Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A new book which brings great clarity to sexual ethics

I very much encourage my readers to listen to a discussion just posted on SPUC's YouTube channel of a new book by Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's Education Director, entitled Ethical Sex: Sexual Choices and Their Nature and Meaning (buy on Amazon). Introducing the book is Thomas Pink, professor of philosophy at King's College, London.



Why is this of interest? In short, because the book brings philosophical clarity to the difficult subject of sexual ethics - a subject of deep relevance to pro-life issues. Ideologies which undermine respect for the unique nature of human sexuality and fertility have grave consequences for the lives of the unborn insofar as they undermine the natural institutions which are their best protection.

I would urge readers to buy and study this ambitious academic book so as to strengthen their understanding of this crucial area of ethics.

Here is what two leading philosophers have been saying about the book:
"McCarthy's book on sex and marriage is full of fascinating, creative and powerful arguments. It interacts with a broad base of philosophical, literary and theological reflection, from Aquinas and Shakespeare to a rich and diverse set of contemporary philosophers. All who want to have an informed view on traditional sexual ethics need to look at this work." Professor Alexander Pruss, Baylor University
"This splendidly and engagingly written book deserves wide attention and careful reading. It defends in an intelligent way - brilliantly debating views opposite to the author's own - a number of important and, I believe, very true theses about human sexuality and sexual ethics." Professor Josef Seifert, International Academy of Philosophy - Institute of Philosophy Edith Stein
Please take the time to listen to this interesting and valuable discussion which took place at the launch of the book this spring. The book is available for sale via Amazon or through SPUC (telephone 020 7091 7091).

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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

We have a duty to face up to what's happening at the highest levels in the Catholic Church

Pro-life leaders and local activists need to face up to what's happening at the highest levels in the Catholic Church.

As Voice of the Family reported last week:
"A representative of the Holy See [Monsignor Jean-Marie Musivi Mupendawatu, secretary to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers], in an intervention at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva last week, welcomed Sustainable Development Goal 3 and all its targets, despite target 7 calling for 'universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.' These terms are defined as including abortion and contraception by many powerful governments and agencies ... " 
 ... These powerful governments and agencies include the Obama administration, the British government, the United Nations Population Fund, International Planned Parenthood Federation to name but a few.

The Voice of the Family report continued:
Mgr Mupendawatu made no reference to the statement of reservations issued by the Holy See delegation to the UN in New York after the approval of the SDGs by the UN in September 2015. In that statement the Holy See expressed some reservations regarding Goals 3.7 and 5.6, both of which refer to “sexual and reproductive health”. The text of the Holy See statement of reservations can be accessed here.
It might be argued that this was an isolated instance, a simple mistake as a result of inexperience, carelessness or human error. We are human. Mistakes happen. I accept that.

However, whether or not a most regrettable mistake was made, the fact is, as the Voice of the Family report points out: " ... there has been extensive collaboration between other Holy See bodies and powerful proponents of abortion, contraception and population control during the current pontificate, under the guise of promoting sustainable development". A selection of Voice of the Family’s commentary on this collaboration can be found below:
Pro-family Catholics disturbed after reports of Pope’s comments on contraception, 18 February 2016

Climate agreement welcomed by pope but pro-lifers concerned about language that promotes abortion, 22 December 2015

Cardinal Turkson: Pope Francis ‘has invited people to some form of birth control”, 10 December 2015

‘Sacrilege’: Catholic leaders react to Vatican’s climate change light show, 9 December 2015

Synod adopts alarming sociological approach in place of clear doctrine, 12 November 2015

Voice of the Family statement: Parents are the primary educators of their children, 15 October 2015

Synod fathers who compromise on contraception will be responsible for greater abortion, 6 October 2015

African families gravely threatened by western governments, international agencies and Vatican departments, 18 August 2015

Professor Schellnhuber: climate science and the population problem, 26 June 2015

Launch of new encyclical by head of Catholic agency accused of funding contraception shows urgent need for reaffirmation of Humanae Vitae, 19 June 2015

Voice of the Family statement on the encyclical letter Laudato Si, 18 June 2015

Any discussion on the environment must stem from understanding that the family is the key to sustainable development, 21 May 2015

Vatican endorsement of UN Sustainable Development Goals threatens unborn children, 29 April 2015

Leading global pro-abortion advocates speak at Vatican conference, 28 April 2015
Like many other pro-life activists, I personally have a right and a duty to speak out about what's happening at the highest levels in the Catholic Church:

I have worked at national and international level for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children for over four decades. In the 1990s, at United Nations conferences in Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing, Istanbul and Rome, at the invitation of the Holy See, I helped coordinate more than 150 pro-life/pro-family groups in a great united effort, under the clear moral leadership of Pope John Paul II, to stop the world's great powers from establishing in international law a right to abortion. Since 1994, SPUC has sent professional lobbyists to United Nations meetings in New York, Geneva and elsewhere, at the expense of our hardworking families throughout Britain who support our work, maintaining in co-operation with other pro-life groups of all faiths and none, the historic struggle against the "right" to abortion. Throughout that period SPUC's team has sought to maintain a close relationship with the Holy See delegation which is so critical in persuading delegates from supporting nations to support marriage, parents as the primary educators, and to oppose abortion.

