Archive for October, 2009

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MUST SEE MOVIE TRAILER:  BLOOD MONEY

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Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with … the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

The tension between supporters and detractors of CCODP has not been a healthy one, and it’s time all Catholics rallied around the Catholic social development agency, as well as embracing a firm commitment to life.

As expected, the topic of CCODP came up at the Canadian bishops’ annual plenary meeting in Ottawa. Although most of the discussion took place behind closed doors, enough can be gleaned from the bishops’ decisions to infer that a thorough airing of all concerns took place.

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Personally, I’m moving on from engaging with Your Channel of Hope (until the next public scandal), but Steve makes some good points nonetheless. 

Check it out here.


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Here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new coalition of Catholic pro-life organizations is calling for a massive reform of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and urging Catholics to boycott the upcoming November collection.

The CCHD is the domestic social justice arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and focuses on supporting groups that work in community organizing.  They have been accused over many years of supporting radical left-wing groups who advocate a distorted un-Catholic view of social justice.  The organization primarily raises funds through an annual nationwide parish collection, this year scheduled for November 22nd.

Scandal erupted in the U.S. Church last year over the CCHD’s funding of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a liberal network of local community activism groups.  At least two dioceses, in fact, opted not to take up the collection last fall.  The CCHD, which has given ACORN millions of dollars in the last ten years, cut their funding last year based on reports of embezzlement within the organization. In recent weeks, several ACORN offices were caught condoning child prostitution and sex trafficking in a series of videotaped sting operations conducted by veteran pro-life investigators….

read the rest here.

“Social justice” corruption knows no international boundaries.  It’s really quite remarkable.

Is it that hard to alleviate poverty and promote genuine human rights without also funding pro-abort groups?   Good grief.

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Helpers of God’s Precious Infants

Ottawa-Gatineau

The Sidewalk Counsellors associated with the 40 Days for Life Campaign in Ottawa have decided to take it to a whole new level.  They are going to continue their work after the current Fall Campaign is completed on November 2.

This is the announcement they recently made:

The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants www.helpersottawa.org  for Ottawa – Gatineau will be maintaining a prayerful presence at the abortion mill on Bank St. on the days when the abortions take place. These are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30am to 4:30pm. We are looking for people willing to come and pray during those times. The more pray-ers we have, the more women will choose life for their babies and hope for themselves. If your are interested in participating, contact Doris at info@helpersottawa.org  

And there’s a lot you can do too even if you are not a sidewalk counsellor…including to witness outside of the abortion mill…

The Prayers come to the abortion mill to pray for an hour or more, on any morning that the babies are going to be killed. They carry on a most important spiritual battle, as they stand outside the mill. They pray in a spirit of reparation: for their own sins; the sin of abortion; and particularly for the deaths that will occur while they stand outside on that day. They pray for women going into the abortion mill: for the abortionist and his staff; for the neighboring community; for their legislators; for the religious leaders of the nation; and for all who, through indifference, do nothing to try to stop abortion.

The Prayers provide spiritual and moral support for the Sidewalk Counselors. They are essential. Before a mother is able to physically abort her child, a ‘spiritual abortion’ must take place within her heart. By the time she arrives at the abortion mill, she will have already rejected her child. This ‘spiritual abortion’ must be overcome by spiritual means, before the mother can change her mind about the physical abortion. By their sacrifice and prayer, the Prayers obtain the grace of God that is needed to reverse the “spiritual abortion”, while at the same time the Sidewalk Counselors are working to prevent the physical abortion of the child.

The Prayers are also there to give a personal love to God’s infants who will die that day. Just as John-the- Baptist was able to leap for joy in Elizabeth’s womb because he was aware of presence of the love of Jesus and Mary (remember that it was at the sound of Mary’s voice that he leapt in his mother’s womb), so too will the babies joyfully leap in their mothers’ wombs when they hear the voices of the Prayers. They will know they are loved.

Folks, this battle is like a race.  The pro-aborts are way ahead of us and they are cruising at 80KM/hour.  If we only travel as fast, we’ll never catch up. If we let up on the pressure or fewer of us show up for these 40 Days for Life campaigns, that means we are decelerating and our opponents are increasing the gap.  This is not that complicated. We need to travel faster than our opponents to catch up.  That means we need to step on the gas and take this sucker up to 120…140 KM/hour and make up the distance as soon as possible.

