All articles from October 03, 2016


Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

News

Transgender sex-change ‘treatment’ will cost the military millions a year: report

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Starting October 3, the U.S. federal government will use tax dollars to pay for soldiers' sex changes — at a cost of up to $8.4 million per year.

A Pentagon-commissioned study by the RAND (Douglas Aircraft's "Research and Development") Corporation concluded that there could be 1,320 to 6,630 soldiers who consider themselves transgender and estimated that up to 140 want to chemically alter their gender, plus another 130 want sex-change operations.

To be eligible for a government-paid sex change operation, the Defense Department says a soldier's ability to serve must be "hindered" in some way by their gender identity.

Defense Department spokesman Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson said healthcare for soldiers will now, as of October 3, cover such "treatments."

Critics of tax-funded sex-change surgery note that battle-readiness is diminished after the surgeries, which RAND explained require 21 days of medical leave plus at least 90 days medical disability. Even more recovery time is needed for men to undergo the sex change to a woman, making a soldier non-deployable for at least 135 days.

RAND also acknowledged that in some cases complications from elective genital surgery might make a soldier unfit for duty permanently, as up to 20 percent of men undergoing "vaginoplasty" have serious complications.

"This isn't 'healthcare,'" Americans for Truth Peter LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews. "This is forcing American taxpayers to subsidize Obama's madness of gender-confused people mutilating their God-given bodies to fulfill some fantasy of living as the opposite sex."

"Where are the Republicans to put a stop to this — or at least draw some attention to it with Congressional hearings?" LaBarbera asked. "No wonder Obama has succeeded at radically 'transforming' society and dishonoring our military."

"I think this is a gross misuse of military medical dollars that should be used to make our military forces deployable or to help those who are wounded or injured while they are deployed," Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty executive director and veteran Ron Crews commented to USA Today.

Featured Image
Russian Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

News

Russian Patriarch joins hundreds of thousands in petition to ban all abortions in Russia

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

MOSCOW, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — After nearly a century of Communist state-sponsored, unrestricted abortion, a powerful and growing pro-life conscience is being resurrected in Russia.

More than 300,000 Russian citizens, including Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and President Putin's newly appointed Children's Rights ombudsman, have signed a petition calling for "the end of legal murder of children before birth," a complete ban on abortion throughout the country.

Petition organizers' goal is one million signatories to take the petition to Putin himself.

Working together with the Russian Orthodox Church, the petition also calls for a ban on abortifacient contraception, or "morning-after pills," which organizers say are nothing more than "legal infanticide," and, "an act similar to pagan sacrifices of children."

Signers reason that abortion hurts women's health, both physically and psychologically, and damages the demographics of the nation. 

The petition warns that legalized abortion brings about "the loss of God's blessing," which could lead to military defeats and social disasters.

Petitioners also argue that state-sponsored abortion in Russia's universal healthcare system violates the rights of pro-life citizens whose taxes pay for it.

In concert with an abortion ban, the petition calls for official recognition that human life begins at conception, legal protection for all babies in the womb, and better support for pregnant women and young children.

"These are restrictions on abortion we in the West are still fighting for," Father James Rosselli of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia told LifeSiteNews. In addition, Fr. Rosselli said that in Russia now "large families are encouraged."

Patriarch Kirill, leader of the nation's 150,000,000 Orthodox Christians, signed the petition, and thanked and gave an archpastoral blessing to the petition organizers. His Holiness has called abortion "a national catastrophe" that kills "more than one million of our fellow citizens every year."

"Patriarch Kirill publicly signed the pro-life petition 'as a private citizen,' declaring, rightly, that 'any priest would do the same,'" Fr. Rosselli pointed out.  "That sent a powerful message."

Another key signer was Anna Kuznetsova, the priest's wife and mother of six who was recently appointed by President Putin to head Russia's Children's Rights Commission. 

Western journalists have misrepresented Patriarch Kirill's support, calling it a "hardening (of) the position of the church that previously only called for a ban on state-provided abortions which weren't a medical necessity." 

While it is true that the Orthodox Church in Russia has aggressively called for a halt to tax-funded abortion and for abortion coverage to be taken out of the nation's universal healthcare, Fr. Rosselli clarifies that Orthodoxy is and has always been unequivocally against any and all abortion. 

"The Church is, as it has always been, uncompromisingly against abortion," he said.

The country's Liberal Democratic Party opposes a ban on abortions.

Fr. Rosselli said he was encouraged by the growing national pro-life movement.  "It takes a long time for the light to finally overcome 70 years of brutally-enforced darkness, and Parliament's hold-over Communists in the Liberal Party are doing their best to hold it back, but the Church is flourishing and growing and 'Holy Russia' is reawakening," he said.

"President Putin, whose conversion to Christ and subsequent highly-moral, steady-handed leadership has been called a 'miracle' by Patriarch Kirill, opposes abortion-on-demand," Fr. Rosselli added.

"We in America must pray and work for a similar awakening, that we might recover our own sanity to once again become a moral force in the world."

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

News

Contraception use makes women more likely to be clinically depressed: New study

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

COPENHAGEN, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Women who use hormonal contraception are more likely to be diagnosed as clinically depressed – and to take antidepressants along with their daily birth control pill, according to a new study.

Researchers who reviewed the medical histories of 1,061,997 Danish women from 1995 to 2013, found that some forms of contraception doubled women’s rate of depression – and tripled the chances of teenage girls being prescribed antidepressants.

“We have to realize among all the benefits, external hormones [also] may have side effects. And the risk of depression is one of them,” said the study’s co-author, Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Copenhagen.

Teens who used the progestin-only pill were twice as likely to use antidepressants as young women who used no form of birth control.

Adolescents aged 15-19 were especially susceptible, according to the study published September 28 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Those who used a “non-oral” form of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as the patch or a vaginal ring, suffered “a three-fold increased risk for first use of antidepressants.”

The patch and the levonorgestrel IUD (such as Bayer’s Mirena) tied as the most dangerous, both making teenage girls 310 percent more likely to use mood-altering drugs to manage depression; the IUD increased the risk of “diagnosis of depression at a psychiatric hospital” by 320 percent.

A woman becomes most likely to begin using antidepressants six months after she starts using contraceptives, the researchers found.

"This is simply one more confirmation of the negative consequences of medicating healthy, fertile women as if they were sick," Dr. Joseph Meaney, director of outreach and expansion at Human Life International (HLI), told LifeSiteNews.

Depression joins a panoply of other health risks experienced by women who use artificial contraception. In 2005, the World Health Organization declared the estrogen-progestogen pill a Group One carcinogen that has been shown to increase the chance of developing breast, uterine, and liver cancer, as well as glaucoma and life-threatening blood clots.

"In fact, the complete list of all the documented side effects of hormonal birth control is so long that it would take an entire page front and back in very small print just to list them all. Some manufacturers are honest enough to do just this, or simply want to reduce their liability when women suffer strokes, blood clots, etc.,” said Dr. Meaney.

Previous studies had found varying correlations between mental health and contraceptive usage.

“It has been clear for years that the birth control pill, chemicals that do not treat a condition but are taken specifically to avoid accepting responsibility for one's actions, is dangerous to women and deadly for preborn children," Judie Brown, president of American Life League (ALL), told LifeSiteNews. "This latest study linking the pill to the possibility of depression simply confirms' that "the pill is not and has never been a good idea" for mothers or babies.

