Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Disturbing story on vaccination of children

An extremely disturbing story has come to light recently in relation to vaccinations – and in particular the vaccination of children.   It is reported that in Australia a very concerted effort is being made by the government there to insist that all parents must bring their child/children to a general medical practitioner/doctor for a health assessment.  ‘Compliance with this requirement will determine whether you do or you don’t get the family allowance’, warns a family group in Australia.  ‘Vaccination is a big part of this requirement and it is not impossible that doctors will deem unvaccinated children to be “at risk” with an intervention such as forced vaccination or removal from families for these kids.   Remember, Australia is the home of the Stolen Generation and that happened because one group of people considered themselves to be experts in how children should be raised.  
‘Next year, mental health assessments will be added to the mix – there are questions on here already in that regard but they are not required at this point.  Imagine when they are, the number of children who will be medicated as a result! …
‘It is hard to imagine anything good coming of this move and the downsides could be disastrous for many families.’ 

Should we in Ireland be concerned?   We certainly should be!    Joan Burton, the Irish Minister for Social Protection (!), is reported recently as having announced that consideration could be given in Ireland to linking the withholding of payment of social welfare monies to families that do not have their children vaccinated.   Parents must organise to fight such a suggestion – we must get involved in ensuring that our rights as parents, and the rights of our children, are protected from such dangerous proposals

Contact for further information

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SPUC Northern Ireland to hold pro-life conference in March 2012

 Liam Gibson (pictured), SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, reports that SPUC will hold a conference in Norther Ireland in March 2012 to combat insidious government policies which lead to abortion. The day conference will be held in the Belfast Conference Hotel.

Liam writes:

Since the early 1980s the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has worked with Northern Ireland’s politicians in blocking attempts by the abortion lobby to the introduce the Abortion Act to the Province.

In addition, in July 2010 Northern Ireland's health department withdrew its interim guidance on abortion, following SPUC's two successful court challenges in May 2009 and in December/November 2009.

With the success of the peace process the threat of the Act being imposed from Westminster has significantly diminished. Nevertheless, Northern Ireland has been badly affected by the same social policies which have so seriously damaged family life across Europe and north America.

In recent months various media stories have highlighted the dangerous trend toward the increasing sexualisation of children. At the same time politicians have lamented the lack of responsibility taken by parents for the behaviour of their children. Despite these concerns, it remains government policy to facilitate recreational sex among underage children by supplying them with powerful chemical steroids and abortifacients without the knowledge of their parents.

Supporters of this policy claim it is necessary to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. However, 26 years after the Gillick ruling allowed family planning clinics to provide birth control to underage children, the conception rate for teenage girls remains notoriously high. In England and Wales over half the recorded pregnancies among mothers under the age of 18 end in abortion. It’s simply impossible to calculate how many early abortions occur as a result of the so-called morning-after pill and other forms of abortifacient birth control drugs and devices. Other consequences of this policy include the epidemic level of sexually-transmitted infections among young people, often leading to infertility and serious health problems in later life.

Happily, political developments have reached a point where it is now possible for the pro-life movement to call on the Northern Ireland Assembly to re-examine some of the anti-family policies which have been in place for decades.

With a view to preparing the way for a re-evaluation of public policy in this area, SPUC will be hosting a conference in Belfast, 10 March 2012 to discuss this and related issues. Professor David Paton will be a principle speaker at the conference and will present his research into the effects of the British government’s disastrous teenage pregnancy strategy.

Other speakers will include Jim Wells MLA, the deputy chair of the Stormont health committee and Pat Ramsey MLA, the deputy chair of the Assembly’s all-party pro-life group.

For further information about the conference write to Liam Gibson at or telephone (02890) 778018.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crossroads walk in Ireland "A huge success"

We have now received a report from the Crossroads team which walked around Ireland in late July and early August.

One of the walkers Rachael Sweeney writes ;
Our walk was a huge success and we thank you all for your prayers that helped so much! Along the way we were able to witness to 1000′s of people along the road, in parishes and doing outreach and street contact!

We met some very inspirational and loving people, prayed around this beautiful Isle as we walked, saw AT LEAST 40 shades of green, and had a lot of laughs throughout the journey!

Thankfully we were able to attend daily mass, which as you know yourself is a great way to start the day! After paving our way down to Cork, and up the West we reached the hills of Donegal, were a number of the walkers were from. From there we walked through Northern Ireland and back down until we reached Dublin again.

The walk was completed officially in Dublin on Saturday the 13th of August. We prayed outside the IFPA for an hour (an organisation which refers Irish women for abortions in England.) Then we took part in a Pro Life Street session in Dublin with Youth Defense, informing people on the beauty of life and the destruction of abortion. It was a great way to finish the walk.

I thank God for Ireland’s pro-life stance and I pray it will continue to stay that way. I thank God for the many people who pray to keep abortion out of Ireland, pray for mothers considering abortion, and pray for those who are pro-choice. I thank God for all of you who are actively involved in this LIFE SAVING movement.

Everyone has an obligation to be at the service of life... Together we all sense our duty to preach

the Gospel of life, to celebrate it in the Liturgy and in our whole existence, and to serve it with the various programmes and structures which support and promote life. -Blessed JP II.

