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June 25, 2012

Human Rights Update tramples Catholic conscience; silent on China forced abortion
by Marie Bowen

Presbyterians are a compassionate people. We have a long history of caring for the vulnerable and the hurting. We are proud of our reputation for engagement in public policy. Our understanding that God demands justice propels us to advocacy on behalf of the weak and oppressed. With unity we could be a formidable force for good in the world, but we are not united.

Often I regret that the political positions taken by the Advisory Committee for Social Witness Policy put us in opposition. I have usually been grateful for the Human Rights Updates that educate us about issues of injustice which should concern us all. Not so this time!

Even as the response may meet the formal criteria of a GA referral to one of its agencies, it fails to meet the standard of decent consideration of the underlying concerns and exposes weaknesses in the wording of the GA approved alternate resolution. Read more.

"We were privileged to love her"
reprinted from a Facebook post by Mary Naegeli

Y'all, I don't ordinarily post here, but I want to give witness by sharing a pastoral experience last week. I was called over to the hospital to meet a couple from church whose 7-month-gestation baby had died in the womb probably two days before. The doctor had just begun the process of inducing labor, which was expected to take maybe 12 more hours to complete. Since she was going to be lying there thinking about what was happening for so long, I felt led to be a bit more "directive" than I might otherwise, and shared with her "where God was." I told her that God had had her daughter Emma in his hands the whole time; she was known by him and loved from the moment of her conception, and nothing that had happened to her in the last 48 hours was separate from God's great love for her. Read more.

Ask Augustine: When does life begin?
Paul A Tambrino, Ed. D, Ph.D

Last week U.S. House of Representatives minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, D-California, a Roman Catholic said, "I do my religion on Sundays in church" and went on to say that those in the church who oppose President Obama's mandate on contraception are not speaking ex cathedra for the Catholic Church. A few years ago Pelosi (regarding the issue of when life begins) said "over the centuries, the Doctors (those theologians who established the doctrines) of the church have not been able to make that definition." She added that St. Augustine said, "at three months" and that "it's only been about 50 years that the church has understood life to begin at conception" Is she correct?

...

To say "I DO my religion" shows an entire lack of knowledge about the foundation of Christianity and the Catholic Church. Christ did it ALL because we could not do it.

...When Pelosi said the church has only held the view that "life begins at conception" for about 50 years, she made a factual error concerning the church. And when she added that my namesake, St. Augustine, said that life begins at "three months" she made an historical error involving the greatest theologian of Christianity's first 1,000 years.

Read the full article here.

In This Issue
Human Rights Update tramples Catholic conscience
"We were privileged to love her"
Ask Augustine: When does life begin?...
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Please pray for all of those who will be participating in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We are in a time of struggle about matters that are integral to our faith. Does Scripture have authority for our lives? Is the biblical view of marriage--one man and one woman becoming one flesh for a lifetime--to be changed by our culture or are we to uphold it? Does life in the womb matter to God and if so, how should he church respond to unwanted pregnancy in a way that makes it easy for a woman to choose life? These are struggles which are spiritual, not political, and prayer is our most effective tool. Please join us by praying for the PPL GA team. We are all in God's grip. He will not let us go. Praise be to God!
Yours in Christ for Life,
Marie Bowen
Executive Director
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