Welcome to the latest issue of Imago Dei.
This time last year, we reported on the release of Chen Guangcheng, the blind human rights lawyer, from China.
It is with great pleasure we now report on Chen's planned visit to the United Kingdom. Chen will engage in a range of events, from meetings with government officials to events in Westminster with the All Party Parliamentary Pro Life Group and the Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity.
Speaking in anticipation of Chen's arrival, Lord Alton, chair of the Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity, stated "Whilst the world's most powerful nations dare not challenge China's shameful record of gender-based, forced abortions, Chen has risked all to speak out and expose the practice of gendercide. His personal tale of bravery and sacrifice, as well as his account of the gendercide in China, is something that desperately needs to be heard in Britain."
Though Chen lost his sight at an early age, he managed to teach himself law and has gained world-wide renown for his campaign of exposing the practice of forced abortions in China.
Since his dramatic departure, Chen's remaining family in China have been subjected to a brutal retaliation campaign, with his brother Chen Guangfu being violently beaten as recent as last week.
Despite the intimidation brought to bear against the Chen family, Chen Guangcheng will continue to speak out. A public speaking event shall take place in the Grand Committee Room of the Palace of Westminster this evening (6pm, May 20th). If you wish to attend please let Bill Hampson know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional events with Chen and details of the Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity event shall be published shortly on www.dignitatishumanae.com
Editor, Imago Dei
National prayer gathering outside
A call to pray together as Parliament debates
changing the law of the land and discarding God's pattern for marriage.
3rd Reading in the House of Commons of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
TUESDAY 21ST MAY: 12:00 - 14:00 & 1 7:00 - 19:00
OLD PALACE YARD
(Opposite Houses of Parliament) Nearest underground stations: Westminster, St James Park, Victoria
For further details, please contact: National Marriage Prayer Gathering 020 3327 1120 / 07944 221 112
Mexico supreme court rejects two pro-abortion amendments
La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la NaciÛn, the highest federal court of Mexico, has rejected two lawsuits attempting to force two states
to overturn their constitutions which explicitly protects the right to life from conception. Had the federal court ruled against state law, a precedent would have been set against the remaining 18 of 31 Mexican states which still uphold the right to life.
The challenges came from two municipalities Asuncion Ixtaltepec in the state of Oaxaca, and Uriangato in the state of Guanajato, who sought to bring state law into line with federal law. The prognosis for the rulings was not optimistic, given the liberal leanings of the Mexican supreme court towards the issue of abortion.
Nevertheless, in Mexico, abortion law falls under state jurisdiction. The municipalities attempt to bypass state law and appeal to the federal judiciary was rightly rejected. Under Mexico's Constitution, states are treated as separate legal, sovereign entities, thus authority of municipalities derives from their state, not the federal government.
This case demonstrates yet again for the necessity of pro-life movements to engage in expert legal expertise, capable of rebuffing any attempts to legalise abortion on the back of a technicality.
Euthanasia lobby sets sights on Australia
The Australian state of New South Wales will be once again be subjected to an attempt to legalise euthanasia. Catherine Faehrmann MP (Greens New South Wales Party) recently announced her intention to submit legislation titled Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill 2013 for the New South Wales' Upper House to discuss.
Previous such attempts in New South Wales have been defeated by a wide range of cross-party opposition. In his letter to all State parliamentarians, Cardinal George Pell argued: "Despite talk of 'dignified death', dignity is not served by telling the old and dying, through our laws, that they would be better off dead and we would also be better off if they were dead...despite talk of 'patient autonomy', legal euthanasia would bring pressure to bear upon vulnerable people to 'volunteer' for early death.
Overseas experience shows that others will be involuntarily euthanased once a country goes down the euthanasia path. There can be no guarantees that patients are not being pressured by others or made feel a burden and unwanted."
The full text of the letter can be read here
"Where there's life, there's hope."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The Institute promotes recognition of the infinite value of every single person by recognising each human life as being made in the Image and Likeness of God, from conception until natural death. The Imago Dei is the source of the sanctity of human life. Promoting Human Dignity protects this sanctity in the political sphere, as the Christian Faith upholds it in the cultural sphere. The Institute exists to draw these themes together."
Founder, Dignitatis Humanae Institute
Lord Alton to bring blind Chinese human rights lawyer to Westimster
West responds with indifference as rioters murder Egyptian Christians in their own Cathedral
H E Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino
Otto von Habsburg +
H E Francis Cardinal Arinze
H E Walter Cardinal Brandm¸ller
H E Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
H E Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor
H E Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
H E Robert Cardinal Sarah
H E Angelo Cardinal Scola
H E Peter Cardinal Turkson
H E Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun
on Human Dignity
Nirj Deva DL KMCO* MEP
Fr. Michael Seed, SA, PhD, STD
Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
John Kennedy CBE KSG KCHS KMCO DL
Dean Slover KSS
Christian Sweeting KCSG
Executive Vice-President External Affairs
Leo van Doesburg
Director of Operations
Dott. Antonio Maria Sacco
on Human Dignity and Bioethics
Sub-Committee on Human Dignity and Religious Freedom
Director of Research:
Dr. Radu Motoca PhD
Eunice Dugulescu Vatran
President, Board of Trustees
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