Category Archives: Monthly Newsletter

Powerful Weapons: Prayer & Prayerful Planning

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Remembering Aborted Babies

On Saturday, Sept. 12th, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life & Pro-Life Action League will co-sponsor the 8th annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, calling on pro-life Americans to hofnor the grave sites of our aborted brothers and sisters. Solemn prayer vigils will be conducted at 54 such grave sites as well as at dozens of other sites dedicated in memory of aborted children.

Tens of thousands of these children have been retrieved & buried at grave sites across our nation. The stories of how they were killed, how they were found, and how they were buried, along with the pictures and videos that document those events, are powerful tools to awaken the consciences of our fellow citizens. But while a funeral and burial for an aborted baby may be a relatively rare event, the opportunity to visit the burial places and recall how those children got there shouldn’t be.

The first National Day of Remembrance was held in Sept. 2013 on the 25th anniversary of the solemn burial of the earthly remains of some 1,500 abortion victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Videos from past Day of Remembrance memorial services can be found on the National Day of Remembrance Facebook page.

Pro-lifers are also encouraged to carry on the spiritual mission of the Day of Remembrance throughout the year by visiting a grave site of aborted children or other memorial site to offer prayers of mourning for the victims of abortion. You could pray one of the suggested prayers (found at its website): Prayer at a Gravesite or Memorial Site; Prayer of Mourning for Victims of Abortion; Prayer for Those Who Have Lost a Child to Abortion.

“A nation that kills its children in the womb has lost its soul.” Saint Mother Teresa

U.S. Catholic Bishops Speak Out

The U.S. Catholic Bishops have stated: that the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, because of the number of lives it destroys. Despite all of the other issues we face in this nation, we are urged to pray specifically to end abortion in our country, and for the protection of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. 

A Better Way to Plan Your Family

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the most effective, natural, healthy & inexpensive system for couples trying to achieve pregnancy, couples having fertility concerns or couples planning to postpone pregnancy – all by observing natural signs of fertility.

Research shows NFP is as effective as the birth control pill (but has no hormonal side-effects), can help monitor your reproductive health, and can help strengthen the couple’s relationship. These methods successfully address: delaying or achieving pregnancy; hormonal imbalance; infertility; menstrual cycle abnormalities; endometriosis; PMS; and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The two most popular & effective methods are the Creighton Method and the Marquette Method. Creighton relies upon the standardized observation & charting of biological markers that are essential to a woman’s health and fertility. The bio-markers also indicate abnormalities in a woman’s health. It is the only family planning system which has net- worked family planning with gynecologic and procreative healthcare, and health maintenance. Many physicians have been trained to incorporate the Creighton Method into their medical practice. It is great for those with normal or abnormal cycles or those struggling with infertility.

What sets the Marquette Method apart from most other methods is its incorporation of hormone monitoring as well as simplifying sometimes unclear signs of fertility. A woman can track her hormone levels through her cycle using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor together with the Marquette Method to identify her fertile window. This method provides clear and objective hormone readings taking much of the guesswork out of natural family planning. It is great for those with normal or abnormal cycles or postpartum.

For all NFP methods, couples need to be diligent and have plenty of self-control. They have to follow instructions completely to be successful.

To sign up for an NFP intro class, or reach trained medical providers in the NYC metro area, contact the Office of Family Life, Diocese of Paterson, NJ. [https://insidethewalls.org/nfp] 

College and Dorm Life

Students typically spend only 15 hours per week in the classroom. Unfortunately, binge drinking, drug use and hook-up culture are common on most college campuses. College students report high rates of STDs, pregnancies, abortions and sexual assaults.

“That’s no way to grow in faith and maturity” says the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS). It has identified faithful Catholic colleges where “chastity and clean living are encouraged. Most of them provide single-sex dorms, which most other colleges have abandoned. Even more helpful, some preserve the privacy of bedrooms, forbid- ding opposite-sex visitors at all times of the day. We think this is ideal–a common-sense, traditional practice that protects privacy, chastity and safety” and reduces the likelihood of sexual assault against female students. At a truly faithful Catholic college, “you’ll find a culture that respects chastity, charity and virtue. And you’ll make good friends who share your priorities and values–the sort of friendships that can last a lifetime!”

CNS also sponsors a $5,000 essay contest for high school seniors. [www.newmansociety.org]

Learning or a “College Experience”?

Schools across America are fiercely competing to offer the best buildings and recreation centers, the most things to do around campus, all tied together with the biggest scholarships package. We have stopped emphasizing the bachelor’s degree and now emphasize the “college experience.” Yet professors determined to undermine even the most rooted Christians lurk on campuses far and wide. Biases exist in almost all subject areas, many of them propelled by an anti-Christian agenda.

Even if a Catholic Newman Center on a campus is active, college is hard enough without having your beliefs challenged at every turn. Unfortunately, while many colleges claim to be Catholic, few adhere to Church teaching in the classroom and on campus. [Elizabeth O’Donnell, College: a Choice of Life or Death, Ave Maria Magazine, Summer 2020]

U.S. Birthrate Hits New Low

“American women had babies at record-low rates last year and pushed U.S. births down to their smallest total in 35 years, according to federal figures. The total fertility rate, i.e., the average number of babies a woman would have over her lifetime, ticked down to 1.7 in 2019. Almost every year since 1971, that rate has been below 2.1, which is the level needed for the population to replace itself, without accounting for immigration.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/20/20] 

Preparing for October

Each year the month of October is designated as Respect Life Month. Some of the activities that will be available to us include prayerful participation in the one-day National Life Chain, “baby showers” that solicit donations of clothing for pregnant moms, and sign-ups for the March of Life (in January). Some parishes may host guest speakers or discuss films. In addition, the 40 Days for Life campaign for picketing Planned Parenthood will be in full swing during the month, having started on September 23rd.

Jesus, Son of an Unwed Mom

“As Christians we first met Jesus as a stirring embryo in the womb of an unwed mother and saw him born 9 months later in the poverty of the cave. It’s no coincidence that Jesus stood up for what was just and was ultimately crucified because what he said wasn’t politically correct or fashionable. As followers of Christ we are called to stand up for life. Against the politically correct or fashionable of today we must fight against a legislative agenda that supports and even celebrates destroying life in the womb. The laws we create define how we see our humanity. We must ask ourselves, what are we saying when we go into a room and snuff out an innocent, powerless, voiceless life?”

So said soldier, surgeon and religious sister Deirdre Byrne. A retired colonel in the U.S. Army and a member of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Byrne has done missionary work with the poor and sick across the globe, including in countries like Haiti, Sudan and Kenya. During her time in the military, she discerned a religious vocation, and sought a religious order that would not require her to give up her work in the medical field. Her discernment led Byrne to her order, an Italian pontifical institute founded in the late 19th century with the primary apostolates of teaching and medical care, and present in Washington DC since 1954.

“The largest marginalized group in the world can be found in the U.S. They are the unborn,” she said. “As a physician I can say without hesitation, life begins at conception.”

At his party’s convention, the U.S. President said: “On September 11, 2001, the sister raced to Ground Zero, through smoke and debris, she administered first aid and comfort to all. Today Sister Byrne runs a medical clinic serving the poor in our nation’s capital. Sister, thank you for your lifetime of service. Thank you.” [www.LifeNews.com, 8/27/20] 

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and has over 30,000 readers. To receive a copy in your inbox, email editor Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at tinarifr@shu.edu

Pro-Life Legal Victories … and Defeats

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Supreme Court: No Discrimination Against Religious Schools!

