All articles from October 28, 2015


News

Abortionist: We don’t describe what we actually do ‘to protect the pro-choice movement’ (video)

'The heads that get stuck that we can't get out' 'don't really have a place in pro-choice rhetoric.'
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 7:40 pm EST
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By Ben Johnson

SAN FRANCISCO, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Abortionists do not share true stories of their work, because it might harm the public's perception of the "pro-choice movement," a prominent abortionist admits in a new undercover video.

Dr. Lisa Hope Harris, a second trimester abortionist and assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan, said self-censorship is necessary "to protect the pro-choice movement" during the National Abortion Federation's 38th annual meeting last year.

Dr. Harris spoke at a panel on "second-trimester abortion self-care," dealing with how doctors who perform abortions from the third month of pregnancy onward maintain their mental well-being.

One of their strategies is not to speak about their work, she said in the video, which is one of 11 undercover abortion industry videos leaked to an online news site and posted on YouTube by a hacker.

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Dr. Harris said abortionists may worry others will reject them because of the nature of their work.

"Another reason we choose silence - besides protecting ourselves and our kids - is to protect the pro-choice movement," she told her colleagues. "Our stories don't really have a place in pro-choice rhetoric."

The crowd responded with knowing rapport as she mentioned "the heads that get stuck that we can't get out, the hemorrhages that we...manage, the patients having their eighth abortion."

"Those are all parts of our experience," she said, "but there's no real good place for us to share those."

"We also have this burden of censorship, because we care about this movement. We don't want to be a danger to it," she concluded.

Other abortionists at the NAF annual meeting agreed that deception is an inherent part of the abortion industry.

A Canadian abortionist said she tried to stop the media from reporting that aborted babies' remains were being burned by an energy plant in Oregon by muddying the waters.

"I've basically got the reporter spinning in so many details that she probably thinks, 'It's too complicated. Never mind!'" she said.

The Canadian abortionist, and a roomful of her colleagues, then burst out into laughter.

"We're afraid to tell the truth," said Renee Chelian, whose Northland Family Planning abortion chain has offices in the Detroit suburbs of Southfield, Sterling Heights, and Westland.

Chelian said she thought burning aborted babies' bodies to generate energy was "a great idea."

The NAF received, a temporary restraining order blocking CMP from releasing video footage of its annual convention, held in San Francisco. However, the footage was leaked to the website GotNews.com.

Its proprietor, Charles C. Johnson, says he is not subject to the court order and will continue to disseminate the videos.

The discussion begins at approximately eight minutes into the video.


  abortion, center for medical progress cmp, lisa harris, national abortion federation naf, university of michigan, video

News

Navy chaplain gets job back after being fired over Christian beliefs on sexuality

Christians need to be ready to face attacks for their beliefs nowadays, warns the chaplain.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 4:10 pm EST
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Navy chaplain Wesley Modder
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A Navy chaplain who got his job back in September says he's glad to be cleared of charges -- but that dark days are ahead for Christians.

“The days of going to Church on Sunday and going throughout the week and not ever having anyone talk to you, I think, [are] gone,” Lieutenant Commander Wesley Modder told The Daily Signal. “We live in a very secular society, very postmodern. And people want to know what you believe. Even at the risk of being maybe attacked.”

Modder's case became a cause célèbre for social conservatives after he was relieved of his duties for offering pastoral guidance on sexuality, especially same-sex relationships. Complaints against Modder came from several service members, including an assistant that the chaplain says was not only new to the office, but regularly asked Modder about homosexual relationships.

The five-page complaint against Modder described his views on “same-sex relationships/marriages, homosexuality, different standards of respect for men and women, pre-marital sex and masturbation.”

“It was insulting and it was devastating,” Modder told Fox earlier this year. “I felt discriminated against. How could something like this happen at this stage of my career?”

Modder's case was taken up by Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA, an Iraq veteran who serves as an Air Force Reserve chaplain -- as well as the president of a group that represents "atheists and humanists in the military."

Former Army Capt. Jason Torpy told The Daily Signal that a chaplain “shouldn’t have to advocate for somebody else’s beliefs,” though "a civil, compassionate, and professional discussion using all of the professional chaplain skills that you have" is "the reasonable expectation."

“Nobody’s expecting them to come in and say, ‘Hey, being gay is awesome,’” says Torpy, though he also said that "it’s unreasonable for people to browbeat people or belittle them in any context."

Modder was represented by Liberty Institute, who provided LifeSiteNews with the letter reinstating Modder. Written by Rear Admiral David Steindl -- head of Navy Personnel Command and deputy chief of Naval Personnel -- the letter stated that Modder would "not be detached for cause."

“I have found the evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard of duty under reference,” wrote the admiral, who ordered that the incident not go on the chaplain's official record.

Modder says he is now heading to Naval Base San Diego, where he will continue his service.


  us navy, wesley modder

News

Maine rep slams Dems for funding Planned Parenthood

'In the eyes of the Democrats, Planned Parenthood is untouchable.'
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 3:41 pm EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

AUGUSTA, Maine, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The ten-member Maine Legislative Council halted the advance of a bill defunding Planned Parenthood in a party-line deadlock Thursday. With five Republican votes for advancing the bill to the 2016 legislative session, and five Democrat votes against, the bill is dead in the water for now.

The bill to defund Planned Parenthood was introduced after undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress revealed that the abortion giant peddles aborted babies' body parts.

State Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) wrote a scathing column, "Maine People Owe Planned Parenthood Nothing," in the Morning Sentinel Kennebec Journal. The column is subtitled "Democrats seem to want to regulate every other organization, but they say any oversight of Planned Parenthood is off limits."

Rep. Espling, the assistant Republican leader in the state House, commented, "It's getting tiresome to watch Maine Democrats tie themselves in knots trying to prevent any type of oversight of Planned Parenthood." She noted that the Democrats are "now fighting tooth and nail to keep an outpatient surgical facility, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, from having any regulation, oversight or accountability at all."

Sign the petition to defund Planned Parenthood here!

Rep. Espling took aim at Planned Parenthood, too, accusing Maine's largest abortion business of "a campaign of misinformation." Espling backed up her accusation with the fact that Planned Parenthood's claims of citizen agreement and financial support without oversight come from Planned Parenthood's own commissioned, written, conducted, and financed poll. Espling commented, "I'm surprised it couldn't get more than 70 percent, considering it rigged the game."

The Maine legislator proposed a bill, the Disposition of Fetal Tissue from Abortions Act, that would ensure that Planned Parenthood does not profit from the sale of aborted babies in Maine. Espling explained that every time an abortion is committed, a report is made with the facility and the county recording how far along the baby was. Espling's bill would add the name and address of whoever takes custody of the aborted remains, patient consent for use of her baby, and the amount of money paid in exchange for the aborted child.

"I don't think that is asking too much when we consider what has come to light over the past few months," Rep. Espling wrote. 

But Democrats did not allow Espling's bill to even be considered in next year's legislative agenda.

"This should come as no surprise," Espling railed. "Democrats have protected the 'right' of Planned Parenthood to operate with taxpayer funds, in a cavalier manner and without a shred of accountability to taxpayers[.] ... In the eyes of the Democrats, Planned Parenthood is untouchable."

Rep. Espling's column also noted Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea)'s proposed bill, which sought to bring the state's surgical abortion businesses up to the same standard of licensing as every other outpatient surgical facility. However, "Democrats quickly killed the bill."

Other legislation Espling mentioned would fund women's health facilities other than Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars. "Nearly 200 locations in Maine provide far more comprehensive women's health care than Planned Parenthood," Espling explained, "so why are Democrats so quick to defend it even amidst the most vile of wrongdoings?"

The Republican leader answered her own question: "Perhaps it's because Planned Parenthood is a very generous contributor to Democratic candidates running for the Maine Legislature, giving close to $1 million to help them get elected in 2014 alone." She concluded that Maine legislators should not "turn a blind eye" to Planned Parenthood's trafficking in baby organs, and should not defend the abortion business "just to make sure those precious campaign contributions keep rolling in."

The bill to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as Espling's bill, could be reconsidered in November, when Espling and other Republicans whose bills failed in Council can appeal those decisions.

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, Maine taxpayers were illegally charged $184,000 by the abortion industry, and are suing the state to keep from paying the bill.


  abortion, democratic party, maine, planned parenthood

News

Lena Dunham’s ‘sexy and cool’ Halloween costume: a Planned Parenthood abortionist

'I think I may have finally nailed it.'
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 3:37 pm EST
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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

October 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – HBO star and radical abortion supporter Lena Dunham says she's "going as something newsy, sexy, and cool" for Halloween: "a Planned Parenthood doctor."

"The most successful Halloween costumes are classic but topical, sexy but funny, not too ugly and not too obscure, perfect conversation starters and ideal photo-ops," Dunham wrote in her newsletter, according to The Federalist. "Still, I want to be accepted and to WIN BIG! And this year, I think I may have finally nailed it. I'm going as something newsy, sexy, and cool: a Planned Parenthood doctor!"

Dunham is well-known for her radical abortion advocacy. Last year, she praised an alleged rapist for using an abortifacient to kill the man's unborn child, and she praised Planned Parenthood on Saturday Night Live. She has joked about whether Kate Middleton would abort her child and called the pro-abortion documentary After Tiller a "beautiful, sensitively made film."


  abortion, lena dunham, planned parenthood, propaganda

News

Wisconsin abortion facility temporarily closes, lacking abortionist

Abortions have been suspended in the northeast Wisconsin town, because its business owners are having trouble finding someone to abort patient's children in the womb.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 3:33 pm EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

APPLETON, Wisconsin, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood is closing in Appleton, at least until it finds an abortionist.

Abortions have been suspended in the northeast Wisconsin town, because its business owners are having trouble finding someone to abort patient's children in the womb.

The official reason, according to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin president Teri Huyck,  is a "temporary gap in medical coverage."

The Appleton North Health Center stopped committing abortions on October 14, according to WBAY-TV. The Planned Parenthood franchise says if it can find an abortionist, it will resume the pregnancy termination business in six months.

In the meantime, women seeking abortions may travel to Madison or Milwaukee.

The same Planned Parenthood shut down temporarily after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed "Sonya's Law," which requires surgical abortionists to have an admitting agreement at a local hospital in case of accidents.

Sign the petition to defund Planned Parenthood here!

Requiring local hospital admitting privileges is out of concern for the life of the mother.  Legislators' concern increased when Lakisha Wilson died in a Cleveland abortion facility because  EMTs could not get to her in time, and she could not be gotten to a hospital in time.

The bill also allows a woman the choice of seeing her baby via the ultrasound equipment the Appleton abortuary uses in determining gestational age.

