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Pro-abortion Democrat senator refuses to condemn harassment of GOP senators

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Democrat lawmaker who suggested Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s innocence should be doubted due to his abortion rulings refused to condemn left-wing harassment of her Republican colleagues over the weekend.

On Sunday, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” to discuss the just-ended battle over Kavanaugh, who the Senate confirmed 50-48 the day before after a bitter three-month battle over his abortion views and unsubstantiated, last-minute allegations of sexual assault. At one point, host Dana Bash asked about the furious protests that descended on Capitol Hill and the left-wing activists who’ve pursued Republicans in their private lives.

“It is one thing to protest at the Supreme Court, to do it at the Capitol,” Bash said, according to CNN's transcript. That's been done for generations and, frankly, since the founding of this country. It's another thing to run senators out of restaurants, go to their homes. Is that going too far?”

After laughing at the characterization of screaming protesters as an “angry mob,” Hirono claimed that it “just means that there are a lot of people who are very, very much motivated by what is going on,” because the hearing “was not a fair process” to Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

As Hirono started to accuse Republicans of trying to “rig the hearings,” Bash interjected to reiterate her question: “Should the going after people at restaurants stop?”

“Well, this is what happens,” the senator replied, refusing to answer but hinting that she did condone the harassment. “When you look at white supremacists and all of that, this is what is coming forth in our country. There's a tremendous divisiveness in our country. But this is the kind of activism that occurs. And people make their own decisions.

“If they violate the law, then they have to account for that,” Hirono added. From there, Bash moved on to another question.

Hirono made national headlines last month first when the Wall Street Journal criticized her for preemptively declaring, without having seen any corroborating evidence, that “women like Dr. Ford [...] need to be believed,” then for telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that Kavanaugh’s denial lacked “credibility” in the “context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases,” particularly the fact that “he very much is against women’s reproductive choice.”

None of the people Ford claims attended the 1980s party where Kavanaugh allegedly tried to rape her could recall any such event, and anti-Kavanaugh Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE, admitted there was “nothing in here that is some bombshell that is unknown” in the FBI’s seventh look into the judge’s background.

Numerous prominent Republicans, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, have found themselves pursued by left-wing protesters at restaurants and airports over the past several months, a tactic California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters openly endorsed. New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker told an audience in July to “go to the Hill today” and “please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”

Other prominent liberal leaders have signaled that they agree in the wake of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Planned Parenthood’s Dawn Laguens and Cecile Richards encouraged their followers to “unleash your rage” and “stay angry,” while failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN this week that Democrats shouldn’t be “civil” with Republicans until her party retakes Congress.

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Switzerland votes overwhelmingly to jail citizens for ‘homophobia,’ ‘transphobia’

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By Calvin Freiburger

BERN, Switzerland, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – By an almost two-to-one vote met with ringing approval by pro-LGBT groups, the National Council of Switzerland voted this month on a measure to criminalize “homophobia” and “discrimination.”  

The National Council, which is the lower house of the country’s bicameral legislature, voted 118-60 in favor of national councilor Mathias Reynard’s initiative, the Swiss newspaper Le Temps reports. Five members abstained from the vote.

The country’s Criminal Code currently bans “incitement to hatred or discrimination against a person or group of persons on the basis of their ‘racial, ethnic or religious’ affiliation,” the paper explains, punishable by a fine or up to three years in prison. Reynard’s proposal would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to that list.

"Homophobia is not an opinion," Reynard declares. “It's a crime. One in five homosexuals attempted suicide, half before the age of 20. This victory sends a strong signal.” Organizations such as Pink Cross and websites such as PinkNews are celebrating his victory.

In an interview with ShortList published last week, the heterosexual Reynard said he was driven to act by LGBT friends who have suffered from “verbal” homophobic violence in addition to physical attacks, and the discovery that “Swiss case-law doesn’t punish either hate speech or incitement to hatred towards LGBT+ people.”

Councilor Yves Nidegger challenged the measure, however. He warned that the categories being criminalized are "legally problematic and indefinable" and questioning whether "pedophilia, bisexuality, gerontophilia, necrophilia, fetishism, zoophilia, and so on - creativity in this area being inexhaustible - are sexual orientations that must be protected or not protected.”

Notably, this crackdown on so-called “hate speech” critical of homosexuality or transgenderism precedes same-sex “marriage” in Switzerland. Homosexual unions aren’t currently recognized, but Reynard says he wants to tackle that fight next.

26 countries around the world currently recognize same-sex “marriages,” including 21 of the European Union’s 28 member states. The United Kingdom has similar laws on the books against “hate,” something the United Nations has attempted to pressure other nations into adopting.

Switzerland’s change still has to be approved by the country’s Council of States in December before taking effect.

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VIDEO: Ben Shapiro destroys abortion lobby’s talking points

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By Calvin Freiburger

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October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortion is a “brutal” sacrament sustained by “euphemisms” and the true source of Democrats’ animosity toward Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro argues in a blistering new monologue on the subject.

Shapiro, who is also editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, delivered the remarks Sunday as the final segment of his most recent “Ben Shapiro Election Special” on Fox News. Shapiro is popular on the Right for, among other things, going to college campuses and dismantling left-wing arguments on abortion and other topics in live debate.

“If Kavanaugh were pro-choice, he would have been confirmed with 100 votes,” he said at the start of the segment. “He’s clearly not an advocate for abortion, but Democrats didn’t have the votes to stop him so instead, Democrats decided to slander him as a gang rapist.”

“It’s not a shock that Planned Parenthood, the organization responsible for hundreds of thousands of abortions per year, openly threatens senators in poetry,” he added, referencing the abortion giant’s tweet last week: “Roses are red, Violets are blue, Senators vote NO on #Kavanaugh, Or else we're coming for you.”

Calling abortion a “sacrament” to the “vast majority of the political left,” Shapiro explained that they see it as a “defining character issue. If you are pro-abortion, you’re a good, generous, decent person who values women. If you are pro-life, you are an evil, repressive, nasty person who wants to control women’s bodies.”

“It’s that view that leads to incidents like this one, in which a pro-life advocate was kicked in the face by a pro-abortion nutcase this week,” he said, playing the video of Toronto man Jordan Hunt’s assault of Campaign Life youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette.

Turning his attention to the Democrat Party, Shapiro noted that their official party platform “calls for legal abortion all the way until point of birth,” while the abortion lobby hides what precisely they support behind “euphemistic language.”

“In fact, the word abortion is itself a euphemism,” he said. “The procedure of abortion isn’t an anodyne polyp removal; it involves doing terminal violence to an unborn child. Ignoring that fact allows abortion advocates to avoid looking reality directly in the face. So, for just a few moments, let’s look reality in the face.”

Shapiro then showed a series of images of preborn babies at 19 weeks, then 12 weeks, then 8 weeks, accompanied by discussions of who on Capitol Hill would and wouldn’t protect these children.

“This [19-week fetus] is a human child; this is not a ball of goo; this is not a cluster of cells,” Shapiro declared. Yet in January, “44 Democrats in the United States Senate voted not to protect the rights of babies older than this unborn child. Only three Democrats — Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, and Bob Casey – voted to protect children at 20 weeks. Only two Republicans voted against such protection, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.”

“Take a good look at that baby,” he challenged viewers. “That is a human being with zero rights, according to the mainstream of the Democratic Party.” For children 12 weeks old or younger, he added, “not a single, federally elected Democrat would vote for an abortion ban that would protect this baby’s life.”

Ultimately, he explained, life begins earlier than all of those points, at fertilization. “This human being is not its mother; it is not its father; it is not a polyp,” he said. “If we found a human embryo on another planet, the headlines would rightly scream, 'Human Life Found On Mars.'”

