All articles from January 30, 2019


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Pro-life groups asks FBI, DOJ to investigate calls for violence against Covington students

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By Calvin Freiburger

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The leaders of several Ohio-based pro-life groups gathered Tuesday to call on federal law enforcement agencies to investigate threats of violence made online against a group of Catholic high school students based on false reporting of a confrontation at the 2019 March for Life.

A group of students from Covington Catholic High School have found themselves in the middle of a firestorm since reports claimed a video showed them harassing elderly Native American veteran Nathan Phillips. But additional video and firsthand accounts soon revealed Phillips was the one who waded into the group and beat a drum inches from student Nick Sandmann’s face, and other adults who accompanied Phillips shouted racial taunts at the kids. The kids had been performing school cheers in an attempt to drown out the harassment.

Many journalists quickly retracted their initial reactions, which have fed a liberal fervor that has included death threats, yet some media outlets have attempted to keep the false narrative alive, and others have suggested journalists themselves are the real victims.

On Tuesday, representatives of Created Equal, Ohio Christian Alliance, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, and other pro-life groups gathered outside Fountain Square in Cincinnati to demand that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice investigate the threats.

“The madness that followed the students from the encounter...put them at the center of a generated hate campaign, fueled by false media reports and social media,” Created Equal said in a press release. “Known individuals have called for violence against the students and their Christian school. This, in our opinion, is simply an outrage, and a watershed moment in which reason, sensibility, and the law must come into play.”

During the press conference, Created Equal president Mark Harrington contrasted the media outrage over the students with the “crickets” the press devotes every year to the documented harassment Created Equal receives when attending the left-wing, pro-abortion Women’s March.

“We kind of entered into a new normal. I hope this isn’t normal, but this kind of thing is beyond the pale,” he said. “I’m a civil libertarian; I believe that offensive speech, disturbing speech should be met with more speech, not less speech.” But death threats are “fighting words” and “not protected by the First Amendment,” he argued.

“It’s outrageous that we could do this to our young people…we need to take these threats seriously. Some people say, ‘oh you know, they were just blowing off steam, they don’t really mean it.’ When someone says they’re gonna burn down a high school or shoot somebody, we better take those seriously. Because a lot of times we don’t take these things seriously, and then what happens? Then we have a school shooting, and people wonder ‘did we catch the signs?’”

Created Equal has collected screenshots of several high-profile examples, such as CNN contributors Bakari Sellers and Reza Aslan expressing a desire to punch Nick Sandmann in the face, actor John DiMaggio suggesting death threats against the kids would be “well-deserved,” and hip-hop producer Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan asking fans to lock them in their school then burn it to the ground.

Ohio Christian Alliance/Christian Alliance of America president Chris Long, Fremont Baptist Temple Pastor Gary Click, Anglican priest Rev. James Tasker, Richfield Bible Baptist Church Pastor Alfred B. Davis, and other pro-lifers also signed a letter which has been delivered to the FBI, PJ Media reports.

“The FBI, in the recent past, has brought charges against and prosecuted individuals who have hurled similar threats against Congressional members,” the letter reminds them. The Trump administration has spoken out in defense of the Covington boys, but has yet to comment on whether such action will be taken.

Click here to read all LifeSiteNews coverage of the Covington Catholic case.

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Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis talking Rorate Caeli
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Cdl. Kasper: A ‘forced resignation’ of Pope Francis would be invalid

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By Maike Hickson

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Walter Kasper – a close collaborator of Pope Francis – has expressed concern over a possible attempt at removing the current Pope from office but makes it clear that “a forced resignation would be invalid.”

Regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Kasper insists that it was done in “full freedom.” Cardinal Kasper had been part of the “Sankt Gallen Group,” which had wished for then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's election back in 2005, rather than then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's.

As LifeSiteNews has reported, Cardinal Kasper – the “father of Amoris Laetitia” – recently claimed in a January 8 interview with the German TV channel ARD that there is a sort of conspiracy taking place that wishes to remove Pope Francis from his Petrine office, and that the abuse crisis is being used for that purpose.

“There are people,” the German cardinal said, “who simply do not like this pontificate. They want to see it ended as soon as possible and then have, so to speak, a new conclave. And they also wish to prepare it, so that it ends according to their own ideas.”

Cardinal Kasper added that “it seems to me inappropriate to make use of this abuse scandal for this goal,” to turn “it into a discussion about Pope Francis.”

In a new January 19 interview with the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, Cardinal Kasper was challenged further by an interviewer about his January 8 claims concerning a possible “plot” against Pope Francis. Asked who is working on such a plot – a word Kasper himself did not use – the German prelate did not get specific but said: “The answer is to be found on the internet, on Catholic websites in Italian, German, English. … ” Asked what causes such “tension” and whether there are certain “dossiers” in circulation, Cardinal Kasper once more demurred, saying he is “doing theology” and does not have “access to such dossiers.”