"Sonya's Law will empower women to make truly informed decisions regarding how they will proceed with their pregnancies," Wisconsin Right to Life stated after Gov. Walker signed the bill.  The prolife organization said that the requirement for local hospital access "will protect the lives of women who experience complications after their abortions."

Pro-Life Wisconsin officials reported that they are elated. "This is a huge victory for the many pro-lifers who have prayed and sacrificed for an end to abortions in the Green Bay area. ... Keep praying that their doors would remain shut permanently."

Appleton's Planned Parenthood recorded at least 583 abortions committed in 2014. Planned Parenthood has 22 facilities in Wisconsin.

Planned Parenthood receives half a billion dollars in federal tax money a year.


  abortion, culture of life, planned parenthood, wisconsin

News

Catholic leaders divided on Pope’s merger of family, life, and laity departments

Some are waiting to see who will run the new dicastery, while others see it as a clear demotion of the importance of life and family issues.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 12:24 pm EST
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Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

ROME, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis’ announced merger of three independent dicasteries responsible for the laity, the family and life has sparked a debate among Catholics leaders as to the merits and intentions of the move.

Prominent marriage counsellor Rick Fitzgibbons, for example, believes it can only harm efforts to strengthen the family while his friend Christine Vollmer, herself a longtime member of both the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life, says the reorganization could be a good thing. “Wait and see. It will all depend on who the Vatican puts in charge of the new dicastery,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Earlier this week Pope Francis announced that the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life were being joined with the Congregation for the Laity into a single dicastery as part of his campaign for greater efficiencies.

But while some took the pope at his word, some were skeptical. As LifeSiteNews reported last week, Steven Mosher, head of the Virginia-based Population Research Institute, said his own experience with bureaucracies led him to see the move as a demotion of both family and life issues. John Smeaton of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children portrayed it as part of “world war” on both family and the unborn both by world leaders and by forces within the Vatican.

On the other hand, Henry Capello, head of Caritas in Veritate International, an alliance of Catholic youth organizations, took the move at face value. He believed the consolidation of the three would help co-ordinate their efforts and avoid duplication.

Now a second round of inquiries among lay Catholic leaders shows again that the reviews are mixed. Judie Brown, founder and head of American Life League and a former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is, like Capello, hopeful about the change. “As someone who worked in the Vatican for 15 years, I can tell you it has so many bureaucrats it is unfathomable. If it is about streamlining, then I agree with the Pope.”

But Mrs. Brown has reservations. “I just hope that protection of life does not get buried. That’s the fear. At least that’s my fear.” She added that, while the just-concluded Synod on the Family looked like a “nightmare,” the public was viewing it through the lenses provided by the news media. “There’s the Synod of Bishops and there’s the synod of the media,” she said. “I have every confidence Pope Francis will not change doctrine.” But she wasn’t so confident, she admitted, that the Pope would issue a clarifying statement on some of the issues he has raised.

Christine Vollmer, the founder of the Latin American Alliance for Life, is also positive about the consolidation. “I have always felt the Academy for Life should be closer to Family than to Health Care Workers. You can’t separate Life and Family.  In regard to combining Family and Laity, Family should always come first.  It is a fact that the laity are the product of a family. And most laity apply what they learn by having families.”

Vollmer noted that Pope Saint John Paul II elevated the department responsible for family issues to full council-status because “he felt it was too important to just be a department.” Prior to that, “Family was a sub-department of laity, which did not make sense. For family and laity to be together is sensible, but it’s got to be with the emphasis on family.”

Asked about a rumour that family might again be placed under laity in the new dicastery, Vollmer replied: “That would be a direct reproach to John Paul II because that is how it was [before he changed it]. Family is what produces good Catholics. Family is what produces vocations.”

Vollmer added a cautionary note: “It all depends on who they put to head it. There are some very, very good people in the Church. There are some fabulous leaders. If they pick the right one we are going to go from good to better.”

Vollmer further suggested that those critical of the merger were assuming “that those who put together the Synod [on the Family] will put this together too. We don’t know that…yet.”

But yet another critic of the merger is Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist, marriage counsellor, founder of the Institute for Marital Healing, and a former consultant to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. “Given the extremely severe problems that face Catholic marriages and families I believe that it is essential that we follow the lead of St. John Paul II and support a separate Pontifical Council for the Family,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Merging the PCF will weaken the ability to address these critical issues in the Church, many of which were ignored by the leaders of the Synod.”

Dr. Fitzgibbons added that the family is under serious attack in many ways and the Church needs to address this with the efforts of a full council. Instead the council is being demoted, but these attacks have been “overlooked” by the just-concluded Synod of Bishops. “These issues include: the severe harm that has been caused by the contraceptive mentality in the Church, the divorce epidemic and the need for divorce prevention which will not occur until the truth is taught about sexual morality in marriage; the massive retreat from marriage with only 150,000 U.S. marriages in 2013 compared to 425,000 in 1969.”

Dr. Fitzgibbons told LifeSiteNews that Pope Saint John Paul II has laid the groundwork for a defence of marriage but his work is now being ignored. Meanwhile, the forces within the Church seeking to bring into full communion those who divorce and remarry run counter not only to the work of John Paul II but of modern social science which indicates that many failing marriages can be saved with hard work.

Joining Fitzgibbons in his concerns is Mary Ellen Douglas of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition. “The family and the lives of the unborn are under such terrible attack that it just seems a strange time to hodgepodge these councils into something vague with the laity.” Keeping the three areas separate would allow the Church “to better respond to these attacks.”


  catholic, pontifical academy for life, pontifical council for the family, pope francis

News

Trudeau’s Liberals pledged to lift ban on gay blood donations

People who engage in dangerous sexual behaviors have been banned, to protect the blood supply. Is Trudeau poised to change that?
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 11:37 am EST
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Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

OTTAWA, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Among the election promises haunting the Liberals, and all Canadians, now that they have won the election, is their vow to eliminate the five-year period that men who have had sex with men must wait before donating blood.

The Liberal campaign website says the five-year wait after the last same-sex encounter (“even if it has been entirely safe and monogamous,” as the website puts it) “must end.”  The Liberals promise “to end this stigmatizing donor-screening policy and adopt one that is non-discriminatory and based on science.”

But critics say that in cozying up to gay groups and, perhaps more importantly, to the Canadian Federation of Students, the Liberal platform builders have ignored not only Canadians who suffer from blood diseases such as haemophilia, and need frequent transfusions, but an entire, well-established field of science and all who practice it, namely, epidemiology, or the study of infectious diseases.

Restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) began when several thousand Canadians were infected with AIDS and other diseases through medically-required transfusions of  blood provided by the Canadian Red Cross that turned out to be contaminated. The donors were male homosexuals. Canadian men who have had sex with men are 263 times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than men who haven’t.

But this still comprises just 4.2 percent of all MSM, and since most MSM won’t donate blood, in 2013 the Canadian Blood Services decided to change its policy from one of rejection of blood donations from men who have had sex even once with another man since 1977 to men who have had sex with men in the previous five years. The gay lobby and Canadian Federation of Students on one side went along as did the Canadian Haemophiliac Society on the other, though the latter unhappily noted that the activists and CFS were merely biding their time and would not be satisfied until gender-neutral screening replaced MSM targeting.

The Liberals and homosexual activists can point to the fact that Australia and New Zealand now have one-year deferrals for MSM with no increase in AIDS/HIV infection rates. As well, countries such as Spain use gender-neutral screening questions.

But the Canadian Haemophilia Society—and Canadian Blood Services together with its Quebec counterpart Hema-Quebec—still defend the five-year wait period. They note that epidemiology indicates different countries have different infection patterns; that the United States still imposes a deferral back to 1977; and that some European countries have a lifetime donation ban for MSM.

As for Spain et al, reports the Canadian Blood Service, “It should be noted, however, that the rate of donors with HIV-positive test results in those countries is more than 10 times higher than in Canada. Studies of HIV risk have found that such an approach in Canada would substantially increase the risk of HIV per unit of blood in Canada, which is currently among the lowest in the world.”

What is more, screening using de-gendered criteria would have to spread the net so wide it would eliminate many heterosexual or lesbian donors who posed no actual risk. “Our own research,” claims the CBS, “has found that gender-neutral, behaviour-based screening would result in an excessive loss of donors and threaten the adequacy of supply.”

The CBS and the CHS also advocate the five-year wait, not to prevent AIDS-tainted blood, which testing can now catch, but to prevent CBS’s blood supply from contamination by the next, as-yet unknown disease to spread through the promiscuous population of Canada’s active male homosexuals. And because the next disease is unknown, there are also no tests to detect it—until it is too late.

But the Canadian blood collection system is caught between a rock and a hard place. The alignment of the Canadian Federation of Students with the LGBTQ lobby means that the CBS could be cut off from one of its main sources of blood, volunteer drives on Canada’s university campuses, if it doesn’t go along with gender-neutral screening.

Canadian courts have ruled that CBS’s screening is not discriminatory and that blood donation is not a right. Unphased, the Liberals have moved ahead with the promise, despite the health risk.


  blood donation, homosexuality, justin trudeau, liberal party

News

Congressman hopes to ban Essure sterilization device with Democrat support

A Pennsylvania congressman says he expects Democrats to join him in attempting to ban the sterilization device Essure.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 10:06 am EST
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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Pennsylvania congressman says he expects Democrats to join him in attempting to ban the sterilization device Essure.

Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick will introduce a bipartisan ban on Essure because the contraceptive and abortifacient device "is harming women and needs to be removed from the market."

Approved by the FDA in 2002 and currently produced by pharmaceutical giant Bayer, Essure is a metal coil that is inserted into a woman’s fallopian tubes. Intentionally irritating the tubes, it creates scar tissue that blocks eggs from being released into a woman's womb for fertilization.

In July, the FDA expanded its list of descriptions about Essure. In addition to listing its benefits, the FDA explained on its website serious, long-term health dangers associated with Essure, including ectopic pregnancies, unintended pregnancies resulting in severe complications and miscarriages, pelvic complications, pain, migration of the metal inserts through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, puncture of the uterus, perforation of the fallopian tubes, hemorrhage, organ damage, fatigue, depression, weight gain, menstrual irregularities, headaches, rashes, itching, severe pelvic pain, and even death. 

Fitzpatrick is expected to introduce his bill, the "E-Free Act," on November 4. In a letter to representatives provided by his office to LifeSiteNews, the congressman says his bill "will order the Food and Drug Administration to remove the premarket approval for the Essure system medical device – a permanent sterilization device for women."

