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Real Bodies: the Exhibition YouTube
K.V. Turley

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Gruesome exhibition puts dead bodies of adults and the unborn on display in public

K.V. Turley
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LONDON, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Twenty skinless cadavers, other body parts and fetal remains are currently being exhibited in Britain. Critics say the macabre display poses ethical questions and raises concerns about human rights and human dignity.

The exhibition entitled Real Bodies: the Exhibition is taking place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.  

UK medics have launched a petition against the exhibition. In an open letter to Birmingham's coroner, Louise Hunt, doctors ask her to investigate the bodies on display at the NEC.

“We are UK-based healthcare workers and doctors who have concerns that there is an exhibition at the NEC of more than 20 Chinese bodies in Birmingham where:

1. The cause of death is unknown

2. There are grounds to believe that the cause of death was unnatural

As such we believe that under the Coroners Act, you have grounds to investigate the cause of death as the deceased are currently within the Birmingham and Solihull area until August 19th.”

Although the signatories of this letter accept there is no suggestion that “the import of the deceased into the UK by Imagine Exhibitions was illegal,” the medics went on to state that “given our suspicions regarding both the origin of these bodies and their cause of death, we call on you as Birmingham coroner to investigate in order to try and establish the cause of death (of these) 20 Chinese individuals.”

In addition, this week the exhibition and its contents prompted a Parliamentary Question posed by veteran pro-life Peer, Lord Alton.

Written Questions: July 24th 2018

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked: 

Whether they have caused inquiries to be made about the origins of the 20 unidentified skinless human bodies in an exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre and the circumstances in which these people died; what assurance they have that they are not cadavers of disappeared Chinese political and religious prisoners; and whether they are arranging for the bodies to be examined to see whether there is any remaining evidence of the removal of organs.

The American organizer of the exhibit, Imagine Exhibitions president Tom Zaller, dismissed any suggestion of unnatural deaths as "fake news."  He said all those on display had died from natural causes and that the company works closely with the owner of the dead bodies, which is the Chinese university, Dalian Medical University Biology Plantation.

Similar exhibitions have also attracted controversy.  In Sydney, Australia, Imagine Exhibitions are currently running an exhibition, the Real Bodies-The Exhibition. It also features plasticised human bodies. This has provoked an open letter signed by lawyers, academics, ethicists and human rights advocates urging the Australian government to close down the exhibition. The authors of the letter stated:

“Real Bodies-The Exhibition is a for-profit business which tours the world exhibiting flayed, plastinated human corpses fashioned into grotesque postures along with plastinated specimens of various human organs.

“Doctors, ethicists, lawyers and human rights advocates at ETAC have substantial concerns about the provenance of the bodies used in this exhibition. Allegedly the exhibits are sourced from the unclaimed corpses of people who have died in hospital, procured by the Public Security Bureau, however it is not possible the bodies were ‘unclaimed’, as according to regulations and autopsy rules issued by China’s Ministry of Health on February 22, 1979, bodies can only be declared ‘unclaimed’ after 30 days. Of note, the plastination process, which involves the use of silicon, epoxy, and other polymer mixtures to replace the fluid in the human body, must occur within 48 hours of death. Therefore it is not possible to plastinate a corpse that is 30 days old.

“Rather than being sourced from unclaimed bodies, as the exhibitors claim, there is credible evidence that these are the bodies of executed prisoners and prisoners of conscience from China.”

Citing ethical concerns, both France and Israel as well as Hawaii and Seattle, have banned similar exhibitions in the past. In 2009, a French judge shut down the exhibition, Our Body: À Corps Ouvert, featuring 17 Chinese bodies in various positions, some skinless or with muscles flayed. The bodily fluids having also been replaced with plastic to preserve them using the methodology invented by the controversial, German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, whose 2002 London show Body Worlds caused outrage. The Paris judge said legally, the proper place for corpses was "in a cemetery", and displaying corpses for commercial profit showed a lack of respect for the dead. In 2012, in Tel Aviv another similar exhibition of dead Chinese was also closed down by court order.

The UK show, Real Bodies: The Exhibition, is billed as “a powerful thought-provoking exhibition exploring life by displaying 20 real, perfectly and respectfully preserved human bodies.” Its website gives the following warning: “This exhibition contains real human bodies and anatomical specimens which have been posthumously dissected and preserved using the process of plastination. As this exhibition features adult bodies and specimens in their entirety, including some with model eyeballs and full genitalia, parental guidance is suggested. Before entering, please determine whether the exhibition is right for you and any children in your care.” The preserving technique mentioned involves replacing body's liquids and fats with plastic.

The NEC exhibition includes fetuses ranging from 10 weeks’ to 32 weeks’ gestation.

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Jacob Estell is the spokesman for Business Leaders in Christ at the University of Iowa.
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Christian club rejects University of Iowa’s mandate to accept LGBT leaders

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By Calvin Freiburger

IOWA CITY, Iowa, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian student organization at the University of Iowa says it has not and will not surrender to the administration’s demands that it allow openly-homosexual men to run for leadership positions.

Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) holds weekly meetings, group discussions, and Bible studies for the purpose of strengthening members’ faith and helping them apply it in the business world.

For months, it has been locked in a legal battle with the administration for rejecting Marcus Miller’s application for a leadership position. BLinC rejected Miller, a gay activist, because he refused to agree to the club’s Statement of Faith that called for sexual chastity outside of natural marriage.

Despite the fact that multiple campus organizations with a wide range of perspectives require members to accept their own sets of beliefs and behavioral standards (including Miller’s own gay “religious” student group Love Works), the school revoked BLinC’s status as a registered student group, blocking it from participating in campus recruitment fairs, using campus facilities, or receiving campus funding or other benefits.

The group won a victory in January when U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose granted a temporary injunction blocking the University of Iowa from deregistering the group for 90 days. Rose based her decision on the university’s “selective enforcement of an otherwise reasonable and viewpoint neutral nondiscrimination policy.”

BLinC resumed recruitment soon after. A jury trial is currently slated for March 2019 to decide the case on the merits.

To overcome the “selective enforcement” objection when the time comes, the University of Iowa has since begun deregistering dozens of student groups, hitting any that didn’t sign a “human rights” policy mandating the acceptance of any student regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual attraction, or gender identity.

The Sikh Awareness Club, Young Americans for Liberty, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Students for Human Rights, Japanese Students and Scholars Club, and Chinese Student Christian Fellowship were among the the groups to lose their registered status.

All told, the university found that 356 groups lacked the full “human rights” clause in their constitutions. Groups like the NAACP soon rewrote theirs to restore their registered status, and many are expected to do the same.

“The University is discriminating against (us) because of our religious beliefs, while allowing other student groups to form around their shared values and beliefs,” BLinC spokesman Jacob Estell told The College Fix Wednesday. “We have not changed our mind or caved in to the university’s wishes.”

He explained that BLinC already had the anti-discrimination text in its constitution, and that its stance is based on behavior, not identity.

“Anyone is, and always has been, welcome to be a member of BLinC,” Estell said. “We only ask that our leaders align with our mission, just like the Republican and Democratic student groups, the pro-life and pro-choice student groups, the fraternities and sororities, and every other group on campus does.”

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Irish bishops: Catholic hospitals won’t commit abortion or refer women for abortion

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

DUBLIN, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ireland’s Catholic bishops have declared that Catholic hospitals will remain pro-life and not commit abortions. But, Ireland’s homosexual Prime Minister has threatened to force them to do so. 

In their “Code of Ethical Standards for Healthcare”, published in June, the Irish bishops forbade Catholic institutions and doctors from committing or colluding with the murder of preborn children. 

“No healthcare facility or practitioner should provide, or refer a patient for, an abortion, i.e. any procedure, treatment or medication whose primary purpose or sole immediate effect is to terminate the life of a foetus or of an embryo before or after implantation,” the directive states. 

“Such procedures, treatments and medications are morally wrong because they involve the direct and deliberate killing of, or a direct lethal assault on, an innocent human life in the earliest stages of development” (2.24)

The Code does not refer to the recent referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which protected the right to life of the unborn child. Irish citizens voted to end the constitutional protection of the young humans by 66.4%.  

But the Code does seem to address the possibility that conscientious Catholic health workers may have to flout new laws demanding abortion procedures. It states that if there is a clash between the law and the guidelines it present, the law should be obeyed---except when it conflicts with the “fundamental and inalienable” rights of the human being. Such laws are in conflict with the “common good”, it said, and do not “command obedience.”

Representatives of  Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference have given a copy of the “Code” to representatives of Ireland’s pro-abortion government. 

The document seemingly went unnoticed until the Times reported that the Irish Catholic hospitals were “set to ban abortion”.  It detailed that the Code also forbade the dissemination of contraception, the mutilation called “gender reassignment surgery”, most “assisted reproduction procedures”, particularly to homosexual couples and to unmarried women, and pro-abortion counselling. 

The Code also questions the ethics of using prenatal screening as a way to search for and destroy the disabled. 

‘Conscientious objection is for individuals, not institutions.’

The Times report inspired Ireland’s pro-abortion Minister for Health Simon Harris to tweet a demand that every last hospital in Ireland be prepared to commit abortion.

“All publicly funded health services providers in State will be expected to provide legal health services- incl. women’s health services,” he pronounced on Twitter. “This should be a statement of the obvious! Conscientious objection is for individuals, not institutions.” 

The Irish government is expected to introduce abortion-on-demand for women whose preborn children are under 12 weeks’ gestation by the end of the year. Harris also wants to force all conscientious objectors among Ireland’s doctors to refer pregnant women to doctors willing to end the lives of their preborn children. 

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute told LifeSiteNews that Harris seemed “hellbent” on bullying both pro-life doctors and Catholic institutions.

"Minister Harris has already said he will try to force doctors to take part in the abortion process by insisting that they must refer for abortions, despite the opposition of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) who represent the vast majority of family doctors,” she said. 

A poll of NAGP members showed that 80% did not want to commit abortions and that they were strongly opposed to measures that would force doctors to refer for abortion.

“Harris responded by saying he would force them to do so, and that doctors would have to obey the law,” Uí Bhriain said.

‘The Church should no longer be at the centre of public life’

At least 20 hospitals and medical clinics in Ireland are still administered by the Catholic Church. How long this will continue is an open question. Ireland’s Prime Minister, or Taoiseach (Chieftain), Leo Varadkar, said last week that taxpayer-funded hospitals could be taken from their religious owners to ensure that the Catholic church is no longer at “the centre of public life”.

Saying that there needed to be a “wider debate” about Catholic ownership of tax-funded schools and hospitals, Varadkar stated: “A lot of our hospitals are publicly owned and publicly funded, but a lot are publicly funded but not publicly owned.“

“My view is that we should separate the church and state; that the Church should no longer be at the centre of public life...” he continued. 

Varadkar also implied that Catholic healthcare and Catholic education are not appropriate for “a modern country”:

“[The Catholic Church] shouldn’t be banished from Irish public life,” he said. “We need to work out a process and a system over the next couple of years when it comes to both health and education to make sure that the approach is one that is more appropriate for a modern country.”

Irish Health Care System in ‘Chaos’ 

Niamh Uí Bhriain told LifeSiteNews that “real healthcare services” are lacking for the 700,000 people on the Irish health services, that the Irish health system is in “chaos” under Harris, and the government’s bullying may “backfire”. 

“This small-minded bullying may well backfire on the Minister,” she said. “GP services are in crisis because there simply aren’t enough doctors in general practice in Ireland, and this is set to worsen as record levels of doctors emigrate and others retire.”  

“There are many pro-life doctors who will move to a different area of medicine if Harris tries to force them to refer one of their patients – the preborn child – to be killed. If these GPs, and some Catholic hospitals, are forced out of service by bully tactics on abortion, then already hard-pressed patients will suffer the consequences,” Uí Bhriain continued.

“That may well be the price the people will be forced to bear for yet another failure of a Minister for Health who seems fixated on abortion instead of real healthcare."

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love.house.gov
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Utah pro-life congresswoman slams Democrat opponent for claiming he’s ‘pro-life’

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By Calvin Freiburger

UTAH, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortion is among the issues taking center stage in the battle for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, with a Democratic challenger taking umbrage at being labeled pro-abortion even though he favors keeping the practice legal.

