Peter Baklinski

B.C. Attorney General gives prosecutor mandate to go after polygamists

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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VICTORIA, British Columbia, March 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After B.C.’s supreme court upheld Canada’s 121-year-old ban on polygamy in November, calling the practice “harm[ful] to women, to children, to society and to the institution of monogamous marriage,” the province has decided that the ruling was “strong enough” to bring polygamists to justice.

“I’m very pleased to say today that our team believes that in and of itself the ruling was strong enough that we can move forward potentially with polygamy charges,” said Attorney General Shirley Bond on Monday.

Last November, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman heard 42 days of testimony and legal arguments relating to Canada’s prohibition against polygamy. The case revolved around the Mormon community in Bountiful, B.C., where Winston Blackmore and James Oler were charged under Section 293 of Canada’s Criminal Code for entering into “conjugal union with more than one person at the same time.” At the time, Blackmore claimed to have had 26 wives who gave him 108 children.

“I asked our team to take a very thorough look at the ruling – because we wanted to make sure we felt we had enough strength in that ruling to proceed with potential polygamy charges,” said Bond. 

“Legal counsel have advised me they are satisfied his decision will enable police and prosecutors to act with authority in investigating and prosecuting criminally polygamous relationships.”

Bond made it clear that the B.C. provincial government has no plans to take Bauman’s decision upholding the prohibition against polygamy to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“While the opinion of a higher court may be more persuasive in case law, the government does not believe a referral decision is necessary. The true victims of polygamy are the women and children this trial court decision protects,” she said.

Bond also announced on Monday an updated mandate for Vancouver lawyer Peter Wilson that now gives him the authority to bring polygamists to justice. Wilson was appointed in January by the province’s criminal justice branch as a Special Prosecutor to examine potential criminal activity of Bountiful residents who were suspected of smuggling child brides to Mormon sects in the United States.

Wilson will now reportedly review information collected by the RCMP during their investigation of the Bountiful community to determine if the evidence is strong enough to lay chargers.

The Attorney General’s move has the Stop Polygamy in Canada Society hoping that “concubinage, sexual slavery, trafficking of children for forced marriage and slave labour” will soon become “a thing of [Canada’s] past.”

“Will this sordid history be placed behind us? It’s up to Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson, now. He has been given the mandate,” the society said.


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In our day, pornography is the #1 most powerful tool the Devil is using to separate men and women from God.
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When I was a pornographer, was I the enemy?

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By Donny Pauling

How do we fight porn? I believe the first step is to understand who our true enemy is. When speaking to Christian teenagers, I find the best way to help them see the truth behind porn is to share an example to which they can relate.  Here’s one I use:

Young ladies, suppose you start dating and fall in love with a boy. You care so very much about, and would do anything for him.  But suppose another girl hates you, and in order to hurt you, she decides she’ll seduce your boyfriend.  Her plan is not only to tear him away from you, but also to rip his heart to shreds.  She doesn’t care about him, but is only using him to get to you.  As time passes, you notice he’s really falling for her deceptions.  Everyone else can clearly see what’s going on, but he rejects all warnings, is drawn away by her, and she ultimately does indeed break his heart, and yours as well.  

Pornography is one way God’s enemy does the same thing. It seduces us away from the Father who deeply loves us, and then tears us down to nothing. 

When God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply, He wasn’t referring to growing strawberries or doing Algebra. One of the first gifts He gave to humanity is our sexuality.  Followed by the need to eat and breathe, there exists within most of us no greater drive than our sex drive. Sex is meant to be a beautiful bonding experience between two people within the context God intended. But His enemy has twisted, distorted and perverted this gift and now uses it to destroy us and separate us from Him.  In our day, pornography is the most powerful tool used to accomplish that end.  Far too many of us buy into this deception and allow it to separate us from the One who so dearly wants to have a relationship with us. 

Last week I shared with you the story of Mindy, and how I destroyed her life by making her a porn star. The majority of feedback I received was positive, but there was also a significant amount of negative as well.

Trying to fight porn by going after pornographers is like trying to treat one symptom of a disease rather than finding its cure.  Pornography has a cause, rooted in the condition of our own hearts. 

Some felt that I haven't accepted personal responsibility or don't feel guilt and shame for the things I’ve done as a former porn producer. Be assured, I definitely do.  It’s been almost eight years since I left that lifestyle. Since then, I’ve actively attempted to seek out all who I involved in my productions so that I can personally apologize to them. So far I’ve been able to do so to over 300 of the more than 500 actresses I recruited.  I’ve also spoken in front of more than 6 million people, publicly apologizing for the things I did and sharing a side of pornography that many never previously considered. 