"The FDA has received over 5,000 formal complaints related to the device and over 22,000 women have joined together on Facebook to share their stories of how the Essure device ruined their lives," continues the letter. "Essure has caused at least five fetal deaths in women who became pregnant after Essure was placed. At least four women have been killed by Essure."


  abortion, contraception, essure, house of representatives

News

Toronto cardinal criticizes Wuerl, Rosica for accusing conservative bishops of not ‘liking’ the pope

Collins was one of a dozen or so Synod fathers who came under intense criticism after signing a letter to Pope Francis expressing concern over the Synod's direction.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 10:04 am EST
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Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins leaves the hall at the Synod on the Family. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
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By Pete Baklinski

ROME, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Cardinal Thomas Collins, the archbishop of Toronto, has criticized Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosica after the two suggested faithful Catholic prelates really “just don’t like the pope.”

“I don’t know where they’re coming from, either Cardinal Wuerl or Fr. Rosica,” Collins said from Rome in a phone interview with Toronto Star last week. “The Holy Father has been really clear: If you’ve got some concerns you express them. That’s hardly opposing the Pope or something; that’s ridiculous. What do we want, everyone to say nothing?”

Collins was one of a dozen or so Synod fathers who signed a letter to Pope Francis expressing concern over the direction taken by the Synod on the Family. He said he was simply fulfilling a cardinal’s duty to give “candid and honest advice to the Pope” when he put his name to the letter.

Cardinal Wuerl, in an interview with the Jesuit-run periodical America Magazine, harshly criticized those who had signed the letter. “I wonder if these people who are speaking sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes halfway implying, then backing off and then twisting around, I wonder if it is really that they find they just don’t like this pope.”

The Star said it received Wuerl’s remarks in an e-mail from Fr. Rosica, a Basilian priest and founder of Canadian-based Salt and Light Television, along with the message: “I fully share Cardinal Wuerl’s assessment.”

Rosica was criticized during the Synod for liberal bias in his summaries of Synod fathers’ interventions. In one of the opening press conferences, for example, Rosica strongly emphasized a call by Synod fathers to soften the Church’s language on the sin of homosexuality.

“There must be an end to exclusionary language and a strong emphasis on embracing reality as it is. We should not be afraid of new and complex situations,” Rosica said. “The language of inclusion must be our language, always considering pastoral and canonical possibilities and solutions.”

On an EWTN broadcast, Robert Royal, editor of TheCatholicThing.org, noted that Rosica’s comments “took people by surprise because it seemed to come out of nowhere. None of the other language reporters mentioned the sensitivity language for homosexuals.”

The confidential letter signed by the cardinals, reportedly delivered to Pope Francis on October 5, was leaked by veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister earlier this month.

The letter allegedly raised concerns about “problematic elements” in the Synod’s working document Instrumentum Laboris, about the new synodal procedures that were described as “lacking openness and genuine collegiality” and “not true to the traditional spirit and purpose of a synod,” and about how the “new process seems designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions.”

Among the signatories were Cardinal George Pell of Australia, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

LifeSiteNews’ own John Henry Westen, in an editorial last week, called Cardinal Collins act of adding his name on the letter to the pope “heroic.”

“The heroic act of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins as one of the thirteen Cardinals to sign on to the letter to the Pope expressing grave concern about manipulation at the Synod caused him much suffering. I met him at a restaurant [in Rome] and he looked very tired. I expressed a simple thanks and offered him prayers on behalf of life and family activists,” he wrote.


  catholic, donald wuerl, pope francis, synod on the family, thomas collins, thomas rosica

News

U of Missouri chancellor may lose job for breaking with Planned Parenthood

Cutting ties with Planned Parenthood has garnered criticism from pro-abortion activists and praise from pro-lifers.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 10:01 am EST
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By Fr. Mark Hodges

COLUMBIA, Missouri, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was the subject of a closed-door "personnel" meeting of the school's Board of Curators Wednesday.

Mizzou has been embroiled in controversy because of its contracts with Planned Parenthood and its assistance in helping an abortionist gain a license. After coming under fire from state legislators, the school finally cut ties with the nation's largest abortion business last month, saying contracts were outdated anyway.

State Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia) confirmed the rumor that the meeting was an attempt by Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and the board to fire Loftin. The meeting lasted four and a half hours, but afterward no one shared any of the board's conclusions.

The school's ties to Planned Parenthood became the focus of a state investigation when undercover videos revealed that the abortion giant peddles in aborted baby parts, organs, and even intact babies. Planned Parenthood officials were filmed discussing the practice of illegally altering abortion procedures so as to keep the organs "live."

Cutting ties with Planned Parenthood has garnered criticism from pro-abortion activists and praise from pro-lifers. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) commented, "I applaud the chancellor for being instrumental in getting the university out of the abortion business. He showed leadership on this."

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Further muddying the waters is the announcement by the university, also on Wednesday, that it had extended clinical privileges to three nursing students to work with Planned Parenthood, unrelated to abortion services. Sen. Schaefer responded to the news: "If the board and the system is trying to get back into the abortion business, that would be very troubling to me."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a couple of other controversies accompany Chancellor Loftin. Some students have complained that he hasn't been proactive enough on the issue of campus racism. In September, student body president Payton Head said men in a pickup yelled racial slurs at him repeatedly. More recently, students complained that a man confronted them with a racial slur while a campus safety officer looked on.

Loftin, who has been at the helm of Mizzou since early 2014, posted a video condemning the incident and acknowledging that racism is "alive and well" on Mizzou's campus. Also, the university announced that all incoming freshmen, along with faculty and staff, would be required to undergo training programs centered on racism.

But criticism of Loftin continues.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), a supporter of Loftin, admitted that the chancellor openly admitting that racism is "alive and well" at Mizzou probably displeased the president and his board. "I know that he's probably in some hot water for how he openly confronted the issue of racism on campus," Nasheed said. "What university wants their chancellor to come out and say what he said?" Nasheed asked. "I'm sure the board was furious."

Another chancellor controversy centers on an Obamacare rule that the university says required it to take away health insurance from graduate student teachers who conduct research, grade papers, and conduct research. Mizzou was one of the first universities in the country to implement the rule in that way.

The rescinding of health insurance for graduate student teachers caused an outcry of criticism against the chancellor. In response, Loftin apologized and restored benefits to the graduate student teachers.

Before coming to Missouri, Loftin was president of Texas A&M University. His current base salary at Mizzou is $450,000.


  abortion, planned parenthood, university of missouri

News

Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks pro-life law

The law included parental consent for minors, clinic inspections, liability for abortionists, and preservation of tissue.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 9:50 am EST
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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a pro-life law that was supposed to take effect on Sunday.

According to The Associated Press, the court sided with the Center for Reproductive Justice to halt a law with four pro-life components: parental consent for minors, clinic inspections, liability for abortionists, and preservation of tissue.

The Associated Press reports that the Center's legal argument alleges that the pro-life law violates the state constitution, which says that legislation can address only one subject.

A spokesperson for Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin criticized the decision, telling LifeSiteNews that "the majority of Oklahomans are pro-life, and they continue to elect officials who are actively involved in expanding protections for the unborn."

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"It is disappointing to once again see the courts ignore the will of the people and side with a New York City-based special interest group that exists to promote abortion," said Alex Weintz.

The decision is the second this month to halt pro-life measures in Oklahoma. Nearly two weeks ago, a law banning second-trimester dismemberment abortions was declared unconstitutional, though a 72-hour waiting period law was upheld by the same judge.


  abortion, center for reproductive justice, courts, oklahoma

News

Macabre: Planned Parenthood runs ‘chopped’-themed fundraiser

An invitation poster on the bar's Facebook page featured a meat cleaver.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 9:48 am EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

RALEIGH, North Carolina, October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A bar is hosting a fundraiser for baby parts-trafficking Planned Parenthood with the theme "CHOPPED."

An invitation poster on the bar's Facebook page featured a meat cleaver. 

Both the theme, "CHOPPED," and the meat cleaver have been taken down, but the original posting led to a flutter of tweets:

Twitter comments included:

"Wow...how sick can the fan base be."

"Seems pretty fitting."

"No shame! No remorse! Only makes it easier for us to protest them despite there propaganda!"

"That's just sick!"

The "CHOPPED" theme, sarcastically called "tasteful" by The Daily Caller, was intended to refer to a TV cooking contest in which the loser of each round is "chopped" from the show. The event features bartenders competing for the best cocktails.

The U.S. House of Representatives is investigating Planned Parenthood after The Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing pricing of aborted baby parts.

"I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it," one Planned Parenthood abortionist said.

Sign the petition to defund Planned Parenthood here!

The undercover videos reveal that Planned Parenthood engages in the practice of illegally modifying abortion procedures ("we deviate from our standard" protocol) to ensure "live" parts or even whole babies.

It is illegal to modify abortion procedures to obtain body parts, but intact aborted babies fetch higher fees.

In the undercover videos, unsuspecting Planned Parenthood abortionists talk about how best to "crush" a baby in the womb so as to harvest his or her desired organs. Planned Parenthood leaders talk about profiting from the sale of aborted babies, one saying she wants a good price because, in her words, "I want a Lamborghini." Other videos show Planned Parenthood technicians dissecting a baby freshly pulled from his mother's womb.

At one point in one of the videos, the investigator adds up the "net" profit for Planned Parenthood from one baby's body parts, totaling $300, and the Planned Parenthood official is pleased.

A Planned Parenthood abortionist is shown discussing her practice of partial-birth abortion, a procedure made illegal under the George W. Bush presidency.

Another video shows a technician for the research company StemExpress, one of the companies that buys baby parts from Planned Parenthood, talking about a baby who came intact and alive. The technician saw the baby's heart beating, as another technician excitedly said, "This is a really good fetus, and it looks like we can procure a lot from it."

It is illegal to profit from the sale of aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood explained that their baby parts trafficking is "a humanitarian undertaking" and that they charge only for expenses.

The Obama administration said the videos are "entirely inaccurate" but would not explain what inaccuracies the videos contain, nor how they would know the videos are "entirely inaccurate."

White House secretary Josh Earnest finally admitted he was merely repeating Planned Parenthood's press statement.

Both StemExpress and Planned Parenthood have sought to stop the release of more undercover videos.


  abortion, culture of death, planned parenthood

News

Abortion facility stored 5 months worth of aborted babies in freezers

Consumed with the thought that she could not dispose of the remains, abortionist Renee Chelian said she was 'ready to drive to upper Michigan and have a bonfire.'
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 9:39 am EST
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Becky Yeh
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October 28, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- In a damning leaked video that appears to be footage obtained by The Center for Medical Progress, an abortion facility owner cavalierly admits to storing five months worth of aborted babies in freezers, as she debated over how to properly dispose of the remains.

