All articles from October 6, 2018


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Photo of Jordan Hunt, who attacked pro-life advocate Marie-Claire Bissonnette on Sunday at a Life Chain in Toronto. Taken from NobleStudio101.com, the website of his former employer.

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Man who roundhouse kicked pro-life woman arrested

By Lianne Laurence
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Campaign Life Coalition youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette Campaign Life Coalition

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October 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Toronto police have arrested Jordan Hunt, 26, of Toronto, and charged him with assault following his roundhouse kicking a young woman Sunday. 

Hunt, who turned himself in, is charged with eight counts of assault and seven counts of mischief. He appeared in court at Old City Hall Saturday morning for a bail hearing. 

A Toronto hair stylist, Hunt was identified on the Internet some 24 hours after a video of his assault of Campaign Life youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette was posted online and went viral.

The 46-second clip shows Hunt roundhouse kicking Bissonnette after a brief exchange, sending her phone crashing to the ground. He then ripped the Campaign Life ribbon off Bissonnette’s jacket and ran away, she wrote in an account published in LifeSiteNews.

Sunday’s incident was not the first for Hunt.

He has since been identified as the man who knocked over a sign and argued with pro-life demonstrators last summer in a video filmed by Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR).

Bissonnette began filming Hunt during Sunday’s Life Chain after he scribbled on signs and people’s jackets with markers, she wrote.

Shortly after being kicked, Bissonnette experienced some discomfort in her shoulder, but she says she is now feeling fine, and is cooperating fully with police.

“I forgive him personally,” said the 27-year-old, who has urged people to pray for Hunt. “But I have filed a report with the police and they are investigating.”

As a result of being identified on the Internet, Hunt lost his contract at Noble Studio 101, which posted a statement on Wednesday that “We don’t condone his actions and he has been let go.”

“We’re four strong women here,” a studio representative told LifeSiteNews. “We don’t condone any kind of violence… He won’t be stepping his foot through the door again.”

Hunt has shut down his Instagram account and has not responded publicly about the incident, nor has he returned calls from media, including LifeSiteNews.

Hunt’s profile has been removed from the Noble Studio 101’s website, but according to a screenshot, he is writing a book on “The Hippy Swamp Witch, a guide to natural living,” and developing his own product line.

In the video, Hunt is wearing a pentagram, which is a Satanic symbol, around his neck.

The video of the attack has received close to two million views by Friday late afternoon. It was also trending Wednesday on Toronto Reddit, and has been posted on conservative and liberal sites, including Louder With Crowder, Newsweek, Daily Hive, LifeNews, BlogTO, Twitchy, and RedState, and noted on Facebook by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro. The story has also received attention on CTV, Global, Toronto Sun, as well as Fox News, and the UK’s Daily Mail.

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US Senate votes 50-48 to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as next Supreme Court Justice

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By Calvin Freiburger

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Senate just voted 50-48 Saturday to make Judge Brett Kavanaugh the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, concluding an intense confirmation battle echoing those of Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas.

The vote, which was frequently interrupted by screaming protesters in the Senate gallery, comes nearly a month after it was originally intended, thanks to last-minute, unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault that provoked an additional round of committee hearings and a seventh FBI background investigation.

"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court," President Donald Trump responded to the news. "Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!"

Senators voted 51-49 on Friday to end debate and hold today’s final vote, after which moderates Susan Collins, R-ME, Jeff Flake, R-AZ, and Joe Manchin, D-WV announced they would ultimately vote “yes.”

In July, Trump announced his selection of Kavanaugh as his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a “swing justice” notorious for his pro-abortion, pro-LGBT rulings. He hailed Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia circuit judge, as a “brilliant jurist” who “can set aside [his] views to do what the law and Constitution require[s].” The pick won high praise from pro-life groups and bitter condemnation from pro-abortion activists, with numerous attempts to discern his position on Roe v. Wade.

Kavanaugh’s thin record of abortion-related statements and rulings did not offer a conclusive answer, but the closest seemed to be a 2017 speech he delivered on his “first judicial hero,” the former Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Kavanaugh said, seemingly approvingly, that Rehnquist believed a right to abortion was not “rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people,” and deemed Roe an example of “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights.”

