BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- The head of an international “human rights” organization called on Argentina to repeal its constitutional provision protecting preborn babies from abortion.
“The criminalization of abortion is an extreme form of violence against women. It doesn’t reduce abortions – it just makes them unsafe,” Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said in an interview with the UK Guardian. The remarks followed a meeting with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires.
Argentina’s constitution currently prohibits abortion, with exceptions to save a mother’s life or in cases of rape. However, the country is currently in the midst of a national debate over legislation to legalize elective abortion through the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, as well as late-term abortions in cases of fetal deformity or to protect mothers’ “psychological” health.
Macri claims to be pro-life but says he will defer to the legislature and not veto the bill if it passes. Whether he will get the opportunity remains to be seen.
Fifty thousand pro-lifers marched on Buenos Aires to protest the legislation, but The New York Times cites recent polls finding that public support for legalization is between 49 percent and 55 percent. Hearings are scheduled to occur twice a week during the next two months, and observers suspect its biggest challenge will be clearing the Senate. Twenty-seven senators have come out against legalization and only 16 in favor, according to the Times, with another 26 not yet divulging their position.
Shetty says he told Macri that his assurance was insufficient, because the president has “a legal obligation to protect the health and the rights of women.”
He said Argentina's laws lead to half a million underground abortions every year. “In the last 25 years, more than 3,000 women have died in Argentina alone as a result of clandestine procedures,” Shetty claimed, or 0.024 percent of all illegal abortions per year.
Legalization proponents claim non-fatal complications are far more common. “There are between 45,000 to 60,000 hospitalizations derived from clandestine abortions every year,” said Brenda Austin, a lawmaker belonging to Macri’s Cambiemos coalition.
Americans United for Life addressed these arguments in a 2012 report on the state of abortion in Latin America. Citing statistics from Argentina’s National Ministry of Health, it found that illegal abortions represent a small percentage of maternal deaths, 74 out of 306 in 2007.
Further, the report quoted the World Health Organization as acknowledging that “hospital structure” was the “most important variable” to determining maternal deaths. “The availability of essential obstetric care, active emergencies and experts” must be addressed to save women’s lives, AUL concluded, rather than legalizing abortion.
Amnesty International, a group whose stated mission is to bring about a “world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” has a long history of promoting abortion worldwide.
It most recently accepted $161,000 (€137,000) from American billionaire George Soros to influence Ireland’s upcoming abortion referendum, despite Ireland’s Electoral Act forbidding political donations from foreign entities larger than €100. In 2015, the Life Institute’s Niamh Uí Bhriain called it “less than impressive” that Amnesty International could not recruit more than 20 doctors per country, on average, to sign a letter for legalizing abortion.
April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- British Catholic officials criticized an "offensive" BBC video on LGBT tolerance that says Holy Communion “tastes like cardboard” and “smells like hate.”
BBC The Social, a social media outlet aimed at young adults managed by BBC Scotland, posted a video titled “Time for Love” on April 9 on Facebook and YouTube.
The video dramatizes a young man’s response to his feeling restrained from kissing his male partner in a public park because of others’ views on same-sex relationships. It gives an unflattering portrayal of those in the park who react negatively toward the couple. The Facebook post introducing the video stated, “This is how homophobia feels in 2018.”
The video depicts a parody of the Eucharist at one point, with a priest elevating a cheese cracker.
“Because it seems to me like Jesus saved a lot of time when he died for all our crimes that he would have wasted teaching small minds that love is no sin,” the narrator says.
“See him, he thinks it’s faith,” the young man continues, referring to a zealous street preacher he calls a “Bible basher rehashing lies about Jesus.”
The video then jumps back to the priest subsequently placing the cracker on the tongue of a kneeling woman, who then performs the sign of the cross.
“But under all that din,” the narrator continues during the scene, “it tastes like cardboard, and it smells like hate.”
LifeSiteNews sent the BBC an inquiry about the video.
Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, Scotland, said the video was “offensive to Catholics in both the words and images used.”
While there is always room for debate, the video is “not fair comment,” the bishop said in a Catholic Herald report.
“The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh also criticised the video’s suggestion that orthodox Christianity, including Catholicism, encourages public hatred of gay people,” Bishop Keenan said in an April 13 Facebook post sharing the Herald article.
The archdiocese posted a statement on its Facebook page April 13 as well, which quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality:
“They (homosexual persons) must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,” adding that, “homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358-9)
The archdiocese referred readers to the Courage apostolate, a Church resource for individuals with same-sex attraction, including pastoral support for them and their families.
“So BBC Scotland has described Holy Communion and Catholics in its latest digital stream for young people in Scotland on homophobia,” Bishop Keenan said in another April 13 Facebook post describing specifics of the video. “The priest holds up a Mini-Cheddar in parody of the Host for a Catholic parishioner to receive.”
He continued, “All this in a week when a Sunday Times poll found 20 perecent of Catholics reported personally experiencing abuse or prejudice towards their faith and recent government figures on religiously aggravated crime showed 57 percent of it is now directed at Catholics, an increase of 14 percent ... and we all wonder why!!!”
“It is ridiculing and demeaning the faith of ordinary Catholics,” Bishop Keenan told the Catholic Herald, “especially at a time when Catholics are experiencing more and more abuse and prejudice in Scotland.”
“You cannot imagine it treating any other religion like this,” the bishop said.
“The BBC has to be careful,” Bishop Keenan said. “It has to ask itself if it has ceased to be a broadcaster in the public interest, and is just promoting particular interests.”
Irish Bishops warn of grim consequences for repealing the Eighth Amendment
Bishops Nulty, Buckley, and McGuckian of Raphoe all issued letters calling on parishioners to vote no on May 25.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 6:04 pm EST
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
April 17, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – With the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment, which protects the equal right to life of mother and unborn child, less than six weeks away, three Irish bishops this weekend published pastoral letters on the right to life.
Bishops Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin, John Buckley of Cork and Ross and Alan McGuckian of Raphoe all issued letters calling on parishioners to vote no on May 25.
Nothing more important than the right to life
Bishop Nulty, whose letter was circulated at Mass in the 56 parishes of his diocese, began by praying for healing for all those who have been affected by abortion. "I believe that there is real grieving in the wake of an abortion and that compassion and care should be our first response.
"My concern here is not to dwell on the past but to safeguard the future," the letter continues. "Nothing is as important for the future of our shared humanity as the right to life. Therefore, I wish to speak boldly and clearly."
The bishop then strongly defends the truth that life begins at conception, and his belief that "none of us, women or men, have an absolute right over the life of another." He also warns "once we deny the right to life of the unborn, we can no longer defend ourselves from what flows from an abortion culture. For instance, we are in deep denial if we cannot recognise that an abortion culture fundamentally alters our attitude towards disability...In recent years, I have the sense that we are walking with our eyes closed into an era of eugenics, unwilling to look where we are going but still continuing on. I know I am not alone in thinking this."
Love them both
In his pastoral letter to the faithful of the 33 parishes in Raphoe Diocese, Bishop McGuckian said he realised that the subject of abortion was "a very sensitive, delicate and painful topic for many", but that he wished to make some points on the issue "clearly and unambiguously".
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He tackled the arguments for abortion in particularly difficult situations, saying: "An expectant mother needs and deserves the care and support of everyone around her particularly if her pregnancy poses a serious crisis for her and her family. A mother may be informed that her baby faces serious challenges or is perhaps terminally ill. She might be pregnant as a result of rape. In such cases recommending abortion might seem like a gesture of compassion. Even in those tragic cases the unborn child needs to be loved and cherished. A compassionate society will do all in its power to support and love the mother and baby, and encourage responsible support from fathers."
In his letter to the 68 parishes of Cork and Ross diocese, Bishop Buckley also stressed that mother and child must always be cared for, particularly in very challenging situations. He also warned of the threat of euthanasia, saying: "We can be sure that if a society decides that human life is disposable at its beginning, it will not be too long before it decides the same for human life at its end."
He ended: "We will never again have a more important vote. There is no cause more noble than to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Never before in history have we had so much scientific proof that the unborn baby is, in fact, a living, breathing human being."
Government ministers have hit back at the words from the bishops, with Regina Doherty, the social protection minister, saying that there was "no such thing as an abortion culture."
He said he was discussing new forms of witness. "As a start, from this year on, I would like us to keep every 23rd October, the day the Act was passed, as a diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life. On that day, as we celebrate being people of life with various initiatives, I ask our priests to offer a Mass for the Progress of Peoples, but wearing the purple vestments of penitence."
“War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly,” the report’s executive summary says. “If the right is silenced, billions of people will be cut off from conservative ideas and conservative media.”
The report finds that all four websites actively hide or deemphasize conservative content from users, and that in some cases staffers have admitted doing so was intentional. It further criticizes the platforms for relying on left-wing organizations to provide advice and screening sources that are presented as impartial.
The report finds that Google, the world’s most influential search engine, displayed a “tendency toward left-wing bias in its search results.” Its lead source was a study by Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, which found that search results for decided voters “were nearly twice as biased in favor of (Hillary) Clinton” in the 2016 presidential election.
“Censored!” also highlights a January 2018 Project Vertias video, which filmed Twitter employees admitting that they “shadow-ban” some conservative users -- a practice by which others cannot see a shadow-banned user’s content, but the target has not been notified of an action against him. Twitter has attempted to block several pro-life advertisements, as well.
The report also notes that Twitter attorney Sean Edgett admitted to a House panel that during the election Twitter censored 25 percent of tweets carrying the #PodestaEmails hashtag, and 48 percent of those tagged #DNCLeak (referencing a scandal over leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee).
