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Hot buttons election.

Writing half-way during the election campaign, it is clear that the hot-button items nobody wanted to mention are front and centre of the campaign. And so they should be. There are no more important issues than abortion, same-sex "marriage" (S.S."M"), and the silencing of society attempted by Bill C-250--now law. The last adds an undefined "sexual orientation" phrase to the existing Hate Crimes Law, which itself leaves "hate" undefined. This is dangerous stuff.

It is, I believe, ironic, or should I say disingenous, how abortion and S.S."M" made it to the front pages of the newspapers and onto the TV screens and the radio. It was not an achievement of the pro-life camp, at least not directly. Rather, it was the accomplishment of the media themselves.

Reporters, journalists, commentators, who are almost to a man and woman pro-abortion or, as the saying goes "pro-choice," hoped to embarrass Conservative leader Stephen Harper by bringing up these issues. According to their suggestive opinions, it was part of Harper's "secret agenda'" which they intended to expose.

In their view, to be "pro-life" is a dreadful handicap. Don't the polls indicate that 75% of Canadians are content with the status quo? Surely then, the possibility of a new debate on these subjects is "disturbing" and "frightening," "abhorrent" and "scary;" only "extremists" will do this kind of thing.

Time and again the reporters ferretted out such "extremists" among Conservative candidates: MP Bob Merrifield, who proposed mandatory counselling for mothers before getting an abortion; MP Cheryl Gallant, who acually thinks that abortion is killing; Conservative candidate Frank Luellau (Kitchener-Conestoga) who believes that same-sex "marriage" is unnatural and contrary to the good of society. What can be more frightening than these cranks and weirdos, no doubt all narrow-minded Evangelical Christians!

Some thoughtful Catholics, perhaps with no strong political convictions, may have been surprised to see that the identical views taught by our Church and cherished by many were characterised by the media as "extreme" and "bigoted." They may have been even more taken aback to find the man frequently described as a "devout Catholic," to be absolutely intransigent on his "pro-choice" position, even to the point of announcing that he had no intention of allowing a free and democratic debate on the subject and that if one were to take place, he would pay no attention to it as Prime Minister.

On same-sex "marriage," too, Mr. Paul Martin proved unmovable. He would follow the Charter, he said, and nothing else. "What," he was asked at the G-8 summit in Georgia, USA, by CTV television (June 9)," if it came to choosing between his religion or the Charter of Rights on the issue?" Martin: "I'll take the Charter. I believe, given the importance of the Charter in defending individual rights, that you can't pick and choose the rights as a Parliament that you're going to support."

How can a person repeatedly be reported by the newspapers as a "devout Catholic" even come to such a conclusion, exchanging Revealed Religion which has shed the brilliant light of Divine Wisdom upon our darkened souls over thousands of years for a Charter of Rights and Freedoms made in Canada 22 years ago, as the guiding light of his public life? It is absurd and, yet, apparently true. "Lord," prays one saint, "do not deprive our souls of the spiritual vision of you nor our bodies of your warmth and sweetness. The mortality lurking in our bodies spreads corruption through us; may the spiritual waters of your love cleanse the effects of mortality from our hearts ..." (St. Ephrem).

As shown in February and May, Mr. Martin's preference for this man-made Charter over the Ten Commandments is not a sudden change of heart but rather a long-thought-out conviction. There is no point in trying to guess how this has come about. Suffice it to say for now, that Mr. Martin's position is dead wrong.

It was a relief therefore, to see that the Catholic bishop of Calgary, Frederick Henry, refused to remain silent and decided that this public apostasy required a public reply. In an article in the Calgary Sun, he pointed out that Catholic politicians who publicly endorse abortion or same-sex "marriage" should not be given Holy Communion when they present themselves. Then, one week later, he published a short pastoral letter in which he characterized Mr. Martin as "morally incoherent" and "a scandal to the Catholic community."

I want to thank and congratulate him for rising to the challenge.
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Author:de Valk, Alphonse
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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