John Smeaton

Irish referendum part of a global campaign against the family: John Smeaton

John Smeaton
By John Smeaton
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ROME October 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Editor’s note: John Smeaton, the head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, one of the largest and most influential pro-life and pro-family organisations in the world, has expressed his grave concerns regarding the proposed amendment to the constitution of the Republic of Ireland in extensive comments provided to LifeSiteNews.com.

Critics say the so-called Children’s Rights Referendum will transfer all authority and responsibility for the raising and education of children from parents to the state, and give the state carte blanche to confiscate children from their natural families on any pretext that a state-employed social worker deems to be for the child’s “best interests.”

Although the state claims to be responding to the revelations of abuse of children in various care institutions, and has expended considerable energy pointing the finger of blame at the Catholic Church who administered some of those institutions, critics have pointed out that it was the state that set them up, funded them and largely failed to oversee them.

But according to Smeaton, the story goes back further than the recent spate of government reports on child abuse would have the public believe. Before even the establishment of the Irish Free State.

Smeaton, a veteran of many international battles against anti-life and anti-family campaigns, gave LSN a thorough examination of the historical context of the situation in Ireland and around the world:

What’s being proposed in Ireland needs to be put into a wider, historical, context.

For well over half a century, there’s been a worldwide war on children, particularly unborn children. This war has been waged by powerful NGOs, United Nations bodies, governments, legislatures and, more recently, by some of the world’s most powerful politicians, including the Clintons and Obama in the US, and Blair, Brown and Cameron in Britain.

In recent decades the war on children has been extended to parents, in particular targeting their role as the primary protectors and educators of their children. The war has also extended into the aggressive promotion of the homosexual agenda which particularly endangers our children.

This state of affairs was reflected in last week’s consensus agreement at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where the Council welcomed a report from Navenethem Pillay, the UN Human Rights commissioner, which, amongst other things, calls for parental opposition to abortions for their children under the age of consent to be made unlawful. The report also seeks to criminalize health professionals, administrators and NGOS like the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

Throughout this war, the vast majority of Catholic Church leaders, representing the world’s largest Christian body, have pronounced Church doctrines from time to time, but they have done virtually nothing to rally the faithful in defence of the countless children killed in the womb, or to protect children targeted for abortions in their schools, or to protect children targeted by the homosexual lobby in adoption laws being passed in so many countries around the world.

Indeed, in England and Wales and in Ireland, pro-abortion policies have been accommodated by Catholic church leaders, as well as homosexual adoption policies in England and Wales. Scottish Catholic leaders, Catholic bishops in the Philippines, and the Holy See delegation at the UN, have proved to be very courageous, honourable exceptions to this general rule and, of course, there are others too.  However, as a SPUC member of 35 years standing told me last week: “I have attended Mass thousands of times since I joined SPUC, but I have never once heard a priest preach about abortion”. This cry is heard throughout the world.

In the meantime, during the past 50 years, a pro-life movement has developed which seeks, conscientiously and energetically, to engage on the side of the unborn children in this war and, increasingly, to engage on behalf of parents as the primary educators and protectors of their children. The pro-life movement, internationally and in individual countries, has done and is doing some good work. However, in reality it is a tiny group of people in comparison with the powerful, wealthy bodies and individuals who seek to destroy unborn children, to destroy parental protection for their children and to destroy marriage, the social instition which most protects children, including children in the womb.

I appeal to young people who are joining the pro-life movement today - those at university, those going out to work for the first time and those in their final years at school.

If the pro-life and pro-family movement is to be effective, it must concentrate more than half of its energy in seeking to energise and encourage Church leaders, particularly Catholic Church leaders, to take a lead in the battle to protect unborn children and to uphold parents as their children’s primary protectors and educators. Pro-lifers, young or old, must not be so arrogant as to think we can do it on our own - by dint of our passionate witness and through the strength of our well-informed arguments. And let’s not resort to the false argument promoted by our enemies that church leaders, particularly Catholic church leaders, should not be involved in this war.

Catholic church leaders have the capacity and charism to reach billions of people. The pro-life movement, on its own, can only reach a fraction of that number.

