sábado, 4 de setembro de 2010

Women Convicted of Infanticide Released following Pressure from Mexican Pro-Abort Groups

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

GUANAJUATO, Mexico, September 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Seven women convicted of infanticide have been released by the governor of the state of Guanajuato and a state judge following a massive campaign by pro-abortion groups, who have turned their cases into a cause célèbre in the national media.

Governor Juan Manuel Oliva has also announced a legislative initiative to reduce the criminal penalty for infanticide from 25 to 35 years in prison, to three to eight years.

The decision to release the women follows weeks of pressure by pro-abortion organizations, members of the socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the national media, which repeatedly claimed the women were really imprisoned for "abortion."

The PRD's Secretary General, Hortensia Aragón Castillo, says she is not satisfied with the legal reforms proposed by Governor Oliva, claiming that it "evades the central issue at the core, which is the criminalization of the right of women to decide about their bodies."

Investigations by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, as well as the state's human rights office commissioner, produced no evidence that the women had been convicted for abortions. However, pro-abortion forces have continued to insist that all seven women imprisoned for "murder in reason of parentage," the legal term in Mexico for infanticide, are innocent of the charge.

Among those to be released is María Araceli Camargo, 26, convicted of infanticide after giving birth to her child and leaving it to die in a rural latrine. According to the La Jornada newspaper, Camargo claimed that she thought she had diarrhea, but instead gave birth to an infant 53 centimeters in length, an average size for a newborn, while in the latrine.

La Jornada reports that Camargo cut the umbilical cord and left her baby, then went to her family claiming that she felt unwell. Doctors at the hospital where she was taken immediately recognized that she had given birth, and alerted prosecutors, who found the child at the bottom of the latrine, with fecal matter in its respiratory system. Prosecutors concluded following an autopsy that the baby was born healthy, with a full life expectancy. Camargo was sentenced to 26 years in prison, but will now be released after serving 8.

Alma Yareli, recently released by state judge Miguel Valdez Reyes, was convicted of infanticide after giving birth to her third trimester baby, which she had conceived in an adulterous affair. Yareli claimed that she gave birth to the baby prematurely in a bathtub, where it was stillborn, and said she was motivated by fear when she placed it into a bag and left it on a street, according to the Guanajuato newspaper Correo. Prosecutors concluded that Yareli's child died of hypothermia following the birth.

Fourteen other women are currently being prosecuted for similar crimes, according to local media reports, although it is unclear what will now become of their cases.

sexta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2010

Same-Sex Marriage and Public Opinion: Spirals, Frames, and the Seinfeld Effect

by Matthew J. Franck and Gwen Brown

In the 1993 Seinfeld episode “The Outing,” a female reporter mistakes Jerry Seinfeld and his friend George Costanza for homosexual partners. When her misunderstanding dawns on them, they vehemently deny that they are gay, yet constantly punctuate their denials with the rote expression “not that there’s anything wrong with that!” As heterosexual men, Jerry and George are both keen to be taken for what they are, but there’s more to it than that: they can’t entirely inhibit revulsion at the idea that others think they are homosexual, and perhaps revulsion at the very idea of being homosexual.

Their repeated exclamation “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”—invariably uttered with far less passion than their denials—is a socially conditioned response. Somewhere they have learned that it is unacceptable to cast aspersions on homosexuality, and that the politically correct response is to say (as Jerry does at one point, albeit rather too excitedly), “People’s personal sexual preferences are nobody’s business but their own!” Jerry and George struggle to suppress what they really think with what they have been taught to think is “enlightened opinion.” Call it the Seinfeld Effect.

Seventeen years later, the advocates of same-sex marriage are making “people’s personal sexual preferences” everybody’s business, and are counting on the Seinfeld Effect to suppress what most Americans really think about same-sex marriage. They are waging their struggle, after all, not just in courts of law but also in the court of public opinion, and the advocates’ success with certain judges will not be secure unless most Americans are with them. So how are they doing?

A CNN/Gallup poll released on August 11 found that 52% of respondents supported and only 46% opposed same-sex marriage—a result widely trumpeted as the first time a majority expressed this view. But in an important finding, a North Carolina firm called Public Policy Polling discovered that its method of automated polling or “robo-calls,” in which respondents interact on their phone with a computer-controlled interview system rather than a human interviewer, yields significantly higher numbers of Americans who oppose same-sex marriage.

The robo-call technique has been pioneered by pollster Scott Rasmussen, who has racked up an impressive record of accuracy in the highly competitive business of predicting election outcomes. Using this same system, Public Policy Polling—whose head actually favors gay marriage—found in a poll released on August 13 that a mere 33% of respondents favored same-sex marriage, while a full 57% opposed it. (This is a result the firm’s head deplored, but defended as accurate nonetheless.)

What’s going on here? If we take both polls as accurate, each in its own way, then we can say that one-tenth (or more) of Americans oppose same-sex marriage but are extremely hesitant to say so to another person, even a stranger conducting a telephone survey. Yet they will express their disapproval in the complete anonymity of a “robo-call” survey—or, from what we have seen so far, the voting booth.

