All articles from October 6, 2017


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David Daleiden American Life League
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More Planned Parenthood baby parts videos coming ‘very soon’: pro-life investigator

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By Claire Chretien

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) will soon release “some of the most damning and incriminating tapes that we ever recorded,” the man who led its undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts said Thursday.

David Daleiden, project lead at CMP, told viewers of a Thursday night webcast, “Close to half of the video footage that I ever gathered still has never seen the light of day.”

Judge William Orrick, who was on the board of a pro-abortion group that lets Planned Parenthood run a facility on its premises, has issued a gag order on those videos. CMP's lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to hear this censorship case.

Daleiden is facing 15 felony charges in California from its pro-abortion Attorney General Xavier Becerra (14 of these 15 charges were dropped, and then brought against him again).

“They’re trying to crush David Daleiden (and) they’re trying to crush Sandra Merritt, his colleague who helped on the investigation,” said international pro-life activist David Bereit, formerly of 40 Days for Life. “They’re trying to make an example out of these courageous video investigators.”

Pro-life leaders announced on the webcast that the Susan B. Anthony List, through an anonymous donor, has secured a $500,000 matching grant for Daleiden’s legal defense fund. This means all donations up to $500,000 will be matched dollar for dollar.

“David stood up to the abortion empire,” said Bereit. “We need to now stand up for him.”

“Our costs are humongous,” said Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, which is helping Daleiden. “They’re up in seven figures. And yet that’s working on a shoestring.”

So far, Daleiden’s legal defense has already cost $1.4 million. It will cost millions more. Planned Parenthood and its abortion allies are far better funded.

“They’ll stop at nothing,” said Brejcha. The prosecution would be more accurately described as a “persecution,” he said.

“What I and my fellow undercover investigators at CMP ... is no different than what local news journalists in the state of California do every single day when they use undercover video to expose things that the public otherwise wouldn’t know are going on,” said Daleiden.

The abortion industry is “terrified of the remaining video tapes coming to light,” he continued. “They know that their true motives, their true actions … the way that they run their abortion practice (is) exposed on those tapes.”

“After working so hard to elect people to the U.S. Senate and the House and the presidency, the impact of these videos is nothing less than a tipping point for this whole human rights movement,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose also participated in the webcast, saying “the feat that David and Sandra (Merritt) and those that worked with David pulled off is just incredible.”

“Because state-subsidized, industrial-scale child killing … is such a big, global issue,” every single person can do something to stop it, Daleiden encouraged viewers. “Every single person has something that they can contribute to” end abortion in one way or another.

A crowdfunding campaign for the matching grant will likely be launched next week. In the meantime, donations can be made through the Thomas More Society’s website.

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Trump admin reverses Obama policy: ‘Gender identity’ not a protected civil right

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By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a reversal of federal policy that pleased marriage advocates and angered LGBTQI groups, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memo interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as not intended to apply to transgenders.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote to the country’s federal prosecutors that on “all pending and future matters” the DOJ will go by what Congress originally intended and not add unforeseen deviances when enforcing laws regarding equal treatment on the basis of “sex.”

At issue is the word “sex.” A section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 criminalized discrimination based on “sex.” Gay activists say that now includes sexual orientation and transgenderism. Strict originalists say the writers of the law clearly intended “sex” to mean male and female.

Sessions defended his stand by saying it was a simple matter of the historical intent of legislators, and does not necessarily indicate a strategic change. The understanding is “a conclusion of law, not policy,” the memo read.

Sessions explained that the word “sex” in the 1964 law means “biologically male or female,” so that particular statute says nothing about “discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.”

Sessions went on to explain that the Obama administration overstepped its bounds in ascribing unimagined modern categories to a 52-year-old anti-discrimination law.  Specifically, the former president officially interpreted civil rights legislation to include homosexuality and transgenderism.

Obama announced in 2014, “I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.”

“The Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided,” Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley elaborated. “Unfortunately, the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle, which necessitated today’s action.”

O’Malley clarified that this memo applies only to historical legislation that never intended to embrace homosexuality or transgenderism. “As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress,” he said.

The DOJ offered further assurances that it will enforce modern laws giving special protected class status to gays. “This Department remains committed to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals,” O’Malley said, “and will continue to enforce the numerous laws that Congress has enacted that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Sessions’ memo noted that his department does not condone the mistreatment of anyone, including transgenders. “The Justice Department must and will continue to affirm the dignity of all people, including transgender individuals,” he wrote.

“Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity, or to express a policy view on whether Congress should amend Title VII to provide different or additional protections,” Sessions continued.

The LGBTQI organization Lambda Legal lashed out against the DOJ memo. “No matter how many memos he issues, the law is on our side. And so are the courts increasingly,” director of strategy Sharon McGowan said.

The Supreme Court has not decreed whether “sex” in historical legislation encompasses homosexuality or transgenderism. It has, however, ruled that “sex” discrimination includes treatment of people who do not conform to traditional male/female norms (1989’s Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins).

Earlier this summer, the DOJ filed an appellate court brief saying anti-discrimination laws of the 1960s did not encompass sexual orientation.  

In the spring, the Trump DOJ rescinded the Obama administration’s threat to public schools to withhold federal funds unless they allowed transgender boys in the girls’ bathrooms.

Under Obama, the DOJ filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma that is based on that administration’s interpretation of the 1964 law as including transgenders.

Read the entire Sessions memo here.

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Cardinal Blase Cupich Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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U.S. Cardinals, bishops hold major meeting with dissident theologians on Amoris Laetitia

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By Pete Baklinski

BOSTON, Massachusetts, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Two cardinals and a dozen bishops attended a conference this week at Boston College where they met with a number of dissident Catholics to discuss strategies for implementing Pope Francis’ controversial teachings on marriage and family in dioceses across the United States.

Jesuit Fr. James Keenan, a theologian at Boston College and one of the main organizers of the October 5-6 event, said the conference will “fortify and further the ongoing reception of Amoris in the U.S."

He said that the event is about “setting an agenda for the future of the Church” in the U.S.

Keenan testified in 2003 against a Massachusetts amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. He argued that “as a priest and as a moral theologian, I cannot see how anyone could use the Roman Catholic tradition to support [the amendment].” He said the bill would deny “gays and lesbians” the “full range of human and civil rights.”

The dissident news service National Catholic Reporter (NCR) appears to have been given the exclusive privilege of covering the conference. Links about the event on Boston College’s website refer to articles on NCR’s website. On its website, NCR states that a “handful of press outlets have been invited to report on the proceedings, including NCR.”

It remains unclear, however, if any faithful Catholic news outlets covered the event.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is co-hosting the conference. In June, the cardinal interpreted Amoris Laetitia as a call for Catholics to graduate from “an adolescent spirituality into an adult spirituality” where they will be able to use their “freedom of conscience” to “discern truth” in their life.

During the 2015 Synod of the Family, which Cupich attended at Pope Francis’ personal invitation, the then-archbishop said that active homosexuals should be able to receive Holy Communion. He later defended his view in an ABC interview, stating that if “gay people” in “good conscience” discern that they should receive Holy Communion, then “they have to follow their conscience.”

The Boston College conference consisted of panel discussions between prelates, theologians, and canon lawyers, many of whom hold positions contrary to perennial Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, conscience, and the existence of absolute moral norms.

Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a theologian at Manhattan College, said in a panel discussion yesterday that Pope Francis is calling for respect for the moral decisions lay people make in their lives and that he is working to overcome the “infantilization of laypeople.”

"The infantilization of the laity has its historical roots in a view of lay-people as objects of clerical control: pay, pray and obey, or as Pius X notes in [the 1906 encyclical] Vehementer Nos, 'the right of the laity is to allow itself to be led,' " she said.

She emphasized that Amoris Laetitia calls pastors to respect decisions lay people make in conscience, after a process of discernment.

"The replacement of conscience is an act of domination…It is an abuse of power,” she said.

Cathleen Kaveny, a theologian and civil lawyer at Boston College, spoke on one panel about how the Catholic Church after Amoris Laetitia needs to re-evaluate its view on remarriage as permanent “adultery.”

"Jesus clearly disfavored adultery," she said. "It's clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God.”

“But nothing in Jesus' words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance,” she told conference attendees.

"To impose such a requirement in every case is not merciful," she said. "And mercy is the ultimate touchstone for the divine lawgiver."

Kaveny said the Church would do well to turn to U.S. civil law as a resource for a re-evaluation.

She gave the example of one case where the Supreme Court ruled that polygamists could not be charged with separate crimes for each year they were married with numerous partners because such charges must align with their “lived experience.”