In a 5-4 ruling upholding a Montana program to provide student scholarships for use at religious schools, the U.S. Supreme Court also in effect repudiated a 19th-century monument to anti- Catholic bigotry known as the Blaine Amendment.

The ruling reversed a 2018 Montana Court decision based on the state constitution’s Blaine provision barring aid to any school “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect or denomination.” That provision is named for Senator James Blaine who in the 1870s argued for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to bar use of public funds at religious schools. Coming at a time when immigration was rapidly increasing the Catholic population and Catholic parochial schools were growing in number, the proposal was widely seen as a reflection of Protestant anxieties about rising Catholic numbers and influence. While Blaine never did become part of the federal Constitution, 37 states eventually adopted their own versions.

In a statement following the decision, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, said: “This decision means that religious persons & organizations can, like everyone else, participate in government programs that are open to all. This is good news, not only for people of faith, but for our country. A strong civil society needs the full participation of religious institutions. By ensuring the rights of faith-based organizations’ freedom to serve, the court also promotes the common good.”

In his majority opinion, Roberts relied heavily on a 2017 Supreme Court decision (Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer) that held that a Lutheran church in Missouri that operated a day school was entitled to receive funds from a state program for upgrading playgrounds as a safety measure. That decision, Roberts said, held that “disqualifying otherwise eligible recipients from a public benefit ‘solely because of their religious character’ imposes a penalty” on religious free exercise. Thus Montana’s denial of scholarships for use at a religious school did not pass muster. [Russell Shaw, Our Sunday Visitor, 6/30/20]

Supreme Court Rejects Louisiana Abortion Restrictions

The Court struck down the law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their practice. The opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo is quite fractured and legally technical. It does not bring the pro-life movement any closer to overthrowing Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey; but it does not likely move us further away from that end either. More litigation to that end is still required.

The narrow 5-to-4 ruling agreed that the burdens it imposed upon women were greater than its claimed health benefits. Yet Justice Gorsuch wrote of the dangers that abortionists in Louisiana pose to their patients. He noted the extraordinarily lax reviews the clinics conduct prior to hiring abortionists, reporting that abortion clinics had previously allowed ophthalmologists & radiologists to perform abortions! He also pointed to the many ethical and safety violations that Louisiana abortion clinics had committed in the past.

Employing detailed geographic & doctor-specific details (and even maps, printed in the opinion), the Court concluded that the vast majority of doctors and clinics would go out of business were the admitting-privileges law to stand, leaving many women without a sufficiently-close-by abortionist. But Gorsuch noted that one Louisiana doctor already had such privileges, that one hospital was already changing its admitting-privileges rules in order to make it easier for abortionists to succeed, and that privileges requirements applied to other types of ambulatory surgical centers (for example, colonoscopies, Lasik eye treatments) had not diminished the number of those centers able to continue operating. Also, Gorsuch highlighted the testimony of women abandoned by their abortionists to seek follow-up care, after the doctors had botched their abortion procedures.

Finally, only Justice Thomas took direct aim at Roe and Casey. In memorable language, he referred to the reading of the Constitution on which it is based as “legal fiction” and the “putative right to abortion [as] a creation that should be undone.” He wrote that it is “farcical” to imagine that the legislators who created the 14th Amendment’s “due process” language intended it to protect a procedure nearly completely banned in every state and territory in the U.S. at the time it was passed. He called Roe a “demonstrably erroneous” decision. [Helen Alvaré, Commentary, National Catholic Register, 6/29/20]

Risks of High-Tech Birth Control

In the 1960s, when birth control devices and chemicals became prominent, the only common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were syphilis and gonorrhea. Today, at least 25 STDs are known, some which are incurable, and at least eight new pathogens have been identified since 1980, including HIV. Many of these STDs, such as chlamydia and human papillomavirus (HPV), greatly increase a woman’s risk of cancer. None of the “contraceptives” listed in this brochure prevent or protect against STDs or AIDS. Yet organizations like International Planned Parent- hood Federation thrust these methods upon trusting teenage girls, much to the detriment of their future health. [Concerned Women for America brochure, compiled by Catherine Hurlburt cwfa.org]

National NFP Awareness Week

July 19-25, 2020, the dates of National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25), which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, married love and responsible parenthood. Very helpful information about the benefits of NFP, how it works and its effectiveness, is available at the www.usccb.org website.

Gerber Baby Photo Contest Winner

The original “Gerber baby” was Ann Turner Cook, now 93. A charcoal sketch of her cherubic face became the company’s official trademark. Since 2010, Gerber has held a photo contest to select a new baby brand ambassador each year. In 2018, the first Gerber baby with Down Syndrome was chosen.

This year, the contest winner is an adopted baby, another first. Magnolia Earl, age 1, charmed the judges “with her joyful expression, playful smile and warm, engaging gaze.” Her mother, Courtney, confirmed in a statement that Magnolia brings “joy to everyone she meets” and recalled speaking on the phone a year earlier with Magnolia’s birth mother, who was in labor. “The real heroes in this story are Magnolia’s birth parents,” she told the Today Show. “They chose her life and they sent her on an incredible journey.” It’s a story, and a photo, worth sharing – kudos for Gerber for recognizing it as much. [National Review, 6/1/20]

Rapper West Upsets Secularists

Kanye West announced last October that he has turned a corner in his life, converting to Christianity. In May GQ magazine interviewed him. “When you’re not in service to God, you can end up being in service to everything else,” he said. That is certainly true of many in the entertainment world. Tinseltown is known for alcoholism, drugs, promiscuity, and high rates of depression and suicide. Responding to a question that religion is a system of control, West said: “I see opportunity for creativity inside our faith.” Christianity may be restrictive, but it is a healthy tonic. It is not restraint that levels people–it is the abandonment of it.

Cultural elites who once embraced West are uneasy with his conversion. Some seem to have liked him better when he was offending people. The secular kings & queens who comprise the entertainment industry prefer raunch to the sacred. Kanye West should be welcomed, not disparaged, for going against the grain of the dominant culture. Given his huge following among young people, maybe he can help to transform it. [Catholic League, The Catalyst, 6/20]

Why Prolifers Resist “Legal” Abortion

A just law is a code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. One has a moral responsi- bility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Aug- ustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.” [Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr., 4/16/1963]

Brief Clips

[Our Sunday Visitor, 5/17/20]

  • The number of new marriages is 6.5 to every 1,000 people in the U.S., the lowest in recent years, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics
  • “Modern society is in the process of formulating an anti-Christian creed, and resisting this creed is punished by social excommunication.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, quoted in a new biography published in German on May 4.
  • Only 20% of Christian congregations in the U.S. hear sermons that mention abortion, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey that analyzed sermons shared online, April 7 to June 1, 2019.

HALO Helps Disabled & Elderly

The Healthcare Advocacy & Leadership Organiza- tion promotes, protects and advocates for the rights of the medically vulnerable through direct patient & family interactions, community education programs, & development of concrete “life-affirming health- care” alternatives for those facing healthcare rationing and unethical practices, especially those at risk of euthanasia and assisted suicide. [halovoice.org]

The Virus, Life Issues and a “New Normal”

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Theology of the Body Virtual Conference

On the weekend of May 8-10 there will be over 60 of the best known Catholic speakers and evangelists speaking on the topic. This conference will be available worldwide between Friday, May 8, 2020, at 12PM EDT to Sunday, May 10, 2020, at Midnight. This online event is offered at NO COST! Register at https://www.tobvirtualconference.com There is also available a discounted Premium Pass Option for those who want access to the conference after May 10th.

