Peter J. Smith

The Phill Kline saga: Planned Parenthood protected, children forgotten, the prosecutor prosecuted

Peter J. Smith
Peter J. Smith

LSN reporter Peter Smith gives an overview of his week at the Phill Kline trial in Topeka, Kansas. Peter is returning to Front Royal, Virginia tomorrow, but will continue his coverage of the trial as it resumes next week.

TOPEKA, Kansas, February 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Phill Kline ethics trial has wrapped up its first week in Topeka, and after five days of eight hour interrogations of witnesses, the prosecution still has not rested its case. But the week has raised very serious (and disturbing) questions, not the least of which are why has Planned Parenthood been protected, why have raped children been forgotten, and why is the prosecutor who sought to protect them himself being prosecuted?

Objectively, the criminal investigation and prosecution that Phill Kline launched as attorney general has nothing directly to do with the political issues surrounding abortion. Trial testimony explained that the investigation was over the rule of law, and that Kline fulfilled a pledge he made to the voters of Kansas that he would do everything in his power to crack down on child rapists and make sure that law enforcement was receiving information about and prosecuting cases of child rape.

Despite the battle of the ethics trial, Phill Kline is usually seen smiling, confident, and serious. But there is one thing that makes him choke back tears when reporters talk to him: the hundreds of child rape victims he could not save as AG because his investigation was stonewalled over abortion.

“No one has looked into the credible evidence that children were being abused in this state, and no one was reporting it, and that should be a concern for Kansas,” Kline told reporters Thursday. (Yours truly, covering the event, is the man with the hat in the background in this video of that interview. Hat tip to our friends at Kansas Watchdog, and reporter Earl Glynn).

The testimony in this week’s trial revealed that the case began very simply: records from the state agency responsible for receiving child sex abuse reports seemed underreported. Officials with the Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS) in 2003 told Kline that they had just over 1000 cases of child sex abuse reports for the whole state.

But there was a huge problem: SRS in Sedwick County, Kansas, reported they had just under twice that number of cases.

Kline’s chief investigator, Tom Williams, a former FBI agent with 31 years of experience (including the investigation of drugs, organized crime, white-collar crime, and public corruption) looked into the disparity. Judge Richard Anderson, Chief District Judge of Shawnee County, gave him a subpoena for SRS records.

He got just under 20,000 SRS reports of child sex abuse. After whittling them down, removing duplicates from several reporters of the same crime, Williams found 6,797 reports of child sex abuse in Kansas between 2001-2003, and more than 1800 reports of child sex abuse in Sedwick county.

But there are just four records in SRS showing reporting from abortion providers during that time. Kline’s office had KDHE subpoenaed by Judge Anderson in order to obtain the ID numbers for the reporting abortion providers. They discovered that out of the 166 cases of abortions on girls 14 years old and under, Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood (CHPP) in Johnson County and George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic had each reported just one case of child rape.

For Kline’s office, every one of those 166 cases - for just one year - represented 166 children who needed the help and intervention of the state against child sex abusers. But a case against child sex abusers can’t begin without names, and the only ones with the names were Planned Parenthood and George Tiller.

And that is where a straightforward case of law enforcement trying to save young girls from sexual predators goes awry.

Steve Maxwell, Kline’s chief prosecutor in the AG Criminal Division testified on the stand Friday that he thought it would have been the easiest case to handle. But it was the worst.

The reason? Both Planned Parenthood and Tiller obstructed Kline’s investigation, hiding behind the politically volatile issue of legal abortion. They resisted subpoenas for the children’s medical records, and made the whole case public when the “Alpha-Beta” case went to the Kansas Supreme Court. One likely reason is that the medical records also revealed that both abortion providers had been committing illegal late-term abortions on post-viable unborn infants over 22 weeks gestation - a criminal offense.

With a local press willing to color the Kline case as a legal witch hunt against abortionists, and the constant interference of a Supreme Court (five out of seven justices directly appointed by pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius), Kline’s investigation became hopelessly bogged down. By the time they got the records, he ran out of time to execute his investigation and prosecution of child rapists. 

Eight years after launching an investigation into failures to report and prosecute child sex abuse (which included a live-births in under-age girls investigation), nothing has been done. Instead of child rapists being put on the stand, prosecuted, and convicted, former AG Phill Kline has been put on the stand, and prosecuted (in an ethics trial), and if convicted faces the loss of his law license.

What is more, a conviction of unethical conduct would help Planned Parenthood escape the criminal charges it currently faces, because Kline was able to successfully file a criminal case against them as District Attorney of Johnson County: 107 criminal counts, including 23 felonies, related to failures to report child rape, falsification of documents, and illegal late-term abortions.

