Monday, January 31, 2011

Personhood of the unborn

There is a great pro-life video to be found here:   Personhood

Watch it, listen to it – watch it again and listen to it again, and again.  Tell your friends about it.   It is particularly interesting in that a former world leader and President of his country is addressing these words of truth to the whole world, and that even today his words have not been forgotten.
Would that the present President – Obama – of the United States would follow the path of his great predecessor in recognising the humanity of the unborn child – rather than pursuing the policies of destruction of human life that he is so intent on putting into action.

Would that our own political leaders and political representatives here in Ireland at this present time took note of what the former President of the United States says in this video.     Let us be aware that the Labour Party, in particular (they have already announced this as their intention if they succeed in entering into Government) will attempt to introduce legislation to allow abortions to be carried out in Ireland.   Remember this threat when you are deciding for whom you are voting.   Could you, in conscience, vote for someone whose Party policy is the killing of unborn children?  Do not be deceived by election promises that candidates are pro-life, pro-family, etc.   

(See also my blog for 20 January 2011 in relation to the forthcoming General Election.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Washington March for Life 2011

The Washington March for Life is an annual witness for life that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. This video gives a flavour of the event which is annually supported by thousands and thousands and thousands of pro-lifers and in particular pro-life youth.

There is no doubt but that there is hope for the future when so many young people are motivated to demonstrate their conviction that defence of life before birth is an essential human right. It is in fact the first human right the right to be born.

The advent of youtube videos such as this one makes it so much harder for a pro-abortion media to have the only say on the issue 

March for life Video

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

An interesting report from the Catholic News Agency tells us that the new Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S., Republican John Boehner, in introducing new legislation to the House, described it is ‘one of our highest legislative priorities’.  The legislation to which he referred would permanently prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding of abortion across all federal programs there.   Speaker Boehner, together with other Representatives such as Chris Smith, Dan Lipinski and Joe Pitts, held a press conference some days ago to discuss the introduction of their proposed legislation, entitled H.R. 3 – the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’.  He is quoted as saying that the new Republican majority ‘is keeping its commitment to taxpayers by “ensuring their tax dollars are never used to fund abortions.”’   He has also said that a ban on the funding of abortion ‘is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land.’   

The new Bill, we are told, is designed ‘to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy.’   
Rep. Smith, according to the report, ‘noted that the new bill also protects conscience rights of individuals and institutions by giving courts the authority to “prevent and redress actual or threatened violations of conscience.”’
The report continues: ‘The U.S. bishops have urged the passage of legislation to amend the 2010 health care legislation called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prevent it explicitly from either providing abortion directly, or funding health care plans and community health centers that do so.’    A welcome decision!

We might do well to recognise the fact that Irish taxpayers’ money, to the tune of €1.3 million, was given last year by the Irish Government to the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) – an associate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is probably the world’s biggest provider of abortion.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

EU Commission Calendar shock: No Christian feast days included, not even Christmas Day

According to a report in the Irish Times (22 January 2011), the European Commission has produced a run of three million calendars for 2011.   The calendars, it seems, have been issued to 21,000 schools – presumably throughout the EU.    However, despite the claims contained in the Lisbon Treaty document about the acknowledgement of the existence of Christianity, there is no mention of anything relating to Christianity in the calendar!   Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish festive days, together with Chinese festivals and other public holidays, etc., are all included in the calendar – but Christianity?  No.   Not even Christmas Day! 

So much for the inclusion of Christianity – on which the history of Europe is based.
So much for the grand, encompassing nature of the European Union that was promised to us all, and particularly to the people of Ireland when they were bullied into ratifying the Lisbon Treaty – they having already rejected it once.

Pope Benedict XVI has recently made reference to the persecution of Christians, and the rejection of Christianity.   Is this a further instance of such a mindset within the European Union?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Abortionists House of Horror report on the grisly case of the Abortionist Kermit Gosnell and several of his accomplices who were arrested recently on eight counts of murder at his “house of horrors” abortion clinic in Philadelphia. 
Gosnell, 69 who was denied bail, faces 39 criminal counts including 3rd degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 7 counts of murder for killing living infants after birth, abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence, corruption, conspiracy, obstruction, racketeering, and solicitation for murder, among other charges.

