Every form of a person’s dependence on legal substances (alcohol, medications or tobacco) and even more so on illegal drugs is an exchange of freedom for slavery: it damages the health and life of the person concerned and also does great harm to the people around them. Every time a person loses himself or forgets himself by becoming intoxicated, which can also include excessive eating and drinking, indulgence in sexual activity, or speeding with an automobile, he loses some of his human dignity and freedom and therefore sins against God. This should be distinguished from the reasonable conscious and moderate use of enjoyable things.
By Sarah Mac Donald – 14 October, 2013
He said he and his colleagues who were expelled from the party for opposing the abortion act now found themselves “outside our political party because we honoured our commitment – the pledge that our party made to the Irish people” on abortion.
Deputy Flanagan was joined by his colleague in the Reform Alliance, Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, who told CatholicIreland.net that she had “absolutely no regrets” over her expulsion from the Fine Gael parliamentary party for her opposition to the abortion act.
“I think this was meant to be – I have absolutely no regrets. It is a really exciting time,” she said.
Admitting this was the first time she had attended a pro life event, she said, “I have found this movement very important. They respect life to such a huge degree and they want to protect life in all its forms and in all its difficulties.”
Referring to Hilary Ní Lorcáin’s moving testimony about the life of her baby daughter Margaret who lived just two and a half days, Senator Healy Eames said she had been really impressed by that.
“We need to lobby for peri-natal care and peri-natal hospice care. Whether you live one day or 40 days or 40 years – every life counts.”
The Pro Life Campaign was forced to change its venue due to demand for places at the AGM. According to a PLC spokeswoman, the venue where the organisation traditionally holds its national conference seats 400.
“We were expecting at least 600 people to attend this year’s conference. That’s why we were forced to switch venue just a few days ago,” Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said of the decision to move to the RDS in Dublin.
Asked why there was still such enthusiasm for the issue when the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act had been passed into law, Ms Sherlock responded, “The Fine Gael leadership told its backbench TDs that once the legislation passed through the Dáil the pro-life movement would become deflated and defeated.” She said they were wrong on that.
The Pro Life Campaign spokeswoman said the task ahead for pro-life supporters was “to undo the false perception that the Government’s legislation is about life saving treatments for women and not abortion.”
“As more and more people come to realise that an abortion regime has been introduced, support for the repeal of the legislation will grow,” Cora Sherlock said.
“We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that members of the public are given an opportunity to hear exactly what the Government’s legislation entails. Repealing this unjust law will not be easy but the work in achieving that goal has already commenced,” she warned.
Other speakers who addressed the conference in addition to Hilary Ní Lorcáin were Adele Best of Women Hurt and Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com which now has over 750,000 readers around the world.
Meanwhile, Senator Fidelma Healy said she was “proud of the Irish people for the message they delivered to the Government on the Seanad vote” and this was greeted by cheers and applause from up to 600 pro-life supporters in the RDS.
“I think the lack of listening [by the Government] had an impact. The growing sense of arrogance, the bullishness, definitely there was a reaction by the Irish people against that,” she commented to CatholicIreland.net
The Irish people are after doing a wonderful thing in my view by rejecting the Seanad referendum, she said. “They are after saying ‘stop, pause, and rethink’ and they are throwing a lifeline to An Taoiseach. I am saying listen to that lifeline and take it on board and recast the future for Fine Gael because Fine Gael is a very fine party.”
She expressed support for the PLC’s forthcoming nationwide grassroots campaign which is aimed at getting the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act repealed, but she urged pro life supporters not to wait until the 2016 general election but to begin selecting people to stand in next year’s local elections in May 2014.
In his address, Steven Ertelt lashed out at the biased media coverage of the Gosnell case, the US late term abortionist, noting that it was 56 days into the trial before the mainstream media in the US reported on the case.
However, he also said that abortion in the US has fallen to its lowest point in 36 years and that 44 abortion clinics had closed in the last year in the US. Some 6265 remain which is down from a high of 2,20o in 1991.
Meanwhile, Edel Best recounted her personal journey from aborting her son at 25, aborting her daughter at 30 and being on the way to her third abortion at 33 when she had a life changing encounter with God.
