All articles from May 19, 2017


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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez
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Pro-abortion Democratic Party chief to meet with pro-life Democrats

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — After creating an uproar by suggesting there is no longer room for pro-life advocates within the Democratic Party, its chairman has agreed to meet with Democrats for Life, the party’s largest pro-life organization.

A few weeks ago, Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez alienated a segment of the party’s constituency when he announced that anyone who is pro-life is not welcome, asserting that support for abortion is “not negotiable” for Democrats.

Perez has not been shy about this. “At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country ... we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice,” he said.

The Democrats’ commitment to abortion again made headlines when Jess O’Connell was selected as the DNC’s CEO. O’Connell, a lesbian, is the former executive director of EMILY’s List, whose stated mission is to “elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”

Pro-life Democrats have found their party increasingly hostile to their cause, despite the fact that 23 percent of Democrats describe themselves as pro-life. And when Democrats are asked if they they support taxpayer funding for abortion, the number rises to a whopping  44 percent who are opposed.

Nearly 75 percent of all Americans believe there should be some restrictions on abortion, favoring limiting it to the first trimester of pregnancy. Even a majority (54 percent) of Americans who identify as ‘pro-choice’ want abortion restricted in this way.

Despite these numbers, the party’s platform has been reshaped to cater to activists’ demands for unlimited access to abortion, declaring the party’s intention to “oppose, and seek to overturn, federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

Many are alarmed.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who gave the invocation at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, had called Perez’s remarks “disturbing” and suggested that members of the party should “challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position.”

Kristen Day, executive director for Democrats For Life of America, told LifeSiteNews, “It's interesting to see abortion rights activists within the Democratic Party push back so hard. It shows the true colors of the abortion industry. They don't care about the party. They’re far more interested in promoting themselves and making money. If you care about the health of our party, you’re going to welcome everyone.”

Anthony Bosnick, a Maryland parish social justice minister and another pro-life Democrat, insists “the party needs to return to being concerned about life across the entire spectrum, from conception to natural death.” He quotes Pope Francis' Laudato Si. “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? [120].

Now the furor is coming from Democrats on the other side of the issue. Announcement of the planned meeting has sparked outrage among some pro-abortion Democratic Party members.

Abortion activist Erin Matson told The Atlantic magazine, “It’s incredibly discouraging to hear what sounds like equivocating on this issue.” Even before Perez announced his planned meeting with pro-life Democrats, Matson berated members of her party who suggested its stance on abortion should be less extreme, suggesting there is no room for that kind of thinking.

So far, neither NARAL nor Planned Parenthood have issued a public statement about the planned meeting.  

No date for the meeting has been announced.

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A rainbow flag flies below the American flag at the U.S. embassy in Macedonia.
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Rainbow flag flies again at U.S. Embassy in Macedonia

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservatives who hoped that once Donald Trump became president the U.S. government would stop flying the “rainbow flag” at American embassies abroad, as happened often under former President Obama to mark various LGBTQ events, were disappointed Wednesday.

The U.S. Embassy in Macedonia tweeted this:

IDAHOT is celebrated worldwide every year by homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and other self-identified “queer” activists, one of many LGBTQ activist “days” on the calendar. Under Obama, the White House issued supportive IDAHOT proclamations in recent years, and several American embassies reportedly flew the “rainbow” flag under Old Glory.

Trump did not issue a formal IDAHOT proclamation, but at his State Department there was a muted celebration of the anti-“phobia” day with its “Worldwide Celebration of Sexual and Gender Diversities.” In addition to the flying homo-transgender rainbow flag in Macedonia, openly homosexual U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius took to the State Department’s official blog to honor IDAHOT.

The State Department’s official Twitter account retweeted Osius’ essay on the State Department blog, DIPNOTE. He wrote Wednesday:

“The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally. And each June, we celebrate Pride Month in the United States and overseas. I am happy to reaffirm these messages because defending the equality of LGBTI persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally — the heart and conscience of our diplomacy.”

Osius lives in Hanoi with his homosexual “husband,” Clayton Bond, and their adopted son and daughter. He recently spoke at an LGBTQ activist leaders’ conference in Washington, D.C., attended by LifeSiteNews, where he told the mostly LGBT audience, “There is no turning back” from Obama’s foreign advocacy of homosexual and transgender “rights” as “human rights.”

It was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who in 2011 declared the new Obama approach, which alienated people of faith worldwide as undermining the historic, Judeo-Christian notion of human rights, and pitting newly-invented “gay/transgender” rights such as homosexual “marriage” against traditional societies.

In his blog piece, Osius described how he uses his and his “spouse’s” encounters in more conservative cultures like Vietnam’s to spread the message of acceptance for homosexuality and transgenderism. When a Vietnamese teenage boy asked him if he “had encountered difficulties” in his life or career “as a result of being gay,” Osius answered, “When I first joined the Foreign Service, we could lose our jobs for being out.”

He continued: “Because there is strength in numbers, we created a group, and we persuaded the State Department to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation. As American society grew more accepting, we insisted that our families be treated with the same respect as traditional families.”

Conservatives to Trump: stop “left-wing activism”

The pro-family organization Family Research Council objected to the State Department’s renewed pro-LGBTQ advocacy abroad under Trump, including the “rainbow” flag flying at the U.S. Embassy in socially conservative Macedonia.

“It is time for President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to put a stop to the use of taxpayer dollars for this kind of left-wing activism, and focus on more urgent needs in our foreign policy,” wrote FRC President Tony Perkins in his daily “Washington Watch” newsletter, noting, “The Obama administration's promotion of this agenda abroad reflected woefully misguided priorities.”

Perkins cited polls and legislative votes showing that Macedonians overwhelming reject the LGBTQ political agenda. A 2015 survey of Macedonians indicated that “78 percent said they would oppose a political party that promoted ‘LGBTI rights.’"

Pro-family advocate Robert Oscar Lopez, director of Texas Mass Resistance, warned Trump about continuing Obama’s brand of international homosexual-transgender advocacy, which alienated citizens in less decadent nations like Kenya and Jamaica.

“Trump should be careful, because if he confirms all the worst fears about being a liberal, he will lose a lot of evangelical votes on this issue,” Lopez told LifeSiteNews.

Obama’s 'LGBT Envoy' remains under Trump

In February, it was reported that Trump is keeping in place Obama’s first-ever special international LGBT “envoy,” Randy Berry, whose mission is to promote acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism abroad under the rubric of “human rights” and in the name of the United States.

Berry, an open homosexual, is currently listed on the State Department website as “Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, Term of Appointment: 01/20/2017 to present.” He is described as “currently serv[ing] as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,” in addition to holding the “LGBT Envoy” job, which his conservative critics would like to see eliminated under Trump. 

Berry’s Twitter account also lists the “LGBT Envoy” role but has been inactive since Jan. 25. Under Obama, it was very active: on May 17, 2016, last year’s IDAHOT celebration, Berry retweeted then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s IDAHOT statement.

Does disagreement equal irrational fear?

One ongoing tactic used by LGBTQ activists like the organizers of IDAHOT is to label disagreement with aberrant sex-and-gender behaviors, ideologies and self-identities as “phobias,” i.e., irrational fear. The term “homophobia” was coined in 1965 by the late psychologist and “gay” advocate George Weinberg, who died in March. Since then, it has been used to stigmatize opposition to not only homosexuality but also transsexuality (“transphobia”), bisexuality (“biphobia”), and Islam and sharia law (“Islamophobia”).

Being on the receiving end of these politically correct putdowns, some social conservatives are not pleased that President Trump, through federal government agencies, continues to honor LGBTQ celebrations like IDAHOT that implicitly mischaracterize moral-minded Christians as hateful and bigoted.

After conservative Fox News writer Todd Starnes posted the pro-“gay” “rainbow flag” flying beneath the American flag at the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia, one commenter responded, “Seeing how destructive homosexuality is — the CDC reported that over 20 percent of gay men in U.S. major cities have HIV/AIDS — maybe we shouldn't be celebrating homosexuality. Not to mention the flagpole is for actual flags of nations, etc. It shouldn't be up there any more than the Disney flag should be.”

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Cardinal blasts Cardinal Burke for defending faith: ‘A poor man’ who ‘wanted power and lost it’

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ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The head of Pope Francis’ powerful group of nine Cardinals entrusted with his Vatican reforms has issued another attack on Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga sharply rebukes Burke in an interview with Father Antonio Carriero for the new book, Solo il Vangelo è rivoluzionario (“Only the Gospel is Revolutionary”).

Burke “is a disappointed man, in that he wanted power and lost it. He thought he was the maximum authority in the United States,” claims Maradiaga.

“He’s not the magisterium . . . The Holy Father is the magisterium, and he’s the one who teaches the whole Church. This other [person] speaks only his own thoughts, which don’t merit further comment.”

“They are the words of a poor man.”

Maradiaga then made his attacks more general: “These currents of the Catholic right are persons who seek power and not the truth, and the truth is one . . . If they claim to find some ‘heresy’ in the words of Francis, they’re making a big mistake, because they’re thinking only like men and not as the Lord wants.”

“What sense does it have to publish writings against the pope, which don’t damage him but ordinary people? What does a right-wing closed on certain points accomplish? Nothing!”

“Ordinary people are with the pope, this is completely clear.  I see that everywhere.”

“Those who are proud, arrogant, who believe they have a superior intellect … poor people! Pride is also a form of poverty.”

Maradiaga’s claims about Burke are “the opposite of the truth,” according to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing on his blog.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf quoted Our Lady’s message at Akita, Japan, where she prophesied that “the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.”

“Today we have an example of a cardinal against a cardinal,” the priest wrote. “While we grant that cardinals have always been against cardinals, today’s conflicts are particularly disturbing.  The stakes are very high, the points of dispute are serious, and the role of social media amplify the confusion.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf concludes, “The judgement of Card. Burke which Card. Rodriguez has somewhat rashly asserted is, quite simply, the opposite of the truth.  I don’t doubt, however, that he sincerely believes what he said about his brother in the College.”

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke as head of the Vatican’s supreme court in 2014.  Burke has long been a leading conservative voice in the Church who, among other things, has publicly questioned the Pope’s efforts to allow Catholics who divorce and civilly remarry to receive communion.  

After the publication of Amoris Laetita, Burke and three other cardinals submitted a ste of dubia to Pope Francis, seeking clarification on five specific points of confusion raised by the document.  Eight months later, the pontiff has yet to respond.

