All articles from December 3, 2018


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In blow to political correctness, Italy wants crucifixes and nativity scenes in all classrooms

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By Doug Mainwaring

ITALY, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid what Italian media is describing as “open war” on school nativity scenes, Italy’s Education Ministry has slapped back, granting approval to installing crucifixes and reinstating nativity scenes in the nation’s classrooms.

“The crucifix is for me the symbol of our history, our culture, our traditions,” said Education Minister Marco Bussetti, speaking to the Federation of Catholic Schools’ annual congress in Rome. “I don't see how it can cause any irritation in our school rooms, on the contrary it may help kids to reflect on our history.”  

Bussetti is not alone.

When a school in the city of Terni, northeast of Rome, cancelled its traditional nativity play in order to respect children from other cultures, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini slammed the measure as “IDIOCY,” according to a Voice of Europe report.  

"It is not just about religion,” said Salvini on Facebook, “but about history, roots, culture. I will not give up.”  

“Long live our traditions, and may they spread!” he added.

A representative of the populist Lega Party, Valeria Alessandrini, first brought the situation at the school in Terni to the attention of Italians, saying:

Only by respecting (our own traditions) … can we make others understand everyone is free to practice their own faiths but that it is also required they respect the history and culture of the country in which they live.

I hope that children and young people at the school will be allowed to share with their peers and their parents the most beautiful, intense and meaningful moments of Christmas.

For years, forces have been at work demanding the removal of all expressions of Christianity from Italian schools in order to respect other cultures. In 2009, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the presence of crucifixes in Italian classrooms.  

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Where not to shop for Christmas: How consumers can align their dollars with their pro-life values

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By Doug Mainwaring

December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Christmas shopping season is off to the races, with retailers aggressively vying for attention and money. Unbeknownst to unsuspecting holiday shoppers, many corporations with familiar names contribute a portion of each sale to fund abortion giant Planned Parenthood, the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign, and other leftist organizations and causes.

Align your dollars with your values

2nd Vote, a conservative activist group, investigates and rates corporations and organizations based on their funding of liberal advocacy.

“By putting big business on watch through our extensive research on the most important issues of the day,” announces the 2nd Vote website, “our mission is to expose the corporate influence on matters of culture and policy and turn the tide on the attacks on conservative values and principle.”

As seen on the organization’s website, the top of 2nd Vote’s list of retailers to avoid this Christmas season are:

Target

Of course, Target has marketed itself as a convenient stop for Christmas. However, what isn’t convenient is men using women’s bathrooms creating a real safety risk for women and children. Along with their bathroom stance, they fund activism against the 2nd Amendment and religious liberty as well as activism that supports common core and sanctuary cities.

The Home Depot

Home Depot may come as a bit of a shock to you, because they aren’t outspoken about their political stance like Target. However, they donate to organizations that then donate to liberal activist groups like Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Planned Parenthood. Make no mistake, a dollar spent at Home Depot is another dollar towards the left’s agenda.

Amazon

Shopping in the comfort of your own home is great, but shopping at Amazon quite frankly isn’t great. Amazon directly funds the Population Council, an organization that targets impoverished areas for abortion. Even worse, they nauseatingly market abortion as a solution to poverty.

2nd Vote has compiled a list of companies that have directly or indirectly supported Planned Parenthood so that consumers can know if their dollars are funding an agenda that violates their pro-life values.

Some of these are retailers looking to sell Christmas gifts, but others are restaurants, airlines, and service companies which may play a role in holiday festivities.

Adobe
Aetna
Allstate
American Express
Amgen
AutoZone
Avon
Bank of America
Bath & Body Works
Ben & Jerry’s
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Boeing
BP
Charles Schwab
Clorox
Craigslist
Converse
Deutsche Bank
Diageo
Dockers
Energizer
Expedia
ExxonMobil
Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac
Frito Lay
General Electric
Groupon
Intuit
Jiffy Lube
JPMorgan Chase
Johnson & Johnson
Kaiser Permanente
Kraft Heinz
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
March of Dimes
Microsoft
Mondelez International
Monsanto
Morgan Stanley
Nike
Oracle
Patagonia
PayPal
PepsiCo
Pfizer
Progressive Insurance
Prudential
Qualcomm
Starbucks
Shell
Susan G. Komen
Unilever
United Airlines
United Way
US Bank
Verizon
Wells Fargo
WD-40 Company

Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the United States. It commits over 300,000 abortions per year.

Beyond abortions, recently released videos show Planned Parenthood officials freely discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts, as well as making multiple references to illegal practices, such as performing federally-prohibited partial-birth abortions, and altering abortion procedures in order to procure intact organs. They also show personnel discussing their practice with callous and shocking language, including admissions that their business is “killing,” complaints about how “difficult” it is to tear fetuses apart, and references to “heads that get stuck that we can’t get out.”

Additionally, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPFA), the organization’s political arm, works to implement liberal policies and affect election outcomes across the country.

For a more extensive list identifying companies that funnel money to Planned Parenthood indirectly through third party groups, look here.   

