Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Nicklinson-Lamb euthanasia ruling welcomed but 'Martin' assisted suicide ruling carries danger for disabled people

SPUC Pro-Life has welcomed the fact that the murder law has been upheld in today’s judgment in the Nicklinson and Lamb euthanasia cases.

However, the majority judgment in the case of the anonymous third man, 'Martin', is deeply disturbing. Commenting on this, Paul Tully, SPUC Pro-Life's general secretary, told the media earlier today:
"If implemented it could encourage the pro-euthanasia lobby to recruit paid medical and legal professionals to organise the suicides of suffering and disabled people. The majority judges have done a disservice to disabled people by suggesting that the DPP’s prosecution guidance for assisted suicide should be amended based on Martin’s situation. 

This is the kind of outcome that pro-euthanasia campaigners were seeking, and it is clear that if it is put into effect, many more disabled people could be channelled towards assisted suicide.

The present prosecution guidance has been criticised by disability rights groups for being too lax. Low prosecution statistics suggest that it is in need of tightening, rather than further relaxation. However, despite the DPP’s reluctance to bring prosecutions for criminally assisted suicide in recent years, the number of cases, mainly abroad, has remained low. There is little to show for the huge media support and vast legal expenses incurred by the pro-euthanasia lobby.

The DPP’s published guidance omitted a highly contentious point, which had been included in a draft version, saying that disability in the victim would be a factor tending against prosecution of someone trying to help that person commit suicide. Many disability rights groups had objected to being singled out in this way.

The guidance also holds that if any individual is involved in assisting suicide in a professional or paid capacity it should weigh in favour of prosecution. 

In the 'Martin' judgment, the court appears to challenge these elements of the policy, calling Martin a 'paradigm' instance of why this should be allowed. 

Care and support for severely disabled or paralysed people who express a wish to die should be shown in the same way as for those without disability – by practical expressions of solidarity with them, such as working to improve pain control. The truly compassionate response to people with severe disability means helping them overcome any sense of worthlessness, not confirming such feelings by unethically (and illegally) helping to kill them."
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Ethical campaigners saddened by final approval of Wales opt-out organ bill

Ethical campaigners have expressed their sadness following final approval of a bill in Wales to create an opt-out system for organ transplantation.

Members of SPUC's Wales region are saddened that the Secretary of State for Wales has decided not to use his powers to block the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill from being sent to Her Majesty the Queen for Royal Assent (see note below). 

Michael Wendell Thomas, vice-chairman of SPUC's Wales region, told the media earlier today:
"A collective weight of opinion has demonstrated that implementation of the Bill will be fraught with risk. This opinion has been presented by medical and ethical professionals, faith communities (Christian, Muslim and Jewish), patient care organisations, plus the vast number of people who made individual submissions to the Welsh Government during three years of consultations.

"The case for 'deemed consent' as a valid form of consent was not investigated by the Welsh Assembly's Health or Legislative Committees. The only basis for this kind of law is that the Welsh Government has deemed it so. This is probably the most important law that the Welsh Assembly has ever passed, seeing that it deals with the rights and lives and health of every Welsh resident. It therefore reflects very severely on the reputation of Wales, of devolution, and of all Welsh Assembly members, as well as the current Wales Government. To the ordinary non-lawyer, 'deemed consent' is a meaningless idea; to many eminent or expert people, such as the Archbishop of Wales, it is a "fiction". True consent is explicit and voluntary, and is the only sound basis for laws concerning personal autonomy and permission to remove someone’s organs.

The Bill as described by successive Assembly Health Ministers and the First Minister was for a 'soft' opt-out option, with a family veto on 'deemed consent' cases, as supported by the First Minister (see note 2 below). However, the version of the bill passed by the Assembly on 2 July is for a 'hard' opt-out system. Public and expert submissions had therefore been made on a false premise.

Evidence has shown the current voluntary organ donation system to be successful. However, the number of organs available for transfer has fallen recently. Some feared that the new legislation could lead to more patients on the waiting-list dying before organs became available. It is highly unlikely that, even if the bill does produce more organs, it will save the lives of those Welsh people on the waiting-list.

There is also a myriad of cross-border and human rights issues which will arise once the legislation is implemented.