In the months since submitting the dubia, other cardinals and bishops have expressed their support for the effort to gain clarification from the Holy See.

Still, Maradiaga insists, “I think that one of the qualities we cardinals [should have] is loyalty.  Even if we don’t all think the same way, we still have to be loyal to Peter,” and whoever doesn’t offer that loyalty, “is just seeking attention.”

“The greatest problem . . . is the disorientation that’s created among people when they read affirmations of bishops and cardinals against the Holy Father.”

In a radio interview in March, Maradiaga said of the cardinals who authored the dubia, "I know the four and I say that they are already in retirement . . . They should do something else."  He continued, “I would not want to put it – shall we say – too strongly; only God knows people’s consciences and inner motivations; but, from the outside it seems to me to be a new pharisaism."

Last year, documents released by Wikileaks showed George Soros' Open Society Foundation hoped to work through Maradiaga to influence American Catholic bishops during the Pope's visit to the U.S.  The foundation paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”

In 2015, Maradiaga participated in the "shadow synod" that attacked Church teaching and contributed to the subversion of the two synods on the family.

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Cardinal Caffarra at the 2017 Rome Life Forum. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

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Abortion, homosexuality show ‘final battle’ between God and Satan has come: Cardinal

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ROME, May 19, 2017, (LifeSiteNews) -- The prophecy of the Fatima visionary Sister Lucia that the final battle between God and Satan will be about marriage and the family is being fulfilled today, said a cardinal speaking at a Catholic conference in Rome. 

"What Sister Lucia said in those days is being fulfilled in these days of ours," said Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the dubia signers who is the archbishop emeritus of Bologna and a former member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, in a Q&A after his presentation. 

Caffarra made his comments at the fourth annual Rome Life Forum. After his presentation, Cardinal Raymond Burke, another dubia signer, called for the Catholic faithful to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

MUST READ: Cardinal Burke calls for Consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Cardinal Caffarra, who is the founding president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, made his comments on the “final battle” in reference to a letter he wrote to Sister Lucia back in the early 1980s to ask for her prayers as he began his new undertaking of founding the institute. He never expected a reply. 

But, to his surprise, Caffarra received a lengthy letter signed by Sister Lucia in which she spoke of the “final battle” that would come at the end of time. 

The Fatima visionary wrote that the “final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Do not be afraid, (she added), because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” She then concluded: “However, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”

The letter is now in the archives of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.

The battle

Caffarra said in his presentation that there are two forces opposing one another in the battle. One is the “wounded Heart of the Crucified-Risen One” who calls all men to himself. The other is the “power of Satan, who does not want to be ousted from his kingdom.”

Read Cardinal Caffarra's full talk here.

The Cardinal said that the area in which this battle takes place is the human heart.

“Jesus, the Revelation of the Father, exerts a strong attraction to Himself. Satan works against this, to neutralise the attractive force of the Crucified-Risen One. The force of truth which makes us free acts on the heart of man. It is the Satanic force of the lie which makes slaves of us,” he said. 

The two forces of attraction give rise to two cultures, he said, a “culture of the truth and the culture of the lie.”

“There is a book in Holy Scripture, the last, the Apocalypse, which describes the final confrontation between the two kingdoms. In this book, the attraction of Christ takes the form of triumph over enemy powers commanded by Satan. It is a triumph which comes after lengthy combat. The first fruits of the victory are the martyrs,” he said. 

Caffarra said that legalized abortion comes from the “culture of the lie” where the “crime” of murdering a human being is seen as a “good.”

Abortion is a “sacrilegious act,” he said, adding that it is the “profoundest negation of the truth of man.”. 

“The reason why man should not shed the blood of man is that man is the image of God. Through man, God dwells in His creation. This creation is the temple of the Lord, because man inhabits it. To violate the intangibility of the human person is a sacrilegious act against the Sanctity of God. It is the Satanic attempt to generate an ‘anti-creation.’ By ennobling the killing of humans, Satan has laid the foundations for his ‘creation’: to remove from creation the image of God, to obscure his presence therein,” he said. 

The Cardinal said Homosexual “marriage” also comes from the “culture of the lie” since it “denies entirely the truth of marriage” as it comes from the “mind of God the Creator.”

“The Divine Revelation has told us how God thinks of marriage: the lawful union of a man and woman, the source of life. In the mind of God, marriage has a permanent structure, based on the duality of the human mode of being: femininity and masculinity. Not two opposite poles, but the one with and for the other,” he said. 

“The union between a man and woman, who become one flesh, is human cooperation in the creative act of God,” he added. 

Satan, in pushing the lies of abortion and homosexuality, is attempting to destroy the two most important pillars of creation, the “human person” created in the image of God and the “conjugal union” between a man and woman.

“The axiological elevation of abortion to a subjective right is the demolition of the first pillar. The ennoblement of a homosexual relationship, when equated to marriage, is the destruction of the second pillar,” Caffarra said. 

Join Cardinal Burke's call for the Consecration of Russia. Sign the petition!

Satan’s ultimate goal is to “build an actual anti-creation,” an “alternative creation,” where God and every sign of his beauty and goodness have been erased. 

“This is the ultimate and terrible challenge which Satan is hurling at God,” the Cardinal said.  

To be a faithful follower of Christ in these times means to “testify...openly and publicly” to the truth of God’s creation with regard to the dignity of the human person and marriage.

“Someone who does not testify in this way is like a soldier who flees at the decisive moment in a battle. We are no longer witnesses, but deserters, if we do not speak openly and publicly,” he said. 

Caffarra praised the pro-life March for Life events that happen around the world a “great testimony” to the truth of the worth of every person. 

He likened Christians confronting sin to doctors combatting disease, telling his audience that just as with disease there can be no peace terms, the same follows for sin. 

“It would be a terrible doctor who adopted an irenical (aimed at peace) attitude towards the disease,” he said. The meaning of Augustine’s dictum ‘Love the sinner, persecute the sin,’ he added, means to “hunt down the sin. Track it down in the hidden places of its lies, and condemn it, bringing to light its insubstantiality.”

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Russian Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
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Orthodox Church to Russian gov’t: ‘Abortion must be made equal to murder’

Fr. Mark Hodges

MOSCOW, Russia, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Russian Orthodox Church is again calling upon the nation's government to make abortion illegal.

Archimandrite Theothilactes addressed Parliament's Commission for the Protection of Christian Values at their first session of the new State Duma. He advised the commission to make an abortion ban the top legislative priority.

“Abortion must be made equal to murder," the Patriarch’s representative urged. "Attention must be paid to this bill and eventually it must be passed.”

The Commission for the Protection of Christian Values is a lower house coalition of 46 members of Parliament coming together to make sure Russian laws conform to Biblical standards of morality and decency. New laws are proposed and existing laws are evaluated for their impact on Russian society in terms of Christian values.

In Archimandrite Theothilactes’ address to the commission, he also criticized a Russian law prohibiting parents from spanking or physically disciplining their children. He said that law should be eliminated because it contradicts the Holy Scripture.

“We should not allow any bans on traditional upbringing in a Christian family, and any attempts to make children equal to parents," Theothilactes said. "We need to introduce amendments to this law."

Abortion was legalized under Communism and became the standard method of birth control. Russia still has one of the highest rates of abortion per capita in the world, and most abortions are tax-funded.

With the fall of Communism, the Orthodox Church gained prominence in society and influence in government. Vladimir Putin has repeatedly championed laws that reflect Christian values.

In January 2015, Patriarch Kirill addressed the entire State Duma for the first time, calling for a legislative campaign against abortion.  

Kirill sought to reason with non-Christian members of Parliament on the basis of Russia's serious dying population. “If we manage to cut the number of abortions by 50 percent, we would have stable and powerful population growth,” His All-Holiness said.

“The argument that an abortion ban would cause an increase in the number of underground abortions is pure nonsense," Kirill added. "People have to pay money for these operations and our task is to make the price of a legal infanticide the same as of the illegal one. Taxpayers must not pay for this.”

The Patriarch's stated goal is a total nationwide ban on abortions, but he urged lawmakers to start by taking abortion coverage out of the state's obligatory health insurance program. He also urged lawmakers to favor adoption and discourage surrogacy.

In May 2015, several members of Parliament responded by banding together to draft a bill limiting state insurance payments for abortions and banning private abortuaries.  Their legislation also restricted abortifacient contraceptives.

Significantly, members of Parliament also pushed for a law requiring ultrasounds for all women seeking an abortion. They reasoned that “according to statistics, up to 80 percent of women change their decision to abort when they see their child on the screen.”

In 2013, the Russian Parliament passed and Putin signed a law banning ads for abortion.

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Trevor MacDonald has nursed two children as a transgender individual and is a Le Leche League International leader. The New Family
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Breastfeeding organization welcomes transgender ‘nursing men’

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SCHAUMBURG, Illinois, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A venerable breastfeeding advocacy group is floating the notion that men can nurse children.

Nursing is not just for moms anymore, according to a blog post from the National Catholic Register this week that included a policy statement from La Leche League International (LLLI).

“As the cultural understanding of gender has expanded, it is now recognized that some men are able to breastfeed,” the organization also stated.

LLLI has accommodated the idea of breastfeeding men since 2014 when it changed the policy, because “the cultural understanding of gender has expanded.” Therefore “it is now recognized that some men are able to breastfeed.”

The Illinois-based international organization has provided breastfeeding support for more than 60 years. Three years ago, it began allowing  “men who otherwise meet the prerequisites for becoming a volunteer applicant” to be breastfeeding counselors.

Those prerequisites are organizational experience, personal experience breastfeeding a baby for at least nine months, and a demonstrated commitment to La Leche League philosophy.

That’s no misprint — men with “personal experience breastfeeding a baby for at least nine months” can apply to be a breastfeeding counselor.

“Of course, men can’t breastfeed,” author Glenn Stanton wrote in the post. “But many women who believe they are men ... keep their uteruses and breasts, giving birth and nursing their babies like any other women.”

The proposed concept of a breastfeeding man isn’t new. In 2008, Thomas Beatie, a post-surgical female who now uses the name Tracy Lagondino, received national attention with the illusory billing of being a pregnant man.

A breastfeeding counselor would be someone charged with assisting new and struggling mothers in mastering the intimate act of nursing their infant children, Stanton pointed out. And according to LLLI, this could be a man.

It was “in the spirit of nondiscrimination … ” that LLLI changed its policy in 2014. And “as a nondiscriminatory organization,” volunteer breastfeeding counselor positions “cannot be considered ineligible based on factors such as gender, race, religion, physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, financial or social position, or political or social views.”

