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On New Year’s Day, Pope Benedict XVI called the family "the primary agency of peace" as he led celebrations on the Day of Peace celebrated at the same time as the Feast of the Holy Family. For a change, the Holy Father’s plea for greater respect for the institution of the family and for the miracle of childbirth was echoed not only in the Church, but in secular society.
On December 30th, Spanish Catholics held a massive rally in support of the family, following in the footsteps of the Italians, who had done this last spring. The year-end gathering in Madrid took the form of an immensepublic prayer led byCardinals and bishops. The highlight was a TV linkup with Rome, where the Pope prayed the Angelus and spoke directly to the TV audience in Spanish.
A similar "Family Day" was held in Rome on May 12th, when the square outside of Saint John Lateran Basilica was likewise filled, mainly with Catholics. What is significant -- in a disturbing way -- is that it was not the hierarchy of the Church that called and presided over the first Family Day. Rather it was organized by a "citizens’ committee" which included not just Catholics but radical feminists, Jews and Muslims.
Now a similar group is calling for a worldwide moratorium on abortion. On December 18th, the great paper tiger, the United Nations, voted for a moratorium on the death penalty. So now a professed non-Christian, Giuliano Ferrara, has reasoned that if the death penalty is banned, abortion should also be banned. (This is a refreshing change from the usual left-liberal stance to condemn capital punishment but approve abortion on demand.) Because the call comes from the "intellectual left", the Italian bishops' conference, Avvenire, and also "personalities of other beliefs" have jumped on the bandwagon.
The Fatima Network wholeheartedly approves of anything the Vatican and the bishops’ conferences do to promote families' values and strengthen the campaign against the wholesale slaughter of innocents. But we do worry that it is the secular liberals who are seen in "Christian Europe" as the leaders and people of influence in these movements. Becausemany in thepresent leadership roles of the Catholic Church havenot been strong inpreaching and teachingthe traditional Catholic Faith, the Churchnowappears to becast in the position of a follower, not a leader.
Adapted from an article written by Sandro Magister inthe January 7,2008 issue of Chiesa.
A year-end story in the Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that India and China, in spite of their massive populations -- over a billion people each -- have finally been forced to take steps to halt at least some of the millions of abortions carried out in those countries every year.
The problem is that, since boys are valued more highly than girls in the Chinese and Asian cultures, people are using ultrasound to determine the sex of unborn babies. Particularly in China, where families are limited by Communist government decree to just one child, fetuses which are found to be female are killed.
As a result, the number of baby boys far exceeds the number of baby girls being born in the two countries. In China the ratio is thought to be as high as 130 boys per 100 girls. This portends serious social problems as these children come of age, since many young men will not be able to find wives. Sociologists predict dramatic increases in sexual assaults and prostitution.
El Pais reports that the lack of women is grave not just in China and India, but alsoKorea, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, where for every 100 girls there were at least 108 boys in 2005. "Other countries such as Nepal and Vietnam are closely following suit," the newspaper says.
What the newspaper does not say is that every one of the countries named is non-Christian. These are places where the Gospel and the teachings of the Church are heard only faintly, if at all.
China is a particularly sorry case. As previously reported here, the "priests" of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the schismatic pseudo-church set up by the Communists, talk only about those things which their Red masters allow them to. They do not speak out against the notorious one child policy, and they do not preach against abortion, which is "legal" and available on demand everywhere in that poor country.
India is a different story, but no better. Although abortion is legal in India, the Church condemns it strongly, as it should. But Christians (the majority of whom are Catholics) are only a tiny minority in India, and the centuries-old Indian belief that "women are unprofitable" works against the "new" ideas preached by the Christian missionaries.
Father Nicholas Gruner and other Fatima experts gave powerful presentations on the tragedy of abortion and the other errors of Russia now spreading throughout Asia at the OnlyWay toWorld Peace conference in Chennai, India, at thebeginning of February. Go towww.fatimaradio.org to hear and see their presentations.
To see for yourself how many innocent children are killed every minute, have a look at the World Clock. On this interesting site, you can see statistics, updated in real time (as they actually happen) about births, deaths, marriages, divorces,abortions and more. You will be shocked and saddened to see details of the slaughter of innocents. Currently one child is aborted for every three children born!
In December, a bishop of the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), Julius Jia Zhiguo, was released after four months of detention. He was arrested in August for removing a CPCA sign from his cathedral in Zhengding (about 200 miles south of Beijing).
According to an AsiaNews report, the bishop had asked the local government many times to release him in time to celebrate Christmas at his cathedral. His family had also pleaded for his release because his uncle was seriously ill.
A Communist official reportedly said Bishop Jia would be detained again "after a few days" to undergo another "learning session" (brainwashing). It seems the bishop has not forgotten his old allegiance to Rome.
Before the arrest in August, Bishop Jia had been held in custody for seventeen days in June of 2007. In all, he has spent more than 15 years in prison since 1980 when he was ordained by the Vatican as a bishop of the real Catholic Church. He was subjected to many months of brainwashing to make him submit to the CPCA and join the Chinese Bishops’ Council, which is not recognized by the Holy See.
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