The subject was further complicated during his confirmation hearings last month, where Kavanaugh expressed significant respect for Roe’s status as precedent and appeared reluctant to reiterate his 2017 commentary on unenumerated rights. He also approvingly quoted Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which forced all fifty states to recognize same-sex “marriages.”

Kavanaugh’s performance sparked some alarmed debate in conservative circles, but pro-life groups held firm in their support and his pro-life supporters argued that his answers were merely phrased carefully to navigate a narrowly-divided Senate.

Kavanaugh’s success seemed to be a foregone conclusion despite such misgivings, until a trio of women – Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick – came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. The judge forcefully denied all of their claims, all of which lacked corroborating evidence.

None of the people Ford claims attended the party where Kavanaugh allegedly tried to rape her could recall any such event, and critics noted numerous inconsistencies in her different accounts of the incident. Swetnick changed several details of her own story in a recent interview, and has been involved in multiple lawsuits pertaining to false sexual harassment claims and other forms of fraud. Ramirez, meanwhile, had admitted to former classmates she wasn’t even sure of her alleged assaulter’s identity.

Nevertheless, many on the Left ran with the allegations, with some such as Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii even suggesting Kavanaugh’s assumed pro-life views disqualified him from a presumption of innocence. Flake requested another FBI investigation in exchange for voting Kavanaugh out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and onto the Senate floor, to which Trump and the GOP agreed.

Several Democrats almost immediately complained that the seventh probe would be insufficient, but when the final product was completed Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE, admitted there was “nothing in here that is some bombshell that is unknown.” The effort seemingly satisfied Flake, Collins, and Manchin, leaving Alaska’s pro-abortion Sen. Lisa Murkowski as the only Republican to oppose Kavanaugh.

Despite deeming Kavanaugh a “good man” who is nevertheless not the “right person for the court at this time,” Murkowski voted “present” rather than “nay” on the final confirmation as a courtesy to Sen. Steve Daines, R-MT, whose daughter is getting married in Montana today. Daines offered to fly back if his vote was needed, but Murkowski’s “present” vote effectively nullifies his absence in an informal practice called “pairing.” Daines attended the wedding with the president's blessing.

Pro-life and pro-abortion reactions were jubilant and angry, respectively.

"We congratulate Justice Kavanaugh on his well-deserved and hard-earned confirmation. The balance of the Supreme Court has shifted back toward one that respects the will of the voters expressed through their representatives," Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a press release. "As Justice Kavanaugh takes his seat on the bench of the nation’s highest court alongside Justice Neil Gorsuch, we are confident he will continue to rule with the same fairness and independence that have characterized his entire legal career."

"Senate Democrats should be ashamed of exploiting human pain and the serious issue of sexual assault for a partisan political agenda," Dannenfelser added, vowing to ensure that senators who voted against Kavanaugh "will be held accountable."

“As those who opposed Judge Kavanaugh said themselves, this confirmation process became a brutal gauntlet because it was a proxy war over issues like abortion," Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins said. "But the Pro-Life Generation stood firm because we understood the stakes and believe that the Supreme Court needs judges committed to the rule of law, not political activism. When the next vacancy occurs on the high court, Students for Life staff and student leaders will be ready to again fight for courts where life is respected and protected.”

On the other side, Planned Parenthood Action Fund tweeted that "50 senators put their politics above survivors, the integrity of the Supreme Court, and protecting our rights. We won’t forget."

“Women will NOT forget this blatant attack on our freedom, our rights and our bodies,” NARAL threatened on social media. “Not today, not tomorrow, and NOT in November.” The group also issued a press release attacking Kavanaugh for “calling into question” Roe’s legitimacy. Both statements notably ignored their former assault claims.

Curiously, Ford attorney Deborah Katz told CNN on Saturday that her client isn’t interested in getting Kavanaugh impeached from the Supreme Court, and has no plans to pursue her claims further. "What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI, and that's what she sought to do here," Katz said.

The Kavanaugh battle has also energized grassroots Republicans ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November, Breitbart reports. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has seen a dramatic spike in donations since just September 29, with pollsters observing a marked rise in GOP voters’ interest in the midterms.

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews
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Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether through the crime of sexual abuse, a lack of catechesis, or by denying young people the “Church’s treasury” of beautiful liturgy, Eucharistic adoration, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“Today in your presence, Holy Father, and amidst my brother bishops, I want to say sorry to young people for all the ways we’ve failed them,” Archbishop Fisher said in his intervention on Wednesday afternoon.

In his 4-minute speech, delivered on the floor of the Vatican’s Synod Hall, the Archbishop apologized particularly for the “shameful deeds” perpetrated against minors through sexual abuse, the “failure of too many bishops” to respond appropriately when abuse was identified, and for the “damage” done to the Church’s credibility.

He also expressed his regret for “poor preaching,” a failure “to introduce youth to Jesus Christ,” and for not encouraging them to “live heroically [their] baptismal call to holiness.”

However, Archbishop Fisher told youth: “Never give up on Jesus because of our failures.”

“Never give up on the Church that you can help make more faithful. Never give up on the world that, with Christ and the Church’s help, you can make a better place,” he urged young people.

At a Vatican press briefing on Thursday, Archbishop Fisher was asked why he felt the need to acknowledge the abuse scandal, but why he chose to speak “directly to young people” in apologizing for the Church’s failures. The Archbishop responded:

“I did take a long time to work out in what voice to address the Synod. I’d never been to a Synod, and I didn’t know how these things went, but I was very aware in my context, and I know it’s true also for the United States, Ireland, Canada, Chile, Germany, a number of countries, have faced this in the last few years, that there are a lot of young people hurting, or people who were young when they were hurt, and the hurt goes on. And there are others whose trust has been terribly damaged.”

He added: “I felt I have to, the Church has to speak directly to them, not just about them as a phenomenon, or a number. They are real live people that need to hear how sorry we are and how much we want to help and how determined we are to go forward as a Church.”

“I’m quite convinced that is the common view amongst the bishops. I’m not peculiar in this. In a sense, I was just giving voice to something I think would be very widespread,” the Archbishop of Sydney said.

“Likewise,” he added, “I think the laity of our Church want to hear this said by the Church.”

Earlier this week he was elected as a member of the information commission responsible for disseminating news on the Youth Synod.

At today’s press briefing, he concluded by saying that his intervention was meant to give “a voice not just to a few amongst bishops or clergy but Catholics generally.”

“I hope young people can hear it,” he said. “We really are ashamed of what has happened, and we want to make it right to the extent we can, and we are determined to do better in the future. The Church has to be the safest possible place for a young person, not a place where they are put in danger. I hope that is what people will hear through me.”

Here below is the full text of Archbishop Anthony Fisher’s intervention at the Vatican Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

INTERVENTION BY S.E.R. ANTHONY FISHER OP

Today in your presence, Holy Father, and amidst my brother bishops, I want to say sorry to young people for all the ways we’ve failed them.

For the shameful deeds of some priests, religious and lay people, perpetrated upon you or other young people just like you, and the terrible damage that has done; and for the failure of too many bishops and others to respond appropriately when abuse was identified, and to do all in their power to keep you safe; and for the damage thus done to the Church’s credibility and to your trust (IL 59 and 66): I apologize.

For the times Catholic families, parishes and schools have failed to introduce you to the person of Jesus Christ, his saving word, and his plan for your life; and for the times we’ve seemed to you unwelcoming, distant or harsh, or have not demonstrated the sheer joy of being Christians; and for the times when you were searching for your sexual, ethnic or spiritual identity, and needed a moral compass, but found Church people unsympathetic or ambiguous: I apologize.

For when we’ve sold you short not encouraging you to live heroically your baptismal call to holiness and the paschal path to life through self-renunciation; or when we’ve provided too little youth ministry or other support, so you’ve found living as a young person of faith and ideals lonely in a secular, often cynical world; or when unbeautiful or unwelcoming liturgies have failed to inspire or include you, and when you’ve been denied the Church’s treasury of examination of conscience, reconciliation, adoration, pilgrimages, penances and devotions: I apologize.

For poor preaching, catechesis or spiritual direction that fails to convert, and for lack of imagination or enthusiasm for that new evangelization to which the recent popes have called us; and for our failures to demonstrate God’s mercy, as Pope Francis has insisted we must, and to involve you in campaigns for Christ-centred justice and in works of mercy; and for families, dioceses and religious orders that with a contraceptive mentality have given up on generating new vocations and so have not nurtured yours: I apologize.

