All articles from October 09, 2017


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The Editors

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LifeSite launches new homepage: unveils ‘Standard’ and ‘Catholic’ editions

The Editors
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To select the "Catholic Edition" of the home page, simply click the tab at the top of the new home page. You can change your preference at any time.

Note: Launching the new home page is a process. Some sections of the new home page may not work 100% for the first few hours as our developers roll out the new changes. 

Today, LifeSite is proud to launch our completely redesigned homepage. The new homepage is the result of many months of design and programming work, and years of planning, taking into account thoughtful feedback from many of our most loyal readers.

1) The first big change that readers will notice is that the new page includes more stories - as in, a lot more stories. This was in response to consistent feedback we have received over the past several years from readers who felt that our previous homepage was too sparse, and who wanted a place where they could conveniently browse several days' worth of stories.

In addition to the "top news" and "editor's picks" sections, which we previously had on our homepage, we have added extensive new sections with regional news, more opinion pieces, more blogs, more culture of life stories, and much more. All of the articles also have clear "time stamps," so readers can figure out at a glance when any particular story was published.

2) The second big change is the creation of two separate editions of our home page: the "Standard" edition and the "Catholic" edition.

Those readers who are primarily interested in LifeSite's general pro-life and pro-family reporting can now choose to stay on the Standard Edition. While the Standard Edition does include some Church-related reporting, those stories are largely relegated to a designated section on the homepage, and there will be far fewer of them than on the Catholic Edition.

On the other hand, readers who are interested in LifeSite's reporting on the Catholic Church, in addition to our general pro-life and pro-family reporting, can select the Catholic Edition. Once you have done so, our site will remember your preference (provided you have cookies enabled). 

While LifeSite is not a Catholic news agency, we have long understood the importance that the Catholic Church plays in defending life and family, and have gained a reputation for reliable and 100% faithful reporting on some of the most crucial news related to the Catholic Church, especially as it relates to the battle for life and family. The Catholic Edition of our homepage will allow readers who are interested to get all of that news in one convenient location.

Note: First-time visitors to the new homepage will automatically be sent to the "Standard Edition." To choose the "Catholic Edition" either click on the "Catholic Edition" tab on top of the home page, or, on desktop computers, the "View Catholic Edition" link at the bottom of the "Catholic News" section on the right-hand side of the Standard Edition homepage. Again, once you have chosen that option, our site will remember your preference (if you have cookies enabled on your browser).

On top of these two major changes, you will find a wide variety of other smaller changes on the new homepage, such as the addition of sections devoted to "LifePetitions" and "LifeFacts." We especially urge you to check out our LifeFacts – an in-progress section of our website that includes all sorts of useful information related to the pro-life cause, such as "fetal development," "abortion methods," pro-life apologetics, and more!

Finally, like any other big change, there are bound to be some bugs with this one. We ask you to be patient with any technological hiccups that occur. And if you do run into any issues, please e-mail us at [email protected] to let us know! We'd also love to receive your feedback about the new design, although we would ask that you spend a couple days exploring and getting used to the new design before sending us your thoughts.

Thank you to our supporters. Without your faithful support, we could not continue to improve LifeSiteNews, and to reach the tens of millions of people that we do every year with the truth about life, family, faith, and freedom.

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Cardinal Burke with 800 during Fatima conference dinner event Lee Photography
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Cardinal Burke leads largest 100-year Fatima celebration in America

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
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Cardinal Burke and Dallas Bishop Edward Burke Lee Photography
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Cardinal Burke blessing Fatima statue at the conference Lee Photography
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David Carollo (center), head of the World Apostolate of Fatima speaking to conference attendees. Lee Photography
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Judie Brown with Cardinal Burke Lee Photography
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John-Henry Westen with Cardinal Burke Lee Photography
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Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers speaking Lee Photography
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LifeSite's John-Henry Westen speaking to the Fatima conference Lee Photography
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Speakers and hosts of the conference Lee Photography
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Cardinal Burke signing copies of his book at the Dallas Fatima conference Lee Photography
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Thomas McKenna speaking Lee Photography

DALLAS, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- This weekend more than 700 faithful joined Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke in the Irving Convention Center to mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal in 1917. 

The celebration kicked off Friday night with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke at which the pilgrim statue of Fatima famous for having wept real tears was processed around the outside of the convention center as the faithful recited the rosary with His Eminence.

Speakers, beginning with Fr. John Anthony, the Superior General of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal expounded on the story of Fatima beginning with the apparition of the Angel of Portugal to the three shepherd children Lucia dos Santos and the siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto. 

Fr. John Trigilio, famed for his hosting of the EWTN show Web of Faith, spoke about Fatima and the Crisis in the Priesthood.

David Carollo, the President of the World Apostolate of Fatima also known as the Blue Army presented Our Lady of Fatima’s requests as a ‘victory strategy for the 21st century.

Many seminarians attended the conference and were pleased to receive copies of Cardinal Burke’s book on the Eucharist as well as his blessing.

An honor guard of the Knights of Columbus were present at the Masses celebrated by Cardinal Burke and also led the procession of the pilgrim statue of Our Lady.

Dick Lyles, the CEO of Origin Entertainment is releasing a Hollywood feature film next year on Fatima and gave a sneak preview of the trailer to the crowd tantalizing the audience with the production value going into the making of the film.

David Palmer host of a popular program on the Guadalupe Radio Network emceed the event with much laughter and grace.

Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers and author of the apologetics text Catholicism and Fundamentalism also spoke on Our Lady and reaching out to non-Catholics.

John-Henry Westen co-founder and editor-in-chief at LifeSiteNews spoke on ‘modern culture on a highway to hell.’

To a standing ovation both before and after he spoke, Cardinal Burke delved deeply into the message of Our Lady of Fatima, her predictions and the consequences of failing to heed her warnings to the world.

The Summit was organized by Catholic Action for Faith and Family headed by Thomas McKenna. McKenna released his new book on Fatima at the conference and also spoke on the Fatima Century and the call to holiness.

(photos courtesy of Lee Photography)

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

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Massive turnout for rosary crusade in Poland. Liberals furious

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

WARSAW, Poland, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — More than a million Polish Catholics encircled their country with prayer Saturday, imploring Our Lady’s intervention to save Poland and the world.

As Catholics lined the country’s 2,000-mile border for the “Rosary at the Borders,” progressives and compatible media deemed the national prayer gathering “controversial,” xenophobic, Islamophobic, or “not” representative of the Catholic Church.

“Poland Catholics hold controversial prayer day on borders,” the BBC’s headline said of the event.

RELATED: There was spiritual unity:’ Catholics reflect on Poland rosary crusade

Rafał Pankowski, head of the Warsaw multicultural understanding advocacy group Never Again, told the Associated Press, “The whole concept of doing it on the borders reinforces the ethno-religious, xenophobic model of national identity.”

Krzysztof Luft, a former member of Poland’s largest opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform, tweeted, “Ridiculing Christianity on mass scale. They treat religion as a tool for keeping the backwardness in Polish backwater.”

“Rosary to the Borders” was organized by lay Catholics and sanctioned by Church leaders in Poland, with some 320 churches from 22 dioceses participating in roughly 4,000 locations along Poland’s border with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and the Baltic Sea. 

More than 90 percent of Poland’s 38 million citizens are Roman Catholic.

The Catholic prime minister of Poland endorsed the rosary event as well. Beata Szydlo tweeted, "I greet all the participants."

Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, a spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference, said it was the second largest prayer event in Europe after the 2016 World Youth Day. The New York Times reported, however, that final participation numbers were still being tabulated.

Airport chapels, considered gateways to the country, were prayer sites for Catholics as well, the AP said, and Polish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan prayed at Bagram Airfield there.

The prayer positions for the rosary event also included fishing boats at sea as well as kayaks and sailboats forming chains on Polish rivers, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

“During the prayer, I was at the Chopin airport in Warsaw,” Father Rytel-Andrianik said, “and there were so many people that they were pouring out of the chapel.”

“This was an initiative started by lay people, which makes it even more extraordinary,” he continued. “Millions of people prayed the rosary together. This exceeded the boldest expectations of the organizers.”

