Saturday, 4 October 2008

Memorial to aborted children in church's graveyard

A week ago, Fr Morty O'Shea, SOLT, parish priest, unveiled a memorial to all aborted children in the graveyard of St Mary's Catholic church, Carmarthen, Dyfed. The preacher at a Mass beforehand was Fr Jeremy Davies of the Archdiocese of Westminster. The memorial includes the following quotation from the 10th chapter of St Mark's Gospel: "Let the little children come to me."

Fr O'Shea writes: "[T]he cemetery memorial witnesses to the reality that human life is sacred and that seven million lives taken by surgical abortion alone is something that we cannot ignore. It is time for all people of good will to get involved. If we were to compare the abortion holocaust with the Jewish holocaust, we can see that there is a similarity in terms of the number of human beings who have lost their lives. Similar also is the fact that they all died with ‘legal’ death warrants. But there is one big distinction: the Jews who died in the holocaust will always be remembered. They will have family who will remember them. There will be holocaust memorials and there will be an annual date to commemorate what has happened for a long time to come. The fact that they were born, that they lived and that they died in such circumstances will always be remembered.

"On the other hand, when we look at the aborted babies, the mere fact that these babies ever existed is denied! There is no such thing as a birth certificate, there is no death certificate, there is no funeral service, there is no coffin, there is no grave, there is no headstone, there is no commemoration in the future. The world treats them as nothing more than medical waste. It is as if these infants never lived, never died. This is the ultimate ignominy to inflict on anybody but it is the necessary price to justify the world’s indifference. The memorial in St Mary’s cemetery is thus a solitary and prophetic witness to the abortion holocaust that continues in our midst."

Fr O'Shea adds: "[T]here is no reason why such a memorial could not be erected outside the front of any church."

Friday, 3 October 2008

Department of health in Northern Ireland seeks to promote abortion access in defiance of the law

In July, Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety issued a consultation paper on abortion. It begins with: "Within the scope of this Guidance and the law in Northern Ireland, each Health & Social Services Trust must ensure that its patients have access to termination of pregnancy services." At first glance, this seems depressingly par for the course until you reflect on the actual legal situation in the province. You then realise that the text is deeply misleading.

Misinformation from the department of health seeking to promote abortion in Northern Ireland is matched by misinformation from the pro-abortion lobby in the House of Commons who are seeking to extend the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland this month.

Professor John Keown, Rose F Kennedy professor in Christian ethics at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, has lighted on this and he is quoted in the Catholic Lawyers Blog. He writes: "The starting point of the Guidance should have been a clear statement of the illegality of abortion in Northern Ireland: that it is a crime punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment to use any means with intent to procure miscarriage, and an offence to supply means knowing that they are to be used with that intent. The Guidance should then have recalled the central if not sole purpose of this prohibition: the protection of the unborn child, a purpose which has informed the law against abortion for over 700 years."

Professor Keown asks rhetorically: "Would one begin Guidance on the law of theft, which recognises that in exceptional circumstances [person] A may lawfully appropriate [person] B’s property, by saying that 'within the scope of law of theft, the government should ensure that everyone has access to everyone else’s property'?"

Catholic Lawyers Blog is produced by Mrs Johanna Higgins, a barrister, of the Association of Catholic Lawyers in Ireland. The association has produced a briefing paper on the guidance and SPUC has made a submission on it.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

SPUC intervening in assisted suicide case

A case in the high court in London today is a threat to vulnerable people and could undermine the law against assisted suicide. Mrs Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, wants to know whether her husband would be prosecuted if he took her abroad to commit suicide.

SPUC is intervening in the case and one of our supporters who has multiple sclerosis points out that people with that disease are more prone to depression and suicidal thoughts. Mrs Purdy is backed by Dignity in Dying, the pro-euthanasia group, and is considering going to Dignitas in Zurich, Switzerland, to kill herself if her condition worsens.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Let's hope Canadian bishops' strong endorsement of Humanae Vitae marks turning of tide

A few weeks after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical on birth regulation, the Canadian Catholic bishops expressed their dissent from it. The same body has now contradicted the position of the so-called Winnipeg statement with a pastoral letter which calls the encyclical prophetic and laments the modern contraceptive mentality which it warned about. The Rosarium group wants the Winnipeg statement formally retracted but concedes that Liberating Potential, the recent letter, effectively does so.

