Operation Rescue staff

Research attorney suspended for nasty tweets about Phill Kline: Report

Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff
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TOPEKA, November 16, 2012, (Operation Rescue) - The Associated Press is now reporting that the research attorney who tweeted nasty and disparaging comments about Phill Kline - Sarah Peterson Herr - was suspended Friday morning,  pending an investigation.

The decision came just hours after Operation Rescue broke the story, which was posted on LifeSiteNews.com.

Phill Kline stood before a seven-member panel at the Kansas Supreme Court yesterday. Together with his attorney Tom Condit, he made a final defense against a politically motivated ethics case against him that has spanned six years.

The Supreme Court consisted of only two sitting members of the Court, Justices Dan Biles and Nancy Moritz. The other five members recused themselves and were replaced by two Appellate Court Judges—Karen Arnold-Burger, and Henry W. Green Jr.—and three District Court Judges, Edward E. Bouker, Bruce T. Gatterman, and Michael J. Malone.

Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett began the 90-minute proceeding by attempting to mitigate allegations that he was biased against Kline. He then went on to make arguments that contradicted that claim.

Hazlett disregarded the recommendation of indefinite license suspension made earlier by a disciplinary panel that had heard the longest ethics case in the history of Kansas. Instead, Hazlett recommended permanent license revocation, the harshest action possible.

Hazlett claimed that he would prosecute any attorney who lied professionally or in his private life, and made of point of asserting that investigators that withhold the identities of the target of a criminal investigation from third party witnesses is unethical. The most vocal of the Judges, Biles and Moritz, appeared not to buy that argument based on their aggressive questioning on that point.

Hazlett also accused Kline of “heightening the condemnation of [abortionist George] Tiller” by appearing on the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor in an attempt to taint the “potential” jury pool for a case that was not filed for another 46 days. Kline’s defense contends that he made no inappropriate comments and was wrongfully charged under an ethics rule that was not in effect at the time of the conduct.

Also at issue was an Excel file on a CD that mysteriously appeared on the courtroom desk of Tiller attorney Dan Monet during one of Tiller’s criminal hearings in Wichita.

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The file was generated by a low-level employee of the Attorney General’s office and listed the names of late-term abortion patients of Tiller’s who had stayed at the La Quinta Inn during their multi-day abortions. Kline had sought records from the La Quinta Inn in order to identify minor girls who had abortions so he could determine if they were safe and whether suspected child abuse had been reported.

Kline has always maintained that he never sought the identities of adult abortion patients of Tiller’s or any other abortion clinic.

Kline insists he never ordered the spreadsheet to be made and had no knowledge of it at all until he learned of it through news reports. Nevertheless, Kline was accused of plotting to use the names of adult patients for nefarious reasons.

When an attorney for the Disciplinary Administrator’s office was questioned how he knew Kline had prior knowledge of the contents of the disc and of his alleged intentions, the attorney responded that it was all implied by the fact that a copy was found among files after Kline vacated the District Attorney’s office. That argument did not appear to impress the panel of judges.

The most contentious exchange came regarding Kline’s attempt to enforce a Grand Jury subpoena for records from Planned Parenthood. The Grand Jury had requested to review any filings made on behalf of the Grand Jury. Hazlett accused Kline of improperly disregarding the Grand Jury’s instructions. However Kline noted that the Grand Jury had asked to review, not approve all filings done in their behalf. Kline further argued that in any case, the motion he made was not filed in behalf of the Grand Jury. Instead, he filed the motion in his independent capacity as District Attorney, which he had full authority to do.

Condit told the Court that the case against Kline was one based on cherry-picking over 30,000 pages of documents and making inferences about statements in an attempt to attack Kline’s honesty.

“No one could withstand the withering attack over five years,” said Condit. “Every attorney should be frightened of this Disciplinary Attorney’s office.”

After the hearing, Condit was asked by reporters if Kline’s ethics case was all about abortion. He responded, “Let me tell you something, folks. It’s always about abortion. It’s always about abortion.”

Display Boards used in Kline’s defense highlighted errors in the ten findings made against him. Each of the ten findings had at least one error, and some as many as four. Errors in the ethics case against Kline include:

- Applying non-existent rules in three cases
- Allegations that contradict previous Supreme Court findings in one case
- Improper use of Rule 8.4 in five cases
- Failing to find “materiality” four cases
- Failing to find that Kline had “knowledge” in four cases
- Allegations contradict Judges Anderson, Owens, King, or the DeFries report in five cases
- Misstates the record in six cases.

Concerns about the biased culture that exists at the Kansas Supreme Court building surfaced after crude and prejudicial postings to Twitter were made during Kline’s hearing by a research attorney for an Appellate Court judge. The tweets, made by Sarah Patterson Herr, were mocking of Kline and sometimes crude, but more seriously appeared to show she had some prior knowledge of how the justices would rule.

“There can be no doubt that this case is a politically motivated one meant to destroy the prosecutor who had the nerve to criminally charge abortion clinics that were breaking the law,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, who attended the hearings. “They wanted to make an example out of him so no other prosecutor would dare to take on the abortion cartel. If they are successful at revoking Kline’s law license, they will only succeed at putting women at further risk of harm from abortionists who will believe more than ever that they are above the law.”

The Court gave no indication on when it might rule. Possible outcomes range from complete exoneration to permanent revocation of Kline’s Kansas law license.

Source documents and more information msy be found at KlineCaseFile.com.

Reprinted from Operation Rescue.

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Lisa Bourne

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

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By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
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Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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