We have never seen so many grossly insulting and violent reactions to any past story on LifeSiteNews. Most, if not all of those undoubtedly came from individuals who are not regular LifeSiteNews readers and who read the story via an external link or Google search.
Some readers, especially in the early responses, thankfully got it that these two women are likely in need of much love, prayers and help to overcome whatever has made them so irrationally vicious. Clearly, self-love is absent in their lives and it could very well be that one or more abortions are behind their actions. That is what abortion can do to women. Condemning and insulting them and wishing they were aborted or otherwise dead or killed in various nasty ways (yes there were many comments like that) cannot ever be the response of a pro-life person! Again, though, it is very doubtful that any of these comments were made by pro-life readers.
More comments had to be deleted from this story than ever in our history. They grossly violated every rule of charity and respect due to other persons, no matter how wrong they are. There are lessons to be learned here. Tactics of conversion and drawing people to the truth are hugely more appropriate than condemnation and eye for an eye retribution. Ask, ex-Planned Parenthood clinic manager Abbey Johnson, many now pro-life, former abortionists, and the ever growing numbers of Silent No More Awareness members.
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At first glance, Tuesday’s story on the sexual escapades of UK bishop Kieran Conry might be seen as inappropriate scandal mongering better kept out of the public light. A closer reading reveals something entirely different. The article is instead an instructive expose related to calls from some clergy for the upcoming Synod on the Family to dramatically loosen application of Church moral teachings.
The bishop Conry report presents a timely example of just one of numerous dissenting Catholic clergy, publicly opposed to or far too quietly, if at all, defending the Church’s moral teachings, who in the end are frequently found to have been so because they have been violating those teachings in their personal lives. This is something LifeSite has encountered very frequently over the years, especially among, but not limited to homosexual clergy.
The other notable aspect of today’s report is that the bishop’s double life was known to other clergy and hierarchy and yet no one acted upon the scandal. That was one contributing factor to the great sex abuse scandals. The almost universal unwillingness or fear of clergy to hold their brother priests and bishops to account for serious misbehaviour is another common occurrence that seriously needs addressing. Allowing a loosening of Church moral teaching or pastoral application to develop out of the upcoming synod on the family is unlikely to address or correct anything.
Those who have been warning about all of this for decades have had to endure much disbelief, ridicule and persecution. And yet, over and over, they have been proven to be right, but at what terrible cost to innocent victims and to the Church as a whole.
Pope Benedict XVI finally took very strong actions against the sexually abusive clergy and for this he earned absolute hatred from many quarters within the Church. I have no doubt whatever that this was somehow one of the major reasons for his abdication.
But Benedict had something to say during a lecture on March 22, 1986 about the Church permitting those given teaching authority to abuse the sacredness of that authority given to them. He stated:
“Those who speak about abuse of power regarding the way teaching in the Church is disciplined, today are thinking only of the usual abuse of power from those in the Church that have this duty. However, forgotten, instead, is that there is also an abuse of power given by means of the mandate to teach; this is the abuse of those who take advantage, for a purely private word, of that readiness to listen and of that trust which is given, even today, to the word of the Church.
Church authority becomes an accomplice in this abuse of power if it tolerates that this is done without qualms, and so places its authority there where it is not allowed. For her [the Church], concern for the faith of the little ones must be more important than fearing the opposition of the powerful.
One thing that the Second Vatican Council emphasized was the role of the laity in the Church, but as any outspoken, well-informed, faithful Catholic layman or laywoman has learned since that time, clericalism is nevertheless still very much still alive. That is, the dissident liberals do not tolerate those Catholics having any significant influence upon the Church, can often get pretty ruthless and lord it over faithful Catholics all the time.
The synod is revealing deep divisions in the Church, that have already been there for many years. Now some feel confident for whatever reason to be more open about their rejection of the Church's moral teachings and to press it to actually change its ways and get with the modern world – even if that contradicts Christ’s explicit words.
We cannot allow that to happen. That is because we know for certain what greater suffering and evil such rejection of the moral norms will bring into the world. As an evangelical acquaintance recently told me in a lengthy conversation a few weeks ago, “everyone looks to the Catholics to be the guys that we can always rely on to stay strong on marriage and the family. If you guys let up we are all in big trouble.”