Featured Image
Shutterstock
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

News

‘Francis has built his popularity at the expense of the church he leads’: New York Times op-ed

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When First Things editor Matthew Schmitz wrote an article last week in the New York Times outlining how Pope Francis has “failed” Catholic faithful in a number of ways, Catholic World Report editor Carl Olson could not help but agree, penning his own piece that took Schmitz’s thoughts even further.

In his Sept. 28 article titled “Has Pope Francis Failed?” Schmitz answers ‘yes’ when he observes what the “Francis effect” has done to the Church, at least in the U.S.

Schmitz writes that while Francis has “placed a great emphasis on reaching out to disaffected Catholics” with his “non-dogmatic tone with statements like ‘Who am I to judge?’ and his “softer stance on communion for the divorced and remarried,” Sunday Mass attendance numbers have dropped since he became pope, especially among young Catholics.

Not only has Sunday Mass attendance dropped under Francis but even various kinds of religious observances.

“In 2008, 50 percent of millennials reported receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, and 46 percent said they made some sacrifice beyond abstaining from meat on Fridays. This year, only 41 percent reported receiving ashes and only 36 percent said they made an extra sacrifice, according to [Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate],” Schmitz writes.

“In spite of Francis’ personal popularity, young people seem to be drifting away from the faith,” he adds.

Schmitz opines that despite Francis’ popularity, the Church has not been “reinvigorated” because he has not given the “disaffected any reason to return.”

“He describes parish priests as ‘little monsters’ who ‘throw stones’ at poor sinners. He has given curial officials a diagnosis of ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s.’ He scolds pro-life activists for their ‘obsession’ with abortion. He has said that Catholics who place an emphasis on attending Mass, frequenting confession, and saying traditional prayers are ‘Pelagians’ — people who believe, heretically, that they can be saved by their own works,” he writes.

“Such denunciations demoralize faithful Catholics without giving the disaffected any reason to return. Why join a church whose priests are little monsters and whose members like to throw stones? When the pope himself stresses internal spiritual states over ritual observance, there is little reason to line up for confession or wake up for Mass,” he adds.

Schmitz concludes that Francis’ popularity as a softy when it comes to Church teaching goes along with an unexpected price tag.

“Francis has built his popularity at the expense of the church he leads. Those who wish to see a stronger church may have to wait for a different kind of pope. Instead of trying to soften the church’s teaching, such a man would need to speak of the way hard disciplines can lead to freedom. Confronting a hostile age with the strange claims of Catholic faith may not be popular, but over time it may prove more effective. Even Christ was met with the jeers of the crowd,” he concludes.

Olson, who titled his Sept. 28 article with Schmitz’s conclusion ‘Francis has built his popularity at the expense of the church he leads,’ picks up where Schmitz left off.

“Schmitz can only touch on some of these matters in passing, but those of us who have been following this papacy closely from the start know how the past three years have witnessed a steady stream of confusion, hyperbole, "ambiguities, inconsistencies, mixed messages, imprecisions, thinly veiled insults" — not to mention the odd use and misuse of language in the service of more confusion,” he writes.

Olson writes that he agrees with Schmitz’s assessment that the pope’s “denunciations" of faithful Catholics demoralizes them without giving the disaffected any reason to return.

“Francis is mostly liked and lauded by those who see his pontificate as the start of a revolution overthrowing the usual litany of criticisms tossed at the Church: it is too patriarchal, rigid, narrow-minded, moralistic, judgmental, bigoted, homophobic, Islamophobic, etc., etc. Yes, there are Catholics who are upset and even angry at Francis, but the overwhelming response, in my experience, is simply, "What is he doing? And why?" he writes.

Olson wonders if Schmitz is right in saying that Francis is “trying to soften Church teaching.”

“Personally, I see no way around that conclusion. After all, if Francis never meant to change or soften Church teaching, why the constant reliance on Cardinal Kasper and other Germans, the two Synods, the regular confusion, the jostling and posturing, the endless ‘gestures,’ the angry address at the conclusion of the 2015 Synod, the often tortured and purposeful ambiguity of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, and so forth?” he writes.

“It is unfortunate — indeed, deeply painful — to see such confusion, turmoil, and frustration so often generated by the Barque of Peter, which should instead be providing solace, comfort, shelter, and clarity amid the dark waves of an increasingly antagonistic and volatile world,” he concludes.

Featured Image
Steve Weatherbe

News,

Pro-life video series exposes the ‘real Margaret Sanger’

Steve Weatherbe

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — While Margaret Sanger is hailed as a feminist heroine as part of Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary celebrations, the American Life League paints a different picture of the abortion provider’s founder in a new video series.

Reminding Americans of Sanger’s close connection with the racist eugenics movement that inspired Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is just one of the lessons in ALL’s  Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger?

“Margaret Sanger was a racist and eugenicist who believed that all women, but especially poor women, should limit their families to only two or three children,” ALL said in a promotional announcement. ALL’s Mary Flores added, “Planned Parenthood was never a benevolent movement aimed at lifting women out of poverty. Right from its foundation, it was aimed at the children of the poor.”

Just as Sanger’s first birth control clinics were opened 100 years ago in poor neighborhoods, Flores says, Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics today are concentrated among the poor African-American neighborhoods of America’s big cities. “In New York City, more black babies are aborted than are born alive,” she told LifeSiteNews.

But in addition, Flores notes, “Sanger wanted to separate sex from children.” And this idea, the ALL video package explains and explores, has had a profound effect on today’s American culture.

The ALL package, which comprises three short videos (five to eight minutes each) and accompanying discussion and lesson materials is designed for high school but is usable by community and church groups. Black pastors are especially enthusiastic, Flores reports.

Defenders of Sanger, even Christians, claim she wanted to alleviate poverty but ignore how deeply committed to Darwinist notions of eliminating, not poverty, but those predisposed to poverty — the genetically defective dark races and the mental “defectives” accidentally produced by white parents.

“Birth control itself,” she wrote, “often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.”

Elsewhere, Sanger denounces charity itself. “Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease. … Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks [of people] that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.”  

Inspired by Sanger, the Nazis legalized abortion — just for Jews.

ALL’s package sells for as low as $29.95 and can presented as part of a single-day workshop or in three school lessons.

"We're very excited to release this video series to the public,” ALL's Culture of Life Studies Program content developer Mary Kizior said. “Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger? helps high school students understand Planned Parenthood's real agenda by examining the life of its infamous founder, the eugenicist Margaret Sanger.” 

"Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger? shows students what Planned Parenthood doesn't want them to see — that Margaret Sanger was a racist and eugenicist who believed that all women, but especially poor women, should limit their families to only two or three children. With Planned Parenthood's 100th anniversary … in October, now is the time to educate ourselves and the next generation. We want to prevent today's student from becoming tomorrow's Margaret Sanger.”

Featured Image
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News

Pro-life film ‘Voiceless’ to play in theaters Friday: find one near you

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The award-winning pro-life film VOICELESS is playing in select theaters across the United States starting Friday.

VOICELESS is the story of one man answering God’s call to protect women and their babies from the abortion facility right across the street from his church.

On Sunday, VOICELESS became the first film to ever be shown outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

Below are the theaters in which you can find it in your state. For some showings, tickets can be purchased on Fandango.

Additional listings may be added at the film’s website.