The video, released by Got News, was reportedly obtained by CMP at a conference hosted by the National Abortion Federation, which has been seeking to stop the release of additional footage. On tape, abortion industry executives describe fetal disposition methods, such as throwing aborted babies in the garbage disposal, incinerating the remains of preborn children, or sending them to funeral homes, crematoriums, and medical waste facilities. 

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The recordings expose how abortionists are concerned that fetal disposition and fetal storage practices will create a public relations nightmare, which would lead to the closure of certain abortion facilities.

During a panel on fetal disposition, Renee Chelian of Northland Family Planning in Michigan admitted that her facility was perplexed about how to dispose of fetal remains. Due to Michigan’s lax laws on medical waste, Chelian said many of the facilities in the Detroit metropolitan area were “using garbage disposals,” which caused her concern over potential publicity. Chelian details how she visited funeral homes and crematoriums to determine how to dispose of the bodies in order to avoid a scandal.

“I was busy contacting everybody that I could, that, ‘You have to stop. This cannot be–if this cannot be on the front page of the New York Times, you shouldn’t be doing it. Any of you.’ And they consistently showed me like a 40-year-old law in Michigan that said pathological waste sewer system. I couldn’t really argue with them.”

Chelian, who worked with Stericycle, a medical and pharmaceutical waste management company, said she was overwhelmed with the remains of baby parts stockpiling in her facility freezers. For five months, Chelian described how aborted babies were packed in freezers, and she had to find a way to discard of them. No company seemed willing —at first— to help her staff dispose of the remains.

“Nobody wants to talk about dead bodies. And nobody with me, I have to say. There was a point, when Stericycle fired us, that I had 5 months of fetal tissue in my freezers. We were renting freezers to put them in, this was all I thought about.”

Consumed with the thought that she could not dispose of the remains, Chelian said she was “ready to drive to upper Michigan and have a bonfire,” or determine how “far in the woods would I have to go to have this fire, that nobody was going to see me,” to which the audience responds with laughter.

Chelian admits that hospitals, although reluctant at first to work alongside her facility, began meeting privately with her staff.

“We started working with hospitals, who didn’t really want to be seen with us. We met them in like, Denny’s restaurants. There’s not even very many of those left, they wanted to make sure nobody would see them with us.”

The hospitals, reportedly, were “terrified of a public relations nightmare,” and of news that hospitals froze the body parts of aborted children, miscarriages, and their patients — all which ended up with Stericycle, or were incinerated at the hospital itself.

“And they were terrified of a public relations nightmare, that hospitals actually had big freezers with breasts, and kneecaps, and gallbladders, and abortions or miscarriages, and that they all go in jars together at some point, and they go to Stericycle, unless the hospital happens to have their own incinerator, which is rarer and rarer. The guy from Stericycle was quick to point that out to me.”

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A crematorium the abortion facility worked with was willing to incinerate the bodies of the preborn children; however, it requested Chelian’s staff to pick up the ashes.

“And I was like, ‘I dunno. Do they have to?’ And they were like, ‘Well, we can’t just dump them, somebody has to be responsible for them,’ which also made me really worried I was just gonna have to open some room somewhere where I just had bottles of ashes.” [audience laughter]

Chelian then jokes about the process, telling attendees, “You know, I want you to laugh about this. This is funny. I mean, it’s funny in a really sick way.”

Due to issues surrounding the disposal of aborted babies, using the garbage disposal to chop up the bodies and send them into the sewer system was “an option,” Chelian explained. However, the Northland Family Planning head admitted that she would be doing exactly what she criticized other abortions facilities for doing: throwing the bodies of aborted children in the sewer system, along with garbage.

“I mean, it was the worst, I dreamt about how to dispose of fetal tissue… I mean I was so desperate, the antis found a way to close us.”

The video on fetal disposition is among 11 videos released by Got News, which reportedly obtained the recordings by The Center for Medical Progress from a source on Capitol Hill. A congressional committee is currently reviewing the undercover footage, and has not released the videos to the public.

The leaked videos appear to be among footage obtained by CMP, showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted baby parts.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News


  abortion, center for medical progress videos of planned parenthood, national abortion federation naf

News

House GOP members: It’s time to impeach IRS Commissioner

Twenty House GOP members are accusing John Koskinen of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' related to the targeting of conservative non-profits.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 9:33 am EST
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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Nearly 20 House Republicans are taking steps to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Earlier today, in a 60-page resolution, House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, and 18 other committee members accused Koskinen of "high crimes and misdemeanors" during his time at the head of the federal tax agency.

"Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust," Chaffetz said in a statement. "He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress."

The impeachment proceedings come days after the FBI ruled that former top IRS employee Lois Lerner did not act illegally when targeting pro-life and Tea Party groups during the 2012 election cycle. Lerner's subordinates specifically targeted conservative and pro-life groups groups for extra scrutiny.

Many conservatives believe the IRS' targeting cost pro-life and fiscally conservative candidates elections in 2012. The scandal broke in the spring of 2013, but was exacerbated as Lerner's e-mails were considered lost, then subsequently destroyed. The IRS agent was also allowed to retire with a full pension, and an Obama donor was named as one of the special investigators of the scandal.

An Oversight Committee press release says Koskinen "violated the public trust" by not complying with a subpoena, which ended with the erasure of "as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner's e-mails."

Additionally, "Commissioner Koskinen testified the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails.  When the agency determined Ms. Lerner’s emails were missing, Commissioner Koskinen testified the emails were unrecoverable.  These statements were false."

Koskinen is also accused of keeping Congress in the dark about Lerner's e-mails, even as "the White House and the Treasury Department were notified" that e-mails had been erased.    

List of cosponsoring members:

  • Ron DeSantis (FL-06)
  • Paul A. Gosar (AZ-04)
  • Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
  • Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
  • Tim Walberg (MI-07)
  • Jody Hice (GA-10)
  • Gary Palmer (AL-06)
  • Mark Walker (NC-06)
  • Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
  • Jim Jordan (OH-04)
  • Steve Russell (OK-05)
  • Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01)
  • Glenn Grothman (WI-06)
  • Cynthia M. Lummis (WY-AL)
  • Will Hurd (TX-23)
  • Justin Amash (MI-03)
  • Michael R. Turner (OH-10)
  • Thomas Massie (KY-04)

 


  abortion, freedom of speech, irs, jason chaffetz, john koskinen

Opinion

I watched the leaked Planned Parenthood videos so you don’t have to

Eyeless babies. Severed arms and legs. Bashed-in skulls. Poisoned infants. Nothing to see here, folks.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 1:02 pm EST
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By Jonathon Van Maren

October 27, 2015 (TheBridgehead) -- After almost a dozen Planned Parenthood videos, it seemed like some of the legal debris the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood were frantically flinging at the spokes of the Center for Medical Progress had finally succeeded in slowing down the torrential outpouring of revelations that was leaving the abortion crowd gasping. A court order blocked much of the CMP’s footage, but the judge ordered the video turned over to Congress to be reviewed in their investigations of Planned Parenthood. Somehow, somewhere, some Congressional staffer, or perhaps even Congressman, got so infuriated by what he saw he leaked hours of undercover video coverage online, where it can be downloaded in a giant torrent or viewed on YouTube.

There’s a lot of footage to review, and I realize that most people aren’t going to wade through it all, so I’ve decided to watch all of the video and publish my summaries here. If you’re a journalist type, you’ll enjoy watching the full videos—even the angled footage of Robert Daoud Sarkis of BioMax, aka David Daleidan of the Center for Medical Progress, getting outfitted with cameras in the hotel room where the National Abortion Federation conference was being held is fascinating—and for a pro-life activist, more than a little satisfying. The videos are packed with fascinating insights and information, but I’ve tried to narrow the first few hours of footage, from the four videos “2nd Trimester Provider Self Care,” down to the most compelling information.

This is what passes for a joke at an abortionist conference. The unseeing eyeball of a baby falling into the lap of the woman who just crushed her skull.

The first video, a half hour long, begins with Daleidan getting ready and then heading off through the hotel. Every few feet, it seems, he runs into another abortion provider—and the depth of his research is revealed by how he greets them. He knows the woman on the elevator, and on the stairs—“Are you Dr. Dry?”—and in the hall. One abortion provider comments that she’s very interested in talking to Daleidan about fetal tissue procurement, but that they do “have researchers tripping over each other” to harvest baby parts at her clinic. Daleidan then heads down a glittering hotel hallway towards his BioMax booth, a pro-life warrior in what looks like a high-end video game. For some reason, the shimmery, high-end hotel room was jarring in contrast with the casual, lighthearted conversations about fetal meat markets.

At the BioMax booth, Daleidan ran into Dr. Cheryl Chastine, a young, pretty abortionist who now performs the abortions in Wichita. Here, Daleidan’s ability to connect with those he is observing and recording is on full display: He chatted with Chastine, the empathy in his voice for the “harassment” she has to deal was clear. When he mentions that he recently watched After Tiller and thanked her for her perseverance, her facial expressions open up visibly. It’s not hard to see how Daleidan managed to get so many intimate conversations on camera. They do abortions up to 24 weeks in Wichita now, Chastine tells Daleidan, since the 22-week abortion ban came into effect. Forty to fifty patients a week. The cacophony of laughter in the background of this conversation is eerie. With a pleasant abortionist and a pristine hotel hall, it’s almost easy to forget that we’re talking about dead children.

The conversation wraps up, and Daleidan and his female colleague head off to an NAF panel talk on “Second Trimester Provider Self Care”—basically, a workshop on how to help abortionists who abort bigger babies avoid burnout. Only for a minute does Daleidan reference the cameras—“Sit in different places for different coverage?” he mutters to his colleague, and then changes his mind immediately. That would probably look too suspicious.

Dr. Lisa Harris, an abortionist who has operated in Michigan for almost twenty years, starts off the panel discussion on “provider care”—she studies abortion provider stigma and researches rather grotesque questions such as, “What’s it like to be pregnant and providing abortions?” In other words, what’s it like to tear the children of other women apart while your son or daughter is obliviously safe in your own womb? Harris, predictably, doesn’t see it that way. “The work that we do,” she says reverently to affirming mhmmms and nods, “its sacredness, its great rewards.”

Dr. Harris’s mewling insights continue in the second half-hour video, where she reveals, contrary to research emphasized by abortionist Warren Hern, that abortion workers have “higher compassion satisfaction than other healthcare workers” and experience lower rates of burnout. This is in spite of the fact that abortionists feel “stigmatized, marked, marginalized.” Why? Well, “When I park at the hospital, I have to walk past bumper stickers that say Choose Life or Abortion Stops A Beating Heart,” for example. Harris’s talk ends with much applause from the stigmatized abortionists in the crowd.

