sexta-feira, 20 de agosto de 2010

Can Europe Survive Its Population Plunge? - by Mary Jo Anderson

In insidecatholic

Europe is dying. The Washington Post, among others, reports that, within a hundred years, there will be the rare German in Germany or Italian in Italy. Some demographers believe it is too late to correct Europe's plunge into extinction. "The fall in the population can no longer be stopped," reported Walter Rademacher of the German Federal Statistics Office.

Replacement fertility rates are 2.1 children per woman in developed nations. No nation in Europe can claim that rate, and most fall under 1.6. At those levels, each generation is barely half the number of the preceding one. The working-age population is reduced by 30 percent in just 20 years, having a devastating impact on economies. Today, European Union and United Nations experts are sufficiently alarmed to call councils to address the population crisis. The irony is that this is a crisis of their making.

In the 1960s, futurists painted a dire picture of population explosion and its concomitant depletion of resources. As recently as ten years ago, the UN's own Millennium Summit Declaration insisted, "We must spare no effort to free all of humanity, and above all our children and grandchildren from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, and whose resources would no longer be sufficient for their needs" (22).

Global policy planners set about crafting a means to curb world fertility. Contraception and abortion as social policy necessarily pitted planners against Christian teaching and traditional families. Predictably, these policies led to tacit devaluation of marriage and the acceptance of divorce, cohabitation, and single parenthood in the developed nations. Worse, a militant secularization of Western culture deprived two generations of the foundational reasons for family formation. Sociological tinkering as part of the Human Potential Movement sought to detach people from "religious superstitions" and apply scientific methods to the management of human beings. Their mistake was a crucial misunderstanding of the nature of family: Is there an inherent, ontological basis for families, or can the nature of a "family" be recast at the whim of international governing bodies?

In March, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) released the "Policy Brief on Ageing #5," which stated, "Populations in the UNECE region are ageing rapidly. To maintain economic growth and standard of living, people would need to work longer before they can retire." Left unsaid is the root cause: "Because we have aborted or contracepted a large percentage of our future generation, the current aging generation can expect less support in old age from the children they did not have who cannot now contribute to the GDP, thereby threatening our standard of living."

Yet another effort to address the European crisis is the cheery sounding formal paper "The Happiness Commonality: Fertility decisions in a low fertility setting." The paper gushes with false hope and a bald assertion that children are a valuable consumer commodity:

The main idea of this article is that the quest for happiness, and the compatibility between happiness and childbearing, is the "commonality" that may bring an understanding of fertility differences in contemporary advanced societies in Europe and North America. . . . In this framework, the decision to marry, to divorce or to have a (nother) child is taken when we expect to be in a better position (in other words, happier) when comparing the status after this decision (to have a child) has been taken with the current status. If children are considered as "consumption goods", we have children because we derive utility from having them.

Despite semi-hysterical attempts to reassure the remaining European population that having children could lead to greater happiness, there are very powerful social and political forces that cannot be turned around quickly enough.

First is the addiction to the oft-stated "standard of living." Child credits or family-friendly economic policies are insufficient -- around 4 percent of GDP in the best case, Denmark. Tax or direct credits are less in other nations, and in any case the incentives have not proven effective: It has become a strong cultural norm to have fewer children, and monetary assistance is simply not enticing. Italy's "Bambini bonus" did not result in a measureable uptick in birth rates. Simply stated, even where the nation is willing to make the social and economic investment in the next generation, its individual citizens often are not. Why is this? Read more

Grande Cardeal! - põe o dedo na ferida

Ouellet: We Need Bishops With ‘Spiritual Discernment’ over ‘Political Calculation’
“We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia,” said Ouellet.

By Patrick B. Craine

QUEBEC, August 19, 2010 ( – Bishops “need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received,” said Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the newly-appointed prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, in an interview this week.

“We have to dare to speak to the deep heart, where the Spirit of the Lord is touching people beyond what we can calculate,” he told Canadian Catholic News’ Deborah Gyapong.

