Wednesday, March 11, 2009
OXFORD, March 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - There is a growing culture of suppression among secularist governments that is using the doctrine of "tolerance and diversity" to push Christians entirely out of public life, Australia's Cardinal Pell told an audience at Oxford University this weekend. The Australian cardinal said during an address at the university that human rights and anti-discrimination legislation is being used as a weapon against Christians and Christian opinion in the public debate.
"Secularist intolerance for Christianity," the archbishop of Sydney said, "seeks to drive it not only from the public square but even from the provision of education, health care, and welfare services to the wider community." And it is through anti-discrimination legislation that this goal has been widely achieved, he said.
The cardinal pointed to the apparent irony in the way in which some of the most morally permissive groups, such as the homosexualist and feminist political movements that endorse limitless "pan-sexuality" as well as abortion on demand, have become politically repressive of opposition, despite the rhetoric of "diversity and tolerance."
The cardinal's address, titled "Varieties of Intolerance: Religious and Secular," was the first Thomas More Lecture on Religion in the Public Square, hosted by the Oxford University Newman Society. The Thomas More Lectures, co-sponsored by the Catholic Herald newspaper, were established "to examine the relationship between faith and society."
In the inaugural lecture, the cardinal cited a long and growing list of instances where "anti-discrimination" laws are being used to shut down the Christian viewpoint. He mentioned that: health care workers in New York state and the UK have been sued and disciplined for upholding the sanctity of life; citizens in California threatened with violence and harassed out of their jobs for opposing "same-sex marriage"; government tribunal proceedings launched in Canada and Australia against publications and individuals for critiquing Islam; Catholic social service agencies in the UK forced to renounce their religious affiliations or close; hospitals in the US forced to provide abortifacient drugs to employees or lose government funding; and Canadian and Austrian clergy slapped with lifetime bans on preaching Christian doctrine by government agencies.
The crucial issue for secularists, he said, is the protection of legal abortion. He pointed to the possible passage in the US of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and to the recently passed legislation in Victoria, Australia that forces health care workers to participate in abortions, laws that make "a mockery of conscientious objection."
He warned that laws protecting the conscience-rights of Christians, particularly those who object to abortion and homosexual lifestyles, have been ignored or overturned: "The human rights industry ran dead on the freedom of conscience issues which the legislation raised."
During the debate on the Victoria legislation, he pointed out, "pro-abortion commentators attacked the concept of conscientious objection as nothing more than a way for doctors and nurses to impose their morality on their patients. Victoria's statutory charter of rights, which purports to protect freedom of religion, conscience and belief, was shown to be a dead letter when it comes to abortion."
He warned too that human rights and anti-discrimination laws and the new reproductive technologies have combined to "make it possible for children to have three, four or five parents," and has reduced the concept of children brought up by a mother and father, "as nothing more than a majority adult preference."
"The rights of children to be created in love and to be known and raised by their biological parents receives scant consideration when the legislative agenda is directed to satisfying adult needs and ambitions."
He related what he called a campaign of "organised intimidation" against those citizens in California who supported Proposition 8, a legislative effort to secure the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Despite this "prolonged campaign of payback and bullying," that has included "violence, vandalism and intimidation" including threats to burn down places of worship, "few human rights activists have objected to the vilification and hate speech that has been directed at supporters of Proposition 8."
Calling it a "legal process straight out of Kafka," the cardinal also cited the use of human rights and hate-speech legislation to silence Christians in Canada, Australia and the US, as in the Human Rights Commissions cases against Ezra Levant, Maclean's Magazine and Mark Steyn.
He warned that modern secularist liberalism, far from its origins in classical political liberalism, now "has strong totalitarian tendencies" and is oriented towards a heavy-handed statism, not democratic freedom.
"Institutions and associations, it implies, exist only with the permission of the state and to exist lawfully, they must abide the dictates or norms of the state."
But, he said, "believers should not be treated by government and the courts as a tolerated and divisive minority whose rights must always yield to the minority secular agenda, especially when religious people are overwhelmingly in the majority."
Cardinal Pell concluded his lecture by calling on Christians to "recover their genius" for presenting the Christian vision of society. "They also have to recover their self-confidence and courage."
Calling opponents a "small minority with disproportionate influence in media," the cardinal said one of the "crucial tasks" of Christians in the 21st century is to confront the "secular and religious intolerance of our day ... regularly and publicly."
