Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Their choice was freely made

In the chapter - The angels:
"The evil angels, in that first instant of their abuse of liberty, rejected God. Caught in a deliberate fascination of their own beauty, they refused to look at that beauty's source, refused to seek for happiness outside their own satisfying self; and so attempted to find in themselves what can be found only in God--the answer to the will's divinely given desire for goodness without limit. These devils can now sin all they like, and know themselves less free with every sin; the abuse of liberty mounts with each sin, the chains grow more galling, the self-imposed slavery more bitter, and the hatred more consumingly intense. Their choice was freely made, abusing liberty; and it is eternally confined to make up hell's most despairing torment."

St. Thomas Aquinas -- Summa Theologica

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

May you experience the love of Jesus Christ in your heart and in your soul, today and tomorrow and until forever.

Christmas in a nutshell

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MPs need to be accountable to the people

Maybe it's just me, but why aren't MPs more accountable to their constituents? The fact that they seem to be accountable to anyone but their constituents, came through loud and clear for me during the recent Private Member's Bill Roxanne's Law, Bill C-510. This bill would have offered women additional protection from abortion coercion. How could any reasonable human being be against such a bill?

Let me tell you, and I'll start with my own MP, Mauril Belanger.

I sent Mr. Belanger two emails asking him to vote for the Bill because, well, he is my MP. Both emails were ignored until the day after the vote when I finally received a reply. It said in part:
"My colleague Hon. Marlene Jennings...was against this proposed legislation. Being of the same opinion I voted accordingly…Incidentally, the Prime Minister's Office has also indicated that it does not support this legislation."

Does this mean that Mr. Belanger answers to Ms. Jennings? Or does it mean he answers to Mr. Harper? Or does he answer to himself? Because I'm pretty confused. I thought MPs answered to their constituents. Ms. Belanger doesn't say anything about his constituents wanting him to vote for, or against the bill.

Then there was the new rookie MP, Bob Sopuck from Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette Manitoba, who was brought into the House of Commons for the very first time on the day of the vote. Mr. Sopuck is a Conservative MP who, from what I understand, represents a strongly pro-life riding. He also voted against the bill. Has Mr. Sopuck been assimilated into the Harper-never-discuss-abortion bunch that quickly? Uh oh, that was fast.

Then we have four stalwart so called "pro-choice" MPs, Jean Crowder, Nicole Demers, Marlene Jennings and Irene Mathyson, who were absolutely indignant during the first debate that Mr. Bruinooge dared discuss abortion in the House of Commons. What was he thinking? Oh, democracy, right.

Ms. Demers was "ashamed" to be involved in a Parliament where pro-life MPs "lie to women who need help". Lie? Strong unsubstantiated claim there, Ms. Demers. She also didn't like it that men were deciding what was good for women. If I had to choose between pro-life men and pro-abortion women, I'll go with the men, thanks.

Then Ms. Crowder referred four times during the same debate, to a radical pro-abortion group, the Abortions Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). ARCC's pro-abortion coordinator Joyce Arthur, is the same person who praised a, need-to-have-their-mouth-washed-out-with-soap blogger who called Mr. Bruinooge names unfit to print, or repeat. Does Ms. Crowder get her marching orders from these pro-abortions? I hope not.

Let us remind ourselves what we were talking about here. This was a bill to protect women from being coerced into having an abortion she did not want or choose to have. All of these MPs voted against this bill. And by no means am I pointing fingers at just these six MPs. There were another 172 MPs who also voted against the bill.

A common criticism of Roxanne's Law was that abortion coercion is already illegal. But legal counsel for the EFC Faye Sonier dismissed that argument--and many other arguments against the bill, here and here.

The "pro-choice" people used to always say "every child a wanted child". Conversely, and I don't mean to be flippant here, but shouldn't every abortion be a wanted abortion? So why would 2/3 of our MPs vote against a bill that bans no abortions, except coerced ones? That--is not “pro-choice”.

Are MPs afraid to go against Mr. Harper's repeated mantra of not reopening the abortion debate? If so, why? Because if this is the case, democracy is very ill and hopes for its recovery are not good.

