Saturday, 18 October 2008

Plymouth school promotes amongst its pupils Britain's leading abortion provider


I was contacted this week by a parent supporters of SPUC, one of whose children attends a non-denominational school in Plymouth.

Our supporters follow the advice provided by SPUC’s Safe At School service to parents – and they check the personal planner and text books provided to pupils, including looking in their child’s school bag if necessary.
It's essential that parents act as parents and exercise their rights and responsibilities as parents when children are so endangered these days by both state and church authorities.

As you can see above the planner contains the details of British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Connexions, the Zone – the Youth Enquiry Service, and Junction/Junction Plus.

BPAS’s website proudly announces: “bpas is the leading provider of abortion services in the UK, with a national network of consultation centres and clinics

Connexions, as I have pointed out in previous posts, is 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, including in Catholic schools with the complicity of the Catholic authorities in England.

The Zone – the Youth Enquiry Service in Plymouth provides young people with confidential “sexual health” services which includes a range of abortifacient birth control services; and Junction/Junction Plus appears to be part of The Zone – the youth enquiry service.

SPUC’s Safe at School service aims to empower parents, teachers, school governors and others – giving them up-to-date information about the provision of sex education in schools and anti-life practices which take place either on the school premises (most notably school clinics which offer contraceptives and abortion referrals) or off the school premises, in services promoted within the school in various ways.

The Government and Members of Parliament may have the right to propose laws and policies which are then approved by Parliament; but Parliamentary democracy turns into tyranny when it approves laws and policies which rob parents of their fundamental rights and responsibilities with regard to their children or when it decrees that it's legal to kill unborn children.

Parents, teachers, school governors need to exercise their right and duty to resist government policy – which includes the provision of secret abortion to our children and grandchildren. SPUC’s Safe at School campaign exists to help you do just that. Telephone Safe at School at 020 7091 7091.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Blair Faith Foundation initiative has deep pro-abortion roots

I have discovered that the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faith Act Fellowship initiative, on which I reported last week, has deep pro-abortion roots.

The Faiths Act Fellowship is an initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and is coordinated by Interfaith Youth Core.

Among Interfaith Youth Core's funders are:
In my blog last week, I pointed out that The Faiths Act Fellowship works with World Vision, which is calling for abortion on demand to be legalised in the world's poorest nations. For Tony Blair's government also, abortion on demand was central to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

I’m concerned, therefore, to see that World Youth Alliance (WYA) advertises in their newsletter this month as follows:


Opportunity: The Faiths Act Fellowship
On September 25, a partnership was launched between the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Interfaith Youth Core, to engage exceptional young people whose leadership motivated by faith will result in real impact on the lives of others. For more information, contact Eboo Patel at info@tonyblairfaithfoundation.org.”

According to their website, the World Youth Alliance “is a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations”. If that’s the case, they should be steering well clear of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and its collaborator the Interfaith Youth Core. I am writing to them to express my concerns.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Stop Tony Blair's invitation to speak in Rome on "civilisation of love"

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, has been invited to speak at a youth meeting in Rome (28 - 30 November) for "young people who want to find solutions" to the "problems of modernity" in the spirit of John Paul II's call to "build a civilisation of love". The meeting is being held at the European University of Rome. Participants include H.E. Mrs Hanna Suchocka, Polish ambassador to the Holy See, Dr Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Father Paolo Scarafoni, Rector of the European University of Rome, and Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who is celebrating Mass on the final day of the meeting. I have posted the invitation letter and the programme.

It will be a scandal if the invitation to Tony Blair remains in place, until or unless he publicly repudiates his anti-life and anti-family political record. He is, arguably, one of the worst possible role models to present to young people. As I say in a letter to the organizers (reproduced in full below):

"In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (91) Pope John Paul wrote: 'On the eve of the Third Millennium, the challenge facing us is an arduous one: only the concerted efforts of all those who believe in the value of life can prevent a setback of unforeseeable consequences for civilization'. In view of Tony Blair’s unwavering pursuit of legislation and policies in Britain and overseas promoting abortion and other anti-life measures, it is clear that he has been a principal architect of the worldwide attack on the value of life to which the late Holy Father refers in Evangelium Vitae."