Neural Evidence That Two Really Do Become One

Long-term married couples have been reported to share personality and behavioral similarities, but whether long-term marriage would shape the brain is hitherto unknown. In this study, 35 pairs of long-term married couples living together at least 30 years, were recruited. The results provide objective evidence that long-term marriage shapes brain network organization, and the combination of initial personality traits and long-term common experience of the couples may be potential factors that account for similar brain network organizations between couples. [multiple authors, Neural evidence for long-term marriage shaping the functional brain network organization between couples, NeuroImage, Oct. 2019]

Vaccines Using Aborted Babies’ Cells?

Several companies including Pfizer, J&J, Oxford Univ., Moderna, & Merck have been work- ing very quickly to develop Covid-19 vaccines. Some are beginning human clinical trials. [Wall St. Jnl., 4/29/20]

Prominent bioethics groups are raising concerns because British scientists used cell lines derived from aborted babies in their experiments, something many pro-life and Catholic leaders have been urging scientists not to do. Though vaccines can save lives, pro-life advocates believe they should not be developed using materials derived from human rights abuses, including abortions. They note that ethical alternatives are available, and they can be just as successful.

Joseph Meaney, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (Philadelphia), stated that scientists tend to use cells derived from aborted babies out of “convenience,” even though they have ethical alternatives. “Many companies don’t use them & develop good vaccines” he said.

Catholic leaders, including Meaney, are urging people to “insist on ethical scientific research that has no links to abortion or the killing of embryos.” American Catholic bishops are raising similar concerns. In a recent letter, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas urged people to stand strong against the “evil practice” of using aborted baby body parts to develop vaccines. “Just because the crime of abortion is considered legal in our nation does not mean it is morally permissible to use the dead bodies of these children to cure a global pandemic,” he wrote. “Emphatically, this practice is evil.”

U.S. Catholic bishops sent a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure vaccines are being produced ethically. Pro-life leaders also have highlighted how ethical alternatives to tissue from aborted babies are available, including pluripotent stem cells and tissue from placentas, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid. In 2018, the U.S. administration created a $20 million grant to invest in these ethical research alternatives. Recently, the Charlotte Lozier Institute noted that at least 60 potential treatments for the virus are being investigated right now using materials that do not come from aborted babies. [Possible New Coronavirus Vaccine Made With Cells Taken From Aborted Babies, LifeNews.com, 4/28/20]

AVM Biotechnology is one of the ethically-based companies that has started clinical trials of its drug. [clinicaltrials@avmbiotech.com]

Dear College Students, RE Covid-19

I was a junior in college on 9/11, and even as shattering as that day was, most of us went back to class several days later in a way that removed us from the enduring loss. What makes this pandemic different is that no one is immune. We are likely to see illness and even death on a scale few if any of us have seen before. People we know are going to lose their jobs, if they have not lost them already. All this distancing will lead to increased feelings of loneliness, and many of us already felt lonely.

We have already begun to experience the losses that will not be recouped: “normal” is undergoing change. And so you come face-to-face with the irrefutable lesson that many of us do not learn until much later, if at all: life is about loss. That sounds fatalistic and pessimistic, but it is honest and potentially freeing.

It is freeing if we learn to accept that our lives are on loan and we are meant to give our lives over to others. The illusion of youth hides that; the honesty of adulthood unveils it. The irony of adulthood is that precisely when we reach that point where it seems our independence will have been maximized, we are reminded of our dependence both from within our own bodies and from the world around us. That is “the gift” of this pandemic: the truth is being laid bare—we are all vulnerable and dependent, and far more is contingent than certain.

So, here is my advice: accept the losses as losses, then find a way to give. That sounds completely counterintuitive, because so many of our instincts direct us to try to find a way to recoup our losses, which lead us down the road to sorrow and futility. We were vulnerable before this and we will be vulnerable “after.” The call in this season is to throw off the illusion of invulnerability and live together in truth. That is what college was supposed to lead you to anyway: Truth. [Leonard J. DeLorenzo, Ph.D., Notre Dame professor, excerpts from “Dear Students: There Is No Afterwards,” in Catholic Education, 3/25/20] On March 2nd, Virginia became the 20th state to ban “conversion therapy” for minors.

On March 4th, it made its Dept. of Educ. create pro-“transgender” public school policies. It also passed “gender transition” healthcare coverage and continues to rapidly advance bills for “non-binary” driver’s licenses, easier changes for birth certificates, repealing protections for faith-based adoption/foster care, all with no exceptions for religious freedom. [U.S. Conf. Catholic Bishops]

States May Ban Abortions During Pandemic

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-to-1 ruling allowed Texas to suspend most abortions in the state during the coronavirus public-health crisis. In times of great emergency, states can reasonably restrict constitutional rights to protect public safety, the court’s majority said. “That settled rule allows the state to restrict, for example, one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home. The right to abortion is no exception,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the court.

The fast-moving litigation is shaping up as the leading test case of whether states can use a national health emergency to place sweeping restrictions on abortion, despite constitutional pro- tections for abortion rights previously established by the Supreme Court. Abortion providers who sued could now ask the appeals court to reconsider the issue with more judges participating, or they could seek emergency intervention from the Supreme Court. [Brent Kendall and Elizabeth Findell, Wall St. Jnl., 4/7/20]

MLK’s Niece Banned from Speaking

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), pro-life students filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Georgia Tech, accusing its student government of discriminating against Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece Alveda King. The Student Government Association said that King’s pro-life views could be offensive. King is a celebrated pro-life and civil rights leader. In September, she spoke at Georgia Tech about her civil rights work and encouraged students to continue the cause.

Two student leaders of the pro-life club paid for the event themselves because the student govern- ment association refused to. Yet all students pay into a student activities fund to help pay for such events. ADF’s Caleb Dalton said: “Georgia Tech’s policy allowed discrimination against Ms. King because she was accused of leading an ‘inherently religious’ life. Under such a standard, Martin Luther King himself would not be welcome on campus. Public universities are supposed to be the market- place of ideas, but that marketplace can’t function if a university grants funding only to student groups whose views the university favors.”

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said student pro-life clubs face opposition all across the country: “The Constitution is clear that public universities can’t engage in the type of discrimination that has taken place at Georgia Tech.” [Georgia Tech Faces Lawsuit After Discriminating Against A. King Because She’s Pro-Life, LifeNews.com, 4/2/20]

City Denies Care in Pandemic, Yet Allows Surgical Abortions

While NYC was still in the throes of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreak, ambulances responded to a medical emergency at the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood on April 24th. This was the 13th medical emergency at the high-volume abortion facility in the past 15 months. At the time of the emergency, the city was enduring a lockdown that included a ban on elective surgeries … except for abortion.

