Monday, March 31, 2008
Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students, whose posteritie shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes. And touching our Societie, be it known to you that we have made a league - all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practices of England - cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: so it must be restored.Campion's Brag [To the Right Honourable, the Lords of Her Majestie's Privy Council] in Edmund Campion, by Evelyn Waugh (1946)
I think I'm going to enjoy this book...
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Behind this (the flight into lies) is a false image of God, that is, the denial of God and the worship of an idol. Here one understands God as the rich man did, who could not hand over anything to Lazarus because he himself wanted to be a god; for this, however, the much he had was still too little. God is thus understood in the manner of Arius who thought that God cannot have any relationship outside of himself because only he is completely himself. Humans want to be such a god, one to whom everhting flows and who gives nothing himself. This is why the true God is the real enemy, the competitor of those who have become inwardly blind in such a way.
There is something that this hits upon, especially when dealing with addictions; that we are made in God's image for love, and because of this each of us will invariably attach to a love, only One of which we are meant for. The others will close us in on ourselves; the lesser loves which the world provides for our distraction.
Now to the one who wishes to be like the false image of God, sufficient unto themselves, belongs the one who does this not just in the material domain (like the rich man who would not aid Lazarus), but also the one who lives by the notion of sola scriptura, that the scriptures are all he needs to guide his life. The very fact that this person is blind to the difference between what it means to be authoritative and to have and wield authority. Yes the scriptures are authoritative, they are the rule, the measure; but the ruler must measure the wood, and no ruler has ever told a board that it is too long or too short; that judgement belongs to the one who wields the ruler. In denying that Jesus gave the wielding of the ruler to anyone, the sola scripturist wields it without acknowledging he does so, arrogating to himself what he denies to those who claim said authority. Is this reasonable? What has the sola-scripturist measured? If we look at their collected measurements, we see that the rule of scripture has been applied with wild abandon and there is no agreement; the board cannot be both too short and too long at the same time; something cannot be necessary and unnecessary at the same time, something cannot simultaneously be true and false; God is not the author of confusion, Truth is not both true and false at the same time. Yet, the sola scripturist is satisfied in his little world, self sufficient unto himself, passing judgement based on his understanding of the rule while denying at the same time that he does so, claiming that it is the rule itself doing the judgment, an absurdity, and a witness to absurdity which discredits God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who prayed that we would be one so that the world would know that He was sent by the Father.
This is why I have borrowed Belloc from Real Clear Religion and put it at the bottom of the sidebar. Methodist minister and talk show host Alan Hunt has entered the Catholic Church, you can't determine what is true by voting on it. It is the Lord work, that those who crucified him would later drink his blood; that Saul would join Stephen, that those who still would crucify the Lord, will join the company in heaven by being converted here and seeking Mercy while Mercy is to be had.
sorry if this is a little jumbled, mercy, ok?
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Holy Week: The Hidden Homilies of Pope Benedict
by Sandro Magister
3. Holy Thursday. Mass of the Lord's Supper
Dear brothers and sisters...
When the Lord tells Peter that without the washing of his feet he would never be able to have any part in Him, Peter immediately and impetuously asks to have his head and hands washed as well. This is followed by the mysterious words of Jesus: "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed" (John 13:10). Jesus alludes to a bath that the disciples, according to ritual prescriptions, had already taken; in order to participate in the meal, they now needed only to have their feet washed. But naturally, a deeper meaning is hidden in this. To what does it allude? We do not know for sure. In any case, we should keep in mind that the washing of the feet, according to the meaning of the entire chapter, does not indicate a single specific Sacrament, but the "sacramentum Christi" in its entirety – his service of salvation, his descent even to the cross, his love to the end, which purifies us and makes us capable of God. Here, with the distinction between the bath and the washing of feet, nevertheless, there also appears an allusion to life in the community of the disciples, to life in the community of the Church – an allusion that John may have intentionally transmitted to the community of his time. It then seems clear that the bath that purifies us definitively and does not need to be repeated is Baptism – immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ, a fact that changes our lives profoundly, giving us something like a new a identity that endures, if we do not throw it away as Judas did. But even in the endurance of this new identity, for convivial communion with Jesus we need the "washing of the feet." What does this mean? It seems to me that the first letter of Saint John gives us the key for understanding this. There we read: "If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing" (1:8ff.). We need the "washing of the feet," the washing of our everyday sins, and for this we need the confession of sins. We do not know exactly how this was carried out in the Johannine community. But the direction indicated by the words of Jesus to Peter is obvious: in order to be capable of participating in the convivial community with Jesus Christ, we must be sincere. One must recognize that even in our own identity as baptized persons, we sin. We need confession as this has taken form in the Sacrament of reconciliation. In it, the Lord continually rewashes our dirty feet, and we are able to sit at table with Him.