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Cardinal Donald Wuerl Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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Donald Wuerl expressed ‘great confidence’ in abuser priest’s salvation at 2001 funeral mass

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By Claire Chretien

December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a 2001 homily at the funeral of a sex abuser priest, then-Bishop Donald Wuerl assured the faithful that they could have “confidence” in the predator’s salvation.

Originally uncovered by Townhall’s Lauretta Brown in September, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on Father George Zirwas’s death notes that even though the priest was “banned from ministry for undisclosed reasons in 1996,” now-Cardinal Wuerl “never had any hesitation” about offering Zirwas’s funeral Mass.

This summer’s Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed that the Diocese of Pittsburgh, formerly headed by Wuerl, received complaints Zirwas had molested underage boys. Some of the complaints were filed when Wuerl was the bishop of that diocese.

“The Grand Jury learned that the Diocese was aware of complaints against Zirwas for sexually abusing children as early as 1987,” the report says. “Additional complaints were received between 1987 and 1995. However, Zirwas continued to function as a priest during this period and was reassigned to several parishes.”

The grand jury ultimately found that Zirwas had been involved in manufacturing child porn based on religious imagery on Church property. He was part of a group of priests who “used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

After finally being placed on a leave of absence for “personal reasons” in November 1995, Zirwas moved to Florida and then Cuba. In Cuba, Zirwas was murdered – according to Church Militant, by a gay prostitute.

Brown noted:

“The one thing we know is that George Zirwas responded to God’s call” when he entered the priesthood, Wuerl argued. He also praised Zirwas’s “kindness.”

Perhaps most astonishingly, Wuerl said that the funeral liturgy “expresses great confidence that Father George will experience new life in Christ.” He then added that “those who knew him can pray with great confidence that ‘this priest who proclaimed the gospel…might now receive the fulfillment of that gospel, life everlasting.’”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article also reported that Wuerl praised the priest’s devotion to his family and his mother, and Wuerl “sought to comfort those among the more than 100 mourners who might have had fears about the state of [Zirwas’s] soul at death.”

“Zirwas, 47, was found strangled May 27 in the Havana house that he shared with a Cuban partner and a steady stream of English-speaking tourists who paid $15 a night to rent the spare bedroom,” the paper explained.

Wuerl was criticized heavily by Catholics and non-Catholics alike for not only his handling of sex abuse allegations in Pittsburgh but also his insistence that he knew nothing of his predecessor ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s predation toward seminarians.

Eventually, after Wuerl met with Pope Francis, the pontiff accepted the cardinal’s resignation in October. Wuerl had already submitted his resignation three years before when he turned 75, but Pope Francis hadn’t accepted it. Cardinal Wuerl remains apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. His replacement has not yet been named.

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British Lord calls for investigation of UK-funded Marie Stopes over ‘illegal abortion’ allegations

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LONDON, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – British politician Lord David Alton, the country's foremost pro-life Peer, is demanding an investigation into claims that aid money from the United Kingdom is being used to fund illegal abortions in Kenya and Niger. 

"I am calling on the Government to undertake an urgent inquiry into allegations that Marie Stopes International is performing illegal abortions in Kenya and Niger”, Lord Alton said. “They need to determine as a matter of urgency whether Marie Stopes International is in fact promoting and performing abortions contrary to the law in Kenya and Niger.”

Lord Alton’s concerns are specifically around Marie Stopes International (MSI), which receives millions of pounds from UK taxpayers each year. He said, “Last week Marie Stopes International was issued with a cease and desist letter by the Kenyan Medical Board banning it from offering abortion services. This was further to the organisation being censured for an advertising campaign which appeared to offer abortion services outside the current law in Kenya”. Now, he added, “Niger’s Health Minister Idi Illiassou has announced ‘we have decided to close this charity on grounds of a 2006 law which bans abortions’."

These recent moves within Africa have caused Lord Alton to call upon Britain’s current minority Conservative Government to review UK-funded abortion services via such groups as MSI in African countries. 

“At the very least, it would seem that the Government is not running due diligence on the MSI services in Kenya and Niger”, Lord Alton said.

This call comes just weeks after Kenyan medical authorities banned abortion provider MSI from offering any form of abortion activity within Kenya. 

In September 2018, MSI was instructed by Kenyan authorities to desist from promoting its services via Kenyan radio networks. Many judged its advertisements to be offensive, as well as appearing to undermine existing Kenyan law on abortion, which only permits abortion in the case of a threat to the life of the mother. Any form of advertising for abortion is illegal under Kenyan law and is also prohibited under local medical practitioner rules. 

This advertising ban prompted a subsequent inquiry from Kenyan medical authorities. This resulted in a letter being sent on 14 November 2018 from the Kenyan Medical Practitioners Board to MSI stating that: "Marie Stopes Kenya is hereby directed to immediately cease and desist offering any form of abortion services in all its facilities within the republic."

