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George Soros
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Hollywood actor blasts billionaire George Soros as ‘satanic’

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By James Risdon
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LOS ANGELES, California, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Billionaire George Soros is "satanic," a neo-Nazi collaborator hellbent on undermining Western civilization, says Hollywood movie star James Woods.

In a tweet last Saturday, Woods came out swinging against the billionaire.

"The degree to which this one Nazi collaborator has undermined the stability of Western democracies is virtually incalculable," tweeted Woods. "He is satanic."

Last week, the actor accused Soros in another tweet of being the money behind the Antifa movement in the United States.

Although members of the left-wing Antifa movement identify themselves as anti-fascist, their harassment and use of violence toward those they label fascists, racists or right-wing extremists has made them feared by their victims, many of whom seem to be attacked for no other reason than their political conservatism.

In May, conservative journalist Faith Goldy was set upon by such a far-left gang of Antifas while attempting to document on video an anti-immigration protest at the illegal border crossing near Colette, Quebec.

Wearing face masks, the thugs shoved Goldy aside, knocked her phone from her hands and kicked it into the ditch before surrounding her. Then they kicked and punched her.

In the United States, a former speechwriter for former President George W. Bush has stated that so-called “anti-fascist” activists who attack peaceful demonstrators are “no different from neo-Nazis.” That former speechwriter, Marc A. Thiessen, was referring to the violent attack by black-clad Antifa members on demonstrators in Berkeley, California in August 2017.

In that attack, the thugs used their boots, sticks, pepper spray and homemade shields, ironically bearing the words "No Hate" on them, as they assaulted their victims.

In a tweet last Wednesday, Woods said these thugs are backed by Soros' money.

"Let's be clear who the 'Nazis' are in America. It is #Antifa," tweeted Woods. "And Antifa is the paramilitary wing of the Democratic Party, subsidized by Soros. #Antifa thugs are the paid brown shirts of today."

Allegations that Soros is using his wealth to control political events throughout Western civilization have been circulating for years. In the United Kingdom, politician Nigel Farage said last year that Soros may be part of biggest "international political collusion in history."

Earlier this year, the billionaire, an outspoken critic of the Roman Catholic Church, was reported to be influencing the work of some journalists who were attacking the church by funding their brand of journalism through something called The Media Consortium and Bitch Media.

Although Hollywood is well-known for its anti-Catholic and left-wing bent, Woods is a conservative who has taken on not only Soros and Antifa thugs but also Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.

In a tweet in May 2017, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards suggested the best way to say "I love you, Mom" on Mother's Day was by standing up for abortion.

Woods put the abortionist in her place with a tweet of his own.

"Hard to say 'I love you, Mom' from a medical waste dumpster... #DefundPP," he replied.

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St. Mary's Seminary at Oscott College
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Priest breaks ranks and blows the whistle on gay subculture in leading UK seminary

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By Lisa Bourne

NEW OSCOTT, England, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A priest from Oscott College in England has spoken out on the gay subculture in a leading seminary there, making serious charges against the rector and stating that the bishops of England and Wales are lax on homosexuality.

In an open letter to the bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, Father David Marsden, S.C.J., former formation tutor at St. Mary’s Seminary at Oscott College, said he was terminated from his position for trying to uphold the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, and appeals to the bishops to clean up England’s seminaries for the sake of the faithful men trying to pursue a vocation to the priesthood.

“I am writing to you all with a petition to act and take the necessary steps to reform the three remaining seminaries in England,” Marsden said. “The orthodox and heterosexual seminarians deserve a seminary free from a gay subculture and free from academic and formation staff who are homosexual themselves.”

St. Mary’s, Oscott in New Oscott, Birmingham, commonly known as Oscott College, is the Roman Catholic seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in England, and one of the Church’s three seminaries in England and Wales.

Marsden cast his plea against the overall sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the Church over the last several months, specifically calling out the cover-up and enabling, and he said there is still an absence of accountability for bishops.

“This approach is clearly ignoring the Church's teaching on this vital issue, yet for some strange reason, bishops are still not being made accountable for disregarding this important instruction,” he said. “Whilst the teaching is clear, the practice in so many dioceses is deeply compromised. Can I make a huge plea that something be done about this widespread abuse?”

Marsden said he prays the Holy Spirit is now purifying the Church’s hierarchy with the ongoing exposure the evil acts committed by homosexual clergy around the world. And he believes it’s his duty to inform the bishops and other Catholics that “the homosexual collective within the hierarchy which enabled McCarrick to function in an unobstructed manner is still alive and well today in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.”

Marsden condensed his observations after a year at the seminary into five points in his open letter to the bishops, covered in a Church Militant report.

First, some seminarians are sent to St. Luke’s Center in Manchester for psychological assessment as part of the selection policy.

The facilities director, Marsden said, “has some very strange views on homosexuality himself and seems happy to admit homosexual men into the formation program.” 

St. Luke’s Center is the U.K branch of Saint Luke Institute, prominent mental health treatment facility based in Maryland specializing in Catholic clergy, particularly those afflicted by sex abuse tendencies. It was founded by an openly gay man who became a priest and later died of AIDS. The Institute is controversial for, among other things, charges of using homosexual and pedophilia-affirming theories and treatment techniques involving pornography.

Marsden’s second point delves into the allegations against the seminary rector, Canon David Oakley, whom Marsden said fired him for recommending that an openly gay seminarian discontinue the program of formation.

“Canon David Oakley is prepared to admit homosexual men into his seminary and will not dismiss them unless their public conduct becomes unsavory,” he stated. “He is a compromised and cowardly man who is not prepared to make a stand and disagree with the bishops on the issue of homosexuality.”

Marsden continued, saying some among the English and Welsh bishops are “happy to admit seminarians who are openly gay into the formation program and proceed towards ordination,” and he cites the bishop of Menevia.   

The Vatican has definitively declared more than once a prohibition on ordaining homosexual men.

In Marsden’s fourth example, he reported that a spiritual director for the Oscott Seminary has admitted sexual attraction to young men, further implicating Oakley in letting this pass.

“It is highly inappropriate that such an individual hold such a post,” Marsden said of the first spiritual director.

“The rector is aware of this fact but seems unable to confront this individual,” Marsden stated. “He even noted that the friends who accompany this individual for holidays each year are also homosexual.”

“Apparently, the policy in Oscott appears to be if a candidate is not ‘acting out’ his homosexual tendencies at the moment or behaving in an inappropriately ‘camp’ way,” Marsden said, “then he is free to follow the formation program and move towards holy orders. “

“The rector will not dismiss a candidate from the seminary who admits to being ‘gay’ out of fear that his bishop will not agree with his decision,” he added. “The problem, therefore, quietly continues.”

Marsden continued, “Another of the spiritual directors in the seminary thinks that homosexual priests are a great idea as they can minister to the gay Catholic community.”

In Marsden’s final point, he stated specifically that the archbishops of both Birmingham (Bernard Longley) and Westminster (Vincent Nichols) have been made aware of these issues and “seem to prefer to ignore them.” 

“Why do we continue to have such passive and feeble-hearted clerics in such high places of leadership in the Church?” he asked. “Why are they afraid to speak out on topics such as homosexuality in the clergy and the toxic gender ideology sweeping through our schools?”

In light of the testimony report from Archbishop Viganò, Marsden said, it is all the more apparent that “the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.” 

The dissent from Catholic teaching on sexuality persists, Marsden stated, and it’s killing the priesthood.

“In light of the McCarrick scandal and the Viganò report,” he says, it has become very clear that cardinals, bishops and senior clergy from around the world are still openly dissenting against the Church's teaching that prohibits the entrance into seminary formation of men with a homosexual orientation.”  

“This is the root cause of the most pressing scandal of our times,” Marsden said. “In fact, it is destroying the priesthood from within.”

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James Risdon James Risdon

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Scholars harassed by trans activists in UK just for studying gender dysphoria

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By James Risdon

LONDON, England, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Scholars who study transgenderism in the United Kingdom are being harassed by trans activists who try to squelch their research and sometimes even try to get them fired.

In a letter published Tuesday in The Guardian newspaper, the 54 academics begged their government to "take the lead in protecting any such research from ideologically-driven attack."

"Members of our group have experienced campus protests, calls for dismissal in the press, harassment, foiled plots to bring about dismissal, no-platforming, and attempts to censor academic research and publications," the scholars stated. "Such attacks are out of line with the ordinary reception of critical ideas in the academy, where it is normally accepted that disagreement is reasonable and even productive."

Trans advocacy groups on many university campuses provide training to academics and management and often use completely unreasonable definitions of just what is to be considered “transphobic,” the academics maintained.

"(These definitions of transphobia) would not withstand academic analysis, and yet their effect is to curtail academic freedom and facilitate the censoring of academic work," the scholars stated. "We also worry about the effect of such definitions on the success rates of journal submissions and research grant applications from governmental bodies such as the (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and (Economic and Social Research Council)."

The scholars' statement comes as the United Kingdom wraps up its consultative process on proposed changes to its 2004 Gender Recognition Act on Friday. That bit of legislation allows transgendered people to legally change their gender but has come under fire from trans activists who maintain the process is "grueling and intrusive."

"Many of the trans respondents to our LGBT survey said they found the current system intrusive, costly, humiliating and administratively burdensome," states the government's consultative document.

Under the current law, Brits who want to legally change their gender identity have to provide two medical reports, one showing a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the other outlining details of any treatment they received, and provide documentation to prove they have lived as the gender of their choice for at least two years. Transgendered Brits also have to sign a declaration that they intend to live with the new gender identity for the rest of their lives and pay a fee.

Trans activists want the process to be quicker and easier. But many Brits disagree. Several of the scholars who worry about their academic freedom are among those with concerns over changes to the law allowing people to more easily change their official gender.

"This week, following an opportunity offered to us by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, we have submitted to the consultation a number of letters, outlining, as individuals, concerns about the introduction of self-ID for gender reassignment," the scholars wrote in their letter.

They did not state what those concerns were, but there is widespread concern in the United Kingdom that making it easier for people to change their gender will put biological women at risk.

And it isn't only so-called "cis-gendered" men and women, that is biological male and females, who worry about enshrining self-identification in law when it comes to gender. Even some transgendered people in the United Kingdom are against making it easier for people to claim to be of the other gender than their biological sex.

Kristina Harrison, a man who has had sex-reassignment surgery and now lives and identifies as a woman, is among those transgendered people who do not want the United Kingdom to allow people to self-identify their gender.

In an article Harrison wrote for the U.K.-based The Economist magazine in July, the National Health Service employee stated that self-identification of gender, if enshrined in law, would put women at risk.

"The label 'transgender', and the terms 'trans man' and 'trans woman' are more nebulous terms for any biologically female person who identifies as a man, and any male who identifies as a woman," wrote Harrison. "This is a much broader category: an umbrella term including, as well as transsexuals, males who identify as women but wish to retain their male bodies, people who are 'gender fluid' (identifying as women some days and men other days), and people who would previously have been known as cross-dressing men, some of whom fetishize women’s clothing and bodies.

"Perhaps you can begin to understand the concerns of many women when it is increasingly being asserted in practice, if not fully in law, that simply identifying as a woman means being able to access women and girls’ private, formerly single-sex, spaces - toilets, rape-crisis centres and so on," wrote Harrison. "We worry about the nature, influence, methods and implications of the ideology at the heart of this transgender movement. We are also opposed to any proposal which would mean that a man is legally recognised as a woman if he makes a simple self-declaration that he is, and vice versa.

