Pope suggests it’s best to be ‘honest’ and lea

‘Miracle baby’ continues to fight for her life

‘Dehumanizing’ and ‘insulting’: Kenya Bishop

Maltese bishops call for natural solutions to infertility as country

The bishops conclude that “every technical method which replaces the
personal conjugal act fails to respect the dignity of the human person and
of the unity of marriage and so this is not acceptable.”

BY Peter Baklinski

VALLETTA, Malta, July 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Maltese Bishops have
weighed-in heavily on the in vitro fertilization (IVF) debate that has
engulfed the small nominally Catholic country. The bishops strategically
released a pastoral letter 24 hours prior to the release of the country’s
first proposed law that would regulate, rather than ban, the country’s
IVF-based reproductive business that has been operating for over two decades
with no restrictions.

The proposed Embryo Protection Act 2012 is considered to be a very
restrictive law banning cloning, freezing, experimentation, and willful
destruction of embryos. However, the bishops have come out condemning all
forms of IVF as a “morally wrong”, anti-personal, and inhuman solution
to infertility and have suggested that laws be crafted which treat
infertility using natural solutions that at the same time “respect the
dignity of the human person and of the unity of marriage”.

“The statement the bishops issued last week was opportune and ought to be
considered seriously by everyone involved,” said Paul Vincenti, president
and founder of Gift of Life Foundation in Malta to LifeSiteNews.

Calling it their “duty as spiritual shepherd” to guide married couples,
scientists, and politicians so that they may “form their consciences
rightly on a subject such as human life”, Archbishop of Malta Paul Cremona
and Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech reiterated three “fundamental values” in
Church teaching that they say must be adhered to during fertility treatment
for it to be moral.

The “value of life and the physical integrity of every person” must be
“protected from the very moment of conception until the moment of natural
death of the human person”. The bishops point out that “any form of
discrimination” with respect to different stages of life “cannot be
justified and must be upheld like any other form of discrimination”.

Furthermore, the value of a married couple’s “conjugal unity and
fidelity” — whereby a “married man and woman, through their reciprocal
gift of love, bring one another to perfection” — must be protected from
“rupture” which is suffered when a “third party” is introduced for
the sake of “artificial fertilization”.

Finally, the “value of human sexuality in marriage” must be protected
whereby the “conception of a human person” is the fruit of the “mutual
self-giving love of the married couple”.

The bishops conclude that “every technical method which replaces the
personal conjugal act fails to respect the dignity of the human person and
of the unity of marriage and so this is not acceptable.”

They point out that technical methods to aid procreation are permissible
when they “aid the personal conjugal act to achieve its aim, that is to
conceive human life,” such as in the case of NaPro Technology developed by
Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers.

“A law which does not safe-guard these values is morally wrong” they

The act deems it unlawful with a fine up to $18,000 USD for anyone who
“artificially fertilizes any egg cell for any purpose other than that of
bringing about the pregnancy of the woman from whom the cell originated”.
Only two eggs cells can be legally fertilized from one woman within one
“treatment cycle”. The law forbids discarding embryos for “eugenic
purposes”. Surrogate mothers are also not permitted.

Furthermore, the law would prohibit “all forms” of embryo preservation,
including cryopreservation where ‘leftover’ embryos after a cycle of in
vitro fertilization are frozen and stored at temperatures as low as -196
°C or -321 °F.

The proposed law would also prohibit sex-selective artificial fertilization,
cloning, tampering with the genetic information of a human germ line cell,
chimerae and hybrids, experimentation on human embryos, and willful
destruction of embryos.

Regarding parenthood, the law states that “any prospective parent”,
either “two persons of the opposite sex who are united in marriage, or who
have attained the age of majority and are in a stable relationship with each
other” shall have “access to medically assisted procreation
procedures”. The law would therefore exclude people in same-sex
relationships from procuring children by means of reproductive technology
while at the same time allowing an unmarried man and woman to undergo the

The law also makes it clear that doctors will be “under no obligation”
to participate in assisted procreation procedures “when such professional
considers such participation objectionable as a matter of conscience and
declares his objection beforehand”.