Regarding Facebook, the report calls attention to a 2016 Gizmodo report that quoted several former employees as admitting that Facebook “routinely” manipulated its trending news feature to exclude topics such as the Conservative Political Action Conference, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the scandal concerning former IRS official Lois Lerner.
“It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is,” one former news curator is quoted as saying.
YouTube has suppressed conservative content as well, according to MRC. It lists the conservative blog Legal Insurrection, foreign policy commentator Pamela Geller, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, video bloggers Diamond and Silk, Dennis Prager’s PragerU series, and several pro-gun channels as having seen their videos either deleted, age-restricted, or demonetized, and in the cases of Geller and Legal Insurrection, their accounts terminated entirely.
Prager and Diamond and Silk’s cases are ongoing, but YouTube has since reversed most of the decisions listed here, claiming they were unintentional errors.
Nevertheless, suspicions remain that the trend is due to a persistent, deliberate bias rather than occasional, benign mistakes. “Censored!” notes that each company takes advice and outsources some fact-checking and guideline enforcement to organizations that themselves have left-wing biases.
Twitter relies on a “Trust and Safety Council” to provide advice on “safety products, policies, and programs.” Its America-based member organizations include just one conservative group, the Network of Enlightened Women, but 12 left-wing groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the pro-homosexual GLAAD. Both organizations have labeled mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups.”
ADL is also one of the groups YouTube employs to flag “hateful content” for restriction, as is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), another left-wing organization infamous for accusing mainstream conservatives of “hate.”
Facebook’s “fact-checking” feature relies primarily on left-leaning publications such as Snopes and PolitiFact for ostensibly-impartial “fact checking,” as well (in fairness, the conservative Weekly Standard is also listed as a fact-checker). Facebook does not formally employ SPLC as part of that process, but in August 2017 it deleted 57 of more than 200 alleged “hate groups” suggested by SPLC. Google faces similar criticism.
The report lists several recommendations for tech companies, including greater transparency for when and how content restriction decisions are made, publishing clear guidelines for ideological content, cutting ties with “bad actors” such as GLAAD and SPLC, employing truly neutral fact-checkers, and overhauling their algorithms, advertising policies, and systems for flagging and reporting disputed content.
“The conservative movement is facing a threat to its very existence — a new, insidious form of media censorship,” Goldenberg and Gainor warned. “It’s almost too much for conservatives even to contemplate fighting. But they need to do much more than contemplate it.
“Americans have always had to be willing to fight for a righteous cause, from Lexington and Concord to the beaches of Normandy,” they concluded. “Now it’s the conservative movement’s turn to fight. This is a different kind of battle, but it’s still a fight for freedom.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge has ruled that the federal government must notify underage illegal immigrants in its custody that they have a legal right to obtain abortions.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, ruled Friday that, starting “immediately,” the Trump administration must distribute written notices of the “right” to abortion “to all unaccompanied minors,” the Washington Times reports.
“If you are pregnant, you have the right to decide whether to have the baby or to have an abortion,” the notice reads. “No one who works for the government or the shelter can force your decision either way. No one who works for the government or the shelter can tell anyone about your pregnancy or decision to have an abortion if you don’t want them to do so.”
The statements must be printed in both English and Spanish, and given to both males and females in custody, regardless of whether the latter is actually pregnant. They also come with contact information for an attorney from the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union, and advise girls to call or email the lawyer if government officials interfere with their attempts to abort.
The notices must also be posted at the dorms in which illegal immigrant minors are kept, and if a minor does become pregnant she must be given another notice of her “right,” delivered in her “primary spoken language.”
Under current law, illegal immigrant minors caught without parents are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which gives them housing until they can be matched with sponsors in the United States. These notices implement Chutkan’s ruling two weeks ago certifying a class action against HHS for refusing to facilitate illegal immigrants’ abortions.
For months, Chutkan and the Trump administration have been locked in a legal battle over the issue. Last December, the judge ordered the administration to allow a 17-year-old “Jane Doe” from Mexico to get an abortion.
The government argues that it has a “strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting childbirth, in refusing to facilitate abortion, and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain elective abortions while in federal custody.” It says that illegal minors who want abortions can either accept deportation back to their home countries, or work to find a sponsor and leave government custody.
Pro-life leaders have strongly denounced Chutkan’s ruling.
“Americans United for Life is deeply concerned by the recent judicial activism” of Chutkan, AUL president and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster told LifeSiteNews in a statement. “This compelled notice goes far beyond notifying potential class members of the lawsuit; it forces [the Office of Refugee Resettlement], as well as ORR-funded shelters and legal services—including those with pro-life views—to promote and facilitate abortions.”
Last October, Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz highlighted Judge Karen Henderson’s dissenting opinion in the Jane Doe case, which he says explains how this case has perverted the law in an unprecedented way.
“For over a half century, this Court has held that the detention of an alien in custody pending determination of his admissibility does not legally constitute an entry though the alien is physically within the United States,” Henderson wrote, meaning that Jane Doe was “not entitled to the due process protections of the Fifth Amendment,” even concerning rights the Constitution expressly mentions (it does not identify a right to abortion).
But, by ruling that she had a right to an abortion, Henderson continued, “the Court elevates the right to elective abortion above every other constitutional entitlement.” She proceeded to list several precedents in which courts ruled that freedoms of expression, association, and gun ownership, and protections from warrantless searches or trial without jury, did not extend to individuals who illegally entered the United States.
These provisions of the Bill of Rights “all must yield to the ‘plenary authority’ of the Congress and the Executive, acting in concert, to regulate immigration; but the freedom to terminate one’s pregnancy is more fundamental than them all?” Henderson asked. “This is not the law.”
The Trump administration has said it intends to appeal Chutkan’s ruling.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic teaching prohibiting the use of contraception is unchangeable, Oklahoma City’s archbishop wrote in a recent article. Using contraception, such as the pill or the condom, to purposefully block the creation of a new life is “sinful,” he added.
Writing about the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), Archbishop Paul Coakley said in a March 28 article that contraception is harmful to both marriage and the individual person.
“To separate these two [unitive and procreative purposes of the conjugal act] prevents the intimate expression of conjugal love from realizing its divinely intended purpose. To engage in sexual activity outside of marriage or for selfish purposes or while interfering with its natural fruitfulness by contraception is a rejection of God’s intended meaning and purpose. It is sinful,” he said.
He wrote that a secular mindset since the release of Humanae Vitae has placed the judgment of human beings above God, and this worldly attitude has affected some in the Church, affecting its teaching credibility.
“The secular mentality says that human beings, rather than God, are the measure of all things,” the archbishop said. “Right and wrong are determined on the basis of what is practical rather than what is true or good. This worldview values results over reason.”
“It has affected the attitudes and values of many in the Church as well,” he said. “Uncomfortable with being a “sign of contradiction,” some prefer to accommodate the Gospel and the Church’s teaching to the wisdom of the world. The salt loses its savor (Mt. 5:13). The Church loses its credibility as a witness.”
“The Church cannot change its teaching on the immorality of artificial contraception, however unpopular and admittedly difficult it can be to embrace and live,” Archbishop Coakley said.
“The Church does not create the moral law, but is only its guardian and interpreter,” The Oklahoma City archbishop said. “Ultimately, contraception is morally unacceptable because it is contrary to the true good of both the human person and marriage.”
God makes His support available to the faithful through the grace of the sacraments, he added.
“Catholics who strive to live according to the Church’s teaching will find divine assistance by having recourse to the grace of the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Coakley, “as well as to prayer and the cultivation of virtue.”
The exhortation from Blessed Paul VI was promulgated July 25, 1968. Reports of a papal commission charged with re-examining the document have prompted concern among Catholics.
Archbishop Coakley acknowledged the controversy in his column, and joined the countless observations recognizing Humanae Vitae as prophetic.
“The publication of Humanae Vitae was a reaffirmation of the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church,” he wrote. “It was met with widespread controversy and a vocal dissent that was symptomatic of the age.”
He cited the exhortation’s predictions of “conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality” and loss of respect for women.
“Certainly, many family problems and social ills are linked to this widespread contraceptive mentality that separates sexual love from its proper context in the divine plan for marriage,” the archbishop said.
Among the resulting societal harm he detailed was the judicial redefinition of marriage, gender confusion, plummeting populations, skyrocketing divorce, and widespread tolerance for adultery, homosexual activity, and abortion. The archbishop also listed the upsurge of pornography and the increasing acceptance of euthanasia, embryonic stem cell experimentation and human cloning among the social ills resulting from the advent of contraception.
“The loss of respect for God’s plan for marriage erodes respect for the dignity of human sexuality and the sacredness of life,” Archbishop Coakley stated.
Paul VI’s document gave the reminder “that something as sacred as the transmission of human life cannot be cut loose from its moorings without grave consequences to individuals, marriages and families, and to society as a whole,” wrote Archbishop Coakley. “The transmission of life and dignity of married love are integrally entwined. Both are sacred.”
The archbishop wrapped up his column by sharing what he called the “priceless gift” of natural family planning (NFP).
NFP methods consist of a husband and wife refraining from conjugal activity during the wife’s fertile time. Unlike contracepted sex, they do nothing to block the life-giving potential of the sexual act. They simply refrain from engaging in sexual activity. In this lies the specific moral difference between NFP and contracepted-sex.
“NFP is a healthy means of family planning that enables couples to cooperate with God and one another in spacing pregnancies in a way that actually strengthens their relationship,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Perhaps now is a good time to take another look at the benefits NFP can offer to you and your marriage.”
CLEVELAND, Ohio, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-abortion and LGBT movements are linked spiritually, ideologically and politically, a Christian pro-family advocate says. Because of this, it has become more important than ever before for pro-life and family advocates to unite against these enemies of life and the family.