“The later the abortion takes place, the more brutal the procedure, but no matter the brutality of the procedure, it is obvious that abortion is not some mere optional surgery to be performed for convenience,” Shapiro said. “And it’s even more obvious that those who want to protect the lives of the unborn aren’t trying to control women’s bodies."

“Those who cherish abortion are trying to control and dismember the bodies of the unborn,” he concluded. “Think about that next time you see a radical feminist in a Handmaid's Tale outfit suggesting that you’d better respect her right to carve apart an unborn baby in the womb or you’re some sort of fascist. No more euphemisms.”

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Marie-Claire Bissonnette's attacker winding up for his round-kick in Toronto, Sept. 30, 2018.
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Man who kicked pro-life woman released on bail, banned from pro-life rallies

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By Lianne Laurence
Marie-Claire Bissonnette.

Tell Justin Trudeau to condemn attack on pro-life woman. Sign the petition here.

TORONTO, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The man caught roundhouse kicking a pro-life woman on a video that has since gone viral was released Saturday from police custody on $500 bail.

Jordan Hunt, 26, turned himself in this weekend and is charged with eight counts of assault and seven counts of mischief under $5,000 in connection with events at the Life Chain in Toronto September 30.

A Toronto hair stylist, Hunt was also identified knocking over a pro-life image in a video filmed by Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform last summer, and was charged with assault in connection with that incident.

Hunt’s bail order forbids him being within 500 meters of any “organized pro-life demonstration,” and contacting or being within 200 meters of ten individuals, most of them involved in the Life Chain incident.

That includes Campaign Life Coalition youth director Marie-Claire Bissonnette, who filmed the video catching Hunt abruptly roundhouse kicking her in the shoulder after a brief exchange, knocking her phone out of her hand. 

The 46-second clip has been viewed almost 4,000,000 times since it was published on LifeSiteNews last Tuesday.

Bissonnette, 27, says she’s suffered no long term consequences from the assault and has asked people to pray for Hunt, who is seen in the video wearing a pentagram pendant, which is a Satanic symbol.

She began filming Hunt after he scribbled on signs and jackets of Life Chain participants with markers. Hunt’s bail order forbids him from contacting or approaching several individuals he allegedly assaulted in this manner.

A hair stylist, Hunt was identified on the Internet within a day of the video going viral. As a result, he lost his contract at Noble Studio 101, where he’d worked since July.

Hunt is also forbidden in his bail order from contacting salon manager Amy Wesselink, who reported Friday on Instagram her business has been under attack since the story broke.

“I have spent the past two days dealing with THOUSANDS of calls/texts/messages from around the world” concerning now ex-employee Hunt, many of these “fake appointments and threats against our business as well as hate filled messages attacking our values and motives,” she wrote.

“We ask anyone attacking us to please leave us in peace  and safety. We did not ask for this attention,” added Wesselink.

“I’m frustrated because we’ve been getting a lot of backlash as the former work place of Jordan,” the mother of four children, ages one to 11, told the Toronto Sun.  

“We’ve got the far right threatening us. We’ve have the far left threatening us. What about the fact that we’re being attacked here?” Wesselink said.

Bissonnette echoed this in a tweet on CLC Youth supporting the salon:

To #noblestudio101, I’m sorry that you’re experiencing hate mail b/c of this incident. U aren’t the guilty party & it’s unjust that u should have to suffer for what Hunt did, especially since u fired him immediately. Thank u for that. I hope ppl stop sending u hate mail.

Hunt’s bail conditions remain in force until the charges are resolved. His first court appearance is scheduled for November 14 at Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto.


Justin Trudeau refuses to directly condemn attack on pro-life woman

Man who kicked pro-life woman was my friend, before I was raped and didn’t abort my baby

VIDEO: Second Toronto pro-abortion activist assaults pro-life demonstrators

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Fr. Paul Kalchik Church Militant / Youtube screen grab
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GoFundMe bans fundraiser for persecuted priest who burned LGBT flag, donations quadruple

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By Doug Mainwaring

Support Fr. Kalchik, the priest persecuted by Cardinal Cupich. Sign the pledge here.

October 9, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – After GoFundMe deleted a fundraising page meant to aid a priest who is in hiding after he stood up for orthodox teaching on homosexuality, donations quickly more than quadrupled at a new fundraising site

Church Militant initiated a fundraising effort for Fr. Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest removed from his parish duties by Cardinal Blase Cupich in apparent retaliation for his decision to burn a homosexualist “rainbow pride flag” previously used by the parish to promote the homosexual agenda.  

Kalchik went into hiding, out of fear that Cardinal Cupich would take him away by force, and requires financial aid for his legal defense. 

GoFundMe rejected the effort, explaining that its terms were violated.  GoFundMe has a history of shutting down campaigns that LGBT activists label "homophobic." While Church Militant speculated that LGBT activism may have resulted in GoFundMe yanking the priests' campaign, it has stated that the fundraising platform has provided "no response" as to why the campaign was pulled. 

“Unfortunately, @gofundme has deemed our campaign for Fr. Paul Kalchik ‘homophobic’ and a violation of their terms,” read an October 6 tweet issued by Church Militant. “It has refunded back to donors all $16,000 we raised for him.”

“We are starting a new campaign elsewhere. Stay tuned.”

Church Militant re-launched the campaign on a different site,,  and in less than three hours recovered the $16,000 in donations previously raised on  

At this time, nearly $65,000 has been raised on Fr. Kalchik’s behalf from 915 contributors.  

“Since GoFundMe shut down the campaign, Church Militant has received multiple comments from outraged Catholics saying they now want to donate twice as much as they did before,” said Church Militant’s Christine Niles in a statement to LifeSiteNews. 

“Although Fr. Kalchik is trying to maintain hope in the face of this trial, the fact that his future as a priest hangs in the balance has taken an emotional toll,” continued Niles.  “We ask people to please bear him up in prayer, and if possible, please donate generously to help him in his canonical case against the Chicago archdiocese.”

Titled “Help a Priest in Hiding,” the fundraising site explains Fr. Kalchik’s predicament as follows:

Chicago priest Father Paul John Kalchik is being persecuted by his bishop Cardinal Blase Cupich and was forced into hiding on September 21st after Cardinal Cupich threatened to have him committed to a psychiatric treatment center. Kalchik’s offense? Burning a banner that had been unused for close to a dozen years that depicted a cross interwoven with a rainbow flag. 

The banner used to hang in the sanctuary of his parish, Resurrection Church, in the 1990s and had been recently discovered by staff. Its connection to the parish’s grim past prompted parishioners to suggest that it be burned.

The decision to burn the banner was partly based on the fact that it was bought and installed by a former priest at the parish, an active homosexual who lived an immoral and scandalous life, completely opposed to Judeo-Christian morals and his vow of chastity. The former priest attempted to push that ideology onto members of the church. He died in 1997 at the age of 50, his body found together with a sexual contraption. When they cleaned out his room, they also cleared out two closets full of gay pornography, sex toys and paraphernalia. The Chicago archdiocese covered up the situation, holding a grand, three-day funeral for the priest, ignoring his desecration of the faith.

The banner not only signified an ideology completely opposed to the Catholic faith, it also represented evils perpetrated against Father Kalchik himself. Father Kalchik was twice the victim of homosexual assault, once when he was 11 years old and raped by a neighbor, and a second time when he was 19 and assaulted by a Catholic priest. 