Of note attending the conference is Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro, papal confidant and editor of the Italian magazine La Civiltà Cattolica. Spadaro has defended Amoris Laetitia as opening the door for divorced and remarried Catholics to access the Sacraments. He stirred controversy in January when he tweeted in reference to the backlash caused by the Pope’s teaching that “2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5” because “it has to do with #God and real #life of #people.”

Spadaro told attendees at the conference that after Amoris Laetitia, the Catholic Church can no longer set down general rules that apply to entire groups of people.

"We must conclude that the pope realizes that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and ... [a] praxis of integration in a rule that is absolutely to be followed in every instance," he said.

"Since the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same," he added.

"It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all," he concluded.

Also attending the conference was Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican's new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Farrell has called the divorced and remarried receiving Communion a “process of discernment and of conscience” that is arrived at after a “journey” where the couple is accompanied by a priest. He has criticized a fellow U.S. bishop’s guidelines that refuses Communion to the remarried as causing “division.” He has also praised Jesuit Fr. James Martin’s book Building A Bridge. The book has been criticized by other bishops, and even a cardinal, for its failure to speak about sin and its tendency to normalize homosexuality.

Farrell spoke yesterday on a panel about Amoris Laetitia’s message to Catholics who have become disaffected by authority structures, according to National Catholic Reporter.

Speakers also included Malta Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who co-wrote guidelines for implementing Amoris Laetitia in January that allow civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery to receive Communion if they are “at peace with God.”

The Malta archbishop told Malta Indep in a 2016 interview that homosexual civil unions are a "service to the dignity of these people.” “I think that we should support legislation that gives same-sex partners their dignity and their social protection,” he said. Malta legalized homosexual “marriage” in July with little opposition from Scicluna or his brother bishop, Mario Grech.

Also attending the conference is San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy. He called on priests in his diocese last November to allow divorced and remarried Catholics living in adultery to “utilize the internal forum of conscience in order to discern if God is calling them to return to the Eucharist." He has also told priests to embrace "LGBT families" in their parishes.

The conference comes about two weeks after 60 Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” They asserted that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.

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New ‘inquisition’ in Church is targeting orthodox Catholics: Philosopher fired for questioning Pope

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By Claire Chretien

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – There’s a “topsy-turvy Inquisition” happening in the Church right now, according a world-renowned philosopher fired by his archbishop for questioning the Pope’s teaching in Amoris Laetitia. This “Inquisition” is targeting and persecuting orthodox Catholics, he wrote, for failing to affirm the “situation ethics” that the Church has always condemned.

The man who wrote this is Dr. Josef Seifert, who was a close friend of Pope St. John Paul II.

This fall, Archbishop Javier Martínez Fernández fired Seifert from the International Academy of Philosophy in Granada after Seifert published an article calling Amoris Laetitia a “theological atomic bomb” because it suggests God can will people to commit intrinsically evil acts, and thus undermines all of Catholic moral teaching.

Seifert is taking legal and ecclesiastical action against Fernández. He explained in First Things that he’s doing this in a fraternal way for the good of the Church, not out of malice.

“I have tried, and will continue to try, to propose a conciliatory and peaceful settlement before the peace Court in Granada, but not at the price of truth and of justice,” Seifert wrote.

Seifert has previously said he will defend Catholic teaching and speak out against harmful ambiguity “even if I am murdered for it.”

'Nothing in Catholic moral teaching would remain intact' if situation ethics are OK

Seifert began his explanation of the “Inquisition” against faithful Catholics today by noting that throughout history, clergy and even popes have defied Catholic teaching with their actions. Many within the Church have opposed Catholic teaching, and the fact that the Church has been able to survive these crises and retain its perennial teaching shows it’s a divine institution run by men, he wrote.

“In the last 50 years, the crisis that threatened the Church most gravely is one of moral theology and of the understanding of ‘natural law,’” Seifert warned.

This crisis began with some in the Church arguing for “conscience” to allow people to personally reject Humanae Vitae’s prohibition on artificial contraception.

“Yet the moral-theological phalanx that turned against Humanae Vitae was not content with saying that the ethical errors and gravely disordered acts of those who practice contraception are purely subjectively justified by their erring conscience,” Seifert wrote. “Instead, these opponents suddenly wanted to claim the full objectivity of their opposition to Humanae Vitae, saying that we do not deal here only with erring consciences.”

Seifert noted this is something “tirelessly invoked by Rocco Buttiglione in his defense of Amoris Laetitia.”

“Defenses of the subjectivity of conscience still implied that the sinner, who found himself entangled in errors of conscience, should be better taught and humbly submit his judgment to the objective truth about the intrinsic wrongness of his acts,” Seifert explained.

So dissident theologians began to claim “under many circumstances the acts Humanae Vitae called intrinsically wrong are, objectively speaking, not wrong at all.”

They argued that people practicing artificial contraception could actually be “objectively right when they chose to do so.”

This sort of ends justify the means reasoning judged acts by their good or bad outcomes rather than their inherent nature.

“We can easily see that with this ethics nothing in Catholic moral teaching would remain intact,” wrote Seifert. “Because no act would be bad by its nature, but good or bad only with reference to the concrete complexity of life and the web of causes and effects.”

Errors explicitly rebuked by John Paul II reappear in Amoris Laetitia

Pope St. John Paul II rebuked and condemned this errant strain of ethics in Familiaris Consortio, Evangelium Vitae, and Veritatis Splendor.

In Veritatis Splendor, the sainted pope affirmed “with utmost force that there are acts that are by their nature evil and morally wrong.”

“Today, the ethics rejected by Veritatis Splendor has raised its ugly head once again,” Seifert wrote. “It threatens to bring about the climax of the moral-theological crisis in the Church, because now it is not just a mob of some rebellious theologians and bishops who deny intrinsically evil acts.”

“No, there are some formulations in Amoris Laetitia that have caused a deep shock in those of us who have fought, alongside John Paul and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for decades against the immense evil of this false ethics,” Seifert warned.

This is consistent with what Seifert has said before of Amoris Laetitia's problematic sections. The pope suggests “that we can know with ‘a certain moral security’ that God himself asks us to continue to commit intrinsically wrong acts, such as adultery or active homosexuality,” Seifert wrote in his now-famous “atomic bomb” critique.

It is these “formulations” that caused four cardinals to send Pope Francis a dubia, or formal request, for clarity about the controversial exhortation, Seifert wrote.

The dubia “are in no way anti-pope or damaging to the community of the Church, but represent a supreme service to the Church and to the pope, by pointing out a threat of destruction of Catholic moral teaching if Pope Francis does not clarify things or correct some assertions he made,” he explained.

“They are questions that should be asked by all cardinals and bishops, and by all laymen across the world,” but the few asking are being persecuted for doing so.

Seifert pointed to the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, being forbidden by the archbishop of Madrid from presenting a book that interpreted Amoris Laetitia through the lens of Familiaris Consortio.

“Was not the removal of Cardinal (Raymond) Burke from the second part of the Synod on the family and from all his high posts in the Curia a kind of inquisition in response to his questions, which have not been answered but punished?” asked Seifert. “Is not the same assumption necessary to explain Cardinal Müller’s abrupt removal as Prefect of the Congregation of Faith?”

“The moral-theological crisis has moved from the bottom to the top of the Church,” he continued. “The victims of judgments or actions against them are denied the opportunity to defend themselves against unjust charges, a natural human right that is explicitly recognized in canon law.”

“That the archbishop (of Granada) does not remove Catholic theologians who spread errors and heresies while teaching in the name of the Catholic Church, but instead expels me from a chair he had created in a non-Church-affiliated school of philosophy, is beyond my comprehension,” he wrote.

“Such a persecution of someone who defends teachings that are entirely compatible with the Catholic Church is harmful not only for me, but for the archbishop himself and for the Church itself.”

Seifert concluded:

Thus, I repeat again my plea to Pope Francis to answer the question put to him, and to answer unambiguously, with a simple Yes or No. If he answers that one of his affirmations has the logical consequence of denying intrinsically wrong acts and runs counter to the constant teaching of the Church, I implore him, in the name of God, Who Is THE TRUTH, to retract any affirmation that is counter to the truth and Church Teaching.

I do not act this way because I believe myself, in insane pride, to be more infallible than the pope. Rather, I do this because I profess a faith whose Scriptures teach us that sometimes a donkey can see something the prophet fails to see. If the prophet in such a case slaps the donkey, whom God sent him, he will receive the stern reprimand God gave the prophet through his angel.

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Pope Francis meets with Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ.
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Papal adviser: We can no longer ‘judge people’ based on moral norms

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By Pete Baklinski

BOSTON, Massachusetts, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Jesuit priest and papal confidant Father Anthony Spadaro said that Pope Francis holds that the Catholic Church can no longer set down general norms that apply to entire groups of people. 

