Thursday, April 30, 2009
Magadan Update - April 2009
By Fr. Mike Shields
A good close priest friend recently asked, “What have I learned in Russia?”
Here is my answer.
I have learned to be a true spiritual father in Russia. I have fallen in love with the cross of Jesus in Russia. I have learned to be quiet and let God speak to me in Russia. I have learned to love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I have learned to love, and pray to Our Lady in Russia. I have learned about the spiritual battle in Russia.
I learned Satan is real and wants to destroy me, the church, fatherhood and motherhood. The family is a favorite area of his attack and yet families keep struggling to be families.
I have learned to love my weaknesses and depend on God. I have learned that my strengths can also lead me away from God. I have learned I can be too independent and live as if God is my helper not my savior. I have learned about real evil that destroys souls and real good that reveals God’s face in another, especially in the poor and broken.
I have learned to hope when it seems hopeless; to love when I don’t feel like it; to forgive when I don’t want to and I am right. I have learned my faith is weak and still miracles happen all the time around me.
I have learned that people can’t be trusted, but I still trust them. I have learned to embrace the cross and love the Eucharist, which is the salvation of the cross, given to us to eat. I have learned falling isn’t the hard part; it is having enough humility to get up again and start over.
I have learned the sacrament of confession is one of my greatest joys to receive and to give. I have learned that I love poorly and God loves perfectly. But above all I have learned what it means to be a priest. I have learned to really be His priest.
What is a priest? What do you think is most important to us priests? I want to give you my definition. (John 15: 15-17) A priest is a friend of Jesus. It seems too simple, doesn’t it?
A priest is a friend of Jesus. But ask yourself what is most important for us priests? I think most important is to have a deep, loving, honest and open relationship with our savior Jesus Christ, who is also our brother priest. Everything changes when we have this deep friendship with Jesus. But if we don’t have a personal, deep friendship, it is a dead definition. And so is priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI spoke in 2006:
“And only when God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.”
What have I learned here in Russia? God is a marvelous God who loves and loves and loves. Maybe these truths are for everyone to learn? All I know is that God sent me to the gulags to get my attention and I am so very thankful.
The writer is pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Magadan, Russia. The church is a mission of the Archdiocese of Anchorage.
ZENIT NEWS AGENCY
MAGADAN, Russia, — Plans are under way to open three pro-life centers for women contemplating abortion in Russia.
Aid to the Church in Need reported that the Russian authorities — traditionally pro-abortion since the Soviet years — have changed their stance. State doctors are backing these advice centers due to concerns about the country’s low birthrate and changing demographics.
Father Michael Shields plans to open the first center in June in the east Siberian town of Magadan, historically known for the Soviet gulag camps.
It will give him and his volunteers the opportunity to work with women at the moment they confirm a pregnancy and begin contemplating their options.
Father Shields, a priest from the Archdiocese of Anchorage, has served as pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Magadan since 1994 with the blessing and support of the Anchorage Archdiocese.
In regards to his most recent work with pregnant women, Father Shields told Aid to the Church in Need, “What is amazing is that the state doctor who works at the Women’s Consultation Center in Magadan approached us to see if we would be willing to develop a project there.”
Father Shields said, “It has been wonderful because Russia is really turning a corner and wants to see more births.”
He added, “The Russian government knows that the country’s demographics do not look good and that’s why the birthing doctors have asked us to work with and encourage pregnant mothers.”
Father Shields began his outreach to struggling women and children in Ola, a nearby village, where he opened Nativity Inn to provide short-term housing for newborn babies and their parents. Women who moved to the area for studies were often dismissed from college dormitories when they were discovered pregnant, and the priest began the inn as an outreach to them.
Success at the Nativity Inn won support and opened doors for the pro-life centers. He underlined the ecumenical significance of the venture, as the Russian Orthodox Church has also pledged its pro-life support.
Father Shields reported: “What has surprised us is how much the Nativity Inn project and our center at the Church in Magadan have grown through word of mouth.
“We find again and again that women come along having heard about us from other women in the same situation.”