The next panelist is Dr. Glenna Halverson-Boyd, the wife of the infamous late-term abortionist and NAF founder Curtis Boyd, who once casually admitted, “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.” Halverson-Boyd launches right into a condemnation of anti-abortion harassment—the gall of those people, disrupting all the killing—and specifically mentions the dogged work of Operation Rescue. I wondered at this point how David Daleidan, who plotted out his undercover work with Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, felt sitting in the audience. The Center for Medical Progress was in deep. Daleidan applauded with the rest.

How successful are anti-abortion forces? Halverson-Boyd’s voice actually actually broke as she said, “Texas: Women’s rights successfully aborted.” Her speech carried on into the third video, where she advised coping through snuggling with pets, spouses, or lapsing “into denial if necessary.”

After the snuggle-therapy advice, abortion clinic owner Mona Reiss of the Presidential Women’s Centre in Florida took the mic to decry the “inherent injustices we have to deal with to do what we do.” As it turns out, she wasn’t talking about chopped-up kids. She was referring to anti-abortion protestors who didn’t approve, and were vociferous about it—“no good deed goes unpunished” she noted glumly to the self-pitying nods of the abortionists in the crowd. Then, hilariously, she announced to a somewhat awkward silence that she wanted to deal with “the Planned Parenthood issue.” And what was that? Well, as it turns out, Planned Parenthood’s huge abortion centres are becoming huge competition to the smaller, independent feticide centres. Reiss, and others, feel “betrayed” by this.

After all, Reiss points out, if Planned Parenthood’s mission is to help low-income women who don’t have access to abortion services, why are they starting abortion centres in places with already well-established clinics? The answer is insinuated, although unspoken: Planned Parenthood is trying to corner the abortion market, driving independent abortionists out of business in the process. A culture without morals meets capitalism without ethics, and the mass production of tiny corpses is fierce competition. Based on the length and enthusiasm of the applause for Reiss, many of the abortionists in the room agreed with her.

The fourth video began with the insights of Dr. Uta Landy of the Family Planning Fellowship, who is actually married to notorious abortionist Philip Darney. Landy wanted to highlight the fact that abortionists need safe spaces, and have to be able to vent honestly about their work. One woman she was chatting with, she told the crowd, seemed to find abortion controversial, making Landy hesitant to mention her own work. And then, whaddaya know, that very same woman had had an abortion herself! This brought a roar of laughter for some reason. I suppose comic relief is hard to come by at a feticide conference.

Landy then began to read off a number of complaints that she had heard from various Second Trimester abortionists—“I don’t like saying I’m dismembering a fetus.” Landy’s follow-up comment: “Mind you, that is how she has to talk to the resident, the learner. She’s discussing the procedure—she’s dismembering the fetus. It’s very normal.” And appallingly, so it is. But that said: “I don’t like saying it. It makes me feel bad.” Why? “I find second trimester abortions grotesque.” And: “My coping mechanism is to focus on the baby fetus—reverence for something that was once alive, and now, it’s not.”

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The video was hard to watch at this point. The self-pity was nauseating. Dr. Landy decided it was time for a bit of humor. I remember one time, she revealed with laughter in her voice, “an eyeball just fell down into my lap—and that is gross!” A roar of laughter.

This is what passes for a joke at an abortionist conference. The unseeing eyeball of a baby falling into the lap of the woman who just crushed her skull.

The final panelist is a male abortionist, Dr. Cassig Hammond of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He wanted to talk about the traitors in the medical field—those who thought abortion workers were somehow less important than healthcare workers that practice actual health care that saves the lives. He talked about one particularly late-term abortion, and then said incredulously to the groans of the sympathetic crowd that he “got a call from the hospital [saying] there’s been a complaint against you—a nurse is saying you killed a baby!”

Hammond knew this wasn’t true. “[The nurse] said the fetus had been born alive. Well, we crushed its skull, so that’s simply not true.”

Let that sink in for a moment. All this talk of dismembering, and skull-crushing, and eyeballs without heads, is not anti-abortion propaganda. It is pro-choice practicality.

Do the abortionists care if they are killing babies that could survive outside the womb? According to Hammond, medical professionals asking him why they do abortions at 24 weeks when the hospital is doing C-sections at 22 weeks is simply “fallacious.” He felt no need to elaborate. It’s simple: The point of an abortion is to kill the baby. The survival of the child would be directly contradictory to the desired end.

A moment later, Hammond confirms this in the bluntest terms. “We do recommend feticidal injections be avoided after a certain gestational age, but interestingly, only because we don’t believe we can guarantee, at the extremes of gestational age, that they won’t be subject to resuscitation against the patient’s wishes.”

In other words, if you poison the baby too late, medical professionals dedicated to the preserving of human life might be able to reverse the work of the professionals dedicated to the ending of human life.

As I said to one of my colleagues last night, the most chilling thing about these first few hours of video by far is the fact that nothing in these videos was considered to be a shocking or newsworthy revelation. This is par for the course. Eyeless babies. Severed arms and legs. Bashed-in skulls. Poisoned infants. Nothing to see here, folks. The news won’t report the baby that lost its limbs or the society that lost its soul. Such things don’t end up on the front pages anymore. They’re only fodder for discussion at a panel discussion on how the killers can avoid high stress and burnout.

…more to come…

Reprinted with permission from The Bridgehead.


  abortion, center for medical progress cmp, center for medical progress videos of planned parenthood, david daleiden, planned parenthood

Opinion

Is it really compassionate to abort ‘for the sake of the baby’?

If a baby is not a human being whose rights are to be respected, a woman can use any reason to justify her abortion, including the claim that the baby is better off dead.
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 11:27 am EST
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Sarah Terzo
By Sarah Terzo

October 28, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- Patricia Launneborg’s book Abortion: a Positive Decision may be one of the most blatantly pro-abortion books ever written. She champions abortion, describing it in glowing terms, and presents the stories of women who feel their abortion were wonderful.

One thing I noticed as I read through the women’s stories was how many of them justified their abortions, in whole or in part, by saying that they were done for the sake of the preborn baby. These women claim that it is better for a baby to be aborted (i.e., killed) than to be born into a situation where he or she may be unhappy. Whether this argument is a way to justify the abortion to themselves or whether they really believe that their babies are better off dead is hard to say.

(Warning: This article contains a graphic photo of an aborted baby.)

Abortion violently kills a baby. Whether the child is torn apart by a suction machine (the most common abortion method), dismembered limb by limb with forceps, or poisoned by drugs, the baby is brutally killed.

I am going to post some quotes from women who had abortions and told their stories in Abortion: a Positive Decision. My goal is not to shame these women, but to the show the faulty reasoning they apply to their abortion decisions.

First, here is a photo of babies aborted at nine weeks, still within the first trimester when most abortions take place. When you read the quotes below, remember this picture. It shows exactly what the women are talking about.

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Emphasis is added in the following quotes.

From one woman who had two abortions (page 63 of book):

We must go on with our heads held high. During the April 89 March for Women’s Lives, I felt real strong, real sure in my beliefs, I felt wonderful. I looked at those anti people and they were missing the point, they were ignorant, they were not as compassionate as we were, as human, they were so blinded… Women have choices in life and women cannot keep bringing children into the world that are going to starve and be a drain on the system …It’s just not fair to the child…. Children are too special.

Children are special – special enough to be killed by abortion if they aren’t wanted.

Another woman said the following (on page 18):

Saying that you must have that child if you happen to get impregnated, saying that you must carry that child to term, and then raise that child for 25 years, is anti-family. In that it doesn’t value the woman as a unique individual, and does not value the child. It’s extremely cruel. It feels like a very cold life, it feels terrible to me.

Is allowing the child to live crueler than tearing her apart in an abortion? Is letting a baby live “cold” and “terrible?” Only in a twisted, sad, pro-choice world.

Another woman said the following (page 127):

I take it very seriously if I am going to have a child. I want my circumstances to be what was right for the child. I don’t really support people’s decisions to go into it being single parents, because I think it’s a poor choice for the child. I think you have to look at what’s there for the child, know what’s there for me.

Perhaps the “what’s there for me” takes precedence over “a poor choice for the child.”

From a woman who had two illegal abortions (page 129):

I was not ready to be a mother. I was not ready to bring those children into the world. I just didn’t think I could give those children what they needed at the time.… I don’t have the money to support a child properly. In those days, welfare wasn’t even heard of. You couldn’t go to the state and say, I’m pregnant, take care of me. And I was raised to support myself and I wasn’t prepared to have a family without a husband. I didn’t consider myself selfish. I knew I was doing it for this unborn child. I didn’t feel capable of raising a child alone.

Of course pro-lifers need to support women in bad financial situations. In fact, many pregnancy resource centers do just that, giving pregnant women baby and maternity clothes, diapers, bassinets, and other things they need for the baby, as well as helping them to apply for social programs such as Medicaid and welfare. No woman should feel pressured to abort because she does not have enough money. But is the claim that a baby is better off dead than poor really accurate?

The next woman says (on page 138):

… If you actually don’t want children and you became pregnant – okay, abortion does destroy life, nobody can argue that – but an unwanted pregnancy and unwanted children destroy more than one life. Unwanted children do fail to thrive. So I don’t think it is selfish decision at all, to have an abortion.

It is very sad that this woman knows that abortion is killing, yet believes that this killing is the best thing for both her and the child (who is murdered.)

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Finally, another woman says (141 – 142):

And the reason I always knew I would not have an out of wedlock child is because I have these really high standards of how one should raise a child and it includes having 2 people, not necessarily married, I use wedlock in a very general way. But you need 2 people to take care of each other and also the child. So when I got pregnant, and it was this man I am married to now and with whom I have had a child since, I had known him for a year. I was not about to have a child at that point in my life. It wasn’t right for the child, it wasn’t right for me.

We could apply this belief across the board. Should we round up all the children of single mothers, line them against a wall, and shoot them? Is being the child of a single mother so horrible that a baby is better off dead? When you think about it, this quote is demeaning to all single mothers. It implies that single mothers cannot be good parents, and that their children are better off not being born. That gives a terrible view of women and their capabilities. Of course, the woman who said this was talking only about herself, but her reasoning, if applied to the whole of society, would be misogynistic, cruel, and stigmatizing.

Perhaps the saddest thing about these quotes is that in the pro-choice mindset, all of them make perfect sense. If a baby is not a human being whose rights are to be respected, a woman can use any reason to justify her abortion, including the claim that the baby is better off dead. If she believes preborn babies are just tissue, or collections of cells, the mother can consider herself justified in destroying her child if she thinks he might suffer someday. After all, we euthanize dogs and cats all the time. If a preborn baby is worth less than an animal, why not kill her to prevent the woman or child from experiencing unhappiness? This cheapening of human life, where human comfort and convenience takes precedence over life itself, is what the pro-choice position is all about.