“While legitimate NY businesses are closed and hospitals are denying care to people needing procedures such as organ transplants and cancer surgeries, abortion businesses are operating on all cylinders and Planned Parenthood sends women with botched abortions to occupy precious hospital beds,” said Troy Newman, Operation Rescue Pres. “New Yorkers are suffering without jobs or medical care, while abortion businesses rake in record profits. Planned Parenthood is given preferential treatment by the governor who made killing babies top priority in his state.” [Cheryl Sullenger, LifeNews.com, 4/27/20]

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a single-sheet bulletin insert, and is now posted on four diocesan websites. To receive your free copy, email editor Frank Tinari, tinarifr@shu.edu 

Easter Alleluia! … in a World Turned Upside-Down

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Priest Hears Confessions in Outdoor Shed

Fr. Daniel O’Mullane, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Boonton NJ, sits in a grey shed on church grounds while parishioners walk up to the shed window to make their confessions. Fr. Dan sits on a folding chair behind a fabric screen six feet away, counseling parishioners and prescribing penance. [The Beacon, 4/2/20]

That is one of the many unique ways our faithful priests serve their flock. Other priests are reaching out to homebound parishioners through video chats & podcasts. Many are livestreaming Masses, sending regular updates to their parishioners, providing counseling and teaching virtually, and going live on social media to offer love, support and prayer to their communities. Some have even set up drive-up Eucharistic adoration. Taking all due precautions, priests are visiting & comforting the sick in hospitals. Several bishops have provided leadership, especially those who literally have brought the Eucharist to all corners of their dioceses.

We can only pray that what we are witnessing in Italy does not come to the U.S. As of the beginning of April, more than 60 Italian priests have died. Many were hospital chaplains and likely contracted the virus by administering the sacraments to the sick & dying. Their sacrifice, made in service to the Church its people, cannot be forgotten. [Editorial, Our Sunday Visitor, 4/5/20]

Postscript: At the end of last month, the Dept. of Homeland Security included “clergy for essential support” in its definitive list of federal agency personnel. Thus, they are treated like first responders, moving and ministering on the front lines.

Ohio Abortionists Defy Closure Order

“After being told that they must stop all abortion procedures to fight the spread of the coronavirus and to avoid using precious protective gear needed for health care workers tending to those suffering from the disease, abortion providers in Ohio are defying orders to close up shop. In a joint statement, Ohio Planned Parenthood leaders said the it “can still continue providing essential procedures, including surgical abortions.” On March 20, Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson told the clinics that “if you or your facility do not immediately stop … the Dept. of Health will take all appropriate measures.” It’s unfathomable that while some doctors and nurses are working tirelessly to keep people alive, at their own risk, others are claiming that ending human life is an “essential service.” [Our Sunday Visitor, 4/5/20]

For Teens Stuck at Home

Did you see Teen Vogue is back encouraging teens as young as thirteen to sext? Last month the magazine posted a Snapchat Discovery story with the following message and worse: “Like Anything Worth Doing, Sexting Takes Practice.”

Last week, the Human Life Alliance launched the 2020/21 teen abstinence magazine Just for Girls/Just for Guys. Put your pro-life beliefs into action during the COVID-19 epidemic by giving copies of this important magazine to a teen you know today. Now’s a perfect time—they’re captive at home due to the virus.

The content is irresistible, practical, appealing, all in the format of a glossy magazine. It has science, advice, stories, etc. And even though young people aren’t reading that much anymore, they read this. They get immediately engrossed in it when they sit down. At first they might giggle a bit, but then they get very serious. Request your copy today. The teen you love will be glad you cared enough to share Just for Girls/Just for Guys with them. [www.humanlife.org]

Life and Death

The Easter season doesn’t end with Holy Week but begins on Easter Sunday. Go back to read one of the Gospel accounts of when the tomb was found empty. This is the center point of human history and should take on that significance in our lives. The season means life has conquered death – new life is available for all. For those of us who struggle to promote respect for all human life, Easter gives us renewed hope that truth will defeat falsehood, that light will overpower darkness, and a culture of life will outshine a culture of death. So, no matter what sorrow surrounds us, no matter the difficulties of the current pandemic, we can be filled with hope and joy. Happy Easter!!

If God Is All Powerful, Why Does He Allow This?

Gideon asked this question in the biblical narrative of Judges. That was in the 12th century B.C. Such questions plague even the strongest people of faith. Facing the pandemic, many today struggle to believe and to hope. The question of evil, pain and suffering in the world is ultimately a question of God’s existence. God doesn’t explain why to us. It remains a mystery. But He does show us how to defeat the enemy. God has gifted us with the means to deal with the evils we face. The many health care workers, the doctors and nurses, our government officials, religious leaders, volunteers and all people of good will who are doing their best to fight this battle: they are God’s response. “By my strength, my help, my grace, you can do it!” [Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, The Question of God in the Midst of a Pandemic, April 2020]

Marriage Involves Procreating New Life

As human beings, we possess bodies and souls. Basically, all humans grow and eventually decline. All need nourishment, air and water. All are subject to disease. All die. All have the emotional ability to love, even heroically. All are inclined to relate, very personally and perhaps exclusively, with others. All have the potential to procreate new life in personal conjunction with another human of the opposite gender.

The sacrament of marriage provides true believers the opportunity to pursue the purpose for which God created them. It enables & enhances the human inclination to love unselfishly and without qualification. Marriage also involves procreation since humans are capable of uniting with others in creating new life. In the ideal, procreation should occur in a loving marital relationship that provides a mother and father for children that are brought into the world. The Catholic Church supports traditional marriage because it is part of a much larger vision of who & what we are, as humans created by God to love and serve Him. [Msg. Owen F. Campion, Our Sunday Visitor, 1/19/20]

If the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination, then the common outcry, justly made on behalf of human rights (for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture), is false and illusory. [Pope John Paul II, The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 1988.]

WHO Claims Abortion is “Essential”

The World Health Organization recently stated: “Women’s choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health care should be respected, irrespective of whether or not she has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.” However, medical groups representing over 33,000 doctors disagree. Yet, WHO insists that “services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak,” adding that it provides both global technology and policy guidance to WHO members “on the use of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy, safe abortion, and treatment of complications from unsafe abortion.” [Ed: As of April 7th, there have been 1,429,437 cases of the coronavirus worldwide and 82,074 people have died from the virus.]

In the USA, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana, Mississippi & Iowa have declared abortions non-essential and banned these procedures to preserve equipment & resources for fighting coronavirus. Yet Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii and Virginia, that have all banned elective medical procedures, have made an exception for abortion procedures. [Mary Margaret Olohan, www.LifeNews.com, 4/6/20]

Next Battleground: Chemical Abortion

The Mifeprex abortion pill regimen is used for aborting babies up to 10 weeks old at which point the baby already has a heartbeat, head, hands, feet, fingers & toes. The rate of chemical abortions in the United States is at an all-time high.

The increase is being driven by the abortion industry, which regards drug-based do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around state-level pro-life laws. Mifeprex is subject to the FDA’s drug safety program because it carries life-threatening risks. The abortion industry wants the restriction lifted in order to have abortion pills available through the pharmacy & the mail, making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the industry.

Abortion advocates once claimed that legal abortion would alleviate the danger to women of “back-alley” abortions. Yet, the health complications that often result from an induced chemical abortion are eerily similar to those “back-alley” abortions, including severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, possible emergency surgery & even death. In addition, the woman, who may or may not have health insurance coverage, is expected to bear the added cost of any complications.

