Archive for July, 2008

Thirty years ago next week the world’s first IVF baby was born in Britain. That was a whole generation ago. Now married, Louise Brown has a naturally-conceived child of her own and 4 million more babies have been born through IVF. So July 25, 1978 was a landmark day in our relationship with technology: the natural process of creating life through love (ideally, at least) was challenged by one which assembled life for a profit…(Source)

I noticed that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops or even their pro-life department, COLF, decided not to issue any statement concerning the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae last Friday (July 25).

That’s quite sad and typical.

But as we see above, the Devil is always commemorating the day in some fashion with his own celebrations.

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July 30, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It was the love of her little son and her joy at being a mother that rescued Rebecca Walker from the unhappiness of life as the neglected daughter of a feminist icon. Rebecca is the 38-year-old daughter of American feminist author and activist Alice Walker and she has written that, despite the feminist dogmas that guide her mother’s life, being a mother has “opened my world.”

The Daily Mail quotes her saying, “Having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life.” Last year, Rebecca Walker published a book, “Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence” in which she discusses her changing attitude toward marriage, motherhood and feminism….

We all know that anti-woman feminism is going to die. It looks like it’s going to happen sooner than expected.  Prominent turncoats are the surest signs of rapid decay.

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I’ve been away from blogging over the past several days.  Don’t know why, but I just don’t have the stomach for it at the moment.  Just enjoying the kids and summer time.  However, I thought I’d excerpt a few stories surrounding the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae.  They are all worth the read… 

1) Cardinal’s Stafford’s account…

“Lead us not into temptation” is the sixth petition of the Our Father.  Πειρασμός (Peirasmòs), the Greek word used in this passage for ‘temptation.’, means a trial or test.  Disciples petition God to be protected against the supreme test of ungodly powers. The trial is related to Jesus’s cup in Gethsemane, the same cup which his disciples would also taste (Mk 10: 35-45). The dark side of the interior of the cup is an abyss. It reveals the awful consequences of God’s judgment upon sinful humanity.  In August, 1968, the weight of the evangelical Πειρασμός fell on many priests, including myself.

It was the year of the bad war, of complex innocence that sanctified the shedding of blood.  English historian Paul Johnson dubs 1968 as the year of “America’s Suicide Attempt.”  It included the Tet offensive in Vietnam with its tsunami-like effects in American life and politics, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee; the tumult in American cities on Palm Sunday weekend; and the June assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in southern California. It was also the year in which Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter on transmitting human life, Humanae Vitae (HV). He met immediate, premeditated, and unprecedented opposition from some American theologians and pastors. By any measure 1968 was a bitter cup.

On the fortieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae, I have been asked to reflect on one event of that year, the doctrinal dissent among some priests and theologians in an American Archdiocese on the occasion of its publication. It is not an easy or welcome task. But since it may help some followers of Jesus to live what Pope Paul VI called a more “disciplined” life (HV 21), I will explore that event.

The summer of 1968 is a record of God’s hottest hour.  The memories are not forgotten; they are painful. They remain vivid like a tornado in the plains of Colorado. They inhabit the whirlwind where God’s wrath dwells. In 1968 something terrible happened in the Church. Within the ministerial priesthood ruptures developed everywhere among friends which never healed. And the wounds continue to affect the whole Church. The dissent, together with the leaders’ manipulation of the anger they fomented, became a supreme test. It changed fundamental relationships within the Church. It was a Πειρασμός for many…(Source)

2) Unearthed: 1968 Vatican Letter to Bishops Sent with Pre-Release Copy of Humanae Vitae called for Unity

OTTAWA, July 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – During the tumultuous years of the 1960′s Pope Paul VI published a controversial encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which addressed the issue of birth control in light of the arrival of the birth control pill.

Today LifeSiteNews.com is publishing a recently unearthed letter which was sent to Bishops with a pre-release copy of the encyclical.  The letter, dated July 19, 1968, is signed by the late Amleto Giovanni Cardinal Cicognani, who was then-Secretary of the Vatican Secretariat of State. 

The outright defiance of many priests and even bishops to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical – which restated and reinforced the Church’s long-time opposition to artificial birth control – is even graver in light of the carefully worded letter the bishops received specifically pointing to the urgent need for unity on the matter… 

3) 15 Filipino Bishops Lead 12,000 in Prayer Rally Celebrating 40th Anniversary of Controversial Humanae Vitae Encyclical

MANILA, Philippines, July 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Mass and vigil was held on Friday at the University of Santo Tomas to mark the 40th anniversary of the encyclical letter of Pope John Paul VI on human life, Humanae Vitae. One goal of the rally was to pressure lawmakers into abandoning the proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act, which has passed the committee level in the Philippine House of Representatives.

The Act would create a new agency called the Commission on Population (POPCOM) which would “encourage” families to have only two children, and promote the use of a variety of abortifacient drugs, including the IUD and the pill.

In a massive gathering of pro-life supporters, leaders from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), members of the Christian charismatic group El Shaddai, politicians, personalities, students, professionals and laborers massed at the university parade grounds to the peel of hundreds of church bells throughout the city….

4) Vatican Cardinal: Damage to the Church from the Dissent on Paul VI Contraception Doc Continues Today

VATICAN, July 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today, on the 40th anniversary of the signing of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (HV), one of the highest ranking Americans in the Vatican has written an eye-opening and deeply personal retrospective on the world-shaking events which took place in the wake of the document’s publication. 

The deadliest thing to hit the Catholic in the last 40 years, he says, was not the encyclical which reiterated the Church’s stand against contraception – but the dissent from it. 

Cardinal James F. Stafford, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary – the head of the Vatican arm that deals with indulgences – writes in the Vatican’s official newspaper that he was a priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore at the time HV was published. 

Stafford, who hosted World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 as the then-Archbishop, recounts, “The summer of 1968 is a record of God’s hottest hour.” 

“The memories are not forgotten; they are painful . . . They inhabit the whirlwind where God’s wrath dwells. In 1968 something terrible happened in the Church. Within the ministerial priesthood ruptures developed everywhere among friends which never healed. And the wounds continue to affect the whole Church. The dissent, together with the leaders’ manipulation of the anger they fomented, became a supreme test. It changed fundamental relationships within the Church.”…

5) One Last Time – Canada’s Greatest Defender of Humanae Vitae Calls on Bishops to Reject Dissenting Document

TORONTO, July 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the upcoming edition of Catholic Insight magazine, Canada’s greatest defender of the Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae – 92-year-old Monsignor Vincent Foy – concludes his lifelong championship of the papal position on birth control.  Released today, on the 40th anniversary of the encyclical, Monsignor Foy calls on the Bishops of Canada to revoke their “Winnipeg Statement”, which he says is an unacceptable document of dissent.

Humanae Vitae presents the teaching against contraception as stemming from the law of God, not the Church, and thus as universally applicable not merely to Catholics.  However, Msgr. Foy points to a devastating letter sent by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to politicians which permits even Catholic legislators to support the legalization of contraception.

Msgr. Foy writes: “On Sept. 9, 1966, the CCCB addressed a document To the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and Welfare: on Change in the Law of Contraception. The bishops said in part: ‘We consider Article 150, which forbids giving information about contraception, as well as the sale or distribution of contraception an inadequate law today…A large number of our fellow citizens believe that this law violates their rights to be informed and helped towards responsible parenthood in accordance with their personal beliefs.’”

The CCCB letter added: “We do not conceive it our duty to oppose appropriate changes in Article 150 of the Criminal Code. Indeed, we could easily envisage an active co-operation and even leadership on the part of lay Catholics to change a law which under present conditions they might well judge to be harmful to public order and the common good.”

Msgr Foy commnets: “This incredible betrayal of Catholic teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception was a factor in the passing of a bill by the Liberal government under Pierre Trudeau, legalizing contraception (June 27, 1969).”…

6) “Heaps of Empirical Evidence” Vindicate Pope Paul VI’s Dire Warnings 40 Years Ago About Contraceptive Culture

July 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A lengthy article appearing in the most recent edition of First Things, reevaluates Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae (the 40th anniversary of the publication of which takes place today) in terms of the empirical evidence supporting the Pontiff’s prophetic predictions about the consequences of the widespread acceptance of artificial contraception.

“To many people,” writes author Mary Eberstadt, the idea of opposing the use of contraception, “simply defies understanding. Consenting adults, told not to use birth control? Preposterous. Third World parents deprived access to contraception and abortion? Positively criminal. A ban on condoms when there’s a risk of contracting AIDS? Beneath contempt.”

Indeed, “if there’s anything on earth that unites the Church’s adversaries…the teaching against contraception is probably it.”

And yet, writes Eberstadt, for all of the contempt that is poured upon Humanae Vitae and the Church’s continued official defense of Paul VI’s teaching, the 40 intervening years since its publication have done nothing if not provided heaps of empirical data validating the Pope’s dire warnings about a contraceptive culture.

“Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been ratified in empirical force,” says Eberstadt, “but they have been ratified as few predictions ever are: in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in its teaching, and indeed even inadvertently, and in more ways than one, by many proud public adversaries of the Church.”

This is the great irony, says Eberstadt – that the evidence marshaled forth in condemnation of a contraceptive culture has been provided almost entirely by secular or explicitly anti-Catholic researchers, men and women who are “honest social scientists willing to follow the data wherever it may lead.”

Consider, she suggests, the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Geroge Akerlof, who, in a well-known 1996 article, “explained in the language of modern economics why the sexual revolution…had led to an increase in both illegitimacy and abortion.”

Then there is the work of “maverick sociobiologist” Lionel Tiger, who has in the past described religion as “a toxic issue.” And yet, for all of that, Tiger has shown his ability to honestly “follow the data,” linking “contraception to the breakdown of families, female impoverishment, trouble in the relationship between the sexes, and single motherhood.”…

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Today’s liberalism is completely wrapped up with the notion of self. The legacy of the 1960s “if it feels good do it” ethos is alive and well. Modern liberals often embrace these teachings and incorporate them in the way they live their lives and maintain their relationships.

For dramatic proof, go to the streets of a liberal enclave like San Francisco, Seattle or Vermont. There will be plenty of expensive boutiques, antique dealers, health spas, sushi bars and upscale coffee shops. But you won’t see very many children. The reason is not that right-wingers have dumped buckets of birth control pills into the San Francisco municipal water supply. The simple fact is that many on the liberal left today just don’t want to have children. A 2004 U. S. survey showed that a typical sample of 100 unrelated adults who called themselves liberal will have 147 children. That contrasts with the typical conservative, who is likely to have 208 children per 100 unrelated adults. That’s 41% more….(Source)

Like I always say, conservatism’s hope is in productive sex. Liberalism has no hope. Its hope was tossed out with the used condom.  Selfishness brings death.

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In honour of the 40th anniversary of the monumental encyclical, Humanae Vitae, “Of Human Life”, published on July 25, 1968, on the feast of St. James the Apostle:

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
HUMANAE VITAE

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
PAUL VI
TO HIS VENERABLE BROTHERS
THE PATRIARCHS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS
AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE,
TO THE CLERGY AND FAITHFUL OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC WORLD, AND TO ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL,
ON
THE REGULATION OF BIRTH


Honored Brothers and Dear Sons,
Health and Apostolic Benediction. The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

I.
PROBLEM AND COMPETENCY
OF THE MAGISTERIUM

2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger. There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man’s stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.

New Questions

3. This new state of things gives rise to new questions. Granted the conditions of life today and taking into account the relevance of married love to the harmony and mutual fidelity of husband and wife, would it not be right to review the moral norms in force till now, especially when it is felt that these can be observed only with the gravest difficulty, sometimes only by heroic effort?

Moreover, if one were to apply here the so called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth? Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act? A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their own bodies.

Interpreting the Moral Law

4. This kind of question requires from the teaching authority of the Church a new and deeper reflection on the principles of the moral teaching on marriage—a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.

No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, (l) that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, (2) constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men’s eternal salvation. (3)

In carrying out this mandate, the Church has always issued appropriate documents on the nature of marriage, the correct use of conjugal rights, and the duties of spouses. These documents have been more copious in recent times. (4)

Special Studies

5. The consciousness of the same responsibility induced Us to confirm and expand the commission set up by Our predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, in March, 1963. This commission included married couples as well as many experts in the various fields pertinent to these questions. Its task was to examine views and opinions concerning married life, and especially on the correct regulation of births; and it was also to provide the teaching authority of the Church with such evidence as would enable it to give an apt reply in this matter, which not only the faithful but also the rest of the world were waiting for. (5)

When the evidence of the experts had been received, as well as the opinions and advice of a considerable number of Our brethren in the episcopate—some of whom sent their views spontaneously, while others were requested by Us to do so—We were in a position to weigh with more precision all the aspects of this complex subject. Hence We are deeply grateful to all those concerned.

The Magisterium’s Reply

6. However, the conclusions arrived at by the commission could not be considered by Us as definitive and absolutely certain, dispensing Us from the duty of examining personally this serious question. This was all the more necessary because, within the commission itself, there was not complete agreement concerning the moral norms to be proposed, and especially because certain approaches and criteria for a solution to this question had emerged which were at variance with the moral doctrine on marriage constantly taught by the magisterium of the Church.

Consequently, now that We have sifted carefully the evidence sent to Us and intently studied the whole matter, as well as prayed constantly to God, We, by virtue of the mandate entrusted to Us by Christ, intend to give Our reply to this series of grave questions.

II.
DOCTRINAL PRINCIPLES

7. The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects. And since in the attempt to justify artificial methods of birth control many appeal to the demands of married love or of responsible parenthood, these two important realities of married life must be accurately defined and analyzed. This is what We mean to do, with special reference to what the Second Vatican Council taught with the highest authority in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today.

God’s Loving Design

8. Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who “is love,” (6) the Father “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” (7)

Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.

