All articles from October 10, 2018

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Planned Parenthood looking to hire director to destroy future pro-life judges

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By Calvin Freiburger

Tell the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As the dust clears from the three-month battle to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the nation’s largest abortion committer is putting out the call for a specialist committed to defeating future judicial nominees.

The Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh on Saturday.  He was officially sworn in hours later at a private ceremony, then publicly Monday evening at the White House.

The posting on Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) website says that its new Director of Judicial Nominations will work full-time in the nation’s capital to devise and carry out “year-long national and state advocacy plans focused on high impact, high priority judicial nominations in the lower courts” as well as “in-state 360 campaigns that hold Senators accountable for appointing judges that value and protect access to abortion”; and “create a clear path for defeat and delay of targeted nominations.”

This person will also lead research and analysis of nominees’ cases, writings, “personal and professional beliefs, associations, and memberships,” as well as “general opposition research” to identify potential “vulnerabilities.” The position’s other duties include persuading the public of the link between nomination fights and PPFA’s policy goals and the “overall Trump agenda, and to the consequences of lifetime appointments of extremist judges to the future of progressive rights.”

Naturally, the posting says an ideal candidate would have an “established history working with the Senate Judiciary committee.” Notably, its language implies a focus on lower courts instead of the Supreme Court, and does not discuss the promotion of PPFA-approved nominees.

Planned Parenthood posted the notice to LinkedIn almost a month ago but to Daybook October 7, possibly suggesting the abortion giant has been seeking to hire someone for some time but doubled its efforts in response to the anti-Kavanaugh forces’ failure.

Live Action notes that this Judicial Nominations Director is to report to the National Director of Legislative Affairs in PPFA’s Office of the Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, an office currently headed by veteran Democrat operative Dana Singiser.

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups aggressively tried to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation from the beginning, out of fear he might provide the fifth vote to finally overturn Roe v. Wade. They lobbied senators to block him within days of his announcement, attacked him during his confirmation hearings for accurately stating that legal scholars disagree about Roe and that some contraceptives are abortifacients, and threatened to be “LOUD” and “NOISY” while “coming for” senators who voted “yes.”

After Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president Dawn Laguens and former CEO Cecile Richards encouraged their followers to “unleash your rage [...] every day,” and to “stay angry” because “you will need all your anger now.”

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Concerns raised as Vatican releases names of those drafting final document at Youth Synod

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By Diane Montagna

VATICAN CITY, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — On Wednesday, the Vatican released the names of those prelates who will be responsible for drafting the final document at the Vatican Youth Synod currently underway in Rome.

The fact that the twelve-member drafting commission is heavily stacked with papally appointed members and synod organizers is raising concerns that the synod may be used as a vehicle to introduce pastoral programs rooted in questionable teaching.

Representing the five continents, the elected members of the synod’s drafting commission include: for Africa, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, Prefect of the Vatican’s dicastery for integral human development; for America, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico City, one of 41 delegates chosen by Pope Francis to attend the synod; for Asia, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, India, and member of Pope Francis C-9 Council of Cardinals; for Europe, Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, and member of the synod’s organizing body; and for Oceana, Bishop Peter Andrew Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, Australia, who is also a papal delegate.

Key members of the Synod Secretariat, including its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, and its general relator Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil — who will preside over the commission — are automatically named as members.

Two special secretaries who assist the general relator were also named to the drafting commission: Father Giacomo Costa, S.J. who is one of the main authors of the Instrumentum laboris, and serves as vice-president of the “Carlo Maria Martini Foundation”; and Father Rossano Sala, professor of youth pastoral outreach at the Pontifical Salesian University.

According to new synod rules, released on Oct. 1, the Holy Father may also appoint “several members” to the drafting commission. Pope Francis has personally appointed three members known to him: Brazilian Father Alexandre Awi Mello, secretary for the Vatican’s dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; and Father Eduardo Gonzalo Redondo, head of vocations in Cuba.

In 2007, Father Mello was appointed to the drafting commission for the final document of the Fifth Latin American Episcopal Conference held in Aparecida, Brazil. Pope Francis, who at the time was the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires and president of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference, was the head of the commission.

Pope Francis’ friendship with Archbishop Shevchuk — who represents the 22 Eastern Churches — dates back at least to 2009, when as a young auxiliary bishop Shevchuk was appointed to an eparchy in Buenos Aires.

Less is known about why the Pope chose Father Redondo. But as the National Catholic Register reported, in a 2004 interview the Cuban priest said Jesus’ plan for mankind is “revolutionary and transformative,” and that to “implement the kingdom, we must begin here and now” by first “banish[ing] the old structures.”

Absent from the list are any bishops from the United States.

Commission concerns

The release of the names of the drafting commission has increased concerns that the Youth Synod may be used as a vehicle for introducing a general acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle within the Church.

The first red flag came when the “LGBT” acronym was included in in the synod’s working document (n. 197). The Holy See has never adopted the language of the homosexual lobby in its documents, and last week on the synod floor, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told the synod fathers that such language should not be part of the synod’s final document. 

Archbishop Chaput’s intervention came just three days after Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary for the Synod of Bishops and member of the drafting commission, refused to remove the term “LGBT youth” from the synod’s working document.

This concern has been further heightened by the fact that a new Apostolic Constitution on the structure of synods, issued two weeks ago, has established that the final document of a synod, if approved by the Pope, would become part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. By implication, this could mean the acronym “LGBT” could become enshrined in the papal magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is also strengthened by the fact that a faction within the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family was already seeking to introduce a shift in the Church’s teaching on homosexuality through their interim report, releasing the document to the media before the Synod Fathers had seen or reviewed it. Archbishop Burno Forte — who has now been elected to represent Europe on the drafting commission — was publicly “outed” at the 2014 Synod as the prelate who wrote the midterm report’s heterodox section on homosexuality.  

The section of the report penned by Archbishop Forte reads:

Welcoming homosexual persons

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

While many observers are looking to the bishops of Asia and Africa for a strong defense of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality, the members of the developing world named to the drafting commission are have also raised concerns.

On the Asian front, in 2013, Cardinal Oswald Gracias was the only Church leader to publicly oppose a ruling by India’s Supreme Court to overturn a decision taken by the Delhi High Court in 2009, which had decriminalized homosexual acts.

Asked about the decision in 2015, Cardinal Gracias said:

For me it’s a question of understanding that it’s an orientation … I know there is still research being done whether it’s a matter of choice or matter of orientation and there are two opinions on this matter. But I believe that maybe people have this orientation that God has given them and for this reason they should not be ostracized from society. The Church is concerned, and if you’re Christian or Catholic and if you’re part of the Church have to have compassion, sympathy and understanding toward them.

As for Africa, Cardinal Turkson seems to have softened his position over the years in comparison to his peers. In 2012, as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Turkson told the National Catholic Register that some of the sanctions imposed on homosexuals in Africa are an “exaggeration,” but argued that the “intensity of the reaction is probably commensurate with tradition.” 

Speaking about the stigma surrounding homosexuality in Africa, the cardinal told the Register it is important to understand the reasons behind it. “Just as there’s a sense of a call for rights, there’s also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people,” he said. “So, if it’s being stigmatized, in fairness, it’s probably right to find out why it is being stigmatized.”

But just three years later, Turkson shifted his position. At the 2015 Synod on the Family, he told New Ways Ministry that, when studying in the United States in the 1970s, “science considered [homosexuality] a sickness and a disease. Over the years that evaluation has changed.”

“Other countries have to grow in the same way and it can take time," he said.

Expanding on his comments at a Vatican press briefing later that day, Cardinal Turkson added: “Every book presented homosexuality as an abnormality. Now it has changed. The books had to change their content. That shows, you must admit, that countries that do not accept [homosexuality] need further education. A lot of countries have learned but we need to let them grow and improve.”

Turkson’s remarks stand in stark contrast with those of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, who has been consistent in calling on African [and U.S.] bishops to “react” to efforts by United Nations and other Western bodies to impose a “European mentality” about homosexuality on the nations of Africa.

“This is not our culture; it’s against our faith,” Cardinal Sarah, said in 2012.

In his intervention at the 2015 Synod on the Family, Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, called gender theory and the LGBT lobby “demonic” in origin, and said they are one of the major threats to the family.

It is still unclear how much sway the newly elected members of the drafting commission will have over the contents of the synod’s final document. At a press briefing today, Mexican Cardinal Aguiar Retes, who is a member of the commission, said the “biggest challenge is to be faithful to what was discussed, to what was agreed upon in the working groups.” 

Created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016, Aguiar Retes said a key challenge is “not for it to be a final document but that it should reflect what was discussed by the bishops in a collegial way” and then “given to the hands of the Holy Father,” who could use it for his “post-synodal apostolic exhortation.” It is still unclear, however, whether or not Pope Francis has decided to issue a summary document after the synod.

Whatever the commission comes up with, according to new synod rules the final document will need to receive a two-thirds majority to be approved. Synod organizers have not yet specified, however, if the voting procedures will require the document to be voted on number by number, part by part, or even as a whole. The undersecretary for the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, has only said that final voting procedures will depend on the “form” the document takes. 

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McConnell ‘proud’ pro-abortion Murkowski is in GOP, dismisses primary challenge

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By Calvin Freiburger

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Republicans across the nation may be demanding the ouster of pro-abortion U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants her to remain in the GOP for the foreseeable future.

