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National Organization for Marriage

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Family Research Council
JUNE 2014 | VOLUME 6.6

Supreme Court upholds religious freedom for Hobby Lobby


(CNA/EWTN News).- On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and similar employers cannot be forced to comply with the federal contraception mandate against their religious beliefs.

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the federal government had failed to prove that the mandate was the least restrictive means of advancing its goal of providing free birth control to women.

The court said that the mandate cannot be applied to closely-held corporations with religious owners who object to it. The IRS defines “closely-held corporations” as those with more than 50 percent of their stock held by five or fewer individuals.

Craft giant Hobby Lobby and its owners, the Green family, had challenged a federal mandate issued under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to offer health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

The Greens said that mandate would require them to violate their deeply-held Christian beliefs against facilitating abortion.

Failure to comply with the mandate could have resulted in fines of more than $1 million per day. In July 2013, the Greens received a temporary court injunction protecting them from the penalties until the Supreme Court ruled on their case. MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




Marriage Breakdown Threatens Society, Religious Leaders Stress

(NCRegister.com) — The redefinition of marriage and movement from its focus on children affects not only families but also entire communities and all of society, religious leaders warn. “People see marriage as a relationship between adults rather than a man and a woman coming together to bond and produce children. Rather than being a child-centered institution, it’s an adult-centered institution,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told CNA at the March for Marriage June 19. This focus on adults rather than children leads to “broken families” and a host of other social struggles, the head of the U.S. bishops’ defense-and-promotion-of-marriage committee continued. “We’ve known this because of the problem of fatherlessness for decades.” The march, which was the second national demonstration recognizing marriage’s unique role as an institution that unites a man and a woman, was held in Washington. MORE

GOOD NEWS: This 77-Year-Old Grandma Got the Supreme Court to Uphold Pro-Life Free Speech

(LifeNews.com) - Yesterday morning, in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a Massachusetts “buffer zone” law, sidewalk counselor Eleanor McCullen won the right to speak up freely to women entering abortion centers in Massachusetts. The 77 year-old grandmother recently gave a revealing interview to NPR. “I go where the Holy Spirit leads me,” she said. “It’s America and I should be able to walk and talk gently, lovingly, anywhere, with anybody.” Outside the Supreme Court earlier this year – where Bound4LIFE gathers twice weekly to pray for the ending of abortion – McCullen shared words of truth with whomever would listen: “The poorest of the poor is the child in the womb [...] Today the womb is the most unsafe place to be for a child.” McCullen was represented by the nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. MORE

Ohio Abortion Clinic Closed >>

Pope Francis Encourages Married Couples >>

Sociology Expert Says Pro-Marriage Culture Reduces Inequality

Archbishop Kurtz: Synod on the Family to Draw on ‘Richness’ of Global Church

The Church Is a Family Formed by God, Pope Says

Lawmakers reject pro-abortion sex education in public schools >>

EWTN Petitions U.S. Supreme Court for Emergency Relief From HHS Mandate

USCCB Chairmen Concerned about Reported Executive Order >>

Conn. Event Marks the Birth of Pro-Life Movement

MLK Jr’s Niece Explains Why We’re Not “Free at Last,” Hint: It’s Not Why You Think >>

How Can Unborn Babies Be a “Blob of Tissue” When They Can Feel Immense Pain During Abortion? >>

You Know How They Say The Divorce Rate In The Church Is 50%? Prepare To Be Shocked >>

Meriam Ibrahim and Her Family Released on Bail, But Not Free to Leave Sudan >>

Vatican upholds nature, importance of family in UN session >>

Mother, daughter find faith despite unexpected pregnancy >>

Meet This 7-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Who’s a New Superstar Model >>

Two Major Corporations Curb Pornography >>

This Group Provides Love and Care to Babies With Severe Disabilities Spared From Abortion >>

Catholic Site Aims To Engage Through Beauty, Accessibility >>

Gov. Jindal signs Louisiana law that saves unborn if mother is declared ‘brain-dead’ >>

Archbishop Lori: The Church Must Be Free to Imitate Christ Through Service
 >> Archbishop Sheen’s Reported Miracle Gets Second Vatican Approval >>

IRS ordered to pay $50,000 to marriage defense group >>

Bishop's letter on 'language of love' finds global audience

Life is not ours to end, Canadians say against suicide bill >>

GOOD NEWS: UN Elects Ugandan as President, Pushing Back on US LGBT Pressure

(C-FAM) Western pressure on African countries to liberalize policies on homosexuality has had a boomerang effect, uniting Africans against it and resulting in what some see as a new non-aligned movement of countries. Last week the United Nations elected a Ugandan as president of the General Assembly over  last-ditch efforts by activists who, along with the Obama administration, have condemned Uganda’s recently enacted law against homosexual acts. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists called on the Obama administration to deny Sam Kutesa's visa, but by election day at the UN, their petition had only gathered 13,466 signatures. Kutesa is Uganda’s foreign minister and defended the law internationally, stating promotion and exhibition of homosexuality “is wrong for our young people and it offends our culture.” Africans called Western criticism of Uganda an attack on national sovereignty and some noted, “the Western world criminalizes almost all of these same offenses” as the amended law, such as homosexual rape. The role of president of the General Assembly is symbolic though prominent. MORE