Republican incumbent Mia Love is running for reelection against Democratic challenger Ben McAdams, the mayor of Salt Lake County. RealClearPolitics currently ranks the close race as a toss-up for the 2018 midterms elections.

Love has a 100% pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Salt Lake Tribune reports that she’s made the issue a highlight of the differences between herself and McAdams.

McAdams wants to promote “unrestricted abortion and use your money to pay for it,” Love charged at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention in April, where she also quoted one of her daughters as declaring that “if you’re a country that decides that you’re going to kill our babies, you are pretty much good for nothing.”

“There is not one person that [doesn’t] know that one of the most important things I’ve ever done out there [in Congress] is I have been unapologetically pro-life,” Love told the Tribune. “And my stance has always been the same: No abortions; to protect life at all stages of development, except in cases of rape, incest or life of a mother.”

McAdams claimed that Love was “distorting my position and my record,” insisting he’s every bit as supportive of “what we can do to promote the sanctity of life.” He has also said he would oppose Nancy Pelosi as House Leader, though Love notes that his opposition would be irrelevant in a majority-Democrat chamber.

In April, Pelosi said she was willing to back pro-life Democrats because their party affiliation would still count toward putting House and committee leadership positions in pro-abortion hands.

“I think abortion is far too common in America, and we should be taking steps to reduce abortion,” McAdams told the Tribune. “A lot of that is through education and greater access to contraception, but I think there are a lot of steps that I would support to reduce the number of abortions.”

The Love campaign disputes McAdams’ pro-life credentials, noting that as a state senator he voted against legislation to enact a 72-hour waiting period on abortions, as well as a bill recognizing health workers’ right to refuse to participate in abortions. The Tribune found that he also voted against an ultrasound requirement and a bill mandating random clinic inspections.

McAdams claims he was not voting against the bills’ stated intentions, but separate defects in the “poorly drafted” legislation that he “would have liked to see addressed.”

Ultimately, however, he confirmed in an April interview with the Tribune that when he claims to be “pro-life,” he means the familiar “personally pro-life” formulation and ultimately supports keeping abortion legal.

“Reducing the number of abortions starts with access to education about reproductive health and contraception,” McAdams told the Tribune’s Holly Richardson. But “decisions about terminating a pregnancy should [be] made by a woman in consultation with her physician, family members and faith counselors she trusts.”

Invoking sex education and birth control as a more effective means of reducing abortion than prohibition is a common tactic among abortion defenders. But, pro-lifers argue that the actual result of promoting both has resulted in an increase of unwanted pregnancy by encouraging casual sex.

“I’m a mom. I’ve gone through miscarriages, which have been horrible for me and for my family,” Love stressed. “And there are so many people that are looking for beautiful children to be able to bring into their homes and into this world, and I think that we lose our potential and we have less” when abortion is legal.”

Pro-life activists have warned that Democrats currently hold a significant advantage over Republicans in party registration going into the November elections, in which Democrats hope to at least take the House, stymying pro-life and pro-family legislative priorities and potentially even enabling an effort to impeach President Donald Trump.

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Galveston Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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Head of US bishops: We need ‘spiritual conversion’ to deal with sex-abuse ‘crisis’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for the “spiritual conversion” of all U.S. bishops so that they can properly address the sexual abuse “crisis” happening in the Church, highlighted on account of the Cardinal McCarrick scandal. 

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, released a statement today saying that accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick had led him to convene a meeting of the USCCB Executive Committee to discern the “right course of action for the USCCB.”

“This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November,” he wrote. “All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB.”

The Cardinal said that these discussions would “take some time” but that he would make four suggestions at once: that his “brother bishops” be kind to sexual abuse victims and “accompany them”; that anyone who has been assaulted or harassed by anyone in the Church come forward and, if applicable, to contact the police; that the bishops investigate the allegations regarding Archbishop McCarrick; and that they recognize that a “spiritual conversion is needed.”

DiNardo admitted in the short document that there is a “crisis of sexual morality” in the Church:

We bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins.

The Cardinal said that the allegations regarding Cardinal McCarrick had made bishops, including himself, angry, sad, ashamed, and keen for answers. “They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.” 

He acknowledged that McCarrick’s abuses, and their cover-up, had done “great harm” and represented “grave moral failures of judgement” by Church leaders. “Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders.”

DiNardo said the failures raised “serious questions,” and assured the faithful that Archbishop McCarrick will face “the judgement of a canonical process” in Vatican City.   

Catholics disgruntled by DiNardo’s statement have taken to social media, such as Twitter, to express their frustration. 

The Creative Minority Report blogger wrote, “Pro forma BS from the USCCB that completely fails to recognize the source and scope of the problem. They will not change. [T]his is who they are.”

The Radical Catholic tweeted, “I missed the part where it says 'The USCCB promises to identify and bring to justice all individuals involved in what we now openly acknowledge to be a decades-old network of predatory homosexual corruption operating from within our own ranks.'"

***

Statement of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Bishops:

"The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God. Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders.

These failures raise serious questions. Why weren't these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials? Why wasn't this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power?

Archbishop McCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the Holy See regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we should be taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, I have convened the USCCB Executive Committee.  This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me to stress these four points immediately.

First, I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses to respond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed by anyone in the Church. We should do whatever we can to accompany them.

Second, I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyone in the Church to come forward. Where the incident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local law enforcement.

Third, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick's conduct to the full extent of its authority; and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate with those who do have the authority. One way or the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter.

Finally, we bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins. 

Let us pray for God's wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul's instruction: 'Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect' (Romans 12:2)."

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Fr. Fernando Báez, center in yellow, poses with drag queens in his parish in the Canary Islands. LP/ DLP
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‘Abomination’: Priest poses with drag queens in sanctuary of Catholic Church

James Risdon
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GRAN CANARIA, Spain, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A priest in the Canary Islands posed with drag queens in the sanctuary of a Catholic church after letting the men use the church rectory as a temporary dressing room.

Photos show Fr. Fernando Báez in a parish in La Breña, Gran Canaria, Spain, posing in the midst of almost a dozen garishly dressed drag queens, all of them standing directly in front of the holy altar. The photo is framed to include in the background a large cross on which is hanging a figure of Jesus. 

Gloria TV News called the photo op an “abomination.”

In Spanish, a Facebook user identified as Grego Bagon warned the priest on his social media page that he will one day have to be judged by Jesus Christ. God, warns, Bagon, will judge the priest’s “scandalous attitudes” 

Parishioners have also reportedly contacted the local bishop to demand that the priest be recalled from the parish of La Breña.

But the vicar general of Gran Canaria, Hipólito Cabrera, has reportedly kept mum about the incident with the drag queens, calling it an internal matter for the parish. 

According to news reports, there were 10 drag queens in the church, all of them taking part in a July 7 gala in the multi-purpose Narea building in nearby Telde during celebrations ostensibly in honor of Saint Joseph and the Virgin of the Pine. The drag show was called "Gala Drag Queen de Telde"

Those celebrations attracted about 350 people. Father Báez, attended that drag show as a spectator. 

The parish priest is reported to have publicly dismissed the Marian apparition upon which that celebration is based. He has also denied the existence of the Virgin of the Pine, venerated since 1481 for having appeared atop a pine on Sept. 8 of that year in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. 

The Virgin Mary has never appeared to anyone, not in Gran Canaria, Fatima or Lourdes, Father Báez has reportedly claimed. He has apparently insisted that Our Lady only ever existed in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Egypt – and nowhere else. 

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Pastor Andrew Brunson American Center for Law and Justice
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Turkish court refuses to release Christian pastor despite Trump pressure

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By Calvin Freiburger

KIRIKLAR, Turkey, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — An American Protestant pastor who has spent 21 months imprisoned in Turkey will not be allowed to return home yet, despite encouraging signs last week and public demands by President Donald Trump.

Andrew Brunson was first arrested in October 2016 as part of a crackdown against political opponents of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after a failed coup attempt. The arrests ensnared “(t)ens of thousands of teachers, politicians, police officers, journalists, and others were arrested or fired from their jobs in retaliation,” according to the LA Times. Brunson had worked in Turkey for 20 years beforehand.

He was put on trial for the crime of “Christianization,” with a Turkish judge attempting to link the North Carolina pastor to a political movement launched by Muslim Muhammed Fethullah Gülen and accusing him of helping members of the Kurdish Workers’ Party escape the country. The Turkish government considers both to be terrorist groups.

“Let it be clear, I am in prison, not for anything that I have done wrong, but because of who I am – a Christian pastor,” Brunson has said. “I desperately miss my wife and children. Yet I believe this to be true – it is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ as many have before me. My deepest thanks to all those around the world who are standing with me and praying for me.”

President Trump declared July 18 that Brunson’s imprisonment was a “total disgrace,” and called on Erdogan to “do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father.” Vice President Mike Pence vowed last Thursday that the U.S. will “impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free” if he is not fully released.

Many hoped last week that Turkey was beginning to relent, as it released Brunson to house arrest instead of prison. American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) chief counsel Jay Sekulow, who has been working on Brunson’s case, revealed Trump was involved in “bilateral negotiations at the highest levels” to free Brunson, and credited his leadership with making this “critical first step” happen.

On Tuesday, however, a Turkish court denied Brunson’s appeal to have both the house arrest and travel ban lifted, the LA Times reported. Sekulow said the decision was not a surprise, but stressed that high-level negotiations remain ongoing.

The Turkish government remains intent on prosecuting Brunson, who would spend 35 years in prison if convicted. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States has seen “no credible evidence” to support the charges.

The U.S. government has begun to make good on its sanctions threat, Haaretz reported, starting with Turkey's Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. Members of Congress have also proposed legislation that would make Turkish loans from international financial institutions contingent on stopping the "arbitrary arrest and detention" of American citizens and consular staff.

The Turkish government is publicly expressing defiance over America’s sanction threats, meanwhile, with Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin declaring that the country will not “bow down” to the United States and claiming that Brunson’s case is just a “pretext.”

Brunson’s next scheduled hearing will be October 12, and his attorney intends to keep pushing to free him in the meantime.

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Bishop Ronald W. Gainer
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US bishop orders removal of predecessors’ names from buildings for failing to ‘protect children’

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By Doug Mainwaring

HARRISBURG, Pa., August 1, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The Bishop of Harrisburg has ordered that the names of his six predecessors dating back to 1947 be removed from any building, facility, or room in the diocese for their failure to protect children from sexual predators wearing a collar. 

"I have directed that the names of every bishop since 1947, the beginning date of the Grand Jury’s investigation, be removed from any building facility, or room in the diocese," said Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer at a press conference this morning.  

"I’ve instructed diocese staff to begin efforts to change names, effective immediately," he added.

Former bishops of Harrisburg whose names will be removed throughout the diocese include: 

  • Joseph P. McFadden, 2010-2013
  • Kevin C. Rhoades, 2004-2010
  • Nicholas C. Dattilo, 1990-2004
  • William H. Keeler, 1983-1989
  • Joseph T. Daley, 1971-1983
  • George L. Leech, 1935-1971

Bishop Gainer also released the names of 71 accused sex-abusers, the majority of them in his diocese. The names were released prior to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s soon-to-be-released bombshell report on clergy sexual abuse in six of the state’s dioceses. 

The bishop said that “anyone who has been accused of sexual misconduct … will have his name removed from any place of honor throughout the Diocese.”  

Gainer also offered an apology. 

“In my own name and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I express profound sorrow and I apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, to the Catholic faithful and to the general public for the abuses that took place and for those church officials who failed to protect children,” he said. 

“The information we are releasing today regarding child sexual abuse and the diocese of Harrisburg, details some very sad moments in our history,” he said.  

Gainer emphasized that the list, “is a list of accusations. We did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating this list.” 

Of the 71 names, 37 were priests of Diocese of Harrisburg, three were deacons of the diocese, six were seminarians, nine were priests from other dioceses, and 16 were from religious communities” tweeted PennLive reporter Ivey DeJesus.

