Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

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Brazilian priest excommunicated for ‘heresy’ for denying Catholic teaching on homosexuality

Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
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May 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic priest from the Diocese of Bauru, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been excommunicated for “heresy” and “schism,” in the words of his diocese, for attacking the Catholic Church’s teachings on the immorality of homosexual acts.

According to a communique issued by the diocese issued two days ago, “the pronouncements and attitudes of the Reverend Fr. Robert Francisco Daniel, which in the name of ‘freedom of expression’ have betrayed the commitment to fidelity to the Church which he swore to serve on the day of his priestly ordination, are a matter of public knowledge.”

“These acts have created great scandal and injured the communion of the Church,” the diocese of Bauru adds. “His attitude is incompatible with the obligations of the priestly state which he should love, because it was he who asked from the Church the Grace of Ordination.”

The priest’s statements are “gravely against the dogmas of the Catholic Faith, [and] against morality,” and represent “a deliberate refusal of obedience to his pastor,” said the statement from the diocese. Therefore he “has committed the most grave crime of heresy and schism whose penalty, prescribed in canon 1364, first paragraph of the Code of Canon Law, is excommunication,” it continued.

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Fr. Robert Francisco Daniel, better known as “Padre Beto,” provoked outrage among the Catholic faithful of Brazil for statements made in a recent video interview denying the Church’s condemnation of homosexual behavior.  Catholics were encouraged by blogs such as the traditionalist “Fratres in Unum” to contact Daniel’s diocese as well as the Vatican.

In the video Daniel claimed that modern science has disproven the teachings contained in the Bible regarding homosexuality, asserting that “today it will no longer do to categorize a human being as homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual,” adding that “love can arise from any one of those levels.” 

The Catholic Church, continued Daniel, “is going to have to change, but not because the society has changed, but because science and human knowledge have evolved.  We can’t throw out 2,000 years of culture of human knowledge and continue to affirm things that, yes, are in the Bible, phrases that are in the Bible, but are fruits of what?  Not of the Holy Spirit.  Phrases that are fruits of the culture of the time.  That’s what we can’t do.”

The Catholic Church, through the Bible and through its doctrinal declarations, teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically evil,” alongside all sexual acts outside of marriage, which is understood as a perpetual union between one man and one woman.

The priest had also defended "open marriages," saying in a recent video: "If someone is in an extramarital relationship and that relationship is accepted by the spouse, then faithfulness still exists there." 

Following the outcry against his latest remarks, Daniel expressed defiance on his Facebook page, stating, “I’m not going to withdraw any material posted by my authority on social networks, on my site or in any space on the Internet.” He said that “the Church needs to be a dialogical space” so people can “become true sons of God in our contemporary world.” In the same message he renounced his priestly ministry.

In an interview with the newspaper O Globo following the excommunication, Daniel accused the Catholic Church of being “homophobic.” 

“Today, sexual diversity exists, and there are many texts in the Bible that we can no longer consider words of God,” he told the publication. “Sadly, the Catholic Church is still homophobic despite having many homosexuals within it.  It has become closed to the world of today and not open to dialogue.” 

The diocese notes that Bishop Frei Caetano Ferrar sought to resolve the matter with Daniel, but to no avail.  The bishop, “with the patience and charity of a pastor, has long sought a dialogue to overcome and resolve this situation in a fraternal and Christian way,” the diocese notes.  However, after “all the initiatives were exhausted” and the wayward priest “reacted aggressively” and “refused all dialogue” with a diocesan canon lawyer who was apparently assigned to judge the case, the diocese proceeded with the excommunication.  

The case follows that of Fr. Jose Nicolas Alessio, whose defrocking by the Diocese of Cordoba in Argentina was announced in April of this year following his remarks in 2010 defending homosexual “marriage.”

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Gina Raimondo, Democrat candidate for governor of Rhode Island http://www.ginaraimondo.com/
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic school removes alumna’s photo after she endorses abortion in bid for governor

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

A Rhode Island Catholic school has removed the photo of an alumna from its halls after she endorsed abortion in her campaign for governor.

LaSalle Academy of Providence took alumna Gina Raimondo’s photo down from the school’s Wall of Notables last week after she publicly stated she does not support the Church’s teaching on life and would work to support abortion.

"You know the Catholic Church has a clear position, and I have a clear position,” the state general treasurer said, according to ABC. “And I am clearly pro–choice and as I've said, I as Governor, support the decision in Roe v. Wade."

Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin responded the same day in statement on his Facebook page.

“It is always disappointing when a Catholic candidate for political office abandons the teaching of the Church on the dignity of human life for the sake of self-serving political gain,” he said. Such actions demonstrate an inexcusable lack of moral courage.”

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“Pope Francis has explained how evil abortion really is, that every aborted child bears the face of Jesus Christ,” he continued. “Similarly, I wish to remind Catholics of the Diocese of Providence, in the clearest terms possible: Abortion is a sin, and those who provide it, promote it and support it will be held accountable by Almighty God for the unjust death of unborn children.”