In raising my concerns, of necessity sometimes publicly like today, I am fulfilling my duty as clearly laid out in the Code of Canon Law, which states:
“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (Canon 212 §3)
I do urge pro-life activists "with reverence" towards your pastors "and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons" to raise your concerns with your diocesan bishop and other relevant authorities in the Church about a situation which, I am advised, is unprecedented in the history of the Church. I believe that future generations will consider us answerable for our failure to do so. Whilst my appeal is primarily to fellow Catholics, I believe that everyone with concern for the common good has a duty to act.

We are arguably experiencing the greatest catastrophe in the history of humanity. At a conservative estimate, since 1966, around 2 billion babies, made in the image and likeness of God, have been killed by abortion worldwide according to leading researchers from both the pro-abortion and pro-life lobbies. Moreover, the number of human embryos destroyed in the past 50 years by abortifacient birth control drugs and devices worldwide is simply incalculable; and in the UK alone, 2 million embryonic babies have been killed as a result of in vitro fertilisation procedures since 1990, according to the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; add to that the scores of other countries where IVF is practised and the number of human beings killed is once again incalculable.

Estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of recorded human history range from 150 million to 1 billion. Even if the number were twice that higher figure, the last 50 years has witnessed the killing of more human beings through the “sexual and reproductive health” systems in our so-called civilised countries worldwide than in all the wars in recorded human history. In addition, during the past half century explicit sex education has destroyed the innocence of children, a sex education which provides children and adolescents with access to contraception and abortion. By removing parents as the primary educators of their children in the intimate area of human sexuality, powerful governments and the international birth control lobby funded by those powerful governments with our taxes, are establishing acceptance of contraception and abortion in the darkened hearts and consciences of future generations of adults.

Pro-life organizations, our families and the wider community need urgently to be reinforced by unequivocal, unyielding voices of Catholic Church officials and bishops throughout the world because the full Gospel message about the truth and meaning of human sexuality and the sanctity of human life, teaching which is also part of the natural law written on all human hearts, is the most important weapon known to man against the culture of death. The intimate connection between the truth and meaning of human sexuality and the sanctity of human life is nowhere more fully spelled out than in Catholic teaching – and all people of good will are capable of understanding that intimate connection.

This is not the time to be silent about what is happening at the highest levels in the Church.

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Monday, 23 May 2016

50 years ago today David Steel MP decided to introduce a Bill to legalise abortion in Britain

Lord Steel of Aikwood
Paul Lennon, SPUC's adviser on parliamentary affairs has reminded the Society this morning: "It is 50 years ago today that David Steel made the fateful decision to sponsor a Bill to make abortion more easily available".

In 2015, under Steel's tragic legislation, 509 babies were killed every single day in England and Wales alone.

Paul Lennon explains: "Having won third place in the Private Members’ ballot on 12 May, David Steel pondered on what Bill to introduce. He has said that he would initially have liked to have sponsored a Bill to create a Scottish Border development authority but the Government made it clear that they were opposed to this and Steel realised that it would have probably have been defeated on Second Reading.

"The pro-abortion Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, suggested to Steel that he might wish to consider introducing the Sexual Offences Bill (to legalise homosexuality in England and Wales), which had just passed the House of Lords, or a Bill on abortion. (See John Campbell's biography Roy Jenkins A Well-Rounded Life, page 294 [2014])

"Steel apparently decided to take abortion because the Sexual Offences Bill did not extend to Scotland. The Labour MP, Leo Abse would subsequently take up the Sexual Offences Bill as a Ten Minute Rule Bill in July.

"Today also marks the 50th anniversary of the Committee stage of the second of Lord Silkin’s two Bills to make abortion more easily available. The debate can be seen here.

"The anti-life Labour Peer, Lord Silkin – the Sponsor David Steel’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill when it arrived in the House of Lords – had introduced his own legislation to make abortion more easily available during the 1965-66 Session. His first Bill was introduced on 11 November 1965 and was debated on Second Reading on 30 November 1965. An attempt by pro-life Peers to kill the Bill on Second Reading was defeated by 70 votes to 8. The debate can be seen here.

"The first Bill had been introduced at the start of the 1965-66 Session. Although that Bill had completed its passage through the House of Lords, there was no Parliamentary time available for it to proceed further in the House of Commons because the 1966 General Election intervened.

"Following the election, Lord Silkin reintroduced the Bill on 26 April. It was given an unopposed Second Reading on 10 May 1966."

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the first pro-life group to be established anywhere in the world, began to be formed on 30th September 1966 when Elspeth Rhys-Williams (now Elspeth Chowdharay-Best) and Alan Smith (who remains a member of SPUC's Executive Committee and Council) had a letter published in The Church Times. They asked readers, wishing to oppose David Steel's abortion bill, to contact them at 47 Eaton Place, SW1, SPUC's first national address.

Both Elspeth and Alan will be attending the SPUC's 50th anniversary national conference from 23rd to 25th September 2016 in Derbyshire. Contact katherinehampton@spuc.org.uk  if you are interested in attending and would like to receive full details.

Let's pray for David Steel today (now Lord Steel of Aikwood) and for the countless millions of victims of his Abortion Bill (mothers, fathers and children) which he made the decision 50 years ago today to introduce - as well as the victims of copycat abortion legislation subsequently introduced in so many countries worldwide.

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