Over-the-counter abortion drugs could have radical implications for women’s health and safety, especially pertaining to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, sex trafficking and accurate patient assessment. It appears that advancing the abortion industry’s agenda for the abortion pill regimen is about political, ideological & financial goals—not care for women. [Patrina Mosley, Family Research Council, www.frc.org]

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a single-sheet bulletin insert, and posted on four diocesan websites. To receive your free copy, email editor Frank Tinari, tinarifr@shu.edu 

Culture Divide on Life Continues (September 2019)

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Division Exists on Many Issues

While a federal Commission on Unalienable Rights makes its plans, Hollywood tries to normalize acceptance of abortion and the NY Times publishes a piece by a gynecologist who argues that sexually transmitted diseases should no longer have any stigma. While abortion groups issue their ‘Blueprint’ to promote abortion without limits, the federal government implements a partial end to funding abortion and a doctor has successfully filed an injunction against New Jersey’s new physician-assisted suicide law. The U.S. population is seriously divided on issues related to the culture of life. Here are a few details:

  • Mary Ann Glendon has been appointed chairwoman of the administration’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights. She is a former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and a Harvard Law professor with an extensive back- ground in international human rights. The commission will re-examine the nation’s distinctive rights tradition, and study the Universal Declara- tion on Human Rights issued in 1948 by the UN with involvement of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. “The world is confused about human rights,” she said. “Many regimes not only ignore basic freedoms but also make deliberate efforts to undermine our common ground of human rights.” [National Catholic Register, 8/18/19]
  • Hollywood agents, celebrities and producers were recently invited to a ‘diversity summit’ to hear a pitch from an abortion attorney on the need to normalize abortion on television. Such tactics are working. There are more TV shows putting a positive spin on women who have had an abortion. [Bill Donohue, Catholic League]
  • Dr. Jen Gunter says it is better to called STDs ‘sexually transmitted infections’ that reduces their stigma. She states that no sort of sexual behavior is “wrong” and yet 50% of sexually active people will have at least one STD by age 25. The viral forms that persist worry people. “The idea of an infection that you can’t get rid of is very challeng- ing.” Between 2013 and 2017, the number of cases of gonorrhea increased 67% and syphilis by 75%. [J. Gunter, Why sexually transmitted infections can’t shake their stigma, NY Times, 8/25/19] We wonder if the good doctor ever considered encouraging patients to change their behavior.
  • A coalition of nearly 80 pro-abortion groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL released a ‘Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Justice’ that outlines their vision for the future of abortion: no restrictions, no religious exemptions and full funding by the U.S. government. They argue that the government should mandate that Catholic & religious hospitals provide abortion and “gender- affirming” care, and that parental notification for pregnant minors be eliminated.
  • Updated federal regulations state that no longer will Title X funds be granted to a clinic that provides abortion on site or refers teenage girls or adult women to an abortion provider. Planned Parenthood is refusing to comply with these requirements and thus will no longer be able to tap into this portion of federal money. On August 19, Human Life Review President and Editor, Maria McFadden Maffucci, said “For too many years, the U.S. government has wrongly permitted American taxpayer dollars to abet Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates in terminating millions of innocent unborn babies. Federal law outright states that no taxpayer dollars shall be used to abort an unborn child. The new regulations now make that crystal clear.”
  • In a letter (8/22/19) to The Beacon (Paterson Diocese), Sean Parkot reported that a physician and orthodox Jew, Dr. Yosef Glassman, obtained a restraining order preventing implementation of New Jersey’s physician-assisted suicide law. The doctor “cannot condone any participation in the process, even the transferring of the patient.” The law passed by only one vote in the assembly & the senate, and Catholic governor Murphy said he had reservations although he signed the bill. Parkot urged New Jerseyans to contact their elected officials to determine how they voted.
  • Even our laws have created internal conflict. “Because of Roe v. Wade, contradiction permeates through our system of laws. Our laws mandate accommodation for the disabled at the same time our government funds attempts to prevent the birth of those with disabilities; they say that gender cannot determine whether one is hired or fired, but allow it to determine whether an infant lives or dies.” [Tim Busch and Kevin Stidham, Undaunted, Justice Thomas seeks the court’s atonement on abortion, Washington Examiner, 8/17/19.]

A Look at Catholic Families 76% of married Catholic parents have a Catholic spouse 22% of Catholic parents attend Mass weekly 53% of Catholic parents attend Mass at least monthly 66% of Catholic parents with three or more children attend Mass at least once a month. 71% of parents agree “somewhat” or “strongly” that prayer is essential to their faith. 36% of parents pray at least once a day. [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb.org] 

Conquering Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction is a growing epidemic in America today. It is an addiction that can have the same effect on the brain as cocaine, is widely available, and has a devastating effect on relationships, families, and marriages.

On July 27, Father Cassiday Stinson began the #BreakTheChains prayer campaign on Twitter, writing that he was tired of seeing “so many souls caught in shame and isolation and despair.” (Follow Fr. Stinson on Twitter @TheHappyPriest) The Knights of Columbus’ official account re- tweeted his original thread with a call to action: “Knights, time to #BreakTheChains.”

Fr. Stinson says that if you’re struggling with pornography in your life, then look very concretely and realistically at the times and places where you’re struggling with it. What does the habit look like? Once you’ve identified that, you can start to make concrete changes & put up boundaries for yourself to help avoid it. That may be as simple as during certain times of the day & in certain circumstances, you put the source somewhere else.

Alongside that human dimension, make sure there is some kind of prayer in your life as well. Very often we’re turning to any kind of quick pleasure, like pornography, because there is some kind of wound or loneliness there. One of the important things that needs to happen is to let God into that wound. [Brian Fraga, Priest starts a Twitter group to break the chains to pornography, Our Sunday Visitor, 8/16/19]

STRIVE: A “21-Day Detox from Porn” is an online video series for men who wish to break free from an addiction to pornography. The series, which launched March 27, is written and hosted by Matt Fradd, an anti-pornography crusader and Catholic apologist, and directed by Chris Cope of Cardinal Studios. Participants sign up at www.strive21.com to receive access to daily videos, where Fradd takes viewers on a step-by- step process of ridding their lives of pornography. 

Missouri Bans Certain Abortions

Missouri may protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortion deaths after a judge declined to block the new law Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs’ order stops the state from enforcing most parts of the law, but he did not include the non- discrimination parts in his preliminary injunction.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the state law, which includes multiple pro-life provisions including a ban on abortions after 8 weeks when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. 

This means that Missouri is one of just a few states that legally can protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortion deaths. The law also ends abortions based on the unborn baby’s sex and race. “As the father of a child with special needs, Attorney General Schmitt is particularly sensitive to suggestions that an unborn child who will have special needs is any lesser of a human being, and we’re glad that provisions relat- ing to that issue were left in place in the judge’s ruling today,” a spokesman said.

However, Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an abortionist and chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said: “Although we are grateful today’s ruling allows us to provide care to some Missourians, we will continue to defend the truth: every reason to have an abortion is a valid reason.”