Gainer no doubt senses the growing public frustration over long-festering accusations and rumors of sexual abuse––often predatory and sometimes pedophilic or pederastic––leveled against priests and prelates.  

The pending issuance of the state attorney general’s report comes amid the still unfolding story of disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whose abuse of seminarians and other young men and boys continued for decades, seemingly unchecked by his brother prelates.

Publication of the massive report detailing the findings of the two year grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania currently remains on hold as individuals cited in the report seek to block its release. 

The nearly 900 page document zeroes in on allegations over several decades of sexual misconduct in the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton, in addition to Harrisburg, and is expected to reveal widespread abuse.  Similar investigations of the dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown and Philadelphia were conducted previously. 

Hundreds of priests, as well as other diocesan employees, are expected to be named.  

Victim advocates have suggested this will be the most exhaustive examination by any state of clergy abuse. 

“It’s going to be a devastating report for the Catholic Church and it’s going to point out not only the extent of sexual abuse of children but the massive cover-up by the hierarchy,” predicted Robert Hoatson, president of the group Road to Recovery, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. 

“We have found that there was an ongoing pattern of cover-up, basically, by the diocese,” attorney Alan Perer told Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate.  Perer has represented the alleged victims of priests of the Pittsburgh diocese. 

“This could open the doors to really finding out the truth about what happened over the years, and what the diocese response was to these abusive priests,” said Perer.

Erie’s Bishop earlier issued similar list 

State Attorney General Shapiro said that while the bishops of all six dioceses under investigation were invited to testify before the grand jury, only Erie’s Bishop Lawrence Persico chose to do so. 

In April, Bishop Persico went ahead and authorized the “publication of 51 names of persons who were credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify each person from working with children, he promised that additional names would be added to the list as new information came to light,” according to a diocesan statement

Since then, thirteen additional names have been added to the list.  The move to get out in front of the grand jury report is seen as an effort to rebuild trust between the diocese and the laity.  

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California court of appeal bans prayer, Bible reading at school board meetings

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By Calvin Freiburger

CHINO, California, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has forbidden prayers, proselytizing, or scripture readings at Chino Valley school board meetings, in a ruling the board’s lawyer says is broad enough to ban “anything that might resemble a prayer.”

The July 25 ruling affirms a 2016 injunction by a California district court, in a suit brought against the Chino Valley Unified School District by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist group that seeks to eliminate most benign, voluntary, and unofficial expressions of religiosity from every level of the American public sphere.

FFRF legal director Rebecca Markert celebrated the ruling as a “solid victory for state-church separation,” a commonly-misunderstood concept that does not appear in the Constitution.

According to the Daily Bulletin, the board has opened meetings with prayers unofficially since 2010 and officially since 2013, a practice that later expanded to include mid-meeting prayers, Bible readings, and statements by board members FFRF and the 9th Circuit took to constitute proselytizing.

The group cites examples such as Board President Andrew Cruz’s practice of closing meetings with Bible readings, and Board Vice President James Na (an active member of the Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Watchman Ministry) urging “everyone who does not know Jesus Christ to go and find Him.”

In its defense, the board cited Supreme Court precedent establishing that Christian prayers were permissible at public meetings as long as the local government body didn’t compel participation or discriminate against minority faiths. But the 9th Circuit disagreed.

“The prayers frequently advanced religion in general and Christianity in particular,” the panel ruled. “The prayer policy’s purpose is predominantly religious in violation of the Establishment Clause.” The decision was unsigned, but Judges M. Margaret McKeown, Kim McLane Wardlaw, and Wiley Y. Daniel comprised the panel.

“These prayers typically take place before groups of schoolchildren whose attendance is not truly voluntary and whose relationship to school district officials, including the board, is not one of full parity,” they claimed. “Unlike a session of Congress or a state legislature, or a meeting of a town board, the Chino Valley board meetings function as extensions of the educational experience of the district’s public schools.”

Robert Tyler, an attorney who represented the district, told the Bulletin that passage was flat wrong, noting that students could opt to go to school board meetings for extra credit but weren’t required to, and city council meetings could get them the extra credit as well. He added that disciplinary hearings, where attendance isn’t voluntary, aren’t heard in the same sessions where prayer takes place, and the board’s student member is permitted to leave during prayer.

“Where does this stop?” Tyler asked, noting that the ruling applied to community members speaking during public comments as well as the board itself. “This is a very dangerous ruling.”

“This requires the board to censor or otherwise remove individuals who attempt to say a prayer, or anything that might resemble a prayer, during the public comment period,” Tyler told WND. “Such an overbroad injunction is a clear violation of the right of private citizens to address their local representatives in public meetings and is dangerous to the First Amendment.”

WND notes that outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy, far from a conservative or originalist, nevertheless acknowledged in 2014’s Town of Greece v. Galloway that “[c]eremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government.”

Tyler says his law firm plans to meet with the school board to discuss its next move, which could include filing for the 9th Circuit to reconsider or petitioning the Supreme Court.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Bishop Athanasius Schneider Edward Pentin
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EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Schneider explains the correct Catholic response to ‘Gay Pride’

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By Diane Montagna

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The totalitarianism of homosexual and gender ideology is actively working to conquer the Catholic Church, the “last bastion of resistance,” a respected bishop has said.

In a statement dated July 28, and published here in full in English, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said it cannot be ruled out that the Church, in the not too distant future, “will be faced with a situation similar to the situation of persecution by the Roman Empire in the first three centuries, when adherence to the totalitarian ideology of idolatry was also obligatory for Christians.”

Today, however, instead of burning incense to idols, the acceptable libation poured out to prove one’s adherence to the homosexual and gender ideology agenda is offered through the warm acceptance of “gay pride” parades and other similar events by some Catholic priests, bishops and even cardinals.  

Schneider, an auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan who grew up in the underground Church under Soviet communism, has therefore decided to issue a statement on “the correct Catholic response to ‘gay pride’ events.”

In comments to LifeSiteNews regarding the reason and timing of his statement, Bishop Schneider said: 

A Catholic bishop has the grave moral duty to raise his voice and take a stand regarding the phenomenon of ‘gay pride’ parades. There is a systematic spread of ‘gay pride’ parades throughout the entire Western world. Furthermore, one can also see a growing support for the ‘gay pride’ phenomenon among representatives of the Catholic clergy. At the same time, there is a widespread situation of silence, passivity and fear among those in the Church who should unambiguously address this situation and protect the life of the Church from the infiltration of the poison of the ideology of homosexuality and gender, and proclaim the truth of God’s creation and of His holy commandments.

Here below we publish in full the official English text of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s statement.

************

The correct Catholic response to “Gay Pride” events

In recent decades, “gay pride” parades started spreading through cities of the Western world. The clear objective of this constantly growing phenomenon is to take over the town squares of all the cities of the western world and, in the long term, the cities of the entire world, with the exception of Islamic countries because of fear of predictable violent counter-reactions.

These demonstrations are carried out with enormous financial and logistical commitments, accompanied by propaganda supported by the most influential powers of public life, namely political elites, social media and powerful economic and financial bodies. Such unanimous support on the part of these public bodies was typical of historical totalitarian systems in order to impose a certain ideology on society. The so-called “gay pride” demonstrations unmistakably resemble the propaganda marches of various totalitarian political regimes of the past. 

However, there is one very important voice in public life that has not yet officially, or to a large extent, joined this unanimous chorus of support for so-called “gay pride” parades. This voice is that of the Catholic Church. The totalitarianism of homosexualist gender ideology is pursuing its most ambitious goal, which is to conquer the last bastion of resistance, i.e. the Catholic Church. 

In the meantime, this goal has unfortunately been in some way achieved, since it has been observed that an increasing number of priests, and even some bishops and cardinals, publicly express in various ways their support for these totalitarian marches, called “gay pride.” These priests, bishops and cardinals thereby become agents and promoters of an ideology that represents a direct offense to God and to the dignity of the human person, created male and female, created in the image and likeness of God.

Gender ideology, or the ideology of homosexuality, represents a revolt against the creative work of God, which is so admirably wise and loving. It is a revolt against the creation of the human being in both sexes — male and female — which are necessarily and wonderfully complementary. Homosexual or lesbian acts profane the male or female body, which is the temple of God. In fact, the Holy Spirit says, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:17). The Holy Spirit declares in Sacred Scripture that homosexual acts are ignominious, since they are contrary to nature as it was created by God: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct” (Rom 1:26-28). The Holy Spirit then declares that persons who commit gravely sinful acts, including homosexual acts, will not inherit eternal life: “Do not be deceived: neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10). 

Yet the grace of Christ has such a power that it transforms an idolater, an adulterer, or a practicing homosexual into a new man. The quoted text from the Word of God goes on to say: “And such were some of you [idolaters, adulterers, sodomites]! But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor 6:11). Faced with this truth and reality about grace, the light of hope and true progress shines brightly on the anti-Divine and anti-human scene of the ideology and practice of homosexuality; that is, the hope and real possibility that a person who performs homosexual acts can be transformed into a new man, created in the truth of holiness: “You did not so learn Christ! —assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:20-24). These words of God are the only message worthy of hope and liberation that a Christian, and even more so a priest and a bishop, should offer people who perform homosexual acts or propagate gender ideology.

The totalitarianism and intolerance of gender ideology, by their own logic, also requires totalitarian adherence. All sectors of society, including the Catholic Church, must therefore be obliged to express somehow their acceptance of this ideology. One of the most widespread and concrete public means for imposing this ideology lies in the so-called “gay pride” parades.

It cannot be ruled out that the Catholic Church, in the not too distant future, will be faced with a situation similar to the situation of persecution by the Roman Empire in the first three centuries, when adherence to the totalitarian ideology of idolatry was also obligatory for Christians. At that time, the test or verification of such adherence consisted in the civil and politically correct act of burning several grains of incense in front of the statue of an idol or of the emperor.

Today, instead of burning several grains of incense, the gesture of solidarity with the “gay pride” parades is offered through a warm welcome from clergy and even through a special prayer service in support of the alleged rights to homosexual activities and to the spread of their ideology. We are witnessing an incredible scenario, in which some priests and even bishops and cardinals, without blushing, are already offering grains of incense to the idol of homosexuality or gender ideology, to the applause of the powerful ones of this world, that is, to the applause of politicians, social media giants and powerful international organizations.

What is the correct response of a Christian, a Catholic, a priest and a bishop to the so-called “gay pride” phenomenon?

In the first place, one must proclaim with charity the Divine truth about the creation of the human person, proclaim the truth of the objective psychological and sexual disorder of homosexual tendencies, and then talk about the truth concerning needed and discreet help for people with homosexual tendencies, so that they receive care and liberation from their psychological disability.

Then one must also proclaim the Divine truth about the gravely sinful character of homosexual acts and of the homosexual lifestyle, since they are offensive to God’s will. One must proclaim with truly fraternal concern the Divine truth about the danger of the eternal loss of the souls of practicing and unrepentant homosexuals. 

In addition, by showing civil courage and using all peaceful and democratic means available, one must protest against contempt for Christian convictions and against the public display of degrading obscenities. One must protest against the imposition — on the populations of entire cities and towns — of marches characterized by political-ideological militancy.

The most important thing, however, lies in the spiritual means. The most powerful and precious response is expressed in public and private acts of reparation to the Divine holiness and majesty, so gravely and publicly offended by so-called “gay pride” parades.

Inseparable from acts of reparation is fervent prayer for the conversion and eternal salvation of the souls of the promoters and activists of homosexual ideology, and especially of the souls of the pitiable people who practice homosexuality.

May the following words of the Supreme Pontiffs strengthen the correct Catholic response to the so-called “gay pride” phenomenon.

