All articles from January 11, 2018


Featured Image
Jefferson City Bishop John Gaydos
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News

Diocese threatens priest for sharing LifeSite article on diocese’s trans plan for school

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
Image
A group of Catholics prayed the rosary and held signs asking Bishop John Gaydos to "Stop the Process" before a Mass last fall.

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The vicar general for the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, threatened a diocesan priest with “canonical rebuke” last June if the priest did not remove articles from LifeSiteNews and another outlet from his parish bulletin, saying they were inaccurate and slanderous.

Father Joseph Corel, the vicar general, acknowledged in a voicemail to the priest that after “information about Hillary Clinton” appeared in the priest’s parish bulletin the diocese periodically monitors the bulletins.

Father Corel took issue with two articles concerning the diocese’s controversialPastoral Process of Accompaniment and Dialogue” that were planned for the forthcoming bulletin. He directed Father Richard Frank, then pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Brunswick, to remove the articles on that topic or face “canonical rebuke” for “causing disharmony.”

He also told Father Frank not to include any articles on the diocese’s controversial “Pastoral Process” in the bulletin.

“We did check your bulletin for June 4, and you did show articles from Church Militant and LifeSite,” Father Corel stated. “None of which is helpful to the diocese, none of which is accurate about the document, and it’s slanderous.”

“And therefore I expect you to take down that bulletin from your website, take those articles out and repost it, and any articles about the document,” he stated.

“Secondly, you are not to run that bulletin for your parish,” continued Father Corel. “If you’ve already made the copies, you are to remake new copies without those articles in it.”

“If you choose to not do this, I will send you a canonical rebuke,” he said, “telling you that you are causing disharmony amongst the parishioners and amongst our church.”

LifeSiteNews asked the diocese for comment on Father Corel’s statement that LifeSite’s story was inaccurate and slanderous, and to explain what information on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was problematic for parish bulletins and why.

The diocese said through its communication director that it had no comment on that part of the inquiry.

Father Frank had included in one fall 2016 bulletin an article from the Missouri Family Life Council outlining where Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump stood on the right to life. In another bulletin around that time, an article from Church Militant was included that concerned Clinton’s stance on religious liberty, including her comment that religious beliefs have to be changed.

LifeSite’s inquiry with the diocese asked as well about Father Frank’s status in the diocese. LifeSite had received reports that the priest may have been barred from filling in for other priests and that there have been instances where individuals were prohibited from calling Father Frank to assist at diocesan functions.

Father Frank retired in July 2017. Retired priests are regularly utilized in dioceses across the U.S. when active priests go on vacation or for various other instances of need. This is especially done in areas where there is any sort of priest shortage.

The Diocese of Jefferson City expressed concern over its priest numbers in its “Update on Pastoral Planning for Diocese” document disseminated last October to pastors, parish administrators and secretaries for inclusion in bulletins throughout the diocese.

“A sobering situation that we are trying to do our best to prepare for has to do with our priestly resources,” it said in part.  

Father Frank confirmed for LifeSiteNews that he suspected he wasn’t getting called to fill in, and that he was “persona non grata” in this regard.

There have been times he could have been asked to fill in but was not, he said. And, in fact, he had an offer rescinded for regular substitution that was made before his retirement and his discussion last summer with LifeSiteNews about the diocesan “Pastoral Process.”

“People don’t like the truth,” said Father Frank, but “when you tell the truth, Our Lord protects that.”

LifeSiteNews also inquired with the diocese about the prospect of a canonical rebuke for Father Frank because he included the LifeSite and Church Militant articles in the St. Boniface bulletin, and whether there had been any prohibition of his priestly ministry.

The diocese said questions on Father Corel’s threatened canonical rebuke and Father Frank’s status “pertain to internal conversations between Fr. Frank and his Bishop's delegate.”

“We believe it is not appropriate to make public comment on such communications,” the diocese said in a statement. “Fr. Frank is welcome to bring any matters he wishes to discuss to the Bishop. At the present time, he has not chosen to do so.”

The voicemail that Father Corel left last June for Father Frank was published by the “30 Pieces of Silver” blog. Catholics in the diocese encouraged Father Frank to agree to its release after it became increasingly evident he was being passed over in priestly ministry.

The blog was created by diocesan families concerned by the “Pastoral Process” for its apparent upending of Catholic moral teaching.  

The “Pastoral Process” not only allowed students who identify as "transgender," LGBTQ, or live with same-sex couples to attend its schools, but also stated, “Wherever possible, enrollment is the goal.”

The proposed diocesan plan caused significant controversy among members of the diocese. They charged that it was covertly drafted by members of diocesan leadership, parts of it conflicted with Church teaching, and that it embraced gender ideology and immoral sexual behavior. Critics also say it would put children in diocesan schools at risk.

Catholic families in the diocese were upset as well that no parents or pastors with parish schools were consulted in crafting the “Pastoral Process of Accompaniment and Dialogue.”

They say its rollout was timed to best allow for any pushback to cool over the summer, and also that their expressions of concern fell on deaf ears at the diocesan chancery.

The controversy gained notice outside the diocese as well, with the contentious plan considered the first of its kind for a U.S. diocese. LifeSite and Church Militant reported at that time and since then about the Jefferson City controversy.

Jefferson City Bishop John Gaydos has defended the proposed plan to allow transgender-identifying students to register in diocesan schools, insisting to priests in an internal memo that it promotes Catholic moral teaching. He dismissed opposition and subsequent media reporting as “public furor” coming from “outside our diocese.” He also called the pushback “falsehoods” and a “misinformation campaign.”

In August, the diocese’s own Cathedral school put a policy into place that is directly opposed to the diocese’s plan.

"Students may not advocate, celebrate or express same-sex attraction in such a way as to cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities or events," it states in part. Other diocesan schools were expected to follow suit.

Beginning last June, local Catholics held prayer vigils at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima adjacent to the diocesan chancery on the 13th of each month with the intention of preserving Catholic principles in Jefferson City diocesan schools, drawing Missouri Catholics from miles away.  

An additional prayer vigil was held October 7 outside the Cathedral of St. Joseph while a Mass commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Missouri Catholic Conference was celebrated inside. Bishop Gaydos was present at the Mass, along with all of the state’s bishops and Apostolic Nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre.

In an incident captured on video, the group of Catholics prayed the rosary and held signs stating, “Bishop Gaydos: Stop the Process.” During the prayer vigil, diocesan newspaper editor Jay Nies snapped at the group praying, “He can’t hear you!”

