Saturday, May 5, 2012

More Superheroes Needed!

As reported yesterday by LifeNews.com,

    "Chinese officials have allowed forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng to apply to leave the country and study abroad at a university in the United States — in what is the first sign of good news that Chen may escape the persecution he is facing there....

    "In the original deal the United States struck with China, before Chen learned his family and his own life may be in grave danger should he stay in China and before he requested diplomatic help from the United States to leave the country, China would have agreed to allow Chen to study at one of its universities rather than going back to his hometown where he was under house arrest by family planning officials....

    "Although Chen could apply, there is no guarantee China will approve the application and his status could remain as uncertain as it is now....

    "Chen himself said whether China agrees to uphold the deal will be 'a test of whether my civil liberties are being fulfilled'....

    "AP reports the deal is not finalized and obstacles still remain.

    "'Obstacles to getting Chen out of China remain. Key among then is whether he would have to return to his home county in Shandong province to apply for a passport. Though a usual procedure, it would potentially expose him to retribution from the local officials who kept him and his family under brutal house arrest for his activism that exposed forced abortions and other misdeeds,' it said.

    "Before this information surfaced, Chen conveyed through a friend a four point statement saying that, while he does not seek political asylum in the United States, he had been invited to attend New York University [an alma mater of my own]....

    "AP indicates the Obama administration is beginning to acknowledge it failed in its efforts to fully help Chen.

    "Sign the Petition: President Obama: Protect Chen Guangcheng....

    "Chen has said the Obama Administration failed to fully assist him or provide him full information he needed to make good decisions about his future.

    "Chen told AP that men are following his wife and recording her movements on video and he said any conversations he has on the phone with American officials are cut off as soon as guards learn he is speaking to them.

    "'The U.S. Embassy treated me well,' he said, 'but the U.S. government was not proactive enough'....

    "He Peirong, an activist who helped Chen escape, had been missing until today, when she reported on Twitter that she is back home safely. AP indicates other activists have not been so lucky....

    "At the end of a hearing, in which several top activists fighting for human rights and freedom for Chen and his supporters pressing the case against forced abortions, Bob Fu, the president of ChinaAid, got Chen on the phone for the members of Congress in attendance to hear. [A]fter the witnesses had all testified, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) asked if anyone had been in touch with Chen since Wednesday. A short time later, Fu and CECC chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) telephoned Chen and were able to have him speak directly to the hearing.

    "Chen...told members of the panel that he wanted to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and that he hoped he could get help from her and meet her face to face to talk about his situation. Chen said he did not realize the extent of the danger he faces until he left the U.S. Embassy....

    "Chen told the panel he is worried about the safety of his family, his brothers and supporters who helped rescue him from home detention. He said immediately after he was discovered missing, his daughter was banned from going to school....

    "Congressman Chris Smith [a superhero, if ever there was one!], a New Jersey Republican, told Chen, 'You have a panel of people who have testified on your behalf who are all here on behalf of your family, your nephew.'

    "Smith added, 'Word is getting out, and your case is the test of Chinese commitment to protect you — which they were very dubious about those assurances. It is also a test of the United States about whether human rights really matter. You and your family and supporters should be on a plane to the United States.

    "'Chen we are all praying for you and we will be unceasing in our efforts to secure your freedom,' Smith said. 'This phone call absolutely underscores why we’re here'....

    [House Speaker John] "Boehner issued a statement in response to reports showing the Obama Administration released forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng from the U.S. Embassy despite threats against him and his family.

    "Chen and his supporters in China had not originally intended for Chen to go to the American Embassy in Beijing. They initially put him up in various homes of backers living in the Beijing area until family planning and Communist Party officials found out about his location and chased his backers in a vehicle — forcing them to make the decision to head for the embassy....

    "Leading pro-life campaigners and human rights groups are concerned that if Chen is not protected, Chinese officials may illegally detain him and send him back to prison, home detention or may take his life.

    "China’s state-run media initially said absolutely nothing about the daring escape Chen Guangcheng made from his house arrest, where family planning and Communist Party officials had kept him detained at home for exposing forced abortions. Other media outlets have glossed over the forced abortion components of Chen’s imprisonment and house arrest.

    "What is not in dispute is the fact that the Chines government has subjected men and women to forced abortions, sterilziations, home detention and imprisonment, taken away their jobs and benefits and fined them for violating the nation’s one child policy. As the world watches the plight of Chen Guangcheng and wonders whether President Barack Obama will have the United States offer him long-term diplomatic protection, documents Chen Guangcheng compiled place the focus squarely on why China subjected him to years of house arrest: brutal forced abortions....

    "'In the astonishment surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s extraordinary escape from house arrest, let us not forget why he was arrested,' [Reggie] Littlejohn [president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers] told LifeNews. 'In 2006, Chen exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy”'" (5/4/12).

Five months ago, "Famed Batman star Christian Bale...traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit...Chen Guangcheng. The actor never got the chance, however, as he was roughed up and forced away from Chen’s village by Chinese government officials, according to a CNN report" (LifeSiteNews.com, 12/16/11).
 
More Superheroes Needed!
As explained by the Wall Street Journal, "In an online campaign calling for Chen Guangcheng's release, hundreds of Internet users uploaded photos of themselves wearing sunglasses in imitation of the blind activist" (5/2/12)

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010

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