President Trump’s historic 2020 March for Life speech | News | LifeSite

“All of us here understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.” – President Donald J. Trump

Source: FULL TEXT: President Trump’s historic 2020 March for Life speech | News | LifeSite

President Trump is the first sitting President of the United States to ever attend and address, in person, the March for Life. Many sources have commented that he is, in fact, the most vigorously pro-life President ever to sit in the Oval Office. Among his comments on this historic occasion, in addition to the one quoted above:

“When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul.”

“Sadly, the far left is working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious leaders from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life.”

“And to all the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes. [applause] Your strength, devotion, and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history.”

“We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.

“And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.

“Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.”

One might quibble, theologically, with the statement that “every human soul is divine.” But every human soul does partake of the divine nature, in the sense of having been created by the living God; and every human soul is – at least potentially, if they own it and respond to such a great gift (or if our sovereign God, for reasons of His own, so chooses) – redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, with the promise of becoming by grace what He is by nature. So one can hardly fault the sentiment expressed!

As commented elsewhere, I was long on the fence about abortion. While thinking of myself as “pro-choice,” I always believed that it should be a last resort, never a first option: the oft-repeated (although less often and more softly, these days) mantra of “abortion on demand without apology” has always struck me as absolutely morally repugnant.

To snuff out a human life for one’s own convenience – for that is precisely what that slogan is calling for – is the very definition of murder. But I have tended to accept the traditional exceptions: rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. I still do, to a large extent. But what I did not fully realize until recently is how vanishingly rare a truly medically-necessary abortion (the so-called “therapeutic abortion”) actually is, particularly later in pregnancy.

As Dr. Omar Hamada, OB/GYN, has stated, “I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.”

And on a personal note, my sister-in-law underwent, many years ago now, what was referred to as a “therapeutic abortion.” It is that experience which did much to keep me on the “choice” side of the aisle. But in fact the child was already, sadly, dead in her womb by that time. His mortal remains are buried in a tiny coffin in the family plot, and my nephew carries his name as his middle one. Whatever that procedure was, it was not an “abortion,” as we generally think of the term!

And while I do not think that the victim of rape – or incest, which is nearly always also rape – should be required to carry the child of that rape in her body, I salute with great respect those who choose to do so. Why? Because, of course, it is not the child who committed the vile assault; yet if an abortion occurs, that child becomes still another victim of it.

So, yes, I am pro-life! And I salute President Trump for this heart-felt and encouraging speech in support of that right to life, which is enshrined in our very Declaration of Independence, the founding document of our Nation. God bless him, and God bless America – and may we grow, once again, into a people and nation that is worthy of God’s blessings!

Nota Bene: The video of the speech is embedded above; for the full written text thereof, follow the link. Thank you!


Pro-life Catholic who attends Latin Mass appointed as new UK House of Commons leader | News | LifeSite

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Jacob Rees-Mogg has drawn the ire of LGBT and abortion advocates.

Source: Pro-life Catholic who attends Latin Mass appointed as new UK House of Commons leader | News | LifeSite

More on the new Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House, the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg:

“Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Member of Parliament who is known for loving the Traditional Latin Mass and defending life and marriage, will serve as the leader of Britain’s House of Commons while Boris Johnson assumes his role as the country’s new prime minister… Rees Mogg is a devout Catholic who has drawn the ire of LGBT and abortion advocates for supporting man-woman marriage and the right to life.”

Feeling a bit more guarded optimism about the direction of Britain, under the new government… it’s not out of the woods yet, or even back on the trail. But at least, it seems to be rummaging in its pockets for the compass and topo map!

Here, by the way, is another picture of Rees-Mogg. I understand he is sometimes referred to as “the Honourable Member for the 18th Century.” This picture clearly indicates that this assertion is off by a century!

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Pleroma, priesthood, and abortion

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Frans Wouters, after Sir Peter Paul Rubens, “The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant,” oil on oak panel.

It is interesting where one’s wanderings in the Steppes of Cyberia can take one! From following links on Holy Tradition and the priesthood, I found myself struck by a passage which speaks to one of the great issues – and traditional / orthodox Christians would assert, evils – of our time: abortion. This, even though abortion is not mentioned in this context.