This finding shows that while support for conjugal marriage is widespread, it is also fragile and falling victim to a phenomenon known among public opinion researchers as the “spiral of silence.” The late German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann coined this phrase, and used it as the title of a book 30 years ago. W. Phillips Davison summarized her theory as follows:

Most people are able to estimate (although not always correctly) what majority opinion is on most issues, or whether a particular opinion on an issue is gaining or losing ground. Those who see their own views as becoming more widely accepted tend to voice these views in public, and with increasing confidence. Those whose opinions seem to be losing ground are reluctant to speak out. The silence of the “losers,” in turn, increases the confidence of the other side. Finally, only a hard core is willing to defend the minority opinion in public.

One need not believe in what Noelle-Neumann called a “quasi-statistical” sixth sense to see her point. The conformity of crowd behavior has been observed almost as long as there have been crowds, and, for most people, the smaller and weaker one feels one’s own position to be, the harder it is to maintain it.

Noelle-Neumann’s “spiral of silence” theory doesn’t treat only the increasing dominance of opinion that already commands a majority, but can also account for any opinion that is “gaining ground.” But how does an opinion gain ground, if it begins as the minority view? On this she had less to say. But others who have studied the mass media can help us out here. Communication scholar Jim Kuypers, for instance, has written of the rhetorical phenomenon known as “framing”:

Framing is a process whereby communicators, consciously or unconsciously, act to construct a point of view that encourages the facts of a given situation to be interpreted by others in a particular manner. Frames operate in four key ways: they define problems, diagnose causes, make moral judgments, and suggest remedies. Frames are often found within a narrative account of an issue or event, and are generally the central organizing idea.

There can be little doubt that the dominant institutions in the American news media—the leading newspapers, magazines, and television network news divisions—have been at work for years in framing the question of same-sex marriage in ways that advantage its advocates. In the dominant media “frame,” for instance, it is always the opponents (and never the supporters) of same-sex marriage who are described as employing the controversy as a “wedge issue,” the implicit moral judgment being that those who push such controversies to the forefront are being divisive and working to destroy the harmony of the American community by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The advocates of same-sex marriage are never described in similarly loaded language, although the radicalism of the proposition that men can marry men and women can marry women is self-evident.

The danger for traditional marriage’s defenders, then, is that media framing of an issue can, over time, push many Americans into a “spiral of silence,” in which they will first experience the Seinfeld Effect of publicly suppressing their opinion that there is “something wrong” with same-sex marriage, then prevaricate even with strangers surveying them on the phone, and finally acquiesce, however reluctantly, in a fait accompli foisted on them as a “constitutional right” by activist judges.

On the marriage issue, there will no doubt always be a sizable “hard core” of defenders of conjugal marriage, particularly though not exclusively among the most orthodox religious believers. But there is a “soft middle” in American public opinion on this question, comprised of those who oppose same-sex marriage but fear that their views are losing ground and are hopelessly retrograde in a changing world. What steps can be taken to stiffen their resistance? Is some form of “inoculation” possible?

Inoculation is more than possible. Noelle-Neumann’s spiral of silence is dependent on both the experience of isolation and the fear of isolation. “My view is different from everyone else’s around me” is the opinion-killer for many people, even when the perception is a false one. Defenders of the institution of marriage need to know that they stand, not merely with more like-minded contemporaries than they suspect, but with countless generations of thoughtful people—husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, philosophers and lawgivers, prophets and priests—who believed as they believe.

They also need to know that, however few or many they are in their immediate social surroundings, they have the best arguments at their disposal for the preservation of that tradition: That marriage would not exist were it not for the fact that men and women have children, and it is good that they have them together and rear them together. That on the whole it is best for children to be raised, wherever possible, by their natural mothers and fathers in intact, lifelong familial relationships. That marriage’s nature is not infinitely malleable in response to our will, but is the shaper of our relations as much or more than it is shaped by them. That the reshaping of marriage to “make room” for same-sex couples leaves it vulnerable to every other claimant who wants similar space in the institution, including the polyamorous—and so the reshaping is, in truth, the effectual abolition of marriage. That the defenders of tradition should suffer no embarrassment if their moral views about the law of marriage find confirmation in the tenets of their religious faith, however much they are vilified as irrational bigots by a federal judge.

To these powerful arguments the advocates of radical change in the institution of marriage can oppose nothing but an appeal to sentiment, and the force of the Seinfeld Effect. They expect their fellow Americans to shrug and say, “so they want to get married—not that there’s anything wrong with that.” We must offer instead a firm but loving refusal to shrug at this revolution in our political and cultural life.