"That would enshrine a quite extreme gender ideology in law, and effectively amount to a comprehensive redefinition of what it is to be female, or male."

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Abortionist Willie Parker
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Abortionist claims ‘Gosnell’ film is ‘safety risk’ for abortion doctors

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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

MISSISSIPPI, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A professional abortionist has claimed that “Gosnell” is a smear campaign against people like him.

Writing in the Huffington Post,  Dr. Willie J. Parker said that pro-life people — whom he calls “anti-choice opponents” — have “exploited the criminality” of Kermit Gosnell’s “actions to stigmatize abortion and intimidate abortion providers.”  

Parker is no ordinary abortionist. He is also a fervent abortion activist, the chair of the board of Physicians for Reproductive Health. He is on the board of both the Religions Coalition for Reproductive Health and Unite for Gender and Reproductive Equity (URGE).  

Despite criticism that the film did not do enough in depicting the (almost entirely off-screen) horrors that occured in Gosnell’s abortion practice, Parker claims that "Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer" is a “safety risk” for “physicians,” clinic staff, and abortion-minded women.

“One of their latest efforts is the movie ‘Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,’ he wrote. “The movie’s title, and the inflammatory and dehumanizing rhetoric of its promotional materials are disturbing. The film is deeply offensive and exploits the pain and suffering of women. The project seems designed to arouse outrage against doctors who provide safe and legal abortion care, and I believe it creates a safety risk for physicians, clinicians, clinic staff, clinic escorts and my patients.”

Parker did not indicate whether or not he had actually seen the film. Several critics have noted that the film’s creators kept their focus on the Gosnell story, not on the horrors of abortion, using transcripts from the trial. The film also depicts another real-life abortionist, a doctor who performs late-term abortions, whose notions of sanitation are rather more stringent than Gosnell’s, but does not attempt to save babies born alive.

While condemning Gosnell’s “actions,” the abortionist saved the bulk of his ire for pro-life activists, filmmakers, lawmakers and “the addition of the fifth conservative justice for the Supreme Court.” For example, the abortionist described pro-life efforts to protect the unborn in these terms:

“Anti-abortion lawmakers are pushing abortion care into the shadows. They’re doing it by inflicting more and more restrictions on clinics and doctors, by making abortion more expensive, by denying insurance coverage for reproductive health care, by closing clinics, by harassing those of us who provide care and those who seek it from us.”

Parker also accused pro-lifers of being racists.

“Because I am a black man, a physician and an abortion provider, anti-abortion activists have called me many ugly things,” he wrote. “Protestors have hurled racial epithets at me and accused me of being a ‘race traitor.’ They have also called me ‘Kermit Gosnell.’”

However, Parker boasts on his website that he has received Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award. Margaret Sanger was a racist eugenist who wished to reduce the black population of the United States.

The abortionist travels throughout the southern United States to perform the grisly procedure, and says the exploitation of women of color by abortionists is “a conspiracy theory.”

Referring to the many black women harmed by Gosnell, Parker said the film is “a ripe opportunity for anti-choicers to peddle a familiar conspiracy theory about abortion clinics in impoverished communities of color making it convenient for black women to kill themselves and their ‘babies.’”

Parker himself put the dehumanizing scare quotes around the word “babies.”

The abortionist claimed that “abortion is one of the safest procedures for women who need it, especially in light of the escalating risks of maternal mortality in this country for black women.”

However, there is no evidence that “maternal mortality” is tied to access to abortion. Poland and Ireland, which currently allow abortion only under very restricted circumstances, have lower maternal mortality rates than the U.S. and ultra-liberal Canada. According to Canada’s National Post, maternal mortality also is rising in Canada, possibly because of an increase in “caesarean sections, IVF births, older mothers and other health conditions.”

In her recent book The Abolition of Woman, Fiorella Nash argues that an overemphasis on funding contraception and abortion has led to underfunding of appropriate prenatal care in poor countries and communities. “The two biggest causes of maternal death are hemorrhage and sepsis,” she wrote.

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Twitter locks LifeSite out of account for fact-based post on rise in gay STDs

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By LSN
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UPDATE: Twitter has unlocked LifeSite's account! Read more here

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has just locked LifeSiteNews out of our Twitter account over an article we posted four years ago that provided expert analysis on the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among homosexuals.

The 2014 piece by Dr. Gerard M. Nadal, a molecular biologist and microbiologist who is also president and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, responds to media coverage of what was at the time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new annual report on STDs.

READ: Why HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea are rising among homosexuals

Contrary to the consensus that the “reason for the documented continued rise in syphilis (primarily affecting homosexuals) has more to do with homophobia than anything else,” Dr. Nadal attributes the rise to factor such as an “upward trend in unprotected sex” and 60% of homosexual men failing to disclose their symptoms or status to sex partners.

He cited data from mainstream sources such as the CDC, a then-recent New York Times report, and a 2006 study in the journal AIDS Behavior.

On October 18, 2018, however, LifeSiteNews received the following message, notifying staff that Twitter was locking the account because the 2014 tweet sharing the story’s neutral, factual headline violated “our rules against hateful conduct,” and somehow “promote[d] violence against, threaten[ed], or harass[ed] other people on the basis of [...] sexual orientation [...], or serious disease."

No further elaboration was given. A length of time for the lockout was not specified. The only recourse offered was for LifeSite to remove the tweet or start an appeal process. For the moment, LifeSite staff cannot post to or otherwise operate @LifeSite in any way.

“This total intolerance for even reporting government health dept statistics that reveal the health dangers of homosexual activity betrays what Peter Thiel, himself a homosexual, previously called a totalitarian mindset in Silicon Valley,” said Steve Jalsevac, co-founder and president of LifeSiteNews.

“Twitter is now trying to force news agencies to report only what is acceptable to their personal, biased views and shutting down balanced, factual reporting on the homosexual issue.”

“This is getting dangerous for our democracy since a free press is one of the basic and necessary foundations for a genuinely democratic society,” Jalsevac warned. “This is getting scary. It is in everyone’s interest to fight this type of action and even demand government intervention to protect our rights.”

Just the day before, former LifeSiteNews reporter and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH.org) president Peter LaBarbera revealed at LifeSiteNews that Twitter had recently banned him on the same grounds, over a 2016 tweet describing homosexual acts as a “sin” that “spreads disease."

"If Twitter no longer allows its users to advocate for healthy behaviors on its platform, and to defend their sincere moral and religious beliefs--shared by billions worldwide--then it will devolve into a bland, politically correct echo-chamber," LaBarbera warned. 

LifeSiteNews has created a petition here urging Twitter to un-block LifeSite's account. 

Developing...

 

*IMPORTANT RELATED ARTICLE:

Facebook, Twitter, Google are killing free speech. But there is one man who can stop them

To contact the White House click here.

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Late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell in court
Cheryl Sullenger

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10 things you need to know about notorious abortionist Gosnell

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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October 18, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – The release of the new movie "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," was a big success and has again brought to light the story of Kermit Gosnell's murder trial and the depraved conduct at his West Philadelphia "House of Horrors" abortion facility.

I followed that case from the initial raid on his Women's Medical Society in February 2010, and personally attended Gosnell's trial in the spring of 2013. I told the story in my book last year, and offer you an insider look at ten important things you may not know about the Gosnell case.

1. Gosnell was originally charged with a shocking 395 criminal counts.

In addition to being charged with the First Degree Murder for several babies who were born alive, Gosnell was also charged with Third Degree Murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. He faced 33 counts of illegal late-term abortions and a whopping 310 counts of informed consent violations. Gosnell was charged also with several counts of solicitation of murder, conspiracy, drug violations, fraud, obstruction, tampering with evidence, and operating a corrupt organization. Details of all the charges can be found in the Grand Jury's Presentment.

2. Gosnell was not charged with the deaths of every baby he murdered. Some murder charges were dismissed before they got to the jury.

When police raided Gosnell's ramshackle clinic, they discovered the bodies of 47 babies that had been packed in limeade containers and cat food cans then shoved into a freezer. Witnesses said that others had been ground in a garbage disposal, or flushed down the toilet until the plumbing clogged.

But even though prosecutors believed that Gosnell had murdered hundreds of babies that were born alive during abortions by stabbing them in the back of the neck with scissors and "snipping" their spinal cords, he was only charged with the murder of seven. Those were Baby Boy A, Baby Boy B, Baby C, Baby D, Baby E, Baby F, and Baby G.

During the trial, Judge Jeffery P. Minehart dismissed the murder counts related to Baby Boy B, Baby G, and Baby F. This was because there was insufficient evidence that these babies were born alive. A photo of Baby Boy B, who was estimated to be 28 weeks gestation, was included in the Grand Jury Report and tragically represented the grisly reality of the "snippings" that Gosnell used to end the lives of so many innocent children. It is unfortunate that his murder was never considered by the jury.

Gosnell was charged with five counts of Abuse of Corpse for the bizarre practice of dismembering aborted babies and keeping their feet in specimen jars on display in his abortion facility. No good explanation for this macabre practice was ever given in court. During the proceedings the defense objected during a discussion of these "trophies" and the prosecution offered to present the dismembered feet to the court. However, they were never entered into evidence. The reason these charges were dismissed remains unknown.

3. The "good" abortionist in the film was actually Charles David Benjamin, an abortionist who works for Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia.

Abortionist Charles David Benjamin was presented as an abortion expert over the objections of Gosnell's attorney Jack McMahon.

Benjamin, a stocky, balding middle-aged man, stated that he is a Doctor of Osteopathy who trains residents as part of his staff duties at Albert Einstein hospital in Philadelphia. He was employed at the time by Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia. He admitted to having done 40,000 abortions over his 30 years in practice. He also stated that there had once been a patient death in his practice, although he said it was the fault of another doctor.

Benjamin testified he reviewed patient charts and discussed the drug digoxin, which is administered in late-term abortion cases to stop the baby's heart in the womb before the extraction begins. This is to avoid any possibility of a baby being born alive. He said that the doses of digoxin that were administered to women at Gosnell's abortion facility as noted in patient charts was 500 times the recommended amount. However, there was also evidence that no digoxin was used at all. The inference was that information in the charts was fabricated, and that Gosnell lied about the digoxin in the charts in case his true practice of murdering living babies was ever questioned.

4. Powerful closing arguments were made by experienced murder prosecutor Ed Cameron that brought lead prosecutor Joanne Pescatore to tears in the courtroom.

Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron had a great deal of experience prosecuting murder cases. Even though he was not the lead prosecutor in the Gosnell case, it was he that delivered the powerful closing arguments that sealed Gosnell's conviction.

The defense had tried to portray the babies as merely "fetuses" that were not fully human, but Cameron debunked that notion as he made an impassioned argument for the humanity of those children.

At one point, Cameron dramatically turned to Gosnell and thundered at him, "Are you human?" then turned to the jury while pointing to Gosnell and said, "He's the one in this case that doesn't deserve to be called human."

"Those babies didn't have a chance," he continued. "They couldn't say 'Let me live,' except for one baby that whined."

But perhaps the emotional apex of the trial came when lead prosecutor Joanne Pescatore, overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment, sat at the prosecution table and sobbed as Cameron continued to humanize Gosnell's tiny victims.

Finally, he turned to the subject of late-term abortion patient Shanice Manning. Manning had been so far along – significantly past the legal limit in Pennsylvania – that she had been brought into the clinic through a side door so others wouldn't see her. Manning admitted how much she regretted aborting her son.

"He would be six years old if he had lived," Cameron stated. "I wish he could walk into this courtroom today and do the things that six-year olds do. Gosnell may not have been charged with his murder, but he killed him just the same."

5. Gosnell's victims were finally interred in a mass grave.

The 47 babies found at Gosnell's abortion clinic languished in the Coroner's office for months after their discovery. Nearly two years after Gosnell's conviction, it was learned that the City of Philadelphia had cremated the remains and buried them in an unmarked grave at Laurel Hill Cemetery on September 12, 2013.

On June 10, 2015, a group of about 40 pro-life supporters held a memorial service for the babies. Flowers were laid at the grave and a temporary marker was placed. Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who has named each child, is now promising to install a permanent marker at the grave site, so these innocent victims of abortion and murder will never be forgotten.

6. Gosnell employed two unlicensed workers who posed as fake doctors.

Kermit Gosnell hired Eileen O'Neal and Steven Massof to work at his clinic. Both were unlicensed medical school graduates who were referred to as "doctor." O'Neal was actually tried with Gosnell, but there was little evidence that she participated in the abortions, although she was very aware of them. She was eventually granted a new trial then entered into a plea deal that ensured she would serve no jail time.

While O'Neal shunned the abortion side of Gosnell's business, Massof had an insatiable curiosity about abortion and did all he could to involve himself in it. Soon, Massof was conducting late-term abortions on his own and admitted to "snipping" the necks of approximately 100 babies. Massof's testimony was among some of the most disturbing heard during the Gosnell trial, and that is saying a lot.

7. Mental illness and addiction plagued Gosnell and his clinic workers.

Gosnell and several of his workers were diagnosed with mental health issues such as such as depression, bouts of anxiety, and bi-polar disorder. Gosnell admitted his own mental illness in a poem he wrote that was released after his conviction in Steve Volk's essay, "Gosnell Babies: Inside the Mind of America's Most Notorious Abortionist."

Lynda Williams, who was charged with murder for "snipping" the neck of Baby C, testified that Gosnell knew she suffered from bi-polar disorder when he hired her. She also suffered from an anxiety disorder, and depression that caused her to be heavily medicated with at least three kinds of drugs.

Sherry West, an untrained worker who over medicated women in labor, was diagnosed with anxiety disorder for which she was medicated with Prozac. She experienced a "nervous breakdown" due to her mental health condition and was essentially unemployable by anyone but Gosnell.

Elizabeth "Liz" Hampton, a foster sister to Gosnell's third wife, Pearl, had testified she suffered from depression and anxiety in addition to alcohol abuse, and that she once had a "nervous breakdown."

Through our research, Operation Rescue has documented numerous instances of mental illness among abortionists and abortion clinic workers. [Learn more about this in The Trial of Kermit Gosnell: The Shocking Details and What it Revealed about Abortion in America.]

8. Legal ownership of Gosnell's abortion building remains in limbo.

Karnamaya Mongar's daughter, Yashoda Devi Gurung, sued Gosnell for the wrongful death of her mother. She was eventually awarded $650,000 in compensatory damages, and $3.25
million in punitive damages, for a total of $3.9 million. But the family has had a hard time collecting.

Gosnell held no insurance on his abortion business, and despite owning up to twenty
properties and having made millions, Gosnell's attorneys claim he has no assets. Meanwhile, Gosnell's property holdings, including his deteriorating abortion office and his abandoned Mantua home, could be sold to pay a portion of the judgment, but so far, the properties remain in legal limbo.

9. Only Gosnell and one of his co-defendants remain incarcerated.

Gosnell's murder convictions qualified as capital crimes. He was able to avoid the death penalty by making an agreement with prosecutors to drop all of his appeals in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole. This means Gosnell will serve the rest of his life behind bars. He is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Steven Massof pleaded guilty to two counts of Third Degree Murder for killing babies that had been born alive at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society. He agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for sentencing leniency and testified against Gosnell at his trial. He received a sentence of 6-12 years in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

10. Gosnell is not alone!

Elements of conditions and practices uncovered at Gosnell's "House of Horrors" abortion clinic can be found in nearly every abortion facility in America.

Just days after Gosnell was convicted, Operation Rescue released a report detailing information provided by former abortion clinic workers of another abortionist, Douglas Karpen, whom they accused of killing babies born alive during late-term abortions in Houston, Texas. They provided photographic evidence to back up their claims. After years of trying to bring Karpen to justice, Operation Rescue was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice that the FBI had been tasked with investigating the allegations against Karpen. Final word on that investigation is pending.

The Women's Medical Society was characterized by squalor. While every abortion facility may not sink to the same disgusting level of filth, health inspection reports obtained by Operation Rescue clearly show that it is common for clinics to be cited for unsanitary conditions and practices, such as failing to properly sterilize surgical equipment or dirt build-up throughout the facilities.

Gosnell also used untrained and unlicensed staff, which is another common violation that health inspectors cite at abortion facilities.

Mental health issues are also found far too often at our nation's abortion facilities as are patient injuries and deaths from shoddy abortion procedures.

The Gosnell case serves as an indictment of not only the abortion industry, but also of oversight agencies that too often turn a blind eye to abortion. Let us hope the telling of the Gosnell story will help give courage of regulators to prosecute abortion-related crimes, and determination to the American people to fight for the right to life for everyone until the day that abortion is finally ended in our nation.

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.

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200 youths write to Youth Synod: We don’t want to ‘shape’ Church, we want Church to shape us

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DARLINGTON, New South Wales, Australia, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 200 young Catholics in Australia have signed a letter to members of the Vatican-run Youth Synod to ask that the Church give them a "reliable moral compass" by forming them in the unchanging "truth" of the Catholic faith. 

Responding to a train of Synodal thought that young people should shape the Church, these members and alumni of Australian Catholic Students Association have declared that they cannot and do not want to do so. 

“The young do not want to shape the Church before the Church can form us. The world is confused. And in this confusion, the young have nothing to grasp. We want the Synod Fathers to remind the world that God will only deliver us when we cling to Him in love,”  wrote their president, Christopher Wilks, on their behalf. [Full letter embedded below.]

"We need a reliable moral compass. For this, the young need to be well-formed in the truth. We cannot shape the Church when we are not formed. Formless minds will manifest a shapeless Church, constantly evading the truth," he added. 

Conscience has no substance without the Church

Wilks drew upon St. John Henry Newman to explain the young people’s need for the Church to properly form their consciences. Newman was an influence on the Second Vatican Council in their teaching on the dignity of the conscience and its need for formation, but he did not rely solely on conscience. 

“... Even Newman saw the risk that ‘conscience’ could be interpreted as any man’s “prerogative to be his own master in all things”, Wilks wrote. 

Conscience has “no substance” without “the Church and everything she offers,” he continued, “divine revelation, tradition, community, and reason itself…”  

Wilks and his co-signers said that they need a “reliable moral compass” and for that, they need to be “well-formed in the truth.” 

"This formation takes a lifetime, a lifetime the young cannot claim.”

The ACSA president pointed out that all Catholics still living are in a process of converting and therefore should not presume to “shape” the multi-generational Church.

“How could we ever presume to shape the Church, which as the Mystical Body of Christ contains within it billions of lifetimes of conversion, the hopes and prayers of all the faithful departed, the wisdom and holiness of the entire Communion of Saints, and the conviction and bravery of an ever-growing army of martyrs?” he asked.

Confusion caused by senior clerics purposefully using ambiguous language

But young Catholics themselves cannot continue their work of conversion when prelates of the Church are being deliberately ambiguous, Wilks argued. 

“... We can’t hope to take shape amidst confusion over issues such as contraception, sexuality, communion for divorcees and non-Catholics, married priests and female ordination,” he wrote.  

“Such confusion is borne from senior prelates purposefully employing ambiguous language when addressing such issues, even in the face of Christ’s teachings, the Church Fathers and the clear dogma of the Church. Such ambiguity is neither charitable nor desired by the youth and needs to be addressed by this Synod.” 

Wilks accused the Synod Fathers of wanting to do away with “rules” and pointed out that the Church’s rules lead people to Christ. What is needful is for the Church to explain “how and why this is.”    

“When the Church eschews the truth for policy-speak, young people are left with only superficial banalities to express their beliefs,” he wrote. “Deliberately unclear words are, ironically, relied on and repeated with rigidity.”

The young letter-writer said that the Church should not discourage the young from following her rules “in love” and her priests from teaching them.

Beauty of churches should be rays of light

He then made a plea for such traditional Catholic practises and arts as pilgrimages, confession, devotions, adoration, sacred art, music and beautiful architecture. 

“The world can be an ugly place, and the outward beauty of our churches should be rays of light in our communities, particularly in the lives of the poor.”

In order to ensure that Catholic liturgies are both worthy and welcoming, the young Australians recommend that the Fathers promote the use of the Divine Office among the laity. 

“This would complement the increasingly popular and fruitful practice of Eucharistic adoration in parishes and university chaplaincies.” 

As an example of the fact that young people are looking for “meaning beyond flattery”, Wilks cited the popularity of Dr. Jordan Peterson who, even as an agnostic, invites young people to “pick up your cross.” 

The young Australians’ letter follows letters from young American priests and young people in Scotland pleading for clear, orthodox teaching. The Scots also asked for reverent worship. 

In addition to these unsolicited presentations, there have also been interventions at the Synod from prelates on the Church’s responsibility to preserve and teach her perennial doctrines. They have included the American Archbishop Charles Chaput  and Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah.

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‘Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science’: U.S. March for Life announces 2019 theme

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By Calvin Freiburger

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

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The March for Life Defense and Education Fund has announced the theme for its 46th annual gathering at the nation’s capital, deciding to emphasize the science of preborn personhood in 2019.

On Friday, January 18th, pro-lifers from across the United States and around the world will gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for a series of speeches and music before the main event: marching to the U.S. Supreme Court, which imposed abortion-on-demand on all fifty states with 1973’s Roe v. Wade.

The theme of this year’s march will be “Unique from Day One,” the group has announced, declaring that “science is on the side of life” and emphasizing the settled biological fact that individual human beings are not only alive but genetically complete and unique, starting with their earliest days as an embryo.

“Medical and technological advancements continue to reaffirm the science behind the pro-life cause – that life begins at fertilization, or day one, when egg meets sperm and a new, unique, human embryo is created,” the group says. “From the moment of fertilization, our DNA is present, whether its 23 pairs of chromosomes or 22.”

The theme’s banner features a fingerprint, something that “distinguishes us from any other human on the planet” and “is determined by that DNA at day one!”

“When life begins and the stages of prenatal development are scientific facts. Humanity – and our uniqueness as individuals – begins at day one, at fertilization. Life, in its most vulnerable form, should be protected,” the group concludes. “That, in essence, is why we march. We march to end abortion, with the vision of a world where the beauty, dignity, and uniqueness of every human life are valued and protected.”

Modern biology determines whether something is alive or dead, human or animal, and an organism or mere organic matter based on broadly-accepted criteria. Many mainstream, respected medical and scientific textbooks agree that a living, human organism – i.e., a human being – is present once fertilization has completed.

In addition, several prominent abortionists and pro-abortion philosophers have admitted that the preborn are alive and abortion is killing.

Complete details for attending the 2019 March for Life can be found on the group’s official website.

