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1. On Holy Family feast, Pope Francis offers advice for healing family wounds
(CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis prayerfully entrusted troubled families to the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth Sunday and offered his advice for healing family wounds. “When there are problems in families, we assume that we are right and we close the door to others. Instead, one must think: ‘What does this person have?’ And marvel at this ‘good.’ This helps family unity,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Dec. 30.
On the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the pope offered a special prayer “for all families of the world, especially those in which, for various reasons, there is a lack of peace and harmony.” The pope pointed to both the “amazement” and the “anguish” found in the Holy Family. He invited all to imitate this amazement by finding and contemplating the good in each of the member of one’s family.
“Opening up to others, understanding the reasons of others: this attitude is important for healing compromised relationships among people, and it is also indispensable for healing open wounds within the family,” he explained. MORE
December 2018

In this issue ...

News Clips


Married for Life

Marriage: Unique for a Reason

Family Life and Parenting

US Bishops: Human Life and Dignity


Mass for Life and Candlelight Rosary with Bishop Monforton
Jan 15 @ 6PM
Holy Family Church
2. ‘Complete My Joy’: In major new document, Bishop Olmsted urges fathers, mothers to commit their families to a deeper relationship with Christ
(Catholic Sun) - Fathers and mothers have the ability and responsibility to lead their families to holiness, wrote Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in an apostolic exhortation published Dec. 30. The apostolic exhortation, titled “Complete My Joy,” is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians when the Apostle challenges the reader to “make my joy complete” (Phil 1:27-2:2). “Over these past 50 years, countless faithful Catholics have surely attained the goal of their lives — eternal salvation. Credit here is due to the rich mercy of God, to the dedicated priests and religious who have served our Diocese so well, and to you and the many faithful families who have lived — and continue to live — your vocations with generosity and even, at times, heroism,” Bishop Olmsted wrote in his introduction. The bishop begins by recounting his own family upbringing and the role it played in his own vocation. MORE
3. Ohio Gov. John Kasich Vetoes Bill to Ban Abortions After Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins
(LifeNews) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed a controversial bill Friday that would prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. The Republican governor, who vetoed similar legislation in 2016, said he rejected the bill based on the unlikelihood of it succeeding in a court challenge. The AP reports Kasich explained Friday that he believes the bill would be struck down as unconstitutional before it could save any lives. He also said the legal challenge would cost taxpayers money. “As governor I have worked hard to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life, and I have a deep respect for my fellow members of the pro-life community and their ongoing efforts in defense of unborn life,” he said in a statement. “However, the central provision of Sub. H.B. 258, that an abortion cannot be performed if a heartbeat has been detected in the unborn child, is contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion. “As the losing party, the state of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers,” Kasich added. MORE
  • By one vote, Ohio Legislature fails to override Kasich veto of heartbeat bill >>
  • Ohio Right to Life Supports a Pathway Forward for Ohio's Heartbeat Legislation >>
  • Ohio Bans Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Babies Limb From Limb >>
4. New Mexico assisted suicide bill may extend assisted suicide to all 50 states.
(EPC) - New Mexico House Bill 90 was introduced by Deborah Armstrong (Dem) to legalize assisted suicide. The bill is referred to as The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act. On December 21 I published the article New Mexico Assisted Suicide Bill is the most dangerous bill ever (Link) where I explained how Bill HB 90 expands the scope of assisted suicide in the USA. Since HB 90 allows assisted suicide to be approved via telemedicine, if legalized, Bill HB 90 may allow suicide tourism. Assisted suicide is always dangerous and should never be legal because it enables one person to be involved with causing the death of another person with lethal drugs. Let's not be innocent, legalizing assisted suicide leads to the further degradation of people with disabilities and other  people who are medically vulnerable while creating new paths for elder abuse and the perfect legal defense for deaths not considered by the assisted suicide debate. MORE
5. Trump Administration restricts foetal tissue research
(BioEdge) - The use of tissue from aborted foetuses has become the latest bioethics controversy under the Trump Administration. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked scientists working in government facilities to stop procuring human foetal tissue for their research, although they can continue using tissue that they already have. Instead, the Administration is encouraging scientists to investigate other avenues, such as pluripotent stem cells. It plans to offer US$20 million in funding over the next two years “to develop and/or further refine human tissue models that closely mimic and can be used to faithfully model human embryonic development or other aspects of human biology, for example, the human immune system, that do not rely on the use of human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions.” MORE