He noted, “We hold regular meetings for women on our programs and it is really beautiful to see how good they are with children. This is remarkable when you think that they almost certainly didn’t have very good childhoods with poor parenting.”
Labels: Mission to Magadan
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Rejects Gay Clergy
Presbyterian Church gay clergy bid gains, but is voted down again
The margin of defeat is guaranteed to be narrower than in recent years' balloting on the measure to allow gays and lesbians to serve as Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) clergy.
April 26, 2009
Efforts to allow gays and lesbians to serve as clergy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have been defeated again, sealed by votes tallied Saturday.But the margin of defeat -- the final tally has yet to be determined -- is guaranteed to be closer than in previous years. That is encouraging for supporters of gay clergy and cause for concern for opponents, with both sides expecting the issue to be revisited.
Last summer, the General Assembly of the 2.3-million-member denomination voted to drop a constitutional requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."Any such change requires approval by a majority of the nation's 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies. Those votes have been trickling in for months. On Saturday enough "no" votes had been recorded to clinch the measure's defeat.At least two presbyteries -- Northern Plains, which covers North Dakota and part of Minnesota; and Boise, which covers the Idaho capital -- voted against the amendment Saturday, said activist groups and an independent Presbyterian website, Presbyweb.
Before Saturday, the total was 68 presbyteries for and 86 opposed, one shy of the margin needed for defeat, according to Presbyterian News Service, the denomination's press arm.
The Real Root Causes of 3rd World Poverty
Missionary Discusses Causes of Underdevelopment
But, I Thought You Said Legalized Abortion Would Reduce Domestic Violence
April 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When a woman gets an abortion, the couple is more than twice as likely to argue when discussing future children, and nearly three times as likely to experience domestic violence, compared with women who carry the pregnancy to term and raise the child, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Public Health on Mar. 24.
"Abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology [cause] of relationship problems," the authors stated. The study said that abortion within a current relationship causes 116% more arguing when discussing future children, and 196% more domestic violence.
The researchers found that abortion affected future relationships as well.
"For both men and women the experience of an abortion in a previous relationship was related to negative outcomes in the current relationship," they wrote.
"Men whose current partners had an abortion were more likely to report jealousy (96% greater risk) and conflict about drugs (385% greater risk). "These results suggest that abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology of some relationship problems," the study's authors wrote.
Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University headed up the study with Vincent Rue of the Florida-based Institute for Pregnancy Loss and post-abortion researcher Catherine Coyle.
The study's findings support previous research that has found higher rates of substance abuse, serious depression and suicide after abortion. In March 2008, Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a statement calling for better screening and informed consent before women undergo an abortion. The statement said that the College had undertaken a review of existing research and found that a "full systematic review around abortion and mental health is required."
In 2005, research conducted in Finland found that aborting women were 3.5 times more likely to die within the next year compared to women who gave birth.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Abortion Kills Your Sex Life Says UK Doctor in Times Column
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
To Dream The Improbable Dream (At Least in the Short Run)
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls Rush Limbaugh and tells him, "Rush, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the whole country, and on each house I saw a banner."
"What did it say on the banners?" Rush asks.
Mahmoud replies, "UNITED STATES OF IRAN."
Rush says, "You know, Mahmoud, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner."
"What did it say on the banners?" Mahmoud asks.
Rush replies, "I don't know. I can't read Hebrew."
California Man Adopts Children Wife Aborted
Stan Musil said he filed the posthumous "adoption" on Monday as a way to support his wife, Lisa, and help her heal from the pain of having those abortions, Lisa Musil told FOXNews.com.
"He told me 'I love you and you are a part of me. Your babies are a part of you, and so that makes them a part of me also,'" she said.
Musil, now 45, had her first abortion at 19 because she was too frightened to admit her pregnancy to anyone — including her then live-in boyfriend, the Assist News Service reported.
But terminating the pregnancy caused her so much pain that she tried to cover it with "drugs, alcohol, partying and a promiscuous lifestyle," she told radio host Rich Buhler in an interview with KBRT AM-740.
