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Notre Dame’s Bishop D’Arcy Rebukes and Challenges Catholic University Over Obama Scandal

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By Kathleen Gilbert

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, August 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John D'Arcy, whose diocese includes the University of Notre Dame, has penned a column calling on the University, its president, and board members to answer for their decision to honor a pro-abortion president - without notifying or seeking guidance from their local prelate.

When Notre Dame published its decision to honor President Barack Obama with the commencement address and an honorary law degree on May 17, Bishop D'Arcy voiced his opposition early on, vowing to boycott the ceremony and questioning whether the school had placed "prestige over truth."

"Does a Catholic university have the responsibility to give witness to the Catholic faith and to the consequences of that faith by its actions and decisions-especially by a decision to confer its highest honor? If not, what is the meaning of a life of faith?" wrote Bishop D'Arcy.  "And how can a Catholic institution expect its students to live by faith in the difficult decisions that will confront them in a culture often opposed to the Gospel?"

D'Arcy's column will appear as the cover story of the Jesuit journal America, which took a perspective favorable of Obama amid the scandal.  D'Arcy touched briefly on the journal's bias, saying that the intense pro-life Catholic backlash to the honor was "not about what this journal called 'sectarian Catholicism.'"

"Rather, the response of the faithful derives directly from the Gospel. In Matthew's words, 'Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your heavenly Father' (5:13)," said the bishop.  Over 360,000 petitioners and 80 active U.S. bishops voiced opposition to the honor.

The South Bend bishop pointed out the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who enjoined American Catholic educators in April to "ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice."  "This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church's magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution's life, both inside and outside the classroom," said the pontiff.

D'Arcy asked: "In its decision to give its highest honor to a president who has repeatedly opposed even the smallest legal protection of the child in the womb, did Notre Dame surrender the responsibility that Pope Benedict believes Catholic universities have to give public witness to the truths revealed by God and taught by the church?"

The University's persistent sponsorship of "The Vagina Monologues," a lewd play extolling lesbianism and sexual promiscuity, was "another serious question of witness and moral responsibility," according to the bishop.

"Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to dialogue with his bishop on these two matters, both pastoral and both with serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of the local bishop," said D'Arcy.   The bishop said he was notified of both decisions only after the fact.

D'Arcy noted his responsibility, while not interfering with internal governance, to encourage Catholic institutions in his diocese to "give public witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith."

"The diocesan bishop must ask whether a Catholic institution compromises its obligation to give public witness by placing prestige over truth," he said.  "The bishop must be concerned that Catholic institutions do not succumb to the secular culture, making decisions that appear to many, including ordinary Catholics, as a surrender to a culture opposed to the truth about life and love."

The bishop also called upon the University board of trustees, who ignored the scandal brewing on campus in the weeks before the Obama honor, to step up to the plate.

"I firmly believe that the board of trustees must take up its responsibility afresh, with appropriate study and prayer," wrote D'Arcy.  "They also must understand the seriousness of the present moment.

"Like bishops, [board members] are asked to leave politics and ambition at the door, and make serious decisions before God," he said. "In the case of Notre Dame, they owe it to the Congregation of Holy Cross, which has turned this magnificent place over to a predominately lay board; they owe it to the students who have not yet come; they owe it to the intrepid missionary priest, Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and the Holy Cross religious who built this magnificent place out of the wilderness.

"They owe it to Mary, the Mother of God, who has always been honored here.

"Let us pray that they will take this responsibility with greater seriousness and in a truly Catholic spirit."

D'Arcy concluded by challenging Catholic universities to answer whether they consider it their responsibility to give witness to the Catholic faith, and to make clear their relationship to the Church and their local bishop.

He also presented an ultimatum between the infamous 1967 Land O' Lakes statement - in which Notre Dame led several other Catholic universities in declaring independence from Church authority - and John Paul II's apostolic constitution on Catholic universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which outlines Catholic schools' obligation to align with the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Church.

"Where will the great Catholic universities search for a guiding light in the years ahead? Will it be the Land O'Lakes Statement or Ex Corde Ecclesiae?" he asked.

"On these three questions, I respectfully submit, rests the future of Catholic higher education in this country and so much else."

Click here to read Bishop D'Arcy's column in full.  http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11840


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Notre Dame's Bishop on Obama's Pro-Abortion Views: "No One Is Allowed to Say Who Sits at Table of Life"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040804.html

Notre Dame's Bishop Will Not Attend Obama-Honoring Graduation, Criticizes University's Decision
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032408.html



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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

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. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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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.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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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.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

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.



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