All articles from May 14, 2018


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Steven Crowder debates feminist, explains why abortion is murder

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative commentator Steven Crowder spent almost a half hour debating abortion with leading feminist author Naomi Wolf last week, resulting in an illuminating deconstruction of pro-abortion logic.

Crowder thanked Wolf for making her second appearance on his show, noting that many abortion supporters would have been unwilling to debate the issue at all. Both participants were civil throughout the entire interview, though Crowder firmly challenged her reasoning on multiple fronts.

Wolf admitted that by the fourth month of pregnancy, once the baby is moving inside the womb, “there’s literally no way you can pretend there’s not a being,” which necessitated a change in the pro-choice movement’s “soulless” language about “clumps of cells.” She also explained that her idealized solution to the abortion debate would be for abortion-on-demand to be legal in the first trimester, coupled with government-subsidized contraception and maternity support, as well as streamlined adoption rules.

However, she did not specify what kinds of abortion restrictions she would accept in later trimesters, and she maintained that the preborn “being” was not a “life,” but merely the “beginning of what will be a life.”

Crowder focused most of his cross-examination on this point, attempting to get her to give a precise explanation of when the fetus does constitute a life.

“I don’t have a simple answer for you,” Wolf responded. She complained that “Catholicism has really made this an either-or conversation,” whereas in her own faith, Judaism, “you have 40 days before it is a life.” She also invoked her own pregnancies (neither of which ended in abortion), during which she suggested “maternal instinct” told her abortion would have been acceptable in the first 40 days but not afterward.

“That’s a very subjective answer,” Wolf admitted, but “I do absolutely believe” that aborting in the first trimester is “not the same thing as killing a baby.”

The conversation then turned to contraception, which Wolf claimed even affluent college students “really can’t afford.”

“You can get condoms for 25 cents at a truck stop, and you can get countless generic birth control pills for under $14 at Walmart,” Crowder responded. Wolf disputed that, suggesting some versions of the birth control pill can be much more expensive and noting that some require health insurance for a prescription. Crowder answered that “you can go to Walmart right now and get a generic birth control pill for $8, 12 if I’m being very, very generous,” as well as pay “$50 to see a cash doctor who can prescribe it.”

“If you're having sex in 2018 and you can't afford or know about contraception, it's from a lack of trying,” Crowder maintained.

The conversation then returned to abortion, where Crowder challenged Wolf’s rhetoric that abortion was a question of the “woman’s body.”

“The woman doesn’t have 20 fingers and toes, the woman doesn’t have four eyes, if the boy has a penis the woman doesn’t have a penis,” he pointed out. “This is a different body in her. Logically, how do you argue it goes from day 39, not a life, to day 40, a life?”

“Men and women literally cannot understand each other around this,” Wolf claimed, invoking her gender and experience with pregnancy in place of an answer. “Listen to me, I’ve had two kids, okay?” Crowder responded by pointing out, “my wife agrees with me, and every woman who works on this show.”

Wolf next made the strange claim that a fetus was “both a separate being and part of your body.” She offered no evidence, but again fell back on the claim that “if you’ve never experienced it, you cannot understand that.” She did point out that preborn babies use the womb for protection and nourishment, but such details only establish that the two bodies are connected, not that one is somehow an extension of the other.

In fact, long-settled biological criteria establishes that a whole, distinct, living human being is present upon fertilization, with different DNA from that of his or her mother.

Observing that this connection continued throughout the entirety of pregnancy, Crowder asked, “then why does day 40 matter at all,” because the logic she laid out could just as easily be applied to a baby “exiting the womb.”

Wolf admitted that she didn’t have a “black-and-white answer” to the question, and instead returned to invoking her status as a mother as well as observations about other women’s experience with pregnancy. She claimed that “having thought deeply about the issue” convinced her that “an intellectually pure solution” was not possible at all, but following her example would still lead to “humane policies.”

“There is nothing humane about ending another life that is not your own,” Crowder answered, which was “the only question that matters.” Wolf once again admitted that she “cannot and will not give you a black-and-white answer on this,” but maintained that she couldn’t “because I have a sense of integrity and for my lived experience as a woman and as a mother.”

At this point, Crowder slammed Wolf for playing “identity politics,” then suggested that “if you don’t have an answer, you can err on the side of not ending a life.” She replied simply that she did not believe a just-conceived zygote was a life, and that because these are “deep, deep issues,” they should not “be reduced to sound bites.” Crowder retorted that they also should not be reduced to policies that involve “my direct subsidization of someone else’s opinion despite the fact that there’s no answer there.”

After the interview concluded, Crowder told the audience that while he appreciated Wolf’s concession that abortion “shouldn’t be celebrated” or be completely on demand, ultimately her argument still “ended up sliding that way” because her “part of the mom” refrain was the only “intellectually consistent argument she could make.”

“This is where we deal a lot with the left and feminism,” Crowder said. “We're now so far off the beam” that her answer was to err on the side of “liberty” in lieu of an actual answer – but the feminist definition of liberty was “a woman has the right to terminate another life, and of course it has to be taxpayer-funded or we hold a gun to your head and say if you don't tax, if you don't fund abortion and subsidize that we're we're going to force you to subsidize contraception.”

“I don’t believe that the argument holds water,” he concluded.

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University of Minnesota cancels plans to hire abortionist after student outcry

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By Lisa Bourne

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has reversed its plans to hire a board-certified medical doctor to learn from Planned Parenthood how to train other doctors to commit abortions.

The “Reproductive Rights Advocacy Fellowship” was a one-year medical fellowship that would have hired a doctor to “spend one year as a ‘trainer in training,’” Campus Reform reports, learning to commit abortion and abortion-related procedures, such as “vacuum aspiration of the uterus.” 

The fellowship has since been pulled by the University after student outcry.

“We have pulled the position from the web site and are no longer hiring for this role,” UM Medical School Dean Jakub Tolar said via a statement. “We will examine the value of this training in the context of our mission along with the values of the community.”

After the doctor had learned to perform abortions, he or she would have been sent to “teach these procedures to others,” the job description said, including “spending at least 20 days at a high volume abortion site, getting training and becoming a trainer.”

“Abortion training at Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD in St. Paul, MN,” was in the first part of the curriculum, and so was training for “family planning,” “reproductive health,” and “reproductive advocacy.”

Creating a pro and con chart on having an abortion and managing patients’ spiritual or moral concerns were part of the proposed counseling techniques the doctor would learn in the fellowship.

A workbook for the doctor describes abortion as a “safe” procedure and one of the “most common outpatient procedures performed among women” in the United States. It went so far as to suggest that medical abortion may be better than carrying a child to term, stating, “The [maternal] mortality associated with childbirth is 14 times that of legal abortion.”

After Campus Reform reported on the fellowship, some students from various UMN campuses spoke up, saying it was “unthinkable” and “disgusting.”

“It is frightening that a publicly funded university is actively promoting and supporting abortion here on campus,” Nick Johnson, the president of Students for Life at UMN, Twin Cities said.

“The university has a job to uphold a high moral standard being educators,” said Johnson, “and they are clearly violating these principles by further engaging in abortion promotion.”

UMN-Duluth’s pro-life club Bulldog Students for Life said, “Abortion should be unthinkable, and to see the University of Minnesota embrace the pro-abortion throwaway culture raises many questions.”

“What are the University’s motives in supporting this industry?” asked that group’s president, Noah Maldonado. “If they are caving to the abortion lobby now, what else is in store?”