Members of SPUC's Wales region will remain vigilant regarding this ill-considered piece of legislation. We will campaign wherever possible to mitigate the effects that it may have on the weak and vulnerable in our midst. We shall also seek to ensure that the professional standards of clinicians involved in organ removal are not eroded by pressures from unscrupulous people to produce ever-more organs for transplant, irrespective of the dangers to those dying. We remain committed to real, voluntary and informed organ donation by the individual dying patient."

1. Powers granted under section 114 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, under which, after receiving legal advice, the Secretary of State can make an order prohibiting the Clerk from submitting the bill for Royal Assent.

2. "We have decided on soft presumed consent, where relatives can veto organ donation", Observer, 9 May 2010.

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fantastic pro-life/pro-family conference and march in Nigeria

Last month Archbishop Obinna, the Catholic archbishop of Owerri in Nigeria, initiated a pro-life/pro-family conference and a march in his archdiocese. See below some photos from the events, and following the photos the full text of a very strong statement issued after the conference.

SPUC supported these events, by donating foetal models and literature, and a letter from me appeared on the second page of the conference programme. In particular, SPUC is supporting the work of Obianuju ("Uju") Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa, who helped organise the events. Do visit Culture of Life Africa's:
Uju has written recently a very important article about the promotion of the homosexual agenda in Africa by Barack Obama, the US president. This article is very timely, considering that David Cameron, the British prime minister, has announced his intention to export same-sex marriage around the world.


A Declaration issued at the end of the Pro-life Conference/ Rally at the Obiri Odenigbo, Villa Assumpta, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, June 3rd – 4th, 2013.

As our society is experiencing the dangerous encroachment of the culture of death from without and within, the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri continues its Pro-life Mission by organizing a two-day Pro-life Conference with the theme: “Protecting Human Life from Conception to Natural Death.” Pro-lifers from Nigeria, Europe and America participated in the Conference and Rally. The predominant evils of same-sex union, pornography, abortion, contraception, euthanasia, baby factory, anti-life bills and laws and the negative influence of social networks were the major concerns of this conference. The destructive effects of these moral ills are quite obvious in the structural decay of families in Europe and America which have led to the systematic decline of their economy and social order. These notorious international organizations – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Marie Stops International (MSI), Gates Foundation, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and many more, are serving as platforms for the spread of these anti-life practices.

From insights generated from the conference we declare as follows:

1. Human Life begins at conception and as such must be protected till natural death. Every conceived child is formed and perfected in the image and likeness of God.

2. All legislations for abortion, which is the intentional killing of innocent babies in the womb, should be denounced as evil and abrogated. We must remain resolved in our efforts to ensure that abortion is never legalized in our society.

3. Artificial contraception is morally unacceptable and harmful to the health of women and marriage stability. Hence, the Natural Family Planning is the ideal method of spacing of children and delay of pregnancy. It has proven to be very effective and has no side effects. The key to success is co-operation, commitment, communication and prayer.

4. Human Life is sacred and of inestimable value. The entire human person belongs to God. This means that neither the human person nor his body can be commodities for commercial purposes. We must therefore fight against these heinous crimes against humanity.

5. Same-sex union is abominable and should never be given legal status in our nation. The tolerance and promotion of same-sex union leads to the corrosion of more basic rights (conscience right, religious right), injury to children, further degradation of the family and decrease in life expectancy. It is for this reason that it should never be an integral part of our social, cultural or legal landscape. True marriage is a one-man and one-woman covenant established by God.

6. Having sex is a special preserve for the married. It is a sacred act ordained by God to be exercised only in marriage for its unitive and procreative purposes. Pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex is a deviation of this divine plan of intimate love which is rooted in chastity. Homosexuality and lesbianism are abnormal and sinful acts.

7. We should remain with God for life. If we remain with God, we will not only cherish the life of God in us, we will defend the life of everyone everywhere.

Signed By:

Most Rev. Anthony J. V. Obinna
Archbishop of Owerri

Rev. Fr. Justin Okoro
Chaplain Pro-life Owerri

Mrs. Obianuju Ekeocha
Culture of Life Africa
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Myth exposed: that "risk of death from childbirth is 14 times higher than with abortion"

Prof. Byron Calhoun, pro-life doctor
Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant, has sent me kindly his review (below) of an article by Professor Byron Calhoun, a leading pro-life OB/GYN from the US:

Abortion Myth Exposed:
“Risk of death from childbirth is 14 times higher than with abortion”!