Cardinal Pierre announced Bishop Gaydos’ retirement on November 21, months before the bishop reached the regular retirement age of 75 this August. Bishop Gaydos is continuing as Apostolic Administrator for the Jefferson City diocese until the ordination and installation of Father Shawn McKnight, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, and the new bishop of Jefferson City.

Featured Image
Cesare F. Santangelo Live Action
Cheryl Sullenger

News

Court records reveal patient’s death resulted from negligence at late-term abortion center

Cheryl Sullenger

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – Court documents obtained by Operation Rescue accused late-term abortionist Cesare F. Santangelo of negligence in the previously unknown death of an abortion patient at his Washington Surgi-Clinic in 2010. That facility is located in Washington, D.C.

According to a 2011 medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family, Rebecca Carey Charland experienced a complicated pregnancy in the spring of 2010. She suffered from a condition known as antiphospholipid syndrome. That condition causes the immune system to attack proteins normally found in the blood, and can lead to the formation of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and miscarriage or stillbirth.

Unfortunately, her condition resulted in the natural death of her wanted pre-born baby in Charland’s second trimester of pregnancy.

On May 17, 2010, Charland underwent an ultrasound examination that confirmed her baby, which should have measured 20 weeks, 2 days, had tragically died in the womb at 16-17 weeks gestation.

The following day, her physician referred her to Santangelo and the Washington Surgi-Clinic, an outpatient abortion facility, for a D&E procedure to remove her dead baby.

“We don’t understand by this obstetrician referred his patient to Santangelo. She should have been referred to a specialist at a hospital due to her complicated medical history. Women that have suffered the death of a baby in the womb obviously require some kind of procedure to remove the deceased child, and we have the utmost compassion for anyone who has to endure that tragic situation. But the procedures should be done in hospitals under the supervision of legitimate physicians, and not done by quack abortionists at ill-equipped outpatient clinics. In this case, the mother’s death at Santangelo’s abortion clinic was avoidable and needless,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

As instructed, Charland reported to the abortion facility on May 19, 2010, for the first stage of the abortion, which included the insertion of laminaria dilators. The family claims in their 2011 lawsuit that she was never told that her condition posed increased risks of hemorrhage and the development of another condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which can be fatal.

Charland was also not informed that she could have the procedure in a safer, hospital setting. However, Santangelo held no hospital privileges, meaning he would have had to refer her – and the fee he expected to earn – to another physician, which he did not do.

The following day, May 20, Charland returned to the clinic for the completion of her procedure, but she was told she was insufficiently dilated. A second round of laminaria dilators were inserted and she was instructed to return to the clinic the following day.

However, about two hours later, Charland returned to the Washington Surgi-Clinic and began to complain of abdominal pain. She was told to wait for Santangelo to return to the clinic.

Finally, at around 2:38 p.m., Santangelo conducted Charland’s abortion procedure. By 2:45 p.m., her oxygen saturation levels dropped and she began to turn blue, according to the anesthesia record. Eleven minutes later, she was intubated. Her pulse and blood pressure continued to drop. At that time, she was given epinephrine, atropine, and bicarb.

At 2:58 p.m. – 13 minutes after Charland began to turn blue – an ambulance was finally called.

The ambulance arrived five minutes later. Paramedics found Charland a bluish-purple color and immediately began chest compressions, which improved her color after only one minute of application. Santangelo, who is accused of waiting too long to call for emergency help, never attempted to perform appropriate resuscitation efforts, according to the complaint.

Then, at 3:12 p.m., Charland’s pulse became undetectable, causing paramedics to use a defibrillator on her heart.

At 3:25 p.m., she was transported by a D.C. Fire and Rescue unit to George Washington University Hospital, where it was determined that Charland had suffered massive uterine bleeding that brought on DIC, a clotting disorder that causes more hemorrhaging and cascading organ failure.

Charland was declared dead on May 29, 2010, leaving two minor children motherless as well as a grieving husband and family.

An autopsy was conducted on Charland, which revealed a grotesque truth.

A microscopic analysis of her lungs showed skin cells, lango hair (fine hair that usually covers a baby in the womb), and fat – what the coroner referred to as “fetal debris.” This finding meant that bits of her dismembered baby entered her bloodstream – possibly through a uterine laceration or perforation — and lodged in her lungs.

The lawsuit accused Santangelo of ignoring Charland’s medical condition and the prescribed blood-thinning medication she was taking that contraindicated an outpatient D&E procedure.

He was also accused of failure to provide proper informed consent of her risks, failure to respond to Charland’s symptoms and complaints, and failure to conduct proper medical procedures, failure to refer her to a physician who could conduct her procedure is the safety of a hospital setting.

When Charland showed signs of respiratory distress, he negligently failed to apply proper resuscitation procedures, or call 911 in a timely manner.

Charland’s family sought financial damages in the amount of $80 million.

The lawsuit, filed on May 27, 2011, actively progressed until January 17, 2012, when the case was suddenly dismissed at the request of all parties just before depositions were to begin, according to court records. The dismissal is an indication that the parties reached an out-of-court settlement agreement for an undisclosed amount.

“It seems particularly tragic that this woman had to needlessly suffer and die at the hands of a greedy abortionist after enduring the heartbreak of losing her child. Even though this happened a few years ago, I want to extend my condolences to her surviving family, who suffered a tremendous loss of a wife, mother, child and sibling,” said Newman. “I hope they got a huge settlement out of Santangelo. It’s just too bad that it wasn’t enough to put him out of business, and halt his negligent abortion practices that continue to endanger women.”

A D.C. Department of Health file obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveals that Santangelo’s career has been fraught with a series of troubling botched abortions. At least two hospitals that have had to deal with these bad outcomes have lodged complaints against Santangelo.

A 2013 complaint filed by a department head at George Washington University Hospital addressed concerns about several of Santangelo’s “bad outcomes related to abortion.” The review panel was reluctant to discipline Santangelo, at one point noting, “He is the ‘go to” referral for these kind of high risk cases.”

Instead the panel made the following suggestions for changes Santangelo might consider adopting:

1. Consider conducting terminations with ultrasound guidance to reduce risk of uterine perforation;
2. Improve provider-referring hospital communication; and
3. Ensure that pre-consent and consent to surgery forms are uniform and do not have any differences, thereby preventing miscommunication.

All three of these issues were present in the Charland case, yet the George Washington University Hospital complaint was closed without further action.

Another complaint was filed by a nurse at Spotsylvania Medical Center in Virginia complained of a botched abortion, which was also closed by the Medical Board, as were several other patient complaints that were all found to be without merit.

“Serious oversight issues exist in Washington D.C.’s Department of Health and Medical Board that is giving Santangelo a free pass as he continues to wreck havoc with women’s health and lives,” said Newman. “Instead of putting Santangelo’s career first, they should be protecting the lives of women and their babies first. Turning a blind eye the way they have will only lead to more dead women, dead babies, and mourning families. At some point, it has to stop.”

​Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue.
 

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

News,

Pope decries abortion as a violation of ‘fundamental’ human rights

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

ROME, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday Pope Francis delivered the annual papal address to the diplomatic corps – the Vatican ambassadors from over 180 nations. His remarks focused on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 70 years ago this year on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

“At a distance of seventy years, it is painful to see how many fundamental rights continue to be violated today,” said the Pope. Noting the first right among all the rights as the right to life, the Pope said: “It is not only war or violence that infringes these rights. In our day, there are more subtle means: I think primarily of innocent children discarded even before they are born, unwanted at times simply because they are ill or malformed, or as a result of the selfishness of adults.”

In what many would see as a reference to imposition of gender ideology on nations, the Pope warned against ‘new rights’ that have been included “in the wake of the social upheaval of the 1960’s.” The Pope said “debatable notions of human rights have been advanced that are at odds with the culture of many countries” adding “there is a risk that, in the very name of human rights, we will see the rise of modern forms of ideological colonization by the stronger and the wealthier, to the detriment of the poorer and the most vulnerable.”

Other human rights violations mentioned by the Pope included:

  • “women who repeatedly suffer from violence and oppression”
  • “human trafficking”
  • lack of prohibition on nuclear weapons
  • “social marginalization” of people of faith
  • disregarding the “right to employment”
  • failure to address climate change

Quoting the Universal declaration, the Pope spoke of families as a “natural and fundamental group unit of society… entitled to protection by society and the state.”

“Unfortunately, it is a fact that, especially in the West, the family is considered an obsolete institution. Today fleeting relationships are preferred to the stability of a definitive life project. But a house built on the sand of frail and fickle relationships cannot stand. What is needed instead is a rock on which to build solid foundations. And this rock is precisely that faithful and indissoluble communion of love that joins man and woman, a communion that has an austere and simple beauty, a sacred and inviolable character and a natural role in the social order.”

He said it is urgent for the future of society that “genuine policies be adopted to support the family, on which the future and the development of states depend.” He warned that “Disregard for families has another dramatic effect – particularly present in some parts of the world – namely, a decline in the birth rate.”  We are, he said, “experiencing a true demographic winter!”

Read the Pope’s full address to the diplomatic corps here.

Featured Image
shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News

Canadian city cancels all-ages naked swim party after ‘volatile’ public backlash

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

CALGARY, Alberta, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Calgary city officials have canceled a private all-ages naked swim-and-slide party scheduled this Sunday at one of its leisure centers, citing security concerns as well as "volatile public commentary." The decision comes after massive public backlash to the event that included a petition signed by tens of thousands. 

James McLaughlin, acting director of recreation services, announced the cancellation Thursday following a review by Calgary Police Service and corporate security on the event, reported Calgary Herald.

“I can't say there was one specific threat, it was a series of things over time,” he said.

The City of Calgary stated on Thursday in a news release that it had canceled the event “due to concerns about safety and security arising from volatile public commentary.”

“Under the terms and conditions of facility rental agreements, the city reserves the right to cancel or amend permits should special circumstances arise,” the city stated. 

“Unfortunately, recent events have created the potential to impact the safety of participants, public and staff, and required the cancellation of this booking,” it added.

"Volatile public commentary motivated the final decision on cancellation of nude swim," tweeted Jill Croteau, journalist for Global Calgary.

Calgary Nude Recreation rented the Southland Leisure Centre for a private after-hours “Naked Water Slides and Wave Pool” event on January 14.

CBC reported on the event January 5, noting the nudist group says on its Meetup page it welcomes children at its events.

“This group is family oriented and kid friendly and open to people of all ages, body types, all genders, sexual orientations, and anyone else in between,” the group states.

The Dailywire.com subsequently excoriated the club for encouraging children to attend, and Calgary city hall for renting out the facility and providing staff to run the leisure center during the after-hours event.

And Canadian April Parker launched a petition to have the event canceled or changed to include adults only. 

“Sexual predators will be on the prowl - having an event like that is just like Christmas to them,” Parker’s petition contended. 

“Children with previous sexual abuse traumas will be heavily effected [sic] if they attend the event” and there is an “extremely high chance of photos and videos being taken without consent, considered child pornography.”

The petition went viral and has been signed by 20,800 people so far.

Meanwhile, Canadian Ben Moon’s counter-petition to “Shut Down the Petition to Shut Down the Nude Sliding Event” has 6,093 signatures to date.

Calgary Nude Recreation responded in a Facebook post that it was “outrageous that lawful recreation can be prohibited by an incredibly vocal minority” and that “cancelling the event due to outside factors is a terrible precedent to set.”

The nudist group has indicated that it might sue the city.

“As no timeline has been issued for completion of an event, full legal action will be simultaneously taken against the city to ensure future events will happen,” its Facebook statement reads.

“These people must NOT be allowed to dictate public policy with threats against law abiding citizens engaged in lawful activities.”

The Surrey Skinnydippers in British Columbia won the right to hold private nude swimming events at a public pool after a four-year court battle, according to an earlier CBC report. 

Parker, however, lauded the city's decision.

“I agree that more advanced security measures should be taken in an event like this,” she said in a statement. 

“I truly hope if they try to hold the event again in the future that they have a good security system in place so the privacy of everyone is ensured…once the proper safety precautions have been taken, the concern for children attending will be a lot lower.”

Related:

City hall to review all-ages naked swimming party after petition goes viral

Featured Image
Dr. Ellen Wiebe
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

News

Canadian nursing home accuses abortion doctor of ‘sneaking in’ to kill elderly patient

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A faith-based care facility in Canada has lodged a complaint against an abortion doctor for “sneaking” into the institution and “killing” a resident. 

The Louis Brier Nursing Home has notified the British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons that Dr. Ellen Wiebe of the Willow Women’s abortion clinic helped end the life of an 87-year-old resident, Barry Hyman, without the facility’s permission. 

The care home is an Orthodox Jewish institution. Although it permits residents to be assessed for voluntary euthanasia, it forbids the actual killing of residents on the premises. 

Active euthanasia, or “medical assistance in dying,” has been legal in Canada since June 17, 2016.  

