DAILY CATHOLIC     FRIDAY - January 22 to FRIDAY - January 29, 1999


           EDITOR'S NOTE: The following news articles are provided by CWN - Catholic World News and Noticias Eclesias CHURCH NEWS. We will be updating them several times a day during the week.

January 23, 1999


          MIAMI, 23 (NE) More than a thousand persons participated in the Annual Mass For Life, celebrated last week at the Basilica Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Philadelphia. The ceremony was presided by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia. In his homily, Cardinal Bevilacqua talked about human liberty and the significance of a correct option. He also emphasized the importance to be authentic Catholics amidst the world, actively living according to our own faith. The participants prayed especially for the victims of abortion, with the hope that each time more persons will understand and defend the true value of life and human dignity.



          NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - A Catholic pro-family group said on Friday that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) had published information on its web site attacking the Catholic Church's teachings on contraception and abortion.

          UNFPA's web site (http://www.unfpa.org/) includes a section called "The Hague Forum" that gathers information related to the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population including a fact sheet entitled "Issues of Faith and Population." In it, UNFPA claims that most practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims support the use of artificial contraception, a key issue in the organization's fight to lower birth rates in developing nations.

          A section called "Vatican Positions Are Not Those of All Catholics" cites a poll claiming that only a minority of American priests and nuns agree with the fundamental Church teaching that contraception is always immoral. It also cites data claiming a high percentage of contraceptive use by women in some predominantly Catholic countries. "The intended message is obvious: that the Vatican does not represent the authentic position of the Church on this issue," said the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CAFHRI) in a statement.

          UNFPA also questions whether the Holy See should retain diplomatic standing at the United Nations. "At the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing ... thousands signed a petition asking the UN to reconsider the Holy See's official delegate status," according to the UNFPA fact sheet. CAFHRI said the claim relies on a questionable 1995 article published by the pro-abortion group Catholics for a Free Choice, which denies many Church teachings on life and other issues.


          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Thousands of pro-lifers marched in Washington, DC on Friday to mark the 26th anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

          The march began at 9 am with students delivering "roses for life" to Congress and to President Bill and Vice President Al Gore. After a noon rally and speeches on the Ellipse in front of the White House, marchers walked up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court.

          American Life League marked the date with a report that abortion has been bad for women and bad for the nation. "Let us not forget that everything the Supreme Court has decided -- in Roe v. Wade and in numerous other abortion cases -- has made it much easier for men to take advantage of women," said Judie Brown of ALL. "It has also made it easier for mothers to view their children as enemies who must be eliminated rather than blessings who deserve love and self-sacrifice."

          Brown added that she believes the Supreme Court will never overturn the Roe v. Wade decision as many pro-life believers hope. "The court would also have to overturn countless related decisions, and that is extremely unlikely," she said. But she said she has optimism because, at the grass-roots level, pro-lifers have moved beyond political poll-driven activism. "They know abortion kills children. They know that every abortion is committed against a human being and that this could never be a mere political issue. Truth is on our side, and victory is sure to follow," she concluded.


          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The Clinton administration was expected on Friday to propose using federal funds to boost security at US abortion clinics, as part of observations of the 26th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

          First Lady Hillary Clinton was to make an announcement in a speech to the National Abortion Rights Action League that the administration will ask Congress for $4.5 million to pay for security measures -- such as bulletproof windows and closed-circuit cameras -- and security assessments to determine risk. Pro-abortion groups applauded the proposal as they continued their claims that violence against clinics is rising. Jacquelyn Lendsey of Planned Parenthood called the funding a "good first step" against what she characterized as domestic terrorism.

          In November, Attorney General Janet Reno set up a national task force to prosecute and prevent attacks and threats against abortionists, including training for local and federal law enforcement and a national database to share information. The announcement was made a month after abortionist Dr. Barnett Slepian was killed by a rifle shot fired into his Amherst, New York, home.

January 22, 1999


          SAN JUAN (CWNews.com) - Anticipating the January 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, pro-life activists in Puerto Rico staged a demonstration outside the capitol in San Juan on Wednesday, calling for an end to the killing of unborn children.

          "Some 8,500 babies are dying each year in the new abortion clinics of our land," said Carlos Sanchez, the president of Asociacion Pro-Vida de Puerto Rico. His group had united with the Knights of Columbus and other local Catholic organizations to stage the demonstration on the steps of the capitol building. Before their public protest, the pro-lifers assembled for a Mass at the San Juan cathedral, with Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez as the principal celebrant.

          Sanchez promised that pro-life lobbyists would intensify their efforts to secure passage of two pieces of legislation in Puerto Rico. One measure would mandate a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could obtain an abortion; the other would require informing the parents of a teenage girl 48 hours before she procured an abortion.


          QUITO (CWNews.com) - Although abortion is illegal in Ecuador, local media reports indicate that public hospitals have been routinely dispensing the Emergency Contraceptive Pill, which causes early abortions.

          Theoretically the use of the new "morning-after" pill is also restricted by law. However, women who report that they have been raped, or that they have engaged in "unsafe sex," can obtain a prescription at public hospitals and health clinics. Health-care officials argue that the pill is "a new medical method of family planning."

          The government's Ministry of Health has ruled that the Emergency Contraceptive Pill is not banned by the national legislation that protects human life beginning at the moment of conception. That finding was based on testimony from family-planning advocates that the pill eliminates "the product of conception" before the fertilized ovum is implanted in the mother's womb. The health ministry did not explain why the legal protection had been rolled back from the moment of conception to the time of implantation.


          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - A think tank connected with Planned Parenthood issued a report on Thursday that said half of all "unplanned pregnancies" in the world end in abortion.

          The Alan Guttmacher Institute claimed that 38 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned and said 22 percent of the 210 million unborn children in the world each year are aborted. The report said 26 million women, or 35 of every 1,000 women, have an abortion every year. Eastern Europe is the region with the highest abortion rate, while Vietnam is the country with the rate. More than 80 out of every 1,000 women have an abortion each year. Spain and Ireland have the lowest abortions rates -- less than 10 per 1,000 women.

          "It is clear that women the world over go to great lengths to terminate an unplanned pregnancy," Jeannie Rosoff, president of the institute, said in a statement. "It is not only our responsibility but our duty to respect that decision. We must do our best to ensure that abortion takes place only under safe conditions and to see that women have the means to prevent pregnancy in the first place."

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 22-29, 1999      


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