Sunday, October 25, 2009

The University Of San Francisco, Community Organizing, PICO And Abortion

On October 23-24, 2009 the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at the Jesuit University of San Francisco will offer a seminar titled: “Community Organizing Training for USF Students, Faculty and Staff.” The event listing on the USF webpage describes the seminar:

“Faith-based community organizing has a long history of empowering communities to make the changes that they need for safer, stronger neighborhoods and cities. The Ignatian Solidarity Network, in collaboration with PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) and the Lane Center, is offering the opportunity for USF students, staff, and faculty to take part in a 2-day, intensive workshop on community organizing.” The workshops will be led by organizers from the San Francisco Organizing Project and Oakland Community Organizations - both PICO affiliates.

The project is funded by a USF Jesuit Foundation grant and
was organized by Julia Dowd, associate director of the Lane Center. On March 1, 2009, Ms. Dowd was signatory to a Catholics United statement supporting the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the position of secretary of health and human services. Another signatory was Michael Duffy, director of the Lane Center.
By that date, Sebelius had vetoed four pieces of legislation in Kansas that would have imposed restrictions on abortion, including restrictions on partial-birth abortion. Her abortion absolutism had caused her bishop, Joseph Naumann, to direct her to refrain from receiving communion.

Over the past two months, California Catholic Daily has documented the presence of PICO and its affiliate organizations within Catholic parishes and dioceses. On September 1, California Catholic Daily covered PICO’s push for “healthcare reform” and specifically the “healthcare toolkit” published by PICO and the Soujourners. Our article showed how the PICO sponsored “toolkit” was at pains to spin the truth about healthcare “reform” so as to minimize the likelihood of taxpayer-funded abortion.
Among other things, the PICO healthcare toolkit claimed the Hyde Amendment (an annual appropriations rider) “is a federal law that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion“. That claim has been thoroughly refuted, not only by California Catholic Daily, but also, last week, by Susan Wills of the United States Catholic Conference’s Pro-life Secretariat.
PICO’s choosing of USF’s Lane Center as their partner for the training of “community organizers” is especially disturbing. On October 27, 2009, three days after the PICO seminar at the Lane Center, the center will host Irene Khan, Secretary General of the pro-abortion Amnesty International. Just this week, on October 20, Amnesty International issued a press release titled “Peru Must Build on Plans to Legalise Abortion.” The document called on Peruvian authorities to “…promote an environment with no restrictions on women's access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.”

On October 30, 2008, the Lane Center hosted Professor Sylvia Marcos, who was signatory to the 2006 declaration A Faith-Filled Commitment to Development Includes a Commitment to Women’s Rights and Rproductive Health - Religious Reflections on the Millennium Development Goals.” The “faith-filled” document stated: “Unsafe abortion is a public health concern and where abortion is illegal governments and health systems should work together to change their country’s abortion laws and make safe abortion legal and accessible to those women who voluntarily choose to have one."

Link (here) to the full article at the California Catholic Daily.

Read Sylvia Marcos' blog (here) , it is in Spanish. (Here) is is translated tnto English through Google Translator.

Photo is of Sylvia Marcos at Simon Bolivar University.


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