In his systematic review of the evidence for claims made by some scholars that women are much 14 times more likely to die as a consequence of childbirth as compared to abortion, Byron Calhoun (Professor & Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, West Virginia University-Charleston) exposes the poverty of actual evidence to support any such claims.[1] 

Professor Calhoun draws attention to the claim, recently made in the academic literature, that “The risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than abortion”.  He describes such a claim as “unsupported by the literature” and that “there is no credible scientific basis to support it.”

This robust criticism of a claim that has been made in similar form from time to time by pro-abortion advocates over the last 40 or more years, is an important reminder to us all that argument in the abortion debate has often enough strayed from an evidenced-based account to wishful thinking or mindless advocacy.

In this paper Professor makes a number of crucial points where evidence is concerned and justifies them by use of the best objective information to hand.  There are, he says “numerous and complicated methodological factors that make a valid scientific assessment of abortion mortality extremely difficult”.   

Among the problems he identifies, where the US is concerned, are these:
  1. Such abortion data that we have is unreliable with the evidence showing that up to 50% of abortions in the US is not reported;
  2. The collection of data by the two data collecting agencies is unreliable;
  3. Because abortions are underreported disease states and other consequences of abortion simply do not appear in the death records and thus are “invisible in epidemiological research”; and
  4. Most aborted women do not return to clinics for follow-up care and assessment.
Where the international stage is concerned, Professor Calhoun points out that similar problems are present “due to poor quality reporting and definitional issues”.  He identifies “maternal deaths”, “late maternal deaths”, “pregnancy-related deaths”, and “pregnancy-associated deaths” as variously defined being used to identify “abortion-related deaths”.

There is so much more he has said in this crucially important paper than this brief review can cover. However, when addressing the matter of the most recent research evidence available which has credibility, Professor Calhoun points out that comparative data between the Republic of Ireland on the one hand, and England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the other, shows that the countries with legal abortion actually had a higher maternal mortality than the Republic of Ireland which has not until now, permitted legal abortion.

He concludes his review by pointing out the need for accurate data collection before any statements about abortion and maternal mortality can be sensibly made; where the US is concerned he appeals for a quality national healthcare database which includes “all reproductive outcome variables and associations: including elective abortions”.  Crucially, such a database “must also provide open access to all researchers to evaluate this critical women’s health issue.”

[1] Byron Calhoun, “The maternal mortality myth in the context of legalized abortion”, The Linacre Quarterly 80 (3) 2013, 264-276

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Bishop Egan preaches that same-sex marriage was "the inevitable outcome" of the rejection of Humanae Vitae

Philip Egan, the Catholic bishop of Portsmouth, has issued a very important statement on the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. He makes clear that same-sex marriage is "the inevitable outcome" of the rejection of the intrinsic link between the unitive and procreative aspects of sexual intercourse, the link taught in Pope Paul VI's encylical "Humanae Vitae" (and taught of course by the Church throughout its history). I have blogged many times about Humanae Vitae and its importance for the pro-life/pro-family movement, for example:
 Here is the core of Bishop Egan's statement:
"The passing of this Bill is the inevitable outcome of a process that has been gathering pace since the sexual revolutions of the 1960s. Until then, the traditional (that is, the natural and Christian) understanding of marriage, sexual intercourse and family life prevailed. Sexual intercourse was seen as located exclusively within married family life and having a double end or purpose: the expression of love and the procreation of children. Since the 1960s, however, artificial contraceptives have been widely available, which split these two ends of sexual intercourse, separating the unitive and suppressing the procreative aspect. Lifted from its natural context within married love and commitment, and coupled to pleasure without responsibility, sexual intercourse could now be experienced outside marriage, and thus, in time, take on a new meaning in human relationships. This has led to the ‘contraceptive mentality’ Pope Paul VI spoke of so prophetically in his 1968 Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae and to the decline of marriage and now to its redefinition. For in the revised understanding of sexual intercourse and family life, powerful lobby groups have enabled homosexual relationships to become socially acceptable, and so the Government’s attempt to extend marriage to same-sex couples - and in time, presumeably, to other combinations and partnerships - is an inevitable development.

