Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chastity: Living a Virtuous Life

As part of my continued series of postings on the issue of abortion, today’s entry on our blog looks at the issue from a preventative perspective, living a chaste and virtuous life.
Today’s mainstream culture is not only secular, but inundated with sexual content.  Such content encourages and promotes promiscuity that together with a lack of living a chaste and virtuous life, often times leads to an unwanted pregnancy and a subsequent abortion!  It seems only fitting that in today’s Canadian culture of death, we highlight how important it is to live a life of chastity.
Let us begin to first understand exactly what is the virtue of chastity?  When one thinks of chastity, too often it reflects a narrow definition, of abstaining from sexual activity.  This definition is very narrow indeed, for it does not include the requirement and responsibility of living a life of purity in mind and heart!  When we speak of chastity, we must not limit it to the body, but extend it to our thoughts, desires and hearts. Jesus confirmed this by saying, "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander." (Mt 15:18, 19) Therefore, chastity of the body is a call of chastity of the mind and heart, an interior purity.
The sacrament of Baptism consecrates the body, making it a temple of the living God and a member of Christ, therefore every Christian has the duty of respecting his or her body.  It is a duty which demands the virtue of chastity, according to his or her state of life. Saint Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians states, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." (1Cor 3:16,17) Outside of marriage, absolute continence is demanded without distinction. Conjugal chastity limits marital pleasure to the ends of marriage itself. Chastity frees us from the slavery of our senses and moderates their use. Chastity is not restricted to those who are consecrated to God, but is a serious obligation for every Christian, both single and married individuals.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines chastity as:
"...the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift." (2337)

To remain faithful to our baptismal promises and resist temptations can be quite a struggle, a life long one, but as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, there are means available to combat all that one encounters: self knowledge, the practice of ascesis or self discipline when confronted with situations, obedience's to God's commandments, exercise of moral virtues and fidelity to prayer. (2340) We encourage everyone to employ these available weapons, to live a chaste and virtuous life and to pray for chastity, as chastity is a "gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort." (2345)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ontario Ministry of Education Propaganda is Back

Just when the Ministry of Education’s recent attempt to introduce a controversial new “Health and Physical Education” curriculum into grades K-8 had to be withdrawn because of a public outcry, now all school boards, including the Catholic ones are being asked to plan to implement the “Equity and Inclusivity” policy for September 2010. We told you in another blog entry (We Have Won A Battle But Not The War) that this doctrine would not go away, but would resurface by another name; we now know its name: “Equity and Inclusivity”.

As parents we should be very worried if most Catholic School Boards across Ontario are ready to simply endorse the Ministry’s policy. The Ministry has sent Chris D’Souza, a former Equity and Diversity Officer of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board, all over the province to promote this new equity policy. D’Souza has also presented his workshop to many Catholic boards across Ontario. (On a side note: what requirements make a person qualified to be an Equity and Diversity Officer? Would one be hired to promote heterosexuality?)

Parents should see this new move on the part of the government for what it is: a political initiative to push its pro-homosexual and anti-Christian agenda. Chris D’Souza is a spokesman for the Ministry. The Ministry is listening to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Commission is heavily influenced by homosexual lobby groups. Did anybody from the government consult with you as a parent as to whether you wanted this new equity policy in our schools? So if your answer is no, then what the Ministry is doing isn’t even democratic in principle. Parents rejected the first wave of homosexual and sexual propaganda with the proposed “Health and Physical Education” curriculum, now they need to reject this second wave in this “Equity and Inclusivity” doctrine.

How else can you explain that D’Souza can travel the province and in speaking to educators he defines “heterosexism” as “the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural sexual orientation.” He says this with the intent to eradicate the heterosexual viewpoint everywhere. So for Catholics to accept this definition means they need to reject Catholic teaching about homosexuality and the human person. The logical consequence of this absurd notion would entail endorsing acts of immorality while discarding Catholic ethics and virtues. The Ottawa Catholic school board has actually posted D’Souza’s presentation on its web site.

Catholic boards should come out openly and refuse to implement this new equity policy. How can Catholic boards continue to be Catholic if they are asked to welcome and promote a school environment receptive to anyone who claims to be any of the following: gay, lesbian, transsexual, two-spirited, queer, “questioning”, intersex and asexual. It seems that the Ministry views abnormal only those who consider themselves “heterosexual” and thus are surely in need of a remedial course in how to properly assess “sexual orientation”.

This “Equity and Inclusivity” policy is misguided in its approach and morally flawed in its content. Chris D’Souza states that the whole equity document is based on a central Karmic principle: “Do unto others as you want others to do unto you.” This is the Ministry’s first major error. The wise quotation is in fact a Christian principle that comes from Matthew 7:12. In another concluding statement the new policy is referred to as a praxis for a “constructivist epistemology.” Wrong again, because for Aristotle, praxis meant a practical action to find the truth to help human beings live virtuous lives. This document should rightly be called dyspraxia or bad praxis since it distorts the truth about the human person.

Parents should not be fooled by the deceptions and the moral relativism in this document. It’s not really a policy about equity. It’s an ideology that promotes a secular world view. Its goal is to completely sweep away the Christian tradition of the human person created in the image of God. This is not at all an educational policy, but a document of indoctrination and intimidation for those who believe in the truth and in the Catholic faith.

Call your local trustees to tell them that you want your Catholic board to reject this new equity policy. This policy is a smoke screen of words using the power of politics and education to normalize homosexuality. Its aim is to redefine the human person, minus God. Let the Premier and the Ministry of Education know how you feel. We must do it before this propaganda enters every public and Catholic board in the province. We must do it if we truly love our children and care about our faith. Once the lies enter the classrooms of the province and the minds of our innocent children, God only knows how difficult it is to get them out.

Related Article | We Have Won A Battle But Not The War


Societal Change Requires Political Involvement and Commitment

Is Canada still the nation that truly represents who you are and what you and your family care most about? I ask this because if you’re anything like me, you probably take little or no interest in politics, except to carry out your duty as a citizen to cast your vote when there are elections. Then, we complain if the candidates fail to live up to moral standards, either personally or as a government, which we believe to be the proper in terms of behaviour and policies. We do this because in our hearts we want to elect people and a party that best represent and promote our vision of society and of the human person. The sad thing is the fact that in recent elections there have been fewer and fewer candidates that stand for Christian principles. So as citizens what are we to do?

This question is an important one, especially when we consider that our Canadian government has gradually changed so many principles that run counter to the Christian faith. We have legalized abortion and same-sex marriage. The traditionally family has been re-defined to include not just the single parent or a mother and father and children, but two females, two males and other combinations are now recognized in Ontario as a family. There has been an attempt in parliament to pass Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia and assisted-suicide in Canada. Over the years, the federal government has been giving millions of dollars to the International Planned Parenthood Federation in order to make abortion more accessible to women in developing countries. Whether we believe or not Canada has become a very secularized nation. Religion, God and faith have been pushed to the margins of the national agenda, if not off the page entirely.

So again, what can we do as Christians, as citizens? First, we cannot render unto Caesar the things that belong to God and faith. The question to ask is: How can we create pro-life and pro-family choices in Ontario? If you examine the policies of the major parties, the Conservatives, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party, they all speak the same language of relativism. The majority of the members of these parties all voted to support same-sex marriage, to make abortion legal in Canada and to change the very definition of what constitutes the traditional family. So to repeat, what are we to do? Let's not wait for Caesar and his ministers to control every aspect of our lives by allowing the strong winds of political correctness knock down every Christian virtue; we must begin to get involved in the political process. To neglect this duty is to allow parliamentarians who neither represent nor promote Christian principles to govern us in any direction they choose. For I believe that it’s our very complacency which has brought our nation to a place where today we no longer recognize it as our home and family, as “our native land.”

A second strategy, at least at the provincial level, is to support the little known Family Coalition Party of Ontario. Did you even know that such a party exited? Well, it does and it stands for many of the Christian principles we should be fighting to defend, to promote and to vote for. The Family Coalition Party is the only socially and fiscally conservative party in the province. It’s the only political party that wants to positively influence provincial policies and legislation to protect life and the traditional family. It’s the only alternative party that runs counter to the mainline parties because it advocates a pro-life, pro-family and a fiscally responsible position. But if this party is to succeed, it needs Ontarians to get involved; it needs Christians to get to know the issues and to vote for candidates who truly represent and live the pro-life and pro-family values.