Churches taking part kicked the prayer event off with a talk and celebration of Mass before Catholics headed to the border to pray the rosary.

The “Rosary at the Borders” took significance from the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions, scheduled on the first Saturday of the month during the 100th anniversary year of Our Lady’s appearance to the three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal.

Poland’s national Catholic prayer event also coincided with the feast of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on the October 7 anniversary of the 1571 naval victory of the Holy League Battle over the Ottoman Empire navy at the Battle of Lepanto.

The rosary is closely tied to the Lepanto victory, due to Pope Saint Pius V’s call for the faithful to pray the rosary for victory. 

Some participants’ comments about Europe keeping its Christian roots or stemming the tide of Islam were framed in the media to paint the “Rosary to the Borders” as nationalistic or “Fears of Islam.

“Let’s pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe,” Krakow Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said at Mass on Saturday.

“It’s a really serious thing for us,” Basia Sibinska told AP. “We want to pray for peace, we want to pray for our safety. Of course, everyone comes here with a different motivation. But the most important thing is to create something like a circle of a prayer alongside the entire border, intense and passionate.”

Poland and Hungary have refused to take migrants under a quota system established by the European Union, causing controversy and threatening the two countries’ membership in the EU.

Concerns over the secularization in Europe, however, exist independent of the current migration crisis and its various implications.

The Times report said of the rosary prayer event that “Polish Catholics clutching rosary beads” had gathered for “for a mass demonstration” and called Poland “a nation moving increasingly to the right.”

Villanova University theologian Massimo Faggioli used Twitter to criticize what he termed using the rosary from “anti-immigrant use.”

“Using the Virgin Mary as a human shield and the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not exactly my kind of thing,” he tweeted, and, “using the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not ‘the Catholic Church.’”

Organizers had told LifeSiteNews the goal of the Rosary to the Border event was to follow Our Lady’s call at Fatima to pray the rosary for the rescue of the world. 

“The Rosary to the Borders is not a crusade because we don’t want to fight with anyone,” said Maciej Bodasiński. “It is a giant commotion for, not against, something. We firmly follow her command, and we will pray at the borders of our country, going out in prayer and witness to the whole world, so that the Mercy of God is not confined to any border.”

Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, moral theologian and consulting editor for the Catholic Herald, said in a blog post that praying the rosary is not controversial, and it is our best weapon against evil.

Father Lucie-Smith noted that Poland has a different history that other European nations such as Britain, having been “wiped off the map on several occasions” in recent history.

“If the Poles seem more attached to national sovereignty than most, who can blame them?” he asked. “Their sovereignty has been much disputed. Moreover, the question of Polish nationhood is deeply connected to the Catholic faith. Both in matters of ethnicity and religion, the Poles have been steadfast in resisting Russification. Can you blame them?”

He also said the Poles are entitled to make their own choices in the matter of admitting migrants, and to pray for the salvation of Poland and the world was “admirable. The Polish example should spur others to do the same.”

Regarding the Battle of Lepanto connection, Father Lucie-Smith said marking the anniversary does not denote negativity toward another country, but it celebrates the liberation of those who were subjected to the despotic regime, including Christian galley slaves, making this something to celebrate.

He pointed out as well how praying for victory in war “has long been the Christian way” whether at Lepanto, during World War II, as well as up to and including the Nigerian bishops urging people today to pray the rosary in the face of Boko Haram, “which is completely in keeping with Catholic tradition.”

“Controversial? I don’t think so,” Father Lucie-Smith wrote. “Catholics have been doing these things for centuries.”

“Let’s hope we continue doing them for centuries to come,” he said. “As the website of the organizers of the Polish event reminds us, “the rosary is a powerful weapon against evil.” Let’s keep on using it!”

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Joseph Ratzinger
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

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Cardinal Ratzinger: Criticizing papal remarks is sometimes ‘necessary’

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The future Pope Benedict XVI warned In the early 1970s that popes might make “pronouncements” that were inconsistent with the Catholic Church’s authentic and historic doctrine, which would necessitate “criticism” of those pronouncements.

The statements, which were made thirty-three years before Joseph Raztinger became a pope, were republished in 2009, four years after he became the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

“The faith is based on the objective data of Scripture and of dogma, which in dark times can also frighteningly disappear from the consciousness of the greater part of Christianity (statistically), without losing in any way, however, their obligatory and binding character,” Fr. Joseph Ratzinger noted in 1972.

In such cases the pope should “go against statistics” that indicate the popularity of false teachings, “and this will have to be done as decisively as the testimony of tradition is clear,” Ratzinger wrote.

“On the contrary, criticism of papal pronouncements will be possible and even necessary, to the extent that they lack support in Scripture and the Creed, that is, in the faith of the whole Church,” he added.

Ratzinger held that even an “ultimate binding decision” by the pope wouldn’t be valid if there was “no clear evidence from the sources” of Catholic doctrine.

“When neither the consensus of the whole Church is had, nor clear evidence from the sources is available, an ultimate binding decision is not possible. Were one formally to take place, the conditions for such an act would be lacking, and hence the question would have to be raised concerning its legitimacy,” he wrote.

The passages were written as part of a work entitled “Das neue Volk Gottes” (“The New People of God”), published in 1972 and republished in an anthology of his works, “Fede, ragione, verità e amore” (Faith, reason, truth, and love”) in 2009, after Ratzinger had become pope. The words were translated into English for a recent post in the widely-read blog Rorate Caeli.

The quotes have been revealed amid a flurry of accusations of impiety and disobedience hurled against the signers of the “Filial Correction” of Pope Francis, which seeks to publicly correct the pope regarding several “heresies” that the Correction accuses him of having taught in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, regarding the nature of sin and the possibility of receiving Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

The Vicar General of Opus Dei, an association of the Catholic faithful with global reach and influence, has accused the signers of the Filial Correction of “attacking the pope” by correcting him publicly, a sentiment that is shared by Robert Fastiggi, a theologian and seminary professor. The chief spokesman for the signers, Joseph Shaw, has noted that private attempts to correct the pope have been met with silence, and that the Code of Canon Law speaks of a “duty” of the faithful to sometimes make their opinions known to other Catholics.

Similar accusations have been made against the four cardinals who submitted five questions or “dubia” to Pope Francis in late 2016, asking him for a clarification of certain points in Amoris Laetitia.

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Participants in the 2017 rosary rally Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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We need ‘real Catholics’: hundreds pray rosary for America to embrace ‘holiness’

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
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Some of the crowd praying at Upper Senate Park Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Around 250 people spread out across Upper Senate Park on Saturday to pray for life, marriage, and religious freedom in the United States.

The crowd prayed all four mysteries of the rosary, consecrated themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and prayed for America to embrace “holiness.”

The final rosary prayed was the last one of the second annual 54-day rosary novena for America leading up to this rally. Catholic evangelist Doug Barry led that rosary and encouraged the crowd to follow the messages of approved apparitions of Our Lady and be spiritually prepared for whatever may come.  

Participants were given free “swag bags” containing Holy Water, exorcised salt, a brown scapular, a Miraculous Medal, and a St. Benedict medal. One of the organizers, Father Richard Heilman, wore a hat that said “Make America Holy Again.”

“We all realize how far from true north the conscience of our country has gone,” John Hinterlong of Burbank, California, told LifeSiteNews. He traveled with seven others across the country to attend the rally.

America won’t be “steered back by screaming and yelling and being violent,” he said. “Our country needs prayers. And we need to come together as (the) people of a nation who love our country and love God ... only then will our nation heal.”

Hinterlong said he prayed the rosary novena last year and realized how powerful it was.

According to the rally’s organizers, more than 44,000 people participated in the novena and received daily emails reminding them to pray. 

Sister slams 'nuns on the bus': 'we need nuns on their knees, in their chapels'

The rally, which took place on the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary, finished with a particularly rousing speech from Sister Mary Brigid Callan, director of development for the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. Callan then led the crowd in St. Maximilian Kolbe’s prayer of consecration to Our Lady.

Callan said saints and heroes are needed now more than ever given the state of the Church.

“Our shepherds often seem more lost than us sheep, and so many religious are hardly (examples) to follow,” she said.

“We don’t need nuns on the bus: we need nuns on their knees, in their chapels,” said Callan. “We don’t need sisters screeching about social justice: we need sisters suffering in silence for the sanctification of a world gone mad.”

“We don’t need priests who are ‘pop’ personalities politicking about ‘pride’: we need priests who preach of penance, piety, and prayer,” she continued.

Callan also took aim at bishops who care more about money than the salvation of souls.

“We don’t need bishops benefiting from bulging bank accounts: we need bishops who boast only in the cross of Christ!” she said.

“St. Maximilian Kolbe knew what we needed — real Catholics,” said Callan. She read a quote from the martyred saint:

“Be a Catholic: When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel.”

Priests pray for religious freedom, end to abortion

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, led the crowd in praying the Joyful Mysteries “for a ‘yes’ to life from conception to natural death.”

“We at Priests for Life work every single day with the disciples of Jesus Christ who serve in that building,” said Pavone, pointing to the U.S. Capitol. 

“It’s our promise to advance freedom. It’s our promise to protect life. It’s our promise to advance the principles on which this country was founded,” he said. These principles are that “God is our creator, that God is the source of our rights, that the first right among those is life, and that government exists not to give those rights,” or take them away.

“The laws that are passed here ... if they are just, we must follow (them),” said Pavone. “But those laws and those lawmakers must also follow the law which is above them, which is above us, which our founding fathers made clear is higher than any human law: the law of God Himself.”

Monsignor Charles Pope led the sorrowful mysteries “for religious freedom and an end to religious persecution.”

Married couple leads rosary for families 

Jim and Joy Pinto, EWTN co-hosts, led the crowd in the luminous mysteries “for families, supernatural grace, and the sacraments.”

“My life is not my own,” Joy Pinto explained. “I’ve been bought with a great price, and to Jesus alone do I belong.”

She laughed, “And you know, when you get married, you give up half your life. When you have children, you give up the other half of your life. And you’re left with no life. But that’s the point – that you have no life, that you are marked as Christ’s own, and you make a difference.”

“Where do we bring revival? Where do we bring renewal?” she asked. “You need to be converted every single day ... we have to surrender to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We have to pray every single day for the filling of the Holy Spirit, that our hearts would be set on fire.”

Pinto said prayer is essential for the graces needed to get through everyday life and fight the culture of death.

“We need Jesus,” she said. “We need our Blessed Mother praying for us. I don’t want to wake up and just be a good wife. I wanna be the best wife!”

“The devil is at your door like a roaring lion,” Pinto continued. “And he’s seeking to destroy your marriage. He wants to destroy life and babies in the womb. And then he comes after your family. We are in a battle and I say draw your sword, that you would be ready, that you would do this until your dying breath.”

The rosary rally took place the same day hundreds thousands of Catholics formed a human chain along Poland’s border, praying the rosary to “save Poland and the whole world.”

It also took place while evangelicals gathered on the National Mall for a four-day prayer event called “Awaken the Dawn.” Part of the event was dedicated to praying for an end to abortion, according to its website. Dr. Alevda King, a pro-life activist and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke. 

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Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Youtube
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Planned Parenthood center praised by CEO violates multiple state laws

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WARMINSTER, Pennsylvania, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A Planned Parenthood business touted by CEO Cecile Richards and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf failed its safety health inspection for the second time.

The head of the nation’s largest abortion conglomerate and the pro-abortion governor, a former abortion clinic escort, staged a rally against  President Trump’s threatened defunding of the abortion behemoth.

Richards and Wolf told Pennsylvanians that they would experience “devastating effects” if the federal government reduces tax funds for abortion businesses.

Even though legitimate health clinics outnumber Planned Parenthoods 20 to 1, Richards  claimed that “for many, Planned Parenthood is their only healthcare provider and they would have nowhere else to go.”

The week before the April rally, the local Planned Parenthood Keystone-Warminster — praised by Wolf — failed its annual Department of Health safety check. The facility did not comply with life-saving health regulations requiring emergency equipment for resuscitation in cases of botched abortions.

In late August, the abortion business failed again. The Department of Health made an unscheduled inspection and discovered the center “failed to conform to all applicable state laws.”

For one thing, the facility did not report a botched abortion after a mother’s uterus was damaged. Planned Parenthood let her leave, but she wound up bleeding in a hospital ER. The law requires serious complications to be reported.  

The state Health Department concluded that Planned Parenthood Keystone-Warminster “failed to ensure a patient with a confirmed uterine perforation following a surgical abortion was reported the Department of Health as a serious event.”

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation said the facility’s non-compliance “leads one to wonder how many times Planned Parenthood fails to report complications from abortion.”

“It also leads one to question the accuracy of the complication totals reported each year by the state health department,” the pro-life organization added.

Abortion businesses throughout the country are notorious for unsanitary conditions. One recent investigative report looking into health department records found over 1,400 stunning health and safety deficiencies in the past eight years at 227 abortion providers in 32 states.

Earlier this year, the Alabama health department found Planned Parenthood in Birmingham failed to properly sterilize medical equipment. The conditions were so bad that the report had to tell facility employees, “When hands are visibly dirty or soiled with blood or other body fluids, wash hands with water and soap.”

Last year, a complaint prompted an inspection of a Fairfax, Virginia, abortion business.  Its conditions were so deplorable that the Department of Health indefinitely suspended its license and ordered it to immediately halt surgical abortions.

In 2013, 12 of 16 Maryland abortion clinics failed to meet the state’s safety regulations, including “failure to maintain a sanitary environment.”

An inspection of a Texas abortion clinic found unsafe practices, incompetent employees, and no one in charge.

In 2014, Arizona inspectors found the state’s largest Planned Parenthood failed to meet basic medical standards of care.

Kentucky inspectors found “cleaning instruments revealed similarly filthy conditions” at EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington.

President Trump has said he would sign legislation defunding Planned Parenthood and directing those funds to federally qualified women’s health clinics that do not commit abortions.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation asked, “Why does Pennsylvania’s governor continue to defend an organization that routinely fails to follow basic health and safety requirements?”

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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Former Google employee: It’s important to ‘fight monopolies’ like Google

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Online social media monopolies like Facebook and search engine companies such as Google threaten American democracy by censoring free speech and thought, according to a researcher fired by Google.

Many Christian groups and other conservatives have complained that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, PayPal and Google ban politically incorrect speech, forbid ads, take videos off their platforms, disallow donations, and even remove group pages in the name of “violation of policy.”

“Google, Facebook and to certain degrees also Amazon have captured the flow of information and ideas between citizen and citizen,” former New America Foundation senior fellow Barry C. Lynn announced. “Our ability to communicate freely with one another in this country, which is the primary basis for being able to protect our democracy, is now threatened in very real ways today.”

Lynn isn’t the only one pointing out the increasing tyranny of social media giants. Zephyr Teachout, a former colleague of Lynn’s at NAF, warned that Google was “coming after critics in academia and journalism” and “forming into a government of itself … incapable of even seeing its own overreach.”

“Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power,” Teachout wrote in The Washington Post. “It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent.”

A popular Google slogan is “Don’t be evil.” Teachout says Google has become what it warns others against. “It appears that Google may have lost sight of what being evil means, in the way that most monarchs do,” she penned. “Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent.”

Teachout advocates that citizens demand enforcement of antitrust laws against monopolies. She said “great, innovative companies” should not be allowed “to govern us.”

New America Foundation is a “think tank” group funded largely by Google that seeks to influence public policy. When Lynn and other colleagues praised a European Union decision to sanction Google for its strong-arm monopolizing of internet search engines, Lynn and others were fired.

NAF head Anne-Marie Slaughter warned Lynn that his public support of European sanctions against Google financially jeopardized NAF. “Just THINK about how you are imperiling funding,” she rebuked, despite NAF’s theoretical independence.

