All articles from June 5, 2018


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USCCB pro-life chair defends marriage: cohabitating couples are ‘dishonest’

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By Lisa Bourne

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Couples having sex outside marriage are not being truthful with each other regarding what they intend for the rest of their lives, the incoming pro-life chair for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said.

Cohabitation runs contrary to the marriage covenant, both in terms of commitment and not providing a lasting home for children, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview. And because the marital act conveys enduring fidelity, couples having sexual relations outside marriage are being dishonest.

The archbishop confirmed for LifeSite editor-in-chief and co-founder John-Henry Westen that marriage is in fact still essential today, and how in the eyes of the Church the sacrament is focused in part on being open to God’s gift of life.

With so much debate today over marriage in the Church, Westen asked the archbishop why marriage is necessary and whether living together with fidelity is enough.

Archbishop Naumann answered with a question.

“Why wouldn’t they marry?” he asked. “Why wouldn't they publicly commit themselves to each other and create this covenant?”

“Part of marriage is oriented towards children and where children can be welcomed,” continued Archbishop Naumann. “Where, the cohabiting couple by its nature, it's open-ended — that while they might be faithful at the moment, they're not really in a position to welcome children and give them the kind of optimal circumstances, where these children are going to be raised with their biological parents, who first of all love each other and together love them.”

The Church's teaching on marriage and conjugal love has a lot to with integrity, he said.

“Because what a couple says in the marital act is, I give myself completely to the other physically, and unless you’re willing to say that — and the way we say that it is through the marital vows where we commit to fidelity, but also to permanency and to an openness to life — unless we're willing to say that, then the physical intimacy that is assumed, I guess, with a cohabiting couple is dishonest.”

Marriage remains at the forefront of discussion with Catholics. There are reports of a renewed threat to Humanae Vitae via a looming attempt to “reinterpret” the teaching in Pope Paul VI’s landmark document on human life and contraception, and attempts by various factions to lobby for allowing Catholics living in objectively sinful, non-marital unions to receive Holy Communion.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring (CCC 1601).

Regarding the benefit and obligation of marital relations, the Church says:

"Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter -- appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility” (CCC 1643).

Archbishop Naumann has been a vocal proponent of the Catholic faith in word and deed. He broke ties last year with the Girl Scouts in his diocese over abortion and promotion of gender ideology, and he has fought against pornography in his diocese.

This has also involved the archbishop exercising his pastoral duty of censuring pro-abortion Catholic politicians for their public defiance of Church teaching.  

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Bishop Schneider honored for ‘moral leadership’ in Church’s crisis

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By LSN

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Peter Kwasniewski delivered an address, presented in full below, in honor of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 30 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The bishop was present to receive the award and to give an address of his own. Bishop Schneider is one of the few prelates defending the entirety of the Catholic faith during these troubled times in the Church. He is a polyglot known around the world for his kindness, intelligence, and pastoral manner.

The Winnipeg-based Society of St. Dominic commissioned New York iconographer Mr. Ken Woo to create the inaugural Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii Award (“Queen of the Holy Rosary”) to mark the hundred year anniversary of Our Lady appearing in Fatima. The award was presented to Bishop Schneider for being a “tireless defender of the faith and devotee of Our Lady's Immaculate heart.” 

Dr. Kwasniewski explains the connection between behavior, belief, and action, and thanks Bishop Schneider for articulating that. The “way we treat our Lord in the Sacrament shows what we believe about Him—or indeed whether we believe at all,” Kwasniewski says, and Bishop Schneider has been a constant champion of treating the Eucharist with reverence and respect.

Bishop Schneider has also been at the forefront of defending Catholic moral teaching as some in the Church have advocated for Holy Communion for those living in adultery. Bishop Schneider has been a “rock” for the Church by upholding and professing the Catholic faith, just as St. Peter did.

The Society of St. Dominic is not affiliated with the Order of Preachers.

 

“I Have Kept to Arduous Paths”: An Address in Honor of Bishop Athanasius Schneider

By Peter A. Kwasniewski

I have developed a particular affection for a certain verse of Psalm 16: Propter verba labiorum tuorum ego custodivi vias duras, “On account of the words of Thy lips, I have kept the arduous paths” (Ps 16:4). What are these arduous paths? We learn from Scripture that they are the keeping of God’s commandments and the offering of worthy worship to His divine Majesty. These things, which for unfallen man would have been easy and a source of delight, have become burdensome for fallen human nature. Christ our Lord has come to earth, has given for us His very life and death, to restore some measure of ease and joy to those arduous paths by which we reach our ultimate destiny in the heavenly Jerusalem. “Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me,” He says, “because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29–30). We find this rest most of all in the Sacred Liturgy, where, like the cherubim, we “set aside all earthly cares” and throw ourselves into the infinite mystery of Jesus Christ, who alone can save us.

The Psalms also remind us of the virtue of steadfastness, immovability—what we might call a holy stubbornness. “My persecutors will exult if ever I should be moved” (Ps 12:5). But the faithful man says: “Ever will I keep the Lord before my eyes: for with Him at my right, I shall not be moved” (Ps 15:8). Indeed, he begs the Lord: “Make firm my steps in Thy ways, that my footsteps not be moved” (Ps 16:5). Our enemies, both spiritual and temporal, demonic and democratic, wish to shake us up or thrust us out of the narrow way of truth, but they will not succeed if the Lord Himself, who is an immovable Rock, strengthens our feet, that they not be moved.

Of all the common materials we come into contact with in the world, rock is the most firm, the most solid. It can serve as the foundation for everything else because it is stable and unchangeable. Moreover, rock is found in massive deposits—in vast mountain ranges, canyons, the bottom of the sea, in fact everywhere on earth. The earth seems to be primarily rock. Rocks are also very ancient. They abide, when all else is changing. This is why Scripture speaks of the “everlasting hills” (Gen 49:26, Dt 33:15, etc.) and “Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Ps 125:1 RSV).

According to Scripture, Jesus Christ Himself is the rock of the Church. He is the rock on which the wise man builds his house, so that the rain, floods, and winds cannot sweep it away (cf. Mt 7:24–27). He is the living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and made honorable by God, a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and the one who believes in Him shall not be confounded (cf. 1 Pet 2:4–8). He is the stone rejected by the builders, who has become the cornerstone (cf. Mt 21:42; Eph 2:19–20). He is a stumbling stone and a rock of scandal (cf. Rom 9:33). He is the spiritual rock from which the children of Israel drink their fill (cf. 1 Cor 10:4). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). He is the living, intelligent, divine Rock that, unlike material rock, is truly beyond the clutches of time and change.

In the sixteenth chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel, Our Lord declares that Simon, too, shall be called a rock—the very meaning of the name Peter. St. Peter, as head of the apostles, is to exhibit the same properties as rock, so that he may be the foundation the Church needs, especially whenever storms of heresy, schism, apostasy, tyrannical governments, laxity and lukewarmness, buffet the house. After his great confession of the divinity of Christ, Peter is rewarded with these words: “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee that thou art Rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

But as we know, Peter immediately falls from this lofty height by returning to the comfortable world of secular thought. When Jesus announces His immanent suffering and death, Peter accommodates himself to the mentality of a Jewish zealot: “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Mt 16:22). Here, Peter shows the flesh and blood of which he is made, and what is worse, he attempts to force the eternal Son of God into the mould of this fallible flesh and blood. This is why he earns the Lord’s sharp rebuke: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men” (Mt 16:23). Or, as another translation has it: “thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.”

It is no coincidence that Our Lord said something similar to Satan himself, in chapter 4 of the same Gospel: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Mt 4:1). The word ‘Satan’ means “adversary” or “opposer” or “plotter against,” and the way he opposes the divine plan is to set up a false worship of himself or of those worldly goods that will lead their worshiper to hell. Secular accommodationism, the idea that we are to adapt ourselves to the world and adopt its pattern, is the most subtle form of Satanism (cf. Rom 12:2).

The Fathers of the Church connected the “rock” of Matthew 16 with Christ Himself, and with the virtue of faith that unites us to His truth. In the same vein, St. Thomas Aquinas comments: “But what is this? Are both Christ and Peter the foundation? One should say that Christ is the foundation through Himself, but Peter insofar as he holds the confession of Christ, insofar as he is His vicar.” Peter is a rock by holding and publicly professing the faith of Christ and His Church. This is not a subjective faith to be determined by each generation, or customized by each new pope, but rather the common faith of the Church, in which each of us participates as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. This is the faith that waxes strong in any Christian who has learnt his catechism well and who knows, by a supernatural instinct, what is true and compatible with the truth, and what is heretical or offensive to pious ears. In the “Pledge of fidelity to the authentic teaching of the Church by pro-life and pro-family leaders,” published on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 2017, we find a perfect expression of this faith:

We pledge our full obedience to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the legitimate exercise of its authority. However, nothing will ever persuade us, or compel us, to abandon or contradict any article of the Catholic faith or any truth definitively established. If there is any conflict between the words and acts of any member of the hierarchy, even the pope, and the doctrine that the Church has always taught, we will remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church. If we were to depart from the Catholic faith, we would depart from Jesus Christ, to whom we wish to be united for all eternity.

In exactly the same spirit as this pledge, I wish to express, on behalf of the Society of St. Dominic and of all here present, our profound gratitude to His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider for his patient, tireless, and charitable defense of Catholic faith and morals.

True to his fearless patron St. Athanasius, Bishop Schneider has proved a champion of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the authentic Magisterium of the Church. He has, moreover, given the most important example of all: that of a Christian, a priest, and a successor of the apostles who makes the Sacred Liturgy the font and apex of his life and ministry, and, in a special way, who keeps calling us back to the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, where our God and Lord Jesus Christ is truly, really, substantially present, ready to receive the homage of men and angels, and full of power to sanctify those who approach Him rightly.

Ever since the publication of his little book Dominus Est!, Bishop Schneider has used the weight of his arguments and of his episcopal office to promote the worthy and reverent reception of Holy Communion. For the way we treat our Lord in the Sacrament shows what we believe about Him—or indeed whether we believe at all.

From this centermost point of the Catholic Faith there flows out the necessity of solemn, reverent, beautiful liturgy, an opus Dei that is manifestly from God and for God. Bishop Schneider has repeatedly emphasized the crucial importance of rediscovering and reintegrating into the daily practice of the Faith the great traditional forms of our worship that sustained holy men and women for all the centuries of Christianity. In an address he gave in Paris, Bishop Schneider memorably stated that the liturgical reform and its implementation inflicted “five wounds” on the Mystical Body of Christ: first, “the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass in which the priest celebrates with his face turned towards the faithful, especially during the Eucharistic prayer and the consecration, the highest and most sacred moment of the worship that is God’s due”; second, “communion in the hand”; third, “the new Offertory prayers,” with the abolition of the old Offertory; fourth, “the total disappearance of Latin in the huge majority of Eucharistic celebrations”; fifth, “the exercise of the liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women as well as the exercise of these same services in lay clothing while entering into the sanctuary during Holy Mass directly from the space reserved to the faithful.” These aberrations, together with many others, have stripped the Roman liturgy of its noble beauty and transcendent holiness. The only permanent solution is to undo each and every one of these mistakes, in order to connect again with what is truest, best, and greatest in our heritage.

Beyond questions of fittingness and of internal coherence with Catholic tradition, Bishop Schneider has also courageously engaged with the urgent problem of the collapse of moral theology within the Church. Although Pope John Paul II had endeavored to reverse this collapse, particularly with the encyclical Veritatis Splendor, his successor on the throne of Peter, Pope Francis, has promoted consequentialism and proportionalism by means of the manipulation of the Synods on marriage and the family, the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and the publication of the Buenos Aires guidelines, actions utterly unworthy of the Vicar of that same Christ who taught unequivocally in the Gospels that cohabitation with another partner while one’s spouse is still alive is the grave sin of adultery. In company with other bishops and cardinals who recognize their responsibility before God, Bishop Schneider has refused to allow this error and others like it to stand unchallenged and uncorrected.

If we do not get these things right—if our worship is lacking in due formality, sacredness, and continuity with tradition; if our approach to the greatest of all God’s gifts, the Holy Eucharist, is casual and presumptuous; if our adherence to immutable Catholic doctrine on faith and morals is sacrificed to the idols of pastoral expediency and pseudo-mercy—then we are rebels against Jesus Christ, offenders of His love, enemies of His reign, obstacles to His work, denigrators of His good news. In short, all these things have been a veritable anti-evangelization that, so far from converting the world to Christ, as the Second Vatican Council claimed was its intention, has rather alienated Catholics from Christ and conformed them to a secular world in freefall from natural and divine law.

In this perilous situation, as in the fourth-century Arian crisis that swept over the Church and deceived all too many bishops in the hierarchy, we need our own Athanasius more than ever. Though He allow a time of great tribulation and purification, the Lord will not abandon His Church to her enemies, to the devouring dragon. As we read of the lineage of King David: “The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; for out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (2 Kgs 19:30–31). The remnant that will survive are the Catholics “who take root downward” in tradition and “bear fruit upward” in keeping the commandments; who, starting from the temple in Jerusalem, that is, the Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and from Mount Zion, which is the Sacred Liturgy, then “go forth” to their work in the world, ready to give patient witness to the eternal Law of God, the unchanging Rock which is Christ, and the Beauty ever-ancient, ever-new, that will save the world. As St. John says in the Apocalypse: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12).

Your Excellency, on behalf of the Society of St. Dominic, of all of us here tonight, and of Catholics everywhere who look to you for doctrinal and moral leadership in the crisis of our times, I have the distinct honor and pleasure of presenting to you this Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii award. May our Blessed Mother, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, always intercede for you and obtain for you a superabundance of divine graces.

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Calvin Freiburger

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Facebook asks users for nude pics in rollout of new ‘security’ program

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook has raised eyebrows by asking their users to submit nude photos of themselves, ostensibly to test a new security feature to guard against “revenge porn.”

On May 22, Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis wrote a post on the topic of revenge porn, in which someone publicly shares nude or intimate photos of another person without consent, for the purpose of humiliating him or her. The social media giant already deletes such photos upon request, but Davis said it wanted to be more proactive about the problem.

To that end, she announced Facebook was testing a new tool in which people can choose to preemptively send photos they want to keep from being published to a “secure, one-time upload link.” Then a “specifically trained” member of Facebook’s Community Operations Safety Team will create a digital fingerprint that can be used to automatically block any attempt to upload that picture. The fingerprint, or hash, will enable Facebook to flag the photo without keeping their own copy, which it promises would be deleted within days of submission.

Facebook first announced the proposal in November, and recently began testing it in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

“This is one step to help people who fear an intimate image will be shared without their consent,” Davis concluded. “We look forward to learning from this pilot and further improving our tools for people in devastating situations like these.”

Revenge porn is a pervasive problem, affecting an estimated 10 million American women overall, more than 350 Canadian women per year, and more than a thousand UK women per year. However, some observers fear Facebook’s response could create more problems than it solves.

Most coverage has raised the specter of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which Cambridge whistleblower Christopher Wylie testified that the analytics company was able to acquire the personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users without their consent. That scandal followed former Obama for America media director Carol Davidsen’s admission that Facebook allowed the former president’s campaign to take users’ personal information because the company supported him.

“Facebook: We didn't protect your data and we are sorry. We will do better. Also Facebook: Yo, send us your nudes,” the Net Neutrality advocacy group Fight for the Future sarcastically responded on Twitter.

Chief among objections to the plan is that even if Facebook doesn’t store the photos, the screening requires another human to view them at least once, raising the possibility of abuse. CBC News technology columnist Ramona Pringle writes some have proposed that Facebook instead use facial recognition technology to automatically flag any upload depicting a specific user before it goes live.

In a report last month, Facebook claimed its artificial intelligence was able to automatically detect 96% of nude material before it was reported, raising additional questions about the necessity of humans reviewing images that are not yet on Facebook at all.

Aja Romano of the left-wing website Vox added that Facebook “has a history of failing to protect its users from revenge porn,” citing the company’s 2018 settlement of a 2014 court case in which a teenage girl was blackmailed into providing nude photos that were then published against her will. The family’s attorneys said Facebook failed to prevent repeated sharing of the photos as late as 2016.

Regardless of how tech companies decide to prevent users from publishing revenge porn, choosing not to share intimate photos in the first place remains the most effective way to ensure one will not become a victim of it.

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U.S. archbishop: Using contraception is always ‘evil’

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By Lisa Bourne

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Using contraception is an “intrinsic evil” in all circumstances because it “cuts off one of the goals of marriage which is an openness to life,” Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann told LifeSiteNews. 

Any question on this issue lies on the level of moral culpability for those who do use it, he added.

“Circumstances can affect the culpability, [but] it doesn't affect the rightness or wrongness of the act,” he said. 

Speaking exclusively with LifeSiteNews, the incoming chair for the U.S. Bishops’ pro-life committee said further that following the Church’s teaching on contraception is an attainable goal, and that people simply need good confessors to help them understand that fact.

“Good confessors can help and guide people through this, and, I think, help every individual realize that the moral good the moral law is attainable for all of us.”

LifeSiteNews Editor-in-chief and co-founder John-Henry Westen had asked Archbishop Naumann in the context of this year’s 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae whether it was, in fact, the case — as some bishops suggesting at the time of the document’s release — that Catholic couples may still use contraception if they feel in conscience that they were justified, and if not, whether this would make them ineligible then to receive Holy Communion. 

Archbishop Naumann confirmed the Church’s teaching on contraception as a moral evil, as well as Church teaching that each and every conjugal act must be open to life.  

“I think objectively contraception, and we see this in the Catechism, it is clear about that, that there is an intrinsic evil to use it,” the archbishop said, “because it cuts off one of the goals of marriage, which is an openness to life.” 

With contraception use typically conducted privately, the issue of a couple’s worthiness to receive Communion would be problematic to handle. But Archbishop Naumann said in cases where a person is publicly advocating for actions contrary to Church teaching, it is incumbent on the priest to address the situation with them.

“I think as a pastor we have an obligation to dialogue with an individual in that situation,” said Archbishop Naumann. “We have an obligation to talk to them, help to make sure that they understand what they're doing and why it's wrong and the reason is that it's wrong.”

Archbishop Naumann reiterated the importance of withholding Communion from pro-abortion politicians in an interview last month.

He recalled having had a long dialogue years ago with then-Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius prior to directing her to not receive Communion, saying he had no alternative.

Sebelius had vociferously defended abortion as governor of Kansas, and she was also closely tied to the infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller. She would then go on as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary to be one of the facilitators of the HHS Contraception Mandate. 

Archbishop Naumann was elected Chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities last November. He will be installed this November.

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Ontario election: Pro-life group releases list of supportable candidates

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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s top pro-life organization is urging Ontario voters to put sanctity of life issues before party affiliation in the province’s general election Thursday.

“It must be emphasized that if we don’t vote our conscience, we send a clear message to those that analyze voting results — the parties, political consultants, media etc — that the issues of abortion, euthanasia and the traditional family are not relevant and therefore need not be part of the political landscape,” said Jeff Gunnarson, vice president of Campaign Life Coalition, to LifeSiteNews. 

“Campaign Life, through months of research and discussions with candidates, helps to show its supporters which candidates are pro-life and therefore worthy of support,” he said. 

“What the individual voter does with that information is up to him or her, and our hope is that most pro-lifers will vote for the pro-life candidate,” added Gunnarson.

Pollsters are projecting a Tory win for leader Doug Ford on June 7, even though the NDP and the PC Party are leading neck-and-neck in the final days, reports Global News.

Campaign Life has green-lighted 29 candidates in 27 of Ontario’s 124 current ridings as supportable for their pro-life, pro-family views. 

Thirteen of the green-lighted candidates are running for the PC Party, including two incumbents: Monte McNaughton, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, and Sam Oosterhoff, Niagara West.

Other green-lighted PC Party candidates are: Belinda Karahalios, Cambridge; Denzil Minnan-Wong, Don Valley East; Daryl Kramp, Hastings-Lennox and Addington; Andrew Lawton, London West; Paul Calandra, Markham-Stouffville; Billy Pang, Markham-Unionville; Daisy Wai, Richmond Hill; Christina Mitras, Scarborough Centre; Roshan Nallaratnam, Scarborough Guildwood; David Piccini, Northumberland-Peterborough South; and Brandon Postuma, Thunder Bay-Atikoken.

The lone Liberal green-lighted as pro-life is Ajax incumbent, Joe Dickson.

The remaining 15 pro-life candidates hail from seven different parties — perhaps not unexpected in a province with 28 registered parties, including such entities as the Party of Objective Truth or POT, the Go Vegan Party and the Stop Climate Change party.

Carleton and Oxford ridings have two pro-life candidates, with Ontario Party candidate Jay Tysick and independent Mark Dickson running in the former, and Ontario Party candidate Robert Van Ryswyck and Independent independent David Sikai in the latter.

Stop the New Sex-Ed Party has three candidates Campaign Life green-lights as pro-life: Alex Pacis, Mississauga Center; Theresa Snell, Toronto Centre, and Queenie Yu, Spadina-Fort York.

Also green-lighted are Trillium Party candidate Andy Bruziewicz, Sarnia-Lambton, Multicultural Party candidate Wasyl Luczkiw, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Libertarian candidates Patrick Pietruszko, Niagara Centre, and Charles Zack Oakville North-Burlington.

Ontario Party candidate Joe Charbonnel, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, is greenlighted as supportable, as are independents Jude Coutinho, Scarborough-Agincourt, and Jim Enos, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.

Campaign Life Coalition also green-lighted None of the Above Direct Democracy Party candidate Nicholas Archer, who is running in Brantford Brant.

Also running in Brantford Brant is PC Party candidate Will Bouma, who is among the ten Tory candidates Campaign Life Coalition has rated “educable,” that is, is open to being educated on pro-life and pro-family issues.

Campaign Life rates PC Party leader Doug Ford educable, as well as  PC Party incumbent for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston,  Randy Hillier.

Ford has said he will repeal the Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum and replace it after consulting with parents. 

However, Ford angered social conservatives when he kicked Tanya Granic Allen, leadership contender and PC Party candidate for Mississauga Centre and, out of the party after the Liberals posted 2014 videos of her speaking out against abortion and sex education.

Other PC Party educable candidates are: Greg Rickford, Kenora-Rainy River; Mary Henein, Kitchener Center; Susan Truppe, London North Centre; Kaleed Rasheed, Mississauga East-Cooksville; Adam Pham, Parkdale-High Park; Iris Yu, Spadina-Fort York and Dan Weber, Waterloo.

Trillium Party candidates rated educable are: Louise Ewen, Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Jack MacLaren, Kanata-Carleton.

MacLaren was the sole MPP to vote against the Liberal government’s draconian “bubble zone” law banning pro-life witness outside abortion centers.

Campaign Life Coalition’s ratings are based on the candidate’s public statements, as well as responses to its questionnaire, which includes questions on when life begins, defunding abortion, support for euthanasia, conscience rights, and parents’ rights in the matter of sex education. 

Ontario voters wishing to know where their candidates stand on life and family issues can check the Campaign Life database, here.

Campaign Life’s Gunnarson underscored the importance of voting.

“In the event your riding has two or more popular candidates or parties, your vote may carry significant weight,” he said. 

“Some contests are won by fewer than 100 votes.  So get out and vote and wherever possible, vote pro-life!”

Ontario ridings with CLC “green-lighted” pro-life candidates:

Ajax: Joe Dickson, Liberal

Brantford-Brant: Nicholas Archer, None of the Above Direct Democracy Party

Cambridge: Belinda Karahalios, PC

Carleton: Jay Tysick, Ontario Party 

Carleton: Mark Dickson, independent

Don Valley East: Denzil Minnan-Wong, PC

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell: Joel Charbonneau, Ontario Party

Haldimand-Norfolk: Wasyl Luczkiw, Multicultural Party

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: Jim Enos, Independent

Hastings-Lennox and Addington: Daryl Kramp, PC

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex: Monte McNaughton, PC

London West: Andrew Lawton, PC

Markham-Stouffville: Paul Calandra, PC

Markham-Unionville: Billy Pang, PC

Mississauga Centre: Alex Pacis, Stope the New Sex-Ed Agenda

Niagara Centre: Patrick Pietruszko, Libertarian Party

Niagara West: Sam Oosterhoff, PC

Northumberland-Peterborough South: David Piccini, PC

Oakville North-Burlington: Charles Zack, Libertarian

Oxford: Robert Van Ryswyck, Ontario Party

Oxford: David Sikai, Independent

Richmond Hill: Daisy Wai, PC

Sarnia-Lambton: Andy Bruziewicz, Trillium

Scarborough-Agincourt: Jude Coutinho, Independent

Scarborough Centre: Christina Mitras, PC

Scarborough Guildwood: Roshan Nallaratnam, PC

Spadina-Fort York: Queenie Yu, Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda

Thunder Bay-Atikoken: Brandon Postuma, PC

Toronto Centre: Theresa Snell, Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda

Ontario ridings with CLC-rated “educable” candidates:

Brantford-Brant: Will Bouma, PC

Etobicoke North: Doug Ford, PC

Kanata-Carleton: Jack MacLaren, Trillium

Kenora-Rainy River: Greg Rickford, PC

Kitchener Center: Mary Henein, PC

Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston: Randy Hillier, PC

London North Centre: Susan Truppe,

Mississauga East-Cooksville: Kaleed Rasheed, PC

Parkdale-High Park: Adam Pham, PC

Spadina-Fort York: Iris Yu, PC

Thunder Bay-Superior North: Louise Ewen, Trillium

Waterloo: Dan Weber, PC

Update June 6: Campaign Life Coalition has green-lighted six more candidates in the following five ridings as supportable in tomorrow’s election:

Mississauga-Malton, Caroline Roach, Independent 

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: Janice Kaikkonen, Consensus Ontario; Enos Martin, Ontario Alliance

Dufferin-Caledon: Stephen McKendrick, Consensus Ontario

Huron-Bruce: Gerrie Huenemoerder, Ontario Alliance

Perth-Wellington: Paul McKendrick, Consensus Ontario

If you are not sure where your candidate stands on life and family issues, please check Campaign Life database here.

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Calvin Freiburger

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Viral video destroys pro-abortion argument that birth makes a baby ‘human’ with rights

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

AJAX, Ontario, June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new pro-life video has gone viral for using humor to dismantle the logic of pro-abortion claims that babies do not have human rights until they are born.

On Saturday, the Canadian non-profit Choice42 (Choice for Two) posted a video in which the group’s founder and director, Laura Klassen, dons a pink wig and satirically explains how the “magical birth canal” confers human rights on a baby upon birth.

“Before the baby, or fetus, is born, it is not a human being. Clearly,” she explains. “But as it passes through the birth canal, something amazing happens that transforms it into a person with human rights.”

Klassen holds a large-scale model of a birth canal while someone else offscreen holds up an infant in front of it, moving from one end to the other. “Not a person, not a person, not a person,” she says until the baby passes the canal. “Person! Human rights!” she announces.

“Congratulations, you now have value,” Klassen says next, holding the infant. “Can’t say the same for this one,” she adds, gesturing toward her own pregnant belly. 

“So what exactly happens in the birth canal that causes this magical transformation?” she asks. “No one knows. But popular scientific theories include fairies, aliens, or of course, a mini-Big Bang (I think it’s fairies).” 

The video ends with someone offscreen asking how the baby gets human rights if he or she is delivered via C-section. Klassen looks around confused without answering.

Long-settled biological criteria, which is accepted in many mainstream biology and medical textbooks, establishes that a living human being is created upon fertilization, and is present throughout the entirety of pregnancy. 

Many abortionists and even some pro-abortion activists admit as much, but contend those human beings don’t have human rights while they are still inside their mothers’ bodies. Pro-life philosophers have extensively challenged such philosophical claims.

Klassen announced her pregnancy in November, with another video using the occasion to challenge the popular “my body, my choice” talking point for abortion.

"Though legally it's a woman's choice, she's choosing for two,” she explained. “She's deciding the path her own life will take, but she's also deciding whether or not her pre-born child will even get his/her chance at life."

Choice42 posted their latest video Saturday. As of Tuesday morning, it has been viewed on Facebook more than 323,000 times and shared more than 7,600 times. It has also been viewed over 21,500 times on Youtube. 

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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Petition to keep abortion illegal in Northern Ireland has over 17K signatures

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

June 5, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – As of yesterday, 17,739 people had signed SPUC's petition calling on the Prime Minister not to give any parliamentary support to decriminalising abortion.

Political manoeuvring

The petition is being sent to Theresa May as Stella Creasy MP seeks an emergency debate on abortion in Northern Ireland. Ms Creasy and others are planning to table amendments to an upcoming bill on domestic violence, seeking to repeal the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act (OPA), which originally criminalised abortion. The 1967 Abortion Act made abortion legal under certain grounds in England and Wales, but was not extended to Northern Ireland. Hence, removing the OPA would leave Northern Ireland with no criminal law on abortion, unleashing abortion on demand. 

Ms Creasy is expected to make an application for an emergency debate this evening. If the Speaker of the House grants permission, the debate would be likely to take place tomorrow afternoon. An emergency debate would force a government minister to answer questions on extending abortion to Northern Ireland. The Government has so far insisted that abortion law in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter on which Westminster politicians should not interfere.

Utter contempt for democracy 

In a press statement Sunday, SPUC's Northern Ireland officer Liam Gibson condemned "yet another attempt to bully Northern Ireland on abortion."

"Stella Creasy's call is a calculated manoeuvre to draw MPs, who have no mandate from the people of Northern Ireland, into a debate aimed at imposing abortion on the Province," he said. "It also holds extreme dangers for every part of the UK. This shows the utter contempt of the abortion lobby for the democratic structures and the rule of law."

Leaving women to mercy of the abortion industry

Antonia Tully, who co-ordinated SPUC's petition to the Prime Minister, said: "Decriminalising abortion would effectively make the Abortion Act redundant. This is a dangerous move because if abortion is no longer governed by the law we will develop a backstreet abortion culture.

"Decriminalising abortion would leave every unborn baby and expectant mother in Britain and Northern Ireland with no legal protection against abortion and utterly at the mercy of the unscrupulous abortion industry," she continued. "Our fear is that the most vulnerable women will be most at risk. The abortion advocates would abandon abused, trafficked and desperate women to those who would seek to exploit them. We are saying that these women need care and compassion, not to be forced by violent partners to take online abortion pills."

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

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Jaelene Hinkle explains why she wouldn't wear a jersey promoting the LGBT cause YouTube
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Christian soccer player: I was being ‘obedient’ to God by refusing rainbow LGBT jersey

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By Claire Chretien

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Christian soccer player who bowed out of the U.S. women’s national soccer team last year has confirmed it was because her faith conflicted with wearing a jersey celebrating gay “pride.”

“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn't my job to wear this jersey,” the player, Jaelene Hinkle, said in a new interview with the 700 Club. “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what [God] was asking me to do in this situation.”

Hinkle told the 700 Club that she wrestled with her Christian faith – to which she’d first committed at age 12 – and trying to fit in throughout her soccer career and college. But when she got a blood clot during her junior year at Texas Tech, she faced the possibility of never being able to play soccer again.

“Everything just came crashing down,” she said, and she promised God that if she’d be allowed to play soccer again, it would be for Him.  

The blood clot subsided, and the doctor told her, “you have gotten a miracle,” she recalled. After that, “I wanted to know anything and everything about the Lord.”

Hinkle, who has not been asked to come back to the women’s national team, plays for the North Carolina Courage in the National Women's Soccer League. The Courage played in Portland, Oregon last week, where she was greeted by angry attendees who booed and jeered when her name was announced.

One soccer fan held up a sign in rainbow letters that said “personal reasons,” which is what Hinkle gave as her reason for leaving the national team last year.

Hinkle said it was “very disappointing” to give up something she’d dreamt about her entire life, but maybe the whole purpose of her stint with the national team was to be a witness to other players. The “peace” that came from following her conscience “trumped the disappointment.”

“I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing,” she said. “I knew I was being obedient. Just because you’re obedient doesn’t make it easy.”

“If I never get a national team call-up again...that just is part of His plan and that’s okay,” said Hinkle. “And maybe this was why [I was] meant to play soccer. Just to show other believers to be obedient.”

“There’s no logical reason that women’s sports should be an especially uncomfortable place for someone with traditionalist views about homosexuality,” Kevin Williamson wrote in Hinkle’s defense for The Weekly Standard. “But the kulturkampf brigades will have only conformity, abject and absolute. That is part of the doctrine of ‘inclusion,’ which, perversely enough, exists for the purpose of excluding certain people with unpopular political or religious opinions.”

“Hinkle chose not to play. Fair enough,” he wrote. “To her credit, she has not engaged in Colin Kaepernick-level grandstanding or done the usual thing and filed a lawsuit. She only declined to participate, to give her affirmation.”

“Yet that’s an unforgivable crime for our so-called liberals,” Williamson explained. “That’s what’s really behind the demand for public funding of abortion, contraception, and the like: The strategy is to ensure that everybody is implicated, corporately.

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Steven Mosher Steven Mosher

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What can the Vatican gain from an agreement with communist China?

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By Steven Mosher

June 5, 2018 (One Peter Five) – After expressing my concerns from afar about the Vatican's proposed agreement with the China here and here, I decided to go to Rome to talk directly with senior Vatican officials.

As someone who has worked with the Chinese Catholics for decades, I wanted to find out what these officials thought the Church would gain from inking an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party.  I also wanted to let them know that, in my opinion, such an agreement would be seen by Chinese believers as nothing short of a rank betrayal.

So it was that last week in Rome I met with several officials who, for well over a decade, have been directly involved in the long-running Vatican-China negotiations.  I found them to be intelligent, attentive, thoughtful, and candid. I have been invited back for further discussions, so I would rather not reveal their names.  But to give you a sense of what these prelates are thinking when it comes to China, I recount one such conversation below.

*          *          *

I began my meeting with Archbishop X by describing how China under Xi Jinping is descending into a new Cultural Revolution. It is important for him to know that the tolerance of ten or fifteen years ago has been replaced by outright hostility to the Church.

"Xi is the new Red Emperor, and the more power he accumulates, the more tyrannical he becomes," I told him. "He is purging his enemies under the guise of an anti-corruption campaign."

Over 1.5 million Communist Party officials have been charged with corruption over the past five years, I went on, yet not a single one of Xi's own supporters has been charged. And now that Xi is President for Life, the purge is expanding.  Everyone who criticizes Xi is in the crosshairs.

"I was recently told by a Chinese visitor that Xi had no choice but to stay on," the Archbishop responded. "He told me that corruption was so deeply entrenched in China that it would take Xi another 20 years to root it out.  So naturally he had no choice but to stay on as President to finish the job."

We both laughed at the absurdity of this explanation, which the prelate himself dismissed as "fantastical."

"Xi already has more power than Mao Zedong," I continued. "He is not only the head of the Communist Party, as Mao was, but is also the head of the government and of the military, which Mao wasn't. His cult of personality is growing. Like Mao, he wants the Chinese people to worship him, not the God of the Bible. That is why Xi Jinping has been tightening controls on religious activities of all kinds."

Urge Pope Francis to stand with persecuted Catholics in China. Sign the petition here!

Over the past few years of Xi's rule, Chinese believers have faced an increasingly harsh reality.   Crosses have been pulled down and churches demolished. Priests and bishops have been imprisoned and tortured.

The new regulations, issued on February 1, are even worse. They make it illegal to take one's own children to Mass, require all Catholics to register with the government, and forbid illegal religious assemblies, including catechism and Sunday school classes. "These new regulations are intended to stamp out Catholicism," I told him.

We talked at length about the on-again, off-again negotiations that he and others have been carrying on with the Chinese authorities.  The Archbishop gave me to understand that a draft agreement concerning the joint appointment of bishops had been finalized: "We are waiting for the Chinese to move forward."

"I predict that the Chinese Communists will never move forward with the agreement," I responded. "The people you have been dealing with in the Bureau of Religious Affairs are no longer in power. The Bureau itself has been dissolved. Xi has given responsibility for religious matters to the United Front Department of the Chinese Communist Party. This means that Xi doesn't want to simply regulate the activities of the Catholic Church in China. He wants to eliminate the Church entirely."

An agreement might have been possible 15 years ago, under the weak leadership of then-President Hu Jintao. At that point most of the bishops of China, even the Patriotic ones, had been recognized as licit bishops by the Holy Father. But in recent years the Communist Party has been "ordaining" more and more illicit bishops. "I think that these ordinations by the Patriotic Church will continue," I told him.

"Yes, there are now seven illicitly ordained Patriotic bishops," the Archbishop agreed sadly. He then went on to say, almost plaintively: "We are trying to prevent a schism."

Here was the crux of the matter: He and other senior officials in the Vatican believe that, by signing an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, they will somehow avoid a formal separation of the Church in China from Rome.

The problem with this belief is that the Patriotic Church is already in schism. In fact, it was to create just such a schism that the Communist Party established the Patriotic church in 1958.

Even during the capricious tolerance of 10 or 15 years ago, when it was sometimes possible to build new churches and quietly ordain bishops, there were Patriotic bishops at the highest levels of the state-controlled Patriotic church who had turned their backs on the Magisterium. At no point in time had the schism actually been healed.

Coming back to the proposed agreement, I told the archbishop, "I really think it is a dead letter. The new Red Emperor, who grows more powerful by the day, will not tolerate the kind of 'foreign interference in internal Chinese matters' that such an agreement would imply."

"But if it should happen that China does want to move forward," the Archbishop said mildly, "then we will be signing an agreement with Xi Jinping himself. So will he not abide by it?"

I quickly recited a litany of agreements that the Chinese government had signed only to violate. These included the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Sino-British Agreement over Hong Kong, and the World Trade Organization covenants. "To answer your question, your Excellency," I concluded, "I do not think that he or his colleagues will honor such an agreement. These are not honorable men."

"Chinese Catholics will see the signing of such an agreement as a betrayal," I told him. "I urge you not to sign an agreement with a viciously atheistic regime that is actively trying to stamp out all religious belief and practice within China, starting with Catholicism."

*          *          *

In all, my several meetings on China with various Vatican officials lasted over five hours. I took this as a positive sign of their deep concern for the suffering Church in China.

Did I convince them that the proposed Vatican-China agreement would be – as I believe it to be–a surrender of the Chinese faithful to the Communist Party?

I am not sure.

But I am certain of one thing: They now understand the increasingly harsh political reality faced by our co-religionists in China.

Published with permission from One Peter Five.

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Fr. Shenan Boquet

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St. John Paul II’s prophecy for Ireland’s future

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet

June 5, 2018 (Human Life International) – "You will decide what Ireland will be." –St. Pope John Paul II

In 1979, Pope John Paul II gazed out over a sea of some 300,000 youth at a Mass for the Youth in Galway, Ireland. "When I look at you," he said, "I see the Ireland of the future. Tomorrow, you will be the living force of your country; you will decide what Ireland will be." Alas, that very generation, and the generation of children that they have since raised, just decided what Ireland's future will be. One can only imagine that sainted pope's grief, were he physically here with us to witness what the Irish people decided this past May 25th.

It is strange…it is very, very strange, is it not, to see the photographs and videos of crowds of young Irish people dancing and shouting and weeping tears of joy – joy! – because the Irish people have done a deed that no other country, even the most liberal and corrupt, has done: they have voted by overwhelming popular majority to permit the slaughter of their unborn brothers and sisters.

In Ireland 64% of those registered to vote showed up to the polls on the day of the referendum. And of those a distressing 66% voted to repeal the constitutional amendment (84% of those 18-24 years old voted yes) that protects the right to life of the unborn – almost the exact same proportion that voted just over three decades ago to pass Amendment 8 in the first place. So much has changed, and so fast!

Of course, I had my forebodings. Ireland, for all its Catholic history and conversion by St. Patrick, is not immune to the ubiquitous power of popular culture, and the allure of the new ideology of radical personal freedom and sexual autonomy that has swept the West. Many of the warning signs were there, including the recent legalization of divorce and same-sex "marriage." But neither I – nor anybody else, it seems – expected that there would be such an overwhelming and decisive defeat for the unborn.

St. John Paul II's Prophetic Warning to Ireland

But perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. St. Pope John Paul II prophesied this. All of it.

In that same homily quoted above, the Pope laid out, in excruciating detail, precisely what would happen if Ireland abandoned Christ and its Christian roots.

The pope warned the youth that "the religious and moral traditions of Ireland, the very soul of Ireland, will be challenged by the temptations that spare no society in our age." The youth would be told, he said, that "changes must be made" that they must have "more freedom," that they should be "different" from their parents, "and that the decisions about your lives depend on you, and you alone."

Many of those standing before him, he said, would be tempted to abandon Christ, despite their Christian upbringing, family, and culture. However, he warned, "A society that, in this way, has lost its higher religious and moral principles will become an easy prey for manipulation and for domination by the forces which, under the pretext of greater freedom, will enslave it ever more."

Indeed, the pope even predicted that in Ireland's future, this attack would focus itself especially on the realm of sexuality. "The lure of pleasure, to be had whenever and wherever it can be found, will be strong and it may be presented to you as part of progress towards greater autonomy and freedom from rules." This temptation will come especially from "mass media," which will present a worldview in which "it is every man for himself, and where the unrestrained affirmation of self leaves no room for concern for others."

This, indeed, is the lesson that untold hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Irish unborn babies will learn in the coming years.

In his homily, the pope also included a phrase that is chilling, given what has happened since. Speaking of the temptation to walk away from Christ, the pope said that "this can happen especially if you see the contradiction in the life of some of your fellowmen between the faith they profess and their way of living."

I wonder, did the pope know how prophetic those words would turn out to be? Many people have noted that the Catholic Church played a surprisingly minor role in the debate over Amendment 8. "The Church, with the exception of a sprinkling of pastorals, was tactically absent," notes Irish commentator John Waters over at First Things. The reason why is no secret. In recent years, the Church's moral credibility has cratered. Revelations of physical and sexual abuse at Church-run institutions, and cover-ups, have catastrophically undermined the Church's ability to say anything about moral matters; the media is always ready in such cases to hurl the Church's own failings back in its face.

But that still doesn't entirely explain the conspicuous absence of many pastors from the fight for life. "What was unforgivable was that this silence extended to pulpits," said Waters. But then again, John Paul had also predicted this sad betrayal. He noted that among the many people who would tell the youth that their religious beliefs were "hopelessly out of date, that they hamper your style and your future" would be "even many religious persons" – even, I suppose the pope knew, some priests and bishops.

A Simple Remedy

The pope's homily was not all doom and gloom for Ireland's future. The messages of the great prophets never are, even if they are unrelentingly stark in their diagnoses.

In the face of all the forces arrayed against the Gospel, and the "moral sickness" that "stalks" Irish society, the youth must turn to the only source of authentic joy: Christ. "In Christ you will discover the true greatness of your own humanity," the pope exhorted. "Christ has the answers to your questions and the key to history; he has the power to uplift hearts. He keeps calling you, he keeps inviting you, he who is 'the way, and the truth, and the life.'" Though the call of Christ is "demanding," said the pope, youth ought not to be afraid, for it is "only with Him your life will be meaningful and worthwhile."

A simple message. But what else is there?

For the pro-life Irish, who poured out their sweat and tears in vain to defend the unborn, and who must now live in a country that is morally alien to them, what else is there but Christ? For those of us outside Ireland who fought, and fasted, and prayed for Ireland, and looked to Ireland to continue acting as a beacon of light and hope in the West, what else is there but Christ?

The forces of the world are strong. For today, they have prevailed. And yet the pope also had a message for those of us who may feel that "before the experiences of history and before concrete situations, love has lost its power and that it is impossible to practise it." It is not so, said that great saint. For, in the long run, "love always brings victory, love is never defeated."

For pro-life Ireland, May 25th was a dark, dark day. The darkest of days. But love lives on. Pro-lifers must now adapt to the new regime and find new ways to express that love in Ireland's future. Continue to fight for pro-life laws – of course! Fight tooth and nail. But they must also find new and creative ways to bring love to the hopeless women and men who will soon begin seeking for false "solutions" in Ireland's abortion mills. Love them and love their child. Many lives will be saved this way, as they have been saved elsewhere.

"Let us place this intention," concluded the Pope, after asking that the Irish would continue to listen to the message of the Gospel, "at the feet of Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Ireland, example of generous love and dedication to the service of others." This was the best course then, and it is the best course for us now.

Our Lady of Knock, Pray for us! Pray for Ireland!

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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SCOTUS gets it right in Masterpiece Cakeshop case

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By Ryan Bomberger

June 5, 2018 (Radiance Foundation) – The Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling this week (7-2) in favor of the First Amendment. The Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) case was about cake artistry, free speech and religious freedom. The clear majority held that: "The Commission's actions in this case violated the Free Exercise Clause [of the First Amendment]."

Jack Phillips, a cake artist and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, is a man of quiet courage, conviction and compassion. Though he's been demonized byLGBT activists, including the ACLU (which is representing plaintiffs Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins), he has always served everyone. He simply doesn't participate in or create for every event. Like many creatives, he doesn't use his artistry for every occasion. He doesn't make Halloween cakes. He doesn't create anything with anti-American or "adult" themes. He doesn't make divorce cakes. And he doesn't use his artistic expression to celebrate a form of "marriage" that violates his faith.

As a creative professional, myself, I can't imagine the government – whether local, state or federal – forcing me to use my artistic talents for something I don't believe in.

I used to be a Creative Director, and I know first-hand that ad agencies reject clients all the time based on ideological factors. Public relations firms do it all the time. Event planning companies do, too. But somehow, when a Christian wants to act on his/her religious worldview, they can't withhold their artistic talent without severe governmental punishment? Why is a secular rejection of service more legitimate than a religious one? And we're not talking about some meaningless party here. We're talking about the most important institution in any society—marriage. Sure, the Supreme Court decided to magically conjur up non-existent rights and instantly redefined marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, but it doesn't change the reality that (co-opted) rainbow colors don't trump the Constitution. Supreme Court judges have been supremely wrong many many many times before, by the way (Dred Scott v. Sandford, Minor v. Happersett, Korematsu v. United States, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton and the list goes on). I'm just glad that seven of them got most of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case right.

The Radiance Foundation was honored to host the December 5, 2017 #JusticeForJack rally at the Supreme Court. Freedom for Jack is freedom for all. We know this isn't about "discrimination". It's about celebration. This victory is a license to celebrate the Bill of Rights. It's a license to celebrate free speech and religious liberty which should never be trounced by any form of activism. Despite the ACLU's attempt to compare the LGBT plight to the blood-bought civil rights struggle of black Americans, there is absolutely no comparison. Even one of the commissioners on the CCRC falsely claimed, in arguing against Jack Phillips, that "…sexual orientation is a status absolutely like race". Sorry. Not absolutely. Not even kind of. In fact, we discussed this with some African-American civil rights leaders (see our WeGotYourBackJack.com), including Dr. Alveda King, and they all emphatically agree with us: Gay is not the new black.

The very first right enumerated in our Constitution is religious freedom. It's not optional. It's foundational.

The narrow (in scope) Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling does not address numerous other pending cases (here, herehere and here) where Americans have been denied their First Amendment rights in light of LGBT activism as well. We're grateful to those courageous individuals and families who have risked so much to fight for their convictions. They understand that loving every human being isn't the same as loving every human doing.

Disagreement doesn't equal hate. Disagreement equals tolerance.

I hope that, with this unexpected and historic 7-2 Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, similar cases will be resolved with fidelity to the ultimate Law that must direct all American jurisprudence—the Constitution. It should be a piece of cake.

Published with permission from the Radiance Foundation.

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Maike Hickson

Opinion, ,

German cardinal decries intercommunion with Protestants: it’s about ‘life and death’

Maike Hickson
By Maike Hickson

June 5, 2018 (One Peter Five) – Last Thursday, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Cardinal Rainer Woelki, one of the seven German bishops who opposed the new German intercommunion handout allowing for some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion, gave a moving speech at the end of the Procession and Pontifical Mass in his Cathedral of Cologne.

In this speech, Cardinal Woelki made it clear that he will not give up the fight for the right way with regard to matters of intercommunion, saying that this question is not "nonsense," but, rather: "Here, it is about questions of life and death!" "It is about death and resurrection. It is about eternal life," Woelki added. "Here, it is about Christ, it is about His Church, and thus it goes straight to the heart of the matter."

The German cardinal and successor of Cardinal Joachim Meisner as the Archbishop of Cologne continued, saying:

That is why we have to fight for it and to find the right path – not any path, but the Path of the Lord which He points out to us. He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Cardinal Woelki, who together with other six German bishops had written a letter to the Vatican in protest against the recent German intercommunion handout, rejected the claim that he had worked behind the back of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German bishops, saying: "I answer with [the words of] the Holy Scripture: I appeared openly and freely, and I wrote and said that which needed to be written and said, in all publicity."

The German prelate also warned against turning the Catholic Church in Germany into a "national church." "We are not a national church." Woelki, who was visibly moved while speaking, insisted that all national churches in the world have to walk together, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. "We walk toward Christ, in fidelity to the Deposit of Faith, as it has been handed down to us by the Apostles." He also encouraged the congregation to "deepen your faith in the Holy Eucharist" which is "the beating heart of the Church."

Woelki finally invited all Catholics to work together, rather than against one another.

His homily was welcomed by the faithful with a big round of applause.

Cardinal Woelki's words not only express a deep faith and devotion to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist and a fidelity to the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, he also reaffirmed hereby his decision to oppose a liberalizing attitude with regard to the question of Holy Communion for Protestant spouses. Only recently, on 18 May, he metin private audience Pope Francis in Rome, and Catholic observers assumed that the German intercommunion debate was the topic of this audience. No information was given by the Vatican concerning the content of that 18 May meeting.

However, the fact that Cardinal Woelki still now stands strong and firm and full of fire for Christ in the Holy Eucharist is a most encouraging sign.

Update, 5 June: 

Please see here the full speech as given by Cardinal Woelki last Saturday in Bensberg which has caused in recent days some concern as to whether he changed his position with regard to giving Holy Communion to Protestant spouses: http://www.erzbistum-koeln…. I  just received it from Woelki's press office. In it, the cardinal fully restates in detail the Catholic teaching in the question of intercommunion and insists upon it firmly. Woelki stresses that the reference to the so-called "emergency situations" which are very limited may not be used as a tool to "go together to Communion after all." He then mentions, in a low-key way, that there is an "unwritten rule in the Church" that one does not refuse someone at the Communion rail. He says such cases should be dealt with by the priest in pastoral conversations. But he insists that a couple in a mixed marriage may not go together to Holy Communion.

Published with permission from One Peter Five.

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Around the world, June should be anything but ‘Pride Month’

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By Doug Mainwaring

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Is there any religious, political, or other social group that secures – demands – the attention of the whole globe for an entire month?  

Just one: The LGBT Cabal – the elite coterie of persons who wage war daily against natural law and nature’s God.

Around the world, in almost every nation, June is “Pride Month.” For 30 days the world’s billions are expected to remain in the thrall of LGBT ideology and its adherents.  

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, recently issued a statement on Twitter warning Catholics about events that celebrate gay pride month.

Why hasn’t every bishop sounded the alarm as Bishop Tobin has?  

Let’s face it: The term "Pride Month"as used by gays is a euphemism, a ruse. June is more appropriately called “Sodomy Month,” because sodomy is the glue that holds the entire movement together and drives it forward. It’s the reason the LGBT acronym exists.

There are other non-euphemistic terms that accurately describe the many-faceted nature of Pride Month. June could easily be identified as:

How about “Anti-Complementary, Anti-Conjugal Marriage Month?” That would be especially appropriate in America since gays observe the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’ ruling in favor of same-sex ‘marriage’ in June 2015.

Gays, lesbians, transgenders, and their progressive allies celebrate all these during June, although they are careful not to mention these things aloud in mixed company. To tell the truth would be counterproductive.   

In essence, June is now both “Anti-Humanity & Anti-God Month,” in stiff but unacknowledged competition with Christianity’s Easter Season-through-Pentecost upon whose heels June always follows. “Gay Pride” certainly receives more media attention.

It’s diabolical that “Pride Month,” which celebrates and peddles acts that tie people to this world –– leading to both impoverished lives and death –– is positioned to quickly counteract the New Life that Easter brings and to overshadow our divine inheritance through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. 

One reasonably concludes that the prince of this world – the field marshall who has been masterminding the sexual revolution since its beginning – is behind this “celebration” named “Pride.”

Given my druthers, I’d dub June “Come and Join Satan in Mocking Christ and His Bride, the Church Month.”   

Any of these is far more accurate than the euphemistic “Pride Month,” which nowadays elicits nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders from most people. Society’s nonchalance toward LGBTism is precisely what allows it to dig deeper into our culture – now a knotted mess of deeply sunk roots from which it becomes increasingly difficult to extricate our personal lives, our families, our communities, our government and even the Church.

It’s no wonder that chaste same-sex-attracted Christians, many of whom identify as “ex-gay” or “ex-transgendered,” speak more loudly to warn society about what is happening than do most members of the Catholic Church hierarchy who tend to remain silent when it comes to the relentlessly advancing gay agenda: The former LGBTs know what is going on and many sense the ultimate source – and threat – of LGBTism.  

With the exception of a few, most clergy are unlike Cardinal Robert Sarah, who has asked his fellow bishops and priests to not deprive the same-sex attracted from the hard parts of the Gospel but to lavish the same-sex attracted with its life-giving truth.


 

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Christian baker Jack Phillips
Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael

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Why Jack Phillips’ win at the Supreme Court was a win for Christian conservatives

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By Dr. Michael Brown

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – There’s a lot of discussion about Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision which pitted religious freedoms against LGBT rights. Was the ruling really that significant? Since it was so narrow in scope, should Christian conservatives really rejoice? Did the justices merely kick the can down the road? (For my own take, see here and here.)

Scores of articles have already been written on this, which means that it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. The bottom line is that Jack Phillips won. His religious freedoms were upheld. There was a pushback against governmental hostility towards religion. All that is very good news.

To put this in perspective, what if the Supreme Court had ruled against Phillips? What if the justices said that the state was within its rights to punish him for declining to design a same-sex “wedding” cake? What if there was no pushback against Colorado’s overt and explicit hostility towards Phillip’s Christian beliefs? What then?

What would headlines have looked like on Monday from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Phillips? Or from the FRC, or from a host of other conservative Christian organizations? What would people like me have written, and what would you, the readers, have been thinking?

We would have been outraged. We would have taken this as a slap in our faces and a mockery of our faith. We would have shouted, “What about the First Amendment?!” We would have been up in arms.

And look at the headlines on liberal websites, or, more specifically, LGBT websites. How was this decision reported?

The Advocate, a flagship LGBT publication ran this headline: “Homophobes Gorsuch, Thomas Wanted the Cake Shop Decision to Go Further.”

And the article, by Trudy Ring, stated, “The high court’s decision, issued today, was tailored narrowly, applying only to this case, but it sets the scene for more court clashes over the right to turn away LGBT customers and, whether or not the high court intended, gives some ammunition to those who would argue for this right. And some conservative justices thought the ruling did not go far enough.”

The LGBTQ Nation website reported that, “Today’s ruling chips away at one of America’s most basic values for the last 50 years – the freedom to expect that a business will serve all customers without discrimination.”

The article also cited Democratic leaders who were unhappy with the ruling.

An article on Queerty.com stated bluntly, “The Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, the antigay baker from Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, and American bigots couldn’t be happier.”

Again I ask: How would we have reacted had the shoe been on the other foot? What would be writing and saying today had the ruling gone against Jack?

Contrast the Advocate headline, which vilified Justices Gorsuch and Thomas, with this headline on the Stream (a conservative Christian website for which I write regularly): “We Must Clone Clarence Thomas: The Lesson of SCOTUS’ Wedding Cake Decision.”

According to John Zmirak, the author of the Stream article, “The hatred today’s left feels toward orthodox Christianity is fanatical. Remember how Inspector Javert, in Les Misérables, sought pretext after pretext for imprisoning Jean Valjean? So the left will keep hunting Christians. Justice Kennedy has just told them the opening and closing days for hunting season.”

And Zmirak notes that Thomas was acutely aware of these dangers, writing in his opinion, “In Obergefell, I warned that the Court’s decision would ‘inevitabl[y] … come into conflict’ with religious liberty, ‘as individuals .. are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.’ … This case proves that the conflict has already emerged. Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day. But, in future cases, the freedom of speech could be essential to preventing Obergefell from being used to ‘stamp out every vestige of dissent’ and ‘vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.’  If that freedom is to maintain its vitality, reasoning like the Colorado Court of Appeals’ must be rejected.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

The bad news is that the ruling wasn’t broader and that all the justices didn’t agree on the very dangers that Thomas and Gorsuch (and others in the past) warned about. How could these dangers not be seen? Even a nearsighted man without glasses could see what was coming – with any insight at all.

But the good news is that, in the end, this was about Jack Phillips, who took a stand where many others would have caved in, enduring 5 years of grueling litigation, with his whole life turned upside down. And he took that stand with grace and courage. Because he won, we won.

For that, I’m very thankful.

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UK’s top family judge: ‘Collapse of the nuclear family should be welcomed and applauded’

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By Jonathon van Maren

June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A few of you might remember a horrific case in the United Kingdom a few years ago, where a Family Court judge ordered what amounted to a medical rape, sending a “mentally incompetent” teenage girl to get an abortion against her will. The girl was firmly opposed to the abortion. Experts in the trial testified that an abortion would “cause considerable harm to this young girl.” But, the judge responded that because he felt she should have an abortion, it was better to leave “to one side her own wishes and feelings” and conclude—as he did—that “it would be in her best interests to have a termination.” At his orders, the poor girl was sent off for an abortion that she desperately did not want and that even the experts testified would deeply hurt her.

That judge’s name is Sir James Munby, and he is now in the news again. This time, according to the Daily Mail, he is now “Britain’s most senior family judge” and, with that in mind, he has a message for Britons: “The collapse of the nuclear family should be welcomed and applauded.” Families, Munby said, are now impossible to define, which is why he is calling for an overhaul to Britain’s marriage laws, including the introduction of “fault-free divorces,” because it is apparently not easy enough to obtain a divorce as it is. He has already successfully campaigned for the government to change surrogacy laws to allow single people as well as couples to access surrogacy, so he’s proven quite an effective lobbyist for his dystopia of broken families.

In a speech at Liverpool University, he began to wax eloquent, noting that the modern family took “an infinite variety of forms”: “People live together as couples, married or not, and with partners who may not always be of the other sex. Children live in households where their parents are married or unmarried. They may be brought up by a single parent, by two parents or even by three parents. Their parents may not or may not be their natural parents…They may be the children of polygamous marriages. Their siblings may be only half-siblings or step-siblings. Some children are brought up by two parents of the same sex. Some children are conceived by artificial donor insemination.”

He did not add that they may even be teenagers that he judges to be mentally incompetent and thus uses the force of the state to send them off to an abortionist against their will for a stranger to suction their wanted baby out of their womb, but perhaps he thought it. Believe it or not, Munby also stated last year that judges actually need more power, not less, “to decide what happens to children” in a variety of situations.” After describing the chaotic state of the modern family, he again emphasized to his audience that he thought this was all very good: “The fact is that many adults and children, whether through choice or circumstance, live in families more or less removed from what, until comparatively recently, would have been recognised as the typical nuclear family. This, I stress, is not merely the reality; it is, I believe, a reality which we should welcome and applaud.”

Keep in mind here that this is the President of the Family Court. His words remind me of Peter Hitchens analysis of the approach of the British elites to the family, as described in his book The Abolition of Britain: The government, Hitchens noted, has effectively replaced the father in society, and thus the nuclear family has not only been undermined but also rendered obsolete for many. As a result, fatherless children are becoming the norm, with tragic results. You would think, considering the cases that cross his desk, that a man in charge of England’s Family Court would not celebrate motherless or fatherless children. But in the case of Sir James Munby, you would be wrong. 

A number of Conservative politicians and commentators have responded huffily to Munby’s comments, but of course many of those politicians simply find it convenient to have a way of loudly expressing social conservatism without actually having to implement any policy that would strengthen the nuclear family that Munby delights to see destroyed. The family has been abandoned and even targeted by the elites for decades now, and there is no better case study to illustrate how complete their opposition to the traditional family unit is than the instance of the President of the Family Court rejoicing to an audience at a university that the nuclear family is nearly dead.

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