It's time to make MPs accountable to us, and not every Nicole, Marlene and Stephen.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Every human being is a unique expression of God' love

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa's Christmas message says in part:

"...sadly the sanctity of human life is not always recognized or protected in our world. Conditions exist that make it difficult for people to receive and treasure human life. Poverty, brokenness in relationships, mental and physical illness, even selfishness, all discourage, the joyful welcome-ness of the gift of human life. Our whole world can become jaded. We can forget that each human life is a miraculous gift from God. We can lose sight of the fact that from the first moment of conception, we are much more than the mere collection of cells. From the moment of his or her conception, every human being is a unique expression of God' love and ongoing creation in the world..."

I have decided that over the Christmas season I will not post any comments that do not promote life from the moment of conception and beyond.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Adoption instead of abortion

Couples can now "reduce" a pregnancy from twins to one child (the abortion euphemisms just keep getting more creative).

And therein lies the problem with the slippery slope of no legal protection for the unborn in Canada. A child can already be aborted for any reason, so why would this shock anyone? We know that abortions occur for sex selection; because a pregnancy is inconvenient; for contraception; for eugenics (not quite a perfect baby); for...just fill in the blanks.

What I would like to know--and this is a topic the pro-abortions don't waste any ink on--why can't women put that unwanted child up for adoption? There are many couples who would love to have a child that another couple wants to abort. But these people say "oh I couldn't put my child up for adoption". Oh, but you could abort it?

Check out the new campaign that is promoting Adoption: Wow, adoption instead of abortion. What a good idea.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I will demand an accounting

"From man in regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting" (Gen 9:5): reverence and love for every human life

- Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Priests for Life Canada urges all Catholics to contact MPs to vote for Roxanne's law

(Urgent - Please contact your MP and ask them to vote for Roxanne's Law. The vote will take place on December 15, 2010. Find your MP here.)


Fr. Tom Lynch and Fr. John Lemire of Priests for Life Canada (PFLC), conducted a one-hour interview with Rod Bruinooge about Roxanne's Law, which aired on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Priests for Life gave a strong endorsement of Roxanne's Law (Bill C-510) and referenced Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins' strong support for the bill. They urged all Catholics to support this bill.

Excerpts below from the Priests for Life Canada radio interview with MP Rod Bruinooge on Roxanne’s Law that aired December 7, 2010

44:18 Fr. Tom Lynch - One of the things we need to look at is, there has been some controversy within some of the prolife movement in terms of whether pro-lifers, and in terms of our own audience today, Catholics, can be able to support this bill. Speaking as a moral theologian, I would say that this bill makes very good sense. We have the situation where de facto there is a law that allows abortion in Canada even though of course there is no law, but that’s what’s happened with the Supreme Court again and again restricting any possibility of bringing in a law to directly and counter and criminalize abortion.

44:57 And so I would say categorically, as a professor of moral theology, that it is a good and right thing to be able to support this proposal, Roxanne’s Law, because it seeks to be able, in a small way, to restrict the evil that is being done in our society by allowing the killing of the preborn. We are not able at this juncture to be having a law that would criminalize abortion. And so therefore, as John Paul II said in 1995, in the Gospel of Life, it is not only legitimate, and prudent, but it is a necessary and good thing to restrict abortion or any laws that would allow abortion in any way we can, to try to be able to restrict that evil.

45:42 And he especially and particularly commended legislators to be able to try to put forward initiatives that would in any way try to restrict abortion. I think there are some mistaken commentators that have said about this, and other private members bills in the past, that because they didn’t tackle abortion head-on, they were illegitimate. And I would say categorically that’s wrong. I can’t find any, any Catholic theologian that would back up that view.

46:13 And I’m happy to be able to tell our listeners that the Archbishop of Toronto, Archbishop Tom Collins, spoke to the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus I think just last night or the night before and categorically said that Catholics could support this bill. And as a major teacher of the Church, and as I think an incredibly articulate and informed spokesperson for the Catholic Church, I think we would be wise to follow that direction and to say that this is something that we can prudently, morally, and conscientiously support and encourage. And I think that’s important to put out there because sometimes there is confusion in that regard. But we have to be very clear about it and very direct and say that anything that can work to be able to bring about a discussion on behalf of the preborn, to bring about a discussion on the situation of abortion in our country, and hopefully, God willing, to be able to bring about even a limited protection for the preborn, and especially, in this instance, particular instance, for mothers who are facing distressed pregnancies, is a good and laudable initiative.

