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Martin M. Barillas

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EWTN wins 7-year battle with feds, won’t have to pay for abortion drugs

Martin M. Barillas
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November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – EWTN will not be forced to participate in the provision of abortifacient drugs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled Thursday.

After a years-long legal battle, EWTN Global Catholic Network won a lawsuit against the federal government over the Obama administration’s “contraception mandate” from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit the court vacated a decision against EWTN that was made by U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade in 2014. This victory comes on the heels of a EWTN and the Trump administration Department of Justice made in October, in which the network will not be required to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients in the health plan offered to its employees.

“Almost seven years and two presidential administrations later, the government and the courts have now realized what EWTN has been saying all along, that the HHS Mandate was an unconstitutional attempt to coerce us into violating our strongly held beliefs,” said EWTN CEO Michael P. Warsaw. “This is the right outcome for EWTN and for all those who value religious liberty in America.”

The ruling will allow EWTN to adhere to the Catholic teachings that guide its operations. During the Obama administration, the HHS mandate sought to force EWTN to provide contraception, including the so-called “morning-after pill.” In 2013, EWTN sued the federal government, challenging the contraception mandate in federal court. While a federal appeals court ruled against EWTN in 2016, that decision was annulled when the Supreme Court ruled that religious non-profit entities, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, were shielded by the U.S. Constitution. Thursday’s ruling came after an Executive Order by President Donald Trump, a formal settlement agreement, and a rule issued by HHS earlier this month that ensured exemptions so as to protect religious nonprofits like EWTN.

EWTN was founded in 1980 by the famed late Mother Angelica and is the largest religious media network in the world. It provides programming in multiple languages to over 300 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories.

EWTN originally filed suit in 2012 in Federal District Court in Alabama against the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other related government agencies. The network sought an injunction against the mandate in addition to finding on its constitutionality. The Attorney General of the State of Alabama later joined EWTN as a plaintiff.

EWTN’s first lawsuit was dismissed by the federal court in Alabama, after the Obama administration promised it would amend the regulations. However, once the revisions failed to address the network’s objections, EWTN filed a new lawsuit and was joined by Alabama and its then-Attorney General Luther Strange as co-plaintiffs. In June 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade of Mobile, Alabama ruled against EWTN. The network was granted an injunction preventing the mandate from being imposed while that court’s decision was appealed.

After a panel of judges voted against EWTN, the court suspended that decision pending the outcome of the Zubik v. Burwell case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Once the high court reached its decision in the Zubik case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated its negative order against EWTN in May 2016 and asked for further information while the federal government and the plaintiffs negotiated a settlement. Once attorneys for EWTN and the Department of Justice came to terms, the federal government agreed that it would not enforce the mandate against EWTN. It was agreed that EWTN could ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the lower court’s decision. That settlement led to the order by the appellate court on Thursday.

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Starbucks finally honoring its promise to block porn in U.S. stores

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

SEATTLE, Washington, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Starbucks is finally making good on its promise to block internet pornography from its American stores.

According to internet safety lobby group “Enough is Enough,” the coffee retail giant has already successfully blocked the access of offensive websites from its stores in the United Kingdom and Australia. After lagging behind on its promise to do the same in the United States, Starbucks has announced that it will roll out the safety software in 2019.

Starbucks’ decision follows severe criticism from “Enough is Enough,” and the group’s renewed petition asking the business to filter porn and child sex abuse images. So far, the EIE petition has attracted more than 26,000 signatures.

According to Business Insider, porn is already banned from Starbucks establishments, but as yet there are no content blockers on its free WiFi service. Starbucks told the magazine in 2016 that the challenge was developing a blocker than would not filter out inoffensive websites.  

"To ensure the Third Place remains safe and welcoming to all, we have identified a solution to prevent (offensive) content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our U.S. locations in 2019," a Starbucks representative told Business Insider via email this week.

“Third Place” refers to a social environment that is neither the home (the “first place”) or the workplace (the “second place”). One of Starbucks’ stated goals is to be “the third place” -- a place between home and work where people can socialize or experience “a sense of community.”

EIE told Starbucks that it was their corporate responsibility to the community to keep its patrons from accessing and downloading porn. In the preface to its November 20, 2018 petition, it accused the business of caring more about eliminating straws then keeping children safe.

“By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and patrons to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public WiFi services to view or distribute graphics or obscene pornography, child pornography (an illegal crime), or engage in sexual predation activity,” the petition reads.

EIE pointed out that McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A, who also provide customers with free Wi-Fi, had already “taken direct measures” to stop “dangerous content” from being accessed on their premises. The Subway sandwich chain had also introduced a filter.

EIE’s president, Donna Rice Hughes, told Business Insider that she was “thrilled” that Starbucks was at last going to keep porn outside its American doors. However, she also reiterated that the coffee chain, which she says is known for its patrons sitting and surfing the web for hours, had “lagged behind” other businesses.  

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Pro-life Irish politician accused of hating women for fighting taxpayer funded abortions

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

November 30, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – In a telling display of the intolerance shown towards anyone with a pro-life view in Irish politics, a politician has been subjected to vicious personal attacks for trying to amend the extreme abortion bill being rushed through the country's parliament.

Carol Nolan, the TD (member of the Dáil, the Irish parliament) for Offaly, who recently quit Sinn Féin after being suspended for voting against party policy on abortion, tabled an amendment to the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill, seeking to ensure that taxpayers' money is not used for abortions. Health Minister Simon Harris announced in September that abortion would be provided free on Ireland's health service.

Free abortion in a fee-paying healthcare system

Unlike in the UK, under Ireland's two-tier healthcare system, nearly 70 per cent of the population have to pay fees for healthcare services. A trip to accident and emergency costs €100, a stay in hospital €80, and a GP visit €45-75. Abortion, which will be available on demand up to 12 weeks without reference needed to the woman's health, will be provided free of charge.

During the report stage of the bill, the last chance for amendments, Deputy Nolan asked why the public was being asked to "fund a service of forcing a fatal act on others who have done no wrong", and described how an abortion is carried out. 

Personal attacks

Her amendment was defeated by 90 votes to 9, but not before she was attacked by TDs on all sides. Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers described Ms Nolan's amendment as "sinister", while People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said that the description of the abortion procedure was designed to induce "trauma, fear and shock."

The most vicious abuse came from Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly, who also accused Ms Nolan of trying to "inject shock tactics and US nonsense", and said her comments "displayed no compassion" and were "dripping with judgement, dripping with a kind of visceral hatred of women." Bizarrely, she also said Ms Nolan was doing "the bidding of a certain well known businessman."

visibly tearful Ms Nolan was forced to defend her character, and to reiterate that she was seeking to represent the views of the 723,632 people who voted No in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, and of the many people who voted Yes who have problems with the legislation as it now stands. 

Bullied into silence or cast out

The refusal by the major political parties to allow any deviation from the pro-abortion position or to allow any amendments to the legislation means Ms Nolan is not the only TD to have been forced out of her party. Peadar Tóibín has now left Sinn Féin after the party suspended him for six months for voting against the abortion bill, while Peter Fitzpatrick resigned from Fine Gael in part because of the governing party's promotion of abortion. 

Deputy Nolan summed the situation up, saying: "Unfortunately, many Pro-Life have been bullied into silence, but I won't allow my views on the issue to be silenced, it appears that democracy in Dáil Éireann only exists if you hold a liberal and pro-choice view – so much for equality and respect. My sole motivation at all times has been a concern for the welfare of women and their unborn babies.

"I am not accustomed to describing the abortion procedure in detail but when colleagues in the Dáil won't even support an amendment to provide pain relief for an unborn baby during a late-term abortion then I think it is reasonable to challenge them on what they are doing." 

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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‘I am a woman’: UK radio host blasts ‘cis’ label transgender arguments

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By Calvin Freiburger

UNITED KINGDOM, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The simple words “man” and “woman” have become lightning rods as transgender ideology permeates every level of society, but one radio host in the United Kingdom just took a forceful stand against redefining terms that have been universally understood for centuries.

This week, talkRADIO Breakfast Show presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer held a segment on the issue of men who “identify” as women being held in women’s prisons. A record number of male inmates in England and Wales claim to be female, a subject that’s garnered controversy in no small part due to cases like that of Stephen Wood, who assaulted four female inmates after being housed in a women’s facility because he “identifies” as “Karen White.”

According to the Ministry of Justice, there is at least one “trans” inmate in every prison in the UK. There are 42 “trans” inmates in women’s prisons, 22 of whom claim to be female. The total number of gender-confused inmates is double that of two years ago. The statistics do not include prisoners who “have already transitioned and have a full Gender Recognition Certificate,” the Telegraph reports.

Safety remains “an absolute priority,” the Ministry claims, and male inmates claiming to be female can be kept in male facilities if they present risks that “cannot be managed within the women’s prison estate.” The Stephen Wood scandal was considered a major black eye for the prison system.

“The number of women who are behind bars who have actually experienced abuse in childhood or abuse from partners as part of their life experience, they are therefore very vulnerable,” Julia Hartley-Brewer argued. “For them to then suddenly be in an environment where they are kept in cells alongside people who are biologically men is a very big risk.”

“Well it is, and I think you point to a really important fact here that’s often forgotten, which is that most women in prison have been victims of male violence, including male sexual violence,” guest Richard Garside of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies agreed. “There’s certainly an issue about men going onto those prisons and actually abusing, physically abusing those women. But there’s also a broader question here, which is about whether we believe it is possible or indeed necessary to have female-only spaces.”

Later in the broadcast, Hartley-Brewer declared the standard should be that “if you are physically intact as a man, biologically, you are not in a women’s prison, end of. End of. Nothing to discuss.”

When another participant in the conversation, comedian Steve Allen, replied that female inmates should be protected against attacks from both “a cis or a trans woman,” sparks flew.

“Can I just say, you are not allowed to come on my show and say a ‘cis or a trans woman,’” Hartley-Brewer responded. “I am not a ‘cis’ woman, Vanessa is not a ‘cis’ woman, we are women. We are biologically women. I am not gonna have that BBC claptrap on my show.”

Allen protested that he only meant to clearly differentiate trans “women” from the rest of the inmates, but the host stood firm. “I was born a woman, fifty percent of this population are women, we’re not ‘cis’ women, we don’t have to adjust what we’re called for a tiny minority of activists who don’t even represent trans people,” she maintained.

Allen asked if “non-trans women” would suffice, but Hartley-Brewer said that too would be met with a request to leave her studio.

“I’m absolutely serious, I’m not having it. I’m not having our language in this country reduced in this way,” she declared. “I am a woman, you are a man. I’m quite happy for someone to be a trans woman or trans man, but you don’t take away what I am because you choose to change your gender.”

“Cis” and “cisgender” are relatively new additions to the public vernacular, but have become many pro-LGBT activists’ default way of referencing anyone who isn’t gender-confused.

“The term ‘cisgender’ was coined in—where else?—an academic paper. Written in 1998, it was entitled ‘The Neosexual Revolution,’ which in turn cited a 1991 paper entitled ‘Transsexuals and our nosomorphic view,’” Break Point’s John Stonestreet explained in 2016. But while such works are obscure, the language’s impact is widespread.

“All that’s required is for enough outlets and opinion elites to adopt the term in order to raise doubts in our minds about the relationship of ‘gender’ to biology,” he warned. “If enough people doubt that their own experience is normative, then the neologism will have succeeded in its task.”

On her Twitter account, Julia Hartley-Brewer says her “preferred prounouns” are “she/her imperial majesty,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to the left-wing trend of asking for and listing each other’s “preferred pronouns” rather than “assuming gender.”

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Planned Parenthood boosts CEOs’ salaries while demanding tax funding: report

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By Calvin Freiburger

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) continues to present itself as a simple organization that depends on government assistance to serve women’s health, but a new report highlights just how lavishly the abortion giant compensates its top executives.

Between 2015 and 2017, the average compensation for a PPFA affiliate CEO rose from $237,999 to $255,523, according to American Life League’s (ALL’s) 2018 report on the subject. The average compensation to top PPFA executives during that same period rose from $389,514 to $394,893.

“The results of our review show that some executives took pay cuts, but most saw increases to their already inflated salaries,” ALL executive director Jim Sedlak writes on ALL’s STOPP International website, summarizing the report’s findings.

Planned Parenthood paid all 56 of its affiliate CEOs a total of $14.3 million, from which all made at least six figures annually. Thirty-seven made more than $200,000, 14 made more than $300,000, eight made more than $400,000, and one made more than half a million dollars. As of 2017, former president Cecile Richards and outgoing executive vice president Dawn Laguens made $744,833 and $638,532, respectively.

Executive compensation is an often-misunderstood subject that in the private sector typically reflects performance. But at Planned Parenthood, performance seems to be measured more by government funding collected than by women treated.

Citing the example of California’s Planned Parenthood Mar Monte becoming the first-ever affiliate to exceed $100 million in revenue, the report notes it made record profits and subsequently rewarded its CEOs “not through a great marketing campaign or revolutionizing the delivery of health services, but by getting more taxpayer money.”

“It continues to be interesting that the highest paid CEOs are not from the largest affiliates,” Sedlak notes. “The CEO report shows that, at Planned Parenthood, operating a supposed ‘non-profit’ organization that supposedly provides health care to the poor, can be a very lucrative occupation. According to latest reports, anyone earning over $421,926 a year is in the top 1% of the population.”

In its most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood reported receiving $543.7 million in government grants and reimbursements, $318.1 million in private revenue, and $532.7 million in private donations. The group’s political arms, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, spent $20 million this year on political activity in just eight states.

Live Action argues that Planned Parenthood uses taxpayer funding as a “political money laundering scheme,” relying on medical reimbursements for its stated “services” so more of its private contributions can be redirected to partisan advocacy.

Despite Planned Parenthood’s massive income from both public and private sources, in recent years it has presided over sharp declines in actual medical services. Abortions rose 11 percent from 2010 to 2014, during which breast cancer screenings dropped 62 percent, pap tests 72 percent, and prenatal care 30 percent.

Nevertheless, the abortion giant claims that efforts to redirect its federal subsidies to women’s health providers not involved in abortion are really meant to “block people’s access to health care.”

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Ben Shapiro
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Gonzaga University blocks Ben Shapiro speech, citing ‘Jesuit’ values

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By Lisa Bourne

Update Dec. 5, 2018: This story has been updated to denote Father James Martin, S.J. having given a commencement address for Gonzaga University in 2016.

SPOKANE, Washington, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gonzaga University has blocked a proposed speaking engagement for Ben Shapiro, saying it would be “contrary” to the school’s “Catholic/Jesuit mission and values.”

Gonzaga Vice President of Student Development Judi Biggs Garbuio declined the College Republicans chapter’s request to book Shapiro to speak at the university, Campus Reform reports, citing in addition to the school’s “Catholic/Jesuit mission,” human dignity, solidarity with vulnerable people, and safety concerns, given the sort of protests that might accompany an appearance by the conservative, pro-life Jewish commentator.

“Mr. Shapiro’s appearances routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people, regardless of their age, politics or beliefs,” Biggs Garbuio said, appearing to accidentally acknowledge the intolerance of campus left-wing protestors, who have at other schools rioted and stormed buildings in response to speakers with whom they disagreed.

“Gonzaga University is committed to the human dignity of every individual,” she said. “This is the core of our mission based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, and the foundations of the Society of Jesus. We stand in solidarity with vulnerable members of our community who may be targeted for discrimination, ridicule, or harassment by others.”

Biggs Garbuio went on to say that because of “what has occurred on other campuses” there is question of whether safety could be guaranteed.

Gonzaga College Republicans President Olivia Johnston had submitted the Shapiro event request, which was obtained by Campus Reform.

“They want Gonzaga to be a left of center university and they have made it clear diversity of thought it not welcome,” Johnston told Campus Reform. “My mission as president is to ensure free speech on campus, as college is a place to expand your thinking and not be indoctrinated in the classroom.” 

“I refuse to accept a University that only supports strictly liberal thinking,” she added. “The hypocrisy must end.”

Although Biggs Garbuio cited Gonzaga’s mission in her reasoning for denying the request to host Shapiro, the university’s mission statement does express a commitment to support for critical thinking.

The mission statement says in part, “Through engagement with knowledge, wisdom, and questions informed by classical and contemporary perspectives, Gonzaga cultivates in its students the capacities and dispositions for reflective and critical thought, lifelong learning, spiritual growth, ethical discernment, creativity, and innovation.”

A Washington Times report noted how Shapiro reacted without fanfare to the rebuff.

“Would have loved to come out, gang,” Shapiro said in a Facebook post.

Gonzaga College Republicans Vice President Cody Meyer criticized the Shapiro banning.

“When an idea or figure arises who does not support the politically biased narrative Gonzaga clings to, our university can dismiss it as hate and intolerance,” Meyer told Campus Reform. “I urge Gonzaga to reconsider this decision and support the fundamentals of the Jesuit university to which I belong.”

Nicholas Gervasini, a Gonzaga senior and past president of the College Republicans, termed Shapiro a “nightmare for the administration.”

Gervasini said that the conservative speaker and Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief has “made his living criticizing their exact types.”

Young America’s Foundation (YAF) reported on the move by Gonzaga Wednesday, with another take on the blocking of Shapiro beyond that of a ban of free speech and critical thought.

YAF spokesman Spencer Brown pointed out that Gonzaga took no issue with inviting avowed Communist Angela Davis to campus.

He referenced specifics of her background, including among other things Davis having been a proud member of the Communist Party, Davis having been welcomed to Cuba in 1969 by the country’s dictator Fidel Castro and praising the socialism there, and her making the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives in 1970 for her role purchasing firearms used to shoot a judge.  

“This decision by Gonzaga administrators amounts to institutional anti-Semitism,” Brown said. “For Gonzaga to allow someone like Angela Davis to speak—while barring Ben Shapiro from appearing at the invitation of conservative students—is the height of liberal hypocrisy.”

“No one is expecting Shapiro to be teaching on the tenets of the Catholic faith,” added Brown, “so Gonzaga’s objections are flatly absurd, especially when one considers Angela Davis somehow passed muster for Gonzaga administrators.”

In the past Gonzaga has hosted supporters of abortion and same-sex “marriage” as commencement speakers, shown support for a pro-same-sex “marriage” group, been open to instituting policies recognizing gender-fluidity, welcomed the vulgar Vagina Monologues play, and been unsupportive of the pro-life cause on campus.

It was at a 2016 commencement address for Gonzaga where Jesuit Father James Martin inferred in conflict with Catholic Church teaching that God made gay, lesbian and transgender individuals as they are.

The Church teaches that human beings are not defined by their sexual inclinations.

Shapiro is scheduled to speak at the 2019 March for Life, which draws hundreds of thousands of Catholics every year.

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Christian college students claim black pro-lifer’s talk made people of color feel ‘unsafe’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WHEATON, Illinois, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Three student officials at a Christian college have alleged that an African-American speaker made other people of color feel “unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe” with his pro-life talk.

Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation gave a presentation entitled “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb” at the evangelical Wheaton College on November 14. He was the guest of the Wheaton College Republicans. Bomberger’s talk touched on the “hypocrisy” of the BLM leadership in announcing its solidarity with Planned Parenthood, the “leading killer of black lives.”

In response to Bomberger’s interactive talk, Lauren Rowley, Wheaton’s student body president, Tyler Waaler, the student body vice-president, and Sammy Shields, the “EVP” of the college’s Community Diversity, signed an email directed to the entire college claiming that Bomberger’s talk distressed “many” people of color.

“As many of you know, a special interest club hosted an event on Wednesday night titled, ‘Black Lives Matter: In and Outside the Womb.’ The speaker of this event, Ryan Bomberger, made several comments at the event that deeply troubled members of our community. His comments, surrounding the topic of race, made many students, staff, and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe on our campus,” they wrote.

Without supplying any examples, Rowley, Waaler, and Shields called Bomberger’s opinions “offensive rhetoric” and suggested that they “compromised” the college’s mission.

“As Student Government, we are committed to the College's mission to promoting student programming that ‘pursues unity, embraces ethnic diversity, and practices racial reconciliation so that it will contribute to the education of whole persons,’ and therefore, felt it necessary to respond to the offensive rhetoric from the speaker at this event that compromised this mission,” they stated.  

Bomberger, who is a biracial African American conceived in rape and then raised in a mixed-race family, responded indignantly to the allegations, saying that Rowley, Waaler, and Shields had demonized him. He said also that many students had told him that out of the three, only Shields had attended his talk.

“I would think it would be against the college’s mission to intentionally mislead students,” Bomberger wrote in response to the student leaders’ backlash against him.

He noted that the student leaders had not provided any evidence for what they allege.

“As typical with ‘progressivism’ one only needs to make the claim of offense without allowing people to examine the alleged ‘offense.’ The Dean of Student Engagement, Steve Ivester...praised me for the way in which I approached such heavy issues. But it seems that only some people’s opinions matter,” Bomberger wrote.

Observing that Wheaton is a Christian college, Bomberger said it would be a disservice to students if African-American speakers like himself were not allowed to offer only a “particular” and “decidedly secular” perspective on important cultural matters. He also pointed out something that should have been obvious – that he is a person of color.

“I am a person of color, a clarifying fact which you conveniently left out of your letter of denouncement,” he wrote. “I was primarily presenting a perspective of those who are never heard, always underrepresented, and are actually unsafe – the unborn.”

“For anyone – student, faculty, or staff – to claim that they were ‘unheard’ or ‘underrepresented,’ they obviously didn’t stay for the 25 minutes of Q&A that followed or the additional 30 minutes that I stayed and responded to more thoughtful questions as well as some baseless (and even hostile) accusations.”    

Bomberger called the allegation he made people feel unsafe “hyperbole.”

“Are students at Wheaton taught to fear or taught to think?” he demanded.

The invited speaker noted also that the letter-writers had not bothered to name the “special interest club” that invited him or mention that his hosts, the Wheaton College Republicans, have students of color as their president and vice-president, Hispanic and Asian.

Bomberger told Rowley, Waaler, and Shields that Wheaton’s students deserved better that “deception and deliberate distortion” and suggested that they give them a link to his entire talk so that they can come to “a reasoned conclusion, rooted in truth.”

“Isn’t this where a Christian education should lead any student?” he asked.

A spokeswoman for Wheaton College told LifeSiteNews via press release that some students were “concerned” by Bomberger’s statements.

“While some students found Mr. Bomberger’s ideas noncontroversial, others were concerned by his statements during and after the presentation and Q&A. They shared their concerns with elected student leaders, who later sent an e-mail to undergraduate students commenting on Mr. Bomberger’s remarks and sharing their intention to create additional opportunities for dialogue,” she stated.

“Wheaton College’s philosophy is to couple the presentation of challenging ideas with opportunities for care and reflection in response to the needs of our campus community,” she continued.

According to the Wheaton College spokeswoman, administrators have reached out to the Bombergers to learn about their concerns.

Wheaton College was one of the non-Catholic Christian colleges that sued the Obama administration over its coercive mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) forcing Christian entities to participate in the provision of abortion-causing drugs through their employee healthcare plans.

In February 2018, a judge ruled in Wheaton v. Azar that the university did not have to comply with the coercive rule, which the Trump administration has taken steps to roll back.

“We are grateful to God that the court recognized Wheaton’s religious identity and protected our ability to affirm the sanctity of human life,” Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, said at the time. “The government should never have tried to force us to provide drugs and services against our faith, and we are pleased by the resolution of our case.”

To respectfully express your concern for freedom of speech at Wheaton College, please contact:

Ms. Lauren Rowley
Student Body President

Mr. Tyler Waaler
Student Body Vice-President

Mr. Sammie Shields
EVP of Community Diversity

Student Activities Office
Wheaton College
501 College Avenue
Wheaton, Illinois 60187-5501
630.752.5000

Email: [email protected]

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Google employees debated manipulating search results to suppress conservatives: report

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By Calvin Freiburger

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Engineers at internet powerhouse Google privately discussed manipulating search results to bury content from conservative websites following the 2016 election, according to internal communications obtained by the Daily Caller.

On Thursday, the Caller reported that it has obtained communications beginning November 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, in which employees of the world’s most influential search engine not only lamented the outcome, but discussed doing something about it.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” engineer Scott Byer wrote. He expressed a desire to “fix” the phenomenon of the site’s election card highlighting stories from the Caller and Breitbart, which he complained elevated “opinion blogs” to be on par with “legitimate news organizations.”

“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” Byer said. “Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”

His colleague Uri Dekel disagreed, positing that delegitimizing conservative news outlets “is partially what got us to this mess.”

“We laughed off Drudge’s Instant Polls and all that stuff, but in the end, people go to those sources because they believe that the media doesn’t do it’s [sic] job,” Dekel continued. “I’m a Hillary supporter and let’s admit it, the media avoided dealing with the hard questions and issues, which didn’t pay off. By ranking ‘legitimacy’ you’ll just introduce more conspiracy theories.”

Byer responded by claiming he doesn’t want a “political judgement” but merely to “break the myth feedback loop, the false equivalency,” insisting that Breitbart is “just echoing a demonstrably made up story” on “many” occasions. He admitted the same thing “happens at MSNBC, too.”

Engineer Mike Brauwerman chimed in to suggest Google could avoid “accusations of conspiracy or bias from people who ultimately have a right and obligation to decide what they want to believe” by “get[ting] better at displaying the ‘ripples’ and copy-pasta, to trace information to its source, to link to critiques of those sources, and let people decide what sources they believe.”

This may be referencing what eventually became Google’s “Reviewed Claims” feature, which conservatives criticized for falsely attributing erroneous claims to conservative websites while failing to fact-check liberal ones. The company discontinued the function in January.

A Google spokeswoman downplayed the significance of the exchange in a response to the Daily Caller, insisting the employees’ talk never translated to discriminating against conservative websites.

“This post shows that far from suppressing Breitbart and Daily Caller, we surfaced these sites regularly in our products. Furthermore, it shows that we value providing people with the full view on stories from a variety of sources,” she claimed. “Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology. Our processes and policies do not allow for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies.”

But this isn’t the first instance of Google insiders privately discussing how to affect political outcomes, nor is it true that such desires have never manifested in their products.

Over the past few months, multiple private communications leaked revealing that the company took part in Hispanic voter turnout efforts in hopes of benefitting Democrat Hillary Clinton, that top executives vowed to ensure 2016 was no more than a “blip” or “hiccup” in a “moral arc of history bend[ing] towards progress,” and that the company commissioned research into how it could be a “good censor” to strike a balance between an “unmediated ‘marketplace of ideas,’” and “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

In September, PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard found evidence Google does manipulate search results. She performed a News search for “trump” on Google, then organized the results based on a chart of news outlets’ political leanings created by Emmy-winning investigative journalist and media bias critic Sharyl Attkisson.

“Looking at the first page of search results, I discovered that CNN was the big winner, scoring two of the first ten results,” Bolyard wrote. “Other left-leaning sites that appeared on the first page were CBS, The Atlantic, CNBC, The New Yorker, Politico, Reuters, and USA Today (the last two outlets on this list could arguably be considered more centrist than the others).”

21 results were from CNN, 11 from the Washington Post, and 11 from NBC. The only right-of-center news outlets to break the top 100 were the Wall Street Journal with three results, and Fox News Channel with two. She concluded that “left-leaning sites comprised 96 percent of the total results,” as Trump highlighted.

Additionally, the Google-owned YouTube has attempted to restrict multiple conservative groups, such as Dennis Prager’s Prager University, under false pretenses.

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Brazilian diplomat Ernesto Araujo, who was appointed by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro as Foreign Minister, is pictured at the headquarters of the transitional government in Brasilia, on November 14, 2018. SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images
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Brazil’s new pro-Trump foreign minister trashes climate change as Marxist ‘ideology’

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By Doug Mainwaring

BRAZIL, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brazil’s new top diplomat is provoking strong reaction among leftists due to a number of statements that have recently surfaced showing him bucking against some of their most cherished beliefs. 

Ernesto Frago Araújo has called climate change an “ideology” contrived by “cultural Marxists” in order to stifle western economies. He has also, at the same time, called out the left for attempting to “criminalize” the “family,” “heterosexual intercourse,” the statement that “a person is born a man or a woman,” and “faith in God.”

The appointment of Araújo, who will take office as Brazil’s foreign minister in January, is “likely to send a chill through the global climate movement,” according to a report in The Guardian. 

Araújo says his goal is to “‘help Brazil and the world liberate themselves from globalist ideology,’ which he sees as anti-Christian,” continues the report. 

Araújo said the environmental cause, which originally was intended to be about the “preservation of nature and the responsible use of its resources,” was hijacked by the left as a way to control countries and peoples. 

“This dogma has served to justify an increase in the regulatory power of states over the economy and power of international institutions over national states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and foster China's growth. (An important part of the globalist project is to transfer economic power from the West to the Chinese regime, a key part of Trump's project is to disrupt that process, which is already happening.) Climate is basically a globalist tactic of instilling fear for more power,” wrote Araújo, a prolific blogger, in a post last month.

In another post Araújo said Brazil's Workers Party promotes totalitarianism as it “Criminalizes everything that is good, spontaneous, natural and pure; Criminalizing the family on charges of patriarchal violence; Criminalizing private property; Criminalising sex and reproduction, saying that all heterosexual intercourse is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet as it will increase carbon emissions.”

Socialism is “criminalizing faith in God," continued Araújo in the post. “Criminalizing patriotism. Criminalizing biology by prohibiting the statement that a person is born a man or a woman. Criminalizing competition (‘sport is a fascist thing,’ I once heard a leftist colleague). Criminalizing red meat. Criminalizing air conditioning [because of its so-called carbon footprint]. Criminalizing beauty. Criminalizing all Western thinkers since Anaximander [d. 536 BC]. Criminalizing history and its heroes. Criminalizing Disney movies. Criminalizing love for children and ancestors. Criminalizing oil or any energy efficient and cheap.”

The Guardian characterized the above quotes as “incendiary rhetoric.” It interviewed for its report a “climate negotiation expert” who criticized Araújo.

“Brazil has played a very significant role for the Paris agreement. It would be really bad for the country’s image if he brings with him his ideology,” said Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory.

He said climate was the one area where Brazil could proudly boast to be a global leader, and urged the new foreign minister and president not to isolate the country in this field.

Pro-life and pro-family leaders welcomed the news of the October election of Jair Bolsonaro, calling it a “new day for Brazil.”

“Jair Bolsonaro has been elected president, putting an end to a generation of leftist rule.  Under Bolsonaro, Brazil could go from being a refuge for Latin American marxists and their corrupt globalist allies to becoming an invaluable ally to President Trump’s vision of a region where governments are motivated by their sovereign interests.  Most importantly, Brazil will go from being a promoter of the Culture of Death, to a defender of the Culture of Life,” wrote Guilherme Ferreira Araújo along with Gualberto Garcia Jones in an Oct. 28 piece on LifeSiteNews.

The authors say that many people consider some of Bolsonaro’s public statements to be controversial, but this is largely due to his “boldness and directness” in attacking the communist party. 

“[T]his is precisely why Bolsonaro started to become so popular. He was one of the only ones willing  to publicly attack what the communists from the Workers Party (PT) were doing: the destruction of the family through gender ideology and early sexualization; the defense and even the promotion of organized crime as a stylish way of life; the promotion of abortion; the deep corruption scandals - perpetrated at a scale never seen before by Lula and his gang - that battered Brazil; the endemic violence that has affected the country (claiming at least 60,000 murders per year).  In all of these areas, Bolsonaro has not held back and has offered bold conservative solutions which have resonated with the people of Brazil,” they write. 

According to the Daily Mail, Bolsonaro’s election underscores “Brazil's sharp turn to the right and the reversal of nearly a decade and a half of diplomacy under leftist Workers Party governments that focused on alliances with South American allies and ideological partners - including Cuba.”

Prof. Roberto de Mattei
Prof. Roberto de Mattei, Rome November 29, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
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Catholic historian explains the right way for Catholics to resist Pope Francis’ ‘paradigm shift’

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The discontinuity of Pope Francis’ “disastrous” pontificate with the Church’s Tradition is the “ripe fruit” of Vatican II’s emphasis of praxis over doctrine, a noted Catholic historian has said. 

In a Nov. 29 speech in Rome, Professor Roberto de Mattei also explained what he believes to be the right way for Catholics to resist Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift.”

De Mattei is an Italian historian and president of the Lepanto Foundation. He has taught at various universities and has served as vice-president of the National Research Council, Italy’s leading scientific institution.

The conference, titled “Pope Francis, five years after: continuity or rupture in the Church?,” was co-hosted by the Lepanto Foundation and Tradition, Family, and Property. It featured Msgr. Nicola Bux, the theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints whose recent interview with Aldo Maria Valli gained considerable attention, and José Antonio Ureta, author of Pope Francis’s “Paradigm Shift,” an analysis of the first five years of the current pontificate.

Need for balance

The Catholic historian began his talk by noting that “balance” is one of the most needed virtues in the current crisis in the Church.

“Balance, along with patience, is the virtue of the strong,” he said. “Balance is prudent strength, or strong prudence. Those who say, ‘I prefer to deceive myself about the Pope rather than to be right about him’ manifest an imbalance,” he noted. “But there is also an imbalance in those who say: ‘Since the Pope deceives himself and deceives me, it means that he is not the Pope.’”

Prof. de Mattei said a balanced position rests on the “fundamental distinction” between the Church, which is “holy and immune from all error,” and the men of the Church, “who can sin and err.” If the shepherds of the Church teach error, he said, it is not only “lawful” to resist them, but even a “duty” when the common good is at stake (Gal. 2:11).

“But resistance is not always enough,” de Mattei argued. He said situations may arise when the laity must separate themselves from errant shepherds, and here balance is also needed.

“We are talking about a spiritual and moral separation, which does not question, on the juridical level, the legitimacy of those who govern the Church,” he explained, comparing it to that lawful parting of spouses who cease living together but without divorcing or saying their marriage is invalid.

“If the ecclesiastical authority were then to impose canonical sanctions against those who remain faithful to Tradition, it would provoke a formal division in the Church,” he explained. In such cases, “the responsibility for rupture” would fall to the authorities “who exercised their power illegitimately,” and not on those who, respecting canon law, only remained faithful to their baptism.

The Catholic historian also warned the laity not to rashly reject the validity of Pope Francis’ papacy should such sanctions be imposed. He said the correct response would be: “These sanctions are unjust and illegitimate, even if you are, until proven otherwise, the legitimate Pope.” 

“Until proven otherwise” means that a pope can lose his pontificate for a variety of reasons, including heresy, but these reasons must be “incontrovertible,” he said. 

Heresy or the invalidity of a papal election must be “manifest” and “widely known to the whole Church,” he explained, because the Church is a visible society and not an invisible sect. It is therefore not enough that the Pope “professes or publicly favors heresy; it must be perceived as such by Catholic public opinion,” he added. 

De Mattei noted that bishops, but especially cardinals (as electors and counsellors to the Pope) must see the heresy or invalidity of an election, and see its consequences. “Until then,” he said, “a Pope must be considered legitimate.” 

To date, none of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 conclave have publicly questioned the validity of Pope Francis’ papacy.

The bigger question

But Prof. de Mattei said the “bigger question” we need to look at is how we got here. “How did we arrive at having to imagine our own spiritual and moral separation “even from the Supreme Pastor, who at the moment is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” 

Looking back at recent history, he said the “leitmotif” of Benedict XVI’s pontificate was the “hermeutic of continuity,” i.e. the correct interpretation of the texts of Vatican II that is in accord with the Church’s constant tradition. 

The Italian historian noted that, in two key addresses, delivered at the beginning and end of his pontificate, Pope Benedict “admits there is a link between the current crisis of faith and the Second Vatican Council, but he maintains that this crisis is due not to the Council itself, but to a bad hermeneutic, to an incorrect interpretation of its texts.” 

Why, despite the efforts of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and like-minded bishops, did the hermeneutic of continuity not stop the process of the Church’s self-demolition?

“It didn’t succeed in stopping it, because one doesn’t stop a historical process with a debate over hermeneutics,” Prof. de Mattei insisted. The proponents of the hermeneutic of continuity “deluded themselves,” he said, into thinking they could “limit the discussion” to the interpretation of documents, while the proponents of a “hermeneutic of discontinuity” — or rupture with Tradition — “advanced on the field of praxis,” in keeping with “the spirit of Vatican II.”

This spirit, he said, affirmed the primacy of pastoral care, i.e. praxis, over doctrine.

“The essence of the Second Vatican Council was the triumph of pastoral care over doctrine, the transformation of pastoral care into a theology of practice, and the application of the philosophy of Marxist praxis to the life of the Church,” de Mattei argued.

“Pope Francis embodies the thesis opposing Ratzinger’s. He is not interested in theological debate, nor in the hermeneutical one. Pope Francis represents the playing out of Vatican II, and the triumph, in his person, of pastoral care over theology.” 

The historian therefore concluded that “there is no rupture between the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis but rather historical continuity. Pope Francis represents the ripe fruit of Vatican II.”

The turning point

Prof. de Mattei said he believes that, while Pope Francis’ pontificate has represented a “paradigm shift,” the “true great turning point”of the last five years has been “the reaction this pontificate has provoked among Catholics around the world.”

“Pope Francis’ pontificate, precisely because it is disastrous, has highlighted the existence of a crisis in the Church that would otherwise have been ignored,” he said.

He said this reaction has been manifested through several important initiatives: the 2015 Supplica Filiale which collected 900,000 signatures of the faithful; the 2016 dubia on Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, sent to Pope Francis by four cardinals; the 2017 filial correction, whose initial 40 signatures of clergy and scholars quickly grew to 250; and most recently, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimonies implicating several high-ranking prelates, and Pope Francis himself, in the Theodore McCarrick abuse cover-up.

“All of these initiatives have had immense repercussions, but the answer has only been silence. A silence that constitutes a dramatic confirmation of the truth of the accusations,” Prof. de Mattei said. 

He added: “The ‘listening Church’ of Pope Francis listens to everyone except those who are entirely faithful to the Gospel and to the perennial magisterium of the Church,” he said. “Pope Francis uses the same fierce language towards his critics that Lenin used against his opponents.”

Wild and dumb dogs

The Italian historian said that one example of such Leninist language came in the Pope’s daily homily on September 3, 2018 when he called those who criticize him “a pack of wild dogs.” 

De Mattei noted that two days later, on Sept. 5, 2018, the Italian author Marcello Veneziani responded in Il Tempo, saying: 

No, Your Holiness, a Pope cannot call his neighbors ‘wild dogs,’ and especially when it comes to Catholics, Christians, believers. Dogs is the derogatory term that Muslims use for infidels and Christians. The popes who preceded Francis called even the most ruthless terrorists ‘men of the Red Brigades,’ or men of ISIS. Never dogs. Descending to such spiteful levels is unworthy of a Holy Father.

But “being named ‘dogs’ does not bother us,” de Mattei said. “In Holy Scripture, unfaithful shepherds are called “dumb dogs” who have stopped barking and fall asleep (Isaiah 56:10-11). We glory in being domini canes, dogs of the Lord, who bark in the night to break through the silence.”

“Today’s dumb shepherds threaten the dogs who bark,” he said. The Italian Vaticanist, Andrea Tornielli, tries to suggest that if Pope Francis is responsible for McCarrick, more responsible are his predecessors, Benedict XVI and John Paul II. But if this were to be proven, “we would not be afraid to admit it,” de Mattei said, “because first and foremost we are seeking the truth.”

Time for truth

The Catholic historian and president of the Lepanto Foundation continued: 

The Church does not fear the Truth, because the Church is the Truth. The Church is the Truth because she is divine and because she proclaims to the world the Truth of her Head and founder, Jesus Christ, who said of himself, “Ego sum via, veritas et vita” (Jn. 14:6). Therefore, we are not afraid to tell the truth about the deep doctrinal and moral crisis that the Church is experiencing today.

“Love for truth” moves us to say it’s hypocrisy to categorize the sexual abuse crisis only as pedophilia, while ignoring the “scourge of homosexuality” — which is both a “vice against nature” and a “power-structure within the Church,” de Mattei said. It is also hypocrisy to limit oneself to “denouncing moral scandals,” without dealing with their “doctrinal roots,” he added. 

“The time for truth has come,” and the truth is that the pastoral project of Pope Francis and Vatican II has failed, he said.

“That Council heralded a great pastoral reform to purify the Church, and instead resulted in an historically unprecedented corruption of faith and morals, for it has reached the point of not only enthroning homosexuality among the highest ecclesiastical hierarchies, but also of allowing it to be publicly defended and theorized,” de Mattei argued.

“The final tally of the last five years of Pope Francis’s pontificate reveals the failure of a paradigm shift, which is the failure of a pastoral project.” 

Now, he said, the watchwords have become “synodality” and “the peripheries.” In reality, he said, synodality is “the transfer of power from top to bottom: a Revolution that de-verticalizes the Church,” while the peripheries “represent a horizontal Revolution that decentralizes and de-territorializes the Church.” 

Ironically, he added, the Vatican has denied the primacy of both, in preventing the American bishops from voting on measures to prevent abuse and coverup, at their November assembly in Baltimore.

Voice of fidelity

Prof. de Mattei had special praise for Catholics in America, saying it is there that the “voice of fidelity to the law of the Gospel” is loudest.

He also encouraged the laity not to become disheartened amid the current crisis, noting that although Catholics seeking to be faithful may often be accused of pharisaism, of fixism, of legalism, the proponents of discontinuity “have not extinguished the flame of the Church’s Tradition.”

In fact, he said, “never before as in these last five years — at the center and in the peripheries, in seminaries and on blogs — does Tradition seem to be reviving in young and old, laymen and clergy, who every day rediscover the perennial truth of the faith and traditional rites of the Church and, with the help of God, are determined to defend them.” 

Prof. de Mattei reminded the faithful that on approaching the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Catholics proclaim: Tota pulchra es Maria et macula originalis non est in te. Similarly, he said, the children of the Church, who is “wounded in her human element and disfigured by the errors and sins of the men who govern her,” are called to believe and proclaim: Tota pulchra es Ecclesia et nulla macula est in te. 

The Catholic historian concluded: “The Church is all beautiful and there is in her no sin, no error. The Holy Roman Church — one, holy, catholic and apostolic — is our Mother who continues to nourish us with her Sacraments and protect us with the shield of her doctrine, as we, with God’s help, strive to defend her against all external and internal enemies that threaten her. The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.”

Read the full official English text of Professor de Mattei’s talk here.

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Pro-lifers bury 7-week-old baby that abortionist kept in his trunk

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By Lisa Bourne
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BRIGHTON, Michigan, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 150 mourners gathered Saturday to honor an anonymous aborted child, the last of 15 babies found in the trunk of Michigan abortionist Michael Roth’s car in September 2015.

Fourteen of the aborted children were laid to rest on November 3 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.

Local pro-lifers in Livingston County had asked to bury one of the 15 aborted children, known as the “Trunk Abortionist” babies, naming the child Michael Gabrielle. The baby, estimated to be seven weeks old, was buried in solemn funeral rites on Saturday, November 24, after Mass at Holy Spirit Parish in Brighton.

“Today we buried an unwanted human being,” said Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society (CPLS).

“This tiny person is just one of sixty million who have been put to death with the sanction of the unjust law of Roe v. Wade,” she said. “Indeed this little child stands for all those who are victims of violence in our land.”

CPLS had worked for two years to obtain the babies’ remains for burial. The bodies were eventually released by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office to the Borek-Jennings Funeral Home in Hamburg, Michigan in August.

Roth had been committing abortions out of the trunk of his car, drove around with baby parts

In September 2015 the remains of the 15 aborted babies were discovered in the trunk of the car of Michigan abortionist Michael Roth by the West Bloomfield police department.

CPLS ran down specifics of how the Trunk Abortionist babies were discovered in a statement on Michael Gabrielle’s burial.

Roth had lost the lease in the Novi, Michigan building where he ran an abortion facility for more than 20 years in May 2014. According to local pro-lifers, Roth had a history of lawsuits, and Attorney General violations, including doing at-home abortions in the 1990’s, as well as sanctions placed on him by the State of Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Over the next few months, Roth attempted to rent other office space to restart his abortion practice.

Local pro-life activists continued on his trail, twice succeeding in influencing landlords not to rent to the abortionist.

Late in 2015, Roth went on to rent office space in Farmington Hills, but it appears his lease did not permit him to do abortions, and he would eventually close up that office as well.

In September 2015, Roth was involved in a car accident in his hometown of West Bloomfield, where he struck and seriously injured a pedestrian. As a consequence, his car was impounded by local law enforcement.

Roth asked the West Bloomfield police if he could retrieve personal belongings that were inside the vehicle. The police accommodated the request. 

When they opened the car, they also discovered Roth was illegally in possession of medications related to abortion procedures.

The search would also lead to the discovery of the remains of the 15 aborted children.

It appeared that Roth had been conducting abortions out of the trunk of his car.

Following an investigation, Roth was eventually convicted last year of three counts of larceny from a building connected to the illegal possession of narcotics. He was sentenced to 18 months probation, received a $798 fine, and his medical license was suspended by the State of Michigan Medical Board.

Roth was oddly never charged with committing illegal abortions.

Miller said since Roth was a licensed physician, the Assistant Attorney General handling the case lacked confidence in achieving a conviction for Roth apparently performing abortions outside of a clinic setting.  

Respectful burial ‘the first work of mercy these unborn children will ever know on this earth’

The babies were held as evidence by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office, and after dozens of phone calls from Miller and letters of request, the aborted children were released to the pro-life group. 

Miller responded to the Oakland County Medical Examiner having said in an initial analysis that the jars contained human tissue described as “remnants of performed medical procedures,” and “products of conception,” but not fetuses.

“I don’t know how carefully the medical examiner looked in those specimen jars,” she said, “but they did contain real identifiable human remains.”

“I looked in the jars,” said Miller. “I saw the tiny bodies myself—their arms, legs, feet, spinal columns—all there. These are real human beings, they lived once, they were put to death, treated with total disrespect—and now these unwanted people will at least be given a humane and dignified burial.”  

“In the Christian religion there are seven corporal works of mercy,” she added. “The last work of mercy is to bury the dead—but it will be the first work of mercy these unborn children will ever know on this earth.”