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Facebook blocks ‘Gosnell’ ads, labels film about serial killer abortionist ‘political speech’

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By Calvin Freiburger

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October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer is currently playing in theaters nationwide, but one of the film’s producers says that Facebook is doing its part to keep Americans from knowing about it.

The film depicts Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s arrest, trial, and conviction for the first-degree murder of three born-alive babies and the involuntary manslaughter of patient Karnamaya Mongar. It’s based on a similarly-titled book by the film’s producers, investigative journalists Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

According to the 280-page grand jury report, Gosnell killed hundreds of newborns who survived abortion in his blood-stained clinic by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. Witnesses described infants who survived initial abortion attempts as “swimming” in toilets “to get out.” He is currently serving a life sentence for his crimes.

The film is based heavily on the grand jury report, as well as extensive prison interviews with Gosnell himself and consultation with Assistant District Attorney Christine Wechsler and Detective James Wood, key players in the case.

The film has earned high praise from pro-life and conservative reviewers and a 99% audience score from Rotten Tomatoes users, but much of the mainstream media has largely ignored it – and one of the filmmakers says the world’s biggest social media platform is trying to suppress it.

Facebook has rejected several attempts to “boost” posts pertaining to the movie as advertisements, McAleer told WND Friday, including one deemed “political speech” despite simply linking to an article in a “mainstream Hollywood publication.” Another censored post highlighted Tucker Carlson’s interview with ex-Superman actor Dean Cain (who plays Wood in the film).

“The establishment hates that the truth is getting out there,” McAleer said. “It seems they don’t even like Superman. No one is safe from censorship at this rate.” He added that Facebook gave him “vague promises to investigate, but nothing has changed.”

The Federalist has additional examples of rejected Gosnell ads: two that simply advertise a private screening with co-star AlonZo Rachel and a clip of the film, and one highlighting a report about Planned Parenthood pressuring at least one venue to cancel planned screenings.

“Facebook is censoring this story and destroying our attempts to get the news about this film out to the public. Facebook is essentially silencing these children and women whom Gosnell murdered,” McAleer explained. “This is content journalists should be covering but Facebook is putting their thumb on the scale because they do not like the content. Audiences want to see this content and we’re willing to pay for the advertising but again they are demonstrating their bias against a true crime story.

“As independent filmmakers, we have a limited budget and Facebook was a mainstay of our outreach efforts,” he noted.

This is just the latest roadblock to be thrown in the film’s path. Every major Hollywood distributor rejected it, forcing producers to turn to crowdfunding (more than 30,000 people ultimately donated $2.2 million). Judge Jeffrey Minehart, the trial judge in the case, tried to block both the movie and the book with a defamation suit. NPR objected to advertising text that referred to Gosnell as an “abortionist” or “abortion doctor.”

One of the few mainstream media outlets to review the film so far is the Washington Post, which published a review Tuesday by Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior.

She said the film’s quality was “on par with a made-for-television true crime drama,” but was “impressive solely for making it this far” despite its hurdles. More importantly, she called it an “honest film” that “offers us all the chance to glimpse some of what may happen in some clinics, if we will but refuse to turn a blind eye, regardless of what policies and politics we support.”

Gosnell grossed $1,235,800 over its opening weekend, making it the most successful independent film, fourth most successful new release last weekend, and 12th overall at the box office. A complete list of theaters screening Gosnell can be found on the movie’s official website.

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Trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon (center), a biological male, won the Union Cycliste Internationale Masters Track Cycling World Championships competing against women. Rachel McKinnon, Twitter
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Female cyclist who lost to trans ‘woman’ blasts ‘definitely’ unfair competition

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By Calvin Freiburger

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The bronze medalist in last weekend’s female cycling championship isn’t pleased she lost to a biological male who identifies as a woman, Jennifer Wagner revealed this week.

Wagner placed third in the women’s sprint 35-39 bracket of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Masters Track Cycling World Championships Saturday. She lost to silver medalist Carolien van Herrikhuyzen and champion Rachel McKinnon, a Canadian-born philosophy professor who “identifies” as female despite being biologically male.

McKinnon boasted that he was the “First transgender woman world champion...ever” and some have taken his win as a milestone for “equality” in professional athletics.

But while van Herrikhuyzen embraced it as an “an honest race under UCI rules,” Wagner took to social media Monday to argue the race was “definitely NOT fair,” and that the current rules – brought about by a “human rights” settlement last year – were wrong.​

 

Before Wagner’s comments, the New York Post reports that McKinnon accused his critics of being “transphobic bigots” and “objectifying real humans,” and claimed they didn’t speak for “my competitors” such as van Herrikhuyzen.

He has previously claimed there is “absolutely no evidence” men like him have an unfair advantage over actual women, while at the same time the truth about performance advantages is “largely irrelevant” because recognizing trans “women” in sports “is a rights issue” just like racial segregation.

On Tuesday, McKinnon responded to Wagner, indignant that his competing could be considered unfair when the pair’s previous races have been so close and suggesting she was “transphobic.”

Wagner followed up Thursday with a string of tweets regretting that her earlier comments “weren't productive or positive” and “unintentionally fanned the flames on a controversial situation.” She apologized to McKinnon for “not properly congratulating you on race day” and said she respects his right to compete within the current rules.

At the same time, Wagner stressed that she remains opposed to the current rules, but has decided to work behind the scenes to change them rather than arguing about them on the internet.

So-called “transphobes” aren’t the only ones who disagree with McKinnon. The Inquisitr quotes another “transgender woman” cyclist, Jillian Bearden, as admitting that he proved “how powerful testosterone is from when I competed” as a man. “The hormone provides a certain stamina that continues to charge you. It gives you that edge of pushing power,” he acknowledges.

UCI is just one of several athletic governing bodies that have begun to allow gender-confused members of one sex to compete in the other’s brackets. Critics say UCI, the organizers of the Olympics and the Boston Marathon, and others are undermining competition and ignoring biological male and female differences to appear politically-correct and appease pro-LGBT activists.

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Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Cardinal Robert Sarah and Cardinal Angelo Becciu leave the Synod Hall, Oct. 16, 2018 Diane Montagna / LifeSiteNews
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Vatican decides not to release names of bishops in Youth Synod small groups

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The organizers of the Youth Synod currently underway in Rome have decided not to release the names of members of the small language groups, the Vatican announced today. While some see the move as fostering greater freedom to speak in the synod hall, it is leading others to question the transparency of synod organizers.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, told LifeSite that the names of small group members “will not be made public.” Ruffini said synod organizers have decided to withhold the names “not in order to hide” something, but rather to “manifest” the “discernment” at work in the synod.

“The Church is a body, united in the Spirit,” Ruffini said. Not releasing the lists of the small groups is therefore about manifesting “the communion of the Church, the Mystical Body,” rather than seeing the synod as a “parliament.” 

“It’s a reason that [any] believer should understand,” he added.

Ruffini expanded on his comments at today’s synod briefing. In a tense exchange with veteran Vaticanist, Sandro Magister, Ruffini told journalists:

“The reason for which the lists of participants in the small groups is not being given out is to seek to show forth the spirit of the synod, which is a spirit of communion. The small groups express to us, in a manner of communion and collegiality, the will of the Synod Secretariat to not transform the synod into a debate about ‘who said what’ but to tell it for what it is: a communal reflection of the Church. This is the reason why the names of the individual participants of the small groups have not been given.”

Pressed by Magister on the apparent “inconsistency” of not releasing the names, as synod organizers had done at the 2015 Family Synod, Ruffini replied, “Every synod has its rules,” and added that he would pass on the suggestion.

From small groups to the final document

Many readers may be unfamiliar with how the Vatican Youth Synod works, what role the small circles have within the wider whole, and why not releasing the names raises concerns among some observers.

The Oct. 3-28 meeting is divided into three major parts, with one week dedicated to discussion of each of the three parts of the synod’s working document (Instrumentum laboris).

The synod assembly first convenes in what are called “general congregations.” During these congregations, Synod Fathers and other participants — including auditors, experts, fraternal delegates from other Christian faith communities, and special delegates — deliver 4-minute interventions on the floor of the synod. During the general congregations, there is also a time for free exchange between members on topics under discussion (Episcopalis Communio, art. 15, 2).

Synod participants then divide into small language groups [circoli minori] to discuss specific assigned topics related to the part of the working document under consideration (EC, 14). There are four English groups (Circulus Anglicus A, B, C, and D), three French groups (Circulus Gallicus A, B, and C), one German group (Circulus Germanicus), two Spanish groups (Circulus Hispanicus A and B), two Italian groups (Circulus Italicus A and B), and one Portuguese group (Circulus Lusitanus).

According to a new Instruction on the celebration of the synodal assemblies, issued Oct. 1, the general secretariat of the synod is responsible for “constituting the small groups” (art. 8,4). The instruction specifies that “individual Synod Fathers participate in the group assigned to them” (art. 30, § 2).

The purpose of the small group discussions is to bring about a general consensus, or at least the widest possible consensus, on the assigned topics. This consensus is expressed in modi, or proposals, which include to be included in the final document. However, according to synod rules, “any opposing or different opinions must always be taken into account” (Instruction, art. 30, § 4).

In each small group, the Synod Fathers elect from among themselves a moderator and rapporteur (Instruction, art. 31, § 1). These names have been released by synod organizers. Each small group is also assigned a secretary from among the assistants to the Synod’s General Secretariat (Instruction, art. 31, § 4).

The moderator announces the topic, guides discussion, sees that discussion doesn’t stray from the topic at hand, promotes active participation of the members, decides what topics should be given priority when time is limited, and determines how much time should be given for interventions (Instruction, art. 31, § 2).

The rapporteur is responsible for summarizing the opinions expressed at the end of each session, overseeing the formulation of modi that reflect the prevailing opinions of small group members, and preparing a report containing all opinions expressed. (Instruction, art. 31, § 3).

At the end of the discussion on the assigned topic, the members of the small circle vote on the modi. The modi are approved by an absolute majority of the Synod Fathers who are members of the small circle (Instruction, art. 32, § 1.1, 1.3).

Before resuming the general congregations, the members of the small circle also vote on the report formulated by the rapporteur. The report is also approved by an absolute majority of the Synod Fathers who are members of the small circle (Instruction, art. 32, § 2.1, 2.3).

The rapporteurs for each small group then read their report in the general congregation. Synod Fathers are then permitted to make additions, amendments or explanations regarding the content of the reports (Instruction, art. 32, § 4, §5).

According to the new Instruction, the general rapporteur — with the help of the special secretary and other prelates on the 12-member drafting commission — “takes into account the modi presented” and prepares the text of the final document” (Instruction, art. 35, § 1). The draft is approved by an absolute majority (Instruction, art. 33, § 2).

No time to translate?

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Ruffini explained that, once the draft of the final document is completed, the Synod Fathers will be given a hard copy of a “provisional text,” which will also be read on synod floor with simultaneous translation.

The synod fathers will then have an opportunity for discussion and debate, and may “​present the General Secretariat with modi to the draft of the final document that they deem necessary” (Instruction, art. 34, § 3).

The drafting commission then has about one day to amend the document before it is given to the Synod Fathers for a final vote.

Ruffini said the final document will be given to bishops only in Italian, because “there’s no time to translate it.” The final text will be read aloud in Italian on the synod floor, with simultaneous translation, and then after a few hours, the Synod Fathers will vote on the document “paragraph by paragraph.” 

