Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pro-Life Activity in Canada

Most of the news I read about pro-life comes from LifeSiteNews in Canada, and in the US from OneNews and from Jill Stanek's blog. On Sunday, a friend sent me two large files that were audio files of a very recent rally held in Toronto. This was organized by Faytene Kryskow and Bound4Life, a group that she co-founded to bring about an end to abortion in Canada. Faytene has been around for several years now; she sits regularly in Parliament to listen to what is happening in the government of our nation. She has a deep concern for the Christian values that we are losing as our society becomes more and more secularized.

You can listen to a live steam of this rally at this link:
The Cry

You may have heard of The Cry led by Lou Engles in the US. Engles has been leading vast crowds of youth in day-long prayer and fasting for the past 20 years. Faytene is the Lou Engles of Canada.

Many pro-life people are not aware of movements other than the ones that are predominantly Roman Catholic. It is good to be aware of other activities within the pro-life movement and Bound4Life and The Cry are ones that we should pay attention to.

The rally was held at Massey Hall in Toronto on July 28. There is earnest prayer led by Faytene; particularly moving are the short testimonies given by women and men who have had abortions touch their lives. I have heard many testimonies from the middle-aged women of Silent No More. There is something incredibly moving when that testimony comes from someone so young. As one girl says, you can't deny the pain of abortion when you hear their testimonies.

Most of the pro-life news that I read is limited to LifeSiteNews, 40 Days for Life. It is so encouraging to know that there are parallel movements taking place within other groups of people in our county. I think it is crucial that we pay attention to all that is happening and that we support each movement. We are all parts of the whole, just as Scripture says we are all parts of the body. We are all working towards the goal of protecting life in the womb.

One thing that is being organized is a prayer walk from Montreal, from the first abortion clinic opened by Morgentaler to Parliament in Ottawa. The walk will end in Ottawa at the same time as the annual March for Life next May. Twenty-five young women, so far, have signed up to walk the distance. These are, from what I could tell, all women who have had abortions and regret them; their walk is not a protest but it is a prayer walk, as they will make their way to the centre of our government. It would seem that the present-day pro-life movement is centering more and more on prayer. With a crisis the size of the abortion disaster in our nations, we are finally realising that only God can bring about the solution.

You can learn more about these events and this young movement led by Faytene at the following sites:


As well, the group has put up a site to support the private member's bill 312 put forward by MP Stephen Woodworth. This is a bill asking Parliament to call a committee to study the question of when does life begin. It is not a law to reduce abortion, it is not a law that will change anything. Woodworth is simply asking our elected members of Parliament to discuss this issue, something that they have avoided. On the law books, the current definition of human life is based on 400-year-old medical knowledge. Isn't it time to discuss this most important question? Learn more at this site:

When Am I Human?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Steyn Shines

I think this bears repeating: Mark Steyn is brilliant. Just read how he aligns seemingly unrelated phrases, labels, and actions and then points out the inconsistencies with his cutting wit. I would hate to be the object of his pen.

Alderman Moreno does not allege that Chick-fil-A discriminates in its hiring practices or in its customer service. Nor does he argue that business owners should not be entitled to hold opinions: The Muppets, for example, have reacted to Mr. Cathy's observations by announcing that they're severing all ties with Chick-fil-A. Did you know that the Muppet Corporation has a position on gay marriage? Well, they do. But Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef would be permitted to open a business in the First Ward of Chicago because their opinion on gay marriage happens to coincide with Alderman Moreno's.

... before he was mayor, Rahm Emanuel was President Obama's chief of staff. Until the president's recent "evolution," the Obama administration held the same position on gay marriage as Chick-fil-A. Would Alderman Moreno have denied Barack Obama the right to open a chicken restaurant in the First Ward? Did Rahm Emanuel quit the Obama administration on principle? Don't be ridiculous. Mayor Emanuel is a former ballet dancer, and when it's politically necessary he can twirl on a dime.

"There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail," Mayor Menino thundered in his letter to Mr. Cathy, "and no place for your company alongside it." No, sir. On Boston's Freedom Trail, you're free to march in ideological lockstep with the city authorities – or else. Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when Massachusetts was a beacon of liberty: the shot heard round the world, and all that. Now it fires Bureau of Compliance permit-rejection letters round the world.

Yet, when it comes to fighting homophobia on Boston's Freedom Trail, His Honor is highly selective. As the Boston Herald's Michael Graham pointed out, Menino is happy to hand out municipal licenses to groups whose most prominent figures call for gays to be put to death. The mayor couldn't have been more accommodating (including giving them $1.8 million of municipal land) of the new mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose IRS returns listed as one of their seven trustees Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

This inconsistency is very telling. The forces of "tolerance" and "diversity" are ever more intolerant of anything less than total ideological homogeneity. Earlier this year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation – the group that gave us those pink "awareness raising" ribbons for breast cancer – decided to end its funding of Planned Parenthood on the grounds that, whatever its other charms, Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with curing breast cancer. Within hours, the Komen Foundation's Nancy Brinker had been jumped by her fellow liberals and was strapped to a chair under a light bulb in the basement with her head clamped between two mammogram plates until she recanted.