The Crossroads Pro Life walk around Ireland has planted many seeds, and is a sign of hope for the future generations to come. I will leave you with this appeal from our late Holy Father and I pray that you will be courageous in answering the call

“To all the members of the Church, the people of life and for life, I make this most urgent appeal, that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Accord; Catholic Marriage Advisory Council

‘Accord’ is the name of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ marriage counselling agency.  It used to be called the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council - and that’s what it was, and that’s what it did, in the past.   Today the organisation and its focus gives cause for concern. No doubt there is some good work done by members of the agency today, in advising and helping couples to prepare for marriage, and counselling married couples whose marriages are going through difficult times. But why the change of name?    
Over recent years, advice that has been handed out by the agency has not exactly been in keeping with Catholic teaching.  Is that why the name has been changed? 
I have personal knowledge, for instance, of a number of young couples that have participated in marriage-preparation courses offered by ‘Accord’.  These young couples have been quite frankly appalled and devastated by the information offered to them during such courses, in that such information was totally in opposition to Catholic teaching in relation to the sanctity of marriage, and commitment in marriage.
A newspaper account of the recent launch of the Annual Report of ‘Accord’ tells us that:
‘Asked if Accord was willing to offer counselling services to same-sex couples, Ms Barror [National Director of ‘Accord’] said: “At the moment we are open to everybody, but our expertise and our current focus is very much on the traditional married couple … We will embrace everybody but we will refer appropriately if it is outside our expertise.”’
Are the Irish Bishops aware of what they are supporting?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family policy in Ireland

An excellent letter from Nora Bennis was published in the Irish national newspapers on 18 August.     Mrs. Bennis’ letter deserves to be read and studied carefully and, as well as bringing it to the attention of your local Council members and all your local public representatives, your clergy, and your friends, please do your best to disseminate it far and wide.

Here is the letter:
‘Sir, - David Cameron is at last listening to the calls in Britain for the strengthening of the family unit (World News, August 16th).  In the wake of the recent riots, Mr Cameron has finally recognised what so many enlightened groups and individuals have been saying for decades, ie, that laws and policies that undermine the marriage-based family unit ultimately lead to the undermining of society, to increased lawlessness, anti-social behaviour, rioting and crime of every description.
‘Mr Cameron has this week taken action to stem the tide.  He said, “If we want to have any hope of mending our broken society, family and parenting is where we’ve got to start.  So from here on I want a family test to be applied to all domestic policy. If it hurts families, if it undermines commitment, if it tramples over the values that keep people together, or stops families from being together, then we shouldn’t do it.”

‘When I set up the National (Family First) Party in Ireland, back in 1996, protecting the family was our primary objective.  Back then, we were calling for the family proofing of all domestic policy.  We warned the government at the time that its unconstitutional, anti-family liberal agenda would lead to more broken homes and to greater social upheaval.
‘Oh, it listened to us alright, and in 1998 a new family affairs department was set up.  In his introduction to the Final Report of the Commission on the Family, the then minister for social and family affairs said: “The government is committed to adopting a families first approach by putting the family at the centre of all its policies.”
‘That’s what they said, but it was nothing more than “lip service”.   We soon discovered that they had absolutely no intention of putting the family first.  They continued to drive the anti-family agenda in law and policy.  And, to make matters even worse, the current coalition has taken this devious agenda a step further!
‘Far from carrying out its pledge in the Constitution to support and defend the family founded on marriage the current Government has actually eliminated the family from its government departments.  

‘Do we have to have riots in Ireland before our political elites wake up?

‘Yours, etc,
Nora Bennis,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Embracing The Cross of Infertility: Booklet

Joseph Meaney of the Human Life International (HLI) Rome office commented on facebook about a booklet and accompanying CD on the "Cross of infertility" by Marie Meaney Ph.D which is now available in Spanish as well as English and will soon be available in German and Hungarian

This booklet (and the corresponding CD) is addressed to those suffering from infertility as well as to their friends and family. It is often difficult for those who have not experienced this cross to understand what others are going through. Therefore, they feel at a loss and may make matters worse by what they say: Vice versa, infertile couples frequently find it hard to verbalize what they are going through and find that their pain is worsened by the comments of those surrounding them. Thus, this booklet tries to describe the experience of infertility and to draw a road map of the temptations and traps that all involved should avoid. What may seem like an unmitigated human disaster can be turned into a fruitful journey that becomes filled with hope, even if the infertility is complete and final. This essay attempts to offer spiritual help and explain the Catholic doctrine on the issues surrounding infertility, leading to deep peace and authentic fulfillment. 

En Espanol aqui: Acepcion de la Cruz de Infertilidad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy: Commentary

The New York Times had an article recently on the termination of the life of one of a pair of twins conceived through IVF, "The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy". This is yet another aspect of the onward march of the culture of death.
I have BLOGGED previously on the issue of IVF and its consequences which include the wholesale destruction of unwanted embryos. It also objectifies children and contributes to the idea that ‘you can have whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want’.  Objectification of children is ‘part of the IVF mentality’, and aborting inconvenient children is both routine and encouraged.
The rationalisation of the action by the woman is an important aspect of the story and despite the fact that she felt guilty about proceeding with it she went ahead. Her rationalisation also highlights the central issue that IVF is an unnatural procedure. It also highlights the the cul-de-sac into which people who glorify choice are led
“Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn’t had children already or if we were more financially secure,” she said later. “If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”
The article then evaluates the action in the following terms;
"For all its successes, reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home. But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. With that, pregnancy reduction shifted from a medical decision to an ethical dilemma. As science allows us to intervene more than ever at the beginning and the end of life, it outruns our ability to reach a new moral equilibrium. We still have to work out just how far we’re willing to go to construct the lives we want."

