Thursday October 8, 2009

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Commentary on October 8 News

Dear Readers,

The US Catholic Bishops Conference is taking a hard line on the lack of conscience protection and clear prohibition of abortion funding in the Democrats’ health care proposals. The USCCB is not buying the White House smokescreen. This is good.

Is it just me or do most of you also feel acute embarrassment for the infantile tactics of the pro-abortion demonstrators at McGill University? As well, why are university security personel and police so cowardly and totally ineffective when faced with these disruptive, coddled children tantrums? I would be ashamed and get another job.

Irish Redemptorist priest, Fr. Gerard Moloney says that the critics of the lavish Ted Kennedy Funeral were “self-righteous “holier-than-thous” who lacked compassion.” I guess that must also include Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, the highest tribunal in the Catholic Church, who stated that Kennedy should not have even had a Catholic funeral. However, a perusal of the articles in Fr. Moloney’s magazines gives a good indication that he is probably not happy about many aspects of the Catholic faith – just like Ted Kennedy.

Steve Jalsevac

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Hiding Behind Hyde: More “Deception” and “Smokescreens” from the White House on Abortion

By James Tillman

Washington, DC, October 8, 2009 ( – Yesterday CNS News reporter Fred Lucas asked White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, if the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was wrong in claiming in a recent letter to the Senate that the health reform bills considered in committee fail to prevent the use of federal dollars for abortion.

Gibbs responded: “Well, I don’t want to get me in trouble at church, but I would mention there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion that isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.”

Gibbs’ statement echoes similar claims by President Obama, such as that made on August 20 when he said: “There are no plans under health reform to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortions.”

A spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) responded to Gibbs’ statements, however, saying that Gibbs “once again demonstrated that the White House is a partner in an ongoing smuggling operation, which if successful will result in funding of abortion on demand by the federal government.”

Pro-life commentators and legal analysts have pointed out that Gibbs’ and the President’s statements denying the abortion mandate in the health care reform are simply disingenuous.

The prohibition to which Gibbs was apparently referring is the Hyde Amendment, which currently prohibits the use of federal money for abortions. But, as Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List pointed out, the health reform plan is funded in such a manner that the Hyde Amendment would be utterly irrelevant to it. As formulated, nothing in the Hyde Amendment could stop the proposed plans from funding abortion.

“No matter how many times the President and his allies repeat it, the Hyde Amendment will not protect the taxpayer from government-funded abortion on-demand in health care,” said Dannenfelser. “The truth is, without an explicit exclusion, abortion will be covered in any public plan. Abortion will also be subsidized by our tax dollars in private plans through government subsidies.

Language prohibiting this from happening “has been voted down five times, three times in the House and twice in the Senate just last week,” pointed out Dannenfelser. “All this dodging, weaving, and obfuscation by abortion advocates needs to stop.”

In fact, under the House healthcare bill (H.R. 3200), as amended by the Capps-Waxman Amendment, the public plan would be explicitly authorized to cover elective abortions. The public plan would be a program within the Department of Health and Human Services, which, as a federal agency, could not pay for abortions with anything other than federal funds.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the NRLC, said that “Gibb’s statement is one more proof, if any more were needed, that the White House is actively engaged in a political smuggling operation — an attempt to achieve funding of elective abortion by the federal government, cloaked in smokescreens of contrived language and outright deception.”

Johnson pointed out that “there is no current federal law that would prevent the new programs created by the pending health care bills from paying for abortion on demand — and the White House knows this full well. Only language written directly into the bills would prevent government funding of abortions — but such language has been blocked by the Democratic chairmen of five congressional committees, with White House cooperation, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to allow the House to even vote on adding a true Hyde Amendment to the health care bill.”

“I worked with Henry Hyde and personally treasure the legacy of respect he left for women and the unborn,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser. “He would be appalled to see his name used to defend the greatest expansion of government support for abortion on-demand since Roe v. Wade. I encourage Americans to get the facts at, and then use that information to contact Congress and the President, and tell them to stop hiding behind Henry Hyde.”

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U.S. Bishops Will “Vigorously” Oppose Health Care if Abortion Concerns Not Addressed

By John Jalsevac

October 8, 2009 ( – Three U.S. bishops have written to Congress expressing their “disappointment” that the healthcare bills currently being considered in Congress have not addressed the issue of federal funding of abortion, and warning that unless their concerns are addressed, the U.S. bishops will have to oppose “vigorously” the health care reform legislation.