But in this way, the word takes on yet another meaning, in which the Lord extends the "sacramentum" by making it the "exemplum," a gift, a service for our brother: "If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14). We must wash each other's feet in the daily mutual service of love. But we must also wash our feet in the sense of constantly forgiving one another. The debt that the Lord has forgiven us is always infinitely greater than all of the debts that others could owe to us (cf. Mt. 18:21-35). It is to this that Holy Thursday exhorts us: not to allow rancor toward others to become, in its depths, a poisoning of the soul. It exhorts us to constantly purify our memory, forgiving one another from the heart, washing each other's feet, thus being able to join together in the banquet of God.
Holy Thursday is a day of gratitude and of joy for the great gift of love to the end that the Lord has given to us. We want to pray to the Lord at this time, so that gratitude and joy may become in us the power of loving together with his love. Amen.
There is no denying that in terms of physical and emotional strength many women far exceed men, so what is going on here? Father Bart put it well when he said that the key to understanding it was in terms of vulnerability. In physical terms, which sex is more likely to be assaulted? In emotional terms, which sex is more fragile? We have no difficulty in instantly arriving at the same conclusion St. Peter offers.
Rather than argue with the word of God, or dismiss it as antiquarian drivel which modernity has outgrown, from time to time it does us good to set aside our offended pride and hear what the Lord has to say. and with this scripture, He has some pretty darned good prescriptions for supporting and overcoming the weaknesses with which we live.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
if you haven't spotted this gem, you'll want to tag along. Alcoholism is so close to home; it is something all of us are/know/live with in one form or another.
The Twelve Steps for Catholics (1)
The Twelve Steps for Catholics (2)
Then, like a spiritual chaser, Check out Fr. Speekman's Divine Mercy homily from his blog Homilies and Reflections from Australia.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Genuine compassion is standing with those who suffer
By Bishop Robert Vasa
(The Catholic Sentinal, March 21, 2008)
BEND — Pope Benedict writes in Spe Salvi, “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘compassion’ is a cruel and inhuman society. Yet society cannot accept its suffering members and support them in their trials unless individuals are capable of doing so themselves; moreover, the individual cannot accept another’s suffering unless he personally is able to find meaning in suffering, a path of purification and growth in maturity, a journey of hope. Indeed, to accept the ‘other’ who suffers, means that I take up his suffering in such a way that it becomes mine also. Because it has now become a shared suffering, though, in which another person is present, this suffering is penetrated by the light of love. The Latin word con-solatio, ‘consolation’, expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude. Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life itself becomes a lie. In the end, even the ‘yes’ to love is a source of suffering, because love always requires expropriations of my ‘I’, in which I allow myself to be pruned and wounded. Love simply cannot exist without this painful renunciation of myself, for otherwise it becomes pure selfishness and thereby ceases to be love.”
I choose to cite the entire paragraph because of its applicability to the week in which we now find ourselves, Holy Week. This is the Week of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. I can remember as a child being drawn very strongly into reflections on the Lord’s suffering both in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and in the Stations of the Cross. Most of us have become very familiar with the famous movie from a few years ago, The Passion of the Christ. These certainly impress upon us the severity of the sufferings of our Lord and the patience with which He bore them and they may very effectively move us to appreciate more solemnly the depth of the Lord’s love for us but there should be more. There must be more.
