Friday, July 30, 2010

New Head of the Pontifical Academy for Life is outspoken in defence of life

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the recently appointed president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life has already made a significant impact on pro-life issues. First in an interview with Zenit identified protection of the human embryo as a socio-political and ideological problem rather than a scientific one.
In a second interview Monsignor Carrasco , criticized Spain’s Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, for pushing through the country’s new abortion legislation asserting that the new Spanish law on abortion is "an expression of the incapacity to understand what a right is. The problem is serious, not only in Spain".

When asked by the Zenit interviewer "How can the embryo be defended from the scientific point of view?" Monsignor Carrasco replied:
"The problem is not scientific. The embryo is very well defended from that point of view. The problem is essentially of a socio-political and ideological nature and here scientific arguments don't count. It is a realm in which what counts is power and if the one who has power has no desire to dialogue or, at least to reflect somewhat, then he doesn't have much to do with other guidelines."
According to John Smeaton in his BLOG this is fighting talk and it's good to hear. Monsignor Carrasco goes on to challenge politicians and political lobbyists to be tougher in their defence of the unborn:
" ... in the end what remains is the political weapon and the political weapon that we citizens have today is weak. Those who know politics can do much more and that is their very grave responsibility. Speaking in soccer language, lets say it's that they have the ball."

Monsignor Carrasco ridicules the concept of the right to abortion, saying:
"I don't know when we will arrive at the right to steal but behind these laws what exists is a relativistic logic"
And the new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life boldly suggests that defenders of the unborn should change the language of the debate. In a poignant passage in the Zenit interview he says:
"One of the problems we have with regard to the embryo is that it isn't seen. Instead of embryo we should speak of a child who is in the initial phase of development. Because we cannot see him, he is in a situation of tremendous danger, at tremendous risk."

In the second interview with Il Consultente Re, an Italian Catholic see Catholic News agency report monthly Msgr. Carrasco described the legislation recently passed in Spain under the administration of President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as "senseless, absolutely senseless" and added that "it corresponds to Zapatero's mentality.

"He has a fixed idea, the question of rights," the monsignor asserted. "Everything presented to him as a right, he promotes; but he's uncapable of understanding what a right is."

The head of the Academy for Life noted that the law has not yet been enacted, despite the Spanish government's vote to pass it into law. The law is now being examined as to its constitutionality by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

"The point," said Msgr. Carrasco, "is that the new law understands abortion as a right: if it is, a woman can decide to do what she wants, without consulting or explaining her choice to anyone.

"The new law, I repeat, is an expression of the incapacity to understand what a right is. The problem is serious, not only in Spain."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reflection on Civil Partnership issues

I referred last week to the ‘Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2009’, and the fact that the President of Ireland has now signed this Bill into law as the ‘Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010’. Having been rushed through the Dáil (lower house of parliament) without a vote, and having been voted through the Seanad (upper house of parliament) with just four Senators voting against it, following the guillotining of the debate on it, the Bill was passed to the President of Ireland on 14 July 2010. To her eternal shame, Mrs. Mary McAleese, as President of Ireland, signed into law the ‘Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010’ on the morning of 19 July 2010.

When she took office as President, Mrs. McAleese publicly declared that in the presence of Almighty God she solemnly and sincerely promised that she would ‘maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws’, and promised that
‘I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland.’
She then called on God to ‘direct and sustain’ her.
Mrs. McAleese has now reneged on the promises that she made on the occasion of her inauguration as president of Ireland. The Constitution of Ireland declares that:
‘The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.
‘The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State. …
‘The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack.’

These statements are a fundamental part of the Constitution that Mrs. McAleese promised to uphold.

The ‘Civil Partnership … Act 2010’ recognises homosexual and lesbian unions as marriages – in all but name, and it is a direct attack on marriage, the family and society. Tax provisions, pension rights, property rights, etc., etc., are to be equally applicable to homosexual and lesbian couples as to a married couple. The term ‘marital status’ is to be replaced by the term ‘civil status’ in all previous relevant legislation, and ‘civil status’ is also used in the new Act, thus implying that the two states are of equal value and merit. However, the homosexual agenda is not fully satisfied by the terms of the Act, and already these people are lobbying for their unions to be legally recognised as ‘marriage’. Christian denominations (the Catholic Church, in particular) are deemed to be backward and discriminatory in not recognising same-sex unions as being quite normal. Some public figures have in fact expressed their hope that Christian denominations might change their antiquated views and row in with the newly triumphant homosexual agenda.
The Irish Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern, is so delighted with himself at having overseen the passage of this appalling Act into law that he has declared that:
‘This is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence. … This Act provides enhanced rights and protections for many thousands of Irish men and women. Ireland will be a better place for its enactment. This new law provides, for the first time, legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland. It is of tremendous social significance, for the couples who can now register as partners, for their friends and families – ultimately, for all of us.’
How dare you, Mr. Ahern, speak thus for the vast majority of decent, ordinary, normal people of Ireland?

Irish law now recognises, encourages and rewards the practice of homosexuality, and the acceptance of sex outside marriage.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Eggsploitation" Dirty Secrets of IVF Industry

A press release by Concerned Women for America highlights a new documentary on the IVF industry, "Eggsploitation," just released by The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBCN).

The documentary reveals shocking secrets of the infertility industry and exposes the "deceptive advertising, large monetary incentives and appeals to altruism" that are used by the infertility industry to entice college women to engage in human egg donation, a practice that the CBCN claims exploits them and puts them at "considerable" health risk.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute in the press release applauds CBCN for exposing the infertility industry's blatant exploitation of women. She said,
"Today's college coeds are told that the procedure is safe, when the reality is decidedly unsafe. No young woman should be used in procedures that jeopardize her own fertility -- indeed her own life -- in order to line the pockets of those who promote the infertility industry's human egg trade." 

