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Chelsea Clinton: Protecting babies from abortion would be ‘un-Christian’

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By Calvin Freiburger

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton is back in the news with yet another pro-abortion statement, this time invoking Christianity in support of Roe v. Wade.

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and failed presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared Thursday on a SiriusXM’s “Signal Boost” interview, during which she was asked how she “keep[s] going in the hopes that your daughter doesn’t have to have this fight” to preserve Roe.

“Well, that’s the answer, isn’t it?” she responded. “I look at my children and I, to quote Jim Yong Kim, ‘optimism is a moral choice.’ Every day I make the moral choice to be optimistic. That my efforts and my energies, particularly when I’m fortunate enough to be in partnership kind of with fellow travelers, hopefully will make a difference.”

“When I think about all of the statistics that are painful of what women are confronting today in our country, and what even more women confronted pre-Roe and how many women died and how many more women were maimed because of unsafe abortion practices, we just can’t go back to that,” Clinton continued, invoking a popular yet debunked narrative that a massive number of women died from back-alley abortions in the years before Roe.

In fact, ex-abortion industry insiders admitted years ago that they inflated pre-Roe maternal deaths for political gain and that most illegal abortions were committed by licensed physicians. Additionally, statistics show that maternal deaths began declining prior to legalization, thanks largely to the invention of new drugs.

“And also, I’m sure that this will unleash another wave of hate in my direction, but as a deeply religious person, it’s also un-Christian to me,” Clinton added. That line sparked a conversation about the widespread pushback she received for her false claim last month that Roe helped add $3.5 trillion to the U.S. economy by enabling more women to join the workforce.

“I’ve been compared to slave owners and Nazis in the last couple of months,” she complained, to the sympathetic amazement of her fellow speakers.

“Just because you want women to have access to healthcare,” another participant said. Clinton agreed, and added that she was attacked for having “the temerity, as the Supreme Court did in 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, to point out that our ability to participate fully in our society, including economically, hinges on our ability to be able to make choices for our bodies and our families.”

In fact, Clinton’s critics challenged both the economic literacy and moral implications of her suggestion that the power to kill preborn children was an economic boon. Since Roe, abortion has killed an estimated 60 million people before they could be born and eventually join the workforce, almost half of whom would have likely been women.

Clinton also complained about the Nazi and slavery comparisons at the time, but never addressed the criticism’s point that abortion, slavery, and the Holocaust all entail dehumanizing and/or killing an entire class of living human beings.  

As for Clinton’s latest comments, she did not cite any Bible verse or make a theological argument for a “pro-choice” Christianity, nor did she address any of the Bible’s repeated affirmations of human life or condemnations of shedding innocent blood.

In 2016, the former First Daughter claimed she left the Baptist Church “because I didn’t know why they were talking to me about abortion when I was six in Sunday school.” This January, she wished a Happy New Year to the Church of Satan’s Twitter account.

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Campaign Life Coalition petitions Doug Ford to drop ban on pro-life speech at abortion sites

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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s campaign to uphold free speech should include nixing the Liberal ban on pro-life witness outside abortion centers, says Campaign Life Coalition.

Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family lobbying group launched a petition Wednesday asking Ford to drop Bill 163, which came into effect February.

The bill prohibits all pro-life witness, including showing “disapproval” of abortion, within 50 meters of Ontario’s eight abortion centers. It also allows hospitals and pharmacies to apply for zones of up to 150 meters in which all pro-life witness is banned.

Elected in a Progressive Conservative landslide in June, Ford “has given us fresh hope his administration may have the moral courage to repeal Kathleen Wynne’s unconstitutional ban on pro-life expression near abortion facilities,” Campaign Life Coalition vice president Jeff Gunnarson said in an email to supporters.

Rookie premier Ford certainly appears unafraid to take on the status quo, with his government now in a firestorm over using the “notwithstanding” clause to nullify a judge’s ruling that the Tory bill cutting the size of Toronto city council was unconstitutional.

Ford has also acted on his promise to uphold free speech.

He announced last month Ontario colleges and universities must have free speech policies in place by January 2019 or face face funding cuts. He also directed institutions of higher learning to withhold money from students’ unions that did not do likewise.

It’s clear from this the Ford government “places a high value on our constitutional right to freedom of speech,” Gunnarson observed.

Moreover, Ford himself said during his PC Party leadership campaign he “disagrees with the Liberal censorship legislation, Bill 163, on the basis of free speech,” Gunnarson recalled.

“Let’s encourage Premier Ford to keep driving the free speech train to its next stop,” said Gunnarson, “and repeal Bill 163, the Liberal censorship law.”

Ford’s office did not return requests for comment from LifeSiteNews.

However, the Catholic Register reported last Friday that a spokesperson for Lisa Macleod, the minister Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said the official “supports the bubble zone.”

That’s hardly surprising, given Macleod spoke in support of the bill on behalf of the PC Party, then under leader Patrick Brown, during October’s truncated debate on the legislation.

Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast blasted the three parties, which agreed to fast-track the bill, for passing a “draconian” law. Only one MPP — Trillium Party member Jack MacLaren — voted against it.

“How free is our province if advocates for its most vulnerable are literally denied access to the public square?” Prendergast wrote in the Ottawa Sun.

“Everyone who supports free speech should abhor this law” regardless of their view on abortion, wrote the archbishop. “All freedoms are threatened when the state mutes selected opinions about a pressing social and moral issue.”

Campaign Life Coalition condemned Bill 163 not only for violating the Charter right to free speech, but for harming women by denying them access to information and alternatives to abortion offered by sidewalk counsellors.

The one person charged under the bill to date, longtime pro-life advocate Cy Winter, was holding a sign regarding his Charter right to free speech when Ottawa police arrested him February 7 and 9.

Winter, 70, died a month later following heart surgery before he could have his day in court.

To sign the Campaign Life online petition, go here. To print, sign, and disseminate Campaign Life’s paper petition, a format which Queen’s Park will accept and an MPP can read out in the legislature, go here.

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Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit won’t address protecting seminarians

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By Lisa Bourne

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis’ sexual abuse prevention summit planned for winter’s end in Rome with the world’s bishops will apparently not address protections for the demographic found in recent months to be at significant risk from sexual predators in the Church: seminarians.

After meeting with his Council of Cardinals this week, Francis summoned all the presidents of the national bishops’ conferences to Rome next February 21-24 to discuss the sex abuse crisis. The memorials of St. Peter Damian, who strongly addressed a similar problem of priestly homosexuality over 900 years ago, in both the old and new liturgical calendars are during the days the bishops will be in Rome.

The pope called the summit with the bishops on the theme of “protection of minors,” according to a Council press release.

At the same time, a Vatican Press Office statement had the theme of the February meeting as the “prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.”

Previous policies put in place to protect minors notwithstanding, it remains to be seen how and whether the Church will effectively, comprehensively police its spiritual fathers who abuse their positions of authority through sexual misconduct with individuals who are legal adults, particularly seminarians and priests.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back by press time on an inquiry to the Vatican Press Office into how “vulnerable adults” will be defined for Francis’ abuse meeting with the bishops.

Who is vulnerable?

The Archbishop Theodore McCarrick scandal has also raised the question of who qualifies as a “vulnerable adult.”

Presently, there is minimal policy and clarity in Church documents on “vulnerable adults” whether at the episcopal national conference or Vatican level – and there exist no provisions for addressing abuse of young men pursuing a vocation to the priesthood.

While the term “vulnerable adult” is defined in the sexual abuse policies of some U.S. dioceses, as Catholic News Agency (CNA) report notes, this would not include seminarians.

A CNA canvas of some dioceses that do address abuse of vulnerable adults in their policies found their criteria for defining a vulnerable adult to include such things as physical, mental, or emotional impairment, disability, or other infirmity rendering a person unable to defend themselves or report abuse on their own.

Specifically, the director of the Archdiocese of New York’s Safe Environment Program Edward Mechmann told CNA that the term “vulnerable adult” as defined in the policy for his archdiocese “would not include seminarians.”

“It is really aimed at protecting people who have developmental disabilities or cognitive disabilities, for instance someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” Mechmann said, though he added, “A sound diocesan policy, however, would also encompass any kind of non-consensual sexual conduct, even if it is not strictly covered by the Charter.”

The Charter to which Mechmann referred is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

Also known as the Dallas Charter, it’s the U.S. Bishops’ anti-abuse policy developed after the sex abuse scandal first broke in 2002.

Focused on abuse of minors, it does not contain the term “vulnerable adult,” nor does the Vatican’s “Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.” “Safe Environment” refers to diocesan-level child and youth protection programs.

The Church’s Code of Canon Law likewise does not use or define the term “vulnerable adult,” CNA also notes, though the Church’s 2010 “Norms on delicta graviora(more grave crimes) hold in regard to priestly sex abuse that “a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor.”

McCarrick helped to draft and publicize the U.S. Bishops’ Dallas Charter, which also does not address holding bishops accountable for abuse or its cover-up, outside of “fraternal correction” by fellow bishops.

Sexual abuse victims can be adults, too

Along with the issue of homosexual clergy, the McCarrick sexual abuse scandal has helped reveal that clerical sexual abuse victimization is not limited to minors.

The Church’s abuse statistics have concerned only abuse of minors, and they show the overwhelming majority of clerical sex abuse victims have been post-pubescent males. While these numbers indicate the prevalent homosexual component of the abuse crisis, the studies thus far have not looked at sexual predation toward seminarians.

McCarrick is said to have abused seminarians and young priests for decades – inviting or coercing them to bed, fondling, otherwise abusing, or engaging in sexual acts with them.

Countless reports say that everybody knew about McCarrick’s penchant for young men – a widely-known secret in the Church and media for years that was ignored, covered for, and enabled.

McCarrick’s predation did not impede his rise to the level of cardinal, after having served as a priest and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of New York, bishop of Metuchen, N.J., and archbishop of Newark, N.J., before becoming archbishop of Washington, D.C.

McCarrick, finally removed from public ministry in June after credible allegations that he abused a minor, was able to prey upon young men under his authority because he was given cover, and also because no one was willing to speak up, fearing repercussions from blowing the whistle on the well-connected cardinal.

Aside from the abuse itself, the casualties of McCarrick’s legacy include young men leaving the seminary or the priesthood over their abuse experiences.

Homosexual networks in the Church

The McCarrick revelations drew out subsequent similar allegations involving other prelates throughout the summer, indicating more widespread homosexual predation toward seminarians and young priests in the Church, and suggesting systematic enabling of the activity by a long-suspected homosexual network in the Church that reportedly covers for and promotes its own.

Professor Janet Smith, a moral theologian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, commented on the occurrence of gay networks within the Church’s clergy on social media last month.

“Yes, there are lots of other immoral behaviors – adultery, greed, luxuriousness, clericalism and substance abuse, for instance, that need to be addressed,” she stated, “but first things first.”

