Louise Mensch How saints calm my fear of flying INTERVIEW, PAGE 8
Mgr Stephen Rossetti Why today’s priests are truly happy COMMENT, PAGE 12
Mexico’s miraculous art David V Barrett on a stunning display of votive paintings ARTS, PAGE 14
October 14 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Queen’s cousin fights effort to make abortion a human right
Mafia is tearing society apart, says Pope
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE QUEEN’S cousin emerged this week as a leading opponent of growing international pressure to enshrine abortion as a human right.
On Monday, Lord Nicholas Windsor officially launched the San José Articles in the House of Lords. The articles cite international documents and instruments asserting the “scientific fact” that life begins from conception and should be protected. The articles seek to prevent countries from being pressured into legalising abortion and are signed by eminent politicians, diplomats, lawyers and scholars from across the world. The clauses refute the claim that abortion is now a human right by providing legislators with an authoritative document.
In a statement the authors of the San José articles wrote: “It is now commonplace that people around the world are being told there is a new international right to abortion. Those who receive this message are influential and believable people: UN personnel, human right lawyers, judges and others. The assertion they make is false. No UN treaty makes abortion an international right.”
There are 30 signatures supporting the San José Articles, including those of Lord Alton of Liverpool, Javier Borrego, a former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Professor Robert George of Princeton University and Leonard Leo, former delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission.
Lord Nicholas said that it was not the case that UN law offered no protection for the unborn child, pointing out, for instance, that pregnant women could not be sentenced to death. He said: “I see the San José Articles as an attempt to
There is a systematic and sustained attempt to bully countries into changing their laws
For the latest pro-life news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk draw a line and fight back against a concerted movement which seeks to read a ‘right to abortion’ into standing international law.
“The latter is being manipulated in the effort to craft such a right. Not least, it is anti-democratic to subvert in this way the will of national parliaments and courts. I hope that these articles will be a useful tool for all those who don’t want to give up their national right to choose to defend the unborn from conception onwards.”
Lord Alton, who chaired the launch, said there was “a systematic and sustained attempt to bully countries into changing their laws”. He said that the 1948 Declaration on Human Rights emerged from the horrific crimes of the Second World War and protected the right to life.
He said: “The iniquitous campaign to establish abortion as an international human right betrays a lamentable grasp of history and flies in the face of the duty which both states and individuals have to cherish and defend vulnerable life.
“The San José Articles are a long overdue international re-assertion of the admirable impulses which gave birth to the 1948 Declaration and to recognise that the greatest of all rights is the right to life itself.”
Speakers at the launch included Conservative Fiona Bruce MP and Jim Dobbin MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group. Miss Bruce MP said that, internationally, “support for maternal health care is inextricably linked with the provision of abortion”.
She said that while sex-selective abortion was repudiated worldwide, a child could still be aborted because he or she has a clubbed foot. Editorial Comment: Page 13
POPE BENEDICT XVI has said that society in the Calabrian region of Italy is being torn apart by organised crime.
During a visit to the region, which is dominated by the ’N
drangheta mafia, he told a crowd of 40,000: “[This] is a land where unemployment is worrisome, where often ferocious criminality tears the social fabric, a land in which there is a constant feeling of being in a state of emergency.”
But the Pope added: “Don’t ever give in to the temptation of pessimism.”
Holy See urges Iran to spare Christian
BY ED WEST
THE IRANIAN Christian sentenced to death for converting from Islam has been given fresh hope after his case was referred back to the country’s lower court after a judge ruled that the conviction was made following “insufficient investigations”.
The fate of Youcef Nadarkhani has been raised in the House of Lords while the Holy See is understood to be lobbying through diplomatic channels.
The 33-year-old Protestant pastor was arrested in the northern city of Rasht in 2009 on charges of refusing to reconvert to Islam, and sentenced to death. He was due to die for his faith last week.