Murkowski was the only Senate Republican to oppose confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace retiring liberal Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. She deemed him a “good man” but not “the right person for the court at this time,” and ultimately voted “present” as a courtesy to Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, who supported Kavanaugh but had a scheduling conflict.

Murkowski was already disliked by conservatives for support of legal abortion, Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood; opposition to embryo-killing research; and her role in derailing last year’s effort to repeal Obamacare, among other grievances. Her opposition to Kavanaugh was the last straw for many, leading Trump to excoriate her, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and conservative commentator Laura Ingraham to hint that they may challenge her for the GOP nomination in 2022.

Leaders of the Republican Party of Alaska following outraged constituents are currently considering whether and how to reprimand Murkowski, the Associated Press reported. State GOP chair Tuckerman Babcock told the AP such a reprimand could range from a mere statement of disapproval all the way to pulling its official support and seeking a different GOP nominee.  

For her part, Murkowski responded by telling reporters she isn’t worried about the political fallout – confidence that appears to be reinforced by her majority leader.

"Well, she's certainly going to recover (...) She's about as strong as you could possibly be in Alaska,” McConnell said Wednesday, The Hill reported. “Nobody's gonna beat her. I'm proud she's in the Republican conference.” He added that Murkowski had previously voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch and Republican nominees to lower courts, and that the pro-abortion lawmaker enjoys “very good standing” in the Senate Republican Conference.  

In response, Conservative Review’s Chris Pandolfo criticized McConnell for downplaying the fact that Murkowski “voted to reward and embolden the Democrats’ smear tactics,” which would have done “historic harm to the Senate confirmation process.” He also noted that McConnell “permitted her to keep her committee assignments” after she ran a write-in campaign against the more conservative GOP nominee in 2010.

Many conservatives have lavished praise on McConnell for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, with McConnell himself boasting it’s the “single most important thing I've been involved in in my career” and some even suggesting he deserves more credit than Trump himself. Others have faulted the majority leader for originally urging the president to nominate a judge more moderate than either Kavanaugh or Amy Comey Barrett, and for intervention in Alabama’s special election last year that some argue ultimately helped Democrat Doug Jones get elected, thereby decreasing the Supreme Court vote’s margin for defections.

Others fault McConnell for failing to fight for conservative budget priorities such as defunding Planned Parenthood, siding with moderate Republicans over more conservative primary challengers, and telling House pro-lifers not to send the Senate stand-alone pro-life legislation because he was unwilling to change Senate rules requiring it to get 60 votes.

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Canadian Conservative leader condemns attack against pro-life woman

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By James Risdon

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

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The leader of Canada's official opposition condemned the violence against a pro-life woman who was roundhouse-kicked a week and a half ago by a pro-abortion supporter in Toronto. 

"No woman should ever fear for her safety on Canadian streets simply because of her personal convictions," tweeted Conservative leader Andrew Scheer on Friday. "I condemn this outrageous and unprovoked attack in the strongest terms."

So far, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has remained silent on the attack on this pro-lifer.

It happened on Sunday, September 30 at a Life Chain event in Toronto. In a video that's gone viral since the attack, pro-lifer Marie-Claire Bissonnette approaches Jordan Hunt on the sidewalk. They talk about abortion. 

Then, Hunt roundhouse kicks her, hitting her on the shoulder, and knocking her phone from her hands. Identified by internet sleuths and later arrested by police, he is now facing charges in connection with that attack.

Despite the viciousness of this attack against a woman, male “feminist” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been completely silent, failing to respond to a media request about it. 

The Office of the Prime Minister instead handed off the request last week to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale whose staff issued a generic condemnation of all forms of violence.

On Facebook, the Conservatives' deputy shadow minister of foreign affairs, Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan Member of Parliament Garnett Genuis has a video showing clips of both the attack on Bissonnette and another against pro-life women at Ryerson University October 1. Genuis is calling on the prime minister to take a stand.

In a video of the second attack, a member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, Gabby Skwarko, approaches Toronto Against Abortion founder Blaise Alleyne and member Katie Somers from behind.

The pro-abortion activist is seen kicking and pushing Alleyne, swinging and then throwing a metal dolly cart, and repeatedly pushing Somers, and trying to tear a backpack from her back. 

On Facebook, that attacker claims to be in a relationship with another woman, Emily Mae. In an ironic twist, she posted a message on social media in late August apparently warning students at Ryerson of the alleged threat posed by pro-lifers.

"Anti-choicers in full force on Ryerson campus," Mae warned in a Facebook message that has since been removed. "Stay safe everyone."

A little over a month later, Mae's same-sex partner was filmed attacking pro-lifers.

Conservatives are chiding Trudeau for failing to condemn this violence.

"Will Trudeau condemn the violence against these women?" Genuis asks in his video on Facebook. 

In a letter to the prime minister, Genuis tells Trudeau that "violence of this sort can have a chilling effect on public discourse. That is why, as soon as I heard about this issue, I quickly issued a public statement condemning this act."

The Conservative politician points out the prime minister's words carry a lot of weight and urges him to issue a statement to condemn these specific acts.

"Canadians need to know that the prime minister will oppose any violence against anyone, including those with whom he disagrees," writes Genuis in his letter.

On Facebook, Genuis wrote Friday he was deeply disturbed by this apparently politically-motivated violence against a woman who was expressing pro-life views.

"All politicians, whether pro-life or pro-choice, should take a clear stand against politically-motivated violence in Canada, and law enforcement must ensure that those who perpetrate these acts are held accountable," he wrote.

Both LifeSiteNews and Genuis have launched online petitions calling on Canadian political leaders to condemn this violence against pro-lifers.

At Campaign Life Coalition, the Canadian organizer of Life Chain, the lack of any direct reference to the pro-life position of these latest victims of pro-abortion violence in Scheer's condemnation has not gone unnoticed.

The leader of the Official Opposition's tweet, says Campaign Life Coalition spokesman Matthew Wojciechowski, didn’t go far enough.

“The leader of the opposition missed a great opportunity to expose what is happening in Canada - which is that pro-life speech is being stifled," said Wojciechowski. "Pro-lifers are being attacked.”

"It would go a lot further if he were to condemn this violence for what it is, violence against pro-life people, and against pro-life beliefs," he said.

In an email blast to all MPs last week, CLC urged elected officials to publicly condemn this act of violence against pro-life Canadians.

“We are pleased that some MPs such as Garnett Genuis have condemned this political violence against pro-life people. We hope they will challenge the Prime Minister on this in the House of Commons,” the email stated. 

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Google makes case against online free speech in 85-page ‘Good Censor’ briefing

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October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Internet giant Google sees itself as “The Good Censor” upholding “safety” on the internet against totally-unfettered speech, according to a leaked internal briefing of the same name obtained by Breitbart.

On Tuesday, Breitbart revealed the 85-page document, dated March 2018 and billed as a presentation on how the company can “reassure the world that it protects users from harmful content while still supporting free speech,” identifies Google, Facebook, and Twitter as “control(ling) the majority of online conversations.”

Its intended audience is unknown, but substantial production values are apparent in its graphics and visual aids, as well as its self-declared “several layers of research.” The briefing says Google consulted 35 “cultural observers” and seven “cultural leaders” from seven countries on five continents, and interviewed MIT Tech Review editor-in-chief Jason Pontin, Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer, and George Washington University cybersecurity expert Kalev Leetaru.

The briefing, which can be read in its entirety here, opens by discussing how “free speech” has “become a social, economic, and political weapon,” leading internet users to ask “if the openness of the internet should be celebrated after all.” Recent global events such as online “fake news” in the United States’ 2016 presidential election and the “rise of the alt-right” have “undermined” the original “utopian narrative” of the internet as a place for unfettered competition of ideas.

It identifies the ease, accessibility, and anonymity of online communication, as well as the ease of joining like-minded communities as wearing down social norms, reinforcing groupthink, and all-but eliminating consequences for hostile and dishonest behavior.

“The ‘little guys and girls’ can now be heard - emerging talent, revolutionaries, whistleblowers and campaigners. But ‘everyone else’ can shout loudly too - including terrorists, racists, misogynists and oppressors,” the document says. “And because ‘everything looks like the New York Times’ on the net, it’s harder to separate fact from fiction, legitimacy from illegitimacy, novelty from history, and positivity from destructivity.”

Notably, it identifies several ways tech firms have been “behaving badly,” such as “incubating fake news,” letting automated review systems innocently censor legitimate content, insufficiently explaining how their algorithms work, selective enforcement, and agreeing to help foreign governments censor their people.

But while superficially conceding several common grievances, conservatives doubt Google’s “inadvertent error” explanations in light of previous leaks of top Google insiders’ political biases, and argue that social media’s concern with selectively-defined “fake news” is a pretext for silencing truthful dissenters from conventional wisdom. Additionally, Google cites Facebook’s complicity in Turkish and Pakistani censorship, but omits its own cooperation with Chinese state censors.

Other hints of the company’s partisan leanings include listing President Donald Trump’s 2016 claim that Google searches were biased toward his competitor Hillary Clinton as a “conspiracy theory,” and placing a picture of a Trump campaign above a passage about Russian election interference.

