Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Another abortion committed in hospital co-administered by Catholic diocese

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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October 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Contrary to repeated denials by the Archdiocese of Barcelona that abortions are continuing to be performed in a hospital it helps to administer, a Spanish health journal is reporting a recent eugenic abortion performed at the hospital on a 24-week old unborn child, who was killed because of a deformity.

In addition to the death of the child, his twin suffered ill health effects and premature birth that were directly attributed to the abortion, while the mother is reported to have been psychologically devastated by guilt, to the point she has been unable to bond with her surviving son. In the medical journal article, a hospital official who oversaw the case says the woman’s feelings are “irrational” and “inappropriate.”

The account of the abortion is found in the September issue of Spanish healthcare magazine “Rol,” and addresses the case of Juan, the surviving twin. At 24 weeks gestation, the age generally agreed by doctors to be the point of viability outside the womb, doctors at Barcelona’s Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Holy Cross and St. Paul) Hospital performed what the magazine clinically calls a “reduction,” killing Juan’s brother because of an unnamed defect in his development.

According to María Serret Serret, a professor of Nursing Sciences who teaches nursing students at the hospital, she noticed that Juan’s mother was exhibiting “a great number of negative thoughts” in the aftermath of the abortion and premature birth, which “interfered notably in the process of bonding with her (surviving) son.”  The “negative thoughts” included “sadness, fear, anxiety, anguish, guilt, and a feeling of inability of caring for her baby.”

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Serret worked with Juan’s mother to overcome what appears to have been post-abortion syndrome by “analyzing the inappropriate feelings.”

“Each one of the negative thoughts is evaluated with the mother, and it is shown that they have been produced in an irrational way, that errors have been committed in their production,” such as “all or nothing thoughts, overgeneralizations, mental filters, jumping to conclusions, emotional reasoning, universal labeling, with personalization and guilt.”

This is followed by “modification of thinking,” in which “more realistic and useful alternatives are sought based on the evidence, the existing possibilities, the consequences of said thoughts, and the errors of reasoning that are being committed,” according to Serret’s detached analysis.

The article provides more evidence that abortions are continuing to be performed at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital, as well as other Barcelona-area hospitals which are linked to the Catholic Church and whose boards of directors are partially comprised of Catholic priests. One Barcelona priest, Fr. Custodio Ballester, as well as other pro-life activists, have been organizing monthly protests (http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/after-more-than-a-year-protests-continue-asking-catholic-barcelona-hospital/) in front of the hospital.

As LifeSiteNews.com also reported in December of last year, the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital’s chief gynecologist functions as the medical expert for a pharmaceutical company website designed to induce women to use contraceptives, including abortifacient hormonal contraceptives.

The Catholic news agency ACI Prensa additionally reported in May of this year that a young woman, whose name was withheld, says she was recently offered an abortion twice at the same hospital.

Although the bishop of the nearby diocese of Terrassa has denounced abortions carried out in hospitals there, he says that he has been advised by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he may continue to seek to persuade the hospitals not to engage in abortions, using the leverage of Catholic board members. However, the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona continues to stonewall those who observe that the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital and other Barcelona hospitals appear to be continuing to kill the unborn.

Related links:

Petition requesting that hospital cease to do abortions circulated by the Saint Andrew’s Cross Association of Spain.

To sign:

Nombre: First name, Primer apellido: Last name, Secundo apellido: leave blank, Correo electronico: your email address, Provincia: leave blank, Commentario personal: your personal comments

The Spanish text of the petition is as follows:

To His Excellency the Minister of Heath of the Government of Catlonia

CC: His Eminence Luis Martinez Sistach, Archbishop of Barcelona

I wish to express to you my most energetic protest for the fact that, as is made clear in Rol magazine, in a hospital that was founded on the principles of charity and Catholic morality, as is the case of the Saint Paul and Holy Cross hospital of Barcelona, abortions are being carried out.  And this is happening despite the “Christian democratic” roots of [the political coalition] Convergence and Union [currently governing Catalonia] and despite the public petitions realized by the Catalonian bishops and also by the Archbishop of Barcelona (to which we are attaching a copy of this letter), so that unborn children are no longer murdered in any hospital and especially in those in which the Catholic Church participates, which to be consistent with their ideals, should always respect every human life, avoiding all of the policies of DEATH defended by the parties of the System: euthanasia, experimentation on embryos, abortion…

We do not find any motive for which the Government of Catalonia cannot exempt the hospitals in which the Church participates from abortionist practices, keeping in mind the closeness and affection (which we can see is clearly unmerited) that the Church leadership in Catalonia has shown and shows to the various administrations of Catalonia.

On the other hand, we ask that you take into account and that in the future you recognize and offer the care necessary to mothers who, after having had an abortion, suffer Post Abortion Syndrome.

If these things are not done we will continue to think that there exists a unacceptable political ambition of converting the clerics in the hospitals into accomplices of the current political system and therefore, of the “abominable crime of abortion” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 51).

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Lisa Bourne

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

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By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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