"As Catholics, like Israel in Egypt, we now find ourselves in an alien land that speaks a foreign language with unfamiliar customs. For what we mean by the matrimony, sexual intercourse and family life is no longer what today’s world, the government, the NHS and policy-makers understand by marriage, sex and the family. Parliament’s Orwellian attempt to redefine marriage radically changes the social context and this presents a massive challenge to the Church in England and Wales: to those who wish to marry in our churches, to Catholic parents bringing up children, to teachers in our Catholic schools, and to the clergy engaged in pastoral ministry. It may also be a legal minefield, although we will have to wait before the full implications of the new legislation take effect. We will certainly need to review our preaching, teaching and school curricula, which henceforth must recognise that our Catholic system of meanings and values is strikingly different from what secular culture now deems normal or acceptable."
As I said in a blog in October 2011, "gay marriage will be here to stay if Catholic leaders don't witness to the whole moral truth about homosexuality". Bishop Egan's clear witness will help future generations to see that, as Pope John Paul II  taught in no. 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Brilliant day of fun and pro-life outreach in London

The blogpost below is reproduced from SPUC's excellent youth blog "Why I am pro-life". You can sign up to received the youth blogposts by email - go to and select youth (including youth blog alerts).

Brilliant day of fun and pro-life outreach in London

Last Saturday a group of SPUC staff, volunteers, interns, and the leader of 40 Days for Life in the UK hosted a display stall at Lewisham Peoples Day and one of the team, Kara, did loads of free face painting for the children (the stall a few metres away were charged £2!). The day attracts over 25,000 people from Lewisham Borough and beyond. There’s a large fairground, games, artistic and musical performances, arts and crafts, and a wide variety of food from all over the world. We arrived at 12 noon and finished at 6.15pm. We decorated the display with balloons and lots of free sweets, a foetal model set, and packs of pro-life literature. We gave away every side piece of literature we had, which totalled 3000!
Lewisham has one of the worst abortion rates (27.4 per 1000 women between 15-44) in the UK, and one of the highest number of abortions (1,896 unborn children killed last year) in the UK. Neighbouring boroughs Lambeth and Southwark have even worse rates and numbers. There are countless children missing from local infant and primary schools, thanks to BPAS, Marie Stopes, and the NHS which pays for 97% of  abortions, and carries 35% of all abortions in its hospitals.
As ever, we had lots of interesting conversations. We did have a few people who went out of their way to tell us things like “I think you should be barred from being here” “it’s a woman’s right” “you’re telling women what they can do with their bodies” and even a midwife who said “I can’t believe you’re showing pictures of unborn children”. Interestingly, those with the hostile reactions were only willing to rush up, say something, and then run off so as to evade being challenged or listening to a reasoned explanation of why we were there. However, one lady began a conversation with one of our group saying “well just so you know, I’m pro-choice”. The conversation ended with her signing one of our petitions, and rejecting the “pro-choice” position as false and deceptive. This actually happended twice on the day. Perhaps that’s why those hostile to us prefer to run off; the killing of unborn children is indefensible, the “pro-choice” postion illogical and down rightnasty, the rationalisation of a guilty conscience.
However, most people were happy that we were there. Young couples, parents with children, pregnant mums, teenage boys and girls, and grandparents would stop to look at our poster display and foetal model set, ask questions, explain to their children how the baby grows in the womb. I lost count of the number of people who had no idea that abortion in the UK was legal up to birth, or that last year there were 203, 419 unborn children killed by abortionists. Some teachers asked for contact details so we could give a presentation at their schools, another lady wanted information about NaPro technology, which we were able to give.
Here are some photos from the day. I hope they give you an idea of the day and what we were doing.
new pic
It’s been said lots of times on the blog, and it’s worth saying again: We can know all the arguments, go to all the conferences, arrange dozens of talks for pro-lifers, read all the blogs, like all the pages on facebook, follow all the accounts on Twitter etc etc, but if we’re not getting the message out to the public, if we’re not bringing the pro-life message right to the people who need to hear it, then we’re building up a pro-life cottage industry. This makes being pro-life a badge of identity and a hobby, rather than a movement with a mission.
The summer months offer us lots of opportunities to bring the pro-life message to people who’ve never heard it from pro-lifers. People are fed half-truths and lies by pro-abortion groups, politicians, journalists, and TV programmes. There’s also people out there who are opposed to abortion but haven’t thought about doing something about it. There’s also people who are against abortion, but choose to keep silent because it’s an unpopular position which entails being criticised.
  1. Find out if there’s any festivals, gigs, activity days in your area, and get a display up and running.
  2. Do some leafleting. It’s easy, simple, and means you can reach lots of people.
  3. Have a read over some of the previous posts on this blog. Get your thinking cap on, and do something.
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Friday, 26 July 2013