Pope Benedict says: “A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’ is a cruel and inhuman society.” There is certainly need to know about the Lord’s suffering and to recognize that His willingness to suffer is proof of His great love. We need this assurance of the unconditional and sacrificial nature of God’s love for us but there is more. We are not to be merely passive recipients of the benefits of the Lord’s passion or observant bystanders. We are to express true com-passion by standing with Him in His Passion. We are to offer con-solation by entering with Him into the solitude of His suffering. The Holy Father purposely hyphenates the words consolation and com-passion in an effort to emphasize their true meaning. Both com-passion and con-solation, in a way, have a cost associated with them. They require a sacrifice of the self. They require entering into the “passion” and the “isolation” of the other. They require a willingness to be “pruned and wounded.
“A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’ is a cruel and inhuman society.”
In a state where the salvific meaning of suffering is denied we are led to believe that com-passion means ending the suffering of another by ending their life. While such an action may have the appearance of com-passion it is, in truth, a denial of authentic com-passion.
I often wonder, when I hear of yet another assisted suicide, if the suicidal death took place because the victim found the pain to be insurmountable or if others found it unbearable. It would seem that any form of assisted suicide would require an absence of true com-passion and con-solation.
The acceptance of such an extreme measure for others implies an unwillingness on the part of the “bystanders” to stay by the cross. The acceptance of such an extreme measure for oneself implies a failure to recognize the authenticity of the com-passion and consolation offered by others. Perhaps one could go to the point of actually questioning the authenticity of the com-passion and consolation offered by others. When these are present one dies peacefully. When they are absent one simply wants to die.
“A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’ is a cruel and inhuman society.”
Our Holy Week ceremonies and celebrations do not glorify death but Good Friday, the day of the Lord’s Passion and Death, does stand at the very center of the “hour” for which Jesus came. While all suffering and pain by its nature is uniquely isolating the Lord’s suffering and death stands for us as the way, the truth and the light about pain, suffering and death. The Lord accepts the beautiful com-passion and con-solation of His Holy Mother, His Beloved Disciple, Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalen who stood by the cross quite helplessly but not as passive bystanders. At the same time He manifested, even in His suffering, a tremendous “com-passion” for other. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.” (Luke 23:28) “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) As He has done, so we must likewise do.
After Good Friday we recognize the other side of suffering and death, the Resurrection, the Lord’s victory over sin and death. May God grant to each of you a rich and abundant hope in this Resurrection and thus a hope for giving and receiving authentic com-passion and con-solation.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
#137, The Gift of Love (Holy Thursday)
Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
If we cannot imitate the love of Jesus by giving our body as food to our brethren, we can imitate Him at least by giving them loving assistance, not only in agreeable circumstances, but also in difficult and disagreeable ones. By washing His disciples’ feet, the Master shows us how far we should humble ourselves to render a service to our neighbor, even were he most lowly and abject. The Master, who, by unceasing proofs of His love, advances to meet ungrateful men and even those who have betrayed Him, teaches us that our charity is far from His unless we repay evil with good, forgive everything, and are even willing to repay with kindness those who have done us harm. The Master, who gave His live for the salvation of His own, tells us that our love is incomplete if we cannot sacrifice ourselves generously for others. His “new commandment,” which makes the love of Jesus Himself the measure of our fraternal love, opens up unlimited horizons for the exercise of charity, for it means charity without limits. If there is a limit, it is that of giving, like the Master, one’s life for others, for “greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).
A part of the “purification” of the errors of liberation theology...
“..there is the ‘option for the poor’: the poor Christ is God’s option in person.”
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1996, “A New Song for the Lord”
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
'The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified'
By Bishop Robert Vasa
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Here's my paternal great-great grandparents, sometime prior to about the 1880s in Romania.
and skipping a generation, this is my grandparents in 1923 about 100 miles before they reached LA, driving from Washington DC. This is the first and only picture I have seen of my grandfather with hair (which he lost in the great flu empidemic).
This is my dad and his mom, at graduation from the United States Coast Guard Academy, 1945.
And this is the USS Bayfield (ATA-33) (Christmas 1945?), my dad's first assignment at sea. The Bayfield was command ship for Omaha beach, then was at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte, and would have been in the invasion of Japan which as called off.