In her essay, “What is Holy Tradition?” in her blog, Just Genesis, anthropologist, scholar, and former Episcopal priest (one uses that word with caution, and she herself has rejected it, when applied to women) Alice Lindsey writes (this is long, but please bear with me – it’s important to set the context),

“The whole fabric of Holy Tradition is one with the Pleromic Blood of Jesus Christ. No where is this more evident than in the institution of the priesthood which is essentially the Messiah Priesthood. The Messianic Priesthood is unlike any other religious institution. It at once makes distinctions in its binary character and brings unity through its power to redeem and cleanse. It makes distinction between God and humanity and it makes distinction between male and female. The distinction in both cases addresses the primeval universal anxiety toward blood, an anxiety which many cultural anthropologists have observed.

“Underlying the priesthood is the belief that humans must give an accounting to God, especially for the shedding of blood. The priesthood is intrinsically linked to blood. The priest is the functionary who addresses the guilt and dread that accompany the shedding of blood.

“There are two types of blood anxiety: blood shed by killing and blood related to menstruation and birthing. To archaic peoples both types were regarded as powerful and potentially dangerous, requiring priestly ministry to deal with bloodguilt through animal sacrifice and to deal with blood contamination through purification rites.

“Not a single female in the Bible served in a priestly role. We can argue a case for women deacons, but the deacon is not intrinsically linked to blood. Despite the efforts of many to create an egalitarian reality, we find no basis in Tradition or Scripture upon which to argue for women priests. The Bible does not say that women can be priests because the binary distinctions that frame the biblical worldview make “woman priest” ontologically impossible.

“The Scriptures do not forbid women priests because the very idea of women sacrificing animals in the Temple was beyond imagination. It would have been regarded as an affront to the Divine order.

It was a bloody business when a priest sacrificed a lamb, so much so that the carcasses were burned outside the walls. It was a bloody business giving birth to children, so much so that the birthing hut was set outside the community. In the ancient… worldview from which Holy Tradition emerges, the two bloods were ordained for different purposes and could never share the same space. C.S. Lewis presents the grotesqueness of women priests in his depiction of the savage slaying of Aslan by the White Witch. If you wonder why the image is so troubling, consider that woman was made to bring forth life, not to take it [emphasis added].

“If you wonder why the image is so troubling, consider that woman was made to bring forth life, not to take it.”

That is it in a nutshell, I think. Why is abortion so abhorrent to many of us? Why is it so troubling, even to people who support it, that they have to build defenses around their belief that it’s really okay, after all – defenses like “reproductive rights,” and “my body, my choice” – or conversely, “I had to do it, I had no choice”?

To those outside the pro-abortion movement, those have a hollow, desperate sound: abortion is the antithesis of reproduction; I have already discussed how there is more than just the woman’s body to consider; and there are always choices. They sound like justifications, rationalizations, after the fact – and they are.

Woman was made to bring forth life, not to take it.

This is why abortion is not only wrong, or sad, or “a shame,” but – on a visceral, and even metaphysical, level – abhorrent and evil: because it goes against the very nature and purpose of womanhood as such. Woman alone can conceive a child, bear it in her womb as it develops, and bring it forth to life.

Men cannot do this thing; only women can. Therefore childbirth (and I know individual women have other marvelous abilities, and I also know that some women for a variety of reasons simply cannot have children; but we are talking on an ontological level, here – the level of beingness) is of the essence of woman, in a way it is not and cannot be of men, obviously, or even of humanity as a whole.

Woman was made to bring forth life.

Those women who elect to have an abortion (elective abortions being defined as those that are not medically necessary to save the life of the mother, the latter of which is a very small percentage of all abortions, on the order of 1% or less) – whatever struggles and psycho-emotional agony they may have gone through to reach that point, and I do not wish to minimize the very real struggles of many women, who may feel themselves pressured toward abortion by circumstance, by society, or by their “significant other” – are in a very real sense rejecting the most defining characteristic of womanhood itself, the ability to bear a child and give birth to him or her.

In effect, by her decision and action, the woman who chooses abortion – although it is the abortionist who actually does the deed – is choosing (by Lindsey’s categories, above) to function in the role of priest… but of a priest of Moloch, the biblical Phoenician deity who demanded child-sacrifice.

