IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.
If you are unable to make it to either of these two events, find a local March for life, at MarchForLifeFinder.com
Offer ends Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 12:00 midnight EST.
These prices are available online only through Ignatius.com
20% off Great Pro-Life Titles from Ignatius Press!
Healing the Culture Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ Father Spitzer, President of the Magis Institute and former President of Gonzaga University, has been using the principles in this book to educate people of all backgrounds in the philosophy of the pro-life movement. The tremendous positive response he has received inspired him to start the Life Principles Institute. This book is one of the key resources used for this program.
This work effectively draws out the connections between personal attitudes toward happiness and the meaning of life, and the larger cultural issues such as freedom and human rights. Relying on the wisdom of the ages and respecting the human persons' unique capacity for rational analysis, this work offers definitions of the key cultural terms affecting life issues, including Happiness, Success, Love, Suffering, Quality of Life, Ethics, Freedom, Personhood, Human Rights and the Common Good. Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $17.95, sale price: $14.36
Unplanned Abby Johnson Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in her first actual abortion procedure, walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life.
Unplanned is a heart stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby's story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the life versus rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies. Hardcover: Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96 Paperback: Regular price: $14.99, sale price: $11.99
Three Approaches to Abortion Peter Kreeft Abortion has been and remains a crucial issue in American politics. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t see abortion for the evil it is—the unjust killing of millions of human beings each year. Even many Catholics have been confused by the “pro-choice” (read: pro-abortion) rhetoric of those who say that they personally accept Catholic teaching about abortion, but they can’t impose it on others.
You’ve heard argument after argument about this topic. Maybe you think there is nothing more to say. Well, there is...
Three Approaches to Abortion, by popular author Peter Kreeft, cuts through the nonsense of the “pro-choice” position. He shows in an irrefutable way why abortion is evil and why it’s illogical to support abortion rights while claiming to be “personally opposed to abortion.” Kreeft’s commonsense approach to the issue, his lucid arguments, easy-to-grasp illustrations and examples, and his thoughtful dialogue between a pro-lifer and a “pro-choicer” make this book an invaluable tool in the pro-life cause. . Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $11.95, sale price: $9.56
The Reach of Roe Editor: Anne Conlon This new collection of essays from the Human Life Review is a companion volume to The Debate Since Roe (2010), a primer designed to convey the facts and arguments on abortion and to chronicle the decades-long struggle of the pro-life movement to keep the issue before the American public. In The Reach of Roe: Eugenics, Euthanasia, and Other Assaults on the Dignity of Human Life, the focus is on culture-specifically, how profoundly the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand has permeated our nation's institutions: legal, medical, scientific, religious, educational. While essays on euthanasia and physicianassisted suicide-along with in vitro fertilization, cloning, andembryonic stem-cell research-predominate, the reader will also find considerations of subjects as seemingly diverse as pornography, the U.S. Constitution, and the "inhumanity" that often attends being fired from a job in corporate America today. John Noonan, Lino Graglia, Harold O.J. Brown, Rita Marker, Francis Canavan, Steven Mosher, John Muggeridge, Ellen Wilson Fielding, Maria McFadden, Wesley J. Smith, John Finnis, and David Klinghoffer are just some of the 34 committed pro-life writers whose important work is featured here. Regular price: $14.95, sale price: $11.96
Saint Gianna Molla Pietro Molla This is the inspiring story of a canonized contemporary woman. Gianna Molla (1923-1962) risked her life in order to save her unborn child. Diagnosed with uterine tumors during her fourth pregnancy, she refused a hysterectomy that would have aborted the child, and opted for a riskier surgery in an attempt to save the baby. Herself a medical doctor, Molla did give birth to the child, but succumbed to an infection.
A unique story, co-authored by her own husband, with his deeply moving personal insights of the heroic witness, love, sacrifice and joy of his saintly wife. A woman for all times and walks of life, this moving account of the multi-faceted, selfless St. Gianna Molla, who made the ultimate sacrifice to save her unborn child, will be an inspiration to all readers. Illustrated Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $11.95, sale price: $9.56
Confessions of an Ex-Feminist Lorraine V. Murray Confessions is the honest and heart-rending account of a woman who was born into a Catholic family, attended parochial schools and fully embraced the beliefs of her faith, but ran into major roadblocks in college. Amidst the radical feminist college environment of the 1960’s, she lost her faith, and her morality, jumping aboard the bandwagon of “free love.”
When she discovered she was pregnant, Murray followed the route that feminists offer as a solution for unmarried women. Much to her surprise, her abortion was a shattering emotional experience, which she grieved over for years. It was the first tragic chink in her feminist armor.
Later in her forties, Murray experienced a mysterious series of events in which it seemed that “someone” was inviting her back to God. The mysterious calls came from different ports, including nature, books and other people. Gradually, she realized that the One seeking her was Christ, and the place He was calling her to was the Catholic Church. Eventually realizing it was only in the Church that she would find what she was seeking — the person of Christ and his love and mercy — Murray returned to the Church, and finally found healing and forgiveness for the abortion. Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $12.95, sale price: $10.36
The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God Ruth V.K. Pakaluk This book is the powerful story of an amazing woman, Ruth Pakaluk, who converted to Catholicism at Harvard, married her college sweetheart and joyfully welcomed seven children. She became a renowned pro-life leader and brilliant debater, who was struck with breast cancer and died at the young age of forty-one.
Ruth Pakaluk exemplified the powerful integrity of someone who lived what she believed. She was steadfastly committed to Christ and to the culture of life, and this commitment was manifested in her consistent affirmation of life in her family, in society and even in the face of her own death. Peter Kreeft, well known Professor of Philosophy and author, described Ruth as the best, most effective and inspiring pro-life speaker he had ever heard. She was such a compelling, articulate pro-life debater that eventually Planned Parenthood spokeswomen refused to spar with her in public.
All Ruth's virtues revealed in this book - her love as a devoted wife and mother, her zeal for the truth, and her faith & hope while battling a terminal illness - offer inspiration and encouragement to anyone striving to put Christian faith into action. Also available as an audio download and e-book. Regular price: $16.95, sale price: $13.56
Architects of the Culture of Death Donald DeMarco & Benjamin Wiker The phrase, "the Culture of Death", is bandied about as a catch-all term that covers abortion, euthanasia and other attacks on the sanctity of life. In Architects of the Culture of Death, authors Donald DeMarco and Benjamin Wiker expose the Culture of Death as an intentional and malevolent ideology promoted by influential thinkers who specifically attack Christian morality's core belief in the sanctity of human life and the existence of man's immortal soul. In scholarly, yet reader-friendly prose, DeMarco and Wiker examine the roots of the Culture of Death by introducing 23 of its architects, including Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Jack Kevorkian, and Peter Singer.