To save humanity, to save Ireland, we need a great campaign for life and for the family led fearlessly by church leaders, in particular the Catholic church. Young people, the future of humanity, must now lead this appeal before we are led further into the abyss in Ireland and elsewhere in the world.

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A protester rallies against Hobby Lobby, protesting against the Supreme Court decision Dan Holm/Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

DNC chairwoman exhorts constituents to boycott local Hobby Lobby store

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision was nearly two months ago, but the issue as hot as ever, as was demonstrated yesterday when Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-FL, urged constituents to boycott a Hobby Lobby store in her district.

In a press conference one lot away from the Hobby Lobby location in Davie, which opened in April, Wasserman-Schultz said that she wanted "people to know that this Hobby Lobby is here and they should vote with their purses and their pocketbooks, and women should not shop here."

"If you didn’t know this Hobby Lobby was here before, know it now and don’t shop here. They don’t deserve women’s business because they are the ones that all across the country have made it harder for women to get access to birth control,” she said.

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Wasserman-Schultz said that Hobby Lobby's corporate ownership "doesn’t support its employees" and "wants to be able to get in the personal business of their employees and make health care decisions and replace their own values, replace their employees’ health care decisions, with their values…."

She also criticized the Supreme Court's late June decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had sued the federal government over the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, say it violates their conscience to pay for coverage for the four abortifacients and potential abortifacients that the mandate required them to cover.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case was not only disappointing, it was dangerous," said the Democrat. "No boss should have the right to dictate and employee’s health decisions because [they] don’t belong in the bedrooms, doctor’s offices or pharmacies of their employees.

"A woman and her doctor know what’s best for their body. Not an insurance company. Not a politician. And certainly not a manager at a Hobby Lobby."

The Supreme Court's decision allowed closely held corporations to not fund coverage of contraception or abortion drugs and devices.

Wasserman-Schultz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Through a spokesperson, the Green family declined to comment about the Congresswoman's statements. 

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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America is rejecting abortion because pro-lifers are having more children: study

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

According to a new Northwestern University study, American attitudes about abortion are trending more conservatively than other contentious social issues, a phenomenon the authors credit to the simple fact that pro-lifers have more kids.

“We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes,” the authors wrote. Using GSS data collected between 1977 and 2010, “We test[ed] the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population.”

The authors wrote: “Support for abortion rights has turned flat after a period of increase following Roe v. Wade, and in recent years there are even indications of a reversal toward more restrictive attitudes. This U-turn is evinced particularly among younger cohorts, and is happening despite liberalizing trends in several ostensibly related issue domains.”

The authors speculated that the reason for the increase in pro-life attitudes among young people is that their parents had more children than their pro-abortion counterparts. When they examined the data, they found that pro-life individuals had, on average, 27 percent more children than those who considered themselves “pro-choice.”

Not only that, but pro-life parents appear to be much more likely to pass their views on to their children. The researchers found that the younger generation’s pro-life shift was too strong to be blamed solely on differences in fertility – meaning children of pro-abortion parents are rejecting their parents’ views.

“[E]ither pro-life beliefs are always more faithfully transmitted than pro-choice ones; or, there has been a cultural shift towards more pro-life beliefs that is being reflected in the parent-child correlations,” the authors wrote.

The study concluded that if it wasn’t for the higher fertility rate among pro-life people, the nation as a whole would favor abortion by about five percentage points more than it does currently – and researchers predict the pro-life trend will continue.

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“Taken together, these findings suggest that fertility has had at least some part in leading the population in a more pro-life direction over time,” the authors wrote. “Further investigation into this pattern indicates that not only are abortion attitudes associated with fertility, but in proportional terms—which is what matters for cultural change—the gap is widening.”

“Fertility has declined for both pro-choice and pro-life groups over the past 30 years, but fertility has declined far less markedly for pro-life individuals,” they added. “Whereas pro-[life] individuals born before 1940 were only having about 1.2 children per one child born to a pro-choice parent, this ratio has grown to over 1.5 for those born in the mid to late 1970s. This pattern suggests that future cohorts may place an even stronger demographic drag on the liberalization of abortion attitudes.”