Alaska

Regal Tikajtnu Stadium 16

1102 North Muldoon Road

Anchorage, AK 99504

(Opening October 21)

 

Regal Coldstream Stadium 16

1855 Airport Way

Fairbanks, AK 99701

(Opening October 28)

 

Valley Cinema 12

3331 E Old Matanuska Rd

Wasilla, AK 99654

(Opening October 21)

 

Alabama

Regal Hollywood Stadium 18

3312 S Memorial Pkwy

Huntsville, AL 35802

 

Arkansas

Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema

2600 Cantrell Rd

Little Rock, AR 72202

 

California

Maya Cinemas Bakersfield 16

1000 California Ave

Bakersfield, CA 93304

 

Cinemark 14

801 East Ave #2

Chico, CA 95926

 

Downey Cinema 10

8200 3rd St

Downey, CA 90241

 

Edwards Fresno Stadium 14

250 Paseo del Centro

Fresno, CA 93720

 

Cinemark 18

6081 Center Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90045

 

Regal Cinema Hollywood 13

403 W Main

Merced, CA 95340

 

Harkins Moreno Valley 16

22350 Town Cir

Moreno Valley, CA 92553

 

Cinemas Cal Oaks 17

41090 California Oaks Rd

Murrieta, CA 92562

 

AMC Norwalk 20

12300 Civic Center Dr

Norwalk, CA 90650

 

AMC Orange 30

20 City Blvd W

Orange, CA 92868

 

Harkins Mountain Grove 16

27481 San Bernardino Ave

Redlands, CA 92374

 

UA Olympus Point 12

520 N Sunrise Ave

Roseville, CA 95661

 

Regal Sequoia Mall 12

3355 S Mooney Blvd

Visalia, CA 93277

 

Colorado

AMC Arapahoe Crossing 16

6696 S Parker Rd

Aurora, CO 80016

(Opening October 14)

 

Regal Interquest Stadium 14

1120 Interquest Pkwy

Colorado Springs, CO 80920

 

Cinemark Ft. Collins 16

4721 S Timberline Rd

Fort Collins, CO 80525

(Opening October 14)

 

Florida

Regal Gainesville 14

3101 SW 35th Blvd

Gainesville, FL 32608

 

Tinseltown 20

4535 Southside Blvd

Jacksonville, FL 32216

 

Cobb Lakeside 18

1650 Town Center Drive

Lakeland, FL 33803

 

AMC Merchants Crossing

15201 N Cleveland Ave

North Fort Myers, FL 33903

 

AMC Woodlands Square 20

3128 Tampa Rd

Oldsmar, FL 34677

 

Oveido Stadium 22

1500 Oviedo Marketplace Blvd

Oviedo, FL 32765

 

Carmike Pensacola 18

6595 North W Street

Pensacola, FL 32505

(Opening October 28)

 

Fairmount Square Cinema 6

3750 US Highway 27 North

Sebring, FL 33870

 

Studio Movie Grill

12332 University Mall Ct

Tampa, FL 33612

 

Regal Citrus Park Stadium 20

7999 Citrus Park Town Center Mall

Tampa, FL 33625

 

Georgia

Carmike 15

5555 Whittlesey Blvd

Columbus, GA 31909

 

Carmike 8

2103 Veterans Blvd

Dublin, GA 31021

 

NCG Marietta Cinemas

1050 Powder Springs St

Marietta, GA 30064

 

Aurora Cineplex 10

5100 Commerce Parkway

Roswell, GA 30076

 

Hawaii

Regal Dole Cannery 18

735 Iwilei Rd

Honolulu, HI 96817

 

Iowa

Marcus College Square 12

6301 University Ave #1065

Cedar Falls, IA 50613

 

AMC Star Council Bluffs

3220 23rd Ave

Council Bluffs, IA 51501

 

Rave Davenport 53rd 18

3601 E 53rd St

Davenport, IA 52807

 

CEC - Fort 8 Theatre

1417 Central Ave

Fort Dodge, IA 50501

 

Marcus Sycamore Cinema

1602 Sycamore St

Iowa City, IA 52240

 

Promenade Cinema 14

924 4th St

Sioux City, IA 51101

 

Century 20 Jordan Creek

101 Jordan Creek Pkwy

West Des Moines, IA 50266

 

Idaho

Regal Riverstone 14

2416 N Old Mill Loop

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

 

Village Center Cinema

2920 Nez Perce Dr

Lewiston, ID 83501

 

Edwards Nampa Stadium 14

2001 N Cassia St

Nampa, ID 83651

 

Illinois

Pickwick Theatre

5 S Prospect Ave

Park Ridge, IL 60068

 

Charlestowne 18

3740 E Main St

St Charles, IL 60174

(Opening October 14)

 

Indiana

Yes Cinema

328 Jackson St, Columbus

Columbus, IN 47201

(Opening October 21)

 

Showplace Cinemas East 18

1801 Morgan Center Drive

Evansville, IN 47715

 

Greendale Cinema 10

1605 Flossie Dr.

Greendale, IN 47025

 

Jasper 8 Theatres

256 Brucke Strasse

Jasper, IN 47546

(Opening October 28)

 

AMC Schererville Showplace 16

875 Deer Creek Dr

Schererville, IN 46375

 

Kentucky

Theatres of Georgetown

401 Outlet Center Dr

Georgetown, KY 40324

 

Keystone Cinema 8

220 Armstrong Lane

Mt. Washington, KY 40047

 

Louisiana

Regal Bossier Corners 9

2800 Shed Rd

Bossier City, LA 71111

 

Maryland

Bow Tie Harbour 9

2474 Solomons Island Rd

Annapolis, MD 21401

 

Lexington Exchange Movies 12

23326 Three Notch Rd

California, MD 20619

 

Maine

Bangor Mall Cinemas 10

557 Stillwater Ave

Bangor, ME 04401

 

Michigan

Celebration Cinema North

2121 Celebration Dr NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49525

 

Eastwood Towne Center

2500 Showtime Dr

Lansing, MI 48906

 

Celebration Cinema Crossroads

6600 Ring Rd

Portage, MI 49002

(Opening October 28)

 

Minnesota

Carmike Oakdale Stadium 20

1188 Helmo Ave N

Oakdale, MN 55128

 

Wehrenberg Rochester Galaxy 14

4340 Maine Ave SE

Rochester, MN 55904

 

Missouri

Phoenix Theater

16675 Co Rd B

Houston, MO 65483

 

B & B Lee's Summit 16

1451 NE Douglas St

Lee's Summit, MO 64086

 

North Carolina

AMC Carolina Pavillion 22

9541 South Boulevard

Charlotte, NC 28273

 

AMC Concord Mills 24

8421 Concord Mills Boulevard

Concord, NC 28027

 

Carmike Patriot 12

1000 Kalli Dr

Jacksonville, NC 28546

 

NCG Monroe

1911 Dickerson Blvd

Monroe, NC 28110

 

Bear Town Cinema 6

2806 Trent Road

New Bern, NC 28562

 

Nebraska

AMC Grand Island 7

3404 W 13th St

Grand Island, NE 68803

 

Marcus Edgewood Cinema

5220 S 56th St

Lincoln, NE 68516

 

Marcus Lincoln Grand Cinema

1101 P St

Lincoln, NE 68508

 

New Jersey

South Cove Stadium 12

191 Lefante Way

Bayonne, NJ 07002

 

AMC Clifton Commons 16

405 New Jersey 3

Clifton, NJ 07014

 

Escape Theaters Howell 14

5361 US Highway 9

Howell, NJ 07731

 

AMC Loews New Brunswick 18

17 Us Highway #1

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

 

Frank Theatres - Tilton 9

331 Tilton Rd

Northfield, NJ 08225

 

New Mexico

Century Rio 24

4901 Pan American Fwy NE

Albuquerque, NM 87109

 

Dream Catcher 10

15 State Rd 106

Española, NM 87532

 