It is clear that even those who are pro-abortion are uncomfortable with this action as is evident from many of the column inches that have been written about the issue.  The following link to an article on the Catholic Moral Theology BLOG entitled The ethics of reduction abortions is worth reading as is John Smeaton's BLOG on the issue

Monday, August 22, 2011

Island of the dead: burial place for stillborn babies

A recent report by Donegal tells the story of a Donegal Island where stillborn babies were buried for many years . Its called Oileán na Marbh - island of the dead - and but for local man Seamus Boyle perhaps its history would have been lost forever.

The small rocky outcrop near Carrickfin was where stillborn babies banned from consecrated ground by the Church for centuries were buried.

On Sunday afternoon more than 200 people gathered at the beach overlooking the island before descending for a brief prayer service.

Amongst them was Kathleen Hannon whose great-aunt is buried there. "It's a very sad place," she said. "But it is also now a peaceful place now that it is recognised."

Pilgrims then left the island of the angels and walked back to the beach, crossing a rising tide as they went.

And on shore a touching service took place led by Father Michael Herrity and Church of Ireland representative Margaret Boyd.

Mr Boyle had first heard about babies being buried on the island more than 50 years ago whilst out fishing with his uncle.

Three years ago he decided with others to do something to mark the past by erecting a cross and stone there.

This was the third year in a row that people have gathered to remember those 500 babies which are thought to be buried there.

Said Seamus: "It is an uplifting occasion now. I wanted people to know about this place before it was lost to the next generation."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Access to Catholic Basilica denied to pro-lifers

We reported in July that a group from the ‘Crossroads’ organisation which organises pro-life walks across the US and Canada were also arranging a walk in Ireland this year, The group has just finished a pro-life walk here in Ireland and we will report on it shortly.

The other groups are also reporting on some of the episodes they encountered on their travels.

I saw the following story regarding the Canadian walk on the website recently. Some young people from ‘Crossroads’ were refused entry to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Montréal in that city. The writer says that Our Lady is dishonoured in many ways at this renowned shrine, and he continues: ‘I have seen it myself when I visited there many years ago. I speak of the virtual absence of a dress code. Tourists today pay ten dollars to stroll into the Basilica, often in immodest attire, snapping pictures and chatting about with less restraint than they would if they were in a museum. … But in this case it wasn’t a rowdy group of malfactors who were denied entrance, but a pious group of pro-life pilgrims who visit churches to pray and attend Mass as they march across Canada to protest abortion.’ Having refused to allow the pilgrim group to enter the Basilica by the normal way, the person in charge – who had evidently been forced to seek some method of normalising the situation – ‘then had the gutless temerity to lead the pilgrims to a side entrance into a private chapel where they could pray without being seen.'

And the reason given as to why entry to the Basilica was denied? The young people were wearing T-shirts with the message 'Pro-Vie' (pro-life)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Call for scrapping of UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission

The London Independent newspaper reports that Civitas, the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, has called for the scrapping of the UK’s ‘human rights watchdog’ – the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.  Civitas gives as its reason for such a move the fact that the EHRC contributes very little to meaningful equality, 'costs millions of pounds a year and uses statistics in an illogical way. It also accused the body of taking a "narrow approach to social policy" which is neither reasonable nor useful’.  

The EHRC, however, rejects the proposal and, instead, insists that its job is to ‘start a debate on issues where we could see better outcomes for people suffering unfair disadvantages.’
Perhaps if groups such as today’s EHRC, and government authorities, had heeded the advice and warnings given by Civitas many years ago the events of recent days throughout the UK might not have been quite so horrendous.

Two very relevant publications from Civitas are: 

Those in power who are wringing their hands at the destruction caused by hordes of young people in the UK’s cities and towns would do well to study these publications and hopefully perhaps learn something from them

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The implications of equality legislation in cases of conscientious objection

A very interesting case was reported last Friday Aug. 12th by the Telegraph, in which two Catholic nurses successfully opposed hospital authorities in a London Hospital on the issue of conscientious objection to abortion, under equality legislation.
This landmark case is believed to be the first in which the Equality Act has been used successfully to defend a “pro-life” position as a philosophical belief and could have implications for other Christian medical staff. 
See also John Smeaton's Blog post on the issue

The nurses were moved from their normal nursing duties to work once a week at an abortion clinic and were required to administer two abortifacient drugs - Mifepristone and Misoprostol - to pregnant women to induce so called “medical” as against “surgical” abortions.
When the nurses discovered that they were participating in abortions they objected but were told by managers that they must continue with the work. It is alleged that one hospital manager said: “What would happen if we allowed all the Christian nurses to refuse?”
The Thomas More Legal Centre which represented the nurses, argued that the NHS had wrongly denied the nurses their right as conscientious objectors not to take part in abortions, which is set out in the 1967 Abortion Act but also invoked the Equality Act 2010. In a move that is believed to be a legal first, The Centre claimed that the nurses’ belief in the sanctity of life from conception onwards was “a philosophical belief” protected under the Equality Act. Therefore any attempt to pressure them into working in the clinic would be illegal.

