giovedì, febbraio 02, 2023

Biotestamento: poche richieste, un "radicale" insuccesso

A 5 anni dall'introduzione solo lo 0,4% degli italiani ha depositato le Dat (Disposizioni anticipate di trattamento). L'Associazione Luca Coscioni non si arrende ai fatti e affina le armi della propaganda per convincere il restante 99,6% di italiani che, evidentemente, non vogliono morire ma farsi curare.

Continua qui.

mercoledì, febbraio 01, 2023

mercoledì, gennaio 25, 2023

martedì, gennaio 24, 2023

NCCA confirms worst suspicions of parents about gender ideology


Many Parents have expressed serious concerns about proposed changes to the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum for junior cycle students (age 12-15). These are stated in response to a consultation process initiated by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). Their primary issues are about how ‘gender identity’ and pornography will be taught in schools.

The revision of the junior cycle RSE programme is part of an overall review of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum, which includes RSE.

Last year, the NCCA called for comments from the public through surveys, submissions and focus groups, and a report on the consultation has just been published.

Over 4,300 parents, 102 teachers and 142 students responded to the online survey. Others presented their views through letters or emails.

(The Iona Institute’s submission that can be found here)

The report acknowledges that the most common cause of concern among parents was the reference to “gender identity” in the draft, which says that pupils should “appreciate that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are core parts of human identity and that each is experienced along a spectrum”.

Proponents of ‘gender identity’ claim that being a boy, or a girl, is only one of countless variations of gender, which itself is independent of one’s bodily reality. Our ‘gender‘ is based on self-identification, not our actual biology. We might be physically male but identify as something different.

Some parents objected that this radical philosophy should not be in the curriculum as “it may lead to questioning, confusion and even harm for some adolescents.”

These parents said “the NCCA is seeking to promote ‘gender ideology’ by refusing to acknowledge the binary nature of gender.”

The NCCA now seems to have confirmed those parents’ worst suspicions. The report claims that “these respondents are strongly of the view that we are born as either male or female and that sex is binary and immutable”, as if this is somehow a fringe belief.

This comment is quite astonishing. The report presents as a “view” what is a scientific truth. It is not an opinion but a fact that we are all born as male or female, and sex is binary and immutable. Being male or female is written in every single cell of our body and there is no way to change that. Only a very radical ideology would deny this fact, but it appears to be one the NCCA accepts, which is deeply worrying.

Another cause of concern for many parents is the reference to pornography in the draft curriculum. These parents, says the NCCA, “fear that students would be exposed to pornography as part of classroom teaching and learning.”

The parents believe that putting the topic in the RSE curriculum is not appropriate for pupils aged 12-15 and this would “result in sexualization and harm of children”.

Parents also criticised “the lack of reference to morality, moral teachings or family values and would like to see the specification reflect a school’s right to teach topics in a manner that aligns with the school’s ethos and values.” Some even stated that they would withdraw their children from all SPHE classes if the proposed updates are accepted.

The NCCA might dismiss many of these parents as over-traditionalist in their outlook and not reflective of wider public opinion, but even parents who no longer fully subscribe to Christian teaching on sexual morality are likely to be annoyed at what is being considered.

Photo by Taylor Flowe on Unsplash

martedì, gennaio 17, 2023

Yet another study links religious practice and well-being


New research shows that the full benefits of religion are experienced more by those who actively engage in home-centred practices, in addition to regularly attending public worship. Home-worshippers report higher levels of meaning in their lives, personal happiness and intimate satisfaction with their relationships.

Many previous studies have shown the positive effect that religious practice has on mental wellbeing and life satisfaction. However, it might be claimed that the good outcomes derive not from religion itself, but rather from being part of a community, meeting similar minded people, receiving mutual support, etc. These social factors, rather than the religious element, could explain the positive effects of attending worship.

This new study focuses on those who practice religion at home through prayer, meditation, Scripture studies, etc. It is based on a sample of more than sixteen thousand respondents from eleven countries, including Ireland. Generally, researchers measure the level of religiosity in term of frequency of worship services while this new study takes into consideration home-centred religious practices as well.

The authors divide the sample into four groups: the “Secular”, who don’t practice religion; the “Nominals”, who might believe but do not regularly attend religious services; the “Attenders”, who go to church weekly but do not practice regularly at home; and the “Home-Worshippers”, who not only attend public worship regularly but are also engaged in some home practice (prayer, Bible study, etc.) at least three times a week.

The study found a strong correlation between home-centred religious worship patterns and measures of positive mental health and individual well-being.

In all the eleven countries sampled, the levels of religious involvement are associated with a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Moreover, Home-Worshippers are much more likely to report high levels of life meaning than any other group.

Respondents were asked to rate their current overall life happiness. It was discovered that with more religious involvement, happiness also increased. “Home Worshipper men are more than twice as likely to report a high level of happiness than are men with no religious involvement and nearly 40% higher than Attender men”, according to the study.

The researcher investigated not only individuals but also couples. They found that: “Women and men in the Home Worshipper category were significantly more likely to report experiencing a highly satisfied and stable relationship than less religious or nonreligious individuals. Women in Home Worshipper relationships are nearly twice as likely as women in Secular and Attender relationships to report high relationship quality”.

Home-Worshippers who pray together and couples in the Attenders group are significantly more likely to be in a relationship with deep emotional closeness than are women in Secular or Nominal relationships.

The study also suggests that regular home religious practices by couples create spiritual but also physical intimacy between the spouses, which can be measured in terms of sexual satisfaction.

Only 25pc of Secular women report being highly satisfied sexually, whereas 34pc of Nominal and Attender women are highly satisfied sexually and almost half (49%) of Home-Worshipper women are highly satisfied sexually, according to the research.

Overall, this study not only confirms the positive effects of religious practice and public worship, but it highlights how previous studies that grouped participants according to church attendance, underestimated the importance of private home-based religiosity.

giovedì, gennaio 12, 2023

Il mistero di Maria

Essa è la “Mystes”, come dicevano gli antichi, cioè è l'iniziatrice alla vita contemplativa. Di lei il Vangelo dice una sola cosa riguardo alla sua vita terrena: «Ella conservava nel suo cuore tutte queste cose» (cfr. Lc 2, 19). Tutta la vita di Maria Santissima si riassume in queste parole del Vangelo; è dunque Maria Santissima proprio il tipo dell'anima contemplativa. È giusto che Lei ci introduca nel mistero di Dio; bisogna avere una tenera e viva devozione alla Vergine perché noi possiamo vivere veramente la nostra vocazione contemplativa nella Comunità.
Si è sempre detto che la Comunità vuole soprattutto affermare e rendere testimonianza del primato dei valori contemplativi…. Ora, il rapporto personale vero con Dio come lo si vive se non con la preghiera? Praticamente, dunque, la nostra vita nella Comunità noi potremo viverla nella misura che noi vivremo la vera preghiera, una preghiera viva. E non possiamo essere – come dire? – educati a questa preghiera se non nell'intimità della Vergine, se non in una pietà, in una devozione, in un’unione con la Vergine Santa, con colei che è l'anima contemplativa per eccellenza….
La Madonna ci introduce alla divina presenza. Bisogna imparare ad amare Dio quaggiù, se vogliamo amarlo lassù. Non potremo amarlo domani se non lo amiamo già oggi, e non possiamo vederlo domani se in qualche modo non lo vediamo di già oggi. La vita presente è già un’educazione alla vita del cielo, perché vi è continuità tra la vita presente e quella futura. Fra la vita di grazia e la vita di gloria vi è continuità. Se non impariamo ad amarla oggi, se già ora non la desideriamo, se già ora in parte non procuriamo di viverla, la vita di domani – ed è l'unica vita –, essa ci rimarrà estranea, non l'ameremo, la rifuggiremo, vorremmo fuggire da Dio. «L'essere in Paradiso – diceva il Cardinale Newman – sarebbe per quest’anima come l'Inferno». Si sente spaesato, non è a casa sua. Ora, chi ci può portare in casa se non la mamma? Non è vero? È la mamma che ha le chiavi di casa, e la chiave del paradiso ce l'ha la Madonna. È lei che ci deve introdurre. Dobbiamo lasciarci portare da lei; che lei ci prenda per mano e ci introduca, giorno per giorno, sempre più dentro i segreti di Dio. È questa la funzione propria della Madonna; per questo noi la preghiamo e per questo la preghiera del Rosario nell'Occidente, l'Akathistos nell'Oriente sono state le preghiere che hanno introdotto i cristiani orientali e occidentali nella vita contemplativa, nell'unione con Dio. È la Vergine che ha la chiave di casa, è lei che c'introduce alla divina presenza, è Lei che ci fa vivere vicino al Signore. Come lei ci ha dato Gesù, così continua a darcelo; come lei ci ha dato Gesù, così ella ci porta a Lui. È quello che diciamo del resto nella Salve Regina: «Mostraci, dopo questo esilio, Gesù». Ma ce lo mostra già ora. È lei che ce lo fa vedere, è lei che ce lo dona, è lei che con Lui ci fa vivere, lei, la Vergine santa. Di qui l'importanza, dicevo, che ha per la Comunità la devozione alla Vergine.

Divo Barsotti

lunedì, gennaio 09, 2023

How parents of DS children are subtly directed toward abortion

There has been little reaction to the news that 95pc of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome before birth at the Rotunda hospital are subsequently aborted in England.

The response to these horrendous figures has been silence or fatalism. For some, it is an individual “choice” to be respected. There is nothing to be worried about or, even when people find the figures regrettable, little can be done.

I don’t have a view on whether that is the right thing. We don’t advocate for it, that is just the lived experience”, said prof Fergal Malone, master of the Rotunda.

Is it true? Is it really a purely personal choice, without outside influence or expectations from others? Two recent studies on the experience of parents of children with DS indicate otherwise.

Irish research published last year interviewed eight people following the birth of a child with DS. Some praised the doctors and nurses, but others said the information they received was too medically focused and too negative. It is very hard to believe the same does not happen to couples who are told their baby has DS before it is born.

“Don’t come in with a list of negatives, all the negatives that were put in your head initially we never expected her to be this good now”, said one of the interviewed mothers.

She recalls: “We received purely negative information that she could have this or that, …”

A father said, “Doctors should show compassion when they are delivering the news, have patience and don’t be rushing in and out”.

Danish study spoke to parents who were told their babies had Down Syndrome before they were born. In Denmark, almost all children with DS are aborted.

The study notes: “Following the diagnosis, the couples were generally critical of the information provided by the hospital. Some felt that the health professionals had painted an unnecessarily grim picture of Down Syndrome based on what couples perceived as outdated information. … Some felt that there was an unnecessary focus on potential diseases and additional diagnoses when the couple was more interested in their potential for living a fulfilling life.”

Participants in the study report feeling pressure from health professionals they encountered to abort, or else that they were presented with overly negative information about their babies.

The research found that “couples felt that termination of pregnancy had been taken for granted following the diagnosis: ‘As the obstetrician sat down, she put those abortion application forms on the table in front of her’”, recalls a mother.

Even conveying apparently neutral information, such as presenting what other couples generally do, can condition parents. We tend to imitate others. Social expectations can be subtle and unconscious.

“Maybe there’s something wrong with me since I don’t just do what 98pc of all people would do”, said a Danish mother in the study, who decided to have the baby.

“The high percentage of terminations in Denmark was a source of doubt and uncertainty during the decision-making process. This left the couples feeling vulnerable”, it notes.

“Why is Down Syndrome the disability [considered] socially acceptable to terminate? And how do we come back from that?”, asks actress Sally Phillips in her documentary “Prenatal Genetic Testing” where she investigates how Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests have increased the number of babies with DS, and other genetic or chromosomal anomalies, who are being aborted. Phillips has a son with Down Syndrome.

These tests, which can take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, are becoming more affordable and available. They can be used to prepare families to welcome a child with medical anomalies, or they can be used to get rid of them, as almost always happens when a diagnosis of DS is given. A proper ethical debate about those prenatal tests has still to happen in Ireland.

In a society that has normalised abortion, the main way to fight the progressive elimination of children with DS  is for doctors to portray life with the condition, and life for the parents of such a child, in far more positive terms than seems to be the case at the moment. The medical professionals claim to be neutral about their use, but being not directive isn’t enough when society goes in one direction only.

Certainly, a national debate is called for.

domenica, gennaio 08, 2023

Tutti i miei articoli del 2022

Qui sotto trovate un elenco di tutti i miei articoli non accademici pubblicati nel 2022


4th January 2022

‘An important voice is raised up against Assisted Suicide’


7th January 2022

“The deadly inaccuracy of many prenatal tests”


11th January 2022

“Countries requiring vaccine passport to attend worship”


14th January 2022

“The female victims of anti-Christian persecution”


19th January 2022

“In Austria pharmacies are now allowed to sell suicide drugs”


26th January 2022

“A big victory for the rights of parents”




1st February 2022

“Officials warn against commercial overseas surrogacy”


4th February 2022

‘How during the pandemic couples have changed their plans to have children’


8th February 2022

“Radical assisted suicide organisation opens in Ireland to almost no reaction”


22nd February 2022

‘Here is a little science: religious practice is good for you’


23rd February 2022

‘Vendesi pillola per il suicidio fai-da-te nelle farmacie austriache’




4th March 2022

‘A new Irish law will allow for deliberate creation of semi-orphans’


9th March 2022

‘The review of the operation of Ireland’s abortion law’


10th March 2022

““do-it-yourself” Selbstmordpille in Osterreichischen Apotheken verkauft’


11th March 2022

‘Una soluzione alla “maternità surrogata” c’è: divieto totale’


22nd March 2022

‘A landmark victory for a pro-life doctor’


29th March 2022

‘A non-debate in the Dail about the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill’



5th April 2022

‘Europe’s growing anti-Christian intolerance problem’


12th April 2022

‘Oireachtas Committee told harsh facts of life about commercial surrogacy’

20th April 2022

‘An extreme exclusion zone law is debated in the Seanad’


26th April 2022

‘Yet another study confirms the benefit of religious practice’





9th May 2022

‘Marriage in Ireland continues its decline’


13th May 2022

‘How religious sisters are the real founders of modern nursing’


17th May 2022

‘Catholic healthcare better than the secular alternative’


24th May 2022

‘The poor state of marriage across the EU’


31st May 2022

‘Forcing religious run health centres to allow assisted suicide’


7th June 2022

‘Conscientious objection to abortion remains strong in Irish hospitals’


24th June 2022

‘Number of abortions in England hits new record of 214,869’


28th June 2022

‘Why Roe vs Wade was overturned’





5th July 2022

‘Ireland plays along another charade at the UN’


11th July 2022

‘The appalling recommendations of the surrogacy committee’


14th July 2022

‘More than 7,000 Irish women had abortions last year’


18th July 2022

‘The appalling recommendations of the surrogacy committee’


20th July 2022

‘Pro-choice campaigners no longer care how many abortions take place’


26th July 2022

‘The radical approach to sex education backed by the HSE’


29th July 2022

‘L’Irlanda sta legalizzando l’”utero in affitto”’

‘Italy to legalize uterus for rent’


31st July 2022

‘L’Irlande va légalizer la location d’utérus’




10th August 2022

’10,000 Canadians died by euthanasia last year’


12th August 2022

‘Archie Battersbee case was not black or white’


19th August 2022

‘Liberals still ignore the fact that family structure matters’


26th August 2022

‘Political ideology as a substitute for religion’






14th September 2022

‘Why governments should pay more attention to family stability’


17th September 2022

‘Più l’eutanasia è legale, più ammazza senza motivo’


21st September 2022

‘Exploring the link between family breakdown and anti-social behaviour’


23rd September 2022

‘Exploring the link between family breakdown and anti-social behaviour’


24th September 2022

‘The more euthanasia is legal the more it kills for no reason’


27th September 2022

‘Plus l’euthanasie est légale plus elle tue sans raison’


‘Government’s latest legislative programme bad news for pro-lifers’




3rd October 2022

‘The coming depopulation bomb’


6th October 2022

‘Je legaler die Euthanasie, desto mehr Menschen werden ohne Grund getötet’


10th October 2022

‘A partial victory for the right to life in European court’


15th October 2022

‘The happiness gap between conservatives and liberals’

21st October 2022

‘HSE pushes for exclusion zones outside abortion facilities’


28th October 2022

‘Poor mental health among young people linked to decline of religion’



11th November 2022

‘Extreme pro-abortion measures passed in three US states’


18th November 2022

‘How Covid curbs on church going harmed public health’


23rd November 2022

‘An Ireland without Down Syndrome’


28th November 2022

‘New report highlights worsening persecution of Christians’



7th December 2022

‘Canada slides right down the assisted suicide slippery slope’


16th December 2022

‘Government recognising commercial surrogacy in all but name’