Further relativizing his January 9 statements, Cardinal Kasper now explains that an “abuse of the abuse” occurs not only when using the clerical sex-abuse scandal for the purpose of undermining Pope Francis but also when others are using it as an instrument and a tool “for their agenda against celibacy.”

Asked whether he ever spoke with Pope Francis about such a possible plot, Cardinal Kasper responded by saying: “It is true that I stand on the side of the Pope, but there are only rare personal encounters. I do not use the expression 'plot.’ I have never spoken with him about it.”

Responding to an additional question on the topic of the resignation of a pope, the German prelate explained that, “according to the rules of the Church's law and the conditions set therein, a Pope can resign.” This, he said, “is a completely personal and free decision, which in reality has happened very rarely.” “A force resignation would be invalid,” Kasper added.

Kasper himself is “content” with this pope. “That is why I have not yet had a reason to reflect upon and discus such an improbable eventuality,” he explained.

Speaking about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Kasper showed himself supportive of this step when he said: “I have known Benedict XVI for 55 years. I know that he reflected upon it and prayed about it for a long time, long before he made public his resignation of the Petrine Office. He explained – and I take it seriously – that he has done so in full freedom and for reasons that he presented in his declaration to the cardinals.” Praising this decisive step, Cardinal Kasper added: “It was a humble, generous, and courageous decision which deserves all respect.”

As Giuseppe Nardi reported at the time of Pope Benedict's resignation, Kasper then had given Benedict a warning not to try to influence the upcoming Conclave in 2013. In an interview with La Repubblica, the German cardinal said: “The danger is great that the Church's leadership will suffer under his (Benedict's) influence. This may not happen.” Kasper added that, since Benedict made his decision to resign, he has now to hold back and should not influence the “Church's leadership and Church politics.”

In the same interview, Kasper significantly pointed out that there should be new ways for “remarried” divorcees to have access to Holy Communion; he proposed more “collegiality” for the Catholic Church, as well as more “transparency.” Furthermore, the German prelate – who headed the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity until 2010 – claimed that one should be open to the idea that the new Pope might come from an unusual place: “We have to be open for everything, for every nationality and every geographical origin.”

As German journalist and Rome correspondent Paul Badde revealed recently in an interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Kasper was among the cardinals who plotted, during the 2005 Conclave, against the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Cardinal Joachim Meisner – who later became one of the four dubia cardinals – had been informed at that time by Badde and he fought this conspiracy during the Conclave by informing other cardinals about this plot. The result was that Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. This plot against Ratzinger, as it became later known, was organized by the so-called “Sankt Gallen Group.”

Another important aspect is that the spiritual father of this “Sankt Gallen Group,” Cardinal Carlo Martini, himself is said to have put pressure on Pope Benedict to resign. As La Stampa's Vatican Insider reported in 2015, the confessor of Cardinal Martini, Fr. Silvano Fausti, revealed that Cardinal Martini spoke with Benedict in June 2012, that “the time had come for him to resign because the Roman Curia seemed irreformable: 'it’s right now, one cannot do anything here.'”

The same Vatican Insider article also reported that Bergoglio already had a significant number of supporters during the 2005 Conclave that then elected Ratzinger.

However, as Austen Ivereigh revealed in his 2014 book, The Great Reformer, it was Cardinal Kasper who, together with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (another member of the Sankt Gallen Group, but he was then too advanced in age to participate in the Conclave), helped – as a “Team Bergoglio” – to promote the election of Jorge Bergoglio in 2013. (The Sankt Gallen Group officially stopped meeting in 2006, but the collaboration obviously continued.)

As Ivo Fürer – the Swiss bishop who hosted the meetings of the Sankt Gallen Group in Sankt Gallen until 2006  – stated in a press release in 2015: “The election of Pope Francis in 2013 (115 Cardinals) corresponded to the goals of the group in St. Gallen – it says so in the biography of Cardinal Danneels. This is being confirmed by Bishop Ivo Fürer who never hid his joy about the election of the Argentine.”  

As Giuseppe Nardi commented in his own report on the above-mentioned new ARD and Il Fatto Quotidiano interviews with Cardinal Kasper: “The interviews show a certain nervousness which can be seen in connection with the recent abuse scandals and a dubious way of life of bishops and cardinals which have come to light in the recent 12 months and which, in different ways, do not show Pope Francis in the best light.” Nardi mentioned the Pope's seeming failure to address the problems of misconduct or abuse, as well as “his protecting potential offenders” and the fact that those involved bishops and cardinals “are close to Pope Francis.”

Nardi sees that there is now an attempt in defending Pope Francis by influential media and circles, such as The New York Times, that try to make out a sort of “conspiracy” against Pope Francis, as if there existed, so to speak, a “conservative secretive circle of Sankt Gallen.” “Of such, however,” says Nardi, “there are no signs.”

