NewsMon Dec 22, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Lancaster Bishop Pulls Funding from Ex-Catholic Adoption Agency
By Hilary White
LANCASTER, UK, December 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A UK Catholic Bishop has carried out his threat to de-fund the formerly Catholic charitable organisation that had been attached to his diocese over their decision to begin considering homosexual partners in their adoption services.
Bishop Patrick O’Donohue of Lancaster in North West England, wrote in an open letter to the adoption agency that the date of his resignation from the board “will forever be etched” in his memory “because it was on that day that the relationship between the Diocese of Lancaster and Catholic Caring Services suffered an irretrievable breakdown.”
In his letter, dated December 17, Bishop O’Donohue wrote that because of the agency’s “tragic rejection of the Church’s moral teaching,” it will not be allowed to call itself a Catholic organisation or receive any funding from the diocese.
Last year, the Labour government passed its Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR) that prohibit religious groups or individuals from refusing to provide goods and services to homosexuals. This created an uproar in the media when the government refused to allow a special opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies who would now be forced to consider homosexual partners.
The decision by Bishop O’Donohue to de-fund the Lancaster agency is in contrast to the decisions of four other dioceses in England that have opted to continue financing even though the social service agencies that have severed ties with the Church.
Despite claims to the contrary, both by the agencies and many of the UK’s Catholic bishops, it has been revealed that the law itself contains an exemption for groups that are committed to operating according to their religious beliefs. A UK expert in religious discrimination law, Neil Addison, told LifeSiteNews.com that with this legal opt-out already in place, none of the Catholic adoption agencies were necessarily facing closure by the law. To the contrary, Addison said, these agencies had chosen to secularise voluntarily solely because of their refusal to act in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church. To date, Bishop O’Donohue is the only Catholic bishop in the UK who has refused to allow his charitable arm to secularise.
The Lancaster agency trustees, wrote Bishop O’Donohue, have created this situation by voting 9-1 in favour of dropping the title “Catholic.” This signified their “capitulation” to the SORs with “no attempt at resistance.” Bishop O’Donohue said that the trustees had rejected “out of hand” all his attempts to bring about a legal solution that would neither compromise the agency’s Catholic character, nor violate the law.
Bishop O’Donohue wrote, “Though Catholic Caring Services are involved in a whole range of valuable work with the disabled, the disadvantaged and the marginalised, how can I allow the Catholic Church to be associated with a body that has chosen a path that co-operates with actions that are against the explicit moral teaching of the Church?”
As a registered religious charity, the Lancaster agency will also likely have to review its legal situation when the diocese informs the government’s Charity Commission that it is no longer willing to act “in accordance with Catholic moral teaching.” According to British law, religious charities must act in accordance with their constitutions, or “charitable objects,” identifying the work they do as religious bodies.
The bishop told the board that his insistence that Catholic Caring Services refuse to consider homosexual partners for adoption grows out of his conviction, bolstered by the teaching of the Catholic Church and sociological research, that children develop and thrive best in the context of natural marriage.
“It is God’s intention that children are nurtured and raised by a loving father and mother, who become role models to boys and girls about what it means to be a husband and wife, a mother and a father. That this is seen as an unrealistic ideal by some in politics and the media shows how far our society has distorted morality,” the bishop wrote.
“If Catholic Caring Services truly hold that the needs of children are paramount it would do whatever possible to ensure that a child is placed with a father and a mother.”
The bishop announced in the same letter that the diocese would be instigating a new charitable agency to carry on social services, including adoptions, in a manner in keeping with the Catholic Church’s commitment to the good of children. Bishop O’Donohue has asked for support for the new initiative
To donate to the new Catholic adoption agency of the Lancaster diocese:
Attn. Mr. Paul Ryan,
Diocesan Finance Office,
Phone: 01524 596059
Fax: 01524 596058
Email: [email protected]
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
UK Catholic Adoption Agencies Voluntarily Refuse Religious Opt-Out Clause for Homosexual Adoption
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
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.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
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.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
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.
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.