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God's Sense of Humour

"Did you hear the one about the two Catholics praying for a new bishop, ...?"

I'm convinced that God has a sense of humour. Almost daily I see signs. I see it in my own life as well as that of others.

A recent incident illustrates the point. For some time, a friend and I have been aware that the local archbishop, Msgr. Jean-ClaudeTurcotte, had reached retirement age and had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father. So, we added to our prayer intentions one for his successor and that he be ardently pro-life. Well this prayer had been answered in a most unexpectant way, not to say abundant. Whereas when I prayed, I had focused upon the head of the Church here in Montreal - i.e., the archbishop position, and yet God surprised me by answering this prayer with not one but two pro-life bishops.

On July 11, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named two auxiliary bishops to Montreal. Father Christian Lépine is regular attendee at the National March for Life. I saw him there this past May and I am told of his presence in previous years.  Further he has attended other pro-life events such as the October, 2010, pro-life conference also in Ottawa. A brief description of his life in ministry may be found here.

The second appointee as auxiliary bishop is

Father Thomas Dowd. Father Dowd, the second youngest bishop in the Catholic Church. He is also profiled at the same link as Father Lépine, yet a more exhaustive meeting with him may be found on his blog found here.

So, as we all know our Heavenly Father heeds and answers our prayers and at times answering these bountifully and unexpectantly.

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Crossroads Canada Pilgrims Coming Soon to Montréal

 Hi Folks,

Here's a link to a light-hearted video of the Crossroads pilgrims while they were in Toronto this past weekend. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/do4OI7NYiws

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Crossroads Canada Log

As I write, the Crossroads walkers are skirting the Georgian Bay and making their way towards the urban areas of Ontario.  Yet prior to venturing into Sault Ste.Marie ten days ago, the following blog entry was written by one of their group.  (Others entries may be found at: http://crossroadscanada.blogspot.com/) Enjoy. - B.J.

 

On Suffering

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ

In the beginning of our walk we, the crossroads members, spoke of suffering, or more specifically, the suffering we would endure. We discussed with people and parishes about the treks through the mountains, plains, and hills that were to be endured. We explained to all about the hardships, physical and spiritual, that we would bear for the sake of the unborn.

But talking about what you are about to do cannot be compared to the experience of the actual doing. We have now been gone for close to two months of our three month pilgrimage across Canada. We have traversed the mountains. We slept in the cold, sometimes in tents, sometimes crammed in the R.V. We met up with bears, moose, and other wild life, day or night, to which scared some of us half to death. There have been times when we thought someone lost, or we ourselves lost. I can attest to, as well as the rest of the crew, of taking a few wrong turns and going the wrong way (going west is not the same as going east). We have walked the long highways of the plains. There is a special challenge unique to the prairies: seeing the same thing for miles on end. The flood plains of Manitoba, though not too physically demanding, constantly reminded us of the suffering of others. To see whole fields swallowed up and replaced by vast lakes left an eerie sense of danger looming around every bend: what if our pathway was washed out, how would we continue?

Amongst these challenges there is always the threat of humanity: be he neighbour or self. We have come across with great guilt pent up inside causing instability and aggression. Trying to convince oneself of not being a murderer, or at least a conspirator of a murder, takes a toll on a man’s mind, heart, and soul. We have been yelled at, sworn at, and on the occasion swerved at because the lingering guilt bites at their inner most being. Our shirts, our cause, God’s truth breaks down years of lies and leaves one naked.   Yet the truth does not only bite at their conscience, it bites at ours as well. I am pro-life, but what does that mean? How does this manifest itself in my actions? Am I being merciful and loving? Am I being self centered, prideful, or slothful even? Am I living my life in a manner befitting of a Catholic? If I do not live up to God’s call, I will be hurting all around me with my own sinfulness.

There are also personal sufferings that have been endured for the sake of our mission of mercy. I have suffered dehydration (by not drinking enough water) and strep throat. Others have suffered because of personal realizations, character defects, family problems, and the list goes on.

