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Monday, April 30, 2012

REPARATIVE THERAPY: State Sanction Against Full Spectrum Care for Youth

California bill would outlaw reparative therapy for homosexuality for minors

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CWN - April 30, 2012

A California state senator--Sen. Ted Lieu, a Catholic--has introduced a bill that would prohibit psychologists from offering minors reparative therapy for homosexuality.

"Under no circumstances shall a patient under 18 years of age undergo sexual orientation change efforts, regardless of the willingness of a patient's parent, guardian, conservator, or other person to authorize such efforts," the bill's text reads.

The bill would also compel adults who choose to undergo such therapy to sign a consent form stating that "having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior."

Stating that the bill "inaccurately represents the science," the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality called upon legislators to reject the measure.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BBC criticized for plans to broadcast live from abortion clinic
By David Kerr
BBC Radio outside broadcast van. Credit: Amanda Slater (CC BY-SA 2.0).
.- The BBC has drawn criticism from pro-life groups over plans to broadcast a live radio program from an abortion clinic.
"News that a publicly funded radio station – BBC Radio 5 – is going to record inside an abortion clinic is being seen by many of us as biased support for the abortion lobby," said Josephine Quintavalle of the ProLife Alliance.
Quintavalle called the move "contrary to the neutrality that is obligatory under the BBC charter," in comments to CNA April 27.
The two-hour live program will take place next month at a location yet to be disclosed. The BBC says it will feature interviews with mothers who are having their babies aborted as well as with clinic staff.
Radio presenter Victoria Derbyshire, who will host the broadcast, told the Independent newspaper April 23 that she wants to give listeners "an insight into an area of British life which is taboo."
"We have asked an abortion clinic for permission to broadcast and they have agreed. We appreciate the sensitivity around it and I would hope listeners would trust us to do it carefully," she said.
Quintavalle noted in her remarks to CNA that at this stage, it is "difficult to be sure" if the BBC will fulfill its promise to provide balanced coverage of the issue.
"One thing at least is absolutely certain," she added, "Whoever else is recorded, the voice of the unborn child, the helpless silent victim of abortion, will not be given any air time whatsoever."
Abortion was legalized in England, Wales and Scotland in 1967. Since then approximately 7 million lives have been lost to abortion in those three countries. Northern Ireland is still exempt from the 1967 legislation. Presently, unborn babies can be aborted in the UK up until the 24th week of pregnancy and up to birth in the case of disability.
Recently the abortion industry in the UK has come under criticism following undercover filming by The Daily Telegraph newspaper in February that revealed British doctors are now agreeing to abort babies on the grounds of the unborn child's gender.  
"The pro-life movement in the United Kingdom has been gaining significant ground lately with public opinion," said Josephine Quintavalle, "we believe that attempts to lower the upper limit for abortion are very winnable.

BOOK / Society & Faith : NY TIMES writer defends Church teachings in online series

