as if it were the inevitable acceptance of a lesser evil. … the right to conscientious objection should be protected, every time fundamental human rights are violated.
‘I know how difficult it is for Christians to defend this truth of the human person. Nevertheless do not give in to fatigue or discouragement! You know that it is your duty, with God’s help, to contribute to the consolidation of a new Europe which will be realistic but not cynical, rich in ideals and free from naïve illusions, inspired by the perennial and the life-giving truth of the Gospel. Therefore, be actively present in the public debate on a European level, knowing that this discussion is now an integral part of the national debate. And to this commitment add effective cultural action. Do not bend to the logic of power as an end in itself! May Christ’s admonition be a constant stimulus and support for you: “If the salt loses its flavour it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (cf. Mt. 5:13). May the Lord make all your efforts fruitful and help you to recognize and use properly what is positive in today’s civilization, while denouncing with courage all that is contrary to human dignity.
‘I am certain that God will bless the generous efforts of all who, in a spirit of service, work to build a common European home where every cultural, social and political contribution is directed towards the common good. To you, already involved in different ways in this important human and evangelical undertaking, I express my support and my most fervent encouragement. …’

[From Address of Pope Benedict XVI to participants in the Convention on 50 years of the Treaty of Rome, organised by COMECE, March 2007]

Had Pope Benedict’s warnings and advice been listened to perhaps the Lisbon Treaty might have been an acceptable document – but, as it stands today, it is not acceptable,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spain's Zapatero government, to proceed with liberalisation of abortion law.

The Spanish cabinet have announced their proposals to make abortion available on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. It is understood that girls as young as 16 would be allowed to terminate a pregnancy without parental consent. (BBC News)

Officially Spain's current law allows babies to be aborted following rape, when a baby has genetic defects, and when the health of a woman is at risk. In practice however the law is actually applied much more liberally and many Spanish women have been able to secure abortions by arguing that pregnancy was endangering their mental health.

The new plan has been launched despite the objections of Spanish doctors, despite major pro-life marches held simultaneously in 80 cities across Spain earlier this year and despite appeals by the Catholic Church. In launching the new proposals the Zapatero government is expected to curtail conscientious objection by medical personnel.

Spain’s Justice Minister Francisco Caamano is on record as saying that when it comes to abortion “there is no room for conscientious objection”. This chilling statement was met with a counter statement by Dr. Esteban Rodriguez of Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life) who said "We are willing to go to jail rather than following a criminal law"..."and we are willing to commit the supposed crime of disobedience before the crime of abortion." Dr Rodriguez also said "We will not kill our patients, nor will we commit a crime against the public health deliberately harming the health of women, no matter how much the Minister of Justice threatens us and abuses his power".

The objections to the proposed law reflect the writings of the great pro-life champion of the 20th century, Pope John Paul II who in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae said "Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection." (Evangelium Vitae, 73) see also SPUC Director Blogspot

Friday, September 25, 2009

Holy See on the Right to Development

Geneva, Switzerland, September 22 (CNA) .- The present economic crisis may jeopardize development goals... and could undermine human rights, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi the Holy See's permanent representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Archbishop Tomasi, added that the Human Rights Council's current debate on the right to development is an opportunity both to strengthen international commitment on the right to development and to transform political will into "concrete action."

The Holy See's delegation he said is interested in the U.N. task force which is creating a list of "right-to-development" criteria around the three components of "human-centered development," an enabling environment, social justice and equity.

In development, the archbishop explained, the human person is not only a receiver of aid but also the real actor in his or her development and relationships among peoples. He cited Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical Caritas In Veritate, which taught that man is "the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life." Further, he said the Holy See's delegation believes the cultural component of the right to development must include the "ethical and spiritual dimensions" of the human person. The archbishop also encouraged the endorsement of an "enabling environment" for the right to development and said states should remove obstacles to that development, such as human rights violations.

Subsidiarity according to the Archbishop "allows the participation of the beneficiaries of aid in the process of development through the responsible use of their freedom and talents,".

