Saturday, 25 July 2009

Help stop Tony Blair speaking at major Catholic meeting

Zenit reports that Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, is amongst the speakers at next month’s Rimini meeting on “knowledge and faith” organized by the Communion and Liberation movement. Previous visitors to the meeting include Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

A core of 14 people work full-time on the organization of the Rimini meeting. I am sending each of them the open letter below. I suggest that others write to them too – including concerned Catholics, pro-life people of all denominations and none, and everyone whose family lives are threatened or damaged by the anti-life/anti-family legislation supported by Tony Blair whilst in parliament and by his continuing positions. You can write to them from here

Remember: This is the man favoured by the British Government to become president of the European Union (EU). An Obama-Blair alliance imposing its “pro-choice” culture of death worldwide has been described thus by leading Vatican scholar Monsignor Michel Schooyans:
“What the analysis of Barack Obama's decisions and Tony Blair's project reveals is that an alliance is coming between two converging intentions, one aimed at subjugating law and the other at subjugating religion. This is the new version of the two-headed eagle. Law and religion are exploited to 'legitimize' anything at all.”
Open letter to 30th Rimini meeting organizers

My dear friends and fellow Catholics,

Zenit has alerted me to your meeting next month in Rimini on knowledge and faith at which Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, is among the speakers.

Firstly, I wish to congratulate you on the impressive history of your Rimini meetings which have been attended in the past by John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now our Holy Father. As Pope Benedict XVI, he called on your meeting last year to consider the question: " ... What makes a person unmistakable and guarantees his/her existence full dignity? ... "

The theme of your meeting this year is equally lofty and challenging: Mankind's search for the truth, in an uncertain world, through "reason and love ... profoundly united in the dynamics of knowledge ... " as you express it. You explain on your website: "Without the mediation of witnesses (my emphasis) there would not be the growth of knowledge, there would not be civilization and culture, and there would not be history."

One of the witnesses you have chosen as a speaker at your meeting is Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. Here I must express - and provide reasons for - my intense disappointment and deep concern:

Only last April, in a homosexual magazine, Tony Blair, who has recently been received into the Catholic Church, attacked papal teaching on homosexuality, telling the Church it must change its "entrenched attitudes" to homosexuality.

As a British member of parliament and prime minister, history shows that Tony Blair is one of world's major architects of the culture of death. Since becoming a Catholic he has refused to repudiate the anti-life policies and legislation he pursued, and succeeded in enacting, throughout his political career. These include: voting for abortion up to birth three times; personally endorsing his government's policy of supplying abortion and abortifacient 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's legislation which allows, and in certain circumstances requires, doctors to starve and dehydrate to death vulnerable patients; bringing down the force of the law upon doctors who refuse to refer women to other doctors for abortion, and upon Catholic adoption agencies who refuse to hand over children to homosexual couples.

Naturally, I can and I will send you in the post all the evidence to support the reasons I give above - which you can also find on my blog http://spuc-director.blogspot.com/ It's important to note that Tony Blair's public record (of attacking Catholic teaching and pursuing public policies undermining the family and the sanctity of life) are not historical curiosities. Unlike St. Paul, he has had no road to Damascus conversion. As I say above, he has refused to repudiate the anti-life policies and legislation he has pursued throughout his political career. He continues to nurture ambitions to become a future EU president, and he is the favoured candidate for this post of the British government.

Monsignor Michel Schooyans, a leading Vatican scholar, has delivered in Rome a masterly analysis of Tony Blair and Barack Obama, in which he explains with devastating insight their anti-life/anti-family agenda to undermine both law and religion respectively. I do urge that you study what he says carefully, review the evidence to which I refer above, and cancel your invitation to Tony Blair to speak at the celebrated Rimini meeting next month. His participation in your event effectively provides a platform for a politician who is intent on continuing his influence and power in order to attack the Church's teaching, the family based on the marriage of man and woman, and countless vulnerable human lives - the unborn, the sick and the elderly.

Thank you in advance for giving urgent consideration to my request.

Yours sincerely,

John Smeaton
National Director
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

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Friday, 24 July 2009

Nursing college’s shameful neutral position on assisted suicide

The council of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has adopted a neutral position on the subject of assisted suicide. Its revised position is a shameful manoeuvre which serves the interests of the euthanasia lobby and does not help patients or nurses.

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, told the media this evening:
“Assisting or encouraging a person to commit suicide is a criminal offence. It is irresponsible for a professional body of carers to adopt a posture that helping a person to commit suicide is a reasonable thing to do.