There are links to accounts on two websites in the blog post, one to an online TIME magazine column and the other from Milk Junkies: Breastfeeding and parenting from a transgender perspective.

Both detailed stories of women who identify as men but who apparently were able to become pregnant and nurse their children.

The Milk Junkies post, from 2016, included a statement from LLLI that said:

We recognize that any breastfeeding parent, regardless of whether they self-identify as a mother or father, should be — and is now — welcome to investigate LLL Leadership. There are other prerequisites that a potential Leader needs to satisfy, but being a woman isn't one of them.”

“Can you imagine an anxious mother, struggling with her own self-confidence and changing body, having to learn the ins and outs of such an intimate process from a bearded woman presenting herself as a man?” Stanton asked. “It is an absolute violation of her innate modesty and a ridiculous expectation for her to be totally cool with it.”

Stanton concluded by noting the discrepancy between the breastfeeding organization maintaining the policy of breastfeeding “men” while having a resource in a book titled The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

“How can they not appreciate how this makes nursing ‘dads’ feel?” Stanton queried further. “They will have to change the title, declaring breastfeeding as a ‘manly art’ and feature a five o’clock-shadowed individual on their cover. That is, if they really believe their own rhetoric.”

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‘Sacrilege’: Archbishop of Montreal gives Communion to pro-abortion Justin Trudeau

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MONTREAL, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine has defended giving Holy Communion to Canada’s notoriously pro-abortion Catholic prime minister during Mass on Wednesday, describing it as “a gesture of hope.”

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received Holy Communion and was among the dignitaries who spoke from the sanctuary at a Mass marking Montreal’s 375th anniversary, and which CBC broadcast live from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Cardinal Gérald Lacroix of Quebec City, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, and papal nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi were among the prelates who concelebrated with Lépine.

The event was widely publicized, with the Catholic Register running a photo on its Facebook page. Video of the Mass was also archived on CPAC.

The Church’s Code of Canon Law requires ministers of the Eucharist to deny Communion to those who are excommunicated or are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” This law is based in St. Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 11:29: “Any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, affirmed in a 2004 letter from the Vatican that this law applies to pro-abortion politicians.

The Church views denying Communion in these cases as an act of compassion. It is intended both to protect the individual from committing the sacrilege of consuming the Host while in a state of grave sin, and to avoid the scandal of appearing to show approval for the individual’s gravely sinful actions.

“Justin Trudeau is a paradigm example of a high-profile, apostate Catholic who should be denied Communion,” Georges Buscemi, president of the Quebec Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.

“It stands to reason that a politician like him, who makes it his life purpose to destroy the Catholic faith and knowledge of the natural moral law in Canada, should be asked to not present himself for Communion,” Buscemi said.

“This should be done out of love for him and the ones who would be scandalized by seeing his evil behaviour affirmed by a bishop.”

‘A gesture of hope’

Archbishop Lépine’s appointment to the see of Montreal in 2012 was seen as a sign of hope for the Church in Quebec. His deep devotion to the Church's teachings and practices were a marked contrast with his predecessor.

His appointment came amid outcries from abortion activists. Yet he has gladly affirmed the Church’s teachings on life, marriage, and sexuality. He has led Eucharistic processions as a sign of contradiction through the heart of the once-Catholic city. For the first time, the Archbishop of Montreal has made it a practice to attend Ottawa’s National March for Life.

In 2012, Buscemi’s Quebec Life Coalition gave him a ‘Defender of Life’ award “as a token of what he has done for Life and Family in the past, and as a sign of our support for all his future projects in defense of life and the family.”

Archbishop Lépine told LifeSiteNews on Thursday that he gave Trudeau Holy Communion as a “gesture of hope” and “to keep in contact and how to keep a bridge open, if I may say so.”

There’s a “need to make the distinction between the human being and what the person does, or says or thinks,” and “to stay focused on who the person is, a human being called by Christ, called to true freedom,” he said in a telephone call from Montreal.

“I think one of the difficulties is that we live in a dialectic of opposition, pressure groups against pressure groups, way of thinkings against way of thinking, but behind that we’re all human beings so I’m trying to reach that level.”

LifeSiteNews asked Lépine if he had attempted to meet with Trudeau before the Mass to speak to him about his pro-abortion position.

The archbishop responded that “private communications” were “private,” and added that “publicly, there’s a need for communication, and there’s been communication, but there are many forces going on in society, so yet again, it’s a matter of hope.”

When asked how he would respond to those who see this as a sacrilege, Lépine again pointed to the distinction between “the person and the acts of the person and what the person says.”

It’s “going too far” if someone “feels to be rejected as a person,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“It’s how to discuss what is said or what is done without rejecting the person as a person and how to do it. So this is a challenge, that’s what I try to do.”

As for causing scandal, Lépine countered that “it can cause scandal to the faithful if you cut someone.”

He reiterated that the distinction must be made between the person and what that person “does or says or thinks.”and that “you don’t lose sight that it’s a human being created in the image of God.”

Lépine said efforts are underway to establish contact with Trudeau. “The call is happening, but if you want to call, you have to be connected, you have to meet somewhere.”

‘A sacrilege’

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion — the deliberate and intended killing of the child in the womb — is a grave sin and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

It is well known that Trudeau has persistently and unapologetically promoted abortion throughout his political career.

Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say championing a woman’s “right” to choose abortion, which he erroneously insists is a Charter right, is Trudeau’s defining political position.

In 2014 as Liberal leader, Trudeau banned anyone with pro-life convictions from running as a Liberal Party candidate.

As prime minister, he has pushed for access to abortion on Prince Edward Island, given $20 million to the Dutch global abortion fund She Decides, and earmarked $650 million over three years to promote and provide abortion as part of Canada’s aid to developing countries.

Moreover, his public utterances in support of abortion are legion.

Trudeau also publicly opposes Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality, supports gender ideology, and passed legislation approving euthanasia.

As Wednesday was also "International Day Against Transphobia, Biphobia and Homophobia," Trudeau wore rainbow socks to honour the event, as CTV’s Cindy Sherwin tweeted:

During his address from the Cathedral sanctuary, Trudeau said: “Montrealers, more than anyone, know that our diversity is our strength. This Mass is a testament to that.”

Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, says that Trudeau receiving Holy Communion is a “sacrilege.”

“It’s very disappointing that Trudeau once again presents himself as a faithful Catholic when in fact, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and instead of protecting the lambs he devours them,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“It’s doubly concerning to our Catholic supporters and others in the various faith communities that he shows such disrespect, and the Catholic Church does nothing to prevent this blasphemy.”

Church teaching on reception of Holy Communion

Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 letter set out norms for reception of Holy Communion and applied them specifically to cases such as Trudeau.

It states in part:

Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Buscemi pointed out that Pope Francis himself, while archbishop of Buenos Aires, endorsed the Latin American bishops’ Aparecida document, which contained this statement:

We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.

Other bishops on Trudeau and Communion

When Trudeau issued his 2014 edict banning pro-life candidates from the Liberal Party, Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast responded with a public statement.

“A person who takes a position in contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church on the value and dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of a natural death, and persists in this belief, is not in communion with the Church’s values and teaching,” it read.

However, Prendergast told the Catholic Register at the time that he would not refuse Trudeau Holy Communion unless he met with him first.

“I don’t think you can make a judgment about someone’s faith position simply by what is said in the public,” he said. “There needs to be a meeting with myself, or with his parish priest, a priest who is in harmony with the Church’s teachings.”

Bishop Christian Reisbeck, Ottawa’s auxiliary bishop, told LifeSiteNews at the time that if attempts at “fraternal correction” had failed, a pro-abortion politician could be denied Holy Communion under Canon 915.

“Out of concern for safeguarding the reverence that is due Our Lord in the Eucharist, and to avoid scandal, one could possibly apply this norm even in the case of a pro-abortion Catholic politician who is extremely vocal about his position.”

RELATED: How the Catholic Church helped Canada elect its most pro-abortion prime minister in history

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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signs a bill banning restorative therapy for homosexuals sponsored by openly gay state Sen. David Parks.
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LGBT victory: Nevada bans ‘sexual orientation change’ therapy for kids

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Nevada became the ninth state to ban pro-heterosexual therapy for minors when Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the pro-LGBTQ bill into law on Wednesday.

Sandoval is the fourth Republican governor to sign an anti-heterosexual therapy for minors bill into law, following New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2013, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015, and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez last month.

Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy, rushed to sign a similar bill into law on May 10 after the state senate passed the bill 36-0 with no Republicans voting against it.

The support of GOP governors for such pro-LGBTQ legislation goes directly against the Republican Party platform, approved last summer at the RNC Convention, which affirms the “the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children” (page 37).

SB 201 prohibits “certain healthcare professionals from providing sexual orientation or gender identity conversion therapy to a minor.”

Nevada joins New Mexico, Connecticut, California, Vermont, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and  the District of Columbia in banning pro-heterosexual therapies for children.

Abandonment by GOP

Brian Camenker, founder and president of the Boston-based pro-family group Mass Resistance, said GOP politicians’ growing embrace of the homosexual-transgender lobby’s agenda will devastate the Party if it continues.

“Folks used to trust Republicans to protect people, especially kids, from the fanatical LGBTQ agenda. That’s disappearing fast. This therapy ban will cause tremendous misery and the GOP simply doesn’t care,” Camenker told LifeSiteNews.

Former homosexual and professor Robert Oscar Lopez, director of Texas Mass Resistance, said the “signs are too obvious” that the pro-LGBT movement is steadily moving into “the control of other people’s lives,” which ultimately ends in “dictatorship.”

He told LifeSiteNews that Republicans are “afraid of using that term and they just have to get over it.” Lopez questioned why a party that purports to defend “liberty” would accede to escalating state power in the name of LGBT “rights” when it is now clear that “gay and trans rights” come at the expense of others’ freedoms.

Social conservatives and LGBT advocates alike are waiting to see whether and to what extent President Trump allows the federal government to celebrate “gay pride month” in June, as President Obama did with much fanfare for eight consecutive years. George W. Bush ended the practice in 2001 after Bill Clinton started it.

‘Conversion’ therapies?

The Nevada bill enacted by Gov. Sandoval affects therapies for children under 18 and defines “conversion therapies” as “any practices or treatments that seek to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of the children.”