As an exercise in sheer political muscle, it's impressive. But, if you're a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democratic menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel's pirouette, and Menino's coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it'll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted Leftie politicians' commitment to gay rights, feminism and much else. It's easy to cheer on the thugs when they're thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel's political needs change?

Americans talk more about liberty than citizens of other Western nations, but, underneath the rhetorical swagger, liberty bleeds. When Mayor Menino and Alderman Moreno openly threaten to deny business licenses because of ideological apostasy, they're declaring their unfitness for public office. It's not about marriage, it's not about gays, it's about a basic understanding that a free society requires a decent respect for a wide range of opinion without penalty by the state. In Menino's Boston, the Freedom Trail is heavy on the Trail, way too light on the Freedom.

Mark Steyn Online

Prophecies for Our Time

“…. I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…. the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs (morals)….

“They will focus principally on the children in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times! It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, and also that of Confirmation…

“As for the Sacrament of Matrimony… it will be attacked and deeply profaned… The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished… Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations.

“The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests…

“Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” In a subsequent apparition, Our Lady told Mother Mariana that these apparitions were not to become generally known until the twentieth century.

Source - Catholic Herald UK


Yesterday was the Gay Pride march in Halifax. I was going to post about it, but then thought it is so awful that I chose not to comment. However, if we don't speak up, then our silence puts us "in the closet". This cartoon seemed appropriate.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

40 Days for Life in England

I read this article today in Human Life Review. Sorry the articles in this publication are not available online, as it is a subscribe-only journal. The old-fashioned kind that arrives in your mailbox. It is published four times per year and is loaded with excellent articles on life issues.

The article was written by Pastor Iuventus, which is the nom de plume of a priest who writes for the London Catholic Herald. This article was printed on April 6, 2011.

Standing for Truth in Bedford Square

The Guardian, champion of the marginalised, described it as having a "carnivalesque" atmosphere. Well, I suppose so, if your idea of fun is trying to make sure that no voice but your own may make itself heard, and you find it amusing to insult and ridicule the religious sensibilities of one of the country's minority religions.

The newspaper was referring to the "stand-off" which took place on Friday evening in London's elegant Bedford Square. The 40 Days for Life group was winding up another campaign for peaceful witness and prayer with a vigil attended by Bishop Alan Hopes, auxiliary in Westminster. The vigil was confronted by an angry group of "pro-choice" activists who objected to their presence and tactics, which, as anyone who has had anything to do with 40 Days for Life will know, are entirely peaceful, non-confrontational and respectful of women.

Hearing the baying and insults of the crowd I don't think it is being fond to say that all I could think of was Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Pilate. It felt like a confrontation about truth. All who are on the side of truth must expect such opposition - and more. I don't know what I expected to feel, but after the initial shock of the hostility I began to feel quite calm. I wasn't there as an activist in any political sense. It wasn't about protesting or winning. I was there to pray as an expression of a desire to listen to the voice of truth and literally to stand there to advert to it. Confrontation was inevitable not because these were evil people or because of the strength with which they expressed their views, but because our peaceful presence drew their fear and anger, which are painful reminders of their own feelings about the abortions they have had. In reality, their "choice" was under no threat whatsoever but it is, in reality, as vulnerable as hell to the truth - and that was what drew their reaction. We needed to be there not in any political sense of confronting them with a show of strength, but to witness that truth does not "empower" you. You can concur with it, witness to it, be a victim for it, but you can never control it or silence it. Jesus left such an example, for he allowed distortion of the truth apparently to prevail in order to reveal the inner impotence of anything, however powerful, but truth. What is truth? Jesus cannot engage with this question by Pilate for much the same reason that one could not engage with the crowd screaming at us last Friday night. He can just manifest that it is there, that he is it. With his last breath he will manifest it, because if you cannot recognise your need to engage with the truth when it is literally standing before you, what is the chance that someone's clever arguments will convince you?

And there, before both groups last Friday night, stood the shocking truth: an abortuary. Not a women's gynaecological hospital, a women's crisis centre, a refuge for abused or pregnant women, but a facility which exists to kill children who are not required, who are inconvenient or unwelcome. What is truth? That this is a place where women are "empowered" by choice or that this is a place of death? Nor can it be allowed that the "choice" is one between having a baby and not having one. It is between having a baby or having the most appalling invasive intervention to destroy that child within you, with all the concomitant hormonal, physical, and psychological consequences of dealing with pregnancy, the genesis of new life, as though it were a medical crisis like cancer. One of the "pro-choice" women opposite us described that action on her blog as "a minor medical intervention." Whatever your take on "choice" this is a simple denial of truth.