Doctors may end people’s lives if certain criteria and guidelines are met, such as the person being mentally capable of making decisions regarding his or her health and having a “grievous and irremediable medical condition.” The Canadian definition of “grievous and irremediable medical condition” is sweeping. It includes an illness, disease or disability or state of decline that causes the person “enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable.”

Wiebe met Hyman last spring and “determined he met all the criteria” for active euthanasia, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Hyman had suffered a stroke and been diagnosed with lung cancer. He was mentally unimpaired, but he had difficulty speaking clearly, could no longer read and needed help with some tasks. 

The state-funded CBC called the procedure “medically assisted death.” 

Hyman wanted to have his life ended in the nursing home, but the institution turned down his request. Wiebe told the CBC that she suggested that Hyman be moved to Vancouver General Hospital or her own clinic, the Willow Women’s Clinic, for the procedure. But Hyman was adamant that he die in his “home, so Wiebe decided to honor his request. 

Wiebe maintains that she did nothing wrong. 

"The family wanted privacy so we just set up a time," she told the CBC. "When my nurse and I arrived, [we] went into his room and closed the door."

Hyman died shortly after 7 PM on June 29, 2017. According to Wiebe, the family notified the nursing home staff the following day. 

'Someone was sneaking in and killing someone'

David Keselman, CEO of the Louis Brier Nursing Home, told the Vancouver Sun that the news was “traumatic” for nurses who had seen Hyman just ten minutes before he died.

“That was tough on our staff,” Keselman said. “This isn’t an acute-care facility.”

He was shocked at the underhandedness of Wiebe’s actions.

“It was hidden,” he told the Sun. “There’s no documentation. She came in, and I don’t know who you are. You can tell me you’re a physician, you could tell me you’re an astronaut, how do I know?”

Keselman worried that other residents and family would be frightened by the implications of Wiebe’s stealthy visit. 

“We have a lot of Holocaust survivors,” he said. “To have a doctor sneak in and kill someone without telling anyone. They’re going to feel like they’re at risk when you learn someone was sneaking in and killing someone.”

According to the Sun, it was not the killing Keselman objected to, but the infringement upon the nursing home’s policy. Some Jewish authorities, however, say that active euthanasia is wrong.

Pro-life advocates have warned of the moral slippery slope Canada would slide down if it overturned laws banning euthanasia and assisted suicide, as has happened in other European countries. They warned that safeguards would prove ineffective and would eventually be whittled away to allow medical personnel to kill patients on demand. ​

Wiebe claimed that two other residents had also wanted her to end their lives at the nursing home but had “decided it was too stressful and that they didn’t want to be doing something against the staff.” 

The abortionist euthanized her first adult in 2016, saying that she was “grateful” to have participated in the death. In addition to aborting unborn babies and ending the lives of adults, Wiebe was a main researcher into trials of the abortion drug mifepristone (RU-487), which was linked to the death of one woman in 2001. In 1998, Wiebe participated in a workshop at the University of Toronto devoted to training medical personnel in chemical abortions. 

Last May she was lauded in Vice magazine as “the IUD whisperer” because of the thousands of contraceptive devices she has inserted into Vancouver women. 

Wiebe is also one of the founders of Hemlock AID Aid in Dying, a group of medical professionals formed to provide patients with information and access to “medically assisted death.” 

Wiebe denies that she did anything unprofessional by showing up unannounced to end Hyman’s life because the Louis Brier Nursing Home doesn’t require outside doctors to get visiting privileges before treating patients. She told the Sun that she would not end the lives of patients in some Rome Catholic institutions, like St. Paul’s Hospital, because those foundations do require outside doctors to get visiting privileges.

Direct euthanasia, putting an end to the life of a disabled, sick or dying person, is considered morally unacceptable by the world’s major religions. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, states that “an act or omission which, by itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.”

The Church calls direct euthanasia a “murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.”  

The number of people who have been killed by either direct euthanasia or “assisted suicide”  in Canada between June 17, 2016, and June 30, 2017, has been recorded as 1,982.

Featured Image
Justin Trudeau Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News

BREAKING: Canadian bishops condemn Trudeau’s pro-abortion pledge for summer job grants

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

OTTAWA, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Catholic bishops blasted Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for “undermining religious freedom” by requiring that employers sign an attestation supporting abortion and transgender “rights” in order to receive student summer job grants.

“This new policy conflicts directly with the right to freedom of religion and conscience which too are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as in associated case law,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement released Thursday.

“It seriously undermines the right to religious freedom since the Government of Canada is directly limiting the right of religious traditions to hold, teach and practise their principles and values in public,” the bishops wrote.

“Faith communities consider abortion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression as major questions with ethical, moral, social and personal bearing which determine our understanding of human dignity and thus appreciation for the meaning and significance of each and every human life,” they stated. 

Trudeau, who says he is Catholic, is the most pro-abortion Prime Minister Canada has ever had. A number of his positions regarding marriage and the sanctity of life are at odds with Catholic sexual and moral teaching.

The bishops also slammed the Liberal policy as “an attempt to restrict the voices of faith communities in Canadian democracy and to limit their participation in the public square.”

Non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers can apply for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to create jobs for students from 15 to 30 years of age. Formerly it was up to individual Members of Parliament to approve the applications.

URGENT: Tell Justin Trudeau you oppose this attack on freedom of conscience. Sign the petition! Click here.

But Liberal employment minister Patty Hajdu added the requirement for 2018 applicants after making it clear last year that the Liberals did not want pro-life groups receiving Canada Summer Job grants.

Employers now must agree to an attestation that:

both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Online applications are void if the attestation is not checked off.

The bishops write that according to the government, “this insistence on reproductive rights (which specifically includes ‘the right to access safe and legal abortions’), sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression is intended to ‘prevent youth (as young as 15 years of age) from being exposed to employment within organizations that may promote positions that are contrary to the values enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law’.” 

Trudeau defended the policy at a Hamilton town hall Wednesday, declaring that “we need to know that there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those expressions and beliefs.”

He also reiterated the Liberal position that religious groups are eligible to apply for the program.

But many faith-based charities, non-profits and institutions that say they cannot in conscience sign the attestation.

The bishops echo this.

“In addition to the obvious and regrettable infringement of freedom of conscience and religion in such matters as are raised by the new policy, there will be unfortunate consequences on the ground: summer camps will be forced to close; the services of numerous non-profit organizations will be reduced; valuable opportunities for apprenticeship will be lost,” they write.

“These effects, to name but a few, will be felt in Catholic dioceses and organizations as well as in many other faith communities across Canada.”

The new rule also “runs counter to the recommendations issued at the end of March 2017 by the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities which had been appointed by the Minister of National Revenue,” they state.