Marie Stopes International is one of the world’s biggest abortion providers with more than 12,000 employees in 37 countries. In its 2017 annual report, MSI revealed that its income was £296.1 million ($377 million USD). Approximately £157 million ($200 million USD) of this came via government funding and monies from other charitable bodies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (£8.4 million/$10.7 million USD) and from the United Nations (£3.3 million/$4.2 million USD). However, the largest single financial contribution to MSI came from the UK government’s Department for International Development, credited with giving £44 million ($56 million USD). 

The Department for International Development (DfID) 2017 budget was £14 billion ($17 billion USD), a figure derived from the UK government’s on going commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of the nation’s GDP on funding projects in the developing world. DfID has denied it was helping to pay for unlawful abortions in Kenya. Instead, it insisted the money was used only for abortions that were legally performed. 

MSI has operated in Kenya since 1985, running 22 facilities and 15 so-called “mobile outreach” facilities.  For some time Lord Alton has had concerns about the way in which Western abortion providers have been operating in African countries.

“Earlier this year I raised my concerns about this with the Government,” he said. “I was told abortion services in Kenya would be carried out ‘within the parameters set out in the Kenyan Constitution’, which only allows for abortion if the mother’s health is in danger.” 

Only last week, Niger ordered the closure of two centres run by MSI on grounds that it was illegally performing abortions. Like Kenya, Niger allows abortion only in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother's life. "Our inquiries have shown that this non-governmental organisation is enabling the voluntary interruption of pregnancy," said Niger’s Health Minister Idi Illiassou. He added that his country’s agreement with MSI "does not authorise this." He said that the latest move to close down MSI operations in Niger was “on grounds of a 2006 law which bans abortions."

MSI has been operating in Niger since 2014. 

In light of the recent developments in Kenya and Niger, Lord Alton has asked that any UK overseas aid money be directed to services that are not only legal but also seemingly more needed in African countries.

“Investment in quality maternal health services in Africa should be prioritised”, he said.  In this rush to fund abortion over services to expectant mothers, Lord Alton sees the imposition of a more sinister agenda. He pointed out that, “As Africans themselves have said, millions of pounds of UK funding going to abortion providers in Africa [which] equates to a kind of continuation of Western colonization of the African people.” 

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Cardinal Napier | Raymond Arroyo
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Cardinal accuses EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo of attacking Pope Francis

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has come out swinging against EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, accusing him of reporting “negatively” on as well as “attack[ing]” Pope Francis. 

The former Archbishop of Durban tweeted last night that Arroyo was like a “throwback” to Northern Ireland’s most notorious anti-Catholic “Ian Paisley & his ilk.”

“The World Over” hosted by Raymond Aroyo is like a throwback to the 1960’s & 70’s, when Ian Paisley & his ilk fulminated against Catholic Faith in general, & Pope in particular! I’ve still to hear a programme that doesn’t report negatively on or attack Pope Francis!” tweeted Napier. 

The Reverend Ian Paisley, Ulster politician and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ireland, died in 2014. He was a key player in the Irish sectarian “Troubles”, which lasted from the late-1960s to the Good Friday Agreement in 2007. Paisley was infamous for his preaching against Roman Catholicism and peace-building with Northern Ireland’s Irish republican minority. 

Catholics around the world have been tuning in to watch Arroyo along with “Papal Posse” members Robert Royal and Father Gerald Murray as they comment regularly on the Francis pontificate from the perspective of traditional Catholic teaching. Papal adviser Father Antonio Spadaro demanded earlier this year that a papal interdict be placed on Arroyo on account of the show. 

Cardinal Napier, who has been a champion of Catholic doctrine concerning marriage and the family, has nevertheless been a staunch defender of Pope Francis’ refusal to answer cardinals’ questions, or Dubia, regarding Amoris Laetitia. In a long Twitter conversation with an unhappy Catholic, Napier suggested that Francis’ refusal to answer modeled on the silence of Jesus Christ before “certain questions”.

Arroyo defended himself today, tweeting that Mother Angelica, the foundress of the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), had told him that he had an obligation to tell the truth, no matter how others responded:

“‘It’s your obligation to speak the truth, and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such a poverty of truth today.’ - Mother Angelica (to me many years ago.),” Arroyo wrote. 

The reaction to Napier’s tweet was largely in defense of the EWTN host. 

American author Amy Welborn told the Cardinal that “name-calling” and “guilt-by-association” aren’t “authentic dialogue. 

“Perhaps it would be more helpful and elevate the level of online discourse if you addressed specific points and criticisms raised in the program,” she tweeted. “This mode of ‘arguing’ by name-calling or guilt-by-association isn't authentic dialogue - which I thought was our goal - in any sense.”

English blogger Laurence England retorted that EWTN is doing its duty whereas the Cardinal is not. 

“I am yet to go a week without Pope Francis wrecking Christ's Church without Cardinal Napier's support,” he tweeted. “EWTN are just doing their duty AS YOU DO NOT DO YOURS.”

In his tweet, Colombian priest Fr. Carlos Vargas referred to the reasons why EWTN has questioned some of Pope Francis’ decisions.

