Archive for April, 2010

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UNITED STATES, April 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Professional illustrators come in all shapes and sizes, but very few of them have a pro-life or Christian perspective. But that is something that Dan Lawlis, a professional illustrator for over 20 years who has created comic book art for companies like Marvel and DC Comics, wants to change.

Lawlis is endeavoring to use the internet to bring a new comic book vision to the world, and has made his first go at the effort with the comic called “Orange Peel” – a story set in a technologically advanced future, where evil aliens plot to take-over the neighboring planet Godderth for conquest. However, they first plan to make conquest easy by getting the inhabitants of Godderth to abandon their morality, destroy the family unit, and become so morally impoverished that they will welcome their would-be conquerors with open arms. Read the rest of this entry »

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An article published on the Wall Street Journal’s website cites a story that LifeSiteNews ran a few days ago regarding the aging of the pro-abortion movement and the youth and vibrancy of the pro-life movement.  The article is short but very relevant.

Just goes to show that LifeSiteNews has a broader reach and appeal than some detractors are willing to admit.  Well done!

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It turns out that the Ann Coulter fiasco was not the first time that the University of Ottawa considered censoring a controversial presentation.  From yesterday’s National Post:


A Canadian human rights group is accusing the University of Ottawa of “spying” and attempting to stifle free speech after top university administrators considered preventing a well-known Burmese activist from speaking on campus.

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Abortion

How would you feel if the government wiped out an entire city the size of Kingston, and everyone in it every single year?  The majority of Canadians would probably not agree with this idea.  In fact there would probably be riots in the streets.  Yet that is precisely what is happening in hospitals and clinics all throughout Canada each year on a much smaller level.

In 1969, the Canadian government struck down all Canadian laws restricting abortion in Canada.  Many people mistakenly believe that abortion is legal in Canada, when in reality; we are the only western nation that simply does not have any law restricting abortion.  The result has been a steady increase in the number abortions performed each year in Canada, since 1969.  There are now around 100,000 abortions performed in Canada annually.

Abortion has seen a steady increase around the world, for example in China, families who choose to have more than one child are fined, punished, and the mothers are often forced to have abortions and are sterilized.  Since males are highly valued in China, girls are aborted at a much higher rate.  Girls that are fortunate enough to be born in China are often discarded and left to die.

Catholic teaching on the matter of abortion is very clear. In the book of Jeremiah chapter 1:5, it says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” This forms the basis of section 2270 in the catechism of the Catholic Church which states “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person. Among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” This teaching is very clear, abortion is always wrong, with no exceptions. While some people may not be prepared to be mothers and fathers, abortion is never the answer. The end never justifies the means; in other words, you can never commit an evil act (such as abortion) to ease the burden you are currently carrying (in this case the baby).

Many famous Catholics and non Catholics have spoken out against abortion.   Mother Teresa wrote “Abortion is a crime that kills not only the child but the consciences of all involved.”  Former US president Ronald Reagan once said “abortion concerns not only the unborn child; it concerns every one of us.”  And finally in a very harsh tone Martin Luther once said “those who have no love for children are swine, stocks, and logs unworthy of being called men or women.”

There are a number of things that each of us can do in order to help reduce the number or abortions in this country.   We can pray for the doctors and there associates who perform these evil acts.  We can also pray for the mothers and fathers who have chosen to avoid bringing one of their children into the world.  And then we can pray for the family members, grandparents and relatives who have been touched by abortion.  The more fearless among you could write a letter to your member of parliament or your local newspaper.  Or you could join my family and I as we attend the 14th annual March for Life in Ottawa this May 13th where thousands of ordinary Canadians will gather on Parliament Hill to prayerfully and peacefully to tell the government that we do not have social peace on abortion.  There will never be peace in the world while we allow children to die in the sanctuary of a mother’s womb.

Peter Beneteau, 13 years old,  received an “A” for this speech.