The Eggsploitation documentary spotlights three women who went through the egg donation process -- including high doses of fertility drugs and egg retrieval surgery. The young women's stories, according to CBCN, are a "wake-up call" for those who are unaware of the complications that can result from the "highly unregulated, multi-billion-dollar" infertility industry. All three of the women in the documentary nearly died from the "complications associated with their egg donation." One suffered a stroke that left her brain damaged; another developed breast cancer, and the other developed a health problem associated with ovarian hyper-stimulation. 

Crouse continued, "The human egg donation industry is shameless in claiming safety for the procedure as they solicit young college women through appeals to their vanity, claiming that the girls' attractiveness, IQ, or genetic traits warrant a high payment for participation in what they call a 'humanitarian' act. CWA appeals to the public to protect the nation's young women from such exploitation."

While the documentary is available now, its official debut will be August 9 at The Little Theatre in Rochester, N.Y.
For further information, visit

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ireland has highest birth rate and lowest death rate in Europe

The Irish Times reports 27th July that the recently released Eurostat statistics for 2009 show that Ireland had the highest birthrate in the EU in 2009 at 16.8 children born per 1,000 inhabitants , compared to an EU average of 10.7 children per 1,000 population. Britain, which had the second highest EU birthrate, was at 12.8 children per 1,000 people.

Interestingly Ireland also had the lowest death rate at 6.6 per 1,000 inhabitants, as against an EU average of 9.7. The highest death rates in the European Union were recorded in Bulgaria, Latvia, Hungary and Lithuania.

The highest natural growth of the population was in Ireland at 10.2 per 1,000 people, well ahead of Cyprus on 5.5, France at 4.3 and Luxembourg at 4. The highest natural growth of the population was in Ireland at 10.2 per 1,000 people.

Sadly because of the economic crisis Ireland also recorded the highest net outflow of population at 9 per 1,000 inhabitants, almost twice that of Lithuania, which recorded the second highest net outflow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brave Scottish Bishop says Catholic Church will never register Civil Partnerships

John Smeaton, in a recent blog tells us about a brave and outspoken bishop in Scotland.

Mr. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, speaking at a reception in his London residence to celebrate achievements of homosexuals there, said that he hoped to be able to provide for religious ceremonies for same-sex unions. Mr. Cameron claimed that
‘as someone who believes in marriage, who believes in civil partnership, who believes in commitment’ such ceremonies ‘should be able to happen and we should make that happen.’

This is remarkably similar language to that used by the Irish Minister for Justice in relation to the enactment of legislation recognising homosexual and lesbian unions in Ireland recently. I wonder how it is that they have both become so determined to champion same sex relationships at the expense of the family when it is clearly contrary to natural law based human rights

However there are some brave and fearless witnesses in Scotland who are prepared to stand up for the truth, Bishop Philip Tartaglia, who is Bishop of Paisley, has written to Mr. Cameron as follows:
‘Your statement is vague enough to have more than one outcome in practice. But you and your Government need to be aware from the outset that the Catholic Church will not register civil partnerships nor celebrate same-sex unions: not now, not in the future, not ever, no matter what legislation or regulations your Government enacts or endorses'.

How necessary are such fighting words! Mr. Smeaton suggests that we should write to Bishop Tartaglia to thank him for his timely admonition. Here is the Bishop’s email address

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Irish Constitution under new and sustained attack

Three separate stories appeared during the week touching Irish constitutional and related issues.First we had confirmation that President McAleese in union with the rest of our current crop of unprincipled Irish politicians signed the controversial Civil Partnership Bill into law, despite many appeals to either refer the issue to the Supreme Court or resign rather than sign.

Sadly the Ireland I have known, the island of my birth is currently following the dictates of the European masters and jettisoning the Catholic faith on which our nation is founded. Even worse it is happening without the majority of Irish citizens even being aware of it

Second we had a story about Health Minister Mary Harney who it is reported is ruling out another referendum on abortion. Harney it appears made the comments on Friday at the launch of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency's annual report for 2009, which revealed that the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics dropped by a third between 2001 and 2009 to almost 4,500 Minister Harney is reported to have said she can't see another abortion referendum happening for some time yet. see report

The third story relates to one of Ireland's less illustrious politicians Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik who has called for the Ireland to adopt a secular constitution at the AGM of Atheist Ireland last weekend. Senator Bacik told the meeting that there was now an appetite for constitutional reform in Ireland now that it is no longer dominated by Catholicism.

The fundamental rights elements of the Constitution, regarding the role of mothers in the home, rights of the father, protection of children and church involvement in education, should no longer be inspired by religious doctrine, she added.
Ms Bacik, herself an atheist, said there was a good deal of support among members of the Oireachtas (parliament) to separate the church from the state and that, even though many might not publicly admit it, there were a number of atheists among the parliamentary ranks.

Atheist Ireland according to a report has this year decided to campaign for the removal of religious oaths from the courts. It said witnesses could now ask to take a secular oath but that this could cause a jury to take a prejudiced view of them.

The group will also campaign for the removal of religious symbols from schools and hospitals, and for an education system in which children of non-religious people are not indoctrinated in religious teachings in school. It will also oppose the Oireachtas starting each day with a prayer asking God to guide the work of parliamentarians.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mothers and Children are the Focus at African Union Summit

As the 15th African Union Summit gets underway in Kampala,Uganda this week, it is critical for leaders to remain focused on the theme of the Summit: Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa. This week's meetings can bear much fruit for the women and children of Africa as long as the proceedings do not get side-tracked into a push for legalized abortion. (Scott Fischbach of MCCL Global Outreach reports)

Some prior Continental meetings have been hijacked by those who have an agenda to legalize abortion throughout Africa. These calls for outright legalized abortion, coming via documents like CARMMA or MPOA, ought to be resoundingly rejected by African leaders. References to abortion and “reproductive health services,” ought to be stripped from all Summit documents, and the focus should remain on the well-being of the women and children in the Union.