“When the Pope's words cause confusion in the Church, and when his actions denote a disregard for the sex abuse crisis in the US, you may call that ‘negative reporting,’” he wrote. “Others call it the truth.”

Other Catholics told the Cardinal that they did not think his tweet was worthy of his office.   

It's highly inappropriate for a Prince of the Church to single out one Catholic by name on social media for this sort of criticism, even more so since the criticism is unfounded,” tweeted Steven Hunter, a married father in Ohio. “This pope has been a font of ambiguity and confusion, and I'm glad @RaymondArroyo is calling it out.”

“If something Raymond has reported is false then say so and be specific. But to characterize all criticism as "attack" is dishonest and reflects poorly on you, Your Eminence,” he added. 

Steve Skojec, editor of One Peter Five, advised Napier to delete his Twitter account. 

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Pregnant with twins and facing leukemia, this mother of 3 just found a bone marrow match

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By Lisa Bourne

SAN PEDRO, California, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A California mother of three facing leukemia while expecting twins received news last week that may save her life after tens of thousands stepped up to potentially donate bone marrow.

Susie Rabaca was praying for a perfect match so she could stay alive for her kids. She is due December 6 with her twins and needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

“I was devastated, emotionally devastated,” she told NBC News, regarding learning her diagnosis months ago.

Rabaca’s sister is a 50 percent match, but doctors said the match wasn't sufficient to treat her cancer, an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia.

She needs a 100 percent match, but Rabaca’s mixed heritage – Latina and Caucasian – has made finding a match problematic. No one from some 30 million people registered worldwide was a complete match for her.

Rabaca, with the help of daughter Riley, made an online plea for more possible donors.

Her story went viral, and since then more than 50,000 people registered with the national marrow donor program Be The Match, a record-breaking number.

She received word of a 100 percent match Wednesday.

“Oh, my God, that to me is beyond amazing,” Rabaca said. “It’s an overwhelming feeling of just joy and happiness. It really is.”

More tests will be needed, but the hope is that she will be able to undergo the transplant after delivering some time in the next week.

“It’s so exciting,” Rabaca said. “It’s the best Christmas gift, it’s everything.”

In a Facebook post Thursday, the pregnant mom said:

“With tears running down my face and my heart full of hope I want to say THANK YOU LORD! And thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single person that has said even 1 prayer for me and my family! Thank you to my family, friends, people around the country that I don’t even know that have shown support and especially that have signed up for BE THE MATCH!!!!! Journey isn’t over but a huge step forward!!! Thankful for you all lots of love! Keep Praying thank you!!!!”

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
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Archbishop Viganò denies claims he defrauded his brother

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By Diane Montagna
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View of the "Fiat Pax" Monastery in Gitega, Burundi
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Plaque of dedication to Adeodato and Sophia Vigano, "Fiat Pax" Carmel, Gitega, Burundi
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Chapel of the "Fiat Pax" Carmelite monastery, Gitega, Burundi

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ROME, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has denied claims he defrauded his brother, and has sought to clarify an October court ruling ordering him to pay his brother €1.8 million in inheritance. Many believe the ruling is being used by critics to discredit him after his bombshell testimonies.

In a Dec. 3 statement issued by his lawyers (see text below), Archbishop Viganò clarifies the nature of the court ruling, expresses his deep love for his brother, and communicates his intent to have his lawyers prosecute those who defame him.

According to his lawyers, the statement comes “in light of the recent unfounded news that appeared in multiple newspapers and other media outlets, regarding an alleged conviction for ‘fraud,’ ‘theft’ or misappropriation of funds, to the detriment of his brother Fr. Lorenzo Viganò.”

A raft of reports

In mid-November, a raft of reports appeared in the international press regarding an Oct. 9 ruling by the Court of Milan, ordering Archbishop Viganò to pay his brother €1.8 million of inheritance plus legal fees.

The Italian media, painting Archbishop Viganò as dishonest, and casting doubt on the credibility of his August testimony implicating Pope Francis in covering up Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of priests and seminarians, launched a full assault. 

The Italian daily Il Giornale’s headline read: “The flogger of the Pope swindled his brother for 2 million euros.” Il Sismografo, a blog with close ties to the Vatican, said: “Sentence of a civil court in Milan: Carlo Maria Viganò must return to his brother, Fr. Lorenzo, over one million 800 thousand euros, money taken illegally.” LaRegione announced: “The Great Accuser of Pope Francis condemned in Milan.” And the UCCR (Union of Rational Catholic Christians), concluded: “Archbishop Viganò sentenced: he was stealing from his disabled brother while he was lecturing the Pope.”

A notable exception came from the Italian outlet, La Veritá (the Truth), which claimed the media was “using the case lost by Viganò to discredit his testimony.” 

Meanwhile, the Spanish press widely portrayed Archbishop Viganò as a millionaire who “robbed his disabled brother.”