Asking why more women who know that abortion is not good for women’s health don’t come forward to tackle the misinformation out there, she said they were effectively silenced by the media.
Explaining that difference that her faith had given to the healing process, Edel Best said “secular counselling can only deal with guilt but it can’t deal with shame.”
By editor – 14 October, 2013
Photo courtesy: RTE
“I am saddened to meet youngsters suffering from depression. I was involved in counselling in the school, it was terribly sad to find young children who could not cope with life at 13, 14 and 15,” he said.
“One of the things I cannot accept is how suicide is glamorised. We have to be careful after such a tragedy that we do not romanticise it in any way. I would be very clear in trying to get across to young people the terrible pain it leaves in the aftermath.”
He underlined that society’s response to suicide ought to be a compassionate one but that the trauma for the parents and family left behind was often heart-breaking.
“It is an awfully traumatic thing for a parent to see young people take their own lives. To see suicide becoming part of the life of teenagers, to have them witnessing it, being in the same class as people who took their own lives. Then you go into the class as principal and try to talk to them and help them understand it.”
“It is heart-breaking to see parents blame themselves,” he said. “You see parents exasperated, wondering: why? why did they do this? It is such an awful thing the way it just tears a family apart.”
“But teenagers are subject to influences outside of home influences. In many ways, their childhood lasts a short time, catapulted into the adult world at a very young age. That brings a lot of risks. You are living life at a high-risk level.”
“A lot of young people maybe have been sheltered from an awful lot from knocks in their lives. To see a young boy where a relationship breaks down, suddenly he feels his whole life has no meaning.”
“It is a cry for meaning. It is a cry for purpose. I would always be a very strong believer in a faith-based education system. It tries to give young people a sense of direction in their lives, it’s not just about churning out grades, getting points in exams.”
“This pretence that your sense of direction in life is not the business of school? It is, very much. In the aftermath of suicide, to be free to talk about God and faith, it is a really important thing.”
2013-10-15 Vatican Radio
. Once again, the liturgy of the Mass elicits from Pope Francis a reflection on the traps that punctuate the life of faith: To become an apostle of one’s own ideas, or a devotee of one’s own well-being, rather than that of God; speaking ill about someone because he does not conform to certain formalities, forgetting that the “new” commandment of Christianity is love of neighbour without ifs and buts. From the words of St. Paul, the Pope goes on to condemn the sin of idolatry, that of people who – as the Apostle says – “for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give Him thanks” preferring to worship “the creature rather than the creator.” It is an idolatry, the Pope said, that “stifles the truth of the Faith” in which “is revealed the righteousness of God”:
2013-10-13 Vatican Radio
In the Psalm we said: “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things” (Ps 98:1). Today we consider one of the marvellous things which the Lord has done: Mary! A lowly and weak creature like ourselves, she was chosen to be the Mother of God, the Mother of her Creator.
2013-10-12 Vatican Radio
“We should not be naïve,” the Pope continued. The devil is a reality, and refusing to recognize the struggle between Jesus and the devil is a way of only “halfway” accepting the salvific role of Jesus Christ. The Lord came to end “the enslavement the devil has over us,” the Pope said. He reminded his congregation of Christ’s words from the day’s Gospel: “Either you are with me or you are against me.”
Pope Francis urged the faithful to guard against the devil, relying on the Holy Spirit and remaining vigilant against temptations.
Concerned by the prospect of Europe’s “slow but inexorable decline,” Schulz wrote that Europe “must again be animated by a renewed sense of dedication to clear objectives. But what should these objectives be?”
Schulz’s answer was threefold: “Europe must be judged on the basis of how it treats the least,” “Europe must be a force for dialogue,” and “Europe needs to be judged on the basis of the prospects it offers to the youth.”
“The tragedy of Lampedusa and the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean represent indelible scars for Europe,” said Schulz, who called for greater engagement with the countries of origin and the development of a rescue system.
Noting that the youth unemployment rate in Europe is 23.7% — and 61.5% in Greece, 56% in Spain, and 40.1% in Italy — Schulz added that Europe is betraying its young citizens, even as he defended the European Parliament’s efforts to address the problem. “Why should youth believe in the European project when their own personal projects have been so dramatically compromised?”