Thursday, December 31, 2009

Swedish boy taken into state care because of homeschooling

Alliance Defence Fund (ADF) report on a very sad case coming from Sweden with possible implications for every country in which parents decide to home school their children and which is party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
see ADF report

Dominic Johansson is a 7 year old Christian boy educated at home by his parents Christer (Swedish) and Annie (Indian). While home education is legal in Sweden, the ability to do so is limited and the government is seeking to ban it all together. Operatively however, it remains legal making this case all the more startling. The family, partly because of harassment by local education authorities who refused to provide any of the necessary texts to the family to educate Dominic, had decided to move to India to pursue missions work with orphanages.

In June, after the family had boarded the plane to India, Swedish authorities also came on board and took Dominic from the family. Citing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as their authority for the taking, a Swedish court of appeals upheld the state's decision to do so two weeks ago. This treaty has been adopted by over 190 countries and it is tragic to see it being used in this way to break up intact families, pitting childrens rights against their parents.

The State should never usurp a family's right to be the primary educator of a child and nor should it make value judgments about how well a child is being cared for based on that families religious faith.

Further links are attached for reference.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Feast of the Holy Family

Fr Ronan Murphy who is currently on sabbatical from his New Jersey Parish in the US was celebrant of the 10.00am Mass in the Johnstown Cabinteely Parish in the Archdiocese of Dublin on the Feast of the Holy Family.

Fr Ronan’s sermon was refreshingly orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. Sadly this kind of sermon is now a very rare event in churches throughout the Island of Ireland.

I have reported on aspects of the content of the sermon below with relevant quotes

Fr Ronan told the congregation that the key to sanctity is the conformity of will to God’s holy will in everything, in accordance with our state of life. He addressed the young people in the congregation and challenged them to live in obedience to their parents in the same way that Jesus lived in submission to His parents fulfilling the 4th commandment perfectly, “Thou shalt honour your father and mother.”

Addressing married couples, Fr Ronan posed the question,
“are you fulfilling the holy will of God as revealed through the Church with regard to the Sacrament of Marriage, which is to grow in mutual love and to be always open to the procreation of children- meaning no contraception in any shape or form. According to St Augustine, Fr Ronan said ‘God’s will is not simply the begetting of your children, but receiving them lovingly, nourishing them humanely and educating them religiously in the truths of the Catholic Faith and in Christian Values’.”

Fr Ronan went on to say,
“there are many different kinds of Herods in the world today, who are once again seeking to kill the child, not just physically through abortion, but morally and spiritually as well”. He challenged the congregation saying that we need Josephs and Marys to rise up and take their children to a place of refuge where they can grow into men and women in love with Jesus. He told parents that they have been specially chosen to be responsible for their children. Parents he said, “have been given the grace to disciple their children for Jesus in a way no one else can and that the question is not who is best qualified to do the job it is who is best “call-ified”, the one who is called has the grace, they have the anointing from God to do the job. This he said is why the church has always taught that parents are the primary educators and disciplers of their children”.

Parents he said, “
remember you cooperated with God in bringing your children into this world but now you have a greater responsibility, which is to cooperate with God in bringing your children into His world”.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Orissa persecution aftermath

Just eighteen months ago, in July 2008, a severe persecution of Christians took place in Orissa, India. Over 500 Christians were killed, and thousands of others were injured and left homeless after their houses had been destroyed by the attackers. Fr. Sunil De Silva reports from the Archdiocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka- 09.12.2009, an extraordinary event began happening there one year later.

It is reported that herds of wild elephants have moved into villages where the worst of those who persecuted and murdered the Christians live. It seems that smaller elephants from the herds move into the villages – as if to reconnoitre the territory. These elephants then return to the main members of the herds that are waiting in the local forests. Then the herds return to the villages in a rampaging group – but the amazing thing is that they do no harm to the houses and lands of the Christians in the community, and they destroy only the property of the persecutors. Some of the most violent of the persecutors have been killed by the elephants.

Something to think about; when nature itself appears to recognise the difference between right and wrong. This prompts me ask, when will the promoters of abortion and the culture of death recognise the evil of what they are doing and will it take more than a herd of marauding elephants to bring them to understand the need to protect the unborn from the moment of conception?