According to the report a massive, photograph-laden 281-page Grand Jury Report released Wednesday detailed Gosnell’s bone-chilling practices, including the killing of what clinic workers testified were “hundreds” of living, breathing newborn children by severing their spinal cords or slitting their necks.
The charges against Gosnell and his nine accomplices were filed by District Attorney R. Seth Williams, following the recommendations of the Grand Jury investigation.
Gosnell’s thirty-year operation only came to an end when authorities raided his Women’s Medical Services clinic in Philadelphia as part of a drug bust, and discovered his gruesome abortion operation. The Pennsylvania Department of Health and other state government agencies were slammed by the Grand Jury for turning a blind eye to Gosnell’s practices, despite their knowledge of complaints and lawsuits against the abortionist.
Two other Gosnell employees held without bail are Adrienne Moton, 33, and Lynda Williams, 42. Both are unlicensed medical workers at Gosnell’s clinic, who committed illegal abortions, infanticide, and other crimes.
Pearl Gosnell, the abortionist’s wife, 49, is held on $1 million bail. She faces charges of assisting her husband in carrying out illegal, very late abortions, and conspiracy to commit them.
Sherry West, 51, is held on $2 million bail for being an unlicensed worker who committed illegal abortions, illegally administered anesthesia and dispensed illegal drugs. She faces additional charges of 3rd degree Murder in the death of Mongar, conspiracy, and is charged with infanticide of a newborn known as “Baby C.”
Tina Baldwin is held on $150,000 bail, faces charges of illegal administration of anesthesia and corruption of a minor for forcing her 15-year-old daughter to work 50 hours a week at Gosnell’s clinic. The Grand Jury report said she was required to work after school to midnight, in the course of which she “was exposed to the full horrors of Gosnell’s practice”.
It was Baldwin who told the Grand Jury in her testimony that Gosnell once joked about a baby that was writhing as he cut its spine: “that’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”
The remainder of Gosnell’s nine cohorts in crime are held on bail ranging from $1 million to $150,000 for various other charges relating to conspiracy, perjury, racketeering, and obstruction of justice.
Neither Gosnell nor his accomplices can be held responsible for the hundreds of other newborn infants he allegedly murdered, because the statute of limitations on infanticide is limited to two years.
There is no statute of limitations on homicide in the state of Pennsylvania. The Grand Jury report recommended the statute of limitations for infanticide also be removed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

China's One Child Policy-the worst gender crime in the world today

President Hu Jintao of China was warmly welcomed by President Barack Obama during an official visit to the U.S. and honored with a rare State Dinner while his visit presented an opportunity to expose the horrific human rights violations taking place in China today.
New Speaker of the House Republican John Boehner pressed Hu on forced abortion during a congressional leadership meeting stating: "When it comes to guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of all her citizens, including and especially the unborn, Chinese leaders have a responsibility to do better, and the United States has a responsibility to hold them to account."
PNCI, the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues report that U.S. Representatives Chris Smith and Frank Wolf hosted a press conference with prominent Chinese human rights activists who spoke for the millions imprisoned, tortured and killed by the repressive Chinese regime and gave testimony against China's population control policy. According to Smith, "The Chinese government's one-child-per-couple policy, with its attendant horrors of forced abortion campaigns and rampant sex-selective abortion, is, in scope and seriousness, the worst human rights abuse - the worst gender crime - in the world today."
The Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, presented President Hu with a list of concerns about human rights violations in China during the meeting in the US Capitol. Hu responsed on only one issue--forced abortion. According to Ros-Lehtinen "Out of all of the issues I raised, the only one which received a response from Mr. Hu was my statement urging the end of China's forced abortion policy.  I was astonished when he insisted that such a policy does not exist."
Hu's denial of the practice of coerced abortion in enforcing the one child policy casts serious doubt on his credibility as global media coverage voiced the concerns of Chinese human rights advocates who exposed the brutality of China's population policy.
Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights without Frontiers condemned the violence of coerced abortion in China and former Tiananmen Square student leader Chai Ling made an impassioned plea for the end of the daily 35,000 coerced and forced abortions in China. Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed was hopeful that more Americans would voice their opposition to the abuse inflicted on women in China and to the killing of baby girls through sex selective abortion and infanticide. 
Ling told the meeting 