However, Cristopher Doyle, who practices pro-heterosexual “reparative therapy” for those who want it, argues that “conversion therapy” is the loaded term of choice used by LGBT activists and their allies to advance their cause and demonize people like himself. Doyle said the term denigrates genuine, pro-heterosexual talk therapy approaches, which are completely non-coercive and have helped many people manage or overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.

Doyle, who left homosexuality behind and is now in a natural marriage with children, is a licensed clinical professional counselor in Virginia and co-coordinator of the National Task Force for Therapy Equality.

“While the vast majority of states continue to vote these bills down, unfortunately, the children in Nevada are the latest victims of political correctness gone wild at the hands of liberal politicians and gay activists,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Inclusion or exclusion?

SB 201 was sponsored by openly homosexual State Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, who called the new law — despite its hostility toward the “ex-gay” movement — “a major step forward in building a more equal and inclusive state.”

“Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation to protect LGBTQ youth,” Sen. Parks said in a statement, reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Banning conversion therapy makes Nevada a safer place for children who are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.”

But Doyle, who also runs a group called Equality and Justice for All that defends “ex-gays,” said, “No child should be denied the right to get the therapy that fits their values, and no parent or family should be told they must accept that their child is gay or transgender if they believe their son or daughter has underlying trauma that may be causing these unwanted feelings.”

On May 2, Doyle’s pro-reparative therapy Task Force filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against three pro-homosexual-“transgender” organizations, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The complaint charges that all three are using false information, misleading statements and gross distortions to advance “nearly two dozen bills in states across the country to take away the therapy rights of parents, and their teenagers, who voluntarily seek out professional therapy to help cope with sexual and gender identity conflicts.”

Lopez said the greatest danger of government reparative therapy bans is the effect they have in combination with escalating LGBTQ propaganda programs in schools, especially those aimed at the very young.

He said the barrage of pro-LGBT messages in school, combined with “gay-straight alliance” student clubs In schools, leads impressionable kids to begin questioning their sexuality or “gender” and then experiment with aberrant behaviors and self-identities.

Then, in states with reparative therapy bans, “Nobody can tell them that they could be happier the way they were born — heterosexual,” he said.

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Canon lawyer tells diocese to follow guidelines allowing Communion for remarried

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A canon lawyer told priests at a workshop run by a U.S. diocese that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia has allowed them to break with the Church’s tradition practice of refusing Communion to “remarried” Catholics.

Since the diocesan bishop has not issued his own guidelines on the Pope’s exhortation, the canonist said, the priests can follow the controversial interpretations from the bishops of Malta and Buenos Aires.

The workshop was recorded and shared anonymously with the Catholic group Mary’s Advocates. The group posted the recording on their website with identities redacted.

“Now, we don’t have any guidelines,” the canon lawyer stated. “However, if priests want a little bit of insight into things that can be done, there are other areas that have put forth guidelines. Most notably, the Buenos Aires pastoral region has put out guidelines for their priests.”

“This is important because this is the area that Pope Francis comes from,” she said. “It is also important because Pope Francis actually wrote a letter approving their guidelines.”

She then referred attendees, which included some priests, to a website run by a lay canonist that included the Buenos Aires and Malta guidelines.

“The document from Buenos Aires as well as Pope Francis’ letter of approving — I don’t want to say approving, but saying that they are good guidelines — are on that,” the canon lawyer told the audience.

Amoris Laetitia

The Buenos Aires and Malta directives were the first to outright say Amoris Laetitia could be interpreted as allowing Communion for Catholics living in objectively sinful situations. Other areas such as Chicago and San Diego have indicated they would follow.

Pope Francis still has not responded to an inquiry from four cardinals requesting clarification on whether he intends the document to allow Catholics to circumvent Church teaching on Communion for individuals living in non-marital unions.

Guidelines from Buenos Aires and Malta bishops

Last September, the bishops of Buenos Aires issued their directive to priests in their jurisdiction allowing Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. The document closely quoted Amoris Laetitia.

The bishops said that in “complex circumstances” when a remarried couple could not “obtain a declaration of nullity” priests can still grant them access to the Eucharist.

If a priest recognizes that “in a particular case there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability, particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union,” the directive said, “Amoris Laetitia opens the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.”

The canon lawyer repeated the latter statement at the recent diocesan workshop.

Pope Francis had written a letter to Argentinian Bishop Sergío Alfredo Fenoy at the time regarding the Buenos Aries directive, stating, “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

The bishops of Malta had given the OK for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in their dioceses to receive Communion in a document released this past January.

The Maltese bishops said at the time “there are complex situations” where living chastely, the Church’s requirement for rescuing Communion while in this situation, may be “humanly impossible.”

The U.S. canon lawyer repeated this idea as well at her recent workshop.

The Maltese bishops said divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in their dioceses could receive Communion if they manage “with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God.” 

They said as well that their guidelines are “in line with the directions given by Pope Francis.”

The canon lawyer said this issue was one of personal and pastoral discernment, again using language from the document and also the controversial Synods on the Family from which it was reportedly derived.

More confusion

Mary’s Advocates founder Bai Macfarlane criticized the canon lawyer’s characterization of Church teaching and canon law.

“Listeners are set up, in the beginning, to be ready to learn which ecclesiastical man-made law has been changed by Amoris Laetitia,” Macfarlane said.

“By the end of her presentation, listeners will believe that for a time (between the year 2000 and 2016), priests were restricted from telling those in second marriages that they cannot receive Communion without abstaining from sex, if they don’t have an annulment,” she continued. “Listeners will believe that Amoris Laetitia reversed and lifted that restrictive man-made law. So now priests can again tell parties to go to Communion after accompaniment and discernment.”

The canon lawyer had also said during her presentation that telling someone not to have sex is not a good thing because you are taking away one of the basic aspects of marriage. However, she said this in regard to Catholics living a second marriage without an annulment.

“The speaker treats adulterous sexual acts as if they bring the same graces as sexual acts in marriage,” Macfarlane said. “She attributes to sexual acts outside of marriage, the same graces gained by the participants, as sexual acts inside of marriage.” 

“If the Church should never tell adulterers not to have sex,” she continued, “then using the same logic the Church should not tell two high school kids to not have sex, or tell the man cheating on his wife that he should stop having sex with is new, young girlfriend.”

The full recording can be accessed HERE, and has been shared with the diocese for which the canon lawyer works.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks at the Rome Life Forum on May 19, 2017. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal Burke calls for Consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart of Mary

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ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke issued a call this morning for the Catholic faithful to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Cardinal Burke, who is one of the four Cardinals who have asked Pope Francis for a clarification of Amoris Laetitia, made his appeal at the Rome Life Forum, in the month of the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition to the three shepherd children.

Burke is the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and current Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In a comprehensive address on “The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization,” Cardinal Burke, in the presence of fellow dubia Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, outspoken Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider and over 100 life and family leaders from 20 nations, said that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart would mean much more than the ending of world wars, and the physical calamities that Our Lady of Fatima predicted. 

“As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death,” he said.

Read the full text of Cardinal Burke's historic call for the Consecration here.

He expressed agreement with one of the foremost Fatima scholars, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, who said that the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary undoubtedly refers firstly to “the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.”

Turning to the current situation in the Church in light of Our Lady of Fatima’s revelations, Burke said:

The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law.

The call for the consecration of Russia is for some controversial, but Cardinal Burke addressed the reasons for his appeal simply and straightforwardly. “The requested consecration is at once a recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia,” he said.

“Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984,” said Cardinal Burke. “But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction.”

The want for the ‘explicit’ mention of Russia in the consecration as requested by Our Lady was desired by Pope John Paul II, but not undertaken due to pressure from counselors. This fact was confirmed most recently by the official representative of Pope Francis at the Fatima anniversary celebration last week in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

Speaking on May 13, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, former president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, recalled his conversation with Pope John Paul II after the 1984 consecration, or “entrustment," which took place March 25, when the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was in Rome.

“Obviously, for a long time [the pope] had dealt with that significant mission which the Mother of God had given to the seer children there,” Cordes said. “However, he held back to mention Russia explicitly, because the Vatican diplomats had urgently asked him not to mention this country because otherwise political conflicts might perhaps arise.”

For those who may still object to calling for the consecration of Russia, Cardinal Burke recalled the words of Pope St. John Paul II who in 1982 during his consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart noted: “Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new ‘signs of the times’. It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”

Instructing the faithful, Cardinal Burke taught that Our Lady of Fatima "provides for us the means to go faithfully to her Divine Son and to seek from Him the wisdom and strength to bring His saving grace to a profoundly troubled world.”

Cardinal Burke outlined six means Our Lady gave at Fatima for the faithful take part in the restoration of peace in the world and in the Church:

  1. to pray the Rosary each day
  2. to wear the Brown Scapular;
  3. to make sacrifices for the sake of saving sinners;
  4. to make reparation for offenses to her Immaculate Heart by means of the First Saturday devotion; and
  5. to convert our own lives ever more to Christ.
  6. Lastly, she asks the Roman Pontiff, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

“By these means, she promises that her Immaculate Heart will triumph, bringing souls to Christ, her Son,” Cardinal Burke added. “Turning to Christ, they will make reparation for their sins. Christ, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, will save them from Hell and bring peace to the whole world.”

Join Cardinal Burke's call for the Consecration of Russia. Sign the petition!

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Grace Schairer and Elizabeth Castro
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High school bans pro-life club, allows gay club

Fr. Mark Hodges

ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Administrators at a Pennsylvania high school said "yes" to gay-straight alliance clubs and political science clubs but "no" to pro-life clubs because they are too "controversial" and "political."

Last fall, senior Elizabeth Castro and junior Grace Schairer attempted at Parkland High School to start a Students for Life club. Parkland already has a gay-straight alliance club, a political science club, a fashion club, a chess club, and other student-led groups.

They were told they needed an adviser. They got one, who later withdrew. But by March, they had an adviser and were all set to start the "Trojans for Life" club.

They soon found out the real problem: Parkland High officials didn't want a pro-life club at school.

After going through the entire process to start a group and securing an adviser, the assistant principal turned them down, saying a pro-life club was too "controversial" and "political."

Undaunted, the pro-lifers sent an email to the assistant principal on April 6, asking what they could do so that Trojans for Life could exist alongside Parkland's political club, gay-straight alliance, and other student groups. They received no answer.

"We met all the requirements (but) were denied simply because we are pro-life," Castro said. "As a club, our purpose is to create a life-affirming culture at our school, educate our peers on the issue of life, hold diaper drives to support pregnant and parenting students, and become a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves."