Maltese doctors who currently offer IVF to their patients as a solution to
infertility claim that the new regulations will hamper business, some
suggesting that they will have to close shop if the proposed regulations
become law.

“Sur Ministru, you are telling us literally to shut down,” wrote Pawlu
Sultana, head of medical services at St James Hospital, in a comment posted
on Facebook as reported by MaltaToday.

Josie Muscat, owner of St James Hospital, told MaltaToday that the
government is “trying to please everybody. Except patients” adding that
it will be difficult for him to keep his embryologists employed.

But Malta’s bishops have pointed out that “everybody” includes humans
at their “embryonic stage” and that these little ones must be afforded
rights and protections by civil law.

“Human life should be safe-guarded and its integrity promoted from the
very moment of conception. This obligation stems from the dignity of the
human person which is at the foundation of all human rights.”

The Embryo Protection Act will be open for public consultation until
September 14. The proposed act must be approved by a parliamentary majority
before it becomes law.


Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

conflicts in the Church

ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency

Cardinal Cottier on Conflicts in the Church

90-Year-Old Prelate Offers Perspective on History, Advice to Youth

By Jose Antonio Varela Vidal

VATICAN CITY, JULY 16, 2012 (Zenit.org).- At age 90, Cardinal Georges
Cottier has a rich perspective on the developments of the past and the path
of the future.

In this third part of his dialogue with ZENIT, he speaks about the sins of
today for which future generations will ask forgiveness, and also offers
advice for youth.

The first portions of this interview can be read here and here.

ZENIT: We have spoken of the public forgiveness desired by Blessed John Paul
II. What is humanity doing today for which it will have to ask for
forgiveness tomorrow?

Cardinal Cottier: The whole problem of the trivialization of abortion, and
also diving without respect into some fields involving the human embryo.
These are great sins, for which we run the risk of having to pay. As you
know, now there is the opportunity to see the sex of a baby in the mother’s
womb, and in some countries there are those who prefer boys to girls, and
they now have a serious demographic imbalance. I would also say
permissiveness in the realm of sex, this ends up by being a crime against
the person, in this case women and even children.

ZENIT: And other issues?

Cardinal Cottier: There is another issue, the arms trade. Efforts are being
made but the process as such has not ended. When there are wars in Africa,
they are in fact very harsh and affect many innocents, but all the armaments
are made in our factories of the West, and also in China and Russia. After
all this, there is also the situation of today’s economy, tolerance of some
miseries and so many other things. The future will be severe with us.

ZENIT: And how does the Catholic Church answer this?

Cardinal Cottier: All these are sins against which the Church has always
fought, but she fights with the evangelical means of preaching and with some
initiatives. And I would also say, “good is more effective than
evil,” though appearances seem to say the contrary. Because the good
is not seen; it is done in silence, it is like the image that Jesus uses of
the seed that falls to the ground and matures slowly; but evil makes much
noise and leaves traces of death and also spiritual death in souls. We have
made great progress since the last War, where the experience was so terrible
that we now have a peaceful attitude, open to dialogue, which is the result
of Vatican Council II. This changes things.

ZENIT: The Council also changed the attitude to war, no?

Cardinal Cottier: Before the last two World Wars, theologians had a theology
of just war, which is a heavy issue, including monstrous things and also the
power of the means, such as the atomic bomb, etc. Now we see that war is no
longer a solution. I am referring to the modern war. But, what happened? The
Council opened and immediately with Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in
Terris, and then with Paul VI’s great address at the United Nations during
the Council, the Church began to develop a doctrine of peace and no more
war, which we see in all the [papal] addresses of January 1, [the World Day
of Peace]. There is a whole complex of reflections on peace which is
beautiful, and this is a modern contribution.

ZENIT: Do you think that there are some sectors of the Church whose attitude
is mistaken again, and who will have to ask for forgiveness later?

Cardinal Cottier: Yes, we are about to see it, it might happen. I wouldn’t
say a Church as Christ wants her, but of members or sectors of the Christian
world. There are, certainly, prejudices, for example, indifference to the
poor on the part of rich environments – this isn’t just. The division
of goods, tolerance of some unjust laws, and the use of violence as we have
seen, but which is not the Church. And in recent documents, for example,
there is insistence on democracy. But, what does democracy mean? It’s not
only voting, but the participation of men as persons.

ZENIT: We see disobedience in some sectors, for example, in northern Europe.
Why does all this arise? Is it a manner of thinking that in this way more
people will go to churches?

Cardinal Cottier: No. I think that these movements of contestation in the
Church have always existed, and they became more frequent after 1968 in
Europe and North America. There are groups with claims that are exceedingly
foolish. And some also want women priests. So the Church must do much to
evaluate masculine and feminine gifts, but in each one’s vocation. It’s
interesting to see that these claims are often accompanied by a rejection of
human nature. All these “gender” stories, in which in the end
sexual difference is a cultural not a natural fact. Nature is a path for
one’s vocation, whether man’s or woman’s.

ZENIT: The Church has already spoken about this, no?

Cardinal Cottier: From the tradition that comes from Christ, John Paul II
was clear; he said: [women’s ordination] cannot be done, because the Church
does not feel capable of touching something on which Christ himself gave the
example. Then they answer that Christ adapted himself to his time, but I
think it’s an argument that is not worth much, because the Virgin, who has
always been central, never had priestly functions; it’s another vocation.
It’s interesting that many feminists who want women priests are really
thinking in the language of power, and this is false, which has led the Pope
to repeat many times recently that it is a service, which changes things
very much.

ZENIT: There are other “burning” issues, no?

Cardinal Cottier: Yes, the marriage of priests, which is an issue that stems
from the first demands of the Protestant Reformation, which allowed married
priests. But the Gospel isn’t easy; it is exacting, ad it is exacting
because it leads us to a great end. Evangelical joy is not the consumer
society, it is the joy of God. There is a very profound spiritual
convenience with this intention of celibacy in the Church of Latin rite,
which bears many spiritual fruits that we must not lose.

ZENIT: Because a married priest is not only a husband but also father of a

Cardinal Cottier: The vocation of father of a family is not a small
vocation. Today it uses much of the spirit, and I don’t know if it’s always
compatible. At least the Church believes that when a bishop is consecrated,
he is considered the spouse of his Church. And I would say there is
something analogous in the diocesan clergy. Thus, there is a spiritual
treasure in this that the Church cannot give up. Some bishops bring up the
topic, and it is not a sin to do so. It must be studied, you understand.
These are issues that must be addressed in the New Evangelization.

ZENIT: Finally, what is your message to the younger generations that are
beginning their journey in the Church, for example, priests, nuns, persons
who offer their life as you offered yours?

Cardinal Cottier: I would say what the Holy Father says at present, and it
is a word that is repeated frequently in his addresses: it is
“joy.” I would say the same thing to them. Do this with joy,
enthusiasm and fidelity to the Gospel, because their task of service is also
a testimony. And the testimony is the evangelical life; there is nothing to
invent, the Gospel gives us everything.

[Translation by ZENIT]

— — —

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Part 1: www.zenit.org/article-35172?l=english

Part 2: www.zenit.org/article-35180?l=english

This article is from the ZENIT news agency.

If you are interested in receiving news from ZENIT, you can subscribe for
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Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

Students Confront Contraceptive Establishment With “1Flesh” Website

47 hours with a prince

“Your husband isn’t with you?” The doctor looked concerned. Hannah
Boland had decided to go alone for her follow-up appointment.

BY {related_entries id=”alternate_author”}47 hours with a

July 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “Your husband isn’t with you?” The
doctor looked concerned. Hannah Boland had decided to go alone for her
follow-up appointment.

Only a short while before, a pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage. But this
pregnancy was different. They were out of the danger zone. The baby was
already twenty weeks gestation. Alison and Harry, Hannah’s two toddlers,
aged three and two respectively, were going to have another sibling.