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TORONTO, April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Archdiocese of Toronto has reached an agreement with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) regarding funding.  Responding to concerns raised by LifeSiteNews (LSN) last year the archdiocese withheld $1.125 million in funding from D&P until the organization could ensure that each partner and project to be funded with funds from the Archdiocese of Toronto would be approved by the local bishop in the area where the project undertaken. Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins was the first bishop in the country to react to LSN’s revelations about D&P.  Less than a week after the original LSN investigative report, Collins sent a statement to all pastors of the archdiocese, which noted that the “serious allegations” were to be “investigated in detail.”  That March 17, 2009 letter added: “Development & Peace has not as yet received its funding from ShareLife for 2009. Be assured I will not allow any money raised in the Archdiocese of Toronto to be used for pro-abortion activities or organizations.”  In a statement to be released to Toronto parishes this weekend, the archdiocese explains: “With the cooperation of our partners at CCODP, the conditions stipulated by Archbishop Collins have now been met, ensuring that all contributions to ShareLife are used in accordance with the outlined criteria for the 2009 and 2010 campaigns.” The statement explains that, “Fifteen projects were identified in developing countries for ShareLife funding and endorsements have now been received by either the President of the Episcopal Conference, the Secretary-General of the Episcopal Conference, or the local Ordinary where the project is taking place, attesting to the suitability of the partner carrying out the work.” Bill Steinburg, a spokesman for the Archdiocese told LSN that projects were approved in Brazil, Honduras, Peru, Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Philippines, East Timor, Pakistan, Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon.  He also noted that many of the organizations are Caritas groups, the Catholic Church’s official development agency. The funding agreement extends into the current year 2010 campaign.  The statement explains that the archdiocese has “pledged an allocation of $900,000 to CCODP as part of our overall fundraising efforts,” for the 2010 collection.  LSN asked Steinburg about the most recent controversy over D&P slamming LSN, Campaign Life Coalition and International Right to Life as the “far right wing fringe element of North American society” and claiming falsely that the pro-life groups were associated with groups that have used violence.   Steinburg explained that the Archdiocese was leaving the conflict resolution between the pro-life groups and D&P to the bishops. He noted further that D&Ps statements about the pro-life groups would not affect the positive relationship of the archdiocese with the groups.

While this is definitely good news from a momentum perspective, the actions taken by the Archdiocese of Toronto are still not foolproof:

1. Fungibility still a problem. Notice the number of countries listed above? That likely means D&P is shifting Toronto’s money around to existing partners who have not yet been identified as being anti-life.  Nothing has really changed.  The only thing that has changed is that Toronto’s money has been ear-marked to go to these particular groups, but none of the other dioceses have had their donations likewise ear-marked. For Toronto’s initiative to have real teeth, at least a third of the dioceses in Canada have to adopt the same measure. Otherwise, it’s not going to be effective.  It’s very easy for the management of Development & Peace to keep their existing pro-abort partners, even with Toronto’s conditions. In fact, it is very likely that none of the partners identified to date will be affected by this measure.

2. Episcopal endorsements are no guarantee. While relying on the endorsement of other countries’ church officials is good, it is not as effective as having collaboration with Canadian and the recipient country’s pro-life groups.  It is very possible that one or more groups being funded is still pro-abort.  Church officials, depending on who they are and their own pro-life sensitivities might be as dismissive of pro-life concerns as Development & Peace is. Or, they might not be aware of all of the activities of the groups in question.   These kind of funding decisions must be made in collaboration with the pro-life organizations who know the score – otherwise the problems could continue.

So, in the interests of full disclosure, Development & Peace should release the names of the groups who are being funded by the Archdiocese of Toronto.

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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Last week, Socon or Bust revisited Development & Peace’s continued support for the Freedom from Debt Coalition in the Philippines which supports a Bill in favour of “reproductive rights”.  Generally speaking, the phrase “reproductive rights” is code for contraception and abortion. In this particular case, it only included contraception, although in reality the leglislation is merely the stepping stone for a future abortion rights law.  Abortion does not exist where contraception is not accepted in principle.

Below you can read the Filipino Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on the Bill in question.  