Pro-lifers need to educate the public about what abortion really does to preborn children. We must teach women that their babies are not better off dead than alive. We must tell people that preborn babies have inherent value; that they are not like cats or dogs which can be euthanized if they are unwanted and unloved. Killing human beings to prevent human suffering is wrong. While we must always work to alleviate human suffering, killing the victims of it (or the potential victims of it) is not the answer.

Source: Patricia Launneborg Abortion: a Positive Decision (New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1992)

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News


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Blogs

These media excerpts reveal incredible confusion surrounding Pope Francis Synod on Family

One excerpt: NY Times' Douthat - Who won the Synod? …nobody won, because really everybody won. ...conservatives won what was probably the closest thing to victory that they could have hoped for
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 4:18 pm EST
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By Steve Jalsevac

October 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - The following are excerpts from notable news media and blog posts that reveal the incredible confusion and contradictory evaluations of the Synod on the Family and its Final Report. This historically significant overview is presented to help readers better understand the difficulties involved in the research and writing of our many LifeSiteNews Synod reports. It will also leave its readers with a better understanding of why the Synod has generated such conflict and chaos.

As you may have become aware, and will discover even more from reading these excerpts, the Synod has been unlike any other Vatican-related development in the memory of most persons that have been following it. Many are still shaking their heads and trying to determine if they are in some kind of a bad dream because of the total weirdness of what has been going on around the two Synods. 

I am sure many will find these excerpts fascinating or at least very interesting. This is a lengthy report, in digestable bites, some of which are far blunter than those that LifeSite has published. Some might be seen to be entertaining. Few are dull reading. It will take time to get through this, but it is worth it, if not crucial to an understanding of the gravity of developments in this Synod. My notes are in italics:
 

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Synod on the Family 2015 SOURCE: Patrick Craine/LifeSite

The New York Times paid a surprising amount of attention to the Synod. The articles by Ross Douthat have been contrary to the Times’ usual anti-Catholicism. Many others have been commenting on and quoting from his articles. A movement has started among progressive Catholics to have Douthat disciplined by the NY Times – a good indication of the value of his reports.

Who Won the Synod?
Ross Douthat, New York Times October 26, 2015

…nobody won, because really everybody won.

…what actually happened is that conservatives won what was probably the closest thing to victory that they could have hoped for, given that 1) the pope was against them, and 2) the pope stacked the governing and writing committees and the voting ranks, and did I mention that 3) the pope was against them. (People who still argue that Pope Francis was studiously neutral, that he just wanted dialogue, or that his views are unknowable, need to sit down and read the tongue-lashing he gave to conservatives in his closing address — and contrast it with the much more evenhanded way he closed last fall’s synod, when conservative resistance to the synod’s intended direction was much more disorganized.)

So the journalists covering the synod document as a setback for the innovators (and, because he elevated them, the pontiff) are mostly correct, given their ambitions going in. But so, in a certain way, are the journalists covering it as a kind of cracked-door to innovation, because the conservatives didn’t have the votes or the power to keep every ambiguity at bay. 


Douthat has been receiving support even from clergy:

I back Ross Douthat: elites don’t own Catholicism
by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith Thursday, 29 Oct 2015

I sympathise with Ross Douthat, in two ways. Firstly, I sympathise, because I agree with what he writes. I think his reading of the situation is essentially correct. And I sympathise with him in another way. He has said something that some people do not like, and they have all jumped down his throat.

Bernadette, I seem to remember, was told to shut up by both Church and State. Thank the Lord, she didn’t. We are all better off for it. I hope Mr Douthat will take courage from her example, and not be put off. We need his voice. And there are lots of other voices like his, for which we should all be profoundly grateful.


Ross Douthat and the Catholic Academy 
by Bishop Robert Barron  October 29, 2015

Anyone even casually familiar with Douthat knows that he is exceptionally smart, articulate, careful in his expression, and a committed Catholic. So he has argued that divisions at least analogous to political factions have emerged at the Synod. From the Council of Jerusalem in the first century through Vatican II in the twentieth, the Church has been marked by conflict, rivalry, and faction.

...it is often the case that those outside of the official academy often have the freshest and most insightful perspectives, precisely because they aren’t sequestered in the echo-chamber of politically correct faculty lounge discourse.

The letter to the Times is indicative indeed of a much wider problem in our intellectual culture, namely, the tendency to avoid real argument and to censor what makes us, for whatever reason, uncomfortable.

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Cardinal Ouellet and Cardinal Schonborn (right) SOURCE: Patrck Craine/LifeSite


Prior to his article above, Ross Douthat wrote another article in the New York Times that has received much attention for its bluntness:

The Plot to Change Catholicism
Ross Douthat - New York Times - Oct. 17, 2015

…if anything, the pontiff’s ambitions have encouraged plotters and counterplotters to work with greater vigor.

And right now the chief plotter is the pope himself.

Francis’s purpose is simple: He favors the proposal, put forward by the church’s liberal cardinals, that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion without having their first marriage declared null.

The church’s teaching that marriage is indissoluble has already been pushed close to the breaking point by this pope’s new expedited annulment process; going all the way to communion without annulment would just break it.

The documents guiding the synod have been written with that goal in mind. The pope has made appointments to the synod’s ranks with that goal in mind, not hesitating to add even aged cardinals tainted by the sex abuse scandal if they are allied to the cause of change. The Vatican press office has filtered the synod’s closed-door (per the pope’s directive) debates to the media with that goal in mind. The churchmen charged with writing the final synod report have been selected with that goal in mind. And Francis himself, in his daily homilies, has consistently criticized Catholicism’s “doctors of the law,” its modern legalists and Pharisees — a not-even-thinly-veiled signal of his views.

Aging progressives are seizing a moment they thought had slipped away, trying to outmaneuver younger conservatives who recently thought they owned the Catholic future. The African bishops are defending the faith of the European past against Germans and Italians weary of their own patrimony. A Jesuit pope is effectively at war with his own Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the erstwhile Inquisition — a situation that would make 16th century heads spin.

Speaking as a Catholic, I expect the plot to ultimately fail; where the pope and the historic faith seem to be in tension, my bet is on the faith.


The response to Douthat has been intense from the progressives

The McCarthyism of Liberal Catholic Elites
By Rod Dreher • The American Conservative - October 26, 2015

This letter was drafted by Massimo Faggioli and John O’Malley, SJ, and is now being signed by a bunch of liberal Catholic academics. Here’s how it stands as I post this; names are being added to the signatory list constantly:

To the editor of the New York Times

On Sunday, October 18, the Times published Ross Douthat’s piece “The Plot to Change Catholicism.” Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject, the problem with his article and other recent statements is his view of Catholicism as unapologetically subject to a politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is. Moreover, accusing other members of the Catholic church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused. This is not what we expect of the New York Times.

What a remarkable document. Really remarkable — and damning to the writers, who ought to be ashamed of themselves.

The Catholic layman Ross Douthat, according to these liberal Catholic academics, is too stupid to have an opinion about Catholicism, because he has not been trained in theology. And his opinions are invalid because they reach offer a conclusion offensive to the letter-writers  follow a “politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is.” You will look at the October 18 column in question, and anything else Ross Douthat has written about Catholicism, and I very much doubt you will find anything contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church. You will unquestionably find much contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Faggioli-O’Malley crew.

They have revealed themselves. These liberal ultramontanists and the progressive Pope lost in the Synod, and now its gloves off. They’re not even going to keep up pretenses anymore. This is useful information to have, if you think about it. At least now conservative Catholics can know what they’re going to face, and prepare.

 

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Synod on the Family 2015 SOURCE: Patrick Craine/LifeSite

Amid Splits, Catholic Bishops Crack Open Door on Divorce
By Laurie Goodstein and Elisabetta Povoledo - The New York Times - Oct. 24

The church doors opened just a crack for Catholics who divorced and remarried without receiving an annulment of their first marriages, and for those living together without being married. They remained firmly shut to same-sex marriage, even as the document said gay people should be treated with respect.

The document…was so carefully worded that it was immediately open to competing interpretations and allowed both the conservative and liberal flanks in the church to claim victory.

Church liberals exulted that Francis had gotten the church’s hierarchy to take up issues that were long considered taboo, and that the bishops’ final report did not include anything that would block him outright from making change.

The next steps are now with Francis…

Sandro Magister, a conservative Italian journalist who covers the Vatican, said the synod was a resounding defeat for liberals because “there are no innovations.”

Asking priests to practice “discernment” on a case-by-case basis in situations of divorce, Mr. Magister said, simply repeats instructions that Pope John Paul II gave in 1981 in his apostolic exhortation, “Familiaris Consortio.”

Mr. Magister praised the bishops from Africa for leading the fight against any doctrinal change. “The winner is Africa, no doubt,” he said.

But liberal Catholics were convinced that Francis had played the synod smartly and were cheering its finale.

“The document gives the pope a free hand to move forward,” Gerard O’Connell, Vatican correspondent for America, a (liberal Catholic) Jesuit magazine based in New York.

 

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LifeSite journalists Patrick Craine (end of row) and Andrew Guernsey sitting next to hem. SOURCE: John-Henry Westen/LifeSite

Bishops back call for merciful church

By Nicole Winfield and Daniela Petroff - The Associated Press - October 25

Catholic bishops called Saturday for a more welcoming church for cohabiting couples, gays and Catholics who have divorced and civilly remarried, endorsing Pope Francis' call for a more merciful and less judgmental church.

The synod's endorsement, by a single vote, of Francis' call for a more merciful, less judgmental church was a clear victory for Francis and the progressive prelates who have been seeking wiggle room in church teaching to allow remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Conservatives had objected, citing church doctrine, but they couldn't muster the votes needed to block passage of the final document

 

The Text and the Context
Robert Royal - The Catholic Thing - October 26, 2015 (Robert Royal was a major commentator on the Synod for EWTN)

…the result was, as it often is under this pope, more muddled.

The bishops chose not to vote yes or no on the document as a whole, but only on the individual paragraphs so that it is, in essence, a series of reflections presented to the pope for his consideration, not a global statement formally approved by the Synod Fathers. We’ll have to wait for Francis himself to tell us what he considers to be the next step. He may have made it harder for himself both by the way the Synod was run and (see below) by his angry reaction to criticisms and traditional believers.

Despite what may be often said in the days and weeks to come, it’s worth repeating: The Final Report of the Synod does not speak of Communion for the Divorced and Remarried. (CDR) If that is what the pope wants, he will have to decide to put it there.

Some reporters have cast this as strong backing of Church teaching, a too optimistic characterization. But neither is it a hall pass for Catholic liberals.