May I humbly suggest that you visit the site and learn more about the party. After that, you may want to get more information by contacting a member of the party. Then, find out if there’s an FCP candidate representing your riding and see how you can help that candidate. To promote the party, you may decide to start a riding association. Surely, you have your own ideas and once we begin our political involvement we just might discover that to promote in our province and our country a culture of life and family isn’t at all as difficult as we thought it would be. For real change doesn’t really begin until we begin to change ourselves and our families. What remains is for us to respond with an unequivocal yes to this question: Are we ready to cast our vote and our actions for the Family Coalition Party of Ontario or those who support similar positions? By aligning our politics with our faith, we will truly start to take control of the process of building a Canada that respects family and life.

Why Are Canadian Doctors Ending Life?

As Canadians, we let our federal government use our tax money to pay for over 100,000 abortions each year. Most abortions are done by doctors with the help of other health care professionals like nurses. The majority are carried out in our major hospitals and community clinics. And yes, the cost for each abortion is funded with our taxes and administered through the Canada Health Act. So the question that needs to be asked is, why are doctors being paid by our health care to kill babies? Why do we allow the costs of every abortion to be funded by our tax money? An abortion is done to terminate the life of the unborn. But a pregnant woman is generally healthy and the abortive procedure is essentially an elective operation whose only purpose is to kill the child. And as a Christian society why are we paying for this evil to continue?

On the Canadian Physicians for Life web site we find the oath of Hippocrates: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, or will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and beneficence, I will guard my life and my art.” And the Canadian Nurses for Life define themselves as a “national organization that supports nurses in protecting and promoting the dignity of every human being from conception until natural death.”

An abortion is not a “deadly drug” but the unethical surgical procedure is similar in that the doctor has one goal: kill the baby in the womb. How can nurses be “protecting and promoting the dignity of every human being” when they routinely help to kill the unborn? Canada needs more organizations like Physicians for Life who are courageously willing to state and urge its members to live the truth.

A recent article by Janice Hopkins Tanne in the British Medical Journal, May 12, 2010, reported that the American Board of Anesthesiology, with 42,000 members, has unanimously ruled that anesthesiologists cannot administer any lethal injection if they want to maintain their board certification. This decision is significant because it ought to remind all doctors that their ethical and medical responsibility is to do no harm. Administering a lethal injection or aborting are in direct violation of a physician’s professional and moral duty.

In fact, Tanne’s article has these sobering words from the board’s secretary Mark Rockoff: “Physician participating in an execution includes…prescribing or administering tranquillizers and other psychotropic agents and medications that are part of the execution procedure; monitoring vital signs on site or remotely (including monitoring electrocardiograms); attending or observing an execution as a physician; and rendering of technical advice regarding execution.”

There surely is an inconsistent moral position that says on the one hand that physicians should not be aiding and abetting executions, and yet on the other hand, every day doctors are doing abortions to “execute” the unborn. It’s also worth noting that the board of anesthesiologists adopted the American Medical Association’s statement, “A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life when there is hope of doing so, should not be participant in a legal authorized execution.” This position is shared by the Canadian Medical Association in their Code of Ethics under the section called, Fundamental Responsibilities.

As Christians we need to start thinking about ways in which we can help our doctors and nurses stop killing the unborn. This may take the form of political action. The issue should be on the agenda at ratepayers’ associations across the country. Elected officials need to know our Christian position on the question of abortion. Get creative and do whatever it takes to educate other citizens about the bleak future Canada faces if we continue to fund, through our taxes, a culture of death. As taxpayers, we pay for most of the cost of training doctors. We pay for the cost of abortions and if the present trend continues we will soon fund euthanasia, assisted-suicide and genetic-selection. Instead, the medical profession ought to be a vocation that helps the sick, comforts the dying and promotes a person’s spiritual and physical well being. In short, doctors should be building a culture of life.