Nardi concluded: “Kasper's interventions show that, with the coming closer of the Abuse Summit (in Rome) at the end of February – which is being shadowed by new abuse scandals – the tension is increasing in the circles around the Pope.”

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Democrats try to cut ‘so help me God’ from committee witness oath, backtrack after outcry

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to strike “so help me God” from the oath witnesses take before testifying to one of the committees they now control, according to a draft of a rules package obtained by Fox News.

The draft governing procedures of the House Committee on Natural Resources contains the standard oath, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” Fox reported Tuesday, with “so help you God” set in red brackets to denote a deletion. It apparently was to be replaced with the phrase “under penalty of law.”

The draft also reveals Democrats intend to purge gender-specific pronouns, replacing “his or her” with “their” and “Chairman” with “Chair.”

Following Fox News’ original report, the committee voted to keep “so help you God” and Chairman Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, claimed its would-be removal was simply a “mistake,” IJR reports.

“It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming reacted. “They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”

The draft is the latest sign Democrats plan to pursue an aggressive liberal social agenda with their newfound House majority. One of their first moves was to pass a rules package barring “discrimination” against “LGBT” House staffers.

The controversy also echoes a scandal from the 2012 Democrat National Convention, during which delegates voted to remove references to God from the party platform. The convention quickly reversed itself after video of the voice vote went viral.

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Franklin Graham to Cardinal Dolan: ‘take a moral stand’ against Gov. Cuomo

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By Doug Mainwaring

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Protestant evangelist Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, took to Twitter urging New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan to “Take a moral stand.”

“The Catholic Church is discussing as to whether New York Governor Cuomo should be excommunicated from the church for signing the state’s new abortion bill,” he explained to his nearly two million followers. “This law allows for the murder of unborn children up until the day of their birth.”

“I call on my friend Cardinal Dolan to take a moral stand,” continued Graham. “Whether it moves the governor’s calloused heart or not, it will have a great impact on not only the church in New York, but on the church worldwide.”  

“It’s about standing for right over wrong, good over evil,” he added.

Graham then quoted Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, “I don't see it as something to celebrate … the kind of procedures that now are possible in New York state, we wouldn't even do to a dog or a cat. … It's torture.”

Bishop Scharfenberger has been outspoken in his criticism of Cuomo, saying that while excommunication is a last resort, Cuomo’s recent enshrining of virtually-unlimited abortion in the state as a “fundamental right” and then publicly celebrating the new law may be a tipping point that may leave the Church no other option.  

“One can put themself in the position whereby morally they cannot receive Communion at the altar rail,” he added. “And I think the Governor is in that situation right now.”

Bishop Scharfenberger said he can’t understand Cuomo’s mindset, which permits the governor to support abortion up until the last minute before birth.  

“The kind of procedures that now are possible in New York State, we wouldn’t even do to a dog or a cat,” said the bishop. “It’s torture.

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Denver archbishop blasts sex ed bill mandating abortion, transgenderism be taught to kids

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By Calvin Freiburger

DENVER, Colorado, January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila has written an open letter coming out against legislation currently being considered in Colorado that would not only ban schools from teaching abstinence-only sex education, but mandate the inclusion of materials pertaining to homosexuality, gender confusion, and abortion.

HB 1032 saw its first hearing before the House Health and Insurance Committee Wednesday, the Denver Post reports. It mandates that even charter schools must provide information about “all preventive methods to avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections” and present it so that students “decide for themselves which preventative methods are best suited for their individuals needs, beliefs and values.” It mandates that if teachers choose to discuss pregnancy, they must also discuss both adoption and abortion without showing a preference for either.

“Public schools would have to promote abortion as an equal option to life.”

Schools would be barred from teaching “sexual abstinence as the primary or sole acceptable preventive method available to students,” and would also have to address the “relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.” The bill includes parental notification about and the option to remove kids from classes on human sexuality, but no notification specifically for “sexual orientation” or “healthy relationships” lesson plans.

In a letter dated January 23, Archbishop Aquila casts the proposal as the latest sign of the tension between Catholic educational work and the broader culture.

“We know that God made us male and female, in his image and likeness, but the comprehensive curriculum route which most schools will likely adopt teaches innocent children this is not true,” he writes. “Specifically, public schools would have to promote abortion as an equal option to life, and parents wouldn’t be notified before lessons were presented on gender-identity and sexual orientation.”

“Each of us must do our part to fight this legislation,” he continues, vowing to “stand firmly against all ideologies that defy natural law and contradict the truth that has been revealed to us about the human person through the teachings of Our Lord, Sacred Scripture, and the Church.”

Aquilla concludes by stressing that those who see religious schools as an obstacle to their idea of modern education fail to appreciate the role they play.

