Monthly Archives: May 2014

RELEASED—Pregnant Sudanese Christian Condemned to Death

Search News for “Meriam Ibrahim” within the past hour.

No sooner had Sudanese officials informed the world that Meriam Ibrahim had not been re-arrested and would be freed again after the nation’s courts released her from prison than news reports surfaced that she would be charged with fraud and prevented from leaving the country.

She’s out on bail but facing new charges of document fraud.

Sudan’s national news service SUNA said, the Court of Cassation in Khartoum on Monday, June 23, 2014, canceled the death sentence against Dr. Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case, and the court ordered her release.

“We have confirmed through her attorney that she has been released from prison today,” Tina Ramirez, executive director for the Christian advocacy group Hardwired, told Hardwired has worked closely with Ibrahim’s family and lawyer.

Dr. Ibrahim was whisked away to a confidential location and that her lawyers will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.

DrMeriamIbrahimAndDaniel Wani

Daniel Wani and
Dr. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim
on their wedding day

A court in Khartoum, Sudan has issued a death sentence to a mother of two who refuses to renounce Christianity for Islam. Ethiopian Orthodox physician, Dr. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim must nurse her newborn baby for two years before being executed for apostasy, but must receive 100 lashes for “adultery”—for having conjugal relations with her Christian husband—immediately after having had her baby.

The daughter of a Christian mother and a Muslim father who abandoned the family as a child, Dr. Ibrahim was raised as a Christian; she never was Muslim. She could have spared herself death by hanging simply by renouncing her Christian faith.

“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam,” Judge Abbas Khalifa told Ibrahim, according to AFP. “I sentence you to be hanged to death.”

But Dr. Ibrahim held firm to her beliefs.

“I was never a Muslim,” she answered. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”

Dr. Ibrahim was raised in the Christian faith by her mother, an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia. She is married to Daniel Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan who has U.S. citizenship, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The death is an “egregious violation of basic human rights,” said Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey’s 4th District, Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees U.S. policy in Africa.

“This is an affront to religious freedom everywhere,” Smith said. “The refusal of the government of Sudan to allow religious freedom was one of the reasons for Sudan’s long civil war. The U.S. and the rest of the international community must demand Sudan reverse this sentence immediately.”

Dr. Ibrahim is reported to be eight months pregnant. She was convicted under the Islamist-run government of apostasy (the crime of renouncing or insulting Islam) punishable by death in some Muslim-majority countries. According to news reports, lawyers representing her told Amnesty International that religious clerics in court had asked the 27-year-old Thursday if she would recant her faith, but she told them: “I am a Christian.” Continue reading

Father Leatherby’s Right-to-Life Ministry Update

FrLeatherbyMy Dear Parishioners,

I have some more wonderful news to share!  If you recall, earlier this summer, our Right to Life ministry decided to have sidewalk volunteers from our parish praying in front of the abortion facility on Butano during the hours when abortions are performed.  A number of you signed up.  Thus, we are almost always able to keep the sidewalk staffed all morning on Thursdays, from 7:00am until 1:00pm.  Would you believe it, in less than two months, we have already assisted three women to choose life?!  We have helped to save the lives of three babies!  One of our parishioners, in her great kindness, went so far as to give one of the expectant mothers a ride to the Sacramento Life Center so that she could receive proper support for herself and her child.  Little did I know that it is estimated that 75% of women decide not to go through with an abortion when they see people praying in front of the facility.  In fact, many of them are just hoping that someone will be there to give them hope.  May God be praised that He has moved the hearts of so many of you to be a part of our Right to Life ministry in this way.

Our parish Gabriel Project, which is a branch of our Right to Life Ministry, hosted a BBQ after the 10:30AM Mass. Other parish ministries assisted, including the Senior Joy Ministry, Knights of Columbus, Men’s Club, Preciosa Vida (our school kids’ Pro-Life Club), our 4th Graders, and the Right to Life group itself. It was beautiful to see the combined effort. The BBQ, with donations included, made over $1,400! That’s far more than anyone expected. It is such a blessing for the Gabriel Project, because we, as a parish, are currently assisting 13 moms and their newborn children. Thank you all for your support!