“We don’t know at this point,” he added, “but what we do know is our tuition dollars are supporting an institution that does not only disregard the fundamental dignity of every human life but is hell-bent on destroying it.”

“Doctors are hired to save lives, not terminate them,” said Alex Grubish, another UMN-Duluth student.

The University removed the job posting from its website and also took the job advertisement from job search platforms, including Monster and Indeed.

While student pro-life leaders were glad for the decision, they aren’t necessarily giving the University a pass.

“The University backing down in hiring a doctor to train in the methods of abortion is a great victory for life on campus,” said Johnson. “It shows that pro-life individuals have a strong voice and will not allow our public institutions to promote the unjust act of abortion.”

Bulldog Students for Life Vice-President Mika Colson said she is relieved, and the “decision for the college to not hire an abortionist will save many children’s lives as well as protect many women who will not suffer through the painful event of an abortion.”

“It is still disturbing the university would even consider a position in the first place, since abortion violates the basic principles of medical care,” Students for Life of America spokesman Matt Lamb said. “Being a doctor is supposed to be about helping patients make healthy choices and protecting the dignity of life – abortion advances neither of these goals.”

The University declined to answer Campus Reform’s inquiry about whether it still procures aborted baby parts for research, redirecting instead to a public records request.

The University was scrutinized in the investigation conducted by the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives. Of particular interest to the investigation was the University’s relationship with an abortion facility and procurement of fetal tissue, as well as whether it conducted certain forms of research on aborted fetal tissue prohibited by law.

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Planned Parenthood joins Soros scheme to give Democrats control of Senate

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Left-wing billionaire George Soros is putting his money behind a new campaign to return the United States Senate to Democratic control, and Planned Parenthood is reporting for duty.

The “Win Justice” campaign is comprised of Planned Parenthood Votes, the Center for Community Change, Color of Change PAC, and Services Employees International Union (SEIU), the Washington Free Beacon reports. It plans to focus its efforts on women, youth, and racial minorities who don’t normally vote in every election in Florida, Michigan, and Nevada.

The Cook Political Report rates Florida and Nevada’s Senate races this November as toss-ups, and Michigan’s as a likely Democratic victory. Republicans currently have 51 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. Democrats must defend 23 seats and the GOP just eight.

The initiative plans to outperform past similar efforts by “authentically engaging these voters early and often” through community leaders, it said in a statement to USA Today, as opposed to efforts that “engage too close to election day and don’t build real relationships.”

Win Justice, whose only known funder so far is Soros, hopes to reach 2.5 million voters through digital organizing, text campaigns, and door-to-door canvassing. Soros donated $3 million to the PAC in March; the PAC ultimately hopes to spend $30 million in the midterms. The $3 million from Soros is the only income of any kind on file with the Federal Election Commission, and when paired with a single $15 operations fee, leaves Win Justice with more than $2.9 million cash on hand as of April 1.

The Center for Community Change lists Deepak Bhargava as its executive director and Gara LaMarche as an advisory board member, both of whom have also been part of Soros's Open Society Foundation.

Over the years, Soros has spent tremendous amounts of money to promote abortion in the United States and around the globe. According to the Media Research Center, he has donated more than $21 million to Planned Parenthood since 2000, and gave last year’s so-called Women’s March on Washington almost $90 million via donations to more than 100 partnered organizations such as NARAL and the National Abortion Federation.

Through his network of organizations, Soros lobbies for abortion, euthanasia, and population control, as well as same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, and a wide variety of other left-wing causes. He has even given money to sway abortion battles in foreign countries, such as Ireland’s upcoming referendum, despite laws prohibiting domestic groups from accepting foreign funds.

Planned Parenthood has spent aggressively on behalf of the Democratic Party, as well. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) spent more than $30 million in support of Democratic candidates in 2016. This year, the group says it will spend $20 million – the largest amount it has ever spent on midterm elections – to elect pro-abortion candidates in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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Priest uses Youtube to beg world to pray for Ireland to keep pro-life 8th amendment

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

CORK CITY, Ireland, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An Irish priest is using social media to beg the world to pray that Ireland votes to keep the pro-life 8th amendment in the upcoming referendum, choosing the right to life for the unborn. 

Father Marius O’Reilly released a Youtube video explaining that the Irish referendum on May 25th could overturn an amendment to the Irish Constitution that ensures the equal right-to-life for mothers and children. 

O’Reilly recalls that when Saint Pope John II came to Ireland in 1979, he told the Irish people that they must protect life.

“He knew what was coming down the road,” the priest says in his message. “And so the Irish people took this very seriously and rosary crusades began all around the country.”

Pro-life campaigners asked the government for a referendum to add a clause to the Irish constitution ensuring the right-to-life of the unborn. On September 7, 1983, Ireland voted to add the measure, now known as the Eighth Amendment.

“This was an incredible gift from God for our country because it meant the politicians couldn’t just bring in abortion when they wanted,” says O’Reilly. “They would have to put it to the people.”

But now this has a bitter tinge, for voting directly for abortion would make the Irish the first people to decide, en masse, to legalize abortion..

However, foreign countries and organizations have made a strong push to ensure that the Irish vote to bring abortion. O’Reilly says that “billions and billions” have been “pumped” into ireland and that the UN, the European Union and various other international bodies all want abortion to be brought into Ireland. He notes, too, that the Irish media and a majority have been “pushing abortion” and a majority of Irish politicians support its legalization. 

In the face of such domestic and foreign pressure, O’Reilly is thus asking people around the world to pray the rosary for Ireland and to have masses said for Ireland. He hopes that God Himself will “have mercy” on Ireland by not allowing the Eighth Amendment to be abolished. 

On Sunday Archbishop Martin prayed with Catholics at eight different locations in Ireland via satellite link from Lourdes for the preservation of the Eighth Amendment.

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Canadians who refuse to sign Trudeau’s pro-abortion pledge are following Christ: archbishop

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Canadian Christians who refuse to sign the Liberal government’s pro-abortion attestation to get a summer-jobs grant are following the cross of Christ, said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa.

“I think the pro-life movement and many other Christians today are conscious that we need to affirm our faith, do not be afraid to be bold,” Prendergast told EWTN’s Stephanie Gray at last Thursday’s March for Life in Ottawa.

“And I think it’s a natural thing that comes from our understanding of the cross of Christ and His laying down His life. We want to do that, and so we are not afraid.”

Gray asked the Jesuit archbishop how today’s pro-life movement can learn from the early Christians, many of whom were martyred for the faith.

“I think we’ve run into that in Canada where citizens are saying we’re not going to sign an attestation that says we’re pro-abortion, and if it means losing money, if it means losing status, so be it,” Prendergast said.

“We’re going to be courageous and we’re going to affirm [our faith] and I think other people come and support us,” he added.

On Twitter today, the archbishop called the pro-abortion attestation "government 'bullying.'"

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government provoked huge backlash this year by requiring employers sign an attestation supporting abortion and transgender “rights” to receive Canada Summer Job grants.

Upwards of 90 faith leaders signed a letter asking the Liberals to drop the attestation, which they described as an ideological values test they could not sign in good conscience.

Service Canada rejected 1,561 Canada Summer Job applications this year, compared to 126 in 2016, “suggesting that more than 1,400 applications were rejected for protesting the attestation,” the National Post reported in April.

Among the non-profit groups denied summer job grants for not signing the attestation are a summer Bible camp in Alberta, an Ontario farm that provides vacations to poor urban families, a family-run irrigation business in Alberta, and a rural historical museum in Nova Scotia.

Despite the outcry, Trudeau has defended the attestation.

Organizations “that cannot ensure that they will abide by the principles in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms…will not get funding from this government,” he insisted in April when a Tory MP brought up the denial of summer job grants to a farm that provides free vacations to poor families.

“I know the members opposite don’t like that, because it means standing up for women’s rights and reproductive rights,” added Trudeau.

Prendergast earlier debunked Trudeau’s contention abortion is a right under the Charter as “disingenuous” in an Ottawa Sun column in January.

“There are no charter reproductive rights or reproductive freedoms despite the prime minister’s claims,” the archbishop wrote.

“Any Canadian can verify this by reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms online. Nonetheless, Employment and Social Development Canada can now deny organizations summer job funding if they fail to endorse a non-existent right.”

Prendergast also decried Trudeau’s “confused personal comments” about reconciling his Catholicism with support of abortion on demand, writing it is “logically impossible” for the prime minister to be both Catholic and “pro-abortion.”

Meanwhile, dozens of Catholic organizations are listed on the public record as having received summer job grants. LifeSiteNews is contacting these to confirm whether or not they were aware of the implications of signing the attestation and if they plan on returning the grants.

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UK student unions offering Irish students vouchers to fly home to vote for abortion

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By Claire Chretien
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The USI is paying for pro-abortion Facebook ads.

UNITED KINGDOM, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Irish students in the U.K. who want to go home to vote to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment are being provided with travel vouchers to do so.

“The Union of Students in Ireland is working with its UK counterpart to ‘campaign’ for Irish students studying in institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to travel home to vote on 25 May,” reported RTE. Irish students in those countries can be given a “bursary” ranging from £55 to £110 to travel home.

The National Union of Students in the UK (NUSUK) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) make it clear they support abortion.

“Any Irish citizens studying in the UK can get in touch with their Students’ Union and avail of a travel bursary fund that Students’ Unions can apply to,” said Michael Kerrigan, President of USI.

“Students can get between £55 and £110 to pay for the flights home to vote ‘Yes’ on May 25th,” he said.

Students’ Unions all over Ireland have directly registered 26,979 new student voters in the lead up to the abortion referendum, the USI says.

The National Union of Students Northern Ireland (NUS-USI) is also pro-abortion, stating on its website that it supports “the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland” and stands in “solidarity with the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment in the Republic of Ireland.”

“A spokesperson for the USI said that, while the sentiments surrounding the Home to Vote campaign are coming from the ‘Yes’ side, as far as he is aware, students will not be screened on how they will be voting in order to avail of the fund,” RTE reported.

Any Irish students who are denied a bursary to travel home because they plan to vote 'no' on the abortion referendum are encouraged to contact LifeSiteNews here to share their stories.

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New York Times op-ed admits abortion is at Planned Parenthood’s ‘very roots’

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By Calvin Freiburger

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A recent New York Times piece reflecting on just-retired Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’ battles with the Trump administration inadvertently admits abortion’s centrality to the organization, undermining a critical Planned Parenthood narrative.

Columnist Gail Collins’ Friday piece details Richards’ assessment of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s pro-life record during their time in office so far, which Richards says is less “friendly” to abortion than that of former President George W. Bush. Last month, Richards declared Trump the most anti-abortion president of her lifetime.

Collins opens her article by recounting a meeting Richards took shortly after Trump’s inauguration with presidential daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, during which Richards claims that the two attempted to “bribe” Planned Parenthood to cease their abortion activities in exchange for continued federal funding.

This, Collins writes, was “a little like suggesting to Mark Zuckerberg that he could get past his business problems if he dropped the part about being on the internet.” Later, she writes that Planned Parenthood is about “family planning,” which includes birth control as well as abortion, “at its very roots.”

These comments fly in the face of one of Planned Parenthood and its defenders’ most persistent talking points, which is that “abortion services” comprise just three percent of the organization’s medical services. It performs more than 300,000 abortions every year. The percentage is typically deployed to argue that Planned Parenthood’s subsidies should continue because most of its activities are unrelated to abortion.

The percentage is derived from counting as separate services that are normally grouped together, such as giving the same woman contraceptives, a pregnancy test, and an abortion, without regard for the varying costs or complexity of particular services. In 2013, senior editor Rachael Larimore of the left-wing Slate admitted that such methodology makes the figure the “most meaningless abortion statistic ever.”

“Planned Parenthood gets at least a third of its clinic income—and more than 10 percent of all its revenue, government funding included—from its abortion procedures,” Larimore wrote. “Ask anyone who runs a for-profit business or nonprofit charity if something that brings in one-third of their revenue is ‘central’ to their endeavor, and the answer is likely to be yes.”

Collins also faults the Trump administration for “want[ing] to destroy programs meant to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place,” which supposedly undermines their stated goal of preventing abortions. 

But a 2016 study out of the University of Notre Dame found a link between school condom programs and a 10% increase in teen birth rates, suggesting that the promotion of “safe sex” rather than abstinence encourages more sex to occur in the first place, and by extension more instances of contraception failing. Further, Faith & Reason Institute senior research fellow Mary Eberstadt notes that the “statistical record since the 1960s” shows that “increased use of contraception has also increased abortion.”

Further reinforcing abortion’s centrality to Planned Parenthood, the pro-life Radiance Foundation has detailed how Planned Parenthood increased abortions while decreasing actual medical services for women under Richards’ leadership.

From fiscal years 2006 to 2016, Planned Parenthood’s annual abortions rose almost eleven percent, according to the abortion giant’s annual reports. During that same period, breast cancer screenings declined 62%, pap tests declined 72%, and prenatal care declined 30%.

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Trump admin makes it harder for ‘transgender’ males to be allowed into female prisons

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By Claire Chretien

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons made small changes to the wording of its policy on gender-confused inmates that critics say make it more likely that convicts will be housed in facilities that correspond with their biological sex.

Transgender activists are calling the updated policyinhumane” and a “deliberate recipe for violence,” but the policy still makes it possible for men who say they are “transgender” to be housed in women’s correctional facilities, and vice versa.

“I think it’s important to note that the new policy still allows a decision to be made on a case-by-case basis and for the circumstances to be evaluated case-by-case, so I really don’t think there’s any reason to fear that this is going to put transgender prisoners in any greater jeopardy of being assaulted,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, told LifeSiteNews.

“There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all rule that you can declare yourself to be a gender and then have access to the female facilities,” explained Joseph Backholm, President of the Family Policy Institute of Washington.

Backholm told LifeSiteNews, “People who are genuinely gender-dysphoric deserve compassion and concern but in those scenarios, they are not the only people that have rights. And so it’s important that the authorities in a situation take everyone’s rights into consideration and this new policy simply allows that to happen.”

The Bureau’s “Transgender Executive Council” (TEC) is the division that considers issues related to transgender prisoners. The sentence “The TEC will recommend housing by gender identity when appropriate” has been removed from its guidelines.

Instead, cases of gender-confused inmates will now be handled on a “case-by-case” basis, but “the TEC will use biological sex as the initial determination” for whether a person should be in a male or female facility.  

Now, a number of factors that must be considered before placing a man in a woman’s facility or vice versa, such as “the health and safety of the transgender inmate,” “factors specific to the transgender inmate” like demeanor and behavior, and “whether placement would threaten the management and security of the institution and/or pose a risk to other inmates in the institution (e.g., considering inmates with histories of trauma, privacy concerns, etc.).”

Sending a man to a women’s prison or vice versa would “be appropriate only in rare cases” after such factors have been considered, the updated guidelines explain. The person must have also made “significant progress towards transition as demonstrated by medical and mental health history.”

