Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Saturday 31 July 2010

The Total Yes of Love and Life

One of the greatest pro-life apologists of our times is Fr. Frank Pavone. I would recommend his clear, insightful but ‘un-put-down-able’ writings to anyone, but particularly to teenagers and university students. In Fr. Pavone’s book "Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It" he elucidates the great divorce that contraception creates between the couple and God:

‘The ultimate evil of contraception is that it denies that God is God. The attitude behind it is, “I am the one who ultimately decides whether a human being will come into the world.” As a result of that attitude one thinks he or she can then change the meaning of sexual intimacy by holding back its life-giving power. Obviously, the same activity by which people express the deepest physical intimacy also can give rise to a new life. Did you ever wonder why God put these two aspects together in the same action? Could He not have invented one action to bring about new life? Is is an accident that both belong to the same act, or did God run out of ideas? Neither, of course. God acted with a deliberate and wise plan in creating human sexuality. His plan says that when one human being give him/herself totally to another, that total “yes” includes a “yes” to new life.'

Mary O'Regan

Friday 30 July 2010

Thank You Mother for Rejecting False Advice

My mother had polio as a young child which left her with scoliocis of the spine and one leg that was a little shorter than the other. When she got married and had her first child she was told not to have another child for some time. She did however have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a second child 18 months later. Some time after this however, the doctors again warned her not to have more children. Unsure of what to do my Mother went to see her Parish Priest. He innocently advised her to go to see the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC) for advice and so she did.

The ladies at CMAC presented her with the cap and told her to use this to prevent the conception of further children. Believing that the agency she was at was following the Church's teaching, my Mother had every reason to go ahead and use the cap. However, she found the whole idea of it repulsive and threw it in the bin. Soon afterwards Pope Paul VI brought the issue of contraception firmly back into the public eye and re-stated the Church's age-old prohibition against contraception, which my parents were very happy to accept and embrace. Thankfully, - due to my Mother's instinctive wisdom - very shortly afterwards they were also very happy to accept and embrace me!
Clare McCullough

Thursday 29 July 2010

Do We Pray For and Help the Young to Learn the Truth?

I do not have children or grandchildren so I do not know what Catholic children are taught today in relation to faith or morals. Are all catholic children given age appropriate teaching on for example, chastity, responsibility within all relationships, on the evils of contraception and abortion, love within marriage, natural family planning in compliance with the teaching of the Church?
I imagine that nowadays it would be almost impossible to isolate or completely protect any young person from prevailing views regarding contraception and abortion. I in my own small circle of friends and acquaintances have heard practising Catholics agree with contraception and even abortion in certain serious circumstances.
We have many excellent young people who want to obey God's law. They are under tremendous pressure to conform to current norms and values. Have they got full knowledge of the teaching of the Church? Have they got proper spiritual guidance? Have they our support, e.g. do we pray for them, give good example etc? Young people are our future and the future of our church. Will they be able to stop the tide of contraception and abortion ?

Ronni O'Gara

Wednesday 28 July 2010

An Insight into Why People of Today are Sold on the Idea of Contraception

Why do young people so totally and unquestionably accept contraception? This is something that must be understood if we are to attempt to turn back the tide of secular hedonism which says you can do what you like without any consequences.

A number of my friends have no faith at all. I do not blame them for this, their parents had no faith and so did not pass on even the smallest understanding of any faith or that a God may even exist. Some of them have girlfriends and openly admit that they use contraception on a regular basis.

From what I can see there are a few reasons for this. Firstly there is a lack of commitment in the first place. People today, particularly the younger generation are not able to take in the idea of giving their whole life to another. They need to be with each other for 5-10 years, living with them for a large part of that before they could even consider Marriage. This lack of commitment and fear of things not working out is why they see having children as the last thing they would want to happen, but at the same time they want to be living the life of a married couple and having sex comes as a normal thing.

The second reason that I see as to why our current generation use contraception
is that they see children as something they will 'do' later in their life. They want to have fun and do all the things they have ever wanted, and children would - in their view -get in the way of that. They see children as “ruining” their life and stopping them from doing what they want to do.

This mindset is engraved upon the mentality of today’s culture. Until we change this we will never stop contraception in this country. There are many other reasons why contraception is used, but I think that until we can change the mindset of fear young people have contraception will be widespread. When people again understand the importance of Marriage and bringing new life to the world and the joy that both of these bring they will never understand why they shouldn’t use contraception.

Conor Carroll

Please help me raise money for the guild of our lady of Good Counsel in the fight against the mass slaughter of unborn children.
Join me: http://www.everyclick.com/conorcarroll

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Contraception and the Destruction of Love

The love a man and woman have, within marriage, needs to be governed by self-control. Each and every act of making love within marriage needs to be open to the transmission of creating life. Contraception, whether it is condoms, diaphragms, the contraceptive pill or other methods, are preventing life from being created, and are putting a block, a barrier between the husband and his wife, preventing an act of total self giving. Not only does contraception prevent life from being created, it causes a mentality that the husband and wife can choose when they can have a baby. This puts a block between the man and woman and indeed God himself. A married couple are called to cooperate with God’s plan in creating life. It is a beautiful and humbling thought that God desires such intimacy with the married couple, that God creates life through the love and openness that the spouses have for each other. This is why it is always wrong to use contraception and the act of making love is reserved for marriage only. Sex is beautiful and holy. Let’s not tamper with God's plan to create life.
Contraception actually hinders communication, intimacy, affection and tenderness between the spouses, creating an idol out of pleasure and self-gratification. The lack of fecundity and total self-giving in the use of contraception is contrary to God's plan, and it is no wonder that divorce rates, not to mention abortions, cohabitation and 'trial marriages' are so prevalent in the world, since the wide acceptance of contraception in the 60s during the sexual revolution.
There is also a very strong link between contraception and abortion. Not only do some forms of contraception cause an early abortion, and are thus abortifacients, they create a mentality, which is not open to life and to motherhood, and so the obvious result of an unplanned pregnancy is tragically, abortion.
Natural Family Planning on the other hand is a natural means of spacing children and as long as it is not used for selfish reasons, it strengthens the love between husband and wife. It differs from contraception as it allows for communication and love to grow. Contraception slowly erodes the couple's ability to love, and creates a disordered desire to make the act of making love primarily about pleasure, which destroys friendship and prevents self sacrificial love from growing and blossoming.

James Coulborn

Monday 26 July 2010

Faithful Environment for Study is the Best Beginning for a Faithful Life

At this time of year, when so many young people are deciding which university or college to attend, perhaps it is well to consider not only the content of the course one hopes to follow, but also the quality of the Roman Catholic chaplaincy at the college or university.

A particular course can - hopefully - offer great benefits for one's future success in life. However, it is an unavoidable fact that the guidance received in the practice of one's Faith during further education - a time when one is often vulnerable as never before - can sustain or destroy one in life for many years to come - if not forever.

The year 1968 saw great upheavals everywhere - not least on university campuses. Many young people were swept up in the new ideologies of supposed 'freedom' and 'permissiveness'. These included many young people who had been committed Catholics when they left school, but were ill-equipped in the knowledge of their faith to withstand the anti-religious (particularly anti-Catholic) stance of the new society they found themselves in. Sadly many left the Church, believing it to be out-dated in its teaching. The publication of 'Humanae Vitae' seemed only to confirm this, as the 'infallible' secular world never ceased to remind us. Very few young people actually read the encyclical, but the majority of an entire Catholic generation turned its back on its Faith, without knowing of the deep compassion (to say nothing of the bravery) of Pope Paul Vl that is so evident on reading it.

These young people are nearing retirement now - the promises and excesses of the 1960's now seem nothing if not an illusion.. broken marriages and a deep unhappiness are the lot of the majority.
I believe that many would turn back to their Faith now if they understood that Almighty God is still searching for them and offering them the life they rejected years ago...

Maybe we need a Youth 2000 for 'Oldies'.... !


Saturday 24 July 2010

Sunday 25th July Day for Life

This Sunday is the Day for Life appointed by the Bishops for 2010. It is also the 42nd Anniversary of the Papal Encyclical "Humanae Vitae", which restated the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life from conception and the prohibition on the use of contraception.
Please remember to pray for the end of abortion and euthanasia and all attacks on life on this day and for people to learn about and find the grace to accept the Church's teachings on contraception.
Life is Sacred from conception
until natural death

Condoms Don't Protect Women or Their "Unplanned" Children

Knowing contraception to be intrinsically evil, we never even suggest to a girl that she use it. We do, however invite them to tell us what contraception (if any)they are using. There is a strange phenomenon to be observed with many who reply, ‘I’m not using any contraception’; when we ask these same people have they been using condoms, they say yes.
Few pregnant women that I meet think of condoms as contraception anymore. These women have become too accustomed to condoms splitting and breaking; then the women would get the Morning After Pill as ‘back-up’. And if that doesn’t work, an abortion.
Other women who do still think of condoms as effective contraception are very frank;
‘If I ask him to use condoms, he can always find another woman who won’t ask him to use condoms. I came off the Pill because I was becoming as fat as a balloon...but when it comes down to it...he gets snarly when I ask him to use condoms.’
Many women say without embarrassment, ‘I’m afraid that I’ll lose him if I don’t give him sex every time.’
These are the same women who when they become pregnant are told by their boyfriends, ‘you weren’t meant to get pregnant, it’s your fault.’ And, ‘I’m not staying with you unless you have an abortion.’

Mary O'Regan

Friday 23 July 2010

July Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life

Saturday 24th July 2010, the Vigil of the Feast of St James, is this month's National Day of Prayer & Fasting For Life.

A great prayer for Life is urgently needed. Pope John Paul II

And He said to them; This kind (of demon) can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Gospel of Mark 9:29)

On Saturday 24th July please pray and fast for the end of abortion
and euthanasia. Your prayer and fasting is urgently needed.

Join us each month in Prayer and Fasting:
Fast from all food except bread and water for the day
Fast from a particular food or luxury, e.g. chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, TV.
Fast from whatever you can given your state of health etc, but
make sure it is something that involves a sacrifice to yourself.
We are asking people to say a Rosary (or
an extra Rosary if you say it daily already).
You could also offer an extra effort such as going to Mass (or
an extra Mass) on the day, or going to Adoration. You can
even pray before a closed tabernacle if Adoration is not
available near you.

For information on the days of Prayer and Fasting contact;
The Good Counsel Network on 020 7723 1740.

And the people of Ninevah believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put
on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least…God saw their efforts to
renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which He
had threatened to bring on them, and He did not bring it. (Jonah 3:5,10)

Urgent Prayer Request After Yet More Condom Failure

A young muslim lady recently arrived on the doorsteps of an abortuary hoping to have a pregnancy test and an abortion. She didn't have an appointment. Fortunately for her baby this meant she could not be seen.

She then met a supporter who persuaded her to come to our Centre for the pregnancy test. The girl is studying and hopes to take further qualifications later. She considers her ex-boyfriend, the father of her child who is unaware of the pregnancy, to be too immature to stay with. She was quite surprised to find herself pregnant as they had only been sleeping toegether occassionally and were using condoms. Having bought into our culture's lies - that sex is a recreational activity and not part of a Marriage commitment - and also believing that condoms always prevent pregnancy, this young lady is now faced with a stark choice of continuing the pregnancy and giving up all the plans she had or having an abortion.

At the end of a her time at her Centre (she stayed for two hours) she was still quite set on the idea of abortion. The friend who had accompanied her to the abortuary felt that abortion was wrong except in some circumstances - i.e. her friends! The volunteer who met them at the abortuary spoke to me later in the day and said "Oh well! It's a miracle we need then. I will ask everyone I know to pray for her."

And I too am asking you, please pray for this young lady.