Pope John Paul II protested against the “gay pride” parade in Rome, in 2000, saying:

I feel obliged, now, to mention the well-known [gay pride] demonstrations held in Rome in the past few days. In the name of the Church of Rome I can only express my deep sadness at … the offense to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics throughout the world. The Church cannot be silent about the truth, because she would fail in her fidelity to God the Creator and would not help to distinguish good from evil. (Angelus address, July 9, 2000)

The reigning Pontiff, Pope Francis, has on various occasions warned of the danger of gender ideology, when for example, he said:

You, Irina, mentioned a great enemy to marriage today: the theory of gender. Today there is a world war to destroy marriage. Today there are ideological colonizations which destroy, not with weapons, but with ideas. Therefore, there is a need to defend ourselves from ideological colonizations. (Meeting with priests, religious, seminarians and pastoral workers, Tbilisi, October 1, 2016)

On another occasion, he said:

We are experiencing a moment of the annihilation of man as the image of God. I would like to conclude with this aspect, since behind all this there are ideologies. In Europe, America, Latin America, Africa, and in some countries of Asia, there are genuine forms of ideological colonization taking place. And one of these – I will call it clearly by its name – is [the ideology of] ‘gender’. Today children – children! – are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the persons and institutions that give you money. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible! In a conversation with Pope Benedict, who is in good health and very perceptive, he said to me: ‘Holiness, this is the age of sin against God the Creator’. He is very perceptive. God created man and woman; God created the world in a certain way… and we are doing the exact opposite. God gave us things in a ‘raw’ state, so that we could shape a culture; and then with this culture, we are shaping things that bring us back to the ‘raw’ state! Pope Benedict’s observation should make us think. ‘This is the age of sin against God the Creator’. (Meeting with the Polish Bishops on the occasion of the XXXI World Youth Day, Krakow, July 27, 2016)

The true friends of people who promote and perform degrading actions during so-called “gay pride” parades are Christians who say:

I will not burn even one grain of incense before the idol of homosexuality and gender theory, even if — God forbid! — my parish priest or my bishop should do so.

I will make private and public acts of reparation and offer intercessory prayers for the eternal salvation of the souls of all those who promote and practice homosexuality.

I will not be afraid of the new ideological-political totalitarianism of gender theory, for Christ is with me. And since Christ has conquered all the totalitarian systems of the past, He will also conquer the totalitarianism of gender ideology in our own day.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

July 28, 2018

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana

Translation from the Italian by Diane Montagna

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Cheryl Sullenger

News,

Notorious abortionist LeRoy Carhart on his third waste disposal company

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

August 1, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – A new medical waste company has been hired by AbortionClinics.org (ACO), a late-term abortion facility located in Bethesda, Maryland, after two other companies cancelled contracts to pick up aborted baby remains there last month.

The new company, Bio-Haz Solutions, Inc., based in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, was first seen at ACO in early July making a pick-up of four large and apparently very heavy boxes.

ACO, which is owned and operated by the notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart of Nebraska, is one of a handful of abortion facilities in the U.S. that openly abort babies through all nine months of pregnancy.

In fact, Carhart specializes in the extremely expensive multi-day abortions on nearly full-term babies and has been known to abort as many as a dozen such babies per week.

The driver of a Bio-Haz Solutions van was seen going into ACO with flat cardboard boxes and empty red plastic biohazard bags. He came out with two boxes at a time that were so full of aborted baby remains that the cardboard bowed out and crunched at the bottom.

"It was appalling to see those pictures of boxes that must have been full of the bodies and pregnancy tissue of very large aborted babies. Apparently, there had not been a pick up there for at least two weeks, so there could have been as many as two dozen babies weighing up to five pounds each in those boxes," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "That really brings home the barbarity of late-term abortions. It's really the stuff of nightmares."

Bio-Haz Solutions is the latest company to attempt to profit from the disposal of aborted babies at Carhart's Bethesda abortion facility.

Biomedical Waste Services of Maryland cancelled its contract with ACO on June 5, 2018, after Operation Rescue urged pro-life supporters to flood its office with e-mails and phone calls. A second Maryland company, Biomedical Waste Services quit after just one pick-up on June 23 after a similar contact campaign yielded results.

"Now, it's time to call on pro-life supporters to again reach out to this new company and ask them to stop working for Carhart," said Newman. "Together, our voices have the power to change hearts and save lives."

This time, Mark Harrington of Created Equal has joined with Operation Rescue in calling for Bio-Haz Solutions to stop servicing Carhart's late-term abortion business. Harrington calls medical waste disposal companies the "weak link" for abortion facilities and has been conducting a successful national campaign that resulted in the nationally-known company waste disposal company, Stericycle, (among others) to stop servicing abortion clinics, leaving many scrambling to find new disposal services.

"We are happy to team up with Created Equal to call for Bio-Haz Solutions to stop enabling the horrific abortions that are taking place in Bethesda," said Newman. "Without a disposal service, very soon Carhart just won't be able to continue operating, and that would certainly save lives."

Please contact Bio-Haz Solutions owner David Henritzy and politely ask him to cancel his contract with LeRoy Carhart and AbortionClinics.org.

David Henritzy
Voice: (888) 794-7894 or 570-645-2180
E-Mail: [email protected]
or click for web-based contact form.

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.

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Opinion, , ,

The heart of the matter? Human dignity.

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
Marina and Norina in Tanzania, pressured to use Norplant implants. Celina's implant "wandered" and a long scar in her arm is the result of cutting it back out, when she experienced bad side effects. They are relatives of Regional Anglophone Africa Director, Emil Hagamu.
In Japan, post-War many babies were aborted after women were raped or became pregnant by whites, to preserve the purity of Asian blood. Here Regional Director for Asia, Dr. Ligaya Acosta, visits a Shrine to the Unborn.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5).

August 1, 2018 (Human Life International) – In Evangelium Vitae, St. Pope John Paul II identified a sinister paradox in contemporary culture. "Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed," he lamented, "the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death."

This "strange contradiction," he warned, means that in practice a great deal of the lofty talk about human rights spoken in legislatures, courts and conference rooms around the world amounts to little more than a "futile exercise of rhetoric." In this blistering passage, the pope singles out one instance of the hypocrisy of many ostensibly liberal modern democratic states: i.e. their insistence that international "aid" sent to impoverished countries be contingent upon "arbitrary prohibitions against procreation" – in other words, "soft" coercive population control.

"Should we not question the very economic models often adopted by States which, also as a result of international pressures and forms of conditioning, cause and aggravate situations of injustice and violence in which the life of whole peoples is degraded and trampled upon?" he queried.

Attack on Human Dignity – the Root of the Culture of Death

Over the past several weeks, we have been exploring Blessed Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae, published just over 50 years ago. To a large number of people (including – alas – many Catholics) Humanae Vitae's reaffirmation of age-old Christian teaching against artificial contraception is outdated, oppressive, and tangential to any of the "real" problems that our society is facing. Why, when we are facing grave issues like human trafficking, mass migration, political polarization, and gun violence is the Catholic Church still wasting its breath on questioning what consenting adults are doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms?

Liberal thinkers frequently make the same accusation against the Church's condemnations of abortion. Why, when there are children starving and suffering other grave indignities does the Church continue to waste its time and energies on trying to prevent women from exercising their "right" to "control their own bodies"? Why is the Church so concerned with undeveloped fetuses when there are born children whose rights and dignity are being daily violated?

A clear and compelling answer is found in both Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae. As we have seen, Blessed Pope Paul VI prophetically predicted that the moral effects of artificial contraception would not remain hermetically sealed in the bedrooms of the nation, but would seep out into the most public realms, including, in the most terrifying cases, in decisions by governments to coercively enforce population control using the new methods of contraception. He also saw the connection between contraception and abortion, warning in Humanae Vitae that abortion is "to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children." Thus, a practice that seemed to the sexual revolutionaries of the 60s to be transparently benign – artificial birth control – turned out to erode crucial structures and strictures that protected the dignity of the weakest among us.

In Evangelium Vitae St. Pope John Paul II is even more explicit in explaining how direct attacks on human life, above all via abortion and euthanasia, undermine every effort to protect human dignity:

A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace. There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person's dignity and without respect for his or her rights. Nor can there be true peace unless life is defended and promoted.

Human Dignity in the Scriptures

 To understand why radical respect for the dignity ofevery human being from the moment of conception is the precondition of all human rights, it is helpful to turn to the Scriptures. It is there that we find the theological and anthropological basis for St. Pope John Paul II's assertion above. Indeed, much of the Scriptures amount to a protracted argument that human beings are vested with such a dignity that the value of a single human exceeds that of the entire physical universe.

That argument begins in the very first book of Genesis, where the Scriptural author asserts that God created man "in his own image" (Gen. 1:27). Due to overfamiliarity, I suspect we often lose sight of the seismic significance of this declaration. If humans are made in "God's image" then we are, truly, in some meaningful sense "God-like." What, precisely, does this mean? In brief: Unlike the rest of material creation, human beings are self-conscious, thinking beings invested with the capacity for free choice, and possessing immortal, spiritual souls capable of union with God through the direct contemplation of His essence in eternal beatitude in Heaven. Already created with a spark of the divine, human beings are truly capable of being "divinized" by receiving God's life through grace.

As the psalmist puts it, "[Y]ou have made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field" (Psalm 8:5-7). In one of the most explicitly "pro-life" passages of Scripture, Jeremiah recounts God telling him, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." The psalmist too echoes this message, speaking of the intimate, personal solicitude with which God created him: "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13). Job too marvels at God's completely personal interest in his life and well-being: "You clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love; and your care has preserved my spirit" (Job 10:8-12).

After Christ, this message of the innate dignity shared by every human being is elevated even further by a new awareness of just how great God's personal love for every human being is, and how lofty is the human destiny. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life," marvels John the Evangelist. St. Paul exhorts his readers: "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you" (1 Cor. 3:16). John echoes this same message in one of his letters: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are" (1 John 3:1-2).

Abortion and Human Dignity

What is so historically astonishing is these Scriptural passages do not admit of any exceptions. Every human being is created in "God's image." Every human being was "knit together" in his or her mother's womb by a God intimately interested in their individual welfare. Every human being has the potential to become a "child of God." Christ sacrificed himself for the salvation of every human being.

It is no accident that the very concept of universal "human rights" was hammered out and flourished in a culture deeply imbued with the principles of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. For if there is anything history teaches us, it is that the equal dignity of all human beings is by no means self-evident to most peoples and cultures. Sadly, even in countries that have ostensibly had Christian roots, we have seen the horrific fruits of an abandonment of the Scriptural truth about universal human dignity: slavery and genocide.

Indeed, there seems to be an inexorable logic to the denial of universal human rights: once the pendulum starts swinging in that direction, the criteria for qualifying for human rights become progressively stricter and more arbitrary. In the long run, any country or civilization that deliberately and systematically undermines the fundamental rights of a particular class of human beings falls prey to the arbitrary whims of a powerful few. "To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others," says St. Pope John Paul II. "This is the death of true freedom."

This is why the Church insists upon the prioritization of the fight against direct, deliberate and grave attacks on the dignity – above all the right to life – of human beings. This does not mean that She does not consider other issues to be of importance: on the contrary, She consistently draws attention to all attacks on human dignity and praises every effort of whatever kind to raise the downtrodden to their rightful dignity.

Nevertheless, St. Pope John Paul II was crystal clear that direct attacks on human dignity are especially pernicious, to the point that he insisted that laws legitimizing such attacks are no laws at all, and that they even preclude a society's capacity to achieve the common good in any meaningful sense.

Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good. Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.

But, even this scathing passage does not fully capture the great pope's scorn for laws that enshrine attacks on human life. Any time such laws are passed, he said, "the 'right' ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part." In such cases, even so-called "democracies" are in fact declining into "a form of totalitarianism." The State "is transformed into a tyrant State," he said, "which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenceless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part."

This applies even – or perhaps especially – in cases where abortion and euthanasia have been legalized by popular ballot. Such a vote may give the impression of being strictly legal and democratic. But, he said, "Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundations."

The Weakness of the 'Seamless Garment'

These are strong words.

They also help explain why pro-lifers have always rejected the common misuse of the so-called "seamless garment" theory. If the person using this term only means that all moral issues are connected – i.e. that all goodness is ultimately One and all individual goods are mutually reinforcing, and that all evils are equally interconnected and mutually reinforcing – then there is nothing necessarily wrong with it. Sin begets sin, and virtue begets virtue. True enough.

But in practice the theory is frequently used to level all moral evils to equal status, or, even worse, to raise certain lesser evils, or even prudential matters above those that involve grave, intrinsic evils, such as attacks on human life. The image itself facilitates this fallacy: for it seems that every thread of a seamless garment is just as important as any other. A much better image is the image used by St. Pope John Paul II in a passage quoted above: of a building and its foundation. Every brick of a building is crucial for the structural integrity of the building, but some are more important than others. Those that form the foundation are the most important of all. As grandiose as the structures built on such a foundation may be, they are all the more shaky for that.

Of course, nothing that I have said suggests that Catholics should only be involved in fighting for certain issues or causes. Every Christian is gifted with their calling, their own particular charism. We need Catholics to bring solid Christian principles based upon a true understanding of human dignity to every conceivable social and political issue: immigration, healthcare, housing, education, hunger, gun violence, penal justice, work conditions, legal reform, etc. However, what it does mean is that Christians must be wary of self-declared "human rights" campaigns or initiatives that are built on shifting sand: i.e. on a selective application of human dignity. We see this, for instance, in cases where ostensible "charities" attack the culture and dignity of peoples in impoverished countries by exploiting the offer of legitimate charity such as healthcare to introduce grave intrinsic evils like abortion. No matter how enticing the gift in one hand, the dagger held in the other undermines whatever good the gift might have done.

"The theory of human rights is based precisely on the affirmation that the human person, unlike animals and things, cannot be subjected to domination by others," stated St. Pope John Paul II. As long as we live in a society that systematically and deliberately dominates the weakest among us, stripping them of their basic rights, we must always be aware that every attempt we make to protect human rights risks collapsing due to an infirm foundation. All true charity is at least implicitly built upon a commitment to defend the dignity of every human being: and any charity that lacks this commitment risks devolving – whether intentionally or not – into exploitation, all the more sinister for arriving in the guise of a "gift."

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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Brad Miner

Opinion, ,

It’s time to come forward with stories of predatory priests. Here’s mine.

Brad Miner
By Brad Miner

August 1, 2018 (The Catholic Thing) – A prediction: The McCarrick revelations will turn out to be a good thing. How so? Well, a part of the priest sex-abuse fairy tale is the cover-up. We know this – and that the cover-up always magnifies the crime.

When a good priest has discovered the homosexual sins of a bad priest (let alone of a bishop), and if that good priest has gone to his pastor or to a bishop (let alone an archbishop), it's likely that he will hear a version of this:

Thank you, Father. We must do something about this, and we will! But, for the sake of the Church, you must tell no one else. The media will pounce on such a story to discredit Catholicism itself. You're brave to come forward. But I wouldn't want you to risk your career by becoming the focus of an ongoing and sensational investigation.

That's a high hurdle to jump in a Church that values hierarchy and discipline. But my prediction is that a great many priests who know of homosexual (and instances, too, of heterosexual) sins by priests (let alone bishops) will now begin to come forward.

I hope they will – every last one of them. Because the drip, drip, drip of scandal is really hurting the Church. If there's a levee that needs bursting, we should welcome that: a torrent to cleanse the swamp.

Let the flood come: of resignations and laicizations – perhaps hundreds of them. It will be destabilizing, and as a conservative I shudder at the prospect. But the miasma is now intolerable. The stench of suspicion is falling on every bishop, if not also every priest.

It must also be recognized that clergy engaging in sex-abuse is just a part of the problem. The 2004 John Jay College of Criminal Justice report to the USCCB contains some good data on the crisis. But its purview was limited to the abuse of kids, 17 and under. No research was done about the sexual escapades of priests with men, 18 and older.

Those data would likely reveal a much, much larger scandal – one that would explode a key conclusion of the John Jay researchers as well as the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe and the likes of Fr. James Martin, S.J., namely that the scandals "have nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality." This simply cannot be true.

I'll now tell a tale I've alluded to before at TCT. But first I'll repeat what I've said to close friends, some of whom contribute to this website. Had I known in 1973 when I was about to enter the Catholic Church what we all know now about the extent of predatory homosexuality in the priesthood and the numbers of, by definition, sinful homosexual encounters among priests, boys, teens, and men, I would not have become Catholic. Thank God I didn't know, because – despite these scandals – I cannot imagine any other spiritual home.

So...

Shortly after I made my profession of faith (I can't recall the season because it was in California), I came home late from work and missed the 5 PM Mass at the church I attended. The celebrant, shaking hands outside, told me there was a 6 PM at a church a few miles away, so I drove there.

At the end of that Mass, a priest approached me in the parking lot. He said he'd never seen me at Mass before. I explained, and he said:

"I want to ask you something, but I don't want to shake your faith."

"How would you do that?"

"It's something private."

I held up my hands: Huh?

Short story shorter, he said he wanted to have sex with me.

"You're under a vow of chastity," I said.

"No, no. You're a new Catholic. My vow is celibacy – not to marry – not chastity, yes?"

I went on to my car.

A few months later, back home in Ohio where I grew up, I went again to an evening Mass, and as I was receiving Communion, the priest whispered: "Come see me in the sacristy, okay?"

I'm embarrassed to admit the alarm bells didn't go off. This guy was subtler. He asked if I'd come with him to say the blessing before a high-school basketball game a few days on.

At the end of the first quarter, he said, "Thanks for the company. I owe you a drink." So we drove to a bar I'd never seen or heard of in the middle of downtown Columbus. When we got out of the car, he opened the trunk, took off his clerical collar, and put on a jacket that matched exactly the one I was wearing.

I got that sinking feeling. And, yes, the bar was a gay hangout.

"What'll you have?" he asked.

"Any old beer," I said, and he went to fetch it.

The bar was five miles from where I lived. I quickly exited, jogged a couple of blocks, and then walked the rest of the way home.

Then I visited a seminary, still considering a vocation to the priesthood. (I'd also visited another seminary and two monasteries.) The vocations director took me to dinner, and it happened again. I won't repeat now what I said to him then.

At this point, I'd been a Roman Catholic for less than six months. The upshot was: I steered clear of priests for the next fifteen years, pretty much until I met Fathers Neuhaus, Rutler, and Schall.

This anecdotal evidence proves nothing. And I would qualify the meme in L'Affaire McCarrick that, "Everybody knew." Lots did, but most people had no clue. Unless you were party to the rumor mill, you knew nothing about it.

But I'm not the only adult who was "hit on" by priests. I'm probably not the only guy to whom it happened thrice.

Let's drain the swamp – for the sake of the Church.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.

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Peter Saunders

Opinion,

Can doctors starve brain-damaged people to death? UK Supreme Court says yes.

Peter Saunders
By Peter Saunders

August 1, 2018 (Christian Medical Comment) – My Radio Four Today programme interview on this case is here. Five Live here.

Should doctors be able to withdraw food and fluids from severely brain-damaged people who are not imminently dying? And if so, in what circumstances?

The answer to these questions has changed significantly because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court.

Patients with permanent vegetative state (PVS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) can now be effectively starved and dehydrated to death if the medical staff and relatives agree that this is in their 'best interests'.

People with PVS (awake but not aware) and MCS (awake but only intermittently or partially aware) can breathe without ventilators but need to have food and fluids by tube (clinically assisted nutrition and hydration or CANH).

These patients are not imminently dying and with good care can live for many years. Some even regain awareness. But if CANH is withdrawn, then they will die from dehydration and starvation within two or three weeks.

Until last year all cases of PVS and MCS have had to go to the Court of Protection before CANH could be withdrawn.

Under the old rules, only about 100 applications to stop tube feeding have been made in more than 20 years, since the Tony Bland case created the precedent in 1993. But this could now hugely increase.

In two cases last year (known as M and Y) the High Court ruled that if the relatives and medical staff agreed that withdrawal of CANH was in the patient's 'best interests' then the court need not be involved.

Three medical bodies – the BMA, RCP and GMC – issued interim guidance in line with this decision last December and at the same time the Court of Protection similarly changed its rules.

The Official Solicitor appealed this decision to the Supreme Court in a hearing in February. The Supreme Court has only just issued its judgement today effectively upholding the decision of the High Court.

In giving her judgement, Lady Black (pictured above), with whom the other four Supreme Court judges fully agreed, made three critical rulings.

First, she argued that 'there may come a time when life has to be relinquished because that is in the best interests of the patient'.

Second, she said that that there is no difference in principle between turning off a ventilator and removing a feeding tube as both are 'forms of medical treatment'.

Third, she said patients with PVS and MCS should be treated in the same way as people with 'severe stroke' a 'degenerative neurological condition' or 'other condition with a recognised downward trajectory' where 'decisions to withhold or withdraw CANH are made on a regular basis without recourse to the courts'.

In making these declarations Lady Black has dramatically moved the goalposts on end of life decision-making.

Once we accept that death by dehydration is in some brain-damaged people's 'best interests' we are on a very slippery slope indeed.

There is a clear difference between turning off a ventilator on a brain-dead patient and removing CANH from a brain-damaged patient. In the first case the patient dies from their underlying brain injury. In the second they die from dehydration and starvation.  

Similarly, PVS and MCS differ from conditions with a 'downward trajectory' because they are not progressive and do not in themselves lead inevitably to death.

The Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent. Taking these decisions away from the Court of Protection removes an important layer of legislative scrutiny and accountability and effectively weakens the law.

It will make it more likely that severely brain-damaged patients will be starved or dehydrated to death in their supposed 'best interests' and that these decisions will be more influenced by those who have ideological or financial vested interests in this course of action.

Prof Derick Wade, a consultant in neurological rehabilitation based in Oxford, estimates there could be as many as 24,000 patients in the NHS in England either in PVS or MCS, with most of them in nursing homes.

Given that it costs about £100,000 per year to care for a person with PVS or MCS the potential 'saving' for the NHS could be as much as £2.4 billion annually if most seek to go down this route. This is not a temptation we want to put before medical staff and administrators given current financial pressures.

But it is also bad medicine.

There are still significant uncertainties about diagnosis and prognosis in both PVS and MCS. These have increased rather than decreased in the last 20 years and this is why continued court oversight is necessary.

Making judgements about diagnosis, prognosis and best interests in these cases is fraught with difficulty and should be carried out only by those with specialist experience.

The Court of Protection has already overturned some doctors' decisions in previous cases and some patients have recovered awareness months or even years after being diagnosed with PVS or MCS. This is more common after traumatic brain injury than after oxygen deprivation.

There are also advances being made in the treatment of some acute brain injury because of brain cooling techniques, intracranial pressure monitoring and neurosurgery.

But most seriously there is the real risk that those who have vested ideological, financial or emotional interests in a person's death could exert undue influence.

Recent experiences around the Liverpool care pathway, and in the Gosport hospital, should make us wary of leaving doctors without proper regulatory and legal oversight.

When difficult medical decisions are left to doctors who are inexperienced, inadequately trained or working under intense pressure bad decisions can be made.

When they are left to those who believe that brain-damaged patients are better off dead then we are in a very dangerous place indeed.

It is just possible that today's Supreme Court decision will not change medical practice in this area.

But I am not holding my breath. 

The full judgement is available here and the press summary of the judgement here.

Published with permission from Christian Medical Comment.

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Alex Schadenberg Alex Schadenberg Follow Alex

Opinion,

Euthanasia deaths keep going up in Belgium, with no end in sight

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By Alex Schadenberg

August 1, 2018 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) – The media is reporting that the Belgian euthanasia data has been released. The data shows that the number of euthanasia deaths continues to increase, euthanasia deaths for conditions related to aging have skyrocketed and three children died by euthanasia.

There is no sign that the problems of euthanasia without request and unreported euthanasia deaths have been reduced.

The basic data. In 2016 there were 2028 reported euthanasia deaths up from 2021 in 2015 and in 2017 there were 2309 reported euthanasia deaths, a 14% increase from the previous year. There were 954 reported Belgian euthanasia deaths in 2010 representing a 242% increase in 7 years.

Since 2010, Belgium has expanded euthanasia to include children, people with mental or behavioral conditions and people who are not dying but have chronic conditions. The data indicates that in 2016/17 there were, reportedly, 3 children who died by euthanasia, 77 people with mental or behavior conditions and 710 people with sight loss or incontinence or conditions related to disability or age.