In the English media, the Jesuit-run America Magazine picked up on Italian reports, saying the former U.S. nuncio had been forced to pay back his brother the $2 million plus interest, “which he had ‘illegally and illegitimately’ taken from him over many years.” On the whole, however, the headlines in the English-speaking media were far less sensational, and focused on the court’s ruling that Archbishop Viganò had to pay his brother in an inheritance dispute.

Just a coincidence

The Oct. 9 court ruling came almost nine years after the case was initially opened by Archbishop Viganò’s brother, Fr. Lorenzo, a priest of the diocese of Pavia who is living in Chicago. 

The decision also came just over six weeks after Archbishop Viganò issued his initial 11-page testimony, and just two days after Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, published an Oct. 7 open letter denouncing it as a “political plot” against the Pope.

Less than two weeks later, on Oct. 19, Archbishop Viganò issued his third, and what many regard as his strongest testimony, in response to Cardinal Ouellet’s letter. 

In it, he restated his key allegations, argued that Cardinal Ouellet conceded the important claims he did make and disputed the claims he didn’t, and vigorously challenged Ouellet’s assertion that the Vatican was only aware of “rumors” regarding Theodore McCarrick’s misdeeds. 

“The Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof,” he said. Such documentary proof, he added, includes records of “compensation paid by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to McCarrick’s victims; the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008,” and Archbishop Viganò’s notes to his superiors in the Secretariat of State.

The coincidence in timing between Archbishop Viganò’s testimonies and the Oct. 9 court ruling led one informed source to tell LifeSite: “It’s an attack by several demons at the same time to discredit him.”

Clarifying a court ruling

At the beginning of the Dec. 3 statement, Archbishop Viganò’s lawyers explain that, on Oct. 9, 2018, “the Court of Milan ordered Archbishop Viganò to pay, in response to a judicial request for the division of assets and adjustment of their mutual debits and credit with his brother Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, the principal of approximately € 1.8 million.” 

The decision, it says, came in response to “an initial request from Fr. Lorenzo Viganò of almost €40 million,” which it calls “a grossly unrealistic figure in respect to the actual value of the entire joint ownership of property of the two brothers.”

It adds that, with the aforementioned ruling, “which neither of the two parties has appealed and which therefore has become final, the Court of Milan rejected all the other requests made by Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, who started the case against his brother, refusing any mediation from the family.”

It also specified that Archbishop Viganò has “already willingly paid” in full “the amounts established by the judgment.” It notes that, as a result of the Oct. 9 ruling, Fr. Lorenzo “received essentially what he would have received had he accepted the settlement proposals made by his brother, pro bono pacis, in the course of the proceedings.” 

A shared inheritance

According to today’s statement, the assets (worth €20 million plus a cash sum of more than €6 million) came to the two brothers “as the undivided inheritance of their parents, who were entrepreneurs in the industrial field.”  

The Viganò family came from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. Their father was a steel manufacturer known to be an “extremely generous” man. When he died, he left to each of his eight children what corresponded best to their state of life. To his sons he left his business activities, to his daughters, other activities. But to his two priest sons, Fathers Carlo Maria and Lorenzo, he left rich farmland close to Milan — a region known to surpass parts of German in quality and innovation, as well as beauty. 

Given that the farmland could easily be overseen by a good manager, the inheritance would enable the two sons to dedicate themselves completely to their priestly mission. 

With joint power of attorney over their inheritance, the two brothers both administered their common assets, each brother acting in the other’s name. The two brothers also agreed to allocate a large portion of their assets to works of charity and religion, including scholarships for students from Third World countries, and the building of a Carmelite monastery called “Fiat Pax” in Gitega, Burundi.

The new building complex cost more than €2 million, and was dedicated to their parents, Adeodato and Sophia, on behalf of the two sons. This dedication has been memorialized in a plaque dedicated to their honor (see below).

In 1996, Fr. Lorenzo suffered a stroke, which left him in a coma for two weeks. Although he would mostly recover from the coma, the stroke had taken its toll, and left him paralyzed on his left side. 

But it was several years later that everything changed. According to today’s statement, in November 2008, Fr. Lorenzo “unilaterally, totally and suddenly spurned” all relations with his brother, and fled Milan claiming that Archbishop Viganò wanted to “kidnap” him. 

LifeSite has learned that, in 2009, Fr. Lorenzo cancelled the brothers’ joint power of attorney. From that point on, their real estate assets were handled by lawyers. Fr. Lorenzo has remained estranged from Archbishop Viganò ever since.

During the trial that led to the Oct. 9 decision, Fr. Lorenzo also denied that he had agreed to allocate funds to the construction of the Carmelite monastery in Burundi. In the accounting of their joint inheritance, this expense therefore fell to Archbishop Viganò. This is one of the reasons that explains why Arcbishop Viganò had to return €1.8 million to his brother. 

Fraternal love

Today’s statement from Archbishop Viganò’s lawyers reads: 

For over 10 years, Fr. Lorenzo Viganò has subjected Archbishop Viganò to a judicial siege and a veritable defamation campaign in the press, while failing to inform obliging journalists that the accusations of Fr. Lorenzo Viganò have been abandoned or dismissed in the 10 civil, criminal, and administrative cases attempted to date.