Stuart McCullough

Thursday 22 July 2010

We Can Turn Our Culture Around

The family planning and abortion "clinics" promote their wares everywhere, they make lots and lots of money from their business.
As catholics with the gift of faith our business is to ensure that we ourselves and everyone we have contact with experiences God's love through us. With all our sinfulness and weakness we each do our best to keep God's law and never knowingly harm anyone. We are human, we fail, but we have been given the Sacrament of Penance so that we can confess our sins no matter how grave, get God's forgiveness and start anew.
Through ignorance and arrogance I rejected the teaching of the Church on contraception without having read the Church's relevant documents and having had no discussion wth those who were learned in those matters. I suspect there are many people who believe as I once did and who need leadership and teaching from our church
Could our spiritual leaders our shepherds please have a year for the promotion of the teaching of the church on love, marriage, sex, openess to life, planning a family, the evils of contraception? Where is political correctness and the desire to go with the flow and not upset the apple cart going to get them and us on the day of judgement.
There is a way to turn things around, it may take some time, but the gangs of today can become the saints of tomorrow (we are a church of sinners eg the great Saint Paul was a great persecuter of christians prior to his conversion)if we trust in God and if we all use our God given talents and leadership skills.

Ronni O'Gara

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Shepherds Must Guide the Flock On Contraception and Give Light to the Secular World

Contraception has encouraged the 'sexual revolution' enabling sex to be separated from conjugal love within marriage. Sex has become a commodity to be enjoyed in an expection that there are no consequences, no responsibility.
The use of contraception is generally deemed to be the responsibility of today's 'liberated' woman. Therefore when it fails the man sees the resulting pregnancy as the woman's failure, her problem, nothing to do with him, hence the pressure to abort and generally immediate abandonment of the woman and of any responsibility towards his child.
Some men do of course use condoms, in an effort to protect themselves from another consequence of this so called sexual freedom, sexually transmitted disease, including HIV, Aids and the many other STDs.
Every day we hear via the media of the breakdown in our society, the breakdown of family life, divorce, single parents, the lack of male role models in many families, men's disempowerment in relation to taking responsibility and being fathers to their children, the gang culture, the killing, the drugs, the alcohol abuse, the sexual abuse. Our secular leaders - those in power - wring their hands: their solution, more sex education to younger and younger children, more contraception, more abortion.
Jesus asked who wanted to throw the first stone at the woman caught in adultery. So none of us have the right to judge anyone else, we do not know what that person has suffered, how they have been disadvantaged in life. Those of us who have been given the wonderful gift of faith have a greater responsibility than anyone else to fulfill our vocation in life to the best of our ability.
Our spiritual leaders, cardinals, bishops and priests know - or should know - that contraception is sinful, that natural family planning works, that it enhances the loving relationship of a husband and wife enabling them to truly love one another, to be open to life, to limit the number of children they have when there is a serious reason to, helping them to be chaste and faithful within marriage. We know it has no side effects, no ill effects, and that statistically it is much more effective than any form of contraception in planning a family in compliance with the will of God; true liberation for men and women.
If our church leaders, our shepherds, are not willing to speak out. If they are not willing to say in a compassionate way that sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin, if they are not willing to promote chastity, saving sex for marriage, natural family planning, if they are not willing to ensure that their congregations know the truth, to ensure that our schools follow the full teaching of the church so that our young people grow up without the contraceptive mentality of previous and current generations, what hope have we of our secular leaders ever seeing the light?
Ronni O'Gara

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Preaching on Humanae Vitae's 42nd Anniversary

Contraception is clearly a pernicious evil as has been made clear on this blog during July. The 42nd anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical: Humanae Vitae is on Sunday July 25th. Looking out at your congregation on that Sunday can leave a priest with no doubt as to what his sermon needs to be about.

Yes fertility rates have dropped.

Yes on average couple marry later in life and thus there will be less children in the congregation than there would have been say 50 years ago.

But the fundamental reason for the shift in the number of children in front of you is contraception, contraception and contraception.

Preaching on contraception is probably not one of the easier subjects but is one of the more important, Dr Janet Smith’s talk: ‘Contraception, Why Not’ is full of useful information and is available from http://www.omsoul.com/ .

She gives a short and humourous example of a priests annual anti-contraception homily. “If you don’t want to go to Cincinnati what are doing on the train”.

Stuart McCullough

Monday 19 July 2010

Openness to Life

As those of you who read this blog regularly will know, I very recently got married. I have just got back from honeymoon last week. It was most certainly the happiest day of my life to date and I would like to thank anyone who prayed for me and my lovely new wife. I’m sure it helped to make everything run so smoothly.
As a newly married man and woman, children was at the forefront of our minds. Are we ready to have children? When should we have children? Are we in a position to have a child? And support it? While these questions naturally came to mind these are all negative questions. We also thought of the wonder of having children. I have seen nephews, nieces and cousins growing up and can't wait to have my own. We would both love to have our own children to cherish as soon as possible.
I am aware that some would say we need to be sensible, but we have decided to leave things to God. Some think that in the future we will need to look at our circumstances and evaluate whether God would like us to have more children, but for now I know that we do not need to have the biggest or nicest house, a sports car, live close to the best school or even feel a little petrified that I might do something wrong for my first child. I believe children do not need perfection, they need their Father and Mother around them to love and to look after them and teach them the faith. The rest come as a matter of course. I will pray and trust in God and I know that He will provide.

