Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

Hilary White: How a fire was lit within me

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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September 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I’ve never been much of a one for anniversaries. I’m notorious amongst my friends for forgetting birthdays and other significant dates. So I can’t really tell you when, exactly, I got involved in the pro-life movement, but I’m better with words and can relate to you exactly the conversations I had that got it all started.

I had spent the year, 1998, being very ill and so, not working and without much energy and a lot of time on my hands, I decided it was a good opportunity to fill a gap in my education and get read up on philosophy. One book led to another, and I ended up spending most of that year learning all about the two hundred and fifty years of philosophical developments (the “Enlightenment,” utilitarianism, etc.) that led up to our current and ongoing abortion holocaust and the whole Culture of Death, as the late John Paul II so succinctly described it. The abortionist culture did not just start in 1968.

In that year well spent, I discovered the pro-life movement through the back door, so to speak. Unlike most people who become interested in life issues, I did not start with abortion, which I already recognised as a horror that had to be outlawed and punished. I started with the new reproductive technologies.

In my reading, I had found out a good deal about how the ethical problems surrounding embryo research, cloning, artificial procreation, had been glossed over through lies and linguistic and political manipulation.

I learned in detail how the world was made to accept IVF, with all its attendant atrocities, and how one thing literally led to another and we now have embryo experimentation, cloned human/animal hybrids, organ farming and “disposable” human beings, while all the world’s “ethicists” continue to tell us that everything is just fine.

The new thought started in 17th and 18th centuries, and said that man was just a random collection of cells and that human life had no transcendent meaning. It says that individual human beings are unimportant and their needs should be subordinated to those of the state. It asserts that individual “autonomy” is the highest good and once it is gone, a human life has no value.

These theories have led to the belief that it was acceptable, indeed meritorious, to end the lives of those whom others considered unsatisfactory or inconvenient. This is the core of the Culture of Death.

I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the time and I hung out a great deal with a group of young Catholics in a Catholic bookshop that served at the time as a kind of meeting place. I remember quite distinctly towards the end of that year one of the ladies who worked in the shop asked me how my reading was going.

I said I had learned a lot but that it had started something else in me, something I hadn’t known was there. I told my friend that learning these things, having my eyes opened to just how far western society had sunk, had lit a fire in me. I was filled with a desire to do something about it, to try to show others how these ideas were evil disguised as good, and to reverse these terrible trends of thought.

“There is a war going on that hardly anyone even knows about but that affects everyone,” I said. “And I want to get into the fight.”

She invited me to a meeting of the local pro-life organisation. Since then, I’ve served in the war in Toronto and now in Rome, working in lobbying and education. In writing for LifeSiteNews for seven years, I’ve seen the big picture and learned that the same war is being fought on numerous fronts in nearly every country in the world.

I remember once being told by a woman who didn’t like the pro-life movement, that she rejected such “confrontational” language. She thought everyone should just be nice and get along, that people in the pro-life movement should drop terms like “opposition” and “fight”. I was told that we had to find “common ground” and “be a part of the dialogue” and not “shut ourselves off” from the political process with these “extreme” views.

But what else is it possible to call this but a war? We who do this work, in all sorts of venues, see that there are many people, deluded and corrupted by these false ideologies, who are clearly opposed to us, who want to continue expanding the Culture of Death until it has engulfed the whole world and all opposition is quashed and silenced forever. They want to remake the world in the image of a death camp.

How can this not be opposed? How can we try to “find common ground” with people who want to do this? How is this anything but a war? One that is fought in boardrooms, and parliaments, at the UN and the EU, in ethics committee rooms in hospitals and in doctors’ offices. It has already taken countless millions of innocent lives, and destroyed the souls and ruined the happiness of millions more?

I don’t hate the people who oppose us, but I know that what they want to do must be stopped. The world they want, though they don’t understand this, would be a horror, a dystopia worse than any science fiction movie.