But the fact remains that after eight years, the state of Kansas has not investigated who were the victims of child rape that Kline was seeking to protect. A law passed in 2006 requires abortionists to send a tissue sample of the aborted baby in order to help law enforcement identify victims.

Hundreds of child victims are still unknown, and many of their rapists are possibly at-large, needing to be brought to justice - and would have been, had the public, the press, and the state demanded that equal application of law apply to abortionists. And that is the very demand that a grand jury in Pennsylvania made when they said they were appalled that state officials deliberately ignored reports of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” because keeping an abortionist in business took precedence over the law.

The tragedy in the Phill Kline case is that the very children he meant to save and protect as AG remain anonymous, their current status, condition, or suffering unknown.

In the meantime, the state disciplinary board for attorneys allocates public resources to determine whether Kline and his subordinates acted properly from start to finish.

See the complete list of LSN stories by Peter Smith on the Kline trial:

* 107-count criminal case begins against Planned Parenthood in Kansas
* Phill Kline ethics trial: Day 1 – Live update
* Kansas abortionists failed to report 166 potential cases of child rape: Phill Kline trial day 2
* Phill Kline attorney makes witness sweat in Planned Parenthood ethics complaint case
* DA’s diary snatching brings new twist to Phill Kline ethics trial, potential crime
* Kansas Travesty: 249 child-age abortions over 3 years, just four sex abuse reports: Kline Hearings
* Kansas judge testifies ‘probable cause’ existed to investigate criminal PP activity: Kline Hearings
* Kline did not violate judge’s order in secret Planned Parenthood case: judge’s legal counsel
* Planned Parenthood gambit: beat Phill Kline charges, defeat Live Action?
* Former Tiller attorney combed CD of sensitive records from Kline investigation 
* The Phill Kline saga: Planned Parenthood protected, children forgotten, the prosecutor prosecuted
* Day 6 trial: Kline protected sexual assault victim privacy, Tiller compromised patient privacy
* Video: Kline says ‘those in power’ blocked Planned Parenthood, Tiller investigation
* Witness: Phill Kline didn’t need/want adult patient names
* Prosecutor tells investigator: we don’t have to accept report clearing Phill Kline
* UPDATE: Kline tells ethics panel, ‘You are violating my due process rights!’
* ‘It is wrong!’: Phill Kline blocked from presenting full defense, calling all witnesses
* Phill Kline: Kansas Supreme Court ‘obstructed’ child rape investigation to save Planned Parenthood
* Phill Kline ethics trial adjourns for now: battle has cost him $200,000 says Kline

Truth. Delivered daily.

Get FREE pro-life, pro-family news delivered straight to your inbox. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne

Catholic Relief Services: We’re ‘proud’ that we don’t discuss faith

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

While some pro-life activists are criticizing Catholic Relief Services (CRS) after a high-ranking executive said last month that the agency is “proud” they do not discuss faith with the people they serve, CRS itself is defending the statement, saying it was misinterpreted. 

The controversy began when Bill O’Keefe, CRS’ vice-president for government relations and advocacy, told CNN’s Belief Blog, “We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith."

“We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic,” he added in the August 9 piece.

“We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith."

The statement drew criticism from Catholic pro-life and pro-family groups, who said the comments are another sign that the U.S. Bishops’ foreign relief agency has shed its Catholic identity and effectively operates as a secular NGO.

“How great is it that Catholic Relief Services is serving the poor and marginalized in dangerous areas of the world,” Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews. “Yet how sad that CRS spokespeople again boast that they do not preach the Gospel love of Jesus Christ, as a matter of policy.”

“This is so radically out of line with what Pope Francis has repeatedly said,” Father Boquet added, “and is something that Pope Benedict warned against in both Deus Caritas est and Caritas in Veritate.”

“For CRS to be ‘proud’ of the fact that it doesn't evangelize may help it to get grants from the federal government," said Steven Mosher, president of Population Research Institute. "After all, such activities are specifically forbidden to federal grantees. But it is an abdication of their responsibility as Catholics - really everyone's responsibility as Catholics - to spread the Gospel."

Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith project, agreed.

“The bottom line is that there can be no division between charity and the work of evangelism,” he said.  “But CRS just stated that it is ‘proudly’ doing just that.”

Hichborn told LifeSiteNews he believes the statement highlights the fact that for CRS social works supersede evangelization.  