In addition to these efforts, our Right to Life ministry has assumed responsibility for sidewalk counseling at the nearest abortion center, on Butano Drive. Thankfully, abortions are only performed there now on one day of the week, Thursdays mornings. Thus, we will start having parishioners prayerfully witnessing there and available for guidance every Thursday from 7:00AM – 1:00PM. Fr. Lee and/or I will join a group each first Thursday of the month after the 8:00AM morning Mass, which will be offered for ‘an end to abortion’. Please know that you are invited. Hopefully we will get a strong presence there to support these babies and their mothers and fathers. We will have sign ups after Sunday Masses on one of the upcoming weekends, in order to assure that someone is always present on Thursday mornings. If you would like to commit to an hour, you can also contact Mary Mudd directly, who is the coordinator of the ministry.

One other recent addition to the Right to Life ministry is that, after the 8:30AM Mass on Saturday mornings, we are holding a Cenacle of Life. The Cenacles of Life are prayer groups that pray two rosaries together (ten mysteries), offering the rosaries up with fasting. Each member fasts one day a week on bread and water, to end this culture of death. Those that cannot fast on bread and water, due to sickness or age, can offer up a day of fasting from their favorite thing (such as watching television or talking on the telephone). They offer up their fasts – at the prayer group – with the rosaries prayed. As our Lord said, some spirits can be cast out only by prayer AND fasting.

Fr. Lee and I will expose the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday mornings while we offer the rosaries and other prayers for the Cenacles of Life. No one has to be a member to join in. All are welcome. Please know that that goes for the ministry itself. Fr. Lee and I are attending the meetings of the Right to Life ministry on the third Monday of every month, as these issues are so critical in the times in which we live. If you think you might be interested in participating in some way, you are welcome to attend a meeting. There is much that can be done in this multi-faceted ministry. Let us not forget that, at the heart of the Pro-Life movement is the truth of our Lord’s words: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do to Me.”
In Jesus, through Mary,
Father Jeremy Leatherby

Pope Francis’ message to 40 Days for Life UK: Vatican ‘greatly appreciates’ your pro-life work ^ | Tue May 20, 2014 | Hilary White

Pope Francis has expressed his public support for the peaceful pro-life ministry of 40 Days for Life. In a letter sent through his Secretariat of State, the pope said he “greatly appreciates the dedicated work” that the group, which leads people to pray in front of abortion facilities, has undertaken “to promote respect for the lives of all unborn children.”

“His Holiness assures you of his prayerful support for you, your colleagues and all those whose prayer, fasting and sacrifices are saving countless lives and giving glory to God,” the letter says.

The organizers of one of the most successful pro-life campaigns in the world were thrilled to receive a letter of encouragement from Pope Francis this week. Robert Colquhoun, the director of 40 Days for Life London also told LifeSiteNews of a letter of encouragement from Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican’s now-retired delegate to the United Nations.

PopeFrancisLetterFor40DaysForLife2014-650px_645_859“We are really honored and blessed to receive positive messages of support and encouragement from both Pope Francis and Cardinal Martino,” Colquhoun said.

The pope’s letter, dated May 7 from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, reads in full:

The Holy Father has received your letter of 12 March last and he has asked me to thank you. He greatly appreciates the dedicated work that you and everyone involved in “40 Days for Life” are engaged in to promote respect for the lives of all unborn children.

His Holiness assures you of his prayerful support for you, your colleagues and all those whose prayer, fasting and sacrifices are saving countless lives and giving glory to God.

Commending you to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joyful perseverance in the Lord. Continue reading

Children Raised in the Intact Biological Family Fare Better by the Vast Majority of Objective Measures


Notre Dame University has denied official recognition of a student group promoting policymaking that places primary emphasis on advocacy explicitly for the interests of children in considerations about so-called “Gay Marriage”. The quest for recognition by Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), was rejected in an April 30 letter from the university’s Student Activities Office.

In evaluating a proposal, approval is based on several things.…There was not a need for another similar-type club. The Club Coordination Council

SCOP’s Notre Dame Marriage Petition cites Pope Francis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in support of the group’s quest to promote children’s interests as equally valid to the now-exclusive consideration given adults’ interests regarding so-called “Marriage Equity”.

“We reject the view that the young have agreed to redefine marriage. Rather, we think that they have not explored the meaning and importance of marriage.”
Students for Child-Oriented Policy

Continue reading

15 Year Old Held Captive by Abortion Business, Mother Ejected from Facility

15-year-old girl allegedly locked inside abortion facility rescued by pro-lifer: Report

By Ben Johnson | Life Site News | May 19, 2014

BUFFALO, NY, May 19, 2014 ( – An abortion facility allegedly locked a 15-year-old girl in an examining room and expelled her mother from the premises when they changed their minds about going through with an abortion, a nationally prominent pro-life activist has stated.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood manager who began And Then There Were None as an outreach to other abortion workers, said she and a local pro-life counselor named Cheryl had been in touch with the frightened minor girl by text message.

