Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Man with two hunting knives approaches Bible-reading seniors, slashes pro-life sign

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 05 18:47 EST Comments (14)

 
Slashed sign -- closeup
A man cut a large gash from the sign.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, April 5, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group of peaceful protesters who were reading the Bible in front of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic got a jolt when they were approached by a man bearing two large hunting knives.

They say he used the two knives to slash a banner held by two senior citizens in front of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization that read “Reading the Bible at the Gates of Hell.” Young children were present at the time.

“He came up there flashing his huge hunting knives, then put two huge slashes in the sign, scaring the daylights out of the pro-life Christians there,” Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, assistant director of Operation Save America, told LifeSiteNews.com. “Thank God no one was hurt, but a crime was committed.”

The group’s States of Refuge campaign is holding protests in five states that have only one abortion clinic. They include Mississippi, Arkansas, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota. The first stage involves reading “the entire scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, out loud” in front of the abortion facility. “What we’re doing in essence is unsheathing the sword of the Spirit and declaring, ‘There’s another king, one called Jesus, and you’re coming down in His Name,’” Thomas said.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

That appears to be more than some can bear. “We should all be free to express our views…without fear of being slashed,” Ester Mann, one of the protestors, told the local Fox affiliate.

Thomas, who was in South Dakota when the attack happened, said he had spoken with the Mississippi group, and learned they had a difficult time filing a police report despite suffering “what our government under any other circumstances would consider a hate crime.”

“The mentality of a lot of law enforcement people is since we re out there shining a light, we deserve whatever happens to us,” he said.

Most of the hostility or violence they encounter around the nation, he said, comes from those who have been involved in an abortion themselves. Instead of asking God to“forgive them and heal them, they act in anger, and they lash out – or in this case, slashed out.”

Despite the close shave, the Christian volunteers were undeterred. “Not only did it not diminish the outreach, more and more people came out,” Thomas said.

The campaign is focusing on states with only one abortion mill “in the hope that by the end of the year we can offer up to God the first abortion-free states in America.”

“It’s going to have a ripple effect,” Thomas said. “It’s going to have an effect like the first state set free from slavery.”

“For the church it represents the greatest opportunity for victory against the culture of death.”

States of Refuge is partnering with volunteers from more than a dozen local and national ministries. More information is available at the group’s website.

 

Tags: mississippi, operation save america, states of refuge

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State rep blasts University of Wisconsin for Spring Break condom giveaway

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 05 18:31 EST Comments (12)

 
Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater
State Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater

MADISON, WISCONSIN, April 5, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A state representative is criticizing the University of Wisconsin at Madison for giving away free bags to students before spring break containing lip balm, suntan lotion – and condoms.

Rep. Steve Nass has said the giveaway sends the wrong message and is a poor use of funds by the state-funded university.

His spokesperson, Mike Mikalsen, said Nass believes “it’s not the role of the university to encourage sexual activity.” He added, “if you can afford to go to the Caribbean, then you can afford to buy your own condoms.”

“It’s bad on several levels,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a state pro-family organization. “It’s bad because it uses taxpayer money for something of that nature. But it’s also sending a message to our young people that sex is just for recreation, and there’s no procreative aspect to it. As our president said, you wouldn’t want anybody punished with a baby.”

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

U-W Madison’s University Health Services Executive Director Sarah Van Orman said the university provides “free” condoms to students all year long at a cost of a few thousand dollars annually.

“Our U-W system has had this of mentality of promoting promiscuity and encouraging recreational sex among the student on taxpayer money for years,” Appling said. She said the problem goes well beyond Madison, one of the nation’s most notoriously liberal universities, and is system-wide. “We know that other campuses have done this in the past, as well,” she said.

After a similar incident created widespread backlash several years ago, she said the university has gotten better at communicating the message under the media’s radar.

Rep. Terese Berceau, the Democratic representative of Madison, said the condom giveaway is “sending a good message.”

Appling strongly disagreed. “The best thing they can do is build up the value of marriage and the appropriate place for sex being within the bounds of marriage,” she said. “Universities should be raising the standard higher.”

Abstinence and the self-control that goes with it are the keys to completing a successful academic life and embarking on a productive career, she said. “The U-W misses that message in its totality. It’s cheating our young people. It’s robbing them of the best in life and unfortunately causing them to settling for much less than they were created to be.”

 

Tags: stephen nass, university of wisconsin-madison, wisconsin, wisconsin family action

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Archbishop Chaput: HHS mandate debate is about religious liberty, not contraception

by Thaddeus Baklinski Thu Apr 05 18:00 EST Comments (11)

 
Archbishop Charles Chaput

PHILADELPHIA, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Echoing the statements of Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George, who in February warned that the HHS birth control mandate will close Catholic hospitals and universities or force them to secularize, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a National Review interview that the “mandate debate has serious implications,” and that “shutting down services is very much a possibility if the circumstances require it.”

“We can’t violate what we believe as Catholics in order to do good works as Catholics. That doesn’t make any sense,” Archbishop Chaput said.

The bishop also said that “casting the struggle as a birth-control fight is just a shrewd form of dishonesty,” and that religious liberty is the real target of the Obama administration.

“The central issue in the HHS-mandate debate isn’t contraception,” the archbishop stated. “The central issue in the HHS debate is religious liberty.”

“The government doesn’t have the right to force religious believers and institutions to violate their religious convictions. But that’s exactly what the White House is doing.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Cardinal George had likened the Obama administration’s rhetorical shift from supporting “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship,” to Russia’s constitutional freedom to worship guarantee under communism, when the state controlled the church.

“Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Cardinal George said. “You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship—no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”

“The State is making itself into a church,” he added.

Archbishop Chaput warned that unless people keep alive their constitutional right to freedom of religion with their convictions and lived witness, the Constitution itself is basically worthless.

“The most important thing [Catholics] can do is realize that constitutional guarantees are just scraps of elegant prose unless people fight to keep them alive,” Archbishop Chaput said.

“This country has no special immunity to anti-religious bigotry in our courts and legislatures. If we don’t press our lawmakers to defend the rights of religious believers and communities, then we’ll lose those rights.”

“It’s already happening,” the archbishop concluded.

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LifeSiteNews launches mobile website

by John Jalsevac Thu Apr 05 17:54 EST Comments (3)

 
A Screen shot of the new LifeSiteNews mobile website

After months of planning and development, LifeSiteNews (LSN) today launched its mobile website.

The cutting edge site makes it much easier for users on mobile devices (i.e. iphones, androids, ipods, etc.) with their small screens to navigate our website, and to read our news articles.

The development of the site came in response to the skyrocketing number of users who are accessing our site from their mobile devices. So far in 2012 there have been over 1,000,000 visits to our site from mobile devices. In the same time period last year, there were just over 100,000, meaning that mobile traffic has increased 10-fold since last year!

Here at LSN our mission is to promote positive cultural change through pro-life and pro-family news reporting, and part of that mission is keeping up to date with the latest web technology in order to reach as many people as possible.

Thus, we are thrilled to take this next step forward, and sincerely hope that the site will help our mobile users enjoy our news reporting more fully.

Currently the site is set up so that users coming to our site from mobile devices will automatically be sent to the mobile site. If, however, such users wish to view the regular website, they may do so by clicking the “full site” link in the footer of the mobile site. We will also be adding a link to the “full site” to the very top of the mobile site in the next day or two, making it extremely easy for users to toggle back and forth between the two if they wish.

Currently tablet devices will not be sent to the mobile site automatically, but if tablet users prefer to view it, they can click the “mobile site” link at the top of our regular site.

Undoubtedly in the days to come we will discover some glitches and wrinkles in the site as thousands of viewers with various devices on various platforms access the site. We ask you not only to let us know if or when you experience any such issues, but also to be patient as we iron out these wrinkles to provide a flawless browsing experience.

Iphone users have the option of adding the LifeSiteNews mobile site to their iphone desktop in the form of an “app”. Simply go to LifeSiteNews.com using the Safari browser, and then click the icon with the arrow on the bottom of the browser screen and click “Add to Home Screen.” This will add LifeSiteNews to your desktop, making it extremely easy to check LifeSiteNews for the latest pro-life and pro-family news with a single click.

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‘Pandemic’: thousands of leaders urge Congressional hearings on the harm of pornography

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Apr 05 17:03 EST Comments (7)

 
Those behind the letter argue pornography leads to violence against women, harm to children, sex trafficking, divorce and widespread addiction.

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thousands of national leaders are telling Congress it’s time to expose the inestimable damage to families and individual lives wreaked by the silent pandemic of Big Porn.

Morality In Media delivered a letter to key chairmen in Congress today, seeking a hearing on the harm from pornography and the need to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws, and end the laissez-faire treatment of violations by the Obama administration.

The letter, signed by a legion of national leaders and community activists representing millions of citizens at national, state, and local levels, was delivered to The Honorable Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman, House Committee on Energy & Commerce, and The Honorable Lamar Smith (R-TN), Chairman House Committee on the Judiciary.

The letter will also be hand-delivered to every member of the House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees.

The letter is the latest in a series of efforts in the War on Illegal Pornography, a national coalition comprised of more than 125 organizations fighting for the enforcement of current laws.

The leaders note that 117 Members of Congress - 75 House members and 42 from the Senate - have previously written U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging that he “vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws,” and calling his attention to the abundant evidence that pornography causes profound harms. Such harms, they said, include violence against women, harm to children, sex trafficking, divorce and widespread addiction.

“During the Obama Administration Attorney General Holder has refused to initiate new obscenity cases. We believe that a congressional hearing bringing national experts together to testify to the lasting harm of pornography is not only necessary, but urgent,” said Patrick A. Trueman, President of Morality in Media and spokesman for the group.

“Our coalition members deal with the harms of this every day and are angry that the Justice Department refuses to enforce the laws. We can’t understand the Attorney General’s apparent unwillingness to enforce laws originally passed to protect women, children, families, and our communities.”

Federal laws prohibit distribution of obscene (hardcore) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier.

Read the letter here.

Tags: obama, pornography

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After judge tells arrested pro-life activist ‘your God’s wrong,’ lawyers file appeal

by Peter Baklinski Thu Apr 05 16:15 EST Comments (45)

 
Pro-life activist Mary Wagner

TORONTO, Ontario, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After an Ontario Court of Justice judge erupted in a lengthy, angry tirade against pro-life activist Mary Wagner two weeks ago, telling her, “you’re wrong and your God’s wrong,” and sending her back to jail for mischief and failing to comply with probation orders, Wagner’s defense team has decided to appeal the decision. They also said they may launch a judicial complaint about what they called the judge’s ‘bias’ during the sentencing process.

The charges brought against Wagner stem from her November arrest at Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic, where she brought roses and pamphlets into the abortion center in an attempt to reach 10-12 women who were lined up to have their babies aborted. Wagner was reportedly asked to leave several times, but she refused. 

Wagner has been arrested on several occasions for peacefully entering abortion facilities in Toronto, where she attempts to dissuade women from having their babies killed.

During the ruling, Wagner’s defense counsel Russell Browne and Crown attorney Derek Ishak made a joint submission to Mr. Justice S. Ford Clements to have Wagner’s punishment lessened. The judge overruled their submission.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Wagner’s defense team, Russell Browne and Peter Boushy appeared on SunNews last week and told host Ezra Levant that they have solid grounds upon which to file an appeal.

“Firstly we are asking the higher court to overturn the conviction, the mischief count, and to overturn the sentence of 6 months. First of all, it is clearly excessive, secondly there was a joint submission between Russell and the Crown which was jumped by the judge,” said Boushy, Wagner’s lead counsel for the appeal.