Writing on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the three bishops said in a letter released today, “We are writing to express our disappointment that progress has not been made on the three priority criteria for health care reform that we have conveyed previously to Congress.”

“In fact,” they point out, “the Senate Finance Committee rejected a conscience rights amendment accepted earlier by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”

The three signatories of the letter, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Bishop William Murphy and Bishop John Wester, chair the Committees on Pro-Life Activities, Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Migration, respectively, for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). They had previously sent a letter to the senate on September 30, outlining their concerns with the healthcare overhaul plan.

The bishops go on to threaten that, if the healthcare legislation fails to meet the core principles outlined by them in their previous communications, “we will have no choice but to oppose the bill.”

Those core principles include ensuring that federal funds do not pay for abortions and the inclusion of strenuous conscience protections. The bishops also emphasize the need for affordable care, and for the legislation to provide coverage for legal immigrants.

“We sincerely hope that the legislation will not fall short of our criteria,” write the bishops. “However, we remain apprehensive when amendments protecting freedom of conscience and ensuring no taxpayer money for abortion are defeated in committee votes. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.”

In an interview yesterday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded to the bishops’ previously stated concerns by prolonging the White House tactic of simply denying the abortion mandate in the healthcare legislation.

When asked about the bishops’ statement from their September 30th letter, saying that the health reform bills still have not barred federal funds from paying for abortion, Gibbs responded simply, “Well, I don’t want to get me in trouble at church, but I would mention there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion that isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.”

Gibbs was presumably referring to the Hyde Amendment, which has traditionally prevented federal funds from paying for abortions. However, legal analysts have pointed out that the health care legislation includes amendments, such as the Capps-Waxman Amendment, that specifically allow federal funds to pay for abortions under the plan.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the national federation of right-to-life affiliates, said in response: “Gibbs’ statement is one more proof, if any more were needed, that the White House is actively engaged in a political smuggling operation – an attempt to achieve funding of elective abortion by the federal government, cloaked in smokescreens of contrived language and outright deception.”

In their September 30 letter to the Senate, the three bishops, representing the USCCB, had written, “No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion.”

“It is essential” they said, “to clearly include longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding/mandates and protections for rights of conscience.”

But so far, they observed, “the health reform bills considered in committee, including the new Senate Finance Committee bill, have not met President Obama’s challenge of barring use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws. These deficiencies must be corrected.”

The bishops also emphasized the need for strenuous conscience protections for healthcare workers.

“For decades,” they wrote, “…Congress has respected the right of health care providers not to be involved in any abortions or abortion referrals, and has respected moral and religious objections in other areas as well.

“The Weldon amendment to the Labor/HHS appropriations act, approved by Congress each year since 2004, forbids any federal agency or program, and any state or local government receiving federal funds under the Act, to discriminate against individual or institutional health care providers or insurers because they decline to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortion.”

They concluded, “Health care reform legislation should reflect longstanding and widely supported current policies on abortion funding, mandates, and conscience protections because they represent sound morality, wise policy, and political reality.”

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Outrage: Footage Shows Pro-Abort Students Shouting Down Pro-Life Presenter

The pro-abortion protesters, two of whom were arrested, now say they “feel their right to assemble has been violated.”

By Patrick B. Craine

MONTREAL, Quebec, October 8, 2009 ( – A pro-life presentation at McGill University erupted in chaos Tuesday after a mob of pro-abortion students were allowed to silence the pro-life message while university officials made meek attempts to intervene until the designated time ran out.

Ironically, following the event the pro-abortion protesters complained that their ‘right to assemble’ was violated.

The videotaped presentation, entitled ‘Echoes of the Holocaust,’ was given by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform’s Jose Ruba and hosted by McGill University’s Choose Life club. The talk aimed to draw a parallel between past genocidal atrocities and abortion. The entire ordeal is now available on YouTube.

As Ruba began to speak, a woman in the audience stood up and told him that he was not welcome. A group then began banging on desks and shouting, “Please go! Please go!”

