Good News for Medjugorje

The topic of Medjugorje has been making news recently because of the Vatican’s decision to assign a special envoy, a Polish archbishop, to examine the pastoral situation in Medjugorje and, on the other hand, because the local bishop of Mostar — whose authority over Medjugorje has been taken away by the Holy See a long time ago — has decided to issue more negative comments about the apparitions.

Here is a great explanation by the Mariologist and Professor at Franciscan University Mark Miravalle, clarifying why the recent news about Medjugorje, especially regarding the special envoy, is good news for Medjugorje.

Interview on Franciscan Spirituality & Lenten Devotions

Radio-MariaHere is a recent interview that I did for Radio Maria, discussing Franciscan spirituality and Lenten devotions. My interview comes after Professor Jem Sullivan, who has done tremendous work on Christian art and aesthetics. Please check out her book The Beauty of Faith: Using Christian Art to Spread Good News and her online course on sacred art.

Fighting the Devil at Harvard (and Staying Catholic)

I encountered Aurora Griffin one evening at the Opus Dei-run Catholic Information Center howistayedcatholic.inddin Washington, DC, where she was giving a talk and holding a book-signing. The email that I received, informing me of the occasion, advertised the event with the title “God and Woman at Harvard,” playing off of William F. Buckley’s classic book God and Man at Yale.

Buckley’s famous first book, which placed the then-young intellectual into the spotlight, notoriously named names and wrote of professors whose ideological bent, Buckley believed, betrayed Yale’s Christian roots. The inspiration for Griffin’s book, on the other hand, began with fighting an even bigger enemy, Satan himself, battling efforts by Satanists to ridicule Christianity at Harvard.

Aurora Griffin came into the spotlight in 2014 when a group of Satanists were invited to hold a black mass at Harvard. As a devout Catholic and student leader on campus, Aurora decided to stand up and fight against this evil, becoming a leader of a movement that began at the university and eventually gained national attention. It would be the most important thing she did during her years at Harvard, Aurora admitted, honoring God and successfully helping to stop an infamously anti-Catholic ritual from being celebrated on campus.

“Deciding whether to take on the Satanists myself became a defining point in my college career,” she writes. “By God’s grace I found the courage to take a leadership role in resisting the black Mass, even if it meant sacrificing time to prepare for exams.”

aurora-griffin

Author, Aurora Griffin

The fact that Griffin led this campaign during her last week at Harvard, meaning in the midst of finals week when students lock themselves in the library and are swamped with papers, studying, and exams, says much about her priorities and the integrity and character of her faith and her person.

Aurora went on to become a Rhodes Scholar, deciding with the opportunity to study for a graduate degree in theology at Oxford. While at Oxford, she began writing her book How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard: 40 Tips for Faithful College Students, published by Ignatius Press.

Griffin’s book is an impressive work. Providing 40 practical guidelines, in short and interesting chapters, about how to live and foster a faithful Catholic life in college, it is a book that is useful not only to students but also to those who guide and minister to the college students in their lives: from parents and campus ministers to priests and spiritual directors.

Topics that the book covers show how eclectic it is. The author includes chapters on guidance for Catholics on dating, the usage of social media and technology, the prayer life, the importance of educating the mind and soul with Catholic literature and spiritual reading, orienting one’s life around the liturgical calendar, and much more. These are magnificent, rich insights that have the potential to lead to a cathartic change in the lives of those who open and read.

Griffin conveys how in living a faithful Catholic life college students are not deprived of the college experience but live out that experience in a more robust and meaningful way. Accounts of the friendships that Griffin developed, the study habits and work-ethic she has cultivated, the Catholic sorority she helped found, the active social and community life she has been a part of, the moral causes she has been able to stand for—all because of a full-embrace of her Catholicism—shows how much more she has received in her college experience not in spite of, but because of, her active Catholic faith and identity.

With Aurora Griffin at the Catholic Information Center, Washington, DC

With Aurora Griffin at the Catholic Information Center, Washington, DC

Aurora explains that the “purpose of our time in college is to love the Lord more deeply and to develop the skills to serve Him more effectively. Living out my faith in college was not something I did in addition to my schoolwork, extracurriculars, and social life but was something that shaped how I experienced all those things.”