How obscene it is that Canadian Catholic money is going to organizations which fight against Catholic moral teachings.  Canadian Catholic money is effectively going to organizations that oppose Catholic bishops in the developing world.  (See Exhibits A, B, C)

It’s a kind of sick sexual imperialism being exported to the poor. 

The first report about D&P’s immoral activities came to light in March 2009.  It’s now been over a year.  If this controversy had been about Development & Peace funding groups which espoused racism, does anyone seriously doubt that this sham would not have been cleaned up in mere days if not hours?

What does that tell us about the Canadian bishops and their concern for the unborn? 

___________________________

Standing up for the Gospel of Life
CBCP Pastoral Statement on Reproductive Health Bill

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative power of God (CCC 2258). The Church carries out the mandate of the Lord to go and proclaim to all the nations the Gospel of Life. The protection and preservation of human life and the preservation of the integrity of the procreative act of parents are important elements of our mission from the Lord. It is our fidelity to the Gospel of Life and our pastoral charity for the poor that leads us your pastors to make this moral stand regarding Reproductive Health Bill 5043 that is the object of deliberation in Congress. Read the rest of this entry »

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ROME, April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a few pointed phrases addressed to the new Belgian ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI gently chided the Belgian government for seeking to suppress the Church’s right to speak on moral issues – an apparent reference to the Belgium Parliament’s decision last year to pass a motion criticizing remarks made by the pope about Catholic teaching on condoms….

I’m afraid this is just the beginning.  The Left is going to persecute the Church.  I’ve said this for a long time now. The time is coming when the Pope will not be permitted to visit any country he wants to.


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who, as they say on the Island, has “bullocks”.

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We thought that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was postponing the implementation of the sex-ed portion of the new curriculum, but according to an article from the National Post entitled “McGuinty vows to implement most of controversial health curriculum” it seems that the Premier is sending conflicting signals about his intentions:

The problem is that McGuinty hasn’t been very forthcoming about what exactly is going to be implemented and what isn’t. We don’t want the sex-ed portion to be implemented through the backdoor, once the protests have let up. 

To all you parents out there: you need to get in touch with the government and keep pressuring them about the school curriculum. 

To all the Ontario bishops that pressured the government:  we thank you for your earlier actions and we implore your continued support on this matter.

And let’s not forget to keep praying.

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Here’s a thoughtful and striking article by Barbara Kay of the National Post on sex education in public schools.  Here’s a good excerpt:

Unless countered by vigorous instruction at home, no children in the last several decades have left school believing their sexuality has a higher purpose than giving them bodily pleasure. From adolescence they have been encouraged by sex educators — no, pressured — to maximize sexual pleasure (but with condoms!), and made to feel abnormal if they prefer chastity to sex without love or commitment. What’s so good about that?

Read the whole article here.

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TORONTO SUN – A married Harbord Collegiate teacher reported to have two children is charged with sexual exploitation involving a female student. (Source)

As we’ve been pointing out since forever, these things aren’t limited to just priests.  But the media seldom pays attention. 

Notice how the accused teacher is married and has two kids.  So why do people keep insisting that the priest sex-abuse problem is all about their vow of celibacy?

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Where are the bishops? And how long with this phony “unity” be tolerated?

There is a limit to obeying fools and heretics without dire consequences.

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Further to my original petition to the New York Times to get them to retract their slanderous article against Pope Benedict XVI, Clark Hoyt, the Public Editor of the Times, has written a defense of Goodstein’s original article, called “Questioning the Pope“. Below is my rebuttal to his more central points.

April 27, 2010

Mr. Clark Hoyt
Public Editor
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

E-mail: public@nytimes.com

Mr. Hoyt,

I have taken the time to provide you with a rebuttal to the central points which you make in your article, “Questioning the Pope“. You can read it here.

Here is an excerpt that you should pay attention to:

“But in the English version used by the NYT, instead, not only are some passages omitted, but frequently the contrary is said,” Rodari writes. “It is true, Bertone requests to take into consideration Murphy’s frail physical condition, who indeed soon after dies. But he never says that because of such conditions the process should be stopped. He says, and this is omitted in the automated English version, that in order to help Fr. Murphy’s repentance, ‘a period of retreat may be granted,’ otherwise, the measure will be ‘more rigorous,’” the Italian paper states.

