All articles from May 8, 2018


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Thousands to pray ‘Oz Rosary’ throughout Australia

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

SYDNEY, Australia, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Catholics will gather at locations around Australia to pray the Rosary for their island continent.  

The “Oz Rosary” will take place May 13, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. Participants will recite the Rosary on beaches and mountaintops and in parks and churches. They will be praying for the future of their country and its consecration to God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As in other countries who have held nation-encircling rosaries in the past seven months, the “Oz Rosary” is being organized by Catholic laity.  

“We are mostly located in New South Wales,” Jane Chifley told LifeSiteNews. “In saying that, so many wonderful people have come on board from Western Australia, Queensland, (and) Victoria, and the thing has just taken off.”

“We seem to be getting groups from the Legion of Mary, the Catholic Women’s League, some (retirement) facilities and some schools,” she continued. “Parishes are working the Rosary in with Sunday Masses. … Actually, groups have come from everywhere.”

There will be big gaps between groups attempting to encircle the huge landmass. At fewer than 25 million people, Australia is still sparsely populated, with a majority of people living in cities on the southeast and southwest parts of the country.  

Nevertheless, Chifley told LifeSiteNews, the Australian interior will be represented by a group praying at Mount Isa and by parishes in the Alice Springs area.

“There are (also) a couple (of groups) further up north like Wanalirri Catholic School in Ngallagunda Community on the Gibb River Road,” she said.   

The Australian endeavor has an episcopal patron in the person of Bishop David Cremin. On the “Oz Rosary” website, he credits Polish Catholics for having begun the now worldwide national Rosary crusade.  

“I am a retired Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, and I am more than happy to support the Oz Rosary Around Australia,” Cremin wrote. “This Rosary Crusade started in Poland with over a million Catholics and has spread to other countries. It is very much a lay initiative and a most devoted lay team are promoting it here in Australia.”

“I support very much this good apostolate of promoting the Rosary at this time when there is so much poverty (and) bloodshed and refugee problems in our world,” Cremin continued. “Our Blessed Lady’s intercession through the recitation of the Rosary is sorely needed at this time.”   

The Australian prayer event was originally called “Oz Rosary #53”, as its organizers hoped to establish as many as 53 locations, one for every “Hail Mary” of a five-decade Rosary. However, now more than 200 locations have been confirmed.

The organizers are asking Australians who would like to lead a Rosary at a new location to contact “Oz Rosary” via their webpage. Updates on new locations are regularly posted to the event’s Facebook page.

The Australian prayer campaign follows April’s successful “Rosary on the Coast for Life, Faith and Peace in the British Isles.” An estimated 30,000 Catholics gathered at 400 different locations in Britain, principally on the coasts.  Another 30,000 Catholics gathered around the coasts of Ireland in November to pray for a renewal of Ireland’s Christian faith and the preservation in the Irish constitution of the right to life for the unborn child.

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Oregon school districts pull out of reading contest over transgender book

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By Calvin Freiburger

HERMISTON, Oregon, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- Two Oregon school districts are canceling their participation in a state reading competition due to organizers’ inclusion of a “children’s book” about transgenderism.

The annual Oregon Battle of the Books consists of students reading from a list of books, organizing into teams, and then competing in quizzes about the books’ content. This year, however, a group of Hermiston School District principals decided that third, fourth, and fifth graders should not participate, the Oregonian reported. The Cascade School District concurred soon after.

A third, Bend-La Pine Schools, is not pulling out but will begin requiring parental permission for elementary-level participants.

At issue is the book “George” by self-described "queer activist" Alex Gino, whose titular main character is a 10-year-old boy who feels like a girl and starts calling himself “Melissa.” In 2015, the Scholastic Corporation sent teachers and school librarians 10,000 copies in hopes “that kids (will) be able to get their hands on it,” according to Gino.

District spokeswoman Maria Duron told the Oregonian that after "carefully examin(ing) the content,” the district decided “there were some specific things that the character was exploring” that weren’t age-appropriate, and that the decision to introduce children to such matters should be left with their parents. Hermiston will still allow older students to participate.

In response, Oregon Battle of the Books administrative chair Linda Fukasawa assured the community that its concerns were being taken seriously, and that while “George will remain on the 2018-19 list as it went through the entire title selection process (and) met the board's criteria,” no “content of a mature nature” would be used for quiz questions. Participating students are not required to read every book on the list.

“George” author Gino also responded with a statement accusing the districts of balking “because they might hear a question about a book with a transgender main character.” She sarcastically assured the community that “My book will not make anyone transgender.”

However, Cascade School District Superintendent Darin Drill said that, from his elementary principals’ perspective, the problem was “not so much about the transgender issue" but rather “a couple of scenes in the book that they felt aren't appropriate for third graders."

He cited a passage with a child viewing a magazine in a bathroom and an older sibling assuring him, “I won't tell our parents what you are doing.” Drill explained that an implied pornography reference would be difficult to explain to a child as young as third grade.

Supporters and opponents of “George” currently have petitions running, with the former having 1,607 signatures and the latter 1,014 at the time of this writing. Some parents have complained about their districts making the decision without consulting them, and Drill has pledged to seek parental input in future cases.

Other parents support the move. Pete Cakebread, the father of a second-grade student, cited the book’s “talk about dirty magazines and use the word porn.” He noted that participating kids “could be as young as 7 years old,” and a “lot of them will be curious and then go try to look that word up and we all know what can happen on the internet when you type in that.”

Hermiston and Cascade plan to create another reading competition to replace Battle of the Books for the affected grades.

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Irish Hollywood stars come out in support of repealing 8th Amendment protecting the preborn

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By Calvin Freiburger

IRELAND, May 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A series of Irish celebrities, including action star Liam Neeson, have joined forced to demand that Ireland legalize abortion in its nationwide referendum later this month.

On May 25, Ireland will vote on whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment of its Constitution, which guarantees preborn children the right to life. Repeal would clear a path for legislation legalizing abortion in the first trimester, subject to a 72-hour waiting period. Later-term abortions would ostensibly be limited to risks to a mother’s life or health, or fatal fetal abnormalities, but pro-lifers warn that those exceptions are a pretense for much larger loopholes.

On Sunday, the pro-abortion Together for Yes campaign released a video in which celebrities Saoirse Ronan, Liam Cunningham, Cillian Murphy, Aisling Bea, and more claim that a pregnant woman in Ireland “does not have full rights over her own body,” and that legalizing abortion would bring about a “fairer Ireland.” Last week, the band U2, whose lead singer Bono has spoken at length about his Christian faith, tweeted a call to legalize abortion.

On Monday, the Irish Post published a statement by “Schindler’s List,” “Taken,” and “Star Wars” star Neeson calling Ireland’s legal protection of preborn babies an “obvious injustice.”

“Having spent a significant part of my life based outside of my home country, I have witnessed Ireland becoming a nation that leads the world on social issues yet we still treat women as second-class citizens by taking away the basic right to make choices about their own bodies and if and when to have children,” he claimed.

“It’s very disappointing that Irish celebrities have chosen to use their voice, not in defence of the weak but in defence of a Government proposal to take the right to life out of the Constitution,” Cora Sherlock of the pro-life LoveBoth campaign responded in a statement. “Have people like Liam Neeson actually thought about what is involved in allowing abortion without restriction on children up to 12 weeks old, when they already have perfectly formed little arms, legs, and a beating heart?”

Neeson, who was raised Catholic but describes his faith as having gradually waned in the years since, implied the Catholic Church was a “cruel ghost of the last century” in a 2015 pro-abortion ad. Notably, he also provided the voice of Aslan in several film adaptations of the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis, whose stepson, Douglas Gresham, once said he was “convinced” Lewis would consider “a world in which 60 million children are murdered before they have a chance to be born” to be “living in Hell.”

Both sides have been highly active in mobilizing support, and polls have indicated the final vote will be close. The latest poll shows narrow majority support for repeal, but LoveBoth’s Dr. Ruth Cullen took its “significant slide in support for the Government’s proposal” as a sign the Irish people are realizing the proposal is “more extreme than they ever anticipated it would be.”

“The Irish people are not so easily fooled as to follow the consensus in the media and entertainment world,” Sherlock declared, “and increasingly they are seeing this referendum for what it is all about – the introduction of abortion on demand.”

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Alfie Evans’ chaplain ‘forced to leave England’ by Church hierarchy: report

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Italian priest who ministered to Alfie Evans and his family before being recalled from Alder Hey hospital has left England.

Don Gabriele Brusco, who had been an assistant parish priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in London for almost a year, returned to Italy, the parish office confirmed.  

According to the Italian Catholic newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Brusco was “forced to leave England.” It reported that plans for the priest’s departure became concrete on May 2 after he had an interview with an auxiliary bishop of the Westminster diocese, John Sherrington. Allegedly the conversation led Brusco to withdraw his request to be incardinated in the diocese.

“He must also leave England at once and will not therefore participate in little Alfie’s funeral, planned for next Friday,” wrote LNBQ’s Riccardo Cascioli. “It’s the last disgrace for the English Catholic hierarchy, which comes out of this matter in pieces.”

Brusco belongs to the Institute of the Legion of Christ. During the last week of Alfie Evans’ life, he learned that the Evans family wanted a Catholic chaplain and traveled from London to Liverpool. He presented himself at Alder Hey hospital and remained with the family for three days, giving Alfie both the sacrament of Confirmation and the sacrament of the sick. He also exhorted medical staff not to participate in Alfie’s death; this led to complaints being made to the Diocese of Liverpool.