Leading experts in the field of maternal mortality are fast coming to the same conclusion: adequate health care, not legalized abortion, will reduce the incidence of maternal mortality. Globally, countries with some of the lowest maternal death rates also do not have legalized abortion -- countries like Malta, Nicaragua, Poland and Ireland. Interestingly, in New York City, New York , USA, the maternal mortality rates are now increasing, even though abortion has been legal and easily available with more than 120,000 abortions per year there since 1970.

The people of Africa are its greatest resource. The children of Africa are its greatest hope. This historic Summit ought to be a time to harmonize positive efforts to lift all mothers and babies in life.

Recent international activity on issues relating to maternal mortality and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations have steered clear of the abortion issue. The G 8 meeting in Canada as well as the G 20 meeting both specifically did not take any action or make any statements regarding abortion while promising billions in U.S. dollars to aid Africa. Melinda Gates from the Gates Foundation promised an additional $1.5 billion in aid on maternal mortality, and when asked about abortion she stated very emphatically that she would not get into the matter and the funds would not be used to pay for abortions.

Clean water, clean blood supplies, trained health care workers, emergency obstetric care and adequate health care facilities will dramatically reduce maternal mortality rates in Africa. Legalizing abortion will not. It will only increase the number of abortions and maternal deaths. Leaders of the AU should remain focused this week on life-affirming results for the women and children of Africa.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pelosi award from world's largest abortion provider

It has been announced that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S., who describes herself as a ‘devout Roman Catholic’, is to receive an ‘award’ from Planned Parenthood – which is probably the biggest provider and supporter of abortion in the entire world.

The National Director of American Life League’s STOPP Planned Parenthood project, has said:
‘The award is Planned Parenthood’s way of saying thank you for elevating the abortion machine that is Planned Parenthood to a level of government funding never before imagined, through the passage of the government health care takeover pushed so relentlessly by Pelosi. And she did it all while mocking God, claiming to be a devout Roman Catholic. Pelosi’s final award will await her at the end of her life, when the blood of millions of innocent babies will rise up from the ground to testify against her.’

As LifeSiteNews puts it, the Planned Parenthood award is being made to Speaker Pelosi
‘in recognition of her efforts in passing the federal health care legislation, and in particular for her help in ensuring that the Stupak abortion funding ban was not inserted in the bill. …In a statement, PP lauds Pelosi for having been “instrumental” in the passage of the federal health care bill, which was strenuously opposed by every major pro-life organization in the U.S., as well as the U.S. Catholic bishops, because of its abortion mandate. … Ironically, at the very height of the health care debate, even as the U.S. bishops were stepping up their efforts against the bill and its abortion funding, Pelosi publicly invoked one of the most prominent Catholic saints – St. Joseph, who is also revered by Catholics as “patron” of the unborn – to help pass the health care bill.’

Speaker Pelosi is a faithful follower of her master, President Barack Obama who is one of the most powerful proponents of abortion in the world.

I reported recently on an interview with Archbishop Raymond Burke and his words are particularly relevant here, when asked by an interviewer to comment on the fact that some of our politicians say that they leave their faith in the Church and do not allow it to affect their role as legislators. What do you say to a politician like this? Can they be Catholic and behave in this way?’ to which Archbishop Burke replied
‘No, it is not possible. How can you? Our faith is such that it informs every aspect of our life, we cannot bracket off some aspect of our life from the faith. … [W]hen we are talking, [...] about the natural moral law and, while it is certainly part of Catholic teaching it binds all persons. … You cannot be a devout Catholic and espouse these positions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pro-life concern at new appointments to Irish Supreme Court

Pro- Life groups in Ireland have expressed both dismay and deep concern at the new shape of the Irish Supreme Court given the recent nomination of High Court judge Justice Liam McKechnie, to the Court, to replace Justice Hugh Hugh Geoghegan, who retired recently.

The Irish government decision to nominate Judge McKechnie to the Supreme Court is particularly worrying in light of the appointment of barrister Dónal Ó Donnell straight from the Irish Bar to the Court, given that O'Donnell argued against recognising the right to life of an anecephalic child in the “D” case in 2007. Barristers argued in that case that Baby “D” deserved no legal protection because his/her condition meant he/she was not an "unborn person".

Pro-life concerns stem from the fact that Judge McKechnie’s ruling in the same case, the “D” case was highly controversial. In particular his description of the baby at the centre of the “D” case as “an aberration of nature” was widely condemned at the time by pro-life groups and disability groups.

Pro-life dismay in respect of the most recent Supreme Court nominees relates in particular to the fact that the well-funded abortion industry has a long history of using the courts in their attempts to overturn pro-life laws,
see also Youth Defence article

Monday, July 19, 2010

Archbishop Burke interview: Politicians cannot be Catholic and espouse positions contrary to the natural moral law

A short while ago I wrote about the visit to Ireland by Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

The Catholic Voice newspaper has published the text of an interview with Archbishop Burke while he was in Ireland. When the interviewer asked him about the role of bishops, and how we should be helping our bishops, the Archbishop stressed that matters of concern to the laity should be brought to the attention of their bishops.
‘For example’, he said, ‘in the United States we have many politicians who openly profess to be Catholic but at the same time support legislation which provides abortion and extends to the violation of the integrity of marriage, that is, which gives recognition to same sex unions. The general population see that these Catholics are supporting this kind of legislation to the same degree that others are and a scandal then sets in because people can then think that the Church has changed her teaching with regard to abortion or same sex unions. I think that the faithful rightly bring this to the attention of their bishop and ask how are we going to wage the battle if our own fellow Catholics who are in positions of highest leadership in the country are betraying that teaching on a regular basis.’

The Archbishop had strong words to say about Catholic politicians who separate their faith from their work as legislators. The interviewer asked him:
‘ … the example you give is also relevant to Ireland, since some of our politicians say that they leave their faith in the Church and do not allow it to affect their role as legislators. What do you say to a politician like this? Can they be Catholic and behave in this way?’