The appeal was filed with the Superior Court of Justice on March 28th.

In the appeal, Wagner’s defense team argued, “the honorable justice erred during the sentencing process when inter alia [among other things], he stated ‘your God is wrong’ thus giving rise to reasonable apprehension of bias.”

“Our judges are to be unbiased. Furthermore, there is to be no unreasonable apprehension of bias,” said Boushy.

Boushy told LifeSiteNews that there has been an expression of interest from the Catholic Civil Rights League and the Christian Legal Fellowship to possibly intervene in Wagner’s case.

Even though Wagner will be out of jail by the time the appeal is heard, Boushy said that filing the appeal is important for “policy reasons and for administration of justice reason.”

“At the end of the day if people like Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons insist on breaking the law, it’s in society’s interest and the interests of the pro-life movement that they be treated fairly,” he said.

Wagner’s defense team was instructed today to appear before the Superior Court judge in a ‘practice ready court’ on June 26th to advise the judge about the stage of the appeal process.

Boushy told SunNews that his team will wait to consider filing a complaint to the Judicial Council against Justice Clements until the official transcripts of the case have been received.

“Out of fairness to the judge we are going to wait for the transcripts. We ordered four copies of the transcripts. Hopefully we will receive those in the next month or two.”

Levant commented on his show that religious people ought to be “outraged” by Justice Clement’s blatant attack on religion.

“To me, to say ‘Mary Wager you’re a waste of resources, Mary Wagner stop bugging me, stop bugging these abortion people’ I think that’s all within the ambit of the criminal law [in reference to] nuisance, trespass, mischief,” he said.

“But then to say ‘You’re wrong and your God is wrong’…I put it to you Russell [Browne], that if this was said to a Muslim, a Jewish, a Buddhist, or a Sikh defendant, it would be an outrage.”

Tags: abortion, mary wagner

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Walk for Life in Philippines draws tens of thousands in protest of anti-life bill

by Christine Dhanagom Thu Apr 05 15:46 EST Comments (3)

 

MANILA, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The annual Walk for Life in the Philippines drew an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 to the nation’s capital on March 24th, with many more attending similar events in other parts of the country.

According to CBCP For Life, a Filipino pro-life news service, many participants were affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, including a large showing of young people. The marchers assembled for a 6:00 Mass at San Agustin Church, then processed to a city park bearing pro-life banners and placards reflecting this year’s theme, “We Value Life.”

The event was held during a congressional recess that left a major piece of anti-life legislation in limbo. The Reproductive Health bill, which would mandate taxpayer funding of contraceptives and abortificients, has been introduced in the country’s legislative body every year since 1998, but has never passed.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Pro-life advocates succeeded in delaying the vote again this year, but it may come under consideration when Congress re-convenes in May. The legislation was a major topic of discussion for speakers at the event in Manila and other cities.

Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International (HLI) regional coordinator for Asia and Oceania, told a crowd gathered in Laguna that Congress’ decision to delay the vote was a victory, but added that pro-life advocates would have to “continue with massive public educational and activist efforts as we brace ourselves for another more challenging battle when congress re-opens May 7.”

“2013 is election year for the Philippines, and hopefully these rallies will give another strong signal to our elected officials that this time Filipinos know better, and will never again vote for those supporting the RH Bill and similar bills,” Acosta said, in comments that were published at HLIWorldWatch.org.

At the gathering in Manila, the city’s mayor, Alfredo Lim, and pro-life Congresswoman Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay also spoke against the legislation, reports CBCP for Life.

According to the news service, Magsaysay said that the legislation was unnecessary since many of its provisions had been included in the country’s 2009 Magna Carta of Women.

Tags: abortion, philippines, reproductive health bill

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Man accused of trying to set Planned Parenthood clinic on fire appears in court

by Kathleen Gilbert Thu Apr 05 14:56 EST Comments (32)

 
Francis Grady

Co-authored with John Jalsevac

GRAND CHUTE, Wisconsin, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After a bottle containing incendiary chemicals combusted outside a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Sunday evening, a local man with a history of trouble with the law has been arrested and made his first appearance in court Wednesday to answer to charges of arson.

Fire crews in Grand Chute, Wisc. responded to a fire near a windowsill of the city’s Planned Parenthood on April 1. The device, a bottle containing gasoline, was the source of a fire, which extinguished itself before emergency personnel arrived. The fire reportedly caused minimal damage.

According to a local NBC report, police were at first unsure whether the bottle, which erupted while the facility was closed, was a genuine attempt at violence or “simply someone’s bad idea of an April fool’s prank.”

However, Francis Grady was arrested hours after the incident for driving intoxicated. Police then used surveillance camera footage to identify his van as the same that was outside the Planned Parenthood at the time of the arson, and that was involved in a car accident later in the day. Grady said in court Wednesday he intended to burn the Planned Parenthood facility down.

Grady has a long history of run-ins in the law, having been arrested in the past for manufacturing cocaine, resisting or obstructing a police officer, and skipping out on bail.

“Do you even care at all about the 1,000 babies that died screaming?” Grady reportedly asked the judge in U.S. District Court in Green Bay. He later told a reporter that he planted the device because “they’re killing babies there.” 

According to an FBI affidavit, Grady smashed in the window of the Planned Parenthood and poured gasoline into the building before setting fire to his device, lighting his own jacket on fire in the process.

Grady was charged with “arson of a building used in interstate commerce” and “intentionally damaging the property of a facility to provide reproductive health services,” and scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 19.

In announcing the arrest, Teresa Carlson, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, said in a statement that, “The FBI will always investigate and bring to justice anyone who resorts to violence as a means to harm, intimidate, or prevent the public’s right to access reproductive health services.”

The event sparked condemnation from every GOP presidential candidate. Former Sen. Rick Santorum said in a statement, “While we can and should work to defund Planned Parenthood and push back against government mandates that force Americans and religious institution to violate their faith, violence against our fellow citizens has no place in a freedom-loving America.”