“These recommendations include that charities be allowed to provide information for the purpose of informing and swaying public opinion, and to advocate to keep or change law or policy, either in Canada (any level of government) or outside of Canada.”

***

The bishops’ full statement:

Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on recent changes to government requirements for “Canada Summer Jobs” program 

Employment and Social Development Canada posted information on its website, dated 19 December 2017, announcing a major change to its requirements regarding applications for federal funding under its Canada Summer Jobs program for youth employment. Attestation must now be included that “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.” 

According to the Department, this insistence on reproductive rights (which specifically includes “the right to access safe and legal abortions”), sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression is intended to “prevent youth (as young as 15 years of age) from being exposed to employment within organizations that may promote positions that are contrary to the values enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law.” 

Faith communities consider abortion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression as major questions with ethical, moral, social and personal bearing which determine our understanding of human dignity and thus appreciation for the meaning and significance of each and every human life. This new policy conflicts directly with the right to freedom of religion and conscience which too are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as in associated case law. It seriously undermines the right to religious freedom since the Government of Canada is directly limiting the right of religious traditions to hold, teach and practise their principles and values in public. 

In addition to the obvious and regrettable infringement of freedom of conscience and religion in such matters as are raised by the new policy, there will be unfortunate consequences on the ground: summer camps will be forced to close; the services of numerous non-profit organizations will be reduced; valuable opportunities for apprenticeship will be lost. These effects, to name but a few, will be felt in Catholic dioceses and organizations as well as in many other faith communities across Canada. 

Furthermore, the recently announced policy represents an attempt to restrict the voices of faith communities in Canadian democracy and to limit their participation in the public square. Moreover, it runs counter to the recommendations issued at the end of March 2017 by the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities which had been appointed by the Minister of National Revenue. These recommendations include that charities be allowed to provide information for the purpose of informing and swaying public opinion, and to advocate to keep or change law or policy, either in Canada (any level of government) or outside of Canada. 

11 January 2018 

Related:

Canadian Christians rise up against Trudeau’s pro-abortion pledge for summer job grants

Pro-life group sues Trudeau gov’t for tying pro-abortion pledge to summer job fund

Justin Trudeau woke a sleeping giant when he banned summer job grants to pro-life employers

Canada won’t fund student summer jobs unless employers support abortion

Featured Image
Nemis Quinn Melancon, aka "Lactatia" Twitter
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News

LGBT fetish underwear designer defends making 9-year-old drag queen its ‘covergirl’

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
Image
House of Mann designer Brandon Hilton at a children's story time event

January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The designer behind an “LGBT luxury brand” is defending using a 9-year-old drag queen to advertise a sequined onesie alongside a “BDSM Bondage Leather Star and Chain Dress,” bondage-themed nipple pasties, and glittery anatomy-highlighting men’s underwear.

House of Mann, run by Brandon Hilton, is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based online shop that sells clothing and lingerie for drag queens and gay men. It uses “vegan leather,” sequins, and various bondage and sex motifs to make its products.

Nine-year-old Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden, also known by his drag name “Lactatia,” became a sensation after appearing onstage at the Montreal stop of the “Werq the World Tour.” His mother, Jessica Mélançon, encourages Nemis to be a “drag queen.”

Breitbart and the Daily Caller originally sounded the alarm at Nemis named House of Mann’s “covergirl,” and being featured alongside “vegan leather harness jackets” and “fetish stripper boxer briefs.”

“If you can’t handle a kid in a sequin onesie, maybe the future isn’t for you,” Hilton tweeted in response. He said he “woke up to countless tweets telling me ‘kill yourself’ and calling me a ‘pedo’ after we announced 9 year old drag superstar Lactatia as our new HOUSE OF MANN covergirl.”

The House of Mann listing of the child’s sequined onesies says it’s for ages 13 and under. The store sells 60 erotic and drag products.

“I think this new generation of drag kids is brilliant and inspiring!” Hilton tweeted. “People will talk no matter what, might as well give them something FIERCE to look at!”

An August 2017 video on Hilton’s twitter account shows him dressed as a female mermaid reading a picture book to toddlers. The few lines of the story he reads in the video seem to be from a pro-transgender book.

The “Queen Lactatia” instagram account shows Lactatia wearing the onesie in a video and photo posted on December 31, 2017.

Numerous pro-LGBT websites have written stories praising Hilton in the midst of backlash.

Featured Image
shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News,

Canadian Christians rise up against Trudeau’s pro-abortion pledge for summer job grants

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

OTTAWA, January 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is facing a growing backlash from churches, charities, and religious groups for requiring employers to sign an attestation supporting abortion and transgender rights to receive summer job grants for students.

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) has been “overwhelmed” by calls and emails from members who say they can’t in conscience sign the attestation, says Barry W. Bussey, the association’s director of legal services.

“People are very concerned,” he told LifeSiteNews. 

“We have 3,400 members across the country and we have a number of them who rely on the Canada Summer Jobs,” Bussey said, but “in fact, most of them are saying, no, they’re not signing.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada heard from 160 groups, the National Post reported.

“[T]hose who can’t check off that attestation are being denied equal access to a public benefit solely because of their religious belief,” Julia Beazley, the EFC’s director of public policy told the National Post.

Meanwhile, Toronto Right to Life Association has filed a lawsuit against the Liberals' new policy, claiming the attestation requirement violates the Charter rights of freedom of religion, expression and equality, and should be quashed.

Pro-abortion attestation 

Liberal employment minister Patty Hajdu added the requirement for 2018 applicants after making it clear last year that the Liberals did not want pro-life groups receiving Canada Summer Job grants.

Non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers can apply for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to create jobs for students from 15 to 30 years of age. Formerly it was up to individual Members of Parliament to approve the applications.

Employers now must agree to an attestation that their “core mandate” and the jobs funded respect human rights and the “values underlying” the Charter, including “reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”

Online applications will not be accepted unless the attestation is checked off.

The Canada Summer Job website says the attestation is consistent with “human rights” which include “sexual and reproductive rights — and the right to access safe and legal abortions. These rights are at the core of the Government of Canada’s foreign and domestic policies.”

URGENT: Tell Justin Trudeau you oppose this attack on freedom of conscience. Sign the petition! Click here.

Hajdu’s spokesperson Matt Pascuzzo reiterated this in an email to LifeSiteNews, after noting the Liberals had doubled the number of placements. 

The Trudeau government announced last year it was boosting the program’s by $113 million annually. The Canada Summer Jobs budget of $215 million now funds 77,000 placements across the country.

