Thaddeus Baklinski

Pro-life union members counter-protest pro-abort Canadian Auto Workers rally

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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WINDSOR, Ontario, June 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-abortion rally organized by members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 444 as part of a protest against the “New Abortion Caravan” didn’t go as smoothly as planned, after a crowd of pro-life union members showed up at the event in a counter protest.

CAW rally organizers said the pro-abortion demonstration was also staged to protest Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s motion in the House of Commons calling for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins.

The pro-abortion rally took place Monday evening in front of the Windsor Regional Hospital. The Windsor Star reported that about 100 pro-abortion union members were faced across the street with about half that number of pro-life union members, who not only stood to defend the lives of the unborn, but to protest their union’s decision to wade into the abortion debate.

CAW national president Ken Lewenza recently wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which he stated the union is pro-abortion.

“We are involved in the political, economic and social fabric of this country,” Lewenza wrote, according to the CBC. “We have an absolute responsibility to speak up on social issues. We’re stepping up to the plate on issues that affect Canadians.”

Fran LaSorda, second vice-president of Local 444 and one of the organizers of the Windsor pro-abortion demonstration, told the Windsor Star the rally was a show of solidarity with other CAW demonstrators in London, Ontario, where the New Abortion Caravan was due on June 25.

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Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform executive director Stephanie Gray said that she “found it shocking that the largest private worker’s union in the country is using its union dues to advocate for abortion. Participation in this union is mandatory, and yet people like CAW president Ken Lewenza are using the union dues of pro-life auto workers to advocate for Canada’s status quo as the only Western democracy to have no abortion restrictions.”

“What does abortion have to do with workplace issues for autoworkers?” she asked.  “It is unfortunate that Ken Lewenza has no respect for his employees’ freedom of conscience.”

Colleen Ferrato, who was on the pro-life side of the street at the CAW’s pro-abortion rally, agrees with Stephanie Gray.

“We have a huge membership. And because we have such a big membership and our ideas are so vast and broad, they [the CAW] certainly shouldn’t be involved in this arena at all,” Ferrato told a CBC reporter. “They need to keep their nose out of it because their membership does not feel this way. We’re outraged and disgusted that our voice is not being heard.”

Mike Nantais, a member of CAW Local 444, seconded Ferrato’s statement, saying he was infuriated when he heard about the CAW pro-abortion rally.

“I think the union should not be speaking for those types of views. They think they’re thinking socially, but I think that to speak for union members in general is a big mistake and I think it’s a cause of division,” said Nantais.

Pro-life Conservative MP Jeff Watson (Essex) said he has received numerous complaints about the CAW’s actions from constituents.

“The common thread [of the complaints] is that the union should be more focused on issues like job security for its members than to be involved in public issues or social issues,” said Watson. “Workers just want to focus on their job and I think they want the union to do the same.”

Watson supported Stephen Woodworth’s call for a debate on the personhood of the unborn child in Parliament when, in January, he told LifeSiteNews that though he does not have a “definitive position” on when human rights ought to apply to children in the womb, he hopes for a debate involving testimony from bioethicists, scientists, and human rights professionals around that question.

“Human rights may have a specific legal connotation,” he said. “I’m not a rights specialist. What I’m firm about is that personhood exists from the time of conception forward. That’s my philosophical belief on that.”

“I think we’re mature enough as a society, I think we need to be mature enough as a Parliament, to deal with these questions head on,” Watson stated.

The CAW also has a history of promoting homosexuality with their memberships’ compulsory union dues.

In 2002 the CAW threatened to drag a Catholic school board through the Human Rights Commission over its decision to forbid a male student from bring his homosexual boyfriend to a school prom.

In 2008 the CAW gave $25,000 to PFLAG Canada (formerly the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to help finance the homosexual lobby group’s efforts in Canada’s schools to promote homosexuality. PFLAG said the money would go in part to fund “school anti-homophobia initiatives.”


Contact information:

Conservative MP Jeff Watson
Constituency Office
186 Talbot Street South
Essex, Ontario N8M 1B6
Phone: 519-776-4700
Fax: 519-776-1383
Email: jeff.watson@parl.gc.ca
Web Site: www.jeffwatsonmp.ca/


Canadian Auto Workers Local 444 (Windsor)
Dino Chiodo, President
1855 Turner Rd
Windsor, ON N8W 3K2
Phone: 519-258-6400, (ext. 444)
Email: dchiodo@local444.caw.ca

Canadian Auto Workers
Ken Lewenza, President
205 Placer Court,
Toronto, Ontario M2H 3H9
Phone: 416.497.4110 (ext 6555)
Tollfree: 1.800.268.5763 (ext 6555)
Email: cawpres@caw.ca

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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