"The school is not only denying my right to start a group but denying the opportunity for others at my school to learn about the greatest human rights social injustice of our time," Castro added.

“Liz is being discriminated against by her school simply because she is pro-life and wants to share that message,” Students for Life of America’s Kristina Hernandez told LifeSiteNews. “That’s unconstitutional.”

“We are so proud to support Liz and her fellow pro-life students as we work to make sure they are allowed to form their Students for Life group,” Hernandez added. “Her courage is an example to all the other pro-life students in the country who are facing similar situations and obstacles at their schools.”

“Students shouldn’t be afraid to come forward and fight for their free speech rights,” Hernandez said, “not only to educate their peers on abortion but to help their peers who may be facing unplanned pregnancies.”

The Thomas More Society has taken on the cause. On Wednesday, the legal defenders of religious freedom delivered a letter to the Parkland principal and the superintendent stating that the school unconstitutionally denied the girls' First Amendment rights.

"There is absolutely no question that the law protects the right of these students to form this club at their high school," Thomas More Special Counsel Jocelyn Floyd explained.  Parkland's own district policy specifically allows student clubs for "any lawful objective."

The letter explains that the school, by denying Trojans for Life, is violating the First Amendment, the Federal Equal Access Act, and Parkland School District's own policy. The Thomas More Society, on behalf of the girls, demand that Parkland "immediately approve the application for the Students for Life club."

“While it's disappointing to have yet another school administration attempt to censor the message of life, it's heartening to work with such passionate and dedicated teenagers who stand as life defenders, not only in this immediate free speech battle but in our culture as a whole.” Floyd told LifeSiteNews.

"The schools' baseless claim that the club would be too 'controversial' and 'political' is a common excuse we hear," Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins added. "It’s always infringing on the First Amendment rights of pro-life students, treating them as second-class citizens because they happen to want to educate their peers on the horrors of abortion and help pregnant and parenting students at their school."

Read the Thomas More Society's letter, written on behalf of Castro and and Schairer, here.

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Cardinal Carlo Caffarra at the 2017 Rome Life Forum. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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How Satan destroys God’s creation through abortion and homosexuality

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra

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Editor’s note: Cardinal Caffarra gave this talk at the Rome Life Forum on May 19, 2017. Read LifeSiteNews' article about the talk here. Words here that are italicized, bolded, or in caps are in the original.

ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” [John 12, 32]. “The whole world is under the power of the Evil One” [1 John, 5, 19].

Reading these divine words gives us perfect awareness of what is really happening in the world, within the human story, considered in its depths. The human story is a confrontation between two forces: the force of attraction, whose source is in the wounded Heart of the Crucified-Risen One, and the power of Satan, who does not want to be ousted from his kingdom.

The area in which the confrontation takes place is the human heart, it is human liberty. And the confrontation has two dimensions: an interior dimension and an exterior dimension. We will briefly consider the one and the other.

1. At the trial before Pilate, the Governor asks Jesus whether he is a king; whether - which is the meaning of Pilate’s question - he has true and sovereign political power over a given territory. 

Jesus responds: “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” [John 18, 37]. 

“Jesus wants us to understand that his kingship is not that of the kings of this world, but consists of the obedience of his subjects to his word, to his truth. Although He reigns over his subjects, it is not through force or power, but through the truth of which he is witness, which “all who are from the truth” receive with faith” [I. De La Potterie]. 

Thomas Aquinas puts the following words into the mouth of the Saviour: “As I myself manifest truth, so I am preparing a kingdom for myself”. Jesus on the Cross attracts everyone to Himself, because it is on the Cross that the Truth of which he is witness is resplendent.

Yet this force of attraction can only take effect on those who “are from the truth”. That is, on those who are profoundly available to the Truth, who love truth, who live in familiarity with it. Pascal writes: “You would not seek me if you had not already found me”.

He who holds the entire world under his sway, instead dominates through lies. Jesus says of Satan: “He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies [John 8, 44].

The wording is dramatic. The first proposition – “He was a murderer from the beginning” - is explained by the second: “and he does not stand in the truth”. The murder which the devil performs consists in his not standing in the truth, not dwelling in the truth. 

It is murder, because he is seeking to extinguish, to kill in the heart of man truth, the desire for truth. By inducing man to unbelief, he wants man to close himself to the light of the Divine Revelation, which is the Word incarnate. Therefore, these words of Jesus on Satan - as today the majority of exegetes believe - do not speak of the fall of the angels. They speak of something far more profound, something frightful: Satan constantly refuses the truth, and his action within human society consists in opposition to the truth. Satan is this refusal; he is this opposition.

The text continues: “because there is no truth in him”. 

The words of Jesus go to the deepest root of Satan’s work. He is in himself a lie. From his person truth is completely absent, and hence he is by definition the one who opposes truth. Jesus adds immediately afterwards: “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. When the Lord says “speaks according to his own nature”, he introduces us to the interiority of Satan, to his heart. A heart which lives in darkness, in shadows: a house without doors and without windows.

To summarise, this therefore is what is happening in the heart of man: Jesus, the Revelation of the Father, exerts a strong attraction to Himself. Satan works against this, to neutralise the attractive force of the Crucified-Risen One. The force of truth which makes us free acts on the heart of man. It is the Satanic force of the lie which makes slaves of us.

Yet, not being pure spirit, the human person is not solely interiority. Human interiority is expressed and manifested in construction of the society in which he or she lives. Human interiority is expressed and manifested in culture, as an essential dimension of human life as such. Culture is the mode of living which is specifically human.

Given that man is positioned between two opposing forces, the condition in which he finds himself must necessarily give rise to two cultures: the culture of the truth and the culture of the lie.

There is a book in Holy Scripture, the last, the Apocalypse, which describes the final confrontation between the two kingdoms. In this book, the attraction of Christ takes the form of triumph over enemy powers commanded by Satan. It is a triumph which comes after lengthy combat. The first fruits of the victory are the martyrs. “The great Dragon, serpent of the primal age, he whom we call the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was flung down to earth… But they [= the martyrs] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of their martyrdom” [cfr. Ap. 12, 9.11].

2. In this second section, I would like to respond to the following question: in our Western culture, are there developments which reveal with particular clarity the confrontation between the attraction exerted over man by the Crucified-Risen One, and the culture of the lie constructed by Satan? My response is affirmative, and there are two developments in particular.

The first development is the transformation of a crime [termed by Vatican Council II nefandum crimen], abortion, into a right. Note well: I am not speaking of abortion as an act perpetrated by one person. I am speaking of the broader legitimation which can be perpetrated by a judicial system in a single act: to subsume it into the category of the subjective right, which is an ethical category. This signifies calling what is good, evil, what is light, shadow. “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. This is an attempt to produce an “anti-Revelation”.

What in fact is the logic which presides over the ennoblement of abortion? 

Firstly, it is the profoundest negation of the truth of man. As soon as Noah left the floodwaters, God said: “Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by a man shall that person’s blood be shed, for in his own image God made man” [Gen. 9, 6]. 

The reason why man should not shed the blood of man is that man is the image of God. Through man, God dwells in His creation. This creation is the temple of the Lord, because man inhabits it. To violate the intangibility of the human person is a sacrilegious act against the Sanctity of God. It is the Satanic attempt to generate an “anti-creation”. 

By ennobling the killing of humans, Satan has laid the foundations for his “creation”: to remove from creation the image of God, to obscure his presence therein.

St Ambrose writes: “The creation of the world was completed with formation of the masterpiece which is man, which… is in fact the culmination of creation, the supreme beauty of every created being” [Exam., Sixth day, Disc 9, 10.75; BA I, page 417]. At the moment at which the right of man to order the life and the death of another man is affirmed, God is expelled from his creation, because his original presence is denied, and his original dwelling-place within creation - the human person - is desecrated.

The second development is the ennoblement of homosexuality. This in fact denies entirely the truth of marriage, the mind of God the Creator with regard to marriage.

The Divine Revelation has told us how God thinks of marriage: the lawful union of a man and woman, the source of life. In the mind of God, marriage has a permanent structure, based on the duality of the human mode of being: femininity and masculinity. Not two opposite poles, but the one with and for the other. Only thus does man escape his original solitude.

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One of the fundamental laws through which God governs the universe is that He does not act alone. This is the law of human cooperation with the divine governance. The union between a man and woman, who become one flesh, is human cooperation in the creative act of God: every human person is created by God and begotten by its parents. God celebrates the liturgy of his creative act in the holy temple of conjugal love.

In summary. There are two pillars of creation: the human person in its irreducibility to the material universe, and the conjugal union between a man and woman, the place in which God creates new human persons “in His image and likeness”. The axiological elevation of abortion to a subjective right is the demolition of the first pillar. The ennoblement of a homosexual relationship, when equated to marriage, is the destruction of the second pillar.

At the root of this is the work of Satan, who wants to build an actual anti-creation. This is the ultimate and terrible challenge which Satan is hurling at God. “I am demonstrating to you that I am capable of constructing an alternative to your creation. And man will say: it is better in the alternative creation than in your creation”.

This is the frightful strategy of the lie, constructed around a profound contempt for man. Man is not capable of elevating himself to the splendour of the Truth. He is not capable of living within the paradox of an infinite desire for happiness. He is not able to find himself in the sincere gift of himself. And therefore - continues the Satanic discourse - we tell him banalities about man. We convince him that the Truth does not exist and that his search is therefore a sad and futile passion. We persuade him to shorten the measure of his desire in line with the measure of the transient moment. We place in his heart the suspicion that love is merely a mask of pleasure.

The Grand Inquisitor of Dostoevsky speaks thus to Jesus: “You judge of men too highly, for though rebels they be, they are born slaves …. I swear to you that man is weaker and lower than You have ever imagined him to be! Man is weak and cowardly.”

How should we dwell in this situation? In the third and final section of my reflection, I will seek to answer this question.

The reply is simple: within the confrontation between creation and anti-creation, we are called upon to TESTIFY. This testimony is our mode of being in the world.

The New Testament has an abundantly rich doctrine on this matter. I must confine myself to an indication of the three fundamental meanings which constitute testimony.

Testimony means to say, to speak, to announce openly and publicly. Someone who does not testify in this way is like a soldier who flees at the decisive moment in a battle. We are no longer witnesses, but deserters, if we do not speak openly and publicly. The March for Life is therefore a great testimony.

Testimony means to say, to announce openly and publicly the divine Revelation, which involves the original evidence, discoverable only by reason, rightfully used. And to speak in particular of the Gospel of Life and Marriage.