When releasing the 2015 euthanasia data, Wim Distelmans, the chairman of the Euthanasia Evaluation and Control commission told the media that they cannot say for certain the actual number of euthanasia deaths. Distelmans stated:

Remember, there could be some euthanasia cases carried out but which are not declared so we cannot say for certain what the number is[.]

Distelman's comments were based on the research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (March 19, 2015) on the euthanasia practice in Belgium that found

  • 4.6% of all deaths in 2013 in the Flanders region were euthanasia.
  • .05% of all deaths in 2013 in the Flanders region were assisted suicide.
  • 1.7% of all deaths in 2013 in the Flanders region were hastened without explicit request.

By comparing the data from the 2013 NEJM study to the official 2013 Belgian euthanasia commission data it is clear that almost half of the euthanasia deaths in 2013 were not reported to the commission.

A significant and continuous problem in Belgium is the number of assisted deaths without explicit request. According to the NEJM study:

In 2007, 1.8% of all deaths were hastened deaths without explicit request while in 2013, 1.7% of all deaths were hastened deaths without explicit request.

Last year, Dr Ludo Vanopdenbosch, a palliative care specialist, resigned from the Belgian euthanasia commission after the commission approved the death of a person who could not have consented to euthanasia. Vanopdenbosch explained in his resignation letter that:

The most striking example took place at a meeting in early September, ... when the group discussed the case of a patient with severe dementia, who also had Parkinson's disease. To demonstrate the patient's lack of competence, a video was played showing what Vanopdenbosch characterized as "a deeply demented patient."  

The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, was euthanized at the family's request... There was no record of any prior request for euthanasia from the patient.

Dr. An Haekens, psychiatric director at the Alexianen Psychiatric Hospital in Tienen said:

It's not euthanasia because the patient didn't ask, so it's the voluntary taking of a life[.]

This appalling case of euthanasia without request is not the first dispute. The AP revealed a rift last year between Dr. Willem Distelmans, co-chair of the euthanasia commission, and Dr. Lieve Thienpont, an advocate of euthanasia for the mentally ill. Distelmans suggested some of Thienpont's patients might have been killed without meeting all the legal requirements. Prompted by the AP's reporting, more than 360 doctors, academics and others have signed a petition calling for tighter controls on euthanasia for psychiatric patients.

Euthanasia is out of control in Belgium. Some day the people will wake up and realize how crazy the euthanasia ideology is and recognize the social and human destruction euthanasia has caused.

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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Ryan Bomberger Ryan Bomberger Follow Ryan

Opinion,

No, abortion is not health care. It’s #FakeHealth.

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By Ryan Bomberger

August 1, 2018 (Radiance Foundation) – Only in the world of abortion activism is violently induced death considered healthcare. Fake feminism has led millions to believe that justice is when the strong prevail over the weak. Pro-abortion politicians claim to fight for equality, but only promote enmity between two human beings that are biologically designed to be connected – mother and child.

Lately, pro-abortion activists are amping up their War Against Pregnancy. They have powerful allies in public education, #fakenews media, Hollywood, the music industry, Bible-evading churches and even professional medical associations.

Let's keep in mind, medical professionals have broken the trust of the public and exploited unsuspecting victims many times. They've conducted heinous acts in the name of science throughout history (like Shark IslandTuskegee Syphilis ExperimentNazi Science ExperimentsGosnell's Supercoil ExperimentPuerto Rico Birth Control ExperimentPhiladelphia Prison ExperimentsChildren with Cerebral Palsy at Sonoma State HospitalUniversity of Iowa 'Monster Study', and so many more).

So, let's disabuse ourselves of the notion that medical science is always ethical. Human beings and institutions, especially those that profit from killing innocent human beings, always need to be held accountable (in the case of Planned Parenthood…abolished). 

There is virtually no accountability for the abortion industry, which fights tooth and nail to self-police its business of butchery. 

Pro-abortion activists now want to parade around with #FakeClinic signs in front of pregnancy care centers repeating every possible lie they can from NARAL ProChoice America? The hanger-wavingradical pro-abortion group knows a lot about lying. It's who they are. It's why their co-founder, the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, called them out for deliberate deception about abortion statistics to sell the lie of abortion to the American public. Dr. Nathanson, once responsible for overseeing 75,000 abortions (5,000 he committed himself including the abortion of his own child) became pro-life and spent the rest of his life educating and unequivocally proclaiming that "all abortion is violence". 

That violence, under the unconstitutional guise of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, has taken the lives of hundreds of mothers and 60 million defenseless human beings. 

Abortion is not healthcare. So, if we want to talk about #fakeclinics, let's talk about Planned Parenthood's 600 abortion centers and the hundreds of other independently owned abortion mills across the country which constantly fight every effort to be held to regular medical standards. They carry out their own self-imposed #globalgagrule every day, because they don't trust women with the truth about abortion.

Any self-proclaimed "leading women's healthcare organization" that pretends we haven't known for over a century when human life begins isn't exactly very sciency. Former Planned Parenthood President and founder of the Guttmacher Institute, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, declared in his 1933 book Life In The Making that life begins at conception. Clearly, today's pro-abortion activists haven't gotten that memo.

"Having an abortion doesn't increase your risk for breast cancer or affect your fertility. It doesn't cause problems for future pregnancies like birth defects, premature birth or low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or infant death." This blatant dishonesty is from Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading #fakehealth network. 

ABORTION AND PRETERM BIRTHS

First trimester induced abortion is a "known immutable medical risk factor associated with preterm birth" according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. Although they did stick this inconvenient truth onto page 625 of a 772 page study, "Preterm Births: Causes, Consequence, and Prevention". 

meta-analysis of 49 studies, published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, shows a "statistically significant increase in PTB [preterm birth] risk in women with a history of IA [induced abortion]."

According to the CDC, 17% of infant deaths in the United States are due to preterm births and low birth weight. "Babies born too early (especially before 32 weeks) have higher rates of death and disability," explains the CDC. Those who survive preterm births often experience breathing problems, feeding difficulties, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, vision and hearing problems. Out of 23,455 infant deaths in 2015, there were 4,084 deaths due to "disorders related to short gestation and low birth rate."

Studies have shown preterm births among black women are three times higher than whites and Hispanics. The CDC reports that black women's abortion rates are three times higher than whites. So what does Planned Parenthood do? In its typical racially targeting manner, the billion-dollar abortion giant tweeted: "If you're a Black woman in America, it's statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth." By the way, if President Trump had tweeted that, there would've been an absolute national #fakenews media uproar and charges of "white supremacy" and "racism". But since an organization that kills (disproportionately black lives) for a living said it, "Go Feminism!"

ABORTION AND BREAST CANCER

"Specifically, older age, family history of breast cancer, earlier menarche age, induced abortion, and OC [oral contraceptive] use were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer," concluded a landmark 2009 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute's own (now retired) branch chief, Louise Brinton. The study, Risk Factors for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Women Under Age 45 is completely suppressed by the National Cancer Institute. The taxpayer-funded governmental agency falsely claims there are no valid studies on the link between induced abortion and breast cancer (ABC link) since the 1990s (which they claim are all flawed). There are 29 studies from 2000-2018 that show a positive correlation between abortion and breast cancer, the majority (18) of which are statistically significant.

Brinton's research shows a 40% increase in breast cancer risk with a previous induced abortion, yet her own agency denies the facts. Many medical professionals would rather play politics than present preciseness. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, founded by Drs. Angela Lanfranchi (a breast surgeon), Joel Brind, John T. Brchalski and William L. Toffler, provides an exhaustive list of peer-reviewed studies that debunk the political position of the NCI. 

BIRTH CONTROL AND TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

Let's remember that Planned Parenthood founder and leading eugenicist, Margaret Sanger, definedbirth control like this: "Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives." This is just vile. The nation's largest abortion chain, spawned in eugenic racism and elitism, thought they could, and should, control the population. So the next time someone tries to claim birth control is about women's rights, let's remember the pseudoscience that motivated the mother of the movement. 

Actual science has never been the abortion industry's foundation. Deception and exploitation are its DNA. Shouldn't women know that if they're taking oral contraceptives under the age of 18, they increase their risk of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) – the most aggressive form of breast cancer – by 270%? Shouldn't they know if they've been taking OC for 3-6 years, it increases their TNBC risk by 180%? This is from the same NCI study that reported that induced abortion is associated with increased TNBC. 

ABORTION AND MENTAL HEALTH

Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood constantly likes comparing the abortion of a child to having a tooth pulled, there are no support groups for those who've had their wisdom teeth yanked. But there are many networks of post-abortive ministries dedicated to help, heal and restore women and men devastated by the irreplaceable loss abortion causes. Wisdom illuminates that an abortionist killing someone's unborn child will have adverse effects. And science reveals that truth. In a study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 73.8% of post-abortive women surveyed "experienced at least subtle forms of pressure to terminate their pregnancies." Another 58.3% reported having an abortion to "make others happy". Sixty-six percent "knew in their hearts that they were making a mistake." How could there not be consequences? According to another study on Abortion and Mental Health, there was a drastic 81% increased risk of mental health problems, with nearly 10% directly attributed to abortion. 

Despite the distortions of "professional" medical organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Americans need to realize that politics often trumps principles, like adherence to sound scientific evidence. (By the way, I highly recommend The American College of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or AAPLOG, for the scientific facts about abortion and reproductive health.) Pro-abortion organizations like APA and ACOG align with an industry that is willing to accept any collateral damage in order to protect an abortionist's unrestricted "right", up until the moment of birth, to kill someone's child. Pro-abortion activists work zealously to anesthetize the public to what abortion really is – a violent and corrupt billion dollar business merely posing as healthcare.

Published with permission from the Radiance Foundation.

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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

Blogs,

Church institutions are washing their hands of Cardinal McCarrick

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By Doug Mainwaring

August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic institutions that previously honored former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick are beginning to rescind his honorary degrees.  

Recent revelations about McCarrick’s predatory sexual behavior toward young seminarians and boys has caused both Fordham University and the Catholic University of America (CUA) to withdraw the degrees they had once given the disgraced former Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

At the same time, McCarrick has turned in his red hat, having been removed from the College of Cardinals. Before that, the Vatican removed him from public ministry.

McCarrick is swiftly being erased from and by the institutional Church as much as possible.  

The top response – immediately after Wikipedia – to a Google search of “Cardinal McCarrick Biography” displays a link to the Vatican Press Office biography of McCarrick.

 

However, if one clicks on it, here is what one finds:

 

This comes on top of his brother cardinals issuing statements that they knew absolutely nothing about their close friend and colleague’s sexual predilections.  

McCarrick has already been reduced to an enigma.  

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Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

Blogs,

Cardinal McCarrick and the gay mafia: corruption of clergy now rivals the age of the Borgias

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of Cardinal McCarrick’s record of sexual abuse of seminarians and of minor children is sending waves of horror through the Church, as Catholics increasingly meditate on its disturbing implications. It is now clear that McCarrick’s reputation as a sexual predator was widely known in the Catholic hierarchy for decades, and nothing was done to stop the man or impede his career as he climbed the ladder of ecclesiastical power.

Despite attempts by a small number of priests and Catholic journalists to bring the truth to light about McCarrick’s filthy habit of sexual predation, and even to warn the Holy See, the prelate managed to climb the ladder of promotion, finally receiving the archbishopric of Washington D.C. and even a cardinal’s hat. It seems that no crime was sufficient to threaten McCarrick’s career, until he was safely in retirement.

The insidious influence of the Church’s gay mafia are now so extensive that bishops, cardinals, and even the pope seem to cow in fear before this infestation of effeminate perverts who have co-opted and hijacked the Church’s institutions. The “abominating desolation” of their filth is now openly on display throughout the Church, from the halls of the Holy See, to the chanceries of dioceses, to the innumerable “gay-friendly” parishes that pander to the spiritual self-destruction of their hapless clientele.  

Church afflicted with moral corruption rivaling the era of the Borgias

A cursory review of this horror gives us confirmation that we are living in an age of corruption comparable with the decadence of the Borgias and the Renaissance papacy, whose blatant public displays of vice led to the Protestant Reformation, the most calamitous schism in the Church’s history.

An Italian archbishop who commissioned a blasphemous and homoerotic painting of Christ himself for his diocesan cathedral has been placed in charge of the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Life and the Grand Chancellor of the St. John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, leading former Council member Christine de Marcellus Vollmer to note that the appointment is more evidence of the power of the Vatican’s  “gay lobby.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who claims that his obscene cathedral painting is an “evangelizing tool,” is using his perch to subvert the Church’s doctrines on life and sexuality. Following his appointment many authentic pro-lifers have been expelled from the Council and have been replaced in some cases with advocates of abortion and contraception.  Paglia even sided publicly with the judge who ordered the withdrawal of life support from Alfie Evans, and did not join Pope Francis in his attempts to save the child from his induced death at the hands of Britain’s National Health Service.

Meanwhile, a former close associate of McCarrick, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, claims he knew nothing about McCarrick’s abusive behavior, even while he worked with him for six years in the Archdiocese of Washington chancery office and shared an apartment with him. Farrell is currently in charge of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, and has endorsed the homosexualist work Building a Bridge by Fr. James Martin, a priest who openly seeks to legitimize same-sex unions and to eliminate the Church’s clear condemnation of homosexual perversion in the Catechism.  

Martin himself has been rewarded for his public LGBT activism by his appointment as a “communications consultant” to the Holy See, and is scheduled to give a talk at the Vatican-sanctioned “World Meeting of Families” in August.

A priest who became notorious in the Vatican diplomatic corps for his drunken homosexual trysts has been made prelate of the corrupt Vatican Bank, and is comically charged with reforming the institution.  When Pope Francis was confronted with the accusations against Msgr. Battista Ricca in 2013 he claimed that they were unproven, but implied that the accusations were of little importance,  adding that “many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else. The abuse of minors, for instance, is a crime. But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget … it’s dangerous.”

In May of 2017 the Vatican police raided an apartment next to St. Peter’s Basilica in which a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy was being hosted by a high-ranking Vatican priest: Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. The Holy See has given no indication of any punitive measures taken against the participants. Cardinal Coccopalmerio has openly spoken to the press about the “positive elements” he sees in homosexual unions, which he says he tries to emphasize.

The hushed-up bust of Capozzi and his companions was then followed by two high-profile public trials of Vatican officials for child porn possession. Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, a Vatican diplomat who was caught with dozens of images and videos of child pornography on his cell phone, and who also distributed such materials to others, was given only five years in a Vatican detention cell and fined 5,000 euros. Msgr. Pietro Amenta, who attempted to molest an 18 year old man in a public place and had pornographic images of minors on his cell phone, received only a suspended sentence.

The influence of a powerful “homosexual mafia” in the Vatican was reportedly named as the principal source of the general malaise and corruption in the Holy See in a secret report given to Pope Benedict shortly before his resignation, and may have been a major cause of his decision to resign the office.  It appears that the problem has only worsened since 2013.

Click here to learn about St. Peter Damian’s struggle against an epidemic of sodomy and corruption among the clergy of the eleventh century, a story with great relevance for the Catholic Church today.

Bishops resign as multiple gay child molestation rings discovered in Latin American dioceses

In Chile, Pope Francis has recently removed five bishops following years of complaints of their connections to a priest who led a sex-abuse ring, reportedly with their knowledge and even complicity. The pope took the measures after years of defending one of the bishops, Juan Barros, in which he publicly derided those who denounced the bishops’ corruption as engaging in “slander.”

Finally, when the pope was revealed to have falsely claimed that no victims had given him testimony, the public outrage in Chile was so deafening and disruptive to his pontificate that he was forced to act, issuing a muted apology for his errors and ordering a Vatican investigation of the Chilean church. Francis has now begun to speak of enforcing the Church’s long-defunct policy of excluding homosexuals from seminaries.

After a team of investigators were sent by the Vatican to Chile to interview victims, Bishop Alejandro Goić Karmelić of the Diocese of Rancagua has suspended twelve priests who were allegedly members of a  sex-abusing “confraternity” that called itself “the family,” and used female family titles to refer to their hierarchy, such as “grandmother,” “aunts,” and “daughters.” Goić admitted that he had been warned about the group a year earlier but hadn’t acted. Pope Francis has since accepted his resignation.

In the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, an auxiliary bishop was recently forced to resign after accusations of his own sexual abuse of seminarians, and now a group of students in the seminary have signed a public statement denouncing a pervasive “network” of homosexuals there, writing that they are “scandalized and really depressed” by the situation. Their act of bravery has been rewarded by a contemptuous dismissal from the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, who accuses them of “gossip.” The cardinal, who has been credibly accused of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University of Tegucigalpa, is a member of the pope’s “C9” group assigned with the task of reforming the Church.

The only seminary remaining in Ireland, where the Catholic faith is now in free fall and only a few dozen seminarians remain, has also been blasted for the predominance of homosexuals there, which has created such discontent that some bishops have decided to send their students to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

The problem of a homosexual mafia in the seminaries of the Church has been public knowledge for decades, but has been systematically ignored or downplayed by the ecclesiastical establishment. The scandal was thoroughly exposed in 2002  by journalist Michael Rose in his work Goodbye, Good Men, a work that was ruthlessly attacked by mainstream Catholic media. Regnery published a Kindle version of the book in 2015.

Even “conservative” bishops co-opted by the gay mafia

The reign of the sodomites in the Church is so powerful that even some of the most conservatively minded bishops in the U.S. are afraid to do anything to impede LGBT activism in their dioceses, no matter how egregious it might be.

I had the sad duty of reporting recently on the complicity of “conservative” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco in the scandalous behavior of one of his own deacons. Cordileone, a prelate who made a reputation for himself a few years ago for ostensibly fighting against the influence of homosexuals in the archdiocesan school system, continues to supply clerical faculties to an openly “gay” activist deacon, Brian Bromberger, despite being very aware for over a year that Bromberger makes his living publicly writing dirty articles for an anti-Catholic homosexual newspaper.  In fact, Cordileone has apparently given Bromberger permission to continue writing for the publication, despite repeatedly being informed of the salacious content of the articles. Bromberger also continues to give talks on homosexuality at parishes.

Even worse, Cordileone allows San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer parish to continue its decades-long project of legitimizing and celebrating homosexual behavior among its members, despite the parish’s open LGBT advocacy on its webpage and numerous complaints made to him by laity. Cordileone long ago made peace with the homosexualist teacher’s union of the archdiocese, and appears to have all but totally dropped his public opposition to the gay agenda.

In Los Angeles, Archbishop José Gómez, a conservative former member of Opus Dei, appears to be even more in thrall to the gay mafia, maintaining blatant LGBT activists in major diocesan posts.  Every year the prelate continues the tradition of organizing a “Religious Education Congress” that openly promotes homosexuality and transgenderism. At this year’s congress, LGBT ideologues had their way with the participants, instructing them on gender ideology’s “genderbread person,” denouncing the Church’s condemnation of sodomy as “unfair,” encouraging allowing homosexual couples to attend proms, and declaring that there are no moral absolutes. Two years ago, at the Religious Education Congress closing mass, a self-parody of modernist liturgical abuse, Gómez received the gifts from a male homosexual couple with their adopted child.

In effect, both Gómez and Cordileone appear to have been tamed, cowed, and neutralized by the Church’s “homosexual network,” which is able to operate with virtual impunity in their dioceses.

Similar atrocities are documented with regularity in other archdioceses led by more liberal bishops, such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan in New York, Cardinal Blase Cupich in Chicago, and Patrick McGrath in San José. Cupich in particular has repeatedly endorsed giving Holy Communion to homosexual couples, a position also taken by McGrath.

The heretical LGBT advocacy group for Catholics, “New Ways Ministry” reports that well over 200 parishes in the United States meet its “gay-friendly” standards.  Such parishes openly celebrate and legitimize homosexual unions, promote gay porn, participate in obscene LGBT parades, host gay dance parties to fundraise for LGBT causes with Lady Gaga, and have meetings in gay drag bars.

I am sure that more conservative bishops such as Gómez and Cordileone, and perhaps even Timothy Dolan, don’t prefer such policies – they’re just too afraid to stand up to the homosexual power structure, and would rather permit such abuses and even cooperate with them rather than take on the difficulty of opposing them. Their complicity is a symptom of the seemingly unlimited power of the gay lobby in the Church today.

As ex-gay and former homosexual porn star Joseph Sciambra put it in a recent Facebook post: “I don’t mean to be crude, but some of these Bishops can’t even keep their priests out of the ‘Pride’ parades, therefore how are they going to keep them out of a guy’s pants? If they are openly disobedient in their public activities, why would they be obedient in terms of their private life? Bishops that continuously tolerate such behavior are usually complicit, sympathetic, or deeply involved.”

Sexual morality now understood as an “ideal”: the catastrophic moral laxism of the clergy

The triumph of homosexual corruption over so many dioceses and ministries in the Catholic Church are due to one fundamental cause: the generalized acceptance of a moral laxism that minimizes the seriousness of sexual sin and sees continence as a mere “ideal” that is beyond the capacity of ordinary Catholics.

Cardinal McCarrick himself became the spokesman for this doctrine as early as 2006, when he defended the creation of civil unions for homosexuals, claiming that heterosexual marriage was an “ideal” that not all could live up to. “I think basically the ideal would be that everybody was—was able to enter a union with a man and a woman and bring children into the world and have the wonderful relationship of man and wife that is so mutually supportive and is really so much part of our society and what keeps our society together. That’s the ideal,” said McCarrick.

“If you can’t meet that ideal, if there are people who for one reason or another just cannot do that or feel they cannot do that, then in order to protect their right to take care of each other, in order to take care of their right to have visitation in a hospital or something like that, I think that you could allow, not the ideal, but you could allow for that for a civil union,” he added.

The language of sexual morality as an “ideal” would ultimately find its way into Pope Francis’ now-infamous apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia, in which he repeatedly treats the moral requirements pertaining to marriage as an “ideal,” which can’t always be realized due to human frailty, particularly when people are living in invalid second “marriages” in which they are tempted to be sexually active.

Amoris laetitia’s approach to sexual morality in marriage as an “ideal” is now being publicly used by Cardinal Walter Kasper to openly claim that homosexual unions are “analogous” to marriage, and contain “elements” of Christian marriage, while not conforming to the “ideal” of marriage itself. Kasper’s theology regarding adulterous second marriages is seen as the chief inspiration behind the doctrines contained in Amoris laetitia.

The devastating effect of the clergy’s moral and disciplinary laxism, which has been widespread since the 1960s, can be seen in every aspect of the Church’s life. Priests have almost totally abandoned clerical garb in public, and often treat the Mass like a childish hootenanny rather than the solemn sacrifice that it is. Life and family issues are ignored in favor of socialist political causes under the guise of “social justice.” The ambiance in most parishes in Europe and the Anglophone countries is one of spiritual mediocrity and convenience, reflecting the carnal mentality of both clergy and laity.

Church’s traditional condemnation of sodomy minimized and forgotten

As a consequence of this catastrophic decline in piety, the clergy has forgotten and ignored the Church’s traditional doctrines and discipline regarding what was once called by Pope St. Pius V, “that horrendous crime,” and by St. Peter Damian, “the worst of sins.”

The Catholic Church has condemned homosexual behavior since the first century of its inception,  when the inspired authors of the New Testament repeatedly warned readers that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21, also 1 Cor. 6:9, Rom. 1:26-27). The early Church Fathers repeated this condemnation in the strongest possible terms. St. Augustine writes that “those shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished,” and others call such behavior a “disease,” “madness,” and “filthy.”

Regional councils soon began to establish punishments for Catholics guilty of sodomy, and in the Middle Ages the Catholic Church began to publish manuals containing penalties specifically for clergy who engaged in homosexual acts, and particularly those who prey on children. When the Church faced a crisis of sodomy in the eleventh century clergy, St. Peter Damian (a future Doctor of the Church) cried out against it to the Pope in his famous Book of Gomorrah, and invoked the Church’s tradition of canonical penalties to defend his position.