Still, this is not a book without hope. If the Culture of Death rests on a fragmented view of the person and an eclipse of God, the future of the Culture of Life relies on an understanding and restoration of the human being as a person, and the rediscovery of a benevolent God. The personalism of John Paul II is an illuminating thread that runs through Architects, serving as a hopeful antidote. Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $17.95, sale price: $14.36
Anti-Abortionist at Large Raymond Dennehy Dennehy, a professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco, has debated pro-abortionists with great success in hostile environments. This is his inspiring personal account of nearly four decades of debating abortion on radio, television, and university campuses.
“The most articulate and forceful voice in the United States to explain and critique the abortion question in all its ramifications is that of Professor Raymond Dennehy.” —James V. Schall, S.J., Georgetown University
“If you thought that philosophical courage ended when Socrates drank the hemlock, read Ray Dennehy’s personal testament about how to debate abortion intelligently and live to tell about it. This book is a classic. This is more than a handbook about how to debate the abortion issue; it is a personal witness…” —Peter Redpath, St. John’s University Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
The Right to Privacy Janet E Smith Janet Smith, well-known philosophy professor and writer, presents a critical look at the meaning of the “right to privacy” that has been so often employed by the Supreme Court in recent times to justify the creation of rights not found in the Constitution by any traditional method of interpreting a legal document. Smith shows how these inventions have led to the legal protection of abortion, assisted suicide, homosexual acts, and more. As Judge Bork says it shows that “morals legislation now seems constitutionally impermissible”, and that the counterfeit right to privacy belongs to the genre of the indecipherable and incoherent that no one who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would have contemplated. Regular price: $14.95, sale price: $11.96
Ten Universal Principles Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ In Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer sets out, in a brief, yet highly-readable and lucid style, ten basic principles that must govern the reasonable person's thinking and acting about life issues. A highly-regarded philosopher, Father Spitzer provides an intelligent outline for thinking and talking about human life. This book is a powerful tool for persuasively articulating and effectively inculturating a prolife philosophy. Also available as an audio download and e-book. Regular price: $16.95, sale price: $13.56
Covenant of Love Fr. Richard Hogan & Bishop John M. Levoir Pope John Paul II has had a profound theological and personal impact on Catholics and non-Catholics alike. In the scholarly tradition of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas, he has found a new unity between faith and reason. The study of God, says John Paul, is also the study of humanity. He has come to vigorously insist on the rights and dignity of each human person, and on the divine importance of the family.
John Paul teaches that the keystone of Christian living today is the communion of persons which is the family. Covenant of Love conveys this central message of his pontificate. It explores the influence of Christ on the modern family, human intimacy, and sexuality and illustrates the Pope's response to the violations of that familial communion: materialism, sterilization, pre-marital sex, abortion, polygamy, adultery and lust, contraception and artificial conception, and homosexuality.
Written for the layman as well as for clerics, students, and educators, this volume will enhance the understanding and appreciation of Pope John Paul II's teachings. Covenant of Love, presents the extraordinary new way that John Paul II is using to present a new synthesis of the faith that can be the means of renewing the faith of all Christians and of bringing more people to Christ. It sets out his philosophical and theological design for every Christian who seeks a closer relationship with God--in the person of Christ, in the Church, and in the human heart.Also available as an e-book. Regular price: $16.95, sale price: $13.56
This film tells the powerful true story of the conversion of a dedicated Planned Parenthood director to a leading Pro-life Activist. Abby Johnson was the director of the abortion facility that was the launching pad of the bold new pro-life effort - 40 Days for Life.
Abby believed that she was helping women by working for the nation's largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood. She quickly rose in the ranks to become the director of an abortion facility and was even given an "Employee of the Year" award.
But one Fall morning everything changed. Regular price: $14.95, sale price: $11.96
Crescendo In this multi-award-winning short film, we look into the soul of a German woman whose life in the 18th Century is filled with discordant notes and driven by domestic hardships. Based on an amazing true story, told with beautiful poignancy, "Crescendo" is packed with powerful performances, exquisite imagery and brilliant music. A life-affirming short film by the makers of Bella, with a special introduction by Pattie Mallette, mother of Justin Bieber. Regular price: $14.95, sale price: $11.96
The Culture of Life In the field of Bioethics, many current challenges are becoming increasingly pressing, and they call out for clear answers from scientific and ethical points of view. These programs demonstrate that "The Culture of Life" harmoniously blends scientific progress with a respectful approach vis-a-vis human suffering.
Regular price: $29.95, sale price: $23.96
October Baby As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah-unscripted-collapses in front of the stunned audience.
After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah's difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted ... after a failed abortion attempt.
Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past ... and find hope for her unknown future. In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned. Regular price: $17.95, sale price: $14.36
A Voice for Life: The Story of an Abortion Survivor In 1977, Melissa Ohden survived a saline abortion procedure and miraculously suffered no physical or mental damage. She returned to the hospital where the abortion attempt was made in 2008 and gave birth to her daughter. She is now a wife and mother who shares her powerful story around the world, making a positive impact on the lives of those who have been touched by abortion. She presents a moving message of hope, healing and forgiveness.