This eugenic targeting has prompted a number of states to pass laws protecting the unborn. Missouri is not the first, but it is one of the few that has been allowed to enforce its law. Eight states also prohibit sex-selection abortions, which often target unborn baby girls. [M. Bilger, Judge Rules Missouri Can Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome, LifeNews.com, 8/27/19]

ATTENTION: Each year, October is declared Respect Life Month by the U.S. bishops. More information will be provided in the October issue of this newsletter. Your parish likely will have a homily, guest speaker, pamphlets or other means to help you support the dignity of every human life. For New Jersey residents, the 20/20 Campaign continues and everyone is urged to obtain a “baby feet” car magnet – visit http://babiesinthewombfeelpain. com/ for more information. In addition, the US Catholic Bishops’ Respect Life Office publishes new material each year to help parishes promote the respect for life in various ways. For example, information is available regarding Project Rachel that serves to help women heal from the effects of an abortion.[www.usccb.org]

April Newsletter

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Laity & Clergy Continue to Promote ProLife Values

Jennifer’s Words: “On the day I walked out of the rectory…”

… after confessing my abortions to the priest, I fell in love with a God I never knew existed before. I became a new creation and the daughter He always had in mind.” The Sisters of Life journey with women like this who have suffered after abortion, to experience the love & healing mercy of Jesus. For more information about Days of Prayer and Healing, contact the Sisters at 866-575-0075.

They Entered a Planned Parenthood Facility to Help the Unborn

Just before last Christmas, Red Rose Rescue, led by Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and two others entered a Pl. Prthd. waiting room in NJ to speak to women, offering prayers and assistance for them to keep their unborn babies, and handed out red roses with a note, “A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.” Red Rose Rescue has engaged in a number of similar efforts over the past few years. When law enforcement officers come, they go limp, refusing to cooperate with the arrest, and risk jail time for trespassing, disorderly conduct and such. [Stephen Vincent, Is Our Love Enough?, Human Life Review, Winter 2019.]

Knights of Columbus’ Ultrasound Initiative

An especially effective program since 2009, the KofC recently placed its 1,000th machine in pro-life pregnancy centers. In the Initiative, local Knights councils identify centers that are able to medically staff and operate an ultrasound machine and then raise half of the funds for its purchase. Knights’ headquarters in New Haven then matches the funds for the machine’s purchase and delivery. A majority of the women who see the live ultrasound image of their baby make the choice for life. Donations to this worthy cause are always welcomed. Go to www.kofc.org!

“The practice of medicine purposefully seeks to eradicate illness. Physicians pledge an oath to ‘do no harm.’ Taking a life before natural death violates that vow, and there is no turning back.” – Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, NJ, speaking in opposition to the state’s Aid in Dying legislation.

Do Parents of Kids with Down Syndrome Love Their Offspring?

[Christopher M. Reilly, Eugenics Goes into Hyperdrive, Human Life Review, Winter 2019.] Most healthcare professionals have negative attitudes regarding DS and provide poor counseling and inadequate information for parents; they automatically recommend abortion when pre-natal DS is detected. As a result, close to 90% of unborn children diagnosed with DS are aborted in the United States.

Yet, it is astounding to learn that 99% of the parents of children with DS love their offspring, and 88% of siblings say they are better people because of their brother or sister with DS. [Skotko, Levine & Goldstein, Having a Son or Daughter with Down Syndrome: Perspectives from Mothers and Fathers, American Jnl of Medical Genetics, 2011.] This nearly universal positive attitude between siblings is extraordinary.

Hitler-style eugenics has been revived in a different yet still deadly form. Increasingly, unborn children are killed specifically because they have the potential to be disabled or are perceived as failing to thrive in some way. Opposition to eugenics works to protect vulnerable and genetically different populations from being excluded from the human community.

Subscribe to marriage news

Published on the internet by the Family Life Office of the U.S. Bishops, it is free and you can select the topics of most interest to you: dating, engagement, marriage preparation, married life, family life and parenting. http://www.foryourmarriage.org

Abortion Needed to Stop Overpopulation?

In China, India and Indonesia, tens of millions of unborn children, mostly female, have been aborted in the name of population control. But “overpopulation” is a myth. The world is not running out of living room or resources.

We can now easily feed the 7.5 billion people on the planet; with current agricultural methods, we can feed twice that number. We now produce more food on less land, and humanity is eating better than ever before. There are still hungry people, not because there is a global food shortage but due to corrupt governments, poor distribution systems, and ongoing wars and civil unrest.

Around the world, birth rates have fallen, and the number of workers is shrinking while the number of elderly increases. This is a recipe for economic decline. It is now clear that young people are the scarce resource in many countries. In this century the U.S. could be the slowly aging leader of a rapidly aging world.

Overpopulation is not only a myth, it is one that kills. We need more babies, not fewer. That means ending abortion. [Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute Review, March/April 2019.]

“Abstinence doesn’t generate a profit for Planned Parenthood. Risky behavior does.”

So said Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation in 2017: “Our nation is facing an STD epidemic. The 18% failure rate of condoms is alarming. Birth control pills, shots, implants, rings, and IUDs don’t prevent STDs at all. Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid STDs, HIV, HPV & unintended pregnancy. So, should a business that profits from selling abortions, birth control and STD treatments be teaching our teens that there’s nothing wrong with promiscuity?”

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly 2.3 million people were diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2016, according to Vogue. The 2017 numbers represent the fourth consecutive year of an increase and the highest number of STDs ever reported, according to the CDC.

Planned Parenthood’s materials suggest why. In 2015, pro-lifers discovered a Planned Parent hood booklet telling patients that it is their “human right” not to tell their sexual partner that they have HIV. The abortion chain also tells children on its Tumbler page that: “There’s nothing bad or unhealthy about having a big number of sexual partners.”

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America, aborting about 320,000 unborn babies annually. Abortion is a lucrative practice, and sexual promiscuity often is connected to abortion. [M. Bilger, STDs Reach Record Highs Despite Planned Parenthood and Its Tax- payer-Funded Sex-Ed Programs, LifeNews.com, 8/30/18.]

Unplanned Movie Inspires Nationwide Candlelight Vigils Outside Planned Parenthood Facilities

Organizers are calling the National Pro-Life Candlelight Vigil on April 13th outside abortion mills an outstanding success. Altogether, there were 166 vigils at Planned Parenthood facilities across the nation, in 40 U.S. states, including many for whom this was their first time taking part in pro-life activism. The vigils were inspired by the chilling look inside the abortion industry as portrayed in the recently released movie Unplanned, which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood manager turned pro-life activist. The film has seen unanticipated commercial success, playing for several weeks all through April, despite efforts to squelch awareness due to its pro-life message. Many of the attendees said they were inspired to participate because of having seen the movie.

At a number of vigils, clergy were guest speakers including Fairbanks, Alaska’s Bishop Chad Zielinski & Colorado Springs’ Bishop Michael Sheridan.

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, said: “We’re encouraging people to take those feelings of sorrow and sadness, what they saw in that movie, and also that feeling of gratefulness to God’s mercy that Abby Johnson was shown, and turn that into action,” he said. “Go out into the front lines, be part of this movement.” He listed praying at Planned Parenthood during a vigil, sidewalk counseling, volunteering at a pregnancy center, supporting pro-life groups, getting involved legislatively, talking to neighbors and becoming informed. “There’s so much that you can do,” Scheidler said, “but do something. Be a part of this movement actively. It’s the only way we’re going end abortion.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 4/15/19]

Well-Funded Groups Pressure Legislators to Legalize Marijuana Despite Health Concerns

Both the cannabis industry and states seeking more revenue are pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Even elements of the press such as the Newark Star-Ledger promote legalization in its editorials despite the numerous reports the paper itself publishes on the various dangers of pot use. One recent example is a report titled “Study: Smoking weed as teen linked to suicide risk as adult”, March 10, 2019.