With regard to child molesters, Damian cited a canonical sanction found in many manuals attributed to St. Basil, but in fact was originated by St. Fructuosus of Braga, a seventh century  abbot. It required that any cleric found in any compromising situation with a minor was to be punished severely, publicly humiliated, and sent off to permanent imprisonment in a monastery:

A cleric or monk who persecutes adolescents or children, or who is caught in a kiss or other occasion of indecency, should be publicly beaten and lose his tonsure, and having been disgracefully shaved, his face is to be smeared with spittle, and he is to be bound in iron chains, worn down with six months of imprisonment, and three days every week to fast on barley bread until sundown. After this, spending his time separated in his room for another six months in the custody of a spiritual senior, he should be intent upon the work of his hands and on prayer, subject to vigils and prayers, and he should always walk under the guard of two spiritual brothers, never again soliciting sexual intercourse from youth by perverse speech or counsel.

Pope St. Leo IX responded to Damian’s Book of Gomorrah by decreeing that all those who had engaged in anal sodomy must be removed from the priesthood, and that those who had engaged in lesser degrees of sodomy with high frequency or with many accomplices, should also be removed. Those who had engaged in lesser degrees with fewer or no accomplices and infrequently, could return to their clerical grade of order only after carrying out long penances.

Leo IX then attended two regional councils where strong penalties were prescribed for sodomy. Eventually, the Third Lateran Council made the penalty more severe, decreeing that all clerics guilty of sodomy were to be “expelled from the clergy or confined in monasteries to do penance,” while laymen were to be excommunicated. No exceptions were given to this penalty.

Pope St. Pius V, responding to the terrible corruption among the clergy in the wake of the Renaissance papacy, decided to go further than the Third Lateran Council. Denouncing “that horrendous crime” of sodomy among the clergy, and concerned about rampant impunity, he decreed that all clerics guilty of sodomy, of whatever rank, were to be removed from the clergy, stripped of all of their titles, and turned over to the secular authorities for the same punishment given to laymen – which, at that time, was often the death penalty, or castration.

“Lest the contagion of such a disgrace, from the hope of impunity – which is the greatest incentive to sin – strengthen in boldness, we have decided that the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime are to be more gravely punished, so that the avenger of the civil laws, the secular sword, might certainly deter those who do not fear the death of the soul,” wrote Pius V.  

I have provided a complete translation of this decree, Horrendum Illud Scelus, which can be found in PDF form here in both Latin and English.

The Church has since acted against the influence of homosexuals in the priesthood, most notably Popes John XXIII and Pope Benedict, both of whom decreed that those with homosexual tendencies could not be admitted to seminaries. Pope Francis has renewed the prohibition, but it has now become little more than a dead letter.

The recognition of the crisis in Chile, which seems to have led to a new willingness of Pope Francis to punish those guilty of sodomy or at least of sexual abuse, was provoked not by conscientious and dutiful leadership on the part of the clergy, but by the public outrage of the faithful, who protested vigorously during the pope’s recent visit to that country. There is little reason to believe that the Holy See will continue to act without a continuation of that pressure. The reform of the Church, as was the case in the Arian crisis of the 4th century, will come largely from the pressure of the laity.

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How bishops must handle McCarrick scandal to regain credibility

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By Doug Mainwaring

August 1, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States has lost its way and is now mired in a widespread, diabolical scandal that reaches far back into the last century.  The tentacles of this scandal reach from chanceries to seminaries to parishes and schools, anywhere innocent, unsuspecting young Catholic men can be preyed upon.  

Although Catholic prelates largely created their ugly gay predation problem on their own — in secrecy and in darkness; through arrogance, pride and narcissism; by keeping their own sinful counsel within an odd, perverse brotherhood while pretending to be holy, wise and fraternal — they will not find a way out of the problem on their own.  

Their failure to hold themselves accountable after the Dallas Charter is now their infamous legacy, for their sin is not merely personal. Their sin has destroyed many lives, derailed many priestly callings, and knocked the Church in America off her feet.  

The laity of the United States are both appalled and furious at their apparently unwholesome brotherhood.  

The complicity of the bishops — turning a blind eye to sexual sin within their elite fraternity — shows that in a pharisaic manner they hold themselves to a different standard than every other member of the Body of Christ.  Or maybe they rarely hold anyone to any public standard of sexual behavior, because they don’t often speak about such sins.

At this moment in history, the laity led by Christ their king and the Holy Spirit are the episcopacy’s only hope to find its way to true repentance and redemption, health and vitality.  

If the bishops attempt to dig themselves out on their own, they will only doom themselves and cause more damage to the Church.

“This has to be a laity-led solution,” says canon lawyer Marjorie Murphy Campbell.  “The credibility at the episcopal level is shot.”

“Bishops and priests need to be encouraged to move in the direction of faith and conviction,” asserts Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas.  “The laity need to 'step up' and take a mature role in the life of the Church, cognizant of the fact that no reform in the history of the Church has ever taken place from the top down; it has always been from the bottom up.”

This is true now more than ever.

Left to their own devices, our hierarchy will entrench their position  

The experts at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church have been busy doing damage control.  Some, like McCarrick’s former close colleague, Cardinal Farrell — recently appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life — deny they ever knew anything about McCarrick, yet as chancellor of Washington, DC, Farrell shared a house with McCarrick for six years.  Farrell’s denials are not credible.

Other prelates and pundits are calling for new studies, new policies and procedures.

None of their political posturing or bureaucratic maneuvering will address their ghastly problem, namely that the deadly cancer of homosexuality has infested and corrupted much of the clergy. They are simply doing what their own very protective human instincts — and most likely their lawyers — are telling them to do: deflect, stall, and avoid.  

In so doing they are employing a tactic familiar to Washington DC observers:  If a topic is toxic and congressmen don’t want to deal with it, they create a “blue ribbon panel” to “study the situation” and “make recommendations.”  

Empanelling such a committee creates the impression that something is being achieved when in actuality, nothing is.  It’s simply a move to get the public off hapless lawmakers’ backs while giving the controversy time to fade away.  In fact, all the proposals coming from the top guarantee that nothing will change, and the gay infestation — sin — will persist. 

The Catholic Church should avoid going down any such an unserious, unproductive path.

What would constitute a serious response?  

First, our bishops need to stop listening to their legal staff and public relations firms, whose advice will only serve to prolong the bishops’ dire problem.

Second, the USCCB should radically change its plans for its upcoming November gathering, and hand over the primary planning for the event to the Courage Apostolate.  The men of Courage have a lot they can teach our prelates about how to lead lives of sexual purity.

The bishops need to learn the importance of leading chaste lives from same-sex attracted laymen who successfully do so.  They need to humbly listen and learn.  

They need to hear the testimonies of guys like Daniel Mattson and Paul Darrow who deliver a far clearer message about rejecting being gay as well as the entire gay culture which the prelates have allowed to worm its way into the dioceses, schools, the priesthood, and in some cases, their own lives.

They need to hear from men like Joseph Sciambra, a former gay porn star, who boldly wages a one-man battle against LGBT infiltration in the church––where the institutional church is often his biggest obstacle in bringing the Gospel message to those trapped in the lie of gay or transgender identity.  Sciambra takes to the streets in San Francisco, speaking one-on-one with gays, delivering the Gospel’s message of freedom, hope, and salvation.  

Sciambra’s bold evangelism makes the bishops’ own evangelistic efforts appear anemic, if not effeminate. 

The bishops need to sit and listen to lay Catholic psychology experts like Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, who deal with issues of homosexuality and transgenderism in the church.  The bishops need to humbly listen not as pastors picking up pointers, but as patients.     

They need to hear from Dr. Gerard van den Ardweg, Europe’s foremost expert on homosexuality, pedophilia, and gays within the Catholic priesthood.  If they’ll listen, he  can help them understand that “homosexuality and pedophile homosexuality” are not only” sexual neurosis,” they are a “sickness of the soul.”  

The bishops also need to hear from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, who for years has been ministering to and telling the stories of the survivors of the sexual revolution.  For whether wittingly or not, our bishops have often stood by as the sexual revolution has wreaked havoc on the Church.  

Prelates like McCarrick would also do well to hear from members of a “Men’s Purity Group” like the one at my parish, where guys help and hold each other accountable when tempted with sexual impurity, where there is a real opportunity to avoid sin.  Such friendships are a great source of strength.  

For the final day of the USCCB’s fall meeting, the bishops should be led in a corporate examination of conscience focusing on how they have personally permitted the normalization of homosexuality within the Catholic Church, followed by a public repentance.  

Nothing short of this will do. 

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Seven Holy Maccabee Martyrs.
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Seven Jewish brothers who died for God’s law – and what we can learn from them today

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

August 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Today on the traditional calendar of the Roman Rite as well as in the calendar of Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox is the feast of the Seven Holy Maccabees, the brothers who died under horrible torture rather than break the law of the Lord in the slightest way. And what was the law for which they died? Something major, like: “Thou shalt not kill,” or “Thou shalt not steal,” or “Thou shalt not commit adultery”?

No—that they should not consume pork, which was forbidden by the law of Moses.

This very small detail of the law, one that was destined to pass away with the coming of Christ, was nevertheless commanded by God as something that His people were to follow unwaveringly. Yes, there were reasons for it. For example, the Jews were taught to slaughter animals that the Egyptians worshiped as divine, and to avoid animals that were dirty and herded by Gentiles. 

Yet whether or not we fully understand the reasons behind a prohibition, what matters is obeying God’s will, as He makes it known to us. In fact, St. Thomas argues that the restriction on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the very first commandment ever given, was arbitrary in the strict meaning of the word—that is, there was nothing wrong with the tree, and yet its fruit was forbidden in order to establish clearly that God is the Creator and that He is the measure of what is right and wrong for His creatures. It was a pedagogy in trust: “If you accept this limitation, I will bless you for it, and in due time, I will give you more than that which I withheld.” By obeying, they would signify their subordination to Him, their trust in His superior wisdom, and their willingness to be led rather than to take affairs into their own hands and pretend to be gods, autonomous from law.

As we know, Adam and Eve did not prove obedient. Nor, tragically, did the people of Israel, to whom the Lord had shown so many and such great acts of deliverance and mercy, above all in giving them a law more comprehensive, more just, and more rational than that of any other nation. And this brings us to the reason why the seven Jewish Machabean brothers, to whom tradition gives the names Abim, Antonius, Gurias, Eleazar, Eusebonus, Alimus, and Marcellus, have been universally venerated by Christians for many centuries. They are, in fact, the only Old Testament saints to be found in the Mass of the Roman Rite (at least, until the reforms of the late 1960s that removed so many saints—but fortunately with the return of the Extraordinary Form, the Machabees have returned as well).

This band of brothers is venerated because in them we see the obedience, the trust, the faithfulness to God’s word and will and law, that Adam and Eve failed to show. We see the willingness to suffer and die even for a small matter, if it is known to be God’s will, rather than the practical atheism that cares nothing for God’s will and scorns Him in matters great and small. We see a model of the total dedication of the disciple to the master, the son to the father, the creature to the Creator. In short, we see a pattern for our own attitude when it comes to the commandments of God, over which nothing may be allowed to prevail.

The story of the seven martyrs for the Law is told in the seventh chapter of 2 Machabees (or Maccabees). The eldest of the brothers says to the king: “What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.” The youngest of them in like manner says to the king, after having watched all his brothers be killed: “For whom do you wait? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law, which was given us by Moses. … For my brethren, having now undergone a short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life: but thou by the judgment of God shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.” The narrative then observes: “So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in the Lord.”

Today, should we not be shocked and appalled that there are people in the Catholic Church who are arguing that not even the Ten Commandments should be kept inviolable by Christians? Or who do not believe that we should be prepared to suffer any torment and even give up our lives rather than act against these Commandments? 

One cannot help seeing a link—perhaps a very broad one, but a real one nonetheless—between the abolition of such an ancient feast as that of the Machabees; the trend to avoid the Commandments as a basis for preparing for sacramental Confession; the sharp opposition made between, on the one hand, love and mercy, and, on the other hand, obedience and law; and the moral and doctrinal corruption that has set into the hierarchy of the Church. The cure for our ills will involve the fundamental cure of all human sin, namely, humble repentance for deviating from God’s holy will expressed in His commandments, and a zealous effort to do His will, no matter what sufferings it may cost us. For this, in the end, is how we show our love: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

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