Hilary White

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Former Irish president and professional Catholic dissident to speak at Primate’s Mass

Hilary White
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(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly attributed ownership of Columba press to the Catholic Bishops of Ireland. LifeSiteNews regrets the error.)

DUBLIN, October 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Irish Catholics have asked the Cardinal Primate of All Ireland to intervene in the appearance of former Irish president and homosexualist activist Mary McAleese at a local parish Mass this Sunday, where she is expected to speak promoting her latest book.

McAleese, notorious among faithful Catholics for her opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the ordination of women, has written a new book in which she suggests that Catholic teaching on sexuality might be a form of “child abuse.” She is launching the book in Dublin the day before the Mass.

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh is scheduled to celebrate the Mass as part of the 250th anniversary of St. James parish church in Cooley. 

The Catholic lay apostolate, Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), has sent a letter asking Cardinal Brady to intervene, saying it is “extraordinary” that the invitation was extended by the parish priest to give McAleese “a pulpit in which she can continue to sow the seeds of discord within our Church”.

“This is a grave matter because she has, in a very public way, contradicted Church teaching and promoted an intrinsic evil,” said Anthony Murphy, the President of the Irish chapter of CUF. He said that McAleese in her book and in her many activities throughout her working life, “has undermined the teaching and governing authority of the Church” and the invitation “could be interpreted by the faithful as indifference” to those activities.

In her book, “Quo Vadis? Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law,” McAleese writes, “The heterocentricity of Catholic teaching …is now being looked at critically in the light of the deadly consequences of homophobic bullying, with research, mainly in
the United States, showing a tragic link between male youth suicide and homosexuality.

“Could church teaching on homosexuality be the new psychological child abuse issue of the coming decade?”

In a radio interview last month with the state broadcaster RTE, she called Catholic teaching on homosexuality “isolated” and said it is causing young homosexuals to doubt themselves and suggested it was the cause of rising suicide rates.

“They will have heard words like disorder, they may even have heard the word evil used in relation to homosexual practice,” she said. “And when they make the discovery, and it is a discovery and not a decision, when they make the discovery, that they are gay, when they are 14, 15 or 16, an internal conflict of absolutely appalling proportions opens up.”

The interview was widely covered in the Irish print media. In it, McAleese also called for the Church to change its practice of ordaining only men, and said that the only reason she was free to do so without interference from the Church was that the hierarchy, including the Pope, has lost all credibility.

Murphy continued in his letter, “I also find it particularly insidious that she has sought to link the relatively high suicide rates of young males with Church teaching on homosexuality.”

He called the suggestion “ridiculous” and said she should “reflect that the same suicide rates may well be linked to the social factors we are now dealing which were a direct consequence of the so called Celtic Tiger years.”

“It is unfortunate and a mystery to many that Mrs. McAleese chose to remain silent during those years of false harmony and wealth,” Murphy added.

Murphy told LSN, “If Cardinal Brady gives her this platform, he will be seen to be endorsing her views.” However, he pointed out that it seems as if McAleese and Brady already enjoy a friendly relationship. In the acknowledgements of her book, McAleese thanked the cardinal “for so promptly and fully answering my factual questions about the Synod of Bishops.” Murphy says that the cardinal was also aware that McAleese would be speaking on the day he was to celebrate the Mass.

Murphy said he has contacted Cardinal Brady’s secretary, Fr. Michael Toner, who said the cardinal is in Rome attending the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops. Toner asked Murphy to send a letter explaining the issue, which he would then forward to Brady.

In response to Murphy and CUF’s criticisms, “The parish priest told me that while he understands this may upset some he believes in freedom of speech and that ‘times are changing’.”

McAleese was recently listed by the Irish Times as one of the twenty-odd individuals and organizations who “shape” Catholicism in Ireland and by Forbes magazine as the 64th most powerful woman in the world. As head of state in Ireland, she drew protests for her opposition to Catholic teaching when she gave commencement address at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. McAleese is currently studying canon law in Rome and has long been criticized by some in the Catholic hierarchy, particularly after calling on the Church to change its teaching on homosexuality.

She is an established campaigner for the homosexualist movement, serving as a founding legal advisor to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform that led to Ireland’s parliament to legalizing same-sex activity in 1993. One of the closing acts of her presidency was to sign into law her country’s first Civil Partnership bill granting homosexual partnerings similar rights and privileges to natural marriage.


Listen to McAleese’s interview with RTE here.

To contact Cardinal Brady with concerns
Ara Coeli
Cathedral Road,
ARMAGH BT61 7QY
Phone: (028) 3752 2045
Fax: (028) 3752 6182

Diocesan Secretary:
Fr. Michael Toner – email: mtoner@aracoeli.com

To contact the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops
Marc Ouellet, Cardinal, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Roma,

Phone: 06.69.88.42.17
Fax: 06.69.88.53.03

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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