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MARCH 2014 | VOLUME 6.3

Supreme Court Hearing Gives Hobby Lobby Reason to Hope HHS Mandate Will be Stopped


The questions from members of the Supreme Court and the tenor of the oral arguments today in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases against the HHS mandate give observers reason to hope the high court will overturn the controversial Obamacare provision.


In court today former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement argued on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, two family businesses whose cases were consolidated before the court. Clement argued that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that nothing in the law excludes these family businesses and their owners from religious freedom protections.


“No one should be forced to give up their constitutionally protected civil rights just to open a family business,” said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and counsel for Hobby Lobby. “This case demonstrates in no uncertain terms that the government’s efforts to strip this family business of its religious rights represent a gross violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.” MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




Virginia Bishop to Fathers: Reject Pornography

(NCRegister.com) — Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Va., has urged fathers to protect themselves and their children from pornography’s “relentless assault,” stressing the need for everyone to cultivate Jesus Christ’s “purity of heart.” “Every home now stands in the pathway of this attack on our children’s innocence and purity. If we are not vigilant, our sons and daughters will pay a steep and heartrending price,” Bishop Loverde said. “I call on every man in the Diocese of Arlington to search his heart and renew his commitment to purity,” the bishop said. “I call on every husband and father to renew his sacred commitment to his wife and children.”

Bishop Loverde’s comments come in the preface to the 2014 edition of his 2006 pastoral letter against pornography, “Bought With a Price.” MORE

Women rally outside Supreme Court for religious liberty

(CNA/EWTN News).- Women supporting employers challenging the government's contraception mandate spoke out in support of a vision of women's equality that supports fertility and women's role as employers, as the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. "All issues are women's issues" said Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Association, quoting an earlier statement by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R- N.H.). "Women are just as entitled to religious liberty as any man, and women have as much of a stake in the outcome of this case as any man." McGuire was speaking at a March 25 demonstration in front of the Supreme Court building, as the high court heard oral arguments for two appeals challenging a mandate issued by the department of Health and Human Services department under the Affordable Care Act. MORE

211 Babies Saved From Abortion So Far During 40 Days for Life Campaign >>

Legislators ask for strengthening of military religious freedom >>

Africans Abandon AIDS Resolution After Hijacked by “Sexual Progressives” >>

Archbishop underscores beauty, joy of family life >>

Six Lies the Mainstream Media Are Telling About the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case >>

The relationship between cell phone use, academic performance, anxiety, and Satisfaction with Life in college students >>

Abortion Activist Says It’s Okay to Use an Aborted Baby’s Ovaries to Create New Children >>

Pope institutes commission for protecting minors >>

Minnesota Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Life Law Against “Encouraging” Suicide >>

Conceived in Rape and Saved From Abortion, Patti Now Prays at Planned Parenthood >>

South Carolina House Passes Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks >>

Vatican to Lead Parishes Worldwide in 'Festival of Forgiveness' >>

Priests for Life: Supreme Court Case a 'Moment of Biblical Proportions' >>
Girl Scouts CEO Denies Planned Parenthood Links in Video Responding to Cookie Boycott >>

Catholic father starts online petition in support of life, openness  >>

Vanishing Abortionists: Number of Abortion Docs Has Dropped 40% >>

Victory in Texas: U.S. appeals court upholds Texas abortion law >>

Planned Parenthood Loses Fight to Ignore FDA Rules, Subject Women to Dangerous Abortions >>


GOOD NEWS: Six States Are Almost Abortion-Free and Have Just One Abortion Business Left

(LifeNews.com) – Arkansas is not one of the states with one abortion clinic left. Arkansas has one surgical abortion clinic but also has two clinics that dispense the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. Back in January 2010 I reported that the DC Abortion Fund had given the “gorgeous and touching” coat hanger pendant as a holiday fundraising gift. And it’s so très chic, constructed of “handmade sterling silver,” no less. Two days ago, National Review Online noticed DCAF is again hawking the coat hanger bauble, and this time Drudge picked up the story, drawing the abortion funder lots of scorn. An editor at U.S. News & World Report called DCAF’s give-away a “misguided parody” that “makes you wonder what goes on in the minds of people who think a trinket like that is a good idea as it lampoons the horrors of back alley abortions and makes light of the imagery the supporters of legal abortion used for decades to get their point across.” MORE

Obama meets with Pope at time of 'tense' relations with Church

(CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. President Barack Obama’s March 27 meeting with Pope Francis comes at a time of tension between his administration and the Church over religious liberty, several Catholic leaders have said. “There has been a great deal of acrimony over issues related to religious freedom. This is something new and quite serious, since it affects the ability of the Church to carry out its mission,” V. Bradley Lewis, a philosophy professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNA March 26. He said relations between the U.S. government and the Catholic Church are “quite vexed … I don't believe they have been this vexed in my memory.” Many Catholic dioceses, charities, universities, health care systems, and even the Little Sisters of the Poor, have filed legal challenges against the Obama administration’s mandate requiring most employers to cover or aid access to procedures and drugs that violate Catholic teaching: sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. MORE