Former abortion volunteer and Christian convert Linda Harvey explained to a recent pro-life conference how the LGBT and abortion movements have the common elements of rejecting God’s plan for humanity and targeting children.
Children are the targeted of sexualization via comprehensive sex education in schools, Harvey said, and through dangerous and unproven medical treatments for gender, often accomplished by circumventing parents’ authority. Pornography is another element linking the two movements together, she said, because where children are exploited, they are also targets for abuse.
“The intersection of the homosexuality and pro-abortion movements lies beneath the sexual transformation of our culture,” she said. “You may have thought these were separate issues, but they are foundationally connected first at the element of human design.”
Male and female He made them
Harvey began her presentation, “The Intersection of Sexual Anarchy, the LGBT Movement and the Pro-life Movement,” by explaining how the male and female halves of the human race are designed by God with complementarity to unite.
“The person who chooses abortion rejects the role of a Divine Creator along with the worth of this unborn person,” she said. “Likewise the homosexual rejects the beauty and treasure that the male-female union brings through the potential of new life and through the simple complementarity of the sexes.”
Harvey, the founder of Mission: America, noted that same-sex relationships are the opposite of life-giving and involve the waste functions of the body.
She emphasized prayer for all those caught up in them, stressing that we are all broken.
“But to take something that is broken and say we should celebrate this in our streets,” Harvey said. “That is really far from God’s design and purpose.”
In addition, she said, these relations much more often have disease associated with them. For example, those who engage in homosexual practices comprise two-thirds to three-fourths of all new HIV cases each year in the U.S., equating some 25-30,000 people.
“And still, they (same-sex partnerships) are being promoted to children,” Harvey cautioned.
God’s design for family nurtures peace
Married couples and the creation of new life creates family, community, and thus a nation, she said, and this fosters peace and prosperity.
“It’s the recipe for peace on earth,” she said.
“Satan has a different plan,” she continued, and it starts with self-interest and rejection of authority.
“God has been told to go away,” said Harvey, and this combination results in personal, societal, cultural and spiritual disaster.
Death and the absence of new life connect the abortion and LGBT movements, she said.
“A tragic focus on defiant human will — the rejection of the goodness and creation of God — is the problem with both movements,” Harvey stated.
But it’s not just theological and spiritual rebellion that connects pro-abortion advocates with homosexual practitioners and gender defiant or confused individuals, she added. There are practical and political ones as well.
Marching against moral codes
Harvey pointed out early in her talk that Planned Parenthood has recently diversified products and services to now offer hormone treatments for so-called “sex change,” and also that a lot of lesbians have had abortions. She later explained the abortion-gender tie goes back to the 1960’s and the sexual revolution.
Basic moral codes of western civilization were revolutionized primarily through the introduction of contraception, she said, and then feminists and other revolutionaries went on to create radical individual autonomy.
“Some people call this cultural Marxism,” said Harvey. “Where you have a right to your pleasure and your design, and the corollary becomes that anyone who suggests you might think another way, or interferes in your perception with this is subjecting you to slavery.”
Feminists then began to talk about the nuclear family being slavery.
“So men were the enemy,” she said. “And so was the product of conception – the child - considered now to be an implement of bondage, unless you wanted it. You the woman, not God, was the one who gave value to a life inside of you.”
Lesbians were marginalized in the feminist movement at first, she said, before Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women embraced homosexuality, gave it an endorsement in 1970, and now the two movements remain connected.
Anti-man, against Christ
A tie between lesbians and abortion might not make sense at first glance, Harvey said, but, “If we understand that it is not a pro-female mindset, but an anti-Christ and anti-male movement that feeds on the hatred of God’s authority and the creation of humanity, it’s not too surprising.”
Some of the major players in feminism then and in more recent years endorsed sex in all directions, she said, sometimes including pedophilia.
“As one famous feminist, T. Grace Atkinson said, “Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice,” Harvey said, then listed various feminist lesbians as example.
The recent explosion of activism has seen these forces join together, she continued, unveiling sexual anarchy - which was the direction all along.
The most intense and public evidence of this is sex education in schools, said Harvey.
Planned Parenthood is behind a lot of school sex education and has joined with the LGBT movement, she explained, noting that since the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” LGBT forces have demanded equality and inclusivity in sex education.
All forms of sex practices are endorsed through “comprehensive sex education,” Harvey explained, as is promiscuity. In the process, those teens that are sexually active cannot be shamed, and instead are taught the lie that all of this can be managed.
“So we end up with unauthentic and unhealthy lessons for kids,” she said.
There are a number of well-funded curricula, she said, listing several examples, and until the Trump administration, they were also federal-government supported.
Harvey provided a thorough assessment of how comprehensive sex education operates:
Comprehensive sex ed sexualizes children with age-inappropriate topics and encourages their participation, teaches them about contraception and abortion and where and how to obtain them, normalizes promiscuity, how to consent to sex, normalizes and equalized anal or oral sex with vaginal sex and minimizes any risk involved for teens, defends and honors homosexual behavior and gender confusion and normalizes solo or mutual masturbation.
It also features coed condom demonstrations starting in seventh grade on a plastic model and diminishes and misconstrues abstinence. It also promotes sexual “rights” and sexual advocacy. It bypasses parental rights and tradition moral values and refers children to harmful resources, including homosexual groups and Planned Parenthood.
Gender ideology as distraction
“While these forces try to slip in these very graphic curricula,” Harvey continued, “the unlikely distraction vehicle used has been the issue of opening bathrooms to trans-identifying students.”
This was ushered in with Barack Obama misapplying Title IX federal law and advocating gender confusion in schools, she said.
“The threat of child suicide is the new key that opens every door,” Harvey said. “Even children’s hospitals are on board with the mutilation of children.”
“The reason people relent to gender ideology is the threat the child will commit suicide,” she explained, citing the recent seizure of the child from Cincinnati parents for transgender treatment.
“So-called medical experts were pivotal in the decision,” she stated, “when there’s no medical evidence to back it up.”
The seizure of the child in Cincinnati was an assault on the child’s future health, on parental rights, and on the relationship of the girl with her parents, she said.
Harvey cited Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Paul McHugh’s document on sexuality and gender in addressing the claims of same-sex attraction as innate and that one can be born the wrong gender.
“It’s emotional and political manipulation of America on a grand scale,” she stated. “We must stand up to this, we must say that this is wrong, it is inaccurate, it is a lie. There is not evidence that people are born this way. This is a developed desire, and there is often early sexualization of children, including child sexual abuse behind those kinds of feelings.”
“So now we have top medical experts recommending medical and surgical mutilation of children,” said Harvey, “and of course, if we don’t do this, they will kill themselves. That’s the manipulation.”
“No,” she emphasized, “if we deny them counseling based on truth, that is where the danger lies.”
Is that good for the kids?
“How ironic, that a culture eager to defend the right to kill unborn children is now blind to reality because they claim to want to save children and leading them into this instead,” Harvey noted. “That’s’ why I say this has the fingerprints of judgment from the Lord, because so many people are blind to what they are doing.”
The lines are being blurred with all these sexual practices, she said, and parents often are not the watchdogs they used to be, and if they are not - bureaucrats will sneak things through.
She cited examples of the Omaha public schools instituting objectionable material until parents learned of it and pushed back. She also cited a decision made by an appointed commission of the Oregon Health Authority allowing 15-year-olds to receive hormone and sex change treatment without parental knowledge paid, for by Medicaid, that when it became public was allowed by the legislature to stand.
“Gender confused kids are being told that in order to save their lives they have to often become infertile,” Harvey told the conference, “because infertility is where this goes so often – permanent infertility based on the harsh drugs that are being administered and there’s no long-term research on any of this.”
“Pornography is the kerosene being poured on this smoldering fire. It’s the cancer that is metastasizing,” she stated in summation, saying that child pornography is exploding, including pornography targeting infants and toddlers.
Harvey explained how this has pervaded the culture in all quarters, with arrests for child porn involving doctors, teachers, lawyers, law enforcement officials and theologians.
She implored her audience at the pro-life conference to take the energy and gains of the pro-life movement and apply them where the two sexual anarchy movements meet for the sake of the next generation.
All is not lost, Harvey concluded, the situation can be turned around with God.
“If we put our minds and our hearts into it,” she said. “We have the biggest and most powerful champion of all time, because we know that with God, all things are possible.”
TRENTON, New Jersey, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-abortion college students were caught on video last Thursday destroying a campus-approved pro-life exhibit at the College of New Jersey.
With permission from the Student Affairs office, the school’s Students for Life of America chapter had set up a “Graveyard of the Innocent” display on the campus grounds, the College Fix reports. It featured blue and pink flags symbolizing preborn boys and girls killed by abortion.
In the video, several students can be seen pulling the flags out of the ground and throwing them in a pile. One of the students has been identified as Courtney Woods, vice president of the campus chapter of pro-homosexual group PRISM. Students for Life believes several of the other vandals were PRISM members, as well.
“This is a graveyard for kids! Don’t you realize what you’re doing?” the SFLA member filming the incident challenged the vandals. Some replied that “they’re not kids, they’re fetuses,” and that the flags only represented “some cells that got flushed out.”
Another vandal looked into the camera while pulling up flags and said: “there are people on this campus who have gone through this experience, and seeing these flags is traumatic.” The pro-life student responded by asking why a reminder of “just a bundle of cells” would be traumatic. The pro-abortion student is not seen replying.
After uprooting all the flags, the vandals discussed what to do with them. Someone suggested throwing them in a trash can, to which the pro-lifer noted that “they’re not yours, that would be theft.” The vandal agreed to leave the pile there. The video ends with a vandal threatening to “take them out again” if Students for Life rebuilds the display.