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A new opinion poll shows that there has been a massive surge in the number of Irish voters who say they will vote against the Lisbon Treaty second time around which, if it holds till voting day would result in the Lisbon Treaty being heavily defeated by a margin of 59% NO ‘V’ 41% YES. Should this poll prove to be correct on polling day this would represent almost a 6% rise in the NO vote

The results will came as a shock to the Government and business groups who have poured over €10 Million Euros+ campaigning for a yes vote.

In one of the largest polls of its kind ever carried out: Gael Poll polled 1,500 respondents in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny, Galway, Athlone, Tralee, Dundalk and Letterkenny over the course of six days last week.

The respondents were asked one single question: How do you intend to vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?

A substantial 723 (59 %) said they intended voting No as opposed to 502 (41%) who indicated that they would vote Yes. The survey also showed that 15% percent of voters were still undecided.

When pollsters discounted the don't knows: an overwhelming 59% of people would vote No in the referendum as opposed to 41% who indicated that they would vote Yes.

The last Gael Poll which was published in the Irish Sun (June 4th 2008) accurately predicted that the Lisbon Treaty would be defeated by a margin of 54 % for the No side versus 46% for Yes campaigners. On the day of the count -which took place nine days later- the actual result was 53.4% No and 46.6 % Yes. The uncanny poll prediction which was out by only a half a percent was the most accurate poll in the country.

Pollsters at Gael Poll which is a non-profit social affairs research organization are quietly confident that they will be accurate for a second year in a row:

“Our Poll was carried out over an extended six day period and we used the exact same methodology as we used last year. In our experience the vote is not half as fluid as one might believe. People tend to have very definite ideas about which way they intend to vote, and those who don’t know tend not to vote at all,” explains Pollster Paul Murphy.

One interesting insight that the pollsters gleaned were the variety of ‘off the radar’ reasons why people intend to vote No:

“Frankly a lot of the personalities who are fronting the Yes campaign don’t appear to be very popular and a lot of people have commented upon this.”

“Apart from the obvious well known issues, we found that people were very concernd about the curtailment of alternative medicines and the banning of turf cutting to the over preponderance of EU flags and emblems. If you were to boil it down to core emotions, No voters tend to be enraged and up for a fight whereas Yes voters tend to be motivated by economic fears,”
explained Paul Murphy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New attempt to create a so called right to abortion

On 2 October next, on the very day when the people of Ireland are being bullied into voting – again, for the second time – on the ratification of the EU Treaty of Lisbon, the other european institution the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will vote on a pro-abortion report (‘Document 11992’) entitled ‘Fifteen years since the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action’. The Committee of Ministers are being encouraged to start the development of a European Convention ‘to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2015’. (Please see more about this on, 19 September 2009)

Now, we all know that it is acknowledged that ‘reproductive health and rights’ is the culture of death code word for ‘abortion’. It doesn’t sound as bad as saying ‘abortion’, but that’s what it is. Abortion is not about health, it is not a human right and never can be. On the contrary it is a human wrong, it is the slaughter of the innocent

Here is yet another example of the ‘creeping agenda’ of the pro-abortion/anti-life/anti-family agencies in the European Institutions, be it the Council of Europe or the European Union. Recently, I outlined the situation in Lithuania, when an EU Parliament motion censuring that country for daring to incorporate into their national laws a prohibition on the promotion of pornography, homosexuality, etc., for young people, and in schools, was carried by a majority of 349 to 218 votes by European parliamentarians, with 46 abstentions.
And, at the beginning of this year, the Catania Report (promoting abortion, and homosexual unions, etc. throughout the European Union) was comfortably passed in the European Parliament.

Back to Ireland, and the Treaty of Lisbon – of what worth are the so-called guarantees on the right to life (of the unborn?), the family, taxation, etc. These guarantees, promised by the Heads of State of the EU, are supposed to come into effect sometime in 2010, or 2011 maybe, when they will be attached as a Protocol to some future accession treaty – perhaps that of Croatia. But the guarantees are not binding in EU law, and they don’t change one jot of the Treaty of Lisbon. It’s the same Treaty that was rejected by the Irish people last year, and virtually the same document as the Constitution for Europe that was rejected by the French and Dutch people in 2005.

