All articles from September 06, 2017


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Fired Catholic philosopher: Pope Francis’ teaching could ‘lead many souls…to hell’

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GRANADA, Spain, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Renowned Catholic philosopher Dr. Josef Seifert said that a “strict obligation” to serving the Pope and the Church required him to publish a critique of Pope Francis’ exhortation on marriage and family that resulted in him recently being fired from his Catholic university by the local archbishop.

Seifert, in an interview with OnePeterFive, said that when his friend and fellow intellectual Rocco Buttiglione outlined for him how the Pope’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia would be used to overturn Catholic teaching against the evil of contracepted sex, it “shook me up profoundly.”

In an article published online last month, Seifert called the Pope’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) a ticking “theological atomic bomb” that has the capacity to destroy all Catholic moral teaching. 

MUST READ:​ Amoris Laetitia is a ticking ‘atomic bomb’ set to obliterate all Catholic morality: philosopher

In his article, the philosopher argued that if Pope Francis believes that adultery — to quote the exhortation — “is what God himself is asking” of couples in “irregular” situations, then there is nothing stopping any other intrinsically evil act, such as contraception and homosexuality, from eventually being justified.

The Church teaches that the use of contraception (including the pill, condom, withdrawal, and other methods) is an “intrinsically evil” act, meaning that it is always and in every instance gravely immoral. The Church definitively laid out this teaching in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae. Pope Saint John Paul II explained the reasoning behind this teaching during his Wednesday audiences, what are now collected in a book and commonly referred to as Theology of the Body

Seifert said in the interview that if Pope Francis is right, and God can sometimes ask people to perform evil actions, then there is no evil action immune from at one time or another becoming justified as part of ‘God’s will.’ 

“If some unrepentant adulterers can be admitted to the sacraments and if their adultery can even ‘be what God wants them to do in the complexity of their situation,’ how can you exclude, by the same reasoning, that some couples, who practice contraception, should just as well be admitted to the sacraments?” he said. 

“Or that even God, in the complexity of their concrete situation, wills them to use contraception and sterilization, instead of temporary abstinence, because this abstinence can lead a husband or wife to commit worse sins?” he added.

“I am convinced that pure logic dictates that, if Pope Francis does not revoke the teaching I analyze in my latest article, and if he does not answer the dubia of the Cardinals, to the clear effect that there are intrinsically evil acts, and that these acts are never justified in any situation, Humanae Vitae will be interpreted as an ideal that cannot be demanded from everybody; and that, after discernment, those who practice contraception (with or without abortive effects), can be admitted to the sacraments and that God himself, in some difficult situations, wants them to use contraception,” he said. 

Seifert said that the Pope’s statement about God sometimes willing evil “shocked me deeply because it seemed to prove that the changes of moral teaching in AL potentially went much, much farther than anyone in the current debate (including the Pope and myself) had ever considered.”

“The thought that all these true doctrines [of Catholic sexual morality] would be revoked, relativized, or undermined by simply applying the logic to the quoted remark of AL, troubled me deeply,” he said. 

“I felt obliged to write this, in order to avert a moral-theological destructive atomic bomb that could make the whole moral teaching of the Church crumble. Thus, I had the intention, by posing this question with the greatest possible clarity, to provide an aid to the Magisterium of Pope Francis to prevent such a damage,” he added.

Seifert said that he was compelled to write his article because the “logical and potential consequences of this one affirmation [found in Amoris Laetitia] that I saw in my inner vision were so terrible.”

But Seifert’s local archbishop did not share these concerns. Archbishop Javier Martínez Fernández related in an August 31 public statement that Seifert’s removal was spurred precisely by his recent article. He said the article “damages the communion of the Church, confuses the faith of the faithful, and sows distrust in the successor of Peter, which, in the end, does not serve the truth of faith, but, rather, the interests of the world.”

MUST READ: Archbishop fires renowned Catholic philosopher for questioning Pope Francis

When asked if he already sees destructive consequences unfolding within the Church due to the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia, Seifert replied that he worries that the Exhortation could even result in the damnation of some souls.

“If only one or some, let alone most, of the many couples in ‘irregular situations,’ who now receive the sacraments commit a sacrilege and a serious sin, obviously destructive spiritual consequences of AL happen, and the words of Christ to a 'vidente' (a seer) in Granada are true, according to which these ‘gravely erroneous teachings’ lead many souls the way to hell,” he said. 

“Moreover, grave harm to souls is caused, if now some seminarians do not want to become priests, because they see themselves forced, against their conscience, to give the sacraments to remarried Catholics whose marriage has not been declared null by the Church. They are told the doors of the seminary stand wide open. If they do not want to accept this, they should leave. Thus many of the best future priests leave and will not do their wholesome work for souls,” he added.

When asked if there was any merit to the harsh criticisms levied against the four dubia cardinals (two of whom have passed away within the last two months) for bringing their own concerns to Pope Francis, Seifert replied that they acted “with full justification.”