Perhaps you would like to join me in writing to the organizers of the meeting - who are possibly unaware of Tony Blair's anti-life, anti-family record.

Text of my letter to the organisers

Organizing Committee,
Youth Meeting in Rome,
Ul. Foksal 11,
00-372 Warsaw
Poland

16 October 2008

Dear Friends,

I am very concerned to note that Mr Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, has been invited to speak at the Youth Meeting at the European University of Rome, based on Pope John Paul II’s teachings, entitled “The Civilisation of Love”. You are possibly unaware of Tony Blair's anti-life and anti-family political record.

Since being received into the Catholic Church last year, Mr Blair has repeatedly refused to repudiate his strongly anti-life and anti-family political record.

On 11 January of this year, I wrote to ask Tony Blair if, in the light of his reception into the Catholic Church, he now repudiates:
  • voting for abortion up to birth three times
  • personally endorsing his government policy of supplying abortion and birth control drugs and devices to schoolgirls as young as 11 without parental knowledge or consent
  • his government’s commitment to the promotion of abortion on demand as a universal fundamental human right
  • personally championing destructive experiments on human embryos
  • his government introducing legislation which has led to a law which allows, and in certain circumstances requires, doctors to starve and dehydrate to death vulnerable patients.
In reply, I received a letter on Tony Blair’s behalf, dated 9 April 2008, saying: “the [Tony Blair] Foundation will not be able to address the issue of pro-life, weighty though it is. Nor, I am afraid, will Mr Blair be able to enter into correspondence on his personal beliefs on this or indeed other issues”.

A week earlier (on 4 April 2008) at a talk at Westminster Cathedral, the primary Catholic cathedral in England and Wales, Mr Blair said: “There is nothing I look back on now and say that as a result of my religious journey I would have done things very differently but that is expressly not to say that I got everything right”.

It will be a scandal if the invitation to Mr Blair to speak at a meeting of young people based on the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the civilization of love remains in place. In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (91) Pope John Paul wrote: “On the eve of the Third Millennium, the challenge facing us is an arduous one: only the concerted efforts of all those who believe in the value of life can prevent a setback of unforeseeable consequences for civilization”. In view of Tony Blair’s unwavering pursuit of legislation and policies in Britain and overseas promoting abortion and other anti-life measures, it is clear that he is a principal architect of the worldwide attack on the value of life to which the late Holy Father refers in Evangelium Vitae.

Not only has he failed to repudiate his political record on these matters, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is now working with a partnership of organizations , including World Vision which calls for abortion on demand to be legalized in the world’s poorest nations – which was also, for Tony Blair’s government, central to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, as can be seen in his government’s position paper on sexual and reproductive health and rights (July 2004).

I urge that the invitation to Mr Blair to speak at this conference be withdrawn, until or unless he publicly repudiates his anti-life and anti-family political record. Public figures, especially those who may continue to seek political office, cannot be allowed to protect themselves from public scrutiny by being received into the Catholic Church.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

John Smeaton
SPUC national director

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cardinal says legislators who promote abortion laws are outside Catholic Church

After the news of the disastrous developments at the Catholic hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London, it’s good to wake up to news of a cardinal in Mexico (pictured) who says that those who promote and approve laws in favor of abortion are outside the Catholic Church and should not receive Communion.

One can almost hear the pens of writers being sharpened at The Tablet (and similar so-called Catholic publications), which has recently carried advertising for an organization which promotes abortion, in order to describe the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, the Mexican cardinal concerned, as some kind of extremist.

In the event of such a development, which is pretty inevitable from past experience, we should point out that such publications would no doubt fully (and rightly) agree with the Cardinal if he were to say, for example: “those who promote and approve laws in favor of killing journalists are outside the Catholic Church and should not receive Communion”.

Those who should know better and who argue that different principles apply in the case of abortion, should have the courage to say openly that the unborn child is not a fellow human being and, therefore, not their neighbour.