Helpers of God’s Precious Infants is the way of keeping the pedal on the medal and hastening the Lord’s victory.

Do your part and become involved.

Forget 40 Days. Think 365 Days.

Forget pro-life witnessing as being only “for a short time”.  Think, “way of life”.

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At around 1:45 in the morning of October 22, 2009, a friend and I were keeping vigil outside of the Morgentaler Abortion Mill in downtown Ottawa.  So far we had seen a few groups of people heading back home from the bars along Sparks St. After turning the corner, one particular group of intoxicated young adults, comprised of 2 guys and 2 girls around the age of 20, noticed us from across the street.  Upon seeing us, one of the girls began yelling at us from the other side of the street and walked across. At first, she looked at the signs hanging up, saying “I can’t believe this.” and “Are you kidding me?”. We tried to talk with her but she quickly began throwing supplies on the ground and ripping the signs.  At this point we asked her to leave and return the materials.  One of the guys in the group had joined her by this point and he made similar comments and claimed that a good friend of his had undergone an abortion two weeks prior, to which I responded “I am sorry to hear that”.
 

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Statement by the 2009 Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of Canada on the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace     
23 October 2009 

The Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary Assembly, have discussed the mandate and operations of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in the light of Pope Benedict XVI’s most recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. They also considered other issues that, during the past months, have shaken the trust of some of the faithful who support this organization with their donations.

The Bishops believe in the project of Development and Peace and appreciate the excellent work this organization has done throughout the years. They also want to support the continuation of this important apostolate of the Church in Canada. To this end, the Bishops wish to collaborate with Development and Peace to ensure that the implementation of its mandate is in harmony with the identity and mission of the Church.

They are encouraged by the intention of Development and Peace to review the implementation of its mandate in the light of Caritas in Veritate, and to improve its oversight of the mandates and operations of its partners in collaboration with local episcopates. For the Bishops of Canada, these are essential initiatives.

The Bishops have decided to establish an ad hoc committee which will collaborate with Development and Peace in this work of revision and in implementing the recommendations this past June of the CCCB Committee of Inquiry.The ad hoc committee will report on the progress made by Development and Peace on these issues at the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of Canada in 2010, which will then allow the Bishops to decide on future actions.

Aware that Development and Peace is already engaged in this process of renewal, the Bishops decided, in the interval, to support Development and Peace and its 2010 Share Lent collection.

So very typical.  There has been no admission of guilt at all. No statement of repentance or remorse.  Just the typical tongue bath of cheap and meaningless do-nothing euphemisms of “improving oversight”, “revising the work”, and “renewing the process” - bureaucratic bilge and ecclesiastical spin for the ignorant masses and the bishops’ own compromised and darkened consciences.

The above Statement does not correct the CCCB’s “Committee of Inquiry” Report which ignored the real allegations made against Development and Peace and which falsely maintained that the allegations made by LSN were “not founded on the facts“.  There was no correction of this gross error, when, in fact, everything that has been reported by LSN and Socon or Bust was and is absolutely true.  Then again, what can we expect from these bishops?  If they are not serious about abortion; they are not going to be serious about correcting the record, and vindicating the reputations of faithful Catholics which some of them have shamelessly smeared.

The Statement above says that the collaboration with local bishops in the Global South are “essential initiatives”.  What does this mean? Does this mean that each of Development & Peace’s partners has to get approval from the local bishop to continue to receive funding?  I doubt it.  And if that’s not true, then just how “essential” is it to the bishops? 

The Statement says that there will be an ad hoc committee created to “report on the progress” one year from now.  Another committee!  Yes, that’s what we need: more bureaucracy created as a result of restructuring, re-organizing, re-shuffling, re-tooling, re-jigging and recycling…to defer, delay, deny and decline the necessary action actually required to turn this thing around right now. This means the funding for Development & Peace’s partners stays in tact not only for the 2010 Lenten campaign, but likely until 2011, after which the new program will be determined.   And there is no guarantee, of course, that their current partners will not be funded again for the next five years after that.

The bishops don’t want dialogue. They want the benefits of the spin that “dialogue” will give them.  But they are not serious about abortion. We’ll get to it, when we get to it…next year some time. Our ad hoc committee will give you a “progress report” on how things are going. 

Until then, it’s business as usual.