“As in previous years, churches, religious and faith-based organizations are encouraged, welcome and eligible to apply,” Pascuzzo wrote.

“Applicants are not asked to provide their views, beliefs or values as these are not taken into consideration during application for the program. Faith-based groups are required to meet the same eligibility criteria as any applicant to CSJ 2018,” he stated.

“We are committed to ensuring that youth job opportunities funded by the Government of Canada take place in an environment that respects the rights of all Canadians, and ensuring that federal funding supports employment opportunities that respect existing laws, including human rights law and labour law, to which public, private and not-for-profit organizations are already subject,” Pascuzzo wrote.

Conservative commentator Jonathon van Maren said the government's position amounts to asking Christians to burn incense at pagan altars. 

"Trudeau’s Employment Minister, caught off guard by this backlash, is telling Christian groups just to check the stupid box and they’ll get the money—after all, it’s only a pinch of incense," he wrote in a column this week. 

'Religious test'

The Liberals are being “duplicitous” by “blurring the line” between acknowledging the law and endorsing it, says Dr. Keith Cassidy, president of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Ontario.

“Obviously we recognize that the law of Canada permits abortion, but we do not affirm that this is desirable,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“In effect, the government is creating a religious test for the receipt of public funds and this is unacceptable: it violates the very Charter of Rights and Freedoms which the government cites as the basis of its own policy,” Cassidy said.

“The central concern is that they want you not merely to obey the law, but to endorse it as part of your ‘core mandate,’ and that is a very different issue,” he pointed out. 

It’s also “extraordinarily dangerous because it points to a world in which the receipt of government services can be limited to those who affirm not only the laws of the country, but the ideology of the dominant party, and that is not an approach compatible with a free society.”

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College had three summer students last year, and will be applying for about three grants this year, Cassidy told LifeSiteNews.

But the college will submit a paper application with a note that it cannot sign the attestation, he said.

Where will it end?: Tory MP

CCCC’s Bussey is also advising members to submit paper applications, and let him know the fate of their applications. (He’s provided an alternative attestation here.)

“We want to know whether our members are being denied these funds because of their opinions,” he said. “We are definitely considering legal action on this.”

Conservative MP Ted Falk is also advising concerned groups in his constituency to submit a paper application with a note saying they cannot in conscience sign the attestation.

Tory critic on the matter, Falk has asked Hajdu in letter to rescind the attestation, but has not heard back, he told LifeSiteNews.

“It’s hard to get it onto people’s radar that this is happening,” Falk said. 

“The Liberals very sneakily released this just before the House rose for the winter break,” he said.

And the program application deadline is February 2, scant days after MPs return.

Falk contends the Liberal move affects all Canadians, pro-life or not.

“The bigger question is, if they can get away with it here, where will it go next?” he said.

“Will people have to sign attestations when applying for employment insurance, applying for student loans, applying for pensions? Where is the end? This is a very fundamental freedom that’s being challenged right now by the Liberal government.”

Editor's note: The Liberals boosted the Canada Summer Job budget by $113 million, not by $113,000, as LifeSiteNews originally reported.​

Related:

Pro-life group sues Trudeau gov’t for tying pro-abortion pledge to summer job fund

Justin Trudeau woke a sleeping giant when he banned summer job grants to pro-life employers

Canada won’t fund student summer jobs unless employers support abortion

Featured Image
Hector Balderas
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News,

Pro-lifers furious New Mexico attorney general won’t investigate baby parts sales

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

NEW MEXICO, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The New Mexico Attorney General won’t investigate his state’s flagship university and a late-term abortion facility for selling baby body parts, despite an ongoing FBI inquiry, the urging of a Congressional committee, and the suspension of a university researcher for her involvement in the “transfer” of body parts.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, informed the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant lives he wasn’t interested in pursuing the case via a letter on January 4, 2018.

There is “insufficient evidence” to support the Congressional Panel’s findings that the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) broke laws preventing trafficking of human body parts, Deputy Attorney General Tania Maestas wrote on behalf of Balderas’ office.

“We do not believe that the referrals’ allegations amount to probable cause for criminal violation of either act,” Maestas contended, referring to the two state laws that were allegedly violated.

Noting the referrals also alleged violations of federal law, Maestas wrote, “our office takes no position on any potential violations of federal law as alleged.”

However, the Attorney General’s office is “willing to work cooperatively” with the U.S. Department of Justice if there is a federal investigation.

In a January 4, 2018, letter to Abortion Free New Mexico’s Tara Shaver, Assistant Attorney General Dylan Lange made similar arguments. Shaver had filed a complaint making the same allegations as the House Select Panel before the Panel did.

“I am very disappointed but, unfortunately, not surprised by the Attorney General’s conclusions regarding the ongoing trade in baby body parts here in New Mexico,” said Angelo Artuso, Abortion Free New Mexico’s attorney. “After all, we live in a State where aborting a baby in utero is lawful through all nine months of pregnancy.”

Elisa Martinez of the New Mexico Alliance for Life called Balderas' actions “pathetic” and accused him of “malpractice as the Attorney General” for “failing to prosecute over 100 viable cases within the statute of limitations.”

Americans United for Life (AUL) President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster said Balderas used “loopholes” in the law to bolster his pro-abortion arguments.

“Balderas has concluded that loopholes in existing New Mexico statutes regarding ethical human tissue and organ donation allow abortion clinics to exploit the broken bodies of aborted infants for scientific experimentation,” said Foster.

“There will never be justice in New Mexico until leaders, lawmakers and law enforcers stop propping up a failing abortion industry whose grisly trade negatively [affects] the most vulnerable of our communities,” said Shaver.

“Fortunately, the Department of Justice has opened an active investigation into Planned Parenthood aborted baby body parts scheme, and are also investigating the UNM/SWO referrals, so there is still some hope that justice will be done,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The university researcher who was suspended is UNM’s Dr. Robin Ohls. Ohls “acquired fetal tissue for months from the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion clinic and transferred it to a private company in Michigan,” a UNM internal memo revealed.

The University’s Health Sciences Center (HSC) “was concerned that...an issue was being raised that would potentially infringe on the University’s policy to not buy or sell human tissue” and “appropriate research compliance approvals and processes protocols had not been followed.”

“The use of aborted baby parts for any purpose should be repugnant to all civilized people,” concluded Artuso. “To deny this truth is to join the ranks of Mao, Stalin, Idi Amin, Dr. Josef Mengele, and every other tyrant who deals with inconvenient people by denying that they are people.”