"As we gather here in Washington, over 35,000 forced and coerced abortions are taking place today in China; every 2.5 second a precious baby's life is taken; among every six baby girls, one will never be born simply because she is a girl; 500 women will commit suicide, at five times the world average rate; 3000 baby girls are abandoned on street corners; and more than 200 children and women are trafficked into slavery […]

"Yesterday we celebrated Dr. King's birthday. His passionate dream led to a generation and a world that restores life, value and dignity to all races.  Today, we too have a dream! We dream a dream that will restore life, value and dignity to all children, all gender, in China and around the world.

"We dream a dream that tomorrow China's Forced One Child Policy will become history; we dream a dream that children will grow up with brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts; we dream a dream that all tears will be wiped from the faces of parents whose children were taken; we dream a dream that all young men will have brides and taste the sweetness of being newly wed; we dream a dream that all mothers will mourn no more because they are with children; we dream a dream that the oppressed will find freedom and the exiled will return home; we dream a dream that justice will roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

We dream a dream that God would bless his promised land of China and the world: that there will be no more death, no more mourning; no more crying; no more pain, for the old order of things has passed away. We know these dreams will come true because God's words are trustworthy and true (Revelation 21:4-5).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Maternal mortality death rate doubles in South Africa

A new report from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) analyzes details concerning the maternal mortality rate, legal abortion and Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5) in South Africa. The full report is available at the MCCL GO website.
In recent weeks the South African government and leading health authorities have admitted that their country will not meet MDG 5, which calls for reducing the maternal mortality rate by 75 percent.  Instead of a reduction, the latest statistics show that the maternal mortality rate has, in fact, doubled in South Africa.
The South African government legalized abortion on demand in 1997.  At that time, abortion advocates made wildly exaggerated claims that legalized abortion would greatly reduce the maternal mortality rate.  In fact, the effect of legalized abortion has been the exact opposite.
 Executive Director of MCCL GO Scott Fischbach presenting the report said.
“Africa’s greatest resource is its people,” [...]   “The South African approach of legalizing abortion not only aborts a nation’s future, it also contributes to a higher loss of life among its women.”
The MCCL GO analysis reveals that South African health authorities have been successful in pushing abortion on the women of their country.  It is estimated that in 1996 (the year prior to the legalization of abortion) approximately 1,600 abortions were performed across South Africa; by 2004 there were nearly 90,000 abortions performed. 

With this focus on abortion promotion, pre-natal and obstetric care — care that truly helps women and their babies — have not been made priorities.
According to Fischbach
“Countries on the African continent are being pressured by the U.S. Obama administration, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation to legalize abortion,” [...]  “These nations ought to take note of the situation in South Africa.  It is only in the delivery of adequate health care to women that they will reduce maternal mortality rates — not by legalizing abortion.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Opposing the culture of death is primarily a spiritual battle

 The fight against the culture of death is primarily a spiritual battle and in the midst of the ongoing battle it is good to be reminded that we should not simply depend on our own resources that we must first recognise the need to pray for defeat of the culture of death and the dawning of a new era that recognises and respects all human life from the moment of conception until natural death

Here is lovely, and thoughtful, suggestion from Human Life International (HLI), that was put forward in their recent newsletter.   They ask that everyone should join their international campaign ‘to promote praying the St. Michael prayer after every Mass.’   

The suggestion continues – ‘This grassroots campaign is designed to encourage the laity to pray for St. Michael’s intercession for the conversion of abortionists.  It is also a call to priests and bishops to include the St. Michael prayer after the final blessing at all Masses.  The fight against the culture of death is primarily a spiritual battle, and Human Life International knows that with the aid of St. Michael, abortionists around the world will convert from the their cooperation with evil.
‘Human Life International has produced St. Michael prayer cards in nine languages and provides the text of the prayer in 27 languages. ‘Help us spread the word and pray souls away from the evil of abortion.’
What an excellent suggestion for a new years resolution 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Irish General Election declared: Vote for pro-life, pro-family canditates only

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) today announced the date of the much anticipated general election, which has now been scheduled to take place on Friday March 11th next.

I would encourage all my Irish colleagues to contact representatives of all parties to clarify their position on the critical social issues such as the right to life of the unborn and to vote only for pro-life, pro-family candidates. It would be a grave error for political parties to focus only on economic policies when there are equally disastrous social policies that require urgent attention

For some years now I have felt completely alienated from all the major  political parties by their liberal policies and the enactment or attempted enactment of legislation on social issues which contravene natural law.

I am also of the belief that I am not alone in the perception that the major parties have lost on way on these issues and I am aware of a large constituency of voters who are like-minded.

May I suggest to all the major parties that you should look again at your party roots and at the disastrous liberal social agenda which has been adopted in recent times by successive governments. I am convinced that strong statements now by all parties on the importance of the natural family based on marriage, the right to life from conception to natural death, the rights of parents in respect of their children's development and education together with real commitments to improve their position in the future administration, will attract real support from the electorate particularly if these issues are held sacred and and are non negotiable and without compromise,

I would also ask colleagues to contact me when and if you succeed in getting real commitments from potential candidates so that we can make a strategic list of candidates who are willing to make firm commitments on critical issues such as the right to life of the unborn.

Save both Mother and Baby

I recently came across the following extract from an address given by Pope Pius XII to the Association of Large Families, in November 1951.   It struck me that the wording of the pro-life clause in the Irish Constitution of Ireland resembles very closely the words of the Pope.  Here is some of what he said:

‘ Never and in no case has the Church taught that the life of the child must be preferred to that of the mother.  It is erroneous to put the question with this alternative: either the life of the child or that of the mother.  No, neither the life of the mother nor that of the child can be subjected to direct suppression.  In the one case as in the other, there can be but one obligation: to make every effort to save the lives of both, of the mother and the child. 

‘In some instances the child is looked upon as an unjust aggressor.  In other cases the child’s right to life is considered to be inferior to the mother’s right to life.  A further problem arises in the assumption that there are medically warranted situations in which the mother’s life can be saved only by a direct attack upon the child – to kill the child “in order to save the mother’s life.”
‘The only ethically justified understanding of this much-celebrated exception shows that it is not an exception at all!  The classical example of an ectopic pregnancy or the example of the cancerous uterus, which allow the surgeon, ethically, to remove the woman’s damaged reproductive organs in order to save her life, should not be used as examples of abortion, even though a baby’s life is terminated in the progress.
‘It is true that early medical terminology speaks of natural miscarriage as abortion, but it does not refer to the above examples by the name of abortion.  In the case of the uterus, the usual name hysterectomy would be used, and the pregnancy would be noted in the pathology report.  Both medically and legally, for the purposes of discussion, abortion is a direct and fatal attack upon the life of an unborn offspring of human parentage.
‘It becomes necessary now to see why a medical procedure, such as the excision of a cancerous, pregnant uterus, is sometimes ethically permissible and should not be called an abortion.
‘What is involved here are two individuals, the mother and her child, having equal, inalienable rights to continue living.  If it can be established that the mother’s life demands the removal of the diseased uterus, she has a right to this necessary means of preserving her own life.  The surgical removal is not a direct attack upon the child, either by intention or by the nature of the procedure.  Therefore, it should not be called an abortion. …
‘The enactment of laws prohibiting abortion should be carefully formulated whenever the law provides the clause: “except in order to save the life of the mother.”  If abortion were understood in the sense stated above, there would be no need to use the exception clause.  Moral and medical prudence would be sufficient, as it has been in past centuries, to guide the doctor in the performance of his duties. …
‘In this day of presumed “options,” additional care must be taken to insure the complete and accurate legal recognition of each individual human being’s right to life.  In phrasing the prohibition against abortion, it would be wise to define abortion as the direct and wilful killing of an unborn offspring of human parentage from the time of fertilization.  … ‘ 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More evidence of media pro-abortion bias in Ireland

Cork University Philosophical Society held a debate on Monday January 17th, “That this house would not legalise abortion”. Supporting the motion Professor William Binchy of Trinity College Dublin reminded the assembly that Ireland achieves safer outcomes for mothers than in countries with greater resources and a liberal abortion regime.
Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, also speaking in support of the motion said that any satisfactory settlement of the abortion issue required a referendum and that there was a tendency in some sections of the media to bemoan the fact that Ireland has had full-scale national debates on abortion on numerous occasions.