Yes, Bishop Conly shows what really big trouble we are heading for if we do not take strong action now to have this corruption within the Catholic Church rooted out. Benedict had the right idea.
It was dismaying to read two recent statements associated with Catholic Church and many other religious leaders on the climate change issue. One is the Interfaith statement on climate change co-signed by 1) Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the lead cardinal in Pope Francis’s gang of 8, but here representing the Church’s international aid organization, Caritas Internationalis, 2) Father Michael Czerny, representing the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and, surprisingly, 3) John Cardinal Onaiyekan from Nigeria, a very solid cardinal who was likely co-opted into this. Among the many questionable pronouncements in the document that seems to accept climate alarmism as gospel truth is the line, “We recognize that climate change stands today as a major obstacle to the eradication of poverty.” What?
Then there was the September 23 address at the United Nations by Cardinal Pietro Parolin in which he stated, “The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” The problem is that he is dead wrong. The evidence and consensus now amongst any honest scientists is that there has not been any warming for at least the past 16 and possibly even up to 26 years years. It has stopped. In fact we may be in for a long term period of cooling. Cardinal Parolin should get new advisors.
The global warming/climate controversy has been driven and manipulated especially by population control, global governance and environmental extremist forces and those with additional agendas, such as personal financial gain (Al Gore). Massive fraud or gross errors in conclusions have been repeatedly exposed, yet anyone who dares to point out these things in the falsely claimed “settled” science” is ridiculed and threatened with loss of funds, careers or worse. They are even threatened with charges of treason, other high crimes or threatened with execution. It gives you an idea of the totalitarian mindset of many of the people behind this movement.
Today’s persistence of the global warning/climate change alarmism in the face of the mountain of evidence in recent years undermining their claims has changed the movement into more of a cultish religion. It’s adherents are doing whatever they can to convert the entire world to their one religion which has as its goal to change how all people and nations of the world live their lives.
Sadly, Catholic hierarchy, bishops’ conferences and even the Vatican have been entering into support of this movement and controversy which is far beyond their realm of competence. They see it a “social justice” issue, but the difficulty is in sorting out who is really telling the truth. It is noteworthy that the usual liberal, social justice minded Catholics who place the life and family issues as a low priority are usually the Catholics who are most into the global warming, bottled water, environmental issues and changing political structures agendas as their highest priorities.
LifeSite and especially myself have been following this issue for years. All the usual suspects in the anti-human population control movement have been very prominent in the global warming alarmism, as has the world governance crowd at the UN and elsewhere. Search for "global warming" and "climate change" (the term used during the cold winter months) in the Lifesite search and then start reading if you want compelling evidence. There is a great deal.
As I have said, there has not been any warming for quite a few years now. The Arctic sea ice has been massively growing rather than reducing, directly contrary to the alarmists dire warnings. The Antarctic sea ice has grown to the largest volume ever recorded. Polar bears have been thriving for years. Man made global warming/climate change alarmism has been largely one of the greatest scams ever, with a small amount of truth to it.
There has always been climate change throughout the world’s history. It has shifted greatly over the centuries and millenia. Ice ages and very warm periods have come and gone without any influence from humans. The exact causes for this are still far from being fully understood, but the phenomenon is now being manipulated for a particular ideology. The Church is making a mistake by allowing its genuine concern for the poor and for creation to be co-opted by ideologues.
Global warming/climate change has been a very convenient vehicle for generating great fear to stampede the public and especially easily frightened children and youth into accepting radical political, economic and other changes that they would otherwise not accept. Even some church leaders, it seems, have not been beneath exploiting this fear for leftist “social justice” agendas. Others, however are genuinely concerned, but themselves manipulated in their ignorance and naive goodwill by alarmists.
I don’t like all this. In fact I am very upset about it. You should be too. In fact it is downright dangerous to our freedoms as well as a very serious threat to life and family.
Just to clarify, we should all be concerned about pollution. That is an altogether different issue. A real issue. But even then often greatly exaggerated. The Western developed nations have made great strides in the past few decades reducing pollution. It has been amazing. And yet the environmental extremists are far from satisfied. One big reason is that they are hard core de-populationsts. They want much of the earth given back to animals and the rest of nature. No kidding.
I would strongly urge you to watch this amazing video that I have watched myself for the first time only today. In it Weather Channel Founder John Coleman explains the history of the Global Warming hoax. He includes much that I have become aware of and more. It is very well done and well worth spending the 36 minutes to become well informed on such a huge issue that we are being propagandized on every day in all of the media and in all of our schools and universities.
Here are just a few other related LifeSite linked items:
Now and then various Church officials complain about deeply uncharitable and harmful discussions on some Catholic blogs. Facebook, blogs, Twitter and even email can each far too easily allow angry thoughts that cross people’s minds to be published for all the world to see without the sober second thought that would naturally accompany face-to-face or spoken communication.
There was a recent attack against LifeSiteNews from a very well known Catholic writer and another such writer and her husband. Using these means of unfiltered near-instant communications, they poured calumny and invective on LifeSiteNews and our talented and committed staff.
Critics who obviously know very little about us, how we function, and our editorial decision-making penned very harsh judgments about our motives and other aspects of our work.
Here are just a few samples of what was what posted on the Facebook pages of various well-known and prolific Catholic writers:
“Two sentences that make me turn on my bullshit detector: ones that start, ‘Guess what Pope Francis just did?’ and ones that start, ‘According to LifeSiteNews . . . ‘”
“lying assholes who attack the Church”
“lazy, biased, and stupid reporting”
“no respect for LSN as a whole”
“an organization with a bad reputation”
“no news sense and no conscience”
hang your “head in shame for attempting to bring division in the Church through inaccurate and dishonest reporting”
“They have a distorted view of reality, and no conscience when it comes to reporting lies in order to advance the agenda.”
“sleazier than the National Enquirer”
“They don't actually do any reporting. They rewrite a lot of other people's reporting without checking facts or giving attribution.”
“The narcissism and pride is epic.”
Criticism naturally comes with the territory of journalism and should always be expected. However, when this kind of crude assault is hurled so recklessly from fellow Catholics or other Christians, it does leave us unsettled. Moreover, when such vile language and character assassination comes from Catholics who are published at influential Catholic publications, it is also a concern for the writers’ own Catholic reputation and that of their employers.
LifeSiteNews does not claim to be a Catholic organization. We have many good and faithful Catholics on staff, but we do not claim to be a Catholic organization and our reporting is intended for people of all faiths and even no faith.
Nothing written by LifeSiteNews ever remotely approaches the level of calumny in the condemnations and criticisms seen in the Facebook posts mentioned. We explicitly forbid our writers from making such comments and are constantly removing similar comments from readers commenting under our reports. That is not free speech. We consider it to be an abuse of freedom. We also have a policy of never responding in kind to such comments.
However, a natural response is: “Where is the Christianity in any of these comments?” It boggles the mind that anyone would publicly exhibit such a total lack of charity for all the world to see and think that they are thus exhibiting love of God or properly defending the Church or Pope Francis.
We often encourage our readers to be very respectful in any communications they make in response to our reports. We recognize that condemnatory, hostile, and disrespectful communications will always cause harm and hardly ever help advance the cause of life and family.
Why the scandal of such ad-hominem attacks are permitted by well-known Catholic websites is a puzzle. LifeSiteNews is only one of many victims who have been targeted and at times harmed by these all-too-frequent, very uncharitable, and careless blog postings over the years.
Productive dialogue is impossible without mutual respect. Still, we never close the door to future communications if circumstances change. Many of us on the LifeSiteNews team have gone through major life conversions, so we understand the importance of forgiveness and charity.
One of our team did attempt to reach out and dialogue. Unfortunately, all attempts to respond to the criticism charitably, humbly, and privately, resulted in further, public attacks against the professionalism and integrity of LifeSiteNews, and on the personal character of LifeSiteNews personnel.
At LifeSiteNews we welcome feedback and reasoned, respectful criticism. When readers feel we are not doing the job, or are not doing it well, we take it seriously. We try to respond with charity, humility, and clarity.
The feedback we’ve received over the years has varied wildly from being told we are “doing the work of Satan” to the more usual one that we are doing God’s work. We‘ve been told more times than we can count, in emails and personal encounters with readers, that our reports are among the most reliable, trustworthy, and professionally written on the Internet on the issues that we cover. That is truly our aim. We pray and work every day to arrive at that lofty goal. And with your support, your prayers, and your constructive advice, I’m sure we can maintain our current high level of reporting while always striving to improve it even more.