“Eradicating the homosexual networks from the Church would do a lot to purging the Church of immoral priests,” said Smith, “and doing so should help us get at the other problems.”

Madison, Wisconsin Bishop Robert Morlino identified this phenomenon as well in a statement last month on the abuse crisis.

“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” Morlino said.

McCarrick is the tip of the iceberg

Father Dariusz Oko, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow and Assistant Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow, wrote an essay in 2012 detailing a “huge homosexual underground in the Church.”

Father Oko’s own experience included encountering a homosexual clique obstructing recourse for those abused by homosexual clergy, specifically a homosexual bishop.

Oko subsequently said after the McCarrick revelations that this was only “the tip of the iceberg.”

Among those cases already known is Marcial Maciel, the late founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who was found to have abused several children and adults, including seminarians, over decades.

There was also the late Cardinal Keith O’Brien, former archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, who reportedly took part in predatory sexual conduct with priests and seminarians under his jurisdiction.

Other bishops removed for preying upon young men or boys include Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, California (1999), Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero, Argentina (2005), Georg Müller of Trondheim and Oslo, Norway (2009), Raymond John Lahey of Antigonish, Canada (2009), Roger Vangheluwe of Brughia, Belgium (2010), John C. Favalora of Miami (2010), and Anthony J. O’Connell of Palm Beach, Florida (2010).

It’s everywhere within the Catholic clergy

While it is said the majority of abuse of minors in the Church took place in the past, another aspect of the abuse crisis pertaining to seminarians is that there are more present-day allegations.

Some 50 seminarians in Honduras wrote a letter to their formators this past July complaining of a homosexual network in their seminary.

Three former seminarians in Ireland reported psychological abuse they suffered at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth over the past decade. One alleged he’d been the subject of unwanted homosexual advances

In early August, Peter Mitchell reported sexual advances made to him by a former Lincoln archdiocese vocations director, the late Monsignor Kalin. Mitchell was a seminarian in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska from 1994 to 1999, who later transferred to Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was laicized in 2017 for breaking his vow of celibacy.

Mitchell’s account was one of “profound discrimination” as a seminarian and priest for being a heterosexual “in an overwhelmingly homosexual environment where sexually active gay priests protected and promoted each other.”

“It is ‘everywhere’ within the Catholic clergy,” Mitchell stated, “but seems to be especially prevalent among priests within the power structure of chanceries, seminaries, and the church’s bureaucracy, up to and including the Holy See, where I served for a brief time in 2008-2009.”

The Diocese of Lincoln has a reputation for orthodoxy, making Mitchell’s testimony even more shocking.

Also in August, a former seminarian named John Monaco reported unwanted homosexual advances and homosexual acts he witnessed in two East Coast seminaries: St. John’s in Brighton, Massachusetts and St. Charles Borromeo seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. 

Accounts of seminarian abuse have continued to surface since the release of the McCarrick allegations in June.

As Catholics wait on Church hierarchy to authentically address the mushrooming clerical sexual abuse crisis, they also await action to protect the young men they turn over to the Church to become the priests of the future.

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American bishop cleared of suspicion of sexual misconduct

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An Indiana bishop has been exonerated of suspicions of sexual misconduct after a “swift and thorough” investigation by a Pennsylvania District Attorney.

The subject of an “unsubstantiated allegation,” Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has been exonerated by Dauphin County District Attorney Francis T. Chardo.

In a statement released yesterday, Chardo declared, “After a full investigation, the Dauphin County District Attorney has determined that there is no basis to conclude that Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ever engaged in a criminal or otherwise improper relationship with a person whom we will refer to as J.T. to protect the privacy of his family.”

J.T., who died in 1996, was a 19-year-old inmate of Dauphin County Prison when he first met  Rhoades. Then a parish priest in Harrisburg, PA, Father Rhoades had been asked to visit J.T. in prison by one of his parishioners, J.T.’s mother. When J.T. was released on parole in 1990, he began to spend time at Rhoades’ parish. When Rhoades planned a trip to Puerto Rico with a teacher friend, J.T. asked if he could tag along to visit his grandmother there.

“All three men made the trip to Puerto Rico and there was no sexual or intimate contact between them,” Chardo reported. “We interviewed the teacher by telephone as he lives in England. He is married and has a family. He confirmed Bishop Rhoades’ account of the trip and that there was no sexual or intimate contact between Father Rhoades and anyone else during the trip.”

Detectives interviewed J.T.’s mother, whose recollections matched those of Bishop Rhoades. She confirmed that J.T. was over 20 when he travelled to Puerto Rico with Father Rhoades, and that she “never had any indication of sexual contact between J. T. and Father Rhoades.”

The reason for the investigation was an allegation made by one of J.T.’s cousins to the Diocese of Harrisburg in south-central Pennsylvania.

“The cousin reported his recollection that Father Rhoades had travelled with J.T. to Puerto Rico twice and South America once when J.T. was 13 or 14 years old,” Chardo explained.  

“The cousin did not witness any sexual or unlawful acts and did not receive information relating any such acts from any source. The cousin merely thought the conduct he remembered was odd and so he felt compelled to report it. The Diocese promptly forwarded the report to the Dauphin County District Attorney.”

Later the cousin conceded that the events he remembered must have occured after 1986, when J.T. was in his mid-teens, and that the travel he remembered may have happened when J.T. was in his late teens or twenties.

“The report relating to multiple trips was the result of an honest, mistaken recollection and the passage of nearly three decades,” Chado ruled. The only trip had been the one to Puerto Rico.

The district attorney deplored that the investigation had been leaked to the media and thus made public, leading to unwonted suffering.

“This has been a case of a public airing of mere speculation of impropriety with no foundation,” he wrote.  

“In this case, the leaking of what turned out to be an unfounded report did unnecessary harm. This has done a disservice to actual victims of sexual abuse. It has also caused significant and unnecessary harm to Bishop Rhoades.”

A statement from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend expressed appreciation for the “swift and thorough investigation into the unsubstantiated allegation against Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.” It underscored the importance of due process when investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.

“While it’s important that allegations be brought forward, it’s equally important for due process to take place,” the statement stressed. “The result of this investigation underscores the importance of allowing appropriate authorities to determine credibility of accusations before the reputation of any individual is impugned in the court of public opinion.”

The statement expressed Bishop Rhoades’ gratitude for the support he has received from parishioners and solidarity with those who have been abused. Reflecting on having been wrongfully accused, Rhoades said, “I have offered up the pain of this difficult time for the victim survivors of child sexual abuse.”

Bishop Rhoades has been the Ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend since 2010, having previously been appointed Bishop of Harrisburg in 2004 by St. John Paul II. In recent years, Rhoades has reinforced the authentic Catholic identity of diocesan schools and defended the traditional pro-life ethos of both St. Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame.  

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UK gov’t ads push abortive contraception so youth don’t have to ‘give up’ high heels or video games

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By Calvin Freiburger

UNITED KINGDOM, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new series of bus ads from the British National Health Service (NHS) proposes so-called “emergency contraception” as a way to avoid parenthood, and by extension sacrificing nights out on the town or in playing video games.

The two ads ask, “Would you give up this?” followed by a picture of either a video game controller or a roll of lipstick and pair of high heels; then “For this?” followed by a baby pacifier. The controller ad advertises the availability of “FREE condoms,” while the makeup ad says, “You can still get Emergency Contraception up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. And it’s FREE.”

It refers viewers to the Walsall Integrated Sexual Health (WiSH) website, which admits that every contraception method it offers can function by preventing implantation as well as by preventing sperm from reaching an egg. Despite efforts to frame contraception as an alternative to abortion (largely by redefining “conception” to denote implantation rather than fertilization), preventing an already-formed embryo from implanting also kills a living human.

“Women have been fabulous, multi-tasking phenomenon for generations[,] making ads like these both misogynist and paternalistic in the worst sense,” Kristi Hamrick, spokesperson for Students for Life of America and a working mother of four, told LifeSiteNews. “The notion that strong women can’t function and thrive in more than one arena without abortion is a sales pitch, not a reality. The Pro-Life Generation rejects the false civil war of career versus family that the abortion industry tries to push everyday.”

Aside from NHS’s promotion of abortion at taxpayer expense and endorsement of killing babies for reasons as trivial as recreation, some commuters have taken offense at the ads’ perceived sexism.

“I was gobsmacked when I saw the ad, I had to look at it again to make sure I'd read it correctly,” Kristie Jones told the Daily Mail. She found the “irresponsible” imagery “sexist because it doesn't understand women, it implies if you are a mother you have to give up certain things. My sister has a small child so I'm fully aware of the sacrifices that mums do need to make when they have a baby.”

In a post confirming the authenticity of both ads, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Nicola Wenlock, the Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health, apologized “if this particular advertisement has raised a concern,” but insisted it “has played an important role in tackling teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health in our local area which has been reducing steadily year on year.”

The statement explained that the ads were “informed by feedback from young people.” Despite the fact that the two posters match sex-specific contraception methods and colors with a stereotypically male hobby and women’s shoes and lipstick, the Trust claims the “posters do not refer to gender,” and the imagery was simply chosen based on what “teenagers have told us [...] is important to them.”

The post added that the ads were for designed a summer campaign that has already concluded, but teens will continue to “help to inform future campaigns.”

Twitter users in the UK and elsewhere excoriated the ad as “sexist” and “crass beyond belief.” Others noted that being a mother does not prevent one from wearing lipstick

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Pittsburgh bishop revives traditional devotions in response to abuse crisis

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

PITTSBURGH, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Traditional devotions that have all but vanished from the majority of Catholic parishes will be revived in one prominent American diocese on account of the abuse crisis.

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh has announced a “Year of Repentance” in his diocese that will begin on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Zubik has asked all clergy to fast and pray for the purification of the Church “in light of the scandal of sex abuse.” 

In service of this fasting and prayer, the bishop has instructed the priests to observe the twelve Ember days of the coming year by abstaining from meat and praying before the Blessed Sacrament for an hour on those days. 

Zubik became Pittsburgh’s Bishop in 2007 after years of serving at the right hand of his predecessor, the now embattled Archbishop of Washington D.C. Cardinal Wuerl. Zubik, who served as director of Office of Clergy, was mentioned more than 100 times in the Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month. When asked in an August 29 radio interview if he ever tried to stop the reassignment of abusive priests to other parishes, he replied: “I think the bishops were the ones who made decisions then, as I have to make them now.”

Ember Days, which feature prominently in the traditional liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, mark the change of seasons with fasting and prayer. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “Ember Days” is an English-language corruption of the Latin “Quattuor Tempora”, which means four seasons, and has nothing to do with embers. 

Pope Gregory VII (1073 - 1085) “arranged and proscribed” the dates of the four Ember Weeks (each “week” lasting three days), but three were observed from the third century at the latest. Pope St. Leo the Great (c. 400-461) believed they were kept in the days of the apostles. 