The marriage of those who have been baptized is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents the union of Christ and His Church.

Married Love

9. In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated, and it is of the highest importance to evaluate them exactly.

This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Finally, this love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.” (8)

Responsible Parenthood

10. Married love, therefore, requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time should be rightly understood. Thus, we do well to consider responsible parenthood in the light of its varied legitimate and interrelated aspects.

With regard to the biological processes, responsible parenthood means an awareness of, and respect for, their proper functions. In the procreative faculty the human mind discerns biological laws that apply to the human person. (9)

With regard to man’s innate drives and emotions, responsible parenthood means that man’s reason and will must exert control over them.

With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.

Responsible parenthood, as we use the term here, has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society.

From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out. (10)

Observing the Natural Law

11. The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, “noble and worthy.” (11) It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws. The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. (12)

Union and Procreation

12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.

The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.

Faithfulness to God’s Design

13. Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one’s partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife. If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will. But to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source. “Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact,” Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. “From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God.” (13)

Unlawful Birth Control Methods

14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

Lawful Therapeutic Means

15. On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19)

Recourse to Infertile Periods

16. Now as We noted earlier (no. 3), some people today raise the objection against this particular doctrine of the Church concerning the moral laws governing marriage, that human intelligence has both the right and responsibility to control those forces of irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them toward ends beneficial to man. Others ask on the same point whether it is not reasonable in so many cases to use artificial birth control if by so doing the harmony and peace of a family are better served and more suitable conditions are provided for the education of children already born. To this question We must give a clear reply. The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God.

If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)

Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Limits to Man’s Power

Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions, in the light of the principles We stated earlier, and in accordance with a correct understanding of the “principle of totality” enunciated by Our predecessor Pope Pius XII. (21)

Concern of the Church

18. It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a “sign of contradiction.” (22) She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.

Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. She urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients. In this way she defends the dignity of husband and wife. This course of action shows that the Church, loyal to the example and teaching of the divine Savior, is sincere and unselfish in her regard for men whom she strives to help even now during this earthly pilgrimage “to share God’s life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men.” (23)

III.
PASTORAL DIRECTIVES

19. Our words would not be an adequate expression of the thought and solicitude of the Church, Mother and Teacher of all peoples, if, after having recalled men to the observance and respect of the divine law regarding matrimony, they did not also support mankind in the honest regulation of birth amid the difficult conditions which today afflict families and peoples. The Church, in fact, cannot act differently toward men than did the Redeemer. She knows their weaknesses, she has compassion on the multitude, she welcomes sinners. But at the same time she cannot do otherwise than teach the law. For it is in fact the law of human life restored to its native truth and guided by the Spirit of God. (24) Observing the Divine Law.

20. The teaching of the Church regarding the proper regulation of birth is a promulgation of the law of God Himself. And yet there is no doubt that to many it will appear not merely difficult but even impossible to observe. Now it is true that like all good things which are outstanding for their nobility and for the benefits which they confer on men, so this law demands from individual men and women, from families and from human society, a resolute purpose and great endurance. Indeed it cannot be observed unless God comes to their help with the grace by which the goodwill of men is sustained and strengthened. But to those who consider this matter diligently it will indeed be evident that this endurance enhances man’s dignity and confers benefits on human society.

Value of Self-Discipline

21. The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all, that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and their emotions. For if with the aid of reason and of free will they are to control their natural drives, there can be no doubt at all of the need for self-denial. Only then will the expression of love, essential to married life, conform to right order. This is especially clear in the practice of periodic continence. Self-discipline of this kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and, far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms it by giving it a more truly human character. And if this self-discipline does demand that they persevere in their purpose and efforts, it has at the same time the salutary effect of enabling husband and wife to develop to their personalities and to be enriched with spiritual blessings. For it brings to family life abundant fruits of tranquility and peace. It helps in solving difficulties of other kinds. It fosters in husband and wife thoughtfulness and loving consideration for one another. It helps them to repel inordinate self-love, which is the opposite of charity. It arouses in them a consciousness of their responsibilities. And finally, it confers upon parents a deeper and more effective influence in the education of their children. As their children grow up, they develop a right sense of values and achieve a serene and harmonious use of their mental and physical powers.

Promotion of Chastity

22. We take this opportunity to address those who are engaged in education and all those whose right and duty it is to provide for the common good of human society. We would call their attention to the need to create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity so that true liberty may prevail over license and the norms of the moral law may be fully safeguarded.

Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men’s baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit. It is quite absurd to defend this kind of depravity in the name of art or culture (25) or by pleading the liberty which may be allowed in this field by the public authorities.

Appeal to Public Authorities

23. And now We wish to speak to rulers of nations. To you most of all is committed the responsibility of safeguarding the common good. You can contribute so much to the preservation of morals. We beg of you, never allow the morals of your peoples to be undermined. The family is the primary unit in the state; do not tolerate any legislation which would introduce into the family those practices which are opposed to the natural law of God. For there are other ways by which a government can and should solve the population problem—that is to say by enacting laws which will assist families and by educating the people wisely so that the moral law and the freedom of the citizens are both safeguarded.

Seeking True Solutions

We are fully aware of the difficulties confronting the public authorities in this matter, especially in the developing countries. In fact, We had in mind the justifiable anxieties which weigh upon them when We published Our encyclical letter Populorum Progressio. But now We join Our voice to that of Our predecessor John XXIII of venerable memory, and We make Our own his words: “No statement of the problem and no solution to it is acceptable which does violence to man’s essential dignity; those who propose such solutions base them on an utterly materialistic conception of man himself and his life. The only possible solution to this question is one which envisages the social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human society, and which respects and promotes true human values.” (26) No one can, without being grossly unfair, make divine Providence responsible for what clearly seems to be the result of misguided governmental policies, of an insufficient sense of social justice, of a selfish accumulation of material goods, and finally of a culpable failure to undertake those initiatives and responsibilities which would raise the standard of living of peoples and their children. (27) If only all governments which were able would do what some are already doing so nobly, and bestir themselves to renew their efforts and their undertakings! There must be no relaxation in the programs of mutual aid between all the branches of the great human family. Here We believe an almost limitless field lies open for the activities of the great international institutions.