A granite marker will be installed at the Holy Spirit Cemetery, engraved with the name of Michael-Gabrielle, the Livingston Daily Press reports, including a designation of the child as a victim of abortion, and a verse from the book of Revelation: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

“He or she has no family and so we have become the family for this unknown person,” Miller said.

“When we placed his or her body in the earth it was the only work of mercy this aborted human will ever know,” she said. “And when we stand at the grave we commit ourselves to fight for a culture of life and an end to abortion.”

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Jim Sedlak

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Taxpayer dollars help California Planned Parenthood surpass record high income level

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By Jim Sedlak

November 30, 2018 (American Life League) – For the first time in the history of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, one of its 56 affiliates documented that its annual income surpassed $100 million.

The affiliate is Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, headquartered in San Jose, California. In its latest official document (Federal Form 990) filed with the federal government, PPMM reported that in the fiscal year, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, it had a total income of $109.7 million.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte operates a total of 35 facilities – 34 in California and one in Nevada. The Nevada facility does not do surgical or medical abortions. In California, PPMM commits surgical plus medical abortions at eight of its facilities and just medical abortions at an additional 18 facilities.

Unlike most other states, taxpayers in California pay for most abortions in the state. Thus, these 26 abortion facilities run by PPMM committed 17,884 abortions and receive a great deal of taxpayer money. PPMM records show that it only takes in $8.9 million from direct payments from customers at its clinics, but it receives a whopping $70.4 million from taxpayers.

According to PPMM's Form 990, Section VII (Statement of Revenue), it received taxpayer funds from the following government programs:

Medi-Cal Managed Care        $32,139,923

California Family PACT        $26,254,924

Medi-Cal/Medicaid                 $  6,599,037

Other government grants        $  5,451,157

Total Taxpayer money         $70,445,041

If this sounds outrageous, remember that PPMM is only one of seven PP affiliates in California. They all tap into these government programs.

To put the final insult on all of this, in the year that Planned Parenthood received this $70.4 million in taxpayer money, it reported "excess income" of $15.5 million – even after paying its top six employees $1.3 million in salaries. This means it actually didn't need all that taxpayer money. So, did it return what it didn't use?

Of course not! PPMM simply added the $15.5 million to what it has accumulated from excess income over the years and reported it ended the year with $37 million in cash and another $71 million in other assets.

Yet, this Planned Parenthood affiliate, along with the other 55 across the country, continually cries poverty and predicts total collapse of women's healthcare if taxpayers open their eyes and understand that Planned Parenthood is a scam. As our PP CEO Report (see additional article in this Wednesday STOPP Report) shows, Planned Parenthood executives continue to grow rich while killing the babies of the poor minorities.

Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a live weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.

Published with permission from the American Life League.

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Pope Francis: Church closings a ‘sign of the times,’ should not cause anxiety

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By Phil Lawler

November 30, 2018 (CatholicCulture.org) – The observation that many churches, which until a few years ago were necessary, are now no longer thus, due to a lack of faithful and clergy, or a different distribution of the population between cities and rural areas, should be welcomed in the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflection and requires us to adapt.

Those are the words of Pope Francis, as reported by the Vatican press office. The emphasis is mine.

If some day I arrive in a hospital emergency room bleeding profusely from gaping wounds, I'd like to think that the doctors would respond to (not exactly "welcome") my arrival "with anxiety." Because anxiety would be warranted.

The doctors could choose to let me wait a bit, while they reflected on the hazards of modern life and the best ways to prevent whatever sort of accident had befallen me. But if they did, they wouldn't be very good doctors. In fact, if I survived, I might have a strong case for malpractice.

Our Church has been hemorrhaging members for decades now. The closing of churches is a symptom of a serious pathology. Yes, reflect on the causes. Certainly think about how to adapt. But for God's sake be anxious, because souls are at stake!

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

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David Carlin

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Catholics must hate the sin of homosexuality

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November 30, 2018 (The Catholic Thing) – Knowing that the Catholic Church has had many ups and downs in the course of its long history, I am confident – well, fairly confident – that it will eventually emerge from its present slump. But this recovery won't happen anytime soon. And so I, being an old man, won't live to see it. That saddens me.

Have we hit bottom yet? If we have, I may live to see at least the beginning of the recovery. That would please me. But I fear we haven't hit bottom. There may be worse to come.

But what can possibly be worse than what has already happened? Many things, among them a refusal to deal frankly with the issue of homosexuality in the priesthood and the episcopacy. I'm not speaking only of the horrendous problem of priests who are active homosexuals; I'm speaking also of clergy who, while not themselves homosexual, have an undue sympathy for homosexuality.

I'm thinking of the fairly widespread tendency found among Church leaders to speak as though our problem is sexual "abuse," not homosexuality. Certainly, the sexual exploitation or abuse of minors is a problem, a gigantic problem, an unspeakable horror. But clerical homosexuality is a more fundamental problem than abuse of minors. If we had no homosexual priests, we'd have very little in the way of abuse of minors.

The way some bishops talk, it's as if, when they speak of cleaning up the Church, they mean that they'll put an end to priestly sex with minors; when priests limit themselves to consensual sex with adults, either adult men or adult women, then we'll have solved our problem. The scandal will be over.

But that's absurd. Priests and bishops have taken a solemn vow to abstain from sexual intercourse. Maybe some of them were foolish to do so. But men of honor keep their promises. And everybody knows what a priest should do if he finds it is practically impossible to live a life of priestly chastity: he should resign from the priesthood.

Many have done precisely that. Good for them. But many others, it seems, have said to themselves, "I am unable to be chaste the way a priest should be chaste, but apart from that I love being a priest." That's something like saying, "I love being a surgeon, but I hate cutting into human flesh."

If a Catholic priest finds that he no longer believes in the articles of the Nicene Creed, it goes without saying that he should resign his office; for to present yourself to the public as a Catholic priest is to say, among other things, "I am a man who believes in the Nicene Creed." Likewise, to present yourself to the public as a Catholic priest is to say, "I am a man who is living a life of priestly chastity."

Does that mean that a priest who has a lapse or two should immediately resign the priesthood? No. A man who is basically chaste may have moments of unchastity, just as a recovering alcoholic may have a slip now and then. But if it becomes something like a habit, that's another story.

The special horror of our present problem is that so many of our unchaste priests are unchaste in a homosexual way. Among what may be called the "ordinary" sexual sins – e.g., marital contraception, masturbation, fornication, adultery, and homosexual sodomy – it is the last of these, homosexual sodomy, that has traditionally been considered the worst of the lot.

Why? Because it is "unnatural." But if you approve of the most extreme of these sexual sins, how can you disapprove of the lesser ones? If you approve of drunkenness you can't very well object to social drinking. Priests who have no objection to homosexual conduct will have no objection to contraception, masturbation, fornication, or adultery.

And they will probably have no more than a watered-down objection to abortion. Abortion, of course, is not a specifically sexual sin; it is a sin of homicide. But it is strongly connected with a sexual sin, fornication.

Just as President Wilson hoped to make the world safe for democracy, so abortion, along with cheap and readily available contraception, makes the world safe for fornication. If you have no objection to fornication, you're likely not to feel a passionate objection to abortion.

That we have a priesthood and episcopacy that has no passionate objection to homosexuality – the worst of common sexual sins – goes a long way to explaining, it seems to me, why our clergy for the last fifty years or so has been "soft" on contraception, fornication, unmarried cohabitation, adultery, and even abortion.

The ideal of chastity, even hyper-chastity, has been an essential element of Catholicism from the days of the Apostles. But chastity is not a fashionable virtue in present-day America. In fact, it is the opposite of a virtue. It is a vice. Small wonder that our gay priests don't heartily endorse it. And small wonder that many of our non-gay priests, feeling sympathy with their gay brethren, don't endorse it either.

The secular world tells us that a disapproval of homosexuality arises from homophobia, an irrational hatred of gays and lesbians. Too many of us believe what they tell us. And since hatred is the worst of Christian sins, being as it is the opposite of love, the greatest of Christian virtues, we are reluctant to disapprove of homosexuality.

Catholics, and especially Catholic priests and bishops, have to overcome this reluctance. We have to deplore homosexuality. We have to shout our disapproval from the housetops. And if we do so, we may at last make some progress in getting gay priests and bishops out of positions that allow them to influence Church policy and corrupt Church teaching.

Let's not kid ourselves. If we are determined to be "tolerant," as the secular world wishes us to be tolerant, we will be enemies of the Church and enemies of the Gospel.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.

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Denise Shick

Opinion, , ,

It’s ‘verbal abuse’ for mom to insist her 6-year-old son is really a ‘girl’

Denise Shick
By
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James savejames.com

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Whoever coined the phrase about sticks and stones breaking bones but words being harmless must have lived an isolated life. I’ve endured some painful physical events, not the least of which was giving birth. But some of the verbal attacks leveled against me have left emotional scars that still sting more than any physical scab.

Words matter; words are powerful. Words can harm or heal. Who hasn’t been the victim of verbal assaults such as gossip or of outright invective? But one can also fall prey to a subtler form of verbal abuse: inappropriate suggestion.

A Mother Who Wants Her Son to be Her Daughter

Six-year-old James, a first-grader living in Texas, is on the receiving end of repeated suggestions from one of the two most influential persons in his life—his mother—that he really is a girl. And many, me included, argue that James’ mother’s repeated suggestions are inappropriate and harmful. James was born as a boy, fully, completely, biologically male—just as was his twin brother, Jude. But it seems that the twin boys’ mother would have preferred one child of each gender, so she has, for three years now, waged a campaign of suggestion and even litigation to convince James and the world that this happily masculine boy is actually a girl named Luna.

Even more alarming about this bizarre situation is that James’ mother is a pediatrician. She, of all people, should understand how impressionable young children are. She should know the power inherent in a parent’s words. Her continuing insistence that James is a girl has to be playing heavily on James’ 6-year-old psyche. Deep down—according to many, including James’ father and many family friends—James knows he is a boy and wants nothing different. And when apart from his mother, James adamantly insists he is a boy. But his mother’s persistent efforts to convince him otherwise—including dressing him in girls’ clothing—must be causing him unspeakable confusion and distress.

A Point of No Return?

James has just two more years to endure this confusion before his gender is chosen for him. If his mother prevails, at age 8, James will begin to undergo a process of chemical castration. That’s right, an 8-year-old boy might find himself undergoing procedures otherwise reserved for criminal sex offenders (and then only in certain states, because other states consider the procedure to be too cruel). When James is old enough to choose for himself, he might choose to end the chemical procedures, but even if the physical effects are reversible, what will be the prolonged emotional effects? 

Children as Pawns

If you assume this is but one isolated instance of a bizarre parental attempt to misguide a child, consider this from one of the world’s most famous entertainers. “CELINUNUNU liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with the freedom to strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect.” 

Yes, Celine Dion, whose melodious lyrics have influenced countless listeners, has partnered with the founders of the Nununu brand of non-gender-specific children’s clothing to promote their notion that each and every child is utterly autonomous and can choose to be male, female, or something in between. 

Children are increasingly being used as pawns in attempts by far-left progressives to push the sexual-liberation movement to ever more ludicrous limits. 

Use Words Wisely

Parents—and all other adults who are in positions to influence children—need to choose our words wisely. Responsible, thoughtful adults do not use words to mold children at their whim, but instead use words to encourage, to develop durable moral character in impressionable young minds. Words really do matter. I pray James’ mother will soon comprehend the power of her words and use them to affirm James as the boy God created him to be.

Denise Shick is the Founder and Executive director of Help 4 Families Ministry. She is the author of My Daddy’s Secret, When Hope Seems Lost, Understanding Gender Confusion-A Faith Based Perspective and When Daddy Leaves to be a Girl.

