Thaddeus Baklinski

The most important pro-life event in Canada: Organizers gear up for March for Life 2012

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski

OTTAWA, March 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The 2012 National March For Life is set to take place on Thursday, May 10 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This year’s theme is “Abortion Hurts Everyone.”

Organizers are looking forward to breaking last year’s record attendance of 15,300 pro-life citizens from across Canada.

“We hope even more pro-life citizens, young and old, will come to demand legal protection for children who are still in the womb,” Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the organizer of the event, states.

The main event is the actual march through the streets of Ottawa. The night before there will be a Candlelight Vigil, a spiritual and symbolic ceremony that will take place at the Human Rights monument, Elgin and Lisgar Streets, on May 9 at 9:00 pm.

This year CLC is providing an opportunity for those unable to attend the National March for Life to participate symbolically in the Candlelight Vigil.

“We are inviting you to send your pledge and encourage your family, friends, co-workers and faith community to join us in spirit. Candles will be placed at the Human Rights monument and will be lit on Wednesday, May 9th at dusk,” CLC explains. The Candlelight Vigil pledge form is on the 2012 March for Life promotional brochure available from CLC.

CLC has also this year produced an inspiring video with clips from the 2011 Ottawa March for Life that is ideal for presentations in classrooms and churches to fire up prospective participants.

The Rose Dinner and Youth Banquet follow the March at 6:00 pm on Thursday.
This year Stephen Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, will be the Rose Dinner keynote speaker. Mr. Mosher is an expert on China’s forced abortion policy and in debunking the overpopulation myth.

The Youth Banquet is a fun-filled event featuring world-renowned youth speakers, entertainment, games, prizes and much more, and is a perfect opportunity for young people to be encouraged to continue to fight for life.

The huge Pro-life Youth Conference takes place on Friday May 11th.

Students and young adults are encouraged to register and attend this full day pro-life youth conference to learn more about various pro-life issues and ways they can become more active in their hometowns in order to continue to spread the pro-life message.

The Knights of Columbus are again this year sponsoring buses to take pro-lifers to Ottawa for the National March for Life.

The Ontario Knights of Columbus passed a resolution in 2009 throwing their full support behind the March, and pledging to subsidize local and high school bus trips throughout the province.

“We must spill over into the streets of Ottawa with not 8,000 but 80,000,” the K of C resolution stated.

LifeSiteNews spoke with Grand Knight Ken Grubb of the Walkerton, Ontario, Knights of Columbus who said councils in his area will be sponsoring buses in Walkerton, Hanover, Kenilworth/Mount Forest, and Cargill/Chepstow to take pro-lifers to the March. Mr. Grubb remarked that a special bus for youth of the areas is also being considered.

Contact your local K of C council to find out if busses are sponsored in your area.

Last year the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, proclaimed that the day of the National March for Life be honored as “Respect for Life Day” in the city. “The rights of the people of Canada including the unborn, the elderly and those with handicaps are gradually being eroded,” the proclamation signed by Watson read.

LifeSiteNews contacted the mayor’s office to find out if he would again declare “Respect for Life Day” in Ottawa for this year’s National March for Life, but did not receive a reply by press time. (Contact info for Mayor Jim Watson is available here.)

To order copies of the 2012 National March for Life promotional brochure to use as a handout in your school, church or prayer group, and which contains the Candlelight Vigil pledge form, contact Campaign Life Coalition Ottawa at 613-729-0379, or by email at wandaclcottawa@bellnet.ca

Tickets for the Rose Dinner and the Youth Banquet/Dinner on May 10, and the Youth Conference, May 11, may be obtained by contacting your local Campaign Life Coalition office or by calling 800-730-5358 or 613-729-0379.

Tickets for the dinners and conference sell out quickly so organizers suggest ordering soon.

For more information visit the National March for Life website.

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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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