The Culture of Life Update is now in it's FIFTH YEAR of publication!

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A variety of news sources are available to keep informed about issues related to life, marriage and the family. 

The following websites may be of interest to you:

Life Site News

Life News

National Catholic Register

Catholic News Agency

National Right to Life

Marriage In the News (from For Your Marriage)

National Organization for Marriage

Heroic News

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Family Honor


Family Research Council

It’s Official: John Paul II and John XXIII to Be Canonized April 27

Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized on April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Vatican has officially confirmed.

In a statement released this morning, the Vatican said that Pope Francis “decreed that Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II will be enrolled among the saints on April 27, 2014, the Second Sunday of Easter, of the Divine Mercy.”

The Vatican said the Holy Father announced his decision at 10am at an ordinary public consistory made up of cardinals and bishops in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, during the celebration of mid-morning prayer.

The news was widely expected. The Register was among the first to report the high probability of Divine Mercy Sunday as the chosen date when Pope Francis revealed it in a conversation earlier this month.

Although cardinals and bishops vote on the canonizations, the date is the Pope’s alone to make, in accordance with his calendar and schedule.

Vatican and Rome authorities will now set to work, preparing for what is expected to be an enormous number of pilgrims taking part in the canonizations from all over the world. MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




Supreme Knight rejects idea of contrast between Francis, Benedict

(CNA/EWTN News).- Media narratives about Pope Francis have led to a misunderstanding of his interview with Jesuit magazines, as well as a false perceived contrast between him and his predecessor, according to Carl Anderson. “The media’s narrative of Francis is something else. We are told he is a progressive, taking the Catholic Church in a profoundly new direction – uninterested in Church teaching on moral issues,” reflected Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, in a Sept. 22 essay in National Review Online. “Benedict, we are told, is conservative, doctrinaire, and old-fashioned — focused on moral issues. Neither narrative is true, because each leaves out half of the story.”  MORE

Cardinal Dolan reaffirms bishops' opposition to HHS mandate

(CNA/EWTN News).- As scores of lawsuits against the federal contraception mandate continue to move through the courts, the head of the U.S. bishops’ conference has voiced renewed commitment to defending religious liberty. “The bishops have made clear their strong, unified commitment to protecting religious freedom,” said Kim Daniels, spokesperson for Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The HHS mandate restricts the ability of Catholic apostolates to witness to our faith in its fullness,” she told CNA, “a witness that is at the core of their ministry.” MORE

Pope Francis asks doctors to spread the Gospel of Life >>

Cardinal O’Malley Calls for Compassion, Hope, Action in 2013 Respect Life Month Statement >>

House Republicans give up on pro-life, conscience regulations in ObamaCare fight >>

Vatican's new Catechism app aims to spread faith worldwide >>

China’s One-Child Policy Turns 33 as Forced Abortions, Female Infanticides Continue >>

More Than 1 Million People Alive Today Because the Hyde Amendment Stopped Abortion Funding >>

India Clinics Coerce Women Into Surrogacy, Force Them to Have Caesarian Sections >>

Pope Francis’ First Six Months >>

Why Do Catholics Pray the Rosary? >>

Lost in Translation: The Failure of the International Reproductive Rights Norm Part One: A Norm is Born  >>

Judge Says New Jersey Must Redefine Marriage >>

All Planned Parenthood services decline, except abortion, while tax subsidies soar: study >>

U.S. Government Petitions Supreme Court to Hear Appeal in Key HHS Case >>

The Undefeated: A New Pro-Life Generation Rises in California >>

Bishop Vasa: Where are the preachers ‘obsessed’ with abortion, gay ‘marriage’ and contraception? >>

Netherlands Kills 4,188 in Euthanasia Last Year and Vermont Has Fewer Safeguards

(LifeNews.com) – Although assisting suicide is only legal for a small fraction of the world’s population, its advocates in the U.S. and abroad remain focused on promoting this dangerous legislation. While opponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide have long warned of the dangers to vulnerable populations, evidence of abuse is mounting in Europe. In one country, the Netherlands, overall euthanasia deaths soared by 13 percent last year – and this included many patients with dementia and some suffering only from psychiatric problems. This poses the question, “How can those with dementia and mental illness ‘chose’ assisted suicide?” The number of people in the Netherlands killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years it has been legal. MORE

575,000 Participants, 7,500 Babies Saved But Networks Have Never Covered 40 Days for Life

(LifeNews.com) – As thousands gather across the world in a campaign against abortion, one group will likely remain absent: the media. September 25 marked the beginning of the fall 2013 40 Days for Life, an international pro-life campaign of prayer and fasting for the unborn and their mothers held in 306 cities this year. The Washington, D.C. chapter held a vigil to raise awareness the night before, hosting as speakers Catholic Information Center’s Director Father Arne Panula and Susan B. Anthony List’s Deputy Director Billy Valentine. No media attended other than the Media Research Center. The 40 Days for Life campaign boasts 575,000 participants and over 7,500 babies saved through participants who pray outside of Planned Parenthoods and other abortion clinics for 40 days. MORE