Professor Roberto di Mattei
Prof. Roberto di Mattei, Rome, Nov. 29, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
Roberto de Mattei

Opinion,

Roberto de Mattei on how to resist Pope Francis’ ‘paradigm shift’ (FULL TEXT)

Roberto de Mattei
By Roberto de Mattei
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Prof. Roberto de Mattei speaks in Rome on Nov. 29, 2018

Editor’s note: Here below we publish the official English text of a talk by Professor Roberto de Mattei, delivered on Thursday, November 29, in Rome, at a conference titled: ‘Pope Francis five years later: Continuity of rupture in the Church.’ The talk was translated by LifeSite Rome correspondent Diane Montagna.

ROME, November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — We are here to talk about a subject of enormous importance and I thank the organizers for inviting me to do so.

In general, we love to talk about our primary concern. A mother is moved by her nature to talk about her children, because they represent the good that is most dear to her, and if she doesn’t talk about them, they are never far from her thoughts.

There are those who speak and think only about their own health, meaning physical, because today we have forgotten that we have a soul.

There are those who speak only about food, because in the final analysis you are what you eat and food becomes the last horizon of one’s interest.

These are the most common topics of conversation, along with football [soccer], which is the ordinary way that Italians escape reality.

Politics is no longer talked about with the passion of former times, because we have lost our sense of the common good.

And little or nothing is said about the Church and its problems. In Italy, the average man is averse to such topics; they bore him and sometimes annoy him, because he lives immersed in practical atheism.

The age of militant atheism and of heated anticlericalism is over. Atheism has entered our bloodstream and courses through our veins, through the systematic secularization of society, advanced and implemented by the new Gramscian left.

For this reason, I congratulate the promoters of this conference, which confirms the existence of a remnant in Italy that is still immune to the secularism that is still very much alive. We show by our presence that we are spiritually and culturally alive, that we have not been suffocated by the poisonous miasma of secularization, and this is a reason for hope for our future. A future which the book by José Antonio Ureta, Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift,” helps to brighten. I appreciate your work for two fundamental reasons.

The first is that it offers us a brief but clear and precise assessment of what Pope Francis has done and said in the first five years of his pontificate.

This picture is disturbing and constitutes, as the author suggests, a “paradigm shift,” i.e., a discontinuity with the customs, traditions, institutions, and Magisterium of the Church of all time. This change in paradigm may not be evident in Pope Francis’ individual gestures and addresses, but it is irrefutable when one considers these gestures and acts as a whole, within the framework of a five-year pontificate.

Perhaps for some, one “buona sera” or a “who am I to judge” was enough to realize that something was amiss, but the majority of Catholics accepted Pope Francis without too much trouble, and they shy away from a debate on the consequences of his pontificate. This book is particularly important because it presents reality to those who don’t want to see, to those who want to forget, to those who want to minimize, to those who want to convince themselves that everything is unfolding in a normal and orderly manner.

But the second reason why this book is important is that while the first nine chapters offer us a comprehensive assessment of the paradigm shift, the last twenty pages — Chapter 10 and the conclusion — suggest how we ought to behave in this dramatic situation. The solution Ureta offers us is a balanced solution.

When we are under great tension, it is easy to lose our balance. One of the most needed virtues in the current crisis situation in the Church is balance. We need balance to stand. Whoever loses his balance falls, whoever stands resists, and today it is impossible to resist without balance.

Balance, we might say, along with patience, is the virtue of the strong. Balance is prudent strength, or strong prudence. Whoever acts impatiently, or in an unbalanced and disorderly manner, moves away from truth and true inner peace, which is tranquility in order.

Those who say, “I prefer to deceive myself about the Pope rather than to be right about him” manifest an imbalance. But there is also an imbalance in those who say: “Since the Pope deceives himself and deceives me, it means that he is not the Pope.”

The position of José Antonio Ureta, which is our position, is balanced because it is based on the fundamental distinction between the Church, which is holy and immune from all error, and the men of the Church, who can sin and err. Infallibility is reserved only to the Pope, when he teaches under certain conditions, or to the ordinary Magisterium, when it reaffirms with continuity and consistency the immutable truths of the Church.

In his latest interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Müller said: “The Magisterium of the bishops and of the Pope stand under the Word of God in Holy Scripture and Tradition, and serves Him. It is not at all Catholic to say that the Pope as an individual person receives directly from the Holy Spirit the Revelation and that he may now interpret it according to his own whims while all the rest are to follow him blindly and mutely.”

If the ecclesiastical authorities teach error, it is lawful to resist them, and the right of resistance becomes a duty when the common good is at stake, according to the model taught by Saint Paul (Gal. 2, 11).

But resistance is not always enough. There are situations in which our resistance must be expressed in the suspension of all habitual coexistence with bad shepherds. And also here balance is needed. We are not talking about a juridical separation from bad shepherds. We are talking about a spiritual and moral separation, which does not question, on the juridical level, the legitimacy of those who govern the Church. José Antonio Ureta makes a very fitting comparison which is that of a separation, permitted by the Code of Canon Law, whereby a man or a woman can cease living with his or her spouse without divorcing or affirming the invalidity of his marriage.

If the ecclesiastical authority were then to impose canonical sanctions against those who remain faithful to Tradition, it would provoke a formal division in the Church. The responsibility for rupture would fall to the authorities who exercised their power illegitimately, and not on those who, respecting canon law, only remained faithful to their baptism.

The response to such sanctions should not be, “Since you condemn me, you are not the Pope” but rather, “These sanctions are unjust and illegitimate, even if you are, until proven otherwise, the legitimate Pope.” Until proven otherwise means that a Pope can lose his pontificate for many reasons, including heresy, but these reasons must be incontrovertible. The heresy, but also the invalidity of the election, must be manifest and widely-known to the whole Church, because the Church is a visible society and not an invisible congregation of elected people as Protestant sects are. In order to speak about notorious and manifest heresy, it is not enough that the Pope professes or publicly favors heresy; it must be perceived as such by Catholic public opinion. The bishops, and especially the cardinals — who are the electors and counselors of the Pope – must recognize these facts and see their consequences. Until then, a Pope must be considered legitimate.

This is balance. But this is only one part of a much larger problem that can’t avoid this basic question: “How did we get to this point?” How did we arrive at having to imagine our own separation even from the Supreme Pastor, who today is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis, the first to bear this name?

Allow me at this point to go beyond the book by José Antonio Ureta — but, I am convinced, in the same spirit.   

We would be mistaken to imagine that the end of Pope Francis’s pontificate will represent the end of the process of the Church’s self-demolition.

In 2012, one year before resigning from his pontificate, Benedict XVI desired the Year of Faith to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. His hope was that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers would be “widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition.” This thesis — the thesis of the so-called hermeneutic of continuity — is the leitmotif of his pontificate, from the famous address to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005, to his final address, which is less known but no less important, delivered on February 14, 2013 to the Roman Clergy.

In these addresses, Benedict XVI admits there is a link between the current crisis of faith and the Second Vatican Council, but he maintains that this crisis is due not to the Council itself, but to a bad hermeneutic, to an incorrect interpretation of its texts.

The hermeneutic of continuity was the polar star of the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI for 35 years, from 1978 to 2013. But in these 35 years, despite the efforts of the two popes and the bishops who were moving along the same line, the hermeneutic of continuity has not been able to stop the process of the Church’s self-demolition, which was first denounced fifty years ago, in 1968, by Paul VI. It didn’t succeed in stopping it, because one doesn’t stop a historical process with a debate over hermeneutics. If in the last 50 years, the proponents of the hermeneutic of continuity have not prevailed, but rather those proposing a hermeneutic of discontinuity, it is because the former have deluded themselves into believing they can limit the discussion to the hermeneutical level, the level of interpretation of documents, while the latter, i.e. progressives, have disregarded the documents and have advanced on the field of praxis, in keeping with the spirit of Vatican II, which affirmed the primacy of pastoral care, i.e., of praxis over doctrine. The essence of the Second Vatican Council was the triumph of pastoral care over doctrine, the transformation of pastoral care into a theology of practice, and the application of the philosophy of Marxist praxis to the life of the Church.

Benedict XVI’s resignation of his pontificate on February 11, 2013 represents, in my opinion, the failure of his attempt to separate post-conciliar praxis from the Second Vatican Council, isolating the texts of the latter from history.  

Pope Francis embodies the thesis opposing Ratzinger’s. He is not interested in theological debate, nor in the hermeneutical one. Pope Francis represents the playing out of Vatican II, and the triumph, in his person, of pastoral care over theology. Therefore, there is no rupture between the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis but rather historical continuity. Pope Francis represents the ripe fruit of Vatican II.

The pontificate of Pope Francis has certainly represented a “paradigm shift,” as Ureta rightly says, but the true great turning point of this five-year period, in my view, is not Pope Francis’ pontificate but the reaction that this pontificate has provoked among Catholics around the world. Pope Francis’ pontificate, precisely because it is disastrous, has highlighted the existence of a crisis in the Church that would otherwise have been ignored. 

This reaction has been manifested through several important initiatives: 

In 2015 a coalition of lay associations collectively known as Supplica Filiale collected 900,000 signatures from the faithful who were asking for a word of clarification on the issues raised by the Extraordinary Synod on the family. The answer to this Supplication was silence.

In 2016 four cardinals presented Pope Francis with five dubia on Chapter 8 of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The answer to these dubia was silence.

In 2017, 40 scholars, who later grew to 250, addressed a correctio filialis to Pope Francis, accusing him of spreading errors and heresies in the Church. The answer to this correction was silence.

In 2018 Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brought to light the existence of a network of corruption among the ecclesiastical hierarchies, calling into question all those responsible, beginning with Pope Francis, whose resignation he called for.

The answer to this document was silence.

All of these initiatives have had immense repercussions, but the answer has only been silence. A silence that constitutes a dramatic confirmation of the truth of the accusations.

The “listening Church” of Pope Francis listens to everyone except those who are entirely faithful to the Gospel and to the perennial magisterium of the Church. Pope Francis uses the same fierce language towards his critics that Lenin used against his opponents.

On September 3, 2018 at Santa Marta, Pope Francis called those who criticize him “a pack of wild dogs.” Two days later, on September 5, 2018 the author Marcello Veneziani, respondedIl Tempo: “No, Your Holiness, a Pope cannot call his neighbors ‘wild dogs,’ and especially when it comes to Catholics, Christians, believers. Dogs is the derogatory term that Muslims use for infidels and Christians. The popes who preceded Francis called even the most ruthless terrorists ‘men of the Red Brigades,’ or men of ISIS. Never dogs. Descending to such spiteful levels is unworthy of a Holy Father.”

Being named “dogs” does not bother us. In Holy Scripture, unfaithful shepherds are called “dumb dogs” who have stopped barking and fall asleep (Isaiah 56:10-11). We glory in being domini canes, dogs of the Lord, who bark in the night to break through the silence. Saint Gregory the Great writes in the Pastoral Rule that the bad shepherds, “fearing to lose human favor, shrink timidly from speaking freely the things that are right; and (…) when the wolf comes they hide themselves under silence. For hence it is that the Lord through the prophet upbraids them, saying, Dumb dogs, that cannot bark” (Is 56:10). 

Today’s dumb shepherds threaten the dogs who bark, saying to them: “In accusing Pope Francis you are accusing the popes who preceded him, because the faults that you attribute to the reigning pontiff date back to them.” In his latest book, The day of judgment [Il giorno del giudizio], Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli does not deny the revelations of Archbishop Viganò about the corruption of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the existence of widespread immorality within the Church. But since his objective is not so much to refute Msgr. Viganò as is it to save Pope Francis, he does so by behaving like a card player who, finding himself in difficulty, raises the stakes: If Pope Francis is responsible, Tornielli says, more responsible than him are his predecessors — Benedict XVI and John Paul II — under whose pontificates the corruption developed. 