Bishop Davies says "we must bear true and faithful witness to marriage" in the face of the homosexual agenda

Mark Davies, the Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury, has issued a pastoral letter this weekend in which he says that:
"we must bear true and faithful witness to marriage"
and that:
"The redefinition of marriage by the Government’s recent legislation does not, and cannot, change Christian teaching on marriage, the family, or sexual morality"
Bishop Davies also says that because marriage is:
"ordained by God for the creation of the family and future generations",..."[i]t would be hard to over-estimate in these respects the importance of marriage for human well-being and our ultimate good."
On behalf of SPUC, I wish to express my gratitude to Bishop Davies for his strong leadership and clear vision for a pro-life and pro-family future.

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Family campaigners worldwide must protest against Cameron’s plan to export same-sex marriage

SPUC is calling upon family campaigners worldwide to protest against the British prime minister’s plan to export same-sex marriage, following David Cameron’s speech (see notes 1 & 2 below for extracts) last night at a reception at No. 10 Downing Street, the prime ministerial residence, to thank those who had engineered the rail-roading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act through Parliament.

We are calling for international resistance to the British prime minister’s global plans to impose sexual licence on children and poor families. SPUC will be contacting church leaders, politicians and family campaigners worldwide to alert them to this threat by the British government, asking them to protest to the British embassies in their countries. Same-sex marriage is a counterfeit version of marriage and thus undermines real marriage, which is the best protector of children, both born and unborn.

From the very start of his prime ministership, Mr Cameron and his government have been obsessed with promoting the culture of death around the world. This includes spending hundreds of millions of pounds on the promotion of abortion and contraception. People anxious to defend life and family in their countries must warn their fellow citizens about these insidious activities of British government officials.

Antonia Tully, national coordinator of SPUC’s Safe at School campaign, commented:
"Mr Cameron’s comments about children (see note 2 below) is yet more evidence that legalising same-sex marriage will lead to the promotion of homosexuality in schools. The real scourge in schools is the sexualisation of children, not least through the material which homosexual groups use to target children.”
SPUC has published a position paper on same-sex marriage explaining why SPUC campaigns for real marriage, and a background paper to be read in conjunction with the position paper and which provides some additional references and reflections.


1) Mr Cameron thanked ministers and officials (known as the ‘bill team’), saying:
"I’ve told the bill team I’m now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation and we’ve set something, I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time. Many other countries are going to want to copy this. And, as you know, I talk about the global race, about how we’ve got to export more and sell more so I’m going to export the bill team. I think they can be part of this global race and take it around the world."
Mr Cameron also said:
“There’s a lot more work to be done as Britain in the Commonwealth, talking to our Commonwealth partners about decriminalising homosexuality in various countries.”
2) In clear references to how the same-sex marriage law will provide momentum to promoting homosexuality in schools, Mr Cameron said:
"I think of young children growing up at school, who might be uncertain about their sexuality, knowing that now, in the highest place in the land – in Parliament – we’ve passed this law that says that marriage is for you, whether you’re gay or whether you’re straight. And I think that is so important to young people growing up."
"There’s a lot of work to be done on homophobic bullying in schools, which is still a scourge in our country. There’s a lot of work to be done in terms of hate crimes and how we stop and stamp that out in our society."
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Leading Irish moral theologian warns of totalitarianism threatening conscience

Last night the Irish Seanad (senate) voted by 39 votes to 14 for the government's bill to legalise abortion  - read Pat Buckley's blogpost today for a reflection. The bill will now pass to Michael D. Higgins, Ireland's pro-abortion president, for his approval.

Dr Vincent Twomey, emeritus professor of moral theology and perhaps Ireland's leading moral theologian, has written an important article published today in The Irish Times entitled: "Conscience, a last bulwark against totalitarianism" and subtitled "The attempt to suppress dissent on the abortion Bill marked a new low". In the article, among other things he says:
  • "Jerry Buttimer TD, chairman of the Oireachtas committee on the Bill, played a central role in getting the Bill passed. As a seminarian at Maynooth, he was exposed to the kind of fundamental moral theology that denies moral absolutes, such as direct abortion, and places politics superior to (supposedly private) moral convictions. Whatever the rationalisations used, the net effect of all this was the attempt by the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and chief whip to put pressure on anti-abortion colleagues to vote for legislation they knew to be wrong."
  • "The imposition of the whip in such a debate on life and death crushes the small voice of conscience more effectively than any torture chamber."
  • "It is well to remember that, in the aftermath of totalitarianism, the German people in 1949 wrote the primacy of the conscience of elected representatives into their constitution. Those representatives are expressly instructed that they are not bound by orders or instructions; they are answerable only to their conscience. Conscience is the last bulwark against totalitarianism."
Dr Twomey's last point about Germany is very important. In 1937 Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Mit brennender sorge ("With burning sorrow"). In it the Pope exposed the Nazis'
"[s]ecret and open measures of intimidation, the threat of economic and civic disabilities, [which] bear on the loyalty of certain classes of Catholic functionaries, a pressure which violates every human right and dignity."
He expressed his compassion for Catholics persecuted for opposing the anti-life Nazi state, who "have often to face the tragic trial...of being hurt in [their] professional and social life", and commended them for their "heroisms in moral life". He warned that:
"The resulting dereliction [by Nazism] of the eternal principles of an objective morality, which educates conscience and ennobles every department and organization of life, is a sin against the destiny of a nation, a sin whose bitter fruit will poison future generations."
And he taught:
"[I]it will be every one's duty to sever his responsibility from the opposite camp, and free his conscience from guilty cooperation with such corruption. The more the enemies attempt to disguise their designs, the more a distrustful vigilance will be needed, in the light of bitter experience."
Also see my blogposts:
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Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarch speaks out strongly against same-sex marriage

Patriarch Kirill, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, delivered on Sunday a strongly-worded sermon against same-sex marriage. According to the Interfax news agency which covers Russia:
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia regards the recognition of same-sex "marriages" in Western countries [as] an omen of the end of the world.

"Lately we have been facing enormous temptations when in a number of countries the choice of sin is approved and justified by law, and those who do as their conscience tells them and fight laws imposed by such minorities are subjected to reprisals. This is a very dangerous apocalyptical symptom and we must do our utmost for sin to be never approved by state laws throughout the expanses of Holy Rus[sia] because it would mean that the nation is entering the road of self-destruction," he said after a Sunday church service in Red Square.

He said that today enormous efforts are being bent "to persuade all of us that the freedom of choice is the only value and that nobody has the right to encroach on it, even if a person chooses evil, even when a person chooses socially dangerous behavior, on condition that the provisions of civil law are not violated," he said.

However, it is an open secret "how easily these provisions can be circumvented," the patriarch said.

"We know that no law, even the most perfect one can eradicate crime, corruption, evil, lies or confrontation. Only a person who has made a free choice of goodness can do that," Patriarch Kirill believes. also reports:
"his warning at a meeting in Moscow in May this year with Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, where he said, “Today we have a very dangerous development, the laws regarding same-sex marriages and adoption of their children which go against the moral nature of man.”

“If people choose this lifestyle,” the Polish news service Interfax quoted him saying, “it is their right, but the responsibility of the Church is to say that it is a sin before God”.