Historic Christmas message

The ‘Love Undefiled’ blog carries (24 December 2009) a lovely video of the late President Ronald Reagan delivering a Christmas Message from the White House.

During the course of his message, President Reagan says that ‘Christmas means so much because of one special Child’, and that this reminds us that all children are special – gifts from God. This is the true meaning of Christmas, he tells us.

Would that his successor, the present incumbent of the White House, have a change of heart and see how evil are his plans for the killing of unborn children. It is to be hoped that these plans can still be defeated before a new onslaught of the slaughter of innocents

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Irish Constitution, and the frozen embryo case

Donal O'Driscoll of Irish Media Review (IMR) raises major question marks in his press release, over the recent Irish Supreme Court decision the frozen embryos case

The IMR statement is reproduced in full below

Many will look with envy on the Republic of Ireland’s written constitution. Such a constitution is the basic law, and is above the politicians and the lawyers. It is approved by the people in a referendum, and can only be changed by referendum.

However, if parts of a constitution are not to the liking of a government, it can, illegally in my view, ask the courts to "re-interpret" those parts.

Theoretically, one can take a case against the State.

Such a "re-interpretation" has just arisen.
In December 2009, the Irish Supreme Court decided, contrary to the evidence(1), that the referendum of 1983 (which was passed) did not protect human life before implantation.

The Chairman of the leading organisation opposed to the proposed amendment in 1983, Mr Adrian Hardiman (2), is now a judge of the Supreme Court. To add insult to injury, instead of being called as a witness, he participated in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

It seems to me, that it was totally inappropriate that Mr Justice Hardiman should have acted in this way.

As regards the views of the public, the vast majority of submissions to the Government-appointed Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, in 2002/3, and to the Irish Council for Bioethics, supported protecting human life from conception, and said that any form of lethal experiments on embryonic life should be absolutely banned.
The public must have a say in what science is doing.

The people of today are the embryos of yesterday. It is totally unacceptable that those embryos are treated as inanimate raw material for commercially-driven scientific research.
The politicians, who support an industry at the expense of a largely uniformed public, will have to pay a price when the same public becomes aware of what is being done in their name.


1.See, eg, letter in Irish Examiner, 21 December 2009, "Embryo ruling "a betrayal of the Irish people"" , by Kathy Sinnott, (until recently, an MEP)
2.See,eg, page 171 of "The Second Partitioning of Ireland" , 1990, by Tom Heskith.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

US Senate passes Health Care Bill which will fund abortions

The United States Senate today, Christmas Eve 2009, passed Sen. Harry Reid's health care bill. The progress of this bill has been extremely divisive and among other things the bill will fund abortions and deny care for patients.

Wendy Wright President of Concerned Women for America in a press statement said
"Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the Democrats' health care bill and distrust how the Democrats passed it. The bill will fund abortions, deny care for patients, increase premiums, create more bloated and unnecessary government agencies and burden taxpayers with paying off bribes to senators."

Ms Wright continued her statement by contrasting the actions of the senators in funding abortion, the slaughter of innocents with the wonderful gift of God's love for all mankind manifested in the birth of Jesus.

"As if to emphasize their arrogance, Democrat senators passed this monument to their greed for power on Christmas Eve. This gift to themselves at Americans' expense stands in stark contrast to Jesus relinquishing His divine privileges to serve and give to others.

"During this holy season commemorating the humility and love of God Who came to earth as a baby, these senators voted to fund abortion. Jesus healed the sick; this bill will force health providers to deny care to patients. Jesus taught people to be good stewards; this bill will penalize people who have insurance but the government doesn't approve. Jesus treated people of all classes equally; this bill benefits those well-connected to conniving politicians.

The full statement can be accessed on this link

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ireland must not copy Britain's anti-life teenage sex crisis

The Irish Law Reform Commission is proposing that Ireland should copy Britain and allow teenagers, including those under the age of consent, legally to receive contraception. The commission's consultation report on the matter proposes the legal situation in Britain as a model for Ireland. The report also relies upon false claims by the pro-abortion World Health Organisation and the pro-abortion Irish Family Planning Association that access to contraception is good for teenagers's sexual health.

In Britain, allowing teenagers under the age of consent to access confidential sexual so-called health services has led to mobile clinics at schools facilitating access to abortion. The Irish people should note that most birth control drugs and devices may cause early abortions, as the manufacturers themselves admit. Abortion is banned under the Irish Constitution (article 40.3.3). Allowing schoolchildren to be provided with contraception and abortifacients also undermines parental rights and responsibilities. In Britain, secret abortions are arranged without parental knowledge or consent. The role of schools in these secret abortions is contrary to international human rights law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights upholds the right of parents to decide the type of education received by their children. This includes protecting their children from the anti-life propaganda which is a feature of state-mandated sex education.

Parents up and down Ireland must mobilise to respond the Law Reform Commission's consultation, lest Irish teenagers are damaged by the importation of Britain's abortion culture. Responses should be sent, either by email to or by post to 35-39 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, by 31 March.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

L’Osservatore Romano critique of Copenhagen Environmental Summit

On 17 December 2009, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, carried a very critical front-page article concerning the recent Environmental Summit in Copenhagen. The writer says that: ‘Nihilistic thought, with its rejection of any objective truth and values causes serious damage when applied to economics.’ In a reference to the ‘disastrous consequences’ of the argument of Malthus that population growth causes poverty, and the theory that the economy is morally autonomous, he says that such ideas have led to an ‘overly consumerist and materialistic’ mentality –
‘Il pensiero nichilista, con il suo rifiuto di ogni valore e verita oggettivi causa gravissimi danni se applicato in economia. Si pensi alle disastrose conseguenze del pregiudizio malthusiano, secondo il quale la crescita della popolazione provoca poverta.’

The writer goes on to say that when applied to environmental issues nihilism causes even more serious damage, which is leading to the attempt to solve problems relating to climate change, etc., through lowering the birth rate, and de-industrialisation, rather than through the promotion of values that lead the individual to his original dignity –
‘Ora pretende di risolvere i problemi climatici – dove regna molta confusione – attraverso la denatalita e la deinustrializzazzione, anziche attraverso la promozione de valori che riportino l’individuo alla sua dignita originaria.’
‘Fanno quindi bene gli ambientalisti a sollecitare maggiore attenzione per la natura. Ma farebbero meglio a leggere anche la Caritas in veritate. Capirebbero perche – ma soprattutto per chi – l’ambiente si deve rispettare’
– ‘The environmentalists do well to urge greater attention to nature. But they would do better to read also Caritas in veritate. They might understand why – but above all for whom – the environment must be respected.’

[Caritas in Veritate is, of course, the encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI]

[Source: L’Osservatore Romano, and LifeSiteNews for 19 December 2009]

Monday, December 21, 2009

World Peace day message: "If you want to cultivate peace protect Creation"

Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace January 1st. 2010 says,"If you want to cultivate peace protect Creation"

I have selected various quotations from Pope Benedict's message and also inserted links to the entire text in various languages.

Pope Benedict says
"The world proceeds from the free will of God; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, in his intelligence, and in his goodness".

"The harmony between the Creator, mankind and the created world, as described by Sacred Scripture, was disrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve, by man and woman, who wanted to take the place of God and refused to acknowledge that they were his creatures. As a result, the work of "exercising dominion" over the earth, "tilling it and keeping it", was also disrupted, and conflict arose within and between mankind and the rest of creation (cf. Gen 3: 17-19). Human beings let themselves be mastered by selfishness; they misunderstood the meaning of God's command and exploited creation out of a desire to exercise absolute domination over it. But the true meaning of God's original command, as the Book of Genesis clearly shows, was not a simple conferral of authority, but rather a summons to responsibility.[...]"

"Once man, instead of acting as God's co-worker, sets himself up in place of God, he ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature, "which is more tyrannized than governed by him". Man thus has a duty to exercise responsible stewardship over creation, to care for it and to cultivate it."

