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Researcher defends study showing teens being pressured into transgenderism after LGBT pushback

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By Calvin Freiburger

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The author of a new study on transgender teens that’s been censored by Brown University is responding to critics of her work, which suggests gender-confused teens are significantly influenced by outside pressure to “identify” as a different sex.

Last week, LifeSiteNews reported that the study, authored by Brown University behavioral scientist Lisa Littman and published last month in the Public Library of Science’s journal PLOS One, found that 87% of the teens reviewed (via questionnaires to 256 parents) belonged to a friend group characterized by some degree of “social influence” on gender, such as other gender-confused teens; and that 63% of the teens had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before deciding they were a different gender.

Littman’s findings suggest that what she calls “rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD)” is an effort to conform to one’s social circle, rather than an act of individuality or “authenticity.”

“To be heterosexual, comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, and non-minority places you in the ‘most evil’ of categories within this group of friends,” one parent said. “[My child] couldn’t face the stigma of going back to school and being branded as fake or phony [...] or worse, a traitor or some kind of betrayer,” another revealed.

Following publication of that report, Zinnia Jones of the Hazel Trans Research Collective contacted LifeSiteNews to share an article critical of the study. Jones is a radical trans activist who has openly fantasized about “roving gangs of trans women beating the shit out of transphobes,” and written tips for teenagers seeking cheap alternatives to standard puberty blockers.

Jones accused Littman of citing a vague summary of her work as an example of “vague and nonspecific” gender dysphoria symptoms, rather than grappling with Jones’ more detailed treatment of the subject. “The author either neglected or refused to acknowledge this, and does not appear to realize this is a real condition experienced by trans people,” she wrote.

“There is an abundance of advice given to youth exploring gender on Tumblr and other social media sites, samples of which I excerpted in Table 1 of my study as background information. No specific source of advice was defined as a singular cause for all gender dysphoria nor was the sampling presented as a comprehensive list,” Littman responded in a statement to LifeSiteNews.

“Regardless, teens who are experiencing concerning symptoms (including but not limited to symptoms of depersonalization) deserve to be evaluated by trained mental health professionals rather than relying on advice from Tumblr, online blogs or other social media sites,” she continued.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Littman’s critics also say her findings are skewed because she recruited participating parents from three websites – 4thWaveNow, Transgender Trend, and Youth Trans Critical Professionals – where parents and professionals gather to discuss their concerns with such issues. Her study acknowledged that findings “may be different from populations viewing websites that promote a ‘gender-affirming’ perspective,” but Littman maintains “it’s not uncommon” to begin such efforts with targeted recruiting. The study also notes that it accounted for this concern by also asking respondents about their broader LGBT views.

“[R]espondents were asked specifically whether they believe that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as others and 88.2% of respondents gave affirmative answers to the question which is consistent with the 89% affirmative response reported in a US national poll,” it says. “Therefore, there is no evidence that the study sample is appreciably different in their support of the rights of transgender people than the general American population.”

86% also said they favor legal recognition of same-sex “marriage,” further undermining suspicion that these parents were predisposed to give “anti-LGBT answers.” Despite their politics, 77% of the parents believed their children’s declarations of having a different “true” gender were wrong.

Nevertheless, pro-LGBT voices successfully pressured Brown to delete the study from its website, just five days after its publication. The Wall Street Journal adds that PLOS One editor-in-chief Joerg Heber has announced it will be subjecting the study to “further expert assessment,” as well.

Jeffrey Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School, writes at Quillette that he has “never once seen a comparable reaction from a journal within days of publishing a paper that the journal already had subjected to peer review, accepted and published,” and that Brown’s quick abandonment of Littman “raises serious concerns about the ability of all academics to conduct research on controversial topics.”

“The right of university faculty to pursue questions that interest them, free from control or harassment, is a core element of academic freedom,” he argues. While it is “well and proper” to scrutinize papers after their publication, “that is not what has happened in regard to Dr Littman, whose critics have not performed any systematic analysis of her findings, but seem principally motivated by ideological opposition to her conclusions.”

“For centuries, universities struggled to protect the ability of their faculties to conduct research seen as offensive—whether by the church, the state, or other powerful influences,” Flier concluded. Brown’s “leaders must not allow any single politically charged issue—including gender dysphoria—from becoming the thin edge of a wedge that gradually undermines our precious, hard-won academic freedoms.”

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'Karen' White, 52, confessed to two counts of sexual touching during his time in a female jail. Facebook
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Male rapist who identifies as ‘female’ transfers to women’s jail, assaults females

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By Calvin Freiburger

WEST YORKSHIRE, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A biologically male rapist who “identifies” as a woman has been accused of sexually assaulting four female inmates shortly after being transferred to an all-female facility.

Stephen Wood is a 52-year-old man and a convicted sex offender and pedophile who now goes by the name "Karen" White. He pled guilty to raping one woman in 2003 and another in 2016. He also adopted the name David Thompson at one point, and is awaiting sentencing for stabbing a neighbor.

The exact nature of Wood’s situation is unclear. He reportedly began “identifying” as "female" in 2014, but some of his friends have claimed to the press that he is merely a drag artist and doesn’t truly have gender dysphoria. Others, however, report that he did seek help from a transgender group in Manchester, which referred him to a “gender identity clinic” in Sheffield.

Wood has not had so-called sex-change surgery, but because he “identifies” as a woman he was remanded to New Hall Prison, a women’s jail. There, the Daily Mail reports, he used the opportunity to sexually assault four actual women. Specifically, Wood allegedly exposed himself to one inmate, put a second inmate’s hand on his breast and made “inappropriate comments about oral sex,” pushed himself “indecently” against a third prisoner, and kissed a fourth on the neck.

Wood has admitted to two of the assaults but denied the others, claiming to suffer from erectile dysfunction and to not be attracted to women.

Following the incidents, Wood was transferred to the men’s facility HM Prison Leeds.

“We apologise sincerely for the mistakes which were made in this case,” a Prison Service spokesman said. “While we work to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law, we are clear that the safety of all prisoners must be our absolute priority.”

“Feminists may believe correctly that ‘women don’t have penises’, but according to the latest figures, there are 125 transgender prisoners in jails in England and Wales,” author Ann Farmer wrote in response to the incident at MercatorNet. “With this sort of encouragement from those in authority, for whom public safety should be a first priority, this problem is not going to go away any time soon.”

“In fact,” she warned, “it is likely to grow, although it is unlikely that many ‘trans men’ (i.e. women who believe they are men) will seek to be trans-ferred to men’s prisons – even if they claim to be rapists.”

Across the world sex-segregated incarceration is one of the many overlooked fronts in the ongoing war over “gender identity.” In the United States, the Trump administration changed the process in May for handling gender-confused inmates so that, while decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis, the “initial determination” is founded on biological sex and that putting men with women (or vice versa) would only be approved in “rare cases.”

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Cartoon Network promotes LGBT agenda with lesbian kiss in kids show ‘Adventure Time’

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By Calvin Freiburger
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September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Last week, Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time became the latest example of mainstream American animation presenting homosexual attraction to young audiences, highlighting a trend that appears to be accelerating.

Premiering in 2010, Adventure Time is a fantasy adventure series mixing humor and drama in a surreal setting. The September 3 series finale featured a scene in which two female characters, Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum, confirmed years of hints and fan speculation that they were lesbian by kissing each other on the lips.

“We knew that if we put this in, it would get some attention. But would it be too much attention?” said executive producer Adam Muto, who explained that the moment wasn’t in the original script and came at the insistence of storyboard artist Hanna Nyström. “Or would we be downplaying it too much? We knew we wanted to incorporate it, and in the end, you just have no control over how people will remember things.”

On September 9, TVLine approvingly called attention to just how many such moments have made it into American animation – once a field so heavily restricted that certain networks forbade punching in superhero shows – with a list of what it deemed the “10 Most Satisfying LGBT+ Reveals in American Animation.” In the current “rainbow age of television,” Andy Swift wrote, characters are “coming to terms with their sexuality at an unprecedented rate.”

While the list cites older examples from shows such as The Simpsons and characters from cartoons explicitly marketed to adults, such as Comedy Central’s South Park and Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, it also highlights moments from shows aimed at child and all-age audiences.

The most recent season of Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender revealed that team leader Shiro had a dead ex-boyfriend. The finale of Disney XD’s Gravity Falls featured Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland declaring “We’re mad with power…and love!” while holding each other’s faces.

Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe featured a lesbian wedding this year, while the final season of Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra ended with the titular heroine holding hands with female companion Asami, which the creators later confirmed was meant to denote a romantic relationship.

Pride.com also lists Sailor Moon Crystal, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Danger & Eggs, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, The Loud House, and Clarence as “Modern Kids Shows with Awesome Queer Characters.” Even the preschool-aimed Disney cartoon Doc McStuffins depicted lesbian parents last year.

Notably, several of the aforementioned examples were held until the end of a series’ run, suggesting that creators wanted to time the LGBT content for when offended parents could no longer affect the show’s ratings.

“There’s never going to be pushback from the normies because they’ve already resigned away their rights to protest for kid-safe media,” writer William Usher lamented of the Adventure Time development. “This is also all part of the Liberal agenda, where you take things that seem almost family friendly and then subvert it with agitprop.”

Usher pointed out that celebratory LGBT moments should particularly concern parents in light of Lisa Littman’s recent study, which Usher summarized as finding that “a lot of teens who claim to suffer from gender-dysphoria are just following peer-pressure trends from the Social Justice Warrior-occupied areas of social media.”

Ultimately, the latest developments from the likes of Adventure Time and Voltron seem to vindicate Focus on the Family analyst Jeff Johnston’s 2015 warning to LifeSiteNews that “we’ll only see more and more of this,” because children’s television “is a reflection of what’s already in our culture.”

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UK police asks citizens to report ‘non-crime hate incidents’ that ‘feel like crimes’

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By Calvin Freiburger

SOUTH YORKSHIRE, England September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A tweet from the police force of South Yorkshire (SYP) is raising new concerns about the logic of “hate crimes” being used to crack down on free speech.

On September 9, the South Yorkshire Police’s official Twitter account called on residents to “report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing,” in “addition to” reporting actual crimes. “Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it.”

A follow-up tweet said that non-criminal incidents “can feel like crimes to those affected,” as well as “escalate into crimes, which we (alongside partners) want to prevent.”

The tweet directed followers to a web page that defines hate “crimes” as offenses that are “perceived to be motivated by prejudice or hostility” to someone’s race, religion, disability, sexual attraction, or “gender identity.” It admits that “non-crime” hate “incidents,” by contrast, cannot be prosecuted, but “we also want to know about” them in order to “work with partners to try and prevent this from happening.”

The page does not identify any partners or explain what its “prevention” efforts entail.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts told the Daily Mail that the police simply “record non-crime hate incidents in the same way we record non-crime antisocial behaviour incidents and non-crime domestic abuse incidents, so we can gain a fuller understanding of actions which cause distress to people within our communities.”

But while he called this a “nationally accepted good practice,” Roberts’ answer raised an additional question, in light of the lack of an objective definition of “hate.” Pro-family voices argue that such policies conflate actual bigotry with religious views on homosexuality or good-faith criticism of gender ideology – views that could now potentially be equated with “antisocial behavior” or domestic abuse.

