Karen Dudek

Prominent Catholics confused about contraception

Karen Dudek
By Karen Dudek
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May 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Recently, Melinda Gates announced her plan to spend billions to provide contraceptive drugs to poor women around the world. She has the support and encouragement of a group of Ursuline nuns. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, though she is behind the insurance mandate forcing employers to provide contraception to their employees, has been honored with an invitation to speak at commencement at the Jesuit University of Georgetown.

What is disturbing to the faithful who are united with the bishops and the Holy Father is that all these people are Catholics…they are influential, active, and deeply divided over the subject of contraception and other moral teachings of the church. This division was demonstrated painfully this past week when Jay Leno, another Catholic, confronted Rick Santorum on the “Tonight Show,” asking, “What is wrong with contraception, pornography and same-sex marriage?”

The word Catholic means “universal,” but all Catholics are not alike these days. From Nancy Pelosi to Kathleen Sebelius to Melinda Gates to Jay Leno, Catholics who were baptized into Christ are reducing the authority of the Church and her Magisterium (teaching office) to an even playing field of personal opinion that is rooted in our culture. They are refusing tradition (the constant teaching by the Church on a matter of faith and morals) and trading it in for what they believe is a more progressive, sophisticated view of the world:

“Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church,” say the Ursulines, who “respect her right to speak from her research and experience of the world we live in.” Academy President Margaret Ann Moser says that the nuns are “proud of Gates’ dedication to social justice, and her compassion for the underserved ... Melinda Gates leads from her conscience, and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world,” says Moser.

These Catholics, at best, are trying to revolutionize the world according to their personal view of morality: a subjective view that may be sincere, but still morally incorrect.

It is important to note that these Ursuline women do not represent the views of all female religious. Says Sr. MaryAnn Foggin, of the Servants of God’s Love in Ann Arbor, Michigan, “I am always sad to see women religious applaud, support, or endorse positions that are in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. It usually finds it’s way into the press and then is touted as the position of all women religious.”

These actions not only oppose and undermine the Church on her mission of social justice, denigrating her knowledge of science and the world, but they also contend that she is wrong in her teaching on contraception - a teaching that is based on unchanging moral truth, which we understand simply through natural law.

“Natural law says that if you want things to prosper, you have to use them in accord with their nature and live with the reality of the things you are using,” says Janet Smith, a moral theologian.

Dr. Angela Frank, an expert on sexual ethics and eugenics, is a fan of Church-supported Natural Family Planning. “We need self-control not birth control. The Church says we must work with fertility in a healthy way rather than take a pill to stop it.

The American cultural bias does not change objective truth to make a wrong action right or good. Following one’s conscience is incumbent on a conscience informed by truth: enlightened by prayer and the teachings of Jesus and the Magisterium. But many Catholics today are missing that crucial step.

According to Jessica Condon, a 27-year-old future nun with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, “[w]e are all in a passionate search for the truth. But we are easily led astray by our relativistic mindsets to the failure of half-truths. We only want the truth insofar as it suits us. You may have heard this in the form of phrases like, ‘Do what your heart tells you and it’s your truth.’ or ‘I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok.’ We form the truth to our consciences instead of forming our consciences according to the truth. But then we end up unsatisfied and unhappy, and we wonder why our lives are so miserable.”

Since “the Pill” became widely available in the ’60s, we have had time to evaluate the Church’s teachings and see for ourselves what kind of fruit it has brought about. According to Smith:

In the 60’s, it was not a stupid expectation that contraceptives would make for better marriages, fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions; but the cultural evidence today shows absolutely the contrary. And it’s very hard for us to see because our culture tells us that more and better contraceptives and more and greater access to abortion is absolutely necessary in this society[.] … Now the Church said otherwise … Pope Paul VI didn’t predict this in great detail, but he certainly predicted the broad strokes of what happened. And you might ask, “How did he see it when the rest of us couldn’t? What did he know that we didn’t know?” Well, he had a whole history of the church behind him, some two thousand years. And some of us, of course, believe he had the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he couldn’t miss because he wasn’t using human wisdom here. Human wisdom showed something quite different, and I don’t think that human wisdom was implausible, but it has turned out to be dead wrong.

The Church has said that unless you live in accord with the nature of human sexuality, chaos will result. Ms. Condon describes the situation: “I saw a commercial for an intra-uterine contraceptive that promises that women who use it won’t have to worry about taking ‘the pill’ and it will take the stress out of birth control. In the same commercial, the makers state that using their product can cause bleeding, sterilization, and inadvertently aborting your baby if you are already pregnant[.] … What are these drugs really doing to women? What are they doing to men and to marriages? You would think that most people would ask themselves these questions. What many women see is that contraceptives give them ‘freedom.’ The ‘freedom’ to choose when and how they want to have children. Contraceptives such as the pill and intra-uterine contraceptives can kill your baby AND run the risk of making you infertile.”

Though the Pill was originally designed to prevent conception, it works today to prevent births through abortion.

According to the Catholic Church, abortion is not only “the expulsion of the immature fetus,” but is also “the killing of the same fetus in any way and at any time from the moment of conception.” This definition of abortion includes the use of any of the following:

• all birth control pills, because every birth control pill manufactured today causes early abortions part of the time;
• mini-pills, morning-after pills, and true abortion pills such as RU-486;
• injectable or insertable abortifacients such as NORPLANT and Depo-Provera
• the use of all intrauterine devices (IUDs), which are all abortifacients and act by preventing the implantation of the already-fertilized zygote.” (American Life League)

Planned Parenthood pro-abortionist Dr. Christopher Tietze affirmed that statistically, even with proper use of the Pill, it is only a matter of time before a woman becomes pregnant: “Within 10 years, 20 to 50 percent of pill users and a substantial majority of users of other methods may be expected to experience at least one repeat abortion.”

Problems for women on the Pill include heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, unwanted pregnancy, and indirect effects: increased promiscuity, illegitimate births, increased venereal disease, and degradation of marriage.

An estimated five hundred women a year die from effects from the Pill. It is ironic indeed that the same pill that feminists pushed as part of their solution to “excessive illegal abortion deaths” now kills five times as many women per year as illegal abortions themselves did before Roe v. Wade.

How does birth control affect the male/female relationship? According to Pope Paul VI, “it is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anticonceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

Says Condon, “Contraceptives are a lie that today’s society prevaricates. We need to not allow society to form our consciences, we need to allow the Truth found in Jesus and His Church to educate us and form our consciences[.] … [W]e will never be happy living a life full of half-truths. We will only be happy when our constant, passionate searching ends in Truth[.] … Stay true to Jesus, stay true to His Church, and find the Truth you have been looking for all your life.”

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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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