Conor Carroll

Saturday 17 July 2010

The Evils of All Contraception - Even Barrier Methods

While listening to the radio today I heard a very shocking account of boy gang initiation rituals in this country where apparently girls as young as ten are raped by the gang. Members of a charity who say they are helping these young women were interviewed. One said they were teaching these young women that their bodies are their own to do what they want with, so long as they are consenting to what is done.
Are our bodies our own? Or are we created by God, to know love and serve Him and to be happy with Him for all eternity?
But of course we human beings are very clever. We have managed to find a way to thwart God's plan (as human beings have so foolishly done from Adam and Eve onwards) and interfere with His creation by inventing contraception. Many reasons are given as to how and why this 'wonderful' invention can change our lives for the better. The Catholic Church examined the case for contraception and concluded that it was against God's law and outlined the reasons for this conclusion in a document called 'Humanae Vitae'. I along with many catholics decided this was a harsh and unrealistic conclusion. I was working with young families at the time and was very sympathetic towards those married couples who already had children and who were living in poverty. What was wrong, I thought, with allowing them to use barrier methods of contraception? They already had enough to cope with.
It was only some years later that I learned how right and wise the teaching of the Church is and I also learned about natural family planning. The Church does not, contrary to what many think, expect parents to have more children than they can cope with spiritually, emotionally, practically or financially. Married couples are required to always be open to life, but they can use natural family planning to plan the number of children they have in relation to their spiritual, physical, emotional and financial resources. Also those who have problems conceiving a child can use natural family planning help them to do so.
Gradually I began to realise what an evil contraception really is. Over the years I have seen the many awful effects on humanity including, for example, the murder of millions of unborn babies through abortion when contraception fails, the easy availability of contraception and abortion on demand, even to school children whose parents do not have to be informed.
The majority of the women helped by the Good Counsel Network to avoid abortion, have become pregnant due to the failure of contraception. Since they are a random sample of women approaching abortion clinics it goes without saying that the majority of women who have abortions do so due to contraception failure.
Ronni O'Gara

Friday 16 July 2010

We Must Conform Ourselves to Christ's Church

In the early 1970s, many Catholics chose to ignore what seemed to be the 'impossible' demands made by Humanae Vitae,. noting that ultimately use of contraception was 'up to the individual conscience'... as Cardinal Heenan mentioned in an interview at the time (some would say his words were misrepresented - Editor). Few considered the necessity of an informed conscience in such a situation. In the 'Permissive Society' of that era, flooded with new secular values, very few people realised just how right Pope Paul VI was in foreseeing the disasters of a contraceptive mentality for society.

When Pope Paul died, much was made of the fact that a new Pope would 'almost certainly' change Church teaching on contraception - after all, the Church would have to move with the times.... It came as something of a disappointment that Pope John Paul II was such a great supporter of Humanae Vitae - at the time the only encyclical every one had heard of - but sadly no one had read - or one might have discovered that it was far more than simply 'the Catholic Church saying no to contraception'.

However, a (non-Catholic) journalist who had closely followed the events of the last years of the Communist Eastern Bloc who offered new light on the new pope's staunch defence of Church teaching.

Surely, argued the journalist, any bishop having Auschwitz within the boundaries of his own diocese would not be credible as a pastor of souls at all if, having reflected on the terrors that had existed therein, he did not conclude that utter and profound respect for all human life from conception until natural death was the only way man could truly save himself from the tyranny of an new and even more horrific ideology - however difficult or inconvenient this might appear to be to us.

Therein was the truth of Church teaching - our task has to be be to conform our lives to the requirements of the Church - for the Church to cease to guide us for fear of unpopularity would be disastrous for us all.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Condoms and STDs

The majority of the ladies that I have met with ‘unplanned pregnancies’ have been relying on condoms to separate their act of love from conceiving a baby. When they hear the news that they are pregnant, they usually say, ‘I can’t understand why I’m pregnant, I used a condom’.

The supporters of condoms admit that condoms may not protect against pregnancy, but they still babble the baloney that condoms ‘always protect against disease every time.’ Condom pushers have been careful to ignore a major US study, issued from the US Department of Health and Human Services, which found that there is no consistent evidence to support the idea that condoms stop the heterosexual transmission of STDs. A very scary fact was that the condom was found not to offer any ‘universal protection’ against the eight most re-occurring STDs, which include HIV, HPV and syphilis. Scarier still is that there are moves by condom pushers to prevent labels being put on condoms that would warn people of the findings of the US Study.
For a detailed review of the study, you may wish to read Mary Beth Bonacci’s article here.
Mary O'Regan

Wednesday 14 July 2010

The "Contraceptive Effect"

The vast majority of women we see have used various forms of contraception, sometimes more than one at a time, and various "emergency contraception", i.e. abortifacients, yet still found themselves pregnant.

Alongside these women, however is a small but growing number of women who come to us unexpectedly pregnant but having not used anything to (supposedly)"protect themselves". Now we are totally opposed to contraception, but we ask these women (most of whom have no moral problem with contraception) "Why didn't you use contraception if you didn't want to have a baby?".

Their answer invariably is "Well all my friends are sleeping with their boyfriends and none of them are pregnant. I just didn't think it would happen to me."

Of course many of their friends have become pregnant but they just got rid of their babies quietly - abortion statistics suggest that in the UK depending where you live 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 women have had an abortion. And others have taken the morning after pill or some other early abortifacient.

In the end though, the Contraceptive Effect on these women is to make them ignorant of the true realities of a sexual relationship. We have the strangest situation where we have the most promiscuous population in living memory, yet they are more naive about sex than ever. They don't expect to become pregnant until they want to, they don't have a clue about when they are fertile or how contraceptives work.

We will of course finish by explaining to these women that contraception damages them physically, frequently fails and ruins relationships, and that chastity is the moral and safe way to a happy future. But it is mindblowing that more and more graphic information and more and more freely available contraception continues to make men and women more and more naive and more vulnerable.
Clare McCullough

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Gynefix, still trying to "fix" women after all these years...

GyneFix, one of the 'new generation' IUDs, according to its manufacturers ‘looks like a small necklace of copper beads’.
Necklace? Pass the sick bag.
The manufacturers would surely win the grammy award for glamorising the IUD! The manufacturers state that this IUD works as a contraceptive when the “beads” of copper ‘kill’ the sperm by virtue of the toxic affect the copper has on sperm. This highlights the IUD’s capacity to give copper poisoning to the woman who is wearing this foreign body in her womb.
The manufacturers also admit that the IUD also works as ‘emergency contraception’, and may be fitted up to five days and even after five days to enable the killing of the newly conceived human being. So, it’s not really ‘contraception’, especially when it causes the endometrial lining of the womb to have an inflammatory reaction and prevent implantation of the newly fertilised human.
And still literally thousands of websites and cleverly written articles are at pains to convince that the Gynefix IUD does not work to cause ‘early’ abortion, but why then do it's manufacturers admit that it can eradicate the new life after conception?