Twitter replies to the tweets have been overwhelmingly negative, with respondents accusing SYP of dabbling in “thought control,” predicting that “your citizens will no longer even greet one another in public for fear of reprisal,” suggesting that “you want me to phone the police when there hasn't been a crime but someone's feelings have been hurt,” and multiple invocations of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

Breitbart’s James Delingpole questioned the police force’s priorities, noting that for years South Yorkshire has been home to an epidemic of Muslim gang rapes of thousands of white and Sikh girls. An official 2015 report into authorities’ handling of the crisis faulted SYP, saying that the SYP “perpetuates the cycle of abuse and psychological distortion suffered by the victims” through a pattern in which “young people’s testimonies are ignored, victims are not offered necessary protection, and perpetrators are at liberty to continue their activities.”

The situation echoes similar concerns raised in March when London Metropolitan Police issued new “hate crime” guidelines that not only extended to merely “using offensive language” about “who you are,” but said that “[e]vidence of the hate element is not a requirement” so long as a victim, third party, or officer merely “perceive[s]” hate.

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Campaign Life Coalition has endorsed John Lohr in the Nova Scotia PC Party leadership election.
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Pro-life group endorses candidate for Nova Scotia Tory leader

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By LifeSiteNews staff

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s largest pro-life and pro-family organization has published a Voters Guide to the Progressive Conservative Party Leadership race taking place at the PC Convention from October 26-27. The party membership will vote to select a new leader to replace Jaime Baille, who was forced out as Leader earlier this year following allegations of “inappropriate behavior” including, allegedly, an accusation of sexual harassment.

Five candidates are seeking the top Conservative job in the province, and a mandate to take the party into the next general election, likely in 2021.  The province currently has a Liberal government under Stephen McNeil, who “is a pro-abortion, anti-family Premier,” according to Campaign Life Coalition.

Based on interviews and publicly available records, CLC is asking pro-life and pro-family Nova Scotians to sign up as PC Party members, online, before the deadline of 5:00 PM Tuesday, September 11. Doing so will make them eligible to vote for the leader via mail-in ballot or in person at the fall convention.

CLC has endorsed only John Lohr as supportable, but has published an assessment and ratings of all five candidates. Lohr is the current MLA for Kings North, and according to CLC spokesperson Jack Fonseca, “has put out a fairly impressive campaign platform with solid policies to protect the conscience rights of medical practitioners, and to defend free speech.”

View Campaign Life’s Voter’s Guide here.   Join the PC Party before Tuesday’s 5:00 PM deadline here.

“We need every pro-life, pro-family, and pro-free speech Nova Scotian between the ages of 14 and 114 to become voting members, and help us elect John Lohr as the next PC Leader,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

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Canada, Netherlands hope to mainstream euthanasia with appeals to World Medical Assn

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By Alex Schadenberg

September 10, 2018 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) – The Journal of the World Medical Association (WMJ) in its August 2018 edition reported that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) are pressuring the World Medical Association (WMA) to change its position in opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

The CMA and KNMG are lobbying the WMA to accept doctors killing patients by lethal injection.

On pages 8 and 9 the WMJ stated: 

Dr. Kloiber explained that this issue would be brought back into an international discussion to be started in Reykjavik at the medical ethics conference before the General Assembly in October. 

A brief debate took place about how to reconcile current WMA policy that euthanasia was unethical with the fact that in some countries euthanasia was now legal. The committee was told that there would be ample time to discuss this matter further at the medical ethics conference in Reykjavik. 

The Canadian Medical Association gave notice that together with the Royal Dutch Medical Association it would be bringing a draft revised paper for consideration in October, to see if they could accommodate all the divergent views among members.

The current WMA Declaration on Euthanasia declares: 

'Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient's own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical'.

The current WMA Statement on Physician Assisted Suicide declares: 

'Physician assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically'.

The WMJ report (page 13) on the Brazil Symposium (March 2017) stated that:

... the pressure that some patients might face if euthanasia was allowed and the fact that the request for euthanasia might be reduced by improved training of professionals in palliative care. It said societies should be aware of the 'slippery slope' risks of legislation allowing euthanasia. 

It concluded: 'The sick at the end of life need a helping hand not to precipitate their death, nor to prolong their agony with the therapeutic obstinacy, but to be with them and relieve their suffering with palliative care while their death arrives'.

The WMJ report (page 13) on the Japan Symposium (September 2017) stated that:

Based on the survey and the group discussions, all of the NMAs opposed euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. With the exception of Australia and New Zealand, there was no significant desire in the civil society of the Asia/Oceania region to discuss the concept of euthanasia and PAS.

The WMJ report (page 14) on the Rome Symposium (November 2017) stated:

Throughout the meeting, proponents of right-to-die policies emphasised that their intention was to protect physicians in their own countries who are acting within the law, not to change or influence policies in other countries. They based their arguments on the concepts of patient self-determination, dignity and compassion. Those who were opposed to euthanasia and PAS, representing the majority of attendees, rejected these procedures as being diametrically opposed to the ethical principles of medicine and expressed concern that they could lead to misuse or abuse, e.g. in the case of mentally or psychologically incapacitated people. They also expressed concern that these procedures could cause damage to the complete trust which characterises the patient-physician relationship or lead to social pressure for the elderly or those with chronic illness to end their lives. 

The majority of attendees ultimately advocated for the retention of the existing policies of the WMA on euthanasia and PAS. 

The WMJ report (page 14) on the Nigerian Symposium (February 2018) stated:

Among the resolutions at the conclusion of the meeting were that NMAs in Africa are unanimously opposed to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in any form. They supported policies and legislations permitting and strengthening palliative care.

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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Irish Health Minister seeks to force all doctors to support abortion

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By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

September 10, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – As Ireland moves towards introducing legislation to legalise abortion, the Health Minister seems determined to ensure that no doctor is allowed to deviate from the view that ending the lives of unborn babies is "healthcare".

Legislation "within weeks"

Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed over the weekend that following the failure of several legal attempts to challenge the result of the referendum repealing the Eighth Amendment, legislation will be brought to the Dail in October, with the aim of having abortion services running by January. Not content with even this delay, he has suggested that doctors might be allowed to refer women to the UK for abortion in the meantime. 

Mr Harris also took the opportunity to double down on conscientious objection. He was criticising remarks made by pro-life former Taoiseach John Bruton, who said that the proposed requirement for doctors opposed to abortion to refer to another doctor who would carry it out amounted to "aiding and abetting the abortion, and there is no conscience clause here either."

Regrettable to suggest doctors should have full freedom of conscience 

Mr Harris said it was "regrettable" that the former taoiseach implied it should be acceptable to "dilute" the responsibility of health care professionals to ensure women receive the "care" they need. He said that comments such as those were an attempt to "rerun the referendum campaign" and that he did not accept that doctors would "show a woman the door" when she went to them for abortion information and advice.

However, Mr Bruton's suggestion that it would be "more sensible to publish an affirmative list of those who have no conscientious objection to doing abortions" has wide support among doctors. The National Association of GPs (NAGP) favours an opt-in system, and voted to "advocate for conscientious objection, without obligation to refer". It has been suggested that the Government will be forced to compromise and recognise the potential for healthcare professionals to reject to referral in order to bring in workable legislation. 

A brighter Ireland?

In his remarks to the annual Pro-Life Campaign dinner, Mr Bruton also slammed the minister's jubilant attitude towards the referendum result. "[Mr Harris] spoke of the referendum result inaugurating what he called 'a brighter Ireland'. It will not be a bright Ireland for the little babies who will have their lives ended before being allowed to see the light of a single Irish day."

With such a view of abortion, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Irish Government is not content with legislating for it, but must ensure there is no dissent within the medical profession.

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

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Abortion activists send Susan Collins 3,000 coat hangers, urge vote against Kavanaugh

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-abortion activists are using the mail system to send pro-abortion Republican Susan Collins a dramatic protest against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Trump’s choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to answer a variety of questions about his judicial views and record. During the hearings, he expressed significant respect for Roe v. Wade’s status as precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis, as well as mixed signals on the judiciary’s ability to declare rights not explicitly listed in the Constitution.

While a few observers have taken his answers to mean that “Roe and Casey are going nowhere,” Kavanaugh’s pro-life supporters and pro-abortion foes both argue his non-committal answers were phrased to navigate a narrowly-divided Senate, and that he ultimately would vote to overturn Roe.

Most senators’ votes for or against Kavanaugh are foregone conclusions, but the Senate’s two openly pro-abortion Republicans, Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, could potentially sink his nomination. Both have declined to reveal how they plan to vote.

In hopes of pressuring Collins to vote “no,” pro-abortion activists have sent her an estimated 3,000 coat hanger since July, TIME reports. Wire coat hangers are a prominent pro-abortion symbol, supposedly denoting deadly back-alley abortions that occurred during the years before Roe.

In fact, this is a popular myth that’s been long discredited. Ex-Planned Parenthood director Mary Calderon estimated in 1960 that 90 percent of illegal abortions were committed by licensed physicians, while former Planned Parenthood and Centers for Disease Control statistician Dr. Christopher Tietze and NARAL co-founder turned pro-life activist Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted that the abortion lobby dramatically exaggerated the number of pre-Roe maternal deaths for political gain.

Additionally, to the extent that there was any decline in abortion-related maternal deaths, a 2005 analysis by FactCheck.org concluded that the “best available evidence” showed it began before states began legalizing abortion, and was largely due to the invention of new drugs.

Nevertheless, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, falsely claimed during her questioning Wednesday that “in the 1950s and ’60s, the two decades before Roe, death from illegal abortions in this country ran between 200,000 to 1.2 million.” Her office claimed that a Guttmacher Institute statistic was merely misprinted in her prepared questions, but Feinstein repeated it on Friday before correcting herself.

Collins says that the coat hangers, which follow scores of TV, print, and online commentary and advertising targeting her, have not altered her thinking.

She and Murkowski have voted for all of Trump’s judicial nominees so far, but it remains to be seen whether the unprecedented (albeit uncertain) prospect of an anti-Roe majority could change their calculus. On the flip side, Republicans speculate that they could pressure red-state Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, or Heidi Heitkamp to defect.

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11,000 Catholic men petition Pope Francis to answer Viganò allegations

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By Doug Mainwaring

SIGN THE PLEDGE: Support and pray for Archbishop Viganò. Sign the petition here.

UPDATED: Oct. 24, 2018

September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Over nine thousand Catholic men are sending a message to Pope Francis and the Bishops of the United States regarding the revelations of clergy sexual abuse, asking the Catholic leaders to “purge the corruption” which is disfiguring the Church.

The online letter which was launched on September 5 now has over 11,000 signatories and is still climbing. 

“As Catholic laymen, we are faithful husbands, fathers, business leaders, lawyers, tradesmen, medical doctors, professors, teachers, artists, and leaders of Catholic lay apostolates. But most fundamentally, we are men in love with Christ and His Church, and it is for this reason that we beseech you to purge the corruption which has so grotesquely disfigured the face of Christ’s Bride,” states the petition. 

“The present scandals have placed our wives, sisters, brothers, and children in danger,” declare the men.  “Therefore, echoing the words St. Catherine of Siena addressed to Pope Gregory XI, we beseech you to ‘sleep no longer, and raise the standard [of Christ] courageously.’”