The statement continues: 

Nevertheless, Archbishop Viganò has always silently suffered such attacks in order to avoid further exploitation of the family’s legal affairs, which have nothing to do with the other well-known “institutional” affairs that he has become involved in.

The statement also notes that Archbishop Viganò has “devoted most of this patrimony to works of charity and religion, including the construction of a seminary in Nigeria and a Carmelite monastery in Burundi, and will continue to do so.”

With neither party appealing the Oct. 9 ruling, an important and painful chapter in the brothers’ lives now seems to have been closed.

Archbishop Viganò ends by saying he “deeply loves his brother Fr. Lorenzo and will never stop hoping and praying that his brother would make peace with him and resume relations with him.” The statement notes that this is why, “despite having valid reasons to do so,” Archbishop Viganò did not appeal the ruling, “even though he considers it, in many ways, wrong and unjust.”

It also ends by noting that “Archbishop Viganò intends to entrust his lawyers with the task of prosecuting by means of lawsuits any attempt to defame him.” 

***

Here below is the official English text of the statement issued by Archbishop Viganò’s lawyers. (You can download the original Italian here.)

In light of the recent unfounded news that appeared in multiple newspapers and other media outlets, regarding an alleged conviction for “fraud,” “theft” or misappropriation of funds, to the detriment of his brother Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò states the following: 

1)    The Court of Milan, by judgment no. 10359/2018 of October 9, 2018, ordered Archbishop Viganò to pay, in response to a judicial request for the division of assets and adjustment of their mutual debits and credit with his brother Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, the principal of approximately € 1.8 million against an initial request from Fr. Lorenzo Viganò of almost € 40 million, a grossly unrealistic figure compared to the actual value of the entire joint ownership of property of the two brothers; 

2)    With the above-mentioned Court ruling, which neither of the two parties has appealed and which therefore has become final, the Court of Milan rejected all the other requests made by Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, who started the case against his brother, refusing any mediation from the family. 

3)    Archbishop Viganò has already willingly paid entirely the amounts established by the judgment; 

4)    Fr. Lorenzo Viganò, as a result of the judgment, received essentially what he would have received had he accepted the settlement proposals made by his brother, pro bono pacis, in the course of the proceedings; 

5)    For over 10 years, Fr. Lorenzo Viganò has subjected Archbishop Viganò to a judicial siege and a veritable defamation campaign in the press, while failing to inform obliging journalists that the accusations of Fr. Lorenzo Viganò have been abandoned or dismissed in the 10 civil, criminal, and administrative cases attempted to date.

6)    Nevertheless, Archbishop Viganò has always suffered such attacks in silence in order to avoid further exploitation of the family’s legal affairs, which have nothing to do with the other well-known “institutional” affairs that he has become involved in; 

7)    The assets came to the two brothers as the undivided inheritance of their parents, who were entrepreneurs in the industrial field;

8)    Archbishop Viganò has allocated most of this patrimony to works of charity and religion, including the construction of a Seminary in Nigeria and a Carmel in Burundi, and will continue to do so. 

9)    As for the painful personal relationship with his brother, Archbishop Viganò deeply loves his brother Fr. Lorenzo and will never stop hoping and praying that his brother would make peace with him and resume relations with him, which he unilaterally, totally and suddenly spurned in November 2008, when he fled from Milan accusing his brother, Archbishop Carlo Maria, of wanting to kidnap him. This is also why, despite having valid reasons to do so, Archbishop Viganò did not appeal the judgement of the Court, even though he considers it, in many ways, wrong and unjust. Archbishop Viganò intends to entrust his lawyers with the task of prosecuting by means of lawsuits any attempt to defame him. 

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Today’s sexual culture is failing our young people

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The headmaster of a smart London school once warned me about being too forthright when giving a talk there. “Young people today feel under tremendous pressure,” he said. I understood what he meant. They feel under pressure to do things they do not feel comfortable doing, such as engaging in premature sexual activity, or in particular sexual acts. They also feel pressure not to agree to do them. Were someone to put more pressure on them not to do such a thing, whether the pressure was emotional or intellectual, it would feel unbearable, because it makes it harder for them, it raises the emotional cost for them, to give in to the strongest pressure.

There is a cost to saying yes, and a cost to saying no. Raising the cost of saying yes may, possibly, succeed in tipping the balance. But in itself it does nothing to lower the cost of saying no, which must be paid in full: in bullying, marginalization, ostracism, and even physical violence.

It must be tempting for people like that headmaster to think that the way to make life easier for his pupils is to do what he can to reduce the pressure to say “no”: from visiting speakers, for example. For my part I never had any intention of addressing such issues directly: I’d been invited to give a talk about philosophy, not personal morality. It is a measure of the problem that he thought that I might.

