12-2013


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CULTURE OF LIFE UPDATE
DECEMBER 2013 | VOLUME 5.12
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SPOTLIGHT CONTENTS

Pro-Life Victory:
A Record 87 Abortion Clinics Closed in 2013

(LifeNews.com) – Operation Rescue has concluded an exhaustive survey of abortion clinics in the U.S. and is pleased to announce that it has documented a record number of abortion clinic closures in 2013, during which time 87 surgical abortion clinics halted abortions.

The total number of surgical abortion clinics left in the U.S. is now 582. This represents an impressive 12% net decrease in surgical abortion clinics in 2013 alone, and a 73% drop from a high in 1991 of 2,176. Of 87 clinics that discontinued surgical abortions, 81 are permanently shuttered while 6 abortion businesses ceased surgical abortions, but continued to sell that abortion pill.

The figures do not include the 11 abortion clinics that were closed temporarily in 2013, then reopened later in the year. Abortion-pill-only clinic numbers remained relatively steady at 176, with 6 documented closures.

“These numbers show that the pro-life movement is gaining ground and that the abortion industry is collapsing – mostly due to its own negligence and greed, which has been exposed by their unwillingness and inability to comply with even the most rudimentary safety standards,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. MORE


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NEWS BRIEFS HEADLINES

Pope Francis: “Throwaway Culture” Causes Abortions of Millions of Babies

(LifeNews.com) – Pope Francis told a pro-life group in Rome, over the weekend, that a “throwaway culture” is responsible for abortion that results in the destruction of unborn children. The head of the Catholic Church spoke to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, a pro-life group based in Rome that helps shape and formulate pro-life principles. Lamenting the “throwaway culture” the world lives in now, Pope Francis said, “The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings – the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people… who are in danger of being ‘thrown out,’ expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs.” “This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness,’” he explained. MORE

New President of US Bishops Conference Discusses Priorities

(NCRegister.com) – Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the 2013 annual meeting of the nation’s largest religious body. He served as vice president of USCCB from 2010-2013 during the presidency of Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Before coming to Louisville, Archbishop Kurtz served as a bishop of Knoxville, Tenn., from 1999-2007. Earlier, he was a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., for 27 years, with a special focus in social services. On Dec. 13, Archbishop Kurtz spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond about Cardinal Dolan’s legacy, his own commitment to the defense of religious freedom, and Pope Francis’ plans for expanding the role of episcopal conferences. MORE


Pope Francis’ Christmas Homily >>

“I Got Accepted!” Student With Down Syndrome Finds Out He’s Headed to College >>

Health group slams push for abortion in Catholic hospitals >>

Don't be 'allergic' to preaching the truth, Pope warns >>

2014 Rose Bowl Parade will end with a gay ‘marriage’ >>

15 Senators introduce bill forcing insurance companies to say whether they fund abortion >>

Catholic College Votes to Renew Abortion Coverage for Faculty and Staff >>

Beautiful Coca Cola Ad Highlights the Gift of Life, Joys of Parenthood >>

Miracle Healing of Unborn Child Brings Pope Paul VI Closer to Sainthood >>

Pro-life group targets Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign >>

New Poll: 59 Percent Oppose Obamacare's HHS Mandate >>

Vatican launches global campaign to fight 'scandal' of hunger >>

Catholic Bishop Slams Nelson Mandela’s Legalizing Unlimited Abortion as “Shameful” >>

Judge Rules Against Christian Cake Maker >>

Dying 8-Year-Old Gets Wish as Thousands Sing Christmas Carols Outside Her Home >>

Pro-Choice Nursing Student Changes Her Mind After Witnessing an Abortion >>

Sexual Left Outraged Over Rejection by European Parliament >>

Planned Parenthood 2012-13 Annual Report Released >>

 Parents Win $50 Million in Wrongful Birth Lawsuit, They Wish He Was Never Born? >>

 

What the Belgium Senate’s vote to legalize euthanizing children tells us

(National Right to Life) – We’ve already posted twice on Thursday’s vote by the Belgium Senate to make it legal to euthanize children...However this evidence that Belgium has “leaped head-first off a moral cliff’ represents something so utterly dangerous and symptomatic that it deserves further scrutiny. Here are four considerations raised by the 50-17 vote which extends the “right” to be euthanized to children under 18. I could list 100. #1. The euthanasia express is like a freight train racing down the tracks without brakes. “It is widely acknowledged that euthanasia is out of control in Belgium,” wrote Dr. Peter Saunders. There’s been “a 500% increase in cases in ten years; one third involuntary; half not reported; euthanasia for blindness, anorexia and botched sex change operations; organ transplant euthanasia; plans to extend euthanasia to children and people with dementia.” MORE

GOOD NEWS: NY judge orders first permanent block against HHS mandate

(CNA/EWTN News).- A federal judge in New York has issued the first permanent injunction against the federal contraception mandate, a ruling that religious freedom advocates are praising as a major victory. “There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection,” wrote Judge Brian Cogan of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn in a Dec. 16 ruling. He explained that the controversial mandate “burdens plaintiffs’ religion by coercing them into authorizing third parties to provide this coverage through the self-certification requirement, an act forbidden by plaintiffs’ religion.” Judge Cogan issued the ruling in a case brought by the Catholic archdioceses of New York and Rockville Centre, as well as associated Catholic institutions within the archdioceses. MORE

GOOD NEWS:
North Dakota Government Tells Court: “There is No Right to Abortion”

(LifeNews.com) – Every so often the government gets it right on abortion. While the federal government and most states are fully prepared to push unlimited abortion on demand paid for at taxpayer expenses without any limits whatsoever, some governments still understand that human rights begin when human life begins — at conception, before birth. Such is the case with the state government of North Dakota. The North Dakota Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday over a 2011 abortion law that was ruled unconstitutional by a district court judge earlier this year. Here’s how the rest played out…MORE



Pa. sexual orientation bill could 'coerce' Catholic institutions

(CNA).- Legislation introduced in Pennsylvania to prevent discrimination could end up prohibiting Catholic schools from requiring teachers to abide by Catholic teaching, religious freedom advocates in the state are warning. “The Church has been precise, in its moral teachings, in distinguishing between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. It has condemned all forms of hostility to any individual on the basis of her or his actual or perceived sexual orientation,” Amy B. Hill, communications director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, told CNA on Dec. 11. “However, the Church also teaches that sexual activity between persons of the same gender cannot be reconciled with its beliefs and doctrines. It similarly does not condone heterosexual relations outside of marriage.” MORE

Federal Judge Strikes Down Part of Utah Law Banning Polygamy

(CitizenLink.com) – A federal judge on Friday struck down part of a Utah law making polygamy illegal. Family advocates say the ruling, if carried out, will harm children. The family of Kody Brown — made famous by the TLC reality series “Sister Wives” — filed suit against the law in 2011. In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups claims the part of the law making cohabitation illegal violates the Constitution. Jeff Johnston, sexuality and marriage analyst for Focus on the Family, said this case “piggy-backs on same-sex cases that legalize same-sex marriage.” “What these cases do,” he said, “is put adults ahead of the children. That’s the way we’ve moved in our culture — we’ve made marriage more about the wants and needs of adults rather than kids. The judge is just following this ‘logic,’ which is leading to same-sex marriage in different states.” MORE

“Co-parenting” websites

(For Your Marriage ) – In a recent ABC television interview, Rachel Hope, 42, shared her situation as an unmarried woman who wants a third child but has not yet found her “soulmate.”  While she admits it’s not ideal, she has turned to a “co-parenting” website in order to seek a father for the child she hopes to conceive by this January. While it’s not wrong to speak of a married mother and father as “co-parents,” there is a relatively new phenomenon called “co-parenting” whereby two or more persons contract with each other to have a child, with the understanding that there is no expectation for any kind of relationship between them. In other words, as the New York Times described it, “Making a Child, Minus the Couple.” Hope’s two children are from different men and different situations.  MORE


CHRISTIAN COMICS
FOR YOUR MARRIAGE


FUN


Copyright © Gospel Communications International, Inc 
www.reverendfun.com
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FYM


What Christmas Is Really About

Over the centuries, the celebration of Christmas has gathered so much extraneous material that it’s difficult for most of us to remember precisely what we’re celebrating. Take away Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus, and the elves. Put aside the Currier and Ives Christmas cards, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, and that little kid who wants the Red Ryder BB Gun. Let go of the gift-giving, the parties, the charities, and a White Christmas. Let’s even forget, for a moment, about our hopes for peace on Earth and good will toward all. MORE

Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.

LIFE ISSUES FORUM
USCCB

Human Masterpieces

By Anne McGuire

As I watched in shock, the same questions kept coming back to me: How can these soldiers do this? How can they act so brutally against their fellow man? I was watching a movie about Pope John Paul II before he became pope, and the scenes playing out before me were of the Nazi soldiers’ actions during that horrific period in history.

Throughout the movie, I kept coming back to this conclusion: What it means to be human had been forgotten. How could one person act with such cold-hearted, inhumane cruelty towards another person? Could it be that they no longer thought of the recipients of their violence as people, but were viewing them in a detached manner as something less-than-human, thus undeserving of respect? MORE


US BISHOPS RESPECT LIFE PROGRAM

USCCB

Life Matters: Explaining the Reality of Marriage to Family and Friends (en español)

William B. May recalls the importance of marriage between one man and one woman as the best environment to raise a child and notes that marriage best prepares couples to be parents.

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español

Text Only: English / en español

Order: English / en español

GREAT QUOTES

“Love is the key to the mystery. Love by its very nature is not selfish, but generous. It seeks not its own, but the good of others. The measure of love is not the pleasure it gives-that is the way the world judges it-but the joy and peace it can purchase for others.” (Fulton J. Sheen)

“The heart of every culture is its approach to the greatest of all mysteries: the mystery of God. Our respect for the culture of others is therefore rooted in our respect for each community’s attempt to answer the question of human life. And here we can see how important it is to safeguard the fundamental right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, as the cornerstones of the structure of human rights and the foundation of every truly free society." (Blessed John Paul II)

“Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries – even those where Christians are a minority – the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need. Again and again, the Church has acted as a mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defence of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and universities around the world! This is a good thing. Yet, we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good.” (Pope Francis)

‎"I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives." (Peter Kreeft)


NOTEWORTHY

My House Columbus is a non-profit lay apostolate working to promote sexual integrity through pornography prevention family protection, theology of the body information and resources, and accountability and healing networks. My House Columbus is a collaborative effort between Columbus Catholic Men’s Ministry, Columbus Catholic Women’s Ministry, and the Diocese of Columbus. My House offers three aspects: Protection, Healing, and Prevention. Learn more from their website.


CatholicPulse

Catholic Pulse is a service of the Knights of Columbus dedicated to bringing readers the top, daily headlines that Catholics need to know. We seek to present the news from the perspective of Catholics who want to know what’s happening in the Church, nation and world around them. From election coverage and breakthroughs in science, to breaking news and opinions around the globe, Catholic Pulse is the one-stop site that serves up those headlines quickly while providing further resources on social issues that are important to Catholics, such as the sanctity of life and marriage.  Learn more on their website.



 NCBCLooking for Catholic Bio-medical Ethics Information?  FREE consultations are available from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).  Established in 1972, NCBC conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to their website, they guarantee that a credentialed ethicist will be available 24/7 to assist any person with those most difficult moral health care decisions one must make from the beginning to the end of life. In 2012 alone, the ethicists of the Center helped over 1500 individuals in their time of need; free of charge. Read more about them on their website.



CPYUThe Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a nonprofit organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. At a time when an already confusing youth culture is changing quickly, CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators, and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence.  They offer a free e-Update and many other resources.  Read more on their website.

 

FH
Family Honor, Inc.  Rooted in Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to empower parents to educate and guide their children according to God's plan.  Family Honor offers a variety of programs and resources for parents, as well as programs for parents and teens together.  Learn more from their website. 

 


ABOUT

The Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Parish in Marietta, Ohio.  A key goal of the Culture of Life Ministry is to help people become better informed about life, marriage and family issues.

The sad reality is that many people simply are not aware of the attacks on life and the family.  Nor are they aware of the many positive actions that are being taken to defend life and build up the family. Here's where our monthly email newsletter can help.

Designed for busy people, the Culture of Life Update provides a once-a-month overview of news stories related to life, marriage and the family.  It's a great and easy way to get informed. For the current and past issues, please visit our website!


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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this newsletter is simply to inform the public about issues related to life, marriage, and the family. The inclusion of any article is not meant to be an endorsement of a particular author’s viewpoint, nor it is meant to be an endorsement of the organization providing the information. St. Mary Parish Culture of Life Ministry follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is subject to the authority of the hierarchy of the Church.

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