“Tech firms are performing a balancing act between two incompatible positions,” the presentation claims: an “unmediated ‘marketplace of ideas,’” and “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.” It admits that tech companies have “gradually shifted” toward “censorship and moderation, a more “European tradition” that “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom.”

Notably, it admits that Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have shifted away from their roles as “aggregators” in favor of acting more like “editors” and “publishers.” It does not, however, address the fact that the Congressionally-granted immunity tech firms currently enjoy from liability for the content they allow – something hailed as a key to their growth early in the document – is predicated on behaving like the former instead of the later.

Ultimately, the document doesn’t decide whether companies should continue toward the European model or reverse course, but simply calls for greater transparency, better communications, and clearer rules, as well as for policing “tone instead of content” without “tak(ing) sides.”

A Google spokesperson told Breitbart the document is mere “internal research” rather than any official position, but such assurances come as little comfort to those who accuse Google, Facebook, and Twitter of discriminating against conservatives on their platforms and services.

"This story confirms our worst fear,” responded Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, who has been working to organize conservatives against online censorship. “Contrary to Google's public statements and what they have said to us in private discussions, Google is in the censorship business and apparently the lying business as well. We're going to be meeting with our coalition partners immediately and we will announce next moves very soon."

Bozell’s coalition argues that tensions between speech and abuse can be resolved by simply mirroring the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as currently interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. “That standard, the result of centuries of American jurisprudence, would enable the rightful blocking of content that threatens violence or spews obscenity, without trampling on free speech liberties that have long made the United States a beacon for freedom,” the coalition says.

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Disability Voices for Life rally at Dáil Eireann, Oct. 4, 2018. Disability Voices for Life
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Disabled Irish people beg Govt to amend abortion bill to protect unborn babies with disabilities

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By LifeSiteNews staff
TDs Carol Nolan, Michael Collins and Mattie McGrath supported parents from Disability Voices for Life at Dáil Eireann, Oct. 4, 2018. Disability Voices for Life

IRELAND, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – People living with disabilities have appealed to Ireland’s Health Minister to amend the abortion bill to ensure that abortion on disability grounds is “outlawed.” 

Otherwise, they say, their communities will be wiped out by the same abortion rates that have led to 98% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome being aborted in Denmark. 

“We need an amendment to Mr Harris’ proposal which specifically states that abortion on disability grounds will not be permitted because our communities, and our children's communities, are being wiped out by abortion,” said Michael O'Dowd, spokesman for Disability Voices for Life. 

“The eradication of people with disabilities may not be a stated objective of the abortion bill, but if politicians do not act, this will be its assured outcome. Every politician in Dáil now has the opportunity to protect people with disabilities. Please do not fail us or fail our children,” he added.

The government is currently railroading the abortion bill through the Irish Parliament after 66.4 % of citizens voted in May to repeal the country’s pro-life 8th amendment. 

Disability Voices for Life held a press event at the Molesworth Street entrance to Dáil Éireann last Thursday to make their views known.

They have written to Health Minister Simon Harris seeking a meeting on their proposed amendment to the abortion bill which reads:  “A procedure to terminate a pregnancy shall be unlawful if carried out solely on the ground that the foetus is diagnosed as having or is apprehended as having a disability."

Anne Trainer, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, told LifeSiteNews that parents could not be silent while disability communities were being eradicated by abortion. 

“It can never be said that we didn’t try our best. It can never be said that we just allowed the community our children belong to come under attack without trying to fight back and shield them. This is not over. Every life deserves protection and as a guardian for the voiceless we carry on,” she said. 

“I’m so proud of my eldest girl today came to stand by my side. Make no mistake our entire family are united in their love for Kevin and there isn’t a thing any of us wouldn’t do to protect him. The government can and must amend the bill to outlaw abortion on disability grounds.”

The group represents more than 100 parents and people living with disabilities.  

O'Dowd said that abortion on disability grounds must simply be be “outlawed.” 

"We are parents of children with disabilities, or people living with a disability, and we are asking legislators to ensure that abortion on disability grounds is outlawed in Ireland,” he said.

“Minister Simon Harris seems determined to reject any amendments to his bill, but we cannot and will not be silent on this issue,” he added.

A disability can now be detected using Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing at 10 weeks according to the National Maternity Hospital. In this scenario, pre-born children with Down syndrome are often targeted for abortion. Currently in the UK, almost half of all abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome take place under 15 weeks gestation. 

In Britain, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. In Denmark that number has now reached 98%. Speaking at the Citizen's Assembly, Dr Peter McParland of the National Maternity Hospital observed that not one baby with Down syndrome had been born in Iceland over a 4 year period. They had all been aborted. 

This trend is not confined to babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Three studies examining abortion after a prognosis of spina bifida showed that between 66% and 78% of babies were aborted across Europe. 

“It is a terrible situation where terminations are targeted at those who potentially have a trait society doesn’t like. It is a culture based on prejudice and lack of knowledge of the positive traits a person with Down syndrome brings to a family and a community,” said O'Dowd,

“Surely, as a compassionate, progressive nation, these heartbreaking outcomes should give us pause. We are simply asking our politicians, and the Irish people, to prevent this from happening in Ireland. We are asking you to protect our children’s communities. We have yet to hear one valid reason as to why the amendment we propose should not be included,” he added.

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Pro-abortion ‘handmaids’ protest outside Supreme Court on Kavanaugh’s first day

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By Calvin Freiburger

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As Justice Brett Kavanaugh assumed his seat during his first session of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, left-wing protesters outside continued their efforts to paint him as some sort of patriarchal menace.

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. He was officially sworn in hours later at a private ceremony, then publicly Monday evening at the White House.

The Associated Press depicts Kavanaugh’s first day as cordial and routine. Chief Justice John Roberts wished Kavanaugh "a long and happy career in our common calling,” the new Justice was seen chatting and shaking hands with Justice Elena Kagan, and the audience included Kavanaugh's wife and two daughters, as well as his predecessor, retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh also participated in the questioning of both sides of the case at hand, which concerned prison sentencing.

Outside the building, however, protesters showed up to continue their opposition. Some of the demonstrators wore the red robes of the 1985 novel and 2017 Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale, Breitbart notes. The fictional series depicts a dystopian future in which women are enslaved and raped to bear children for their rulers. Pro-abortion activists have seized on the show to provoke fear that legally protecting preborn babies somehow amounts to controlling women and would somehow invite further coercion.

“I’ve grown close to both Catholics and Protestants doing pro-life advocacy. Nothing shown in The Handmaid’s Tale is remotely like what pro-life Christians believe, fight for, or want to enshrine in law,” LifeSiteNews’ Claire Chretien wrote last year. “Rape, adultery, surrogacy, and the subversion of parental rights are deeply embedded in [the story’s] society. Pro-life Christians are the ones fighting against all of these evils today.”

Nevertheless, Tuesday’s protesters held signs with messages including “You Failed Your Mom,” “Believe Survivors,” “We Do Not Consent,” and “He Sits on a Throne of Lies.” They also chanted “Say it loud and say it clear, Kavanaugh’s not welcome here.” A few pre-teen children can be seen among the crowd. A police barricade prevented protesters and other civilians from ascending the building’s steps.

Left-wing demonstrations against Kavanaugh have been intense since long before Christine Blasey Ford’s sex-assault claims complicated his confirmation battle. Protesters, many sent by the “feminist” group Women’s March, frequently interrupted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings with screams. The weekend's Capitol Hill protests included sobbing, unintelligible screaming, shouts of “you are subhuman” and “we’re done being polite” directed at pro-Trump counter-protesters, shouts of “F*** YOU” and middle fingers aimed at a motorcade carrying public officials, and a group of protesters chanting “shut it down” as they pounded at – and tried to open – locked Supreme Court doors during Kavanaugh’s swearing-in.

Such incidents are the latest in a rising tide of left-wing harassment this year, 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, while other Republicans report being harassed and assaulted in the halls of Senate office buildings.

Some of these activities appear to be following the lead of prominent Democrat and pro-abortion figures. Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, has previously advised leftists to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” while Sen. Mazie Hirono refused to say Sunday that following Republicans to their homes or restaurants crosses a line.

Planned Parenthood’s Dawn Laguens and Cecile Richards encouraged their followers to “unleash your rage” and “stay angry” after Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN this week that Democrats shouldn’t be “civil” with Republicans until her party retakes Congress.

Contrary to the Handmaid protesters' narrative, how Kavanaugh will rule on abortion and contraception remains to be seen. Pro-abortion Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, says she's confident he would uphold Roe v. Wade out of reverence for judicial precedent, and while Kavanaugh sided with Priests for Life against the Obama administration's contraception mandate on the D.C. Court of Appeals, his ruling agreed that the government has a “compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of [...] religious organizations.” 

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‘I f***ing hate you’: Student vandalizes, tries to steal pro-life signs

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By Lisa Bourne

October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid a reported increase in attacks directed at the latest outreach effort of the pro-life group Created Equal, an Indiana University student attempted to steal and repeatedly vandalized the group’s signs as university officials aided the student in fleeing.

Created Equal released video Wednesday of what it’s calling the most shocking example of pro-abortion aggression toward the group in the first week of its Road Trip for Life tour on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University (IU), the first part of the Ohio pro-life group’s 40-school fall outreach.

“Our team has already faced increased violence toward property and persons,” Created Equal Executive Director Mark Harrington said.

While repeatedly hurling profane insults at a Created Equal field captain, the male IU student first tried to steal and bring to his car the group’s signs showing images of aborted children. After the field captain retrieved the signs and the pro-abortion student initially fled, he then returned to spray paint and otherwise destroy the signs, still cursing the pro-lifers.

Later, finally fleeing on his bike, the pro-abortion student stated, “You want women to be child-rearing surrogates that don’t have any rights. And I f***ing hate you.”

Arguably more disturbing than the student’s actions, Created Equal says, was the failure of IU administration officials on site to intervene.

The university had dispensed officials to the location of Created Equal’s outreach, and they were present when the student first stole the signs and tried to leave with them in his car. Before the student could take off with the signs, and Created Equal’s field captain recovered the signs from the would-be thief’s car, the car door remained open.

The first IU official shown in the video then says to the pro-abortion student in the car, “I’ll close it for you,” and shuts the door, allowing the perpetrator to flee.

The pro-abortion student returns soon thereafter with spray paint.

“He then walks from sign to sign, spray painting and breaking signs, violently throwing bungee cords and metal rods from our equipment,” Harrington explained.

The pro-life group’s team take the signs from his reach and attempt to stand in front of them, as another IU administration official says to the pro-abortion vandal, “Sir, I’d like to encourage you to stop.”

She made no actual attempts to stop him, according to Created Equal, and the group’s team leader had to call police and pursue the pro-abortion perpetrator on his own because of university administration’s failure to intervene.

The video continues with police detaining the pro-abortion student, and explaining to the Created Equal representative that they’d file for a warrant for disorderly conduct on him, and likely deal with him later. Should the perpetrator return after being warned about his disorderly conduct, the officer said, he will go immediately to jail.

Pro-life groups have reported violence directed toward their displays on campus and demonstrations in general for years, and began noting last year how violations of free speech rights for pro-life students are escalating across America beyond the vandalism of pro-life displays.

Created Equal especially noted how face-to-face confrontations initiated by pro-abortion supporters had begun escalating since the January 2017 radical Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and President Donald Trump’s preceding election victory.

The pro-life group captured pro-abortion aggression toward its representatives last fall, too.

In April 2017, a pro-abortion volunteer nearly ran down an Ohio priest after trying to steal Created Equal’s signs during a peaceful pro-life demonstration, injuring him in the process.

Last week, a pro-abortion male kicked a pro-life female in the shoulder during the annual Life Chain in Toronto, and another pro-abortion woman assaulted pro-life demonstrators in the same city.

Conservative writer Denise McAllister announced last month she would take a break from social media after getting threats of death, rape, and other sorts of violence because of a pro-life tweet she wrote.

Pro-abortion supporters have as their example leaders in the abortion industry and the political left, who call more and more for pro-life supporters and conservatives to be assailed in public and at home.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund tweeted last week to U.S. senators that it was “coming for” them if they voted to confirm then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court because of the threat his spot on the High Court is presumed to pose to Roe v. Wade.

A Minnesota special-needs teacher recently resigned after calling on Twitter for someone to murder Justice Kavanaugh.

This past June, California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters supported harassing Trump Administration officials in public.

Created Equal encourages concerned citizens to contact IU President Michael McRobbie regarding the administration’s failure to intervene and defend the rights of peaceful pro-life demonstrators when their display was attacked on the IU campus.

To respectfully express concerns to McRobbie:

812-855-4613, [email protected]

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Archbishop Chaput to Youth Synod: Developed world is ‘underdeveloped’ morally

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In his second intervention at the Youth Synod, an American archbishop lamented that the “wealthy societies of today’s world – including most notably my own – are in fact underdeveloped in their humanity” and stuck in a “moral adolescence” they seek to impose on others.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia reminded the Synod Fathers last Thursday that Jesus matured into an “adult man” and commented on the fact that developed nations are actually “underdeveloped” morally.

Chaput began his remarks with a reflection that Pope Francis had described Jesus as “eternally young” in his opening Mass homily.

“When I heard this, it reminded me of a song by the artist, Jay-Z, that was popular a few years ago,” the archbishop said. “The song was entitled ‘Forever Young,’ and it was a remake of a popular tune by the German group, Alphaville, from the 1980s. Jay-Z sang for the young – and for all of us – ‘I want to live forever and be forever young.’”

After thanking the pontiff for the “beautiful” and “powerful” image of Jesus as “forever young,” Chaput stressed that the Saviour is not, however, immature.

“The Jesus who came into the world as an infant did not end his mission as a youth,” the archbishop observed. “He matured into an adult man of courage, self-mastery, and mercy guided by justice and truth. He was a teacher both tender and forceful; understanding and patient – but also very clear about the kind of human choices and actions that would lead to God, and the kind that would not.”

Chaput then reflected that the developed world is underdeveloped morally.

“The wealthy societies of today’s world that style themselves as ‘developed’ – including most notably my own – are in fact underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others,” he said.

Chaput then gently suggested that the Instrumentum Laboris, or “working document” of the Youth Synod – which acknowledges the roots of this moral adolescence – inadequately defended Church teaching.

“The instrumentum does a good job of exploring the roots of that underdevelopment and the challenges to young people that flow from it,” Chaput said. “But it needs to be much stronger and more confident in presenting God’s Word and the person of Jesus Christ as the only path to a full and joyful humanity. And it needs to do this much earlier in the text.”

Upon its release, the Instrumentum Laboris worried a number of Catholics because of its lack of theological or doctrinal heft. St. John Paul II’s biographer George Weigel, a best-selling author, contrasted the length of the wordy document to its spiritual worth.  

“The IL [Instrumentum Laboris] is a 30,000+ word brick,” Weigel stated, “a bloated, tedious door stop full of sociologese but woefully lacking in spiritual or theological insight.”

“Moreover, and more sadly,” he added, “the IL has little to say about ‘the faith’ except to hint on numerous occasions that its authors are somewhat embarrassed by Catholic teaching – and not because that teaching has been betrayed by churchmen of various ranks, but because that teaching challenges the world’s smug sureties about, and its fanatical commitment to, the sexual revolution in all its expressions.”

The working document also mentioned “LGBT youth,” the first time the ideological phrase has ever appeared in a Vatican document.

The document’s deficiencies inspired both young American priests and young lay people living in Scotland to reaffirm their love of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

In his first intervention at the Synod, Archbishop Chaput questioned the working document’s claims that young people are “the watchmen and seismographs of every age.”   

“This is false flattery, and it masks a loss of adult trust in the continuing beauty and power of the beliefs we have received,” Chaput stated.     

“In reality, young people are too often products of the age, shaped in part by the words, the love, the confidence, and the witness of their parents and teachers, but more profoundly today by a culture that is both deeply appealing and essentially atheist,” he continued.

Chaput said then that his own generation of leaders, “in families and in the Church,” has abdicated the responsibility of “elders of the faith community” to pass on the “truth of the Gospel from age to age, undamaged by compromise or deformation.”  

Second Intervention of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the 2018 Synod on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment


In his opening Mass homily, the Holy Father described Jesus as “eternally young.” When I heard this, it reminded me of a song by the artist, Jay-Z, that was popular a few years ago. The song was entitled “Forever Young,” and it was a remake of a popular tune by the German group, Alphaville, from the 1980s. Jay-Z sang for the young – and for all of us – “I want to live forever and be forever young.”

The image of Jesus as “eternally young” is not only beautiful but powerful. As we deal with the many outside pressures on the Church today, and the problems we also face within our believing community, we need to remember that Jesus is alive and vigorous, and constantly offering his disciples an abundant new life. Thank you, Holy Father, for reminding us of that.

Of course, the Jesus who came into the world as an infant did not end his mission as a youth. He matured into an adult man of courage, self-mastery, and mercy guided by justice and truth. He was a teacher both tender and forceful; understanding and patient – but also very clear about the kind of human choices and actions that would lead to God, and the kind that would not.

The wealthy societies of today’s world that style themselves as “developed” – including most notably my own – are in fact underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others.

The instrumentum does a good job of exploring the roots of that underdevelopment and the challenges to young people that flow from it. But it needs to be much stronger and more confident in presenting God’s Word and the person of Jesus Christ as the only path to a full and joyful humanity. And it needs to do this much earlier in the text.

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Archbishop Mark Coleridge
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Catholic archbishop tweets he doesn’t ‘want or have’ Jesus as King

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By Doug Mainwaring
Screen shot of Archbishop Mark Coleridge's Oct. 7, 2018 tweet on not having or wanting Christ's Kingship.

AUSTRALIA, October 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – An Australian Archbishop indicated on social media on Sunday that he does not want or have Jesus as King in his life. 

Responding to a tweet stating that “Most people want Jesus as a consultant rather than a King,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge remarked, “Not too sure I want (or have) him as either.”

The Brisbane Archbishop’s words sparked a backlash of tweets, some of which condemned the prelate’s words, while others sought to make sure that he meant his words to be taken at face value.

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Brisbane Chancery seeking clarification, but received no reply after more than 24 hours. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke told Catholics at the Rome Life Forum in May that they must consciously place themselves under the “Kingship of Christ” in the face of enemies of the Church today who are attempting to “infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of Christ by an apostasy from the Apostolic Faith.”

