See change: UK pro-lifers rejoice at Humanae Vitae-supporting bishop appointment
LONDON, August 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British pro-life leaders are welcoming the appointment of a new Catholic bishop of Portsmouth in southern England as a sign that the grip of the Catholic far left is beginning to be prised open by Rome.
Back in 2009, Father Philip Egan gave a talk at a London book launch, in which he asserted that Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 reiteration of the Church’s prohibition against artificial birth control, is in fact infallible Catholic doctrine, an assertion commonly held by lay Catholic commentators, but publicly defended on too-rare occasions by Catholic bishops. Indeed, it is arguable that Humanae Vitae was the most vilified and widely ignored papal statement of the 20th century.
Now it has been announced that Bishop-elect Philip Egan, 56, former Vicar General of the Shrewsbury diocese, is set to take the reins of the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth in southern England, on September 24th, and many in the Church in Britain are seeing it as sign of a major shift in direction, perhaps for the whole Church in England and Wales.
At the 2009 launch of the book, ‘A Pure Heart Create for Me,’ a collection of essays and lectures on the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality, Egan surprised attendees of the launch when he said, “t seems to me that there is a persuasive case for believing that the doctrine of Humanae Vitae, regardless of the pastoral difficulty it causes, regardless of the philosophical and theological arguments thrown against it, regardless of the historical conditioning of its neo-scholastic framework, has been, and is being taught infallibly, that is, irreversibly and without error, by the Church’s ordinary universal magisterium.”
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Described in the media as the “right hand man” of Bishop Mark Davies, Egan is expected to carry a more doctrinally robust style of Catholicism to Portsmouth, the long-time seat of retiring Bishop Crispian Hollis. Hollis is known in British Catholic circles as a leading proponent of the “progressivist” school that become popular immediately after the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
Robert Colquhoun, the London director for Britain’s increasingly popular 40 Days for Life campaign, was effusive over the appointment, telling LifeSiteNews.com that the choice of Egan as bishop of Portsmouth is a “very exciting” sign that the grip of the liberal establishment is being forcibly loosened by Pope Benedict’s Vatican.
“As a priest he clearly grasps the importance and significance of this encyclical and its relevance to contemporary sexual ethics in the United Kingdom,” Colquhoun said.
“There has not been much desire to promote Theology of the Body or promote ministries that would derive from this teaching from episcopal leadership so far in our country, so who knows - perhaps we are in for a change.”
Colquhoun said the British Catholic Church has lacked “confidence” in the “transforming nature of their faith,” for themselves and the culture at large. The appointment of more men like Egan, those offering “clear, orthodox, positive, affirmative, solid and inspirational leadership,” will make this happen, he said.
“There are great and dynamic programs happening in the United States and it is time the Church in England and Wales woke up from its post-sixties slumber to be, as one diocese called it, ‘Fit for mission’. Outstanding catechesis, youth ministry and marriage and family apostolate is very much needed in our nation.”
Egan served as Vicar General to Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury and was appointed on the recommendation of Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the nuncio appointed by Pope Benedict in 2010. Church-watchers are aware that the key to episcopal appointments lies in the hands of the nuncio, the pope’s representative to a country, whose role it is to make recommendations based on papal priorities.
In the past, some critics have said that previous nuncios had “gone native” and had acted only as a courier for the coterie of liberals dubbed in the media the “Magic Circle”.
Dr. William Oddie, writing in the Catholic Herald on the significance of Egan’s appointment, said it is a sign that Pope Benedict’s recently appointed nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, is cut from a different cloth from that of his predecessor. Previous nuncios, appointed under Pope John Paul II, had “been agents for the continuing project of the English bishops endlessly to perpetuate themselves and their de-Romanising, even secularising, vision for the English Church”.
Oddie called the appointment, Mennini’s first, “a cracker,” saying that it is also significant that he was chosen for Portsmouth, “the diocese in England where more than in any other the subversion of everything Pope John Paul stood for has proceeded unchecked”.
‘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.