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APRIL 2014 | VOLUME 6.4


John Paul II’s American Legacy

(First Things) – If ever there was a pope of global stature it was St. John Paul II. He took the message of the Gospel to every corner of the earth, travelling to over one hundred countries during his twenty-six year pontificate, combining modern means of communication with a strong personal charisma. When he visited America, he had a memorable impact, inspiring Catholics who became “the John Paul II generation.”

This was no small accomplishment. When John Paul II was elected pontiff in late 1978, the American Catholic Church was reeling. Confusion surrounding Vatican II had led to a culture of dissent, symbolized by the widespread rejection of Humanae Vitae.

The vibrant American Church became fractious: Many priests and religious abandoned their spiritual callings for the world; some theologians dispensed with their obligations to work with the Magisterium; evangelization suffered; loyalty to Church teaching was rejected in favor of a misguided notion of “conscience;” and dogma and truth were repudiated. American Catholic education and catechesis were in disarray. The faithful were shaken.

Amidst this maelstrom rose John Paul II.... MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




West Virginia governor's veto of abortion bill called 'bitter news'

(CNS) -- Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston said he was surprised at West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have prohibited nonmedical crisis abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization. Tomblin vetoed the bill late March 28. "I am very surprised by Gov. Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Act," the bishop said. "For most West Virginians, this is bitter news, especially on the heels of the governor's use of his ability to veto budgeted items to cut benefits to poor children and families in West Virginia." His veto of the abortion measure, the bishop said, "does not reflect the majority opinion of the state Legislature, who worked hard this session to do more to help children in poverty and protect life, particularly unborn children." The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was put forth in response to medical evidence that demonstrates an unborn child already has the ability to feel pain at 20 weeks ... MORE

Pope Francis: married couples are an icon of God's love

(CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience Pope Francis closed his catechesis on the sacraments by reflecting on the vocation of marriage, noting that the marital couple is a unique example of divine love in the world. “Married couples carry out this vocation in a full and definitive communion of life. As ‘one flesh,’ they become living icons of God’s love in our world, building up the Church in unity and fidelity,” the Pope expressed in his April 2 general audience address. Speaking to the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s square to hear the weekly discourse, the pontiff announced that the day’s reflections would close his catechesis on the sacraments as he turns to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It is a sacrament, he observed, “which brings us to the very heart of God’s loving plan for the human family” and “introduces us to the design of God, who created man in his image, capable of loving.” MORE

Pope emphasizes 'indissolubility of Christian matrimony' >>

Fr. Robert Barron: We Are in a Golden Age of the Papacy >>

Arizona Law Allows Unannounced Inspections at Abortion Centers >>

New Survey Shows Secularist Pull Among the West’s Educated Elites >>

Nevada Republicans Drop Pro-Life, Traditional Marriage Stands From Party Platform >>

‘God’s Not Dead’ and Christianity in America Isn’t Either >>

Court upholds strong Texas abortion regulations >>

Gosnell movie fundraiser tops $1.2 million >>

Court Blocks Obama Admin From Enforcing HHS Mandate Against James Dobson >>

Missouri governor faces impeachment over pro-gay ‘marriage’ executive order >>

Hercules Actor Kevin Sorbo is Proudly Pro-Life: “Never Forget the Babies Slaughtered” by Abortion >>

Illinois bishop upholds priest’s decision to deny Communion to pro-abort Sen. Dick Durbin >>

You Won’t Believe This Mom’s Incredible Joy as She Holds her Premature Baby for the First Time >>

Tweetfest Will Demand Harry Reid Allow Vote to Ban Abortions on Babies Who Feel Pain >>

These Hollywood Celebrities Aren’t Afraid to Speak Out and Say They’re Pro-Life >>

Video Celebrates Mom With Cancer Who Refused Abortion, Gave Her Life for Her Baby >>

Paralyzed Stroke Victim Listened Helplessly as Doctors Discussed Organ Donation >>

Minnesota House Approves Amendment Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks >>

OK lawmakers pass bill requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges, tightening health rules >>

Google Bans Ads From Pregnancy Centers After Lobbying From “Pro-Choice” NARAL

(LifeNews.com) – Google has banned ads from pro-life pregnancy centers that offer women and their unborn children abortion alternatives. The decision came after extensive lobbying from a national “pro-choice” group, NARAL, that appears to favor just one choice, abortion. Upset that pregnancy centers were allowed to bid on the keyword “abortion clinics,” along with facilities that kill unborn children in abortions, NARAL launched a national campaign to complain to Google. Now, the national search engine company has banned the ads. According to NARAL, people using Google to search for “abortion clinics” got ads advertising the crisis pregnancy centers about 79 percent of the time — which cuts into the profit margins of abortion clinics. MORE