In the Old Calendar, the Ember Days fall after St. Lucy’s Day (December 13), after the First Sunday in Lent, after Pentecost and after St. Matthew’s Day (September 21).  During the diocesan Year of Repentance, they will take place in Pittsburgh on September 19, 21, and 22, 2018; December 19, 21, and 22, 2018; March 13, 15, and 16, 2019; and June 12, 14, and 15, 2019.

Zubik has also invited all the Catholics of his diocese to join in the Ember Days of fasting and prayer.

In addition, the Bishop of Pittsburgh has asked his priests to consider leading the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after all Masses, a devotional practice established in 1884 and discontinued in most parishes after the Second Vatican Council. Two or three other American bishops have recently requested its return. 

In a letter he wrote to his priests, Zubik remarked on their “shame and sorrow” over the clerical sins and crimes that have once again come to light after recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s sexual predation of seminarians and priests, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony alleging cover-up among high-ranking prelates, including Pope Francis. 

“Faced with the sinful actions of the members of our own ranks of the clergy, who are called to manifest the example of Christ, we feel both shame and sorrow, and are reminded of our own sinfulness and the need for mercy,”  he wrote. 

The bishop quoted Pope Francis’ exhortation to fast and pray in response to the recent scandals:  “The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God’s People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion.”

The Year of Repentance in the Pittsburgh diocese will begin with Sunday Mass in St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland on September 23 at 3 PM and end with Mass on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2019. 

A diocesan-wide service to liturgically inaugurate the Year of Repentance will be held Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 3 p.m. in Saint Paul Cathedral, Oakland.

Note: Follow LifeSite's new Catholic twitter account to stay up to date on all Church-related news. Click here: @LSNCatholic

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Keisha Marie Atkins
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Family of woman killed in botched abortion files wrongful death suit against abortionist, university

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By Calvin Freiburger

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The mother and sister of a 23-year-old woman killed last year in a late-term abortion are now filing a wrongful death suit against the abortionist responsible, as well as the University of New Mexico (UNM) for allegedly covering up her cause of death.

Keisha Marie Atkins died in February 2017 after seeking a 24-week abortion from notorious late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO). She arrived there on January 31 to begin the abortion process, and returned on February 3 displaying labored breathing and signs of the life-threatening infection sepsis.

Atkins was taken to the operating room to complete the abortion (by delivering her baby stillborn after a lethal injection), at which point she went into cardiac arrest. She was transported to the University of New Mexico hospital, where she died.

New Mexico’s KOB-4 reports that Keisha’s mother Tina Atkins and sister Nicole Atkins have filed a lawsuit against Boyd, SWO, UNM Health Systems, the UNM Board of Regents, the UNM Health Sciences Center, and pathologist Dr. Lauren Dvorscak.

The suit alleges that at the outset, SWO violated New Mexico’s Unfair Trade Practices Act by instructing Atkins “not to contact or consult any medical facility, hospital, doctor, emergency room or nurse outside of employees, agents and/or staff of the SWO clinic.” It also claims that Dvorscak assisted with a cover-up of her true cause of death by writing “a report listing the cause of death as 'natural' due to pregnancy.”

“Keisha Atkins' medical treatment was a series of negligence and malpractice which ultimately led to her untimely death – these actions were compounded by the fact that she was instructed to not seek emergency room care by Southwestern doctors,” Atkins' attorney Michael Seibel said in a statement. “We also have reason to believe that these parties conspired with UNM's Medical Investigator to conceal the cause of death from the abortion in order to protect each other's interests and long-standing relationships.”

A UNM spokesperson declined to comment to the Daily Caller about the suit, citing pending litigation and privacy rules.

Questions have swirled around the circumstances of Atkins’ abortion, death, and autopsy from the beginning. Operation Rescue, for instance, questioned how Akins ultimately reached the hospital, as SWO called an ambulance at 12:04 p.m. on February 3, but then cancelled it.

As previously covered by LifeSiteNews, while her autopsy said she “likely did have an infection from the abortion process,” UNM’s Office of the Medical Investigator ruled that Atkins’ official cause of death was “pulmonary thromboembolism” (PE), or blood clots in her lungs, that were “due to pregnancy.” In July, New Mexico Alliance for Life (NMAL) obtained emails in which UNM Health officials question the autopsy report. “Everything about her course was consistent with septic abortion → refractory septic cardiomyopathy → death,” UNM Health Emergency Medicine Dr. Trenton Wray wrote.

“The autopsy diagnosis doesn't make sense to me. Who did the autopsy?” UNM Health radiologist Dr. Gary Hatch asked. “There was no massive PE [pulmonary thromboembolism] present at the time of scan. Period [...] I am also confident there was no segmental or greater PE.”

In March, the New Mexico Medical Board opened an investigation into Boyd, deciding the allegations “warrant further formal review to determine whether the licensee is in violation of the Medical Practice Act.” Boyd is a former Baptist minister who has previously admitted, “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that,” and that he committed illegal abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade.

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‘I was spat upon’: Student speaks out against pro-abortion ‘dictatorships’ on Canadian campuses

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By James Risdon

WINDSOR, Ontario, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – University campuses in Canada are run like petty, pro-choice dictatorships with student councils and faculty members censoring and even making it dangerous for pro-lifers to speak up, says a University of Windsor student. 

Meet Maggie. 

Although she prefers only her first name be used in this article out of a fear of reprisals from abortion activists, Maggie is stepping up and talking about the obstacles pro-lifers face on Canadian university campuses in a video on Facebook.

It's called Maggie: #TheNewDictatorship. It's part of a public awareness campaign by National Campus Life Network, an organization that trains students to become pro-life leaders, where Maggie now works as a regional coordinator. 

In that video, she recounts some of the mistreatment she has endured because of her pro-life views at institutions of higher learning. 

Although universities pride themselves as being bastions of free speech, safe places to explore all kinds of ideas, that hasn't been Maggie's experience.

"I've been repeatedly dehumanized on my campus because of my pro-life views," says Maggie in that video. "I was an item of discussion in the classroom. I was spat upon by a professor during a campus outreach. Campus police threatened to arrest me."

In April 2016, Maggie was even physically attacked by a hooded man who cited her "anti-choice" convictions during the assault.

Then only 20 years old, Maggie was already an outspoken pro-life university student on that day two years ago. As she walked home from campus, a man in dark clothes pushed her against a fence and derided her for her pro-life beliefs. 

“Would you still be anti-choice if you had to make the choice?” he mocked.

Afterward, that man put a photograph of an aborted baby in her mailbox at her home. On that picture were the words, "Your baby after I rape you."

Terrified to leave her home, Maggie needed therapy to deal with the trauma of that attack. She failed classes. She lost friends. 

And even though he confessed to the attack, that man was never charged and still remains at large due to a lack of evidence, said Maggie in an interview. 

"Not a day went by in my second year when I was not dehumanized and lied about on campus," she says in the video. "Instead of helping me, my women's centre denied me. They told me they wouldn't help me because it was a 'pro-choice space'."

One days while she was "chalking", writing the positive, pro-life message "Women deserve better than abortion" on a sidewalk at the University of Windsor, a professor spat on her, she said. 

According to Maggie, campus security later called her home about the incident and threatened to have her arrested if she ever did that again, even though the University of Windsor has no policy against chalking.

"They told me to get off of my political soapbox and act like a decent human being," she said. 

A culture of censorship pervades Canadian university campuses and that can easily get dangerous for pro-life students, said Maggie.  

She's not the only student pro-lifer to run into censorship and mistreatment on campus.

Late last year, a pro-life student group at the University of Ottawa was censored and stripped of its club status by its student union because its mandate promotes human rights for all human beings. That student union later made its "pro-choice" position official and announced it would only support groups that support legalized abortion. 

The year before that, pro-life students at Brandon University took their student government to court when it denied them club status on the grounds that its displays were deemed "intimidating" and that the abortion issue was already adequately covered by pro-abortion groups.

Marxist ideology has so taken hold of student unions and faculties that they now tend to see discussions through the lens of class conflict and hurt feelings from ideas deemed offensive are viewed as justification for physical attacks, said Maggie.

"If they don't like [what someone is saying], they see it as hurting them. They see words as violence that can be met with violence," she said. 

Despite all of the harassment and even the violence she has endured, the now 22-year-old pro-lifer is adamant that it's all been worth it and she encourages other student pro-lifers to stand up for their beliefs as well. 

"For everything that's happened to me, none of it is worth even one abortion," she said. 

The Maggie: #TheNewDictatorship video has been seen roughly 39,000 times and shared 703 times as of this writing.  

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Dori Myers YouTube
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Bronx teacher avoids jail and keeps teaching certificate after sex acts with 14-year-old student

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By Calvin Freiburger

KINGSBRIDGE, New York, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A 30-year-old teacher who performed oral sex on a 14-year-old student multiple times in 2016 will not only avoid prison time but could potentially teach again, under the terms of her plea agreement.

Formerly a social studies teacher at New School for Leadership and the Arts, a public school in the Bronx’s Kingsbridge neighborhood, Dori Myers was accused in January of performing oral sex on a male student, who told a classmate who in turn notified the school’s principal. Another teacher reportedly witnessed her “massaging” the boy, as well.

Prosecutors charged Myers with “criminal sexual act in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child,” which she denied. The Department of Education called the accusation “deeply troubling,” but initially reassigned her “away from students” rather than firing her.

Myers pled guilty on August 1, and the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reports this week that she has entered into a plea agreement consisting of ten years’ probation and registration as a Level 1 sex offender. According to New York’s Sex Offender Registry, Level 1 offenders are considered a “low risk” for repeat offenses, need not be given an official designation such as “predator,” can be de-registered after 20 years, and aren’t listed on the public directory.

Prosecutors had asked for two years in prison and revocation of Myers’ teaching certificate. But while she was fired after her guilty plea and Education Department spokesman Doug Cohen says she is “not eligible to work in New York City schools again,” the light sentence leaves open the possibility of her becoming a teacher again elsewhere.

Myers’ attorney characterized her as a model teacher whose career was destroyed by spurious allegations, but Vibe reports that the victim posted a Snapchat video of himself with Myers captioned, “Me and my sexy a** wife.”

While the ongoing scandal over sex abuse in the Catholic Church is currently dominating national headlines, some have long argued that a similar crisis in public education is at least as extensive, if not more so. Last month, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released a preliminary report finding 500 cases of alleged sexual assault and abuse in CPS schools over the last ten years, and that CPS failed to perform adequate background checks or abuse tracking.

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Pastor Richard Penkoski.
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Judge awards pro-marriage pastor $10,000 in online harassment case

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By James Risdon

MARTINSBURG, West Virginia, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian pastor and his wife emerged victorious from court last week when a magistrate ruled a woman who had previously agreed to stop harassing them online broke the terms of that agreement.

