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St. Louis King of France: Saint of the Day for Sunday, August 25, 2019

St. Louis, King of France, patron of Tertiaries, was the ninth of his name. He was born at Poissy, France, in 1214. His father was Louis VIII, and ...

Husband's Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, August 25, 2019

O gracious Father, Maker and Preserver of heaven and earth, who in the beginning didst institute matrimony, thereby foreshadowing the mystical union ...

St. Louis King of France: Saint of the Day for Sunday, August 25, 2019

St. Louis, King of France, patron of Tertiaries, was the ninth of his name. He was born at Poissy, France, in 1214. His father was Louis VIII, and ...

Daily Readings for Sunday, August 25, 2019

Reading 1: Isaiah 66:18-21, Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 117:1-2, Gospel: Luke 13:22-30, Reading 2: Hebrews 12:5-7, Reading 2: Hebrews 12:11-13

Husband's Prayer: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, August 25, 2019

O gracious Father, Maker and Preserver of heaven and earth, who in the beginning didst institute matrimony, thereby foreshadowing the mystical union ...

Abortion groups in South Africa can't find doctors willing to perform abortions

Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 24, 2019 / 03:38 pm (CNA).- Despite efforts by abortion advocates to expand the number of abortion clinics in South Africa, doctors in the country are largely unwilling to perform the procedure.

Under the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996, abortions are legal in South Africa up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. In cases of rape, incest, and financial hardship, abortions are legal up to 20 weeks.

Kgaladi Mphahlele, manager of Doctors Without Borders’ Choice of Termination of Pregnancy in Rustenburg, said it is hard to find clinics willing to perform abortions or doctors willing to give referrals.

Mphahlele said access to abortion clinics is necessary to prevent women from seeking unsafe abortion methods, according to Health-E News.

Guttmacher-Lancet Commission in Johannesburg issued a report last year finding that out of the 8000 medical clinics in South Africa, about 7% performed abortions, Health-E News reported.

Judiac Ranape, a nurse who trains doctors on abortions, argued that conscientious objection is a problem.

“You’ll find an operations manager who says, ‘We won’t perform it [an abortion] because it’s against my religious beliefs’,” Ranape said, calling for restrictions on conscientious objection.

However, surveys show that the general population in the country is strongly opposed to abortion.

The South African Social Attitudes Survey, conducted 2003-2006, found that 9 of out 10 adults in South Africa believed abortion to be wrong in times of financial dilemma, and three-quarters said abortion was still immoral if the child was to be born with a disability.

Church leaders have called for efforts to provide women facing difficult pregnancies with alternatives to abortion. Catholic Mater Homes, a pro-life group in the Archdiocese of Cape Town, is one such organization. It works to provide shelter for women during a crisis pregnancy.

“The establishment of Mater Domini was was born out of the need that existed within Archdiocese of Cape Town to create an alternative to abortion for women who might have felt forced into making such a decision out of desperation,” the organization's Facebook page reads.

“When we talk about the nameless, faceless and voiceless victims of abortion, we have to include the mothers, who so often find themselves in helpless circumstances, with little other alternative but to make the difficult choice to end the life of their unborn child.”

Surprised by Wisdom

“It seems like the older I get, the wiser you become. Sometimes when I talk to my son I even hear your words coming out of my mouth!”

My daughter’s candor made me laugh. I felt the same way about my parents and frequently found myself using their words as I raised my kids. Once I became a dad, my perspective on my parents’ wisdom changed. What I once “wrote off” as foolishness turned out to be far wiser than I had thought—I just couldn’t see it at first.

The Bible teaches that “the foolishness of God is wiser” than the cleverest human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness” of the message of a suffering Savior to rescue “those who believe” (v. 21).

God always has ways of surprising us. Instead of the triumphant king the world would expect, the Son of God came as a suffering servant and died a humbling death by crucifixion—before He was raised in unsurpassable glory.

In God’s wisdom, humility is valued over pride and love shows its worth in undeserved mercy and kindness. Through the cross, our unconquerable Messiah became the ultimate victim—in order to “save completely” (Hebrews 7:25) all who place their faith in Him!

Kentucky Supreme Court hears religious freedom case over LGBT shirts

Frankfort, Ky., Aug 24, 2019 / 07:00 am (CNA).- The Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Friday in the case of a Christian business owner who is facing punishment for declining to print shirts for a LGBT Pride festival because of his faith.

“The right to decide which ideas to express is core to human freedom. The Commission violated that freedom by ordering Blaine Adamson to print messages that violate his religious beliefs,” Jim Campbell, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom who argued the case before the Kentucky Supreme Court, stated after oral arguments in the case on Friday.

Blaine Adamson, owner of the Lexington, Kentucky-based print shop Hands On Originals, was sued for declining to print T-shirts promoting a Lexington Pride festival in 2012. His business had been requested by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, but Adamson declined to print the shirts because he believed that to do so would violate his Christian faith. He did refer the group to other companies.

In 2014, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that Adamson violated an anti-discrimination ordinance, and ordered him to print the shirts and undergo diversity training.

Adamson challenged the decision and won in a Kentucky court in 2017; the case has since been appealed to the state supreme court, and oral arguments before the court were heard Aug. 23.

Speaking to reporters and supporters after oral arguments, Adamson said that “I will work with any person, no matter who they are, and no matter what their belief systems are. But when I’m presented with a message that conflicts with my faith, that’s just something I cannot print.”

“I don’t walk into my business every morning and leave my faith at the door,” he said. “For the last seven years, the government has tried to punish me for declining to print a message that went against my conscience.”

In oral arguments, Campbell emphasized to the court that Adamson’s company Hands On Originals “serves everyone,” but reserves the right not to print certain messages it deems inappropriate or that would otherwise conflict with Adamson’s Christian faith.

Campbell said that Adamson, in his initial conversation with representatives of the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization who were looking for a shirt promoting the Lexington Pride Festival, only declined to print the shirts after he asked and learned what would be printed on the shirt.  

Campbell argued that this constituted a “substantial burden” on Adamson’s religious beliefs, as defined by the Supreme Court in Holt v. Hobbs.

The Commission required Mr. Adamson to violate his religious beliefs, and its mandate that he attend diversity training says that it’s “wrong” for him to operate his business according to his religious beliefs, Campbell argued.

Opposing Adamson, and representing the Commission, attorney Edward Dove said that Hands On Originals “practices censorship” according to Campbell’s admission.

“That’s why we have a public accommodation ordinance,” he said, to protect against people enduring discrimination as they seek to enjoy goods.

“They can do anything they want in the name of religion and censor any message they don’t like, which would affect the free speech argument in the country,” he said of Hands On.

Justice Michelle Keller asked Campbell how far the government could go to mandate that the shirts for the Pride festival be printed, asking if a disclaimer could be put on shirts saying the messages do not reflect the views of Hands On.

Adamson and other business owners have a constitutionally-protected “individual freedom of mind,” Campbell said, with an “individual dignity” to protect free expression.

Daily Reading for Monday, August 26th, 2019 HD

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 1:2-5, 8-10 2 We always thank God for you all, mentioning you in our prayers continually. 3 We remember before our ...

St. Bartholomew: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 24, 2019

St. Bartholomew, 1st. century, one of the 12. All that is known of him with certainty is that he is mentioned in the synoptic gospels and Acts as ...