All articles from January 31, 2019


News

Opinion

Blogs

The Pulse


Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff

News,

Man who threatened to rape, kill pro-life group’s staff charged in federal court

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Kansas man was charged in Federal Court Monday with making threats last August to kill Operation Rescue staff members and rape their daughters.

Christopher M. Thompson, 22, faces three counts of threatening communications for a series of phone calls to Operation Rescue's office and to one staff member's cell phone. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fines for each count.

Thompson told a female Operation Rescue employee that he was going to kill her and her entire family after he sexually assaulted two female family members. He said that he had often followed the staffer and female family members around Wichita, Kansas, the location of Operation Rescue's national headquarters, and said he knew where the staffer lived.

In addition to the threats of murder and sexual violence, the messages also contained disturbing satanic overtones.

"We are very relieved that this man has been criminally charged. We take threats like this very seriously and always report them to law enforcement. We simply are not going to take any risks with the safety of our staff and our families," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. "We look forward to the conclusion of this case and pray justice will be served."

Featured Image
Tucker Carlson.
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News, ,

Tucker blasts pro-abort for dodging VA Gov’s infanticide comments: ‘I think less of you’

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson devoted his opening monologue Wednesday evening to Virginia Democrats’ apparent support for infanticide, leading to a firey exchange with a pro-abortion guest who refused to answer questions about the scandal.

Video went viral this week from a subcommittee hearing in which Democrat Del. Kathy Tran takes questions about her bill to repeal any restrictions and regulations on late-term abortions. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert asked how late in the third trimester a physician could 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 answered. In a radio interview, Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam also discussed the bill, suggesting that a born-alive “infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” He later claimed he was only referring to cases such as a “nonviable pregnancy” or “severe fetal abnormalities.”

Tran’s bill has already been tabled in committee, but the controversy – and the mainstream media’s defensive coverage of it – has sparked a discussion of the extremes to which Democrats and their allies have settled on abortion.

“Abortion at the point of dilation. If you're confused about what that means, ask anyone who has given birth,” Carlson said of Tran’s comments. “And then think about it for a second. There's a lot going on, obviously. But just think about that for one second. You may be pro-choice – are you okay with that?”

Moving on to Northam, Carlson said, “the governor of Virginia has just told us in public, on camera, that it's okay to kill a child after the child has been born. That used to be called infanticide, not rhetorically, but literally infanticide – taking the life of a child who is breathing.”

“Did he misspeak? Well, you'd hope. But no, he didn't. Ralph Northam is a physician. He is a pediatric neurologist, in fact. He is not some clueless layman who mangled a neutral talking point,” the host pointed out. “This is really what he thinks. This is what his party thinks. No one ever says it, but it's true. This is the new, moderate pro-choice position. You should know that.”

Later in the episode, Carlson had on Monica Klein, a founding partner of and communications strategist at Seneca Strategies, which “focuses on promoting progressive, diverse and female candidates, non-profits and issue campaigns.”

Carlson began by simply asking for her thoughts on Northam’s comments, but she immediately tried to change the subject to him wanting to “go back to a time where Roe v. Wade was illegal, where women were having back-alley abortions” (which is a long-discredited myth).

“Actually, no, that’s not what I’m arguing, and please don’t be tiresome,” Carlson asked. “The governor of Virginia, who’s a rising star in the Democratic Party, just said this, there’s pending legislation that mirrors it, and I’m asking what you think of it. That’s it. I’m not here to debate Roe v. Wade.”

Yet Klein continued to sidestep the subject entirely, instead responding with general pro-abortion talking points such as “72 percent of Americans support the right to choose” and that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a “sexual predator” (both of which are false).

“This isn’t about babies, this is about healthcare, this is about you attempting to control women’s bodies,” she claimed.

“Okay, please don’t be a robot, Monica, you’re smarter than that,” an agitated Carlson tried again. “This is the governor of Virginia just saying this, I just want to know what you think of it. Is that okay? Does that bother you? It’s a sincere question. It just happened!”

“Okay, it bothers me that you are attempting to control women’s bodies,” she responded.

“I wonder if you think you’re convincing anybody, or if your unwillingness to address what just happened today on tape, that we just played, is a sign that you can’t defend this,” Carlson replied. “And if you can’t defend it I wonder why that is. Have you paused to ask yourself as an American, as a person, what about as a woman, what do you think of that?”

Klein shot back by repeating the “control women’s bodies” talking point, and declaring, “you as a man should not have a single say in that.” Carlson expressed bewilderment that she could think she’s “making a case that most people agree with, that it’s okay to abort a child in the third trimester.”

“Tucker, you can keep trying to put words in my mouth and keep trying to say that the Democratic Party is hurting children,” she responded, “but your party is the one that is tearing families apart” via the Trump administration’s immigration policies. “So whose party is actually hurting children?”

“Let me just ask you one quick question, I mean, this is obviously a pointless conversation, and I think less of you after it,” Carlson said. “It’s an honest question: have you ever thought about it, do you have a real answer to what the governor of Virginia said, or are you gonna throw yet another talking point at me? Have you actually thought about it, will you answer that question?”

“I already think less of you,” Klein shot back, before repeating the same talking points. “I’m sorry that as a man what you’re focused on is controlling women’s bodies, but we will not allow you to do that.”

“This is a child who’s been born, this is not a woman’s body, this is an independent person,” Carlson pointed out, to which Klein simply accused him of “preted[ing] that you have concerns over children,” citing immigration once again. After that, Carlson ended the segment.

Pro-abortion activists do not appear to see the irony in their complaining about “tearing” children away from illegal immigrant parents when abortions literally tear children out of and away from their mothers forever.

The exchange has gone viral online, with most reactions falling along ideological lines. The Huffington Post’s Ed Mazza claimed Klein “put [Carlson] on notice right out of the gate,” though he didn’t explain how.

“She wouldn’t answer. Because she couldn’t answer. Because as a pro-choice diplomat, if you cede ground on one area, you must cede ground on others. Apparently,” Louder with Crowder’s Courtney Kirchoff wrote. “I guess it’s too much for Monica Klein, and other pro-abortionists, to admit that yeah, killing a born baby is bad. Let that sink in.”

Klein herself appears pleased with her performance, tweeting several favorable reviews and dismissing her critics as “trolls.”

Featured Image
Kathy Tran (D) proposes legislation to allow abortions up until the moment of birth. Jan. 29, 2019.
Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen

News, ,

In new video, Virginia legislator downplays abortion until birth bill she proposed

Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

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

VIRGINIA, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The state lawmaker at the center of the abortion-until-birth controversy in Virginia is defending the bill she introduced in the state legislature recently that would have allowed no limit on when unborn babies can be killed in their mother’s wombs.

In a minute and a half long video, Delegate Kathy Tran, a Democrat from Northern Virginia, downplays the tidal wave of criticism she has been receiving for her admission that her bill would allow abortions even as a mother is going into labor. Instead, Tran insists she’s only trying to “make sure that politicians don’t get between a woman and her healthcare decisions.”

Although claiming to present “the facts” about her extreme bill, Tran repeats well-known talking points long relied on by abortion activists to hide the scientific fact that abortion ends the life of a whole, distinct, living human being.

Claiming that she knows plenty of women who’ve “had to make the very personal decision” of having an abortion or not, Tran says she introduced her bill in order to “repeal the medically unnecessary and unduly burdensome barriers that Virginian women face” when obtaining abortions, which she refers to as a "healthcare service."

Tran's pro-abortion bill also landed current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in hot water earlier this week when he was asked about it on a Virginia radio station.

Commenting on what would happen under the bill if a woman in labor requested an abortion, Northam, a Democrat and former pediatric neurologist, said: “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.”

In her video, Tran, sporting a pink jacket – a possible nod to abortion giant Planned Parenthood and its signature color – says she was “surprised” by the “line of questioning” she received about her bill.

During a subcommittee hearing on the bill, Tran appeared less than eager to admit to Delegate Todd Gilbert that the legislation would mean no limits as to when an abortion could take place.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors has since apologized for supporting it while pro-lifers have nearly universally denounced it as evil and supportive of infanticide.

Tran notes she and her now-failed bill have “done nothing to change” current Virginia law. She says she has only tried to “make sure that women are able to make these decisions and access these services in a timely manner.” 

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

  • Eliminate 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.

Yesterday, President Trump told The Daily Caller that Tran’s defense of her bill during the subcommittee hearing was “terrible.” Today, he tweeted that Democrats are “becoming the Party of late term abortion.” Pro-lifers are planning to protest outside of and attend a town hall meeting Saturday featuring Delegate Tran.

Featured Image
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Wikimedia Commons
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News, ,

Tennessee governor backs heartbeat bill, ‘any bill that reduces number of abortions’

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Tennessee may join the growing list of states moving to protect babies as soon as their heartbeats can be detected, judging by the state’s new Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

GOP state Rep. James Van Huss introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would require abortionists to test for and document fetal heartbeats before abortion, and if one is found they would be barred from committing the abortion except in medical emergencies. Preborn babies’ hearts finish forming around seven or eight weeks into pregnancy.