I write of these things to show the seriousness of our mission. It is not simply a little jaunt across Canada, where good friends hang out and have a good time. There are too many people who do not take us seriously. I have suffered, therefor I understand a little more. I came to Crossroads wanting a rest from life, and now, because of suffering, I want to fight to protect the sacredness of life.

Suffering is a great blessing to fallen humanity. It teaches us what not to do or what to do. Even more so it unites humanity. To suffer is to connect ourselves to others who also suffer. Most importantly, to suffer is to unite that which unites all humanities suffering: Jesus Christ.  He suffered for us so that we may suffer in Him. We lift our sufferings, our burdens, our hardships, our toils to his cross. When we do this we suddenly gain supernatural strength, courage, love, and mercy. Ironically, that which was evil is turned into a great good. That which was dead comes to life. The obscenities that fly our way are turned to blessings as we pray for them. Our illnesses and stresses become causes of joy for they may save a child.

There are others out there who sacrifice themselves as well, not just the Crossroads crew. There are those who walk with us spiritually, and those who provide for us by giving us lodgings, food, and support. The Crossroads team members are only the head of the spear, there is still the whole shaft behind it giving support. Without the shaft, there is not weight for the head to fly and pierce its target. Without our supporters, those who provide for us both spiritually and physically, Crossroads would fail. Because we are united in our suffering in the same body of Christ, we are given the graces to reach out to the hardened and the broken, and God willing, to reach the hearts and minds of Canada.

God Bless,

Matthew J.J Hatchen (Friday, July 15, 2011)

Posted by p.taylor at 9:43 AM

 

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More problems with Development and Peace

With each passing week, seeing the need for reform at Development & Peace is becoming more and more evident. Last month, I commented on moral inconsistency; this month there is both that and some administrative quirks to note.

In June, I noted that the humanitarian agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, funded largely by the catholic parishioners via special collections taken during the Lenten period and also by the federal government subverts Catholic pro-active family teachings. I noted three cases.

It was suggested, elsewhere, that local bishops ought to give their approval to groups within their dioceses whom D&P is considering to partner with.

I have recently come across two other features of D&P requiring some tinkering, to say the least. First, the union representing D&P's approximately 60 employees is actively pro-abortion. The fact that the CSN – la Confédération des syndicats nationaux -- is pro-abortion is borne out in a document put out by one of the its working groups – i.e., le Comité national de la condition feminine. This document, entitled “Rapport du Comité national de la condition feminine,” came out at their annual congress in May of this year and presents the vision of the trade union –i.e., that abortion is a woman’s right. This document may be found here.

So, one wonders whether the union’s ideology has impacted and continues to influence D&P employees.

Second, setting aside moral accountability and turning to financial and administrative considerations, D&P has been ranked last in overall charity efficiency among international aid agencies by a Canadian financial magazine. MoneySense, a division of Rogers Communication, evaluated fifteen (15) companies in the “International Aid and Development” category, giving D&P a C+ rating for spending efficiency, the only one of the 15 to receive a C rating. Spending efficiency refers to monies that go directly to aid programs; 72.3% for D&P.

Each company was evaluated according to four criteria - program spending efficiency (C+), fundraising costs (A), governance and transparency (C-), and reserve fund size (B). I note in parentheses the grade attributed to D&P.

Commenting on these findings, John Pacheco, a social conservative blogger (www.socon.ca/or_bust/) observes that even though the overall rating attributed to D&P was a respectable B, this is misleading for not all criteria should be of equal merit. He writes:

1) The “B” Grade was one of the lower Grades given in the International Aid & Development category.