But in reality, he argued, charitable works “are the loving tools by which we evangelize. Any act to divorce evangelization from works of charity neuters the Church and relegates charity to mere philanthropy. Catholic Relief Services, by their own admission, is content to feed bodies and starve souls."

CRS responds to criticisms

Paul Eagle, CRS’ communications director, suggested that O'Keefe's statement was misunderstood, telling LifeSiteNews that their work is a clear example of not proselytizing, but preaching the Gospel through works.

“We are indeed proud that we witness the Church’s mission and the call of the Gospel to care for those in need, regardless of who they are or what they believe, through the work that CRS does every day,” he said. “This is a central part of the Church’s evangelizing mission, but it does not include proselytizing or requiring that people become Catholic to receive our assistance.”

Eagle told LifeSiteNews that CRS follows St. Francis of Assisi, who has been reflected in the leadership of Pope Francis. He pointed to a famous quotation that is often attributed to St. Francis, which goes, "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."

“Our work is a clear example of not proselytizing, but preaching the Gospel through what we do,” Eagle said.

Eagle directed LifeSiteNews to a CRS web page which states that CRS “rejoices in” the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, and has grown in a deeper understanding of its mission through study and reflection on Benedict’s earlier encyclicals Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi

Eagle also pointed to the CRS initiative, “Impact Investing,” saying it contains a response to Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium.

Pro-life critics cite papal support

But Father Boquet said a policy banning discussions of faith or preaching the Gospel is clearly opposed to Catholic teaching on charity.

“This is a radical departure from how the Church has always understood her essential charitable and missionary work,” he said.

He quoted Pope Francis in his first homily as pope: “We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord,” the pope said.

Pope Francis has repeated this theme several times, most recently in June of this year, said Father Boquet. At that time, “he said that the Church cannot just be a ‘well organized NGO,’ or just some institution with people who are ‘fans’ of being Catholic.”

Boquet and the other pro-life critics pointed out that several recent popes have written at length on the need for evangelization to remain at the heart of its charitable work.

“This is a radical departure from how the Church has always understood her essential charitable and missionary work."

In Evangelii Nuntiandi Pope Paul VI wrote that generous Christians are often tempted to reduce the Church’s mission to the realm of the temporal, downgrading it to be man-centered. The Holy Father said in that document that this reduction to a focus on material well-being would mean the Church would lose her fundamental meaning.

Pope Benedict XVI echoed this teaching in Deus Caritas Est, stating, "The entire activity of the Church is an expression of a love that seeks the integral good of man: it seeks his evangelization through Word and Sacrament."

In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict cited Pope Paul VI, writing that Christian charity is “part and parcel of evangelization,” because, “Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person.”

Many CRS employees not Catholic

Mosher also highlighted Pope Benedict’s motu proprio titled ‘On the Service of Charity,’ which he said “is quite clear in that the work of Catholic charities should be grounded in the Mass and the Sacraments, which implies evangelization.”

The CNN Belief Blog article also reported that CRS “doesn't even like” to be labeled missionary because of the word's association with evangelizing, stating:

Though Catholic Relief Services says it is motivated by the Gospel to embody Catholic social and moral teaching, it does not preach to the people it helps.

In fact, you don't even have to be Catholic to work for Catholic Relief Services. Among its 4,500 workers are many Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions, said Bill O’Keefe, the organization’s vice president of advocacy.

Eagle told LifeSiteNews CRS is proud as a Catholic agency that it works collaboratively with all people regardless of faith, which is especially important in communities where the majority of people are not Catholic.

He added that CRS takes steps to ensure Catholic identity in preparing employees for work with CRS, referencing a tutorial, "Protecting Life,” which was reviewed by the USCCB.

At the same time, experience has shown that what CRS cannot account for is the personal opinions of its non-Catholic employees, which, according to Mosher, inevitably affect the way they perform their jobs. A May 2014 LifeSiteNews article reported on public campaign records showing that since 1990 CRS employees have donated tens of thousands of dollars, 98.1 percent of their political donations, to elect pro-abortion politicians to office.

LifeSiteNews has also reported on the fact that numerous CRS employees in key policy positions have in previous jobs advocated for activities that violate Church teaching.

For example, Daphyne Williams, who has worked for CRS since 2008 and helped to develop a controversial policy whereby CRS would provide “complete and accurate” information on condoms, was hired after working at a series of pro-abortion organizations. One, which she listed on her LinkedIn page until LifeSiteNews reported on it in 2012, was called Pro-Choice Resources.

In another more dramatic case, a CRS employee was charged and convicted after deliberately ramming her car into a crowd of pro-life activists at the March for Life.