After receiving a letter from the centre, the hospital initially told the nurses that they would be excused from administering the abortion-inducing drugs but would have to remain working at the clinic.
The nurses’ lawyer, Neil Addison of the Thomas More centre, wrote again to the hospital stating that the nurses would still be “morally complicit in abortion” if they continued to work in the clinic as nurses in any capacity. The hospital eventually conceded and the nurses were allocated to other duties.

Picture shows Neil Addison of the Thomas More Legal Centre

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family breakdown and the causes of the London riots

The London riots last week was a wake up call for the British Government but is also a warning to all Western governments.  The tragic scenes in London are an example of what happens to a society when all the youth learn is about "rights" and nothing about responsibilty. 
Prime Minister David Cameron's analysis of the reasons for the breakdown in society is very important and an extract dealing with family breakdown is included below. 

See also this link for full text of the Cameron speech as it appeared in the Telegraph

Families and Parenting
"Let me start with families. The question people asked over and over again last week was ‘where are the parents? Why aren’t they keeping the rioting kids indoors?’
Tragically that’s been followed in some cases by judges rightly lamenting: “why don’t the parents even turn up when their children are in court?”

Well, join the dots and you have a clear idea about why some of these young people were behaving so terribly. Either there was no one at home, they didn’t much care or they’d lost control.

Families matter.
I don’t doubt that many of the rioters out last week have no father at home.
Perhaps they come from one of the neighbourhoods where it’s standard for children to have a mum and not a dad…
…where it’s normal for young men to grow up without a male role model, looking to the streets for their father figures, filled up with rage and anger.

So if we want to have any hope of mending our broken society, family and parenting is where we’ve got to start.
I’ve been saying this for years, since before I was Prime Minister, since before I was leader of the Conservative Party.

So: from here on I want a family test applied to all domestic policy.
If it hurts families, if it undermines commitment, if it tramples over the values that keeps people together, or stops families from being together, then we shouldn’t do it.

More than that, we’ve got to get out there and make a positive difference to the way families work, the way people bring up their children……and we’ve got to be less sensitive to the charge that this is about interfering or nannying.

We are working on ways to help improve parenting – well now I want that work accelerated, expanded and implemented as quickly as possible.This has got to be right at the top of our priority list."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Master Class on "termination of pregnancy" has been re-named

In my blog for 11 July I wrote about the ‘master-classes’ that have been organised by the Department of Adult and Community Education of the National University of Ireland Maynooth, in conjunction with the Crisis Pregnancy Programme (formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, but now subsumed into the Health Service Executive).  The ‘master-classes’ will take place on the University campus in the coming months.  
The first ‘master-class’ in the series, entitled ‘Supporting an unplanned pregnancy’, was originally advertised as ‘Termination of pregnancy: A lawful choice’.
Now, there are two things very wrong with these words.  The first is the use of the word ‘termination’ – ‘termination of pregnancy’ is a euphemism for ‘abortion’, so why don’t the organisers use the word ‘abortion’?  Need we ask?  The second thing is the statement ‘A lawful choice’.    As I explained in my blog, abortion is not legal in Ireland so the presenters of the series are actually proposing an illegal action.
The organisers have recently announced that, following numerous complaints by phone and by email they have changed the title of the master-class to ‘Termination: Dealing with complex issues’.   As if that changes their intent to normalise abortion!
This is the blurb describing the newly named master-class:
Over 4,000 Irish women travelled in 2009 to the UK for termination of their pregnancy.  Yet this experience is rarely discussed by these women or by the wider society.  Professionals who encounter this issue with their clients need clear information and guidelines as well as an opportunity to discuss and clarify thoughts and feelings about termination of pregnancy.
‘The Masterclass will consist of a presentation by Sherie de Burgh, One Family, who has many years experience in working with clients regarding pregnancy and parenting.  She brings the necessary knowledge, compassion and empathy to this topic.  The event will also include stories from women who have made this journey to the UK.
‘The aim of this session is to reflect together on the complexity of working with clients to assist them arrive at their own choice.

The final paragraph of the original blurb reads as follows:
The aim of this session is to reflect together on the complexity of working with clients to assist them arrive at their own true choice.  This session is a facilitated space to reflect on the implications the learning has for your practice.

It’s interesting to see that the original brochure for the master-class (‘Termination of pregnancy: A lawful choice’) is still available on the website of NUIM.

As mentioned in my earlier blog, Sherie de Burgh – who is described in the master-class brochure as having had ‘many years experience’ in working in the area of ‘crisis pregnancy’, and who ‘brings the necessary knowledge, compassion and empathy to this topic’ – formerly worked with the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), which is the Irish affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation which, in turn, is the world’s biggest provider and promoter of abortion.