Campus Reform adds that in a series of since-deleted tweets, one apparent student responds to the original pro-life display with “lol what the f*** is up with this school,” then proposes, “let’s steal the flags and plant flowers.” It is unknown whether the student participated in the vandalism.
“Our flag display was up for less than 24 hours and during that time there were at least six attempts of vandalism that we know of,” College of New Jersey Students for Life vice president Grace Gottschling said. “Our 1st Amendment Rights were ignored and our beliefs belittled.”
PRISM does not take an official position on abortion, and its president Andrew Fenwick emailed Students for Life to claim the incident “disheartened” him and was not “in any way encouraged or planned by PRISM.” He characterized Woods, the campus chapter’s vice president, only as an “individual PRISM member.”
A College of New Jersey spokesman confirmed that there would be a “formal discussion with all parties involved to determine what next steps are appropriate,” and that the school’s Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution Services will meet with SFLA this week. The SFLA chapter also says it has identified the vandals and submitted the video to campus police.
“The vandalism at TCNJ is further proof that some students on college campuses cannot even fathom the idea that other people have free-speech rights,” Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins declared. “Despite the vandalism, TCNJ Students for Life are not letting this deter them from continuing to promote a culture of life on campus.”
Finally, SFLA notes that the day after the incident, the vandals temporarily erected their own display consisting of white and orange flags. It came with a sign declaring that the flags symbolized “the people here who believe you have the right to choose, to love, to protest,” and declaring “hate has no home at TCNJ.” But Students for Life had already reserved the space for both Thursday and Friday, so the pro-abortion display was soon taken down.
SEATTLE, Washington, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge has ruled that President Donald Trump cannot yet enforce his recently-unveiled ban on transgender soldiers in the military.
US District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled Friday that the injunction currently barring the Pentagon from implementing the ban will remain in place, the Associated Press reports.
The Trump administration revealed the finalized version of the policy late last month. It disqualifies from service “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria,” specifically those who “may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery,” except in “certain limited circumstances.”
The administration had requested that the court dissolve the previously-enacted injunction, on the grounds that the final policy addressed several original objections and should be judged separately. But Pechman, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, concluded that the injunction should remain in effect because there hadn’t been enough time to evaluate the new ban’s constitutionality. She directed both sides to prepare for a trial on the merits of the case.
Pechman declined pro-transgender attorneys’ requests to grant a permanent nationwide injunction that would have taken the place of a trial, and directed both sides to prepare their arguments. But she also tipped her hand as to how she was inclined to rule on those arguments.
"Because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class," she wrote. "Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care."
Pechman also chided Trump for “fail[ing] to identify even one general or military expert he consulted” before first announcing the ban on Twitter, “despite having been ordered to do so repeatedly.”
Pentagon officials acknowledged that the president gave them little advance notice of the tweet at the time, but it’s unclear what bearing this detail has on the case, given Trump’s original tweet was a mere announcement of intent without legal force. Regardless, the final policy was crafted after “extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans,” according to the White House and detailed by a memo from Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“Judges have no business displacing the reasoned decision of the president, under his constitutional authority as commander-in-chief, to promote military readiness by establishing sound principles for eligibility to serve in the armed forces,” Heritage Foundation legal expert Alden Abbott wrote in December. He explained that anti-discrimination laws apply to “immutable characteristics such as race,” whereas gender confusion is a “rationally based noninvidious differentiation among classes of individuals needed to advance national goals, such as a strong military.”
“Rules denying military service opportunities to individuals who have serious medical problems (for example, heart disease, chronic asthma, or cancer) are not invidious discrimination—they are fully rational efforts to promote well-run and effective military services,” Abbott continued. “Because individuals suffering from significant medical difficulties drive up costs and tend to impair combat effectiveness, it is perfectly rational to bar them from military recruitment.”
Mattis’ review found that soldiers diagnosed with gender dysphoria presented “considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality.” The American Psychological Association recognizes gender dysphoria as a psychological disorder, and studies have found that that transgender individuals suffer higher suicide rates.
Among the specific complications transgender individuals present to the military, retired Army Lieutenant General Thomas Spoehr writes, is that those “transitioning” from one sex to the other “would need medical treatments — hormone therapies and often surgeries and the accompanying recovery times — throughout the duration of their service.”
Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee last week that he is “prepared to defend” the ban, and that it “was the best military advice” he could obtain, but also said he will “not intrude” on the court battle over its enforcement.
Leftist campaign against Laura Ingraham backfires, ratings up over twenty percent
A funny thing has happened since the left began its campaign to drive Fox News host Laura Ingraham off the air.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 2:03 pm EST
By Rich Noyes
By Rich Noyes
By Rich Noyes
April 17, 2018 (Newsbusters) – A funny thing has happened since the Left began its campaign to drive Fox News host Laura Ingraham off the air: Her ratings are up, a lot – by more than 20 percent compared to her last week on the air before the current controversy began.
The leftist-organized advertiser boycott began on March 29, after Ingraham tweeted about Parkland high school anti-gun activist David Hogg, and continued in spite of Ingraham's quick apology.
As of Friday, April 13, 27 companies had announced they would pull their advertising from the show, but one – Ace Hardware – announced it would resume its sponsorship of the Ingraham Angle, citing the "incomplete" information it had when it originally announced its withdrawal.
Other advertisers, such as MyPillow, issued statements defying the boycott and announcing their continued support for Ingraham's show.
Compare that to the ratings from March 26 through March 29, the Monday through Thursday just prior to the boycott: That week, Ingraham's total viewership averaged 2.23 million. The increase in her ratings since the boycott began is more than 20 percent.
Fleeing advertisers may have thought they were avoiding controversy, but they are apparently skipping out on a TV audience that's clearly quite loyal, and bigger than ever.
Holding up his hands, as if there were a gun pointed at him, Arroyo said, “Don’t shoot the messenger...all we do is cover this [news].”
“We all love the Holy Father, and the viewers of this program do,” said Arroyo. “It is up to us to respect him enough to take [his] words and evaluate them in the context of the times, and of the moment.”
“And if we look the other way for portions, or pretend we’re not seeing it, we’re letting the audience down and we’re not being, to my mind, good Catholics,” added the EWTN host. (See the exchange on this between Arroyo and Royal in the video below from 9:27 to 11:22.)
Royal, president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, DC, had said that “One set of people read [my column] one way, and one set read it another.”
“Two of my readers wrote to me and said, ‘you’re the one exacerbating all these differences in the Church,’ as if somehow we created this large-scale international controversy.”
“On the other hand, other people are writing in saying ‘you were perhaps too charitable’” to the Pope, said Royal, because he had noted that there were “good things” in the papal document.
Shooting at the Papal Posse ‘Messengers’
“Papal Posse” members Robert Royal, Fr. Gerald Murray, and Raymond Arroyo are now accustomed to dodging bullets from fellow Catholics who are critical of the show’s fair and balanced approach to reporting on the Vatican.
Patheos writer Mark Shea, who calls Arroyo the “Pied Piper of EWTN,” says Arroyo’s balanced reporting “leads the sheep away from the teaching of the Church and toward the sundry Right Wing Culture Warriors and liars at war with Pope Francis and the Magisterium.”
Another Catholic blogger, Mike Lewis, unhappy with the ‘papal posse’s’ reporting and discussions, tweeted, “Does EWTN host Raymond Arroyo place politics ahead of the Catholic Church's teachings and fidelity to @Pontifex?”
Earlier this year, Papal confidante Father Antonio Spadaro retweeted a call for EWTN to be severely censured “until they get rid of Raymond Arroyo.”
The call for an “interdict” to be imposed on the Catholic media empire started by Mother Angelica came from Anthony Annett, Assistant to the Director at the International Monetary Fund’s Communications Department, because of a February 15 The World Over segment.
“Make no mistake,” tweeted Annett, the show’s discussion of a recent Spadaro speech and ultra-liberal Cardinal Blase Cupich “represent ‘total war’ on the papacy of Pope Francis.”
Arroyo was a close friend of Mother Angelica. He is the author of numerous books. As confusion has mounted during Pope Francis’ reign, his signature show, The World Over, has analyzed troubling developments in the Church. Arroyo often does this with the help of Father Gerald Murray and Robert Royal (the “papal posse”).
Spadaro, a Jesuit who is often called the pope’s “mouthpiece,” frequently criticizes critics of Amoris Laetitia’s ambiguity or the Francis pontificate. He is the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica.
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who expressed support and offered prayers over the past few days after stories appeared about a retweet by Antonio Spadaro S.J., a close collaborator of the Holy Father’s, calling on EWTN to fire Raymond Arroyo for his criticisms of various recent papal moves (and no doubt for the now five-year run of the Papal Posse). Or be placed under interdict.
This was either a weak attempt at intimidation or a lame attempt at humor – in either case, quite imprudent from someone who knows that what he says is taken, rightly or wrongly, to reflect back on Pope Francis.
Be assured, this portends no serious harm to me. This is why we have independent think-tanks and publications like The Catholic Thing, so that at least some in both Church and society may speak freely. Fr. Murray is most likely fine as well. But it’s not entirely a laughing matter for a prominent media figure like the talented Mr. Arroyo. If you want to express support, take a look at #imwithRaymond.
In any case, it will have no effect on our labors to understand and speak truth as we see it. - RR.
NEW YORK, New York, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An influential pro-LGBT lawyer and strategist doused himself with fossil fuels and burned himself to death on Saturday morning as part of an environmental protest. Some are calling his suicide a sign of "mental illness."
The lawyer was David Buckel, a 60-year-old who previously worked as the Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, a law firm that specializes in cases related to transgenderism, homosexuality, and same-sex “marriage.”