Matthew J. Franck is director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute. Gwen Brown is professor emerita of communication at Radford University

quinta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2010

Britain’s Leading Gay Activist Calls for Lowering of Age of Consent to 14

By Hilary White

LONDON, September 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of Britain’s leading homosexualist activists has called again for the lowering of the age of sexual consent from 16 to 14, saying that this will reduce incidents of sexual abuse of young people. Peter Tatchell, founder of the group OutRage!, wrote on the website Big Think, “Whether we like it or not, many teenagers have their first sexual experience around the ages of 14 or 15.”

“If we want to protect young people, and I do, the best way to do this is not by threatening them with arrest, but by giving them frank, high quality sex and relationship education from an early age.

“This includes empowering them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to say no to unwanted sexual advances and to report sex abusers. Compared to the blanket criminalization of sexually-active under-age youth, this empowerment strategy is a more effective way to protect young people from peer pressure and pedophiles.”

A higher age of consent actually puts young teens at greater risk of abuse by “reinforcing the idea that young people under 16 have no sexual rights,” Tatchell said. “They signal that a young person is not capable of making a rational, moral choice about when to have sex.”

“Guilt and shame about sex also increase the likelihood of molestation by encouraging the furtiveness and secrecy on which abuse thrives,” he added.

“Despite what the puritans and sex-haters say, underage sex is mostly consenting, safe, and fun,” Tatchell said. “If there is harm caused, it is usually not as a result of sex, per se, but because of emotional abuse within relationships and because of unsafe sex, which can pass on infections and make young girls pregnant when they are not ready for motherhood.”

OutRage! has long lobbied for the lowering of the age of consent in Britain, which was already lowered for homosexual acts from age 21 in 1994 and again in 2000 to 16, after heavy lobbying by homosexualist activists.

Carolyn Moynihan, an Auckland journalist with a special interest in family issues, responded at Mercatornet, saying it is “a little bit surprising” that Tatchell has made the suggestion at the time when he is part of a protest against Pope Benedict, whom he accuses of failing to protect young people from sexual predators.

Moynihan said, “Of course there will always be underage people who have sex, but that doesn’t mean the law should condone it. Sex is a very complicated part of human behavior that is too nuanced for young people to understand.”

She cited studies that have shown that young people, especially girls, who have sex at early ages often regret it. She quotes Daily Telegraph columnist David Lindsay saying, “Sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, physical and otherwise. In a word, adults.”

The “Geopolitical Epicentre of the Culture of Death”

By Hilary White

LONDON, September 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the last 50 years, Britain has become a “selfish, hedonistic wasteland” and the “geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death,” a member of the staff of the Westminster Catholic Archdiocese told Zenit news this weekend.

Edmund Adamus, director of Pastoral Affairs for the Archdiocese of Westminster, said, “whether we like it or not as British citizens and residents of this country – and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies – the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death.”

In the lead-up to Pope Benedict’s September 16th state visit, Adamus warned that Britain is in “a time of shadows especially threatening to the fundamental cell of society – the family – and the rights of parents.”

The reference is likely to the former Labour government’s sex education programs that would have required schools, including religious schools, to teach children that homosexual acts are “normal and harmless,” and how to obtain abortions and contraception without parents’ knowledge or consent. The Catholic Education Service, a body of the Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales, has been heavily criticized for its approval of and cooperation with the plans.

Britain leads Europe in abortion and unplanned pregnancy among young women and has recently weakened its legal protections against euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Under the Tony Blair Labour government, Britain became the world leader in the use of living human embryos in experimentation. Recently, Britain’s abortion statistics, nearly 200,000 per year, earned the country the nickname “abortion capital of Europe” from MP Anne Widdecombe.

A poll taken in anticipation of the pope’s visit found that a larger number of British people than expected are Catholic, about 800,000 in Scotland and 5.2 million in England and Wales – a total of about 8 percent of the British population. But the same poll found that only one in five attends Mass regularly.

Adamus continued, “Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years or more have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes culturally speaking than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.”

He said that his hopes for the papal visit include “a fresh sense of purpose and clarity about what we as Catholics understand in terms of mission, for the authentic dignity of the person.”

He pointed to the medieval past when England was known as one of the most devout nations of Christendom, nicknamed the “Dowry of Mary.” But those days are long gone, he said, and today’s Britain is in the clutches of a national debauch, indulging in the “objectification of women for sexual gratification” and an “ever-increasing commercialization of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the gay agenda.”

But the members of the Catholic hierarchy have a rosier view of British life. A spokesman for Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Adamus’s boss, released a terse message saying that the comments “did not reflect the archbishop’s opinions.”

Archbishop Nichols, regarded as the “conservative” choice among the English episcopate to replace Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, has come under heavy fire from some Catholics and pro-family groups for his enthusiastic endorsement of the former Labour government’s sex education programs and for his continuation of the infamous Soho Masses at a London Catholic parish, organized by and for active homosexuals.

In a recent BBC interview, when asked if the Catholic Church was likely to change its mind on homosexuality, Nichols replied, “I don’t know. Who knows what’s down the road?”

But even more glowing comments came from the bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, who told the Guardian recently that there is really nothing for the pope to worry about in Britain.

