Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Broken Promises

Twitter is great for information. Today @familyandmedia posted the following:

@davquinn Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World - http://tinyurl.com/4s44zmx Edward Green (Harvard)

Below is one of the reviews on Amazon re the book: very interesting.

Amanda U. (New York City) - This review is from: Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World (Paperback)

I received this book today, and it is even more masterful than I hoped it would be. I am an investigative medical journalist. When I first interviewed Ted Green years ago, I urged him to write a book for a popular audience. He has done so, and it's truly extraordinary.

Green, you may recall, is the preeminent scientist and former head of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard, who scandalized the rulers of this present age in 2009 when he publicly agreed with Pope Benedict XVI that condom promotions are not the solution to AIDS in Africa, that the only way to reverse the pandemic is to do what Ugandans did when the pandemic began: to promote fidelity as the pillar of our AIDS response.

Although Green defended the Pope on the pages of the Washington Post, he is not a Catholic nor even a Christian. And he's certainly not a conservative. This outspoken, liberal whistle-blower takes on blind U.S. politicians and the tired old "AIDS establishment" in ways that plainly demonstrate he's his own man,a truly original thinker.

An uncompromising defender of Africans' rights to prevent the pandemic their way, anthropologist Green has long recognized the simple truth that millions of Africans lying in their graves today would still be alive if the "AIDS establishment" (a powerful coalition of Western AIDS organizations who've misspent billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars) had only heeded the African solution to AIDS and had promoted fidelity first.

Further, he has the curriculum vitae and the scientific ammunition to prove it.

Read this book. Absorb it. It will completely change your thinking about AIDS prevention in Africa. This book is a job brilliantly done. Green has suffered much for the truth, and he has not given up. In his defense of the weak and powerless, he is a hero who has risked his entire illustrious career in an attempt to get out the truth. Anyone who angrily attacks this work is knowingly or unknowingly in league with those who are promoting misleading public-health messages that have needlessly claimed millions of African lives.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Maternal mortality rate associated with abortion

photo via @kathrynlopez
A 13-year study of pregnancy-associated deaths, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that the maternal mortality rate associated with abortion is 2.95 times higher than the maternal mortality rate associated with pregnancies carried to term.

The study included the entire population of women 15-49 years of age in Finland, 1987-2000. The researchers linked birth and abortion records to death certificates.

The annual death rate of women who had abortions in the previous year was also 46% higher than that of non-pregnant women.

Women who carried to term (gave birth) had a significantly lower death rate than non-pregnant women.

Non-pregnant women had 57.0 deaths per 100,000, compared to only 28.2 for women who carried to term (gave birth), 51.9 for women who miscarried, and 83.1 deaths for women who had abortions.

[Gissler M, Berg C, Bouvier-Colle MH, Buekens P. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000. Am J Ob Gyn 2004; 190:422-427. Finland National Research and Development Center]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Would You Believe

The RTE 'Would You Believe' documentary, "Unspeakable Crimes", has made an allegation about the Vatican, using a leaked, highly confidential letter, by Luciano Storero, the then Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland. He died in 2000.

The programme stated:
The bishops met to discuss the letter. One bishop's hand written notes reveal how he understood the directive from Rome. " We have received a mandate from the Congregation for the Clergy asking us to conceal the reported crime of a priest".
All the mainstream media carried the story that the "Vatican Warned Bishops Not To Report Child Abuse"!

Having read a bit re the above, I would have to disagree.
  • the letter nowhere instructed Irish Bishops to disregard civil law reporting requirements.
  • The “moral and canonical concerns” mentioned in the letter, according to Fr. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, concerned the sacrament of confession.
  • A main concern of the letter is to ensure that when a bishop takes action against an abuser, his edict should stick – suggesting a fairly tough line on abuse, rather than a drive to cover it up.
  • The letter does not directly forbid bishops from reporting abusers to police and prosecutors. Instead, it communicates the judgment of one Vatican office that mandatory reporting policies raise concerns. It’s not a policy directive, in other words, but an expression of opinion.
  • The Vatican did not want the Irish Bishops to act independently of the Congregation of the Clergy. Because there was no unified policy from the Vatican to that date, they wanted to formulate a policy document for the English speaking world and wanted time to do this.
  • Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict — successfully petitioned Pope John Paul II to grant in 2001 his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith jurisdiction over all cases of clerical sex abuse of minors. That decision began the process of unifying the Vatican’s response and sidelined officials like Cardinal Castrillon who were pursuing divergent policies.
It does appear however, that there were power struggles going on between different departments and if any Cardinal was pursuing his own agenda to protect himself and/or other guilty priests then that Cardinal should be questioned.

The Vatican's currently stated policy, which specifies that "civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed."

Further reading:

Is Vatican letter on abuse a 'smoking gun'?
by John L Allen Jr on Jan. 19, 2011

Vatican did not tell Irish bishops to cover up abuse, says spokesman
By Cindy Wooden on Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New report confirms divisions in how Vatican officials were responding to clergy abuse cases in 1990s
Posted in [by Greg Erlandson]

Vatican critical of RTÉ documentary’s “biased treatment” of letter to Irish bishops

Vatican clarifies 1997 letter to Irish bishops

"Vatican Warned Bishops Not To Report Child Abuse"!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pater Noster

I've just read a very interesting post titled A new (really old) way of thinking about the ‘Our Father’ at Mass by Fr.Z. Fr. Z's blog is to be found here.