After the banner burning, LGBT activists loudly complained to the Chicago archdiocese, demanding that Father Kalchik be punished for what they claimed to be a “homophobic” act. Cardinal Cupich complied with the LGBT lobby’s demands, sending two of his priests to bully Kalchik into leaving his parish. Father Kalchik — who has committed no crime nor broken any laws nor suffers from any psychiatric problems — refused to leave his parish, where he has been pastor for 11 years. Witnesses say that not only did these two priests use crude and threatening language in their confrontation, they also made a veiled death threat if Kalchik did not leave with them to be immediately taken to St. Luke's Institute (a notorious mental health treatment center for clergy). The two priests then told Father Kalchik the police would be sent to take him away. Taking them at their word, Kalchik believed he had no choice but to go into hiding, where he remains now.

A previous GoFundMe site raised $16,000 for Fr. Kalchik, but one week into fundraising, GoFundMe deemed the campaign too "homophobic," shut it down and refunded all of the money to donors. This means Father Kalchik was not able to receive any of the money raised to help in his defense.

Father Kalchik has secured the services of a canon lawyer to pursue his rights against Cdl. Cupich and the Chicago archdiocese. Donations will go towards his legal defense. Church Militant, the sponsor of this appeal, hopes to raise twice as much as was raised on GoFundMe: (1) to help a good man in need, and (2) to send a clear message to GoFundMe against its denial of campaigns that stand for biblical principles.

Please pray for Father Kalchik. After fighting to rebuild his life after two sexual assaults, he has fought for the last 11 years as pastor to restore the authentic Catholic faith in his parish. He now fears all of his work, and his very priesthood, is in jeopardy. 

Fr. Kalchik’s fundraising page can be found here

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British gov’t funding play about eugenicist Marie Stopes, who sent love poems to Hitler

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ENGLAND, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A response to a UK Freedom of Information request has revealed that the British government is funding a play celebrating the life and work of eugenicist Marie Stopes. The theatrical company involved hopes to take the play into schools.

In June 2018, Dorset-based AsOne Theatre Company received a letter from Arts Council England confirming it had been successful in its application for government funding for a proposed play about Stopes entitled Escaping the Storm. The total amount involved was £11,500 ($14,991). The Arts Council is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It is funded by £1.45 billion of public money, with an estimated £860 million coming from the UK’s National Lottery.

The application form submitted by AsOne states: “‘Escaping the Storm’ will see her [Stopes] in retreat from controversy, & bitter battles with the Catholic Church.” The application also says that the theatre company would create “a tailor-made workshop to inspire and encourage discussion about Ethics, Equality, Women’s Rights, Sex Education, & Choices.” As set out in the application, the audiences to be targeted are: “Family audiences 11 to elderly…Secondary School year-groups in each town on tour.” The document goes on to discuss holding “free workshops for secondary schools.”

Currently the AsOne website promotes Escaping the Storm by saying: “Dr Marie Stopes transformed how we think about sex. One of the 20th Century’s most controversial women, her strong views provided graphic understanding of pleasure and consequence of sex. Vilified then by the Catholic Church, Marie Stopes still provokes today.”

What the AsOne website doesn’t tell prospective audiences is that Stopes was an ardent eugenicist who sent love poems to Adolf Hitler. 

Stopes was awarded a PhD in paleobotany from the University of Munich in 1904, before becoming the first female academic at the University of Manchester. In 1921, she opened her first family planning centre in Holloway, north London, before it moved to its current location at Whitfield Street in Fitzrovia, Central London. Also in that year, Stopes founded the “Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress.”

Its purpose was to prevent the birth of what she considered racially inferior working classes: “the inferior, the depraved, and the feeble-minded.” It is no coincidence that her centres were to be found in poor areas. In her book, Radiant Motherhood (1920), she states: “the sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood [should be] made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, given her eugenicist views, Stopes admired Hitler. In 1935 she attended the Nazi-sponsored International Congress for Population Science in Berlin. On the eve of the Second World War, she sent the Führer a gushing letter with a copy of a slim volume of love poems she had written.

“Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them? The young must learn love from the particular ’till they are wise enough for the universal. I hope too that you yourself may find something to enjoy in the book.”

 Stopes was anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Russian. A poem of hers from 1942 has this to say:

The Jews and the Russians,
All are a curse,
Or something worse…

Stopes died in 1958. In her will, she left her Whitfield Street centre to the Eugenics Society.

Today the organization she founded, Marie Stopes International (MSI), is present in 37 countries and commits three million abortions a year. A recent UK government report stated that at the Whitfield Street facility operated by MSI: “From May 2016 to April 2017, MSI Central London carried out 1811 surgical termination of pregnancy procedures and 1404 early medical abortions. There were 269 vasectomy procedures performed within the same period.”

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Cdl. Cupich backs Cdl. Ouellet’s roasting of Viganò, slams those who ‘attack’ Pope Francis

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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

CHICAGO, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Backing a recent statement by a top-ranking Vatican cardinal, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago has defended Pope Francis from criticism in the wake of allegations he covered up for a clerical sexual predator. 

Cardinal Blase Cupich, plucked from relative obscurity by Pope Francis to oversee one of the most important dioceses in the United States, released a statement yesterday in which he cited Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s impassioned response to Archbishop Viganò.

“In his capacity as Prefect, Cardinal Ouellet … called to account those attacking or countenancing attacks on the Pope and the Church,” Cupich wrote. 

“In that spirit, I join my voice to those of the Prefect and of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging ‘all in the Church particularly the bishops to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church’.”  

Viganò, whose original bombshell testimony against disgraced former cardinal Archbishop Theodore McCarrick implicated Pope Francis in McCarrick’s return to favour, recently appealed to Ouellet to release documents concerning McCarrick and to reveal what he knew about cover-up in the curia. Viganò named Cupich in his testimony, saying that his appointment to Chicago was "orchestrated by McCarrick" and others who were "united by a wicked pact of abuses." He also criticized Cupich for his "ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims."

In response, Ouellet, the Prefect of the College of Cardinals, issued a statement blasting the Vatican whistleblower for what the document called his “open and scandalous rebellion” against Pope Francis. Ouellet stated that Viganò’s allegation that Francis had knowingly covered up for a sexual predator and was, therefore, “an accomplice” to corruption within the Church was “unbelievable and without any foundation.” 

Cupich said that Ouellet’s response was “authoritative and “compelling”:

“In an authoritative and compelling manner, he provided a detailed response to the central charges against Pope Francis regarding the case of Archbishop McCarrick,” Cupich wrote.  

However, Ouellet’s critics do not share Cupich’s warm endorsement of the Prefect’s statement.

Both Damian Thompson of the Catholic Herald and Rod Dreher of the American Conservative have pointed out that the Prefect for the College of Cardinals has merely vindicated Viganò’s claim that Benedict placed some form of sanction on Cardinal McCarrick. Ouellet reveals that he told Viganò of “certain conditions and restrictions” on McCarrick when Viganò became Apostolic Nuncio to the USA: 

“...the written instructions given to you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your mission in [2011] did not say anything about McCarrick, except for what I mentioned to you verbally about his situation as Bishop emeritus and certain conditions and restrictions that he had to follow on account of some rumors about his past conduct,” Ouellet wrote in his reproof to Viganò. 

Dreher, the bestselling Christian author who lost his faith in the Catholic Church because of  episcopal cover up of clerical sexual abuse, wrote in the American Conservative that Ouellet’s defense of Francis was “not credible”: 

Cardinal Ouellet’s letter “oozes sweetness and oil like a doughnut fresh out of the fryer,” Dreher wrote. “It is not credible. Archbishop Viganò’s claims remain unaddressed in a meaningful way.” 

“The real news out of the Ouellet letter is that McCarrick was placed on some kind of restriction over his behavior, though Ouellet maintains that there is no paper record of it having been done. But Ouellet’s claims that Francis had no particular interest in McCarrick, and that there is no evidence that McCarrick had influence over Francis, cannot be taken seriously,” Dreher continued.  