47:22 So I think we need to be very clear on that, and it’s good to see that the key spokesperson for the English Church, the English Canadian Church, has said that pretty loud and clearly. So I think that is a very necessary thing to be able to lay there.

47:38 Fr. John Lemire - And I think in addition to that, Fr. Tom, I certainly agree with everything that you say about the understanding of Evangelium Vitae and how our late Holy Father Pope John Paul the Great certainly has given us great wisdom and guidance in this. And not only do we see support in Catholic circles for this bill with the support of Priests for Life Canada who came on very early on, the Archbishop as you said recently to the pro-life caucus. But we’ve also seen support that’s been coming from the Catholic Organization for Life and the Family (the arm of the Bishops), as well as even outside of Catholic circles from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. So there certainly is very strong support and recognition that this is an important piece of pro-life legislation that all pro-lifers need to support and to work to see that it gets enacted into law.

49:03 Rod Bruinooge - I just really appreciate all of the voices in the Roman Catholic Church of Canada that have been supportive of Roxanne’s Law. It was a real pleasure not only meeting yourself, Fr. Tom, but also just meeting with Archbishop Tom Collins over the years, but more recently this week and having him say that not only can Catholics support this bill but that they should. It’s just a really nice support that we received from him. And I’m hoping that people from all viewpoints, all political backgrounds in Canada can begin to understand how important it is to empower pregnant women in our country because our mothers are really the key to our future in Canada. And being a parent I know that it’s just such an important thing to be able to not only love your children, but see them grow up. And I know that the mothers that want to see through their pregnancy deserve to have this additional protection.

50:16 Fr. Tom – Now I’d like to thank you very much, Rod, for taking this initiative, to be able to put forward this bill. Having worked with Parliamentarians and having actually worked in Parliament for a short time many years ago, I’d like to impress upon our listeners what it means to be able to take this opportunity, as you said early on in the program, to put forward a private members bill.

50:40 - And we want you to know that we stand squarely behind you in this effort, and we’ll do whatever we can in the short time that’s left to encourage not just our listeners, but everyone we can to contact their MP and to ask where their MP stands on this bill, and to ask that they support it. We see no reason for anyone to oppose this bill which has as its only and definite intention to empower women against being coerced into having an abortion.

51:06 As Catholics we feel that we can support it in good conscience, and to echo Archbishop Collins which is always a good thing, that we have a moral imperative to support it as well. We’d like to encourage all pastors across Canada to speak to their congregations in the weekend that’s left to encourage them to contact their MP. We can’t express how important this legislation is. I know we are only dealing in a small way with the issue of abortion, but it is one more way that we can be able to bring about that culture of life, and it’s incredibly important to take those opportunities as they are brought before us. It’s not often we have them. So you know, carpe diem, you know. Let us seize the day.

51:45 Thank you very much for that Rod. I know you’re busy and I appreciate very much that you’ve taken the time to speak to our listeners today to really explain to them why it is so important it is that Roxanne’s Law be able to be supported. And you know, we hope and pray, God, that it will be put into legislative action as well.

52:05 Rod – thank you so much Fr. Tom for giving me this opportunity to speak to your listeners.

52:08 Fr. Tom – God bless.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me

Matthew 18:1-14 (New International Version, ©2010)

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Causing to Stumble
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11] For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Monday, December 6, 2010

If you support John Paul II, you should support Roxanne's Law

On November 16, 2010, MP Andrew Kania introduced a private Member's Bill C-573, an Act to establish Pope John Paul II day.

Many fine things were said of Pope John Paul II that day, and there was broad support for the bill. Pope John Paul II's accomplishments included his influence on the fall of communism, his direct influence on bridging between the Catholic church and other religions including Jews and Muslims; and reaching out and visiting 129 countries.

One of Pope John Paul's greatest accomplishments however, was his Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae or the Gospel of Life. This is a remarkable letter that Pope John Paul II wrote to all peoples of the world.

In that Encyclical, in reference to the Second Vatican Council, which condemned crimes and attacks against human life, including abortion and euthanasia, Pope John Paul said:
"Unfortunately, this disturbing state of affairs, far from decreasing, is expanding: with the new prospects opened up by scientific and technological progress there arise new forms of attacks on the dignity of the human being. At the same time a new cultural climate is developing and taking hold, which gives crimes against life a new and-if possible-even more sinister character, giving rise to further grave concern: broad sectors of public opinion justify certain crimes against life in the name of the rights of individual freedom, and on this basis they claim not only exemption from punishment but even authorization by the State, so that these things can be done with total freedom and indeed with the free assistance of health-care systems.

