THE CATHOLIC HERALD DECEMBER 22, 2006
Expert slams ‘psychotic’ morning-after pill campaign
THEBRITISH Pregnancy Advisory Service’s appeal to make the morning-after pill as “normal as Nurofen” has been described as “bordering on the psychotic” by Britain’s leading Catholic bioethics centre. Dr Helen Watt, of the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, denounced the controversial campaign, which aims to make the abortifacient pill as widely available as possible. “The morning-after pill does not ‘prevent’ pregnancy if a child has already been conceived,” she said. “It stops that child from implanting in the womb, thereby ending his or her life,” said Dr Watt. “To compare a homicidal drug to paracetamol shows a failure to appreciate the meaning of human life and sexuality bordering on the psychotic.” Designed to coincide with the Christmas party season, when sexual promiscuity reportedly rises sharply, the BPAS campaign encourages women to keep the the pill alongside plasters and painkillers in their medicine cabinets. In a statement the organisation, which has charitable status, said: “You don’t wait until you have a headache before buying aspirin and it makes no sense to wait until
you have unprotected sex before you get emergency contraception.” A spokesman told TheDaily Telegraph : “We are trying to make the morning-after pill as normal as Nurofen. Having it at home should be as normal as that.” It maintains that the pill should be purchased in advance in order to serve more effectively. At present, the contraceptive pill can be obtained for £26 in pharmacies, or less with a prescription from a doctor. Doctors and nurses at 17 BPAS clinics will be on hand at all times to provide the emergency contraception pill for less than half of its retail price at a mere £10. Ann Furedi, the organisation’s chief executive provoked anger among pro-life groups, with her description of the campaigns objectives. “Emergency contraceptive pills give us a second chance to avoid a problem pregnancy,” she said. “It makes sense to keep it in the bathroom cabinet, along with your plasters and paracetamol. You don’t wait until you have a headache before buying aspirin, and it makes no sense to wait until you have unprotected sex before you get emergency contraception.” BPAS is the largest provider of medical and surgical abortions, vasectomies and female sterilisation in the United Kingdom.
The Cardinal: ‘The Christian influence in the public sphere is built upon the foundation of friendship with our brothers and sisters in Christ’
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s Christmas message
I NRECENT months, none of us can have failed to notice the extent to which controversies relating in some way to religion have dominated the headlines. This reawakening of interest in faith is an opportunity to make the Christian presence in society a prominent one. Our culture has its roots in faith, and so we should not bow to the pressures of secular tensions and hide our status as followers of Christ. The Christian
influence in the public sphere is built upon a foundation of friendship and fraternity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, which we should take great pride in. TheCatholic Herald has made a significant contribution to highlighting the positive role that religion can play in society. I would like to thank the staff and readers for their encouragement of and involvement in the life of the Church. As I offer you all my kindest wishes this
Christmas, I want to remind you of how important it is to keep Christ at the centre of our hearts and minds at this time. Let us all try to make Him known to those whose path to Him is blocked by the distractions of secular society. I will spend the few days before Christmas on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with leaders of other churches in England. As we journey together to Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord, we will stand
together as Christians, making our presence in such a troubled land a sign of the support and prayers of Christians everywhere. Just as we will encourage the Christians of the Holy Land to invite God into their hearts at Christmas, I encourage you to do so too. We now celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation. May the wonderful gift of God made man bring us a deeper faith and much happiness this Christmastide.
Cardinal ‘not interested’ in Old Firm derby
Children don’t need father, says Government
C ARDINAL K EITH O’Brien has accused the Scottish National Executive of failing to do enough to stamp out “institutional sectarianism”. Speaking at a summit on the issue in Glasgow, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh said the executive had focused too much on football and parades. “Most instances of sectarianism do not involve any of these and I think we should now begin to look at the wider social causes of sectarian animosity,” he said.
Despite reports to the contrary, Cardinal O’Brien did not attend last Sunday’s football match between Rangers and Celtic. After last week’s Summit on Sectarianism, several news agencies, including the BBC, claimed that Cardinal O’Brien would join Kirk Moderator Rt Rev Alan Macdonald at future matches between the Old Firm rivals, as “a show of unity”. Yet a spokesman for Cardinal O’Brien told the Herald that the prelate had no wish to “perpetuate the myth that Celtic is a Catholic football club”. “The cardinal is not interested
in football and will not be attending any matches,” said the spokesman. “At the summit it was made clear that football is a small reflection of the huge problem of sectarianism in Glasgow. “In reality sectarianism means anti-Catholicism, and it has been around in the city long before the football clubs were established in 1845.” Cardinal O’Brien told the summit that in order to put an end to religious bigotry “the wider social causes of sectarian animosity”, such as poverty, unemployment, poor housing and boredom must be tackled. The fierce rivalry
between the two biggest football clubs in Scotland has long been marred by sectarian violence, often prompted by the singing of aggressive songs by supporters of both clubs. At the summit Jack McConnell, Scotland’s First Minister, praised both Rangers and Celtic for working in their respective communities to stamp out sectarian bigotry. He said: “We must keep up the pressure and build on the good work.” Only last May, Rangers were fined by UEFA, European football’s governing body, after their supporters sang sectarian songs during a UEFA cup match.