Testimony means to say, to announce openly and publicly the Gospel of Life and Marriage as if in a trial [cfr. John 16, 8-11]. I will explain myself. I have spoken frequently of a confrontation. This confrontation is increasingly assuming the appearance of a trial, of a legal proceeding, in which the defendant is Jesus and his Gospel. As in every legal proceeding, there are also witnesses in favour: in favour of Jesus and his Gospel. 

Announcement of the Gospel of Marriage and of Life today takes place in a context of hostility, of challenge, of unbelief. The alternative is one of two options: either one remains silent on the Gospel, or one says something else. Obviously, what I have said should not be interpreted as meaning that Christians should render themselves… antipathetic to everyone.

St Thomas writes: “It is the same thing, when faced with two contraries, to pursue the one and reject the other. Medicine, for example, proposes the cure while excluding the illness. Hence, it belongs to the wise man to meditate on the truth, in particular with regard to the First Principle …and to refute the opposing falsehood.” [CG Book I, Chapter I, no. 6]. 

In the context of testimony to the Gospel, irenics and concordism must be excluded. On this Jesus has been explicit. It would be a terrible doctor who adopted an irenical attitude towards the disease. 

Augustine writes: “Love the sinner, but persecute the sin”. Note this well. The Latin word per-sequor is an intensifying verb. The meaning therefore is: “Hunt down the sin. Track it down in the hidden places of its lies, and condemn it, bringing to light its insubstantiality”.

I CONCLUDE with a quotation from a great confessor of the faith, the Russian Pavel A. Florenskij. “Christ is witness, in the extreme sense of the word, THE WITNESS.

At His crucifixion, the Jews and Romans believed they were only witnessing a historical event, but the event revealed itself as the Truth”. [The philosophy of religion, San Paolo ed., Milan 2017, page 512].

“WHEN I AM LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, I WILL DRAW ALL PEOPLE TO MYSELF” [John 12, 32]. 

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Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Opinion,

Bishop Schneider: Catholic family is the first defense against our current ‘great apostasy’

Bishop Athanasius Schneider

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Editor's note: This address was delivered by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, on 19 May 2017 at the fourth annual Rome Life Forum, which is organised by Voice of the Family.

May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The family has been created immediately by God, so the Magisterium of the Church teaches us.[1] Pope Leo XIII says in his magisterial encyclical on marriage and family: “Marriage has God for its Author, and was from the very beginning a kind of foreshadowing of the Incarnation of His Son; and therefore there abides in it something holy and religious; not extraneous, but innate; not derived from men, but implanted by nature. Innocent III, therefore, and Honorius III, our predecessors, affirmed not falsely nor rashly that a sacrament of marriage existed ever amongst the faithful and unbelievers.”[2]

“The family therefore holds directly from the Creator the mission and hence the right to educate the offspring, a right inalienable because inseparably joined to the strict obligation, a right anterior to any right whatever of civil society and of the State, and therefore inviolable on the part of any power on earth.”[3] Parents are therefore under a grave obligation to see to the religious and moral education of their children.[4]

Pope Leo XIII gave us a very concise explanation about the original and first duty of parents concerning the education of their children, and in the first place concerning the education in the Catholic faith. This duty has its foundation in the natural order of the Divine creation: “The common sense of mankind is in such complete accord, that they would be in open contradiction with it who dared maintain that the children belong to the State before they belong to the family, and that the State has an absolute right over their education. Untenable is the reason they adduce, namely that man is born a citizen and hence belongs primarily to the State, not bearing in mind that before being a citizen man must exist; and existence does not come from the State, but from the parents. The children are something of the father, and as it were an extension of the person of the father; and, to be perfectly accurate, they enter into and become part of civil society, not directly by themselves, but through the family in which they were born.”[5] “And therefore,” says the same Pope Leo XIII, “the father’s power is of such a nature that it cannot be destroyed or absorbed by the State; for it has the same origin as human life itself.”[6] Pope Leo XIII declares in another memorable encyclical, where he thus sums up the rights and duties of parents: “By nature parents have a right to the education of their children, but with this added duty that the education and instruction of the child be in accord with the end for which by God’s blessing it was begotten. Therefore it is the duty of parents to make every effort to prevent any invasion of their rights in this matter, and to make absolutely sure that the education of their children remain under their own control in keeping with their Christian duty, and above all to refuse to send them to those schools in which there is danger of imbibing the deadly poison of impiety.”[7]

Already more than seventy years ago Pope Pius XII made an appeal to the Christian families to be new crusaders in spreading and defending the true Catholic faith in midst of the general and heavy torpor into which the drugs of false ideas, widely diffused, have sunk the human family in the twentieth century. This diagnosis, which Pius XII made about the spiritual health of his time, is fully applicable to our times and it became even much worse. Pius XII said: “It is for the best and most distinguished members of the Christian family, filled with the enthusiasm of Crusaders, to unite in the spirit of truth, justice and love to the call; God wills it, ready to serve, to sacrifice themselves, like the Crusaders of old. If the issue was then the liberation of the land hallowed by the life of the Incarnate Word of God, the call today is, if We may so express Ourselves, to traverse the sea of errors of our day and to march on to free the holy land of the spirit, which is destined to sustain in its foundations the unchangeable norms and laws on which will rise a social construction of solid internal consistency.”[8]

The first and most holy goal and end of matrimony and family consists in giving birth to new citizens of heaven. Pope Leo XIII said: “By the command of Christ, it not only looks to the propagation of the human race, but to the bringing forth of children for the Church, ‘fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God’;(Eph. 2:19) so that ‘a people might be born and brought up for the worship and religion of the true God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ (Catechismus Romanus, cap. 8).”[9] The family is therefore the first and original place, where the integrity and the beauty of the Catholic faith should be taught to the children, and by this way handed over to the future generations. Indeed from this transmission of the faith depends the spiritual health of a nation as taught Pope Pius XII: “The family is holy. It is the cradle not only for the children, but the entire nations. Man and woman should pass on the torch of the physical and also spiritual, of the moral and of the Christian life to the future generations.”[10]

From the early centuries of Christianity the family was seen as the Church “in miniature,” and the Church itself was called the “family of God”, especially the Christian community gathered for the celebration of the sacred liturgy was called the “family of God”, as we can often read in the liturgical texts, so for example in the Canon of the Mass. It was especially the Second Vatican Council, which reminded us of this ancient truth. In the Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen gentium” the Council teaches: “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care a vocation to a sacred state.”[11] Pope John Paul II, the Pope of the family, made this famous affirmation: “In the future, evangelization will depend largely on the domestic church.”[12] The same Pope said: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”[13]

So great and splendid is the educational ministry of Christian parents that Saint Thomas has no hesitation in comparing it with the ministry of priests: “Some only propagate and guard spiritual life by a spiritual ministry: this is the role of the sacrament of Orders; others do this for both corporal and spiritual life, and this is brought about by the sacrament of marriage, by which a man and a woman join in order to beget offspring and bring them up to worship God.”[14]

Pope John Paul II gives to the catechesis in family the priority over all other forms of catechesis, when he says: “Family catechesis, therefore, precedes, accompanies, and enriches all other forms of catechesis. Furthermore, in places where anti-religious legislation endeavors even to prevent education in the faith, and in places where widespread unbelief or invasive secularism makes real religious growth practically impossible, 'the domestic church' remains the one place where children and young people can receive an authentic catechesis. Thus, there cannot be too great an effort on the part of Christian parents to prepare for this ministry of being their own children’s catechists and to carry it out with tireless zeal. Encouragement must also be given to the individuals or institutions that, through person-to-person contacts, through meetings, and through all kinds of pedagogical means, help parents to perform their task: the service they are doing to catechesis is beyond price.”[15]

One of the main causes of the moral, spiritual and religious crisis of the current time consists in the religious ignorance, in ignoring the truths of the faith and in an erroneous knowledge of the faith. Pope Pius X very rightly observed this connection, saying: “The enemy has, indeed, long been prowling about the fold and attacking it with such subtle cunning that now, more than ever before, the prediction of the Apostle to the elders of the Church of Ephesus seems to be verified: ‘I know that . . . fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock’ (Act 20:29). Those who still are zealous for the glory of God are seeking the causes and reasons for this decline in religion. Coming to a different explanation, each points out, according to his own view, a different plan for the protection and restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. But it seems to Us, that while we should not overlook other considerations. We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. This is fully in accord with what God Himself declared through the Prophet Osee: ‘And there is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing and lying and killing and theft and adultery have overflowed: and blood hath touched blood. Thereafter shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth in it shall languish’ (Osee 4:1-3).”[16] And Pope Benedict XIV wrote: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.”[17] For this reason the same Pope Benedict XIV said: “There is nothing more effective than catechetical instruction to spread the glory of God and to secure the salvation of souls.”[18]

The beauty of the Catholic faith manifests itself in a special manner in large families. We possess one of the most striking and illuminating affirmations of the Magisterium on this theme in the following words of Pope Pius XII addressed to the Associations of Large Families: “Large families are the most splendid flower-beds in the garden of the Church. […] The brows of the fathers and mothers may be burdened with cares, but there is never a trace of that inner shadow that betrays anxiety of conscience or fear of an irreparable return to loneliness, Their youth never seems to fade away, as long as the sweet fragrance of a crib remains in the home, as long as the walls of the house echo to the silvery voices of children and grandchildren. Their heavy labors multiplied many times over, their redoubled sacrifices and their renunciation of costly amusements are generously rewarded even here below by the inexhaustible treasury of affection and tender hopes that dwell in their hearts without ever tiring them or bothering them. And the hopes soon become a reality when the eldest daughter begins to help her mother to take care of the baby and on the day the oldest son comes home with his face beaming with the first salary he has earned himself. […] Children in large families learn almost automatically to be careful of what they do and to assume responsibility for it, to have a respect for each other and help each other, to be open-hearted and generous. For them, the family is a little proving ground, before they move into the world outside, which will be harder on them and more demanding.”[19]

The beauty of the Catholic faith manifests itself in the fact that it is precisely the family which is the first breeding ground and the first seedbed for the priestly vocations. The Second Vatican Council spoke about the family as the first seminary in the process of fostering and training priestly vocations.[20] History has given proof that the majority of priestly vocations come from large families. Pope Pius XII highlighted this interrelationship saying: “With good reason, it has often been pointed out that large families have been in the forefront as the cradles of saints. We might cite, among others, the family of St. Louis, the King of France, made up of ten children, that of St. Catherine of Siena who came from a family of twenty-five, St. Robert Bellarmine from a family of twelve, and St. Pius X from a family of ten. Every vocation is a secret of Providence; but these cases prove that a large number of children does not prevent parents from giving them an outstanding and perfect upbringing; and they show that the number does not work out to the disadvantage of their quality, with regard to either physical or spiritual values.”[21]