“It remains a fact that any satisfactory settlement of this issue will require a referendum. There is a simple reason for this: democratic legitimacy.”

He added that among the new features of this discussion would be the emerging voices of Irish women who have had abortions and “regretted their decision”, the voices of younger people whose parents contemplated abortion but changed their minds.
Dr Mary Favier of Doctors for choice opposing the motion claimed that Irish Women are accessing abortion pills over the internet without the benefit of medical support or guidance because of Ireland’s failure to face up to the reality of unplanned pregnancies.
Needless to say the newspaper headline focused on the latter claim by Dr Favier with a banner headlineWomen accessing abortion pills online” rather than on the fact that Ireland achieves safer outcomes for mothers than in countries with greater resources and a liberal abortion regime.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ireland has the lowest maternal mortality level in the world

Despite the rhetoric of the pro-abortionists access to abortion is not necessary to protect a woman's life or health. The Irish approach to the protection of life is that doctors should do their best to save the lives of both a mother and her unborn child.
Article 40.3.3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Constitution of Ireland, lays down that:

‘The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.’

I blogged, on 5 January last, about the story of the little baby who, at only 23 ½ weeks had to be removed from her mother’s womb because of severe pre-eclampsia suffered by her mother.    Mother and baby, as I reported, survived and are now in very good health.   What a story with which to answer those pro-abortionists who call for abortion to be legalised in Ireland ‘to save the life’, or ‘the health’ of the mother!
Abortion never saves the life of a mother – the result of abortion is a dead baby.

Ireland has consistently had the lowest level of maternal mortality in the world and this has been achieved by good quality obstetric care, without recourse to abortion.
The UK which has had legal abortion for many years has a maternal mortality level approximately six times that of Ireland and the US has much higher levels

Monday, January 17, 2011

Call to boycott Boots pharmacies until they cease 'over the counter' supply of the morning after pill

Boots (the chemists) have announced that they are now providing – selling – the ‘morning-after’ pill without prescription in branches throughout Ireland. They claim they are able to do this because of a loophole in the relevant legislation in Ireland, allowing them to sell the pill here.  Up until now, the ‘morning-after’ pill was obtainable only on prescription from a doctor, but Boots say that a doctor who is part of their organisation in the UK has given a ‘general’ prescription permission and that this will suffice to allow them to sell the pill ‘over the counter’, and without a specific doctor’s prescription.

As is well known, the ‘morning-after’ pill can actually act as an abortifacient, that is, it can cause an abortion at a very early stage in the life of the newly-conceived baby.    So – in practically every Boots chemist shop throughout Ireland it is now possible to obtain medication that will cause an abortion, without a prescription.    The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is concerned about the decision – but we must ask is this for all the right reasons?   The ICGP appear to be worried only that ‘dispensing emergency contraception in this way’ raises ‘issues about quality and continuity of care' and while this is of course a genuine concern, they do not appear to be worried that the ‘morning-after’ pill can cause an abortion of a living human being.

Despite the weakening of the Irish constitution by supreme court decisions the action by Boots could still be in contravention of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution but in addition it contravenes section 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act (1861), which states: ‘Whosoever shall unlawfully supply or procure any poison or other noxious thing, or any instrument or thing whatsoever, knowing that the same is intended to be unlawfully used or employed with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she be or be not with child, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.’

"Coming so soon after the ruling of the European court in the A, B and C case, Boots' decision shows just how rapidly the threat to unborn children is spreading in Irish society. Pro-life organizations and individuals can only hope to defeat these attacks by working together to defend all human life from the moment of fertilisation. If a referendum is to be offered pro-life people should insist that the wording of any new amendment should include protection for all unborn children regardless of the circumstances of their conception.