“The greater part of the Ouellet epistle amounts to a sanctimonious, “How dare you, Vigano?!””  

In his statement, Cupich said that he believed Pope Francis’s October 6 declaration that the McCarrick case would be given “a thorough study”, that the pontiff was committed to “addressing the scourge of abuse” in the Church, and that the Church would no longer tolerate any cover-ups or double standards for bishops. 

“This clear statement does not come as a surprise to me, for I am convinced that Pope Francis has no hesitation in following a path of accountability,” Cupich declared.

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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Rand Paul’s wife calls out pro-abortion Senator for encouraging violent protesters

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By Calvin Freiburger

BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Cory Booker should retract his call for left-wing activists to “get up in the face” of Republicans amid a rising tide of violence and harassment, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s wife Kelley argues in a new open letter to the New Jersey Democrat.

Mrs. Paul opens the piece, published Saturday on CNN’s website, by summarizing the new normal of the security measures her family has taken.

“It's nine o'clock at night, and as I watch out the window, a sheriff's car slowly drives past my home,” she recalls. “I am grateful that they have offered to do extra patrols, as someone just posted our home address, and Rand's cell number, on the internet – all part of a broader effort to intimidate and threaten Republican members of Congress and their families. I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded.”

Jackson Cosko, a former unpaid staffer to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, has been arrested and charged for posting the home addresses and personal phone numbers of several GOP senators on Wikipedia during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings into unsupported sex abuse claims against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lee fired Cosko and condemned his actions, but questions remain about the unidentified “outside institution” paying his salary.

“In the last 18 months, our family has experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level,” Mrs. Paul continues, recalling both the relief she felt after her husband wasn’t harmed in last year’s shooting of a congressional baseball game by a left-wing extremist, and her grief when a disgruntled neighbor assaulted her husband in his own yard.

The neighbor’s attack wasn’t politically motivated, but Mrs. Paul notes that several of her husband’s political enemies made light of it. “Kentucky's secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, recently joked about it in a speech,” she says. “MSNBC commentator Kasie Hunt laughingly said on air that Rand's assault was one of her ‘favorite stories.’ Cher, Bette Midler, and others have lauded his attacker on Twitter.”

Mrs. Paul next cites a more recent incident in which Paul was one of multiple GOP lawmakers chased and screamed at by anti-Kavanaugh protesters at Reagan National Airport. She suggests they were simply following advice Booker gave an audience in July to “go to the Hill today” and “please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”

“Senator Booker, Rand has worked with you to co-sponsor criminal justice reform bills. He respects you, and so do I. I would call on you to retract your statement,” Mrs. Paul concludes. “I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials' personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-IA, also suggested last week that Booker, who claimed Kavanaugh’s “temperament” disqualified him from the Supreme Court, was partly to blame for the harassment.

The past year has seen an uptick in harassment against Republicans in their private lives, epitomized by California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters’ infamous threat that Trump administration officials “won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store.”

Even before Kavanaugh’s nomination was complicated by the sex-abuse claims, his hearings were plagued with screaming protesters frequently interrupting the hearings. After his confirmation, Planned Parenthood’s Dawn Laguens and Cecile Richards encouraged their followers to “unleash your rage” and “stay angry.”

On Tuesday, failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN that Democrats shouldn’t be “civil” with Republicans until her party retakes Congress: “until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

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Minnesota special-needs teacher resigns after tweeting request to ‘kill Kavanaugh’

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By Calvin Freiburger

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ROSEMOUNT, Minnesota, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A special-needs teacher in Minnesota has resigned after tweeting a call for someone to murder newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm Kavanaugh after a bitter three-month battle over his abortion views and unsubstantiated, last-minute allegations of sexual assault. The same day, a woman identified by the Washington Times and other media outlets as Samantha Ness asked on Twitter, “So whose [sic] gonna take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?”

Ness, a teacher at Intermediate School District 917’s Alliance Education Center in Rosemount, later deleted all of her social media accounts, but the threatening tweet has been archived and preserved in screenshots.

According to the district’s website, the center teaches students anywhere from ages 5-21 who suffer from autism, developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional behavior disorders, and other disabilities, giving them an “opportunity to work on academics as well as functional, transition, and social skills.”

The school district quickly placed Ness on administrative leave and the FBI has confirmed it’s investigating the incident, ABC affiliate KSTP reports. The Dakota County Sheriff’s Department is not involved because the tweet was sent from an address outside of its jurisdiction. On Tuesday, Fox affiliate KMSP reported that Ness opted to resign rather than wait for the district to make a decision about her teaching license.

“On Sunday, October 7, 2018, the district began receiving complaints regarding an employee. The actions of the employee did not occur at school, and there were no school devices, equipment, or other school staff involved in the actions. At no time were students or staff in danger,” superintendent Mark Zuzek said in a statement on Intermediate #917’s website. “Pursuant with the Minnesota Data Practices Act, we are limited to providing additional information regarding this matter.”

Ness has not issued a statement on her actions, but reports she was unrepentant in one of her final tweets Monday. “Being called a fat ugly c**t by a random guy on Twitter is probably the highlight of my entire life,” she said.

This is not the first high-profile threat from a left-wing opponent of Kavanaugh.

Georgetown University recently took security studies professor Christine Fair out of the classroom and put her on “research leave” after she tweeted that Kavanaugh’s defenders “deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps.” Last month, the Antifa branch Smash Racism DC tweeted to Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, and others that “you can't eat in peace [...] You're [sic] votes are a death wish [...] You are not safe. We will find you.”

Google design lead Dave Hogue didn’t wish death on Republicans in his weekend tweetstorm, but he did wish damnation on them: “I hope the last images burned into your slimy, evil, treasonous retinas are millions of women laughing and clapping and celebrating as your souls descend into the flames.”

The past year has seen an uptick in left-wing harassment, epitomized by California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters’ infamous threat that Trump administration officials “won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store.” Recently, anti-Kavanaugh protesters chased and screamed at multiple GOP lawmakers passing through Reagan National Airport.

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‘I have no faith in your will or your character,’ abuse victim tells pro-LGBT Bishop McElroy

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By Tim O'Neill

EL CAJON, California, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – On October 4th, San Diego's Bishop Robert McElroy held the third in a series of eight "listening sessions" that he said would “focus on seeking input from people in the pews" regarding the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the actions required to heal from the scandal.

A crowd of roughly 300 people filled the parish hall of Our Lady of Grace in El Cajon. The hall was renamed last week after being originally named in honor of Monsignor Thomas Moloney, a former pastor at Our Lady of Grace who was named in the diocese’ 2007 list of priests against whom “credible allegations” of sexual abuse have been raised. 

Before the event could formally begin, a man rose to his feet and began to speak, commanding attention without the aid of a microphone. Billy, a parishioner at Our Lady of Grace, read a testimony regarding his time at a Catholic youth camp in Southern Illinois, Camp Ondessonk, where he claimed he was a victim of sexual grooming. 

Billy recalled being asked by the youth camp’s adult male staff to join them in stripping naked before going down a water slide. He complied. 

“I can’t help but realize we were being scoped out to be raped,” he said.

He could not recall whether clergy were among the staff, but noted that Camp Ondessonk was founded by Father Robert Vonnahmen. Vonnahem, now deceased, was eventually defrocked over allegations that he sexually abused minors while director of the camp. Billy said the knowledge that he was at a place where such atrocities occurred, potentially against his peers, has been very painful for him.

While Billy was speaking, several hired security guards approached him and attempted to silence him. According to Billy, the guards also physically removed his 15-year-old daughter for filming her father’s testimony. However, Bishop McElory, standing in the back of the hall, allowed the man to continue speaking. 