The accusation does not disturb us, and if the responsibility of John Paul II and Benedict XVI in the moral decadence and spread of the errors over the last decades were to be proven, we would not be afraid to admit it, because first and foremost we are seeking the truth.

The Church does not fear the Truth, because the Church is the Truth. The Church is the Truth because she is divine and because she proclaims to the world the Truth of her Head and founder, Jesus Christ, who said of himself, “Ego sum via, veritas et vita [I am the way, the truth, and the life]” (Jn 14:6). Therefore, we are not afraid to tell the truth about the deep doctrinal and moral crisis that the Church is experiencing today.

It is love for the truth that drives us to say that it is hypocrisy to limit the scandals to pedophilia, as presidents of bishops conferences from around the world will do — when they gather in Rome at the request of Pope Francis, on February 21-24 — ignoring the scourge of homosexuality which is not only a vice against nature, but also a power-structure within the Church. And it is hypocritical to limit oneself to denouncing moral scandals, without going back to their doctrinal roots, which date back to the years of the Council and to post-conciliar period.

If the last five years of Pope Francis’s pontificate can be judged a disaster, how can we deny ourselves the right to call the process of the Church’s self-demolition, which today has reached its final consequences, a disaster as well?

The time for truth has come. And the truth that clearly leaps out before our eyes is the failure of a pastoral project that belongs not only to Pope Francis but also to Vatican II. That Council heralded a great pastoral reform to purify the Church, and instead resulted in an historically unprecedented corruption of faith and morals, because it reached the point of not only enthroning homosexuality among the highest ecclesiastical hierarchies, but also of allowing it to be publicly defended and theorized.

The final tally of the last five years of Pope Francis’s pontificate reveals the failure of a paradigm shift, which is the failure of a pastoral project.

Pope Francis’ watchwords are “synodality” and “the peripheries.” Synodality is the transfer of power from top to bottom: a Revolution that de-verticalizes the Church; the peripheries represent a horizontal Revolution that decentralizes and de-territorializes the Church. But in recent weeks the Holy See has denied the primacy of synodality and the peripheries, intervening heavily to prevent the American bishops from publishing transparent guidelines on the subject of sexual abuse. This intervention is also a betrayal of that cleansing in the Church, in whose name Pope Francis had asked the American cardinals to vote on it.

And it is especially from America that the voice of fidelity to the law of the Gospel is loudest today. The pontificate of Pope Francis is in discontinuity with the Church’s Tradition, which is accused of pharisaism, of fixism, of legalism, but it has not extinguished the flame of the Church’s Tradition. On the contrary, never before as in these last five years, at the center and in the peripheries, in seminaries and on blogs, does Tradition seem to be reviving in young and old, laymen and clergy, who every day rediscover the perennial truth of the faith and traditional rites of the Church and, with the help of God, are determined to defend them.  

Today the Novena of the Immaculate Conception begins, which introduces us into one of the most beautiful feasts of the Catholic liturgy. At the feet of Our Lady, we, the children of Eve, wounded by original sin, but with immense trust in Mary, proclaim: Tota pulchra es Maria et macula originalis non est in te.

Similarly, we who are members of a Church that is wounded in its human element, disfigured by the errors and sins of men who govern it, but immaculate in its essence proclaim: Tota pulchra es Ecclesia et nulla macula est in te. The Church is all beautiful and there is in her no sin, no error. The Holy Roman Church — one, holy, catholic and apostolic — is our Mother who continues to nourish us with her Sacraments and protect us with the shield of her doctrine, as we, with God’s help, strive to defend her against all external and internal enemies that threaten her. The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.

Translation by Diane Montagna, Rome correspondent for LifeSiteNews

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Peter Kreeft Steve Jalsevac/LifeSitenews
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MUST VIEW: Peter Kreeft on the simultaneous rise of homosexuality and Islam

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By Steve Jalsevac

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –Five years ago I was privileged to conduct a fast-paced, 9-minute video interview with renowned Boston College professor and prolific author, Peter Kreeft. It was an amazing interview, with the professor quickly responding to each of the 11 questions with profound insights. I was impressed that, not at all knowing beforehand what I was going to ask him, he came back each time with what seemed to be the best possible answer to challenging questions on difficult subjects. 

There have been massive developments on the two issues that were the subject of the questions since the time of the interview. Few could have predicted that things could have gone as far as they have in so short a period of time - but Peter Kreeft warned us. 

John-Henry Westen wrote the article below on the interview, BUT, I would strongly suggest watching the video to obtain the best understanding and impact of the interview. It is even more relevant now than it was in 2013. 

Why the simultaneous rise of homosexuality and Islam? An interview with Peter Kreeft

In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews.com co-founder Steve Jalsevac, famed Catholic philosopher and Boston College professor Peter Kreeft noted key similarities in the homosexual activist movement and radical Islam which have led to their ascendency in recent times. 

Asked about the simultaneous rise of militant Islam and the homosexual activist movement despite their opposing ideologies, Kreeft replied: “They’re the only two movements in Western civilization that will fight and die for their beliefs.”  

“It is an amazing paradox that they’re opposites in almost every way, and yet they’re similar in that they will still fight,” added Kreeft. “Christians are supposed to fight too, the notion of spiritual warfare, the true meaning of jihad – a war against sin rather than flesh and blood. This is central to Christianity and we’ve lost it, and therefore opposite forces are entering the vacuum.”

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Kreeft explained that as the Christian faith has weakened in the West, it has caused a vacuum.

“Well, in Western civilization, at least, there is certainly a moral and religious decline…we’re losing the faith. Europe is already almost lost,” he said. “Nature abhors a vacuum, spiritually as well as physically. So when the Faith weakens, another faith enters, because no one can live without faith, and Islam is a very strong faith. It has its good points; it has its bad points. But when we withdraw from the battlefield, someone else enters. It’s as simple as that.”

Asked specifically about the reason for the rise of the homosexual activist movement, Dr. Kreeft replied:

Because we became sheep. We said, "Abuse us. We’re polite. We’ll smile at you. We are tolerant of everything." When people are that way, someone who has principles, bad or good, enters. We so worship equality that we are afraid to be different, to be distinctive, to have a distinctive message. And equality is a good defensive weapon, but it has no offense in it. We need equal rights to protect ourselves, but we need something much deeper than equality: We need distinctiveness, we need identity. And if we abandon that, others will come in and take over.

Kreeft stressed however, that in confronting homosexuality Christians are being loving, in the truest definition of the word.

“Love fights. Love cares. Love discriminates. And therefore there is in Scripture, very clearly, a thing called the ‘wrath of God’. God hates all enemies of love as the doctor hates the cancer that’s killing his beloved patient. If you really love a human being you will hate all the dehumanizing forces that are harmful to that human being,” he said.

“If on the other hand you don’t really love a human being but just tolerate a human being, then you will hate nothing,” Kreeft added. “So, love and hate go together. Love of a human being, no matter who he is, and hate of a human being, no matter who he is, are exact opposites, they are black and white. But love of all humans and hate of all sins – that goes together.”

How can Christianity experience a renewal in North America and Europe?  Kreeft answered in his characteristic rapid fire style stating simply: “It must recapture its essence, its identity. It must return to Jesus it must do what Vatican II did – go back to the sources and plant the roots in the only possible foundation.”

See the Peter Kreeft website.

Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King's College (Empire State Building), in New York City. He is a regular contributor to several Christian publications, is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences, and is the author of over 67 books including:
Handbook of Christian Apologetics 
Christianity for Modern Pagans
Fundamentals of the Faith

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Harvey Milk 'icon' by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM.
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‘Pray for us’: Murdered sexual predator Harvey Milk canonized by LGBT ‘catholic’ group

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By Doug Mainwaring

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A ‘Catholic LGBT’ ministry known as Out at St. Paul has insinuated that murdered LGBT activist, politician, and sexual predator Harvey Milk is a saint to whom one can ask for spiritual favors. 

“Harvey Milk, pray for us,” entreated the group earlier this week as it promoted an article featuring a ‘religious icon’ of Milk.  

The New York City group, evidently, would like to see Milk, who died 40 years ago, canonized.  Yet Harvey Milk was not even Christian: he was a ‘gay’ secular Jew. 

Harvey Milk was no 'saint'

The facts about Milk’s life are inconvenient truths for the pro-LGBT Catholics who celebrate this ‘gay’ man and his legacy.  

San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who made history in the 1970’s as the state’s first openly homosexual elected official, has been elevated to a martyr, despite the details of his life differing greatly from the popular narrative.  

Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a former police officer and former city supervisor, on Nov. 27, 1978. 

Omitted from most accounts of Milk’s life are his alleged sexual relationships with underage boys.  

Milk was attracted to “boyish-looking men in their late teens and early 20s,” wrote Randy Shilts, a homosexual friend of Milk in his biography. “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance-abuse problems.” One of his young victims was allegedly Jack Galen McKinley, a 16-year-old runaway from Maryland. Jones also had a relationship with a 25-year-old alcoholic named Jack Lira, who eventually killed himself.

Milk also had a close relationship with infamous cult leader Jim Jones, responsible for the forced suicides of over 900 people in the infamous Jonestown massacre, just nine days before Milk’s death.

Jones provided Milk “with a printing press, gave him hundreds of campaign ‘volunteers,’ yielded the Peoples Temple pulpit to him, and provided free publicity to him in the Peoples Forum newspaper,” said Daniel Flynn in an interview published in FrontPage Magazine last month. 

In exchange, Milk publicly vouched for Jones.

Despite Milk’s reputation for sexual predation, the federal government under the Obama administration honored Milk with not only a postage stamp, but a Naval ship bearing his name.

Glorifying Harvey Milk with a ‘religious’ icon

Robert Lentz OFM, a Franciscan friar and religious icon painter, created the Harvey Milk "icon." 

“Critics accused Lentz of glorifying sin and creating propaganda for a progressive socio-political agenda,” according to a report about the icon in the pro-homosexual publication QSpirit.  “The icon has also been criticized for portraying Milk, a secular Jew, in a iconographic style rooted in Christian tradition.”   

Lesbian 'Christian' author Kittredge Cherry wrote in the QSpirit article that the icon can be interpreted as "respect for a hero."

“The halo in the Harvey Milk icon can be seen as a sign of respect for a hero who promoted universal human values beyond any particular religion,” she wrote. “As one admirer wrote in a Facebook debate on the issue, ‘For that liberating work, he can have as many halos as I can give him. Crown him with many crowns!’” 

'Out at Saint Paul' tweeted the QSpirit article along with an image of Milk's "icon."

Located at St. Paul parish in New York City, Out at Saint Paul participates in and promotes homosexual “pride” events, promotes groups that encourage those with same-sex attraction to embrace and act on it, and otherwise implicitly encourages those suffering with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria to act upon their inclinations in conflict with Church teaching. 

The group has received praise from pro-homosexual Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin. He tweeted last June: "'Out at St. Paul' is one of the most vibrant Catholic #LGBT ministries in the country, perhaps the world," adding that the group is "a model for many parishes." Martin has speculated, contrary to Catholic teaching, that some saints "were probably gay."

While glorifying Harvey Milk as if he were a saint the group portrayed recently deceased Bishop Robert Morlino, a stalwart defender of Catholic teaching as an “enemy.”  

“Say a prayer for Bishop Robert Morlino, who died last night. He was one of the most outspoken opponents of LGBTQ people in the Catholic Church,” tweeted the group, adding, “‘But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute…’”

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Archdiocese of New York seeking comment on the tweet.  The archdiocese has not responded.​

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How free market capitalism wears away at ‘economic chastity’

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Proponents of a “morally neutral” or even “morally good” capitalist free market economy seem blind to the perils of handing over the keys to fallen human nature—not to mention blind to economic reality, since, as Pius XI recognized in his great social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, there has never been, nor could there ever be, a perfectly free market; there will only be an arena in which the strong and the weak and their allies or enemies struggle for power.