LNBQ earlier reported that an auxiliary bishop of Liverpool, Thomas Williams, telephoned Brusco and quizzed him for 1 ¾ hours about his presence at Alder Hey. After this, Father Brusco “remained at his post.” However, after the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, visited Pope Francis in Rome, “Vatican support began to falter.”

The Italian newspaper reported that Cardinal Vincent Nichols, through his auxiliary, Bishop Sherrington, wrote to Brusco, asking him to return to his parish in London. (Another report says Brusco, after being barred from Alfie’s room by hospital staff, was recalled in the evening by his parish priest.)

Caroline Farrow told LifeSiteNews that a witness to Father Brusco’s expulsion from Alder Hey said the priest was “suffering.”

“He has suffered and is suffering greatly for his loving assistance to Alfie and his family when it was both needed and called for,” said the Catholic mother, a Liverpool resident.

“One of the saddest moments of last week was the moment when he exited the hospital for the last time, having been thrown out. We awaited him outside.”

“We continued to pray outside,” she continued. “Father (Gabriele) insisted on turning toward the windows while we prayed, where he knew Alfie was and where Tom and Kate were. He really loves Alfie, and I have never seen a priest so loving, sensitive and solicitous for a little one and the family.”

According to the source, who wishes to remain anonymous, Brusco ministered to many others at the hospital.

“He also witnessed to the staff, police and other families,” she wrote. “Many parents stopped him in the corridors and showed him photos of their sick children and asked him to pray for them. There was a huge thirst there for the ministry of priests, which is clearly not being met by the local church.” 

Attempts to reach Father Brusco for an interview were not successful. A request for confirmation from Alfie’s family that his funeral will be held this Friday also went unanswered. A spokesman for the Westminster diocese told LifeSiteNews that the “diocese does not discuss the circumstances of individual priests.”

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These images of what some celebrities wore to the 2018 Met Gala in New York have been pixelated. Twitter
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Catholics outraged over New York fashion show blaspheming Blessed Mother, pope, priests

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By Lisa Bourne
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Rihanna dressed as a pope, Katy Perry dressed as an angel, and Victoria's Secret model Taylor Hill dressed as a cardinal at the 2018 Met Gala Twitter
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Clerical clothing for women modeled after what priest and bishops wear, showcased at the 'Heavenly Bodies' fashion show. Heavenly Bodies / screen grab
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A woman's outfit featuring a short black skirt with a brazen sleeveless-and-shoulderless top that features an icon of Our Lady with the Christ Child. Showcased at the 'Heaven Bodies' fashion show. Heavenly Bodies / screen grab

NEW YORK, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A New York gallery displayed sacrilegious renditions of the Blessed Mother, the Vicar of Christ and included other assorted blasphemous images in a so-called Catholic-themed fashion exhibit that included some 40 liturgical vestments from the Sistine Chapel sacristy on loan from the Vatican.

'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,' was the theme of this year’s annual fundraising gala for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and also the theme for the Met’s largest exhibition to date.

Many Catholics, however, saw the Met Gala event as “blasphemy.”

“A leather bondage mask draped in rosary beads, a jeweled bustier with its gems strategically placed and a fuchsia gown inspired by cardinals’ robes — with a neckline that left its mannequin’s breasts mostly exposed — were all part of the Catholic-themed fashion exhibit at the Met Gala,” PageSix.com reports.

Outrage

Innumerable photos chronicling scandalously dressed celebrities at the gala have saturated social and other media since the gala, followed by endless commentary from all quarters and some pushback from offended Catholics and others.

“My religion is NOT your damn #MetGala outfit! #blasphemy,” one tweet captured in a Yahoo News report said. 

The report detailed some of the various get-ups at the event, including pop music performer Rihanna in a pope-themed outfit that included a strapless, groin-high jeweled dress, oversized cape and  matching miter. 

Father Richard Heilman, priest for the Madison, WI, diocese and author of RomanCatholicMan.com, shared a photo of the vocalist in a Facebook post

He noted with a tinge of humor the irony of celebrities and the fashion world commandeering the Catholic Church in such a manner on the heels of a high school student recently being excoriated on social media for her choice of a traditional Chinese dress for prom.

“PONTIFICAL APPROPRIATION,” Father Heilman’s post stated. “My ... how they hate Catholics ... ahem ... I meant, "Strong Catholics." Good thing it wasn't a dress from China, because .....”

“It’s a shame that the Metropolitan Museum had to stoop so low just to raise funds for its Museum of Arts Costume Institute,” Susan Brinkmann wrote for Women of Grace. “With tickets running in the $30,000 a piece range, surely they can come up with enough money to fund their annual needs without disparaging the world’s largest religion with this crass display.”

Brinkmann pointed it was both the contents of the collection and the celebrities’ outfits that were offensive.

“Let’s get real,” Brinkmann said. “This show wasn’t about fashion – it was about a bunch of elites with very bad taste.”

The Catholic author also included reaction from Catholics and others on Twitter in her post.

“finding the met gala to be highly offensive heresy,” one tweet said, “wby … the bourgeoisie appropriating religious iconography is not acceptable and you wouldn't think it was if it were any religion bar Christianity…”

“The met gala theme is lowkey disrespectful to the catholic religion let’s be real,” another said, and a third stated, “Imagine using my religion to do your fashion show … disgusting!”

“I'm not even Catholic and find it offensive,” offered another. “It is a demonstration against Christians as a whole.”

The controversy has also garnered coverage from Fox News, its report saying the theme was meant to be controversial, “However, some stars may have taken the theme a bit too far into the land of bad taste.”

The cardinal was there

New York’s Cardinal Archbishop Timothy Dolan attended the event and a preview press conference earlier in the day. While Dolan chose not to walk the red carpet into the Gala, instead going in the side door, he still made headlines with his presence there.

Dolan said in his remarks at the press preview he had reservations about attending the gala, Crux reports, continuing with an explanation.

“In the Catholic imagination, the truth, goodness, and beauty of God is reflected all over the place, even in fashion,” he said. “The world is shot through with his glory and his presence. That’s why I’m here. That’s why the Church is here.”

Dolan has defended his involvement with events and public figures associated with opposition to Church teaching in the past – such as acting as Grand Marshall of the New York Saint Patrick Day Parade the year after it changed its policy to admit expressly gay groups march. He also invited Barack Obama to the New York Catholic Charities Al Smith fundraising dinner despite Obama’s vociferous support for abortion and homosexuality – with the explanation that his participation was a form of engaging those opposed to the Church’s teaching and his doing so did not compromise Church principles. 

Seeming to continue in this vein, he told Met gala press preview attendees the exhibition was “radiant,” and spoke of the pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful as motivation for Catholic life.

“That’s why we have great schools and universities that teach the truth,” Dolan said. “That’s why we love and serve the poor to do good, and that’s why we’re into things such as art, poetry, and music, literature, and yes, even fashion, to thank God for the gift of beauty.”

The show includes an exhibition of women's dresses modeled after clerical clothing worn by priests and bishops. It also includes a dress showcasing a naked Adam and Eve that has a revealing transparent top. 

It also includes a woman's dress modeled after a nun's religious habit, with a mock rosary as part of the design.

Andrew Bolton, the Museums' Head Curator, explained in a promotional video that “the design certainly gravitates toward religious imagery for provocation.” 

The exhibition aims to "examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism," states an overview of the exhibition on the museum's website. 

Also included is a woman's outfit featuring a short black skirt with a brazen sleeveless-and-shoulderless top that features an icon of Our Lady with the Christ Child. 

‘I love that you got dressed up as a sexy priest.’

Dolan chatted with Jesuit Father James Martin, Donatella Versace, an event sponsor, and others at the preview gathering. 

Martin was involved in the Met’s pre-exhibit consultations, according to the New York Times. He called the exhibit “stunning,” and tweeted regarding flip comments he received at the gala, including, "I love your costume," and "I love that you got dressed up as a sexy priest."

The USCCB tweeted about the gala with two quotes from Pope Francis’ recent exhortation On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, one referencing holiness, the other including mention of God making His final work of art “with the scraps of human frailty.”

Glowing coverage

Crux’s coverage of the gala and exhibition has been glowing.

“Perhaps the last thing the fashion reporters and enthusiasts expected at the Met’s landmark exhibit on faith and fashion was an introduction to Jesus Christ,” one report said, “but that’s what they got.”

Another said that for “some star-studded attendees” who were raised Catholic, “the event was more of a homecoming.”

Both comedian Jimmy Fallon and actor George Clooney invoked their pasts as an altar boy for that report, Fallon saying it helped him catch the acting bug.

“You’re kind of on stage a little bit when you’re performing as an altar boy, ringing the bells, and my parents would come see me,” Fallon said. “I’m there doing 6:30 am Mass. It’s almost like a show, it’s very theatrical.”

“You know I was an altar boy,” George Clooney told Crux. “I was a good Catholic boy, and I know about the Catholic Church."

“Not everyone got it,” another Crux article said, referencing the curator’s claim the exhibit was about building a bridge between culture and faith. “But many, gasping in awe before the creative power of the Catholic narrative, did.”

The Met gala is the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars or Super Bowl, according to Vogue, an evening when designers, models, and Hollywood stars assemble in “the year’s most over-the-top looks.”

The exhibit’s curator, Andrew Bolton, said guests were asked to wear their “Sunday best,’’ the Page Six report said, Bolton joking to the Associated Press, “It’s an implicit plea to dress somewhat more modestly.”

The Met explained its rationale for the exhibit on its website:

The thematic exhibition features a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of medieval art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism. A group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican serves as the cornerstone of the exhibition, highlighting the enduring influence of liturgical vestments on designers.

The exhibition was made possible by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, and Versace, the website information said.