“As far as the claim that they somehow ‘evangelize’ by not preaching the Gospel, by not hiring Catholics … this simply makes no sense,” Mosher told LifeSiteNews.

“They say that ‘they help people because they're Catholic.’ But CRS employees, including very senior employees, are often - as the organization itself proudly admits - not Catholic at all,” said Mosher. “So it is hard to take this defense seriously.” 

Mosher said that statements indicating CRS is proud that is does not evangelize raise the question of whether CRS's donors are being defrauded by an organization that claims to be "Catholic," but distances itself from the Church in its actual programs and practices.

“If Catholic Relief Services is not going to hire practicing Catholics, work through the local Catholic Church around the world, and preferentially serve Catholic populations,” Mosher said, “then it has no business calling itself ‘Catholic.’ For it is not. It is just another humanitarian NGO which can make no special claim on Catholics.”

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

,

Protecting marriage isn’t enough – we must oppose gay ‘civil unions’ too

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

Philippe Ariño, one of the original initiators of the French “Manif pour tous” rallies against the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in November 2012, is suggesting that opposition to the law and its probable developments needs to be coherent and complete if it hopes to be efficient. In a recent and widely-circulated article published on his blog, he writes that the objective must be to put an end to legalized “civil unions” as well.

Ariño, a non-practicing homosexual, left the “Manif pour tous” by March 2013, criticizing the movement’s figurehead, Frigide Barjot, for her stands on “homosexual love” and her insistence that civil unions were not only acceptable, but should benefit from a more favorable legal framework. Barjot herself was to be ousted from the organization for the same reason, but the “Manif pour tous” still takes care not to antagonize and avoids clear-cut condemnation of certain “homosexual rights” so as not to appear radical.

At the “Manif pour tous” summer university this weekend, leader Ludovine de La Rochère underscored the fact that the socialist government would certainly not reverse the same-sex “marriage” law, adding that it would be useless to demand its abrogation as long as Hollande and his government is in power.

"‘Marriage for all’ and [civil unions] form a whole, and the glue which holds them together is the belief in and the justification of homosexual identity and love."

Not so, argues Ariño. His warning in view of the group’s upcoming rally against “familyphobia,” gender ideology, surrogate motherhood, and artificial procreation for homosexuals on October 5 in Paris pleads for consistency. He gave permission to LifeSite to translate his text and publish its most significant passages.

“Why should we not limit ourselves to demanding the abrogation of the ‘same-sex marriage’ law – the few of us, that is, who are beginning to realize that we should demand it! – and why must we demand what is most necessary: the abrogation of the ‘PACS’?” he writes.

The PACS, or French “civil solidarity pact” is a civil union open to all, including homosexuals. It is slowly replacing normal marriage as it includes less obligations and can be dissolved unilaterally at any time through a bailiff’s letter.

Ariño calls it “totally illogical, unrealistic and useless, when opposing gender ideology, surrogate motherhood and even ‘marriage for all’ to do so without demanding the abrogation of the PACS, even if many will argue that “when asking too much you get nothing at all.”

“I would say on the contrary that it is because we did not make this minimal demand that we will find that everything will be imposed upon us one small step at a time! I’m telling them that it is they who are exaggerating and that they have not taken the full measure of the gravity of the PACS, and the 180° turn it is imposing on the whole world,” he answers.

Opposing civil unions mentally and in private is not enough, says Ariño, and remains a form of “cant”: “They have simply not understood the PACS and its symbolic impact; deep down they have justified it because they have found its ‘excrescence’ – same-sex ‘marriage’ – a ‘great deal worse’. ‘Marriage for all’ and PACS form a whole, and the glue which holds them together is the belief in and the justification of homosexual identity and love.”

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

Ariño goes on to criticize the principle of public recognition of homosexual couples: “Civil union is the first-ever law in the world to have been based on people’s sexual orientation, it is the first homophobic law which reduces men and women to their so-called homosexual identity or practice, the first law to have established homosexuality as a society’s operating model. That is why it is extremely serious, perhaps even more serious than ‘marriage for all’, despite appearances and the invisibility of its ramifications (concerning parentage and marriage). It does no less harm than ‘marriage for all’ as its aim is symbolically identical: recognition/social justification of homosexual as a universal model of love, equal to any other.”