After Ruba explained to the protesters that he would like to hear their side of the debate, one of them shot back, “It’s not a debate!” Another said, “We don’t need hate speech at our university.”

Ruba began displaying images on the screen, prompting the mob to take over the front of the room and block them. Smiling and laughing as they prevented Ruba from speaking, they made noise in a variety of ways, such as singing children’s songs and telling jokes. At one point, they even sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to abortion, in English and French.

Security asked the protesters to be quiet or leave, but when the protesters refused, security backed off. They intervened occasionally as protesters stood on tables, grabbed at Ruba’s written materials, or fiddled with equipment.

The police eventually arrived (see video 8 of 19), and after speaking with the students, the officer gave them five minutes to stand down or leave. Two were arrested and the rest joined the audience, mostly gathering to one side.

Ruba was able to deliver the first thirty minutes of his presentation, but the mob stood and continued yelling at him as he made every point.

When the designated time ran out, Choose Life founder and president Natalie Fohl ended the event. Ruba had been able to discuss past genocides such as the Holocaust, and those in Armenia and Cambodia, but had not had the opportunity yet to draw the connection with abortion.

Despite the two arrests, CTV reports that the two protesters were released and no charges were laid. In fact, the protesters have complained that their rights were infringed by police having been called to break up the protest. According to Student Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) Equity Commissioner Jonathan Hann, “They feel their right to assemble has been violated, and they were treated unjustly and unfairly because of it,” reports the McGill Daily,

The SSMU passed a motion last week by a vote of 25-2-2 to censure the event, seek its cancellation by the university, and refuse funding to Choose Life should the group proceed despite the censure.

The SSMU executive issued an open letter yesterday in reaction to Tuesday night’s presentation, condemning the university for allowing the event to happen despite SSMU’s censure.

“Vulnerable students tried to communicate their concerns to the University through the available channels: the SSMU executive, SSMU Council, AUS [Arts Undergraduate Society] Council, the McGill Tribune, and The McGill Daily,” it reads. “There were no other avenues through which to stop this event, which they deemed as victimizing, offensive, and stifling of educated debate, from happening.”

“Furthermore it is unfair to expect these student protesters to calmly watch a presentation and engage with a speaker when such a presentation would make them feel violated, demonized, and silenced,” they continued. “This event created a hostile environment and should not have been permitted. It is possibly most disappointing that when students peacefully engaged in a public response to this hostile environment, they were removed through a police intervention.”

Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson, who had defended Choose Life’s right to have Ruba speak, stood his ground, insisting that the university “want[s] to foster debate,” reports McGill Daily. “We do not want to restrict the expression of ideas,” he said. “As I said to SSMU when I was asked to intervene and cancel the event, I said ‘Look, debate free of constraint is important as long as the discourse remains civil, does not violate a law, or McGill’s code of conduct and disciplinary procedures’.”

“[The event] was scheduled in a room that was not a public space [and] not in an open public area,” he continued. “The publicity of the event advised individuals of the nature of the graphic imagery, and the graphic imagery was confined to the room. So in that sense, I felt the event was an appropriate event.”

The SSMU is hosting a ‘Controversial Events Townhall’ meeting with Mendelson this evening. It will be an open forum in which students will discuss the question: “How should the SSMU and McGill decide what events should and should not be allowed in the Shatner Building and on campus?”

See the footage from the event.

See related coverage:

McGill Pro-Life Presentation Shut Down by Protesters – Two Arrested

McGill Student Union Threatens Pro-Life Club with Defunding for Hosting Event

McGill University’s Student Union to Vote Tonight on Motion to Censure Pro-Life Event

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Gender Theory a “Lethal Ideology” Alien to African Culture African Prelate tells Synod

“Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West,” said Archbishop Sarah

By Hilary White

ROME, October 8, 2009 ( – Gender theory, the materialist philosophy that sees human sexuality as not intrinsic to the human person but as a “social construct” based on “choice,” is a “lethal ideology” and “contrary to African culture,” a senior Vatican prelate said yesterday.

This ideology, said Archbishop Robert Sarah, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is being imposed on African countries from the West and brings with it a host of evils including abortion, artificial contraception and the legitimization of homosexuality.

“Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West,” said Archbishop Sarah. “It is our pastoral responsibility to enlighten African consciences about the threats of this lethal ideology.”