A few months after I had moved to Toronto to work for Campaign Life Coalition, the pope came to visit. John Paul II made one of his last trips abroad to visit Canada for World Youth Day and as a participant, I went to confession in a big barn-like building on the CNE grounds with hundreds of others.

I picked the priest that day because he looked like the most austere one there. He was quite slim and wearing a long black Benedictine habit. I was expecting someone terribly holy and severe, but the fellow turned out to be quite a friendly Midwestern American who heard my confession and then patiently listened to me complain that God wasn’t letting me know what my vocation was.

Suddenly, he asked if I were married.

“No, I’m not married,” I said, somewhat taken aback.

“Ah,” he said, smiling mysteriously. “Any kids?”

“No.”

“You look after elderly relatives, perhaps?”

“Actually, I have no family, really,” I said, wondering where this was going.

He looked at me quite seriously and said, “Oh, the Lord just LOVES people like you. He can send you anywhere; you’re free to do anything for Him.”

At the time I just laughed, maybe a bit uncomfortably and went on my way.

I’ve thought a few times about that exchange, nearly ten years ago now and wondered if this young priest didn’t have prophetic powers. Because he had hit the nail smack on the head.

It’s true. I am free to go places and do things, to be mobile and available, in a way that a married woman with children or a sister in a community would not be. And I’m grateful for this, in a way, though it has given me reason to complain.

I know that a lot of our readers have the same fire in the guts. How could you not, when you read LifeSiteNews every day?

I know that we receive a lot of mail from people who say that they would love to do what we do but can’t. Many of our readers are parents with grave responsibilities that keep them from being involved more actively. You want to get into the fight, to change the world, to reverse the disaster that we can all see coming on the world.

This week, we are trying to raise funds to keep us going another year. The Death Movement, in all its manifestations, has the benefit of millions of dollars of government funds. They are given unimaginable resources by the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

It seems to be a rule with God that He likes to keep His employees on their toes. The pro-life movement is not funded by rich philanthropists. We are funded a bit at a time, by regular people, people with kids and jobs and mortgages, who want to be in on the fight.

This is the key that we have that the Death Movement doesn’t. They may have money, and a lot of political influence, but we’ve got you. Polls continually show that ordinary people don’t want legalised abortion. They’re horrified by atrocities like human/animal hybrid clones. They want the natural family to be protected. And they want to be involved. And that is what LifeSiteNews allows you to do.

I’ve written this before. There is a way in which we are your proxies and your conduit to the war’s battlefronts. We do this work in the way we do, with our phone lines open and our email address available, so that everyone who wants to can participate.

When we write articles, we do so every time with a mind to help people understand the Big Picture of the war against human life and the natural family. We work for you to help you be informed and to understand and know how you can fight in the war in your current situation, without having to move to Washington or Toronto or London or Rome. We include contact information so that you can write to add your voices to say, Stop.

This is something no other organisation does as well as we do. This is war, a terrible global war for lives and souls. And you are involved in it with us.

To the extent that your circumstances permit, please join with us in this good work with a financial contribution today.

I want to thank you, for your generosity over the years that has allowed me and the rest of the LSN staff to keep doing this work. And to thank you for being in it with us.

Hilary White
Rome

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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Federal judge strikes down Nebraska’s marriage law

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

LINCOLN, NE, March 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Homosexual activists celebrated another victory Monday as U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon once again ordered the state of Nebraska to stop enforcing its marriage protection amendment, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Bataillon, who was appointed by former president Bill Clinton, struck down the amendment when it was first challenged by gay activists ten years ago, but his decision was overturned by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Now that gay activists have challenged the law again, the judge has issued a new ruling barring its enforcement, citing the recent string of federal court victories by supporters of same-sex “marriage.”

Bataillon said laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples unfairly discriminate based on “archaic” and “outdated” gender stereotypes.  

“[Nebraska’s Marriage] Amendment explicitly creates a classification based on gender because a person's eligibility to marry, or to have his or her marriage recognized, is based on the gender of the individuals seeking to marry,” Bataillon wrote.  “[It] is an unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens.”