“Our Catholic schools are more than you realize,” he writes. “They provide a haven amidst our morally confused culture, educate the whole person and assist parents in forming their children in an authentically Catholic worldview, one that recognizes the dignity of the human person created for God...I encourage every parent with school-aged children to consider this opportunity to learn about how a Catholic education can greatly benefit their children.”

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study finding downward trends in teen sexual activity from 2005 to 2015. It did not declare a direct link between the results and abstinence education funding, but pro-family advocates say that message is clear when the CDC findings are combined with other studies connecting condom distribution and the promotion of promiscuity to increased teen pregnancy.

Colorado, which elected the United States’ first openly homosexual governor in November with Democrat Jared Polis, is also still fighting Christian baker Jack Phillips in court over state officials’ attempts to force him to bake a “gender transition” cake.

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Charges against Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, Linda Mueller, and a third activist were dropped on January 29, 2019. The three conducted a Red Rose Rescue at a Washington, DC late-term abortion center just before Christmas 2018. Fr. Stephen Imbarrato
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Federal court drops charges against priest, pro-lifers who entered DC abortion center to save babies

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By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal court dismissed trespassing charges yesterday against three pro-life activists who entered a late-term abortion center in the nation’s capital just before Christmas to try to save the babies inside.

Father Stephen Imbarrato, Linda Mueller, and a third pro-lifer who wished to remain anonymous entered Washington Surgi-Clinic on December 20, distributing roses to the moms inside and imploring them to choose life for their babies.

Washington Surgi-Clinic is where Dr. Cesare Santangelo, who in 2013 was caught on tape agreeing to deny medical care to a viable child who survives an abortion, practices.

“This is the third time Red Rose Rescue charges in D.C. have been dismissed,” Fr. Imbarrato told LifeSiteNews. Imbarrato, formerly of Priests for Life, recently formed LifeMinistriesUS, a new consortium of pro-life ministries dedicated to obtaining constitutional protection for unborn children from the moment of conception.

The “Rescue” movement began during the early days of the pro-life movement. It was normal for pro-life activists to enter abortion facilities to counsel women and even chain themselves to abortion equipment to prevent abortions from occurring. Many babies were saved this way.

Then, President Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to physically block women from obtaining abortions, forcing the pro-life movement to switch tactics.

READ: Priest: It was an ‘honor’ to be jailed for trying to save babies inside abortion center

The Red Rose Rescues have been something of a revival of the early “Rescue” movement. During Red Rose Rescues, pro-life activists enter abortion facility waiting rooms and offer the women inside red roses and pro-life information. Inspired by Canadian activist Mary Wagner, during these rescues, pro-lifers refuse to leave and are often dragged out by police, insisting they are remaining in solidarity with and showing love to the babies slated to die.

So far, no one in any of the 11 Red Rose Rescues in the United States has been charged with violating FACE, although some rescuers have spent time in jail. Pro-lifers have been arrested at all of those rescues but one.

The other two times the District of Columbia dropped charges against pro-life rescuers were in October 2018, when government witnesses didn’t show up to testify about a July 2018 rescue, and in May 2018, when trespassing charges against three rescuers were mysteriously dropped without explanation.

December 2018 was the second time that Imbarrato, sometimes called “the Protest Priest,” was arrested in a Red Rose Rescue in Washington, D.C. He has been involved with all four rescues in the city, though.

For his first D.C. rescue, Fr. Imbarrato spent seven days in jail after he told the judge at his trial he wouldn’t abide by any probation or agree to pay any fines.

The District of Columbia is a federal jurisdiction, so any rescues conducted there are tried in federal court and prosecuted by the Trump administration.

“Yes, God is good, but I can’t help but think that ongoing communications to the Trump administration about the Personhood Presidential Order and Red Rose Rescues are having an effect,” Imbarrato told LifeSiteNews, referencing his effort to get President Trump to sign an executive order directing government agencies to recognize in actions and policies “the personhood of the unborn and (to) protect their full legal status as Americans.”

“It is interesting that in the almost dozen Red Rose Rescues we have done, saving dozens of pre-born babies, the only time charges have been dismissed is when the prosecution has been the United States of America – that is, under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice” headed by the Trump administration, commented Imbarrato.

On December 22, 2018, Father Fidelis Moscinski of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, William Goodman, Patrice Woodworth, and Matthew Connolly conducted the first-ever Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood in Trenton, New Jersey, where they prevented at least one baby from being aborted that day.

“We will continue to try to help moms and save their babies in places and situations where otherwise the moms may be abandoned and their babies given up to certain death,” Fr. Imbarrato promised. “This is a big part of what Red Rose Rescues are all about.”

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, November 13, 2018 Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images
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Virginia Gov. supports infanticide of babies born alive after failed abortions

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By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Tell Virginia governor to retract outrageous statement allowing babies to die! Sign the petition here.