The men state that they want “answers” from the Pope. 

“Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them. Specifically, we request that you answer the questions posed by our sisters in their letter to you, issued on August 30, 2018.”

Over 43,000 women have now signed a letter to Pope Francis asking if he knew about and lifted sanctions reportedly imposed on now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick by Pope Benedict.

The men state in their letter that they are “appalled by the recent abuses.”

“We have read of the allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick; the grand jury report regarding the Church in Pennsylvania; the horrific abuse in Honduras and Chile; and the rampant reports of clerical homosexual activity, pedophilia, and ephebophilia throughout the global presbytery,” say the men.

“Most recently, we have read Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony alleging that bishops in senior leadership positions within both the Holy See and the United States have covered up sexual abuse, evidencing widespread and systemic corruption throughout the Church’s hierarchy,” they continue, asking the Pope and U.S. prelates to begin the process of purification, “without a moment’s delay.”

According to the letter’s authors, this effort reflects a “personal initiative of the individual Catholic men signing it,” and claims no affiliation with any existing Catholic organization.

Notable signatories include Scott Hahn, PhD, Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization, Franciscan University; Al Kresta, President & CEO, host, Ave Maria Radio; and Michael Pakaluk PhD, Professor of Ethics, The Catholic University of America.

****

The letter in its entirety:

NOTE: This letter reflects the personal initiative of the individual Catholic men signing it. Professional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. This letter is not sponsored by any group or organization.  Signers are encouraged to engage traditional fasts involving food and/or drink, but the exact nature of each signer’s fast is a matter of individual discretion.  Signers are encouraged to undertake a difficult but not overly burdensome fast.

September 5, 2018

Dear Holy Father and Bishops of the United States:

As Catholic laymen, we are faithful husbands, fathers, business leaders, lawyers, tradesmen, medical doctors, professors, teachers, artists, and leaders of Catholic lay apostolates. But most fundamentally, we are men in love with Christ and His Church, and it is for this reason that we beseech you to purge the corruption which has so grotesquely disfigured the face of Christ’s Bride. The present scandals have placed our wives, sisters, brothers, and children in danger. Therefore, echoing the words St. Catherine of Siena addressed to Pope Gregory XI, we beseech you to “sleep no longer, and raise the standard [of Christ] courageously.” The Church needs purification, and by virtue of your offices as our shepherds, no one is more qualified to bring about this purification than yourselves. We beg you to do so without a moment’s delay.

Taking courage from St. Paul, and knowing that “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rm 5:20), we are appalled by the recent abuses. We have read of the allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick; the grand jury report regarding the Church in Pennsylvania; the horrific abuse in Honduras and Chile; and the rampant reports of clerical homosexual activity, pedophilia, and ephebophilia throughout the global presbytery. Most recently, we have read Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony alleging that bishops in senior leadership positions within both the Holy See and the United States have covered up sexual abuse, evidencing widespread and systemic corruption throughout the Church’s hierarchy.

Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them. Specifically, we request that you answer the questions posed by our sisters in their letter to you, issued on August 30, 2018.

Moreover, regardless of the veracity of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations, our concerns about corruption remain. Your Holiness, Your Eminences, and Your Excellencies: Amidst widespread global abuse, coverups, and hierarchical failure, what are you doing and what will you do to protect the people of God? We urge you to answer this simple question because the cost of the episcopal corruption is catastrophic. At present, many families are reluctant to send their sons to seminary. Efforts at evangelization have been crippled. And distrust from donors jeopardizes the Church’s ability to serve the poor, promote environmental stewardship, and carry out works of mercy. One Catholic mother has said that this crisis will either reinvigorate the Church or cause an exodus. We beg you to encourage reinvigoration through radical purification, realizing that you are at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of millions of Catholics.

Holy Father, we are personally committed to our own purity and the purification of the Church. We are reminded of the words of our Lord in John 8:7: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” All sin, including our own, weakens the Church. As men, we must all have the strength to seek the Lord’s healing. For this reason, we will begin with ourselves, examining our own consciences and renewing our own commitment to chastity. We will work to build up our own families, especially our sons, and our own communities. Further, the signers of this letter commit to serious and difficult fasting for the next seventeen Fridays, beginning this Friday, September 7 through the end of the calendar year. We will not relent. We will embrace suffering as penance for our own sins and the sins of the Church. We desire nothing more than to become saints amidst scandal.

Holy Father and Bishops of the United States, we plead for justice for the victims of abuse. We add our voices to those of the bishops who have called for an investigation of the Church hierarchy, both in our own country and in the Vatican. This investigation should be carried out by faithful lay men and women. Further, we encourage other groups to make their voices heard by writing more letters of this nature.

Finally, we praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His abundant mercy founded the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We affirm our hope for the future of the Church. We ask you to be courageous and not afraid. We affirm our affection and gratitude for the holy priests and bishops who have served us faithfully as stewards of the mysteries of Christ. The Church’s history has seen many seasons. Nevertheless, after the dark season of winter comes spring, and we pray that the difficulties of the present time will be surpassed by the victories to come. Trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have full confidence that the light of the Holy Trinity will break through this present darkness revealing the full beauty of our beloved Church.

We promise our lives, our talents, and our resources for the purification and renewal of the Catholic Church. Relying on the intercession of the Blessed Mother, we will fight for this cause to the very end.

Your sons and brothers in Christ:

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Bishop Joseph Strickland
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Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians.

On September 8, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler Texas tweeted his support for other bishops who share this point of view.  

“I support Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Edward Burns & other bishops who have called for the Synod on Youth to be cancelled & replaced with an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops to deal with the abuse crisis in the Church,” he wrote. “This crisis must be addressed!!! NO to business as usual.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told an audience at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on August 30 that he had asked Pope Francis to cancel the upcoming Youth Synod.  

“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” he said. 

Chaput proposed that instead a synod should be held to address the topic of the bishops themselves. 

Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas, Texas has called for an extraordinary synod to discuss the myriad of issues that have come to the forefront of the current clerical sexual abuse scandal. 

A letter dated August 30 and signed by Burns and priests of his diocese declared that “The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm.” 

“The topics should include the care for the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc., ” it continued. “At the same time, to address the abuse of power, clericalism, accountability and the understanding of transparency in the Church.”

Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has also suggested an extraordinary synod is needed to discuss “the life and ministry of clergy.”

On Sunday, August 26, the day after Archbishop Viganò’s explosive testimony concerning the protection and promotion by Pope Francis of disgraced ex-cardinal Archbishop McCarrick was made public, Bishop Strickland sent copies of the letter to all his clergy with a cover letter saying that he found the accusations “credible” and would call for an investigation.

“Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible,” he wrote. “Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible.”  

“I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation,” Bishop Strickland continued, “but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that it’s findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church.”

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Cardinal Cupich at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics Nov. 6, 2017. Facebook / University of Chicago IOP
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Cdl. Cupich on abuse crisis: We shouldn’t be ‘distracted’ by this, Church has ‘bigger agenda’

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By Doug Mainwaring

CHICAGO, September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – When challenged about the clergy sexual abuse scandal now facing the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich told a large gathering of seminarians that the Church’s agenda is “bigger” than the sexual corruption now facing the Church.

“While the church’s ‘agenda’ certainly involves protecting kids from harm, ‘we have a bigger agenda than to be distracted by all of this,’ including helping the homeless and sick,” Cupich said, according to seminarians who related the Cardinal’s words to Chicago Sun-Times.

“What is bigger than a Church collapsing around us?” asked Janet E. Smith in a response to the Cardinal's remarks posted on Facebook.  Smith is a noted Catholic author and professor of moral theology at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary.  

At the August 29 gathering of roughly 200 future priests at Mundelein Seminary, located in the Archdiocese of Chicago, one young seminarian said in regard to the ongoing avalanche of scandals, “I’m hurting, I can’t sleep, I’m sick,” according to the Sun-Times report

A few minutes later, Cardinal Cupich later declared the opposite, “I feel very much at peace at this moment. I am sleeping OK,” which, according to the report, caused many in attendance to shake their heads in disbelief.  Some seminarians reportedly said Cupich is “tone-deaf.” 

Another of the seminarians said that Cardinal’s remarks were “non-pastoral,” and went on to tell the Sun-Times that “the people of God need to know that their seminarians care” and “aren’t going to repeat the mistakes of the past — not only not repeat them but have them cleaned up.”

Cupich seemed to disregard straightforward statistics revealed in the recently published Pennsylvania grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse, showing that three-quarters of all reported abuse were homosexual in nature. He said he “doesn’t buy the argument advanced by some in the church that homosexuality is at the root of much of the sexual abuse by priests,” according to the Sun-Times story.  He said the ‘facts don’t bear that out, and it’s wrong’ to blame a group of people that way.”

The Windy City’s Cardinal then reverted to a Vatican talking point, and blamed “clericalism” for the crisis now facing the Church.

In an attempt to justify the practice, Cupich went on to assert that other professional groups––such as police officers––sometimes display their own forms of “clericalism” in covering up for each other when accused of wrongdoing. 

In his explosive testimony released last month, former papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said of Chicago’s Cardinal: “Regarding Cupich, one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims.”

Cardinal Cupich allegedly said in his talk to the seminarians that “If I say what [Archbishop Viganò] says is credible, then I have to say what he’s saying is credible about me.”

Catholic author Leila Marie Lawler said of the statements of both prelates, “TRUE, and TRUE,” in a Facebook posting.

The theme of Cupich’s comments to the seminarians echoes his former statements declaring that “The Pope has a bigger agenda,” and that, “He’s got to get on with other things,” such as “talking about the environment and protecting migrants.”  

Cupich has also characterized Viganò’s testimony as a “rabbit hole,” meaning it is a worthless distraction from more important things.

The cardinal has been roundly criticised in recent weeks for outrageous public statements made in an effort to discredit Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, going so far as to claim that critics of Pope Francis are racist bigots, and that those who disagree with Pope Francis “don’t like him because he’s a Latino.”  

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CNN catches Cardinal Wuerl in lies over sexual abuse cover-up

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By Lianne Laurence

Cardinal Wuerl needs to resign. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted a reminder last week of his August video that caught Cardinal Donald Wuerl denying grand jury report evidence he covered up clerical sex abuse as bishop of Pittsburgh.

The 900-page Pennsylvania report documents over 1,000 allegations dating back decades against 300 priests in the state’s six dioceses, and mentions Wuerl over 200 times.

The report has led to ongoing, widespread calls for the Archbishop of Washington to resign, but as clips from Tapper’s video show, Wuerl defends his record in statements that flatly contradict the report’s findings.

“Did you ever move priests quietly?” a reporter asks Wuerl, to which he responds: “That wasn’t, that wasn’t our process.”

“If there were allegations, we dealt with them immediately,” Wuerl states.

“The report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse,” he asserts. 

“I think I did everything that I possibly could,” he contends.

Tapper points out that Attorney General Josh Shapiro says Wuerl “isn’t telling the truth.”

And he pulls out from the grand jury report three appalling cases of sexual abuse by priests in the Pittsburgh diocese —  Fr. Richard Zula, Fr. George Zirwas, and Fr. Ernest Paone — that fatally undermine Wuerl’s defense.

According to the report, Zula and Zirwas “manufactured child pornography” and “used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims,” and Zula was arrested in 1988 and “charged with more than 130 counts related child sex abuse,” Tapper relates.

Zula had been removed from ministry when Wuerl arrived in Pittsburgh, but “in 1989, Wuerl authorized a $900,000 confidential settlement between the diocese and two of Zula’s victims, and that included a hush agreement,” Tapper noted.

Moreover, “under Wuerl’s leadership” the diocese “hired a doctor who worked with Fr. Zula to lessen the sentence” who produced a statement the grand jury report described as having “blamed the child victim.” 

The diocese was aware of child sexual abuse claims against Zirwas “as early as 1987,” and received further complaints against him “between 1987 and 1995,” during which time he “continued to function as a priest” and “was reassigned to several parishes,” the report found.

As for Paone, his “predatory behavior dated back to the early 1960s” and he was “shuffled from parish to parish, all over the country.” In 1991, Wuerl approved the priest’s transfer to the diocese of Reno-Los Vegas, “even though the Pittsburgh diocese knew of Paone’s past,” Tapper points out.

Moreover, in 1996 Wuerl “refrained from sharing everything the Pittsburgh church knew about Paone’s past with the diocese of San Diego,” Tapper says.

Wuerl’s defenders say that as bishop of Pittsburgh, “he disciplined some priests and he fought the Vatican against an order to reinstate a predator priest,” he says.

And the grand jury report notes Wuerl wrote the Vatican asserting that “parishioners had a right to know if their priests were pedophiles,” and a spokesman for Wuerl said “he acted promptly to notify others” of the claims against Paone, Tapper says. 

However, the grand jury report ultimately indicts Wuerl, concluding his “statements had been meaningless without any action,” he adds.  

“In spite of Wuerl’s statement to the Vatican, the clear and present threat that Paone posed to children was hidden and kept secret from parishioners in three states,” the report says.

The archbishop of Washington has so far resisted the mounting pressure to step down, instead proposing to lead a “season of healing” in his archdiocese, and asking in a September 2 homily for “forgiveness for my errors in judgment.”

That prompted Tapper to tweet:

Wuerl also released a letter to priests last Thursday admitting they had called for new leadership, but gave no sign he was going to step down.

The Washington Post, the Washington Examiner and some 9,200 people who signed LifeSiteNews’ petition are among those asking Wuerl to resign.

However, Vatican watchers maintain that since Wuerl sent Pope Francis his resignation two years ago when he turned 75, it’s up to the Holy Father to remove him. Almost 82,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on the Pope to do so.

Related:

Cardinal Wuerl concedes calls for ‘new leadership’ in archdiocese, doesn’t resign

Pennsylvania grand jury report exposes decades of clerical sex abuse and Church cover-up

‘Shame on you’: Man shouts at Cardinal Wuerl as he addresses abuse scandal

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Dr. Douglas Farrow

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Catholics resist ‘clericalism’ by demanding Pope answer abuse cover-up allegations

Dr. Douglas Farrow
By Dr. Douglas Farrow

September 10, 2018 (Catholic World Report) – Fr. Thomas M. Rosica, Vatican press assistant for the anglophone sector, wrote recently these astonishingly frank words:

Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is 'free from disordered attachments.' Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.

These words were intended to be both laudatory and prophetic. Francis is the pope who trims the Church's sails to the winds of the Spirit rather than letting old charts and logs dictate the course. He is the man appointed by God to lead the Church out of its hide-bound clericalism into a new freedom to relate to the modern world, to generate in her a new "openness to what lies ahead," to issue "a call to go further." If, as some say, his methods and manner smack of Peronism, what of it? According to Fr. Rosica, those who dare criticize this divinely appointed ruler should go to confession and henceforth hold their tongues.

Well, since we are being frank, let me say that a finer example of a disordered attachment could scarcely be found. Francis does not appear here as the successor of that Peter whose only mandate is to confess Christ and to safeguard the sacraments of the gospel, thus feeding the flock and strengthening his brethren. He appears rather as Jesus himself appeared – as one so vested with the Spirit as to take authority over scripture and tradition. And this, if taken seriously, is heresy of the rankest kind.

Fr. Rosica's fawning "clericalism of one," if I may put it that way, confuses Peter with Christ. Moreover, it reflects a confusion evident in Francis himself, who on hearing this ought to have torn his cassock and ripped up Rosica's letter of appointment. Perhaps, however, he was too preoccupied with his own effort to persuade us to go further, "to open ourselves up without fear, without rigidity, to be flexible in the Spirit and not mummified in our structures that close us up."

Now dare I say that, in the context of the present ephebophilia crisis, the words of Francis just quoted, which were used in expression of gratitude to José Tolentino Mendonça, a priest (now bishop) who has not shied from promoting LGBTQ causes, take on a rather sinister sense? One can well imagine such words being used in the grooming or cajoling of young seminarians by the likes of "Uncle Ted." No doubt that was far from Francis's mind! But recall that this is the pontiff who has not merely erred, as his predecessors did, in appointing men of dubious character to high office at the urging of other such men in the bureaucracy. This is the pontiff who has deliberately surrounded himself with such men (whose names, eschewed here, have now been named by one in a position to name them). It is the pontiff who allegedly lifted what limited sanctions Benedict imposed on McCarrick and apparently took the latter's advice in making major episcopal appointments. It is the pontiff who, confronted with all that, said that he would speak not one word in reply, yet clearly indicated that critics, however grave their charges, are but sowers of division, a howling "pack of wild dogs" who seek to destroy the peace of a prayerful man.

The McCarrick scandal, let us all admit, is just one powerful gust in the swirling tempest that now surrounds Francis and threatens to capsize both his pontificate and the barque of Peter itself. If the bridge is unresponsive it is not because it is deep in prayer, as the pope pretends. It is because the bridge itself is now riddled with the worms of sexual and financial corruption. Greed and lust, particularly homosexual lust, is doing to the Church what it is doing elsewhere in human society – destroying its very sense of direction and its capacity to distinguish truth from error, good from evil, the innocent from the guilty, sound judgment from folly. In such a situation keeping our heads down and bailing, bailing, bailing, as Rosica advises, is no solution at all.

What, then, is the solution? To resist clericalism? Yes, and especially this "clericalism of one" that places the pope beyond all criticism and beyond all accountability. That will not be enough, but it will be a start. For the pope may be subject to no earthly authority the equal of his own, but he remains subject to the authority of Christ, of which he is by no means the only repository, nor in most matters the sole interpreter.

Some think that Francis displays signs of a disordered personality, as David doubtless thought of King Saul; but subjective judgments of that sort, though they become more germane in any scheme that makes authority reside in the person rather than in the office, are not the issue here. The point is rather that it is wrong to treat Francis – or any pope – as if, like Saul, he were indeed a sovereign, an absolute sovereign against whom no hand must ever be lifted save, at most, to trim some small piece from the hem of his garment, lest one be found guilty of sinning against the Lord's anointed.

The first Jesuit pope will likely be the last. At all events, Ignatius' military model of obedience ought not to be transferred to the papal and institutional structures of the Church. Nor ought anyone to be taken in by the kind of modesty of which Francis has made a show, as if that military model were the very thing he wished to break down by something more spontaneous, more charismatic, more Franciscan (that is, more lay-like). That is just what leads round to the error of papal personalism. From his bow on the balcony to his "Who am I to judge?" to his recent "You be the judge," Francis has deflected attention from proper papal authority in order to enhance or protect his personal authority – the very authority so aptly described by Fr. Rosica.

At this point, let us consult the charts. Canon 331 states:

The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.

That certainly sounds like sovereignty, but what kind of sovereignty? Not the personalistic kind that Rosica favors, nor even the political kind that the people of Israel favored when they demanded that a king be appointed over them, nor yet the military kind favored by Ignatius.

Note well here that the bishop of Rome is the vicar of Christ, not the vicar of God. God has now but one vicar, the God-man himself, who is the Church's true head and its only proper sovereign and high priest. Peter exercises something of the sovereignty vested by God in Christ, for Christ has in turn vested that something in him and his successors, together with the apostolic college, in the form of magisterial judgment and binding juridical authority in the daily life of the Church. But Peter is not himself a sovereign, properly speaking; he is merely a steward, with very specific responsibilities. It was and is a mistake, whether by titles or by customs or by laws or by scruples – here we may indeed challenge some of the old charts, which were rightly corrected at the Second Vatican Council – to regard him as if he were something other or more than that.

Yet did we not call the Church the barque of Peter? Yes, but the genitive is not possessive. If we wish to make it possessive, or even appositive, we must refer to the barque of Christ. Recall the occasion when the Twelve were out in a boat with the wind against them, while Jesus also was out – walking on the sea in the tempest. When he joined them and climbed into the boat, both the wind and the sea and the boat itself obeyed him, though they would not obey Peter or the Twelve. There is a lesson there. The Church is the barque of Peter only in the sense that Peter is asked to remain watchful on the bridge. He is certainly not invited to seize the helm and steer the ship on some course of his own, fancying that his sails are trimmed to the Spirit.

So let us, by all means, be frank. But let us have none of Fr. Rosica's nonsense. If Francis is doing what Rosica says he is doing – and that, I fear, is difficult to deny – then Francis is not performing the duties of his Petrine office at all. Rather he is driving the ship onto the shoals, and it is high time the rest of the Twelve (I mean, of course, the apostolic college) pointed that out, as indeed the more alert members are beginning to do. This storm will pass, and the air in the Church be fresher for it. The ship will sail on and reach suddenly its destination. But its broken masts and rotten planks must first be replaced or repaired. For that, not only the charts, but also the ship's plans, must be consulted again.

Published with permission from Catholic World Report.

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Fr. Richard Heilman

Opinion, ,

‘Predatory’ gays have infiltrated Church, trying to ‘destroy’ her: priest on abuse crisis

Fr. Richard Heilman
By

The following is the transcription of the August 19, 2018 homily given at the Church of St. Raphael in Crystal, Minnesota by Fr. Robert Altier.

September 10, 2018 (Roman Catholic Man) – In the second reading today St. Paul tells us that we have to make the most of our opportunity because the days are evil. We aren't just simply living in days that are evil, we are living in the days that Isaiah spoke about, the days when they will call evil good and good evil. And we have been brainwashed into thinking that evil things are okay, they're not.

So, from this point forward, what I am about to say is completely politically incorrect and if you have young ears that you don't want to hear it, you may want to take a fifteen-minute walk.

In the last couple of weeks, we have heard some pretty unfortunate things. A cardinal of the Church who abused children and young men, and now in Pennsylvania the grand Jury report 301 priests violated more than a thousand children. And on top of that we have the episcopal cover-up, the word episcopal means bishops, so the cover-up by the bishops. And, it's not just simply a cover-up, it's an agenda.

If you've listened carefully, since 2002 when all this broke, the bishops keep on coming back to the same point, pedophilia, its pedophilia, it's pedophilia, its pedophilia. No, it's not. In fact, the John Jay institute, the group that the bishops themselves hired to look at what was going on, came back and said this is a homosexual problem. 86.6% (if I recall correctly) of all of the abuse cases were on post-pubescent males, and the bishops told them "no you go back, and you rewrite it and you say that it isn't a homosexual problem." So, they came back and said well 86.6% of this is all about post-pubescent males, but it's not a homosexual problem; like really?

So, pedophilia is the violation of pre-pubescent children, less than 3% of all of these cases were pedophilia. Ephebophilia is the violation of post-pubescent children, pederasty particularly, post-pubescent males. That's what we are dealing with here.

Now we need to make an important distinction, there are some very, very good people who struggle with a homosexual orientation. All of us struggle with different things, that doesn't mean that we're a bad person just because we have certain weaknesses. And the Church recognizes that that orientation is not evil, it is the activity which is evil. And so, for these men who want to live a good life and who are trying to fight against those temptations and the struggles, this is a cross. And it is a huge cross that they have to carry. In fact, you can think how much God loves these people if he allows them to carry a cross that is that big; its huge.

Now we need, as again we look at our own selves, we can say alright there are some for instance who struggle with alcohol or people who struggle with pornography, whatever. If they're really trying to fight against those temptations these are good people with a weakness. That's different for instance from the drug dealer, or from the guy who is making pornography, or the guy who is trafficking the women or something; those people are pigs. The guy who is struggling and trying to live a good life is a good person with a weakness. And that is the distinction that we need to keep in mind.

And so, the Church is very clear that even for men with a deep-seated homosexual tendency, that they are not to go to the seminary. That's not because the Church is being discriminatory or hates these people, but rather because the same principle if you look at it and say: would you take somebody who is struggling with an alcohol addiction to a bar? It's a point of temptation. We don't allow men into women's convents because it's not going to be long before somebody's going to be having problems. And that's what the Church is looking at to say this is not good.

Go back to when I was in college seminary. I was having a conversation with another seminarian, in the midst of the conversation he looked at me and said would you ever consider taking a shower in the women's locker room? I said certainly not. He said well why not? I said well the temptations and the problems… and he said you're right, now you know what I have to go through when I go into a men's locker room. I thought oh my goodness…yuck. This is why the Church says even for these good men who are struggling and trying to overcome this, we don't want to put them in a point of temptation.

So those are not the people that we are having a problem with. The people that we are having a problem with come from two different groups and understand there is an intentional and malicious infiltration of the Church for the purpose of destroying her from within.
This is what you need to understand.

When I was in the seminary, it was one of the worst seminaries in the nation. 1983 is when our seminary was at its absolute worst; I started in '85. It was getting slightly better. But these people were so arrogant. I should point out when I was in the seminary if you were not homosexual or a radical feminist you were in big trouble. One of the professors actually was arrogant enough to stand up in front of the class and say "Martin Luther had the right idea, but he did it the wrong way – he left the Church. You can't change the Church from the outside you can only change it from the inside, so we're not leaving."

So, these are people with an agenda. And what are the two groups? The two groups are: number one, a group of predatory homosexuals. They started their infiltration of the Church in 1924. You want to look it up? There is a book called The Homosexual Network written in 1982, so this is 20 years before all of this stuff hit. A man named Enrique Rueda looked at all of this, studied all of their own publications, (they were publishing every year the number of seminarians, priest and bishops they had), he traced it back to when they started, it began in 1924. And then five years later, in 1929, the communists began their infiltration of the priesthood and the two groups did exactly the same thing.

You want to read about the communist one? There is a woman by the name of Bella Dodd who was a deep-seated communist who got out of communism and converted to the Faith. She testified before congress in 1953 and in that testimony she said that "we got the instructions from kremlin in 1929 as to what we were to do," and she said "we were to take the best and the brightest, the guys who were smart enough to live a double life, good looking guys who were sociable so that they would be noticed by their bishop, and they would get promoted, they would become vocation directors, they would become bishops, they would become rectors of seminaries, they would have influential positions" and she said "we were successful beyond our wildest imagination." She said: "I am personally responsible for more than 1,200 seminarians, priests and bishops." And in 1953 mind you, again, now they started in 1929, in 1953 she said: "we already have four cardinals in the Vatican." That was 1953, it's way worse today.

So, we have these two groups. If you want to read about her, she wrote a book called School of Darkness, that was published in 1954. You want to understand why all of the promotion, the propaganda, the agenda? You can go back and read another book that was written in 1932 by a man named William Foster. William Foster ran for the president of the United States in 1924, 1928 and 1932 for the Communist Party USA. In 1932 he wrote a book called Toward Soviet America. And in that book, he said "we aren't being able to get to the Americans because of three things, their morality, their family and their patriotism." And he said: "so the way that we are going to attack these three things is through homosexuality and radical feminism." They have been extraordinarily successful.

So, what are we dealing with? We are dealing with a group of predatory homosexuals who became priests not to serve the Church but to destroy her from within. In this, they are at every level. There was – there is an article that just came out from the Catholic Register in which six priests from the Newark diocese were interviewed and they spoke about the homosexual network in their diocese. It's in all of them, not just in Newark. They cover up for another, they share their victims with one another, they do all kinds of horrible things. It is so wide spread now that there is actually talk on the federal level of using the RICO laws against the Church because of this kind of nonsense that's been going on.

And people ask, why don't the good priests speak up? I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he looked at me and he said: "I've known about this for 50 years and you've known about it for 40 years." Yep, it's about time it's coming out. So why didn't somebody speak up? Number one if I would have stood here even a couple of years ago would you have believed what I am telling you? Number two, who were we supposed to go to? It was at every single level all the way to the top. You wanted to be ordained a priest, you couldn't day a word. And even as a priest you can't.

Again, these priests that were interviewed in the Catholic Register were interviewed only because of anonymity. It required anonymity because they were afraid of what was going to happen to them if the bishops and the people at the chancery found out who it was that spoke. These people have that much power. And so, we need to realize that. So, again just to tell you a quick story about how bad things were. When I was in the seminary, they would put up their communist propaganda, I would rip it down and every time I would do that there would be an announcement "Whoever is taking the notices off the bulletin board…" When I would put up a notice that says we were going to pray the Rosary, that would get torn down immediately and there was never anything said. Now having said that, thankfully the seminary today is way, way better than it was. These young guys are not having to deal with this trash, but that was the climate at the time.

Now if we just use the McCarrick situation, since that's been in the news, everyone is disgusted with what this man did to boys and to young men, and rightly so. But anybody, by the way, who thinks that all of this is just great – they're such nice people and they're no different – look at what McCarrick did: that is what predatory homosexuality looks like.

These are not nice people who are just like everybody else. But as disgusting as all that is, think about the fact that this man was in the pulpit for 50 years, he sat in the confessional, he was in the bishop's office making decisions about priests' lives, about diocesan finances, about the direction of the diocese and so on. He served on Vatican commissions, he was a consultant to the Vatican, he made lots of bishops. What kind of advice do you think somebody struggling with some sexual problem in the confessional would have gotten from somebody like this?
What kind of men do you think might have been elevated to be bishops by somebody like this?

You now understand why all that we get is fluff and stuff instead of good homilies? You understand why there are problems in the world that aren't being addressed? That's what it is about. Where is the doctrinal integrity? Where is the moral teaching? Someone that is not living it is not going to teach it. Now there are, after this grand jury report came out a few days ago from Pennsylvania, there are several more states already talking about doing their own grand jury investigation. It will probably go all over the place, so I say that to simply say there is going to be more in the news coming up.

And as sad as this is we have to recognize that it is actually something very good. It is the purification of the Church and that is going to lead ultimately to her crucifixion. Not many are going to remain faithful, unfortunately. But when we look at it and say: "well if this is what is going on in the Church what are we supposed to do?" We are supposed to look at Jesus and say exactly what St. Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life".
Jesus founded one Church and that one Church is the only institution in the world for the salvation of souls. It was founded for that purpose and it will remain to the end of the world for that purpose.

I have spoken with a number of people in the last week or two about what's going on, prayerful, holy people and they have all concurred on the same point – Our Lady's work has finally begun. Praise God!

She gave the bishops 16 years to clean up this mess and they did nothing. Now we are hearing from the bishops the same exact thing that we heard back in 2002: "Oh we need more policies and we need to do…" Nonsense. We need action, we don't need more policies, but nobody is listening. It's too late. The bishops are even admitting that they have lost all of their moral authority. Nobody trusts them anymore, which is really sad because we do have some really good bishops and they are going to get lumped into the same group.

But remember our faith is not in priests, it is not in bishops or cardinals, it is not even in the Pope. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, period. And we need to keep our focus on Jesus, he is the one who founded the Church, he is the one who promised the jaws of hell would not prevail against her. So, this is a time of trial for the Church, and the Church is going to appear to be destroyed. The Church is Jesus Christ, look at what happened to Jesus. His apostles had to make a decision: were they going to remain faithful all the way up to Calvary or were they going to run away?

You and I now have to make that same decision, are we going to remain faithful or are we going to run away? What we are going through – or is just beginning – is like a mom with a teenage kid. The mom has told the kid "clean your room, clean your room, clean your room, clean your room" and they didn't do it. Finally, mom gets tired, grabs a garbage bag, and heads toward the teenager's room. At that point the kid panics, but it's too late; there's no stopping mom once she starts for that room. And the kid starts out by despairing, thinking mom's going to throw everything away. When it's all done the kid is actually really happy, the room is immaculate. That's what's going to happen.

I've been telling people for 20 years that back 2000 years ago Jesus cleaned out the temple, but He did it like a man: He picked up the big stuff in the middle of the room. This time He's sending His Mom; she's going to clean like a woman: there won't be a cobweb left and there will be no dust, not even in the corners. She's going to clean house and it is going to be beautiful. But, it's not going to be pleasant getting there. The resurrection will happen only after the crucifixion, and are we going to remain faithful?

So what has happened and what is happening is horrible, it is tragic, it is disgusting; put in whatever other adjective you want to put in there trying to describe it, but actually in the Church it's not even the worst. Depending on which study you read, in public schools anywhere between 4 and 8 out of every 10 kids is violated somewhere in their 13 years in public schools by a teacher. That's all being covered up too.

So, you'll notice that the media, the politicians, the educators, they are all focused on the Church because they are trying to keep the focus off themselves. That's okay because you know what, read the first letter of St. Peter, he says the purification begins in the house of God and he said if this is what happens in the house of God what's going to happen when it goes outside of the house of God? It's all going down. It just starts in the Church, praise God, because it needs to be cleaned up. Our Mother is going to clean the house and she has begun that work.

St. John Paul spoke of a new springtime, Our Lady of Fatima spoke about a triumph of her Immaculate Heart, and after that triumph she said there would be a long period of peace and unprecedented growth for the Church. So that's what's coming. It is not a point of despair, it is not something we should run away from, we need to remain faithful, we need to continue to pray and we need to fast because our Lord told us with this kind of demon only prayer and fasting is going to be able to get rid of it. So that's a choice we all have to make, we are going to go through some hard times, but we have that resurrection, the new springtime, that triumph of our Lady's Immaculate Heart. So, all I can tell you is: no matter what happens remain faithful to Jesus. It is just that simple.

St. Louis de Montfort told us that in these times, the latter times, he said that God is going to raise up the greatest Saints that we have ever seen. Even to the point, he said, that those Saints will tower over the Saints of the past the way that a cedar of Lebanon towers over a shrub. Think about some of the great Saints we have, and they are going to look like shrubs compared to what's coming. And you can be one of those Saints. There is no reason why you can't. So that's when we, again, put it into context of what St. Paul said in the second reading today, this is making the best out of the situation. The times are evil so make the best of your opportunity he said. Remain faithful to Jesus all the way to the crucifixion and become a great Saint.

