Friday, April 26, 2013

Archbishop gets a soaking

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, remained calmly seated with eyes closed in prayer as four topless women attacked him with shouts and curses and doused him with water from bottles formed in the image of the Virgin Mary.

The incident took place at the ULB University in Brussels, where the archbishop was participating in a debate on blasphemy laws.

The four women, representing the pro-abortion and homosexual group FEMEN, took to the stage where they disrobed to reveal black-painted slogans on their chests and backs, such as "my body my rules," and "anus dei is coming." They also held signs reading "stop homophobia."

Le Soir reports that one of the women said of the archbishop: “He was very calm and maintained a position of prayer. I have to believe he was praying for us.”

Hundreds of thousands protested as a law permitting same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption was passed in France. At least 150,000 (40,000, say official police figures; 270,000, say anti same-sex marriage demonstrators) took to the streets for a fourth major rally in Paris. Previous events attracted 300,000, a million and a million and a half.

Some 60 young people who had conducted a nightly sit-in to protest were arrested and held for 17 hours in dirty cells with little water and no food till lunch. Many astonished police by singing grace before their lunch. Streets giving access to the presidential palace, the Elysée, and to the prime minister’s office are heavily barricaded.

Surrogate motherhood is illegal in France, but the justice minister, Christiane Taubira, has said children of French nationals obtained through surrogacy
abroad will be given French status and allowed into the country. A Connecticut surrogacy and egg-donor business, CT Fertility, anticipated demand with a presentation in Paris. One woman was told it would cost $100,000.

In Britain, the same-sex marriage bill will have its third reading in the House of Commons around May 20 and will be debated in the House of Lords iin June. Many people wrongly assume that there is nothing now to stop the bill becoming law. This is a false assumption. There is still a long way to go, and the bill could be defeated.

Critics say the bill's approval would mean a sexual free-for-all and a virtual destruction of marriage. Adultery would be abandoned as a ground for divorce, they say, and there would come demands for marriage of more than two people. They urge protests to politicians and a careful eye on local elections on May 2.