Saturday, 28 September 2013

Young pro-life women stand their ground at pro-abortion Goldsmiths University

Top stories:

Young pro-life women stand their ground at pro-abortion Goldsmiths University
On 25 September Daniel Blackman, SPUC's campaigns & education officer, and a group of five brave young women went to Goldsmiths University in London to hand out leaflets to new students. The level of hostility and harassment was appalling. What began as some simple leafleting ended with us being followed by a group of 15 aggressive pro-abortion students chanting, swearing at us, blocking us with placards, and then being followed several hundred metres down the road. [SPUC youth blog, 26 September]

Safe at School campaign to address Hounslow parents concerned about sex education in primary schools
Worried parents in Hounslow have invited Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School campaign to talk to them about their rights as parents and how they can protect their children from explicit sex education. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 1 October, 7-9 pm at Wellington Day Centre, Staines Road, Hounslow, TW4 5BA. Mrs Tully said: "I will be telling parents in Hounslow that they are the experts in their children's lives. Only a parent knows when a child is ready to hear about the intimate details of human sexuality. This should be done in the privacy of the child's home, not publicly in the classroom. I will be showing parents how explicit sex education materials sexualise their children."  [SPUC, 27 September]

Protest outside abortion meeting during Labour's Brighton conference
A pro-life protest took place outside a meeting to promote abortion, during this past week's Labour's Brighton conference. 18 members of SPUC formed a silent chain of placard-holders outside a fringe meeting organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain's largest chains of abortionists. Judy Law, a local SPUC activist, said: "Many post-abortive mothers are badly affected by abortion. It is vital that BPAS, the Labour party, and the people of Brighton were reminded of this sad situation. [SPUC, 25 September]

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Friday, 27 September 2013

Safe at School campaign to address Hounslow parents concerned about sex education in primary schools

Worried parents in Hounslow have invited Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School campaign to talk to them about their rights as parents and how they can protect their children from explicit sex education.

Antonia told the media today:
"Parents have approached me because they are receiving confusing messages from both their children's schools and from the local authority.  For example they are being told that sex education is a compulsory part of the science curriculum. This is not true. The current science curriculum does not specify that sex is to be taught to children, a point confirmed last year by former schools' minister Nick Gibb.
Schools are interpreting the national curriculum to include sex in science lessons. Parents are understandably concerned. Their rights to withdraw their children have been stripped from them. Parents are the primary educators of their children in sexual matters, not the school or the local authority."
Safe at School, a campaign of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) www.spuc.org.uk has welcomed the new national curriculum for science at key stages 1 and 2. This makes clear that children are not expected to identify genitalia or be taught about sexual intercourse in science lessons.

Antonia continued:
"I will be telling parents in Hounslow that they are the experts in their children's lives. Only a parent knows when a child is ready to hear about the intimate details of human sexuality. This should be done in the privacy of the child's home, not publicly in the classroom. I will be showing parents how explicit sex education materials sexualise their children."
The Safe at School meeting will take place on Tuesday 1 October, 7-9 pm at Wellington Day Centre, Staines Road, Hounslow, TW4 5BA.

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Bishop Egan of Portsmouth speaks out for doctors who respect life

Simon Caldwell, the veteran Catholic journalist, reports in this weekend's Catholic Herald that Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has spoken out in defence of doctors who respect life. The report reads:
"BISHOP Philip Egan of Portsmouth has accused the British Medical Association of favouring euthanasia by limiting doctors’ rights to conscientiously object to starving and dehydrating patients to death.

He spoke after revised BMA guidance told doctors that they would have the support of their union if they refused to withdraw food and fluid on religious or moral grounds – but only if they arranged for another medic to do it instead.

'It is immoral to bring about somebody’s death by withdrawing feeding and hydration,' Bishop Egan said. 'The BMA has shifted its position in favour of euthanasia rather than against it.'

He added: 'The underlying issue is that the law is out of sync with authentic morality.'

'The law in Britain is out of step with the moral foundations of caring legitimately for somebody in their last moments of life.'"
I wish to thank again Bishop Egan for preaching the Gospel of Life in the midst of Britain's culture of death.

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My letter on abortion in The Herald in Scotland

Yesterday The Herald, one of Scotland's main newspapers, published a letter from me about abortion. My letter was in reply to a column which used the incidence of backstreet abortion before the Abortion Act was passed in 1967 as an argument for legal abortion today. You can read my published reply online and my unedited original below.

The horror of abortion

The Herald
, Thursday 26 September 2013

Sir,

Colette Douglas Home, in her column in the The Herald (24th September 2013), asks us to celebrate the end of the ‘horror’ of illegal ‘backstreet’ abortion.

Abortion, whether legal or illegal, is always a horror because it always results in the death of an unborn child and always carries a serious risk of physical and psychological harm to the mother.

Advocates of abortion have long exaggerated the number of women who died as a result of ‘backstreet’ abortion. During the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act MPs were led to believe that thousands of women were dying every year. In reality there were 32 tragic maternal deaths caused by abortion in 1966.

And these deaths still continue since the passage of the Abortion Act. Since 1968 at least 164 women have died following abortions. A recent heart-breaking case was the death of 19-year old Jessie-Maye Barlow, who died just before Christmas 2011, leaving behind a six-month old daughter. The recent horrific case of Kermit Gosnell, who is beginning three life sentences for crimes committed at his legal abortion clinic, shows well enough that women are not made safe simply because abortion is legally permitted.

All women deserve better than abortion.

