Catholic bishops pile on the pressure over proposed abortion legislation
Joint statement expected from their summer meeting this week
First published:Mon, Jun 10, 2013, 01:00
- Anti-abortion side has grasped the importance of being well prepared
- Thousands attend Dublin abortion rally
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Over the weekend the third of their Choose Life 2013 leaflets opposing the Bill was read at Masses throughout the State. It described as “unreliable” assurances that it would provide very limited access to abortion in response to suicidal ideation and said it also failed to adequately balance the right to life of mother and child, unlike current law.
The leaflet was part of a 10-week campaign by the bishops which began on May 22nd and continues until the end of July. It is being distributed every Thursday to parishes throughout the State by the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth.
The bishops are in Maynooth today, tomorrow and Wednesday for their summer meeting which will be their last before the Bill is due to go before the Dáil next month. Their joint statement is expected to be issued either tomorrow or, most likely, on Wednesday.
It will reiterate their belief that human life is sacred from the moment of conception and to point out that the Government does not have to provide for abortion in Ireland to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.
They are also expected to emphasise that it is never necessary to target the life of the baby in the womb to save the life of the mother and that international experience shows that once abortion is legalised, even in apparently very limited situations, it becomes more widespread than was first intended.
Where the Dáil is concerned the bishops are expected to repeat calls for a free vote on the Bill, as made by the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin at the weekend. Among the thousands who attended the “Vigil for Life” rally at Dublin’s Merrion Square on Saturday were Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary, Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly and Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce.
Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths
CHOP doctor says laws need to be changed
| Friday, May 24, 2013 | Updated 4:55 AM EDT
NBC10 learns a local faith-healing couple has a history of child deaths. These two members are in jail right now, accused of letting their baby die without medical care. Now, we’ve found out other parents in the church have refused medical care for their families, leading to the deaths of as many as two dozen children. NBC10’s Luann Cahn joins has the story, you’ll see only on NBC10.
Families who attend Faith Tabernacle Congregation in North Philadelphia and First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park have lost more than two dozen children to illness since 1971, according to non-profit Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. (CHILD, Inc.). Both churches believe in the power of prayer over modern medicine.
The Schaibles are one of those families.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible stand charged with third-degree murder and other crimes after their 7-month-old son Brandon died from bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and a group B streptococcus infection on April 18.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says the boy’s death could have been prevented, but the couple instead turned to prayer.
This is the second time the couple lost a child to illness. They were sentenced to 10 years probation after the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son Kent. Kent died after contracting pneumonia, an illness prosecutors said could have been prevented with basic medical care.
With Brandon’s death, prosecutors allege the couple violated their probation by not taking the baby to the doctor.
The Schaibles are members of the First Century Gospel Church. Founded in 1925, the church is an offshoot of its mother church Faith Tabernacle Congregation. At least 22 children from the congregations have died from illnesses.
In 1991, Faith Tabernacle lost five children to the measles after an outbreak. One child from First Century Gospel also died.
Dean Heilman was 22-months-old when he bled to death as a result of his hemophilia. His parents, Dean and Susan, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to probation in 1997, according to court records.
Court records also show Annemarie and Daniel Foster were also charged in 1997 with endangering the welfare of their son Patrick. The 2-year-old went months without treatment for a tumor. The Fosters were given probation and got Patrick treatment, according to CHILD, Inc. He died in 2007.
NBC10’s Lu Ann Cahn spoke to one member of First Tabernacle Thursday about the church’s beliefs.
“The church believe that people get sick because they’re not doing the right thing,” the man named John said. He refused to give his last name during the interview.
“God promised us that if we do his will, that there’s no infection; all these diseases that you name, would not come to you,” the man explained. John says he believes the congregation is being persecuted for their beliefs.
Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says a parent’s faith does not trump their health.
“Although, you are allowed to martyr yourself to your religion, you are not allowed to martyr your child to your religion,” he said.
Dr. Offit is now writing a book about the 1991 measles outbreak. He says Pennsylvania’s laws need to be changed to prevent additional faith-healing related deaths from happening.
“In the State of Pennsylvania, there are religious exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws, we are backward in that sense,” he said. “I think we need to eliminate those exemptions.”
The Schaibles are being held on $250,000 bail. But prosecutors are seeking to have the bail revoked over the violation of the couple’s probation. A judge will decide whether the bail should stay or go during court proceedings Friday.
Posted Thursday, June 6, 2013, at 9:00 AM
Earlier this week we asked you, readers, to write in telling us how you maintain desire in a long-term relationship. We wanted solutions you may have found to the problem of monogamy, experiments that have failed, and perhaps a defense of sexual fidelity itself. Many of you responded. We’ll be publishing some of these responses today and tomorrow. Here is the first.
I have spent considerable time thinking about the question that you are asking. I am a pastor in a mainline, traditional church. I preach weekly and often lead Bible study. From the exterior, the church I serve is quite ordinary. I would not say that we are a liberal congregation, although we are certainly not fundamentalist or decidedly conservative. This church is in the American Midwest.
I am very happily married with one child. We live a clean, community-oriented lifestyle.
About once a year we get together with friends, who are also pastors, and have group sex. As the years have gone by, the sex has become more open and vigorous. Our winter vacation to Arizona involved my wife having robust sex with a mutual male friend and me at the same time.
We only have sex with other clergy and their spouses, as they are the only people we trust. I believe in my theological tradition, I want to see it grow, and my career and therefore ability to serve the church would be shattered if anyone found out.
As a pastor, I have had members of my church confess to me that they have been involved in group sex. They come to me with a sense of remorse. This puts me in a bit of a theological conundrum. But, at the end of the day, my wife and I are happy. Our relationship is strong. Sometimes I feel that I am enjoying the best of both the sacred and secular worlds.
Beyond my circle of friends, I have no idea how common this practice is among clergy.
For the sake of my career, I ask that you keep my identity anonymous.
A Catholic school in Nebraska says it is praying for a former student who returned to campus to take nude photos and masturbate with a crucifix. Valerie Dodds, 19, told KETV that she started a nude photography business after graduating from Lincoln East High School. But she said some her classmates…