“I am often told by those Catholics who dislike the way our church operates in this country that they are the ‘silent majority,’ denied a voice by people like me in the hierarchy,” he said. “The reality is that they are a very small minority. Pope Benedict is coming to a country where Catholicism is unusually stable, cohesive and vibrant enough in the current overall context of decline of interest in the church in western Europe.”

Pope Benedict, he said, “may well be relieved to be coming to a place where, unlike some of his other recent trips, there are no big problems for him to sort out.

Tony Blair's Memoirs Reveal Dishonesty Was Dark Heart of His Anti-Life/Anti-Family Rule

Commentary By John Smeaton,

LONDON, England, Sept. 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Tony Blair's memoirs, entitled A Journey, have been published today and we have a copy at SPUC HQ. Here are some key points from it:

  • "Politicians are obliged from time to time to conceal the full truth, to bend it and even distort it."
  • On Hans Kung, the theologian and notorious dissenter from Catholic teaching on abortion, euthanasia, contraception and much else: "My Oxford friend, Pete Thomson, always sung the praises, rightly, of the inestimable Hans Kung ... a distinguished scholar and author [of] great works."
  • repeated references to his support for the homosexual agenda*, such as: "Just before Christmas [2005] the Civil Partnership Act came into force ... I was really proud of that."
  • On illicit affairs by politicians: "I tended to look upon such things with a fairly worldly eye".

Mr Blair also writes: "[Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein shared] a common set of attitudes: indifference to human life; the justification of mass killing..."

At no point does Mr Blair express the slightest regret for his lengthy record of support in parliament and government for abortion, abortifacient birth control and euthanasia - in other words,

"indifference to human life; the justification of mass killing".

Indeed, Mr Blair has refused to repudiate his record. He and his wife Cherie have continued their campaign against Catholic pro-life/pro-family teaching.

Yet of most interest is Mr Blair's wordly-wise admission that he "conceal[ed] the full truth", "ben[t] and even distort[ed] it". Here are a few key examples of that:

Teenage Pregnancy

In 1998 Mr Blair's government launched its teenage pregnancy strategy, and Mr Blair himself wrote the forward to one of its key documents (Teenage Pregnancy, Social Exclusion Unit, 1999). Yet, as The Telegraph pointed out so cogently last week, that strategy was based on the falsehood that greater provision of sex education, abortion and contraception lowers teenage pregnancy rates. Well before Mr Blair was forced to retire as prime minister in 2007, it was clear that the strategy was a failure; yet the Labour government continued pumping millions of taxpayers' pounds into the strategy up to and beyond Mr Blair's departure from office.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

As prime minister Mr Blair made clear his ardent support for destructive embryo research [2000, 2004, 2006], speaking of his ambition that Britain will become an international centre for embryonic stem cell research. Yet over two decades of destructive embryo research, including years of embryonic stem cell research, have provided none of the cures or treatments which its advocates claimed it would.

Euthanasia by Omission

In 2005 Mr Blair's government steered through parliament the Mental Capacity Act. Mr Blair himself, with the active assistance of the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales, successfully misled parliament and the public into believing that the Act did not entail euthanasia.

I could add many other similar examples, which readers can find referenced on my blog.

The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

John Smeaton is the Director of Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). This commentary was originally posted on his blog and is republished with permission.

quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

Bebé dado por muerto despierta gracias a caricias de su madre

LONDRES, 01 Sep. 10 / 12:45 am (ACI)

Jamie Ogg es un milagro para los australianos. Nació antes de los siete meses de gestación, era tan frágil que los médicos lo dieron por muerto y lo entregaron a su madre para el primer y último abrazo. Dos horas después, mientras aún recibía las caricias maternas,
el pequeño comenzó a dar señales de vida.

Kate y David Ogg solo dan gracias a Dios por su milagrosa historia. Kate dio a luz a sus mellizos Emily y Jamie a las 27 semanas de embarazo. La niña sobrevivió sin mayores complicaciones, pero los médicos creían que el varón no tenía posibilidades de sobrevivir.

Durante 20 minutos trataron de que el bebé respirara por su cuenta y como no lograron su cometido lo declararon muerto y entregaron el cuerpo a Kate y David para una despedida privada.

"El médico me preguntó después del parto si ya habíamos elegido el nombre para nuestro hijo. Le dije: ‘Jamie’, se dio la vuelta con mi hijo envuelto y me dijo: ‘ Hemos perdido a Jamie, lo siento’", recuerda Kate en una entrevista televisiva.

Después de dos horas de estar con su madre, quien no dejó de hablarle y acariciarlo, Jamie comenzó a dar signos de vida. Aunque una enfermera le dijo que se trataba de un reflejo, Kate le ofreció leche materna con el dedo, y tras ese contacto, el niño comenzó a respirar con regularidad para asombro de todos.

"Jamie no se movía en lo absoluto y comencé a hablar con él. Le dijimos cuál era su nombre y que tenía una hermana. Le dijimos las cosas que queríamos hacer con él durante toda su vida", asegura Kate recordando los momentos en que creyó haber perdido a su bebé.