“It was my faith that kept me studying late at night when I was tired because I felt obligated to be a good steward of my opportunities. It was my faith that served as the reference point for all my studies, rendering no lecture or assignment irrelevant. It was my faith that led me to meet a great group of friends, whom I’ll cherish the rest of my life. …My college years meant something. I grew in the most important thing of all: knowing God. And after graduation, I stepped into the world with a peace and a sense of purpose that even the most successful secular friends do not have.”

Through autobiographical snippets the book tells the story of a courageous young woman who stood up for her faith when it was being attacked at a secular Ivy League school, and who can teach others, through her writing, how to deepen the life of faith and transform not only the college experience but one’s life journey for the better. Although not an autobiography by traditional standards, Griffin’s book does share many personal anecdotes from her life, making for a read that finds a nice balance between a guide for college students and recollections of the author’s own personal journey.

Some of the stories that Aurora shares of her own journey are real treasures. Consider this account from her time at Oxford:

“On special occasions, Catholics have the opportunity to be more public about our worship, like on the Feast of Corpus Christi. This year, in Oxford, I processed with hundreds of people through the city streets, led by a priest with the monstrance and another with a megaphone announcing the hymns and decades of the Rosary.”

Griffin continues, “Many people came out of pubs and shops to stare at us, but a few knelt down where they were, crossing themselves. It was an incredibly moving experience to be able to witness to my faith in a public way in such a secular place. With Christ in front of me, I felt invincible. I was so grateful, and proud, to be Catholic.”

Despite the book’s subtitle – “40 Tips for Faithful College Students” – I cannot stress enough how eclectic the work is, and how the insights that are contained within can help strengthen the spiritual life of any Catholic. One of the four sections of the book is dedicated to prayer, and Griffin has some of the most useful techniques and advice for cultivating one’s spirituality.

The rich spiritual tradition of St. Josemaria Escriva and Opus Dei has influenced Aurora greatly, who has been spiritually directed at Harvard by Opus Dei priests and has attended Opus Dei retreats. A central aspect of Opus Dei spirituality is sanctifying our work. In this sense, Aurora writes, “St. Josemaria taught that we have a twofold vocation in school—to be diligent students and loving friends. Schoolwork, social life, and faith are fully integrated, so that everything works together for our growth in holiness.”

One of the treasures of Opus Dei spirituality is understanding penance—in other words, helping us how to embrace the Cross, to make sense of our suffering. Griffin explains how much that spirituality has done for her. “Opus Dei showed me that taking deliberate steps to cultivate your faith helps you deal with all kinds of challenges, even physical suffering and loss.”

“Talking to the priest and numeraries at the [Opus Dei] retreat, I was assured that suffering is different for those who have faith. Catholics still experience pain, but it has both meaning and hope of resolution. I could offer up my schoolwork to God as prayer, and offer up my back pain in expiation of sin. I could offer my trials in prayer for the souls of my departed loved ones and hope to see them again.”

These are rich and beautiful insights, and are only a taste of what a bountiful source this book is in helping cultivate such a meaningful spirituality.

Among the many chapters, there is one dedicated to discerning one’s vocation, including the possibility of religious life for those who feel the Lord may be calling them. Like all the chapters, it’s practical. It provides three of the most essential practices that any person discerning a vocation needs to follow in their life to lead to proper discernment.

The campus minister or spiritual director would do well to have such an informative work on their shelf when counseling college students who come to their door. The parent would benefit greatly having such a resource to better guide their sons and daughters. And, foremost, the discerning student would benefit greatly from advice that is practical and works.

“Some books give you brilliant philosophy or scholarship. This one gives you something more precious and uncommon: common sense,” wrote Peter Kreeft in the foreword. Griffin has a keen understanding of human nature. She is a woman of faith and she is a pragmatist, someone who offers practical insights that, for those willing to take up the book’s principles, will affect their lives greatly.