The underlying realisation of this by the pro-choice demonstration was hard to miss, for the truth cannot be silenced, not even by our own conscious minds. A slogan like "Keep your Eucharist off my uterus" is tragic, for in psychological terms it is a projection of what these women fear in the depths of their hearts they have done: that they have made their wombs, which were sacred tabernacles of life, places where they fear nothing holy, nothing life-giving, now may have place. By screaming at a group of people praying as though their prayers would somehow touch them in that intimate area they were telling us in the most shocking way how they felt about the "minor medical intervention" - in reality, an appalling invasion of that sacred space - which they subconsciously regretted submitting to. In truth their cries, did they but know it, were directed against the very clinic they were "defending."

Every so often they would lapse into silence, and there would remain just the quiet sound of a crowd of 400 or so saying: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners ..." Truth sounding out falsehoold. Then their silence began to speak of the desperation, the sorrow, that lay so immediately behind the anger, so that they would quickly rouse themsevles again to trying to drown out the prayer with cacaphony.

The unborn need our voices to remind those who would destroy them of what they are doing. And those who have done so need our witness to draw their anger so that they can begin to see its real source and object - their much vaunted "choice." We must love them and pray for them. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Presidential Gaffes

This is up there with the remark about having visited all 58 states.

h/t Fr. Z's blog

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pornographic Violence in Films

Headline on Drudge Report today:

What if Movies are Part of the Problem?

An interview with director Peter Bogdanovich; here are some snippets:

People go to a movie to have a good time, and they get killed. It's a horrible, horrible event. It makes me sick that I made a movie about it.

Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It's almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It's all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy.

The fact that these tentpole movies are all violent comic book movies doesn't speak well for our society.

Today, there's a general numbing of the audience. There's too much murder and killing. You make people insensitive by showing it all the time. The body count in pictures is huge. It numbs the audience into thinking it's not so terrible. Back in the '70s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening to pictures, and he said, "We're brutalizing the audience. We're going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Coliseum." The respect for human life seems to be eroding.

I am glad to see that someone thinks this too. Gosh, a second article no less
Warner Brothers and its decade of violent films, New York Times

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Linda Gibbons Free

An unexpected verdict in court has set Linda Gibbons free. For the past 18 years, Linda has been in and out of jail for walking silently outside an abortion clinic in Toronto, one which has a "bubble zone" around it. The bubble zone was created by a temporary injunction passed in 1994. Long time for a temporary injunction. Linda is tossed from civil to criminal court on this one, because of the technicalities of how she was charged and the charges that are put on her.

However, her last interment in jail was for being outside a different clinic, and she was charged with disturbing the peace.

TORONTO, Ontario, July 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Linda Gibbons tasted freedom for the first time in over seven months last Friday morning after a judge found her not guilty of disobeying a court order in connection with her arrest outside the Morgentaler abortion site in Toronto last December 16. She was immediately released from custody to the greetings of supporters in a downtown Toronto courtroom as Justice William R. Wolski of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled Crown attorney Andrew Cappell had insufficiently proven Gibbons created a nuisance, as the charge had suggested. Wolski said Gibbons could not be convicted because the testimony of an attending sheriff was inadequate and no abortion staff were called to outline how Gibbons’s actions allegedly impacted them.

This is a significant development in Linda's case history. Perhaps this judge realised the unfairness of a system that puts a peaceful woman in jail for months and years, while people who wreak havoc during an Occupy protest are not given any punishment whatsoever. Nor are the men who expose themselves during the Gay Pride parade.

I'm sure Linda will be back out on the sidewalk come September but for now, she is going to take some much-needed R&R.

Her immediate plans are to visit her aged mother in B.C. and then take time out to enjoy some cottage life while summer is still here. “I’d rather be knee-deep in grass than in the green I’ve been wearing on my back,” Gibbons quipped.

h/t LifeSiteNews

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tolerant Churches Lose Relevance

A couple of blogs that I read have written recently about the demise of the American Anglican Church. And one blog, Lone Star Parson even refers to the Anglican Church of Canada as disappearing into outer space.

He is being more than witty here.

From Tim Stanley in the Telegraph blogs comes this:

Not so, says Ross Douthat in a New York Times article that has caused quite a stir among the liberal faithful. Douthat charts the strange demise of the US Episcopal Church, which he describes as “flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.” And yet, against the predictions of liberal theologians, the result has been the evolution from a pseudo-national church to a hippie sect. “Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.”

