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Fr. Carlos Castillo Mattasoglio YouTube
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Pope Francis appointee as archbishop in Peru favors liberation theology, ‘ecological’ agenda

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Less than a month after Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne tendered his resignation as Archbishop of Lima, Peru, having reached his 75th birthday, the Vatican announced his replacement as Fr. Carlos Castillo Mattasoglio, a university professor and parish priest known for his affinity with liberation theologians and his personal opposition to his doctrinally sound predecessor.

The French non-official daily of the Catholic episcopate, La Croix, spoke of the nomination as “another radical change at the head of one of the most important dioceses of Latin America.” The speed with which Thorne was deposed – oftentimes, bishops who tender their mandatory resignation when they turn 75 will stay on a few months or years before it is accepted by Rome – is reminiscent of the way in which Archbishop Hector Aguer was replaced within days by the ghostwriter of Amoris Laetitia, Bishop Victor Manuel “Tucho” Fernandez, a close confidant of Pope Francis. Aguer was even ordered to leave the archdiocese immediately.

In both cases, staunch defenders of Catholic doctrine and defenders of life have been replaced by tenants of the “theology of the people” – in the case of Fernandez – or the indigenist “theology of regeneration” by which Mattasoglio wants to “rethink the faith” through the “desire for interior reconstruction” so that the individual can recover his or her “social force.” In what Mattasoglio’s admirers present as a “rethinking” of liberation theology, his “regeneration theology” particularly appeals to young people, according to former writings of the new Archbishop of Lima.

Regeneration, according to Mattasoglio, is a theological proposal that also aims at “regenerating obsolete” structures of the Church of today in Latin America, as well as promoting a “sustainable society” with as a priority the fight against “environmental destruction.”

Seen through the eyes of a left-leaning blogger, the new Archbishop must have been chosen for his personal “apocalyptic” emphasis on the ecological crisis, for which Cardinal Cipriani had little time. Cardinal Petro Barreto of Peru, who was given his hat by Pope Francis last June, has the same “ecological” penchant. This looks like a pattern, and it fits in neatly with the concerns of the United Nations and other internationalist bodies intent on changing hearts and minds, and society “for the Planet.”

According to the Spanish-speaking website infovaticana.com, quoting unnamed sources, Castillo had links many years back with the Communist Revolutionary Party and with the terrorist group “Shining Path” in Peru. Infovaticana columnist La Cigüeña De La Torre called his nomination “a summit of disgrace.” Pope Francis “has chosen the worst for Lima,” he wrote.

Mattasoglio was born in 1950, first studied sociology and only later joined the seminary in Lima. He graduated in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1983 and was ordained at the relatively late age of 34, having deliberately chosen to follow lay studies before preparing to become a priest.

His official biography published on the Vatican website does not underscore Mattasoglio’s early and ongoing friendship with several figureheads of the Liberation theology movement. Dominican Gustavo Gutierrez, who was considered as its “father” and gave it its name, was close to Mattasoglio in the young man’s formative years at the Peruvian National Union of Catholic Students. When Gutierrez turned 90 last year, the future Archbishop of Lima fondly recalled in an interview the lengthy debates that he and other priests and lay people had with him about Liberation theology and the Church’s “preferential option for the poor,” which is still at the heart of his own thinking.

Another great friend was Cardinal Juan Landazuri Ricketts, a former archbishop of Lima who ordained him in 1984. Landazuri, a Franciscan, was also known for his support for liberation theologians. At the end of the 1960s, he left the Archbishop's Palace of Lima to live in a small house in a poor area of the city.

Mattasoglio is also close to Bishop Luis Bambarén, a 90-year-old Jesuit who will be one of the two consecrators when he is ordained Bishop on March 2 in Lima. Bambarén was formerly the auxiliary bishop of Lima where he called himself the “bishop of the young peoples,” and president of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference. Bambarén was involved in socialist politics and had several spectacular public disputes with Cardinal Thorne.

Upon learning of Mattasoglio’s nomination, Bambarén presented him with the crosier Cardinal Landazuri had bequeathed him. “I never used it out of respect but it seems right that I should give it to you. He received you into seminary, he ordained you and now he’s also handing you his crosier,” he said.

Gambarén has close links with Pope Francis, whom he worked with during two former synods. He told El Comercio in Peru: “That’s why when they named him Pope in March 2013, I traveled in June to greet him. He said to me: ‘You’re the revolutionary bishop from Peru.’ I answered: ‘And you’re the revolutionary Pope.’ He took me by the arm and said to me: “Then we shall walk together.”

If this is Mattasoglio’s entourage, he himself fits in well. His doctoral thesis on Bartolomé de Las Casas, the XVIth century Dominican who painted the Spanish Conquistadors uniformly black, insists on the “innate virtue” that religious claimed to have found in all the Indians he met in the just-discovered Americas, and their supposed capacity to love the Christian enemies who came to exploit them; a goodness that made their miraculous conversion by God himself possible. Some of these themes are still running strong in the Marxist anti-colonialist and indigenist streak of thought that is so prevalent in Latin America.

As a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Mattasoglio was in direct opposition to its then Grand Chancellor, Cardinal Cipriani, who tried to quash the unorthodox teaching that was rampant. In 2013, the Cardinal decided not to renew the canonical mandate by which Castillo and three other professors were allowed to teach theology.

At that point, the university had already lost its “Catholic and Pontifical” labels in 2012 under Pope Benedict XVI because it refused to obey the new ecclesiastical rules governing officially Catholic colleges. It also refused to implement Cipriani’s orders regarding Mattasoglio.

Mattasoglio, according to sources quoted by Infovaticana, then entered into revolt against his Archbishop, refusing to accept pastoral responsibilities in the diocese and staying away from retreats and liturgical functions where all the local priests were invited and expected to attend.

The critical situation at the Catholic University of Peru was solved through a direct intervention of Pope Francis: the “Catholic” and “Pontifical” labels were retrieved in October 2016 “ad experimentum” for five years. Cardinal Versaldi of the Congregation for Catholic Education was named interim Grand Chancellor. As the Archbishop of Lima who normally occupies this function, Mattassoglio will retrieve the function when he takes over from Cipriani in March.

In many ways, Mattasoglio speaks and thinks as Pope Francis, pleading for “discernment” rather than saying “this is allowed and that is not.”

Over the last year, Mattasoglio has been the parish priest of St. Francis the Apostle in the Rimac district of Lima. He chose to say the main Sunday Mass in the open air, in a park where he shares space with a five-a-side football terrain and a skateboard terrain.

“The Pope says we should be there where the new narratives are; we cannot evangelize by saying here are the norms. All that is beautifully present, but also the narratives of ill-treated people, or in this nice game (of five-a-side football), or in this skating, all of that is glorifying God,” he said during a Sunday homily.

In an interview with Caretas on Thursday, Mattasoglio said he wanted to distinguish himself as the new Archbishop of Lima by introducing “reflection” rather than preconceptions. He quoted Pope Francis saying the Church is “two or three centuries late.” “We haven’t accompanied man in his own quests, we are afraid of searches because they are not under our control,” he explained.

According to Mattasoglio, calling Liberation theology “left wing or Marxist is stupid” because Marxism “creates liberation in this world, without a transcendent North.” “We believe in this world and in the other,” he said.

But the Vatican condemned Liberation theology, the interviewer remarked.

Mattasoglio responded,“Never condemned it. Why? Because it is an evangelical element. It would have condemned Christ. Christ is Christ the liberator. That’s in the Bible. Obviously, there was a call to correct certain of its aspects that could be interpreted in different ways, and that besides, because of the context of the times, were revolutionary. They thought Revolution and liberation were the same thing. Revolution is an action taken by some, that in some cases has a violent note, and not in others.”

He added that Gustavo Gutierrez is today “an Orthodox theologian of the Church,” because the church never corrected his theory as such: “He was condemned by conservatives, not officially by the Church.” Mattasoglio says that for 20 years Gutierrez’ theory has been assessed by the Church and that he has corrected all that was asked of him.

The interviewer noted that Mattasoglio is taking over from someone who had as one of his pillars the right to life, the opposition to the right to abortion, sexual and reproductive rights.

Mattasoglio replied: “What I think is that the Pope Francis has opened an era in which we'll have to see how much of what we are saying has important aspects that we need to keep and what new things are presenting things that we need to clarify. Because there are many things that are more complex.”

Like abortion, for example? asked the interviewer. He did not get a clear answer:

"With abortion, in principle, there is no way of going back. Every abortion is of itself the destruction of a life. As long as there's a doubt, you can't decide. So I prefer to believe that there is a life and that it stopped. But there are many people you need to help not to live in trauma because of such a thing. This is at the moral level. At the legal level, I haven't studied the theme much, but it seems to me problematic when someone wants to make laws and the Church is trying to stop them. What is necessary is a clarifying dialogue, not to turn this into a political fight, because life is a question of education. I think people need to reflect and decide freely. If they make a mistake, we go on explaining, helping them to become aware.”

The future archbishop also has his ideas on women's priesthood. “It's an old problem in the Church. There are commissions that are studying it. The position of the Church is that the group Jesus charged with directing the faithful were all men. Until now, that has been respected. However, the modern world also has a range of elements saying other things can exist. There needs to be a debate. It's difficult, but I don't say it’s impossible.”

Given all this, it will not be surprising if Mattasoglio plays a major role at the upcoming Pan-Amazonian synod in Rome, where the issues of the environment, theology of the people, “Indian” theology and the role of women in liturgy will certainly play a large part. Thorne would have been very much out of place.

Peru — one of the most profoundly Catholic countries not only in Latin America but in the world, where 89 percent of the population are baptized Catholics and 78 percent go to church every Sunday — will be a heavyweight at the Synod. With a new Archbishop of Lima so well in tune with the Synod's objectives, as outlined in the preparatory document, things will certainly be a lot easier.

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New law forces public schools in New Jersey to teach LGBT history

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By Lianne Laurence

TRENTON, New Jersey, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill last week requiring the state’s public middle and high schools to teach so-called LGBT history.

Pro-family critics have blasted the law as a tool for homosexual activists to inundate schools with LGBT propaganda.

“This is to absolutely saturate society on all levels and to begin to teach, which is to recruit, all human beings regardless of age and gender, into the LGBT religion,” Greg Quinlan, founder of Garden State Families, told LifeSiteNews.

“These kids are going to be getting one-sided, manipulative, incredibly biased gay propaganda. Everything will be colored lavender,” echoed Peter LaBarbera of the Illinois-based Americans for Truth.

Bill S1569 mandates that school boards develop lessons to “accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

The bill makes New Jersey the second state after California to require public schools teach pro-LGBT history.

The bill does not apply to private schools, and it’s up to local public school boards to implement the new curriculum by the 2020-2021 school year, the North Jersey Record reported.

Murphy promised during his campaign he would promote the LGBTQ agenda, and advocates of Bill S1569 claim it will benefit LGBT students.

“This bill is so important for our young people,” Jaime Bruesehoff, mother of a 12-year-old “transgender” child, told the North Jersey Record.

“They need to see examples of themselves in the history being taught and in classes they are going to each day.”

But Quinlan, himself a former homosexual who testified against the bill in committee, says the law is intended to “inculcate” acceptance of the “LGBT religion.”

LGBT advocacy is “founded on faith-based assumptions,” he told LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview.

The American Psychiatric Association has never withdrawn or revised its finding that “there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality,” he said.

He further blasted the New Jersey law as discriminatory.

“On a civil rights basis, you need to include all sexual minorities, including ex-gays, which it does not,” he told LifeSiteNews. “It specifically says LGBT.”

The law also violates New Jersey’s constitution because it’s an “unfunded mandate,” maintained Quinlan.

His group is looking for school boards to take the law to court on that  basis, he told LifeSiteNews.

LaBarbara similarly warned students will not be taught “legitimate history” under this law.

“We’re going to get all the gay history from people who have a vested interest in normalizing homosexuality,” he pointed out.

“Unfortunately, a lot of kids won’t understand they’re getting gay propaganda, and they’ll come out into the world brainwashed.”

Homosexual icon Harvey Milk, for example, was homosexually molested as a young boy and in a homosexual relationship at age 33 with a 16-year-old boy in New York, LaBarbera said.

Yet Milk will undoubtedly be portrayed to students as is a hero “on a par with Martin Luther King and George Washington,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Len Deo, president of New Jersey Family Policy Council, denounced the bill for usurping parental rights.

“We believe it further erodes the right of parents to discuss this sensitive issue with their children, if in fact schools are going to be promoting and making the claim that this particular person was an LGBTQ member,” he told the New Jersey Record.

New Jersey lawyer and journalist Tommy De Seno, although a proponent of homosexual “marriage,” also skewered the law as “identity politics gone wild, and a Marxist rejection of the importance of the individual.”

“Governments get their powers from a constitution and I’m at a loss to find the constitutional provision that lets them single out an identity group for importance over others,” he wrote in Asbury Park Press.

“Assuming they have that power, curriculum is usually decided at the local school board.  This new law is state government stealing power from the locals.”

De Seno also echoed the concern the LGBT history would be one-sided.

If students are to learn about famous “gay” individuals, they must learn about infamous ones as well, he pointed out.

“If we are teaching the totality of gays’ impact on society, mustn’t we teach of gays who were a detriment to society? Jeffery Dahmer, Andrew Cunanan and John Wayne Gacy were gay serial killers,” De Seno noted.

Meanwhile, Illinois Democrat state Reps. Anna Moeller and Deborah Conroy are co-sponsoring a similar bill in that state’s legislature.

Those seeking to lobby against the New Jersey bill at the school board level can contact Garden State Families here.

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Justin Bieber reveals year-long abstinence before marriage: ‘I wanted to rededicate myself to God’

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By Calvin Freiburger

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pop star Justin Bieber opened up about his marriage to his wife Hailey in a Vogue interview released this week, in the process expressing beliefs about God and sex that contrast sharply from today’s secular Hollywood norm.

The 24-year-old Bieber reportedly married model and TV presenter Hailey Baldwin last September at a New York City courthouse, and they plan to hold a wedding ceremony later this year. Their friendship goes back ten years, including a brief courtship three years ago and a 12-week courtship leading up to their marriage.

Bieber told Vogue he credits their relationship in part with a commitment he made to celibacy. After suffering from what he admits was an addiction to sex, he had abstained for over a year when he and Hailey reconnected last summer.

God “doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” Bieber said. “He’s like, I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain. I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that. I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul."

“And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result,” he continued. “There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior.”

The singer conceded that a desire to be with his future wife was part of why the couple “sped to the courthouse” to get married, but maintained the decision was also about realizing “how much I loved her and how much I missed her and how much of a positive impact she made on my life.”

This isn’t the first time Bieber has dissented from the secular, left-wing culture that dominates the entertainment industry. In 2011, the then-sixteen-year-old told Rolling Stone he didn’t “believe in abortion” because it was “like killing a baby.” Two years later, his mother Pattie Mallette signed on as executive producer of Crescendo, a short film that promotes a pro-life message in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

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Man abused at age 9 by his priest uncle says Church harbors a ‘pedophile mafia’

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By Doug Mainwaring
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Fr. Art Smith WGRZ / screenshot

BUFFALO, New York, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A man who says his uncle, a longtime priest in the Diocese of Buffalo, sexually assaulted him when he was just nine years old has gone public with his story, displaying for the world the anguish and turmoil the incident has inflicted upon him for more than two decades.

Ryan Cooley, now age 33, made it clear in a televised interview that he never wants to see his uncle again, and that from his perspective, the Church harbors within the priesthood a “pedophile mafia.”

Cooley recounted for WGRZ that one day when he was a boy, he was surprised to encounter his uncle, Fr. Arthur Smith, in his cousin’s bedroom.  

“I saw Artie, and I was like, ‘what are you doing here?’” said Cooley.

“I wanted to crawl under the bed,” continued a clearly distraught Cooley, holding his head in his hand and fighting back tears.

“He sat me down on the bed,” said Cooley, “and fed me some bull***t like, ‘Oh, you’re growing up so fast,’” as his uncle started rubbing his back.  

“He just stuck his hand up my shorts and just kept touching me,” added Cooley, short of breath and breaking into sobs.

“He knew that I didn’t want that,” declared Cooley.

Cooley kept the abuse he suffered at the hands of his uncle to himself for two decades before finally sharing his secret with another member of his family two years ago.

His uncle “needs something worse than prison,” asserted Cooley.  He’s “a creeper,” who has “no moral compass at all. I honestly believed that he preyed on that fact that I didn’t have a father in my life.”

Cooley said he doesn’t want an apology from his uncle, adding, “I don’t ever want to see him again.”

Siobhan O'Connor, Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone’s former assistant who famously tore back the curtain of diocesan deceit protecting its predator priests last fall, responded to Ryan Cooley’s testimony by saying, “The Fr. Art Smith case always bothered me to my core even when I didn’t know the half of it.”

“I could never have imagined all I would discover in his file in the Secret Archives,” she wrote in a Facebook posting. “And I certainly never imagined Ryan.”

“Please pray for Ryan and for all of Fr. Art’s victims. And for Fr. Art himself. In many respects, he needs them the most,” she added.