“For hundreds of years western civilisation has regarded suicide as morally disordered. When suicide ceased to be a crime in 1961, it was made clear by the government that the change was not intended to give any sense of moral approval to suicide. It was from a motive of compassion to families and to survivors of suicide attempts.



“In recent years media coverage of suicide has been distorted by an intensive focus on a tiny handful of untypical cases selected by the pro-euthanasia lobby. While these cases are presented as reasonable people – often terminally ill - doing a reasonable thing, over 5,000 tragic suicides are reported by the Office for National Statistics each year. Typically these are young men (aged 15-44) and are often depressed or emotionally disturbed – but not terminally ill.



“The RCN’s Council have based their change on a consultation exercise in which only a fraction of one percent of their members took part. They clearly have no mandate from nurses as a whole for this move.”

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Does Tony Blair really have "a very intense and very deep faith"?

Fr Michael Seed (pictured with Cherie Blair), a Franciscan priest well-known for his relations with prominent people, has claimed in an interview with France 24 that Tony Blair "has a very intense and very deep faith", adding that Mr Blair has been an "honorary Catholic" (implying a de facto Catholic) since his marriage to Cherie in 1980. I think Fr Seed needs to ask both himself and Mr Blair: How does Mr Blair square his 30-year-old purported Catholic faith with his almost equally long public record of attacking Catholic teaching on pro-life and pro-family issues? Since Mr Blair's reception into the Catholic Church, not only has he refused to repudiate his anti-life/anti-family political record, he has also attacked the Catholic Church's teaching on pro-family issues.

Elsewhere in the interview Fr Seed referred in passing to 19th century anti-Catholic laws (largely dormant) under which Catholics can in certain circumstances be jailed for witnessing to their Catholic faith in public. What Fr Seed neglected to mention was that because of the laws, policies and practices supported by Mr Blair whilst in parliament, additional rules now apply to Catholics, bringing down the force of the law upon:
If Tony Blair had voted for laws permitting the killing specifically of Franciscans or Jews or people from ethnic minorities, and refused to repudiate such laws, would Fr Seed still then say that Tony Blair has "has a very intense and very deep faith"? I suggest that Fr Seed read the masterly analysis of Tony Blair's faith by Monsignor Michel Schooyans, one of the Vatican's leading scholars.


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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

New magazine launches assault against our nation's children

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC communications manager, has sent the following report and reflections about a truly disturbing development in north-east England:
"Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Primary Care Trust has launched a magazine for teenage girls and young women called Mint. The magazine's main purpose is to promote contraception in order to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections. Mint will be distributed free outside schools and colleges - and outside the control of parents, teachers or clergy.


"Mint is depressing reading for anyone wanting to protect teenage girls and young women from the modern adult culture of promiscuity. As well as tips on tanning, clothes-shopping and other girly pursuits, Mint gives explicit advice about the mechanics of sexual intercourse and a whole range of false and dangerous misleading information.


"Mint claims that it is 'rubbish, a 'fairy story' and a 'myth' that the birth control pill 'builds up in your body and causes side effects'. Yet anyone even vaguely familiar with any medication knows that it can cause side effects. The NHS lists a number of side effects of the birth control pill. It is therefore sinister that the Newcastle Primary Care Trust - a part of the NHS - has published a magazine which denies these facts, vital to patient safety. (See the work of Professor David Paton for another list of side-effects of the birth control pill.)


"Mint makes a similarly dangerous false claim that: 'You should always use a condom...to protect you against all the sexually transmitted diseases out there'. But condoms don't protect users against a number of sexually transmitted diseases. Again, why is Newcastle Primary Care Trust spreading such dangerous medical misinformation?


"Mint claims that 'The only way to avoid getting pregnant is to use contraception'. Really? How about not having sex at all?


"Another piece of Mint's advice to young females is: 'If your mate wants to go and get contraception, go with her. It's a lot easier when you've got someone there to support you.' Not 'Ask your friend why she wants contraception' or 'Suggest that your friend consider not having sex', but (in effect) 'Make sure your friend doesn't have a baby!'


Mint's advice given in response to the question 'Help! We had unprotected sex. What should I do?' is 'You need emergency contraception'. Not 'You should check if you're pregnant' or 'You should ask yourself whether you should be having sex at all', but (in effect) 'Make sure no unborn child is allowed to be born!' It should be remembered that the morning-after pill manufacturers say that it can affect the lining of the womb so that embryos can't implant, thereby causing an early abortion. (It's important to note that other contraceptive drugs and devices also cause early abortions.)


"Mint's response to another of its hypothetical questions, 'Think you might be lesbian or bi-sexual?' is "Remember - whatever you are, it's completely normal." In that case, does Mint think paedophilia and other minority psycho-sexual disorders are also 'completely normal'?


"Mint represents a truly evil assault upon our nation's children."

I would add to Anthony's comments that we must not forget that such assaults are occuring continuously, as you read this blogpost, institutionally: inside schools, including inside Catholic schools, and even with the co-operation of the official Catholic educational authorities. I have blogged before about how the Catholic Education Service of England & Wales (CES) has welcomed into Catholic schools Connexions, a government agency committed to promoting the culture of death amongst schoolchildren, despite their transparently worthless assurances to Catholic officials. As a Catholic parent who has been working in the pro-life movement for 35 years, I regard the CES policy of welcoming Connexions advisers into Catholic schools as possibly the greatest ever betrayal of the sanctity of life and families in Britain.


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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Does legalizing abortion protect women's health?

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest abortion promoter, has publicised a study by a Dr Suzanne Belton, a researcher at Charles Darwin University, Australia. The study claims that "[w]omen in East Timor are forced into potentially fatal abortions because they cannot legally terminate a pregnancy". The study was funded and commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), one of the world's major anti-life agencies. The goal behind the so-called research is clear, as Dr Belton herself describes it: "investigating and canvassing a way forward" - in other words, how to legalize abortion in East Timor. The flaws in the research are immediately apparent - Dr Belton admits that "there were no figures on the number of unsafe abortions" in East Timor.

This sort of propaganda masquerading as research has long been the stock-in-trade of the anti-life movement. I'm therefore delighted to read a new factsheet debunking the claims made by IPPF, UNFPA et al. "Does legalizing abortion protect women's health?" has been produced by the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund and Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach. Do read this vital factsheet in full. Here are some key extracts:
  • "The lack of modern medicine and quality health care, not the prohibition of abortion, results in high maternal mortality rates. Legalized abortion actually leads to more abortions—and in the developing world, where maternal health care is poor, this would increase the number of women who die or are harmed by abortion."
  • "Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former leading abortionist and co-founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America, wrote in 1979 that the argument that women could die from dangerous, illegal abortions in the United States “is now wholly invalid and obsolete” because “antibiotics and other advances [have] dramatically lowered the abortion death rate."
  • "In England and Wales, the maternal mortality rate fell from a high of over 550 (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) in 1931 to less than 50 by 1960. The steep fall corresponded with the use of antibiotics, blood transfusions, and the management of hypertensive pregnancy disorders."
  • "[L]egalized abortion does nothing to solve the underlying problem of poor medical care in the developing world."
  • "Nations with strong abortion restrictions actually have lower maternal death rates than countries that permit abortion on demand."
  • "The evidence shows that a country’s maternal mortality rate is determined to a much greater extent by the quality of medical care than by the legal status of abortion."
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Monday, 20 July 2009

Good news from Cameroon: 20,000 march for life

LifeSiteNews.com has reported that 20,000 people have staged a pro-life march in the African country of Cameroon. The march was organised in opposition to the Maputo protocol, which seeks to force all 53-member states of the African Union to legalise abortion. Some extracts from the LifeSiteNews.com report:
  • "The march was led Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop of Douala, on the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol".
  • "An interreligious delegation of Catholics, Protestants and Muslims also handed a letter and petition to the Governor, to be presented to the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, with 30,000 signatures, petitioning an end to legal abortion."
  • "The coadjutor Archbishop of the Douala Archdiocese, Samuel Kleda said in the homily during the Mass, '[W]e cannot pretend to defend women by proposing that they have an abortion and use contraception, which threatens their dignity and nuclear family. No reason can be used to justify abortion or infanticide.'"
  • "Chief A.S. Ngwana, leader of the Cardinal Democratic Party (CDP) said legalizing abortion was 'a ploy from the West to check the African population.'"
This resistance by Cameroonians to the Maputo protocol is yet another reason why pro-lifers should be hopeful about the future.



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Conference for young adults, 7-9 August

Next month Evangelium, a Catholic conference for young adults (18 to 35) featuring pro-life speakers and topics, will be held at the Oratory school, Reading, 7-9 August. Among the speakers will be:
Please spread the word about the conference, especially to young adults. Full information can be found here.

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