“I think the four dubia Cardinals (three of whom I consider friends and one of whom is my close friend since 37 years) have acted according to their conscience, with great restraint and respect for the Pope, and with full justification,” he said. 

“I think that the critique of them for their dubia is profoundly mistaken, and that, even worse, maligning these wonderful men of the Church is a great sin,” he added.

Seifert said the remaining two Cardinals ought to be joined by the whole College of Cardinals to ask the Pope to give a “final clear and unambiguous answer to these dubia, an answer that might restore clarity and truth, and dispel the immense confusion that reigns now and which nobody who has eyes to see and a mind to think, can deny.”

“Not the dubia, but not answering them in the truth and with unambiguous clarity, sows distrust in the Pope and confusion,” he added.

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Coptic Pope Tawadros II
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Orthodox Christian leader: ‘There is no same-sex marriage at all’

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

SYDNEY, Australia, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The leader of Egyptian Christians says there is no such thing as gay “marriage.”

“According to the Holy Bible, when you read either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, there is no same-sex marriage at all,” Coptic Pope Tawadros II responded to press questions about Australia’s popular referendum on homosexual “marriage.”

Such a union “is completely refused from the Christian faith,” he flatly stated. The Patriarch is visiting the faithful in Australia for 10 days.

“God created man and woman,” Tawadros said. “The first family was made by man and woman.”  

Homosexuality “is not acceptable,” the pope, who was elevated in 2012, continued. “It is considered a sin. It is sin.”

“Our constitution as Coptic Christians is the Holy Bible,” Father Angilos Antoun of St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Dayton, Ohio, told LifeSiteNews.  “God said (one man and one woman) is the only way to have a marriage.”

“We love all people, any religion, but we follow Jesus Christ,” Fr. Antoun quickly added.  

Tawadros said much the same thing to guide Coptic youth. He encouraged young Copts at the International Convention Centre in Sydney to “fight for what is right” regarding the national referendum on same-sex “marriage.”

“Family equals father and mother,” the patriarch told the nearly 1,000 attendees.

A coalition of more than 150 evangelical leaders signed a “Nashville Statement” affirming one man and one woman marriage, calling homosexuality and transgenderism “an essential departure from Christian faithfulness.”

Roman Catholics also stand against sodomic unions. Pope Benedict XVI characterized same-sex “marriages” “a threat to global peace.”  

And although recently his appointments and actions cause concern among conservative faithful, Pope Francis reiterated last year what Christianity has always taught.

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar to or even remotely analogous to God’s plans for marriage or family,” Francis wrote in “The Joy of Love.”

Tawadros is the pastor of 20 million Copts in Egypt and another 2 million worldwide.  His official title is "Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark."  

The Apostle Mark, after missionary activities with Paul and Barnabas, went to Egypt in 49 A.D. When he first arrived in Alexandria, his shoe came apart and he sought a cobbler to repair it. The cobbler seriously injured himself fixing Mark's shoe. Mark made clay of his spittle and spread it on the cobbler's hand, which was instantly healed. News of the miracle spread and masses of the Alexandrians were converted to Christ.  

Later, after Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome, Mark went to Egypt again. He preached the Gospel in Libya and the African interior, exorcising many.  Near Easter, Mark was arrested by angry pagans, bound, and dragged over the cobblestones, all the while giving thanks to God.  The next day, Mark was dragged again, to his martyrdom.

The Coptic Liturgy is still called the Liturgy of St. Mark.

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David Daleiden American Life League
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Pro-life activist fined $200k after exposing Planned Parenthood for selling baby parts

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The lead investigator into Planned Parenthood illegal sales of aborted babies body parts has been fined nearly $200,000 by "a federal judge who helped open and run a Planned Parenthood clinic."

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick fined David Daleiden and two of his attorneys for releasing undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood illegal activities, such as performing modified partial birth abortions on viable babies. Orrick had forbidden the latest release of investigative videos, claiming they threaten the safety of abortion industry workers — a move Daleiden described as an unconstitutional gag order against free speech and a free press.  

Orrick held Daleiden and lawyers Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira in contempt when a three-minute compilation video was posted on the internet. The video showed, among other things, Planned Parenthood officials conceding that abortion is murder.

“Let’s just give them all the violence. It’s a person. It’s killing. Let’s just give them all that,” Planned Parenthood of Michigan’s Lisa Harris is caught saying.

Cooley and Ferreira explained that they thought they weren’t bound by the injunction because the video was already a part of the public record.

“Judge Orrick’s contempt sanctions are unconscionable attack on (Daleiden’s) right to defend himself,” the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) Facebook page commented.

“A federal judge who helped open and run a Planned Parenthood clinic is now holding David Daleiden and his attorneys in contempt just for trying to defend him with the same videos the (California) Attorney General is using in his prosecution.”

The judge set the fine as compensation to the National Abortion Federation for lawyers, travel, employee time, and “security costs.”

“In setting this amount, I have considered the magnitude of ‘the harm threatened by continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any suggested sanction in bringing about the result desired,’” Orrick wrote.

“The decision is another step forward for us,” Crystal Strait of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California said. She added that the decision allows “Planned Parenthood to focus on providing preventive and reproductive health care to close to one million Californians every year.”

The CMP made a motion to disqualify Orrick for bias. Orrick is on the board of National Abortion Federation member “Good Samaritan Family Resource Center,” and his wife  posted a picture of her husband with comments praising Planned Parenthood and denigrating the CMP.

An attorney for Cooley and Ferreira said they are appealing the contempt fine.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony counts of illegal recording against Daleiden. The pro-life investigator countered that Becerra, like Judge Orrick, is biased. He noted that Becerra received large campaign donations from Planned Parenthood.

Similar charges against Daleiden in Texas were dismissed in 2016.

The CMP has filed an appeal and hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their case.

Daleiden and fellow pro-life investigator Sandra Merritt secretly recorded conversations at abortion industry conventions to investigate criminal activity in the sale of aborted human body parts for profit.  

The 2015 videos showed Planned Parenthood officials eager to make profits off the sale of baby parts, talking about illegally modifying abortion procedures to obtain “intact” babies, and the delay of procedures to obtain “fresh” specimens to pay for luxury cars for Planned Parenthood staff.

A firestorm of controversy erupted across the nation, and Congress began hearings in an attempt to defund the abortion giant.

Fetal tissue middleman StemExpress stopped dealing with Planned Parenthood once the CMP videos were made public.

After the National Abortion Federation successfully obtained an injunction banning the undercover videos, CMP filed an appeal. CMP reasoned that they used “standard (methods) for investigative reporting” and their “goal was not to obtain money, property, goods, or services but to gather information about illegal and unethical practices.”

For the Ninth Circuit appeal, 14 Attorneys General filed a “friend of the court” brief arguing that as law enforcement they should be privy to any videos that show possible criminal activity.  

Additionally, the U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a brief arguing that banning the CMP videos “has the potential to significantly affect the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public at large.”

Planned Parenthood’s only defense against the damning CMP videos was to deny wrongdoing and accuse the CMP of deceptively editing the videos. But several analyses concluded the videos were not deceptively edited.

Even Fusion GPS, a Democrat-sponsored, Planned Parenthood-hired research firm, confirmed that comments recorded were spoken by the subjects depicted and admitted that their best “analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”

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Aaliyah Hart was 12 oz. and seven inches long at birth. Michael Scott / Caters News
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Doctors wanted to abort ‘Britain’s smallest baby.’ Now she’s a healthy teen

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

September 6, 2017 (SPUC) — Aaliyah Hart was given a 1 percent chance of survival when she was born. Now she's a normal, healthy teenager.

Born prematurely in 2003, Aaliyah Hart weighed just 12 oz. (340g) and measured seven inches (18cm) as a newborn, and was thought to be Britain's smallest baby. Because she was so small, doctors warned that she was likely to die from underdeveloped lungs, and gave her just a 1 percent chance of survival.

Advised to abort

Her mother Lorraine had already had a difficult pregnancy. "I had a lot of problems throughout the pregnancy, the amniotic fluid was slowly decreasing and doctors advised me to have an abortion," she says. "I was determined to continue the pregnancy because I had struggled to conceive and was close to having IVF." 

Aaliyah was put straight on a life support machine, and her mother was warned she might not even last the night. However, the little girl proved that she was a fighter. She received hormones to help her grow, and astonished doctors by reaching all the important milestones. Now, she's 14, and, though small for her age, is perfectly healthy.

A miracle

When she was born, Aaliyah was so tiny that volunteers had to knit clothes to fit her. "I was never aware of the fuss when I was born and it has never affected me," she says. "It was a shock when I saw the clothes I used to wear as a baby. They look like they would be small enough to fit a doll."

Today, the teenager is an aspiring actress and is currently preparing to start her GCSE studies in Birmingham.

"We never thought she would get to this point," says Lorraine. "She is a miracle baby."

​Reprinted with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Jason Jones LifeSiteNews
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New Catholic group: The Church is being abused and ‘we are stepping in to defend her’

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HONOLULU, Hawaii, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A new initiative invites the Catholic laity to step up and become involved in advancing and preserving authentic Catholic social teaching in today’s tumultuous world.

The “Serviam” organization has a mission of “radical conformity” to the fullness of truth found in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It seeks to make the Church’s social teaching accessible to the laity for sharing in the political life of the U.S., co-founder and president Jason Jones says, to counter the prevalent culture of rebellion in the Church today by confronting dissent when needed.

“Christ’s bride, the Catholic Church, is being abused,” Jones told LifeSiteNews. “We are stepping in to defend her.”

“There is too much confusion in the Church,” Jones said. “We seek clarity to cut through the unnecessary fog.”  

Serviam is an activist-oriented information organization focused on giving a voice to the vulnerable in society, continued Jones, by highlighting authentic Catholic social teaching and faithful citizenship.  