Now, Rev. Richard Penkoski, pastor of the Warriors for Christ online ministry, is offering to help other Christians fight back and use the courts against online defamation and threats of violence. 

Penkoski thinks he is the target for online harassment because of his ministry's stand on the “sinfulness” of homosexual acts and its opposition to same-sex “marriage.” His ministry organizes events such as an upcoming protest against a "drag queen story hour" at a public library. His account has been blocked by Facebook for days at a time for posting content critical of the LGBT agenda. 

A screen capture of a Facebook post from July 2 this year shows Paula Bowers, a resident of Olathe, Kansas, alleging on social media that the Christian pastor was then under investigation by the federal government of the United States. 

"He's gotten out of dozens of organized fraud charges in the past," alleged Bowers. "And so, every day he remotely accesses all of our accounts and phones like he is entitled to."

The pastor has been called online a “perverted degenerate,” and has been accused of “violating” children. The pastor and his wife have been called “freaks. Stalkers, liars, predators and criminals.”

According to the 42-year-old Christian pastor, the online nastiness against him, his wife, Amanda Penkoski, and their six children started in January this year and it was only after months of it that they took legal action, eventually hammering out an agreement with Bowers in April.

In it, the Penkoskis and Bowers agreed to not mention each others' names on social media or threaten each other with bodily harm or damage their property. Those terms extend to the Penkoskis and Bowers' families. 

That agreement, though, didn't stick.

"It lasted three days," said Richard Penkoski in an interview. "She didn't abide by the terms of that agreement."

With the online feud flaring up again, the Penkoskis went to court, alleging Bowers broke the terms of their agreement. Last week, Berkeley County magistrate Richard Stephens issued a default judgment in the couple's favor with a settlement of $10,000 against Bowers.

A default judgment is rendered in cases when there is a failure by one party in the lawsuit to take some legal action. A typical example is when one of the parties to the lawsuit fails to show up for a court hearing.

Neither the allegations brought forth by Bowers nor those made by the Penkoskis have been proven - or disproven - in a court of law.

Still, the Christian pastor is taking the win.

"We've been to court so many times, had to get restraining orders, police involvement, so when we got the judgment we were elated," he said. " This message says that Christians have rights and as long as we endure and fight back we can win."

The Christian pastor is planning to give the $10,000 from the settlement to the pro-life, pro-traditional marriage American Family Association - when and if he gets it. Among the first things Penkoski is going to do in the wake of this judgment is try to take out a lien on Bowers' house to ensure she pays that money.

Despite the court's decision, the Penkoskis are still being harassed. 

There's been a threatening voice mail message the Christian pastor says was left on his phone: "Tonight, you're going to die, B****!"

Online, someone identifying himself or herself as Carol Meyers has threatened Penkoski, calling him a fraud and threatening, "You'll be at the end of a noose when I'm done with you." Last year, a news outlet reported Penkoski had received a threat from someone on Facebook identifying him or herself as "Michael Grant" who wrote: “I know somebody waiting right now to put a bullet through your skull."

In a screen capture of another Facebook exchange, "Meyers" harasses the Penkoskis by insulting their son. 

Even more disturbing online posts earlier this year alleged he was involved in child pornography and sex trafficking. 

"It's disturbing," said the Christian pastor. "It's disgusting."

He thinks this is the work of homosexual activists who are angered by his ministry's stand against homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” 

But Penkoski is refusing to back down or water down his Christian message.

Instead, he's offering to help any Christians who want to fight back in court against similar online harassment.

"As Christians have become more apathetic and LGBT activists and liberals have become more emboldened, they have also become more violent," said Penkoski. 

"Stand up for your rights … you don't have to put up with this," he said. 

His legal battle to seek redress for online harassment cost him only $100. That was the cost of filing some papers to the court. The pastor represented himself in court and urges other Christians to take legal action when necessary to push back against anti-religious bigotry and online bullying.

"If you can't do it, I will help you to do it," he said. "[Christians can] message me through our Facebook page. They can text us on our prayer line at 973 512-2326 or e-mail [email protected]"

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Don’t let Facebook label us ‘fake news’

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By John-Henry Westen

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  It seems that it is not enough for Facebook to systematically discriminate against our content and reject our ad submissions. In order to suppress our reach to those looking for the truth, they want to marginalize us completely by labeling us (and other conservative organizations) as “fake news.”

Facebook recently admitted to combating “fake news” by developing a system that ranks users’ trustworthiness on a scale from 1 to 10. This is determined by users’ opinions rather than objective investigations!

This means that aggressively pro-abortion and anti-family Facebook users can rank LifeSiteNews as “untrustworthy” with the simple click of a button - just because they dislike the facts that we publish.

Facebook has therefore made it ridiculously easy for our highly organized, well-financed (George Soros, etc) and hateful opponents to have LifeSiteNews wrongly categorized as “fake news” and our traffic suppressed according to Facebook’s “terms of agreement.”

Truth does not matter according to this mob-mentality-serving process.  

This is a direct attack on LifeSiteNews and the very values that we hold dear. Our world is in need of the truth, and when the social media giant is actively taking steps to silence our voice, we cannot reach as many people with the truth.

Will you help us fight the censorship that we are facing to ensure that our voice is still heard? A gift of $200, $100, $50 or $35 today will give us the resources we need to stand strong in the battle ahead.

Not only are we being censored and silenced, they are charging us for it! 

Over the last year, LifeSite’s Facebook reach has plummeted. This has led us to necessarily increase our spending for Facebook ads to maintain the reach we have left. Without that Facebook audience we would have far less influence on the culture.

In the meantime, we are trying to greatly increase our email lists and visits directly to our home page so that LifeSite will eventually not be so dependent upon Facebook, Twitter or Google. There is a long way to go on that effort.

In addition to our increased spending, Facebook has refused to approve our pro-life campaign ads! They have put up roadblock after roadblock to ensure that our message is slowed down and that less Facebook users see our message of truth. 

Even though the number of likes on our Facebook page has increased significantly since June of last year, our reach has dropped substantially because of bias and censorship. I have included this graph for you, to give you a glimpse into the ludicrousy of this entire situation.

One response that our team received as the reason for Facebook’s disapproval of our ads is equally concerning. The ad pertaining to this response simply showed an image of a pregnant mother holding a photo of her baby’s ultrasound...

I do see that the ad has a fetus and while it involves your ad text and topic, it may be viewed too strong for Facebook to allow to show.

Such viewpoint discrimination is a direct attack on our shared life and family values, and is greatly affecting our efforts to fundraise and spread our news.

Will you consider becoming a supporter of LifeSiteNews today with a gift of even just $35? Your support can ensure that our news coverage continues even amidst the censorship that we face.

While Facebook obviously lacks the power of an authoritarian government, critics are saying that such efforts are part of a broad campaign to suppress right-of-center voices and give liberals a monopoly on social media.

A confidential memo written last year by the far-left Media Matters details a comprehensive campaign to pressure social media and tech companies into silencing conservatives. Previous analyses have found that Facebook’s algorithm changes are disproportionately impacting conservative publishers.

We are all obliged to take whatever actions we can to defend our freedoms. If not, it appears we are about to lose many of them. Will you stand with us today with a one-time or monthly gift to combat this modern-day Goliath?

There has never been a more pressing time to come together as a community and speak the truth. We refuse to let the voice of truth be discounted, misrepresented and silenced.

So, we need your help.

The foundation of our society is more at risk than ever before. Now is the time for us to stand strong for life and family values, and spread our message far and wide.

A commitment of support today means that we can continue our mission to restore our culture through the power of the media even amidst censorship.

With a gift of $500, $100, $50 or $35 today, you can help us continue to reach millions with life-affirming, high quality pro-life and pro-family journalism!

If you would like to give by phone or mail, please follow the donate link here, and choose either option at the bottom of the donate form.

Thank you for the trust you have put in LifeSiteNews. I thank God for the opportunity to serve readers like you in this way.

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Canada to host coast to coast Rosary October 7 to fight against ‘war’ on life, family

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By Lianne Laurence

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada is following the example of Poland, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States and holding a coast-to-coast rosary on October 7.

The event is organized by Children of the Eucharist Canada in partnership with Fr. Richard Heilman, one of the driving forces behind the coast-to-coast rosary the United States.

“We are inviting Catholics across the country to pray together to call upon God through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary to heal our country and return it to Holiness,”  according to the group’s website Rosary Coast to Coast.

Canadians are in a "war" where "powers of darkness" are attacking life, marriage, and family, a video to promote the event states. 

“Mary is humankind’s greatest intercessor,” says a priest in a promotional video that features many well-know Canadian advocates for the sanctity of life and family.

“She beckons to her children to pray unceasingly, an effort which, if fulfilled, will change the world, for Mary has promised that at the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

October 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and rosary rallies that day conclude the 54-day novena that began August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption.

“Canadians across the country are all invited to pray the Rosary Coast to Coast wherever they can gather: in parish churches; in front of city government buildings, schools, along the Canadian coasts and borders; as families,” the website states.

Catholics in Canada can also take part in the Rosary Coast to Coast by following the live-stream of the National Rosary Rally in Toronto.

It begins at the Newman Center at 3:00 p.m., with the Divine Mercy chaplet, followed by a walking Rosary procession to the provincial legislature. It concludes with Mass at St Michael’s Cathedral at 5 p.m.

More than a million people took part in Poland’s Rosary at the Borders in October 2017. That was followed a month later with 30,000 people praying the Rosary for Life and Faith on the Coast in Ireland. That was followed by a Rosary on the Coast of England, Scotland and Wales in April 2018, inspiring the United States and Canadian Rosary Coast to Coast on October 7, 2018.

More information about participating or helping lead a rosary in a particular region in Canada can be found here

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Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's president for eight months.
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New Planned Parenthood head spins abortion as ‘health care,’ dodges fact-check on ‘The View’

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By Calvin Freiburger

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Newly-minted Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen joined the left-wing talk show The View Thursday to further introduce herself to the public, reciting common talking points and deflecting mild challenges in the process.

Planned Parenthood announced Wednesday that Wen, a former George Washington University physician and Baltimore Health Commissioner, would be taking over for Cecile Richards, on whose watch the abortion giant increased its abortion activities while decreasing actual health services.

Wen opened the discussion by hailing the United States’ largest abortion provider as “an organization that for the last 100 years has done more for women’s health than any other.” She repeated the claim from her introductory video that Planned Parenthood supplied her poor family with “basic medical services like cancer screening and family planning” as new immigrants from China.

“And I’m taking on this role in part because I’m a new mother myself. I have a baby who just turned one, and nothing has been more clarifying for me than being a parent,” Wen added. “Because it clarifies my values and what it is that I want to fight for. And what I want to fight for is the same access to health care that everybody should have, that health care should be understood as a human right.” Nobody on the panel asked her to explain how raising a baby reinforced her devotion to an organization that aborts babies.