Allen Theaters Telshor 12

2811 N Telshor Blvd

Las Cruces, NM 88011

 

New York

Marquee Cinemas Orchard 14

20 Ellinwood Dr

New Hartford, NY 13413

 

Regal Galleria Mall Stadium 16

2001 South Rd

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

 

Regal Transit Center Stadium 18

6707 Transit Rd

Williamsville, NY 14221

 

Ohio

Regal Interstate Park Stadium 18

1089 Interstate Pkwy

Akron, OH 44312

 

Oregon

Ontario Reel Theater

477 SE 13th St

Ontario, OR 97914

 

Pennsylvania

UA Riverview Plaza Stadium 17

1400 S Christopher Columbus Blvd

Philadelphia, PA 19147

 

South Carolina

The Big E Theater

1100 Factory Shops Blvd

Gaffney, SC 29341

 

Regal Hollywood Stadium 20

1029 Woodruff Rd,, SC 29607

Greenville, SC 29607

 

South Dakota

Northern Hills Cinema 6

1830 N Main St

Spearfish, SD 57783

 

Tennessee

Humboldt Plaza 3 Theater

1408 E Main St

Humboldt, TN 38343

 

Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18

11240 Parkside Dr

Knoxville, TN 37922

 

Texas

Grande Avenue 6

2809 Oakmark Dr

Belton, TX 76513

 

Cinemark East Montana

12704 Montana Ave

El Paso, TX 79938

 

Edwards Greenway Grand Place Stadium 24

3839 Weslayan St

Houston, TX 77027

 

Cinemark Texarkana 14

4230 Saint Michael Dr

Texarkana, TX 75503

 

Cinemark 1820915 Gulf Fwy

1820915 Gulf Fwy

Webster, TX 77598

 

Virginia

AMC Hoffman Center 22

206 Swamp Fox Rd

Alexandria, VA 22314

 

Washington state

Fairchild Cinemas 8

233 N Block St

Moses Lake, WA 98837

 

Deer Park Cinema 5

96 Deer Park Road

Port Angeles, WA 98362

 

Gateway Cinema

151 Easy Way

Wenatchee, WA 98801

 

Wisconsin

Marcus Point 14

7825 Big Sky Drive

Madison, WI 53719

 

Rogers 8

419 South Central Ave

Marshfield, WI 54449

 

Broadway Theatre

910 W Broadway Ave

Medford, WI 54451

(Opening October 14)

 

Marcus Ridge Cinema 19

5200 S. Moorland Rd

New Berlin, WI 53151

 

Marcus Oshkosh Cinema

340 S Koeller St

Oshkosh, WI 54902

 

Millenium Theater

151 Millenium Dr

Platteville, WI 53818

 

AMC Mayfair 18

2500 N Mayfair Rd M186

Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Featured Image
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

News,

U.S. bishop, priest attacked for defending marriage: tell them ‘thank you’

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Faithful Christians wanting to personally thank a U.S. bishop and priest who are facing backlash for defending Christian marriage by dismissing a gay “married” music director now have that opportunity with the launch of an online support campaign through a built-in, hassle-free option to have a personalized postcard mailed via snail-mail.

The campaign, titled Bishop, priest attacked for defending traditional marriage: Tell them 'thank you’!, was launched on Friday by LifePetitions, a branch of LifeSiteNews.

When Fr. Francesco Francese, a Catholic priest in Providence, Rhode Island, took over as pastor at St. Mary’s earlier this summer and discovered that a recently ‘married’ homosexual was the parish’s music director, he knew that he could not look the other way while calling himself a faithful Catholic priest.

Sign the petition and send a postcard to support Bishop Tobin and Fr. Francese here!

As LifeSiteNews reported last week, the pastor met with the music director, telling him that as long as he continued in a relationship that contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and sexuality he could not function as the parish’s music minister.

A small group of parishioners protested the removal of the homosexual music director by wearing rainbow-colored paraphernalia to the Sunday morning service and singing a song about inclusion during the recitation of the Nicene Creed.

But as parishioners sang “All are welcome,” Fr. Francese stood firm, continuing to recite the creed.  

Fr. Francese remained standing firm when mainstream media portrayed his decision as rigid and even contrary to what they claimed was Pope Francis’s attitude toward homosexuality.

When this loyal son of the Church started taking heavy flak for his decision, the local bishop decided it was time to personally step in and defend the pastor as well as the faith.

Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin not only defended the priest’s decision but stated that Pope Francis would defend the decision as well.

“When Church leaders have to respond to situations involving persons living an openly ‘gay lifestyle’ these days, we’re often scolded and told that we should be ‘more like Pope Francis,’ presumably the ‘Who-am-I-to judge’ Pope Francis,” he wrote.

“Perhaps those critics should also remember:

  • "The Pope Francis who said same-sex marriage is destructive in families and the work of the devil.
  • "And the Pope Francis who has now supported the Mexican Bishops’ campaign to oppose gay marriage in their country.
  • "And the Pope Francis who rejected the nomination of the Ambassador from France because the Ambassador is openly gay.
  • "And the Pope Francis whose administration immediately fired and disciplined a priest who was working in the Vatican upon learning that the priest was gay and involved in a relationship."

Bishop Tobin said that those who uphold the teachings of the Church when it comes to sexuality are the ones who are the most like the pope.

Sign the petition and send a postcard to support Bishop Tobin and Fr. Francese here!

“It seems to me, then, that when we uphold the faith and teachings of the Church about homosexuality, we are indeed a lot like Pope Francis,” he stated.

The petition to Fr. Francesco Francese and Bishop Thomas Tobin states:

I want to thank you for courageously standing up in defense of the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage.

I am a faithful follower of Christ and believe that sexuality is properly ordered to conjugal love between a man and a woman united in marriage, and furthermore, that homosexual acts are contrary to God’s plan for sexuality as well as the natural law since they close the sexual act to the gift of life.

I stand with you in supporting the removal of the openly homosexual music minister: firstly, because exercising a ministry within the Church is a sign of communion with and fidelity to Church teaching; and secondly, because true "mercy" requires that pastors challenge those entrusted to their care to conform their lives to Christ.

I want to thank you for revealing through your actions what it means to be a true pastor and to live faithfully the Gospel without compromise. Your commitment to Catholic teaching and to caring for the spiritual welfare of your flock is an inspiration to all Catholics struggling to be faithful to Christ during these difficult times.

Please be assured of our prayers so that the peace, love, and joy of Christ may fill your souls and see you safely through any storms that may arise for being his faithful disciple.

Petition signers have the built-in, hassle-free option to have a personalized postcard mailed to Bishop Tobin and Fr. Francese expressing their support. The cost of printing and postage is covered by the signer.

Featured Image
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput
Maria Gallagher

News, ,

Archbishop Chaput tells pro-lifers to ‘keep hope alive’

Maria Gallagher

October 3, 2016 (National Right to Life News) -- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia says that, 43 years after the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, there is reason for hope for the pro-life movement.

Chaput made his comments at the 2016 Celebrate Life Banquet sponsored by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund. The Federation is the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life.

“We have every reason to hope,” Chaput told the crowd of more than 500, which included both veteran pro-lifers and members of the Millennial generation.

“Over the past 43 years, the pro-life movement has been written off as defeated and finished too many times to count. Yet here you are tonight again, disappointing your critics and refusing to die. And why is that?

“It’s because no court decision, no law and no political lobby can ever change the truth about when human life begins and the sanctity that God attached to each and every human person, born or unborn,” Chaput said.