Last week, my wife and I were fortunate enough watch a movie, re-enacting the life of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  It was an excellent re-telling of her life and the actors and actresses were superb.  Late in the movie, they re-enacted a scene which was only a few years before her death.  Her Order, the Sisters of Charity, had grown substantially, and because of it, the organization and the structure to support it had ballooned as well.  In this scene, Saint Teresa was sitting at the Board table with her “Board of Directors” in a Manhattan highrise.  They were talking about their budget and discussing ways on how to overcome the budget shortfall.  She called the server over and pointed to a bottle of water in front of her. She asked the server how much the bottle of water cost. The server said “$3.00″.  She then got up from her seat, called her priest-friend over, and told him to shut down the Board and the bureaucracy. 

Just like that.  She shut it down, and she didn’t give a damn what had to be dismantled to do it or what jobs were lost. 

She saw that the organization she was leading was way off the beaten track from its original mission.  So she took corrective and drastic action to get it back on track. Immediately.

Let this be a sobering reminder to the very few responsible bishops we have left in this country on how to act:  if you are part of an organization which has lost its way and is now even acting against the Church’s mission as is the case with Development & Peace, it’s time to take drastic action to correct the problem.

Do the right thing and pull out.  Just like Saint Teresa did. 

 

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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LifeSite’s report is in grey and red. Socon or Bust commentary is in blue.

CORNWALL, October 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Monday, LifeSiteNews.com sat down with Martin W. Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s, Newfoundland for an interview.  Archbishop Currie was listed as the co-author of the June report which was the result of an investigation into evidence uncovered by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that some of the groups funded by the international development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) were advocating for abortion.

The June report sparked controversy as it stated: “we believe the allegations by Lifesite News … are not founded on the facts.”  In the interview however, LSN was able to demonstrate directly to the archbishop that the allegations were indeed founded on facts.  After seeing the evidence first hand, the bishop stated apologetically, “I just should have followed up more.”

The archbishop, who was amicable and courteous throughout the interview, explained the process of the investigation.  He noted that he travelled to Mexico with the rest of the investigation team which included Bishop François Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec as well as representatives from Development and Peace. 

He explained that the investigation was limited to the first five groups in Mexico that LSN had identified as pro-abortion.  He revealed that the investigation team questioned the five groups directly. He said that he accepted the word of the groups when they told him they in no way supported abortion.

“They themselves, in honest and blunt questioning, told me that they themselves are not in favor of abortion,” he said. “In no way are they supportive or sponsoring anything dealing with abortion.  That was their frank [response], when we asked them point blank.”

Archbishop Currie also noted that he was only aware of the groups having signed onto one problematic UN omnibus document, part of which was an endorsement of abortion.

When LSN noted that that the UN document in question was only one piece of seven pieces of evidence LSN had reported, the archbishop admitted frankly he was not aware of and did not consider the other evidence.  “No, the other ones, to be honest with you, I haven’t followed too closely,” he said. 

Asked if there was any reason why LSN was not consulted or contacted during the investigation, Archbishop Currie replied, “No, not that I know of … on that matter, really to be honest, I can’t really comment.”

Despite the brevity of the interview, LSN was able to show the archbishop online evidence of direct pro-abortion advocacy of one of the five groups he investigated. To this revelation the archbishop frankly and apologetically acknowledged, “I just should have followed up more.”

“I just should have followed up more”?

Sorry, that’s not an acceptable response.  It’s a typical and predictable response from our Canadian bishops, but it’s not an acceptable one from anyone who is familiar with the phrase, “due diligence”.  One who is serious about justice and intends to conduct a legitimate investigation sifts through ALL OF THE EVIDENCE and directly engages those who are making the accusations.  The fact that this was not done shows the half-hearted and flippant approach to this controversy.  When the Archbishop was asked why LSN was not directly engaged, the response was that he “can’t really comment”.  Is this not sufficient proof that there was no serious effort to get to the bottom of the allegations?  Amazing. Truly, truly amazing.

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CORNWALL, October 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The role of bishops in life issues was the focus of much of the afternoon of the fourth day of the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). 

Referring to the recent debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide, as well as other life issues, London Bishop Ronald Fabbro noted the importance of being pro-active in framing the questions. “If Bishops don’t step up,” he said, “others will who may present a distorted view of the Church’s teaching. We need to inform our people on the foundations of our faith.”

Presenting on life issues to the Assembly were two former members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF):  Bishop Fabbro, and retired Archbishop Bertrand Blanchet of Rimouski.

In his presentation, Archbishop Blanchet noted the tensions and difficulties that have emerged among individuals and groups involved in defending the right to life from conception to natural death. He stressed the importance being united in thought and action, and proposed a dialogue involving all parties in the pro-life movement. Such a dialogue, he said, would help lessen difficulties within the movement and also help establish common ground.

I applaud the frank discussions that likely surrounded the call for “stepping up” and “dialoguing with the pro-life movement”.  I think it’s great. Much good may come out of it. But I have my skepticism.  I want to see the beef.  Talk is cheap.

Is it not sad that it has taken 40 years and an abortion scandal of epic proportions by their so-called “Development & Peace” organization to remove the blinders from their eyes?  And frankly, we don’t even know yet if they will allow us to remove their blinders.  Nothing has been admitted by the CCCB yet.  And even if we were to get a grudging admission, how many of you believe it would come with even a hint of repentance?  Millions of unborn lives in the Global South hang in the balance and these “successors to the Apostles” can’t figure out that donating to dozens of pro-abort thug groups, many of whom who openly attack the Catholic Church in these countries, is not such a good idea? 

It’s a pathetic joke.  It really is.

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Day 31

1) Ground Zero Report:

On Wednesday night, there was a violent attack against one of our vigilers, a youth co-ordinator from one of our churches.  The police were called and are investigating. He is going to the dentist to have work done on his teeth which were damaged in the assault.

Here are two reports from different individuals:

1) Basic details: 2 girls and 2 guys came across the street, yelling at the victim and a female companion. One girl started breaking up our signs. One guy punched the victim as he attempted to call the police and knocked the phone out of his hands.  The female companion who was with the victim then called police. The victim was punched again.  They took the signs and umbrellas and dropped them around corner.

2) I don’t know if you know yet, but there was a serious incident last night at the 40  Days for Life vigil. Two young adults were at the vigil site around 2am, when some young men came out of a bar, drunk and starting yelling at the young lady and causing a ruckus.  The young man asked them to stop and they beat him up. He was beaten so badly that he requires dental work. He was actually replacing a female friend of his at the vigil.  I  don’t know if the people involved want their names mentioned. I can find out if I have the opportunity. Suffice to say that I know both of them and I got this information from  the young lady’s house mate.
___________________________

Folks, I spoke to the young man in question and he told me that was very shaken up by the incident, but was better now. In fact, I heard he was planning to go out again last night or tonight.  He does not have any health benefits, so the cost of the dentist work will have to be paid out of his own pocket. I am therefore asking people to offer to donate to cover his expenses. I think that if he is willing to take the hit for the unborn, we can at least pick up the tab for the dental work. Let us not be dissuaded by this incident, but understand that when such things occur, it is because the spiritual realm is being shaken by the saints and things are in motion for change.

A full report will follow on Monday.

2) Time Slot Report: Lots of slots open on Saturday and Sunday.

3) Operations Report:

Halloween Night – Next Saturday is Halloween night. We would appreciate a large contingent of folks out there, holding the fort and discouraging any aggressive behaviour by our opponents. Please email me if you plan to show up.

Happy Pro-Life Hallows Eve, Everyone!
http://www.socon.ca/?p=3629

2) Report from America:

Day 29
http://www.40daysforlife.com/ottawa/index.cfm?load=news&newsarticle=191&page=159

Day 30
http://www.40daysforlife.com/ottawa/index.cfm?load=news&newsarticle=192&page=159

Day 31
http://www.40daysforlife.com/ottawa/index.cfm?load=news&newsarticle=193&page=159

Other Pro-Life News:

Pro-Life Student Forced into Isolation on Day of Silent Witness by School Principal  (The Story and my blog post)
http://www.socon.ca/?p=3632

University of Victoria Abortion Debate Overflows Capacity
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102208.html

Canadian Bishops: We need to “Step Up” Dialogue with Pro-Life Groups
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102301.html

Traditional Anglican Communion “On the Same Page” as Vatican on Life and Family: Canadian
TAC Head
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102207.html

Theme Day:  Please pray for —-

Day 31        Friday, October 23, 2009        University Professors and the “Intelligencia”
Day 32        Saturday, October 24, 2009        Judiciary
Day 33        Sunday, October 25, 2009        Abortionists
Day 34        Monday, October 26, 2009        Aborted Children
Day 35        Tuesday, October 27, 2009        The Media

Regards,

John Pacheco,
Communications & Vigil Co-Ordinator
40 Days for Life (Ottawa)
ottawavigil@gmail.com
http://www.40daysforlife.com/ottawa/

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This is an excellent article.  This is the money quote:

As the Lahey case demonstrates, all of the bureaucratic measures put in place in recent years to guarantee transparency and accountability – while needed – ultimately will mean little without an accompanying genuine conversion of heart and re-dedication to the faith that comes to us from the apostles.