I understand in my absence that the retreat went well; such an interesting comparison, family in blood, family in Christ; life which continues in it's rythms, which was, is, and will be; Life which IS, made present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, eternally present for our salvation; the inevitable drama of life, The Drama of Life.
adoramus te christe
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday evening upon arrival at the Chapterhouse, we will spend some structured time in reflection and prayer on the issues of life, sin, grace, and perseverance in grace.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2008: After breakfast, we will gather at the Chapterhouse at 10:00 a.m., to briefly discuss Moral Reflections on a Christian Life. 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Regular Chapter meeting. After the Chapter meeting, we will take a break. There are confessions to be heard at Our Lady of the Valley at 3:30 p.m. for those who wish to confess.
5:00 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of the Valley. After Mass, Dinner, and Reconvene at Chapterhouse. Reflection and Prayer, More on Reflections on a Christian Life. Surprise.
SUNDAY, PALM (PASSION) SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2008. Our Lady of the Valley, Holy Mass, 9:30 a.m., 1122 Linden, Caldwell, Idaho, [208.459.3653]. Proceed to Chapterhouse to reconvene at Retreat for discussion on Moral Reflections on a Christian Life. Breakfast. Dismissed about 12:30 p.m.
You are welcome to attend. There is no cost for the retreat, but bring a dish, dessert, or goodies for the retreat to be shared with others.
Map Link for directions to Homedale Dominican Chapterhouse:
Fourth Sunday of Lent
1 March 2008
Dear Friends in Christ,
One objective of the liturgical reforms of the 1960’s was to encourage the active participation of the Catholic people in the celebration of the sacred liturgy, in part by reminding them that they are participants in, not spectators of, offering the sacrifice of praise at the heart of all Christian worship. Unfortunately, in the years following the II Vatican Council, the Church’s desire that all the faithful participate fully in the sacred liturgy was too often rendered a caricature of the Council’s teaching, and misconceptions about the true nature of active participation multiplied. This led to the frenzied expansion of “ministries” among the people and turned worship into a team sport. But it is possible to participate in the liturgy fully, consciously, and actively without ever leaving one’s pew, and it is likewise possible to serve busily as a musician or lector at Mass without truly participating in the sacred liturgy. Both of these are true because the primary meaning of active participation in the liturgy is worshipping the living God in Spirit and truth, and that in turn is an interior disposition of faith, hope, and love which cannot be measured by the presence or absence of physical activity. But this confusion about the role of the laity in the Church’s worship was not the only misconception to follow the liturgical reforms; similar mistakes were made about the part of the priest.
Because of the mistaken idea that the whole congregation had to be “in motion” during the liturgy to be truly participating, the priest was gradually changed in the popular imagination from the celebrant of the Sacred Mysteries of salvation into the coordinator of the liturgical ministries of others. And this false understanding of the ministerial priesthood produced the ever-expanding role of the “priest presider,” whose primary task was to make the congregation feel welcome and constantly engage them with eye contact and the embrace of his warm personality. Once these falsehoods were accepted, then the service of the priest in the liturgy became grotesquely misshapen, and instead of a humble steward of the mysteries whose only task was to draw back the veil between God and man and then hide himself in the folds, the priest became a ring-master or entertainer whose task was thought of as making the congregation feel good about itself. But, whatever that is, it is not Christian worship, and in the last two decades the Church has been gently finding a way back towards the right ordering of her public prayer. In February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published an Apostolic Exhortation on the Most Holy Eucharist entitled Sacramentum Caritatis in which he discusses the need for priests to cultivate a proper ars celebrandi or art of celebrating the liturgy. In that document, the pope teaches that “the primary way to foster the participation of the People of God in the sacred rite is the proper celebration of the rite itself,” and an essential part of that work is removing the celebrant from the center of attention so that priest and people together can turn towards the LORD. Accomplishing this task of restoring God-centered liturgy is one of the main reasons for returning to the ancient and universal practice of priest and people standing together on the same side of the altar as they offer in Christ, each in their own way, the sacrifice of Calvary as true worship of the Father. In other words, the custom of ad orientem celebration enhances, rather than diminishes, the possibility of the people participating fully, consciously, and actively in the celebration of the sacred liturgy.