Chaput inspired attendees by offering a helpful list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” for building a culture of life.

The Archbishop urged pro-lifers: “Don’t let yourselves be bullied into silence.” He said Americans should “never apologize for being pro-life, or for advancing our beliefs in private or in public.”

Chaput also told attendees “don’t create or accept false oppositions.” He noted that, during the 2008 presidential campaign, some argued that pro-lifers should stop their legal struggle against abortion.

“Of course, many of these voices turned out to be flacks for the Obama Presidential campaign,” Chaput said. “In reality the Obama White House has been extraordinary for its refusal to compromise on anything involving so-called ‘reproductive rights,’ and for its belligerent hostility to pro-life and religious liberty concerns.”

Chaput noted that “if we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can’t aim at anything less than ending abortion.”

Chaput added, “Don’t hate the adversary…We need to trust in the long-term power of love—the true power of God—to convert the human heart even in the face of our own failures. We can never allow ourselves to become bitter.”

In his listing of “Dos” for the pro-life movement, Chaput said, “Do become martyrs,” explaining that while in today’s world, we may never be asked to shed our blood in witnessing for our faith, “We do see character assassinations, mud-slinging and lies against good people every day in the public media. And we should be ready to bear the cost. Nothing, not even our good name, should stop us from doing what we know to be right,” Chaput said.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The second “Do” is to “Keep hope alive…Nothing is more inspiring than happy warriors. I’ve never in my life seen a joy-filled pro-abortion event. And I’ve always found that instructive,” Chaput said.

The third “Do” is to ”Be strategic. Being sheep in the midst of wolves doesn’t mean we can also be dumb as rocks. Being strategic means planning ahead, working together and outsmarting our adversaries.”

Chaput added that, to achieve these goals, we need a dose of realism. “We should never dream or whine about all the things we could do with the millions of dollars we don’t have. We need to focus on the real dollars we do have.”

The final “Do,” he explained is “renewing the culture.”

Chaput said, “If we change one heart at a time, while we save one unborn life at a time, the day will come when we don’t need to worry about saving babies, because they’ll be surrounded by a loving and welcoming culture.”

He concluded, “Will I see that day with my own eyes? I don’t think I can hold my breath that long. But then I never expected to see a Pope from Argentina or the fall of the Iron Curtain either. We may not see that day in our own lifetimes, but the children of your grandchildren will.”

Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.

Featured Image
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News

Gay YouTube star charged with felony vandalism, filing false claim of hate crime

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

LOS ANGELES, California, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A high-profile gay YouTube personality who claimed he suffered a violent hate crime has been charged with felony vandalism and filing a false police report. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In June, Calum McSwiggan reported being assaulted after leaving a West Hollywood nightclub. Police said they “were unable to substantiate the assault,” which McSwiggan says was a hate crime.

The police subsequently arrested McSwiggan for allegedly vandalizing a car.

The police say McSwiggan was not visibly injured at the time of his arrest and he harmed himself with a pay phone in a police holding cell.

McSwiggan admitted to harming himself to get out of the cell but said other injuries on his body — three broken teeth and cuts, scrapes, and bruises on his back — were from being assaulted.

“In a moment of desperation to get out of the cell, I took the pay phone off the wall and hit myself once across the forehead with it as hard as I could,” McSwiggan wrote on his Facebook page. “I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there. This is incredibly out of character for me and is testament to how upset I was in that moment. I do not regret doing this as I could still be in the jail cell if I didn't.”

The district attorney’s office alleges that McSwiggan damaged a car mirror and bumper and then falsely reported to police that the car’s driver and two other men attacked him.

If convicted, McSwiggan faces a possible maximum sentence of three years and six months in county jail. There will be a hearing on November 7.

The homosexual news website Queerty reported in July that McSwiggan missed an L.A. Court summons because he was vacationing with his family in Spain.

As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, there have been false claims of “hate crimes” before. These include a lesbian carving a cross into her own chest that police say she did to fake an anti-gay hate crime and a lesbian waitress claiming a family wouldn’t tip her because of her lifestyle (the family later produced their copy of the receipt and their credit card bill, which showed they paid a 20 percent tip).

In 2012, it was revealed that a man who claimed he was the victim of a violent hate crime had actually injured himself doing a backflip.

Featured Image
Philip Zodhiates Christian News Service
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

News, ,

Christian businessman receives felony conviction for helping girl escape lesbian ‘mother’

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian activist and entrepreneur who helped a child and her mother escape the United States to avoid joint custody with an unrelated lesbian was convicted Thursday by a federal jury of “conspiracy to commit offense” against the U.S. and aiding and abetting an “international parental kidnapping.”

Philip Zodhiates, 61, did not contest the allegation that in late 2009 he had driven Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella to Buffalo, New York, where they crossed the border into Canada and then flew to Nicaragua, where they were sheltered by the country’s Mennonite community. However, his attorney argued that it was unproven that Zodhiates knew Lisa Miller’s motives for the trip.

The two charges for which Zodhiates has been convicted could result in a sentence of up to eight years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 30.

Mennonite Pastor Kenneth Miller, who is unrelated to Lisa and Isabella, is already serving a 27-month prison sentence for helping to coordinate the reception of Lisa and Isabella in Nicaragua. Last week, he refused to testify against Zodhiates and was found in contempt of court. He may be sentenced to more prison time as a result.

A second Mennonite pastor, Timothy Miller (unrelated to Kenneth and Lisa Miller), has also been charged in connection with the case. Miller was recently deported from Nicaragua and is now under arrest in the United States while he waits for a court date, according to the Justice Department.

The three allegedly aided in the escape of Lisa Miller and seven-year-old daughter Isabella from the custodial power of Miller’s former civil union partner, Janet Jenkins, who had been named by a judge as Isabella’s second “mother,” although she was unrelated to Isabella and had never adopted her. Isabella was conceived by artificial insemination while Miller and Jenkins lived in a civil union in Vermont, which had no law assigning parentage to civil union partners or spouses of women who had been impregnated with third-party sperm. Miller soon after renounced the homosexual lifestyle and separated from Jenkins, returning to the Christian faith of her youth.

After a Vermont court declared that Jenkins had a right to unsupervised visits, Lisa Miller reported that her daughter appeared to be traumatized by her visits with Jenkins, and she strongly opposed Jenkins’ influence over her, which ran counter to the Christian values she was seeking to inculcate in Isabella.

Expert testimony was submitted in the Miller-Jenkins custody case to prove that Isabella was being traumatized by her visits with Jenkins but was rejected by Vermont judge Richard Cohen.

Kenneth Miller was convicted in August 2012 of “aiding and abetting international parental kidnapping” for arranging help for Lisa and her daughter to fly from Canada to Nicaragua, where they reportedly took shelter with Timothy Miller and the country’s Mennonite community. Kenneth Miller began serving his sentence earlier this year.

Representatives of the Mennonite community in Nicaragua say they have also suffered for the cause of protecting Isabella from the influences of the homosexual lifestyle, as police and government agents have both threatened them and cajoled them with offers of benefits if they reveal the location of Lisa and Isabella. They have refused.

Featured Image
Action Sports Photography / Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News

Critics fear censorship as Obama hands control of the internet to multi-national body

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas federal judge quashed conservative efforts on Friday to stand between preserving the Internet as it was, free and open, and the Obama administration surrendering control to a multi-national body.

Southern District of Texas Judge George C. Hanks Jr. denied the request for an injunction in the lawsuit filed last Wednesday by Republican attorneys general in Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Texas, the Washington Examiner reports.