Mary O'Regan

Monday 12 July 2010

Blessed are the Barren and the Wombs that Never Bore

In our age when ‘barrenness’ is so celebrated, when people are congratulated for using every measure not to have children, few recall that Our Lord said as He laboured with His cross,
‘for behold, the days are coming when they will say, `Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore’, Luke 23:29.
‘Barren’ is not ‘PC’ language, but nonetheless our modern culture lovingly embraces sterility.
Two studies done, one in America and the other in Britain have a correlation in findings, both found that one in five women will stay ‘barren’ by choice.
In Britain, the stark finding is that the number of people who strive never to have kids has doubled since the 1990's. ‘Barren-ness’ is often indirectly fĂȘted when people who use contraceptive pills, jabs or even creams are never told that these things may have dire consequences for their future ability to conceive children.
And many couples, who are not childless by choice, remain childless because the children they could have adopted have been destroyed by either early abortifacients (the Morning After Pill or the IUD) or have been surgically aborted.
Many wonderful couples who have the cross of infertility are told, ‘Come on! Count yourself as lucky that you can’t have kids!’ Couples who are hoping to adopt and who deeply lament that thousands of abortions are taking place each day are often slighted with; ‘Well just because you can give a baby a good home does not mean that women shouldn’t have the right to end an unwanted pregnancy.’

‘Blessed are the Barren’, The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood is a book published by Ignatius Press. For details of how to buy it; click here.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Contracepting Society Reaps A Monstrous Harvest of Impurity Amongst Children

The Picture Shows St Maria Goretti, the 12 year old Virgim Martyr who died witnessing to the value of purity to her assaillant who later reformed his life.
Many people these days fall into the trap of being pressurised by the modern world, advertising, the media,friends and even family.
It seems the easiest solution to many people, even those who are newly married, is to "wait until later" to have children, just to take a 'simple' contraceptive pill every day and not to worry about getting pregnant, with all the promises of the governments and family planning "clinics" that it will stop unwanted pregnancy.
Sadly there are many Catholics that do not believe that contraception is wrong. How many times have we heard them say, “ the Church should start keeping up with the changing times”. I had to remind a couple of young relatives recently, “ But God’s laws don’t change with the
times, if we change God’s laws to suit the modern times it will lead to sins such as abortion and euthanasia”.
We need to remember that fornication is still a sin, using contraception as the majority of people do before marriage is still a serious sin. Also, to use contraception in a marriage is a serious sin.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware that many hormonal contraceptives found in the Pill, contraceptive implants, some coils(IUS), injectable contraceptives and contraceptive patches are also abortifacients (they can cause abortions when they fail to prevent conception occurring).
Unfortunately many people like to "make up their own minds" about what part of their religion is right or wrong - usually if it's inconvenient for them they are easily tempted to find an excuse to do what they want by justifying it so it fits in with their lifestyles.
Now in schools we are threatened with the recently proposed children,schools and families(SRE)Bill which aims to make sex and relationships education compulsory for five to sixteen year olds even in Catholic schools. This is very worrying.
If these proposals come back under the new government, as they may well do, from a young age children will be taught about contraception, how to use it and where to get it. They will also learn how to procure an abortion.
The Government and Family Planning "clinics" are now encouraging sexual behaviour
at an early age and with guidance from the Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Group and
members of the pro-abortion lobby which include the Family Planning Association,
Marie Stopes International, Education for Choice and Brook Advisory Service.
Britain is already notorious for having one of the highest teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in Europe. Recently something I read that shocked me, but didn't surprise me, in a London paper; up to two school children aged under 16 are being charged with sex offences every week. The paper stated that the appalling scale of sex crimes among school age children is clear from details obtained under freedom of information laws. There was a sickening case of a boy aged 12
admitting to raping a boy aged 9. He was already on bail for sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 13.

I believe this is the result of sex education gone mad. I believe our Children should be taught about Chastity and the importance of Marriage and Christian family values. They also need to hear that the use of contraception is a sin and harmful in many ways to an individual and to society.

Lorraine Coyne

Friday 9 July 2010

Too Strict to Use Natural Family Planning?

A prayerful Catholic couple were blessed with many sons and daughters, before unfortunately suffering a miscarriage. They were keen that they would conceive again. They went to a Catholic doctor who is opposed to contraception; they were advised to take a break from trying to conceive. The woman’s progesterone was extremely low, and she was also suffering from exhaustion after so many pregnancies that had come one after the other. I don’t think it was unreasonable of the doctor to suggest Natural Family Planning (NFP) to the couple, as a means by which they could avoid conception for a short time.
The couple were stroppy...’We reject Humanae Vitae!’ they stiffly told the doctor. ‘That encyclical allows for the use of NFP, and we know that NFP is always a sin, and we’re not going to use it!’ Neither were they very keen on using total abstinence.
So, they straightaway tried to conceive again, only to miscarry three months later. They tried to conceive again, only to have difficulty conceiving... When they approached the doctor again, they asked for meds that would kick start a conception. The doctor ran tests, and again advised that they take a tiny break. The wife was quite run down, and had ‘pernicious anaemia’, but was quite strident that ‘if I get pregnant soon, then I can take iron during the pregnancy!’ They insisted that there was no need to wait for the wife to restore her chronically low levels of some hormones, which are essential for maintaining a pregnancy and avoiding miscarriage. They were going to get pregnant now!
The couple suffered several more miscarriages, until finally, they both conceded that they would follow the advice that had been given them years hence, and went into a stage of ‘preparing for pregnancy’. This stage lasted longer than they had wanted, and then when they tried to conceive it took longer, but they did have a lovely baby. I was bemused to find that the couple now grudgingly admit that NFP is ‘not all bad, and can have its uses.’

Mary O'Regan
(Editor's note: The Catholic Church allows the use of Natural Family Planning when a couple have grave reasons to avoid or space a pregnancy. Like anything NFP can be misused, but it is morally neutral in itself and can be used for good or for evil within Marriage.)

