Category Archives: Chastity

Abortion Harmful to Women’s Mental Health – Study

From Family First (with my emphases):

The study, “Abortion and Mental health: Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995-2009” by Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D., took into account 22 studies and over 877,000 participants over the 14-year period. The study also reveals that as many as ten percent of all mental health problems are directly attributable to abortion.

“This confirms and is consistent with previous NZ research which showed that abortion harms women. Abortion harms women but pro-abortion groups refuse to acknowledge this, seeing the right to abortion more paramount than the long-term health and welfare of the women. We believe women have the right to the best independent information and advice before making a decision that could impact them later in life,” says Marina Young, Spokesperson for Family First NZ, who through her own abortion experience formed the Buttons Project.

A University of Otago study in 2008 found that women who had an abortion faced a 30% increase in the risk of developing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Other studies have found a link between abortion and psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders. And the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK recommended updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. They said that consent could not be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information.

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Case against Abortion: Fetal Development

15-week-old Fetus Thumb-Sucking
15-week-old Fetus Thumb-Sucking

In an issue as heated as abortion (or, ‘feticide’, to disrobe the politically-correct label for killing of the fetus), it’s important first to look at the hard cold facts.

Here’s a fetal development chart from the Voice For Life Fact Sheet on the Unborn (Keep in mind in reading this that most abortions [at least in the UK] happen around the 8-9-week period):

1st day the child’s conception takes place
7 day a tiny human implants in the mother’s uterus
10 days the mother’s menses stop
18 days the child’s heart begins to beat

21 days

the heart pumps own blood through separate closed circulatory system with own blood type.

28 days

the child’s eyes, ears and respiratory system begin to form

42 days

the brain waves can be recorded, skeleton is complete, reflexes are present, hiccoughs first occur.

7 weeks

thumbsucking has been photographed, startles first occur from 6-7 1/2 weeks

8 weeks

all body systems are present, isolated arm movements begin about 7 1/4 to 8 1/2 weeks after conception. Breathing movements begin during the eighth week. Stretches first occur during the eighth week.

9 weeks

the child squints, swallows, moves tongue and makes a fist. Rotations of the head also begin from the middle of the seventh week after conception to the middle of the tenth week.

10 weeks

Hand to face contacts first occur 8 to 10 1/2 weeks after conception.

11 weeks

spontaneous breathing movements, the child has fingernails and all body systems are operating. Jaw openings and forward head movement begin during 8 1/2 to 12 1/2 weeks after conception.

12 weeks

the child weighs one ounce

16 weeks

genital organs clearly differentiated, the child grasps with hands, swims, kicks, turns and somersaults (still not felt by the mother)

18 weeks

the vocal cords work and baby can cry

19 weeks

Kenya King’s birth, Florida, June 1985

20 weeks

the child has hair on its head, weighs one pound, 12 inches long

23 weeks

15% of babies survive premature birth

24 weeks

56% of babies survive premature birth

25 weeks

79% of babies survive premature birth

39-40 weeks

normal birth

Liturgical Abuse & Sexual Abuse

One of the constant issues faced by an orthodox Catholic who is faithful to the magisterium (teaching authority of the Church) is that of liturgical abuses. I avoid going to the local parish, due to the abuses that take place there, including consecration of the precious blood in a decanter (which is then poured out onto the chalices like some common drink).

As noted by the present Pope – then Cardinal Ratzinger – the problem underlying such priestly abuses, and the accompanying lack of stern judgement by the bishops, is the over-emphasis of subsidiarity (the horizontal dimension) and in the disrespect for principles and authoritative jurisdiction (the vertical dimension). In such a case, a Catholic should be aware that the same mindset that accommodates liturgical abuse is the one that accommodated sexual abuse:

Ratzinger believed subsidiarity had allowed too much local interpretation, and failed to serve the interests of objective justice, both in allowing for due process and the right of defense for those accused, and in requiring just penalties for those found guilty.
…Until Ratzinger began to introduce reforms, Bishop Arrieta wrote, the norms of Canon Law were applied in local chanceries with “the constant fluidity that characterized the normative framework of the postconciliar period.”
…In a radio interview, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, the active homosexual poster-boy of the liberal “progressive” wing of the American Catholic Church, accused the Vatican and Ratzinger of having ignored the case until Murphy was too old to be tried.
After the secular media had taken up Weakland’s accusation against Ratzinger, however, it was revealed that Murphy’s victims had actually started complaining to authorities, including the Church, in the 1950s, but Weakland had waited until 1996 to inform the competent authorities in Rome.

