Saturday, 6 August 2011

A vacancy has arisen for the role on Income Supervisor at SPUC

A vacancy has arisen for the role on Income Supervisor at SPUC.

A job description for this role can be downloaded from the SPUC website http://bit.ly/q5SbcY Persons interested in applying for this role should contact Patrick Kingman, head of finance and administration at SPUC, either by:
  • e-mail at patkingman@spuc.org.uk
  • letter to SPUC HQ, 3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street, London, SE11 4AB
  • telephone on (020) 7820 3121.
This is a full time role - 37½ hours per week, with five weeks' paid holiday and a pension scheme which is open to all staff after a six month probationary period.

SPUC is looking for a candidate with proven supervisory skills and a good knowledge of IT and data processing.

Salary details will be given on request. Candidates are asked to supply a copy of their CV.

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Friday, 5 August 2011

The Catholic National Justice and Peace Network has failed to uphold the right to life

Eric Hester, the stalwart pro-life/pro-family Catholic educationalist, has kindly sent me a reply he has received from the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) regarding its invitation to pro-abortion speakers to address its annual conference - see my blog of 18 May. I reproduce, with Mr Hester's permission, the reply below in italics, followed with my response to each section.
"The National Justice and Peace Network, a grassroots body, rooted in Gospel values, works with groups and individuals of all faiths and none who share its aims and values."
But Frances O'Grady and John Cruddas MP (the NJPN conference's pro-abortion speakers) do not share the NJPN's "aims and values", namely justice and peace. They support abortion, which is the antithesis of justice and peace.
"We engage with all who seek to challenge unjust structures which perpetuate poverty, violence and environmental degradation."
But not only do Mrs O'Grady and Mr Cruddas not challenge the unjust structure of abortion, they promote it.
"For the past thirty years the Network has facilitated the national conference, open to all people of goodwill with a common commitment to work for a more just and peaceful world."
Where is Mrs O'Grady and Mr Cruddas's goodwill towards the unborn, whose killing they promote? Abortion makes the world less just and peaceful.
"Conference 2011 will address what is for many, in this period of economic difficulty, a burning issue - justice in the workplace. 
Abortion, which Mrs O'Grady and Mr Cruddas promote, every day denies 600 people in Britain alone the chance one day to enter the workplace. And what have Mrs O'Grady and Mr Cruddas said or done to promote the ability of medical workers to exercise their right to object in conscience to involvement in abortion?
"All those involved have been invited because of their expertise and experience of the workplace. This is the brief given to each speaker and we would not expect the debate to cover topics other than those directly related to the given agenda."
Just because a speaker has expert knowledge in a particular area doesn't mean all other considerations are irrelevant.
"NJPN supports a pro-life agenda across the board, working against all forms of violence and oppression which cause the deaths of millions around the world, including upholding the rights of the unborn and those at the end of life."
The phrase "across the world", and the relegation of pro-life issues to a sub-clause starting with the word "including", strongly implies that the NJPN believes in the 'seamless garment' error, so well debunked in 2009 by Cardinal Burke, who said: "The moral questions pertaining to the safeguarding and fostering of human life are all related to one another but they are not of the same weight. To use the image of the garment, they are not all of the same cloth."
"However, in a pluralistic society, we cannot expect that everyone with whom we work on specific issues will share our views in every area."
But abortion cannot be relegated to the realm of "views" and "areas". The NJPN are equating second-order social issues with first-order moral issues.
"We do not believe that this should prevent us from working with them to promote justice where we can; rather, we can hope that by building relationships with them, we can open the way for dialogue in those areas where we do not agree."
This is quite chimerical. As the late Pope John Paul II, that great pro-life champion, taught: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination."

The NJPN would do well to study what is happening in the United States regarding the issue of speaking invitations to pro-abortion public figures. In 2004 the U.S. bishops approved a policy stating, in part:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
"[P]latforms which would suggest support for their actions" had been interpreted to mean "speaking invitations, as these invitations would suggest support for their actions." For example, Thomas Olmsted, bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, cited this policy when he banned Janet Napolitano, the pro-abortion Arizona governor, from speaking at Catholic churches in his diocese. In 2008 Donald Trautman, bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, boycotted the annual commencement at a Catholic college in his diocese over its invitation to pro-abortion Hillary Clinton to give the commencement address. Other US Catholic colleges have decided to withdraw invitations to pro-abortion speakers (examples from 2007 and 2008). In February 2008 a number of prominent US Catholic leaders signed a joint letter which:
"urge[d] our fellow leaders of Catholic schools, universities, hospitals, charitable organizations, advocacy groups, media and other institutions to refrain from all activities that provide a public platform to, or imply support or even neutrality toward, political leaders and candidates who advocate positions on serious moral issues that are clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, most especially the Church’s reverence for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death."
The letter says that US cardinals O' Malley and Keeler have also boycotted Catholic events featuring pro-abortion speakers.