Yours truly,

John Pacheco

Socon or Bust

http://www.socon.ca/?p=5963

_____________________________

Many readers, including church officials, took the article as a direct attack on Pope Benedict. But much of their criticism does not hold up:

¶De Souza, writing this time on National Review Online, said The Times accused Ratzinger of “intervening” to prevent Murphy from facing penalties. The paper did not. The Times article did not establish what role, if any, Ratzinger played, saying only that communications about the case were addressed to him and that his deputy intervened. That’s a long way from saying Ratzinger did.

Really? Then why did this story explode with an enormous amount of vitriol directed at Benedict? Just a big misunderstanding at what Goodstein really meant to say, was it Mr. Hoyt? Did the whole world interpret Ms.Goodstein incorrectly? Is it really such a “long way” for you to travel, Mr. Hoyt, when the public’s reaction matches the picture Ms. Goodstein painted? Or did she just plant convenient insinuations without such frivolities like context or full disclosure?

Let’s review some of the facts omitted by Ms. Goodstein’s reporting:

First, Benedict was not responsible for removing abusive priests from active ministry. That was the job of the local homosexual bishop – a convenient and apparently insignificant fact that Ms. Goodstein forgot to mention.

Second, the Catholic Church does not “defrock” its priests. It laicizes them. By the way, Mr. Hoyt, what is the point in having a “religion” reporter if she can’t even get the basic jargin right, let alone even understand the basics of canon law? Does the New York Times think these kind of errors embolden its credibility?

And third, and most importantly, laicization has nothing to do with a priest remaining in active ministry which is the salient point in the abuse of children. This last point makes the whole article largely irrelevant since its aim was to attach blame on the Vatican and Benedict for permitting a homosexual predator to abuse children. Yet, The Times knows or should have known the critical difference, but it permitted a hick reporter to publish her story anyway, knowing that the great majority of The Times’ readers are largely ignorant of this distinction. And the article continues to take advantage of this general ignorance throughout the piece, setting up a red herring and painting Benedict as someone who “failed” to take action against child abusers. The only thing the Vatican “failed” to do is strip Murphy of his right to perform public functions in the time that the New York Times found reasonable.

Mr. Hoyt, pay attention: simply because Ms. Goodstein put down some “facts” hardly exonerates her or the New York Times for putting these “facts” in a context which does not fit the reality. Any reporter can put down “facts” which gives the impression of a completely opposite reality. But then again, we normally don’t attribute too much respect to these kinds of reporters or their reporting. Is that what the New York Times considers legitimate journalism these days? Based on your refusal to accept accountability for such an article, it certainly suggests that it does.

¶The presiding judge in Murphy’s canonical trial, Father Thomas Brundage, said in an essay online that he had never received any communication halting the trial, and many critics of the Times’s coverage pointed to this as evidence that there was no pressure from the Vatican to drop the case. But The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel later confronted Brundage with a memo showing that he actually drafted the archbishop’s letter officially abating the trial. Brundage posted a statement: “In all honesty, I do not remember this memo, but I do admit to being wrong on this issue.

First of all, Fr. Brundage’s admission that he actually drafted the archbishop’s letter officially abating the trial proves very little in exonerating the Times’s coverage of the story. Fr. Burndage’s letter (from Weakland) to the Vatican does not prove that there was any pressure from the Vatican at all. It only proves that Weakland decided to abate the case and inform Rome. This is hardly a “smoking gun”.

