Pope will allow priests to forgive abortion

Pope Francis will allow priests to forgive the sin of abortion during the upcoming Holy Year, from December 8 to November 26.  Normally, abortion incurs automatic excommunication.  Bishops must give special permission before a priest can absolve a penitents of that particular sin.

That abortion cannot be forgiven, apart from an elaborate bureaucratic process, is another example of the Gospel-denying effects of the Roman Catholic penitential system.  Christ died for all sins, including abortion, and He bore every woman’s abortion in His body on the Cross.  So every woman who has committed this sin can know that she has forgiveness in Him.  Now for one year, such women can find forgiveness in the Roman Catholic Church.

But this action by Pope Francis is being interpreted as another example of the pontiff’s “tolerance” and will be taken as a weakening of the church’s position on abortion. [Read more...]

The Christian vs. the collective

Anthony Sacramone has a quite brilliant post entitled “There Are Only Two Conceptions of Human Ethics.”  He begins with an excerpt from Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, a conversation between two Soviet-era totalitarians on the difference between the Christian ethic and the “collective” ethic.  Then he applies it. [Read more...]

ACLU gets Catholic hospital to sterlize a woman

The ACLU threatened to sue a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a sterilization procedure requested by a woman.  So it gave in, violating Catholic teachings.

I suspect the hospital could have won that legal battle.  But now not only lawsuits but the threat of lawsuits–with their huge financial toll even in a winning case–have become cudgels to extort compliance with ACLU demands.  I know of small towns that have removed religious imagery from their logos for similar threats.

Honest question:  Doesn’t the American Civil Liberties Union consider religion to be a civil liberty? [Read more...]

Sex selection at fertility clinics

Fertility clinics in the U.S. are offering a service beyond just helping infertile couples conceive a child.  They are also providing sex selection, doing in vitro fertilization and implanting only embryos of the preferred sex (nearly always male), throwing the other embryos (usually little girls) away. [Read more...]

Court removes injunction on Planned Parenthood videos

The court removed an injunction that it had placed on the release of more Planned Parenthood sting videos, ruling that the Center for Medical Progress has a First Amendment right to show them.  The company that had been buying the fetal organs, StemExpress, asked the court to stop the release.  The company has since stopped doing business with Planned Parenthood, but apparently fears the revelations to come.  The latest video has the CEO joking about getting whole babies.

The Center for Medical Progress has several things going:  the sting videos of Planned Parenthood, sting videos of StemExpress, and confessions of a former employee of that company who had dealings with Planned Parenthood.  The pro-life organization is preparing a documentary putting together their findings. [Read more...]

Euthanasia keeps expanding

The Netherlands and Belgium legalized euthanasia a number of years ago.  Originally, the idea was to let terminally ill patients put themselves out of their misery.  But once the basic taboo against physicians killing their patients was surmounted, euthanasia in those countries has expanded to the mentally ill, to the depressed, to children, and to those who are just “tired of living.”  Belgium would not dream of carrying out capital punishment, but it approved of euthanasia for a convicted murderer who asked for it, though he later backed out.

Charles Lane gives the details about how euthanasia keeps expanding to include more and more people, including those who cannot give meaningful consent, such as children and the mentally handicapped.  Read his whole article for the details.  I excerpt his conclusion after the jump. [Read more...]