Karen Dudek

Prominent Catholics confused about contraception

Karen Dudek
By Karen Dudek
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May 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Recently, Melinda Gates announced her plan to spend billions to provide contraceptive drugs to poor women around the world. She has the support and encouragement of a group of Ursuline nuns. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, though she is behind the insurance mandate forcing employers to provide contraception to their employees, has been honored with an invitation to speak at commencement at the Jesuit University of Georgetown.

What is disturbing to the faithful who are united with the bishops and the Holy Father is that all these people are Catholics…they are influential, active, and deeply divided over the subject of contraception and other moral teachings of the church. This division was demonstrated painfully this past week when Jay Leno, another Catholic, confronted Rick Santorum on the “Tonight Show,” asking, “What is wrong with contraception, pornography and same-sex marriage?”

The word Catholic means “universal,” but all Catholics are not alike these days. From Nancy Pelosi to Kathleen Sebelius to Melinda Gates to Jay Leno, Catholics who were baptized into Christ are reducing the authority of the Church and her Magisterium (teaching office) to an even playing field of personal opinion that is rooted in our culture. They are refusing tradition (the constant teaching by the Church on a matter of faith and morals) and trading it in for what they believe is a more progressive, sophisticated view of the world:

“Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church,” say the Ursulines, who “respect her right to speak from her research and experience of the world we live in.” Academy President Margaret Ann Moser says that the nuns are “proud of Gates’ dedication to social justice, and her compassion for the underserved ... Melinda Gates leads from her conscience, and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world,” says Moser.

These Catholics, at best, are trying to revolutionize the world according to their personal view of morality: a subjective view that may be sincere, but still morally incorrect.

It is important to note that these Ursuline women do not represent the views of all female religious. Says Sr. MaryAnn Foggin, of the Servants of God’s Love in Ann Arbor, Michigan, “I am always sad to see women religious applaud, support, or endorse positions that are in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. It usually finds it’s way into the press and then is touted as the position of all women religious.”

These actions not only oppose and undermine the Church on her mission of social justice, denigrating her knowledge of science and the world, but they also contend that she is wrong in her teaching on contraception - a teaching that is based on unchanging moral truth, which we understand simply through natural law.

“Natural law says that if you want things to prosper, you have to use them in accord with their nature and live with the reality of the things you are using,” says Janet Smith, a moral theologian.

Dr. Angela Frank, an expert on sexual ethics and eugenics, is a fan of Church-supported Natural Family Planning. “We need self-control not birth control. The Church says we must work with fertility in a healthy way rather than take a pill to stop it.

The American cultural bias does not change objective truth to make a wrong action right or good. Following one’s conscience is incumbent on a conscience informed by truth: enlightened by prayer and the teachings of Jesus and the Magisterium. But many Catholics today are missing that crucial step.

According to Jessica Condon, a 27-year-old future nun with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, “[w]e are all in a passionate search for the truth. But we are easily led astray by our relativistic mindsets to the failure of half-truths. We only want the truth insofar as it suits us. You may have heard this in the form of phrases like, ‘Do what your heart tells you and it’s your truth.’ or ‘I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok.’ We form the truth to our consciences instead of forming our consciences according to the truth. But then we end up unsatisfied and unhappy, and we wonder why our lives are so miserable.”

Since “the Pill” became widely available in the ’60s, we have had time to evaluate the Church’s teachings and see for ourselves what kind of fruit it has brought about. According to Smith:

In the 60’s, it was not a stupid expectation that contraceptives would make for better marriages, fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions; but the cultural evidence today shows absolutely the contrary. And it’s very hard for us to see because our culture tells us that more and better contraceptives and more and greater access to abortion is absolutely necessary in this society[.] … Now the Church said otherwise … Pope Paul VI didn’t predict this in great detail, but he certainly predicted the broad strokes of what happened. And you might ask, “How did he see it when the rest of us couldn’t? What did he know that we didn’t know?” Well, he had a whole history of the church behind him, some two thousand years. And some of us, of course, believe he had the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he couldn’t miss because he wasn’t using human wisdom here. Human wisdom showed something quite different, and I don’t think that human wisdom was implausible, but it has turned out to be dead wrong.