Secondly, the actual process was never halted by the Vatican at all. That point has never been acknowledged by the New York Times. None of the documents give any indication whatsoever that Cardinal Bertone “halted the process” against Fr. Murphy. In April 1998, there was a recommendation by then-Archbishop Bertone, then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy, to implement pastoral measures to ensure Father Murphy had no ministry, but without the full burden of a penal process because of a number of extenuating circumstances, not the least of which was the frail health of Fr. Murphy and the lengthy and cumbersome procedures involved in a full blown canonical trial. However, this was only a suggestion on the part of Archbishop Bertone since the local bishop retained full control on the ultimate decision. In fact, the next month, the Bishop of Superior, Most Rev. Raphael M. Fliss, rejected Bertone’s suggestion for pastoral measures and began formal canonical proceedings against Murphy. The case was then abated by Archbishop Weakland 2 days before Murphy’s death on August 21, 1998 and only when it became evident that Murphy was on his death bed. Here is the time line of events:

6 April 1998

Archbishop Bertone, noting the frail health of Father Murphy and that there have been no new charges in almost 25 years, recommends using pastoral measures to ensure Father Murphy has no ministry, but without the full burden of a penal process. It is only a suggestion, as the local bishop retains control.

13 May 1998

The Bishop of Superior, where the process has been transferred to and where Father Murphy has lived since 1974, rejects the suggestion for pastoral measures. Formal pre-trial proceedings begin on 15 May 1998, continuing the process already begun with the notification that had been issued in September 1996.

30 May 1998

Archbishop Weakland, who is in Rome, meets with officials at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, including Archbishop Bertone but not including Cardinal Ratzinger, to discuss the case. The penal process is ongoing. No decision taken to stop it, but given the difficulties of a trial after 25 years, other options are explored that would more quickly remove Father Murphy from ministry.

19 August 1998

Archbishop Weakland writes that he has halted the canonical trial and penal process against Father Murphy and has immediately begun the process to remove him from ministry — a quicker option.

21 August 1998

Father Murphy dies. His family defies the orders of Archbishop Weakland for a discreet funeral. (Source)

Third, the Italian Newspaper Il Foglio notes that the NYT story provides links to both the English and Italian version of the 1998 meeting, “but it omits to say one thing: the English version is a grossly distorted translation of the Italian, made with ‘Yahoo translator,’ a translation that the Vicar of the diocese, Thomas Brundage, sent to his authority, Bishop Fliss, to help him understand the Italian,” the Italian political paper explains….“And it is here, in the Italian version, that many important things are said.” “It is explained that either Fr. Murphy gives ‘clear signs of repentance’ or the canonical process will go to the end, including his dismissal from the clerical state.” “But in the English version used by the NYT, instead, not only are some passages omitted, but frequently the contrary is said,” Rodari writes. “It is true, Bertone requests to take into consideration Murphy’s frail physical condition, who indeed soon after dies. But he never says that because of such conditions the process should be stopped. He says, and this is omitted in the automated English version, that in order to help Fr. Murphy’s repentance, ‘a period of retreat may be granted,’ otherwise, the measure will be ‘more rigorous,’” the Italian paper states. (Source)

THEREFORE: The New York Times has yet to concede that Goodstein’s assertion that “Cardinal Bertone halted the process” is demonstrably false in fact and caluminous in context, since, first of all, the question did not involve Murphy’s active ministry (the relevant question at hand in sex abuse cases) and secondly, the reason why other pastoral measures were proposed by Bertone was because of the priest’s ill health and not for any other implied reason, and thirdly Goodstein did not obtain a proper Italian translation of Bertone’s response which would have yielded the exact opposite of what she alleges.

But it would be irresponsible to ignore the continuing revelations. A day after the first article about Murphy, The Times published another front-page article that said Benedict, while archbishop in Munich, led a meeting approving the transfer of a pedophile priest and was kept informed about the case. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another parish. The paper’s critics have been mostly silent about this report.

That’s because that particular report has also been largely discredited as well. But when you are addressing an anti-Catholic publication like the New York Times, you have to pick and choose your battles because there are so many of them to wage. Besides, I’m sure that you are aware of the old adage: There are more statements that a burro can make than a wise man can answer.

Like it or not, there are circumstances that have justifiably driven this story for years, including a well-documented pattern of denial and cover-up in an institution with billions of followers. Painful though it may be, the paper has an obligation to follow the story where it leads, even to the pope’s door.