But following criticism from governments, human rights groups and Christian leaders, the regime claimed that he had been condemned not for apostasy but for “being a Zionist and a traitor, who had committed security-related crimes”.
In London crossbench peer David Alton raised the issue in the House of Lords and with the British Government.
He told The Catholic Herald: “It is welcome news that the Iranian court has reportedly referred the case to Iran’s supreme leader, a move which almost certainly indicates that Iran is aware of the immense international indignation which this case has aroused. In seeking the opinion of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – the Islamic republic’s spiritual leader and highest authority – the world will be able to judge whether Iran’s leadership has any concept of religious freedom or elementary justice.
“Youcef Nadarkhani’s only crime has been to become a Christian. In the face of a death sentence, his subsequent courage in refusing to renounce Christianity reveals amazing bravery on his part and cruel barbarity on theirs.”
A spokesman for the bishops’ conference said: “We are concerned at the reports from Iran about the death sentence for Youcef Nadarkhani. The Holy See has expressed its concern through diplomatic channels and we remain hopeful that the Courts will revoke the death penalty over the coming days. Meanwhile, our prayers are with him and his family.”
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Anglican parish crosses the Tiber before launch of US ordinariate BY MARK ZIMMERMANN
CARDINAL Donald Wuerl welcomed 71 members of an Anglican parish into full communion with the Catholic Church at the national basilica in Washington on Sunday. Welcoming the St Luke community from the Washington suburb of Bladensburg, Maryland, Cardinal Wuerl, said: “Today is a day of rejoicing for all of us.”
He said that during the Mass the new Catholics from
St Luke, and the other Catholics in attendance, could come together “to the altar of the Lord, filled with joy and gratitude”.
The cardinal said in his homily: “The Church is the Body of Christ, the beginning of the Kingdom, the family of God, and the way to salvation.
“Today, as part of your faith journey, you come to the church to complete your initiation into the Body of Christ.
“The heart of our communion, our bonding, our spiritual life, is this altar,” Cardinal Wuerl said, adding: “Today, we will invite everyone [here] to that table of the Lord, to receive that Communion that bonds us with Christ and with one another.”
Mark Lewis, the former rector of the St Luke community, who as an Episcopal priest shepherded his parishioners through the process of joining the Catholic Church, said after the Mass: “I’m so glad to be home.”
“I was brought to tears several times,” he said afterwards. “As I watched my people come forward for their first Communion I was praying and thanking God. They’re so open to what God is doing in their lives. I’ve been honoured to be their pastor.”
The Vatican is expected to announce the formation of a US ordinariate this autumn for groups of Anglicans seeking to enter the Catholic Church.
Nobel winners hailed by African cardinal BY MARK GREAVES
CARDINAL Peter Turkson has hailed the decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to three women as “noble and encouraging”.
He told Vatican Radio that he knew one of the women, the Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and that “I can attest that her leadership, her initiative in politics is very much appreciated by us in West Africa”. Cardinal Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said that the other Liberian winner, Leymah Gbowee, was “a person who encourages women to hold their heads high”.
Mrs Sirleaf, 72, was Africa’s first elected woman president, taking over Liberia after 14 years of civil war.
Priest to be saint after rollerblading miracle BY CINDY WOODEN
AN ITALIAN PRIEST is to be canonised after the healing of a young man severely injured in a rollerblading accident. William Glisson, now 30, was 21 years old when, rollerblading backwards, he struck a hole and fell on his head. He was left in a coma and underwent skull surgery twice. His prognosis was still grave when a family friend gave his mother two relics of Blessed Louis Guanella (18421915), the founder of the Servants of Charity, Daughters of St Mary of Providence and the Confraternity of St Joseph. Mr Glisson came out of the coma and was released from the hospital within weeks.
Blessed Louis Guanella will be proclaimed a saint on October 23.
Sister Helen Alford How I broke the glass ceiling in Rome PAGE 7
Milo Yiannopoulos Steve Jobs’s fight against online smut PAGE 9
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