Johnson described the teen as “a 15 year old girl” who “is very swayed by the opinions of her boyfriend, who does not want her to have anything to do with the pregnancy center in her area.”

Instead, he took his girlfriend to Buffalo Women’s Services, reportedly the first businesses in America to house an abortion office and a “natural birthing center” under the same roof.

Things went OK until the girl “asked to see her ultrasound and the clinic absolutely refused,” Johnson reported. “She decided then that they were obviously not interested in helping her and told them that she wanted to leave.”

“They would not allow her to leave the room she was in and locked the door,” she said.

At that time, Johnson writes, the girl’s mother asked began “demanding to see her daughter. At that point, her mother was removed from the facility.” Continue reading

About those embarrassing pro-lifers

Gratianus: Iuris Pater Canonici [Gratian: Father of Canon Law]
Gratianus dicit quod Ius Canonicum facile est.
(Gratian says that Canon Law is easy.)
Omnia responsa sunt in libro.
(All the answers are in the book.)

May 16, 2014 |In the Light of the Law | A Canon Lawyer’s Blog | Edward Peters

Even though, as a general rule, the leadership of national episcopal conferences is elected by member bishops (c. 452), in Italy (long story made short) the pope personally appoints conference leaders. Pope Francis appointed Bp. Nunzio Galantino as Secretary General of Italian bishop’s conference a couple months ago.

Galantino is calling for a “taboo-free discussion” of priestly celibacy, administration of holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics, and homosexuality (sic: homosexual acts?). His call for a ‘taboo-free discussion’ of these topics suggests, of course, that, till now, their discussion has been hindered by taboos, or at least, that Galantino thinks they have been discussed only amid taboos.

Bishop Nunzio Galantino (b. 16 August 1948), Bishop emeritus of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio

I suggest the first implication is false; the second, necessarily, mistaken. Passing familiarity with the Catholic literature that each of these topics has generated over the centuries should be enough to dispel allegations of “taboos” in their regard except perhaps in the minds of some who dislike the Church’s position on one or more of these topics.

“I do not identify with the expressionless faces of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics which practice interruption of pregnancy [abortion businesses], but with those young people who are opposed to this practice [the practice of silent, prayerful witness] and who strive for the quality of life of the people, for their right to health, to work.”—Nunzio Galantino, Segretario Generale CEI – Chiesa Cattolica Italiana, May 12, 2014But it is Galantino’s gratuitous remark about “expressionless persons praying rosaries outside abortion clinics” that attracts my attention. I worry when ranking prelates disparage the simple and prayerful piety that some lay faithful show even before the Gates of Death.

Continue reading

Pro-life, pro-family 17-year-old beats 2-time incumbent in West Virginia

UPDATE – November 5 – Saira Wins

Saira Blair (born July 11, 1996) is Delegate-elect in the 59th district of the West Virginia House of Delegates.


SairaBlairCHARLESTON, WV, May 15, 2014 ( – Running on an explicitly pro-life and pro-family platform, Saira Blair a 17-year-old high school student beat out two-time incumbent Larry Kump to represent the Republicans in the November race for the state House of Delegates. Blair, a strong Catholic said on her election signs: “I am a Fiscal Conservative, I’m pro-life. I’m pro-marriage I’m pro-family. I’m pro-second Amendment. I’m pro-business. I’m pro-jobs I’m pro West Virginia. These are my personal and political beliefs!”

On another campaign sign she repeated those same stances adding, “I will not compromise on these beliefs.”

Saira’s father, State Senator Craig Blair, was surprised by the result figuring that his daughter’s age would negatively affect her chances.

The Tuesday primary result saw Blair narrowly overtake Kump 872-728. She will face Democrat Layne Diehl in November.

In a message to her fellow youth she says: “Why wait till your 40, 50 or 60 to realize that conservative principles are the pathway to prosperity and success.”

Saira Blair on Facebook.

California Democrats Defeat Sex-Selection Abortion Ban on Party-Line Vote

by Lori Arnold | Sacramento, CA | | 5/13/14

Sex-selection abortion in California—which has evolved into a cottage tourism industry for women wishing to hand-pick their baby’s gender—will remain a protected practice after the Assembly Health Committee snubbed a proposal on May 6 to end the barbaric trend. As expected, the committee voted along party lines, 13-6, squelching Assembly Bill (AB) 2336 (Grove R-Bakersfield).

In introducing her Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act at the hearing, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove offered statistics showing that entire population segments are shifting toward male majorities as experts estimate that 160 million girls have been killed either from through sex-selection abortion or infanticide at birth by parents seeking a boy.

Grove cited evidence that women from China, India, and other nations where the practice has been outlawed are now coming to California to take advantage of the state’s dangerously deregulated abortion laws.

“This is the real war on women: the killing of baby girls simply because they are girls,” Grove told committee members. “We hear often in this Capitol building about women’s rights, equal rights for women, equal protection under the law, equal pay. Well colleagues, girls are being killed simply for being girls and its happening right here in California and not just Third World nations.” Continue reading

Down Syndrome Babies—Here to Teach Us Tenderness

We snuff out their tiny, prophetic voices at our own peril.

They are possibly the last barrier against a society-wide breakdown into generalized violence.

Full potential: Emory University's Down Syndrome Center — Showing what a child with an extra chromosome can do

FULL POTENTIAL: Emory University’s Down Syndrome Center — Showing what a child with an extra chromosome can do

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, speaking to Presentation Parish “On Redemptive Suffering”, remarked that “Down Syndrome babies are here to teach us tenderness”. Societies that protect the most innocent are moving towards greater compassion.

But young people in America today know that they may have brothers and sisters who were killed before they were ever born, and that it could have been them. How does that knowledge affect their understanding that life is precious?

Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, American society has become increasingly vicious in attitude and action, against the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, defenseless school-children and now, with the popularity of the sucker-punching “knockout game”, in random, senseless attacks against total strangers.

Did this increase in violence across the board just arise spontaneously, without precedent, or did our treatment of the most vulnerable portend it?

When protection of innocent life in the womb was first under open attack in the late 1960s, specious excuses were made that “abortion will reduce child abuse against ‘unwanted’ babies”.

Abortion was supposed to reduce child abuse against "unwanted" babies

Abortion was supposed to reduce child abuse against “unwanted” babies
John Willke, MD, Abortion: Questions & Answers—Why Can’t We Love Them Both?

When I was 3 years old I saw my mom on TV. She was speaking to a man about how she killed her baby and regretted it. As she told her story and how she became a pro-life speaker, I watched and listened. My grandma didn’t think I was old enough to understand. When my mom picked me up that night I asked her why she killed my brother or sister and why she didn’t kill me. My mom said she was in shock that her 3-year-old would ask these questions. She answered them the best she could for me, and as I got older I learned more. — Three-Year-Old Sister of Aborted Baby: "Mom, Why Didn’t You Kill Me Too?"
More than 85% of children in utero diagnosed with Down Syndrome today are subsequently aborted.

Every Life Counts (Ireland) An outreach for parents This online outreach is a place where parents of children who were diagnosed with a terminal condition can share their memories, their joy, their pain, and their love. It's a place where the lives of our much-loved children are celebrated, and where we can reach out to parents in similar situations. Every Life Counts aims to be a valuable resource and source of hope for families and their children who, above all else, seek the gift of time. Where children are acknowledged Children who lives are shortened are no less precious than any other child. In fact, many parents say they are the most special children of all. They deserve to be loved and celebrated - and they are worthy of protection.

Every Life Counts (Ireland)
An outreach where parents of children who were diagnosed with a terminal condition can share their memories, their joy, their pain, and their love.

These little saints, capable of returning our love but incapable of personal sin, were sent here by God to teach us to love one another!

Those who are killed before birth will be rewarded by God as if they had fulfilled their mission to teach us tenderness for one another.

(They can still intercede for us, if we will just ask them.)

  But our country and our world will miss this vital lesson  
  they were specially sent to teach us.  
  We disregard their gentle witness at our own peril.  

Then I watched while the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures cry out in a voice like thunder, “Come forward.” I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories. When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, “Come forward.” Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword. – Revelation 6:1-4

When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out in a loud voice, “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been. – Revelation 6:9-11


See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of My heavenly Father.Matthew 18:10

 Most victims of violence know the perpetrator, or have some purposeful connection such as the context of an altercation or a robbery. This latest, mass movement of random, senseless, violence-as-entertainment presents a new low in societal decay—the slope has slipped, the frog is fried. This development, (“the knockout game“), as a continuation of the degradation of human rights over the last half-century, should serve as a disturbing portent suggesting that a society-wide, general breakdown in personal and public safety is imminent–directly attributable to mistreatment of the most vulnerable among us. (Return ↑)