Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Archbishop Gomez on religious freedom

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has an article in First Things today entitled "Defending our First Freedom" in which he raises concern that the US government is attempting to coerce Catholic relief organizations, such as the Migration and Refugees Services Agency and Catholic hospitals, into providing sterilizations and abortions, in contradiction to their mission.

An excerpt: "America’s founders understood that our democracy depends on Americans being moral and virtuous. They knew the best guarantee for this is a civil society in which individuals and religious institutions were free to live, act, and vote according to their values and principles. We need to help our leaders today rediscover the wisdom of America’s founding. And we need to help believers once more understand the vital importance of this “first freedom.” At stake are not just our liberties but also the future character of our democracy."

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Breast Cancer: Awareness of ALL the risk factors

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month (and the month of the Rosary, and Respect Life month....) and campaigns to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer are everywhere. This MercatorNet article raises the question: why doesn't breast cancer awareness month raise awareness about all the risk factors for breast cancer...specifically the highly elevated risk for women who have used the contraceptive pill or had an abortion?

An excerpt:
"The pink awareness campaign is packaged, quite profitably, as an expression of genuine concern about women’s health. So surely it is reasonable to expect that such concern be matched by an accurate presentation of all the known risk factors, and by an insistence upon the very best corresponding prevention recommendations, right? After all, early detection measures such as screening are not nearly the same thing as solid prevention. Indefensibly, however, most awareness efforts fail to feature some factors known to reduce breast cancer risk: having children, avoiding induced abortions, and refraining from oral contraceptives (OC). True, there is no guaranteed way for anyone to dodge or develop breast cancer, but that does not mean there are not risk factors. Women today are delaying childbirth as never before, and having fewer children. Younger women are using OC for longer periods of time. And well over a fifth of all pregnancies in America end in abortion – hardly the rarity its “safe, legal and rare” advocates say it should be. If you suspect that these reproductive risk factors might have something to do with the 40 percent increase in the incidence of breast cancer over the last 30 years, you have spotted the elephant in the room."

Breast cancer has been one of the most prominent issues in women's health for years now; it is time to raise awareness of how abortions and oral contraceptives seriously harm women's health by elevating the risk for breast cancer. Read the full article here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ND offers first major in Irish lang outside of Ireland

Notre Dame's Department of Irish Language & Literature has just announced that it will now offer a major in Irish Language & Literature for undergraduates studying at Notre Dame. Up to this point at Notre Dame it has only been possible to minor in Irish. This is the first major program of study in Irish Language outside of the country of Ireland, making Notre Dame a world leader in Irish scholarship. Maith siad!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inconsistancies in California parental consent laws

A new law in California allows for minors over the age of 12 to be vaccinated for STDs without parental consent.  This is the same state that just banned the use of tanning beds for anyone under the age of 18 for health reasons, and where the governor vetoed a law mandating the use of bike helmets claiming that 'I believe parents have the ability and responsibility to make good choices for their children.'  Also in California, minors must have parental consent to get anything other than their ears pierced, but can have an abortion without parental consent. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez warns against a "serious erosion of parental rights in California." Read the full Catholic News Agency report here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

CUA President speaks out about conscience clauses

John Garvey, Notre Dame graduate and President of Catholic University of America, joins Father Jenkins in objecting to the HHS Rules requiring Catholic universities to provide contraceptive services that violate Catholic teaching. Read his Washington Post article here.

An excerpt:
"The regulations that HHS unveiled in August will require Catholic University to offer its students sterilization procedures and prescription contraceptives, including pills that act after fertilization to induce abortions. If we comply, as the law requires, we will be helping our students do things that we teach them, in our classes and in our sacraments, are sinful — sometimes gravely so. It seems to us that a proper respect for religious liberty would warrant an exemption for our university and other institutions like it."

Monday, October 3, 2011

2012 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal Announced

The Notre Dame Fund to Protect Human Life has just announced that it will honor Helen Alvare, associate professor of law at George Mason University, with its annual Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal. Read more here and find the press release here.