Friday, 16 October 2009

Euro MPs: Let's brainwash kids against pro-life arguments

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling for compulsory school-lessons to combat opposition to the Lisbon treaty, including claims that the treaty could result in abortion bans being over-turned. The calls are being led by the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) bloc and by Mario David, a Portuguese MEP. Mr David said:
"All the debates about the constitution and then the Lisbon Treaty showed a great deal of lying, cheating and mistrust about the EU. In Ireland people were told there was going to be abortion across the EU, that young men would be conscripted into a European Army. This was a bunch of lies."
First, let me be clear: SPUC neither supports nor opposes what is called "the European project" i.e. further integration of European countries in various ways via the EU. SPUC cannot take a position one way or another on that because it is outside our remit. Our concerns, criticisms or opposition to any aspect of the EU system relate only to their impact in the field of medicalised killing (abortion, embryo research, euthanasia) and related issues (sexual ethics).

Secondly, tightly-argued and expertly-researched legal arguments were put by pro-lifers as to the possible impact of the Lisbon treaty upon abortion laws in Ireland and other EU member-states. To dismiss those arguments as lying and cheating is absurd. It is also untenable, as organs of both the EU (such as the European parliament and European Commission) and the Council of Europe (such as its parliamentary assembly) have many times voted against pro-life and pro-family values, acting outside their own remits. It is no wonder that many pro-lifers mistrust the European institutions.

Lastly, as Anthony Ozimic, SPUC communications manager, has commented this morning: "It would be a totalitarian abuse of power to use the school system to brain-wash pupils into rejecting the well-founded concerns by pro-life groups regarding the Lisbon treaty."

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Report into abortion rates is false

A new report into worldwide abortion rates is false. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, which has released the report, is an offshoot of the world's largest abortion promoter, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, told the media this morning:
"The Guttmacher report is not independent academic research but propaganda from the pro-abortion lobby. The Guttmacher Institute was set up to promote abortion and contraception. The report's acknowledgments are a roll-call of the pro-abortion lobby. Guttmacher's figures are based on highly spurious guesstimates, which even the report itself is forced to admit. The pro-abortion lobby has a proven track record of exaggerating illegal abortions numbers. Abortion numbers in Britain today are many times higher than before the 1967 Abortion Act, despite ever-increasing access to birth control drugs and devices. We will be issuing a detailed response to the report."
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Stop calling abortion promoters "Catholics"

Michael Moore, the left-wing American film-maker, has claimed in a recent television interview to be
"an unapologetic Christian"
and said that
"we'll be judged according to how we treat the least among us".
Following Mr Moore's interview, Dr Austen Ivereigh, former director of public affairs to Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, claims in yesterday's Guardian that Mr Moore is
"a committed Catholic".
Dr Ivereigh also claims that Mr Moore's latest critique of capitalism is based on the principles of Pope Leo XIII's (pictured) encyclical Rerum Novarum. Neither Mr Moore nor Dr Ivereigh make any mention of Mr Moore's ardent support for abortion. To quote but one example of Mr Moore's pro-abortion writings: in July 2000 Mr Moore wrote that:
"About the only reason I voted for [Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton] was because of [their support for abortion]".
Neither do Mr Moore nor Dr Ivereigh mention the Catholic Church's historic upholding of the right to life. In the same year as Rerum Novarum (1891), Leo XIII wrote:
"Clearly, divine law, both that which is known by the light of reason and that which is revealed in Sacred Scripture, strictly forbids anyone, outside of public cause [JS: e.g. war], to kill or wound a man unless compelled to do so in self-defence."
In the encyclical Centesimus Annus marking the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, Pope John Paul II condemned
"the scandal of abortion".
It is not for nothing that automatic excommunication is the penalty for procuring an abortion, and that Holy Communion is (sometimes) denied to politicians who vote for legal abortion. As Mr Moore rightly says, "we'll be judged according to how we treat the least among us". Are not the unborn "the least among us"?