There is also the sign of faith. There are certain authors that when you read them you realize that you are reading a man or woman of prayer. There is a depth that their words possess—not necessarily a natural eloquence (which a secular scribe can also attain) but a more elusive and mysterious quality, a sort of unction in the language which touches the soul when it is read and gives it internal confirmation that inspired truth is in front of us.

Griffin is one of these authors. Reading her you realize that you are reading an author with an intimate relationship with God. A person’s spirituality usually translates to other facets of their life, including their writing. How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard is a rare book, one that inspires a strong faith, able to edify both college students and Catholics from all walks of life, yet does so in a way that is practical and achievable.

With the practicality of a Peter Kreeft and the transforming potentiality of a Matthew Kelly, Aurora Griffin’s first book places her among a list of Catholic authors whose writing has done much to energize and renew the Church and the People of God. Her work can do the same. Eloquent but easy to ready, thoughtful, spiritual and pragmatic, the book is a must-have for any Catholic library.

Teaching Franciscan Spirituality in New York this Summer

Br. Daniel Maria KlimekFriends, I received the privilege of being asked to teach a course this summer at the School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University in New York. St. Bonaventure houses the Franciscan Institute, one of the most prominent institutes for Franciscan scholarship in the world, and it is a great honor for any scholar of Franciscanism to be asked to teach there.

If you are in the New York area, or would be interested in taking a course this summer, here is a list of the 2017 summer courses offered, including the one I will be teaching, “Foundations of Franciscan Spirituality.” Please pass on the word to anyone who would be interested!

Peace & many blessings,

Br. Daniel Maria, T.O.R.

Powerful Pro-life Proclamation by French MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen

Wow!! What a powerful pro-life proclamation by French Member of Parliament Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, calling out the hypocrisy of French politicians on abortion and their silence on real issues of women’s rights. Please see this moving video:

In reply to a statement by the President of Social Affairs Commission, who said “a child suffers from the eventuality of his parents calling him an accident,” suggesting the necessity of abortion, Maréchal-Le Pen replies with a personal note – that she was an “accident,” an unplanned pregnancy, and is “perfectly happy with it, happy to be in front of you today, telling you some truths rather than having been aborted.”

Maréchal-Le Pen was rallying against legislation proposed by French feminists that would shutdown pro-life Web sites, concluding her statement by explaining that “this proposition goes against women’s freedom, against free speech, and I certainly won’t support it.”

President Trump Honors Catholic Schools, Priests, Teachers, & Administrators

The White House issued a statement today from President Donald J. Trump honoring National Catholic Schools Week. President Trump said:

“In recognition of National Catholic Schools Week, I want to extend my heartfelt presidentTrumpappreciation to all of the dedicated Catholic school administrators, teachers, priests, and support organizations who work tirelessly to build and sustain quality Catholic schools across the Nation.”

“The theme of this year’s National Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.”  I appreciate the many ways in which Catholic schools nurture devotion, impart wisdom, and minister to the 2 million students who enter their halls every day.  and to the diverse communities they serve.”

“Congratulations for the tremendous work you have done to educate our Nation’s youth each and every day. Your continued and sustained efforts are vital to our success and prosperity as a country.”

Sincerely,

DONALD J. TRUMP

SCOTUS Nominee Studied with Eminent Catholic Philosoper

Last night as the nation watched in expectation President Donald J. Trump

udge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

announced from the White House his U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Appearing alongside the president was Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, accompanied by his wife.

Judge Gorsuch’s impressive academic credentials include doing his undergraduate studies at Columbia University, receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was a classmate of President Barack Obama, and receiving a doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University.

It is this last academic endeavor that struck me most, as I soon found out that Gorsuch’s doctoral studies at Oxford were supervised by one of the most eminent living Catholic philosophers in the world, John Finnis.

As a moral and legal philosopher, Finnis has done breakthrough work on natural law and natural rights, and is often identified as the godfather of new-natural law theory, a revitalization of Thomistic natural philosophy as an ethical system. He has written widely on such issues as abortion, gay marriage, and sexual ethics, exuding a pro-life perspective and one that defends the dignity of marriage on the basis of a natural law philosophy.