Let us imagine two prominent public officials in mid-1930s Germany who defended and promoted the killing of Jews. Would it have been right for a justice and peace group to have invited those officials to speak to it about "justice in the workplace"? There is no moral difference between the killing of Jews and the killing of unborn children.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Fri 5 Aug

Dana Rosemary Scallon
Top stories:

Irish presidential race needs someone like Dana, argues columnist
An Irish columnist has said that the Irish presidential race needs someone like Dana Rosemary Scallon, the pro-life politician. Andrew Lynch wrote that the existing candidates have failed to excite public opinion. He said that Dana "is politically shrewd, utterly sincere in her Christian beliefs and has a personal charm that's conspicuously lacking in some of her rivals." [Irish Herald, 4 August] http://bit.ly/pQjpp3

UK woman tells how she starved her mother to death
A UK woman has recounted how she starved and dehydrated her mother to death. In a new book, Jane Gross claims that her mother Estelle requested her own death. Jane Gross claims that the death was via a lawful "process known as VSED (Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking)" [Daily Mail, 4 August] http://bit.ly/ox4WGB Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "This case should be investigated by the police. There are serious questions to be asked about the mother's mental capacity and about the complicitly of Jane Gross and nursing home staff in what may have been an unlawful homicide."

Question of embryo adoption is closed, says Catholic pro-life leader
The interim president of Human Life International (HLI) says that the question of embryo adoption is closed. Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro Carambula was commenting on a recent debate between two prominent US pro-life Catholic bioethicists. He said: "From a rational perspective it should be clear that embryo adoption is unnatural." [LifeSiteNews.com, 3 August] http://bit.ly/oXlmSu

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Diabetes UK supports and funds embryonic stem cell research

SPUC is re-launching its information on charities as an online index, with new entries and updated information added as and when new information is received. Today's charity is Diabetes UK.

Diabetes UK is a national charity which supports people with diabetes and promotes research into the condition.

In April 2010 Diabetes UK issued a position statement which read:
"Following a member and stakeholder consultation in 2001 and a survey of members in late 2009, Diabetes UK has committed to support stem cell research both publicly and financially through our research grant programme. This position is also in line with that of the Association of Medical Research Charities, of which Diabetes UK is a member. In our 2009 survey of Diabetes UK members, an overwhelming majority supported the use of adult stem cells in diabetes research, around two thirds supported the use of human embryos, and a majority supported the use of human-hybrid embryos."
The main feature of the March-April 2006 edition of its magazine "Balance" was an interview with the Reverend Ruth Scott, entitled "Compassionate Warrior", in which she claimed that human embryos used in stem cell research were:
"clusters of pre-sentient cells – cells that have the potential for human life but are not human life".
In a May 2005 statement, Dr Angela Wilson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said the creation of cloned human embryos and the extraction of stem cells from them was "extremely exciting".

SPUC comment: Human embryos are human beings from the moment of their conception (fertilisation or an analogous form of creation such as cloning). Removing stem cells from them usually results in their destruction. Both the creation of cloned human embryos and their use in stem cell research are unethical.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dana is considering nomination for Irish presidential election

RTE is reporting:
"Sources close to Dana Rosemary Scallon (pictured) have said she is considering seeking a nomination for the Presidential election."
For my overseas visitors, the Presidential election concerned is the Irish presidential election.

Dana, the international recording artist who, for over 40 years, has been one of Ireland's most successful entertainers is also a tried and tested politician.

Most important of all, she is a champion of the Irish citizens' primacy over the Irish constitution - and she has fought to defend the Irish constitution's definition and protection of the family, its protection of parents' rights, the right to life of the unborn child, the right to a fair trial and the right to strike".

For the sake of the Irish people, and for the sake of a Europe based on justice for the weakest members of the community, I do hope Dana decides to run.

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An eminent Vatican scholar details his fears about anti-life and anti-family legal developments

Monsignor Michel Schooyans, professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, is one of the Vatican's leading philosophers and theologians. a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy for Life, and a Consultant of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant and also a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has kindly summarised (below) Mgr Schooyans' latest paper "Legal positivism and the New Evangelisation" - do read the paper in full on the SPUC website, after reading Fr Fleming's summary below.