Vatican releases outline for October synod on the family

(CNA/EWTN News) .- Divided into three parts, the Vatican's newly released outline that will drive discussion during the upcoming synod touches on the nature of families and current challenges they face. Reflecting on the theme of “the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization,” the Oct. 5-19 third extraordinary synod of bishops was called by Pope Francis last fall in order to prepare the ordinary synod in 2015. Present at the June 26 press conference announcing the “Instrumentum Laboris” was Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and relator general of the 3rd extraordinary general assembly of the synod of bishops. In his address, Cardinal Baldisseri revealed that the outline for the bishops’ October discussion is divided into three parts, the first focusing on the communication of the Gospel in today’s world, while the second part addresses the pastoral program for the family in light of new challenges. The instrumentum concludes with the third part, which centers on an openness to life and parental responsibility in the upbringing of children. MORE

Presbyterian Denomination's Marriage Redefinition Draws Criticism

(NCRegister.org) — The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted to allow its ministers to perform same-sex “marriages” and to redefine marriage as a “commitment between two people,” drawing objections that it is moving away from Christian orthodoxy. “Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards, and in nearly every case, that rejection reinforces the decline,” Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy said June 19. “Who respects a church that only echoes the secular world?” asked Tooley, whose interdenominational organization aims to support orthodox theology and practice in mainline Protestant denominations. The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Detroit, on Thursday approved an amendment to change the definition of marriage in the denomination’s constitution, The Associated Press reported. The amendment, which passed by a vote of 429-175, defines marriage as “a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” MORE

Focus on the Family Launches ‘The Talk: Changing the Conversation’

(Family.org) – If you’re a parent who is hesitant about having “the talk” with your children, you are not alone. In efforts to help parents approach the sometimes-daunting subject of sex education, Focus on the Family has launched: “The Talk: Changing the Conversation.” Focus counselor Geremy Keeton, who authored the free downloadable guide, said it’s designed to help “empower parents to think broader and be equipped to start many small conversations with their children, throughout every age and stage.” Keeton talked to CitizenLink about ways to parents can begin, or continue, to have healthy discussions with their children about sex. CitizenLink: There are a lot of adults out there who did not get good sexual education when they were younger. What defines healthy sexual education? Geremy Keeton: It’s certainly way more than “a talk.” But many of us tend to understand the idea of sex education as a single event, maybe around age 12 or 13. That’s because we reduce sex-ed (and sex itself, for that matter) to being primarily about the body parts. MORE

GOOD NEWS: Minnesota Abortions Drop Again Thanks to Parental Notification Law

(LifeNews.com) – Teen abortions in Minnesota have declined dramatically since the state enacted a law requiring parental notification before minors undergo abortions.  Tomorrow is the 24th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Minnesota’s parental notification requirement. The law (MN Statute 144.343), strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), was passed by the Legislature with large bipartisan majorities in 1981.  It requires that both parents be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor girl.  The measure includes a judicial bypass procedure, which is required by the courts, and exceptions for rare cases. Minnesota’s law was in place until 1986, when it was enjoined by a federal district court.  The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled on June 25, 1990, in the case of Hodgson v. Minnesota, upholding both the two-parent and 48-hour requirements.  The law went back into effect that year. MORE

Major FBI bust highlights problem of human trafficking

(CNA/EWTN News) .- The arrest of nearly 300 suspected pimps and rescue of 168 children in a national bust of child sex trafficking rings across the country has drawn attention to the problem of modern slavery. “These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life,” said FBI director James B. Comey during a June 23 press conference in Washington, D.C. “These are our kids. On our street corners. Our truck stops. Our motels. These are America’s children.” “The lesson of Operation Cross Country is that our children are not for sale,” he stressed. The crackdown on sex trafficking in 106 U.S. cities was labeled “Operation Cross Country VIII” and was part of an ongoing effort to stop the exploitation of minors through the Innocence Lost National Initiative. During the week-long series of enforcement, FBI, state and local authorities recovered 168 child victims of sexual exploitation and arrested 281 suspected pimps. MORE


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

The Beatitudes, Marriage, and Family

The Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5, are at the heart of Christ’s teachings. Like the rest of the Gospel, these words are meant to be lived out in our daily lives – including in our marriages and families.  Pope Francis has preached a number of times on the significance of the Beatitudes in the Christian life, calling them a “program for holiness.”  This series, originally published on the USCCB website Marriage: Unique for a Reason, explores the way that the Beatitudes can be lived in relationships between spouses and family members. MORE

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

Speaking for Myself


By Erin Stoyell-Mulholland 


The Obama Administration has branded the HHS contraceptive mandate as a huge advancement for women’s equality. In a 2012 presidential debate, when President Obama was asked how he was going to promote women’s equality in the workplace, he responded by talking about the mandate and his efforts to ensure that all women have access to contraception. According to such statements, contraception leads to women’s equality. The subtext is that if a woman wants to be successful or equal in the workforce, she must suppress her fertility, which is viewed as a hindrance to her goals and her fulfillment. Women are sent the message –  that there is something wrong with their bodies that needs correcting if they are to be equal. To be equal to men, they must become like men. MORE



Life Matters:  Roe Plus 40 (en español)

Erika Bachiochi, Esq. breaks down what has been learned about abortion in the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision.

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español  

Text Only: English / en español

Order: English / en español




“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” (Alexis de Tocqueville)


"Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us." (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

“Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born ‘of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life’.” (Pope Francis)


"Ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave!" (Pope Francis)



The Third Way is a powerful video that seeks to bring together the truth of the Church's doctrine regarding homosexuality and the command of Christ to love one another. 

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has stated: "'The Third Way' is an exceptional film: a brief, articulate, deeply moving portrait of faithful Catholics living with same sex attraction. Anyone seeking to understand the human realities involved in a very difficult issue needs to see it." See it for yourself here.

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.