“I like having the husband or partner present in these sorts of
situations. We detected a problem with your baby’s scan,” the doctor
continued. “There seems to be a problem with his brain.”

An information sheet was pushed in front of Hannah.

The baby’s brain had not developed, the doctor explained. The condition
could not be altered. It was unlikely he would be born alive. If he survived
birth, he would have a few, short, painful moments to live.

“I was in total shock,” Hannah told LifeSiteNews, “This sort of thing
happens to other people.”

Hannah and her husband, Michael, both devout Christians, raise their family
in a semi-rural area outside Sydney, Australia. Michael is the sole
breadwinner, working as a mechanic who specializes in elevators. Hannah is
a stay-at-home mom, who was taking care of their two toddlers at the time of
the diagnosis.

This diagnosis put her faith to the test.

The couple’s main struggle was how to cope with the uncertainties that lay
ahead. But Hannah says the Bible gave them hope. She clung to the passage,
“He will not tempt you beyond your strength.”


Abortion was never an option for the Bolands. “With our first child, we
went through those questions because they can do prenatal testing.”
Those tests were “a waste of time,” she said. “We knew that that was
not something God would want us to do…Who are we to say that that person
is not worthy to live?”

Almost every doctor they met recommended an abortion. Hannah says one doctor
said at a consultation, “Tell me why I am here? I don’t even know why
I am here. There is no hope for your baby. No. None. There is a 99.9
per cent chance of your baby dying right after he is born. It is likely
that he will just gurgle a little and then die. I won’t even be present
at his birth; there is no point.”

The doctors also thought there was no point in giving the baby oxygen in the
event that he lived after birth. One doctor suggested simply letting the
baby starve.

Prayers and tears were all the couple was left with. They loved their son
and wanted what was best for him. They had to decide on their own what
that would mean.

In the end they decided to feed, love and serve him. The one real struggle
was resuscitation. Was it in his best interest to bring him back? Their
final decision: “We would not do anything intentionally to end Stephen’s

The birth took three days. When Stephen was born, “he stunned the
theater staff with his loud, healthy cry. It was a far cry from the
gurgling, dying cry they had expected to see,” Hannah recounted in a book
she later published about her son.

Their son looked healthy and beautiful. Tears rolled down Michael’s
cheek and family members trickled in and out to meet and cuddle the new
baby. Stephen’s brother and sister were excited to meet him, but too
young to fully process what was going on. They only understood that he was
very sick.

Hours later, Stephen began to fuss, a signal that it was feeding time. The
nurses inserted a feeding tube through Stephen’s nose. It seemed to
nourish and settle him.

“He was feeding. He was well. I was going to be able to bring him home
and take care of him!” Hannah wrote.

However, the initial signs were misleading. Stephen began spitting up his
food and it became apparent that he was not assimilating any nutrition. It
was only a matter of time.

Hannah recounts being tired and frazzled, not knowing how to handle a child
that was slipping away. Her husband showed her how. He gently took his
son and said, “Well, mate, you’re still here for a reason. And as long
as you are still here, I am going to serve you as best I can.” He cradled
him and swabbed his dry lips.

It was a time to be completely selfless, which Hannah admits was difficult
especially after the long labor. She is ashamed to recount, “Here was my
son dying, suffering, and once again all I could think about was how it was
hard on me.”

During short intervals Stephen stopped breathing, but would revive again and
again. After several hours of cradling Stephen, Michael turned to his
wife. Their son was gone. He slipped away in the arms of his father, close
to his mother. He had arrived at his final destination. In some ways,
their journey had only just begun.

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Stephen’s birth. Hannah has
written an account of his life, 47 Hours with a Prince, and is training to
be a Christian Counselor.

“I want to help people in the way I have been helped,” she says,
explaining that a Christian Counselor helped her though the many months of
grieving that followed the death of Stephen. She hopes to help those with
emotional illness, noting, “the emotional side of us is just as prone to
illness as any part of us.”