Another NAF team member, Matt Stoller, wrote in the Huffington Post of “the deep dysfunction in our corporate and political sectors.” “The misbehavior in the search market and the attempt to suppress research into how Google operates shows that the actual issue at hand is one of political power,” he revealed.

“Monopoly power, and Google itself, is a threat to the free flow of ideas upon which our democracy depends,” Stoller charged. “If we do not stand up to monopolists, they will keep our public institutions quiet about their growing power. ... (But) we can reclaim our democracy if we try.”

Teachout is now chairing a new “think tank” organization, Citizens Against Monopoly, made up of the fired NAF members. “Google’s actions make it more important than ever that we stand up to fight monopolies,” she said. “At the end of the day, this is about freedom.”

Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Trump, said tech companies like Google and Facebook should be regulated like utility companies are.

Congress may decide to regulate monopolizing tech companies like Facebook and Google and Amazon in light of their influence on elections via social media ads. The Guardian reported that $1.4 billion was spent on online advertising during the 2016 election. 

The New America Foundation is now called “New America.”  

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Canadians push back against law that jails pro-life witness outside abortion clinics

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

TORONTO, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition is asking supporters to fight back against a proposed Liberal law that will ban pro-life witness outside abortion centers.

Canada’s national pro-life lobbying group and largest pro-life association launched a petition in July against the bubble zone law that Liberal Attorney General Yasir Naqvi promised he would bring forward this fall.

Making good on his vow, Naqvi introduced Bill 163, or Safe Access to Abortion Services Act on Wednesday.

The sweeping proposed law is even worse than pro-life advocates feared, says Campaign Life senior political strategist Jack Fonseca.

So far, 1,343 people have signed the online version of Campaign Life’s petition, plus a couple thousand more who mailed in signed hard copy versions, but that number needs to skyrocket, he told LifeSiteNews.

Sign Campaign Life Coalition's petition against Bill 163 here.

Ontarians need to push back against the Liberal overreach that tramples on their Charter right to freedom of speech and expression, he said.

If passed, Bill 163 will automatically ban pro-life activity within 50 meters of the province’s eight “dedicated” abortion centers, a distance that could be increased to 150 meters on request. When an abortion facility moves, the bubble zone moves with it.

The law will also automatically establish 150-meter bubble zone around the homes of abortionists and abortion center staff.

These zones will move with abortion providers, to “protect” them wherever they are, Naqvi said in a press conference Wednesday.

The bill allows any healthcare facility that commits abortions to apply for “safe access” zones of up to 150 meters.

That includes pharmacies, which under Ontario’s health insurance plan can now dispense the abortion pill for free.

Those who break the law can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed up to six months for a first offence, and fined up to $10,000 and jailed for a year for a second offence.

Some of  the activities outlawed within the zones are:

advising, persuading, or attempting to  advise or persuade, a person to refrain from accessing abortion services;

informing or attempting to inform a person concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means;

performing or attempt to performing an act of disapproval concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means.

The Liberals’ proposed bill is an attack on free speech, says Fonseca.

“Are we living in the communist former Soviet Union? Or the Chinese communist dictatorship? How can it be that our supposedly ‘democratic’ and ‘free’ nation is punishing its citizens with prison for expressing an opinion of ‘disapproval’ over a subject of active political discourse?” he pointed out.

“Whether it’s abortion or some other controversial topic, expressing our opinions – and yes, even disapproving opinions – should never be punishable with jail.”

Even Liberal and NDP MPPs who consider themselves “pro-choice” have a good reason to vote against this bill, he stressed.

“No matter what your position is on abortion, if you respect our constitution and the Charter, then you will vote against a law which seeks to take away the right of some citizens to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Fonseca said.

“These are fundamental rights that are written into our nation’s constitution. Every MPP therefore has an obligation to vote against this strident attempt to discriminate against a particular segment of society – pro-life Canadians.”

Not only is Bill 163 unconstitutional, it also harms the women the Liberals claim to help, Fonseca said.

As the petition points out, “thousands of cases of Canadian women who changed their minds about abortion after speaking to pro-lifers or taking literature during peaceful demonstrations, and who expressed gratitude, is proof that pro-life information is desired and appreciated by many women entering these facilities.”                       

Fonseca said Campaign Life will organize petition signatures by electoral district and deliver them to each MPP with a twofold request: present the petitions out loud in the legislature on behalf of their constituents, and commit to voting against the totalitarian bill.  

“We’re hoping to present petitions to all 107 Ontario MPPs,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“They need to know the people they’re being paid to represent don’t agree with taking away the constitutional right to free speech from a certain class of citizen, just because those citizens hold a different opinion than that of Kathleen Wynne,”said Fonseca.

“We want to put MPPs on notice that if they vote in favour of this legislation, voters will remember it at the ballot box in the 2018 general election.”

To sign the Campaign Life petition, go here.

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U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.J. Hanson
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‘Every single day is a gift:’ Marine thankful he wasn’t offered euthanasia

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

NEW YORK, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.J. Hanson fought in Iraq but never faced an opponent as fierce as cancer.

Hanson lived an idyllic life. After successfully graduating from college with a degree in political science and public service, he served his country in Iraq. He and his beautiful wife Kristen had a healthy and energetic son. Then tragedy struck.

On May 13, 2014, Hanson was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an inoperable malignant brain tumor. “Three different doctors told me there was nothing that they could do,” he recounted.

Understandably, Hanson fell into an overwhelming depression. “When I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer ... I went in an instant from living the American Dream ... to living a nightmare,” he confided.

He was told he had only a very short time to live and would probably be dead in four months. He was told he “couldn’t beat the disease.”  

“I’m thankful I don’t live in a state like Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal,” the former administrative assistant to former New York Gov. David Paterson admitted, because “in that moment of depression, I might have chosen to end my life.”  

“I could identify with what Brittany Maynard was dealing with,” Hanson sympathized with the famous 29-year-old Oregonian who killed herself legally in 2014. “The same disease. Roughly the same age. We both had families,” he said. “But I don’t agree with what she chose to do.”

The two chose polar opposite paths. While Maynard chose to kill herself, Hanson chose to live. “I knew that you didn’t have to end your life to die with dignity,” he said.

Hanson did live, beyond anyone’s expectations. It has now been three years since his terminal diagnosis. He has spent those three years fighting for time with his sons and wife. “Every single part of my day, I spend toward improving my ability to live,” he said.

So far, Hanson is winning the battle. “I’m still alive three years after I was told I had only a few months to live,” he proclaimed. “There’s no sign of cancer within the brain.”

Hanson now speaks out against assisted suicide. “How can we let our life-and-death decisions rest on these prognoses, when even the most experienced doctors are often wrong?” he asked.

In essence, his message is that killing oneself is selfish. Assisted suicide is “not just about one individual,” he said. “It affects multiple people on multiple levels. ... We should be working to help them find a better alternative.”

“If those pills had been available when I was going through my most difficult time, I can’t say that I wouldn’t have taken them,” he admitted.

He argues, as pro-lifers do, that assisted suicide does not respect the sanctity of innocent human life, and gives researchers and philanthropists no incentive to find cures or help for sufferers.

View a moving, powerful brief video of Hanson’s story here.

The former Marine advises the disabled, the terminally ill, and the depressed to fight , rather than to give in to the temptation to give up. “You can’t unmake that choice,” he warned. “Once you do it, it’s done.”

Updates on Hanson’s fight may be found on his webpage.

Hanson noted that a quarter of patients requesting assisted suicide were in a major depression, according to a 2008 study in the British Medical Journal. Yet he points out that only four percent of patients considering suicide were referred for psychological evaluation.

He concluded that people are too easily proscribed death instead of the mental health help they need.

What’s worse, insurance companies are getting hip to the fact that assisted suicide is cheaper than prolonged medical care. Cases are increasing of patients being denied treatment while suicide gets covered.

Stephanie Packer, a California mother of four suffering with scleroderma, complained that her insurer denied coverage for chemo but allowed coverage for her to kill herself.

Dr. Brian Callister shared that two of his patients were denied life-saving cures and instead offered suicide prescription coverage.

Hanson’s experience led him to found the Patients Rights Action Fund, which seeks to “protect the rights of patients and people with disabilities by opposing assisted suicide legalization efforts.”

“Every single day is a gift,” he concluded, “and you can’t let that go.”

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Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
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White House spokesman: ‘freedom to practice one’s faith is a fundamental right in this country’

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders promised that “as long as Donald Trump is president,” he will defend every American’s right to religious liberty.

“The President believes that the freedom to practice one's faith is a fundamental right in this country,” Huckabee Sanders said Friday, when the Trump administration released new guidelines ending an Obama regulation forcing Catholic employers to participate in the provision of birth control.

“I think all of us do,” Huckabee Sanders continued. “And that’s all that today was about. Our federal government should always protect that right, and as long as Donald Trump is President, he will.”

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) undid the Obama administration’s controversial contraception mandate. It would have forced Catholic nuns like the Little Sisters of the Poor – whose mission explicitly involves upholding the dignity of every human life – to participate in the provision of their employees’ birth control and abortifacient drugs.

The new rules also protect organizations with a moral, not just religious, objection to contraception.

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to end the coercive contraception mandate. Pro-life advocates praised his actions Friday as a major victory.

One of the "principal authors" of the new pro-freedom regulation is Matt Bowman, who previously worked for pro-life legal powerhouse Alliance Defending Freedom.

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Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
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Vatican pro-life academy widens mandate to include immigration, environment, arms control

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VATICAN CITY, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The first gathering of Pope Francis’ now overhauled Pontifical Academy for Life did not ease pro-life concerns over its future as the Vatican’s stated new focus for the PAV will widen from abortion and bioethics to include immigration and the environment.

Some are saying the Academy has “lost its way,” that the changes made by the pope “differ drastically” from its founding by Pope Saint John Paul II, or are an “attack” on the pro-life Academy’s mandate. 

They question as well an apparent new prioritization of the temporal.

“It’s obvious that being ‘pro-life’ means, even for the academy, to rethink the semantic value of the term life, which cannot be reduced to a perspective that is uniquely bioethical,” Academy president, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, said at a press conference.

“If we must be pro-life, we must be always, in every way, and everywhere pro-life,” he continued, according to a C-FAM report, citing Pope Francis.

Paglia also said there were no plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae next year. 

Rather, the Academy is opening “new frontiers for debate,” he said, mentioning in particular the environment, immigration, and arms control.

The inaugural session of the revamped PAV, themed “Accompanying life. New responsibilities in the technological era,” was “demanding yet at the same time necessary,” the pope’s address said. The session, he said, was convened to take up “recent technological developments of life sciences” as they relate to “global humanism.” 

And while Pope Francis gave a “powerful and unambiguous speech” to the PAV gathering Thursday in which he clearly urged opposition to gender ideology, concerns and criticisms remained among leading pro-life and family groups. 

“The reformed Pontifical Academy for Life seems to be concerned primarily with ‘global humanism,’” said Maria Madise, international director for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and representative for Voice of the Family. “The new and ‘wider’ challenges of the Academy, presented by Pope Francis and echoed by the president of the Academy Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, include countering gender ideology but also combatting poverty, loneliness, the cult of self, lack of consideration for the environment, indeed virtually everything that may affect human life in one way or another.”

“This new program seems to differ drastically from the previous focus of the Academy,” Madise said, “which was expressed in the call of its founder, John Paul II, for ‘a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life.’”

Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn said, "The retooling of the Pontifical Academy for Life is yet another way the devil is burying the greatest abominations of our age.” 

“The crimes of abortion, euthanasia, contraception and homosexuality, which Pope John Paul II called 'the Culture of Death,' far exceed the concerns of immigration, the environment and material poverty,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And yet this pontificate has seen fit to muddy the waters yet again and weaken Christian resolve to defend the sacredness of human life and the sanctity of the family."  

“The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Academy for Science already exist for the purpose of addressing matters related to refugee resettlement and so-called climate change,” Hichborn noted, “so this change can only be interpreted as an attack on the PAV's original mandate."

The history

The PAV was founded in 1994 by Pope St. John Paul II and Professor Jerome Lejeune to promote and defend life in the specific areas of bioethics and Catholic moral theology.

The mission of the academy — previously considered the Vatican’s main foothold for authentic pro-life voices in the Church — encompassed the subjects of procreation, in vitro fertilization, gene therapy, euthanasia, and abortion.

Pope Francis appointed 45 new ordinary members and five honorary members to the Academy in June.

Of the new appointees, just 28 of the preceding 139 members were reappointed. There are 23 new members after 112 previous members, including academics and founding members chosen by John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, were not asked back.

Among those members who were not reappointed were important pro-life voices, and also some who have also been critical of the pope's agenda. 

The Pope issued new statutes for the PAV last November, in which members were no longer required to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings, while he also expanded the PAV’s mandate to include a focus on the environment.

The new PAV makeup also now includes non-Catholics and non-believers.

This was not what John Paul II intended

Former PAV member Judie Brown offered stiff criticism of the changes.

“As a former 15-year member of the Academy, and understanding Pope John Paul II's vision for it as a structure that would work to focus on the inalienable right to life, the dignity of every human being and the teachings of the Church in that regard, I am appalled at what the ‘new’ academy is doing,” Brown told LifeSiteNews. 

“It is despicable to think that the Academy has become foot soldiers for the progressives in the Church,” she said. “It is unthinkable that environmentalism and immigration questions are now on an equal footing with respect for and protection of the vulnerable human beings who are threatened and killed daily around the world.”

“Not only that, but for Paglia to outrageously mention that the Academy will NOT celebrate the Church's most profound document, Humanae Vitae, really says a lot about what is going on in the Vatican these days,” Brown added. “It is not good and I fear St. John Paul II and Professor Jerome Lejeune are spinning in their graves. The Academy has totally lost its way and I thank God every day that I departed when I did because at this point I would have had to resign in protest.”

Madise said the new focus of the Academy might be reasonable, if its primary task had already been accomplished. 

“However,” she said, “with rampant abortion, which has killed more people than all the wars in recorded human history, widespread use of contraception, including abortifacient forms, the problems that prompted the creation of the Academy are far from being solved.” 

“Tragically,” Madise continued, “the evil of abortion, the deliberate killing of innocent children, a heinous crime that calls out to heaven for punishment, seems to receive less attention from the new Academy than poverty and the environment.”

With the Academy’s new priorities, she questioned who would be the Church’s voice in defense of life in the face of the greatest attack on life.

“When we lose sight of what is truly evil, we also lose sight of what is truly good,” Madise added. “If the Pontifical Academy for Life does not prioritise abortion, which, according to some estimates, has caused the deaths of two billion innocent children, who will? If the Academy that was set up to protect them moves on to other problems, who will speak out in their defence?”

“Many faithful Catholics feel compelled to do something, but Our Lady already gave us the blueprint for victory,” Hichborn said. “We must stop offending God, do penance, pray very much for the Holy Father, pray the Rosary every day, and make the first five Saturdays of reparation.”  

Hichborn further encouraged participating in the upcoming International Conference on Population Control, scheduled for online presentation October 17-19 as a course of action for concerned Catholics. 

"The Church must not be pro-life only in the humanist sense that seeks only the temporal well-being of mankind, but must also be ‘pro-eternal life,’” Madise said. “Much prayer is needed for the Academy, that it may recover its true purpose in the service of Christ’s salvific mission for each human life.”

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Cardinal Raymond Burke celebrates Mass at the Fatima Centennial Summit in Irving, Texas. John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal Burke urges consecration of Russia in manner ‘requested by Our Lady’

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IRVING, Texas, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — “It is evident that the consecration (of Russia) was not carried out in the manner requested by Our Lady,” said Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke in his keynote address marking the highlight and conclusion of the Fatima Centennial Summit held over the weekend.

“I do not doubt for a moment the intention of Pope St. John Paul II to carry out the consecration on March 25, 1984,” said Cardinal Burke. He noted that Sister Lucia stated that “Our Lady had accepted it.”

He continued nonetheless, “Recognizing the necessity of a total conversion from atheistic materialism and communism to Christ, the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in accord with Her explicit instruction remains urgent.”

The former head of the Vatican’s highest court reissued his call, first made at the Rome Life Forum in May, for the faithful to pray and work for the consecration of Russia according to Our Lady’s specific instruction. He quoted the end of the famous secret to the children where Our Lady Herself predicted: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

With some 700 attendees, the conference was the largest Fatima centennial celebration in North America. To a standing ovation both before and after he spoke, Cardinal Burke delved deeply into the message of Our Lady of Fatima, her predictions and the consequences of failing to heed her warnings to the world.

The Cardinal drew a direct line from the famous Third Secret of Fatima’s dire predictions for the massacre of priests, religious and the death of the Pope to the current crisis in the Church.

“The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests,” he said. “For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually.”

Cardinal Burke, who has suffered publicly for his defense of the faith, urged the faithful, “Let us not fail to embrace whatever suffering comes from our faithful witness to Him Who is the true Treasure of our hearts.”

“Let us not give way to discouragement but rather remember that the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary assumed into glory, never ceases to beat with love for us, the children Her Divine Son gave to Her as He was dying on the cross,” he said.

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

Organized by Catholic Action, videos from the conference will in time be made available on its website.

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Fr. James Martin (right) poses with Jesuit Fr. Timothy Kesicki after Martin's talk at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C.
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Inside Fr. James Martin’s dangerous pro-LGBT crusade

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Urge Pope Francis to remove Fr. James Martin as a Vatican adviser. Sign the petition!

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. James Martin, SJ, came to the nation’s capital on the last Saturday in September to speak at historic Holy Trinity Church, ensconced in Washington’s ultra-fashionable Georgetown neighborhood.

The Jesuit-run parish, located just outside Georgetown University’s main gate, draws well-heeled Catholic elites — who deem their own neighborhood parishes too “conservative,” too “rigid” — from tony suburbs around the city.

Founded in 1787, the parish finds purpose being in “solidarity with those living on the margins of society, empowering them to change unjust social structures.” Apparently, the most vulnerable and victimized living “on the margins” today include Catholic “gays” and “transgenders,” pushed there, according to Martin, by Catholicism, composed of “intolerant,” “homophobic,” “hateful” clerics and lay people who believe sex is conjugal only and that men are men and women are women.  

Those who now loudly demand that the Church accept homosexual activity and transgenderism as both normal and a blessing from God are the meek and pure in spirit in Fr. Martin’s revised version of the Beatitudes. Those who don’t are the new Pharisees, hoisting what Fr. Martin seems to think are impossibly heavy moral loads upon the backs of their fellow believers.

Fr. Martin and his confreres seek to establish a new pastoral approach that deals with people right where they’re at, one where they don't “feel judged.” So far, so good. But the problem with Fr. Martin’s approach is that it leaves the same-sex attracted stuck in the LGBT vortex, with no hope or expectation of escape. It’s not accompaniment, it’s pastoral abandonment. For Martin, sodomy isn’t a sin, it’s a blessing.  

I am a same-sex attracted Catholic who attended his speech. Fr. Martin is breathtakingly wrong about how best to pastor the same-sex attracted. And his massive underestimation of the very  real power of the Gospel to change lives is troubling to witness in a man who wears a Roman collar and enjoys a growing cult following.

Early on Saturday morning, September 30, a line began to form at Holy Trinity’s front door. It soon ran down the church’s broad steps, and snaked around the block. Most hoped to hear the Jesuit pro-gay wunderkind affirm their own beliefs about the wholesomeness and normalcy of the LGBT presence in the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Wuerl: complicit behavior

Before launching into his presentation, Martin implied strong support for his pro-LGBT message from Washington D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

Referring to his experience of recently being denied an opportunity to speak at Catholic University, Martin said, “Certainly someone who has been very supportive through this whole thing is your Archbishop, Cardinal Wuerl, who has been very kind to me, and I guess I can say reached out to me after this [Catholic University/Theological College] cancellation. He would have come today, but he’s in Rome.”

Later in his presentation, Martin would go on to say, “I’ve had lots of support: Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal Wuerl, and ... people in the Vatican.”  

He would also speak without hesitation about the camaraderie he enjoys with Sister Jeannine Gramick, Frank DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, both of whom were previously forbidden from identifying their pro-LGBT work as “Catholic.”

‘No ill will’ toward those who adore him, contempt for those who don’t

Fr. Martin spoke at length regarding the recent rescission of his invitation to speak at our nation’s premiere Catholic Institution of higher learning: “I want to say for the record ... I hold zero ill will toward Theological College; I hold no ill will toward Catholic University, which is the sponsor of Theological College. I’ve been there many times. I’m friends with [University President] John Garvey. I’ve spoken there several times … Zero ill will.”

Martin’s litany of forgiveness and forbearance stopped there. His silence spoke loudly, indicating he does bear ill will toward the Catholics he blames for his lost speaking gigs. At the same time, his silence delivered a clear signal, directing his audience — a packed house of 800 or so — to share his contempt for conservative Catholics who seek to protect the magisterium of the Church.   

That Saturday morning, the pure message of the Gospel was traded for an adulterated one, stealing away young troubled lives from the Gospel’s saving message, dragging them off to a place where the only message they hear is that of the world — Fr. Martin’s peculiar world. The mostly senior citizens packing the pews loved it.

Martin’s Catholic World is insulated from the Gospel, true repentance, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, all of which are rejected in favor of an LGBT-centric — LGBT-dominant — view of the world and the Church, where the Cross of Christ on Calvary is supplanted with the garish rainbow flag.    

In Martin’s world, mankind’s supreme mortal sin is rejection of sodomy and transgenderism as unorthodox, where the promotion of complementarity and conjugal sex within marriage is viewed as somehow oppressive and offensive to him and his disciples. In Martin’s world, truth is a burden, it does not set you free. Unrestricted sodomy is interpreted as divine emancipation.  

In his Holy Trinity talk, chastity for same-sex attracted men and women in the Church was dismissed through omission, while parents who assertetheir cross-dressing, transgendered children should be viewed as completely normal received warm applause.

Cardinal Bergoglio ‘got it’ before he evolved

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, before rising to the Seat of Peter, warned, “Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are ... talking about ... a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Fr. Martin is now a preeminent playwright, actor and stage manager of those pretensions.  Gleefully so. Proudly so.  

And though he was 4,000 miles away in Rome, Pope Francis’ presence was strongly felt during Martin’s talk. After becoming Pope, he effectively neutered his earlier bold declaration of truth about the Father of Lies, trading it for “Who am I to Judge?” — a question that resounded both audibly and visibly through Holy Trinity Church, even on t-shirts that morning

Fr. Martin spoke glowingly of the Pontiff’s diligent work replacing cardinals and bishops around the world and in key Vatican positions who had been appointed by St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict, remaking the Church into a “more pastoral,” seeker-friendly place, where no one feels judged. In Fr. Martin’s vision for the church, conscience is a nuisance, not a guide.

Standing ovation

In Holy Trinity that morning, pretty much everybody in the pews seemed AOK with all that was said. The crowd loved the man and his message.

In the end, Martin received a long standing ovation after his nearly 1 ½-hour presentation, the crowd perhaps not fully realizing that they are clapping for sodomy, standing up for heresy, and cheering for webs being woven by the Father of Lies. Yet none seemed willing to even ponder the validity — or grave error — presented that venerable old church.

Back in the day, gays often joked about men who accidentally betray their concealed “gayness” when they open their mouths to speak, saying: “He looked like a straight guy, but when he opened his mouth, a purse fell out,” — a snarky zinger invariably followed by raucous laughter.  When Fr. Martin rose to the lectern and opened his mouth, not only did a velvet purse fall out, so did many velvet lies and half-truths tucked away inside.

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Bret Stephens
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Pro-LGBT ‘conservatives’ are not conservative. They are the worst sort of opportunists

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October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews)New York Times resident “conservative” op-ed writer Bret Stephens is using the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling imposing “gay marriage” on the nation as an example of a “great cause” and potential precedent for repealing the Second Amendment, which guarantees Americans’ right to own and bear guns.