To any young person we have let down in these or other ways: from the bottom of my heart I apologize to you. And to the Lord I pray: Kyrie eleison.

But I say to young people also: never give up on Jesus because of our failures. Never give up on the Church that you can help make more faithful. Never give up on the world that, with Christ and the Church’s help, you can make a better place.

In Jesus Christ, the Ancient of Days is made young – for you. The Creator of this beautiful universe comes close to your life to save you. He calls you to ‘come, follow’ him and become his young disciple. He sends you out as a missionary to our world. You can be a hero, for nothing is so exciting as the adventure of the Gospel!

So: when you are lost and need direction, know that the young Jesus is the eternal Way for you!  When you are confused and need sound teaching, know that the young Jesus is the eternal Truth for you! When you are searching for the vocation that will most fulfil you, know that the young Jesus is eternal Life for you!

In the presence of the Holy Father and amidst my brother bishops, I recommit myself to young people and to drawing them closer to Christ who is always there for them.

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Pope concedes to ‘thorough study’ of Vatican docs on McCarrick, will meet Cdl. DiNardo, Abp. Gomez

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By Diane Montagna

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ROME, Oct. 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) —Pope Francis will meet privately on Monday with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Archbishop Jose Gomez, president and vice-president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, in light of news today that he has ordered a “thorough study” of all Vatican documents regarding ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

In a statement issue today (see below), the Vatican said that, in Sept. 2017, the Pope had ordered the Archdiocese of New York to begin a preliminary investigation into McCarrick, after the archdiocese had been notified that a man had accused the former cardinal of having abused him in the 1970s.

The Vatican said it would “make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick” in “due course,” but said Pope Francis has decided to combine the findings of the preliminary investigation with a “further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See.” 

Their stated goal is to “ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.”

Today’s announcement comes exactly six weeks after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò issued his explosive 11-page testimony, saying he had personally told Pope Francis about McCarrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians in 2013. Archbishop Viganò further alleged that Pope Francis not only failed to enforce sanctions placed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict, but even made him a chief advisor particularly in the appointment of U.S. bishops.

In today’s statement, the Vatican said it is “conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues.”

“We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,” it continued, quoting Pope Francis.

“Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable,” the statement said.

Respected Catholic author Phil Lawler responded to the statement today on Facebook, saying: “Candor, Vatican style. In a statement about the McCarrick scandal, the Holy See reminds us that Pope Francis has promised to ‘follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,’ and then tells us that McCarrick was guilty of … clericalism. They STILL don’t get it.”

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register said sources have confirmed Pope Francis will meet on Monday with Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Gomez in light of today’s news:

In their statement, the Vatican also reiterated that Pope Francis has called a meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences from around the world next February, to discuss the issue of sexual abuse.

And it ended by quoting Pope Francis in his recent letter to the People of God on the issue of abuse:  “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge out past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.”

Here below is the statement issued by the Holy See Press Office.

***

October 6th Statement of the Holy See

After the publication of the accusations regarding the conduct of Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick, the Holy Father Pope Francis, aware of and concerned by the confusion that these accusations are causing in the conscience of the faithful, has established that the following be communicated:

In September 2017, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Holy See that a man had accused former Cardinal McCarrick of having abused him in the 1970s. The Holy Father ordered a thorough preliminary investigation into this, which was carried out by the Archdiocese of New York, at the conclusion of which the relative documentation was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the meantime, because grave indications emerged during the course of the investigation, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Archbishop McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, prohibiting him by order from exercising public ministry, and obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance.

The Holy See will, in due course, make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick. Moreover, with reference to other accusations brought against Archbishop McCarrick, the Holy Father has decided that information gathered during the preliminary investigation be combined with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick, in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.

The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues. However, as Pope Francis has said: “We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead” (Philadelphia, 27 September 2015). Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.

The Holy Father Pope Francis renews his pressing invitation to unite forces to fight against the grave scourge of abuse within and beyond the Church, and to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society. As previously made known, the Holy Father has convened a meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences from around the world for next February, while the words of his recent Letter to the People of God still resonate:  “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge out past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.” (20 August 2018).

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