Thursday 8 July 2010

The Diabolical Nature of Contraception

"Heinous is the sin committed against the creative act of God, Who, through the marriage contract, invites man and woman to cooperate with Him in the propagation of the human family. To take life after it's inception is a horrible crime; but to prevent human life that the Creator is about to bring into being is satanic. In the first instance, the body is killed, while the soul lives on; in the latter, not only a body, but an immortal soul is denied existence in time and in eternity. It has been reserved to our day to see advocated shamelessly the legalizing of such a diabolical thing."
Cardinal Hayes of New York circa 1930's quoted in "A Treasury of Wisdom and Knowledge" by Monsignor Germano Formica 1932

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe comes to England and Wales

The image of Our Lady is shown here on display in Portsmouth Cathedral

The fundamental purpose of the consecrated images is to fulfil the prophecy of the Venerable Pope John Paul II when he proclaimed in 1979: 'The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be the centre from which the light of the gospel of Christ will illuminate the entire world by means of the miraculous image of His mother.'

These images are declared as authorised relics that will extend the graces of evangelization, conversion and truth to those nations which receive them; the same graces as extended in 1531 when some 9 million Aztecs converted to the Catholic Faith over a period of ten years following the apparition, thereby ending the diabolical and deeply embedded cultural practice of human sacrifice.

The novena began in March 2010 in Westminster cathedral hall with the full approval of Archbishop Nichols and extended to three other London parishes, including Ealing Abbey and the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden. The Archbishop granted Edmund Adamus, the designated temporary custodian of the image, authority to seek permission of each diocesan bishop to allow the image to be welcomed in his diocese for devotional purposes for the cause of the Gospel of Life, the protection of the unborn, the sanctity of families and the peace of the nation.

Edmund Adamus, Director of the Department of Pastoral Affairs in the Diocese of Westminster, is co-ordinating the novena tour which will conclude on 12th December, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Westminster Cathedral.

The image is available now and beyond December 12th to any parish/community where the Local Ordinary has already granted permission. Anyone interested should contact Edmund Adamus via the details given below.


Contact details:
Edmund Adamus
Telephone: 020 7798 9363

Current schedule of novena tour of relic image of Guadalupe.

24th/25th July Cathedral Birmingham Day for Life

7th September Our Lady of Guadalupe Bedford Guardians Group, Knights of St Columba, full programme Northampton 7:30pm Service of Reception, Exposition, Prayer Vigil & Watching until midnight
8th Sept Northampton 7:30pm Penitential Service
10th Sept Northampton Family/individual testimony & Prayer Service. Rosary
12th Sept Through Bedford main streets. Priests, parishioners & members from Catholic Churches & Orgs in the Pastoral Area. Northampton 2pm Procession of Faith to celebrate the Visit of the Image, solidarity/support for Holy Father’s Visit to England. Ends with Liturgy & Musical Celebration (venue TBA)
13th Sept Holy Child & St Joseph, Bedford Northampton 7:30pm Diocesan Solemn Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bishop Peter Doyle
16th Sept Holy Child & St Joseph, Bedford Northampton Thanksgiving Mass 7:30pm, Service of Leaving

7th October Sheffield Cathedral Hallam Mass
9th/10th Oct Cathedral Southwark Mass: 10, 11:30, 1pm Spanish
10th/11th Oct New Addington Southwark Holy Hour, Mass
17th Oct tbc City centre pro-life witness and devotions Birmingham
25th October St Charles, Hull Middlesbrough
26th October St Wilfrid, York Middlesbrough

November tbc University Catholic Chaplaincy, Manchester Salford
November tbc St Mary’s ‘The Hidden Gem’ Manchester Salford
November tbc St Marie’s, Bury Salford
November tbc St Mary’s, Burnley Salford
19th/20th/21st November Tapyr Menevia

3rd/4th December Ss Peter & Paul, Ilford Brentwood Vigil 7:30pm, 10am Mass & Novena OL Perpetual Help
11th/12th December Cathedral Westminster Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Arundel & Brighton Awaiting response
Leeds Awaiting confirmation
Liverpool Awaiting confirmation
tbc Aldershot Cathedral Bishopric of the Forces Awaiting confirmation

WHO says Contraception Fails and Causes Abortions

"You would say contraception fails, you're a Catholic and a Pro-lifer!" I have heard this a number of times and it still angers me as it implies that I lie about contraception failure to help prove the Church's teachings correct. Day in, day out we see women at Good Counsel Network who are pregnant because of contraception failure, but ignore this evidence by all means if you like and look at what the pro-contraception World Health Organisation (WHO) says itself:

"Worlwide, an estimated 9 to 30 million unplanned pregnancies occur annually as a consequence of contraceptive failure. The frequency of failure of contraceptive methods highlights the continuing need for abortion services." (WHO speaker at a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists [conference] held April 1995)*

So there we have it from the pro-contraception movement. Contraception fails on a massive scale and thus leads to an increased number of abortions.

Stuart McCullough

* quoted in "Prophets and Priests, The Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement" by Ann Farmer available from St Anthony's Communications.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Scandal of Supposedly "Catholic" Journal Promoting Abortion

As if further proof that contraception and the contraceptive mentality leads to abortion were needed, Fr Charles Curran, the Catholic Priest who has been dissenting from the Church's teaching on contraception for several decades, is now writing in The Tablet arguing for abortion to be permitted by the Catholic Church in certain cases.
He is joined by Professor Tina Beattie (director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Catholic Studies at Roehampton University here in the UK).
I don't read or buy 'The Tablet'ever since I read that Padre Pio said that many souls go to hell for reading bad books. Since The Tablet has been dissenting publicly on pretty much everything the Church teaches for all of my lifetime it is as bad as a book can get. So the quotes from the article have been taken from Catholic and Loving it.
But trying to muddy the waters on abortion is beyond even their usual heresy. As a woman who lost a child in an ectopic pregnancy, I am deeply offended that they would use this type of situation - a pregnancy which could endanger the Mother's life - as a justification of abortion. Explaining the Church's position Tina Beattie writes:
"So, a procedure could be performed with the intention of saving a mother’s life which indirectly caused the death of the foetus (for example, by removing the cancerous womb of a pregnant woman), but the direct, intentional killing of the foetus can never be condoned, even to save the mother’s life."
But she goes on to say,
"This kind of argument may appeal to those who value moral absolutes over ambiguity, but many of us regard dilemmas such as the one confronting Sr Margaret [a Catholic Nun in the USA who agreed to allow an abortion to be performed in her Catholic Hospital where a woman's life was deemed to be at risk]and her colleagues as being too complex for formulaic judgements.