Buckel was openly gay and leaves behind a college-aged daughter, Hannah. He and his partner “co-parented Hannah with another couple, Rona and Cindy Vail,” the New York Daily News reported.
A kindergarten teacher on a morning jog was one of the people who came across Buckel’s body in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near where his charred body was found, according to the New York Times, and also emailed a statement to media outlets.
“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote to the New York Times. “Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather.”
The note said he “wanted his death to lead to increased action,” the Times reported. Buckel wrote, “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.”
“Buckel compared his death to that of Tibetan monks who have committed suicide in a similar manner to protest Chinese rule over the region,” Fortune reported.
'Mental illess issue'
Actor James Woods tweeted that Buckel’s suicide was a mental health issue, not an environmental policy one.
Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, a fall 2016 special report in The New Atlantis, synthesized data related on homosexuality. Using data from academic studies, the report says that “members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have...roughly double the risk of depression” than the heterosexual population. They are at “nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.”
Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal’s Director of Constitutional Litigation and Acting Legal Director, called the news of Buckel’s death “heartbreaking” but said the pro-LGBT group would “honor” his legacy by “continuing his fight for a better world.”
“We have lost a movement leader, a colleague, and a friend,” said Taylor.
Buckel was the strategist behind the cases that legalized same-sex “marriage” in New Jersey and Iowa. He had moved on to environmental advocacy and was apparently distraught about the Trump administration.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
ROME, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A single line in Cardinal Raymond Burke’s address at the recent "Catholic Church: Where are you going?" conference concerned the consequences of necessary disobedience to Pope Francis. Burke has already faced demotion at the hands of Pope Francis but many have wondered what he’d do if the penalty for his resistance to the Pope’s departure from Church teaching would be intensified to excommunication.
LifeSiteNews asked Cardinal Burke if he has ever envisioned such consequences for himself as he has walked his path of resistance to the Pope’s direction on communion for divorced and "remarried" Catholics.
In his talk at the April 7 conference, Cardinal Burke referred to the writings of Cardinal Henry of Susa, called Hostiensis, a 13th-century canonist. “Apart from public admonition and prayer for divine intervention, (Hostiensis) does not offer a remedy for the (papal) abuse of the fullness of power,” said Cardinal Burke. “If, a member of the faithful believes in conscience that a particular exercise of the fullness of power is sinful and cannot bring his conscience to peace in the matter, ‘the pope must, as a duty, be disobeyed, and the consequences of disobedience be suffered in Christian patience.’”
Cardinal Burke told LifeSiteNews: “I have envisioned such consequences” of resisting the Pope including excommunication. “Yes, the consequences could be very severe,” he said. “One has only to remember how Saint Athanasius, for example, was exiled for defending the truth of the two natures in the one Divine Person of Our Lord.”
St. Athanasius was banished five times over his 45-year bishopric for maintaining the truth of the Incarnation fighting the Arian heresy. Under duress, Pope Liberius excommunicated Athanasius for a time.
“Suffering with Christian patience means that one remains faithful to Christ in His holy Catholic Church, even if one suffers at the hands of certain leaders in the Church,” explained Cardinal Burke. “That is what the great saints like Saint Athanasius and Saint John Chrysostom, for example, teach us.”
St. John Chrysostom, who was known for criticizing the abuse of authority of both religious and political leaders, was exiled for years. He died en route to a further banishment. Even in exile, his writings were very influential.
“To suffer with Christian patience means to be concerned ultimately with only one judgment, the judgment of Our Lord, when we appear before him at our death and at the Final Judgment,” concluded Cardinal Burke in his email response to LifeSiteNews.
On May 17-18 life, family, and faith leaders will gather in Rome to strategize on the current crisis in the Vatican at the annual Rome Life Forum. The event will feature two leading voices of faithfulness to Catholic teaching, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. It will be an opportunity for gathering together faithful from around the world to intercede for the light of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in this time of great crisis.
California wants to ‘fact-check’ your opinions. Welcome to 1984.
George Orwell's Ministry of Truth is getting a trial run in the Golden State.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 6:14 pm EST
By Elizabeth Johnston
By Elizabeth Johnston
By Elizabeth Johnston
April 17, 2018 (Activist Mommy) – California's departure from the liberties guaranteed American citizens upon the foundation of our great nation seems to be kicking it into high gear lately, as they seek to establish their very own version of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's iconic dystopian novel, 1984.
The Ministry of Truth is a government entity whose job it is to regulate the officially mandated definition of truth, and employees at the agency, like the protagonist in the novel, spend their days eliminating any trace of information that is in any way inconvenient to the narrative of the powers that be.
It goes without saying, no one in the dystopian hell that is 1984 may publicly – or privately – express any views that are not in line with the updated narrative as established by the Ministry of Truth.
If the United States were to establish its own Ministry of Truth, it is not surprising that California would be the state to give it a trial run first. We've all imagined the "fake news" narrative was heading in this direction, and yet it is no less chilling to see it come to fruition.
The bill, titled SB1424, or the "Internet: Social Media: False Information: Strategic Plan," would mandate anyone operating a website in California to fact-check the news they post according to the standards of the state. Here is the actual wording:
a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.
(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.
(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.
(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.
(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.
(c) As used in this section, "social media" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.
Now, let's be real: California is a state that has systems in place to fine or even jail people who use the wrong gender pronoun in a nursing home. It is a state that requires foster children to receive hormone treatment and be treated like a member of the opposite sex if they so desire and it is contrary to the wishes of the foster parents. It is a state that has reduced the crime of knowingly exposing someone to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Do we really trust them to decide what is "officially" true?
This is exactly what the founders were trying to prevent with the establishment of a free press. The government has absolutely no right to determine what is true, and it is the very last entity that should establish what can or cannot be printed for the maintenance of a free society.
Gay-friendly cardinals and the disconnect in Catholic pastorality
'Love the sinner, hate the sin' has transformed into 'love the sinner, ignore the sin.'
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 5:52 pm EST
By Joseph Sciambra
By Joseph Sciambra
April 17, 2018 (Joseph Sciambra) – Recently, Austrian cardinal Christoph Schönborn met with and praised Vienna "Life Ball" founder and organizer Gery Keszler. The event was a charity concert called the "Red Ribbon Celebration," held at Vienna's prestigious Burgtheater. Cardinal Schönborn said he was concerned not with where he and the Church stood on homosexuality, but with "our shared humanity." "I am not the Catholic Church and Gery Keszler is not the Life Ball. We are first and foremost human beings," he said. "I said on the stage that I was presumably the only person in the Burgtheater (that evening) who has prejudices. I do have prejudices, but they have melted away," Schönborn later told the Austrian Press Agency.
While an incredibly noble cause – the Life Ball raises millions of dollars for AIDS charities – the event ordinarily goes incredibly pornographic. The highlight of the Life Ball is the opening gala, attended by international celebrities – a limited number of highly desirable tickets are issued to the general public – which allows all attendees to walk the red carpet. Here, fellow revelers often try to outdo each other in terms of featured costumes or lack of clothing. Yet these antics were completely overshadowed last year by the 2015 "Life Ball" poster, which featured a naked image of a transsexual model (male to female) who sported both breasts and a penis.
I think this incident is symbolic, for it reveals a disconnect experienced by many within the Church between Catholic teaching and so-called "pastoral" practices. For it is often the case that the commonly repeated maxim "love the sinner, hate the sin" becomes perverted into a very lethargic version that I would describe as "love the sinner, ignore the sin."
Oftentimes this latter approach is preferable for many churchmen and family members of "gay" men and women because it avoids the difficult realities that must be confronted, as well as the tough conversations that should take place. Especially with "gay" men, in addition to the continuing scourge of HIV, there have emerged other dire health concerns associated with homosexual activity. These uncomfortable questions are difficult to discuss and are therefore often ignored.*
In these problematic times, I think it is always helpful to keep in mind this excerpt from the Vatican's 1986 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons:
Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.
In other words, homosexual persons, even if they are sexually active, are capable of great acts of compassion and kindness – and it is this which we must remember so that the Catholic never loses sight of the inherent goodness within each "gay" man and women. But, in doing so – we must also never forget that our loved one is taking part in an activity beneficial for neither his body or his soul.
Many of us within the Church have neglected to balance our love for the individual and our sacred duty to aid those in need. If we capitulate, if we ignore, if we remain resoundingly silent, the homosexual person will inevitably stay locked within a "gay" orientation that, as the 1986 letter describes, "is essentially self-indulgent." This desperate swerve toward self-destruction is nowhere on greater display than in the public spectacles of the LGBT community – for example, the New York City "gay" Pride parade, San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair, and Vienna's Life Ball.
Cardinal Schönborn says, "I am not the Catholic Church," but we are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and we must struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. To do so is to embrace Christ and to become more like Him. Conversely, when one embraces "gay," we become even more "gay" – eventually coming to the point where we incarnate the extremes of homosexuality. We would all like to hope that our family members and our friends who are "gay" remain wholly untouched by the often deadly world they have chosen to align themselves with, but that is neither honest nor rational. Because, just as it is unhelpful to look at only one aspect of a person's life, his homosexual orientation, it is equally ineffectual, in a "pastoral" sense, to singularly focus on the good while dismissing one's involvement in the larger "gay" community.
I understand the lure of dissociating someone, whom we utterly love and empathize with, from his often disastrous life choices; I remember a very charming and comical friend whose night-time persona as "gay" sex slave always seemed so incongruous with his personality. Only the two suddenly clashed when he became infected with HIV and later died of AIDS.
