Homosexual Group Labels Catholic Church "Most Homophobic" Institution in Chile
Blasts Church authorities for opposing homosexual civil unions and "non-discrimination" legislation
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
SANTIAGO, February 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Chilean homosexual group, Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), has placed the Catholic Church in the number one spot in its ranking of "homophobic" institutions in Chile, as part of its annual report on the subject.
The report included other religious groups and movements in its top fourteen ranking, including three groups of protestant pastors, two protestant activist groups, the organization "family action", and the Catholic activist group Go Chile!. Of the fourteen positions in the ranking, religious and pro-family organizations occupied eight.
The remaining organizations on the list included the national and civil police, an appeals court, and several pubs.
Explaining their decision to rank the Catholic Church in the number one position among "homophobic" groups, the organization complained that "the Catholic Church, which in 2006 showed positive transformations, returned to its hatefulness, and along with ultraconservative groups pressured the Executive and Legislative powers to impede the advance of the most sensitive legal demands of sexual minorities, such as civil unions and the anti-discrimination law."
However, MOVILH finds it consoling to note that Church officials were required to "give an account" of their actions in legal proceedings against them over an anti-discrimination case, as did the national police, although neither group received a negative judgment at the conclusion of the proceedings.
"Even when at the close of 2007 the Church and the National Police had not received concrete sanctions that reversed the homophobic acts in favor of the victims, the fact is that such accounting is an advance of great relevance in relation to what has occurred in previous years," says the organization in its report.
The Catholic Church has occupied MOVILH's list of "homophobic" institutions almost every year since the organization began publishing it in 2003, being ranked in second, fourth, and ninth place. The organization did not include the Church on the list in 2006, apparently believing that it had somehow negated its 2000 years of teaching that sodomy is a deadly sin.
The organization's report also complained about a "greater influence" of "ultraconservative" groups linked to Evangelical Protestants and Catholics, "against equality of rights", reflecting an apparent success on the part of pro-family groups in their coordination and joint efforts.
In 2007, the group writes, "high officials of the Catholic and Evangelical churches mobilized specifically to impede the approval of the Bill to Establish Measures against Discrimination, which strengthened the influence of ultraconservatives..."
"Moreover, the Catholic Church made use of illegitimate means to impede a professor of religion from exercising her office for the sole reason that she was a lesbian, an element that, together with what is expressed above, implies a serious retrogression in relation to 2006."
"I consider the rating a badge of honor," Fr. Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International told LifeSiteNews.
"The radical homosexual movement continues to misrepresent the Church's position on discrimination," said Euteneuer. "So it's not surprising that this group would do the same thing in this instance. The Church recognizes that certain things are divine law and natural law, and so when we stand against homosexual acts we are not standing against homosexual persons. But they refuse to recognize that."
"When we stand against legitimizing in law this type of lifestyle they refuse to recognize that as a legitimate position in defense of families. So we can expect more attacks of the same in the future."
Frozen Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Cure Toddler's Cancer
By Hilary White
BRISTOL, UK, February 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A two year old girl from Suffolk has been cured of a rare form of cancer using genetically matched adult stem cells from a Japanese donor. Last week, news reports around the world revealed Sorrel Mason, a toddler from Great Wratting in Suffolk suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia, received a transplant of donated cells from a frozen umbilical cord from Tokyo.
Sorrel's mother, Samantha Mason, told media, "Sorrel would be dead now if she had been left untreated." The little girl was given a 30 per cent chance of survival when she was diagnosed. She has fully recovered since her treatment a year ago.
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a cancer of the white blood cells in which the abnormal cells proliferate and accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.
Treatment normally involves chemotherapy, but haematopoietic stem cell transplant, involving cells taken from bone marrow or blood, is increasingly being used. Most frequently, haematopoietic stem cell transplants take the cells from the patient's own blood or bone marrow or those from a close relative. The cells used must be a close enough match to avoid immune system rejection.
Sorrel's treatment was done at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, which is a leading centre in the treatment of childhood leukaemia. Dr Jackie Cornish, director of the bone marrow transplant unit at the Bristol hospital, said their facility is among the best in Europe in stem cell transplant treatments and has been a leader in extending the pool of donors for stem cells.
"There is a choice," she said to the Evening Post. "We can have a brother or sister donor, a matched or acceptably mismatched unrelated donor, we can go to the umbilical cord blood panel and test for a match from there, or we can use a mismatched family relation, commonly a mother or father."
"We were the first to develop unrelated donor transplant in such volume, and we have all of the spectrum of donors to choose from."