But also consider this: the votes for the Synod Council, the governing group for synods going forward.

...show basically a two-thirds majority for traditional Catholic teachings. Sandro Magister has reported over the weekend that Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia received the largest number of votes of any single person elected, worldwide – though Cardinals George Pell and Robert Sarah also had large numbers. This is very good news.

From the Americas, we also have Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet (a solid citizen), and Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga (a close confident of the pope). From Asia, Cardinals Pell, Oswald Gracias (Bombay), and Luis Antonio Tagle (Manila). From Africa, Cardinals Sarah, Wilfred Napier, Gabon Bishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan.

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Archbishop Chaput and others leaving Synod hall. SOURCE: Patrick Craine/LifeSite

Only in Europe is there a rather weak slate: Schönborn, English Archbishop Vincent Nichols, and Archbishop Bruno Forte (strong Italian cardinals such as Scola, Caffara, Bagnasco had large numbers of votes individually… In any event, in so far as the Synod Council will guide future events, there is a preponderance of serious figures – and their selection shows the general mood of the Synod Fathers.

 

Pope Francis's status suffers setback with diluted family document
The Globe and Mail - Eric Reguly - Oct. 18, 2014

Pope Francis status as the Vatican’s great reformer and modernizer suffered a setback on Saturday, when proposals for wider acceptance of gays and divorced Catholics who remarry were diluted in the final draft document on the church’s relationships with families.

 

If the good guys win at the Synod
Joseph Shaw – Latin Mass Society
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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I would strongly suggest to all Catholics that, if the conservatives at the Synod declare victory, we should congratulate them heartily, and then start digging an air-raid shelter in the garden.

One thing we have to understand is the way liberals read documents.

With the Synod on the Family the liberals' ability to snatch victory from the jaws of stalemate is undiminished. The very fact that the issues are being debated is a huge gain for the liberal side of the argument. The very fact that certain frankly disedifying statements from the bishops' interventions are being quoted in the press - accurately or not - moves the debate immeasurably in their favour.

I don't believe in an inevitable victory for the liberal side of the debate in the long term - quite the contrary - but the Synod, like Vatican II, has brought together a balance of forces which is clearly not going to conclude with a triumphant reassertion of the traditional view. Things are going to get worse, a lot worse, before they get better.


Steve Skojec is also known for not beating around the bush on his increasingly popular blog, One Peter 5. Very bluntly and briefly he gives his readers the full lay of the land as he sees it, with no apologies.

No, The “Conservatives” Did Not “Win”
By Steve Skojec - October 27, 2015

After three weeks of trench warfare, it represents — in the most optimistic interpretation — a stalemate. At worst, it’s a significant loss of ground, inasmuch as it fails to address the rampant speculation that has infested the Church for the past 20 months that the pastoral practice on the reception of communion by the divorced and remarried will be changed

This relatio is about as secure a barrier against communion for the divorced and remarried as a front door left open and unlocked in a bad neighborhood. Sure, it has some of the right features, but so what? This thing is primed and ready for exploitation. It has professionally-designed time bombs baked right in. Just like Vatican II. Which, of course, is never fully implemented – even after half a century.

I reached out to Bishop Schneider this week to share something I had written about the Synod. This morning, I received a response:

“We have to not be naive, because of the apparently orthodox text. In reality, there are dangerous traps and back doors masked in a very cunning manner, which open the way for the Kasper agenda.”

Wake. Up.

This is not over. We didn’t get the cure to this fatal disease, we got an obvious placebo. Stop celebrating, because the next wave is already coming, and no matter how exhausted we are, the fight goes on.

The heretics in the Church are not cowed. They are more empowered than ever. Those who advanced heterodoxy at the Synod were not disciplined – nor were they, as so many wishful-thinkers speciously tried to convince us, brought to Rome by Pope Francis to be “smoked out.” They are his friends. They helped get him elected.

Do you know who did get “smoked out”? The Catholic bishops.

And that brings us right back to the real heart of the problem: when two diametrically opposing sides both claim victory, one of them is wrong.

Pope Francis is the guardian of the Church. He has allowed these rough men to attempt to violate Christ’s sweet spouse, and has raised his voice in protest not against those seeking to have their way with her, but against us – the very ones who would protect our mother from such an outrage.

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Cardinal Napier of South Africa SOURCE: Patrick Craine/LifeSite

 

Cardinal Nichols on pathway for divorced and remarried: ‘It’s their decision
October 26, 2015 - Austen Ivereigh (a progressive Catholic commentator who writes for the Guardian and other publications)

The Archbishop of Westminster has defended the freedom of the divorced and remarried to reach a decision in conscience on the Eucharist after following the ‘pathway’ described in the final synod document.

Cardinal Nichols suggested that the studied ambiguity of the report was a deliberate decision to prevent prospect of sacraments affecting the freedom of the discernment.

He said the pathway was open-ended.

“You don’t where it goes. I know people who have done this and have come to the conclusion themselves — to their mature conscience decision — that they should not receive the Eucharist, because they want to give a witness to the stability of marriage. But it’s their decision. That is not pre-judged or pre-empted. If anyone wants to walk this way, come, and we will walk with you.”

 

It is no wonder that Fr. Thomas Rosica sent around Cardinal Wuerl's statement that was critical of the 13 cardinals for the letter they sent to the Pope. Both Rosica and Wuerl have been shamelessly spinning the synod to favour their personal agendas in contradiction to what other Synod fathers have emphatically stated actually happened in the Synod. I almost choked on my tea reading the last paragraph below, considering the large number of both secular and religious commentators who have all reported that Francis was obviously anything but serene during his closing address and that he severely chastised the more faithful bishops' opposition to the Kasper proposal.

Wuerl: “There’s huge support among the bishops for what the Pope is trying to do.”
Gerard O'connell – Inside the Vatican - 10/27/2015

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Vatican press secretary Fr. Lombardi SOURCE: Lisa Bourne/LifeSite

Pope Francis has introduced “a far more open approach to addressing pastoral issues in the Church” and “there is huge support among the bishops for what the Pope is trying to do”, Cardinal Donald Wuerl told me in this interview for ‘America’.

I think the big take-away from this synod is not so much the discussion about this or that paragraph, this or that point, but Pope’s Francis’ introduction of a whole wider, far more open approach to addressing pastoral issues in the Church.  We will not be able to go back to a closed version of this after these two synods.

The synod’s final document says people who are divorced and remarried are still members of the family, they are still our brothers and sisters and so we want to make sure that they don’t feel excluded from the Church, but it doesn’t say therefore this and this and this must happen.  It’s the “therefore” that we will be talking about going into the future.

His closing talk, I thought, spoke to his sanctity. He gave this beautifully serene, compassionate talk, pointing out facts and being open, even referring to conspiracy theories, but at no time condemning anybody, just saying let’s move on now and keep moving forward.

 

Making Gay Okay at the Vatican Synod
Dr. Anne Hendershott – Huffington Post 10/26/2015

…the ongoing debate at the Synod--between those who view the Synod sociologically as a way to reconstruct Catholic teachings on homosexuality, and those who want to begin with the Gospel and the official teachings of the Church

The same sociology that surrounded the gay lobbying of the APA in the early '70s is now driving the debate on the goodness of homosexual acts at the Synod. The teachings may not change this year--but the gay community has learned to be patient. They are well funded and highly motivated and will return again next year--and the year after--and they will continue to draw upon sociology rather than theology to make their claims. The advocates for change have powerful Church leaders--like Cardinal Kasper and a number of Vatican insiders on their side. But, no one should underestimate the power of what faithful Catholics believe to be the truth of Catholic teachings.

 

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Cardinal Marx of Germany SOURCE: Patrick Craine/LifeSite

"The backstory to the 13 Cardinals' Explosive Letter and what it means 
Rorate Caeli – October 14, 2015
 

…as was explained by an eminent Cardinal at the 2014 Synod, the topics up for debate today – having been already solemnly defined by the Church, on the basis of Holy Scripture – cannot and must not even be questioned. As the Pope can’t do what he wants – contrary to what many believe. Just as Benedict the XVI affirmed at the Mass of Investiture to the Roman Cathedra on May 7th 2005:

“The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope's ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God's Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.[…]

 

Pope Francis is now effectively at war with the Vatican. If he wins, the Catholic Church could fall apart
Damian Thompson - The Spectator - 18 October 2015

Pope Francis yesterday gave an address to the profoundly divided Synod on the Family in which he confirmed his plans to decentralise the Catholic Church – giving local bishops’ conferences more freedom to work out their own solutions to the problems of divorce and homosexuality.

This is the nightmare of conservative Catholic cardinals, including – unsurprisingly – those in the Vatican. They thought they had a sufficient majority in the synod to stop the lifting of the ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving communion, or any softening on the Church’s attitude to gay couples.

But in yesterday’s keynote speech, delivered as the synod enters its last week, Francis told them that the decentralisation will be imposed from above.

…he invoked the power of the Supreme Pontiff to overrule mere cardinals. ‘The synod journey culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, called to speak authoritatively as the Pastor and Teacher of all Christians,’ he said. This is more authoritarian language than I can remember Benedict XVI using as pope. It means: I call the shots. In the end, you listen to me, not the other way around.

Pope Francis is no longer trusted by many conservative Catholics, and the number who don’t trust him has grown enormously since the synod process – which I think he has gravely mismanaged – began last October.
 

Crisis for Pope Francis as top-level cardinals tell him: your synod could lead to the collapse of the church
Damian Thompson The Spectator - 12 October 2015

A group of cardinals – including some of the most powerful figures in the Catholic Church – have written to Pope Francis telling him that his Synod on the Family, now meeting in Rome, has gone badly off the rails and could cause the church to collapse.

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Synod on the Family 2015 SOURCE: Lisa Bourne/LifeSite

Their leaked letter, written as the synod started, presumably explains why a few days ago the Pope suddenly warned against ‘conspiracy’ and reminded the cardinals that he, and only he, will decide the outcome of the synod.

This is the gravest crisis he has faced, worse than anything that happened to Benedict XVI, and he knows it.

And, talking of the Pope Emeritus, I suspect that, had he been free to sign the letter, he would have done so.

I’m one of countless commentators who has warned that holding this synod could split the church. Now.

 

The Cardinals' Manifesto - Amidst the Chaos of the Past Week, its Immense Historic Significance Cannot Get Lost
Rorate Caeli – October 18


The exact wording of the historic "Cardinals' Manifesto", or "The Pell-Müller Intervention" (after the names of its main authors), which became known as simply the "Letter of the Thirteen Cardinals", the most profound challenge faced by a Pontiff in recent history, may be in dispute. But the general terms of the missive are not. And, in particular, the huge historic significance of a document that promises to be foundational in the 21st-Century papacy cannot be lost. 

