"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Religious liberty continues to be a continuing concern for Americans. These file photos show citizens supporting efforts to ensure religious freedom at a June 2012 rally on Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
The 28th World Day will be celebrated July 23-28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event has evolved to a format involving a number of days of growing in and sharing the faith with youths from throughout the world.
Pope Benedict XVI issued the message for the Day on October 18, 2012. His message follows:
"I greet all of you with great joy and affection. I am sure that many of you returned from World Youth Day in Madrid all the more 'planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith' (cf. Col 2:7). This year in our Dioceses we celebrated the joy of being Christians, taking as our theme: 'Rejoice in the Lord always' (Phil 4:4). And now we are preparing for the next World Youth Day, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2013.
"Before all else, I invite you once more to take part in this important event. The celebrated statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking that beautiful Brazilian city will be an eloquent symbol for us. Christ's open arms are a sign of His willingness to embrace all those who come to Him, and His heart represents His immense love for everyone and for each of you. Let yourselves be drawn to Christ! Experience this encounter along with all the other young people who will converge on Rio for the next World Youth Day! Accept Christ's love and you will be the witnesses so needed by our world.
"I invite you to prepare for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro by meditating even now on the theme of the meeting: 'Go and make disciples of all nations!' (cf. Mt 28:19). This is the great missionary mandate that Christ gave the whole Church, and today, two thousand years later, it remains as urgent as ever. This mandate should resound powerfully in your hearts. The year of preparation for the gathering in Rio coincides with the Year of Faith, which began with the Synod of Bishops devoted to 'The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.' I am happy that you too, dear young people, are involved in this missionary outreach on the part of the whole Church. To make Christ known is the most precious gift that you can give to others.
"History shows how many young people, by their generous gift of self, made a great contribution to the Kingdom of God and the development of this world by proclaiming the Gospel. Filled with enthusiasm, they brought the Good News of God's Love made manifest in Christ; they used the means and possibilities then available, which were far inferior to those we have today. One example which comes to mind is Blessed José de Anchieta. He was a young Spanish Jesuit of the sixteenth century who went as a missionary to Brazil before he was twenty years old and became a great apostle of the New World. But I also think of those among yourselves who are generously devoted to the Church's mission. I saw a wonderful testimony of this at World Youth Day in Madrid, particularly at the meeting with volunteers.
"Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way. More generally, however, young people look at the difficulties of our world and ask themselves: is there anything I can do? The light of faith illumines this darkness. It helps us to understand that every human life is priceless because each of us is the fruit of God's love. God loves everyone, even those who have fallen away from Him or disregard Him. God waits patiently. Indeed, God gave His Son to die and rise again in order to free us radically from evil. Christ sent His disciples forth to bring this joyful message of salvation and new life to all people everywhere.
I Shall Open My Heart to all who honor Me.”
— Revelation of the Sacred Heart
"The Church, in continuing this mission of evangelization, is also counting on you. Dear young people, you are the first missionaries among your contemporaries! At the end of the Second Vatican Council – whose fiftieth anniversary we are celebrating this year – the Servant of God Paul VI consigned a message to the youth of the world. It began: 'It is to you, young men and women of the world, that the Council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders and to live in the world at the period of the most massive transformations ever realized in its history. It is you who, taking up the best of the example and the teaching of your parents and your teachers, will shape the society of tomorrow. You will either be saved or perish with it.' It concluded with the words: 'Build with enthusiasm a better world than what we have today!' (Message to Young People, December 8, 1965).
"Dear friends, this invitation remains timely. We are passing through a very particular period of history. Technical advances have given us unprecedented possibilities for interaction between people and nations. But the globalization of these relationships will be positive and help the world to grow in humanity only if it is founded on love rather than on materialism. Love is the only thing that can fill hearts and bring people together. God is love. When we forget God, we lose hope and become unable to love others. That is why it is so necessary to testify to God's presence so that others can experience it. The salvation of humanity depends on this, as well as the salvation of each of us. Anyone who understands this can only exclaim with Saint Paul: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!' (1 Cor 9:16).
