All articles from March 1, 2017


News

Asia Cardinal’s Lenten message: Repent, an ‘ecological apocalypse’ is about to ‘destroy Mother Earth’

Repent and believe in the reality of Climate Change.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 4:16 pm EST
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Jan Bentz Jan Bentz Follow Jan
By Jan Bentz

YANGON, Myanmar, March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- A Southeast Asian Cardinal says he is following Pope Francis’ lead in denouncing “'ecological sin' made individually and collectively by humans who destroy Mother Earth.”

“Today we find ourselves faced with an ecological holocaust,” said Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, during a pre-Lenten speech at a conference for religious held in Yangon.

“It is a very serious moment. Pope Francis has raised a great shout against this impending disaster when talking about modern sins, the 'ecological sin' made individually and collectively by humans who destroy Mother Earth,” he added.

As a remedy to this so-called man-made ecological disaster, the Cardinal calls the faithful of Asia and Oceania to “reinvigorate a prophetic leap and become missionaries of mercy for the promotion of a just ecology.”

He goes on: “Avarice has caused an ecological terrorism against mother earth. Climate change is real and planet earth is heating up, causing thousands of ‘ecological refugees.’”

“Climate change is an atomic bomb that is about to explode. We find ourselves at the rim of an ecological apocalypse. This ecological apocalypse is the result of ecological sin against the creation of God,” he added.

The Cardinal’s comments are contemporaneous to the Vatican’s conference on “Biological Extinction” happening February 27-March 1. The conference addresses what the organizers call “an unsustainable imbalance” between the world’s population and the earth’s resources.

Paul Ehrlich, a population control activist, is one of the Vatican’s guest speakers. Ehrlich, a supporter of forced sterilization and abortion, is known as the father of the modern pro-abortion population control movement.

In his four years as pope, Francis has given unprecedented focus to political causes such as combatting climate change and reordering the world’s economic system. Last September he called Catholics to have an “ecological conversion” and to repent of “sins” against the environment.

It comes as no surprise therefore to see Bo, who was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015, focusing on the “environmental sins” of his country in his pre-Lenten speech. This admonition comes despite Myanmar’s raging conflicts involving child soldiers, forced slave-and-child labor, systematic sexual violence, human trafficking, the genocide of the Rohingya people, surrogate motherhood, and the abortion crisis.

Bo blamed “rich countries,” specifically naming the United States, for contributing to the earth’s “environmental injustice and ecological injustice.”

“The greenhouse gasses that increase global warming are emitted by rich countries. The United States, with a population of about 6% of the world, produces 40% of greenhouse gasses. Who is dying? The poor. Poor countries are the most vulnerable to global warming. Cyclones, earthquakes, and floods create thousands of victims of natural disasters. This is ecological terrorism. The powerful of this world decide who should live or die. The economic and ecological terrorists are unleashed against the poor,” he said.

Despite Pope Francis’ assurances that the “ecological crisis is real,” unbiased science indicates that there is more 'tampering' than 'temperature' in the field of climate change.

Carleton University professor Michael Hart described in his 2016 book Hubris what he called the “poor science” behind climate change that is used by activists to push an agenda.

“I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives,” he told LifeSiteNews in an August 2016 interview.

Hart made the case that “climate change” has become the Left’s new Trojan horse for ramming through their social agenda on an unsuspecting population.  

“Left-wing politicians discovered in climate change renewed ways to press their agenda of social and economic justice through coercive government programs. As John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, sees it, ‘The alarmists have learned well from the past. They saw what motivates policy makers is not necessarily just hard science, but a well-orchestrated symphony of effort … announce a disaster; cherry pick some results; back it up with computer modeling; proclaim a consensus; stifle the opposition; take over the process and control the funding; and roll the policy makers,’” he said.

Hart quoted philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss whom, he says, sees how environmental science has become the new religion with its own god, its own unique sins, and its own ultimate solution.

“Environmental science [...] prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

“Humanity has broken its pact with nature," Bo states, "and that's why it is a profoundly moral issue, an ecological original sin, which needs an ecological conversion and an ecological evangelization."

"Repent, God's creation is in danger. Your life changes will save the planet," he said.


  catholic, charles bo, climate change, laudato si’, pope francis

News

Jackie Evancho’s ‘trans’ brother free to use girls’ bathrooms, judge rules

Jacob 'Juliet' Evancho's school will be forced to allow gender-confused students to access bathrooms of their choice.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 2:02 pm EST
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Jacob 'Juliet' Evancho
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

ERIE, Pennsylvania, March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Pittsburgh-area school must give students access to the restrooms of the opposite sex if it matches their gender identity in a case involving the brother of singer Jackie Evancho, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The ruling comes less than a week after the Trump administration dropped Barack Obama’s controversial mandate creating special “transgender” sex discrimination protections in U.S. schools under Title IX.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Hornak issued a temporary injunction banning Pine-Richland School District from enforcing its policy stipulating that “transgender” students either use single-person bathrooms or facilities in accord with their biological sex.

Plaintiffs in the case are three Pine-Richland High School students, including Jackie Evancho's brother, Jacob “Juliet” Evancho, who identifies as “transgender.” The others are Elissa Ridenour and a student identified only as A.S.

Evancho and Ridenour are males age 18 or above. A.S., a female student, was listed in courts documents as a minor.

Two of the students used restrooms corresponding with their “gender identity” for years with no issues, Buzzfeed reported, until 2016 when a parent of a student at the school made an inquiry.

Court records indicate the families of all three students had met individually with school officials to inform them of their children’s “transgender” status, and that in each case school leadership was on board with treating them in accord with their “gender identity.”

Evancho’s family had sued the school after its board passed “Resolution 2” last September, a return to the long-standing policy of students have the choice between using facilities that correspond to their biological sex or unisex facilities.

Jacob/“Juliet” Evancho said a separate unisex bathroom was not acceptable "because it marginalizes us. It makes us feel even more separated."

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Hornak determined that the Constitution’s equal protection clause does provide relief for the students and that they are likely to prevail on those claims.

“The Plaintiffs appear to the Court to be young people seeking to do what young people try to do every day-go to school, obtain an education, and interact as equals with their peers,” Hornak wrote. “[T]he Plaintiffs have shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the District’s enforcement of Resolution 2 as to their use of common school restrooms does not afford them equal protection of the law as guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

He concluded, however, they did not have a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their Title IX claim.

The White House announced February 21 it was withdrawing Obama’s May 2016 “guidance” edict ordering U.S. schools to allow gender-confused boys to use girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and overnight accommodations, and vice versa, or risk losing federal funding.

President Trump has promised from the campaign trail to reverse the order and leave the issue to the states.

Jackie Evancho, 16, who sang at President Trump’s inauguration, said she was “obviously disappointed” upon learning that Trump reversed Obama’s “transgender” mandate, “and I realized that we would need to take action in order to enlighten the administration on everything."

On February 22, she tweeted to the president, “2realdonaldtrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a reporter at a news conference the following day he thought Trump would welcome the idea of meeting with her.

Evancho, who took considerable heat for agreeing to perform at the inauguration, told The New York Times in January that singing at the inauguration in no way compromised her support for her “sister’s” fight for legal rights.

Gay activist group Lambda Legal is representing the students in their suit against the school.

Lambda Legal staff attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan praised Hornak’s ruling in a statement Monday, saying, “Such policies are not only wrong, they are illegal. The rescission of a guidance by the Trump administration cannot change that.”


  donald trump, jackie evancho, title ix, transgender bathroom policy

News

Pro-lifers protest Planned Parenthood fundraiser featuring George W. Bush’s daughter

Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 1:47 pm EST
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Jillian Ferguson outside the Texas Planned Parenthood fundraiser for which Barbara Bush was the keynote speaker. Students for Life of America
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life students protested the Planned Parenthood fundraiser at which Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush, spoke this afternoon.

"Our efforts today were part of a larger movement – a movement to create a sustainable and consistent pro-life presence around the nation," said Jillian Ferguson, Texas regional coordinator for Students for Life of America. "We're sending the message that we don't need or want Planned Parenthood. For someone like Barbara Bush [who] so clearly cares about people, it doesn't make sense that she would dedicate her time, abilities, and talents to an organization that so clearly does not care about people."

Bush is the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps. The organization's mission is to "mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity" and build "a network of young changemakers who share a common belief: Health is a human right." The senior staff members of Global Health Corps have experience in promoting "women's rights." Its senior director of advocacy and communications is a former board member of Planned Parenthood the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Northwest Abortion Fund.

"While children aren’t beholden to their parents’ ideals, values and moral views, it is disappointing that Barbara Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush, is keynoting a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, especially since her father held clearly anti-abortion public stances," said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. "Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion vendor and promotes abortion worldwide. There is no amount of good they can possibly do to make up for taking hundreds of thousands of innocent lives every year, which is something we wish Barbara Bush would have considered before accepting the keynote speech."

Local media reported that more than 1,000 people attended the sold-out fundraiser. Tickets cost $150 per person with sponsorship levels up to $20,000. 

"Barbara Bush is fundraising for a corporation that dismembers, poisons, and starves to death 887 innocent preborn children in the womb every day," said Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action. "We urge Barbara to pull her support from the abortion corporation, and instead use whatever platform she has to defend the rights of the most vulnerable. Live Action's latest investigation shows that Planned Parenthood is masking their abortion practices with lies about providing the most basic health care to women who are pregnant — the corporation provides virtually no prenatal care, despite its claims otherwise. There's one choice for women who are pregnant at Planned Parenthood: abortion."

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Pro-lifers outside the Planned Parenthood fundraiser that featured Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush SOURCE: Students for Life of America
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The band The Lumineers is donating all profits from a show yesterday in Dallas to Planned Parenthood. 

"To read news stories about attempts to defund this ... healthcare in Texas for so many women (and men) is disturbing and has moved us to act," its lead singer, Wesley Schultz, said. 

Recent sting investigations from Live Action show the majority of Planned Parenthood facilities don't offer prenatal care because they "specialize in abortion." Most Planned Parenthood facilities Live Action investigated were also unable to provide pregnant women with an ultrasound unless it was part of an abortion.


  abortion, barbara pierce bush, global health corps, planned parenthood, the lumineers

News

Fight over Planned Parenthood defunding grows and Cecile Richards is terrified

Congressional fight brewing over defunding Planned Parenthood, Hyde protections in Obamacare replacement
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 1:20 pm EST
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Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Congress is gearing up to defund Planned Parenthood in an Obamacare repeal bill, making some pro-abortion Republican senators nervous and causing the abortion business to panic.

A draft of the House bill was leaked to Politico last week. It would defund Planned Parenthood, "which could be an obstacle if the bill gets to the Senate," Politico writer Paul Demko predicted.

Pro-life groups have called on Congress to redirect money from scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood to federally qualified community health centers that don't commit abortions. The Susan B. Anthony List is running an ad on FOX & Friends and MSNBC’s Morning Joe exposing Planned Parenthood's abortion-centric focus.

There are enough pro-life votes for such a bill to pass the House, but two Republican Senators have indicated they may not vote to defund Planned Parenthood. This could mean the Senate would be tied 50-50, requiring Vice President Pence to act as tiebreaker.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, promised on Wednesday to "not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, also said she was "not happy" that the anti-Obamacare bill would axe Planned Parenthood funding.

But despite media speculation that fights over Planned Parenthood could cause the Obamacare replacement bill to unravel, the abortion company isn't optimistic. 

"Docs and clinicians are terrified that this Senate is going" to defund Planned Parenthood, its CEO, Cecile Richards, told BuzzFeed News. Just a few months after the Supreme Court sided with the abortion lobby in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, BuzzFeed reports, "Richards’ organization stands not only to lose its funding but also the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring insurers provide birth control coverage."

"The truth is, no one really knows what will make a difference anymore," Richards told BuzzFeed. "But that’s why we have to do everything we can."

The extensive profile on Richards and her efforts to save the abortion organization noted, "Planned Parenthood is preparing for the worst-case scenario." The loss of federal funds "would most likely cause many Planned Parenthood clinics to close down." 

Although federal funds don't directly pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood, pro-life advocates point out that money is fungible. The reimbursements from the government and the Title X money Planned Parenthood receives are used to help keep the organization, which commits more than 300,000 abortions annually, running. 

Planned Parenthood has been desperately fundraising since President Trump was elected. It has enlisted the help of celebrities to promote Planned Parenthood everywhere from New York Fashion Week to the Oscars. But Richards said they won't be able to raise half a billion dollars, the amount they currently receive from taxpayers.

"The answer to that is no," she said of whether supporters' donations could replace Planned Parenthood's government funding.

In addition to redirecting Planned Parenthood's funds to federally qualified community health centers, a priority for pro-life groups is ensuring Obamacare's replacement includes protections for the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion.

Obamacare passed thanks to pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI. He voted for Obamacare after accepting assurances from Obama that it wouldn't fund abortion. However, it does. Pro-lifers want to avoid a similar expansion of abortion in Obamacare's replacement.

"Currently, any bill funding healthcare must carry restrictions on abortion funding or it will end up funding the brutal practice of abortion," a February 2 letter from more than 40 pro-life groups to Republicans says. "That is why the Republican platform rightly calls for a 'permanent ban on federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion.'"

"We are encouraged by this longstanding commitment by Republicans to ensure that no Republican healthcare proposal, including those that provide tax credits for health insurance, funds abortion or plans that cover abortion," the letter said. The pro-life leaders urged Republicans "to ensure this essential pro-life policy is included in any healthcare legislation considered to replace Obamacare." 

Leaders of the March for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Catholic Medical Association, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops signed onto the letter.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would hardly be a victory for pro-life groups if Obamacare's replacement funded or could be interpreted to fund abortion.


  abortion, defund planned parenthood, lisa murkowski, obamacare, obamacare replacement, planned parenthood, susan collins

News

This pro-life soldier has been on the front lines for more than 40 years. Hear his incredible story

The longtime activist shares stories in his new book from his groundbreaking work in the pro-life movement.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 1:19 pm EST
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Joe Scheidler LifeSiteNews
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – If there’s one thing the godfather of the pro-life movement has learned from all his years of activism, it’s that the work of saving the unborn is a boots-on-the-ground, year-round endeavor.

Some of the methods in the fight for life may have changed in the past 40 years, Joe Scheidler says, but pro-lifers must still be engaged in a direct and consistent way.

“You have to do something about it. And the thing to do is to talk to the people that are pro-abortion. Talk to the women that are going for abortions,” Scheidler said, stressing current success in on-site conversions. “You can go right there where they have the abortions. And many times those women are not a hundred percent certain, and we’ve had tremendous success in converting people.”

The fight for the right to life continues

“I would say do something every day,” Scheidler told LifeSiteNews during an extended interview at the March for Life. “Don’t just come to a march once a year and say you’ve done your pro-life duty.”

“In our country, we kill about a million babies every year, thousands a day,” he emphasized. “We have to save those children. Those are human beings; they’re us. And our government has just said, “They’re nothing.”

The Pro-Life Action League founder’s new memoir, Racketeer for Life: Fighting the Culture of Death From the Sidewalk to the Supreme Court, details Scheidler’s four-plus decades of pro-life activism.

The memoir from Tan Books also chronicles Scheidler’s infamous 28-year legal battle with the National Organization of Women (NOW).

In Scheidler v. NOW, the feminist group brought a racketeering and extortion suit against Scheidler with the false claim he organized violence or threats of such to shut down abortion facilities across the U.S.

The case went before the Supreme Court a record three times, with Scheidler finally prevailing in 2014.

Scheidler marks the time in the case around milestones in his children’s lives.

“My youngest son, Matthias, was four years old when I was sued by NOW and the abortion clinics,” Scheidler said. “He was 32 when the case was finally over.”

Still leading in the pro-life movement

Scheidler’s 1985 book, Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, is considered a landmark guide to pro-life activism. He is regarded as paving the way for today’s movement in all its forms.

Himself the target of violence at his home and elsewhere, Scheidler has taken it in stride and even forgiven perpetrators.

Telling his story

The idea for his latest book developed when two Pro-Life Action League volunteers asked how they could help while only having availability on Saturdays. He asked them to come and transcribe for him.

Scheidler recounted, “So I said, “Why don’t you come in Saturdays and I’ll tell you some stories. And maybe it’ll turn into a book.”

“It’s just that simple,” he told LifeSiteNews. “You know, if you tell enough stories, after awhile you have a manuscript. It’s the only way to write a book.”

Scheidler was impressed with how the volunteers kept up with his retelling of more than 40 years of pro-life advocacy.

“I had a lot of stories,” he said. “I enjoyed doing it.”

Distorting truth to preserve abortion

Going back through the specifics of Scheidler v. NOW for the book, Scheidler recalled how the feminist group twisted his pro-life work in court to paint him as guilty of violence.  

“I just thought it was interesting because, working through the racketeering case, I was doing all the stuff that they charged me with doing,” he said. “Going to clinics, talking to women, talking to the doctors, trying to convert who we could.”

Scheidler continued, “Doing the things in court that they made look like violent acts. Go to a clinic, talk to the girls — they would have us hitting people with our signs.”

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After nearly three decades of wrangling in court, often with the deck stacked against him and at one point the family having to put their home up for bond, Scheidler said, “And through it all, I got to learn a little bit about the law.”

The case resulted in the founding of the Thomas More Society.

“They’re doing great work. If nothing else came out of that case, we got a great law institute,” Scheidler said of the legal non-profit, then kidded, “And my book!”

If abortionists read it, they hate it, he said, and write “really bad reviews on Amazon.” But pro-lifers love it.

A story that must be told

This history of the activist and legal sides of the pro-life movement is an important story that must be told, he said.

“I think nowadays people should know,” he stated, “especially young people coming into the movement that don’t have this background of when we had to do it all. I mean, you start a pro-life movement, where’d you go?”

“But the story needed to be told and I think young people should read it,” Scheidler said, “and I think the abortionists should read it to see our motivation.”

God often works through our children

Being a parent is what drives many to deeper involvement in the pro-life fight, Scheidler included.

Two experiences involving his children defined his immersion into pro-life activism.

Scheidler said one reason was the fact his wife Ann was pregnant with their first daughter after three sons when the Roe v. Wade decision was issued.

“And I realized January 22, 1973 — she was of no value,” he stated, almost whispering.

Scheidler couldn’t believe his daughter had no protection from the government for which he’d served in the Navy in WWII.

“And to think that my daughter had no protection, had no value to my government, to the United States, the greatest country in the whole world,” he said further. “And, it was taken away, she was nothing. And I resented that.”

The other crucial moment for him occurred year before in 1972, when Scheidler attended a pro-life rally and saw a picture of a black bag containing the bodies of aborted babies.

“And one of those babies looked like my son, Eric, who is now the executive director of Pro-Life Action League,” Scheidler recounted. “And I took it personally.”

“That did it,” he said. “I would say that’s when I realized abortion was taking the lives of real human beings, and, that can’t be right.”

Later the following January when the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, Scheidler said he went into shock.

Other times God uses our friends

Then an account executive for a PR firm, Scheidler said he got together with his boss, a fellow Notre Dame graduate, who told Scheidler that he should go full time in pro-life work because he’d lost interest in his clients.

With young children and a baby on the way, Scheidler wondered how they’d get by, but he recalls thinking, “How can I be selling Telemea cheese when they’re killing my children?”

He recalled his boss told him, “You’ve got PR skills, you’ll get a following. And we’ve kept going now for 44 years.”

Where pro-lifers in the past had to do it all; counseling, revealing the truth about abortion, said Scheidler, the work is more specialized now.

A new day in the fight

He lauded pro-life leaders of today for doing what his group could not but whom they opened the door for, such as David Daleiden and David Bereit. 

“40 Days (for Life), staying at the clinic 40 days, we didn’t do that,” Scheidler said. “We tried it, after a couple days (we stopped) … I told David Bereit it’ll never work. (Now) It’s all over the world.”

“There has been a lot of change, and specialization,” stated Scheidler, who will turn 90 in September. “And there’s a lot of optimism.”

Like many, he’s encouraged by the renewed pro-life climate in Washington and the hope for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Pray and work

As a former Benedictine seminarian, the rule of St. Benedict’s has stuck with Scheidler.

Ora et labora,” he told LifeSiteNews. “You pray and you work. And that’s actually critical – Ora.”

“Because only God — you know, these are God’s children,” Scheidler explained. “These are His creatures, and we’re trying to keep them alive, to serve Him.”

“So I stress prayer quite a bit in the book,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Some people say, ‘Oh you only wanna pray.’ Yeah, you pray – then you work. But your work is based on your prayer and your trust in God.”

Joe Scheidler’s memoir can be purchased here.


  abortion, joe scheidler

News

‘Transgender’ girl on testosterone dominates girls’ Texas wrestling championship

Some competitors refused to compete against Mack Beggs because the male hormones he was taking gave him a physical superiority.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 12:11 pm EST
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Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old girl who wants to become a boy, won a Texas high school wrestling title.
Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter
By Peter LaBarbera

March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old girl taking testosterone to fulfill her “transgender” dream of living as a “man,” won a Texas state wrestling title Saturday amid outcries that the competition was unfair because of her drug-induced physical advantages.

Beggs, a junior at the Trinity High School in Euless, Texas, defeated Chelsea Sanchez 12-2 to become state champion in the 110-pound girls weight class. Her photo reveals an upper body physique that is at some level the product of her drug-induced “masculinity,” with arms that look more like those of a boy than a typical girl, even a girl athlete.

She has taken the male hormone testosterone since October 2015, according to The Dallas Morning News. The newspaper reports matter-of-factly that Beggs “is taking testosterone while transitioning from female to male,” but social conservatives note that truly changing one’s sex (DNA) is impossible.

Beggs wanted to compete against boys but could not because the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which regulates sports in the Lone Star State, does not allow biological females to wrestle with boys.

In February 2016, Texas school superintendents voted 95 percent in favor (586-32) to add an amendment to the UIL constitution regarding student athletes: "Gender shall be determined based on a student's birth certificate. In cases where a student's birth certificate is unavailable, other similar government documents used for the purpose of identification may be substituted."

“Transgender” activists condemned the new policy. In some states like Illinois, girls can and do compete against boys in high school wrestling (and other sports), although the issue is still controversial given the inherent differences between boys’ and girls’ bodies.

Birth certificates required

Ironically, the UIL changed the policy to keep “transgender” students, e.g., boys who want to live as “girls,” from competing on opposite-sex teams with their unnatural physical advantage. It was fought unsuccessfully by PFLAG and other LGBTQ activists for “transgender athletes,” who complained that getting one’s birth certificate “sex” listing changed to the opposite sex is a long and complicated process.

Beggs’ win at state made her undefeated (54-0) for the year and came after getting two “byes” in previous rounds because girls refused to wrestle her, ESPN reported. The pro-LGBTQ ESPN and other media referred to Beggs using a male pronoun, despite her female DNA.

This follows the “style” preferences of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA), which advises reporters: “Use the name and personal pronouns that are consistent with how the individual lives publicly.” NLGJA is an advocacy organization, although it denies that characterization.

Lawsuits to protect girls

The Dallas Morning News reported Feb. 18 on a lawsuit against the UIL by the parents of a girl wrestler at a competing Texas school, urging the sports body to suspend Beggs because she is using steroids. “The suit claims that allowing the transgender wrestler to compete while using testosterone exposes other athletes to ‘imminent threat of bodily harm," the Morning News reported.

The plaintiff for the lawsuit “is bringing the case forward on behalf of his minor daughter and ‘other similarly situated female wrestlers’ in the state, according to the suit,” the newspaper reported. His daughter was not in Beggs’ weight class and so the two would not be competing.

Despite criticism of the policy, a UIL executive said the policy requiring all athletes to compete based on the sex listed on their birth certificate will likely not be changed, ESPN reported.

"Ninety-five percent of the school superintendents in Texas voted for the rule as it was proposed, which was to use birth certificates," the UIL’s Jamey Harrison told the sports network. "So any rule can be reconsidered, but ... given the overwhelming support for that rule, I don't expect it to change anytime soon."

The Dallas Morning News article quotes Diane Ehrensaft, a “clinical and developmental psychologist and founding member of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center in California,” as saying that taking testosterone “can create physical effects such as face and body hair as well as increased muscle mass.” Results differ by individual, Ehrensaft said. 

Gunning for Texas?

Texas pro-family education advocate Donna Garner said that despite the obvious unfairness of Beggs competing with normal, drug-free girls, the UIL decision “did exactly the right and biologically sound thing.” She commended the UIL for voting to use birth certificates to classify the sex of student-athletes — especially given the tiny number of “transgender” athletes in question.

“It is far wiser for the UIL to follow sound science based upon biological chromosomes than to get off on a tangent that would only apply to a small cadre of transgender people,” Garner told LifeSiteNews.

Robert Oscar Lopez, a professor of humanities at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the head of Mass Resistance-Texas, said the “transgender boy” wrestler story is part of a much bigger LGBTQ activist effort to transform his state.

“There is a very aggressive campaign on multiple fronts and involving many groups — led by the Human Rights Campaign — to push the LGBTQ agenda in Texas schools,” Lopez told LifeSiteNews. “This controversy must be understood in that context.”

Lopez himself is one of many victims of LGBT activism, having been drummed out of California State University, Northridge as a professor because of his politically incorrect views on homosexuality. Lopez, who was raised by two lesbians, is a vocal critic of same-sex parenting. He is despised by the homosexual media-pressure group GLAAD.


  high school, mack beggs, testosterone, texas, transgender, university interscholastic league, wrestling

News

Battle rages in New Hampshire over radical transgender rights bill

Legislation to include gender in the state's anti-discrimination laws is on the fast track toward a vote.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 10:42 am EST
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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

CONCORD, New Hampshire, March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — New Hampshire has become the latest battleground over transgender bathrooms.

Legislation was introduced in the state House of Representatives in January that would add "gender (self) identity" to the state's anti-discrimination laws (HB-478).

The bill took a significant step forward at a Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee public hearing last week, where supporters packed the room with LGBTQ activists.

Supporters were well prepared at the hearing, lining up self-described transgender adults to testify and using children as well to speak in favor of the bill. One Cornerstone Policy Research attendee estimated supporters outnumbered opponents 30 to 1.  

Homosexual activists brought to the hearing representatives from national groups such as the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign, Harvard Pilgrim Insurance Company, the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, the Chamber of Commerce, law firms, and the NH Coalition against Domestic Violence.

As a result, instead of scheduling a work session to discuss the practical implications of the bill or retaining the bill for further study, the committee immediately recommended "Ought to Pass" just two days later.

Cornerstone told LifeSiteNews that conservative legislators are working to build a coalition against the bill, both among Republicans and Libertarians.  But as a state with one of the lowest rates of churchgoers in the nation, social conservatives are not a majority.

"Our opposition to this bill is about much more than protecting privacy and safety in bathrooms," Cornerstone chairman Charlie McKinney said. "It is about protecting the fundamental rights of privacy, religious liberty, parental rights, and private property, among others, of all New Hampshire citizens."

"The solution here is to allow civil society to work out its own accommodations in love and charity," McKinney said.

Cornerstone has created an online petition for concerned New Hampshire residents and an open letter to House Speaker Shawn Jasper at BiologyMattersNH.com

The pro-family organization claims that HB-478 puts "the feelings of gender-confused individuals" over citizen privacy and safety. Cornerstone alleges that "serious questions" regarding the bill's effect on "the rights of women, business owners, free speech, privacy, private property, and religious freedom" were ignored "in the rush to embrace radical gender ideology."

The transgender legislation has been fast-tracked, with a vote expected March 8 or 9. Rep. JR Hoell is leading the legislative fight against the bill.  

"I find it disturbing that in today's society members of our legislature would push a public policy that endangers the greater society, putting our families, children in particular, at risk of sexual exploitation by those who would subvert this policy for their own selfish desires," Rep. Hoell told LifeSiteNews.  

"Article one of the New Hampshire Constitution is clear: All men and women are 'born equally free and independent; therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good,'" Hoell continued.  "Our House members should be willing to support the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold."

Opponents say that if the bill passes, confused men would be allowed in girls' changing rooms, locker rooms, showers, and "any other place where women and girls deserve safe, protected spaces." Furthermore, parents "would be stripped of their rights and can no longer insist that their children's privacy be respected at school."

The transgender HB-478 is a repeat of an already defeated 2009 bill (HB-415).

"Although the bills are not verbatim, they are effectively the same bill," Rep. Hoell explained to LifeSiteNews. "In 2009, that bill became so toxic in the press that 24 senators voted to kill it when it was sent to the senate."

Of additional concern is the prediction that churches and religious organizations "would be forced to comply with radical gender ideology."

The state has an exemption for “religious entities,” but conservatives say it is "weak and poorly worded, leaving open the threat of litigation or forced violation of mission."

The state religious exemption only allows churches to “limit admission” or to apply the exemption to “persons of the same religion or denomination.” In other words, conservatives say, churches, faith-based charities, schools, and ministries must check everyone at the door to determine if they are “of the same religion or denomination” in order to maintain gender separate bathrooms.

And even if someone says they belong to "the same religion," that person may nevertheless claim to be transgender and sue for his or her "rights." Legal fees to defend suits could be crippling, let alone court-ordered payments to those who cry "discrimination."

More important, Christian churches have a mission to others, not just their members.  They seek to serve and evangelize everyone, regardless of religion. Therefore, bill opponents say, HB-478 would force churches "to violate their own mission ... That is nonsensical."

Besides public safety and religious freedom, Christians say they are the ones who are truly concerned for the good of gender-confused individuals.  HB-478 "will shield gender confused individuals from the truth," McKinney wrote in a letter to constituents.

"For centuries, we have had social mores, now dubbed 'discriminatory,' that are in truth loving, since they informally embraced a moral code that pointed to acceptance of how God created us," McKinney wrote.

"Although most of the national press on this issue has focused on bathrooms, that's not what is really at stake for us as Christians," McKinney explained.  "At issue here, as with most other social issues, is the freedom to declare the Truth and conform our lives to the will and design of our Father and Creator."

McKinney recommended New Hampshire pastors urge their congregants to pray and also to write or call their state representatives to request they vote against HB-478.

LifeSiteNews repeatedly sought comment from the Catholic Diocese of Manchester regarding any pastoral guidance issued to the Catholic faithful on this legislation. The diocese said it is "monitoring" the situation.  


  gender identity, lgbtq, new hampshire house of representatives, transgender, transgender bathrooms

News

Australian pro-lifers stop extreme abortion bill in historic victory

This is the first time that a bill advancing the availability of abortion has been defeated in Australia.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 9:07 am EST
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March for Life 2017 in Brisbane, Australia Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, Australian correspondent
By Andrew Smith

BRISBANE, Australia, March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Independent MP Rob Pyne withdrew his two abortion bills just a day before they faced certain defeat in the Queensland Parliament.

The bills were designed to remove abortion from the criminal code, install 50-metre “protected area” zones prohibiting peaceful assembly near abortion clinics, and force doctors and nursing staff to perform deemed ‘emergency abortions’ regardless of any conscientious objections.

This is the first time that a bill advancing the availability of abortion has been defeated in Australia.

The withdrawal comes at the end of a 10-month battle during which both bills went through marathon committee hearings that worked through a combined 2,720 submissions of which 83 percent were against the bills. By comparison, an inquiry into the contentious subject of domestic violence with its greater media visibility only received 20 submissions.

The outcome of these all-party parliamentary committee inquiries that replaces the function of the upper house in the Queensland Parliament was damning. Neither bill was able to be recommended to the Parliament for passing with the first Pyne bill unanimously rejected.

Official parliamentary petitions against each bill collected a combined 55,604 signatures. An unprecedented crowd estimated at 4,000 people arrived in front of Parliament at the end of the annual March For Life in Brisbane, completely filling all available space.

For peak lobbying group Cherish Life Queensland, the win was a welcome result against what was widely regarded as extreme bills.  

“The bills faced certain defeat in Parliament because they were so flawed,” Cherish Life president Julie Borger said. “The announcement by the Labor government that Parliament will not consider abortion legislation again in this term of parliament is a great victory for life and decency. Mr. Pyne was used by the pro-abortion lobby, who gave him disastrous advice."

The win also reflected the results of market research performed in May 2016 when the first bill was announced.

“Only 6 percent of Queenslanders support the extreme position of abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason, which these bills would have legalised,” Borger said.

Cherish Life has also attacked the bills for their complete lack of safeguards such as mandatory counseling and cooling off periods.

“Often, there is not free and informed choice by women. There is a lot of coercion by parents, boyfriends, partners or husbands.” she said.

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Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) member Mark Robinson MP, who led the fight against the bills, was keen to point out that the withdrawal of the bills from the Parliament was a strategic move by pro-abortion MPs to prevent “a catastrophic loss that could set abortion reform back many years.”

Robinson also explained that the Labor government’s face-saving decision to refer the current abortion legislation to the Law Reform Commission was not endorsed by the Parliament. “It is purely a Labor thing,” he added.

Key to the withdrawal of the bills was the unanimous decision by LNP MPs to vote as a block against the bills in line with party policy. Party leader Tim Nicholls had originally declared a conscience vote on what was then only one bill just days after becoming party leader and without having a party room meeting to decide the issue. The allocation of the conscience vote is what enabled the Pyne Bill(s) to have viability for passing in the Parliament.

He again offered all MPs conscience votes on both bills in a party meeting Monday afternoon.  Each LNP MP came to their own conclusion that they would vote against both bills, resulting in an effective block vote that coincidentally reflected party policy on abortion.

In a statement after the meeting, Nicholls said, “The first bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable. The second bill attempts to correct the failures of the first bill but falls well short. It creates further risk and uncertainty as shown in the Parliamentary Committee report – this doesn’t help anyone.”


  abortion, australia, cherish life queensland, march for life brisbane, queensland parliament, rob pyne

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They gave Pope Francis four years to ‘make the Church over again.’ Here’s how he’s tried.

On March 13, 2013, Catholics couldn't possibly know the massive shake-up awaiting them. But the cardinals who got Francis elected did.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 4:27 pm EST
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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Four years ago, on March 13, 2013, an unknown Argentinian cardinal was elected to lead the Catholic Church. The election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio followed upon 35 years of clear, solid, orthodox teaching under the distinguished pontificates of Saint John Paul II (1978-2005) and Benedict XVI (2005-2013).

As white smoke emanated from the Sistine Chapel chimney that March evening, signifying the election of a new pope, faithful Catholics around the world were eager to see who their next leader would be. They did not know, nor could they possibly have known, the massive shake-up that awaited them.

However, a number of high-ranking prelates did know. Some even let it slip following the election that an influential group of liberal-minded cardinals had been in existence with the goal of influencing the conclave to elect Bergoglio. One cardinal even said he was part of the group. He referred to it as a “mafia.”

St. Gallen ‘mafia’

It was Cardinal Godfried Danneels, honored with standing alongside Pope Francis on the balcony on the night of his election, who revealed the existence of the St. Gallen group. It was Danneels who called it a "mafia" on account of its goal to drastically reform the Church to make it "much more modern."

The informal group came into existence sometime around 1996. Members, which included Cardinals da Cruz Policarpo, Martini, Danneels, Murphy-O'Connor, Silvestrini, Husar, Kasper, and Lehmann, thought they could have a “significant impact” on future papal elections if each of them used their network of contacts, according to Danneels’ authorized biography co-written by Jürgen Mettepenningen and Karim Schelkens.

The group allegedly lost its impetus in 2006 after failing to have their preferred candidate elected in the 2005 conclave. While the group has been accused of being involved in a plot that led to the resignation of Pope Benedict, these claims have been denied by former bishop of St. Gallen Ivo Fürer.

But while Bishop Fürer stated that the St. Gallen group did not officially meet after 2006, and therefore could not have been involved in a plot to force Benedict XVI to resign, this does not mean that the group was inactive.

According to Austen Ivereigh, Francis’ biographer and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor’s former assistant, days prior to the March 12 conclave in Rome, Murphy-O’Connor was tasked by the St. Gallen “mafia” with informing Bergoglio of a plan to get him elected. Murphy-O’Connor was an old friend of Bergoglio.

As Ivereigh described in his 2014 book on Pope Francis, Murphy-O’Connor was also tasked with lobbying for Bergoglio among his North American counterparts as well as acting as a link for those from Commonwealth countries.

“They first secured Bergoglio’s assent,” wrote Ivereigh. “Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked. Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned him to 'be careful,’ and that it was his turn now, and was told 'capisco’ – 'I understand.’”

“Then they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age – 76 – should no longer be considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign. Having understood from 2005 the dynamics of a conclave, they knew that votes travelled to those who made a strong showing out of the gate,” he wrote.

Because he was over the age of 80, Murphy-O'Connor was not able to vote in the Conclave, but was present at the pre-Conclave gatherings. On March 2, an anonymous cardinal who was not able to vote in the conclave told Italian news service La Stampa that, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Murphy-O'Connor was later named making the same comment in a July 2013 piece that appeared in the Independent.

In early March of 2013, word began to get around quickly in the College of Cardinals that a powerful movement was afoot to elect Bergoglio.

In an astounding talk given six months after Bergoglio’s election, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., revealed how he became part of the plan to elect the new pope.

“Before the Conclave, nobody thought that there was a chance for Bergoglio,” he said in an October 1, 2013 talk given at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

McCarrick, who like Murphy-O'Connor, was too old to vote in the conclave, said that prior to the event a “very interesting and influential Italian gentlemen” visited him at the American College in Rome where he was staying to ask him to campaign for Bergoglio. The conversation, as related by McCarrick, must be quoted at length to reveal its significance.

We sat down. This is a very brilliant man, a very influential man in Rome. We talked about a number of things. He had a favor to ask me for [when I returned] back home in the United States.

But then [the influential Italian] said, ‘What about Bergoglio?’

And I was surprised at the question.

I said, ‘What about him?’

He said, ‘Does he have a chance?’

I said, ‘I don't think so, because no one has mentioned his name. He hasn't been in anyone's mind. I don't think it’s on anybody's mind to vote for him.”

He said, ‘He could do it, you know.’

I said, ‘What could he do?’

He said, ‘[Bergoglio] could reform the Church. If we gave him five years, he could put us back on target.’

I said, ‘But, he’s 76.’

He said, ‘Yeah, five years. If we had five years, the Lord working through Bergoglio in five years could make the Church over again.’

I said, ‘That’s an interesting thing.’

He said, ‘I know you’re his friend.’

I said, ‘I hope I am.’

He said, ‘Talk him up.’

I said, ‘Well, we'll see what happens. This is God’s work.’

That was the first that I heard that there were people who thought Bergoglio would be a possibility in this election.

McCarrick went on to say in his talk that when his time came to speak to all the cardinals prior to the vote, he urged them to elect someone from “Latin America” who could identify with the poor.

He then went on in his talk to praise Pope Francis to the American Catholic students as a “pastor” greater than previous popes. “I think we have maybe never had a ‘pastor’ in so long a time,” he said.

He continued: “[Francis] has an understanding of human nature, an understanding that, though he says some things that maybe would surprise us, but the interesting thing is that if you examine what he is saying, it is what the Church has said all the time. Maybe not what the canonists have said all the time, or what different theologians have said all the time. But the teaching of the Church all the time is the teaching of Pope Francis.”

McCarrick predicted at that time that Francis “if he has two years, he will have changed the papacy.”

“The longer he is in, the more I think it is likely that we could say that he has changed the papacy,” he stated.

‘Four years of Bergoglio’

What liberal prelates like McCarrick, Murphy-O'Connor, and Danneels knew about Bergoglio’s capacity to “make the Church over again” has only slowly and confusedly become evident to faithful Catholics over the last four years, but especially in the last year. Based on a mistaken notion of papal infallibility, many Catholics have defended Pope Francis to the point of absurdity. But sober-minded Catholics who know the traditional teachings, history, and practices, are alarmed at the clear fact that many of the Holy Father’s actions and statements are at odds with what has gone before.

In Bergoglio’s four years as Pope Francis the four marks that set the Catholic Church apart from every other religion on the face of the earth, namely that she is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, have become obscured and even undermined.

The oneness or unity of the Church in her submission to Christ as head, in her doctrinal integrity, and in her confession of one faith has been obscured and undermined in various ways under Francis’ pontificate:

  • He has called for a “decentralized” Church, and allowed individual bishops’ groups to determine for their own “regional” churches what is moral and right. In this way, it is supposedly permissible for adulterers to receive Holy Communion in Germany while across the border in Poland it is gravely sinful.
  • His ambiguous speeches and especially his papal writings have turned cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop, and lay-faithful against lay-faithful.
  • He has refused to answer Church leaders earnestly begging for clarity on points of contention.
  • He has allowed Catholic doctrine to be minimized in the name of religious “dialogue” with other Christian denominations with a history of hostility towards Catholic doctrine on marriage, the Eucharist, and the papacy. Under his leadership, the Vatican has even hailed Luther, the founder of Protestantism, as a “witness to the gospel.”

The holiness and sacred reality of the Church as the bride of Christ has been obscured and undermined in various ways under Francis’ pontificate:

The Catholicity or universal mission of the Church to ceaselessly toil for the salvation of souls has been obscured and undermined in various ways under Francis’ pontificate:

The apostolicity of the Church where the deposit of faith is authentically handed down from the apostles through their successors the bishops and cardinals has been obscured and undermined in various ways under Francis’ pontificate:

Pope as ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’

In his October 2013 speech to the Catholic students of Villanova University, Cardinal McCarrick ended his panegyric of Pope Francis by comparing him to the “Pied Piper of Hamelin.”

“He will walk across the stage of the world and people will follow him. They will find in him like they found in the Pied Piper of Hamelin, they will find in him a certain charism, that reminds them that this is what God's love is all about. And this is what Francis is all about,” he said.

McCarrick surely didn’t realize how disturbing the comparison was. According to the children’s tale, when the town’s families refused to pay the piper for ridding them of a rat infestation, he took his revenge by using his pipe on their children. Enchanting them with his charism and delightful tunes the piper led them away into a secret mountain cave and they were never seen again.

If, as McCarrick said, Bergoglio is the Pied Piper, perhaps fewer would have followed his tune if they had known where it would lead them.

But one Argentinian journalist who knew Bergoglio well warned the world on the day of his election what kind of tune the new pontiff piper was about to play. These words posted online at Rorate Caeli on March 13, 2013, the day of the election of Pope Francis, are so on the mark one might suspect that the journalist had somehow managed to time travel four years ahead from that date to today so as to accurately depict what was about to unfold.

The day Bergoglio was elected, Argentinian journalist Marcelo González of Panorama Católico Internacional wrote that he was “terrified” for the future of the Catholic Church. It is worth quoting the post in its entirety:

Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and morals seem to have been irrelevant to him.

A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy. He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum.

Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is.

His entourage in the Buenos Aires Curia, with the exception of a few clerics, has not been characterized by the virtue of their actions. Several are under grave suspicion of moral misbehavior.

He has not missed any occasion for holding acts in which he lent his Cathedral to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to partisan groups in the name of an impossible and unnecessary inter-religious dialogue. He is famous for his meetings with Protestants in the Luna Park arena where, together with preacher of the Pontifical House, Raniero Cantalamessa, he was "blessed" by Protestant ministers, in a common act of worship in which he, in practice, accepted the validity of the "powers" of the TV-pastors.

This election is incomprehensible: he is not a polyglot, he has no Curial experience, he does not shine for his sanctity, he is loose in doctrine and liturgy, he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against homosexual "marriage" [approved with practically no opposition from the episcopate], he has no manners to honor the Pontifical Throne.

He has never fought for anything else than to remain in positions of power.

It really cannot be what Benedict wanted for the Church. And he does not seem to have any of the conditions required to continue his work.

May God help His Church. One can never dismiss, as humanly hard as it may seem, the possibility of a conversion... and, nonetheless, the future terrifies us.

Trial, the Church’s path to glory

Like Cardinals McCarrick and Murphy-O'Connor, González knew that Bergoglio had the capacity to “make the Church over again” in ways that would leave her practically unrecognizable.

A source who works in a Vatican dicastery told LifeSiteNews earlier this month that the changes in the Vatican under Francis have created a climate of fear inside its walls.

“The impression for many here is that this is a totalitarian kind of regime, with no Catholic agenda or values at heart. It’s one that follows the major modernist spins and is politically-minded through-and-through. It’s totalitarian in the sense that it usually shows no real regard for due process, for law, and for reason itself, only for will and arbitrary trampling of whatever lawful obstacles face them,” the source said.

“Many here, knowing that the regime is totalitarian are also simply waiting for it to pass, to end, as they usually do eventually, since only God is absolute. They might seem to support it, by staying silent. But, in fact, many are either afraid or indifferent. All are waiting for it to end, since nobody likes to live in fear,” the source added.

Jesus Christ told St. Peter, the first pope, that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Every faithful Catholic believes that the battle against evil has already been won by Christ who has definitively conquered Satan through his death and resurrection. This does not mean, however, that Satan will not do his best to destroy the Church. He will try, and it might even look like he is succeeding, but he will fail.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about an “ultimate trial” that the Church must undergo before the second coming of Christ.

“Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth,” it states.

But like every trial the Church has ever faced in her 2000-year-old history, this trial will only make her stronger and more glorious.

Continues the Catechism: “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.”

Jesus Christ has compared himself to the “corner-stone” which the builders rejected. It is upon this unmovable stone that the Church has been forever established. It is from this stone that she receives her solidity and unity. For those with the eyes to see it, it is “marvelous” to behold.

In these perilous times for the Church, we must hold fast to Christ’s promise that no one in any age will ever destroy his bride, the Church, whom he sanctified with his blood: “He who falls upon this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”


  catholic, cormac murphy-oconnor, godfried danneels, pope francis, vatican

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A sad story: Our pro-life presidents, and their pro-abortion children

The news that Barbara Bush is headlining a Planned Parenthood fundraising is extremely disappointing, but hardly surprising.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 11:41 am EST
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - George W. Bush was my first political hero. I was in the seventh grade when his first term began, and I was enthralled by the idea of a Christian president who unashamedly supported social conservative policies.

Bush banned funding for embryonic stem cell research, and invited “snowflake babies” who began their lives as frozen embryos to surround him as he vetoed that funding. He reinstated the Mexico City Policy, banning any funding for abortion around the world. When he signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, he noted, “When we look to the unborn child, the real issue is not when life begins, but when love begins.” Later, in his memoir Decision Points, Bush vividly recounted how his mom had shown him the body of his miscarried sibling, and the impact this experience had on his pro-life position.

But for some reason, pro-life Republican presidents seem to have very pro-abortion family members. Nancy Reagan, who asked George W. Bush in a personal letter to fund embryonic stem cell research and attempted to temper the influence of pro-life leaders in her husband’s administration once snapped, “I don’t give a damn about the right-to-lifers,” demanding that explicit language on abortion be removed from a State of the Union Address. This from the wife of a man who wrote the book Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation and delivered several powerful radio addresses on abortion. With the sole exception of adopted son Michael, the Reagan children are all very pro-abortion. The values were not passed on.

And aside from George W. Bush, most of the Bush family seems to be in the abortion camp as well. Prescott Bush, George W.’s grandfather, served as the treasurer for Planned Parenthood in 1947, and was nicknamed “Rubbers” by his Senate colleagues for his relentless promotion of family planning. George H. W. Bush was a strong supporter of the United Nations Population Fund, and purportedly defended China’s One Child Policy on occasion, even though he later followed Ronald Reagan’s footsteps and attempted to reach out to pro-lifers by extending the Mexico City Policy and permitting his Justice Department to routinely defend pro-lifers. Bush the Elder’s Justice Department even formally requested—twice—that cases be used as opportunities to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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Bush Sr.’s wife Barbara Bush, however, is firmly pro-abortion. And several years after George W. Bush’s presidency ended, his wife Laura indicated that she supported abortion and gay marriage, as well. Her daughter Barbara followed by starring in a video supporting gay marriage for the Human Rights Campaign. George W. Bush, on the other hand, had supported a Constitutional amendment recognizing that marriage was between a man and a woman.

So it’s no particular surprise - even if it’s very disappointing - that Barbara Pierce Bush, one of George and Laura’s twin girls, is headlining a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Fort Worth, Texas. This comes on the heels of an unprecedented push to end Planned Parenthood’s federal funding for good after the Center for Medical Progress released grotesque videos revealing that abortionists working out of Planned Parenthood clinics were pillaging aborted babies for organs to sell to bio-tech firms. Barbara’s friendship with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards is somewhat strange, too, considering that George W. Bush beat Cecile’s mother Ann Richards for the governorship of Texas—the same Ann Richards who once delivered a scathing speech mocking Bush the Elder. Barbara, however, is a liberal New York millennial—and Cecile Richards is just her type.

It's not a shame only because Barbara is the daughter of George W. Bush, the first Republican president to leave us two Supreme Court justices who can be relied upon to overturn Roe v. Wade when the opportunity presents itself. It’s a shame because this story is so common: The parents (or in this case, parent) are pro-life, but don’t pass those values on to their children.

If everyone who was pro-life did their very best to pass that on to their children, to teach their children about the baby in the womb and why it is so awful to do harm to that baby, the pro-life movement would have a far easier time shifting public opinion. It’s important to remember that taking a public stand for something is no replacement for passing your values on to your children.

I’ve always been fond of George W. Bush—seeing him at Trump’s Inauguration was the highlight of the event for me. Post-presidency, it was almost amusing to watch everyone else realize that Bush, with all his mistakes and flaws, was a good and decent man. But to see that his pro-life convictions have not been passed on to his children is very disappointing. 