Something to think seriously about.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take more children into care: Barnardo's Chief Executive

The Chief Executive of Barnardo’s (U.K.) says that more new-born children should be taken into care in order to stop them being ‘damaged beyond repair’ by poor parents. He wants less focus on ‘fixing families that can’t be fixed’, and he considers that social workers should be more pro-active in removing children ‘at risk’ from their parents.

Who decides that children are ‘at risk’, one wonders?

The Barnardo’s man is quoted as saying that: ‘If we really cared about the interests of the child, we would take children away as babies and put them into permanent adoptive families, where we know they will have the best possible outcome.’

Barnardo’s is backed up by the former director general of the Prison Service in the UK, who added his support to the proposal by stating that: ‘…My own view is that we just need to take more children into care if we really want to put the interests of the child first.’

Really? Wouldn’t it be far more sensible, and just, to try to help families rather than breaking them up?

[Source: Mail Online, 6.9.2009]

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Marvellous Reality of Marriage between Man and Woman

At a time when the family based on marriage is under particular threat from all sides I am reminded of the statement made by Pope Benedict XVI at the fifth world meeting of families in 2006

‘To help us advance along the path of human maturity, the Church teaches us to respect and foster the marvellous reality of the indissoluble Marriage between man and woman which is also the origin of the Family. To recognise and assist this institution is one of the greatest services which can be rendered nowadays to the Common Good and to the authentic development of individuals and societies, as well as the best means of ensuring the dignity, equality and true freedom of the human person. This being the case, I want to stress the importance and the positive role which the Church’s various family associations are playing in support of Marriage and the Family …’

[Pope Benedict XVI to Fifth World Meeting of Families, 2006]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Attack on Religious Liberty

An article in the Wall Street Journal (13 August 2009) tells how, thanks to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the U.S., ‘the federal government took a giant leap toward encroaching on the religious liberty of Catholics.’

The director of the Commission in Charlotte (North Carolina) ruled that a small Catholic college discriminated against female employees by refusing to cover prescription contraceptives in its health insurance plan. ‘With health-care reform looming before the country, this ruling is a bad omen for people of faith’, the author of the article states. He continues: ‘In 2007, eight faculty members filed a complaint against Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., claiming that the school’s decision to exclude prescription contraceptives from its health-care plan was discriminatory against women. “As a Roman Catholic institution, Belmont Abbey College is not able to and will not offer nor subsidize medical services that contradict the clear teaching of the Catholic Church”, said the college’s president, William Thierfelder, at the time.

‘In March the commission informed the college that the investigation of its employee health insurance plan had been closed with no finding of wrongdoing. Inexplicably, the case was reopened, and now the college is charged with violating federal law. If Belmont Abbey doesn’t back down, the EEOC will recommend court remedies. …
‘When will a federal court argue that if insurance coverage to prevent pregnancy is, by inference, mandated by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, then why not abortion to end a pregnancy?

‘We can add the threat to religious liberty to the dangers already presented by government-run health care.’

Incidentally, Belmont College will shortly be conferring a special honour – the Envoy of the Year Award – on Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

European Parliament Contempt for National Sovereignty

The European Parliament has once again shown its contempt for the sovereignty of member states of the European Union and additionally for family rights and the rights of the child, by introducing a resolution castigating Lithuania. The resolution which was debated in the European Parliament today Wednesday 16th Sept. and will be voted on tomorrow, related to a law passed recently by the Lithuanian Parliament to protect minors from inappropriate information.

On 14 July 2009, the Lithuanian Parliament approved an amendment to the national Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information, which will come into force on 1 March 2010. Under this amendment it will be prohibited ‘to directly disseminate to minors […] public information whereby homosexual, bisexual or polygamous relations are promoted’, because it has ‘a detrimental effect on the development of minors’,

The Liberals, Greens. Socialist, and Communist group of the European Parliament tabled 6 identical oral questions to the EU Commission and the EU Council of Ministers attacking the new law and asking them to issue a statement whether or not this amendment to a national law is incompatible with human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in international and European conventions and notably with freedom of expression, The whole tenor of this attack on the Lithuanian law is based on the view that non discrimination policy is more important than the rights of the child or parental rights. There was a refusal to recognize the relevant paragraphs of the international human rights instruments regarding the rights of the child and the rights of the family. Many of the speeches condemned the Lithuanian law however some MEP’s pointed out that the debate was inappropriate and reminded the Parliament that Lithuania is a sovereign nation