The Associated Press reported that Lee, who was elected in November, told reporters Wednesday that he examines bills to decide for himself whether they’re worth supporting, and “courts will have to decide for themselves” whether to uphold them as constitutional. "I would support any bill that reduces the number of abortions in the state," he added.

Tennessee Republican Attorney General Herbert Slatery argued in 2017 that a heartbeat bill would be "constitutionally suspect,” but House Speaker Glen Casada and Senate Speaker Randy McNally both back the measure. "I think it's a fight worth having in front of the Supreme Court. I really do," Casada said.

Heartbeat bills ban abortion far earlier than the limits set by Roe v. Wade, which some Republicans see as an sign to turn back and others relish as a chance to make the Supreme Court reconsider the 1973 ruling. It’s unknown how President Trump’s two SCOTUS nominees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, will vote on Roe; there is also speculation as to how long pro-abortion Ruth Bader Ginsburg will remain on the Court, or how Chief Justice John Roberts would vote.

Tennessee follows Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and South Carolina, all of which have either enacted or pushed heartbeat bills recently.

Lee’s predecessor, Gov. Bill Haslam, signed legislation to exclude Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving health care subsidies, and the state’s constitution declares it contains no “right” to abortion.

Featured Image
Unplanned
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News,

WATCH: Trailer released for ‘Unplanned’ movie about Abby Johnson’s pro-life conversion

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The movie about Abby Johnson’s pro-life conversion has found a distributor and will be coming to 800 screens in March. The film's backers released a two-and-a-half-minute trailer of the much-anticipated film today. 

Pure Flix, the distributor for God’s Not Dead, is releasing "Unplanned" on 800 movie screens March 29, the Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports.

Unplanned is a dramatic film adaption of Johnson’s best-selling 2010 autobiographical book of the same name. It tells the story of Johnson’s journey from Planned Parenthood facility manager to pro-life activist.

“I thought I was helping women,” said Abby Johnson, founder and director of And Then There Were None, an organization that helps abortion workers exit the industry and find new jobs.

“But I was doing more harm than good. It wasn’t until I saw a child fight for its life that my world came crashing down and I understood the enormity of my actions. I had to leave. No one will be able to walk away after seeing this movie and say ‘I didn’t know,’” she added.

In the trailer, Johnson’s character is warned by Planned Parenthood that by crossing to the pro-life side she’s made an enemy of “one of the most powerful organizations on the planet.”

Unplanned was written and directed by Cary Soloman and Chuck Konzelman, the writers and co-producers for God's Not Dead, God's Not Dead 2 and Do You Believe. Daryl Lefever (I Can Only Imagine) is also a producer.

Pure Flix distributed the two God’s Not Dead films and Do You Believe theatrically as well.

"We had other offers but felt they would be our strongest partner because of the great success we've had together in the past," Konzelman said of Unplanned.

Unplanned was filmed in secret and under a different name due to its content, and the filmmakers had to pull back from using some mainstream pop songs in the movie, because major record labels refused to license the music to them for the film.

Blake Kanicka, music supervisor for Unplanned, told THR that nine out of the 10 initial requests he’d made for licensing were denied. Among those turning the request down were Disney, Sony/ATV and Universal Music.

Some faith-based bands also denied the filmmakers use of their songs, telling Kanicka that they could not risk the possible controversy.

Actress Ashley Bratcher (War Room, 90 Minutes in Heaven) who plays Johnson, told the Fox & Friends program in December that she had been warned that she would probably be blacklisted for acting in the movie.

The $6 million cost for making Unplanned was financed in part by Mike Lindell, the multimillionaire founder of My Pillow, who invested $1 million in the film. Lindell, a pro-life Christian, told THR he plans to continue supporting films that represent his values.

Bratcher has been candid about her moving experience of learning that her mother had planned to abort her soon after she began filming Unplanned, giving interviews to Fox & Friends, The Story with Martha MacCallum and LifeSiteNews.

The film has the endorsement of Kansas City Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Naumann, also chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities, said during his homily for the March for Life Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., “If you see one film this year, see Unplanned… I warn you, Unplanned is graphic, it’s painful, but at the same time, inspiring…”

In addition to Bratcher, the movie stars Brooks Ryan as Johnson’s husband, Doug; Robia Scott (CSI, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Johnson’s superior at Planned Parenthood; Emma Elle Roberts (Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, I Am Not Ashamed, ) as Marilisa Carney, Kaiser Johnson (Little Boy, Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow); and Jared Lotz (Of Little Convenience, Thanksgiving) as 40 Days for Life President Shawn Carney.

Featured Image
John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews.com
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News, ,

Papal advisers on female deacons hopeful for positive answer

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

BRONX, New York, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis’s special commission to study female deacons turned its report over to him earlier this month, with some members saying the pope will know when the time is right to act on the decision of ordaining women as deacons.

“He will know the time to say something,” Hofstra University Adjunct Professor Phyllis Zagano said.

Zagano, a widely known advocate for women’s ordination to the diaconate, also said that Catholics should get involved in the matter.

“It’s up to the Church to make noise, said Zagano, cautioning, “To delay a positive answer” on women deacons “is a negative answer.”

Francis established the Special Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women in August 2016, with 12 members, six each, men and women. It is lead by Cardinal (then-archbishop) Luis Francisco Ladaria, whom Zagano said has “turned in a report and the Holy Father has it.”

Her comments were part of a Jan. 15 panel discussion on “The Future of Women Deacons: Views from the Papal Commission and the American Pews,” held at Fordham University’s Center for Religion and Culture, live-streamed by Salt and Light Media and covered in a Crux report.

The panel consisted of three Commission members; Zagano, Jesuit Father Bernard Pottier, professor for the Institute of Theological Studies in Brussels, and Sister Donna Ciangio, O.P., chancellor for the Archdiocese of Newark.

Moderator for the discussion was Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of Salt and Light Media and consultant to the Holy See Press Office. 

The Commission was charged with studying whether deaconesses in the early Church were in fact ordained. The panelists at the Fordham event gave signals of support for ordaining women deacons.

“I have no promises for you,” said Zagano.

She said further that Commission members could only say so much about the report, according to the Crux report, but she and Pottier indicated that there was general consensus among Commission members on the past evidence and what role women deacons could play in the future.

“The Church will call forth what it needs,” Zagano stated.

Zagano and Pottier remarked that women were ordained for millennia, but that there have been differing opinions with regard to the ordinations and whether these women were considered “blessed” or “ordained,” maintaining that the terms have been used interchangeably historically.

They also said there had been specific liturgies for the ordination of women deacons, with women and men serving different roles in their function as deacons.

The Catholic Church holds that the diaconate is a sacrament of holy orders, below ordination to the priesthood and to the episcopate, and thus it can only be validly conferred on baptized men.

The International Theological Commission, a body of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), concluded in a 2002 report that deaconesses of the early Church were not the same as deacons today, and that the Church’s ecclesial tradition, in particular its magisterial teaching, underscores that the diaconate is a component of holy orders. 

The Church revived the permanent diaconate after Vatican II. Deacons, who can be married when ordained, can preach, officiate at weddings, funerals, and baptisms, but they cannot celebrate Mass or hear Confession.

There is marked general apprehension among Catholics that the move to “ordain” women deacons is part of a larger push for women in the priesthood.

The panelists observed that the idea of women’s leadership in the Church seems more timely than ever, the Crux report said, considering the continued clergy sex abuse scandal fallout, with Catholics having growing distrust in Church leadership. But likewise the three conceded that for Francis this issue might not be “on the top pile of his desk.”

Zagano said that given strong language on women’s leadership in recent Church statements, including both the final document from the recent Synod on Youth and the working document for October’s Synod on the Amazon, she is hopeful.

Toward the end of the discussion, an audience member pressed the panelists to give their thoughts on women priests. Crux said the panelists insisted it was unhelpful to try and conflate the topics of women’s ordination to the priesthood and the diaconate.

Bishop Erwin Kräutler, one of the organizers of the October Pan-Amazon Synod of Bishops, has given indication that Francis would not rule out women’s ordination. 

Francis has reaffirmed that women cannot be ordained priests, but it remains to be seen where he will come down on the issue of women deacons.

Featured Image
President Donald Trump White House / flickr
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News, ,

Trump: Democrats are ‘becoming the party of late term abortion’

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump has weighed in on the uproar over a radical pro-abortion law briefly introduced in Virginia, declaring that it reflects the current values of the broader Democrat Party.

“Democrats are becoming the Party of late term abortion, high taxes, Open Borders and Crime!” the president tweeted Thursday morning.

Video went viral this week from a subcommittee hearing in which Democrat Del. Kathy Tran takes questions about her bill to repeal any restrictions and regulations on late-term abortions. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert asked how late in the third trimester a physician could 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 answered. In a radio interview, Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam also discussed the bill, suggesting that a born-alive “infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” He later claimed he was only referring to cases such as a “nonviable pregnancy” or “severe fetal abnormalities.”

Tran’s bill has already been tabled in committee, but the controversy – and the mainstream media’s defensive coverage of it – has sparked a discussion of the extremes to which Democrats and their allies have settled on abortion.

Trump’s tweet echoes sentiments he expressed in an interview Wednesday with the Daily Caller. “I thought it was terrible,” he said of Tran’s comments. “Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.” Trump was referring to his challenge to the Democrat nominee in 2016’s third presidential debate.

“This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before,” the president predicted. “The pro-life movement is very much a 50-50, it’s a very 50-50 issue, actually it’s gained a point or two over the years.” Polls consistently show most Americans want abortion far more restricted than the status quo and what the Democrat platform calls for.

Featured Image
A member of 'Acceptance Melbourne LGBT+ Catholics' who is listed as a 'Co-Organiser' of the group on Meetup.com. www.meetup.com / screen grab
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News, ,

Australian Catholic archdiocese invites homosexuals, lesbians to ‘listening session’

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Archdiocese of Melbourne in Australia plans a “listening and dialogue” session for “LGBT” Catholics and others next week at its ongoing Plenary Council.

"Calling all LGBTIQA+ Catholics, Christians and the broader LGBTIQA+ community, family, friends and supporters to come along for a safe and inclusive conversation," the Archdiocesan website states. The Archdiocese is led by Archbishop Peter Andrew Comensoli. 

The Plenary Council, what the bishops are calling the “highest form of gathering of local church and has legislative and governance authority,” is being held “so that we can dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia,” states the website about the event. The event is being promoted in the name of becoming a “synodal Church” called for by Pope Francis. 

“What is discussed and determined by the Plenary Council will be based on a long listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through the voices of people from around Australia,” the Archdiocesan website states. 

“This listening and dialogue process provides an opportunity to come together as a group to spend time thinking and talking about personal experiences of faith, life and church. Following this session, a submission will be made on behalf of the LGBTIQA+ community by Acceptance Melbourne, a community for LGBTIQA+ Catholics,” it adds. 

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) called the Plenary, which occurs over three years. 

According to the archdiocesan website, the first year was 2018 and a “Year of Listening,” with local listening and dialogue sessions and data compilation. This year of 2019 is a “Year of Discerning” where summary reports from the listening and dialogue sessions will be written up as the agenda for 2020. Called a “Year of Proposing,” 2020 has two Plenary Council sessions scheduled, one in October and another in May 2021, when proposed legislation will be voted on.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and that they are “intrinsically disordered.” 

“They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

The Catechism further adds that the same-sex inclination is itself “objectively disordered.” 

A concerned Catholic in the archdiocese contacted LifeSiteNews regarding the impending February 6 “LGBTIQA+” session. The Catholic said a letter of concern written regarding the “LGBTIQA+” session to Archbishop Comensoli had received no response.

“It pains me to see the church in the state of ruin but worst of all it pains to see it being decimated to ashes by so-called ‘Princes’ of the church, our very own shepherds,” the source said.  

An Australian priest also commented to LifeSiteNews, saying that the Archdiocese’ invitation to homosexuals is “causing scandal to the faithful and, once more, confusion and distress to faithful Catholics, including those who experience same-sex attraction and wish to follow the Church’s life-giving teaching on chastity and human sexuality.” 

LifeSiteNews inquired with the Archdiocese about the event. 

Archdiocesan Director of Media, Communications and Philanthropy Shane Healy told LifeSiteNews that some 40,000 people have taken part in either group discussions or submitted something for the Plenary, forwarding the submission form. The facilitated group sessions are focused on the question, “What is God asking of us in Australia at this time,” Healy said, and the “The process is one into which all Catholics are invited.”

The question of content of the upcoming “LGBTIQA+” session received no attention in the response. 

Archdiocesan representatives, including the archbishop’s Office of Evangelization, will be involved as facilitators according to the archdiocese’s website. “Other key collaborators” include Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, along with an archdiocesan priest and individuals representing a number of LGBT activist groups. 

Acceptance Melbourne, which will make the submission after the listening session, is militantly against Catholic teaching on homosexuality. 

"We are an open and affirming community in Melbourne, Australia that supports Catholics who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer," the group states about itself on Meet Up. The group envisions a Church that "embraces and welcomes diversity, and is inclusive and open to all who identify as LGBTIQ, supporting their integration of faith, sexuality and gender identity."

The group states that LGBT Catholics are "called to express our sexuality in a life-affirming and responsible manner."

To respectfully express concern:

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
PO Box 146
East Melbourne VIC 8002 Australia

Cardinal Knox Centre
383 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002

Tel: 03 9926 5677

Email: [email protected]

Featured Image
Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News, ,

Campaign Life Coalition statement accepted for UN women’s rights summit

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The United Nations Economic and Social Council has accepted a leading Canadian pro-life group’s official statement for the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women on March 11-22, providing an opportunity to represent the plight of the preborn at the typically pro-abortion international body.

Campaign Life Coalition’s (CLC’s) statement, added to the commission’s list of Official Documents, appears third from the top of the list of hundreds of entries due to having been submitted last November. It calls attention to the vulnerabilities of pregnant women and their preborn daughters around the world.

“Section 5.2 of Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against all women and girls in order to achieve authentic gender equality and the universal empowerment of women and girls,” CLC said. “Abortion, as the intentional destruction of a child in the womb, which is disproportionately the girl child, at the expense of the mother’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being, is in direct violation of any efforts to secure such things.

“Contrary to the popular belief that women freely choose abortion, a recent study, published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, has found that almost three quarters (73.8 percent) of women with a history of abortion that were surveyed admitted to having experienced at least subtle forms of pressure to abort their child,” the statement noted. “Of the 987 women that were surveyed, more than half (58.3 percent) decided to abort their child in order to make others happy and nearly 30 percent said that they were afraid that they would lose their partner if they did not choose to terminate their child.”

CLC stressed that they are the actions not of “empowered” women but of those who, “finding themselves in the crux of a difficult situation, have felt that they had only one choice, which is, of course, no choice at all.” They next cite another study finding that as many as 60 percent to 83 percent of women who abort would have preferred delivering their babies if the other circumstances of their lives had been better.

“It is, therefore, in the best interest of women, as well as their pursuit of empowerment and authentic freedom, that the Member States invest in social protection systems that guarantee the best outcome for both mother and child,” CLC declared. While mothers can suffer a variety of economic, cultural, or health factors, the “solution to a difficult pregnancy is not to eliminate the child, but rather to eliminate the factors that make it so difficult.”

Additionally, the “lack of availability of social protection systems and public services for expectant mothers, especially those  in a crisis situation,  betrays a  cultural devaluation of motherhood,” CLC argued. “As a natural process that is intimately tied to the identity and personage of women around the world, motherhood maintains a special place of significance in the world and for the world. As a result of its inseparability from the woman’s identity, as well as its natural importance, motherhood should be supported by society in a way that empowers women to both thrive as mothers as well as provide for those under their care.”

With all this in mind, CLC calls on the UN’s members to “enact effective, comprehensive social protection programs that suit maternal needs, without eliminating maternity;” to “create and support effective, comprehensive social protection systems that foster a culture of respect for mothers;” and to “encourage South to South Cooperation so as to increase the preservation and sharing of best practices in maternal education, support and accompaniment without the interference of ideologically driven investment or aid, which lends itself to the institutionalization of dependency, poverty and violence.”

It remains to be seen how this statement will influence the commission. Last fall, the UN Human Rights Commission called on governments around the world to lift their restrictions on abortion in the name of “fundamental rights” and “gender equality.”

Featured Image
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News, ,

Pro-lifers to picket Virginia Democrat who defended bill allowing abortion as woman gives birth

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

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

UPDATE at 6:10 p.m. on February 1, 2019: Democrats have cancelled their town hall meeting scheduled for February 2. Pro-lifers are still holding a rally, but the location has changed to 8390 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079. The Susan B. Anthony List says attendees should walk to the corner of Laurel Crest Dr. and Silverbrook Rd.

LORTON, Virginia, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – National and state pro-life groups are asking Virginians to protest outside of and attend a town hall meeting Saturday featuring Delegate Kathy Tran, who recently sponsored and defended a bill that would have allowed abortions on women who had already begun labor.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat and a pediatric neurologist, then suggested that Tran’s bill 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.”

“Delegate Tran and two other pro-abortion legislators are holding a public Town hall at South County High School in Lorton,” the Susan B. Anthony List wrote on Facebook. SBA List, Live Action, the Family Foundation Action, Concerned Women for America LAC, Students for Life of America, and Young Women for America are hosting a rally at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 2 before the town hall.

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

“We need as many pro-life Virginians as possible to show up at 12:00 Noon for the pro-life press conference and rally before the Townhall,” Sean Maguire, Director of Grassroots for the Family Foundation of Virginia, wrote in an urgent email to supporters. “We encourage concerned citizens to then stay for the Townhall, and call upon Delegate Tran and her allies to abandon this extreme legislation.”

“With the short notice on this extreme abortion legislation that was just introduced here in Virginia, it’s crucial that we show up in great numbers,” Maguire emphasized in his email.

Tran’s bill failed in committee late Tuesday.

President Trump has denounced the Virginia Democrats for their abortion extremism. Tran and Northam have faced massive backlash for their comments; last night, Northam fired back by tweeting, “I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.”

He had defended infanticide just that morning.