Pope Benedict says "A greater sense of intergenerational solidarity" is urgently needed and that future generations cannot be saddled with the cost of our use of common environmental resources.
"We have inherited from past generations, and we have benefited from the work of our contemporaries; for this reason we have obligations towards all, and we cannot refuse to interest ourselves in those who will come after us, to enlarge the human family. Universal solidarity represents a benefit as well as a duty. This is a responsibility that present generations have towards those of the future, a responsibility that also concerns individual States and the international community".

Pope Benedict however is clear in his message that caring for nature should never be used to trump the existence of the human race and he points out:
"There exists a certain reciprocity: as we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us. On the other hand, a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church's magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the "dignity" of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms. The Church, for her part, is concerned that the question be approached in a balanced way, with respect for the "grammar" which the Creator has inscribed in his handiwork by giving man the role of a steward and administrator with responsibility over creation, a role which man must certainly not abuse, but also one which he may not abdicate. In the same way, the opposite position, which would absolutize technology and human power, results in a grave assault not only on nature, but also on human dignity itself."

The complete text of Pope Benedict's world peace day message can be accessed in english on the following link

It can also be accessed in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish on the following link

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Civil Unions

At a time when the Irish Government and opposition parties are relentlessly pushing for the legal recognition of homosexual and lesbian unions, and the granting to such unions – through legislation – of ‘rights’ and benefits equal of those presently enjoyed by married couples, many States in the U.S.A. are rejecting Bills that would grant further ‘rights’ to ‘same-sex unions’.

Interestingly in a recent Supreme Court decision in which a sperm donor to a lesbian couple, sought access to his son, Ms Justice Denham found the lesbian couple were not a family under the Constitution of Ireland and said their relationship may not be weighed as such in the balance against the father. In her judgment, Ms Justice Susan Denham found that the sperm donor has rights as a natural father and added that he had formed a bond with the child.

Irish legislators refuse to listen to those who are trying to warn them of the consequences for society, for marriage and the family if they pursue the measures contained in the ‘Civil Partnership Bill 2009’. Instead, they appear to be hell-bent on leading Ireland into the moral and destructive morass in which so many other countries have already found themselves after following a similar path.

We appeal to the Irish Government to drop this proposal now

Friday, December 18, 2009

New radical Spanish abortion law

Despite huge national demonstrations and the labelling of abortion as "Mega Genocide" at a recent pro-life conference, the Spanish Government, to the dismay of life and family organisations, has enacted a new and radical abortion law.

The Spanish Family Forum, Foro de la Familia issued the following statement on the newly approved law

Madrid, 17 December 2009. Today is a day of sadness for Spanish society because the Congress of Deputies, ignoring not only the opinion of more than 2 million Spanish citizens in their recent demonstration in favour of life but also the majority of public opinion as shown in all the recent surveys, has passed the new “Law on Abortion” and imposed the view of a short-term majority to protect the lucrative abortion industry.

The President of Spanish Family Forum, Benigno Blanco,in a statement said:
“The Law which was passed today in the Congress is one of the most radical in the world, because it not only makes the unborn child more vulnerable than ever before, but it also establishes the right to abortion as a part of women’s right to health and puts in place mechanisms to impose this doctrine throughout the Spanish educational and health systems. As far as I know, there is no precedent for a law which, apart from legalizing abortion, imposes the view that abortion is a good thing and forms part of the right to health and life of all women”.

Benigno Blanco further adds:
“this law favours neither women nor the unborn child. It favours exclusively those who make a living out of abortion and those radical minorities who defend gender ideology. It undermines both the trust of children in their parents and the right of parents to educate their children in the sexual and affective values of their choice; it restricts the rights of medical personnel and it leaves pregnant women in a state of total abandonment”.

The passing of this law according to the statement does not mean the end of the abortion debate in Spain; a large number of associations, Spanish Family Forum among them, will continue their fight to make heard the voices of unborn children, women and medical personnel and to defend the right to freedom of education for school children, university students and parents.

The statement also says that the Spanish Family Forum undertakes to continue the struggle to recreate a new culture in favour of life in Spain and will do all in its power to help and protect pregnant girls and women in situations of great difficulty so that they have other options than abortion.

The new law in effect means the following:
a) Total vulnerability of the unborn child during the first 14 weeks of life. These children will have less protection than many flora and fauna.

b) Limit-free abortion and fraudulent application of the law until the 22nd week of pregnancy under cover of “grave danger to the mental health (of the mother)”

c) Abortion for reasons of eugenics or euthanasia until the end of the pregnancy, with no time limit whatsoever.

d) Total abandonment of the pregnant woman in a situation of extreme difficulty in which the law offers only abortion as a way out of her difficulties.

e) Total absence of support measures for the pregnant woman.

f) Vulnerability of minors, who are deprived of the help and support of their parents when faced with a pregnancy. In effect this deprives parents of the custody of their

g) The legalization of an ideology – that which supports the view of sexuality as part of “health and reproductive rights” – which will be imposed on the whole of Spanish society regardless of the ideological and religious pluralism which exists in our society.

h) Violation of the principle of freedom of education and the right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their moral convictions, since gender ideology will be imposed in the educational system from Primary Education upwards as if it were the only possible type of sexual education.

i) Violation of the professional freedom of medical personnel by restricting freedom of conscience in the case of abortion, by making the teaching of abortion techniques compulsory in medical training and by imposing gender ideology and reproductive health rights throughout the public health system.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life are asking that you consider signing the Manhattan Declaration. There are other organisations that are also promoting the Declaration, but as the Sisters make a particular point of highlighting it I thought it a good idea to present their request this week.
The text of the Manhattan Declaration is as follows:

‘A Call of Christian Conscience
‘Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
‘We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

1. The sanctity of human life.
2. The dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3.The rights of conscience and religious liberty

‘Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honouring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’

You will notice the American spelling of some words – this is because the Declaration was initiated in New York, in September of this year, by three U.S. academics. They released the Declaration for signature in November and, to date, more than 287,482 people have signed it. You can find more information about the Declaration and its promoters at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Irish Supreme Court ruling in three embryos case

The Irish Supreme Court on Tuesday Dec. 15th rejected a request by a woman to be implanted with frozen embryos brought into being during IVF treatment. The woman’s estranged husband had refused permission for the implantation. Lawyers for the woman Mary Roche had argued that the embryos were protected by article 40.3.3. of the Irish Constitution. The five judge court upheld the High Court’s findings that the embryos are not the "unborn" within the meaning of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and therefore not entitled to Constitutional protection, saying that the "unborn" referred to a child within the womb and not pre-implanted embryos. The court also ruled that consent was required to proceed with the implantation

Pat Buckley, Ireland spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), in a statement criticised the Supreme court decision and said that the court's interpretation was contrary to international human rights law:

"The judges' interpretation of article 40.3.3 excluding human embryos from protection is wrong. This decision treats human embryos as if they are mere property, when in fact they are equal members of the human family. International human rights law does not exclude human embryos from the equal right to life upheld in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments. There is no genetic difference between an embryo inside or outside the body. The right to life, which is inalienable, does not change according to location.

Although it would be unethical for embryos brought into being outside the body to be implanted, it was the original decision to use IVF, and not the Roches' estrangement, which has created this tragedy in which their children will never be born. Any legislation, therefore, which may be passed following this case should ban IVF. The huge strides that have been made in the treatment of infertility using NAPRO technology will in due course render unnecessary, this illicit and outdated solution to the tragedy of infertility”

Íde Nic Mhathúna in a statement on behalf of Youth Defence said

“[T]he government needs to act to restore the protection to the human embryo which the pro-life majority presumes existed since 1983,” she added that any attempt to use the Roche v Roche judgment to introduce embryo research would be “unacceptable, and would ultimately fail since it would be very strongly opposed.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A,B and C Case V Ireland

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Wednesday heard a case against Ireland brought by two Irish women and a Lithuanian woman, known "A, B and C v. Ireland". All three women, resident in Ireland travelled to the UK for abortions and claim that lack of availability of abortion in Ireland resulted in medical complications, expense and "trauma" for each of them. The women are being supported in the case by the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) and the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR). The significance of the case has been highlighted by the decision to hear it before the Grand Chamber of 17 Judges rather than the usual seven Judge ordinary chamber. Pro-life organisations involved in the case fear that it could have major implications for Irish abortion law. The decision of the court will not be available until next Spring

During the hearing a pro-life prayer vigil organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children was held outside the court in Strasbourg. This was well attended by youth groups inclubing Ireland's Youth Defence

Ireland being a contracting State party to the European Convention on Human Rights was invited to present its case first.

