Monday, April 18, 2011

Archbishop Chaput lecture

On April 8, the Notre Dame Right to Life student club sponsored the last lecture in its spring lecture series, given by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. Entitled "Politics and the Devil," he discussed the importance of advancing the right to life of the unborn within the full context of Catholic social teaching. An excerpt:

"The moral and political struggle we face today in defending human dignity is becoming more complex. I believe that abortion is the foundational human rights issue of our lifetime. We can’t simultaneously serve the poor and accept the legal killing of unborn children. We can’t build a just society, and at the same time, legally sanctify the destruction of generations of unborn human life. The rights of the poor and the rights of the unborn child flow from exactly the same human dignity guaranteed by the God who created us.
Of course, working to end abortion doesn’t absolve us from our obligations to the poor. It doesn’t excuse us from our duties to the disabled, the elderly and immigrants. In fact, it demands from us a much stronger commitment to materially support women who find themselves in a difficult pregnancy."

Click here to read the full address.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Religious persecution in China and France

The New York Times today reported in separate stories on two cases of religious persecution this week, concerning headscarves in France and public prayer in China.

France's ban on headscarves that fully veil the face came into effect today, resulting in the detention of two women who protested at Notre Dame Cathedral. The law is expected to affect 2.000 women who were a naqib or burqa.

The Times reports, "As debate flared over the law last year, Jean-François CopĂ©, the parliamentary leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, defended the bill on the grounds of public security and as an important assertion of French identity and values. Mr. Sarkozy himself has said, “The burqa is not welcome in France because it is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity.”" Find the full article here.

In China, officials are cracking down on Christians who worship at non-state sanctioned churches. This weekend, 100 members of a Protestant house church were detained for praying in a public plaza in Beijing. The pastor of the church responded to the crackdown in his sermon: "At this time, the challenges we face are massive. For everything that we have faced, we offer our thanks to God. Compared with what you faced on the cross, what we face now is truly insignificant.” Read more here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chile's abortion ban results in low maternal mortality

The Catholic News Agency reports that Chile just won an International Protect Life Award for having the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America. They attribute their good record to the fact that abortion is banned in Chile and to their supportive programming for women in crisis pregnancy situations. You can read the full story here.