The real solution is to lower the intolerable pressure for them to say “yes.” A systematic manifestation of moral values in a school would send a message, not only to potential victims, but to potential bullies and rapists that there might be some limits to acceptable behavior. That, of course, would be practically unthinkable in most secular schools—even in most Catholic ones.

One of the key issues faced by pro-life counsellors is to reduce the pressure to say yes: to let women have a choice that is genuinely free, where one option to have the baby, is not, apparently, ruled out by the prospect of a personal or financial disaster. I suppose the equivalent in the context of the sexual culture inhabited by most young people in the West would be to equip them with the self-confidence and spiritual strength that threats of ridicule and worse are not overwhelmingly decisive considerations. If that sounds unlikely to succeed, and it does, the only alternative is not to send them into that poisonous environment at all.

Some young people enter into modern sexual culture without a qualm. The damage they suffer from it is something they do not, immediately, notice, do not recognize as connected with their lifestyle, or do not regard as a problem. To be coarse, cynical, and contemptuous of goodness and beauty, they might think, is just to be grown up. But for many others it is a different story.

For an absolutely unbearable perspective on modern sexual culture in British schools, have a look at this article about the epidemic of rape, by school children on other school children. The reluctant acquiescence of many schoolgirls in sexual acts obviously crosses the line, in many cases, which separates consensual sex and rape. But that isn’t always how it is seen: they are, after all, acquiescing in some form.

“Why didn’t you stop when she was crying?” a teacher asked a 14-year-old perpetrator. “It’s normal for girls to cry during sex,” he replied.

The way the educational establishment attempts to deal with the problem is to reduce the pressure to say “no.” “Do whatever you are comfortable with, they say: ‘We won’t judge you.’ ‘Don’t allow yourself to be pressured to say yes.’” But it is not up to school children whether or not they are “pressured” to say yes: they cannot control their environment. Their environment, created by two generations of officially sanctioned moral anarchy, is calculated to make them extremely uncomfortable about saying “no,” and their teachers are telling them that they have no objective reason not to say “yes.”

The establishment tells us that children are mature enough to decide about sex for themselves. They refuse to press rape charges when a victim is legally too young to have consented. They ignore the pressures placed on children even by criminal gangs. They provide them with contraceptives and the morning-after pill to allow exploitation and rape to continue without the inconvenient interruptions of childbirth. They refuse to inform parents their children are accessing contraception or even abortion. But this establishment simultaneously tells us that, not just children, but adults, are too vulnerable and sensitive to hear about morality. In the circumstances, one can see why they might feel that way.

This is the compassion of the vulture towards the lamb.

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Cdl. Müller doubles down on link between clerical abuse crisis and homosexuality

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By Maike Hickson

December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new 27 November interview, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has restated his claim that homosexuality and clerical sexual abuse are clearly linked. He also says that, if there should be in fact a homosexual lobby in the Vatican, these persons' own “doings should be strictly prohibited,” due to the “immense damage” they cause.

Cardinal Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), now proposes that the Church's canon law re-introduce penalties for priests who commit homosexual acts because such acts are “a grave offense against the priest's ethos.” Such priests need to be “sanctioned,” he said. With regard to the controversial German Jesuit Fr. Wucherpfennig, he calls his pro-homosexual position “heretical” and regrets that his case was apparently dealt with by way of private agreements with the Pope, rather than through the official Vatican channels.

Speaking with the German regional newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Cardinal Müller re-stated several things he had recently told LifeSiteNews. In his new wide-ranging interview, the German prelate says that “it is a fact that a little more than 80% of the victims of abuse are male teenagers after puberty.” While he cautions against generalizations, the Cardinal also insists that the clerical sex abuse of adults older than 18 should not thereby be relativized because of civil laws. Here, the Church should not follow the propositions of the LGBT groups.

He explains: “The image of man of LGBT organizations cannot be decisive for us. It could only be imposed upon the whole of society with the help of violence in destroying the freedom of religion and conscience. We resist it, even if threatened with the penalty of social depreciation and wild media insults.”

Speaking about a possible “homosexual lobby” in the Vatican – which, according to Müller, has never revealed itself to him – the German cardinal says that “Pope Francis himself has once spoken about the actual existence of such a lobby.”

“But if they [such persons] exist,” Müller continues, “their doings should be strictly prohibited, because they cause immense damage.” 

Importantly, Cardinal Müller returns to a topic he recently discussed with LifeSiteNews, namely the fact that the 1983 Code of Canon Law had removed any specific mention of homosexual acts as one of the priestly offenses against the 6th Commandment which therefore incur certain canonical penalties. Cardinal Müller had told LifeSiteNews that this change in canon law was “disastrous.” Now, in this new 27 November interview, the Cardinal says: “In the Church's law, one also once again has to present and sanction homosexual acts by priests as a grave offense against the priest's ethos.”

Cardinal Müller also uses some strong words about Father Ansgar Wucherpfennig – the pro-homosexual Jesuit who has just been re-instated by the Vatican as the rector of the Jesuit Graduate School in Frankfurt – saying that “the position of this man concerning homosexuality contradicts the Word of God in Holy Scripture and, in the context of the Church's binding doctrinal and moral teaching, is to be qualified as being heretical.”