Your paper has an obligation to tell the whole truth. Your paper has an obligation to put the facts in context. It has an obligation to assign a competent religion reporter who has a rudimentary knowledge of canon law. It has an obligation not to rely on a faulty and pedestrian Yahoo translation to insinuate the Pope’s “failure” in “defrocking” a homosexual predator priest.

Your paper has an obligation not to be so obvious in being such an anti-Catholic bigot’s paradise.

Clearing Benedict’s Good Name: The New York Times Must Retract Its False Reporting — SIGN THE DEMAND FOR RETRACTION

GoPetition

The New York Times does respond to pressure. It happened before. It can happen again. This is not a lost cause. Keep praying. Keep up the pressure. Don’t take your eye off the ball!

INDEX

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You know the old saying…give them enough rope…. 

Still, what a disaster the Winnipeg Statement has been.  Curse that document. Curse it to hell…because that is where it came from.

___________________

MONTREAL, Quebec, April 26, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A representative of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), the official development arm of the Canadian bishops, has issued a public statement in which, at the same time as he lambasts a March LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) story about a D&P partner, he openly admits that the partner in question pushes contraception. The admission marks the first time that a representative of D&P has publicly confirmed that a specific partner is involved in activities that violate Church teaching. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is interesting.  During a speech before the LGBT Delegate Luncheon, Michelle Obama, the wife of US President Barack Obama, says that Kenya is her husband’s home country.  You’ll hear it at 0:45 of the video.  As you may know, the US Constitution states that the President must be a natural born American.

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Daddy, when you leave for work, some of my heart breaks off and it doesn’t feel right and when you come home the part of my heart that broke off is filled again.  I Love you. Love Emma”

My daughter wrote the above “love message” on the Saturday grocery list that I take me with me on Saturday morning errands.

If you want to know why radical feminism has taken hold in our culture,  you don’t need to understand complex movements or patholigies.  You need look no further then my 10 year-old’s note to me…and the absence of its message in families.

Husbands and fathers!

Be true to your wives and do not let your hearts wander.  Marriage is a sacrament and a vow. Stay true to your word. Sacrifice for them and place them on the pedastal that they deserve.  Never forget that they are your helpmates and not your servants.

And for your daughters: remember that this is a battle for their hearts and their allegiance so tie that string tight around their hearts and never let go.  Value modesty in your speech and their attire.  Never make them feel less than boys, defend their honour, love them always.  Give them an example for a future husband.  Be a real man and take the hit when necessary.

If you do these things, radical feminism will fade away like a bad dream.  For there rarely ever was a feminist who had a healthy relationship with her father.

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Right on!

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Suzanne over at Big Blue Wave has fisked out the latest D&P public relations debacle. You can read about it here. Suzanne does a good job at rebutting and exposing the distortions of Mr. Danny Gilles, a “development educator” at Development and Peace, and representative for the Atlantic region.

Here is his entry on the D&P Just Youth Facebook page.  Time for a rebuttal to each of his more notable comments….

On Tuesday, March 22, Lifesite News made all-too-familiar allegations against a Development and Peace Filipino partner. Under the headline Development & Peace Sending Canadian Youth to Work with Pro-Abort Group in Philippines, Lifesite News(LSN) wrote that abortion advocacy “is readily available” on the partner’s website.  The organization being attacked is a long-time D&P partner The Freedom From Debt Coalition. In fact there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of abortion advocacy on the coalition’s website. This is not a matter of opinion where a reporter can make a judgement, it is a matter of fact and I challenge anyone to produce one shred of evidence that would show otherwise.

Then why is FDC joining a 50 group coalition urging the government to pass a controversial national Reproductive Health Bill?  This Bill has “an explicit population control emphasis, proposes a massive promotion of contraception and sterilization throughout the country, mandatory sex education for Filipino children starting at grade 5 and a removal of the right to conscientious objection, with some exceptions for religious reasons, for health care workers who refuse to provide these services.” (Source)  The Catholic Bishops of the country are firmly opposed to it.