A new book by Alex Berenson details the many problems with marijuana use: Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence (Free Press, 2019). Berenson once believed what many believe today: “Marijuana is safe. Nobody every died from smoking too much pot.” According to one reviewer: These words are a more or less perfect summary of the lazy, ignorant, self-serving beliefs of highly educated, rather stupid middle-class metropolitans all over the Western world in such places as, let’s just say for example, the editorial offices of the New York Times.” [Peter Hitchens, Reefer Sadness, First Things, May 2019.]

Medical studies indicate that a long-term cumulative effect of pot use leads to mental illness and, often, violence. Yet we are on the verge of allowing it to be advertised and put on open sale. Berenson’s book provides facts and data about violent crime in places where marijuana is widely available. The campaigns to legalize it cite “medical marijuana”use, but only about 6% of users use it for medical therapy. The book also exposes the false belief that associates marijuana and liberty.

January 2019 Newsletter: Pro-Life is Pro-Science

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Science Focus of National March for Life

This year’s March for Life plans to fortify its message with science that proves life begins at conception, and with a specific focus on stem-cell research.

“Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science” is the theme for the January 18th Rally and March in Washington, DC, that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide for all nine months of pregnancy. Rally speakers will include Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire, and Abbey Johnson, former abortion clinic worker who founded And Then There Was None. Political speakers are to be announced.

Jeanne Mancini, pres. of the March for Life, said that “our DNA is present at the moment of fertilization. Science should always be at the service of life, not the reverse. It is important to have a foundation of human dignity for any kind of research.” She called for the passage of H.R. 2918 (Patients First Act) that would require the Dept. of Health & Human Services to support research on adult stem cells, not those taken from aborted babies. David Prentice, research director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, research arm of Susan B. Anthony List, said adult stem cells “from many different sources [e.g., umbilical cord blood]” would be a suitable replacement. [Catholic New York, 10/25/18]

Participation in the national March for Life is a once-a- year event that is unforgettable. Families, adults, teenagers, religious all make the civic and religious statement to show their opposition to the inhumane practice of abortion. Buses are being provided by hundreds of parishes for the trip to Washington. The Respect Life Office of your area diocese will provide details.

Disrespect for Life Leads to Other Problems

NY Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan recently wrote: “Drugs, war, unjust economic systems, crime, violence, oppression of people, family dysfunction & sexual abuse all start from degrading the innate value of the divine gift of human life.”

“We are pro-life, not just pro-birth. As Cardinal Terence Cooke wrote as he heroically neared his own painful death from cancer, human life is no less sacred when it is vulnerable, weak, or considered ‘inconvenient’.”

“I make no apologies for prioritizing concern for the unborn. If we get that wrong, we’re hardly credible on the other burning issues. If we allow the helpless life of the baby in the sanctuary of the mother’s womb to be thrown away, it’s tough to defend the lives of others who might be considered inconvenient or expendable.” [Catholic New York, 10/25/18]

Maternity Homes Seek to Empower Women

Trauma, homelessness, addiction, broken family life are not good conditions for birthing and raising a baby. That’s why there are over 400 maternity homes in the U.S. that offer pregnant women food, shelter, prenatal care, education and job search assistance. After their babies are born, mothers get help learning to care for an infant through post- partum, and support as they work toward finding independent housing.

Good Counsel Homes was founded by Christopher Bell in 1985 with the support of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, and now operates seven homes in four states. Sara Moran started Little Flower Maternity Home (Denver) after working at Maggie’s Place (Phoenix) & Several Sources Shelters (NJ).

Many success stories: “A lot of us made something of ourselves,” Shanika Dawson said. “I’m glad the home is still around. A lot of women have accomplished a lot after being there.”

Some crisis pregnancy centers are now opening their own maternity homes in response to the need they see among their clients. Chicago-based Aid for Women is one of 20 pregnancy help centers that offer maternity housing. The agency operates Heather’s House (Des Plaines, IL) for pregnant women and Monica’s House (Chicago) for those making the transition to independent living. [Our Sunday Visitor, 11/18/18]

Regardless of location, these homes deal with common problems faced by pregnant young women: a history of homelessness, incarceration, broken family life, broken relationships, spousal abuse, parental rejection and other trauma. Maternity homes offer these women a different path, one that could lead to a more fulfilling life for themselves and their children.

Quit!

That’s the single word filling the front of a postcard that is designed to be shared with abortion workers. The back of the card explains how And Then There Were None assists workers through a transition out of the abortion industry. The group provides job search resources, financial assistance, free legal counsel, emotional and spiritual support, and no- cost healing retreats. Nearly 500 abortion workers have walked away from the industry.

If you would like to have a set of these cards to hand to abortion facility workers outside of an abortion mill in your area, visit www.AbortionWorker.com, or #ATTWN.

NJ Campaign: Protect Babies in the Womb

Since the summer, tens of thousands of postcards have been signed and sent from Catholics for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (A-1686/S- 537).

Spearheading the campaign to save babies 20 weeks in the womb from abortion, Holly Wright said: “The 20/20 Project is a collaborative effort of many pro-life groups and individuals throughout the state to attain equal rights for babies in the womb and it is making great headway.” There is substantial medical evidence that babies in the womb feel pain by 20 weeks. The bill states: “Surgeons in the field of maternal and fetal medicine have found it necessary to sedate an unborn child to prevent the unborn child from engaging in vigorous movement in reaction to invasive surgery.”

To participate in the postcard campaign, parishioners are encouraged to meet with their pastor for permission to implement the program. They would then choose a Sunday date and have parishioners receive instruction about the project & how to sign the postcards that are provided. More information is found at www.babiesinthewombfeelpain.com. [The Beacon, Diocese of Paterson, NJ, 12/6/18]

Also, to promote the campaign, NJ drivers are encouraged to obtain & display the 20/20 magnetic decal.

Guidelines for Being a Faithful Pro-Lifer

1. Casual sex is not worth the risks

2. Unplanned pregnancy needs to be faced honestly and with loving support

3. Abortion has many bad physical & emotional effects

4. Healing is possible for those who have had an abortion

5. It is best to be chaste until marriage

6. Marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman

7. Family planning should use natural means

8. Children are a gift from God

9. Sick or elderly people are to be given normal care and relief of pain

10. Suicide and assisted suicide are morally wrong

11. Abuse of a person by another is always wrong

12. Use of another person as an object is sinful

13. The church offers healing from the effects of all types of abuse

14. Help and protection is to be offered to all human beings, whether sick or poor or elderly or unborn “Life in all its stages is sacred and to be respected”

NFL Player Rae Carruth Released From Prison: Murdered Pregnant Girlfriend, Injuring Her Unborn Baby

Former NFL player Rae Carruth walked out of prison in October after serving 19 years for planning to kill his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn son. A former Carolina Panthers wide receiver in late 1990s, Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, and attempting to destroy an unborn child, his son Chancellor. After being shot four times, Adams went into a coma and died a few weeks later, but doctors were able to save her son, Chancellor. He has cerebral palsy and lives with his maternal grandmother, Saundra Adams, who has devoted her life to caring for him. Chancellor’s condition is due to loss of blood and oxygen the night when his mother was shot; he also was born prematurely.