“The Kingship of Christ is, by nature, universal, that is, it extends to all men, to the whole world. It is not a kingship over only the faithful or over only the things of the Church, but over all men and all of their affairs,” he said.

Archbishop Coleridge has shown himself to be an ardent supporter of Pope Francis’ agenda for the Church. He stated in 2015 that the Catholic saying “love the sinner, hate the sin” with reference to homosexuality no longer holds since the distinction “no longer communicates” “in the real world” where sexuality is “part of [your] entire being.” 

He has also argued that using the word “adultery” for remarried divorcees needs to end. He criticized the four dubia Cardinals in 2016 for searching for what he called “false clarity” amid “shades of gray.” In 2016 Coleridge’s archdiocese defended the staging of a sexually charged, explicitly anti-Christian ballet and fashion show in a Catholic church.

He recently made derisive comments against Archbishop Viganò, suggesting that the Vatican whistleblower thinks he’d make a better pope than Francis. 

Reaction to Coleridge’s comment was swift on social media, with some even wondering if his account may have been hacked.  

Is this Abp Coleridge's authentic Twitter page? asked Church Militant’s Christine Niles. “I find it unbelievable that an archbishop would make this statement. Please clarify.”

Others were also understandably incredulous:  “Archbishop, if your statement is being misunderstood, please, please clarify.” 

One person quickly countered Archbishop Coleridge’s words by quoting Pope Pius XI: “He must reign in our our wills...He must reign in our hearts which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone.”

Others interpreted the prelate’s words to be blasphemous:

“I had to come and see this blasphemy for myself...I didn’t think it could possibly be real,” said Michael Kramer. “Anyone with any doubt that there are two distinct religions claiming to be the Catholic is your proof…”

Some interpreted the Archbishop’s refusal to explain himself as scandalous:

“The heartbreak this causes is unspeakable.  A bishop who does not want or seek the kingship of Christ?  SHAME ON YOU.  MAKE A PUBLIC ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART NOW.”

“What do you do on the Feast day of Christ the King?” asked Antonio Carrabino.

“The devil doesn’t want Jesus as a friend or king either…” declared Tyler Marie.

As of press time, no public explanations have been forthcoming from the Brisbane Chancery, leaving the public stunned at Archbishop Coleridge’s strange declaration.

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Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio Andreas Solaro / Getty Images

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Source: Vatican cardinal was at drug-fueled homosexual party, and Pope knows it

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a close collaborator of Pope Francis, was present at the homosexual drug-fuelled party raided by the Vatican police in the summer of 2017 at which his secretary, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, was arrested.

A highly-placed Vatican source with direct knowledge, who must remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, tells LifeSite that the Pope himself knows of Coccopalmerio’s presence at the party. The party took place in an apartment in the building of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Coccopalmerio was head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts until his retirement in April.

The same Vatican source spoke in more depth in a private meeting this summer with a group of priests, three of whom spoke to LifeSite about it.

One of these priests told LifeSite that according to the Vatican source, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, 80, was not only an attendee. The source said “in fact, that he ‘was presiding’ over it when the Vatican Gendarmes broke in, and that they instructed him to absent himself before they started making arrests,” according to the priest.

Another priest who was at the private meeting said the Vatican source “stated clearly to me and a number of others that, when the police raided the apartment and arrested Capozzi, Cardinal Coccopalmerio was actually present at the orgy.” He was then told by the police to leave “immediately.” This priest added that the source “gave us to understand that Coccopalmerio is a practicing homosexual.”

A third priest told LifeSite that he “heard in an informal conversation in the presence of other priests from a high-ranking cleric within the Roman Curia” that at the reported 'homosexual orgy' “said Cardinal was present and quickly whisked away by Vatican police.”

As LifeSiteNews reported earlier, Pope Francis himself insisted that Monsignor Capozzi be given that apartment in the CDF building, instead of the secretary of the then-prefect for the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

Coccopalmerio has spoken in the past about the “positive realities” that can be found in homosexual relationships. Prior to working in the Vatican he was an auxiliary bishop of Milan under Cardinal Carlo Martini. He said in a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora: “If I meet a homosexual couple, I notice immediately that their relationship is illicit: the doctrine says this, which I reaffirm with absolute certainty. However, if I stop at the doctrine, I don’t look anymore at the persons. But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example ... then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them. It is to be objective and objectively recognize the positive [parts] of a certain relationship, of itself illicit.”

The cardinal’s reduction of moral truth to a vague notional status (an “ideal”), with no necessary bearing on conduct, is the same as Pope Francis' approach in his post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Accordingly, Coccopalmerio is a strong supporter of Amoris Laetitia. He wrote a booklet titled The eighth Chapter of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia praising the more lenient attitude toward “remarried divorcees.” Holy Communion, insisted the cardinal, “must be given” to them.

Benjamin Leven, a German theologian and editor of the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, explains in the October 2018 issue of that journal that, according to his own sources, it was Cardinal Coccopalmerio who approached the Pope in favor of the child abuser Don Mauro Inzoli in order to have him partially reinstated as priest. As Leven puts it, in this incident Coccopalmerio played here “not a good role.” This cardinal, Leven continues, is known in Rome for generally opposing the removal of culprit priests from the priesthood, which for him is a sort of “death penalty.”

In light of these new revelations, the fact that the roof of St. Joseph the Carpenter Church, Coccopalmerio's own titular Church in Rome, collapsed in August 2018 might gain further significance.

RELATED: Pope knowingly gave Vatican apartment to gay priest later caught in cocaine-fuelled orgy

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South Carolina House upholds veto of Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood

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By Calvin Freiburger

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The South Carolina House of Representatives has voted to uphold Republican Gov. Henry McMaster’s line-item veto of millions in federal “family planning” funds, preventing a portion of that money from going to abortion facilities.

In July, McMaster used his line-item veto to strip about $15.8 million in “family planning” dollars from the $8 billion budget, some of which would have gone to facilities involved in abortions and about $100,000 specifically to Planned Parenthood locations. He also issued an executive order disqualifying abortion facilities as Medicaid providers.

“There are a variety of agencies, clinics, and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding to offer important women's health and family planning services without offering abortions,” he explained at the time. Abortion supporters objected that the move would also affect clinics that weren’t involved in abortions, but McMaster ordered that non-abortion family planning services continue to be supported with state rather than federal money.

Last week, Greenville News reports, the state House voted 77-31 to uphold his veto, which covered a combination of just under $14 million in federal funds and about $2.2 million in state money. As a result, the state health department will cover non-abortion family planning services out of its $231 million reserve fund.

“The governor has taken decisive steps to ensure that every family-planning provider in this state that does not provide abortions can keep their funding,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes says.

Democrats and abortion advocates denounced the vote. Rep. James Smith, who is running against McMaster for governor, accused him of “playing with the lives of thousands of South Carolinians who need access to family-planning services.” Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic spokeswoman Vicki Ringer claimed the veto punishes people who come to the abortion giant “for quality health care” rather than “to make a political statement.”

Abortion advocates insist that tax dollars to abortion-involved facilities for other purposes don’t support abortions, but pro-lifers warn that such subsidies ultimately enable abortion groups to commit more abortions by freeing up money from their other revenue services. Duke University healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimated in 2015 that taxpayers ultimately cover almost 25% of all abortion costs.

Additionally, legitimate providers of women’s health services dwarf abortion-involved facilities across the country. As of 2015, federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics outnumbered Planned Parenthood facilities 268 to 2 in South Carolina. Today, Planned Parenthood still has just two locations in the Palmetto state. lists a total of four abortion centers in South Carolina.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic is also suing to block the order excluding it from Medicaid. The state is currently appealing a judge’s preliminary injunction against the order, with Symmes saying that McMaster vows to “fight the lawsuit as hard as he can because he doesn’t think taxpayer money should go to anyone who provides abortions.”

“We commend Gov. McMaster for not only keeping his promise to protect innocent human life in South Carolina but also keeping his promise to taxpayers of South Carolina who should not be forced to fund agencies that destroy human life,” South Carolina Citizens for Life president Lisa Van Riper said. “Abortion is not health care. Abortion is an act of violence that kills an unborn member of our human family.”

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Vatican Life Academy tells Catholics to ‘stop gossip, trust Holy See’ on abuse crisis

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By Lisa Bourne

October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The gutted and repurposed Vatican Academy for Life admonished Catholics over the weekend to cut the “gossip” on the Church’s sexual abuse scandal and trust the Vatican’s handling of the crisis.

Responding via Twitter to the October 6 Vatican Press Office Communiqué saying Pope Francis is and has been taking care of the Archbishop Theodore McCarrick sexual predation scandal, the Pontifical Academy for Life gave assurances by way of a three-year-old quote from the pope that the truth of the McCarrick scandal would indeed be attained.

“McCarrick: @HolySeePress: “We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,” the PAV said, then emphatically stating: “Now STOP gossip, TRUST Holy See.” 

Catholics continue to call for accountability in the sexual abuse crisis among Church hierarchy at all levels in the wake of months of abuse revelations, between the McCarrick crisis – first breaking June 20 with credible substantiate allegations McCarrick abused a male minor decades ago, followed by numerous subsequent accusations against the disgraced cardinal, and with the Pennsylvania grand jury report released August 14 detailing 70 years of sexual abuse by some 300 priests in six dioceses there.

Gossip” in various forms has been criticized during the Francis papacy by the pope and his close collaborators.

The Vatican statement comes 108 days after McCarrick’s removal from public ministry and says Francis had first ordered the Archdiocese of New York to conduct an investigation of accused abuser McCarrick in September of last year. 

The results of this “preliminary” investigation would be combined with “a further thorough study” of the documentation on McCarrick in the Holy See’s possession, the statement said, and “the Holy See will, in due course, make known the conclusion in the matter.”  

The “path of truth” remark in the Vatican Communiqué and Pontifical Academy for Life tweet refers to a statement Francis made to abuse survivors while in Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the archbishop who commissioned a homoerotic mural for his cathedral, heads the Pontifical Academy for Life (La Pontificia Accademia per la Vita/the PAV).

Paglia paid a homosexual artist to paint a homoerotic mural in his cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia in 2007. The mural includes an image of a half-naked Paglia himself. It portrays Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes and drug dealers, tangled together in erotic interactions. Paglia, then diocesan bishop, is one of the tangled, netted figures. The image of Christ is painted with the face of a local male hairdresser, with his private parts visible through his translucent clothing.

The October 6 Vatican Communiqué about which Paglia’s PAV tweeted, and in which Francis promises to follow the path of truth to a thorough look into Vatican documents on McCarrick comes 42 days after former U.S. papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s explosive testimony implicating the pope and other senior Church prelates with covering up for McCarrick.

Francis initially said he would not say “a word” about Viganò’s bombshell testimony, then continually took repeated apparent shots at the former apostolic nuncio via his daily Mass homilies, referencing a “Great Accuser” – another moniker for Satan – who attacked bishops and aimed to divide the Church.

Paglia is named in Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony, along with Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, as part of the Vatican’s “homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.”

Coccopalmerio, former head of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts and a close collaborator of the pope, is tied through his then-secretary to a cocaine-fueled gay orgy in a Vatican apartment that was broken up in a raid by Vatican police last year. Pope Francis obtained the privileged apartment for Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, despite his having been warned about Luigi’s grave problems. Francis saw to it that Cocopalmerio’s secretary got the apartment, even after then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) Cardinal Gerhard Müller had tried to get the apartment for one of his secretaries, because of its proximity to the CDF.

Coccopalmerio said in a 2014 interview that Catholic leaders must “emphasize” the “positive realities” that he said are present in homosexual relationships

Paglia was appointed by Pope Francis to attend the Synod on Youth taking place currently in Rome, along with a number of other bishops who have either been accused by Vigano of covering for clergy sex abusers or are otherwise suspected of mishandling abuse claims. 

The October 6 Communiqué, which is attributed to Francis, has him also again attributing clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up to clericalism. 

The pope has in the past blamed the clerical sex abuse crisis on clericalism as well – though it’s not clear just how inordinate deference to clergy prompts priestly sexual abuse or homosexual predation among clergy. It is also not clear how abuse of clerical power adequately explains rampant abuse or its cover-up. This diagnosis of the sex abuse crisis has netted consistent criticism.

In earlier times the PAV had for a mandate the preservation of the sanctity of human life, and required its members to sign a declaration that they uphold the Catholic Church’s teaching on life.

Pope Francis, however, gutted the Academy last year of its members who were appointed by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. These were appointed because of their pro-life and family credentials. The new academy has dropped the requirement for members to pledge fidelity to the Church’s pro-life teaching. 

He also added new members who do not support the Church’s teaching on birth control and abortion, and altered the Academy’s mandate to include immigration, the environment and arms control.

Paglia has defended appointing pro-abortion members to the Academy for Life.

Pope St. John Paul II and Professor Jerome Lejeune founded the PAV in 1994 to promote and defend life in the particular areas of bioethics and Catholic moral theology. Its founding mission had encompassed the areas of procreation, in vitro fertilization, gene therapy, euthanasia and abortion.

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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VICTORY: UK Supreme Court unanimously sides with Christians’ refusal to bake gay ‘marriage’ cake

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

BELFAST, UK, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian family-owned bakery has successfully appealed a judgment that it was guilty of discriminating against an LGBT activist by not baking a cake supporting same-sex “marriage.” 

The five judges of the UK Supreme Court, which met in Belfast this morning, were unanimous that the McArthurs’ Ashers Baking Company had not discriminated against a customer because of his sexual orientation and political beliefs. 

The judges emphasized the importance of the right to freedom from forced speech.

“The rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to freedom of expression were clearly engaged by this case…,” the Justices wrote. 

“They include the right not to be obliged to manifest beliefs one does not hold…,” they added.

Ashers Baking Co had been at the heart of a lawsuit brought by LGBT activist Gareth Lee. In May  2014, Lee requested a cake featuring the Sesame Street characters Ernie and Bert and the motto “Support Gay Marriage.” Although the order was initially accepted by the manager’s mother who did not wish to make a scene, Ashers canceled the order two days later. 

The business stated that making the cake would be contrary to their religious beliefs. 

Daniel and Amy McArthur and Daniel’s parents Karen and Colin McArthur, the owners of Ashers, are Christians. Of all the nations that comprise the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has most retained its Christian identity and only male-female marriages are contracted there. 

The UK’s Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, acting on behalf of Gareth Lee, wrote to the bakery demanding compensation for the customer and then took the business to court. 

In March 2015, the case was heard, with Lee testifying that the refusal to bake his cake had made him feel like a “lesser person”.  Daniel and Amy McArthur, the young married couple who run Ashers, argued that they had not turned down the order because of the customer but because of the message itself. Ashers and its owners were found guilty of discrimination and fined £500. 

The McArthurs appealed, but after losing their appeal, they took their case to the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court. They were supported by The Christian Institute charity, which has spent more than £200,000 on the case. The Equality Commission has spent more than £250,000 of tax revenue on legal fees. 

In their decision today, the Supreme Court Justices found that Ashers “did not refuse to fulfil Mr Lee’s order because of his actual or perceived sexual orientation. The objection was to the message on the cake, not any personal characteristics of the messenger, or anyone with whom he was associated.” 

“The McArthurs could not refuse to provide their products to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or because he supported gay marriage, but that was different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed…” they wrote.  

Daniel McArthur said today that the ruling today would make many people happy because it protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone. 

“We’re particularly pleased that the Supreme Court emphatically accepted what we’ve said all along, we did not turn down this order because of the person who made it but because of the message itself,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. 

“The judges have given a clear signal today… Family businesses like ours are free to focus on giving all their customers the best service they can without being forced to promote other people’s campaigns.”  

Ashers Baking Co, now a chain of nine shops and cafes, is named for the Biblical family of Asher. 

"The name of the bakery comes from a verse in the Book of Genesis which my father read when he was about 15,” Daniel McArthur told the Belfast Telegraph in 2016.  

“It says 'Out of Asher his bread shall be fat and he shall yield royal dainties'. His father and grandfather had been bakers based in Sandy Row in Belfast, and my father decided that if ever he ran his own bakery he would call it Ashers after that tribe of Israel," he said. 

McArthur told reporters today that he was grateful to the judges and grateful to God for the ruling. 

He said that he and his family were glad the long ordeal was over and that he was sure Mr. Lee was, too. McArthur assured the public that Mr. Lee will "always be welcome in any of our shops."

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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne


CBC ignores viral video of man kicking pro-life woman

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By Lianne Laurence

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

TORONTO, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Anyone relying on Canada’s state broadcaster for news would have missed one of last week’s most explosive stories.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) has not gone near a video of a Toronto man roundhouse-kicking a pro-life woman that has gone viral and received intense social and international media attention.

Filmed by Campaign Life Coalition youth coordinator Marie-Claire Bissonnette, the riveting 46-second clip depicts Jordan Hunt abruptly assaulting her during Life Chain on September 30.

It has been viewed more than four million times since LifeSiteNews posted it online last Tuesday, along with Bissonnette’s account of the incident.

It has been covered by the Washington Post, Newsweek, Huffington Post,, Canadian Press, National Post, the U.K.’s Independent and Daily Mail, to name a few.

It was also widely reported by local media: Global, City News, CTV, the Toronto Star, and the Toronto Sun.

Moreover, the video provoked fierce discussion across social media, trending within 24 hours on Toronto Reddit.

It spawned a troll Twitter account, and initiated a hunt for Hunt, who was identified by Wednesday and promptly lost his job at a Toronto hair salon.

Hunt, 26, turned himself in, and is charged with nine counts of assault (one from an incident this summer) and seven of mischief. He’s out on bail until his first court date in November.

Where was CBC?

It did cover the story Sunday: a 226-word account that doesn’t mention the video, or name Hunt, identified in a police media release Saturday.

But before CBC media relations sent LifeSiteNews a link to this story, LifeSiteNews contacted CBC News Toronto on Tuesday to ask why the publicly funded broadcaster had not yet covered the now-massive story.

A top producer said they had checked into the story’s legitimacy but decided against covering it.

CBC has “journalistic practices and standards. Not every news organization in Toronto has that, but as the public broadcaster, we do. So I would have had to have seen the video to verify it as well,” she said.

“We have a bar to meet. Just because a video goes viral doesn’t mean it becomes news and that we cover it,” added the producer.