Raimondo, valedictorian of the 1989 class at LaSalle Academy, made her comments at Planned Parenthood’s Rhode Island PAC’s endorsement of her candidacy September 25. She said as well that she is “more pro-choice” than Republican candidate Allan Fung, and that she opposes the Hobby Lobby ruling in support of religious freedom for employers.

According to the Providence Journal, she also said she would oppose efforts to incorporate an option in the Rhode Island health insurance exchange that would exclude abortion or contraception. Raimondo also pledged to seek repeal of a 1997 Rhode Island law banning partial-birth abortion.

Drew Lagace, La Salle’s communications spokesman, told the Providence Journal the school took the photo down and didn’t want to elaborate. But he told the local NBC affiliate, “Her statements were very bold against the Church and the teachings of the Church.”

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Last Call! Can you donate $5?

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A man carries a sign during Long Beach's Gay Pride parade in 2012 of Newsweek's cover declaring Obama "the first gay president." Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock.com
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Obama admin files first-ever lawsuits against employers who fired transgender workers

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By Ben Johnson

The Obama administration 's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed two lawsuits against employers who fired transgender employees, claiming that the businesses violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination against women. Last Thursday's lawsuits are the first ever filed by EEOC over what they deem transgender employment bias.

The employment regulatory agency's Indianapolis office sued R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, located in the Detroit area, for firing “Amiee” Stephens, a funeral director who was born male and wished to perform funeral duties in female attire.

The EEOC's Miami office sued Lakeland Eye Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, for firing Michael Branson in June 2011. Branson's lawyer, Jillian Weiss, states his co-workers “snickered, rolled their eyes, and withdrew from social interactions with” Branson after he showed up at work a few months into the job in drag demanding to be called “Brandi.”

Obama officials say that firing transgender workers violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because the employers allegedly fired transgender “women” who “did not conform to the employer's gender-based expectations, preferences, or stereotypes.”

However, that pivotal civil rights law does not mention transgender people nor homosexuals and recognizes neither as a protected minority group that is accorded special rights.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration contends that transgender males are actually women, so any employer who “discriminates” against them is guilty of discrimination on the basis of sex.

The EEOC wrote in its August 20 decision in Complainant v. Jeh Johnson that “While Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a basis, Title VII prohibits sex discrimination, including sex- stereotyping discrimination and gender discrimination. The term ‘gender’ encompasses not only a person’s biological sex, but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity.”

In other words, males who believe they are females really are females, and they are experiencing discrimination because they do not look like “other” women.

“Moreover, we have held that sex discrimination claims may intersect with claims of sexual orientation discrimination,” the EEOC continued.

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez told BuzzFeed that the Obama administration wants “to ensure employers aren’t considering irrelevant factors, like gender-based stereotypes or gender identity, in making employment decisions.” But business owners say the image projected by outside sales representatives, front office personnel, and other employees has a real impact on the customer's comfort and likelihood to do business with a company.

Mario Diaz, legal counsel of Concerned Women for America, told LifeSiteNews that the lawsuits are the latest push by the Obama administration to further the radical homosexual and transgender political agenda without persuading the American people first.

“The mainstreaming of transgenderism is a debate that is just beginning in our culture,” Diaz told LifeSiteNews. “The American people should debate the complex issues involved, and the legislatures should act based on the conclusions we reach as a society.”

“For the Obama administration to act unilaterally, once again, to force its conclusion about sexuality and morality on the nation is beyond reprehensible,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we can’t say we are surprised. This is why President Obama appointed celebrated homosexual activist Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in 2010, when we sounded the alarm about the implications of such an appointment.”

Homosexual activists were thrilled. Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the homosexual lobbying group Human Rights Campaign, called the lawsuits an “historic and a giant step” that “deserves immense praise.”

The new prosecutions are an attempt to implement a December 2012 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) drawn up by Obama administration officials making "coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions, as they may apply" as “a top Commission enforcement priority.”

And the Obama administration promises this is only the beginning. Robert E. Weisberg, regional lawyer for the EEOC's Miami district office, told Florida's Lakeland Ledger, "I sincerely hope that it serves as a teaching moment for the employer community on how the EEOC views the law and their intention to enforce the law — and for victims who might not have realized they have this type of relief available, to (encourage them to) come forward.”

He added that the “educational byproduct of a case like this can extend far beyond the parties in the lawsuit, which would be the real hope."

President Obama has worked like no other president to promote the redefinition of gender norms, from a biological reality to a malleable social construct.

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In late April, his administration stated that Title IX funding, intended to assist women pursue higher education, applies to transgender males, through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development demanded that any renter who accepts Section 8 or HUD financing must rent their accommodations to homosexuals and transgender people.

In 2010, Obama named “Amanda” Simpson the Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department, thought to be the first transgender presidential appointment.

Long before seeking the presidency, Barack Obama talked about aggressive federal action to promote social engineering in a 2001 interview on public radio. When conservative media outlets said this meant candidate Obama would use executive powers to promote his agenda in lieu of Congressional support, mainstream reporters such as the Associated Press and The Washington Post dismissed their claims.

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