Now They’re Euthanizing Asperger’s Patients >>
More African-American Babies are Aborted Than Born Alive in New York City >>
First baby born from uterus of a deceased donor >>
Oklahoma Court Won’t Block 72-Hour Waiting Period to Save Babies From Abortions >>
Democrats Introduce Bill Requiring U.S. to Call Abortion a “Human Right” >>
Pennsylvania diocese opening faith-based addiction recovery high school >>
Euthanasia Becoming First Resort in Quebec >>
Given less than 1% chance to survive, preemie now healthy and home with mom and dad >>
The Knights’ Partnership With Special Olympics Promotes The Dignity Of People With Intellectual Disabilities >>
Alabama Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Ban on Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Babies’ Limbs >>
10 Pointers for Prayer
(ForYourMarriage) - The baby’s crying, the dog is whining, and you need to leave for work in five minutes. Finding time for prayer can seem impossible. Amid the busyness of family life, how can one respond to God’s ongoing invitation to speak with and listen to Him? Here are ten pointers to help you do just that. MORE


The Dating Podcast: Young Adults
There’s a lot of secular evidence that there isn’t a great dating culture in America right now. What about dating as a Catholic? Today we’re talking with Dr. Kerry Cronin, the professor from Boston College who is featured in the film, The Dating Project, Dr. Paul Gondreau from Providence College, and LMFLY interns Kelly Walsh and Elizabeth Plaza. MORE
Copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.
Parent Alert!
The Surprising Results When 10 Teen Girls Did a Digital Detox

Our regular Parent Alert! news updates help parents stay ahead of the trends affecting kids in our hypersexualized culture. This month we’re covering headlines from the social media world: digital detox for teens; new research on mental health and social media; Tumblr bans pornography; and what’s going on with Celine Dion’s new fashion line for kids? Here’s what’s trending in December 2018!
Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center reported that 45% of teens are online “almost constantly.” Amazingly, this is almost double the number of kids who reported this in 2014-2015! At the same time, research shows that increased screen time among teens aged 14 – 17 is linked to mental health problems. Now imagine a group of ten 13 and 14-year-old girls agreeing to forgo all social media for two whole weeks!  This meant deleting the apps from their phones – no exceptions! MORE

Life Issues Forum: Good News of Great Joy
By Greg Schleppenbach
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, the introduction from Pope Saint John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae provides a rich source of reflection on God's love for human life, which He created in His image and likeness: "At the dawn of salvation, it is the birth of a child which is proclaimed as joyful news: 'I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord' (Lk. 2:10-11). The source of this 'great joy' is the birth of the Savior; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfillment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. Jn. 16:21)." MORE
Copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.

10 Most Popular Pro-life Stories from 2018 >>
Empty cradle, empty pews? What the low birth rate means for Catholics >>
Smartphones are driving a rise in teen sexting >>
'A call from God' - Why these Catholic couples became foster parents >>
The cycle of porn and loneliness >>
The Global Supply Chain of Sexual Exploitation & the Necessity of Combating the Demand for Commercial Sex >>

The Culture of Life Update is published monthly by the Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life of the Diocese of Steubenville. Designed for busy people, the Culture of Life Update provides a once-a-month overview of news stories related to life, marriage and the family.  It's a great and easy way to get informed. 

The news provided in the Culture of Life Update is for information purposes only. The inclusion of any article is not meant to be an endorsement of a particular author’s viewpoint, nor it is meant to be an endorsement of the organization providing the information. 

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Copyright © 2018 Diocese of Steubenville, All rights reserved.
Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life
Diocese of Steubenville

(located at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption)
506 4th St.Marietta, OH 45750
Phone: 740-373-3643

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