This is a theme that I have been hammering on for quite a long time now. Notice the emphasis on true repentance and not on the bureaucratic and media spin machine.  I wonder if the bishops who are hunkered down in closed session over at Nav Canada will open their hearts and their minds long enough to accept this message.

We don`t need your communication directors. We need faithful bishops to teach the faith.  Keep it simple and don`t add another bureaucratic layer for communications. 

You`re supposed to be our Fathers in the Faith, not some cheap version of Peter Mansbridge.

In other news, I see that my blog has received several visits a day from Nav Canada over the past several days – even yesterday and today.  Not sure why since today was the closed door session of the bishops.  Who would be visiting me from Nav Canada?    I am sure that this is just a coincidence, and the visits are by some Nav Canada employee.   

VISITOR ANALYSIS
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IP Address 72.1.213.197 [Label IP Address]
Country Canada
Region Ontario
City Cornwall
ISP Nav Canada
Returning Visits 38
Visit Length Multiple visits spread over more than one day
VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS
Browser IE 8.0
Operating System WinVista
Resolution 1024×768
Javascript Enabled

Navigation Path

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CORNWALL, October 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Gerald Baril, outgoing Communications Director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has informed LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the deliberations and conclusions of the Canadian Bishops regarding Development and Peace (D&P) are to be kept confidential till after the meeting of the Permanent Council of the CCCB. That meeting is currently set for December 2, 2009. The confidential deliberations over D&P, the international development arm of the CCCB, are taking place this week and will in part address the contents of an LSN exposé on groups funded by D&P. LSN presented verifiable evidence in a series of reports that numerous groups in receipt of D&P funding advocate for abortion, or are otherwise involved in activities deeply contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Several Canadian Bishops, led by the Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins, initially decided to withhold funding from D&P, and then decided to allow funding only for groups approved by the local bishop in the foreign country where the group operates. The latter measure was welcomed by the pro-life movement internationally as a wise solution to the situation. The annual bishops Plenary Session, which is currently underway, marks the first time that the bishops have had the opportunity to discuss the matter as a body. For the most part deliberations on the D&P question have occurred and will continue to occur this week in private discussion among the bishops. However, during the public session Monday, the Archbishops of Ottawa and Toronto spoke publicly on the matter. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa objected to continuing with “business as usual” with D&P, while Archbishop Thomas Collins criticized the bishops’ report on D&P for having misstated the nature of the allegations leveled against the organization by LSN and others.

While I hesitate to say it is certain, such a communication is normally associated with serious division.  If the allegations levied against Development & Peace were baseless, then the CCCB would have issued a statement immediately to dispel any lingering doubts in the minds of the faithful.

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I wanted to engage with some of the thought surrounding Dr. Gaillardetz’ invitation to address the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at the annual Plenary Assemby. I have decided to use as my framework a letter written by a Torontonian by the name of Tom Richardson. It was published in the Western Catholic Reporter and can be read by clicking here (it’s the third letter down).

Gaillardetz’ invitation is also getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere.  For example, you could read Allen Troupe’s “Has the CCCB Left the Catholic Church,” or Steve’s “Canadian Bishops Ask Heretic To Give Them Inspiration.” There is also John Pacheco’s page at SOCON OR BUST, entitled “The Gaillardetz Visit: Inviting Dissent.” I can’t possibly, initially, engage with all they are saying, and like I said, I am using Richardson’s letter as a framework:

Letter writer Tom Richardson mistakenly presents Dr. Gaillardetz as a “hard-core liberal dissenter.” The Vatican’s Instruction on the vocation of the theologians, notes that theologians “must take into account the proper character of every exercise of the Magisterium, considering the extent to which its authority is engaged.” Gaillardetz, chosen to present to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, never rejects the teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, but as an ecclesiologist he fulfills his function by attempting to determine the document’s weight. The Instruction speaks of duty, but Richardson sees malice: “No one raises the issue of infallibility regarding women’s ordination unless they intend on overthrowing it.” Wrong….