Spadaro, editor of the Italian magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, made the comment today at a conference at Boston College where liberal Cardinals met with dissident theologians to discuss strategies for implementing Pope Francis’ controversial teachings on marriage and family in dioceses across the United States. 

The Jesuit priest told attendees that Amoris Laetitia, the Pope's 2016 teaching on marriage and family, recognizes that people living in "irregular" family situations, such as the divorced and remarried living in adultery, "can be living in God's grace, can love and can also grow in a life of grace."

"We must conclude that the Pope realizes that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and ... [a] praxis of integration in a rule that is absolutely to be followed in every instance," he said, according to a report by National Catholic Reporter. 

"Since the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same," he added. 

"It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all," he concluded.

Jesuit Fr. James Keenan, a dissident theologian at Boston College and one of the main organizers of the October 5-6 event, said the conference will “fortify and further the ongoing reception of Amoris in the U.S."

He said that the event is about “setting an agenda for the future of the Church” in the U.S. 

Today’s discussions at the conference focused on Amoris Laetitia’s call for pastors to, in the words of the National Catholic Reporter, “listen to laypeople and respect decisions they make about their lives after undertaking a process of discernment.”

During his talk, Spadaro praised guidelines issued by the Sicilian Bishops Conference this summer that authorized priests to give Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried without annulment (i.e. in a state of public and permanent adultery). 

"The Sicilian document concludes with clarity that in some circumstances as regards the divorced and remarried, according to the evaluation of the confessor ... it is possible to admit absolution and to admit him or her to the Eucharist," Spadaro said.

The Boston College conference consisted of panel discussions between prelates, theologians, and canon lawyers, many of whom hold positions contrary to perennial Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, conscience, and the existence of absolute moral norms. 

The conference comes about two weeks after 60 Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” They asserted that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church. 

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George Soros is funding massive pro-abortion rallies in Poland

Dorothy Cummings McLean and Natalia Dueholm
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WARSAW, Poland, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Poland loves her babies, but foreigners want to kill them. The black-clad, pro-abortion protests that swept through Poland last October were neither “spontaneous” nor part of a “grassroots movement” but funded from abroad.  

In a comprehensive report released October 3, Poland’s Ordo Iuris Institute presented its evidence that the country’s marginal feminist movement has received “enormous funding from abroad.” It traced most of the money to organizations funded directly or indirectly by Hungarian-American financier George Soros. Poland’s pro-abortion groups received about one million Polish zloty to block the Polish government’s 2016 attempt to completely ban abortion.

Ordo Iuris says Poland’s public universities, which were supposed to be neutral, were also actively involved in the pro-abortion protests.

The Global Fund for Women (GFW) is a partner and legatee of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. The organization, which promotes access to abortion worldwide, boasts on its official website that it funded Poland’s so-called “black protests”:

“Global Fund for Women’s unique approach in investing in ‘tipping points’ -- critical moments for political or social turmoil -- is also essential to our crisis response approach, as evidenced in Poland. When a total ban on abortions was proposed by the government in early 2016, Global Fund for Women supported ASTRA Network to help mount a powerful resistance.

“With crisis support provided in April, ASTRA Network built a broad coalition of women’s groups and other grassroots [sic] organizations across Poland to raise awareness about the threat to women’s health and human rights. They launched effective media campaigns to put pressure on the government throughout 2016 leading up to massive “Black Monday” strikes that led Poland’s parliament to withdraw the proposed legislation in October.”

The ASTRA Network is a subsidiary of Poland’s feminist “Federation for Women and Family Planning”, better known as Federa. Through ASTRA, Federa received £12,000 from GFW last year. Another pro-abortion group involved in the black protests, Women’s Cooperative Foundation, received $10,000 from GFW in 2016.

GFW also funds the Polish pro-abortion movement indirectly by financially supporting the Canadian International Network of Women’s Funds (INWF), which partners with the Dutch MamaCash. Between 2011 and 2015, MamaCash gave at least 110,000 Euros to Poland’s pro-abortion Ponton organization.

Ponton, part of the Women’s Cooperative Foundation, is a group of sex educators. Their most recent post directs readers to “invite Ponton to your school.” According to Ordo Iuris, MamaCash declared in its 2016 report that it helped to defeat Poland’s abortion ban and that Ponton was “at the head of the resistance.”

The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), another organization funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute, also supported the “black protests.” According to the IWHC’s website, it gave the pro-abortion ASTRA Network grants to “lead protests and a women’s strike.” The IWHC also sent an ASTRA Network delegate to its conference on gender equality. In total, the IWHC gave ASTRA $40,000 in 2016. Federa, too, has received big money from the IWHC: in 2015, the former received $40,080 from the latter.

“It turns out that the (IWHC) organization has been sponsoring seminars and junkets (for Polish pro-abortion activists) for years,” Ordo Iuris reported. “It is worth noting that as early as 2014, IWHC trained Polish women activists on the ‘leadership skills needed to work effectively for sexual and reproductive rights,’ among them lobbying workshops.”

The money trail keeps on going. In 2016, ASTRA Network was granted £90,000 from Britain’s Sigrid Rausing Trust. The Trust’s website reports that it has supported ASTRA since 2004 and has given it £655,000 to date. Between 2014 and 2016, Federa received money from the Soros-controlled Stefan Batory Foundation to promote abortion rights and to fund Ponton’s sex education projects.

The Ordo Iuris Institute has promised an even more comprehensive report into the foreign funding of Poland’s pro-abortion activists. Meanwhile, it observed that among the media outlets invited to participate in last year’s “black protests” were those belonging to Agora S.A. group, a Polish media company tied to Soros’ Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which owns more than 11 percent of the company.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Trudeau gov’t forgets to mention Jews at Holocaust Monument, blasts ‘discrimination’ instead

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By Lisa Bourne

OTTAWA, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Liberal government suffered obvious embarrassment after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dedicated the country’s National Holocaust Monument last week with the monument plaque lacking any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism.

The plaque — since temporarily removed — honored the "millions of men, women and children murdered" but did not reference the Jewish people’s part in the Holocaust.

Some six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, by far the largest group targeted by the Nazis for annihilation.

MPs and senators of the opposition Conservative Party made hay with the gaffe, according to BBC News.

Tweeted Senator Linda Frum:

"If we are going to stamp out hatred toward Jews, it is important to get history right," said MP David Sweet.

David Frum, political commentator and senior editor for The Atlantic, tweeted

The $8.9 million memorial, which contains six concrete triangles that form a diagonally stretched Star of David, was dedicated September 27. It is located at the corner of Wellington and Booth streets in Ottawa, near the Canadian War Museum.

Until last Wednesday, Canada was the only allied power from World War II that did not have a national Holocaust monument.

Some media outlets drew comparisons between the blunder and U.S. President Donald Trump similarly neglecting to reference the Jewish people on Holocaust Remembrance Day earlier this year. The White House had said through a spokesperson the administration was an inclusive group and had taken into account all those who suffered.

The Canadian omission appeared to have been an oversight, the BBC reported.   

Trudeau’s news release on the monument dedication had referenced the Jewish people and anti-Semitism, which he also did in his remarks at the monument unveiling.

Still, the omission from Canada’s National Holocaust Monument was Trudeau’s second failure to mention Jews when commemorating the Holocaust, the Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein said.

Trudeau had also neglected to mention that six million Jews died in the Holocaust when issuing a statement commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Week in January 2016.

Trudeau’s office said it was an honest mistake, and it had been later corrected, Goldstein said, but now the Trudeau government has made exactly the same blunder 20 months later.

“Every time the Trudeau government ‘forgets’ to mention Jews in relation to the Holocaust, it gives aid and comfort to Jew haters everywhere,” Goldstein wrote in an October 4 opinion piece.

Goldstein clarified that Jews were not the only group Hitler went after, though they were the only one specifically targeted for his Final Solution.

And he credited Trudeau for having denounced some movements that have been criticized as anti-Semitic, as well as Trudeau’s reported plans to apologize for the 1939 refusal to admit into Canada a boatload of Jews who were trying to flee Nazi Germany by then Liberal government of Mackenzie King.

“That said,” he wrote, “many Jews, including me, also believe Trudeau and the Liberals are far too cozy with many Jew-hating radical Muslims in Canada.”

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly told Parliament the first plaque had been removed and would be replaced by one “with language that reflects the horrors experienced by the Jewish people.”

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Pro-life leaders praise President Trump for lifting Obama contraception mandate

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By Claire Chretien

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life leaders praised the Trump administration’s “ray of sunshine” today ending an Obama-era federal requirement that religious employers participate in the provision of their employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs.

“At a very high level, this appears to be a common-sense, balanced rule and a great step forward for religious liberty,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket (formerly the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor, told reporters on a call.