JohnFinnis

Professor John Finnis, moral and legal philosopher at Oxford and Notre Dame

One of Finnis’ protégé’s, who also did his doctorate under Finnis at Oxford, is the Princeton professor and public intellectual Robert P. George. George, a Catholic scholar, made public this post on his Facebook page about Judge Gorsuch a week before President Trump nominated him:

“Judge Gorsuch is a friend of mine and someone I greatly admire. He would be a superb Supreme Court justice. He is intellectually extremely gifted and is deeply committed to the (actual) Constitution and the rule of law. He will not manufacture “rights” or read things into the Constitution that aren’t there or read things out of the Constitution that are.”

George’s post continued: “Judge Gorsuch’s excellent book, *The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia* is published under my general editorship in the Princeton University Press New Forum Books series. He also contributed a fine essay to a collection of writings in honor of John Finnis that I co-edited with Professor John Keown of Georgetown. Professor Finnis, the eminent Oxford legal and moral philosopher who revitalized the study of natural law in Anglo-American analytical philosophy and jurisprudence, was Judge Gorsuch’s doctoral dissertation supervisor.”

FutureofAssistedSuicideandEuthanasiaWhile an Episcopalian, Judge Gorsuch has had a record that should make many Catholics happy. Not only has he opposed assisted suicide and euthanasia, showing respect for the sanctity of human life, but he has also been a supporter of religious liberty.

Writing for America, Michael O’Loughlin explains that Judge Gorsuch has sided with “both Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor in clashes with the Obama administration about provisions of the Affordable Care Act that they argued violated their religious freedom.”

In the same article Judge Gorsuch is quoted as saying, in his book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, that, “All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

In an article for The Federalist, Andrew Walker emphasizes that this is Judge Gorsuch’s main thesis, “His main principle—and the thesis of the book—is that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. He maintains that refusing unwanted and life-sustaining medical treatment is morally acceptable, but that intentional efforts to accelerate death are immoral.”

Robert George wrote an article in the Washington Post today emphasizing that with the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, “President Trump has without question fulfilled his pledge to appoint a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia — a conservative intellectual leader.”

In addition to writing of his intellectual achievements, George comment on the character and integrity of Judge Gorsuch, “He’s a faithful husband, a good father, a caring neighbor, a generous friend, a man of probity who holds himself to the highest ethical standards.”

Judge Gorsuch wrote his dissertation about the moral and legal issues surrounding euthanasia and assisted-suicide under John Finnis. Many doctoral students who have worked under Finnis have become his intellectual protégés. Among these are Robert George and John Keown, who have done significant scholarship of approaching moral issues from a Catholic natural law perspective. Perhaps Judge Gorsuch, another protégé of Finnis, will be able to bring such a perspective to the Supreme Court.

Speeches from the 44th March for Life

Here are a few of the speeches from yesterday’s March for Life. I have attended the march for years, but there was honestly something different about it yesterday. There was a different energy, a greater sense of hope that real change is coming and that momentum is growing for a deeper respect for the sanctity of human life in this country. Here are some of the highlights:

“I am a wife, a mother, a Catholic, counselor to the president of the United States of America, and yes, I am pro-life….this is a new day, a new dawn for life.” – Kellyanne Conway

“Life is winning again in America. …Compassion is overcoming convenience.” – Vice President Mike Pence

Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT) gave an inspirational speech that has been called one of the greatest pro-life speeches ever given at the March. She told, in the process, her own story as a child who was spared from being aborted.

 

Shocking Lies that Legalized Abortion: Deceiving the Supreme Court

The affidavit did not happen the way I said it did, pure and simple. I lied! … Yes, the stated reason for my abortion is based upon a lie, a great lie. So the entire abortion industry is based on a lie.

– Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade

I am against abortion; I never sought an abortion; I have never had an abortion. Abortion is murder. … The Doe v. Bolton case is based on deceit and fraud.

– Sandra Cano, a.k.a. “Mary Doe” of Doe v. Bolton

prolifeSandraCanoNormaMcCorvey

Sandra Cano (“Mary Doe”) and Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) with Fr. Frank Pavone and Fr. Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., at the Tomb of the Unborn Child at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

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SEE ALSO THIS POWERFUL PRO-LIFE PROCLAMATION BY FRENCH MP 

Recently, the abortion industry has been under a lot of criticism, from earlier investigative videos alleging that Planned Parenthood has sold aborted-body parts to a recent investigative video showing that the abortion-provider has deceived people to believe that it provides prenatal care as part of its [taxpayer funded] services.

The very history around legal abortion is based on lies. Few people know about the shadowy history of how abortion was legalized in the United States. The corruption is centered around two U.S. Supreme Court cases, both of which were passed down on the same day on January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

Both “Roe” and “Doe” — the plaintiffs for each case — admit that lies were presented to the Supreme Court by their lawyers to sell the case for legal abortion. “Jane Roe” became passionately pro-life. “Mary Doe” was always pro-life. Both women worked for the overturning of the cases that bear their names. Let’s look at their stories.

The Hidden Story of Roe v. Wade

In the late 1960s, two Texas attorneys named Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee searched for a case to launch—both being recent law school graduates—their careers. Both women knew each other as students at the University of Texas School of Law, where the classmates were only two out of five females in a class of 120 students. Coffee, after law school, a bit more successful than her counterpart, was already working as a law clerk in Dallas for Federal District Judge Sarah T. Hughes.

Weddington, who has proudly proclaimed herself as the “Lawyer who won Roe v. Wade,” was, ironically, the daughter of a Christian minister. She is also someone who has had personal experience with abortion. While in law school, Weddington was impregnated by her boyfriend and, thereafter, decided to get an illegal abortion in Mexico. In Texas, the procedure was legally allowed if the mother’s life was at risk. Since that element played no role for Weddington, she made the effort to cross the border in order to abort the life. In Mexico, though illegal at the time, abortion was performed pervasively through the black market.

prolifeNormaMcCorvey

Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. “Jane Roe.”

It is one of the more interesting things to note that when it comes to Roe v. Wade, the person most identified and demonized in the case that has helped to abort millions of lives since its implementation has been Norma McCorvey, the so-called “Jane Roe” of the case, thus the plaintiff. She once explained that many people “see me as a demon. To them I’m a blasphemer and a baby-killer.” In the past this has been the situation even when, in actuality, McCorvey, self-admittedly, was nothing more than a pawn in an ambitious plan orchestrated by her attorneys. “I was nothing to Sarah and Linda, nothing more than just a name on a piece of paper,” she once recalled.

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Today, to the dismay of many supporters of legal abortion, McCorvey is actually a strong pro-life advocate and a passionate supporter of overturning the Supreme Court decision that carries her notorious alias. Believe it or not, the former “Roe” herself never even had an abortion, giving her child up for adoption before the Supreme Court decision was finalized. McCorvey, in reality, has conceived and delivered three children in her lifetime.

After decades of abortion advocacy and many years of working in numerous abortion facilities, on August 8, 1995, in the city of North Garland, Texas, Norma McCorvey was baptized a Christian, abandoning her former identity as “Jane Roe” and gradually becoming a full supporter of the pro-life movement and its humane cause. She has since started the Roe No More Ministry, a ministry through which she has been able to encourage pro-life groups, speak to women about the lies she has personally witnessed within the abortion industry, and support the sanctity of human life.

In April 1996, McCorvey returned to the U.S. Supreme Court with efforts to lobby its justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. She presented to them a video titled Reversing Roe: The Norma McCorvey Story, which had then been recently released. She recalled the event by explaining, “I couldn’t unsign the affidavit the justices had already argued and decided upon, but perhaps I could, through that video, help them see the lies of that fateful decision.”