To which the Archbishop replied:
‘No, it is not possible. How can you? Our faith is such that it informs every aspect of our life, we cannot bracket off some aspect of our life from the faith. … [W]hen we are talking, for instance, about civil unions then we are talking about the natural moral law and, while it is certainly part of Catholic teaching it binds all persons. … You cannot be a devout Catholic and espouse these positions. Through witness given by conversation in social settings, in the family and so forth, then people begin to understand the true meaning of the Catholic faith. They do have an obligation to use all appropriate means to call that Minister to account.’

Saturday, July 17, 2010

U.S. Taxpayer Funding Kenyan Referendum to the tune of $23 Million

U.S. taxpayers are now footing the bill to push a new constitution in Kenya to the tune of $23 million, far above previous estimates, according to a Christian Newswire press release on behalf of Congressman Chris Smith

The Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Donald Gambatesa, has provided information that the US Government is spending over $23 million for activities in Kenya to influence the voter to pass a highly contentious constitution which includes overturning Kenyan's current life of the mother only restriction on abortion.

As part of ongoing discussions with the IG's office, Rep. Chris Smith, Ranking Member of the Africa and Global Health Subcommittee, and other key U.S. lawmakers recently received a chart listing recipients of USAID-funded activities related to the proposed constitution and a summary of their agreements. Previous estimates had indicated that $2 million was being spent, then that was updated to $11 million and now the figure identified by the IG's office exceeds $23 million.

"The Obama Administration should not be spending $23 million in American tax dollars on the specific 'Yes' campaign, pushing a determined outcome on the proposed constitution in Kenya,"
Smith said.
"The U.S. government can be supportive of the process, helping to secure a free and fair referendum. But we must respect the Kenyan people and let them decide for themselves. U.S. dollars should not be used to tell the Kenyan people how to vote."

In addition to information that the Obama Administration is funding the "Yes" campaign in Kenya, (link to a list of organizations paid with U.S. funding to support the new constitution), the chart reinforces concern that the US is financially supporting groups and activities that are advocating for abortion in the context of the draft constitution.

Smith said the IG's list shows that
"U.S. tax dollar monies are flying out the door to pro-abortion groups committed to overturning pro-life laws in Kenya."
He pointed to the Kenyan Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya), which as a member of the Kenyan Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (RHRA), is committed to increasing the availability of abortion and the decriminalization of abortion in the country. FIDA-Kenya helped to draft controversial legislation and launched a campaign in 2008 to liberalize Kenya's abortion law. Under the U.S. law, such actions should make FIDA-Kenya and similar organizations ineligible for civic education assistance related to the draft constitution.

The list includes the following:

The Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review in Kenya, which drafted the abortion-related provisions in the proposed constitution, received over $180,000 of US taxpayer monies for office equipment and networking capability. The Committee rejected the life of the mother only exception to abortion inserted into the draft constitution by a Parliamentary committee, and added a "health" exception to abortion. It is commonly known that health exceptions to abortion often lead to abortion on demand owing to the broad definition of health that includes socio-economic reasons as exemplified in the US Supreme Court decision on abortion in 1973.

The Kenyan Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) is a member of the Kenyan Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (RHRA), which is supported by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). According to the PPFA website, the RHRA's activities include "drafting reproductive health provisions for the revised constitution." PPFA's work in Kenya includes "increasing the availability of affordable safe abortion services and supporting advocates to decriminalize abortion in the country." FIDA-Kenya helped to draft controversial legislation and launched a campaign in 2008 to liberalize Kenya's abortion law. It is receiving assistance not only from PPFA through the RHRA, but also $85,363 from USAID for advocacy activities related to the draft constitution.

FIDA-Kenya together with two other USAID funding recipients were facilitators at a "National Women Constitution Conference" held on April 30- during the USAID grant period for each organization. The conference agenda included "demystifying" the "contentious issue" of abortion.

The African Woman and Child Features Service, a media non-governmental organization ("NGO") that seeks to increase media coverage about abortion and "comprehensive reproductive health rights" in Kenya, is receiving nearly $157,000 for constitution-related activities, including "advocacy and lobbying meetings with reform bodies at national level."

Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), which is receiving almost $3 million as a primary grant recipient, advised USAID in 2000 that USAID/Kenya would benefit by supporting civil society organizations that are advocating for "efforts to eventually legalize abortion in Kenya." While acknowledging that such activity would be "politically sensitive," DAI suggested that USAID might support local advocacy groups in their efforts as part of USAID's democracy and governance strategic objectives component that supports civic society organizations.

Smith stressed that the US can and should be supportive of "a fair, free and non-violent" process and civic education, but not work for a specific outcome. Despite US Embassy claims to the contrary, U.S. taxpayers are paying to promote passage of a foreign referendum which is viewed by many in Kenya as interference and meddling in a sovereign Kenyan matter.

Smith said that one of the most controversial items in the proposed constitution is a provision that would in effect overturn Kenya's long-existing laws outlawing abortion.

"We should be embracing the health and welfare of both mothers and children in African while respecting sovereign prolife laws. Instead, the Obama Administration is trying to change Kenya's existing restriction on abortion through the referendum. Such actions constitute a violation of U.S. law and is an affront to both the pro-life people of Kenya and the US, an overwhelming majority of whom do not support abortion, and in the case of the US-do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortion activities,"
Smith added.

In a May letter to the IGs at the State Department and USAID, Smith, and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Darrell Issa (CA-49), the Ranking Member on the House Oversight Committee, called for investigations into potentially illegal funding to promote the proposed pro-abortion Kenyan constitution. Such promotion would violate a statutory restriction that no USAID and State Department funds "may be used to lobby for or against abortion."

To: National & International Desks
Contact: Jeff Sagnip, Public Policy Director, Congressman Chris Smith,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Spanish Family Forum calls the decision of the Constitutional Court an “immense error”

The Spanish Family Forum is highly critical of the Spanish Constitutional Court for deciding not to suspend the new law on abortion calling the decision "An immense error." The Constitutional Court they say shows reprehensible indifference to the good at stake: the lives of unborn children.