This should be obvious, but I don’t have to publicly share Mindy’s story, coming clean about what I did to her.  I share her story, and that of others who are willing to have their story shared (many are not), because I firmly believe it’s what God wants me to do.  God can take any situation and use it for good.  If people are moved to see pornography in a different light, and are motivated to stay away from it, a little bit of beauty has emerged from the ashes of destruction.   

And yet, for all the harm that I did working in porn, are pornographers truly our enemy in this fight?  Of course not.  Do you know what pornographers look like?  They look like someone’s son or daughter.  When I was shooting porn, I did crazy things like taking my son fishing, flew with him to see his grandma, took him on tours of the USS Pampanito or the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco, took him to museums or the Exploratorium, or to play at a park or eat pizza. 

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My point is this: our enemy in the fight against porn is not the pornographers who produce it, or the people who participate in creating it. As St. Paul states in his letter to the Ephesians, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, powers, forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realm.  Trying to fight porn by going after pornographers is like trying to treat one symptom of a disease rather than finding its cure.  Pornography has a cause, rooted in the condition of our own hearts.  To fight it, we must start with ourselves, being willing to face the part we play. We must let our hearts be changed. 

That is the reason I share stories like Mindy’s story:  I want the reader to begin understanding the human dignity of all who are involved in pornography.  That doesn’t only include the actors and actresses, but also the producers, website owners, and all involved.  Like me, those living in the gutters of porn need someone to be Jesus in skin, willing to do whatever it takes to love them out of it, as XXXChurch did with me.  God forbid, if your son or daughter were to end up being a porn producer and doing the things I’ve shared with you, wouldn’t you want someone to come along and try to love your child out of that gutter?

We must fight for those who are not willing to fight for themselves.  Not only does that apply to the people who are appearing as the “talent” in pornographic productions, but also to those involved in creating and distributing it.  I have very little confidence in approaches that use hate-filled language, or in picketers who scream at those in the business.  I don’t think any of us respond very well to people who scream into our faces, expecting us to change.  Hearts are never changed by hatred, but only by love.  True love is patient, and will wait however long it takes.  In my case, it took XXXChurch four years to break down the hatred that motivated me to keep doing what I did.  And until my heart was changed, I was not ready to truly see what I was doing to others.

And while I do believe there is a place for the enforcement of laws, I don’t think law is what we should lead with, either.  In scripture we find the story of a woman who had been tried and convicted of adultery.  At the time, the punishment for such a crime was to be stoned to death.  Those who brought her to Jesus wanted Him to command that her sentence be carried out.  Instead, Jesus challenged her accusers by saying that the person who is without sin could cast the first stone.  He then started drawing in the dirt as the accusers all had to put down their stones to  leave, realizing that none of them were sinless.  Jesus then asked the woman where her condemners had gone, told her that He didn’t condemn her either, and only then – after changing her heart with His love and compassion – did he challenge her to go her way and sin no more.  Her change of heart was required before she was ready to accept the law.

The first step and biggest step in the fight against pornography is to change our own hearts.  We must ask God to allow us to see all involved through His eyes, be they actors, actresses, producers, distributors or consumers.  Scripture tells us that He is not willing that any should perish, but all be brought to repentance, turning away from those things which separate us from Him.  His solution to the problem of sin was to send the very embodiment of love in the person of Jesus.  And if we strive to be like Christ, love is what we’ll lead with as well.

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Why is this UK Catholic diocese funding an agency that does gay adoptions?

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By Pete Baklinski

Some UK Catholics say they are concerned that their diocese has been collecting funds through annual parish and diocesan-run school initiatives for an adoption agency that severed ties with the Church in 2008 after it began openly facilitating adoptions to homosexual couples.

“Most ordinary Catholics in Clifton parishes have no idea they are donating to an organization that is not a bona-fide Catholic adoption agency,” one Catholic parishioner from the Diocese of Clifton told LifeSiteNews, under condition of anonymity.

The Clifton diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Declan Lang, lists CCS Adoption in its online directory as a “caring” organization to “promote the welfare of children and young people” that is “guided by the values of the Catholic Church.”

In April, the diocese organized its annual appeal for the adoption agency. Announcements for a special collection appeared in local parish bulletins.

“Clifton Children’s Society’s Annual Appeal takes place today,” stated an April 27 bulletin from Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Parish in Bath. “Please give generously to the collection. … They need to find many more adoptive families.”

‘Gay is not a factor’ in adoptions

In 2007, Britain’s Labour government passed sexual orientation regulations prohibiting religious groups or individuals from refusing to provide goods and services to homosexuals. Catholic adoption agencies were forced to choose between compromising their faith convictions, contravening the law or closing their doors.