Amazingly, Development & Peace thinks that signing a “Reproducitve Rights” Bill which is completely contrary to Catholic teaching means there is “absolutely no evidence whatsoever of abortion advocacy” of FDC.  Are these people on heavy drugs or do they only act like it on their Facebook page?

Does Development & Peace believe it is OK for their partners to actively oppose the will of the Catholic bishops in another country?

So why are articles like this written on LSN? That’s a good question and I hope that what I will write will shed some light on LSN’s smear campaign against Development and Peace. The March 22ndarticle is typical of LSN reporting. It mixes a small bit of truth with a lot of manipulation to attempt to defame a Development and Peace partner in the eyes of Catholics. The LSN report contains some truth but it is so misrepresented as to make even the truth seem like lies.

There has been no “defamation”, no smears and no lies by LSN.  And there has certainly been no contradiction of the facts – which in the end is all that matters. The rest is hubris.

First of all, it is true that there are two articles on the coalition’s website that mention abortion. LSN’s dogged journalist discovered these articles by simply doing a website search for the word abortion. However the references to abortion in these articles have to do with the terrible state of affairs in the Philippines where so many deaths occur because of abortion. One of the articles in question says: “Because of largely unmet needs for modern contraception and related reproductive health services and education, half of the 3 million pregnancies occurring every year are reported as unplanned, with one-third ending up in abortion. Induced abortions are the fourth leading cause of maternal deaths in the Philippines.” This is not a pro-abortion statement.

No one said it was.  It was only mentioned on this blog to give a little context to the story itself. Still, the entire context of the article suggested that FDC might be favourable to abortion which, on further investigation, is most certainly true.

The second important piece of truth in the article is as Lifesite reports: the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines opposes the reproductive health bill. LSN would like us to believe that the bishops oppose the bill because it would legalize or decriminalize abortion, and most people reading their report would draw that conclusion. However, this is simply not true. The bishops oppose the bill because it proposes that sex education and better access to contraception be made available to the Filipino people. The LSN report also makes it seem as though the Freedom From Debt Coalition is leading the charge to pass this bill. This also is not true.

This article is on FDC’s website:

MANILA, Philippines – A day before several lawmakers deliver their respective sponsorship speeches on the controversial bill promoting the use of both artificial and natural means of family planning, among others, a network of more than 50 non-government and people’s organizations advocating women’s and people’s rights today urged other members of the House of Representatives to affirm women’s right to reproductive self-determination, and to support the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health Bill. The Welga ng Kababaihan, which includes the Freedom from Debt Coalition Women’s Committee, stressed that it is a woman’s right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to her sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. The Freedom from Debt Coalition has attempted for many years to have the Filipino government move more of its spending away from the servicing of debt (paying interest on the country’s foreign debt) and into services that would benefit the people, whether these be education, health services or housing. This is the crux of their work. What is true is that the women’s committee of the FDC has taken part in the work of a very broad coalition of women’s groups and other groups who are pushing for the passage of the reproductive health bill. The women’s committee of the FDC, as well as dozens of other groups, participated in meetings to give input into the drafting of the bill and have organized activities to educate the public about the content and importance of the bill for society’s development.

In a November 2008 pastoral letter, the Filipino bishops wrote: “It is our collective discernment that the Bill in its present form poses a serious threat to life of infants in the womb. It is a source of danger for the stability of the family. It places the dignity of womanhood at great risk.” (Source)

Does Development & Peace now wish to correct the Filipino bishops on their “abortion” assessment on the legislation in question?

One quote that LSN uses in their report is the following: According to the coalition, “The RH Bill makes it the responsibility of the state to protect the right to choose, not to make decisions for individuals. Women’s right to choose is a basic part of exercising control over their lives. The Bill provides for women to be informed as to services that will ensure women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.” LSN’s use of this quote in the context of the rest of the article is supposed to make the reader think that the coalition is advocating for abortion rights. It is not.  “Choice” in this quote refers to knowledge of one’s body, the reproductive health services that are available to people and access to forms of contraception… it does not refer to abortion.