There are many messages she wants to give, and one is about acceptance.
“We have to look at things through God’s eyes or you are going to make
decisions that you are going to regret.”

As for the book, it has met with success in Hannah’s mind. “I have
non-Christian friends coming away saying they will give deep consideration
to it.”


Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

South African bishop backs Pope against condoms in AIDS crisis

Pre-Abortion Screening Law to Take Effect in South Dakota

Elliot Institute News Release

For Immediate Release

Pre-Abortion Screening Law
Set to Take Effect in South Dakota

Springfield, IL (June 29, 2012) — A federal court has dissolved an
injunction against enforcement of a new law in South Dakota that
requires abortion doctors to screen women for coercion and other
factors that increase the risk of psychological complications after

Beginning July 1, physicians must screen women for coercion and other
risk factors for psychological complications before scheduling an

The law contains elements of the Elliot Institute’s model legislation,
which was the first in the nation to create civil liability for
abortionists who fail to screen women for coercion and other risk

“This is an important step forward in protecting the rights of women
who are facing unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions,” said Dr.
David Reardon, a leading researcher in the field of abortion
complications and director of the Elliot Institute.

While in every other area of medicine doctors routinely screen for
risk factors, abortion doctors have dropped this practice, Reardon

“Abortion providers have excused themselves from the normal practice
of screening expected everywhere else in medicine by embracing a
radical view of patient autonomy,” he said. “Therefore, they have
ignored screening for risk factors on the grounds that questioning
regarding risk factors is intrusive, unnecessary, and inserts the
physician into an abortion decision which belongs exclusively to the

In a 2003 law review article on the lack of appropriate pre-abortion
screening, Reardon was the first to advocate for statutes, like the
one passed in South Dakota, which would establish a duty to screen for
risk factors for psychological complications. Among dozens of risk
factors that have been well-established in the medical literature and
were identified in the review, one of the most significant risk
factors was being pressured or coerced to undergo an abortion to
please other people, such as one’s parents or partner.

The problem of women being pressured into unwanted abortions is far
more common than is generally realized. One study of women who had
abortions found that 64 percent of American respondents reported being
pressured to abort by someone else.

Reardon said that in most of these cases, women end up undergoing
unwanted abortions that violate their own moral beliefs or maternal
desires. Women who abort in such circumstances face significantly
higher rates of of subsequent substance abuse, depression, sleep
disorders, suicide, and other negative psychological reactions.

Working with attorneys and other advocates for women hurt by
abortions, Reardon and the  Stop Forced Abortions Alliance drafted
model legislation that would give women the right to redress when
doctors fail to screen for known risk factors associated with abortion
complications and properly inform women of their unique risk profiles.

Portions of the “Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act” were
passed in Nebraska in 2010 and in South Dakota in 2011. Both statutes
were challenged in federal courts by Planned Parenthood.

In Nebraska, the attorney general agreed to a court stipulation to not
engage in any state enforcement of the statute, but it remains in
effect for private enforcement by individual women seeking damages
under the statute.

In South Dakota, an injunction stopping the law from being enforced
was issued in 2011. It was dissolved by the federal court ruling this
week, following an amendment to the statute passed by the legislature
in 2012.

“This federal court ruling confirms once again that it is appropriate
and necessary to allow women to hold abortionists accountable for
negligent pre-abortion screening and counseling,” Reardon said. “It is
our hope that the other 48 states will quickly move to protect women
from unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions by passing their own
versions of our model bill.”


The Elliot Institute is dedicated to conducting original research on
the impact of abortion on women, raising awareness that most abortions
are unwanted or coerced, and exposing the risks of abortion to all
involved. The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance is a project of the
Elliot Institute.

Link to this article.


Elliot Institute, PO Box 7348, Springfield, IL 62791, United States

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Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

My aunt’s killer should not be an excuse to kill

ALS seems to be the poster child for the ‘right to die’ movement. It is
a ghastly disease, but has a very human face to it, and it is precisely that
humanity that puts me firmly against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

BY Patrick B. Craine

June 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – ALS often comes up when euthanasia and
assisted suicide are discussed. The disease seems to be the poster child for
the ‘right to die’ movement, and has been a part of major court cases
including Gloria Taylor’s involvement in the recent Carter case and the
1993 Supreme Court case of Sue Rodriguez.

