in this issue:
hot button issues: SAVING THOSE DAMNED CATHOLICS / SIGN PETITION TO BISHOPS
birth control: LYBREL
catholic bishops: RODRIGUEZ / USCCB / VASA
culture of death: INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY
euthanasia: EMILIO / UNITED KINGDOM
technology: BOY OR GIRL?
reflection for prayer: PHILIPPIANS 4:5-7
hot button issues
SAVING THOSE DAMNED CATHOLICS: Of Judie Brown’s Saving Those Damned Catholics, James Likoudis, Catholic author and president emeritus of Catholics United for the Faith, notes, “This fearless and hard-hitting indictment reflects the views of faithful Catholics outraged by the many dissenters who have betrayed the Church’s teaching on contraception, abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.”
TO ORDER: “Saving Those Damned Catholics” is available from ALL in hardcover or paperback. Call 866-LET-LIVE or purchase online.
SIGN PETITION TO BISHOPS: An American Life League petition asks American Catholic bishops to address the scandal caused by political figures who claim the Catholic faith but support abortion. Church law states that those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to communion.”
ACTION: All Catholics are invited to sign the petition that will be delivered to U.S. bishops in June.
CHINA: New enforcement of population control measures, including forced abortion, has led to riots in some rural portions of China.
Reading: “Chinese villagers riot over stricter population control,” International Herald Tribune, 5/21/07
LYBREL: The FDA has okayed Wyeth’s Lybrel, a birth control pill that suppresses menstruation. One doctor notes, “the powers that be can’t tell you or anyone else how controlling a woman’s menstruation with a pill will affect her overall health, due to absolutely no data being available.”
Reading: “FDA approves period suppression pill,” Associated Press, 5/22/07 / “Hidden dangers of new birth control pill,” Mercola.com
RODRIGUEZ: Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras has had a change of heart. He recently told Time magazine he would not deny Holy Communion to a pro-abortion politician. But following Pope Benedict’s recent comments, Cardinal Rodriguez said he was wrong. “A recent declaration of the Holy See clearly states that when all precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it,” he said.
Reading: “Honduran cardinal alters position, now agrees Communion must be denied to pro-abortion politicians,” Life Site News, 5/18/07
USCCB: A spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has answered the 18 U.S. House members who criticized Pope Benedict XVI for saying that Catholic politicians who support abortion should not receive Communion. The statement from Sister Mary Ann Walsh says the 18 members’ statement “both misrepresents the Holy Father’s remarks and implies that the Church does not have a right to voice its teaching in the public square.” The statement does not, however, address sanctions for a Catholic officeholder who votes pro-abortion.
Reading: “Bishops’ conference responds to 18 Democrats critical of the pope,” USCCB news release, 5/18/07
VASA: Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon is following up on a report from the Catholic Medical Association on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The report recommends “development of programs to assist parents in being the primary educators and protectors of their children.” Bishop Vasa has organized a group that is producing a six-hour video series “focusing on strengthening and reinforcing good parenting as a primary way to assure the safety of children.” He is currently in the process of raising the estimated $100,000 cost of the project.
ACTION: To learn more about the project, please contact the Diocese of Baker, P.O. Box 5999, Bend, OR 97708.
Reading: “Oregon bishop to institute alternate child protection program,” Renew America, 5/17/07
culture of death
INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY: Columnist George Jonas, who admits he is not pro-life, rips apart the arguments advanced by abortion proponents: “They must pretend not to know when life begins. They must pretend not to realize that life is an autonomous process, a continuum from zygote to old-age pension, a self-elaborating force that begins when it begins and keeps growing unless it’s vacuumed out first. They must pretend not to recognize something that a cat recognizes: the difference between things alive and dead, animate and inanimate. They must pretend not to see that if a fetus were not alive, it wouldn’t have to be killed.”
Reading: “Children cramp our style,” National Post, 5/19/07
EMILIO: The young child caught in a battle involving a Texas futile care law has died of natural causes. Emilio Gonzales’ mother had fought against a hospital that wanted to withdraw life-sustaining treatment. The family’s attorney said Emilio left this life “on God’s terms.”
Reading: “Toddler Emilio Gonzales dies naturally from terminal illness,” Life Site News, 5/22/07
UNITED KINGDOM: According to a survey of British doctors, 42 percent of general practitioners “would be prepared to help a patient die” if assisted suicide became legal.
Reading: “GPs prepared to ‘help patients die,'” PA News, 5/18/07
BOY OR GIRL? The manufacturer says its new test can tell a preborn baby’s gender only six weeks into pregnancy, a claim that is raising ethical concerns. “Sex-selection might encourage parents to view their kids as commodities,” said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society. “Tests like this could normalize genetic selection and lead to a scenario where parents are one day picking out their child’s characteristics from a catalogue.”
Reading: “New test tells fetus sex after six weeks,” Associated Press, 5/18/07
reflection for prayer
PHILIPPIANS 4:5-7: The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.