The Church has said that unless you live in accord with the nature of human sexuality, chaos will result. Ms. Condon describes the situation: “I saw a commercial for an intra-uterine contraceptive that promises that women who use it won’t have to worry about taking ‘the pill’ and it will take the stress out of birth control. In the same commercial, the makers state that using their product can cause bleeding, sterilization, and inadvertently aborting your baby if you are already pregnant[.] … What are these drugs really doing to women? What are they doing to men and to marriages? You would think that most people would ask themselves these questions. What many women see is that contraceptives give them ‘freedom.’ The ‘freedom’ to choose when and how they want to have children. Contraceptives such as the pill and intra-uterine contraceptives can kill your baby AND run the risk of making you infertile.”

Though the Pill was originally designed to prevent conception, it works today to prevent births through abortion.

According to the Catholic Church, abortion is not only “the expulsion of the immature fetus,” but is also “the killing of the same fetus in any way and at any time from the moment of conception.” This definition of abortion includes the use of any of the following:

• all birth control pills, because every birth control pill manufactured today causes early abortions part of the time;
• mini-pills, morning-after pills, and true abortion pills such as RU-486;
• injectable or insertable abortifacients such as NORPLANT and Depo-Provera
• the use of all intrauterine devices (IUDs), which are all abortifacients and act by preventing the implantation of the already-fertilized zygote.” (American Life League)

Planned Parenthood pro-abortionist Dr. Christopher Tietze affirmed that statistically, even with proper use of the Pill, it is only a matter of time before a woman becomes pregnant: “Within 10 years, 20 to 50 percent of pill users and a substantial majority of users of other methods may be expected to experience at least one repeat abortion.”

Problems for women on the Pill include heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, unwanted pregnancy, and indirect effects: increased promiscuity, illegitimate births, increased venereal disease, and degradation of marriage.

An estimated five hundred women a year die from effects from the Pill. It is ironic indeed that the same pill that feminists pushed as part of their solution to “excessive illegal abortion deaths” now kills five times as many women per year as illegal abortions themselves did before Roe v. Wade.

How does birth control affect the male/female relationship? According to Pope Paul VI, “it is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anticonceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

Says Condon, “Contraceptives are a lie that today’s society prevaricates. We need to not allow society to form our consciences, we need to allow the Truth found in Jesus and His Church to educate us and form our consciences[.] … [W]e will never be happy living a life full of half-truths. We will only be happy when our constant, passionate searching ends in Truth[.] … Stay true to Jesus, stay true to His Church, and find the Truth you have been looking for all your life.”

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Kermit Gosnell considers himself a ‘martyr’: Gosnell filmmakers

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By Ben Johnson

HUNGTINGDON, PA, May 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Spending life in prison without parole for murdering several newborn babies, Kermit Gosnell spends his days listening to music and thinking of himself as a “martyr,” according to the makers of the forthcoming Kermit Gosnell film.

Producers Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney, and Magdalena Segeida interviewed Gosnell for hours at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania – and they came away saying the doctor is remorseless, self-pitying, and enjoying far more liberty than they thought would be granted to a mass murderer.

The producers visited the central Pennsylvania penitentiary and spoke to the the late-term abortionist up-close – a little too close, they say. McElhinney said Gosnell sat uncomfortably close to her throughout the multihour session.

“We have just come back from Pennsylvania where we were the first journalists to sit down in prison to interview Gosnell,” the producers said in a mass e-mail to their supporters. “The two hours we spent interviewing the former abortion doctor were two of the most disturbing hours of our journalistic careers.”

“The interview was one of the creepiest we have ever conducted,” the mass e-mail continued.

Gosnell, they recounted, “is thought to have murdered hundreds if not thousands of babies in a 30 year killing spree.” Yet he has access to music, a subject he discussed at length. At one point, McElhinney said, Gosnell burst out into song.

Ann McElhinney told The Daily Signal, “I’m amazed at how pleasant his life is, the freedoms he has.”

Far from having repented of his crimes, Gosnell continues to justify his actions, they said.

“In his own version of the story, he’s a martyr – he’s part of a hounded class,” McElhinney said.

