Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — After signing bills over the last two weeks that promote taxpayer funded abortions in a national health care program, the Obama administration is taking its promotion of abortion abroad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attacked Canada’s Prime Minster for not promoting abortion at an upcoming conference.
At issue is the decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is promoting better maternal mortality as its signature initiative at the upcoming G8 summit Canada is hosting in June.
Harper was initially reluctant to include contraception in the centerpiece plan Canada is advocating, but he has ruled out including abortion.
That met with opposition from Clinton, a longtime abortion advocate and the top international official in the administration of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
“You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health,” Clinton said at a Tuesday news conference. “And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”
“I’ve also been very involved in promoting family planning and contraception as a way to prevent abortion. If you’re concerned about abortion, then women should have access to family planning,” Clinton added. “And finally, I do not think governments should be involved in making these decisions.”
But research shows if the Obama administration and world governments want to lower maternal mortality, expanding abortion isn’t the way to go.
I was one of several American Catholics interviewed recently for this Our Sunday Visitor newspaper article on the vexing subject of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje.
Those who’ve read my previous comments about that on this blog or who have heard me discuss it on my radio show already know where I’m coming from. I consider myself an open-minded skeptic who is not only willing to be wrong about Medjugorje (though I don’t think I am), but I sincerely do hope I am wrong and that it is an authentic Marian apparition. Good golly, do I ever hope I’m wrong about this.
Here’s the article by Emily Stimpson:
Vatican panel to weigh authenticity of alleged Marian apparitions
For many, it was an announcement that seemed long overdue.
On March 17, the Vatican announced the formation of a commission to investigate the authenticity of the Marian apparitions centered in Medjugorje. The commission, requested by the bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina, will take place under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and will begin work almost immediately. Its findings will be subject to the final authority of the CDF.
The announcement was, in many ways, unprecedented.
Franciscan University of Steubenville theology professor and mariologist Deacon Mark Miravalle noted it’s typically the local bishop or ecclesial conference that establishes these types of investigatory commissions.
It is possible for that call to come from the Vatican “if it’s not pleased with what takes place at the local level” or, if the Vatican “thinks things have not gone ideally, for the CDF to step in and take a more active role.”
But, Miravalle continued, it’s usually the local bishop who has the final say on the commission’s findings, not the CDF.
Fruits of visions
The announcement is unprecedented, but, in many ways, so is what’s taking place at Medjugorje.
It all began in 1981, when six Croatian teenagers, who lived in the small village in Bosnia-Herzegovina, reported that the Virgin Mary had appeared and given them a message to share with others. Nearly 30 years on, some of the visionaries still claim to see the Blessed Mother daily. The rest say she now appears to them only yearly.
For those inclined to accept the apparitions as true, the number of years Mary has appeared to the visionaries — 29 — as well as the number of messages received — upward of 30,000 — are signs that God is at work in Medjugorje.
“In 30 years you have no notable contradictions between the seers, and no observation — to my knowledge — that any of the messages are in any way off the beaten track in terms of faith and morals,” said Father Johann Roten, director of the University of Dayton’s Marian Library — International Marian Research Institute.
Father Roten pointed out that scientifically and medically the apparitions are among the most studied in Church history.
In addition to the messages themselves — which consist primarily of calls for repentance, conversion and peace — proponents also point to the tremendous fruits that the messages have born in the Church.
To date, more than 30 million men and women have visited Medjugorje, with countless conversions and vocations to the priesthood and religious life resulting from those visits.
“There seems to be an undeniable explosion of supernatural graces in Medjugorje,” Miravalle said.
‘Not good’ fruits
But there also seems to be an undeniable storm of contro-versy surrounding Medjugorje.
“The good fruits of Medjugorje are undeniable,” said Patrick Madrid, director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College. “But we can’t disregard the fruits that aren’t good.”
Madrid, who calls himself “a skeptic, not a critic,” of Medjugorje, points to accounts of scandal surrounding several key figures as an example of those “not good” fruits.
He likewise finds fault in the very thing that so many proponents find good: the messages.
“From very early on, you see an incitement to disobedience in the messages,” Madrid said. “If this really is the Mother of God urging disobedience to the bishops, that seems at odds with her messages to people like St. Faustina, where she urged obedience even in the wake of disbelief and disapproval.”
Both proponents and skeptics have ample evidence to which they can point and ample arguments with which to respond to those who disagree with them. At this point, it can feel difficult, if not impossible, for faithful Catholics in the middle to know who’s right.
Up until now, however, the Church hierarchy has been almost as divided on the question as Catholics themselves. Both of Medjugorje’s local bishops took firm positions against the apparitions, while other bishops, such as Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph
Schönborn, have caused a stir by making pilgrimages to the apparition site. . . . (continue reading)
I don’t recognize it.
You know and I know and you know I know that you know I know that you are skeered of these “Easter Bunnies.” You know it. And I know it.
Father Jay Scott Newman explains why the recent passage of the health-care bill was a great defeat for those who defend unborn life against “the murderous abomination” of abortion. Listen to this courageous priest’s eloquent, powerful sermon and share it far and wide. In it, he names and denounces the “grave injustice” which has been enshrined in law and the “false Catholicisms which are helping to destroy our nation by building lies into laws.”
Doing a Stupak“, meaning taking an apparently principled stand against a proposal, only to sell out at the last minute on some cheap assurance that it’s no big deal.”
“Who wouldda thought Stupak would get sold out by… Stupak?
“Today a new phrase is coined in the American political lexicon: “
For over 7 years now, especially in my public lectures, I have been beating the drum about this, warning that what we now know as “The Right to Die” Movement is steadily morphing into what will soon become “The Obligation to Die” Movement.
DUBLIN, March 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Euthanasia and atheist campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke, Australia’s “Dr. Death,” told an audience in Dublin this week that he had traveled to the country after receiving “significant interest” from elderly Irish wanting information on how to end their lives.Nitschke’s visit was opposed by pro-life groups, which have charged that his activities constitute a violation of the country’s criminal code that warrants police investigation.Speaking in Dublin in Thursday night, Nitschke encouraged his audience at the Seomra Spraoi social centre to confirm their plans to commit suicide before they become too infirm. “Don’t wait until it’s too late, plan ahead and put in place an end-of-life strategy,” he said.A major focus of his appearance, he said, was to help overturn Ireland’s blasphemy laws that, he contended, make it “almost impossible” to talk about assisted suicide for fear of opposition from religious groups.Nitschke said, “As an atheist I am often asked to debate the ethical issues involved in providing a person with information that will allow them to end their life peacefully and reliably at a time of their choosing. I am constantly up against this idea that somehow life belongs to God. I disagree strongly with that assertion.”But Rebecca Rougheen of the pro-life group Youth Defence called this claim a “red herring.” Rougheen told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that Nitschke “always tries to make out that opposition to his gruesome ideology is purely motivated by what he describes as religious bigotry.”“When in fact, people of all creeds and none can see that what he is espousing is completely unethical and immoral.”Nitschke’s appearance to give what was billed as a “self-deliverance workshop,” raised considerable opposition in the largely Catholic country. At the meeting he showed a video detailing the various methods he recommends for suicide, including the “exit bag” and other devices he invented and sells from his Melbourne-based group Exit International.Promoting assisted suicide, however, is a criminal act under the current code in Ireland and pro-life groups are calling for action by the Justice Minister Dermot Ahern. “This workshop which counsels and assists in the procurement of suicide is illegal under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 and the Minister now needs to instruct the Gardai [police] to get involved,” said Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute.Youth Defence used the social networking site Facebook to spread the word about Nitschke’s visit and to ask supporters to contact Minister Ahern. Rougheen told LSN that
, in the end, only about five individuals signed up for Nitschke’s workshop. The rest of the audience, she said, were political activists and journalists.After protests, four venues, all publicly funded, cancelled Nitschke’s appearance. In the end, he was hosted by the Seomra Spraoi group, a leftist political organization that does not receive public funding, and bills itself as a “non-hierarchical, anti-capitalist collective, run on a not-for-profit basis.”Despite the presence of Dublin’s gardai outside, no protest was mounted at the event itself.One elderly attendee told local Irish TV news that he had come to hold the “right to die” philosophy after seeing members of his family die “in considerable discomfort and pain.” Doctors, he said, “have not been able to help them to die in a dignified way.”Statements such as these have sparked concerns in the pro-life movement that pain treatment and palliative care are not adequate in many areas, and that it is this inadequacy that is fueling the push for assisted suicide and euthanasia. Others have also expressed concerns that, with the rise in popularity of the euthanasia movement, governments, many of which have socialized medical systems, will regard killing the patient as a more cost-effective means of dealing with the terminally ill and elderly.After the meeting, Nitschke told the Irish Times that the audience had been representative of others he had spoken to: “These are not sick people. These are people who have come along because they see that it makes sense to know about ending your life.”Nitschke, a militant secularist and founder and director of the euthanasia group Exit International, was the first doctor in the world to administer a legal, voluntary, lethal injection, killing four people, before Australia’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, which made assisted suicide lawful, was overturned by the Federal Parliament.In 2000, he announced a plan to launch a “death ship,” similar to the notorious Dutch abortion ship of the group Women on Waves, that he said would have allowed him to circumvent local laws by euthanizing people in international waters. He has published two books, “Killing Me Softly” in 2005, his political manifesto, and 2007’s “The Peaceful Pill Handbook,” that gives instructions on how to commit suicide. The second book was banned in Australia and later in New Zealand.He is also the inventor and promoter of two suicide devices, the “exit bag,” a large plastic bag with a drawstring allowing it to be secured around the neck, and the “CoGen” (or “Co-Genie”) device, that generates carbon monoxide.Nitschke pledged to return to Ireland, leaving behind an “embryonic” group to continue campaigning. . . . (continue reading)
This headline caught my eye:
“Mentally ill Qantas pilot allowed to fly despite complaining of urge to crash.”
A Qantas pilot suffering from a mental illness was allowed to keep flying for three years despite complaining of his urges to crash his planes. . . .Pilot Bryan Griffin said he struggled with overwhelming desire to switch off his plane’s engine on several occasions during his career, yet was deemed fit to continue flying by doctors.
During a flight from Perth to Singapore in 1979 Griffin stated that his left hand “involuntarily” moved towards the start levers” in a “torturous” compulsion, the Workers Compensation Commission of New South Wales Workers heard. He said he “struggled with the uncontrollable limb as though it wasn’t mine” and was forced to place it under his seat belt to restrain it. . . . (continue reading)
For those who do not understand the Dr. Strangelove allusion, this will help.
It takes only two sentences, mistranslated to include words not said by Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico when the Papal Nuncio addressed the people of Bosnia & Herzegovina with regards to the new Medjugorje commission, to change the meaning of what he was saying.His Excellency would be disappointed to learn how a pair of sentences, made into one, came across to English speaking readers as a result of the fabrication that was made. . . . (Continue reading)