And what a magnificent document it is!

This is astonishing. First, it contains a warning, a warning that is "urgent". In it the Vicar of Christ himself is warned by some of his most important assistants (his Secretary of the Economy, the guardian of the Doctrine of the Faith, the guardian of Divine Worship -- consider all that), and even of the not always consistent Cardinal Dolan (giving an idea of the wide spectrum covered by those concerned) on how this chaotic process created by the Pope himself is "rais[ing] even more fundamental issues about how the Church, going forward, should interpret and apply the Word of God, her doctrines and her disciplines to changes in culture."

The warning goes much further than that because, as several have highlighted, it uses an apocalyptic term, "collapse", strictly related to how the ideas espoused by Kasper on communion for remarried divorcees and related concepts, ideas that are protected by the Pope, have caused the collapse of liberal Protestant communities.

The 13 Cardinals' Letter is the most powerful accusation made by Cardinals against this, and certainly against any other pontificate in the recent history of the Church.
 

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After the synod, can Catholics put Humpty Dumpty together again?
By John L. Allen Jr. Associate editor, Crux  October 24, 2015

While all sections of the final document received a two-thirds majority, the sections on divorce and homosexuality also drew significant clusters of “no” votes, providing a clear x-ray of a divided body.

…at the end, seemingly intentional ambiguity on the most contested points

 

Note one of the sources of “helpful” information among the list of lib/left/dissident ones that New Ways Ministries recommends to its readers

Challenges of Reporting from the Synod: Homophobic Statements, Leaked Documents, the Rumor Mill, and How to Keep Up With It All
New Ways Ministry’s Francis DeBernardo - October 16

(Cardinal) Sarah provided ammunition (and, yes, the weaponry metaphor is correct here) to other homophobic people to physically and psychologically harm LGBT people.  His statements are irresponsible and un-Christian.

Here are a few sources that I have found helpful. I offer these to those of you whose appetite for synod news just can’t seem to be sated. 

National Catholic Reporter‘s Joshua McElwee and Father Thomas Reese, SJ are providing news, interviews, and analysis

Religion News Service‘s David Gibson and Rosie Scammell are offering succinct and incisive news coverage of the synod.

Crux‘s Michael O’LoughlinJohn Allen, and Ines San Martin have been reporting news, analysis, and background information.

Salt and Light TV, (headed by Vatican News Service’s progressive English press officer Fr. Thomas Rosica) a Canadian Catholic outfit, is offering expanded synod coverage on their website and also on their blog.

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Vatican press office English translation provider and CEO of Salt & Light Television, Fr. Thomas Rosica who some Synod fathers complained greatly exaggerated support for change in Church attitude to homosexuality in Synod. SOURCE: Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

Grant GallichoCommonweal’s associate editor, has been providing illuminating commentary on the magazine’s blog. 

Dispatches, a blog of America magazine, has synod reports from Gerald O’Connell

Robert Mickens, a seasoned Vatican observer, offers synod commentary in his “Letter from Rome” column on Global Pulse magazine.

For a British take on the synod, check out the blog reports by Christopher Lamb on The Tablet’s website.

Terence Weldon’s posts at Queering The Church always offer intelligent commentary on Catholic LGBT issues, and his posts about the synod are no exception.
 

Pope Francis’s First Crisis
Alexander Stille  - The New Yorker - October 16, 2015

The honeymoon for Pope Francis is over—at least in Rome. The first two weeks of the Synod on the Family have been characterized by open rebellion, corridor intrigue, leaked documents, accusations of lack of transparency, and sharp divisions among the bishops and cardinals. In the first real crisis of his papacy, Francis finds himself in the position of enjoying a rare degree of popularity among the public but facing an unusual degree of dissent within an institution generally so respectful of hierarchy.

There was some inkling of this during the Pope’s triumphant visit to the U.S. “If a conclave were to be held today, Francis would be lucky to get ten votes,” a Vatican source told me at the time. “He gets an A-plus on public relations, but an F on all the rest.” This statement was certainly an exaggeration, but it reflected genuine unease within the Roman curia

The official Vatican line is that there is fundamental unity among the bishops, with sincere differences animated only by a common love of the Church. The divisions among “conservatives” and “progressives” are, the Vatican claims, an invention of the secular press. This is patently untrue. “There are very strong disagreements within the Synod,” the American cardinal Raymond Burke said in a press interview.

 

Chaos at the Vatican
Jonathan v. Last - The Weekly Standard - Oct. 17, 2015

At every turn, this synod has been a train wreck. Even the question of which bishops would be chosen to participate has been steeped in controversy. For instance, Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of America’s foremost theologians and experts in canon law, was excluded, at the pope’s discretion. Instead, Francis chose to invite the retired Belgian Archbishop Godfried Daneels.

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Synod on the Family 2015 SOURCE: Lisa Bourne/LifeSite

Daneels is notable for many reasons. Like Monsignor Charamsa, he takes a more progressive view of homosexuality, saying that the Church “has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of ‘marriage’ between homosexuals.”

One day Vatican leaks suggest that instead of redefining marriage for the universal Church, the pope will simply punt these questions down to the local levels, letting different councils of bishops come up with their own rules. The next day, the Vatican suggests that perhaps Francis will simply bury whatever document the synod produces and do nothing. 

It will probably all work out in the end. The chances of the synod inflicting real damage on the Church are small, in the same way that the chances of catastrophe are always small. Most cars don’t drive off the road. Most asteroids don’t hit Earth.
But even so, the chances of catastrophe are non-zero—and a good deal higher than they were twelve months ago.

What is amazing, and instructive, is that Pope Francis views this chaos around him—chaos he helped create—and does nothing to step away from the storm. Francis has chosen to put the Church at risk—small, but real, risk. And he has either chosen to do so for a reason. Or for no reason.


Neither answer is very comforting.


 

Is the Pope Toying with Heresy?
By Patrick J. Buchanan (conservative Catholic, former Republican presidential nominee and advisor to Ronald Reagan) - October 26, 2015

Had the pope followed his friend Cardinal Kasper and ordered Catholic teaching and diocesan practice changed, he could have provoked a schism inside the Church.

Such a change in doctrine would have called into question papal infallibility.

But if Catholic truths about the indissolubility of marriage and intrinsic immorality of homosexual unions can be changed, then, either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.

Saturday, The Washington Post described the synod as a “brawl over Francis’ vision of inclusion.”

Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a Tea Party rebellion in John Boehner’s House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.

… in Sunday’s sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached. To Pope Francis, the traditionalists appear to be placing the strictures of moral law above the Gospel command of mercy.

The pope seems to be saying that the dissenting bishops, no matter their command of moral law, are lacking in charity, the greatest of the three theological virtues.

If he permits the bishops to follow their consciences in their dioceses, he will advance the disintegration of the Church.


See all the LifeSiteNews reports on the Synod here.


  catholic church, divorce, fidelity, heresy, homosexuality, marriage, pope francis, synod on the family

The Pulse

The horrifying moment this abortionist felt her baby kick…while aborting a baby the same age

'There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a 'thump, thump' in my abdomen.'
Wed Oct 28, 2015 - 11:10 am EST
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Carole Novielli
By

October 28, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- Leaked undercover video footage from the Center for Medical Progress, received this week by GotNews.com and put online by a hacker, shows an undercover CMP representative speaking with a Michigan Planned Parenthood abortion doctor about harvesting baby body parts for research. This abortionist, Lisa Harris, who once described doing a late-term abortion while pregnant, has admitted that abortion procedures are violent (and that abortion victims really do look like pro-lifers’ photos), and has said that re-assembling fetal body parts often elicits “feelings of awe” in abortionists.

"With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery 'thump, thump' in my own uterus." 

Harris is described by the pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check as a Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Studies at University of Michigan. Harris is also co-medical director of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, and the Director of University of Michigan’s Fellowship in Family Planning. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Reproductive Health Technologies Partnership.

In a 2008 paper entitled, “Second Trimester Abortion Provision: Breaking the Silence and Changing the weeks Discourse,” Harris describes performing an abortion on a preborn baby at 18 weeks while she herself was 18 weeks pregnant. Harris writes:

I went about doing the procedure as usual. I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier….

With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen.

In the same paper, Harris later writes about a 23 week abortion she performed and how she had to re-assemble the parts of the baby:

As a third-year resident I spent many days in our hospital abortion clinic. The last patient I saw one day was 23 weeks pregnant. I performed an uncomplicated D&E procedure. Dutifully, I went through the task of reassembling the fetal parts in the metal tray. It is an odd ritual that abortion providers perform – required as a clinical safety measure to ensure that nothing is left behind in the uterus to cause a complication – but it also permits us in an odd way to pay respect to the fetus (feelings of awe are not uncommon when looking at miniature fingers and fingernails, heart, intestines, kidneys, adrenal glands), even as we simultaneously have complete disregard for it.

After she dismembered this 23-week preborn baby, she “rushed upstairs to take overnight call on labour and delivery.”

Harris’s words conjure up pictures of a mad serial killer who can repeatedly kill without feelings of empathy for her victims. But in the leaked CMP video, you would get a completely different sense – the sense that Harris is a decent person who simply cares for the health of women. That is, if you didn’t listen to her own words about what Harris does to these children:

Harris tells the undercover CMP investigator that she performs abortion up to “19 and 6” meaning 19 weeks, 6 days. She also tells CMP that she has been involved in fetal tissue research in the past with, “independent / individual researchers” who needed either fetal tissue or organs.

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Harris, who asked in her paper mentioned above, “What normal person does this kind of work?" told CMP that all “research projects” at the Planned Parenthood affiliate she is with go through their VP of medical services. She also says that, “All research projects pay – pay for the effort but there’s never been like a per specimen fee.”

Harris appears distracted during the conversation but made it clear to CMP that she was most concerned about the “research regulations” that “get in the way.” She said her interest in using aborted children for research was that women be allowed to “feel good” about their abortions.

Despite this, Harris once admitted that there is violence in an abortion, even suggesting that the label of abortionists as “butchers” might be accurate:

There is violence in abortion, especially in second trimester procedures… Instead of acknowledging what is on the placards, abortion rights activists may say in response to them that they are fake pictures or that abortions don’t really look like that. However, to a doctor and clinic team involved in second trimester abortion, they very well may. Of course, acknowledging the violence of abortion risks admitting that the stereotypes that anti-abortion forces hold of us are true – that we are butchers, etc.

To date, the Center for Medical Progress’s videos have exposed the horrific body parts harvesting operation of several Planned Parenthood affiliates, prompting some members of Congress to question their $528 million in annual taxpayer funding.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News


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