The message of Christ was challenging. He showed mercy to the "the woman caught in adultery," the Samaritan woman at the well, and the sinners He shockingly ate with when He imparted the story of the "prodigal son," but He also told them to abandon their former lives.
We must always be a witness to the presence of Christ in each individual, but to ignore the fallen circumstances of the lost and the confused is to deny them the healing power of God. For how can we help someone to be healed if we are unwilling even to recognize that he is sick?
* "Unprotected anal sex at least once in the past 12 months increased from 48% in 2005 to 57% in 2011."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
"HIV Testing and Risk Behaviors Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men — United States"
November 29, 2013/62(47);958-962.
"75% of the men had abnormal anal cytological/histological results. 41% presented with low-grade, 24% with high-grade anal dysplasia…"
"The male ScreenING Study: prevalence of HPV-related genital and anal lesions in an urban cohort of HIV-positive men in Germany."
Fuchs W, et al.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016 Feb 1.
"One third (35%) were positive for STI."
"Beyond Anal Sex: Sexual Practices of Men Who Have Sex With Men and Associations With HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections."
Rice CE, et al.
J Sex Med. 2016 Feb 4.
Comprehensive sex education violently assaults children and their innocence
There is no sugarcoating this: modern public sex ed programs are smut. Cleverly disguised smut sometimes, but smut all the same.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 1:53 pm EST
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
April 17, 2018 (Human Life International) – A cartoon shows a man, wearing nothing but a long trench coat. He is standing in front of two children who stare, horrified, as he opens his coat, exposing himself to them. On the back of his coat is written: "Planned Parenthood school-based sex education program." "It's ok," the man is quoted as saying, "I'm funded by the government."
Like all good satire, the joke is too true for laughs.
If a man stopped two children on the street and asked them if they knew where to buy condoms and lubricant, or how to perform anal and oral sex on one another and showed them graphic illustrations of those same sex acts, he would rightly be arrested and charged with indecency. But the sad irony is that that same man could be invited by your children's school into the classroom, to do and say the exact same things, and the government would pay him to do it. They would call it "facts-based" sex education.
You might object that they do it with parents' permission, so it's different. Unfortunately, that's only true some of the time: often, they'll do it without asking parents' permission, or even worse, by refusingto inform parents when sex education classes are happening, or to allow them to pull their kids from class during those lessons. Certainly, they're hoping that most parents won't look too closely at what they're teaching.
Sex Ed Sit Out
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the advice world-famous psychologist Jordan Peterson recently gave to parents who are worried that their kids are being taught propaganda in class. "You take your children out of that class," Peterson said bluntly. "They're not being educated: they're being indoctrinated. And there's absolutely no excuse for it."
He added: "If you don't stand up and do something about it, especially when it affects your own family, then all that's going to happen is that it's going to continue to spread. If you want to be pushed backwards, then go along with it. But if you don't, then stop doing it."
Stop doing it!
That's exactly what one courageous group of parents is doing by organizing an international "Sex Ed Sit Out" on Monday, April 23 – and they're already getting tons of interest and media coverage.
They're urging parents in the U.S., Canada, and Australia to pull their kids out of school on that day in protest against the growing trend of graphic sex-ed curricula, and to let the principals of their school know why. Already over 22,000 parents have signed a petition supporting the effort. (You can find more about this admirable campaign on their website here.)
In addition, they are organizing several rallies in various cities – eleven cities at last count. Organizers say the purpose of the event is to send the message that they will not accept pornographic material in sex education classes, won't "stand by" and let leftist activists set the agenda in education, and won't let their tax dollars continue to be spent on exposing their kids to smut – to be sexualized and dehumanized by a sex-saturated culture.
And smut it is. Sometimes cleverly disguised smut, dressed up with all sorts of fancy and comforting euphemisms, and presented by "experts" in professional suits and skirts. But smut nevertheless, often of a particularly pernicious kind. Unfortunately, many parents still have no idea how horrific the contents of some sex-ed programs being forcibly pushed on their kids in schools are.
Take the "Welcoming Schools" curriculum, pushed by the extremely well-funded and powerful anti-family Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The deception starts with the very name of the curriculum. The program is clearly not so much about "welcoming," as about tearing down the moral and ethical barriers that keep your kids safe from the wolves of sexual and emotional exploitation, STDs, unplanned pregnancy, and spiritual death.
One section of the curriculum, aimed at children fromkindergarten to grade five, describes how educators should read the book "I Am Jazz," about a "transgender" girl, to their students. It then provides a variety of activities by which a teacher can train their students to become transgender "allies," and to "expand" their "perception and understanding of gender."
Another section of that curriculum introduces young children to a cornucopia of sexually charged and perverse terminology. "LGBTQ Definitions for Children," featuring a photo of kids that appear to be as young as four or five years old, gives definitions for words like bisexual, genderqueer, gender expansive, lesbian, queer, and transgender.
Systematic Behavioral Modification
What kind of a perverse mind does it take to think that this is what children in the earliest grades need to be thinking or talking about? The most important activity kids this formative age can be doing is play. Kids this age should be listening to fairy tales, learning their letters and numbers, and playing with their friends on the playground.
Instead, the sexual revolutionaries are teaching them to think thoughts they are not remotely equipped to deal with, and to question some of the most fundamental and meaningful structures of the world around them: the family and gender. Imagine how confusing it is for an innocent child of five or six to have to wonder if she's doing something wrong by calling a girl she just met a "girl!"
"He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."
— Adolf Hitler
As one of the organizers of the Sex Ed Sit Out said: "We send our kids to school to learn reading and writing and science and history, not how to question whether they really are a boy or a girl."
Then there's Planned Parenthood's "Get Real" program. In that program, kids in grade six through eight are told that feeling "comfortable and ready" is a primary criterion for engaging in sexual activity, introduces oral and anal sex, describes interrupted sex as a form of "abstinence," tells kids they can get birth control without their parents knowing, mentions sex with multiple partners, and of course directs students to Planned Parenthood's even more graphic website, where kids can learn about every sexual practice under the sun, and how to get an abortion without their parents finding out.
Lip service is sometimes given to the involvement of parents, but this is undermined every step of the road. Disturbingly, on the page on Planned Parenthood's site designed to answer teens' questions about sex, the abortion giant includes a prominent link, with the text: "Worried? Had Unprotected Sex? Chat with a health educator and figure out what to do next." Even worse, when you click on the page dedicated to the topic of "parental consent" and abortion, the very first sentence tells teens that even if they're under 18, they might not have to tell their parents.
So this is how it works: The sex educators go into the schools, present graphic details about sex to mixed-sex classes with only a modicum of attention given to the meaning of sex (babies are scarcely ever mentioned, except as an unwanted outcome of sex!); to no one's surprise, many of those teens (your kids!) promptly leave and decide to try out what they've just learned. But Planned Parenthood's not worried: they're there to help clean up the mess and make a tidy profit in the process.
It's a perniciously brilliant business strategy. As one former abortionist put it: "How do you sell an abortion? In the U.S. it's very simple: You do it through sex education."
Join the Sex Ed Sit Out
Separating children from their parents is at the heart of the graphic sex-ed strategy and abortion business model. "[W]hy aren't administrators being transparent with parents about the content of sexuality resources?" asks Elizabeth Johnston, known as the viral blogger "Activism Mommy," who is also one of the organizers of the Sex Ed Sit Out. "It's as if they have something to hide. That should frighten parents everywhere."
The fact is, groups like HRC and Planned Parenthood do have something to hide. So parents: you have a responsibility to educate yourself and to protect your children from predators. There are bona fide perverts who are trying to get access to your children's classroom, and you should be no more accepting of them there than on the streets.
Many parents feel powerless against a very noisy and well-organized industry, which uses intimidation, corrupt power and our silence to further its toxic agenda. However, you [we] are not alone or powerless! There are many out there like yourself who want to push back against these corrupting forces indoctrinating our children.
So, if you live in any of the three countries participating in the Sex-Ed Sit Out – U.S., Canada, and Australia – I hope that you will consider participating. Look at the list of cities that will be holding rallies and do your best to show up and encourage others to join you. (Click here)
If we don't stand up for our children and protect them from the violence being perpetrated against them, who will? They deserve our efforts and sacrifices.
An imprisoned pastor is showing Turkey’s true colors on human rights
Prisoner Andrew Brunson is being used by Turkey to blackmail Western countries.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 1:41 pm EST
By European Centre for Law and Justice
By European Centre for Law and Justice
European Centre for Law and Justice
By European Centre Law and Justice
April 17, 2018 (European Centre for Law and Justice) – On April 16th, an emblematic trial will take place in Turkey: that of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been officially accused of "dividing and separating the country by means of Christianization" of the population. Prior to his imprisonment, Pastor Brunson had lived peacefully in the city of Izmir for over 23 years. The Turkish prosecutor listed about 50 other "suspects" because of their alleged links with Pastor Brunson. Just over 0.1% of the population in Turkey is Christian, and yet, President Erdoğan afraid that Christian evangelization will divide this Muslim nation? Some churches have reported numerous testimonies of conversions of Turkish Muslims to Christianity. But Erdoğan's real motives seem to be not only religious: they are political.
Prisoner Andrew Brunson is being used by Turkey to blackmail Western countries. When U.S. President Donald Trump asked for his release, Erdoğan offered to swap him with Fethullah Gülen, his main opponent and political refugee who currently resides in the United States: "Give us that one [Gülen] and we'll (…) give back yours [Brunson]". The President of Turkey knows that by targeting an evangelical American pastor, he attacks a symbol for President Trump's electoral base. Two separate American petitions each gathered 500,000 signatures to ask for Andrew Brunson's release. This public opinion mobilization prompted the U.S. government to react. Vice-President Mike Pence said the Brunson case has become a "top priority" for the White House.