GOOD NEWS: Mississippi Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks

(CitizenLink.com) – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed legislation today that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, when preborn babies begin to feel pain. “Today is an important day for protecting the unborn and the health and safety of women in Mississippi,” Bryant said. “Medical research shows that an unborn child can feel pain by not later than 20 weeks gestation, and research also shows that the risk of death and complications from an abortion increases significantly as a pregnancy progresses.” The law requires a physician to determine how far along a woman is in her pregnancy prior to an abortion. It was based on Americans United for Life (AUL) model legislation, which also focuses on the health risks of abortion for women. MORE

GOOD NEWS: Radical Abortion Bill Dies in Colo. Senate

(NCRegister.com) – Amid growing protests, led in large part by the Catholic Church, the Colorado Senate on April 16 killed a controversial bill that could have banned all pro-life laws in the state. “Lift up your hearts in gratitude to God,” said Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila in a post on Twitter. “Blessings on everyone who prayed and contacted legislators! Stay involved!” The legislation had passed committee on a party-line vote. While the floor debate and vote were initially scheduled for April 15, they were delayed until the following day, after Democratic State Sen. John Kefalas of Fort Collins went home sick. The Democrats control the Senate in the state by a single vote. On April 16, however, Denver NBC affiliate 9 News reported that Kefalas — after voting in favor of the bill in committee — was saying that he was undecided about whether he would vote for it in the full Senate vote. MORE

Bishops invited to support 2014 March for Marriage

(CNA/EWTN News).- Two U.S. bishops leading efforts to defend and promote marriage offered their support for this year’s national March for Marriage and invited their fellow bishops to do the same. “We are very grateful for this opportunity to express our support for the March for Marriage and to encourage participation in this event,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco. In an April 7 letter, they encouraged their fellow U.S. bishops to promote the march in their respective dioceses. Bishop Malone is the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Cordileone chairs the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. The 2014 March for Marriage will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2014. MORE

Former Abortion Doctor on Why He Quit: When I Had to Count Babies’ Arms and Legs, It Hit Me

(LiveActioNnews) — Dr. David Brewer is a former abortionist who spoke at the “Meet the Abortion Providers” convention in Chicago which was hosted by the Pro-Life Action League. The full text of his speech can be found here at Priests for Life. Dr. Brewer lived in New York, one of the first states to legalize abortion before Roe versus Wade. Like many practicing OBGYNs, he considered performing abortions once they became legal. At the time, Dr. Brewer described himself as having “no real convictions [on abortion], caught in the middle.” He describes witnessing his first abortion during training. It was a first trimester suction abortion. (Learn more about this type of abortion here – warning: graphic images) I can remember that day watching the first abortion with the resident doctor sitting down and putting the tube in and removing the contents ... MORE

GOOD NEWS: Young Adults Lead Defense of Traditional Marriage

(NCRegister.com) — From college campuses to city centers, young adults are defying their peers and standing up for the Catholic conception of marriage, through their words and their example, bucking dominant cultural trends. Michael Bradley is one of the emerging leaders of this “resistance movement.” While many of his fellow students were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a decidedly un-Catholic fashion, the University of Notre Dame senior was leading an event that would make the non-Irish eyes of Ireland’s patron saint smile: a conference devoted to the Catholic understanding of marriage. The event featured a panel of experts who established the theological, philosophical and political foundations of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, while also exploring the potential consequences of redefining the institution.MORE

© Inherit the Mirth. All rights reserved.
Used with permission

The Theology of the Body
According to John Paul II

When John Paul II was elevated to the papacy, he unveiled a series of reflections on which he had worked for some time. He gave these in the form of weekly general audiences between 1979 and 1984. These talks became known as “The Theology of the Body” and have had a growing impact on Christian thinking about what it means to be embodied as male or female. MORE

Copyright © 2014, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

All rights reserved.

An Encouraging Trend

By Deirdre McQuade

A March 2014 Pew Research Center study found that Americans’ support for the death penalty for convicted murderers is at its lowest level in three decades. In 1983, there was a significant gap between those in support of capital punishment (78%) and those against (18%). The majority supporting the death penalty has dropped to 55%, with a significant 37% opposing it. This major shift is an encouraging sign that, at least on this issue, society is shifting toward embracing the dignity of human life. MORE



Life Matters: Our Obligation to Protect Religious Freedom (en español)

Mark L. Rienzi, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and professor of constitutional law at The Catholic University of America, calls on Catholics and Americans to uphold the duty of protecting religious liberty.

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español

Text Only: English / en español

Order: English / en español


“Let’s say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to death.” (Pope Francis)


“Our only hope, our only confidence, our only assured promise, Lord, is Your mercy.” (St. Augustine)

“If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.” (Fulton J. Sheen )

“They were priests, and bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.” (Pope Francis; Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II)


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.

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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.