The supernatural spirit of love and of self-sacrifice of the mother (and oftentimes of the mother of a large family) is the very foundation of a priestly vocation and of the fruitfulness of the priestly life of her son. The following moving example illustrates this truth in an impressive manner: “In the city of Zaborze in Upper Silesia is a grave which is frequently visited by pilgrims. Above the grave rises a Lourdes grotto. At the foot of the statue of the Immaculate Conception, in a little glass case, lies a myrtle wreath. Here is the story of the myrtle wreath. A priest is buried in the grave at the foot of the grotto. He was the youngest of ten children. As a young man he worked very hard to earn enough money to study for the priesthood, because his parents were poor. After his ordination he went as a missionary to India where he worked for many years. When he died they buried him in his home town of Zaborze and erected a grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes above his tomb because he had always fostered a special devotion to Mary Immaculate. Some time after the burial of this zealous priest, a little box was found among his possessions with a note pasted upon it: 'To be opened after my death.' The box contained a myrtle wreath and this note: 'This is my mother’s bridal wreath. I have carried it with me to various countries, on my journeys over land and sea, in memory of that sacred moment when my mother vowed not only fidelity but also uprightness at the altar of God. She has kept that vow. She has had the courage to have me after the ninth child. Next to God I owe her my life and my vocation to the priesthood. If she had not wanted me, I would not have become a priest and a missionary; I would not have been able to work for the salvation of souls. Place this wreath, my mother’s bridal wreath, into my grave. This I ask of the one who finds it.' When they found the wreath, the grave had already been closed, so they placed it at the foot of the statue of the Im­maculate Mother to whom he dedicated his life.”[22]

As another example we could mention the mother of Saint Pius X, Margherita Sanson. She raised up ten children. She taught them to pray first thing in the morning, communicate with God throughout the day, and to end each day with prayer, bringing the family together for an examination of conscience. The well-known story of the wedding ring of his mother remains always inspiring: Following her son’s episcopal ordination and placement in Mantova, the future Pope Pius X visited his old mother to thank her. After kissing his episcopal ring, she showed him her wedding ring and said, “Your ring is very beautiful, Giuseppe, but you wouldn’t have it if I didn’t wore this my ring.” I know the following story: A priest came to the mother of a priest to congratulate her with the episcopal nomination of her son. To this congratulation the mother replied: “This does not mean this much. The most important thing is, that my son remain always faithful to Jesus”. And each time when this bishop phones his mother, before hanging up the telephone receiver, she says to her son: “You remain faithful to Jesus!” To remain faithful to Jesus, means to remain faithful to all of His commandments and to all of His Divine teachings, and to prefer temporal disadvantages and disdain, even on the part of ecclesiastical persons, rather than to make compromises regarding the teaching and the observance of His commandments and teachings.

When parents impart to their children a truly Catholic education in faith, they lay the foundation of the faith of the future priests and bishops. Usually the uncompromising and life-long fidelity to the integrity of the Catholic faith on behalf of a priest and of a bishop, is a fruit of the education which he got in his family from his father or from his mother or from both, or from his grandmother.

The truth which says that the family is the original place of the beauty of the Catholic Faith we can see also in the following edifying witness in the autobiography of Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus: “Feast days! Those words conjure up more wonderful memories! I did so love them and you were able to explain so well what they were all about. That again was a foretaste of Heaven. But the procession of the Blessed Sacrament was what I loved best, for I could scatter flowers beneath the feet of God! I used to throw them up high into the air before they fell and when my rose petals touched the monstrance my happiness was complete. The big feasts did not come along so often but there was one most dear to me, and it came every week – Sunday, Our Lord’s own day, a wonderful day, a day of rest. We all went to the High Mass, and when it was time for the sermon, I remember we had to leave our place because it was so far away from the pulpit and go all up the nave to find places nearer. This was not always easy to do, but everyone seemed quite ready to find room for little Thérèse and her father. Uncle, especially, seemed very happy when he saw us Coming; he used to call me his little ray of sunshine and say that the sight of this venerable patriarch hand in hand with his little daughter always touched his heart. The fact that all this drew attention to us never bothered me; I was far too interested in what the priest was saying. The first sermon I really understood was one on Our Lord’s Passion, and I was very much moved by it; that was when I was five and a half, and from then on I could take in and appreciate all that was said. If ever St. Teresa was mentioned, Father used to bend down toward me and whisper: “Listen, my Little Queen, he is talking about your Patron Saint.” Then I would really listen, but I am afraid I kept my eyes on Father far more than on the preacher because I could read such a lot in his noble face. Sometimes his eyes would fill with tears he could not keep back, and when he was listening to the eternal truths, he seemed to be already in another world and no longer in this. He was then a long way from his journey’s end, however; long, sad years had yet to pass before he opened his eyes on Heaven’s loveliness and Jesus wiped away His faithful servant’s tears” (Story of a soul).

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In those times, the Eucharistic liturgy was not celebrated in the vernacular and without explanatory remarks and commentaries. However, Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus and her father Saint Louis Martin had a very intense active participation in the liturgy of the Holy Mass, an active participation, which was marked with silence, as recommended also by the Second Vatican Council.[23] Undoubtedly, their participation in the liturgy was more active, that means, more conscious, attentive and pious than that of many Catholics in our days, where the liturgy is celebrated entirely in vernacular and where active participation is realized in playing an exterior liturgical role, against the prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council.[24] Recently Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, made the following apt observation on this issue: “Most of the faithful—including priests and bishops—do not know this teaching of the Council. […] As Benedict XVI often emphasized, at the root of the liturgy is adoration, and therefore God. Hence it is necessary to recognize that the serious, profound crisis that has affected the liturgy and the Church itself since the Council is due to the fact that its center is no longer God and the adoration of Him, but rather men and their alleged ability to ‘do’ something to keep themselves busy during the Eucharistic celebrations.”[25]

The present situation of the world and partly of the life of many Catholics and ministers of the Church could be characterized as a great apostasy, an apostasy from the faith in the true Divinity of Christ, from the faith in the unique way of salvation through Christ and an apostasy from the faith in the perennial validity of the Divine commandments. Such an apostasy signifies ultimately to renounce Christ and to accept the spirit of the world, diluting Christ in a gnostic manner into the materialistic, naturalistic and esoteric spirit of the world. Recently Cardinal Robert Sarah made the following striking statement on the real current spiritual situation inside the Church: “Political Europe is rebuked for abandoning or denying its Christian roots. But the first to have abandoned her Christian roots and past is indisputably the post-conciliar Catholic Church. […] While more and more voices of high-ranking prelates stubbornly affirm obvious doctrinal, moral and liturgical errors that have been condemned a hundred times and work to demolish the little faith remaining in the people of God, while the bark of the Church furrows the stormy sea of this decadent world and the waves crash down on the ship, so that it is already filling with water, a growing number of Church leaders and faithful shout: Tout va très bien, Madame la Marquise! (‘Everything is just fine, Milady!’)”[26] These words reflect perfectly the analysis of the modern world made by Saint Pius X already a hundred years ago: “The great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer. […] Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.”[27]

The Catholic family is the original place of the experience of the beauty of the Catholic Faith. The Catholic family represents the first bulwark against the current great apostasy. The two most efficient weapons against the modern apostasy outside and inside the life of the Church are the purity and integrity of the faith and the purity of a chaste life. The admonition which Saint Louis IX, King of France, left to his son, remains always valid: “My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. […] Work to remove all sin from your land, particularly blasphemies and heresies” (Letter to his son).

Once a member of an anti-christian movement, who later converted to the Catholic Church, said to Fr. Mateo Crawley, the Apostle of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart: “We have only one goal in mind: to dechristianise the family. We leave to the Catholics gladly the churches, the chapels, the cathedrals. For us it is enough to have the family in order to corrupt the society. If we have control over the family, our victory over the Church is guaranteed.”[28] True Catholic families – and desirably large families – will strengthen the Church of our days with the beauty of the Catholic Faith. From that faith will come out new Catholic fathers and mothers, and from them there will come out a new generation of zealous priests and intrepid bishops, who will be ready to give their life for Christ and for the salvation of the souls. Christianity was born out of the family, the Holy Family, so that the family may be born again out of Christianity. The first fruit of the redemption is the Holy Family, just as the first blessing of the Creator was given to the family. Indeed, what the current world and the Church mostly need, are true Catholic families, the original places of the beauty of the Catholic Faith.

 

[1] cf. Pius XI., Encyclical Divini illius magistri, 12.

[2] Encyclical Arcanum Divinae, n. 19, 10 February 1880. Concerning Innocent III, see Corpus juris canonici, cap. 8, De divort., ed. cit., Part 2, col. 723. Innocent III refers to 1 Cor. 7:13. Concerning Honorius III, see cap. ii, De transact., (op. cit., Part 2 col. 210).

[3] Pius XI, Encyclical Divini illius magistri, 32.

[4] CIC 1917, can. 1113 and CIC 1983, can. 793

[5] Encyclical Rerum novarum

[6] Ibid.

[7] Encyclical Sapientiae christianae

[8] Christmas Message of 1942

[9] Encyclical Arcanum Divinae, 10

[10] Radio message on 13 May 1942

[11] Lumen gentium, 11

[12] Address to the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, January 28, 1979

[13] Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 86

[14] Summa contra Gentiles, IV, 58

[15] Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi tradendae, 68

[16] Encyclical Acerbo nimis, 1, 15 April 1905

[17] Instit., 27:18

[18] Constitution, Etsi minime, 13

[19] Address to the Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and Italy in January 20, 1958

[20] cf. Decree Optatam totius, 2

[21] Address to the Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and Italy in January 20, 1958

[22] Lovasik, L.G., Treasury of Catechism Stories, Tarentum PA 1966, nr. 386

[23] cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 30

[24] cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 28; 36; 56

[25] Address to the Colloquium “The Source of the Future” on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, March 29 – April 1, 2017, Herzogenrath, Germany

[26] Address to the Colloquium “The Source of the Future” on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, March 29 – April 1, 2017, Herzogenrath, Germany

[27] Encyclical Notre Charge Apostolique

[28] Freundeskreis Maria Goretti e.V. (ed.), Familie und Glaube, München 2001, p. 146

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Women are marrying themselves. But it’s not a wedding worth celebrating

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The news cycle has brought so-called “sologamy,” or self-marriage, to our attention again. Practices vary, but adherents — usually women — may propose marriage to themselves in romantic locations, send engagement announcements, hire a celebrant, send invitations, register at snazzy shops, buy an expensive outfit, and star at a wedding. As long ago as 2014, a lady named Grace Gelder told the UK’s Guardian all about hers, saying, “The day was obviously centered on me, the final event being a mirror for me to kiss, but it also felt like I was sharing something special with my friends, giving everyone an opportunity to reflect on their own ideas of love and commitment.”

The part about the mirror was particularly sad.

It can be sad to be single, and I know what I’m talking about. In 2006, I began a blog called “Seraphic Singles” because I had given up, not hope to be married, but an inordinate attachment to the idea. It is perfectly healthy and normal for a woman to want to be married and have babies, but at the time it looked as though God had other plans for me, even if that was only to wait and see.

At the time, I was convinced that there was something called a “vocation to the single life,” and I decided that if God were calling me to it, I had better get used to it. Indeed, I had better find models for it. I began to read and blog about the lives of single women who had lived saintly lives (Catherine of Siena) heroically (Edith Cavell) or had simply become famous (Greta Garbo).

Three years later, I was married, and Seraphic Singles was a book. It had been accepted for publication when my husband and I were on our honeymoon. Talk about a lousy marketing strategy. However, to make my publisher happy, I went back to blogging about and for Singles. And if there is one thing I know about female singles after all these years, it’s that they want the uncertainty to end. They want to find the One, or if they’re Catholic and attracted to religious life, they want to find the right religious order. They want to get it sorted out. They want to get it settled. They don’t want to be alone.

Practitioners of sologamy are only pretending they love to be alone. Bizarrely, they celebrate their aloneness by inviting friends and family to celebrate it with them — unless, of course, they elope to Japan for a professional “solo wedding” photo shoot. (Cerca Travel specializes in them.) In this case, the “brides” aren’t crying out for attention as much as they are for the makeup, the beautiful dress, and stunning photographs of themselves.

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Ahhhh, the Huffington Post—all the fake news that’s fit to print. Pro-abortion icon, Gloria Steinem, doesn’t want to own her radical abortion activism. And leftist news outlets are more than happy to defend her objection to reality. Showing that abortion advocacy is one and the same with environmental radicalism, Steinem opined that birthing children is the “fundamental cause of climate change”. Her solution? Abortion. She’s in a long line of environment evangelist hucksters who’ve made the same doomsday proclamations of overpopulation and have been trounced by actual science (ahem, Thomas Robert MalthusPaul EhrlichMargaret SangerAl Gore). By the way population control enthusiast Paul Ehrlich, England is still here. His ludicrous 1968 book, The Population Bomb, predicted that the nation “will not exist in 2000”). Oh, and hundreds of millions did not starve to death in the 70s from famines. “Progressives” ignore when their prophecies have exploded. They just give them new euphemistic dressings.

Pro-abortion eugenicists, like Steinem, are in a constant state of denial, claiming they’re “pro-choice”, not “pro-abortion”. Apparently pro-slavery politicians weren’t really for slavery, they were merely pro-jobs…or pro-economic freedom…or pro-trade.

There are no two situations in American jurisprudence that mirror each other more exactly than slavery and abortion. As an abortion abolitionist (who happens to have brown skin) I see it so clearly. Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade are tragic reflections. Both were decided by seven male justices who concluded that certain humans weren’t equal and therefore the Constitution was inapplicable to them. This meant these non-citizens, non-persons, less-than-human-beings could be bought, sold, or killed. They were merely a commercial commodity. Slavery meet abortion—your judicial successor.

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So in this vein of faux feminism’s semantic fantasy, here is the slightly revised Huff Post article defending Steinem (rewritten for satirical purposes, so don’t try to sue me). I simply changed “reproductive freedom” and “anti-abortion” to terms of slavery to highlight the absurdity of Steinem’s (and mainstream #fakenews’) narrative as seen here:

For the record: Gloria Steinem is not “pro-slavery.”

On Tuesday, the slavery icon and activist sat down with the AP before speaking at a gala fundraiser for Slave Traders of America. The event welcomed over 1,000 people for the Slaver Traders of America’s 100th anniversary. Ohio is not only Steinem’s home state but also a long-held battleground over slaves’ rights. According to the AP, anti-slavery group, The American Anti-Slavery Society, has described Steinem as a “radical pro-slavery icon.”

In response to The American Anti-Slavery Society’s description, Steinem told the AP that there’s no such thing as being “pro-slavery.”

“If [The American Anti-Slavery Society] supported me, I’d know I was doing something wrong. It’s obviously ridiculous to say somebody is ‘pro-slavery.’ Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I think I’ll have a slave. It’s a pleasurable experience,’” Steinem said. “The question is not pro-slavery or anti-slavery, the question is who makes the decision: a slavemaster or the government.”

In another interview during the same event, Steinem described slavery as a human right. “This is the most basic right, therefore it’s often the most contested. The first step in every hierarchal system is controlling slavery and controlling slaves’ bodies,” Steinem told the paper. “I do think we’re on the way to understanding slavery as a basic human right… but we’re not there yet.”

And there you have it—Steinem’s “I’m not pro-slavery” logic. It’s not enough that she proudly boasts of her own abortion (sporting an “I had an abortion” t-shirt) or raises millions for the nation’s leading abortion chain, Planned Parenthood. She wants to pretend that fighting for the right to an abortion isn’t pro-abortion. Sure, as long as she accepts the premise that those who fought for the right to a slave weren’t pro-slavery.

While pro-abortion activists are euphemizing violence and eliminating less-than-equal human beings, anti-abortion factivists are working to build a culture that makes true our founding Declaration that we’re all created equal.

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Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos claims that "young people hate the Left." But where's the proof? www.mikeallenphoto.com
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Grim poll: Conservatives are losing catastrophically on every single issue…except this one

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May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - If certain enthusiastic public figures are to be believed, there is a wave of iconoclastic and libertarian youth who are fed up with political correctness and ready to turn the Left on its head. When I attended a campus event featuring the recently disgraced and even more recently resurgent Milo Yiannopoulos last fall, he made the claim loudly and boldly: “I might be the only one who has noticed this trend, but young people hate the Left. I have thirteen-year-olds emailing me. I even have children attending my campus events.”

Ignoring for a moment the obvious problem with a child attending an event put on by the self-described “Dangerous Faggot,” this sort of optimism is entirely unwarranted—unless, as is obviously the case with Milo, you do not see moral issues as indicative of national health overall. On that front, Americans continue to shift to the left, and continue to abandon Judeo-Christian values—if they even know what those are anymore. Gallup recently released new polling data for their annual Values and Beliefs poll, and the results were very sobering.

The number of Americans who believe that birth control is morally acceptable, for example, is at an all-time high: 91%. This includes many forms of birth control that can potentially cause abortion. It also ensures that abortion clinics will be busy for years to come dispensing with the unwanted children that survived the chemical playground they were conceived into. The contraceptive mentality, the fundamental belief that sex and childbearing are entirely unrelated acts, is not just accepted. It is overwhelmingly prevalent.

It’s no wonder, then, that having children outside of wedlock is now not only the norm, it is considered to be an equal arrangement to having children with two parents. Sixty-two percent of Americans say that it is morally acceptable to have children outside of wedlock, with reproductive technology now assisting single parents in fulfilling their dream of parenthood regardless if that child would be better off with a mother and a father. But then again, children are now a commodity people have a right to possess or discard, and their wellbeing is rarely considered outside of political virtue-signalling. Children can be brought into existence at all costs, and removed from existence at all costs.

Divorce, too, managed to hit an all-time high in Gallup’s new poll: 73% of Americans think that divorce is morally acceptable. Keep in mind, this does not just refer to divorce in extreme circumstances. This is no-fault divorce, the idea that marriage is not a life-long commitment but is simply a relationship that will last until either the husband or the wife grows tired of the arrangement and moves on. It is now more difficult to extract yourself from a cell phone contract than it is to leave a marriage, even a marriage with children.

Gay ‘marriage’, on the other hand, has the whole-hearted support of a vast plurality of Americans, with 69% saying that it is morally acceptable. It is stunning to think that as recently as 2004, the United States was being swept with waves of voters demanding state laws reaffirming marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. That is no longer the case. The media, the entertainment industry, and Internet pornography began the cultural revolution, and the establishment politicians finished it.

Support for pornography is creeping up at a slower pace, with only 36% saying that porn use was morally acceptable. Then again, over 80% of men and nearly half of women are consuming porn every single month, so it’s pretty clear that moral disapproval is not proving to be a tough enough deterrent. Still, I’m hopeful that the consistent public attention the negative effects of porn have been receiving might begin sending the right message to a porn-hooked culture.

In a set of polling data with nearly universally bad news, there is a single outlier: According to Gallup, support for abortion has only changed 1% since 2001, with 43% of Americans saying that the procedure is morally acceptable. This can be attributed to the massive educational efforts of the pro-life movement and the relentless exposure of abortion as a violent act of physical destruction by everyone from undercover reporters such as David Daleiden to street activists holding abortion victim photos. The abortion rate has been consistently falling, and it is heartening to see what activists can do when they truly set to work to change the culture. On every moral issue, social conservatives are losing ground—except for abortion.

Looking at the raw data, it’s hard to see where someone like Milo Yiannopoulos gets his optimism from. He may not care about most moral issues—his relaunch party, after all, featured male and female strippers—but even on free speech and free markets, the numbers look grim. Millennials are embracing socialism, rejecting the fundamental idea that freedom of speech and freedom of expression are bedrock values in a democracy, and turning university campuses into totalitarian safe spaces that exclude any idea they find threatening to their fragile progressive worldviews.

The truth is that an entire generation has grown up more or less disconnected from the Christian past of the West, and that activists must fight tooth and nail to educate the public on each and every issue. We see what happens when massive educational efforts are undertaken: On abortion, we are not losing ground—and even under the most pro-abortion president in American history, over 300 laws were passed on the state level. Pornography, while still prevalent, is now attracting the ire of government bodies across the West who are recognizing it for the public health crisis it is. Social conservatism as a worldview may be on the fringe, but there are many, many opportunities to change that.

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