Billy continued, "How are we supposed to trust the bishops? The same bishops that were supposed to fix this before - we're supposed to trust them again to fix it now? By this point, McElroy had joined the man at the front of the room. Billy turned to face McElroy and said, "I'm talking about you, Bishop. I can’t believe a reasonable man would ignore Dr. Sipe's letter." 

Billy was referring to a 2016 letter written by now deceased Dr. Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine Monk, psychotherapist, and expert witness in cases involving clergy sexual abuse. After two meetings with McElroy to discuss the sexual abuse crisis, Sipe hired a process server, posing as a donor, to deliver a letter to the bishop that detailed allegations of sexual abuse by priests and the subsequent cover-up by church leadership. Sipe sent the letter this way after McElroy’s staff told him, according to Sipe, that the bishop could not meet with him anytime in the foreseeable future. Included among these were the abuses that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick committed against seminarians. 

In a diocesan statement issued on August 8 of this year, McElroy said, "After I read [Sipe's letter], I wrote to Dr. Sipe and told him that his decision to engage a process server who operated under false pretenses, and his decision to copy his letter to me to a wide audience, made further conversations at a level of trust impossible."

In an apparent rebuttal to McElroy's statement, Billy said, "If someone sent me that letter, I'd make it my life's work to...disprove a crazy man's theories or to rid this evil from the root of my church. It's worldwide!" His remarks were met with boisterous applause.

Pointing to McElroy, who was just a few feet away, Billy then stated, "I have no faith in your will or your character." He concluded his remarks by saying, “Until everything is exposed into the light of God, we cannot heal."

McElroy calls Viganò's statement not 'fair-minded'

The evening brought other challenging questions for McElroy, several of which addressed the letter written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, regarding ex-Cardinal McCarrick and Pope Francis’ handling of the crisis.

One table asked, "You appear to dismiss Viganò's claims based on your opinion of his character. However, Cardinal DiNardo and some of your brother bishops have called for an investigation of these claims. Will you support this investigation, and what specifically are you going to do to support it?”

McElroy replied that there were two major themes to Viganó's letter: the first concerned McCarrick and the question of how he came to a position of such power in the Church despite his long history of sexual abuses. The second, said McElroy, was "crafted in a way that was designed to focus all the responsibility on Pope Francis and anyone affiliated with him and to hide responsibility of other people because there was a political agenda." 

An audience member cut McElroy off, saying, "So you're willing to dismiss the entire rest of [Vigano's] letter based on what you think his motives were?" McElroy chided the audience member, saying that the session’s format called for one question per table. But the next table stayed with the subject, asking, "How is it that 80 bishops have said we needed an investigation since this latest information came to light…and five were opposed, named in Archbishop Viganó's testimony. And one of them was yourself. So we ask: why is this?"

McElroy replied that he agrees there needs to be an investigation in the dioceses in which McCarrick had served. Upon hearing this, another attendee shouted, "That's not true! That is not true that you're in favor of the investigation. That has not been your statement." McElroy answered, "I have consistently said in all of these sessions, I've said many times before, I think these questions have to be answered. But I've also said that that is not a fair-minded statement of Archbishop Viganó; it had an agenda to it which is ideological and aimed at undermining Pope Francis.” An audience member retorted, "Why would he be in hiding if it's an agenda? He's in hiding! It’s not an agenda, he's telling the truth!" Her comment received hearty applause.

McElroy downplays chastity amidst abuse crisis 

The conversation then shifted away from Viganó and toward the role that homosexuality has played in the sexual abuse scandal.  "What is the Church doing to address the issue of homosexuality, specifically active homosexual activity, in clergy?" asked one participant.

Speaking about the importance of priests faithfully living their call to celibacy, McElroy responded, "If I come across an instance where [chastity is not being lived out], then I have to deal very strongly with that; whether it’s homosexual or heterosexual."

Another table asked, "Could you affirm the church's teaching that all are loved and welcome, but homosexual actions are sinful?" McElroy affirmed that we're all called to live out the virtue of chastity, but added — echoing a sentiment he previously expressed in America magazine — "Chastity is not the only virtue, nor is it the most important virtue. The most important virtue Christ tells us is to love our God with all our heart and to love our neighbors as ourselves. And sometimes people reduce individual men and women to one dimension of their life." McElroy concluded by reaffirming Church teaching that "sexual activity takes place morally only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman." and that “no person who is homosexual should suffer unjust discrimination because of that - or violence.”

Interrupting the next questioner, a woman interjected, "Bishop McElroy, the reason that we think that you are promoting LGBT is because you use that nomenclature...You use the nomenclature of the homosexual activist agenda...You're advocating for removing the term 'intrinsically disordered' from the catechism with regards to homosexual acts. You're supporting what's going on down at St. John the Evangelist, because you came and concelebrated at the ‘Always our Children’ mass last October with Auxiliary Bishop Dolan, and all of the homosexual activists from San Diego were given front row seats." 

After the woman alleged that the parish of St John the Evangelist had an openly homosexual man "running the show," the Bishop cut her off, saying, "Alright, you've gone far enough now. You're not going to stand here and disparage an employee of the diocese. You can leave if you're going to do that. The other things you can say—you cannot attack an employee of the diocese...I owe it to the employees of the Archdiocese [sic] not to let those calumnies be said."

When asked for his thoughts following the event, participant Chris Sawaya, a parishioner at St. Kieran, said, “[The bishop] clearly doesn't consider sexual activity among adults to be any of his business, which is disconcerting, considering the elephant in the room is homosexual predation and unchastity among clergy. I think this whole conflict is still missing the real fight. We are seeing the fruit of a 50-year-old rebellion against church teaching on human sexuality. He mentioned that chastity is not the most important virtue. Now that’s a hell of thing to say in the context of this scandal.”

The listening sessions are being hosted at one parish in each of the eight deaneries, or regions, within the San Diego diocese. Our Lady of Grace is in the El Cajon deanery, which includes 16 parishes. Father Peter McGuine, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church said, “The bishop’s ‘listening session’ provided a safe environment for those in attendance to hear from one another, to hear from the bishop, and, most importantly, for the bishop to hear from them on a subject and chapter in the history of the local church that is excruciatingly painful for all of us." 

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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Video calls out pro-abortion Trudeau for refusing to directly condemn attacks on pro-life women

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By Stephen Kokx

Tell Justin Trudeau to condemn attack on pro-life woman. Sign the petition here.

ALBERTA, October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new video from a Conservative Member of Canada’s Parliament is calling out pro-abortion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for failing to condemn assaults against pro-life women in Ontario.

Earlier today on his Facebook page, 31-year-old MP Garnett Genuis of Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan shared a video titled “Trudeau, where are you?”

The video features clips of Trudeau, who claims to be a “feminist,” saying there should be “zero tolerance to violence against women.”

The video then asks why, if that's true, has Trudeau 1) failed to condemn the assault of a peaceful pro-life woman outside an abortion clinic in Toronto by a 26-year-old man on September 30th and 2) why has he said nothing about the attack on a pro-life protester by a “reproductive justice” activist at Ryerson University on October 1st?

Genuis wrote a public letter to Trudeau on October 5th asking him to condemn political violence against peaceful demonstrators.

“Canadians need to know that the Prime Minister will oppose any violence against anyone, including those with whom he disagrees,” Genuis wrote.

Trudeau is yet to respond.


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Cardinal Müller: ‘I trust more in Cardinal Zen’ than in the Vatican-China deal

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile German cardinal said that he trusts Cardinal Joseph Zen’s opinion of China’s communist government more than the new Vatican-China deal.