The lack of proper translations has provoked a certain unease among bishops in the past. During the 2015 Synod on the Family, as is generally the case, not all of the bishops knew Italian and so had greater difficulty deciding whether to approve a particular point or not.

These concerns are now heightened by the fact that, according to a new Apostolic Constitution issued in September, the final document, if approved by the Pope, “participates in the Ordinary Magisterium of the Successor of Peter” (Episcopalis Communio, art. 18).

What’s in a name?

Given the role the small groups play in the final document and increasing calls for transparency from the hierarchy, some observers are concerned about the lack of transparency.

The issue initially came up at Tuesday’s press briefing, with veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister pointing out to Ruffini that the lists of the small language groups were given to journalists at the Synod on the Family in 2015. At the time, in fact, photos and videos of the small groups were widely circulated online by the Vatican and other news agencies.

“The names are important, because the [small group] reports are very different from one another,” Magister told the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications.

But as one source close to the Vatican explained, some believe one ought to look at the synod with a more “benevolent” attitude. The fact that synod organizers are not releasing the names, he said, allows “freedom to speak” and an atmosphere where bishops “don’t have to worry about what they are saying and who is saying what.” Releasing the names of small group members, the source added, “stifles free discussion and brainstorming.”

However, others argue against this, saying that “a bishop shouldn’t have anything to hide” and that synod organizers ought to release the names “in the interest of openness and transparency.”

Regardless of whether synod organizers intend to release the names of the small language groups, the names are getting out.

In an article on Tuesday, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register reported that English Group B, moderated by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, also includes Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, Australia (and one of 12 members of drafting commission for the final document), and Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, undersecretary for the Vatican’s office on Migrants and Refugees.

English Group C, moderated by Cardinal Joseph Coutts of Karachi, Pakistan, also includes as members Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri, Kenya.

English Group D, moderated by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, include Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary of Los Angeles, who was elected as group’s rapporteur and whose name was therefore already known.

French Group C includes Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Father Bruno Cadore, master general of the Dominican Order, Pentin reported on Tuesday.

Italian Group B, whose relator is Archbishop Bruno Forte, also includes Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, president of the Polish bishops, and Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian bishops’ conference.

Spanish Group A, moderated by Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras and coordinator of the C9 Group of Cardinals, also includes Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico City and Cardinal José Maestrojuán of Panama.

The full texts of the small group reports on Part II of the Instrumentum laboris can be read here.

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Airline to host exclusive homosexual ‘pride’ party at 38,000 feet with ‘inter-seat speed dating’

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By James Risdon
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The flight will be staffed by LGBT pilots and cabin crew. Virgin Atlantic

LONDON, England, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – British airliner Virgin Atlantic Airways is going to make one of its flights a celebration of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism during next year's World Pride event in New York City.

It's being dubbed the Pride Flight. 

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are teaming up to offer the flight from London to New York City. The company has created a slick video to launch the initiative. 

Once in the air, the entirely LGBT-crewed flight will feature entertainment tailor-made for its homosexual, bisexual and transgendered clientele.

Tituss Burgess, an actor who plays a gay man on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt show, will be the host for the flight which will also feature an onboard disc jockey, a drag queen bingo, a Judy Garland singalong for the LGBT crowd, and what the airline calls "inter-seat speed dating" along with "special in-flight entertainment."

“At a time when we’re seeing the rights of minority groups under threat, it is more important than ever we stand up and make our voices heard,” said Titus Burgess in a statement. “The LGBT community has made enormous strides over the last 50 years, and I’m so proud to partner with Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic to mark this occasion in style and celebrate the hard-won freedoms from those who came before us.”

In that statement, Virgin boasted the "flight will celebrate queer culture at 38,000 feet above the Atlantic."

But Christian activist Bill Whatcott says Virgin's Pride Flight is "a sad, sad commentary about [the culture’s] obsession with homosexuality."

"It's another manifestation of their new religion," said Whatcott. "They've replaced the God of Scripture with the fake LGBT god. They've been pushing to get into our schools and now they're going onto flights."

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which were violent demonstrations by homosexuals in the wake of police raids of the Stonewall Inn in 1969 in New York's Manhattan borough. New York City is planning a World Pride event to mark the occasion and using it as a tourism draw.

"The event is organised at an international level to celebrate Pride for those countries where homosexual activity is still illegal or repressed," states Virgin Atlantic in a press release. 

While promoters of the Pride Flight are billing it as a celebration of LGBT "rights," this is still a business venture. Seats on the plane will not be free. 

Economy tickets on the Pride Flight, which will leave London Heathrow on June 28 next year to arrive at New York's Newark airport, cost $500. There are also three-night Virgin Holidays packages starting at $920.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays state that they have "long been champions of LGBT rights."

For respectful communications:

Craig Kreeger, the airline's president and chief executive officer
Email: [email protected]

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Cardinal Sarah at Youth Synod: We must courageously propose moral doctrine, not ‘water it down’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Robert Sarah strongly defended the clarity of Church doctrine on sexuality and the family in his intervention at the Youth Synod on Tuesday.

Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service (CNS) reported that  Sarah addressed the Synod assembly Oct. 16 to say that the Church should "courageously propose the Christian ideal corresponding to Catholic moral doctrine and not water it down, hiding the truth to attract young people to the bosom of the church.” 

This was not an unusual move for the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, who in recent years has become famous for his vociferous defence of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family.

Church leaders from around the world are meeting in Rome to discuss “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” But with the inclusion of the term “LGBTQ” in the working document, pro-family leaders raised the alarm that the synod was being manipulated from within to promote positions contrary to authentic Catholic teaching. Small groups within the Youth Synod have already called for the Church to recognize “other forms of family” and to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption. 

Sarah acknowledged that some young people had asked the Church for clarity when she presents her doctrine on "some questions that are particularly close to their hearts: freedom across the board and not only in sexual relations, nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation, equality between men and women, including in the church, etc."

But the Guinean Cardinal also pointed out that some young people want the Church to reject her own teaching, demanding “not only a discussion that is open and without prejudice, but also a radical change, a real and true U-turn by the church in its teaching in these areas." 

Sarah told the Synod that nobody could say the Church’s teachings were not clear. Nevertheless, he pointed out that there may be "a lack of clarity on the part of some pastors in explaining the doctrine." He added that this possibility demands "a profound examination of conscience."

CNS related that Sarah cited the Gospel story of the “rich young ruler” who asked Jesus what he must do to obtain eternal life. Jesus’s answer was very demanding: the young man must sell all he has, give the money to the poor, and follow Him.  

"Jesus did not lower the requirements of his call and neither should the Church,” the CNS reported the Cardinal as saying.

Sarah observed that young people have ideals and goals, including in the fields of  "justice, transparency in the fight against corruption [and] in respect for human dignity."

"Undervaluing the healthy idealism of the young" is a serious mistake and shows lack of respect, the Cardinal said. It also "closes the door to a real process of growth, maturation and holiness."

"By respecting and promoting the idealism of young people, they can become the most precious resource for a society that wants to grow and improve," he added. 

Sarah’s defense of Catholic orthodoxy and orthopraxy — correct conduct during liturgy and other matters — has made headlines in recent years. At the Family Synod in 2015 , Sarah gave a powerful speech denouncing Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism. Unabashedly using apocalyptic language, the cardinal identified the greatest modern enemies of the family as the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

More recently, the Cardinal has warned that allowing national churches to pick and choose among Magisterial teachings on morality will lead to schism. 

The author of two bestselling books, God or Nothing and The Power of Silence, Cardinal Sarah has not been afraid to oppose heterodox tendencies in the current papacy. After being elected to the 2018 Synod’s Information Commission, Sarah turned down the post, citing “personal reasons.” 

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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Catholics organize rosary rallies to make reparation for upcoming talks by pro-LGBT priest

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By Lisa Bourne

ATLANTA, Georgia, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Lay Catholics will pray at two Atlanta Catholic churches this weekend where Archbishop Wilton Gregory has provided a venue for a leading pro-homosexual Jesuit priest to spread his pro-LGBT message.

A Rosary for Reparation is scheduled for Saturday evening at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and Sunday morning at Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where Father James Martin, SJ, will give his “Building a Bridge” talk at the invitation of Gregory.

Building a Bridge is the main title of the homosexual-affirming Jesuit’s book based upon the November 2016 address he gave when accepting an award from New Ways Ministry,  a pro-gay group that has been condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the U.S. Catholic bishops. 

Martin has continually promoted the book and its pro-LGBT message since its June 2017 release. He told participants at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August that active homosexuals “should be invited into parish ministries” specifically mentioning them becoming “eucharistic ministers” in order to make them welcomed and accepted in the Catholic Church.

Opposition to Martin from Catholics, whether lay or clergy, stems from his persistent push to normalize homosexuality.

Martin’s LGBT-affirming campaign has led noted Professor Janet Smith, a moral theologian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, to pose that the need exists for the US Bishops to assess the faithfulness of his work. 

“I am thinking we should all write our bishops and ask them to ask the US Bishops to determine the fidelity of Fr. James Martin's work,” she said on Facebook. “And if anyone is interested in getting up a petition, I am sure we could collect a zillion signatures.”

Gregory’s invitation for Martin to speak at two of his parishes, which is emphasized in Martin’s tweet about the invitation and on an accompanying flyer, follows Martin having been disinvited from a number of speaking engagements in the last year after Catholics protested his controversial message that homosexuality should be normalized in the Catholic Church. The pastor for the Shrine parish, long regarded as the “gay parish” in the archdiocese, was recently photographed attending a performance in an Atlanta drag bar

Catholic lay group Tradition Family and Property (TFP) is organizing the Rosary of Reparation. 

The group said that reparation needs to be made "because, as a Catholic priest, Fr. Martin promotes unnatural vice within the Church. He also favors transgenderism for children and undermines the sacred institution of marriage.”

In Roman Catholic tradition, an act of reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to make amends for sin.

TFP lists some of Martin’s many controversial assertions in its information on the two rosary gatherings.

Martin should not be giving the addresses, it says, because he:

  • Said Catholics should "reverence" homosexual "marriage;"
  • Supports transgenderism for children;
  • Favors homosexual kissing during Mass;
  • Called dissident, pro-homosexual nun a "saint;"
  • Welcomed award from group condemned by the USCCB.

In its bulletin, TFP then provides details and links to each of the particular examples provided among Martin’s troubling positions.

“We live in a time when Church teaching is under attack from all sides on the very controversial issue of homosexual sin,” TFP Vice-president John Horvat says in an email to Catholics on the rosary rallies. “On Judgment Day, we don't want to have to answer to God for staying silent while souls were subjected to an address by a priest who contradicts Church teaching on the crucial issue of homosexual sin.”

“Given the confusion and ambiguity promoted by wolves in sheep's clothing,” Horvat continues, “let us reiterate what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches regarding homosexuality.”

He then cites #2357 in the Church’s Catechism:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (2357)

Martin, editor-at-large of Jesuit-run America magazine and Consultor to the Vatican on its Communications, says the Church’s teaching on homosexuality in the Catechism should be updated because of what is currently known about homosexuality – though Martin's not clear what he thinks is known now about the inclination and activity that was not previously known. 

Martin claims as well that the Catechism’s defining the homosexual inclination as objectively disordered is needlessly hurtful. 