VIRGINIA, January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam suggested in comments this morning that a proposed bill allowing abortion up until the moment of birth would also allow doctors to refuse to resuscitate an infant born alive after a failed abortion "if that’s what the mother and the family desire."

"This is pure infanticide," wrote Ben Shapiro in Daily Wire about Northam's comments. 

Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, was responding to a question on WTOP’s Ask The Governor about the controversy sparked yesterday during a statehouse hearing about the proposed bill. Del. Kathy Tran had defended the bill as allowing abortion for a woman who was already in the process of giving birth. 

Northam called the controversy “overblown.”

He went on to explain what would happen in a situation of a woman wanting an abortion who was already in labor. 

"So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” he said. 

Shapiro called Northam's proposal "pure evil."

"Northam is specifically talking about delivering an infant alive and then asking the mother whether the infant should live or not. This is not an argument about the morning-after pill. It’s not an argument over whether a fetus feels pain. This is a statement that a fully-formed infant, born alive, ought to be murdered if the mother says the infant ought to be murdered," he wrote. 

In an exchange yesterday during a subcommittee hearing about the bill, the bill’s chief proponent admitted that the measure would permit aborting babies even as a mother had begun dilating.    

When asked, “How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion?” delegate Kathy Tran, a Democrat from Northern Virginia replied, “through the third trimester," adding: " The third trimester goes all the way up to forty weeks.”

“Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth?” asked the chairman of the subcommittee, Delegate Todd Gilbert. Even when “she has physical signs that she is about to give birth?” added Gilbert.  “She’s dilating?”  

“My bill would allow that, yes,” responded Tran.

Known as the Repeal Act, Virginia House Bill 2491 would eliminate current restrictions on late term abortions.

“Following on the heels of New York’s radical expansion of abortion on demand, Delegate Tran’s bill reveals with alarming clarity what the modern Democratic Party stands for and their agenda for our nation – abortion on demand, up until the moment of delivery and even beyond,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement issued this morning. 

“This position is irreconcilable with the beliefs, values, and desires of the overwhelming majority of Americans,” she added. 

 

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‘Fox and Friends’ host fights back tears discussing Virginia’s 40-week abortion bill

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By Calvin Freiburger

RICHMOND, Virginia, January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Fox News Channel morning host Ainsley Earhardt is among those who have spoken out against a radical new abortion bill introduced in Virginia, powerfully contrasting the proposal’s lack of limits with her own experience as a mother and other women in her life.

Video has gone viral from a subcommittee hearing in which Democrat Del. Kathy Tran takes questions about her bill to repeal the state’s ban on late-term abortions, ultrasound requirement, and a variety of other regulations on late-term abortion. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert asks her “how late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion” and whether that includes when the mother “has physical signs that she is about to give birth.”

“I don't think we have a limit in the bill (...) my bill would allow that, yes,” Tran answers.

The “Fox and Friends” crew discussed the story on Wednesday morning, sharing the disbelief scores of pro-lifers and even some social moderates have expressed online.

After co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade expressed shock that “it is a baby” Tran was talking about, Earhardt delivered an emotional monologue about motherhood and the tragedy of Tran’s proposal. Earhardt is the mother of a three-year-old daughter.

“When I was reading articles about it this morning, they had pictures of babies just being born. And if you’ve ever had a baby, my gosh, it’s the best experience of your life,” she said, voice quivering with emotion. “When they hand you that child, it changes your life in a major way. And, you know, this is beyond … it’s so hard for me to wrap my head around.

“Listen, I know women have complications, I lost a friend, she was diagnosed with cancer, she got pregnant, she ended up losing the baby and then she ended up losing her life. I know that there are certain circumstances,” she continued. "But it’s the best day of your life when you hold that child, and there are so many women out there that want children, and you know, I have so many people in my life that weren’t able to have kids.

“Girls from my Bible study, people down south that I’m friends with, who want babies so badly,” Earhardt said. “So there’s so many women out there that would love to take these children, and so it’s a hard topic, because the day that they put Hayden in my arms, it was the best day other than my salvation, the day I got saved, it was the best day of my life.”

Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam also addressed the controversy, suggesting in a radio interview that mothers could even choose to let born infants die under the bill.

“If a mother is in labor … the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable,” he told WTOP’s Julie Carey. “The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.” He later issued a statement claiming he was only referring to babies that were either non-viable or suffered from severe fetal abnormalities.

Tran's bill has been tabled for the time being.

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Director of new Roe v. Wade film: ‘I cared about telling the truth of this story’

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By Claire Chretien

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The best way to combat media bias about the upcoming Roe v. Wade film is for people to go and see it for themselves, director, writer, and star Nick Loeb told LifeSiteNews in a video interview.

“I want people to go into the movie having an open mind, whether they’re on the life side or the pro-choice side,” said Loeb. “Everything that we put in the film is 100 percent factual ... I want people to keep an open mind, one side or the other, and just look at it for the facts and make their decision at the end of the day.”

Loeb said he was inspired to make this film about the 1973 court case that imposed abortion on demand across the United States because “I cared about telling the truth of this story and this movement.”

He called it a “JFK, Oliver Stone-esque type story.”

Many people don’t know how Roe v. Wade came to be or how Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” in the case, was manipulated by the abortion lobby into being the plaintiff in the Supreme Court decision that opened the door for around 60 million human beings to be aborted.

“This really was not a person looking to go to court,” said Loeb.

McCorvey later became a pro-life activist and dedicated herself to trying to overturn the case bearing her pseudonym. She never ended up aborting her baby who was at the center of the case.

She died in 2017 at age 69.

The Roe v. Wade movie shows how behind the case “was a group of people looking to find someone to manufacture a case,” explained Loeb. “And so this whole thing was sort of constructed (to legalize abortion). … What’s amazing is this group was able to do this in the courts when it should have been done in the legislature.”

Loeb plays Dr. Bernard Nathanson, an abortionist and founder of NARAL who also later converted to being pro-life. He said the role was “very, very difficult” because Nathanson “comes through this huge arc of starting out fighting for women’s rights, fighting for abortion, and then realizing he’s killing babies – and while he’s on his journey, he’s not always super serious. He’s lighthearted, he’s fun, he’s got a great sense of humor, but he’s serious and he cares about all his issues.”

“Sitting there and having to care about a woman’s right to have an abortion and do a scene where I have to be Bernard caring about that and then a scene later where I’m now devastated about the law that (I just helped pass) was challenging, but it was an amazing opportunity to get to be able to do that.”

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Chiropractor launches diaper drive to protest New York’s radical new abortion law

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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: One-MILLION-strong against NY's extreme abortion-til-birth law! Sign the petition here.

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As national outrage continues over New York’s new law authorizing virtually-unlimited abortions, a chiropractor in Texas has launched a diaper drive in hopes of raising awareness of how many people stand for life.

Last week, New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” a new law declaring that “Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to [...] have an abortion,” erases the state’s recognition of preborn babies older than 24 weeks as potential homicide victims, removes abortion from the penal code entirely, and lets health practitioners other than doctors commit abortions.

The New York State Right to Life Committee warns that by declaring abortion a “fundamental right,” it opens the door to invalidating “any limits on abortion” and “mandat[ing] that everyone take part in the culture of death”; prevents pregnant women whose babies are killed in violent attacks from seeing justice; and has the effect of “authorizing infanticide” by repealing the requirement that a second physician be on hand in the event that an attempted abortion past twenty weeks yields a live infant.

In response, Dr. Caleb Braddock of Braddock Chiropractic in Texas released a Facebook video expressing his sorrow at the new law and announcing a charitable effort to express support for alternatives to abortion.

“In this office, we think some controversial things, and a lot of times we keep our mouths shut,” Braddock said. “But there are certain times where I think individuals and even businesses need to take a stand and say this is what we think. Is it good for business? Maybe not, maybe some of you will be upset over this. And with a spirit of love we say, [we're] not concerned about that, but feel it’s more important for you to understand in this office we take a stand for life."

“Every single day when we adjust patients, our goal is to allow them to express more life,” he continued. “Whether that’s a pregnant mom, which we take care of so many of, individuals, babies, athletes, all the way to the grave we want you to be able to express life.”

To that end, he announced that his office would be holding a diaper drive, asking for people to bring in boxes of diapers or donations by February 15. All donations will go to True Options Pregnancy Center in Sherman, Texas, which helps women with everything from adoption referrals and parenting assistance to medical referrals and post-abortion counseling.

"That was one of those things that not just me, but my entire staff, entire team were just kind of really heartbroken over," Braddock told KXII. "We think that Christ died and lived for life, and so the more that we can support that the better.”

Donating will “show how many people stand for life,” he said in the video, “and so every single box of diapers that you bring is basically a vote…for life and against murder.” Anyone interested in donating can find Braddock Chiropractic’s office address on their website or email and mailing addresses at this Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Texas Right to Life warns that abortionist Sarah Valliere of the New York-based Physicians for Reproductive Health recently announced that she is returning to her home state of Texas in hopes of getting its pro-life laws repealed, so Texas’ legal regime looks more like New York’s.

Pro-life leaders, commentators, and private citizens across the country have spoken out against New York’s radical new law, including actors Dean Cain and Robert Davi. Many Catholic observers are calling on church leaders in the state to deny Holy Communion to Cuomo and other pro-abortion lawmakers who claim to follow the life-affirming church. Some bishops have suggested that he be excommunicated. LifeSiteNews’ petition condemning the radical new law has gathered more than 126,000 signatures so far.

