Peter Baklinski

‘What the heck does homosexuality have to do with the pro-life movement?’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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27 November, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – People often wonder why many people involved in the pro-life movement are also interested in homosexuality-related issues. They especially wonder if defending traditional marriage really has anything to do with being pro-life.

The answer to this is simple: Being pro-life is much more than saving babies. It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death. It’s about promoting a “Culture of Life.”

That’s why many pro-lifers aren’t just concerned about abortion: they also tackle euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality, and other life and family issues, which, after a second glance, are found to be all interconnected. If you’re a big-picture looker, it’s easy to see that these are the hot-button items on a massive international scale, leaving no nation or locality unaffected.

The reason why the pro-life movement puts so much time and energy into ending abortion in particular is because denying someone the “right to life” is the gravest injustice. The right to life is the basis for the enjoyment of all other rights. When this right is taken away from the most vulnerable among us, then no one’s rights are secure. There is no real justice, just the domination of the weaker by the stronger, the survival of the fittest. Abortion is really the deadliest kind of bullying.

At the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Mother Teresa called abortion the “greatest destroyer of peace today”. She said abortion was a “war against the child — a direct killing of the innocent child — murder by the mother herself.” She shrewdly pointed out that “if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

Yes, we pro-lifers must fight for unborn children and secure their right to life. But we must also fight for children to be born and raised in circumstances that will allow them to flourish as human persons.

The environment that is the most conducive to the flourishing of human persons — bar none — is the human family composed of one man united to one woman in a lifelong union called marriage. Study after study has shown this again and again.

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War on Marriage and the Family

But there is an unprecedented war on the family today that apparently wants to extinguish this most fundamental social unit. The war has been waged most intensely in the last 100 years or so.

The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception into the sexual act under the guise of ‘sexual freedom’. With contraception, spouses took each other’s intimate treasure of fertility and sacrificed it on the altar of sexual freedom so as to increase their sexual availability with ‘no consequences.’

But in disregarding the ‘whole person’ by excluding fertility, contracepting husbands and wives began to relate to one another merely as stimulating occasions for orgasm. Their respect and love for one another suffered since nobody likes to be devalued and nobody likes to be used as a tool for someone else’s pleasure. The contraception movement started gaining traction in the early part of the 20th century and reached its heyday in the late 1960’s. Marriage was weakened and the destructive fallout of the contraceptive movement is ongoing to this day.

Widespread use of contraception led to the need for legalized abortion as a solution to failed contraception. Couples who had closed themselves to the gift of life demanded a quick and easy way out from ‘unwanted’ responsibilities. With children no longer being viewed as the crowning glory of marriage, marriage was weakened further.

Closely following the contraception movement came the no-fault divorce movement in the mid 1950’s. Contracepting couples who had tasted the bad fruit of using each other for selfish enjoyment needed a quick and easy way out from what was supposed to be a lifelong relationship but that had gone horribly wrong. With permanence taken out of marriage, marriage was weakened even further.

Broken, Crushed, and Hurting Children

The above-mentioned ‘social innovations’ have always resulted in the suffering of innocent children. Contraception hurts children in that it closes an adult’s heart and mind to the gift of new life. Abortion hurts children by killing them in the most brutal and horrific ways imaginable. And of course divorce wreaks total havoc on a child’s physical, psychological, and moral formation.

These social innovations bankrupted marriage, practically stripping it of its natural function of nurturing new human life.

Then came the most extreme social innovation. Marriage would now be stripped of its biological “male and female” quality. The logic leading to this push was unstoppable. Once marriage was no longer viewed as a union for the sake of creating and nurturing new human life, then there was no longer any reason to keep that union exclusively between a male and female. By now, the cultural framework of traditional marriage was so ravaged by contraception, divorce, and abortion that it was unable to withstand the carefully planned assault by homosexual activists.