Joy Behar asked her whether she believes Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s repeated affirmations during his Senate testimony that he considers Roe v. Wade “settled law.”

“No, I do not,” she answered, citing President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to apply a pro-life litmus test to Supreme Court nominees and Kavanaugh’s pair of rulings indirectly touching on abortion. “And I see every day what’s at stake,” she added, repeating another point from her introduction video about an emergency-room patient who supposedly died after a home abortion attempt.

The specter of deadly back-alley abortions is prominent in pro-Roe apologetics, despite the multiple admissions from ex-Planned Parenthood insiders that they wildly inflated pre-Roe maternal deaths and that most illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians.

Sunny Hostin used her opportunity to credit Planned Parenthood’s “noble” health services for low-income and minority women, but contrasted that with the group’s abortion statistics.

“I think in 2016 Planned Parenthood provided 328,348 abortions, and in terms of emergency contraception kits, 730,329. That’s more than well women exams, pap tests, HPV vaccinations, Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform mammograms, but Planned Parenthood I don’t think is transparent about that,” she said. “Planned Parenthood says it’s only 3% of their services, the Washington Post has found that to not be accurate, has found it to be more like 12%” in its 2015 fact-check.

Wen didn’t address her numbers, but simply claimed that the abortion giant “follows the law, and is transparent and makes clear what are the procedures that we perform and what are the services that we perform.” She doubled down on the claim that “over 90% of the services performed are preventive care services.”

Hostin retorted that “you’re separating it, it provides more abortions than any other, so why not be transparent about that?” Wen responded by changing the subject, insisting that “there are no federal taxpayer dollars that go towards abortions,” and that its federal funding comes in the form of service reimbursements rather than “a check written every year.”

Few if any have ever disputed the specific mechanism distributing money to Planned Parenthood, however, and while it cannot spend that money directly on abortions, Duke University healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimates that taxpayers effectively cover almost 25% of abortion costs by freeing up abortionists’ other funding streams.

Abby Huntsman then jumped in to ask if she could understand the perspective of pro-lifers who “have a hard time” with funding Planned Parenthood due to its abortion business, “whether or not the money is direct or indirect.” Instead of answering, Wen pivoted to an emotional appeal that “here’s my concern, though, that healthcare shouldn’t be political, needing medications for your children isn’t political.”

The audience met the talking point with applause, at which point Whoopi Goldberg concluded the segment on a pro-Planned Parenthood note by declaring that “making hard decisions, like if your child needs an abortion because someone has raped her shouldn’t be a political decision, it shouldn’t be a decision that you make, it should be a decision that a parent and the doctor make” (a curious statement in light of Planned Parenthood’s opposition to parental involvement laws).

Goldberg also suggested that compulsory support for Planned Parenthood was no different than anything else the federal government finances. “I don’t want my money going to all these wars, but I understand that as an American citizen, that’s what we have to do,” she said, neglecting the fact that military action is a federal power enumerated in the Constitution, whereas abortion is not mentioned expressly or implicitly.

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Pope Francis John-Henry Westen/LifeSiteNews
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Pope Francis warns that those who complain may be ‘punished by serpents’

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By Doug Mainwaring

ROME, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a homily delivered on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Pope Francis curiously returned to the theme of Satan as the “Great Accuser” for the third time this week. 

Once again, the Pontiff seemed to be warning the faithful against being critical of his prelates, and perhaps the way he himself is dealing with the avalanche of clergy sex scandals that has tumbled down upon the Vatican in recent weeks.

Commenting on today’s first reading, Pope Francis said that the people who complained “were punished by serpents,” adding that this refers to the ancient serpent, Satan, the “Great Accuser,” according to a Vatican News report.

Although “Jesus was lifted up and Satan was destroyed,” said Pope Francis, “the ancient serpent that was destroyed still barks, still threatens but, as the Fathers of the Church say, he is a chained dog.”   

He further warned, “Do not approach him and he will not bite you; but if you try to caress him because you [are] attracted to him as if he were a puppy, prepare yourself, he will destroy you.”

Pope Francis seems to be reiterating his warning from his homily yesterday, implying that those who are critical of the hierarchy are being mindlessly lured to aligning themselves with the work of the devil, as if they were drawn to pet a cute puppy.  

In so doing he dismisses critical thinking of the laity, priests, and bishops who have expressed outrage over the clergy sex scandals and their alleged cover-ups.  

While warning against the work of the “Great Accuser,” the Pope himself points an accusing finger.

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Credit: Vatican News
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Cardinal Maradiaga rebukes papal critics: McCarrick abuse scandal ‘of a private order’

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By Jeanne Smits

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

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of young priests and seminarians and Pope Francis’ alleged cover-up are “of a private order,” and a merely “administrative affair,” according to one of the Pope’s top advisers, Cardinal Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga. He made these remarks in a recent interview in one of the most revealing statements to date on the Viganò testimony.

In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal of the Spanish-language news site Periodista Digital, Maradiaga once again strongly criticized Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for having gone public about McCarrick’s sexual predations and the protection the Cardinal received from the highest spheres in the Vatican, especially since Pope Francis was elected to the See of Peter and trusted the American prelate to help him choose new cardinals for the Church in the USA.

Asked to comment about Viganò’s call on the Pope to resign, Maradiaga answered:

It does not seem correct to me to transform something that is of the private order into bombshell headlines exploding all over the world and whose shrapnel is hurting the faith of many. I think this case of an administrative nature should have been made public in accordance with more serene and objective criteria, not with the negative charge of deeply bitter expressions.

Coming from Maradiaga, the head of the “C9” Council of Cardinals commissioned to help reform the Church and also a close friend of Francis, as Religion Digital takes care to underscore, it is a statement in which every word counts. If homosexual activity on the part of a top member of the Church's hierarchy such as McCarrick is a purely private matter that only needs to be managed at the administrative level, than it surely cannot be as bad as traditional believers are making out.

Misconduct of a private order – note that Maradiaga does not use the word “sin,” nor does he speak of priests’ grave obligation to live chastely as celibates – is something that should be taken care of outside the public eye, with at best confession and absolution and perhaps a private reprimand. Troubling the public order is what happens when crimes and lesser offences break criminal law as such. Only then do public authorities and representatives of the judiciary intervene to have the offender punished in the name of the public good.

The logic is quite clear: sexual abuse on minors, or at least adolescents who because of their age are not capable of agreeing to consensual relations is one thing, but having sexual relationships of whatever nature with adults is another, private matter. It is wrong, no doubt, but should not be made a fuss of and belongs to the internal forum. Where there is no penal crime, why should the Church see a transgression with dire consequences for its own Body?

Maradiaga’s minimizing of sexual misconduct, and of the perverting of seminarians and priests by a predator who is in a position of authority over them, is another sign that homosexual acts between consenting adults are in some circles no longer being regarded as a great evil that sullies the Church but as, at most, unfortunate falls comparable to other ordinary and widespread sins – disorders that a bit of paperwork will set right. It is another way of demanding silence.

Cardinal Maradiaga once more expressed his support for Francis, saying that he did not personally know what the Pope had done or not to take care of the situation, but insisting: “I believe that the Pope is a man of God always acts with faith and wisdom.”

In the same interview, Maradiaga was asked whether there is a “gay lobby” in the Vatican. His response was dismissive: “I get the impression that the notion of a gay lobby in the Vatican is out of proportion. It is something that exists much more in the ink of the newspapers than in reality. It's obvious to me that the objective of all these poison-laded expressions and smears is to hurt the Holy Father. But if there is no faith, the actors of this media circus will not renounce their slandering.”

Asked whether adult homosexuals should be allowed to become priests, he went on to say that all the Bishops Conferences in the world are “very clear about the absolute and apodictic principles of the Church, those for instance that have been established in the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis” about the formation of priests. In its revised version in 2016, the Ratio Fundamentalis states that men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be accepted into the priesthood, but Maradiaga did not clarify this.

When asked who was “behind Viganò,” Maradiaga answered: “I do not know what or who, a person or persons can be behind Mons. Viganò, but it should be – as with every servant of Christ and of the Church – the charity of the Gospel, the love of the truth and the Holy Spirit."

He also said that he was “greatly surprised” at having been quoted as a protector of McCarrick: “I consider that to be a gratuitous accusation. My best response is the facts, which is why I'm not concerned with defending myself as to what Mons. Carlo Maria Viganò has said.”

Religion Digital is the news source in which Maradiaga already attacked Edward Pentin at the end of August for having spread the Viganò testimony, calling himself “the victim of a hitman who practices media harrassment,” a laughable accusation to all those who know EWTN’s Vaticanist. He also said that Viganò had committed a “sin against the Holy Spirit.”

The Hispanic news source is also well known for its liberal standpoints and its eagerness to discredit conservative Catholics: the director of the religious platform of Religion Digital, José Manuel Vidal, is a former priest who at the time of Cardinal Ratzinger’s election as Pope Benedict complained about his being guilty of “destroying the idea of a more popular Church that would be faithful to the Gospel of the poor.” At that time, he also denounced Ratzinger’s work as a “Cerberus of the faith” who had helped the “Catholic right to set aside a whole innovative current in the pastoral, theological, catechetical and social areas,” in particular the tenets of Liberation Theology.

In September 2016, a conservative priest who up to then wrote a blog for Religion Digital – which prides itself on being the most widely read Spanish-speaking website on Catholic affairs – decided to step down, proclaiming that “Religion Digital was the website that had inflicted the most harm on the Catholic Church.” Father José Antonio Fortea, explaining that he had only stayed in order to reach out to people who need the chance to be in contact with something different from the site’s standpoints, decided to leave when José Manuel Vidal violently attacked the conservative Spanish bishop Munilla. He added that Religion Digital makes a big show of being faithful to the Pope while attacking the faith.

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Leaked German abuse report shows manipulation from both bishops and scientists

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By Maike Hickson

GERMANY, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews has obtained the 8-page summary of the German “MHG Study” on clerical sex abuse of minors that was leaked on September 12. The summary makes it clear that the German bishops have been gravely negligent with regard to the handling of the abuse cases. At the same time, the German abuse report itself appears to have its own flaws in that it tries to deflect the problem away from the aspect of priestly homosexuality.

None other than Professor Christian Pfeiffer – the criminologist who first had this entire research project under his care, but then was excluded due to his refusal to allow his research to be censored by the German bishops before release – went public on September 12 with some critical remarks about the leaked abuse report. Speaking to the New York Times, Pfeiffer insists that the extent of the abuse problem might still be underestimated.

“The report does not give the full picture, and is not fully independent,” he said. Pfeiffer pointed out that the researchers had no direct access to Church files and had to rely on Church personnel to fill in questionnaires for them. The report also found evidence that files regarding the abuse of minors had too often been manipulated or destroyed, as Pfeiffer points out. According to the New York Times, Pfeiffer ended up refusing to participate in this project “because the Church wanted to reserve its right to control the resulting research papers — and under certain circumstances even ban their publication.”

This statement by Professor Pfeiffer makes it clear that the German bishops – under the leadership of both the President of the German bishops, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and of Bishop Stephan Ackermann, the bishop responsible for handling sex abuse cases – improperly tried to control the outcome of the research project that they funded with up to 1.1 million euros.

The strictly confidential summary of the abuse report that LifeSiteNews was able to obtain shows that there were grave omissions to be found on the part of the German bishops. For example, the researchers say that, had it not been for a separate ecclesial legal procedure of offering recompense to abuse victims (as established only in 2011) and its own files, 50 percent of the abuse cases would not have been detected and known to the researchers, because the complaints of abuse were never actually entered into the personnel files of the abusing priests.

If one had “only investigated the personnel files” of abusing priests, the researchers explain, “half of all cases would not have been discovered.” For the researchers, this fact alone can give insights “about the number of unreported cases.”

In addition to this grave omission, the researchers also point out that the bishops, from 1946 to 2014, often moved abusing priests to other parishes or to other dioceses, instead of sternly punishing them. Such transfers, which happened significantly more often with the abusing priests than with innocent priests, in most occasions also happened without “giving any pertinent information to the receiving parish or diocese about the accusations or about the possible risks with regard to possible repetitions of the crimes.”

The researchers also found “hints that personnel files and other documents pertaining to this research have been destroyed or manipulated at an earlier time.” Also important is the fact that “all information about identified cases of sexual abuse was [first] rendered anonymous” and only then passed on by Church personnel to the researchers.

“Thus,” the researchers explain at the beginning of their summary, the information was “influenced by the perspective of that person who dealt with the data.”

Furthermore, “all the cases and involved persons (accused persons and victims) remained anonymous to the research team.” Thus, this lack of direct access to the abuse case files themselves might also be a cause for the inaccuracy of this research.

Researchers acknowledge majority of abuse victims were male but argue for ordaining homosexuals 

The weight of guilt that lies on the German bishops further increases when considering the summary’s statement that “in only 33.9 [percent] of the cases, there was evidence that a canonical trial because of sexual abuse of minors had been opened.” In 53 percent of the cases, nothing ever happened. One fourth of the canonical trials ended without any sanctions, while “drastic or irreversible sanctions, such as laicization or excommunication, were taken only in small numbers of cases.” The “majority of the sanctions seemed light, in part with possibly problematic consequences” with regard to a relapse and repetition of the crimes.

In light of the described grave defects of the German bishops’ handling of sexual abuse of minors, Professor Pfeiffer candidly comments to the New York Times: “The degree of the cover-up is stunning and beyond anything I had expected.”

Additionally, it also seems that the German bishops tried to steer the research project in a certain progressive direction when they invited the research team to “identify ecclesial structures and dynamics which could promote the events of abuse.” When dealing with this issue, the summary report clearly shows its own attempt at steering the discussion. While the researchers admit that the “clear majority” of the abuse victims were male – nearly two thirds (62.8 percent) male against one third (34.9 percent) female victims – they nevertheless refuse to acknowledge explicitly that homosexuality itself is a factor in this abuse crisis.

“Homosexuality is not a risk factor for sexual abuse,” the summary states. “However,” the authors continue, “the results of the research make it necessary to deal with those questions as to what influence Catholic sexual morality concerning homosexuality itself has in the context of sexual abuse of minors.”

That is to say, instead of acknowledging the facts, the research team denies them and uses them as an argument in order to question the Church’s own moral teaching on homosexuality. The summary goes further and even proposes that the Church admit homosexual men to the priesthood: “The fundamentally opposing attitude of the Catholic Church with regard to the ordination of homosexual men is urgently to be reconsidered.”

This skewed interpretation of the facts on homosexuality has already been picked up by some of the progressivist bishops in Germany. For example, in a letter to the parishes of his diocese, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen now refers to this part of the recommendations of the research study and says that one must “take very seriously” these results. He speaks about “alarming hints that some of the ideas and aspects of our Catholic sexual morality” have “promoted sexual abuse.” While he also points to aspects of clericalism (power, hierarchy), Overbeck does not, however, mention the problem of homosexuality in this crisis, as is also the case in the summary of the MHG study.

In light of these twofold manipulations – first, the one perpetrated by the German bishops themselves and second, the one perpetrated by the tendentious research team – one may fittingly ask whether the German bishops, by choosing this specific research team and by asking them to advise the Catholic Church in moral matters, did not even promote themselves a double manipulation.

Marx and Ackermann have history of handling abuse cases poorly

It is also to be hoped this time that the German bishops will again fail with this newly attempted manipulation. For, when they tried in 2013 to silence Professor Pfeiffer with the help of a restraining order, and to forbid him from saying in public that they had tried to silence or to control his own research, they failed. They had to withdraw their lawsuit against Pfeiffer due to lack of evidence. As Pfeiffer revealed at the time, the German bishops – under Cardinal Marx and Bishop Ackermann’s influence – tried to make him accept the strict condition that he could only publish his research results with their approval. When he resisted such attempts at censorship, they entirely canceled his research project and looked for another research team. One may ask whether this conduct is worthy of the head of the German Bishops’ Conference (Marx) and also of the very bishop who is the German bishops’ spokesman for abuse case matters (Ackermann).

Both prelates have themselves already been accused of cover-up and negligence of abuse cases. Cardinal Marx was accused in 2017 of not having taken the necessary steps against Othmar M, a priest who sexually abused minors when Marx himself was the Bishop of Trier. As the German newspaper Die Zeit then wrote, “it is clear that Cardinal Reinhard Marx [...] knew at the time [in 2006] of the charges but did not start an investigation of the case.” The newspaper also quotes Cardinal Marx as saying, “For me personally, I would like to state explicitly that I today – and unfortunately only in retrospect – recognize that I should have inquired more intensively.”

Bishop Ackermann’s own failures with respect to the sexual abuse of minors seem to be even worse. He was in the media in 2012 because two priests in his own Diocese of Trier accused him of not responding to their calls for an investigation of three suspected clerical abusers. As Guido Ittmann, one of the two courageous priests, commented to the German journal Der Spiegel, “it cannot be that the [German bishops’] spokesman on child abuse issues is himself covering up abuse cases.” His fellow priest who had tried to help the abused children was then ordered by the Diocese of Trier to be henceforth silent on this matter. In 2013, however, Ackermann issued a public apology to Father Ittmann.

In another 2012 article, Der Spiegel comments on Ackermann: “However, it would seem that this zero-tolerance policy doesn't apply in his [Ackermann’s] own diocese.” Explaining these words, the journal says that “in January, Ackermann had to issue a public apology after failing to suspend immediately a suspected pedophile priest in 2011. Now SPIEGEL has obtained information about seven other cases of priests in the bishop’s diocese who are suspected of having abused minors.”

In light of the personal history of these two German prelates and leading public figures, are we to be astonished that this new German abuse report appears to be surrounded with suspicions of cover-ups and manipulations?

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Former gay man: Christ’s cross has power to purge Church of homosexual corruption

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By Doug Mainwaring

September 14, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The time has come to look at homosexuality in the Church using a truer, although perhaps harsher, lens than has been used in recent decades.  

Lack of tolerance isn’t the problem.  Affirmation of wrongly-ordered lives and trivialization of the Gospel, however, are, and they have served to diminish the meaning and power of the Cross of Christ, and the sublime beauty of His love for His Bride, the Church.  

Our discussions about homosexuality have camouflaged the truth 

When it comes to discussions about the origins of same-sex attraction in people’s lives, only two possibilities are considered: Homosexuals are either ‘born that way,’ or we are that way because of some anomaly in our upbringing.  

The now firmly ensconced LGBT establishment has settled on ‘born that way’ because it allows gay activists to argue for constitutional protections based on an immutable characteristic, albeit a contrived one.  It also allows homosexuals to endlessly portray themselves as victims.   

These are tactics, not truths, though they ‘feel’ like truth because they’ve been repeated ad infinitum.  Most young people today have never even heard an opposing point of view and so both memes — “born that way” and victimhood — are broadly accepted as fact.   Questioning either is antisocial, if not criminal.  

Yet this is the wrong discussion.  It is nothing more than a distraction camouflaging an important spiritual reality.  

The big picture    

To weed out the distraction, one has to step back and zoom out in order to refocus on the big picture. Ask:

  • What if there are demonic forces driving homosexual desire?  
  • What if these forces are behind life-deforming ‘gay’ identity contagion?  
  • Behind the ‘trans’ identity contagion?  
  • Behind the undoing of the immutable definition of marriage?  
  • Behind the scandalous homosexual degeneracy and sin infesting the Catholic priesthood?  

And what if more than anything else, these legions of unseen forces are aligned to achieve a single grand purpose: to mock and malign Christ and His Bride, the Church, as their nuptials draw ever closer?  

The weaponization of homosexuality

Satan has been scoring one coup after another over the last half-century via the sexual revolution, and perhaps his greatest stealth weapon in our present age is homo-sexuality. 

Satan has taken same-sex attraction and fashioned it into a weapon of mass destruction against the Church.  We may not hear explosions, but we see the carnage.  The problem is that we have grown accustomed to the carnage and accepted it as ordinary, never questioning its actual source.  

Satanic influence driving psychological predilections 

I formerly lived as a gay man – a compulsion which once dragged me far away from the Catholic Church.  But as I made my way back to the faith, plodding through what seemed like quicksand, slowing my progress, I realized that I was not alone with my compulsion for degeneracy.   

Fr. Gabriele Amorth, who for decades was chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, informed us that demons are legion. “When I’m asked how many demons there are, I answer with the words that the demon himself spoke through a demoniac: ‘We are so many that, if we were visible, we would darken the sun.’”

The air is crowded. A ‘gay’ man is never alone: He keeps company with his demons.  They are hard to shake. How much more so for Roman Catholic priests who entertain them? And how large is the demonic retinue encircling disgraced former cardinals, who patiently groom infant boys they’ve baptized until they reach puberty so that they may engage in perverse sex acts with them?  

I’m not discounting the role of psychology – far from it.  Wonderful Christian psychologists and therapists have probed the issue of same-sex attraction for decades, identifying its underlying causes and developing successful treatments for those who seek their help and guidance.   

But the demons are there, fanning perverse passions into flames, making images and fantasies alluring, and inflaming related emotions such as loneliness or inferiority in order to drive us back again and again to the perversion that grips us.  

I am not talking about possession.  I am, however, talking about a type of enslavement.

Homosexuality: Satan’s tactic to degrade the priesthood

This summer, the Catholic Church has been rocked by one explosive revelation of homosexual abuse and cover ups by priest and prelates after another, each one more shocking than the last.  

A great many of these involve pederasty (perverse sex with adolescents), while others involve pedophilia (perverse sex with pre-pubescent children).  The vast majority — roughly 80% — are ‘homosexual’ in nature.   

It is likely true that far many more homosexual sex acts occur with willing peers, but these go unreported because there is no civil criminality attached.  They are “consenting adults,” who enjoy indulging in hidden perversity. 

A clear picture is emerging of how the father of lies has used same-sex attraction to not only infiltrate the Catholic priesthood, but to utterly degrade it, rendering the priestly vocation inauthentic in the minds of some lay people, while causing others to abandon their Catholic faith altogether.  

When I was a gay man in Washington, DC in the early 2000’s, then-Cardinal McCarrick was the frequent butt of jokes among patrons in Dupont Circle’s gay bars. Everyone seemed to know about Washington’s ‘gay cardinal.’  He was a laughingstock.  His obsession with young men opened the door for gays to mock the Church while his hypocrisy simultaneously inoculated many gay men against evangelization. 

'Homo-tyranny is upon us'

The oppressiveness of the demonic attack now bearing down on the Church — dismissed by ‘tolerant’ prelates and priests — is catastrophic.  It is impossible to overestimate the damage inflicted on the Church as a whole and on countless individual shipwrecked lives.   

As Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, Europe’s foremost expert on homosexuality, pedophilia, and gays within the Catholic priesthood has said, “Surely, a homo-tyranny is upon us.” 

Tolerant members of the hierarchy and those charged with forming seminarians recklessly threw open the doors to this demonic oppression in the second half of the 20th century.  In essence, they cracked open portals to hell which have allowed the smoke of Satan to seep into and defile the Catholic Church. 

Members of the so-called lavender mafia have held sodomy in higher esteem than the Supremacy of Jesus Christ, the Centrality of His Cross, and the very real work of the Holy Spirit.  

“Demonic”: What else would you call the actions of men who wear Roman collars — and miters — who view seminarians, altar boys, and other males not as children of God but as sexual objects, as objects of prey to satisfy their own perverse sexual appetites?

It would be a mistake to view the continuing avalanche of horror stories as a collection of heartbreaking individual cases.  Look instead at the entire history.  Look at it from God’s perspective, and see the hit job Satan has engineered on His priests, on His shepherds, from top to bottom.   

And to what end?  To undermine the priesthood; to render every man who wears a Roman collar a suspect; to place an indelible stain on the Church.  Though Pope Francis has charged pastors to “be shepherds with the smell of sheep,” our immediate danger is that the sheep now reject the stench of the shepherds.  

Even The New York Times realizes that the scope of the current scandal, left unaddressed, represents, “the greatest threat to the love of the laity for their church.” 

Satan jumps for joy, for the Church, humanity’s greatest hope, appears to be in the business not of saving souls, but in repaganizing the world.   

Same-sex ‘marriage’: Satan’s last-ditch effort to thwart the coming Great Wedding Feast 

Sit back for a moment and ponder this: Why did same-sex “marriage” appear and take root all around the world so suddenly? Just a few years ago it was a ludicrous idea, yet we have witnessed it taking hold in every hemisphere at a frenetic pace.

Same-sex “marriage” is a great coup for the devil, far greater than homosexuality itself.

Caught off guard, we haven’t even begun to come to grips with the scope of this diabolical marriage putsch. 

While same-sex attraction represents an inherent disorder in lives of people like me, genderless, anti-complementary, anti-conjugal gay “marriage” is an exponentially greater threat to humanity.

Same-sex “marriage” serves one purpose only: To mock Christ’s relationship with his Bride, the Church. Same-sex “marriage” is Satan’s very public expression of his contempt for Christ and his Bride.  It represents his disdain and loathing for God’s plan since before the beginning of time.  

Make no mistake: That is the source of the fury behind the silencing and accusations that are hurled at those who stand against same-sex “marriage.”  We witness the savage rage of Satan himself underlying all the vitriol.  

No one loves same-sex “marriage” more than he.

A collection of human beings conceiving of and coalescing around an idea such as same-sex “marriage” would have had no hope of achieving their goal. There is no Wizard of Wall Street or Madison Avenue “Mad Man” who could have masterminded such a brilliant campaign.

But Satan, the Father of Lies, with the cooperation of many passive Catholics, has masterminded such a plot and brought it to fruition, enlisting men and women to embrace a diabolical lie, all the while fooling them into believing they are on a righteous quest, on the “right side of history.”  

Fatima visionary Sister Lucia warned us that, “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.”  

And Fr. Gabriele Amorth once said: Evil is disguised in various ways: political, religious, cultural.

We see it in laws that go totally against nature such as divorce, abortion, homosexual "marriage." We have forgotten God! Therefore, God will soon admonish humanity in a very powerful manner, He knows how to remind us of His presence.

Man, woman, and marriage

Yet despite Satan’s efforts, the great spiritual reality of man, woman, and marriage remain a beacon for all.  Their natural and spiritual significance remains intact, and their sublime meaning, available for all to discover.  

The analogy of spousal love permits us to understand in a certain way the mystery which for ages was hidden in God, and which in turn was realized by Christ, as a love proper to a total and irrevocable gift of self on the part of God to man in Christ. 

As St. John Paul II said in 1982: 

[T]here is constituted a primordial sacrament, understood as a

sign which effectively transmits in the visible world the invisible mystery

hidden from eternity in God. This is the mystery of truth and love, the mystery of the divine life in which man really shares.


Can we not perhaps deduce that marriage has remained the platform for the actuation of God’s eternal designs . . . ?

“What is disrupted when we move beyond the creation design of marriage and family is not only human flourishing, although it is that, but also the picture of the very mystery that defines the existence of the universe itself – the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” asserted Rev. Dr. Russell D. Moore, President, Ethics Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention at the Vatican’s 2014 Humanum Colloquium.  

The Father of Lies has diabolically undermined marriage, man, and woman in order to inhibit our understanding and experience of the Gospel.  For who will be able to perceive the truth about Christ’s betrothal to mankind if complementary marriage is obliterated?

Homosexuality is most certainly not a benign thing.  It casts a dark shadow on otherwise bright natural and spiritual truths.  

The very real Triumph of the Cross

On this Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, when our eyes should be cast heavenward, fixed on our Lord’s glorious achievement, the Church is caught in a vortex of homosexual scandal.  That is because the power of the Cross of Christ has been discounted, if not largely forgotten.   

The Cross of Jesus Christ IS powerful enough put to death perverse passions and allurements in the lives of same-sex attracted Christians.  

As St. Paul says in his letter to Galatians: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

The men and women of Courage and countless others testify to this. They are not enslaved. They are free men and women who have been released from their shackles.  Just ask Dan Mattson, Joseph Sciambra, Thomas Berryman, Paul Darrow, Jeffrey McCall, Luis Ruiz, Anita Angelo, George  Carneal, Kimberly Zember, Adonis Bemish or numerous others.

In his letter to the Roman St. Paul speaks about how the "old self" is crucified with Christ.

"We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin," he wrote.

The power of the Cross of Christ is there for all, including priests and prelates.  Yet some ignore the message of the Cross, and instead promote the world’s lies about the goodness of homosexuality.  

Temptation to commit sodomy Is Not stronger than the victory Christ won for us on His Cross. 

The Church should resolve to expose Satan’s  ‘homo-tyranny’ for what it is and nail it to the cross so that we might witness the Triumph of the Cross of Christ.

Write to Doug Mainwaring at [email protected] 

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Washington Post jumps the shark: Trump somehow ‘complicit’ in Hurricane Florence

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By Calvin Freiburger

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Hurricane Florence is the latest storm to threaten the East Coast, and it sounds like serious business. As this is being written, AccuWeather projects heavy winds, significant coastal flooding, widespread power outages, and around $60 billion in economic impact and damage. German astronaut Alexander Gerst called it a “no-kidding nightmare coming for you.” Authorities say residents in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia should evacuate.

So naturally, Donald Trump is somehow to blame.

No, seriously: the Washington Post’s editorial board, staking out the official position of one of America’s most prominent newspapers, actually wrote on Tuesday that the president “is complicit” in “extreme weather” because he “plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks [of climate change], and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks.”

“The president has cemented the GOP’s legacy as one of reaction and reality denial,” the editorial concludes. “Sadly, few in his party appear to care.”

To give this madness a thin veneer of substance, the editors cite a paper claiming that Hurricane Harvey produced more rain than it should have because climate change supposedly heated up water in the Gulf of Mexico, and a report suggesting that Florence could last longer because climate change may “possibly” be slowing down tropical cyclones.

Never mind that (a fraudulent “consensus” and widespread data manipulation aside) it remains highly disputed whether human activity meaningfully impacts global temperatures, or that even if it does, no American policy change could realistically counteract greenhouse gas emissions from, say, China.

Never mind the multiple mainstream reports that we’re actually in a “hurricane drought” compared to the historical average, or that, as RedState’s Brandon Morse notes, even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration admits that it’s “premature to conclude that human activities [...] have already had a detectable impact on hurricane activity” in the Atlantic.

Never mind all of that, because this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, who must be #resisted at every opportunity. That’s doubly true at WaPo, which was so triggered by Trump’s victory that it came up with the tagline “Democracy dies in darkness” to market itself as some heroic bulwark against malevolent forces on the rise.

Reasonable minds can disagree on whether this editorial is more or less embarrassing than that time the Post organized a bunch of children to sing Trump tweets, but perhaps the biggest takeaway isn’t about Trump itself; this editorial is also the latest example of leftists’ highly selective respect for “scientific consensus.”

Despite haranguing the president for not genuflecting to the prevailing climate dogma, this is the same newspaper that denies actual settled science on the subject of embryology. Nobody seriously disputes how we define living things. There’s no serious question that fertilization yields a living human being. Even some abortionists and pro-abortion philosophers admit it.

Yet from Down Syndrome kids and breast cancer to Planned Parenthood’s crimes and more, WaPo rests squarely in the “reaction and reality denial” camp on the issue. Most significantly for our purposes here, in 2014 the Post’s Phillip Bump purported to “fact-check” Marco Rubio on when life begins, but the result was a tour de force of ignorance which Mollie Hemingway destroyed under one of the all-time great headlines, “The Washington Post Is Super Confused About Where Babies Come From.”

Bump mindlessly wrote that “the consensus is that uterine implantation is the moment at which pregnancy begins,” uncritically parroting the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG’s) sleight-of-hand meant to distract from the question of what exactly an embryo is.

“‘Life’ is something of a philosophical question, making Rubio’s dependence on a scientific argument [...] politically tricky,” Bump claimed, again trying to pretend long-settled concepts like “what’s an organism” or “how do biologists define life” are somehow unknowable. What’s not tricky, however, is cracking open a medical or biology textbook.