The problem is traced back to ‘horizontalism’, and the accompanying over-emphasis of ‘local interpretation’ (over accountability to one’s superiors) and ‘constant fluidity’ (over proper exercise of principled jurisdiction). The fault, then, is due not to the proper magisterium of the Church, but to such abuse of subsidiary principles by the bishops:

But wasn’t Ratzinger in charge while all this was going on? Didn’t it happen on his watch? No. From 1981 to 2001 he was in charge of a department that dealt with defrocking, but not with suspensions and penalties for paedophile priests, which were the responsibility of local bishops. A number of bishops failed to suspend the abusive priests, some of whom continued to abuse. That is the scandal. It has been exposed and dealt with, and a number of bishops have, as a result, resigned. More important, guidelines are now in place to prevent it ever happening again.

The present Pope had consistently acted in accord with proper jurisdiction and authority, and worked to restore balance where there was inordinate emphasis on such subsidiarity, by reemphasizing the authority of the Holy See on these matters:

in the past 20 years, no one has done more to address the problem, to root out the corruption, than Pope Benedict XVI.

  • It was then-Cardinal Ratzinger who recognized that individual bishops (and other Vatican officials) were not taking the abuse problem seriously enough, and called for a new policy putting the Vatican in charge of discipline for priests accused of abuse.
  • It was Cardinal Ratzinger who pressed for tough investigations of a powerful Austrian cardinal accused of abuse, and for dismissal of an abuser who had founded one of the most influential religious orders in the Church.
  • It was Cardinal Ratzinger who spoke passionately about the urgent need to purge the Church, to remove the “filth” from the priestly ranks.
  • It was Pope Ratzinger who told Irish bishops that they would be held accountable for their failures to correct the abuse problem.

In the local lack of jurisdiction and ‘tolerant’ modus operandi that accepts priestly abuse but disregards the true good and the rights of the faithful (RS. 18), there is a natural link between liturgical and sexual abuse, and this is recognized by a Bishop, formerly a priest in one of the most orthodox dioceses in America; Lincoln, Nebraska:

…Bishop Vasa said he connected the scandal of clerical child abuse with the widespread legitimisation of dissent from Catholic teaching: “I have become increasing convinced that there may be another much more subtle form of episcopal negligence which also has the potential to harm children, not only emotionally and physically, but primarily spiritually.” This could occur when “those commissioned by the Church to be witnesses to and examples for them give witness to values or beliefs incompatible with the authentic teachings of the Church.”

It is evident in dissenters such as Charles Curran, who actively promote sexual deviancy, including homosexuality (which constituted majority of the abuses):

…”clashes with church authorities finally culminated in a decision by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI], that Curran was neither suitable nor eligible to be a professor of Catholic theology.”[2] The areas of dispute included publishing articles that debated theological and ethical views regarding divorce, “artificial contraception”, “masturbation, pre-marital intercourse and homosexual acts.“[3]

If such thinking is what underlies ‘local interpretation’ and ‘constant fluidity’, which often allows for tolerance of dissent and disregard for the rights of the faithful, the abuse cases would be the logical consequence and follow-through of such dissident thinking. If sexual abuse was to be stumped out in the Church, the same underlying mindset present in liturgical abuse must also be eliminated.

Can We Abort the Abortionist?

This is adapted from a comment I made in ‘The Modern Holocaust‘ post.

If abortion is the modern holocaust, can one do what the Americans did to the Nazis, and abort the abortionist? Weelll, let’s see…

When I equate abortion to the holocaust, it comes with the broadened correlation normal in a comparison, but I think it’s a fair analogy. When judging a moral act, there are three aspects in consideration, all of which contribute to the morality of it: object (the objective act itself), end (subjective intent) and circumstance (context and factors which situate it in degree and quality). Objectively speaking, yes, the acts involved are comparable; it involves, like the Nazi holocaust, the killing of innocent human beings. Subjectively speaking, it can vary to an extent; women who choose abortion are often taught to think of the baby as part of her body (which is scientifically erroneous, as you are aware from the difference in DNA, blood type, etc.). Circumstance does not play such a great part here, since it deals with an intrinsically evil act in its object – it’s always wrong no matter how, when, or where it’s done.