Dr Ivereigh's description of Mr Moore as "a committed Catholic" reminds me of the constant descriptions in the media of Cherie Blair as a "devout Catholic", despite Mrs Blair's opposition to Catholic teaching on sexual ethics and her endorsement of pro-abortion organisations. It also reminds me of the constant descriptions of Tony Blair's "conversion to Catholicism", even though he refuses to repudiate his anti-life political record, and attacks papal teaching on homosexuality, telling the Church it must change its "entrenched attitudes" to homosexuality.

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Monday, 12 October 2009

Child rights convention protects unborn says Holy See

This past week in Geneva, the Holy See joined with pro-life groups to assert that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child protects unborn children.

Tune in, below, to Pat Buckley speaking from Geneva about the rights of unborn children in international law. Pat was in Geneva, on behalf of SPUC, participating in the United Nations’ launch of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Pat reports:
“This was the first direct possibility we have had of challenging the fact that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is being improperly interpreted as commencing at birth, whereas it sets out in the preamble that the child needs special safeguards and care including legal protection before as well as after birth.

“I attended a working group on discrimination against children at which Bruce Abramson, a Geneva-based human rights lawyer, spoke about his paper, prepared for the 20th anniversary CRC celebrations, Whose Human Dignity? Whose Human Rights? Discrimination against children in the pre-natal period of life. ‘The rights of children in the pre-natal period of life are the single biggest challenge to the children’s rights movement’ Bruce Abramson’s paper says.

“I intervened too, reminding the meeting that discrimination against the unborn child represented the gravest level of discrimination against children and that, according to WHO statistics, there are 42 million abortions annually. I said that the preamble to the convention states that ‘the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care before as well as after birth’ and that this recognition of the existence of the child before birth was continued in Article 1 where the word child is defined as being every human being under the age of 18.

“I pointed out that one of the panellists had listed the areas of non discrimination in article 2 but had excluded the fact that birth is part of that list and that there should be no discrimination by virtue of birth or other status. I continued that article 6 says that every child has the inherent right to life.

“I also said that politically correct ideologies have been adopted by many governments and are hostile to unborn life and had to be confronted. The convention had to be interpreted in the manner it was intended and this is supportive of unborn life.

“Fr Victor Ghio then addressed the meeting on behalf of the Holy See. He reinforced the points made by Bruce Abramson and myself. He also made the point that Article 24, the right to health, which calls for prenatal care, refers to the child and not tothe mother as the Convention on the Rights of the Child is focused on the child.”
You can read the full text of Pat Buckley’s intervention at the special UN session on the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Pat was part of a small team of pro-life NGOs lobbying for the unborn child in Geneva which included SPUC, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCLGO) which is part of the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund (US), and Human Life International.



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Catholics are free to warn against the Lisbon treaty

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone (pictured), the Vatican secretary of state, recently told the Czech president, with reference to the Lisbon treaty:
“Each European state has its own identity. The European Union will stipulate its rights and points of view that may not fit in with their own traditions and history. Some states naturally defend themselves against it – i.e. Ireland. If, for example, Europe acknowledges the union of homosexual couples as equal to marriage, it would go against its own history. And it would be appropriate to object to it. The Church wants to support states in this.“ (English translation courtesy of SPUC)
I note the contrast between Cardinal Bertone's words and those of Bishop Noel Treanor, representative of the Irish Bishops' Conference, to the Irish parliament:
"I state unequivocally that a Catholic can, without reserve and in good conscience, vote “Yes” for the Lisbon treaty. There are no grounds to justify a “No” vote on the Lisbon treaty on the basis of specifically religious or ethical concerns ... [N]o organisation actively lobbying in the current campaign, using either print or other media, speaks for or on behalf of the Catholic Church."
I am puzzled by Bishop Treanor's comment that none of the groups which campaigned against the Lisbon treaty "speaks for or on behalf of the Catholic Church". Canon 224-2 of the Code of Canon Law says:
"Lay members of Christ's faithful [have] the special obligation to permeate and perfect the temporal order of things with the spirit of the Gospel."
I know for a fact that many of those lay people who campaigned against the Lisbon treaty were intentionally seeking to fulfil that special obligation. Whilst it is understandable that the Irish bishops' conference seeks to speak for and on behalf of the Catholic Church, it may be illuminating to read what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said whilst Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
"We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated ... No episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission: its documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops."
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