What the Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about, Kirill said, “is not the fact of the existence of this sin - it has always existed. But we are deeply concerned that for the first time in the history of the human race sin is being justified by law. This opens up the prospect of a dangerous development, which will contribute to the moral degradation of society.”"
I pray that, for the sake of our families, bishops throughout the world will have the same courage to speak out with the same clarity and strength as Patriarch Kirill. See below some of my blogposts about the Orthodox Church on pro-life/pro-family issues:
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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Tue 23 July

Top stories:

Man in forced abortion threat case grateful to SPUC
The young man at the centre of the abortion case in the Dublin High Court on 16 July has said he is extremely grateful to the pro-life groups which helped him prevent his girlfriend from being forced to travel to England for an abortion. SPUC and Women's Net crisis pregnancy agency had provided him with advice and support when he approached them earlier in the week. Liam Gibson SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland, said: "This case highlights the very serious issue of women being coerced into having abortions. [SPUC, 22 July]

Explicit sex ed agenda challenged by pro-family campaign Safe at School
In a letter published in The Telegraph newspaper, SPUC's Safe at School campaign has challenged the agenda of groups who want explicit sex education to be imposed upon primary schools under the cover of science lessons. The letter from Safe at School was written in response to a letter published in The Telegraph on 19 July from the Sex Education Forum, the Mothers' Union and the Royal College of Nursing, among others. The letter from Safe at School, written by its coordinator Antonia Tully, said: "Most parents are not drawing their children’s attention to genital organs and schools shouldn’t either." [SPUC, 22 July]

Liverpool Care Pathway: 1st pro-life group to sound alarm welcomes review's recommendation
The first pro-life group to sound the alarm about the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) has welcomed a report's recommendation that the LCP be replaced. SPUC Pro-Life warned about the LCP as long ago as September 2008, in an article ("Liverpool Care Pathway – comfort for the dying or backdoor euthanasia?") in its newspaper The Pro-Life Times. On Saturday, the Council of SPUC Pro-Life, its democratically-elected governing body of grassroots activists, passed a motion welcoming the recommendation. [SPUC, 22 July]

Pro-life leaders react to US Bishops agency’s funding of pro-abortion groups
Pro-life leaders are expressing outrage after revealed that Catholic Relief Services, the US Catholic bishops’ overseas aid agency, is funding two leading pro-abortion organisations, CARE and Population Services International (PSI). John Smeaton, SPUC's chief executive commented:  “Firstly, CARE and PSI's knowledge that, year after year, CRS will give them millions of dollars for ostensibly ethical projects enables them to budget and plan ahead for their unethical activities. Secondly, receiving millions from CRS helps whitewash their reputations in the wider world and entrenches their presence in the countries where they operate. Lastly, there are legions of pro-life/pro-family Catholic initiatives which desperately need funding, such as MaterCare International, the Billings Ovulation Method and Culture of Life Africa. CRS' millions for CARE and PSI should be given to them instead." [, 19 July]

SPUC Scotland responds to nursing home director's assisted suicide comments
SPUC Scotland has responded to a nursing home director's comments about assisted suicide. Dr Chai Patel, chairman of a large chain of nursing homes, seemed to promote the idea of people being offering the choice of assisted suicide. A spokeswoman for SPUC Scotland said Dr Patel represented "a corporate, money-making body that no doubt sees from the example of Dignitas that there is a lot of money to be made from suicide clinics and can only lead one to conclude that these comments are about business not care. "[They] send out a dangerous message to those in our society who are elderly, infirm or dependent on others for some kind of help, support or care. Illness and old age do not rob people of dignity, but treating them as disposable or placing quality of life judgments on their existence does. Giving good care and understanding and time to those in need is the real act of mercy." [Scottish Catholic Observer, 19 July]

Other stories:

  • Reported death of woman, following 2012 London abortion, introduced in final week of Ireland's abortion debate [Pat Buckley, 22 July]
  • Pro-life activist's former abortion clinic in Texas closes [CNA, 19 July]
  • Abortion: Whatever happened to fathers and sex? [SPUC youth blog, 17 July]
Sexual ethics
  • Gay ‘marriage’ a ‘sign of the apocalypse’: Russian Patriarch [, 22 July]
  • Sikh temples advised to deregister as marriage venues over same-sex marriage lawsuit fear [Telegraph, 21 July]
  • Ex-gay activist begins 10-day walk to Washington D.C., protests against cartoons promoting homosexuality to children [Christian Post, 22 July]
  • Nights away from mum 'leave babies less secure' [Mail, 22 July]
  • Anglican archbishop of Kenya condemns support for civil partnerships by Archbishops of Canterbury and York [Tablet, 22 July]
  • Lesbian couple and their sperm donor fight for custody over children [Daily Telegraph, 20 July]
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