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Archive of August 16, 2008

Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez defends right of Church to speak out in Ecuador

Guayaquil, Ecuador, Aug 16, 2008 (CNA) - The Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Rodriguez, defended the right of the Church to speak out on issues that affect society, in a reference to the imminent referendum on the new Constitution for Ecuador.

During a press conference before his talk on “The laity in public life” at the American Missionary Congress in Quito, the cardinal said, “The Church has always had the right to speak her opinion,” as “no issue related to citizenship is foreign to her.  She has done so even in more adverse circumstances in Ecuador and that is nothing new,” he said.

He went on by explaining that it is “an unjust simplification” to say that there the “left-wing priests are with the people and the right-wing ones are with the elites.”

“We must remember that our people have a faith foundation that cannot be distorted or reinterpreted.  Theology has its own field and you cannot have theology with Marxist categories,” he explained.

The cardinal noted that many who followed this line of thought ended up “abandoning the path, and it has made me sad because some have been priests and friends I have known.”

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Venezuelan bishop exhorts Catholics to bring the Gospel to every person

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 16, 2008 (CNA) - The Bishop of San Cristobal in Venezuela, Bishop Mario Moronta Rodriguez, exhorted  the faithful of the country to bring the Gospel to all peoples without exception, especially to those “who have strayed and those who do not know the Word of God,” as Jesus came not just for a few but for all of humanity.

In commenting on the passage of the encounter of Jesus with the Canaanite woman, Bishop Moronta said, “The teaching is clear.” The Canaanites “were not Jews and they adored idols.”  Therefore their reputation “was not very good among the people of Israel.”  However, “Jesus shows that her faith is great and he cures her sick daughter,” showing that “he has not come only for the people of Israel” and that “for God no one is excepted,” the bishop said.

Likewise, Bishop Moronta noted that this “Gospel passage should help us to illuminate our existence,” as like Christ, “we also are called to evangelize, beginning with the bread of the Word for all, without exception,” although at times “we can fall into the temptation of only reaching out to the groups that are closest to us.”

“The Lord invites us, according to this Gospel passage, to take risks like the Canaanite woman did -  the discovery of the person of Jesus made her ask for the scraps, but the Lord gave her much more, the bread of the healing of her daughter,” the bishop said.

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Pro-abortion groups target South Dakota pro-life initiative

Washington D.C., Aug 16, 2008 (CNA) - A South Dakota initiative on the November ballot that would ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s life has mobilized national abortion rights groups in opposition. The groups see the state ballot’s Initiated Measure 11 as a “first step” in a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“Let’s not kid ourselves," Nancy Keenan, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told reporters at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. "The people behind this effort [want] to make South Dakota the first step in a long-term campaign to mount a legal challenge to Roe."

According to Cybercast News Service, Keenan was joined by Cecile Richards, who is president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Richards said the initiative is a “cynical effort” to use South Dakota to further their goal of challenging “the fundamental right of women in this country that supported the right decision to make these personal decisions.”

A South Dakota proponent of the bill questioned the location of the press conference, which was held far from her home state.

“It seems desperate to me that they would hold a press conference in Washington, D.C.," Leslee Unruh, a leader of the South Dakota organization Vote Yes for Life, told Cybercast News Service.

Vote Yes for Life is the organization behind Initiated Measure 11, South Dakota’s third recent attempt to ban abortion. Two years ago South Dakota voters rejected a referendum for a complete ban on abortion by 56 percent to 44 percent.

Unruh explained that Initiated Measure 11 was drafted after surveying voter opinion concerning why they voted against the 2006 ballot measure. Such surveys found that South Dakota voters did not want to see abortion used as birth control and would accept a ban that included exceptions for rape, incest, and cases where the life of the mother is endangered.

She told Cybercast News Service that the ballot measure is “designed to go to the Supreme Court.”

Unruh said national attention from pro-abortion groups could be counterproductive for Initiated Measure 11’s opposition.

"Grassroots always trumps money in South Dakota," Unruh said. "People in South Dakota don't like it if they think someone nationally is trying to tell them what to do."

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Sen. Obama continues to hide opposition to Born Alive Infants Protection Act

Washington D.C., Aug 16, 2008 (CNA) - In response to the new evidence which reveals that Senator Barack Obama has misrepresented his position regarding his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the Obama Campaign has continued to deny that the Illinois state bill included a neutrality clause.

On Thursday, the ChicagoTribune.com posted a “fact check” on its website regarding Sen. Obama and his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) when it was proposed in the Illinois Senate.  The site quotes a Susan B. Anthony List press release from August 12 as stating:

“Official legislative documents released this week show that Obama in fact presided over a committee hearing where “neutrality clause” language – identical to the federal language – was added to the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. After voting in support of the “neutrality clause,” Obama then joined fellow Democrats to oppose the bill, killing it by a vote of 6-4, even after the addition of the ‘neutrality clause.’  The bill Obama killed is nearly identical to the federal version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act signed by President Bush in 2002 – legislation Obama has said he supports.”

ChicagoTribune.com quoted the Obama Campaign’s response as:

“There are major differences in state and federal bills, including the fact that the federal bill included a ‘neutrality clause’.”

President of the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to the article saying, “The Obama campaign thinks if they continue to repeat their flimsy story about Barack Obama's opposition to the common sense Born Alive Infant Protection Act that their thin explanation will become true. The reality is that actual legislative records directly contradict their story.”

She continued, “Here's the truth: Barack Obama killed the commonsense Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the Illinois Senate, and his campaign continues its game of hide and seek. That's because his position is heartless. There is no baby at any stage - even born accidentally - that he finds worth protecting. Where is his heart for the downtrodden when it comes to the most vulnerable human beings? It is no wonder he cannot admit to the truth of his 'leadership' as a State Senator."

The fact that the campaign is clinging to the story “says that they are really concerned about Americans finding out the truth about Obama’s record,” Susan B. Anthony List Political Joy Yearout, told CNA.

Earlier this week, a National Right to Life Committee statement revealed evidence showing that a neutrality clause had been added to the Illinois bill by the same Obama-chaired state Senate committee which quickly voted down the amended bill. 

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