Published with permission from Roman Catholic Man.

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Colin Kaepernick was adopted. How can he support abortion?

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By Ryan Bomberger

September 10, 2018 (Radiance Foundation) – What does it mean to sacrifice everything?

Apparently, to a benched former NFL player and multimillionaire, it means another multi-million dollar Nike endorsement deal.

Wow. That's some real suffering.

I'm all about people exercising their First Amendment rights. I'm all about people fighting injustice. I'm all about celebrities using their expansive platforms to raise awareness about social issues.

But if none of it is rooted in the truth, it is – itself – an injustice. And that's, tragically, what Colin Kaepernick is spreading. It's not just his promotion of the fundamentally dishonest and racially divisive #BlackLivesMatter movement or his financial support of an organization that celebrates cop-killer (and FBI's Most Wanted) Joanne Deborah Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur. It's his bewildering and ironic support of a violent act of injustice that he, as an adoptee (like me), escaped.

Kaepernick helps fund radical abortion activism.

He directly donated $25,000 to the extreme pro-abortion group, Center for Reproductive Rights.This is the outfit that celebrated the 40thanniversary of Roe v. Wade with a bizarre sexualized tribute to the millions killed by abortion, called "Happy 40th Anniversary, Baby".

Kaepernick also gave $25,000 to the Lower East Side Girls Club with nearly $8,000 earmarked for travel to Detroit's version of the radical pro-abortion Women's March and for young girls to go to the pro-porn, anti-science Teen Vogue Summit. Just in case you haven't picked up Teen Vogue lately, the soft porn mag heavily promotes abortionPlanned Parenthood and anal sex to teens.

So, this all puts a whole different spin on "Just Do It".

Although Kaepernick has poured his money and his time into noble causes over the years – especially those helping kids, his most recent Million-Dollar Donation Pledge didn't give a dime to adoption advocacy organizations. He didn't help fund any fatherhood initiatives. Fatherlessness is the primary causal factor in so many of the negative outcomes (such as increased crime, violence, incarceration rates, drug usage, school dropout rates, abuse and neglect) in urban areas – not racism.

The millions that Kaepernick makes from an endorsement deal trickle down into his radical political advocacy on Twitter, Instagram, and now through the massive media coverage of Nike's new ad. The new viral video is actually quite beautiful. Coming from a family of fifteen, that included siblings with special needs who defied others' low expectations, I love seeing moments of human triumph. They're always worth illuminating. The ad is mostly "inclusive"; it does portray only one religion, of course – Islam. A Muslim female athlete is prominently featured, but it seems obvious that Nike has its new hijabs to sell. Love when American corporations talk about fighting injustice globally, but they have no problem selling their products in oppressive regimes (whether Muslim or Communist), like Saudi Arabia and China, where corporate social justice rhetoric remains conveniently silent.

In 2016, Nike's CEO – Mark Parker – declared in a letter to employees: "Nike has a long history of supporting the marginalized and those whose voice is not always heard." He ended it with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. But do they matter enough to have a black individual on Nike's executive leadership team? Hmmmm. Clearly the answer is 'no'. Every executive pictured is white (gasp!). Guess that's not a racial issue for Kaepernick. Can't bite the hand that generously feeds you.

And don't get me started on Nike's support of the "marginalized" in its sweatshops around the globe. Many would say that marginalization, and good ole modern-day slavery, is exactly how Nike made its billions (see herehere and here).

In an attempt to further legitimize Kaepernick's propaganda, Amnesty International recently gave the 'Ambassador of Conscience Award' to the #BlackLivesMatter celebrity activist. Amnesty, a Soros-funded human rights farce, has no conscience when it comes to abortion or spreading racial division. The non-governmental organization (NGO) played a crucial role in blatantly lying to Irish voters earlier this year with its pro-abortion street activism helping lead to the country's tragic repeal of its prolife 8thAmendment. And now, Amnesty is furthering Kaepernick's heartbreaking compulsion to racially demonize, distort and divide.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization are woven into the fabric of our nation," Kaepernick opined during his Amnesty award celebration. Yes. But the beautiful thing is we've come so far, and that fabric has many prominent threads of justice, reconciliation and humanity woven into it. Where there is injustice, we must continue to raise our voices for the truly oppressed – not attribute every perceived or actual wrong to racism. Believing in something shouldn't mean you have to abandon everything that's true.

How is it that Kaepernick doesn't see the racialized oppression and dehumanization in the eugenics-spawned abortion behemoth, Planned Parenthood, which kills 247 unarmed black lives every single day? Abortion is the leading killer in the black community. The irony is just too much as Kaepernick lists "You have the right to be alive" as point #7 in his much touted "Know Your Rights" Camp 10-point system.

Nike, by the way, provides matching gifts to the nation's largest abortion chain. So obviously only some lives matter.

"My love for my people serves as the fuel that motivates me," Kaepernick declared in his rather robotic speech to Amnesty. He went on to define 'my people' as those only with black and brown skin. Kaepernick, just like my own story, had a white biological mother and black biological father. He was adopted by white parents who loved him and empowered him to flourish. Shouldn't his people be white, black and every hue in between?

We're one human race, so 'my people' are human beings. Period. Love one another. This is the belief system that serves as the fuel that motivates me to be willing to sacrifice everything.

I know Kaepernick was raised in the same faith. Somewhere, somehow, something diverged.

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation's mission claims to "fight oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism." You can't fight oppression, Colin, if you're funding it.

Published with permission from the Radiance Foundation.

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Fr. Shenan Boquet

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Irreparable damage to pro-life and family causes calls for sanctification

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet

"The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognized by their conduct." 

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians 14

September 10, 2018 (Human Life International) – There are so many reasons to weep over the new revelations of sex abuse and other grave moral failings by some priests and bishops within the Catholic Church: the unimaginable suffering of the victims, the lost faith of the millions of Catholics scandalized by these latest revelations, and the missed vocations by the many good men who were turned away or left the seminary after witnessing scandalous behaviour among their peers and superiors.

For me, in my role as president of Human Life International, there is one additional cause for sorrow: the irreparable damage that this crisis has done to the pro-life and pro-family cause. In truth, these latest revelations have made my job, and the job of so many pro-life leaders, so much more difficult than it already was.

Throughout the past century, as our culture has abandoned the truths about Life and Family, the Catholic Church has remained conspicuously unmoved and unmoveable. Even non-Catholic pro-life activists often admit that they look to the Catholic Church for leadership, clear teaching and inspiration. In the face of the onslaught of secularism and the triumph of the sexual revolution, including within the vast majority of Christian denominations, the Catholic Church has not only strongly reaffirmed its teachings on Life and Family, but developed new and more sophisticated arguments and evangelical tools to proclaim what St. Pope John Paul II called the "Gospel of Life."

And yet, all the while, it seems, the devil has been hard at work. Knowing that a frontal assault on the Church could not work, he has silently fomented corruption, weakness and treachery within Her very walls. Even as the Church has presented a strong public front, the corrosive force of evil has been eating away at Her inner structures. We know that the Church will never fall. Christ has promised that the gates of Hell shall not prevail. Her supporting pillars are no less than Christ, the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition: and against these all attacks come in vain. The Church, too, is the mother of the saints, and among our clergy and bishops there remain many who are faithful, sacrificing their lives for Christ and His Church.

And yet, it would be foolish to avert our eyes from the truth of our situation: for it is only in the knowledge of the truth that we may discover and apply the cure.

Church Historian: This Crisis is Way Worse Than You Think

There are two primary ways in which the sex abuse crisis feeds directly into the Culture of Death: 1) This crisis, involving as it does gross violations of morality, above all sexual morality, gravely undermines the credibility of the Church to speak on the most urgent moral issues of our age. If so many, even at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, are either guilty of sexual crimes, or have actively covered up the predatory sexual behavior of others, how can we expect members of an increasingly secular culture to listen when we urge them to embrace a high moral standard that demands the practice of continuous self-denial? 2) The complicity of far too many of our clergy and bishops, even those who are "conservative" or outwardly "faithful," ensures that their voices are silenced or weakened precisely on those issues where they are most needed: such clerics inevitably lack the moral backbone to take risks for the sake of the truth, knowing how they themselves have failed and are even open to exposure and charges of hypocrisy should they speak in defense of truths they have violated. Thus, the spiritual strength of the Church is imperceptibly eviscerated by the hidden immorality and weakness of some of her ministers.

In (rightly) much-maligned remarks recently given during a TV interview, one leading cardinal claimed that revelations that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused seminarians as well as at least one young boy is not "some massive, massive crisis." In one of the best articles I have seen in response, a professor of political science at Franciscan University argues that – au contraire – this is one of the greatest crises the Church has ever faced.

Placing the sex abuse scandals in an historical context, Benjamin Wiker observes that in pagan cultures, prior to the arrival of Christianity, the practice of grown men pursuing and having sex with adolescent boys was widespread. The same was also true in the case of sexual slavery, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia – all of which were common, and actively defended. With the spread of Christianity, however, came the firstsexual revolution, establishing sex within a lifelong marriage as the ideal and cultural norm, while pedophilia, ephebophilia and sexual slavery came to be viewed with revulsion, and made illegal. "They became moral issues, rather than accepted pagan social practices," writes Wiker, "only because of Christian evangelization."

In the past two decades, however, we have learned details about a disturbingly widespread, and sometimes organized network of homosexual priests and bishops in dioceses and seminaries, many of whom focused their predations primarily on young adolescent boys and men. This network, observes Wiker, is actively bringing the "de-Christianization of the world" by "literally recreating Greco-Roman sexual culture in our seminaries and dioceses." [Editor's note: such pictures are too graphic to include here.]

Indeed, says Wiker, those priests, bishops and cardinals complicit in sex abuse and active homosexuality are not merely one cause among many of the "devangelization, de-Christianization, repaganization" of culture, they are the "chief agents"of the aforesaid. For, as he rightly notes, "there is nothing, nothing, that undermines the moral and theological authority of the magisterium more quickly and thoroughly than the devilish marriage of scandal and hypocrisy. It destroys the ability to evangelize."

"That's a rather horrible irony, isn't it?" queries Wiker. "The very men most authoritatively charged with the evangelization of all the nations are full-steam ahead bringing about the devangelization of the nations. In doing so, these priests, bishops and cardinals at the very heart of the Catholic Church are acting as willing agents of repaganization, undoing 2,000 years of Church History."

Even this is putting it mildly. It is hard to imagine a worse and more cruel irony than watching shepherds tasked with the sacred duty of caring for their flock using their God-given authority to abuse and abandon the innocent and vulnerable in the most grotesque ways. Even furiously pro-abortion media, politicians and celebrities cannot do as much damage to the Church's evangelical mission, then one highly placed prelate who abuses or abandons those under his authority.

Is it any wonder that so many have simply written off the Catholic Church, walking away in disgust, and dismissing every word from the mouths of its representatives as rank hypocrisy? How are we, who still believe the truths taught by Christ and His Church, despite the sins of her ministers, to tell those in the world that they must resist the sexual libertinism of our age, when our rectories, chanceries and seminaries have been infected with the same?