In March of this year Archbishop Dennis Schnurr from Cincinnati, Ohio issued a statement unequivocally distancing his diocese from an event at a local secular university featuring Martin and his “Building Bridges” speech. 

Martin has made myriad problematic statements in regard to homosexuality that depart from Church teaching, including that some saints in Heaven “were probably gay,” that “God made (LGBTQ people) who they are” and also that Church teaching on homosexuality isn’t ‘authoritative.’

Despite this, he continues to be booked as a speaker, most often with this message, at Catholic venues, including the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families in August. 

Since last year Martin has lost speaking engagements at Catholic institutions after pushback by Catholics concerned over his campaign to normalize homosexuality in the Church.

The Order of the Holy Sepulchre in New York City and CAFOD, the Catholic international development charity in England and Wales in London, rescinded invitations for Martin to speak last year, as did the Theological College in Washington, D.C. 

Martin’s appearance for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Whitehouse, New Jersey was canceled earlier this year after TFP launched a petition against the event.

Following the series of Martin disinvites, Church prelates supportive of Martin’s homosexual-affirming message have purposely invited him to appear in their dioceses.

Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich invited Martin to speak at his cathedral on two evenings last Lent. Cupich has expressed support for those in same-sex relationships to be permitted to receive the sacraments.

Cupich told the Chicago-Sun Times he’d been talking with Martin about speaking in the Chicago archdiocese for some time, but also said the disinvites of Martin factored into his decision to have him appear there.

“I wanted to make sure that I affirmed what he was doing,” Cupich said, “and I think that those moments of not inviting him or disinviting him were very unfortunate, and I wanted to let him know that I support him.”

The sentiment in Atlanta is ostensibly similar.

“Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta has graciously invited me to his archdiocese to speak,” Martin tweeted about Gregory’s invitation for him to give a Building a Bridge presentation at two churched there.

Gregory has been in the news in recent months for having appointed a homosexual-affirming priest who heads a gay-affirming parish to be diocesan spiritual director for victims of sexual abuse by clergy. 

Msgr. Henry Gracz is pastor for Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta, one of the churches at which Martin is schedule to speak this weekend.

The Shrine has a gay Pride Outreach that includes running a booth at Atlanta’s gay pride week. It has sent a parish group to march in Atlanta’s Pride parade for years and was registered to participate in the 2018 Pride parade as well. The parish also hosts GLBT potluck socials for couples and others.

In an August 1 Facebook posting, Msgr. Gracz announced he was celebrating with friends at “Lips,” a popular Atlanta drag bar. Gracz’s Facebook account is no longer visible to the public, but not before screenshots were captured of the photos with Gracz at the drag show. 

The first rosary rally will be held this Saturday, October 20 at 6:15 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, located at 636 West Ponce de Leon Ave on Atlanta, specifically at the three way, where Ponce de Leon and Trinity meet.

The second rally will take place Sunday, October 21 at 8:45 a.m. at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, at 48 M.L.K. Jr. Drive, South West, in Atlanta. That rally will be on the public sidewalk outside the Shrine.

“Bring your rosary. Invite your friends,” Horvat and TFP exhort the Catholic laity. “Stand up for the perennial teachings of the Holy Catholic Church!”

Contact info to respectfully express concern about Father Martin’s appearances in the Atlanta archdiocese:

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory

The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Atlanta
2401 Lake Park Dr. SE,
Smyrna, GA 30080

Ph: 404-920-7800
Email: [email protected]

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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News,

Christian activist charged with LGBT ‘hate crime’ sees expenses skyrocket as court delays

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Christian activist Bill Whatcott flew to Toronto from Alberta this week because there was a bench warrant for his arrest if he didn’t appear in court Tuesday.

Whatcott, 52, is charged with criminally inciting hatred against the “gay community.” 

But after his matter moved from a first, second, and then third courtroom at the Ontario Court of Justice in College Park, it took fewer than 10 minutes to complete: the court simply set a date for yet another court appearance next month.

To make matters worse, a Toronto police officer sporting pink shoulder straps threatened to arrest Whatcott after he left the courthouse, on the grounds he was breaching bail conditions by being in the city’s “gay village.”

Whatcott doesn’t relish these tribulations, but knows why they come. 

“It’s about Christ,” he told LifeSiteNews. 

“The abortion debate, the sodomy debate, it’s all about: who is your God? Let’s not kid ourselves. This LGBT is a new religion, and its adherents in some cases worship their false god more zealously than we worship the living God.”

The Supreme Court in 2013 deemed two of Whatcott's pamphlets on the dangers of homosexuality “hate speech" in a decision upholding a ruling by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

That was a monumental blow to freedom of speech, but the top court was ruling on whether Whatcott had breached the province's human rights code – not that he committed a crime.

His new charge is significantly more serious.

Whatcott now stands accused under Canada’s Criminal Code of the indictable offence of willfully inciting hatred against an identifiable group — the “gay community” — which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

The charge dates back to 2016, when Whatcott applied under a pseudonym to march in Toronto’s Pride Parade as the “Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumers Association.”

He and several others disguised themselves as “gay zombies” in green bodysuits and facemasks to hand out some 3,000 pamphlets warning of the physical and spiritual dangers of homosexual acts. 

The pamphlet blasted Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for alleged “homosexual activism,” as well as the sex-ed curriculum rolled out by Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and its connection to her one-time deputy minister of education Ben Levin, convicted in 2015 of three child pornography charges.

Hate crime charge political?

Whatcott’s lawyer Dr. Charles Lugosi has raised questions about the possible political nature of the charge, pointing out its timing is “suspicious.”

“If Bill Whatcott had committed a crime, why wait 22 months? They could have launched criminal proceedings immediately,” Lugosi told LifeSiteNews. 

The charge was laid, he said, “after the civil suit went nowhere.”

That’s the $104 million class-action lawsuit LGBT activist lawyer Douglas Elliott launched against Whatcott and allies in August 2016, claiming his pamphlet defamed and caused pain to those who attended the parade, those who received the pamphlet, and a subclass of those publicly identified as Liberals.

A judge tossed the case out in March 2017, ruling that Elliott and plaintiffs could not claim defamation of entire groups. 

(He also ruled Whatcott had to disclose the names of his fellow “zombies and financial backers to allow for individual claims of defamation. As a result, both Elliott and Whatcott are appealing the decision.)

Given these circumstances and absent evidence to the contrary, it’s reasonable to speculate the hate crime charge — which must be authorized by the attorney general — “could be politically motivated,” Lugosi contended.

“And if it’s politically motivated, that could be interpreted by a court down the road as an abuse of process.”

Fight over disclosure of information

For this reason, Lugosi says, it’s imperative to see what information Liberal attorney general Yasir Naqvi had on the case when his office green-lighted Whatcott’s hate crime charge in May.

Without that knowledge, “we can’t make a wise election” for Whatcott’s criminal trial.

“We don’t know what was before the attorney general,” added Lugosi. “We don’t know if [the charge] was politically motivated. We don’t know, but we want to find out.” 

But the Crown has refused to disclose the information on the grounds it’s privileged, so Lugosi is taking the matter to the Superior Court, arguing Whatcott has a constitutional right to full disclosure.

His quest is at cross-purposes with the goal of the Crown and the criminal courts, which “want to go full speed ahead” on the hate crime charge, Lugosi told LifeSiteNews.

“They just don’t want it delayed because of the Charter.”

As his lawyer remains at an impasse with Crown lawyer Jennifer Epstein over how to proceed on his criminal charge, Whatcott, who has a wife and two children, estimates he’s spent at least $2,000 on airfare alone.

Whatcott’s costs soaring

That doesn’t include his June flight under escort of two police officers, after Toronto Police Service issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest and Whatcott turned himself in to the authorities in Calgary.

He spent a weekend in a Toronto jail before a friend paid the $1,000 bail deposit, then spent $500 on a plane ticket to get back to his job as an oilfield bus driver – except his employer had meanwhile found out he’d been arrested, and fired him.

The upshot of his 10 minutes in court Tuesday is that Lugosi, who practices law in B.C. but is also licensed in Ontario, will call the court November 27 for a pre-trial conference at which, Whatcott says, he or a lawyer representing him must be present.

That could be a fifth trip to Ontario for a five-minute court appearance for Whatcott, and yet another expense on top of skyrocketing legal bills – not only for his criminal charge, but the appeal of the civil case, and a human rights complaint he faces in British Columbia.

“I’m unemployed, and I’ve got a $250,000 legal debt,” he told LifeSiteNews. “I’m an activist. I haven’t figured out how to make money out of it.”

Nevertheless, he’s committed to the singular path he says God called him to.

“I think God used me in spite of myself, but that is what God is in the business of doing. He uses imperfect people to accomplish His will,” Whatcott told LifeSiteNews. 

“And when I look at my life, and look at all that I lost, I don’t have a lot of regret. I’m pretty happy,” he added. 

“I’m happy that I allowed God to use me in the way that He did. That’s been a great undeserved privilege of mine.”

Note: Whatcott's fundraising page to cover his legal fees can be found at his wife Jadranka Whatcott’s GoGetFunding page here.

Petitions to Premier Doug Ford and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney to drop the charges against Whatcott can be found here and here.

Related stories:

Police issue Canada-wide arrest warrant for Christian accused of LGBT ‘hate’ crimes

Christians dress as gay zombies to infiltrate Toronto Pride Parade with Gospel message 

Gay activists launch $104 million suit against Christian for preaching at Pride Parade

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William Kilpatrick

Opinion,

A look at barbarous customs in Muslim nations

William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

October 18, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – Anecdotal evidence doesn't carry as much weight as statistical evidence, but sometimes it speaks volumes. That's especially the case when the anecdote concerns a representative of society or when it illustrates taken-for-granted behavior.

What follows are some vignettes taken from various Islamic communities which serve to illustrate the deep gulf separating acceptable behavior in the Muslim world from that in the West. The main thing to notice is that in contrast to Western cultures, Muslim cultures are highly judgmental. The overall question is this: What happens when these two very different cultures come into conflict?

The first anecdote is from an article by Amil Imani in Jihad Watch. He relates the story of an elderly Baha'i women living in Iran who is left alone when her children flee the country.

Upon their departure, a Muslim tenant living in the house demanded that the woman give him the house. When she refused, he threatened to kill her. Not long after, he made good on his threat and took possession of the house.

At the behest of the children, a Muslim attorney took the matter to court in an attempt to reclaim the house. But to no avail. The children got nothing and the murderer kept the house. One detail is especially telling. When the attorney handed over a folder of documents kept by the old woman, the judge used tissue paper to handle the documents. Baha'is in Iran are considered unclean, and the judge did not want to get his hands dirty.

"Never mind the house and the hands," you may be thinking, "why wasn't the Muslim man charged with murder?" Here is Imani's explanation:

Members of the Baha'i faith are declared heretics by law and are halal-ul-dam (free blood); meaning they can be murdered with no compensations or legal penalties.

So what we're dealing with here is not a rogue judge, but a rogue society. But it's rogue only when considered from a Western viewpoint. In "modern" Iran it's just the way things are done.

All the more reason, one might argue, to encourage Muslim migration to the West. That way, say the pro-migrationists, Muslims would get a taste of a more just and humane society, and before you know it, they'd happily assimilate.