The name Serviam is Latin for “I will serve.”

The phrase was St. Michael the Archangel’s response to Lucifer having told God, "Non Serviam" (I Will Not Serve) when, according to Catholic tradition, the Lord put His angels to the test of serving the heavenly kingdom.

Catholics often use the term Serviam to emphasize a willingness to love and serve God, with bishops and Catholic schools, publishers or institutions having used it as their motto.

Serviam’s “radical conformity” to the Church’s truth is needed, Jones says, to counteract a “progressive” agenda focused on Man and not God, which he attributes to pride.

“Many in and around the Church today are misrepresenting Church teaching and peddling their progressive agendas,” Jones told LifeSiteNews, “and seeking the approval of man rather than focusing on Christ's agenda and doing the will of God.”  

The new initiative is a bold affirmation of "I Will Serve," said Jones, “Kind of like a ‘Let's Roll,’ but for Catholics.”     

The pro-life activist and film producer said Serviam will be influential, impactful and consequential because it will draw those involved to stand with the most vulnerable and to give a voice to the voiceless.

“We hope to influence the influencers and inform the faithful with our writing and commentary,” Jones explained. “We will hold Church leadership, scholars and others accountable to correctly represent Church teaching and defending the truly vulnerable.”

He said Serviam will use authentic Catholic social teaching to counter distortions by many clerics, theologians, scholars and political operatives seeking to advance progressive, heretical agendas. It will also represent those who want their church to speak with less confusion and greater clarity.

“Serviam counters the ‘wolves in sheep's clothing,’” Jones said, “those who seek to lead Catholics astray from the truth, via charitable, fraternal correction.” 

“We see a lot of confusion and mistrust about where the Church stands on a number of issues,” he continued. “We will inform and transform hearts and minds, but exposing error and making clear the authentic and historical positions of the Church.”

"The phrase ‘see something, say something’ applies to Serviam in the fact when we see problems and misrepresentations of true Catholic social teaching, we will say something,” stated Jones.

Jones said the approach will include public petitions, published articles and books, and those involved in Serviam being active on social media with a distinct voice.  

“We will leverage our experience, contacts and communication skills to engage the entrenched progressives in and around the Catholic Church who are misleading the flock,” he said.

This new incarnation of Serviam stresses involvement of the laity to support the Church’s clergy in defense of Her mission.

“The laity has a much stronger role than it thinks in charting a course for the future of our church, and our world,” Jones told LifeSiteNews.

“We can't leave every battle to our bishops and priests to take on by themselves,” he added. “It is the role of all Catholics to step up, get involved and defend the Church in today's world.”  

“To put this another way,” Jones said, “Catholics just can't tend their gardens when the world is on fire.” 

Catholics and other interested individuals can sign up to receive emails, sign petitions and stay in contact with the Serviam organization. They are also encouraged to forward Serviam articles to family and friends via email and social media, and alert the crew to examples of distortions of Church teaching and help them expose errors.

Jones also encourages people to be involved in charitable acts in their local community.  

Visit the Serviam website at www.serviamusa.org to become engaged.

“Fight with us,” Jones beckoned. “Return to God. Do His will. Serve with us. Serviam!”

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Pro-lifers fight Ontario gov’t crackdown on activism outside abortion clinics

LifeSiteNews staff

TORONTO, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Ontario government’s intention to bring in a law banning pro-life witness at abortion facilities will hurt women by denying them information on alternatives to abortion they likely won’t get elsewhere, a number of pro-life groups told the Liberals last week.

Moreover, a law creating “safe access zones” around abortion centers will violate the Charter, is “anti-democratic,” and will set a dangerous precedent for government “overreach,” they said.

Representatives of Campaign Life Coalition, Alliance for Life Ontario, and the Association for Reformed Political Action met with officials from the attorney general’s office on August 30 as part of the government’s consultations on its proposed “bubble zone” law.

The officials did not say what other groups the Liberals are consulting.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced in May that he would introduce a law in the fall to restrict pro-life activity. The MPPs return to Queen’s Park on September 11.

Some observers say the Liberals want a “bubble zone” law because the 1994 NDP government injunction banning pro-life activities at various locations lapsed in January under new provincial regulations on out-of-date court actions.

The Liberals brought in a motion June to reinstate the 24-year-old injunction on an “emergency basis.” The court threw that motion out, but the government is still seeking to restore the order.

But Navqi’s stated reason for introducing the “bubble zone” law is because Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson asked him to.

Watson was reacting to lobbying by Planned Parenthood and Ottawa’s Morgentaler abortion centre, which stirred up a media storm over its allegations that pro-life witnesses were harassing women coming into the facility and police weren’t doing anything about it.

So the mayor turned to the province and Navqi said he’d look into it.

“Our government does not tolerate any form of harassment against women exercising their fundamental right to choose,” the attorney general said at the time.