This is why a society cannot avoid the need for a strong government that implements a system of just laws to regulate economic life. No fence-sitting is possible; either a system of just laws will exist to regular the economy, or a system of unjust laws, or a confused chaos of both kinds—but a government-free realm of economic transactions is practically impossible and undesirable even if it were possible.

Of course, we do not have a sound framework of just laws governing the economy, because Western governments have long been puppets and playmates of private or corporate economic interests, as Pius XI saw almost 90 years ago (see Quadragesimo Anno, §109). In overreaction to this peculiar vice of capitalism, communist and socialist governments seek to assimilate the market to themselves and to exercise total control, which suppresses individual initiative, personal responsibility, and the development of moral and intellectual virtue in the citizenry. As many popes have pointed out, the dizzying pendulum swing from socialism to capitalism and back again is not an inevitable ebb and flow of contrary natural forces but the conscious, if diffuse, result of a perverted relationship between the political and the economic domains, founded on a false understanding of each.

Supporters of free-market economics are begging the question when they invoke the so-called “science of economics.” There is no such thing, nor are there economic laws in the sense in which these people seem to think there are. There are social mores and political constructs that dictate economic attitudes, and these produce patterns that are then abstracted as laws by sociologists. It’s like modern Freudian psychology. You can predict what men will do in a bordello, or what a sexually obsessed novelist like D.H. Lawrence is going to write about, but you cannot construct a theory of human nature on that basis.

History offers a great deal more than the record of economic transactions. History shows us an example of a longstanding and relatively stable social order in which, by and large, everything was subordinated to the Catholic faith. This is not a matter of personal opinion but of historical evidence. Take, for example, Eamon Duffy’s Stripping of the Altars—a wonderful book that shows how Catholic medieval England was, before the “Reformers” destroyed it.

This catholicity of medieval society was decisively political and economic. The vital, qualitative difference between Middle Ages and modernity is that the former deliberately aimed at and attained a common good anchored in metaphysical and religious truth, while the latter has just as deliberately chosen to forego the universality and objectivity of the good and the reality of an ultimate end for man. In doing so, modern liberalism—the parent of all of our defective political and economic theories and systems—both eviscerates the notions and obstructs the achievement of right, justice, prudence, unity, and peace, as Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Pius XI perceived so clearly.

The common good was not attained more consistently in the Middle Ages merely because life was “simpler back then.” It was attained because Europe was traditionally Catholic in theory and in practice. The whole modern West is, in contrast, liberally Protestant in theory and in practice. This is the real difference that separates Catholic social teaching from all rival theories of social organization and prosperity.

Each of Thomas Storck’s important books, The Catholic Milieu and Foundations of a Catholic Political Order, features a brilliant chapter on economics that punctures the balloons of our modern prejudices about money, business, and statecraft. Contrary to what his critics maintain, proponents of Catholic Social Teaching (like Storck) do not assert that the government should dictate all details of wages or control all aspects of the economy. In fact, the whole point of the principle of subsidiarity and of the “guilds” that over a century of popes have recommended is to carve out a via media between state autonomy and corporate hegemony. What they do assert, however, in harmony with papal teaching is that the government cannot and must not abdicate its solemn responsibility to regulate the economy in such a fashion that the largest number of citizens may become property-owners, that the rights and duties of owners, managers, and workers may be guaranteed, and that the distribution of wealth may not be marred by enormous excesses and deficiencies.

These are subjects that Storck and other distributists have thoroughly discussed. If the free marketeers won’t pay attention to their arguments and prefer to knock down straw men, what can one do? It’s like trying to talk about chastity education to a sex education expert. He will say, perhaps shaking his head: “It can’t be done, it’s unrealistic; kids will be kids, you know, and you’ve got to give them condoms. Your idealism is admirable but we live in a real world with real problems,” etc. No. The “real world” is not whatever uncontrollable mess fallen human beings have got themselves into by their erroneous ideas and idiotic decisions. It is the world that God created, that Christ redeemed, that the Holy Spirit can penetrate, that the Church spiritually rules, and that Christians are obliged to heal and elevate: this is how we must see the world.

The Catholic knows that a just social order is possible because it has existed, to an impressive if still imperfect extent, in other ages and places. He also knows that our society is profoundly unjust because it refuses to abide by the natural and supernatural principles on which any sane and flourishing society must be founded. He knows, like the chastity educator, that the desire for, availability of, and possession of nearly unlimited material goods spells doom for the human spirit and its freedom to achieve lasting good. Our materialistic society is lacking what might be called economic chastity—the very problem St. Thomas Aquinas was talking about when he explained what it meant to entangle oneself in worldly business.

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Euthanasia horror stories that leftists never want you to hear

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By Jonathon van Maren

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this month, a public prosecutor in the Hague announced a rare event: Charges were being laid against a doctor for her actions in regard to the euthanasia of an elderly woman with dementia, who was residing in a nursing home at the time. Although the woman had given several different statements about her desire for euthanasia over time, her family decided that she should be killed anyhow, and the doctor laced her coffee with sedatives.

The plan was to first drug the elderly woman to sleep, and then give her a lethal injection while she was unconscious. The doctor slipped the drugs into her coffee as she chatted pleasantly with her family, but the woman failed to actually fall asleep. The doctor then attempted to put her to sleep with a second shot, which the woman appeared to find very uncomfortable. When she finally drifted off, the doctor attempted to give her a lethal injection, but she suddenly stood up. And that is when the patient’s family helped to pin the old woman down, while the doctor quickly injected her with the poison that killed her.

Despite the manifold horrors of Holland’s euthanasia regime, this was apparently a bridge too far, and the prosecutor has publicly rebuked the doctor for not consulting with the woman about whether or not she actually wanted to be killed before killing her. It must be said, however, that two doctors previously facing criminal charges in the Netherlands for crimes related to euthanasia eventually had the charges dropped. It is notoriously hard to discern the victim’s specific desires when they are dead.

And now Belgian officials are also launching a criminal investigation into a dubious case of euthanasia, the first case of its kind since euthanasia was legalized in 2002. Belgium (and the Netherlands) permit euthanasia not only for reasons of physical pain and suffering, but also for psychiatric reasons, on the grounds that “unbearable and untreatable” suffering can also exist for people with these conditions. But in 2010, three doctors from East Flanders may have pushed the line too far when they “poisoned” Tine Nys, a 38-year-old woman with Aspberger’s syndrome. 

There has been some outrage in the wake of this supposedly legal killing, with many highlighting the fact that a mild form of autism should not constitute a valid reason for state-facilitated death. The family of Tine Nys filed a criminal complaint in 2017, accusing the doctors of “irregularities” in her death—and the doctors promptly attempted to block the investigation. Dr. Lieve Thienpont, the psychiatrist who signed off on Nys’ death request (and one of the three facing charges), accused the family of being “dysfunctional, wounded, traumatized…with little empathy and respect for others,” stating that “we must try to stop these people.”

Sophie Nys, a sister of the dead woman, told the press in response that the doctor who killed Tine actually asked Tine’s parents to hold the needle while he injected the lethal drugs, and even asked the family to check Tine’s heart with a stethoscope to confirm her death. Francis Clarysse, a Ghent prosecutor, as indicated that the doctors will face trial “due to poisoning”—a strange charge in a country where over 10,000 people have been legally poisoned by euthanasia practitioners over the past fifteen years. In this particular case, however, even the head of Belgium’s euthanasia review commission, Dr. Wim Distelmans, feels that Dr. Theinpont went too far.

Considering the cases that Belgium’s euthanasia doctors killed without qualms or objections, it is almost surprising that charges are being pressed at all: A transsexual heartbroken over several botches sex-change surgeries, blind twins who felt they could not live without their sight, terminally ill children as young as nine and eleven years of age, and people with chronic depression, to name just a few. Only one other case has resulted in criminal charges, and that case was dropped. When it is legal for doctors to kill, it becomes very hard to nail down a killer on a technicality.

My suspicion is that nothing will come of these charges. Yes, it is true: Doctors in the Netherlands and Belgium poisoned people, and those people died. One of them even struggled for life, and was pinned down by her own family as a doctor killed her. But these sorts of things are bound to happen when you legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Horrifying new stories crop up nearly every month in countries that have created euthanasia regimes, and eventually, people become numb to them. In the meantime, it will be very difficult to convict doctors for poisoning people once you have decided that lethal injections are part of their job. 

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No Christmas preparation could be better than daily Mass

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

November 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – We are about to enter once more into the sacred season of Advent. In a way, we could think of this entire season as an extended Annunciation: the Lord sends the angel Gabriel into our midst through the liturgy, promising the Word made flesh—who indeed already dwells among us in the holy banquet. We anticipate the mystery of the revelation of the Son of God at Christmas, when we are rapt into the love of things unseen by the humble glory and glorious humility that meets our gaze in Nazareth. Every day of the Church’s liturgical year is a remembrance of what has already come to be, an anticipation of what is yet to come, and a participation in the reality that surrounds us and penetrates us even now.

There are many good things we can do during Advent: pray the daily Rosary, or, if one is already doing that, perhaps praying a scriptural Rosary; read a good book of meditations; pray some part of the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours; spend fifteen minutes or a half-hour in meditation on Scripture first thing in the morning, before the day gets going and one loses the quiet calm.

We have an obligation before God, and a profound interior need, to pray every day. Our life will wither up and dry out over time if we do not have recourse to prayer every day. But no prayer surpasses the supreme prayer of Christ and His Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If it is available nearby, and if it is celebrated reverently, nothing could be a better devotion for us during Advent and a better preparation for Christmas than assisting daily at it. For “the Holy Spirit has made the liturgy the center of his working in men’s souls,” as the great Dom Prosper Guéranger once said. The same Holy Spirit who descended upon the Virgin Mary to implant in her womb the Word of God; the same Holy Spirit who hovered over Christ at His baptism in the Jordan; the same Holy Spirit who swept into the upper room on Pentecost and sent the Church forth to all places in all times—this Holy Spirit is active at the heart of the Holy Sacrifice as nowhere else on earth, and we are given the opportunity to (in the words of St. Ephrem the Syrian) “eat Spirit and fire.”

Holy Mass is where we encounter and consume the very mysteries in which we believe. St. Athanasius said, in the most perfect “Christmas sentiment” ever uttered: “God became man so that man might become God.” If we want God to become our own and ourselves to become His own, then we must let God enter in the way He has chosen: under the form of bread, as our life-giving food. Bethlehem, after all, means “house of bread.” He came to be our bread, but, as St. Augustine tells us, our eating works exactly the opposite to how it works with every other food: when we take ordinary food, we transform it into ourselves, because we are more powerful than it; but when we receive divine food, Christ, who is really present and more powerful than we are, transforms us into Him, when He finds no obstacle to this conversion.

Hear what St. John Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, had to say:

All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison, for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.

As we read in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, the liturgy is the “source and summit” of our Christian life. It is the source of strength, wisdom, light, and help, both in this life and for the life to come, for which we need to be preparing throughout our lives, as the Church reminds us in Advent by turning our minds also to Christ’s Second Coming, which is “rehearsed,” one might say, at the moment of each individual’s death, when Christ comes for you and for me, to our glory or to our shame.

“The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary: and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.” In the Mass of Catechumens (or the Liturgy of the Word), the Lord declares His word unto us; in the Mass of the Faithful (or the Liturgy of the Eucharist), we receive the Word made flesh, conceived of the Holy Spirit. The Mass is our perpetual Annunciation, our lifelong Advent. The liturgical season that Holy Mother Church calls Advent is therefore singularly well-suited to daily Mass. May your Advent be spiritually fruitful and, in this way, make a hidden but real contribution to the purifying and sanctifying of the Church on earth, for which we all long.

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