2) The compensating categories which helped increase the overall grade for Development & Peace concerned revenue generation and cash reserves, rather than efficiency and stewardship of funds. The latter two categories, however, are much more important categories for the individual donor because it concerns how the Charity spends donor money rather than how the Charity raises it. In one of these lesser categories, for instance, Development & Peace received an “A” Grade for fundraising efficiency. But this is very deceptive since D&P has a running tap of donations from a) the Catholic Church and its various organs and b) the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of the Federal government. Every Lent, for instance, Development & Peace pulls in approximately $10 Million dollars from tens of thousands of duped Catholics while doing sweet jack all to earn it, except, of course, to wait for the 70 odd cheques to come rolling in from the various dioceses in Canada for their “Share Lent” campaign. And it’s a similar welfare program with their other partner in moral crime, CIDA, who keeps the abortion gravy train rolling with regular wire deposits into D&P’s bank account. That’s certainly efficient, but not in the way most people think of ”fundraising efficiency”.

In comparison, a much smaller Canadian-based aid agency with a Catholic identity, Chalice, earned an A rating.

These findings appear in the summer 2011 edition of MoneySense, but there is not electronic version yet. However, the 2010 evaluation, written by Sarah Efron, may be found here.

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Quebec City Joins 40 Days for Life Vigil!

40-jours-automne-2010-3.jpgMark Wednesday, September 28, on your calendars for on this day begins the Fall, 2011 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

For those of you unfamiliar with the “40 days for Life” concept, this is an INTERNATIONAL movement aimed at ending the practice of abortion. A 40 Days for Life campaign consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting combined with a constant, round-the-clock vigil at an abortion facility and proactive community outreach. The praying and fasting may be done outside abortion facilities or elsewhere where people of faith feel more comfortable to assemble. In either case, the aim is the same: to end this deadly and destructive practice.

First begun in 2004 in College Station, Texas, this forty day vigil has spread like wildfire both across the United States and across the world. For example, this past spring, 2011, there were 247 vigil locations occurring simultaneously in ten countries, with ten vigils in Canada.

IIMG_0889.JPGThese vigils are definitely having an immediate impact. Women in large numbers are deciding not to carry through with an abortion and are deciding to spare the lives of their unborn children. For example, during this past spring, 2011 vigil there were at least 483 reports of babies saved from abortions whereas at the end of fall, 2011, vigil, 541. These represent mothers who would have aborted their children if they had not seen one or more persons praying outside the abortion facility that she was about to enter.

The benefits of the vigil do not end there. For one, many abortion facilities have closed their doors permanently due to the praying that is going outside their doors.

Still another benefit of this continuous 40 days praying is the effect it is having on the hearts of many involved. Over the years, more than a few employees – nurses and staff have decided to resign their positions at these abortion facilities. Not only that but in the Fall 2009, pro-lifers witnessed something incredible; the manager of an abortion facility crossed the life line. Abby Johnston, the manager of the College Station Planned Parenthood, walked out of her office and centre joining pro-lifers in front of her facility after assisting the abortionist in a ultrasound-aided abortion. She relates her experience of having seen the foetus move away from the abortionist instruments during the procedure in a book entitled “UnPlanned.”

Here in Montreal, this will be the sixth edition of our 40-day, 12-hour per day prayer vigil. Quebec Life Coalition president Georges Buscemi began the first vigil in the spring of 2009. He and his stalwart crew braved the cold elements and the apathy within our community to deliver the all-important message to our fellow community members – Abortion kills a Human Being.

This past spring the apathy took a surprising swing. For the better part of the vigil, those praying outside of the Morgentaler facility on St. Joseph Blvd. were shadowed by counter-protesters. These people, varying in number between three and twenty and mostly twenty- somethings and present several hours each day, would promote the prochoice message alongside our own signs and banners.

IMG_0825.JPGYet, our Lord is good in all things. I consider it a blessing to have had these young people there for it is an opportunity for us to witness to them the love of God and to carry the evangelical message of hope and love to them as well as to the motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. As the apostle Paul puts it, the sufferings of this age is nary to be compared to the glory to come. So if we can be witnesses of love and peace to these young folk, not to mention the more audacious and boisterous and belligerent passer-by, it will be counted to our credit and to the credit of the One who is our all.

Lastly, I have been informed that there will be a second vigil occurring in La Belle Province: Quebec City will be undertaking its first vigil. Details remain to be worked out in terms of the site and hours. Stay in tune to our website (www.cqv.qc.ca/en/40days) for details.