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A declaration that PP is an 'enemy of the Church' would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication. American Life League
Lisa Bourne

New campaign asks Pope Francis to declare Planned Parenthood an ‘enemy of the Church’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

The Catholic pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) is launching a campaign calling for the Catholic Church to declare Planned Parenthood an “enemy of the Church.”

Using prayer and education, ALL’s Defend the Family campaign seeks to expose the nation’s largest abortion provider for contribution to the destruction of human lives, as well as the family. 

The campaign, said Jim Sedlack, vice-president of ALL, is quite simply “a way of calling attention to the fact that this is a very bad organization.”

“Planned Parenthood is attacking the family, either by killing preborn children or by robbing the souls of the older children,” he said. 

A declaration that PP is an “enemy of the Church” would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication.

Such a declaration would not be unprecedented. Popes in the past have identified and condemned organizations that posed a grave threat to the Church, most recently Pope Pius XII in 1949 with Communism and Pope Clement XII in 1738 with Freemasonry.

While specifics would depend on the wording of the Papal pronouncement, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews if the Holy Father makes the declaration there would be no mistaking its intent.

“When the pope makes the declaration it becomes crystal clear,” Sedlak said. “There’ll be no shades of gray, it’ll be black and white, it’ll be clear to the world.”

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'Now is the time'

There are still people who are not fully aware of the extent of the societal damage inflicted by Planned Parenthood, said Sedlak, including members of the Church hierarchy. He said it’s important to emphasize the truth of what the abortion giant does.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the enemy,” said Sedlak. “When people really stop and focus on Planned Parenthood, they realize it’s the enemy.”

ALL cites Planned Parenthood’s targeting of children to sexualize them as a major cause of the destruction of the family and a fundamental reason for the Defend the Family campaign.

“They really push for getting young people into lives of sexual sin,” Sedlak said. “Young people who aren’t pulled into sexual activity do not provide a cent of income to Planned Parenthood, but young people who are pulled in provide millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood empire.”

ALL compiled a comprehensive report on Planned Parenthood titled, “The Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood,” as part of the Defend the Family campaign.

“The document builds the case,” said Sedlak. “Why Planned Parenthood, why now is the time.”

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that for its part Planned Parenthood has always recognized that its greatest enemy is the Catholic Church, even working to have the Church lose its status at the UN.

“They fight anybody who wants to take sex away from the kids in any way possible,” Sedlak said. “That’s one reason why Planned Parenthood is the sex mafia.”

And when Sedlak uses the term “mafia,” he means it literally, pointing out that the Holy Father condemned the mafia in his June 21, 2014, homily in Calabria, Italy, denouncing its, “Adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Planned Parenthood kills far more people than the mafia,” Sedlak said.

Also underscoring the need for the Vatican to act on declaring Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Church, is the convening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this October in Rome, which will lead into the general synod in 2015.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that these, along with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, are events that ALL will rally around to raise awareness of the Defend the Family campaign.

Preliminary response to the campaign has been very positive, he said.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that the “Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood” report was so well received upon initial presentation to Vatican officials, that ALL was asked to translate it into three more languages.

“The support we’ve gotten from talking to bishops has been overwhelming,” Sedlak said.

Prayer is priority #1

The Defend the Family campaign consists first and foremost of prayer, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.

“Our approach is that we need prayer support,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to succeed is through prayer to the Blessed Mother; the only way it will succeed is if God wants it to succeed.”

Participants are asked to say regular prayers after Mass, to offer prayers for the pope and to initiate communication with local bishops about the dangers that Planned Parenthood poses to the faithful.

Sedlak also added that The Defend the Family campaign is for everyone, not just Catholics.

He said pro-life supporters of all faith traditions are invited to contact ALL for assistance in encouraging their religious denomination or church leader to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy.

In addition to prayers for the campaign, ALL is asking people to sign and submit ALL’s Declaration of Encouragement to the Holy Father, enroll in the Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father and to share ALL resources on Planned Parenthood.

Information, links and resources are available on the campaign website, defendthefamily.org.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that ALL is giving the success of the Defend the Family campaign up to God.

“This is all happening in God’s time, and so far he’s been blessing us mightily,” Sedlak said. “And we’re going to go wherever God takes us.”

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