Now, in relation to the use of violence, the use of violence is always the last resort, usually in the form of self-defence, in order to preserve innocent life in face of an unjust aggressor. Even though abortion would qualify in the self-defence category, it would not seem to fulfill others that the Nazi case would have. These can be enumerated under the ‘just war’ theory (CCC #2309):

– The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

– the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

– all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

– there must be serious prospects of success;

– the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

So, can one abort an abortionist? Although it is not intrinsically impermissible (for the sake of defending the innocent life of the child – not for the sake of wanting the abortionist abortion!), there are no present situations in which this would be ethical.

In any case, the exhortation for Christians remains, as always: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:21)

Soap Opera: Sex, Sadness & Suicide

This is from a post on the Family Life NZ blog, Semper Vita, in response to a poster who asked what was so wrong with showing intimate scenes on TV given violence that is depicted and accepted.


As bad as depiction of gratuitous violence on television is, I think it’s evident enough that depiction of sexual scenes affect people much more immediately and internally, to an extent that would not be healthy for children who are neither emotionally nor relationally ready. Such exposures tend to make them regard as normal, and more likely to go into, something that they are unprepared to go through with with commitment due to the consequences and responsibility that naturally follow. This much is usually common sense.

As the article “Sex, sadness and suicide” from WorldNetDaily points out, there’s something of a glamorization of licentious lifestyles on television that’s far from reality:

“Even those TV viewers who consider themselves big fans of the teen soaps – “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Party of Five” and the now-defunct “Dawson’s Creek” – must have realized that something about the way those shows depicted sex just didn’t ring true.”

It quotes a research paper from Heritage, “Sexually Active Teenagers Are More Likely to Be Depressed and to Attempt Suicide”, which shows a significant correlation between early sexual activity and rate of depression and suicide among teenagers. 63% (v.s. 32%) of boys and 72% (v.s. 25%) of girls admit they regret having early sexual encounters when they were not ready.

The greater percentage among girls is particularly notable when placed in context of greater likelihood of life-long effects for them, including (from “Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple SexualPartners Among Women: Charts”) greater likeliness of contracting STD’s, having out-of-wedlock pregnancies, less stable marriages and abortions, becoming single mothers, and so on and so forth. In real life, as these research clearly show, those with more sexual partners and those who become sexually active at an early age are in fact less happy, and more likely to be depressed.

Those promoting promiscuous attitudes are clearly acting irresponsibly (knowingly or otherwise), and they do not have the best interests of the person in mind.

Obtaining Graces

The grace one obtains in life, and therefore sanctity, depends upon participation in Christ, for He is the God-man, the only mediator to the Father. For this reason, Jesus tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). At the same time, however, this implies effort on our part, to freely respond to Him in the means of grace He gives us, especially in the sacraments. This can only take place in and through dying to ourselves:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3-5)

Indeed, this is the condition of Christian discipleship:

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25)

Accordingly, one obtains new and everlasting life in Christ – by becoming sons in the Son:

“So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship.” (Romans 8:12-15)

In practical terms, Pope Pius XII outlines for us in his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi (On the Mystical Body of Christ – ie., those of us Baptised into Christ) what these imply in our lives:

For although our Savior’s cruel passion and death merited for His Church an infinite treasure of graces, God’s inscrutable providence has decreed that these graces should not be granted to us all at once; but their greater or lesser abundance will depend in no small part on our own good works, which draw down on the souls of men a rain of heavenly gifts freely bestowed by God. These heavenly gifts will surely flow more abundantly if we not only pray fervently to God, especially by participating every day if possible in the Eucharistic Sacrifice; if we not only try to relieve the distress of the needy and of the sick by works of Christian charity, but if we also set our hearts on the good things of eternity rather than on the passing things of this world; if we restrain this mortal body by voluntary mortification, denying it what is forbidden, and by forcing it to do what is hard and distasteful; and finally, if we humbly accept as from God’s hands the burdens and sorrows of this present life. Thus, according to the Apostle, “we shall fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in our flesh for His Body, which is the Church.”