John Smeaton
Chief executive
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
3 Whitacre Mews
Stannary Street
London

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Some texts for reflection in the light of Pope Francis's interview

As most readers will know, Pope Francis gave a widely-reported interview recently to Jesuit publications, in which he addressed pro-life/pro-family issues and issues of church governance. His comments on these areas are similar to, and elaborations of, briefer comments he made during an in-flight press conference after World Youth Day. Below I offer some texts for reflection in the light of Pope Francis's interview, including words by Pope Francis himself. Quotations from the interview are in red;  texts for reflection are in blue.

From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
Texts for reflection:
Pope Francis, address to Catholic doctors, 21 September 2013:
"[A]ttention to human life in its totality has become in recent times a real and proper priority of the Magisterium of the Church, particularly for life which is largely defenseless, namely, that of the disabled, the sick, the unborn, children, the elderly."
...
"[A] mandate: be witnesses and propagators of this "culture of life". Your being Catholic entails a greater responsibility: first of all, toward yourselves, for the commitment of coherence with the Christian vocation; and then towards contemporary culture, to contribute to recognize in human life the transcendent dimension, the imprint of the creative work of God, from the first instance of its conception. This is a commitment of the New Evangelization which requires often going against the current, paying as person. The Lord also counts on you to spread the “gospel of life.”"
...
"Dear doctor friends, you who are called to take care of human life in its initial phase, all of you must remember with facts and words, that this is always, in all its phases and at every age, sacred and is always of quality. And not because of a discourse of faith, but of reason and science! ."
Pope Francis, address to Italian pro-lifers, March 2013:
"I invite you to keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception."
From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently."
Texts for reflection:
Pope Francis, address to Catholic doctors, 21 September 2013:
"[L]ife is...[the] primary value and primordial right of every man"
...
"'The first right of a human person is his/her life. He/she has other goods and some of them are more precious; but life is the fundamental good, condition for all the others'" (quoting Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, November 18, 1974, No. 11).
Cardinal Raymond Burke, Inside Catholic, September 2009:
"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."
From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else."
...
"[T]he proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives ... The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ."
Texts for reflection:
 Pope Francis, address to Catholic doctors, 21 September 2013:
"[Human life] is always, in all its phases and at every age, sacred and is always of quality. And not because of a discourse of faith, but of reason and science!"
...
"Each one of us is called to recognize in the fragile human being the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced indifference and loneliness to which we often condemn the poorest, be it in developing countries, be it in well-off societies. Every unborn child, condemned unjustly to being aborted, has the face of the Lord, who before being born, and then when he was just born, experienced the rejection of the world. And every elderly person, even if he/she is sick or at the end of his/her days, bears in him/herself the face of Christ."
...
"'If personal and social sensibility is lost to welcoming a new life, other forms of reception useful to social life are hardened. The reception of life tempers moral energies and makes possible mutual help'" (quoting Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, no.28).
Pope Francis, message to the Knights of Columbus, August 2013:
"Conscious of the specific responsibility which the lay faithful have for the Church’s mission, he invites each Knight, and every Council, to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality. In this time of rapid social and cultural changes, the protection of God’s gifts cannot fail to include the affirmation and defense of the great patrimony of moral truths taught by the Gospel and confirmed by right reason, which serve as the bedrock of a just and well-ordered society."
Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), letter to Carmelites about same-sex marriage, July 2010:
"At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts. Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan."
From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?"
Texts for reflection:
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 99:
"I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life."
 From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"We must...investigate further the role of women in the church."
Texts for reflection:
Pope Francis, address to Catholic doctors, 21 September 2013:
"[M]aternity [i]s the fundamental mission of woman, be it in poor countries where birth is still risky for life, be it in those more well-off where often maternity is not adequately considered or promoted."
From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"It is amazing to see the denunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally."
Texts for reflection:
The Age, 21 September 2013:
"Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays - the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes. The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart... Archbishop Hart said Father Reynolds was excommunicated because after his priestly faculties were withdrawn he continued to celebrate the Eucharist publicly and preach contrary to the teachings of the church."
St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4:
"There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects."
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Protest outside abortion meeting during Labour's Brighton conference

A protest took place yesterday outside a meeting to promote abortion, during Labour's Brighton conference.

18 members of SPUC formed a silent chain of placard-holders (see photos below) outside a fringe meeting organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain's largest chains of abortionists. The fringe meeting, entitled "The politics of motherhood", was addressed by Kate Green MP, Labour's shadow women and equalities minster, and was held at The Old Ship Hotel.

The SPUC placards read: "Women do regret abortion", "Abortion kills children" and "Is this a choice or a child?".

Judy Law, a local SPUC activist, said:
"Many post-abortive mothers are badly affected by abortion. It is vital that BPAS, the Labour party, and the people of Brighton were reminded of this sad situation. It's a situation funded largely by taxpayers' money which is used to pay for almost all abortions."
Trevor Stauss, another local SPUC activist, said:
"It is disingenuous of BPAS to use motherhood to further their radical pro-abortion agenda in this way. It is important that we offer a pro-life witness and denounce the evil of abortion in our local areas."
Daniel Blackman, SPUC's campaigns & education officer, said:
"BPAS has a dangerous agenda. Ann Furedi, the head of BPAS, has recently defended sex-selective abortion. We must offer continual resistance on behalf of unborn children, the ones who cannot speak up or defend themselves."

  


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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Senior US cardinal laments the silence of Catholics on pro-life, pro-family issues

Cardinal Raymond Burke, the most senior US cardinal and head of the Catholic Church's highest court, has lamented the silence of Catholics on pro-life and pro-family issues. In an interview he said: "There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about [issues such as same-sex marriage] because the topic is not ‘politically correct. But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse." He said that pro-abortion politicians must be denied Holy Communion, honours by Catholic universities and public Catholic funerals. [LifeSiteNews.com, 19 September]

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
Embryology
General
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