That assessment corroborates the views of others who interviewed the onetime proprietor of the “house of horrors,” where newborn babies had their spines severed, untrained staff administered fatal doses of drugs to poor women, and aborted fetal remains were found stuffed into every available crevice.

In September 2013, Steve Volk interviewed Gosnell for Philadelphia Magazine. Gosnell, he wrote, “sees himself as having performed a noble function in society.”

"It's not as if he feels guilty about what he did,” Volk said. "He believes he was a soldier at war with poverty.”

By plying his trade in poverty-stricken West Philadelphia, in a majority minority neighborhood, Gosnell believed he helped reduce the city's low income population.

“In this larger spiritual sense, he believes he was performing a service for people,” Volk said.

After his conviction, Gosnell sought to work with Hillary Clinton's embattled charity, the Clinton Global Initiative or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on issues of "prison and justice reform.”

"He believes that he gained insight into what it's like to be pushed into the system, without the capacity to explain himself," Volk said.

Gosnell's self-confidence has seldom been questioned, from the dismissive way he treated police who searched his home – playing Chopin on the piano as they searched his flea-ridden basement – to the way he carried himself in court. Defense attorney Jack McMahon had also told reporters after the guilty verdict that the mass murderer “truly believes in himself.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The filmmakers, who have produced several right-of-center documentaries, plan to make a big budget, big screen film about Gosnell's life. They continue to raise funds for their efforts at GosnellMovie.com.

But they may need a breather after encountering Gosnell himself.

“I’m still recovering, actually,” McElhinney told the Signal.

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Josh Duggar apologizes, admits ‘wrongdoing’ as young teen amid molestation accusations; resigns from FRC

By John-Henry Westen

Editor's Note: This is a developing story.

May 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In response to allegations in the media that he molested minor girls when he was in his early teens, Josh Duggar has admitted in a public statement that he acted "inexcusably" at the time, and has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.

A 2006 police report leaked to the media states that Josh was investigated for sex offenses, including "forcible fondling" against five minors.

According to the report, the first allegations surfaced in March 2002, the same month he turned 14. At the time the family dealt with the allegations internally. A year later, however, when further allegations were made, the family sent Josh to work with a family friend for three months, after which his father took Josh to see a state trooper.

According to the report, the trooper gave Josh a "stern talk" about what would happen if he "continued such behavior," but no formal action was taken at the time.

The issue emerged again in 2006, after a family friend had written details about the allegations in letter and placed it in a book, which was subsequently loaned out. This resulted in a call being placed to a child abuse hotline, which in turn led to a formal investigation being opened. By this point, however, the statute of limitations had expired, and as there had been no new allegations or evidence that the abuse was ongoing, the case was dropped.

Although Josh was never charged, his now-wife, Anna, says that he confessed his actions to her and her parents two years before he asked her to marry him.

"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," he said in a statement today. "In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption."

Anna said she was "surprised" when Josh had voluntarily admitted what he had done to her and her parents two years before proposing to her. "I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it," she wrote today. "For Josh he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was -- even every difficult past mistakes."

"I want to say thank you to those who took time over a decade ago to help Josh in a time of crisis," she added. "If it weren't for your help I would not be here as his wife — celebrating 6 1/2 years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right."

LifeSiteNews is continuing to investigate this developing story. Following are the Duggar family’s statements responding to media reports about the incidents.

From Jim Bob and Michelle:

Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles everyday.

It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.

From Josh:

Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. 

We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.

I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.

From Anna:

I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married - it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him.

When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was -- even every difficult past mistakes.

At that point and over the next two years, Josh shared how the counseling he received changed his life as he continued to do what he was taught. And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him... I was able to say, "Yes" knowing who Josh really is - someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.

I want to say thank you to those who took time over a decade ago to help Josh in a time of crisis. Your investment changed his life from going down the wrong path to doing what is right. If it weren't for your help I would not be here as his wife — celebrating 6 1/2 years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right. Thank you to all of you who tirelessly work with children in crisis, you are changing lives and I am forever grateful for all of you.

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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

Dutch court acquits man who euthanized his mother after doctor refused

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

May 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- A Dutch appeals court acquitted a 74 year-old man earlier this month of the murder of his mother in 2008, because he acted in an “emergency situation”: the woman wanted euthanasia and had not obtained it from her family doctor.