This is not only an individual act of violence and cruelty against the most innocent and defenseless among us, but – on a metaphysical level – it is an inversion of, and offense against, the cosmic order itself, and thereby an offense against the God who created that order (and who also taught us, “thou shalt not kill,” and “love thy neighbor as thyself”).

No wonder it is greeted with unease, at best, and often (and rightly) abhorrence, by many – frequently including the woman herself!

When a woman, whose natural role (inter alia, but also preeminently, since she alone can do this) is to bring forth life, chooses instead to kill it, not only is her own world turned upside down, but so, metaphysically, is the cosmic order itself. Is it any wonder, then, that a culture and society which not only accepts, but is expected to “affirm” and even “celebrate” such actions (638,169 in 2015, and nearly 45.7 million between 1970 and 2015, per the CDC), also seems topsy-turvy?

On a metaphysical level, as well as a socio-cultural one, it is!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
   Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
For heathen heart that puts her trust
   In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
   And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!
— Rudyard Kipling, “Recessional” (1897)

A Teaching & Proclamation on Abortion | Anglican Province of America

Image result for Anglican Joint SynodsThe Bishops of the Anglican Joint Synods Churches released the following statement on the matter of abortion.

Source: A Teaching & Proclamation on Abortion | Anglican Province of America

The Bishops of the Anglican Joint Synods – often known as the “G4” or “Group of Four” Continuing Anglican Churches – has released an official statement on the subject of abortion, here linked from the website of the Anglican Province of America, one of the G4 jurisdictions.

It notes, inter alia, that

“In Virginia, where [legislation similar to that passed by New York] has been proposed [though thankfully not passed], the current governor has made statements that appear to endorse the notion that babies who survive late-term abortions could be left to die.

“Such sentiments reveal how far removed the pro-abortion movement is from the values expressed in a document penned by another governor of Virginia, one which asserts that all humans are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,’ and ‘that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’

“A society founded on these principles cannot support legalized abortion. If the right to life is unalienable, it belongs to the individual alone, and cannot unjustly be taken away. Moreover, the right to life possesses a logical priority in that all other rights flow from the individual’s status as a living being.

“Curtailing the right to life undermines the principles of natural law and threatens the very fabric of our democracy.”


After Northam, The ‘Bodily Autonomy’ Argument For Abortion Is Shot | The Federalist

After Ralph Northam, The ‘Bodily Autonomy’ Argument For Abortion Is Shot

The new national debate over the legality and morality of infanticide may have just unraveled what was left of the bodily autonomy argument.

Source: After Northam, The ‘Bodily Autonomy’ Argument For Abortion Is Shot | The Federalist

Update on reaction to New York’s recently-passed, and Virginia’s attempted, revisions to those states’ abortion laws.

“There never was a sound argument for killing innocent human beings in abortion. And there never will be. But whatever stronghold the abortion movement had on its single remaining line of defense — the bodily autonomy argument — has now been lost.”

As I have commented elsewhere, “my body, my choice” is a flawed argument to begin with. But once the child is actually born, any residual sense or meaning that argument may once have carried is gone.

Click through to the article for more.

Presiding Bishop of the UECNA on New York’s new abortion law

Image result for archbishop peter robinson

Archbishop Peter Robinson, Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America and Bishop Ordinary of the Missionary Diocese of the East (within which St. Bede’s Anglican Mission / Oratory of St. Bede the Venerable is a congregation, and I am a priest) has this to say about New York’s worship of Moloch, a.k.a., new abortion law:

This, perhaps, is not going to be the most closely reasoned of my pieces, mainly because there is a good deal of emotion involved, and also because as someone who read history at university and has a continuing interest in that field, I see the historical parallels, and fear greatly for where western society as a whole is heading.

The revised New York abortion statute which basically allows abortion up to birth throws into stark relief the difference of outlook that exists between secular mindset, and that of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The whole ethical justification for abortion involves, at some level, the tacit rejection of the notion that firstly, that God is the author of life, and secondly, man is made in the image and likeness of God. What the New York abortion law starkly states is that human beings are just another animal species whose numbers can be controlled by whatever means are deemed ‘humane,’ and inhabits the same bleakly utilitarian territory of moral relativism as the Third Reich’s Eugenics Law, though without the same explicitly Eugenicist language being employed in the drafting of the statute.

