Posted: 18 May 2013 06:01 AM PDT
This lawless administration is now ordering federal employees – against their will – to affirm sexual behaviors that every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology reject.
Posted: 18 May 2013 05:47 AM PDT
Houston doctor Douglas Karpen is accused by four former employees of delivering live fetuses during third-trimester abortions and killing them by either snipping their spinal cord, stabbing a surgical instrument into their heads or 'twisting their heads off their necks with his own bare hands'.
Posted: 18 May 2013 05:40 AM PDT
More revelations like those made about Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen will soon come to light, because abortion workers are beginning to “panic” that participating in infanticide could land them in jail, according to a veteran pro-life activist.
Posted: 18 May 2013 01:50 AM PDT
French President Francois Hollande has signed a law authorizing gay 'marriage' and adoption by same-sex couples, after months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate.
May 18, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
On this last day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit let's consider two early messages, given by Our Lady to the visionaries in the little side chapel of St. James Church. The first message:
Clearly, Our Lady was guiding the young people and the parish to call down the Holy Spirit upon them. She couldn't make it any clearer. When one has the Holy Spirit, one has everything!!
Our Lady had firsthand proof of this statement. On the day of the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit descended upon her when she said "yes" to the plan of God:
And from that moment on, she had everything! She had Jesus, alive inside her! Truly, Jesus is everything!
And the second message:
Our Lady knows the powerful effects of the Holy Spirit. She experienced it with the Apostles on that day of Pentecost:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2: 1-4)
The Apostles had been frightened, defeated men after the Passion and Death of Jesus. And though Jesus had been with them for 40 days of Resurrected Glory, they still were hiding in the upper room after He ascended. It was not until the Holy Spirit came down upon them that they had the courage to witness to Jesus publicly. The Holy Spirit made everything clear for them and transformed them into the foundation of the Church! Wow!
So, we will enter the Feast of Pentecost tomorrow with great expectations! Mother Mary is with us to help us pray to the Holy Spirit and call Him down upon us.
Together let us pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2013
PPS. Here is a link to the traditional Novena to the Holy Spirit:
"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"
This week's Spirit & Life is by Dr. Brian Clowes, director of research and education at Human Life International.
Spirit & Life is the weekly e-column of
Human Life International.
You have probably heard the news that a team of scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University announced this week that they have produced embryonic stem cells from a cloned human embryo. The scientists hope to use these cells to cure diseases. If true, this would mark the first time embryonic stem cells have ever been produced in such a way.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the news "deeply troubling" and said, "Creating new human lives in the laboratory solely to destroy them is an abuse denounced even by many who do not share the Catholic Church's convictions on human life ... It is inconsistent with our moral responsibility to treat each member of the human family as a unique gift of God, as a person with his or her own inherent dignity."
Indeed, as the Church teaches, it is gravely immoral to sacrifice a human life for therapeutic ends. In light of this troubling news, I am sending you an article by HLI's director of research and education Dr. Brian Clowes to provide more information on the embryonic stem cell issue. It's important that we recognize and understand these threats to life and human dignity to confidently speak out against them in public.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Can We Support Stem Cell Research?
Stem Cells in General
Much of the confusion over stem cell research involves misunderstanding of terms, so let's begin with some definitions.
Stem cells are immature cells that are undifferentiated (i.e., they have not yet "decided" what kind of cell to be). A stem cell divides into two cells: (1) a duplicate of itself and (2) a cell that develops into a more specialized cell type (i.e., an eye, liver, skin or blood cell). Since stem cells replace themselves every time they divide, they are capable of long-term self-renewal.[i]
Because they are immature, stem cells can be used to treat injuries or diseases. Scientists can make stem cells reach their full healing potential by developing procedures that mature them into the correct type of stable tissue that functions normally, then by making them safe for transplantation, and finally by developing surgical procedures that maximize their ability to treat or cure diseases or injuries.
The instruction Dignitas personae provides guidance on which types of stem cells may be used for research and treatment: "Methods which do not cause serious harm to the subject from whom the stem cells are taken are to be considered licit. This is generally the case when tissues are taken from: a) an adult organism; b) the blood of the umbilical cord at the time of birth; c) fetuses who have died of natural causes" .
It should be noted that the tissues of unborn children who have died due to miscarriage are generally unsuitable for research, since they deteriorate rapidly after death.
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (HESCs)
HESCs are harvested from human embryos that are typically between three and six days old. At this point, the blastocyst consists of about 140 cells. Most of these will form the placenta, and a small interior cluster of cells are "pluripotent" stem cells -- able to produce all of the many different types of cell in the human body. This feature of HESCs makes them very attractive to scientists.
Harvesting HESCs involves removing the inner cell cluster from the blastocyst and culturing it with various growth factors to produce specific types of cells. This procedure always results in the destruction of the early human being. This means that this procedure is morally equivalent to an abortion and can never be allowed [Dignitas personae, 32].
There are also extremely serious medical problems with HESCs. Their growth is very difficult to control, and they usually produce fatal tumors or convert themselves into cancer cells.[ii] Theoretically, this might not be the case if the embryonic cells were matured into adult cells, but this has proven to be almost impossible to achieve. Even matured HESCs continue to produce tumors.[iii] Finally, cells transplanted from an embryo are always attacked by the recipient's immune system, and so the patient must be treated with immunosuppressive drugs that have a variety of side effects. Since these difficult problems have not been overcome, all that embryonic stem cell research currently offers is promises of future cures.
Some have suggested that scientists clone a human embryo from a patient's own cells, thereby overcoming the rejection problem, but this procedure is still illicit since it would involve the destruction of the embryo.
Although intensive research has been done on human embryonic stem cells since 1998, not a single workable cure has been found.
Adult Stem Cells
An adult stem cell is defined as any stem cell in a human being older than a seven-day embryo. These cells are found throughout the body and in the umbilical cord. Their purpose is to replace damaged or worn-out cells throughout a person's life. They are more limited in their capabilities than HESCs, because they can only differentiate into a limited number of cell types -- for example, a blood stem cell can become a lymphocyte, monocyte or some other type of blood cell, but it cannot become a non-blood cell such as a bone cell or an eye cell. These cells are "multipotent."
Unlike HESCs, adult stem cells show a lot more than mere "promise." They have cured numerous people with serious diseases, and have been doing so for decades. Adult stem cells can currently cure more than seventy medical conditions, and there are more than 4,400 ongoing or recently completed government-funded clinical trials using adult stem cells in the USA.[iv]
The greatest moral advantage that adult stem cells have over embryonic stem cells is that no life is taken in acquiring them. There are also several other great advantages to using adult stem cells in therapeutic applications, which is what the entire field is supposed to be interested in: They are grown from the patient's own body, so there is no problem with immune reactions; they are much easier to harvest, since they exist all over the body, even in fat cells; and finally, they are much easier to control, and do not form cancerous tumors, as do HESCs.
Reprogrammed Somatic Cells
The third type of stem cell is the induced pluripotent stem cell, or iPSC. These are adult body ("somatic") cells that are reprogrammed into a state that is very similar to a human embryonic stem cell. They are not identical to HESCs, but have the same function, which means that they can produce any type of adult cell. One of the great advantages of these cells is that they are taken from the patient's own body, thereby making rejection impossible because they are "immune-matched" to the patient.
Another advantage of iPSCs is that they do not require the destruction of a human embryo. However, iPSCs may potentially grow tumors like HESCs, have low replication rates and suffer from premature aging. Importantly, some pro-life ethicists and leaders have raised serious questions about the nature of iPSCs, asking whether they are actually reprogrammed into becoming tiny embryos. We would do well to continue to be vigilant as this area of research continues to grow.
By now, we have all heard critics of the Catholic Church alleging that the Church is "anti-science" and is "holding up human progress." Not surprisingly, the exact opposite is the truth, and the debate over embryonic stem cell research is probably the best example of this principle.
In the late 1990s, pro-abortion scientists and politicians promised a glittering crop of miracle cures from ESCR, if only those pesky, backwards pro-lifers would just step aside and stop hindering scientific progress with their "Medieval" morality. The government and private corporations have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into embryonic stem cell research, which has yielded zero cures, while adult stem cell research, supported by the Church, has produced successful treatments for a host of diseases.
In other words, the morally acceptable, Church supported, stem cell research option has actually been successful, yet scientists continue the unethical destruction of human embryos with their focus on ESCR.
[i]Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Dignitas personae ["On Certain Bioethical Questions"], June 20, 2008, ¶31.
[ii] Rick Weiss. "Embryonic Stem Cells Found to Acquire Mutations." Washington Post, September 5, 2005.
[iii] Maureen L. Condic. "The Basics about Stem Cells." First Things, January 2002, pages 30 to 34; Maureen L. Condic. "A Comprehensive Primer on Stem Cells." The National Catholic Bioethics Center, August 2009.