The decision is a surprising one, even in the Netherlands, and will probably be followed by an appeal from the public prosecutor, who has already published a communiqué reminding the public that euthanasia and assisted suicide “are and remain, in the eyes of the prosecutor, exclusively to be performed by a doctor.” But as it stands, it marks a new step down the slippery slope of euthanasia in that it justifies an act of euthanasia contrary to the letter of the law on the grounds that the accused, Albert Heringa, was careful to act in compliance with the law’s provisions, the court ruled.

Albert Heringa acted in accordance with his conscience of his own duty and he was right to do so, ruled the Arnhem-Leeuwarden appeals court, because his sense of duty “justly” carried more weight than the legal prohibition of the act, which in theory can only be decriminalized when performed by a medical doctor under strict conditions.

The accused said he was “very happy” about the decision. The Netherlands Right to Die Society (NVVE) hailed it as “a step in the direction we want to follow.” “Many people who consider their life complete wish to be helped by loved ones,” said its spokeswoman, Fiona Zonneveld.

The judges did not take into account the fact that Albert Heringa’s mother, “Moek,” was deemed ineligible for euthanasia by her doctor.

In 2008, Moek was 99. She had no grave illness; she was just old and blind and did not feel like living any longer, calling her suffering “unbearable” and “without hope of improvement.” When her doctor refused euthanasia on those grounds, she turned to her son who decided to help his mother die. He was later to explain that his mother started hoarding her medication in order to kill herself through an overdose. The pills she was taking would not have been able to bring about her death, he argued, but would have made her health much worse. This was confirmed during the subsequent judicial enquiry.

Heringa decided to go to work “transparently,” filming his every gesture in view of the killing of his mother. He used an overdose of his own malaria pills together with sleeping pills and anti-emetics to poison her. The films were later used to illustrate a documentary on “Moek’s last wish,” which was aired in 2010 on Dutch TV. The appeals court judges took this “transparency” into account in their decision to acquit him.

The public prosecution was not so lax. Despite the “rectitude” of Heringa’s intention, it accused the man of not having acted in compliance with the law. In 2013, he was judged guilty but exempted from punishment. The prosecution appealed that decision, demanding a three months suspended prison sentence in order to underscore the illegality of his actions. But the Arnhem-Leeuwarden appeals court went even further than the first judges in exonerating him completely.

They invoked the euthanasia law, which decriminalizes euthanasia when no other “reasonable solution” is available to alleviate a patient’s suffering and thus avoid euthanasia, but in this case they equated the potential “reasonable solution” with the ability to find a doctor who would be willing to perform the act, as if euthanasia were a patient right. Heringa could not find one, therefore he was justified in taking the law in his own hands, the judgment says in substance.

This marks a double revolution. Firstly, the court overlooked the legal requirement that a doctor should perform euthanasia, and no one else. Secondly, it justified euthanasia on a woman who was simply “tired of living,” a situation for which the euthanasia law definitely does not provide.

But this is just another element of the Pandora’s box that was opened when the Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2002. Increasingly, regional control commissions, which verify all declared acts of euthanasia retrospectively, have cleared “mercy-killings” of elderly people who had multiple complaints but no single life-threatening disease. “Intolerable suffering” is being interpreted more and more widely. In Heringa’s case, it is simply his mother’s plea for euthanasia that justified the act in the eyes of the court.

The court even went so far as to say that Heringa would have had to live with a “sense of guilt until the end of his life” had he not taken measures to end his mother’s life.

In 2011, the Dutch medical association KNMG changed its position on “intolerable suffering,” declaring that “unbearable and hopeless” suffering can result from other causes than physical illness. Also, the End of Life Clinic founded in 2012 caters to euthanasia requests that have been refused by patients’ family doctors on conscientious or medical grounds. Would Heringa have found a doctor willing to perform euthanasia on his mother in this new situation?

Whatever the answer to that question – and no one will ever know – the fact of his acquittal is a definite sign that euthanasia is being treated more and more as a right and an acceptable option in the Netherlands. It is also good news for unscrupulous family members who might find it expedient to push their relatives towards the grave.

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