Read the rest here, including commentary by Dr. Gaillardetz and yours truly….

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But, but, but…it’s always a choice.

Violence begets violence.

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WIARTON, Ontario, October 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 16-year-old high school student Jennifer Rankin fully intended to unite her voicelessness with that of the unborn as part of the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity when she arrived at school yesterday, reports Bill Henry of Sun Media.

She was impeded, however, by her school principal, who stated that the right to free speech does not apply on school property and who forced Rankin to remain in isolation for the entire day as long as she participated in the event.

During the annual Day of Silent Solidarity international campaign, which is organized by Stand True Ministries, students don red bands on their arms and red duct tape on their mouths, remaining silent while passing out fliers about the atrocity of abortion.

Rankin, 16, arrived at Peninsula Shores District School in Wiarton, Ontario yesterday morning, with the red tape over her mouth and with the simple word ‘life’ written upon it.  She and her mother were stopped at the door, however, by school principal Patricia Cavan, while police cruisers stood nearby.  Cavan initially told Rankin that she could not enter school property, but then consented to allowing her in the building, separated from other students.

“I was taken directly into a small room that was opposite the vice-principal’s office and I was in there all day,” Rankin told Sun Media.  “I wasn’t allowed to speak with or see any other students and students were not allowed to come and see me and I was isolated in that room for the entire day.”

While Cavan had informed students in advance that their pro-life witness would not be allowed, Rankin insists that her Charter right to free expression was infringed.  “I felt very discriminated by it,” she said.  “I don’t think it was right at all what happened.”

Several students had joined her in the event last year, but this time Rankin was alone.  “I think a lot of people got scared and backed out,” she said. “I would like to have the ability to correct this. I don’t think it should be just left alone.”

The youth pastor at Rankin’s church, Ken Holley, expressed disappointment and insisted that the school’s actions violated her rights.  “It’s a day of silence and basically they lose their voice for those that never had a voice,” he said. “It’s pro-life. There’s no arguing. They can’t talk all day. They just stay silent and if anybody asks why they’re silent they hand out a little sheet that says this is why.”

“I guess I am disappointed that they’re not allowed to have a voice, or not have a voice, actually,” he said.

Cavan, who did not return a message left by LifeSiteNews.com, told Sun Media that the right to free speech does not apply on school property.  “School property is not a public place,” she said. “So while absolutely we support the right to free speech in a public space, that’s not school property.”  She said that school policy prohibits the dissemination of one-sided information on religious, political, or other issues that are controversial.

Pastor Holley pointed out that the school does an annual ‘Gay Pride’ day “where everybody wears pink shirts,” and that the school allows nude pictures on the wall to stand as ‘art’.  “My students have to go to school and deal with that,” he said, “and as soon as they try to stand up for anything, it’s like, well, just be quiet, go home. I don’t think that’s right.”

Cavan maintains that the ‘Gay Pride’ event is a different issue because it is about fighting homophobia and supporting rights guaranteed in the Charter.  Jennifer Rankin’s cause, however, “is not an issue under human rights,” Cavan said.  “It’s an ethical/moral decision and everyone has the right to their view, absolutely. And I commend the students for their personal views and their desire to share their beliefs. I just want to assure that every student feels supported when those beliefs are shared.”

Mary-Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life Coalition expressed dismay that the school shut down Rankin’s message.  “You would think a school, as a facility of education, would be the place where free speech would flourish, not the opposite,” she said.  Regarding the school’s ‘Gay Pride’ day, she said, “There’s only one side on that one, I guess, too, eh?  They’re just trying to make sure that the truth doesn’t get out.”

David Cortman, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defence Fund, told LSN that “the school should be ashamed of its hypocrisy.”

“On the one hand, the school first of all is apparently picking and choosing which parts of the Charter that it wants to comply with,” he said.  “It hides behind the Charter to justify its blatant promotion of the homosexual agenda, while at the same time it ignores the students’ rights to free expression under the Charter.”

“In my opinion, the policy and their actions, violate the Charter,” he continued.  “If homosexual behaviour is a human right, even more so is life itself a human right. … I think it’s just another instance of government indoctrination that’s aimed at the suppression of religious speech.”