But Watson told the Ottawa Citizen a city lawyer “said if we were to bring in something specific for (individual protesters), it would be challenged under the charter in two minutes.”

Pro-life groups made the same point to ministry officials while voicing adamant opposition to the proposed law.

The province doesn’t have the authority to supplement or expand the Criminal Code, which falls under federal jurisdiction, noted ARPA representative and lawyer John Sikkema.

The Liberals would have to invoke the “notwithstanding clause” to override the Charter when they bring in such legislation, representatives for Campaign Life Coalition told the ministry.

Indeed, the Ontario Court of Appeal just struck down a town’s trespass order banning a noisy protester from municipal property for a year, they  said.

The court ruled the Fort Erie order violated the man’s Charter right to “engage in protest.”

More significantly, the Liberals’ bubble zone law would deprive women of crucial information on alternatives to abortion, the pro-life groups said.

Evidence shows that a “significant subset” of women entering abortion facilities have not been told what an abortion is and haven’t given informed consent, noted Alliance for Life Ontario president Geoff Cauchi and executive director Jakki Jeffs.

The pro-life groups pointed to numerous testimonies from women expressing deep gratitude that they spoke with sidewalk counselors outside abortion centers, and as a result, decided against abortion.

Pro-life witnesses are typically low-key, and are there to engage women who respond to them in quiet conversation, to offer them information and alternatives to abortion, they told ministry officials.

It’s abortion advocates who are more likely to engage in angry words and behavior that can be construed as intimidating or harassing, they said.

They also protested the harsh penalties for violations of the law the Ontario government is considering.

Matt Wojciechowski of Campaign Life pointed to the “absurdity of these proposed penalties which exceed those for drunk driving,” with the consequence that seniors, young students, and other pro-life witnesses could be thrown in jail for praying within the “safe access” zones.

Punishment for a first offense could be a fine of up to $5000 and up to six months in jail, with a $10,000 maximum fine and a year in jail for a second offence.

Those are the penalties in British Columbia and Newfoundland, currently the only jurisdictions in Canada with laws banning pro-life witness in prescribed areas.

Ontario is looking to these as possible models for its legislation.

BC passed its law in 1995 and Newfoundland in 2016, and both allow abortion facilities to apply for “safe access zones” of 50 meters.

The activities banned within these zones include sidewalk counseling or “interference,” protesting, besetting, physically interfering or attempting to interfere with, and intimidating or attempting to intimidate doctors, facility personnel or women seeking abortions.

Two abortion centres and two hospitals have been granted a “safe access zone” in BC, as has one abortion facility in Newfoundland.

A BC appeals court upheld that province’s law in three decisions (R v Lewis, 1996, R v Demers, 2002, R v Spratt, 2008).

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Spratt ruling in 2009. But that doesn’t rule out the top court hearing a “bubble zone” law Charter case in the future.

Meanwhile, Campaign Life Coalition has launched a petition asking MPPs to vote against the legislation. It has been signed by 1,193 people to date.

Campaign Life is also urging pro-lifers to write Navqi and their MPP to oppose the bill.

Those letters can be sent to:

Honorable Yasir Navqi
Minister of the Attorney General
Constituency Office
109 Catherine Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0P4
[email protected]

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Cardinal Robert Sarah Twitter
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Cardinal Sarah praises deceased dubia Cardinal: ‘A great servant of the Church’

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Pray for the souls of the deceased dubia Cardinals. Sign the pledge here.

September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, paid tribute today to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who died at 79 after battling a long illness.

Tweeting in French, Sarah called Caffarra a “great servant of the Church, friend of John-Paul II, [and an] extraordinary theologian.”

Coming from a leading Vatican prelate, the tweet is significant given Cardinal Caffarra’s involvement in questioning Pope Francis on the orthodoxy of the Pope’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

READ: Dubia signer Cardinal Caffarra dies awaiting Pope’s clarification

Caffarra was one of the four cardinals who submitted to the Pope five yes-or-no questions asking if the exhortation upholds perennial Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, and the role of conscience in making moral decisions. 

Sarah has recently come out strongly against shepherds in the Church who he says are misleading the flock. Last week he rebuked Jesuit priest and Vatican consultant Fr. James Martin for being “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”

“As a mother, the church seeks to protect her children from the harm of sin, as an expression of her pastoral charity…People who identify as members of the LGBT community are owed this truth in charity, especially from clergy who speak on behalf of the church about this complex and difficult topic,” the cardinal wrote in the Wall Street Journal. 

“Those who speak on behalf of the church must be faithful to the unchanging teachings of Christ, because only through living in harmony with God’s creative design do people find deep and lasting fulfillment,” he added.

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Wells Fargo may be linked to persecution of pro-family groups over ‘hate’ accusation

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-family, pro-children Ruth Institute was notified Thursday that its online donation processor had cut off services because it promotes “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.” Correspondence suggests that there is a line leading directly to banking giant Wells Fargo and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Ruth Institute made public the notice it received of the termination of their online donation processing service by, Vanco, their provider:

“Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute. The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that seeks to create “a mass social movement to end family breakdown, by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution,” paying special attention to the needs and rights of children.