Featured Image
Kim Davis
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

News

Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to sign gay ‘marriage’ licenses runs for re-election

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

ROWAN COUNTY, Kentucky, January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Kentucky woman who became famous for refusing to sign homosexual “marriage” licenses and spent nearly a week in jail for her Christian convictions has officially registered for re-election.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis announced in November that she would run for a second term, but this time as a Republican. She switched parties after her confrontation with the court system over same-sex “marriage.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision imposed homosexual “marriage” nationwide, Davis refused to sign county-issued licenses.  She said that as a Christian, she believed marriage was exclusively the union of one woman and one man.  

“It’s a Heaven or Hell decision,” Davis asserted.  While she said she has “no animosity toward anyone,” she refused to violate “marriage and God’s Word.”

Even after U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered her to sanction same-sex “marriage” with her signature, she refused because of her sincerely-held beliefs. With the help of Liberty Counsel, Davis argued that the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky Constitution, and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected her from being forced to give the licenses.  

Bunning did not agree and sent her to jail.  

Then-presidential primary candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Davis’ imprisonment “tyranny” designed to drive Christians from public office. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee agreed, saying, “I am appalled at our government’s willingness to accommodate the religious beliefs of all religions but Christianity.”

Six days later, the same judge ordered her released, changing his ruling: Davis was not required to personally sign licenses and she must not interfere with other clerks signing them.

Davis maintained her position that she would not sign because to do so would constitute her participation in something the Bible deems sinful. And, she changed the license form so it did not mention the county or her name.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to force Davis to issue the old certificates with her signature, something Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver called a “bully tactic.”  Judge Bunning turned the ACLU down, deciding that Davis’ revised certificates were legal.

Davis insisted that from the beginning all she asked for was a reasonable accommodation to remove her name as the Clerk of Rowan County from the marriage licenses. With the help of Liberty Counsel, Davis defended her right to believe in marriage and fought her contempt conviction all the way to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

The state legislature reacted positively to Davis’ conviction, and passed a bill removing county clerks’ names, personal identification, and authorization from state marriage licenses.  Newly elected pro-life Governor Matt Bevin – who in part ran on his support for Davis while incumbent Steve Beshear stood against her – signed the bill into law.

Davis dropped her suit because the new law provides her the religious accommodation she sought from the court.

Despite the convenience of 130 offices across the state which issue marriage licenses, three homosexual couples sued Davis for damages because she didn’t personally sign their “marriage” licenses.  But Bunning dismissed the lawsuits because the new Kentucky law made them moot.  

On appeal, however, the Sixth Circuit revived at least one of the cases, giving it back to Bunning for reconsideration because the homosexuals were seeking “damages for a particularized harm allegedly suffered.”

Since her public ordeal, Davis was invited to meet the Pope, although Pope Francis kept the meeting secretive and the Vatican inexplicably refused to confirm the meeting took place.  She attended President Obama’s last State of the Union Address. And, she went to Romania to encourage conservatives to defend real marriage.

Davis was elected Rowan County Clerk in November 2014, after working in the clerk’s office over 25 years.  Her mother worked there for 36 years.  

This fall’s election will be the first time Davis faces the voters after taking her very public stand. One of the homosexuals initially denied a Rowan County marriage license because of Davis, David Ermold, is running against her, along with three other Democrats.

Featured Image
Cardinal Joseph Tobin speaks to the 'LGBT Pilgrimage' at his cathedral in Newark. Fr. James Martin / Facebook
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

News,

Francis-appointed cardinal: Pope could ‘name a woman cardinal’

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the short span of three weeks, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has made startling statements regarding the role of women within the Catholic Church in a pair of interviews reported in high profile left-leaning publications – The New York Times (NYT) and Jesuit America Magazine

Nicholas Kristoff kicked off the NYT interview by zeroing in on a favorite term, “gender,” in what amounted to a slight against Catholicism.  “One area where the Catholic Church seems to me antiquated is gender.” Kristoff continued, “If Jesus trusted women like Mary Magdalene, if Phoebe could be a leader of the early church, then why can’t women be priests or cardinals today?”

Tobin, who was made cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016, chose not to use this as an opportunity to explain Church teaching to Kristoff and the few million NYT readers. Instead, he expressed empathy for those who have a problem with the Catholic priesthood.  He suggested the male priesthood is a “stumbling block,” and then went further, saying, “I know for some women this sort of stumbling block takes them away from the church.”  

Speaking to America Magazine, Tobin expressed an even deeper degree of empathy with women who disagree with church teaching.  He said he has become “more and more aware of how women have been given a lot of reason to abandon the church” because of the “disrespect” they experience within the Church.  

Developing the idea that women are hurt by being deprived of participation in the diaconate, Tobin suggested the Church’s culture is tinged with misogyny,  closed-mindedness, and male privilege.   

“The overarching challenge of clericalism ... is not simply a potentially misogynistic mindset, but ... a closed mindset. It’s a closed mindset that believes in certain privilege and entitlement,” he said.   

Cardinal Tobin’s Case for Women Cardinals 

When asked by the NYT, “So will we see women cardinals soon?” Cardinal Tobin delivered perhaps his biggest stunner, “I don’t believe that there’s a compelling theological reason why the pope couldn’t name a woman cardinal.” 

In the America Magazine interview, Cardinal Tobin went still further and aligned himself with left-leaning Hofstra University professor Phyllis Zagano, a well-known advocate for women’s ordination to the diaconate. She has spoken at events sponsored by organizations that promote women’s ordination to the priesthood.

When pressed for a concrete example of Pope Francis’ fresh “new way” when it comes to the role of women within the Catholic Church, Tobin referred to the commission created by the Pope, tasked with looking at the question of women in the diaconate. 

“For me, what was significant was not simply that he named this commission but who he put on it. Here from North America, we’re delighted that Phyllis Zagano, who is a very erudite woman and also a very clearly spoken woman on the issue, was named to it.” 

The Catholic Church has long held women’s ordination is an ontological impossibility because Jesus ordained only men. Their masculinity is essential to their priesthood and their ability to act in the person of Christ (in persona Christi).

Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.”

Because only a baptized man can validly receive sacred ordination (CCC 1577), and the diaconate is a part of the sacrament of holy orders, only men are permitted to be ordained deacons. Many scholars point to women in the early Church as non-ordained deaconesses, but some argue that they were actually ordained in this role.

Missed opportunities 

Tobin also missed other sterling opportunities to make strong statements in the NYT interview regarding the beauty and profundity of church teaching when asked about homosexuality, abortion, and family planning.  