This story is familiar across many mainline Protestant denominations. William Briggs’ work shows that the Methodists and Presbyterians have all but disappeared in the last twenty years. By contrast, the Catholics and Assemblies of God have slightly increased their numbers and the Southern Baptists are “treading water.” This map reveals an astonishing picture of faith in the 21st century. Thanks to immigration and a steady increase in priests and congregations, the closest thing the US has to a national church is now the Roman Catholics. The only bastions of Protestantism are the Baptist South and Methodist West Virginia. The Mormons have a strong presence out West, too.

The liturgies that seek to be relevant to modern society are failing at what they aim to do, which is to attract people to the pews. Interestingly enough, the Roman Catholic church in the US is the closest thing to a national church, if you are looking at the numbers. Pentecostalism is also on the rise while Methodists and Episcopalians are declining, and Baptists are treading water.

It would seem that people are going for the message and not the medium.

The other problem is that Americas’ overall belief in God shows no great evidence of decline. What has really fallen isn’t faith but patterns of communal worship. For millions of folks, it is no longer the default to join a church. In fact, giving up your Sunday morning to sit in a cold temple listening to a kazoo band playing Nearer My God To Thee is, for most people, a perverse thing to choose to do. Ergo, it is not enough to get them into the pews by saying, “We've driven out the bigots!” – ministers now how to convince the public that church attendance is in their personal interest. And conservatives are better at doing this than liberals because the product they are selling makes a stronger claim for its value to the individual.

... What post-modern man is looking for is something that speaks to his desire to find clear, satisfying answers in a sick world of confusion and despair. Ironically, in its search for “social relevance,” liberal Christianity risks making itself irrelevant to many people’s lives.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Movies and Our Fault

All the news channels are abuzz with the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado with the opening of The Dark Knight sequel. With twelve persons dead, and countless people traumatized from the shooting rampage in the theatre, it is no wonder that it is all over the news.

Particularly touching was the account of three young men who used their bodies to shield their girlfriends from the bullets; they saved those women's lives by sacrificing their own. I am sure there will emerge many other stories of heroism and love as more people recount the story.

What disturbs me most is the statements from actors in the film, giving their condolences to the family and friends of the victims and deploring the senseless massacre that occurred when their film debuted. Not a single one has expressed a shred of remorse at acting in a film that is full of violence and twisted values.

When the first Batman film was released in 2008,
Some have pointed to the extreme violence in the film, but my concerns go well beyond that. In a Canwest News Service review Jay Stone refers to Joker as a “psychotic butcher”; Jenny McCarthy in her August 2 review in the London Telegraph wrote, “The greatest surprise of all - even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic - has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.” One reviewer even called the film “torture porn.” LifeSiteNews

Does this not stir any remorse in the producers or actors? Some venues cancelled the opening of the film until after the weekend, but then after that, it will be business as usual. The business of making money, that is.

I don't know how these Hollywood types sleep at night. I mean is this real work? Playing roles in movies that gain them fame worldwide, plus all that money that just puts them above and beyond any ordinary person. And the world looks up to Hollywood actors as if they are our moral leaders. In reality, they don't show a shred of moral behaviour, they are the most disfunctional people on the planet, yet we put them on a pedestal and admire them as if they were the most important people in our world. An episode like this shows me that they are as shallow as the costume and makeup they put on to act, their moral character is practically non-existent. They make statements to the press about the horror of what has happened, but they fail to see that they have any responsibility in that horror. Does it never occur to them that perhaps it would be better to refuse to play parts that bring about tragedies like the one that just occurred?

Of course, I know that the shooter was motivated by much more than this film, but the fact that he played the Joker when he went on his rampage does indicate that this film and story line influenced him in behaviour that is reprehensible. Why do we condone the film and why will millions more go to see it, even though it is now coloured with the blood of so many victims?

Another thing that bothers me is why so many people would go to this film at midnight and even take their young children with them. What kind of world are we living in that we think it fun to take the young and vulnerable to see a film described as "torture porn"? Are we innocent onlookers to the film world or are we lured into the dark world of evil and call it entertainment? Can you imagine the outrage if some public figure were to suggest that people not attend this film? He would be vilified by one and all; cries of we are all free to choose our actions despite such malevolent influences and the money would continue to pour into Hollywood while the population becomes spiritually bankrupt with unnecessary garbage like this film.

The world of movies has replaced church attendance for the majority of people. Declining attendance at Sunday services is countered by millions of dollars at the box office. Are the directors and actors of Hollywood our new moral leaders, wowing us with screen displays that stimulate the senses and excite the emotions, while our deeper being is being assaulted by darkness and evil? Don't we care one whit about what that is doing to us?