However, CBC has run stories about viral videos, as this sampling shows: Halifax cartoonist's searing take on the Kavanaugh hearings goes viral; University of Guelph prof faces assault charges after video surfaces; Canadian video debunking fake online health claims becomes viral hit; 'Guy on a Buffalo' saddles up for viral video fame on Kananaskis ranch.

Moreover, the producer suggested the video going viral was orchestrated.

“It went viral because they were making it go viral. They were sending it to everybody, and trying to get coverage for it,” she told LifeSiteNews.

She also had doubts about Hunt’s legitimacy as a bona fide assailant.

“And this man, I’m not really sure the man who assaulted her, he did not seem very stable. I’m not really clear that he was just some random person on the street. He seemed a little unstable to me; I don’t have proof of that,” she added.

The producer also said CBC was pressured to cover the story.

“I know there was Twitter outrage, where the woman who was assaulted was demanding we cover it because we are the public broadcaster,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“And we don’t do stories just because someone demands we cover something.”

However, Bissonnette doesn’t have a Twitter account, nor did CLC Youth or Campaign Life Coalition tweet out “demands” that CBC cover the story.

There was one tweet from CBC opinion writer Robyn Urback that appeared to support Bissonnette:

When LifeSiteNews asked the producer for her name, she gave it, but then stated she was not speaking on the record.

“This is not official,” she said. “You can’t call up a media and ask me to go on record, without telling me you have me on record. That’s completely unprofessional.”

“So when I say I’m a reporter, you obviously don’t think … ,” responded LifeSiteNews.

“I’m trying to help you to understand and give you a reason why the story wasn’t covered by us. We looked into the story, we looked into the legitimacy of the story … ,” she said.

“OK, wait, stop, stop,” broke in LifeSiteNews. “Can we go on record now? Can you go on record?”

“No, I’m hanging up, ma’am. Sorry,” she said.

LifeSiteNews then contacted CBC public affairs.

Chuck Thompson, head of CBC public affairs, sent LifeSiteNews the link to the story CBC has done.

“CBC News (Toronto) discussed whether to add the video but, in the end, decided against including it because they weren’t sure whether they would follow this case to resolution,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“By way of background, CBC News doesn’t typically name the accused if they aren’t going to follow a trial to its completion. In this case, they felt that the video would have identified the individual and didn’t name him in the copy,” Thompson wrote.

“I should also note that only about 10 percent of our stories have video added to the file,” he added.

“With every story we do, CBC News always strives for fairness and balance and this story was no exception,” Thompson wrote.

Campaign Life Coalition will publish its view of CBC’s performance in the days ahead.

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Fr. Ansgar Wucherpfennig / video screen grab
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Vatican refuses to approve pro-homosexual Jesuit as university rector, German theologians outraged

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By Maike Hickson

October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A seemingly paradoxical situation is emerging in the Catholic Church. While the Youth Synod in Rome for the first time officially speaks about “LGBT Youth,” the Congregation for Catholic Education (CCE) has now sent a letter to Germany, instructing the Sankt Georgen Jesuit Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt that it does not give the Nihil obstat for the re-election of its rector, Professor Ansgar Wucherpfennig, S.J. This priest had made pro-homosexual comments and says he was encouraged by Pope Francis to do so.

Every major German newspaper, as well as the Catholic press, is now reporting on this event, which gains momentum by the immense opposition that is coming from the progressive camp in the Church against this CCE decision., the website of the German bishops, shows an especially intense indignation toward the CCE gesture and initiative.

As the Frankfurter Rundschau reported on 7 October, Wucherpfennig had informed the College about the June 2018 letter from the CCE, where Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi has been Prefect since 2015, which was addressed to the superior general of the Society of Jesus. In this letter, the CCE refuses to give approval (“Nihil obstat” – “nothing stands in the way”) to the re-election of Wucherpfennig as the rector of this theological-philosophical Jesuit college. That election had taken place already in February of 2018. The CCE asked the Jesuit priest – who has been the college's rector for four years – to recant publicly certain statements he had made two years earlier, especially about homosexuality and about female deacons.

As he explained in a 9 October interview, Wucherpfennig relied in his statements upon Pope Francis' own similarly liberalizing words about homosexuals. “I relied on that [the papal statements], I had started to think more about this and to develop accordingly a pastoral care and also a theology. And I cannot understand why this is now being thwarted, and that by closest collaborators of the Vatican.” He hopes that the Vatican will change its mind. 

In 2016, Wucherpfennig had given a 14 October interview to the Frankfurter Neue Presse, in which he had made some favorable comments about homosexuality. In the context of his having already blessed some homosexual couples, and in light of the Church's “negative attitude toward homosexuals,” the Jesuit priest then said: “My impression is that they are deep-seated passages in the Bible that are formulated in a partially misleading way. For example in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans. Homosexual relationships in antiquity were relationships with strong dependencies and servility.” “Love,” he continued, “should be a free, egalitarian relationship, not one with a disparity. My thesis is that that is what St. Paul really wanted to say.”

Wucherpfennig also said that he opposed the rule of excluding the “remarried” divorcees from Holy Communion, and he showed himself open to discussing the matter of celibacy. For him, “the male societies that have established themselves in the Catholic Church with the help of celibacy” are “problematic.” 

It is in this context that the German priest proposes that good changes would come “when celibacy would be abolished  and also other conditions for the priesthood.” For him, Pope Francis' idea to reflect upon the female diaconate is not enough: “Is it good that only men can administer the Sacrament of Penance – that is to say, the reconciliation with God?” In Wucherpfennig's eyes, “that strongly limits the possibilities of conversations unto reconciliation. Here, I have serious questions.” 

When pressed, in September of 2018, to recant these statements, Wucherpfennig refused to do so, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau, which quotes passages from his response to the CCE.  The Jesuit priest – who as a pastoral assistant to homosexuals in Frankfurt argues in favor of more acceptance of homosexuals in the Church – replied that the “harsh rejection of same-sex partners is very wounding for those concerned” who are often “deeply rooted in the Catholic Church.” “Not against my own convictions” will he act, was the priest's reply to the CCE. He considers the objections of Rome to be a “misunderstanding of some of my statements, with which I am standing fully on the foundation of Catholic doctrine.” Thus, Wucherpfennig had still hoped to receive from the CCE the necessary Church's Nihil obstat

It is not clear who brought this conflict to the attention of the media.

However, Professor Wucherpfennig now has the full support of his superior. Father Johannes Siebner, the Jesuit provincial of Germany, shows himself to be “taken aback” by the CCE's stern procedure. “For me, there is not the slightest doubt as to Father Wucherpfennig's expertise, his loyalty, and with it also his fitness for the office of rector.” Siebner also hopes for a change of attitude on the side of Rome, pointing to Pope Francis' own lenient remarks on homosexuality. Siebner stresses that this is a “struggle about statements that are two years old, which, in their substance, today could also come from the Pope himself.”

Without the Church's Nihil obstat, Wucherpfennig is not permitted any more to be the rector of the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology. The official end of his term was 1 October 2018. Since the official start of the semester is 15 October, Father Wucherpfennig still has a sort of merciful “reprieve,” according to the German newspaper. As reports on 10 October, the Vatican stated to the press that the case of Wucherpfennig is still being evaluated.

Quoting an unnamed source, the Frankfurter Rundschau points to “structures” in Rome that are now coming into play that are the same ones that have already been pivotal “in the sex abuse scandal.” The Church's leadership obviously “still doesn't get it,” says the source which is close to the current situation.

Johannes zu Eltz, the Dean of the Church in Frankfurt – which is a highly influential position – also defends Wucherpfennig. He calls the priest “an honest priest and an incorruptible academic.” “The questioning of his integrity and his utterly unjustified punishment pain me,” he adds. In his eyes, the CCE is here also violating the “principle of subsidiarity,” since both the local bishop – Bishop Georg Bätzing – as well as the leadership of the Jesuits had endorsed the re-election of Wucherpfennig. Rome has here ignored their rights, in zu Eltz' eyes. “How more stupid can it still get?” asks the prelate.

Johannes zu Eltz has worked closely with Wucherpfennig on the question of the Church's attitude toward homosexuals.

As LifeSiteNews reported in 2015, these two men were involved in a process of developing a special liturgical blessing for homosexual couples in the Diocese of Limburg. As the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung pointed out at the time: “Wucherpfennig said that he had already blessed homosexual couples, as did other priests, too, but not in a public service. It needs a special sensitivity in order to establish a specific ritual [for the blessing of homosexuals].” Zu Eltz played a pivotal role in this new project, publicly announcing “a first discussion about a Church blessing and ceremony for homosexuals.” He then called it a “question of justice which one cannot suppress.”

Zu Eltz also was a key man in building up a resistance against the Ratzingerian Bishop Franz Peter von Tebartz-van Elst who himself, already in 2008, had strongly opposed the blessing of a homosexual couple by a local priest, Peter Kollas. Kollas had blessed the couple in the Dome of Wetzlar and he was subsequently removed from his position as provincial Dean, even though he remained in his position as the pastor.

At the time of the resistance against Tebartz-van Elst, Johannes zu Eltz – who played a prominent role in that struggle – made it clear that this conflict was mainly a “struggle for the course of the Church in Germany, in which our bishop plays an important role.” As can now be seen – in the fact that the new bishop is supporting Wucherpfennig –  zu Eltz seems to have received that which he wished for. Tebartz-van Elst had been removed from his position as the Bishop of Limburg by Pope Francis in 2013 due to claims that he had spent too much money on the restoration of a set of historical buildings. But observers such as Christian Scheh (writing for the German outlet Vatikan Magazin) pointed out at the time the bishop's attempt to root out some strong modernist phenomena occurring in his diocese. 