The judge rejected the state’s assertion that the citizens of Nebraska, who approved the marriage amendment in 2000 with 70 percent of the vote, should be the ones to make any changes to the societally accepted definition of marriage.

“The Amendment is not somehow insulated from review because it was enacted by a significant majority,” Bataillon wrote.  “Minorities trampled on by the democratic process have recourse to the courts; the recourse is called constitutional law.”

Bataillon also rejected the state’s argument that traditional male-female marriages deserve special protection because they are the natural, ideal environment in which children are conceived and raised.

“With the advent of modern science and modern adoption laws, same sex couples can and do responsibly raise children,” the judge wrote. “Unfortunately, this law inhibits their commendable efforts.”

Bataillon condemned the state’s prohibition of adoption by same-sex couples as “particularly harmful” and “constitutionally repugnant.”

“The State's supposed purpose in channeling children into stable relationships is not served by a same-sex marriage ban,” Bataillon wrote.  “It is both underinclusive in that it allows heterosexual people to have and rear children in unstable or abusive situations and at the same time prevents committed and stable same-sex couples from adopting and providing loving homes to children.”

“The policy has no rational connection to the State's purported purpose of strengthening families and, in fact, it thwarts that purpose by denying deserving children a stable home.”

In conclusion, the judge ordered state officials to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and granting full marital benefits to same-sex couples who “married” outside the state, writing: “All relevant state officials are ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage.”

Homosexual activists praised Bataillon’s ruling Monday, with the Nebraska ACLU calling it “a day for celebration.”

One of the homosexual plaintiffs in the case, Tracey Weitz, said she and her lesbian lover were taking the ACLU’s words to heart. “I think we'll have a bigger party than we did when we were married,” she told KETV.

But others were not as pleased with the decision, including state officials and some religious leaders.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman, and has as one of its principal purposes the procreation and rearing of children,” Roman Catholic Archbishop George Lucas and Bishops James Conley and William Dendinger said in a joint statement. "Marriage was established by God before the state and before the Church, and the vitality of both depends on the fruitful union of husband and wife."

“Because [Bataillon's] decision undermines the fundamental human right of every child to know, and as far as possible, be united with his or her mother and father, we pray for a just resolution in higher courts."

Bataillon made his order effective March 9, to give state officials a week to appeal.  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, a Republican, and Attorney General Doug Peterson immediately sought to overturn the ruling, filing a request for an emergency injunction with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The definition of marriage is an issue for the people of Nebraska, and an activist judge should not substitute his personal political preferences for the will of the people,” Ricketts said.  He said he and Peterson intend to keep up the fight to “uphold Nebraska's Constitution and the will of the people of our great state.”

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San Diego’s new bishop champions ‘seamless garment’ theory: poverty on same moral level as abortion

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By Hilary White

ROME, March 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pope Francis’ latest episcopal appointment in the United States, to the Diocese of San Diego, is a bishop known as a champion of leftwing political causes under the rubric of the “seamless garment” theory, placing abortion and euthanasia on the same moral level as immigration and poverty.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Bishop Robert McElroy, currently an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, will replace Bishop Cirilo Flores, who died of cancer last year.

The liberal Jesuit magazine America, with whom McElroy has a long and friendly relationship, was effusive at the appointment, calling McElroy an “advocate for the poor” and the appointment by Pope Francis “highly significant.” America’s Gerard O’Connell called McElroy “one of the intellectual heavyweights in the American hierarchy” who has “wholeheartedly embraced the vision and pastoral approach of Pope Francis.” He replaces Bishop Cirilo Flores, who died of cancer last year.

In a 2013 interview with O’Connell for La Stampa’s Inside the Vatican magazine, McElroy called poverty the “preeminent” issue for the Catholic Church, and complained, “In recent years, the conference of bishops has labeled abortion and euthanasia as the preeminent issues in the political order, but not poverty. This has had the effect of downgrading the perceived importance of poverty as a central focus for the Church’s witness.”