During Cardinal Ouellet's eight years as the archbishop of Quebec City and primate of Canada, he has become known as one of the country’s greatest defenders of faith, life, and the family.

This past spring he drew sharp criticism, from within and outside the Church, after he reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of unborn life, even in cases of rape. He later unapologetically reiterated his views on abortion in a press conference arranged to address the controversy.

Earlier this week the head of the Quebec Bishops Assembly, Bishop Martin Veillette, suggested in a critical interview that while Ouellet has desired to “emphasize certain points of view that he considers important,” “There are times when it is more important to keep silent than to speak.

“There are things like that, sometimes, that you need to know how to manage,” he said. “It's a bit delicate.”

But in the recent interview, Ouellet said that in addition to fearlessly preaching the teachings of the Church, bishops must embrace them deeply. “Then you have the power of conviction,” he said.

“If you state it only formally and in the end you do not really want to see it applied because you don’t believe that it is possible that people accept it, you are in trouble for the transmission of the message,” he added.

The cardinal, further, said the Church needs what Gyapong called a “new intellectual dynamism” to “recapture the spirit of Christianity” and “create a new Christian culture.”

“We need intellectuals for that, theologians, philosophers, Christians who really believe in the Gospel and share the doctrine of the Church on moral questions,” he said. “We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia.”

“There is no real discipleship there, real discipleship,” he added. “The discipleship that is emerging is from those who believe and who really love the Church.”

The former Primate of Canada and Archbishop of Quebec City celebrated his farewell Mass on Sunday, the feast of the Assumption, at Ste. Anne de Beaupre. The church was packed with over 2,000 faithful, with hundreds others being turned away for lack of space. After his homily, he was congratulated with a lengthy standing ovation.

In his new position as head of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Ouellet will assist the pope in choosing the next generation of the world’s bishops.

In that role, he told Gyapong, he will seek out bold “men of faith” with “the guts to help people live it out.”

See related coverage:

The Implications of Cardinal Ouellet's Rome Appointment For Canada

Cardinal Ouellet "Buoyant" Amidst Attacks over Abortion Comments

Cardinal Ouellet and Ottawa Archbishop: “The Abortion Debate is on”

Cardinal Ouellet Clarifies: Church Still Asks States ‘To Penalize the Practice of Abortion’

Cardinal Ouellet to Canadian Gvmt: Take Stand For Life at Home Too

quinta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2010

Cardinal Has Proof Mexican Justices Were Bribed for Gay 'Marriage' Vote: Archdiocese

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

GUADALAJARA, August 19, 2010 ( - A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara yesterday told reporters that the Cardinal Archbishop of that city has proof to back up his contention that the justices of the Supreme Court were in some way "fed" by backers of homosexual "marriage" and adoption in order to gain their votes in favor of the policies.

Responding to threats from Mexico City Governor Marcel Ebrard to file charges against Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez for "moral damage," archdiocesan spokesman Antonio Gutiérrez Montaño expressed little concern, and said that the archbishop would prove his charges if necessary.

"Mr. Ebrard has the liberty to proceed as he wishes," said Gutiérrez Montaño to the Mexican newspaper Milenio, reportedly adding that if a lawsuit were filed, the cardinal would reveal the proof he has for his statement, and "will not retract nor apologize" for what he has said.

"There is no fear from this threat," said Gutiérrez Montaño. "He [the cardinal] also has the right to exercise what he thinks he should do if any calumny is raised against him."

Sandoval Iñiguez made the bribery charges in a press conference on Monday while in the state of Aguascalientes. He accused both the governor of Mexico City and international pro-abortion groups of having "fed" the ministers with "gifts" in order to obtain the approval of homosexual "marriage" and adoption.

Catholics and socialists close ranks

Following the remarks, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Mexico has closed ranks in defense of Sandoval Iñiguez and the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City, Norberto Rivera, who also made strong statements condemning homosexual unions following the decision imposing such unions on all 31 Mexican states earlier this month.

