Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Sarkozy loss in French Presidential election would lead to dramatically leftward social changes

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits
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PARIS, France, May 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) -  The French presidential election next Sunday could result is a dramatic political realignment of French political control to the left. Rapid advancement of social leftist goals such as same-sex marriage, greater access and full funding of abortion, legalized euthanasia, suppression of parental rights regarding education of their children and religious persecution would likely occur with a leftist win.

The election designates the country’s president for the next five years. The second round will oppose Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent head of State, runner-up - with 27.18% of the vote - to socialist candidate François Hollande in the first round. Hollande was 1.5 points ahead, with 28.63% of the vote.

While a large proportion of France’s laws and regulations are now made in Brussels in the name of the European Union - and interfere with practically everything, from the size of septic tanks for houses located in the countryside, to immigration and asylum policies or changes to value added tax - societal affairs such as abortion, euthanasia, schooling and marriage law remain largely within the competence of the member States. As do labor legislation, fiscal law, family policy and other domains to which pro-life and pro-family electors are sensitive.

The result of next Sunday’s vote is still quite open, given the uncertainty on the transfer of votes from electors who favored one of the other eight candidates in the first round.

On the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon - 11.1% in the first round, with a largely communist and revolutionary rhetoric - has openly called on his electors to vote for François Hollande and although he is not officially asking for anything in exchange, the sheer weight of his first-round result is expected to induce Hollande into radicalizing his left-wing stance if he is elected.

Mélenchon is a self-proclaimed admirer of Robespierre who personally organized and watched over the genocide of the “Vendéens”, catholic peasants in the West of France who rose up in arms to defend persecuted priests, their local rights and the traditional political order during the French Revolution and its secularist dictatorship.

Mélenchon is not so far removed from Hollande himself who has promised to inscribe the law of separation of State and Church of 1905 into the French Constitution, should he be elected to the presidency. The beginning of the XXth century in France saw the exile of religious orders, the confiscation of church buildings and assets, the tracking of Catholic officers in the French army and other restrictions on religious liberty which declined in the common effort of World War I. Enshrining the largely unapplied law of 1905 in the Constitution is seen by many as a declaration of open hostility to Catholic and Christian rights, in the name of securalism.

Apart from heavy taxation, massive State spending and extended rights for the non-European immigrant population - including voting rights for those immigrants in local elections and political overtures to the Muslim population - François Hollande’s program contains many unacceptable promises from the pro-life viewpoint.

He has promised the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, albeit in guarded tones. The French senate can be expected to vote for such a measure since the socialists gained a majority there last September. The National Assembly is expected to follow suit in the legislative elections next June if François Hollande wins on Sunday.

All of these potential developments would create a dramatically dangerous new political situation for France since, until now, the Senate acted as a brake on leftwing policies even under socialist presidents with a majority in the National Assembly.

François Hollande has also promised to make abortion more widely available and to create abortion centers in all State hospitals. 80% of abortion costs are paid for by the State budget; he has promised to drive up that figure to 100%. He wants to make contraception free and anonymous for minors. He has promised to legalize embryo research, homosexual “marriage” and homosexual adoption.

Hollande also wants to make schooling compulsory at three years of age (against the currently age six) and has committed himself to reducing State funding of Catholic schools and reversing legislation that allows parents to choose a State school outside their particular territory.

Attempts by socialist representatives to put an end to tax deductions for donators to independent school funds (a growing number of schools which receive no public subsidy whatsoever) are expected to be implemented and, under socialist governance, to succeed.

Fearing such threatening, radical developments, pro-life and Christian voters are expected to pronounce themselves “against” Hollande next Sunday with a “Sarkozy” vote, even though the incumbent president is far from an ideal candidate from their point of view.

Sarkozy has sent out signs of sympathy to the homosexual lobby during his campaign, promising to transform the current civil union contract (“PACS”) into a more marriage-like commitment to be concluded in the townhouse. But - under growing pressure from the conservative population - he has promised not to legalize homosexual “marriage” and has spoken out clearly against same-sex parenting and adoption. He has also committed himself against euthanasia, promising not to modify the largely acceptable “End of Life” act voted into law in 2005, which includes some room for “euthanasia by omission” in allowing withdrawal of feeding tubes (but not of hydration).

Sarkozy, a liberal, is not expected to thwart freedom of education in France more than it already is.

The “Sarkozy vote” is being promoted by Catholic groups and the small but active conservative press as the lesser of two evils, or even the lesser of two “worses”, experience having shown that under Sarkozy’s first period of office the right to life and the stability of natural marriage neither progressed nor receded.

What has changed, though, is the increased pressure from traditional values forces on Sarkozy who cannot hope to be re-elected without a massive transfer of votes from the electors of Marine Le Pen of the Front national.

Le Pen’s unprecedented score of 17.9% on April 22nd has spurred Sarkozy to speak about patriotism, the French identity, family values, national frontiers and other themes which he already brought to the fore during his campaign to try to limit Marine Le Pen’s vote. During his major rally at the Trocadéro in Paris today, Sarkozy even proclaimed the “Christian identity of France” - receiving wild applause.

Marine Le Pen is the only candidate who has promised more support for French families and stay-at-home parents, a partial stop to public funding of abortions - although she does claim to favor the “right to abortion” - and to move out of the European Union which promotes and imposes hate-crime laws, anti-discrimination laws and a homosexualist agenda which heavily influence French law-making.

Pro-lifers and promoters of traditional values have had no real champion during these presidential elections, but on the positive side some of their themes have gained public visibility and recognition.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
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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