Tags: abortion, planned parenthood

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Pope issues rare, forceful correction to dissident priests in Holy Week liturgy

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Thu Apr 05 14:33 EST Comments (47)

 
Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an extremely rare move, Pope Benedict XVI today issued a forcefully worded correction of a group of Austrian priests who last year issued a public letter calling on their fellow clergy to disobey Catholic teaching in key areas.

“Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination,” the pope said.

Speaking at the Holy Thursday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica today, one of the most solemn occasions of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year, Pope Benedict asked, “Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church?”

Although he did not name the country, it is clear the pope was referring to a public letter the priests, who called themselves the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, issued in June 2011 demanding “reform” on priestly celibacy, the reservation of the priesthood to men and the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Titled “A Call to Disobedience,” the letter accused the Catholic Church of injustice and violations of human rights, and announced that the signatories intended to continue giving Communion to “members of other Christian Churches and, in certain cases, Catholics who have left the Church”.

“We would like to believe” the pope said, “that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church.

“But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?”

Posing the rhetorical question, “Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions which threatened to stifle the word and the will of God?” the pope said that the authority of Christ, as the Son of God, was unique, and something that no human priest can claim.

“Indeed he did [correct human traditions], so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word. His concern was for true obedience, as opposed to human caprice,” Benedict said.

The choice of the Holy Thursday liturgy, seen in the Catholic Church as the Mass of the priesthood, to address the letter indicates the depth of Benedict’s concern. Catholics believe that the priesthood and the Mass itself were inaugurated by Christ on Thursday night before his death the next day on the cross. The priesthood and the nature of the Church are the main focus of the liturgy for the day, a day that has recently also become the locus of annual protests by anti-Catholic groups agitating for women’s ordination, among other changes to Catholic teaching.

Benedict continued, saying Christ “lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.”

The situation in Austria remains unresolved, with the group of 300-400 priests having issued a statement last October refusing to recant their letter, titled “A Call to Disobedience”. “Disobeying certain valid and strict church rulings and laws has for years been part of our life and work as priests,” they said.

Since the group issued its demands, local Catholic authorities have engaged in “discussions” with them. A spokesman for the archdiocese of Vienna said, “There has been no discussion of sanctions, no ultimatum, no talk of punishment.” The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schonborn, said he wanted to discuss the needs of local Catholics with the group.

It is clear, however, that the lack of a prompt resolution to the situation is unacceptable to the Pope, who said today, “All our preaching must measure itself against the saying of Jesus Christ: ‘My teaching is not mine’. We preach not private theories and opinions, but the faith of the Church, whose servants we are.”

In answer to the position of the Austrian priests, Benedict highlighted the “religious illiteracy” that has become common in the formerly Christian western world, even within the Church.

“The foundations of faith, which at one time every child knew, are now known less and less. But if we are to live and love our faith, if we are to love God and to hear him aright, we need to know what God has said to us – our minds and hearts must be touched by his word,” he said.

The “hermeneutic of continuity” – the interpretation of Catholic teaching in the light of the Church’s traditional understanding of scripture – has been a major theme of Benedict’s papacy. He has struggled to make clear that the Second Vatican Council, cited by the Austrian group as the source of their disobedience, did not mandate any change or reversals in Catholic dogma, doctrine or discipline.

Again today, Benedict revisited this theme, answering the priests’ claim, saying that the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “are essential tools which serve as an authentic guide to what the Church believes on the basis of God’s word”.

Benedict has had his hands full with the scandal-plagued Austrian Catholic Church. In 2009, a rebellion of the nation’s Catholic bishops made it impossible for him to appoint his choice for the diocese of Linz, a see that has been the centre of decades of liturgical abuse as well as more recently of several high-profile sex abuse cases.

See Follow up article:
Vatican letter demands action on Austrian dissident priests’ group the day after Papal blast

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More ‘Alice in Wonderland’ journalism from Xtra

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Apr 05 13:50 EST Comments (2)

April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - So Xtra now proclaims that “the coalition that helped [Marc Hall] win his case [in 2002] has reassembled once again to support students in their ongoing fight for gay-straight alliances (GSA)”, even as it lists, in the same news story, another one from its archives that has as its title “Hall drops case against Catholic school”.

Many regular visitors to LifeSite will recall the Marc Hall case.  This was the case of the young homosexual who obtained an interim court injunction ordering his Roman Catholic High School to permit him to attend the school prom with his homosexual partner.  This injunction was granted in the course of his Action against the Durham Catholic District School Board for $100,000 in damages. 

This case came to an abrupt halt on June 29, 2005 when all the parties to the litigation appeared before Mr. Justice Shaughnessy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, who ultimately issued an order permitting Marc Hall to discontinue his Action against the School Board and the principal, before trial of the Action, which was scheduled for October 11, 2005. 

If this “coalition” is going to hang their hat on the decision of Justice MacKinnon in granting the interim injunction in challenging the right of Catholic schools to regulate the activities of GSAs (which the Ontario government itself describes as co-curricular activities), then I respectfully suggest that they get better lawyers who are able to think past gay activist ideology and accept the legal reality that higher Courts have rejected his approach to these questions.

Shortly after the decision to permit the Action to be discontinued, I expressed the opinion that, even disregarding cases like Amselem, no reasonable Court, even the most activist Court, would have the audacity to suggest that it is “bound”, by the principle of stare decisis, to follow the reasons of Justice MacKinnon in resolving these new issues.  As Justice Shaughnessy himself assured the defendants:  “…njunction reasons are not often accorded great weight, as they are written on an urgent basis on limited material and the legal issues, out of necessity, are dealt with in a cursory and preliminary manner.”  In passing, Justice Shaughnessy confidently also said that if the matter had proceeded to trial, the defendants would have won at trial.