The Forum has issued the following press release.
Madrid, 14 July 2010. By voting not to suspend the new Law on Abortion as a precautionary measure, the Constitutional Court shows reprehensible indifference to the good at stake: the life of unborn children who, together with the women who are victims of abortion, are totally defenseless under the terms of the new law. No formal or legal argument is sufficient to allow a fundamental right to be ignored given the serious doubts about the unconstitutional nature of the new law. The fact that four of the Constitutional Court judges expressed their reserve indicates that it is possible to interpret the law in a way which would avoid the irreparable damage the new Law will produce while the Constitutional Court reaches a decision.

The President of Spanish Family Forum, Benigno Blanco, points out:”A very large number of Spanish people simply cannot understand the indifference which this decision of the Constitutional Court shows towards the grave damage which will be caused by the application of a law which we believe violates rights guaranteed by our Constitution. The fact that a majority of Judges voted against temporarily suspending the law shows that something is seriously wrong with our constitutional system in respect of the defense of fundamental rights. As was indicated in the appeal lodged by the People’s Party, if a circumstantial majority in Parliament approved a law allowing capital punishment, this doctrine would mean that the Constitutional Court would allow the law to be applied and people be executed while reaching a decision on whether the new law was constitutional or not”.

“After this immense error by the Constitutional Court, - Benigno Blanco continues – all that can be done is to demand the utmost urgency in the hearing of the appeal so that the unconstitutional nature of the law be declared in the shortest time possible and the damaged caused be reduced to the minimum”.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Revolutionary treatment for osteoarthritis using adult stem cells

A revolutionary therapy for osteoarthritis based on the use adult stem cells is to be tested on patients for the first time. See Irish Independent report.
Osteoarthritis affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is caused by wear-and-tear to the surface of joints, leading to stiffness and pain. In severe cases, the joints have to be replaced with artificial implants.

Once again we see that progress in the development of new treatments comes with the research and development of adult stem cells not embryonic ones.

The trial, which will take place in Britain, will have a one-year duration and could be the first step towards new treatments that will avoid the need for joint replacement surgery and pain-relieving drugs.

The therapy involves mixing adult stem cells extracted from the patients own bone marrow, with young cartilage cells known as chondrocytes and then injecting them into the joints to patch them up.

Up to 70 people with knee osteoarthritis will take part in the study funded by the charity Arthritis Research UK and which will take place at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Shropshire, before the end of this year.

The trial is experimental but if it is successful it will revolutionise the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis by replacing it with a new combination therapy, which could be widely available in less than five years.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SPUC Welcomes withdrawal of flawed abortion guidance in Northern Ireland

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children have issued a statement welcoming the withdrawal of the flawed guidance on abortion issued by Northern Ireland's health department.

In a letter to Mr Jim Wells, chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly's health committee, the department has announced that it has withdrawn its interim guidance on abortion. The department also announced that it was launching a public consultation on the guidance.

Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland told the media:
"We are very pleased that the health minister has withdrawn the interim guidance. This was the aim of the SPUC's application for a judicial review, due to be heard in September. The health minister has done the sensible thing by withdrawing the guidance. Otherwise he would have been ordered by the courts for a second time to withdraw it.

"When we challenged the original guidance in the High Court last year, the judge rejected a request from the department that it should be allowed to withdraw only the sections on counselling and conscientious objection. Health officials simply ignored this ruling. They quickly re-published the guidance with those sections left out. Otherwise the document was unchanged.

"Both the information given to women and the rights of medical personnel are central to clinical practice. We believe that any guidance which says nothing about these issues is fundamentally flawed, and should never have been published. The department finally seems to have accepted that.

"Until now, the health department has acted in a high-handed and belligerent manner regarding the guidance. The department appeared determined to pursue its own agenda, rather than apply the law. We will be working closely with pro-life members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and its health committee to ensure that the department's consultation does not result in the rights of women, unborn children or the medical profession being undermined."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Senator Eoghan Harris challenges those in opposition to Civil Partnership bill to become martyrs

Senator Eoghan Harris writing in the Sunday Independent gloats over the passing of the Civil Partnership Bill and makes particularly offensive remarks about the integrity of those who opposed the measure and about the teachings of Jesus and his disciples.

SPUC Director John Smeaton gives Harris his answer in a BLOG post on the issue. Set out below is an extract from the text of the Harris article and John Smeaton's response

Extract from Harris article
But as the day went on some of the speeches by opponents of the bill began to grate badly in three respects. First, I found it hard to stomach some of the spoof about private conscience. Fine, if it meant the speakers' own personal conscience. Not so fine if they were simply renting their conscience from the Christian churches. Why? Because while Jesus Christ was casual about sexual peccadilloes, his disciples, beginning with Paul, had an historically deranged view of human sexuality which led to atrocities ranging from the burning of witches to child abuse by Catholic clerics.

Second, I could not accept the argument that civil servants could refuse to register a civil partnership on grounds of conscience. Surely private conscience should concern major moral issues of life and death and not the peculiar convictions of civil servants on sexual matters? And how could a pluralist Republic allow civil servants to pick and choose between its laws?

Finally, if a civil servant really had a crisis of conscience about civil partnership surely Dr Johnson's adage applied? "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test."

John Smeaton writes in respect of the first point made by Harris
My first reaction, on reading Senator Harris's reflections on Jesus Christ's and St Paul's teaching on human sexuality, was to laugh: but then I realised he wasn't joking.

Donning a straight face, therefore, I ask Senator Harris two questions:

* To what particular passage in the Gospel are you referring when you say Jesus was "casual about sexual peccadilloes"?
* Have your profound reflections on St Paul on the matter of human sexuality included a critical reading of Pope John Paul II's 129 Wednesday audiences known as Theology of the Body - given between the years 1979 and 1984? If not, what Pauline scholarship did your reading include?

To the second issue raised by Harris on conscience Smeaton responds
Perhaps the "peculiar convictions" of the civil servants in question include a determination to abide by the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which obliges States to protect the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman. As the distinguished bioethicist and lawyer William L. Saunders has pointed out:

"Article 16 [of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] declares: 'The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.' Thus, article 16 recognizes the common sense fact, sometimes overlooked by governments and international organizations, that the family exists prior to the state, is the foundation of the state, and that the state is obligated to protect it.

