John Jalsevac

Transcript: Joe Biden and Paul Ryan abortion remarks at 2012 VP debate

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac

October 11, 2012 ( - During this evening’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan were asked about their views on abortion, and how their views were shaped by their Catholic faith. Here are their responses in full. Video is below:


RYAN: I don’t see how a person can separate their private life from their public life or their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, about how to make sure that people have a chance of life.

Now, you want to ask about why I’m pro-life. It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.

You know, I think about ten and a half years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven week ultrasound for our first born child, and we saw that heart beat. Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day we have nick named our first born, Liza, bean.

Now I believe that life begins at conception. Those are the reasons why I’m pro-life.

Now I realize that this is a difficult issue. And I respect people who don’t agree with me on this. But the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing on our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our churches should not have to sue the federal government to maintain their religious liberties.

And with respect to abortion, the Democratic party used to say they should be safe, legal and rare, now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said he sympathized with, and would not second guess, their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme. 

BIDEN: My religion defines who I am, and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life, and it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves. People who need help.

With regard to abortion, I accept my Church’s position on abortion as a de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. I accept that position in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, and Muslims and and Jews…I just refuse to do that, unlike my friend here, the Congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women that they cannot control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor in my view, and the Supreme Court. And I’m not going to interfere with that.

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, or any other hospital, none has to either refer for contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.

Now with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says that he…well I guess he accepts governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there is rape and forcible rape, and that in the case of rape or incest, it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.

RYAN: All I’m saying is that if you believe life begins at conception that therefore doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. 

Now, I’ve got to take issue with the Catholic Church and religious liberty. If they agree with you why would they keep suing you. It’s a distinction without a difference.

MODERATOR: I want to go back to the abortion question. If the Romney/Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe abortion should remain legal be worried.

RYAN: We don’t think that unelected judges housed make this decision, that people though their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this decision.

BIDEN: The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominations. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief advisor to the court for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen. I guarantee that will not happen. We picked two people. They’ve been open minded, good justices, so keep your eye on it

RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?

BIDEN: There was not litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda. 


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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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