Not so fast. What if they won't assimilate? Scads of anecdotal as well as statistical evidence suggest that large numbers of Muslims don't want to integrate. Consider the following news story out of Sweden. Officials in the municipality of Boras report that some Muslim children won't drink "Christian" water from the taps. In addition, they "will wash themselves off in the mosque after spending a day in contact with non-Muslims." From a Swedish view, such behavior violates community standards, but what if the Swedish community you live in has a large population of Salafist Muslims? According to an RT report on a new Swedish government study of Salafist communities:

Believers are to refrain from making non-Muslim friends … They must not join in any wider communities or groups and should resist adapting their appearance, language, and mannerisms to fall in the line with those of the host culture.

So much for assimilation. Indeed, in some Muslim countries you have to be careful about too much assimilation with other Muslims – of the opposite sex, that is. Take the man who was arrested in Saudi Arabia for having breakfast with a woman. The man had an Egyptian accent, so perhaps he was unfamiliar with the law prohibiting single men and women from sitting together in eateries or work places. That region of the world is not called the "Gulf States" for nothing. The gulf between men and women is almost as wide as the gulf between what naïve multiculturalists think Islam is and what it really is.

Another anecdote? Let's look through a list of recent news headlines:

Kenya: Muslims murder two non-Muslims for failing to recite the Qur'an.

Afghanistan: Muslim husband kills his nine-year-old wife.

Pakistan: Muslim murders his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren – his daughter had married a man of her choice.

India: Muslim woman murdered by her father and brother for relationship with Hindu man.

As you can see, these are mostly run-of-the-mill private family matters concerning people in faraway lands. And, according to the code of diversity, one culture can't judge another culture. But what if one of those other cultures begins to stream into the West and eventually swamps it?

Here's an item from Hanover, Germany. When a 24-year-old woman tried to intervene in a quarrel between her friend and a trio of Syrian refugees, one of the Muslims (a 17-year-old) stabbed her so viciously that the blade broke her ribs and injured her liver, stomach, kidney, and intestines. Her spleen and parts of her pancreas were removed. The boy's defense, as relayed by his lawyer, was a cultural one:

The accused knows from his culture that conflicts are resolved with the knife… If one is insulted, one may stab. In severe cases, one may kill the person … he states that his behavior was not wrong according to the rules of his religion, and does not understand why he must be detained.

In short, "my culture made me do it." To paraphrase from West Side Story:

Gee, Officer Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke,
We was raised in another land.

And how is the West responding to this clash of cultures? Here are some typical recent headlines:

Netherlands: Judge gives light sentence to Muslim migrant who raped girl so he wouldn't lose his residence permit.

UK: Muslims held girl as sex slave for 12 years, police ignored case for fear of being called "racist."

UK: MP expelled from Shadow Cabinet for noting "problem with British Pakistani men raping white girls."

Belfast: City councilor suspended for "criticizing Islam."

These are, by no means, the worst examples. They are simply some examples I found close at hand. I've come across hundreds of other stories that illustrate the European penchant to bend over backward to accommodate Muslim cultural differences. One story that recurs over and over is the judicial administration of incredibly light sentences for rapes committed by Muslims. The defense attorney will typically claim that his client didn't know that rape is a crime, and the judge will typically give the defendant a sentence that is only a fraction of what a native European would receive.

This double standard is simply the logical working out of the multicultural assertion that no culture has the right to judge another. Which raises a question: How far backward will European culture bend before it breaks? Will the day come when a Muslim defendant in England argues that the life of the Baha'i woman he murdered is halal-ul-dam? And when that argument is offered will the judge acquit? Don't be too sure he won't. The pattern thus far is that when judgmental Islam comes into conflict with the non-judgmental West, the latter is all too likely to yield on whatever point is at issue. As Islam expert Robert Spencer has frequently observed, the new rule is: when in Muslim cultures, do as the Muslims do, and when in non-Muslim cultures, do as the Muslims do.

This article originally appeared in the September 26, 2018 edition of Crisis. It is published here with permission from the Turning Point Project.

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Bradley Mattes

Opinion,

Think 10K women died from illegal abortions before Roe? Think again

Bradley Mattes
By

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

October 18, 2018 (Life Issues Institute) – In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, pro-abortion activists and politicians are doubling down on their radical support for abortion on demand until the moment of birth.

They're in the minority. Most Americans support compassionate protections for unborn children and their mothers – especially a limit on abortion after five months, more than halfway through pregnancy. Pro-abortion activists respond to this with their tired, old militant lie: The only way to keep abortion safe is to keep abortion legal throughout pregnancy.

My mother taught me that when you say something you know is untrue, you're lying.

Abortion advocates – both before and after its legalization – have claimed the annual death toll of women who had illegal back-alley abortions before Roe v. Wade was between 5,000 and 10,000.

This is simply a lie. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics and Centers for Disease Control found that 39 women died from illegal abortions in 1972, the year before Roe. Every death was a tragic loss, but that number is far from the wild claims of extreme abortion advocates.

Bernard Nathanson, the former abortionist who ran the largest abortion center in the Western Hemisphere and co-founded NARAL, later came clean in his book, Aborting America.

He "knew the figures were totally false" and said that many leading pro-abortion activists were well aware of the untruth of those numbers. "But in the 'morality' of our revolution," he wrote, "it was a useful figure, widely accepted so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"

The claim that legal abortion is safe for women is also a lie. The truth is that women were far safer prior to legal abortion, which has been a death sentence not only for babies but for some of their mothers too. Hundreds of women who died from complications due to legal abortion and thousands more who have been maimed and suffered serious internal injuries from botched abortions have been documented.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization headquartered in Kansas, reports on the devastation caused by legal abortion and specializes in uncovering numerous unreported medical emergencies at abortion facilities nationwide.

Just last week, they discovered that an ambulance transported a woman to a local hospital who was experiencing hemorrhaging due to a botched abortion from a West Palm Beach mill. This same facility was referred to the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives two years ago for illegally selling aborted baby body parts for monetary gain.

Operation Rescue also recently received incident reports on an abortion facility in Charlotte, North Carolina showing that ambulances were called 15 separate times due to onsite medical emergencies. Even worse, in 2016, Diamond Williams lost her life due to a botched abortion at the same facility.

Earlier this year, they covered the trial of the abortionist Robert Rho, who pleaded guilty to killing young Jamie Morales during a botched second-trimester abortion at a New York abortion mill. Rho is currently serving 16 months to four years for criminally negligent homicide.

Another unreported story was the February 2017 death of Keisha Atkins, who was killed when a late-term abortion performed by Curtis Boyd went bad. Two of Boyd's Albuquerque, New Mexico-based abortion mills are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for working to increase second- and third-trimester abortions to sell aborted baby body parts.

Though the autopsy report concluded Keisha's pregnancy caused her death, a closer look at the case revealed a botched abortion was the culprit: a "septic infection" along with the fact "she carried her dead baby for four days after Boyd initiated his or her death in the womb."

These are just a few of the thousands of stories of women who have been hurt by the legal abortion industry. Contrary to the pro-abortion narrative, the dangerous back-alley days of abortion are happening right now.

All they did was change the location of the door from the back-alley to the street.

Legal abortion isn't safe abortion. It's literally a killer of babies and their moms. You can learn more about the threat legal abortion poses to women at our website. For the sake of women and their babies, Life Issues Institute will continue to work toward making abortion a horrific relic of the past.

Published with permission from the Life Issues Institute.

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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

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Obedience is not the root of all evil, but the source of Christian happiness

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

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A friend once told me the story of how, when he was a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, he went before the faculty to present his idea for a doctoral thesis: the obedience of Jesus in the Gospel of John. There was a moment’s pause, and one of the senior professors, a famous liberal, leaned forward and said: “This is an unacceptable topic. Obedience is the root of all evils.”

Such an attitude was understandable in a German scholar who had lived through National Socialism, when thousands of citizens suppressed the voice of their consciences and followed a crazed dictator into horrific disaster, in the name of obedience to leader, people, and nation. 

Such an attitude is also understandable today in the Catholic Church, when the unveiling of the corruption of prelates at all levels prompts the faithful to withhold not only funding but also moral cooperation and intellectual assent. “Obedience—to them? Are you kidding?” might become a common refrain. And bishops had better be aware of the long process of purification, internal discipline, and extensive rebuilding that will be necessary before they can reasonably expect a better response. Put differently, bishops will have to work their cassocks off to win and retain the respect of their flocks, now that they have squandered it utterly.

The modern crisis of obedience is a crisis of authority abused and trust misplaced. In the political sphere, authority has too often not been directed to the common good of the people but to the private good of the ruler or special interest groups, a phenomenon that has become rampant in American federal politics. Something similar can be seen in the manner in which some prelates, religious superiors, or husbands and fathers have ruled more for their own comfort and convenience than for the genuine good of their subjects. The rise of liberalism (including feminism) is, at least in part, a reaction against real abuses, even as Protestantism, grandfather of modern liberalism, justified its dissent in the face of a late medieval Christendom of moral laxity and religious abuses. Taking all this together with twentieth-century fascism and communism, we are perhaps not surprised by the Harvard professor’s generalization, for blind obedience to those who claim power over souls can be a terrible thing.

But there is a deeper problem lurking here as well. 

The statement that “obedience is the root of all evils” perfectly expresses the attitude of modernity. The so-called Enlightenment was born out of a desire to be free from authority, to “think for oneself” and stand in no relation of dependency on anyone else—to be, in short, the god of one’s own world. We find Immanuel Kant saying in his short essay “What is Enlightenment?” that man can be free only if he is free from everyone and dares to think by himself, for himself (aude sapere); as long as he is dependent on another, he is a slave. 

Such thoughts flow from the same destructive delusion that fallen man has always entertained, after the fatal disobedience of Adam and Eve. Though dressed in the elegant garb of Königsberg, Kant’s position differs in no way from that of the serpent in the garden of Eden. 

In truth, as St. Thomas Aquinas says in On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life, obedience is the proper response of the creature, of the servant; it is the path of one who knows where he comes from and where he is going, who understands the primacy of his Maker and Lord, and trusts in his Providence. By humbly obeying God and His representatives on earth, man negates the illusion of autonomy and enters into the liberty of the children of God who are led by His Spirit of love, not by their own easily mistaken desires. In fact, Aquinas says that man makes a perfect offering of himself not by giving up external goods, not even by giving up family ties and marriage, but only by giving up his own will as distinct from God’s—and therefore the one who longs for divine life can obtain it only by relinquishing his claims on any other life that he can call “his own.”

How, then, do we avoid the many evils of “blind” obedience to which we earlier referred?

In an absolute sense, it is not obedience that comes first, but truth and love; and this is why obedience rightly understood is not blind. In the order of being, there is first the truth, and the love of this truth; and then, obedience is the only appropriate response to truth, the only appropriate response of the will to truth that is to be loved for its own sake. Take away truth, and you take away love; take away love, and you take away the root of obedience. By the same token, take away obedience, and you will obscure the permanence and objectivity of the good loved, and undermine commitment to it; take away obedience, and you deny the sovereign rights of truth over your mind.

Within this Christian life, God places certain obligations on us, according to definite vocations. When a man and woman get married, they accept the duties of their state in life; they need to do whatever God asks them to do as spouses and parents. This is by no means easy, but it is a clear, concrete instance of obedience in action, and the experience of the saints has been that this obedience to one’s calling is liberating. It requires a death to self, to false autonomy—yet the end is not death, but resurrection, and the freedom of divine friendship. 