“The manufacturers of the so-called morning after pill claim it does not cause an abortion but they contradict themselves. The website of the manufacturer of the Plan B pill states: ‘Plan B temporarily stops the release of an egg from the ovary, prevents fertilization, prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.’ However, the manufacturer’s website continues: ‘Plan B is not an abortion pill—if you take plan B you will not be terminating a pregnancy. If you are already pregnant and take plan B, there’s no evidence that plan B will harm you or the fetus…’

“Statements like this are used to make people believe that the morning after pill doesn’t destroy an unborn human life. Saying ‘Plan B prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus’ is just another way of saying it may cause the newly conceived embryo to die because it cannot implant itself in the lining of the womb. The term ‘a fertilised egg’ is misleading. Once fertilization takes place the result is a new embryo and therefore a new unique human life. For this reason, the use of Plan B may violate an unborn child’s constitutionally guaranteed right to life."
Boots are co-operating in the holocaust of abortion, and causing new life to be destroyed in Ireland.  
What can we do about this situation – the denial of the human right to life on the part of this large and influential chain of chemist shops?

There is one thing that we can do, and that is to boycott Boots shops everywhere in Ireland, and tell your family, relations and friends why they should do likewise.
Don’t so much as buy a hair-clip or a toothbrush in Boots! A boycott is more effective when a store becomes aware of your reasons for not shopping with them so please let them know, they can be contacted on the following link BOOTS

Friday, January 14, 2011

Further political reaction to the A,B and C case decision

In this our second post on political reaction to the recent A, B and C case, we look at the response of the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny who has confirmed his opposition to legalising abortion on demand, but ruled out giving any pre-election commitment to hold a referendum on the matter, he also left a question mark against so called “hard cases” which is very worrying.  Pro abortion lobbyists regularly promote this issue as a means of gaining access to abortion

Mr Kenny told The Irish Times Dec 28 that the best way to deal with the fallout from the European Court decision would be through an all-party Oireachtas committee. 

“While the ECHR judgment must be responded to, it will not be the immediate priority of a Fine Gael-led government. Our priority will be to restore sound public finances, get people back to work and reform our public services and political system,”

Mr Kenny said abortion had been a very divisive issue in Ireland in the past and a re-run of those debates was not what the country needed right now.

“This is very divisive and there are deeply and sincerely held views on all sides of this argument. This obviously is going to be a matter for the next Oireachtas to deal with,” [...]
“My position is I do not favour legalising abortion on demand. We have a situation where you have difficult, hard cases, and some people have gone through very difficult circumstances but there is an ECHR judgment, there is a Supreme Court decision and there is a constitutional position. If the next Oireachtas is to respond, it has got to determine what the facts are, the scale of the problem and the nature of it and see if we can arrive at a consensus on how to deal with it.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Address by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem at Christmas midnight Mass in Bethlehem

In a recent blog I mentioned the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem, and the life-saving work that is carried on there, day in, and day out, despite the constant difficulties that are put in the way of those working in the hospital.
Today, I have another story from Bethlehem.   Patriarch Fouad Twal, who is the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, addressed his congregation at Christmas Midnight Mass recently, in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – what more wonderful day, and what more wonderful place!   The Patriarch spoke about the birth of Christ, and how that amazing event teaches us many lessons, including the importance of the family and the value of life.
Here is some of what he said:

‘The family is essential for life and proper human development.  If the family is healthy, the entire society benefits.  If not, the rifts among its members and disunity, have negative impact and consequences on the entire social order.   Every family is called by Christ to follow the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth.  … Christmas presents us with the unique value of human life, a gift of God.  Every child born or unborn, has a distinctive dignity and deserves the greatest respect, because it is created in the image of the Divine Child in the manger.  
‘It is sad to note and heartbreaking to see that in our world millions of abortions are performed each year because of selfishness, hardness of hearts, ignorance, lack of preparation to accept and foster life, and the outright rejection of a life that begins from the first moment of conception.
‘In a world torn apart by violence and fundamentalism, which legitimises the worst actions, including killings in churches, the Child of Bethlehem reminds us that the first commandment is Love.  He teaches us forgiveness and reconciliation, even with our enemies.’