The abortion debate is not one the exists in isolation, but it also has grave implications for the elderly, the chronically ill, and the disabled. The cheapening of life in the womb will lead to cheapening of other forms of life that are not considered ‘viable’ for whatever reason, especially as the liberalisation of abortion laws inevitably leads to the consideration of euthanasia. To put the argument in extreme terms, why should the born have any more right to life than the unborn that the legislature of New York state has declared to be so expendable? If the evidence from Belgium and the Netherlands is to be believed once euthanasia is conceded, usually in the form of Physician Assisted Suicide for the terminally ill, it is rapidly expanded as an “option” for the disabled, and the mentally ill. A quick survey of Pro-Life website will furnish sufficient evidence of the steady expansion of Euthanasia once it has been legalised for ‘extreme’ cases. The idea of mercy seems to increasing merged with the notion of convenience as the criterion by which who is euthanized is determined. Also, given the way in which healthcare is regulated today, the decisions regarding abortion and euthanasia will be increasingly taken out of the hands of the medical profession, and into the hands of government. Increasingly, the ethical standards of the West are in thrall to the relativism that enslaved the Nazis, though without their pseudo-Darwinian racial theories.

As a Christian I believe firmly that because life is the gift of God, and because humanity is made in God’s image and likeness, every human life is in a very real sense sacred from its beginning at conception, to its end in natural death. I also believe that when one man makes the decision to take the life of another, especially an innocent, he is stepping out of his proper function as a steward of creation, and whilst exceptions have traditionally been allowed for the workings of justice, and in the case of a Just War, these concessions are truly exceptions to the consistent ‘option for life’ that one sees in Scripture. This means that I have to go on record as opposing not just abortion, but euthanasia, as being contraventions of our common humanity given and created by God. They are both misplaced mercies. Abortion always has two victims – the child and the mother. When I was ordained I knew about the first, but when I started in pastoral ministry I soon came to realise that in addition to obvious victim of abortion there is usually a second, thanks to the emotional and psychological trauma suffered by the mothers.

As a society we seem to have come adrift from our cultural moorings in the philosophy of the Greeks and the Revelation of the Bible, and are drifting ever closer to an ethnic, moral, and societal collapse which Western Civilisation will be extremely fortunate to survive. A culture cannot exist without basic principles, and the respect for human life is perhaps the most basic principle of all.

Source: Archbishop Peter Robinson on New York’s revised abortion law


Ryan Hunter on New York’s distressing new abortion law

My wise and perceptive friend, Ryan Hunter, comments on the State of New York’s rites of Moloch newest abortion law. A magisterial treatment of a very difficult issue, heart-felt and compassionate. Sometimes I think he’s the one who should be the priest, instead of me! Copied and pasted by permission of the author: as of this writing, it is not yet up on his site, and I am grateful for his permission to post it here. He writes:

I have lately refrained from making the slightest political commentary on the government shutdown crisis and Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Trump’s war of words, Brexit and PM May’s various crises, or the latest expansion of abortion access under the recent New York State law. I won’t comment on the first two issues now, but as regards the abortion legislation signed by my state’s “Catholic” Governor Andrew Cuomo, the law is appallingly and deliberately vague in its language. It will have the effect of making it easier for women to seek an abortion after 24 weeks’ gestation for *any* reason that they can frame as even remotely relating to their “health”, whether physical or mental. This vague term, “health”—as broadly defined and applied as possible—has always been the gate through which abortion access has progressively expanded since states began decriminalizing it in the 1960s and then the U.S. Supreme Court did so in 1973.

According to statistics provided by the nation’s leading, licensed abortion providers, well over 50 million abortions have taken place in the U.S. alone since 1973. Think about that number, and the potentiality of each of these lives which never manifested on earth. How many brilliant poets and musicians, much-needed political reformers and wise scholars, curers of cancer or inventors of brilliant new technologies, were never given the chance to live at all?