Cuando empezó a moverse "pensé ‘Oh, Dios mío, ¿qué está pasando?’. Poco tiempo después abrió los ojos. Fue un milagro", agrega.

"Le dije a mi mamá, que estaba allí, que él todavía estaba vivo. Luego tendió la mano y agarró el dedo. Abrió los ojos y movió su cabeza de lado a lado", agrega sosteniendo a Jamie ahora de cinco meses de vida.

David agradece a Dios por su esposa. "Tengo una mujer muy fuerte y muy inteligente. Instintivamente, hizo lo que hizo. Si ella no hubiera hecho eso, entonces probablemente Jamie no estaría aquí".

terça-feira, 31 de agosto de 2010

The Theology of Giving (Part 3 of 3)

by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

The goods of the earth have been given for all. We are to share those goods not simply when we don't need them, but also when we do. These are key principles of Catholic social teaching.

Giving, whether of our time, talent, or treasure, is based on the very nature of God. Though He did not have to create us, He did..and then became one of us and died for us. He taught us the meaning of giving when we don't have to and of giving from our very substance, from our very life.

The Lord Himself referred to a theology of giving. After observing the rich putting their sizable donations into the temple treasury, he saw a poor widow making her contribution, whereupon He said, "I assure you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. They make contributions out of their surplus, but she from her want has given what she could not afford -- every penny she had to live on" (Luke 21:3-4).

Most of us give to some charity, and we give what we do not need. But how often do we give away what we do need? And the fact that we need it is precisely why we need to share it.

The needs of another are not just the other's needs; they are ours. We are one body."The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ….God has so constructed the body… that all the members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy. You, then, are the body of Christ. Every one of you is a member of it" (1Cor.12:12, 24-27).

How much should we give to a cause that we know is right? The measure of our giving should be how much the other needs the gift, not how much the giver does not need it.

No group of people is more needy in our society than the unborn, deprived of the very right to their lives. More money is spent in this country to kill the unborn than is spent to save them. Some wealthy people contribute billions to the very groups that promote the killing.

"I ask you, how can God's love survive in a man who has enough of this world's goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need?" (1John 3:17). Given that the greatest of "this world's goods" is life itself, we can rephrase the verse: How can God's love survive in anyone who is alive yet closes his heart to his brother who is in danger of death?

When we give out of our very need, we give life itself to others. Nowhere is that more true than when we give to the efforts to end abortion.

segunda-feira, 30 de agosto de 2010

El guardián de Dios - - por Juan Manuel de Prada

In ReligiónenLibertad.com

Si hay algo que me conturba el ánimo (tal vez porque me recuerda la «abominación de la desolación» de la que hablaba el profeta Daniel: esto es, el sacrilegio del templo) es el espectáculo de los turistas indecentes que se pasean por las iglesias como por un mercadillo playero, en camiseta de tirantes y pantalón corto, pavoneándose de la pelambre de sus canillas, de los morrillos de carne excedente de sus cinturas, de su muslamen injuriado por la celulitis, mientras disparan fotografías por doquier e intercambian comentarios vocingleros en la capilla del Santísimo, como los intercambiarían en un retrete comunal. Esta pérdida generalizada del decoro (que es expresión de otra pérdida más aflictiva, que es la pérdida del sentido de lo sacro) alcanza una expresión paroxística en las iglesias de la Toscana más celebradas por las guías turísticas, ante la pasividad o negligencia de las propias autoridades eclesiásticas. Es verdad que a las puertas de los templos suele haber carteles que reclaman respeto al visitante; pero la caterva turística se pasa tales avisos por la entrepierna, que gusta de rascarse sin rebozo y llevar bien aireada, tal vez para aliviarse las escoceduras de las caminatas, tal vez para exhibir su nauseabunda indiferencia. Y así las iglesias se van convirtiendo en zocos de zafiedad impronunciable, donde la luz roja del sagrario tiembla acongojada, como debió de temblar ante las invasiones de los bárbaros.

Pero, mientras la abominación de la desolación campa por sus fueros, aún queda algún irreductible guardián de Dios que no se resigna. En la iglesia de San Agustín, en Montepulciano, un sacristán viejo y acaso impedido, acaso también loco, vigilaba, sentado en una silla al pie del presbiterio, el trasiego de turistas en el templo. Entró una recua, con las consabidas camisetas de tirantes y los pantaloncitos cortos que enseñan los mofletes del culo; y el mulo que parecía capitanear la recua voceó, para recrearse con el eco de la bóveda: «Venga, vamos a hacernos unas fotos aquí». Entonces el sacristán, poseído por esa virtud cristiana hogaño en desuso llamada santa ira (la misma virtud que animaba a Cristo cuando expulsó a los mercaderes del templo y cuando maldijo a la higuera seca), lo increpó desde la penumbra: «Tú, cerdo, vete a hacer fotos a la pocilga de tu casa, donde tu madre te dejará ir vestido como un mamarracho». El mulo entonces titubeó, incrédulo ante la osadía del sacristán loco, incrédulo de que una estantigua semejante se atreviera a cercenar sus sacrosantos derechos democráticos, pero mientras titubeaba el sacristán loco proseguía su retahíla de improperios: «Largaos de aquí con viento fresco, panda de guarros, que no os quiero ver ni en pintura». El italiano campesino del sacristán loco, áspero como un vino mal fermentado, sonaba a gloria bendita, era como escuchar al león de Judá en el día del Juicio Final, separando a las ovejas de los cabritos. Y los cabritos de la camiseta de tirantes y el pantaloncito corto se fueron con el rabo entre las piernas, perseguidos por la santa ira del sacristán loco, que apenas los vio desaparecer del templo recuperó un aire inocente y beatífico, como acariciado por la brisa de la Jerusalén celeste.

Transido de emoción, me arrodillé en la penumbra de la iglesia de San Agustín, en Montepulciano, y rogué fervorosamente a Dios que concediera muchos años de vida a aquel sacristán, y que le mantuviera incólume la virtud de la santa ira. La llama del sagrario resplandecía con un vigor jubiloso e impávido, orgullosa de su celoso guardián.


Espanto [1]

Já se sabia, com grande assombro, que havia Sacerdotes que aceitavam condecorações, sentindo-se honrados, de um presidente cujo mandato se pautou pela promulgação de “leis” desumanas, cruéis e abomináveis; violentamente antivida, antifamília, antinatura, anticivilizacionais e anticristãs. Fiquei hoje a saber que há Bispos[2] que também que se comportam do mesmo modo, e o publicitam nos sítios das suas Dioceses.

O meu espanto é enorme, desmedido.

[1] “1 - qualidade do que é espantoso ou do que causa assombro; pasmo

2 - medo, susto

3 - qualidade do que provoca admiração; maravilha

4 - acontecimento inesperado, surpreendente” – Dicionário Houaisse

Democracia de mirones - por João César das Neves

por João César das Neves

In DN - 30. 08. 2010

Portugal tem problemas sérios e profundos: crise económico-financeira, bloqueios na justiça, deficiências na saúde, falhas na educação. Como pode isso tudo ser resolvido no meio da praça pública, com uma multidão ululante a opinar, criticar, insul-tar? A sociedade mediática tem muitas vantagens e excelentes benefícios. Mas está a estrangular a democracia.

Imagine gerir uma empresa, uma casa de família ou até guiar um automóvel com chusmas de mirones a espreitar por cima do ombro e a dar palpites e remoques! O desastre estaria garantido. É precisamente esse o sistema que, em nome da suposta liberdade de informação, queremos que funcione no País.

A resolução de qualquer problema grave necessita de estudo, meditação, consultas. Exige negociações delicadas, tentativas controversas, compromissos ambíguos. Impõe tempo, diplomacia, delicadeza. Só assim se chega a algum resultado. Tudo isso é impossível satisfazendo a cada passo sondagens mensais, debates semanais, telejornais diários. O resultado está à vista: a imprensa funciona bem e tudo o resto anda muito mal.

Vivemos no reino da opinião. Pior ainda, os contributos sérios, honestos e fundamentados estão ao nível dos palpites ignorantes, dislates pomposos, provocações espúrias, conspirações inconfessáveis. Acima de todos reina soberana a piada oportuna. Mas todas estas intervenções - úteis, pertinentes, vácuas ou nocivas - têm em comum a falta de responsabilidade. Um artigo como o que está a ler, por cuidadoso e profundo que seja, não passa de conversa, sem a exigência de quem tem o dever de decidir. Mas influencia essa decisão. O resultado da cacafonia mediática é uma intolerável pressão sobre ministros e deputados, que torna impossível qualquer gestão corrente equilibrada, quanto mais projectos de reforma ou planeamento estratégico. Ignoramos as respostas a qualquer questão porque sabemos os defeitos de todas as propostas. A facilidade com que se destroem soluções gera a impossibilidade de solucionar problemas.

Também a vacuidade dos políticos de sucesso nasce daqui, porque o próprio sucesso a impõe. Os dirigentes elegíveis não são especialistas em soluções mas mestres em ficção, porque esse é o jogo decisivo. Deste modo, domina a superficialidade, improvisação, aldrabice. Vivemos num mundo de ilusão, convencidos de que os líderes, que na televisão e semanários travam duelos aparatosos e praticam números de circo, obedecem às nossas exigências. Por detrás da retórica de modernidade, reformismo, legitimidade popular e sofisticação técnica, somos governados pelos poderes da sombra, que controlam a imagem mediática que nos alimenta.