We are all responsible for what happened in Aurora, CO because we have assented to what the film industry chooses to assault us with and we even pay them handsomely for it. Just what kind of morons are we?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Canadian Bishops and the Public Square

Further reading of Catholics Against the Church, by Michael Cuneo, tells of the legalization of contraception in Canada in 1966. At the time, the Catholic bishops were expected to take a stand and they submitted a brief to the Committee on Health and Welfare "which announced that they would not oppose the legalizaton of contraceptives...In their October brief the bishops attempted to clarify the 'distinction between Catholic teaching and the attitude of the church towards legislation in a pluralistic society' such as Canada. They accorded explicit recognition to the autonomy of the political sphere and emphasized the ill-advisability of facilely attempting to translate moral law into civil laws. 'That which the Church teaches to be morally reprehensible should not necessarily be considered as indictable by the criminal code of a country.'"

The bishops also asserted that Catholic legislators were to follow their own consciences when voting for laws and their advice was to consider what was best for the common good, rather than hold rigidly to the doctrines of one's religion

Then came 1969 and the loosening of the laws on divorce; once again, a statement from the Catholic bishops was expected. While affirming the Catholic positiion on the indissolubility of marriage, the bishops stated that "Canada is a country of many religious beliefs. Since other citizens, desiring as we do the promotion of the common good, believe that it is less injurious to the individual and to society that divorce be permitted in certain circumstances, we would not object to some revision of the Canadian divorce laws that is truly directed to advancing the common good of civil society.'

Pierre Trudeau was the Minister of Justice at the time and he addressed Parliament on the second reading of the bill to widen grounds for divorce:
We are now living in a social climate in which people are beginning to realise, perhaps for the first time in the history of this country, that we are not entitled to impose the concepts which belong to a sacred society upon a civil or profane society. The concepts of a civil society in which we live are pluralistic and I think ...it would be a mistake for us to legislate into this society concepts which belong to a theological or sacred order.

The Canadian bishops did not raise any objections to Trudeau's statement and their position of holding to Catholic doctrine but not forcing it upon the Canadian citizenry seems to have become their default position. Is it any wonder that they are now quiet on the issue of abortion, and even more so on the advancement of the homosexual agenda, since they publicly stated that they did not have the right to push their beliefs down anyone else's throat?

And then came the relaxing of the law on abortion. In March 1968, a delegation from the Canadian Catholic Conference, led by Bishop Remi De Roo of Victoria BC, appeared before Parliament. De Roo's opening remarks stressed that the delegation had come 'in a spirit of dialogue' and did not want 'to impose a particular point of view' upon a 'complex and difficult question.' The Globe and Mail denounced the statement as "ecclesiastical meddling" and reiterated that the bishops should not seek to affect civil law with moral law. This was exactly what the bishops had stated on the issue of legalizing contraception; funny isn't it, how it always seems to come back to whether or not the clergy follow the teachings of Humanae Vitae? Even though Humanae Vitae came out in 1968, two years after contraception was legalized in Canada, the mentality of acceptance of the prevailing secularization of society seems to have governed the course of action for Canadian bishops.

Father Alphonse de Valk was a vocal critic of the bishops' relationship to Parliament. He is still going strong in the publication Catholic Insight, of which he is the editor. De Valk chastised the bishops for submissivenss and for failure to intervene more directly in the political process. He states that they were overcome by a spirit of Vatican II, taking that spirit to be one of conciliation to the point of seeking harmony and goodwill at the expense of adherence to Catholic doctrine.

I find the following paragraph statement to be particularly poignant:

The distinction articulated by the bishops between moral and civil law, de Valk concedes, was motivated by a sincere and honourable respect for Canadian democracy and the diversity of ethical views that inevitably exist in a heterogeneous society. But, he argues, the bishops misplayed this distinction into the hands of cultural elites who advocated the total secularization of Canadian society and, concomitantly, the total withdrawal of the Catholic church from the political forum. Thus, apologetic and defensive at the hour of decision, the bishops offered 'no prophetic stand,' but instead stood by meekly as the 'legalization of abortion was introduced, defended and pushed through by a heavily Catholic party, thereby making Canada the only country in the world where Catholics bear this responsibility.'

I wonder who those cultural elites were? how many glasses of Scotch were clinked by bishops and parliamentarians, as the bishops mistakenly thought they could cozy up to the Catholic elected parliamentarians and all would be well? did they trust them too much? did a man like Trudeau convince the Catholic bishops, at least those who had power, to let him lead in the issue of abortion? have the Canadian bishops relinquished their right to speak in the public square by their initial statement on contraception, a statement that drew a hard line between church and state?

Having just finished Metaxes' biography of William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace, what would have happened if Wilberforce had thought that civil law was not to be informed by moral law? We need one or two moral giants in this country, men who are not afraid to speak of morality when it comes to legislation. Our complete lack of protection for the unborn, and cases like the judge who acquitted the woman who killed her newborn child in Alberta, illustrate how desperately we need morality to inform the law. Law is a teacher, and when you have no law or laws that are immoral, then you are guilty of teaching people to live immorally.