That lifestyle led to her second pregnancy — and subsequent abortion — just before she was due to serve a jail sentence for a drunken driving conviction, ANS reported.
"The world tells me that it was only a blob of tissue, but my heart tells me otherwise," Musil told FOXNews.com by e-mail. "The grief often times was more than I could bear."
"It’s been a desire of mine to establish a memorial where post-abortive women can go to have the names of their aborted children engraved to honor their remembrance," she said. "As this is coming to fruition, I was wondering what last name I would put on this memorial, and my sweet husband asked if we could find some way he could legally adopt my babies and then they could take his name."
Upon hearing about Stan's idea, Buhler put the Musil's in contact with adoption law expert and NightLite Christian Adoptions Executive Director Rod Stoddart.
"I explained that it's not possible from a legal standpoint, because there's no birth certificate and no child living now to be adopted," Stoddart told FOXNews.com. "But from an emotional standpoint, there's no reason why we could not do an agreement between them where he would adopt those children and give them his name."
Stoddart drafted paperwork that reflected the Musils' desire for the adoption before each other, God and witnesses, which the couple signed on Buhler's radio show.
Stoddart said he's since received several requests from other couples looking to do the same.
"I feel it's given them a lot of comfort. It's something they're in together now," Stoddart said.
When the intended memorial is erected at Pierce Brothers Crestlawn Memorial Park in Riverside, Calif., it will include the names the Musils gave the aborted fetuses — Alicia Anne Musil and Vincent Matthew Musil.
Click here for more on this story from the Assist News Service.
FOXNews.com's Diane Macedo contributed to this report
Labels Won't Stop Us From Speaking Up
By Gina Giacopuzzi
Red Flag Alert: Why Is the UN Unwilling to Give Details About New Global Gender Policing Agency?
NEW YORK, NY, April 23, 2009 (C-FAM) - At a meeting at United Nations (UN) headquarters last week, nations pushed back when UN staff insisted governments approve an enormous new gender-policing agency with scant details on its budget, staffing, or mandate. The UN Secretariat called the meeting to get nations to choose one of four models it proposed for a new UN "gender entity." It is estimated that the new entity will have a minimum one billion dollar annual budget, including non-voluntary funding by the United States (US) and other major UN donors, while giving the new agency free rein to set the UN's "gender" agenda and broad authority to hold UN agencies and member States accountable for implementing it.
The UN Secretary General's Advisor on Gender Issues, Rachel N. Mayanja of Kenya, resisted attempts to pin down the UN Secretariat on specifics, drawing strong objections from several national delegations. A delegate from Singapore complained that sovereign nations were pressed for a decision but were denied an estimated budget or even an outline of the new entity. The delegate pointed out that nations had been assured the new office was supposed to save resources but, as a representative from UNIFEM (the UN Development Fund for Women) had just admitted, the Secretariat's preferred model would require significantly more funding than the status quo.
Mayanja insisted that such details would be provided but only after nations chose one of the four options. The options include: maintaining the status quo with "gender" affairs divided among various UN entities, establishing a fund or program, a department within the secretariat, or a "composite" fund/department.
Despite the apparent obfuscation, documents provided by the UN Secretariat reveal the sweeping scope of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's endorsed "composite" option. It calls for a "global presence" in some 150 countries, with an Under Secretary General at the helm given authority to appoint all "staff, consultants, and experts" of her choosing, set the "normative and policy" agenda, and "hold accountable" all other UN agencies such as UNICEF to promote it by linking it to their operations on the ground.
According to a Secretary General's report dated March 5, the specific mandate would focus on "advocacy" to get "national attention" for "emerging issues, under-recognized, and under-resourced issues," and would "maximize the contribution of civil society" both at the UN and at the national level. Critics are concerned that this will further empower non-governmental (NGO) activists who use the UN to circumvent the democratic process in their countries in order to promote highly controversial social policies.
Along with the Secretary General, backers of the "composite" option include the European Union, whose representative called for immediate endorsement of the composite option, and powerful feminist NGOs under the umbrella group Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR).
In a recent interview, GEAR member Charlotte Bunch intimated that her NGO has been regularly consulted on an "acceptable" choice for the entity, and has promoted the "composite" model. She explained that it is the only option that allows the entity to get non-voluntary funding from the US and other donors to reach a minimum of one billion dollars a year, while creating massive presence and influence on the ground to promote the "normative and policy functions" of the new entity.
(Reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Some Good News, Bad News About DBQ
Dying to Tell the Truth About the Democratic Party
Shaddap A You Face*
Thank You, Mr. Brown, and Merry Christmas
Monday, April 20, 2009 12:19 PM CDT
OELWEIN - Retired West Delaware teacher, William "Bill" Green, and Dave Prehm, New Hampton art instructor never envisioned they would team up to produce their first children's book entitled "Thank you, Mr. Brown, and Merry Christmas."
The two main characters in the story, Mr. Brown and Nancy, are fictional, but the others mentioned in the story may be recognized or remembered by area residents.
FYI: Lamont is a part of what is now the Starmont Community School District. (STrawberry Point, Arlington, Lamont)
Lila Rose with Glenn Beck
For more go to Live Action.
Can You Say AntiChrist? I Thought So!
Want To Learn More About the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite? Here's Your Chance
9:00 am Lecture: History of the Roman Rite
To register for this event, visit the following link:
Monday, April 27, 2009
Mary Ann Glendon to Notre Dame: I Will Not Be A Cover For You Inviting Obama
“Mary Ann Glendon is one of the most accomplished Catholic and pro-life leaders of our time. In heroic fashion, she has willingly sacrificed an award that she richly deserves, as a casualty of Notre Dame's choice to betray its Catholic mission. We urge Catholics nationwide to continue to pray that Notre Dame will end this scandal.”
Below is the text of the Honorable Mary Ann Glendon’s letter to the president of The University of Notre Dame, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
April 27, 2009
Dear Father Jenkins,
When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.
Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.
First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.
Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:
• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”
• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.
In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.
Yours Very Truly,
Mary Ann Glendon
Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.
Troy Newman - Why the "Morning After" Pill Is Bad
President of Operation Rescue speaks at Dubuque County Right to Life's annual dinner.
BY ERIK HOGSTROM TH STAFF WRITER
"It's not a contraceptive -- a barrier method would be a contraceptive," said Newman, president of Wichita, Kan.-based Operation Rescue. "It is an abortifacient (a drug or instrument which produces an abortion.)"
Newman became the leader of Operation Rescue in 1998 and refashioned the group into a nationally active organization. He spoke Friday night at the Dubuque County Right to Life's annual LIFE dinner at the Grand River Center. He sat with the Telegraph Herald earlier to discuss current events surrounding opposition to abortion.
Question: What was your reaction to the decision to allow 17-year-olds over-the-counter access to the "morning ,after" pill?
Answer: "This pill is taking the life of a baby. You cannot take a human life; it is immoral to do so."
Answer: "Troubling is the least amount I could say about President Obama. It is a radical left-wing revolution, but I see the sleeping giant awakening, the Red States, the heartland of America. That is what we're here for: to be the watchdog."
Question: Why do you think sign-carrying opponents continue to stand outside Dubuque's Planned Parenthood facility?
Answer: "This isn't an ideology for us. This isn't lower taxes, this isn't a new subdivision going up in town. What they have to understand is we believe -- and we know -- this is about the taking of innocent life, and we find it reprehensible."
Question: Why did you become involved in the movement against abortion?
Answer: "Somebody invited me to a men's conference in Orange County, California. He drove me past an abortion clinic. I saw a picture of an aborted baby.
I immediately knew there was good and evil. It was just that black and white for me."
Cardinal Pell - Solving AIDS Crisis With Condoms Is Ridiculous
The Pope rejected the notion that the Catholic attitude was unrealistic and ineffective, adding: "If there is no human dimension, if Africans do not help [by responsible behaviour], the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms; on the contrary, they increase it."
During an Easter television interview, I supported Pope Benedict's comments. I said: "I agree with him totally [about condoms] because they're encouraging promiscuity, because they're encouraging irresponsibility." I also said: "The idea that you can solve a great spiritual and health crisis like AIDS with a few mechanical contraptions like condoms is ridiculous."
My comments, too, prompted a reaction, including one from the Herald's David Marr, who galloped into the fray to defend the sexual revolution against what the Pope and I had said. He even mentioned Africa a couple of times. "How many good Catholics will die in Africa and the Philippines," he asks, before they learn?
At the heart of Marr's position is a fundamental misconception, which he states as follows: "And we know in our hearts - and every reputable study confirms - that the church's call for abstinence is useless."
In fact, the studies confirm that behaviour modification is possible and is occurring. In Cameroon the percentage of young people having sex before the age of 15 has gone down from 35 per cent to 14 per cent, United Nations AIDS said last year. Uganda has had a 70 per cent decline in HIV prevalence since the early 1990s, linked to a 60 per cent reduction in casual sex, says a 2004 report in Science. Similar evidence exists in Africa, from Ethiopia to Malawi.
Other studies support my claim that condoms encourage promiscuity and irresponsibility. UN AIDS has found that even when people use condoms consistently, something goes wrong about 10 per cent of the time. Condoms give users an exaggerated sense of safety, so that they sometimes engage in "risk compensation". In one Ugandan study, gains in condom use seem to have been offset by increases in the number of sex partners.
Pope Benedict was right to point out that the human dimension in sexual activity is crucial. We are not automatons, slaves to animal instinct. Education campaigns focusing on fewer partners, less casual sex and less use of sex workers have been key to reducing infection rates.
Earlier this year, the British Medical Journal reported: "In numerous large studies, concerted efforts to promote use of condoms has consistently failed to control rates of sexually transmitted infection", even in Canada, Sweden and Switzerland.
The response of critics to the Pope's comments have been classic examples of diversionary tactics; blame someone else in case people begin to understand that your solution is a significant cause of the problem.
To blame Catholics and Pope Benedict for the spread of HIV/AIDS requires proof that while people are ignoring the first, essential Christian requirement to be chaste before and within marriage, they are slavishly obedient to a second requirement not to use condoms. I doubt anyone thinks that is realistically the case.
Catholic teaching is opposed to adultery, fornication and homosexual intercourse, even with condoms, not because it denies condoms offer health protection, but because traditional Christian moral teaching believes all extra-marital intercourse contradicts the proper meaning of love and sexuality.
Christ called Christians to a different way of living, to a purity of heart where even looking on a woman with aggressive and disordered desire (lust) is wrong.
At least 25 per cent of the services and care for people with HIV/AIDS in Africa is provided by the Catholic Church. While the role of a church is different from government, which has to legislate and organise for people of all religions as well as those without, both are required to respect the evidence and good moral values in the programs they deliver.
Catholics are not obliged to protest publicly against every harm minimisation program, even when the church urges her members not to participate. In the same way, governments and non-Catholic aid agencies can and will continue to hand out condoms in HIV/AIDS programs, although the evidence suggests they may on balance be exacerbating the problem.
But all of us who want to help prevent and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS need to respect the evidence about what helps and what doesn't. And the evidence is that it's not condoms which make the crucial difference, but the choices people make about how they use the gift of sexuality.
Cardinal George Pell is the Archbishop of Sydney
If Slavery & Segregation Were Wrong, So Is Abortion
(Taken from the Spring 2009 Josephite Harvest)
The week of January 20th was a period of great historical significance in our country as we witnessed the inauguration of the first African American as president of the United States of America.
It was a week of great symbolism as a country which has been deeply stained with the blood, sweat, and tears of peoples of African descent, chose a man of African descent to be its leader. Many could never have imagined a day when the White House, once serviced by African slaves, would have an African American and his family as its chief occupants
It was a week where a spirit of optimism and hope for a better tomorrow permeated the atmosphere as President Obama emphasized in his inauguration speech that his presidency would usher in an era of liberty and opportunity for all!
And so it must also be noted that in that very same week, an equally significant event was held in the very same place as the events surrounding the inauguration. On January 22, two days after the inauguration, hundreds of thousands of Americans of every race, color, and creed gathered as they do every year on this day, to protect and defend life and to ask President Obama, Congress, and the Supreme Court to include the unborn in the plan for America’s
That week was a moment of great symbolism, but it also reminded us that countries are not governed by symbols, they are governed by men and women, politicians to be exact. And so, as citizens of these United States, we must hold our elected leaders accountable to our values as we move from symbol to substance.
We prayed that President Obama would one day be known as a president who embraced and defended life from the womb to the tomb, and that the rights of the unborn would be given the same kind of consideration and respect that he and others are giving to the suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay. We continue to pray!
Pro-Life advocates, African Americans and others, know that we have a great challenge ahead of us in the defense of the unborn because, sadly, Senator and Candidate Obama, and many in his Cabinet, including our Catholic Vice-President, Joseph Biden, have regularly sided with the advocates of abortion.
During his first week in office, President Obama issued an executive order rescinding the U. S. Mexico City Policy. This long-standing policy prohibited the use of American tax dollars to fund abortion as a family planning measure in developing countries. President Obama’s order reversing this policy is being highly lauded by aggressive pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood – which stands to regain much funding which it lost as a result of the policy, and other groups such as the National Abortion Rights League, NARAL.
That American tax dollars are being spent in this fashion makes all of us more directly responsible for the consequences of spreading the pro-abortion agenda beyond the United States and into the developing world.
Unfortunately, this move is a signal that Candidate Obama’s promise to Planned Parenthood to protect “a woman’s right to choose” was not an empty one, hence his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act – which would enshrine legal and unlimited access to abortion on demand throughout the country – if he became president must be taken very seriously.
If we believe that slavery was wrong, if we believe that segregation was wrong; if we would never support a politician who upheld these odious practices, then we must believe that abortion is wrong and actively fight to protect the unborn regardless of who occupies positions of leadership.
If abortion is okay, then slavery was okay; if abortion is okay, then segregation was okay because it was always a matter of choice – the choice of those who were in control. But if these things were wrong because they deprived men and women of human and civil rights, then how much more is that act wrong and offensive to God which deprives an innocent human being of his or her very life?
We must act as indeed our ancestors acted before us making possible the day whenan African American could be elected to the presidency of the United States. The law and the Constitution have not always been on the side of justice and truth.
After a terrible Supreme Court decision (Dred Scott) upholding it, slavery was finally outlawed after a war with the greatest casualty numbers of all American wars. It’s hateful daughter segregation was eventually ended by a Supreme court decision (Brown) that reversed a previous one (Plessy), a movement committed to non-violent protests, civil disobedience, and imprisonment (in addition to beatings, lynchings, and assassinations) — all designed to change laws first (1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voter Rights Acts), and then hearts.
When America was pro-choice on slavery and pro-choice on segregation, the choices ofstates, slave owners, and segregationists ultimately had to be limited by law so that justice for the oppressed could finally prevail.
Are we are willing to stand up for the unborn today as our forebears stood up for us? If we are not, then unto what purpose is our faith? In the end, we must be accountable to God and there is no doubt where He stands,
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I consecrated you, a prophet to the nations, I appointed you” (Jeremiah 1:5).
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
May God make these United States and us, the people who form them, a people of life and justice for all, born and unborn, lest the great symbolism of recent weeks ultimately be rendered void of all substance.
Father John J. Raphael, SSJ, is principal of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.
Dominican Republic Amends Constitution, Bans Abortion
United Nations Program for Human Development coordinator Miguel Ceara Hatton criticized the approved article and the Catholic Church, which in his view has become a motor for 'social exclusion' in the country. 'The Catholic Church influenced in everything. For following a dogma it has become a source and a motor for social exclusion in the Dominican Republic. The dogma is placed ahead of the needs of the population, health, housing and better living conditions.' " (Groups rail the Dominican Catholic Church for abortion ban) (emphasis mine)
Bishop D’Arcy - Fr. Jenkins Is Wrong, Catholics in Public Life,” Does Apply To Obama
April 21, 2009
Sincerely yours in our Lord,