UNBORN WORD of the day

Benenson Society Launched
October 21, 2007, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life


White Rose*

On September 3, we had a post School Severs Ties with Amnesty and Starts a New Group Called Benenson Society.

Last week one of our readers in a comment asked:

Todays word of the day put me in mind of why I no longer support Amnesty International. Has anyone heard anything further on the Benenson Society?

Well I am happy to say that Fr Chris Middleton, S.J. has sent an email out announcing the official launching of the Benenson Society.

Benenson Society Information Page (St. Aloysius’ College)

On this page you will find:

  • Charter of the Benenson Society
  • Withdrawal from Amnesty and Establishment of the Benenson Society
  • Register as an individual or Chapter
  • Comments and Feedback

Father Chris explains in his email:
“We are now inviting groups and individuals to affiliate, especially existing Amnesty groups in schools or universities. The aim would be to allow groups to continue to do much as they are already doing and keep their autonomy while allowing the sharing of resources through an email group list and arrangements with human rights organizations…

As of Friday schools or individuals were able to go on the St Aloysius website and register membership. Initially Aloysius and Loreto here in Sydney will sponsor the Society, but hopefully once it is up and running it might be rotated around schools. Already schools in Brisbane and Perth and individuals in England have registered.”

*The Benenson Society has as its symbol a stylized white rose. This symbol draws inspiration from the White Rose Society, a group of Catholic and Protestant students and teachers at Munich University, who opposed Nazism with letters and pamphlets, with nine paying the ultimate price of being guillotined for their stand for human rights.


The Pro-life movement is winning: 12 reasons
September 18, 2007, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Religion


Last spring I had the privilege of hearing Father Frank Pavone speak. Of course, for years I had heard about Father Pavone – after hearing him speak I realized that his reputation was well earned. I found him to be one of the most convincing, balanced and dynamic pro-life speakers that I had ever heard. During his presentation he mentioned another talk that he sometimes gave entitled: Twelve Reasons the Pro-Life Movement is Winning. That really intrigued me!

I couldn’t find this 12 point list on his website so I did a google search and came up with two sources to put together this list (it may not be exactly his list but I think it is close).

The fist source I used was the Catholic Pro-life Committee and the second source was a radio show I found entitled: The Winning Side aired on March 18-19 (2006) Life on the Line Radio Program Index

Twelve Reasons the Pro-life Movement is Winning

1. A high percentage of young people are getting involved in the Pro-Life movement. (…and they realize that it could have been them!).

2. More and more women who have abortions are standing up and saying, “I regret my abortion!” (And the more abortions there are, the more women are standing up against what they have done.)

3. Researchers are coming up with more and more evidence that abortion as a supposed “benefit” to women does more harm than good.

4. Fewer and fewer doctors will perform abortions. (Ask the pro-choice doctors if they themselves will perform the abortion!).

5. In which directions are the conversions going? There is a society of former abortionists who used to use their skills to kill babies and now are seeking healing while some speak up against what they used to do. Where is the society of former Pro-Lifers who are now abortionists?

6. More people are voting pro-life than ever before. The number of people for which abortion (pro-life) is a deciding factor in voting is increasing.

7. Opinion polls are moving in the pro-life direction –no matter what age group or category you look at there is a trend that bodes well for the pro-life movement.

8. More laws have been passed on the state level to curtail abortion in the last dozen years.

9. Half of the abortion mills have closed in the past dozen years. There are now more pro-life resource centers across the country than abortion mills.

10. The U. S. Supreme court is moving in the Pro-life direction.

11. No lie can live forever – the truth always prevails. Abortion destroys itself – the more it is exposed – the more people see that it doesn’t help humanity or society.

12. Jesus has already won the battle over the kingdom of death!

Of course, Father Pavone fleshes out these points – giving statistics, evidence and examples. I would like to add that Father Pavone and his wonderful organization along with all of the other great Pro-life groups and individuals around the world are to be thanked for their great efforts on behalf of the unborn.



Dr. Thomas Hilgers – One of the Heroes of our Modern Age
September 7, 2007, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Medical/Bioethical Issues


A few days ago we had a post entitled Pro-life Doctors – Heroes of Our Modern Age. We would like to highlight one such doctor, Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. Dr. Hilgers founded and runs the Pope Paul VI Institute An Institute which in its own words is dedicated to building a Culture of Life.

For years I have heard about Dr. Hilgers in relation to his work with Natural Family Planning but what I didn’t realize is that his institute is dedicated to confronting many of the challenges to do with fertility including developing moral options to treat woman who are infertile. What brought my attention to Dr. Hilgers was a friend who told me her daughter-in-law, who is now pregnant with her third child, would never have been able to have children if it weren’t for the Pope Paul VI Institute.

Below the institute describes how it tries to build a Culture of Life:

“By confronting the contraceptive mentality, which is the gateway to abortion.
By confronting artificial reproductive technologies that suppress, distort, and alter women’s fertility; that negatively impact marriages and families; and that lead to the “new abortion.”
By confronting moral erosion.
By confronting Planned Parenthood’s agenda.”

Here are a few links that explain Dr. Hilgers work:

In Their Own Words: Women Healed

Institute Practices Reproductive Medicine — and Catholicism

Agents of Change






School severs ties with Amnesty and starts a new group called Benenson Society
September 3, 2007, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life


As many of you already know Amnesty International recently abandoned its neutral stance on abortion and thereby abandoned the most vulnerable members of our society, the unborn.

On May 18, 2007 Fr Chris Middleton SJ, Principal at St Aloysius College (a Catholic independent day school, for boys from grade 3 to grade 12), Milson’s Point, in Sydney, Australia who has been an active member of Amnesty for many years made this statement:

As a Catholic priest and the Principal of a school with an active Amnesty group, such a change in policy places me in the unwanted position of contemplating the closing down of Amnesty’s presence in the school.

Recently, after Amnesty International reaffirmed its decision to endorse abortion on August 18, Fr. Chris did just that – severed his school’s ties with Amnesty and started a new group called The Benenson Society. Here is a statement that Father Chris sent out to announce his decision.

The society will be called the Benenson Society, after Peter Benenson, the Catholic lawyer who founded Amnesty, and will hopefully embody something of the spirituality, as well as idealism, that led to the formation of Amnesty. The Benenson Society will have as its symbol a stylised white rose. This symbol draws inspiration from the White Rose Society, a group of Catholic and Protestant students and teachers at Munich University, who opposed Nazism with letters and pamphlets, with nine paying the ultimate price of being guillotined for their stand for human rights. A film about one of its members, Sophie Scholl, was released recently. Over the next few months we will work on a charter for the group with Mrs Connolly and the boys. Already schools from Sydney and Melbourne have expressed interest in the project, and it may well be a model that many school groups could follow.

I would like to urge parents and teachers to consider approaching their Catholic and Christian schools to try to get them to sever their Amnesty ties and perhaps follow Father Chris’s courageous example.

Below are links to pages (along with the above links) that you might want to print up to bring to your principal/school:

Press Release United State Conference of Catholic Bishops

Vatican Official Urges Catholic Church to Boycott Amnesty International Over Abortion.

U.S. Bishops Decry Amnesty’s Pro-Abortion Stance

Australia Catholic Church Likely to Cut Amnesty Intl Ties Over Abortion

Cardinal O’Brien resigns from Amnesty International – Press Release

English Catholic bishop quits Amnesty International over abortion rights stance

Amnesty International Comes Under Fire for Taking Pro-Abortion Stance

Comments on AI’s abortion decision from around the web

And finally there is a great blog dedicated to this topic – where you can get more information on this issue.

Save Amnesty International

Bishop Vaughan – A man to remember (1927-2000)
June 24, 2007, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Quotes from Great Christians


Today June 25, 2007 is the memorial of the death of a truly inspirational man, Bishop Austin Vaughan. My husband and I were inspired by Bishop Vaughan’s witness as a Bishop and as a pro-life leader.

John Burger in his tribute to Bishop Vaughan writes: “In December 1987 Bishop Vaughan received an invitation to join Operation Rescue, which had just begun its nonviolent protests aimed at shutting down abortion clinics.

He did not respond immediately, but, after a virtual blackout of the abortion debate during the 1988 presidential primary campaign in New York, he decided that he had to do something to make abortion an issue for voters and candidates. Along with New York Giants star Mark Bavaro and 500 others, he was arrested at an upper East Side Manhattan abortion clinic in May 1988. He went on to be arrested at least eight other times in Dobbs Ferry, Albany, Amherst, N.Y., Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as the Netherlands and Belgium. He served prison sentences of up to 10 days for the actions.”

Father Frank Pavone writes about Bishop Vaughan’s decision to be involved in these rescues:

“I have never broken the law. I have never been arrested. Yet I often think of Bishop Austin Vaughan, auxiliary bishop of New York, who in the last years of his life of faithful service to the Church, was arrested and imprisoned many times for rescuing unborn babies. He saw what Christians were doing across the country as they peacefully blocked the doors of abortion mills to put their bodies between the babies and the instruments of death. Then one day he looked at his episcopal ring, and realized that the three figures on it — St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Lord Jesus — had all been arrested and imprisoned! He no longer hesitated to do so too, if it was the price to pay for saving lives.”

Bishop Vaughan was also known for his tireless defense of the faith. For instance, after Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, many voices both outside and sadly inside the Church spoke out against him and this teaching. Bishop Vaughan was one of a small group of Theologians who frequently defended Pope Paul and this teaching. There were numerous other instances of his strong defense of the faith.

Here are three links to help us remember this kind man whose favorite saying was “Whatever God Sends” and who lived by this motto: “To Jesus through Mary”.

A tribute by John Burger

The Catholic duty to be Prolife by Bishop Vaughan

An Assessment of Present Day Catechesis by Bishop Vaughan

We received the following note from Kathy Reilly: Fr. Thomas Morrette has begun the cause for his canonization, but you know how slow things like this can go. It is our hope to obtain letters of testimony from people who knew him, worked with him and were imprisoned with him. He truly was a saintly man of the clothe, a saint who humbly walked among us.

She gave us an address that you can write to for prayer cards – I’m sure you could send any testimonies that you might have to this address too:

Bishop Vaughan Prayer Cards
11 J Street
Schenectady, NY 12305-1133