A very good priest once said to me "there are going to be a lot of bishops spending a lot of time in Purgatory."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

History of Pro-Life in Canada

The book Catholics Against the Church, Anti-Abortion Protest in Toronto, 1969-1985 was recommended to me by Dr. Keith Cassidy, President of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. He told me that this book by Michael W. Cuneo was the best account of the history of the pro-life movement in Canada.

I ordered the book from Amazon, and since it was out of print and only available used, I had to reroute it via my daughter in Texas.

The back cover already has me dubious about whether or not the book is accurate; an endorsement "superbly interesting, breaking new ground, and a good read to boot" by Gregory Baum, a dissenting Catholic theologian doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the unbiased view of the author. Baum may simply be endorsing someone who agrees with his philosophy.

Be that as it may, the first chapter has already provoked my interest. The comparison of the Canadian and American pro-life movements is interesting; the statement that the Canadian Catholic clergy have basically left the pro-life movement here in Canada to fend for itself while the US clergy have thrown themselves behind the pro-life movement there is dismaying, to say the least.

Whereas the American bishops responded to Roe v. Wade with uninhibited activisim, and in fact greatly facilitated the development of an organized anti-abortion front, the Canadian bishops have left the movement entirely to its own devices. By the late 1970s certain segments of the Canadian movement were in fact fully convinced that the Catholic bishops were traitors to the anti-abortion cause.

I have always known that the Canadian pro-life movement is very divided; groups cannot seem to agree on any unified course of action. This book seems to give an account of that (although I suspect the author is biased). He relates the beginning of the movement by the Alliance for Life, a group of somewhat-educated professionals and wives of the same, and then the questioning of this group on the grounds that it was too compromising with the government and too ready to make concessions on legislation. The rise of a group of single-minded pro-life activists gave birth to Campaign Life Coalition which took over the movement when Alliance for Life moved its central office from Toronto to Winnipeg. This move inadvertently made that group a regional group and surrendered the national movement to CLC.

The author doesn't seem to approve of CLC's philosophy and mandate, which he claims is not only anti-abortion but anti-relativism, anti-modern morality and includes in its judgement any move away from the traditional Christian morals of family life. Already by the end of chapter one, he has painted Campaign Life as extremely right-wing, something that he thinks precludes negotiation with anyone.

He also paints the pro-life movement in Canada as a movement dominated by orthodox Catholics who believe the Church is drifting into the waters of left-wing ideology and liberalism.

The book was written in 1989, more than twenty years ago. I wonder what the author thinks now. Perhaps he would change his tune, or perhaps he would still consider the pro-life movement to be too extreme and too judgmental of modern society and its morals. I doubt that he could ignore the decline in Church attendance, but he might explain it away as the Church not being relevant to the modern world.

Another thought I had while comparing the Canadian and US pro-life movements is that here in Canada, we have had a succession of Catholic Prime Ministers. Trudeau, Mulroney, Turner, Chretien, while the United States has had only one Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. The Catholic prime ministers have all held power during the 40 years of controversy after abortion was legalized, while Kennedy pre-dated the conflict that ensued after Roe v Wade. I wonder how much that has coloured the relationship between the bishops and the parliamentary legislators? Perhaps in Canada, the need to remain on good terms with the government has been part of the cause for lack of action on the part of our bishops. I would like to know more about this, because it is something I have never heard anyone address. Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Contracept the black and brown races

Melinda Gates and her partners, including the British government and the world's largest abortion providers, have launched a $4 billion campaign to push birth control for poor women in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ms. Gates claims that there is "no controversy" in powerful groups and governments promoting birth control for poor women, but the facts are that contraception IS controversial for a number of reasons. Share the facts today at http://www.FactsforMelindaGates.com.

Why is that western women think that helping women in the third world means getting them to accept their ideology on contraception and pregnancy? Melinda and Bill Gates have one child, and they think that everyone would be better making that same choice.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photographs of abortion

Jill Stanek posted a story this weekend of a woman who photographed her abortion with her cell phone. Then she posted the pictures on YouTube to prove that abortion is really no big deal. Her fetus of 6 weeks does not look anything like the graphic images that pro-life protesters show outside of abortion clinics and her hope is to "demystify the sensational images propagated by the religious and political right on this matter".

Isn't it odd that, given the advances of medical science, people who support the pro-abortion position cling to images that are only visible to the naked eye? They won't go beyond what is immediately visible to perhaps use a microscope or any other technology that is now standard equipment. It seems that is a little bit like living in the dark ages and denying the advances that have been made.

Given this type of thinking, one could look at the heavens and ask what's the big deal about astronomy? since all that can be seen, with the naked eye is little points of light - nothing interesting here, move on.

This position relies on remaining ignorant of the science; and that position is not tenable for very long, at least not if you wish to think.