Last week Cardinal Gerhard Müller told Raymond Arroyo of EWTN’s The World Over that while he recognized the Pope’s responsibility to bring China’s schismatic bishops into full communion with Rome, he was concerned about the cost of the deal.   

“I trust more in Cardinal Zen because he has all the experience with the Communists and with their lies and the persecution they have made,” Müller said.

“Surely the Pope has the office and the task to recall these schismatics to the full communion of the Church, but the question is, ‘What is the price for it?’” he continued. “Can we make a deal, the Holy Church, the Body of Christ, with communist atheists?”

Cardinal Zen has called the recent agreement between the Vatican and the Communist Party of China an “incredible betrayal.”

So far little is known about the deal. However, it is clear that the Pope will be acknowledged as the head of the Catholic Church but that the Chinese government will have the right to appoint Chinese bishops. The Pope will merely retain a final veto. The Vatican has also agreed to admit to communion and to consecrate seven of the Chinese Communist Party’s “Catholic Patriotic Association” bishops. Moreover, the Holy See has asked two of its own authentic bishops to step down.

Zen told Reuters that this was tantamount to feeding the sheep to the wolves.  

Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Arroyo that he was not an expert in the diplomacy between the Holy See and China, but that he is concerned for the preservation of Christian truth and religious liberty.

“For me as a theologian, the first [thing] is the truth of the revelation and the autonomy of the Church in doctrine and religious life. Is this deal based on religious liberty?” he asked.

The cardinal wondered if the Communist Party in China was giving the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and other religions “complete liberty based on human rights.” He condemned the ideas of a political party being a people’s religion and of modern states meddling with religious beliefs.   

“Human rights [and] religious freedom cannot be the confession of a powerful, almighty political party,” he said.

“It is absolutely against the natural law that a group of men, or one man, the dictator, or the dictatorship of a party, has the absolute power or the spiritual power [over] the conscience of the people,” he continued.

“The authority of the modern democratic states [is] recused only for the organization of society, but they cannot understand themselves as having the absolute power [over] thinking and behavior.”

Müller asserted that the only basis of reconciliation between the Holy See and the unauthorized Chinese bishops could be the Chinese government’s respect for the religious freedom of the Catholic Church.

“We must refuse all interference of political powers in our religious life,” the cardinal concluded.  

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Princess becomes Catholic, loses her place in Britain’s line of Succession

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Every now and then a closer or more distant blood relation of Britain’s Queen becomes a Catholic, and in doing so is removed from the "line of succession." This is one of the last legal remnants of a system of anti-Catholic discrimination which once saw Catholics banned from living in London and becoming army officers, long after the bloody persecution ended. It means that however unlikely it might have been in any case, swimming the Tiber washes off the theoretical possibility that you could become King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Recently, it was the turn of Princess Alexandra of Hanover, who at 19 has adopted the Catholic religion of her mother.

Princess Alexandra is rather more closely related to the houses of Hanover and of Monaco than to Britain’s House of Windsor, and she probably gave this aspect of her conversion little thought. Somewhat closer to the British throne was Lord Nicholas Windsor, who was received into the Church in 2001; he gave an interview to LifeSiteNews in 2011.

Catholics are excluded from the line of succession by the Act of Settlement of 1701; Britain’s monarch is, after all, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Catholics are the Act’s targets, because it was passed in the aftermath of the English Revolution of 1688 (called by its supporters the “Glorious” Revolution), which saw the overthrow of the Catholic King James II. The greater friendliness of his brother and predecessor King Charles II to Catholicism and to the leading Catholic power of the time, France, led to the anti-Catholic moral panic of the fraudulent Titus Oates plot. When the Catholic James II had a son, and so looked set to establish a Catholic monarchy for the foreseeable future, a group of powerful Protestant nobles staged a coup.

Harking back to the religious policy of Elizabeth Tudor, the leaders of the new regime sought the support of non-Anglican Protestants, called ‘non-conformists’; active, if bloodless, persecution of Catholicism was part of the deal, as well as a way of excluding a certain James II and his Catholic heirs.

A Catholic monarch of a non-Catholic country was not inconceivable. Just before the English Revolution, Augustus II of Saxony became a Catholic in order to be King of Poland.

From then until the end of Saxon monarchy in 1918, the Protestant state had a Catholic king.

The experience of King James II – and, before him, of Mary Queen of Scots – as a Catholic monarch of an officially Protestant country was less happy.

Just as the Lutheran Augustus of Saxony had to become a Catholic to be elected King of Poland, so, a century earlier, the Calvinist Henry of Navarre had become a Catholic to become King of France; this is the more common historical pattern.

While clearly not all is right with Britain while its heads of state are obliged to profess religious error, the principle that this job should be carried out by one with a particular faith is not wrong in itself. The idea that religious liberty obliges every position in society to be open to every possible religion leads to the absurdity of demanding that the Christian Union of Britain’s Exeter University open its membership, and even leadership positions, to those unwilling to make a simple profession of Christian faith.

A country is not a voluntary association like a student society, to be sure, but if it is appropriate to demand moral uprightness in candidates for high office, so it is natural and surely right in a Catholic country to expect the head of state to have the assistance of the Sacraments in maintaining that uprightness.

Furthermore, when the Protestants of a former time (and still, in some places), for complicated reasons regarded Catholicism as allied to despotism, we must take issue with the substance of their argument, and not make the absurd counter-claim that no worldview is any more closely aligned to despotism than any other.

There is a final consideration, connected with the nature of the value of the state. The modern, post-liberal secular state sees its task as not only restraining evils, but as promoting virtues. International bodies and states today proudly advertise their wish to “change attitudes,” sometimes by giving people a “nudge,” sometimes by direct intervention in school curricula, and sometimes by prohibiting “hate crimes.” This trend is more open in Britain than in the United States, but it is gaining ground everywhere.

While the content of these policies can be very problematic, the idea that the state is concerned with promoting the virtue of its members was taken for granted by centuries of political thought, including the ancient Greeks and Doctors of the Church like St. Thomas Aquinas. In a country that now actively promotes same-sex “marriage,” if there is some corner of the Constitution which holds that at least a nominal Christian profession is required of members of the Royal Family, that is something to be grateful for.

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Pro-lifers should be very, very concerned about Susan Collins’ Kavanaugh speech

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers are right to celebrate the failure of the smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh. We wouldn’t have gotten a better nominee if President Trump had withdrawn him, and surrender would have not only demoralized the conservative base but taught leftists they can get away with anything.

That being said, we can’t let our euphoria blind us to the fact that we don’t really know if our newest Supreme Court justice is the automatic anti-Roe vote the president promised us, and Susan Collins’ make-or-break speech Friday was actually a damning indictment of how little vetting we did before appointing him to lifetime power.

Yes, she defied the mob. Yes, she did a fair job of detailing the accusers’ credibility problems. But are we really going to downplay or ignore her ringing endorsements of Roe and Obergefell – or worse, her confidence that Kavanaugh agrees?

Judge Kavanaugh described the Obergefell decision, which legalized same-gender marriages, as an important landmark precedent. He also cited Justice Kennedy’s recent Masterpiece Cakeshop opinion for the court’s majority stating that “the days of treating gay and lesbian Americans, or gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens who are inferior in dignity and worth are over in the Supreme Court.”

Here Collins is simply quoting Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing testimony. True, he refused to call Obergefell rightly decided, and may have just been trying to get Kamala Harris off his back. But shouldn’t any degree of praise for an emotion-driven, precedent-upending legal farce (particularly coming from a professed fan of precedent) warrant further questioning?

As Robert A. J. Gagnon said Saturday, the “best that we can hope for is that Kavanaugh was intentionally misleading Democratic Senators; but then the degree of dissembling wouldn't speak well of him.”