Unfortunately, Pastor Brunson's release is far from certain, as the implausible indictment released in March shows. It states that Andrew Brunson faces a 35-year prison sentence for "terrorism." He allegedly contributed to the coup d'État attempt of July 2016, in coordination with the Gülen movement and the Kurdish independence party (PKK). It alleges that he acted as an "agent for unconventional warfare" under the cover of the "mask of an evangelical church pastor". These charges are based solely on an "anonymous witness" and "secret documents". The prosecutor's argument summarizes well the conspiracy theory imagined by Erdoğan, which tries to make it seem as though all his opponents are plotting together to organize a coup d'État. According to the indictment, Pastor Brunson, the Gülen movement and the PKK "misuse persons' religious beliefs and try to create a synergy that poses a threat to their own government". Incredulously, these allegations thus imply a politico-religious plot between an evangelical pastor, a Sunni Muslim movement, and a Marxist-Leninist party.
At least the Turkish prosecutor admits to the fact that the detention of Pastor Brunson is mainly related to his action of "Christianization". The indictment explicitly states that the Christian faith endangers the unity of the Turkish nation, and that those who practice Christianity divide the country. For example, Andrew Brunson is accused of having expressed, in a private message, his hope that the Turkish people would turn to the Christian faith before "Jesus' return". Moreover, according to the "anonymous witness", American Protestants and Israelis are "counting on being forerunners in the war to come" because they believe that "all humans are [their] slaves". These accusations show the disturbing penetration of irrational conspiracy theories into the Turkish state apparatus. And such allegations should cause the United States and Europe to question the reliability of their alliance with Turkey within NATO.
These various elements of Pastor Brunson's indictment indicate a biased trial and probable conviction. His arrest is in addition to that of 160,000 other victims of purges in Turkey since the alleged coup d'État attempt in July 2016. These professors, judges, journalists and/or officials have also been accused of "terrorism". Unfortunately, President Erdoğan won't stop there, and warned France in January: "It's not over yet: there are still a very serious number (...) of terrorists". With the Brunson case and the fifty new "suspects", this pretext of "terrorism" is broadened: its goal is to imprison Christians who practice their faith.
Western States need to be aware of the reality of this Turkish "justice", which is today largely subject to authoritarian presidential power. For this reason, they should not wait for the outcome of the judicial proceedings in Turkey to act for Pastor Brunson's release, especially in bringing the case before international institutions. On this point, we are pleased that this matter is currently being discussed at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Pastor Brunson's daughter also recently gave a moving testimony before the United Nations Human Rights Council (see below).
However, Turkey is also putting pressure on international institutions. In his negotiations with European states, Erdoğan threatened multiple times to open the floodgates of migration into Europe. In Strasbourg, Turkey drastically reduced its contribution to the Council of Europe budget, plunging it into an unprecedented financial crisis, while building a monumental consulate there.
If Europe does not react firmly and demand Pastor Brunson's release, it will give a indicate a weakness to Turkey.
Still ‘Great’ Britain? Lamenting what’s become of Albion
Winston Churchill had reason to laud his countrymen's 'finest hour.' No one can say that of the U.K. now.
Tue Apr 17, 2018 - 1:29 pm EST
By William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick
April 17, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – If you've seen Dunkirk, or Darkest Hour, you got a glimpse of Britain's fighting spirit in the face of great peril. If you know a little bit more about that period, you know why Churchill could say of the British people, "this was their finest hour."
You could hardly say that now. With a few notable exceptions Britain's spirit of resistance is at a low ebb. The middle and lower classes grudgingly submit to the dictates of the elites, and the elites willingly submit to the Islamization of their country.
If the British people successfully stood up to Hitler's planned invasion of England, they have essentially bowed down before the Islamic invasion of the British Isles. What Hitler failed to accomplish with force of arms, Muslims migrants are accomplishing through migration. With the help of British authorities, they are gradually but inexorably imposing an alien moral code on the UK.
The most glaring example of this submissive attitude is the tepid response to the Muslim mass-rape gang attacks in towns and cities across England. Actually "tepid" is too strong a word. "Non-response" is more accurate. Although authorities knew who was responsible for the rapes, they took no action. In some towns the crimes were ignored for decades.
You may have heard of Rotherham, a town of about 250,000 where some 1,400 girls aged 11 to 14 had been drugged, raped and trafficked for years by Pakistani gangs. The authorities – city council members, the police, child protection agencies – knew about the rapes but kept silent.
The shame of Rotherham was finally brought to light in 2013. The news quickly made its way around England and, if you were paying attention, you might have noted its brief appearance in American papers. But have you heard about Telford? Telford is a scenic town of about 150,000, in the Midlands of England. On March 11 of this year, the Sunday Mirror reported that Telford was "Britain's 'worst ever' child grooming scandal." Beginning in the 1980s, as many as a thousand underage girls have been raped, beaten, sold for sex, and some even murdered. As in Rotherham, town officials covered up the abuse for decades – and for the same reason. They were afraid of being called "racist" or "Islamophobic."
Unfortunately, the rape epidemic is not confined to Rotherham and Telford. According to one reporter it has spread to "Bristol, Derby, Rochdale, Peterborough, Newcastle, Oxfordshire, Bradford, Keighly, Banbury, Halifax, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Burney, High Wycombe, Dewsbury and Middleborough." That's "among other places." One of the other places is London.
In Mayor Sadiq Khan's first year in office, homicides in London rose by 27 percent, youth homicide jumped 70 percent, rape increased by 18 percent to 7,600 reported cases, and child sex crimes soared by 30 percent to 1,200 per year. London also has the most acid attacks per capita of any other city in the world.
When I was younger it was common to hear that London was one of the safest cities in the world – a place where women could walk alone at night, and police didn't have to carry guns. It was often compared favorably to crime-ridden New York City. This year, however, London overtook New York City as one of the most dangerous capital cities in the Western World.
What happened in London to effect such a reversal? For that matter what happened in Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, and all the other peaceful shires of England's green and pleasant land?
Was it the Orcs? Judging by their Herculean efforts to cover up the truth, the press and the authorities might well have preferred you believe that. What happened, of course, was Muslim migration buttressed by high Muslim birth rates.
Still, there's more to the story than the arrival of Muslims in Britain. It's more complicated than that. Let's go back to the 1940s for a moment. Churchill was England's greatest leader, but another Englishman may well have been its greatest prophet. In 1948, George Orwell wrote the classic dystopian novel, 1984. It's a mistake to think of the book as simply a prediction of bad things to come, because Orwell meant it to be a commentary on bad things that were already happening (in the Soviet bloc) or had already happened (in Nazi Germany). Orwell also saw something in the England of his day that disturbed him. Partly because of the centralization and bureaucratization required by the war effort, Britain was already on the path to socialism. Orwell favored democratic socialism, but also realized that socialism had ominous potentials. After all, the totalitarian political party he describes in 1984 is called Ingsoc – short for "English Socialism."
Modern England's governing institutions are not nearly as brutal as Ingsoc, but they do share some of its characteristics – particularly the desire to control information. For example, the Telford police didn't refer to the rape gang members as Pakistanis or Muslims, but simply as "Asians." The BBC didn't report on the Telford crimes for 36 hours after the news broke and then only a short spot on BBC Radio Shropshire (the German media maintained a similar silence after the mass sex assaults in Cologne). Moreover, as in 1984, English authorities pursue thought crimes ("hate crimes" in modern parlance) as vigorously as they pursue real crimes. For example, in the midst of London's crime spree, the London police have designated 900 special investigators to investigate – what else? – hate crimes. Ironically, the main target of these hate investigations are people on Facebook or other social media who criticize Islam and immigration. In England, child rape and acid attacks are just the price society pays for its vibrant diversity, but speaking your mind on Facebook is a hate crime. What Naz Shah, a female Member of Parliament advised the Rotherham rape victims reflects the attitude of the elites toward the rest of British society: she said the girls should "shut their mouths for the good of diversity."
There is another similarity between the Britain of today and the Ingsoc of 1984. Totalitarian societies specialize in humiliations both small and large. The humiliations are designed to demoralize citizens and break their will to resist. This seems to be happening now in Britain. Rape is an act of subjugation and humiliation and, if nothing is done about it, the humiliation turns into a corrosive demoralization. If it happens on a mass scale – as in Britain today – and if the authorities become complicit, then the whole society is demoralized. If on top of that, those who complain about the outrages are silenced and even jailed, the humiliation is complete.
None of this bodes well for Britain's future. As Mark Steyn puts it, "a society that will not defend its youngest and most vulnerable girls is surely capable of rationalizing many more wicked accommodations in the years ahead." One might ask "how many more accommodations can Britain afford to make?" Thanks to the efforts of British Islamist organizations and the cowardly appeasement of British officialdom, the will to resist is being slowly crushed.
Still, we shouldn't write off Britain completely. Despite its decline, it's not beyond hope. Britons do have a proud and courageous history to drawn from. All the odds are against them now, but that was also the case in 1940. At the time Churchill took office, the situation seemed so desperate that much of the government was prepared to capitulate to Hitler. Yet, against all odds, Britain prevailed.
Then, too, Britain has a Christian heritage. And historically, Christianity has been Europe's strongest bulwark against Islamization. That heritage has been squandered to the point where it is almost lost. But a revival of Christianity should not be discounted. Even atheists are beginning to recognize the vital role that Christianity plays. At a recent appearance in England, Richard Dawkins warned against celebrating the demise of Christianity "in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse." Christian civilization was already in decline at the time of Churchill's speech, but he recognized that it was key to revitalizing the British spirit. Britons today would do well to go back to his speeches. Here's a sample:
The battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire…Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour."