Donations processor points finger at Wells Fargo

Stephanie Zercher, a spokesperson for Vanco’s public relations firm, Marsden Marketing, told LifeSiteNews, “Vanco depends on the assessment of its banking partners to guide its decisions on continuing customer relationships that those partners believe violate processing policies. Accordingly, based on that assessment, we terminated our processing relationship with the Ruth Institute on Thursday, August 31.”

Vanco’s reply points directly at its banking partner. Although unnamed in the correspondence, Wells Fargo is listed elsewhere as Vanco’s partner in its online donations processing service.

Wells Fargo leaves questions unanswered

LifeSiteNews reached out to Wells Fargo Bank on Friday and again after the holiday weekend. However, a spokesperson informed LifeSiteNews that the bank was unable to meet its publication deadline.  

The questions were straightforward:

1. Vanco's statement to LifeSiteNews indicates that it was the company's banking partner, Wells Fargo, that made the decision to terminate services to the Ruth Institute. Do you dispute this, and if so, why?

2. What led Wells Fargo to determine that the Ruth Institute is a 'hate group?' Does Wells Fargo rely on the Southern Poverty Law Center's published list of 'hate groups' to make such determinations? Were their other sources of input leading to this decision?

3. Is Wells Fargo concerned that it risks alienating and offending millions of Christian clients by actions such as this?

4. Will Wells Fargo investigate this matter further and reconsider its treatment of the Ruth Institute?

Shock

Many have expressed shock at the treatment the Ruth Institute received from its service providers, citing the pro-family organization as a “hate group.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, the Institute’s founder and president, said, “[Our] primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it.”  

Morse explained, “The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map,’ which was recently in the news. We have been on this ‘Hate Map’ since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot, or shoot anyone by our activities.” Moreover, “No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we ‘promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.’”

“The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations,” Morse noted. “We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered ‘Anti-LGBT.’ Our  beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.”  

The Ruth Institute is one of a growing number of Christian pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-family organizations whose online operations and presence is being undermined by tech firms who rely on information provided the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to identify supposed “hate groups.”

Morse said, “Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers and florists received the same respect.”

“We have compiled the items which some groups have found objectionable on a page called ‘Where’s the Hate?’ Anyone interested can review that material and judge for themselves whether the Ruth Institute belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.”

Wake up

The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, speaking about large corporations refusing services to small Christian clients, said, “Note well the hypocrisy here: it is hateful for a Christian wedding photographer, florist, or baker to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding out of moral conviction, but it is virtuous for a major financial corporation to refuse to do business with a Christian ministry out of moral conviction. Heads they win, tails we lose.”

“I would wager that the leadership of major American corporations are eager to marginalize and destroy socially and religiously conservative groups, and are more than happy to have SPLC’s ‘hate map’ as an excuse to do so,” Dreher said. “What if banks and lending institutions decide to cut off access to credit for organizations and institutions they deem to be purveyors of “hate”? You don’t think it could happen to your employer, your church, your favorite charities? You don’t think it could happen to you? Wake up.”

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

News

Dubia signer Cardinal Caffarra dies awaiting Pope’s clarification

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

Pray for the souls of the deceased dubia Cardinals. Sign the pledge here.

September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four cardinals who sent Pope Francis the dubia asking for clarity on Amoris Laetitia, died at 79, the Vatican confirmed. 

He is the second dubia cardinal to die in the last two months. German Cardinal Joachim Meisner died peacefully in his sleep in July, holding his breviary and preparing to offer Mass. 

The two remaining dubia signers are Cardinals Raymond Burke, 69, and Walter Brandmuller, 88.

Cardinal Caffarra, former archbishop of Bologna, was tasked by Saint Pope John Paul II more than three decades ago with founding an institute to study marriage and the family. He has been a respected leader in reinvigorating the life and family movement within the Church.

Along with a doctorate in canon law, he was a specialist in moral theology. In his early priesthood he was a professor of moral theology to seminarians, giving special attention to the Church's doctrine on marriage and the ethics of procreation. He later taught medical ethics in Rome.

He was nominated an expert at the Synod of Bishops on Matrimony and the Family in 1980, and the following year, was appointed by John Paul II to as founder and president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. From 1983-88 he held the position of Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The cardinal served as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

In 2008, Caffarra gave an interview in which he spoke about a letter he had received from the last Fatima seer, Sister Lucia dos Santos, concerning the final battle between God and Satan. When the cardinal wrote to Sister Lucia 36 years ago asking for her prayers as he began the process of founding the institute, he never expected a reply. Instead, the seer responded with a message of profound significance.

Caffarra explained:

In [her letter] we find written: ‘The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid,’ she added, ‘because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.’ And then she concluded: ‘However, Our Lady has already crushed its head.’

In a 2010 doctrinal note issued in his Archdiocese of Bologna, he wrote that any Catholic who approves of same-sex “marriage” can no longer be considered Catholic.

