Christine Dhanagom

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Kala’s hope: a family remembers a baby that defied the odds

Christine Dhanagom
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August 10, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) -  “Why do you even want to bother?”

Elizabeth and Hugh Poza were stunned by the question. Coming from the doctor whose help they had hoped to enlist in curing their daughter’s deafness, it seemed a rejection of the very worth of her life.
 
At ten months, their little girl, Kala Marie, had a huge medical file. She had begun life with profound deafness, severe congenital heart defects, a cleft lip and palate, seizures, and lung problems that made her dependent on a tracheostomy (a tube inserted into her throat) to breathe. 
 
A surgery at birth had corrected her cleft lip and palate, and her parents hoped that her ears were developed enough to benefit from cochlea implants. They had to fight just to obtain the exam that would determine whether she could receive the implants.
 
It was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that the couple found themselves defending the dignity of Kala’s life.
 
When doctors told the Pozas at five months’ gestation about Kala’s condition, they delivered a grim prognosis: the baby would most likely die in utero, or shortly after birth. If she survived, her quality of life, the couple was told, would be “nothing.”  They were encouraged to consider an abortion.
 
Instead, the family went shopping for baby clothes and began preparing a nursery to welcome their second child. 
 
“I don’t care what kind of life it is that comes into this world or how long it is. Every life is precious,” said Elizabeth, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.
 
While it turned out that Kala’s ears were not developed enough for the implants, the little girl who was supposed to have “no quality of life,” went on to attend a school for the deaf and became fluent in sign language.
 
She overcame all the odds merely by surviving. But she didn’t just survive. For the five-and-a-half years that God gave her on earth, Kala lived her life to the fullest and touched countless other lives with her infectious joy and hope, says Elizabeth.
 
From the moment of her birth, it was clear that Kala was determined to live. Just drawing her first breath was a struggle, but she conquered it. After one brief, peaceful moment in her mother’s arms, her heart-rate plummeted and she was whisked away for treatment. She spent the next nine-and-a-half months in the hospital and had to be put into a medically induced coma.
 
Gradually, she recovered and gained strength. Doctors warned the family that she may never even be able to sit erect, but she doggedly passed each benchmark: she sat, crawled, stood, walked, learned to communicate, and, just before her death, learned to breathe without her tracheostomy.
 
“I was so impressed with her fighting spirit, because she defied all odds, and it was almost like, ‘Ha-ha, look at me,’” Elizabeth said, with a laugh.

And her family members say through it all, she just never stopped smiling. “She could send God’s joy through a room in seconds,” says Kala’s paternal grandmother Karen Poza.

According to one of Kala’s aunts, Marie Hennessy, the entire extended family quickly realized that it was not Kala who needed them, but they who needed Kala.  

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She was “a beacon,” Marie says, remembering how Kala’s warm, loving nature had helped her husband, Jon, to feel at ease when he first met her extended family.

“She reached out to Jon,” added Marie. “She would always take the person who seemed to need her most.”

Kala’s love reached far beyond the family circle, to people she barely even knew, noted her mom.

“It didn’t matter if you knew her for her entire life, or if you had just met her, she made you smile. She would connect with people,” says Elizabeth “She just knew that she had to give as much joy as possible in that short period of time, and she did.”

It wasn’t until Kala’s death, in May 2008, that the family fully realized the number of people whose lives she had touched.

When Kala’s fragile heart finally gave out one night, the family was floored by how many came to the funeral to share in their grief and celebrate the life of their little girl. The church was packed with family and friends decked out in bright, cheerful clothing. The organ rang out the vibrant, upbeat music that Kala had always loved in the happy thought that the vibrations from the floor may still reach Kala’s lifeless body. 

Her death and her funeral were “a true testament to her life,” says Elizabeth, who likened Kala’s death to her birth.

“Her birth was beautiful. I was laughing through it, I got to hold her. We had at least 50 people in this tiny room awaiting her presence,” Elizabeth said. “And her death was so much the same, because, I know as odd as that sounds, so many people I think are afraid of death, and she was completely peaceful.”

She adds, “Had I ever said that I wanted to terminate my pregnancy I would never have had that opportunity to share with the world the joy and the love of that one life.”

Kala’s presence can still be felt, and family members say they know that she is a powerful intercessor in Heaven.  After discovering that she had lost a tooth the night of her death, they began praying to her to recover lost objects. “Within no time, we usually find whatever we lost,” says Vanessa Mosher, Kala’s godmother.

The family plans to establish a foundation in her memory called “Kala’s Hope,” which will raise funds to help children and their families through the anguish of long-term hospitalization.

The name of the foundation expresses the special gift that Kala left behind. 

“Anybody who knew her and knew the struggles that she went through got hope from it, because there is a child who is in so much pain,” Elizabeth says, “and yet she would smile and give you a hug and she would love you.”

 



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Prof. Robert Spaemann, a close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, says Amoris Laetitia directly contradicts St. John Paul II’s teaching.
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Pope’s exhortation is a ‘breach’ with Catholic Tradition: leading German philosopher

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Catholic philosopher and close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Thursday that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia is a “breach” with Catholic tradition and directly contradicts the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II in his exhortation Familiaris Consortio.

"If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order."

Professor Robert Spaemann told the Catholic News Agency’s German branch that changing the Church’s sacramental practice would be “a breach with its essential anthropological and theological teaching on human marriage and sexuality.”

“It is clear to every thinking person who knows the texts that are important in this context that [with Amoris Laetitia] there is a breach” with the Church’s Tradition, Spaemann said.

The professor’s remarks were translated by Dr. Maike Hickson in an article at OnePeterFive.

In Familiaris Consortio, Pope St. John Paul II upheld the Church’s longstanding approach to the question of admitting to the Sacraments remarried divorcees, by writing:

…the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia seemingly contradicts the above passage by asserting that in certain cases, integrating back into the Church the divorced and remarried and others in “irregular” situations “can include the help of the sacraments.”  The footnote then mentions both Confession and the Eucharist.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan criticized Amoris Laetitia for its lack of clarity on the subject.  “Analyzing some of the affirmations of AL with an honest understanding, as they are in their own context, one finds that there is a difficulty in interpreting them according to the traditional doctrine of the Church,” wrote Schneider.

Spaemann also condemned the exhortation’s seeming embrace of “situation ethics” as opposed to universal norms and its call to not judge people’s actions that directly contradict the Church’s sexual ethics.

“When it comes to sexual relations which are in objective contradiction to the Christian order of life, I would like to know from the pope after which time period and under which conditions such an objectively sinful behavior becomes a conduct which is pleasing to God,” said Spaemann. 

By turning “chaos into principle” with “one stroke of a pen,” Pope Francis is leading the Church “into the direction of schism,” Spaemann said—and he warned that such a schism would not be “at the periphery, but in the middle of the Church.” 

Spaemann also warned that Amoris Laetitia may be used to bully faithful priests. He wrote:

Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.

RELATED

Famed German Catholic philosopher makes waves for criticizing Pope Francis’ ‘autocratic’ style



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The Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified health center, has been running an abortion facility in apparent violation of federal law.
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Federally funded community health center may have illegally performed abortions: Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A federally qualified health center (FQHC) apparently performed abortions, although nearly all federal funds are forbidden from being used for that purpose, sources tell LifeSiteNews. Now, pro-life congressmen are demanding further investigations into the use of U.S. taxpayer funds to promote abortion-on-demand.

The issue came to light when a federal inspector general's report found that six Americorps volunteers had been acting as "abortion doulas," giving emotional support to women who chose to have abortions.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) allowed the volunteers – who received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – to support abortions that took place inside a New York abortion facility run by the Institute for Family Health (IFH).

Americorps “volunteers” illegally supporting abortion at taxpayer expense is an ongoing problem. But there's more to the story.

The IFH proudly advertises itself as a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Federal dollars are restricted from underwriting most abortion at FQHCs, in line with the Hyde Amendment. This does not hold true for the Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare.

To ease qualms raised by pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak and others, on March 24, 2010, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13535. It states that “the Hyde [Amendment] language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers...I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.”

Pro-life groups warned at the time that an executive order was insufficient to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion, and the law itself had to be amended – or defeated.

Stupak, who voted for ObamaCare before retiring from Congress, later said he was “perplexed and disappointed” by President Obama's “double cross” during the law's implementation.

Pro-life experts today say Congress must investigate whether the law is being violated and, if so, if the offense is isolated to IFH.

"For years the Obama administration has claimed that the Affordable Care Act and federally-funded health centers do not subsidize abortion, and the president finally signed additional provisions, passed last year by Congress, to ensure that community health centers do not use federal funds to support abortion,” said Arina Grossu, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “Now we learn that CNCS is violating the law by helping women obtain abortions.”