"We express our solidarity and our feelings to Cardinals Norberto Rivera Carrera and Juan Sandoval Iñiguez regarding this delicate topic," the leaders of Mexico's bishops' conference wrote in a communiqué issued on Tuesday.

"The bishops of Mexico, sensitive to the majority opinion not only in Mexico City, but in the whole country, express, in the exercise of the liberty of expression guaranteed by our democratic political regime, our total disagreement with the verdict issued by the SCJN [Suprema Corte de Justica de la Nación]" the bishops also stated, adding that "we believe that equalizing these unions with the name of matrimony is a lack of respect, both for the very essence of marriage between a man and a woman, expressed in the Constitution of the country in its article 4, as well as the customs of the culture itself that has reigned over us for centuries."

Jesús Ortega, leader of the socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), of which Ebrard is a member, expressed support for Ebrard said that the party "is calling on Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez to retract the accusation that the local leader [of Mexico City] bribed the ministers of the Suprme Court of Justice of the Nation."

Ebrard has stated that at 12 noon today, he will file charges against the cardinal in a local court. "He knows perfectly well that he is lying, that what he is saying is false and he is going to have to confront that process," Ebrard told the national media.

Ebrard has also called for investigations by the Secretariat of Governance and the Federal Electoral Commission against the cardinal.

"Worse than narcotrafficking"

Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, added his voice to the chorus denouncing the Supreme Court's recent decisions yesterday, stating that "[Marcelo Ebrard] and his government has created laws that are destructive to the family, that cause worse damage than narcotrafficking. Marcelo Ebrard and his party, the PRD, have endeavored to destroy us."

Ebrard responded to Valdemar's statements by asking the federal government to prosecute him as well as Cardinal Iñiguez, for violating the Constitution.

Mexico's Constitution, created in 1917 by leftist revolutionary forces, prohibits any participation in politics by the nation's clergy. Although its anti-clerical provisions are rarely enforced, they remain a potential weapon to be used by the government against prelates who challenge its actions.

Corte en Bélgica: Allanamiento de Arquidiócesis fue ilegal

BRUSELAS, 19 Ago. 10 / 02:18 am (ACI)

Ante la falta de un pronunciamiento oficial del sistema judicial de Bélgica, el abogado de la Arquidiócesis de Malinas-Bruselas informó la semana pasada que el allanamiento realizado en las oficinas del Arzobispo y en la residencia del Cardenal Danneel fue declarado ilegal.

El allanamiento sorpresa que incluyó la profanación de la tumba de dos cardenales, condenado por la Santa Sede y por las autoridades eclesiásticas locales, tuvo el nombre de "Operación Cáliz" y se realizó el pasado 24 de junio. La policía pensaba que la Iglesia había ocultado información sobre algunos casos de abuso sexual cometidos por miembros del clero.

En una conferencia de prensa el pasado 13 de agosto, tras el silencio de la corte que no daba a conocer el resultado de la medida legal interpuesta ante el atropello de la policía, la Conferencia Episcopal de Bélgica dio a conocer que el tribunal había declarado los allanamientos como ilegales.

El abogado de la mencionad arquidiócesis, Fernand Keuleneer, expresó su sorpresa ante el silencio de la corte, especialmente ante la "acogida" durante y luego del allanamiento. Sin embargo concedió el hecho de que el tribunal no está obligado a dar a conocer su decisión.

Como resultado de este fallo, los objetos incautados que consisten básicamente en cajas de archivos de la ahora extinta Comisión Interdiocesana sobre Abuso Sexual y sus computadoras, tienen que regresarse y los dossiers de la investigación judicial local tienen que destruirse.

En declaraciones a Radio Vaticano, Keuleneer señaló que todavía no se entiende la "naturaleza" del allanamiento. Este hecho, dijo, "hace que uno se pregunte si es que había elementos concretos o específicos, o si todo estaba basado en la ‘ciega’ esperanza de encontrar algo…".

quarta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2010

Mexican Supreme Court Approves Homosexual Adoption

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

MEXICO CITY, August 17, 2010 ( - The Mexican Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on homosexual adoption yesterday evening, ruling in favor of permitting the practice.