In my 2003 article on the Marc Hall case, I argued that Justice MacKinnon, on legal principle, ought not to have made enquiries into Roman Catholic doctrine, or, at the very least, not preferred the testimony of dissenting Catholics over the testimony of the local Catholic Bishop on the requirements of the Catholic faith in dealing with Marc’s request for permission to attend the prom with his homosexual partner.  In my opinion, the subsequent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, [2004] 2 S.C.R. 551 validated these criticisms.  The majority of the Court said:  “[T]he State is in no position to be, nor should it become, the arbiter of religious dogma.  Accordingly, courts should avoid judicially interpreting and thus determining, either explicitly or implicitly, the content of a subjective understanding of religious requirement, “obligation”, precept, “commandment”, custom or ritual.  Secular judicial determinations of theological or religious disputes, or of contentious matters of religious doctrine, unjustifiably entangle the court in the affairs of religion.” [para. 50].

Adding to this the likely influence of several subsequent human rights tribunal decisions that have applied the principles laid down by Amselem, and the 9-0 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Hossan-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al. (decided January 11, 2012), I am fairly confident that no Judge in the future will be able to justify “trolling about” the religious beliefs of the litigants in the way Justice MacKinnon did in the Marc Hall case. 

The coalition needs to realize that Ontario students who believe that they have a same-sex attraction have a legal right to a tax payer-paid education that is either secular or Catholic, but not the right to insist that Catholic schools be secular.  When they choose (or their parents choose for them) to attend a Catholic school, they have nothing more than the right to receive an authentically Catholic education, and Catholic ratepayers have a constitutional right to insist that it remain authentically Catholic.  They cannot complain that the school is Catholic, and cannot complaint that they will be harmed by it, because all they have to do to avoid having to hear Catholic teaching is to switch to the other system.  Student leaders chosen to lead these groups will be given a teaching role in the school.  It is beyond dispute that the Courts recognize the superior denominational rights of Catholic schools to ensure that the curriculum is consistent with Catholic teaching and to prefer to employ teachers who adhere to Catholic teaching over those who do not.  It should not be difficult to understand that these denominational rights extend to all curricular activities in the school.

Geoffrey F. Cauchi, LL.B., practices law in the City of Mississauga, Ontario.

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Gloves are off: Gay activist ‘Marc Hall coalition’ reunites to demand GSAs in Catholic schools

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Apr 05 13:42 EST Comments (30)

 
Marc Hall in 2002

TORONTO, Ontario, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A coalition of homosexual activist groups who backed Marc Hall’s successful bid to bring his male partner to a Catholic prom in 2002 have reunited to demand that the Ontario government force Catholic schools to allow “gay-straight alliances.”

“In the Marc Hall case, Catholic schools didn’t have the right to regulate school dances. Well, we say they don’t have the right to regulate school clubs either,” Douglas Elliott told the homosexualist newspaper Xtra. Elliott is the lawyer for a coalition of 13 groups that supported Marc Hall in 2002 and reunited at an April 2nd press conference to step up the campaign for homosexual clubs in Catholic schools.

“It’s important for [students] to know there is a very powerful group of organizations that are united in their desire to support these kids,” said Elliott. “We are prepared to provide practical assistance to make sure they can get these gay-straight alliances set up.”

The Marc Hall case made international headlines when Ontario Justice Robert MacKinnon granted an interim injunction forcing the Durham Catholic School Board to allow the 17-year-old to bring his 21-year-old male partner to the prom.

While the ‘Marc Hall coalition’, as it dubs itself, claims the 2002 case set a precedent for their current campaign, Mississauga lawyer Geoffrey Cauchi points out that Hall’s case never even went to trial because he dropped it in 2005 – after same-sex “marriage” was legalized in Canada and the homosexual lobby lost interest.

No judge is bound by Justice MacKinnon’s decision to issue the injunction, says Cauchi, and even Justice Shaughnessy, who allowed Hall to drop the case, opined that the Catholic school board would have won at trial had the case proceeded.

“If this ‘coalition’ is going to hang their hat on [Justice MacKinnon’s] decision … in challenging the right of Catholic schools to regulate the activities of GSAs …, then I respectfully suggest that they get better lawyers who are able to think past gay activist ideology and accept the legal reality that higher Courts have rejected his approach to these questions,” writes Cauchi in an opinion provided to LifeSiteNews.

The coalition of activist groups is calling on the legislature to pass Bill 13 by the summer. The controversial bill, brought forward by Dalton McGuinty’s government, ostensibly aims to tackle bullying, in part by forcing schools to allow clubs for homosexual students.

As a result, Ontario’s Catholic schools have begun setting up a network of clubs called “Respecting Differences.” But activists have complained because the schools have so far refused to let students name them “gay-straight alliances.”

In his comments to Xtra, Elliott claimed students have the constitutional right to call the clubs “gay-straight alliances” if they choose. The coalition is hoping to offer financial, legal, and “practical” help to students who may want to launch a court case against the Catholic schools.

“Catholic schools are wrong. Religious rights don’t trump the province. Catholic schools are publicly funded,” Elliott told Xtra. “The attempt to force students to adopt another name reminds me of attempts to force us to use a word other than marriage.”

But according to Cauchi, the Coalition needs to realize that Ontario students with same-sex attractions “have a legal right to a taxpayer-paid education that is either secular or Catholic, but not the right to insist that Catholic schools be secular.”

“When they choose (or their parents choose for them) to attend a Catholic school, they have nothing more than the right to receive an authentically Catholic education,” he continues, “and Catholic ratepayers have a constitutional right to insist that it remain authentically Catholic.”

“All [same-sex attracted students] have to do to avoid having to hear Catholic teaching is to switch to the other system,” he adds.