Summary by Fr John Fleming of "Legal positivism and the New Evangelisation" by Mgr Michel Schooyans

In an important new article, the world renowned and respected scholar Monsignor Michel Schooyans provides a penetrating analysis of two conflicting notions of human rights and their implications for contemporary society

These two notions, one “realist” and the other “positivist”, he describes with extraordinary clarity.

The realist notion is one based upon our prior acceptance of the objective reality of things and, in this case, human beings. Accepting this reality we then begin to make sense of what a human being is, and what a human being is for. We recognise the reality that human being has inherent dignity and inherent rights, that is a dignity and set of rights which derive from and are in accordance with the reality of what a human being is. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a contemporary example of this tradition.

Human rights need to be articulated in law, positive law. That is to say, the prior recognition of human rights conditions the positive law. Laws are enacted to protect human rights, thereby setting limits on human behaviour.

The positivist notion rests upon the idea that beyond words there is no knowable reality. Reality is what the law says it is. Positive law describes the rights we have and who has them. Any reference to real human beings and inherent rights is relegated to the sphere of metaphysics and therefore the unknowable. The jurist can only concern himself with legal rules which have been enacted by the legislator. All of those things said to exist prior to the written law are to be disregarded. So it is that the right to life, “pivotal to the realist tradition, is increasingly under threat from positive laws”.

There are two types of positive law, says Monsignor Schooyans. The first, inspired by realism, protects inherent human rights. The second, inspired by positivism, supplants the recognition of inherent human rights with the proclamation by law of what rights are and even who is to be granted rights.

For the positivist tradition, where human rights are concerned there needs to be a supreme law maker. The 'rule of law' in this tradition is an expression of the will of the legislator, unfettered by the recognition of any prior 'metaphysical' rights. As the major theoretician of legal positivism, Hans Kelsen, puts it:
"In terms of judicial science, the law established by the Nazi regime is the law. We may deplore this, but we cannot deny it is a law. The law of the Soviet Union is law! We may abhor this, as we hold a poisonous snake in horror, but we cannot deny it exists, which means it is valid."
Monsignor Schooyans goes on to argue that
"we are currently witnessing a demonstrable attempt at systematic deconstruction of the realist notion of human rights."
The main players here are the United Nations and the European Union. They present themselves as the
“guarantors of the ‘supreme rule’”.
What Monsignor Schooyans is saying is that the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being interpreted through the prism of positivism, such that words are emptied of objective meaning and are now used to mean whatever the positivist wants them to mean. So it is that the word 'marriage' is now expanded to include homosexual and lesbian unions, together with homosexual parenthood.

Even more disturbingly, Monsignor Schooyans says this:
"Respect for life, in particular a suffering or declining life, also forms part of the realist tradition. It is in the name of this tradition that crimes against humanity, generally declared indefensible, have been condemned. Now, respect for life has become more flexible and we are witnessing the emergence of 'new human rights', which legalise euthanasia, previously condemned at Nuremberg, and abortion."
Monsignor Schooyans concludes with a further analysis of the way in which positivistic influences are leaching into the Church through certain moralists:
"Shaken from the outside by the forces of evil and from the inside by convulsions whose magnitude is downplayed, the Church, today, as yesterday, has to breathe life into the embers, revive the Word of love, rekindle the fire which the Lord entrusted to it to inflame the world."
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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wed 3 Aug

Families in the Horn of Africa
Top stories:

Good news for Irish culture of life as David Norris leaves presidential race
David Norris, the anti-life Irish senator, has announced that he has dropped out of the race for the Irish presidency. Mr Norris, who is also a high-profile homosexual, left the race following controversy about his attitude to child sex abuse. John Smeaton, SPUC director said that Mr Norris's withdrawal was "good news for the culture of life in Ireland, given [Mr Norris's] flippant, discriminatory views against the humanity of unborn children." [John Smeaton, 2 August] http://bit.ly/rowxbr

UK Christian doctor debunks latest poll commissioned by euthanasia lobby
A leading UK Christian doctor has debunked the latest poll commissioned by the UK's euthanasia lobby. The poll suggested that two-thirds of Britons support assisted suicide for the terminally-ill but only one-third supports assisted suicide for disabled people. Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said that the poll failed to take into account the overlap between terminally-ill people and disabled people. He also said that the euthanasia lobby has failed to define 'terminally-ill' and 'disabled' convincingly. [Peter Saunders, 2 August] http://bit.ly/oFTvbY

UNFPA exploiting Horn of Africa famine to push population control
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which bankrolls population control internationally, is exploiting the famine in the Horn of Africa (pictured) to promote so-called 'family planning'. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA's executive director, said that "we need to...work with member states to ensure women and particularly young girls have access to education, including sexual education, and access to health services and reproductive health services including family planning." [Reuters, 2 August] http://reut.rs/nuocyQ Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "So-called 'sexual education', 'reproductive health services' and 'family planning' are UNFPA's code-words for contraception, abortion and population control. UNFPA's main interest is preventing the poor from being born, not saving their lives."

