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Court orders France’s Terri Schiavo to be starved to death over ‘about five days’

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Vincent Lambert, known as France’s Terri Schiavo, has received his fourth death sentence after the administrative court of Châlons-en-Champagne validated a doctor’s decision to pull his feeding tube and administer deep sedation until he dies – a “process” that would take “about five days,” according to Dr. Pierre Sanchez.

The lengthy judiciary medical procedure surrounding Lambert, 42, who has been in a minimally conscious state for the last 10 years, has not reached its term yet. His parents, Pierre and Viviane Lambert, will appeal the decision before France's highest administrative court, the Council of State. They are determined to continue their fight against the “slow euthanasia” the medical and administrative authorities are trying to impose on their deeply handicapped son, their counsel, Jérôme Triomphe, told LifeSiteNews.

Viviane Lambert told LifeSite she is sure her son is cognizant of her, and described the way he reacts when she asks.

The latest judiciary decision was handed down last week after an investigation by medical experts named by the tribunal, two brain surgeons and one otolaryngologist, none of whom are familiar with the needs and medical profile of vegetative and minimally conscious patients. Their report was bleak –  they refused to take into account the fact that videos show Vincent Lambert being successfully given small quantities of food through the mouth – but they did conclude that feeding the handicapped man directly to the stomach does not constitute “unreasonable obstinacy” in keeping him alive.

Lambert is not in pain, the experts concluded. There is no trace of habitual and untreatable suffering, and there is no comorbidity requiring any kind of treatment.

“Unreasonable obstinacy,” under the new end-of-life law “Leonetti-Claeys” that came into force in 2016, is a situation where a doctor, having gone through a “collegial procedure” to monitor a patient’s situation and to consult his colleagues as well as close relatives of the person incapable of expressing his own will, is personally obliged to end all treatments that do not simply aim at obtaining that patient's comfort, and to install deep and continuous sedation until death ensues. “Artificial” food and hydration are explicitly defined as a medical treatment under this law, even when, as in Lambert’s case, ordinary food is directly administered through a gastrostomy.

The issue would be morally different if feeding the patient did not fulfill the purpose of sustaining life or caused unbearable suffering.

Despite the experts’ consideration excluding “unreasonable obstinacy” — and also despite the fact that a patient is in an “irreversible state of unconsciousness” cannot of itself justify invoking “unreasonable obstinacy” — the tribunal of Châlons-en-Champagne decided that the doctor can make an end-of-life decision for a person is not capable of making his own will known, taking into account “medical and nonmedical elements.” The doctor should also seek what the patient would have wanted, following the “guiding principle” of “the greatest possible benevolence.”

“Benevolence,” in this case, is clearly equated with the decision to make a patient die – and not to “let” him die, as the pro-euthanasia lobby would have it – by actively removing food and hydration in order to make him die of thirst.

The judges decided that Dr. Sanchez handled correctly in taking into account Lambert’s wife Rachel’s allegations according to which he had, as a professional nurse before his accident, said several times that he did not want to be kept alive artificially were he to find himself to be heavily dependent, even though these allegations fluctuated throughout the procedure.

Some of Lambert’s numerous brothers and sisters also stated over the years that such declarations would be in keeping with his personality.

The judges rejected the argument of Lambert’s personal Catholic faith, even though he was married in church, asked for a special blessing for his unborn daughter, and had her baptized when she was one month old.

They also brushed away the fact that the first time Lambert’s feeding tube was pulled in 2013 without his parents being informed, based on the allegation that he no longer wished to live, he survived for 31 days on 20 centiliters of water a day.

Viviane Lambert’s witness, borne out by several videos — that her son occasionally vocalizes and is capable of swallowing, moving a leg or an eyelid when asked to, and following her with his eyes — was rejected on the ground that they are mere “reflexes.”

The judges also repeated that Lambert’s state had not progressed for several years.

Determining whether Lambert is in a permanent vegetative state or minimally conscience is of no importance, they added, and all of this is sufficient to justify Dr. Sanchez’ decision to stop feeding him and applying profound sedation until he dies.

Over the years, the Lambert case has become an emblematic affair. The ideologically-dictated will to make him a symbol of the right of patients to die according to their previously expressed end-of-life decisions – even when these decisions are particularly difficult to establish as in his case – has led to particularly cruel situations for him and for the part of his family that is fighting for his life.

The first time his feeding tube was pulled, it took a last-minute administrative court decision to stop the process. At the time, the doctor who made the decision, geriatrist Eric Kariger – he has since moved to another hospital – furiously proclaimed that he would start again, this time in full respect of the law as it then stood.

Lambert was at the time in the geriatric and palliative care section of the Reims university hospital – and he is still there. Requests by his family to have him moved to a specialized unit capable of treating minimally conscious patients have been consistently refused.

Kariger reopened the end-of-life procedure in 2013. Immediately, specialists intervened at the request of Pierre and Viviane Lambert and two of their children, offering to take Vincent in their specialized units and complaining that the decision to make him die had been made “long ago,” all elements in favor of his life having been neglected.

Once again, the administrative tribunal of Châlons-en-Champagne decided to annul Kariger’s decision in January 2014, judging that treatments given to Vincent were not out of proportion and that his desire not to live had been incorrectly alleged.

At this point, Lambert’s hospital room was put under video surveillance and he was locked in.  Visitors were required to leave their identity card at the nurse’s office. Over the years, these measures would become even more stringent, with a limited list of visitors established by Lambert’s wife Rachel – who since 2013 has moved to Belgium, several hundred miles away.

Visiting hours have been restricted to times when Vincent is less often awake, avowedly to prevent renewed attempts to feed him through the mouth.

Recently, Pierre Lambert, 88, a retired medical doctor who visits his son often, was prevented from entering Vincent’s room because he had forgotten his ID card.

After appeals and a passage before the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of Lambert’s death, saying that questions regarding “unreasonable obstinacy” are of the competence of the member states. However, five judges published strongly-worded dissenting opinions against what they called “a retrograde step in the degree of protection which the Convention and the Court have hitherto afforded to vulnerable people,” because Lambert’s own will could not be certainly known.

But Dr. Kariger at that point left the Reims university hospital. End-of-life decisions imply personal responsibility of the doctor taking them, so the whole procedure was started over.  His replacement, Dr. Daniela Simon, decided to reopen a “collegial procedure” in July 2015. Its conclusions were forgone: she had previously assisted Rachel Lambert, who is in favor of her husband’s death, at the European Court of Human Rights.

In the face of the Lambert counsel’s numerous legal actions against the decision, she finally decided to “suspend” the procedure on July 23, 2015.

In December of that year, Vincent’s half-nephew, who has openly spoken at venues of pro-euthanasia groups, asked for a reopening of the procedure: the Council of State was to accede to his request in July 2017, stating that Lambert’s current doctor should reopen the procedure suspended by Dr. Simon, who had left her post in Reims several months previously.

In the meantime, Rachel Lambert had been named Vincent’s legal guardian, against the will of his parents and the recommendation of the public prosecutor. In her role of guardian, she is supposed to protect Lambert’s physical integrity. She has also consistently refused Vincent to be moved out of the Reims hospital where he receives no specific care or physiotherapy for his condition.

Simon’s replacement, Dr. Sanchez, who is not directly in charge of Lambert, reopened the “collegial procedure.” By then, the new end-of-life law of 2016 had facilitated end-of-life decisions, making them compulsory when “unreasonable obstinacy” is identified.

At one of the meetings where a specialist of minimally conscious persons was present, as well as 22 medical colleagues of Dr. Sanchez, only one participant — a psychologist — was in favor of pulling Vincent’s feeding tube.

Even the doctor at the beginning of the ordeal, Dr. Ana Oportus, who at the present time is Lambert’s attending physician, declared that she is now in favor of continuing treatment.

A number of eminent and often pioneering specialists intervened both in the procedure and in the media to underscore the fact that Lambert is in a minimally conscious state, that videos confirm he is capable of receiving food through the mouth, and that the treatment he is receiving at present in a palliative care unit is inadequate.

These statements were brushed aside by the latest judiciary act in the new case opened against Dr. Sanchez’ decision: the judges simply remarked that a medical secretary and a nurse’s aide were among the signatories.

Beyond the many irregularities and the courts’ remarkable obstinacy in favor of Lambert’s “end-of-life,” there are human beings, loved ones who have been fighting for more than five years for the life of a man who is not tired of living – as specialists have remarked. When people in his condition give up on life, they usually do not survive for long.

Viviane Lambert told LifeSite that she feels “empty and tired out,” even though she had not been very hopeful that the Châlons-en-Champagne court would rule in favor of her son’s life. “But he is resisting, so we shall also resist,” she said.

Did she tell Vincent of the court’s decision, LifeSite asked her. “Yes, I said I had bad news. Vincent has his moments; there are times when he does not react. But that day, the 31st of January, was extraordinary. It was truly a consolation for me. I told him to turn his head towards me – it is more and more difficult for him, because he receives no physical therapy – and he did. Vincent is not a vegetable!” said Viviane Lambert.

She also told LifeSite that she is “sure” that her son is conscious of her presence. “He reacts, he is present, an exchange does take place, I know he feels I, his mother, am there, it’s all in the eyes. And it’s what helps me carry on.”

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Indiana appeals ultrasound abortion law to Supreme Court

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By Calvin Freiburger

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Indiana is asking the United States Supreme Court to hear its case for the constitutionality of an embattled 2016 law requiring Indiana abortionists to give women ultrasounds of their unborn babies at least 18 hours before having an abortion.

Originally signed into law by former governor and current Vice President Mike Pence, House Enrolled Act 1337 requires abortionists to offer women the opportunity to see images of their preborn babies, but does not force women to view them.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt originally blocked the law’s enforcement last year, and the 7th Circuit upheld that decision in July. Back in April, the 7th Circuit also upheld Pratt’s rejection of the law’s provisions requiring burial or cremation for aborted babies and forbidding abortions that specifically targeted genetic abnormalities.

In her majority opinion, Judge Ilana Rovner claimed the law constituted a “large barrier” to obtaining an abortion rather than merely persuasion. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. now wants the Supreme Court to weigh in on that judgment, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

“The Seventh Circuit’s decision in this case illustrates why the balancing test of Hellerstedt does not make sense in the context of statutes designed to protect fetal life,” Hill’s petition argues. “The court held that the Ultrasound Law violates the Constitution because the significant burdens imposed on women’s access to abortion...outweigh the ‘very small impact of the law on persuading women to choose life.”

“[T]he panel’s conclusion necessarily raises the question: what number of fetal lives must be saved before the benefit of the statute outweighs its burdens?” he asked. “Surely fifty percent would be sufficient, but what about twenty-five percent or even ten? Or what if, despite all Indiana’s efforts, only one woman is persuaded by the ultrasound to carry her pregnancy to term? What dollar amount in burdens is her unborn child’s life worth?

“Surely the Constitution does not require this type of utilitarian calculus,” Hill argued.

Informed consent is extensively regulated without objection in most areas of medicine, and the American Medical Association calls informed consent “fundamental in both ethics and law.” Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which otherwise upheld legal abortion, that states can require abortion seekers to wait 24 hours.

The Times notes that it may be several months before the Supreme Court announces whether it will take the case; in the meantime, the justices may announce this month whether they will hear another lawsuit over the law’s provision banning abortions sought specifically due to a baby’s race, sex, or disabilities.

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Mississippi introduces bill banning abortions on babies with beating hearts

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By Claire Chretien
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MISSISSIPPI, February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Mississippi is the latest state to introduce a bill banning abortions on babies with beating hearts.

Senate Bill 2116 would prohibit aborting “the unborn human individual that (a) pregnant woman is carrying” if he or she “has a detectable fetal heartbeat,” except in cases of “medical emergency.”

The legislation is sponsored by Sens. Angela Hill, R-Picayune, and Chris Caughman, R-Mendenhall. The House version is Bill 732.

“The pro-life community has waited years for the courts to recognize the obvious ... that a baby with a beating heart is deserving of its life being legally protected,” Sen. Hill told LifeSiteNews. “I remember how thrilled I was to first hear the heartbeats of my own children. I knew that they were unique individuals growing inside my body. I was just their shelter and their food for (nine) months.”

“Let's just say she's a girl. The baby girl with a beating heart is a unique individual with her own DNA not the same as the mother,” continued Hill. “She's a separate little person growing that should have the chance to grow up and experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The womb should be the safest place on earth for unborn children with a beating heart.”

Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves have made statements suggesting they support the heartbeat bill.

Responding to news about Virginia Del. Kathy Tran’s now-failed bill that would have allowed abortion even as a woman was going into labor, Bryant tweeted, “It’s time to pass a Heart Beat Bill in Mississippi and stop this madness about when life begins.”

“I thank Senators Hill and Caughman for introducing legislation to stop the barbaric practice of ending life in the womb even though a heartbeat is plainly detected,” said Reeves. “I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child.”

Protecting tiny humans with beating hearts is widely supported across the country, Sen. Hill pointed out to LifeSiteNews. She cited a 2017 Barna poll that found 70 percent of Americans, “including a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, support legal protections on a baby's life when her heartbeat is detected.”

She also said she wanted the country to be encouraged that despite the push for abortion through and even after birth in other states, “there is some sanity here in (Mississippi) on this issue.”

Hill criticized “New York’s liberal leadership’s sickening celebration of legalized infanticide ... on the delivery table.” With Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam “coldly describing in horrifying detail that the living baby would be kept comfortable until its fate was decided on the delivery table, we must speak up.”

Congressional failures to defund Planned Parenthood or pass major pro-life legislation during the first part of President Trump’s term when the U.S. House and U.S. Senate were controlled by Republicans have been met with a stream of bold state legislation, including numerous heartbeat bills.

“The pro-life movement has taken a patient woman-centric, baby-centric approach to policy reform, supporting incremental changes like parental consent and commonsense medical standards for abortion clinics – the same standards that would apply for any other similar procedure,” Dr. Jameson Taylor, vice president for policy at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, told LifeSiteNews.

Taylor noted that last year the Mississippi “legislature voted for a law that says abortion should only be available during the first three months of pregnancy. This is the international scientific and medical consensus – that abortion should be limited after the first trimester.”

Fetal heartbeats can usually be detected around six weeks into pregnancy. New parents typically hear their babies’ heartbeats at doctor visits around this time.

“In response to this incremental approach, the radical abortion movement is now openly supporting infanticide, as in the case of a barbaric law passed in New York state. Mississippi lawmakers could not stand by without doing something,” he continued. “None of us can stand by now that we know that the real goal of the abortion movement is to allow for the murder of a fully developed baby, just seconds before she is born. That is why I believe the time has come for the heartbeat bill. We can no longer pretend that a baby in the womb with a beating heart isn’t a person deserving of legal protection.”

Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates sent out a panicked email Wednesday saying, “In the final hours before the committee deadline, the Mississippi House and Senate Health committees met and passed dueling abortion bans, SB 2116 and HB 732 … In an election year and with a new Supreme Court makeup, Mississippi legislative leadership was not to be deterred.”

SB 2116 must still clear the Senate floor and move to the state House.

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Pro-abortion Meghan Markle smiles as baby kicks in her belly

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By Martin Barillas

BRISTOL, England, February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A viral video clip shows pregnant and pro-abortion Meghan Markle smiling and closing her eyes while her midsection reacts to an apparent kick from her baby.  

Heartwarming video footage of a visit that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made to the Old Vic Theatre in Bristol last week appears to show Markle feeling the marvel of her baby’s movements. While the 37-year-old former actress had been listening closely to actors at the theater, she then becomes distracted and looked at her baby bump before smiling broadly and holding on.

The Duke of Sussex, aka Prince Harry, is the third grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. He married the former Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018.  

Now in the third trimester of pregnancy, Prince Harry, 34, and Duchess Meghan expect the arrival of their first-born in April. They disclosed in mid-October 2018 that she was in the 12th week of pregnancy. When a spokesman for the royal family announced the good news last year, he said Duchess Meghan was “expecting a baby,” not a fetus.

After leaving the Old Vic, the two royals paid a visit to One25 — a charity serving prostitutes in Bristol, and toured the city’s cultural history on a snowy Feb. 1. While visiting the charity, Meghan wrote messages on bananas in lunches to be distributed to female prostitutes throughout the West Country city. Having declared herself “in charge of banana messaging,” the duchess wrote personalized messages: “You are special” and “You are brave” on the fruit included in the lunch packages she prepared.

Despite being on the brink of welcoming her child this spring, Duchess Meghan was glad that Ireland approved elective abortion in 2018. She said she was pleased with the result of the May 25 referendum that repealed Ireland’s former protection for the unborn.

Under the UK Abortion Act 1967, which applies to England and Wales, Duchess Meghan could have arranged the killing of her baby until 24 weeks in the womb if two doctors agree that allowing the child to live would injure the mother’s physical or mental health. Late-term abortions are permitted in the UK for babies if they exhibit, for example, Down syndrome.

The American-actress-turned-Duchess is an outspoken feminist and supporter of LGBTQ issues. Before her wedding in May 2018, she also declared herself opposed to Brexit — the public referendum in favor of British sovereignty that will bring about the country’s break with the European Union.

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Debate judge disqualifies high school students for citing ‘racist’ Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro

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By Martin Barillas

LAYTON, Utah, February 6, 2019. (LifeSiteNews) — Two Utah high school seniors lost a round in a debate when they argued against racism and classism by citing the works of two “racist” pundits, psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative writer Ben Shapiro.

A debate judge deemed the writings of “white supremacists” Peterson and Shapiro as inadmissible in the Jan. 5 verbal contest held at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Layton High School senior Michael Moreno’s cellphone video begins as he and an unnamed male partner debate immigration policy with two Hispanic girls from Juan Diego Catholic High School near Salt Lake City. The girls recited a slam poem instead of offering an argument. They said the boys’ “privilege” and “caucasity” should preclude them from the debate.

Moreno referred to Peterson and Shapiro when he argued in the video that the girls were using “class guilt” to stifle his speech. “We are held responsible for our ancestors, which has no linkage to us,” Moreno said. “They just assume that we have privilege because other white people do.”

In response, one of the girls asked, “Can you give me an equivalent of the KKK but for white people?” Moreno answered, “We think racism is bad.”

According to the Daily Wire, Moreno said his opponents quoted experts who criticize assimilation into American culture and the notion that immigrants should behave like Americans in order to live “the good life.” Referring to immigration as “legal” or “illegal” is inherently dehumanizing, the girls said. They said, “Promises of citizenship and the ‘good life’ force non-normative subjects into a slow death, working towards the unbelievable goal of the American dream."

Moreno said in his video that he and his unnamed partner could not propose a negative argument because their opponents did not articulate a positive position in their “slam poem.” Because the debate allowed the affirmative side to propose a plan that could then be assailed by the negative side, Moreno said it was unfair that the opponents did not propose solutions to reduce restrictions on legal immigration.

Before Moreno’s video begins, he speed-read quotes from Peterson and Shapiro on identity politics. He cited Shapiro’s comments at the University of Connecticut in 2018, where Shapiro said: ‘Evil things are still evil even if I’m a white well-off religious man and good things are still good even if I’m a white well-off religious man.” Moreno also quoted Peterson, saying: “It goes along with this idea of class guilt. Because your group membership is the most important thing, if your group at some point in the past did something reprehensible – which of course every group has done – then you’re de facto responsible for that.” The girls claimed that Moreno and his partner had no standing because both are “white males.”

The judge said the evidence offered by Moreno and his partner and “saying things like ‘your identity doesn’t matter'” were actually racist. Intervening in the debate, the judge said, “I specifically told you guys, ‘Don’t read racist s–.’ … This argument is inherently just like saying, ‘Identity politics doesn’t matter and is bad.’ How is that OK?” Soon, the judge ends the debate, claiming that the girls were being subjected to “actual psychological violence” and that their safety was at risk. The judge said finally: “Why do you think that being endorsed by white supremacists like Ben Shapiro or Jordan Peterson is good?”

In the aftermath, one of the debate directors admitted that the judge had overstepped his bounds. On video, the director is heard to say: “I think you are totally right that (the judge) overstepped a little bit by stopping the debate and deciding, but I also think it’s incredibly obvious that – regardless of how many ways you try to couch this argument in front of that judge – the bar for the other team to respond to it was going to be so low that the argumentative content that you chose, the strategy that you chose, for that judge and for his stated philosophy, was a poor choice on your part.”

Neither Shapiro nor Peterson have publicly endorsed racism or class-driven ideologies. Shapiro has encountered raucous students on campuses where he has sometime been disinvited from speech engagements. Grand Canyon University -- a private Christian institution in Phoenix -- recently reversed course and invited Shapiro to speak after cancelling his appearance for the sake of “unity.” Gonzaga University -- a Catholic Jesuit institution in Seattle -- also reconsidered and eventually will host him on campus in the spring.

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Rhode Island Democrat withdraws from extreme abortion bill, claims he didn’t read it first

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By Calvin Freiburger

PROVIDENCE, February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Democrat member of the Rhode Island legislature has withdrawn his cosponsorship of a proposed bill to leave abortion effectively unregulated in the state, claiming he failed to examine what the law would actually do before putting his name to it.

House Bill 5127, the so-called Rhode Island Reproductive Health Care Act, is billed by its supporters as a simple legislative codification of Roe v. Wade to preserve the state’s status quo if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling in the near future. But pro-lifers warn that its provisions would go much further.

It would eliminate any restrictions on abortion methods and late-term abortions, require the state to fund abortions for women eligible for Medicaid or covered by the “payer of last Resort” program, and repeal the state’s recognition of viable preborn children as potential assault or homicide victims, according to Rhode Island Right to Life’s legal analysis.

Nevertheless, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat who identifies as Catholic, vocally supports it as a way to “codify women's access to reproductive health care here in Rhode Island.”

Since then, freshman Democrat Rep. Jose Serodio has filed the paperwork to withdraw as one of the bill’s 39 House cosponsors, the Providence Journal reports. He explained to the paper that “someone asked me to sign something,” and as a new lawmaker he wanted to be “polite.”

“I didn’t know exactly what I was signing,” Serodio continued, claiming he realized what he had done during a conversation with his former primary opponent David V. O’Connell. “I thought you were pro-life,” O’Connell pressed him.

“When I realized my mistake, I went back and withdrew my signature,” Serodio said, adding the snafu taught him a valuable lesson: “read.”

The Rhode Island State Right To Life Committee touted the cosponsor’s withdrawal in a recent legislative alert, and said it is “presently attempting to quietly peel off a few more.” It also plans to mobilize opposition to the bill via print, radio, and social media advertising.

One pro-life Rhode Island lawmaker recently was the target of the following written testimony from failed 2018 Senate candidate Melanie DuPont, “who identifies herself as the secretary of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus,” according to the Providence Journal:

“A vital part of the Mission of the Women’s Caucus, is to ensure gender equality in our laws. ... Therefore I contend that, any time my State Representative, Gregory J. Costantino, tries to abridge my rights as a woman, and endanger my life, I, Melanie DuPont, should return the favor, and try to abridge his rights as a man, and endanger his life.”

Police are investigating; DuPont says it was meant as satire.

Rep. Serodio’s withdrawing of his support of Rhode Island’s abortion-without-limits bill is reminiscent of an apology Virginia Del. Dawn Adams made for supporting her state’s much-publicized, now-failed infanticide bill.

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21 states ask Supreme Court to review, uphold dismemberment abortion ban

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February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-one states have signed onto an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to review a lower court decision invalidating Alabama’s ban on the dismemberment abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester.

In 2016, Alabama enacted a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also called dismemberment abortions because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb (as acknowledged by the National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials, despite abortion defenders’ complaints about the label).

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson blocked it the next year, and last August a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his decision, concluding that while the state “has an actual and substantial interest in lessening, as much as it can, the gruesomeness and brutality of dismemberment abortions,” current controlling precedent ultimately means that states “cannot forbid this method of abortion entirely.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a petition appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court in December, calling it an “important question of national significance.” On Monday, 21 states lent their support to Alabama’s efforts, Jurist reports.

“By any normal standard of morality and basic decency — considering the gruesomeness of the dismemberment procedure — Alabama’s regulation is relatively modest. Many States, after all, would prefer to prohibit dismemberment altogether,” the brief argues. “It is also undeniably unfortunate for a State to have to defend unborn life by replacing horrific fetal deaths with more merciful ones. But States that do not sanction abortion as a rule nonetheless regard efforts to make abortion procedures marginally more humane as an important second-best means to assert their interest in respecting life.”

“By limiting use of particularly ‘brutal’ abortion procedures, id. at 160, States further respect for life, both in society at large and in the medical profession in particular,” it argues, citing the Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart ruling that upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban. “They also protect women from the deep grief many of them are likely to feel if and when they later discover exactly how their unborn children were killed, id. at  159, while encouraging the medical profession to ‘find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus.’”

The signatories to the brief are Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the Attorneys General of Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Dismemberment abortion’s defenders argue it is the “safest” procedure for killing preborn babies during the second trimester of pregnancy, and banning it only drives women to riskier methods. Pro-lifers suggest that abortionists prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule (thereby making more money), and because they make it easier to obtain fetal organs to sell.

The Supreme Court is already considering whether to uphold Louisiana’s requirement that abortion facilities have hospital admitting privileges, and whether to hear an appeal for Indiana’s ban on abortions sought on the basis of a baby’s race, sex, or disability.

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Sen. Cruz: Democrats’ silence ‘repulsive’ as Trump calls for banning late-term abortion

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Congressional Democrats gave President Donald Trump a cold shoulder during much of his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, including during his call for Congress to pass a ban on late-term abortions.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said after referencing New York’s new law allowing abortion effectively until birth and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s comments endorsing infanticide. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn— are made in the holy image of God.”

The passage was met with ringing applause from Republicans in attendance, but Democrats remained seated and silent, with the applauding Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia a rare exception. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer could be seen smirking during that time, as well.

Numerous Democrat women wore white to the address, as well, which Fortune reported was meant to highlight the number of women in elected office.

“It is repulsive where the Democrats have gone. Northam was talking not even about late-term abortion; he was talking about aborting an infant after it's born,” Sen. Tex Cruz of Texas said of Democrats’ reaction on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday evening. “That is staggering. You know it was sad when the president talked about about ending late-term abortions, it wasn't that long ago Bill Clinton stood up and said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Now he didn't mean it, but that's what he said.

“Tonight virtually every Democrat in the chamber stood stone-faced in support of late term abortion,” Cruz continued, lamenting there were only “one or two Democrats in the entire Congress who decided late-term abortion was too much for them.”

"If we're having that conversation today, and we're not just outright saying, 'This is ridiculous,' there's truly something wrong with our moral compass," the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning. "And when I watch those Democrats standing there saying that, 'Oh, it's terrible that you can't let someone kill a baby that is in the process of being born, in labor or shortly thereafter, something's very wrong."

With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, few if any expect a ban on late-term abortions, or any other pro-life legislation, to reach Trump’s desk in the next two years. On Monday, Democrat Sen. Patty Murray blocked unanimous consent on a bill that would mandate medical care for babies born alive after failed abortions, arguing infanticide was already illegal and vaguely claiming its true purpose was somehow different than advertised.

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Dr. Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif and Pope Francis visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque on February 4, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Francois Nel/Getty Images
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Pope seems to ‘overturn’ Gospel in statement with Grand Imam: Church historian

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis’s statement in Abu Dhabi on religious pluralism being “willed by God” — and his call to Christians and Muslims to enter the “ark of fraternity” — seem not only to “overturn the doctrine of the Gospel” but also to align with the ideas of Freemasonry, a respected Italian historian has said.

In comments to LifeSite (see full text below), Professor Roberto de Mattei, Founder and President of the Rome-based Lepanto Foundation, also said the Pope’s recent statements appear to be in discontinuity with the Fourth Lateran Council and with magisterial teaching from Pope Gregory XVI to Pope Pius XI.

The Pope came under fire on Monday for signing the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” with Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque, during an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi. 

The Feb. 4 joint statement incited controversy among Christians for asserting that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings” — a claim many believe to be contrary to the Catholic faith.

Earlier the same day, the Pope also made what some regard as equally problematic remarks to the Muslim Council of Elders, but the statements garnered less attention.

Commenting on the Genesis flood narrative and Noah’s Ark, the Pope told Muslim leaders:

“According to the biblical account, in order to preserve humanity from destruction, God asked Noah to enter the ark along with his family. We too in the name of God, in order to safeguard peace, need to enter together as one family into an ark which can sail the stormy seas of the world: the ark of fraternity.”  

“Fraternity” has in fact become the new buzzword for the current pontificate. 

In his Urbi et Orbi address on Christmas Day, Pope Francis said his wish for a happy Christmas was a “wish for fraternity.” Freemasons in Europe praised the Pope’s message, saying it demonstrates “the Church’s current departure” from its condemnation of Freemasonry.

The new year then opened with the editor-in-chief of the Osservatore Romano, Andrea Monda, announcing that “fraternity” is the “word of hope” for 2019.

“Fraternity” and “humanism” has also featured prominently in recent Vatican statements, most notably in the Pope’s letter to the Pontifical Academy for Life.  

In light of recent events, LifeSite asked Prof. de Mattei for his thoughts on the Pope’s statements in Abu Dhabi, the current pontificate’s emphasis on “fraternity,” and this term’s meaning within Freemasonry. 

According to de Mattei, when “fraternity” is divorced from Christian charity, “far from constituting an element of cohesion in society,” it “becomes the source of its disintegration.” He argues that “if men, in the name of fraternity, are forced to live together without an end that gives meaning to their sense of belonging, the ‘ark’ becomes a prison.” 

The Catholic historian also reminds readers that “Freemasonry continues to be condemned by the Church, even if the men of the Church, at the highest levels, seem to embrace its ideas.”

Here below is the full text of Professor Roberto de Mattei’s comments to LifeSite.

***

The “Ark of Fraternity” and Christian Charity

Roberto de Mattei

The logo for Pope Francis’s journey to the United Arab Emirates depicts a dove with an olive branch. During an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Pope explained that the image “recalls the story – present in different religious traditions – of the primordial flood. The Pope told Muslim leaders: “According to the biblical account, in order to preserve humanity from destruction, God asked Noah to enter the ark along with his family. Today, we too in the name of God, in order to safeguard peace, need to enter together as one family into an ark which can sail the stormy seas of the world: the ark of fraternity.”   

According to this reading, Noah’s Ark is an ark of fraternity in which men of different religions live together, because God himself has willed religious pluralism. In fact, in the Document on Human Fraternity which the Pope signed with Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque, he said: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”

This reading seems to overturn the doctrine of the Gospel. In fact, the Ark which Noah by divine command built before the Flood, as a refuge for himself, his family and all animal species (Gen. 6:13-22), is presented by St. Paul as a refuge of salvation for believers and a sign of perdition for the world (Heb. 11:7). Catholic Tradition has therefore always seen in Noah’s Ark the symbol of the Church, outside of which there is no salvation (cf. S. Ambrose, De Noe et Arca, 6. 9, in Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 14, coll. 368-374, and Hugo von Hurter, De arca Noe Ecclesiae typo Patrum sententiae, dans Sanctorum Patrum opuscula selecta, III, Innsbruck 1868, pp. 217-233).

This is why the Church has the mission of preserving and spreading the Catholic Faith. Our Lord said to the Apostles: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16). And the Apostle to the Gentiles stresses: “There is one Lord, one faith, one Baptism” (Eph. 4:5).

It is a dogma of faith proclaimed by the Fourth Lateran Council, under Innocent III, that “there is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which absolutely no one can be saved.”The principle “nulla salus extra Ecclesiam” does not exclude from salvation those who are outside the Church as a result of invincible error, but they are ordered to her at least through an implicit desire. However, they lack the assurance of salvation and the ordinary means to attain it. This truth of faith was confirmed by Gregory XVI (Mirari Vos of August 15, 1832); Pius IX (Singulari quidem, of March 17, 1856 to the bishops of Austria); and Leo XIII (Satis cognitum of June 29, 1896), among others. Pius XI, in his encyclical Mortalium animos of  January 6, 1928, explains, in turn that, in the field of faith, fraternal unity cannot be achieved in the same way as in the political sphere. To subordinate the truth of faith to fraternity means to profess religious indifferentism, which has constantly been condemned by the universal Magisterium of the Church.

“Fraternity,” together with Liberty and Equality, is instead one of the founding principles of the French Revolution. The revolutionary trinomial boils down to a system of relations in which there is no transcendent principle to refer to, and the three supreme values, each considered as an absolute, necessarily come into conflict with the other. In the absence of a higher end, fraternity — far from constituting an element of cohesion in society — becomes the source of its disintegration. If men in fact, in the name of fraternity, are forced to live together without an end that gives meaning to their sense of belonging, the “Ark” becomes a prison, and fraternity — imposed in words — is destined to capsize in a centrifugal thrust towards fragmentation and chaos. 

The simple affirmation of fraternal coexistence is not able to justify sacrifice, which is the highest expression of love for one’s neighbor; and this is because sacrifice implies renunciation of a real good for the sake of higher goods; but fraternity does not propose any higher good that is worthy of sacrifice, beyond coexistence, which is not a value but is only a meaningless fact. The myth of fraternity actually conceals the deepest social egoism and represents the antithesis of Christian charity, which is the only true foundation of social relations between men.

Fraternity is also a dogma of Freemasonry, which in its ideology and rituals offers a parody of Christian doctrine and liturgy. It is no coincidence that the Grand Lodge of Spain, with this tweet, thanked Pope Francis for his Message of December 25, 2018, “Todos los masones del mundo se unen a la petición del Papa por ‘la fraternidad entre personas de diversas religions’ [“All the Freemasons of the world join the Pope’s request for ‘fraternity between people of different religions.’”] 

“In his Christmas message from the central loggia of the Vatican,” the Spanish Freemasons continued:

“Pope Francis asked for the triumph of universal fraternity among all human beings. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture. Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting each other and listening to one another. Fraternity among persons of different religions. (...) The words of the Pope demonstrate the Church’s current departure from the content of Humanum genus (1884), the last great Catholic condemnation of Freemasonry.”

In reality Freemasonry continues to be condemned by the Church, even if the men of the Church, at the highest levels, seem to embrace its ideas. But the teaching of the divine Master continues to resound in faithful hearts: there love for one’s neighbor can only be based on love for God. And without reference to the true God, who can only be loved within the Church’s Ark of Salvation, fraternity is only an empty word that conceals hatred of God and neighbor.

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2020 Dem candidate Cory Booker asks Trump nominee: Do you think gay relationships are a ‘sin’?

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By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, asked judicial nominee Neomi Rao whether she thinks homosexual relationships are a “sin.”

Rao, who has been nominated to replace now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, faced tough questioning from members of both parties on the Senate Judiciary Committee about her past writings on date rape and regulatory issues. However, Booker focused on Rao’s personal opinions on sexuality and same-sex “marriage.”

When Booker asked whether she had ever had an “LGBTQ law clerk,” Rao replied that she has never been a judge and is unaware of the sexual preferences of her employees.

Rao, 45, also told Booker that she would “faithfully follow precedent” and put “personal views” about homosexuality “to one side” if confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Despite a Constitutional prohibition against subjecting office candidates to religious tests, Booker asked Rao, “Are gay relationships, in your opinion, immoral?”

“I'm not sure the relevance of that,” she answered.

The 2020 hopeful went on to equate same-sex relationships with “African-American relationships.”

Pressing the nominee, Booker said, “I think it is relevant to your opinion. Do you think African-American relationships are immoral? Do you think gay relationships are immoral?”

Rao responded, “No. I do not.”

Below is a partial transcript:

Booker: Do you believe they are a sin?

Rao: Senator, my personal views on any of these subjects are things I would put to one side, and I would faithfully follow precedent–

Booker: So you're not willing to say here whether you believe it is sinful for two men to be married – you're not willing to comment on that?

Rao: I'm sorry.

Booker: What, I didn't hear your response.

Rao: My response is that these personal views are ones that I would put to one side. Whatever my personal views are on the subject, I would faithfully follow the precedent of the Supreme Court.

Ted Cruz: ‘I don’t believe this is a theological court of inquisition’

Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, blasted Booker for his questions, saying that a confirmation hearing should not be “an avenue for persecution.” Troubled by Booker’s line of questioning, Cruz said, “We've seen a growing pattern among Senate Democrats of hostility to religious faith.”

Cruz reminded his fellow senators that the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office and slammed Democrats for attacking “what they have characterized as ‘religious dogma,’” a reference to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s now-infamous 2017 jab at Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing.

“I don't believe this is a theological court of inquisition,” said Cruz. “I think the proper avenue of investigation is a nominee's record.”

Addressing Rao, Cruz said, “So let's look at your record, which is what this committee should be looking at, not our own personal religious views, or your religious views, whatever they may be.”

The third clause of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Also this week, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky sent a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Feinstein, ranking member, calling for an end to questioning judicial nominees about their religious faith. He said that such questioning “amounts to a religious test” for serving in office and is therefore unconstitutional.

Recent hearings for Catholic nominees have seen “incidents of religious intolerance displayed” by committee members, he said.

“In recent months,” Archbishop Kurtz noted, “multiple nominees to the federal judiciary have been interrogated about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, with the implication that participation in the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the country – a respected organization that has accomplished so much good for over a century – could be disqualifying. To call out the Knights of Columbus for derision is simply appalling.”

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LifeSiteNews staff

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Former abortion mill manager reveals horrific truths of abortion industry: The Van Maren Show, Ep. 3

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

Warning: Graphic details and explicit subject matter discussed. 

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – After the anesthesia wore off, my very first thought was, “I’m a murderer.” After that, “my life started a downhill spiral.”

With these words, former Texas abortion clinic manager Carol Everett begins the third episode of The Van Maren Show. 

Everett, one of the top pro-life activists in the United States, spent six years in the abortion industry. 

Having had an abortion just 2 weeks after Roe v. Wade in 1973 because she and her second husband simply didn’t want any more children, Everett got involved in and soon revolutionized the way the abortion industry operates.

We began “selling the procedure as a way to end all your issues,” she tells host Jonathon Van Maren. We instructed our “counselors,” who were in reality salespersons, to use fear tactics and to never mention the word “baby.” We really pioneered the telemarketing side of the abortion industry, she says.

Despite making tens of thousands of dollars, Everett reveals to Van Maren that she was a “miserable person” who was “running from my own pain.” She resented her former husband and says she told herself lies every day to get through her job. 

“The people who work in abortion clinics are very hurt people…and they are so hurt they can’t see beyond their own pain.” You “can't kill every day without it affecting you.” I had “a sick group of people working for me.” 

Everett explains to Van Maren that she would get girls hooked on birth control and that abortion centers are disgustingly un-sterile. We told women abortion “doesn’t hurt,” she remarks. “The truth of the matter is it is very painful because it is an unnatural interruption of one of God’s processes.” 

She also shares vivid details about shocking stories of botched abortions, in one instance recalling how a doctor perforated a woman’s uterus, pulled her bowels through it, and pressured the local hospital to cover it up after they operated on her.

Abortionists “don’t care about the mother. She’s just another fee to them,” she said. 

Everett then shares with The Van Maren Show how God answered her prayer for a sign that she was supposed to leave the industry.

“Pro-lifers are in this for the baby, but the woman is the decision maker,” she says. “And when we reach the woman we can save the baby. Sometimes I think we have our focus on the wrong thing. We forget that she is the one who’s hurting and who needs our love to help her save that baby.”

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube, so you can listen by clicking the links. We are also on iTunes and Google Play

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

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam
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Congress should be bipartisan in opposing the killing of born-alive babies

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By Tony Perkins

February 6, 2019 (Family Research Council) – Virginia's abortion-up-until-birth bill (HB 2491) may be dead, but the matter is far from resolved as Virginians – and Americans all across the country – have been awakened by the Left's abortion blitz. Earlier this week, Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran, a Democrat, admitted her bill would allow abortion throughout all stages of pregnancy including during labor. In what was supposed to be a rescue mission for big abortion's push to expand their abortion business in the Commonwealth, Governor Ralph Northam (D), a pediatric neurologist, appeared on radio yesterday to defend Delegate Tran's bill. When asked if he supported Tran's abortion-up-until-birth bill, and if he cared to comment on Tran's admission that the bill would allow abortion in the 40thweek of pregnancy, Northam didn't just come to Tran's defense – he left many wondering if he supports allowing infants born alive after a failed abortion to die:

When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physicians, more than one physician by the way. And it is done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that is non-viable[.] ...

If a 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 desired, and then a discussion would ensure between the physicians and the mother.

Northam seems to admit that he's perfectly OK with letting babies born alive die after a botched abortion, so long as that is the wish of the parents and their physician. During the interview, Northam did mention the rare instances in which some late-term abortions are performed when a fetus is "non-viable," or for cases of severe deformities. But he didn't discuss hospice care for born alive babies with a serious illness. Instead, his comments were anything but clear.

follow-up statement from Northam's office attempted to justify the governor's comments saying: "[n]o woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor's comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor." But this isn't exactly accurate. In fact, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute admitted in a 2013 study that those are not the only reasons a woman would seek an abortion in the third trimester: "most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment."

Northam may try to rewrite his comments to mean it's acceptable to deny life-saving treatment only in cases when there are severe deformities, or a fetus is non-viable, but that's not what he said. Northam may not be backing down from his statement, but Virginia Delegate Dawn Adams (D), a nurse practitioner, and co-sponsor of the abortion-up-until-birth bill, issued an apology to her constituents for supporting the bill.

It's a rare moment of honesty from the pro-abortion crowd acknowledging that their abortion-expansion agenda might be going too far. But if HB 2491 were to become law, it would remove the requirement in current law that two physicians certify in writing that the abortion is necessary to prevent the serious harm to the health, or life, of the mother. In other words, it makes it much easier for an abortionist to claim the abortion was necessary. We should all agree that the killing of a baby born alive, whether by withholding lifesaving care, or by any other means (intentional or not), is repugnant.

In 2002, President George Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which recognized and defined any child surviving a botched abortion as a full person under the federal law. While this is a good start, federal law still lacks an enforcement mechanism to hold abortionists accountable for killing, harvesting organs, or denying medical care to infants born alive. The good news is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse's (R) Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act does exactly that. This is something Congress should surely have bipartisan support passing.

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.

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The Christian Institute

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British medical association scraps pro sex-change course

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February 6, 2019 (Christian Institute) – A training course for GPs which encouraged doctors to help patients 'change sex' has been dropped, The Sunday Times has revealed.

The course, developed by the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES), had been listed on the Royal College of General Practitioners' website since 2015.

But following concerns from GPs who felt uncomfortable pushing patients towards transitioning, the course has been removed.

Under pressure

The Royal College said it is trying to protect GPs from pressure to prescribe hormones to trans patients.

The Royal College's Honorary Secretary Dr Jonathan Leach said the course "risked creating unrealistic expectations for patients regarding the role of the GP in initiating treatment".

He added that GPs should not be put in a position "where they are being asked to prescribe treatment that they are not trained to prescribe or monitor safely without expert support".

Mermaids

The Sunday Times also revealed that the Royal College was taking a financial hit in dropping the course, as GIRES had paid it almost £8,000 to host the training on its website.

The Royal College also recently deleted the trans activist group Mermaids it from its list of recommended referrals, branding it "too controversial".

 Published with permission from the Christian Institute.

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President Trump Delivers His Second State Of The Union Address February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images
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Trump blasts Democrats’ abortion extremism: Unborn children are ‘made in holy image of God’

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday evening to deliver an affirmation of the right to life and a forceful denunciation of recent extreme actions and statements by pro-abortion Democrats in New York and Virginia.

“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth,” Trump said (full comments below).

“These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth,” he added.

Trump was referring to video that went viral last week of Democrat Del. Kathy Tran admitting her bill to liberalize Virginia’s late-term abortion laws would allow abortions just as a woman is about to give birth, followed by Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam 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, but the controversy intensified a discussion of the extremes at which Democrats and their allies have arrived on abortion, which was already underway in response to New York’s recently-enacted law declaring a “fundamental right” to abortion and erased the state’s recognition of preborn babies as potential homicide victims.

Trump called on Congress to pass legislation to protect unborn children. 

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb,” the president said. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God.”

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said Trump's comments on abortion proved once again that "he is our nation’s most pro-life president ever and he is keeping his promise to the voters who fueled his victory."

"The contrast between President Trump’s vision for the future and that of the Democratic Party, now dominated by abortion extremists, is stark,” she said.  “Senate Democrats had the chance yesterday to prove they are not the party of infanticide, and instead they doubled down on a radical agenda of abortion on demand through birth and even beyond. That position that is simply irreconcilable with the values of the American people."

“We ask Congress to heed President Trump’s request, and to send the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to his desk without delay,” she continued. “This popular, compassionate legislation would protect unborn babies after five months – more than halfway through pregnancy, and a point at least by which these children can feel the pain of abortion.”

It was reported before the address that the president would use it as an opportunity to discuss abortion, a focus NARAL preemptively condemned as a “race to the bottom of their most depraved and devastating ideologies.” Trump reportedly expressed particular disgust for Northam’s infanticide comments Monday evening during a White House briefing with pro-life and pro-family leaders.

As Trump delivered his remarks, Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen listened in the audience, attending as a guest of Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Chosen to succeed Cecile Richards partly on the theory that her medical background could help reinforce Planned Parenthood’s narrative that it’s a “healthcare” provider, Wen instead undermined that message last month by admitting the group’s “core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.”

***

Trump's full comments

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn— are made in the holy image of God.

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Franck J. Maher

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Child abuser priests are still priests…who need a lot of prayer

Franck J. Maher
By

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – “He who honors a priest honors Christ; he who insults a priest insults Christ,” said Saint John Chrysostom, Father and Doctor of the Church.

We ought to live by this maxim, keeping daily before our eyes the dignity of the priesthood. As the Church is undergoing a great illness, cynicism and contempt for certain priests are, oftentimes, very strong temptations that the faithful must undergo. It behooves us to remember that our vehement skepticism of priests – or our nonchalance or criticism of them – is a relatively novel notion in Church history.

In the internet age, the laity hold power to critique Church authority like never before. With the advent of social media, there has been provided a playing field for disgruntled lay people to clash with disgruntled pontificating priests. No longer does one need to nail 95 theses to a Church door for all to see, you can simply post a 95 character tweet to demonstrate your dissent.

Additionally, the laity have a more dubious view of those in the clerical state than previously. Although the origin of this clerical nervousness is well-founded, it wrongfully isolates those priests who are living their vocation dynamically and with holiness by generalizing Catholic clergy. Being an orthodox priest now may invoke the rebuke of both Church establishment and laity; the holy priest must undergo a virtual assault on all fronts. We are committing the same spiritual crime in our lack of respect and gossip of priests as those liberals who forget the transcendent aspect of the priesthood: the sin of pride.

God has placed us from all eternity within the time of this crisis that we may endure it manfully. It is very easy to speak poorly about the priest who denigrates the Mass, hardly understands or believes the Faith, or who engages in a reprobate lifestyle, but we must realize that our words against him further push the daggers that the wicked priest has stabbed into the Heart of our beloved Lord.

Christ’s Heart aches with pain at the sight of the abuses of His priesthood; we must not further the damage by disrespecting the office.

We must understand that there is a cosmic struggle occurring at all times for souls, especially the souls of priests. The Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, in his Dignities and Duties of the Priest, writes that each priest suffers more temptations than a hundred lay people combined. In the words of Saint Theresa of Avila, “Behind each priest there is a demon fighting for his fall. If we have words to criticize them, we must have twice as many to pray for them!”

To be clear, I am in no way speaking of keeping an inordinate silence when justice demands action. I am addressing a specific cancer spreading within the laity of detracting against or gossiping about priests and high ranking clerics. Since we can always be safe in imitating our Lady, we can say with her as she did in her apparition in La Salette, France, that ‘priests have become cesspools of impurity,’ but we most join her in praying profusely for priests and weeping over this fact.

Communities of religious with the mission of offering their lives for the souls of priests are forming. Two Benedictine examples come to mind. One, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, found in Gower, Missouri, USA, is a monastery of young women (boasting an average age of 25-29) who dedicate their lives of prayer and mortification for the souls and ministries of priests, that they may be effective and bring many souls to our Lord. They seek to model our Lady as she lived with Saint John in Ephesus, hence the reason for their monastery being titled ‘Ephesus Abbey.’

As their biography states, “Having received our call to emulate Our Lady in her final, hidden years, we offer our lives in prayer and sacrifice for priests…we extend customary Benedictine hospitality most especially to priests, our spiritual sons, and strive to offer them the spiritual refurbishment so often denied them in their zealous work.”

Another thriving community with this venerable charism is Silverstream Priory, located in County Meath, Ireland. These monks dedicate their lives to the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a spirit of reparation for the sins of priests. They offer extended priestly retreats at their monastery, using their facilities as a form of a rehabilitation center for priests and laity alike. In the words of their Sub-Prior, Dom Benedict Maria Andersen, “We are dedicated to an unseen, spiritual battle for the soul of this country [Ireland], and specifically for its priests.” Rather than losing sight of the awesome respect owed to priests during this era of trial, these Benedictines embrace it even more radically, taking to heart the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “If I saw an angel and a priest, I would bend my knee; first to the priest and then to the angel.”

As one who is entering seminary and daily see the difficulties of those friends of mine who have been ordained, I plead with you: pray for priests. Begin a novena, pray an extra decade of the Rosary, offer Mass intentions, commend your parish priests to the Saints and, especially, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I urge you to take to heart the words of, that wonderful Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux, “Let us save especially the souls of priests; these souls should be more transparent than crystal…alas, how many bad priests, priests who are not holy enough…let us pray, let us suffer for them…”An excellent practice to begin is praying daily the invocation she composed for priests – I recommend each person who reads this article pray this every single night with their family:

O Jesus, eternal Priest, keep Thy priest(s), [here state the name(s) of your parish priest(s)], within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Thy holy love surround them and shield them from the world’s contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit and may the souls to whom they minster be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.

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On infanticide, Republicans are wasting a chance to drive a stake through the heart of abortionism

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By Calvin Freiburger

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s infamous endorsement of infanticide last week should have been a watershed moment for the American abortion debate. Here we had a Democrat leader in good standing (or at least, he was until that yearbook photo surfaced) applying the “logic” of abortionism to babies outside the womb, and his allies were happy to stand by him. What better opportunity to shine a light on what abortion really is?

Alas, Republicans being Republicans, that opportunity has largely been wasted so far.

Vice President Mike Pence lamented “how far the Democratic party has fallen” from “safe, legal, and rare.” Bemoaning the Left’s “extreme position on abortion,” Sen. Marco Rubio wrote that he “never thought [he] would see the day America had government officials who openly support legal infanticide.” Ben Sasse introduced a bill to protect newborns who survive abortions, arguing “this is infanticide that we're talking about. This should be so far beyond any political consideration.”

Predictably, Democrats blocked the bill, with Sen. Patty Murray dodging its point by accusing Republicans of a “gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered.” It was a lie, of course, but a lie that has worked for Democrats before – namely when Barack Obama voted to let Illinois hospitals starve newborns to death, then got elected president twice anyway.

Afterward, Sen. Ben Sasse’s communications director James Wegmann stressed that “nothing in [the bill] restricts access to abortion.” National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis devoted an article to refuting “smears” that Sasse’s legislation would “chip away at abortion rights.”

“We have moved beyond all common sense, and this body can no longer unanimously condemn murder,” Sen. Joni Ernst marveled, as if every other time her colleagues protected abortion weren’t already examples of the Senate failing to unite against murder.

DeSanctis argues that pro-aborts oppose the bill so bitterly because it “brings into crystal-clear focus the irrationality of the pro-abortion position,” by raising questions like “Why is it acceptable to perform that abortion one minute earlier?” But it only has that effect among people who are paying attention, and the rest of the above has given people precious little reason to take notice.

All of this rhetoric suggests that the problem here isn’t that killing any baby is inherently monstrous, but that Democrats are simply taking it to a new extreme. Between this and the GOP’s past two years of inaction, one gets the distinct impression that the country wouldn’t even be talking about abortion right now if Democrats agreed to leave newborns alone and “just” support abortion up to 20 weeks.

Where are the senators pointing out that Northam’s reasoning for infanticide was no different than every other Democrat’s reasoning for every other abortion? Where are the congressmen targeting the magical birth canal thinking that separates late-term abortion from infanticide? Where are the political leaders taking this opportunity to debunk the viability standard, explain embryology and fetal pain, and make the case that abortion murders a living child no matter what month it’s done in?

President Donald Trump’s remarks last night were marginally better – the harsh bluntness of “allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb” and “he would execute a baby after birth” is a step up from the sanitized terms most pro-life politicians tend to use – but it was still a missed opportunity to connect New York and Virginia to the broader case for life and shame the Party of Death for their barbarism.

Public opinion is overwhelmingly with us on the extremes of abortion, and receptive to the core case against it. Yet Republicans continue to talk as if their goal is not to abolish abortion, but merely to keep it within “respectable” boundaries that they officially disagree with, but functionally accept.

We already know from recent history how this current fight will end, at least at the national level: no new pro-life measures will become law, Democrats will lie and dodge until another shiny object dominates the news cycle, Republicans will move on to whatever the new subject is, and whatever modest public opinion changes happen will continue to be dictated by other factors, good and bad.

Wash, rinse, and repeat...until pro-lifers break the cycle of low expectations and stop gushing over politicians who put in a bare-minimum imitation of effort while repeatedly squandering opportunities to make progress toward our ultimate goal.

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Police suggest 74-year-old should remove tweets about transgenderism ‘mythology.’ What’s next?

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By Jonathon van Maren

February 6, 2019 (The Bridgehead) — Remember that incident a couple of weeks ago, when the police contacted a docker from Humberside about his decision to tweet a limerick highlighting the ludicrousness of transgender ideology? Well, it turns out that the British cops are planning to make a habit of this sort of thing. From the Spectator:

Margaret Nelson is a 74-year-old woman who lives in a village in Suffolk. On Monday morning she was woken by a telephone call. It was an officer from Suffolk police. The officer wanted to speak to Mrs Nelson about her Twitter account and her blog.

Mrs Nelson, a former humanist celebrant and one-time local newspaper journalist, enjoys tweeting and writing about a number of issues, including the legal and social distinctions between sex and gender.

Among the statements she made on Twitter last month and which apparently concerned that police officer: 'Gender is BS. Pass it on'.

Another:

'Gender's fashionable nonsense. Sex is real. I've no reason to feel ashamed of stating the truth. The bloody annoying ones are those who use words like 'cis' or 'terf' and other BS, and relegate biological women to a 'subset'. Sorry you believe the mythology.'

The blog, meanwhile, is mainly about death and funeral rituals: Mrs Nelson has officiated at many funerals. One of her blog posts, on 19 January 2018, challenges the statement that 'transwomen are women' on the grounds that a person's proclaimed gender does not change their biological sex.

Mrs Nelson wrote:

'If a transgender person's body was dissected, either for medical education or a post-mortem examination, his or her sex would also be obvious to a student or pathologist. Not the sex that he or she chose to present as, but his or her natal sex; the sex that he or she was born with. Even when a body has been buried for a very long time, so that there is no soft tissue left, only bone, it is still possible to identify the sex. DNA and characteristics such as the shape of the pelvis will be clear proof of the sex of the corpse.'

Mrs Nelson told me this about the call from the police:

'The officer said she wanted to talk to me about some of the things I'd written on Twitter and my blog. She said that some of the things that I'd written could have upset or offended transgender people. So could I please stop writing things like that and perhaps I could remove those posts and tweets?'

'I asked the officer if she agreed that free speech was important. She said it was. I said that in that case, she'd understand that I wouldn't be removing the posts or stopping saying the things I think. She accepted that and that was the end of the conversation.'

Mrs Nelson says the that officer made no suggestion that anything she had done was illegal. She says the officer gave no reason for the call.

She later asked the Suffolk force for an explanation, and received, via Twitter, this explanation:

'Hi Margaret, we had a number of people contact us on social media about the comments made online. A follow-up call was made for no other reason than to raise awareness of the complaints. Kind regards, Web Team.'

Shortly after this piece was published, Suffolk Police sent me a statement effectively admitting that they made a mistake by calling Mrs Nelson. A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said:

"We accept we made a misjudgement in following up a complaint regarding the blog. As a result of this we will be reviewing our procedures for dealing with such matters. We are sorry for any distress we may have caused in the way this issue was dealt with, and have been in contact with the woman who wrote the blog to apologise."

It's nice that the cops apologized, but how in the world did they think that harassing private citizens for expressing their opinions was a good idea? What possible justification did they think they had for letting an elderly woman know that her opinions on the transgender ideology — which, incidentally, are far more accurate than the dangerous drivel being pumped out by the mainstream media and their ideological puppet masters — were unwelcome? Think about it for a moment: Police officers actually contacted a member of public and asked her to stop tweeting her thoughts and suggested — a word that seems suddenly sinister in this context — that she perhaps might want to remove them.

Trans activists have managed to mainstream their movement in a mere half-decade, and now it appears that even law enforcement have chosen a side. And not only have they chosen a side, but they have even decided to police speech and let people know when their social media activity has attracted the attention of the cops. If that isn't a creepy sign of things to come, I don't know what is.

 Published with permission from The Bridgehead.

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Democratic women lawmakers at President Trump's 2019 State of the Union
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The pro-abortion left has morphed into a death cult

Drew Belsky
Drew Belsky

February 6, 2019 (Daily Signal) – In a frenzy to expand abortion access, several states have recently passed or proposed laws to legalize abortion up until birth.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that legalizes abortion even after the unborn child is viable as long as the abortionist makes a "reasonable and good-faith judgement" that "there is an absence of fetal viability" or that the abortion will protect the woman's health.

In Virginia, Democratic Del. Kathy Tran introduced legislation that would legalize abortion up to term and even after the birth has begun.

And in Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo has vowed to sign legislation legalizing abortion even after the child is viable.

Under the guise of "protecting women's health," Democrats have proudly pledged their support for killing innocent babies at all stages of pregnancy and eliminating protections for those who have already been born.

As if this isn't bad enough, segments of the left openly celebrate abortions.

In 2015, a woman named Amelia Bonow founded the #ShoutYourAbortion movement after posting her "happy" abortion story to social media. The goal of the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign is to eliminate the social stigma surrounding abortion procedures and to encourage post-abortive women to proudly share their stories.

Bonow even went as far as telling a group of children that "they just suck the pregnancy out" and "it was like a crappy dentist appointment or something."

But having an abortion is nothing to boast about, and legalizing it up until birth should horrify all Americans.

The most common way a second- and third-trimester abortion is performed is through a procedure called D&E (dilation and evacuation) where an abortionist uses a grasping instrument with rows of sharp teeth to tear the child's body apart limb by limb. The abortionist then continues to remove the baby's intestines, heart, lungs, spine, and other limbs from the body. The final step is for the abortionist to collect all of the body parts and reassemble them into the shape of a child to make sure all of the pieces have been removed from the woman's body.

Other times, a third-trimester induction abortion is performed by injecting the unborn baby with a substance that causes cardiac arrest and then delivering the baby stillborn.

With procedures as horrific as these, it's important to ask why the Democratic-controlled states are pushing to make abortion restrictionless, something that 87 percent of Americans rightly oppose.

The likely reason is because abortion advocates fear for the future of Roe v. Wade. Many states still have pre-Roe abortion laws that were never repealed and could go into effect if Roe were overturned. The Democratic-controlled states are trying to codify legislation that secures the future of abortion – and a money stream to their campaigns – while simultaneously denying protections to unborn children and threatening the lives of newborns.

To win this battle, we must create a culture of life in America where unborn babies are accurately seen as human beings who have a right to life and the choice of their own bodies. Being pro-woman means being pro-life because a woman should be entitled to her body, even if it's in the womb of another.

The goal isn't just for abortion to be restricted or illegal; it's for abortion to be unthinkable.

This doesn't mean discounting the very real struggles of pregnancy and the emotional and physical burden some women face. There are thousands of clinics, nonprofits, and churches around the country dedicated to walking alongside these women.

What we're discussing today is whether it's OK for a mother to end the life of her child even as she's giving birth, or right after she's given birth, as in the situation Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam described.

The vast majority of Americans view abortion as a tragic and difficult issue. In pushing their default position to the extreme left, liberals have turned their coalition into a death cult.

While this raises the stakes of the debate, the left's radical pro-abortion platform is alienating the general public. Thanks to liberal overreach, conservatives now have the moral high ground and are in the majority.

This barbaric hijacking of "women's rights" should come to an end. All Americans have the ability to get serious and fight for life.

Published with permission from the Daily Signal.

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‘Praiseworthy’: Bishop Schneider backs campaign to stop homosexual networks in Catholic Church

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By Maike Hickson

Sign petition to STOP homosexual networks in Catholic Church. Sign here.

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan expressed his support for the campaign to Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church and compared its spirit with words of St. Catherine of Siena and St. Bridget of Sweden, both of whom have strongly admonished the clergy of their time to live chaste and holy lives.

Speaking of “the abominable situation of clerical sexual abuses of minors, seminarians, subordinate and vulnerable adults of an unprecedented extent,” Bishop Schneider said, in an exclusive statement to LifeSiteNews, that homosexual networks exist in the Church and that at the root of the abuse crisis lies “homosexual vice.”

The campaign, launched Jan. 16, asks the heads of the bishops' conferences worldwide — who will be meeting in Rome next month with Pope Francis — to take the necessary steps to stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church, especially the networks that are connected with the clerical abuse crisis and that have recently come to light. The campaign and its corresponding petition was organized by the Swiss organization Pro Ecclesia and LifeSiteNews. The petition has of this writing been signed by over 9,500 people.

LifeSiteNews reported yesterday that Cardinal Gerhard Müller – the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the dubia Cardinals, endorsed the campaign

Bishop Schneider noted how among the Church's hierarchy there is a “strange silence” concerning the homosexual factor of the problem. He said the Church will not resolve the problem without facing this very factor.

“If the upcoming Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse at the Vatican will not address the issue of the moral relativism and the non-belief in the perennial validity of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue as the deepest cause of clerical sexual abuse, and if it will not highlight the predominant role of the homosexual behavior in the clerical sexual abuse cases, the Summit will give a highly irresponsible answer and will be doomed to failure from the start, manifesting thereby also a peculiar form of clericalism,” he said.

Bishop Schneider said that he supports the campaign to Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church – – and he states that “this appeal of the saint and Doctor of the Church must reach in the first place the ear of Our Holy Father Pope Francis and of all the participants of the Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuses.”

***

Full comments from Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church”: A support for a praiseworthy initiative of the lay faithful

By Bishop Athanasius Schneider

The Church in our days is witnessing the abominable situation of clerical sexual abuse of minors, seminarians, subordinate and vulnerable adults of an unprecedented extent. These abuses were perpetrated by priests, bishops and even cardinals. Of course, the anti-Christian oligarchical media exploited on a world scale — demagogically and hypocritically — this shameful situation inside the Catholic Church, blowing it out of proportion.

Nonetheless, the Church must take this situation extremely seriously, since even a single case of sexual abuse of a child, of an adolescent or of a seminarian is too much, is an unspeakable cruelty, which cries to heaven. It is demonstrated by proven facts that the overwhelming majority of the cases of clerical sexual abuse were of a homosexual nature. The predominant cause of sexual abuses on the part of the clergy is consequently and undeniably homosexual or sodomite vice.

On the part of the authorities of the Holy See and of the majority of the hierarchy, there is surprisingly a strange silence about the predominant role, which homosexual vice plays in the clerical sexual abuse of minors, adolescents and seminarians. The upcoming Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Vatican has not only to address the abuse of children, but also of adolescents, seminarians, and vulnerable adults.

The deepest root of the abuse crisis is, of course, the moral relativism and the non-belief in the perennial validity of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue and of the intrinsic evil of each sexual act outside a valid marriage. Causally connected with the moral relativism and the non-belief in the Sixth Commandment is homosexual vice among clergy. The current crisis of clerical sexual abuse brought to the surface the fact of the existence of real clerical homosexual networks in the Church.

If the upcoming Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Vatican will not address the issue of the moral relativism and the non-belief in the perennial validity of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue as the deepest cause of clerical sexual abuse, and if it will not highlight the predominant role of homosexual behavior in the clerical sexual abuse cases, the Summit will give a highly irresponsible answer and will be doomed to failure from the start, manifesting thereby also a peculiar form of clericalism.

The spiritual health of the Church and particularly the high moral standard and the holy life of the clergy is a concern that affects all members of the Church, and especially the lay faithful. According to the ancient tradition of the Church, prior to a priest's ordination, the lay people were asked for their opinion regarding the worthiness of the candidate. The ordaining bishop gave the following reason: “Since the captain of a ship and its passengers alike have reason to feel safe or else in danger on a voyage, they ought to be of one mind in their common interests. Not without reason, then, have the fathers decreed that the people too should be consulted in the choice of those who are to be raised to the ministry of the altar.”

For some time now, there has been launched a very opportune petition initiative with the name “Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church.” The petition has broad support across the Catholic world and is co-sponsored by the organization “Pro Ecclesia” (Switzerland) and “LifeSifeNews.” So far the petition reached nearly 6,000 signatures.

The petition asked rightly the authorities of the Holy See to issue binding and efficacious norms in order to cleanse the Church from clerical homosexual networks. It is indispensable to protect the sacred state of the Catholic priesthood from persons with homosexual inclinations. Even if they promise to live chastely, their homosexual tendency constitutes in itself a personality and identity disorder, and each psychological disorder makes a candidate unsuitable for the priesthood. 

One can be only glad and grateful for the meritorious initiative of the laity to stop homosexuality in the ranks of the clergy. Pope John Paul II repeatedly affirmed that, according to the Second Vatican Council, the hour of the laity truly has struck in our time and that the hierarchy has to accept with gratitude the advice and concerns of the lay faithful.

The present Petition initiative reflects and renews in our days to some extent the ardent appeals, which Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Bridget of Sweden made for the moral renewal of the clergy in their time.

Saint Catherine of Siena wrote in a letter to Pope Gregory XI in 1376:

You are in charge of the garden of the holy Church. So first of all uproot from that garden the stinking weeds filled of impurity and avarice, and bloated with pride. I mean the evil pastors and administrators who poison and corrupt the garden. Use your authority, you who are in charge of us! Uproot these weeds and throw them out where they will have nothing to administer! Tell them to tend to administering themselves by a good holy life. Plant fragrant flowers in this garden for us, pastors and administrators who will be true servants of Jesus Christ crucified, who will seek only God’s honor and the salvation of souls, who will be fathers to the poor.

This appeal of the saint and Doctor of the Church must reach in the first place the ear of Our Holy Father Pope Francis and of all the participants of the Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuses.

Our Lord spoke to Saint Bridget of Sweden about the immoral clergy with these words:

These men [immoral clergy] hide their sin and malice in their heart as in the soil, and they become so rooted in evil that they do not even blush to go out in public and boast about their sin. Hence other people not only find it an occasion of sin but also get seriously wounded in their souls, thinking thus to themselves: 'If priests do this, it is all the more licit for us.' As it is, they resemble not only the fruit, but also the prickles in the sense that they disdain to be moved by correction and admonition; they think no one is wiser than they themselves and that they can do as they please. Therefore I swear by my divine and human natures, in the hearing of all the angels, that I shall break through the door they have shut on my will. My will shall be fulfilled and their will shall be annihilated and locked in endless punishment. Wherefore, as it was said of old, "I shall begin my judgment with my clergy and from my altar." (Book of Revelations, Book I, Chap. 48)

God grant, that the voice of so many Catholics, who signed and will sign the Petition “Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church”, may not only be heard by the Supreme Pastor of the Church and by all participants of the Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse, but that their opportune and necessary suggestions be possibly put into practice.

Most of the signatories of the Petition do not belong to those lay people who hold an office in the ecclesiastical bureaucracy, nor do they have decision power in the structures of the administration in the life of the Church. Their voices come really from the ecclesiastical periphery.

It would be a manifestation of true clericalism if these concerns of the little ones in the Church would not be taken at serious. Those faithful are authentic benefactors and lovers of the clergy, who not only pray for their shepherds but who also urgently demand from the authorities of the Church – as do the signatories of the Petition – to give them chaste, believing and zealous priests and bishops. And then our children, our adolescents, our seminarians and our vulnerable adults will live a more protected and more serene Christian life inside the Church.

February 5, 2019

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

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Troubling signs that Satanism is infiltrating Catholic Church

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – People are uncomfortable talking about Satanism, but there are so many whispers about its inroads these days that the subject is at last coming out into the open. Since Satan-worshiping tends, of its very nature, to be done in darkness, it is hard to get hold of solid evidence about who may be involved, and how pervasive it may be. In his lengthy interviews with Taylor Marshall on YouTube, abuse victim James Grein hints at possible Satanic elements in connection with McCarrick, the St. Galen group, and others involved in the wave of scandals that has overtaken the hierarchy, including the papacy.

Should we be surprised about this? In a way, yes, and in a way, no.

The most powerful churchmen will suffer the greatest temptation to ally themselves with the “angel of light” who attempts to rival God and overthrow His order—an order most apparent in the differentiation of the human race into male and female, and the ordering of sexual activity to procreation. Any powerful man in the Church, if he does not bend all his effort to sanctifying his soul and body in accord with supernatural virtue, will be drawn to defile his soul and body with unnatural vice. Those who are not totally committed to Christ will find themselves sliding down into the party of His archenemy.

That a choice must be made between the way of life and the way of death holds true for all Christians, but it holds true especially for priests and bishops, the shepherds of the flock. The hired shepherd, of all men, requires the most humility, for he is working around the clock to watch over and preserve sheep—sheep that do not even belong to him! How humiliating; how grating; how unworthy of the shepherd’s own life goals. This is why a good shepherd shines with self-sacrifice, while an evil shepherd stinks of egoism. We should worry more about the “smell of the shepherd” than we do about the “smell of the sheep.”

The recent news regarding the promotion by Pope Francis of Argentine bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta to a senior position at the Vatican despite, it appears, already-known serious accusations against him is yet another example, among so many, of how this pope surrounds himself with unsavory characters. So far from being committed to moral reform, he empowers those who are morally compromised, while distancing or disgracing those who are morally strong.

In Revelation 22:15, when Jesus lists those who will be excluded from the heavenly Jerusalem, the list includes various sinners, such as sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars. However, first on the list is “dogs.” Does Jesus have a problem with “man’s best friend”? Hardly. The term “dog” is also used in Deuteronomy 23:17 in a list of unclean things that cannot be brought into the temple in the earthly Jerusalem: “Thou shalt not offer the hire of a strumpet, nor the price of a dog, in the house of the Lord thy God, whatsoever it be that thou hast vowed: because both these are an abomination to the Lord thy God.” God makes it clear that the Israelites must not bring filthy things to the temple as offerings. The earnings of prostitutes (“strumpets”) and male cult prostitutes (“dogs”) are strictly prohibited and are to be excluded. 

Therefore, the first people in the Book of Revelation’s list who are to be definitively excluded from the heavenly Jerusalem are male sodomites. These, then, are the dogs who must be excluded from the kingdom, both on earth and in heaven.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That which can never be received into the heavenly kingdom is likewise forbidden on earth; that which God will always punish in eternity must also be punished in time, to the extent possible. For the Church on earth is called to be holy as the Lord is holy, and to overturn all idols in order to follow Him alone. We see nothing else than this in the Acts of the Apostles; in the Desert Fathers; in the early monks and nuns; in the long line of saints, whether contemplatives removed from the world or ministers actively involved in its governance, who defend the harmonious order of God’s creation and the still more marvelous beauty of the redemption Christ obtained for us against the dissonance of its demonic enemies.

Pretending that we, in our time, are not witnesses to and participants in an unprecedented battle between supernal armies of good and evil would be delusional. The enemy has breached the walls and is inside, comfortably seated on episcopal thrones, running curial offices, and long since committed, with the help of Satan and his angels, to the destruction of any recognizable form of confessional Christianity.

It is better to know what is really happening: this is both somber and liberating. It frees us from the wearisome exercise of pretending we’re in a new age of the Spirit unleashed by the last Council, and enlists us in the company of the holy angels whose help we urgently need.

Actually, we are in a new age of the spirit. The problem is, it’s the wrong spirit, and his name is legion, for they are innumerable. If you are not already praying the St. Michael Prayer every day, it’s time to start; if you are praying it, persevere. The season of pretended niceness is over. The guns are loaded; it’s all-out warfare.

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Trump’s pro-life State of the Union comments were nothing short of historic

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By Dr. Michael Brown

February 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – You could sum up in one word why many evangelicals voted for Donald Trump: abortion. It is therefore highly significant that it was Trump who made what might well be the strongest pro-life statement ever in a State of the Union address.

In 2003, President George W. Bush spoke out against partial-birth abortion, saying, “By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society – a culture that values every life. And in this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion.”

But Trump took things to another level by rebuking the celebration of New York’s new abortion law and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s infanticide comments. The President minced no words.

He said, “There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.”

So, he first appealed to a mother’s instincts, then contrasted that with the heartlessness of lawmakers cheering a brutal abortion law, then described Gov. Northam’s position for exactly what it was: giving parents the right to “execute a baby after birth.”

This was a significant moment in the history of the pro-life movement.

He continued, “To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth:  all children – born and unborn – are made in the holy image of God.”

To repeat: This was a historic moment.

The President spoke of the personhood of the baby in the womb, thereby declaring that it is not simply a mass of cells. He spoke of the baby’s ability to feel pain, underscoring the cruelty of abortion. He spoke of the unborn as “innocent life,” reminding us of the injustice of abortion. And then he spoke of all children – inside and outside the womb – as made in God’s holy image.

Was Trump simply playing to his base? Was he trying to rally the troops for 2020? We he sounding religious when he is no such thing?

Perhaps. Perhaps he’s simply saying what his constituents want to hear.

But even if that was the case, it would be still highly significant, given the power of the President’s bully pulpit.

But the truth is that Trump has backed his words with actions.

He has appointed pro-life justices to the courts.

He has signed pro-life bills.

And he has been consistent in his stance throughout his presidency.

In that respect, whether he really means what he says and does is secondary. What matters is that he is both saying it and doing it.

Not surprisingly, there was immediate liberal pushback against comments, with Lydia O’Connor at the Huffington Post proclaiming, “Trump Turns To Absurd Abortion Imagery In State Of The Union Speech.”

“The president claimed that a new New York law would ‘allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.’”

O’Connor dismisses Trump’s claims, writing, “what the bill does is expand access to abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy to women carrying a fetus that cannot live outside the womb. Previously, the procedure was available only to women at that stage of pregnancy if their health was threatened.”

In support of this, she links to another article which notes that, “Under the new law . . . women can also get an abortion after 24 weeks if their health is threatened or the fetus isn’t viable.”

So, the very link provided by O’Connor contradicts her argument and vindicates Trump’s imagery: Right up to the moment of the birth, if an abortion was deemed necessary for the mother’s “health,” it could be performed.

Why not own up to it?

Why not celebrate it, as the New York lawmakers did?

And, in the spirit of “women’s rights,” why does it matter if the baby is aborted at eight weeks or at 30 weeks? What is wrong with Trump’s imagery if the baby is still in the womb?

Right now, with the increasing militancy of the pro-abortionists, the pro-life movement is freshly mobilized.

And the roles of President Trump and Vice President Pence have been highly significant as well, with Pence addressing last month’s pro-life rally in person and Trump doing so remotely.

Pence also wrote a stinging response to Gov. Northam’s remarks, which he characterized as “morally reprehensible and evil.”

Against this backdrop, the importance of Trump’s State of the Union comments can hardly be exaggerated, underscoring why many evangelicals voted for him.

How different things would look today had Hillary Clinton been president.

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