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Tony and Cherie Blair Attack Pope on Homosexuality and Condoms

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By Hilary White

April 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In separate media venues this week, former British Prime Minister and his wife have attacked Pope Benedict XIV and the Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.

In an interview with Attitude, a homosexual magazine, Tony Blair said that Pope Benedict’s objection to homosexual behaviour is a "generational" issue and that any change in Catholic teaching on the matter is resisted by Church leaders because of "fear" among religious leaders of changing with the times.

Blair said, "We need an attitude of mind where rethinking and the concept of evolving attitudes becomes part of the discipline with which you approach your religious faith."

Asked if he could foresee a future in which the Catholic Church would be led by a "pro-gay" pope, Blair said there are "many fantastic things this pope stands for," but that his views on sexuality are not shared by the majority of Catholics.

"If you went into any Catholic Church, particularly a well-attended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were.

"I think on some of these issues, if you went and asked the congregation, I think you’d find that their faith is not to be found in those types of entrenched attitudes."

Interviewer Johann Hari wrote that in a "controversial" political career, Tony Blair’s one "consistent success story" was his championing of the homosexualist political movement in Britain.

Tony Blair was received into the Catholic Church in December 2007 by Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, the archbishop of Westminster. At the time, pro-life and pro-family people, including many prominent Catholics, called upon Blair, without success, to recant his opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality, marriage, abortion and human embryonic research.

Since his reception into the Catholic Church, Blair has established the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, in which he is attempting to establish himself as a spokesman for a generic and non-specific "faith" as a unifying principle in global politics. Describing the aims of his Foundation, Blair said it is "trying to bring different religious faiths together, to show how, actually, there is a huge common space around these values between the different religious faiths."

Calling Blair "probably the most prominent pro-gay religious figure in the world," Hari wrote that Blair is urging "religious figures everywhere to reinterpret their religious texts to see them as metaphorical, not literal." This, he says, will result in the religions of the world in accepting "gay people as equals."

Blair said that he found no conflict between being "religious" and "pro-gay." "I came to a religious faith through people who were themselves very much open and liberal on all these issues, and who would have regarded it as bizarre to have attitudes of hostility to gay people."

He said, "For all religions, the challenge is how do you extract the essential values of the faith from a vast accumulation of doctrine and practice?"

At the same time, Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie, told the Times of Malta that she was "rather sad" when she heard Pope Benedict’s assertion that condoms only increase the problem of AIDS, during his recent visit to Africa.

"I think we do have to understand that there is concern about promiscuity," she said. "But there’s also a real concern about saving lives and I absolutely believe, and scientific evidence shows, that condoms do save lives. Therefore, when there’s a choice between endangering and not endangering life, we should always choose life."

Mrs. Blair went on to defend her very public refusal to conform to the teaching of the Church on contraception. "I think it’s a matter of personal conscience in the end. I don’t feel bad about making those choices and I don’t feel the Catholic Church feels bad about me making those choices," she says.

Mrs. Blair, a firm supporter of the abortion group Planned Parenthood, has consistently equated the use of artificial contraceptives with women’s rights. In early March, Mrs. Blair told the BBC that she credited her personal success as a barrister to her use of contraceptives and called the Catholic Church a "sexist" organisation which "marginalizes" women and keeps them "virtually invisible" in its public face.

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Cherie Blair Says Catholic Church Sexist, Credits Personal Success to Contraception
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09030209.html

Blair Formally Refuses to Respond to Abortion and Embryo Research Questions after "Conversion" to Catholicismhttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041406.html

Angelicum University Refuses to Believe Cherie Blair’s Pro-abortion and Anti-Family Reputation
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08120501.html

Full Text of Cherie Blair Speech at Angelicum: Sticks to Support for Contraception, Dodges Abortion Question
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121704.html


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UK quietly opens the door to genetic engineering, ‘3-parent’ embryos

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By Hilary White

Last month the UK’s Department of Health quietly redefined the term “genetic modification” to open the door to allow certain kinds of modification of human embryos – thus potentially making it the first country in the world to allow genetic engineering.

