Patrick Craine

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Woodworth’s Motion 312 defeated 91 to 203

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine
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OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Stephen Woodworth’s pro-life motion failed in a recorded vote Wednesday, going down 91-203.

As promised, Prime Minister Stephen Harper voted against it, but there were also a number of surprise votes in favour.

Woodworth, a Tory MP for Kitchener Centre, had hoped to launch a special committee to re-examine section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which stipulates that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. But pro-life legislators must now head back to the drawing board.

Nevertheless, pro-life leaders have hailed the initiative as a success because of the overwhelming amount of media coverage and interest it sparked in the last few months.

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Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that the motion was “quite valuable” to the pro-life cause. “It’s been a tremendous effort right across the country,” he said. “It was a very sensible type of motion that unfortunately was ignored or dumped upon by people who don’t want anything at all that’s even remotely connected to abortion. We saw that with Rod Bruinooge’s bill on coercion and Leon Benoit’s on unborn victims of crime.”

The motion fared slightly worse than the most recent pro-life initiative before it – Rod Bruinooge’s Roxanne’s Law, which sought to ban the coercion of women into abortion. That bill was defeated 97-178 in a second reading vote on December 15, 2010.

The vast majority of the 91 votes in favour came from the Conservative benches, and the Opposition NDP opposed it unanimously. But there were four Liberal MPs who supported it: John McKay, Jim Karygiannis, Kevin Lamoureux, and Lawrence MacAulay.

All party leaders opposed Motion 312, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who reportedly pressured Conservative MPs to vote against it even though the party ultimately allowed a free vote for both backbench MPs and Ministers.

It did win support from a number of Tory Ministers, despite Harper’s pressure tactics, however. They included: Diane Ablonczy, Rona Ambrose, Peter Van Loan, Gerry Ritz, Julian Fantino (who had voted against Roxanne’s Law), Peter Penashue, Ed Fast and Jason Kenney.

Two Ministers who have been rated pro-life by Campaign Life Coalition voted against the motion: Gary Goodyear and Rob Nicholson.

“I’m calling on people across the country to take a very close look at how their MPs voted on this,” said Hughes. “We’ll be getting together with them to develop a strategy to replace those MPs.”

Though Woodworth framed the initiative as merely a scientific study into the humanity of the unborn, critics lambasted it as a “backdoor” attempt to renew debate on abortion and ultimately re-criminalize the deadly procedure.

In the second hour of debate on Friday, both Liberal and New Democrat opponents expressed incredulity that the issue was even being raised.

New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) said she was “offended” by the motion, describing it as a “slap in the face” to women.

But Woodworth says section 223 is a 400-year-old law inherited from Britain and should be brought up to date with the medical advances of the last century.

“It would be a triumph of leadership to insist that our definition of human being must not remain frozen in time forever, immune from the light of advancing knowledge, immune from democratic governance, and immune from the spirit of open dialogue,” he said.

As it is, the law “decrees the dehumanization and exclusion of a whole class of people, children before complete birth,” Woodworth said.

Contact information for all those who voted for the motion:

Diane.Ablonczy@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Harold.Albrecht@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @AlbrechtMP
Mike.Allen@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @mpmika
Stella.Ambler@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @StellaAmbler
Rona.Ambrose@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MinRonaAmbrose
Rob.Anders@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
David.Anderson@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @DavidAndersonSK
Dean.Allison@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @DeanAllisonMP
Leon.Benoit@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @vwriding
Candice.Bergen@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @CandiceBergenMP
James.Bezan@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @jamesbezan
Kelly.Block@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @KellyBlockCPC
Ray.Boughen@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Garry.Breitkreuz@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Patrick.Brown@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @brownbarrie
Gordon Brown - gord.brown.c1@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Lois.Brown@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MPLoisBrown
Rod.Bruinooge@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @rodbruinooge
Blaine.Calkins@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @blainecalkinsmp
Ron.Cannan@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @RonCannon
Colin.Carrie@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @ColinCarrie
Michael.Chong@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Rob.Clarke@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @Rob_Clarke_MP
Patricia Davidson - pat.davidson@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Dean.DelMastro@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @mpdeandelmastro
Barry.Devolin@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BarryDevolin_MP
Earl.Dreeshen@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @earl_dreeshen
Julian.Fantino@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @JulianFantino
Ed.Fast@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Royal.Galipeau@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @GalipeauOrleans
Cheryl.Gallant@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @cherylgallant
Peter.Goldring@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @PeterGoldring
Nina.Grewal@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MPNinaGrewal
Richard.Harris@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Bryan.Hayes@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Russ.Hiebert@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @HiebertRuss
Jim.Hillyer@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Laurie.Hawn@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MPLaurieHawn
Roxanne.James@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Brian.Jean@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BrianJean_MP
Randy.Kamp@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @RandyKampMP
Jim.Karygiannis@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @jimkarygiannis
Jason.Kenney@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @kenneyjason
Ed.Komarnicki@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Mike.Lake@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MikeLakeMP
Kevin.Lamoureux@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @Kevin_Lamoureux
Guy.Lauzon@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Pierre.Lemieux@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Wladyslaw.Lizon@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Ben.Lobb@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Tom.Lukiwski@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @TomLukiwski
James.Lunney@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @jameslunneymp
Lawrence.MacAulay@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @L_MacAulayMP
Colin.Mayes@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Phil.McColeman@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @Phil4Brant
John.McKay@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @JohnMcKayLib
Rob.Merrifield@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @RobMerrifieldMP
Larry.Miller@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @M2McMullen
Rob.Moore@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @RobMoore_CPC
Rick.Norlock@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @RickNorlock
Tilly.O’NeillGordon - oneilt@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Ted.Opitz@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @TedOpitz
LaVar.Payne@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @LaVarMP
Peter.Penashue@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @PeterPenashue
Pierre.Poilievre@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @PierrePoilievre
James.Rajotte@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @JamesRajotte
Brent.Rathgeber@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @brentrathgeber
Gerry.Ritz@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @GerryRitzMP
Kyle.Seeback@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @KyleSeeback
Gail.Shea@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @CPCGailShea
Bev.Shipley@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BevShipleyMP
Kevin.Sorenson@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BevShipleyMP
Brian.Storseth@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BrianStorsethMP
Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @markstrahl
David.Sweet@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @DavidSweetMP
Lawrence.Toet@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @votetoet
Brad.Trost@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @BradTrostCPC
Merv.Tweed@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @mervtweet
Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @bobzimmermp
John.Williamson@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @j_dup_mp
Alice.Wong@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @AliceWongCanada
Stephen.Woodworth@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @WoodworthMP
Terence.Young@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @TerenceYoungMP
Rodney.Weston@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @rodneywestonsj
Mark.Warawa@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MPmarkwarawa
Chris.Warkentin@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @chriswarkentin
Jeff.Watson@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
John.Weston@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @JohnWestonMP
Dave.VanKesteren@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Peter.VanLoan@parl.gc.ca Twitter: n/a
Maurice.Vellacott@parl.gc.ca Twitter: @MVellacott

**See the complete official vote that also includes all those who voted NO on the Parliamentary website here. Clicking on each name also brings up the full contact information for each MP

Contact information for all Members of Parliament.

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Lisa Bourne

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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