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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
March 6, 1998     The Message
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March 6, 1998

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12 The Message u for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana r[L a ....  w ,r. =__. _==: ....... Crisis pregn ncy ork a 'difficult cha By TERR[ URBAN Catholic News Service COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) -- A prominent Catholic layman told more than 700 people who staff crisis pregnancy centers across the United States that their work is more vital to the fight against abortion than they might think. Alan Keyes, a Catholic who is former U.S. ambas- sador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, addressed the group of pro-life activists at a Feb. 7 national conference held at Focus on the Family head- quarters in Colorado Springs. (Keyes will be the speaker at the Vanderburg h County Right To Life Banquet, to be held at Roberts Stadium, Evansville, April 28.) Keyes said he believes the position that Christians take on abortion is vital to the spiritual health of the nation. The audience, made up of many evangelical Christians as well as Catholics, showed their approval for the message in loud applause and standing ova- tions. "How do we reach America's heart? How do we bat- tle abortion?" Keyes asked. "The task you take on may be the most important and the most difficult challenge we face in America today." Keyes, now the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show, decried what he termed a fiend in popular psychology to get rid of guilt and shame. He compared guilt and shame to physical pain in the human body. "If you cut off your finger, you are going to feel pain. If you cut yourself off from God, you are going to feel guilt and shame," he said. "It is your soul's way of telling you that something is wrong." He called the workers of the nation's Christian-run crisis pregnancy centers "portals of the almighty" to women who are in spiritual and emotional turmoil. He said that America's views on abortion will be shaped "one woman at a time, one heart at a time, one conscience at a time." Keyes also stated that in addi- tion to saving the lives of unborn babies, he believes Christian pregnancy centers should attempt to evan- gelize the parents of the unborn child. He urged the group of pro-life workers to be "the light of conscience that can save the world." he position that Christians take on abortion is vital to the spiritual health of the nation. The crisis pregnancy center conference was organized by Focus on the Family, a Christian organization found- ed by James Dobson. Dobson produces a daily radio show on family life and is a vocal opponent of abor- tion. In his speech, Keyes also called President Clinton "a president who has no conscience." Calling on American women, especially, to withdraw their support of President Clinton, Keyes said person- al character and morality should be emphasized in evaluating a president, and not just the economic pros- perity of the country. While Clinton is considered by many people to be interested in women's issues, Keyes called the term "women's issues" to be "code for abo "Good for 'women's issues' means brazen and unequivocal suppc and the doctrine of abortion In another talk at the conference, national pro-life organization called Catholics to become more active in the Saying that many people were issue of abortion, Mal sis pregnancy centers are often in dire teer help. Hartshorn founded a pregnancy helt and now of pregnancy pro-life "We can't recruit teers, while the crisis ters es have plenty of wonder crisis pregnancies) is being taken Hartshorn said that in the early in the forefront of working for the unb orn nancy crisis centers, but since then, many Catholic centers have turned to .... find, workers. "Working in a pregnancy center is a to support a culture of life," she said. "I' age all Catholics to become " Hartshorn also called on pro-life issues. "Catholic about it, priests aren't speaking sermons, and people are losing their right," she said. ,a Natural Family Planning for the childbearing Some have dubbed Natural Family Planning "the best kept secret" in the Catholic Church. Today, despite tremendous advantages including top effec- tiveness rates and great health News and Commentary By SOOZI SCHELLER Contributing writer benefits for women, the majority of U.S. couples in their child- bearing years, both members and non-members of the Catholic Church use other means of fam- ily planning. Many Catholic clergy and Catholic health professionals miss opportunities to witness to the truth and beauty of Natural Family Planning. They do not refer people of childbearing age for Natural Family Planning services simply because they are misinformed or unaware of the last 30 years of extensive research in NFP and of the NFP resources here in southern Indiana. Even today, some people still mistakenly confuse NFP with the rhythm method, which it is clot. This column aims to bring the good news about NFP ser- Pope: Authentic women's health care must respect maternity / University of the Sacred Heart and by the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown Univer- sity, Washington. Pope John Paul congratulated the two institutes for sponsoring the conference aimed at promot- ing a recognition of the dignity of women and of women's right to access to adequate health care. "We cannot help but remember the great number of women children, adolescents, wives, mothers and the aged -- who live in conditions of poverty and an extreme lack of health-care sup- port," the pope said. Authentic health, he said, must "insert physical, psychological and social well-being into a rela- tionship of harmony with moral and spiritual values." vices offered in the Diocese of Evansville to the families, cler- gy, religious and health profes- sionals here. Originally inspired by Pope Paul VI's call to scientists to con- tribute to the welfare of mar- riage and the family by explain- ing "more thoroughly the various conditions favoring a proper regulation of births," Dr. Thomas K. Hilgers and his wife Susan and others have devoted the last 25 years of their lives to research, education and medical practice based on Natural Family Planning. The Hilgers have had enor- mous success in using a simple, standardized system for record- ing the biological markers in the woman's natural procreative cycle not only to assist couples to effectively achieve or avoid .pregnancy but also to treat var- ious gynecological health prob- lems with better results at lower cost and with fewer adverse side effects. The NFP professionals at St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville and at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper have been trained by Dr. Hilgers and the faculty of the Pope Paul VI Institute based in Omaha, Nell. Natural Family Planning ser- vices are designed to support couples in making natural, pro- creative choices and in moni- toring, maintaining and evalu- ating a woman's procreative and gynecological health. The NFP Practitioner provides responsible parenthood instruc- tion for achieving and avoiding pregnancy, timing of concep- tion, pregnancy evaluation, recording and interpreting the signs of fertility and infertility, and marital bonding. NFP Medical Consultants, such as Dr. J.R. Hoffman at St. Mary's Medical Center, offer effective and less expensive treatments for infertility, pre- vention of miscarriage, hor- monal problems, premenstrual syndrome, ovarian cysts, irreg- ular cycles, unusual bleeding, maintenance of pregnancy and the effects of stress. The people of our diocese should be Family meets the the childbearing with irregular use this meno anovulatory discontinuing ceptives -use Planning their family care for their on this page 1 ering more the For more one St. Health Matters, Planning 485-4110 Care Center, Panning 482-0636 or q The NFP Instructor, 882-5688. Health and medical new.s ST.MA frornaCathol,.c Health ( perspectwe ,s a courtesy of 00.,-ervlc'00s By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) Promoting the authentic and complete health of women requires ending discrimina- tion and renewing respect for women, including their capac- ity to bear children, Pope John Paul II said. Growing acceptance is seen for a distorted vision of women's health which consid- ers "maternity as a burden and an illness," the pope said Feb. 20 during a meeting with partici- pants in an international con- ference on women's health. The conference ir Rome was sponsored by the Institute for Bioethics at Rome's Catholic