The “Manif pour tous” is often too “lukewarm,” he adds, more intent on defending a political standpoint than fully assuming its opposition to “marriage for all” in a non-partisan manner, and failing to understand the “symbolic and ideological relationship between civil union and ‘marriage for all,’”, or even the link between legalized same-sex “marriage” and surrogate motherhood.  For fear of being taxed with political extremism or homophobia, “these militants refuse visibly to appear as Catholics” and try to find “scapegoats” on their right or on their left. Ariño accuses them of fooling themselves into believing that politicians (like Nicolas Sarkozy) who are in favor of civil union will one day abrogate same-sex “marriage” or even oppose surrogate motherhood.

The figureheads of the “Manif pour tous,” whatever their “courage” and “goodwill,” and their “hopes of changing things gradually, from the inside,” do not understand the “gravity of civil unions,” thus abstaining from clear demands in the name of “realism, patience, political strategy, Hope, humility.” “It is better to make progress little by little than to ask for the impossible, they say – but who apart from them and their gay-friendly opponents is saying something is impossible?”

“Their method of ‘advancing step by step’ is not good in itself; besides, it is precisely the technique of our adversaries, showing that we are imitating them and losing sight of the realities of civil union, ‘marriage for all’ and homosexuality”, writes Ariño, accusing proponents of the method of a “lack of courage” and of “playing into their adversaries’ hands by artificially dissociating marriage from fertility, laws from those laws’ intentions, laws from their consequences.” “The PACS is but a piece of paper, a rubber check signed less than 15 years ago. But the majority of opponents to ‘marriage for all’ tremble like fledglings at the idea of being too radical – while it is precisely their lack of radicalism that doesn’t pay,” he concludes.

Philippe Ariño is a non-practising homosexual. As a Catholic, he advocates chastity, denouncing both homosexualist activism and the modern concept of “heterosexuality,” insofar as sexual union should only take place between a man and a woman in accordance with God’s plan for life-long marriage.

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

Belgium approves euthanasia for rapist serving life sentence

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

Belgium’s Minister of Justice approved a euthanasia request Monday from a convicted rapist serving a life sentence.

The Brussels court of appeal will review the case September 29, but Belgian media report it is expected simply to record the existence of the agreement between the man and the government.

This would not be the first euthanasia of a Belgian prisoner – a terminally ill man who had already spent 27 years in jail was legally killed two years ago – but in the case of Frank Van Den Bleeken, the euthanasia request is being linked to the conditions of his imprisonment.

Van Den Bleeken, 50, has spent close to 30 years in prison. He was sentenced to life-long imprisonment for several counts of rape, one of them followed by murder. He has been declared irresponsible for these acts because of psychiatric disorders and does not want to be released from prison, considering himself to be “a danger for society.” Despite having repeatedly asked for psychiatric treatment, none has been forthcoming in the absence of any Belgian institution prepared to take up this sort of patient.

The convicted rapist says his psychological suffering is “intolerable” and it is on these grounds that three doctors decided last May that Van Den Bleeken should be entitled to euthanasia – even though he has also asked for a transfer to a Dutch institution where psychiatrically ill criminals receive adequate treatment and care.

He presented both demands to the minister of Justice via an emergency procedure. The Brussels appeal court decided that the minister, Maggie De Block, was not competent to order a transfer to the Netherlands but that she could decide to grant his request for euthanasia. The decision is being called a purely “medical” one by the minister who told the press that she confined herself to following the doctors’ opinion.

A previous euthanasia request made by Van Den Bleeken three years ago was rejected on the grounds that all had not been done to ensure that he would suffer less and that other options than death were available.

Now, even though it is clear that the prisoner would find more humane conditions of detention in nearby Holland, that he is conscious of the gravity of the acts he commits under the pressure of his mental illness, and that he is in need of medical care, the decision to make him die reads as a further trivialization of euthanasia in a country where an ever-increasing amount of psychological motives are being accepted to justify “mercy-killing.”

As in all the states of the European Union, the death penalty does not exist; it was abolished in Belgium in 1996. Rapists and murderers can find themselves sentenced to life-long sentences with no hope at all of ever being freed, a perspective which some find worse than death.

Since Van Den Bleeken’s story received media coverage, including a televised interview at the end of 2013, fifteen other prisoners have contacted the “UL-Team,” an information center for end-of-life questions, euthanasia expert Wim Distelmans told the media this Tuesday. He said those numbers are expected to rise. Distelmans is known for his support and active participation in cases of euthanasia for psychological reasons.

No date has been fixed for Van Den Bleeken’s death but his family has indicated that a doctor willing to perform the act has been found. Once the appeals court has given its ruling the prisoner will be allowed to leave the Turnhout prison where he is interned at present, and will be transferred to an unnamed hospital where he will be able to say goodbye to his family before receiving a lethal injection.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook