All articles from May 17, 2018


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Transgender activists: ‘gender unicorn’ is passé; time for the ‘gender elephant’

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OTTAWA, Ontario, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian LGBT activist group is replacing a character meant to illustrate the “spectrum” of human gender and sexuality, demonstrating how the transgender lobby is steadily replacing objective facts with personal perception.

The “Gender Unicorn,” a graphic designed by Trans Student Educational Resources, is an illustration of a cartoon unicorn diagramming what the group claims are five distinct aspects of sexuality: gender identity, gender expression, “sex assigned at birth” (which they say can be female, male, or “Other/Intersex”), physical attraction, and emotional attraction.

In fact, “sex assigned at birth” is a misnomer for biological sex, as identifying a newborn’s sex merely recognizes what is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected in hundreds of genetic characteristics. Actual cases of hermaphroditism, in which people are born with ambiguous genitalia or their apparent sex doesn’t match their chromosomes, are extremely rare and a different issue from gender confusion.

Even so, the Canadian Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) has decided the potential combinations of the “Gender Unicorn” weren’t diverse enough, so they released their own spin on the concept: the “Gender Elephant.”

Similar to the unicorn graphic, CCGSD’s elephant has most of the same categories, with one key difference: the “Sex Assigned at Birth” category changes “Other/Intersex” from a third distinct option to a line connecting male and female, along which people can supposedly fall at any point.

The group claims the old categories were “socially constructed,” whereas the new line “shows sex assigned at birth as the spectrum that it really is.”

“When it comes to biology, variation and diversity is the norm – not the exception,” CCGSD claims. “[We] like to remind people that just like how all of our faces are unique, so is our biological makeup. Also, classifying those who do not neatly fit into the boxes of ‘male’ or ‘female’ as ‘other’ implies that all intersex folks are the same – which is a huge overstatement. Intersex is an umbrella term for anyone with a very wide range of characteristics and life experiences.”

The premise that “gender identity” and biological sex are distinct and unrelated is hotly disputed, with the World Health Organization and American Psychological Association still classifying gender dysphoria as a mental disorder (though the former is expected to cede to political pressure and drop that label sometime this year).

But this latest change suggests that the transgender lobby is no longer content to argue that perceived identity trumps biology, and now seeks to redefine or deny biology itself.

Further indicating that this was CCGSD’s intention is the fact that the Gender Elephant replaces the transgender lobby's old symbol for assigned sex, a DNA strand inadvertently recognizing sex’s scientific basis, with a leaf between the character’s legs.

In March, psychology professor and pundit Dr. Jordan Peterson took aim at the Gender Unicorn and its predecessor, the “Genderbread Person,” particularly their use to indoctrinate schoolchildren as young as Grade 7 with “a particular kind of philosophy of identity.”

“The vast majority of people who have a biological sex also claim that they are psychologically [...] the same as that biological sex,” he said. “So the idea that they are independent is completely insane.”

“So one of the other things that’s very dangerous about what’s happening currently, I believe, is the all-out assault on gender identity as such, so the law now basically states that gender identity is something that is only determined subjectively,” Peterson warned.

The vast majority of children displaying gender confusion outgrow it on their own, and various studies and health experts warn that reinforcing a patient’s belief that they are the wrong gender rather than treating the underlying causes of their confusion can lead to a variety of mental health problems, including self-harm and even suicide.

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Almost half of Liberal voters disagree with Trudeau’s pro-abortion summer job grant policy

Calvin Freiburger

May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new poll has found the general public evenly divided on the Trudeau government’s pro-abortion attestation for summer jobs grants. But, a breakdown of the numbers reveals that many in groups typically allied with the prime minister believe the mandate goes too far.

The Angus Reid Institute report found that 50 percent of Canadians think it’s fair to require groups to sign a statement endorsing a “right” to abortion (among other things) in order to receive government grants to hire students for summer jobs. And, the same number think it’s unfair, Maclean’s reports.

As could be expected, 68 percent of Conservatives and 86 percent of those who want abortion “severely restricted” oppose the policy. But, what was not expected was that notable portions of more left-wing groups oppose the policy as well. Forty-one percent of voters in Trudeau’s own Liberal Party agree that the attestation is unfair, and even 36 percent of “strong pro-choice” advocates think it goes too far. 

Fifty-four percent of people who support “some” abortion restrictions and 44 percent of New Democratic Party (NDP) members also call the attestation unfair. The NDP is pro-abortion, and in January NDP Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen apologized for initially criticizing the attestation.

MPs of both parties, including the NDP’s David Christopherson and Liberal Scott Simms, have vocally dissented from the attestation.

“Even cutting across the political spectrum, for many Canadians, this is not necessarily an issue about abortion now, but it is one about freedom of conscience and freedom of belief,” Angus Reid executive director Shachi Kurl explained.

The attestation has resulted in more than 1,500 applications being rejected so far in 2018, dramatically more than last year’s 126 rejections. These include a summer Bible camp in Alberta; a rural museum on the history of Port Hood, Nova Scotia; a small, family-owned agriculture irrigation business in Alberta; a Christian farm that provides free vacations to poor families; and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto.

The positions such groups have filled via summer jobs grants have historically been unrelated to abortion, so researchers also inquired as to whether pro-life entities should still be barred from funds even if their summer jobs had nothing to do with pro-life advocacy.

The poll posed two hypothetical scenarios with a religious group morally opposed to abortion. In one, the group would use its summer jobs grant to hire students to distribute literature advocating new abortion restrictions, while in the other, the group used the money to staff a soup kitchen.

Majorities supported withholding the money if it would finance activism, but 73 percent agreed that the pro-life organization should receive money for nonpartisan charity work, including 74 percent of Liberals, 67 percent of NDP voters, and even 63 percent of respondents who favor completely unrestricted abortion.

That distinction between discrimination against those who happen to oppose abortion and actually subsidizing advocacy on the issue was ultimately the “hinge point” for public opinion, Kurl said.

“This is something that I don’t think sits right with a number of people, who may be advocates of saying, ‘Yes, we should have access to abortion,’ but who maybe don’t like the idea of forcing or requiring organizations to make this attestation if what they’re seeking federal funding for has nothing to do with that issue,” she explained.

Trudeau has defended the attestation by insisting he’s merely enforcing adherence to the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But Archbishop of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins pointed out at last week’s March for Life that the charter does not reference a right to abortion, despite Trudeau’s insistence, whereas it does protect freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

In January, 87 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders signed an open letter condemning the attestation as a “religious or ideological test or conditions to receiving government benefits or protection” that was incompatible with the “promise of a free and democratic society.”

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Candlelight vigil for victims of abortion in Ottawa. Campaign Life Coalition
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Mom’s gripping pro-life testimony helps sexually abused teen choose life

Calvin Freiburger

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Patti Harrison wanted her testimony at the Canadian March for Life to touch at least one person’s life, but, it actually saved a life.

Harrison was one of the speakers at the May 9 candlelight vigil the night before the march in Ottawa. She told the crowd how her unintended children, despite being born during harrowing circumstances, have been unqualified blessings to herself and the world around them.

Harrison explained that in 1995, she was a fifteen-year-old struggling with mental illness and a tumultuous relationship with her parents. She left home and eventually found herself “in a crack house where she witnesse[d] something she should’ve never seen,” leading her to be imprisoned in the basement, starved, beaten, gang-raped, and forced to work as a drug mule. 

She was eventually rescued, but learned she was pregnant while being treated after a suicide attempt. Her son is now a 22-year-old man named Austin. But, at the time, Harrison’s father threatened to disown her if she didn’t get an abortion, largely because her rapist had impregnated her with a dark-skinned baby. She and Austin eventually moved to Windsor, Ontario to start fresh, thanks to the help of pro-life volunteers.

“If it wasn’t for the Rose Of Durham, which is a pregnancy shelter for women who don’t have any family support, I wouldn’t have been able to make it with him to get to Windsor,” Harrison said. “So those kinds of organizations and support groups are so important for our communities. If you can find one, embrace it.”

“Support it. Support those women. Because I’m telling you from personal experience, it is absolutely terrifying to think, when you’re supposed to be in grade ten, and you’re supposed to be living your childhood, that you are forced out on the streets,” she urged. 

Harrison also revealed that the “doctors that we’re supposed to trust” instead attempted to pressure her to “just have an abortion” because “you’ve got your whole life ahead of you” whereas Austin was “not going to have any kind of life.”

She went on to reveal that her second child, a daughter, was conceived after she “passed out with some friends” during a period where she “had a drinking problem.” But despite being in another terrifying situation where she was pregnant without any recollection of having sex, she chose life again, and says today she wouldn’t trade any of her kids for anything.

“These three children, who were all unplanned, have blessed our lives, and we would have deprived the world if we were the bullies that our healthcare providers and our families tried to force us to be,” Harrison declared. “We would have deprived the earth of these amazing kids.”

Harrison closed her remarks with some advice for girls and women in similar situations, who fear abortion is their only escape. “If you can think for one second” that the baby is “my family...my flesh and blood” rather than “my rapist’s baby” or “an unplanned family member’s baby,” she promised, then “you will be able to get past all of that, all of the depression, all of the bad feelings, all of the bad thoughts,” and “be able to love your child unconditionally.”

“Thank you so much for listening to me,” Harrison concluded, “and I hope I’ve touched just one life with my story.” 

The day after the march, a chance encounter in a hotel lobby revealed that she succeeded.

Harrison told LifeSiteNews that she crossed paths with a group of girls while preparing to leave, who told her they were in town for the same event. The girls told her their favorite part was the candlelight vigil’s first speech, not realizing they were talking to the woman who delivered it.

“They had come with a friend who was pregnant after a sexual assault, and she was going to have an abortion,” Harrison explained. “After hearing that speaker she changed her mind.”

Harrison introduced herself, sparking tears of emotion from the whole group. The pregnant friend wasn’t present, and preferred to remain anonymous, but Harrison passed along contact information for a shelter for pregnant teens in her area.

“God needed me to share my story,” Harrison said. “I’m just so glad my story inspired her to choose life.”

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Bishop Schneider: Here’s how we remain loyal to Peter when Peter seems to betray Christ

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ROME, Italy, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – “The Church is bigger than the Pope,” and the Pope has the same duties as any regular Catholic: to renounce Satan and profess the Catholic faith, Bishop Athanasius Schneider told the 2018 Rome Life Forum today. The laity must help, not attack, the Pope if he fails to do this in a clear manner.

“As members of the Church militant, we wish to defend the Church’s moral and theological teachings from all who attack them,” began a question submitted to the bishop, which he read and answered. “However, such attacks [are] now seeming to come from the very top. As a bishop once said to me, ‘how do we remain loyal to Peter when Peter is not loyal to Christ?’ So, how do we comport ourselves as members of the Church militant, and with regard to the current situation in Rome?”

“Firstly, I would like to say we have always to keep the supernatural view,” said Schneider, the auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and one of the foremost defenders of Catholic orthodoxy in the world. “The Church is supernatural. It is not a human institution. And so, secondly, we have to [be conscious] that we are one body. We are the mystical body, one body.”

“Even the Pope is a member of the Church. He is not the founder of the Church. He is only vicarious – representative – and the true head of the Church is Christ,” he explained. The Pope is a “visible sign” as head of the Church, but he is also one of its members.

“The Church is bigger than the Pope. The Pope is not above the Church; the Pope is inside the Church,” said Schneider. “And the Pope has the same duties as a simple Catholic...he made the same baptismal vows when he was baptized to renounce Satan, to profess the Catholic faith. So, he has to fulfill [these duties].”

 

“And when it seems, in some historical occasions, not only in our times, that the successor of Peter was not fulfilling his task in a clear manner” or was even “failing,” then, “the entire Church has [to] come to help him,” said Schneider.

Rather than having an “attitude of antagonism” toward the Pope, the faithful should help him and through “reverent petitions” encourage him to do his duty to strengthen them in the truth of the Catholic faith. The faithful should also offer prayers and sacrifices, he said.

“We [should not have an] attitude of antagonism against the Pope, even when he is not fulfilling correctly the main duty or in a perfect manner his main duty, which is to strengthen the faithful and the bishops in the faith,” said Schneider. “This is his main duty. So we have to come to help him express [the faith], with reverent petitions, because we are family.”

Families are not dictatorships, he said, where people are forced to be silent lest they be punished by “the boss.”

“We are not in a dictatorship in the Church,” he said. “We are a family. We are the mystical body of Christ.” So with “reverent respect,” Catholics should ask, “please, Holy Father, strengthen us.”

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Bishop Schneider explains how Catholics should handle a ‘heretic pastor’

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ROME, Italy, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics should respectfully “answer to a heretic pastor with the constant, unchanging teaching of the Church,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider said at the Rome Life Forum today, noting that during the fourth century “almost the entire episcopacy” accepted heresy but still the Church herself did not fall into error.

This was during the Arian crisis, the bishop explained to pro-life and pro-family leaders gathered at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). Pastors were promoting heresy in a “very widespread manner” then and “almost the entire episcopacy failed and yielded to heresy because of several reasons [and] motivations.”

Referencing Blessed John Henry Newman’s analysis of the Arian heresy, Bishop Schneider said the faithful laity, not their shepherds, preserved the purity of the Catholic faith even though “the bishop is, according to the rite of his ordination...called doctor fide...This is his task. And [even] more, the Pope is a doctor of the faith.”

So if Church leaders are promoting error, “the faithful have not to [listen] to the heresy and to answer to a heretic pastor with the constant, unchanging teaching of the Church.”

He suggested: “Say, with respect, ‘I know my faith. I know. I have the Catechism of all times. This cannot change. And for this faith, I am ready to die. Your Excellency, you are ready to die? Please, join me.’”

Bishop Schneider’s compelling words begin at around 1:26:50 in the below video.

 

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Pope Francis signals again he may ‘step down’ from being pope

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VATICAN, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis signaled yet again this week the possibility that he may resign from being pope. He asked morning Mass attendees on Tuesday to pray for priests, bishops, and the pope who, he said, must learn “when it’s time to take his leave and step down.”

Francis said he hopes that all pastors have the grace to know when to step down, and that when they do exit their post, they should not “leave halfway,” as reported by Vatican News. 

This is one of many times since his election in 2013 that Pope Francis has spoken about stepping down from his post as Vicar of Christ on earth. 

In 2014, he suggested that he would entertain the possibility of resigning if his health failed him, because he would not have the “capacity to govern well.” He suggested he would retire like Pope Benedict did if he felt that he could not “go on.”

Again in 2014 Francis said Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was a “beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage,” adding that it  “cleared a path for later popes to do the same.” Francis also said Benedict’s stepping down “should not be considered an exception, but an institution.”

Then, in 2015, Pope Francis said that the Church should not have “leaders for life” and that there “should be a time limit to positions (in the Church).”

In the five years that he has been pope, Francis has allowed the teachings of heretics to go unchecked while he has refused to answer questions about ambiguities in his own teachings. Last year group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued a formal “filial correction” of the pope, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments. Earlier this month, Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk raised the question that Pope Francis may be part of the Church’s “final trial” before the second coming of Christ.

In his homily this week at the Santa Marta papal residence in the Vatican, the Pope said that St. Paul was “compelled by the Holy Spirit” to leave Ephesus and go to Jerusalem, he said, and this “shows us the pathway for every bishop when it’s time to take his leave and step down.”

“When I read this, I think about myself,” Francis said, “because I am a bishop and I must take my leave and step down.”

Francis said as well that all bishops should trust the Holy Spirit in knowing when it’s time for them to step down. “I am thinking of all bishops,” Francis said. “May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way (as St. Paul did), with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit.”  

“All pastors must take our leave,” he stated. “There comes a moment where the Lord tells us: go somewhere else, go there, go this way, come to me. And one of the steps a pastor must do is to prepare himself to take good leave, not to leave halfway."

Benedict’s historic renunciation of the papacy in 2013 was the first papal resignation in more than 700 years, when Gregory XII gave up the Chair of Peter in 1415.

Since Benedict relinquished his office there has been significant speculation about whether there was more behind his resignation than just frail health, including possible pressure from factions within the Church lobbying for a more progressive pope. And questions have continually surfaced over governance and authority in the Church with two concurrent living popes.  

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Fr. Thomas Crean in Rome, May 16, 2018. John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews

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Priest explains why adultery is always ‘mortal sin,’ even when done in ‘good conscience’

ROME, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A "distorted" view of conscience in the Church today has led many Catholics to believe they can commit adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, and other mortal sins in ‘good conscience’ while still remaining in God’s grace, a Catholic priest and Thomistic scholar indicated today at a talk in Rome. 

Fr Thomas Crean, OP, spoke at the Roman Life Forum today at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) to explain St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching on conscience and to show how "certain prelates and theologians" within the Church are distorting that teaching in such a way as to allow men to follow their own sinful inclinations instead of God’s laws. The full paper can be found below. 

Crean explained that conscience truly understood is not an “authority, in the sense of something which authorises me to act,” but a judgment made by our intellects about the goodness or evil of actions we have done, are doing, or are thinking of doing. 

He criticized Cardinal Blase Cupich's "distorted view" that conscience, in the words of the Cardinal, represents “God’s personal guidance for the particularities of [human] lives.”

Crean stressed how St. Thomas holds that judgments of conscience can err, and that it is the duty of each person to form his conscience according to truth.  

“What has authority are God, and the good; conscience only has authority to the extent that it adheres to God and to the good; that is to say, insofar as it judges truly,” he said.

During his talk, Crean appeared to indirectly address an understanding of conscience as found in Pope Francis’ 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia that contradicts St. Thomas’ teaching on conscience. 

The exhortation taught that the Church must make “room for the consciences of the faithful, who...are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations.” This passage suggests that the “consciences of the faithful” can have an authority of their own, independent of God's laws and the teachings of the Church. 

Amoris Laetitia suggests in passage 303 that conscience can discern that God Himself asks less than what He commands.

“Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel,” the exhortation states. “It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal,” the document states.

Passages such as these have been used by prelates within the Church to lend legitimacy to a so-called second ‘marriage’ entered into by civilly divorced Catholics. The exhortation has also been interpreted as allowing Catholics who are objectively committing adultery to receive Holy Communion, contrary to previous Catholic teaching. 

In his talk, Crean addresses the talking points of “certain prelates and theologians” who attempt to assure those who commit various intrinsically evil acts — including adultery, homosexuality, fornication, cohabitation — that they remain in the state of grace by appealing to a distorted sense of conscience. 

He explained how Catholics cannot be invincibly ignorant of the divine commandments forbidding intrinsically evil acts such that they impute no guilt when acting contrary to them. And even if it were possible that a Catholic did not know the commandments, such ignorance would itself be a “mortal sin, since he had been gravely negligent in ascertaining what law of God was.”

“We see here, it seems to me, a certain danger in the maxim, often repeated, that ‘full knowledge and consent’ are necessary conditions for mortal sin," said Crean. "It is not in fact necessary to know that something is a mortal sin in order to incur the guilt of mortal sin by committing it. St Thomas’s consistent position is that the only kind of lack of awareness of God’s commandments which can excuse from mortal sin someone who breaks them is a lack of awareness due to madness or mental handicap,” he added. 

Crean also used Thomas’s teaching to criticize the view that the Church’s sexual teaching to be an “ideal” that should be aimed at, but not necessarily lived out. 

“Someone who thinks that what he may still call ‘divine law’ is in fact only a kind of ideal is therefore in the position considered in the first hypothesis, i.e. such a person is simply ignorant of the divine law about intrinsically evil acts, an ignorance which St Thomas holds to be gravely sinful,” he said.

He also took aim at the view that one may break a divine commandment without committing mortal sin if an alternative course seemed to him to involve a worse sin. Such a position is advanced in Amoris Laetitia

“It is impossible for a person so to entangle his life that there is no longer any good course left for him to take, and that he must break God’s law in one way or another," said Crean. "To claim that this is possible is to say that God’s law will sometimes make incompatible demands on us, which would be to blaspheme against divine wisdom,” he added. 

Crean concluded by stating that it is “not possible to combine the state of grace and intrinsically evil actions.”

“While it is possible for men to be ignorant of divine law and the intrinsic evil of certain kinds of action, such ignorance does not excuse them from mortal sin, since even where bad education or a corrupt ambient culture exist as mitigating factors, their very ignorance is still itself a mortal sin: a negligence, St Thomas says, to learn those things whereby we can safeguard ourselves in the love of God,” he said. 

Crean, 44, took a first class BA in Philosophy and Theology from St. John’s College, Oxford University before earning his Lectorate in Sacred Theology from Oxford’s Blackfriars. He received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Institute of St Thomas Aquinas in Toulouse in 2002. Crean entered the Order of Preachers in 1995 and was ordained the the priesthood in 2001. 

The author of God is No Delusion: a Refutation of Richard Dawkins, Fr Crean was one of the first signatories of the Filial Correction. 

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Bishop Schneider: Catholics are called to combat heresy inside Church

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ROME, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Bishop Athanasius Schneider explained in a talk in Rome this afternoon why Catholics as the "Church militant" — the souls fighting for Christ here on Earth — must combat the evils of today, including the evil of heresy within the Catholic Church.

"When there is no battle, there is no Christendom. When there is no battle, there is no true Church of God, no true Catholic Church," said the Auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, at the 2018 Rome Life Forum at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). 

"The Christian duty to fight against the sin, the errors and the temptations of the world, includes also the fight against the errors inside the Church, i.e. the fight against heresy and ambiguity in doctrine," he added later. 

Schneider said that sanctity, prayer, and reason are the weapons Catholics can best use to fulfill their duty to fight evil, and they should turn to their most powerful ally in this fight, the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

"Our weapons are the weapons of justice, and these are the weapons in first place of prayer and of a saintly life, the weapons of the spiritual help of the Holy Angels, the weapons of the sacred science, of the sacred apologetics, the weapons of righteous and honest individual and collective protests against the de-christianisation and moral degradation of the society."

When the Church is persecuted, She only becomes stronger, Bishop Schneider explained. Despite how dark things may seem on earth, the Church militant is the winning team because Christ is already victorious. Just as a marriage can never be dissolved, the Church can never be destroyed, he added. 

"As soldiers of Christ every Catholic should be always conscious of the fact that he belongs to the army of the winners, because 'Christus vincit,'" he said. 

LifeSiteNews is pleased to provide Bishop Schneider's talk in full below.

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The Church on earth and its essentially militant characteristics

Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Rome Life Forum, May 17, 2018

When there is no battle, there is no Christendom. When there is no battle, there is no true Church of God, no true Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council teaches us: “The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity” (Gaudium et spes, 37). This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one" (1 Jn 5:19; cf. 1 Pet 5:8) makes man's life a battle (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 409).

The Word of God teaches us: "Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art called" (1 Tim. 6:12). The Christian life is indeed a warfare. Saint Paul wrote that "we wrestle" against the powers of darkness. “Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). 

Saint Thomas Aquinas explains the meaning of the biblical term “world” and “present evil age”: “Our Lord consoles the disciples by using himself as an example of one who has suffered the persecution of oppressors, saying: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15: 18).  And so our Lord foretells that they will be hated: "You will be hated by all nations" (Mt 24:9); "Blessed are you when men hate you" (Lk 6:22). This thought is a great consolation for the just so that they can courageously endure persecutions. According to Augustine, the members should not consider themselves greater than the Head, nor refuse to be part of his body by being unwilling to endure with their Head the hatred of the world. (Tract. in Io., 87, 2). The world can have two meanings. First a good meaning, for those who lead a good life in the world: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19). Secondly, it can have an evil sense, meaning those who love the world: "The whole world is in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). And so the whole world hates the whole world, because those who love the world, and they are spread throughout the whole world, hate the whole world, that is, the Church of the good, which has been established throughout the whole world. Now he mentions a second point for their consolation, and this is based on the reason for their being hated. First, our Lord gives the reason why some are loved by the world; secondly, why the apostles are hated by the world. The reason why some are loved by the world is that they are like the world: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own” (John 15:19).  And thus the world, that is, those who love the world, love those who love the world. Accordingly, our Lord says, “If you were of the world”, that is, followers of the world, “the world would love its own”, because you would be its own and like to it: "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me" (John 7:7). "They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them" (I John 4:5). Now he gives the reason why the world hates the apostles, which is because they are unlike the world. He says, “but because you are not of the world, the world hates you” (John 15: 19). (Expositio in evangelium beati Ioannis, II pars, cap. 15, lectio 4).

The Baltimore Catechism teaches us: “We are called soldiers of Jesus Christ to indicate how we must resist the attacks of our spiritual enemies and secure our victory over them by following and obeying Our Lord. We have good reason never to be ashamed of the Catholic Faith because it is the Old Faith established by Christ and taught by His Apostles; it is the Faith for which countless Holy Martyrs suffered and died; it is the Faith that has brought true civilization, with all its benefits, into the world, and it is the only Faith that can truly reform and preserve public and private morals. We should know the Chief Mysteries of Faith and the duties of a Christian…, because as one cannot be a good soldier without knowing the rules of the army to which he belongs and understanding the commands of his leader, so one cannot be a good Christian without knowing the laws of the Church and understanding the commands of Christ. By the expression "these evil days" we mean the present age or century in which we are living, surrounded on all sides by unbelief, false doctrines, bad books, bad example and temptation in every form.” (3 part, lesson 15).

In the time of the Fathers of the Church the Christians were aware to be spiritual soldiers of Christ and to fight for the truth even at the risk of one’s life. Tertullian wrote: “We were called to the warfare of the living God, even then when we made our answer according to the words of the Sacrament, i.e. the baptismal vow of obedience to Christ” (Mart., 3, 1) and Saint Cyril of Jerusalem told to the catechumens: “You are to be enrolled in the army of the Great King” (Catech. 3, 3).

The Christian duty to fight against the sin, the errors and the temptations of the world, includes also the fight against the errors inside the Church, i.e. the fight against heresy and ambiguity in doctrine. 

Saint Ignatius of Loyola is one of the most eloquent teachers of the truth about the Church militant. He writes in his book of the Spiritual Exercises: “Consider the war that Jesus Christ came to bring from Heaven to earth.” People are used to the idea that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring peace. Yet St. Ignatius with all naturality begins the meditation by saying “Consider that war that Jesus Christ came to bring from Heaven to earth.” 

A true Catholic spiritual knight of 20th century, as it is Plinio Correia de Oliveira, a Brazilian layman who spent all his life in defending the Holy Mother Church from the spiritual attacks and infiltration of the unchristian spirit of revolution, modernism and communism said: “Every man is born a soldier, although not every soldier will use his arms. Yes, all men are born soldiers because, as the Scripture states, Militia est vita hominis super terram [The life of man upon earth is a warfare] (Job 7:1). Our life is a fight, and this is how we must consider it first and foremost. A man is born a soldier at the first moment he sees the natural light. Then when he is baptized, he receives the light of grace and is born a second time, now to the supernatural life, becoming a soldier in its defense. Further, the Church has a special Sacrament that confirms a man as a soldier in the full sense of the word. It is the sacrament of Confirmation. Not every soldier uses his weapons on the battlefield, but whoever does so is privileged. Since the duty of the soldier is to fight, when he takes up arms to enter battle he becomes privileged. Imagine a painter who does not paint, a musician who cannot make music, a singer who cannot sing, a professor who is unable to give classes, a diplomat prevented from engaging in politics.” (Plinio Correia de Oliveira).

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Catholic Church, comes asking us to join His Holy War inside the Church against progressivism, and inside the State, against communism. And He appeals to us to fight and not be soft or indifferent to this struggle, but to wage battle with all our soul.” “Of course, St. Ignatius does not speak about progressivism. Since his meditation is destined for all times, he refers generically to the world, the devil and the flesh, which are the causes of all errors at all times, in which they simply change name. In his time, the error was Protestantism, supported by people who called themselves Catholics but who were deep down Protestants working for Protestantism inside the Catholic Church. In the civil sphere, those persons tended to eliminate all social and political inequalities. In other words, they were forerunners of the French Revolution.” (Plinio Correia de Oliveira).

We possess very apt and impressive affirmations of the Popes of the modern times about the essential militant characteristic of the Church. Pope Leo XIII taught: “The enemy forces, inspired by the evil spirit, ever wage war on the Christian name. They join forces in this endeavor with certain groups of men whose purpose is to subvert divinely revealed truths and to rend the very fabric of Christian society with disastrous dissent. Indeed, how much damage these cohorts, as it were, have inflicted on the Church is well-known. And yet, the spirit of all previous groups hostile to Catholic institutions has come to life again in that group called the Masonic sect, which, strong in manpower and resources, is the leader in a war against anything sacred.” (Leo XIII, Encyclical Inimica vis, 8 December 1892).

“To refrain from doing battle for Jesus Christ amounts to fighting against Him; He Himself assures us "He will deny before His Father in heaven those who shall have refused to confess Him on earth" (Luke 9:26)” (Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae christianae, 43).

“The enemies of the Church have for their object - and they hesitate not to proclaim it, and many among them boast of it - to destroy outright, if possible, the Catholic religion, which alone the true religion. With such a purpose in and they shrink from nothing, for they are fully conscious that the more faint-hearted those who withstand them become, the more easy will it be to work out their wicked will. Therefore, they who cherish the "prudence of the flesh" and who pretend to be unaware that every Christian ought to be a valiant soldier of Christ; they who would faro obtain the rewards owing to conquerors, while they are leading the lives of cowards, untouched in the fight, are so far from thwarting the onward march of the evil - disposed that, on the contrary, they even help it forward.” (ibid., 34).

Saint Pius X describes the real situation of the world at the beginning of the 20th century as being harshly hostile to Christ and His truth: “Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and God! While, on the other hand, and this according to the same apostle is the distinguishing mark of Antichrist, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such wise that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has contemned God's majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored. "He sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God" (II. Thess. ii., 2). (Pius X, Encyclical E supremo apostolatu, 4 October 1903, 4-7). “We are of the opinion that the shining example of Christ's soldiers has far greater value in the winning and sanctifying of souls than the words of profound treatises.” (Pius X, Encyclical Editae saepe, 26 May 1910, 4). 

Pope Pius XI teaches us: “Unbelievers and enemies of the Catholic faith, blinded by presumption, may indeed constantly renew their violent attacks against the Christian name, but in wresting from the bosom of the militant Church those whom they put to death, they become the instruments of their martyrdom and of their heavenly glory. No less beautiful than true are the words of St. Leo the Great: “The religion of Christ, founded on the mystery of the Cross, cannot be destroyed by any sort of cruelty; persecutions do not weaken, they strengthen the Church. The field of the Lord is ever ripening with new harvests, while the grains shaken loose by the tempest take root and are multiplied.” (Homily at the Canonization of John Fisher and Thomas More, 19 May 1935).

Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in 1976 in Philadelphia in the United States of America said: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously”. Pope John Paul II he indicated the spiritual root of this conflict: “This battle against the devil which characterizes the Archangel Michael is still going on, because the devil is still alive and at work in world. In fact, the evil that is in it, the disorder we see in society, the infidelity of man, the interior fragmentation of which he is a victim, are not merely the consequences of original sin, but also the effect of the dark and infesting activity of Satan, of this saboteur of man’s moral equilibrium.” (Address on May 24, 1987 at Monte Gargano).

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the necessity of the battle with the evil in our days: “Today the phrase ecclesia militans is somewhat out of fashion but in fact we can understand ever more so that it is true, that it contains within it the truth. We see how evil wishes to dominate in the world and that it is necessary to fight against evil. We see that it does so in so many ways: cruelty, through the different forms of violence, but even disguised as good and thereby undermining the moral foundations of society. St Augustine said that all history is a struggle between two loves: love of self to the point of despising God; and love of God to the point of despising oneself, in martyrdom. We are caught up in this struggle.” (Speech to the Cardinals, 21 May 2012).

We possess an impressive text from the 3rd century, which makes an ardent appeal to remain always a good soldier of Christ: “Consider this fairly with me: When has Christ need of your aid? Now, when the wicked one has sworn war against His bride; or in the time to come, when He shall reign victorious, having no need of further help? Is it not evident to anyone who has even the least understanding, that it is now? Therefore, with all good-will hasten in the time of the present necessity to do battle on the side of this good King, whose character it is to give great rewards after victory.” (Epistola Clementis ad Iacobum 4).

Our weapons are the weapons of justice, and these are the weapons in first place of prayer and of a saintly life, the weapons of the spiritual help of the Holy Angels, the weapons of the sacred science, of the sacred apologetics, the weapons of righteous and honest individual and collective protests against the de-christianisation and moral degradation of the society. 

We do urgently need a new “Enchiridion militia christianae”, a handbook of the Christian spiritual battle, a book which the humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote in the beginning of the 16th century. We do need a new apology with the title: “The triumph of the Holy See and of the Church against the attacks of the innovators”, a book, which the future Pope Gregory XVI wrote in 1799 during the Masonic attacks of the French Revolution against the Church. 

Already in 1946 Pope Pius XII made the following very apt and realistic analysis of the spiritual situation of the world and the Church in our times: “The subject, against which the adversary directs his assaults in our days, openly or insidiously, is not more, as it was usually in the past, the one or the other particular item of doctrine or discipline, but the whole of the faith and Christians morals up to its ultimate consequences. It’s a matter of a complete yes or of a complete no. In such real circumstances a true Catholic must remain all the more firmly and securely on the ground of his faith and demonstrate this with his deeds” (Discourse to the youth of the Italian Catholic Action, April 20, 1946).

Blessed John Henry Newman made the following encouraging statement about the triumph of the Church in midst of the battle against the evil and the world: “It is no new thing then with the Church, in a time of confusion or of anxiety, when offences abound, and the enemy is at her gates, that her children, far from being dismayed, or rather glorying in the danger, as vigorous men exult in trials of their strength—it is no new thing, I say, that they should go forth to do her work, as though she were in the most palmy days of her prosperity. … We have upon us the omens of success in the recollections of the past; we read upon our banners the names of many an old field of battle and of glory; we are strong in the strength of our fathers, and we mean to do, in our humble measure, what Saints have done before us. … It needs no heroism in us to face such a time as this, and to make light of it; for we are Catholics. We have the experience of eighteen hundred years. … It is not one or two or a dozen defeats, if we had them, which will reverse the majesty of the Catholic Name” (Discourses to Mixed Congregations, Discourse 12. Prospects of the Catholic Missioner).

As soldiers of Christ every Catholic should be always conscious of the fact that he belongs to the army of the winners, because “Christus vincit”, and as Saint John Chrysostom concisely formulated: “It is easier to delete the sun, than to destroy the Church” (Hom. In Is. 7). May the following exhortation of the Saint John Chrysostom give us courage and new zeal in the holy battle for Our Lord and His Church in these dark and tempestuous times: “No man can part that which God has joined together. If, speaking of man and wife, He says: “On this account a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh; for that which God has joined together man shall not separate” (Math. 19: 6). If you cannot dissolve marriage, how much less shall you be able to break up the Church of God. You may fight her, you will not be able to harm the object of your attack. But whilst you make me more illustrious, you are undermining your own strength by fighting against me. It is hard for you to kick against a sharp goad. You do not take the edge off it, but you make your own feet bloody; and the waves do not break through the rock, but are dissolved in foam. There is nothing more powerful than the Church, man; give up fighting her, lest she overpower your strength. Wage not war against heaven. If you fight a man, you conquer or are conquered. But if you fight the Church, you cannot conquer. For God is stronger than all. “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?” (1 Cor. 10:22) Are we stronger than He? Who will venture to subvert the order which God has established? You know not His power. He looks down upon the earth and causes it to tremble. He commands, and that which was shaken becomes firm. If He can establish in peace a city torn by factions, how much more is He able to re-establish the Church! The Church is stronger than heaven. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Math. 24:35). What words? “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Math. 16: 18). If you distrust words, believe in facts. How many tyrants have wished to get the better of the Church! How many frying-pans, and furnaces, and fangs of wild animals, and sharp swords have there not been! Yet they have not succeeded. Where are the oppressors? Silence and oblivion have passed over them. But where is the Church? It is more dazzling than the sun. Their deeds are no more, hers are immortal. Now, if being few they were not conquered, how will you get the better of them, now that the world is filled with the service of God? “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass” (Math. 24:35) (Homilia ante exilium, 1-2).

In the holy Baptism according to the traditional rite of the Roman Church we have been signed with seven crosses in order to be always reminded that the Christian is inseparably united with the Cross of Our Lord, in order to be spiritually protected and in order to lead a life of the holy battle for the Lord with the invincible sign of His cross. We were signed on the forehead to accept the cross of the Lord; we were signed on the ears to listen the Divine precepts; we were signed on the eyes to see the clarity of God; we were signed on the nose to smell the sweetness of Christ; we were signed on the mouth to speak the words of life; we were signed on the chest to believe in God and we were signed on the shoulders to take upon us the yoke of the service of Christ. 

The most powerful help in our personal life as soldiers of Christ and in the life of the entire militant Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother if God and She is the winner in all the battles of the Lord. To Her we turn ourselves praying: 

“August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the abyss. Who can be compared to God?  Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen.”

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Katie Franklin

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Will this Indiana mayor rethink his opposition to pregnancy resource centers?

Katie Franklin
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Photo Courtesy: Women's Care Center Facebook

May 17, 2018 (Pregnancy Help News) – When Mayor Pete Buttigieg vetoed a rezoning bill to allow a pregnancy center to open near a proposed abortion facility in Indiana, he said he believed having the center there "would not benefit" the neighborhood.

But weeks before, multiple women had sent letters to the South Bend City Council, stating the exact opposite. 

Women's Care Center, which has 28 locations in 10 states, has been serving women, men and children across the U.S. for the last 34 years. 

With their current South Bend location bursting at the seams, the organization initiated the process of opening a new location. 

On April 10, about 200 Women's Care Center supporters, ranging from doctors to clients to staff, packed the hearing room where City Council was considering the measure to rezone the area.

Numerous testimonies had been submitted to City Council, including one from Auchanti, a former client of Women's Care Center.

In a letter, she told the council members about her own experience.

"Women's Care Center is a place that immediately makes you comfortable," Auchanti wrote. "My counselor talked to me about all my options. This was so important. I didn't even realize I had options. All I knew was I could either abort or not. Nobody ever tells you what else is out there, what else you can do. They were so helpful."

Auchanti, who lives in the neighborhood the new location aimed to serve, says this kind of support is rare.

"You know, I've lived in a lot of cities, and they don't have places like this. Ones that really help you. That tell you all your options," she wrote. "Most women in these situations have to keep it to themselves, do it all on their own."

Because of Women's Care Center, Auchanti didn't have to do it all on her own. The center even threw her first baby shower for her. 

Auchanti's letter provides a stark look at the reality many abortion-vulnerable women face—a reality where they feel trapped, utterly deprived of the very thing the abortion lobby promises them: choice.

Rather than protecting the good of the neighborhood, Mayor Buttigieg's veto further ensnares women like Auchanti, cutting them off from the last-minute chance to find real help and options.

Catherine, another former client, outlined how the broader community could benefit from the center as well, pointing out how the center's parenting classes on issues like safe sleep could help combat the county's infant mortality rate.

"It is truly difficult for me to understand why the Women's Care Center would be anything but an important, helpful, inviting, and non-judgmental addition to the west side," she wrote. "Surely the women of the west side of South Bend would have great use for the Women's Care Center, not to speak of the great need that absolutely exists on the west side for the Women's Care Center. Why deprive the women on the west side of such a helpful and free resource?"

Apparently, the magnitude of support that clients like Catherine and Auchanti receive from Women's Care Center wasn't enough to sway Buttigieg.

But next week, Women's Care Center may have another chance at passing the rezoning measure when City Council, which initially passed the bill 5-4, considers a veto override. When they do, they should pay special attention to the real women and children whose lives the organization has impacted.

According to Ann Manion, president of Women's Care Center, right now, 1,438 babies are expected to their clients in South Bend and Mishawaka, a neighboring city. Furthermore, she says, two out of every three babies born in South Bend start with their centers.

Pictured below are the faces of just some of the children the current South Bend location has helped bring into the world.

These faces illustrate the clear benefit Women's Care Center provides the city of South Bend.

Still, in his letter to Women's Care Center informing them of his decision, Buttigieg said, "In my judgment, the neighborhood would not benefit from having the zoning law changed in order to place next door to each other two organizations with deep and opposite commitments on the most divisive social issue of our time." 

Though he did acknowledge the overall value of Women's Care Center to the community, he believed that locating it right next to an abortion facility would result in violence and harassment.

But Manion says there has never been an instance of violence in the 22 times one of their centers has opened next to an abortion facility.

Not only that, the proposed abortion facility hasn't even been approved for opening yet. In fact, in January, the Indiana State Department of Health denied its license.

Based on that fact alone, Buttigieg is making a big assumption: that the abortion provider will eventually get its license. Though he insists he's just striving to apply the law without bias, he is essentially choosing winners and losers—and his winner already lost.

Moreover, the abortion provider, the Texas-based Whole Women's Health Alliance, is the same group from Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, the 2016 Supreme Court ruling that bucked health and safety standards in favor of abortion on-demand—not exactly a shining benefit to the neighborhood.

While Women's Care Center is literally bringing life to the neighborhood, Whole Women's Health, if licensed, would literally be taking it. Even so, City Council and Buttigieg are not being asked to take sides, but rather to give Women's Care Center a fair chance to reach abortion-vulnerable women with life-affirming alternatives. Women's Care Center by and far presents the biggest benefit to the community and deserves a second shot at opening their new location.

Published with permission from Pregnancy Help News.

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Maike Hickson

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Cardinal Marx: ‘Different rules’ for different dioceses on Communion for Protestants

Maike Hickson

May 17, 2018 (One Peter Five) – Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German bishops, is now opening up to the idea of different German dioceses having different rules concerning the possible admittance of Protestant spouses of Catholics to Holy Communion. Another bishop just said, moreover, that Pope Francis seems not to see in the new German intercommunion guidelines a "threat to the Faith."

Last Saturday, the German Katholikentag (a national Catholic gathering with some 50,000 participants) in Münster came to an end. Now, at the beginning of this week, the statements of the participating German bishops concerning the ongoing intercommunion debate are being widely reported in the German press.

One of the most prominent figures is, of course, Cardinal Marx. During events of the Katholikentag, he said two important things that deserve to be reported. First, he claimed in an interview with the German bishops' news website Katholisch.de (around minute 8 of the video) that Pope Francis does not wish us "to stand still and to look back" with regard to ecumenism. Rather, the pope wishes us "to go forward, avanti, and to see what possibilities [for a greater ecumenical community] we have." So says Cardinal Marx. This of course implies that the pope himself wishes us to "move forward" with the intercommunion issue.

The second claim that is now being widely reported is that Marx, when asked about the possibility of having different intercommunion rules set up by German dioceses, replied: "Yes, that is already now the case." According to Marx, the German Bishops' Conference "cannot take legislative measures for the individual dioceses," since the "bishop is in the individual diocese the legislator." Thus, explains the German cardinal, the bishops' conference itself "has no competence to give orders" with regard to individual bishops. The Austrian Catholic website Kath.net explains these words as follows: "The struggle among German bishops about the distribution of the Holy Eucharist to Protestants might lead to the result that German dioceses receive [and abide by] different rules."

This of course is a preparation for the progressivist wing's decision in Germany to push ahead with their relativizing agenda with regard to Communion for Protestant spouses. As another German bishop, Peter Kohlgraf – the successor of Cardinal Karl Lehmann in Mainz – proposed at the Katholikentag that the pope himself had given the message that he does not think that the recent February 2018 intercommunion guidelines are a "threat to the Faith." Explaining the papal words which proposed and encouraged a "possibly unanimous agreement" among the German bishops, Kohlgraf said that they do not mean a full unanimous consent among all bishops, but, rather, "that we once more discuss our handout in such a way that the minority does not lose face, but also, that nobody is put into question concerning his own Catholicicity."

This kind of interpretation seems to prepare the way for the progressivist camp in Germany to have one additional meeting with the opposing bishops, among them Cardinal Rainer Woelki and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, and then to implement the pastoral guidelines essentially as they had been approved already with a two-thirds majority in February.

SIGN THE PLEDGE: I support Bishop Paprocki denying Communion to pro-abortion U.S. Senator Dick Durbin!

Moreover, Kohlgraf insists that the pope does not think that this majority decision is putting the faith and the unity of the Church into danger. As the Katholisch.de report says:

He feels himself "personally wounded," says Kohlgraf, "when the letter of the seven bishops to Rome warns and claims that through my vote – together with the majority of my fellow bishops – the substance of the Faith and the unity of the Church are in danger. If I understand correctly the pope, then he does not see that danger."

If it should not come to an agreement between both camps, explains the prelate, then each bishop would be free to establish his own rules for his own diocese. However, he adds that "I would find it interesting [sic] to see what happens when in Cologne, there is another rule than in Aachen." There would surely "be an increased lack of understanding and an increase of indignation" among the faithful, warns the bishop.

Both statements taken together – the one by Marx and the one by Kohlgraf – it might well thus be safe to predict that the progressivists – seeing that the conservative bishops are not inclined to relent, in spite of Pope Francis' own lack of doctrinal correction – will implement their own revolutionary intercommunion guidelines and explain that those resisting bishops are free not to implement them in their own dioceses. In this context, Cardinal Marx's own words at the Katholikentag also make now more sense: "We wish to seek the biggest possible unanimity, but one cannot keep seeking and discussing until unanimity is found."

By way of contrast, Bishop Stefan Oster – one of the seven opposing bishops – warned during the Katholikentag against a "wishy-washy ecumenism," whereby the question of truth is being eliminated. "Whoever receives Holy Communion," explains the Bavarian bishop of Passau, "also says 'Amen' to the Catholic understanding of the Church, thus with a pope and bishops."

In this context, it might be worthwhile to remember that, during the two controversial family synods, there were essentially the same conservative bishops – six at that time – who had opposed the idea of admitting the "remarried" divorcees to Holy Communion. Bishop Oster, who was among them, later established his own pastoral guidelines with regard to Amoris Laetitia, with a more restricted understanding of that papal document. It is very well possible that that is what will now again happen with regard to intercommunion. Of course, in either case, this manner of individual approach is not a solution for the grave papally promoted doctrinal and pastoral attenuation of the unique Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Published with permission from One Peter Five.

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Kelli

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Pro-life speaker tells pro-abortion UN: Each of us ‘began as an embryo’

Kelli

May 17, 2018 (Live Action News) – In April of 2018, Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) representative Stefano Gennarini gave prepared remarks at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development. But it was his extemporaneous remarks given just moments before that spoke directly to the fact that the United Nations views abortion as a solution for population problems rather than a tragedy:

Before I give my prepared remarks, I just wanted to remark and how chilling and worrying it is to hear colleagues speak about abortion in such a casual way. I'd like to remind everyone that every one of us began our life as an embryo, and throughout this period before birth, we had possessed inherent dignity and worth, as the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes.

In his prepared remarks, Gennarini emphasized that "… the family does not receive the attention it deserves by the international community. It seems the only context in which we can talk about the family and human rights is in the context of family planning and preventing births."

He also noted that "the universal declaration of human rights… affirms that the family is entitled… entitled… to protection by society and the state," adding that the breakdown of the family unit is also devastating to society in terms of things like human trafficking. "When a family breaks up," he said, "it also deprives persons of their first line of defense against exploitation and abuse."

Gennarini added that the UN is "often forgetful of already existing benchmarks for protection of the family, agreed internationally" regarding things such as "realizing the right of children to know and be cared for by their mother and father."

The United Nations seems to align itself against countries espousing pro-life ideals, even labeling pro-life Ireland, which has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, "cruel" for banning abortion except to save the life of the mother. However, as former abortionist Anthony Levatino explains, abortion is actually never medically necessary. The UN had, at the time, called for Ireland "to immediately make an exception to abort children with fatal defects." The United Nations has been vocal about its philosophy that those with disabilities are somehow less worthy of life than others.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, speaks at the National March for Life on May 12, 2016. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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African leader: UK’s debate on abortion shows it has become a ‘lead neocolonial master’

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

May 17, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, has written an open letter to MPs ahead of a Westminster Hall debate tomorrow on "Access to reproductive rights around the world".

In the letter, sent by SPUC, Ms Ekeocha, author of Target Africa, takes issue with the premise of the debate being sponsored by Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, saying it confirms the reality that the UK has become a "lead neocolonial master."

Reproductive rights?

In the letter, Ms Ekeocha explains that although her country, Nigeria, is now independent of British colonial rule, "in recent years, we are noticing the footprints of the United Kingdom all over Africa as they have become one of the most enthusiastic western proponents of so-called 'reproductive rights', a concept that is seen and understood all across Africa as abortion, contraception, sterilisation and graphic (age-inappropriate) sexuality education."

Funding illegal abortion

She points out that about 80 per cent of the African countries have continued to resist and reject the notion that abortion should be legal, and that it is "an idea that is incompatible with our culture which teaches us that every human being carries bloodlines of clans and families that are never to be forgotten and that our lives begin right from our mothers’ womb."

We find "organizations like Marie Stopes International, International Planned Parenthood Federation and IPAS...running expensive lobbying campaigns at our parliaments to legalize abortion even against the will of the people," she continues. "And when we investigate, we find out that some of these organizations are performing illegal abortions in African countries where abortion is not legal."

Ideological neocolonialism

Ms Ekeocha also slams the pushing of contraception by western donors, and of sex education in schools that "that does not respect African cultural values and sexual mores."

"Make no mistake, Africa’s western donors have begun a new kind of colonialism - an ideological neocolonialism," she says. "And the UK has emerged as the lead neocolonial master."

Unborn babies are 'onyinyechi' – a precious gift from God

Ms Ekeocha concludes with a plea to the MPs taking part in the debate. "Please do not discuss us like we are fallow lands ready to be claimed and cultivated with pre-conceived ideas and ideologies. Please do not treat us like we are cultural vacuums to be filled with your vision of the world.

"The truth is that this debate will in fact be pushing for the UK to continue or even increase their ideological choke-hold on African countries that are slow or resistant to what the western countries are pushing as 'reproductive rights'.

"My plea to you today, as an African woman, is to stop, climb down from the high grounds of the House of Commons, go into African households, villages, small towns and cities and listen to the people that you are discussing, learn their cultures, know their values, and understand why they see the human life of every one of their babies in the womb as 'onyinyechi'- a precious gift from God."

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Witnesses of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, October 13, 1917.
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Priest: Marian solar miracles are God’s warning we have violated natural law

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
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Fr. Clovis speaking at 2018 Rome Life Forum

ROME, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Miracles from Our Lady in the last 100 years that alter the cosmic natural order — such as Fatima's miracle of the sun in 1917 — are a warning that man has gravely violated the "spiritual and moral order," stated a Catholic priest at a talk given today in Rome. 

"Throughout Scripture, the cosmic order of nature and the course of the heavenly bodies are seen as essential for the ongoing welfare of the world’s existence.  When men violate the spiritual and moral order, which ought to regulate the course of their lives, the cosmic order is disturbed," said Father Linus Clovis in a lecture delivered at the 2018 Rome Life Forum at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). 

"That is, God shows — through the disruption of the orderly movements of heavenly bodies — that mankind is being judged. He alters the fixed patterns of the celestial bodies to indicate judgment on those who alter moral patterns, especially through idolatry, which is essential to replace the Creator with a creature.  In the modern world, the new idol is self, where each is a law unto himself," he added.

In his talk, Fr. Clovis explored the apparitions of Our Lady of Revelation at Tre Fontane and the well-known apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. At Tre Fontane, Our Lady converted staunchly anti-Catholic man Bruno Cornacchiola who had once plotted to kill the pope and subsequently worked dozens of unexplainable miracles at that site.

Through cosmic miracles at Tre Fontane and Fatima, Father Clovis argues, Our Lady is warning that not only mankind but many Catholics, even in the highest positions of authority, have abandoned morality and risk eternal punishment for it.

"According to Cornelius a Lapide’s Scripture commentary 'Sun, moon and stars are dimmed when leaders of the Church or world depart from justice and holiness to embrace depravity and wickedness.'  In light of this, the repeated solar phenomenon in a Roman shrine strongly suggests that religious, rather than secular, leaders have departed from justice and holiness.  In fact, Our Lady had told Bruno 'many of my Son’s priests have lost the dignity of the order, no longer live in honesty, in love, no longer catechise souls ... they have no faith and do not believe,” he said.

Clovis described in his talk how Our Lady uses cosmic phenomena to convert the most hardened hearts back to her Son.

LifeSiteNews is pleased to provide Father Clovis' talk in full below.

***

Our Lady of Revelation at Tre Fontane

1. Between May and October, 1917 Our Lady appeared six times to three children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in Fatima, Portugal.  At each visit, She asked the children to pray the Rosary and to make sacrifices for sinners. In the July apparition, she entrusted the children with three secrets and promised to work a miracle in October so that all would believe.  She warned that if people did not stop offending God, He would use Russia to punish the world “by means of war, hunger, and, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father”. She told the children that “to prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart” and promised that, by this single public act, Russia would be converted and peace would be given to the world.

2. True to Her word, Our Lady, appearing to Sister Lucia on June 13, 1929 at Tuy, Spain, announced, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”  The consecration of Russia was not to prevent the establishment of a Communist government, for that had already occurred in 1917 but, rather, to prevent Russia from spreading her errors – godlessness, in particular – throughout the world.

3. In October, Our Lady worked the promised miracle, which was witnessed by over 70,000 people, including “some of the most illustrious men of letters, in the arts and the sciences, and almost all were unbelievers coming out of curiosity, led by the prediction of the seers. Even the Minister of Education of the Masonic government was there.”

4. The events, meticulously documented from the beginning, include eyewitness testimony of Avelino de Almeida, the Editor in Chief of O Seculo, a liberal, anti-clerical, and Masonic daily in Lisbon, who wrote of “a unique spectacle, [an] unbelievable spectacle for anyone who did not witness it. From the road … one could see the immense multitude turn towards the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It resembles a dull silver disc, and it is possible to look at it without the least discomfort.” Dr. Garrett, a professor of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Coimbra, however, testified, “I …saw it [the sun] as a disc with a clean cut rim, luminous and shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the comparison … of a dull silver disc. It was a clearer, richer, brighter colour, having something of the lustre of a pearl … I felt it to be a living body … It looked like a glazed wheel made of mother of pearl … It was a remarkable fact that one could fix one’s eyes on this brazier of light and heat without any pain in the eyes or blinding of the retina.”

5. De Almeida says concerning this “dance”: “The sun trembled, the sun made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people. It shook and trembled; it seemed like a wheel of fire.”  Dr. Garrett adds, “The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body for it spun round upon itself, it made a whirl.” Also, “It spun like a firewheel, taking on all the colours of the rainbow … It looked like a ball of snow, revolving upon itself.” According to Ti Marto, Jacinta and Francisco’s father, “At a certain moment the sun seemed to stop and then began to move and dance … However, the sun stops, only to begin its strange dance all over again after a brief interruption, whirling upon itself, giving the impression of approaching or receding…. Then suddenly, one heard a clamour, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during these moments was terrible.”

6. The importance of the Fatima message is established by this unprecedented solar miracle foretold three months previously and witnessed by over 70,000 people.

7. Bruno Cornacchiola was born in 1913, four years prior to Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima.  His family was impoverished, his parents lukewarm Catholics, his upbringing brutal, his religious formation poor, and he a non-practising Catholic.

8. In 1936 he married Iolanda Lo Gatto and, a few months later, left to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Falling under the influence of a German Protestant, he conceived such an intense hatred for Catholicism that he vowed to kill the Pope, even buying a dagger especially for this purpose.  When, in 1939, he returned to Rome and to his wife, who remained a practicing Catholic, in addition to physically abusing her, he debarred her from bringing the children to church and from keeping religious objects in the house. He subsequently joined the Adventist church and badgered Iolanda to join him.  She agreed on condition, that he first make the Nine First Fridays devotion and that, if afterwards, he was still determined to become a Protestant, she would join him. Iolanda trusted that God would somehow convert her husband but, at the end of the nine months, he joined the Adventists and she reluctantly followed suit.

9. Some thirty years after Our Lady’s apparitions to three children at Fatima, on Easter Saturday, April 12, 1947, the 34-year-old Bruno went with his three children – Isola, aged 10, Carlo, 7 and Gianfranco, 4, – to a eucalyptus park, at Tre Fontane, near the shrine of St. Paul’s martyrdom. There, in a park, known for immorality, where the remains of an aborted child were found, Bruno pored over his Bible while his children played in the shade of the eucalyptus trees.  He was preparing a rant against Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven for delivery the next day. When the children lost their ball, they interrupted him and, putting aside his Bible and his notes, he joined in the search for the ball. It was at the entrance to a dark cave, however, that Bruno found his youngest child, Gianfranco, kneeling, hands folded in prayer, his eyes fixed on a certain point of the cave and, as if addressing a living person, repeating "Beautiful lady! Beautiful lady!"  Bruno became dumbfounded when Isola and Carlo fell to their knees, transfixed, also repeating "Beautiful lady!"

10. Suddenly and momentarily blinded by an intense light, Bruno, regaining his sight, saw a woman of indescribable celestial beauty. Her head was suffused by a halo of brilliant golden light. She was wearing a radiant white dress gathered together by a rose-colored sash with a striking green mantle. At her bare feet lay a smashed crucifix on a black cloth. Her face, though at times clouded by sadness, carried an expression of motherly kindness. In her right hand she held a small gray book, resting on her breast. Her hands were crossed over her chest but she unfolded them, pointed to the broken crucifix, and rejoined them.

11. The Lady identified herself, firstly as "I am the one that is of the Divine Trinity", that is, the daughter of the Eternal Father, spouse of the Holy Spirit and mother of the Divine Son.  And secondly "I am the Virgin of Revelation," which related to Bruno's study of the Apocalypse. Then, addressing Bruno she said, "You persecute me - stop it now! Enter into the true fold, God's Kingdom on earth. The Nine First Fridays of the Sacred Heart have saved you."  After revealing to Bruno the sad condition of his soul, he immediately understood that the only means of salvation was through the Catholic Church. The Virgin then said, "Pray much and recite the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, of unbelievers and of all Christians" before promising that "In this place of sin I shall perform wonderful miracles for the conversion of unbelievers."

12. The dirt from the park, known for immorality, has proven miraculous, as Our Lady promised. Like the miraculous waters at Lourdes, it continues to work wonders for the welfare of both body and soul. It is indisputable that the many bodily cures and conversions occurring at the park are through the intercession of the Virgin of Revelation.

13. As news of the apparition spread, however, Bruno’s friends and associates thought him crazy, an attention seeker, or an exploiter of a spiritual experience.  This caused him much suffering. After police questioning and, along with his children, psychiatric examinations, the apparition was quickly approved since Pope Pius XII had foreknowledge of Our Lady’s visit.

14. On 12 April 1937, ten years before the apparition to Bruno Cornacchiola, Luigina Sinapi had arranged a pilgrimage to the Abbey at Tre Fontane for her parish group.  Whilst walking through the eucalyptus woods, she found the remains of an aborted child, which she reverently buried. Quite unexpectedly, the Virgin appeared to her and said, “I will return to this place because I need the assistance of a man who persecutes the Church and wants to kill the Pope.  Go to St. Peter’s and you will meet a lady dressed in black, who will take you to her brother who is a Cardinal. You will transmit what I have just told you to him and, in addition, tell him that he will soon become the new Pope”. Luigina went to St. Peter’s Basilica and met the woman, Elisabeth Pacelli, exactly as Our Lady had foretold.  Elisabeth introduced Luigina to her brother, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, and delivered the Virgin’s message. He listened with a certain detachment and then responded, “if there are roses, they will bloom”. Within two years, on 2 March 1939, Cardinal Pacelli ascended the papal throne as Pope Pius XII. Bruno would meet Pius XII on December 9, 1949.  At that meeting, Bruno presented the dagger on which he had written "Death to the Pope" and, with which he had planned to kill him.

15. On April 12, 1980, the 33rd anniversary of Our Lady’s visit, 3,000 people, including some 25 priests, gathered at Tre Fontane for Mass and to hear Bruno’s recount of the first apparition.  Suddenly, strange images appeared in the sky above the Grotto, which interrupted the Mass. According to the Franciscan Friars’ report, “The sun seemed to move through the sky towards the Grotto and began to approach the earth. It could be seen with absolute ease, as a ball of fire rotating wildly, without hurting the eyes. Seemingly larger than normal, there appeared within its corona brilliant and diverse colours but mainly red, pink and black.”

16. It was also described as incandescent magma, moving rapidly as if boiling, and forming diverse figurations, which eyewitnesses identified as: a cross; an "M"; a heart surrounded with stars, or dripping with blood; Christ’s monogram "IHS"; hands joined in prayer; the Virgin of Revelation; etc. Some also saw the solar crown divide into three circles of various colours and reconnect.  Others noted that despite the obstruction of numerous trees, the sun bounced in clear sight with warm vivid light, almost like fire and illuminated the chapel, the trees, and the faces and the clothing of the people. The phenomenon lasted about thirty minutes and the Mass resumed with a visibly emotional congregation. Many lapsed Catholics subsequently returned to the Faith and, after extensive research, a medical centre confirmed that some cures were miraculous and beyond any medical or scientific explanation.

17. On the anniversary date, April 12, the solar phenomenon reoccurred in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989 with people looking directly at the sun without damaging their eyes. An interesting difference between the solar miracles of 1980 and 1982 is that the testimonies of the former were given by laypeople, whereas the clergy testified to the latter.  Incidentally, Our Lady had a fourfold message for priests: they were to have a deeper conviction for the revealed truths of the Faith, greater obedience to the Teaching Authority of the Church, a vigilant prudence in interacting with laypeople, and a pure and dignified lifestyle. The 1986 phenomenon was filmed and broadcast over Italian television. The repeated solar miracles on the anniversary date authenticate Our Lady’s message to Bruno as the October 1917 “dance of the sun” was a heavenly confirmation of the Fatima message. In fact, Bruno recorded in his diary on June 1948 that “the Virgin made me understand the message of Fatima continues at Tre Fontane.”

18. The Tre Fontane apparition, as with other Marian apparitions, is highly symbolic and more so due to its repetition in the 1980s.  The three colours red, pink and black, are imbued with scriptural and liturgical symbolism. Red is a sign of God’s love and also symbolises the shedding of blood; hence, liturgically it is used at Pentecost, at votive Masses of the Lord’s Passion and of the Holy Spirit and for martyrs.  Pink, or rose, is the colour signifying joy and, being used on Gaudete Sunday, reminds us to prepare for the Lord’s imminent arrival. Black symbolises mourning, death, and judgment and is the colour for All Souls’ Day and for Requiems. Scripturally, black is associated with the threatening presence of God, with the divine judgement on sin and evil, and with the Day of the Lord, which the prophet Joel (2:2) described as “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness”.

19. The appearance of various configurations, such as the IHS, the Cross, the hearts, the M, etc symbolise the importance of the corresponding devotions as well as a warning against ignoring, or worse, despising them, especially as Our Lady told Bruno “Do not forget the Rosary, which cooperates much with your salvation.  The Hail Marys said with love are golden arrows to reach the Heart of Jesus”. Her appearance within the solar crown reveals her as the Virgin of Revelation who gives warning of the spiritual dangers we currently face.

20. The sun illuminating the people’s faces and clothing recalls the same phenomenon at Fatima and, as Our Lady explained to St Catherine Laboure at Rue du Bac, a symbol of the graces and virtues obtained through Her intercession.  Conversely, that the people were not reflecting that light with lives of faith and charity is symbolised by their being able to look at the sun with ease. According to Cornelius a Lapide’s Scripture commentary, “Sun, moon and stars are dimmed when leaders of the Church or world depart from justice and holiness to embrace depravity and wickedness.”  In light of this, the repeated solar phenomenon in a Roman shrine strongly suggests that religious, rather than secular, leaders have departed from justice and holiness. In fact, Our Lady had told Bruno “many of my Son’s priests have lost the dignity of the order, no longer live in honesty, in love, no longer catechise souls ... they have no faith and do not believe.”

21. In regard to the people, the dimming of the heavenly bodies in the Old Testament signified that the people, having violated their covenant relationship with God, are being judged.  Where the dimming occurs indicated the precise covenant obligation that was collectively violated. Prostitutes used the cave at Tre Fontane until the first apparition and this was alluded to by Our Lady when she said she would work miracles with the sinful soil.  Tre Fontane symbolises sins against the marriage covenant: prostitution, contraception, adultery, perversions, and abortion. Further, since Bruno was composing his rant against the Virgin there, it also symbolises heresy and blasphemy. By the 1980s, when the solar miracle recommenced, these sins were widespread throughout much of the Church and the world.  St. Vincent Ferrer would regard the repetition of the miracle as a warning “Heaven puts a warning in the sky when a great and heavy affliction is about to come upon the world so people may either avert the punishment through their prayers and penances or may prepare themselves to suffer affliction.”

22. Throughout Scripture, the cosmic order of nature and the course of the heavenly bodies are seen as essential for the ongoing welfare of the world’s existence.  When men violate the spiritual and moral order, which ought to regulate the course of their lives, the cosmic order is disturbed. That is, God shows, through the disruption of the orderly movements of heavenly bodies, that mankind is being judged.  He alters the fixed patterns of the celestial bodies to indicate judgment on those who alter moral patterns, especially through idolatry, which is essential to replace the Creator with a creature. In the modern world, the new idol is self, where each is a law unto himself.

23. Whilst the celestial sign caused wonder, Tre Fontane’s greater miracle was Bruno Cornacchiola himself.  This man, a Communist, a spy, a vociferous enemy of the church, a blaspheming heretic, an adulterer and wife-beater, a potential papal assassin, who deliberately and wholeheartedly subscribed to the errors of Russia and lived a vicious lifestyle, was saved through the Nine First Fridays devotion.  That Our Lady can convert someone from the depths of sin and depravity to the heights of Catholic fervour and charity, and in an instant, is a sign and a promise of what she could and would do with a whole nation of people dominated by those same errors and vicious lifestyle, if only mankind and the Pope would heed Her request.  It was a sign that, even at the height of the Cold War, Russia could have become a fervent and flame-bearing Catholic nation ready to spread the Gospel throughout the world, had the Church hierarchy obediently complied with Heaven’s request as did Bruno to his wife’s request.

24. Whilst Fatima and Tre Fontane are classified as private revelation, the solar miracles are public historical events serving as light for the current perilous times.  A Jewish commentary on the story of Noah states “the generation of the Flood was not wiped out until they wrote marriage documents for the union of a man with a man or to an animal.”  Our Lord compared the days of the Son of man with Noah’s days and Bruno was told” You have the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. They did not repent, or do penance, or pray and you know what justice was done to them.”

25. Today, few know the Truth; many have their own truth.  With priests and bishops not only opposing God’s moral law and blatantly denying divine justice, but also, ignoring Fatima with its easily verifiable historical events, backed up by great crowds of eyewitnesses, Our Lady found it necessary to come to Rome that we might believe, repent, consecrate ourselves and, living the Gospel message today, fulfil the salvific designs of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

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Ted Flynn

Opinion

As the world becomes more depraved, Christians must double down

Ted Flynn

May 17, 2018 (Signs and Wonders for Our Times) – At the end of April, America and the world watched and listened to another nail in the moral coffin of divided America. In what is supposed to be a night of light jabbing over political differences, The White House Correspondents Dinner showed the world just how fast the USA is sinking spiritually. The signs of that demise are now visible for the entire world to see yet again. In the age of all forms of social media, the league of nations heard it all. The nineteen-minute routine of what was called "comedy," will be heard by multiple hundreds of millions of friends and enemies on the world stage to have an informed opinion on who we are as a people. The night after the event, a personal friend told me he had dinner with a Japanese delegation that was in town.   He said they were in shock that this could even take place at all.

Over 3,000 of the most powerful, annually fight for a spot at a table to be seen in black tie and gown sipping drinks with the rich and powerful. And through it all, the foul fetid noisome profanity laced monologue received laughs from the crowd.

Each year the chosen illumined souls of Hollywood, the press, and big business that cling to the D.C. revolving door, gather to rub elbows and then head to all the local gin mills to wax philosophical on the happenings of the future of the country – and try to push things in their ideological direction. There they may hopefully find their rightful place at the table of government largesse in the form of multi year contracts and remain swamp masters. Much of the left today is a cabal of death seeking a nihilistic destruction with a godless agenda. It is no longer a logical thought process coming to workable solution for anyone. To not understand this, is not to understand the fight. As Mother Teresa would frequently say in public speeches to the west, "the fruit of abortion is nuclear war."   The gloves are off as the civility is gone between the parties.

For those who have followed the event over the years, it is one of several times a year similar soiree's take place. The Gridiron Club and Alfalfa Club are just two more examples with the attendee list more exclusive. A motto of the clubs is "singe, don't burn." The roots of the alfalfa seed go deep, and that is what the attendee's are after – deep relationships for the promotion of agenda's and careers.

But this year the White House Correspondents Dinner was different for several reasons. To those who have watched the evolution of the event it has become more personal and tasteless each year. No one will argue that it shows the moral depravity that is generally accepted on the world stage. Generations ago it was the wit and wisdom of Will Rogers who was loved by all for expressing the truth in charity. It was light-hearted humor poking fun at the differences of the political parties. Then came people like Bob Hope doing the same in times of war and peace. These men were guests in the White House and well received for humor, and became beloved institutions. But then again, the issues didn't have the profound moral divide for policy implementation we see today. The differences of thinking then is nothing compared to what it is today – not by a long shot.

The evening "entertainment" also showed it is the mainstream press that is perennially running the event. The speakers and entertainers are now from the hard strident virulent Planned Parenthood left. The comedians (an oxymoron) are unable to write a witty joke because they are not gifted enough to write innuendo or the obvious truth, and find the humor in it without tearing flesh. The more vulgar, crass, and obscene, the more a career will go parabolic because somewhere there is an audience that wants it. The next day Michelle Wolf said Washington, D.C is thin skinned and can't take a roast. This is a far cry from the good-hearted popular roasts of Dean Martin still watched today. Shock sells and they know it. Did you ever hear the name Michelle Wolf until Sunday morning?   The odds are today Michelle Wolf's bookings just quintupled at double the fee.

One joke (?) is when Wolf commented, "Mike Pence is very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don't knock it till you try it. And when you try it, really knock it. You know, you've got to get that baby out of there. And yeah, sure, you can groan all you want. I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion, you know, unless it's the one you got from your secret mistress."

The evening also showed how virulent things have become in relationships. People have dug in on what they believe and it is disrupting family unity like never before.   People are now making a conscious choice to avoid or limit contact with those that disagree with their view of the world. This is not insignificant historically because it is a precursor to civil disobedience. Revolutions brew for generations before the steam pot creates a whistle.

After World War 1 and The Treaty of Versailles, the Germans were boxed in with harsh terms for debt repayment, and rebuilding their nation. Recovery was brutally arduous and lengthy. The National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi) quickly sprouted from a small seed of insignificant and illogical thought at the beginning with a mad man paper-hanger by the name of Adolf Hitler. Writing a manual for the restoration to national greatness while in prison, it matured in less than fifteen years into the Third Reich. On January 30, 1933 President Paul von Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany because he had such a strong following.   An entire "educated" nation followed suit and wholeheartedly embraced a godless agenda with gusto because of the vision of a man to take away the pain of suffering from the Great War, and the destitution of the Weimar Republic.

What we are watching today is a real time strategic plan to transform the United States into a godless culture of sin that is promoted legislatively. Everything Hitler did was legal because laws were enacted that allowed him act with the tacit approval of the courts. The voice of the people was overwhelmingly silent as they took the bread of man over God.

Today, you are either "IN or OUT," depending on your view. Christian views are increasingly OUT of what has been recently legislated, as believers are battling a system against their views. No one thirty years ago could have thought this was possible coming from the courts and government.   Christians are now leaving California as they see the trend is one of persecution on the immediate horizon.

A new Rasmussen Poll said that democrats are more concerned about Muslims being mistreated in the U.S. than Christians being slaughtered abroad in Muslim nations. The day after The Correspondents Dinner, Trump met with the president of Nigeria at the White House. One topic of discussion was the widespread horrible persecution and slaughter of Christians in his country. There wasn't a word from the mainstream press about it.

Words have meaning. What is said today has consequences tomorrow. Ideologies good and bad form opinions. What may seem completely absurd and outrageous to one may be acceptable to another. This is why the divide is so great in the church as well as what one thinks about President Trump. Few are neutral anymore. The debate of words is heated before disturbance, and the strong rhetoric of opinion today is a prelude to civil war. The tolerance level for one another with a different view is shrinking by the day.

The Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of truth, love, justice, and light. If one is not trying to conform their views to the light, it is in conflict with the Holy Spirit because God alone is light. Abraham Lincoln would often quote a passage from Scripture during the Civil War that said, "and everyman did that what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). As people turn away from God, a humanist agenda seeks to dig in further. Jesus said, "My ways are not your ways," because that is the battle of the ages. Each year the sacraments are absent from a life, one is given over to a depraved mind. Light is not penetrating the soul, and therefore, one will not achieve the Will of God.

We now know the progressive socialist agenda, because it is in the open for all to see. Being able to see the whites of their eyes enables one to know the agenda of the enemy that is no longer shielded behind the false view that we have anything in common any longer. This is positive because the left can no longer hide through intentionally vague and ambiguous language. They can no longer cry peace when what they really want is a moral war ending a Christian view for anyone. The war is now in the open, and we need to plead to God to restore America through supernatural events to the ideals it was founded upon. We were not made to live this way. As Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Published with permission from Signs and Wonders for Our Times.

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Cheryl Sullenger

Opinion

This California abortion facility is the epitome of industry barbarism

Cheryl Sullenger
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May 17, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – The FPA Women's Heath abortion business in Bakersfield, California, has had its share of problems over the years, but now it is about to get worse.

Deteriorating patient safety is already an urgent concern at this abortion business. What started out in 2012 as one or two calls per year for emergency medical transport from FPA, has grown to seven documented incidents last year alone.

Contributing to the increased risks are the abortionists hired the FPA Women's Health abortion chain.

For example, there was the "Playboy Abortionist" Alexander Simopoulos, a Beverly Hills based cosmetic surgeon specializing in female genital cosmetic surgery for celebrities. He once appeared in a television episode of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker, where he confessed that most of his relationships with women are based on sex. (Women considering any treatment by him should stop and think about that.) He quit the Bakersfield FPA after several botched abortions caused his side job at the abortion clinic to become public.

Then there was Donald Clyde Willis, who presided over the seven emergencies at this facility in 2017, and another one earlier this year. Willis has known mental health issues and once tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide by shooting himself in the forehead. His personal problems were reflected in his sloppy work. Local pro-life leader Tim Palmquist believes Willis has permanently moved on since a tow truck recently hauled away his private vehicle that had been abandoned at the abortion facility for weeks.

Introducing Gorli Harish

Now, the Bakersfield FPA Women's Health facility has hired abortionist Gorli Harish, an aging abortionist who worked for years in West Virginia, wreaking havoc on women and killing babies at his Kanawha Surgi-Center in Charleston, which shut down last year.

Harish's West Virginia medical license profile shows him as a 1971 graduate of Mysore Medical School, located in Southern India. It also shows three disciplinary actions taken against Harish from 1993 to 2016, in addition to at least 13 medical malpractice suits, 12 of which he settled for unstated monetary amounts.

In 1993, Harish was ordered by the West Virginia Board of Medicine to undergo a "mini residency," learn how to keep proper medical records, and submit to peer reviews after three women filed malpractice suits against him.

In 1996, Harish surrendered his medical license and checked into an alcohol rehabilitation facility. Five months later, the West Virginia Board of Medicine reinstated his license, placed him on probation for two years, and implemented other restrictions, including meeting with an addiction recovery monitor and attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

In 2016, Harish was fined $4,975 for lying about having completed his Continuing Medical Education requirements. Instead of completing the required 50 hours, he had actually only done 1 hour and fifteen minutes.

According to Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, things are likely to go from bad to worse with Harish presiding over the operating rooms at this high-volume clinic that is already known as one of the worst in the nation.

"The fact that FPA can only hire the incompetent, perverted, mentally compromised, or addicted says a lot about the murky cesspool of abortionists they have to draw from," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Hiring Harish with all his problems shows that abortion profits are more important to the abortion business than women's lives. Women of Bakersfield, beware!"

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.

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Britain’s Nazi-style euthanasia said to be in the patients’ ‘best interest.’ Shutterstock.com
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

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Alfie Evans not alone: Hundreds of patients starved to death in UK every year

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) tells the public that euthanasia, or the deliberate killing of patients, is “illegal” in Britain and that the “maximum penalty is life imprisonment.”

However, the NHS’s handling of the Alfie Evans case has provided another reminder to the world that the country’s prohibition of euthanasia has become little more than a dead letter.

It has been a well-documented fact for years that hundreds of patients die every year of starvation and thirst in NHS hospitals, a phenomenon that is facilitated by ambiguous end-of-life treatment guidelines that allow doctors and nurses to arbitrarily classify a person as “dying” and to withhold nutrition, hydration, and other basic forms of life support with no danger of punishment.

The practice of starving and dehydrating patients who have been written off as “dying” has made the NHS’s “palliative care” policy into nothing less than a euthanasia program, in which the diagnosis of a “fatal” condition becomes self-fulfilling.  The result is a system for eliminating patients for whom death is said to be “in their best interests,” using reasoning and methods chillingly reminiscent of Third Reich hospitals in the 1940s.

Alfie Evans’ mistreatment by Alder Hey Hospital is an example of a systematic approach to end-of-life treatment that is widespread in the NHS and which was reportedly originated at Alder Hey itself. Originally called the “Liverpool Care Pathway,” and nicknamed “the road to death,” it now functions under the rubric of “palliative care” for the dying, when in reality it facilitates the murder of patients by one of the cruelest methods possible: starvation and thirst. The "Liverpool Pathway for the Dying Child” was issued by the Royal Liverpool Children’s NHS Trust together with the participation of Alder Hey.

Although it is unclear what ultimately provoked Alfie Evans’ death, what seems uncontested is that the Alder Hey made a decision not merely to cease extraordinary treatments for the child, but to cut off his ventilator abruptly, a medically irresponsible act that can easily provoke a patient’s death. Treatments that could have enabled Alfie to breathe on his own were withheld, such as a tracheostomy. Furthermore, the palliative care “treatment” plan included the administration of drugs such as Fentanyl that would tend to suppress the child’s breathing.

When Alfie managed to breathe on his own despite the abrupt withdrawal of the ventilator and lack of tracheostomy, Alder Hey hospital refused requests to give him supplemental oxygen until Alfie’s attorney reportedly managed to outwit security to bring an oxygen mask to the boy – and then the hospital repeatedly sought to remove it.  

In the meantime, Alder Hey was literally starving Alfie, denying him nutrition for almost 28 hours until hospital staff finally relented and agreed to feed him, although the nutrition he received was reportedly minimal.

Finally, after Alfie had survived for four days deprived of ventilation and without a tracheostomy, a nurse reportedly administered four injections of unknown drugs to the child late at night, and within two hours he was dead. Now he has been buried without a coroner’s investigation or toxicology report after a request for such was denied by UK courts.

The fullest account of Alder Hey’s shameful treatment of Alfie Evans was published in Italian and English by the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, in an article entitled, “How Alfie Died: All the Facts.” The account has never been contested by Alfie Evans’ parents nor the National Health Service.

Tens of thousands starved and dehydrated to death since 2000

Alfie Evans’ shocking mistreatment might appear to the casual reader to be nothing more than a strange and disturbing exception to the National Health Service’s repudiation of euthanasia, but it isn’t. The terrible truth is that repeated and very credible reports based on the government’s own death certificates for NHS patients have shown that literally tens of thousands of patients have died of starvation and thirst in UK hospitals since 2000. Even worse, the NHS’s own policies expressly support the practice of withholding nutrition and hydration from patients written off as “dying.”

In January of 2017, Britain’s Sun newspaper reported the latest data fully available to the public on starvation and dehydration in the country’s public hospitals, based on a study of the death certificates of all of those who died in NHS hospitals and care homes in 2015. Shockingly, according to the NHS’s own records, dehydration contributed to the deaths of 505 patients that year, and in 351 cases starvation was a contributing factor. In a total of 113 cases, dehydration or starvation was the main cause of death. Partial statistics published in 2018 regarding 2016 deaths indicate that a similar number of people died from the same causes that year as well.

The UK government’s British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responded to the 2015 figures with an article that sought to minimize the gravity of the situation, quoting doctors who claimed that some cases were due to stomach cancer, a questionable claim given that stomach cancer victims can easily be fed intravenously or by a feeding tube. Even Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has denied that the NHS is in a “humanitarian crisis,” a phrase used by the British Red Cross to describe the massive failures in care brought on by the NHS’s grave level of understaffing and insufficient budget.

How could Britain’s prime minister get away with denying that a health care system that allows hundreds of people to be dehydrated or starved to death every year is in a “humanitarian crisis”? Perhaps it’s because the British public has become desensitized to the problem. As incredible as it may seem, starvation and dehydration deaths in the hundreds each year have been reported on a regular basis since at least the year 2000, when 862 patients were killed principally or in part by starvation or dehydration in NHS hospitals and care centers. By 2010, the horrific figure had climbed even higher, to 1,316 patients annually.

Although many of the deaths are due to systematic omissions of care on the part of an understaffed NHS, critics have also observed that the health system’s own guidelines, in place for decades, have encouraged medical staff to place people into the category of the “dying,” which then permits caretakers to withhold hydration and nutrition if they deem it in the “best interests” of the patient, and to give them heavy doses of pain medication that can contribute to their deaths.

Britain’s original “road to death”: the infamous Liverpool Care Pathway

An earlier version of Britain’s deadly “palliative care” policy, known as the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP), was originated at Alder Hey Hospital. It expressly allowed doctors to determine that a patient was “dying” according to vague and superficial criteria, and then to withhold nutrition and hydration from them if it was deemed to be “in the patient’s best interest.” It also allowed doctors to give nurses large amounts of extra pain medication and to allow them to vary the dose in ways that critics said caused or hastened death.

Even worse, hospitals were given financial incentives to place people on the LCP, which made the diagnosis of “terminal” a self-fulfilling death sentence. One doctor, Professor Patrick Pullicino, told the British media that he had personally saved the lives of patients placed on the LCP by insisting on their removal.  

The result, according to doctors and families of patients whose stories were reported in the British media, was patients begging for water being refused by medical personnel, and even desperately sucking on sponges as they died of thirst. The LCP became known as “the road to death.”

One hospice pediatric nurse, Bernadette Lloyd, was horrified to witness children being starved and dehydrated to death as they were ravaged by cancer and other diseases in NHS facilities.

“The parents feel coerced, at a very traumatic time, into agreeing that this is correct for their child whom they are told by doctors has only has a few days to live. It is very difficult to predict death,” she told Britain’s Daily Mail in 2012. “I have seen a ‘reasonable’ number of children recover after being taken off the pathway.”

“I have also seen children die in terrible thirst because fluids are withdrawn from them until they die,” said Lloyd. “I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonizing for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.”

An elderly woman, 90-year-old Kathleen Vine, was admitted to an NHS hospital with a dislocated shoulder, and then developed pneumonia. It was then that hospital staff decided to place her on the LCP. They placed a sign above her bed that said “nil by mouth” and refused to feed her or give her water despite her desperate requests.

“All I remember is they weren't feeding me. Up above my bed they put 'nil by mouth' and I was begging for food,” she told the BBC in 2013. Doctors and nurses ignored her requests.

When Vine’s grandchildren asked for an explanation, medical staff insisted she was dying, but could give no explanation for the claim. They also said their hands were tied and they weren’t permitted to feed her. After her family continued to insist on an explanation, they relented and began to feed Vine and give her water. She survived.

“I was being left to die. If it hadn't have been for my family I would be dead now. I would just have been another statistic on the books,” Vine said. She added that she felt sorry for other elderly patients on the ward who had no family to defend them against the LCP.

New guidelines continue to facilitate euthanasia by starvation

During the period of the Liverpool Care Pathway, annual deaths attributed to starvation and dehydration rose 50% to their incredible 2010 peak, leading to a massive outcry against the policy, which was finally withdrawn in 2014. A new set of guidelines were established December of 2015, which decreed that patients would no longer be placed on a standardized death plan, and instead would be given individualized care plans. However, critics decried the guidelines as a mere “rebranding” of the LCP, warning that patients would continue to be vulnerable to mistreatment.

The new December 2015 guidelines enacted by the NHS, “Care of dying adults in the last days of life,” allow medical personnel to use an “individualised approach” when “considering clinically assisted hydration for a dying person,” which should take into account things like “their level of consciousness,” “their level of thirst,” and “whether even temporary recovery is possible.”

The implication seems clear: the unconscious patient, or the patient who is unable to indicate his thirst, or the patient written off as incapable of temporarily recovering, can be refused hydration by medical staff.

In addition, the guidelines dictate that patients should be told that “it is uncertain if not giving clinically assisted hydration will hasten death.”

In more detailed protocols established to implement the guidelines, there appears a repetition of the claim from the Liverpool Care Pathway that withholding hydration might be in the “best interests” of the patient: “If a child or young person is given enteral or intravenous fluids, review this decision regularly to make sure it continues to be in their best interests.”

However, even more alarming is the fact that the current guidelines for adults do not mention nutrition for dying patients at all. No guidelines are provided for ensuring that dying patients such as Alfie Evans will be fed in any way. Withholding nutrition from patients such as Alfie for almost 28 hours was completely within the new guidelines.

Other life support measures are also left unmentioned in the new guidelines, apparently leaving the withdrawal of basic life support, such as a ventilator, as well as other treatments, to the discretion of doctors.

Doctors are able to diagnose the person as “dying” based on vague criteria, such as “increasing fatigue and loss of appetite,” or “changes in communication, deteriorating mobility or performance status, or social withdrawal,” all of which can be associated with normal disease symptoms and even with clinical depression.

The NHS “End of life care for infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions” guidelines, published in 2016, also speak of the possibility that hydrating the “dying” patient may not be “in their best interests.” The same possibility is mentioned for nutrition.

Professor Patrick Pullicino, a Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Kent who was one of the first to publicly sound the alarm about the devastating effects of the Liverpool Care Pathway, wrote an article in 2015 for Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper warning that the same deadly practices were still occurring under new names, and that the new guidelines then being proposed constituted a “disaster of misinformation, distortion and ambiguity” that would continue to result in the deaths of NHS patients.

“Dehydration was a central mechanism of the deaths on the LCP. Despite the removal of the LCP, I still frequently witness severely dehydrated elderly patients on hospital wards,” wrote Pullicino. “Unless it becomes standard, and monitored by the Care Quality Commission, that hospitals are obliged to give nutrition and hydration adequate for patients’ physiological needs at all times and regardless of prognosis, end-of-life care is going to remain lethal,” he added.

Pullicino also disputed the new guidelines’ claim that “it is uncertain if not giving clinically assisted hydration will hasten death.”

The claim is “completely untrue,” he told the Catholic Herald. “Not giving hydration is certain to kill someone if they can’t take hydration by mouth.”

The Catholic Medical Association, which includes over 500 UK doctors, concurred with Pullicino’s judgment, as did Britain’s Medical Ethics Alliance, a coalition of medical groups that upholds Hippocratic medicine, according to the Catholic Herald.

“We simply do not accept the view that the dying do not experience thirst. Nor do we accept that mouth hygiene relieves thirst,” wrote the chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance in a letter to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which authored the guidelines for the NHS.

“The draft guidelines say nothing about nutrition. Why is this? We have learnt of deaths that are caused by both dehydration and patients who have been starved over weeks,” he added.

If the Alfie Evans case is any indication, the deliberate starvation of patients and withholding of very basic forms of care appear to continue to be a standard practice in NHS hospitals. The fact that Alder Hey Hospital was able to withdraw nutrition from Alfie Evans for almost 28 hours, even while the child’s case was being followed intensely in the media, is a chilling indication of how deeply rooted the starvation of the sick and dying is in the practices of the NHS.

British judge in Alfie case chafes at comparison to Nazi euthanasia practices

During the judicial proceedings that led to the withdrawal of Alfie Evans’ life support, a German doctor and professor of medicine drew the ire of British judge Anthony Paul Hayden, when he pointed out the danger of imitating Nazi euthanasia practices in the Evans case. However, the doctor’s concerns appear to have been well-placed.

Professor Nikolaus Haas, Medical Director of the Department of Paediatric Cardiology and Intensive Care of the University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians university (LMU) Munich, told Judge Hayden that Alfie’s illness was almost certainly terminal, but noted, “Withdrawing of treatment will immediately lead to his death and this can certainly not be in his interest. It is clear that in his best interest there should be a possibility for Alfie to live the possibly short rest of his life in dignity together with his family if this is the wish of his parents at home, which I believe is the best for him, outside a hospital or in a hospice or other form of caring institution.”

Haas then added, “Because of our history in Germany, we've learned that there are some things you just don't do with severely handicapped children. A society must be prepared to look after these severely handicapped children and not decide that life support has to be withdrawn against the will of the parents if there is uncertainty of the feelings of the child, as in this case”.

Justice Hayden called Haas’ remarks “inflammatory and inappropriate,” and claimed “the views expressed bear no relationship to and do not engage with the facts of this case.”

Haas’ remarks seem to have struck a nerve. The doctor’s statements did indeed bear a relationship to the Alfie Evans case. Alfie was being condemned to die by the brutal sudden removal of ventilation to which his body has become accustomed, as well as the withholding of nutrition, and the chemical suppression of his breathing, all of which are perfectly within the regulations of the NHS for patients diagnosed as “dying.” Moreover, he was justifying the measure on the grounds that it was in the “best interests” of Alfie.

German hospitals in the early to mid 1940s had a similar policy for those with serious handicaps and degenerative diseases, and the main target was children.

The Nazi euthanasia policy was initiated in 1939 with the now-infamous “T4” program, which executed handicapped children in gas chambers. However, following protests by parents, the program was replaced by a general policy of killing the children by starving and overmedicating them, or giving them lethal injections in the hospital and care settings in which they lived. The new approach allowed doctors to disguise the euthanasia of patients much more easily. Children could be be portrayed as “sick” and “dying,” and the fact of their murder was more difficult to prove.

In toto, Nazi euthanasia policies are estimated to have killed 200,000 patients from 1939 to 1945, most of them children, and the majority, approximately 130,000, were killed by overmedication malnutrition, and lethal injection.

Justice Hayden, in defense of his decision to assign Alfie Evans to the NHS’s palliative care “road to death,” quoted a guidance published by Britain’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, called “Making Decisions to Limit Treatment in Life-limiting and Life- threatening Conditions in Children: A Framework for Practice.”

The guide expressly allows “Life Sustaining Treatments” (LST) to be withheld from children if their “quality of life” is deemed insufficient for justifying their continued existence. Among such “life sustaining treatments” are listed “Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration.”

Britain’s government and health practitioners have become so accustomed to this cruel and barbaric form of patient mistreatment that they appear to have become unable to recognize Nazi-esque euthanasia when it is before their very eyes. It seems that at the level of medical ethics, the “Battle of Britain” is currently being won by the long-dead Third Reich.

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