His position, the prelate continues, “lies within the mainstream of the 'LGBT agenda' of those who call themselves lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders – whom I myself would never designate in that way – and it finds support in that part of the Church that has been secularized.” Coming back to his earlier claim that he considers the Vatican's decision to reinstate Father Wucherpfennig without his recanting any of his controversial earlier remarks in favor of homosexuality and of female ordination as a “false compromise,” the German cardinal then went on to say: “with false compromises, the Magisterium only undercuts its own authority as given by Christ. The applause on the part of the progressivists does not compensate for  the loss of authority that goes along with it; and that applause will only last as long as those in responsible positions still act in accordance with the Zeitgeist.” 

Further commenting on the Wucherpfennig case and the Vatican's own conduct, Cardinal Müller says that “it is a weak point in the exercise of the papal primacy when one ignores the fixed procedures of the examination and decision-making process in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, instead, private conversations with the Pope en passant [in passing] then tip the balance.”

Offering an additional example of such a neglect of rules and of those actions in favor of private solutions negotiated directly with the Pope, the prelate points to the recent conflict concerning the German pastoral handout, which allows some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. At the time, the CDF itself had cautioned against the publication of that “immature” handout, but it was then overruled by a little note summing up a private conversation between the Pope and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, saying that the handout could be published, after all. That note had been signed by Pope Francis with an “F,” indicating his approval.

Says Cardinal Müller: “For example, the reception of Holy Communion requires a full membership in the Catholic Church, but, nevertheless, someone has asked the Pope – so as to promote intercommunion – to sign a slip with theologically blurred assertions which contradict Catholic doctrine and the clear instruction of the Congregation for the Faith and which has lead to a chaotic practice, with a great damage to the Church.” That note had been written by Cardinal Marx himself.

With regard to the current clerical sex abuse crisis in the Church, Cardinal Müller does not shy away from pointing to some bishops who do not sufficiently cooperate in the clearing out of this problem. “Some bishops unsettle the faithful because, in their statements, they only follow the mainstream. They allow themselves to be placed into the straight jackets of political correctness, in which they can only move awkwardly and make a fool of themselves.” In this sense, the prelate says that bishops should not “foremost act and think politically,” but they are, rather, “servants of the Word of God, shepherds of their flock.” “We have to become more spiritual and theological, and less political and in accordance with the Zeitgeist,” he concludes.

“We should risk and venture the new evangelization,” the cardinal says earlier in his 27 November interview, “instead of jumping on the train of demoralization and de-Christianization of the Western societies.” Such a renewal would include a “renewal of the ethical conduct.”

 

Cardinal Müller has received sharp criticism from German Catholic progressivists for his recent LifeSiteNews interview. EWTN Rome Correspondent Paul Badde, in a new 29 November interview with Cardinal Müller, raises the question whether there exists now a “hunt on Cardinal Müller” in light of the intense reaction in German progressive circles against the cardinal's critique of homosexuality.

Badde states: “There barely passes one day without there appearing a new article sharply attacking you because of your interview with Maike Hickson, in which you once more presented and defended in a traditional manner the Catechism of the Church, fighting for the truth.” 

Cardinal Müller comments on this matter, saying that “these are attacks against my person and not substantive contributions that are to be taken seriously. But this is always the case. When it is about power instead of truth, decency is being left behind.” He repeated his statement that, in his dealing with sex abuse cases at the CDF, “80% of the victims of clerical sexual abuse crimes are male."

"As we know, ideologues fear facts like the devil holy water. But I know these happenings and backgrounds from many [canonical] processes which we, by virtue of our office, have led at the Congregation for the Faith,” he added.

While Cardinal Müller restates that he does not know whether such a homosexual lobby exists at the Vatican – but for Pope Francis' own admission – he does say that such people exist within the hierarchy of the Church: “But there are high-ranking representatives of the Catholic Church who, beyond measure, defend and promote people with such a [pro-homosexual] tendency. But when it is about questioning aspects of the Catholic Faith, they are magnanimous and lack energy. He who follows their agenda, may do what he wants. [But] he who does not participate in assisted thinking [“assistiertes Denken”], is being mercilessly persecuted, currently according to the motto 'St. Paul goodbye – Wucherpfennig okay!' But I am not going to go along with it, and I will not be silent.” 

Commenting on Paul Badde's insight that today, many Catholic theologians do not even believe anymore in the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the German Cardinal says: “He who denies the Incarnation is not a Catholic theologian, but at the most a professor with a nice salary. Here, one really should be at least so honest as to make his living somewhere else. To be a member of the Church by Baptism and Faith is something else than being a beneficiary of the Church's establishment,” he said.  

“Unfaithful theology and faithful theology are as different as wooden and glowing iron,” the Cardinal added.

In concluding this fiery interview, Cardinal Müller shows little hope for the Catholic Church in Germany which “certainly has no great future when she acts and agitates like a political party.”

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