Removal of Catholic status of St Joseph's hospital, Phoenix Arizona

Readers may be aware of the removal of its Catholic status from a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, recently.   The Bishop of Phoenix, Most Rev. Thomas Olmsted, decided to take this course of action because of the fact that the hospital, by carrying out abortions and other anti-life procedures, had failed to follow the ethical and religious directives (ERDs) laid down in the ‘Catholic Healthcare West’ agreement for the running of the hospital as a Catholic institution.  Bishop Olmsted explained his decision as follows:

‘In light of these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic.
‘The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph’s Hospital but I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church.  In addition, other measures will be taken to avoid the impression that the hospital is authentically Catholic, such as the prohibition of celebrating Mass at the hospital and the prohibition of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.
‘For seven years now, I have tried to work with CHW and St. Joseph’s, and I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come, that this decree would not be needed; however, the faithful of the Diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.’

Strong words, but how necessary!   Would that all of our bishops would speak out so clearly as Bishop Olmsted has done.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New push for abortion by some Irish politicians unwelcome

Various political statements have been made on behalf of Irish political parties following the recent judgement by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the A, B and C case.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore in a recent disingenuous statement said that the Irish parliament must implement legal abortion “where the life or health of the mother is at risk.” The Labour party’s position is that the permission for abortion must be expanded to include the woman’s “health.”
Gilmore told RTÉ, Ireland’s public radio broadcaster, “The court was very clear that Ireland was out of kilter [in terms of] human rights."

Gilmore's statement is aimed at introducing abortion on demand in Ireland despite the fact that the ECtHR said there was no human right to abortion in the convention and that Ireland's constitutional protection of the unborn ‘struck a fair balance’ between the mother’s right to respect for her private live and the rights invoked on behalf of the unborn.

The first major opinion poll following the announcement by Gilmore showed a significant drop in support for the Labour Party which clearly shows the widespread public revulsion at the new policy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Paris March for Life

The seventh annual march for life in France will take place in Paris on SUNDAY 23 January at 14.30 : the meeting point is Place de la République

Additionally on the previous evening SATURDAY 22 January at 20.30 a prayer vigil is taking place at 20.30 in Saint Francis Xavier Church (7th district) in Paris.

PRESS: Please contact Virginie RAOULT-MERCIER :

 (Photo is a file copy from a previous march)

The event, since it was first commenced has grown in size from year to year. The 2010 March was a huge success. Attendances at past marches have reached  between 15,000 to 20,000 peaceful participants, many of whom are young people under the age of 25. Delegations from other European countries usually attend and the organisers once again expect that there will be a significant attendance from right across Europe

We would encourage anyone who is in a position to do so should support this March for Life

Concernant la marche pour la Vie en France, le DIMANCHE 23 Janvier : la réunion de la marche est à 14.30 Place de la République à Paris. 
Le SAMEDI 22 janvier à 20.30 une veillée est organisée à l'Eglise Saint François Xavier à Paris (7e arrondissement)
Pour la presse: Merci de contacter Virginie RAOULT-MERCIER :

Concern at Pontifical Academy of Sciences appointment

Life Site News reports that a noted Brazilian pro-abortion neuroscientist, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, has – extraordinarily – been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.  In this regard, Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro (of Human Life International) is quoted as saying: 

‘I am shocked to read that Dr. Miguel A.J. Nicolelis, a Brazilian professor, was appointed to this prestigious post with the Vatican.  He is on the record criticising those who want abortion outlawed and explicitly supporting homosexual unions.  … Let us hope that the Holy See will do some research into Dr. Nicolelis’ background.  We cannot allow the Pontifical Academy to be corrupted by ‘Catholics’ who claim to be personally against abortion, but who oppose the Church publicly on this and other crucial issues.  This falsity of faith has no place so close to the heart of the Church as she dialogs with the sciences – this is where clarity and truth matter most.’

You can write to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, expressing your dismay and disappointment at the appointment of Dr. Nicolelis to the Academy, at the following address:
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Casino Pio IV
V. 00120
Vatican City.