After 41 years of legalized killing of the unborn, surely the time has come for Canadians to address this sad question: why do we, as a Christian society, permit and pay our doctors to continue to do abortions? We know that every abortion is infanticide and the act is in direct contradiction to what physicians are trained to do; then why on earth do we allow them to go on killing innocent life? Why have we permitted our laws to make this immoral act “legal”? The time is long overdue for Canadians, especially Christians and all those who believe in the sanctity of life, to re-evaluate our abortion laws, to re-examine the use of tax money to kill the unborn and the ethical role of doctors and other health care professionals.

Do we have the moral and political will to face abortion’s deadly legacy? Can we embark on pro-life alternatives rather than face a bleak future by continuing to fund this evil? Must we continue to allow our physicians to kill a new generation of Canadians? Complacency isn’t good enough. We must not reject God’s command in Deuteronomy 30:19: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Canadians must choose life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The CRTC Should not Approve More Pornography

It began with the big lie told to Canadians by the Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who said that the state had no business in the nation’s bedrooms. His government, however, went on to implement the worst laws that have changed the family, sexuality, marriage and the very meaning of the human person. Trudeau’s deception continues today. On April 1, 2010, the CRTC licensed a pay-TV pornography channel, called Vanessa, to Montreal-based Sex-Shop Television. It requires the programming include a minimum of 20 percent Canadian content. This means that one-fifth of the pornography on this station must be produced in Canada with Canadian actors. It is sheduled to start broadcasting in October.

So now our own politicians and appointed officials are licensing and encouraging the porn business. Does the CRTC realize the harm that pornography does to lives, families and the nation? Pornography destroys the sanctity and thus the truth about the human person. Canadians must see that our government is bringing its lies into our bedrooms and our private lives. It’s long overdue for Canadians to fight back and reclaim their dignity from all this legislated smut.

The CRTC has also licensed an Alberta based pay-TV pornography channel, called Northern Peaks, for which 50% Canadian content is required. So the liberal agenda marches on to make pornography more readily available across the nation. This pro-pornography policy will undoubtedly destroy scores of marriages, families and individual lives. Our own government is making sure that they continue to feed pornographic addicts and possibly create new ones.

How can individual Canadian citizens build a better society and the common good when they are inundated with material and services that degrade the human person? Where are the voices in the public square speaking for morality, integrity, purity and most importantly, God? How can a nation promote a healthy, family-based environment when it grants a license to broadcast obscenity?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. If offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.” (CCC: 2354)

As a democratically elected group, our government and our civil servants are not preventing pornography, but are, in fact, responsible for ensuring that these degrading materials are produced, made and distributed all over the country. Those who license the spreading of obscene materials don’t have the best interest of the nation; they are not helping to build the well being of the Canadian family. All they are doing is making sure that the owners of these porn stations make tons of money by poisoning people's minds and hearts with visual sewage which endagers their physical and spiritual lives.

The very people put in place to promote and to protect values on which to build solidarity are instead abandoning their responsibility. Licensing a pornographic channel is not acting in the best interest of Canadian citizens. With complete disregard for the sanctity of core family values and specifically the innocence of youth, the CRTC, a government-funded organization, has made an immoral decision by encouraging public access to pornography and mandating that it include Canadian content. We all know that more pornography on the internet, on television, in movies and in print has the potential to destroy scores of marriages, families and individual lives. (If you know anybody who may be addicted to porn, encourage them to get help.)

The pornography channel called Vanessa is the brainchild of Anne-Marie Losique, a French television host and producer whose stated goal is to produce a Canadian version of the Playboy Channel. Dear Anne-Marie, Canada doesn’t need a Playboy Channel. Your service will not help Canadians live better lives, but will only exploit them financially and degrade the value of the human person and family life. The license ought to be revoked immediately.

Is this not the time to let people know about this issue? As Christians should we not demand that the CRTC explain how they can grant licenses to pornographic channels while not allowing a licence to a single Catholic or Christian radio station to broadcast all day programming on regular airways?

Isn’t it time to do away with the CRTC, and let our government know that we do not need more pornographic channels? The government's lies about the human person must stop. Christians must reclaim the truth. Pornography is the illusion which cheats human beings from being the persons God meant them to be.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why is Quebec paying for IVF Treatments?