CCS Adoption opted for the first option, changing its name from Catholic Children’s Society (CCS) to Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) in 2008. However, since the acronym is the same, only those who are aware of the formal name change would be aware that the agency is no longer Catholic.

On its website, CCS Adoption states that “whether you are heterosexual, lesbian, or gay is not a factor” in beginning the adoption assessment process.

On its Facebook page, CCS explicitly encourages homosexuals to adopt through its promotion of the “LGBT Adoption and Fostering week” that includes “information evenings” for gays and lesbians. It also promotes on its Facebook page an LGBT network called “New Family Social.”

“Sexuality isn’t a barrier when it comes to making a difference to vulnerable children and young people,” CCS Adoption states in a February 6 Facebook post promoting an LGBT information night.

A 2010 government report of CCS Adoption gave the organization its highest “outstanding” rating for promoting “equality and diversity.”

“The managers, trustees and staff were united in wishing to provide a service to gay and lesbian couples,” the report stated. “Two same-sex couples are in the process of making applications, which is very positive,” stated the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) report. 

Bishop: I ‘admire their work’

Bishop Lang, who has headed the diocese since 2001, told LifeSiteNews that to his knowledge CCS Adoption does “not facilitate adoptions of children to homosexual couples.”

“This [is] a separate Trust with its own board of Trustees. I am not a Trustee of the Society nor is it part of the Diocesan Trust,” he said. In order for the adoption agency to “continue its good work in supporting families,” he explained, “their Trustees decided to operate an open policy and abide according to the law of the land.”

The bishop said he has “come to admire their work over the years in which I have been acquainted with the Society.”

“They are inspired by their Christian and Catholic faith and their primary concern is for the good of the children who are to be adopted,” he said.

“If you have any further concerns regarding Clifton Children’s Society, I suggest you write to their Chair of Trustees,” he added.

LifeSiteNews submitted evidence to Bishop Lang that CCS Adoption does in fact facilitate adoption of children to homosexual couples and asked for further comment, but received no response.

Agency guided ‘by the values of the Catholic Church’

In its Statement of Purpose, CCS Agency says that it is “conscious” of its role within the diocese and its “debt to the Catholic community who support its work financially.”

“Therefore, good relationships with parishes, priests, schools, volunteers and supporters throughout the Diocesan area are essential in order to promote interest in and awareness of our work,” it states.

The agency also states that in working for the “welfare of children” it will be “guided by respect and love for all people and by the values of the Catholic Church.”

LifeSiteNews asked the agency how it can claim to be "guided by the values of the Catholic Church" while promoting homosexual adoption and placing children with homosexual couples, but they declined to comment.

Vatican: Same-sex adoption means ‘doing violence’ to children

The Catechism of the Catholic Church urges the faithful to accept those with same-sex attraction “with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” adding that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

However, the Catholic Church also affirms the need for ‘just’ discrimination when it comes to same-sex unions or same-sex adoption.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2003, wrote that experience shows “the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons.”

“They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood,” the congregation continued. “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.

“This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.”

‘We must obey God rather than men’

Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children called Bishop Lang’s response to LifeSiteNews a “contradictory mess of convenient platitudes.”

“If CCS’ ‘primary concern is for the good of the children who are to be adopted,’ then why is CCS encouraging homosexual adoption, which the Catholic Church teaches clearly is contrary to the good of children?” he asked.

The diocese’s “free pass” to CCS “endangers the children who will be adopted by homosexuals via CCS,” he said. The diocese is not only “letting these children down, but even bankrolling the violation of their right to a mother and a father.”

“Bishop Lang says that CCS decided to ‘abide according to the law of the land.’ Both His Lordship and the CCS seem to have forgotten that the Apostles taught that ‘We must obey God rather than men,’” he said.

While it remains unclear how many dioceses across the UK continue to financially support secularized agencies formerly under their jurisdiction that facilitate adoptions of children to homosexual couples, it is clear that the practice is not uncommon. 

For instance, the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton in southern England fundraises for Cabrini Children's Society which, in response to the government’s Sexual Orientation Regulations, switched the word “Cabrini” with “Catholic” in its name in 2008. The agency states on its website that it is “interested in families from all backgrounds” including “heterosexual or homosexual” ones. 

The diocese continues to list the agency on its website under its “Catholic Societies and Organisations” tab and has listed fundraising events for the agency in a 2010 newsletter and a 2011 Catholic Schools Service bulletin

The Catholic parishioner from the Diocese of Clifton told LifeSiteNews that there should be more oversight regarding the kind of organizations funded through parish collections.

"It seems to me that the Bishop of Clifton has a responsibility to be vigilant in ensuring that official collections taken in parishes in his diocese are not used to fund organizations that are acting in a way that is seriously contrary to the Church's teaching,” the source said.  


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Singapore archbishop: ‘I am not at liberty to change the truth’ about sexual relationships

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By Thaddeus Baklinski
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"I am not at liberty to change the truth as revealed in sacred scripture and that which is taught by the Magisterium of the Church," said Archbishop William Goh.

SINGAPORE – In a pastoral letter addressed to Catholics with same-sex orientation issued on July 3rd, the Archbishop of Singapore William Goh apologized if he had hurt anyone with the way he expressed himself in a previous pastoral letter on the family, which had also addressed homosexuality. However, he again strongly reaffirmed the Church's teachings on sexuality, and announced the formation of a new ministry dedicated to helping individuals with same-sex attraction to live a sexually chaste lifestyle.

"I apologize if my initial statement conveyed insensitivity as, from your feedback, I have come to realize that there is much variation in thought and lifestyle within this community," Archbishop Goh said. However, he stressed that "as the Bishop of the local Church which is a part of the Universal Catholic Church, my primary responsibility is to instruct the Faithful in accordance with the teachings of the Universal Church."

"I am not at liberty to change the truth as revealed in sacred scripture and that which is taught by the Magisterium of the Church, with regards to sexual relationships between those of the opposite sex, same gender, or any other issues e.g. divorce, contraception, abortion etc.” he said. “What I wrote was not new but simply a restatement addressed to the Catholic Faithful."

The archbishop was referring to a June 21 pastoral letter where he explained the Church’s position is with regard to the family.

"The Catholic Church has always maintained, and continues to maintain, that the family, comprising a father, mother and children, remains the basic building block of society," Archbishop Goh wrote in that letter.

He had also written that the Church believes that when God created man and woman, He had intended for them to "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it."

While the Church treats each individual, regardless of his sexual orientation, with sensitivity and respect, he said, "she upholds the view that LGBT sexual relationships are not in accordance with the plan of God."

"This kind of lifestyle should not be promoted by Catholics as it is detrimental to society, is not helpful to integral human development and contrary to Christian values," the archbishop had written.

He explained that the Church urges compassion and respect for homosexuals, but added that "she believes that there are ways to ensure justice and the protection of their dignity without the risk of endangering the future of the marriage institution, family and society."

In his follow-up July 3rd letter, Archbishop Goh highlighted issues arising from same-sex unions, especially the impact on children adopted and raised by same-sex couples.

"Same-sex union which evolves into the adoption and formation of children in an environment where a partner of the other gender is not represented, is contrary to the natural laws of God, and would ultimately be destructive to society and detrimental to the world and future generations," he wrote.

"This is what I was referring to in my initial statement when I used the terms ‘detriment’ and ‘destructive’. They do not refer to the individual but the consequences of such a union on society and future."

The archbishop noted that the "Church does not disapprove of a loving relationship between same-sex individuals that is chaste and faithful," and emphasized that he is "not indifferent to your pain and frustration."

"Same-sex inclination in itself is not a sin but as love often seeks to express itself physically, the challenge to be chaste and faithful to the divine plan of God is ever present," he said.

In order to help individuals in the "difficult journey to remain chaste today," Archbishop Goh revealed the formation of a pastoral initiative for Catholics with same-sex attraction.

"I have tasked the Catholic Medical Guild and the Family Life Commission to set up a pastoral group (currently being formed) for those with same-sex orientation to journey together in faith, in support of one another, so as to live out God’s call to chastity," the archbishop said. He concluded that God's grace is available for all people to "be able to live the Gospel faithfully and authentically, regardless of our sexual orientation."

The full text of Archbishop Goh's "Pastoral Letter To Catholics With Same-sex Orientation" is available here.

In an earlier "Pastoral Letter on the Catholic Church's Position on Sexuality" that addressed concerns over a government-sponsored "Frequently Asked Questions on Sexuality" website, Archbishop Goh stated that the Church will continue "to engage and work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the marriage institution and family values are upheld so that our children can be formed in an environment that is holistic, nurturing, caring and loving."

"Because the future of Singapore society and humanity at large passes by way of the family," Archbishop Goh stressed, "every Catholic should endeavor to save and foster the values and requirements of the family. This call is urgent and important because if the family is destroyed, then our society would become fragmented."

Contact info:

Most Rev. William Goh, DD, Archbishop of Singapore
Archbishop's House,
31 Victoria Street
Singapore 187997
Email: archbishop@catholic.org.sg


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