Friday, 15 March 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Fri 15 Mar

Top story:

Northern Ireland pro-lifers ready to respond to abortion guidelines
SPUC, which twice forced the Northern Ireland Department of Health to withdraw misleading guidelines on the Province’s abortion law, has said it will not hesitate to go back to court if that is the only way it can ensure that unborn children receive the full protection provided under Northern Ireland law. SPUC was responding to the news that Edwin Poots, the health minister, has circulated draft guidelines to the Northern Ireland Executive. They are expected to be published by the end of March. The guidelines will then be the subject of a 16-week public consultation. [SPUC, 8 March]

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
  • Scottish pro-euthanasia doctor reveals how he gave sleeping pills to elderly couple [Mail, 13 March]
  • Paralysed man joins Nicklinson euthanasia appeal case [Scotsman, 15 March]
Sexual ethics
General:
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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Comic Relief misleads the Catholic Church about abortion support

I have today been forwarded the following letter from Comic Relief to the Catholic Education Service (CES) which reads in full:
[To:]
Gregory Pope
Deputy Director
Catholic Education Service
39 Eccleston Square
London SW1V 1BX

4th February 2013

Dear Mr Pope,

We know that misinformed publicity about Comic Relief has caused considerable confusion and distress in the past, particularly among Catholic schools wanting to support Red Nose Day and Sport Relief. So in 2000, we opened up a dialogue with the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to help communicate the facts.

At that time, they issued a statement confirming that, after careful examination of our records, they were satisfied with Comic Relief’s assurance that we do not fund and have never funded abortion services or the promotion of abortions. The Bishops’ Conference and the Department of International Affairs confirmed that they were confident that Catholics may continue to support Comic Relief’s fundraising initiatives in good faith. Our commitment remains the same.

Our international funding goes to all kinds of projects – providing education, rehabilitating child soldiers, peace-building, fair trade, supporting street children and a range of other work helping people in the world's poorest countries to turn their lives around.

This includes over £13.6m of grants to more than 50 projects managed by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) for work across Africa, Asia and South America.

Yours sincerely,

Aleks Leimanis
Schools & Youth Manager
Comic Relief
Comic Relief’s "assurance that [it] do[es] not fund and have never funded abortion services or the promotion of abortions" is highly misleading. Comic Relief has for many years funded organisations which perform and/or promote abortion - see our charities bulletin entry dated 6 February this year and older information in our 2006 charities bulletin. Comic Relief has funded, among others:
  • the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), the world's largest provider and promoter of abortion
  • African Initiatives (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), for a project "on women's rights specifically in the areas of sexual and reproductive health". Such language is commonly used, either as technical language or euphemistically, to denote abortion on demand
  • Womankind (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), a radical pro-abortion group which attacks the Catholic Church for upholding the sanctity of human life - see my blog "The Tablet helps radical pro-abortion group raise money"
  • Brook (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), one of the UK's leading pro-abortion organisations
  • Marie Stopes International (MSI), another of the world's largest abortion providers
  • Population Concern, which promotes abortion out of 'concern that the world is over-populated
  • Reproductive Health Alliance Europe
  • Save the Children (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), which supports abortion and promotes contraception
  • Oxfam (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), which has a long history of support for abortion
  • The African Women's Development fund (AWDF) (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), for a project supporting "reproductive health" and "sexual minorities". The AWDF charter of feminist principles proclaims its commitment to "Freedom of choice and autonomy regarding bodily integrity issues, including reproductive rights, abortion, sexual identity and sexual orientation"
  • Barnardo's (screenshot below from Comic Relief website). Barnardo's runs the Young Womens London Project which offers a 'sexual health service'. Through the service "young women can access a nurse for free condoms, contraception (including emergency contraception) pregnancy testing and advice about abortion/termination." The Barnardo's website recommends the websites of Marie Stopes International and the Family Planning Association, two of the UK's leading abortion agencies
  • Terrence Higgins Trust (screenshot below from Comic Relief website), one of the leading lobby groups promoting homosexuality.
This list is by no means exhaustive  - go to http://www.comicrelief.com/how-we-help , click on 'Search' on the bottom right-hand corner of the map, and in the 'Type keywords' box, enter the search-terms "sexual" or "reproductive" or "gay".