“Don’t you know about ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease?” I’ve been asked
by those who support assisted suicide. “How would you feel if it was your
loved one dying of ALS? Do you know what the disease does?”

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Yes, I do actually.

Several years ago my dad’s sister – my aunt and godmother – was
diagnosed with the degenerative motor neuron disease that had also killed
her grandmother many years before. Most patients only live between 3-5
years, but my aunt deteriorated quickly and we lost her on September 29,
2009 – only 13 months after diagnosis.

Even before the disease was officially diagnosed, she had to stop teaching
due to problems with balance and standing. She called it ‘getting
tippy’. By the time the disease had been officially diagnosed later that
August, her mobility had been severely curtailed and the disease was already
beginning to affect her speech. She warned my dad to let us kids know that
if we picked up the phone and heard a drunk person on the other end, it was
just their aunt.

Her approach to the disease mirrored her approach to life: blunt and
practical. She quickly mobilized her husband and friends to rearrange the
house for her so she had access to her scrapbooking materials and computer,
and had a chair lift put in to help her get up and down the stairs. Legal
matters were taken care of soon after the diagnosis as well.  There was
never any “Why me?” questions; she just hunkered down to handle life as
it was presented to her. It was her way of doing things.

Despite living in a small farming community in Saskatchewan, she was able to
get the assistance she needed to live at home for several months. Her
condition worsened rapidly – much too rapidly – and despite the heroic
efforts of my uncle and her home care providers, she had to be admitted to a
palliative care unit in a nearby small town hospital early the next spring
where she remained until her death in the fall. Her memorial service was
held at the community hall to accommodate the crowd of friends, colleagues,
family and former students from decades of teaching who came to pay their

ALS is a ghastly disease. My aunt quickly lost her independence, and became
reliant on others for the basics that we take for granted. She soon lost her
ability to speak, and near the end of her life it was almost impossible for
her to communicate. Through it all, her husband and the medical team
continued to lavish their love and care on her to alleviate her pain and
suffering as much as possible until she died. She was an individual with
dignity, and was treated with dignity, despite all the indignities the
disease subjected her to.

I hesitated before I began to write, I hesitated before I sent it to my dad
to look over, and I hesitated before I posted it. I do not want anyone to
misinterpret my meaning. I am not glorifying my aunt’s suffering nor am I
trying to make her the new poster child of our movement. My aunt would not
be anyone’s poster child, thanks very much. My point is this: I am aware
that ALS has a very human face to it. But it is precisely that humanity, and
the humanity of all the vulnerable, that puts me firmly against euthanasia
and assisted suicide. I hate the fact that my aunt’s killer is being used
as an excuse to allow killing. I shudder to think how the medical system
would have treated my aunt if euthanasia and assisted suicide was a part of
the Canadian health care system. Would they have seen her as a financial
burden to the system? Would they have done a cost-benefit analysis on her
life? Would her ability to function have come to define her value?

And while Gloria Taylor and Sue Rodriguez gave a face to the euthanasia and
assisted suicide movement in Canada, their stories are not the only stories.
Legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia endangers our seniors, our
friends and family with special needs and those suffering from diseases.
These stories and our stories matter too.

I certainly wish my aunt hadn’t suffered or died, especially from such a
horrific disease. I would like to see more research done on currently
incurable diseases like ALS. I would like to see palliative care and pain
relief improve. But creating a right to kill will not make that happen, nor
is killing an acceptable way to ‘alleviate’ suffering. Instead, by
allowing doctors to kill the sufferers, it only endangers the lives of all
the vulnerable.

Rebecca Richmond is the executive director of the National Campus Life
Network, a national pro-life organization that aims to educate, network and
support post-secondary pro-life students across Canada.


Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

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