The Way Forward: Purgation and Conversion

What the McCarrick scandal in particular has exposed is that, even after the so-called "Long Lent" of 2002, when the secular press exposed many of the horrors of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, we have not yet fully understood or expunged the "filth" (as Pope Benedict called it) that has entered our Holy Mother Church. And yet, sunlight is a disinfectant. I mourn that we have learned the things we have learned these past few weeks. But I rejoice that they are no longer hidden.

What is needed now is a purgation and purification. Our first purgation began in 2002. Much has changed since then, and many efforts have been taken to protect the innocent and vulnerable. Thankfully, the numbers of abuse claims have fallen dramatically. I have heard from many priests and seminarians that many of the worst seminaries have been cleaned up. But still, more is needed.

In 2002 and afterwards many, including many of our bishops, were content to treat the scandal as involving illegal pedophilia by a small number of priests. Many of the policies that were adopted were aimed at curbing such predatory pedophilia. Unfortunately, however, the bishops put in place no measures to hold themselves accountable, nor did they broaden the scope of their concern to include not only obviously illegal abuse, but also other forms of sexual immorality that threaten the credibility and spiritual witness of the Church. In the short term, investigations, including those by secular authorities, should be launched and welcomed. In the long term, what is needed is the conversion and sanctification of the Church, above all her ministers and shepherds.

This quote from St. Paul to Titus strikes at the heart of the matter:

For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it. For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers . . .; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach. (Titus 1:7-11)

The teacher should be an example to those whom he teaches. St. Paul often exhorted his audience to imitate him and to follow the example that he set (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:1; Phil 3:17; 2 Thess 3:9) and urged both Timothy and Titus to be examples to the churches in which they ministered (1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7). We do not need priests and bishops who are administrators. We need shepherds who are holy, living righteous lives. Seminary rectors and vocation directors must actively recruit only young men who love Holy Mother Church and must ensure that their training challenges them to live by the highest possible moral standards, seeking holiness. Priests and bishops are primarily responsible to Christ and those entrusted to their pastoral care. They must hold each other accountable, must approach and cooperate with secular authorities when warranted, and must eschew any false notion of "fraternalism" that is infected with clericalism or groupthink.

The faithful have a right to demand higher standards from their shepherds. However, and in conclusion, we all have a responsibility to pursue holiness; the Mystical Body of Christ is one, and every member is valuable to is functioning. If ever there was a time for prayer and fasting, this is it. Our Church and our world need saints. Let us restore the purity and integrity of Holy Mother Church by becoming those saints and acting as examples to the world. Then, as in the early Church, the world may pause and pay attention to the Christians, inspired by their integrity, generosity and holiness, so different from the grasping selfishness of the Culture of Death.

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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George Neumayr: Cdl Wuerl is even now covering up for a priest who abused teen in hot tub

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By Maike Hickson

Cardinal Wuerl needs to resign. Sign the petition here.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the following conversation are those of the book's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of LifeSiteNews.

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a recent telephone interview, journalist and book author George Neumayr reveals many details about his ongoing investigation into the corruptions of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, but also of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl's predecessor. 

Neumayr, who is the author of The Political Pope, has been speaking with many insiders from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. who are dismayed at the conduct of their archbishop. 

In this interview, Neumayr shows that he himself has received confirmation from sources close to Cardinal Wuerl that “Cardinal Wuerl had direct knowledge of McCarrick's preying upon seminarians.” 

He also recounts how there are sources claiming that Cardinal Wuerl himself is a homosexual. 

Additionally, Neumayr reveals that Wuerl currently allows Father Betasso, a priest convicted in 2011 for groping an 18-year-old male when sitting naked with him in a hot tub of a country club, to give retreats in his archdiocese. 

“Wuerl is now hiding behind lying legalisms in denying any responsibility for protecting his flock from Father ‘Hot Tub,’” Neumayr says, and he adds: “I know from sources that prominent members of the chancery were alerted to the problem of this Father ‘Hot Tub,’ and nothing was done to remove him from the archdiocese.”

Interview with George Neumayr on 10 September 2018:

Maike Hickson: What are the substantiated charges that have been made in the recent past against Cardinal Donald Wuerl with regard to his role as bishop of Pittsburgh? You have recently quoted Richard Sipe as telling you once that Cardinal Wuerl himself is a homosexual. Do you have additional evidence for the claim that he himself might be an active homosexual?

George Neumayr: Take a look at the Tim Bendig deposition. He was a Pittsburgh seminarian who sued the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh under Donald Wuerl and in the course of his deposition he repeated gossip that he heard from seminarians regarding the homosexuality of Donald Wuerl, specifically that Wuerl had a boyfriend at the seminary. This was told to me by several parties involved in the deposition. And I was also told by those sources that Bendig's recycling of this gossip played a role in the hastening of a settlement in the case. The case never reached trial because he reached a settlement with the archdiocese in 1993 and promised silence.

Hickson: What are the charges against Wuerl in his position as Archbishop of Washington, D.C.? 

Neumayr: People need to know that Cardinal Wuerl is currently allowing a teen-targeting predator to operate within the D.C. Archdiocese. This is about a Discalced Carmelite Monk called Father Emmanuel Betasso. Catholics from D.C., I was told by well-placed sources, complained to the chancery about this priest who had been arrested in 2011 for groping an 18-year old male teen in a hot tub. That priest was naked in the hot tub with the teen at a country club in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

I know that earlier this year, Fr. Betasso advertised for a retreat at the Washington Retreat House. Wuerl is now hiding behind lying legalisms in denying any responsibility for protecting his flock from Father “Hot Tub.” I know from sources that prominent members of the chancery were alerted to the problem of this Father “Hot Tub,” and nothing was done to remove him from the archdiocese. Yet, Wuerl, as we recall, placed in 2012 on administrative leave Father Marcel Guarnizo, from the Archdiocese of  Moscow, because he denied Holy Communion to a lesbian woman. Guarnizo was also a visiting priest, like Betasso. That shows that Wuerl can remove a visiting priest if he wishes. 

Hickson: Do we have, so far, any priest from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. who is willing to speak out about misbehavior on the side of Cardinal Wuerl with regard to sex-abuse cases and their cover-up?

Neumayr: One priest has called for his resignation. On 26 August, at the end of a sermon at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., Father Percival L. D'Silva asked Wuerl to resign, and he received a standing ovation. And then now, just yesterday, James Garcia, a deacon at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C., called for Wuerl's resignation, saying that he would never serve Wuerl again in his Masses.

Hickson: What is your assessment of Pope Francis's apparent decision not to remove Cardinal Wuerl from his diocese? 

Neumayr: It is obviously disgraceful. He should have accepted the pro-forma resignation of Wuerl three years ago, this resignation has been gathering dust on the Pope's desk, and he has not cut the cord on this obvious charlatan and heterodox double-dealer. He has been taking the faithful for a ride for decades now. For example, Wuerl loudly opposed Cardinal Raymond Burke's position on withholding Communion for public defenders of abortion. Wuerl also came to the defense of Pope Francis concerning his document Amoris Laetitia.

Hickson: Many observers are trying to find out more facts about Pope Francis' potential failure with regard to the McCarrick case, but would you not say that he has actually already shown his failure and his complicity by not removing Wuerl from his current office now?

Neumayr: This pope is expert at protecting bad bishops, and the badness of the bishops sometimes takes the form of molestation as in the case of McCarrick, or sometimes the form of being a colleague, in order to conceal the McCarrick molestations. Donald Wuerl knew well that McCarrick was preying upon seminarians, and he did nothing to protect the seminarians. Archbishop Viganò's letter bears it out. Viganò has called Wuerl “a shameless liar.” The Pope is protecting countless cover-up artists within the episcopate.

Hickson: Do you have your own confirmations of parts of the Viganò report, especially about his claim concerning Pope Francis' knowledge and cover-up of the McCarrick scandal?

Neumayr: Yes, I have well-placed sources close to Cardinal Wuerl who have told me point blank that Wuerl had direct knowledge of McCarrick making sexual advances upon seminarians. I also spoke to a personal friend of Cardinal Wuerl who said to me, in effect, that “Cardinal Wuerl had direct knowledge of McCarrick's preying upon seminarians.” We also know from the admission made by the Washington, D.C. chancery that Wuerl canceled an event involving McCarrick and seminarians. They claim implausibly that Wuerl did not know why he had to cancel this event after Viganò, the then-Apostolic Nuncio in the U.S, had intervened. Does anyone wonder in light of such transparently lame claims why Viganò calls Wuerl a “shameless liar”?

Hickson: What is your prediction about the future development of this abuse crisis, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. bishops' own news agency Catholic News Service has now published a 2006 letter that appears to confirm some of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's own claims?

Neumayr: The outrage of the laity, and of the public at large, will grow, and we will see in all likelihood more attorney generals, in that they will be also investigating pederast-protecting bishops. Donald Wuerl will go down as the Cardinal Bernard Law of the year 2018. Like Law, Wuerl is hoping for a golden parachute into a Vatican retirement. But the laity is so angry that it would not surprise me if the cords on that golden parachute will be cut by that laity.

Hickson: May we ask you for a final comment?

Neumayr: I have every intention of telling the truth about the Donald Wuerl corruption. If he is going to dig in, so will I. 

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German theologian: Blaming abuse crisis on ‘clericalism’ will be used to attack traditional priests

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By Maike Hickson

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A German theologian and book author has criticized the current responses of many bishops who, following Pope Francis' lead, claim that “clericalism” is the root problem of the current abuse crisis.

Dr. Markus Büning said in a September 8 article published in Germany that pinning the crisis on clericalism is a “smoke screen” that hides an ulterior motive. The full article is republished below. 

“But there is also yet another reason for this diversionary episcopal smoke screen: the episcopal side now blames everything on the lower clergy who are supposedly infected by this self-aggrandizing clericalism. And, herewith, especially those priests are being defamed who have wished to do only one thing for all these years: to be loyal Catholic priests!” said Büning.

“Yes, especially these clergymen who wear the cassock and who keep to the rubrics of the missal and who celebrate the Holy Mass in a worthy manner. It is especially they who now come under the assault of the episcopal problem-solvers. It is especially these priests who are now, obviously, to be hit by the slogan ‘clericalism.’ All of this is very dangerous!” he added.

Büning sees that most bishops are now helping to set up a leader cult and an unconditional defense of the Pope because they hope to receive a “new Church from Francis: The Church of arbitrariness.”

They hope that he will implement their wished-for reforms in liturgical, moral, and doctrinal matters, he said.  

The German theologian further argued that these bishops have for decades omitted exercising their duties with regard to maintaining the Church's traditions when faced with “liturgical abuse, abuse of the pulpit, heretical religious instruction, disfigurement of Church interiors,” and he himself now finds their current “conformist episcopalism” quite “pitiable.” 

***

September 8, 2018 article by Dr. Markus Büning

“Clericalism” is not the problem, but high-ranking diversionary maneuvers are 

For days now, we had to listen to a constant repetition on the part of our supreme shepherds that the root problem of the abuse crisis – that is, the sexual abuse of children and youth by clergymen – is clericalism.

Pope Francis made the first charge here in his letter to the faithful. 

His episcopal vassals seem to follow him as if in a united front. See here only one example of these many voices in the public statement of Bishop Dr. Genn of Münster. 