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Crossroads walkers coming to Montreal (Aug. 5, 6, and 7)

Get ready to welcome some very special pilgrims. During July and August, we in Eastern Canada have the chance to meet a group of stalwart young adults carrying the pro-life message in a unique manner. Seven men and four women are currently walking across Canada as an oblation for the pro-life cause. Begun at University of British Columbia this past May 21, 2011, they have scaled the Rockies, endured hordes of mosquitoes on the prairies, and have just entered the Canadian Shield at Thunder Bay. Their trek will end in Ottawa on August 12, after travelling through Montreal.

These youth are part of movement called Crossroads, a prolife pilgrimage crossing America and Canada.

Currently there are five occurring – four in the US and one here.

Begun in 1995 south of the border, its founder was responding to Pope John Paul II call to youth to become more involved in the pro-life movement.

These pilgrimages “hope to convert the hearts and minds of others – at the grass-roots level – by witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from the moment of conception to natural death.”

The eleven, accompanied by a motorized mobile home, walk in shifts. They walk five at a time for a twelve hour period before taking a break in their mobile home for a snooze.

So 24 hours per day they are walking for the pro-life cause. Along the way they are hosted by various prolife communities along the way. For example, while in Edmonton, the Morris family welcomed them onto their farm. Here they were given a hardy meal and participated in a quite unusual activity - riding a llama.

Their trek inevitably takes on a more sombre note when they pass the different abortion facilities on their journey. Here they get to witness the destructive power of abortion as they kneel and offer their restorative prayers. One such account, again in Edmonton, may be found in their blog entry of June 25, 2011 -  Their blog also provides access to numerous photos and descriptions of the journey.

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QLC Newsletter for July : More D&P, 40 Days for Life in Quebec City

Here in the offices of the Quebec Life Coalition (QLC) we are as busy as ever. We are keeping abreast of current developments both in the prolife field and wherever attacks on our faith and values occur. As you peruse the July newsletter, you’ll see the wide geographical scope of recent events and this is only a sample. So thank you so very much for the continuous generous support you give to this ministry.

Locally we continue to foster the message of Life. For example, during the postal strike as I cycled around different parts of Montreal and Laval delivering the June newsletter, I took the opportunity to stuff non-QLC mailboxes with some extra newsletters to get the message out there.

Also, in addition to visiting pastors at their offices and parishioners both in Laval, N.D.G., and on the south shore, I have continued to keep a prayerful vigil at the Morgentaler facility. On the one hand, I meet with a fellow prayer – Ms. Charlotte L’Heureux, twice a week for a period of public prayer; not a week goes by that we were delightfully joined by a few others.

On the other hand, again a couple of other mornings per week, I move indoors, inside the neighbouring Enfant Jésus church, to join a few more prayer stalwarts after the morning mass for a more private devotion. These prayers and sacrifices all contribute to combating the cultural war.

Lest we forget that there is a cultural war going on. The late Holy Father, John Paul II coined the expression Culture of Death. American philosopher Peter Kreeft develops the theme in an article entitled How to Win the Cultural War he argues that to be fully prepared and armed for this battle, we need become holy and loving.

Yet how does one become holy and loving? Is there a method?

No. There is none. No prayers, no meditations, no 12-steps programs, no yogas, no psychological techniques, no techniques at all. There can be no button to push for sanctity, any more than for love. For sanctity is simply love: loving God with all your soul and mind and strength.

How do you love? You just do it. A cause cannot produce an effect greater than itself. And nothing in the world is greater than sanctity, nothing greater than love. Therefore, no cause, no human cause, can produce sanctity. There can never be any technology for sanctity.

One such area where we can act in a holy and loving manner is in regards to our response to the on- going turmoil at Development in Peace. D&P is not the only way to bring Christ’s message of love to those in need. There are alternatives. Here are three that focus on doing corporal works of mercy.