To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article 3 of our Constitution itself. He believes that precedent is not just a judicial policy, it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent. In other words, precedent isn’t a goal or an aspiration. It is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Collins is accurately summarizing Kavanaugh’s testimony last month. There’s some truth to this – Alexander Hamilton saw precedent as keeping judges from exercising “arbitrary discretion” and helping “define and point out their duty” – but it’s not at all obvious that precedent “comes right from” Article III’s text. More importantly, these effects are only valuable to the extent they’re upholding the Constitution rather than subverting it. And how “extraordinary” do circumstances have to be to trump precedent?

He said decisions become part of our legal framework with the passage of time and that honoring precedent is essential to maintaining public confidence [...] in his testimony, he noted repeatedly that Roe had been upheld by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, describing it as a precedent. When I asked him would it be sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent if five current justices believed that it was wrongly decided, he emphatically said “no.”

If Kavanaugh really said that (a big if, granted), he should have been canned on the spot. Precedent can potentially trump the Constitution itself? In a job all about upholding the Constitution? As Justice Thomas was paraphrased in a 2007 interview, “If the Court has deviated from the text of the Constitution, subsequent cases adhering to the precedent only magnify the error.”

This is also why the strongest piece of pro-Kavanaugh evidence, his 2017 speech discussing Chief Justice Rehnquist’s critique of Roe, doesn’t necessarily settle things. If Collins is right, Kavanaugh might believe Roe was wrongly decided but deserves to stand anyway due to other considerations. He might overturn it if he thinks Roe is “grievously wrong” like Plessy v. Ferguson or Dred Scott v. Sanford, but “might” is the point: we don’t know, and now it’s too late.

Opponents frequently cite then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn Roe. The Republican platform for all presidential campaigns has included this pledge since at least 1980. During this time Republican presidents have appointed Justices O’Connor, Souter and Kennedy to the Supreme Court. These are the very three Republican president appointed justices who authored the Casey decision which reaffirmed Roe.

It is astonishing just how little attention this passage has gotten. Collins is essentially saying, “don’t worry about it, my party has been lying to those pro-life rubes for decades.” It’s not entirely true, of course; Republicans also gave us Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. But one would assume somebody in the GOP would have a problem with one of their own bragging about the gulf between her party’s words and deeds.

Settling for stealth nominees would be one thing if we were simultaneously working on reducing the judiciary’s power or alternative ways to tear down Roe. But for years, our leaders have put all their eggs in the Supreme Court’s basket. How can the same people who demanded we take this path settle for anything less than absolute certainty we’re going the right way?

As undeserved as so much of the fawning praise for Collins is, we have to give her credit for one thing: she seems to have put more effort into investigating Kavanaugh’s views than Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, or Ben Sasse did. Now, all we can do is pray our new Supreme Court justice is who so many pro-lifers think he is – and that we don’t have to learn the hard way to take the next vacancy more seriously.

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Trans activists demand everyone be pro-LGBT – at the expense of reality

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By Jonathon van Maren

October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – There are many things to say about the transgender movement as of late. They are increasingly totalitarian in their demands. They have declared war on all those who disagree with them. They pose a very real danger to children, who are declaring themselves to be “trans” in record numbers. And they are also extraordinarily self-centred.

There are multiple examples of this. The now infamous “bathroom wars” are one example, with biological males and biological females demanding access to the bathrooms reserved for the opposite sex – regardless of whether or not they have physically transitioned. Other exclusively female facilities – battered women’s shelters, for example – are also not safe from biological men claiming to be women and demanding access. The feelings of those who rely on these facilities are never considered.

But things get even worse when trans activists begin to demand that medical institutions bend to their will. One transgender person even had the gall to complain on Twitter that breast cancer patients were getting life-saving mastectomies before self-identified transgender people could get their healthy breasts amputated due to gender dysphoria – despite the fact that for breast cancer patients, mastectomies can often be a matter of life or death.

And in Canada, a biological woman identifying as a transgender man is now declaring war on the Canadian Blood Services, demanding that they change their screening policy. And why? Because when “Jack” Biamonte, who donates blood quite regularly, revealed a recent hysterectomy surgery to the staff, she was forced to endure an “embarrassing experience,” according to the CBC.

The staff apparently told Biamonte that in answering the questions, it was important to answer with the “sex assigned at birth,” which is the way the media now refers to the sex you were born into (as if the doctor just took a guess or something.) This was apparently quite traumatic. “It was just reinforced, ‘You were born female; we have to consider you female,’” Biamonte said. Which, from a medical perspective, is absolutely true.

Two specific questions really piqued Biamonte’s ire: “Have you had a pregnancy over the past six months?” and “Have you slept with a male who has slept with a male?” According to Biamonte, for “A lot of people, that’s really going to upset them. That’s really going to trigger them.” Biamonte didn’t explain why these questions would prove triggering to those who are transitioning or considering doing so, especially considering the fact that the Canadian Blood Services actually permits trans individuals to mark down the gender they’ve transitioned into one year after genital-mutilation surgery.

Responding to media queries concerning the complaints of a single transgender person – Canada’s state broadcaster has been doing tremendous work carrying water for the transgender movement – the Canadian Blood Services pointed out that the donor criteria are “based on the best available scientific evidence,” as approved by the regulator, Health Canada. As the CBC noted:

That means trans men born female are screened as women and questioned about pregnancies, as donors who have had a pregnancy are more likely to have antibodies in their blood that may cause a rare but potentially fatal complication in a recipient. 

In short, this means that the policy of the Canadian Blood Services, which is based on scientific evidence and is in place to protect people’s lives from potentially fatal danger, must stay in place for public safety purposes. Biamonte, however, clearly feels that this is kind of transphobic, stating that “he disagrees that the policy is based on science.” To prove this supremely arrogant assertion, she offered precisely no counter-evidence in response.

“The screening process needs to change,” she told the CBC. “There needs to be more medically pertinent questions that are based on actual fact and not just general bias.” She then promised to continue badgering the Canadian Blood Services, apparently mistaking them for an organization dedicated to soothing the triggered feelings of radical activists rather than an organization founded to provide life-saving services.

Many people have decided to ignore the transgender movement because they have assumed that it will not impact their lives in any way. As I’ve noted before, the transgender movement is genuinely dangerous, and if they have their way, they will transform the way our society – and every institution within our society, medical facilities included – sees gender. And they have already proven that they are perfectly willing to do this even if others must pay the cost.

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Why beautiful painting, sculpture, music have a crucial place in Catholic spirituality

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski
Alexander Stoddart's Annunciation sculptures.
Church designed by Ethan Anthony.

October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Most Catholics may be forgiven for not attaching much significance to the fine arts in their approach to the Catholic Faith. After all, the past fifty years and more have not usually given them many works of art to look at, listen to, or be proud of. Cavernous suburban parishes with no style in particular, few ornaments to catch the eye, and a buffet of sonic banalities to sample—shrines to what Robert Barron once called “beige Catholicism”—have left us sorely lacking in access to beauty, that mysterious messenger of the divine wonder, in all its elevated strangeness and many-faceted glory.

But this is surely a strange way for Catholics to live. We belong to a religion of the Incarnation, the taking on of flesh by the Logos, the Word and Wisdom of God. Beauty is not for us an incidental add-on; it is a revelation of God’s love for His material creatures and a response to our simultaneously intellectual and corporeal thirst for His inner wealth of being, which manifests itself to us as truth in the mind, goodness in the conscience, and beauty in the sphere of the senses. 