In a 9-2 vote along the same lines as its other recent decisions permitting homosexual "marriage" and extending it to all 31 Mexican state, the justices rejected arguments made by pro-family groups and the nation's chief prosecutor that homosexual adoption would be harmful to the welfare of Mexican youth, which is protected under the Constitution as well as international agreements to which Mexico is a party.

The decision is one of several that leaves standing Mexico City's legislation permitting and financing abortion on demand, creating "marriage" for homosexuals, and permitting them to adopt. Although the court has ruled that homosexual "marriages" contracted in the nation's Federal District must be accepted throughout Mexico's 31 states, the current ruling is seen as only applying within the nation's capital.

Following the decision, the Association of Catholic Attorneys confirmed that, as they had warned, they would file suit in the Mexican Congress for a "political judgment" against the justices who voted in favor of the measure. Such a judgment could lead to their removal from the bench.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City, Norberto Rivera, blasted the decision as "lazy," and remarked that, "it gives the impression to children that [the Court] regards them as if they were pets that can be given in adoption to whomever wants to possess them, which violates their rights."

The Associated Press reported that the cardinal would lobby the government to see to it that homosexual adoptions will never in fact be carried out.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Mexican Cardinal Accuses Supreme Court Justices of Taking Bribes for Gay ‘Marriage’ Vote

Homosexual 'Marriage' Advocates Seek to Destroy Matrimony and Society Itself: Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City

Mexican Supreme Court Imposes Homosexual 'Marriage" on Entire Country

Mexican Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuits against Capital's Gay 'Marriage' Law

State Governors Sue Mexico City to Stop Gay "Marriage" and Homosexual Adoption

Mexican Attorney General's Office Files Suit against "Homosexual Marriage"

Mexico City Approves "Homosexual Marriage" and Adoption

Arzobispado de Guadalajara tiene pruebas de soborno a SCJN

MEXICO DF, 18 Ago. 10 / 12:05 pm (ACI)

El vocero del Arzobispado de Guadalajara, P. Antonio Gutiérrez, afirmó que el Cardenal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez tiene pruebas de que el jefe de gobierno del DF, Marcelo Ebrard, sobornó a los miembros de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN), para que avalen los "matrimonios" homosexuales y adopción de niños.

"Sí hay sustento. El Cardenal estaba hablando con un fundamento: la información que él tiene, y no sólo él está enterado, también otras personas", señaló el sacerdote, quien afirmó que el Purpurado no se retractará tal como pide Ebrard. Sobre una posible demanda de la autoridad capitalina, el P. Gutiérrez dijo que "está en libertad de proceder como a él le guste".

Tras señalar que el Cardenal no hará ninguna declaración al respecto, el P. Gutiérrez también se dirigió a los miembros de la SCJN, y dijo que no temen un posible voto de censura.

"No tenemos temor. Que procedan. Por desgracia tienen un poder absoluto y no hay quién los cuestione, pero pueden proceder como gusten", indicó el sacerdote, que aseguró que están listos para responder cualquier demanda.

Mexican Cardinal Accuses Supreme Court Justices of Taking Bribes for Gay ‘Marriage’ Vote

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico, August 16, 2010 ( - The cardinal archbishop of Guadalajara is accusing the justices of the Mexican Supreme Court of being "well fed" by international organizations and receiving "gifts" in exchange for their votes, following the Court’s recent decisions approving the constitutionality of homosexual "marriage," and imposing it on all of the 31 states of Mexico.

n a press conference held Sunday in the state of Aguascalientes, Juan Sandoval Iñiguez blasted the justices, claiming that "Marcelo Ebrard (governor of Mexico City) along with international organizations, fed the magistrates of the Supreme Court, who received gifts" in exchange for their votes.