He called the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia "objectively unclear," noting how fellow bishops have conflicting interpretations of what it means.

Caffarra has been clear that where confusion arises in interpreting papal texts, one has to refer to the continuity of the Magisterium of the past as the principle guiding light. “In matters of Doctrine and Morals, the Magisterium cannot contradict itself,” he stated.

Last year, the cardinal contributed to a book released by Ignatius Press titled Eleven Cardinals Speak that defended Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality.

In May, the cardinal gave what might now be considered his battle plan for how the Church must engage in what he called the “final battle” between God and Satan.

Caffarra said in his presentation at the Rome Life Form on May 19 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.”

He said that 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. 

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. 

In June, the Cardinal made public on behalf of the other dubia signers a letter to Pope Francis in which he unsuccessfully asked him for a private audience to discuss what he called the “confusion and disorientation” within the Church after the publication of Amoris Laetitia

In the letter, the Cardinal laments the great division in the Church on basic morality as a result of the pope's exhortation.

“And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta," he wrote on behalf of all four.

He wrote that the four were still hoping that the Pope would “resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points” of Amoris Laetitia as outlined in the dubia they delivered to the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last September.

Cardinal Raymond Burke outlined last month what the formal correction of Pope Francis would look like if the Pope continued to not respond to the five dubia. 

“It seems to me that the essence of the correction is quite simple,” Burke explained to The Wanderer

“On the one hand, one sets forth the clear teaching of the Church; on the other hand, what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff is stated. If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” he said. 

“The question is asked, ‘How would this be done?’ It is done very simply by a formal declaration to which the Holy Father would be obliged to respond. Cardinals Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and I used an ancient institution in the Church of proposing dubia to the Pope,” the Cardinal continued. 

“This was done in a very respectful way and not in any way to be aggressive, in order to give him the occasion to set forth the Church’s unchanging teaching. Pope Francis has chosen not to respond to the five dubia, so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth. These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points,” he added. 

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Casey Mattox

Opinion

The ‘hate map’ targeting Christian groups almost got me killed five years ago

Casey Mattox

September 6, 2017 (Daily Signal) — When the elevator door opened in the lobby, my colleagues and I saw a man sitting, bleeding, surrounded by police.

We stared in silence as police yelled at us to get back upstairs. The elevator door quietly closed, and we returned to our fifth-floor office.

Up there, we hadn’t heard Floyd Corkins’ gunshot that hit our security guard, Leo Johnson — just the sudden rush and wail of police cars and ambulances filling our D.C. street.

Even after the scene in the lobby, it didn’t occur to us that the bleeding man was Leo, or that something had happened inside our own building.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. 

We just assumed that someone had been injured on the street outside and was receiving medical attention in the lobby of the Family Research Council building, where our D.C. office for Alliance Defending Freedom was housed at the time.

Then we saw the first news reports. There was a shooter in our building.

That was just over five years ago. My colleagues and I now know that Corkins intended to kill us. Along with enough rounds of ammunition to do the job, he’d also brought a supply of Chick-fil-A sandwiches to stuff in our mouths, to mock our corpses.

Corkins said he chose our building after finding it listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center website, which labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group” (because of its support for the historic definition of marriage).

I don’t work for the Family Research Council, but Corkins didn’t know that. And had he made it past the lobby and into the elevator, my employment status wouldn’t have mattered.

Thankfully, Leo miraculously stopped him, saving our lives and dozens of others. (Corkins was later convicted of domestic terrorism.)

Because of Leo’s heroism, I never knew the danger I was in until it was over, allowing me to forget, from time to time, that the story could have been far more tragic.

Two weeks ago, the memories came back, sharp and clear. I walked to our new Alliance Defending Freedom office to find CNN uncritically promoting the same Southern Poverty Law Center “hate group” list that had inspired Floyd Corkins — a list that now includes Alliance Defending Freedom.

Texts from my wife and colleagues seeing the same CNN story all expressed the same concern.

A list of KKK, neo-Nazi, and other violent groups could be a non-partisan service to the public. But that isn’t what the cash-infused Southern Poverty Law Center provides.

Instead, the Southern Poverty Law Center expressly acknowledges that its list is biased, focused on taking out groups it describes as the “American radical right” — which it defines broadly, smearing all its opponents equally.

Thus, under the guise of fighting “hate,” the Southern Poverty Law Center lumps together with Nazis and the KKK veterans, Catholics, Muslims who oppose terrorism, nuns, and now my own Alliance Defending Freedom.

Even left-of-center publications like The Atlantic have noted the expansive scope of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list and the danger it may pose to Muslim activists speaking out against terrorism and for human rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a living testament to Godwin’s Law: that given enough time, all arguments end with comparisons to Adolf Hitler.

One can disagree with Alliance Defending Freedom and its First Amendment positions, but they are demonstrably mainstream. My colleagues regularly argue and win precedent-setting victories that protect freedom of speech and religious freedom for all Americans.