The Catholic Church built up the greatest civilization of fine arts—of architecture, painting, sculpture, mosaics, bookmaking, calligraphy, music, poetry—that the world has ever known, without even a close competitor. Every year millions of tourists, among them many thousands of believers, go on pilgrimage, be it secular or sacred, to the great cathedrals and churches of Europe and other countries touched by European Catholicism. They go to concerts to listen to the music written in the centuries of faith. They go to museums to see works of art that, in far too many cases, used to be in churches and still belong there.

Our forefathers loved beautiful things, and they made beautiful things with a wild abandon, in playful praise of the God of infinite inventiveness and ingenuity. They rejoiced in the harmonious order of creation and strove to imitate it, even, in a way, to surpass it, in their handiwork. There could never be too many churches, altars, or tabernacles, too many Masses, motets, or Magnificats, too many symphonies, concertos, or sonatas, too many sequences, sonnets, or sestinas, too many icons, portraits, or landscapes. 

The fine arts were the exuberant eruption of a culture of faith that valued Persons most of all—divine, angelic, and human—and the ineffable mysteries that brought these Persons together in a divine comedy, a cosmic Sistine Chapel, the polyphony of countless voices of rejoicing, lamentation, and exultation. This culture of beauty centered on the supernatural and the eternal, striving beyond (without dismissing or condemning) the everyday, the practical, the useful. Above all, it treasured the Most Holy Eucharist. In the words of Pope John Paul II: “Like the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, the Church has feared no ‘extravagance,’ devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist.”

This is not the bygone idealism of a lost civilization. Rather it is the intrinsic tendency of the Catholic Faith whenever it is healthy. As the same pope said, the Faith always strives to express itself, to take on flesh, in all human endeavors, including the arts at their crown. Christian revelation, to the extent that it is welcomed, becomes incarnate in the entire world of man, from politics to sciences, from mechanical arts to liberal arts to fine arts. That is why we can be sure that a deterioration or disappearance of great art from the Church is a sure sign of infidelity and decline, and its reappearance and flourishing a necessary condition of Church renewal and a necessary component of effective evangelization.

It is for all these reasons (and plenty more) that the upcoming Annual Conference of the Catholic Art Guild in Chicago promises to be so important and rewarding. The all-day event, dedicated this year to the theme “Formed in Beauty,” takes place on Sunday, November 4. It opens with an orchestral Latin Mass in the Baroque splendor of Chicago’s historic St. John Cantius Church, with the Canons Regular who are well known for bringing beauty into worship. Then, at the Drake Hotel, participants will hear four guest speakers, three of them great artists in their own right—keynote speaker Alexander Stoddart, Sculptor for Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland; Ethan Anthony, principal architect for Cram & Ferguson; and Juliette Aristides, Classical Realist Artist, Author & Founder of Aristides Atelier—and a fourth (yours truly) who will offer a theological perspective on the fine arts in Catholic life today. An elegant banquet follows, with a stimulating panel discussion to round out the day. 

(Those who might like to make a weekend out of the event could come in early to catch the annual Mozart Requiem on November 2nd, All Souls’ Day, at St. John Cantius. There is also a special demonstration by Juliette Aristides of classical figure drawing techniques on Saturday, November 3rd.)

I am particularly excited to meet, hear, and enter into conversation with these three world-famous artists—a sculptor, an architect, and a painter, each working in a medium in which so many great works of Catholic civilization have been executed in the past, and, if only we open our eyes, in which great works are still being produced down to our own day. There is truly a mini-“Renaissance” under way, as an increasing number of artists turn from the dead-end paths of modernism and pastiche/parody to rediscover the vigor of naturalism, the force of tradition, and the joy of lofty ideals, and as an increasing number of patrons recognize how well such works of art honor their subjects and ennoble their beholders.

At the top of this article is a combination still-life and self-portrait by Juliette Aristides; in the middle, a recent sculpture of the Annunciation by Alexander Stoddart; at the bottom, a new church designed by Ethan Anthony.

To read more about the Catholic Art Guild and its November 4th conference, and for information on tickets and other practicalities, please visit their website.

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Why do bishops fear young Traditionalists?

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

October 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite the fact that his diocese is desperately short of vocations, Bishop Gunn of Münster recently declared: “I can decidedly say I don’t care for pre-conciliar types of clerics, and also I will not consecrate them.” 

This is not an uncommon attitude, and it is not limited to Germany. I have heard stories from the English seminary, St. Cuthbert’s College at Ushaw, now closed for lack of custom, that superiors were so concerned to root out conservatively-minded candidates for the priesthood that they would watch how they held their hands during Mass. If they folded them prayerfully, this went on the record as a mark against them. Seminarians would meet to say the Rosary in each others’ rooms, in secret, for fear this subversive activity would get them into trouble, and hide theology books by Joseph Ratzinger.

This attitude seems to go beyond a simple matter of theological disagreement. Signs of conservatism are regarded as akin to signs of leprosy, and indeed, it is not uncommon to hear theological conservatism or traditionalism compared to mental illness. It should be said that this attitude is much less bad, at least in the English-speaking world, than it was a generation ago, but it has not gone away, and it is striking that a German bishop should embrace it so openly.

While I lack any special information about Bishop Gunn, I think I can shed light on the phenomenon as a whole. The language commonly used about young conservatives and traditionalists – “rigid,” “conformists,” “authoritarian,” “clericalist” – are related to trends in psychiatry which were influential in the decades after the Second World War. Here is a typical description of the “authoritarian personality” published in 1970 (Peter Kelvin, The Bases of Social Behaviour):

These tendencies reflect on a type of individual who needs to feel that his environment is highly predictable ... he needs to know where he stands; and so he fastens on to norms: he does not “let himself go,” for fear of where this might lead; he looks to authority as a guide ... [He also] relies very heavily on stereotypes in [his] perception of the social environment. Moreover, the stereotypes used by an authoritarian personality tend to be very clear-cut, and the characteristic inflexibility of this personality leads to relative inability to modify the stereotype once it has been formed.

In the context of the day – the ongoing sexual revolution – those who do not wish to “let themselves go,” who “fasten on to norms,” and who “look to authority,” are simply social conservatives. The author wants to connect this moral or ideological position with “authoritarianism.” One of the key figures in this strand of psychiatry, Theodor Adorno, explicitly connected it with Nazism. The connection is made by the claim, which is the key-stone of this view, that the real reason that people adopt socially conservative attitudes is psychological weakness. They “need to know where they stand,” they want a “predictable environment” because they have fragile egos, they lack self-confidence: they are, in short, afraid.

Pope Francis also seems to have been influenced by this view. As he said about young people who like the Traditional Mass:

And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.

The difficulty with this view is that there is no necessary connection between social conservatism and the ego-soothing approval of peers and superiors which is typically sought by people who lack self-confidence. Since the sexual revolution started with the social and educational elite, and spread down the social scale, it would have been unwise at any stage in its history to assume that its opponents were seeking the favor of the establishment, or that its partisans were courageously risking their position in society. By the 1980s, a young person who failed to follow the new rules risked being a social outcast. That is not the path favored by those nurturing insecurity.

The same is true of theological conservatism in many seminaries today. Bishop Gunn leaves potential seminarians in no doubt: evidence of “pre-conciliar” tendencies will end your chances of ordination.

Part of the background to this psychiatric theory is Sigmund Freud’s claim that people who were sexually continent are “repressed.” Freud suggested that bottled-up sexual energies might break out in hysteria, depression, or violence. These claims, however, lack empirical backing, and are obviously incompatible with Catholic teaching.

How many bishops, vocations directors, and seminary rectors still harbor the view that young men who have stood out against peer pressure to maintain their sexual integrity, or to develop a counter-cultural spiritual life, must for that reason be psychological weaklings? It is time such ideas were more openly identified and challenged.

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