The intention in this case was not to kill the child but to save the mother, and some may regard the distinction between directly and indirectly destroying the foetus as of little ethical relevance in situations of such tragic complexity."

The key word in all this is "killing". In any of the cases in a pregnancy where the Mother is genuinely in danger of death, the Church permits the removal of the baby where no other safe course can be found to protect Mother AND child. However, there is a world of difference between a doctor doing their best to safely deliver a child and treating that child with respect whether he or she survives or not and the alternative, a doctor tearing a baby limb from limb in it's Mother's womb. That is never ever necessary. Never. One method involves killing a child. The other involves the child dying despite the doctor's best efforts and against his intention.

When I went through an ectopic pregnancy I was told there were two ways to treat this. One is to remove the part of the fallopian tube where the baby is stuck, bringing the baby with it. The tiny baby cannot survive. The second method is to pour chemicals into the tube, which will "dissolve" (their euphemism) the baby. It's not hard to see why the Church accepts the first method and rejects the second; the tube itself is removed, that is the aim of the operation - to remove a damaged bodily organ which is in danger of rupture - the baby's life itself is not the target of the doctor's work. In the chemical method however the chemicals poured into the tube to remove the baby do not offer proper human respect to a tiny life created in God's image. What did suprise me was that each of the five doctors I spoke to about the procedure assured me that the removal of the tube was far safer and less likely to cause future problems than the chemical method. No matter how the world tries to persuade us otherwise, God's Will is, of course, never in conflict with scientific truth.
If you are a regular Tablet reader I am asking you to consider stopping reading The Tablet. If you are a subscriber, please consider cancelling your subscription. It is time to witness to the Editor and staff that we don't support this attack on human life which may confuse many Catholics, and may even result directly in abortions.

Meanwhile, if you have any doubts about the Church's teaching on abortion, read on:
“Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

“The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. It is in fact a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and indeed to God himself, the author and guarantor of that law; it contradicts the fundamental virtues of justice and charity. ‘Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action’”
-Paragraph 57 Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II.
Clare McCullough

Monday 5 July 2010

Louisa Staunton, A Saintly Deceased Pro-Lifer

Today we had our annual Mass for Louisa Staunton, RIP, our supporter and benefactor, who died on 5th July 2004. Louisa originally came to The Good Counsel Network to attend the Counsellor Training Course we run. One day when attending one of the sessions, she overheard Stuart phoning around trying to find accommodation for a woman who was turned around outside an abortion clinic and who wanted to keep her baby, but could not go home as her boyfriend had threatened both her and her baby. Louisa immediately said "She can stay with me!". Without regard for her own safety or comfort, Louisa took this lady home with her and there began her new work of looking after vulnerable expectant mums. Louisa turned her whole house over to us, having as many as 3 members of our staff/volunteers living with her at any time as well as up to 4 mothers-to-be. She hated to accept any money from the mothers who stayed with her and was regarded as a grandmotherly figure by them all. The Friday before she died, I brought another girl to stay with Louisa. We had tried to find her a place wherever we could and Louisa was the first to say yes, even though there were already 4 other women staying with her. When we arrived she made "Mary" very welcome and cheered her up no end by her friendliness. "Its Our Lady's house" she told us as we thanked her for taking Mary in. Louisa went to bed that night but could not be woken in the morning. She was taken to hospital where she remained unconscious until Monday. Doctors found she had had bleeding around the brain during Friday night. On Monday a Priest came to the hospital to say Mass in her room. Louisa died after the Mass, having never regained consciousness.
During her life Louisa worked as a nurse, later a psychiatric nurse and also an assistant to the blind. She was involved in many, many Catholic organisations, especially The Legion of Mary. Even aged 75, she did the shopping for many ill and housebound neighbours and was known very well by all who lived near her. She gave away anything that was asked of her to others, including on one occasion where she gave her car to a family she had just met whose car had broken down! She was a particular friend to the lonely and depressed. She loved Our Lord and had a strong devotion to Our Lady, particularly Our Lady of Good Counsel and Our Lady of All Nations.
May God rest your soul Louisa, our great pro-life friend and sister in Christ.

Why Contraception is Wrong

A man and a women become one when they make the bond of Marriage, (They have chosen each other to go through the trials of life together) and if they are graced with children, this union, the giving and receiving of each other, creates a baby.

The baby is a gift from God and needs to be loved and cherished, Marriage is a vocation which you have chosen, so even when times are hard, we still need to give and our difficulties need to be offered in prayer. We can receive great strength at difficult times by receiving Jesus heavenly body; this teaches us to feel loved, so therefore we learn to love. Confession is also important because it purifies us; there in the confessional we are able to say that we have been unable to give in the way we would like.

If you use contraception, you choose not to give yourself to one another truly. It is an outward sign that there is distrust, or a feeling that you can not really love this person.

Although contraception makes sex outside Marriage seem easy and safe, it is important not to just go out with someone and think 'I will see if we are really compatible by the act of lovemaking' thinking that then, after this you can see if you get on in other ways. Because of the contraception there is already a lack of trust between you, the witholding of a part of yourself in the gift of yourself to the other. And fear. There is also a false pretence that you are giving all to each other, but it is just the outward appearance, not a deep love.

Gabi O'Sullivan

Saturday 3 July 2010

Should Have Been More Careful...

Maria came to us when her husband beat her up. Things were not good between them when she had conceived her child - despite using the pill - but they had got worse and worse and then, several months into her pregnancy things had come to a head. Thankfully, although she initially wanted an abortion, with help and support she continued the pregnancy and was able to build a new life.