"Article 16 goes further. It recognizes the right of a man and woman to marry and found a family. In other words, it recognizes that the family is founded ... upon marriage. We can all be thankful the Declaration recognized these fundamental truths."

It is, therefore, only natural that good Irish citizens will want to oppose by conscientious objection Ireland's Civil Partnership Bill once it becomes law, if on no other basis than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And, in addition to being inspired by the UDHR, there might be Irish citizens who agree with Pope Benedict that legislation which is "a crucial stepping stone to gay marriage" will tend towards "man's destruction". Such citizens may well regard it like a moral issue of "life and death" rather than "private conscience". Pope Benedict said in his 2008 end of year address to the Roman Curia:

"Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to transmitting to its faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for Creation, and it should validate this responsibility in public.

"In so doing, it should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of Creation that belong to everyone. She should also protect man from destroying himself.

"It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man, understood in the right sense. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected.

"This has to do with faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, which, if disregarded, would be man's self-destruction and therefore a destruction of God's work itself.

"That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term 'gender' effectively results in man's self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator. Man wants to do everything by himself and to decide always and exclusively about anything that concerns him personally. But this is to live against truth, to live against the Spirit Creator.

"The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, yes, but man does not deserve it less as a Creature of the Spirit himself, in whom is inscribed a message that does not mean a contradiction of human freedom but its condition.

"The great theologians of Scholasticism described matrimony - which is the lifelong bond between a man and a woman - as a sacrament of Creation, that the Creator himself instituted, and that Christ, without changing the message of Creation, welcomed in the story of his alliance with men.

"Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God."

John Smeaton's response to the third issue raised by Harris is short but startling
From what I know of Ireland and the Irish, and whatever Senator Harris means by martyrdom, there will be Irish citizens willing to meet his chilling challenge. Indeed, I pray to God, for the future of the family and for the culture of life, that there will be.

Link to Harris article
Link to John Smeaton's BLOG

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blood Test for Down's Syndrome

The Daily Mail reported on June 30th on what they describe as a quick inexpensive blood test for Down's syndrome that could save the lives of hundreds of unborn babies each year, which is being developed by scientists.

The report describes the test as the 'holy grail' of diagnosis, which would pick up signs of the disorder from a few drops of the mother's blood and could save lives by removing the risk of miscarriage associated with current tests. Clearly the lives of unaffected babies could be considered "saved" only in the sense that they would not be miscarried as a result of invasive investigations to detect and destroy Down's syndrome babies. However, it seems self evident that the main result of the test would be to terminate hundreds of unborn babies with Down's syndrome.

SPUC report that Alison Davis, head of No Less Human said that she was dismayed to read the story. Alison said that this "hope" seems to be based on the fact that the test may reduce the numbers of miscarriages of so-called "healthy" babies who currently die as a result of invasive tests to detect Down's syndrome." but that this perpetuates the common myth that while killing a "healthy" baby is a tragedy, killing a disabled baby is to be lauded.
Alison also questioned whether a greater offence could be given to another human being than telling them that killing him/her is a “holy grail”.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

World Population Day 2010 ‘Everyone Counts’

World Population Day was established in 1989 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to call attention to urgent global issues.

The theme for this year’s population day, Sunday July 11 2010, “Everyone Counts” is a really important one and whatever the intention of UNFPA was in choosing the theme, it affirms the lives of every living human being irrespective of who they are and whether they are born or unborn. There are of course many groups of people throughout the world who are suffering from lack of food, water, health care and other essentials of life and every one of these lives counts. It incumbent on first world countries to ensure, that everyone can access the means of survival. Yes everyone, every human being counts

I say of UNFPA ‘whatever their intention was’ because they proclaim the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. Their stated goals are to advance
“policies and programs to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.”

Sadly UNFPA, despite their wonderful rhetoric, are not known for upholding the right to life of unborn babies, they have a long history of being more interested in population control and the establishment of a human right to abortion than accepting that unborn babies are human beings who actually count, human beings with an equal right to life.

There are some rights, which the state has authority to confer (such as citizenship) but there are also fundamental rights of human beings. Fundamental rights, including the right to life, are inherent to, and derive from, the dignity of the human person. These rights are not bestowed by governments but must be recognised by them and protected in law. The right to life and equality is enshrined in a number of international human rights instruments.

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins the articulation of the human values to be defended in terms of human rights.
"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person."

There is no basis for dividing up the human family into persons and non-persons, but there is agreement from science that from fertilisation we all share a common humanity, that we are all members of the "human family", to use the Declaration's words. The attempts to disenfranchise some members of the human family from moral consideration has led to justifications of intolerable abuses of human rights including slavery and genocide. The Declaration, following the United Nations Charter, rejects discrimination against any members of the "human family", and requires the "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family".

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) states that: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth." This is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.
Article 6 of the CRC is also relevant
States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.

The destruction of human life by abortion is the greatest human rights struggle of our time. The World Health Organization estimates that 42 million abortions are performed worldwide each year—a profound violation of the equal dignity and rights of human beings and one that requires urgent and sustained attention to ensure the survival of every human being particularly the most vulnerable every one of whom definitely counts.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Seanad passes Civil Partnership Bill

The Civil Partnership Bill has now been approved by the Seanad (Irish Senate) by a margin of 48 votes to 4. The bill will now go to Irish President Mary Mc Aleese for signature before it can become law. Appeals are being made to President Mc Aleese either to refer the bill to the Irish Supreme Court to test its constitutionality or simply resign rather than sign it.