Blackstone Group CEO and billionaire Schwarzman gave a $5 million donation for the event, Page Six reports, saying as well that he’s also one of the New York archdiocese’s biggest financial supporters. 

“40 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican,” according to the Met, “Encompassing more than 15 papacies from the 18th to the early 21st century …”

The loan of the Sistine Chapel vestments came with authorization from senior Vatican officials. 

The 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination' exhibition opens to the public Thursday and is slated to run through October.

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Pro-abortion New York attorney general resigns after assault allegations

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By Calvin Freiburger

ALBANY, New York, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned, hours after reports surfaced that four women are accusing him of abuse.

On Monday, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow broke the story that four women claim Schneiderman, a pro-abortion Democrat and self-styled crusader in the #MeToo movement against sexual exploitation, subjected them to “nonconsensual physical violence.”

Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam have gone on the record, claiming Schneiderman repeatedly struck and choked them over the course of their relationships, that he threatened to kill both if they left him, and that he threatened to have Selvaratnam followed and her phones tapped.

A third former partner claims she received similar treatment, and a fourth woman claims Schneiderman slapped her hard enough to leave a mark the next day when she rejected his advances. The latter two women have chosen to remain anonymous, but The New Yorker says the fourth provided them with a photograph of the injury. All four women say they were too afraid to come forward earlier.

In response, Schneiderman admits that in “the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” but denies that he has ever “assaulted anyone” or “engaged in nonconsensual sex.” A spokesman also told The New Yorker that the ex-AG “never made any of these threats.”

Nevertheless, New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo called for Schneiderman’s resignation, and the Manhattan district attorney’s office has opened an investigation into the allegations. Hours after the bombshell, Schneiderman announced he would step down, effective at close of business Tuesday.

“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” Schneiderman said according to Reuters. “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”

The accusations come a week after Schneiderman accepted a “Champions of Choice” award from the pro-abortion National Institute for Reproductive Health. During his acceptance speech, he recalled working at an abortion facility after high school, where he claims he learned that “if a woman does not have the right to control her own body, she is not truly equal.”

Schneiderman’s pro-abortion record includes a harassment lawsuit against pro-life activists for protesting outside of Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, New York. In February, a witness from the abortion facility admitted in court to establishing a fake pro-life Facebook account through which to spy on local pro-life activists and deliver her findings to Schneiderman’s office. According to the witness, Schneiderman not only allowed her to continue, but provided her with a hidden video camera to film pro-lifers outside the facility.

“The Schneiderman story seems like another big data point in the theory that the louder a guy signals he's an ‘ally,’ the greater the chance he's a serial abuser,” the Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams observed.

Schneiderman is also a longtime enemy of President Donald Trump who bragged about making 2017 a “year of legal resistance” against the administration, earning him accolades as the “one person who can save us from Trump” by pro-abortion feminist Samantha Bee.

In the wake of Monday’s news, many have called attention to a 2013 tweet in which Trump predicted that Schneiderman would be “next” after sex scandals destroyed the careers of Democrats Rep. Anthony Weiner and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, another Democrat, will serve as acting Attorney General until the state legislature picks someone to serve out the remainder of Schneiderman’s term, which ends at the end of the year. An election will be held in November for the next term, with Republican corporate attorney Manny Alicandro vying for the position and Democrats suddenly in need of a new candidate.

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Ford doubles down on vow to repeal sex-ed after backlash over ousting so-con Granic Allen

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By Lianne Laurence
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Tanya supporters rally outside CityTV in Toronto, May 7, 2018. Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews

TORONTO, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ontario PC Party leader Doug Ford reiterated Tuesday he’ll repeal and replace the controversial Liberal sex-ed curriculum after facing a crowd of upset voters Monday night over his ousting of social conservative candidate Tanya Granic Allen.

“Tanya! Tanya! We want Tanya!” chanted some two dozen people outside CityTV in Toronto, where supporters of all parties rallied in anticipation of the first Ontario election debate between Ford, Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, and NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

Ford threw Granic Allen out of the party on Saturday after the Ontario Liberals posted a four-year-old video on their website in which the 37-year-old Catholic mother of four expressed opposition to homosexual “marriage,” sex education, and abortion.

Campaign Life Coalition mobilized supporters to attend Monday’s hastily organized protest, and is also urging them to contact Ford demanding Granic Allen’s reinstatement as Tory candidate for Mississauga Center.

Ford doubled down Tuesday on his earlier vow to repeal and replace the Liberal sex ed curriculum.

“For too long the Liberals have ignored Ontario parents. They have introduced the sex curriculum based on ideology -- a curriculum that teaches sensitive topics starting at an early age,” he said at a press conference live-streamed by Global News.

“Many parents I hear from think Kathleen Wynne’s sex ed is too much, and too early, and sadly, these parents were never, ever consulted. They were ignored and that’s wrong, because parents will always be the most important teachers,” Ford said.

“That’s why we will scrap Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum and replace it with one that’s age appropriate and only after real consultation with parents occurs,” he added.

Pro-life advocates can take some encouragement from Ford’s statement, says Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist Jack Fonseca.

“Finally, some good news! After the punch-in-the-gut that social conservatives received with the dismissal of Tanya Granic Allen, Doug Ford has felt the backlash,” Fonseca noted on CLC’s Facebook page.

"We do not forgive Tanya's ousting, and this announcement does not make up for that treachery, but these are good first steps by Doug in trying to restore the trust of the PC Party's socially conservative voting base," added Fonseca.

When Ford ousted Granic Allen, he said it was for her “irresponsible” remarks, a line he stuck to in a media scrum following Monday’s debate.

“Your party approved of Tanya Granic Allen as a candidate: Why did you dump her?” a reporter asked.

“Well, you know something, we have a big tent but, again, we have all different views and we’re open to all different views, but those views have to be respectful,” Ford replied. 

“And we don’t believe that some of the things that Tanya mentioned were respectful,” he went on. “We just didn’t believe it came across in a respectful manner, and we have to respect each other no matter what views we have, because everyone has different views. But some of those were disturbing, so we’re going to move on, we’re going to focus on what the tax payers want.” 

Granic Allen told a 2014 Croatian-Catholic Youth conference in Norval, Ontario that, “now what I hear about Hrvatska (Croatia) trying to push radical sexual education on the young or gay ‘marriage’ you know I almost vomit in disbelief,” according to the Toronto Star.

“Just 20 years ago we were liberated from this communism but now we are embracing these lack of values, these lack of ideals.”

But social conservative voters are furious with Ford, not least because he owes his victory to Granic Allen, who was acknowledged as kingmaker in the March 10 PC Party leadership contest after most of her supporters backed Ford as second choice.  

She easily won the PC nomination for Mississauga Center on April 21, capturing 55 percent of the vote on the first ballot.

Granic Allen took a leave of absence as president of Parents As First Educators to run for Tory leadership, and her candidacy is thought to have influenced Ford to promise to repeal and replace the Liberals’ controversial sex education curriculum.

“I and everybody I hang out with is so disappointed with Doug Ford. I thought that he was stronger than that, I thought he had more backbone, I thought he was more sensible,” Mississauga resident Genevieve Carson told LifeSiteNews at Monday’s protest.

Granic Allen’s nomination in Mississauga “was a slam dunk, so to take her out and replace her with somebody that most of the people didn’t really want anyway, it’s crazy,” observed Carson.

“Once again the Conservatives have let us down and I just hope and pray that he reconsiders and realizes how this decision of his is based on a false premise, and it’s going to hurt him severely,” added Carson.

“I’m very disappointed that Doug has thrown Tanya under the bus,” said Linda Gibbons, who has spent 11 years in jail for peaceful pro-life witness outside Toronto abortion centers. 

“If we look for loyalty in our causes, it has to start grassroots. The grassroots wanted Tanya in. Tanya helped get Doug in, and for him to abandon her because she has principles is disgraceful,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Dr. Maebh Tynan, family practitioner in Brampton, came to the protest “to show Doug Ford that he got into his seat by virtue of the fact that I voted for Tanya first and he was the second on my ticket,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Ford “would not be here today were not for the supporters of PAFE, Parents as First Educators. There are multiple agendas that we need to see addressed that are unfair and unjust and contrary to a fair society.”

Desiree Casmiro of Etobicoke “only joined the PC party because of Tanya,” and now that Ford is “splitting the party” she’s not sure what she’ll do, she told LifeSiteNews.

“I’m amazed at how Doug could turn his back on Tanya, because she was the one who was supporting life, so that’s why I’m here,” Casmiro said.

“What he’s done was he’s fallen into the traps of the liberals,” she said. "I wish he would stay strong. He can still backtrack. We’re praying for him that he has a change of heart, that the Lord be merciful on him and bring him back and make him see the light, that he can still bring Tanya back.”

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Rihanna dressed as a pope, Katy Perry dressed as an angel, and Victoria's Secret model Taylor Hill dressed as a cardinal at the 2018 Met Gala Twitter
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News,

Piers Morgan rips ‘offensive fiasco’ at Met Gala: ‘What the hell was the Vatican thinking?’

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By Claire Chretien

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Liberal commentator Piers Morgan has once again broken ideological ranks, this time penning a column expressing his disgust over how “a bunch of flesh-flashing celebrities” disrespected Catholicism with their sacreligious costumes at the Met Gala.

“I'm a Catholic,” Morgan wrote for the Daily Mail. “Not the most devout you'll ever meet, I'll admit. But I was brought up a Catholic – I even received not entirely successful spiritual guidance from nuns as a teenager! – and I still consider myself to be a Catholic. I know many people don't believe in any God or religion, let alone Catholicism, and I respect that. All I ask in return is for my beliefs not to be rudely disrespected.”