It is shocking to realise that by changing the title of their master-class NUIM and the Crisis Pregnancy Programme/HSE think that they have hoodwinked the people of Ireland into believing that they are not still promoting abortion.
Please continue to write to or phone the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny (remember his pre-election promise that neither he nor his Fine Gael party would legislate for abortion?).   Also, contact:
1.  Dr. James Reilly, Minister for Health,
2.  The Department of Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth (email:     , or phone her at: 01 708 3784)
3.  Crisis Pregnancy Programme/HSE (Health Service Executive

Ask each of them to cancel the master-class.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Anti-life persecution and proposed pro abortion legislation in Austria

Recent events in Austria are causing grave concern to pro-lifers:
  • A pro-life march of 1000 crosses held in Salzburg on July 24th was targeted by pro-abortion vandals wearing black masks and 50 law enforcement officers were necessary to protect the marchers..
  • The offices of Human Life international (HLI) had windows broken causing up to 10,000 euro damage see Gloria TV Video of the march and the damage caused to the HLI offices on this LINK
 In another incident
  • A judge in Graz convicted pro-lifers of stalking an abortionist despite evidence to the contrary
  • The same judge also fined Austrian HLI Chief Executive Dietmar Fischer, whose offices are in Salzburg, 7,200.00 Euro (about $10.000) for stalking the same abortionist despite the fact that he had never been near the abortionists premises in Graz. See Gloria TV footage about this incident on this link
Human Life International (HLI) also report that Austrian Health Minister Alois Stöger recently announced plans to expand abortion services in Austria, saying that state-funded hospitals across the country should provide abortions to women.  
Stöger complained that there are no public hospitals that perform abortions in the provinces of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. He said that state-sponsored abortion clinics in these regions would be important assets, as they would supposedly “help” women to choose abortion by making it free of charge, rather than their having to pay a private abortionist.
“A whole group of people, ie. women, is not being taken seriously if in all of western Austria this option (of abortion) does not exist,” according to Stöger
Stöger said he would press the issue of abortion availability when talks about a reform of the Austrian health system continue in the Fall, and hinted that financial pressure could be used against clinics that refused to offer abortions. 
Pro-lifers are being urged to vehemently condemn the Health Minister’s proposal which will only further the demographic crisis in Austria.
Austria according to the report already has the second lowest birthrate in the EU, and Stöger’s proposal will undoubtedly reverse what little gains have been made to return Austria’s fertility rate to a sustainable level. People outside Austria should realize how abortion even entered the picture, and the effect it has had. When the Social Democrats introduced abortion to Austria in 1975, the total fertility rate (TFR) was hovering just above replacement level, at 2.1 births per woman. Since then, more than two million children have been killed by abortion in Austria alone. In 2011, the TFR is expected to be 1.4 and is second lowest even in the demographically failing EU, and 200th in the world Our country’s demographic crisis confirms that abortion is a social suicide mission.

Salzburg, where Human Life International’s (HLI) European regional office is located, is often referred to by pro-lifers as a prime example of abortion promotion in Austria. Gabi Burgstaller, the Governess of the province of Salzburg, made it one of her first decisions to install an abortion clinic at the hospital in the City of Salzburg in 2005. Abortions have since been performed there every Saturday.
The Austrian Penal Code (Penal Code § 97) states that no physician is required to perform an abortion. At the same time, however, those who perform abortions or assist in doing so must in no way be discriminated against.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pro-Life Heroine

We reported last November on the award of the Gerard Foundation Life Prize to one of the truly pro-life heroines of our time, Jeanne Head of the National Right to Life Federation.  link to BLOG

The following video link gives an insight into Jeanne's work with the international pro-life coalition, particularly during the last two decades and it also gives a flavour of the many battles that are waged everyday in the corridors of power and the meeting rooms of the United Nations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poland's dedication to the protection of unborn life

I came across the following interesting information on the website of   The Polish Association for the Protection of Human Life.  
This is an organisation I have had contact with in the past and was privileged in 2008 to be invited to address this group in 2008 at the Divine Mercy Centre in Krakow see my BLOG post  for that event

Extract from website:

‘The Polish Association for the Protection of Human Life has edited four million copies of pro-life articles in dozens of newspapers and magazines for four years.  The President of the Polish Association for the Protection of Human Life has regular lectures in local radio broadcasting stations concerning these issues.  The Association has organized press conferences, panel discussions, lectures and seminars promoting the respect for human life from the beginning till natural death.  Specialists from different countries have taken part in them.  The Polish Association for the Protection of Human Life has prepared 50,000 posters, informing about the beginning of life, development of a baby before the birth and the pregnancy hygiene.  It has delivered them to hospitals, surgeries and schools.

‘The leaflets, posters and give outs issued by the Association are regularly distributed in the US, Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia.  The Association prepared a series of twenty photos of unborn children (starting from the eighth week till the sixth month of pregnancy).   These photos are available to scientific centers and to pro-life organizations both inside and outside of Poland. 
 ‘The Association was involved in the national action connected with the Polish integration with the European Union.  The aim was to ensure the Polish law protecting right to life after the integration with the EU.  Unfortunately, the Polish government was not interested in such a guarantee.’