The four who voted against it in the Senate were one independent Senator Ronan Mullen and three members of Fianna Fail the main government party, John Hanafin from Tipperary North, Labhras O Murchu from Tipperary South and Jim Walsh from Wexford who all resigned the party whip rather than vote for the measure. Amendments tabled by the Senators were also rejected.
The Senators who resigned the whip claimed the Bill was flawed and discriminatory. They sought the introduction of a “freedom of conscience” clause to allow people, such as registrars, to opt out of “facilitating” same-sex civil partnerships; an exemption from sanctions for religious bodies refusing to rent out properties for civil partnership celebrations; and the extension of protection to unmarried siblings living in the same house.

The three Fianna Fail Senators stated in a letter to the Chief Whip
"It is a matter of regret that we conscientiously find this to be the only appropriate avenue open to us, and we would like to offer our apologies to both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice for any difficulties that this might present,".

The Civil Partnership Bill grants long-term, same-sex couples and people co-habiting similar rights to married couples on tax, registration and redress issues but stops short of granting full marital rights.

Irish Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern told the Seanad he was “deeply proud” of the legislation.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Times Article accepts abortion kills a human being but justifies it

The frank admission by a Times columist of her acceptance that abortion is the killing of a human being but that in her view this is a less important than a woman’s right to control her fertility is shocking to say the least.

Antonia Senior in an article in the Times on Wednesday June 30th concedes that life begins at conception but believes that killing of unborn babies is secondary to the right of a woman to control her fertility .
"What seems increasingly clear to me is that, in the absence of an objective definition, a foetus is a life by any subjective measure. My daughter was formed at conception, and all the barely understood alchemy that turned the happy accident of that particular sperm meeting that particular egg into my darling, personality-packed toddler took place at that moment. She is so unmistakably herself, her own person — forged in my womb, not by my mothering.
"Any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life. That little seahorse shape floating in a willing womb is a growing miracle of life. In a resentful womb it is not a life, but a foetus — and thus killable."

Despite the fact that she accepts that abortion is killing she describes it as the lesser evil. In other words a woman’s so called right to choose trumps the right to life,you cannot separate women’s rights from their right to fertility control. The single biggest factor in women’s liberation according to Ms Senior
was our newly found ability to impose our will on our biology. Abortion would have been legal for millennia had it been men whose prospects and careers were put on sudden hold by an unexpected pregnancy. The mystery pondered on many a girls’ night out is how on earth men, bless them, managed to hang on to political and cultural hegemony for so long. The only answer is that they are not in hock to their biology as much as we are. Look at a map of the world and the right to abortion on request correlates pretty exactly with the expectation of a life unburdened by misogyny.
Chillingly Ms Senior says she would stake her life on a woman’s so called right over the right to life of the unborn : “If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” She says

See comment by SPUC Director John Smeaton and comment by the Christian Institute

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Archbishop Raymond Burke to visit Ireland

Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican, will be travelling to Ireland this month, visiting Cork and Dublin. Because of his forthright defence of the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly on ethical and moral issues, Archbishop Burke has been dubbed ‘the new John Fisher for our times’.

[At the time of King Henry VIII of England, Cardinal St. John Fisher was the only one of the English bishops of that time who stood up to the King in the matter of his divorce and his claim as ‘Head’ of the Church in England.]

Archbishop Burke has stated that:
‘So serious is the moral obligation to avoid scandal that we are admonished not only not to do wrong but also not to appear to do wrong. When a person acts, he or she must always consider the appearance of the act to be done.’
He said this in relation to the reception of Holy Communion by those Catholics – and, in particular, Catholic politicians – who advocate or vote for or in any way participate in the promotion of abortion.
However, his admonishment can also be applied to other matters of public interest, as can the statement he made when addressing the Institute on Religious Life’s national meeting at Mundelein Seminary, Illinois (USA) recently, and commenting on the scandal of a nun in a maternity hospital endorsing the carrying out of an abortion:
‘Who could imagine that consecrated religious would openly, and in defiance of the bishops as successors of the apostles publicly endorse legislation containing provisions which violated the natural moral law in its most fundamental tenets – the safeguarding and promoting of innocence and defenceless life, and fail to safeguard the demands of the free exercise of conscience for health care workers?’
In this regard, a reading of the Vatican document on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life is strongly recommended.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Risk of birth defects from IVF

The London Independent newspaper carried (14 June 2010) a report that has later been picked up by various other media outlets. The report was about the possibility of risks of birth defects following conception as a result of IVF, (in vitro fertilisation).

‘Couples contemplating fertility treatment should be warned’, says the report, ‘about the risks of birth defects, which are up to twice as common as when conception is natural, researchers say.’ It is reported that the number of babies born as a result of different forms of ‘fertility treatment’ is growing each year. Fertility treatment, it is stated, ‘includes IVF and other invasive treatments as well as treatment with drugs alone to stimulate ovulation.’

The report has come from a study carried out under the auspices of the Maternite Port Royal Hospital, in Paris, and it was presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics in Gothenburg, Sweden, recently. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, in the UK, commenting on the results of the study said that: ‘It is important that patients are informed about this but not alarmed by it.’ I wonder if that same Authority would suggest that mothers are informed about the fatal (to her child) and dangerous (to herself) consequences of abortion? I doubt it!

On the subject of IVF and all other forms of ART (assisted reproductive technology), surely it more imperative than ever, now, to promote, encourage and recognise the natural alternative NaPro technology

NaPro technology, apart altogether from its moral and ethical base, has been shown to be far more successful than conventional, IVF, technologies. You can find more information about NaPro on and My previous blogs (1 March 2010; 18 February 2010; 28 June 2009; 29 May 2009) give further information.

Monday, July 5, 2010

All Ireland pro-life Rally Belfast

The annual all Ireland pro-life rally, which took place on Sat July 3rd in Belfast, was well attended and was supported by groups and individuals from all over Ireland. It is estimated that the rally drew an attendance of about 4000.

Photograph 1 shows some of the SPUC members who were in attendance and photograph 2 shows the general attendance

Dr Philip Boyce DD Bishop of Raphoe sent a strong pro-life message in support of the event "
Life is our most precious gift. The ‘All-Ireland Rally for Life’ is a celebration of life. To attend or take part in it in any way is a worthwhile endeavour to pursue as Catholics. We stand up for God's gift of life"

The rally which gathered at Custom House Square in Belfast processed to Belfast City Hall and returned to Custom House Suare where it was addressed by the organizers and invited guests Fr Sylvester Mann Priests for Life Ireland and The Reverend George Hargreaves of the UK Christian Party . The rally was reminded that international pressure was being brought to bear on Ireland’s pro-life laws including through the ABC case sponsored by the Irish Family Planning Association currently before the European Court of Human Rights and the legislation promised by Health Minister Mary Harney on the human embryo.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute told the rally that the most immediate threat to Ireland’s pro-life ethos was the proposed legislation on the human embryo being brought forward by Health Minister Mary Harney in the autumn. Ms Uí Bhriain said that the rally message to governments north and south was:
“You will not kill our children, at any stage, in any place, not in our country and not in our name”.

Next year's rally will be in Dublin

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ireland approves 'Civil Partnerships'

The Dáil (Irish Parliament) last night passed the Civil Partnership Bill without a vote, this will now go to the Seanad (Senate) and will be debated there on Wednesday and Thursday next. There will be some opposition in the Seanad, which could hold up the enactment of the Bill but they are unlikely to make any significant impact on its provisions.

The fact that the Ceann Comhairle (Speaker of the House)told the assembly that since there was general agreement on all sides of the house there was no need for a vote is an absolute disgrace. Many Dáil deputies had concerns about the passage of the bill and were conscious that there were calls for a free vote but with the government insisting on using the party whip system they clearly did not wish to be seen by their constituents as being in support of such a radical agenda. The fact that no vote was taken allows deputies to claim they were personally against passage of the Bill.

Under the terms of the Bill, marriage-like benefits will be extended to gay and lesbian couples across a range of areas such as property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and tax.

Once the Civil Partnership legislation is fully enacted and implemented, gay and lesbian couples will be able to register their relationship before a registrar, as long as the partners are over 18 and not involved in any other unions.

Couples will be required to provide registrars with three months’ notice of a planned civil partnership, as is the case with civil or religious weddings. Any registrars who refuse to officiate may be prosecuted.

As with divorce laws, courts will be able to dissolve relationships as long as the partners have lived apart for two of the previous three years.

The legislation also provides for the legal recognition of civil partnerships, or their equivalent, obtained in other jurisdictions.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ireland oh Ireland QUO VADIS: Final debate Civil Partnership Bill today

Today July 1st 2010, the feast day of St. Oliver Plunkett Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland who was martyred at Tyburn in London in 1681 because he stood firm in his belief in the Catholic faith in the face of persecution, is also the day The Dail (Irish Parliament) has chosen for the final debate on the Civil Partnership bill. This bill is a direct attack on marriage and the family and undermines basic democratic principles such as the right to conscientious objection and a direct attack on the values for which St Oliver Plunkett died.
according to the Dail schedule for today the bill will be debated between 5pm and 9pm today. The entry is as follows No. 23 - Civil Partnership Bill 2009 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages (to conclude at 9 p.m. tonight, if not previously concluded)

Fr Vincent Twomey in an excellent article in the irish Times of June 29th said
NO CHURCH-STATE controversy in recent times has raised so many difficult political and moral issues compared with those raised by the proposed Civil Partnership Bill. These include:
the nature of the family and its status in the Irish Constitution;
the rights and obligations of citizens arising from the fact that they live together in a mutually supportive and stable partnership, or plan to do so;
the rights and obligations of legislators when legislating on laws which touch on fundamental constitutional or moral issues;
the right of citizens to make conscientious objections on the basis of their moral convictions or religious beliefs; and,
finally, the rights and obligations, if any, of ordained ministers of the Catholic Church either individually (bishops and priests) or as a body(through the bishops’ conference) to express publicly their views on any proposed legislation.

Direct link to Fr Twomey's article

We appeal to all please as a matter of extreme urgency contact Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Justice Minister Dermot Ahern to express your concern, dismay and disappointment at the promotion of this agenda. Better still contact all members of the Dail.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen may be contacted at

The contact details for the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern are as
follows: Constituency Office: Dermot Ahern TD, 28 Francis Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth (042-9329023) Dáil Office: Dermot Ahern TD, Dáil Éireann, Leinster House,Kildare Street,Dublin 2 (01 618 3000)

All TD’s (Members of Parliament ) in Dail Eireann (The Irish Parliament) can be contacted and you can find out who your local TD's are via this link:

Poland: March for life and family 2010

An event that doesn’t appear to have received much publicity is the March for Life and Family that took place in Warsaw at the beginning of June, with an attendance of at least 6000 people. The first such March for Life was in 2006 and, since then, the numbers involved have increased by 300 percent.

Tradition, Family, and Property, reporting on the 2010 March, tell us that the crowd
‘consisted mostly of young people and families with children. They represent a new generation of pro-life and pro-family Poles who publicly affirm their Catholic moral values. Also present were several Ministers of Parliament and political candidates. …’

Signs and posters that were carried during the March read: ‘Every Child has the Right to Birth’, ‘Green Light for the Family’, ‘One Man and One Woman is the Only True Family’, etc.

Poland is under great threat at the moment from anti-life and anti-family forces of all sorts – those seeking liberalisation of the laws against abortion, those seeking the promotion and acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, etc.

The President of the Fr. Peter Skarga Association for Christian Culture (organisers of the March, and inspired by Tradition, Family and Property) urged those taking part to
‘exert influence and pressure upon government leaders to preserve the autonomy of the family which is the foundation of society and the state.’

TFP says that the institution of the family in Poland is threatened by the recent introduction of a piece of legislation
‘aimed at reducing domestic violence. It insinuates that the family is a source of violence toward children because children are disciplined by parents. If passed, it will severely restrict a parent’s right to bring up their children consistent with Catholic moral values. This will devastate the institution of the family and consequently, society as a whole in Poland.’