And the Met Gala costumes did just that, he wrote. Such costumes included sexualizations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Rihanna dressed as a glitzy female pope, and a Victoria’s Secret model in a modified cardinal’s cassock with a slit up the side.

“A lot of the imagery was highly sexualised, which you might think not just inappropriate for a religious theme but also incredibly offensive to the many victims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church,” Morgan pointed out.

He wrote that Madonna “looked preposterous” and performed Like a Prayer at the after-party.

“When it first came out, Madonna enjoyed enraging Catholics by making a video featuring burning crosses, statues crying blood and her seducing a black Jesus,” he commented. “What a nice touch to have this blasphemous old crone returning in all her unedifying glory to insult us all over again.”

“Next year's Met Gala is going to have an ‘Islam’ theme,” Morgan wrote sarcastically. “Yes, guests in 2019 will be encouraged to wear skimpy, provocative dresses that ‘celebrate’ the Prophet Mohammad, Islamic clothing including hijabs and burqas, and the Koran. I can also reveal that the 2020 Met Gala will have a ‘Jewish’ theme. Yes, a bunch of celebrities and models will be posing for the world's paparazzi dressed in all manner of Jewish attire and regalia, including dressing up as Rabbis and wearing kippahs.”

“Oh, wait,” he wrote. “Those celebrities who took part in this offensive fiasco need to ask themselves one question: ‘Would I have gone dressed as a Muslim or a Jew if I were not Muslim or Jewish?’ If the obvious answer is ‘No, of course not’ then they should all be ashamed of themselves.”

Morgan seems to have picked up on the ongoing crisis in the Catholic Church, too. The Vatican loaned some of its sacred vestments to the Heavenly Bodies show – which are being displayed in the same exhibit as a rosary-covered bondage mask.

“Apparently – staggeringly – the Vatican gave permission for the Gala to be 'Catholic-themed' because it has already provided a variety of clothes and other items for an accompanying exhibition at the Met,” he observed. “To which my response is: what the hell was the Vatican thinking?”

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Pope Francis one week after Alfie Evans’ death: ‘all possible assistance’ must be given to dying

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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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Alfie Evans on April 23, 2018 hours before he was removed from his ventilator. Thomas Evans / Facebook screen-grab
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Pope Francis giving Regina Coeli address, May 6, 2018.

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis spoke out on Sunday in favor of providing complete health care to dying patients, in an apparent reference to the case of Alfie Evans, a child who died in a British public hospital after being removed from a ventilator against his parents’ wishes. 

Speaking to the public before reciting the Regina Coeli prayer following Sunday Mass, Pope Francis reminded his audience that love is more than a “superficial sentiment,” but is rather something that is lived in obedience to God’s commandments.

“Above all it is important to keep in mind that the love of Christ is not a superficial sentiment. No, it is a fundamental attitude of the heart, which manifests itself in living in accordance with His will,” said Francis, noting that Jesus affirms that “if you observe my commandments you will remain in my love.”

“This love for others cannot be reserved to exceptional moments, but must become a constant part of our existence,” said Francis. “This is why we are called, for example, to care for the elderly as a precious treasure and with love, even if it creates economic problems and inconveniences, but we must care for them. This is why we must give all assistance possible to those who are ill, even those who are in the last stage of life. This is why the unborn are always welcomed; this is why, undoubtedly, life is always protected and loved from conception until its natural end.”

Pope Francis’ overall position on end-of-life treatment has been controversial.

Last November, the Pope indicated to the Pontifical Academy for Life that people may refuse life-prolonging medical treatment but failed to note, as John Paul II had done, that administration of nutrition and hydration are basic humanitarian care rather than medical treatment. Right-to-die activists in Italy credited Pope Francis’ teaching for the passage of a Euthanasia law by the Italian government last December that allowed adults to determine their end-of-life care, including the circumstances in which they can refuse treatment. 

A UK judge also cited Pope Francis’ teaching in his decision earlier this year to remove Alfie Evans from a ventilator. 

Sunday’s Regina Coeli address marks the second time in recent weeks that Pope Francis has used the event to make apparent references to the case of Alfie Evans, whose cause was taken up by the pontiff in February after Evans’ father asked him for help. 

Pope Francis repeatedly expressed support for Alfie’s cause and asked that new forms of treatment be made available to the child, who was to be removed from a ventilator by Britain’s National Health Service after months of cerebral decay due to an unknown illness, and the Vatican asked Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital to seek to transfer Alfie to its facilities. However, the judges overseeing the case in Britain refused to allow Alfie’s transfer to Italy. Alfie died after several days after his ventilator was removed, reportedly following the reception of four unknown injections by hospital staff. 

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The Knights of Malta removed Albrecht von Boeselager from his post as Grand Chancellor on the grounds that he violated his promise of obedience.
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Knights of Malta calls for resignation of condom-promoting chancellor backed by Pope Francis

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By Lisa Bourne

VATICAN CITY, Italy, May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Senior members among the world’s oldest Catholic chivalric order are calling for the group’s chancellor - reinstated by Pope Francis amid an international condom scandal - to resign. 

The resignation call stems from a German court finding Knights of Malta Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager to be “untruthful” in denying knowledge of condom distribution under his watch by the Order’s charitable relief arm. 

Boeselager had in fact “knowingly procured” the condom distribution, three German judges had found, with “full knowledge and will.” 

Boeselager had “plunged the whole Order into its worst crisis for decades, if not centuries,” a leaked internal email says, by going around the Order’s normal process and to the Vatican for help after he was suspended.  

His behavior is dishonorable, the Knights of Malta say in the email obtained by Church Militant, and should he stay in the position of Grand Chancellor, it would be a disgrace to the order.  

“How can he remain?” asked one senior knight of Boeselager. “A court has effectively found him untruthful.” 

“He claimed not to know, and the court said that he must have known,” the knight said. “We cannot have a Grand Chancellor whose truthfulness has been impugned by a court of law. He must resign. It is as simple as that.”

The April 30 email message was sent to the entirety of the Knights of Malta global membership in advance of last week’s May 2 election of Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre to the lifetime position of Grand Master.

The Order’s elective body voted last week to retain its Lieutenant Grand Master - who’d been elected to the interim term last year after Francis’ controversial intervention and removal of the previous Grand Master.

“As the Order prepares for the forthcoming Council Complete of State and elections for a new leader,” the email begins, “it is important that members of the Order worldwide understand the gravity of the judgment of a German court against the Grand Chancellor, Albrecht, Freiherr von Boeselager, in which he was effectively found by 3 judges to have been untruthful.”

It then explains how Boeselager sued Austrian Catholic news service Kath.net in the Hamburg District Court, “attempting to silence their reporting of condom distribution when Boeselager was Grand Hospitaller of the Order.”

“However, the judges found that Boeselager’s denial of knowledge about the condom distribution was untruthful and that he had “knowingly procured” it with “full knowledge and will,” the email states.

The court ultimately ruled in Kath.net’s favor, and the June 6, 2017 decision finding Kath.net’s reporting that Boeselager “knowingly procured the distribution of condoms (was), in fact, correct,” is included in the email obtained by Church Militant. 

Kath.net procured a cease-and-desist order at the end of 2016 from lawyers for Malteser International, the Order’s international charitable arm, concerning the Catholic news outlet’s reporting on Albrecht von Boeselager in his role as Grand Chancellor of the Order. 

In addition Boeselager’s involvement in condom distribution, Kath.net had also reported on coverage from another news outlet, BILD newspaper, the report saying Boeselager had “accepted a donation of 30 million Swiss Francs, the origin of which is dubious.”

The condom scandal and the dicey donation under Boeselager’s tenure have entwined the Knights of Malta in controversy over the last few years.

The Order’s Grand Master at the time Matthew Festing had removed German aristocrat Boeselager from his role as the Knights’ Grand Chancellor in late 2016 for Boeselager’s violating his promise of obedience. This was because Boeselager had declined to resign after his part in condom distribution was revealed.

In addition, “unexplained financial dealings involving Boeselager and a number of his associates caused considerable disquiet to the Grand Master,” an earlier Church Militant (CM) report on another internal Order document said. 

The document in the April 2017 CM report detailed questionable financial dealings involving Boeselager and the Order, and suggested collusion with leadership in the German bishops and the Vatican, amid a power struggle within the Knights of Malta over the Order’s religious character. 

Pope Francis had intervened and reinstated Boeselager in January 2017, also asking the Order’s Grand Master Matthew Festing, who had removed von Boeselager, to resign from his lifetime post. 

Francis’ move caused considerable surprise because the Order of Malta is a sovereign state. 

Also enmeshed in this was Pope Francis’ shelving of Cardinal Raymond Burke as Cardinal Patron of the Knights of Malta, by naming Archbishop Angelo Becciu his personal envoy to oversee the “spiritual and moral” reform of the Order, especially its branch of professed Knights, in February 2017.

By doing this Francis effectively sidelined Burke by handing Burke’s two areas of influence as Cardinal Patron — promoting the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and relations between the Holy See and the Order — over to Becciu.

Cardinal Burke had supported Festing in acting to remove Boeselager. Pope Francis asked Burke in a December 2016 letter to see to it that Freemasons were removed from the Knights of Malta and also ensure that the Order “resolve” any distribution of contraceptives it might be involved in.

The Pope’s proposed reform of the Order has caused worry among some of its members for the possibility it could overturn of the practice of having a professed Knight of noble lineage at the head of the 900-year-old Order - key in sustaining the Order’s moral character

The pope’s sidelining of Cardinal Burke as Cardinal Patron of the Knights of Malta was further sealed last week with Francis’ asking Becciu to remain his special delegate indefinitely.

The German court’s decision regarding Boeselager and Kath.net in effect confirms comparable findings by the Order’s own internal report from January 2017 commissioned by Grand Master Festing to look into the condom affair, the April 30 internal email says.

“Members will recall that Boeselager was suspended by the Grand Master in December 2016 for, among other things, acting without the consent of the Grand Master or the Sovereign Council,” it states. “He plunged the whole Order into its worst crisis for decades, if not centuries, by circumventing the Order’s normal appeal procedures, seeking instead intervention by the Vatican Secretariat of State.”

“Many senior figures within the Order, which includes many German knights, now consider that Boeselager is deeply compromised and behaving dishonourably,” the email adds. “They consider that it would be a disgrace to the Order and, indeed, his own noble family, if he were to remain in the post of Grand Chancellor.”

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Wesley J. Smith

Opinion,

The New York Times is ready to boost starving people to death

Wesley J. Smith
By Wesley Smith

May 8, 2018 (National Review) – First, bioethicists said people should be able to refuse being "hooked up to machines" even if that meant almost certain death. Good.

Then, they pushed that meme farther, arguing that the right of refusal (including by surrogates) should also include nourishment by tube so the patient dehydrates to death. Give them an inch...

After that, they said patients who are terminally ill (for now) should have access to prescribed poison to make themselves dead. Not good.

Now, they want to force caregivers to starve patients with dementia who eat and drink by mouth if so instructed in an advance directive.

This abusive proposal, which is being pushed aggressively in the professional literature, has now reached the august pages of the New York Times in a column by Jane Brody, the Gray Lady's health columnist. From, "An Advance Directive for Patients with Dementia":

Missing in standard documents [advance directives] are specific instructions about providing food and drink by hand as opposed to through a tube.

There is a logical reason for that. Advance directives cover medical treatments. But eating and drinking by mouth is not a medical treatment. It is humane care – like keeping clean, warm, turning to prevent sores, etc. – which are not part of advance directives.

Brody throws up some smoke, stating that the starve-me instructions would apply at the very end of life.

While trying to provide nourishment for a terminally ill person nearing death is commonly done in the name of comfort and caring, if that person cannot benefit from food or drink, it can become quite the opposite. When patients can no longer swallow what they are fed, they may choke and aspirate food or drink into the lungs, resulting in pneumonia that adds to their misery and hastens their death.

That can be true, and at such times, great care must be shown.

But the document Brody supports, written by an assisted-suicide advocacy group, does not require forced starvation to be limited to such times (my emphasis):

In the final, 'terminal' stage of all dementias, a person may become unable to swallow what is placed in his or her mouth, and lose the ability to ambulate, speak, recognize loved ones, and control bowel or bladder functioning.

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease who contact End of Life Choices New York want to know how they can avoid the final stages of this disease. It is for those individuals, and others who fear being diagnosed with dementia in the future, that the Directive about assisted oral feeding has been created.

In other words, it could well before the end stages, when the patient can still swallow and enjoy food and drink, when an incompetent patient could no longer feed themselves, not when they could no longer safely swallow.

The purpose of the document would be to force caregivers to starve a patient who willingly eats and drinks:

If I am suffering from advanced dementia and appear willing to accept food or fluid offered by assisted or hand feeding, my instructions are that I do NOT want to be fed by hand even if I appear to cooperate in being fed by opening my mouth.

What if the qualified-to-be-starved patient asks for food? Tough. If incompetent, she would not be deemed qualified to make that decision. (Such a horror happened in the Marjorie Nighbert case, involving the removal of a feeding tube from a stroke patient who begged for food and was refused nourishment anyway by a court.)

This is very wrong. No one should have the right – no matter how scared of dementia they may be – to compel others to starve them to death.

It is a sign of our times that acts and omissions that only a few years ago would have epitomized elder abuse, now receives the full-court bioethical press in the Establishment "paper of record."

This is precisely how radical proposals enter the policy mainstream. Ugh.

Published with permission from National Review.

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Wesley J. Smith

Opinion,

Docs face greater scrutiny treating with opioids than killing with opioids

Wesley J. Smith
By Wesley Smith

May 8, 2018 (National Review) – Our society often sacrifices law-abiding and productive people to protect the dysfunctional from themselves.

The current attack on opioid addiction threatens more of the same. To prevent over-prescribing and pill-pushing, pain patients who need strong drugs to function are being pushed off their proper dosages. The result too often? Agony.

Reason has a very good article on this problem in the current issue. I am not a believer in its libertarian approaches to drugs, but the article does a splendid job of describing how the well-being of legitimate pain patients are being sacrificed in the fight against opioid addiction. From, "America's War on Pain is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony":

Some physicians have decided the safest course is to stop prescribing opioids altogether. "There are many pain clinics flooded with patients who have been treated previously by their primary care physician," says Jianguo Cheng, president-elect of the AAPM. These refugees include patients who "have been functional" and "responding well" to opioids for "many years."

Schnoll sees similar problems. "Pain is still undertreated, and unfortunately it's getting worse because of the backlash that's occurring," he says. "I still get calls from patients whom I treated years ago, who were on stable doses of medication, doing very well, who have chronic pain conditions, and they can't get medication to treat their pain. They're being taken off medication on which they had done very well for years."

One such patient, a former cable company salesman named John, successfully used OxyContin to treat the back pain caused by injuries sustained during a mugging in 2011. Before he found a medication that worked for him, he recalls, "my wife was about to leave me, because I was a miserable bastard. When you're in that much pain, you want to just go to sleep and not wake up."

After the CDC guidelines came out, John was told that his daily dosage had to be cut in half. "My whole life turned upside down in a matter of 30 days," he says. "I'm back in bed now. I can't really get up very much, and I'm right back where I started in 2011."

The story has other such awful examples of functional lives on pain medication ruined by doctors afraid to treat their patients adequately or abandoning them for fear of government scrutiny. It's very worth your time reading.

And here's the thing: At a time when assisted-suicide pushers fear-monger about unrelieved pain as a reason to legalize doctor-prescribed death, physicians are so afraid of the feds they leave some pain patients in the lurch, thereby unintentionally pushing them toward suicide – assisted and otherwise.

Making matters worse, doctors who intentionally prescribe lethal doses of opioids for use in assisted suicide have far greater legal protections than physicians who prescribe the same drugs responsibly to control pain.

Assisted-suicide laws merely require that doctors act in "good faith," such a low standard of care that it is almost impossible to violate barring malicious intent.

In contrast, drug laws hold pain-control doctors to a much stricter and detailed standard of care – which places the palliative clinician under greater legal risks for making mistakes.

So, here's where we are:

  • Legitimate pain patients are being abandoned to agony that could be relieved because the responsible are being swept up with the dysfunctional and criminal.
  • Doctors who practice the difficult specialty of controlling pain find themselves increasingly under a darkening cloud of suspicion and greater threat of government scrutiny.
  • Doctors who prescribe opioids to patients for use in assisted suicide are free to do so with without worry about oversight or accountability.

Talk about a topsy-turvy world.

Published with permission from National Review.

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Cardnial Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State and one of the prelates Archbishop Vigano says knew about McCarrick
Fr. Shenan Boquet

Opinion, ,

What did we learn from Alfie Evans?

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
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Welcoming the parents of Charlie Gard to the White House in December, U.S. Vice President Pence tweeted: "Their parental love and devotion to their son is inspiring and a reminder of how precious all lives are."
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Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Parolin was caused "enormous sadness" by the U.K.’s decision to block Alfie Evans’s transfer to Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital.

May 8, 2018 (Human Life International) – Alfie Evans has died. Before he died, God be praised, he was baptized into the Catholic Church. As such, we can be confident that he is now experiencing the joy of the presence of his Heavenly Father. Our prayers are no longer for him, but for his parents, Tom and Kate, and his family. We also pray for the millions touched by his life and now mourning his death, and for the policy-makers and spiritual leaders who must now decide how to respond to the global controversy caused by Alfie's case. One such answer would be an "Alfie's Law", requiring the State to leave primary care of children with their parents.

The Alfie case was extraordinary in many respects, not least because of the enormous outpouring of sympathy for the boy and his parents. His parents' pleading media interviews, in which their haggard and care-worn appearance made tangible the fierce strength of their love for their son, and their courage in standing up to the totalitarian power of the State in pursuing what that love told them to do, touched the hearts of many.

And yet, in the end, the State won, and Alfie is dead. So now, as the fierce emotions of the battle recede into the ache of mourning, it is the time to ask: What have we learned from the Alfie case? And what can be done to ensure that a similar case never happens again?

It is worth remembering that it is less than a year since the case of Charlie Gard drew the gaze of the globe to the UK. The details of both cases are remarkably similar: young children diagnosed with incurable and fatal illnesses, but whose parents disagreed with medical professionals on the immediate next steps to be taken. In Charlie's case, his parents wanted to fly their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. However, they were prevented from doing so by the hospital, which argued that the treatment was not in Charlie's "best interests." In Alfie's case, his parents wanted to continue life support, but the hospital argued (in one judge's words) that it "is not in (Alfie's) best interests to keep him alive."

The crucial similarity between the cases is that in each the final say on what was in the child's "best interests" was given to the hospital, and not the parents.

When the State Turns Tyrannical

In both cases, supporters of the hospital and the State tended to focus on the medical issues involved. Given that in each case the child involved suffered from extremely rare (and in one case, undiagnosed) diseases, these issues were highly complex, beyond the grasp of the ordinary person. The argument of supporters of the hospital thus amounted to: "Trust the experts." Or, at least, trust these experts, since even the experts did not always agree on the medical details.

Supporters of Charlie and Alfie, on the other hand, tended to cut through many of the medical complexities, to focus instead on parental rights. I believe that in this they got it exactly right. Recognizing that parental rights were the defining issue in each case dramatically simplifies each and helps clarify the gravity of the issues at stake.

Interestingly, as soon as one recognizes the centrality of parental rights, there is no longer any reason to expend effort disagreeing with the doctors' diagnosis, or in questioning their motivation. Perhaps the doctors in each case were right: perhaps the experimental treatment would have done nothing to help Charlie, and perhaps removing Alfie from life support was a perfectly legitimate medical and ethical choice. And perhaps the doctors in each case truly did believe that their proposed course of action was in the child's "best interest."

But in the end, none of this matters. Because the central question still remains: who should have the right to make that final determination? In these cases, I believe the answer was clear: that was the right of the parents, and not the State. The tragedy and injustice of each case is not necessarily that life support was removed (if the parents had chosen to do so, this may have been ethically acceptable), but that it was the State and not the parents who made that decision.

Any ambiguity in each case was removed by the fact the parents in both cases had the independent means to provide the desired alternative treatments for their child. Strangers had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Charlie Gard's family. Italy granted Alfie Evans citizenship, and an air ambulance was on the tarmac, ready to whisk Alfie to Gesu Bambino hospital at a moment's notice. There was no question of either child being a burden on limited healthcare resources. All the doctors and courts had to say in each case was: "Fine. We don't agree with you. But since what you want for your child won't impact our hospital or health care system, take your son and pursue those treatments you deem best. That's your right."

But they didn't. Instead, they leveraged the entire apparatus of the State to ensure that the parents' desires were thwarted. No expense or effort was spared in standing between the parents and their wishes. The end result is that the actions of the hospital and the courts appeared to many as an exercise of raw, and even totalitarian power.

In a delicately-balanced commentary before Alfie's death, Christian bioethicist Peter Saunders said he was willing to concede that Alfie's doctors had concluded that keeping him on the respirator was doing more harm than benefit "in good faith." And yet, he concluded,

"Overriding parental responsibility should only be contemplated when a parent is harming a child deliberately or out of ignorance or failing to care for it adequately. But none of these things apply in this case. … So, I do not see why Alfie's parents should not be allowed to do what they believe is in the best interests of their son, even if it makes no difference to the eventual outcome of his illness. They are his parents after all."

I believe the reason that public emotions ran so red-hot in both cases, is that many ordinary citizens could see themselves in Tom and Kate's shoes. They could imagine themselves desperately desiring to do something for their own child, motivated by love, only to be prevented from doing so by an impersonal panel of government-appointed "experts." They can imagine the sense of helplessness, of their smallness and insignificance against the size and power of the State, and the pain of watching the child they love die a slow death that they did not believe should have happened.

Parental rights are not absolute: but they should always be the default. In the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases, far too many members of the "expert" classes (politicians, academics, and, sadly, some bishops in the UK) were far too quick to side with the experts over the parents. But as the history of the 20th century shows us in stark fashion, the State-sponsored cult of "experts" does not lead to greater well-being: it leads to tyranny.

The "Terrible Logic" Behind Denying God-Given Rights

The Catholic Church has constantly defended a different view of the human person from that of modernists and secularists. Human beings are created in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and are sacred beings. The dignity of the individual human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Moreover, the fundamental source of human rights is human nature, which is to say, that nature as created by God, who is the ultimate foundation of human rights. Human rights – including the rights of parents – are different from civil rights, which can be given or taken.

The ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beingsin the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his Creator. These rights are "universal, inviolable, inalienable." Universal because they are present in all human beings, without exception of time, place or subject. Inviolable insofar as "they are inherent in the human person and in human dignity" and because "it would be vain to proclaim rights, if at the same time everything were not done to ensure the duty of respecting them by all people, everywhere, and for all people." Inalienable insofar as "no one can legitimately deprive another person, whoever they may be, of these rights, since this would do violence to their nature."
— Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, ¶153

As the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin put it recently, it was "incomprehensible" that the hospital would not release Alfie to his parents. "It caused me an enormous sadness," Parolin said, "in the face of a willingness, so openly expressed, so many times, and with such great commitment of means – the doctors of our Gesu Bambino Hospital went three times to Liverpool – there was a refusal to allow Alfie to be taken to Italy."

"That is incomprehensible," the cardinal said. "This was what struck me the most, it upset me. I cannot understand why." However, then he added: "Or perhaps there is a reason, and it follows a terrible logic."

Many of us also could not comprehend the species of stubbornness that would see the hospital refuse Alfie's parents the right to take their son home, even when their direst predictions were proved wrong and Alfie began to breathe on his own when his respirator was removed. We could not understand what callousness would lead to the necessity of Alfie's parents pleading with doctors and nurses before they would agree to administer the basic human necessities of food and water to Alfie when he continued to live far longer than they said he would.

In the end, we must face the possibility that, whatever the intentions of individual nurses and doctors, there was a "terrible logic" at work in the Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard cases. That logic is the same logic that has undergirded most of the atrocities of the past century: it is the lie that the State and the "experts" trump the family and the individual. It is the lie that the rights and dignity of the individual are subordinate to the power and planning of the State. This is the logic of the Culture of the Death.

Against this terrible logic, the Catholic Church has always emphasized the absolute worth and dignity of the human person and the family, and the primacy of the rights of parents. This is not only morally correct, but it also has the practical effect of holding in check the totalitarian tendencies of the State.

Right now, there is a new parliamentary move in Great Britain to change the Children Act of 1989, which ultimately strips parents of their legal rights as primary custodians and caregivers, and instead entrusting these rights to the State. A proposed law – "Alfie's Law" – would return to parents more legal rights in medical decision-making.

MEP Steven Woolfe, who is leading the campaign, said outside Parliament that "a dangerous trend" has emerged of parents being deprived of the right to make healthcare decisions. "Parent's rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child."

An "Alfie's Law" would be an encouraging first step. Of course, nothing can ever replace Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard. Nothing can ever give back to the parents the right that was theirs to make the decision that they felt was best for their child. But if the massive publicity that surrounded their cases helps prevent other families and children from experiencing the same pain, their lives will not have been lived in vain.

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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Freedom March, Washington D.C., May 5, 2018. Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews
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Why the LGBT movement mercilessly bullies this smallest, most rejected minority in America

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By Dr. Michael Brown

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – How would you answer this question? Which group is the smallest, most rejected minority in our country?

African Americans have certainly suffered terribly through our history. But they are not the smallest minority today, making up roughly 12 percent of the population. And, despite ongoing issues they face, African Americans are certainly not the most rejected.

Perhaps it is Native Americans? They make up less than 1 percent of our population, so they are certainly very small. And their suffering over the centuries has been intense, with their communities facing immense difficulties to this hour.

But they are neglected more than rejected. To most of our country, Native Americans are, sadly, out of sight and out of mind. And there is another, suffering minority that is smaller still.

What about the LGBT movement? They too are quite small (perhaps equaling 3 percent of our population; estimates vary). And to this day, many who identify as LGBT suffer hatred and unjust discrimination.

But the truth be told, LGBTs are more celebrated than denigrated, more protected than rejected, more powerful than powerless.

Ironically, the group that can lay claim to being the smallest and most rejected minority in America today once was part of the LGBT movement. They once identified as gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, but they no longer do. Today, they are “ex-gay” or “ex-trans.”

Their numbers are very small, since they came out of a small community to start with. And it is only a small percentage of that small group who make a break with the rest of the LGBT movement.

Most of them make that break because of their religious faith, often newly found. Others make the break simply because they no longer want to identify as gay or bi- or trans. But for making that break, they pay a steep price.

They are mocked and maligned and bullied by the community they once called home.

They are told they do not exist. They are assured they will fail. Their motives are questioned. They are called liars and mercenaries.  They are even mocked for being so small in number (even if they number in the thousands or tens of thousands, that represents the tiniest slice of the population).

All this simply because they want to lead a new life, because they do not embrace their same-sex attractions (or, their gender confusion.)

Shouldn’t they be applauded for their courage? Shouldn’t they be lauded for doing what they feel is right?

Really now, what can possibly be wrong with a man wanting to be married to a woman, having natural children of his own? Why on earth should he be penalized for that?

What can possibly be wrong with a woman wanting to be at home in her own body? Why on earth should she be criticized for that?

Why are ex-gays and ex-trans individuals put under such intense pressure? If they have one slip-up, they’re called phonies. If they still struggle with attractions or gender confusion, they are told they haven’t changed. But why?

There are plenty of former alcoholics who fell off the wagon for a season, only to get back on track. Are they ridiculed or do they receive empathy and compassion? Many of them identify as recovering alcoholics. Why can’t someone identify as a recovering homosexual?

There are plenty of former porn addicts who still struggle with temptation. Are they told they will never be free, or are they encouraged to resist their temptations?

But when it comes to someone being ex-gay, things are very different. If you still struggle with temptation, even if you don’t yield to it, you’re told you’re living in denial. If you mess up once, you’re discouraged from trying again. Why the double standard? 

I personally know ex-gays who have experienced a complete and total change. They have embraced heterosexuality and have been happily married for many years. 

I know others who have seen a marked decrease in same-sex attractions along with an increase in opposite-sex attractions. Some of them are in successful heterosexual relationships.

I know others who remain same-sex attracted but who say no to acting on those attractions. They are happy to be celibate, finding joy and purpose and satisfaction in life without being in a sexual or romantic relationship.

And I know others who tried to come out of homosexual practice, only to fall back and embrace the homosexual lifestyle. But their very real failures and struggles do not negate the success enjoyed by the others. 

Why, then, can’t the LGBT movement accept it when someone says, “I was once out and proud as a gay person; now I’m out and proud as an ex-gay person”? Why, instead, do LGBTs commonly mock and attack and ridicule those who identify as ex-gay (or, ex-trans)?

The reason is simple: If it is possible for someone to change from gay to straight, either through the gospel or through counseling (or both), then the whole “innate and immutable” argument goes out the window. (The same can be said for someone who is ex-trans.)

In other words, one of the foundations of LGBT activism is that, “We’re born this way and we can’t change. Gay is the new black. (Or, trans is the new black.) This is who we are. Our sexual identity is as innate and immutable as our skin color.”

That’s why those who say, “I used to be gay, but I’m free today” must be maligned. Their existence must be denied. Their ultimate failure must be assured. 

If change is possible – again, through divine intervention or through counseling or both – then the whole push for “LGBT rights” can be questioned.

I’m aware, of course, that for many who identify as LGBT, this is an intensely personal issue. They tried to change and could not, leading to depression and even attempts at suicide. They had bad experiences with counseling. They were rejected by their churches or families. And they finally found relief when they embraced their so-called gay (or trans) identity.

The moment they hear of someone who claims to be “ex-gay” or “ex-trans,” those old wounds are opened and they feel personally attacked.

To such people I would say this: Just as you must live your own life before God, allow others to do the same. Just as you have the right to self-determination, allow that to others as well. And just as you despise bullying, don’t bully others.

This past weekend, a small group of ex-LGBTs held a rally in Washington, DC, called the “Freedom March.” Although I have met many such people around the country, I expected that the turnout would be tiny. And it was.

That’s because the great majority of those who came out of homosexual practice and transgender identification simply want to live their lives. They are not known or celebrated. They are on no one’s payroll. They are changed, and they are the better for it.

But I do know that many of them feel alone and misunderstood. That’s why one ex-gay counselor, Chris Doyle, founded Voice for the Voiceless. Its mission is “to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, and their families.”

It is a mission all of us should support, especially those of us in the faith community. If anyone should be encouraged and embraced, it is these precious men and women, some of whom are still in the healing process.

And this is in keeping with the New Testament writings, which say plainly that, just as some of us once engaged in sexual immorality or adultery or theft or lying or greed or idolatry or homosexual practice, we do so no longer. If the Son of God sets us free, we are free indeed. (See John 8:31-36; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. For our 6-minute, animated video, go here.)

So, I say to the ex-gay, ex-trans community, you are not alone. We are standing together with you. More importantly, the Lord is standing with you. Be strong in Him.

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Can you be gay and Christian? Here’s what the Bible says

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By Dr. Michael Brown

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It’s the question I’m asked over and over again. It’s the question that’s dividing churches and separating family members. It’s the question that must be answered: Can you be gay and Christian?

Well, if you claim to be a Christian, that means that Jesus is your Lord and the Bible tells you how to follow him. So, the real question is: What does Jesus have to say about this? And what does the Bible – God’s Word – have to say? That’s what we need to find out.

Of course, we understand that every Christian struggles in some area, whether it be pride or anger or lust or jealousy or greed. But we also recognize that acting on these desires and attitudes is sinful, and so we say ‘No’ to them and ‘Yes’ to the Lord. 

In the same way, some Christians struggle with same-sex attractions, saying ‘No’ to acting on those attractions and ‘Yes’ to following the Lord. That’s their area of temptation and battle.

But what about those who say, “God made me gay, and if I’m in a committed relationship, the Lord is pleased. After all God is love, and love wins. What the Bible opposes is abusive relationships, like homosexual pederasty and prostitution and promiscuity. That’s what the Scriptures condemn. But the Lord blesses committed same-sex relationships.”

Is this true?

There’s only one way to answer this question. With humility, we must come to God and His Word and say, “Father, whatever You say, we will obey. We only want Your will.”

So, what does God’s Word have to say? Can you practice homosexuality and follow Jesus at the same time? And does God’s Word 

We’ve put together a 6-minute video that answers this head-on, clarifying misunderstandings, dispelling myths, and offering hope.

Can you gay and Christian? You’ll find your answers here.

Editor's Note: In this 'Consider This' episode above Dr. Brown tackles this controversial issue.

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St. Augustine’s ominous warning to negligent pastors

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By Steve Jalsevac

May 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – We receive many comments these days from readers terribly upset, not so much by clearly corrupt and openly heretical cardinals, bishops and priests, but more dismayed by the negligence of most good clergy who say and do nothing substantial in response to all of this. It is a strange and disturbing phenomenon, but not one unique to our time.

Many ask, “What are they so afraid of”? The only fear that they should have is a healthy fear of God Himself.

In The Power of Silence, Robert Cardinal Sarah recalls some very pertinent words of St. Augustine on this topic.

Every priest and every bishop ought to be able to say, like Saint Augustine: “Voce Ecclesiae Loquor(I speak with the voice of the Church)” (Serm. 129, 4) and, therefore with the voice of Jesus Christ; thus, with subtlety and efficacy, he should take upon himself the full responsibility of pastor and guide. Every priest, every bishop will keep in mind that on the terrible Day of Judgment he himself will have to answer before God for the sins of those whom he was unable to reform because of his own negligence. 

In a letter, Saint Augustine writes seriously: “The glory of this age passes; on Judgment Day all these honors will be good for nothing. It is not my intention to waste my life on the vanity of ecclesiastical honors. I think of the day when I will have to render an accounting for the flock that has been entrusted to me by the Prince of pastors. Understand my fears, because my fears are great.”

Judgment Day. It comes to all of us, but for clergy, the ordained guides of souls, the judgment is greater and more fearful. That is why they need our special prayers. Sadly, we are in another time in history where clerical cowardice and negligence appear to be rampant throughout Christendom.  It is allowing evil to flourish and souls, especially of the young, to be terribly corrupted. Only a very tiny handful of clerics are standing with Christ and willingly and joyfully accepting the cross that comes with such fidelity. They should all be re-reading the great classic - The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. That masterpiece is also for lay people.

Pray for our clergy – at every level. The need, as you can see in numerous developments that we have had to report during especially these past 5 years, is very great.

"Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions." - G.K. Chesterton

"Whoever does not hate error, does not love the truth".  - G.K. Chesterton

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Why the peace and unity of the Church depends on Humanae Vitae

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A few months ago I read an article by a Protestant professor who was expressing his appreciation of many aspects of Catholic sexual morality, but who said he could not see the difference between natural family planning (NFP) and contraception. Since one encounters this difficulty so often—including among Catholic traditionalists, some of whom maintain that any use of NFP is impermissible because it is contrary to the primary end of marriage—I will attempt here to explain the difference as clearly and simply as I know how to do.

The couple using NFP chooses not to engage in marital relations at fertile times; the couple using contraception engages in them but tries to prevent a natural result from happening. In one case there is a non-action, in the other, an action. It is a difference as absolute as that between being and non-being.

From this ontological difference, there stems a moral difference. The NFP user intends to avoid a pregnancy, while the contraceptive user intends to prevent a pregnancy. The one, presumably for good reasons, respects a rhythm inherent in nature itself; the other, let us even presume for equally good reasons, uses technology to interfere with the order of nature. NFP is founded on an attitude of humility in the face of the mystery of fertility, whereby human beings cooperate with God in the creation of an immortal being destined for heaven. This is why NFP-users are fundamentally pro-life: respecting the order inscribed in their very bodies and acknowledging God as the sole Lord of life, they are ready to welcome any children He will send, even at a time when they may have wished to avoid conception.

Contraception, in sharp contrast, is the result of a Baconian-Cartesian “mastery of nature” mentality that puts man in God’s place. It makes man the one who determines the meaning, function, and goal of the sexual act: if he wants it to be for him and his partner only, excluding the child, he will find a way to carry out his intention. But in so doing, man is no longer fundamentally pro-life, pro-human, and pro-divine, for God Himself, the human nature He created, and the life He fashions in the womb all stand contrary to that contraceptive intention.

Finally, NFP can be abused if the mentality behind it happens to be anti-life, but it need not be so abused. Contraception, on the other hand, is an abuse in and of itself, since it treats fertility as a problem to be overcome or thwarted. And this is objectively offensive to the Creator of human nature. In short: the use of NFP can be rendered evil by a bad intention, but the use of contraception is evil in and of itself.

In spite of its derivation from the law of human nature and its confirmation in the divine law consistently handed down by the Catholic Church for 2,000 years, the message of Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae has struggled for a hearing from the day it appeared in print to the present. A combination of outright dissent and cowardly silence has shrouded its truth in an impenetrable darkness. As Fr. Hardon points out, contraception is “fatal to the Faith” and “fatal to salvation”:

The practice of contraception is a grave sin. Those who indulge in the practice are in danger of losing their immortal souls… Christianity has always held, holds now, and always will hold, that contraception is a serious offense against God. Unless repented, it is punishable by eternal deprivation of the vision of God, which we call eternal death.

Commenting on this passage, John Galvin writes: “It is intolerable that the Church should stand by passively as the vast majority of its members—amounting to hundreds of millions of souls—conduct lives that must lead to eternal perdition.”

Can anyone deny that this, all by itself, demonstrate the massive apostasy of all too many shepherds of the Church since 1968, their refusal to shoulder the responsibility of their office to “preach the truth in season, out of season” (2 Tim 4:2), their abandonment of the sheep to the savage wolves of modern egoism and hedonism? This situation has always been intolerable, it is still intolerable, and it always will be intolerable. It is the root cause of much of the crisis in marriage and family.