There are manifold reasons for this now well-established meaningless phrase about the purported clearing up [of the abuse crisis]. For one, it helps us not to talk about the root problem. Bishop Eleganti from Switzerland, however, was the one who put his finger into the wound, in spite of all the obfuscation, when he referred to the root problem of homosexuality in the clergy.

And that is exactly what the Pope and the shepherds who are totally devoted to him do not want to hear. Why? Because they fear to be burned by the media of this world as being homophobic and old-fashioned, or out of date. This is very transparent. 

But there is also yet another reason for this diversionary episcopal smoke screen: the episcopal side now blames everything on the lower clergy who are supposedly infected by this self-aggrandizing clericalism. And, herewith, especially those priests are being defamed who have wished to do only one thing for all these years: to be loyal Catholic priests!
Yes, especially these clergymen who wear the cassock and who keep to the rubrics of the missal and who celebrate the Holy Mass in a worthy manner. It is especially they who now come under the assault of the episcopal problem-solvers. It is especially these priests who are now, obviously, to be hit by the slogan “clericalism.” All of this is very dangerous!
And who is guilty of it? The bishop of Rome and all those bishops who, out of nowhere, suddenly discover the importance of loyalty toward the Pope. Why? Because it only fits into their agenda! It is all very transparent! Only suddenly, some bishops demand unconditional loyalty toward the Pope. Under Benedict XVI and John Paul II, I never heard such words from the German episcopacy. Why is it now different? 

Because one hopes to receive a new Church from Francis. The Church of arbitrariness, in which anything goes and one can finally, finally please the world; yes, where one may finally expect the praise of nearly everybody. That is by the way also the reason why the secular media currently are mostly quiet about the Church scandals. 

The shepherds wish to protect the Pope whom they see as being so wonderfully reformist and they themselves thus participate in the work of a diabolical cover-up. For, omitted reporting is also Fake-News-Reporting!

Intercommunion, Communion for the remarried divorcees, blessing of same-sex partnerships, Masses without clear rubrics, everything ad libitum [at one's pleasure]. That seems to be the Church which these shepherds now expect and eagerly await.

Some of them even go so far that rebellious women are sensing a further change and even imagine themselves already with a chasuble on the altar. In one dean's office of the Diocese of Münster, there takes place already a conference for Church employees concerning the topic of female deacons. The responsible dean invites this, and the responsible bishop is silent.

It is exactly this Church that is now obviously being desired; and for this ideal, Francis seems to be the figurehead who is now being protected with the help of a mentality seeking an episcopally demanded inviolable leader cult, and doing it in a completely uncritical and devoted manner. The whole thing is getting close to a sacrifice of the mind, at any cost. Yes, the head thereby spins!

Such a thing perhaps has never before happened in the Church. This trick seems to be a novelty in the history of the Church, a novelty which now shakes the unity of the Church to her foundations. And all those bishops who now act in this [devotedly uncritical] manner should permit themselves to be asked whether it is not they who are abusing their power. 

Yes, they are thus themselves hit by the accusation of an unconstrained clericalism in the form of a bourgeois episcopalism which aims at only one thing: to please the world.

And now I ask these bishops where they ever made use of their power during the last decades, concerning the following themes: liturgical abuse, abuse of the pulpit, heretical religious instruction, disfigurement of Church interiors; and so forth?

The office-drawers of German ordinariates are filled with letters of complaint concerning such matters, and most probably the letters have already been shredded. They did as much as nothing, these bishops; bishop means, by the way, overseer or supervisor [Aufseher], and not someone who averts his glance and looks away [Wegseher]! This whole thing is only anymore pathetic.

These “shepherds” have permitted for the most part, over decades, that this Church turned into a caricature, in which faith and piety have mostly evaporated. Yes, and when there were some fellow bishops who thought differently, then there was only one wish: to get rid of them as soon as possible. Here, we may think of Bishops [Walter] Mixa and [Franz-Peter] Tebartz van Elst. These prelates did not go along with the usual feel-good Catholicism of a West-German character, which by now has also infected the Eastern German diaspora which had mostly been preserved during the time of the Communist persecution in the GDR [German Democratic Republic]. 

As long as these bishops do not start to exercise their ecclesiastical office as it is given to them by God and as it is exercised according to the Church's tradition, they are facing the accusation of conformist clericalism which is not willing to fight the abuses in this Church. No, on the contrary, these abuses have seemed to give only another platform for a further deformation. All of this is only to be pitied. 

Note: Translation from the German by LifeSiteNews’ Maike Hickson. This article is published with permission from the author.

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Cardinal Schönborn: Pope Francis’ handling of abuse crisis is ‘so convincing’

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By Maike Hickson

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Austrian Cardinal and papal advisor Christoph Schönborn is defending Pope Francis against calls for the pontiff to resign in light of allegations that he covered up for a sexual abuser, according to a report from Katholisch.de, the German bishops' news website. 

Schönborn has also said in a September 7 column in the newspaper Heute (Today) that the Pope has become the target of various “circles” who “wish to get rid of him.”

The Cardinal praised the Pope for being “so convincing” in the way he has so far handled the abuse crisis. In the meantime, only a few German bishops have come to the Pope's defense. 

Francis “has difficult days now because his open way of calling a spade a spade is not always met with sympathy,” according to the prelate. Such opposition is found also in the Vatican itself. Schönborn continued: “I thank God for this shepherd who is so convincing. Thank you, Papa Francesco!”

Some critics now ask: “Did he not uncover things too little? Even covered up some things?” Yet Francis has himself admitted to his having made mistakes, said Schönborn with an indirect reference to the papal trip to Chile, after which the Pope personally apologized to the abuse victims for the words he had previously used. The cardinal stressed that it is decisive to learn from one's mistakes: “That's what Pope Francis has shown.”

When Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope five years ago, he brought a “fresh wind into the Church,” according to Schönborn. For him, the Pope is “a fighter against injustice and exploitation, and for the protection of the environment” and he has a “heart for the poor and the people who are at the margins of society, such as refugees and migrants.” 

“And he moves with much decisiveness against sexual abuse in the Church,” adds Schönborn.

Katholisch.de points out that these comments in defense of Pope Francis are coming in the wake of a August 30 statement made by the theologian Professor Paul Zulehner of Vienna, Austria who had lamented the lack of support for the Pope on the side of the European bishops: “The bishops in Austria, Germany, in Switzerland – that is to say: all our European Bishops' Conferences are silent,” he said by way of rebuke. This is not the first time Zulehner has acted in defense of the Pope. He himself organized, in 2017, a Pro Pope Francis Initiative.

However, numerous bishops – a few also from Germany – have subsequently, after Zulehner's new interventions, backed Francis publicly. Among them are Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz and Stefan Oster, the bishop of Passau. Oster – who was among the bishops who resisted the recent intercommunion initiative of the German bishops – has recently come out in public with a strong defense of the Pope, saying: “No, I do not see a pope who wishes to topple the teaching, I also do not see one who himself wishes to cover up or who has his own agenda or who wishes to establish his own networks.” “I believe Pope Francis,” adds Oster. “I believe his sincere attempts at a deepening faith, more hope, and a greater charity – and his tireless attempts at helping peace, justice and the preservation of the creation in the world.” 

Bishop Felix Genn of Münster has also made some comments on these issues without explicitly defending Pope Francis. He has mostly said that he agreed with the papal claim that clericalism is the root problem of abuse. He also unspecifically indicated that the Church needed “changes,” and that bishops and priests now have to give up “power and influence.”

As to the general silence of the 27 dioceses in Germany regarding the current sex-abuse crisis, one German observer and expert, who wishes to remain anonymous, has commented: "The German bishops are afraid of what might soon be revealed about the abuse cases in Germany." For, at the end of September, there will be published a detailed report on the history of clerical abuse in Germany since 1945, a study which has been commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference itself and which is now being organized by the Central Institute for Mental Health (in Mannheim). 

This fact might explain why Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, has so far remained silent.

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How to deal with our feelings of betrayal, bitterness, sorrow, and doubt

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – There’s no use denying it or pretending otherwise: all Catholics who are even remotely clued into what’s happening are in a state of shock. We opened a plain door marked “McCarrick” and found on the other side of it a veritable industry of corruption. The pope’s deafening silence in the face of serious evidence of complicity only rubs salt in the raw wounds of the People of God.

I have felt literally sick with grief, disgust, and anger. The arrogance of the wicked, who strut and boast, who lie and expect Catholics to swallow their lies like vitamins for good children, is enough to enrage—or, if one’s temperament is less choleric, to induce a deep depression. Those who found words with which to articulate a response have poured forth a nearly endless stream of articles and appeals, all of which fall on deaf ears, or elicit tone-deaf responses from cardinals in windy cities who, apparently clueless about how their words will sound to laity already fed up with bureaucratic evasion, talk about racism, ecology, clericalism, and other supposedly “more important things.”

Feelings of sorrow, abhorrence, bitterness, anger, melancholy—these feelings are good and right to have at a time like this, since they are part of the natural “equipment” God has given us for reacting to present evils, threatening evils, or good things taken away. But emotions are meant to lead us somewhere, to open up a path forward, so that we can get beyond the emotion into a stronger spiritual state and appropriate action. These emotions, while right and understandable in themselves, are not ends to rest in, but openings to a new realization and a new resolution.

“It is good to confide in the Lord rather than to have confidence in man. It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in princes” (Ps 117:8–9)—yea, even princes of the Church. “Blessed is the man whose trust is in the name of the Lord; and who hath not had regard to vanities, and lying follies” (Ps 39:5). “Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 145:2–3).

Could the message of the Word of God be any clearer? The Church of Christ is founded on the apostles and built on the rock of Peter, absolutely; but this one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church transmits the orthodox faith and confers on us the grace of the sacraments through her ministers, not from them; they are not the authors but the dispensers. Their words and works, too, are measured against an unbending measure of truth. The clergy have no special access to this truth, nor to the grace in which we stand. Our Lord who is “full of grace and truth,” and all the means of salvation He has given us, are the common good, the united possession, of all believers. To think otherwise would be clericalism indeed.

Our Lord says to each of us: “I the Lord have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you” (Is 42:6). “I will never fail you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5; cf. Josh 1:5). If there is one thing we know from Scripture and the lives of the saints, it is that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and the crushed in spirit He will save (Ps 33:19). “I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them” (Is 42:16).

And what is our response to this gracious gift of the Lord’s call, His unfailing love, His nearness, and His promise to save? “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12). What does the endurance of the saints consist in? Above all, prayer. Nothing can defeat a man or a woman of prayer. Moreover, the devil cannot pray, and the one thing he hates the most is our prayer. When we pray, we are heaping burning coals upon him and all who are in league with him. So the most important thing we must do now is pray: increase our attendance and devotion at Mass; increase our Eucharistic adoration; increase our commitment to the Rosary; increase our use of confession; increase our penances. Some demons, Our Lord assures us, are not driven out except through prayer and fasting (cf. Mt 17:21).

Our primary work is to stay close to Jesus, using the tried and true means He has given us in His Church from ages past, from the example of the saints, from the wisdom of Scripture and Tradition. That has always been and will always be the main “engine” of ecclesial reform. This is a time for heroic faith, steely hope, and fiery love, as we cry out to our Redeemer: “Arise, O Lord, help us and redeem us for Thy Name’s sake” (Ps 43:26).

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