To Scientists

24. Our next appeal is to men of science. These can “considerably advance the welfare of marriage and the family and also peace of conscience, if by pooling their efforts they strive to elucidate more thoroughly the conditions favorable to a proper regulation of births.” (28) It is supremely desirable, and this was also the mind of Pius XII, that medical science should by the study of natural rhythms succeed in determining a sufficiently secure basis for the chaste limitation of offspring. (29) In this way scientists, especially those who are Catholics, will by their research establish the truth of the Church’s claim that “there can be no contradiction between two divine laws—that which governs the transmitting of life and that which governs the fostering of married love.” (30)

To Christian Couples

25. And now We turn in a special way to Our own sons and daughters, to those most of all whom God calls to serve Him in the state of marriage. While the Church does indeed hand on to her children the inviolable conditions laid down by God’s law, she is also the herald of salvation and through the sacraments she flings wide open the channels of grace through which man is made a new creature responding in charity and true freedom to the design of his Creator and Savior, experiencing too the sweetness of the yoke of Christ. (31)

In humble obedience then to her voice, let Christian husbands and wives be mindful of their vocation to the Christian life, a vocation which, deriving from their Baptism, has been confirmed anew and made more explicit by the Sacrament of Matrimony. For by this sacrament they are strengthened and, one might almost say, consecrated to the faithful fulfillment of their duties. Thus will they realize to the full their calling and bear witness as becomes them, to Christ before the world. (32) For the Lord has entrusted to them the task of making visible to men and women the holiness and joy of the law which united inseparably their love for one another and the cooperation they give to God’s love, God who is the Author of human life.

We have no wish at all to pass over in silence the difficulties, at times very great, which beset the lives of Christian married couples. For them, as indeed for every one of us, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life.” (33) Nevertheless it is precisely the hope of that life which, like a brightly burning torch, lights up their journey, as, strong in spirit, they strive to live “sober, upright and godly lives in this world,” (34) knowing for sure that “the form of this world is passing away.” (35)

Recourse to God

For this reason husbands and wives should take up the burden appointed to them, willingly, in the strength of faith and of that hope which “does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us ~}36 Then let them implore the help of God with unremitting prayer and, most of all, let them draw grace and charity from that unfailing fount which is the Eucharist. If, however, sin still exercises its hold over them, they are not to lose heart. Rather must they, humble and persevering, have recourse to the mercy of God, abundantly bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance. In this way, for sure, they will be able to reach that perfection of married life which the Apostle sets out in these words: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church. . . This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (37)

Family Apostolate

26. Among the fruits that ripen if the law of God be resolutely obeyed, the most precious is certainly this, that married couples themselves will often desire to communicate their own experience to others. Thus it comes about that in the fullness of the lay vocation will be included a novel and outstanding form of the apostolate by which, like ministering to like, married couples themselves by the leadership they offer will become apostles to other married couples. And surely among all the forms of the Christian apostolate it is hard to think of one more opportune for the present time. (38)

To Doctors and Nurses

27. Likewise we hold in the highest esteem those doctors and members of the nursing profession who, in the exercise of their calling, endeavor to fulfill the demands of their Christian vocation before any merely human interest. Let them therefore continue constant in their resolution always to support those lines of action which accord with faith and with right reason. And let them strive to win agreement and support for these policies among their professional colleagues. Moreover, they should regard it as an essential part of their skill to make themselves fully proficient in this difficult field of medical knowledge. For then, when married couples ask for their advice, they may be in a position to give them right counsel and to point them in the proper direction. Married couples have a right to expect this much from them.

To Priests

28. And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women and of families—We turn to you filled with great confidence. For it is your principal duty—We are speaking especially to you who teach moral theology—to spell out clearly and completely the Church’s teaching on marriage. In the performance of your ministry you must be the first to give an example of that sincere obedience, inward as well as outward, which is due to the magisterium of the Church. For, as you know, the pastors of the Church enjoy a special light of the Holy Spirit in teaching the truth. (39) And this, rather than the arguments they put forward, is why you are bound to such obedience. Nor will it escape you that if men’s peace of soul and the unity of the Christian people are to be preserved, then it is of the utmost importance that in moral as well as in dogmatic theology all should obey the magisterium of the Church and should speak as with one voice. Therefore We make Our own the anxious words of the great Apostle Paul and with all Our heart We renew Our appeal to you: “I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (40)

Christian Compassion

29. Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ Himself showed in His conversations and dealings with men. For when He came, not to judge, but to save the world, (41) was He not bitterly severe toward sin, but patient and abounding in mercy toward sinners?

Husbands and wives, therefore, when deeply distressed by reason of the difficulties of their life, must find stamped in the heart and voice of their priest the likeness of the voice and the love of our Redeemer.

So speak with full confidence, beloved sons, convinced that while the Holy Spirit of God is present to the magisterium proclaiming sound doctrine, He also illumines from within the hearts of the faithful and invites their assent. Teach married couples the necessary way of prayer and prepare them to approach more often with great faith the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance. Let them never lose heart because of their weakness.

To Bishops

30. And now as We come to the end of this encyclical letter, We turn Our mind to you, reverently and lovingly, beloved and venerable brothers in the episcopate, with whom We share more closely the care of the spiritual good of the People of God. For We invite all of you, We implore you, to give a lead to your priests who assist you in the sacred ministry, and to the faithful of your dioceses, and to devote yourselves with all zeal and without delay to safeguarding the holiness of marriage, in order to guide married life to its full human and Christian perfection. Consider this mission as one of your most urgent responsibilities at the present time. As you well know, it calls for concerted pastoral action in every field of human diligence, economic, cultural and social. If simultaneous progress is made in these various fields, then the intimate life of parents and children in the family will be rendered not only more tolerable, but easier and more joyful. And life together in human society will be enriched with fraternal charity and made more stable with true peace when God’s design which He conceived for the world is faithfully followed.

A Great Work

31. Venerable brothers, beloved sons, all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of charity to which We now summon all of you. And this We do relying on the unshakable teaching of the Church, which teaching Peter’s successor together with his brothers in the Catholic episcopate faithfully guards and interprets. And We are convinced that this truly great work will bring blessings both on the world and on the Church. For man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. These laws must be wisely and lovingly observed. On this great work, on all of you and especially on married couples, We implore from the God of all holiness and pity an abundance of heavenly grace as a pledge of which We gladly bestow Our apostolic blessing.

Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, on the 25th day of July, the feast of St. James the Apostle, in the year 1968, the sixth of Our pontificate.

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This is one of the best articles ever written on Humanae Vitae. Here’s an excerpt: 

But to leave matters there would be to miss something important. The critical point is, one might say, not so much the proof as the pudding it’s in. And it would be hard to get more ironic than having these particular predictions of Humanae Vitae vindicated by perhaps the most unlikely—to say nothing of unwilling—witness of all: modern feminism.

Yet that is exactly what has happened since 1968. From Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem to Andrea Dworkin and Germaine Greer on up through Susan Faludi and Naomi Wolf, feminist literature has been a remarkably consistent and uninterrupted cacophony of grievance, recrimination, and sexual discontent. In that forty-year record, we find, as nowhere else, personal testimony of what the sexual revolution has done to womankind.

Consider just what we have been told by the endless books on the topic over the years. If feminists married and had children, they lamented it. If they failed to marry or have children, they lamented that, too. If they worked outside the home and also tended their children, they complained about how hard that was. If they worked outside the home and didn’t tend their children, they excoriated anyone who thought they should. And running through all this literature is a more or less constant invective about the unreliability and disrespect of men.

The signature metaphors of feminism say everything we need to know about how happy liberation has been making these women: the suburban home as concentration camp, men as rapists, children as intolerable burdens, fetuses as parasites, and so on. These are the sounds of liberation? Even the vaunted right to abortion, both claimed and exercised at extraordinary rates, did not seem to mitigate the misery of millions of these women after the sexual revolution.

