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Archdiocese: Catholic principal put ‘on leave’ over 40 Days for Life promotion

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, October 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The principal at a Catholic school for K-8 students in Winnipeg has been put “on leave” after he promoted the 40 Days for Life campaign, the Winnepeg Archdiocese informed LifeSiteNews Friday.

Principal David Hood of Christ the King School had urged families to participate in the local 40 Days campaign in a school newsletter, and then told media on Tuesday he was considering participation in the vigil as a voluntary “official school activity,” whereby grade 7 and 8 students could satisfy their 10 hours of community service.

“Mr. Hood is on leave while the Board of Directors reviews what has [taken place],” Robert Praznik, director of education for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, told LifeSiteNews.  While the school is based in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Praznik oversees schools in both dioceses.

“There is always a lot more to a situation that cannot be shared when dealing with personnel issues,” Praznik added.

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The school’s board of directors held a closed-door meeting Wednesday night with 30 parents who had complained about Hood’s actions.

Christ the King is an independent school under the auspices of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, but receives 50 percent of its funding from the Manitoba government.

A government representative told LifeSiteNews Thursday that the 40 Days for Life would not satisfy their community service curriculum requirements, which they say are meant to support “worthwhile causes or organizations.”

Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Canada’s Catholic Insight magazine, said he believes that is a “real threat and a real disgrace for the Catholic school board” that Hood was put on leave.

“The kids are doing a community service.  They are trying to reduce the incidence of abortion and it’s wonderful work,” the priest commented.  “What’s wrong with getting the credit for it?”

“I don’t think it’s fair at all, just because the parents complain about,” said Maria Slykerman, who coordinates the local 40 Days for Life campaign.  “I mean it is a Catholic school, what do they expect?”

Slykerman said Hood is a “solid Catholic,” the father of a large homeschooling family, and that the pro-life cause is “close to his heart.”  “He was always at the vigil himself and always helping out,” she noted.

In his comments to LifeSiteNews, Praznik emphasized the school’s work with the local pro-life educational group Life’s Vision, but suggested they would not get involved with 40 Days for Life in Winnipeg because of its ties with a group that works to secure full legal protection for the unborn at the political level.

“The 40 day activity is sponsored by [Campaign Life Coalition] which is a political organization and not a registered charity,” said Praznik.  “Life Vision is a registered charity is the organization that works with our schools and parishes to support the pro-life movement.”

While the 40 Days for Life in Winnipeg is not organized under the auspices of Campaign Life Coalition, Slykerman also serves as President of CLC Manitoba.

Canada’s largest pro-life group and the political arm of the country’s pro-life movement, CLC works with fully-funded Catholic schools across Ontario and thousands of students from the Catholic separate schools to flood Parliament Hill for the politically-oriented March for Life every year.

Fr. De Valk stressed that the 40 Days campaign is “completely unrelated to politics,” but noted nevertheless that students have benefited greatly from witnessing at Ottawa’s March for Life.  “They’re doing good work and getting an education on an extremely important issue,” he explained.

“I have no patience for those that say, certainly not with anyone in the Catholic school board, who thinks that this principal should be removed,” said Fr. De Valk.  “They should be removed because they’re unfit to deal with Catholic education.”

Slykerman emphasized that Archbishop Albert LeGatt of St. Boniface, in whose diocese the school resides, has been a good pro-life bishop, and encouraged concerned individuals to contact him in a respectful manner.

“The Catholic schools have sold their soul because now the government is in there,” she noted.  “You can’t do anything anymore.  Once the government gets into it, they can say, well look, we’re paying 50 percent, why shouldn’t we tell you what to do?”

“If this isn’t worthy of community service, what is?”

Bishops across the world have joined the 40 Days for Life vigils, including campaigns in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

Contact Information:

Christ the King School
Board of Directors
Click here for online e-mail form.

Most Rev. Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of Saint-Boniface
151, avenue de la Cathédrale
Saint-Boniface, MB R2H 0H6
Tel: (204) 237-9851
Fax: (204) 231-2652
E-mail: [email protected]

See Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports.



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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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