Scottish journalist Lori Anderson recently raised the alarm over the change in a column in the Scotsman, in which she alleged that the change is designed to “dupe” the British public into accepting “full-scale germline genetic engineering,” using human embryos as test subjects.

Anderson said that in July, the Department of Health “effectively re-wrote the definition of ‘genetic modification’ to specifically exclude the alteration of human mitochondrial genes or any other genetic material that exists outside the chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell.”

“The reason for doing this is that it believes it will be easier to sell such an advancement to the public if it can insist that the end result will not be a ‘GM baby’.”

This change follows a statement from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the government body that regulates experimental research on human embryos, approving the procedure to create an embryo from one couple’s gametes but with genetic material added from a third party donor, a procedure called in the press “three-parent embryos”.

Anderson quoted a statement from the Department of Health comparing this procedure to donating blood. The statement read, “There is no universally agreed definition of ‘genetic modification’ in humans – people who have organ transplants, blood donations, or even gene therapy are not generally regarded as being ‘genetically modified’. The Government has decided to adopt a working definition for the purpose of taking forward these regulations.”

This assertion was challenged by one of the UK’s leading fertility researchers, Lord Robert Winston, who told the Independent, “Of course mitochondrial transfer is genetic modification and this modification is handed down the generations. It is totally wrong to compare it with a blood transfusion.”

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The HFEA, which throughout its history has been known as one of the world’s most permissive regulatory bodies, has been working steadily towards allowing genetically modified embryos to be implanted in women undergoing artificial procreation treatments. In a document issued to the government last year, they called the insertion of mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) into embryos “mitochondrial donation” or “mitochondrial replacement”. mDNA is the genetic material found in the cytoplasm outside a cell’s nucleus, problems with which can cause a host of currently incurable genetic illnesses.

In the statement issued in June, the HFEA said the technique of inserting “donated” mDNA into already existing in vitro embryos, “should be considered ‘not unsafe’ for the use on a ‘specific and defined group of patients.’”

“Mitochondria replacement (or mitochondrial donation) describes two medical techniques, currently being worked on by UK researchers, which could allow women to avoid passing on genetically inherited mitochondrial diseases to their children,” the statement said.

The HFEA admitted that the techniques are “at the cutting edge of both science and ethics” and said that the results of a “public consultation” in 2012/13 were being examined by the government, which is considering “draft regulations”.

In June, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children echoed Lori Anderson’s concern, commenting that the HFEA is attempting to deceive the public. Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, said, “Human gene manipulation is being sold to a gullible public on a promise of reducing suffering, the same old con-trick that the test-tube baby lobby has been using for decades.” 

Any manipulation of human genetics, always breaks “several important moral rules,” entailing the creation of “human guinea-pigs,” Tully said. “Human germ-line manipulation and cloning – changing the genetic inheritance of future generations - goes against internationally-agreed norms for ethical science.”

He quoted Professor Andy Greenfield, the chairman of the scientific review panel that approved the techniques, who said that there is no way of knowing what effect this would have on the children created until it is actually done.

“We have to subject children who have not consented and cannot consent to being test subjects,” Tully said.

Altering the mDNA of an embryo is what cloning scientists refer to as “germline” alteration, meaning that the changes will be carried on through the altered embryo’s own offspring, a longstanding goal of eugenicists.

In their 1999 book, “Human Molecular Genetics” Tom Strachan and Andrew Read warned that the use of mitochondrial alteration of embryos would cross serious ethical boundaries.

Having argued that germline therapy would be “pointless” from a therapeutic standpoint, the authors said, “There are serious concerns, therefore, that a hidden motive for germline gene therapy is to enable research to be done on germline manipulation with the ultimate aim of germline-based genetic enhancement.”

“The latter could result in positive eugenics programs, whereby planned genetic modification of the germline could involve artificial selection for genes that are thought to confer advantageous traits.”


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Cable series portrays nun as back-alley abortionist

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By Ben Johnson
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'To depict a nun who performs an abortion is a new low,' said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

The Cinemax TV series The Knick portrayed a Roman Catholic nun as a back alley abortionist who tells a Catholic woman God will forgive her for going through with the procedure.