Stephens is advocating for the repeal of the Second Amendment — a cherished “progressive” cause — in the wake of the horrific Las Vegas gun assault that left 58 concert goers dead and hundreds injured.

In arguing against what he calls the “conservative fetish for the second amendment,” he writes in the Times: "Repealing the Amendment may seem like political Mission Impossible today, but in the era of same-sex marriage it's worth recalling that most great causes begin as improbable ones."

All of this is fascinating because the main argument of devoted “Never Trumpers” like Stephens — i.e., pundits and GOP-leaning activists who refuse to support or vote for Donald Trump — is that Donald Trump is not conservative enough. They argued that Trump could do short- and long-term damage to the conservative movement by this action or that one.

Time will tell whether or not that prediction is proved correct, based on the entire range of President Trump’s policies. But certainly it is true that “Never Trumpers,” or any self-styled conservative who shills for homosexual “marriage,” is doing tremendous damage — not just to the conservative movement but, more important, to the cause of truth in our declining, increasingly biblically illiterate culture.

For many months now, conservatives like me who voted for Trump, even knowing that he was not a full conservative (I originally supported Sen. Ted Cruz), have had to endure the self-righteous indignation of Never Trumpers like Stephens for that choice. This usually includes piercing questions from “principled” Never Trumpers wondering how people on the Right could support Trump given his long history of moral indiscretions and his past New York City-infused liberalism.

Caveat: not all Never Trumpers are obnoxious like this and many are truly principled conservatives and Christians. And many are quite thoughtful in admonishing Christians to put God first, above loyalty to any politician or Party, especially a feckless one like the GOP.)  

We’ve been scammed

Now it turns out we’ve been scammed when it comes to some of the most prominent Never Trumpers — either people like Stephens or “conservative” websites that regularly promote them. Let’s be clear: besmirching the good name of “marriage” by attaching it to unholy, sodomitic relationships is about as far from noble “conservatism” as you can get. “Gay marriage,” an oxymoron and an ahistorical absurdity, preserves and conserves nothing for the good. But it does help normalize the revolutionary, misguided idea that homosexual relationships are on a moral par with natural marriage between husband and wife.

It is NOT conservative to domesticate homosexual “rights” through faux “marriage” (essentially “playing house,” to quote my late friend and ex-“gay” Anthony Falzarano). In fact, this very recent idea of genderless “marriage” is more radical than the annual June spectacle of gaudy drag queens and go-go boys dancing down Fifth Avenue in high heels to celebrate “gay pride.” That’s because homosexual “marriage” takes one of the noblest endeavors of life — getting married, staying faithful and raising children to create a natural family — and attaches it to the “crime against nature” (Noah Webster on sodomy), which the Bible calls “detestable” (an “abomination”).

Healthy societies are built on God’s plan for families, which produce succeeding generations of people who ideally live to honor their Creator. Homosexuality produces nothing by itself: note that “same-sex families” rely in some way on heterosexuality — the same people radical “gay” activists once mocked as “breeders” — to exist. So much for LGBT marriage “equality.” Nature itself discriminates against homosexual behavior.

Moreover, same-sex “marriage,” like the rest of the LGBT and liberal social agenda, caters to a person’s subjective feelings: my wants, my desires, my perceived needs, and my demands for the negation of historical and Judeo-Christian truth, all to rationalize my lifestyle choice. (Or, for pro-LGBT allies: their feelings of emotional support for their sexually confused loved ones.) That is characteristic of many liberals and anti-conservative to the core. It replaces objective, absolute truth with moral relativism and enshrines deviance in the law, which only causes more social destruction in society. Examples of the latter are “gay adoption” (creating intentionally motherless or fatherless homes) and the escalating LGBT legal war against people’s right to disagree with “gay marriage.”

So shame on the likes of Bret Stephens, and double-shame on them for so brazenly playing their “principled conservative” card against Trump and his supporters while they sell out God and genuine conservative ideals to demonstrate how socially modern they are. Needless to say, the liberal media gleefully promote any “conservative” who sells out on marriage.

To turn around Stephens’ opening sentence: I have never understood the conservative fetish for homosexual “marriage.” It’s bad enough when homosexual “conservatives” like Tammy Bruce or Guy Benson come out for it; clearly, they do so as part of a lifelong quest to rationalize their “proud” embrace of homosexual sin.

Opportunists

But many other pro-LGBT fellow travelers on the Right who advance “gay marriage” are, in my mind, the worst sort of opportunists. Because rather than confront the socially-left, anything goes zeitgeist that is destroying America from within (and helping to pollute nations without through our corrupt foreign policy), these so-called conservatives throw moral truth under the bus to score tolerance points with the leftist, elite media and Hollywood.

And then they have the audacity to lecture Trump about “conservatism”?

Ironically, pinned to the top of Bret Stephens Twitter feed is a tweet that reads, “My Daniel Pearl lecture on the dark purposes of Trump's attack on media, and the risks of conservative capitulation.”

Hold them accountable

Will the conservative media ever hold wayward leaders on the Right accountable for their cultural “capitulations” — especially appeasing the homosexual lobby, which so many are afraid to confront? Why are there so few prominent straight-shooters like the Rev. Franklin Graham, who refuses to bend to the sexual chaos of our decadent age and compassionately restates timeless moral truth: that homosexuality is a sin — not to be celebrated as “marriage” — but one that can be overcome through the grace of Jesus Christ?

As for Stephens’ main points on why the Second Amendment should be dispensed with, I’ll leave it to National Review’s Charles Cook to deal with his feeble reasoning:

“Stephens is not a stupid man, and nor is he unaware of the reach that tyrannies have enjoyed. On the contrary, his is often a welcome voice in the fight for the liberty of all people. This being so, it is remarkable how blithely he elects to invoke Madison as a friend to his cause, and how readily he subordinates the right to bear arms to expediency. In truth, the Second Amendment was not an “amendment” at all, for, unlike some of the subsequent alterations to the charter, it represented neither a change in policy nor a remedy for an error. Rather, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights it was the product of a disagreement as to how to best protect freedoms that were generally considered unalienable.

“For reasons outlined in The Federalist Papers, Madison believed that the power of the federal government would be constrained by its structure; if the central state had only a handful of carefully enumerated powers, he contended, it would not be able to exceed them. Others, the “Anti-Federalists,” disagreed, demanding a belt to add to the suspenders. The debate that followed was strictly structural — not a fight over speech or due process or arms, but over how best to ensure the maintenance of ancient liberty. Madison acknowledged this when introducing the Bill of Rights in Congress. The rights he had included, he made clear to his peers, were those “against which I believe no serious objection has been made by any class of our constituents.” In encoding the right to bear arms among the set, neither Madison nor his opponents were innovating. Instead, they were channeling Justinian, Locke, and Blackstone, and ensuring that the people of the new country would enjoy a robust right to self-defense, and the auxiliary protections that enabled it.”

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The forgotten victim in China’s anti-life, one-child policy: men

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s a story so gross we were unsure we wanted to print it. But I volunteered because it reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother long ago. The conversation, like the story, was about what China’s one-child policy would do to women. Neither one of us imagined it meant real human women would be replaced by lifelike sex dolls, however.  

China’s coercive diktat that couples could have only one child came into effect in 1980. I was too young to understand how a couple, let alone a government, could prevent more than one baby from arriving, but I thought I understood how scarcity worked. If, as my mother darkly predicted, China would soon find itself with millions upon millions of more boys than girls, surely — I thought — that would make girls, like rare gems, more valuable.

“Not in the way you think,” said my mother, or words to that effect. She told me that it was more likely that the women would find themselves much more restricted. I thought she meant that they wouldn’t be allowed to travel, for fear they would find husbands abroad. But now I understand that she meant Chinese women would find themselves reduced to their sexual utility. When men fight over women, it’s not for the women’s career potential.

Pulitzer Prize winner Mei Fong, a Malaysian-American of Chinese descent, went to China to investigate the effects of its population control policies. The result was her book "One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment". Fong wrote about forced abortions, forced sterilizations, babies kidnapped for adoption, and the anguish of parents who had lost their only living child to accident, disease or natural disaster. (A new word has been invented for such parents — shidu (literally, “lose only”). There are a million shidu now in China, and their ranks swell by 76,000 a year.)

Fong also visited a sex-doll manufacturer, having a “hunch” that here could be found another result of the one-child policy that robbed China of baby girls. In 2016, she was proved correct: sales of newly affordable, lifelike sex dolls took off. One supplier sold 500 of them on China’s “Singles Day.” The average buyer of sex toys in China is a man age 18 to 29: exactly the demographic that has been robbed of the friendship and love of real women by the short-sighted “one-child” policy.

There will be 30 million more men than women in China by 2030, but China is already a world leader in human trafficking. Women from Burma, Vietnam, and North Korea have been recruited or kidnapped to work in Chinese brothels or be sold to poor Chinese farmers. Fong writes that a Vietnamese bride can make her trafficker up to $18,500. Some of these foreign women may intend honest marriage, but like their new husbands, they fall victim to crooked marriage brokers, who sell them from village to village.  

The damage to these women and women’s dignity is obvious, but China’s men have also been hurt. Chinese bachelors are “demonstrating lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression and aggression,” she writes, and this has led to a rise in violent crime. Fong only glancingly mentions men’s loneliness and the humiliation of remaining unmarried and childless in China’s ancestor-worshipping society: She describes a robot manufacturer who went through a form of marriage with his own lifelike, if lifeless, creation.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and I fear for those who live along China’s borders. The thought of 30 million aggressive men with no access to women reminds me very strongly of the story of the Rape (i.e. theft) of the Sabine Women after the founding of Rome.

The interesting thing about the Roman legend, however, is that the Sabine Women — unlike sex dolls — had voices and — unlike frightened, abused trafficked women — had agency. According to the story, the Romans treat the Sabine women not as slaves or prostitutes but as sacred wives, and when the Sabines’ avenging fathers and brothers finally come to their rescue, the women stop the fighting. They speak up for their new family ties, citing the affection they now have for their husbands and their children.

Obviously, I am not advocating a return to antiquity’s border raids for women although I fear they are inevitable. (Indeed, they are already happening.) China has already ended the one-child policy, but that has come too late for the projected 30 million bachelors, the millions more dead fetuses, and the growing number of bereaved shidu. Clearly, the Chinese government should put a stop to human trafficking and invite women to immigrate to China. Once upon a time, a similar policy worked for Canada.

However, a woman would have to be desperate to want to move to a country that has committed — and still commits today — such terrible crimes against its men and women as gendercide, forced sterilization and forced abortion. Violently enforcing a “two-child” policy when so few people choose to have more than two children anyway is not only cruel, it’s stupid. And the sex trade, whether in real women or in hi-tech facsimiles, is certainly no advancement in the flourishing of Chinese families.

It’s sad that the legacy of the one-child policy will be felt for generations. Not only has a generation of Chinese people been robbed of their brothers and sisters, 30 million of them have been robbed of the transformative experiences of having (and being) a sweetheart and spouse.

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Why pro-life Catholics should strive for a higher and deeper life

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — When people in the world hear the expression “pro-life,” they typically think of one and only one issue: abortion. When Christians hear “pro-life,” they might expand the definition to those who are opposed to the murder of human beings at all stages, whether in the womb, in infancy, or on the deathbed. When Catholics hear the expression, a further nuance should be present: those who take into account not only the worst abuses of human freedom but also the more subtle causes of the anti-life mentality, such as sexual hedonism, feminism, contraception, the divorce mentality, and parent absenteeism.

All of this is true as far as it goes. But there is more to being pro-life than this. The roots go deeper and the branches spread further.

Since man is a rational animal, human life is necessarily a rational life, which cannot be lived without some intellectual component. Every person is either well educated or badly educated; no one who lives to adulthood can avoid having his mind formed in some fashion, for better or for worse, be it in contact with natural truths and elevated by the Gospel, or suffering from ignorance and poisoned with errors. Sometimes, as we know, truth and error, insight and ignorance, are messily mingled. The quality of our intellectual life, its resonance with the primal truth that is God, is not incidental to our flourishing as creatures made to His image and likeness. The healthiest periods of human history have been those nourished by a truthful vision of God and man, with the God-man Jesus Christ at their center, even as the most harmful social movements — think of the hard and soft totalitarianisms of the modern era — have their roots in philosophical errors that spread like a contagious disease. We cannot realize our human potential or be mature Christians unless we cultivate our intellectual life in the great disciplines, from literature to philosophy, from the empirical sciences to the queen of all sciences, sacred theology. To be far-seeingly pro-life is to be pro-intellectual life.

Because man is rational, he is also cultural. Not only does he sense, think, and know; he also imagines that which is not, and makes a world around him with his hands. He brings works of art into being, from humble homes to glorious temples, from furniture and utensils to mosaic-covered domes. He is architect and builder, poet and singer, painter and sculptor. Just as an intellectual life is unavoidable, so too is a cultural life: we cannot avoid making our world, and we will make it either beautiful or ugly, life-affirming or life-negating. Our arts will give testimony and bodily form to the noble ideals or base appetites that guide us. Certain pagan civilizations produced lofty art from a lofty vision of the harmony of the cosmos and the nobility of man. In its Latin and Byzantine spheres, Christian civilization surpassed the best accomplishments of the pagans. Anti-Christian and post-Christian civilization has sunk far below the level of both pagans and believers, as it sputters out in mass-produced tourist trinkets, humorless parody, and nihilistic self-indulgence. This, however, is a hostile environment for natural and Christian truth. In the fine arts and the useful arts, Wisdom builds herself a home on earth. Without the inspiration of a true artistic vision, we grow weary on our journey, we cannot see our way forward. It is like abolishing the sun, the moon, and the stars. To be fully pro-life, then, is to be pro-cultural life. A good culture emerges from, creatively celebrates, and dynamically sustains the love of human life.

The highest activity of the human person is to turn his mind and heart to God, His first beginning and last end, and to worship Him: “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory,” as we sing in the ancient hymn of the Gloria. We worship God not only because we are needy beings who seek good things from Him or the removal of evils, but above all for His sake, because He is the sovereign Truth, He is all-good, He is beautiful and supremely lovable. To worship God in spirit and in truth, as He deserves and as we were made to do, we must call upon all of our spiritual and bodily resources, bringing all of ourselves and all of creation to His heavenly throne. Religious worship is a solemn, public turning to God, which originates in our intellectual nature and expresses itself in the language of culture, the vocabulary of the arts in all their immediacy and grandeur. Liturgical worship is this very same thing when its principal actor is Jesus Christ, who offers and is offered, together with His Mystical Body, the Church: “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever, Amen.” If man the rational animal and the builder of culture follows his natural and supernatural bent, he will always find his way to the threshold of the temple and enter its gates with rejoicing, laying his sacrifice upon the altar with and for his Lord.

That is why to be pro-life in its most profound sense is to be pro-liturgical life. As the Second Vatican Council says about the baptized: “Participating in the Eucharistic sacrifice, the source and culmination of the whole Christian life, they offer the Divine Victim to God, and offer themselves along with It” (Lumen Gentium §11). “The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time, it is the font from which all her power flows” (Sacrosanctum Concilium §10). The font from which all her power flows ... The power to welcome children, to love them into the Church, to care for them over all the years; the power to value every human person, well or ill, hale or handicapped, conscious or comatose, embryonic or elderly; the power to build a culture of life, a culture of beauty, a culture of intellect consecrated to the truth—all this flows from the Holy Mysteries. Without the Church’s liturgy, we fail to grasp the infinite dignity God has bestowed on us in Christ. We miss out on the flesh-and-blood encounter with the Source of Life, Life incarnate, Life outpoured for eternal life.

Correctly understood, then, the pro-life movement is pro-human life, pro-intellectual life, pro-cultural life, and pro-liturgical life. When we see this movement in its full breadth and depth, we see the prerequisites of our vision, the scope of our struggle, the source of our strength, and the glorious destiny of our toil.

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