NY Times writer defends Church teachings in online series

New York Times writer Ross Douthat has defended Catholic theological and moral teachings, in a series of articles explaining how the Church is not "fundamentalist" but simply "orthodox."
"What I describe as 'Christian orthodoxy' is not identical to everything that calls itself conservative Christianity in the United States, and it's certainly not identical to Christian fundamentalism," wrote Douthat, a Catholic convert known for his conservative social and political outlook, in an April 16-19 online exchange with Slate magazine author William Saletan.
In his new book "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics" (Free Press, $26.00) Douthat advocates a return to authentic Christian traditions and doctrines. He argues that distorted forms of religion, focused on self-gratification and worldly aims, threaten the country's common good.
In his exchange with Saletan, Douthat defended Catholic teachings on subjects like sexuality and marriage, while urging secularists and skeptics to rethink their identification of traditional Christianity with "fundamentalism."
The Catholic columnist pointed out that Biblical "fundamentalism" is actually a modern phenomenon, originating in the 19th and 20th centuries. By contrast, Christian orthodoxy "is an ancient thing, dating back to the early centuries A.D., when Christian doctrine was first codified."
While Christian orthodoxy accepts Scripture as inspired by God, it does not employ it for inappropriate purposes – such as predicting the end of the world, ruling out scientific discoveries, or interpreting natural disasters as forms of divine retribution.
After distinguishing authentic Christian faith from "fundamentalism," Douthat went on to defend Catholics teachings on subjects like contraception and homosexuality – which were also prohibited by most other Christian groups until the 20th century.
The New York Times columnist observed that the Church's view of sexuality does not come from a select few verses of the Bible, but "is rooted in the entirety of the biblical narrative, from the creation story in Genesis down through Jesus' words in the New Testament."
While this vision of human life does not reduce sexuality to biology, it does mark out the purposes of sex within God's plan for creation – including "the reunification of the two equal-but-different halves of humanity … and the begetting of children within a context that's intended be a kind of microcosm of humanity as a whole."
"This narrative of one-flesh complementarity," Douthat told Saletan, "explains why Christians have traditionally rejected both the sexual authoritarianism inherent in polygamy and the sexual individualism that's become such a powerful force in our society today – and why they've refused to bless homosexual relationships as well."
Douthat also urged Saletan, and others who dismiss the Church's teachings on sexuality, to take an honest look at the consequences of contraception.
"The world that contraception has made is a world that de-emphasizes the moral weight of the sexual act, while insisting on the centrality of a perpetually-fulfilled libido to human contentment," he observed.
Contraception, he said, has created a world "characterized by steadily declining marriage rates, steadily rising numbers of children born out of wedlock, birthrates that have fallen well below replacement levels across the developed West … and millions upon millions upon millions of abortions."
"In general, the sexual culture that contraception has created is a culture that treats the stuff of human life and even life itself as a commodity to be bought, sold, mass produced, experimented upon and kept on ice when necessary."
In his final installment, Douthat thanked the religiously-skeptical Saletan for his respectful tone. But he critiqued the Slate author's liberal viewpoint, for its unconscious reliance on principles drawn from the faith it rejects.
"When I look at your secular liberalism, I see a system of thought that looks rather like a Christian heresy, and not necessarily a particularly coherent one at that," Douthat remarked.
He suggested that modern liberalism had drawn its most coherent ideas, such as its narrative of historical progress and its concept of universal human rights, from a "Christian intellectual inheritance." But liberalism cast off other aspects of the Christian vision that would have kept these goals in balance and perspective.
Today, Douthat said, secular liberalism goes forth with "moral fervor," while denying "the revelation that once justified that fervor in the first place."
"It insists that it is a purely secular and scientific enterprise even as it grounds its politics in metaphysical claims," he pointed out, noting that a reader "will not find the principle of absolute human equality in evolutionary theory, or universal human rights anywhere in physics."
Douthat posed a question to secular critics who believe "that Christian teachings on homosexuality do violence to gay people's equal dignity."
"If the world is just matter in motion, whence comes this dignity? What justifies and sustains it? Why should I grant it such intense, almost supernatural respect?"
In his first reply to Saletan, Douthat described "Bad Religion" as a book inviting nonbelievers "to put an ear to the church door, you might say, even if they don't actually step inside."
At the series' close, the Catholic columnist reaffirmed his desire to help skeptics take a sympathetic look at Christian orthodoxy.
"I'd invite you to glance back over your shoulder at the worldview that so many liberals have left behind," he told Saletan, "and to consider the possibility that … it might still provide a better home for humankind than whatever destination our civilization is headed for."

CATHOLICS SUCK !!! But still do lots of GOOD ! ;)

Jewish businessman denounced 'vindictive' media campaign against the Church

Editor's note: EWTN News originally reported that the talk was given by Sam Miller within the last few months. In fact, upon further investigation, his talk was delivered in 2003 after the sexual abuse scandal hit the Catholic Church in the U.S. 

Following the initial revelations about the sexual abuse scandal in the United States, prominent Cleveland businessman Sam Miller, who is Jewish, stated that he has had "more than enough" of the media's depiction of the Holy Father and the Church concerning sex abuse cases. Miller charged that he has "never seen a greater vindictive, more scurrilous, biased campaign against the Catholic Church."
"Maybe it's easier for me to say because I am not Catholic," Miller began in his speech, reprinted in the May/June 2003 issue of the local Knights of Columbus publication The Buckeye Bulletin, "but I have had enough, more than enough, disgustingly enough."
"During my entire life I've never seen a greater vindictive, more scurrilous, biased campaign against the Catholic Church as I have seen in the last 18 months," he  asserted, adding that "the strangest thing is that it is in a country like the United States where there is supposed to be mutual respect and freedom for all religions."
Miller is also  particularly "bothered" by the  campaign against the Church because  he too is "a minority in this country." 

"This prejudice against your religion and mine has never left this country," he charged. "Your people were called Papists, Waps, Guineas, frogs, fish eaters, ad infinitum." Speaking on the history of this "prejudice," Miller noted that "after the Civil War, around 1864, the fundamentalists, conservatives, Protestants and a few WASP's began planting burning crosses throughout the country, particularly in the South."