“The rule is great, at least what I can glean of it in the first hour,” said Riezni.

Today’s new rules don’t end the lawsuits religious employers brought against the government for violating their rights.

But “given what the government is admitting in this document,” it seems unlikely the Trump Department of Justice will continue fighting groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, said Rienzi. Hopefully, he said, a final court order will be issued applying the new guidelines, and the issue will be put to rest.

Rienzi explained that with this new rule, the federal government admitted it broke the law by trying to place an undue burden on the free exercise of religion.

“This was always a big, unnecessary, and divisive culture war fight,” he said, noting there are many ways for people to access contraception without forcing Catholic nuns to participate.

Rienzi explained that the new rules don’t exempt all employers from the requirement that they provide contraception to their employees – just ones with religious or moral objections.

“What [Trump's HHS department] did was they added a real and true religious exemption,” he said.

In May 2016, the Supreme Court ordered the government and the Little Sisters to work together to find a way for all women to have free contraception, abortifacients, and sterilizations without religious employers being forced to participate.

The Obama administration had admitted to the Supreme Court that there are many ways in which contraception is accessible.

“What we see today is really the resolution of that process,” said Rienzi.

“The religious objectors were already protected by (court) injunctions, so everyone who was getting contraceptives through their employer will still keep getting them,” explained Rienzi, countering the liberal myth that suddenly now many corporations will try to scrap their birth control coverage.

The new rule exempts from the contraceptive mandate a “small subset of people who sued who already had” protection from it as the court cases were underway, he said. He noted the vast majority of employers in U.S. have no religious or moral objection to contraception. In order for them to be able to be exempt under the new rules, they would have to suddenly say that their pro-contraception beliefs of the past five years have been wrong and that they have a religious or moral objection.

Rienzi said this is extremely unlikely.

“The companies who had objections to it were known,” he said.

“We just need a final (court) order resolving this five-year saga,” and then the Little Sisters of the Poor won’t spend the rest of their lives with their eyes on the federal register “worrying about when next mandate will come out,” said Rienzi.

Mandate was an attempt to ‘directly confront the Catholic Church’

“Today’s action is more than regulatory relief for people of faith, it is a ray of sunshine signaling to faithful Americans that they need not fear government bullying like that endured by the Little Sisters of the Poor,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser with The Catholic Association. “After years of Obama era encroachment on religious liberty, we are finally seeing a welcome shift in government policy that once again respects the rights of conscience. Our country is made better when people of faith participate in the public square and contribute to the needs of our nation, running charities, hospitals, and schools.”

“Let’s not forget that the origin of this mandate was an Obama election-driven strategy to directly confront the Catholic Church,” said Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor to The Catholic Association. “This new rule honors the freedom to act consistent with one's beliefs.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said the pro-life generation she represents is grateful to Trump “for following through on his promises to address the injustice created by the mandates in Obamacare.”

Hawkins also praised the Trump administration for another action it took today addressing “the stealth abortion coverage in some of the qualified health plans by separating abortion, which is not healthcare, from the core list of things covered.”

“Now, Americans will be informed if a plan they choose has abortion coverage in it, and they will need to pay separately for that coverage,” she explained. “Tax dollars will not be spent providing abortion coverage that people may not even know that they have in their plan.”

The Trump administration’s “attacks can feel never(-)ending,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards wrote in a furious email to supporters after the news broke.

“Women’s bodies and healthcare should not be subject to the opinion of their employer,” Eleanor Smeal of the misleadingly-named Feminist Majority Foundation wrote in an email defending the subjection of employers to contraception users’ opinions. “For right-wing, self-righteous politicians to even suggest so is misogynistic, patronizing lunacy.”

In addition to undoing the HHS contraceptive mandate and separating abortion coverage from regular insurance, today the Trump administration’s Department of Justice also issued new religious liberty guidelines that indicate gender confusion is not legally protected under “sex discrimination” laws.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has already announced its plans to sue the Trump administration, arguing it’s “discrimination” for religious employers (whose employees chose to work for them) to not fund contraception.

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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Supreme Court refuses to hear case of surrogate mom who refused abortion

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Supreme Court refused to hear a surrogacy case where the mother/surrogate was pressured to abort a triplet but refused, exemplifying what pro-lifers say is wrong with the surrogacy industry.

When Chester Moore Jr. found that his hired surrogate, Melissa Cook, was carrying three babies, he decided he couldn't afford to raise three and told her to abort one. Cook responded, "I am pro-life and I'm not having an abortion."  

Cook, who had anonymous donor eggs fertilized by Moore's sperm implanted in her womb, gave birth in California to all three in February 2016, and all three went to Moore -- even though Cook wanted the third baby and Moore didn't.

The dispute ballooned with Cook's concerns about Moore's fitness as a father. Moore, 51, is deaf and mute and living with his invalid parents in a cigarette smoke-filled Georgia house. Furthermore, well after the children were born, Moore's sister, Melinda, testified that her brother is incapable of properly caring for them and that the three newborns are living in a decrepit basement.  

The sister revealed in her affidavit that a few years ago when Moore grew tired of his pets that he intentionally froze them to death. She concluded, “I was horrified by the prospect that our brother, who has not been able to take care of himself, would attempt to take on raising triplets on his own while he lived in the chaos at my parents’ home.”

Even Kaiser Hospital advised Cobb County Division of Family and Child Services to “take the children … because (Moore) can’t care for them.”

Ultimately, Cook challenged California's liberal surrogacy laws in court, saying they violate her and her babies' rights to due process and equal protection under the Constitution.  

“Surrogacy is creating a generation of children severed from biological and genetic identity and a breeder class of marginalized women. Both are being transformed into commodities for sale," Kathleen Sloan, co-filer of a friend of the court brief supporting Cook, argued. "This can only be accepted and condoned by a society untethered from any sense of ethics, human rights, dignity, or moral values."

Cook, 47, lost in both federal and state courts. Undaunted, she continued her fight for the best interests of the triplets by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

"All those who care about justice, the Constitution, and human rights must fervently hope that the Supreme Court will decide to hear this case," Sloan pleaded.

It didn't. Now, not only do the triplets stay in Moore's basement, but child "purchasers" rights to their "property" overrules what Cook believes is the best interest of the children.

California law, which the Supreme Court did not comment on but left intact, says a surrogate mother's parental rights may be terminated before birth while the child "purchaser" is named the legal parent. In effect, the nation's highest court ignored these concerns and other serious ethical and constitutional issues regarding surrogacy.

Meanwhile, Cook's triplets were born prematurely and spent three months in ICU without father or mother, at the cost (to taxpayers) of $3,000 a day. Cook was not allowed to see the babies and Moore only visited them for a short time. The Supreme Court filing claimed that the children, now 18 months old, were forced to eat off the basement floor and allowed to stay in diapers so filthy their health was endangered.

Child’s rights advocates say there needs to be limits on surrogacy laws for the sake of the children created  "Surrogacy is out of control in the United States," Sloan reasoned.  "When the primal bond — as ancient as humankind itself — between mother and child is destroyed, what will be left?”

Jennifer Roback Morse pointed out that in vitro fertilization intentionally conceives multiple children then discards them, whether in the womb or in a petri dish. As with Cook, "selective reduction" (abortion) is often demanded when more than one baby successfully implants. Besides Cook’s three babies who survived implantation and were given life, 10 other conceived children were thrown away like trash.  

Moreover, pro-lifers say surrogacy breaks the mother/child bond. It objectifies women into human incubators. It disregards the rights of the surrogate mother. It exploits poor women to basically prostitute their wombs.

Surrogacy is also harmful for the baby. His or her best interests are completely ignored legally. Besides the psychological rupture of abandoning the mother/child bond, in vitro fertilization carries significant health risks, such as premature birth, low birth weight, and cerebral palsy. If the baby or babies don't meet "purchaser" specifications, they are aborted, too.

The bottom line, pro-lifers say, is surrogacy creates a market for human beings. It is a lot like human trafficking --in fact, it is human trafficking for profit.

Surrogacy is basically unregulated. Only Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York prohibit renting wombs for profit in the incubation of other peoples' children. It is estimated that nearly half the child "purchases" in the U.S. are by foreigners.

And it is a lucrative business. Surrogate mothers like Cook make as much as $30,000 a baby or more. Surrogacy has grown globally, with India and the U.S. as its leaders, into a $6 billion industry.

Contrary to California laws, which designate the child "purchaser" as legal parent and disregard the surrogate’s rights, medical sociologist Barbara Katz Rothman says the surrogate is the mother.

“If you are pregnant with a baby, you are the mother of the baby that you’re carrying," Rothman explained. "The nutrients, the blood supply, the sounds, the sweep of the body. That’s not somebody standing in for somebody else to that baby. That’s the only mother that baby has.”