Read more on the story over at Jill Stanek

The Abortion Caravan of 1970

From - Wikipedia

By mid-April 1970, with preparations in place, a delegation of the Vancouver Women’s Caucus set out from Vancouver in a yellow convertible, a pickup truck, and a Volkswagen bus complete with a black coffin strapped on the roof.[4] Aimed at emulating the On-to-Ottawa Trek of the Depression era,[5] the Abortion Caravan traveled over five thousand kilometers from Vancouver to Ottawa, gathering numbers and galvanizing support in communities across the nation. As they traveled to Ottawa, members of the Vancouver Women's Caucus stopped in cities and towns every night, holding public meetings and listening to women’s concerns so they could bring their voices to the government.[6]

The Abortion Caravan arrived in Ottawa on Mother’s Day weekend 1970. A convoy of Canadian women, over five hundred strong in support, arrived- coat hangers and a black coffin in tow- to demand the legalization of unrestricted access to abortion services for all Canadian women.[6]

Participants of the Abortion Caravan declared “war on the Government of Canada”,[6] with hundreds of women from across Canada rallying for two days on Parliament Hill. At 24 Sussex Drive, official residence of the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was burned in effigy.[7] A black coffin adorned with coat hangers- representing the pregnant women who had died from underground back-alley abortion procedures or their own attempts with knitting needles or coat hangers- was left at the Prime Minister’s front door.[7]

On May 11, 1970 approximately 80 women donning black headscarves arrived at the House of Commons and began circling the centennial flame carrying a black coffin, and banners proclaiming “twelve thousand women die”.[8] Other women sat lookout on benches around the gardens of Parliament, while others waited on motorcycles nearby, ready to follow any vehicles carrying arrested demonstrators.

Approximately three dozen women, dressed in feminine attire, including heels and skirts, pantyhose and gloves, entered the House of Commons singly and in pairs, taking their seats in the various galleries circling the House.[8] Once seated, the women quietly chained themselves to their seats, listening intently as, on the House floor, NDP MP Andrew Brewin asked the Minister of Justice John Turner if he would consider reviewing the abortion law; Turner said he doubted the law would be reviewed, closing discussion on the matter.[8]

Just before 3 p.m., one of the women rose from her seat in the gallery and began reciting the Abortion Caravan’s prepared speech, interrupting debate on the floor of the House of Commons.[8] As parliamentary guards approached the woman, a second woman stood up in another area of the gallery and continued to give the group’s speech. One by one, the women rose from their seats, adding their voices to the group’s speech and chanting “free abortions on demand”.[7] One parliamentary guard remarked to The Globe and Mail's Clyde Sanger that the women were “popping up all over the place”.[8]

As Parliamentary guards moved through the galleries apprehending the protestors and forcibly removing the women from their seats, one woman reportedly “hurled a water bomb at the government benches before being rushed by security officers and marched from the building”; other women had their chains “removed by bolt-cutting guards and were heckled by onlookers as they were escorted from House”.[7] The gallery disturbance caused by activists served as the climax of the Abortion Caravan, provoking the first adjournment of Parliament in its 103-year history, shutting down the House of Commons for over an hour.[9]

Excerpt of a letter written in the Toronto Daily Star May 19, 1970, after the the old Abortion Caravan's Toronto Rally:

"Consummate actresses that we are, if we women keep pushing and screaming, we shall succeed in pulling off the most stunning piece of legislation ever. Abortion on demand.

A stroke of the pen, and absolute power over life and death is ours. What a heady triumpth, Why I can almost taste the glory. Even God will envy us."

h/t Run with Life

Being pro-choice is really about being pro-death. Some claim that they are looking out for women's lives, but they are in fact only pro- their own life. I wonder how many of those activists from 1970 now regret their abortion decision?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Show the Truth

I think it is time to do this here in Halifax. Nothing else is making people aware of abortion and the damage it is doing to women and men and all of our society. It is time for the "big guns" of graphic imagery.

President Bush and Women's Health

"We care because we believe that to whom much is given, much is required," Bush says. "And those of us, who live in America, live in the most blessed nation ever and therefore when we see suffering, we ought to act."

The former president has raised more than $85 million for cervical cancer programs, through his George W. Bush Center and other partner organizations. Bush says his goal is to build upon one of the great bipartisan achievements of his presidency.

In 2003, Bush's AIDS initiative was initially funded $15 billion-worth of anti-retroviral drugs and treatment to extend the lives of millions of Africans with HIV and AIDS.

Zambia currently has the second highest number of cervical cancer cases in the world. Many Zambian women infected with the disease are also living with HIV and have weakened immune systems.

"But the saddest thing of all is to know a lady's life has been saved from AIDS but died from cervical cancer," Bush said. "And so starting in Zambia, the Bush Center, along with our partners, are going to put on a cervical cancer crusade to save lives."