Sometime later she was visiting our centre and she met another "client" of ours, Marion. Marion was severely disabled, having lost one leg. But we were supporting her through her pregnancy.

"Oh my God!" said Maria to me after Marion had left. "How could she let herself get pregnant! she only has one leg! It will be so difficult for her."

"But Maria, what should she have done? She's married. She got pregnant. Her husband has left." I replied.

"She should have used contraception" she answered.

"She did. But you know yourself that it fails? Why do you think it would have worked for her?"

"But...she should have been more careful with it...she should have used something safer." said Maria.

"There is nothing that is going to never fail Maria. And furthermore, like you, Marion had been told her pill WAS safe. That it was 'being careful'. What has to happen before your faith in contraception is undermined?" I answered.

I hope it caused her to rethink her view. It was certainly the beginning of many conversations on the subject between us. It still amazes me to see how women will fall for the 'safe contraception' illusion again and again in their lives, and will judge and blame other women who have fallen victim to the same lie.

Clare McCullough

Friday 2 July 2010

Why Do These Girls Keep Getting Pregnant?

Does the following sound familiar?
‘I don’t understand why these girls get pregnant. If they get pregnant, it means that they aren’t educated properly, and they’ve not been careful.’
‘They have every kind of contraception!’
These are the automatic assumptions and accusations used to marginalise pregnant women.
‘Every kind of contraception?’
Yes, there’s an injection, patch, pill or ‘new and improved’ condom for everyone, but each and every one of them fails. The major institutions in a woman’s life, from her primary school classroom (‘now kids, these are condoms’) to her family dinner table (‘take the Pill every day, and don’t come home pregnant’) to the doctor’s office (‘the best is really the jab, you don’t have to worry about taking a Pill’) are all selling the contraception-is-faultless line. Women are sold the idea that they must use it correctly, and if it fails, well it’s their fault.
‘They’re not educated...’
Yes, women of my generation and the generations since the sixties have not been educated - as to the failure rates for contraception – and have received biased teaching totally in favour of contraception that amounts to a sales pitch. Parents may have used contraception themselves since they were in their teens, and have no chastity education to pass on to their children. They advocate contraception because they have nothing better to pass on. I have never met one pregnant mother (out of the hundreds that I have advised) who has been informed of the side-effects, complications, or the accurate figures for contraception failure.
One medical student that I met had not known that condoms could break...until it happened to her. Some had even been ‘doubling up’, using the Pill and the condom, until they were pregnant and then had ‘no idea how this pregnancy happened’. Then I’ve met girls who whisper, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me, the condom split and when I took the Morning-After Pill my body didn’t use it, and now I’m pregnant!’
‘They’ve not been careful’ people say.
This is so patronising! The majority of the women that we see have used contraception with meticulous care, and are mystified because they are pregnant. Women have been pressured into doing the one activity that is designed to make them pregnant. Yet contraception is marketed as a ‘cure’ for pregnancy, meaning that if you have sex and have a baby, well the ‘cure’ hasn’t worked for you – what’s wrong with you?
It’s time to drag out the contraception slogans and hold them up to the light.
‘I don’t understand why these girls get pregnant.’
Why? The public mindset has been trained to think that there’s a divorce between sexual activity and procreation.
‘They have every kind of contraception they could want!’
Yes, and there are still over 600 abortions every day in England and Wales.
‘And they’ve not been careful.’
Girls are then told to be ‘sensible’ and have an abortion. And you will notice that a lot of ‘abortion providers’ have an obsession with contraception, yet they know that many women have repeat abortions because their trusted contraception has failed. Women are then made to feel like they have failed, that the pregnancy is a failure on their part. A lot of women say ‘this is my first and last abortion. Never again! I’ll be more careful next time. They gave me the new pill. I’m never getting an abortion again.’ Until the next time, and the next... Until the day when everyone recognises the connection between contraception and multiple abortions.

Mary O' Regan

Thursday 1 July 2010

Is it Good To Be?

“To foreigners this Europe seems to be tired, indeed, it seems to be wishing to take its leave of history....Contemporary man is insecure about the future. Is it permissible to send someone into this uncertain future? In short, is it a good thing to be a person? This deep lack of self-assurance — plus the wish to have one’s whole life for oneself — is perhaps the deepest reason why the risk of having children appears to many to be almost unsustainable....Unless we learn anew the foundations of life—unless we discover in a new way the certainty of faith—it will be less and less possible for us to entrust to others the gift of life and the task of an unknown future.” Pope Benedict XVI 2006
In our centre we see exactly this mentality playing out in the lives of the men and women we see each week. “Is it a good thing to be a person?” – those we see often argue that it is not a good thing. That their lives have been filled with pain, brokenness and sorrow. Even those who are materially well-off consider the world and the future a dismal place to bring this unplanned, “unwanted” child. It is enlightening to see how often their own brokenness stems from contraception, marriage breakdown and “sexual liberation” in their own family backgrounds.
Faith in God also means faith in the future; that if God sends new life into the world He can also find space in this broken world to fill those lives with meaning and hope.
Our first job then is to give these women hope. We cannot give them hope if we don’t have hope ourselves. We cannot have hope without faith. Faith and hope go hand in hand with another virtue, Charity – or loving kindness.
To counteract the contraceptive mentality we have to offer assistance in all charity, share our hope and ground all of this in faith in Christ.
If we are not prepared to believe in the Mothers and Children of tomorrow, by reaching out our hands in charity, opening our door to the destitute mother and sharing our faith with those without any faith in themselves and giving real hope to those in despair, we cannot hope to change our culture and end abortion.
Is it good to be? If it is let's witness to that goodness by offering a real life to Mothers in need.

Clare McCullough

"The Contraception Disaster" Month!

In honour of Humanae Vitae, which was released in July 1968, July is "The Contraception Disaster" month on the Maria Stops Abortion blog. We are inviting readers to send in their own testimonies as contraception survivors, or as people who have seen the benefits of not using contraception in their own lives. We are also asking for good links and resources on the Church's teaching on contraception. Here are some of our favourite:

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