Father Jay Scott Newman
The rest of the series:
1st Sunday of Lent
2nd Sunday of Lent
3rd Sunday of Lent
4th Sunday of Lent
5th Sunday of Lent
Monday, March 10, 2008
By Samantha Singson (NEW YORK — C-FAM) Final negotiations for the final document of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) ended as the sun rose on Saturday morning. Pro-life efforts helped keep the controversial term "sexual and reproductive health and rights" out of the main document. The term was also kept out of the other negotiated documents, one on female genital mutilation and another on HIV/AIDs. Non-governmental lobbyists were kept out of the main negotiating room for the two-week conference so pro-life lobbyists kept a vigil outside the negotiating rooms until 4:30am on Saturday. Several delegations thanked the lobbyists for remaining at the UN throughout the night. One Latin American delegate even admitted to the group that delegates needed to be held accountable and know that their actions were being closely watched. One lobbyist told the Friday Fax that “It’s important for these delegates to see that there is a pro-life presence here. As long as they are working on documents that could affect unborn lives, we will be here to bear witness.” Debate over the abortion issue waged throughout the CSW. Norway initially proposed the inclusion of the controversial term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” which has been defined by radical NGOs to include abortion. To the surprise of many observers, the European Union (EU), a bloc which normally speaks with one voice on social issues, announced that it would have a common position on the Norwegian proposal. The governments of Poland, Ireland, Malta, the United States, El Salvador, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Kiribati and the Holy See successfully managed to keep “sexual and reproductive health and rights” out of the final version of the text, despite the vociferous calls for its inclusion by the other EU member states and a number of other states from Latin America and the Caribbean. At one dramatic moment during negotiations on the HIV/AIDS resolution, a delegation of EU negotiators swarmed into a negotiating room and demanded the inclusion of the term. Their efforts were rebuffed. Though “sexual and reproductive health and rights” did not make it into any of the CSW documents, a problematic reference to the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights was included in a resolution on “Women, the Girl Child and HIV/AIDS.” The Guidelines call for abortion-on-demand, the legal recognition of same-sex unions and criminal penalties for any “vilification of people who engage in same-sex relationships.” Though the government of Uganda was assured by the facilitator of the meeting that the reference to the document would be struck, the resolution was adopted by the CSW with the reference still included. Tensions between pro-life lobbyists and UN security continued to the end of the conference. As the Friday Fax reported last week, UN security began following and monitoring the activities of pro-life lobbyists. At one point, a UN security guard upbraided pro-lifers for talking to delegates in the hallway outside the conference room. A senior lobbyist went to UN security office and asked to see the provision forbidding lobbying delegates in the hallway. The security office could come up with nothing. The CSW is expected to convene one final time this week to adopt the final text and officially conclude the session.
For more news visit us at www.c-fam.org
New! the chapter house now has electricity, heat, and running water.
Those needing a ride, directions, or more information, can contact the usual suspects:
as for the retreat/meeting, Mike Turner writes:
At our chapter meeting during the retreat (on March 15), we will have up to 5 presentations followed by a colloquy. We may want to get aggressive about keeping the presentations trim. We'll see. In any event, we will certainly have the colloquy afterwards.
The topic for the colloquy will be Luke 16:1-8, the Parable of the Dishonest Steward, ending with Jesus's words: "The children of the world are more prudent in dealing with this generation than are the children of the light." And the question to consider will be: by means of this parable, what might Jesus be telling us as individuals and as members of the Blessed Margaret of Castello chapter? How do we tend to succeed or fail in exercising prudence? (There will be no immediate canings for digressing into general crises in contemporary Catholicism, but we will tether you, so that the focus should be on: us.)
Anyone who has seen particularly interesting analyses of this parable is invited to share them via email before or after the meeting.
This is from today's Office of Readings:
From the commentary on the psalms by Saint John Fisher, bishop and martyr (Ps 129)
Our High priest is Christ Jesus, our sacrifice is his precious body which he immolated on the altar of the cross for the salvation of all men.
The blood that was poured out for our redemption was not that of goats or calves (as in the old law) but that of the most innocent lamb, Christ Jesus our Savior.
The temple in which our high priest offered sacrifice was not one made by hands but build by the power of God alone. For he shed his blood in the sight of the world, a temple fashioned by the hand of God alone.
This temple, however, has two parts. The first is the earth, which we now inhabit. The second is as yet unknown to us morals.
Christ first offered sacrifice here on earth, when he underwent his most bitter death. Then, clothed in the new garment of immortality, with his own blood he entered into the holy of holies, that is, into heaven. There he also displayed before the throne of the heavenly Father that blood of immeasurable price which he had poured out seven times on behalf of all men subject to sin.
This sacrifice is so pleasing and acceptable to God that as soon as he has seen it he must immediately have pity on us and extend clemency to all who are truly repentant.
Moreover, it is eternal. It is offered not only each year (as with the Jews) but also each day for our consolation, and indeed at every hour and moment as well, so that we may have the strongest reason for comfort. That is why the Apostle adds: He has secured an eternal redemption. (Hb 9:12)
All who have embarked on true contrition and penance for the sins they have committed, and are firmly resolved not to commit sins again for the future but to persevere constantly in that pursuit of virtues which they have now begun, all these become sharers in this holy and eternal sacrifice.
St. John sets this before us in these words: My little children, I am writing this to you so that you many not sin. But if anyone does sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for those of the whole world.
It is interesting to note here that St. John Fisher equates "eternal redemption" to the continuous offering of the mass till the end of time.
Friday, March 07, 2008
By Samantha Singson
(NEW YORK — C-FAM) A split in the European Union (EU) over abortion continued to shape negotiations at the UN this week during the annual meeting of the Commission at the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Last week non-EU member Norway, likely acting as a stalking horse for pro-abortion EU countries, proposed inclusion of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the draft agreed conclusions. Norway's move caused increasing dissent among EU members.
Last week Poland and Malta spoke out against Norway's proposal causing Slovenia, the president of the EU, to announce that the normally unified EU bloc would not have a common position on the Norwegian proposal. While the majority of the EU member states strongly supported inclusion of “sexual and reproductive rights” in the document, Poland, Ireland and Malta broke ranks from their EU colleagues and called for the deletion of the Norwegian language.
The term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” has never been agreed to in any negotiated UN document but certain UN committees and officials have misinterpreted the term "reproductive health" as including abortion. During negotiations, the United States stated that the term was extremely problematic for many delegations and that insistence on its inclusion might prevent a consensus. El Salvador, Syria, the Holy See and Iran also called for deletion of the term. Kiribati called for deletion of the term and proposed “access to basic maternal and newborn health care as necessary to promote a healthy outcome for mother and child.”
Pro-life and pro-family groups have been closely monitoring parallel negotiations where attempts to insert abortion and homosexual marriage into other documents are happening behind closed doors. The draft resolution entitled “Women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS” includes references to “sexual and reproductive health and rights” but also takes note of another document entitled the “Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights.” The Guidelines, which date back to a 1996 meeting in Geneva, call for “safe and legal abortion” and for protective law “to reduce human rights violations against men having sex with men…These measures should include providing penalties for vilification of people who engage in same-sex relationships, giving legal recognition to same-sex marriages and/or relationships with consistent property, divorce and inheritance provisions.”
A draft resolution called “Ending Female Genital Mutilation” contains a controversial reference to the Maputo Protocol, an African regional document which mentions female genital mutilation, but also contains abortion rights. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) helped draft the protocol which stipulates that “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to... protect the reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the fetus.” The majority of African nations have not ratified the protocol.
Pro-life lobbyists are also reporting that UN security personnel are closely monitoring their activities. One lobbyist told the Friday Fax, "There are hardly any lobbyists from the other side this week and it is obvious that some pro-abortion delegation complained about our presence, so security is closely watching us." The lobbyist added this is "par for the course at the UN."
Negotiations on the CSW draft agreed conclusions and draft resolutions are expected to wrap up at the end of the week.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
I was tagged with the Parable Meme by Athanasius contra mundum (50 Days After).
Heres how it goes:
1. You name your five favorite parables
2. You tag one blogger per parable.
3. It would be nice if you linked back to this post.
This day my five favorite parables of Jesus:
1. The prodigal son
2. The pearl
3. The lost sheep
4. Workers in the harvest
5. The unprofitable servant
Lent seems to have focused me on the mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ; that he had done for me so much, I have no despair for others, only impatience.
tagged: Anita, Adrienne, NorthernSonShine, FatherDownUnder, and Bill