Carruth recently told reporters that he wants custody of his son, but Adams said she will fight to keep her grandson. “I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,” Adams she told reporters. “And I think this opens the door. But I can say definitively he’s not ever going to have custody of Chancellor. He will never be raised by a stranger, someone he doesn’t know and who tried to kill him.” She said her daughter refused to abort Chancellor, even though Carruth pressured her repeatedly. [M.Bilger, LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

“Pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years.”

That’s what Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in reaction to a new poll of 3,000 Americans. (Full survey results are avail-able online at TheStateOfTheology.com) The national poll found 52% of Americans agreed that abortion is a sin. Abortion opposition has increased slightly since the 2016 State of Theology survey, when 49% said abortion is a sin.

The Christian group said the survey results show some in the media continue to exaggerate Americans’ support for social liberalism, even as a large number of Americans continue to agree with Biblical ethics. Dr. Mohler said that pastors & local churches have played a big part by teaching about the sanctity of human life. Ultrasound images plainly show the humanity of the child in the womb, and they are provoking the consciences of Americans. [S. Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

Edited since 2005 by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., tinarifr@shu.edu Past issues posted on the Diocese of Paterson, NJ website. To have your parish receive this newsletter each month free of charge, email your request to the editor.

November 2018 Newsletter

50th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical, Humanae Vitae
[Ed. note: every month we will present excerpts from this short but incisive papal letter to all people of good will. Pope Paul VI was canonized last month.]

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

  • Conjugal love is not “merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is …, above all, an act of the free will,” meant to help couples “not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.”
  • “It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of oneself.”
  • “Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, [it is] always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves … that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.”
  • “Finally, this love is … not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being.” The 2nd Vatican Council states: “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.” [Full text available online free of charge.]

“Aborting for the Reason of Race, Sex or Disability is Kind of Hitler-esque”
This was the reaction of Lake County (Indiana) pro-life group President Len Reynolds regarding an Indiana Law that prohibits such abortions and also requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate aborted babies rather than dispose of them as medical waste. “Nothing in the Constitution prohibits states from requiring health facilities to provide an element of basic human dignity in disposing of fetuses,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a statement.

Recent legal challenges by Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women have prevented the law from being implemented. Hill is now appealing to the Supreme Court for a constitutional ruling. [Dave Brooks, “Planned Parenthood Fights Law Requiring Proper Burial for Aborted Babies,” LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

“Courage is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and who are committed to helping one another live chaste lives marked by prayer, fellowship and mutual support. EnCourage provides spiritual support for parents, spouses & other loved ones of people who are involved in homosexual relationships. [Courage International, Inc., http://couragerc.org]

“Can I Guard Myself and My Family from Inappropriate Internet Content?”
What you do online impacts your life offline. According to Covenant Eyes, that is an important reason to have internet content monitored and filtered. Their website has lots of free resources for families to review. Discover how the internet affects your life and the ones you love including cyberbullying, pornography, obsessions, new internet trends, and other issues. If you are interested in protecting your family, you could try their services free for 30 days by using the promo code Patrick. [www.covenanteyes.com]

On Election Day, we will make critical decisions about the types of leaders we will have for years to come. It is essential that we look carefully at the positions of the candidates. This step is critical in fulfilling our responsibilities as faithful citizens, as we must participate in the political process with a fully informed conscience. There are so many issues to consider: the environment, war, immigration, abortion, marriage, taxes, jobs, health care costs, poverty, homelessness, etc. Pro-life Catholics emphasize that the dignity of human life is a bedrock Christian principle: without respect for life, other issues pale in comparison. So our votes must reflect this basic concern.

Natural, Effective and Healthy Family Planning …. and It’s Free
Since 1971, the Couple to Couple League has sought to inspire, educate and support couples in family planning that is natural, effective, healthy and consistent with God’s plan for life, love and marriage.

Natural family planning (NFP) is fertility awareness which is simply knowledge of a couple’s fertility. It is a means of reading the body’s signs of fertility and infertility; applying this knowledge through the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) which is over 99% effective. A married couple’s application of this knowledge either to try to achieve a pregnancy or to postpone a pregnancy is responsible parenthood. Practicing NFP is 100% natural: no drugs, chemicals or devices. Many today find it to be a positive & refreshing alternative to contraceptive methods. NFP honors our dignity as persons by respecting the natural rhythms and functions of the body. Many couples who use NFP speak of an increased awe and respect for femininity and their mutual fertility, and a greater sense of empowerment through self-knowledge.

Wives can avoid the risks and side effects that come with drugs and devices of contraceptive methods by choosing NFP. Because there are no potentially harmful chemicals, hormones or devices put into your body, NFP is safe. Because it does not interrupt your natural cycles and, instead, respects and informs you of your natural fertility, it is healthy. And because NFP does not involve the continual purchase of medications or devices, it is green, with no negative influence on either your body or the environment.

NFP couples tend to find that their love life improves when they make the switch from contraception. What they discover is that without artificial hormones dulling the wife’s natural sex drive, & with increased respect & communication from managing fertility together, NFP brings a spark and a sizzle that helps keep their intimacy fresh, exciting & fun. NFP couples feel more like a team that extends beyond family planning. Many couples find that NFP helps build a closer relationship to God since they are experiencing marriage as He intended. [For more info, visit www.ccli.org]

David E. Paul, “Culture War as Class War”
“The fight is over nothing less than who has the power to define reality. To lose such a fight [is] to have the weight of the dominant culture pressed firmly against you, peeling away members of your side and undermining the ability and willingness of the remainder to resist. It is to be denied access to elite institutions and networks, and to all the material and social benefits they confer. It is even to have the force of law and thus ultimately the power of the state used against you.” [First Things, Aug/Sep 2018. Author is professor, Williams College]

Entertaining Movies ….. with a Message
Whether in the theater or at home, here are films that you may not have heard much about but will find engaging and enjoyable. (Why not save the list & check-off the boxes as you see the movies?)

  • Gosnell (2018): this could still be in some theaters even though it has suffered a media blackout. Great crime drama with some great acting, based on an actual recent case tried in Philadelphia.
  • October Baby (2011): urged by her lifelong best friend Jason, Hannah, an adoptee, goes with friends on spring-break from Birmingham to New Orleans, planning to stop in Mobile where her birth certificate says she was born.
  • Unprotected (2018 documentary): #MeToo. Sexting. The hook-up culture. Teen depression. Fertility crisis. Divorce. Pornography. How did the culture become so toxic for women? Moving stories and inspiring commentary reveal the devastating effects of 50 years of the sexual revolution.
  • Bella (2006): a drama about characters, relationships and decisions. José was once a rising star with the Real Madrid soccer club before his budding career took an unexpected turn. Nina, already struggling at work, discovers that she is faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
  • Hush (2016): a dramatized documentary that gives equal coverage to pro-choice women, pro-life women and women who are concerned about themselves or their daughters achieving their reproductive goals with optimal chances for long-term health. Fascinating cultural history that has the flavor of investigative journalism.
  • Juno (2007): this outrageously offbeat comedy hit film has rare wisdom, one that knows that following your bliss is often another name for selfishness and immaturity, and the secret to lasting happiness is often a matter of taking what you have and deciding to make it work.
  • Indivisible (2018): just released is the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner & his wife Heather. When war etches battle scars on their hearts, they face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

[Tell the editor about other life-affirming and family-supportive movie titles of which you may know.]