1. Chalice
Active on four continents, President Fr. Patrick Cosgrove writes about the work done by this organization particularly in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010. Regarding the latter, activities include general emergency relief – food and support, construction, and education. Elsewhere he refers to providing medi- cal help in Kenya. Finally I sense that there is an onus on helping children and that projects undertaken ha- ven been completed.

2. Mary Mother of the Poor
The home page for MMP clearly spells out both its Mission and Objectives. Respectively, these are ―to seek holiness in evangelizing & working with the poor through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary‖ and ―to Relieve Poverty; To Coordinate Health & Social Services; To Advance & Teach Catholic Tenets; and To Help Youth Develop Their Talent.

3. Catholic Near East Welfare Association - CNEWA is a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support, providing support for those in need in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India, and Eastern Europe for more than 75 years.

Again, we will see if D&P and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will effect some change. Thank you for your continued support.

Blessings!

Click here for the QLC July 2011 Newsletter >>

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Gaining the Whole World at the Cost of Your Soul: The Lesson of Abram and Lot

Hi,

I hope you enjoy the following blog as much as I did. I found it earlier in the day at "Shameless Popery," an entry written by Joe Heschmeyer.

There are two points I particularly liked. The first is that wealth can be a source of division within families; by wealth, I'm thinking of the wide definition - i.e., not solely of material wealth but also personal talents, time, leisure and the like. Second, the author does a good job at pointing out how parents prioritorize certain categories over others thereby adversely affecting the fate of their children; he cites educational prestige trumping moral environment. Finally, Hechmeyer's references to Scriptures reinforce my belief about its timeless wisdom. Enjoy:

Yesterday's First Reading was from Genesis 13:25-18:

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. [...] Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support them if they stayed together; their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.
 
There were quarrels between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and those of Lot's. (At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were occupying the land.) So Abram said to Lot: "Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land at your disposal? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left."
 
Lot looked about and saw how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD'S own garden, or like Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other; Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain, pitching his tents near Sodom. Now the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked in the sins they committed against the LORD.
 
After Lot had left, the LORD said to Abram: "Look about you, and from where you are, gaze to the north and south, east and west; all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever. I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth; if anyone could count the dust of the earth, your descendants too might be counted. Set forth and walk about in the land, through its length and breadth, for to you I will give it." Abram moved his tents and went on to settle near the terebinth of Mamre, which is at Hebron. There he built an altar to the LORD.

Some time ago, I heard a great homily preached on one line of this passage: "their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together."  There's so much which can be mined from that punchy little statement.  The wealth and possessions which we're told will bring us happiness divided the family of Abram and Lot. It lead to their herdsmen in-fighting, and it ultimately resulted in them separating. Again and again, we see this happen, that those things which we expect will make us happy just tear us away from those we love.

But there's something else which the priest yesterday pointed out.  Lot wants the best for his family, and he's unashamed to take what he believes is the better half, as a result.  But look at the factors Lot considers when deciding which half of the land to take:"Lot looked about and saw how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD'S own garden, or like Egypt."  He then proceeds to settle near Sodom, despite the fact that "the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked in the sins they committed against the LORD."  He's so caught up with making sure his family is taken care of financially that he's not looking after their immortal souls.

Father mentioned that we often do this today, particularly with education. We want the best for our families, so parents will save up to send their kids to the most expensive and academically prestigious schools they can find, or they'll encourage their kids to attend a top-rated school.  But while imaging their kids as wealthy and successful, they too often don't give enough consideration to whether those kids will be strong Catholics.  I know that St. Mary's in Alexandria particularly has this problem, since many of the kids are from pretty wealthy families, who have high ambitions for their kids. One consequence is that the kids in these families are so busy with sports and other extracurricular activities to bolster their college resumes that the parish has been unsuccessful in getting a high school youth group going . They've tried both before and after school, but nothing seems to work. 