The lawsuit is found here.

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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

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Canada’s national media blast Trudeau gov’t for abortion hypocrisy

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s media are blasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for rejecting an opposition MP as chair of the status of women committee because she is pro-life.

And it’s a rare but welcome scenario to see such staunchly socially liberal venues as Toronto Globe and Mail taking this stance, says Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist Jack Fonseca.

“This media backlash against Trudeau and the Liberals is well-deserved, and long overdue,” Fonseca said.

The Liberal-dominated status of women committee voted down Conservative MP Rachael Harder on Tuesday and instead forced Conservative MP Karen Vecchio to take the position of chair.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer nominated Harder for the role, which is traditionally held by a member of the opposition.

But the Liberal and NDP members claimed Harder’s pro-life views disqualified her, a position Trudeau publicly endorsed.

Harder, the Tory shadow minister for the status of women, was accused of approving job grants in 2016 for pregnancy care centers in her Lethbridge, Alberta, riding, and of a pro-life voting record.

Media attention on Tuesday’s vote was virtually guaranteed after Liberal committee members staged a dramatic protest walkout last week that left the position of chair in limbo and committee unable to function.

But after Harder’s ousting, the Globe and Mail, MacLean’s Magazine, the National Post, and the CBC all castigated the Liberals for blatant bias.

And there was a suggestion that they were downright mean in carrying out what appeared to be a well-orchestrated, media-savvy campaign against the 30-year-old rookie MP.

"(T)hey took her down, ‘no’ by merciless ‘no’,” wrote Meagan Campbell in MacLean's, describing the vote on Tuesday. “ … so long, so-con … ”

National Post columnist John Ivison echoed this when he accused the Liberals of hypocrisy.

The government’s throne speech declared “the voices of all Canadians matter,” he wrote. “Except if you disagree with the Prime Minister. Then you will be shamed, disdained and silenced.”

Perhaps most surprisingly, the socially liberal Globe issued an editorial denouncing the Trudeau government’s actions.

The Liberals “denied Ms. Harder a position she is fully qualified to hold simply because she refuses to conform to their view of the world,” said the Globe.

The Trudeau government’s “shameful actions this week” send the message “it is perfectly acceptable in Canada to discriminate against people who oppose abortion,” it stated.

“The right to abortion is one we support, but there is a higher principle at play here – the right to hold beliefs, and to act on them legally, without interference from the government, and without being discriminated against by society,” observed the Globe.

Meanwhile, the CBC published an op-ed that of all criticisms might have struck a nerve with the youthful prime minister.

It suggested his actions could be construed as anti-immigration and anti-Muslim.

“Justin Trudeau's government always tells us how it is pro-immigration and pro-feminism, ready to defend the rights, opinions and values held by the women and men who call Canada home,” wrote Pakistan-born Palvasha Qureshi.

“The stunt at the status of women committee makes it seem like we've been brought to Canada for a photo-op, but are not actually welcome at the table,” she wrote.

Her “pro-life views and my voice are not being respected since they are not in line with Trudeau's supposedly feminist views,” noted the 21-year-old University of Ottawa student.

“How can Trudeau truly profess to be against Islamophobia if my pro-life convictions, shaped by Islamic beliefs, mean I would not be allowed to chair a committee if I were elected?”

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne also weighed in, decrying the Trudeau government’s “unvarnished assumption of moral superiority.”

The Liberals appear to believe “not only that their views are superior to those of their opponents, but that theirs are the only views it is possible for a decent person to hold.”

But Canadians may be growing tired of this, observed Coyne.

The Liberals are slipping in the polls, with Angus Reid showing the Conservatives favoured 36 percent to 33 percent as the party that “would make the best government.”

Indeed, according to Ivison, “in this case there are good business reasons for such blatant hypocrisy” in the highly publicized banning of Harder.

The Liberals sent out a fundraising email after last week’s protest walkout, pointing to Harder’s nomination as “a very clear demonstration of what we mean when we say Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party will take us backwards.”

All this shows, wrote Ivison, that despite Trudeau’s “heartfelt soliloquies on the plight of beached jellyfish and other tragedies, the Liberal Party is a great, heartless electoral machine.”

Journalists couldn’t help but call out Trudeau for “violating parliamentary rules in order to block a hard-working young woman from getting a promotion,” Fonseca observed.

“I think Justin overplayed his hand, making it plain to see that he was discriminating against pro-life women, hilariously, while calling himself a ‘feminist’ prime minister,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Now everybody knows that Justin ain’t the feminist prime minister he claims to be. On the contrary, he’s the misogynist prime minister.”

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Congresswoman Diane Black with members of the Little Sisters of the Poor at the rally outside the Supreme Court
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Trump administration ends rule requiring nuns to fund contraception

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

Updated 11:59 a.m. 

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration issued an order today ending the federal requirement that employers violate their consciences to participate in the provision of employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs.

The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began this mandate, often called the HHS contraceptive mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor, pro-life nuns who care for the elderly, along with Hobby Lobby and other religious entities, refused to comply. The Little Sisters of the Poor providing contraceptive and life-ending drugs and devices would explicitly contradict their mission of respecting the dignity of every human life.

“HHS has issued a balanced rule that respects all sides– it keeps the contraceptive mandate in place for most employers and now provides a religious exemption,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor. “The Little Sisters still need to get final relief in court, which should be easy now that the government admits it broke the law.”

The new rules, which are nearly 300 pages in total, prevent the Little Sisters of the Poor and other conscientious objectors from litigation.

"The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions," the new rules state. "These rules do not alter multiple other Federal programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptives for women at risk of unintended pregnancy."

The Supreme Court offered relief from the burdensome mandate to Hobby Lobby and other for-profit corporations in its 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

President Trump promised to end the coercive mandate during his campaign. He signed a religious liberty executive order in May 2017 that seemed to begin this process, although some social conservatives blasted it for being “woefully inadequate” and much weaker than an initial leaked version. Today's new rules fulfill this executive order.

“No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenants of their faith,” Trump said when he signed this order in the White House Rose Garden. He called the Little Sisters of the Poor up to the stage with him.

In June 2017, a draft of a new federal regulation addressing the contraceptive mandate was released. Pro-life groups praised that leaked draft.

The New York Times reported that Matt Bowman, a pro-life attorney who worked for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) before joining the Trump administration’s HHS, is the “principal author of the rules.”

ADF has been one of the mandate’s strongest critics.

According to The New York Times, the new regulation cites some of the many health risks of contraception as well as its availability likely promoting teen sexual promiscuity. The June leaked version of this new regulation mentioned that as well.

The rule released today allows employers with religious and moral objections to contraception to not participate in its provision. This would exempt groups like the March for Life, which have expressed moral opposition to cooperating.

“The new exemptions will be available to colleges and universities that provide health insurance to students as well as employees,” according to The New York Times.

"After eight years of the federal government's relentless assault on the First Amendment, the Trump administration has taken concrete steps today that will once again erect a bulwark of protection around American's First Freedom – religious freedom," said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. 

"President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom," said Perkins. "Last May, the president ordered the federal government to vigorously promote and protect religious liberty."

HHS is "moving to make that order a reality," he said.

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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Theologians continue battle over meaning of Amoris Laetitia 303

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By Pete Baklinski

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Theologians continue to battle over the meaning of an important passage found in Pope Francis 2016 teaching on marriage and family titled Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love). 

Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Dr. Dawn Eden-Goldstein argue that critics of Pope Francis’ teaching in Amoris Laetitia (AL) “misread and distort what Pope Francis actually says.” The Catholic academics have used their translation from Latin to cast doubt on the recent Filial Correction that accused Pope Francis of propagating heresy.  

Fastiggi is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan and Eden-Goldstein is a Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. 

At issue is paragraph 303 in AL where Pope Francis speaks about “irregular couples” living in a situation that does not “correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel.”

Dr. Christian Brugger, Senior Fellow of Ethics at the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington D.C.,  has argued, after a detailed examination of the Latin text, that Fastiggi and Eden-Goldstein’s proposed translation that would render AL 303 in a more orthodox light “is not justified by the text.”

Fastiggi and Eden-Goldstein's main argument and Brugger 's response can be read on LifeSiteNews here: Yes, Amoris Laetitia 303 really undermines Catholic moral teaching: scholar

What follows below is a response to Brugger's argument from Fastiggi and Eden-Goldstein, followed by another response from Brugger. 

Fastiggi and Eden-Goldstein's response to Brugger:  

I’m glad Prof. Brugger finds our translation “superior.” The flaw in his analysis is his claim that the “quod” is “clearly referring back to ‘statum quendam.’” This does not seem to follow from the Latin. The “quod” refers to the “liberale responsum” (generous response) and not to the “statum quendam” (given situation). This is made clear from the copulative verb, sit, which links quod to responsum. Furthermore, a “response” involves an act of the will, but a “given situation” is a condition and not a personal act.

