NewsTue Nov 3, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Updated: Nun Abortion Clinic Escort Reprimanded - Dominican Congregation Apologizes for Scandal
By Peter J. Smith
HINSDALE, Illinois, November 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A congregation of US Dominican nuns has publicly apologized for the scandal caused by one of its members acting as a volunteer escort at a Chicago area abortion facility, who now faces severe canonical penalties including excommunication and the possibility of dismissal.
LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) first broke the story about Sr. Donna Quinn, O.P., a Dominican nun who is outspokenly in favor of legalized abortion, who had been identified by pro-life witnesses as an escort for the ACU Health Clinic.
Sr. Quinn's religious community, the Wisconsin-based Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation, admitted in a press release posted on their website that they were informed of the allegation several months ago, and, after having completed a period of investigation, the Congregation's leaders have informed the pro-abortion sister that "her actions are in violation of her profession as a Dominican religious."
The congregation reports that its leaders "are working with Sr. Donna to resolve the matter appropriately" and regret the public scandal caused by her actions.
The Sinsinawa Dominicans took the opportunity to re-affirm unequivocally their commitment to the Catholic Church's core teachings, as well as the necessity to witness to the sanctity and dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.
"We as Sinsinawa Dominican women are called to proclaim the Gospel through the ministry of preaching and teaching to participate in the building of a holy and just society," read a statement issued on behalf of the congregation.
"As Dominican religious, we fully support the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the dignity and value of every human life from conception to natural death. We believe that abortion is an act of violence that destroys the life of the unborn. We do not engage in activity that witnesses to support of abortion."
ChicagoCatholicNews.com reports that three Catholic hierarchs are meeting to discuss what remedial action must be taken to correct Sr. Quinn: Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet, Illinois and Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin. An anonymous aide to Morlino said the three were involved since Sr. Quinn's motherhouse is located within Bishop Morlino's territory, but Sr. Quinn resides in the Chicago Archdiocese, while the abortion clinic where she gave formal assistance to abortion as an escort is situated within Sartain's diocese.
Formal cooperation with abortion is considered a grave sin in the Catholic Church that carries an automatic penalty of excommunication or excommunication latae sententiae as it is called within the Church's canon law (Canon 1398). Earlier in July, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated the penalty of excommunication applied to all parties formally cooperating in abortion, emphasizing that the penalty was an act of mercy, because in that way the Church "makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."
All three prelates will have to take that matter into consideration when they consult, but canon lawyer Edward Peters on his blog says that Sr. Quinn faces the possibility of dismissal from her order if matters are not reconciled.
"Canon 695 calls for the mandatory dismissal of a religious guilty of the delict of abortion described in Canon 1398," writes Peters. The case would be made that Sr. Quinn is an accomplice to abortion under Canon 1329, which would then make Canon 695 applicable.
"The novelty of nuns serving as murder mistresses at abortion clinics means that there is not much jurisprudence for such cases, I grant, but it is still a theory worth exploring," Peters remarked.
Another possibility would then be Canon 696, Peters continues, "dismissal from religious life can be imposed against one who gives 'grave scandal arising from culpable behavior.'"
That leaves either Sr. Quinn's superiors or the three bishops with the option to pursue Sr. Quinn's dismissal in the Church's courts. With American Archbishop Raymond Burke as the head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church's supreme court of appeal for canon law cases, it is doubtful that Sr. Quinn could acquit herself of the charges in light of long-standing evidence regarding her support for abortion.
Chicago-area pro-life witnesses informed LifeSiteNews.com that Sr. Quinn has acted as escort for "six years, at least" and they were finally able to identify her after her picture appeared in an article for the Chicago Tribune.
Sr. Quinn has also spoken out in favor of legal abortion for decades and is a coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN), an organization which opposes the Catholic Church's position on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and the male priesthood.
See previous coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
‘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.