To return to Father Wucherpfennig himself, in a June 2018 article for the Jesuit journal Stimmen der Zeit, he once more promoted the idea of blessing homosexual couples. Referring to Johannes zu Eltz and his January 2018 announcement to discuss such a blessing, the priest points out that the idea is to “make possible a Church ceremony” for those who are canonically excluded from a Church wedding. Here, the “remarried” divorCCEs are now also to be included. This new rite would, according  to Wucherpfennig, not be part of the Sacraments, not “the high form of a Sacrament,” but still would “thank God and ask Him for His blessing.” In that same essay, the Jesuit priest also repeats his doubts about the real meaning of the passages in the Bible about homosexuality. He states that “none of the biblical passages presents homosexuality with today's understanding,” adding that, “in any event, the Bible does not know homosexuality as an opposing concept with regard to heterosexuality.” Wucherpfennig goes on in detail through certain passages (Rom 1:27, 2:1; 3:23sq.) in order to show, supposedly, that there is not any talk about homosexual “love” but only talk of “desires” and that Jesus really welcomes and blesses everybody – even the children who apparently represent for Wucherpfennig those who “count for nothing in society.” It is in this context that he supports the idea of the diocesan initiative to include a blessing of homosexual couples.

In order to grasp the extent of the progressivist indignation against the effective censorship of such ideas by the CCE, one may read what Gudrun Lux writes on For her, the removal of Wucherpfennig from his position of rector – nota bene, his own teaching license has not been removed by the CCE – is an “end to freedom” which will, in the end, “render theology as an academic discipline irrelevant.” Lux encourages resistance against Rome. “I wish for us that the leadership of the diocese and of the order [Jesuit Order] remains steadfast,” she comments. For her, Wucherpfennig's comments on the blessing of homosexuals “is not a scandal.” Also one may see that the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), whose member she is, “is in favor of the recognition of same-sex partnerships and their blessing.”

The German grass-root movement Wir sind Kirche (We are Church), in an 8 October press release, goes even so far as to call upon the German Bishops' Conference to resist the CCE which wishes to “implement anew their reactionary ideas with authoritarian methods, to the detriment of the Universal Church.”

Further support for Wucherpfennig now comes also from his superior in the Jesuit Order. In a 9 October interview, Father Siebner stresses that the whole process has not yet been concluded and that the Nihil obstat “has not yet finally been denied.” He regrets that Wucherpfennig has not even yet had a fair hearing in the matter.

Siebner also reveals that the CCE had asked Wucherpfennig to declare in public – best in the form of a similar interview –  “that he now accepts, in accordance with the Church's teaching, that the priesthood is reserved only for men and [that he accepts] the doctrine concerning the moral assessment of homosexual acts.” Says Siebner: “I answered back, saying that such an interview is not possible without creating a scandal. And that I certainly will not try to influence Wucherpfennig in this manner.”

Several German bishops have expressed their support for the former rector of the Jesuit college, in addition to the Diocese of Limburg, these are the Dioceses of Hildesheim and Osnabrück. Several priests from Frankfurt, led by Father Werner Otto, have written an open letter of protest against the CCE decision, saying that Wucherpfennig's statements are in accordance with the Church's teaching.

Commenting on this current discussion in Germany, Mathias von Gersdorff – a German pro-life activist and book author – says that these new statements “show once more how certain ecclesial circles in Germany are willing to ignore the Catholic Magisterium and the praxis of the Universal Church, in order to take a “German separate path” [“Deutscher Sonderweg”].” His conclusion is that “the progressivists are determined to implement their agenda.”

Some observers wonder about the timing of this new conflict concerning the matter of homosexuality and point to the fact that in 2015, at the beginning of the second Synod of Bishops on the Family, Father Krzysztof Charamsa, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, himself had come out as a homosexual priest.

The question is now what Pope Francis himself will do, now that the Vatican is being accused of “wounding homosexuals,” in the words of Father Wucherpfennig. It is to be expected that the progressivist German bishops – among them Cardinal Reinhard Marx himself – who are currently at the Youth Synod will try to influence him. The Sankt Georgen College is the college where Pope Francis had once studied for his dissertation as a younger Jesuit priest.

As LifeSiteNews had reported in March 2018, a French priest claims that Pope Francis had encouraged him in his own blessing of homosexual couples. 

Therefore, this conflict – right in the middle of the Synod on the Youth – might turn out to be a further test for this pontificate. 

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Pope Francis arrives to attend an ecumenical prayer at the Patriarchal Church of St. George Istanbul, Turkey 30 November 2014.
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Why Pope Francis’ method of ‘discernment’ could lead souls away from God

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

October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – We hear a lot of talk from the nucleus of postconciliarism, Pope Francis, and the cloud of Jesuit electrons that orbit him, on the theme of “discernment”: the need for a new discernment in today’s world; for discernment of the needs of youths, minorities, immigrants, women, or what have you; for discerning the surprising ways of the “God of surprises” in a Church still ossified with too much tradition (as if there were much left!).

One of the most perceptive Catholic commentators, James Kalb, published a brilliant article at Crisis on October 3 called “The Pope as Supreme Being,” in which he pointed out the pitfalls of a subjectivist and absolutist reliance on a process of so-called “discernment,” unmoored from rock-solid principles on which it must rest. The danger is all the more pressing when the one calling the shots for the worldwide Church sees himself as—and is lauded by his adulatory supporters as—free from constraints, whether it be the teaching of Scripture and Tradition, the witness of his predecessors and of all the Councils (not just the last one), or the doctrine of the great theologians.

The problem with making an airy appeal to St. Ignatius of Loyola and his emphasis on discernment of spirits is that St. Ignatius himself would have been the first to disown moral and doctrinal subjectivism and an absolutism of authority. His Spiritual Exercises are firmly grounded in immovable first principles, as any science must be if it is going to reach true conclusions, or any art if it is going to produce useful and beautiful works. The “room” needed for individual application is opened up by the power of the principles themselves, which, as long as they are adhered to, ensure that discerner will never stray beyond the boundaries of the Faith.

Let me offer a concrete image of what I am talking about. The art of navigation involves four elements: a set destination; a proposed path for reaching it, based on a good map; a knowledge of how to find the path “in the wild” by determining where one is in reference to fixed points; and an attentive knowledge of surroundings and changing circumstances. Navigation would be impossible if there were not fixed compass points and fixed features like the stars.

In the Catholic Faith, the destination is given to us already by Our Lord Jesus Christ: eternal life with Him. We reach this goal by a living faith in His Passion, into which we enter by the sacraments of His Church and ongoing conversion of life in prayer and good works. Our map is the Catholic Faith as taught by the Fathers, Doctors, Councils, and Popes, which hundreds of catechisms reliably sum up (it requires no doctorate to learn the Baltimore Catechism and live by it). Our four compass points—the north, south, east, and west of our spiritual globe—are Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the authentic Magisterium, and the lives of the saints. It is always with reference to these compass points that we can make our way confidently across whatever stormy seas lie between our current position and our destined port.

Notice how the work of “discernment” concerns only one of the four elements of navigation: attentive knowledge of and reaction to surroundings and circumstances. The goal, the way, the map, the objective requirements of navigation—all these are not matters of flexible assessment but matters of authoritative knowledge based on givens. Without those givens, the entire project is over and done. It would be easier for a ship to reach a harbor by setting out in a random direction on the Atlantic than for a Christian to reach heaven by means of a path not already plotted out, as it were, according the givens of our Faith.

And that brings us back to the problem of the modern (not traditional) Jesuit conception of discernment. For here we are dealing with a vision in which the ultimate goal of the Christian life is itself unclear: is it eternal life in heaven, or worldly goals like environmentalism, immigration, international peace? The way, too, is unclear: is faith in Christ and membership in His Church necessary for salvation, or is it all about, let’s say, good will, camaraderie, the search for a “transcendent Other”? The map has been, at best, ignored, at worst, run through the shredder since the Second Vatican Council, and few there are who make any reference to it—or worse, an attempt is made to rewrite the map

Worst of all, those entrusted with navigating the vessel seem to think they can make their way without consistent and continual reference to the fixed points of the spiritual compass, as they dismiss major teachings of Scripture, jettison ecclesiastical and even apostolic traditions, turn a deaf ear to the great Councils of the Church (such as the Council of Trent, the most doctrinally substantive of all of them), and replace the great cloud of witnesses of unequivocally Catholic saints with the cloudy witness of more recent “saints” who are fast-tracked to canonization in order to legitimize this modern style of navigating, which, in reality, should be seen for what it is: the criminal negligence of drunken captains.

There is no discernment of spirits when the principles of discernment are up for grabs and always shifting. Indeed, one cannot help wondering which “spirits” such an anti-methodical method will end up following. The infernal spirits are those who have failed to attain the supernatural end for which they were created;  who are banished to the outer darkness without sun, moon, and stars (Christ, Mary, and the saints) to navigate by; and who seek to draw down into their own disorder men who will not submit to the humble yoke of Christ, who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8).

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