The defence team was lead by Ireland's attorney general, Paul Gallagher who argued that as the Court had recognised in “Open Door” the protection afforded under Irish law to the right to life of the unborn was based on “profound moral values deeply embedded in Irish society”.

Mr Gallagher told the Court that the country’s legal position on abortion had been endorsed in three referendums, as well as being safe-guarded in protocols attached to the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties. He said that the European Convention on Human Rights has recognised over 60 years the diversity of traditions and values of the member states, as well as extending protection to unborn children.

Mr Gallagher also said that the case put forward by the plaintiffs was based on “legal and factual propositions which, when analysed, cannot be supported”. He said the fact that no case involving the three women had not been before a domestic court meant the facts of case had not been established and that many of the facts presented were of an assumed and conditional nature, such as a woman not going to a doctor because she feared treatment would not be available. He told the Court that […] if these issues are to come before this court, it should be on the basis of established facts.”

He also rejected the women’s claims that their rights were violated due to poor provision of post-abortion counselling and medical support. This he said amounted he said to a “significant attack on the Irish system, on the medical treatment available, on the advice available and the support available to people” in crisis pregnancies.

The case against Ireland was presented by Counsel Julie Kay and Carmel Stewart Senior Counsel

Ms Kay told the Court that Ireland's law on abortion was not sufficiently clear and precise, since the Constitutional term 'unborn' was vague and the criminal prohibition on abortion was open to different interpretations.

Ms Kay also told the Court that the lack of any effective remedy in Ireland meant the women had been forced to have their cases heard before the European Court of Human Rights. She said taking a case domestically would have been costly and futile

Referring to the Supreme Court's ruling in the 1992 "X" case, Ms Kay said the Government has failed to produce any legislation for doctors or medical practitioners on this issue. As a result, doctors were not prepared to intervene for fear of losing their medical licences or facing potential life imprisonment if the termination was later found to be unlawful or unnecessary.

Ms Kay in her submissions referenced a Polish case decided by the ECtHR in 2007 known as the Tysiac case in which the Court ruled that Poland had violated the European Convention by denying a woman a so called "therapeutic" abortion that allegedly would have saved her eyesight.
When both sides had made their presentations two member of the panel of Judges tabled questions for the parties. Judge Elisabet Fura from Sweden asked the Irish team if the Irish Government was currently considering any reform either Constitutional or Criminal.

The Irish Judge on the panel Mary Finlay Geoghegan asked a number of questions, the most significant of which were that counsel for the plaintiffs were asked to explain the scope of the right under Article 8 of the Convention as they apply to the facts of the case and the Irish Government team were asked to advise the Court on how it should view the question of domestic remedies under Article 35
The Court at this point rose for a short break after which both parties addressed the questions

In response to the question by Judge Fura as to whether there are currently any planned legal developments, Mr Gallagher confirmed that there are no legislative proposals presently under consideration, but reiterated the different initiatives which the Irish government has taken since 1996 to date including the medical council guidelines and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency guidelines. Mr Gallagher also told the Court that it is quite clear that question of stigma or disapproval should not arise.

A webcast of the entire proceedings of the case can be viewed on this link

Monday, December 14, 2009

Demographic Bomb

One of the ways currently being proposed of reducing global warming and its effects is todecrease human activity and the proposal suggests that the best way to do so is to decrease population. This was seriously proposed by the Chinese government last week during the summit currently taking place in Copenhagen .

The coercive and draconian population control methods of the Chinese are well known and rejected by all right thinking people and yet they are now being proposed as the solution. Sadly we have heard of solutions like this before and even a so called "final solution". World governments must not go down this pathway.

