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Gay ‘marriage’ push aims to ‘recreate society’ and marginalise Christianity: Archbishop of Glasgow

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By Hilary White

GLASGOW/STRASSBURG, March 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Creating “gay marriage,” is an attempt to rewrite the natural law and “recreate society,” says Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow.

The bishop’s strong comments as the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that there is no such thing as a “right” to “gay marriage” in the European Convention on Human Rights, a revelation that has yet to put a damper on the UK government’s enthusiasm for changing the legal definition of marriage.

“It is certainly not the role of law to recreate our society according to passing fashions and ideologies, nor to redefine nature whether in terms of persons and their rights or its natural institutions,” Archbishop Conti said in a homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh this weekend.

The prelate said that current plans to alter the definition of marriage, promoted by the Conservative government of David Cameron as an effort to strengthen marriage, are in reality just the next step in the “marginalisation” of Christianity and any voice opposed to homosexual activity.

“Those voices are growing ever louder in our country,” Conti said, “that attempted marginalisation is becoming ever more acute and we are witnessing the transformation of tolerance into a kind of tyranny in which religious views are the only ones which seem unworthy of respect and acceptance.”

The Archbishop cautioned, “We are witnessing the transformation of tolerance into a kind of tyranny in which religious views are the only ones which seem unworthy of respect and acceptance.

“Our society will descend further into ethical confusion and moral disintegration the more that those in Government and the judiciary slip society’s moorings from the capstans of virtue.”

While Prime Minister Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage will only affect England and Wales, the local government of Scotland reportedly “tends towards the view” that the definition should also be altered in Scottish law. The consultation in Scotland closed in December, and never received the same media attention as England’s consultation that began this month.

In related news, a much-anticipated ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has come down against the concept of “gay marriage” as a human right, protected under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court said March 18th that the wording of the Convention itself restricting marriage to a man and a woman was “deliberate”. The ruling upheld one made earlier by France’s highest court prohibiting homosexual “marriage” and adoption.

There is no “indirect discrimination founded (…) on the impossibility of marriage,” the Court said. Article 12 of the Convention “does not impose on the governments of the state parties the obligation to open marriage to a homosexual couple”.

“Moreover, regard must be had to the historical context in which the Convention was adopted. In the 1950s marriage was clearly understood in the traditional sense of being a union between partners of different sex.”

Launching the British government’s consultation early this month, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said, “Put simply, it’s not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry.” It remains to be seen if the ECHR ruling, which is binding on the UK, that there is no such right, will put a damper on the government’s plans to introduce “gay marriage”.

The government’s plans are not popular among the British public. A recent ComRes poll showed that 70 per cent want marriage to remain defined as a “lifelong exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. A similar poll in Scotland found that 53 per cent of the public thinks that “homosexuals should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else”. Members of Cameron’s party have warned the Prime Minister that while pushing “gay marriage” will win him few points on the extreme left it will alienate voters who are more concerned with the economy and immigration.

A petition being circulated by the Coalition for Marriage to oppose the plan has collected 323,986 signatures as of today. Colin Hart, the head of the Coalition, has described the government’s consultation on the subject as “a sham” in which the crucial question of whether the change ought to be made has already been taken, and all opposition will be ignored. The government’s document launching the consultation said that “points raised in responses that are out of the scope of the consultation and the consultation questions will not necessarily be considered”.

“I always thought that a consultation was about listening to people and asking them their views before making a decision,” Hart said. “Not only are they redefining the meaning of marriage, they’re redefining the meaning of consultation.”

According to MEP Nigel Farage, the head of the increasingly popular libertarian United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), David Cameron’s unprecedented push to create “gay marriage” has less to do with a sincere interest in the homosexualist political agenda than with fear of appearing weak to a public that is increasingly disillusioned with the EU and its mechanisms.

“The last thing he needs at the moment is to have the European courts declare our law discriminatory again and demand it be changed,” Farage wrote.

“He does not want you to realise that a foreign court is the highest court in the land,” a UKIP brief said.

David Coburn, UKIP’s openly gay London Regional Chairman, warned that the government is pointlessly picking a fight with religious people in Britain who could find themselves accused of “hate crimes” for their support of traditional marriage.

“That would be a grotesque assault on peoples’ freedom of conscience. As we all know these things tend to be the thin end of the wedge once the government’s ludicrous overpaid /over-pensioned thought police get on the job.”

Coburn wrote on the homosexualist news service Pink News, “The same-sex marriage debate is not an old-fashioned left-right political issue. It’s about freedom.”

“The Tories over the last few years have raced to catch up with Labour’s authoritarian politically correct agenda.” All three mainstream parties, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour have adopted the authoritarian mode.

Calling the government’s plans for marriage “equality fascism,” Coburn said, they have “created a grotesque, maximum security, Kafkaesque society where everything including speech and thought are regulated in the name of security and equality.

“You can stab old ladies or promising teenagers and do three months, but woe betide if you transgress the language and thought police.”


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African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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