For many decades, John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the unborn. No sooner had he graduated from Oxford, than he established a branch of SPUC in south London. Having been general secretary of the organisation since 1978, he became its director in 1996. John Smeaton was elected vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation in 2005 and has helped coordinate over 150 successful pro-life and pro family groups in Cairo, Istanbul and Rome.
“Today I am in the beautiful, historic city of Torun, Poland. I have been addressing the third international Congress organized by the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and the International Gilson Society (USA) at the Higher School of Social and Media Culture in Torun.
During my talk I spoke about the maelstrom of carefully created confusion in the mass media about Catholic teaching on condoms, generated by prominent opponents of the church’s teaching, i.e. opponents within the Catholic Church (not least in Britain). I said:
This week especially, my heart breaks for my children and for my grandchildren; my heart breaks for the children of Britain and for children throughout the world. My heart breaks as I witness leading figures in the Vatican fomenting universal confusion on Catholic teaching on the use of condoms following Pope Benedict’s interview on that subject in the new publication: “Light of the World”.
In Britain, also, leading public figures in the name of the Catholic Church are misrepresenting its unchanging and unchangeable magisterial teaching on the transmission of human life. Opponents of Catholic teaching on the use of condoms are turning the clock back for humanity. They are turning the clock back to the Crucifixion when all of Christ’s followers and apostles deserted Him, except a few.
I address now the successors of the apostles, the Catholic bishops of the world. As the leader of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the oldest pro-life organization in the world, I especially address you, Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and through you, the bishops of the world.
“Countless children, perhaps my own grandchildren, will be deliberately corrupted as a result of the exploitation and misrepresentation of your interview about condoms by opponents of Catholic teaching within the Catholic Church. As a result of the worldwide media’s perception of your interview, and as a result of policies and legislation enacted on the basis of a false representations of Catholic teaching, the corruption of young children and the destruction of countless children in the womb will go hand in hand. Countless women will be exploited by selfish or insensitive or brutal husbands and boyfriends, as a result of the confusion generated in the mass media by opponents, within the Church, of Catholic teaching on the use of condoms.”
I reminded the Polish congress that last month Cardinal Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, told a pro-life conference in Rome:
“The attack on the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act … ”.
I explained that the world’s rejection of the prophetic teaching of the church on the inseparability of the unitive and procreative elements of marital acts had led to the imposition, in Britain, on families, of access to induced abortion and birth control drugs and devices to children at school, including Catholic schools, without parental knowledge or consent. I explained that this was happening with the co-operation of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. “The artificial separation of the unitive and procreative elements of marital acts … underpins today’s culture of death”, I said.”