"This missionary vocation comes to you for another reason as well, and that is because it is necessary for our personal journey in faith. Blessed John Paul II wrote that 'faith is strengthened when it is given to others!' (Redemptoris Missio, 2). When you proclaim the Gospel, you yourselves grow as you become more deeply rooted in Christ and mature as Christians. Missionary commitment is an essential dimension of faith. We cannot be true believers if we do not evangelize. The proclamation of the Gospel can only be the result of the joy that comes from meeting Christ and finding in Him the rock on which our lives can be built. When you work to help others and proclaim the Gospel to them, then your own lives, so often fragmented because of your many activities, will find their unity in the Lord. You will also build up your own selves, and you will grow and mature in humanity.
"What does it mean to be a missionary? Above all, it means being a disciple of Christ. It means listening ever anew to the invitation to follow Him and look to Him: 'Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart' (Mt 11:29). A disciple is a person attentive to Jesus' word (cf. Lk 10:39), someone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Teacher Who has loved us so much that He gave His life for us. Each one of you, therefore, should let yourself be shaped by God's word every day. This will make you friends of the Lord Jesus and enable you to lead other young people to friendship with Him.
"I encourage you to think of the gifts you have received from God so that you can pass them on to others in turn. Learn to reread your personal history. Be conscious of the wonderful legacy passed down to you from previous generations. So many faith-filled people have been courageous in handing down the faith in the face of trials and incomprehension. Let us never forget that we are links in a great chain of men and women who have transmitted the truth of the faith and who depend on us to pass it on to others. Being a missionary presupposes knowledge of this legacy, which is the faith of the Church. It is necessary to know what you believe in, so that you can proclaim it. As I wrote in the introduction to the YouCat, the catechism for young people that I gave you at World Youth Day in Madrid, 'you need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination' (Foreward).
"Jesus sent His disciples forth on mission with this command: 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved' (Mk 16:15-16). To evangelize means to bring the Good News of salvation to others and to let them know that this Good News is a person: Jesus Christ. When I meet Him, when I discover how much I am loved by God and saved by God, I begin to feel not only the desire, but also the need to make God known to others. At the beginning of John's Gospel we see how Andrew, immediately after he met Jesus, ran off to fetch his brother Simon (cf. 1:40-42). Evangelization always begins with an encounter with the Lord Jesus. Those who come to Jesus and have experienced His love, immediately want to share the beauty of the meeting and the joy born of His friendship. The more we know Christ, the more we want to talk about Him. The more we speak with Christ, the more we want to speak about Him. The more we are won over by Christ, the more we want to draw others to Him.
"Through Baptism, which brings us to new life, the Holy Spirit abides in us and inflames our minds and hearts. The Spirit shows us how to know God and to enter into ever deeper friendship with Christ. It is the Spirit Who encourages us to do good, to serve others, and to give of ourselves. Through Confirmation we are strengthened by the gifts of the Spirit so that we can bear witness to the Gospel in an increasingly mature way. It is the Spirit of love, therefore, Who is the driving force behind our mission. The Spirit impels us to go out from ourselves and to 'go forth' to evangelize. Dear young people, allow yourselves to be led on by the power of God's love. Let that love overcome the tendency to remain enclosed in your own world with your own problems and your own habits. Have the courage to 'go out' from yourselves in order to 'go forth' towards others and to show them the way to an encounter with God.
"The risen Christ sent His disciples forth to bear witness to His saving presence before all the nations, because God in His superabundant love wants everyone to be saved and no one to be lost. By His loving sacrifice on the cross, Jesus opened up the way for every man and woman to come to know God and enter into a communion of love with Him. He formed a community of disciples to bring the saving message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth and to reach men and women in every time and place. Let us make God's desire our own!
"Dear friends, open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. Go forth! Christ needs you too. Let yourselves be caught up and drawn along by His love. Be at the service of this immense love, so it can reach out to everyone, especially to those 'far away.' Some people are far away geographically, but others are far away because their way of life has no place for God. Some people have not yet personally received the Gospel, while others have been given it, but live as if God did not exist. Let us open our hearts to everyone. Let us enter into conversation in simplicity and respect. If this conversation is held in true friendship, it will bear fruit. The 'nations' that we are invited to reach out to are not only other countries in the world. They are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work, groups of friends, and places where we spend our free time. The joyful proclamation of the Gospel is meant for all the areas of our lives, without exception.
"I would like to emphasize two areas where your missionary commitment is all the more necessary. Dear young people, the first is the field of social communications, particularly the world of the internet. As I mentioned to you on another occasion: 'I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. [...] It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent" ' (Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, May 24, 2009). Learn how to use these media wisely. Be aware of the hidden dangers they contain, especially the risk of addiction, of confusing the real world with the virtual, and of replacing direct and personal encounters and dialogue with internet contacts.
"The second area is that of travel and migration. Nowadays more and more young people travel, sometimes for their studies or work, and at other times for pleasure. I am also thinking of the movements of migration which involve millions of people, very often young, who go to other regions or countries for financial or social reasons. Here too we can find providential opportunities for sharing the Gospel. Dear young people, do not be afraid to witness to your faith in these settings. It is a precious gift for those you meet when you communicate the joy of an encounter with Christ.
"I imagine that you have at times found it difficult to invite your contemporaries to an experience of faith. You have seen how many young people, especially at certain points in their life journey, desire to know Christ and to live the values of the Gospel, but also feel inadequate and incapable. What can we do? First, your closeness and your witness will themselves be a way in which God can touch their hearts. Proclaiming Christ is not only a matter of words, but something which involves one's whole life and translates into signs of love. It is the love that Christ has poured into our hearts which makes us evangelizers. Consequently, our love must become more and more like Christ's own love. We should always be prepared, like the Good Samaritan, to be attentive to those we meet, to listen, to be understanding, and to help. In this way we can lead those who are searching for the truth and for meaning in life to God's house, the Church, where hope and salvation abide (cf. Lk 10:29-37). Dear friends, never forget that the first act of love that you can do for others is to share the source of our hope. If we do not give them God, we give them too little! Jesus commanded His Apostles: 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.' (Mt 28:19-20). The main way that we have to 'make disciples' is through Baptism and catechesis. This means leading the people we are evangelizing to encounter the living Christ above all in His word and in the sacraments. In this way they can believe in Him, they can come to know God, and to live in His grace. I would like each of you to ask yourself: Have I ever had the courage to propose Baptism to young people who have not received it? Have I ever invited anyone to embark on a journey of discovery of the Christian faith? Dear friends, do not be afraid to suggest an encounter with Christ to people of your own age. Ask the Holy Spirit for help. The Spirit will show you the way to know and love Christ even more fully, and to be creative in spreading the Gospel.
"When faced with difficulties in the mission of evangelizing, perhaps you will be tempted to say, like the prophet Jeremiah: 'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.' But God will say to you too: 'Do not say, "I am only a youth"; for to all to whom I send you you shall go' (Jer 1:6-7). Whenever you feel inadequate, incapable, and weak in proclaiming and witnessing to the faith, do not be afraid. Evangelization is not our initiative, and it does not depend on our talents. It is a faithful and obedient response to God's call and so it is not based on our power but on God's. Saint Paul knew this from experience: 'But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us' (2 Cor 4:7).
“In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you.” (Sir 3:8)
"For this reason, I encourage you to make prayer and the sacraments your foundation. Authentic evangelization is born of prayer and sustained by prayer. We must first speak with God in order to be able to speak about God. In prayer, we entrust to the Lord the people to whom we have been sent, asking Him to touch their hearts. We ask the Holy Spirit to make us His instruments for their salvation. We ask Christ to put His words on our lips and to make us signs of His love. In a more general way, we pray for the mission of the whole Church, as Jesus explicitly asked us: 'Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest' (Mt 9:38). Find in the Eucharist the wellspring of your life of faith and Christian witness, regularly attending Mass each Sunday and whenever you can during the week. Approach the sacrament of Reconciliation frequently. It is a very special encounter with God's mercy in which He welcomes us, forgives us, and renews our hearts in charity. Make an effort to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation if you have not already done so, and prepare yourselves for it with care and commitment. Confirmation is, like the Eucharist, a sacrament of mission, for it gives us the strength and love of the Holy Spirit to profess fearlessly our faith. I also encourage you to practice Eucharistic adoration. Time spent in listening and talking with Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament becomes a source of new missionary enthusiasm.
"If you follow this path, Christ Himself will give you the ability to be completely faithful to His word and to bear faithful and courageous witness to Him. At times you will be called to give proof of your perseverance, particularly when the word of God is met with rejection or opposition. In certain areas of the world, some of you suffer from the fact that you cannot bear public witness to your faith in Christ due to the lack of religious freedom. Some have already paid with their lives the price of belonging to the Church. I ask you to remain firm in the faith, confident that Christ is at your side in every trial. To you too He says: 'Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven' (Mt 5:11-12).
"Dear young people, if you are to remain firm in professing the Christian faith wherever you are sent, you need the Church. No one can bear witness to the Gospel alone. Jesus sent forth His disciples on mission together. He spoke to them in the plural when He said: 'Make disciples.' Our witness is always given as members of the Christian community, and our mission is made fruitful by the communion lived in the Church. It is by our unity and love for one another that others will recognize us as Christ's disciples (cf. Jn 13:35). I thank God for the wonderful work of evangelization being carried out by our Christian communities, our parishes, and our ecclesial movements. The fruits of this evangelization belong to the whole Church. As Jesus said: 'One sows and another reaps' (Jn 4:37).
"Here I cannot fail to express my gratitude for the great gift of missionaries, who devote themselves completely to proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I also thank the Lord for priests and consecrated persons, who give themselves totally so that Jesus Christ will be proclaimed and loved. Here I would like to encourage young people who are called by God to commit themselves with enthusiasm to these vocations: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35). To those who leave everything to follow Him, Jesus promised a hundredfold as much and eternal life besides (cf. Mt 19:29).
"I also give thanks for all those lay men and women who do their best to live their daily lives as mission wherever they find themselves, at home or at work, so that Christ will be loved and served and that the Kingdom of God will grow. I think especially of all those who work in the fields of education, health care, business, politics, and finance, and in the many other areas of the lay apostolate. Christ needs your commitment and your witness. Let nothing – whether difficulties or lack of understanding – discourage you from bringing the Gospel of Christ wherever you find yourselves. Each of you is a precious piece in the great mosaic of evangelization!
"Finally, dear young people, I would ask all of you to hear, in the depths of your heart, Jesus' call to proclaim His Gospel. As the great statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro shows, His heart is open with love for each and every person, and His arms are open wide to reach out to everyone. Be yourselves the heart and arms of Jesus! Go forth and bear witness to His love! Be a new generation of missionaries, impelled by love and openness to all! Follow the example of the Church's great missionaries like Saint Francis Xavier and so many others.
"At the conclusion of World Youth Day in Madrid, I blessed a number of young people from the different continents who were going forth on mission. They represented all those young people who, echoing the words of the prophet Isaiah, have said to the Lord: 'Here I am. Send me!' (Is 6:8). The Church has confidence in you and she thanks you for the joy and energy that you contribute. Generously put your talents to use in the service of the proclamation of the Gospel! We know that the Holy Spirit is granted to those who open their hearts to this proclamation. And do not be afraid: Jesus, the Savior of the world, is with us every day until the end of time (cf. Mt 28:20).
"This call, which I make to the youth of the whole world, has a particular resonance for you, dear young people of Latin America! During the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Bishops, in Aparecida in 2007, the Bishops launched a 'continental mission.' Young people form a majority of the population in South America and they are an important and precious resource for the Church and society. Be in the first line of missionaries! Now that World Youth Day is coming back to Latin America, I ask you, the young people on the continent, to transmit the enthusiasm of your faith to your contemporaries from all over the world!
"May Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelization, whom we also invoke under the titles of Our Lady of Aparecida and Our Lady of Guadalupe, accompany each of you in your mission as a witness to God's love. To all of you, with particular affection, I impart my Apostolic Blessing."
(Editor's note: The following is a press release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
WASHINGTON—The second annual Fortnight for Freedom will take place from June 21 to July 4, and will consist of national and local efforts to educate Americans on challenges to religious liberty both at home and abroad. As with last year's Fortnight, the event will begin and end with a special Mass.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, will open the 2013 Fortnight for Freedom by celebrating Mass at Baltimore's historic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m. EDT. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington will celebrate the closing Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on July 4 at 12 p.m. EDT.
"The need for prayer, education, and action in defense of religious liberty has never been greater," explained Archbishop Lori. "The Fortnight for Freedom exists to meet that need. This year's Fortnight occurs just weeks before August 1, when the administration's mandate coercing us to violate our deeply-held beliefs will be enforced against most religious non-profits. During the Fortnight the Supreme Court's decisions on the definition of marriage will likely be handed down as well. Those decisions could have a profound impact on religious freedom for generations to come."
Further details about the Fortnight can be found at www.Fortnight4Freedom.org. . . . The site hosts resources such as one-page fact sheets outlining current threats to religious freedom both in the United States and abroad; frequently asked questions about religious liberty, including quotes from the Founding Fathers, the Second Vatican Council, and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI; and a study guide on Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II's document on religious liberty. The website also lists sample activities already planned in several dioceses, an image gallery of photos from last year's Fortnight celebrations, as well as resources and recommendations for other local efforts, such as prayers for use in special liturgies.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, addressed the UN's Human Rights Council meeting on March 7. His address follows:
"Mr. President, far from abating, the scourge of human trafficking is growing and it becomes more diversified with the increase of human mobility and with the globalization of communication and trade. The focus on the sale, prostitution of children, and child pornography by the latest Report of the Special Rapporteur underlines a global trend of human trafficking. The latest Report by the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime on Human Trafficking (2012) paints a grim picture of the millions of people trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor: they come from at least 136 different nationalities and have been found in 118 countries. Although the majority of such persons are women (55-60%), the flow of children is growing alarmingly quickly from 20% between 2003-2006 to 27% between 2007-2010. Among the total of trafficking cases identified globally, trafficking for sexual exploitation accounts for 58%.
"The Report of the Special Rapporteur shows with accuracy how children can become victims of the sexual fantasies of adults. The phenomenon is certainly not new, but recently it has been unleashed by the liberalization of sexual behavior. Past and current studies have made it clear that the goal of traffickers is mainly economic. They seek to maximize their profit-making activities by using human beings as 'commodities.' The international community is confronted with a criminal market that generates billions of dollars for the traffickers. When the risks of engaging in such activity are low, high profits become tempting. The Special Rapporteur's Report shows that, in the case of trafficking children, risks are low in many ways and in many parts of the world. There is a clear need to update legislation, increase international and regional cooperation, share information and good practices, combat impunity and corruption, enhance judicial practices, care for the victims, and provide ways to reintegrate them into a normal and dignified life in society.
"Mr. President, as in every market, the offer serves a demand. Child trafficking exists because there is a demand. To disrupt the market, we need to confront and fight the 'consumers' who are willing to pay for the 'services' of children. Such activities could be effectively prevented by enacting and implementing legislation that criminalizes the consumption of child pornography or the sexual abuse of a child.
"Legal measures, however, are not enough. As the Report of the Special Rapporteur points out, prevention also should address the consumerist culture that stimulates and promotes the unhealthy and immature sexual desires that drive 'consumers' to this market. Legitimate questions should be posed about why many tourists seek such 'services' that cause such irreversible harm to children. Prevention should dare to ask what has happened to the tourist seeking that kind of 'service.' How is the consumer market for sexual exploitation created in the first place? If the understanding of individual freedom rejects the ethical boundaries imposed by nature itself, the trafficking of persons and the violation of their innate dignity will continue to occur, and the action of the State will be ineffective.
"The persistent economic crisis, current wars, and civil conflicts, the high prices of food, famine, abject poverty, and migration, political upheavals, failed States, these are as many opportunities for human traffickers to prey upon vulnerable victims. The predator practice of traffickers feeds on the weakest, people already in need and therefore easy to kidnap, enslave, and reduce to 'commodities.' A concrete example of human trafficking is the ring operating in the Horn of Africa and the Sinai region: it offers a 'real-life' sample of the cycle of abuse that is unleashed by trafficking of human persons. To prevent this scourge we must reinforce human security and address the root causes that make people vulnerable. To combat this trade is to discourage criminal groups from seeking out and exploiting innocent victims.
"Mr. President, among the shocking practices of human trafficking, the case of children requires special and urgent attention and action on both humanitarian and moral grounds. Identifying survivors, providing them support, preparing them for a productive life free of traumas, and developing an effective prosecution of traffickers are the joint tasks of the private and public sectors of society. Victims, however, will find real protection if the prevention task is taken seriously by changing a culture that justifies their exploitation and tolerates with impunity the violation of human security, a breeding ground of human vulnerability.
"Pope John Paul II, in a Letter on the occasion of the International Conference on '21st Century Slavery—the Human Rights Dimension to Trafficking in Human Beings,' stated that human trafficking 'constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights. In particular, the sexual exploitation of women and children is an especially repugnant aspect of this trade, and must be recognized as an intrinsic violation of human dignity and human rights' (Letter to Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, May 15, 2002)."
Fred H. Summe is Vice President of Northern Kentucky Right to Life, P.O. Box 1202, Covington, Kentucky 41012
"Trial of the century" is how the pro-abortion reporter, Megan McArdle of the Daily Beast, described the grizzly two-month trial of late-term abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, conducted this spring.
In response to the question why the secular pro-abortion news media has given little and late coverage to this trial, McArdle responded: "To start, it makes me ill. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the Grand Jury inquiry. …But I understand why my readers suspect me, and other pro-choice mainstream journalists, of being selective – or not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories – if the sick-making was done by 'our side.' "
In January, 2011, Kermit Gosnell, M.D., 69, a family practice physician, who had no certification in gynecology or obstetrics, was arrested and indicted for murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, and seven counts of murder for killing seven living infants. Along with him, nine other employees, including his wife, were also arrested and indicted.
It was only after a raid on the facility for a drug bust that authorities discovered this "house of horrors" and how gruesome was this Philadelphia abortion mill which had been operated by Gosnell for the last 30 years.
In the midst of unspeakable filth, the investigators found: "…the ancient, rusty, blood-stained medical equipment, …the dirty, disposable, surgical instruments that had been reused over and over, …the leaking roof, …and the stench of death and cat urine."
Dr. Sam Gulino, Chief Medical Examiner for the City of Philadelphia, testified that Mongar's baby was estimated to be 16 to 19 weeks gestation and that he found no fetal abnormalities when he examined the baby's body, other than a deep gash approximately an inch long in the back of the baby's neck. Mongar's abortion took place in 2007, meaning that those remains had been stored in a freezer at the clinic for three years, reports lifesitenews.com.
Former Gosnell employee Lynda Williams testified that a baby had been delivered into a toilet at the clinic in Gosnell's absence. She told the court that when she saw the baby moving, she picked him up and stabbed him in the back of the neck with surgical scissors, as Gosnell had taught her to do.
Williams and others testified that the snipping of the spinal cords was to "ensure fetal demise," as if this gruesome technique was used as an insurance policy to make sure the baby was actually dead. Yet all the "snippings" took place after the babies were born, continued lifesitenews.com.
Philadelphia District Attorney, R. Seth Williams, a Democrat, released the 281-page Grand Jury report disclosing the evidence on which the arrest for eight counts of murder was based.
Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old Nepalese refugee, died on November 20, 2009, after she overdosed on painkillers during an abortion in her nineteenth week of pregnancy.
The Grand Jury reported that a 15-year-old high school student administered intravenous anesthetic and that Pearl Gosnell, the abortionist's wife, a cosmetologist, performed late-term abortions.
"Had state and local officials performed their duties properly, Gosnell's clinic would have been shut down decades ago," the Grand Jury wrote. "If inspectors had looked solely for violations of Pennsylvania abortion regulations, there would have been ample grounds to revoke the approval of Gosnell's clinic as an abortion provider – as was demonstrated when DOH inspectors finally entered the facility in February 2010."
"Complaints about Gosnell to state regulators went nowhere, even though 46 lawsuits were filed against him," reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The following pictures were published in the Grand Jury report, and obtained through the website of Operation Rescue (operationrescue.org):
Baby Boy A was aborted by Gosnell at 32 weeks, maybe later. After killing him, Gosnell cruelly joked, “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.”
"Baby Boy B"
Baby Boy aborted by Gosnell that was born alive and murdered by cutting the
spinal cord with scissors.
"The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all…With the change of administration from Governor [Robert] Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be 'putting a barrier up to women' seeking abortion. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay. …Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety," states the Grand Jury report.
The late Governor Bob Casey, a Catholic, was one of the few true pro-life Democrats. Tom Ridge was and continues to be a strong pro-abortion Catholic Democrat. The Grand Jury report was released a day after Republican Tom Corbett replaced Democrat Governor Ed Rendell.
"Most appalling of all," said the Grand Jury, "the Department of Health's neglect of abortion patients' safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design."
The National Abortion Federation did inspect Gosnell's abortion clinic, finding it abhorrent, and thus denied him NAF membership. However, NAF did not report him to health authorities.
"The [NAF] evaluator told the Grand Jury that this was the first time in her experience that NAF had outright rejected a provider for membership. Usually, if a clinic is able to fix deficiencies and come into compliance with the standards, NAF will admit them. Gosnell's clinic, however, was deemed beyond redemption," states the Grand Jury report. "We have to question why an evaluator from NAF, whose stated mission is to ensure safe, legal, and acceptable abortion care, and to promote health and justice for women, did not report Gosnell to authorities."
One hears little concern expressed by the pro-abortion movement. Even though we have so often been inundated with the expression "keep abortion safe and legal," decrying the so-called return of the "back alley abortions," we hear little concern from the abortion industry, who consistently protests and impedes legislation to regulate and inspect abortion mills. All legislation which require the abortionist to inform a woman of what an abortion is, stages of development of a preborn child, risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion, have always met heavy protests and opposition from those who, while making money from killing babies, cry that we must protect a "woman's right to reproductive freedom."
"It's hard to tell the extent of egregious offenders because the abortion industry is almost completely unregulated," said Dr. Donna Harrison of Eau Claire, Michigan, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, reports the Enquirer.
Fox News analyst and Daily Beast columnist Kristen Powers, a liberal feminist, criticizes her colleagues for downplaying Gosnell's trial: "Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations? This should be front-page news. This is not about being 'pro-choice' or 'pro-life.' It's about basic human rights. The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace."
The abortionist Gosnell's indictments include the murdering of seven children. Since these children were born alive, and then killed by this abortionist, the act committed is in fact infanticide, subjecting him to criminal prosecution.
This again demonstrates how inconsistent and absurd our country's laws are as a result of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, in which the Supreme Court decriminalized the killing of an unborn child up until its birth, for any reason and by any method.
The gruesome and painful death endured by the children killed by Gosnell is the same gruesome and painful death these children would have experienced by an abortion performed when they still resided in their mother's womb, where no one would have heard the "silent scream."
Gosnell is being indicted for murdering a human person. Are the children he killed somehow more human on the outside of their mother's womb than they were minutes ago on the inside? Are they any more of a human person because they were in a stage of life referred to as sixth month or a stage of life referred to as nineteenth week, than a human person at the stage referred to as fertilization, when the egg and sperm are joined and a new, unique individual life begins, one which had never existed before and will never exist again?
At the time this article is going to press, the jury is still deliberating.
(Editor's note: At final press time the jury has just returned a verdict of guilty of three counts of 1st degree murder.)
Chaplain Emil Kapaun has been declared a Servant of God, the first step for formal canonization. He also recently was awarded the Medal of Honor, over 60 years after his death.
He has long been remembered by those who knew him however. Fr. Arthur Tonne wrote Chaplain Kapaun: Patriot Priest of the Korean Conflict. The "Crossroads" TV episode "The Good Thief" told of him in 1955. More recently his story has been retold in The Miracle of Fr. Kapaun: Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero, a book by Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying as well as an eight-part mini-series and DVD.
"He has left us a stirring example of devotion to duty," Tonne wrote. "He has passed on to us a spirit of tolerance and understanding. He has given us a share of dauntless bravery — of body and soul. He has transmitted to every one of us a new appreciation of America, and a keener, more realistic understanding of our country's greatest enemy — godlessness, now stalking the world in the form of communism. He has bequeathed a picture of Christ-like life."
Kapaun became a chaplain in 1943 at Herington Army Airfield, Kansas. When the Korean War broke out, he served there on the Pusan perimeter. He was constantly on the move northward. His main complaint was lack of sleep for several weeks at a time.
Although a retreat had been ordered, the "Padre" showed heroic virtue by staying behind to tend the wounded and comfort the dying, and continuing to make his rounds even as hand-to-hand combat ensued. He convinced an injured Chinese officer to negotiate the safe surrender of American forces and then, when he saw a Chinese soldier about to execute a wounded GI, Kapaun calmly pushed aside the enemy and carried the U.S. soldier away.
He carried Sgt. Herbert Miller for four miles as the North Koreans marched the POWs 87 miles to Pyoktong prison camp. He picked up soldiers who stumbled and encouraged those who had almost given up to keep walking, for fear that they would be shot.
At the awards ceremony, President Obama said, "This is the valor we honor today, an American soldier who didn't fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all: a love for his brothers so pure that he is willing to die so that they might live."
"Without him, a lot of fellows would have never made it," Miller says. At the prison camp, in freezing temperatures, Kapaun offered fellow prisoners his own clothes. He dug latrines, snuck past guards to forage in the fields for extra food, convinced the POWs to share, pounded metal into pots to catch water to wash their clothes, and cleansed their wounds. He even led prisoners in acts of defiance and smuggled dysentery drugs to the doctor, Sidney Esensten.
Kapaun led night prayer, saying the rosary and administering sacraments, and even led Easter services. The Communist guards naturally ridiculed his devotion to the Savior. They took his clothes and made him stand in the freezing cold for hours. Yet, he never lost his faith. If anything, it only grew stronger.
"That faith, that they might be delivered from evil, that they could make it home, was perhaps the greatest gift to those men," Obama said. "That even amidst such hardship and despair, there could be home . . . that even in such hell, there could be a touch of the divine," Obama said. "He offered three simple words: 'God bless you.' . . . He could just for a moment, turn a mud hut into a cathedral."
He gave encouragement also in words, saying, "Start out with some little thing. Try to say your prayers with more devotion. Try to attend at Mass with greater devotion. Try to talk about the good things of others rather than talking about their faults. Try to treat others more kindly. Try to tell the truth always."
His "trying" eventually got him sent to what his comrades called a "death house" when he fell ill. There he died from a blood clot in his leg, dysentery, and pneumonia and was buried in a mass grave near the Yalu River.
The miracles submitted for the chaplain's cause for canonization include that of a 20-year-old Chase Kear. He survived a severe head injury last year, because his family petitioned Fr. Emil Kapaun to intercede. As a member of the Hutchison Community College track team, Kear fell on his head during pole vaulting practice in October 2008, and nearly died.
Fr. John Hotze, judical vicar of Wichita, has already spent eight years investigating the proposed sainthood of Kapaun. He is being considered for possible designation as a martyr, as were Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein, WWII?death camp prisoners.
In 2011, Nick Dellasega collapsed at a Get Busy Living 5K race in Pittsburg, KS. He seemed to be dead at the scene, but survived. His childhood friend, EMT Micah Ehling, said, "I know what a face looks like when the soul leaves the body and that's what Nick looked like." Other witnesses attribute Dellasega's survival to the prayers of Dellasega's cousin, Johah, to Kapaun. "Coincidentally" Dylan Meier, in whose memory the 5K was being held, planned to teach English in Korea at the time of his death.
The guild formed for the promotion of his cause encourages the Father Kapaun prayer: "Fr. Emil Kapaun gave glory to God by following his call to the priesthood and thus serving the people of Kansas and those in the military. Father Kapaun, I ask your intercession not only for these needs which I mention now . . . but that I too may follow your example of service to God and my neighbor. For the gifts of courage in battle and perseverance of faith, we give you thanks, O Lord." Continue with one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.
(Editor's note: Mr. Casson writes from Missouri. We welcome contributions from prisoners. We would like to hear from a variety of prisoners.)
A Modern Day Psalm
A Sonnet for The Coming
One of these nights, it shall happen or perhaps one day!
By the coo of a white dove, or the squall of a blue jay,
Shall be announced the second coming of The Son of Man.
He may come in the ebon night or at the light of dawn.
For the good and the evil, your lines have been drawn.
The cardinal is red, as someone has said be ready.
Tis good for those believers, for those who pray steady.
Satan's followers are set, to be on the buzzard's plate.
The day of reckoning will be at hand, all must face their fate.
To be sure the Lord is coming, as sure as the eagle flies high.
His path will be straight, like the path of the black crow.
For Christ is the supreme master, of this one man show.
Come all you sinners, the good and the mostly bad.
Your time is up, your time is over, let us not be mad or sad!
One of these nights, it shall happen or perhaps one day!
Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com