It's worth remembering how this plays out for Lot's family.  They settle in to Sodom, and Lot's daughters marry two of the locals.  But were it not for his uncle's constant intervention on his behalf, Lot and his family would have been killed numerous times: first by the neighboring tribes (Genesis 14), then by the wicked men of Sodom themselves (Genesis 19:1-9), and finally by the wrath of God raining down fire and brimstone upon that town (Genesis 18:16-33Genesis 19:23-25).  As it is, Lot still loses his wife, when she looks back (Gen. 19:26), as well as his two faithless sons-in-law (Genesis 19:14).  Their attachment to what they mistook as the good life devastates the very family Lot is trying to protect, and but for the grace of God, they would all have been dead.

Jesus remarks on this desire to put financial security above everything, including the spiritual formation of our families: "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mt. 16:26).  Instead, He offers a superior way: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt. 6:33).

Abraham is wealthy, but he isn't married to his wealth.  He willingly, even voluntarily, takes the seemingly-worse half of the land.  But he makes it the better share, because what's the first thing he does?  Upon arriving at his new home, "he built an altar to the LORD." Abraham seeks God first and prospers. Lot misses the big picture, and is barely saved.

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Horror! Mom Kills Son in Womb to Spare Him Any Pain

Hi,

I came across the following post earlier in the day from the site entitled "The Creative Minority Report". I reproduce it below.  I include it because I find it a well articulated and sensitive presentation of a grave topic in our society - the unjust fate of un-borns children having some form of imperfection, such as trisomic 21 - i.e., Down's syndrome,  or spina bifida. Regarding the former, I have read that 90% to 95% are aborted. The article concerns the latter condition.

What is striking about this article, and this eerily echoes what I have heard both by to the girls heading into abortion facilities and by the facility's workers, is the prescient knowledge of the fate of the unborn. There is the presumption that the life of the unborn will be one of misery. Little weight is attributed to unknown possibilities of life. The followingis the article in its entirety. - Brian J.

Chelsea Zimmerman is guest posting here once a week for the next few weeks. We're glad to have her. She typically writes at Reflections of a Paralytic - which is a great blog that you should bookmark or follow or favorite or whatever it is you do to. Just read her. Here she is:

And here's her excellent post:

After the accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down, my first roommate in rehab was a young woman with spina bifida, a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings, usually leaving the individual unable to walk unaided. She was the happiest, most full of life girl I’ve ever met and her love for life influenced me greatly, helping me more easily adjust to life with a major disability.

I’ve lost touch with her over the years, but she and her infectious laughter were clear in my mind as I read with great sadness this column by “Sara Carpenter” (a pseudonym) in the UK Daily Mail about the decision she made to kill her unborn child after it was determined that he would be born with spina bifida. It’s not that it was news to me that children pre-natally diagnosed with various diseases and disabilities are killed in untero. But the description she gave of how she pictured her son’s life with a disability cut me to the core:

"I pictured him watching from the sofa, frustrated and immobile, as his sisters turned cartwheels and somersaults in the living room. I envisaged trips to the park, where he would sit on the sidelines as other children clambered over climbing frames and kicked footballs. … “I tried to shake away the image I conjured in my head of a little boy, lonely and friendless, robbed of the most basic human functions. The prospect of watching a child I’d love just as much as his sisters suffer in this way made me howl. I hugged my stomach, as if I could in some way shield him from the misery that lay ahead.”

What is even more upsetting about her account is that Sara and her husband both acknowledged that they were in fact killing their son – not vaguely “terminating a pregnancy.” They named him, held him after he was delivered via induced labor abortion and gave him a proper burial. Sara even talks about the abortion being, “completely at odds with my instincts as a mother.” And yet she did it and she justified it because she thought she was sparing him the awful life she was so sure he would have.

But why was she so sure of this? Who says that disabled children have such miserable lives? Certainly not the children themselves! In fact, researchers at Newcastle University recently applied standard self-assessment techniques used to appraise children’s levels of happiness to 500 young people with cerebral palsy. The results demonstrated that “Disabled children in the North of England have the same range of happiness and unhappiness as all children.” As they grow up and develop their sense of self, “they see their disabilities as part as who they are…(and) they perceived their position in life no differently as their friends in the general population.” The same can be said of children with other disabilities, including spina bifida. I dare anyone to listen to this laugh and tell me that that child is not happy to be alive.