Speaking at the afternoon session of the ongoing Synod of the African Catholic bishops in Rome, the archbishop told the assembled 197 African bishops that gender theory “is a Western socializing ideology” that is the foundation of the political and cultural destruction of the natural family.

Gender theory, Sarah continued, “puts pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to … contraceptive and abortion services … as well as homosexuality” as part of the concept of “reproductive health.”

It places the “right to choose” as the “supreme value of this new ethic” in which “homosexuality becomes a culturally acceptable choice and access to this choice must be promoted.”

The archbishop’s comments followed an intervention yesterday morning at the Synod when one bishop warned against the incursions of Western NGOs into Africa, saying that they have “hidden agendas” pushing contraceptives and abortion as part of population control policies.

Sarah, formerly archbishop of Conakry in Guinea, echoed a theme of the Synod, saying, “There is no peace, no justice, no stability in society without family, without cooperation between man and woman, without a father and without a mother.

“For the sake of non-discrimination, this ideology creates serious injustices and compromises peace.”

Gender theory has been identified by experienced pro-family lobbyists at the United Nations as the underlying ideology behind the international movement to legitimize and promulgate throughout the world the effects of the sexual revolution in the West. One of its founding philosophers, feminist Simone de Beauvoir, summarized its ideas when she said, “One is not born a woman, one becomes one.”

Pro-family NGOs continue to warn that the philosophy driving much international aid work in Africa is one that emphasizes population control, abortion, sterilization and contraception as a cornerstone of poverty reduction.

Read related coverage:

Interview With Babette Francis on the UN’s Destruction of the Concept of Gender

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Relativism in Europe has Created Demographic Crisis: European Bishops

By Hilary White

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, October 8, 2009 ( – Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet empire, the people of Europe have been using their hard-won freedom to indulge in relativism and materialism, said the European bishops in a recent statement. According to the bishops, this materialism has led Europeans to avoid having children which has created a looming demographic crisis

The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, (CCEE) holding their plenary assembly last week, wrote, “The development of the European Union has gone hand in hand with a growth in consumption, at least for some people.”

“The mere constant acquisition of goods will never fill people’s hearts … The rules of the market and competition will never give birth to the ideal. “

In the drive to “exercise individual choice and to seek personal fulfilment,” the bishops said, societies risk falling into violence.

“A society in which each individual, each group, each nation defends only their own vested interests cannot but be the jungle. Without justice, without sharing, without solidarity, social life sinks into violence. We should not be surprised then if mafia and terrorist organizations thrive against this background.”

They warned against the risk of “relativism” and particularly “ethical relativism” in which “each person sets their own norms and claims their own rights.”

Without specifying the rampant use in Europe of artificial contraceptives or the continent’s sky-high abortion rates, the bishops warned that this relativism has led to a society in crisis in which “low birth rates and the future of its demography do not lead to optimism.”

“To promote the common good and respect for the environment, men and women are prepared to make sacrifices to be shared by others. The defence of life, from conception to natural death, is not a lost cause.”

At the same time, the bishops deplored the lack of public interest in the “European project” of unifying the independent nations of Europe under one European Union government based in Brussels.

“Twenty years later, we now see that the incredible European project, with a strong ethical basis, has greatly weakened. The very poor turnout in the latest European Parliamentary elections was a tell-tale sign. The hopes placed on building Europe have not so far been fulfilled,” the statement said.

This “European project” has been roundly denounced by many in Europe as a means of created a gigantic pan-European superstate that will supersede national laws, particularly threatening the laws in some countries protecting the unborn and the natural family.

Democracy supporters and pro-life advocates continue to warn that the magnum opus of the “European project,” the Lisbon Treaty, will allow the European Court of Justice to overturn the pro-life and pro-family laws of countries like Malta, Ireland and Poland, based on the European Charter of Fundamental Human Rights.

The CCEE statement, signed by the president of the Irish bishops’ conference, Seán Cardinal Brady, concludes that the solution to the problems in Europe is the full participation in the European project. The bishops wrote, “Building Europe is truly an enterprise worth the effort. Everyone can find their own place, everyone is welcome. More than ever the road opens before us. It is not a time to slow down or to sit on the sidelines.”

Read related coverage:

Irish Catholic Bishop OK’s Yes Vote for Lisbon

Irish Bishops say No Problem with Lisbon Treaty: Pro-Life/Democracy Groups Dismayed

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Irish Priest Blasts Self-Righteous “Holier-than-Thous” on Kennedy Funeral

By Hilary White

DUBLIN, October 8, 2009 ( – The Catholic faithful from around the world who protested against the lavish public funeral of the late, notoriously pro-abortion Senator Edward Kennedy were self-righteous “holier-than-thous” who lacked compassion, writes Fr. Gerard Moloney in an editorial of the October issue of the notably liberal Reality magazine.

Moloney, a member of the Redemptorist religious order and editor of Reality, said that when it was announced that the funeral was to be held in a Redemptorist church in Boston, the order started receiving numerous calls and emails from Catholics protesting the funeral.

The messages, said Fr. Moloney, “were not only angry – they were hate-filled; they dripped with righteous indignation.”

“Not only did they not agree with Ted Kennedy’s politics or like him as a man, they didn’t want him to have a Catholic funeral. They didn’t think he was entitled to it.”

Moloney’s statements run contrary to one of the Church’s most senior prelates, who recently said specifically that funeral rites should not be given to pro-abortion politicians. Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, the highest tribunal in the Catholic Church and the last word on matters of canon law, said recently, “neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to” politicians who support abortion or same-sex “marriage.”

“To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects,” explained Burke. Burke said that when a politician is associated “with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public.”

Moloney singled out US canon lawyer Edward Peters, a notable defender of the Catholic Church’s teaching on life and family issues who had criticized the manner in which Kennedy’s funeral was conducted, calling his tone, “So sanctimonious, so judgemental, so self-righteous. Not much charity or compassion there. No sense of the possibility of redemption.”

However, most Catholic critics who deplored the Kennedy funeral, including Peters, agreed that Kennedy needed and merited the spiritual assistance of a Catholic funeral. Their objections were instead aimed at the over-the-top style of the event, which they said gave grave public scandal.

Most who objected specifically stated that, because of his longstanding public opposition to Catholic teaching in key areas of moral law, Kennedy’s funeral ought to have been a private affair for close friends and family, to pray for the repose of the senator’s soul. What took place, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, they said – a heavily politicised public spectacle, featuring former presidents and celebrity music stars, and broadcast live on television – was contrary to the spiritual purpose of a Catholic funeral, and more resembled an unofficial canonisation.

Indeed, Peters, the especial target of Moloney’s ire, wrote on his blog on August 27, that it is likely that Kennedy showed sufficient “signs of repentance” to justify his receiving Catholic funeral rites.

Peters wrote, “Most of Teddy Kennedy’s politics, and most of whatever parts of his personal life I knew through the media, angered and sometimes even disgusted me. But my opinions about Teddy’s legacy are not at issue in assessing his right to a Catholic funeral under canon law.”

According to the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law, Peters wrote, “notorious pro-aborts seem to be ‘manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful’.” But Peters said that he gave Kennedy the benefit of the doubt, saying, “Unless, that is, ‘they gave some sign of repentance before death’. And there is at least some evidence that Ted Kennedy did just that.”

“Folks, my reading of the canonical tradition behind Canon 1184 says that those actions suffice as ‘some signs of repentance’, making Ted Kennedy eligible for a Catholic funeral. Of course I wish that Teddy’s repentance, if that is what it was, had been more explicit, for the scandal the man left was enormous and demanded great atonement in this life (or more dreadfully in the next).”

Another vocal opponent of the lavish public Kennedy funeral was Human Life International’s Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, who wrote that while it is a “matter of precept” that Catholics are obliged to pray for the souls of public sinners like Kennedy, “we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event.”

Fr. Euteneuer, however, said that although Kennedy was reported to have confessed his sins to a priest before death, the very public nature of his opposition to the Catholic faith required a public recantation before such a public display as his funeral could be justified.

“It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy’s soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters.”

The Kennedy family’s ties with Ireland are strong, however, and the senator is still lauded on the far left as a champion of the poor. Kennedy was recently praised by an Irish bishop at a church in county Wexford. Bishop Denis Brennan of the Ferns diocese gave a memorial Mass for Kennedy at which he said the late Senator’s life “can be seen as the story of how one man used his God-given talents for the common good, and in the process, made a huge difference to many people’s lives.”