"I don't doubt that they are very well fed by [Mexico City governor Marcelo] Ebrard. They are very well fed by international organizations."

He added that "for that reason I don't doubt that the issue of gay adoptions is going to go the same way," referring to the deliberations of the Court under way in the nation's capital. The following day, the Court did as he had predicted, ruling that children could be given in adoption to homosexual couples.

Sandoval Iñiguez called the adoption of children by homosexuals "an aberration," and asked reporters "would you like queer or lesbian couples to adopt them?"

The cardinal said that the justices of the Supreme Court were merely following a line established by international socialists and Mexico's biggest socialist political party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, whom he accused of being in league with "the big capitalists."

"All of this package of proposals is from the PRD or from the leftists of the world, [and] is proposed by the big capitalists," he said, adding that "they are proposals of the PRD, but not only in Mexico. Over there is Zapatero in Spain or in Italy also there are people who want to propose all of this against the family."

"The Supreme Court is the supreme disappointment," said the cardinal, "because it doesn't know where it's going, because one after another of its verdicts have been wrong and against the truth and against Mexico and the family."

Mexico City governor Marcelo Ebrard, a PRD socialist whose party is largely responsible for instituting homosexual "marriage" in the capital, responded by threatening to file a complaint against Sandoval Iñiguez with the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination.

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Homosexual 'Marriage' Advocates Seek to Destroy Matrimony and Society Itself: Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City

Mexican Supreme Court Imposes Homosexual 'Marriage" on Entire Country

Mexican Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuits against Capital's Gay 'Marriage' Law

The Institution Formerly Known as Marriage - by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founding President of the Ruth Institute. This article was first published at on August 5, 2010

The essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 illustrates that he does not understand this basic point.

He replaces this public purpose with private purposes of adults’ feelings and desires. He approvingly quotes a historian who explains that marriage is “a couple’s choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another, and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another, and their agreement to join in an economic partnership and support one another in terms of the material needs of life.”

Nothing about children. No understanding that marriage connects generations. By the time Judge Walker and his ilk are finished, there will be nothing left of marriage but a government registry of friendships.

There are two big problems with this. First, “marriage” will no longer solve the essential problem of attaching children to their mothers and fathers. Instead of using biology or legal adoption as the determining factor in deciding who counts as a parent, the courts are inventing a new kind of parenthood to resolve these disputes.

“De Facto Parent” is the legal invention that usually involves court-created “tests” to decide whether a person has wiped enough noses and changed enough diapers to count as a “parent in fact.” The natural meaning of “mother” and “father” as biological categories are being replaced by a new kind of parenthood that expands the authority and discretion of the family courts.

This redefinition of parenthood is a natural by-product of the redefinition of marriage. Judge Walker’s decision Wednesday to redefine marriage is a catalyst for this redefinition of parenthood.

But the second big problem with turning marriage into a government registry of friendships is just this: It makes the legal recognition seem unnecessary. And that will lead some people to say, who needs marriage at all? Let’s just get rid of marriage, or get the state out of marriage, or tear down all the social, legal and institutional structures around marriage.

That’s not so bad for people who have no intention of having children and who get married as a status symbol. But it is not so great for people who do have children. And it’s not so great for children themselves. Children have a legitimate interest in knowing their own parents and their biological origins. Every mother needs to know who counts as the father of her children and who has legal responsibility for her children.

It is no good to say that parenthood is whatever the adults say it is, and the government can remain “neutral.” The first time a group of adults disputes about what their parenting “contract” means, the government will be involved, using criteria of its own.

Once again, redefining marriage increases the authority and discretion of the family courts. The natural concept of mother and father as biological realities will be undermined.

Surely the voters have the right to be consulted before making such a major change in public policy. This is just one of the many ways that redefining marriage to be the union of any two persons will affect everyone.

Judge Walker has no right to disparage the voters of California the way he does in this opinion. Let the democratic process play itself out. We have plenty to talk about, without judges telling us we are all bigots unless we agree with them.