What does a fetus, a developing human in utero, look like at 24 weeks, 6 months—two-thirds of the way through normal pregnancy? To give you some sense of this reality of a developing human pregnancy, I was born at a little over 5 months’ gestation—3 months and 20 days premature. Every organ was formed, my facial features entirely defined, my toes and fingers able to move, I could make noise, laugh and cry, open my eyes, smile, etc. I was, in other words, born entirely and inescapably human, and would have been just as human had I been born a second or an hour or a day earlier, or a second or an hour or a day later. My humanity was not contingent on a magically defined numerical deadline of X amount of weeks, or whether my parents wanted me, could afford me, etc. My humanity, as with every single person’s, simply *was*, and it simply *is*.

I survived being born so early without any physical or mental handicap whatsoever. This was thanks to the grace of God, the prayers of my parents, grandparents, and so many loved ones, the dedicated care of diligent doctors and nurses, and the best medical technology in the neonatal units of Georgetown University and Northern Virginia’s Fairfax Hospital.

Weighing a pound and a half, and less than a foot long, according to my medical records, I was born 3 months and 20 days premature. I was supposed to be born on 22 October but was born on 2 July. Granted, this was 28 years ago, and my survival then was something of a medical miracle, but please reflect and realize, when we are talking about the 24 week term spelled out by the new law, that abortions are now to be conditionally permitted for the pregnant woman’s health (whatever this can and will be defined to mean) well after the gestation period I had reached at the time I was born.

This legislation is vaguely defined so as to make it immensely easy for women who are not in mortal danger to secure an abortion after their pregnancy is well-advanced, after the fetus is entirely capable of feeling pain, moving about, etc. This is why vague terms used such as “women’s reproductive health” are just that—deliberately vague, nonsensical euphemisms that serve only to obscure the reality of what is taking place in a late-term abortion.

Every woman in the world deserves so much better than to have to face—even for a moment—the desperate thought of considering abortion. Most women who do get abortions do so desperately, with a sense of last resort of despair—may God heal and forgive them, and all who pressured them, or failed to support their pregnancy, or shamed them. Any man who encourages or forces a woman to abort is committing a colossal evil.

The minority of women and men who somehow, in this mad world today, casually endorse abortion after consensual sex do not know what it means to have a fully developed, healthy conscience—something foundational is missing in their basic sense of moral ethics or intelligence, and they do not recognize personhood for what it actually is. It is telling that none of the world’s religious traditions expressed and manifested in the last 4,000 years endorse any notion of casual abortion on demand. Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu sages permit it only narrowly and exceptionally, whereas Christian ones have traditionally forbidden it entirely.

Abortion is a choice that represents a collective failure of society, not just the woman alone, and one that no woman should have to make. But this worth that every woman has, uniquely, must not be made to contrast with the equally valuable worth and right of every human being to experience life in the world itself—which, unavoidably, can only happen once one is born. Women are not gods over their bodies any more than are men; our bodies are a sacred trust to us from God, and we will return them to the Divine one day, with our bodies to answer as much as our souls.

Other than the tragic, exceptionally rare instances in which a woman’s life is actually truly endangered by continuation of pregnancy, there is always a more humane, healing, and healthy alternative to abortion. There is always a chance that the birth of the new life can be a source of good, of healing, of rejoicing, of giving something of light and beauty and truth into the world. Abortion guarantees only one thing: a life will be ended, a child not born. Choosing life allows for any possible potentialities to develop. Purely mathematically, it’s the far more positive choice, open to the possibility of good things happening to both mother and child. Abortion is a literal statistical dead-end.

Generations from now, societies will look back at our self-assured “progressive” views on abortion, and regard them as utterly barbarian, the product of little intellectual reflection and far less ethical formation. All peoples, nations, and states have degrees of good and bad, holiness and evil, in them. But in any free society, a state’s laws are ultimately a fair, relatively accurate indicator of its mores. To whatever extent New York is actually a free political society, this law is unbelievably damning.

What madness now passes for “progress” and what worship of darkness passes for “enlightenment”? God protect us from ourselves… We can, and must, do so much better. Go out, help women facing unplanned pregnancies with any means you have, donate your time and money to pro-life adoption agencies and women’s clinics that help both women and their babies, and end the atrocious stigmas against single mothers. We need to build a more humane, nobler society, one that relegates a culture of abortion to the same area as chattel slavery, legal racial segregation, forced child marriage, and human sacrifice.

Amen, and amen! Thank you again, Ryan, for your permission to share this.