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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Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

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11-year-old in Uruguay refuses to abort after rape

Sofia Vazquez-Mellado
By Sofia Vazquez-Mellado

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An 11-year-old girl in Uruguay is making headlines for refusing to abort after being raped by a 41-year-old relative. Pro-abortion organizations in the country are using the case to ask for a broadening in the law, which allows for abortion up until 12 weeks gestation, 14 weeks in cases of rape, and up to 9 months when the life or health of the mother are at risk or when the baby is “unviable.”

Local media report that the girl, who is 18 weeks pregnant, lived with her abuser for over a year prior to the pregnancy. Her mother is now asking authorities to make her abort, but according to the local newspaper La Diaria, a team of psychiatrists from Uruguay’s Child and Adolescent Institute (INAU) has said that “the girl’s position has been confirmed without a doubt: she wishes to be a mother.”

According to her relatives, the girl suffers from a mild mental incapacity, although she is not considered handicapped.

In a press conference, Susana Muñiz, president for the Association of State Health Services and former minister of health, said: “An 11-year-old girl obviously has a body not prepared to be pregnant, with a very small uterus.”

However, according to Monica Silva, head of the INAU’s Health Division, “There is no risk to the life of the girl nor that of the baby. We cannot force her to abort.”

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“Even if her mother wants it, it would be inhuman to force her to abort,” continued Silva. “The fact that there was a rape doesn’t allow me to force her to abort. This [aborting] may seem like a protection of her rights but it is against the girl’s will.”

Nevertheless, a press release “demanding” that the girl abort “immediately” was issued by several pro-abortion NGOs soon after, on May 12. “The hypocritical and bureaucratic system allows for her rights to be undermined without considering the cost this will bring to the girl,” it read.

“Who will take charge now to stop the undermining of her rights and protect her health and her life? How much longer do we need to wait before somebody decides responsibly on the interruption of that pregnancy?” it concluded.

In her interview, Silva also said the girl’s parents “never visited, with exception of one of the six siblings she has.”

 “The best that could happen would be to ensure that she has a ‘welcoming family,’ that would receive the girl with her baby,” continued Silva. “I doubt we can achieve that because it’s hard to find families who want this challenge.”

The girl remains under INAU’s care and her abuser has been imprisoned.

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Steve Weatherbe

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Christian jeweller made gay couples’ rings but still got targeted by gay lobby

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By Steve Weatherbe

MOUNT PEARL, Newfoundland, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) –While North Americans are used to reading about Christian business people being fined and excoriated for refusing to cater to homosexual weddings, Newfoundland has added a novel twist: there a Christian jeweller has been punished financially and deluged with hate mail even though he did do business with a homosexual couple.

Nicole White and Pam Renouf liked the service they got from Esau Jardon of Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, who took their deposit and proceeded to design and build them two engagement rings. They even recommended the store to friends.

But by the time one friend went there, the Mexican-born Jardon had put up a sign in his shop window marking Mother’s Day—and his strong, traditional Christian beliefs: “The Sanctity of Marriage IS UNDER ATTACK; Help Keep Marriage Between Man & Woman,” it read.

The friend went ballistic. Her picture of the sign went viral. The couple went back on their deal and back to the store, demanding their deposit. Today’s Jewellers’ Facebook page was so deluged with hundreds of hateful emails and many threats that Jardon and his brother, who is his business partner, have to shut it down.

LifeSiteNews asked White if Jardon had been punished enough. “Omigod, yes,” she responded. “Way, way too much.” But earlier she explained to a local newspaper why the couple cancelled their order. “The ring symbolizes love, and just knowing that that’s the sign that they have up there — every time I look at my ring, yes, I’ll think of us, clearly, but also everything we went through. So I don’t want my ring from there anymore. I just want my refund.”

At first, she reported, “They just said that that's their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it's very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said. “I have no issues with them believing in what they believe in. I think everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But I don't think they should put their personal beliefs inside their business.”

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Jardon, at first, was loath to return it, lest this be seen as an apology for his beliefs. Reached in Toronto, he told the St. John’s Telegram, “When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don't have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada... and we accept the whole package... I don't discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it's in my own business.”

But what is sauce for the gander is not sauce for the geese, or for the LGBT community that crowded onto the bandwagon, or for the CBC which was all too ready to label the jeweller’s sign “homophobic.”