THEREQUIREMENT that a child has a father should be scrapped from the law governing fertility treatment, a Government White Paper has proposed. In a move that would grant lesbian couples and single women equal access to NHS fertility treatment, the review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act stated that “the reference to need for a father [in consideration of the welfare of the child] should
be removed from the Act”. Presenting the paper, Caroline Flint, the public health minister, said: “The UK is a world leader in reproductive technology and a pioneer in the way it is regulated. “But the current law, which has served us well, is in need of revision. Technology has changed and so have attitudes. I believe that the proposed changes we are publishing today will ensure that legitimate medical and scientific uses of human reproductive tech
nologies continue to flourish.” She also said that “treatment should be considered regardless of sexual orientation”. It has also been proposed that both women in a lesbian relationship should be granted automatic parental rights over babies conceived using donor sperm. In addition, homosexual men and unmarried couples who use surrogate mothers will be able to apply to a court for parental orders that would make both partners
legal parents –a privilege that is currently unique to married couples. The proposals were criticised by Dr Daniel Boucher of the Christian social policy charity Care. He said: “There is a great deal of research suggesting that children benefit optimally from the parenting presence of both a mother and a father. “If we are a society that genuinely cares for children we will not embark on social experiments that deny them this opportunity.”
YOURR CHRISTMASS // NEWW YEARR GIFTT FOODD FORR AA HUNGRYY CHILD
We wish all our friends and benefactors a very happy and peaceful Christmas and many blessings in the New Year.
Tens of thousands of children die each day of hunger and disease. Countless others are so weakened by lack of proper food in infancy that they are stunted in body and mind, and become permanently disabled. Street children throughout the world are driven by hunger and homelessness into crime: stealing, peddling drugs and prostitution, and millions of famished street children, totally abandoned, scavenge on rubbish tips for anything edible, or labour for long hours for a pittance. Many are brutally killed.
COULDD YOUU PREVENTT THE DEATHH OFF ONEE CHILD? Missionaries worldwide send us heartrending pleas for help to feed hungry, suffering children. JUST £25 WOULD KEEPA CHILD ALIVE FOR ONE MONTH, £300 FOR AWHOLE YEAR. Please let your Christmas gift to the Holy Child be to feed and save the life of a helpless child.
Crossed POs and cheques should be sent and made payable to: THE LITTLE WAY ASSOCIATION,CH/12/21 119 Cedars Rd, Clapham Common, London SW4 0PR (Registered Charity No. 235703) Tel. 020-7622 0466 I enclose £ ...............to be allocated for:
In your prayers at the Crib, please ask the Holy Child to bless and protect all missionaries as they labour to bring the knowledge of His love and saving power to the world.
YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM THE LITTLE WAY: A Novena of Masses for your intentions from 16-24 December
£.........FOOD FOR A HUNGRY CHILD £.........VILLAGE WELL / £.........HOMES FOR THE HOMELESS £.........MAINTENANCE OF CATECHISTS £.........MASS STIPENDS (please state no. ) £.........LITTLE WAY ADMIN.EXPENSES DONATIONS FOR THE MISSIONS ARE SENTWITHOUT DEDUCTION FOR ANY EXPENSES.
Name(Rev. Mr. Mrs. Miss) (Block letters please) Address
WELLSS NEEDED Missionaries constantly appeal to us for funds to sink wells in order to provide clean water, the lack of which causes much illness and many medical needs. The sum of £1,500 would enable a missionary to supply a whole village with drinking water.
GIVEE AA CATECHIST
AA DONATIONN FOR
THEE NEWW YEAR In present times the work of native Catechists is vital to the Missions. Many missions cover vast areas, and the missionary can only visit each village a few times a year to celebrate holy Mass, baptise, hear confessions, marry and instruct his people. He depends upon Catechists, who, sharing in the culture of the locality, can dispense the Christian message to the underprivileged who do not know Christ. A gift of £40 would pay a fulltime Catechist for one month Please help The Little Way to spread the Faith by responding to the constant appeals from missionaries for the upkeep of Catechists.
Australian cardinal gives England team a Christmas sledge
W HILE E NGLAND cricket supporters endure tortuous nights watching their team sink to humiliating defeat in the Ashes, an Australian cardinal is enjoying every minute. Cardinal George Pell of Sydney gave the England team a thorough sledging –cricketing slang for a verbal assault on an opponent –in a newspaper column. Writing in the Australian Daily Telegraph , the cardinal said: “Victory at cricket over the Poms is important as a national ambition.” Cardinal Pell, well-known for his muscular brand of Catholicism, said the Australian team should aim for a 5-0 series victory, adding “although you should never kick a man when he’s down, with the English cricket team, I would be tempted to add the rider –metaphorically speaking, of course –“unless he looks like getting up”. Despite Cardinal Pell’s partisan support of his home team, he did go on to say that at its heart the rivalry between the teams was a goodnatured one. “Outsiders, and even recent immigrants, often misunderstand the relationship between England and Australia –or at least the relationship between many Englishmen and most ‘old’ Australians because there are deep wells of affection underneath the warlike sports talk,” he wrote.
Eddie Condon, captain of the Recusant Cricket Club in London agreed with Cardinal Pell that matches between the two countries “are always special occasions”. But Mr Condon showed that when it comes to sledging, England can give as good as they get. “Cardinal Pell and Australia might be well advised to kick England when they are down, but taunting the wounded lion is a dangerous game,” he said. “Australia has the raging inferiority complex of a country which is still, in theory, a colony. The need to prove themselves all grown-up is what makes them so competitive. “For England, beating Australia is like winning an arm-wrestle against your much younger, not very clever, but infuriatingly large little brother.” As The Catholic Herald went to press, Australia had won the Ashes with a convincing victory in the third test in Perth and looked on course to complete a 5-0 drubbing.
his Christmas,CAFOD would like to thank you for…
elping to renew hope and build a better world…
cting on your concern for others…
urturing respect for the dignity of every person…
eeping up the fight for justice for all…
haring what you have with those living in poverty...
Thank you for supporting CAFOD
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