Perhaps he was trying to steer clear of creating controversy, but nonetheless, Cardinal Tobin’s stance on the issue of gays has been clearly displayed since the beginning of his tenure as Newark’s Archbishop. 

Last year, the Cardinal personally welcomed homosexuals on a so-called “LGBT Pilgrimage,” to his Newark Cathedral.  

When asked by the New York Times if he should have used the event to call the “LGBT pilgrims” out of sin, Cardinal Tobin replied: “That sounds a little backhanded to me.” 

The “LGBT Pilgrimage Mass” was a significant gesture, reported the New York Times,  “because of the symbolism of a cardinal welcoming a group of gay Catholics, some of whom were married to same-sex spouses, to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the center of a cathedral, no questions asked.” 

Immediately following the event, Vatican advisor and pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin delivered a congratulatory message to the Cardinal on his Facebook page, saying, “Bravo!”

Unsurprisingly, Cardinal Tobin is one of the top Vatican and United States church officials who has praised Fr. Martin for his pro-LGBT book, Building A Bridge.  

Cardinal Tobin is one of a growing group of prelates and influential clerics who act as if they are intending to undermine magisterial teaching and to defy natural law by supporting homosexual relationships.  

He is also fully supportive of Pope Francis controversial, divisive, Amoris Laetitia, which the Pope and some Prelates have interpreted as allowing “remarried” divorcees (without an annulment and not living in sexual continence) access to the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.

A small but growing number of bishops are saying that such a reading is causing “rampant confusion” within the Church, that it will spread “a plague of divorce” in the Church, and that it is “alien” to the Church’s entire faith and Tradition.  

Cardinal Tobin seems to dismiss all his detractors with a biting, terse statement capping his America Magazine interview: “My favorite definition of heresy is an unwillingness to deal with complexity. It’s a desire to simplify into one bite-sized morsel.”

Featured Image
Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington
Joseph Sciambra

Opinion

New Zealand bishop calls changing LGBT attitudes a ‘Galileo moment’ for Church

Joseph Sciambra

January 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — On December 2-3, 2017, Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand; Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland; and Bishop Stephen Lowe of Hamilton held a workshop for young Catholics called “Bishop’s Banter” at St. Mary’s College in Ponsonby, New Zealand. According to an article appearing in NZCatholic, many of the questions dealt with the issue of homosexuality and same-sex "marriage:"

Bishop Lowe said he thinks young people are leading the way in terms of relating with the LGBT community.

“I think young people are prophets of the Church. They always have something to say to the Church. And that’s what has come up. Young people want the Church to be more engaging with them (LGBT people),” he said.

He said the issue of homosexuality may be a “Galileo moment” for the Church.

He continued:

“The psychology is still up for debate, but the Church has got to engage with the science and engage with the experience of couples with same-sex attraction.”

Bishop Dunn said:

“We need to make the LGBT people feel welcome. They are beautiful people, but they feel rejected by the Church.”

On January 19, 2018, James Martin, S.J., posted a link on his Twitter account to the article from NZCatholic (as reported by the dissident pro-gay marriage New Ways Ministry) about the New Zealand “Bishop’s Banter.”

In another article from NZCatholic, from September 28, 2017, Bishop Dunn praised Martin’s book “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity” and repeated many of his arguments almost verbatim. He wrote:

If the institutional Church is going to be sensitive in its use of language, we may need to move away from the phrase “objectively disordered”, which the Catechism itself uses to describe the homosexual inclination. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person is “disordered” seems needlessly cruel.

In “Building a Bridge,” Martin wrote:

One way to be sensitive is to consider the language we use. Some bishops have already called for us to set aside the phrase “objectively disordered” when it comes to describing the homosexual inclination (as it is in the Catechism, No. 2358). The phrase relates to the orientation, not the person, but it is still needlessly hurtful. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love — is “disordered” in itself is needlessly cruel.

A number of the other talking points from the New Zealand Bishops seem to be directly pulled from James Martin; for instance, in terms of a supposedly new understanding of homosexuality, which like the discoveries of Galileo, reveal some sort of recently uncovered truth about the origins of same-sex attraction, Martin said this when asked if LGBT individuals were born that way:

Yes. Science and psychology shows that, and most people are finally coming to see that this — for mysterious reasons — is the way they are made. That’s something that’s held by almost every reputable psychologist and biologist. And the “LGBT” people I speak to have always felt that way. Part of it is accepting oneself and accepting this is the way God made you.

The comment about Galileo appears to have originated with certain gay Biblical revisionists; in his book “Being Gay, Being Christian: You Can be Both,” Australian psychologist Stuart Edser wrote:

“Just as Galileo was asked to choose between church dogma and what he knew to be true, so the church today asks gay people to choose between church dogma and the authenticity of their natural sexual orientation, something they know to be true.”

Martin also proposes a radical reinterpretation of the Bible to fit a pro-gay narrative; concerning the passages in Scripture that have traditionally been understood as condemning homosexual activity, Martin said:

All these Bible passages that people throw at you; I think really need to be understood in their historical context. I mean Leviticus and Deuteronomy and even the stuff from the New Testament where Paul talks about it once or twice, has to be understood in their historical context…certainly in Old Testament times, they didn’t understand the phenomena of homosexuality and bisexuality as we do today.

On the issue of “experience,” and how understanding the “experience” of same-sex couples could possibly change the Church’s viewpoint about homosexuality, Martin wrote:

To begin with, it is nearly impossible to know another person’s feelings at a distance. You cannot understand the feelings of a community if you don’t know the community. You can’t be sensitive to the L.G.B.T. community if you only issue documents about them, preach about them, or tweet about them, without knowing them. One reason the institutional church has struggled with sensitivity is, in my opinion, that many church leaders still do not know many gay and lesbian people …

Cardinal Christof Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna, reminded us of this at the meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the family, when he spoke of a gay couple he knew who had transformed his understanding of LGBT people. He even praised same-sex unions. The cardinal said, “(O)ne shares one’s life, one shares the joys and sufferings, one helps one another. We must recognize that this person has made an important step for his own good and for the good of others, even though, of course, this is not a situation that the church can consider regular.” He also overruled a priest in his archdiocese who had prohibited a man in a same-sex union from serving on a parish council. That is, Cardinal Schönborn stood with him. Much of this came from his experience of, knowledge of and friendship with L.G.B.T. people. Cardinal Schönborn said simply, “We must accompany.”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 85 percent of self-identified Catholics ages 18-29 said that homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with just 13 percent who said it should be discouraged.

​Reprinted with permission from JosephSciambra.com.

Print All Articles
View specific date