A particularly enlightened speech was given by Slovakian MEP Anna Zaborska who told the Parliament
˝In 2006, Slovakia was condemned by the EU institutions because of a freedom of conscience clause in its national legislation. Today a national law from Lithuania which aims to protect minors from sexualisation by society is condemned by the EU institutions.
I consider our meeting to be a manipulation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This text is not a legally binding instrument. The EU Parliament is ignoring the legitimacy of the national Parliament of a Member State. The EU Parliament also requests an Opinion of the Fundamental Rights Agency, but this Agency has no mandate to assess the legal quality of a national law.

I wonder what the Irish people will think about these procedures in advance of the upcoming referendum on the Lisbon treaty. What else can they think but that soon, Ireland also will be condemned because of its laws that protect the family and life? I profoundly regret that the European Parliament does not respect the basic principles of diversity and national culture, and that we question the protection of children and the right of parents to educate them.˝

The issue will be voted on tomorrow Thursday 17th September

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Misleading article on effects of the Lisbon Treaty

The Irish Catholic newspaper in an article quoting the new President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek misrepresents a number of critical aspects of the Lisbon Treaty. The article, quotes Mr Buzek as saying “it is not possible for the EU to change any member – state’s abortion law […]”, yet this is precisely what happened when Slovakia attempted to protect the conscience rights of medical personnel in respect to abortion and other life issues

In 2004 the European Commission obtained an opinion from a Network of so-called fundamental rights “experts”, it had appointed, concerning a Concordat then under negotiation between the Holy See and Slovakia which would have guaranteed freedom of conscience to all medical practitioners to decline, without sanction, to participate in abortions, euthanasia, cloning, IVF etc. The Legal Opinion came to the astonishing conclusion that there is a presumed ‘right to abortion’, which obliges a State to guarantee access to abortion where national law provides that it is legal and where such access meets obstacles, these must be removed. The opinion rejected a right to conscientious objection for medical practitioners in respect of abortion. The interference of the Commission in the internal affairs of the Slovakia caused a national crisis which resulted in the fall of the Government and the Concordat was not ratified.

The article also quotes Mr Buzek as saying that “the Lisbon Treaty cannot affect our laws in other so called ‘socio-ethical’ areas for example family law”,
Once again this is misleading, Article 9 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights : Right to marry and right to found a family says:
“The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of these rights”.

Firstly this article has been subdivided into two separate rights and expressed in a way that implies that the founding of a family need not be contingent on marriage.
Secondly according to the legal preamble to the Charter, this Article is based on Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) -
men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right
– but as is clearly evident the Article in the Charter excludes the first part of the ECHR article which limits marriage to men and women of marriageable age. The legal preamble also explains that the wording has been modernised to cover cases where national legislation recognises arrangements other than marriage for founding a family. According to the explanation, the Article does not prohibit same sex marriage.

The article also refers to the so called guarantees given to Ireland with regard to abortion and family law. The Lisbon Treaty has not been altered in any way, it is he same Treaty the Irish people rejected last year, not one comma has been changed. There are certainly promises of future guarantees, but currently there are no guarantees. We are told that the so called guarantees will be part of a later accession treaty but this is completely unacceptable. The minimum requirement in this regard is that guarantees of this nature should become actual protocols to the Lisbon Treaty and without them the Treaty should once again be rejected.

Officially the EU has no competence in the area of family which is the prerogative of the Member States. Indirectly, however, EU policies - especially as articulated in resolutions of the European Parliament and some co-decision procedures - impact negatively upon critical national issues, and slowly erode, as “soft law measures, on many areas of national sovereignty, including the traditional family by what has been described as “competence creep”.

Competence creep can happen in a number of ways - through EU directives such as those on equality and non-discrimination, the free movement of services and in other critical areas such as, sex education and protection of minors, to name a few.
One critical issue is the future interpretation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, when and if, it comes into effect through ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The history of previous approaches to sensitive questions by the European Commission such as the Slovakian Concordat causes grave concern as to how the Charter may be interpreted.

The mandate of the previously mentioned network of experts ended in 2006 but a similar group - which includes many of the same individuals - has reappeared under the name of FRALEX (Fundamental Rights Agency Legal Experts). FRALEX has been appointed as the exclusive provider of so-called expertise on fundamental rights to the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) based in Vienna. This places FRALEX, in an exclusive and very powerful monopoly position - to feed its ideology into the law-making process of the EU and, indirectly, of the Member States.

The FRA is also empowered, to provide advice to the EU institutions, not only when it is specifically asked to do so, but also on its own initiative. In this way, it is possible for FRA to set the agenda for the political institutions of the EU (i.e., the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament) by issuing reports in which in which ‘concern’ over specific human rights issues is expressed, and recommendations are given.

One of the first actions of FRALEX consisted of a direct attack on the traditional family based on marriage by supporting the rights of same-sex pairings, when it came to the astonishing conclusion that EU Member States had a legal duty to recognise same-sex ‘marriage’.

To sum up, irrespective of the view that the EU has no competence in critical areas such as the abortion issue and the traditional family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, the EU has found ways through competence creep to change national laws, in particular through equality and non discrimination legislation and in the area of the free movement of services. It has also done this through the so called ‘network of experts’ which, in its original form in 2004 concluded that there is a presumed right to abortion, and now as the newly constituted FRALEX, says that EU Member States have a legal duty to recognise same-sex ‘marriage’

I completely concur with the comments made by Fr Brendan Purcell in the same article and share his misgivings.

Bearing in mind the foregoing the Irish people should once again reject the Lisbon Treaty and vote NO to protect life and family values.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Windows into the Womb

I have to admit the soundtrack got on my nerves a bit but the footage is really beautiful. h/t Love Undefiled

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

30 days of pure love

Earlier this week, I was shown this beautiful letter published in Ottawa Citizen and I thought I would share it with you in full.

Dear Citizen readers,

A year ago this paper published an article that consisted largely of a letter I wrote to Dr. Margaret Somerville (“The shortest life,” Aug. 5) about carrying my baby to term despite discovering from an ultrasound that he had much fluid on his brain and a severe heart condition; two abnormalities that my husband and I were told would most likely result in a difficult life and an early death.

I signed the letter only as MG but, since then, Dr. Somerville has told me that many people have been wondering how the pregnancy ended. So, I would like to tell you that part of our story, which I lovingly sum up as “A Beautiful Life: 30 Days of Pure Love.”

On the evening of the first day of school last September, my husband and I (both teachers), arrived at our local hospital and were told by our specialist that we would not be heading to work the next day. I was already four centimetres dilated and so our son, who was just shy of 35 weeks gestation, would be delivered that evening. At 11:30 p.m., 4-lbs.-11-oz. Joseph Earl Francis was born via C-section and handed directly to his father, breathing on his own, and heart beating strongly. Barry and I quickly fell even more in love with him.

Over the next six days in hospital, Joseph continued to amaze family and friends with his strength.

He stayed with us constantly in a palliative care room provided by the hospital and was only assessed for vital sign checkups, as healthy babies are. He breastfed well and was the centre of attention for each of his visitors who held and kissed him all hours of the day and night. He wasn’t even bothered by non-stop picture-taking, including beautiful ones, that we treasure, taken by a photographer associated with the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation.

On the Monday following his birth, thanks to the wonderful efforts of the neonatal intensive care unit doctors, outreach co-ordinator, and palliative care doctors and nurses, we were able to take Joseph home to live out the rest of his life and to die peacefully. Once a week, members of a palliative care team visited Joseph, assessed his heart and lungs, and helped us to prepare for his death.

For three weeks at home in Rockport, Joseph continued to astound people with his perfectness and gentleness as he had at the hospital.

His popularity never dwindled and he was held without complaint almost all of his life. He made valiant efforts to nurse and we felt he was fully present with family and friends.

For each day of his life, Joseph entertained no less than two visitors a day, was read to, sang to, and told over and over again that he was the cutest baby in the whole wide world.