Se isto é verdade em geral, torna-se gritante em momentos de austeridade. O nosso problema mais urgente é financeiro: exagerámos nos gastos, endividámos o País, temos de cortar. A dificuldade está na divisão dos sacrifícios. Onde impor poupanças? Quem sofre a redução? Decidir isto na praça pública só pode ter um resultado: os grupos organizados controlam a informação e impõem os sacrifícios aos sem-voz. Corporações, sindicatos, grandes em-presas, sectores influentes têm bem oleados os contactos mediáticos. Ninguém toca nesses interesses sem suportar uma enxurrada de notícias, artigos, comentários. Eles são o interesse nacional. Os pobres não fazem manifestações, os desempregados não publicam nos jornais, os imigrantes não são assunto de reportagem. A sociedade mediática estabeleceu uma aristocracia ainda mais poderosa, influente e injusta que a medieval.

O mais espantoso é tudo isto ser feito em nome do direito democrático à informação e intervenção política. A incompreensão do verdadeiro sentido da democracia não só impede o seu funcionamento mas, devido a essa inoperância, cria os bloqueios que podem conduzir ao seu desprezo pelas gerações futuras. Democracia é o povo escolher os governantes, que assumem responsabilidades quatro anos depois. Democracia não significa o povo discutir, pressionar ou manipular cada decisão dos responsáveis. A isso chama-se caos.

domingo, 29 de agosto de 2010

L’obiezione di coscienza nel mirino del parlamento europeo

Gianfranco Amato
18. 08. 2010

Il volto illiberale dell’Europa tenta un altro colpo.

Questa volta nel mirino è finito il diritto all’obiezione di coscienza in caso di aborto.

Visto da sempre come la bête noire dalle lobby abortiste, non poteva tardare il tentativo di limitarlo o addirittura eliminarlo.

Nella prossima sessione plenaria del Parlamento Europeo, che si terrà dal 4 all’8 ottobre 2010, verrà posta in discussione la risoluzione “Women’s access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection” (AS/Soc (2010) 18 - del 21 maggio 2010), già approvata a maggioranza in Commissione Affari Sociali, Salute e Famiglia lo scorso 22 giugno scorso. Già il titolo della risoluzione appare eloquente: “Accesso delle donne a cure mediche legali: il problema di un uso non regolamentato dell’obiezione di coscienza”.

Relatrice del documento è l’eurodeputata britannica Christine McCafferty. Per rendersi conto della gravità della questione e dell’impronta ideologica che aleggia dietro l’iniziativa, è sufficiente leggere il rapporto McCafferty (doc. 12347 del 20 luglio 2010).

La risoluzione, in pratica, chiede all’Assemblea che, dopo essersi dichiarata profondamente preoccupata («deeply concerned») per il fenomeno dell’obiezione di coscienza, evidenzi l’importanza di «bilanciare il diritto a tale obiezione con il “diritto” della donna ad un “medical care” in tempi ragionevoli» (punto 2 ris.). Medical care, letteralmente cura medica, sta in realtà per aborto. Viene quindi sancito un diritto sacrosanto all’interruzione volontaria della gravidanza, che, secondo il punto 3 della risoluzione, dovrà essere rigorosamente «rispettato, protetto ed adempiuto» (respected, protected, and fulfilled).

L’obiezione di coscienza dovrà, poi, essere riconosciuta esclusivamente al medico e «non potrà riguardare strutture nel loro insieme, quali ospedali pubblici e cliniche» (punto 4.1.1). Verrà, inoltre, accuratamente sottoposta ad un rigido sistema di controllo, «anche attraverso un’adeguata procedura di reclami», in modo che venga assicurato a tutti, «ma soprattutto alle donne il ricorso tempestivo a prestazioni sanitarie».

Il punto 4.1.3 della proposta di risoluzione, infine, prevede espressamente l’obbligo di fornire il trattamento medico (rectius aborto) nonostante l’obiezione di coscienza, quando sia eccessivamente disagevole trovare un’altra struttura disponibile, o quando tale struttura si trovi oltre un “ragionevole” raggio di distanza.

Non stupisce, in realtà, l’impianto ideologico di questa iniziativa se si considera chi siano i mandanti morali: Christine McCafferty, Christian Fiala e Christina Zampas. Il fatto che i tre nomi propri facciano espresso riferimento al cristianesimo è solo un beffardo scherzo del destino, dal sapore alquanto sarcastico.

La prima, McCafferty, membro della Commissione Affari Sociali, Sanità e Famiglia, e relatrice della proposta, è una delle più sfegatate suffragette abortiste del Regno Unito. Basti pensare che tra i supporter della sua campagna elettorale spiccano due organizzazioni arcinote nel mondo pro-choice: Abortion Rights e la famigerata Marie Stopes International.

Ricordo la McCafferty guidare la protesta degli abortisti davanti a Westminister il 6 febbraio 2008, e le sue parole pronunciate per l’occasione: «Dopo quarant’anni dall’entrata in vigore della legge sull’aborto del 1967, non possiamo permettere che una sparuta minoranza di antiabortisti possa limitare un diritto fondamentale delle donne. I diritti delle donne dovrebbero essere estesi e non ristretti».

