Cristina Odone My happy day with Dawkins
NOTEBOOK, PAGE 12
Christopher West Marriage: what you need to know
FEATURE, PAGE 8
David Twiston-Davies The Queen is a great defender of our faith CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
March 2 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Ethicists call for killing of newborns to be made legal
Starlet turned Sister returns to Oscars
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A LEADING British medical journal has published an article calling for the introduction of infanticide for social and medical reasons.
The article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, entitled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” states in its abstract: “After-birth abortion (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”
The article, written by Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of Oxford University, argues that “foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons” and consequently a law which permits abortion for certain reasons should permit infanticide on the same grounds.
The article follows alleged instances of sex-selective abortions throughout Britain raising alarm concerning the application of the 1967 Abortion Act.
Undercover reporters for the Daily Telegraph accompanied pregnant women to nine clinics in different parts of the country. On three occasions doctors were recorded allegedly offering to arrange a termination because the mother wanted to abort her child on the grounds of sex.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has agreed to report the abortion clinics and doctors involved to the police and the General Medical Council.
Lord Alton, co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said that infanticide was the “chilling and unassailable” logical step for a society that permits killing a baby one day before birth.
Personal choice has eclipsed the sacredness of life itself. It is profoundly disturbing
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He said: “That the Journal of Medical Ethics should give space to such a proposition illustrates not a slippery slope, but the quagmire into which medical ethics and our wider society have been sucked.
“Personal choice has eclipsed the sacredness, or otherness, of life itself. It is profoundly disturbing, indeed shocking, to see the way in which opinion-formers within the medical profession have ditched the traditional belief of the healer to uphold the sanctity of human life for this impoverished and inhumane defence of child destruction.
“It has been said that a country which kills its own children has no future. That’s true. And a country which accepts infanticide or the killing of a little girl or a little boy because of their gender, the killing of a baby because of a disability, or the killing of a child because it is inconvenient, the wrong shape, or the wrong colour, also forfeits its right to call itself civilised.”
Kenneth Boyd, associate editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, said that the publication of the paper did not reflect his personal view and that the article had undergone academic peer review.
Mr Boyd said: “I think what the authors are addressing is a minority problem following birth, where there would have been grounds for a termination and many people would feel that that circumstance is unfortunate but no reason for infanticide. But our feeling was that it’s better for these views to be discussed.”
The authors, when discussing children with Down’s Syndrome, state: “To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds
Continued on Page 2
A 73-YEAR-OLD nun walked the Oscars red carpet on Sunday for the first time in 50 years. Mother Dolores Hart, who starred in two films with Elvis Presley before joining the Benedictines, said it was
“absolutely an extraordinary event”. Mother Dolores was invited to the ceremony as the subject of a documentary, God is Bigger Than Elvis. When fans screamed at her she let out a “huge whistle”,
according to the New York Post. A source said: “No one could believe such a loud sound came from the reserved Mother.”
She told reporters: “Believe me, this is very different from being in the monastery.”
Catholic library to seek home in London
BY ED WEST
THE CATHOLIC National Library is planning to move back to London after five years in Hampshire.
The library is currently based in St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, having left London in 2007, but its management now plans to return to the capital and are in talks with a potential landlord. A previous plan to relocate to Hammersmith, west London, fell through.
The library houses 70,000 volumes of theology, catechetics, religious history, art and fiction, as well as 150 complete sets of periodicals. It also contains mission registers which list baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths, dating back to the 17th century.
Finance officer Ron Kearney said: “We want to get the library more accessible to the public, and we want to expand. We’re just piled high with books at the moment.”
Mr Kearney said the management also want the library to become “more of an archive” to help with research, and that they required 2,000 square feet.
“We would appeal to some Catholic organisation or someone who has a nice block of flats who would be interested in letting us have it for a nominal amount,” Mr Kearney said.
The Catholic Central Library, as it was called until 2007, was founded in 1912 by American philanthropist William Reed Lewis with the aim of educating the laity, and was endorsed by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
It contains a collection of rare 18thand 19th-century pamphlets as well as first editions of works by Catholic writers such as Evelyn Waugh, G K Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Mgr Ronald Knox and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
In 1997 the library sold off its London premises and for a period was housed in an Anglican church hall in Euston before costs forced it to move out. The library was only saved after a campaign by peers such as Lord Longford and Lord Alton and novelists Alice Thomas Ellis and Piers Paul Read. Cardinal Basil Hume had planned to split the collection between Allen Hall and Heythrop. Editorial Comment: Page 13
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Archbishop Nichols ‘reaffirms’ Soho Masses following criticism
BY STAFF REPORTER
ARCHBISHOP Vincent Nichols has reaffirmed the Diocese of Westminster’s pastoral provision for gay Catholics following accusations that it provides a platform for dissent from Church teaching.
But the Archbishop of Westminster also appeared to suggest that some parts of the provision were under review.
In a statement the archbishop said that he “reaffirmed the intention and purpose” of the provision for Catholics at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street.
He added: “At the present time consideration is being given to the circumstances in which these Masses are celebrated to ensure that their purpose is respected and that they are not occasions for confusion or opposition concerning the positive teaching of the Church on the meaning of human sexuality.”
The pastoral provision,
known colloquially as the “Soho Masses”, has attracted criticism since it was established five years ago by the archbishop’s predecessor, Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor. Earlier this month a short video of the bidding prayers at one of the Masses was posted on YouTube. Critics claimed that the prayers challenged Catholic teaching on homosexuality – a claim denied by the organisers.
Archbishop Nichols said: “As we approach the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a pastoral provision for Catholics of a same-sex orientation at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, I would like to reaffirm the intention and purpose of this outreach.”
He said that the purpose, set out in 2007, was based on “three essential foundations”: the dignity of all people, the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and pastoral care for people with same-sex attraction.
Pope’s brother: I felt sad at election news BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
POPE BENEDICT XVI’s brother has said that he felt “disheartened” and “depressed” on hearing the news that his brother had been elected Pope.
In the English edition of his book My Brother the Pope, Mgr Ratzinger describes the evening that white smoke went up in Rome. He writes: “It was a great challenge, an enormous task for him, I thought, and I was seriously worried. I saw neither the pomp nor the beauty of it, but only the challenge... And I was sad that now he would probably have no more time for me. So that evening I went to bed rather depressed.”
Mgr Ratzinger explains that he cheered up when his brother later phoned and was “still the same old Joseph”.
Spanish bishop cuts his salary by a quarter BY ED WEST
A SPANISH bishop has taken a voluntary pay cut of 25 per cent in solidarity with the country’s poor.
Bishop Xavier Novell of Solsona in Catalonia, who at 42 is the youngest bishop in Spain and the eighth youngest in the world, cut his monthly salary from €1,200 (£1,000) to €900 (£750).
Spain has an unemployment rate of 23 per cent, rising to almost 50 per cent among the young.
Bishop Novell also gave €300,000 (£250,000) – 10 per cent of the diocese’s budget – to Caritas.
Bishop Novell said in a pastoral letter: “Catholics must not remain passive. We cannot ignore the parable of the Good Samaritan.”
Caroline Farrow Finally, pro-lifers have the upper hand PAGE 8
Dom Henry Wansbrough Stand in the dazzling light of God’s love PAGE 9
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