After her visit, McCorvey quietly remained for a moment before the steps of the Supreme Court building, where she knelt on the sidewalk and offered a personal prayer. Praying to God to help “them see the truth,” about the lies surrounding abortion, McCorvey also declared that one “of the ‘truths’ I wanted people to see involved an admission I had made many years before.” She then explained:

“As Sarah Weddington presented my case, she used the fact that I had claimed to have become pregnant through a gang rape. The public had certain misgivings about abortion in the early seventies, but there was much greater acceptance of abortion in cases of rape. …This means that the abortion case that destroyed every state protecting the unborn was based on a lie.”

The Lies Deepen: the Story Continues – Doe v. Bolton

On January 22, 1973, not one, but two abortion cases were decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the deadly practice. While Roe legalized abortion during the first two trimesters of a pregnancy,  Roe’s “companion case,” titled Doe v. Bolton, allowed abortion to be performed throughout all three trimesters of pregnancy, from conception to the destined end, on demand. In other words, this was the case that legalized the indisputably murderous procedure known as partial-birth abortion.

The story of Doe shares so many similarities to the story of Roe, especially from the perspective of the utilized plaintiffs—both of whom are strong pro-life advocates today—that the only word to justly define the comparison is uncanny, if not a bit disturbing, in its fateful nature.

The plaintiff herself once stated that being young, “uneducated, and naive, I was taken advantage of by an aggressive self-serving attorney, Margie Pitts Hames, the legal-aid attorney. I never wanted an abortion.” In our current American culture the usage of vulnerable and pregnant women, ironically, has become a lucrative trademark of the abortion industry.

Sandra Cano, a.k.a. "Mary Doe."

Sandra Cano, a.k.a. “Mary Doe.”

Sandra Cano, who may historically be known by her unwanted and undeserving alias as “Mary Doe” of Doe v. Bolton, was seventeen years old when she first met her future husband, a 22 year-old man named Joel Lee Bensing. She grew up in a poor neighborhood in the State of Georgia, the daughter of an Atlanta City sanitation worker.

Sandra already had dropped out of school as a result of her environment, poor grades, relentless classmates making fun of her weight, and also the pains of Bell’s Palsy—which Sandra had, causing for disfiguration in her smile; and, not to mention, she also possessed a learning disorder. Sandra’s domestic life, likewise, did not help her already-present disposition at adolescence. She grew up in a poor family where abuse made its occasional presence, frequenting the helpless girl herself numerous times.

The loneliness, vulnerability, and insecurity that perpetually rotated around young Sandra’s life led her to make one of the early decisions that would prove unfortunate in the long term. She married Bensing, with whom Sandra thought she could find escape from the contemporary tragedy that was life. Bensing, however, only ended up adding to the drama.

A week after the sudden, shotgun wedding, “Sandra found out that her husband was serving probation for molesting two different 5-year-old children,” according to a friend. Notwithstanding this horrific discovery, by no means did it mean that Sandra’s husband solely had a disturbing past—for it never left him. Within years later Bensing, once again, was charged; this time with kidnapping and molestation.

Sandra had three children with Bensing before she finally attempted to file for divorce against him in 1970. At the time, while searching for an attorney, Sandra was pregnant with her fourth child. Going through an emotionally unstable mental stage and having difficulty raising them with a continually absent spouse, Sandra’s other children were put in foster care. Deciding that it was time to place her life back on track, which necessitated the need to regain her children and permanently disband the civil union she had with her husband, Sandra turned to public legal assistance for help.

For a poor young woman in Georgia, Atlanta Legal Aid seemed an ideal, if not—to put it more aptly—a last available, resort. That is where Margie Pitts Hames presented herself, appearing surprisingly eager to help Sandra with her situation.

Hames was the lawyer largely responsible for the legalization of partial-birth abortion—along with seven other lawyers who sat on the Supreme Court when the case came before them. She is Orwellianly known today by many as one of the great civil liberty advocates of our time, in certain Georgian circles at least; as a true pioneer of “women’s rights,” and the right of “choice,”—though seldom do the supporters of the late lawyer ever mention what goes on behind that so-called “choice.” The reality is more troubling than euphemistic language can convey or conceal.