So what is the problem?

The problem is that by and large non-disabled people simply disagree with this. They instinctively judge the lives of these children through able-bodied eyes and only see tragedy. Going back to the Newcastle study, even many parents who have chosen to love and care for their disabled child scored their children’s quality of life much lower than the children themselves. And, so many, many parents like the Carpenters conclude that the only loving thing to do is end their handicapped child’s life in the womb and spare them the suffering.

I have no doubt that the decision to abort is every bit as agonizing as Carpenter describes in her piece. However the parents and those advising them in these cases are confusing love with pity which often stems from a kind of selfish empathy. One sees a child in a wheelchair and thinks that he would rather be dead than have to live in such a situation himself, so he decides that it is much more merciful to never allow a child like that to be born. These people are so blinded by fear of the “otherness” of such conditions that they cannot see what is still good and beautiful. What’s more, in many ways, they are trying to save themselves from the emotional stress of having to care for someone suffering so terribly as much as they are trying to save the child from his own suffering, if not more so.

Everyone has the right to pursue happiness, including children with disabilities, and the reality is that most of them will enjoy their lives immensely…if they’re given the opportunity. Sure, sick and disabled people must endure sometimes tragic suffering, but the value and meaning of our lives are no way diminished by some physical limitations. Even in the midst of the pain and adversity that come with disease and disability, there is still quite a lot to enjoy about life. You just have to be willing to see it.

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Crisis at Development & Peace - Recents Events

Over the past month, there has been a plethora of articles concerning the funding of abortion-promoting organisations by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace - a.k.a., CCODP or D&P.

In an effort to keep you abreast of these events, we present a few of these in chronological order, beginning with the most recent and working our way backward.

This Week:

  1. The most recent comes from Father Raymond J. de Souza, pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary Parish on Wolfe Island, and chaplain at Newman House at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. and regular contributor to the National Post.  His article appeared in yesterday's BC Catholic, the diocesan newspaper of the Vancouver archdiocese, and is entitled "CCODP pro-life commitment flounders in foreign countries".
  2. The latter story was covered by LifeSiteNews in an article entitled: "A prominent priest’s stinging critique of Development & Peace". By going to this site, scores of other stories on this subject may be accessed.

Last Week:

  1. There were several developments last week which followed one another. First, CCODP announced that they were pulling funding from one of its partner agencies. Second, the head of this agency, a Jesuit priest, announced his resignation - "Fr. Arriaga, leader of pro-abortion D&P grant recipient, leaves office following scandal". Third, the Jesuit communities in Canada and Mexico rallied in support of their brother Jesuit in "Jesuit leadership defends pro-abortion organization denounced by Mexican cardinal."
  2. Also, the daily LeDevoir presented an op-ed article entitled "Crise à Développement et Paix - Tutelle des évêques sur l'organisme laïque d'aide internationale"
  3. Finally, the archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, asserts that Mexican D&P partner the PRODH centre (the very centre defended by the Jesuit leadership only a few days before) promotes an ideology that is "against unborn life."

Week of May 22, 2011

The week before - May 22-27, the papal organization which oversees the national foreign aid catholic organizations such as D&P - Caritas Internationalis, met in Rome. This was their 19th World Congress. Here are a few of the stories that came from it:

  1. "Caritas: the practice of Love by the Church as a 'Community of Love' "
  2.  "Catholic charitable works cannot preclude evangelisation: top Vatican Justice and Peace official"
  3. "Pope : Vatican must ensure Caritas charity groups are “completely in accord” with Magisterium"

Miscellanea

Finally independent bloggers have also taken an interest in these proceedings.Two bloggers have combined their work on the English blog Social Conservatives United, while a francophone site that focuses upon the Church in Quebec has not ignored the current kurfuffle at D&P - Crayon et Goupillon.

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