The Ontario GSA Coalition, according to Xtra:

The Canadian AIDS Society
The Canadian Auto Workers
The Canadian Federation of Students
Canadian Secular Alliance
Catholics for Choice
Centre for Inquiry Canada
EGALE Canada
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Ontario Federation of Labour
PFLAG
Rainbow Alliance
OPSEU’s Rainbow Alliance

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Catholic university abolishes contraception, sterilization coverage: some faculty protest

by Christine Dhanagom Thu Apr 05 13:32 EST Comments (13)

 
Fr. Michael Graham

CINCINATTI, Ohio, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Xavier University, a Catholic University in Cincinnati, announced Monday that it was abolishing coverage for contraception and sterilization in its health care policy, prompting an outcry from some members of the school’s faculty. 

The change, which was announced in a letter from the school’s President, Fr. Michael Graham, will go into effect on July 1, 2012. According to Fr. Graham, the controversy over the HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions to provide coverage for contraception, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization prompted him to re-examine the school’s healthcare policy. The mandate is set to go into effect in August of 2013.

“As a Catholic priest and as a president of a Catholic University, I have concluded that, absent a legal mandate, it is inconsistent for a Catholic institution to cover those drugs and procedures the Church opposes,” Fr. Graham wrote. However, he noted, coverage would still be provided “in cases of medical necessity, for non-contraceptive purposes.”

Fr. Graham added that “from the Church’s perspective,” Obama’s proposed “accommodation,” which purports to have the insurance companies rather than the employer foot the bill for contraceptive coverage, was “insufficient for a number of reasons.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

In a letter dated the same day the decision was announced, members of the faculty committee said that some faculty and staff at Xavier, “including practicing Catholics,” believed that “the Church should reconsider its position on birth control,” but added that covering costs for procedures that are “currently” against Church teaching might “call into question our Jesuit Catholic identity.”

However, the letter also claimed that the President had bowed to the “outside pressure” of Catholic Bishops, and expressed concern that this might weaken “the semi-autonomous status of our university.”

“We can only assume U.S. Catholic Bishops decided to compel Catholic institutions that are not already mandated by state law to provide this coverage to come out publicly against it,” the letter said. “This action might be more disruptive than productive, but if it comes from U.S. Catholic Bishops, it is what it is.”

The faculty also complained that their exclusion from the decision-making process neglected the principle of “shared governance,” and called the timing of the decision “somewhat confusing.”

“It seems odd that a decision to stop covering birth control and sterilization procedures has so quickly been implemented to begin on July 1, 2012 when there are numerous contingencies at play that could overturn the decision,” read the letter.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Faculty Committee Chair Shannon Byrne circulated the letter to her colleagues in an email attachment along with an invitation to attend an April 12th meeting about the decision.
In the text of the email, Byrne also questioned the legality of Fr. Graham’s decision.

“From a benefits standpoint, does anyone, including the President of Xavier, have a right to make changes to the university health coverage plan in the middle of the year?” she wrote, according to the Enquirer. “We would like to see if insurance law permits an employer to change benefits after six months that employees are expecting for the entire year.”

A spokesperson from the University declined to comment on the situation.

Tags: birth control mandate, contraception, obama, xavier university

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Canadian Bishops ask priests to preach more on life and family especially at Easter

by John-Henry Westen Thu Apr 05 12:25 EST Comments (9)

 
Canadian bishops meet at their annual plenary in 2009.

OTTAWA, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new pastoral initiative released last week by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops asks all priests in the country to preach more about abortion, euthanasia and natural family planning.  An accompanying document for implementation in the initiative’s “preparatory” year of 2012 stresses that Easter (April 8) is the “Feast of Life and Faith par excellence.”

In addition to preaching on life this Easter, the document encourages that this Easter “Prayers of the Faithful” be used that encourage “the faithful to respect human life and dignity from conception to natural death.”

The principal document, “Elements of a National Pastoral Initiative for Life and Family: A Fundamental Option for Life and Family,” was approved at the plenary session of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in October 2011 and released March 28 as part of the launch of a new section on the CCCB website dealing with life and family.

The document urges “in the context of the celebration of Sunday Eucharist, an increased emphasis on preaching which relates the readings to life and family issues (abortion, euthanasia, natural family planning as they relate to the Gospel call to self-donation, the family home as a place of forgiveness, etc.).”

Priests for Life Canada has provided resources to assist priests in Canada to fulfill the Bishop’s plan regarding pro-life and pro-family homilies and prayers of the faithful.

Fr. John Lemire, Vice President of Priests for Life Canada (PFLC) told LifeSiteNews that they are “certainly very encouraged by the recent release of the bishops’ national pastoral initiative.”  We are, he said, “particularly encouraged that the document notes the importance of priests and deacons preaching about life and family and to bring those issues to the people in the pews on a Sunday basis.”

“We have a monthly pro-life e-notes for clergy,” he said. “Each month PFLC provides to pastors and parishes as well as on our website a weekly reflection on the scriptures and how they tie in to the issues of life and family.  Each week there is a brief commentary on the Sunday Scriptures as well as a prayer of the faithful too.”

The CCCB document notes that the Catholic Organization for Life and Family also has pro-life and pro-family resources for clergy available.

Tags: abortion, cccb, faith, family

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Going into election, Alberta Premier opposes right of doctors to refuse abortions

by Patrick B. Craine Thu Apr 05 10:49 EST Comments (28)

 
Premier Alison Redford

CALGARY, Alberta, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she is “frightened” by her political rival’s support for conscience rights, arguing that doctors should be forced to commit abortions and prescribe contraception even if it goes against their beliefs.

Redford, leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, jumped on the wedge issue Wednesday as polls consistently show that she trails Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Party in the run-up to the province’s April 23 election.

Smith told the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association in August 2011 that her party “will ensure conscience rights for marriage commissioners and health professionals.” A Wildrose policy passed in 2011 says the party believes the government should “implement legislation protecting the ‘conscience rights’ of health-care professionals.”

But according to Redford, doctors should be required to commit abortions and prescribe contraception to make sure that “all of the unique families in this province have the opportunity to know that when they’re accessing services, they can trust those services can be provided.”

“When people take on professional responsibilities, I expect them to be able to meet those professional responsibilities,” she said, adding that it’s a “critical discussion point in the election.”