Of course, the situation is different today. It's both better and worse. Islamists in Britain have nothing like the might of Hitler's armed forces. They must rely instead on incremental cultural warfare. That gives the British much more time than they had in 1940. On the other hand, Britain today is sorely lacking in cultural confidence. Multiculturalism and political correctness have sapped its ability to fight a culture war. Moreover, this time around, the enemy is not on the other side of the Channel. Islamist ideology is already entrenched within Britain's borders, and its proponents are aided and abetted by Britain's weak leadership, and generously funded by its welfare system.
How about the United States? Americans may think that all of this has nothing to do with them. But what is happening is Britain is happening here also: the suppression of news, the accusations of "hate crimes," the cover-ups, and the shackling of free speech in the name of sensitivity and political correctness. If today's battle of Britain is lost, and along with it the battle for France, and Germany, and the rest of the Continent, America will be very much alone. And its erratic resistance to Islamization will seem all the more futile. Churchill spoke of America in his 1940 speech, and what he said then still applies today:
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
This article originally appeared in the March 27, 2018 edition of Crisis and is republished with permission of the author.
LONDON, England, April 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Thomas Evans thinks he is fighting for his son, but legally speaking, he isn’t.
At the Court of Justice in Westminster on Monday, three lawyers made their cases before the three justices: Paul Diamond representing Thomas Evans and his family; Michael Mylonas, QC, for the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; and Sophia Roper, the counsel for Alfie’s official Guardian.
This means, legally speaking, that Mrs Roper, not Mr Diamond, is Alfie’s lawyer.
The battle to determine Alfie’s “best interests” concluded February 20. On that day, Mr Justice Hayden decided that Alfie’s “best interests” were not for him to remain alive on life support as long as possible but to be removed from his ventilator and receive palliative care from Alder Hey hospital.
Hayden based this decision on the “unanimous” medical opinion that Alfie had a “severe and progressive neurological condition” leading to the “almost total destruction of his brain.” He recalled one doctor’s opinion that the movements Alfie displays are due to seizures or are “spinal reflexes.” He also mentioned that none of the doctors had completely ruled out the possibility that Alfie might be in pain.
Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, fought Hayden’s decision in the Appeal Court, the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights, losing every time. Every court upheld Hayden’s determination that Alfie’s “best interests” -- extubation, palliative care, remaining at Alder Hey -- were opposed to his parents’ wishes.
After Alfie’s parents’ were defeated at the European Court of Human Rights, Alder Hey approached the courts to determine a date and time for Alfie’s ventilator to be removed. On April 11, Mr Justice Hayden specified a time and date for Alfie’s extubation.
Thomas Evans instructed his lawyer to launch another appeal. It was heard Monday morning, and the subsequent discussion lasted for most of the afternoon. Mr Diamond argued on two grounds: first, that the court was limited in its jurisdiction over parental rights, and second, that Alfie was being unlawfully detained. For this reason, Diamond cited the ancient English legal principle of Habeas Corpus.
The Justices were unconvinced that Alfie was being unlawfully detained, principally because the February 20 decision specified that Alfie’s care should continue at Alder Hey. The letter of legal advice that Tom Evans brought with him to the hospital on April 12, when he tried to remove Alfie, was not written by a lawyer, as was previously believed, and had no basis in law. There was a moment of high drama when the justices focused not on the arguments brought before them but on the hapless, apparently unqualified, author of this letter.
Diamond also tried to argue that as a citizen of the European Union, Alfie had the right to travel to another country in the Union for medical treatment. He used as an example the Irish women who travel out of the Irish republic to have abortions. Even though abortion goes against the Irish Constitution, the European Union fully supports the women’s choice to do that.
However, as the justices pointed out, it was not Alfie who was arguing that he travel abroad for medical treatment, but his father. The representative for Alfie’s guardian -- and therefore Alfie -- said that Alfie’s guardian was not complaining that Alfie is being unlawfully detained.
And that is where the bitter irony occurs. Mr Diamond tried to argue that Alfie’s parents’ parental rights outweighed Alfie’s “best interests.” Although the crowds calling themselves Alfie’s Army would strenuously disagree that there was any deviation between Alfie’s interests and his parents’ interests, this very division had been suggested by Alfie’s parents’ lawyer.
Again, the fight over what “Alfie’s best interests” are was lost and won on February 20. Today’s battle came down to whether or not Alfie’s parents’ rights over him could trump those “best interests.” As Diamond argued, “the rights of the child have limitations.”
However, the justices decided that parents do not have “unfettered rights” over their children. Lord Justice Davis stated that Alfie’s parents had the right to put forward what they thought were Alfie’s “best interests,” and the courts have not agreed with them. The justices cited the Charlie Gard decision, the Children’s Act of 1989, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to stress that the “best interests” of the child are paramount and that a child must have a voice independent from those of his parents.
Meanwhile, several courts have ruled, in the words of Lady Justice King,”it is not in (Alfie’s) best interests to keep him alive.”
Thus, a dispute that in Liverpool on Saturday was described as Alfie and his parents against Alder Hey was being fought in London on Monday as Alder Hey and Alfie against his parents.
What we might bear in mind, if we are disturbed by the policies of the leaders of the Church in such a situation, is that the duties of conscience apply just as much to our relationship with the Church as to our relationship with the state. If our leaders fail, then we should criticize, appropriately and helpfully. If they need to be reminded of the truths that have been entrusted to them, then it is our duty to remind them. There may well be, there certainly will be—as there certainly have been only too recently—abuses within the Church and failures by its leaders. Faith in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church requires us to soldier on, minding our consciences, upholding the truth out of love, and avoiding evil and false doctrine.
It is refreshing to find someone speaking the simple truth: given fallen human nature and the many temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, the clergy—from the Sovereign Pontiff all the way down to the least parochial vicar—can and will fail, sometimes dramatically so.
It is undoubtedly Rex’s training as an historian that makes this claim not only uncontroversial but transparently obvious. I have often thought that the greatest gap in the education of Catholics today is history. If we do not study, for example, the Arian controversy or the Reformation and Counter-Reformation period, we will not be aware of the extent to which the Church on earth can become confused, corrupted, disoriented, and acutely in need of reform—the right kind of reform, which, as Martin Mosebach reminds us, means returning to form, recovering the form God intends for His Church. This form includes perfect adherence to the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture and in Sacred Tradition, as it has been taught through the ages by shepherds exercising the charism of truth.
Rex continues his analysis with a reductio ad absurdum, a “what if” argument that leads to an impossible conclusion:
If, however, the Catholic Church were indeed to abandon or reverse the almost total opposition to divorce that it has maintained across two millennia, then its claim to be the privileged vehicle of divine revelation on moral issues would be, quite simply, shattered. The position of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage is among the most consistent of its traditions. Its scriptural basis is, frankly, stronger than that for the doctrine of the Trinity, for the observance of Sunday as the day of rest, or for the real presence in the Eucharist. To all intents and purposes, it is a mark of the Church. Nor should this claim be theologically surprising. Marriage, as Paul taught, symbolizes the union of Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:31–32). For Christians, the indissolubility of marriage is integral to its symbolic—that is, its sacramental—place in the economy of salvation. If it is terminable, then it can no longer symbolize that perfect union between the head and the body of Christ.
While I’m not sure I understand why Rex says “almost total opposition to divorce”—the Church has never accepted or tolerated divorce but has always branded it a sin when chosen (rather than when merely suffered)—he is absolutely correct to say that few other moral teachings are clearer or more consistent from the very beginning until the past few tempestuous years. Christ’s uncompromising teaching on remarriage-as-adultery is so clear, in fact, that adherence to it is a veritable mark of the true Church, while deviation from it is, all by itself, an indication of heresy, a deviation from the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Rex insightfully points out that the very sacramentality of marriage, that is, its elevation by God to a grace-bearing sign of the indissoluble union of Christ and the Church, is undermined the moment one calls into question its God-given indestructible permanence. This is true even if one pays lip-service to that permanence but connives at sexual liaisons outside of the original bond and rewards them with admission to the sacraments.
In his final paragraph, Rex delivers the coup de grâce:
If, after all, marriage is not a divine union of male and female in one flesh, dissolved only by the inevitable dissolution of that flesh in death, then the Catholic Church has, in the name of Christ, needlessly tormented the consciences of untold numbers of the faithful for twenty centuries. If this teaching were to be modified in the name of mercy, then the Church would already have been outdone in mercy not only by most other religions but even by the institutions and impulses of the modern secular state. Such a conclusion would definitively explode any pretension to moral authority on the part of the Church. A church which could be so wrong, for so long, on a matter so fundamental to human welfare and happiness could hardly lay claim to decency, let alone infallibility.
The irony is poignant: the neo-ultramontanism that endows every papal word and judgment with infallibility is sawing off the very branch on which it rests. If couples in irregular (i.e., anti-sacramental and adulterous) marriages are, after a period of consultation and “public penance” (whatever that means, when there is no intention to live in chastity), allowed to receive sacraments without foregoing their adultery, then not only is papal infallibility itself fatally compromised, but the very foundations of the Catholic Faith are destroyed.
It is to Rex’s credit that he sees and diagnoses without flinching what so many others blithely ignore or sweep under the carpet. If the Buenos Aires guidelines that permit the above scenario were true, the Catholic Church has been a moral monster worse than anything Protestants have ever imagined, for she will have been demanding for two thousand years a standard of holiness that is not only impossible but unnecessary and even contrary to human flourishing.
Fortunately, this nightmarish conclusion is easily avoided. To the extent that the Buenos Aires guidelines permit what the Church has always forbidden as a matter not of human law but of divine law, they are false, and any true Catholic will reject them without hesitation.