The following trailer for the Demographic Bomb gives another side to the story

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Catholic Families Conference

I have received advance notice of a day conference in Glasgow on 16 January 2010, organised by Catholic Families Scotland

The keynote speaker will be John Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Scottish Bishops' Conference.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dignitas insults Holocaust Victims

Just in case Ludwig Minelli, Europe's very own Dr Death, has not already made his disgraceful attitude to human life too apparent, he has been quoted in The Guardian comparing his patients with Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich. Jon Benjamin, a Jewish representative puts it more succintly than I ever could:

Jewish tradition places the sanctity of life above virtually all other tenets of its theology. We have made this clear to the director of public prosecutions in response to his recent consultation. Whatever the professed intentions of Mr Minelli, his comments suggest that not only does Dignitas not share our reverence for human life, but also has scant respect for the memory of those murdered by the Nazis.

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Lies from Planned Parenthood

Check out this new video exposing the lies Planned Parenthood tells women during counselling sessions. I thought the most outrageous lie was that the baby doesn't have a heartbeat until its capable of moving around. So much for informed choice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A National Disgrace

According to a report in a British newspaper, 250 patients are dying of malnutrition in NHS hospitals every year. Yes, you did read that correctly. Sick people in British hospitals are starving to death. According to the health charity BAPEN, 30% of patients are malnourished, meaning longer recovery times and hospital stays.

The Department of Health's response, as usual, had all the cold, clinical detachment from reality one expects from Government departments. "We are committed to tackling malnutrition."

Yes, of course you are. That is no doubt why 2000 patients have died of malnutrition since 1997.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hospice Friendly Hospitals

The Irish Hospice Foundation ‘Hospice Friendly Hospitals’ programme is seeking ‘expressions of interest’ from hospitals in Ireland for supports to assist them to participate in Phase 2 of their programme. The initiative was launched in May 2007, and it has been ongoing since that time – with the four key themes being Integrated Care, Communication, Design and Dignity and Patient Autonomy.

Quality Standards for End-of-Life Care in Hospitals will be launched in March 2010, and the final report of the National Audit of End-of-Life Care in Hospitals will be launched in May 2010.

The Forum on End of Life in Ireland, launched in March 2009, will draw to a close next year also.(See blogs for 20 March, 22 June, 30 June, 9 September, 5 October 2009.)

Meanwhile, the December (or Winter) issue of the Jesuit journal, Studies, is devoted to the theme of ‘Dying, Death and Bereavement’, and carries an interesting and varied number of articles related to end of life care in Ireland.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Adult Stem Cell Website

My attention has been drawn to this website which aims to educate the public about the potential of adult stem cells and the many treatments already available.

It looks like a valuable resource for anyone interested in ethical stem cell therapies, particularly those who are involved in debating on this subject.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Letter to an Unborn Child

On 5 December 2009, the London Independent newspaper carried a full-page advertisement seeking donations to the Bhopal Medical Appeal*. Nothing extraordinary about such an ad, you might say. However, what is unusual about it is the fact that it takes the form of a ‘Letter to an unborn child’ (in large type across the top of the page). I won’t give the entire text of the letter, but here is a short extract:

Dear child as yet unborn, I am your mother. I have not yet seen your face, or held you, but I can feel you alive in me, stretching, kicking, impatient to be out in the world. I pray it will treat you kindly. My darling child, I am sick and despite all that the doctors can do, I will not live long after you are born. … I write this so that you will know that I love you with all my heart and always will, even after I am gone, I will love you until the end of time itself.

Child, I pray that you will not be born sick. So many babies in this Bhopal of ours are born with twisted limbs or a damaged brain, and no one knows whose child will be next. If you are one of those suffering ones, please forgive me. We cannot kill the children in our wombs just in case they are damaged. But if, as I pray, you are born whole, with all your senses, and grow up to be a fine tall man, or a lovely woman, then you must look after the others, who were not so lucky as you.

*Bhopal is the town in India where a deadly gas explosion in a chemical factory in 1984 caused death and disfigurement to thousands of the local people. The effects of the explosion are still present, even in children born today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Abortion Lobby and their Menopausal Militia

Thanks to Standing on My Head for the link to this article about the changing demographics in the US abortion debate. With a new generation of pro-life activists emerging, the 'menopausal militia' of the abortion lobby are getting a little depressed. The article is written by a supporter of abortion but it makes some interesting points about why there has been such a change of heart in the US over abortion and why more and more young people are identifying themselves as pro-life.

Generally, science is the friend of progressive political causes. Not this one. As fetal ultrasound technology improved during the nineties, abortion providers, conditioned to reassure patients that the fetus was merely tissue, found it much harder to do so once their patients were staring at images that looked so lifelike.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Smoke, Die and Save the Planet

I was pleasantly astonished to read this attack on UNFPA's green extremism in no less than the Wall Street Journal, a periodical not known for its strong pro-life principles. The WSJ rightly condemns the ludicrous attitudes of anti-life organisations like UNFPA, which view human life as a destructive disease which needs to be culled. As the author rightly suggests, if these people honestly take such a negative attitude to the human race, children ought to be encouraged to take up smoking as young as possible so as to rid the world of their troublesome presence as early as possible. "Smoke, die and save the planet - now there's a credo for the folks in the anti-population lobby."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why should abortion be rare?

Pastor Rick Warren asks the million dollar question in a blog post in Politico, "why should abortion be rare?"

It is still fairly common for pro-abortion politicians to try to appear moderate by saying that they 'don't like abortion' and that 'we all want to see fewer abortions' but as Rick Warren asks, if there is nothing wrong with abortion, if it does not involve the killing of a human being, then why should it be rare? If, however, we are talking about a human life, how can it be legally permitted at all?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A, B and C, v Ireland: Can you be in Strasbourg on Dec 9th. ?

The hearing of the A, B and C case the latest and most serious threat so far to Ireland’s pro-life laws comes before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Thursday Dec. 9th 2009. The hearing is scheduled to commence at 9.30 am. A peaceful pro-life prayer vigil will be held outside the Court during the hearing.

The case involves three anonymous women two of whom are Irish and a Latvian woman resident in Ireland, supported by the Irish Family Planning Association IFPA who have challenged Ireland’ pro-life laws claiming their health and wellbeing were undermined because they had to travel abroad for abortion. The IFPA is part of the International Planned Parenthood network (IPPF) one of the largest abortion providers in the world. The Case is also supported by the Centre for Reproductive Rights the arm of the international abortion movement which specialises in challenging national laws in order to expand access to abortion with the aim of establishing it as a human right.

A number of interventions have been made by pro-life organisations. Former Irish MEP Kathy Sinnott represented by the European Centre for Law and Justice, together with the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and the US Family Research Council, jointly lodged an amicus brief upholding the right to life of the unborn.

If you can be in Strasbourg on Dec.9th please contact me at or

Liam Gibson at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Iona Conference

The Iona Institute is hosting a conference entitled ‘Making Babies: Towards a child-centred view of Assisted Human Reproduction’, at Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin, from 2 pm to 4.30 pm on Saturday, 5 December. Speakers will include Dr. John Murray, who lectures in moral theology at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin, and Dr. Joanna Rose, who is a leading campaigner for the rights of donor-conceived children and adults and is herself donor-conceived.

Booking a place at the conference is recommended.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Terri Schindler Foundation on USCCB

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation reports (18 November 2009) that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, by overwhelmingly approving a revision to the directives that guide Catholic health care facilities on the moral responsibility to feed and hydrate those persons labelled to be in a ‘vegetative’ state, ‘has affirmed the Catholic Church’s two thousand year old teaching that all human life is sacred and deserving of our care, no matter its condition. … Catholic health care directives were written long before Pope John Paul II’s March 2004 address on “Life-Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State”. In this 2004 address, Pope John Paul II made clear that even persons severely injured, compromised or otherwise limited in his or her abilities, still retain their “fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care.” The Pope also stated that, “the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act.”’

The recent reports about the Belgian man who appeared to be in a ‘vegetative state’ for 23 years, but who has now been proven to have been aware of his surroundings during that time, should give us all – and particularly medical and legal personnel – cause to think very seriously on these matters.