Hilary White

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Former Irish president and professional Catholic dissident to speak at Primate’s Mass

Hilary White
Hilary White
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(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly attributed ownership of Columba press to the Catholic Bishops of Ireland. LifeSiteNews regrets the error.)

DUBLIN, October 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Irish Catholics have asked the Cardinal Primate of All Ireland to intervene in the appearance of former Irish president and homosexualist activist Mary McAleese at a local parish Mass this Sunday, where she is expected to speak promoting her latest book.

McAleese, notorious among faithful Catholics for her opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the ordination of women, has written a new book in which she suggests that Catholic teaching on sexuality might be a form of “child abuse.” She is launching the book in Dublin the day before the Mass.

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh is scheduled to celebrate the Mass as part of the 250th anniversary of St. James parish church in Cooley. 

The Catholic lay apostolate, Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), has sent a letter asking Cardinal Brady to intervene, saying it is “extraordinary” that the invitation was extended by the parish priest to give McAleese “a pulpit in which she can continue to sow the seeds of discord within our Church”.

“This is a grave matter because she has, in a very public way, contradicted Church teaching and promoted an intrinsic evil,” said Anthony Murphy, the President of the Irish chapter of CUF. He said that McAleese in her book and in her many activities throughout her working life, “has undermined the teaching and governing authority of the Church” and the invitation “could be interpreted by the faithful as indifference” to those activities.

In her book, “Quo Vadis? Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law,” McAleese writes, “The heterocentricity of Catholic teaching …is now being looked at critically in the light of the deadly consequences of homophobic bullying, with research, mainly in
the United States, showing a tragic link between male youth suicide and homosexuality.

“Could church teaching on homosexuality be the new psychological child abuse issue of the coming decade?”

In a radio interview last month with the state broadcaster RTE, she called Catholic teaching on homosexuality “isolated” and said it is causing young homosexuals to doubt themselves and suggested it was the cause of rising suicide rates.

“They will have heard words like disorder, they may even have heard the word evil used in relation to homosexual practice,” she said. “And when they make the discovery, and it is a discovery and not a decision, when they make the discovery, that they are gay, when they are 14, 15 or 16, an internal conflict of absolutely appalling proportions opens up.”

The interview was widely covered in the Irish print media. In it, McAleese also called for the Church to change its practice of ordaining only men, and said that the only reason she was free to do so without interference from the Church was that the hierarchy, including the Pope, has lost all credibility.

Murphy continued in his letter, “I also find it particularly insidious that she has sought to link the relatively high suicide rates of young males with Church teaching on homosexuality.”

He called the suggestion “ridiculous” and said she should “reflect that the same suicide rates may well be linked to the social factors we are now dealing which were a direct consequence of the so called Celtic Tiger years.”

“It is unfortunate and a mystery to many that Mrs. McAleese chose to remain silent during those years of false harmony and wealth,” Murphy added.

Murphy told LSN, “If Cardinal Brady gives her this platform, he will be seen to be endorsing her views.” However, he pointed out that it seems as if McAleese and Brady already enjoy a friendly relationship. In the acknowledgements of her book, McAleese thanked the cardinal “for so promptly and fully answering my factual questions about the Synod of Bishops.” Murphy says that the cardinal was also aware that McAleese would be speaking on the day he was to celebrate the Mass.

Murphy said he has contacted Cardinal Brady’s secretary, Fr. Michael Toner, who said the cardinal is in Rome attending the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops. Toner asked Murphy to send a letter explaining the issue, which he would then forward to Brady.

In response to Murphy and CUF’s criticisms, “The parish priest told me that while he understands this may upset some he believes in freedom of speech and that ‘times are changing’.”

McAleese was recently listed by the Irish Times as one of the twenty-odd individuals and organizations who “shape” Catholicism in Ireland and by Forbes magazine as the 64th most powerful woman in the world. As head of state in Ireland, she drew protests for her opposition to Catholic teaching when she gave commencement address at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. McAleese is currently studying canon law in Rome and has long been criticized by some in the Catholic hierarchy, particularly after calling on the Church to change its teaching on homosexuality.

She is an established campaigner for the homosexualist movement, serving as a founding legal advisor to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform that led to Ireland’s parliament to legalizing same-sex activity in 1993. One of the closing acts of her presidency was to sign into law her country’s first Civil Partnership bill granting homosexual partnerings similar rights and privileges to natural marriage.


Listen to McAleese’s interview with RTE here.

To contact Cardinal Brady with concerns
Ara Coeli
Cathedral Road,
ARMAGH BT61 7QY
Phone: (028) 3752 2045
Fax: (028) 3752 6182

Diocesan Secretary:
Fr. Michael Toner – email: mtoner@aracoeli.com

To contact the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops
Marc Ouellet, Cardinal, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Roma,

Phone: 06.69.88.42.17
Fax: 06.69.88.53.03


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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