Hilary White

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Young People Love the Pope Because of His Moral Stands, Not Despite Them

Hilary White

TORONTO, April 5, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Since the death of Pope John Paul II, media is awash with commentators talking about his influence. An especially consistent theme is the surprise that the Pope, who is portrayed as a severe moralist, should be so especially loved by young people. Media commentators show a consistent tone of perplexity that a man who was known for his uncompromising stands on moral issues would have such wide appeal for youth who are portrayed as dedicated hedonists.

LifeSiteNews.com interviewed a number of young Canadian Catholics who revere the late Pope and asked them the question, “Why do young people love John Paul II?”

Michael Connell, 28, formerly the Communications Director of the Catholic Civil Rights League and currently a student at Ave Maria School of Law told LifeSiteNews.com that he feels that mainstream media coverage has missed the point. Connell said, “So much of it has been about John Paul as a ‘man of contradiction.’ But the reality is that it’s the world that is contradictory, when John Paul was perfectly consistent.”

Connell commented, “It’s the world that doesn’t grasp the consistency between being a champion of human freedom and opposing abortion. John Paul was a hero to younger Catholics who saw their elders being corrupted by the moral incoherence of ‘liberal’ Catholicism and secularism. His moral courage, not kowtowing to the world, is what was attractive about him.”

Kevin Belgrave, a seminarian at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, and former director of a youth pro-life movement said that the young people of the world have flocked to John Paul, not ‘in spite of ’ but ‘because of ’ his stand. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “A superficial look at this outpouring of devotion for John Paul II might mistakenly give the impression that young Catholics worshiped the Pope.” But Belgrave says that the Pope’s message of truth, uncompromised with the shifting values of the world is the secret of John Paul’s attraction. “He tells the truth. With a stunning clarity and depth he feeds the human heart the food for which it starves in our modern culture…the truth. We don’t love him in spite of the challenging demands of authentic love. We love the truth.”

Today, a group of students and volunteers at the University of Toronto were manning a pro-life display of photographs and literature. Andrew Chun reflected a common story when he said that John Paul II had been instrumental in his ‘re-version’ to Catholicism. Chun, a teacher at Mary Mother of God Catholic elementary school in Toronto said that it was more than the moral teachings of John Paul that attracted him. “I already agreed with all the moral teachings of the Church, I just thought they made sense. But I didn’t have the faith.” He told LifeSiteNews.com that the Pope’s witness to the greater reality of God turned him back to the practice of the Catholic faith.

Matthew Kubica a 19 year-old health sciences student at McMaster University said that as a life-long Catholic he is a fan of John Paul because, “He made his life the young people. He presided over 19 World Youth Days and he told us there that we are the salt of the earth, we can change things.” Kubica is also a life-long pro-lifer and said, “Because he made it his life’s journey to inspire the young people, I don’t see any alternative but to be drawn to him”

23 year-old Daniel Santoro, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, said he was impressed by the Pope’s ability to focus on the particular problems of each culture in the world. “When he went to South America he would focus on social justice and economic issues. But when he spoke to North America he would address the moral decline. He knew that the biggest problem for North America is the Culture of Death.”

”(The media) would point out that the Pope was great in every issue they liked such as social justice or poverty or war, except for those moral issues where his old fashioned mind didn’t reconcile with modernity. They point this out as a defect in his mind, but would never make the connection that maybe the problem was not in his mind but in theirs,” Santoro said.

Santoro said he was another who had a ‘re-version’ to the Church at World Youth Day after personally encountering the Pope whom he sees as a representative of Christ. He said he read the writing of John Paul but that to believe, one needs more than intellectual knowledge, a personal encounter with Christ is necessary. “Even though I was intellectually ready to become converted, (seeing the Pope at World Youth Day) put me over the edge. This goes back to what I was saying about the encounter with Christ. He’s the vicar of Christ. He had been attracting me all along, World Youth Day was more the cap on the cap on the journey.”

Many have expressed their skepticism about the staying power of these young converts. Some are concerned that the great number of young Catholics who have come into the Catholic faith because of John Paul will experience a crisis at his death and the cult of personality surrounding him will fade. Santoro responded, “John Paul didn’t create ‘JPII Catholics,’ but just Catholics, believers in Christ. Through him you encounter Jesus. Jesus doesn’t go away because the Pope died. The Pope’s appeal was not John Paul, his charisma was that of the Holy Spirit, his appeal was his presenting of Jesus.”

21-year-old Megan Huddart, a U of T undergraduate student of philosophy said that the Pope understood young people. “His suffering was an inspiration. Not just that he suffered but the heroic way in which he suffered with dignity. His coherence of life was my inspiration.”

Huddart said, “It would have been easy for him to have kept up his message (of the value of life in the midst of suffering) if he had never suffered. His suffering backs up what he said. If he had stayed strong and vigorous…anyone could say those things. But to live them through such suffering is proof of his authenticity.”



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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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