The final sentence makes for sad, but very credible and familiar reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Oath of Office of the Irish President is a declaration to maintain the Constitution and uphold its laws

Much has been written, debated and broadcast about the upcoming presidential election in Ireland. The Constitution of Ireland declares that the President ‘shall take precedence over all other persons in the State and … shall exercise and perform the powers and functions conferred on the President by this Constitution and by law.’
On election, the President ‘shall enter upon his office by taking and subscribing publicly, in the presence of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas, of Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court, and other public personages, the following declaration:
“In the presence of Almighty God I …. do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me.” ’
That’s a mighty powerful declaration to make, and it is all the more so in the light of the words of the Preamble to the Constitution:
‘In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
‘We, the people of Éire,
‘Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, […]
‘And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
‘Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.’
When the time comes to elect a new president, the Irish voter would do well to listen to and act on the words of Cardinal Raymond Burke, paraphrased as follows: –
The faithful Catholic has a very serious moral obligation to vote only for a candidate who will uphold the truth of the moral law, which also serves the greatest good of everyone in society.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prayer for Ireland

A group of young people in Ireland has come together to initiate a Novena of prayer for the Church in Ireland, in particular, and for Ireland generally.
The intentions presented in the Novena are as follows:
  1. In atonement for the sins of some within the Church in Ireland and for all those hurt by them.
  2. For all of our priests and bishops, the guilty that they might find God’s mercy, and the innocent that God might support them in this difficult time.
  3. For the healing and renewal of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The prayers for the Novena are: the recitation of the Rosary each day, together with Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer for Ireland each day also.   In addition, the young people ask everyone to offer up their Mass on the Feast of the Assumption, for the Church in Ireland.
The Novena takes place for the nine days from 7 August up to the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady on 15 August.   Although the Novena started yesterday, Sunday, no prayers ever go unheard – so please start praying the Novena from today.

Here is the Pope’s prayer for the Church in Ireland:

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
Our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.
To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.


Friday, August 5, 2011

HLI President declares the question of embryo adoption to be closed

A recent debate took place the issue of embryo adoption at Christendom College in Front Royal Virginia between two moral theology professors Janet Smith and the Rev Tadeusz Pacholczyk who is professor of moral theology at the US National Catholic Bioethics Centre.

Janet Smith held that embryo adoption could be morally appropriate and compared it with any other form of adoption but the Rev Pacholczyk disagreed on the basis that it violates the marriage covenant, the end he said cannot justify disordered means.
A complete report on the debate can be seen on this link

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro Carambula the interim president of Human Life International (HLI) in his recent newsletter commenting on the debate says that the question of embryo adoption is closed. Monsignor Barreiro says: "From a rational perspective it should be clear that embryo adoption is unnatural", but he also cited Par. 19 of Dignitas Personae
“The proposal that these embryos could be put at the disposal of infertile couples as a treatment for infertility is not ethically acceptable for the same reasons which make artificial heterologous procreation illicit as well as any form of surrogate motherhood; this practice would also lead to other problems of a medical, psychological and legal nature.”
“It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of “prenatal adoption”. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.”
So what this document is stating is that adoption in the womb presents similar problems to those that are found in artificial heterologous procreation and surrogate motherhood.
Monsignor Barreiro's full statement on the issue can be viewed on the following link

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dana considering Presidential run

The Irish Times reports today that former MEP Rosemary “Dana” Scallon is considering an attempt to get on the ballot paper for the presidential election this October,
The story continues
"[...]according to her brother John Brown who acts as her spokesman.“She is deliberating on the matter and is looking at it very seriously,” he said yesterday following Senator David Norris’s decision to withdraw.

Mr Brown said that Ms Scallon had come under great pressure from various elements in society to stand in the election. He said she had gone on a two-week holiday and would make a decision on whether or not to seek a nomination on her return.

Mr Brown said the message was coming through that the people wanted to decide who would be president and they didn’t want the decision made for them by political parties. To secure a place on the ballot paper Ms Scallon would need the backing of four county councils or 20 Oireachtas members.

She ran for the presidency in 1997 and secured her place on the ballot paper by winning a nomination from four county councils.

Ms Scallon finished third in that election behind Mary McAleese of Fianna Fáil and Mary Banotti of Fine Gael. But she was ahead of Labour Party candidate Adi Roche.

She picked up more than 175,000 first-preference votes in that poll, winning the support of 13.8 per cent of the electorate, and expressed interest in running again in 2004 but was unable to secure a nomination. President McAleese was automatically returned.

Ms Scallon was elected an MEP for Ireland West in the 1999 European election, but failed to retain her seat in 2004. She also ran in the Galway West constituency in the general election of 2002 but was not elected.

As an MEP she campaigned strongly against the Nice Treaty and against the abortion referendum proposals advanced by Bertie Ahern’s administration in 2001. The electorate voted No in both referendums but in the second Nice referendum in 2002 a majority voted in favour. [...]

Interestingly two straw polls in yesterdays Independent looked at the prospects of all candidates.
The first presented a list of candidates who have declared to date or who had expressed a wish to do so and then added a category "none of the above". The result of this first straw poll was that 43% chose the "none of the above" category.

The second straw poll asked if Dana entered the race would you give her your No, 1 vote. At the time of writing, this straw poll is still live and can be accessed on this link . Whilst there is as yet no final result the poll clearly shows that there is massive support for Dana.

Call to Irish people 'wake up and protect life'

It is clear to anyone who is aware of the precarious position of protection of life in Ireland that the right to life of the unborn has never been in greater danger and it is worth looking at other jurisdictions to see the damage that has been done by the availability of abortion and to look at the measures they must resort to in order to bring about change.