On the weekend before his death, Joseph struggled with the pain he must have felt from the worsening of his head condition that caused both the shape of his skull and weight of his head to change. Two days before his death he was given morphine for pain, and though he still seemed somewhat content, it was clear that his time on earth would soon end. At 11:30 a.m. on the first day of October 2008, after being read to and kissed by many of his family members, Joseph went to rest forever in his daddy’s arms.

The 30 days of our son’s life will never be forgotten by our family and the many friends who supported us on our journey. As we continue to be today, we were constantly amazed by the outpouring of love we received from others. We cannot tell you how many people told us they were praying for us, but can tell you that we received hundreds of cards and that Joseph’s Mass of the Angel’s funeral was attended by more people than could fit in the church.

Looking back, we regret nothing. Despite the fact that we knew our son would be seriously disabled and was not going to be the next Einstein or Olympic athlete, we are pleased that we gave him the chance to live and that we loved him the best way we knew how. We feel blessed to have been able to have cared for him alongside such great family members, friends, doctors and medical staff. And, sad as we are to live without him, we feel grateful that he is a saint in Heaven, bearing no pain and feeling ultimate love.

Joseph, despite his very short life, greatly enriched our and many other people’s lives. A friend recently told me that she thinks the small dash on gravestones that indicates the “between” of birth and death can explode with meaning depending on the life attitude one chooses.

Upon reflection, I figure that regardless of the short distance between the dates before and after his dash, Joseph’s dash counts because it signifies love; love to stay living inside my womb, love to meet us; love to fight for his life; and love to die peacefully when it was time. His was a beautiful life … 30 days of pure love that sure did count.


Genevieve Lanigan (Joseph’s mother)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Blood Money

This is the trailer for a new documentary, currently in post-production, which exposes the financial side of the abortion industry. It includes interviews with women who have had abortions and run abortion facilities. The producers are encouraging people to spread the word about the film prior to its release as they are currently looking for a distributor.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Whose Death is it anyway?

Forum on End of Life in Ireland is holding a public meeting on 16 September 2009 at 6:30 pm at the The FitzWilliam Hotel, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin.

The title is: "Whose death is it anyway?"

The Guest Speaker is Dr. Allan Kellehear, Professor of Sociology, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath

In the Chair: Mary Davis, Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia

Theme - 'Death in Contemporary Society: the need for death education'

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Youth Defence Conference

A Pro-Life Youth Conference scheduled for November will feature a line-up of internationally renowned pro-life speakers, including Gianna Jessen, the abortion survivor, and Lila Rose, the student journalist whose undercover work has exposed the worst of Planned Parenthood practices in the US.

The conference, which is being organised by Youth Defence and their student affiliate, Ultrasound, and will be held in Maynooth, is set to attract young people from across the country and promises to live up the standard of YD’s much-praised International Activists’ Conferences.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to confirm booking for an amazing line-up of speakers, including Gianna Jessen, Dr. Tony Levatino a former abortion provider, Lila Rose, Bryan Kemper, and the always-popular John Pridmore, amongst others,” said Rebecca of YD. “We’ve just begun the initial contacts to build attendance and have got an extremely positive reaction so far.”

Rebecca said that YD and Ultrasound felt that the conference was the most appropriate event to motivate, educate and involve young people who had been contacted by pro-life outreaches on campus and through Roadshows. “We need to keep informing and building the next generation of pro-life leaders,” she said. “It’s an area that doesn’t receive enough focus and we’re hoping to change that with this conference.”

The conference will take place in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. It will start Friday 20th November until Saturday 22nd.

Monday, September 7, 2009

SPUC Annual Conference

We reported last week that the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children SPUC (UK) had scheduled their annual conference for last week-end, September 4th to 6th.
The conference was a resounding success with members of International Right to Life IRTL and other international speakers in attendance, who shared on the pro-life fight in countries across the globe.

The presentations included Dr. Talmir Rodrigues a Federal Deputy from Brazil, Francisco and Fenny Tatad who gave an eye-opening account of the ongoing battle in the Philippines, Chiang Lim CEO NSW Right to Life who shared on the battle in Australia. Dr. Jack Willke Life Issues Institute and President of the IRTF, William Saunders VP Americans United for Life and the Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath Life Issues Institute told us about the current state of the battle in the United States and Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition Canada shared on the current Canadian experience.