Coming full circle, feminist and Vanity Fair contributor Leslie Bennetts recently published a book urging women to protect themselves financially and otherwise from dependence on men, including from men deserting them later in life. Mothers cannot afford to stay home with their children, she argues, because they cannot trust their men not to leave them. (One of her subjects calls desertion and divorce “the slaughter of the lambs.”) Like-minded feminist Linda Hirschman penned a ferocious and widely read manifesto in 2005 urging, among other bitter “solutions,” that women protect themselves by adopting—in effect—a voluntary one-child policy. (She argued that a second child often necessitates a move to the suburbs, which puts the office and work-friendly conveniences further away).

Beneath all the pathos, the subtext remains the same: Woman’s chief adversary is Unreliable Man, who does not understand her sexual and romantic needs and who walks off time and again at the first sashay of a younger thing. What are all these but the generic cries of a woman who thinks that men are “disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium” and “no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection”?

Perhaps the most compelling case made for traditional marriage lately was not on the cover of, say, Catholic World Report but in the devoutly secular Atlantic. The 2008 article “Marry Him!” by Lori Gottlieb—a single mother who conceived her only child with donor sperm rather than miss out on motherhood as she has on marriage—is a frank and excruciatingly personal look into some of the sexual revolution’s lonelier venues, including the creation of children by anonymous or absent sperm donors, the utter corrosiveness of taking a consumerist approach to romance, and the miserable effects of advancing age on one’s sexual marketability.

Gottlieb writes as one who played by all the feminist rules, only to realize too late that she’d been had. Beneath the zippy language, the article runs on an engine of mourning. Admitting how much she covets the husbands of her friends, if only for the wistful relief of having someone else help with the childcare, Gottlieb advises: “Those of us who choose not to settle in hopes of finding a soul mate later are almost like teenagers who believe they’re invulnerable to dying in a drunk-driving accident. We lose sight of our mortality. We forget that we, too, will age and become less alluring. And even if some men do find us engaging, and they’re ready to have a family, they’ll likely decide to marry someone younger with whom they can have their own biological children. Which is all the more reason to settle before settling is no longer an option.”

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Tomorrow (July 25) will be the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, perhaps the most important Papal Encyclical ever written.

In addition to abortion and marriage, I have spent a considerable amount of time focusing on the issue of contraception over the years.  I’ve given interviews about it. I’ve written articles on it.  I’ve launched ministries around it.  I’ve organized conferences concerning it. I’ve started petitions relating to it. And I’ve blogged against it.

I’ve done this because I believe Humanae Vitae has touched on the singularly most important social problem of our time.  Contraception is the mother of all the social evils that we are currently experiencing.  Abortion and homosexual “marriage” are the obvious fruits, of course. But it is also distantly related to every other social disorder, not the least of which is family breakdown.  

Although still maligned and rejected by most of the modern world, it has proven to be prophetic in its predictions about the moral breakdown of society and the objectivization of women.  The tragedy of Humanae Vitae, however, is not so much how society as a whole has responded, but how the Catholic Church itself has responded to this Encyclical.  With few exceptions, the wider Church has not accepted Humanae Vitae.  And much of that scandal lies with the Bishops of the Church, and in particular, the Canadian Bishops who continue their ecclesiastical contraception by refusing to retract the Winnipeg Statement

The problem is not going away until the Bishops, as our Fathers, repent.  No family can find true peace unless the Fathers lead. Ignoring their monstrous act of betrayal will only keep contraception hidden and secret as it has been these past 40 years. You can’t expose something and denounce it when everyone is pointing to the elephant in the room and whispering, “take the plank out of your own eyes, your Graces, before you seek to take the specks out of ours.”

It is a Christian duty to be hopeful, even in a time where abortion – nevermind contraception – is still being clamored for and is, for all intents and purposes, the State Sanctioned Sacrament of the Secular Religion.   We have recently even bestowed our High Priest of Abortion with the Order of Canada.  This has been the crowning achievement of the Culture of Death.

Still, the fight goes on.  We’ll continue to witness to the beautiful truth of Humanae Vitae.  We’ll continue to point out the social devastation that its rejection has caused.  We’ll wait patiently as our society keeps plunging into ruin, while our spiritual leaders give us platitudes and empty rhetoric without repentance.

It was 40 years before the Jews saw the promised land. 

It’s been 40 years for us in this abortion wasteland, but unlike the Jews, there’ll be no promised land for us without repentance. 

Just more desert.

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It is the decision to award Morgentaler the Order of Canada, she says, that has got her asking why abortion is still surrounded by an almost deafening silence. “Why,” she asks, “is it acceptable to sit around a dinner table and talk about colonoscopies, hot flashes and Viagra, but not about our abortion experiences? Why don’t I know whether any of the women in my book club have had an abortion when I’m familiar with so many other intimate details of their lives?”

Cochran goes on to relate several more anecdotes about women who have obtained abortions who have been loathe to speak about the experience, despite being confirmedly pro-abortion.

Amongst these women is one of Canada’s foremost pro-abortion activists – Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition. At the age of 30 Arthur aborted her unborn child, a decision that she says “was the best decision I could have made at the time.” Despite this, however, Arthur avoided publicly admitting that she had gone through with the procedure for many years – even until long after she became a well-known pro-abortion activist.

In fact, it wasn’t until Arthur was giving a live radio interview and was asked straight-up if she had had an abortion that she finally came clean.  “Out of the blue the host asked me, ‘Have you had an abortion yourself?’” she relates, “and I hesitated and said, ‘Yes.’ It felt good, over all. I realized that was important. Too many women are silent, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, so why not just talk about it? I was in a position to set an example.”

But despite Arthur’s example and the efforts of numerous other pro-abortion activists and organizations to normalize the procedure by encouraging women to publicly talk about their own abortions, Cochran admits that most women would rather stay silent…. (Source)

Recently a friend of mine attended a pro-life conference in the U.S. where a former feminist was giving her testimony.  The speaker, having had an abortion herself, knew the signs to look for in women who were strongly pro-abortion.  She recounted one story at a pro-abortion rally where she happened to pass by a woman who was holding a pro-abortion sign and shouting across the street at some pro-life demonstrators.  She walked up to the pro-abort demonstrator and told her quite simply that she should stop being angry because of her abortion.  Stunned at the comment, the woman dropped her sign and ran off. 

Considering their shrill and wild tone, I’ve long wondered how many female leftist bloggers have had abortions themselves.  I suspect a healthy number of them have, but few, if any, have ever talked about it.

Even pro-abort women don’t want to be reminded of what they did.

The sad thing, of course, is that only by talking about it can the door be opened for eventual healing and forgiveness.

The one thing that sustains abortion is the shame that undergirds it. If the shame were overcome and forgiveness sought, abortion would fall overnight.

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A couple of interesting articles on Humanae Vitae:  here and here.