Francis, from Oxford, wrote and gave me this front page account from the Oxford University Newman Society for your perusal
Also, to read Cardinal Pell's full address (pdf format, requires Adobe):
Posted by Moms For Life at 12:28 AM
"I Am Personally Responsible for over 75,000 Abortions"
*This video was made during the campaign to ban abortion in South Dakota. Bernard Nathanson repented of his ways and has became Catholic.*
Catholic Colleges & Universities Loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church
- Aquinas College (TN)
- Ave Maria (FL)
- Belmont Abbey College (NC)
- Benedictan College (KS)
- Campion College (Sydney, Australia)
- Catholic Distance University
- Christendom College (VA)
- College of Our Lady of Corpus Christi (TX)
- College of St. Thomas More (TX)
- Dominican House of Studies (Washington, D.C.)
- Franciscan University of Steubenville (OH)
- Holy Apostles Seminary and College (CT)
- John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Washington, D.C.)
- Magdalen College (NH)
- Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College (VA)
- Saint Joseph's College of Maine (ME)
- Southern Catholic College (GA)
- St. Augustine Institute (CO)
- St. Gregory's University (OK)
- Thomas Aquinas College (CA)
- Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (LA)
- University of Sacramento (CA)
- Wyoming Catholic College (WY)
Randall Terry, founder Operation Rescue, addresses the assassination of George Tiller. Mr. Terry urges the pro-life movement to not surrender words and actions under the heavy opposition from child killers and the Obama administration.
- Women for Faith and Family
- One More Soul ~ Spreading the Truth about the Blessings of Children & the Harms of Contraception
- Pope Paul VI Institute ~ Authentically Catholic Medical Institute for Fertility Problems
- The Alexander House ~ For Rebuilding & Strengthening Marriages
- Edith Stein Foundation ~ Medical Information on Contraception & Fertility Issues
- Retrouvaille ~ For Troubled Marriages
- Couple to Couple League ~ Natural Family Planning
- Pope Paul VI: Humane Vitae
Abortion ~ Facts and Information
- Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing. It is therapy for the soul.
- Hope After Abortion ~ The Catholic Church's post-abortion ministry
- Silent No More Awareness ~ An effort to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women, men, and families
- Feminists For Life
- Abortion Facts
- Overpopulation Myths
- Abortion and the Black Community: BlackGenocide.org
- Second Look Project ~ Encourages those who are "pro-choice" to take a second look at their position on abortion
- The Elliot Institute ~ The leader in research regarding the after effects of abortion on women and men
- Priests For Life
Pregnancy Help & Hotlines
Help for Addictions
- Government, Law, & Political Responsibility. Click HERE to contact White House, U.S. Senate, House of Reps, Supreme Court, etc. See also Suggestions for Effective Letter Writing
- FOCA FACT Sheet & In-Depth Info to help EDUCATE those around you about this radical law that will increase the number of abortions and make it even more UNSAFE for WOMEN.
- Federal Legislative Action Center: Contact your STATE Reps. HERE. ~ Plus much MORE to help INFORM us in this VITAL fight against FOCA ~ We must ACT NOW!!!
- Spiritually Adopt a Pre-born Baby Today! Click HERE to learn more.
- Begin Planned Parenthood Fraud Investigation in Your State! Click HERE for Details.
Go On Retreat!
- Casa Maria Convent & Retreat House ~ Located 1 mile from EWTN, The Sisters of the Eternal Word's apostolate is prayer, catechesis, and retreats. They invite zealous and excellent retreat masters to share with you their experience and knowledge of our holy Catholic Faith. Casa Maria is blessed with devout priests who celebrate the Liturgy with great reverence. They encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and love of our Blessed Mother, and they draw upon the rich musical heritage of the Church.
- Sisters for Life ~ Villa Maria Guadalupe ~ The retreat house hosts Evenings of Recollection, educational seminars on life issues and retreats for everyone (themes include Theology of the Body, Young Adult Retreats, Post-Abortion Healing, and retreats on the Dignity and Vocation of Women).
Books for Children
More Recommended Reading
- Abortion: Yes or No? by John L. Grady, M.D.
- Changed ~ Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One's Abortion Experience, by Michaelene Fredenburg
- Ending Abortion Not Just Fighting It, by Fr. Frank A. Pavone, M.E.V.
- Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), by Pope John Paul II
- God Is Love, An Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI
- Humane Vitae: A Challenge to Love, by Pope Paul VI
- Is the Fetus Human? by Eric Pastuszek
- Led by Faith, by Immaculee Ilibigiza
- Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibigiza
- Living the Gospel of Life ~ the pastoral statement issued by U.S. Catholic Bishops
- Noise, by Teresa Tomeo
- Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope for the World by Dan Lynch
- Render Unto Caesar, by Charles J. Chaput
- The Way to Love, by Anthony De Mello
- Won By Love, by Norma McCorvey