The homosexual activists’ battle cry for “equality” has brought us where we are today, with Canada having changed the definition of marriage in 2005, and with many of the U.S. states having recently followed suit. And they where able to pull this off because of the weakened state of traditional marriage. Homosexual activists have successfully tricked the Western world into believing that their absolutely sterile homosexual activity is of equal merit to society as the fruitful act between a husband and wife that naturally produces children. With the social push to change the definition of marriage came a corresponding mindset that masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood, are completely irrelevant to a child’s formation.

Now with traditional marriage practically defined out of existence, children will suffer more than ever. They will suffer because the institution where they best thrive has become socially bankrupt. Men and women, abandoning marriage as a ‘meaningless social frill’, will still have children together, but not in the environment that best favors the flourishing of a new human being. Children will suffer further as gay and lesbian couples, walking proudly under the legal banner of newly redefined ‘marriage’, will attempt, and have done so already, to raise and form children.

Research released this year indicates however that the social experiment of homosexual ‘marriage’ will cause nothing but serious harm to children. Children raised by gay and lesbian parents have significantly more social and mental-health problems when compared to children from an intact biological family. The research not only showed that there was a major difference between the children from both groups, but it highlighted that family instability is a ‘characteristic mark’ of same-sex relationships.

The social mistakes we as a society have made, and are making right now, weigh heavily on the shoulders of children. They are the innocent victims of social experimentation who have become morally and even physically crushed and broken. They are the ones who have become pulverized in the name of so-called ‘freedom, equality, and progress’.

Being Pro-Life to the Core

These startling facts illuminate why so many pro-life activists are constantly highlighting research that supports traditional marriage. It’s why they take so seriously homosexual-related issues, calling attention to the rampant attacks made on traditional marriage.

Leaders in the culture war know that education on this issue is the necessary first step to building a massive campaign to protect children from being deliberately denied a mom and dad in a stable marriage. They know that the well-being of children depends on turning the cultural tide to favor true marriage. An unstable, morally disordered environment is no place to teach a child how to live, how to become all that he or she is meant to be, how to learn to be a free and responsible human being.

This is why pro-lifers must fight for traditional marriage, never compromising in the belief that marriage must be entered freely by one man and one woman, that spouses must give of themselves totally holding nothing back, that the relationship must be faithful until death, and that it must be fruitful in raising up new lives. This is simply the best situation for a child’s moral, physical, and mental flourishing.

To be pro-life is to be on guard against anything that threatens this most precious social institution necessary for human flourishing. In fighting for true marriage, we are fighting on behalf of children. We are fighting for them to have a life lived to the fullest. In our fight for them, we are securing the very future of humanity.

Defending authentic marriage has everything to do with being pro-life. It’s to be pro-life, right down to the core. So, let’s roll up the sleeves, get to work, and do what pro-lifers do best: fight on behalf of children.

Peter Baklinski has a Masters in Sacred Theology with a Specialization on Marriage and Family (STM). He is pursuing a PhD from the John Paul II Institute in Australia.

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Are you praying for the upcoming Synod on the Family? You should be, and here’s why

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By John-Henry Westen

Catholics, and all Christians who value family values, should be praying earnestly for the Catholic Church as a struggle over critical family issues is coming to a head in the run-up to the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which takes place October 5-19. 

Augmenting the concerns is the fact that some of the cardinals closest to Pope Francis himself are increasingly in public disagreement over crucial matters related to faith and family. For some, the concerns reach right to the pope himself.

While Synod preparations have been going on for a year, Sunday’s weddings of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Francis presented a figurative, and perhaps foreboding launch.

In a press release prior to the ceremony, the Rome diocese inexplicably went out of its way to highlight the fact that some of couples the pope was going to marry were cohabiting. "Those who will get married Sunday are couples like many others,” it said. “There are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children.”

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream press took the bait and seized upon this statement to run headline after headline pushing the confusing notion that the event was a prelude to, or evidence of, a change in Church teaching on marriage.

Headlines like: 

All I can do is pray that the public fallout from these wedding ceremonies does not foreshadow the public outcome of the Synod. If so, we could be headed for a tragedy akin to the tragedy of the late sixties when, despite the proclamation of the truth of Humanae Vitae against contraception, the effect among ordinary Catholics was a near universal rejection of the teaching in practice.

What to expect at the Synod

The official list of those taking part in the Synod includes 114 presidents of Bishops’ Conferences, 13 heads of Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, 25 heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, nine members of the Ordinary Council for the Secretariat, the Secretary General, the Undersecretary, three religious elected by the Union of Superiors General, 26 members appointed by the Pontiff, eight fraternal delegates, and 38 auditors, among whom are 13 married couples and 16 experts.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Cardinal Kasper’s intervention at the Consistory of Cardinals earlier this year, in which he laid out a contentious proposal to allow Catholics who have been divorced and then ‘remarried’ outside the Church to receive Communion. 

Since then a bevy of heavy-hitter cardinals have fought that proposal, including:

Today, however, Cardinal Kasper said the “attacks” from these cardinals were not so much directed at him but at Pope Francis, since, claims Kasper, he discussed his intervention with the pope and gained his approval.

The claim has some basis, since the day after Kasper made the proposal, before it was made public, Pope Francis praised it publicly.  According to Vatican Information Service, the Holy Father said:

I read and reread Cardinal Walter Kasper's document and I would like to thank him, as I found it to be a work of profound theology, and also a serene theological reflection. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what St. Ignacius described as the 'sensus Ecclesiae', love for the Mother Church. ... It did me good, and an idea came to mind – please excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you – but my idea was that this is what we call ‘doing theology on one's knees’. Thank you, thank you.

Of note, Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard, writing for France’s La Croix, reports today that Pope Francis is “irritated” by the release of a book containing criticisms of the Kasper proposal by five cardinals.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday, one of those authors, Cardinal Raymond Burke, is being demoted from his headship of the Apostolic Signatura. The only post planned for the 66-year-old cardinal thus far is patron of the Order of Malta. 

Cardinal Burke’s pre-Synod interventions go beyond the divorce and remarriage question and into the matter of homosexuality.  In a recent interview Cardinal Burke gave a clear refutation of the misuse of Pope Francis’ famed ‘Who am I to judge’ quote to justify homosexuality.

While the issue of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is seldom raised in reference to the Synod, with most of the emphasis being placed on the question of divorce and remarriage, it is mentioned in the working document, or ‘Instrumentum Laboris’, of the Synod.

As with the matter of divorce, no doctrine regarding homosexuality can be changed, but much confusion can still be sown under the auspices of adjustments to “pastoral” practice. Without a clear teaching from the Synod, the effects could be similar to the shift in “pastoral” practice among dissenting clergy after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, which led to the use of artificial contraception by most Catholics.

Already and for many years there has been de facto broad acceptance of homosexual sexual practices in many Catholic schools, universities and many other institutions, with many staff being active homosexuals in open defiance of Catholic moral teaching.

Regarding the Synod’s deliberations on homosexuality, it does not bode well that one of Pope Francis’ personal appointees to the Synod is retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels.  The selection is remarkable because of Danneels was caught on tape in 2010 urging a victim who had been sexually abused by a bishop-friend of Danneels, to be silent.  Then, only last year Danneels praised as a “positive development” that states were opening up civil marriage to homosexuals.

Then, just this week, as reported on the Rorate Caeli blog, one of the three Synod presidents gave an interview with the leading Brazilian newspaper in which he said that while stable unions between homosexual persons cannot be equated to marriage, the Church has always tried to show respect for such unions.

The statement matches that of another prominent Synod participant, Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who in 2010 spoke of giving more consideration to ‘the quality’ of homosexual relationships. “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships. A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous,” Schönborn said.

In the end, while there is currently a public battle in the Vatican that is unprecedented in modern history, the faith will not and cannot change.  As faithful Catholics, and Christians, we must cling to the Truths of Christ regarding the family and live them out in our own lives first and foremost.  That is difficult, to be sure, especially in our sex-saturated culture, but with Christ (and only with Him) all things are possible. 

Plead with heaven for the pope and the bishops in the Synod.  LifeSiteNews will be there reporting from Rome, and, with your prayers and support, be of service to those defending truth.

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Poet: I ‘would’ve died’ for my aborted daughter’s ‘right to choose,’ just ‘like she died for mine’ (VIDEO)

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By Ben Johnson

What kind of mother asks her baby to die for her? And what kind of media outlet celebrates that?

To take the second question first, The Huffington Post is promoting a video featuring Scottish “poet” Leyla Josephine, celebrating her decision to abort her daughter. The video, “I Think She Was a She,” was uploaded to YouTube a month ago.

In the video Josephine, decked out in military camouflage, justifies herself in part by saying that she would have been willing to serve as a sacrifice to abortion just as she offered her daughter to the idol of “choice.”

“I would’ve supported her right to choose – to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine,” she said.

In the next rhyming line, she addresses her unborn daughter: “I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

“I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed," she continues – a phrase she repeats a total of six times. She repeats the phrase "This is my body" three times. (She also takes the Lord's name in vain once.)

In the early part of the video, she describes her belief that her child was a girl and imagines a life where she had given birth to her daughter.

“I know she was a she,” she says. “I would have made sure that there was space on the walls to measure her height,” she adds. “I would have made sure I was a good mother.”

At one point she appears to describe the emotional aftermath of her choice as “a hollowness that feels full, a numbness that feels heavy.”

But she later calls the idea that her child was a girl or a boy “bull---t” and affirms, yet again, she is not ashamed.

This provokes a few observations:

1. If she knew her child's sex, she must have had a late-term abortion. Our gentle, healing restoration is needed in a world marred by so much aggression and anger in the name of political orthodoxy.

2. Fr. Frank Pavone has written, ”Did you ever realize that the same four words that were used by the Lord Jesus to save the world are also used by abortion advocates? 'This is My Body.'” To paraphrase him, he notes the difference. One, by surrendering His life on the Cross, gave life to the world. The abortion industry uses this phrase to impose its will on the bodies of separate, living human beings who have not harmed anyone.

3. The most chilling phrase in the video is her statement, “I would’ve supported her right to choose...I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine.”

First of all, her daughter did not die for the “right to choose.” Her daughter was not sacrificed for the inalienable “good” of keeping abortion-on-demand legal (and, in the UK, taxpayer-subsidized). Politicians are bribed to maintain it; no baby needs to die for it. Josephine's child died because HuffPo's hero of the moment chose not to carry the baby to term and place him/her in the hands of loving adoptive parents who would have cherished her baby – whether it was actually male, female, or intersex.

Josephine describes the emotions that actually led to the abortion only metaphorically – e.g., she compares the abortion to chopping down a cherry tree – but that angst is the root (so to speak) of the abortion, not the great and grand cause of assuring that other women have the right to go through the same soul-crushing grief.

That intimation that her daughter died for “choice” – that she offered her baby as a living sacrifice on the altar of abortion – confirms the darkest rhetoric of the pro-life movement: That for some in the movement, abortion is sometimes regarded as an idol.

And that raises one other, more universally held question: What kind of parent asks his son or daughter to die for the “right” to abortion? Parents are supposed to be the one who sacrificially care for their children, who forsake their own comfort, who do whatever is necessary – even die – to keep their children safe, healthy, and well. Josephine's blithe, “Sorry, but you came at the wrong time” sounds as hollow as a gangland assassin's apology to the family caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Abortion severs the love that God, or Mother Nature, or evolution, or whatever you choose to believe in placed within every pregnant woman to link the mother to her child.

The abortion lobby's rhetoric, which increasingly disregards the value of unborn life, is untethered by the bonds of human compassion, is fundamentally selfish and cold-blooded, and lacks a sense of humanity and brotherhood to the point of obliterating maternal love itself.

“Will a woman forget her child, so as not to have compassion upon the offspring of her womb?” God asks through the prophet Isaiah. “But if a woman should even forget these, yet I will not forget thee, saith the Lord.”

The pro-life movement exists precisely to set this upside-down order aright, to reinstate the natural love and compassion everyone should have for all of God's creation – most especially that between a mother and the innocent child she has helped create and fashion with her own DNA.

Cross-posted at TheRightsWriter.com.

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Cardinal Dolan greets worshipers and guests on the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan after Easter mass on April 8, 2012 in New York City. Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic leaders criticize Cardinal Dolan’s defense of gay group at St. Patrick’s Parade

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By Lisa Bourne
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New York Cardinal John O'Connor on the cover of the New York Post on January 11, 1993. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his decision to serve as grand marshal for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Wednesday, in the wake of widespread criticism from Catholics after he praised the organizing committee for allowing a homosexual activist group to march.

“If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object,” Dolan stated in his weekly column. On the contrary, he argued, “The committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, was not impressed with the cardinal’s argument. This is precisely about publicizing advocacy contrary to Catholic teaching,” he said.

“As a Catholic father I find there is rapidly contracting space where this shameful agenda is not stuck in the faces of my children,” Ruse told LifeSiteNews. “The Church should be protecting our children rather than abetting those who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of innocent souls."

Pat Archbold, a popular blogger at the National Catholic Register and who runs the Creative Minority Report blog, lambasted Dolan for suggesting the embrace and promotion of “gay identity” can be separated from the sin of homosexuality.

“This identity is not a morally-neutral God-given attribute such as male or female, black or white,” he said. “The identity is with the immoral choice to engage in immoral behavior.”

“The best that can be said in this situation is that these people choose to proudly identify themselves with an intrinsic disorder.  But in reality, it is worse than that,” he continued. “The people find their identity and pride in sin.  Either the Cardinal knows this or he doesn't, either way Cardinal Dolan reveals himself unequal to his responsibility as a successor of the Apostles.”

The parade committee changed its longstanding policy on September 3 after decades of pressure from homosexual groups. Upon being announced as the parade’s grand marshal later the same day, Cardinal Dolan said he had no trouble with the decision at all, calling it “wise.”

The organizers had never prohibited any marchers, but did not ban issue-focused banners and signs, whether promoting homosexuality or the pro-life cause.

Cardinal Dolan stated in his column Wednesday that he did not oppose the previous policy.

“This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants,” he explained.

“I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching,” he said as well, “but simply identifying themselves as ‘Gay people of Irish ancestry.’”

The homosexual activist group that will march is called OUT@NBCUniversal, which describes itself as the employee resource group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at the media giant.

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The network held the broadcast contract for parade coverage. Reports indicated the contract was about to expire, and that NBC joined in pressuring on parade officials.

Cardinal Dolan conceded in his column there were many thoughtful reasons for criticizing the parade policy change, and noted that he shared some of them.

“While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision,” he said. “You observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an ‘aggressive Gay agenda,’ which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.” 

However, he said, the most important question he had to ask himself was whether the new policy violated Catholic faith or morals.

In stressing that homosexual actions are sinful while identity is not, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholic teaching is clear: ‘being Gay’ is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals.”

Making opinion paramount, the cardinal offered that the parade committee “tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching,” and even though the original policy was not at all unfair, the committee was “realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.”

“They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city,” Cardinal Dolan wrote. “Which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching.”

When the decision was announced and Cardinal Dolan named the parade’s grand marshal, Philip Lawler, director of Catholic Culture and editor for Catholic World News, called it a significant advance for homosexual activists, and a significant retreat for the Catholic Church.

Pointing out in his column that the media will be correct to concentrate on that narrative at next March’s event, Lawler identified what he said is almost certain to be the result of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Next year there will be only one story-line of interest to the reporters who cover the annual parade in the world’s media capital: the triumph of the gay activists,” Lawler wrote.

“Photographers will be competing for the one ‘money’ shot: the picture of the contingent from OUT@NBCUniversal marching past the reviewing stand at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, under the benign smile of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”

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