Baloney. Every group which pushes for “reproductive rights” in Catholic countries start with contraception for obvious reasons. Then, once that victory has been secured, these groups move quickly to the hard cases of abortion like rape and incest, before moving on to abortion on demand. That’s how incrementalism works and has worked for the last 40 years in the abortion wars.  Anyone even remotely familiar how wealthy American and U.N. pro-abort foundations work know this to be true.  The fact that D&P remains blind, or, what is more likely, wants to remain wilfully blind, does not detract from the reality of what happens on the ground.  The Filipino bishops have cut through the rhetoric and called this Bill for what it is really all about:  a stepping stone to abortion.  That’s what contraception – which is even worse than abortion in certain respects – is to abortion: it’s the pimp that introduces abortion to an unsuspecting victim.

Amazingly, D&P still wants to defend their outrageous support for these pro-abort pimps…which only confirms what we have long suspected of them:  They are not pro-life.  They are as Catholic as the consumate “Catholic” politician who does not let his private opinions get in the way of “sound social justice policy”.

Why has Lifesite decided to make an issue of the reproductive health bill now? One reason is that it needed a news story so that it could defame Development and Peace during its Share Lent campaign. What makes this news story, which draws on two articles that are 17 months old, “current” is that LSN has learned that Development and Peace is organizing youth from Canada to visit the Philippines next summer. The obvious inference is that Development and Peace will be corrupting impressionable youth by exposing them to a group that has been a leader in the struggle for abortion services. Anyone who believes this has been duped.

Sorry, the facts prove otherwise.  Your partner is working against the Catholic Church in the Philippines and supporting pro-contraception legislation which will eventually lead to open push for abortion.  For all intents and purposes, it’s the first Bill of the larger legislative agenda.  That’s not our opinion. That’s the Catholic Church’s opinion in the Philippines.  Just whose side are you on?

The reproductive health bill is controversial for the Catholic Church in the Philippines because of the church’s teaching on contraception, not because it advocates for abortion. It should be pointed out that in Canada, the bishops conference in their nuanced Winnipeg Statement have not been so unrealistic as to deny Catholics a choice with regard to forms of birth control. Should Catholics in the Philippines have a choice whether to use contraceptives?Should non-Catholics? Should men and women be aware of options in this regard? These and other sensitive questions frame the debate in the Philippines. The debate is not about abortion, which is illegal in the Philippines. For Lifesite News to ignore this distinction and attempt to draw slanderous conclusions against a Development and Peace partner is a travesty for the truth.

Ah yes, and so it comes full circle.  The Winnipeg StatementSocon or Bust readers will recall the multiple posts on this website which have documented the sordid history of the Winnipeg Statement and The Rosarium’s two previous attempts at getting it retracted.  To date our efforts have been unsuccessful, but the bitter fruit of the Winnipeg Statement is no longer in any serious doubt. It is the poison that has been at the root of almost all of the Church’s problems in Canada.  It is one of the main reasons that Development & Peace has been blindly funding the murderous assault on the unborn through their “social justice partners” for decades, and turning a blind eye to the evidence which has been in front of their noses for the past year.  (Later this week, I will be posting another entry on how the rejection of the Humanae Vitae (and the support of the Winnipeg Statement) lead to the child sex abuse scandal the Catholic Church has been dealing with for many years now.)

For someone who calls himself a reporter to sit at his office computer in faraway, rich Canada; log onto a website of an organization that is fighting for better services for its people; do a word search for the word abortion just so that he can nail that word to the organization which does no abortion advocacy whatsoever… and finally try to plant the idea that Canadian youth are being corrupted by the staff and volunteers of Development and Peace… this to me is an irresponsible “journalist” who writes for a news agency that is led by a narrow view of reality and unconcerned by the real struggles of the poor.  For the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to have to take this slander year after year… this too is a travesty.

Don’t worry, with God’s benevolent mercy, Development & Peace won’t have to take it much longer.

D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE

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