“This blatant violation of federal law by CNCS and AmeriCorps demands that Congress investigate government-funded community health centers,” Grossu said. “It's time for this administration to stop foisting its radical abortion agenda on the American people and using their tax dollars to do so.” 

Pro-life advocates have long said that there is no need to fund Planned Parenthood, because federal women's health dollars could be reappropriated to FQHCs, which do not perform abortion.

There are 9,170 federally qualified health centers compared to about 700 Planned Parenthood facilities, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. FQHCs see 21.1 million patients a year, while Planned Parenthood saw 2.8 million people, the institute reported.

The latest example of federal dollars being channeled to support abortion, the law notwithstanding, has undermined some confidence in the FQHCs.

Rep. Diane Black, a pro-life Republican from Tennessee, said, “NACHC didn’t just break the rules; they broke trust with the American people. My constituents expect that federal funding given to our community health centers will be used to protect and enhance people’s lives, not to be a willing partner in their destruction.”

At least two Congressional leaders – the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the chair of the House Health Subcommittee – have promised they will take action immediately.

“Federal law demands that taxpayer dollars are never to be spent on abortion activities. Not one penny. Period. But a disturbing report from an independent watchdog reveals that was not the case with brazen pursuits by the National Association of Community Health Centers,” said Congressmen Fred Upton and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, both Republicans. “The law was violated and this shameful failure of trust will not be tolerated.”



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Abortion lobbyists demand Ted Cruz renounce pro-life leader Troy Newman

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WICHITA, Kansas, April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The nation's largest abortion providers, an abortion lobbying group, and an ultra-liberal political organization are demanding that Senator Ted Cruz cut ties with Operation Rescue President Troy Newman – something that only proves how effective he has been, Newman's organization says.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way are asking Cruz to fire Newman as national co-chair of the “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, claiming that Newman supports violence.

“Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale,” the three say in a letter to Sen. Cruz, linking to quotations from his 2000 book, Their Blood Cries Out.

“What Planned Parenthood and their cohorts call 'violent rhetoric' is really a discussion of Old Testament Bible verses taken out of context,” said Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue and co-author of the book Their Blood Cries Out. The work establishes the sinful guilt of abortion before highlighting the mercy available in the New Testament for those who accept Jesus Christ, Sullenger said.

The letter also cites a report from the National Abortion Federation stating that abortionists have experienced an increase in “hate speech and internet harassment” since the release of CMP's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, “which Newman was a driving force behind.”

“What they call 'harassment' is peaceful activism that is completely protected by the First Amendment,” Sullenger responded.

Newman has consistently denounced criminal action and violence of any kind during his decades in the pro-life movement, Operation Rescue said of the allegations – many of which were circulated to prevent Newman from entering Australia last year.

“Newman’s position on abortion-related violence is clear. He denounces violence against abortion providers as well as the violence perpetrated by the abortion cartel against innocent babies in the womb and their mothers,” Sullenger said.

“Attacking the messenger is the only way they have to try to discredit the hefty volume of evidence against them. This most recent attack is all about manipulating the public’s perception against those who exposed Planned Parenthood in order to deflect attention from their own crimes.”

But the three groups poured vitriolic scorn on Newman. Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, called Newman's role “completely unacceptable...No politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, "Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue.”

A Planned Parenthood executive said the choice proved Sen. Cruz and his vice presidential choice, Carly Fiorina, are unfit for office.

“It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government” to defund Planned Parenthood, said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This is what the Cruz-Fiorina ticket stands for."

Sullenger dismissed their rhetoric as “a feeble attempt to hurt the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, who they know will seek to enforce the laws against them.”

Cruz has repeatedly stated that, if he is elected president, he will defund Planned Parenthood – before prosecuting them.

Their letter has led to a number of articles in the mainstream media, including Politico, the Huffington Post, and Glamour. The last publication, a feminist magazine aimed at young women, slammed Ted Cruz's choice of Carly Fiorina for vice president, telling its readers to “hold on to your uterus.”

“Not one of these publications bothered to reach out to Newman or Operation Rescue’s staff for their response,” Sullenger said.

This morning and afternoon, both sides of the abortion debate have used the Twitter hashtag #FireTroy to get their message across.

Sen. Cruz has not responded to the call, but the letter implies that purging Newman from the campaign would not satisfy the pro-abortion coalition. “There are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns,” they say.



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