Ms. Cavan,

School property is not public space?  It’s a space provided to you to do your job on the taxpayer’s dime, Ms. Cavan. That means that you are answerable to the people of Canada and to the taxpayers of your municipality.  You have no right to limit the freedom of expression for those who oppose abortion, while not only teaching students to promote sodomy, but actually endorsing and setting aside a day to do it on behalf of the School.   The school is not private property. If it were, the School Board wouldn’t be getting our tax revenue. The fact that I have to explain this very basic reality to you is, needless to say, rather troubling.

And if you want to talk about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it doesn’t guarantee anything about sexual behaviour:

 S. 15 (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

On the other hand, the Charter most certainly guarantees freedom of conscience and religion and thought, belief, opinion, and expression. In fact, these two freedoms are included FIRST in the section called FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS in order to ensure that everyone understands that all other freedoms are built on these ones:

S. 2

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

It is thoroughly hypocritical to officially propagandize for “gay day” while concurrently denying the inalienable right to freely advocate for the most basic right that exists: the right to life.  The school system, and your school in particular, have apparently become a breeding ground for radical social engineering which seeks to promote sodomy while refusing to even recognize the right to conscientious objection by its students.

Your policy is even worse than arbitrary.  It’s shamelessly partisan and political. Far from trying to avoid, as you claim,  “one-sided information on religious, political, or other issues that are controversial“, you have only exposed yourself to doing just that in institutionalizing the promotion of homosexual behaviour while banning criticism of it or the promotion of an opposing life ethic. 

Do you not see the irony in your statement? 

Be true to what you are there to do as a teacher and let the exchange of ideas begin.  Otherwise, don’t call it a school. Call it a programming centre.

John Pacheco

Social Conservatives United

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So Rick Gaillardetz flew in to address the CCCB’s plenary assembly on Monday.  He arrived on a cloud of controversy over his dissenting views on a whole host of issues, including the infallible status of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the inadmissibility of women priests.

(CCCB – Ottawa)…”Following reports on the activities of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council, and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Plenary Assembly heard a presentation by American theologian Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio, on the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the priesthood today. The Bishops, observers and guests then broke into smaller workshop groups to discuss the main points in the presentation.”

Socon or Bust readers may recall how I reported in an earlier entry that Dr. Gaillardetz blasted and disparaged the Holy Father over his lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX bishops: 

“As a Catholic, there is nothing that prevents me from saying this was an abysmal decision,” said Richard Gaillardetz, a professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio. “John Paul II was the master of the symbolic gesture in many ways. He had a keen sense of the symbolic gesture that would send a larger message. Benedict doesn’t have that or think that way. In Benedict’s own mind, he is addressing certain issues that have a theological and doctrinal logic to them. And he doesn’t think about or consider … the larger consequences of his actions.” (Source)
 

I think, in light of the recent moves of the Holy Father to:

1) allow Anglicans a place in the Roman Catholic Church (the Traditional Anglican Communion alone numbers 700,000 people, never mind the conservatives in the current Church of England who will “swim the Tiber”);

2) negotiate with the SSPX in bringing them into full Communion with the Church;

3) travel to Cyprus to kick-start the process for real movement with the Orthodox world for full communion with the See of Peter.

…just how does Rick have the audacity to claim that Pope Benedict XVI does not “think about or consider the larger consequences of his actions“?

It seems to me that the Holy Father is far more astute, shrewd and “a real mover and shaker” than Rick gives him credit for.

Perhaps instead of making wild and absurd insults towards the Holy Father, Rick should think about or consider the larger consequences of HIS OWN actions, statements, and theological positions.  


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Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new study by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute continues the claim that expanded use of contraception and birth control reduces abortions worldwide. Mainstream media outlets and writers like Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic are using the report to say pro-life advocates should push for contraception.

Sullivan became the latest in a long line of commentators to criticize the pro-life movement for not being more contraceptive-friendly.

But, Dr. Michael New, a University of Alabama political science professor, writes at National Review Online that Guttmacher’s own study shows how contraception doesn’t reduce the abortion numbers.

“The link between abortion rates and access to contraception is not as clear as the Guttmacher report might indicate. Furthermore, Guttmacher’s own research suggests that there is little reason to believe that contraception subsidies would do much to affect abortion rates,” he explains.

New says “there exists no consensus on the correlation between the availability of contraception and the incidence of abortion.”

Read the rest here.

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