In her after-dinner speech to over three hundred people who attended the Human Life International Strategy Week-end (November 10-12), pro-life author Betty Steele quoted from a statement Pope John Paul II made to HLI International President, Fr. Paul Marx (OSB): “You are doing the most important work on earth.” This compliment, which Fr. Marx deserves for his tireless work fighting for the rights of the family and the unborn, set the tone for the annual conference which was held in Ottawa and which addressed such topics as daycarism, sex ed, school-based clinics, the New Age movement, AIDS education, chastity and home schooling.
Cornelia Ferreira, president of Women for Faith and Family, addressed the dangers of the New Age Movement which she claimed has infiltrated the United Nations; the feminist movement; the peace, justice and disarmament movements; the environmental movement, and such recent “Catholic” initiatives as RENEW and liberation theology.
U.S. psychologist Paul Cameron cited cases in the United States where AIDS was found to be contracted through saliva. Although these cases are not common, they have been ignored by the authors of various U.S. reports that stated that AIDS can only be passed through blood, semen or vaginal secretions. Cameron also went on to cite a report approved by the office of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, which blamed Catholics and Baptists for high suicide rates among adolescents. According to the report, condemnation of homosexual activities and the refusal of some religious bodies to sanction homosexual marriages may contribute to guilt and lead to suicide. When Cameron used the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to find out which government officials had authorized and worked on this study, no audit trail of minutes, memos, etc., could be found.
Fully Alive program
James Likoudis, President of Catholics United for the Faith, criticized the Fully Alive sex ed program – now implemented in Toronto’s Metro Separate (Catholic) School Board. He maintained that it promotes the radical feminist definition of male and female roles within the family. He and Donna Steichen, a U.S. Catholic journalist who spoke on school-based clinics, also indicted U.S. sex-education programs. They described them as expensive failures.
Quoting from Pope John Paul II’s landmark pastoral letter on the Christian family (Familiaris Consortio), Sr. Lucille Durocher, president of HLI-Canada, stated that sex education is first and foremost the responsibility of the Catholic parent.
Lawyer and mother of nine, Therese Ferri, who ran for the Christian Heritage Party (CHP) against Maureen McTeer in the last federal election, spoke on home schooling. Ferri said that teaching in the home is not illegal, and she described as secular humanist the presiding philosophy of our schools.
Gwen Landolt of REAL Women and Betty Steele, author of The Feminist Takeover, attacked the radical feminism which is altering the very basis of our society. Landolt said that the daycare system which feminists envision for Canada would cost nearly as much as our old-age security system. It would also deprive children of their mother’s time – which is one of the most important elements in creating values in the minds of children.