All this is causing a profound change in the way in which life and relationships between people are considered. The fact that legislation in many countries, perhaps even departing from basic principles of their Constitutions, has determined not to punish these practices against life, and even to make them altogether legal, is both a disturbing symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline. Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable. Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defense and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practice it is degraded. In such a cultural and legislative situation, the serious demographic, social and family problems which weigh upon many of the world's peoples and which require responsible and effective attention from national and international bodies, are left open to false and deceptive solutions, opposed to the truth and the good of persons and nations.

The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life."

This Encyclical is a very powerful testament to the legacy of Pope John Paul II and what he stood for--the intrinsic value all human life from conception until natural death.

What I would like to know is this. Will the MPs who stood up in the House of Commons and supported bill C-573 in honour of Pope John Paul II--will they also stand up and support Rod Bruinooge's private member’s bill C-510, Roxanne's Law? Even though Roxanne's law does nothing to ban any abortions, it will give extra protection to women from being coerced into having an abortion.

I think Pope John Paul would approve.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why we need a public debate on ‘Roxanne’s law’

(Published in the National Posts's blog, Holy Post yesterday.)

There has been very little coverage in the media of Rod Bruinooge’s private member’s Bill C-510 — also known as “Roxanne’s Law” — that is scheduled for a second reading Parliament vote on Dec. 15.

The bill is named after Roxanne Fernando, a young woman from Winnipeg whose boyfriend murdered her in 2007 after his repeated attempts to coerce her to have an abortion failed.

The bill would allow pregnant women to press charges when they find themselves facing coercion to abort. Such empowerment could prevent coercion from escalating to violence like it did with Roxanne. Ideally, it would act as a deterrent to coercive behaviour in the first place from boy friends, husbands and families.

Considering that this is the first bill dealing with the subject matter of abortion to be voted on in 20 years, the lack of media coverage seems odd — notwithstanding the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated he will never reopen the abortion debate and nor will he support this bill.

One would hope that in a country where there are no restrictions on abortion there could at least be a public debate — especially about a bill whose sole purpose is to protect women from unwanted abortions. Remember that there is no consensus on abortion; polls consistently tell us show that many Canadians want some limits on abortion.

In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s abortion law. But the court did say that Parliament has the right to legislate protection of the unborn.

Even though Mr. Harper would not support such a bill, he doesn’t have to. Bill C-510 is a private member’s bill, not a government bill. The purpose such bills is to give backbench MPs from all parties the opportunity to bring forward legislation they believe in, independent of what’s on the government’s agenda.

Mr. Harper would get one vote — just like any MP — and he could vote as his conscience dictates.

The National Post has been covering the recent events at Carleton University where the students union, CUSA, has decertified the anti-abortion group LifeLine.

There is a striking parallel between what is going on at Carleton University and what is going on in Parliament.

As the Post recently stated: “The fact that these young men and women are anti-abortion should have nothing to do with whether they are worthy of coverage. This is about certain students, CUSA, acting like petty tyrants because they do not like the views of some of their fellow students. This goes against every principle of free speech. Why is there not more outrage about this?”

And why is there not more outrage about abortion debate being shut down in our Parliament? This also goes against every principle of free speech.

Think about it: why should CUSA allow pro-life students to speak out about abortion, when our political leaders won’t allow pro-life MPs to speak out about abortion? CUSA has learned that it’s okay to shut down free speech on unpopular topics.

And where that kind of thinking ends God only knows.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

God's mind

"Men mistake the mystery of the perfection of providence for the impossibilities of a contradiction if they insist on limiting God's mind by the measure of their own. We must take things as they are, use them, minister to them; for our constructive capacity does not go beyond the world of the artificial--houses, barns, clocks, cloaks. We do not make trees or cats or sunrises. Because these things are beyond our planning, we absurdly conclude that they are beyond all planning, that they need no mind behind their orderly existence. These things do not need men, so they do not need God; they are necessary, with no word of explanation of that necessity."

St. Thomas Aquinas -- Summa Theologica