On Saturday, participants are encouraged to dress warmly and arrive 30 minutes early, if possible.

Details are available here and listed below:

WHAT: URGENT Pro-Life Rally and Press Conference, featuring national and Virginia pro-life leaders
WHO: You and every pro-life Virginian you know!
WHY: To denounce radical abortion measures being introduced in our Commonwealth, and to call upon Delegate Tran to abandon this extreme legislation
WHERE: South County High School; 8501 Silverbrook Rd, Lorton, VA 22079 (meet outside the main entrance)
WHEN: This Saturday, February 2; Rally and Press Conference at 12:00 Noon. Please arrive 30 minutes early if you can, and dress warmly!

Featured Image
President Donald Trump / Gov. Ralph Northam White House flickr page
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News, ,

Trump blasts Virginia Democrats for defending infanticide

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

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

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump lambasted Virginia Democrats for supporting abortion up until, during, and even after birth, calling Delegate Kathy Tran’s comments on her bill permitting abortion even as a woman goes into labor “terrible.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam suggested in comments this morning that Tran’s bill 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.”

Trump told the Daily Caller he hadn’t heard Northam’s comments, but had seen the now-viral video of Tran defending her bill allowing abortion through 40 weeks of pregnancy.

“I’m surprised that he did that, I’ve met him a number of times,” the president said of Northam defending infanticide.

Of Tran’s comments, Trump said, “I thought it was terrible. Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.”

Indeed, Trump’s famous comments, among the most accurate abortion explanations ever offered by a politician, describing late-term abortion during his third debate with Hillary Clinton have been proven to be exactly what Democrats are trying to enshrine in law as they fret Roe v. Wade may be overturned.

“If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” Trump said on October 19, 2016. “Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me because based on what she’s saying and based on where she's going and where she's been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day, and that’s not acceptable.”

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion?” Delegate Tran was asked during a subcommittee hearing.

She 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.  

Then, this morning, Gov. Northam – a pediatric neurologist – called controversy over Tran’s bill “overblown,” and offered the following explanation of 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.”

The Daily Caller also reported that of Tran’s and Northam’s comments, Trump said, “This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before. The pro-life movement is very much a 50-50, it’s a very 50-50 issue, actually it’s gained a point or two over the years.”

“Trump seemed optimistic about the remarks, saying, ‘I think this will very much lift up the issue because people have never thought of it in those terms,’” the Daily Caller concluded.

Featured Image
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

News, ,

Virginia gov. who defended infanticide: ‘I have devoted my life to caring for children’

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien
Image

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

VIRGINIA, January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who this morning said a 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,” called it “shameful and disgusting” to say he hasn’t “devoted” his “life to caring for children.”

Northam, a Democrat and former pediatric neurologist, was interviewed about fellow Democrat Delegate Kathy Tran’s now-failed proposed abortion bill, which Tran admitted would allow abortions at 40 weeks of pregnancy and even as a mother is going into labor.

Commenting on what would happen under the bill if a woman in labor requested an abortion, Northam said: “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.”

“I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting,” Northam tweeted this evening, in an apparent response to the widespread criticism and backlash he has faced for his pro-infanticide comments.

While campaigning to be elected governor, Northam made a campaign stop at an Alexandria, Virginia abortion facility.

Tonight, President Trump weighed in on Northam’s and Tran’s remarks.

“I’m surprised that he did that, I’ve met him a number of times,” the president said of Northam defending infanticide.

Of Tran’s comments, Trump said, “I thought it was terrible. Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.”

Trump was referencing his now completely vindicated statement during the third presidential debate, when he noted, “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

“Is there no limit to the depth of cruelty and depravity that some of our elected officials will sink to?” Olivia Gans Turner, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life, asked in an email to supporters Wednesday. “The new ethos of the pro-abortion lobby is go all in for every abortion, even at nine months of pregnancy and strip the states of any pro-life laws on the books.”

“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 Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. Her group announced today it’s launching a six-figure campaign to defeat abortion extremists in the upcoming Virginia elections this fall.

Tran’s bill, which failed only because a Republican-controlled subcommittee killed it, would repeal limits on third trimester abortions, allow abortionists to self-certify the necessity of late-term procedures, eliminate informed consent requirements, repeal health and safety standards for abortion facilities, permit late-term abortions to be performed in outpatient facilities, remove ultrasound requirements, and eliminate Virginia's 24-hour waiting period.

“The difference between the two sides of the House of Delegates is very clear,” Gans Turner concluded. “There are far too many pro-abortion Delegates ready and willing to do the bidding of the abortion industry at the expense of the women and unborn children of Virginia. We must not look away. Virginians must decide the direction we shall go, and it must not be in the wake of New York!”

As of 9:49 p.m. EST on January 30, Northam’s tweet had been retweeted a mere 321 times but garnered 6,000 responses.

Featured Image
Bishop Michael Burbidge arlingtondiocese.org
Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen

News, ,

US bishop rebukes Virginia Governor for ‘staggering’ infanticide remarks

Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

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

ARLINGTON, Virginia, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The staunchly pro-life Catholic Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, has strongly rebuked pro-infanticide comments made earlier this week by Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. 

Bishop Michael Burbidge today called Northam's comments a “staggering admission” that reveals just “how far abortion advocates are willing to go in taking the life of a precious child.”

Northam caused a national uproar Wednesday when he told a radio station that if a woman seeking an abortion goes into labor and the baby is delivered, the baby would be kept comfortable, resuscitated “if that’s what the mother and family desire,” and then a discussion between the mother and physician would ensue.

The comments, made in response to a question about a Virginia abortion bill that has since failed, elicited strong reactions across the country, especially from Republicans and conservatives. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted, “I never thought I would see the day America had government officials who openly support legal infanticide.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel described Northam’s comments as “horrific” and a defense of “born-alive abortions.”

Pro-life commentator Ben Shapiro decried the remarks as “pure evil.”

In a statement released today, Bishop Burbidge said Northam’s comments betray “a new level of deep-rooted animus against the inherent goodness of every child.” He also noted how not just in Virginia but also in New York “extreme abortion legislation” has been introduced recently. “This is a critical moment in the life of our Church and our society,” Burbidge’s statement read.

Northam, however, doubled down on his remarks despite near-universal outrage. In a tweet, Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, said it is “shameful and disgusting” to say he hasn’t “devoted” his “life to caring for children.” 

Northam made his original infanticide comments while being interviewed about fellow Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran’s proposed abortion bill, which Tran admitted would allow abortions at 40 weeks of pregnancy and even as a mother is going into labor.

Burbidge said in his statement, “This bill rightfully failed — but I am, along with so many people of good will, distraught that this bill was introduced in the first place. It could have paved the way for babies to suffer a violent and gruesome death moments before birth and could have been harmful to women.”

My hope is that this bill failed because the elected officials of the state legislature recognized that it was an evil and impermissible offense to human life and our collective decency. Abortion of a baby in the final stage of pregnancy borders on infanticide. Our governor, however, may be willing to cross that border and go even farther.”

President Trump weighed in on the controversy as well. In an interview with The Daily Caller, the president said Tran’s defense of her bill was "terrible." 

“Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible,” he said. Speaking about Northam, Trump said “I’m surprised that he did that, I’ve met him a number of times.”

Trump predicted the controversy “is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before. The pro-life movement is very much a 50-50, it’s a very 50-50 issue, actually it’s gained a point or two over the years.” 

Extreme abortion legislation has been taken up by the Democrat Party at an alarming rate in recent weeks. Aside from New York, Virginia, and Vermont, Rhode Island is currently considering a bill that would allow abortion until birth. During her State of the State address, Catholic Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) promised she would sign the legislation. Congressional Democrats also took up a bill that would have given $37.5 million to the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund, a move the Trump administration promptly rejected. President Trump promised pro-lifers at this year’s March for Life that he would veto any legislation that comes to his desk that weakens protections for the unborn.

One of the likely reasons Democratic lawmakers are seeking to expand abortion at the state level is because they fear Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned. Such fears are compounded by rumors that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's health is deteriorating and her days as a judge are numbered. Ginsburg, perhaps the court’s most liberal member, is a staunch supporter of abortion. Should she resign or die, President Trump would likely nominate a pro-life judge like Amy Coney Barrett. Such a decision could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. A pro-life justice would increase the conservative majority of the court from 5-4 to 6-3. 

Featured Image
Dr. William Lile
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News, ,

Abortion is never ‘good medicine’: Obstetrician who blasted New York law

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life obstetrician-gynecologist who released a viral video condemning New York’s radical new abortion law from a medical perspective is back with a follow-up, in which he explains the truth behind abortion “health exceptions” and why late-term abortions are never the proper response to true medical crises.

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”; prevent pregnant women whose babies are killed in violent attacks from seeing justice; and have 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.

Defenders of the law have argued that the law only permits late-term abortions if a “health care practitioner” (who no longer has to be a doctor) determines “there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” In fact, Roe v. Wade’s companion ruling Doe v. Bolton establishes that in the context of abortion, “health” must be understood “in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”

Dr. William Lile, a board-certified OB/GYN and pro-life public speaker who maintains the ProLifeDoc website, previously tackled the controversy in a YouTube video and LifeSiteNews op-ed. On Wednesday, he released a second video explaining this so-called “health exception” and why abortion is not sound medicine in such cases.