Do you think Canadian taxpayers should be funding in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments? During childbearing years Canadian women can have any number of abortions paid for by the health-care system. Then, when they are less likely to get pregnant, the Quebec government is then prepared to pay for IVF treatments. I think these treatments should not be funded by tax money. I will elaborate on this point later.

On July 13, 2010 the CBC evening news reported that “infertile couples in Quebec will now be able to access government-funded in-vitro fertilization treatments (IVF), a first in North America. Couples who have not been able to conceive naturally will be eligible for three free rounds of treatment as of Aug. 5, said Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc...

The province becomes the first jurisdiction on the continent to offer subsidized IVF treatments, which are a costly and last-ditch option for couples with problems conceiving. Quebec's government hopes to see the number of IVF pregnancies double in coming years as a result of the policy, Bolduc said at a news conference on Tuesday at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital.

An average of 3,500 IVF pregnancies are recorded in the province every year. Treatments covered by the Quebec government include:
• Egg harvesting.
• In-vitro fertilization.
• Pre-implant genetic testing.
• Embryo transfer.
• Sperm sample collection.

A single IVF treatment in a private clinic can cost up to $15,000. The Quebec fertility program will cost an estimated $35 million per year, with expenses rising to about $63 million in four years. Services will be offered across the province, split evenly between public and private clinics. Specialized treatments will be limited to major university hospitals.

There is no age limit for treatment, although the program will show priority preference for women near the end of their childbearing years, Bolduc said. It's not clear how the province will handle any waiting lists. About 10,000 Quebec couples are considered infertile.”

The CBC report ends without asking this central question: Why is the Quebec government, the same government that pays for abortions, now ready to fund IVF treatments? This is a symptom of a schizophrenic society when it comes to the issue of abortion. Isn’t there something terribly wrong with a society that first pays doctors to legally kill nearly 30,000 babies a year and then starts a policy to pay for possibly 3,500 women to become pregnant using IVF treatments? If Quebec wants to increase its population, it must stop killing the unborn. Obviously, the Quebec government wants women to have more children. So why are they, on the one hand, paying for one in three pregnant women to have their babies aborted, while on the other hand, funding IVF for $15,000 a treatment? Women will be allowed up to three tries in order to get pregnant. This policy makes no logical, no financial and more importantly no moral sense.

Both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents like Donum Vitae clearly state that IVF treatments are morally unacceptable: “Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act.” (CCC: 2377)

The results of following programs which support a contraceptive mentality are now clear. Quebec politicians are worried about a demographic winter. For decades the number of abortions in Quebec has been increasing. The political answer to the increase has been to provide more sex education and a greater access to contraceptive methods, including the morning-after pill. The fact that the present government is funding IVF treatments is proof that their approach to maternal health care is NOT working. If the Canadian population has increased at all, it is thanks largely to the number of immigrants who come to our country.

In the long run, Quebec will not solve its decreasing population problem by funding IVF treatments. A viable solution is for the province to look at policies which will reverse the present trend and augur a new springtime of hope by returning to a culture of life. IVF treatments are merely an expensive and selfish band-aid. They mask a larger problem: a society in denial about the catastrophic evil consequences of embracing a culture of death instead of embracing those babies who are not aborted. Quebec must immediately abandon its destructive unrestricted abortion law, along with the rest of Canada. Quebec could answer the shrinking population issue by first, ending the funding of abortions and second, not starting to fund IVF treatments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

David and Goliath: Is Democracy Alive in Quebec?

If you truly believe that in Canada we have freedom of thought and religion, you have not heard this sad story. Recently for the Family Matters, the HMWN radio program which I host, I interviewed Suzanne Lavallee. She and her husband, Daniel Jutras, filed a court action against the school board which runs the school their children attend in Drummondville, Quebec. The reason: they wanted the board to exempt their children from taking the required Ethics and Religion Culture (ERC) course currently mandated by the Ministry of Education in Quebec.

At first they believed, as Canadians and Catholics that the school board would simply be reasonable and grant them their request because the newly mandated course was contrary to their right to freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Rights. What happened next shocked them. Suzanne and Daniel had to confront not just the school board, but the Ministry of Education as well. The procedure was costly and in the end neither the board nor the Ministry would allow them an exemption. This also applies to well over 2,000 other Quebec children in a similar situation. Furthermore, both the lower courts, on September 2009, and the Court of Appeal, on February 24, 2010, have refused to hear the case. The lawyers for the family then had no choice. In the pursuit of justice, they were forced to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. This has meant a great deal of time, sacrifice and expense for the family.

When I asked Suzanne why they had decided to go to the courts, her response was that it was not their original goal. When they first asked for an exemption, one child was in high school and the other one was attending elementary school. After the first refusal, they appealed but to no avail, because the exemption was once again denied. They pled their cause in front of the school board commissioner and personally explained their grievances concerning the mandated course. What follows are some of my interview questions and her responses. (You can listen to the entire archived program: Do We Still Have Religious Freedom?)

Here’s what Suzanne told me about their hearing: “Our lawyer was there also to represent our cause, to explain very well the details with a power point presentation so they would know what were our grievances against this course….Then we were also refused… All the people in Quebec who asked for an exemption were also refused. They all received the same refusal letter…. So seeing that we were refused our legitimate rights, that our grievances and motives were ignored, the ECR course was thereby imposed on our children. So my husband and I decided there to remove physically our children from that course and motivate (excuse) each absence… so that was the final move we did because we were not being respected and so we decided to go and pick up our children for every ECR class… Right now there is a coalition, the Coalition for Freedom in Education and also a lot of families are supporting us. A lot of families also went and pick up their children…removed their children physically from this class over the past two years…. Of course it’s not very easy for the parents to do so because they are working and to go and pick up the children for a 50 minute time period and bringing them back in time for the next period is very demanding, so yes, more people would have done it if they could but it’s not possible for everyone to do so”

When I asked her why did she think the lower court refused to hear this case? She said, “I’ll be very personal in my opinion now. I now realize it’s very political and when you’re going head to head with the government; it’s very difficult. We often compare our case to David and Goliath… And what the judge in the court of appeal in Quebec said is that the case is now theoretical…. but what is very sad is that they make this statement on a LIE…. Because the lawyers of the government said that my youngest son was already being exempted from this class since he’s attending a private school…which is NOT TRUE, and we told the judge it’s not true… I just go and pick him up to remove him from this class…but there’s no exemption and they knew this, but still in the judgment they said it doesn’t apply anymore because he’s being exempted and the oldest one, he’s going to college and there’s no class of ERC in college….so I was very sad…..

How do you think your situation may be affected by the recent Loyola High School decision? “The issues are very similar: relativism…the neutral posture of the teacher when he’s teaching about ethical matters, issues which we don’t like…the class is not neutral as they say… (Are the same issues that Loyola won their decision about recently); it has a syllabus of multiculturalism, pluralism, relativism as they call it…it’s not neutral, it’s not good for me! I don’t approve of this philosophy…..

How can people help you fight this battle? “People can make a donation but also to talk about this issue…the more people know about it…it’s a very important one, its DEMOCRACY… Some people wouldn’t agree with my point of view, that’s fine OK, but you should understand that democracy touches everyone, and if we lose it, you will be losers too! Because some people find this class exceptional but I think they don’t know all about it because what it promotes looks very nice, you know, but anyway it is a democracy battle.. Everyone should agree on that! SO LET’S TALK ABOUT IT… it’s a very expensive battle.”

On June 10, 2010, Suzanne received the Archbishop Exener Award at the CCRL 25th anniversary dinner for leadership in community activism. Here’s what she said about getting the recognition, “I was surprised and delighted with this award. My candidature was given without me knowing so I was not expecting this honor. This prize has encouraged and motivated me to continue because you must know many people are not aware of our cause and motives about this legal procedure and they judge me and offer their opinion without even knowing the specifics and we have been called narrow-minded and stipulate that we want to keep our children hidden away so they don’t learn about other cultures but that’s not us….on the contrary we love everyone and we gather with the immigrants and we help them when they are in need and we are involved with them… I feel like I deserve the award with all the people who worked for this cause. I want to share it with all the people that are involved.”

How has this legal challenge affected you and your family? “A lot of people don’t know and are very surprised when I tell them. First it has been very demanding for me because I have to study about it and there is less time for my family but also the interrogations are very hard, very stressful, especially for my teenager at the time… He had to be interrogated two times, twice, for the same purpose. We said no no. They said, YES, YES… and the second time it was not nice… The lawyer was very intimidating; arrogant…he made my teenager look very bad so it was very disappointing for my teenager. So in court when it was time for him to testify again because they would insist for him to testify again to prove his sincere faith, he lost consciousness (fainted). That was too much for him because he is private…and he would do it but it was not easy at all. So it was hard for me so I understand for him what it was like…”

How is your son now? “He is OK because he finds the cause to be very, very important but you know he would be asked very personal questions for that kind of issue…. We thought it was abusive…really… and probably done to discourage us."

During the interview Suzanne made it clear that what the provincial government is doing is undemocratic and intimidating. They maintain that the rquired course is “neutral” when in fact there is nothing neutral about it. How can you claim that all faiths, including atheism, are equal and then proceed to argue that your position is “neutral”? And this is the case put forward by the Quebec government and the Ministry claiming to be democratic. To say that no school, no child, no parent and no student can be exempted from the ERC course is nothing short of a dictatorial agenda, both in words and action.

In view of Suzanne's case, all Canadian citizens, not only those in Quebec, who care about democratic principles, will suffer the consequences if the Supreme Court fails to correct the injustice being done with the mandated ERC course. It’s an injustice to Catholic families, to those who believe in religious freedom and in freedom of speech. All Canadian citizens who want to protect their religious rights and the democratic liberty to express those rights both privately and publically should be concerned about this case. All Catholics who want to make sure that Catholic institutions can maintain their identity by teaching the Catholic faith, need to support Suzanne and her family so that they get a favorable and just decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of The Unborn

Today’s blog entry continues my series of postings on the issue of abortion.  The protection of the innocent lives of the unborn is a central issue in Canada, something that all Canadians should all be concerned about.  With abortions being performed in Canada for 43 years, I hope this entry will prompt you to do something to help end abortion and restore Canada to a culture of life.
In recognizing abortion as an evil, we should begin our fight with prayer and unite all of our efforts to prayer.  What exact prayers one chooses to recite is a personal decision, but I would like to recommend a most efficacious approach, the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of The Unborn
If you are not familiar with the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I have summarized it below.  For those who are already aware of them, I hope that if you do read on, it may strengthen your understanding and devotion.  
Our Lady of Guadalupe, the title given to our Blessed Mother, from her apparitions in the early fifteenth century to a local native Indian, Juan Diego, in what is now known as the country of Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe's purpose was to end Satan's deception of Native American peoples of the cruel human sacrificial rituals to false Gods, performed on a scale never approached by any other peoples. In 1531 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City and identified herself as the "...ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth." Mary requested from her new humble servant, that a church to be built on the site:
"I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the  inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows."
Juan Diego faithfully followed Mary's request and presented it to the local bishop, who was somewhat skeptical and required proof to authenticate the apparition. The Mother of God obliged that request by having Juan Diego gather a variety of exquisite rosas de Castilla, that were blooming and available out of season. As instructed, Juan Diego had placed the roses in his tilma, a traditional article of clothing made of poor quality cactus cloth and presented them to the Blessed Virgin Mary before going to the Bishop. Mary took each one of them with her hands and placed them back in Juan Diego's tilma saying, "My son the least, this diversity of roses is the proof and the sign which you will take to the bishop..." Juan Diego presented the collection of Roses to the Bishop and upon releasing the roses and letting them fall to the ground, the now famous image of Our Lady Of Guadalupe appeared on Juan Diego's tilma, providing the proof the Bishop so required. This famous image on a poor quality cactus cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years, has remained intact with no signs of decay 477 years later, defying all scientific explanations of its origin.
On January 23rd, 1999, the Servant of God Pope John Paul II in his homily from the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent of North America. It was during this same visit that he entrusted the cause of life to the loving protection of Our Lady Of Guadalupe and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born. Please pray to Our Lady Of Guadalupe for those precious lives who are vulnerable to the evil of abortion.