The revised policy is “a deliberate recipe for violence against transgender people based in inexcusable prejudice,” said Richard Saenz of pro-LGBT Lambda Legal.

“It’s interesting that part of the discussion about this involves legislation that was designed to prevent prison rape,” commented Sprigg. “It seems to me that housing people of the opposite biological sex together in prisons would be the policy that would have the greatest risk of putting people at risk of prison rape. So housing people on the basis of their biological sex would seem to be safer.”

In a section on how inmates are to be given hormones and other transgender interventions, the new policy says in order for them to receive such procedures, they must be deemed “necessary.”

“Our position at Family Research Council it that ‘gender transition’ is never medically necessary and so it will remain to be seen how this plays out in practice,” said Sprigg.

But Sprigg said he is glad that “the initial presumption will be to house prisoners on the basis of their biological sex rather than their preferred ‘gender identity.’”

Many are speculating this policy change has to do with women in a federal prison in Texas who are suing over being forced to share showers and bathrooms with men.

“These men openly express their sexual desire for the women inmates, at times, in the showers, and bathrooms, while women are naked or partially clothed,” according to their complaint. “The men expose themselves, intentionally, for their own sexual gratification, causing the Plaintiffs to suffer disgust, embarrassment, humiliation, stress, degradation, fear and loss of dignity.”

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Alfie Evans laid to rest today with no coroner’s investigation, no toxicology report

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The question of what caused the death of UK toddler Alfie Evans may never be known. The UK High Court refused today to order a post-mortem examination of the toddler’s remains at the request of a pro-life advocate. 

John Allman made an “urgent application” to the UK High Court in Westminster today to prevent the destruction of the late toddler’s remains without a prior post-mortem examination and toxicology report. The baby’s remains are scheduled to be interred today in a private ceremony. 

Alfie died at 2:30 AM on April 28th at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. His death followed a four-day battle for life after his ventilator was abruptly removed. An Italian newspaper reported that a nurse administered “four drugs” to Alfie two hours before he died. Two sources close to Alfie’s family told LifeSiteNews that these were “injections.” 

Allman went to court after corresponding with the Liverpool coroner, André Rebello OBE. On May 8th, Rebello stated that Alfie Evans died from natural causes and that he had no duty to investigate

“Alfie Evans died from a natural cause of death,” the coroner wrote,  “and there was no duty for a coroner to investigate under the Coroner and Justice Act 2009 or under any other legislation.”

Rebello said he did not have to investigate because a medical certificate and been issued, and he was satisfied that there was nothing unnatural in the infant’s death.  

“...There was not a coroner’s investigation as a medical certificate as to the cause of death was issued under s22 Births and Death Act 1953 of which I was satisfied was a death from natural causes,” he wrote.

Rebello referred Allman to the testimony of medical experts in the court documents pertaining to the dispute between Alfie Evans’ parents and the Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust. 

Allman was unsatisfied, however, as Alfie was still alive when the experts predicted how he would die, and it is still uncertain what his “undiagnosed disease” was. There was also the problem of the “four drugs” story. In Allman’s view, only a proper post-mortem would have exonerated the staff of Alder Hey from suspicion. 

“It is likely that Alfie’s cause of death will quite likely be discovered, when the post mortem examination is carried out of Alfie’s mortal remains, to have been natural causes,” Allman wrote to the coroner. 

“But I am aware of rumours and conspiracy theories too, that instead postulate accidental death (e.g. death that was an unintended side effect of over-zealous analgesia intended to keep Alfie comfortable), and even (I am sorry to have to remind you) homicide,” Allman continued. 

“A toxicology report may reveal to what extent, if any, medication given to Alfie before he died may have shortened his life. It could therefore exonerate fully those unfortunate health professionals whom, somewhat irresponsibly, until your inquest reveals the truth and silences the wagging tongues, various conspiracy theorists are wont recklessly to accuse of homicide.”

Allman warned Rebello that if he allowed Alfie’s body to be destroyed without a post mortem, he would be complicit in the destruction of evidence that could establish the actual, “as opposed to the predicted,” cause of his death. Rebello would also “undermine public confidence in [his] office” of coroner. 

Allman made his application to the High  Court today without a lawyer. He argued that it was in the public’s interest to know what caused Alfie’s death. Because Alfie died while being detained by the state, Allman explained to LifeSiteNews, the public has the right to know how he died. The judge, however, was not convinced.

“The judge seemed to have difficulty with the concept that Alfie died while detained by the state,” said Allman, “even though I said to him that [Alfie] was required by an order of the Supreme Court to remain on the premises of a public authority that had applied for an order to that effect,  and if that didn’t amount to being detained by the state, then what did?” 

“He died while he was detained by the state, period.”

Despite today’s disappointment, Allman has not given up.  

“I’m going to fight for judicial review of the coroner’s decision, and I’m going to do it well,” he promised. 

He feels that he could have only a “pyrrhic victory to some extent” if the principal evidence as to the cause of Alfie’s death--the child’s remains--is destroyed by then.  

“There are loads of people who think there’s something fishy going on,” Allman told LifeSiteNews.  

He stated that there has been a “public outcry”, with people wondering if Alfie may have been damaged thanks to a vaccine, for example. 

“People will speculate if they’re not given accurate information,” he said. 

LifeSiteNews contacted the Liverpool Coroner’s Office to confirm that no toxicology report had been done on Alfie Evans, even after the allegations aired by the Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Rebello’s reply was terse:

“Following preliminary enquiries this child’s death has been registered with the local registration service. I am satisfied that there is no duty to investigate under the Coroner and Justice Act 2009. I cannot comment on media speculation.”

Alfie Evans’ funeral was scheduled today at an undisclosed location. It is closed to uninvited members of the public and the media. Hundreds of well-wishers showed their respects for the child and his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, by lining the streets beside Liverpool’s Goodison Park as the funeral procession drove by.

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Four bishops affirm Church’s 1968 condemnation of contraception as ‘constant Magisterium’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider, along with other bishops and ordinaries of the Catholic Church in Kazakhstan, have released a pastoral letter to honor the “enduring importance” of Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the famous pro-life, pro-family document. Pope Paul VI released Humanae vitae  in 1968. He taught unequivocally that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life” and called the use of contraception “intrinsically wrong.”

“Blessed Paul VI confirmed the teaching of the constant Magisterium of the Church regarding the transmission of human life,” states the pastoral letter. 

The letter quotes portions of the encyclical to highlight “main truths of the Magisterium of the Church with regard to the Christian marriage and the sanctity of human life from the moment of its conception.”

The reception of Humanae vitae exposed a rift between orthodox Catholics and would-be modernizers, including the architects of the infamous Winnipeg Statement.  The Winnipeg Statement, promulgated by the Canadian bishops, suggested that Catholics could use contraception if the decision was made in "good conscience."

Some priests who had led married Catholics to expect that the Church would overturn her teaching against the use of contraception within marriage continued to counsel the faithful to use it as their consciences directed. The average size of Catholic families in western countries plummeted, and the European birth-rate is now in freefall. 

In their letter, the bishops and ordinaries of Kazakhstan not only highlight the “main truths” of Humanae vitae, but they also cite subsequent remarks by Paul VI, St John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. 

They affirm that every marital act must retain its proper relationship to procreation, that no evil may be done to bring about a good, that the decision to call a human being into existence belongs to God alone, that none of God’s commandments are impossible, that truth does not change, and that Humanae vitae has new relevance thanks to years of “wounds” being inflicted by civil law against marriage and the unborn.      

Pastoral letter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae vitae 

Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! The current year is marked by the memorable event of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae vitae, in which Blessed Paul VI confirmed the teaching of the constant Magisterium of the Church regarding the transmission of human life. The Bishops and Ordinaries of Kazakhstan want to take this favorable occasion in order to honor the memory and the enduring importance of this encyclical.

During the last meeting of all our priests and religious sisters in Almaty, there were thorough discussions on the theme of the preparation of young people to the sacrament of marriage. There was made the proposal to transmit to young people the main truths of the Magisterium of the Church with regard to the Christian marriage and the sanctity of human life from the moment of its conception.   

We proclaim with the voice of the Magisterium of the Church as we can learn it in the encyclical Humanae vitae and in the documents of other Roman Pontiffs the following demanding truths of Christ’s “sweet yoke and light burden” (Math. 11:30): 

  • “The Church in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae vitae, 11).
  • “Excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (cf. Rom 3. 8) — in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, n. 14).
  • “When the spouses through contraception deprive the exercise of their conjugal sexuality of its potential procreative capacity, they attribute to themselves a power which belongs to God alone: the power to decide in the last instance the coming to existence of a human person. They attribute to themselves the qualification of being not the cooperators of the creative power of God, but the ultimate holders of the source of the human life. From this perspective, contraception is to be objectively judged to such an extent illicit, that it could never, for any reason, be justified. To think or to speak the contrary, equals to hold that in human life there could be given situations in which it would be licit not to recognize God as God” (John Paul II, Address to Participants of a Study Seminar on Responsible Procreation, September 17, 1983).
  • “Many think that the Christian teaching, although true, is nonetheless unfeasible, at least in some circumstances. As the Tradition of the Church has constantly taught, God does not command the impossible but every commandment also entails a gift of grace which helps human freedom to fulfill it. Yet constant prayer, frequent recourse to the sacraments and the exercise of conjugal chastity are needed. Today more than yesterday, man is again beginning to feel the need for truth and right reason in his daily experience. Always be ready to say, without ambiguity, the truth about the good and evil regarding man and the family” (John Paul II, Address to Participants in a Study Meeting on Responsible Procreation, June 5, 1987).
  • Humanae Vitae reasserts the continuity of the Church's doctrine and tradition. […] This teaching not only expresses the unchanged truth of Humanae Vitae, but also reveals the farsightedness with which the problem is treated. […] What was true yesterday, is true also today. The truth expressed in Humanae Vitae does not change; on the contrary, precisely in the light of the new scientific discoveries, its teaching becomes more timely and elicits reflection on the intrinsic value it possesses” (Benedict XVI, Address to Participants in the International Congress on the 40th Anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae vitae, May 10, 2008).
  • “This document, i.e. Humanae vitae, was inspired by the immutable teaching of the Bible and the Gospel, which confirms the norms of the natural law and the irrepressible dictates of conscience regarding respect for life and its transmission by fathers and mothers who practice a responsible parenthood. The document has acquired new and urgent relevance in view of the wounds now being inflicted by civil laws on the holiness of the indissoluble marriage bond and the sacredness of human life even in the maternal womb. In face of saddening defections in the Church and society, We, like Peter, feel compelled to go to Him as the only source of salvation and cry out to Him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Paul VI, Homily on June 29, 1978).

The entire human history gave sufficient evidence for the fact that a true progress of society depends to a large extent on large families. This fact applies all the more to the life of the Church. Pope Francis reminds us of this truth: “It is a consolation and hope to see so many large families that welcome children as a true gift from God. They know that every child is a blessing” (Pope Francis, General Audience, January 21, 2015).

May the following words of Saint John Paul II, the pope of the family, by a light, a strength, a consolation and a joyful courage to all Christian couples and to the young men and young women, who prepare themselves for the life of a Christian marriage and family.  

“We have the distinctive confirmation that the path of holiness lived together as a couple is possible, beautiful, extraordinarily fruitful, and fundamental for the good of the family, the Church and society. This prompts us to pray the Lord that there be many more married couples who can reveal in the holiness of their lives, the "great mystery" of spousal love, which originates in creation and is fulfilled in the union of Christ with his Church (cf. Eph. 5:22-33). Like every path of holiness, yours too, dear married couples, is not easy. We know how many families in these cases are tempted to discouragement. I am particularly referring to those who are going through the sad event of separation; I am thinking of those who must face illness and those who are suffering the premature death of their spouse or of a child. In these situations, one can bear a great witness to fidelity in love, which is purified by having to pass through the crucible of suffering. Dear married couples, do not be overcome by hardship:  the grace of the Sacrament supports you and helps you constantly to raise your arms to heaven, like Moses. At the same time, I ask all families to hold up the arms of the Church, so that she may never fail in her mission of interceding, consoling, guiding and encouraging” (Homily in the Holy Mass of the Beatification of the couple Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini, October 21, 2001).

“May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of "the Church of the home." Thanks to her motherly aid, may each Christian family really become a "little Church" in which the mystery of the Church of Christ is mirrored and given new life. May she, the Handmaid of the Lord, be an example of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God. May she, the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross, comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress because of the difficulties of their families. May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity and strength” (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, 86).

Astana, May 13th 2018, Memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima

Your Bishops and Ordinaries:

+ Jose Luis Mumbiela Sierra, Bishop of the diocese of Most Holy Trinity in Almaty and President of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Kazakhstan

+ Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Adelio Dell’Oro, Bishop of Karaganda

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

Very Reverend Father Dariusz Buras, Apostolic Administrator of Atyrau

Very Reverend Mitred Archpriest Vasyl Hovera, Delegate of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches for the Greek-Catholic faithful in Kazakhstan and Central Asia

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How pro-lifers scored a ‘remarkable’ victory at UN meeting on ‘population and development’

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By Claire Chretien

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life and pro-family advocates have scored big victories at the United Nations (UN) recently, the president of the Center for Family and Human Rights (CFAM) told LifeSiteNews in a new interview.

One of the biggest victories of all was that the Commission on Population and Development ended their negotiations without producing a document upon which all could agree.

Austin Ruse, President of CFAM, explained to LifeSite that from January through the spring, it’s “commission season” at the UN. There are a series of meetings of groups like the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Social Development.

“Each of these commissions writes a document that is later ratified by the Economic and Social Council – which is a big part of the UN – and then imposed upon UN agencies, the UN bureaucracy, and countries around the world,” said Ruse. “So we are present there at all of these commissions making sure that abortion isn’t a part of the document, making sure that they don’t try to redefine the family, making sure that they don’t try to incorporate new and even wackier ideas, like something called ‘comprehensive sexuality education.’”

“Comprehensive sexuality education” is used to promote abortion, homosexuality, gender ideology, and more to children.

When the Commission on Population and Development concluded, “the most remarkable thing happened,” Ruse recalled. “We ended the negotiations without a document,” which is one of the “biggest victories ever.”

“It’s because they negotiated for weeks and at the end of the day, they couldn’t come to an agreement and therefore the document was canned. And that was over ‘reproductive health’ and that was over national sovereignty,” said Ruse. “The Africans, with the support of the Trump administration, were pushing very hard for governments to be able to decide these issues on their own, outside of pressure from the UN and UN agencies.”

“We actually do win quite a bit at the UN” thanks to not only “Muslims and the Vatican” but “friends in Africa who are tired of ideological colonialism” and Caribbean and Latin American nations. It’s typically European nations that are pushing the most radical agendas at the UN, said Ruse, but this time “we were able to win on ‘reproductive health’ [and] we were able to win on ‘comprehensive sexuality education.’”