Cuomo dismissed Catholic-based criticism of him for signing the law Monday, claiming “I’m not here to represent a religion. I’m here to represent all the people and the constitutional rights and limitations for all the people.”

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Kathy Tran (D) proposes legislation to allow abortions up until the moment of birth. Jan. 29, 2019.
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

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WATCH: Virginia Democrat squirms defending bill allowing abortion as woman is giving birth

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

VIRGINIA, January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Virginia House Delegate has proposed legislation that would allow abortions up until the moment of birth.  

In a shocking exchange during a subcommittee hearing about the bill, the bill’s chief proponent hesitantly admitted that the measure would permit aborting children even as a mother has begun dilating in preparation to give birth.    

Delegate Kathy Tran, a Democrat from Northern Virginia, was asked, “How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion?” 

Tran replied, “through the third trimester.  The third trimester goes all the way up to forty weeks...I don't think we have a limit in the bill.”

“Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth?” asked the chairman of the subcommittee, Delegate Todd Gilbert.  

Even when “she has physical signs that she is about to give birth?” asked Gilbert.  “She’s dilating?”  

“My bill would allow that, yes,” responded Tran.

“I certainly could’ve said a week from her due date and that would’ve been the same answer, correct?” asked Gilbert. 

“That is allowed in the bill,” answered Tran.  

Known as the Repeal Act, Virginia House Bill 2491 would eliminate current restrictions on late-term abortions.

According to the bill’s summary, the proposed law:

  • Eliminates the requirement that an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy and prior to the third trimester be performed in a hospital.  
  • The bill eliminates all the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a woman's informed written consent to the performance of an abortion; however, the bill does not change the requirement that a woman's informed written consent be first obtained. 
  • The bill eliminates the requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman's death or impairment of her mental or physical health, as well as the need to find that any such impairment to the woman's health would be substantial and irremediable. 
  • The bill also removes language classifying facilities that perform five or more first-trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals.

When Delegate Gilbert pressed both Tran and a spokesperson for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for an example of the mental health conditions which might necessitate the late-term abortion of a baby, neither were able to come up with a single example.    

The gruesome legislation proposed for the Old Dominion comes close on the heels of New York’s recently enacted abortion law which also removes protections for the unborn, permitting abortion up until birth. 

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Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins
Sycamore Trust

Opinion, ,

Notre Dame willing to cover up Christopher Columbus mural but not graphic porn

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By

January 30, 2019 (Sycamore Trust) – Two Notre Dame events that have received widespread publicity recently stand in strange juxtaposition. The first, which we described in a prior report, is the request to Father Jenkins by over 1,000 petitioners, mainly students, for installation of a filter to block the torrent of pornography the university provides to students 24/7 through its Internet service.

Father Jenkins has been conspicuously silent about this for some three months, while a Notre Dame spokesman has indicated there will be no change.

The second notable event is Father Jenkins's decision just a few days ago to cover up the series of murals in the Main Building dating from the 1880s that celebrate the achievements of Christopher Columbus. But for Native Americans, Father Jenkins declared, the discovery of America was "nothing short of a catastrophe." So much for the murals.

We will report further on this episode, but the incongruity of the University's covering up heroic images of Christopher Columbus while funneling rancid, sexually charged images to students is so striking that it should not go unremarked in this update on the pornography issue.

As to that issue, it is past time to hear from Father Jenkins. The students presented to him compelling documentation of the corrosive  consequences of pornography. Indeed, one wonders why that should be necessary at all for a Catholic priest responsible for deciding whether to limit Notre Dame's indiscriminate dissemination of pornography to its students, for the Church's teaching on pornography is unyielding:

[Pornography] offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.

But one discrete factor underscored by the students that should be of special concern to Father Jenkins is the link between pornography and sexual assault, which, as they observe, "has occurred all too frequently at Notre Dame."

Indeed! We will report shortly on the university's most recent "Sexual Climate" survey, but for present purposes it's enough to note these startling results:

With about half the students responding, there were during the prior year:

  • 78 rapes, or about 9 rapes on average a month, and
  • About fifty other sexual assaults a month.

The only reaction to the student petition from the university so far has come from Paul Browne, the Vice President for Communications. He says Notre Dame has a rule against students watching porn on the Internet and that's good enough because "God's given us the choice of whether to be sinners or not."

Does Father Jenkins really believe an unenforced, unenforceable, and widely disregarded rule is good enough for Notre Dame, that Notre Dame has no responsibility to do what it can to mitigate the effects of the porn it funnels to its students?

Not surprisingly, some Notre Dame students, we suppose many, agree with Mr. Browne. Two women students went on record in The Observer in favor of "good porn" and its role in promoting students' "conversations about their likes and dislikes" in having sex.