Today we face a worsening situation: in addition to the usual widespread refusal to teach the truth, there is a new siege on Humanae Vitae by moral theologians emboldened by the “new paradigm” attributed to Amoris Laetitia and other acts of the Bergoglian pontificate, whereby the perennial moral teaching to which Veritatis Splendor bears witness is being dismantled, plank by plank.

At one point in Humanae Vitae, Paul VI makes the prescient remark: “If men’s peace of soul and the unity of the Christian people are to be preserved, then it is of the utmost importance that in moral as well as in dogmatic theology all should obey the magisterium of the Church and should speak as with one voice” (n. 28).

If the unanimous, uninterrupted, unequivocal, exceptionless magisterium of the Church on the intrinsic evil of contraception is not obeyed, peace of soul cannot be preserved, any more than the unity of the Church. Those who are leading souls away from this magisterium, which is founded in the “objective moral order” (HV 10)—whoever they may be, whatever uniform they may wear on the outside—are producing the bad fruits of warfare, unrest, confusion, anxiety, that tremendous lack of interior and exterior peace that characterizes all who flee from the divine law or dare to assault it. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said Our Lord (Mt 7:16).

The Holy Spirit inspires joyful obedience to each and every moral truth traditionally taught by the Catholic Church. By following the way of sacrificial love, Christians produce good fruits in abundance for the glory of God. The Holy Spirit also inspires implacable hatred for sin, the devil, and heresy. To these, a Christian’s heart can offer no hospitality.

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The surprising thing the Met Gala attendees got right about Catholicism

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By Claire Chretien
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May 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I’ve always loved All Saints’ Day and the adorable “saint pageants” that go with it.

Many who attended Catholic school or religious education classes at some point will recall doing a project on a saint and dressing up as him or her, accompanied by a day of fun or at least more commotion and activity than usual.

Cultural elites had their own version of an All Saints’ Day pageant last night, only instead of dressing up like Mother Teresa or St. Anthony, they came as sultry female cardinals, a female pope, and a sexualized Blessed Virgin Mary. Katy Perry was dressed as an angel, rather ironically considering she once literally said she sold her soul to the devil.  

Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke approvingly at the press conference before the event, which featured vestments on loan from the Vatican alongside a bondage mask covered in rosary beads. Father James Martin was there, tweeting about how someone hit on him. And celebrities committed what can only be described as extreme cultural appropriation.

Remember just a few days ago, when “social justice warriors” got mad at an American girl for wearing a Chinese-style prom dress? Well, move over. This was one giant “prom” of cultural appropriation and blasphemy.  

Sifting through all the photos of Met Gala attendees, though, I couldn’t find any evoking 1970s-style stripped altars, plain vestments, and guitar Masses. It doesn’t look like anyone dressed as a priest without a collar or a nun in a pantsuit.

Even the people mocking Catholicism clearly understand that tradition and grandeur are distinctly Catholic, that an integral part of the “Catholic identity” is giving what is most beautiful and ornate to God for His glory.

They just understand this so they can accurately blaspheme.  

In an article for the secular outlet Refinery29 earlier this month, Sara Coughlin explored the sensuality, beauty, and richness that are associated with Catholicism in anticipation of the Met opening.

“Anyone who’s set foot in a Catholic church has observed the opulent visual language of the institutional Church,” Coughlin wrote. “The stained glass windows, endless rows of votive candles, embroidered priestly vestments, and vaulted ceilings all send a clear and reverent message to the visitor: You are now in a divine space.”

“That feeling of transportation, of immersion, only increases if you stay for Mass, in which the heavy scent of incense fills the air and attendees (practicing Catholics, at least) are asked to imbibe the body and blood of Christ,” she wrote. “A very specific, ornate aesthetic” is associated with Catholicism.

Sometimes Satanists understand Catholicism better than Catholics do – they steal the Holy Eucharist from churches because they know it’s the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and can be used for profane “black masses.” Meanwhile, many Catholics just think Holy Communion is the white cracker you eat in church that maybe symbolizes something about the last supper.

Similarly, celebrities mocking Our Lady, the papacy, the priesthood, and all that is Catholic may actually have an intuitive sense of what Catholicism is meant to be; they just use that understanding to ape it.

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Here’s what a late-term abortion is really like

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By Jonathon van Maren

May 8, 2018 (Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform) – I've studied abortion and the reality of the different abortion procedures many times, but every once in awhile I still stumble across something that disturbs me. Recently, it was an article emailed to me by a friend in the pro-life movement titled "The Mom Who Had An Abortion At Seven Months Pregnant," by the mother of three who had made that choice after discovering that her pre-born child would in all likelihood be severely disabled – even though her initial reaction to the pregnancy was that she was "unambiguously happy." After she was told by a specialist about the problems her child faced, however, "It was a fairly easy decision. My husband and I just sort of looked at each other, and I told them to call the clinic. It was not really a question for me."

The author of this essay is extremely blunt, and so I just want to share a few excerpts that I think highlight the reality of late-term abortion. First, it had an enormous impact on both her and her family:

When you have kids, you don't want to cry in front of them. I cried in the kitchen; I cried in the laundry room. I cried in the car. I just kept finding places to cry where the kids wouldn't see me. Right before we left, we had to tell my son what was happening, which was rough, but I didn't want to leave pregnant and come back not pregnant without telling him anything. We told him the truth, using child-friendly terminology. We told him the baby was too sick to live outside of Mommy, so a doctor is going to take the baby outside of Mommy and there's not going to be a baby we bring home and the baby is going to die. Our son was sad for about five minutes. From what I understand, it comes and goes for him. Just the other day, my daughter was looking for her doll and saying, "Where is the little baby boy? I can't find my little baby boy!" And my son said, "She's talking about the baby, the baby who died. Can we have a birthday party for him this year, because someone good left the world and we should remember that?" I was eight months pregnant when I had the abortion, and he had expectations. As the grown-up, I believe I have to take care of his emotional needs – so I told him no, we weren't going to have a birthday party, and that a baby who dies before it's born isn't a person in the same way.

How heartbreaking that this awful, dehumanizing language was passed on to the little brother like that – and that even his simple way of remembering the sibling he never met was dismissed as unnecessary. Her description of the procedure itself, later in the essay, is gut-wrenching:

My abortion happened over four days. The first day they do what's called "feticide"; I'm not sure how I feel about that word, but that's what they call it. That's definitely the most emotionally difficult day, because they have to inject the baby with a chemical that stops the heart...They do an ultrasound, because they need the guidance – if the doctor can't see what he's doing, he might stick a needle in an organ. But they put the screen so you can't see it. They have a social worker to hold your hand, and a nurse to be a nurse. They did an amnio first, as a favor, since we didn't know why the baby had such severe microcephaly. Then the chemical was injected. It was similar to an amnio – a long needle into the uterus. The doctor missed, the first time.

No one talked about it. I think they didn't want to upset me. I mean, he was trying to hit a moving target that he could only see on what must have been a 30-year-old ultrasound machine. But what was so hard about it, for me, was the baby had woken up. He'd started moving. That was really, really hard. It goes against every human instinct, to lie there and let someone do that. You're not supposed to move, so I was trying not to cry and not to move. I just remember thinking, Go to sleep. Don't move, because we have to do this. I think the fact that I believed that and still do, helps. That this was the best of all possible decisions. But it was still really f*****.

The doctor did get it the second time. It was very fast. I think probably because the baby's body was already so weak. He kicked once, after the shot. That was the last time I felt anything.

She then describes how she made funeral arrangements for the baby who was "almost a person, but wasn't." Despite her brutal honesty throughout the essay, she clings to the fiction that her pre-born son wasn't a real person, because then the truth would simply be too much for her. Her description of the reality of the procedure is blunt, and it is actually hard to believe she was willing to face what her pre-born child went through:

There's no other way to say it: A D&E tears the body to pieces. Sometimes the very physical parts of having this kind of abortion feels like something we're not supposed to talk about, especially if we want to keep laws off our bodies. I think the fact that this feels like a visceral horror to some women – though not all – and then is used as an excuse to write disgusting legislation is awful. But I don't know that the solution is to not talk about it.

This is already a violating procedure. You're ending the life of the child, the fetus, whatever you want to call it. There was just something so horrifying about not just ending the pregnancy, but having the body torn into pieces. It felt like one last violation of how you are supposed to be able to protect your child – not to be able to protect the physical integrity/privacy of the body, to have it be exposed like that. I had wanted the body to be shown respect. It felt like one of the only things I could do for him.

Before the D&E, I had a lot of painkillers, but I was not sedated. There's not an anesthesiologist on staff and no way to resuscitate a patient, so it just wasn't safe to put me under. I could hear and feel everything. I remember everyone talking. I remember the doctor breathing really heavily, like it was hard work – which I guess it is. Surgery in general is more physical than people realize. It was quite painful – not as painful as natural labor, but painful. I remember one of the nurses told the social worker, in the most loving way possible, to keep me quiet because I was going to scare the other patient. I could hear the noise of the instruments, the metal click that forceps make. The drop of whatever he was dropping into the tray, which I was trying really hard not to think about.

Afterward, they wrapped his remains in a prayer shawl and put them in a coffin to bury, and we buried him four days after we got back.

That is the reality of late-term abortion: An abortionist sweating with the effort of crushing a nearly full-term baby's skull and tear his body to pieces, before dropping those pieces on a tray so that a nurse can piece him back together to make sure nothing got left behind. And then, the doctors can place their fresh kill in a coffin so that the little boy's shattered corpse can be given the respect he was denied in life.

This is the reality of late-term abortion.

Published with permission from Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.

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