The Catholic author and law professor Helen M. Alvaré, while once making an appearance before Congress on Capitol Hill, gave a frank testimony describing exactly what the partial-birth procedure entails:

“In sum, this procedure is designed such that an abortionist kills a human infant who is pro-lifepartially delivered outside of his or her mother’s womb. The infant is not directly anesthetized to prevent pain… Once so delivered, according to the writings of one prominent practitioner of this method, Dr. Martin Haskell, the infant is killed by inserting a pair of sharp curved scissors into the base of the child’s skull. The scissors are then spread wide enough to insert a catheter to suction out the contents of the skull before the head is collapsed and the infant fully delivered outside of the mother.”

Dealing with the proper litigation for the Doe case first required finding the right plaintiff. “Sandra was kept in the dark and told only that her case had something to do with ‘Women’s Rights,’” reflected Sybil Fletcher Lash, an author and friend of Sandra’s. Though Sandra went to seek help from Margie Pitts Hames in order to get her children back and to divorce her husband, Hames had other plans for the then-pregnant girl and her future role as plaintiff.

Hames’ solution for Sandra’s problems—a “solution” that Sandra herself could never even realistically imagined, as her subsequent actions would show—was to receive an abortion. There was one issue. Sandra did not believe in abortion and would not agree to have the atrocious procedure executed against her own child.

Hames, despite Sandra’s opposition, relentlessly pushed for abortion as the sole option for the young mother, in the course of action involving Sandra’s family in the persuasion process. “Instead of real help, my mother, stepfather and my lawyer persisted in their demands that I have an abortion,” Sandra explained in an affidavit in 2001, attempting to expose the fraud that is the Doe case. “When the demand for an abortion persisted, I fled to Oklahoma and stayed at the home of my ex-husband’s grandmother.”

Notwithstanding this strong dissidence produced by the young mother, Hames took no consideration, deciding, in the end, to push her agenda across with or without Sandra. Without the plaintiff’s presence is the road that the attorney eventually took, which did not mean that Hames did not use Sandra. Hames used Sandra’s name and—therefore—“identity” as “Doe,” distorting and fictionalizing the story of the plaintiff’s needs, wants, and actions in the process; doing so all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where the lies unquestionably helped her win the case.

Sybil Fletcher Lash, a friend of Sandra’s who has traveled across numerous cities and states in the U.S. trying to assist efforts to publicly expose the lies and deceptions behind the Doe case—predominantly through public talks and events—once explained, “Sandra believes that the Supreme Court was deliberately deceived. Things that Sandra had no knowledge of, and never consented to, were presented as actual events.” In other words, “throughout the process, judges were continually told lies and then based their decisions on the lies they were fed.”supremecourtabortion

Let’s carefully examine these lies.

Speaking before the nation’s Supreme Court, according to the transcript, these are the lies that Hames told the justices:

“She [Sandra] applied to the public hospital for an abortion, where she was eligible for free medical care. Her application there was denied. She later applied, through a private physician, to a private hospital abortion committee, where her abortion application was approved. Her – she did not obtain the abortion, however, because she did not have the cash to deposit and pay her hospital bill in advance.”

It’s hard to see how a woman who solely wanted a divorce from her husband and to regain custody of her children could be so manipulatively exploited by a lawyer as to change those needs into the “desire” for an abortion, which Sandra would have never permitted—deciding instead to flee the state rather than to be coerced into killing her own child in the womb. Yet these factors evidently did not stop Hames from pursuing her agenda.

“A number of years ago, I decided that I wanted to see my file in the case so I could see what was said about me,” Sandra explained, recalling the event. Wanting to get her records unsealed to find out the actual details of the case that carried her alias—since the plaintiff, once again, was not even present at the Court hearings—Sandra hired an attorney named Wendell Bird to assist her with the process. This happened many years after the two landmark abortion cases; in 1989, when Sandra’s own socioeconomic situation had improved and, therefore, she was capable to afford the resources necessary to unveil the truth.