A Voice for Life looks at the abortion issue from the one who was a target of abortion. This pro-life film is designed to inspire women considering an abortion to choose life and carry their pregnancy to full term. It also encourages women who have had an abortion to seek help and find forgiveness, and embrace a new future free of guilt and pain. The film traces Melissa's story through her own words and interviews with her adoptive mother and other family members, as well as prominent pro-life leaders including Dr. John Wilke, Dr. Theresa Burke, Fr. Frank Pavone, Alveda King and Fr. Jonathan Morris. Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
Love Is a Choice This video documents the heroic life of St. Gianna Molla through interviews with her husband, children, friends, letters, and family mementos. St. Gianna, who sacrificed her life to save her unborn baby, was a mother, a medical doctor, a lover of opera, art, and culture; one who can speak much to our present day especially when family life is threatened on so many fronts. Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
Blood Money Blood Money is a documentary film narrated by Dr. Alveda King, which exposes the truth behind the Abortion Industry from the Pro Life perspective. The film examines the history of abortion in America. From the inception of Planned Parenthood and the profitability of abortion clinics, to Roe v. Wade, to the denial of when life begins, the fight to save the lives of innocent babies, and the devastating effects it has had on the women that have exercised this "choice". Features Fr. Frank Pavone, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, Joe Scheidler, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Norma McCorvey, Carol Everett, and Troy Newman. Featuring the song "Here I Am" by Eric Genuis. Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
Bella The acclaimed, award-winning theatrical hit that tells the moving and life-affirming story about a beautiful waitress in a New York City restaurant facing a crisis pregnancy and unemployment, and the loving support she receives from a kind man with a mysterious past seeking to heal deep wounds of his own. Charismatic actor Eduardo Verastegui and lovely Tammy Blanchard give powerful lead performances in this surprise winner of the coveted “People’s Choice Award” at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival. Filled with many touching moments of human insight, family love, and humor, along with a wonderful music score, Bella is an inspiring film with an uplifting message that leaves a deep impact on its viewers. It belongs in every home. Regular price: $16.95, sale price: $13.56
Life after Abortion The untold story from the other victims of abortion. Countless women (and men) have been overwhelmed by post abortion trauma, resulting in fear, anxiety, pain, and guilt. Many suffer in silence for years, even decades after they realize the full toll of their choice. While numerous civic organizations and local churches offer outreach ministries that meet the need of many in crises, a relatively few help women cope with life in the emotionally destructive aftermath of abortion. Go beyond the rhetoric and take a 360 degree look at unplanned pregnancies as told by the women who experienced them. From desperation to devastation to deliverance, Life After Abortion takes an honest look at the undeniable impact abortion has had on real people. Hosted by Carol Everett, Alveda King and others. Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
Into My Arms We often hear the alarming statistics of how many women have abortions annually, but what is rarely reported is the devastating effect that abortion has on women who go through the procedure. This revealing documentary presents the personal stories of five women who chose abortion, as they bravely share their struggles with remorse and the psychological challenges faced after their decision. Their heart-wrenching stories are explored by some of the world's leading Christian counselors who offer hope for forgiveness and healing. This film is a healing tool for those experiencing post-abortion trauma. It also offers vital information for those considering abortion. Featuring insightful commentary from Dr. Diane Langberg, Christopher West, Georgette Forney, Theresa Burke, Jan Frank and others. Regular price: $19.95, sale price: $15.96
To Be Born Based on a famous story by a Catholic priest, this is a compelling, visually gripping new film about a young woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy who is pressured to have an abortion. At the start of the abortion procedure, she finds herself in a mysterious situation as she hears her unborn daughter cry out to her mother, describing the chilling details of what is happening to her, and how she wants to live and love. Will the mother go through with the destruction of her child, or listen to her plea for love and life before its too late?
The film is based on "A Letter from an Aborted Child," which had been used for nearly 10 years by Father Stephen Lesniewski to show women in a time of indecision about an unplanned pregnancy. He estimates that over 500 babies have been saved because of his efforts in utilizing the powerful letter. Because of its great success, Fr. Stephen decided to have a film produced with the hope that the overall message would reach an even larger audience. Regular price: $14.95, sale price: $11.96
Catholic World Report
“The Best Books I Read in 2013” By CWR Staff Featuring contributions from Dana Gioia, Anthony Esolen, Thomas Howard, Michael Coren, Joseph Pearce, James V. Schall, Brandon Vogt, and many more.
“Everywhere have I sought rest and found it not, except sitting apart in a nook with a little book.” — Thomas a Kempis
Our first “Best Books I Read in…” compilation appeared nine years ago on Ignatius Insight and it has grown in both popularity and length each year. This year we have nearly 40 entries (if my blurry vision can be trusted), all from CWR contributors, editors, and friends, each of whom was asked to respond to the simple question, “What were the best books you read in the past year?” The books chosen did not have to be published in 2013, nor did they have to be about a specific topic. So, pull up a chair—or find a nook—and prepare to discover a few new books. — Carl E. Olson, editor Keep reading...
According to recent demographic surveys, it seems there are presently 30 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as “former Catholics.” That figure is both surprising, and, for Catholics, disheartening.
Over the past 50 years or so, a profound change, other than that effected by Vatican II, has taken place in the Catholic Church. It might be described as the phenomenon of “vanishing Catholics.” The Canadian philosopher, Charles Taylor, has identified four major challenges facing the Church today. First on his list is the exodus of young adults from the Church. According to recent demographic surveys, it seems there are...Keep reading
Tina Plummer, of Westfield, Ind., demonstrates in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington during the March for Life Jan. 22, 2010. (CNS photo/Peter Lockley)
Life, Literature, and the Horror of Abortion | Christopher White | Catholic World Report
An interview with Edward Short, author of Culture and Abortion
In his new book, Culture and Abortion (Gracewing, 2013), Edward Short examines the evil of abortion through the lens of literature and culture. “What I have sought to do,” he writes in the introduction, is “to see if some aspects of culture—which is to say works of poetry, history, criticism, fiction, and the encyclicals of popes—could help make sense of this life-destroying notion, though another and perhaps more important purpose was to argue that in order to end the evil of abortion we need a revival of culture, true culture.”
Short, who lives in New York with his wife and daughter, spoke recently with Catholic World Report about his book.
CWR: There’s been an abundance of writing on the horrors of abortion over the past four decades. Most of the writing on this topic deals with the poor legal arguments that buttress abortion rights, the emotional or physical damage to women, and the scientific evidence that life begins at conception. You, however, take a different approach and examine the type of culture that allows for abortion. Why is this important?
Edward Short: In Culture and Abortion, I do three things. I put abortion in some historical context by showing how the pro-abortion assumptions that animate our society would strike previous societies, most of which recognized children, born and unborn, as gifts from God, not playthings of expedience.
Secondly, I look closely at why our own culture sees fit to reject the gift of life.
And lastly I show how life-affirming poets, popes, saints, abolitionists, novelists, historians, and other truth-tellers can help us to restore what ought to be the pro-life heart of our own culture. All these are important because they help us see how our own culture has become a travesty of culture, one which is antagonistic not only to civilization but to life itself.
The sooner we re-humanize our culture the sooner we can begin to show abortion the door, though I insist in the book that we can only do this by showing our neighbors the vital relationship between the creature and the Creator, which is at the heart of the inviolability of life. Natural law arguments are not enough. To defend the sanctity of life we must witness to the reality of God’s love, which comes to us anew in every gift of every child.