Redford framed her stance against conscience rights by arguing for “diversity.”

“I certainly respect people’s personal beliefs, but I believe in a province where we have to treat individuals with dignity and respect. We have to live in a community where we respect diversity and we understand that everyone feels safe and included,” she said.

Redford’s stance has been slammed by a former member of the PC caucus, Julius Yankowsky, who represented the Edmonton Beverly-Clareview riding from 1993-2004 under Premier Ralph Klein.

If the Premier really believes in respecting diversity, she would allow for diverse moral opinions, said Yankowsky, who now coordinates Campaign Life Coalition Alberta.

“But no. Look at what’s happening in the States with Obama. No, Christians and especially Catholics are totally under attack,” he said. “And they are going to do whatever they need to to try and make it very, very difficult for us.”

Yankowsky had put a bill forward in the late 1990s to secure conscience rights but it ultimately died on the order paper.

Despite Smith’s previous stance, media outlets are reporting that on Wednesday the Wildrose leader avoided direct questions about her views on whether a marriage commissioner could refuse to conduct a same-sex “marriage” or a doctor could refuse to commit an abortion.

Instead she said her party hopes to set up a Human Rights Division in the provincial court to handle complaints that arise in such scenarios. The division would replace the existing Alberta Human Rights Commission.

“We want to set up a separate division of the provincial court to deal with these exact kind of complaints, so that real courts and real lawyers with real rules of evidence would be able to decide them,” she said.

“I support the charter of rights and freedoms, and when you look at it there is freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of association – all of these freedoms under our charter need to be balanced in society against competing rights and freedoms,” she added, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Wildrose has continued to gain steam as the election cycle continues, marking a serious threat to the Tories’ 41-year reign.

A Leger Marketing survey released Thursday by the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal put Wildrose at 41% support over the PCs’ 34%. Just last week, Leger had the two parties in a dead heat.

A poll released Tuesday by ThinkHQ Public Affairs put Wildrose in clear sights of a majority government, with 43% support compared to the PCs’ 30%.

LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from Premier Redford by press time.


Contact Information:

Premier Alison Redford
Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B7
Phone: 780-427-2251
E-mail: Use this form.

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Pro-abortion Archbishop Tutu’s invitation to a Catholic university ‘shameful’: pro-life activists

by Ben Johnson Thu Apr 05 10:13 EST Comments (27)

 
"The Elders."

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, April 5, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Observers are asking why a Catholic university in Spokane would invite Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to address its graduating class considering his decades-long record of supporting abortion, homosexuality, female ordination, theological liberalism, and collectivist economic theories condemned by the Roman Catholic Church.

Administrators at Gonzaga University, a Jesuit-run institution beginning its 125th year, asked the famed Anglican bishop to speak at commencement on May 13, where they will fete him with an honorary doctor of law degree. Thayne McCulloh, who became the first layman to serve as university president in July 2010, said Tutu has “a unique convergence” with the school’s ideals and his presence “is an enormous testament to our students, our faculty and our institution.”

The 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who as the first black archbishop of Cape Town opposed South Africa’s policy of apartheid, has become a frequent commencement speaker since retiring in 1996. But faithful Catholics say Tutu’s stance on moral issues should disqualify him.

Tutu has posed for a picture on behalf of and endorsed the “invaluable work” of Marie Stopes International, the world’s largest abortion provider. The endorsement, which was discovered by pro-life activist Peter Thorp as he logged one of his more than 1,200 hours of prayer in front of the Cape Town abortion clinic, praises Marie Stopes South Africa for “empowering people” and “giving people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their future and a choice.”

Neither Marie Stopes nor the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Foundation would confirm whether Tutu had been paid for the statement. However, his support for abortion spans decades. He said in the 1990s that it is “immoral” for the law to protect unborn children conceived by rape or incest.

Adam Wilson of the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic campus watchdog group, told LifeSiteNews.com that Catholic parents would be “puzzled” about “why Gonzaga didn’t select a public figure that better represents the University’s Catholic identity in terms of upholding the sacredness of all unborn human life.”

“Why should someone who doesn’t even respect the most basic Right to Life be honored at a Catholic university?” asked John Ritchie, director of TFP Student Action, a group that actively promotes the Catholic faith on college campuses. “The invitation is mind-boggling and shameful.”

“The Catholic reputation of Gonzaga University is tarnished by this invitation,” Ritchie said.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

Tutu has also been outspoken in his affirmation of the homosexual agenda. “If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God,” he has said. Tutu has also said he was “saddened” and “ashamed” of the negative reaction to the ordination of the openly homosexual Vicki Gene Robinson as an Episcopal bishop in 2003. Six years later, he supported the Church of Scotland’s decision to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.

“On an international scale, Desmond Tutu opposes Catholic teaching on just about every non-negotiable moral issue,” Ritchie told LifeSiteNews. “He’s a strident supporter of abortion, contraception, the homosexual agenda, and Marxist class warfare.”

The American Life League noted in The Pro-Life Encyclopedia that Tutu once said, “I am a Socialist. I hate capitalism.” However, in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI wrote, “no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.” A series of Popes have rejected Marxist economic theories.

The soundness of Tutu’s theology has often been questioned. Tutu said in 1980, “It may be that Jesus was an illegitimate son.” In his book God is Not a Christian, he wrote that Christians should not claim “possess all truth” but rather “be ready to learn…from the techniques of the spiritual life that are available in religions other than our own.” He has long supported women’s ordination.

One Catholic activist told LifeSiteNews that Tutu’s role in absolving terrorists should also trouble the university. “Not only is Tutu a notorious dissenter on non-negotiable tenets of Church teaching such as homosexuality and abortion,” Patrick Krey, president of Catholic Attorneys for Life and Liberty (CALL), told LSN, “Tutu has an established record as an apologist for terrorist attacks.” 

