Friday, 14 December 2012

Abortion and same-sex marriage seriously damage peace: Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict's message, published on 8th December by the Vatican, for "the celebration of the world day of peace, 1st January 2013" could not have been more appropriately timed in view of  current developments in both Ireland and Britain.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, said:
"Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenceless and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offence against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment. Neither is it just to introduce surreptitiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life. 

"There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. 

"These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity. The Church’s efforts to promote them are not therefore confessional in character, but addressed to all people, whatever their religious affiliation. Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace."
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Tablet story about Swiss bishops on abortion challenged

A few hours ago I published a blogpost, citing a story in The Tablet, a weekly magazine marketed amongst Catholics, which alleged: "Ahead of a coming referendum on abortion financing in Switzerland, the Swiss bishops have declared that individuals should vote according to their conscience on whether its universal health-care system should cover the costs of abortions, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt".

I also wrote:

"I hope and I pray that The Tablet story is not correct, does not tell the full story in some way or another. If this proves to be the case, and I hear about it, I will, of course, let visitors to this blog know immediately."

I am grateful to Nicolas Bellord, a visitor to my blog, who has just written to me as follows:
"The document by the Swiss Bishops can be found at:

"http://www.eveques.ch/documents/communiques/priorite-a-la-protection-de-la-vie

"Nowhere does it say that voting in the referendum is a matter of conscience. What they do say is that accepting public financing of abortion leads to a normalisation of abortion. They are saying that it is not enough just to vote against this particular aspect but society needs to fight against abortion generally.

"They are a sorry lot at The Tablet."
I will return to this important matter as soon as I have a good translation of the Swiss bishops' communication.

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Gay marriage: Children sacrificed on altar of adults' happiness

In an article in Taki's Magazine, Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications' manager, has provided a new and penetrating critique of the pro-gay marriage proposal being championed by members of the Conservative Party and in the Government’s response to the Equal Marriage Consultation published this month.   In this article Anthony McCarthy makes the following important points:
  • Absent from the Tory proposal is any reference to a child or to children. Children have been airbrushed from the revised notion of marriage being promoted by these Tories.
  • The Tory proposal reduces ‘marriage’ to a contract between two parties. Since these parties may be persons of the same sex there can be no place in the marriage contract for children. Marriage is just something that affects adults. It has nothing to do with raising the next generation, or with providing a stable environment in which children are raised.
  • The new definition of marriage being proposed by these Tories would, if adopted, be the abolition of marriage as it has always been understood as far as the civil law would be concerned.
  • In seeking to do this, these Tories are invoking a power which belongs to neither Church nor State. Marriage and family existed before the Church and the State. In fact the State is a coalition of natural married couples and their children. The family is the fundamental group unit of society, not “couples” of any kind.
Anthony McCarthy develops these ideas and more besides. He accurately identifies children as the ones whose interests are to be sacrificed on the altar of some adults’ arrogant claim for personal happiness. In this sense does Anthony use the term ‘child sacrifice’ to devastating effect. “This revolutionary move will”, he says, “harm the most vulnerable members of our society ... by making more likely ... the breakdown or avoidance of marriage, the contracting of marriage to involve only the couple, the refusal to see in the nature of man and woman a special complementarity inviting a binding relationship - one which can turn a person into a parent as opposed to a mere sperm or egg donor.”

Read SPUC's comments on the government's statement earlier this week - and our briefing notes for lobbying - and write and urge others to write today to MPs.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

European Life Network analyses Irish Expert Group on Abortion report

"By defining abortion as necessary medical treatment, and by undermining the absolute prohibition on abortion in the Irish Constitution and Irish statute law, the expert report sets the scene for legislation which will lead to ever-wider permissions for abortion." [European Life Network]
In a considered analysis of the Ireland's Expert group on abortion, Pat Buckley sets out clearly why it must be completely rejected by Ireland's legislature (Oireachtas). [Legislators] "must find a way to overturn the X case judgment and any other element of law or public policy in Ireland which fails to apply Ireland’s constitutional and statutory ban on intentionally ending the lives of unborn children from the point of conception onwards", Pat Buckley points out.

Read what he says carefully and, if you are an Irish citizen, tell your political representatives to stand firm against the pressure to legislate along the lines of the seriously flawed 'X' case judgement.

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Government ignores the child-centred nature of marriage

Maria Miller
SPUC has accused the Conservative-led government of ignoring the child-centred nature of marriage, following the government’s proposals detailed today regarding so-called same-sex marriage.

We pointed out that the government’s response to its consultation, the comments in Parliament by Equalities minister Maria Miller (pictured), and the Freedom To Marry website all fail to address the truth that same-sex marriage lacks basic elements of true marriage - the complementary sexual difference between spouses necessary for the procreation and healthy upbringing of children.

As I told the media earlier today, the assumption running through the government’s approach is that marriage is simply a stable, long-term relationship. This ignores the specific identity of marriage as a child-bearing and child-centred institution, fundamentally different from homosexual relationships. There has been not one single direct statement by the government, either in its response to the consultation results nor in the last two days’ parliamentary debates, on the intrinsic link between marriage and children.

Similarly, the Tory-composed Freedom to Marry group makes no reference at all in its published material to the terms ‘child/ren’, ‘parent/s’, ‘family/-ies’, ‘father/s’, ‘mother/s’, ‘husband/s’ or ‘wife/-ves'.

Same-sex marriage represents an attempt to redefine marriage, thus undermining marriage. This undermining lessens the protection for unborn children which true marriage provides. The family based on real (i.e heterosexual) marriage is the safest place for children both born and unborn.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples ruptures the intrinsic link between marriage and children, thus reducing marriage to a mere contract of cohabitation. Yet marriage is a pre-political institution, and the State does not have the moral right to seek to redefine this natural institution in law.

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"It's not too late to stop same-sex marriage bill" say Catholic archbishops: Pass on the message

Archbishop Peter Smith (l) and
Archbishop  Vincent Nichols
We must pray that the excellent message from England's Catholic leaders, Archbishop Vincent Nichols  and Archbishop Peter Smith - that it's not too late to stop the government's same-sex marriage bill - is promoted by the bishops' conference staff urgently amongst fellow-bishops, amongst Catholic parishes, and amongst national and local faith leaders, the length and the breadth of Britain.

The Catholic archbishops have spoken clearly and those who believe in prayer should pray for them personally, and that they remain strong and prophetic. We must also pray that a coordinated lead is given by church leaders of all denominations - together with coordinated action in which  everyone plays a vital part.

Please forward this post to others you know. There is no time to waste as the government increases in its arrogant determination to sweep marriage aside as a child-centred institution, to sweep the results of its own consultation aside (see the archbishops' statement below), without any electoral mandate to pursue their destructive legislation.

Read SPUC's comments on the government's statement today - and our briefing notes for lobbying - and write and urge others to write today to MPs.

Archbishop Nichols and Archbishop Smith said:
The meaning of marriage matters. It derives that meaning from its function as the foundation of the family. The union of one man and one woman for love and mutual support and open to procreation has over the centuries formed a stable unit we call the family. Marriage is the enduring public recognition of this commitment and has been rightly recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection.

The government has chosen to ignore the views of over 600,000 people who signed a petition calling for the current definition of marriage to stay, and we are told legislation to change the definition of marriage will now come to Parliament.

We strongly oppose such a Bill. Furthermore, the process by which this has happened can only be described as shambolic. There was no electoral mandate in any manifesto; no mention in the Queen’s speech; no serious or thorough consultation through a Green or White paper, and a constant shifting of policy before even the government response to the consultation was published today.

We urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their MPs clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others. We urge all parties to ensure their Members have a free vote. It is not too late to stop this Bill.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Catholic and Anglican leaders speak out against David Cameron's same-sex marriage agenda

Bishop Philip Egan
In response to the Cameron government's announcement on Friday regarding its same-sex marriage plans, Catholic and Anglican leaders have spoken out.

Philip Egan (pictured), the new Catholic bishop of Portsmouth, has issued a statement saying (inter alia):
"[B]y attempting to change the natural meaning of marriage, he seems utterly determined to undermine one of the key foundations of our society ... If the prime minister proceeds with his intentions, he will pervert authentic family values, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behaviour of future generations ... The institution of marriage has its ups and downs, but will we ever forget that it was the leader of the Conservative Party who finally destroyed marriage as a lasting, loving and life-giving union between a man and a woman?"

Joseph Devine, the Catholic bishop of Motherwell, has written a two-page letter to David Cameron which says (inter alia):
“I suspect it is only a matter of time before you go one step further and outlaw the teaching of Christian doctrine on sexual morality on the grounds of discrimination.”
The Church of England has issued a statement, saying (inter alia)*:
"[T]he meaning of marriage will change for everyone, gay or straight, if the proposals are enacted ... [T]he uniqueness of marriage is that it embodies the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women. This distinctiveness and complementarity are seen most explicitly in the biological union of man and woman which potentially brings to the relationship the fruitfulness of procreation.

To remove from the definition of marriage this essential complementarity is to lose any social institution in which sexual difference is explicitly acknowledged.

We believe that redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships will entail a dilution in the meaning of marriage for everyone by excluding the fundamental complementarity of men and women from the social and legal definition of marriage."
*Readers should note that the Church of England's statement contains a number of other comments which differ from Catholic teaching regarding the homosexual agenda.

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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Please support vigil for life on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Next Wednesday, 12 December, is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn. The Helpers of God's Precious Infants are holding a vigil for life on this special day for the pro-life movement and for all unborn babies and expecting mothers.

The vigil will be led by Father Samuel Medley. They will meet for Mass at 10am at Saint Francis' Catholic Church, Week Street, in Maidstone. After Mass they will process with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the nearby abortion centre and spend time there praying for the closure of the abortion centre, the conversion of those involved with abortion and for mothers who are considering abortion to choose life their children.

The Church is just opposite Maidstone East Station. Trains run regularly to Maidstone East from London Victoria. The easiest way to get there by road is to take the M20 and come off at Junction 6. Follow the signs to the town centre and then to Maidstone East Station. There is a car park at the station and also 2 car parks in Brewer Street and 1 in Wheeler Street, both of which are accessed by Lower Boxley Well Road.

These vigils save many lives all around the world. Please attend this event if you can.

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