"And today," Miller added, "as far as I'm concerned, very little has changed. These gentlemen now have a new style of clothing they've gone from bed sheets to gentlemen's suits."
In light of this historical prejudice, Miller asserted that there is currently "a concentrated effort by the media today to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country."
"They have now blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage," he observed.
The Jewish businessman argued that sexual abuse is more than a Catholic problem, even though reading news reports of abuse in other churches is not as common. He cited Phillip Jenkins' book "Pedophiles and Priests" that says that "while 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia, 10% of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia."
Questioning the motives behind major news outlets, Miller queried, "why would newspapers carry on this vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?"
Detailing the positive aspects of the Church, Miller asked if Catholics know that that the "Church educates 2.6 million students everyday, at a cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars."
"Needless to say," he added, "that Catholic education at this time stands head and shoulders above every other form of education that we have in this country. And the cost is approximately 30% less." "Look at your own records," Miller advised "You (Catholic schools) graduate 89% of your students. Your graduates in turn go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, and all at a cost to you."
"Why would these enemies of the Church try to destroy an institution that has 230 colleges and universities in the United States with an enrollment of 700,000 students?" he asked.
"Why would anyone want to destroy an institution like the Catholic Church which has a non profit hospital system of 637 hospitals which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people, not just Catholics in the United States today?"
Miller also questioned why would anyone want to destroy an institution "that clothes and feeds and houses1 of 5 indigents in the United States."  "I've been to many of your shelters and no one asks them if you are a Catholic, a Protestant or a Jew; just 'come, be fed, here's a sweater for you and a place to sleep at night' at a cost to the Church of 2.3 billion dollars a year ..."
"The Catholic Church today has 64 million members in the United States and is the largest non-governmental agency in the country," he noted. "It has 20,000 churches in this country alone. Every year they raise approximately $10 billion to help support these agencies."
"I believe that if Catholics had the figures that I enumerated here, you don't have to be ashamed of anything. Not only are you as good as the rest, but you're better, in every respect."
Yet, why "don't we hear about this?" Miller asked. Because "it's good news," said the businessman, which in his opinion means "it is not newsworthy, it's not dirty."
"I'm not here to deny freedom of the press," he clarified. "But I believe that with freedom comes responsibility, and with rights you have an obligation. You cannot have rights that are irresponsible."
In his concluding remarks, Miller implored Catholics to walk "with your shoulders high and your head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non governmental agency today in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.'"

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lourdes visionary who expected to be boiled on a grill in Purgatory

The Lourdes visionary who 

expected to be boiled on a grill 

in Purgatory

St Bernadette (April 16) grew up in the direst extremes of poverty
By SPIRITUAL LIFE on Monday, 16 April 2012
St Bernadette grew up uneducated, undernourished, and asthmatic
St Bernadette grew up uneducated, undernourished, and asthmatic
The eldest of nine children, only four of whom survived childhood, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous (1844-79) was born at Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. After her father, a miller, lost his job in 1854, the family was exposed to the direst extremes of poverty.
"Bernadette" grew up uneducated, undernourished, and asthmatic, obliged to work as a waitress and a farmhand. The little girl spoke in a Basque dialect, and could scarcely read or write. She did, however, imbibe from her parents a deep Catholic devotion.
By 1856 the Soubirous were living in an abandoned prison cell which stank of sewage. On February 11 1858 Bernadette, with her sister, Toinette, and a friend, went to gather firewood. In a grotto beside the river Gave, at a place used as a watering hole for pigs, she saw a vision of a "Lady" wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot.
Bernadette's companions saw nothing, and she herself wondered whether her experience had been an illusion. Three days later, though, she returned to the grotto, and again saw the apparition.
On February 18, her third visit, the vision spoke for the first time, asking for her presence over the next fortnight. Next day, the Lady instructed Bernadette to tell the priests to build a chapel at the grotto.
Crowds began to gather to witness the phenomenon of the small girl in ecstasy. The police, concerned, interrogated Bernadette, who related her experiences with clarity and conviction.
Local interest quickened after the Lady told Bernadette to drink from a muddy trickle in the grotto. By the morrow the trickle had turned into an active spring.
On March 4, at the end of the prescribed fortnight, a crowd of 10,000 gathered to watch Bernadette. In fact, she would experience three more apparitions, bringing the total to 18. Chivvied by the parish priest, she insisted that the Lady should give her name. "I am the Immaculate Conception," came the reply, in perfect Basque dialect.
Spectators saw the flames of a candle lick Bernadette's fingers for a quarter of an hour without producing any effect.
"I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the next," the apparition had told her.
In 1866 Bernadette entered a convent in Nevers where she suffered much from an unsympathetic mistress of the novices. Her character, however, remained a rare blend of simplicity and strength until, at 35, her frail health finally gave way.
She refused suggestions that she should return to Lourdes. "They think I'm a saint," she observed. "When I'm dead they'll come and touch holy pictures and rosaries to me, and all the while I'll be getting boiled on a grill in purgatory."

Active laity spurs growth of Catholicism in South Korea

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CWN - April 18, 2012

The Church has seen enormous growth in South Korea in recent decades. In 1960, Christians accounted for only about 2% of the country's population; now that figure is 30%. Of these about one-third are Catholics. In the same time period the number of Catholic priests has soared from 250 to 5,000.

Father Piero Gheddo, head of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, reports that the success of evangelization in South Korea is attributed largely to the active participation of the laity. Catholics do not simply join a parish, he reports; they typically become involved in evangelical outreach. "The 'passive' Catholic is not recognized."

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