Endeavouring to do Right
Endeavour Forum is an Australian Christian, pro-life, pro-family Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which has special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations, and links with similar organisations overseas.
Under our ECOSOC status, we are entitled to be observers at UN conferences, to lobby national delegates and, on occasion, to run NGO "Parallel Events" (i.e. workshops or panel discussions) during some annual UN conferences such as its session of the Commission on the Status of Women which is held in New York each year in March. This year Endeavour Forum organised a Parallel Event entitled "Reproductive Rights & the Health of Asian Women" in March. During this Event we showed part of the documentary "HUSH" which deals with the health consequences of induced abortion. We are also co-sponsoring Parallel Events on pro-life issues by the Catholic Women’s League of Australia, Real Women of Canada and the Jesus, Mary & Joseph Children’s Fund of Canada.
Endeavour Forum was founded over 30 years ago to provide a positive response against the contemporary feminist promotion of a unisex, androgynous society as a solution to "inequality" experienced by women. The promotion of androgyny has now morphed into the promotion of up to 57 genders (at last count) or none. However, Endeavour Forum’s principles adhere to the binary human division of male and female: we maintain that men and women are equal in dignity, but different and Vive la différence!
Cardinal Robert Sarah
The FAITH Movement, promoting a new synthesis of faith and reason, no doubt draws inspiration from the famous Regensburg speech of Pope Benedict XVI, in which he pleaded with Muslims to combine faith with reason and abandon violence. If only they had listened to him . . .
Endeavour Forum has also been inspired by the intervention of Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Guinea-born prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to the Synod of Bishops in Rome on 14th October last year. He told the bishops they should respond to the twin threats of Western and Islamic radicals by helping the world realize the beauty of the Christian family.
"To use a slogan, we find ourselves between ‘gender ideology and ISIS ‘. Islamic massacres and libertarian demands regularly contend for the front page of the newspapers; from these two radicalisations arise the two major threats to the family."
Cardinal Sarah compared the twin challenges of "the idolatry of Western freedom and Islamic fundamentalism to two apocalyptic beasts. We need to be inclusive and welcoming to all that is human; but what comes from the Enemy cannot and must not be assimilated," the Cardinal advised. "You cannot join Christ and Belial! What fascism and communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today."
The Synod on the Family
Cardinal Sarah says the Christian family counters both Islamic and Western extremism. He hoped the synod would help Pope Francis "enunciate clearly truths and real guidance on a global level". He especially advocated that the Church promote the "epiphany of the family. We must proclaim the truth without fear, stressing God’s plan for the family as monogamous, conjugal love that is open to life. Together with a strong and clear word of the Supreme Magisterium, pastors have the mission of helping our contemporaries to discover the beauty of the Christian family."
In Cardinal Sarah’s judgement, the family in the West faces "subjectivist disintegration" through easy divorce, abortion, homosexual unions and euthanasia. He specified the threats of the gender theory, the LGBT lobby, International Planned Parenthood Federation and the radical feminist group Femen.
Don’t give up hope in the Gospel!
Cardinal Sarah also criticised "the pseudo-family of radical Islam" which he said legitimises polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery and child marriage. He named as threats Boko Haram, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. For Cardinal Sarah, the Spirit of Truth promotes "communion in distinction" (perichoresis). By contrast, these negative global trends encourage confusion about marriage. Furthermore, they demand a universal and totalitarian rule, are violently intolerant, destroyers of families, society and the Church and are openly Christianophobic. The Cardinal warned against "giving up hope in the transforming power of faith and the Gospel. The Gospel that once transformed cultures is now in danger of being transformed by them." His warning is such that no one who will have read or heard it will be able to claim that they did not realise what was happening and how they must respond.
Endeavour Forum is one of the few women’s organisations which speaks out against the oppression of women under Islam – not just radical Islam as in ISIS and Boko Haram, but mainstream Islam which allows polygamy, child marriage, discrimination against women in divorce proceedings and inheritance laws. Feminist organisations which are very vocal on alleged "sexism" and "misogyny" such as when Tony Abbott, then leader of the Opposition in Australia, looked at his watch while the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard was speaking in Parliament, are completely silent about the blatant discrimination against women in Islam and under Sharia law.
But then when were contemporary feminists ever logical? They claim that logic is a "male construct" anyway and so they are exempt. Women, according to feminism, function by "intuition" or waves in the ether or something. Well, Endeavour Forum’s "intuition" – and logic – tell us that contemporary feminism is on a path to self-destruction, especially in its denial of the humanity of the baby in the womb. The gender imbalances in the populations of China and India where female babies are targeted for gender-selective abortions, resulting in over 40 million missing women, are mute testimony to that.
Babette Francis is National & Overseas Co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum.