All articles from March 14, 2017


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Msgr. Vincent Foy: the 101-year-old priest who refused to be silent about betrayals in the Church

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Msgr. Foy's Ordination card, circa 1939
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Msgr. Foy in 1957 when he was made Prelate of Honour by Pope Pius XII

TORONTO, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadian Catholics are mourning the loss of one of the local Church’s most ardent defenders of life. Monsignor Vincent Foy, who died March 13 from natural causes at age 101, is remembered especially for his decades-long battle to promote the Church’s authentic teaching on procreation.

A canon lawyer and priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto for 78 years, Msgr. Foy was “an inveterate defender of the sacredness of all human life, especially that of unborn babies,” said Basilian Father Alphonse de Valk, former editor of The Interim and founding editor of Catholic Insight Magazine.

“His greatest and most courageous contribution to Canada’s pro-life cause came when he decided that he could no longer be silent about the betrayal by a large majority of Canada’s bishops” of the Church’s teaching on contraception, Fr. de Valk told LifeSiteNews.

That betrayal came in the form of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 1968 Winnipeg Statement, released two months after Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae in July 1968, which reaffirmed Catholic teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil.

In the Winnipeg Statement, the bishops “contradicted and opposed” Humanae Vitae, “virtually nullifying the encyclical in large part in North America and elsewhere,” said Fr. de Valk.

The “bishops fell into the trap of moral relativism,” Msgr. Foy wrote in Tragedy at Winnipeg, his major critique of the document first published in Challenge Magazine in 1988.

It gives a play-by-play account of the lead-up to and fallout from the Statement’s publication on September 27, 1968, which Foy described as “the saddest day in the history of the Catholic Church in Canada.”

The Statement’s Paragraph 26 tells Catholics if they sincerely try but cannot follow Church teaching in this matter, “whoever chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.”

Msgr. Foy was unflagging in his opposition to the Winnipeg Statement, even though “he often seemed like a lone voice” speaking out against it, “with many Canadian Catholics welcoming the document,” noted a 2014 LifeSiteNews article.

“Despite advice that he was wasting his time, reprint after reprint appeared, article after article continued to savage contraception,” de Valk told LifeSiteNews.

‘A hero in every sense of the word’

“Monsignor Foy was a hero in every sense of the word,” noted John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.

“He battled on the most difficult field, against his own confreres in the hierarchy who refused to remain true to the teaching of the Church on the intrinsic evil of contraception.”

“Through his writings and clarity he likely saved countless souls,” added Westen.

“Not only of those Catholics who would otherwise have been led astray into a false vision of their warped consciences as supreme arbiter, but also the souls of clergy who would otherwise have misled many of the faithful resulting in their own damnation.”

“He was solid as a rock,” echoed Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, who knew Msgr. Foy for 50 years.

Msgr. Foy will be remembered for “his constant faithful leadership over the years,” said Hughes. “He was a great supporter, he was a great son of the Church.”

“Whenever a dicey point came up, I’d say, ‘Well, pass it by Msgr. Foy first, talk to Msgr. Foy, and let me hear what he has to say’.”

“The archdiocese of Toronto mourns the death of Msgr. Vincent Foy, the longest-serving priest in the history of our archdiocese,” said Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins in a March 14 tweet.

“As a prayerful shepherd, champion of life issues and witness to the loving service to others, may his legacy live on for years to come,” wrote the cardinal. “We give thanks to God for the incredible journey of Msgr. Foy.”

‘Saying Mass is my greatest joy’

Msgr. Foy was born in Toronto on August 14, 1915, the second of eight children.

As a young boy, he promised God that he would try and become a priest if God healed his mother of double pneumonia, according to a 2015 article by Marlena  Loughheed on the archdiocesan website.

His mother recovered and Vincent kept his word, going on to be ordained a Catholic priest on June 3, 1939 at age 24.

He earned a doctorate in canon law from Laval University, and in 1942, was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Toronto and Secretary of the Toronto Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal, according to a biography on his website.  

In 1947, he was named the Secretary of the new Toronto Regional Tribunal, which he served later as Defender of the Bond and Judge.

Msgr. Foy also “ministered to orphans and pastored several parishes,” wrote Loughheed.

Those included St. John’s in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, where he was born, as well as Holy Martyrs of Japan in Bradford, then of St. Patrick’s in Phelpston.

Msgr. Foy was part-time director of catechetics for the archdiocese for many years, and in 1957 when he was 42 years old, Pope Pius XII named him Prelate of Honour and gave him the title of monsignor.

Msgr. Foy was also a founder and honorary member of the Canadian Canon Law Society, involved in the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, lived in Rome for a year in an advocacy capacity, and was chaplain of the Legion of Mary.

He recalled his love for the Rosary at his 75th ordination anniversary, according to the Catholic Register.

“I had my rosary blessed by Pope Paul VI and served as Eucharistic minister at his funeral,” he wrote. “Just before the coffin was closed, I touched my rosary to his hand. I had my rosary blessed by Pope John Paul I and again touched it to his hand when I served as Eucharistic minister at his funeral. I served at the first Mass of Pope John Paul II and my rosary was blessed by him. I hope to be buried with that rosary… something tells me I should pack my bags.”

He retired in 1979, giving him time to go full tilt on exposing the Winnipeg Statement and on his pro-life evangelization.

For these efforts he earned “a papal commendation,” according to his website. In 2014, American Catholic network EWTN named him Pro-Life Man of the Year, and commissioned a documentary on his life, produced by Dunn Media with the help of Niagara Region Right to Life.

He lived his last seven years at the Catholic Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence.

The only priest in the history of the Toronto archdiocese to reach 75 years of ordination, he marked that milestone in June 2014 with Mass celebrated by Cardinal Collins.

Above all else, observed CLC’s Hughes, Msgr. Foy was a faithful priest.

“He deserves whatever accolades come his way,” Hughes told LifeSiteNews. “But he would deflect them all because he was only doing what he was ordained to do.”  

Or, as Msgr. Foy put it himself to Marlena Lougheed: “Saying Mass is my greatest joy.”

Visitation for Msgr. Foy will be held at Holy Family Parish, 1372 King St. W., March 17, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. His Funeral Mass will be a Traditional Latin Mass at Holy Family Parish on March 18 at 11:30 a.m.

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Pope Francis: ‘We have to think about’ married priests in Catholic Church

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ROME, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis says he is willing to consider married priests in the Catholic Church in some cases as a response to the Church’s priest shortage crisis.

In a first interview conducted in German, the pope referenced the option of ordaining the viri probati, which means “proven” or “tested” men, or in this context married men who have proven virtuous or faithful.

While he dismissed the idea of voluntary celibacy in the priesthood, he was open to the option of a married priesthood, as is allowed for deacons, in remote areas where the priest shortage is especially serious.

“We have to think about if the viri probati are a possibility,” Pope Francis said. “Then we also have to discern which tasks they can take on, for example, in forlorn communities.”

“There is much talk about voluntary celibacy, especially there where the clergy is lacking,” the pope said in an interview published last week with German newspaper Die Zeit. “But a voluntary celibacy is not a solution.”

Asked whether this is the right moment to loosen priestly celibacy or to abolish it, the pope answered, “In the Church, it always counts to discern the right moment, to recognize when the Holy Spirit is asking for something. That is why I say that we are thinking about the viri probati.”

The Church’s law of clerical celibacy is not a doctrine, but a discipline that came into effect in the 12th century after the Second Lateran Council. The Catholic Church does include some Eastern Rite churches that allow married clergy. And certain married priests of other Christian faiths, such as with the Anglican Ordinariate, can continue to serve as married priests when they convert to Catholicism.

The discipline of priestly celibacy is based in part on the understanding that a married man cannot adequately give himself simultaneously to both the Church and a family.    

Canon law states regarding celibacy that “Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity.”

Pope Francis said in the German interview the decline in vocations to the priesthood was an “enormous problem.”

“Why are there no priests to celebrate the Eucharist?” he pondered regarding areas of particular concern, including Germany and Switzerland. “That makes the Church weak, since a Church without the Eucharist has no power. Vocations of priests are a problem, an enormous problem.”

Asked about the devastating lack of priests in those two countries, Pope Francis acknowledged the problem, conceded that women will often fill the lesser liturgical roles and said the Church must do something about it.

“Yes, that is a great problem,” the pontiff said. “Also in Switzerland it does not look better.”

“Many parishes have well-behaved women,” he continued, “they keep up Sunday and celebrate liturgies of the word, that is without the Eucharist. The problem is in fact the lack of vocations. This problem needs to be resolved by the Church.”

Vocations to the priesthood in Germany have been plummeting in recent years.

The decline parallels increased liberalized reform by hierarchy in the Church there. Just more than half of the country’s priests go to the Sacrament of Confession, and in Germany there is a significant push to loosen the Church’s approach to Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

The Church in Germany has taken one of the most liberal interpretations of the pope’s Amoris Laetitia exhortation, opting to officially allow the sacrament for Catholics in so-called “irregular unions.”

This came when the permanent council of the German Bishops' Conference, which includes 27 of the nation's 66 bishops, issued a formal statement last month stipulating that Catholics living in adulterous unions can receive Communion without abstaining from sexual intercourse.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference and a member of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, had said Germany would go its own way on the issue regardless of the two Synods on the Family outcomes. The question of Communion for the divorced and remarried was strongly contested then.

We are not a subsidiary of Rome,” Cardinal Marx said. “The Synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany.”

The German Bishops Conference has also promoted homosexual unions as a sacrament via its website, published material supporting gender ideology, and advanced apologia for same-sex “marriage.” The Conference voted in 2015 to allow its employees to publicly defy the Church’s moral teaching without risk of losing their job.

Similar issues exist in Switzerland, with the Swiss Bishops’ Conference conducting a controversial Day of Study in 2015 to address how to overcome the Catholic Church’s “old-fashioned ideals” on marriage and family.

Pope Francis’ comments last week to Die Zeit also hark back to wide speculation since just after the close of the 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family that the next Synod would be a vehicle to advance a married priesthood.

Specifically regarding the German vocations crisis, Francis said, “The rate of births. […] Where there are no young men, there are no priests. That is a serious problem which we will address in the upcoming synod on young people.”

In the German interview, Pope Francis also criticized evangelizing people of other faiths, which Christians are called to do. He said it has a negative effect on vocations and on the Church.

“That has nothing to do with proselytism,” he said of low priest numbers in Germany. “By proselytism, you will not gain vocations … ”

The pope has criticized the idea of proselytizing on several occasions since his election, calling it “poison,” “not licit,” “solemn nonsense,” and a “very grave sin.”

He defined proselytism for the German newspaper as “the poaching of those with a different faith, like with a charity organization, who poaches members. Then many young people come, who do not feel called, and ruin the Church.”

Pope Francis said as well in regard to depleted vocations in Germany and Switzerland that prayer was lacking, but also repeated his contention of youth unemployment as the source of societal ill.

The idea of a married priesthood was proposed during Vatican II but did not gain sufficient traction.

Before Vatican II in Church documents, the term viri probati had denoted “approved men,” without reference to marital status.

It shows as such in Caput III, 20 of the Vatican II document Constitutio Dogmatica de Ecclesia Lumen Gentium, the footnotes of which reference the writings of Pope St. Clement I, the fourth pope.

Pope Clement had also used the term in Chapter 44 of his Letter to the Corinthians, which was titled, The Ordinances of the Apostles, That There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office.

The understanding of viri probati has since shifted to encompass married men.

Pope Francis’ remarks last week to Die Zeit on the possibility of married priesthood also come amid continued speculation of abandoning Church teaching on the male-only priesthood.

Although the pope has confirmed Church teaching that women cannot be ordained priests, the supposition has persisted after the announcement last year of Francis’ agreeing to establish a commission to study the possibility of women deacons in the Church. That also is suspected to be a topic at the next Synod.

The pope’s comments on the possibility of a married priesthood also follow new guidelines for seminarians published this past December by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy focused on “ecological conversion.”

The guidelines stated, “It will be necessary for future priests to be highly sensitive to this theme.”

The pope recently equated his level of worry over the dropping number of vocations to the priesthood with the worry he experiences when he hears about burgeoning vocations numbers in traditional institutes.

“Some are, I might say, ‘restorationist:’ they seem to offer security but instead give only rigidity,” he told a closed-door meeting with 140 Superior Generals of male religious orders and congregations held last November.

Pope Francis said at the time, “When they tell me that there is a congregation that draws so many vocations, I must confess that I worry.”

The Pope said his interview with Die Zeit that the Church should be “fearless” in encountering change.

“Truth means not to be afraid,” he said. “Fears close doors, freedom opens them. And if freedom is small, it at least opens a little window.”

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Dr. Joseph Nicolosi
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Joseph Nicolosi helped thousands coping with unwanted homosexual desires

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March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist and a pioneer of “reparative therapy” to help people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, died March 9 at age 70 from complications resulting from the flu.

Nicolosi, a devout Catholic and the co-founder of NARTH (now the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice), leaves behind wife Linda and their son, Joe Jr. People from all over the world have written memorial tributes to him, with some thanking him for helping them overcome sexual identification problems or to understand the nature of homosexuality. A family funeral services for Nicolosi will be held Wednesday.

In a field fraught with ambiguous terminology (e.g., “sexual orientation”), escalating — even fanatical — LGBT opposition, media cynicism and misreporting, Nicolosi persevered. His counter-cultural message of “If gay doesn’t define you, you don’t have to be gay,” was outrageous and “hateful” to intolerant homosexual militants, but it brought hope to people of faith and others struggling with unwanted homosexual desires.

“Joe worked in a profession that has lost its intellectual integrity,” wrote his wife and professional partner Linda Ames Nicolosi. “Gay activists have such a stranglehold on psychology that no one dares defy them. Joe, however, did defy them. And I thank him for his courage.”

The Nicolosis contrasted their approach with that taken by “gay-affirmative therapists” that dominate the field.

One of the talking points of LGBT activists regarding “reparative therapy” — or any effort guiding people to leave LGBTQ lifestyles — is that it universally harms the people it is intended to help. Such generalizations, aided by biased media coverage, became the basis for laws banning ex-gay therapy for minors in California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

Nicolosi’s success stories: David Pickup

But that talking point conveniently ignores the success stories of pro-heterosexual change therapy — people like David Pickup, whose story is told in a PFOX (Parents & Friends and Family of Ex-Gays) video on Nicolosi’s site. (There are many Christian-based testimonies of men and women like Charlene Cothran, who abandoned LGBTQ lifestyles without psychological therapy, but they, too, are largely ignored by the media.)

Describing himself as the "quintessential kid that was set up for homosexuality," Pickup said he "didn't identify well with my gender in growing up," and that "I wasn't close to my father at all." He said he became "defensively detached" from his dad and more attached to his mother and sister. Also, he said as a "sensitive boy" he was bullied by his peers and was sexual molested beginning at age five.

"I always felt odd, not boy enough, and then later on … not man enough," he said. He tried to repress his same-sex urges due to his strong Christian upbringing but started acting out homosexually in his late 20s. Then he became acquainted with Nicolosi's work.

Pickup said several years of therapy resulted in the "resolution of my gender identity inferiority," raised his self-esteem as a man, and led him to get his "male emotional needs” met that were “hardly [met] one bit growing up" (e.g., bonding with his dad).

As a result, “my same-sex attractions automatically, spontaneously … through this therapy began to lessen and dissipate," he said. "So reparative therapy really worked for me. It helped save my life."

Pickup is far from alone. Arthur Goldberg, whose ex-gay-ministering organization JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing), was forced to close last year due to an SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) lawsuit, offered this tribute to his friend Nicolosi:

“The former [homosexual] struggler wrote to me: ‘What a tragic loss for his family, and for the many thousands of men like us. I first heard [Nicolosi] in an interview with James Dobson in 1991, discussing his new book ‘[Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality].’ I ordered it immediately and read it within a week and thought, “Finally, someone who understands me better than I understand myself!” What a brilliant, compassionate and kind man he was to have devoted much of his life to this struggle of ours. We are better men for his life's work.’”

Pickup went on to become a licensed Reparative Therapist himself, based in Dallas.

Homosexuality as a problem

"I don't believe that anybody is really gay," Nicolosi told The New York Times in 2012 in a rare “mainstream” news article giving voice to contented former homosexuals. "I believe that all people are heterosexual but that some have a homosexual problem, and some of these people attempt to resolve their conflict by adopting a sociopolitical label called 'gay.'"

Nicolosi summed up his views on the roots of male homosexuality in his 2002 book, “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” (a revised 2017 edition of which is now available):

“At the very heart of the homosexual condition is conflict about gender. In the boy, we usually see a gender wound that traces back to childhood. He comes to see himself as different from the other boys.

“Gender woundedness usually exists as a silent, secret fear — one that the boy’s parents and loved ones only vaguely suspect. The boy has felt this way for as long as he is able to remember. That differentness creates a feeling of inferiority and isolates him from other males.”

According to a welcoming video on his website, Nicolosi said his Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, was the "largest psychological clinic in the world that specializes exclusively" in the area of lessening same-sex attractions. It had a staff of seven therapists handling "about 135 ongoing cases a week of men and women from around the world."

"We're not about condemning gays and lesbians. Certainly they have a right to pursue their life and their happiness," Nicolosi said in the video. "Rather, we're available to help men and women who want to decrease their same-sex attraction and want to develop their opposite-sex potential.”

He said more than half of his clients “were told by other therapists that they were born gay and that they had no choice. We don't believe this is true. Homosexuality is not simply a matter of biology."

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Despite the growing media criticism of pro-heterosexual therapy in his final years, science seems to be coming around to Nicolosi's view that "sexual orientation" is not rigid nor innate — as LGBT activists had claimed — but changeable.

As LifeSiteNews reported last year, Dr. Lisa Diamond, a top American Psychological Association researcher and the co-editor-in-chief of the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, concluded that homosexuals are not “born that way” because “sexual orientation” is fluid.

Nicolosi’s wife, Linda, his co-author and an accomplished writer of her own on sexuality issues, described his relationship with his church, which probably represents the attitudes of countless millions of Catholics:

“Joe loved the Catholic Church and said many times, ‘The Church will always be home to me,’ even though he was angry with parish-level leadership for abdicating its rightful role in resisting cultural decline — particularly for its timidity on gender- and family-related issues.”

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Pro-abortion speaker at Vatican conference: Pope has ‘done more’ for global warming movement than anyone

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VATICAN, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The father of the population control movement, Paul Ehrlich, told a Vatican conference that he thinks Pope Francis is "the person in the world [who] has done more" than others to "initiate work" to fight climate change.

Ehrlich was a speaker at the Biological Extinction conference, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Pro-life Catholics expressed concern over Ehrlich being invited to present. He holds many views contrary to the Catholic Church's teaching, including support for forced abortion and sterilization.

Ehrlich has made inflammatory statements about the hierarchy of the Catholic Church being a force of "evil." He has compared human babies to garbage, called opposition to contraception a "dangerous trend" of religious "endarkenment," and advocated for free contraception and abortions. 

He has previously said Pope Francis is "dead wrong" for not promoting population control as a solution to environmental problems. Ehrlich also criticized Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' for not endorsing population control. (A full list of the troubling things Ehrlich has said is available here. Other LifeSiteNews reporting on Ehrlich and his views can be read here and here.)

However, speaking at the Vatican on February 27, Ehrlich praised the current pontiff.

"I’m pleased to say that one of the best statements on the ethical issues [of environmentalism] came from Pope Francis. If I can quote from Laudato Si' … ‘Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence nor convey their message to us. We have no such right,’" said Ehrlich. "And I would say, ‘Amen.’"

Later in his talk, Ehrlich said, "We have been overusing the atmosphere as a sink for greenhouse gases. And there, I have to say, the person in the world has done more to initiate work to get it changed has been Pope Francis. It’s one of the biggest threats [that] humanity faces and I think his coming out on it was maybe the most important single thing that anybody has done so far to move in the right direction on climate change."

The person who "has probably done more on the other side than any human being" is Rex Tillerson, America's new Secretary of State, Ehrlich said. This is because "when he was head of Exxon, he financed the entire program of lying about climate disruption that has been so successful in North America," Ehrlich said.

"I think it is so incredibly important," Ehrlich said of his "little commercial" plugging Pope Francis and criticizing Tillerson.

'We really need very fundamental changes in our attitudes, our ethics, our morals, how we run the world' 

Ehrlich took the position that, "You’re not being addressed by me. You’re being addressed by a combination of a whole lot of mammal cells and a whole lot of bacterial cells."

Ehrlich suggested that the planet's population growth needs to be stifled in order for it to thrive and in order for biodiversity to persist. He also suggested fundamentally changing "how we run the world" so that there can be more equity. Starting in middle school, children should be tasked with addressing these problems, he said.

"The biggest problem we face is continual expansion of the human enterprise," he said. "I would love to see hundreds of trillions of human beings live over the next few million years rather than see if we can cram 11 billion in by ... 2110, uh and then let the whole thing go down the drain. Sustainability is talked about a lot, but a lot of people talk about things like sustainable growth. Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell, and we really have to look at the size of the human enterprise and think about why we’re doing these things."

Because there "are parts of our natural capital that are not priced ... individuals can get huge benefits without paying the social costs of what they’re doing," Ehrlich said. The world's current "pricing system does not allow us to really properly consider – the way we run it at least – the externalities."

For example, "if you paint your house, you add to the value to your neighbors’ houses," he explained. Or, "if you let your lawn grow too high, you subtract from the value of your neighbors’ houses and you don't pay those prices."

Ehrlich continued: 

And we all put those greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and when you get a drought in Africa because of it, the African – poor Africans – are not paying for it. And I should say, I want to be very clear on one point … Actually, there’s this terrible feeling in the United States and many places that the problems of the world are the poor people. It’s those poor Africans that breed too much, uhh, they uh – they kill the bush meat … on and on, it’s somebody else – the big population and the big problems of the combination of population per capita consumption – it’s the aggregate consumption that ruins the environment. Of course, it’s the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, all those wonderful places, that have gotten the poor countries to pay the price. So if you think about what we have to do, what we among other things – we have to make sure that we get some equity in the world. That poor people get taken care of. You … think of poor people living in the slums of India or the slums of Africa – I live in one of the richest towns in the world: Palo Alto, California. And I carry bills in my pocket because there are people begging on the streets there. And somebody said it here I think already, but if you can’t even – maybe it was Peter – if you can’t take care of the people in your own society, when you live in a rich society, and so on, it tells us we really need very fundamental changes in our attitudes, our ethics, our morals, how we run the world. 

Ehrlich finished on a "not cheery" note about "societal collapse." He said people should consider "not just how you soften the collapse, and we hope by discussing that, we might even avoid the full collapse – but what do you do afterwards?"

"I hate to hear the term, you know we restore, or we rebuild," said Ehrlich. "If you rebuild the kinda system we have today, all you’re doing is guaranteeing another collapse. In other words, the issue ... to think about [is] how you design a world that is actually sustainable and has insurance built into it and sees to it that everybody is treated as properly as they possibly can be treated."

"I think that’s a challenge for the kids," he concluded. "I’d like to see everybody working on it starting in junior high school. How would you design, for instance, a money system for economics classes? As you all know, fractional reserve banking is how you generate your money and it absolutely requires growth. So how do you build a system that doesn’t have to grow forever?"

Experts with 'Catholic views' weren't invited

A pro-life population and demography expert, Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews the Vatican shouldn't be surprised at what its invited speakers said at the conference.

"This is what you get if you invite secular humanists to speak at a Catholic conference," said Mosher. "You get a secular humanist perspective, which is to say, if you think that human beings – men – are nothing but animals, then it’s perfectly alright to thin the herd on the pretense that there’s not enough in the way of resources to support the existing herd."

Mosher blasted the Population Council's John Bongaarts for saying there is an "unmet need" for contraception during his talk at the Biological Extinction conference. He also criticized comments the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, made about procreation and fertility at the conference.

Sorondo said "we don’t know exactly" what the Church teaches on procreation and "education" will help women have one kid instead of seven. 

"This is the Pontifical Academy of Science, and we worship someone who is the truth Himself," Mosher told LifeSiteNews. "And so I think we have to be very careful to avoid being overly swayed by worldly views ... we have to maintain a Trinitarian worldview. And it’s difficult in some of the sciences, because the sciences are dominated by people … who don’t believe in a creator. But nonetheless, if you’re going to come together to discuss these issues, you [have to] do it from a Trinitarian point of view" and the viewpoint "of true science," not ideology or "money-driven science."

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This conference "takes us very far away from the views of both Pope John Paul II and the views of Pope Benedict," said Mosher.

Pope Benedict said "that we must never forget that man is at the center of the environment, and if we’re protecting the environment we must protect men," explained Mosher. "Where in that formulation can you have people come forward and argue that the population of the Earth should be rapidly reduced?"

"You hear these things at Stanford University, where I was and where I taught human biology for a time," continued Mosher. "You hear them at Berkeley, you hear them at Harvard, you hear them at Yale. You do not expect to hear them in the Vatican at a conference convened by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences."

He said it's "disturbing" to think about being unable to "differentiate" comments uttered at a Vatican conference "from a seminar at Stanford."

"The light show on St. Peter’s façade was revolting enough, but to allow people who believe in this false gospel of radical environmentalism and radical population control and express … these ideas without being contradicted, without any hint of dispute, to have the Vatican itself provide a forum to propagate these falsehoods, it’s just – I mean I’m rarely lost for words, but words fail me," he said. "I had a chance in South Africa to debate Paul Ehrlich years ago and he refused. I would have [been] delighted at the opportunity to debate at this forum in the Vatican, but I, and people with views like mine – which are to say, Catholic views, Trinitarian views – were not invited and I find that staggering as well."

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Canada’s new abortion pill isn’t safe for women

Campaign Life Coalition

This is the third in a series of videos. The first is available here and the second is here.

March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition's latest video in its awareness campaign against Canada's newest abortion drug addresses claims that RU-486, or Mifegymiso, is international "health" care.

"Widespread use of this drug does not make it safe," explained Marie-Claire Bissonnette, youth coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition.

So far, eight videos have been produced in the #Ru486RuCrazy campaign and are being released every few days. Bissonnette says more are in the works.

For more videos, check out Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube @CLCYouthProLife.

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Pope Francis: ‘I do not feel that Cardinal Burke is my adversary’

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

ROME, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Regardless of the distinct appearance of acrimony between Pope Francis and Cardinal Raymond Burke, the pontiff said in a recent interview that he does not see the American cardinal as his enemy.

At the same time, the pope said Cardinal Burke — regarded as the forefront in resistance to his Church reform — was incapable of handling the seeming disorder within the Knights of Malta, referencing other forces involved.

“The problem with the Knights of Malta,” Pope Francis said, “was that Cardinal Burke could not handle the situation, because he did not act on his own accord [alone] anymore.”

In an interview published last week with German newspaper "Die Zeit," the pope tried to downplay the significance of his having rendered the cardinal null as patron of the Knights with the appointment of a papal delegate.

And he seemed to feign that allowing Cardinal Burke to retain his title as cardinal patron of the Knights was meaningful, even as his papal delegate is charged with doing the job he said the cardinal was unable to handle.

“I have not taken the title of Patronus from him,” stated Pope Francis. “He is still the Patronus of the Knights of Malta, but it is time to clean up the order a little bit and this is why I have sent a delegate, who disposes of another charism as Burke.”

The Knights of Malta has been swathed in controversy in recent months since its Grand Chancellor was removed for violating his promise of obedience after refusing to resign when his involvement in condom distribution via the Knights’ aid programs was discovered.

Pope Francis intervened, reinstated Albrecht von Boeselager and then asked Grand Master Matthew Festing, the order's top official who had removed von Boeselager, to step down. The move by the pope was abnormal due to the Order of Malta’s status as a sovereign state. 

It was then that Pope Francis appointed his papal delegate to reform the order

It is expected that a new Grand Master for the Knights of Malta will be elected near the end of April at the conclusion of Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu’s visitation as the pope’s special delegate.

The pope’s actions to downgrade Cardinal Burke didn’t start with the Knights of Malta controversy.

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke from his position as prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura — the highest court of the Catholic Church — in 2014, less than a year into his pontificate.

Cardinal Burke’s role as patron for the Knights of Malta was regarded as largely ceremonial at the time, and now with the current controversy appears to many as having been intended as a no-win for the cardinal.

Pope Francis had earlier removed Cardinal Burke from an important post in the Congregation for Bishops, where he had influence on bishops' appointments worldwide.

In the Die Zeit interview, Pope Francis also denied that Cardinal Burke’s recent assignment to oversee the canonical trial of the archbishop of Guam was a sort of banishment.

The interview question for Pope Francis was: “The conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, who counts as one of your most fierce adversaries in the Vatican, you have sent to the island of Guam somewhere in the Pacific — some say banished.”

“Cardinal Burke traveled there in a very serious matter,” Pope Francis replied. “I am very grateful to him; there was a grave case of abuse there and he is an excellent jurist. I think that the task is almost done there.”

Kidding in the Der Zeit interview about the posters that were recently put up around Rome critical of his mercy, Pope Francis said this clever use of humor was “great.”

When the interviewer asked the pope if his response to the posters of “basta (enough) already” also goes for Cardinal Burke, Pope Francis responded, “I do not feel that Cardinal Burke is my adversary.”

Pope Francis did, however, find fault once again with “fundamentalist Catholics."

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Speaking about crises of faith, the pontiff mentioned the Scripture passage where Peter denied Christ three times despite declaring he would not do so.

“When Jesus feels that certainty of Peter,” Pope Francis said, “it makes me think of so many fundamentalist Catholics.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly been critical of “fundamentalist” or “traditionalist” Catholics throughout his pontificate, charged them with “hostile inflexibility,” doing “great harm,” and “rigidity.”

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Liberal bill empowers gvmt to take kids from Ontario parents who don’t accept gender ideology: legal experts

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

TORONTO, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — An Ontario Liberal bill that legal experts warn gives the state greater power to seize children and can be used to enforce gender ideology in the home sailed unopposed through second reading last week.

Eighty-three of Ontario’s 107 MPPs voted unanimously March 9 to send Bill 89 to the Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

Parents As First Educators (PAFE) president Tanya Granic Allen says it’s a “shame that not one MPP voted against” the “Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act” at second reading.

“I expect MPPs to stand up to political pressure and to do their job of representing parents who are worried about the government's infringement in their family life,”she told LifeSiteNews.

Bill 89 repeals and replaces the existing Child and Family Services Act, which governs child protection services, and adoption and foster care services.

It adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” as factors to be considered “in the best interests of the child.”

At the same time, Bill 89 deletes the religious faith in which the parents are raising the child as a factor to be considered, and mandates that child protection services instead consider only the child’s own “creed.”

The bill “has real problems that could lead to the devastation of many families,” said Granic Allen.

That was underscored by Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau’s remarks to QP Briefing.  

Coteau, who introduced the bill, said he sees questioning a teen’s self-identification as LGBTQI or telling them to change as abuse.

“I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,” he said.

“If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”

PAFE has a petition against Bill 89 that Granic Allen intends to present to the Standing Committee when she testifies against the bill.

But PAFE is far from the only pro-family group to oppose the bill.

The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) was first to raise the alarm that Bill 89 pushes gender ideology in child services.

And it may prevent parents opposed to gender ideology from fostering or adopting children, according to an ARPA analysis

The Liberal bill also "signals a potential shift towards a greater readiness for Children’s Aid Societies to intervene," according to ARPA lawyer John Sikkema.

Bill 89 retains the provision in the current law that a child who is suffering or “at risk of suffering” mental or emotional harm and whose parents do not provide “treatment or access to treatment” is need of protection under the law, Sikkema noted in an ARPA interview.

But while the present law says a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) should take the “least disruptive course of action,” Bill 89 adds “including the provision of prevention services, early intervention services and community support services.”

That “implies that Children’s Aid Society intervention should not be presumed to be more disruptive than non-intervention,” he noted.

And as Bill 89 adds gender identity and expression as factors to be considered in determining a child's best interests, which is the guiding principle of the law, this raises concerns about how parents respond to gender identity disorder in children and how the government responds in turn, according to ARPA.

"The provision of 'prevention services' and 'early intervention services' may be a good thing and does not necessarily entail removing a child from the home," notes the ARPA analysis. But "MPPs reviewing the bill would do well to examine and to clarify what kind of services are contemplated by this provision."

REAL Women also blasted Bill 89 as another instance of Premier Kathleen Wynne imposing “her ideological views on innocent children.”

Removing the religious convictions of the parents as the factor to be considered and deferring to the child’s creed “will create conflict within the family.”

The child may clash and seek protection from parents “over such issues as abortion, gender identity or even assisted suicide if the child decides that is what he/she wishes,” noted a REAL Women analysis.

“The inclusion of children in the assisted suicide legislation is currently being heavily advocated.”

Under Bill 89, the “CAS is required to ‘consult with the child’ in accordance to his/her age and maturity,” REAL Women stated.

The bill lists the rights of the child in detail but “provides no balancing provisions outlining the rights of a parent.”

“Children, of course, need to be protected from genuine abuse, but this proposed legislation is an open door for the State, rather that the parents, to control the child’s destiny, and, to mold the child in accordance with the State’s ideology,” REAL Women said.

Bill 89 also gives the minister unprecedented authority to issue compliance orders to CAS boards, according to REAL Women.

If a CAS does not obey the order, the minister “may appoint or replace the members of the Board of Directors of the CAS and also replace the Society’s Chair, and appoint a supervisor to operate the Society.”

The CAS “had always been a part of the community in which the child is living.”

People “interested in the welfare of children” join the local CAS and elect “a board of directors who determine policy and hire employees who would reflect their community and its values.”

Under Bill 89, the “board of directors is to be a mere rubber stamp for the ideological views of the government.”

Johanne Brownrigg, director of public affairs for Campaign Life Coalition, says the “cumulative effect of Bills 28 and 77, and now Bill 89 will permit a grave overreach into family lives by the state.”

“It will eventually destroy trust between family members and strengthen the role of teachers as agents of the state,” she told LifeSiteNews in an email. “Remember this social experiment is being built on their foundation: the controversial sex-ed curriculum.”

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Wynne’s “social engineering will be felt for decades to come.”

That Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown “has not mounted as single objection to any of these bills” is “equally disturbing,” Brownrigg said.

Brown’s “focus on gaining power has allowed these bills to pass easily and without thoughtful robust debate on their ramifications.”

PAFE’s Granic Allen is on a 17-city tour of Ontario with Queenie Yu, founder of the Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda Party, of info and action sessions on a number of threats to the family, including Bill 89.

“There is still one more vote on it, so people need to contact their MPP and tell them to stop it,” she told LifeSiteNews said.

Granic Allen also urged people to sign the PAFE petition, which has 3,389 signatures to date.

MPPs who voted for Bill 89 at second reading:

Anderson, Granville; Armstrong, Teresa J.; Bailey, Robert; Baker, Yvan; Ballard, Chris; Berardinetti, Lorenzo; Bisson, Gilles; Bradley, James J.; Campbell, Sarah; Chan, Michael; Chiarelli, Bob; Cho, Raymond Sung Joon; Clark, Steve; Coe, Lorne; Colle, Mike; Coteau, Michael; Crack, Grant; Damerla, Dipika; Del Duca, Steven; Delaney, Bob; Des Rosiers, Nathalie; Dhillon, Vic; Dong, Han; Duguid, Brad; Fedeli, Victor; Flynn, Kevin Daniel; Forster, Cindy; Fraser, John; French, Jennifer K.; Gates; Wayne; Gélinas, France; Gretzky, Lisa; Hardeman, Ernie; Hatfield, Percy; Hoggarth, Ann; Hoskins, Eric; Hunter, Mitzie; Jaczek, Helena; Jones, Sylvia; Kiwala, Sophie; Kwinter, Monte; Leal, Jeff; MacCharles, Tracy; MacLeod, Lisa; Malhi, Harinder; Mangat, Amrit; Mantha, Michael; Martins, Cristina; Martow, Gila; Matthews, Deborah; Mauro, Bill; McDonell, Jim; McGarry, Kathryn; McMahon, Eleanor; Milczyn, Peter; Miller, Norm; Miller, Paul; Moridi, Reza; Murray, Glen; Naidoo-Harris, Indira; Naqvi, Yasir; Nicholls, Rick; Pettapiece, Randy; Potts, Arthur; Qaadri, Shafiq; Rinaldi, Lou; Sandals, Liz; Scott, Laurie; Singh, Jagmeet; Smith, Todd; Sousa, Charles; Tabuns, Peter; Takhar, Harinder S.; Taylor, Monique; Thibeault, Glenn; Thompson, Lisa M.; Vanthof, John; Vernile, Daiene; Walker, Bill; Wilson, Jim; Wong, Soo; Wynne, Kathleen; Zimmer, David.

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New South Dakota law: adoption agencies can’t be forced to place kids with same-sex couples

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

PIERRE, South Dakota, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a law last week preventing faith-based adoption agencies from facing government discrimination for not placing children with same-sex couples.

The law is Senate Bill 149, sponsored by Senator Alan Solano, R-District 32, and Representative Steven Haugaard, R-District 10. 

"No child-placement agency may be required to provide any service that conflicts with, or provide any service under circumstances that conflict with any sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the child-placement agency," it states. These beliefs "shall be contained in a written policy, statement of faith, or other document adhered to by a child-placement agency." 

"The state may not discriminate or take any adverse action against a child-placement agency or an organization seeking to become a child-placement agency" because of its sincerely-held religious or moral beliefs, the law continues.

In Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., Catholic Charities has been forced to shut down for refusing to place children with same-sex couples.

"I'm worried that a child placement agency may make what is in the best interest of the child a correct decision but be subject to a lawsuit by someone who has a little bit of a leg up by virtue of being in a protective class," said Daugaard. "And if we can forestall that with this legislation then I'm willing to do that."

"At least in South Dakota, children won't be pawns in the Left's push to legitimize same-sex parents," the Family Research Council (FRC) wrote of South Dakota's new law.

"The law would ensure that the State of South Dakota may not coerce them to abandon their sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral convictions in their placement decisions and the ongoing need for placement of children in safe nurturing homes will be served," according to the South Dakota Family Policy Council (SDFPC). 

FRC and the SDFPC pointed out that South Dakota faith-based adoption agencies currently don't receive state funds for child placement services. This law simply means that in the future they won't be forced to choose between closing or abandoning their religious beliefs.

The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual lobby group, suggested this bill will be used to discriminate against interracial couples. It will also allow "state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ youth in their care," the HRC said in a press release.

Some adoption agencies may have a "vendetta against LGBTQ couples, mixed-faith couples or interracial couples," said HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow. 

James Kinyon, executive director of Catholic Social Services in Rapid City, told local media the law "allows us to do what we can for the common good" without threat of retribution from the government.

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WATCH: Planned Parenthood VP refuses to say if abortion kills a human

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March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – During an interview with FOX News' Tucker Carlson, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood repeatedly refused to answer whether abortion ends a life. 

Carlson pressed Dawn Laguens about her thoughts on abortion extinguishing a fetal heartbeat and whether a fetus whose sex is different from his mother's is part of the mother's body. She didn't answer Carlson's questions directly, instead repeating unrelated pro-abortion talking points.

"If you can hear the fetal heartbeat, and then it’s extinguished, what do you think of that? Is that a big deal or not to you? And if not, why not?" asked Carlson.

"Well, I take seriously all of the healthcare work that we provide at Planned Parenthood," Laguens replied. "I believe in safe, legal abortion. I believe it’s up to each woman and individual."

 

Carlson asked Laguens, "What is a fetus? Is it a separate entity?"

She responded, "I would say that it’s up to each woman to decide whether – you and I can differ on this all day, Tucker, and that’s fine."

"You’re refusing to say what you think," he pressed her. "Is it a separate being or is it a piece of flesh that’s part of the woman?"

"What I’m going to say is that 70 percent of Americans, uh, believe that Roe v. Wade should be the law of the land," she answered. 

Carlson also asked Laguens if she ever wonders about abortions on babies with heartbeats – the vast majority of abortions, given that fetal heartbeats start as early as 21 days after fertilization. 

"People say the life is being taken," said Carlson. "Do you think that?"

She replied, "I personally favor safe, legal abortion in this country decided on by each individual woman and her doctor to decide for themselves. I personally do not believe that that is a viable fetus at that point."

"I’m not saying it’s viable; at five and a half weeks it’s not," said Carlson. "But you can hear the heartbeat. Is that a human being or not?"

A transcript of their exchange is below.

TUCKER CARLSON: Look, I think health screenings are important. I think Planned Parenthood probably does some good work. But the reason it’s such a controversial place is ’cause it’s the country’s biggest abortion provider. You’re one of the people who run it. So I just wanna know what you think. If you can hear the fetal heartbeat, and then it’s extinguished, what do you think of that? Is that a big deal or not to you? And if not, why not?

DAWN LAGUENS: Well, I take seriously all of the healthcare work that we provide at Planned Parenthood. I believe in safe, legal abortion. I believe it’s up to each woman and individual.

TUCKER CARLSON: I know –

DAWN LAGUENS: And so I’m not going to make a judgment.

TUCKER CARLSON: Why can’t you give me a straight answer? This is at the core of what you do. You’re the biggest abortion provider in the United States. It’s not like you haven’t thought of this. What do you think of that?

DAWN LAGUENS: We’ve – I would say that it’s a fetus. And so –

TUCKER CARLSON: But what is a fetus? Is it a separate entity?

DAWN LAGUENS: I would say that it’s up to each woman to decide whether – you and I can differ on this all day, Tucker, and that’s fine.

TUCKER CARLSON: We’re not even differing ’cause you’re not telling me what you think! We’re not differing at all.

DAWN LAGUENS: No, I said that I –

TUCKER CARLSON: You’re refusing to say what you think. Is it a separate being or is it a piece of flesh that’s part of the woman?

DAWN LAGUENS: What I’m going to say is that 70 percent of Americans, uh, believe that Roe v. Wade should be the law of the land.

TUCKER CARLSON: OK.

DAWN LAGUENS: They believe that women should each individually be able to have their choices about what they wanna do in their pregnancy. And they definitely believe that women are at risk for losing care under the plan that Donald Trump and –

TUCKER CARLSON: But you know, one of the reasons – OK, I get your talking points. I’ve let you repeat them a lot – now hold on. With respect, I’ve let you repeat your talking points, which I’ve heard a thousand times, many times. But I wanna take it just a level deeper ’cause I think it’s worth it. It’s a big deal to a lot of people. And people say, ‘Look, this is killing a life. A heart is beating.’ You can hear it at 5 1/2 weeks and the majority of our abortions take place after 5 1/2 weeks. So I wanna know if that bothers you at all. Does it at all? Do you ever stop and think, wow, what is happening here? Is a life being taken? People say the life is being taken. Do you think that?

DAWN LAGUENS: I personally favor safe, legal abortion in this country decided on by each individual woman and her doctor to decide for themselves. I personally do not believe that that is a viable fetus at that point.

TUCKER CARLSON: I’m not saying viable. Is it –

DAWN LAGUENS: And there are rules – well there are rules, we follow, Roe v. Wade laid out –

TUCKER CARLSON: Why are you giving me robotic responses? I’m asking you a human question and I hope you’ll favor me with a human answer. I’m not saying it’s viable; at 5 1/2 it’s not. But you can hear the heartbeat. Is that a human being or not? Is it separate from the mother or not? – Different blood type, often a different sex – different DNA – it doesn’t seem like a tumor or something that is connected to the woman wholly? It’s distinct. What does that mean? I would think you would’ve thought about it considering you provide more of them than anyone.

DAWN LAGUENS: I have thought about it very much for myself, but I am not gonna project onto other women what I believe. What I believe is that women have the right and the choice and we’re gonna leave it up to them. And if – at Planned Parenthood … high quality healthcare –

TUCKER CARLSON: You’re not helping them make that choice with your stilted answer. At all.

DAWN LAGUENS: We do. No, we do help them make a choice.

TUCKER CARLSON: If you think it’s a profound choice –

DAWN ​LAGUENS: I don’t help them personally make the choice. They get to make it. Whether it’s with their minister or their doctor or their partner or husband or –

TUCKER CARLSON: With respect, I know you’re smart, but you’re giving me a series of rehearsed and very childish answers. And it’s disappointing – I would think that you would have grappled with this a little bit.

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Pro-lifers took Peru’s capital by storm… for a dance party!

Steve Weatherbe

LIMA, Peru, March 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews)—The pro-life movement in Peru has produced a video of startling vitality and youthful exuberance to promote what may be the world’s largest annual March for Life.

Staged as a flash mob in a spacious public square in downtown Lima, the video begins with a teenage girl doing a solo song and dance with “en la marcha por la vida” as its chorus. Soon the square is filled with hundreds of young men and women joining her in both the song and dance, with both closeups filmed at ground level and long shots taken from a drone. The video is followed by a second one that teaches the song’s four verses and accompanying movements.

The flash mob matches this year’s theme: “La Calle Es Nuestra: Defienda La Vida (The Street is Ours: Defend Life).” Not only are Peruvians the most pro-life population identified in a world survey conducted earlier this year by Ipsos, their yearly Marcha Por La Vida may be the world’s largest. It drew 500,000 in 2015 and 750,000 last year. The biggest U.S. march, in 2013, attracted 650,000.

Abortion is illegal in Peru except to save the life of the mother. An effort two years ago to extend decriminalization to abortions of unborn children conceived in rape failed.

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Peru's March for Life drew over 750000 people, organizers say

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Lauren Bell

Opinion

In Iceland 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Think about that.

Lauren Bell

March 14, 2017 (PregnancyHelpNews) -- In recent remarks to the Citizens Assembly in Ireland, Dr. Peter McParland, an ob-gyn at National Maternity Hospital, pointed to a sign of things to come.

“In Iceland,” the doctor said, “every single baby—100 percent of all those diagnosed with Down syndrome—are aborted.”

The horrors of the statement above can scarcely be grasped. Iceland has become the first nation to boast of eradicating Down syndrome from its country.

Dr. McParland expounded on this systematic annihilation stating, “There hasn’t been a baby with Down syndrome born in Iceland in the past five years.”

Iceland is not alone in its aspirations to create a “Down syndrome-free” world. The holocaust of Down syndrome babies is a global epidemic, taking the lives of human beings created in the image of God on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome. 

Denmark follows closely behind Iceland and predicts it will be a “Down-syndrome free” nation in the next 10 years. 

Meanwhile, 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted in Great Britain and the United States. 

Among the many reasons these statistics are so tragic is that some babies diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome are born without the condition, while in other cases, doctors who fail to recognize markers for Down syndrome through prenatal testing are open to shockingly titled “wrongful birth” lawsuits. 

Even assuming all diagnoses are correct, exactly who are we eradicating from our planet?

NBC News points to studies showing the following:

  • 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives.
  • 97% of people with Down syndrome like who they are.
  • 96% of people with Down syndrome like how they look. 

Statically the vast majority of people with Down syndrome are happy, satisfied, and affectionate members of society—something that couldn’t be said of people born without the disability. 

Down syndrome does not have to be a death sentence

As our world increasingly devalues life to the extent of attempting (and in some cases, succeeding) to "cleanse" the world of anyone who may have a disability, Heartbeat International’s 24-7 contact center, Option Line is standing against these cultural forces. 

The urgent need for Option Line, and the many pregnancy help organizations connected to Option Line, increases daily. 

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In January, alone, Option Line consultants answered a total of 23,660 calls, texts, emails and live chats from women and men seeking help during an unexpected pregnancy.

One of those calls came from a woman pregnant with twins and desperately seeking help. Her doctor had just delivered the devastating news: "Your test results are positive for Down syndrome."

The woman felt alone, confused and conflicted on what to do next. It was her first pregnancy and she had not anticipated receiving such news. In most cases, medical professionals would urge this woman to consider terminating her pregnancy through abortion.

Instead, Option Line’s highly trained consultant was able to offer her hope and practical help. 

The Option Line consultant explained that no matter what the outcome of her pregnancy, support was available. She was able to connect the frightened mother to a local pregnancy help center immediately.

The Option Line consultant ended the conversation by praying with the mother. By the end of the call, the mother felt assured and courageous as she faced the future.

It is never easy for a parent to receive devastating news during a pregnancy. But the overwhelming majority of parents who have a child with Down syndrome report their outlook on life is much more positive because of their child. 

The value of a child born with any disability cannot be eradicated by any nation. They are created in the image of God. 

That’s no less true in Iceland and Denmark than it is in Ireland and the U.S. And it’s no less true based on a person’s chromosome count. 

Reprinted with permission from Pregnancy Help News.

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Judie Brown Judie Brown

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The sad episode that began the Vatican pro-life academy’s decline

Judie Brown Judie Brown

Read Part 1 of this series on the Pontifical Academy for Life here.

March 14, 2017 (ALL) -- In 2008 when Bishop Elio Sgreccia resigned from the presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Rino Fisichella to assume that position.

Fisichella began his tenure with what, in hindsight, can only be defined as an agenda of changing attitudes on abortion and other matters. In retrospect, I find it comical that, as the archbishop moved into his role as an agent of change in the Academy, so too Barack Obama was positioned to do the same as president of the United States.

Of course when Fisichella took over the helm of the Academy, nobody could have predicted what was in store. But it did not take long for the tide to turn.

In March 2009, Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Brazil excommunicated the mother and all members of a medical team involved in the abortion of twins being carried by the woman’s daughter. The young girl had been impregnated after being raped, and the abortion was seen as an act of compassion for the child and her babies. Archbishop Sobrinho took his stand in defense of life saying that “the law of God is above all human law” and that abortion is “homicide against innocent life.”

Fisichella publicly disagreed with the archbishop’s decision.

took issue with Fisichella’s erroneous statements and that’s where my difficulties began. There is no doubt in my mind that abortion is never right and that the archbishop was very wrong.

In 2010, Fisichella was finally removed from his post at the Academy and was named as head of the newly formed Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

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At the Pontifical Academy for Life, Fisichella was replaced by Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula—a man who in 2010 was anything but welcoming to some of those who took issue with his predecessor and who called for his ousting. That of course includes yours truly.

The following year, 2011, I travelled to Rome to speak with Msgr. de Paula, as well as representatives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for the Family. My visits were predicated on an urgent request that the Church revisit her use of the word “conception” when addressing the beginning of a human being’s life. This was based on statements such as this: “The Church's teaching is based on the now-scientifically proved fact that human life begins in its entirety at the moment of conception.”

The point I made during the meetings was that, as pointed out in ALL’s paper entitled The Domino Effect and in the scientific explanation of asexual reproduction, the Church would be wise to consider changing or amending its use of the word “conception” so that it would be perfectly clear that she intended to speak in defense of the protection of all innocent persons from the moment God created them—whether that be sexually or asexually. In that way, there would be no confusion about the fact that the Church teaches that the act of abortion is always and in every case a criminal offense against God.

I was overwhelmed with the positive reception we received in each of the offices, especially at the Pontifical Academy for Life. Msgr. de Paula invited me to submit our paper so that we could make an official presentation on the topic of language and the human person during the coming 2012 meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life. But sadly on January 9, 2012, I was e-mailed the news that my paper would not be on the PAL schedule and I would not be presenting it to the Academy. In that same week I was further advised that my third term on the Academy had come to an end and I was not being renewed to serve a fourth five-year term.

Coincidence? Well, as you will see in part III of my series, there are no accidents when it comes to Vatican politics.

Reprinted with permission from American Life League.

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