CWR: In Culture and Abortion you introduce a number of literary figures who have offered serious contributions to promoting a culture of life. How have works of literature been important in this regard?
SAN FRANCISCO, January 7, 2014 – Walk for Life West Coast plans are in full swing, as organizers prepare for what they hope to be the largest Walk yet. The 10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast will be held at San Francisco’s Civic Center on January 25, 2014.
Speakers include Shari Rigby, actress in the film October Baby; Grace Dulaney, founder of the Agnus Dei Foundation; Monica Snyder, a representative of Secular Pro-Life; and Rev. Clenard Childress, founder and director of www.BlackGenocide.org. In addition, the Silent No More Post-Abortion Awareness Campaign, an important part of the Walk since its founding, will once again offer a program of testimony from abortion survivors and post-abortion healing prior to the rally.
Organizers are also happy to announce that there will be three powerful pro-life events related to the Walk, all of which will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco:
• The Law of Life Summit West on Friday January 24, which is sponsored by the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
• A Sidewalk Counselor Training session with Abby Johnson, author of Unplanned and former Planned Parenthood employee, on Saturday, January 25, following the Walk.
• The first Students for Life of America conference to be held on the west coast on January 26.
Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Walk participants are expected from throughout the Bay Area and across the United States and Canada.
For complete details about the Walk for Life and all related pro-life events, please visit: www.walkforlifewc.com
To set up an interview with any of the Walk for Life West Coast’s dynamic speakers or event organizers, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Walk for Life West Coast, firstname.lastname@example.org or (239)867-4180
Below is a video from the Walk for Life site promoting the 2014 event:
How A Subculture Brainwashed America | Thomas M. Doran | CWR blog
And what must be done in response
Let’s pull back the curtain and have a good look at the Wizard; that is, if we still have eyes to see.
Not too many decades ago, there was a solid American consensus that faithfulness in marriage, complementary masculinity and femininity, belief in a benevolent God, and bearing/raising children were good things.
No one needs to be told that things are different now, and many are convinced that the changes are for the better.
So how did this occur?
These changes didn’t occur organically; that is, by a broad-based evolution in Americans’ perspective. Rather, this transformation was directed by a subculture with a vested interest. Like the Jacobins in the late 18th century, a self-interested subculture used legitimate concerns about women’s rights and abuses of minority rights to spearhead its agenda. Thus, the objective of this subculture was not justice but utter transformation of the culture; like a house with electrical problems in several rooms, we didn’t re-wire the problem rooms, we bulldozed the house.
Using the educational system, the media, and the entertainment industry, this subculture set about convincing Americans that its agenda was normative, and that traditional beliefs about faith and morality were primitive and repressive.
Facing the Fallout of Artificial Reproductive Technologies | Carrie Gress | CWR
An interview with Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture
“Egg or sperm donors don’t help other people have children, they help other people have their children,” says Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture.
Lahl spoke with Catholic World Report about her work to assist the most defenseless affected by the rapidly changing and largely unregulated world of biotechnology.
The CBC has produced three original, award-winning documentary films: Anonymous Father’s Day (2011), about children of sperm donors who long to know more about their biological fathers; Eggsploitation (2010), which uncovers the serious risks associated with human egg donation; and Lines That Divide (2009), focusing upon the stem-cell research debate.
CWR: Your work at the Center for Bioethics and Culture tries to help the most vulnerable affected by biotechnology. Other than, say, “spare embryos” from IVF, who else are you looking to assist?
Lahl: Our work focuses on end-of-life issues, like euthanasia, and “making life” issues via assisted reproductive technologies. The most vulnerable we seek to give a voice to are those facing terminal illness, disabilities, [the] suffering (those society says have a life not worth living), and also the stakeholders in assisted reproductive technology (ART), e.g., egg donors, surrogate mothers, and the children created by these technologies.
Of course, we do advocate against sperm donation too, and it may be a stretch to say a sperm donor is vulnerable, but we seek to educate them on the realities of donor conception. I often say to egg donors (and it could be said of sperm donation), you didn’t help a woman (or a couple or man) have a baby, you helped her have your baby.
CWR: The intense emotional desire to be a parent is the main motivation behind surrogacy and technologies like IVF. Your work, however, especially your films, focuses on different sets of emotions beyond those of potential parents. Tell us about those.
New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan applauds the election of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., as the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 12 in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec) (Nov. 12, 2013)
Abp. Joseph Kurtz on Faith, Family, and Francis | Jim Graves | CWR
The new President of the USCCB discusses the role of the Conference, its opposition to the HHS mandate, marriage, evangelization, and Pope Francis
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, 67, is the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown in 1972, and has served as archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky since 2007. Previously, he served as the USCCB’s vice president.
As he told CWR in 2011 Archbishop Kurtz sees the USCCB’s role as threefold: 1) to promote unity among the bishops and Holy Father, 2) to help the individual bishop in the care of his diocese, and 3) to provide a vehicle for the bishops to collectively address issues of the day.
In an interview with CWR on November 22, Archbishop Kurtz continued the discussion about the work of the USCCB, and shared his thoughts on the new pontiff, Pope Francis.
CWR: The Catholic bishops have opposed directives by the Obama administration that mandate Catholic institutions such as schools and hospitals provide their employees with health care coverage that includes contraceptives, abortions, and sterilizations. Where are you in your negotiations with the administration on this issue?
Abp. Kurtz: First off, in the larger context, the U.S. bishops remain firmly united in their opposition to the HHS [Health and Human Services] mandate. At the conclusion of our General Assembly in Baltimore on November 13, the USCCB issued a Special Message that was passed by a unanimous vote. It says, in part, “Pope Francis has reminded us that ‘In the context of society, there is only one thing which the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, even when it runs counter to the world, even when it goes against the tide.’”
This is an excellent statement by Pope Francis. Our belief, and the belief of most people, is that when you look back in history, people’s faith doesn’t detract from public life. Instead, it enriches and motivates us to serve others. This is certainly true in providing health care. The Church has been a major provider itself, and an advocate of providing access to health care for all. However, when we do so, we do so in a manner consistent with our Catholic principles. So, the HHS mandate continues to be burdensome to us, and we will continue to oppose it.
I was pleased to see that a federal judge just granted an injunction to the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Erie saying that they do not have to provide types of health insurance coverage which violate their consciences. We hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will understand and agree. If the decision goes against us, we will still remain united in our opposition to the HHS mandate, and look for other avenues to pursue that enable us to remain true to what we believe. We will never do something we believe to be immoral.
CWR: Since we last talked in 2011, nine states have legalized same-sex marriage, including three by a vote of the electorate (Maine, Maryland, and Washington). Does the trend seem to be going against those who believe in traditional marriage, and what is the best way Catholics can promote traditional marriage?
Timo Soini, leader of the Finns Party (photo: http://timosoini.fi/).
Right: Parliament of Finland (photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/).
Catholic Politician in the Nordic Public Square | Alberto
Carosa | CWR
interview with Finnish politician Timo Soini, leader of the main
opposition party in the Finnish parliament
Soini is an interesting and somewhat unusual figure in Finland’s
political establishment: a Catholic who is not hiding his Catholic
faith while living in a highly secularized society, nor mincing his
words whenever he needs to uphold “non-negotiable values”
relating to family, marriage, and life.
the driving force behind the exceptional surge of the
(in English, the “Finns Party” or “True Finn Party”), which
he has led since 1997. During the last general elections in April
2011, the Perussuomalaiset
won 39 seats (19.1%), a dramatic increase from their previous five.
The party's platform is based on “the right” for all members of
society “to a life of human dignity”, as expressed in the English
resume of the parliament’s official website.
“We are an
independent, nationally minded party that presents an alternative and
serves as a counterweight to non-criticism of the EU [European
Union]”, the resume goes on, “standing on a foundation of
Christian-social values”. Soini is a bit more specific in his
Finnish blog, stating that he needs “nobody’s permission to be
pro-life” and that “marriage should only be between a man and a
woman”. His party’s recent success has revolutionized Finland’s
political scenario, forcing an unusual alliance between the social
democrats and the traditional right-wing conservative Kokoomus
National Coalition Party seeking to keep Soini to be kept out of
government so the latter party can remain the leading opposition
As a presidential candidate for the second time in the
January 2012 presidential elections, Soini received
the third most votes—almost 10% of the total. The unprecedented
result of this political “earthquake” was that the socialist
candidate was, for the first time, out of the run-off, causing the
editors of Helsingin
the largest subscription newspaper in Finland, to declare, “Timo
Soini rewrote the electoral history books.”
Soini graciously granted the following interview to Catholic
World Report recently.
What can you tell us about your recent visit to Rome?
I was in Rome early this year, in April, and at the Vatican for the
ordination of priests. It was celebrated by Pope Francis, and I was
there with the Finnish Ambassador to the Holy See, Alpo Rusi. I also
met cardinals Turkson and Tauran. It was very interesting; it was a
real blessing that I could take that opportunity for a series of
discussions. It was my third visit to Rome. I went there with my
wife; we arrived on a Saturday and the following day we went to St
Peter’s Basilica for the mass celebrated by Pope Francis and then
returned home on Monday. We went to see the catacombs and to the
Vatican museums, and our Ambassador to the Vatican made it possible
for me to meet the two cardinals and then we went to the mass. Here
in Finland we are more ordinary people and it is a real sensation for
us to see so much luxury in terms of paintings and artistic
masterpieces. I also met a friend of mine, Oskar Juurikkala, who is
in Opus Dei and is studying to become a priest.
What was your reaction at the changing of Popes?
Roe v. Wade: The History and the Truth | Christopher White | Catholic World Report
An interview with Clarke D. Forsythe, author of Abuse of Indiscretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade
years after Roe
v. Wade, we
are just now learning the back history to the Supreme Court decision
that allowed abortion on demand to become a national policy. In his
insightful and well-researched new book, Abuse
of Indiscretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade(Encounter
Books, 2013), Clarke
D. Forsythe chronicles the complicated history and political details
that led to the most sweeping Supreme Court decision in our history.
World Report, caught
up with Forsythe, Senior
Counsel at Americans United for Life, to discuss the twenty years
of research that went into this important book.
"right to privacy" established in Griswold
v. Connecticut served
as a precursor for Roe
Was Griswold the
decision that ultimately paved the way for the justices’
endorsement of legal and unlimited abortion in the United States?
entirely by itself. The Justices pointed to a number of decisions
that they said created a right to privacy, including the 1972
decision in Eisenstadt
heard during the fifteen-week twin vacancies after the retirements of
Justices Black and Harlan in the fall of 1972—which significantly
extended Griswold to strike down regulations on the sale of
contraceptives to single people. The justices largely abandoned the
right to privacy in 1992 in Planned
Parenthood v. Casey
and justified Roe
on the basis of the “reliance interests” of women in abortion as
a back-up to failed contraception—the new glue that holds together
the right to abortion.
non-legal scholars overlook the significance of Roe
v. Wade's companion
Why do you insist that Doe
main reasons: First, it is Roe
which gave us the national policy of abortion for any reason, at any
time of pregnancy. Roe
a right to abortion up to fetal viability; Doe gave us the “health”
exception (defined as “emotional well-being”) after fetal
viability, which is left to the discretion of the provider.
struck down the 1968 Georgia law as too strict, which allowed
abortion in certain circumstances, including the health and safety
regulations in the Georgia laws.
the cultural currents of the sixties and seventies—more women in
the workforce, increased sexual license, concerns of overpopulation,
and so forth—weren't the justices that decided Roe
confirming public opinion on the matter of abortion?
New Pope, Good Interview, Old Story | Carl E. Olson | Editorial | Catholic World Report
journalists and progressive Catholics try to make hay to feed their
by some of the reactions to the
September 19thAmerica interview with Pope
Francis, which was originally conducted over three days in August,
you might be tempted to think a pontiff had never given an interview
before. How quickly some forget, if they ever knew at all.
first papal text I ever read, as a young Evangelical Protestant with
a growing curiosity about the Catholic Church, was John Paul II's
1994 book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope (available
online in PDF format), which was an interview conducted by
Italian journalist Vittorio Messori. And, of course, Pope Benedict
XVI was interviewed in 2010 by German journalist Peter Seewald,
resulting in Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the
Sign of the Times (Ignatius Press, 2010). That book certainly
garnered widespread attention, especially for comments that Benedict
made about contraception.
fact, if you read only accounts from many mainstream news sources,
you may have concluded that the entire book was about condoms. The
obsession with the “condom comments” became so ridiculous that
the president of Ignatius Press, Mark Brumley, penned
an interview with himself which satirized the nonsense:
Media: So the Pope has written a book about condoms!
Brumley: Well, actually, it’s an interview book. And
journalist Peter Seewald interviewed Benedict about a wide-range of
topics, not just about condoms.
but condoms must be a major theme of the book. Look at all the
coverage that has focused on condoms!
the Pope’s comments about condoms cover only about two pages out of
about 200 pages of Q & As.
Abortion: Unmasking the Demon | Fr. Stanley Smolenski, SPMA | Homiletic & Pastoral Review
It is true that fatherhood is the main target of Satan’s forces, but his is a multi-pronged strategy which includes the destruction of motherhood and childhood. This is blatant in abortions.
|The spiritual dimension of abortion, based on our faith, must be addressed along with the medical, legal, political, and psychological aspects of this social aberration. We have to see beneath the exterior human activities in order to appraise the sinister aspect of distorted spiritual realities that are motivating the obvious. Then observe the corrective means directed by divine providence. Many refuse to face the facts and actually camouflage the reality to make it palatable to their deformed consciences.
That is the problem with politicians who claim to be Catholic, but whose actions show otherwise. They are to being Catholic what margarine is to being butter: mere appearance, essentially different, a label without content.
A clear idea of what results when evil pervades a society is needed. This concerns the justice of God, because our denial of his rights by sin is a denial of his rightful glory. Let us examine the Eighth Station of the Cross. Some stations say, “Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem”—Hardly! He said to them, “Weep not for me, but for yourselves and for your children” (Lk 23:28). This calls to mind the time he was entering Jerusalem and wept over it, saying: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how I would gather you as a hen does her chicks; but you refused!” and “A time will come when you will be surrounded … and a stone will not be left on a stone … because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (cf. Mt 23:37; Lk 19:44).
The refusal of the Gospel has its dire consequences. When laws are passed that make a society resemble the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, what can be expected? Recall what they got!
The Lord constantly complained that people invoked him with their lips, but their hearts were far from him.
Cognitive Dissonance on the Issue of
Marriage and Procreation | Bill Maguire | CWR blog
Can you correctly identify who made the
following comments on the importance of fathers for the well-being of
children and the health of our communities?
fathers are absent . . . we know the damage that does to our
families. Children who grow up without a father are more likely to
drop out of school and wind up in prison. They’re more likely to
have substance abuse problems, run away from home, and become teenage
no more important ingredient for success—nothing would be more
important for us reducing violence—than strong, stable families,
which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage
father's absence is felt by children, families, and communities in
countless ways, leaving a hole that can have lasting effects.
If you guessed
these comments were made by a
right-winger or by a pastor, preacher, or priest—you are incorrect.
These were, in fact, words spoken by President Obama. If you want to
read more about how essential involved fathers are for the health and
well-being of our children and communities, visit
the website for the President’s Fatherhood Pledge.
Those of us in
the movement to promote marriage and safeguard it from being
redefined welcome President Obama’s statements. He rightly
understands both the unique and necessary contribution of fathers and
the explicit link between fatherhood, the well-being of children, and
the health of our communities. Yet, in light of his current policies,
we are left scratching our heads.
The Rebirth of the Irish Pro-Life Movement | Michael Kelly | CWR
The legalization of abortion in Ireland has mobilized pro-life activism.
Within weeks, hospitals in Ireland could, for the first time, begin performing abortions. It comes after Irish President Michael D. Higgins signed a controversial piece of legislation that the government insists allows for abortion only in limited circumstances, but that pro-lifers argue permits an extremely liberal abortion regime.
A brief statement from Higgins July 27 confirmed that the president had signed the so-called Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill. Ironically, his endorsement of the law may well prove to be a blessing for pro-life advocates. Under the 1937 Irish Constitution, the president is vested with very little power and is virtually obliged to sign laws that have passed parliament. However, in a little-used constitutional provision, the president does have the power to refer laws to the Supreme Court to test their constitutionality before signing. Had Higgins opted to refer the law to the Court, this would’ve delayed the passage of the bill. However, if the Supreme Court ruled that the law was in keeping with the Constitution, the bill would be forever immune to challenge. President Higgins’ decision to sign without reference to the Supreme Court clears the way for those opposed to abortion to challenge the law.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny, whose claim that he supports abortion in some circumstances because he is pro-life have led some pro-lifers to accuse him of verbal acrobatics, has not survived the passage of the law unscathed. A number of his government legislators were expelled from his center-right Fine Gael party for refusing to support abortion, which may weaken Kenny’s overall position at the head of the country’s coalition government.
Veteran pro-life campaigners describe the passage of the law as a dark day for Ireland. But, in a country where a ban on abortion was sometimes taken for granted, the campaign may also have emboldened and united opponents of abortion as never before.
Artfully Battling the Giants of Black Genocide | Carrie Gress | CWR
An interview with Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation
“I’m passionate about messaging that’s fearless, factual, and freeing,” says Ryan Bomberger, the founder of the Radiance Foundation. Bomberger, whose mother was raped and gave him up for adoption, is challenging those who, he says, are ignoring history and logic and refusing to defend the most defenseless.
Bomberger spoke with Catholic World Report about his work at the Radiance Foundation, which uses high-quality ads to convey pro-life messages, especially to the black community.
Catholic World Report: What is the Radiance Foundation and how did it come about?
Ryan Bomberger: Through creative ad campaigns, powerful multi-media presentations, and compassionate community outreach we address a myriad of social issues in the context of God-given purpose. We tackle issues of poverty, family disintegration, fatherlessness, pop culture, purity, character development, liberal feminism, civil rights, abortion, and adoption.
My wife, Bethany, and I created the Radiance Foundation in the spring of 2009 to help people understand and embrace their intrinsic value. Both of us have worked in urban environments most of our adult lives and have a heart to reach the broken. Bethany served as an educator in the public school system for years, and I was a creative director in the ad agency world before we embarked on this incredible journey.
The organization name comes from our daughter’s name, Radiance. Bethany was a single mom for a year, painfully finding herself in a situation she had encouraged her own students to avoid. Contrary to the abortion industry’s mantra, though, her “unplanned” pregnancy was not an unwanted or unloved child. Radiance changed Bethany’s life and my own. I became her daddy when she was one, and adopted her when she turned five. Today, Bethany and I have four children, two of whom are adopted.
My own story, too, serves as the foundation of our life-affirming efforts through the Radiance Foundation. I’m the 1 percent that’s used to justify 100 percent of abortions. My biological mother was raped, yet courageously chose to go through nine months of pregnancy. She chose life for me and allowed me to be adopted into an amazing multi-racial family of 15. Though I’ve never met her, millions around the globe have been touched by her singular decision that continues to reverberate. As my song “Meant to Be” says, “Now I can love and be loved…all because of you!” She made me possible. And it is this same possibility that the Radiance Foundation fights for with every ad campaign, speaking engagement, community outreach or social media interaction. We love sharing the transformational power of hope.
