Baby that survived botched abortion was rejected for cleft lip and palate

May 1, 2010

The 22-week infant was found breathing a day after the operation. He died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother’s home town of Rossano, in southern Italy.

The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans revealed that the foetus had a cleft lip and palate, according to reports in the Italian media. The condition is treatable with surgery.

 The baby – weighing just 11oz – survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, but was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing.

The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neo-natal unit at the neighbouring Cosenza hospital, where he died on Monday morning.

The story has caused outrage in Italy, where many have called for the country’s abortion laws to be changed.

On Thursday, Archbishop Santo Marciano of Rossano-Cariati, criticised the “arbitrary superficiality” of hospital staff and said the Catholic country should reflect on its attitudes both to the unborn and to the disabled.

The prelate said the case should “lead civil society to reflect on the tragic character of abortion, in so far as it is the suppression of a human being, and in this case, on the illicit character of the definition ‘therapeutic’.

“In fact, it is not a ‘cure’ but reinforces the eugenic mentality that is spreading, and which not only increases recourse to abortion, but poses serious questions regarding the alleged benefit to the woman’s health and on the natural meaning of maternity,” he told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

“It also invites us to consider with what ease a person who is seriously malformed and simply undesired is treated inhumanly.”

Bishop Elio Sgreccia, a former senior Vatican official, said the law needed to be clarified to ensure that viable foetuses – those able to survive outside the womb – are protected by law.

“If the aborted foetus, in a voluntary or accidental way, is alive – also if it is at the limit of survival, at the age limit – the doctor is in the presence of a foetus that, because it is strong or because the dates were not properly calculated, fortunately, is living,” he said.

The doctor “is obliged to make it live”, the bishop told Vatican Radio, adding that “the law must clarify this”.

Italian police are investigating the case for homicide because infanticide is illegal in Italy.

The law means that doctors have had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion.

The Italian government has promised an inquiry.

Since 1978, abortion has been available on demand in Italy in the first three months of pregnancy but is restricted to specific circumstances – such as disability – in the second trimester. The government is considering a review of the working of the laws.

Source: Telegraph


5 years later: I wish I had been wrong

May 1, 2010

Exactly five years have passed since I originally posted the comment that is reproduced below.

At the time, one reader (Gil125) commented:

 Let’s wait 5-10 years and see who’s right, Weigel or Diogenes. If Benedict XVI proves to take his role as administrator of the Church, or PRIMUS inter pares, more seriously than did his predecessor, it is fair to assume that Weigel will win the wager. If not, Diogenes will win, but all believing Catholics will lose. 

 I would be happy to report, 5 years later, that Weigel was right and your Uncle Di was wrong. But in light of the worldwide torrent of criticism directed against the Pope– much of it from Catholic quarters– I wonder.

[The following item first appeared on April 29, 2005.]

George Weigel argues that Ratzinger’s election signifies the twilight of Catholic progressivism:

It was expected that the Catholic Church would, indeed must, take the path of accommodation: that has been the central assumption of what’s typically called “progressive” Catholicism. That assumption has now been decisively and definitively refuted. The “progressive” project is over — not because its intentions were malign, but because it posed an ultimately boring question: how little can I believe, and how little can I do, and still remain a Catholic? 

I’m not as sanguine as Weigel regarding the intentions of progressivists. After all, they haven’t been low-profile churchmice quietly pleading for a live-and-let-live Catholicism. Though the now-comic 1960s culture of flowers and folk music may incline us to view them as harmless sentimentalists, they were and are revolutionaries, out to replace the old order with a new one of their own devising. Think of the way they’ve taken over most theology departments, some seminaries, some diocesan RE offices, and occasionally entire religious congregations. Think of the way they’ve used the shibboleth issues (contraception, women’s ordination, gay rights, inclusive language) to hire and promote ideological allies and torpedo others. Weigel is right that progressivists failed to sell their project to the majority of churchgoers, and right that religious minimalism had much to do with this failure. But most of us probably know a seminarian or grad student or lay volunteer who, in spite of his good will and because of his orthodoxy, found himself unemployed and unemployable before he knew what hit him.

For the same reasons I don’t expect progressivists to shrug and gracefully fade off the scene. What’s at stake is not a failed literary review, but the meaning of their entire life. In the Bolshevik revolution, the young firebrands of 1910 did not cede authority to the young firebrands of 1980; once having seized power, they couldn’t relinguish it, and kept a white-knuckle grip on the Party until it was loosened by clogged arteries. So too in the post-Conciliar Catholic putsch, the angry young mustangs of 1968 became the angry middle-aged mustangs of 1988 became the angry old mustangs of today. Only in the case of gay politics have younger men risen to form a wary alliance with the Humanae vitae dissenters. I agree with Weigel that their future is as bright as one would expect for a movement infatuated with sterility.

Remember too that mainstream Catholic liberals, largely through moral weakness, have blood on their hands — at least via political complicity, when not in gruesome fact. Once they threw in their lot with contraception in 1968, the pressure to give a green light to abortion after Roe vs. Wade in 1973 proved too great to resist. This was a flat contradiction of their professed concern for the voiceless, of course, so, being good revolutionaries, they had to change their ideology to justify retrospectively their own history of blood-letting. That’s why Catholic liberals detest any and all mention of abortion: it reminds them of their betrayal of the sole element of nobility in the progressivist project.

“Weak men are apt to be cruel,” said Lord Halifax, “because they stick at nothing that may repair the ill effect of their mistakes.” The ad hoc acts of injustice perpetrated in seminaries and theology departments — rejections, firings, demotions — were for the most part tactical cruelties necessitated by the dynamics of revolution: with 40 million casualties behind you, there’s no stopping, and there’s no going back.

Source: Catholic Culture


An Atheist Defending Us? How Asleep Can We Be?

May 1, 2010

S.E. Cupp is one of the most influential Millennials in American culture today. She has appeared on Fox News Channel and CNN and is a regular guest on “Hannity.”

1.  S.E., you make no bones about being an atheist.  Why defend Christianity against the liberal media?

I think being an atheist or a nonbeliever makes me the perfect candidate to address this issue, because I approach it entirely objectively. My agenda here isn’t to prop up my own belief system, but to defend others’ rights to believe in something I don’t, and more importantly, to demand a more responsible, representative press.

2.  You say Christians are the only acceptable people for the media to make fun of.  Expound on that.

Hollywood started treating Christianity like it was some kind of social disease decades ago. These days, it’s practically company policy in Hollywood to mock Christianity as hopelessly uncool and unsophisticated. The liberal media has, in the past 10 years or so, joined in the action. I think they’ve both been so successful in promoting that message in the popular culture, because Christians represent a vast majority — and majorities get complacent. But, if Christian America doesn’t stand up to the liberal media and demand more respect, they might not be a majority in the future.

3.  Why do you think the mainstream media feel the need to target Christian America?

Two reasons: One, it’s a way of getting at conservatism. If they can effectively paint Christians as dangerous fanatics, it’s just a skip away from painting conservatives as dangerous fanatics. They conflate politics and religion here because, well, it works. Two, the moral relativism of liberalism is threatened by the fixed value system of Christianity, which holds people accountable for their actions. Liberalism can dismiss a lot of bad behavior, and that’s just the way they like it. Liberals in the media are deeply mistrusting of, and uncomfortable with, judgmental morality.

4.  The media used to challenge the government—that was really its job.  How is that lack of accountability affecting our nation?

That’s right, the Fourth Estate used to be the watchdogs of the state, and now the media is targeting YOU, the private citizen. It’s targeting your values, your beliefs, your freedoms, your politics, your way of life, all to advance a secular, liberal agenda of its own. Well that’s not what the press is there for; that’s not its responsibility. The mainstream media has lost its way — it can either rediscover responsible journalism, or it should repackage itself as an alternative press, which in many ways, it is.

5.  What should concerned Christians do to change the situation?

Peaceful protest. I’m shocked that there aren’t protesters outside of The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, etc. on a daily basis protesting the way Christians are talked about. The liberal media calls Christians terrorists, extremists, simpletons and much, much worse. They treat them like they are pariahs. Well, I’d like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and Lisa Miller and Glenn Greenwald and the rest of them to feel like pariahs. Instead, they’re protected within a tiny, liberal, secular bubble, and they have no idea that the majority of the country shudders in disgust when they attack the values upon which America was founded. I think it’s time Christian America woke from their slumber and saw just how bad it’s gotten.

 Source: Citizen Link


St. Joseph the Worker

May 1, 2010

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is the patron saint of workers. Pope Pius XII decided in 1955 to add the optional feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1, to counteract the Communists’ May Day holiday by Christianizing this European Labor Day.
Like St. Joseph, let us offer our work as an act of charity done for the love of God and for the love of others, for work well done is a work of love. Work has the capacity to perfect us in a heavenly way. Through our work, we share in the cross of Christ. Like the mystery of the Incarnation, Joseph performed his work in a quiet, hidden way, offering all that he did up to God. Let us imitate him in this way and thank God for the gift of our work, which draws us closer to Him.


Prayer to St. Joseph, as Patron of Workers

Blessed St. Joseph, patron of all working people, obtain for me the grace to labor in a spirit of penance for the atonement of my many sins. Help me to be conscientious in my work so that I may give as full a measure as I have received.
May I labor in a spirit of thankfulness and joy, ever mindful of all the gifts I have received from God that enable me to perform these tasks. Permit me to work in peace, patience, and moderation, keeping in mind the account I must one day give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vanity of success, so fatal to the work of God. Glorious St. Joseph, may my labors be all for Jesus, all through Mary, and all after your holy example in life and in death. Amen.


Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment

Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.

H/T Catholic Fire