The pastoral letter urges Catholics to study the encyclical and expresses concern at the state of marriage and family. Humanae Vitae is: "a major reflection on God's design for human love," the bishops say. They also praise Pope John Paul II's theology of the body. They write: "it is urgent to remember the importance of the connection that exists between conjugal love, sexuality and fruitfulness." Humanae Vitae and the theology of the body are challenges to the world, the bishops say. The married vocation is "great and difficult", and the Canadian bishops offer couples their support.

Pope John Paul II warned of the close connection between contraception and abortion. In part 13 of his 1995 Evangelium Vitae, he laments the liberal supply of abortifacient birth control through the same channels as contraceptives. In February, I blogged about how pupils in a Catholic school as young as 13 were given information on how to get abortions and abortifacient birth control.

It is sad when a doom-laden prophecy is proved to be true. "I told you so," sounds as if the person rejoices when things go wrong for others – what German-speakers call Schadenfreude. However, Humanae Vitae is being proved right before our very eyes, and we take no pleasure in observing this. Sexuality is cheapened, families collapse, innocent human life is deliberately destroyed, and "measures regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty" are imposed on entire countries (even with the co-operation of Catholic authorities [in England]) as Humanae Vitae, 17, predicted.

While the Canadian bishops' de facto retraction of their misguided 1968 statement is long overdue, let us hope it is a turning of the tide. Once the Catholic church again speaks with one voice on the prophetic truth of Humanae Vitae there will be a sound foundation laid, both within the Catholic community and amongst those who agree with its teaching on this matter, for building a culture of life.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Pro-life groups issue joint leaflet against abortion amendments

A number of pro-life groups have joined with SPUC to issue a joint version (pictured) of SPUC's "Under pressure" leaflet against the proposed extreme pro-abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill. The groups are:
If you would like to order a supply of the leaflet to distribute, you can do so via SPUC (email lizfoody@spuc.org.uk , tel. 020 7820 3122) or via any of the groups listed above. It's important that we all work together in seeking to meet and to overcome the shocking threats we are facing.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Catholic Education Service steers Catholic schoolchildren in England to “neutral” sexual values and abortion clinics

Witness to Love has recently published two important posts: “Lifetracks, ‘values clarification’ and how not to teach morality” and “Lifetracks: Inaccurate, misleading and ill-informed”. The author of Witness to Love teaches English in a Catholic High School in the UK and has been an English teacher for over twenty years. Lifetracks is an educational/personal development programme used in the author’s school.

The first of the posts above perceptively analyses the relativistic educational approach of the Lifetracks’ personal development programme, for school key stages 3 and 4. “Most worrying of all”, it says, “are statements for year 11 students (15-16 year olds) under the heading ‘Sexual Responsibility, Attitudes & Lifestyles’ that relativise all types of sexual behaviour, as if they were morally equivalent. For example, ‘different people have different preferences where sex is concerned … The important thing to remember is that every human being is a unique individual who deserves to feel good about themselves, regardless of their sexual preferences’.”

The second post above, on which I have previously blogged, shows how Lifetracks grooms young people “for participation in a culture that has lost sight of the truth about the human person and about human sexuality … Parental authority over children is … deliberately undermined in the Lifetracks material by quoting and endorsing the Gillick (1986) ruling about prescribing contraception to under-16 year olds without parental consent (Lifetracks Year 9, p. 131) … Although 'adoption' is suggested as one way of dealing with an 'unwanted pregnancy', and there are two links to groups that offer this support, this is given along with material (Hints & Tips) that also lists the main abortion providers such as Marie Stopes.”

Lifetracks is promoted by Connexions, a government agency which provides careers advice to young people from 13 - 19 years old and which promotes access to abortion and abortifacient birth control amongst children under the age of consent without parental knowledge or consent, on which I have been publishing a series of posts.

The Connexions service, is welcomed into Catholic schools in England by the Catholic Education Service, as my previous posts show. Given that Lifetracks is supported by Connexions and is a programme known to be used in at least one Catholic school, the Catholic Education Service is effectively steering Catholic schoolchildren, under the age of consent, to “neutral” sexual values and to abortion clinics.

Citizens whose children attend non-faith schools must resist the wicked government policy which robs our children of their innocence and which kills our grandchildren. Catholic citizens must also fight against the wicked policy of the Catholic authorities in England which co-operates with government policy in this area. Please write to me, especially if you are a parent or a teacher, if you want help in developing your personal resistance to this government policy: at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk