martedì, aprile 30, 2019

In England the abortion situation becomes worse

The UK Office for Nationals Statistics has released the 2017 data on pregnancies in England and Wales. When compared with the statistics about abortion, those data give us a frightening account of the situation: pregnancies and births are decreasing while abortions are increasing. (note 1)
The number of pregnancies or conceptions in the general population seems to follow a cyclical pattern. They went up in the 1980s, down in the 1990s, up again in the 2000s and then down again.
The only pregnancy rate that has been constantly decreasing in the last decade is for girls under 16. This is a common phenomenon in Western countries and it seems to be related to the fact that teenagers are now spending less time together as they prefer to socialise online. Less direct contact also means less chance to become pregnant.
One would expect that a constant decrease in the number of pregnancies would also imply a lower number of abortions but, instead, the percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion has increased compared to ten or twenty years ago. This debunks the myth that the legalisation of abortion makes it somehow less common.
In 2017, three pregnancies out of every five ended in abortion among the under 16s, or in other words, there were three terminations for every two births.

Statistics show that even if fewer teenagers are becoming pregnant, a higher percentage of those pregnancies end in abortion. Politicians and campaigners have to realise that simply preventing teenager pregnancies (an excellent goal) does not necessarily entail a reduction in abortion.
The only pregnancy rate that is increasing is for women over 35 and it has more than doubled since 1990 for women over 40. Couples tend to have children later.

Overall, conception rates and also births are decreasing. The total fertility rate for England and Wales is 1.76 children per woman.
With regard to marital status, 58.7% of pregnancies took place outside of marriage in 2017. The figure was 51.2% in 1998. This growth is not good news as pregnancies outside of marriage are more likely to end in abortion. In 2017, 91% of pregnancies in married women ended in a live birth, while this figure is much lower (67.4%) in non-married women. In other words, one out of three pregnancies in non-married women ended in abortion versus less than one in ten among married women.
According to the 2017 report from the Department of Health, 82% of abortions in England and Wales were carried out on single women and this has been a constant through the years. Only 16% were married while 53% were single with a partner. This confirms that marriage hugely reduces the chance of having an abortion, which is something that we rarely hear in debates.
  1. Conception and abortion rates do not include miscarriages and abortions procured by illegal pills or by contraceptives that have an abortifacient effect. About 1 out of 8 pregnancies are miscarried.

sabato, aprile 27, 2019

NEWMAN-Une épokhè newmanienne?

Un mio articolo viene menzionato in questo recente intervento su Newman e la fenomenologia.

NEWMAN-Une épokhè newmanienne? 

venerdì, aprile 26, 2019

Time for a bigger spotlight on rogue fertility clinics

We hear a lot in the papers about ‘rogue’ pro-life counselling agencies. But what of rogue fertility clinics? The fertility business is huge and anxious couples pay a very great deal of money in their efforts to become pregnant, efforts that often result in failure. Sally Cheshire, chairman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the UK, has recently warned that older women in particular are being exploited by fertility clinics offering them services that are almost always unsuccessful.
“I would like our clinics to be honest about the success rates,” Mrs Chesire said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “They are catering to a bunch of vulnerable women.”
She also pointed out that they are sometimes charging not the recommended £5,000 per cycle, but up to £20,000, which is outrageous.
There are different ways to calculate the success rate of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR). One is based on the number of treatment cycles and another on the number of implanted embryos. In any case, the desired outcome, which is the birth of a baby, is much rarer than people think.
For instance, in the UK between 2004 and 2017 only 25 of 2,406 embryos transferred in women over the age forty-four ended with a birth. This is the equivalent of a 1% success rate or a 99% failure rate.
Mrs Cheshire visited a fertility fair recently and was surprised by the aggressive tactics used by the industry. She was offered supposed promising services in spite of her age, which is 50.
“Some of the private sector clinics use very selective success rates in their sales tactics which we are also trying to stop. Because they need to be honest about their results by age group, by category of patient” she told the Daily Telegraph.
When a woman uses her own eggs, chances to give birth decrease with age as their quality and quantity declines.
Here is a breakdown by age of the success rate, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority:
32.2% for women under 35
27.7% for women aged 35-37
20.8% for women aged 38-39
13.6% for women aged 40-42
5.0% for women aged 43-44
1.9% for women aged 45+
The percentage represents the number of live births per treatment cycle. In order to improve the success rates, older women often use eggs purchased from younger women, which of course cuts the tie to the natural mother.
In her interview, Sally Cheshire also complained that costs of treatments are being inflated by the growing use of “add-ons”. Many clients feel they must do everything possible to increase their chances of success but there is no conclusive evidence that what clinics are promoting as boosting fertility actually works.
The AHR industry is riddled with ethical problems including the huge wastage of human embryos, the potential for exploiting vulnerable people desperate for children and the deliberate cutting of the natural ties when third-party gametes are used.
How about those media who love to highlight ‘rogue’ pro-life counselling agencies give the same amount or more attention to the much bigger rogue fertility clinics currently charging people vast sums for a service that is often virtually guaranteed to fail?

giovedì, aprile 25, 2019

Marco Sermarini, presidente della Società Chestertoniana Italiana, è a Dublino in questi giorni.
Stasera parlerà dell'esperienza dei Tipi Loschi, delle loro cooperative, della scuola Chesterton, ecc.
L'incontro pubblico è previsto presso la Newman's University Church in St. Stephen's Green alle 20.00.
Domani invece parlerà della santità di Chesterton presso la Central Catholic Library in Merrion Square, alle 13.00.

lunedì, aprile 22, 2019

Airijos Aukščiausiasis Teismas netiesiogiai pripažino poligamines santuokas

Questo è un mio articolo tradotto in lituano per il sito Pro Patria.

Airijos Aukščiausiasis Teismas (toliau – Teismas) neseniai priimtame sprendime byloje dėl poligaminių santuokų nurodė, kad nuo šiol išskirtinis vieno sutuoktinio pasirinkimas nebėra svarbus santuokos elementas. Vyro ir moters santuokos, pagrįstos moraliniais įsipareigojimais vienas kitam, samprata po šio Teismo sprendimo prarado teisinę prasmę.

Byloje H.A.H. prieš S.A.A ir kitus buvo aiškinamasi, ar poligaminė santuoka, sudaryta libaniečio vyro ir dviejų moterų, gali būti pripažinta galiojančia Airijos valstybėje. Teismas nusprendė, kad galioja tik pirmoji santuoka, tuo tarpu antrosios nusprendė nepripažinti. Vis dėlto priimdamas sprendimą dėl pirmosios santuokos teisėtumo Teismas išskirtinio vieno partnerio pasirinkimo (angl. exclusivity) nelaikė būtinu santuokos elementu. Nors vyras, sudarydamas pirmąją santuoką, neturėjo intencijos pasirinkti vieną žmoną, laikytis monogamijos principo ir buvo atviras kitoms santuokoms, Teismas nevertino to kaip santuokos negaliojimo požymio.

Iki šiol bendrojoje teisės tradicijoje santuokos samprata aiškinta sero Jameso Wilde‘o žodžiais Hyde prieš Hyde ir Woodmansee byloje dėl poligamijos: „Aš suvokiu, jog santuoka, kaip suprantama krikščioniškame pasaulyje, yra savanoriška vyro ir moters sąjunga, sudaroma visam gyvenimui, atsisakant kitų galimų sutuoktinių“.

Airijoje 1995 metais įteisinus skyrybas, santuoka nustojo būti neišskiriama vyro ir moters sąjunga. Po 2015 metų referendumo dėl seksualinių mažumų „santuokų“, santuokinis gyvenimas (angl. conjugality) neteko savo prasmės. Po šio Teismo sprendimo ją praranda ir išskirtinių santykių su vienu asmeniu principas.

Taip pat galima daryti išvadą, kad nereikšmingas tampa ir seksualinio ryšio principas, būtinas gyvybei pradėti. Tai patvirtina 2015 metų Referendumo komisijos laikysena, kad du heteroseksualūs draugai irgi gali susituokti, jeigu to panorėtų.

Šioje poligamijos byloje generalinis prokuroras siūlė nepripažinti nei vienos libaniečio santuokos galiojančia Airijoje, kadangi „Airijos viešoji tvarka prieštarauja teisinėms pasekmėms, susijusioms su poligamine santuoka šioje šalyje“.

Nepaisant to, Aukščiausiasis Teismas nusprendė priešingai. Teisėja O‘Malley aiškino: „Skyrybų „be kaltės“ bei Konstitucijos pataisos, įtvirtinančios tos pačios lyties asmenų „santuokas“, pripažinimas lėmė santuokos instituto ryšių su krikščioniška doktrina nutrūkimą <…> Mano suvokimu, remiantis Konstitucija, šiais laikais santuokos institutas remiasi savanorišku asmeniniu ir teisiniu susitarimu, pagrįstu lygia partneryste tarp dviejų žmonių, kurių kiekvienas yra pajėgus tokį susitarimą sudaryti laikydamasis galiojančių įstatymų“.

Teisėja yra teisi teigdama, jog religinės ir civilinės santuokos institutai Airijoje neteko turėto panašumo. Tačiau jos santuokos apibrėžimas panašesnis į verslo susitarimą. Galima tik abejoti, ar tokių intencijų santuokos institutui Airijoje ir turėjome.

sabato, aprile 20, 2019

Lyra McKee, uccisa dall'eredità non risolta della conflitto in Nord Irlanda

La mia cara amica Francesca Lozito ha una newsletter sull'Irlanda, che vi invito a seguire. Questo è quanto ha scritto ieri.

venerdì, aprile 19, 2019

"Allora il centurione che gli stava di fronte, vistolo spirare in quel modo, disse: 'Veramente quest'uomo era Figlio di Dio!'"

"In principio era il Verbo, la Parola di Dio" (Gv 1,1). Egli è identico a se stesso; ciò che è lo è sempre; non può mutare, è l'essere. E' il nome che fece conoscere al suo servo Mosè: "Io sono colui che sono!" e "Dirai agli Israeliti: Io-Sono mi ha mandato a voi" (Es 3,14) ... Chi può capirlo? O chi potrà arrivare a lui - a supporre che dirige tutte le forze del suo spirito per raggiungere bene o male colui che è? Lo paragonerei ad un esiliato, che vede la patria da lontano: il mare lo separa; vede dove andare, ma non ha i mezzi per andarci. Così noi vogliamo arrivare al porto definitivo che sarà nostro, là dove è colui che è, poiché lui solo è sempre lo stesso, ma l'oceano del mondo ci taglia la strada...
Per darci il mezzo di andarci, colui che ci chiama è venuto da là; ha scelto un legno per farci attraversare il mare: sì, nulla può attraversare l'oceano di questo mondo che portato dalla croce di Cristo. Persino un cieco può abbracciare questa croce; se non vedi bene dove vai, non lasciarla: ti condurrà lei stessa. ecco, fratello miei, ciò che vorrei entrasse nel vostro cuore: se volete vivere nello spirito di pietà, lo spirito cristiano, attaccatevi a Cristo come si è fatto per noi, per raggiungerlo come è e come è sempre stato. Per questo è disceso fino a noi, poiché si è fatto uomo per portare gli infermi, far loro attraversare il mare e farli approdare in patria, dove non c'è più bisogno di barca perché non c'è più oceano da attraversare. Meglio sarebbe non vedere con lo spirito colui che è, ma abbracciare la croce di Cristo, piuttosto che vederlo in spirito e disprezzare la croce. Potessimo, per nostra fortuna, sia vedere dove andiamo e aggrapparci alla barca che ci porta...! Certi ci sono riusciti, ed hanno visto chi egli è. Perché l'ha visto Giovanni ha detto: "In principio era il Verbo e il Verbo era presso Dio, e il Verbo era Dio". L'hanno visto; e per arrivare a quanto vedevano da lontano, si sono attaccati alla croce di Cristo, non hanno disprezzato l'umiltà di Cristo.

Sant'Agostino (354-430)
vescovo d'Ippona (Africa del Nord) e dottore della Chiesa
Omelie sul Vangelo di San Giovanni, n. 2

giovedì, aprile 18, 2019

Ireland must have a debate about gene-editing

Ireland needs to have a debate about the use of ‘CRISPR’ technology, a gene-editing technique that can affect the DNA of future generations of human beings. A number of eminent scientists and bioethicists have recently called for a moratorium on techniques to make genetically modified children. They believe that a proper debate is urgent in society, before proceeding further.
The move came after a Chinese scientist named He Jiankui announced that he had created the world’s first gene-edited, designer babies—twin girls named Lulu and Nana. His intention was to modify their genes so they would not acquire HIV from their father.
Scientists reacted with horror because no-one had yet brought a baby to term that has been modified via CRISPR.
CRISPR, together with similar tools, has been used in laboratories with the purpose of correcting genetic defects before or just after conception. The technique and its possible consequences are extremely controversial from a moral point of view, even if the intent of preventing hereditary diseases might appear noble.
The above-mentioned scientists and bioethicists are only asking for “the establishment of an international framework in which nations, while retaining the right to make their own decisions, voluntarily commit to not approve any use of clinical germline editing unless certain conditions are met.” So, it is only temporary and voluntary. Also, they are not calling for a ban on such research tout court but only on its clinical use, i.e. the transfer of those embryos into a woman’s uterus. Research will continue but embryos will be destroyed rather than been implanted. This is hardly respectful of human life.
Still, it is significant that this request comes directly from those who are, or have been, engaged in such research. It is not the first time that the scientific community asks for a proper debate about the medical, societal, and moral issues associated to genetic editing, before being permitted. Similar appeals have been issued in the past by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, for instance, and from the International Summit on Human Genome Editing.
The large majority of European countries ban germline modification. In Ireland we don’t have legislation covering those issues yet, but only guidelines prohibiting the production of embryos for research, and therefore gene modification for reproduction.
The General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017, which is still a draft, does not allow the creation of an embryo specifically for use in research and it would not permit the transfer into the body of a woman of a gamete or an embryo that has been genetically modified. This means that genetic engineering would not be permitted.
A number of ethical issues arise with gene editing, particularly when it happens not at the gamete stage, which is before conception, but at the embryo stage, when a new human being already exists.
Besides the fact that the separation of human reproduction from sexual reproduction per se is ethically problematic, there are other moral concerns with regard to the production of human life in a laboratory as this inevitably implies the waste of a large number of human embryos artificially created.
Moreover, genetic engineering becomes eugenics (literally “good breeding”) when those who are ‘worthy’ of life are selected and implanted while those who are considered defective are discarded. The noble purpose of eradicating inherited disease can easily become the rationale for destroying those human beings who are carrying that same disease.  Unlike gametes (egg and sperm), embryos are human being and should be respected.
Regardless the possible eugenic usage of those techniques, there are ethical concerns deriving also from the risk of introducing unintended mutations in patients, while the long-term consequences of those procedures are still unknown.
The appeal should be welcomed, as a sign of an increasing self-awareness of the scientific community, but the bar should be set higher and not only clinical application but even research should be suspended before a proper debate takes place.

martedì, aprile 16, 2019

Da qui, sulla Place du Châtelet, dove mi trovo bloccato a piedi, vedo distintamente la grande flèche di Notre Dame in fiamme: brucia, e io mi chiedo come quella grande guglia possa ardere letteralmente come un immenso fiammifero gotico puntato verso il cielo. Una preghiera, potrei dire.
Se fossi ebreo, oserei quasi interpretarla come un dito indice puntato contro Dio onnipotente che ha voluto un orrore del genere. Una tragedia senza fine. Ne parlo da parigino ormai quasi abituale, ne parlo da medievista: mentre racconto, lingue enormi di fuoco si stanno levando da dietro le due torri della facciata. Li conosco centimetro per centimetro, quei posti. È la navata centrale che sta andando a fuoco. Io non ci credo e una mano di ferro mi stringe all’altezza dell’esofago. Sono trent’anni che non piango, ma ora non riesco a trattenere le lacrime. I quais sono pieni di folla attonita, le strade intasate. C’è qualche imbecille che approfitta per farsi un selfie e mi verrebbe voglia di scaraventarlo nella Senna. Sta bruciando il corpo centrale di Notre Dame e la sciagura è immane.
Dico Notre Dame de Paris e immediatamente tutti pensano a Victor Hugo, a Esmeralda, a Quasimodo. Questo per dire fino a che punto un monumento del genere ci sia entrato nell’anima e nel sangue. Non credevamo di amarla tanto. Entri per uno dei tre grandi portali e ti trovi immerso nella storia. La nostra storia, non solo quella del Medio Evo. Quella dell’Europa che stiamo in questi giorni dimostrando di amare così poco. Ho accolto questo orribile spettacolo come un presagio funesto, a poche settimane dalla competizione elettorale europea. Forse qualcosa di analogo devo averlo provato, quando è crollato il grande transetto della basilica superiore di San Francesco ad Assisi. Allora pensammo ai mali e alle tragedie della Chiesa cattolica. Adesso, di fronte a questa colonna di fumo paurosa e imponente che oscura il cielo di Parigi, mi trovo, vecchio europeista, solo, davanti ai miei quasi 80 anni, alle mie paure, alla mia ormai sempre più debole speranza di vedere unita finalmente la patria che amo.
In questo istante sta crollando la grande guglia centrale di Notre Dame: cede, gigante di cemento e legno, di fronte alla furia di quella cosa che pensiamo di poter dominare. La natura. Eppure siamo nel cuore della grande e potente Europa. Alla tv francese, il presidente Macron si diceva sicuro di poter parlare al suo popolo e cambiare in speranza la protesta. Dio non voglia che questa sia, dall’alto, una risposta a quelle parole imprudentemente ottimistiche.
Notre Dame è lì da quasi otto secoli. È nata per volontà di uno dei più grandi personaggi della storia europea, San Luigi IX, anche se prima della riorganizzazione duecentesca una cattedrale c’era già. Ma non era quella meraviglia, quel colosso, che è diventata più tardi. Ha visto Francesco I, Enrico IV, il Re Sole. Luigi XIV, appunto, la volle riammodernata in veste barocca. È così che la vide Napoleone I quando volle diventare Imperatore cristiano ed essere benedetto da un Papa che era quasi suo prigioniero. Ne ha viste di belle e di brutte, la vecchia chiesa che, in pieno 800, fu completamente restaurata e forse reinventata nelle forme gotiche che ci sono care da Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Lucien Febvre diceva che l’uomo non ricorda mai, ricostruisce di continuo.
Anche per le chiese, le città, la storia è la stessa cosa. Parigi come Assisi, come San Gimignano, come Venezia. Noi ci illudiamo di vedere il passato così come era, ma in realtà assistiamo di continuo a ricostruzioni. Ma, in fondo, questa falsificazione è la prova più profonda del nostro amore per la storia. La reinventiamo perché non possiamo perderla. Sarà così per Notre Dame, tra qualche anno la rivedremo più bella di prima. E la gente si dimenticherà di questo maledetto 15 aprile. Ne ha visti, anche di momenti terribili, la storia della cattedrale. Qui, in un giorno di giugno del 1940, giunse il vincitore del momento, Adolf Hitler. Di fronte alla torre Eiffel si fece ritrarre in una superba fotografia da conquistatore. Davanti alla tomba di Napoleone accennò a un deferente inchino. Ma arrivato a Notre Dame qualcosa nel suo vecchio cuore austriaco gli suggerì un gesto. Sostò un istante, si tolse il berretto militare e se lo passò sotto l’avambraccio sinistro. Poi avanzò deciso.
Ne ha viste di cose la nostra Notre Dame, ha visto l’ingresso di Hitler e oggi vede le fiamme levarsi alte dal suo corpo. È sopravvissuta al Fuhrer. Sopravviverà all’incendio. Dio è con lei.

Pubblicato in MC

lunedì, aprile 15, 2019


Ma main n’a pas la force, de briser la pierre, Demain, mon corps, redeviendra poussière, Je ne peux lutter seul, contre cette meute de loups, Je suis faible, faible, dans ce monde de fous, Donc je m’abandonne, en ton amour, Et je te donne, j’te donne, ma vie pour toujours, yeah, J’abandonne mes souffrances et mes peines, Mais aussi la joie et la vie que je mène en ton amour, en ton amour, oh, Car je vis dans un monde d’anciens, appelant le bien par le mal, le mal par le bien, Je vis sur une terre d’exilés, n’ayant que ta voix, pour me pro-téger. We need protection, yeah, My soul, my Lord, needs consolation.

giovedì, aprile 11, 2019

martedì, aprile 09, 2019

17 Perfetta Letizia - OST Musical Forza Venite Gente

Frate Leone, agnello del Signore,
per quanto possa un frate sull' acqua camminare
sanare gli ammalati o vincere ogni male;
o far vedere i ciechi e i morti camminare...
Frate Leone, pecorella del Signore,
per quanto possa un santo frate
parlare ai pesci e agli animali
e possa ammansire i lupi e farli amici come cani;
per quanto possa lui svelare che cosa ci dará il domani....
Tu scrivi che questa non è:
perfetta letizia, perfetta letizia, perfetta letizia ah, ah.
Frate Leone, agnello del Signore,
per quanto possa un frate parlare tanto bene
da far capire i sordi e convertire i ladri,
per quanto anche all 'inferno lui possa far cristiani...
tu scrivi che questa non é :
perfetta letizia, perfetta letizia, perfetta lettizia, ah, ha.
Se in mezzo a frate inverno,. tra neve, freddo e vento,
sta sera arriveremo a casa e busseremo giù al portone
bagnati, stanchi e affamati,
ci scambieranno per due ladri, ci scacceranno come cani,
ci prenderanno a bastonate e al freddo toccherá aspettare
con sora notte e sora fame,
e se sapremo pazientare, bagnati, stanchi e bastonati
pensando che così Dío vuole e il male trsformarlo in bene,
tu scrivi che questa è:
perfetta letizia, perfetta letizia, perfetta letizia, ah, ah
perfetta letizia...

lunedì, aprile 08, 2019

Calls to end transgender ‘experiment on children’

Questo articolo apparso sul Times di Londra oggi conferma quanto gli attivisti anti-gender dicono da tempo. Va letto con attenzione.


Calls to end transgender ‘experiment on children’

The only NHS gender clinic for children is risking a “live experiment” by sending hundreds for life-changing medical intervention without sufficient evidence of its long-term effects, experts have warned.

The Times has spoken to five clinicians who resigned from the service because of concerns over the treatment of vulnerable children who come to the clinic presenting as transgender.

They believe that some gay children struggling with their sexuality are being wrongly diagnosed as “transgender” by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic.

All five former staff were responsible for deciding which trans-identifying youngsters should be given hormone blockers to halt their sexual development. The vast majority of those who begin blockers go on to irreversible cross-sex hormones once they reach 16.

The NHS specialists warned that vulnerable children and teenagers had been sent down the path towards transition before experts had time to assess the causes of their gender confusion.

An Oxford professor has also raised concerns about the safety of drug therapies used by the clinic, saying the treatments were “supported by low-quality evidence, or in many cases no evidence at all”.

The number of young people referred to the clinic in north London has soared. In 2010 there were 94 referrals. By last year there were 2,519. The youngest was aged three. The five clinicians are among at least 18 clinical staff who have resigned over the past three years.

In an internal review, seen by The Times, the GIDS admitted it needed to improve its referral system and the way it obtained and recorded informed consent before young people were sent for life-changing medical intervention.

“I felt for the last two years what kept me in the job was the sense there was a huge number of children in danger. I was there to protect children from being damaged,” one clinician said.

“This experimental treatment is being done on not only children, but very vulnerable children,” another said.

All five said they believed that transgender charities such as Mermaids were having a “harmful” effect by allegedly promoting transition as a cure-all solution for confused adolescents. The charities deny the allegation.

The clinicians said they were often under pressure to refer young people for life-altering treatment, even though they did not always believe it was in the individual’s best clinical interests.

The clinic said it used licensed precocious puberty drugs whose long-term effects were known and insisted that its service was safe and that, “in the growing evidence internationally on the outcomes . . . there is little reported evidence of harm”. “We always place a young person’s wellbeing at the centre of our work,” it said.

The specialists expressed concern that many children decided they wanted to change gender after suffering homophobic bullying. Yet these young people were still referred down the route of hormone treatment, they claimed, without clinicians always exploring the possibility they may simply be gay. One clinician said that she feared the use of hormone therapy for such children could result in a scandal.

The GIDS denies the claims, saying it offers a “safe” service that recognises and respects the complexity of its cases.

Under the clinic’s rules, a young person who has already started puberty may be referred for hormone blockers. These are physically reversible, insofar as the body will continue to develop if they are discontinued, but the long-term effect on brain development is unknown. Irreversible cross-sex hormones can be prescribed from 16.

Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre of Evidence-based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “Given paucity of evidence, the off-label use of drugs [for outcomes not covered by the medicine’s licence] in gender dysphoria treatment largely means an unregulated live experiment on children.”

The service insisted that its internal review “did not identify any immediate issues in relation to patient safety or failings in the overall approach taken by the service”.

The GIDS said that time and care was taken at every stage to ensure that individuals grasped the potential consequences of their choices. It said that its staff had no preconceptions as to the appropriate treatment and that discussions around sexuality “now form a more explicit part of our approach to assessment and exploration”.

Addressing concerns over the scarcity of evidence, it added: “It is only in recent years that the number of young people attending specialist services worldwide has dramatically increased. Prior to this the numbers have been small and it has therefore been difficult to collect sufficient evidence to fully evaluate treatment pathways. We and other specialist services worldwide are actively engaged in research to better understand the characteristics and needs of young people attending specialist services.”

The Department of Health said that “the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is subject to inspections, monitoring and regulation”.

sabato, aprile 06, 2019


Ora mi trovate anche su Sfero, un nuovo social network al quale vi consiglio di iscrivervi.

venerdì, aprile 05, 2019

Stand Together to Defend International Religious Freedom

Pubblichiamo di seguito l’intervento che il Cardinale Segretario di Stato Pietro Parolin ha pronunciato il 3 aprile a conclusione dei lavori del Simposio Stand Together to Defend International Religious Freedom che ha avuto luogo presso la sede dell’Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti presso la Santa Sede:

Intervento del Cardinale Segretario di Stato

Excellencies, Dear Friends,
I am pleased to have this occasion to offer some brief remarks at the conclusion of this International Religious Freedom Symposium, organized by the United States Embassy to the Holy See with the cooperation of other institutions. A special word of thanks goes to Ambassador Gingrich for extending the kind invitation to me to deliver some final reflections on the theme: Stand Together to Defend International Religious Freedom.
A brief consideration of the numerous violations of religious liberty on the global stage and the appalling number of innocent persons that suffer persecution, because of their beliefs, including many Christians, should leave no doubt in our minds that we are dealing with an aggressive attack that strikes at the very core of the enjoyment of fundamental human rights, which are necessary for the flourishing of the human person, of society as a whole, and for the peaceful coexistence among nations.
Despite so many efforts to promote and reinforce the fundamental human right of religious freedom, we are actually witnessing a continued deterioration, we might even say an assault, of this inalienable right in many parts of the world. Religion has always been the subject of great consideration as seen in its regulation by domestic or international legal systems. The choice of faith and the consequent adherence to a religion impacts every level of life, as well as the social and political spheres. Therefore, the choice, and the practice, of one’s faith must be free of constraints and coercion. Notwithstanding the strong protection that religious freedom has within the framework of international law, including its clear presentation in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) as well as in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, we continue to witness grave violations of this basic fundamental right that often occur with impunity and at times receiving little, if any, attention in the media.
This being said, the subject matter of the two panel discussions held this morning are quite appropriate. Raising public awareness on the reality of religious persecution, particularly via the rapid means now available with digital media, remains a useful step to address violations of religious freedom. Indeed, those involved in the area of media and social communications must bringing to light those realities that threaten the common good of the human family. Crass violations of the freedom of religion should be numbered among such threats.
The second panel raises an even more difficult subject, that of international cooperation not simply “standing together” but “working together” on all levels to defend and to advance religious freedom. Regarding this aspect, the Catholic Church has been continuously pursuing all means possible to encourage mutual respect and collaboration among nations, peoples and religions to favor peaceful coexistence, to foster a social/political ambiance that respects the freedom of the individual person’s conscience and the beliefs that person holds while respecting their equal right as any other citizen, especially in those contexts in which their belief may not be that of the majority.
Indeed, in reflecting on the two main areas discussed in the panels, it becomes clear that raising awareness on the brutal reality of religious persecution in the world would be useless unless there is a serious and dedicated attempt to work together at addressing and overcoming the root causes of this issue. This is, of course, a great challenge, because in moving from “words” to “actions” one always encounters a certain number of complications.
One important aspect is that, when discussing religious freedom, we should never lose sight of the anthropological basis of this right. To do so is to run the risk of understanding religious freedom as something ancillary to the human person, as something conceded from “outside” the person, even by the State, rather than as a God-given gift, indeed a gift rooted in the transcendent dimension of human nature. Clearly, civil authorities have the obligation to protect and defend religious freedom, but not in the sense of being its author, but rather its custodian.
Protection and limitations are the two key elements surrounding any debate on religious freedom as a fundamental right because of its direct connection to the human person. In fact, it also serves a strategic role in evaluating and ensuring the proper attention and guarantee granted by the public authorities. This interpretation reflects the process of affirmation of human rights that has characterized the history of the last few centuries, placing the human person and his/her rights at the center of legal, political, cultural and religious actions. Indeed, religious freedom raises the question of the indivisibility of human rights, which has become a guiding principle and fundamental assumption of the international law of human rights.
Religious freedom is a fundamental right, which reflects the highest human dignity, the ability to seek the truth and conform to it, and recognizes in it a condition, which is indispensable to the ability to deploy all of one’s own potentiality. Religious freedom is not only that of private belief or worship. It is the liberty to live, both privately and publicly, according to the ethical principles resulting from religious principles. This is a great challenge in the globalized world, where weak convictions also lower the general ethical level, and in the name of a false concept of tolerance, it ends in persecuting those who defend their faith.
Another aspect that demands our attention is to be wise in our appraisal of the challenges and threats to religious freedom. While violations of this right are carried out in a wide variety of ways, it seems that, without wanting to oversimplify the discussion, that there are two conceptual forces that lead to violations of this right, both of which lend themselves to being easily politicized. On the one hand, and perhaps most obviously, there is the attitude of religious intolerance, a certain myopic approach, that considers any religion or belief outside of one’s own as not merely inferior, but as something that merits being degraded or categorized as second class. This is witnessed all too often in political, social or cultural situations, for example with Christians, who are being treated as second-class citizens. On the other hand, there is a tendency to attack religious freedom from what might be called an “ideological” standpoint, one that takes, for example, the principle found in the human rights framework that considers human rights as “cross-cutting” and “transversal”. Within this context, some of the so-called “new human rights” at times tend to conflict with those universally recognized fundamental human rights, including religious freedom and the right to life. For example, the exercise of religious freedom, especially in the public square, with regard to the institution of marriage or concerning the inviolable right to all human life, often runs up against the so-called “new rights” that tend to present themselves in complete contradiction with, or encroach upon, these fundamental human rights.
Given their importance, it seems that these two conceptual forces must remain in the fore thought of our discussions. To lose sight of them would run the risk of “missing the point” of what religious freedom is really all about. Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But, religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families. Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness. They remind us of the transcendent dimension of human existence and our irreducible freedom in the face of every claim to absolute power.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm that the Holy See will continue to be fully engaged in the promotion of religious freedom, as this fundamental right is intimately connected with the protection of conscience and the defense of the human person. One such recent example of this priority for the Church is the document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyib in Abu Dhabi last 4 February. While I would encourage you all to read the complete text, if you have not done so already, I would like to close by citing one of the passages, which to me seems to be at the heart of this symposium.
“We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings. In this way we can confront tendencies that are individualistic, selfish, conflicting, and also address radicalism and blind extremism in all its forms and expressions.”
Thank you for your attention.

giovedì, aprile 04, 2019

I frutti del WCF di Verona

E adesso? Che cosa avete ottenuto? Suvvia, avanti, tanto rumore per nulla. Forse non si esprimono esattamente in questi termini, ma molti dei critici del Congresso mondiale delle famiglie di Verona ora – a manifestazione conclusa – fanno leva su questo, soffermandosi sulla presunta inutilità di una tre giorni che, invece, un’utilità l’ha avuta eccome. E su molteplici versanti, peraltro. Essenzialmente, potremmo dire che finora i frutti della tredicesima edizione del Congresso mondiale delle famiglie sono stati di tre tipologie.
Il primo risultato è, per così dire, di tipo ideologicoIl grandissimo astio che questa kermesse ha attirato non per giorni ma anche per settimane, anche prima che si svolgessero i lavori, ha infatti messo la cultura dominante di mostrare tutta la sua aggressività, la sua cattiveria, la sua intolleranza. Con la conseguenza – positiva quanto davvero imprevista – che, a solidarizzare non tanto e non solo con il Congresso di Verona ma con il diritto stesso di poter esprimere determinate idee, sono state figure insospettabili; come Maurizio Coruzzi, in arte Platinette, che su Canale 5 ha apostrofato i critici dell’evento come coloro che sono voluti andare a «rompere le scatole», e come Giuseppe Cruciani, arrivato addirittura a salire sul palco del Congresso.
Un secondo risultato, certo non negativo, raggiunto dalla manifestazione è stato invece di tipo politicoE non si allude, qui, agli esponenti di rilievo del panorama nazionale che pure hanno inteso supportare il Congresso, apportando ad esso prestigio; ci si riferisce invece al fatto che non per ore, neppure per giorni, ma anche qui per intere settimane tutti i talk show – e tutti i politici a essi invitati – si sono trovati a discutere del tema della famiglia. A qualcuno potrà sembrare poca cosa, ma di fatto non succedeva da anni. Di più: probabilmente non è mai accaduto, neppure ai tempi dei Family Day che portarono in piazza milioni di persone.
Un terzo risultato ottenuto dall’evento scaligero è di tipo ideale. Occasioni come questa, infatti, hanno la capacità di ritemprare gli animi del popolo pro family. Anzi, proprio le numerose e violentissime aggressioni verbali che hanno accompagnato la tre giorni, alla fine, hanno di certo finito per rafforzare in chi l’ha seguita o ha partecipato alla Marcia conclusiva di domenica, che ha di certo avvertito ancor più di prima la portata controcorrente e profetica dei propri valori.
Da questo punto di vista, sbaglia chi pensa che eventi come il Congresso mondiale delle famiglie di Verona o producono atti politici concreti o sono dei totali fallimenti. Esiste anche una dimensione, per così dire, intermedia e psicologica, per non dire spirituale. Ed è proprio in questo ambito, che c’è da sperare che l’evento porti frutto. Quella in corso, infatti, non è una disputa bensì una vera e propria lotta contro la famiglia.
Lo disse anni or sono papa Giovanni Paolo II, quando parlò apertamente di «nemici di Dio» all’opera «attorno alla famiglia e alla vita» (Rio de Janeiro, 3.10.1997) e lo ha ripetuto, in tempi più recenti, anche papa Francesco, ricordando che «oggi c’è una guerra mondiale contro il matrimonio» (Tbilisi, 1.1.2016). In termini ancora più espliciti, suor Lucia dos Santos, una dei tre pastorelli di Fatima, aveva profetizzato che «lo scontro finale tra Dio e Satana» sarebbe stato non sul razzismo o sullo ius soli, bensì «su famiglia e vita». Ergo, a Verona i rappresentanti di un esercito prezioso hanno potuto rigenerare le loro energie. Sembra poco ma invece, forse, è tutto quello che conta.
Giuliano Guzzo