Beyond the duty of our state in life, we are called to give obedience to all legitimate authority derived from God and exercised, at least obliquely, in His name. This would include our responsibilities as members of associations, employees in a business, citizens of a nation, and so forth. Surely there are dangers and complications involved in any of these areas. It is enough to say that the nearer one is to Jesus himself and His immaculate Bride, the Catholic Church, the more absolute is the obedience owed; the further away, the more qualified and in need of prudential judgment.

Jesus Christ gave us a single, visible Church that teaches with His own authority on all matters necessary for salvation and even for the modicum of human happiness that can be had in this life. The purpose of every gift He gives us is to lead us to union with Him, the Truth incarnate, the love of God made visible. So, whatever obedience we rightly offer is given, either directly or indirectly, to Christ the King and to His Church. It is our association with the King and our citizenship in His kingdom that dignifies our obedience to His vicegerents on earth. This is why Christian obedience is not only not the root of all evils, but is, instead, the protector and promoter of our happiness.

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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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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These viral videos are using satire to destroy abortion activists’ strongest arguments

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It is rare that a new pro-life organization emerges that does something utterly unique, but that is precisely what Laura Klassen and Choice42 have done. In the past several months, they have released a series of viral videos that have taken the Internet by storm, with Klassen and her now signature pink wig playfully poking fun at popular pro-choice arguments—and racking up millions of views and copycat videos in a wide range of different languages.

Their now famous “Magical Birth Canal” video has over one million views on their Facebook page alone. 

Klassen first became aware of what she calls “the horror of abortion” when she was quite young. “I saw a graphic abortion image on the street,” she told me by email. 

“That image always stuck with me. I started volunteering at my local pregnancy resource centre when I was in university. It was there that I realized the huge potential for reaching out to abortion-minded women online and so I started Choice42.” 

The result was a massive online hub containing every pregnancy resource centre in the country, a one-stop shop for whatever a woman might need in crisis.

And then came the videos. 

“Our #JustSaying series was created to challenge the abortion status quo by addressing various pro-choice arguments,” Klassen explained. “Usually a certain pro-choice argument will be making the rounds on social media, and then a script starts brewing. We’ve had to build some pretty random props—you can’t buy a giant sparkly birth canal on Amazon, go figure—and those take some time. We’ve spent a lot of time gathering costumes for our next video, which we’ll be filming soon! We usually take a half-day to film a video with a small crew and then we do the editing ourselves.”

The videos have triggered massive reactions right across the spectrum—especially because Klassen has a knack for at poking the pro-choice activist arguments in a way that drives them crazy. 

“The Magical Birth Canal” cleverly exposed a fundamental abortion apologetic as ridiculous—the idea that your physical location has anything to do with your humanity or your value. “No Uterus, No Opinion” (which features Klassen explaining to me why I can’t have an opinion on an issue of human rights because I am a man) highlighted how bizarre it is to say that you can’t have an opinion on an injustice unless you’ve directly experienced it yourself. And if there is one thing abortion activists cannot stand, it is being made fun of.

“Abortion supporters are quite offended by our work,” Klassen noted. “We receive a lot of hate mail and threats. The comments on our videos from people who don’t agree with them are usually just insults with no real argument. We have opened a lot of eyes though…especially with the ‘Magical Birth Canal’ as even many abortion supporters did not realize that you don’t gain your human rights until you are fully born.” 

Success for women in the pro-life movement always comes with a backlash: Klassen puts up with some of the most repulsive and misogynist online hate that I’ve seen in a long time. 

Klassen’s latest video tackles the lazy slander that pro-lifers only care about babies until they’re born, and features her and a masked colleague breaking into a “fake clinic”—the moniker given to crisis pregnancy centres by abortion activists—and filling it with thousands of dollars worth of free diapers. 

“The idea for our latest video came because we wanted to do a big ‘pro-love’ gesture,” she explained. “The atmosphere here in Canada regarding the abortion issue is very tense right now with all of the violence against pro-lifers. We felt it would be a good time to do something really positive. We bought $2500 worth of diapers and did a reverse robbery at a Pregnancy Resource Centre. We ‘broke in’ to the centre and filled it with all of the diapers. We were addressing the myth that, ‘pro-lifers only care up until the point the baby is born’ which couldn't be further from the truth. We also wanted to bring more awareness to the Pregnancy Resource Centres and all that they offer for women and their families for YEARS after the birth.” 

Many more videos are being planned—and not just the hilarious parody videos Klassen has become famous for. Choice42 has put out riveting and heartbreaking stories of women who regret their abortions, and beautiful stories of women who chose life in spite of horrific circumstances. It is a powerful one-two punch of real-life stories and the clever popping of pro-choice myths—an online pro-life juggernaut that fills a unique role in the movement. Until now, there has been no group doing work quite like this—and it is tremendously effective.

“The response to our videos has been amazing,” Klassen told me. “We’ve gotten world-wide attention and have been accused of trying to sway other countries’ votes [in Ireland] regarding the pro-life issue. We’ve had women write in to say that they decided to choose life after watching our ‘Choose Life’ videos. Pregnancy Resource Centres across the globe are showing videos to their clients.”

In just a few short years, Klassen and Choice42 have managed to make an international impact. I’m sure we will be seeing much more of them in the future. 

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Reliquary and skull of Saint Ivo of Kermartin (St. Yves or St. Ives), (1253–1303) in Tréguier, Brittany, France

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Science is backing up cherished Catholic relics as genuine

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Over at the New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo passes on for English-speakers Italian-language reports of a scientific analysis of the relics (a full skeleton) of St Ambrose of Milan.

St Ambrose (337-397) was one of the great figures of his day, who baptized St Augustine of Hippo, and with St Augustine is one of the four Latin Doctors often depicted in art (the others being St Jerome and St Gregory the Great).

Not only are the bones the right age for St Ambrose, but they display the poorly-healed broken collarbone which, as his letters attest, troubled St Ambrose for many years. They are, so far as science can speak on the subject, authentic. 

Contrary to the wise-acres who for centuries have been casting doubt on the genuineness of the relics venerated by Catholics, this kind of scientific vindication keeps happening. The Holy Chalice of Valencia, according to tradition used at the Last Supper, was created (from agate) using techniques unique to the time of Our Lord’s life and earlier. The Holy Thorn of Andria, said to be from the Crown of Thorns and to bleed when Good Friday falls on 25th March, did so again under the cold gaze of scientific instruments in 2016. If these are the products of medieval forgers, those chaps certainly knew a thing or two.

It shouldn’t be surprising that relics of all kinds should have been carefully preserved from the earliest centuries, even if some will inevitably have been lost or destroyed. While the cult of relics created an incentive for unscrupulous forgers, ecclesiastical authorities were equally concerned not to be hoodwinked. Over the centuries much historical research has been done on the provenance of relics, and in many cases the relics themselves have provided supernatural evidence of their veracity, through their role in miracles. Today Catholics can be confident that officially authenticated relics are the real thing.

Like all the Church’s sacramentals (as opposed to Sacraments), relics they can be instrumental in bringing us grace by their stimulation of pious sentiments. This gives rise to one paradoxical response to the debate about the genuineness of relics, which is to say that it doesn’t matter. Similarly—this school of thought says—it is neither necessary nor appropriate to conduct scientific investigations of putative miraculous healings. What is important in either case is their effect on the Faithful: the stimulation of wonder, gratitude, and faith. 

However, those responses would not be appropriate if the miracle or relic were not genuine. One cannot say that a bone found in a butcher’s shop last week helps us in a special way to remember a saint from distant centuries, or that a headache cured by an aspirin allows us to experience God’s personal intervention into the usual order of nature for our benefit.

Sacramentals, which include blessed objects and blessings themselves, have an important place in the life of the Church in part precisely because they are not Sacraments. In his Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, Fr John Gerard SJ, who ministered to English Catholics under severe persecution, tells the story of a Catholic courtier who came to him for Confession. As was his usual custom with those who had been away from Confession for many years, Gerard advised him to spend a day or two preparing for this sacrament. The courtier revealed, however, that he wanted a speedy Confession because he had undertaken to fight a duel, upon which, he believed, his honor depended.

Gerard was horrified, and, of course, sacramental absolution was out of the question while the courtier maintained this intention. It was, in fact, the situation familiar to us today of a man debarred from the sacraments. Gerard did not simply abandon him to his fate, however, and among other things he gave him a relic which he could wear round his neck. It is easy to see how this would be a reminder and stimulus for a man in this wretched situation, to accept the actual graces God is always willing to pour out on sinners. Without fighting the duel, the man repented, returned to Gerard, made his Confession, and received Holy Communion.

If we today live in a Church where the state of mortal sin is common, where for many people sinful ways of life have become difficult to escape, and where the Sacrament of Confession is neglected, we should be especially grateful for the Sacramentals. We should establish in our parishes frequent opportunities to venerate relics; we should have blessed palms and blessed sacred images in our homes; we should wear Scapulars and medals; and we should take seriously priestly, episcopal, and papal blessings when the opportunity for them arises. They can be the means, not only for the good to become more fervent, but for sinners to find the grace of repentance.

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Brilliant new thought experiment may help abortion advocates see value of pre-born babies

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By Calvin Freiburger

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – If you’ve been reading abortion arguments on the internet for more than five minutes, odds are you’ve seen abortion apologists ask pro-lifers about a hypothetical fertility clinic that’s on fire.

It’s a thought experiment that asks us to imagine we have the chance to rescue a container full of frozen embryos or a born child – but not both. Most people are assumed to pick the latter, which supposedly reveals that deep down, not even the most ardent pro-lifer really believes embryos are people.

It’s nonsense, of course: scores and scores of pro-lifers have demolished the thought experiment on numerous occasions (including yours truly). In a nutshell, the scenario fails because it doesn’t change the objective scientific fact that embryos are people, and it confuses the additional variables forced on us in triage situations for statements of value and licenses to kill in non-emergencies.

Nevertheless it persists, usually accompanied by pro-aborts’ smug, simple-minded satisfaction that they just, like, totally owned those anti-choice yahoos.

We’re revisiting the burning clinic today because the folks at Dank Pro-Life Memes put a brilliant new spin on it Tuesday that deserves to be heard far and wide. Instead of asking pro-lifers to choose between embryos and adolescents, they’re asking abortion advocates whether they would save a pregnant or non-pregnant woman.  

Both women are equally valuable, but there’s a second person accompanying the former. Saving the pregnant woman means saving two people versus saving one. Of 211 votes, 95% chose to save the pregnant woman. 

Who would a pro-abort choose, though? I suspect most would also pick the pregnant woman, due to a blend of moral intuition and the rational assumption they’d be perceived as monsters if they didn’t (though one can’t help but wonder what rationale they’d come up with for prioritizing the one who wasn’t expecting).

But why would the presence of a "fetus" they consider to be essentially worthless make a difference? Out of respect for the mother valuing a child she wants? That can’t be it; the non-pregnant woman wants and values important things, too, and may very well have children of her own she desperately wants to see again.

There are any number of reasons to save a six-year-old over an embryo jar that don’t negate the embryos’ personhood – for example the terror and agony of a child who could perceive his immolation, the emotional torment his death would inflict on his parents and siblings. But, there is only one reason for choosing the pregnant woman: recognition that she carries something much more valuable than a cluster of extra cells.

Pro-aborts love the burning clinic fallacy because trying to undermine pro-lifers’ motives sidesteps having to defend abortion itself. So the next time you find yourself locked in debate with one of them, try putting their own logic to the test with this simple question.

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