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  abortion, barbara bush, george w. bush, planned parenthood

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Ash Wednesday: ‘Let us rouse ourselves, and prepare for the spiritual combat’

A stirring call from Dom Gueranger as we begin our 40 day fast.
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 7:22 am EST
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Patrick B. Craine Patrick B. Craine Follow Patrick
By Patrick Craine

Today Roman Catholics throughout the world celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the solemn 40 day fast of Lent. We don ashes as a sign of our nothingness before God, reminding us of our call to deeper humility and penance in this great season.

As we begin Lent, consider this powerful reflection on the significance of Ash Wednesday from Dom Prosper Guéranger, the great French Benedictine abbot and author of the definitive and highly-acclaimed fifteen volume commentary The Liturgical Year.

 

Yesterday, the world was busy in its pleasures, and the very children of God were taking a joyous farewell to mirth: but this morning, all is changed. The solemn announcement, spoken of by the prophet, has been proclaimed in Sion: the solemn fast of Lent, the season of expiation, the approach of the great anniversaries of our Redemption. Let us, then, rouse ourselves, and prepare for the spiritual combat.

But in this battling of the spirit against the flesh we need good armor. Our holy mother the Church knows how much we need it; and therefore does she summon us to enter into the house of God, that she may arm us for the holy contest. What this armor is we know from St. Paul, who thus describes it; 'Have your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice. And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. In all things, taking the shield and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The very prince of the apostles, too, addresses these solemn words to us: 'Christ having suffered in the flesh, be ye also armed with the same thought'. We are entering, today, upon a long campaign of the warfare spoken of by the apostles: forty days of battle, forty days of penance. We shall not turn cowards, if our souls can but be impressed with the conviction, that the battle and the penance must be gone through. Let us listen to the eloquence of the solemn rite which opens our Lent. Let us go whither our mother leads us, that is, to the scene of the fall.

The enemies we have to fight with, are of two kinds: internal, and external. The first are our passions; the second are the devils. Both were brought on us by pride, and man's pride began when he refused to obey his God. God forgave him his sin, but He punished him. The punishment was death, and this was the form of the divine sentence: 'Thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return'. Oh that we had remembered this! The recollection of what we are and what we are to be, would have checked that haughty rebellion, which has so often led us to break the law of God. And if, for the time to come, we would preserve in loyalty to Him, we must humble ourselves, accept the sentence, and look on this present life as a path to the grave. The path may be long or short; but to the tomb it must lead us. Remembering this, we shall see all things in their true light. We shall love that God, who has deigned to set His heart on us notwithstanding our being creatures of death: we shall hate, with deepest contrition, the insolence and ingratitude, wherewith we have spent so many of our few days of life, that is, in sinning against our heavenly Father: and we shall be not only willing, but eager, to go through these days of penance, which He so mercifully gives us for making reparation to His offended justice.

This was the motive the Church had in enriching her liturgy with the solemn rite, at which we are to assist this morning. When, upwards a thousand years ago, she decreed the anticipation of the lenten fast by the last four days of Quinquagesima week, she instituted this impressive ceremony of signing the forehead of her children with ashes, while saying to them those awful words, wherewith God sentenced us to death: 'Remember, O man, that thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return!' But the making use of ashes as a symbol of humiliation and penance, is of a much earlier date than the institution to which we allude. We find frequent mention of it in the Old Testament. Job, though a Gentile, sprinkled his flesh with ashes, that, thus humbled, he might propitiate the divine mercy and this was two thousand years before the coming of our Savior. The royal prophet tells us of himself, that he mingled ashes with his bread, because of the divine anger and indignation. Many such examples are to be met with in the sacred Scriptures; but so obvious is the analogy between the sinner who thus signifies his grief, and the object whereby he signifies it, that we read such instances without surprise. When fallen man would humble himself before the divine justice, which has sentenced his body to return to dust, how could he more aptly express his contrite acceptance of the sentence, than by sprinkling himself, or his food, with ashes, which is the dust of wood consumed by fire? This earnest acknowledgment of his being himself but dust and ashes, is an act of humility, and humility ever gives him confidence in that God, who resists the proud and pardons the humble.

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  ash wednesday

The Pulse

LGBTQ ‘Glitter Ash’ stunt mocks Ash Wednesday

'This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say, 'We are here.'
Wed Mar 1, 2017 - 5:11 pm EST
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dbean
dbean

March 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — LGBTQ activists have long ago moved past cries for “tolerance” to demands that their aberrant behaviors and ever-expanding array of “queer” identities be celebrated in all aspects of life. That includes religion — in defiance of orthodox doctrines on sexual sin.

So we should hardly be surprised that this year a “faith-based LGBTQ-focused organization” operating under the name of “Parity” is subverting the true spiritual meaning of Ash Wednesday

As Buzzfeed reports, the “Glitter Ash” campaign “is mixing traditional ashes with purple glitter this year in a show of solidarity with LGBT Christians — and they’re encouraging congregations all over to do the same.”

“This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say, ‘We are here,'” said Marian Edmonds-Allen, Parity’s executive director, in a Religion News Service piece about the “Glitter Ash” stunt. “It is also a way for other people to be a witness to that and be in solidarity with them.”

Edmonds-Allen is a practicing lesbian “minister” celebrating behaviors historically regarded as sinful by Judeo-Christian teachings (see RobGagnon.net and the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Extolling one’s sin is the antithesis of “reverence.”

What we have is yet another LGBT-leftist mockery of Christianity and committed people of faith who rightly and humbly seek forgiveness for their sin, rather than try to justify it.

From the “Glitter Ash” website:

“Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real.

“Glitter is a sign of our hope, which does not despair.

“Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work.

“Glitter never gives up -- and neither do we.

“Glitter is an inextricable element of queer history. It is how we have displayed our gritty, scandalous hope. We make ourselves fabulously conspicuous, giving offense to the arbiters of respectability that allow coercive power to flourish.”

Where is the “repentance” when one is symbolically wearing one’s sin proudly on their forehead? And note the slam at the Church supposedly enabling “coercive power.”

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LGBTQ activists specialize in redefining good words and inventing new ones to justify and rationalize their lifestyle. I suppose repentance now has something to do with rejecting societal “transphobia,” or “religious-based discrimination” (against LGBTQ people), or opposing “marriage equality” (homosexual “marriage”) — to quote a few of the terms used by “progressive Christians” to denigrate those who oppose sin, rather than sin itself.

The antidote to lies is truth. LifeSiteNews managing editor Patrick Craine reminds us of the true meaning of Ash Wednesday — a “call to deep humility,” rather than “social justice” mumbo-jumbo — through the words of 19th century French Benedictine monk and priest, Dom Prosper Guéranger, who said: 

“The enemies we have to fight with, are of two kinds: internal, and external. The first are our passions; the second are the devils. Both were brought on us by pride, and man's pride began when he refused to obey his God.”

Pride, indeed. In recent years, leftist “faith” organizations have proliferated as a tactic to counter the authority of religious conservative groups that oppose homosexuality as a sin that can be overcome, in line with historic Christian teachings.

The New York-based Parity group sprang from Presbyterians’ Welcome, which advocated for accepting homosexuality in the (liberal-leaning) Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


  ash wednesday, glitter, lgbtq, parity