CWR: What has been the general response to your work?
More Gosnells | Carrie Gress | Catholic World Report
Johnson and Shawn Carney talk about the new Texas law, “The Preborn
Texas – Wendy Davis and her supporters have either bought into
a lie about abortion or mistakenly believe these clinics are safe
places, but we have the truth, says former abortion clinic worker
Carney and Abby Johnson once stood toe to toe on opposite sides of
the fence at the Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, until Abby
joined the pro-life cause. They talked to CWR about the new abortion
law in Texas and what it means for the clinic where they met and for
the other abortion clinics in the Lone Star State.
Bill 2364, “The Preborn Pain Act”, passed in the state senate
late Friday night and is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Perry
in the coming days.
What are the changes this law will make for abortions and
abortion clinics in Texas?
The proposed laws would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks in
Texas. The biggest impact of this law will be how it raises the
standards of the abortion industry, against their own will. For
instance the abortionist will need to have admitting privileges to a
hospital within 30 miles of the facility and new upgrades would be
required inside the facility. This has caused a huge reaction from
There are 42 abortion facilities total in the state and 37 are
not "ambulatory surgical centers." To comply with the new
law, they will have to retrofit, rebuild from the ground up, or
How is this law going to affect your own clinic in Bryan, TX, the
site of the first 40 Days for Life campaign?
Democracy, the Death of Truth, and the Growth of Tyranny | Brian Jones | CWR
Choosing to live according to one’s own self-made conception of reality, human nature, and happiness is a recipe for tyranny.
recently had a discussion with a former high school friend of hers
regarding the Gosnell abortion trial in Philadelphia. They were in
complete agreement that what this so-called “doctor” had done was
intentionally taking the lives of innocent children, discarding these
little souls as though they were mere things, capable of being
disposed at will. However, it was also clear that my wife's friend,
admitting the truth of these horrors, was hesitant, perhaps even
unwilling, to carry the premises to their logical conclusion. His
final remark was this brief summation of his philosophical worldview:
I agree with you
that this case (Gosnell) is quite disturbing on so many levels. I
would never want my wife to have an abortion, nor would I ever
conceive of counseling a woman that abortion would be a wise choice.
However, I must declare my agnosticism on this issue, for I
personally do not know when human life begins and I am not certain
that the science is definitive on this point either. Furthermore,
while I may disagree with the person’s decision, nevertheless, who
am I to deny someone the sacred right of choice to determine what is
best for them in their lives, and in the complicated circumstances
that envelope their situation?
While much can be said, and has been
said, about the claims put forth in such a statement, what should
stand out most is that this is the philosophical outlook of modern
liberal democracy, its penultimate truism on which it is based and
feeds. Relativism and toleration are its paradigmatic doctrines, for
if one proposed some form of truth and and also proposed that we
could simultaneously know this truth that we ourselves did not make,
then one would be a threat to civilization. It is only on the
conditions of dialogue, equality, and the affirmation of any and all
forms of living that we can remain a free and open society, one
progressing towards a better world.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself
diagnosed this dangerous current of philosophical relativism in
modern democratic societies. Democracy, Ratzginer noted, is in fact
built upon the basis,
that no one can
presume to know the true way, and it is enriched by the fact that all
roads are mutually recognized as fragments of the effort toward that
which is better... A system of freedom ought to be essentially a
system of positions that are connected with one another because they
are relative as well as being dependent on historical situations open
to new developments. Therefore a liberal society would be a
relativist society: only with that condition could it continue to be
free and open to the future. (“Address to Latin American Bishops”,
Ratzinger rightly highlights in this
same address that there must be a certain amount of relativism in the
arena of politics for, as Aristotle tells us, this science is not
speculative, but practical.
The Problematic Legacy of Fr. Hesburgh | Anne Hendershott | CWR
A beloved leader in Catholic higher education, he also accelerated the move toward secularization of Catholic institutions.
Standing in front of a famous
1964 photo of Father Theodore Hesburgh locking arms with the Rev. Martin Luther
King, Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, honored Father Hesburgh at a
party on Capitol Hill celebrating the retired president of the University of
Notre Dame’s 96th birthday in late May.
During her celebratory remarks, Pelosi praised Father Hesburgh’s
courageous record on civil rights and pointed to the photo, on loan from the
National Portrait Gallery, taken at a rally just days after a vote on the Civil
Rights Act. Pelosi was joined at the party
by dozens of congressional well-wishers—as well as Vice President Joe Biden—all
paying tribute to the priest that Biden described as “the most powerful
unelected official this nation has ever seen.”
Biden is correct. Father Hesburgh has indeed exerted a powerful
influence on our country, on our Church, and especially on our Catholic
colleges and universities. He has
received 150 honorary degrees, the most ever awarded to one person, and has
held 16 presidential appointments involving most of the major social issues in
his time—including civil rights, nuclear disarmament, population, the
environment, Third World development, and amnesty and immigration reform. In
July 2000, President Clinton awarded Father Hesburgh the Congressional Gold Medal—making him the first person
from higher education to be so honored.
Father Hesburgh has always viewed
himself as a “citizen of the world” and his secular activities reflect
that. Father Hesburgh was the first priest ever elected
to the Board of Directors at Harvard University and served two years as
president of the Harvard Board. He also
served as a director of the Chase Manhattan Bank. A longtime champion of
nuclear disarmament, Father Hesburgh has served on the board
of the United States Institute of Peace and helped organize a meeting of
scientists and representative leaders of six faith traditions who called for
the elimination of nuclear weapons.
On many occasions, Father Hesburgh found himself the first
Catholic priest to serve in a given leadership position on boards of secular
organizations. Much of his success can
be viewed as stemming from his ability to distance himself from the authority
of the Church. Such was the case during
the years he served as a trustee, and later, Chairman of the Board of the
Rockefeller Foundation, a frequent funder of causes counter to Church
teachings—including population control.
Some of Father Hesburgh’s activities are
curiously missing from the Notre Dame website’s formal
biography of their beloved president emeritus.
Freedom from Government (Birth) Control | Carrie Gress | Catholic World Report
An interview with Helen Alvaré of Women Speak for Themselves
Washington, DC – More than 40,000 women are putting religious freedom
ahead of the political fiction that says all women want free
contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients.