I believe Professors Brugger and Seifert are reading into the text what they think Pope Francis is saying, but their reading does not seem to follow from the text. 

Brugger's response to Fastiggi and Eden-Goldstein:

The meaning of the paragraph does not change by adding "oblatio" to the translation and changing the word "ideal" to "model.”  The subject of the paragraph --"this conscience"-- stays consistent throughout: "this conscience" recognises that it is living contrary to “the universal command of the Gospel”; and "this same firm conscience" recognises that this is the "offering" God is asking it (conscience) to make.

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
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‘I am copping out’: Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to say if ‘gay sex’ is sinful

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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The senior bishop of the Church of England appeared rattled and said he is unable to give a “straight answer” when asked in a recent interview with GQ magazine about the morality of homosexual sodomy.

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked point-blank, “Is gay sex sinful?” by GQ on Monday.

“You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to,” Welby answered, then added, “Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.”

According to GQ, Welby paused and looked “mildly embarrassed” after his response.

Asked why he couldn’t answer the question, Welby responded: “Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question.”

Welby then appeared to waffle more, saying vaguely positive things about homosexual relationships while acknowledging that most Christians, including most Anglicans, regard them as sinful.

“Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships,” Welby said. Asked if that applied to same-sex relationships, the archbishop said, “I know it could be,” but added that the traditional Christian view is that marriage is exclusively “between a man and a woman.”

“I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex,” Welby said.

GQ pointed out that Welby is “having to be a politician,” to which he responded, “Yes, I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with an answer for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not – that covers both sides of the argument.”

Welby recognized that the two sides of the argument are “irreconcilable” and confessed, “I haven’t got a good answer, and I am not doing that bit of work as well as I would like,” and even went so far as to admit to GQ, “I am copping out because I am struggling with the issue.”

Welby’s remarks follow his statements last month in an interview with LBC radio endorsing the practice of boys wearing girls’ clothing to school.

Asked how he would address the case of a couple that pulled their six-year-old out of an Anglican school because of a boy who was wearing girl’s clothing, Welby said he would tell the parents that “they should help their child ‘understand,’” in the words of the Telegraph newspaper.

"I would say to them, I don't think that's a problem,” the archbishop said.

Welby’s uncertainties are in sharp contrast with the sacred Scriptures historically accepted by Christians, which repeatedly condemn the sin of same-sex fornication or “sodomy” in no uncertain terms. The Scriptures also condemn the practice of transvestism, which they call an “abomination.”

As Archbishop of Canterbury, Welby is the senior cleric of the Church of England, whose Supreme Governor is Queen Elizabeth II. He is also regarded as the “first among equals” among the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is the third largest grouping of Christians in the world, with an estimated 70-million-80 million members.

The Church of England was first separated from the Catholic Church in 1534 to secure clerical approval for an illicit annulment of the marriage of King Henry VIII and his marriage to Anne Boleyn, whom he subsequently executed. Although it reunited with the Catholic Church for a brief period, it was again separated by Henry and Boleyn’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. The Anglican Communion later began to permit divorce and remarriage, artificial contraception, abortion, and the ordination of priestesses and female bishops. In recent decades, it has begun to ordain bishops who are openly living in homosexual relationships, to the great consternation of many members, particularly Africans.

As a result, thousands of Anglicans have left the Anglican Communion to found splinter groups or to join the Catholic Church by way of the “Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,” which functions as a special diocese for Catholics attached to certain aspects of Anglican worship and practice.

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Cardinal Joseph Tobin speaks to the 'LGBT Pilgrimage' at his cathedral in Newark. Fr. James Martin / Facebook
David Carlin

Opinion,

Here’s how Liberal Catholics are slowly destroying Catholicism in America

David Carlin
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October 6, 2017 (The Catholic Thing) - May I respectfully recommend a study of the history of liberal Protestantism in the USA? You will soon see that today’s liberal Catholics are traveling down the same road that liberal Protestants traveled down earlier – that is, a road to destruction.

It’s hard to blame the old Protestants for what they did, for they didn’t know where this road led. They were pioneers, they were cutting a path in the religious wilderness. They feared that traditional Christianity was becoming unbelievable; that if they didn’t modernize their religion by dropping certain old-fashioned doctrines, modern men and women would no longer be able to accept Christianity.

As it turned out, to modernize Christianity, at least if you carry this modernization process beyond a certain limited point, is to destroy it. Look at the liberal Protestant denominations today. All of them are shrinking rapidly in numbers. All of them have lost much of their once-great social influence.

But liberal Catholics don’t have this excuse. They can’t very well say, “We didn’t know where our liberalism was taking the Church.” For they have the precedent of liberal Protestantism in front of them. Their ignorance is vincible – and culpable.

Liberal Christians, beginning with the Boston Unitarians of the late 1700s and early 1800s, always “improve” Christianity according to the same pattern. The pattern is this: You attempt to blend what seems to you to be the essentials of Christianity with the best in whatever happens to be the fashionable anti-Christianity of the day. This synthesis, partly Christian and partly anti-Christian, will, of course, be incoherent; but at the moment you’re creating it, it looks pretty good.

In the generation after the American Revolution, the fashionable form of anti-Christianity was Deism. And so the Boston Unitarians said in effect, “While Deism is very wrong in its rejection of Christianity, the Deists, it must be admitted, make a few good points. So let’s toss out the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ and Original Sin. We’ll then have a purified Christianity.”

In the post-Civil War era, the fashionable form of anti-Christianity was a triple-headed threat: (1) agnosticism; (2) evolutionary theory; plus (3) a skeptical higher criticism of the Bible. Liberal Protestants responded by becoming near-agnostics while arguing that Christianity is far more about morality than knowledge: doctrine is of little real importance.

They became evolutionists, holding not just that biological species have evolved (under God’s guidance) but that religion itself has evolved, Christianity being but its latest result, and we should expect more evolution in the future. As for the Bible . . . oh, well. It abounds in errors, but it’s still a very good book.

In the 1960s and 1970s the fashionable form of anti-Christianity was the sexual revolution – a total rejection of traditional Christian sexual morality and, by implication, a rejection of virtually all the rest of Christian teaching; for if Christianity had been wrong for all these centuries about sex, wasn’t it likely that it was wrong about almost everything else?

As usual, liberal Protestants responded by blending Christianity (what was left of it) with this form of anti-Christianity, announcing that Christianity, correctly understood, was perfectly compatible with fornication, homosexuality, and abortion.

RELATED: U.S. Cardinals, bishops hold major meeting with dissident theologians on Amoris Laetitia

Liberal Protestant thinkers remind me of certain U.S. Supreme Court justices. The latter “find” things in the Constitution that aren’t there (e.g., rights to abortion and same-sex marriage). The former “find” things in the Bible that aren’t there. They claim that the Bible, rightly understood, mandates the watering down of Biblical religion and morality.

It’s as if the most important teaching of the Bible is, “Don’t take the Bible too seriously.” In reality, of course, they find these new “truths” not in the Bible but in the anti-Christianity that happens to be flourishing at the moment, much as some German Protestants in the 1930s “found” – mirabile dictu – that the Bible justified Nazism.

Anybody familiar with the history of modernizing Protestantism cannot help but see this same thing going on today among many Catholics. Catholics, it is true, are moving in this direction only gradually, and this for a few reasons.

For one, they got into the game much later than Protestants did. Second, the RC Church still has bishops in places of authority, even though many bishops are reluctant, or unable, to wield their authority. Third, the Nicene or Apostles Creed is still recited at Mass, which serves as an obstacle to kicking orthodoxy completely out the door.

Orthodox Catholic morality, however, especially sexual morality, is not included in the Creeds. And so it’s easier to get rid of. You get rid of it in three steps.

Step one: silence. You don’t talk about it, or you very rarely talk about it. Most Catholic leaders today are shy about teaching Catholic sexual doctrine. In some cases, this is because they don’t really believe in it, but in most cases it is probably because they don’t want to offend folks in the pews. When it comes to the sexual behavior of gays and lesbians, our leaders know that public opinion increasingly views it as shockingly un-American or un-Christian to disapprove of homosexual sodomy.

Step two: you modify that old saying about “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Instead, you love the sinner so much that don’t bother mentioning the sin, for that would hurt the feelings of the well-loved sinner, and that would be a sin against Christian charity, wouldn’t it? The most conspicuous example of this today is the small book by Fr. James Martin, S.J., Building a Bridge. Fr. Martin tells us he is fully orthodox. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but I know, having studied the history of liberal Protestantism, where Fr. Martin, whatever his intentions may be, is leading us.