Then there is the student who assailed the anti-porn students because they "stigmatized and undermined" the "profession" of  performers.

Finally, there is a free speech/academic "slippery slope" warning by the student pointing to Somalia, Sudan, China and the like as the end of the "censorship" line. (Prospective Onion headline: "ND Stops Supplying Porn to Students, Philosophy Professors Take Hemlock.")

On the other side are the Holy Cross brothers who run Holy Cross College down the road. They've installed a filter. Their students know that these CSCs mean what they say when they condemn the vile products of a vile industry. What is it that makes one CSC school so different from the other?

The students have acted with courage and intelligence. They deserve a reasoned response from Father Jenkins. As do we all.

The students also deserve a helping hand from all alumni and others in the Notre Dame family who agree with them. The number of signatories on their petition has reached 1,700, mainly students. Only a few hundred alumni have signed. We urge you to join the petition if you haven't and to recruit others – alumni, relatives, friends of the University. (The petition is below.) 

And we encourage you also to take a few minutes to tell Father Jenkins what you think and ask him for his response to the students. His address: [email protected]

Published with permission from the Sycamore Trust.

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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

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The pope’s remarks about sex ed are either naïve or nefarious

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

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Most Catholics are probably aware by now of Pope Francis’s airplane press conference comments about why schools need to provide “sex education” to children. I will admit that this past six years have battle-hardened me into a capacity for hearing and processing bad news, but even so, occasionally this pope of surprises can still make my jaw nearly fall from its socket.

Either Pope Francis knows nothing about what sex education materials look like nowadays, in which case he should have kept silent on the subject, or he does know what these materials look like, in which case he is recommending the tools of sin.

It isn’t as if the Church’s Magisterium has not offered considerable guidance on this question, always laying emphasis on caution, modesty, discretion, and above all, chastity. In the 1920s, when the concept of “sex education” for married couples was first gaining ground, Pope Pius XI memorably said in his great encyclical Casti Connubii of 1930:

[W]holesome instruction and religious training in regard to Christian marriage will be quite different from that exaggerated physiological education by means of which, in these times of ours, some reformers of married life make pretense of helping those joined in wedlock, laying much stress on these physiological matters, in which is learned rather the art of sinning in a subtle way than the virtue of living chastely. (n. 108)

More pointedly, in 1929 Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, which has been called the “Magna Carta” on the Christian education of youths, expressly takes up the question. Strikingly, it is as if Pius XI is responding precisely to the dangers and errors contained in his successor’s position. And that they are truly dangers and errors cannot be denied, in light of the following authoritative exposition:

65. Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education, falsely imagining they can forearm youths against the dangers of sensuality by means purely natural, such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately, even in public; and, worse still, by exposing them at an early age to the occasions, in order to accustom them, so it is argued, and as it were to harden them against such dangers.

66. Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature, and the law of which the Apostle speaks, fighting against the law of the mind; and also in ignoring the experience of facts, from which it is clear that, particularly in young people, evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace.

67. In this extremely delicate matter, if, all things considered, some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and who have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well known in traditional Christian education, and are adequately described by Antoniano when he says: “Such is our misery and inclination to sin, that often in the very things considered to be remedies against sin, we find occasions for and inducements to sin itself. Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details, nor refer to the various ways in which this infernal hydra destroys with its poison so large a portion of the world; otherwise it may happen that instead of extinguishing this fire, he unwittingly stirs or kindles it in the simple and tender heart of the child. Speaking generally, during the period of childhood it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”

Perhaps Pope Francis or one of his defenders would reply: “Aha, but that is someone speaking in 1929. Today, everything is different.” He might play once again the “novelty card” as he did in his October 11, 2017 speech against capital punishment, in which the word “new” was mentioned 16 times, as a way of driving home that the Church must teach not only what is old, but also what is new, fresh, never seen before…

Human nature does not change; the demands of virtue do not change; the harm of premature and improper exposure to sexual topics, outside of the confines of the family, remains the same; the permanent damage sins of impurity cause in souls, in friendships, in families, in society as a whole, remains ever the same. Nothing of substance has changed between 1929 and 2019. All that has changed is that our world has become ferociously promiscuous, mired in morose delectation, addicted to carnal pleasure, steeped in iniquities that weaken the will and blind the reason. All of these effects were known to the Desert Fathers of ancient Christianity, who predicted all the consequences of self-indulgence. Far from needing to be up-to-date, we would be far wiser to look back and recover their wisdom.

I’m sorry, but as a parent myself, as a friend of many good Catholic parents, and as a lifelong educator of young people, my reply is unshakably firm: “What Pope Pius XI taught in his encyclicals Casti Connubii and Divini Illius Magistri more than adequately covers the issue of ‘sex education.’ I am content with old truths that nourish, and have no need of new opinions that poison.”

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