The ruling by Hanks, a 2015 Obama appointee, gave Obama’s Department of Commerce the green light to hand over a fundamental function of the Internet to the international Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

As of the October 1 oversight surrender, for the first time ever in its existence, the Internet was pulled from American legal jurisdiction, raising free speech and national security alarms.

Instead of U.S. oversight, the Internet is now subject to an international body of some 160-plus entities, including those unfriendly to the United States.

Countries such as China, Russia and Iran, which have shown hostility to the open Internet by blocking websites and restricting Web access from their own citizens, now have the power to block particular websites from users worldwide, and the U.S. will have no greater voice than any other country in the “multi-stakeholder process.”    

The Internet was launched by the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the 1960s, and according to a Washington Times report, expanded in the 1980s by U.S. taxpayer-funded grants through the National Science Foundation, meaning ultimately that U.S. taxpayers paid for the creation, development, and maintenance of the Internet.

ICANN, in operation since 1998 and overseen by the U.S. government, coordinates the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the Internet’s domain name system and IP addressing, which is necessary for safeguarding the network's stable and secure operation.

The Obama plan to end the U.S. government contract with ICANN has been in the works for years, and Internet security experts expect that the harm to the Internet will be irrevocable and open the door to censorship now in effect only outside the U.S. to reach the States.

The four AG’s lawsuit contended that the transfer of control violates numerous components of the administration's statutory authority.

“This is the latest Obama administration scandal, one that threatens the integrity of the Internet,” Accuracy in Media (AIM) Editor Roger Aronoff wrote in his column last Thursday. “President Obama is seeking to cede oversight of Internet protocols to a multinational body, effectively ending unilateral American control over these functions.”

Aronoff said a group of leading national security professionals had sent a September 26 letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford Jr. opposing the transfer of the Internet from U.S. control.

“Of … immediate concern to us … is the prospect that the United States might be transferring to future adversaries a capability that could facilitate, particularly in time of conflict, cyberwarfare against us,” the security experts wrote. “In the absence of [the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s] stewardship, we would be unable to be certain about the legitimacy of all IP addresses or whether they have been, in some form or fashion, manipulated, or compromised.”

The lawsuit probably was the one remaining chance to preserve the Internet, Aronoff told LifeSiteNews.

“Congress blew it,” Aronoff said. “As far as I can tell, this lawsuit was the only avenue left.”

Last Wednesday, the Senate had passed a $1.1 trillion continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through December 9. In it, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, who in addition to stripping out language to deprive Planned Parenthood of taxpayer dollars, also removed a motion from Texas Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz preventing Obama from surrendering control of the Internet.

The deal “includes a provision that will give Planned Parenthood a raise, but contains nothing to delay President Obama’s reckless plan to give countries like China, Russia, and Iran more control over the Internet,” Utah Senator Mike Lee said.

With the lawsuit’s failure, it is expected that ICANN will ultimately become part of the UN, albeit in the next year or two.

While the Obama administration and its supporters have denied that the UN will have authority over ICANN, the Wall Street Journal‘s L. Gordon Crovitz pointed out that ICANN will need to be operated by a state agency so as to keep its antitrust exemption, Breitbart reports, meaning an almost certainty that the UN will step in to take control.

“It’s shocking the administration admits it has no plan for how ICANN retains its antitrust exemption,” Crovitz wrote. “Authoritarian regimes have already proposed ICANN become part of the UN to make it easier for them to censor the Internet globally. So much for the Obama pledge that the U.S. would never be replaced by a “government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.”

“The idea is that they need to be part of a governmental agency, otherwise they cannot have a monopoly,” Aronoff told LifeSiteNews. “In other words, a nightmare.”

Cruz and Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin had introduced the Protecting Internet Freedom Act in June, which would prevent the transfer of ICANN without Congressional approval.

Aronoff also pointed to the two lawmakers clarifying in a September 21 Daily Signal piece the crucial nature of the U.S. retaining Internet oversight to preserve free speech.

“As a private organization, ICANN is not bound by the First Amendment, which ICANN’s CEO and President Göran Marby admitted in a recent Senate hearing,” they wrote. “The First Amendment applies only to the [American] government. So if the government is out of the picture, the First Amendment is too. And that means that ICANN would be free to regulate internet speech by restricting which websites can gain access to the Internet based on their speech.”

“It’s important to remember that the devil is always in the details, and what the administration attempts to spin as a ‘clerical’ function can easily be used to bludgeon free speech,” they said.

Cruz’s efforts to fight Obama’s surrender of Internet oversight have caused him to take heat in the mainstream media, Aronoff reports. The media incidentally also insisted the Internet handover will have only minor repercussions.

But Cruz’s fight to preserve U.S. control of the Internet has also led to an unlikely alliance between the Texas senator and former presidential rival GOP nominee Donald Trump after a bitter rivalry between the two during primary season.

Cruz’s surprise endorsement of Trump came just two days after the business mogul’s September 21 statement opposing Obama’s Internet giveaway.

“Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran,” stated Cruz, who also included Internet freedom in his list of “six vital issues. “Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.”

Cruz is far from being alone in sounding the alarm on the Obama push to cede control of the Internet.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton stated last Thursday on The Laura Ingraham Show, “This is the concrete manifestation of the loss of sovereignty.”

“Once we cede control to the international system, we will never get it back and the Internet as we know it will disappear forever,” Bolton continued. “It will give the regimes like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea — you name it — control over something that they neither deserve nor will benefit the rest of the world.”

Aronoff also listed numerous individuals in his column who are critical of Obama’s submission over the Internet, among them The American Thinker’s Rick Moran, who wrote, “This is a radical change.”

“I suspect we will see almost immediately that it was a mistake,” Moran said. “But once the transfer is made, it will be too late to get it back, leaving us pretty much at the mercy of anti-freedom governments.”

"I have tremendous concern about other countries having the ability to weigh in on priorities, values and access to all content," Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn stated Friday in the Washington Examiner report. "These are people who, many times, will not wish us well, and may not appreciate free speech as we do. I have misgivings, and I have deep, deep concern over what this transition will represent."

"This, to me, is an incredibly bad day," Blackburn said.

Featured Image
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Government of Chile
Steve Weatherbe

News

Chile could vote to legalize abortion this week

Steve Weatherbe

SANTIAGO, Chile, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Chile’s Senate could vote this week on a bill making abortion legal in cases of rape, life-threatening fetal deformity, and risk to the life of the mother.

The bill, supported by Chile’s pro-abortion President Michelle Bachelet, has taken a year to wend its way through the country’s lower house, which passed it with a two-thirds majority.

One committee of the Senate approved the measure and the Constitution committee is considering it now. If approved, the bill will go the full Senate, where Bachelet’s New Majority coalition is in control. Conservative opponents are already talking about a court challenge if and when the bill is passed.

“The bill is unconstitutional because it violates the right to life,” said Ernesto Silva of the Independent Democratic Union Party, as reported by Human Life International. In the same report, Nicholas Moncke added, “If the state now reneges on its duty to defend life, it won’t be able to defend it.”

The 1980 Constitution guarantees “the right to life and to the physical and psychological integrity of the person.” It then explains, under the heading “Right to life” that “the law protects the life of those about to be born.”

But Bachelet, who once campaigned as a pro-lifer, won her last election by vowing to replace the Constitution put in place by dictator Auguste Pinochet and liberalize the country’s morality laws concerning homosexuality and abortion.