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Iowa governor vows to defend new law that outlaws aborting babies with beating hearts

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By Claire Chretien

IOWA, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – “We’re not slowing down, we’re not going to stop,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said as she defended signing Iowa’s new law stopping abortions on babies with detectable heartbeats.

“It’s a fight worth fighting,” she said, noting that the Heartbeat Law she signed makes Iowa America’s most pro-life state.

“We know that our work is not done, that we must continue to work together to change the hearts and minds,” said Reynolds. “As governor, I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life.”

She said last week that she’d received “very positive feedback” for signing the Heartbeat Law.

The Heartbeat Law makes it illegal to abort babies with detectable heartbeats – usually heard by new parents at their first or second medical appointment around six or eight weeks into pregnancy (fetal hearts begin developing as early as three weeks after fertilization).

However, the law does allow exceptions for babies conceived in rape if reported within 45 days, babies conceived in incest if the incest is reported within 140 days, or fetal abnormalities deemed “incompatible with life,” and for physical threats to the mother’s life. Despite these exceptions, though, the law will still make Iowa the safest state for a majority of babies in the womb.

Planned Parenthood is expected to sue over the law, which will go into effect on July 1, 2018. The law may make its way to the Supreme Court, where pro-life activists predict it could lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, particularly if there is another Trump-appointed justice on the court by the time case is heard.

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Priest explains how Amoris Laetitia was really written to ‘normalize’ homosexuality

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By Anonymous

Editor's note: This analysis has been written by a priest who asked that it be published anonymously over concern of being disciplined for raising concerns about a papal document. 

ANALYSIS

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I said it right from the beginning, when Amoris Laetitia was first published, with its infamous Chapter 8 that allows individual conscience to trump objective moral law and thus effectively eliminate the notion of intrinsic moral evil: The real issue is not Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. After all, Pope Francis had already streamlined the annulment process, to allow declarations of nullity which were generally easy to attain, to be even easier. The real issue is all about sodomy, and normalizing — even blessing — this behavior called by the Catechism “intrinsically disordered.” In what follows, I’ll try to “connect the dots” in order to clarify the bigger picture.

Recall that no. 50 of the first draft of the document for the first synod on the family in October, 2014 stated that, “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community,” and then asked if our communities are “capable of . . . accepting and valuing their sexual orientation” – implying those who practice homosexual behaviors have special “gifts and qualities” over and above everyone else, and that their same-sex attraction — called by the Catechism “objectively disordered” — should be “accepted and valued.” (1)

Although this language never appeared in Amoris Laetitia (AL), the fact that it was inserted into a preliminary working document with Pope Francis’s approval and was then read to the assembled bishops in his presence, is most telling. This language provides a key to understand how Chapter 8 of AL has been interpreted, so as to allow not only those in second civil marriages (and committing adultery) to be admitted to Holy Communion, but also those in same same-sex unions (and engaging in sodomy) – as long as they are “accompanied” by a priest, engage in “discernment,” and follow their “conscience.” (2)

This homosexualist agenda continued to be pushed forward by those who participated in a “secret synod” held in May 2015 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the purpose of which was to persuade those who participated in the then-upcoming second synod on the family to accept same-sex unions, dispense with the term ‘intrinsically evil,’ and introduce a controversial “theology of love.” (3) As National Catholic Register correspondent Edward Pentin reported regarding this assembly: 

Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France – Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier. One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly ‘no one’ opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church. (4)

This agenda was given voice during the second synod on the family in October, 2015 by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, who had been hand-picked by Pope Francis to be a papal delegate at the synod. When asked by Vatican City reporters about Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, Cupich said this was possible if they had “come to a decision in good conscience,” and stressed that “conscience was inviolable” and “we have to respect that when making decisions.” 

Cupich was then asked about “accompanying” homosexual couples in receiving Holy Communion, to which he responded, “Gay people are human beings, too; they have a conscience, and my role as a pastor is to help them to discern what the will of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the Church.” But he went on to say that “at the same time,” his role as a pastor is to help them “through a period of discernment, to understand what God is calling them to at that point, so it’s for everybody.” He added, “We have to be sure we don’t pigeonhole one group as though they’re not part of the human family, as though there’s a different set of rules for them. That would be a big mistake.” (5)

In other words, if those living in adulterous relationships are able with the help of their pastors to discern, according to their conscience, that they should receive Holy Communion, well then, the same can be done for same-sex couples who engage in sodomy. There is no need to truly repent and firmly resolve to amend one’s life, to “go and sin no more”; one can continue in one’s gravely sinful behavior and still receive the Eucharist. (6) Hence, conscience reigns supreme, and the objective moral order is no more. 

Worthy of note is that after having made these statements, which were widely quoted by the news media around the world, Pope Francis raised Blase Cupich to the College of Cardinals.

High-level prelates supporting new paradigm 

This same interpretation of Chapter 8 of AL has been confirmed by a host of other high-level prelates – some of whom are cardinals very close to Pope Francis – in the months and years that followed publication of AL. Here are some noteworthy examples.

Recall that it was German Cardinal Walter Kasper, at a consistory of cardinals called by Pope Francis back in February of 2014, who initially proposed allowing the divorced and civilly remarried to receive Holy Communion (the “Kasper proposal”). Soon after the release of AL, Kasper went on record saying that it “seems clear . . . that there can be situations of divorced and remarried where on the way of inclusion, absolution and communion becomes possible”; and that the exhortation “overcomes a rigid casuistic approach and gives room for Christian freedom of conscience.” (7)

Ah, yes, and the appeal to individual conscience as the final arbiter of one’s conduct can likewise apply to those in same-sex relationships, to allow them to be admitted to the Eucharist. Kasper says as much in a new booklet he authored, The Message of Amoris Laetitia: A Fraternal Discussion:  

The pope does not leave room for doubt over the fact that civil marriages, de facto unions, new marriages following a divorce (Amoris Laetitia 291) and unions between homosexual persons (Amoris Laetitia 250s.) do not correspond to the Christian conception of marriage”; however, says Kasper, the Pope insists that “some of these partners can realize in a partial and analogous way some elements in Christian marriage (Amoris Laetitia 292). (8)

Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, whom Pope Francis has called an “authoritative interpreter” of Amoris Laetitia, sees AL as allowing Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. (9) In an interview during the 2015 Synod on the Family, he called for the recognition of “positive elements” of homosexual unions, saying: “We can and we must respect the decision to form a union with a person of the same sex, [and] to seek means under civil law to protect their living together with laws to ensure such protection.” Schoenborn went on to criticize “intransigent moralists” among his fellow bishops, whom he accused of having an “obsession with intrinsece malum [intrinsic evils].” (10)

Back in 2006, Schoenborn’s cathedral in Vienna offered a blessing for unmarried couples on Valentine’s Day that included homosexual partners; and in 2016, the bulletin in Schoenborn’s cathedral featured a photograph of two men and an adopted child, presenting them as “family” and a “married couple.” (11)

In an interview back in 2016, German Cardinal Reinhardt Marx, President of the German Bishops’ Conference and one of Pope Francis’s nine cardinal advisers, said that one cannot say same-sex relationships have no “worth”; that the Church should support “regulating” such relationships and that “[w]e as church cannot be against it.” (12) And in interview in January of 2018, Marx said that the Church in her teaching on sexual morality cannot apply a “blind rigorism”; that it is “difficult to say from the outside whether someone is in the state of mortal sin” – a principle which he said applies not only to men and women in “irregular situations,” but also to those in homosexual relationships, because there has to be a “respect for a decision made in freedom” and in light of one’s “conscience.” (13)

In an interview on January 10 of this year, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, Vice-President of the German Bishops’ Conference, made world news when he called for a blessing of homosexual couples: “We have to reflect upon the question of how to assess, in a differentiated manner, a relationship between two homosexual persons . . . . Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?” (14)

And just a few weeks later, news reports throughout the world quoted Cardinal Marx supporting his fellow Bishop Bode in calling for blessings for same-sex couples, saying that the decision should made by “the pastor on the ground, and the individual under pastoral care,” (15) and that such blessing could be performed publicly in a “liturgical” form. (16)

So, members of the Church hierarchy, while acknowledging that homosexual unions are not the “ideal,” have now gone from considering the “positive” elements of such relationships to “blessing” them, and (as it appears) will go on to compose a new liturgical rite which (at least for now) recognizes that while this is not “marriage” in the technical sense, it is a legitimate, alternative form of a relationship which we must “value.”  

What is lost here is that by blessing same-sex unions, one in reality is blessing the gravely sinful and “intrinsically disordered” behavior that accompanies it, a sin that, according to revealed word of God and the constant teaching of the Church throughout the ages, “cries out to Heaven for vengeance.” (17) As Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia wisely noted in response to this proposal for a blessing: “Any such ‘blessing rite’ would cooperate in a morally forbidden act”; moreover, to bless such a relationship would actually be uncharitable because it would encourage people to continue living in a state of grave sin which harms them spiritually. Chaput went on to say: “There is no love – no charity – without truth, just as there is no real mercy separated from a framework of justice informed and guided by truth.” (18)

Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has recognized these attempts to redefine the Church’s perennial moral teachings by claiming that they represent a “development of doctrine” and a “paradigm shift,” for what they really are: the heresy of modernism. (19) N.Y. Times columnist Ross Douthat has concluded pretty much the same, noting that with Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis and others want Church’s moral teaching to adapt to modern cultural norms. (20)

The real goal of Amoris Laetitia

Call it modernism, call it corruption of doctrine, call it by whatever name one sees fit. I submit that winning moral approval for homosexual behavior is the real goal of Amoris Laetitia, and that this is precisely why the teaching of Humanae Vitae and the Natural Law must be cast aside, which is: that by God’s design, there exists an inseparable link between the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act, and that the unitive meaning is subordinated to the primary end: procreation. As Couple-to-Couple League founder John Kippley has argued, if the procreative meaning can be eliminated from the marital act, then one is effectively left with no argument against sodomy. And those who promote the sodomite agenda know this. 

They know that they must also discard the notion of physical and emotional complementarity of the sexes, (21) as well as the concept of intrinsic moral evil – which in effect means they must overturn the entire moral order. This explains why they are now calling for removing language in the Catechism which states that the same-sex attraction is “objectively disordered,” (22) and that homosexual acts “are acts of grave depravity” which are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law” precisely because they “close the sexual act to the gift of life” and “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.” (23)

This also explains why for over a year now we’ve heard talk of “re-examining” the teaching of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical. Those who desire to cast Humanae Vitae into the trash bin are now showing their hand. Witness Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, who was recently appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Life. Although St. John Paul II in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (no. 80) specifically includes contraception in a list of acts that are “intrinsically evil,” Fr. Chiodi, in a Dec. 14, 2017 lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, “Humanae Vitae in light of AL,” argued just the opposite: that based on the language of Amoris Laetitia regarding conscience, “an artificial method for the regulation of births could be recognized as an act of responsibility that is carried out, not in order to radically reject the gift of a child, but because in those situations responsibility calls the couple and the family to other forms of welcome and hospitality.” To support his argument, Chiodi says that Amoris Laetitia makes no “explicit reference” to contraception as “intrinsically evil,” adding that “it would have been very easy to do so given Veritatis Splendor.” (24)

Chiodi has been followed by Cardinal Kasper, who in his new booklet, The Message of Amoris Laetitia: A Fraternal Discussion, implies that AL opens the door for the use of contraception. Kasper says that in his exhortation the Pope only “encourages the use of the method of observing the cycles of natural fertility,” and “does not say anything about other methods of family planning and avoids all casuistic definitions.” (25)

More arguments to permit the exclusion of the procreative end of sexual activity are sure to come from those who seek approval of homosexual behavior, because they know that they cannot succeed as long as the teachings of Humanae Vitae and the Natural Law stand.

In this writer’s humble opinion, the fact that cardinals and bishops of the Church are arguing that not only the divorced and civilly remarried, but those in homosexual unions, should be admitted Holy Communion, and that the teaching of Humanae Vitae should be cast aside, reveals that they have lost the theological virtue of faith. The words of the Epistle to the Hebrews aptly describe their sad state: 

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, who have both tasted the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Holy Spirit, . . . and then have fallen away, to be renewed again to repentance; since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and make him a mockery. For the earth that drinks in the rain that often falls upon it, and produces vegetation that is of use to those by whom it is tilled, receives a blessing from God; but that which brings forth thorns and thistles is worthless, and is nigh unto a curse, and its end is to be burnt (Heb. 6:4-8).

How should the faithful – bishops, priests, religious and laity – respond to these wicked assaults on God and His beautiful plan for the authentic expression of love, the transmission of human life, the sanctity of marriage and the family? This year marks the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, and thus offers a golden opportunity to celebrate and make better known the teaching in Bl. Paul VI’s 1968 landmark encyclical. We have the magisterium of St. John Paul II to draw upon as well – not only Veritatis Splendor, but his “Theology of the Body.” This year, let us, assisted by the grace of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Our Lady, valiantly proclaim the splendor of the truth of this teaching, and thereby mount a strong and unshakeable defense against any and all who attack it. 

______________

1 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/reporters-criticize-vatican-for-dropping-welcoming-language-in-new-english (Oct. 16, 2014).

2 See AL nos. 300-305, and footnote 351. 

3 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-academy-for-life-member-uses-amoris-to-say-some-circumstances-require-c (Jan. 8, 2017).

4 http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confidential-meeting-seeks-to-sway-synod-to-accept-same-sex-unions (May 26, 2015).

5 http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/abp-cupich-conscience-decides-whether-divorced-remarried-and-homosexual-cou (Oct. 16, 2016). In his Feb. 9, 2018 address at St. Edmund’s College in Cambridge, England, “Pope Francis' Revolution of Mercy: Amoris Laetitia as a New Paradigm of Catholicity,” Cardinal Cupich insisted that “the voice of conscience . . . could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal” – an understanding of conscience which can be applied equally to the divorced and civilly remarried engaged in adulterous conduct, and to those in same-sex unions engaged in sodomy.

6 As a priest and confessor, if a penitent tells me he is sexually active in an invalid marriage or in a same-sex relationship, but insists that he plans to continue his sinful acts, I am obliged to try to bring him to a realization that his subjective opinion regarding his conduct cannot overrule the objective moral law and the clear teaching of Christ; and that I have to follow my conscience and withhold absolution if he is unwilling to firmly resolve to amend his life. If the penitent persists in saying he does not believe he is committing a sin, I would have to tell him: “Then I have nothing to absolve you from”; and then ask him: “Why are you here in the confessional asking to be absolved from a course of conduct you do not believe is sinful?”   

7 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-kasper-seems-clear-exhortation-allows-communion-for-divorced-remar (April 18, 2016).

8 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-kasper-homosexual-unions-are-analogous-to-christian-marriage (March 14, 2018). In the booklet, Kasper compares such irregular unions with the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic Christian groups, whom Vatican II says contain “elements of sanctification and truth” of the Church. Kasper insists that “Just as outside the Catholic Church there are elements of the true Church, in the above-mentioned unions there can be elements present of Christian marriage, although they do not completely fulfill, or do not yet completely fulfill, the ideal.” N.B.:  Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn made this same argument at the 2014 Synod on the Family – see footnote 10 below.

9 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-says-schonborn-interpretation-on-communion-for-remarried-is-the-final (April 6, 2016). This position is not new for Schoenborn. At the International Retreat for Priests held in Ars, France in 2009 held during the Year of Priests proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Schoenborn delivered most of the daily meditations, which were, on the whole, very inspiring. But as the retreat drew to a close, the Cardinal announced that he would use his last retreat talk to address topics of concern, and invited priests to submit questions. During his final talk, Schoenborn addressed the issue of Communion for those divorced and civilly remarried. To the surprise and shock of the 1200 priests present, he proceeded to tell them that it was his practice to allow such couples to receive the Eucharist if they remained faithful and committed to each other for many years.

10 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-schoenborn-at-synod-church-should-embrace-positive-elements-of-gay (Sept. 14, 2015). This article notes that at the 2015 Synod, Schoenborn “proposed an interpretative key” to revolutionize the Church’s approach to family life and sexual ethics by looking at Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, which states: “Although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity [LG 8].” Schoenborn argues that “Because marriage is a Church in miniature,” and just as the Church seeks to find elements of truth in different religions, it follows that “who are we to judge and say that there are no elements of truth and sanctification in them [non-marital sexual lifestyles]?”

11 https://onepeterfive.com/schonborns-vienna-cathedral-bulletin-depicts-homosexual-couple-adopted-son/ (Oct. 6, 2016).

12 https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-reinhard-marx-vs.-cardinal-and-saint-peter-damian-do-homosexual-un (Jan. 28, 2016).

13 https://onepeterfive.com/push-for-greater-acceptance-of-homosexual-unions-continues-in-german-church/ (Jan. 19, 2018). This interview appeared in the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, and the German Bishops’ official website immediately reported on Marx’s statement.

14 Ibid.

15 http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/02/04/cardinal-marx-suggests-church-should-bless-gay-couples/ (Feb. 4, 2018).

16 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/one-of-popes-9-advisor-cardinals-proposes-liturgical-blessings-of-homosexua (Feb. 4, 2018).

17 Cf. Gen. 18:20; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1867.

18 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/german-cardinal-liturgical-blessing-for-gay-unions-truly-seems-sacrilegious (Feb. 8, 2018).

19 https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/02/development-or-corruption (Feb. 20, 2018).

20 See Douthat’s new book, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (Simon & Schuster, 2018). 

21 CCC 2333.

22 CCC 2368.

23 CCC 2357.

24 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-academy-for-life-member-uses-amoris-to-say-some-circumstances-require-c (Jan. 8, 2017). As Diane Montagna relates in this article, “Fr. Chiodi’s talk was introduced by one of the chief organizers of the conference series, Argentine Jesuit Father Humberto Miguel Yanez. Fr. Yanez is the Director of the Department of Moral Theology at the Gregorian University. Yanez is known to be close to Pope Francis, and in fact Bergoglio was Yanez’ religious superior as a young Jesuit. In May 2015, Father Yanez participated in the ‘secret synod’ at the Gregorian” (as discussed herein above).

25 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-kasper-homosexual-unions-are-analogous-to-christian-marriage (March 14, 2018).

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Ireland's 2017 March for Life Stephen McElligott
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Six facts you need to know about Ireland’s upcoming abortion vote

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Late last week, I flew with three of my colleagues (one of whom is my wife) to Ireland to work with the Save the 8th Campaign for the last two weeks before the referendum on abortion on May 25, when the Irish people will vote on whether or not to repeal their constitutional amendment protecting babies in the womb from abortion. I’ll be writing about what is going on the ground here, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with the situation in Ireland, I thought I’d lay out six things you need to know about what is unfolding there right now:

  1. The 8th Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland grants explicit protection to pre-born babies in the womb, which is why abortion activists need to repeal it in order to implement state-sanctioned feticide. The Amendment reads: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

  2. If the 8th Amendment is repealed, the Irish government plans to implement an extremist abortion agenda that includes abortion on demand up until 12 weeks of pregnancy, and abortion for the vague reason of “health,” which is intentionally ambiguous to allow virtually all abortions, up until six months or even birth. The politicians and abortion activists are trying to conceal this fact during the runup to the referendum because most of the Irish people do not support abortion on demand. Health Minister Simon Harris has even said that the government will fund abortions should the right to life be repealed.

  3. Abortion activists are claiming that repeal is necessary to “save women’s lives,” with variations on that theme featured prominently on most of their placards. In fact, precisely the opposite is true – even according to the very pro-abortion United Nations, which has noted that Ireland is one of the safest places in the world to give birth. Ireland’s Maternal Mortality Rate (which analyzes how many women die during or after pregnancy) is one of the lowest in the world. This fact has enraged abortion activists for decades, as it succinctly exposes the lie of abortion as “healthcare” and proves that abortion is not necessary for the health of the mother.

  4. Irish doctors have confirmed time and again that abortion does not need to be legal for them to treat women. Dr. John Monaghan, a consultant obstetrician for over thirty years, reported that, “In my career, I delivered almost 5,000 babies. On not one occasion was I prevented in acting to protect a woman’s life because of the 8th Amendment.” Many GPs strongly disapprove of abortion – 70 percent of them said they wouldn’t provide the abortion pill. At a public hearing in 2013, Irish physicians confirmed that not a single Irish woman had died because of the 8th Amendment.

  5. Abortion activists in Ireland are lying in order to achieve repeal, just as abortion activists lied in their quest to get abortion legalized in the United States and elsewhere. For example, take the case of Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 after miscarrying her child at 17 weeks pregnant. The media reported that she had died because she was refused an abortion, a lie that abortion activists are featuring prominently in their Repeal campaign. The fact is that all three official investigations into Hallappanavar’s death found that she did not die from being refused an abortion – a fact that doctors confirmed. Rather, she died from sepsis (blood poisoning), and medical professionals apparently missed at least 13 separate opportunities to save her life.

  6. At the moment, Ireland has an exceptionally low abortion rate. In Britain, one in five babies are killed by abortion, including 90 percent of those diagnosed with Down Syndrome (this is comparable to other Western countries, as well). Ireland, on the other hand, has an abortion rate of only one in 19 babies – around 3,500 women travel from Ireland to England each year for abortions. This number has been declining for 16 years, and has now dropped by 50 percent – a drop that began prior to the availability of abortion pills via the Internet. According to the Save the 8th Campaign, the 8th Amendment saves the lives of up to 30 Irish babies every year.

The Irish people have voted against repealing the 8th Amendment five times now – once in 1983, three times in 1992, and once in 2002. Five times, they have voted against the bloody agenda of the abortion activists. Now, they will head to the polls for a sixth time – and every single vote will count. For the next two weeks, pro-life activists will be on the phones, knocking on doors, and on the streets talking to passersby every day and every evening. Lives are on the line, and the stakes could not be higher.

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Joan Collins, Independents 4 Change facebook.com/savethe8th
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Watch pro-abortion Irish politicians squirm when asked about abortion

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

IRELAND, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Doing what the liberal media refuse to do, a courageous Irish man asked the politicians who support repealing his country's pro-life Eighth Amendment a few basic questions on abortion. 

They either gave vague answers or wouldn't say anything at all.

Watch below.

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