Excellent posts on the various presentations have been placed on SPUC director, John Smeaton’s BLOG

Black Activist speaks of the Dangers of the Obama Presidency

Veteran Pro-Life Leader gives hope to SPUC supporters

Phillipines people resisting daily assaults from anti life lobby

Cardinal Brady on Embryo Research

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, has recently publicly condemned embryonic stem cell research. During the course of a wide-ranging homily in St. John’s Cathedral in Limerick, the Cardinal said:

‘… Now most people are willing to accept, and most legislators to legislate for the hard ethical choices we need to make to ensure the well-being of creation. However, this willingness is less evident when it comes to safe-guarding other aspects of the integrity and well-being of creation such as:

* respect for human life in all its stages;
* respect for marriage between man and woman as the natural cradle of life, love and formation in society;
* the right of every person to an adequate share in the goods of the earth.

‘When these aspects of our “human ecology” are respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits.

‘This poses a particular challenge for Ireland at this time. The advent of embryonic stem cell research indicates just how attractive a morality of the end justifying the means can be. This same utilitarian approach to morality underlies the present ecological crisis. It is the attitude which says that creation and life are there solely to serve me and my needs and that man is the master of creation rather than its steward. To plunder human life at its genesis, without respect for its inherent dignity reflects the very moral attitude which has put our created world in jeopardy. If we cannot respect our own inherent dignity from the moment of conception, what hope has the rest of creation of receiving our care and respect? If we afford more protection and respect to other forms of life and creation than we do to ourselves, then by any standards we have inverted our moral priorities completely.

‘Pope Benedict has spelt out clearly the impact on the overall moral tenor of society. “If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology.” [Caritas in Veritate]

Friday, September 4, 2009

SPUC Conference

I am just about to leave for the SPUC National Conference. It is a fairly packed schedule, but I will try to post updates during the weekend - internet connections permitting.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

UN Indoctrination of Children

This story chilled me to the bone. The latest UN attempt to indoctrinate children into a warped ideology of sex reads like something out of a futuristic horror story, somewhere between Huxley's Brave New World and Benson's Lord of the World.

According to the article on Mercatornet:

The UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has decided that, “in a world affected by HIV and AIDS”, it is “imperative” to teach children as young as 5 about masturbation as well as “gender roles, stereotypes and gender-based violence”.

By the time they're 9 years old, they'll learn about "positive and negative effects of 'aphrodisiacs," and wrestle with the ideas of "homophobia, transphobia and abuse of power."

At 12, they'll learn the "reasons for" abortions — but they'll already have known about their safety for three years. When they're 15, they'll be exposed to direct "advocacy to promote the right to and access to safe abortion."

This is Soviet-style indoctrination, pure and simple. It is not enough that a minority of western countries have been abusing their children through explicit sex education for years, the United Nations appears to want to inflict an extreme form of sex education onto the world's children. As a UN lobbyist it is my duty, alongside my colleagues, to resist any attempt to harm or corrupt innocent children. The nation states of the world need to give this scheme a resounding NO.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hollywood star's pro-life principles

Jim Caviezel, star of films such as The Passion of the Christ and The Count of Monte Cristo speaks openly about his pro-life views and how he and his wife came to adopt two young children. He was apparently challenged by a pro-abortion friend who said that he would adopt a pro-life position if Caviezel lived up to his pro-life principles and adopted children. To his friend's surprise, he offered a home to Bo and Lele from China and continues to speak openly about the sanctity of life, even if it means risking his career.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ted Kennedy and the Unborn

Dr, Alveda King, who is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the great civil rights defender, has this to say on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy:

‘The Ted Kennedy I want to remember is the man who, before he embraced the pro-abortion cause, was like his dearly departed sister Eunice, who was pro-life. Senator Kennedy once compassionately and consistently fought for civil rights. In 1971, he wrote that every human being, wanted or unwanted, had the right to be born. He later changed his position and supported and even sponsored pro-abortion legislation. There were many tragedies in the Senator’s life, but to me, one of the worst is that he stopped supporting the civil rights of those in the womb.’

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International, writes:

‘We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. … He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today. … Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are labouring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans.’