Pushing for the change are feminist groups and pro-abortion non-governmental agencies such as International Planned Parenthood Federation and Amnesty International, which claims “Chile does not protect the lives of women.”

The groups say between 70,000 and 120,000 illegal abortions are performed annually in Chile, with more than 30,000 post-abortion hospital admissions, to bolster claims that illegal abortions are unsafe abortions.

But the country’s maternal health and mortality has been closely studied by researchers at the University of Chile. Their findings indicate that maternal mortality dropped dramatically throughout the 50-year study period and the decline continued at the same rate after Pinochet made abortion illegal in 1989.  

“This is a pretty powerful statement that you can really push maternal mortality rates down without changing access to abortion,” said study co-author Dr. John Thorp of the University of North Carolina.

The study identified other factors such as improved maternal education, trained neo-natal care staff, and modern sewer systems as causes for the decline while stating, “The reduction in the MMR is not related to the legal status of abortion.”

Featured Image
Pope Francis meeting with woman who underwent sex-change surgery (to right of pope) and her 'wife' (to left of pope.)
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

News

Pope Francis calls woman with sex-change operation a ‘man’ and calls partners ‘married’

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite the Vatican’s assertion that a so-called sex-change surgery does not alter the sex of a person, Pope Francis has nevertheless chosen to refer to a woman who underwent a sex-change operation as a “man,” and also referred to her as having “married” another woman and admitted to receiving them in the Vatican last year.

As with most of his most controversial remarks, the statements came during an in-flight press scrum. On October 2, on his return flight from his papal visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Pope referred to a woman who “felt like a man” but “was physically a young woman.” After a sex-change surgery in her twenties, Pope Francis said, “he got married.”

"He wrote me a letter saying that, for him, it would be a consolation to come [see me] with his wife," the pope said. “I received them and they were very happy," Pope Francis added. Clarifying his use of pronouns, the pope said, "He that was her but is he." (Translation by Josh McElwee, the NCR reporter who asked the question.)

Pope Francis drew a distinction between his frequent condemnation of teaching ‘gender theory’ to young children in classrooms and welcoming, accompanying, and integrating a person who has “this tendency” and even has “a sex change.”

The meeting of the Pope with the woman with the sex-change surgery and her female partner took place in January 2015 and while it was widely reported in the media with photos, the Vatican refused comment. The woman, now called Diego Neria Lejarraga, said the pope had surprised her by calling her twice out of the blue in December 2014. Neria had written to Francis complaining of rejection from the local parish after she had undergone “gender reassignment.”

Neria said that it was Pope Francis who asked for the meeting, telling her that he would make the arrangement and call her back. Francis welcomed the two into his private suite at Domus Santa Marta to what she said was a “strictly private meeting.”

In her letter to the Pope, Neria had specifically noted that she felt excluded from the Church because of her decision, and that she was now “afraid” to receive Communion. She did not tell the media what the pope said on the matter, only mentioning that he embraced her. However, Pope Francis’ own recollection of the matter deals with Communion.

The Pope spoke of an old retired priest who welcomed Neria and a young new pastor who was harsh. "When the new pastor would see him, he would shout to him from the sidewalk: 'You will go to Hell.'" Francis said. “But when he'd meet his old priest, he would say to him, 'How long has it been since you've confessed? Come on, confess so you can take Communion.'” (Translation by the US Bishops’ Catholic News Service.)

In 2000, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued confidential guidance to bishops noting that ‘sex-change’ procedures do not alter a person’s gender. The document instructed bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and said Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry because in the eyes of the Church they would be marrying someone of the same sex.
 

A literal translation of the Pope’s full remarks and the question issued by Catholic News Agency follows:

Josh McElwee, National Catholic Reporter: Thank you, Holy Father. In that same speech yesterday in Georgia, you spoke, as in so many other countries about gender theory, saying that it is a great enemy and a threat against marriage. But, I would like to ask you, what would you say to someone who has struggled with their sexuality for years and feels that there is truly a problem of biology, that his aspect doesn't correspond to what he or she feels is their sexual identity. You, as a pastor and minister, how would you accompany these people?

Pope Francis: First of all: in my life as a priest and bishop, even as Pope, I have accompanied people with homosexual tendencies, I have also met homosexual persons, accompanied them, brought them closer to the Lord, as an apostle, and I have never abandoned them. People must be accompanied as Jesus accompanies them, when a person who has this condition arrives before Jesus, Jesus surely doesn't tell them 'go away because you are homosexual.' What I said is that wickedness which today is done in the indoctrination of gender theory...a French father told me that he was speaking with his children at the table, he and his wife were Catholics, 'rosewater Catholics,' but Catholics! And he asked his 10-year-old son: 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'- 'a girl.' The father realized that at school they were teaching him gender theory, and this is against the natural things. One thing is that a person has this tendency, this condition and even changes their sex, but it's another thing to teach this in line in schools in order to change the mentality. This is what I call ideological colonization. Last year I received a letter from a Spaniard who told me his story as a child, a young man, he was a girl, a girl who suffered so much because he felt he felt like a boy, but was physically a girl. He told his mother and the mom…(the girl) was around 22 years old said that she would like to do the surgical intervention and all of those things. And the mother said not to do it while she was still alive. She was elderly and she died soon after. She had the surgery and an employee of a ministry in the city of Spain went to the bishop, who accompanied (this person) a lot. Good bishop. I spent time accompanying this man. Then (the man) got married, he changed his civil identity, got married and wrote me a letter saying that for him it would be a consolation to come with his wife, he who was she, but him! I received them: they were happy and in the neighborhood where he lived there was an elderly priest in his 80s, an elderly pastor who left the parish and helped the sisters in the parish. And there was the new (priest). When the new one he would yell from the sidewalk: 'you'll go to hell!' When he (CNA suggests this refers to the new priest but CNS and NCR suggest it refers to the woman) came across the old one, he would say: 'How long has it been since you confessed? Come, come, let's to so that I can confess you and you can receive communion.' Understood? (emphasis LifeSite)

Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let's go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today! Please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.' Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It's moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved always can be with the mercy of God, with the truth like we spoke about in the case of marriage by reading all of Amoris Laetitia, but always with an open heart. And don't forget that chapter Vézelay, it's very beautiful, eh! Very beautiful.

Featured Image
Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden American Life League
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

News

Pro-life investigators now face a year in jail for exposing Planned Parenthood in California

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

SACRAMENTO, October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill punishing pro-life investigators who clandestinely record Planned Parenthood – even if the behavior they expose is illegal.

Now, anyone who records “confidential communication with a health care provider” and publishes the recording in any way, including “web sites and social media,” could be fined $2,500 and sentenced to one year in prison for a first offense, or up to $10,000 for repeat offenses.

On Friday, the governor signed Assembly Bill 1617, introduced by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles. Recording “confidential” health information violated existing state law, but A.B. 1617 substantially increases the penalties.

Brown, a Democrat, made no comment upon signing the bill, but the abortion industry celebrated his decision.“Gov. Brown sent a clear message to anti-abortion extremists that you cannot break the law in California or you will be held accountable,” said Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Pro-life whistleblowers say the law shows how desperate the abortion provider has become to silence its critics.

"The Center for Medical Progress never recorded ‘confidential’ communications, so California's existing recording law and the new distribution provision are simply inapplicable to our work,” said David Daleiden, lead investigator at the Center for Medical Progress.

“It is clear that Planned Parenthood does not want to be held accountable to the public, whose taxpayer money it gladly takes by the hundreds of millions, and will even attack freedom of speech and the freedom of the press in order to maintain its own arbitrary levels of secrecy,” Daleiden said.

