Saturday, 26 December 2009

English archbishops must speak out against the Children, Schools and Families bill

The Christmas homilies of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury highlighted the centrality of the family and the special role of parents in the story of the birth of Jesus.

At midnight Mass in Westminster Cathedral, Archbishop Nichols (above), the archbishop of Westminster, said:
"Here is a truly human family: Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus. Here is a loving, committed couple, sharing side by side both adversity and joy. This is the first source of happiness: faithful, persevering love which bears its fruit through self-sacrifice."
And Dr. Rowan Williams (right), the archbishop of Canterbury, preaching yesterday at Canterbury Cathedral, emphasised the pre-eminent role of parents in the lives of children, saying:

"The message being sent out to children today was: 'We shall test you relentlessly in schools, we shall bombard you with advertising, often highly sexualised advertising, we shall worry you about your prospects and skills from the word go. We shall do all we can to make childhood a brief and rather regrettable stage on the way to the real thing, which is ‘independence’, turning you into a useful cog in the social machine that won’t need too much maintenance.' Parents should learn to enjoy their children’s dependence on them, instead of forcing them prematurely into independence."
Dr Williams is right to call on parents to assert themselves as their children's primary educators, saying they " ... should learn to enjoy their children’s dependence on them, instead of forcing them prematurely into independence."

My hope and my prayer are that both church leaders, immediately in the new year, and prior to its second reading in the House of Commons (provisionally scheduled for January 11), break their silence and speak out clearly and unequivocally against the Children, Schools and Families Bill - government legislation which threatens both children and families as never before in our country.

As SPUC said last month on the day of the Bill's publication:
"Clauses 11 to 14 of the bill make sex education compulsory and set out the principles under which schools must teach sex education. The principles require that sex education 'reflects a reasonable range of...cultural and other perspectives' and promotes 'equality', 'diversity' and 'rights'. The bill also says that schools must 'have regard' to government guidance on how to implement the principles ... The bill reflects the recommendations of the Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Group's report"
And in the same statement I said:
"There can be no doubt the government will use the bill, if passed, to promote abortion in schools. The bill's principles will be used to ensure that pro-abortion propaganda dominates the content of sex education. Schoolgirls will be told that they have a right to abortion, that abortion is virtually harmless and that pro-abortion agencies provide good sexual health services. 'Equality' and 'diversity' will be used to suppress opposition to abortion. The abolition of parents' right to withdraw older children from sex education classes will ensure that no child leaves state schooling without having been brainwashed with an pro-abortion mentality."
In particular, it is incumbent upon the Catholic Education Service (CES) in England and Wales to reverse its general support for compulsory sex education. The CES (of which Archbishop Nichols was chairman till his appointment as archbishop of Westminster this year) should also stop welcoming Connexions into Catholic schools. Connexions is a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or permission. Connexions' advisers are trained to tell young people that they can obtain abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or consent.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Help protect Ireland from Britain's anti-life culture

Pat Buckley is calling upon pro-lifers to respond to a new consultation by the Irish Law Commission, which is suggesting that Irish law is changed to allow teenagers under the age of consent legally to access birth control drugs and devices, as in Britain. Please read Pat's post in full.

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Stem cells restore sight, no embryos used

Adult stem cells have restored full vision in a man's eye damaged 12 years ago in a violent attack. Russell Turnbull (pictured), now 38, had ammonia thrown in his right eye, which resulted in almost no sight. He had tried various treatments but a stem cell transplant from his left eye has restored his vision to normal.

Sometimes media reports of stem cell treatments and cures fail to mention - perhaps deliberately - that the stem cells are adult stem cells, not ones taken from embryos. Not one single cure or treatment has come from destructive embryo research, yet there are scores of conditions in which adult stem cells have benefitted patients. There are no instances of any major medical advance achieved by abandoning basic ethical principles such as safeguarding the right to life.

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Boy without an upper brain celebrates first birthday amidst love and hate

Nicholas Coke, a boy from Colorado, America, has turned one year old despite being born without an upper brain, a condition known as anencephaly. In August I blogged on the similar case of Marcela de Jesus Galante Ferreira, a girl with anencephaly who lived for one year and eight months, much longer than most infants born with the condition.

Alison Davis of No Less Human, a group within SPUC representing disabled people, sent me her reaction to the news of Nicholas' first birthday:
"Nicholas Coke's achievement in reaching his first birthday despite having virtually no brain is not just a miracle for his young mother, Sheena. He is a reminder to the world that disabled people matter, that we can surprise you whatever the doctors say, that the doctors prognosis is not always right (indeed it is very often wrong), and that every life, however short or disabled is precious. Nicholas' mother explains that although he can do very little, by his very existence he has changed lives and brought many people to understand the value of every human being. Abortion prevents over 90% of anencephalic babies from giving the joy, hope and surprise to their families and others, that Nicolas has brought to so many. He encapsulates both the tragedy of abortion, and the joy inherent in every life allowed to be lived."
One online report of Nicholas' birthday is followed by readers' comments, which include comments in stark contrast to Alison's:
  • "It seems kinda strange to spend so much time and effort keeping this vegetable alive ... Even a pet would be a better subject of the family's affections."
  • "It's just a brainless piece of meat ... [T]hrow that worthless crap machine in a dumpster."
  • "He's not a miracle. That's a waste of money for the parents"
In the face of such anti-life hate, it is a tragedy when politicians fail to protect disabled children in their policy positions.

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Send this lovely video as a Christmas gift

Sheila Jones, one of SPUC's most active regional officers, sent me the following message today:
Hi
My nephew Luke found this pro-life song and video on the baby forming in the womb on youtube, please have a look if you haven't already seen it, it's great.
Sheila
I agree with Sheila. It is great.

If, like me, you've not sent out your Christmas cards yet, or even if you have sent them, you might like to forward a link to this video with those on your Christmas card list as an extra Christmas gift.



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Blair's Catholicism questioned in Guardian column

Hugh O'Shaughnessy rightly reminded Guardian readers last Thursday that there is a very serious question as to whether Tony Blair is a Catholic.

Mr O'Shaughnessy's article cites Monsignor Michel Schooyans, one of the Vatican's leading scholars. Earlier this year, Monsignor Schooyans presented a masterly analysis of the political agenda of Barack Obama and Tony Blair at the plenary assembly of the pontifical academy of social sciences in Rome. He pointed out that Obama and Blair, with their anti-life, anti-family agenda, are seeking to undermine both law and religion respectively.

Given Tony Blair's well-known continued desire for high political office, it's important that the public and the Church keep in mind that, since being received into the Catholic Church, Tony Blair has been, very publicly, seeking to undermine the faith he purports to hold.

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