Cailin's new year resolution: to learn the Our Father in Latin!

Pater Noster, qui es in caelis,

sanctificétur nomen Tuum,

adveniat Regnum Tuum,

fiat volúntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.

Panem nostrum cotidiánum da nobis hódie,

et dimitte nobis débita nostra,

sicut et nos dimittímus debitóribus nostris;

et ne nos indúcas in tentationem,

sed libera nos a malo.

In memory of Pope John Paul II.
Music from Abba Pater CD.
You are My son, today I have begotten you.
I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me.
These are prophetic words. They speak of God, who is the Father
in the highest and most authentic sense of the word.
Isaiah says: "Lord, You are our Father
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we are all the work of Your hands."
Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forsake you
It is significant that in the passages from the prophet Isaiah...
the paternity of God is filled with images inspired by maternity.
Jesus refers again and again to the paternity of God in regard to mankind
by alluding to numerous passages contained in the Old Testament.
For Jesus, God is not only the Father of Israel and the Father of mankind,
but also his Father and my Father.
Our Father in heaven
hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors,
and do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
Our Father in heaven
hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors,
and do not bring us to the time of trial.

Fr. Z's conclusion is that the new idea of the Our Father is actually the old idea:
Praeceptis salutaribus moniti, et divina institutione formati, audemus dicere: (Instructed by Thy saving precepts, and following divine directions, we presume to say:) ...

The Our Father is a prayer given by God himself for us, for our salvation, so by following God's directions on this prayer we may boldly presume to say: Pater Noster.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the new Evangelization

The Vatican has announced who will sit on the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the new Evangelization, the agency headed by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella. (See here)

One of the Cardinals appointed is Cardinal Schonborn. Earlier this year, an article by John Thavis, Catholic News Service, on Cardinal Schonborn, reported the following:

In an unusual public chastisement, the Vatican said a series of statements by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn have contributed to widespread misunderstandings on issues related to clerical sexual abuse.

In particular, the Vatican took issue with Cardinal Schonborn's statement that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former secretary of state, had blocked an investigation of sexual abuse and offended victims by calling their complaints "petty gossip."

In addition, Cardinal Schonborn was said to have suggested that the church reconsider its position toward remarried divorced Catholics, who are not allowed to take Communion, and toward homosexuals in stable relationships. He also has made statements that appear to support reconsideration of the mandatory celibacy rule in the Western church.
see complete article here.

So how did this man get a top job in the New Evangelisation? Appointing young Cardinals is not always the wisest thing to do. Remember Comiskey?

Any others you might ask? Yes.

Archbishop Bernard Longley who attacked faithful pro-life/pro-family Catholics for telling inconvenient truths about the Soho Masses. One of those truths is the support for homosexual parenting among the Soho Masses organisers. Terence Weldon, a member of the Soho Masses Pastoral Council who distributes Holy Communion at the Masses, is also a homosexualist blogger who writes in favour of homosexual parenting.

Funeral held for assassinated Pakistani politician

Thousands of Pakistani police were on high alert in Lahore on Wednesday ahead of the funeral for Punjab’s provincial governor, Salam Taseer.
Taseer was assassinated by one of his security guards Tuesday in Islamabad because of his opposition to the nation’s controversial blasphemy law. The governor had also requested a pardon for Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five sentenced to death under the law.
“Taseer was a vocal and bold and courageous man,” says Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities and member of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Listen to Shahbaz Bhatti’s interview with Kelsea Brennan-Wessels:

from Vatican Radio

Buying a Birth Certificate

More on Elton John
from an article in the Independent:

The report ran: "Elton John has become a parent" -- even though the sperm-donor was in fact his partner David Furnish. But the same report also declared that both men had "fathered" the child, when we all know only one did. So: what do the words "parent" and "father" mean any more? Moreover, when we read that the entire affair cost €150,000, does the word "dollar" have the same negotiable meaning as the words "parent" and "father"?

Well, actually no, because the US Treasury has rules about the meaning of dollar: it protects the value of the currency as being vital for the state of the US economy. There is of course no longer anyone who will protect the meaning of words like "father", "mother", "parent", "family" or even "birth certificate". In this new moral order, unlike the world of finance, nothing is quite ever what it says on the tin. A birth certificate is now an ideological declaration, not a documentary fact. Kevin Myers

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace.

May Europe be reconciled to its own Christian roots, which are fundamental for understanding its past, present and future role in history; in this way it will come to experience justice, concord and peace by cultivating a sincere dialogue with all peoples.

It's pretty clear from the Pope's message for World Day of Peace that what we are seeing in Europe is the beginning of forms of political and ideological totalitarianism which emphasise public power while demeaning and restricting freedom of conscience, thought and religion as potential competitors. Whenever the legal system at any level, national or international, denies citizens the right to express publicly their religion and the right to obey their conscience, it becomes an instrument of injustice and not justice. To reject the freedom of religion is not only unjust to individuals and to God, but also to itself. Since humans are not
a creation of the state, they cannot be manipulated by the state, but must rather be acknowledged and respected by it.
Today in his homily for January 1, 2011 on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the Pope stressed once again as he had in his Peace Day message, that religious freedom is the essential element of the rule of law. “you cannot deny it,” he said, “without, at the same time, undermining all rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Read the full text here