Lila Rose of Live Action, where Daleiden got his start, referred to previous investigations that “documented Planned Parenthood employees covering up for sex traffickers, failing to report child sexual abusers, and trafficking in baby body parts. Rather than be more transparent with the public, Planned Parenthood wants to make it a crime for the media to publish evidence that it might be doing something illegal.”

The ACLU and press organizations briefly opposed an earlier version of AB 1617, until legislators clarified that the bill would punish those who record the conversations, not media outlets that broadcast them.

Some lawmakers called that a case of blatant hypocrisy.“When ‘60 Minutes’ uses a hidden camera and discovers a unique story, it’s called outstanding journalism, but when a private citizen does it and unmasks a very, very unpleasant truth, it’s a call for legislation,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa.

The bill’s signing came the same day U.S District Judge William Orrick refused to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s case against CMP.

It also came just days after investigators discovered that Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office colluded with Planned Parenthood to write the language of the bill. Beth Parker, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, drafted two versions of AB 1617 in e-mails to then-special counsel Jill Habig.

CMP’s work has sometimes involved abortionists with Planned Parenthood’s California affiliate, one of two that acknowledges it received money in exchange for aborted babies’ organs and tissue. The first undercover Planned Parenthood video, released last July, showed Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Los Angeles discussing the harvesting of human body parts, and the prices charged for them, while eating salad and sipping red wine.

Habig, who is now deputy manager of Harris’ U.S. Senate campaign, did not respond to LifeSiteNews’ request for comment. 

Featured Image
John-Henry Westen/LifeSIte
Rick Fitzgibbons, MD

Opinion,

Exploring the current “inexplicable” Vatican “undermining of St. John Paul II’s legacy”

Rick Fitzgibbons, MD

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — As a psychiatrist with an expertise in the nature, origins and treatment of excessive anger, it has become clear to me that numerous statements and programs from the Vatican demonstrate the expression of excessive anger at St. John Paul II’s remarkable legacy and prophetic writings. 

The new light shed upon Our Lord’s plan for marriage and sexuality, so badly needed in our time, has been very beneficial to Catholic youth, marriages, families, educators as well as the priesthood and the episcopacy over the past 35 years. It has begun to have a noticeable and constructive effect upon marriage preparation and the priestly vocation. Attempts at undermining St. John Paul II’s legacy are, therefore, almost inexplicable.

As we follow the continuous succession of ambiguous statements from the Vatican, it’s troubling to see the obvious anger expressed toward St. John Paul II and his teaching. This anger is not expressed in a clear and direct manner, but rather in an anger of the passive-aggressive type, i.e., anger expressed in a covert or masked way. This anger has been manifested primarily by ignoring his work, much as a spouse expresses anger in marriage by the silent treatment. 

The deliberate ignoring of The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World (Familiaris Consortio) in the recent Synods on the Family and in exhortation following them, Amoris Laetitia, shocked many Catholic marital and family scholars, and mental health professionals, like myself, whose professional work with youth, marriages and families has been enormously helped by St. John Paul II’s historic and groundbreaking apostolic exhortation, accurately described as the Magna Carta on the Catholic family.

The patent anger against the legacy of St. John Paul II, however, has become more obvious and out in the open in a number of recent actions, particularly the seriously flawed Meeting Point online sex education program for youth from the Pontifical Council of the Family that was released at World Youth Day. This program demonstrates planned ambiguity by citing some material from Theology of the Body, while at the same time acting against Familiaris Consortio and the teaching of the Church by removing the vital role of parents in the formation of their children in this area. The program initially posted was also a threat to the psychological and spiritual well-being of youth through its use of pornographic images that were similar to the pornography used by adult sexual predators with adolescents. The initial images that are meant to sexually arouse adolescents are still available for viewing (at LifeSiteNews here) and raise serious questions about the basic integrity of the MP program. Of great concern also is that this program was developed under the leadership of Archbishop Paglia who now has responsibility for the St. John Paul II Institutes worldwide.

Amoris Laetitiae, n. 280 continues the rejection of Church teaching through the support of sex education in schools and the exclusion of the role of parents. The Meeting Point and the AL, n.280, fail to understand both the risk to youth by excluding parents and the teaching of the Church. This omission of the role of parents severely damages trust in the Church. The trust in the Episcopate and priesthood has already been harmed by the crisis in the Church, described by Dr. Paul McHugh, a member of the first review board, as the “massive homosexual predation of adolescent males.”

These radically new approaches to the sexual education of Catholic youth differ totally from the teaching of St. John Paul II.  He wrote:

“Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them,” Familiaris Consortio, n. 37.

Also, the many messages that undermine Catholic teaching have remained without clarification, such as supporting same-sex and cohabiting unions in the interim report of the 2014 Synod, and now the degrading of Catholic morality by welcoming (in however restricted a fashion) to Communion those who are living in mortal sin in the recent document from the Argentinean Bishops Conference.  Pope Francis claimed this action is supported by chapter eight in Amoris Laetitia. This position, however, directly opposes St. John Paul II’s merciful writing on this sensitive issue in Familiaris Consortio, n. 84, and 2,000 years of Church teaching, which forbid such a practice. 

St. John Paul II wrote:

The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church, which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

The passive-aggressive anger against St. John Paul II’s legacy is difficult to understand and, indeed, causing extreme anxiety for millions of Catholics worldwide, the faithful in every vocation, who were feeling more hopeful about a renewal of Catholic marriage, family life, youth, Catholic education, the priesthood and the episcopate due to the greater understanding and commitment to the fullness of the Catholic truth on matters of sexual morality described in FC and VS.

In an attempt to understand what is occurring, I have been helped by reviewing Erik Erikson’s important work, Young Man Luther, in which he identifies Luther’s very difficult childhood experiences with an abusive father and a cold mother. Childhood anger with authority figures is not often expressed in youth because of the fears of the one or both parents. 

However, as I’ve described in an APA anger textbook, anger in its early stages is associated with the sadness of a hurt, but later with pleasure in its expression.  The anger, meant for Luther’s father, would later be misdirected at the papacy, sexual morality, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Marriage – and was undoubtedly a source of pleasure for Luther.

This same psychological dynamic may be occurring now behind the actions against the teachings of the towering spiritual father and saint of the family, St. John Paul II, and the Church. 

In the present stormy seas, when the German Bishops Conference is rejecting the teachings of the Church on sexual morality, marriage, and the Eucharist (accompanied by papal silence and support of a Protestant-style decentralization of the papacy), the Church should not turn away from St. John Paul II but rather embrace his teaching more fully in every marriage, family, youth program, parish, school, seminary, diocese and religious community.

Truly excellent work has been done to bring to all levels of the public outstanding applications of St. John Paul’s Theology of the Body (ToB), which have already been well received by Catholic families and youth. Catholics everywhere, as well as the non-Catholics worldwide that follow Catholic teaching with interest, deserve a defense and development of St. John Paul II’s teaching in this and other matters, and must resist current covert attempts at burying it, along with Familiaris Consortio, by those who are angry or resentful of their natural authority.

The time has come to bring to an end the recent confusion caused by deliberate and planned ambiguity.

Featured Image
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Blogs

Answering the hard questions: Be spiritual, not religious?

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

October 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Do you need Mass? Is meditation a substitute?

Do you need religion?

What do you think of existing religions today?

What do you think of Catholic priests?

Are all religions the same?

These questions and more are all answered by the experts as LifeSiteNews Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen hosts this episode of Truth and Lies.

Print All Articles
View specific date