It is simply unethical for anyone - let alone Catholic schools - to raise money for Comic Relief, that massive bankroller of the culture of death.

Comic Relief funds IPPF









Comic Relief funds African Initiatives









Comic Relief funds Womankind










Comic Relief funds Brook








 
Comic Relief funds Save the Children









Comic Relief funds Oxfam









Comic Relief funds African Women's Development Fund









Comic Relief funds Barnardo's









Comic Relief funds Terrence Higgins Trust










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Welcome Pope Francis, defender of parents, children and marriage

On behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, I welcome Pope Francis I.

Along with countless others worldwide - in the blogosphere and in the news media - I note his words as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio when a bill to legalise same-sex marriage was proposed in Argentina:
"Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."
He continued: "At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts."
And along with countless others around the world, I will be praying for Pope Francis I, not least that he continues to defend with great courage mothers and fathers, children and marriage throughout his pontificate.

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Monday, 11 March 2013

Cardinal Scola's championship of family is highlighted by Pontifical Council on eve of papal election

I am encouraged to notice that, on the eve of the conclave, the Pontifical Council for the Family has published Cardinal Angelo Scola's recent, profoundly topical and relevant, opening address at the recent 7th World Meeting of Families in Milan.

Cardinal Scola, the archbishop of Milan, who served as Patriarch of Venice from 2002 - 2011, said that the church's "passionate" care for the family was a "decisive contribution" for each person and for "today's society and that of the future".

He said: "It is a contribution to civilization, because the family is the appropriate place of procreation and education understood as an introduction to the whole person to all of reality".

I am encouraged that the Pontifical Council for the Family has put the central moral and political issue of the modern world - the family as "the appropriate place of procreation and education" - centre stage as the papal election commences.

At a time when the British government is seeking to institutionalise fatherless families and motherless families by legalizing same-sex marriage, and "gay marriage" is being championed by the world's most powerful politician, Barack Obama, the US president, let's pray that Cardinal Scola's sentiments concerning the family are "centre stage" in the cardinals' considerations and decision in the week ahead.

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Leading experts will address SPUC's int'l youth conference, 22-24 March

Here's a letter to all young people who are interested in supporting the pro-life movement, in Britain and overseas, from Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications manager:
There are less than 2 weeks left until the start of the SPUC's international pro-life youth conference 2013. This conference has proven a huge success in providing students and young adults with the knowledge, contacts, and motivation to be actively pro-life at their universities, in their parishes, with their friends, and in society at large. Every year we provide an expert line-up of speakers from all over the world, a comfortable venue, a well structured programme for each day, and plenty of time to socialise and make friends.

This year’s conference, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th March, is the most important one ever. Why? Because, on top of the culture of death we already have (abortion, IVF, embryo research, spreading euthanasia, harmful sex education in schools), we now face a future, if the Government’s legislation is not defeated, where the institution of marriage has been undermined and emptied of its meaning in law; the connection between marriage and the procreation, protection, and education of children has been utterly severed.

There simply are no better leading experts around to address subjects such as e.g. the Liverpool Care Pathway than Professor Patrick Pullicino and than Dr Helen Watt on the ethics of pregnancy.

The international youth conference is our investment in the future of our families and society. It takes place at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.”
“The atmosphere at the conference was spell-binding and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to attend such a life changing event!...It created an unbreakable sense of unity and friendship between us all. It has opened my mind to a whole new approach to pro-life and everything it stands to protect and defend.” – Student attendee, 2012
Therefore, please, if you can, take the time to publicise and help young members of your parish (aged 16 upwards) to come to the youth conference. We urgently need people to book now in order to make the conference a success.

There is nothing like it on offer at present and it is crucial for the future of the Pro-Life cause that young people attend in numbers and get seriously informed about the issues that face us all.

Sincere thanks in advance in helping provide this vital opportunity for our young people.

For booking information and a conference timetable please ring 020 7091 7091 or email: conference@spuc.org.uk or visit: 
http://www.spuc.org.uk/youth/international_youth_conference

Yours gratefully

Anthony McCarthy
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
Education and Publications Manager
anthonymccarthy@spuc.org.uk
020 7820 3144
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