Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

Embryos: Europe Is Awakening


I have written several times in the past that the strong abortion debate in the United States will unavoidably cause the same discussions to be started in Europe. It’s not that there are no pro-life organisations in Europe, or that the matter is completely absent from the public debate; but certainly we are several steps behind.

Now I have known, courtesy of His Hermeneuticalness,  of the One of Us appeal to stop our money being used for the destruction of embryos.

This is one of the new European Citizens’ Initiatives aimed at reaching 1 million signatures. When an ECI reaches that objective, its object can be directly brought to the attention of the Commission, which has the power to initiate EU legislation in the matter.  I know the idea that you need one million signatures to attract the attention of politicians and technocrats is not really smart, but I think this is made to make clear only those initiatives should be launched which have a real EU breadth and can command the attention of the public in several European countries. The initiatives must also be limited to those matters in which the Commission can propose legislation; which are, as everyone here in the UK knows, far too many.

In this case, if you visit the site you will notice the multi-lingual experience. Whilst in Europe we are undoubtedly less advanced than in the United States, it is beautiful to see how the stronger pro-life movement in the United States starts to cause a certain stir here in the Old (as in: old) Continent.

If you are more technically or legally inclined, you can jump here to read about the decision of the European Court of Justice  in the case Bruestle vs Greenpeace (astonishingly, Greenpeace seems to be able to do something good at times…).

I found these lines particularly enlightening:

[Al]though [the EU] seeks to promote investment in the field of biotechnology, use of biological material originating from humans must be consistent with regard for fundamental rights and, in particular, the dignity of the person.” Id. at ¶ 32. Therefore “any human ovum after fertilization, any non-fertilized human ovum into which the cell nucleus from a mature human cell has been transplanted and any non-fertilized human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis constitute a ‘human embryo’ within the meaning of Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive.”

It is a sad reality that for the vast majority of Europeans abortion is a given, a reality of life accepted without question. It will take time before more and more people start to think that this situation must change, and I am very much afraid that the biological factor will play a role as the hippies generation is largely irretrievably lost. Still, it is beautiful to see a new conscience concerning the protection of life emerging.


The Ottaviani reblog

Mundabor's Blog

This is given without commentary, as truly no commentary is necessary.

Please say a prayer for these brave souls, who fought from the very heart of the Church to try to avoid the biggest damage, in what was certainly the darkest hour of the post-V II madness.

The entire document – also giving background information and making clear that the translation may seem strange in order not to compromise a strict adherence to the Italian original – may be found here.

You will note that Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci made entirely theirs the conclusion and tone of a study of a group of Catholic theologians, led by Marcel Lefebvre. The fact that Lefebvre could have his position so fully approved by Cardinals in such high standing within the Vatican tells you everything you need to know about the dramatic events of those years.

Ottaviani and Bacci signed the letter…

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Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

From the otherwise rather sleepy and windy Wales, news of some importance reaches us: it says here (I know it’s the BBC, a lair of pedophiles and other perverts; but this they should have managed right) that a mother has beaten her son to death with a stick, as a punishment because the boy could not learn the Koran fast enough.

The detail gives a lot of interesting details: the woman (forget “lady”) is a university graduate; when she discovered that her son had died out of the injuries inflicted to him she set fire to the body of her dead child; she said she did so in order to avoid being killed by her husband upon discovery of the death; she also managed to accuse her husband of the killing. What a delicate person.

You might wonder: why does Mundabor bore us with this individual case of a loony…

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Heavenly Investments

Alexander Mair, "memento Mori"

Alexander Mair, “Memento Mori”



One of the advantages of getting old is the slow but unstoppable change of perspective age induces. When I was younger, the afterlife was for me (though by the Grace of God I have always believed in God) something so far removed into the future as to make the prospective of death an extremely remote one; something you know, about rather feel about.

Where I am now, the prospective is already rather different. I am now most certainly well past half of my existence, which means that the Day of Reckoning has now become for me an event I can see in the future in light of my past experience, because it will fall upon me in a shorter time that the one that has passed since my childhood. When one reflects about this little mathematical exercise, one begins to experience the Last Four Things as something very concrete, almost palpable. It is there, it is approaching rapidly, it is something I can easily measure with my own experience. I am, in fact,,well on my way towards it. The sobering thoughts this simple calculation provokes are in themselves enough to let one consider the aging process a very salutary one.

In a way, you can compare our perspective with investments. A long-term investment expecting to yield results in 60 or 70 years would be considered unattractive by most individual investors; when you reduce the temporal investment to perhaps 20 or 30 years, things change already. Continuing the comparison with investments, becoming old one understands how astonishingly good is the investment is that Jesus’ death on the Cross has made possible for us. There is no risk of default on the interest payment; you know there will never be a bankruptcy or “chapter 11” to destroy in all or in part your equity; the yield offered is infinite (as in: infinite) compared to your initial investment in time and effort, and the sovereign risk is clearly zero.

The deal is so good, that through the indulgences you get a huge rebate even on the (late) paying of your equity investment. Last but not least, one does not need to be smart. Provided one are disciplined in making deposits in one’s investment accounts (Mass attendance, of course; regular confession; a lively prayer life; and the Rosary, the Rosary!) one does not need to be proficient in the matter, and in fact I do believe many servants, labourers and peasants of old have obtained a much better yield than their more sophisticated, perhaps more intelligent masters and landowners.

As you get old, things start falling into place. Injustices and abuses (of which this existence is full) or even the thousands apparently blind inequalities of this world (the one is born intelligent, the other stupid; the one attractive, the other ugly; the one rich, the other poor; I could go on for very long) are seen in the different perspective of the return on investment I have just considered: painful as it is to be poor, or mistreated, or befallen by misfortunes one has not seen coming and cannot be held responsible for, these pains open the doors of an investment club of unimaginable prosperity, and the “equity investment” one makes with its own suffering and misfortunes properly employed (that is: invested in Christ, rather than in hatred or even self-pity) are by far the best opportunity he’ll ever have in life, and might well make him more prosperous in heaven, and more prosperous for all eternity, than many others who simply never found the means or the will to make a comparable investment in their eternal happiness.

This thinking puts, by the way, the usual secular thinking of “if there is a God, why am I so stupid” (or other disgraces) in perspective. The boy who died in a trench during WWI hasn’t really “lost” so much; actually, perhaps he has, just because he died to protect his Country and loved ones, actually made a great gain; similarly, the hard existence of generations of poor peasants bearing with Christian spirit an entire life of, one can easily imagine, abuse and humiliation will very probably rank higher, in the Celestial order, of those of us who manage to escape hell and can bring to the party not much more than a comfortable existence as, say, obnoxious bloggers banging on a keyboard with a fresh glass of orange juice, and classical music in the background.

Seen in this perspective, this life is like a huge opportunity open to everyone, and where more often than not the lack of opportunities here below may lead to an increase in “investment” opportunities concerning the other world.

You might say – and you would be right – this is all very well-known at least since the Beatitudes; but I do think that the older we get, the more the concept of accumulating treasures in heaven takes more defined contours, as the Day of Reckoning slowly but constantly warns us of its approach.



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