24 March 2011


I. The literary critic George Steiner posed the following questions in a 1965 essay entitled Night Words: "Is there any science-fiction in pornography? I mean something new, an invention by the human imagination of new sexual experience?" These came to mind as I haphazardly came across a gossip website reporting that Canadian director David Cronenberg's film The Dangerous Method is rumored to have potential for an Oscar nomination. Cronenberg "has been tragically overlooked by the Academy for the duration of his career", states the blog. Why in the past he has been "overlooked" is understandable enough given the main theme in his repertoire, that is, a fixation on the interplay between biology and technology in relation to pain and violence so as to achieve, reiterating Steiner, "new sexual experience". This, obviously, is just a fancy way of saying sadomasochism.

II. Cronenberg's films of late have been more subdued with lesser focus on bizarre storylines. An example would be Eastern Promises (2007), though it has a particularly violent knife fight scene. On balance, however, his films are notorious for their gnostical mystification of sexual perversion and violence, of an obnoxious fascination with the clash between the biological and the technological. His very early films Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future explore polymorphic sexual activity, telepathy, dermatology and pedophilia. Shivers (1975) tells the story of a doctor who implants parasites into a teenage girl, producing in her an unquenchable lust, whereupon she spreads the disease by having sex with whomever. Eventually the doctor kills her, slices her open, pours acid inside her body to kill the parasites, then commits suicide. Rabid (1977) was the break-out movie for the recently deceased porn star Marilyn Chambers. Mark Steyn gives a good summary: "she played a young Montrealer who, after a terrible motorcycle accident, discovers she has a vulval orifice in her armpit whence emerges a phallus that feasts on human blood. This was the nearest Marilyn got to going legit, if that's the word for it."[2]

III. Cronenberg's obsession with the grossly biologic was on full display in The Brood (1979), infamously known for a scene in which a mother, immediately after giving birth to a deformed baby, licks it clean like some post-natal animal in the wilderness. There was the famous exploding head scene in Scanners (1981), which you can view here, though it's not recommend viewing unless you have the guts to watch. All I remember from Videodrome (1983) is the bliss Deborah Harry underwent after sticking a burning cigarette into her breast. Cronenberg's remake of The Fly (1986) was an OK film for science fiction aficionados, very likely because the screenplay wasn't his original idea. Dead Ringers (1988) is a story about twin gynecologists, abnormal vulvas and strangely-configured medical instruments forged by a metallurgist. Supposedly, this film was "respectable" in that it starred Jeremy Irons and Geneviève Bujold. Then there was the attempt at the rationalization of beatnik irrationalism in The Naked Lunch (1991), a surreal retelling of William's Burroughs popular book. Ya ya, I'm hip I'm hip. It's very hard to see anything meaningful in a film with a gravelly voiced bug and unfollowable dialogue. Heavy drugs and anarchy, baby! It's where it's at. There are a couple others, but let's end this excursion into the profane by reference to the paraphilic Crash (1996) since it is emblematic of the ultimate clash between metallic technology and human biology so as to produce "new sexual experience". No intricated review is required to describe this film, for it can cursorily be given as follows: it is about people who are aroused by, and commit sexual acts in, crashing and crashed cars. That's about it.

IV. The filmerati always have showered acclamations onto Cronenberg's explorations into the "darkness of the human psyche", or whatever these debonair nihilists prefer to call sadomasochism. They will contend that he is a magnificent filmmaker with some secret or superior accessibility into the innermost caverns of the human subconscious; someone in tune with that dreaded contamination that indwells all of us. They will speak of the "unpleasant" nature of his films whereas anyone with a modicum of sensibility would be precise (and hence objective), ascribing them as repugnant. The newspaper film critic will call scenes of mutilation as "provoking". The euphemisms just flow. The celery-munching aesthete bred on deconstruction will call his films "relevant", whereas I only see evidence of misanthropy. Now read this attempt to give his films intellectual respectability:
What distinguishes Cronenberg in his existentialism is his appreciation of the human body. In an effort to 'mend the Cartesian rift' between Mind and Body (as he himself repeatedly put it)..., Cronenberg's films equip the human body with a will of its own. Amoral in the most literal sense, there is no 'good' or 'bad' body. Cronenberg askes viewers to accept a tumor, a wound, a deficiency not as a fault or flaw but as a companion to the rest of the body.[3]
Such is expressive of a mindset, and of the film industry in general, mesmerized by a sadomasochistic form of gnosis. To be sure, the Marquis de Sade would be overjoyed with one of his most promising pupils, David Cronenberg. Problem is, his cinemagraphic philosophy, like many of the now aged Sixties radicals, is part of the contemporary ruling cultural establishment. He is mainstream. Look no further than to the title of the just quoted book by Ernest Mathijs: The Cinema of David Cronenberg, From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero.

V. Given this acceptability of perversion into mainstream cinema, what happens when someone fires criticisms against Cronenberg and his ilk? Easy. A transposition. The opponent is effectively labelled as the avant garde deviant, the anomaly outside the norm. Today, if films such as those by Cronenberg are branded as, let us say, stupid, boring, base expositions of frenetic whackjobery, the rejoinder is that the critic is dictating a "value system" onto others, infringing on artistic liberty. In actuality, however, the opponent's freedom to criticize has been annulled, since any perspective that counters sadomasochistic cinema, or whatever waste of celluloid is currently being exhibited at Hollywood and Cannes (yes, there are exceptions), is scored off as nonsense extolled by some puritan on a witch hunt. Those appalled by Cronenberg's cinemagraphic banalities are themselves likened to a band of unenlightened rednecks from the hinterlands who have nothing really important to offer on the subject.

VI. Still, within this celluloidal morass there is hope. There is a self-defeating aspect in the kind of filmmaking that admixes brutality, coition and death for their own sakes, and only their own sakes. That is, the negation of the self. The historian Christopher Dawson observed:
It is the fundamental error of the modern hedonist to believe that man can abandon moral effort and throw off every repression and spiritual discipline and yet preserve all the achievements of culture. It is the lesson of history that the higher the achievement of a culture the greater is the moral effort and stricter is the social discipline that it demands.[4]
Perhaps this is self-evident, yet when the dignity of personhood is contorted into a self-hating serfdom then nothing is evident. The very fact that such extremes in film production are given approbation attests to not only an all-pervasive apathy, but also to a never-admitted sense of despair by those filmmakers themselves. It reveals a devolution in ideas, a hatred of truth, goodness and beauty. It is an inadvertent confession of the intellectual vacuity involved, a hidden despair in the subsurface yet to be fully unleashed. Why? Because these films "are of no transcendent importance". The director "shuts his eyes to the outer world and concentrates upon the subjective images in his own mind... He is brazenly set on deforming reality, shattering its human aspect, dehumanizing it".[5]

VII. Hopefully, films such as Crash and eXistenZ will in time fade to black within the public memory. Not because of repulsiveness, nor from an eventual lack in funding, private or governmental. The reason is repetition. To view repeated scenes of masochism is monotonous. Overall, watching Cronenberg's films is to travel through an erroneously reverse-engineered Disneyland fashioned by a mind that has taken the movie Barbarella too seriously. Cronenberg's effort at being "deep" in social commentary is, of course, comical. His films are a testament to, and a triumph of, self-contempt and antinomianism. They also signify the sordid level to which the film industry has plunged, as most of his works are visual enactments of the unrestrained nihilism of the cultural Left. The body and sex are meaningless and mechanical and hence so are human beings. The human body is delegitimized, effectively made evil as the Manicheans of old said, and therefore severe pain must be inflicted upon it, rigorously and systematically. Disturbingly, Cronenberg's films are also covert justifications for the fantasies of torturers and other perverts of whatever fetish. A trail of depravity is what Cronenberg has left. Next step: snuff films. What else is left?


1. G. Steiner, "Night Words" in Language and Silence (London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1990). Book compilation first published in 1967.

2. M. Steyn, "Goodbye to the suburban porn star", MacLean's, April 30, 2009. LINK

3. E. Mathijs, The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero (London: Wallflower Press, 2008), p. 6.

4. C.H. Dawson, "The Patriarchal Family in History" in The Dynamics of World History (London: Sheed and Ward, 1957), p. 159. Essay originally written in 1933.

5. J. Ortega Y Gasset, "The Dehumanization of Art" in The Dehumanization of Art and Other Essays on Art, Culture, and Literature (Princeton University Press, 1972), pp. 51, 39, 21. Essay originally written in 1925.


13 March 2011


I. It is often the case that prolonged silence indicates the presence of something ominous. The existence of this thing is unseen. Still, you know it's out there... somewhere... waiting. Perhaps you recall that classic Star Trek episode "That Which Survives", where the beautiful female alien Losira, played by Lee Meriwether, materializes out of nowhere, approaches one of the landing party and invitingly says: "I am for you". She then touches the body, inflicts great pain, causing death. Just as quickly she then dematerializes into nothingness.

II. Okay, so let's hop in the DeLorean, check the flux capacitor and set the time machine to March 2009, exactly two years ago to the month of this post. It was then when LifeSite News first reported[1] that Development and Peace was funding pro-abortion advocacy "partners" in Mexico and (eventually) throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, regions contradictorily phrased as the "Global South" (NGO sprechen for the uninitiated). Now the spectacle of machinations undertaken by D+P and their confreres at the CCCB two years hence reveals quite an elaborate system of resistance. Public denials, ambiguously worded reports, media lackey access, legal eagle stonewalling, a defiant membership enraptured by Joanie Mitchell ditties, status quo bishops with monorchistic courage, and the usual inertial qualities that characterize any post-V2 episcoaucracy. It also helps, very much helps, that nearly all Canadian Catholics in the pews, unaware of the scandal, contribute considerably to the collection basket when Share Life time comes around during Lent. Those hypnotizing sounds of Marty Haugen are rather conducive to making everyone think happy thoughts. "Gather Us In", gather the money, and so forth.

III. After public exposure, and under the continual pressures of LSN articles and blog postings (at SoCon or Bust) with incontrovertible evidences of D+P pro-abortion facilitation (plus confirmation from others, including the Peruvian bishops and the National Catholic Register[2]), The Star Chamber had to do something. Well, not really. It is important to remember that we are here dealing with what B16 calls "professional Catholics", well entrenched, obstinate and they will scream bloody murder even if just an iota of whatever petty fiefdom is scrutinized. This provincial pettiness commenced almost immediately after the LSN breaking article. Given that Lent is now underway, meaning that during the Share Life campaign the D+P Vulture will do its annual fly in and financial feasting, let's summarize the now two-year-running scandal.

IV. In April 2009 Bishops Martin Currie and Franois Lapierre, with entourage in tow, headed south of the Rio Grande, reportedly to check out what was going on. The conclusion of their inquiry, bizarrely entitled "Reflections and Hopes" (maybe they're fans of Proust), stated that LSN's findings "are not founded on the facts". Just to stick the knife in a little deeper, the boys ascribed LSN's reporting as "a counter-witness to that Gospel spirit... [bringing] scandal and division". But what "facts" were afforded? A one page report[3]. Perchance they have never seen this page or this video. Two things to bear in mind at this juncture. Firstly, with +Currie and +Lapierre we're talking Class-A players here. These guys know the game and can slither out of manifest apostasy faster than you can say Gustavo Gutierrez. Secondly, D+P Executive Director Michael Casey "assisted" with the inquiry, seeing "to travel arrangements and other organizing". You'll get as much disagreement in worldview between two Star Chamber insiders and D+P's head honcho as Marx and Engels arguing about whether Just For Men is an appropriate hair colouring for beards. Insignificant. Effectively, it was an inquiry conducted by the Judge and Defendant, minus the Plaintiff. Not much "social justice" there methinks.

V. Matters heated up as the summer approached. Enter the Catholic MSM, Stage Left. It was time to get out the bleach. In June 2009 the ever manoeuvring Fr. Rosica, CEO at Salt+Light TV, got two of his "yes" men on the case. They were acting as mouthpieces for then CCCB President Archbishop James Weisgerber, affectionately known at this blog as "Sparkles". The controversy was gaining wide attention, even going transatlantic, thus alarm bells were going off in Rome. Accordingly, producer David Naglieri compensated by getting in an article at the internationally important ZENIT news agency: "Probe Clears Canadian Agency of Funding Abortion". Blot 1. Kris Dmytrenko had this delightful title for a post at the Salt+Light TV blog: "Development and Peace investigation results: 'No evidence'"[4]. Blot 2. Then came the television interview with Sparkles in July 2009. He appeared on Witness, Fr. Rosica's flagship program whereof he asks interviewees of like mind ostensibly hard-hitting questions so as to fool viewers into thinking they're getting the real facts on Catholic affairs in Canada. Here we see both Sparkles and Fr. Rosica in top form: seemingly irenic, but still shooing away the scandal like an annoying fly (see video here, with D+P issue starting at around 12 minutes in). Blot 3. Sparkles also made his rounds at CNS (a news outlet not exactly faithful to the Magisterium, as we all know) and with the Catholic Register, whereat he proclaimed: "These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone - I think first of all they're not part of the church".[5] Blot 4. Damage control complete. Segue - "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control... we have assumed control".

VI. Jump ahead a few months to the October 2009 Plenary Assembly. PEI Bishop Richard Grecco, certainly whistling the party song, declared that D+P "came under a concerted Internet-based media attack by certain militant advocacy groups and individuals".[6] Now with a pugnacious statement like that you want to throw up your hands in defeat, grab a pack of smokes, then head down to the local pub and get bombed. I mean, what clearer signal is required to demonstrate the enmity that the Canadian episcopacy has to those who are forthrightly pro-life? As reported, an ad hoc committee was formed in the autumn of 2009 to further investigate the evidences against D+P, supposedly to convene in February 2010. Fr. Alphonse de Valk, always on the ball, remarked laconically: "Perhaps it did. But if it did, nobody heard about it".[7] Ya gotta love Fr. de Valk... So there you have it, The Star Chamber promising to address something so crucial, but merely for public appearance. There was no concerted follow through, no actual intent of amelioration. The boys have got all the time in the world and a bureaucracy as a bulwark. So they wait, until Share Life time comes around (whereupon they pounce), hoping that all things will evaporate with the passage of time. Not proactive, reactive, and the latter only when pushed and forced, reluctantly admitting corruption within, little by little, fighting like screaming banshees all the while. The rallying call: locus vitae delenda est.

VII. So this is why you have to commend the people at LifeSite News, including John Pacheco at SoCon or Bust. They are tireless in their fight to defend life. They have endured the ire and vilifications of both The Star Chamber and Development and Peace to the present day. In an interview earlier this month Fr. Rosica, in his other incarnation as smiley face go-to-guy for the secular media, accused LSN of "unthinking activism", leaving "a vast trail of collateral damage, character assassination and destruction of reputations".[8] In another interview last February, plausibly in response to my article Who Goes There?, he refers to "some Catholics" as endorsing "Taliban Catholicism", a charming phrase recently made popular by his homeboy Johannes Allenus Ubiquitatis, and then in the very next sentence nonchalantly states "we... respectfully differ with those who do not share our views".[9] Perhaps Rosica needs to restudy Aristotle's commentary on the Principle of Contradiction (that would be the author of Metaphysics ca. 330 BC, not to be confused a lately deceased Greek shipping magnate). And this incongruity (among many) relates directly to an open secret, or a dirty little secret, as this blogger prefers. Rosica and Sparkles make very sure to emphasize that lay people who run websites and blogs are unqualified to tackle whatever Church related subject or issue. That is an unknown in many cases. Anyhow, lay Catholic bloggers routinely defer to the Catechism, papal encyclicals, i.e. the Magisterium. Yet what ++Weisgerber and Fr. Rosica fail to mention is that the majority of priest bloggers and/or website commentators from the US and UK, well educated and knowledgeable, are supportive of LifeSite News. According to the Weisgerber-Rosica model, Fr. Frank Pavone should be deemed a member of the "Catholic Taliban". Why? He has a blog at the LSN website. So, you see, the CCCB and D+P are stuck in a rut - and they know it.

VIII. Things were getting pretty nasty by March 2010. It came to light that Development and Peace sent a document to various parishes in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. Therein we find an absolute denial by D+P of supporting pro-abortion advocacy groups, including some lovely annotations:
...militant anti-abortion advocacy organization and several supporting blog sites on the internet... These groups are part of the far right wing fringe element of North American society and have themselves been associated with groups and individuals who have resorted to violence to publicize their cause and achieve their objective... This slanderous attack campaign was initiated by a militant anti-abortion lobbying group Campaign Life Coalition, a privately-owned and financed group with offices in Toronto and Ottawa. Using their Website LifeSiteNews.com, this group selectively targets and attacks individuals and groups who are not in conformity with their socially conservative political and moral ideology.[10](TH2 italics)
It bespeaks much that a so-called Catholic organization would accuse LSN and bloggers, clearly orthodox in their Catholicity, as being "militant", "far right wing fringe", "associated with... violence". D+P did issue an apology, but that was only after LSN (Campaign Life Coalition) responded with a legal threat.[11] Continuing with legalities, also in March 2010 LSN submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA, which provides funds to Development and Peace) so as to obtain the names of overseas D+P "partners" and how much money was allotted to each over the past five years. Again, it bespeaks much that D+P lawyered up and was able to block the FOI request, claiming - get this - "threats of kidnappings, assassinations or terrorist attacks if the information were to be made public".[12] The machinations are just mesmerizing.

IX. The 2010 CCCB Plenary Session convened from October 25 to 29. You can read my analysis of it here. Of course, Salt+Light TV was present, dishing out the usual spin. In unadulterated bureaucratic brilliance, The Star Chamber spoke of "the evolution of the Ad Hoc Committee [of 2009] into a new Standing Committee"[13] Another delay, reportedly for another year. Move along, nothing to see here, i.e. "Are you nuts? Do you actually think we're going to explicitly admit that D+P was funding pro-abortion advocacy groups?". Cannot do that, instead "the Committee will reflect on a specific structure and concrete plan for future action".[14] You have to admit, these guys are dialectical geniuses. Finally, in November 2010 it was reported that, out of the 248 groups funded by D+P, "13... merited a closer look. Of these, two posed a problem".[15] In a responding editorial, LSN made sure to delineate the many other groups involved.[16] Note further that on October 23 (just prior to the 2010 Plenary Session), SoCon discovered that D+P still listed the Mexican pro-abortion group Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politicas de Accion Comunitaria (CiEPAC) as one of its "international partners" ($40,000 CAD) on its website. The page was scrubbed in January 2011 and Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel was none too happy of what was going on.[17]

X. Overall, matters have been relatively quiet since the start of 2011, although this is not preventing D+P from doing its usual 10th-tier-level-of-importance cause célèbre thing. It recently got ++Weisgerber to sign a pledge against bottled water and, just the other day, held a "social justice workshop" so as to indoctrinate kids with such politically correct mantras as this: "the global fight against poverty... It's important that youth today find their voice to speak out against these global injustices, and it's crucial that we, as educators, provide an avenue for them to do so".[18] "Crucial", indeed, as that "avenue" is paved with gift$ derived from the collection basket. It is also very good for D+P that the pro-sodomite priest Fr. Raymond Gravel is now suing LifeSite News for $500,000, which could put it out of business if he is successful.[19] A diversion that could not have come at a more opportune time. Is that the ruffling of lavender I hear? My guess is that not a few in The Star Chamber are overjoyed at the affair. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, boys.

XI. On the positive side, relating to a more prominent "development agency", the Vatican recently blocked the current Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis from running for a second four-year term. That the Tabletistas and Kansas City crap sheet scribblers did cartwheels after hearing the news indicates that, correctly, Rome is busting a move.[20] Hopefully, there will be some trickle-down effect. Nonetheless, Lent has just started and Canada's Share Life campaign is in full gear. Accordingly, it's that time of year again when Development and Peace produces a video for your enjoyment:
I'm Michael Casey, the Executive Director of Development and Peace. I want to speak to you briefly today to introduce our Share Lent 2001 campaign.[give us your money, where it goes you'll never know] Share Lent invites us this year to learn how the partners of Development and Peace in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are working to build a more just world. Share Lent gives us an opportunity to share the experience of these women and men [Politically Correct Inversion No. 1] who are actively promoting peace, defending the rights of the poorest or rebuilding their communities and their countries in the aftermath of natural disasters. These dedicated and tireless women and men, [Politically Correct Inversion No. 2] in some 300 projects we supported last year,[of which there were pro-abortion advocates] are working to improve the daily lives of their fellow citizens.[Hail, centurion!] They are building a world of justice.[What about spreading the Gospels?] To highlight the achievement of our partners in the countries where we're present, we've created several resources and tools for you to use during the lenten season.[i.e. calendars, "solidarity cards" and magazines, with special printings just for Toronto, wherein Archbishop Thomas Collins has a lead-in article. Thus it seems he's back on board, after restricting funds to D+P after the scandal initially broke] You'll find these resources on our website or from our local animators or local staff across the country. Development and Peace has more than 11000 members [website currently says 13000, amendment required] who will in the coming weeks be seeking your support [give us money] in solidarity with our sisters and brothers [Politically Correct Inversion No. 3] in the Global South. Thank you for your generosity and support. You, too, are helping to build a world of justice [...by boycotting bottled water usage.]
Cardinal Ouellet, are you there? This writer monitors the VIS blog on a daily basis and I note that you regularly have audiences with the Holy Father. With the utmost respect, Your Eminence, please do something because... the vulture is a very patient bird.


1. M.C. Hoffman, "Hundreds of Thousands in Canadian Lent Collection Money Funding Pro-Abortion Groups in Mexico", LifeSite News, March 12, 2009. LINK In one sense the scandal should have come as no surprise since Development and Peace was, as early as 2006, endorsing anti-natalist organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club. See T. Vanderheyden, "Catholic Charity Development and Peace Lenten Calendar Links to Abortion Groups", LifeSite News, March 2, 2006. LINK

2. T. McFeely, "Canadian Catholics Fund Pro-Abortion Group", National Catholic Register, March 17, 2009. LINK

3. Report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning Mexican Non-Governmental Organizations, June 18, 2009, pp. 2-3. LINK Factfinding by the Committee of Inquiry, June 29, 2009. LINK

4. D. Naglieri, "Probe Clears Canadian Agency of Funding Abortion", ZENIT, June 22, 2009. LINK K. Dmytrenko, "Development and Peace investigation results: 'No evidence', Salt + Light TV (blog), June 19, 2009. LINK Pay special attention to the com boxes wherein Dmytrenko subtlety accuses disagreeing commenters as uncivil.

5. Quoted in J.-H. Westen, "CCCB President on Websites Confronting D&P: 'they're not part of the church, they're not Catholic'", LifeSite News, June 25, 2009. LINK

6. Quoted in J-H. Westen, "Ottawa Archbishop Objects to "Business as Usual" with Development and Peace", LifeSite News, October 20, 2009. LINK

7. A. de Valk, "Development and Peace Controversy Remains Unresolved", Catholic Insight, December 2010, vol. XVIII, no. 11, p. 30.

8. G. Hamilton, "Two Solitudes", National Post, March 5, 2011. LINK

9. R. Casillag, "Let There Be (Salt) Light", Toronto Star, February 24, 2011. LINK

10. See "D&P Accuses LifeSitenews of Association with Groups that Use Violence; 'Far Right Wing Fringe'", LifeSite News, March 17, 2010 (author not indicated). LINK Read the Development and Peace document here.

11. See "Development & Peace Apologizes to Pro-Life Group after Legal Threat", LifeSite News, July 8, 2010 (author not indicated). LINK

12. See A. De Valk, op. cit.

13. K. Dmytrenko, "CCCB Plenary: Renewal of Development and Peace enters new stage", Salt+Light TV (blog), October 29, 2010. LINK

14. Quoted in "Canadian Bishops Plenary Addresses Development and Peace Question", LifeSite News, October 29, 2010 (author not indicated). LINK

15. D. Gyapong, "Catholics reassured about CCODP", The B.C. Catholic, November 15, 2010. LINK

16. See "Canadian Bishops Finally Admit Development and Peace Funded Problematic Groups", LifeSite News, November 16, 2010. LINK

17. M.C. Hoffman, "Mexican bishop condemns pro-abortion group listed as 'partner' by Development and Peace", LifeSite News, January 14, 2011. LINK

18. See M. LeMaître, "Weisgerber signs water pledge", Prairie Messenger, January 11, 2011. LINK and "Social justice workshop held for youth", Prairie Messenger, February 2011. LINK

19. Editors, "LifeSite News is being sued for $500,000 - this could shut us down!", LifeSite News, February 15, 2001. LINK

20. See R. Mickens, "Vatican blocks re-election of Caritas Internationalis chief", The Tablet, February 19, 2011. LINK and D. Coday, "Vatican nixes Caritas head", National Catholic Reporter, February 18, 2011. LINK


03 March 2011


I. PARTY TIME. "It was truly a glorious night of rejoicing and being among family and friends!", fawned Mary Rose Bacani at the Salt+Light TV blog. The date: Wednesday February 16, 2011. The occasion: "St. Peter’s Seminary Foundation hosted the premiere of the first episode of Panes of Glory: The Windows of St. Peter’s Seminary":

...St. Peter's Seminary staff and students gathered together to relish Fr. Prieur's Panes of Glory on film. These are the people with whom Fr. Prieur has shared his a-ha moments, his great moments of discovery... At the end of this screening, there was a standing ovation, and a great fondness for Fr. Prieur and his work was very evident... the highlight was the 7:00 pm screening for benefactors and supporters of St. Peter's Seminary and for Salt + Light staff... The reception of the first episode was incredible! Fr. Prieur got up [and] took us back to 2004 at his book launch, when Fr. Thomas Rosica was struck by the visual impact of the stained glass windows of the Seminary chapel and said to Fr. Prieur, "There's a movie in this book, and it is of Hollywood quality!"... The evening ended with a lively reception in the refectory, accompanied by cake and drinks. True to the theme of the evening, the cake featured... logos of Salt+Light and the supporters of the series. What a night! [1]

How nice, an evening with the Canadian Catholic
glitterati. Now I wonder if anyone in attendance was actually aware who Fr. Prieur is and what he opines as a prominent bioethicist. My guess would be that not a few were cognizant. Yet because they had to keep up appearances (not to mention the "glorious night" of entertainment involved), Fr. Prieur's proportionalist positions on life issues were overlooked. Indeed, why make a fuss. Cake, drinks, ovations, silicon eye candy and a schmoozing endorsement from movie mogul Fr. Rosica: "There's a movie in this book, and it is of Hollywood quality!" Lights. Camera. Action! Score another one for the Salt and Light Media Foundation.

For over 35 years Fr. Michael R. Prieur has been Professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology at St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario. Currently, he is also Coordinator of the Permanent Deacon Program for the Diocese of London. He obtained a B.A. from University of Western Ontario, B.Th. from St. Peter's Seminary in 1965, and a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontificio Ateneo di S. Anselmo in Rome in 1969. His specialty is Bioethics, he has published numerous papers and books. Unfortunately, he is also the go-to-guy for many requiring an advisor/consultant on medical/life issues. Pretty straightforward. Well, not really. What you won't read or see or hear in the Canadian Catholic MSM,[2] including from the apparatchiks at Salt+Light TV, is that Fr. Prieur maintains a series of opinions at variance with Catholic teaching, rooted in an ethical philosophy coined proportionalism. Veritatis splendor defines:
The teleological ethical theories (proportionalism, consequentialism), while acknowledging that moral values are indicated by reason and by Revelation, maintain that it is never possible to formulate an absolute prohibition of particular kinds of behavior which would be in conflict, in every circumstance and in every culture, with those values.[3]
The various proportionalist positions of Fr. Prier already have been challenged by some websites and blogs two or so years ago, most notably at LifeSite News. However, as most of us know, orthodox Catholics in Canada, whether expressing themselves on the internet or in print (e.g. Catholic Insight), are ignored/marginalized by the Canadian Catholic MSM. Alas, in recent years public persona of Catholicism in Canada has been dominated by the smiley face people at Salt+Light TV. So it's time for a brief refresher course on four opinions maintained by Fr. Prieur, to which I will interrelate with the concluding comments of this post.

III. WINNIPEG STATEMENT. The first of Fr. Prieur's controversial positions relates to his defence of the Winnipeg Statement, a 1968 issuance by the Canadian bishops repudiating Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae vitae. Here, let's just cut to the chase and get to the infamous statement in Paragraph 26 of the text wherein, regarding the use of artificial contraception, it was declared that "whoever chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience".[4] Detail is not now required regarding this unprecedented bishopric revolt against a Pope, which opened the gates wide for abortion in Canada (let alone it's other moral repercussions). But know that WS is neither a magisterial or collegial document and therefore has zero binding force over Canadian Catholics. WS is a proportionalist text, especially the Protestant notion of private judgement as echoed in Paragraph 26, and accordingly it is not inconsistent that Fr. Prieur, with some measure of audacity, came to its defence. His argumentation thereof is rather charming, but so was Fr. Teilhald's for cosmic pantheism, and we know all about the trouble he caused. Fr. Prieur's main contention is that, within the context of moral theology, WS is consistent with Catholic teachings on conscience and faithful to Humane vitae.[5] Perhaps he hasn't looked at the Catechism lately:
Faced with a moral choice, conscience can either make a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, and erroneous judgment that departs from them.[6]
Does Fr. Prieur presume that "whoever chooses that course which seems right to him" (WS, para. 26) always makes the right judgment? That all consciences are well formed? If so, he seems not to have ruminated much on human nature. But, hey, the Catechism is for the folks. Small potatoes. So let's make reference to a classic work by the pre-Vatican II manualist Fr. Thomas Slater:
A right conscious is in accordance with the eternal law of morality; an erroneous conscience gives a false instead of a true judgment. If the mistake could and ought to have been avoided by the agent who has a false conscience, the conclusion is vincibly erroneous; otherwise it is invincibly erroneous.[7]
Too many distinctions? But this discussion isn't even necessary. Why? The bishops themselves admitted that WS was not faithful to Humanae vitae. CCCB President Bishop Alexander Carter voiced the following in 1968:
For the first time we faced the necessity of making a statement which many felt could not be a simple Amen, a total and formal endorsement of the doctrine of the encyclical.[8]
Fr. Prieur can tip toe all he wants. Unfortunately for him, facts keep getting in the way.

How is it possible that a Catholic priest could support the "moral possibility" of killing human embryos outside the womb? Well, if you have connections with the Kennedy Ethics Center (which bespeaks much), compose a "position paper" as lead author with a band of fellow proportionalists so as to give it so-called credibility within the Catholic sphere, plus chucking therein a bunch of euphemisms and mercurial phraseologies, then, yes, Fr. Prieur et allia can argue that "such research could be conducted legitimately in a Catholic institution by using an ethical analysis involving a narrative context".[9] Note right away that the word "research" is substituted for killing the human embryo. This kind of linguistic acrobatics is customary with those who tacitly work toward the objectification and thus the dehumanization of human embryos, whether in the womb or in extraneous frozen storage at some laboratory.[10] Intended or not, the effect is the same. Once this form of non-specific semantics becomes a common acceptation, any kind of "research" can be justified because Pandora's box has already been opened. The conclusion of the paper can be quoted thus:
We maintain that the embryonic stem cell research we propose would not give tacit approval to IVF procedures since these already routinely occur at many sites that are totally distinct geographically and in ownership from any Catholic sites... Our present research leads us to believe that embryonic stem cell research on extant cell lines is, at the present time, a legitimate moral possibility for Catholic research facilities.
It also stated that "whether such cooperation is licit will be discussed further on in the paper". No need. The Pontifical Academy for Life pronounced on this very issue six years prior (in 2000) to the paper by Fr. Prieur et allia, making that statement a non sequitur:
Is it morally licit to use ES cells, and the differentiated cells obtained from them, which are supplied by other researchers or are commercially obtainable? The answer is negative, since: prescinding from the participation - formal or otherwise - in the morally illicit intention of the principal agent, the case in question entails a proximate material cooperation in the production and manipulation of human embryos on the part of those producing or supplying them.[11]
Even earlier (in 1987) the CDF's Instruction Donum vitae stated that "the corpses of human embryos and foetuses... cannot be subjected to mutilation or to autopsies... in the case of dead foetuses... all commercial trafficking must be considered illicit".[12] Moreover, two years after the Prier et allia paper (in 2008) the Instruction Dignitas personae indicated this:
...the criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient. According to this criterion, the use of "biological material" of illicit origin would be ethically permissible provided there is a clear separation between those who, on the one hand, produce, freeze and cause the death of embryos and, on the other, the researchers involved in scientific experimentation... When the illicit action is endorsed by the laws which regulate healthcare and scientific research, it is necessary to distance oneself from the evil aspects of that system in order not to give the impression of a certain toleration or tacit acceptance of actions which are gravely unjust... Any appearance of acceptance would in fact contribute to the growing indifference to, if not the approval of, such actions in certain medical and political circles... there is a duty to refuse to use such "biological material" even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the artificial fertilization or the abortion... This duty springs from the necessity to remove oneself, within the area of one's own research, from a gravely unjust legal situation and to affirm with clarity the value of human life.[13]
Personal note: Just recently a relative very close to this blogger, young and innocent, asked me to donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The reason being a school campaign to raise money for HSF. Yet I declined because the aforesaid organization performs "research" on embryonic stem cells,[14] to which this child (obviously) and parents are oblivious. Because I refused, doing my best in adhering to Catholic teaching, I will now have to endure the ire and awkward tension from this family in the near future. I can deal with that. Part of the package when you submit yourself to the Redeemer of Humanity. Although what is infuriating is having to undergo this in the first place, because proportionalists, like the influential bioethicist Fr. Prieur, create an atmosphere such that embryonic stem cell "research" is transmogrified into a "moral possibility". These dissidents have no idea how their criminal ideations - after dissemination in the public square - deeply affect the personal lives of Catholics.

V. TUBAL LIGATION. This is a type of female sterilization involving the sealing/severing of the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization, otherwise known as a woman getting her "tubes tied". The Church forbids contraceptive sterilization. For example, Humanae vitae delineates:
...the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.[15]
In a 2001 interview, Fr. Prieur stated that, although ligation is an evil action, a Catholic hospital can perform this procedure under "material cooperation":
We live in a messy world, the alternative... do we get out of health care completely? We tolerate something for the greater good, the greater good being the health of the woman.[16]
Here clarification is necessary regarding "cooperation", the two kinds being immediate (proximate) and mediate (remote). The former involves direct or essential cooperation in an act. This always is always an evil, except in rare cases when a participant is under duress. But where's the duress of medical practitioner performing the sterilization? Mediate cooperation infers indirect or remote participation. It is justifiable in that another evil would occur should there be a failure in cooperation, thus involving the principle of the "double effect". Now whether or not the cooperation is immediate or mediate is a function of how closely connected the secondary agent is to the action of the principal agent, and it is in the determination of this connection which moral theologians have found to be difficult. As Fr. Slater wrote: "The chief difficultly lies in determining the gravity of the cause which will justify in co-operating materially in another's sin".[17] So, then, what is the gravity involved regarding tubal ligation? Is it, as Fr. Prieur contended, "the health of a woman"? But how can sterilization work toward the health of a woman? Where's the relation? What's the definition of "health" in this instance? Effectively, aren't "health" and ligation being made equivalent to one another? Common sense says they are not co-equal. Thus the gravitas in this situation is the tubal ligation procedure as such. Accordingly, what has the Church said with respect to the gravity of the act? The CDF's document Sterilization in Catholic Hospitals makes it plain and clear:
[Sterilization] ...is absolutely forbidden, therefore, according to the teaching of the Church, even when it is motivated by a subjectively right intention [i.e. Fr. Prieur's "the health of a woman"]... Sterility induced as such does not contribute to the person's integral good... Rather does it damage a person's ethical good, since it deprives subsequent freely-chosen sexual acts of an essential element... The congregation... is aware that many theologians dissent from it, but it denies that this fact as such has any doctrinal significance, as though it were a theological source which the faithful might invoke, forsaking the authentic magisterium for the private opinions of theologians who dissent from it.[18]
Remember: Fr. Prieur speaks only his opinion as a dissenting moral theologian. He does not represent the Magisterium of the Church.

VI. EARLY INDUCTION. In December 2008 LifeSite News issued an exclusive, reporting that the "early induction" technique was being performed for the last two decades at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario. Early induction, as the phrase suggests, involves the inducement of labour for diagnosed cases of "lethal fetal anomalies". The policy for performing early inductions at St. Joseph's Hospital were/are based on guidelines drawn up in document by Fr. Prier, wherein his proportionalism is evident: "An early induction may be permitted after viability for a proportionate reason which can include grave physical, psychological or psychiatric considerations".[19] Note right away the linguistic characterization of the child in utero as a "viability". The controversy that occurred after the breaking LifeSite article centred around, primarily, whether or not "early induction" is an abortion and, secondarily, "health" considerations of the mother. Fr. Prier claimed negatively on the former: "Now it's not called abortion. We’re not killing the baby. We’re bringing the baby out and allowing the baby to die. That's a very important distinction."[20] Did you note the trick in this statement? Dr. John B. Shea, a medical doctor, did: "Early induction is equivalent, not to abortion, but to euthanasia, if the baby does not die until after birth. If the infant dies as a result of the early induction before birth, early induction is an abortion". Silly me, I always figured that moral theologians were better than medical practitioners at forming distinctions. Moreover, regarding "lethal fetal anomalies" as such, Dr. Shea stated that "diagnoses of fatal fetal anomalies are not always correct". Regarding the "health" matter, he further wrote of "the fact that a fetus has a lethal fetal anomaly is not associated with a threat to the life of a mother". Dr. Shea's conclusion was that, based on Catholic teaching (including consideration of the principle of "double effect"), St. Joseph's Hospital's "practice of early induction does not appear to be justified".[21] Others, too, challenged Fr. Prieur, including Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, Rome's Director of Human Life International: "early induction is akin to euthanasia. It willfully creates a life threatening situation for the child that will hasten his death".[22]

VII. MACHINATIONS. Reportedly, Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the Archdiocese of London sent a letter to Rome to have the matter undergo review.[23] But why wait for media exposure for Vatican approval? +Fabbro is on record as saying that "I know that an early induction of labour is not an abortion".[24] If so, why ask for the review if you already know? Why has it taken 20+ years? Obviously, the request was made because it was provoked by LSN's December 2008 article. +Fabbro's view is mere opinion. Now when LSN contacted the Archdiocese of London, Gatekeeper Mark Adkinson said that +Fabbro had no comment on the controversy. No surprise. Fr. Prieur was originally given approval to permit early induction by now retired Bishop John Michael Sherlock. When queried about the issue, he responded thus:
Well, I can't remember any details now. You're on a very specific topic... I know that he was responsible for ensuring that the Church's moral teaching in the matter of life was maintained at St. Joseph’s hospital and I trusted his judgement, and had absolute confidence that he would be utilizing the most advanced moral theology in judging the appropriateness of certain medical procedures and I had trust in him.[25]
So +Sherlock can't recall but trusted the judgement of Fr. Prieur! Now consider what is happening here: Firstly, we have the current bishop of London who believes early induction is not an abortion, but is anyway checking with the boys in Rome to get their view, and this only after media exposition. Secondly, we have a retired bishop who cannot recall exactly what the hell is going on, but still gave approval to early induction because he had "absolute confidence" in Fr. Prier. Thirdly, we have Fr. Prier himself who, 26 years ago, made the sole decision with a significant degree of uncertainty to permit early inductions at St. Joseph's Hospital after going for a "walk and thought, 'Lord, I hope we're going the right thing'". This is an objective justification?! The article continues: "Back then he still had a nagging sense that the decision might not be quite in line with the Catholic Church".[26] Subsequently, Fr. Prieur went for consultations, getting the opinions of theologians "around the world". Still, no Church oversight, especially on the crucial moral principle of the "double effect" and whether the procedure was permitted for so-called "pre-viable" babies (see below). Early inductions were permitted at St. Joseph's for over two decades. And LifeSite
News was vilified for bringing this controversial issue to public attention?! Nobody else would have done so.

VIII. MSM TO THE RESCUE. Now, of course, Fr. Prier and/or +Fabbro had to do something to get out of the self-imposed mess. And they got an out from Charles Lewis at the National Post, of the Holy Post blog. Connections with the lapdog MSM help, you know. Lewis' article is a whitewashing puff piece.[27] Fr. Prier is portrayed as a victim haunted by pro-life vigilantes. LSN is described as "extreme by many Catholics". Who would those Catholic's be? Perchance, would Fr. Rosica be one of them? Lewis also claimed that LSN accused St. Joseph's Hospital of "secretly performing abortions" when the word "secret" wasn't even used in the breaking article. Fr. Prieur himself admitted the occurrence of early inductions. LSN made it clear that "the matter was brought to our attention by knowledgeable persons who were deeply concerned about what they knew was going on at St. Joseph's Hospital".[28] What was most reprehensible about the NP article was the stage play communicated in the photograph therein of +Fabbro (left) and Prier (right). Feigned humility with the clasped hands, pursed lips, "look at me I'm a martyr", and an air of defiance on +Fabbro's part, whose appearance in the photograph is a telltale sign of support for Prieur's proportionalist ways. Let it be known that +Fabbro consented with much in the Prieur et allia embryonic stem cell paper: "Although he liked the paper and agreed with many aspects of it, he did not think think he could approve of any research at the St. Joseph's site. He did encourage to publish to further the discussion of the subject".[29] This is the same evasive illogic employed by politicians who say that they're personally opposed to abortion but would not deny a woman's "right to choose".

Fr. Prier did retract his position on early induction of (particularly) so-called "pre-viable" anencaphalic babies. However, this eventuated only after outside correction from the American bishops. Yet he still endorses early inductions for severely deformed babies. The updated guidelines at St. Joseph's make salient that "there have been no significant shifts in recent thinking since 1999 which would necessitate revising the basic thrust of our Principles and Guidelines".[30] Nonetheless, for years he was contravening the deferrable authority on this recently emergent bioethical subject. Even if opinions were maintained with the best of intentions, an error is an error, corrections must be effectuated, and recourse must be made to the teaching authority of the Church, not the rationations of individual theologians. This has been the case with Fr. Prieur through the years, this tending away from Catholic moral teaching, step by step, little by little. As above: Tubal Ligation (2001), the Winnipeg Statement (2005), Embryonic Stem Cells (2006), Early Induction (2008) - there is a consistent pattern here which, to reiterate from Dignitas personae, gives the "appearance of acceptance [but] would in fact contribute to the growing indifference to, if not the approval of, such actions in certain medical and political circles". And the driver is the philosophy of proportionalism.

X. IRONY AND SILENCE. Getting back to the glitterati gala in London mentioned at the outset, it is not surprising that Fr. Rosica was involved with celebrating a dissident moral theologian. But, then again, what affaires Catholiques du Nord is there to which Rosica is not involved? He has a history of outlandishly defending those who endorse opinions at odds with Church teaching. Forget the Kennedy fiasco, in 1996 he called on the cops to "restrain" a group of two dozen Catholics peacefully picketing outside the Newman Centre, at the University of Toronto. They were protesting against a lecture to be given by the Marxist excommunicated priest Gregory Baum. The tragic irony in Fr. Rosica schmoozing up to bioethical proportionalist Fr. Prieur relates to the fact that, just a few years ago, the former expended much time celebrating and promoting the life of St. Gianna Beretta Molla (a pro-life icon, canonized in 2004), even getting to know her family.[31] A good thing in itself, except that, unlike the latent anti-natalism which pervades Fr. Prieur's thinking, St. Gianna died "rather than undergo a medical treatment that would have caused an abortion".[32] Quite a contrast, you think? Oh well, "There's a movie in this book, and it is of Hollywood quality!" Compounding this situation in London is the current news story regarding Baby Joseph, disseminated throughout Canada and the US[33]. Here we have an activist judiciary, antinomian doctors and health care bureaucrats (i.e. the State) vehemently overlording the little guy and his parents (i.e. the Family). As one blogger just observed, where is the outcry against this anti-natalist onslaught? Not a word from prominent bioethicist Fr. Prieur at St. Peter's Seminary, London, Ontario. No report from Fr. Rosica at Salt + Light TV. Not a peep from Bishop Fabbro of the London Archdiocese. Nothing. Silence. Hey +Fabbro, why don't you give your buddy at the National Post a call? Too busy? Sleep well... Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on poor Canada.


1. M.R. Bacani, "Panes of Glory: The Premiere!", Salt+Light TV (blog), February 17, 2011. LINK

2. The underdogs at Catholic Insight and LifeSite News first brought Fr. Prieur's proportionalism to public attention.

3. Pope John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, ch. II, IV, 75. LINK

4. Quoted in V. Foy, "Tragedy at Winnipeg: The Canadian Catholic Bishops' Statement on Humanae vitae", Challenge, vol. 14, 1988. LINK

5. V. Foy, "A response to Fr. Michael Prieur's defence of the Winnipeg Statement", Catholic Insight, September 2005, vol. XIII, no. 8. LINK

6. Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ottawa: Publications Service, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1994), no. 1799, p. 380.

7. T. Slater, A Manual of Moral Theology (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1925), vol 1, bk. II, ch. I, para. 2, p. 29.

8. Quoted in V. Foy (note 5). Original reference: E. Sheridan, "Canadian bishops on Of Human Life", America, October 19, 1968, p. 349.

9. M.R. Prieur, J. Atkinson, L. Hardingham, D. Hill, G. Kernaghan, D. Miller, S. Morton, M. Rowell, J.F Vallely, and S. Wilson, "Stem Cell Research in a Catholic Institution: Yes or No?", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, March 2006, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 73-98.

10. For an good book on how language is used to objectify/degrade human beings see W. Brennan, Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1995). See especially Chapter 13 (pp. 127-138). The first sentence of this chapter is relevant to the characterization of killing of embryonic stem cells as "research": "The semantic transformation of undesired human beings into inanimate objects - mere things with no semblance of personality, humanity, consciousness, life, or vitality - constitutes one of the most radical and pervasive forms of denigration. In this process of objectification people are reduced to the level of insignificant matter that can be used, moved, manipulated, and disposed with impunity".

11. Pontifical Academy for Life, Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, August 25, 2000. LINK

12. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum vitae, On Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation, Replies to Certain Questions of the Day, I, 4. LINK

13. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Dignitas personae, On Certain Bioethical Questions, III, 35. LINK

14. Cf. J.-H. Westen, "Canada's Heart and Stroke Foundation Continues to Support Embryonic Stem Cell Research", LifeSite News, February 5, 2007. LINK

15. Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, On the Regulation of Human Births, 14.LINK

16. Quoted in J.B. Shea, "Father Michael Prieur on 'staying in the game'", Catholic Insight, June 2001, vol. IX, no. 6. LINK

17. T. Slater, op. cit., vol 1, bk. V, pt. III, ch. VII, pp. 133. Modernist commentators regularly malign Fr. Slater (1855-1928) in their histories/reviews of moral theology. Almost anticipating the modernist antinomian onslaught to come, Slater wrote the essay "The Roots of Liberal Theology", Irish Ecclesiastical Record, January, 1907. LINK

18. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Sterilization in Catholic Hospitals (March 13, 1975) In: ed. A. Flannery, Vatican Council II, More Post Conciliar Documents (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press), vol. 2, pp. 454-455.

19. M.R. Prieur, "Early Induction for Lethal Fetal Anomalies", June 2, 1997 (Revision No. 6), p. 2. LINK

20. Quoted in J.-H. Westen, "Exclusive: Twenty Years of Eugenic Abortion at Ontario Catholic Hospital", LifeSite News, December 11, 2008. LINK

21. J.B. Shea, "The early induction of labour", Catholic Insight, April 6, 2009 (updated). LINK

22. "Doctor of Dogmatic Theology and Ob/Gyn Condemn Early Induction Abortions at Catholic Hospital in London", LifeSite News, January 7, 2009 (author not indicated). LINK See also J.-H. Westen, "Mother Rejected Advice to Terminate Pregnancy Given by Priest at Centre of 'Early Induction' Scandal", LifeSite News, March 18, 2009. LINK

23. "Ontario Bishop Says 'Early Induction' Policy at Catholic Hospital Under Vatican Review", LifeSite News, March 5, 2009 (author not indicated). LINK

24. Quoted in C. Lewis, "Operating on Faith", National Post, February 20, 2009. LINK

25. Quoted in J.-H. Westen, op. cit. (note 20).

26. Quoted in C. Lewis, op. cit.

27. Ibid.

28. "Letter to the Editor for March 2, 2009", LifeSite News, March 2, 2009. LINK

29. See the post "Troubling discussion with Fr. Prieur about embryonic stem cell research" at the blog Catholic Dialogue, December 14, 2009. LINK

30. St. Joseph's Health Care, "Early Induction for Lethal Fetal Anomalies: Ethical Guidelines", May 2006 (revised), p. 1. LINK

31. See, for example, T. Rosica, "A Holy Couple Reunited in Heaven - Death of Mr. Pietro Molla, Husband of St. Gianna Beretta Molla on Holy Saturday Morning in Mesero (Milano) Italy", Salt + Light TV (blog), April 3, 2010. LINK

32. "A Pro-life Icon to Be Canonized, Gianna Molla Gave Her Life for Unborn Daughter", ZENIT, May 13, 2004. LINK

33. See the Bioethics section at LifeSite News website to read about Baby Joseph Maraachli. LINK