He added that the US bishops’ focus on issues of “intrinsic evil” like abortion, has distracted them from the fight against “structural sin” that is normally cited by the Church’s far-left as the cause of poverty. “I think that both issues should be intertwined in the Church’s approach to advancing the common good in the political order because I believe that it is compassion which morally unites these two issues – compassion for the suffering of the poor and compassion for the unborn.”

“I still am a believer in the underlying logic of Cardinal Bernardin’s seamless garment approach that saw all life issues as part of a continuum linked by the Catholic notions of compassion and justice.”

He made explicit his belief that the life issues are on an equal par with prudential matters like just war theory and immigration reform in a column for America the same year. Pope Francis’ “teachings demand a transformation of the existing Catholic political conversation in our nation, a transformation reflecting three themes: prioritizing the issue of poverty, focusing not only on intrinsic evils but also on structural sin, and acting with prudence when applying Catholic moral principles to specific legal enactments,” he wrote.

To truly be a “church for the poor,” the Catholic Church “must elevate the issue of poverty to the very top of its political agenda, establishing poverty alongside abortion as the pre-eminent moral issues.”

McElroy has also joined the left-leaning majority of US Catholic bishops in refusing to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. In a 2005 column for America, he called the proposal “partisan,” “Republican,” and “coercive.”

McElroy conceded that the existence of “pro-choice” Catholic politicians represents a “major failure in Church life,” but added that the suggestion that such people have excommunicated themselves “casts aside all the limitations and admonitions to pastoral solicitude that the church has traditionally demanded.” Repeating a favourite phrase of many US bishops, McElroy said that Americans “recoil from the use of the Eucharist as a political weapon.” 

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David F. Prentis

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Contraception gave us divorce and gay ‘marriage’ and will destroy us: here’s how

David F. Prentis
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March 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Although there has always been contraception, its acceptance and practice by society as a whole is a relatively new phenomenon. In the first part of the 20th century barrier methods became through mass production increasingly used. However, with the advent of the hormonal contraceptive pill in the 1960s the contraceptive era, ushering in the sexual revolution, really took off.

The term “revolution” is by no means exaggerated, for the result was a fundamental change in the understanding of human sexuality in society. With the pill, people thought, nothing can happen, i.e. no child could be conceived. Inhibitions broke down, so that there was an increase in adultery, living together before marriage and living together with no thought of marriage. Amoral sex education with the message, “You can do anything you like so long as your partner agrees and you use contraception. If there is an accident, have an abortion,” promoted sexual promiscuity from puberty onwards. Sexual activity has been degraded into a form of entertainment.

The immediate consequences of promiscuity starting in adolescence are obvious: the rampant increase of sexually transmitted diseases, infertility and the incapability of forming long-term relationships through frequent changes of partners and repeated disappointments.

The assumption that “nothing can happen” is erroneous, because contraceptives are by no means 100% effective. Children are conceived, and such “errors” must be corrected – the child is aborted.[1] The result has been devastating: the number of babies killed by abortion every year is about the same as the total number of deaths in the whole of World War II.

Apart from the carnage, enormous havoc is created in the relationship of the parents, whether married or not, very often leading to its breakdown. It would also be naive to imagine that Catholic women never resort to abortion.

The situation of couples practising NFP however is quite different. They are aware every day of the state of their fertility, asking themselves whether the marriage act on that day would result in conception; they do not lose sight of the child who could be conceived. They do not forget the fundamental purpose of the act. An unplanned child is therefore usually accepted.

The widespread practice of abortion leads to euthanasia. If it is acceptable to kill one category of people, then it is logically acceptable to kill others, specifically the ill, the handicapped and the old, for human life is no longer sacred. A chilling example of this kind of development can be seen in the National Socialist regime in Germany.