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust details its position on embryo research

SPUC is re-launching its information on charities as an online index, with new entries and updated information added as and when new information is received. Today's charity is the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust is a national UK charity which funds research into cystic fibrosis and promotes care for people with cystic fibrosis. It is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

The Trust states that it "supports the right of scientists to use human and hybrid embryos in research into life-threatening conditions. However at present we are not funding any research of this nature." In a statement on stem cell research, the Trust stated that it supports "...any research that may ultimately be of benefit to people with CF."

The Trust's FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) webpage explains the role of various tests to detect unborn children with cystic fibrosis - amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and pre-implantation genetic haplotyping. The results of such tests are often triggers for the destruction of human embryos and foetuses.

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BREAKING NEWS: Good news for the culture of life as David Norris leaves Irish presidential race

David Norris, the anti-life Irish senator, has just announced that he has dropped out of the race for the Irish presidency. This is good news for the culture of life in Ireland, given his flippant, discriminatory views against the humanity of unborn children.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tue 2 Aug

SPUC's Dr Thomas Ward
8,000 pro-lifers rally against Philippines population control bill
8,000 Catholic pro-lifers have attended a rally against the government's population control bill. The clergy and laity of Pagadian diocese, with members of the Human Life International (HLI) Pilipinas, marched through the centre of Pagadian city. [CathNews Philippines, 1 August] http://bit.ly/ozscKc The rally is the latest of many large-scale rallies against the bill across the country.

Indian state offers incentives to discourage sex-selection abortion
Jharkhand state in eastern India is offering financial support to parents of female children in a bid to discourage sex-selection abortion. The incentives include free education and investments. There are a number of religious, cultural and socio-economic factors in India contributing to a prejudice against conceiving girls. [Catholic Culture, 1 August] http://bit.ly/pzwjQV

Obama admin will force insurance coverage of morning-after pills
US President Obama's administration has accepted a recommendation to force health insurance companies to cover morning-after pills. The move is part of Mr Obama's healthcare plans. Jeanne Monahan, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, said: “The mandate will include FDA-approved drugs like Ella and Plan B that are misleadingly labeled ‘emergency contraceptives’ despite the fact that they can actually destroy a developing baby prior to or after implanting in the mother’s womb." [LifeNews.com, 1 August] http://bit.ly/r7A9Cq

Other stories:

Sexual ethics
General
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Here's some information on the Catholic bishops' domestic violence website

SPUC is re-launching its information on charities as an online index, with new entries and updated information added as and when new information is received. Today's charity is CEDAR (Catholics Experiencing Domestic Abuse Resources).

CEDAR (Catholics Experiencing Domestic Abuse Resources) is a website of the Domestic Abuse Working Group (DAWG) of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. CEDAR has received funds from the bishops' conference raised in Catholic parishes during the annual Day for Life, established by the bishops' conference. The CEDAR website recommends to readers a number of charities which in various ways are complicit in anti-life practices. Full details about the charities recommended by CEDAR can be read in my blog of 1 Jan. 2011.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 1 Aug

Top stories:

Half of Dutch GP's have felt pressured by patients or relatives to euthanize patients, suggests survey
A survey suggests that half of Dutch GPs have felt pressured by patients or their relatives to euthanize patients. The results of the survey of 800 family doctors was reported in an English-speaking Dutch news-website. Alex Schadenberg (pictured) of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition commented: "It is important to note that the Dutch claim to have a strict euthanasia law, but the facts show otherwise .. The concepts of safeguards, choice and autonomy are only really only the slogans that the euthanasia lobby use." [Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 29 July] http://bit.ly/qCAyy7

UK health service delays operations as it waits for patients to die, claims report
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is delaying operations as it waits for patients to die, claims a new report. The report by the Co-operation and Competition Panel comes as the government has ordered the NHS to make billions of pounds in efficiency savings. [Telegraph, 28 July] http://tgr.ph/rh1dT7 Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "Neglecting patients to death is widespread in the UK. Euthanasia by omission of reasonable medical treatment was enshrined in UK statute law by the Mental Capacity Act."

Other stories:

Embryology
Euthanasia
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