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Very revealing article here.  Some excerpts: 

“I’m like a newborn baby,” Dr. Henry Morgentaler told the CBC’s Evan Solomon about surviving a recent stroke and heart operation. “I enjoy being alive.”

The irony wasn’t lost on Solomon, who then asked the Canadian abortion doctor “how does a guy who’s seen so much death (in Auschwitz and Dachau, where he was imprisoned as a youngster) fight for a cause which many people believe is a form of killing?”

“I won’t deny there’s an inconsistency,” Morgentaler answered. “Maybe I’ve deluded myself.”

Maybe you have, Henry. Maybe you have.

Sometime during my emotional development, I got the impression my mother didn’t love me because there was a younger baby that she devoted a lot of attention to. I believe she neglected me.”

There’s got to be some explanation for his murderous ways. 

I wonder if the man is being more reflective on what he’s been doing the past 40 years. Then again, I doubt it.

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Wow. Just wow.

The thing about pro-aborts is that, if they deny the reality of the unborn baby’s humanity, what other delusions are they entertaining?  That’s a pretty scary thought.

How do you think, in view of the rather animated actions of these children, they would react as they are being picked apart by Order of Canada recipient, Henry Morguentaler?

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In January 1933, the Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre traveled with Albert Einstein to California for a series of seminars. After the Belgian detailed his Big Bang theory, Einstein stood up applauded, and said, “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”

In the winter of 1998, two separate teams of astronomers in Berkeley, California, made a similar, startling discovery. They were both observing supernovae — exploding stars visible over great distances — to see how fast the universe is expanding. In accordance with prevailing scientific wisdom, the astronomers expected to find the rate of expansion to be decreasing, Instead they found it to be increasing — a discovery which has since “shaken astronomy to its core” (Astronomy, October 1999). This discovery would have come as no surprise to Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), a Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest who developed the theory of the Big Bang. Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a burst of fireworks, comparing galaxies to the burning embers spreading out in a growing sphere from the center of the burst. He believed this burst of fireworks was the beginning of time, taking place on “a day without yesterday.”

After decades of struggle, other scientists came to accept the Big Bang as fact. But while most scientists — including the mathematician Stephen Hawking — predicted that gravity would eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and make the universe fall back toward its center, Lemaitre believed that the universe would keep expanding. He argued that the Big Bang was a unique event, while other scientists believed that the universe would shrink to the point of another Big Bang, and so on. The observations made in Berkeley supported Lemaitre’s contention that the Big Bang was in fact “a day without yesterday.”

When Georges Lemaitre was born in Charleroi, Belgium, most scientists thought that the universe was infinite in age and constant in its general appearance. The work of Isaac Newton and James C. Maxwell suggested an eternal universe. When Albert Einstein first published his theory of relativity in 1916, it seemed to confirm that the universe had gone on forever, stable and unchanging.

Lemaitre began his own scientific career at the College of Engineering in Louvain in 1913. He was forced to leave after a year, however, to serve in the Belgian artillery during World War I. When the war was over, he entered Maison Saint Rombaut, a seminary of the Archdiocese of Malines, where, in his leisure time, he read mathematics and science. After his ordination in 1923, Lemaitre studied math and science at Cambridge University, where one of his professors, Arthur Eddington, was the director of the observatory,

For his research at Cambridge, Lemaitre reviewed the general theory of relativity. As with Einstein’s calculations ten years earlier, Lemaitre’s calculations showed that the universe had to be either shrinking or expanding. But while Einstein imagined an unknown force — a cosmological constant — which kept the world stable, Lemaitre decided that the universe was expanding. He came to this conclusion after observing the reddish glow, known as a red shift, surrounding objects outside of our galaxy. If interpreted as a Doppler effect, this shift in color meant that the galaxies were moving away from us. Lemaitre published his calculations and his reasoning in Annales de la Societe scientifique de Bruxelles in 1927. Few people took notice. That same year he talked with Einstein in Brussels, but the latter, unimpressed, said, “Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable.”

It was Einstein’s own grasp of physics, however, that soon came under fire. In 1929 Edwin Hubble’s systematic observations of other galaxies confirmed the red shift. In England the Royal Astronomical Society gathered to consider this seeming contradiction between visual observation and the theory of relativity. Sir Arthur Eddington volunteered to work out a solution. When Lemaitre read of these proceedings, he sent Eddington a copy of his 1927 paper. The British astronomer realized that Lemaitre had bridged the gap between observation and theory. At Eddington’s suggestion, the Royal Astronomical Society published an English translation of Lemaitre’s paper in its Monthly Notices of March 1931.

Most scientists who read Lemaitre’s paper accepted that the universe was expanding, at least in the present era, but they resisted the implication that the universe had a beginning. They were used to the idea that time had gone on forever. It seemed illogical that infinite millions of years had passed before the universe came into existence. Eddington himself wrote in the English journal Nature that the notion of a beginning of the world was “repugnant.”

The Belgian priest responded to Eddington with a letter published in Nature on May 9, 1931. Lemaitre suggested that the world had a definite beginning in which all its matter and energy were concentrated at one point:

If the world has begun with a single quantum, the notions of space and time would altogether fail to have any meaning at the beginning; they would only begin to have a sensible meaning when the original quantum had been divided into a sufficient number of quanta. If this suggestion is correct, the beginning of the world happened a little before the beginning of space and time.

In January 1933, both Lemaitre and Einstein traveled to California for a series of seminars. After the Belgian detailed his theory, Einstein stood up, applauded, and said, “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.” Duncan Aikman covered these seminars for the New York Times Magazine. An article about Lemaitre appeared on February 19, 1933, and featured a large photo of Einstein and Lemaitre standing side by side. The caption read, “They have a profound respect and admiration for each other.”

For his work, Lemaitre was inducted as a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. An international commission awarded him the Francqui Prize. The archbishop of Malines, Cardinal Josef Van Roey, made Lemaitre a canon of the cathedral in 1935. The next year Pope Pius XI inducted Lemaitre into the Pontifical Academy of Science.

Despite this high praise, there were some problems with Lemaitre’s theory. For one, Lemaitre’s calculated rate of expansion did not work out. If the universe was expanding at a steady rate, the time it had taken to cover its radius was too short to allow for the formation of the stars and planets. Lemaitre solved this problem by expropriating Einstein’s cosmological constant. Where Einstein had used it in an attempt to keep the universe at a steady size, Lemaitre used it to speed up the expansion of the universe over time.

Einstein did not take kindly to Lemaitre’s use of the cosmological constant. He regarded the constant as the worst mistake of his career, and he was upset by Lemaitre’s use of his super-galactic fudge factor.

After Arthur Eddington died in 1944, Cambridge University became a center of opposition to Lemaitre’s theory of the Big Bang. In fact, it was Fred Hoyle, an astronomer at Cambridge, who sarcastically coined the term “Big Bang.” Hoyle and others favored an approach to the history of the universe known as the “Steady State” in which hydrogen atoms were continuously created and gradually coalesced into gas clouds, which then formed stars.

But in 1964 there was a significant breakthrough that confirmed some of Lemaitre’s theories. Workers at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey were tinkering with a radio telescope when they discovered a frustrating kind of microwave interference. It was equally strong whether they pointed their telescope at the center of the galaxy or in the opposite direction. What was more, it always had the same wavelength and it always conveyed the same source temperature. This accidental discovery required the passage of several months for its importance to sink in. Eventually, it won Arno Penzias the Nobel Prize in physics. This microwave interference came to be recognized as cosmic background radiation, a remnant of the Big Bang. Lemaitre received the good news while recovering from a heart attack in the Hospital Saint Pierre at the University of Louvain. He died in Louvain in 1966, at the age of seventy-one.

After his death, a consensus built in favor of Lemaitre’s burst of fireworks. But doubts did persist: Did this event really happen on a day without yesterday? Perhaps gravity could provide an alternative explanation. Some theorized that gravity would slow down the expansion of the universe and make it fall back toward its center, where there would be a Big Crunch and another Big Bang. The Big Bang, therefore, was not a unique event which marked the beginning of time but only part of an infinite sequence of Big Bangs and Big Crunches.

When word of the 1998 Berkeley discovery that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate first reached Stephen Hawking, he said it was too preliminary to be taken seriously. Later, he changed his mind. “I have now had more time to consider the observations, and they look quite good,” he told Astronomy magazine (October 1999). “This led me to reconsider my theoretical prejudices.”

Hawking was actually being modest. In the face of the scientific turmoil caused by the supernovae results, he has adapted very quickly. But the phrase “theoretical prejudices” makes one think of the attitudes that hampered scientists seventy years ago. It took a mathematician who also happened to be a Catholic priest to look at the evidence with an open mind and create a model that worked.

Is there a paradox in this situation? Lemaitre did not think so. Duncan Aikman of the New York Times spotlighted Lemaitre’s view in 1933: “‘There is no conflict between religion and science,’ Lemaitre has been telling audiences over and over again in this country ….His view is interesting and important not because he is a Catholic priest, not because he is one of the leading mathematical physicists of our time, but because he is both.” (Source)

A Catholic priest corrects secular scientists.

I love it.

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.- University of Minnesota Morris biology professor and science blogger Dr. Paul Zachary Myers, who last week threatened to desecrate the Eucharist and to broadcast the act on the internet, says he has acquired Eucharistic Hosts consecrated at a Catholic Mass.

Prof. Myers explained in an e-mail to CNA that he has received the Eucharist from several people. “So far, the crackers I have received have been given to me in person or sent to my home address.”

Myers has been derisively referring to the Eucharist as a “cracker.” He began his desecration campaign on his scienceblogs.com blog “Pharyngula” in reaction to an incident at the University of Central Florida in which a student senator allegedly held the Eucharist hostage.

When asked by CNA whether he considered taking consecrated Hosts from a Catholic church to be theft, he replied:

“I’m not taking the crackers from any church. I’m not interested in attending church, nor would I misrepresent myself as a Catholic to receive it.

“It is freely handed out to people taking communion in the church. The people who are sending me crackers have received it openly,” he wrote.

Myers also could not see how others could consider taking a consecrated Host to be theft. “No. This ‘theft’ nonsense is a rationalization people are making up to justify hysteria.”

Myers said the reason to abuse a Host is “to expose the witch-hunt tactics of extremist Catholics like Bill Donohue.”

CNA asked Myers if he had received any “intellectually worthy” replies to his desecration threat, to which he responded “No.” “It’s your job to give me one. ‘I will pray for you,’ ‘you must hate Catholics,’ and ‘why don’t you desecrate a Koran?’, which are the most common messages I’m being sent, are not rational.

He noted that his blog Pharyngula has an open comments policy where critiques are already posted.

On Friday the Catholic League reported that Thomas E. Foley, a Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Minneapolis has asked that increased security be considered for the event in light of Myers’ threat to acquire and desecrate the Eucharist.

“I just felt security at the Republican National Convention ought to look at him and his followers,” Foley told CNA in a phone interview on Wednesday morning. He reported that he had not received an update about his request.

Voicing his concerns about Myers, Foley said: “What I think he has done, he’s loaded a cyberpistol and he’s cocked it and he’s left it on the table. He may have set something in motion that no one can stop. It was irresponsible, a hell of a thing to do.”

Foley explained that he thought Myers should not be able to incite such acts with “impunity,” saying that he was especially disturbed by the comments posted on Myers’ blog. He said it was “eye-opening” to read the people who supported Myers’ action. Even at his age of 63, Foley said, he had never “personally encountered such bigotry.”

He also objected to Myers’ recent description of Catholic League President Bill Donohue as “braying,” which Foley, a self-described Irish Catholic, claimed was “a great insult for the Irish.”

Foley said he believes Myers was telling his readers to acquire a consecrated Host at Mass, which Foley thought would result in disruptions.

“What’s he telling them to do? Consecrated Hosts are not just lying around,” he said to CNA, noting that the only other possible way to secure a Host would be to accost a priest, nun, or layman taking the Sacrament to the sick. Even E-bay, Foley emphasized, has prevented the sale of consecrated Hosts.

Foley said he thinks Myers’ actions have ended his career. “Who can listen to him lecture on science without thinking ‘Polly wants a cracker’?” he asked.

This is one of the reasons why so-called “academics” are becoming nothing but political rumps for the Left.  In fact, they rate right down there with reporters on the respectability ladder, which is to say not very high.

The positive thing to come out of this, perhaps, is that the Bishops will hopefully take Benedict’s lead and place the Eucharist directly on the tongue instead of permitting distribution of the host on the hand.  That will cut down on the rate of abuse very quickly.

I pity this punk professor.  He is playing with fire, and sometimes if you play God for the fool, you get burned.  

Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.  (1 Cor. 11:27-28)

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“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant: It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

“Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”

“I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment’s would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.”

“The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”

“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”

“I’ve laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.”

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”
 

“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

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A woman was given a chemical abortion tablet by mistake after a nurse mixed up two patients with the same first name, a misconduct hearing has heard.

Ann Downer gave the drug to a woman who had gone into the clinic for an initial consultation.

When staff realised what had happened the distraught woman, named only as patient A, was called back to the clinic in pain and doctors subsequently advised her to undergo a surgical abortion.

Miss Downer, 44, should have administered the drug to a second woman, patient B, who was in the later stages of a chemical termination, the Nursing and Midwifery Council was told….(Source)

When the death peddlers screw up, the consequences are a whole lot bigger. 

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Washington, D.C. (18 July 2008) – One month after American Life League’s Protest the Pill Day, pro-abortion activists are in a panic as the Department of Health and Human Services considers a plan that would not only protect pro-life medical workers from discrimination, but also recognize abortion to include the birth control pill.

In the wake of yesterday’s historic news, pro-life leaders and pro-abortion politicians are both considering the ramifications of such a federal plan.