Bishop Brennan repeated the claim made in the American media of Kennedy “accomplishing more for the poor and dispossessed than any other Senator, ever.”

See’s Kennedy Funeral Scandal feature page

See sample Reality magazine article, The Church I’d Like to See

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French Abortions Do Not Decrease Despite Increase in Contraception: Study

By James Tillman

France, October 8, 2009 ( – According to a new study by the French National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), although the number of unplanned pregnancies in France has fallen, the number of abortions in such cases has increased, reports the Monde Actu 24h/24.

Unplanned pregnancies fell from 46% to 33% from 1975 to 2004, ostensibly due to use of contraceptives, according to the study, but the number of abortions of such pregnancies increased from 40% to 60% over the same period.

Over 40% of French women have an abortion at least once in their life.

The study says that women using contraception have a greater desire to control their fertility and thus are more likely to abort a child who is not consistent with their plans.

The study also examined other statistics regarding abortion.

From August 1973 to January 1976, during which period abortion was legalized, French fertility rates fell from 2.36 to 1.8 children per woman, a loss of 24%. France’s average fertility rate is currently approximately 2.02, which many attribute to the French government’s attempts to encourage childbirth through various incentives.

Unsurprisingly, the study found that the desire to have a child has also decreased. According to Chantal Blayot, a professor of demography at Montesquieu-Bordeau IV, this trend is supported by “a strong social pressure to abort.” The social context is not conducive to large families said Blayot: “At first birth, we congratulate the parents; on the third, they are asked if they have considered well what they are doing.”

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Aquinas Catholic College to Host “All Day Long” Homosexualist Event

By James Tillman

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, October 8, 2009 ( – Aquinas College, a Catholic college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is planning to hold an event titled “Love is everywhere … AQ Celebrates Human Rights” this coming Monday. The event features showings of multiple movies about homosexuals, a “coming out” story, and “ribbons and face-painting to celebrate our unique differences,” according to the college website.

The prospective event will take place “all day long” at various locations and times on the campus.

Founded by Dominican Sisters in 1886, Aquinas College is an institution “rooted in the Catholic Dominican tradition,” according to its website. It states that on campus “Values, ethics, and morality are explored in the context of Judeo-Christian ethics and Catholic teaching with full respect for other religious traditions, academic freedom, and personal conscience.”

Nevertheless, despite professed adherence to the Catholic tradition, the proposed event explores views profoundly contrary to those advanced by the Church.

The two films that will be shown during the event are “Seven Passages – The Stories of Gay Christians,” and “Milk.” The first movie features characters who advance revisionist interpretations of the scriptural passages that have traditionally been seen as evidence that sodomy is a sin. Conversation with the key players in the film will follow the screening. The second movie is a celebration of the life of Harvey Milk, the murdered homosexual “gay rights” activist elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors.

The event will also have training and information regarding how to be an “‘AQ certified’ Safe Zone advocate” for the Aquinas College campus. Safe Zones have been established at colleges around the US as areas where homosexuals may feel welcomed and accepted.

The event, in addition to being sponsored by Aquinas’ Campus Life, is also sponsored by the student organization The Alliance. The Alliance is described on Aquinas College’s website as having the mission of bringing “inclusiveness to the Aquinas College community.” The Alliance’s facebook page describes itself as “Serving Aquinas’ LGBTQIA community by promoting education, tolerance, community, and love in their purest forms. Let’s all hug.”

The event will also feature a “coming out” story by Dave Craft, facilitator of Allies and Advocates Training. Allies and Advocates Training is designed to bring about a campus climate in which homosexual students feel “respected” and “affirmed.”

Aquinas College has been previously been at the center of controversy due to similar issues. In 2008 it cancelled the appearance of John Corvino and his lecture “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” This lecture “examines and dismantles the most common arguments against homosexual conduct” according to an online biography.

In 2003, the college’s commencement speaker was the strongly pro-abortion Roger Wilkins, who has served on NARAL’s National Commission on America Without Roe and participated in a Washington, D.C. press conference presenting the commission’s report.

A spokesman for Aquinas College declined to comment, disclaiming any detailed knowledge of the event.

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