Read more at Catholic Online

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mediocrity and music

Be that as it may, music has fled our schools: In California and New Jersey, you can reach twelfth grade without having heard a note of Mozart. At the school concert I attended this month, the students contented themselves with insipid group karaoke from the current hit parade:

'Cause, baby, you're a firework! Come on, show 'em what you're worth Make 'em go oh-oh-oh As you shoot across the sky . . .

Nobody shot across the sky. The performance barely shot across the footlights. But at the end the parents whooped noisily. A song about how uniquely extraordinary you are is given a pedestrian performance but showered with extravagant praise anyway. To my ears, there's a sad desperation about these numbers, but I seem to be in a minority. And the principal alternative to songs about how extraordinarily extraordinary your sweetheart is are songs about how extraordinarily extraordinary you yourself are:

Yeah, yeah, when I walk on by Girls be lookin' like, "Damn, he fly" . . .

Gradus ad Narcissum by Mary Steyn

The mediocre music invades the liturgy as well. One thing I find terribly annoying (after listening to the guitars, drums and four note hymns) is that the congregation claps after Mass for the music group. A celebration of mediocre music. They never clap for the fellows who sing Gregorian chant one Sunday per month. But then clapping is unseemly in church, and Gregorian chant should never be applauded but simply prayed.

Being gay is not a civil right

"[Obama] wants to call [homosexual marriage] a civil right, so he undoubtedly doesn't understand the difference in the 'gay' and lesbian community and the African Americans who fought for civil rights, who put their lives on the line," the coalition leader offers. "To equate them is absolutely wrong, and it's like he has turned his back on the African-American community." Owens had a direct role in the civil rights movement that gained equality for African Americans, so he knows the difference.
Obama doesn't understand civil rights, by Charlie Butts for One News Now

There is no proof that one is "born gay", but one is certainly born with one's colour of skin. Blacks should be offended by this equating of rights.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Preaching Truth About Sexual Behaviour

Cardinal Dolan has candidly admitted why he doesn’t want contraception to be the issue: the bishops, he told the Wall Street Journal in March, haven’t taught Humanae Vitae for 44 years. In essence, he has admitted that, when it comes to sexual morality, our shepherds have abandoned the teachings both of the Magisterium and the Natural Law ever since Vatican II.

“We have gotten gun-shy…in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality,” he said. The “flashpoint” was Humanae Vitae: “It brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the Church, that I think most of us—and I’m using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself—kind of subconsciously said, ‘Whoa. We’d better never talk about that, because it’s just too hot to handle.’”

Cardinal Dolan went on to regret that the clerical abuse and cover-up scandals have attenuated even more the authority of our bishops. The scandals “intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality, because we almost thought, ‘I’ll blush if I do. . . . After what some priests and some bishops, albeit a tiny minority, have done, how will I have any credibility in speaking on that?’”

Cardinal Dolan proposed no program to reverse this half-century trend.

The laity have every right to know that however weak the voice of our bishops has been on moral matters in our lifetimes, the truth has not been abrogated.... Enough of the “laryngitis”! Now is the time to teach Humanae Vitae!

The Day After: A Declaration of War, by Christopher Manion

I have only ever heard Humanae Vitae mentioned twice in a homily (to my knowledge). One time, it was a quick reference to the Church teaching on babies and sexuality, and it was really very quick. The second time was two weeks ago when Father Shalla in Barry's Bay, Ontario preached about what sins prevent us from receiving Communion. He was marvellous in his method here; he managed to speak facts very simply but without judgment. I recall one example: he said he had been talking to some young teen boys about going to Communion and he asked them if they knew that sexual activity would preclude them from receiving the Eucharist. They were surprised, and Father Shalla went on to explain to them that Church teaching is that anyone engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage was committing a serious sin, one that requires going to Confession before receiving Communion. One boy said "we didn't know that Father" and Father very quickly said, with a smile, "now you do".

He did the same thing with the issue of contraception, all of this in the same homily. He explained that the Church's teaching was that no sexual act should be separated from the possibility of procreation. Why? because that is how God intended sexuality to be used and there are sad consequences when we don't obey God in this area. Again, he explained that most people don't know this, because they haven't been taught, and then he said "but now you have". Delivered with a smile.

I wish this priest could be cloned and put in every pulpit in Canada for one Sunday to give that homily. He might have made some people uncomfortable, but he did not offend anyone that I could see. Being made uncomfortable is one effect of the Gospel; Jesus did not come to condone our activities, but to raise us to the point that we wish to align ourselves with His Father's will.

In a world where so many priests are too timid to speak about the issue of sexual morality and sexual sins, and where the bishops are even more quiet when they should be leading their priests, there is at least one good man who is doing the right thing. Preach on, Father Shalla!

Father Shalla is the first priest on the left in this photo taken from this year's First Communion Sunday.