Although Tutu criticized some of the ANC’s tactics, throughout the 1980s Tutu made a number of public statements that seemed to endorse attacking school buses, poisoning white people’s food, and ending apartheid through a ”bloodbath.” In 1984, he said, “One young man with a stone in his hand can achieve far more than I can with a dozen sermons.”

Controversy has not diminished Tutu’s standing or his likelihood to be granted awards or status. Five years ago he was chosen to be a member of “The Elders,” ten globalist luminaries, including Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan, who meet privately to discuss world problems. In 2009, Barack Obama awarded Tutu the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian.

But critics say Catholic Church teaching forbid him from receiving honor from a Catholic institution like Gonzaga. The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops 2004 mandate titled “Catholics in Political Life” clearly states: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

“There’s still time for Gonzaga to cancel and replace Tutu’s appearance for a true Catholic leader, a real role model, a person students can admire and look up to,” Ritchie said. “However, in this case, the dictatorship of relativism seems to be getting the upper hand. If the event takes place, the cause of the unborn will greatly suffer. And who will gain? Only the abortion lobby.”

Contact
President Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.
(509) 313-6102
president@gonzaga.edu

 

Tags: archbishop desmond tutu, gonzaga university, south africa, terrorism

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Colombia’s pro-abortion court ruling is based on falsehoods, says government

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Thu Apr 05 08:59 EST Comments (0)

Bogotá, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Colombian government has asked the nation’s Constitutional Court to nullify its recent decision against a health insurer that refused to permit an abortion to an underage girl, on the grounds that the decision was based on falsehoods.

The verdict, issued in 2011, nullified the decision of a lower court that had denied the supposed request for an abortion on a minor adolescent, and ordered the health care insurer to compensate the family for all supposed damages caused by not permitting the abortion, as well as the medical treatment costs of the newborn.

The General Procurator, which argues cases for the national government, notes that health care providers overseeing the girl had stated “explicitly” in its notes “that the pregnancy was accepted by the girl, her boyfriend, her parents, and that they wanted to have the child.”

In addition, the Procurator argues, the girl was falsely told that her baby was deformed, which caused her “anguish and worry.” Moreover, the child had already been born by the time the Constitutional Court took up the case.

The health insurer wasn’t even permitted to participate in the proceedings that led to the judgment against it, according to the Procurator, depriving it of due process.

The insurer “was condemned to pay for being presumably responsible of the supposed omission with regard to a medical service that did not have a basis in a medical certificate affiliated with one of its providers and that, in any case, it is not the responsibility of an insurer to provide,” the agency adds.

If the Procurator’s accusations are true, the case would be similar to those of Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano in “Roe v. Wade” and “Doe v. Bolton”, respectively, which were used by pro-abortion groups to overturn laws protecting the lives of the unborn in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.

Norma McCorvey’s case was based in part on the false assertion, retracted later by McCorvey, that she was pregnant by rape. By the time it arrived at the Supreme Court, she had already given birth. Cano says her signature was used fraudulently by her attorneys to initiate her case, and that she never supported abortion nor sought one for herself.

Although Colombia’s Constitution states that the “right to life is inviolable” and prohibits the death penalty, an activist court has increasingly attempted to impose legal abortion on the country’s health care providers since 2008, when it ruled that abortions cannot be penalized in rape and fetal deformity cases.

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Pro-Life Youth Organize Thousands in EU Capital

by Liesbeth Ronsmans Wed Apr 04 20:27 EST Comments (2)

 

BRUSSELS, Belgium, April 4, 2012 (hliworldwatch.org) - On Sunday March 25, more than 3,400 people gathered on the Mount des Arts in Brussels for the annual March for Life. It is the third year in a row that students organized this march in the European Union capital, and the number of participants grows every year (1,700 in 2010, 2,700 in 2011 and 3,400 in 2012).

Participants rallied for the legal protection for every unborn child from conception. The march ended in the late afternoon before the Palace of Justice, where 1,000 white roses were put on the stairs as a symbol of the many thousands of unborn children lost because of abortion.

In Belgium, more than 19,000 children annually are the victims of abortion, and this number increases every year. The theme of this year’s march was “The Right to a Birthday.”“We want a better protection of the unborn child, every human life has to be respected,” said Antony Burckhardt, spokesman of the event and director of the pro-life youth group ‘Génération pour la Vie.’ He continued, “It is unthinkable that in our society women undergo abortion for economic reasons. We have to offer adoption as a real solution and increase the ways in which we can support parents.”

“We can gather two conclusions from the fact that the March has grown each year,” said Antony, “One, that the abortion debate is up on the cards again in Belgium, and two, that the pro-lifers will win the debate. The pro-[abortion] rally was a lot smaller than the pro-aborts expected despite their budget being so much bigger than the pro-lifers.”

The March for Life in Brussels is a joyful family event where every age is welcome to defend the most basic right of every human: the right to life. Young children, babies, teenagers, adults and the elderly were all happily represented. That so many young people participated and gave up their Sunday afternoon to defend life garnered lots of local attention.

The march is a student-led and organized initiative. Three years ago, young people like myself faced the reality that abortion has been legal in Belgium for 20 years already, so we wanted to give a signal to society that people from our age group should be really happy to be alive because we could’ve been aborted. Besides that, you see in several European countries the youth starting to realize the deep wounds that abortion has left in our societies, and that they want to protect their women and children.

The March for Life is also a European event with several international delegations participating. Pro-life groups from different countries like Jugend für das Leben from Germany, Voglio Vivere from Italy, Schreeuw om Leven from The Netherlands, Droit a naitre from France, Youth Defence from Ireland and others all came to support the March. Organizations like Priests for Life and Human Life International were also represented. This international gathering of pro-life supporters in Europe shows very clearly that the pro-life movement is getting organized, which is crucial to defend every human life here and around the world.

Liesbeth Ronsmans, age 22, is a co-organizer of the ‘Marche pour la Vie’ (March for Life) in Brussels.

Tags: abortion, eu

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