The pill “culture” leads to the rejection of children, small families, and a demographic winter. In the long-term it will be impossible to pay pensions. For couples practising NFP however, the child is neither an error nor a threat. Their natural love of children is not destroyed. They have larger families. The 15 teaching couples in our organisation, for example, have 62 children so far, an average of 4.1 per family.

The separation of sexual activity from child-bearing leads to the acceptance of the production of children through assisted reproduction without recourse to the marital act in the case of infertility. Through IVF society is being led, inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, to the acceptance of controlled reproduction. Human beings are reduced to products. They are mass produced, selected, rejected, frozen or used in experiments. They are treated as material goods, in short, as slaves.

Slavery has been formally reintroduced into society. A doctor, whether mixing sperm and eggs in a Petri dish or injecting a sperm into an egg, is playing God. The arrogance of it! Surely this modern sin should be listed amongst those which cry to heaven.

When the practice of sterilised sexual intercourse is accepted, it leads logically to the acceptance of all practices leading to orgasm: oral, anal, homosexual acts, etc. The whole homosexual movement has become possible only through the general acceptance of contraceptive practice and the reduction of sexuality to a source of entertainment.

The practice of contraception within marriage contains within itself the mutual rejection of the spouses. It leads to the destruction of love. It belongs to the nature of love to give oneself, even to the point of sacrifice, seen eminently in the self-sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Even in our ordinary life a mother’s sacrifice of herself for her child is by no means exceptional. A mother will naturally go to great lengths to help her child, exceptionally even giving up her own life. The marriage act is meant to be an act of mutual love. The natural fruit of that love is the child. The spouses give and receive each other mutually completely. Even during the naturally infertile days of the cycle they give each other all they have at that time – their mutual love.

But if they use contraception they say to each other subconsciously, “I do give myself to you, but without my fertility, and I don’t want your fertility either.” Is that love? The act which in its nature expresses the total self-giving and receiving of the spouses contains an element of rejection, and therefore becomes a lie. When this act of rejection is systematically and continually repeated, love dies. The marriage is at least burdened. Many marriages break down.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Couples who use NFP do not practise this subconscious, systematic rejection. From personal experience and observation of our clients we see that such marriages are more stable. This is also shown in studies. Greater stability is evident even in those without religious practice. [2]

Contraception, which leads logically to other evils as described above, is destroying society. There are too few children and nations are dying out. It leads to abortion, as those who promote it concede. The combination of promoting promiscuity through Godless sex education, the long-term use of hormonal contraception with back-up abortions and the postponement of child-bearing leads to increased infertility.

The solution offered is not a true therapy of infertility, but assisted reproduction which bypasses the normal process of transmission of life through the marriage act. The long-term purpose of this policy could well be the desire to subject reproduction to state control, which would allow only those children to be born who pass quality control. At present this is illusory, but the tendency can be seen. It would appear that an elite group wishes to create a society of virtual slaves obedient to their desires. A new totalitarianism is being formed.

To this end it is necessary to destroy or at least weaken marriage and the family. For this purpose contraception, especially the convenient hormonal forms, is eminently suitable. And those who pour their millions into the homosexual movement and the gender ideology are not concerned with helping homosexuals and those with problems of sexual identity. Rather they are using these people to extend the concept of marriage and ultimately to widen its meaning so much as to make it meaningless.

 


[1] Baklinski, P, Two-thirds of women seeking abortions were using contraception: Britain’s largest abortion provider, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/two-thirds-of-women-seeking-abortions-were-using-contraception-britains-lar

[2] Wilson, M.A.: The Practice of Natural Family Planning versu the Use of Artificial Birth Control: Family, Sexual and Moral Issues, Catholic Social Sceince Review, Volume VII, November 2002.

Rhomberg, W., Rhomberg, M, Weißenbach, H.: Natural Family Planning (NFP): The Symptothermal Method (Rötzer) as a Familiy Binding Tool. Results of a Survey among Members of INER, 2008, http://www.iner.org/files/02_anwenden/Download/NER%20Survey%202008%20Cathol%20Soc%20Sci%20Rev.pdf

 

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