You could also write to:

William Cardinal Levada
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio 11
00193 Roma


Thursday, January 6, 2011

What is marriage

An article entitled ‘What is Marriage’ appeared recently in the publication Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (Vol. 34, No. 1, pp 245-287.  Winter 2010)
The joint authors of the article are Sherif Gircis, Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at Princeton University; Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University; and Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.    Legal arguments in relation to ‘Proposition 8’ (on same-sex ‘unions’) led to the writing of the article.
In an Abstract of the article, the authors argue that 

‘as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioural part of the process of reproduction.  We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
‘Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.’

Sounds an interesting read!  Politicians, lawyers, judges and others with an involvement in such matters, particularly in Ireland, please take note.   Listen to what these three experienced and sensible authors are saying, and do not regret not having done so. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Miracle baby Sive who weighed less than one pound at birth defies the odds

Independent newspapers report that Ireland’s smallest surviving premature baby is today thriving at home with her parents. Sive McDonald was born at 23and a half weeks and weighed just 420g -- less than a pound -- when she arrived into the world 16 weeks early.

She was smaller than the palm of her dad's hand at full stretch -- about the length of a biro.

Baby Sive’s mother Aisling McDonald who suffered from pre-eclampsia -- the medical term for high blood pressure during her pregnancy was given "no hope" when baby Sive had to be delivered 16 weeks premature on June 11.

According to baby Sive’s father John Mc Donald,

"It all happened really quick. We were brought from St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny to Waterford Regional Hospital where there is a special baby unit,"

"They were giving us no hope, to be honest. They gave us a room to stay in by ourselves and were really supportive. There was a priest there all the time and we were facing the worst-case scenario."

Aisling's system was under severe pressure and the doctors wanted to ensure her life was not in danger. "She could have had a stroke. They said they were doing the best for the baby but Aisling was the priority."

"We thought she'd be three or four pounds. But we didn't realise she'd be less than a pound, and the dangers if her limbs weren't formed properly. We were told babies don't survive outside the womb unless they are more than 24 weeks. Sive was 23 weeks and five days."

"At one stage, the doctor was trying to get food into her but her veins were so small. Every time they'd get a needle in, the vein was bursting, it wasn't strong enough. She hadn't been fed at one stage for five, six, seven hours. Dr McMahon finally got a vein and she was able to feed," said Mr McDonald.

Nobody expected Sive to pull through, but the little baby stunned medics by clinging on to life. Her paediatrician in Waterford, Dr Paul McMahon, had to order special spectacles from the US so he could see her microscopic veins.
Sive had 24 blood transfusions but never gave up. 

"We still can't believe it. We brought her home to Kilkenny a month before Christmas and she is 9lb 6oz now. She's the equivalent of two months old. Her eyes are perfect, her ears are clear and she's responsive for two months," said Mr McDonald.

She appears to be a healthy and happy baby. "The only thing we worry about is how she'll be when she starts talking but we hope she'll be fine. She's happy now and we're getting as much food into her as possible."

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Children need the love of a Father and a mother": Pope Benedict XV1

Zenit.Org reports that Pope Benedict XVI before praying the midday Angelus with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square on Dec. 26, the Feast of the Holy Family, reflected on the "profound mystery" that surrounded the birth of Jesus.
According to the report Pope Benedict highlighted the mystery of childbirth, in which parents are offered a chance to experience the action of their Creator.
"The birth of any child brings with it something of this mystery," the Pontiff said.
He affirmed that 

"human beings experience procreation not merely as reproductive act; they perceive its richness; they are intuitively aware that every human creature who enters into the world is a 'sign' par excellence of the Creator and Father in heaven."
The Holy Father according to the report underlined the need "for each child coming into the world to be welcomed into the warmth of a family."
He continued: 

"Exterior comforts are not important. Jesus was born in a stable and his first cradle was a manger, but the love of Mary and Joseph made him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved."
"This is what children need: the love of a father and mother," Benedict XVI stated.
He added, "This is what gives them a sense of security and, as they grow, enables them to discover the meaning of life."
The Pontiff acknowledged that the Holy Family went through many trials such as "the massacre of the innocents, which forced Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt."
"But, trusting in Divine Providence, they found their stability and ensured Jesus had a serene infancy and a solid education," he added.
The Holy Father entrusted "all families to Mary and Joseph, that they may not be discouraged in the face of trials and difficulties but always cultivate conjugal love and dedicate themselves faithfully to the service of life and education."