Contraception disrupts 'language of love,' Bishop Conley teaches

(CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop James Conley of Lincoln hopes his new pastoral letter on the sacrificial “language of love” and the disruptive immorality of contraception will be received “with open hearts and open minds.” “My hope is that people, Catholic couples especially, and also Catholic physicians and pharmacists, will be willing to look at this issue again,” he told CNA March 20. “The Language of Love” is Bishop Conley’s pastoral letter on the sacrificial nature of love and on contraception, officially promulgated March 25 -- the feast of the Annunciation, when the Church celebrates Mary’s assent to becoming the Mother of God. The letter can be read in full, and listened to, here. Bishop Conley said Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which rejected contraception as contrary to Christian ethics, had a “prophetic message” that was “good news for all Catholics, since we know that the contraceptive mentality has been so pervasive and so devastating.” MORE

GOOD NEWS: Federal Court Upholds Texas Pro-Life Law

(CitizenLink.com) – A federal judge on Thursday upheld Texas abortion restrictions that protect women from unscrupulous abortionists. Planned Parenthood filed suit against portions of the law saying the restrictions are having “a devastating impact on women” in the state. The law — which was famously filibustered by lawmaker Wendy Davis, who is now running for governor — would require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It also requires them to administer drugs according to protocol authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in most situations. Nearly 20 abortion facilities have closed as a result of the passage of the law. Gov. Rick Perry applauded the appeals court ruling. “The people of Texas have spoken through their elected leaders and in support of protecting the culture of life in our state,” he said. “The court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn, and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women’s health in Texas.” MORE

Friday 5: Trafficking Survivor Shares her Story to Help Others

(CitizenLink.com) – Stephanie’s mom worked and went to school full-time. Her stepfather was deployed to Iraq. “So, there really was no one at home,” she told CitizenLink. Her life took a dangerous turn after she met a “nice, cute guy” at a party. Stephanie, now a young woman, was 12 at the time. “He was older, which was exciting,” she said. “That was cool.  We talked throughout the whole party. “And then she kept seeing him everywhere — even at the Starbucks up the street from her house. “I thought, maybe this is like fate — a little knight in shining armor,” Stephanie said. “Each time he came up to talk to me, I pretended I didn’t know him. I was a straight-A student, went to youth retreats, church and everything — I didn’t want people to know I actually went to a party with alcohol and stuff like that.” MORE

Shocking Report Shows 15,000 Aborted Babies Incinerated to Heat British Hospitals

(LifeNews.com) – A shocking report from England today is provoking alarm and outrage worldwide. The report indicates the remains of as many as 15,000 aborted babies were incinerated by British hospital as a heating source. While the pro-abortion movement frequently condemns pro-life advocates who draw comparisons between abortion and the Holocaust, the report of babies burned to heat UK hospitals is a shocking reminder of the callous way human life was treated by the Nazi regime. According to the report in the London Telegraph newspaper, the aborted babies were incinerated as “clinical waste” in “waste to energy” plans at British hospitals. The hospitals, funded by the British government’s NHs health care program, admitting burning the babies’ bodies along with legitimate medical waste and trash. MORE


Copyright © Gospel Communications International, Inc  (www.reverendfun.com). 
Used according to permission guidelines.

A Lesson In Love From Our Dying Son


In the fall of 2011, my husband Patrick and I had been married eight years and our family was rapidly growing.  Our oldest child had just turned six and we were expecting our fifth child in December.   John Paul was born on December 6, 2011.  We knew immediately that something was very wrong. MORE

Copyright © 2014, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.

Begin Again

By Kimberly Baker

Lent is a time of cleansing, of purifying – not in a painful sense, but in a refreshing way. Participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation washes away the “dirt” of our sin and opens our hearts to encounter God’s mercy so we can start with a “clean slate.” When we consider our pro-life witness, it is helpful to reflect on the renewing power of God’s mercy in our lives and how that can affect others.  MORE



Life Matters: Pregnancy from Rape (en español)

Sandra Mahkorn, MD, MPH, MS explains how following the tragedy of rape abortion hurts both victims: the mother and the unborn child.


Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español  

Text Only: English / en español

Order: English / en español


“Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)


“Life is precious. Not because it is unchangeable, like a diamond, but because it is vulnerable, like a little bird. To love life means to love its vulnerability, asking for care, attention, guidance, and support.” (Fr. Henri Nouwen)

“But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the "tyranny of relativism", which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples.” (Pope Francis)


“To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.” (Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone)


UNFILTERED: Equipping Parents for an Ongoing Conversation about Internet Pornography

Covenant Eyes offers a great resource kit to help parents to protect their children from ever-growing saturation of pornography. They also offer an excellent video introduction on their website.


The Pro-Life Movement is Making Significant Advances CitizenLink reviews the recent achievements of pro-life efforts across the nation. “We still face challenges, but all in all, advances are being made.”

Watch the video for this good news!

My House Columbus
is a non-pr
ofit 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.


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.


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. 




The Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Basilica 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.