The group, Women Speak for Themselves,
was founded by Helen Alvaré and Kim Daniels in response to the Health
and Human Services mandate for insurers to provide contraception,
sterilization, and abortifacients at no cost to their clients.
Catholic World Report caught up with Helen Alvaré to find out more about what this growing group of women is doing to fight the HHS mandate.
Alvaré is a professor of law at George Mason University, a consultor to
the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a consultant for ABCNews, and the
chair of the Conscience Protection Task Force at the Witherspoon
Institute. She co-authored and edited the book, Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak For Themselves.
CWR: What is “Women Speak for Themselves” and how did it come about?
Alvaré: It came about because I was shocked and
dismayed that the news reports about the response to the HHS mandate, as
well as the words out of the mouths of some members of Congress,
claimed that this HHS mandate fight was women vs. men. And bad men,
particularly religious men, hated women and therefore opposed the
mandate. I knew that this was untrue in my own situation and I knew many
women who would feel the same.
The news reports were pouring in on February 16, 2012, and I decided
that I should draft an open letter. I bounced it back and forth with my
good friend Kim Daniels, who is a religious liberty attorney, and we
crafted it and sent it out to a couple of dozen friends and asked for
signatures. This cascade of signatures started to come in so that in
about 48 hours we had about 2,500, and by the end of the week we had
7,500. We hadn’t done any asking beyond that original couple dozen
women, so we knew there was an untapped, unvocalized sentiment out
there. We expressed it in two points: one is that women particularly
care for religious freedom and second, the idea that contraception
equals women’s freedom and trumps religious freedom was simplistic and
It has now grown to about 40,000-41,000 women online with whom I
correspond about every three weeks to keep them up-to-date on things
that affect the mandate and religious liberty, but increasingly things
that affect the whole plane that basically says the ability to express
yourself sexually is the biggest part of women’s freedom.
CWR: What is the current situation with the HHS ruling?
Rallying for Religious Freedom under the Shadow of Planned Parenthood | Arland K. Nichols | HPR
Our Founding Fathers understood that when the state oversteps its boundaries—offending its very charge and offending the rights of the people—we must stand up.
From a keynote address given at the 2012 Rally for Religious Liberty in Houston, Texas.
We stand today in a shadow cast by this massive Planned Parenthood
facility, which was designed to extinguish innocent human life when it
is most vulnerable. We tremble, perhaps with anger, frustration,
sadness, or even fear, as religious liberty, granted by God, protected
by our Bill of Rights, teeters at the edge of the cliff. We stand here,
at the brink, fearful that if our religious freedom goes over that edge,
our country—and all that we cherish about it—goes right along with it.
So we stand as Catholics, yes. But we also stand as men and women
from every faith background you can imagine. As we join thousands of
people of good will, scattered across this nation we love, we recognize
that we fight for a core human truth—we should never coerce a people to
commit an act that is contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs.
The state, if it is to be just, is never to impose its will over and
against the inalienable rights of its citizens.
Our Founding Fathers understood that when the state oversteps its
boundaries—offending its very charge and offending the rights of the
people—we must stand up. We must remind that state, in the immortal
words of Abraham Lincoln, that it is a government “of the people, by the
people, and for the people.” We hope that if we stand up in this
moment, in this moment of great need, this nation, under God, shall have
a new birth of freedom. That is our hope. The stakes are high. The
losses have already been great. But we will not sit it out when our
nation needs us most, when our fellow citizens need us most.
It was President John F. Kennedy who said, “I believe in an America
that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish … where
religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is
treated as an act against all.” Though many would understandably
disagree with much of President Kennedy’s approach toward his faith,
these words ring loud and true.
Fighting the Culture of Death, One Katie At a Time | Michael Coren | CWR
As Belgium and other countries embrace euthanasia for children, Catholics must stand up for the most vulnerable among us.
Belgium is a troubled country on any number of levels. Its unity has been
tenuous for decades, it is increasingly challenged by an Islamic immigrant
community that rejects European virtues, and just like its neighbor, Holland,
it is clumsily eager to embrace the latest in eugenics and social engineering.
Only last month the Belgian Federal Parliament seriously considered legalizing
euthanasia for children and it
now appears it is “about to expand its controversial ‘right to die’
policies to include access to euthanasia for some gravely ill children.”
Don’t be shocked. I have debated “assisted suicide” zealots
who believe that if depressed teenagers want to take their own lives—and,
tragically, many teens travel that bumpy road of despair at some troubled
point—they should be empowered by the state to do so. Poor old Belgium, once so
faithful and brave.
I mention this because I have, I suppose, a particular
insight into how terrifying euthanasia can be and into the vulnerability of
those who it especially horrifies.
Let me introduce you to Katie, who is what society describes as “handicapped”.
She was born several months premature and spent a long time in hospital. She
came home accompanied by a nursing team, to a house wired for oxygen. It’s
ironic, in that the same hospital advised Katie’s mother to abort her because
there were likely, they said, to be “complications.”
I know all this because her mother is my sister, and Katie
is my niece.
Expanding the Culture of Death in Vermont | Anne Hendershott | Catholic World Report
Why Vermont is low-hanging fruit for the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies
In a strongly worded statement
decrying the legalization of assisted suicide in Vermont on May 20, 2013, the
Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, the bishop of Burlington, called his home state
“one of the few Death States, where it is legal for life to be terminated both
at its beginning and end stages.” While noting that the state “so rightly
opposes the death penalty and the tragedies of war,” Bishop Matano accused
Vermont’s legislators of sending a “confusing and conflicting message that
undermines its stand for life.”
Bishop Matano’s statement pointed
directly to the role that the Vermont state legislature played in bypassing the
voters to enact the assisted suicide law. What Bishop Matano did not mention,
however, was that Vermont’s lawmakers and courts began to create a culture of
death in the state more than four decades ago. In 1972, a full year before the
US Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing legal abortion in Roe v. Wade, the Vermont Supreme Court
invalidated Vermont’s abortion statute in Beecham
v. Leahy, finding it unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.
The new “End-of-Life Choices”
law, which allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication for
self-administration by “terminally ill” patients, is just the latest in a long
line of laws designed to remove protections for the most vulnerable—including
the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly. And, although physician-assisted
suicide has been legalized in Oregon, Washington, and Montana, Vermont is the
first state to have such a law passed by the legislature without the input of
voters or the courts.
Most of Vermont’s politicians appear
to take pride in being the first state legislature to pass what they have defined
as progressive laws.