In addition, where does the cardinal's statement leave Tony Blair, who refuses to repudiate his unwavering promotion of anti-life legislation and policies as an MP and Prime Minister even though he has been received into the Catholic Church?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Catholic hospital's ethical code, approved by Cardinal, fails to ban abortion referrals

Fr Finigan carries the disturbing news on his blog that Cardinal Murphy O'Connor has approved an ethics code (which you can find here) at St. John and St. Elizabeth's Hospital "which effectively accommodates referrals for abortion" – as Luke Gormally puts it, honorary fellow of the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics.

In last weekend's edition of "The Universe", Alexander Desforges, spokesman for the Cardinal, disputed such an interpretation of the code, citing a letter from Lord Guthrie, the hospital chairman, which refers to “fidelity to the Hospital’s Roman Catholic foundation and character”.

Lord Guthrie's letter was sent to the hospital staff and consultants on 30th September 2008 together with a copy of the ethics code - or "new statement of ethics", as Lord Guthrie describes it. "HE the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster who is our patron, has given his endorsement of this statement ..." Lord Guthrie says in his letter.

Having read the new (2008) statement of ethics and compared it with the ethics code approved by the Hospital Board at the end of 2007, which you can find here, I am astonished to read that the Cardinal has endorsed the new statement of ethics - which clearly fails to prohibit referrals for abortions and other procedures, which were so firmly prohibited by the 2007 Code.

I am also astonished by Alexander Desforges's misleading statement to The Universe. Read the two codes yourself and form your own judgement.

Luke Gormally comments on Fr Finigan's blog: "How can the Church in this country effectively defend the sanctity of life when its Chief Shepherd is prepared to approve a code which effectively accommodates referrals for abortion?"

I have blogged before about the the complicity of the Catholic authorities in England and Wales with government policy in providing access to abortion to schoolchildren in Catholic schools below the age of consent and without the knowledge or consent of parents.

Catholic Church leaders in England must stop the evil complicity with abortion provision. Pope John Paul II called on all people of good will to oppose abortion "with the strength and courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned and put to the sword" Evangelium Vitae, 73, and that's the spirit needed in any new episcopal appointments in order to meet the challenge presented by today's culture of death.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Shame, hope and the HFE bill

In a sermon last Saturday Fr Marcus Holden, a young Catholic priest of Archdiocese of Southwark, predicted: "In the future times, I believe people in this land will hang their heads in shame at what we their ancestors have done in these times."

Fr Holden described the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill as "one of the darkest pieces of social legislation ever to come out of this land", but urged his listeners not to despair in the face of such challenges.

Fr Holden preached (pictured) at the Rosary Crusade of Reparation, an annual Catholic procession in London from Westminster Cathedral to the Oratory in South Kensington. This year's crusade was offered especially for the defeat of the HFE bill.

I wish I had a vote in the US presidential election

Sarah Palin (pictured with Todd, her husband, and their baby Trig) makes me wish I was a US citizen and that I had a vote in the forthcoming presidential election.

As I was getting ready to fly home from Canada on Saturday, I watched Sarah Palin "live" delivering a speech in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which included some timeless comments on Trig, her son who has Down's syndrome. In my opinion, hers was the most significant political speech of the 21st century.

She said: "I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?

"When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.

"Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection … and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake.

"As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable."

Given that the most fundamental responsibility of political leaders is to protect the lives of citizens, Sarah Palin's speech is the most significant speech of the 21st century. What other major political figure in the world today is speaking up for people with Down's syndrome ? Not only does she stand up for the one of the most-discriminated-against groups of our time, she does so with total honesty with regard to her feelings towards Trig - from being scared about the challenges to come, to a sense of awe at Trig's beauty, and her powerful sense of maternal protectiveness towards him.

As Alison Davis, who leads No Less Human, a group within SPUC, has pointed out in her speech at Oxford University earlier this year, 92% of babies with down's syndrome are aborted each year in Britain and the percentage is about the same in the US.

You can read her full speech in LifeNews here.