"Taking the life of the baby does not preserve or protect the life of the mom, it just takes the life of the baby," he said. 

“Are there reasons that we have to deliver a baby early sometimes? Yes, moms can have conditions of preeclampsia, severe eclampsia, other issues, and we have to deliver the babies,” he said. “But that 24, 25, 26-week baby goes to our neonatal intensive care nursery and does great,” rather than being killed. He stressed that he didn’t blame mothers facing such harrowing situations; he blamed the lawmakers and medical community “that are not proving and showing and revealing the personhood of the life on the inside.”

Lile then discussed three cases in which he treated preborn babies with lethal abnormalities. He explained that just as a sick grandmother who will eventually die of an illness won’t necessarily die immediately and should be cared for until the end, so too in the case of a preborn baby with a lethal condition, such a baby should not be aborted but should be provided with "the love, the concern, and the care" that any patient deserves.

In one such case, “I diagnosed a patient who had a teratoma, a large tumor coming from the base of the tongue. This tumor grew and came out at the mouth,” he recalled. They found a pediatric surgeon willing to attempt treatment, but the mother suffered a miscarriage before the surgery.

“This patient with the tumor coming from the tongue came in, we labored her, we delivered her, she had her husband there, she had other family members there, and I learned a very important lesson that day,” Lile recalled. “It was almost half the size of the baby's head and I laid that up on the mom’s belly. Mom took that baby, held it close, loved that baby and kissed that baby. The father did the same thing."

“If you had seen a picture of this baby in a medical textbook when you were going through it, you would go and just immediately flip to the next page,” he said. “But there was something different. Not only was this a patient, not only was this a person, this was family. This was kin, and they held that baby for hours, loved that baby and kissed that baby because it was part of their family.”

Lile also discussed cases of Down Syndrome, which does not preclude living a happy or fulfilling life, yet is taken as a reason to abort 90% of Down babies in Great Britain, 65% in Norway, virtually 100% in Iceland, and 95% in Spain.

“Terminating an abnormality is not curing an anomaly. God forbid that our society gets to the point that we take the easy way out and not the better way out,” he said. “If we diagnose somebody with a cancer that's not curable, do we just say ‘we're gonna let you die’? No, we provide them with the love, the respect, and the support that they deserve.”

As the video drew to a close, Lile warned that killing babies for abnormalities would “carry over to the next generation.”

“What are we gonna do when the elderly are diagnosed with a lethal anomaly?” he asked. “And this is happening in Europe where people with a lethal diagnosis are being euthanized. That's not a society that I want to live in. If the United States is going to continue to be a shining light on the hill in this entire world, we need to do what is good, not what is easy.”

Governor Cuomo has dismissed the criticisms so far, but pro-life leaders, commentators, and private citizens across the country continue to speak out against his 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. LifeSiteNews’ petition condemning the radical new law has gathered more than 129,000 signatures so far.

Featured Image
LifeSiteNews.com

News,

Former porn actress exposes truth about pornography: The Van Maren Show Ep. 2

LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

Warning: Graphic details and explicit subject matter discussed. 

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Jessica Neely was raised in a conservative Christian home. The daughter of a pastor who spent her youth involved in a myriad of extracurricular and pro-family activities, her life took a turn for the worse when, in the early 2000s, she was raped at the age of 23.

Unsure of how to deal with the trauma of her experience, Neely, an abstinence missionary at the time, was intent on getting revenge. “I assumed everything from that moment was over and destroyed,” so “I lived like it,” she says in this episode of The Van Maren Show. “I was going to rape men back.”

Neely and Van Maren discuss her decade-long dive into the world of pornography and her eventual escape from it in this explicit but revealing conversation about the evils of the porn industry.

Neely shares not only her own experience with human trafficking, prostitution, and drug abuse, but also the devastating impact - psychological as well as physical - pornography has on women, on men, and on those who produce it. 

Neely now lives what she calls “the surrendered life,” free from pornography and addiction. A widely-known speaker who warns audiences, especially young women, about the dangers of pornography, she tells The Van Maren Show, “nothing in this life is worth compromising your family for.”

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloud, and YouTube, so you can listen by clicking the links. We are awaiting approval through iTunes and Google Play as well.​

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe via various channels, visit our Pippa.io webpage here.

Featured Image
Andrew Cuomo
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News, ,

40 Days for Life CEO: If Cuomo’s abortion activism doesn’t merit excommunication, then what would?

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic president and CEO of 40 Days for Life has joined a number of Catholics ​in supporting the call for Andrew Cuomo to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church over his push for and celebration of New York state’s radical abortion expansion.

"The outrage has been pouring out and ranges from Protestant and Evangelicals calling out pastors who have been silent on abortion to Catholics who are calling for Gov. Cuomo, a public Catholic, to be officially excommunicated," wrote Shawn Carney. 

"If Cuomo is not excommunicated, then I as a Catholic join many in wondering what one must do or publicly advocate for in order to get excommunicated," he added. 

New York’s passage of the so-called Reproductive Health Act codified abortion in New York law as a “fundamental right” in case Roe vs. Wade gets overturned. The law's passage drew cheers in the statehouse from pro-abortion politicians.

Carney commented on the sickened feeling held by so many people of faith and goodwill who watched the passage of the bill and how its passage was celebrated, including Cuomo ordering the World Trade Center tower to be lit up pink. 

“New York’s decision – and celebration – of allowing abortions on babies up until the day they are born makes many want to throw up,” Carney said. “G.K. Chesterton said it nearly 100 years ago, but it applies today perhaps now more than ever, 'The madness of tomorrow is not in Moscow, but much more in Manhattan.'”

Much has been made of the possibility of excommunication from the Catholic Church for New York’s pro-abortion governor, who has identified as Catholic, and had campaigned vigorously for this law and also done so for abortion throughout his career

Publicly knocking pro-lifers and conservatives along the way, Cuomo, who also lives in a non-marital union while identifying as Catholic, has supported various other things in conflict with Catholic teaching as well, such as affirming LGBT lifestyles and banning reparation therapy.

Debate and discussion continue over whether excommunication is possible and warranted, and if it would have any effect on someone who publicly rejects the Church’s teaching.

Many Catholics agree that some sort of penalty for Cuomo is in order. Some Catholics have found the response of non-action from New York’s Cardinal Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who said that excommunication is “not an appropriate response” to pro-abortion politicians, to be frustrating.

Two other bishops, Knoxville, Tennessee, Bishop Richard Stika and Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland, have both signified that if Cuomo lived in their jurisdiction they would take action. Strickland had urged Cuomo’s ordinaries to do so. 

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, where the New York statehouse is located, said in a January 26 interview with Fox News that excommunication is not out of the realm of possibility for Cuomo.

Noted Christian evangelist and philanthropist Franklin Graham also called for Dolan to act in excommunicating Cuomo. 

“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,” Graham said. “It’s about standing for right over wrong, good over evil.”

Featured Image
Nathan Phillips CNN screen grab
Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

News,

Nathan Phillips tried to storm Catholic Mass after harassing Covington boys: report

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne

Washington, D.C., January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Native American activist reported by the media to be harassed by Catholic high school boys led some 50-plus protesters the very next day in an attempt to disrupt Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. 

Roughly 24 hours after Nathan Phillips had his confrontation with Covington Catholic High School students after he approached them while attending the Indigenous Peoples March near the Lincoln Memorial, Phillips and a larger group tried to enter the Basilica “while chanting and hitting drums” in the middle of Saturday evening Mass. 

Video and eyewitness accounts of the incident recount tension, anger, and disdain for the Catholic Church, as well as demands for land reparations from the Church and reprimands of Covington Catholic High School students – now and in the future if they go to college.

The protesters were stopped by security guards, who locked the Basilica doors. A witness later reported they were heard banging on the Basilica doors after they were locked out.

“In respect and reverence for the Mass, the individuals were not permitted to enter the Basilica due to the disruption it would have caused during the solemn Mass,” the Basilica said in a statement to Catholic News Agency (CNA). “The individuals were asked to leave the property after it was determined they did not intend to share in the celebration of Mass.”

CNA has covered the incident in successive reports, as information continually became known. Original estimates for the number of protestors were at 20 but that was the number trying to enter the church with some 50-60 protesters estimated overall. One of the demonstrators posted video footage of the incident on social media, and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) released some as well. CNA ran down the sequence of events from the various sources in its reports.

Really upsetting, tense

“It was really upsetting,” a Basilica security guard told CNA. “There were about 20 people trying to get in, we had to lock the doors and everything.”

The guard had said the incident was a disappointment during a busy and joyful weekend for the Shrine (with the March for Life).

“We had hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the country come here to celebrate life, to celebrate each other together,” the guard said. “That a protest tried to come inside during Mass was really the worst.”

The guard reported that the situation was “tense.”

“I’m just really grateful that nothing too bad happened,” the guard said, “they were really angry.”

The Basilica security said further the incident was especially distressing for him because Mass was in progress.

“It’s a house of worship,” he said, “a place of prayer where people come to celebrate. All this anger is so against what we are all about here.”

The guard said that he’d never witnessed anything like it during his whole time of working for the Basilica.

“I don’t know the details of what happened on Friday [after the March for Life],” the guard said, “I wish I did. All I know is it’s a shame, and it’s got nothing to do with why people were here.”

“And this all happened on our biggest event of the year,” he added. “I hope we never see it again.”

The protest group had gathered across the street from the Basilica before heading toward the main entrance, chanting and playing drums.

'I’ll watch for the cops'

As the group including Phillips readied to approach the Basilica’s main steps, one participant stated that they would march to the front of the church for “a non-violent peaceful action.”

Another participant advised the group that if they want to enter the Basilica, they can if they do so “in small groups” to pray.  

“Just say you are going to Mass,” a third added, before another demonstrator noted the Basilica is “a public space.”

“I’ll watch the cops,” one protester said as they began walking.

Then the group, led by Phillips, chanting and playing drums, climbed the Basilica’s front staircase. 

A smaller group of the protesters attempted to enter the Basilica, while the larger group – by some estimates, 60 people - continued to climb the front stairs then stopping at a landing. 

The smaller group of protesters who’d attempted to enter the Basilica was then seen on the video returning to the larger group.

A seminarian from California, whom seminary officials forbad from being identified publicly, recounted what he’d witnessed for CNA.

“I was outside when the protesters were coming up the steps of the Basilica,” he said. “I was curious because of the noise and chanting.” 

“At first I didn’t take it too seriously,” the seminarian said, “but as they came up the steps we were told to go inside. I was with a group of people from California there for the March for Life. The security people shut the doors and locked them.”

“I was inside and the protesters were banging on the doors,” he said.

'We demand that the students of Covington Catholic High School be reprimanded'

Phillips read a statement outside on the Basilica steps. 

It said: 

We demand that the students of Covington Catholic High School be reprimanded not just by their school officials but, as seniors, by their upcoming universities.

We demand that the Catholic Church hold itself responsible for the [indistinct] hundred-plus years of genocide that indigenous peoples have endured and endure persistently by implementing the following: with reparations of land and restorations to the indigenous peoples in the U.S. and across the world.

We demand that the Catholic Church revoke the papal bulls related to the doctrine of discovery, which laid the foundation for religious prejudice and the dehumanization of indigenous peoples.

'Security told us it was not exactly safe to leave at that point'

Several Basilica security guards are shown on the video standing between the protest group and the church entrance.

The seminarian said that inside the Basilica, shrine visitors and those at Mass could not leave at first, whether through the main doors or the different side exits, because of the situation.

“We couldn’t leave from there either,” the seminarian said, referring to downstairs and side doors. “There was more security that told us it was not exactly safe to leave at that point.”

His group was not able to leave the building for another 20 to 30 minutes, he recalled, stating, “It was about 30 minutes before the police were able to contain the situation and disperse the protestors.”

Police officers responded to a call at the Basilica’s address at 6:27 pm on Saturday, a DC Metro Police spokesperson had confirmed. 

After Phillips read his statement, the video shows a participant telling the group, “We need to get off the premises, we have been informed by police that we need to get off our occupied indigenous territory.”

“We came here, we sat, we made peaceful ceremony,” the protester said. “We showed the Catholic Church how to respect prayer, how to respect ceremony. It’s not even their land and we still showed respect.”

“Right now we are going to head out with the AIM (American Indian Movement) song to make sure nobody gets arrested or hurt,” the protester said.

CNA had not been able to confirm with the Lakota People’s Law Project, the other group behind the Indigenous Peoples March Phillips had been attending Friday when he confronted the Covington Catholic students, whether the group officially sanctioned the Basilica demonstration.

The CBC report said around 60 people were present outside the Basilica to support Phillips Saturday night, but did not include in its report that part of the group had tried to disrupt the Mass.

CBC video showed one supporter saying that the group had gathered at the Basilica to listen to Phillips, to hold the Catholic Church “accountable” for the Covington Catholic High School students alleged actions, and for the “colonial violence that the Catholic Church reproduces every day.”

'We’ll be back'

The Facebook video posted by one of the participants ended with a protester stating:

It’s cold, but you know what the cold, the rain, the snow, whatever, it ain’t gonna stop us. We’re gonna get out here and let our voices be heard. Whether it be at a Catholic Church, it don’t matter, Catholic school, whatever.

We’re still gonna come on this property, it’s all our ours anyway. We came, said our part. You know, because what them boys did, you know, Trump supporters, and you know, being disrespectful. We didn’t bother them. They came over and bothered us, saying stuff, being disrespectful. You know what, we’re still here. We’ll be back.

Featured Image
Bradley Mattes

Opinion, ,

We are living in the Age of Infanticide

Bradley Mattes
By

January 31, 2019 (Life Issues Institute) – The reaction has largely been shock, mixed with sadness. A majority of people on both sides of the abortion issue are reeling from the news out of New York.

The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) is not about health or reproduction. Quite the opposite, it aggressively assails both. The state legislature introduced and passed this bill out of concern that a new US Supreme Court environment might reverse or render Roe impotent.

Not only does this legislation legalize abortion up to the day of birth, it goes beyond Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton, the companion Court cases of 1973.

New York's RHA:

  • Expands legal abortion from 24 weeks to full-term
  • Removes abortion in its entirety from the state penal code
  • Affords protection for hack abortionists who kill a woman during an abortion
  • Denies a woman's right to seek justice if an assailant kills her unborn baby
  • Allows non-physicians to commit abortion such as nurses, physician assistants or midwives
  • Jeopardizes a health professional's right to not participate in abortion
  • Removes medical protections for babies who survive the abortion procedure, i.e., legalizing infanticide
  • Legalizes the horrific actions of the notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell

What made this possible? For twelve years, New York Republicans in the state senate have blocked this extreme legislation. However, the November election ushered in a pro-abortion, Democrat majority, matching an appetite for human carnage in the Democrat-controlled state Assembly.

New York is leading the way in expanding abortion violence against unborn babies and their mothers and other states are eager to follow with similar bills.

Virginia House Delegate Kathy Tran has introduced the Repeal Act that she acknowledged would legalize abortion even while a mother is in labor. The video exchange between her and Delegate Todd Gilbert is chilling. Further, it would eliminate informed consent and abortion facility safety requirements.

New Mexico state Representative Joanne Ferrary has introduced a bill that would totally negate 1969 legislation that provides protections for the state's unborn babies and their mothers. The Democrat's bill provides zero protections for the babies at any time during pregnancy.

The state of Vermont has climbed aboard the abortion bandwagon with the so-called Freedom of Choice Act. It would ensure that an unborn baby would have no "independent rights under Vermont law" anytime during pregnancy.

Rhode Island has not one but two competing pro-abortion bills. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have gotten behind the more extreme of the two.

If there's a silver lining to be found, it's this. These laws demonstrate to a growing number of Americans the extreme and ugly nature of abortion. For example, Democrat Governor Ralph Northam was on radio defending abortion up to birth and infanticide beyond delivery.

US Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska responded to Governor Northam's comments. "This is morally repugnant. In just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from 'safe, legal, and rare' to 'keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.' I don't care what party you're from – if you can't say that it's wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the h*** out of public office."

States like New York, Virginia, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Mexico are sending the clear, unmistakable message that elections matter. Whom you vote for will determine whether countless innocent babies live or die.

Published with permission from the Life Issues Institute.

Featured Image
LifeSiteNews staff

Opinion, ,

Biomedical scientist calls New York’s abortion law ‘de facto genocide’

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A scientist who specializes in biomedicine revealed his horror over the bill that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law, legalizing abortion up until birth.  

The scientist has chosen anonymity, fearing repercussions for expressing truth.

---

This news is written in shock. The reason may not be obvious to those who are unaware of the medical evidence regarding conscious fetuses and perhaps emergent conscious embryos.

This news just hit me, I managed to overlook it yesterday, when the NY State Legislature announced legalizing abortion UNTIL birth WITHOUT no requirement for MD supervision. 

Here is the reason why this legal act raises a very real danger of de facto and de jure genocide. 

Somewhere between three weeks after conception, when neural crest cells arise and begin to function, and the third trimester of gestation, with considerable variability, sensory consciousness arises in utero. 

This has been known for a very long time in medicine and by lay persons involved in assisting in birth.

The traditional time of the “quickening” in pregnancy is when the mother feels the baby “kicking,” and when the baby in utero seems to respond to the mother's singing and moving, even intermittently.

This is as good a sign as any, but now of course we have a huge array of medical instruments to pick up earlier signs of cortical activity that will soon lead to a clearly conscious sensory cortex in the emerging baby. 

There may be no precise signposts for the emergence of sensory consciousness -- which implies both pain perception and feelings of comfort, joy, pleasure and love in the cortical anterior insula. Somewhere before or after the third trimester consciousness is very likely to emerge. 

The evidence on that is now beyond serious empirical question. 

Because nobody –NOBODY – really knows the advice mothers and their unqualified advisers are taking about abortion decisions, there must be a probability distribution. We know that for decades Planned Parenthood and its slavish media have encouraged girls and women to believe in a very late emergence of conscious experiences in babies. This ideological meme is almost certainly mendacious and false, and it is driven by the same ideology that promoted racial abortions during the Woodrow Wilson period of the Progressive Era. Woodrow Wilson was that rare bird, a genuine, passionate racist college president (Princeton University) who was convinced that black babies should be aborted. Planned Parenthood has its roots in that time and in its blind ideology. 

We know that one mass murdering "abortion doctor" has been killing black African-American babies AFTER birth in a way I will not describe. 

He has now been convicted and sent to prison for life, although I would have preferred giving him the fate he apparently liked to inflict on living babies. Some people are so evil they deserve preemptive imprisonment. 

The New York Legislature has now legalized third-trimester abortions without medical supervision. 

This comes after decades of the highly concentrated mass media blinding their audiences to the ethical dilemmas of abortion, even after the rise of sensory consciousness, a date that we do not know with perfect safety. But real medical science is getting better on identifying conscious babies in utero. 

In normal birth, the weight of evidence very strongly suggests that babies are entirely conscious. There are exceptions of course for stillborn babies, and perhaps for babies that are irreversibly ill. 

Medical people privately have a deep understanding of these matters, but women have now been taught via the ignorant public media to believe there is NO ethical dilemma whatsoever. This is an obvious falsehood. There are many great dilemmas in life, and if someone is taught otherwise they can become handicapped for life. “We” the mass culture has brought up such generations of ignoramuses. 

Just as in the case of marijuana, which is far more dangerous than the mass media pretend, especially for a sub-group of adolescent boys, our over-concentrated media never tell the truth. 

This is just like Pravda and Isztvestiya in the USSR and China, which also promoted massive abortion at certain times. 

In China today there is a huge imbalance between young men and women, because girl babies were routinely aborted under the "One Child per family" population control policy.  This implied genocidal killing of conscious babies in utero, because of the statistical distribution of the time of abortions. Chinese government has a very long history of ruthless killings, which have been rationalized for the greater good of society. 

Unless the third trimester criterion (OR earlier) is rigorously enforced by modern medical profession, the chances of killing conscious babies in extreme pain and distress is VERY HIGH. 

If we had perfect medical criteria for sensory consciousness (including early pain perception in utero) we might be able to determine a more precise date. 

But in the absence of certain knowledge, medical people have long taken the Hippocratic Oath: FIRST, DO NO HARM. 

That Oath has of course been undermined in the last several decades, and I cannot believe that that has been done in ignorance. It coincides with the rise of centralized socialized medicine in Europe and Canada, and perhaps to some extent in the United States under ObamaCare. 

About 10 years ago Steven Laureys, MD, PhD, an excellent coma researcher in Belgium, hosted a day-long meeting dedicated to coma science. 

Dr. Laureys and colleagues have done outstanding research to identify "true" (unconscious) coma, and distinguish it from "locked-in" syndrome, where the patient is conscious but paralyzed, and is therefore locked in to a conscious condition while s/he he or she is being treated surgically or simply sent to the morgue to die. 

During Dr. Laureys’ Coma Day, a Belgian physician who runs a terminal care facility stated in no uncertain terms that his budget allowed for three weeks for patients in BEHAVIORAL coma (simply unresponsiveness, such as happens with paralysis) to be fed intravenously, and then he would routinely ship them to the morgue, come hell or high water. 

I half-understood what he was saying, but I did not realize the full significance, because I don't know enough about actual terminal care in social-democratic Europe. 

That point has become more than obvious today with the UK NHS "Liverpool Pathway" for allegedly terminal patients who do not have enough brownie points (called QALI's) to deserve taxpayer-funded care. 

In the UK I believe it is technically illegal for families to pay extra for patient care if they believe their loved ones are still alive, which is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE. 

The legal catch is that any British patients can go to Singapore or the United States to get first-rate medical care, either by paying the cost, or perhaps for some legitimate reasons, such as research or for compassionate reasons. I do know that UK Prime Minister Theresa May refused openly to allow a young child near death to be treated free of charge, I believe at the Vatican hospital for children, which offered to provide free care that is no longer allowed by the UK NHS. 

British medical doctors have declared very plainly that in seriously ill patients, the time and exactly causation of death is NOT predictable on an individual basis, just on average. This inevitably means that bureaucrats who only look at averages are consigning potentially surviving patients to a very certain death. That is the precise logic of their declared legal position. 

We do know much more today about TRUE coma, TRULY irreversible medical conditions, and perhaps even about the onset of sensory consciousness and pain/distress in utero. Today, cases of behavioral BUT NOT brain coma can be rescued, and they can even communicate via eye movement technology that is fairly cheap and very practical. 

There is no truth whatsoever to the philosophical fantasy that babies and children are "not really" conscious persons until some arbitrary date decided by utterly ignorant and frequently Kapo-syndrome philosophers. 

Conscious pain perception arises during gestation, and it may be late in the second trimester, but I simply do not know, because I must defer to excellent medical researchers on that point. 

What I believe with little empirical doubt is that the New York Legislature has just legalized conscious fetal murder on a potentially very large scale, WITHOUT competent medical supervision. The latter point strongly suggests that they don't want to hear the truth from highly qualified MD's. 

This is no longer a theoretical debate.

This is legalized genocide. 

I do hate to think that, but the evidence I know, though never enough, has now flipped in that direction. 

I would be happy to stand corrected by medical people, of course, and by brain scientists. I do not want to hear from philosophers who have not studied the best empirical literature. 

This is no longer a matter of guesswork, of speculation, or of completely arbitrary interference by utterly ignorant "ethicists". 

I am eager to hear from qualified medical people and scientists. 

I certainly don't claim to know more than others. 

This is an emergency message, and I would welcome reasoned and ethical feedback, of course. If I am wrong, I would be the first to celebrate, and of course I will notify whoever would like to be notified. I would LOVE to be wrong. 

Thank you very kindly for your consideration,

Featured Image
Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike

Blogs, ,

German diocese: Chaste homosexuals may become priests here

Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The German Archdiocese of Paderborn permits homosexuals to become priests, as long as they live a chaste life.

This is what Michael Menke-Peitzmeyer, the head of the diocesan seminary, told the German radio station WDR on Monday. The head of the seminary in the Diocese of Münster, Hartmut Niehues agrees with this conditional statement, saying that it is “nothing sensational.”

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, however, had just recently pointed out that even a homosexual man who does not practice homosexuality is not fit for the priesthood because he cannot identify with being a family father. That homosexuals cannot become priests is also the teaching of the Church.

As the German bishops' news website Katholisch.de reported on January 29, “the Vatican practically, still in 2016, excluded homosexuals from the priesthood. Now, Paderborn says that homosexuality will not be any more a criterion of exclusion in the future.”

As Michael Menke-Peitzmeyer, the head of the diocesan seminary in Paderborn, explained on January 28 to WDR (West German Broadcasting Cologne), “homosexual candidates for the priesthood are also being accepted, if they maintain celibacy.”

“We have to differentiate,” he added, “between the homosexual orientation of a person and a homosexual practice.” 

Thus, a practicing homosexual meets the “criterion of exclusion,”  Menke-Peitzmeyer explained. He also stated that nowadays, there are taking place “regular conversations with the candidates about personal views and about their sexual orientation.”

Katholisch.de reminds its readers that the new 2016 Vatican guide concerning the formation of priests – The Gift of the Priestly Vocation – “practically continues to exclude homosexuals from ordination.”

No. 199 of that document states that “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'. Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

For the head of the seminary in Münster, Helmut Nieheus, this statement from the Vatican “needs an explanation” and an “interpretation.”

Speaking with Domradio, the radio station of the Archdiocese of Cologne, he explains that, for his diocese, what matters is that a candidate's sexual orientation is not so determining that a person cannot live in celibacy.

“Thus,” he adds “the question is decisive whether or not someone can and wants to live in celibacy.”

Nieheus is also the president of the association of all the heads of German seminaries. At the end of the Domradio interview, he refers to the recent statements of Pope Francis, saying that he understands that “the decisive point” for the Pope, too, is that homosexual priests live in celibacy, accepting at the same time that there do exist homosexual priests.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller – one of the four dubia cardinals – has just stated at the beginning of January 2019 that homosexuals should not become priests, “for the simple reason that it is difficult to overcome a homosexual inclination.”

“In addition,” the German cardinal added, “a priest has to be fatherly. He who emotionally does not have the capability for normal human love and for assuming the responsibility for a family would likewise encounter difficulties as a priest.”

Next to the Diocese of Paderborn, there are also the Dioceses of Osnabrück and of Essen who wish to depart from the Church's traditional teaching on homosexuality. Both Bishop Franz-Josef Bode and Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck aim at a reconsideration of the Church's assessment of homosexuality.

Bode repeated this January his calls from 2018 to consider a blessing for homosexual couples, saying that he wishes to “honor the togetherness of people who are willing to be loyal, responsible and loving.”

“There also has to be a pastoral and also a liturgical accompaniment,” Bode added.

Bishop Overbeck just proposed in an article for the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz a re-assessment of homosexuality. He proposes a “de-pathologization” of homosexuality which could lead to an “overdue liberation” for such people. Otherwise, Overbeck adds, he fears an “intellectual marginalization of the Catholic moral teaching.” One should be glad that, with the help of new scientific insights, “prejudices” concerning sexuality are being “overcome,” he wrote. 

The Permanent Council of the German Bishops' Conference just named Bishop Bode (together with Bishop Felix Genn, of the Diocese of Münster, and another bishop) as the episcopal experts to deal with questions of the priestly form of living (celibacy), as well as questions of sexuality.

For Mathias von Gersdorff, a German pro-life activist and book author, this election of Bishop Bode is an “affront to all Catholics who still take seriously their Faith and the Church's Magisterium.”

"Bode has been working against the Catholic sexual morality for years,” he adds.

For von Gersdorff, this nomination of Bode's – who is already the Vice-President of the German Bishops' Conference – signals that there are bishops in Germany who aim at a “quiet foundation of a new church with a new sexual morality according to the maxims of the 1968 [cultural] revolution.”

Featured Image
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Blogs

Here’s what to expect at the Vatican clergy abuse summit and why

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – For months, since Pope Francis ordered a last-minute halt to the U.S. bishops’ November vote on specific actions responding to the McCarrick scandal and general clergy sexual abuse crisis, the world has been anticipating the Vatican’s suddenly announced alternative action of a summit February 21-24. The summit, which will bring together the presidents of all the world’s bishops’ conferences, has some troubling built-in agendas.

The title of the conference itself – “The Protection of Minors in the Church” – is being widely criticized for “avoiding the real problem” since the vast majority of sexual abuses by clergy have been perpetrated against teen boys and adult seminarians rather than just minors. That is, homosexual predation, rather than pedophilia, is the dominant sexual abuse behavior by priests, religious, and especially bishops, which the Church has yet to address with firm actions.

Pope Francis’s imposition of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich to lead the summit is an alarming sign that the Vatican is determined to force the conference leaders to be complicit in a continuing cover-up of widespread homosexual predations and behavior by clerics from the lowest to the highest levels of the Church. Cardinal Cupich – who once told me personally that ministers of Holy Communion must give Communion to homosexual couples if they feel justified in their consciences – has said homosexuality has nothing to do with the abuse crisis. This is despite the uncontested fact that over 80 percent of the abuse victims are male.

Pope Francis, too, has refused to talk about homosexuality, pointing a finger at the vague term “clericalism” as the root cause of the problem. Linked to that is another method to guilt-trip bishops into staying on the same page. The pope has stressed time and time again the priority of “collegiality” and the need for the bishops to not attack one another. The difficulty with that, however, is that the bishops are coming at these issues from diametrically opposed positions that are irreconcilable with some wishing to alter the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and others refusing to oppose the truth of Christ. Tragically, the pope seems to be siding with the likes of Cardinal Cupich.

But there are other agendas at play as well. Rome’s Professor Roberto de Mattei, one of the greatest Church historians in our time, has warned that the absolute inviolability of the seal of Confession may be questioned at the summit.

Already, many bishops have also spoken of removing the requirement of priestly celibacy as a legitimate response to the crisis, even though sexual abuse statistics in Anglicanism, where married clergy are the norm, are every bit as high as in the Catholic Church (around four percent according to various studies – which is incidentally far lower than the sexual abuse rates by teachers).

One of the tactics used by the secular world to supposedly combat sexual abuse – school-based graphic “sex education” of children – has consistently proven to actually increase such abuse. This, too, will likely be proposed at the Vatican summit this month. Recall the scandalous Vatican sex ed program that was released at World Youth Day in Poland, complete with lurid photos and suggestions to watch near-pornographic films.

One final possibility (although this is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list) of what might be pushed at the summit is a renewed emphasis on control of the Catholic media and blogosphere, as was suggested in the concluding document of the Synod on Youth and Vocations last year. Paragraph 146 of the Synod document said: “The Synod hopes that in the Church appropriate offices or bodies for digital culture and evangelization are established at appropriate levels, which ... could also manage certification systems of Catholic sites, to counter the spread of fake news regarding the Church[.]”

If you haven’t started already, please join in a campaign of prayer and fasting for the outcome of the Vatican summit. LifeSite has launched a prayer novena asking St. Joseph, patron and protector of the Universal Church, for his intercession in this crisis.

Featured Image
John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

The Pulse, ,

How a 3rd-trimester abortion is ACTUALLY performed (in words of an abortionist)

John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John
By John Jalsevac

WARNING: This article contains graphic description of abortion 

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats and professional pro-abortion activists are in overdrive attempting to explain why a new New York law, and a proposed Virginia law that include language legalizing abortion up to birth with almost no meaningful restrictions are normal, moderate proposals.

It's easy to get confused by the rhetoric: a "blob of tissue," a "woman's right to choose," etc. That's why it's important to look at exactly what happens during a third-trimester abortion. Fortunately, it's not hard to find out.

Leroy Carhart is one of the United States' most well-known late-term abortionists. He is committing late-term abortions to this day. During public testimony, under oath during a 1997 court case, Carhart described exactly what happens when he performs a late-term abortion.

Again, these are the exact words of a current practicing late-term abortionist, not someone with an ax to grind against abortion. He describes, in precise medical detail, the process of dismembering a still-living late-term unborn baby. Try to read this testimony without feeling nauseous about what is being described. This is what New York has legalized, and what Virginia wants to legalize.

***

Late-term abortionists' testimony:

Q: Are there times when you don’t remove the fetus intact?

Carhart: yes, Sir.

Q: Can you tell me about that – when that occurs?

Carhart: That occurs when the tissue fragments, or frequently when you rupture the membranes, an arm will spontaneously prolaps through the os (cervix)...

Q: What do you do then?

Carhart: My normal course would be to dismember that extremity and then go back and try to take the fetus out either foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first.

Q: How do you go about dismembering that extremity?

Carhart: Just traction and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get a hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus, pulling down on it through the os, using the internal os as your counter traction and rotating to dismember the shoulder or the hip or whatever it would be. Sometimes you will get one leg and you can’t get the other leg out.

Q: In that situation… Are you… When you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?

Carhart: Yes.

Q: Do you consider an arm, for example, to be substantial portion of the fetus?

Carhart: In the way I read it, I think if I lost my arm, that would be a substantial loss to me. I think I would have to interpret it that way.

Q: And then what happens if you remove the arm? You then try to remove the rest of the fetus?

Carhart: Then I would go back and attempt to either bring the feet down or bring the skull down, or even sometimes you bring the other arm down and remove that also and then get the feet down.

Q: At what point is the fetus… Does the fetus die during that process?

Carhart: I don’t really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see the fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.

The Court: counsel, for what it’s worth, it still is unclear to me with regard to the intact D&E when fetal demise occurs.

Q: Okay, I will try to clarify that. In the procedure of an intact D&E where you would start foot first, with the situation where the fetus is presented feet first, tell me how you’re able to get the feet out first

Carhart: Under ultrasound, you can see the extremities. You know what is what. You know what the foot is, you know what the arm is, you know what the skull is. By grabbing the feet and pulling down on it, or by grabbing a knee and pulling down on it, usually you can get one leg out, get the other leg out, and bring the fetus out. I don’t know where this… All the controversy about rotating the fetus comes from. I don’t attempt to do that – just attempt to bring out whatever is the proximal portion of the fetus.

Q: At the time you bring out the feet, in this example, is the fetus still alive?

Carhart: Yes.

Q: Then what’s the next step you do?

Carhart: I didn’t mention it. I should. I usually attempt to grasp the cord first and divide the cord, if I can do that.

Q: What is the cord?

Carhart: The cord is the structure that transports the blood, both arterial and venous, from the fetus to the back of the fetus, and it gives the fetus its only source of oxygen, so that if you can divide the cord, the fetus will eventually die, but whether this takes 5 min. or 15 min. and when that occurs, I don’t think anyone really knows.

Q: Are there situations where you don’t divide the cord?

Carhart: There situations when I can’t.

Q: What are those?

Carhart: I just can’t get to the cord. It’s either high above the fetus and structures where you can’t reach up that far. The instruments are only 11 inches long

Q: Let’s take the situation where you haven’t divided the cord because you couldn’t, and you have begun to remove a living fetus feetfirst. What happens next after you have gotten the feet removed?

Carhart: We remove the feet and continue with traction on the feet until the abdomen and the thorax come through the cavity. At that point, I would try… You have to bring the shoulders down, but you can get enough of them outside, you can do this with your finger outside the uterus, and then at that point the fetal… The base of the fetal skull is usually in the cervical canal.

Q: What do you do next?

Carhart: And you can reach that, and that’s where you would rupture the fetal skull to some extent and aspirate the contents out.

Q: At what point in that process does fetal demise occur between initial remove… Removal of the feet or legs and the crushing of the skull or – I’m sorry – the decompressing of the skull?

Carhart: Well, you know, again, this is where I’m not sure what fetal demise is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes; so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don’t think it has any brain function, so it’s brain-dead at that point.

Q: So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out of the cranium?

Carhart: I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only two or 3 seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and they don’t die immediately from that, if they’re going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.”

Print All Articles
View specific date