The Washington Post isn’t concerned with scientific literacy. It’s not animated by compassion for future generations. Its sole animating principle, like the vast majority of today’s mainstream media, is feeding its readership a constant diet of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

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Light blue kerchief ‘wave’ showing pro-life support spreads in South America

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By Jonathon Van Maren

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Since thousands of pro-lifers wielding blue kerchiefs recently showed up on the streets of Argentina to protest plans to legalize abortion, a “Light Blue Wave” has been spreading across South America and Latin America. 

Over 20,000 marched in Guatemala City earlier this month, forcing the government to drop its plans to legalize abortion in some circumstances. Thousands also gathered in front of the National Congress in the Dominican Republic, waving blue and demanding that plans to legalize abortion be abandoned. And on September 8, pro-lifers took to the streets in Chile, rallying in front of the National Palace to protest a push by socialist and communist politicians and foreign abortion groups to legalize abortion prior to fourteen weeks of pregnancy. 

The rally featured Chileans of every age group as well as a “Voice of the Heart” demonstration, where pregnant women wielding bullhorns amplified the heartbeats of their pre-born children for the crowd.

I managed to get in touch with one of the pro-lifers there, Francisca Jofre of Movimiento de Mujeres Reivindica and ask her what the pro-life movement has been up to in her country and across the continent. 

Van Maren: What happened in Chile last weekend?

Francisca Jofre: This Saturday there was the "Pañuelazo por las 2 Vidas", which is a manifestation where light blue handkerchiefs were used, the symbol of the movement "Light Blue Wave," which is under the patronage of the campaign "Save the 2 Lives," initiated in Argentina during the discussion of legal abortion law in this country, and expanded throughout the whole region.

In Chile, the "Movimiento de Mujeres Reivindica" (the organization I belong to), "Testimonios por la Vida" and "Siempre por la Vida" created the collective "For the Two Lives," which is supported by 25 other organizations, in order to coordinate and replicate the Argentinian campaign in Chile. Last Saturday, it had been one month since the legislative proposal was rejected in Argentina, and here in Chile, some Members of Congress introduced two new bills that intend to push legal abortion in our country. The abortion lobby never sleeps, and is well organized in the region. But so are we. That is the reason why we made the manifestation [rally] in front of the Presidential Palace, where around 3,000 people showed their disapproval of abortion and asked for more political support for women and their children.

Van Maren: What has the pro-life movement been doing in Chile since abortion was first legalized in some circumstances?

Francisca Jofre: Until now, after the legalization in some circumstances, we have been defending the right of conscientious objection and the freedom of the health institutions to not have to practice abortions, which also has been questioned. We have also fought, and still keep fighting for having real accompaniment [genuine assistance] for women who want to abort, and defending the idea of a deterrent accompaniment, because the "accompaniment" that the Government is obliged to give is neutral (and in the practice we are not sure if it is neutral or even pro-abortion, and therefore it is not a real accompaniment).

About three months ago, due to the discussion of the legal abortion law in Argentina, we knew that the abortion lobby, IPPF subsidiaries in Chile, would try to push the discussion here as well. So we got in touch with the various organizations that were behind the "Light Blue Wave," in order to build a regional articulation of the movement and to give them support. We all knew that the whole world was watching what was going on in Argentina, and of course what was going to happen there would be a groundbreaker for the entire South American Region.

So we created the "Light Blue Wave Latin America" and started to implement some coordinated actions to support Argentina, and, after the rejection of the project, to support the actions against abortion and "For the Two Lives" in all the countries of the region. And the last event we organized in Chile was last week's "Pañuelazo".

Van Maren: Is Chile still a very pro-life country?

Francisca Jofre: Despite the fact that the abortion lobby has spent a lot of money over the last couple of years to try to convince the public that abortion is a good thing, the polls show that they have failed in their attempt, because most people are against legal abortion.

In the Bicentenario Poll, which is made every year by one of the most respected universities of Chile and Adimark, only 14% of those questioned agree with the idea that abortion is a right, and most of them are part of the elite (14% of the proponents are members of the richest sector of Chile, in comparison to 7% in middle and the same percentage in lower class. So this data tells us that Chile is still a pro-life country.

Van Maren: What are the chances of abortion becoming completely legal in Chile?

Francisca Jofre: In the National Congress we have a similar situation, because the political pro-abortion force does not have sufficient votes. Even in parties, which you could believe have a pro-abortion consensus, like for example the socialist party, there are various members of Congress against their own position. This, added to the fact that our President is a declared pro-life individual, has made a campaign promise not to push any law against life and was going to promote accompaniment measures to prevent abortion, are facts that show that the chances of abortion becoming legal in Chile are very low.

Van Maren: What is the pro-life movement doing to push back?

Francisca Jofre: In addition to the regional movements all over Chile, there are various Members of Congress and politicians committed to the defense of the cause, and we also work with individuals that take part in the resistance movement to stand and fight "For the Two Lives."

We are very happy to see how people get involved and start getting motivated to raise their voice and take action in order to show that we are a majority, that has been silent in the past (and often silenced by the media), and is now starting to speak out and to demand respect for Human Rights, support for women in vulnerable pregnancy and maternity situations, and of course prevention.

We organize different activities and manifestations, participate in debates and in public discussions, but within the movement, we also work with pregnant women who need support and accompaniment during their vulnerable pregnancy and motherhood period. This has been and will always be a priority for us.

Van Maren: How large is the pro-life movement, and what is it like?

Francisca Jofre: The movement is increasing and has become quite diverse. There are various organizations with a special focus on children, but Reivindica, for example, tries to shine a light on politics that support maternity issues and has more of a Human Rights focus. There are also religious movements and others that are pluralist, all based in Chilean regions and also in Santiago, the capital of Chile. 

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Why Christians celebrate today one of history’s worst instruments of torture and death

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Years ago, I went on retreat with a wise spiritual guide who shared profound insights into the mystery of the Cross. In honor of today’s feast, the Triumph (or Exaltation) of the Holy Cross, I would like to share them with LifeSite readers, to the best of my ability. It seems all the more fitting to do so, given the Church’s ever-intensifying participation in the mystery of the crucifixion at this juncture in history.

The Blessed Trinity, the infinite and eternal Three-in-One who exists before and beyond all things and rules over the universe with power, wisdom, and love—this Trinity dwells within the soul in a state of grace. A wonder too wonderful to grasp! The spiritual soul made in the image of God becomes His tabernacle, His temple, His resting place, His delight. Whether we taste this presence of God in quiet recollection or whether we simply have faith in it based upon the words of Our Lord (Jn 14:23), the truth of it is a source of joy and strength, especially when we are passing through death—be it metaphorical death, institutional death, or physical death.

Faith and hope are most of all necessary when we see nothing and have nothing in our hands, when we are poor. And this itself is something to rejoice about: that we are poor! “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It is theirs, right now. When we are in darkness, “the valley of the shadow of death” (as Scripture puts it very darkly), we need faith and hope all the more; God is asking us to yield ourselves into his hands, to rely on Him, trust in Him, look to Him, seek His face.

The joy of the Blessed Trinity is present in the heart of the Crucified, at the very center of the Cross. The Cross is the source of our Christian life; the Passion is what redeemed us from sin, opened to us the gates of heaven, gained for us the friendship of God. But the Cross is never the end, either for Christ or for the Christian. The Passion has its fulfillment in the resurrection. “If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor 15:14). Why does the Apostle say this? Because if He were not risen, then suffering and death would be the final word on life. But death cannot be the meaning of life; rather it is life, the life of the risen Lord, that explains the meaning of death, the point of dying, and why it is good to die to the world and to oneself out of love. In spite of the hardships along the way, we never forget the goal: “our house is in heaven” (2 Cor 5:1; cf. Phil 3:20). Moments of joy on earth are signposts to remind us of our destination: eternal joy.

Jesus, who is the Truth, does not hold the truth from us; he does not “spare” us, he does not hide the truth from us. This has become clearer than ever with the ecclesial scandals that surround us, in which men who are supposed to be “other Christs” have held and hidden the truth from us. Jesus is not like people who speak (with proud condescension) of blissful ignorance, or promise a life without pain. He does not offer medicines that can take away all pain, because such medicines also take away something of our humanity, and can even take away our conscience and our life. Jesus taught His disciples of the Cross and the Resurrection at the same time, for they always go together. He does not deceive us into thinking that there can be Easter without Good Friday.

The Church came forth from the pierced side of the sleeping Christ. If the whole Church was born this way, then every baptized man is born this way: conceived in the Heart of Jesus and coming forth from His pierced side. Jesus has given His last drop of blood and water for you, to whom He gave birth. And why? Because He loves you, wants to share his eternal joy and love and glory with you, and will go to the utmost to make it possible for you to attain this.

This is why he gives us the Paraclete—the Consoler, the Comforter, the Advocate. As St. John declares in the Apocalypse: “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away” (Rev 21:4). Already the Paraclete is comforting us, to make us not lose heart. “God is asking too much, I am too weak”—be honest, this is what we are often thinking. But it is false. Remember Elijah in the wilderness: “Take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers,” he groans. God sends an angel to him: “Get up, eat something, otherwise the journey will be too great for you” (1 Kg 19:7). God knows what we need and has given it to us abundantly; we have got to make up our minds to take and eat. By ourselves, the way is too hard; only with God is it possible. 

We are always trying to do things on our own; God will teach us, the easy way or the hard way, that “without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5), but “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 123:8). If he made heaven and earth, he can certainly help us out of our worst trials. Our greatest dignity is to be helped by God, for then He puts Himself, in a way, at our service (cf. Lk 12:37).

For the humble one, for the poor one who relies on God, the way becomes easier. He will not disappoint us, He will not fail to fulfill His promises. He is our faithful and loving Father. “If you ask Him for bread, will He give you a stone?” (cf. Mt 7:9). “Give us this day our daily bread”: and He does, in the supersubstantial Bread of angels, the Most Holy Eucharist.

He is only waiting for us to ask, to trust, to put ourselves into His loving hands. This is what faith does; this is the act of faith. We are faithful to God when we trust in Him, regardless of the darkness. When Scripture says that we are “saved by faith” (Eph 2:8), that is what it means: we are saved whenever we humbly and in all poverty pray to God: “I trust in you, I give myself to you, I put myself in your hands—do with me as you please, make of me what you will, for I am yours.” This is the attitude of a child of God who knows that his Father is loving, is love.

This is what the perfect sacrifice of the Cross shows us, teaches us, and empowers us to do ourselves. This is what the holy sacrifice of the Mass makes present again and again in our midst, so that the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, death, resurrection, and ascension may always be ours, permeating our existence and reshaping us for eternal life. This is why a Christian with faith is invincible and no force on earth can overcome him.

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