Following the immediate discovery of these intentions, Sandra explained that the “attorney who represented me in Doe v. Bolton, Margie Pitts Hames, tried to stop me from getting my own records, and I did not understand why.” After the records were unveiled so was the reason for the cover-up. “It was only when I first saw the opened records in Doe v. Bolton that I understood why Margie didn’t want me to see them.” The evidence was astonishing to the former “Mary Doe.” In Sandra’s own words:

“The records stated that I applied for an abortion, was turned down, and, as a result, sued the state of Georgia. According to the records, I had applied for an abortion through a panel of nine doctors and nurses at a state-funded hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital. That was a false statement. After reading the court records, I contacted the hospital and tried to obtain my records. At first I was told there were records, but when my new attorney sent his legal assistant to review the records, we were told that they did not exist. The hospital said they didn’t have any records. I never sought an abortion there or anywhere else.”

In fact, the search for these alleged records was taken very seriously by Grady Memorial Hospital, which performed a 32-hour search for the records “under every possible name and variation.” Despite all this thorough dedication, time, and work given to the task of finding the elusive information, no such records were ever discovered, validating the fact that they never existed; that Sandra never applied for an abortion; and that—again—one of the landmark decisions used to legitimize the abortion industry in the United States was based on an array of severe fraudulency and deception.

“My lawyer became upset with me because I would never say to anyone that I would have an abortion,” Sandra recalled. She further emphasized how persuasive with her manipulative reasoning Hames attempted to be, connecting the legal right to take unborn life with real women’s issues, such as equality in pay. “I remember Margie debating me. She claimed we were involved in a liberation right. She said women were entitled to equal pay for equal work, and I agreed. I never saw the pleading filed in court.”

Most of the issues that brought Sandra to seek help from legal aid were never filed in court.

The Supreme Court was well deceived with this one. Sandra Cano as a young woman never wanted an abortion, believing any substitute better for her child than death. In fact, Sandra, knowing very well at the time of her fourth pregnancy that she could not provide her child with an ideal or, simply, affordable life, due to her socioeconomic disadvantages, gave her daughter up for adoption after the birth.

Ironically, just like the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, the former Mary Doe of Doe v. Bolton also, in the end, picked life for her child instead of death. Not necessarily the ideal spokeswomen the abortion movement was looking for when pressing its agenda across the country. Sandra poignantly explained the situation regarding her own views and, unquestionably, the views of millions of mothers in our nation who would never consider the luxury of personal convenience a matter justifiable to ending the life of a child.

“But no matter how hard life happens to be, no one has the right to kill a baby – especially the baby’s mother. She is the trustee of her child’s life. She, of all people, has the sacred duty to protect the child. But the child’s interests are not at odds with her own. They are in concert with one another. The mother derives a great benefit from her relationship with her child. It is as beneficial to her as it is the child. It is never in the interest of a mother to terminate the life of her own child.”

On March 23, 1997, the former Mary Doe and the former Jane Roe came together to publicly speak out against abortion and their own tragic roles in the legalization process, formalizing their stances by having plaques installed into the National Memorial for Unborn Children declaring their respect for life.

The location of this national site is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where a former abortion clinic—responsible for the deaths of 35,000 lives during its years of business—previously resided. The clinic was purchased by pro-life supporters after its co-owners, two middle-aged women, were both diagnosed with, and eventually died of, cancer. The “half of the building, which had contained the abortion chambers, was demolished with a bulldozer. In the ruins the next morning a neatly placed teddy bear was found….” McCorvey explained. “A memorial was built on this site to remember those valuable lost lives, and to recognize the grief carried by millions of living victims of abortion.”

SOURCES:

Sybil Fletcher Lash, Supreme Deception: How an Activist Attorney Manipulated the U.S. Supreme Court and Gave Birth to Partial Birth Abortions (Sentinel Productions 2002).

Norma McCorvey, Won by Love:Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade Speaks Out for the Unborn as She Shares Her New Conviction for Life (Thomas Nelson 1998).

Norma McCorvey, I am Roe: Roe v. Wade and Freedom of Choice (Perennial 1995).

Sarah Weddington, A Question of Choice: By the Lawyer who Won Roe v. Wade (Putnam 1992).