In its latest episode, which aired Friday night, the series showed Sister Harriet (an Irish nun played by Cara Seymour) telling a Catholic woman named Nora, “Your husband will know nothing of it. I promise.”

“Will God forgive me?” Nora asked, adding, “I don't want to go to Hell for killing a baby.”

“He knows that you suffered,” the sister replied, before performing the illegal abortion off-screen. “I believe the Lord's compassion will be yours.” 

The period medical drama is set at the Knickerbocker Hospital (“The Knick”) in New York City around the turn of the 20th century, when abortion was against both civil and ecclesiastical law.

“It is no secret that Hollywood is a big pro-abortion town, but to depict a nun who performs an abortion is a new low,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said. “The only saving grace in this episode is the real-life recognition of the woman who is about to have the abortion: she admits that her baby is going to be killed.”

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The series is directed by Steven Soderbergh, known for such films as Erin Brockovich, the Oceans Eleven franchise, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. More recently he directed The Girlfriend Experience, a film about prostitution starring pornographic actress Sasha Grey.

Critics have hailed his decision to include a black surgeon in circa 1900 America. But after last week's episode, the New York Times stated that The Knick has chosen to “demonstrate concern for other kinds of progress,” citing the depiction of the abortion. 


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Catholic Malta enacts ‘transgender’ employment discrimination law

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By Hilary White

An amendment to Malta’s Employment and Industrial Relations Act means that employment “discrimination” against “transsexuals” is now officially prohibited in the Catholic country. The provision, which was quietly passed in May, came into effect on August 12th.

The law allows those who believe they have a complaint to make a case with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, with an industrial tribunal or the courts. A government spokesman told local  media, “Employees do not need to prove that their employer has discriminated against them.”

“They only need to provide enough evidence pointing to a likely case of discrimination. The employer will then need to prove that discrimination has not taken place.”

The amendment defines illegal discrimination against “transgendered” people as, “in so far as the ground of sex is concerned, any less favourable treatment of a person who underwent or is undergoing gender reassignment, which, for the purpose of those regulations shall mean, where a person is considering or intends to undergo, or is undergoing, a process, or part of a process, for the purposes of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.” 

Silvan Agius, Human Rights policy coordinator with the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, told Malta Today newspaper that the new amendment brings Maltese law into harmony with EU law.

“This amendment is continuing the government’s equality mainstreaming exercise. The inclusion of gender reassignment in the Act also brings it in line with the anti-discrimination articles found in both Malta’s Constitution and the Equality for Men and Woman Act,” Agius said.

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Agius is a key member of the homosexual activist apparatus in Malta’s government working to entrench the ideology of gender in law in Malta and elsewhere. In June, he was a featured speaker, with the notorious British anti-Catholic campaigner Peter Tatchell, at a Glasgow conference organised by the Edinburgh-based Equality Network, a group that helps organise and train homosexualist campaign groups.

The amendment to the law follows promises made recently by the country’s equalities minister, Helena Dalli, to a “transgender” congress in Hungary in May. Dalli, who brought forward Malta’s recently passed same-sex civil unions bill, told a meeting of gender activists in Budapest that while her government’s focus had been mainly on homosexuals, that she would shortly be turning her attention to “trans” people.

“The next step now is a Bill towards the enactment of a Gender Identity law. A draft bill has been prepared and it has now been passed to the LGBTI Consultative Council for its vetting and amendment as necessary,” Dalli said.

“Some of you may be thinking that we are moving forward quickly. I have a different perspective though. We are doing what is right, what should have been done a long time ago,” she added.

Since the legalisation of divorce in 2011, Malta has been remarkable for its rapid adoption of the gender ideology’s agenda. In 2013, Malta was named the “fastest climber” on the Rainbow Europe Index, a survey organised annually by ILGA Europe, the leading homosexualist lobby group funded directly by the European Union.

The ILGA Europe report notes (p. 114) that Helena Dalli Helena “was one of 11 EU Member States’ equality ministers to co-sign a call for the European Commission to work on a comprehensive EU policy for LGBT equality.” The report also noted that although the new Labour government has proved cooperative, the Christian Democrat Nationalist Party has “progressively proved more receptive to LGBTI issues, including same-sex unions.”


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