Arizona Takes Battle to Uphold Five-Month Abortion Ban to Supreme Court

(LifeNews.com) – Arizona is not giving up on its law to ban abortions after five months of pregnancy and is taking its fight to keep the law on the books to the Supreme Court. After a federal judge upheld an Arizona law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most liberal appeals courts in the nation struck is down. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion, including Roe v. Wade. The ruling does not affect similar laws passed in other states except the law in Idaho, which is also covered under the jurisdiction of the appeals court. MORE

Florida Catholics Plan Prayer Vigils to Protest Death Penalty

(NCRegister.com) — As the scheduled execution date approaches for a Florida man convicted of murder, local Catholics are offering prayers and renewing their call for an end to the practice of the death penalty. “Even those who have committed terrible deeds and caused great pain possess a human dignity that is inherent in all persons,” said the Florida Catholic Conference in a statement. “This dignity, instilled by our Creator, is neither earned, nor can it be forfeited.” The conference urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott to spare the life of Marshall Gore, who is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 1 for the murder of Susan Roark and Robyn Novick. MORE

GOOD NEWS: New Orleans schools adjust schedules to keep Sunday sacred

(CNA/EWTN News).- A new policy for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans aims to reclaim Sunday as a day focused on faith and family rather than sports matches and social events. The policy is “rooted in the fact that people have a number of obligations and commitments. Our society is fast-paced,” Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond told the New Orleans Advocate. “In living such a hectic life, people neglect sometimes, not purposefully, the very basics of faith and family.” Archbishop Aymond started asking schools to reduce the number of events scheduled on Sundays during the 2012-2013 school year, alongside his declaration of 2013 as a “Year of Family and Faith.”  MORE

New Poll shows majority of the public dislikes ObamaCare, even more feel uninformed

(National Right to Life News) – As the United States House and Senate jockey over funding ObamaCare and the “health insurance exchanges” it created are about to launch, a Washington Post/ABC News poll released today speaks volumes about how the public sees the “Affordable Care Act” three years later. Overall the results show opposition to ObamaCare and a deep conviction neither the federal government nor the states are prepared. The headline to the ABC News story explaining the results is “Obamacare Arrives 3 Years Later, Little Understood and Not Well-Liked.” What do the results tell us?  MORE



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Used according to permission guidelines.

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The statistics on domestic violence are heartbreaking. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women, and one in seven men, have been the victims of severe physical violence by an “intimate partner” (boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse) at some point in their life. MORE

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


Will You Have to Pay for Abortions in Your Health Plan? (en español)

By Richard M. Doerflinger

It's enough to confuse anyone. Some supporters of the new health care law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) say it will not spend taxpayer funds on abortion coverage. Yet we're hearing that Americans purchasing a health plan on the "exchanges" now being set up in most states must pay a monthly surcharge for elective abortions. What are the facts? 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



“Parents are called to teach their children to defend life, beginning with life in the womb, recognizing that life is a gift from God and an assurance for the future of humanity.” (Pope Francis)


“The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!” (Pope Francis)


"Faith in action is love, and love in action is service. By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God Himself, with Jesus our Lord."  (Mother Teresa)

“Politicians who say they personally oppose abortion, but then don’t work to change the laws in order to protect unborn life, are examples of the most damaging kind of secularism.  Their faith life has virtually no effect on their public service.”  (Archbishop Charles Chaput)


“Really, most of us live below the level of our energy. And in order to be happy, we have to do more. Now, we can do more, spiritually and every other way. . . so you see how important it is to have in the mind to do all that you can. To work to the limit of your ability. Our world is really suffering from indifference. Indifference is apathy, not caring. I wonder maybe if our Lord does not suffer more from our indifference, than he did from the Crucifixion.” (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)



Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College  The Cardinal Newman Society, dedicated to promoting and preserving authentic Catholic identity in higher education, publishes a guide of recommended Catholic colleges and universities.  Learn about faithful Catholic colleges on their website here.

 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. 



Dump Starbucks The National Organization for Marriage is urging customers across the globe to 'Dump Starbucks' because it has taken a corporate-wide position that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become equally 'normal'.  As such, Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers, and the vast majority of its international customers.  On January 24th, 2012, Starbucks issued a memorandum declaring that same-sex marriage 'is core to who we are and what we value as a company.  Learn more about the position of Starbucks and the petition here.


FAFOur First American Freedom  The National Catholic Register writes: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a new website dedicated to encouraging education, prayer and public action to protect religious freedom at home and abroad. As our first American freedom, religious liberty is “a founding principle of our country, protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights,” said the U.S. bishops on their new website.




marriage videoThe Case for Man/Woman Marriage  There is intense pressure in Ireland and other countries to redefine marriage. A new video from The Iona Insitute sets out the case for man/woman marriage and how marriage as presently defined is our most vital and child-centred social institution. We believe our video is one of the shortest (less than two minutes long!), most succinct and user-friendly on this matter anywhere. We urge you to watch it, to email it to your friends and to post it on your Facebook page and elsewhere. 




Decent FilmsThe Decent Films Guide is the online home of the film writing of Steven D. Greydanus. Steven is film critic for the National Catholic Register and writes regularly for Catholic Digest, Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues. He is a member of Online Film Critics Society. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy.  Read his reviews here.



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.