In the last seven years, we have secured seven U.S. Supreme Court victories — the most recent being a 7-2 win in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer.

My own role at Alliance Defending Freedom is as director of our Center for Academic Freedom. My team defends the free speech rights of students and faculty on campus. We’ve won 90 percent of our litigated cases over the last decade. That is not the track record of a “fringe” organization.

But a radicalized individual, inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center to fight “hate,” doesn’t know all of that. When the Southern Poverty Law Center lumps every organization it hates into one “hate map” filled with red dots, my office becomes an equal opportunity target alongside neo-Nazi groups and the KKK.

Floyd Corkins is not unique. Earlier this year, a mob inspired by Southern Poverty Law Center’s claims physically assaulted Charles Murray, a respected social scientist and author, when he answered an invitation to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont.

James Hodgkinson, who this summer attempted to assassinate several Republican congressmen — including Majority Whip Steve Scalise — was also a follower of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

There will be more like them. After the recent events in Charlottesville, a growing chorus of voices are embracing violence as a means of confronting ideological opponents.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other mainstream outlets have actually published editorials in support of diminishing free speech rights, and even forgiving or glorifying violence against “fascists.” 

Many of these same media voices take pains to dismiss any comparison of Hitler and Nazism to, say, Joseph Stalin or communism, complaining that Nazis are uniquely evil. Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center has no problem lumping Nazis together with ordinary pro-family Christian policy and legal organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom.

If writers and publications of note are going to condone violence against racists, they should at least be particularly cautious in ascribing those labels. Alas, caution is not a hallmark of the Southern Poverty Law Center — or, increasingly, its media defenders.

We are a divided country. But surely we can disagree without losing sight of the humanity of those on the other side of the argument. (At Alliance Defending Freedom, we remind one another that we don’t have “enemies” — only opponents.)

While I don’t blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for the criminal actions of those inspired by its labels, it is high time the organization and its promoters acknowledged that their rhetoric is contributing to, not helping resolve, our coarsening discourse.

We can’t expect those who are easily provoked by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s propaganda to be more nuanced in their treatment of the organization’s targets than the organization itself—or the major news outlets that repeat it.

Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the media who copy and paste its “hate group” list might want to consider whether they want to inspire another Floyd Corkins to commit an act of violence.

As one who remembers his bloody deed that day — and how much worse things could have been — I wouldn’t wish that outcome on even my worst opponent.

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Signal.

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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

Blogs,

Major TV channel uses fake anti-LGBT poster to push gay ‘marriage’

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

AUSTRALIA, September 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — An Australian television station has come under fire for trying to pass off a fake anti-”gay marriage” poster as a real news story.

This occurred as Australia’s national mail-in ballot concerning the legalization of same-sex marriage is about to begin.

According to multiple reports, Australia’s Channel 10 came across a photo tweet of an alleged anti-LGBT poster. But when they sent journalists out to locate the offending poster and to film it, it was nowhere to be found.  

The tweeted tip

Pro-same-sex marriage advocate Dan Leach-McGill had tweeted an image of a poster with the caption, “Spotted in Melbourne - Heffernan Lane.”  

According to the HeraldSun.com.au, when the photo tweet first appeared, “Activists and the media were ecstatic. Finally they could prove their opponents were just as nasty.”  

The tweet went viral and Australian television stations “ABC, Fairfax, Junkee ... and FM radio stations all went crazy,” the HeraldSun.com.au report continued. Huffington Post jumped on the bandwagon as well. “Media outlets like Channel 9 and news.com.au agreed there were more such posters around Melbourne. As the Australian Women’s Weekly put it: ‘Melbourne streets plastered with disgustingly homophobic posters ahead of plebiscite.’”

“But Channel 10 had a problem: it could not find even one ... That should have been a big warning, but the station still claimed there were posters all around the city, and to demonstrate, it showed a picture of a bus stop with a huge advertising billboard featuring the ‘Stop the Fags’ poster.

Manufacturing news when there is none

When no poster could be found, Channel 10 took the tweeted image and photoshopped it onto a stock ‘Getty’ photo of a bus stop somewhere in Europe to make it appear this was a big, glossy, deep-pocketed campaign against “gay marriage.”   

Later, instigating tweeter Leach-McGill admitted that a friend had sent him the photo and he made up the caption about the poster being spotted on Heffernan Lane in Melbourne.  

There never was an offensive anti-LGBT poster campaign in Melbourne. The story was manufactured out of false reports and photoshopped images.

Pro-‘gay marriage’ forces were the bullies

“But the frenzied untruths that followed — with photographic evidence even faked by Channel 10 — only confirm the gay-marriage lobby and their media mates are the real hatemongers,” observed HeraldSun.com.au. “In fact, the only thing that could lose them the postal vote is their bullying — the lies, abuse, threats, violence and misuse of power that’s marked their ‘yes’ campaign ... If we let them win, what next will they do to us?”   

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