However, some have offered support and sympathy. Rod Dreher, blogging at The American Conservative, observed that only so-called sexual minorities expected this kind of treatment. “Is a fundamentalist Christian permitted to send her osso buco back to the kitchen if she discovers that homosexual hands cooked it? Of course not. Some delicate snowflakes are more delicate than others.”

Referring to recent decisions by courts and human rights tribunals against Christian vendors who refused to serve homosexuals, Dreher concluded on an ironic note. The pressure on Jardon to return the deposit marked “the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.”

Jardon defends his right to his own opinion. “One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said.

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Canadians headed to the ballot box for the fall federal election should remember the right to life is 'the most basic thing in society,' the archbishop tells LifeSiteNews. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Exclusive: Clinging to Christ will help those struggling with sexual identity, says Montreal’s archbishop

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By Pete Baklinski

OTTAWA, May 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Montreal’s archbishop, Christian Lépine, weighed in on what the Catholic Church actually has to offer people struggling with the biological sex they were born with, telling LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview that it’s no mistake that God creates the human person as male or female and that every person must look for their identity within a “view of God.”

“The teachings of the Church as such, its most basic one, is that we’re made in the image of God. That's always the starting point. And when you lose track of that — that you're made in the image of God — then somehow you come to lose trust in who you are as a human being, and you know less of who you are, and you don't know anymore who you are, and you [find yourself] looking for your own identity outside of a view of God,” Lépine told LifeSiteNews last week one day prior to the annual National March for Life that drew an estimated 25,000 pro-life advocates.

Following the first book of the Bible, where it is stated that God created human beings as “male and female,” the Catholic Church has always taught, and continues to teach, that the male/female binary is God’s plan for mankind.

As the book of Genesis (1:27) states: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses that recognizing and preserving the male/female sexual difference is necessary for a healthy society.

“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out,” the Catechism states.

Lépine said that anytime questions about sexual identity arise for the faithful, “we must go back to the basics,” namely that “every human is created in the image of God, and of course, biblically, every human being exists as a woman or as a man.”

The archbishop’s words are foreign to mainstream notions of so-called ‘gender fluidity’ where male/female difference is construed as a social construct and ultimately as a personal choice.

Lépine acknowledged that some people suffer when it comes to accepting their own sexual identity as either a male or female based on biological characteristics.

“Sometimes people have sufferings about their own desires, or about their own sense of identity, or about the fact that masculinity and femininity exists, or about the fact that you as ‘human being’ [exist] as a male or female, as a man or as a woman.”

He called the male/female binary “a reality that is part of the [human] experience,” adding that it is also “taught in the Bible.”

Lépine stressed that the Church does not leave people “looking for a meaning in their lives and their own sense of identity” to struggle on their own, but offers them many helps and aids, including a clear anthropology on the nature of the human person.

“As Christians, we have the Bible to help people. We have Jesus Christ to help people. We have faith in God to help people. So, going back, [we must be] conscious that we are made in the image of God. And our own sexuality — what is the meaning of being a man or woman — is related to our vocation to love. And, every human being as such, made in the image of God — being a man or woman — is called to love.”

“So, how [are we] to help [such] people? You can talk about things theoretically, which is one thing. But also, we have to be conscious of people who live through situations where they're looking for their own identity and we need, I think, the Bible and faith to help them.”

Fluid notions of gender have been criticized by Pope Francis on at least three occasions, and prior to this, by Pope Benedict XVI.

“Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion," Pope Francis told young people during his voyage to Naples, Italy last March.

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In his 2012 Christmas greeting, Pope Benedict condemned gender theory as a “profound falsehood” since it denies the male and female sex as a “given element of nature.” According to Benedict, instead of acknowledging that God created people male and female, gender theory posits the existence of sexual social constructions that people can decide to conform to or not.

“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

“When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being,” Benedict concluded. “The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, Lépine spoke about the need to “promote relentlessly life and respect for life” in the face of the country’s top court setting the legal stage for allowing doctors to end the lives of their patients under the pretext of compassion and mercy.

“You don't take care of someone when you suppress the life of someone, because you're not solving a problem. You're suppressing the person. It doesn't work,” he said.

Referring to the upcoming federal election this fall, the archbishop called “life and the right-to-life and dignity of the person” an “important subject, because it's the most basic thing in society.” 

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