“This move could redefine the abortion war,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “For years, many in the pro-life movement have been afraid to tackle the birth control pill, but we can’t ignore it any longer – the birth control pill often means the death of a preborn child.”

Besides protecting pro-life medical workers and recognizing abortion to include abortifacient birth control, the regulation could have far-reaching effects for Title X funding, which allows Planned Parenthood to buy contraceptives at discounted prices using your tax dollars.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America set up a special page on their site, imploring supporters to oppose the new regulation. According to the PPFA Web site, “The rule would also require … Planned Parenthood, to certify that we will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control.”

“We’re seeing the pro-abortionists squirm because they know,” said Brown, “that if the American people recognize the personhood of the preborn child from creation on, their big money business of selling death at discount prices will be over.”

You can almost hear the shrieks of horror from the pro-aborts. 

Lies can only last so long before the light scatters the darkness

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A friend of mine sent me along these two pictures today.  

When I saw the vandalism on the second sign below, it reminded me of my own experiences with the pro-abort thugs during my election campaign last September. 

While elections signs are usually the target of vandals, the vandalism is directed at ideologies and not actual persons.  In the case of my signs, it was not merely a matter of simply trashing them.  On the contrary, in addition to spray painting and defacing the baby, one particular sign was subject to knifing.  They knifed a picture of an innocent human baby.  

As I stood there inspecting the sign, I just started to weep.  What future, I wondered does this society have when it not only refuses to care for children but openly advocates for their destruction?  We cannot be that far off from open infanticide.  That kind of gives you an idea of where we are going.

Here is the note that my friend attached to the pictures:

You may recall this beautiful banner we brought to this past March for Life on Parliament Hill . Our parish had purchased the banner with the intention of installing it on the front lawn of the Church after the March.

Last week-end our parish pro-life committee finally got around to installing the banner on the front lawn .Hard to believe, but it took only 3 days for the sign to be vandalized. The elderly man’s face was spray painted black, horns were drawn on the baby’s head and his eye was burnt!

Such an innocent photo and message, but what a violent and hateful response! I think the reaction is indicative of our culture ‘s view of life. Keep up the good fight!

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“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

I don’t disagree with this assessment, but there is also another side of the coin, the demand side of the equation, so to speak.  If men started making it clear that they won’t be accepting tramps for potential spouses, the economy of sex would also change quite a bit.

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The planned construction of over 180 mosques in Germany is mobilizing right-wing xenophobes but also an increasing number of leftist critics. They fear the Muslim places of worship will facilitate the establishment of a completely parallel society.

The issue at hand wasn’t the construction of a missile base or a new nuclear power plant. Yet the media reported “turmoil” and an “enraged” audience in a school auditorium in Ehrenfeld, a district of the German city of Cologne. The mood was almost comparable to that of the protest gatherings once held against nuclear missiles or reactors.

Instead the outrage was directed at a huge mosque planned for the area. Still, the words used by the project’s opponents called to mind the protests of earlier times. “The minarets even look like missiles,” railed one woman. A man said the mosque’s dome reminded him “of a nuclear plant.”

Ill will over mosques like the one being built in Cologne is spreading rapidly throughout Germany, often to the surprise of local politicians. For a long time the establishment of Muslim prayer rooms provoked little protest, housed as they were mostly in residential buildings, shops and back courtyards. Recently, though, there has been an increasing number of acts of protest, some violent. Molotov cocktails were thrown through mosque windows in the Bavarian town of Lauingen; Christians set protest crosses inscribed with “Terra christiana est,” or this is Christian land, on the grounds of a mosque in Hanover; and construction trailers went up in flames in the Berlin district of Pankow.

The anti-Islam protest movement has also begun to spill over into city politics. In Cologne, for example, the extreme right anti-mosque initiative Pro Cologne captured five local government seats in recent elections. Now the group is aspiring to enter the national scene as Pro Germany, together with other like-minded organizations, some from the far-right fringe. Their approach follows the example of populist Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, whose anti-immigration party garnered a surprising degree of support before he was murdered in 2002…(Source)

Duh, I wonder why this situation is happening?  Couldn’t have anything to do with having no children and relying on massive immigration, could it? Nah, couldn’t be that.  ‘Cause that would mean taking responsibility for one’s actions and in today’s Eurabia, that’s not gonna happen.

I guess sex wasn’t free, after all. Time to pay up.

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In June, David Popenoe, director of The National Marriage Project and professor emeritus and former social and behavioral sciences dean at Rutgers, released Cohabitation, Marriage and Child Wellbeing: A Cross-National Perspective.  In it, he documents that Canada has high rates of cohabitation, largely thanks to Quebec. The province of Quebec in Canada appears to have the highest cohabitation rate in the Western World, at 35% of all couples, writes Popenoe. Why does this matter? Because cohabitation is less stable than marriage, and offers none of the benefits. One study using data from Norway and Sweden, for example, found that compared to married couples, cohabitors overall are less serious, less satisfied, and more often consider to split up from their current relationships. If we consider that in 2006, 45 per cent of Canadian cohabiting couples had children, that’s not a good sign.  It’s not a good sign even where no kids are concerned few among us desire to live closer to the edge of a tumultuous break up than we must.Popenoe rather dryly admits cohabitation as a cultural phenomenon isn’t going anywhere. Given this blasé acceptance, his verdict is surprising: In the final analysis, the issue of cohabitation comes down to a conflict between adult desires and children’s needs. It seems a tragedy that, with all the opportunities that modernity has brought to adults, it may also be bringing a progressive diminution in our concern for the needs of children and thus for the many generations to come.

The second marriage-related study quantifies the costs to taxpayers of marital breakdown and unwed childrearing read kids raised in cohabiting couples.  The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing released in April examines the costs state by state and federally through higher spending on antipoverty programs and throughout the justice and educational systems, as well as losses to government coffers in foregone tax revenues. The conclusion? Family fragmentation is costing the federal government in the United States 112 billion annually.

The underlying assumption that family breakdown costs money makes intuitive sense. (Tried to hire a family lawyer lately?) But this report quantifies different costs to our culture at large: Children raised in fragmented families are more susceptible, statistically speaking, to poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, lower educational attainment (including greater risk of dropping out of high school), juvenile delinquency, conduct disorders, adult criminality, and early unwed parenthood. Then there are the costs to adults, too, including things like physical and mental illness. 

Also in April, the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based free market think tank, released a report indicating the total tax bill for average Canadian families has increased more than 1700 per cent since 1961.  A welfare state raises taxes, to be sure, and Popenoe suggests that in Europe for this higher tax burden, they get weaker families in return: The more well-developed welfare systems in Europe may also play a role in the greater prevalence of cohabaitation there. These systems tend to make the family, and therefore the institution of marriage, less important in the lives of citizens….(Source)

Remember the sham about how sex was a private affair, that it should be expunged from public policy and public debate?  I see the Leftists have no problem making sure that the discussion around sexual license is kept out of the public square, but they demand that taxpayers’ dollars go to fund the fallout.  Sexual immorality is bankrupting us. 

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