Step three: you declare that the Church will eventually, maybe 50 or 100 years from now, come around to your opinion. You argue that your apparent heresy is really nothing but premature orthodoxy.

That’s the sure-fire, historically proven way to destroy the Catholic religion in America.

David Carlin is professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

This article was originally published on The Catholic Thing and is re-published with permission

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Opinion,

Patrick Brown is no better than Kathleen Wynne

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By Jonathon van Maren

October 6, 2017 (The Bridgehead) - As most of you know, there are few politicians I view with more distaste than Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown. Brown would probably not be leader at all, in fact, if he hadn’t lied to a large number of voters and persuaded them that he was very conservative before promptly stabbing them in the back once he had secured the leadership. Since then, Brown has managed to alienate nearly every conservative faction in the PC party—when a video of him thanking Rona Ambrose for her years of service was shown at the federal Conservative leadership convention earlier this year, it was actually met with a chorus of boos. Conservatives don’t like Brown.

Brown knows that he doesn’t have a lot of friends in the rank and file, which is why there are constant accusations from nomination races across the province that he and his imported cronies are interfering. But Brown has to interfere in order to remake the PC party in his own image and restock the caucus with politicians loyal—or at least indebted—to him. One of the voices speaking out on Brown’s personal PC project is John Casselman, who with a number of others is working to inform Ontario’s conservatives of what is going on. In a recent email, he listed some of the evidence that Brown is not conservative and does not intend to govern as one:

For your consideration, here’s a short list of all the Liberal stances that Patrick Brown has taken on our behalf, with our money, and with our work and volunteer hours:

  • He flip-flopped and supported a carbon tax / carbon pricing;

  • He flip-flopped and supported Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum;

  • He’s allowed a failed McGuinty Liberal nomination candidate to be hired at PC Party Headquarters (Costas Manios);

  • He’s allowed several candidates with past Liberal affiliations or world-views to run as conservative candidates;

  • He supports a $15/hour minimum wage;

  • He supported and whipped the vote for the provincial Islamophobia motion;

  • He supported and whipped the vote on removing the family roles of “father” and “mother” from all provincial legislation;

  • He supported and whipped the first vote on the Liberal Bill 89 allowing CAS to take kids away from families with traditional family values;

  • He has marched in several unnecessarily lewd gay pride parades while, simultaneously, spending six months publicly smearing many respected social-conservatives within the Party;

  • He’s over-looked clear incidents of ballot box stuffing;

  • He flip-flopped and appointed all 64 candidates up to that point on June 3rd instead of allowing the Party to judiciously adjudicate several legitimate appeals;

  • He has shown that he’s still willing to appoint candidates; and

  • He has shown little respect for all of these local or other concerns being raised and reaching a breaking point.

Many people believe that it is necessary to support Patrick Brown because otherwise Kathleen Wynne might hang on to her job. I don’t think that’s the case. There are individual PC candidates that I would be happy to support, but the Progressive Conservative Party as a whole is rapidly becoming no different than the Liberal Party—and Brown is working hard to ensure that social conservatives and other factions have no voice in the party that he is building for the purposes of serving his own political ambitions.

For conservatives to have a party and a premier that actually represents them and their interests at Queen’s Park, Patrick Brown must go–and conservatives must work to make that happen.

This article was originally published on The Bridgehead and is re-published with permission.

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John Smeaton

Opinion, , ,

Why the pro-life movement should support the filial correction

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By John Smeaton

October 6, 2017 (Voice of the Family) — I am appealing to my fellow workers in the pro-life movement to speak out in support of the filial correction of His Holiness Pope Francis, which was made public two weeks ago by 62 Catholic scholars, with the signatories currently standing at 233. I consider it to be of the utmost importance for the future of the pro-life movement and for the ultimate success of our efforts to secure full legal protection for all unborn children.

The pro-life movement, which defends the basic right to life of every innocent member of the human family, has drawn support over the last 50 years from men and women of all religious and cultural backgrounds, yet there are few who would deny that Catholics have provided, in great measure, the backbone of our movement. The Catholic faith has been, for many of our supporters, the source of their clarity about the value of each and every human life and of the consequent duty to protect all unborn children, without exception. I would like to pay tribute here to the many hundreds of Catholic priests, and the many thousands of Catholic lay people, who have been the bedrock of our pro-life resistance here in the United Kingdom. We have all been strengthened by the clarity of Catholic teaching on the moral law, which has been upheld by the papal teaching authority throughout these tumultuous times.

Our pro-life movement, comprising people of all faiths and none, has played a unique role in defending the natural law for the past 50 years. It continues to have a unique role to play. We have won many victories and saved many lives. Yet the reality is that in spite of our efforts the number of abortions alone exceeds by far all the deaths in all the wars in recorded human history, and this is before we consider the number of innocents killed by euthanasia, abortifacient contraceptives, and during artificial reproduction procedures.

In the face of such an onslaught, the pro-life movement simply cannot win the battle alone. We need the full support of Catholic Church officials throughout the world. For this reason the pro-life movement cannot bury its head in the sand and ignore what’s happening at the highest levels of the church today. Amoris Laetitia is not just about the one issue of Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried” – which is in itself of the greatest importance because it involves sacrilege committed against the Most Holy Sacrament – but about the nullification of the entirety of the moral law. In paragraph 303 of Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis effectively denies the existence of moral absolutes:

“Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.”

Professor Josef Seifert, the eminent Austrian philosopher, has eloquently set out the consequences of this position in his paper Does pure Logic threaten to destroy the entire moral Doctrine of the Catholic Church?  Referring to the “permission” granted in this document to the “divorced and remarried” to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion without amendment of life, the professor notes:

“If only one case of an intrinsically immoral act can be permitted and even willed by God, must this not apply to all acts considered ‘intrinsically wrong’? If it is true that God can want an adulterous couple to live in adultery, should then not also the commandment ‘Do not commit adultery!’ be reformulated: ‘If in your situation adultery is not the lesser evil, do not commit it! If it is, continue living it!’?”

His next remarks are of the greatest importance to the pro-life movement:

“Must then not also the other 9 commandments, Humanae VitaeEvangelium Vitae, and all past and present or future Church documents, dogmas, or councils that teach the existence of intrinsically wrong acts, fall? Is it then not any more intrinsically wrong to use contraceptives and is not Humanae Vitae in error that states unambiguously that it can never happen that contraception in any situation is morally justified, let alone commanded by God?

“Must then not, to begin with, the new commission on Humanae Vitae Pope Francis instituted, conclude that using contraception can in some situations be good or even obligatory and willed by God? Can then not also abortions, as Mons. Fisichella, then President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, claimed, be justified in some cases and ‘be what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal’?

“Must then not from pure logic euthanasia, suicide, or assistance to it, lies, thefts, perjuries, negations or betrayals of Christ, like that of St. Peter, or murder, under some circumstances and after proper ‘discernment,’ be good and praiseworthy because of the complexity of a concrete situation (or because of a lack of ethical knowledge or strength of will)? Can then not God also demand that a Sicilian, who feels obligated to extinguish the innocent family members of a family, whose head has murdered a member of his own family and whose brother would murder four families if he does not kill one, go ahead with his murder, because his act is, under his conditions ‘what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal’? Does not pure logic demand that we draw this consequence from this proposition of Pope Francis?”

The spread of this heretical denial of moral absolutes throughout the Church has the potential of undoing all that the pro-life movement has worked for over the past 50 years. The front-line has shifted from the domestic political battlegrounds, and international institutions such as the UN, to the heart of Catholic Church. Indeed, over the last couple of years Pope Francis and Vatican authorities have capitulated to the “culture of death” by supporting the pro-abortion United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and by promoting the agenda of the international sex education lobby through Amoris Laetitia and the Pontifical Council for the Family’s pornographic sex education programme.

Just as the pro-life movement has fought for many decades in national legislatures and international bodies, so we must now take the battle to those within the hierarchy who work to weaken or nullify the teachings of the Catholic Church. And Pope Francis cannot be excused just because he has, at various times, spoken out against evils such as abortion and gender ideology, because his casting doubt on the existence of moral absolutes makes such assertions almost worthless. In any case, his dissent from Catholic teaching on contraception – including, it would seem, abortifacient contraception – is clear and has been confirmed by the Vatican. 

The Catholic scholars’ filial correction is an essential step towards reversing the spread of heresy in the Church today. All of the seven heretical propositions identified by its authors endanger our pro-life work. It is essential that our movement educates our supporters about the gravity of the crisis in the Church, and that we redouble our efforts to educate people in the Church’s authentic teaching. We must ceaselessly demand that our priests and bishops teach the fullness of the Church’s doctrine and do not collaborate, even for a moment, in the dissemination of the heresies that are tragically being spread by His Holiness Pope Francis and by many other senior members of the hierarchy. If we fail to take this stand we will be failing in our duty to the weak and vulnerable children that we have pledged to protect.

The filial correction clearly outlines both the extent and the limits of the papal infallibility and teaching authority and identifies the disastrous consequences of heresies found in Pope Francis’ teaching going unanswered. The scholars are issuing the correction in order to: “protect our fellow Catholics – and those outside the Church, from whom the key of knowledge must not be taken away (cf Lk. 11:52) – hoping to prevent the further spread of doctrines which tend of themselves to the profaning of all the sacraments and the subversion of the law of God.”

They proceed to specify the passages of Amoris Laetitia, and other words and actions of Pope Francis, which provide grounds for correction. They then identify seven heretical propositions that are propagated by the aforesaid words and actions. The signatories “do not venture to judge the degree of awareness with which Pope Francis has propagated these heresies” but they do “respectfully insist that he condemn these heresies, which he has directly or indirectly upheld.”

In raising our concerns regarding our pastors, of necessity sometimes publicly, we are fulfilling our duty as clearly laid out in the Code of Canon Law, which states:

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (Canon 212 §3)

John Smeaton is chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and co-founder of Voice of the Family.

​Reprinted with permission from Voice of the Family.
 

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Blogs,

Understanding why Pope Francis’ moderate approach is revolutionary

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By John-Henry Westen

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — On June 9, 2016, Pope Francis gave a homily that is key to understanding his modus operandi when it comes to matters of faith. He railed against an ‘all or nothing’ approach to the faith, saying “this is not Catholic, this is heretical.” It is the same sentiment behind his frequent and severe criticism of “rigid” Catholics. The ‘rigid’ "appear good because they follow the law,” he has said, “but behind this, there is something that does not make them good: or they are wicked, hypocritical or sick.”

Pope Francis has made a point of practicing a non-rigidity, or a strategy of compromise on various points of faith. Especially in areas the secular world finds most distasteful, points on which many disdain and ridicule the Church, Pope Francis has intervened in a way some might see as mitigating the most severe criticisms of the Church. It is what many would call a moderate approach, modernizing the Church, or perhaps a blunting of extremes.

Typically, Pope Francis will proclaim a teaching of the Church then, when pressed with hard cases, will back away from the logical conclusion of the truth expressed. He often says he remains a ‘son of the Church,’ professing to hold the traditional beliefs. He does acknowledge what he calls the ‘ideal’ but in the name of mercy allows for a wide latitude of exceptions in difficult cases. He notes that ‘reality is more important than ideas’ and thus justifies a bending of the rules, which for him is to ‘accommodate’ the weak.

We’ve seen the approach in practice.

To comprehend how revolutionary these changes are in the Catholic Church requires an understanding of the Church’s approach on these matters -- an approach that has remained consistent over its 2,000-year history. It is an approach based on absolute truths or moral principles that do not allow for exceptions or compromise.

Paying attention to nuances allows one to look past the veneer of age-old Catholicism that shields the rupture. Take, for instance, the example of remarriage after divorce.

It is generally true that Jesus was never recorded in the Scriptures as having said anything specific about homosexuality. Yet in three of the four Gospels, Christ is quoted speaking against remarriage after divorce. So if the Church is able to compromise on the teaching around adultery, it should be much easier make exceptions on other moral issues where Christ was not so specific.

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery,” Jesus said.

Throughout Catholic history the same has been held. It was the underlying reason for Thomas More’s beheading and the 500-year-old split-off of the Church of England.

The Church was always generous with the weak. Catholics who separated from their spouses and hooked up with another partner were accommodated before Pope Francis. Even in complex situations where the new couple had young children and so were unable to live separately without doing the children harm, were, under Pope John Paul II, able to receive Holy Communion. It was on condition that they live as brother and sister rather than spouses.

Pope Francis, however, has deemed such requirements impossible and so has permitted full communion for those in second unions without needing forgo sexual relations with the new partner even though the legitimate spouse is still alive.

From a worldly perspective, Francis’ approach may make sense and the world loves him for it. But from a Catholic perspective, it undermines confidence in God who supports those who put faith in Him. If the Church says it is impossible resist the temptation to live a moral lifestyle when faced with divorce and remarriage, should it not also say it is impossible when faced with same-sex attraction, or temptations to porn, or an unwanted pregnancy?

When it comes down to it, it seems Pope Francis lacks faith in a promise of Christ recorded three times in the Bible. When the apostles reacted to Jesus’ requirements of a moral life suggesting it was hopeless, Jesus replied, “With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.”

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The Pulse,

Ottawa city hall bans pro-life and ‘religious’ flags, allows LGBT flag

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — After angry backlash when a pro-life flag was raised for the first time at Ottawa’s city hall during the March for Life in May, Canada’s capital is changing its flag-raising policy.

The new protocol bans any raising of flags at city hall from organizations whose “undertakings or philosophy” are “politically or religiously motivated or represent other individual conviction.”

The consequence is that flags of any pro-life association from flying will be banished from a municipal flagpoles, says Johanne Brownrigg, Ottawa lobbyist with Campaign Life Coalition.

“This has been cleverly written to appear to be a serious and practical guidelines. It actually has the effect of writing us out,” she told LifeSiteNews.

The flag proclaiming “National March for Life Ottawa” was raised May 11 at the request of Francis Barrett.

The 89-year-old father, grandfather, and former police officer told LifeSiteNews at the time he worked with city staff to arrange the event.

But after LifeSiteNews posted a video of the dawn flag-raising on social media, a huge outcry arose, with Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada summoning supporters to tweet their outrage.

Moreover, seven city counsellors also quickly issued a statement demanding the flag be taken down, writing that they were “outraged that a flag representing a personal conviction to restrict a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion is flying on the grounds of City Hall for the first time in the City’s history.”

Mayor Jim Watson hastily took to Twitter to reassure Ottawa citizens that he was pro-abortion, the flag would be removed, and he was ordering a review of flag-raising protocol.

Barrett, for his part, insisted he had received permission and that the city owed him an apology.

“We did everything legitimately, it was signed by the mayor,” he told LifeSiteNews at the time.

“This is really discrimination. ... Could you imagine if they took the gay flag down? And they won’t let us fly that flag for one day, when they gave us permission?’

The flag was taken down, with the reason given that an individual had requested it, not a group.

On Thursday, Ottawa city solicitor Rick O’Connor sent a memo to Watson and city councillors detailing the new policy, which takes effect Monday.

It mandates organizations submit a flag-raising request on the letterhead of their association at least four weeks in advance of the event.

City hall won’t raise the flags of organizations or groups “whose undertakings and philosophy are contrary to City of Ottawa policies or bylaws, espouse hatred, violence or racism, or are politically or religiously motivated or represent other individual conviction.”

But it will fly flags of organizations whose “mandates, programs or activities reflect a connection to the City and to matters of municipal interest” or “correspond with relevant days of awareness, celebration, importance commemoration or promotion” that are “recognized by the Ontario Provincial Government and/or Canadian Federal Government, or a Ministry or Department thereof.”

As Brownrigg pointed out, because pro-life groups don’t have “provincial or federal acknowledgment to fall back on, we can expect that going through the motions will really be symbolic. “

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The Pulse, ,

British gov’t will now presume everyone is an organ donor, even without permission

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The British government will presume people in England have bequeathed their organs to the state unless they sign an “opt-out” card.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced on October 4 that the old donation system, in which people registered to donate their organs after death, would be replaced by one in which people have to formally declare that they do not wish to donate.

“Our ability to help people who need transplants is limited by the number of organ donors that come forward,” May said. “That is why last year 500 people died because a suitable organ was not available. And there are 6,500 on the transplant list today.

“So to address this challenge that affects all communities in our country, we will change that system, shifting the balance of presumption in favour of organ donation.”

There is already an opt-out system in Wales, and Scotland’s Health Minister, Aileen Campbell, announced in June 2017 that a similar system would be tabled for legislation in Scotland as well.

Writing in England’s Catholic Herald, Peter C. Williams of the Right to Life expressed misgivings about the new “presumed consent.” While acknowledging that the Catholic Church values organ donation, Williams pointed out that there is a difference between an individual freely giving his organs through motives of charity and a government presuming it may lay claim to them.

“To take organs without explicit permission turns the charity and solidarity of true donation into a State-mandated nationalisation and plundering of the organs of every individual in the country upon their death,” Williams wrote.

“This violation of the dead inverts the proper normative relationship not only between doctors and patients, but Government and the governed: that we must give clear permission to non-necessary medical activity on our persons, and the use of our bodies,” he added.

“Giving our bodies to others is our prerogative, not that of the State or the medical system.”

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