In one of his recent ‘Fr. Frank’s Alerts’, Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) speaks about abortion ‘clinics’ (or abortion mills, as he rightly describes them) in the State of Kansas, U.S.A.   Under the leadership of the new pro-life Governor of the State, Sam Brownback, new health regulations have been enacted, requiring abortion clinics ‘to meet the normal standards of safety, cleanliness, and proper emergency procedures.’

There used to be twelve such premises in Kansas, but through the persistent and untiring work of pro-life workers just three now remain.   Fr. Frank has put out an alert to pro-life people to come together in a lobbying effort to have these three premises closed, through the simple expedient of enforcing the new health regulation laws.

In Ireland today we are in a very vulnerable situation with regard to the right to life of unborn children, with the media and the anti-life forces fighting so hard to impose their agenda of death and destruction on us.   I have written recently about the shameful meeting that is scheduled to take place in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, next September, where the subject for discussion is ‘Masterclass 1: Termination of pregnancy: A lawful choice’. 

It is up to all pro-life people to ensure that this meeting is not allowed to take place – not only is it proposing the killing of unborn children as a possible option in pregnancy, but it is also totally contrary to the natural moral law to advocate that the life of any human being – before or after birth – can be at the whim of another human being or power.   As well, it is against the Constitution of Ireland – that declares the life of the unborn to be inviolable, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – that declares that protection must be granted and recognised for the child ‘before as well as after birth’.  

Another area of attack on the unborn is the Government report to the UN Universal Periodic Review.   Despite a number of ‘consultation meetings’, and numerous submissions from the public, the beliefs and wishes of the Irish people have been totally ignored in the final report that has been sent to the UN Committee to which the Irish Government will have to submit next October.   How does the Government report present Ireland’s pro-life ethos to that Committee?   The only reference to the subject of abortion consists of trying to explain how the Government will deal ‘expeditiously’ with the ‘judgement’ of the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) in the so-called A, B and C case v Ireland.

So, Irish people, wake up and take action!   We do not want to have the situation here that Fr. Frank describes – having to fight to close down the clinics of death

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New UN-Women Office Criticized for Not Promoting Abortion in Strategic Plan, Pro-Abortion Leaders Blame it on Funding Concerns

PNCI Director Marie Smith reports on an interesting development, in that the new United Nations office on women, UN-Women, is being criticized by pro-abortion NGO's for not promoting abortion in its strategic plan. Link to full article

According to Smith,  
"In the endless quest to establish legal abortion as a human right and funded as a so-called "solution" to reduce maternal mortality, pro-abortion organizations have attacked UN-Women for its strategic plan, which does not include the violence of abortion in its policy recommendations."

The report “Progress of the World's Women" while it presents a favorable position on the legalization of abortion [...] carries an all important disclaimer: "The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UN-Women, the United Nations or any of its affiliated organizations." 
In preparing the report the authors relied heavily on information from pro-abortion NGOs.

The resulting UN-Women Strategic Plan 2011-2013 issued by Michelle Bachelet, (UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women), and the Executive Board of UN-Women does not include any reference to abortion and does not promote the legalization of abortion in the effort to advance "gender equality and the empowerment of women".  According to Smith [S]such exclusion of abortion is in keeping with the Cairo ICPD Programme of Action para 8.25 that places that responsibility on lawmakers: "Any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process."

The Executive Board of UN-Women is composed of representatives of over 41 member states, including countries that protect unborn children from the violence of abortion. Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile-the country with the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America and with a prohibition on all abortion- has been criticized by pro-abortion activists who object to the omission of abortion from the Strategic Plan.

Womens News reports on complaints from leading pro-abortion activists that include blaming funding fears and the fact that abortion is highly controversial at the United Nations for the fact that abortion is not included in the policy recommendations. The article laments that only a handful of donor governments-the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland-fund abortions and endorse abortion as a right. 

According to Carmen Barroso, regional director at International Planned Parenthood Federation
"[Michelle] Bachelet is building her political capital within the U.N. and worldwide, [...] She is also fundraising for an entity that is severely under resourced. In light of this, she will not engage on controversial issues such as abortion."

"Unfortunately, the discussion of these topics would have erupted into a contentious debate amongst member states, stalling the approval of the plan,"
 Says Margot Baruch, program coordinator at the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University in N.J.

Luisa Cabal, director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights said,
"It boils down to a systemic political failure. The donor governments and major players need to demand leadership, " 

"U.S. leadership is a big problem," says Barbara Crane, executive vice president of Ipas, who believes that agencies of the United Nations "want to avoid controversy and they want to avoid offending the U.S. congress because the U.S. is such a major donor.We need a mobilizing goal or target to inspire the international community to take stronger action on this issue."

Smith suggests, 
"Lawmakers around the world who seek to save the lives of women and their children should be encouraged by this news and increase their efforts to de-fund abortion so real progress to save women's and children's lives can proceed unhampered by a radical pro-abortion agenda. The goal is to save lives, not advance the violence of abortion."
Interestingly since the preparation of the PNCI report the document in question “Progress of the World's Women" is not accessible on the original website

Ethical life preserving treatment compared with unethical practices with fatal consequences

 A clinical trial for a ‘groundbreaking’ stem-cell therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis is under way in the UK.   This is part of an international trial, but there are other trials taking place too, in London and Nottingham.   However, the interesting and hopeful news about these trials is that they will be based on stem cells taken from the patients’ own bone marrow, and therefore it appears that the trials are to be conducted in an ethical manner.

Indirectly, although not immediately, related to this news item is the report from the UK Department of Health that IVF procedures in that country have resulted in the death of over one and a half million embryonic children.   This shows that more than 30 embryos are brought into being for every one live birth through IVF.    This means that since 1991, just over 94,000 births were registered following IVF, but all the other embryos were discarded, destroyed in research, and frozen.  

Lord David Alton has queried why it is that the UK government has spent so much money on IVF, yet it condones and assists the killing through abortion of six hundred babies every day.    And only seventy or so babies are offered for adoption every year there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The sorry state of Ireland, financially, morally and socially

Ireland is in a sorry state at present – financially, morally, and socially.
Yet, what is the Government worrying about?   The Minister for Justice, Mr. Alan Shatter, is concerned that the Irish Human Rights Commission (so-called) does not have enough power, or money, so he is going to bring in legislation for an ‘enhanced role’ for the Commission.  Mr. Shatter has, he says, ‘a personal concern’ about the funding of the Commission.   However, he shouldn’t have to worry about that – it is understood that pro-abortion Chuck Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies organisation is already supplying plenty of money to the Commission, and it is unlikely that this source of funding will dry up.   Atlantic Philanthropies has also funded the publication of the infamous ‘Your Rights, Right Now’ report that was compiled by a group of anti-life organisations such ass the IFPA (Irish Family Planning Association – an affiliate of the IPPF), the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the National Women’s Council, etc.
The Irish Human Rights Commission was set up following the ‘Belfast Agreement’ deal, so that it would mirror the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (the head of which is now a prominent advocate for the practice and promotion of homosexuality).  The thinking behind the existence of the IHRC is that anything that is declared a human right in the Six Counties must automatically be declared so in the Republic of Ireland also.   Take, for instance, the legal recognition of homosexual ‘partnerships’ and the provision of privileges to such partnerships as have previously been the prerogative of married couples.
It is alarming to know that the Irish Human Rights Commission advocates the legalisation of abortion in Ireland, and this is set down in the Commission’s report to the Committee of CEDAW (2005).   Just two members of the Commission dissented from the majority report.  
Again, the IHRC issued a report earlier this year on the subject of religion in schools – and this sought to ensure that there is no ‘inadvertent indoctrination or proselytism’ on the part of teachers in ‘denominational’ schools towards children of ‘other faith’ or ‘non faith’ status.

Is this what a ‘Human Rights Commission’ is all about?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Norris' Presidential Campaign in deep trouble

 I have blogged previously on the campaign by David Norris to become the next President of Ireland May 31st and June 10th. The Norris campaign has now hit an even worse hurdle which appears likely to end his potential candidacy.

According to an Irish Times report Saturday July 30th
DAVID NORRIS’s presidential election campaign has been thrown into turmoil with the resignation of two key officials over another controversy involving the Trinity Senator.

Director of communications Jane Cregan and director of elections Derek Murphy resigned from Mr Norris’s campaign team yesterday.

Ms Cregan left a voice message on her phone saying: “I no longer work for the David Norris for President campaign.” Mr Murphy confirmed to The Irish Times last night that he had resigned but declined to say why.

Campaign manager Liam McCabe could not be contacted for comment about the latest problems in the Norris campaign.

The resignations follow claims about a court case in Israel involving Mr Norris’s former partner, Ezra Yizhak Nawi, who was convicted of having sex with an underage Palestinian youth in 1992. In more recent years Mr Nawi has clashed with the Israeli authorities for his political activities on behalf of Palestinians.

When contacted by The Irish Times yesterday, Mr Nawi said he would be prepared to speak about the background to the case but not until he had discussed the matter with Mr Norris.

The two men have remained close friends and continue to meet regularly and are in frequent phone contact. In the notes to his one-man show, Do You Hear What I’m Seeing? , in Clontarf Castle in 2007 Mr Norris referred to the work Mr Nawi was doing for human rights in Palestine.

“I am very proud that my former partner and close friend Ezra Yizhak Nawi places his life in jeopardy on a routine basis to help those he considers his neighbours in Israel/Palestine.

“Ezra is an Israeli-born Jew of Middle Eastern origin and as a ‘Good Samaritan’ his neighbours in this case are the downtrodden Palestinian subsistence farmers in the villages around south Hebron.”

Mr Norris’s campaign was embroiled in controversy earlier in the summer when comments he made about sexual activity between older and younger men and boys in Magill magazine in January 2002 resurfaced.While they set back his prospects of getting a nomination from county councils, he appeared to have recovered in recent weeks following an Irish Times poll that showed him leading the presidential race with 25 per cent support. By this week, 15 Oireachtas members had pledged to sign his nomination papers and he only needs another five names to get on the ballot paper.

Mr Norris made no comment to reporters when asked about the matter outside his Dublin home last night. He left his home shortly before 8pm, before crossing the street and entering another premises opposite. When reporters rang the doorbell shortly thereafter they were told that Mr Norris had left the premises.