Il secondo personaggio è l’austriaco Dr. Christian Fiala, Presidente della Federazione Internazionale degli Operatori di Aborto e Contraccezione. Il biglietto da visita non lascia davvero adito a fraintendimenti. Si tratta di un viscerale sostenitore del family planning e dell’interruzione della gravidanza, al punto di aver ideato e realizzato, nel marzo del 12007, un’iniziativa di pessimo gusto: il museo dell’aborto e della contraccezione di Vienna. Ovviamente, in pieno spirito pro-choice.

Il Dr. Fiala ha anche avuto il privilegio di essere personalmente citato nel rapporto 11537/08 della Commissione Pari Opportunità del Parlamento europeo, noto come rapporto Wurm (dal nome della relatrice), sulla base del quale è stata poi approvata la risoluzione n. 1607 “Access to safe and legal abortion in Europe” del 16 aprile 2008.

Il prezioso contributo di Fiala si trova al punto 29 del rapporto, ove si specifica che ogni forma di restrizione dell’aborto – come i periodi di ripensamento, i colloqui preliminari, il consulto di due medici, ecc. – risulterebbe assai «controproducenti», e avrebbero come unico effetto, non quello di ridurre le gravidanze indesiderate o il numero di aborti, ma semplicemente di perdere tempo e allungare inutilmente i tempi di gravidanza.

Vengono persino citate le parole di Fiala sulle cosiddette “restrizioni”: «Servono solo a far abortire feti in uno stato evolutivo più avanzato». Quindi: «più in fretta la donna prende la decisione, più è per lei facile ed accessibile ricorrere all’aborto».

Il terzo ed ultimo personaggio è Christina Zampas, avvocatessa dall’intelligenza luciferina, Senior Regional Manager e consulente legale per l’Europa del Center for Reproductive Rights di New York, un’organizzazione di avvocati abortisti.

La Zampas teorizza, sotto il profilo giuridico, il diritto all’aborto come un nuovo diritto fondamentale dell’uomo, e si batte da ruggente leonessa davanti le corti d’Europa per far valere tale principio. A cominciare, ça va sans dire, dalla Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo di Strasburgo.

Queste sono le tre figure chiave che stanno dietro la proposta di risoluzione, che – è bene ripeterlo – ha già ottenuto il voto favorevole della Commissione Affari Sociali, Sanità e Famiglia lo scorso 22 giugno. A novembre, quando giungerà davanti all’Assemblea parlamentare, vedremo cosa succederà.

Nel frattempo mi permetto una considerazione soltanto.

I promotori della risoluzione sono partiti dal falso assunto che esista giuridicamente un diritto all’aborto, e hanno dimenticato che, invece, il diritto all’obiezione di coscienza è riconosciuto dalla legislazione internazionale, comunitaria e nazionale.

Lo riconosce, ad esempio, l’art.18 della Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti dell’Uomo, firmata a Parigi il 10 dicembre 1948, e l’art.18 del Patto Internazionale sui Diritti Civili e Politici, adottato dall'Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite il 16 dicembre 1966, ed entrato in vigore il 23 marzo 1976.

Per rimanere in Europa, il diritto all’obiezione di coscienza trova riconoscimento nell’art.9 della Convenzione europea per la salvaguardia dei diritti dell'uomo e delle libertà fondamentali (CEDU), e dall’art.10 della Carta fondamentale dei diritti dell’Unione Europea.

Quest’ultima disposizione, in particolare, non lascia adito a dubbi di sorta. Recita, infatti, il secondo comma dell’art.10: «Il diritto all'obiezione di coscienza è riconosciuto secondo le leggi nazionali che ne disciplinano l'esercizio».

Ed infatti l’art.9 della Legge 194, in tema di aborto, prevede e disciplina, nel nostro Paese, il diritto all’obiezione di coscienza. Anche da questo punto di vista, l’eventuale approvazione della risoluzione integrerebbe l’ennesima indebita interferenza nell’ordinamento di un Paese membro, ad onta del principio di sovranità popolare.

Queste sono le fonti normative su cui si fonda, a differenza dell’aborto, il diritto all’obiezione di coscienza.

In realtà, se si vuole andare un po’ più indietro nel tempo, è possibile rinvenire tale principio già nell’antico giuramento di Ippocrate. Quello che i medici pronunciavano invocando Apollo, Asclepio, Igea, Panacea e tutti gli dei e le dee.

In quel testo, infatti, coloro che si votavano alla professione di Esculapio giuravano che non avrebbero mai somministrato un farmaco mortale (φάρμακον θανάσιμον), neppure se richiesto (οὐδενὶ αἰτηθεὶς), e soprattutto che non avrebbero mai dato a nessuna donna un medicinale abortivo (οὐδὲ γυναικὶ πεσσὸν φθόριον δώσω). Era il IV secolo avanti Cristo. Da allora di secoli ne sono trascorsi ventiquattro, duemilaquattrocento anni, ma l’uomo contemporaneo, in quel campo, non sta dimostrando di essere più saggio. Anzi.