Other allegations

Allegations of sexual misconduct by Fr. Art Smith involving young men and boys date back about 15 years, and his handling by Buffalo’s bishops has proven to be inconsistent, if not problematic.

After a parent discovered in 2011 that the priest had sent inappropriate messages to her son via Facebook, St. Mary of the Lake School principal Kristine Hider wrote to Bishop Malone, seeking to have Fr. Smith banned from her school.

“This man is a predator, and a groomer of young children,” she wrote. “Something needs to be done.”

“As school principal I feel the students in grade 8 have been injured and troubled by the actions of this man more than originally thought.”

Fr. Smith was suspended from duty and sent to the Saint John Vianney Center in Philadelphia for rehabilitation, according to a report by WKBW TV, Buffalo.

Ryan’s mother shared with WGRZ a letter Fr. Smith – her brother – sent to the family in 2013 explaining the bishop wanted him to seek “counseling.” In it, he mentioned struggling with his “sexual orientation” and said that the message he’d sent to a minor ended with “luv u,” which is what he said got him into trouble.

A year later, after hearing that Fr. Art Smith had been reinstated, Hider wrote, “If a teacher would have been grooming children and had inappropriate relations with a minor, they would have been fired and lost their license to teach.”

“Yet a priest that has a history of inappropriate contact with the youth was among the youth ministering the sacrament of Reconciliation,” she added.

Bishop Malone told Principal Hider that while allegations about Fr. Smith “did not constitute a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People or the policy of our Diocese,” he assured her that Smith had been given a “lower profile position” as Chaplain at the Brothers of Mercy residence, a nursing home for the elderly.

The bishop’s judgment was proven wrong when two young men, ages 19 and 25, reported “inappropriate remarks and touching,” by Fr. Smith. One incident involved a seminarian accosted by Smith in the sacristy after Mass.

The Brothers of Mercy were quick to respond.  

“Due to the unfortunate circumstances involving Fr. Arthur Smith and in particular his inappropriate conduct with employees, we no longer consider him a member of our Spiritual care Department. Regrettably, Father Smith’s actions have become a matter of gossip in our facilities,” wrote Brother Jude Holzfoerster, Regional Superior. “I regret we must terminate Fr. Smith’s work on our Campus.”

Despite the growing dossier of allegations of sexual misconduct, in May 2015, Bishop Malone again reinstated Smith as a “Sacramental Minister,” and later thanked him in writing for his service to the diocese assisting priests in local parishes.  

Because Fr. Smith had reached out to Vatican officials asserting that he was a victim of false accusations, Bishop Malone was forced to respond in writing to an inquiry from the Holy See.   

Malone’s correspondence with the Vatican revealed two incidents involving Fr. Smith that had never been made public, including one with a seminarian who said that in 2004 the priest entered his room, joined him in his bed, and touched his genitalia.

Despite the overwhelming number of allegations, in 2015 Bishop Malone inexplicably wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of Fr. Smith to the Apostleship of the Sea Cruise Ship Priest Program, declaring Smith to be “a person of good moral character and reputation.”

“I know nothing which would in any way limit or disqualify him from this ministry,” continued Malone. “I am unaware of anything in his background which would render him unsuitable to work with minor children.”

Learn more about Bishop Malone’s views and past actions by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.

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Justin Trudeau participates in the Toronto Pride Parade. Stacey Newman / Shutterstock.com
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Trudeau Liberals pledge multimillion dollar fund to push homosexuality worldwide

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, February 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will spend $30 million over the next five years to push the homosexual and gender identity agenda in developing countries.

But that’s just the beginning.

After that, Canadians will fork over $10 million every year in perpetuity – or as long as the Liberals are in power – to advance the homosexual agenda as part of their country’s international aid.

Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the fund Thursday in Ottawa along with openly homosexual Alberta MP Randy Boissonnault, Trudeau’s special adviser on LGBTQ2 issues.

“Globally, LGBTQ2 communities continue to face discrimination and injustice because of who they are. Everyone matters, no matter who they choose to love, no matter where they live,” Bibeau said.

According to a Global Affairs Canada press statement, the Liberals earmarked $30 million “in dedicated funding over five years, followed by $10 million per year to advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2 people in developing countries.”

Bibeau’s office confirmed the Liberals intend to keep the cash flowing indefinitely.

“There is no defined end date for this funding,” wrote a ministry spokesperson in an email to LifeSiteNews.

“It is included in Global Affairs Canada appropriations from the International Assistance Envelope on an ongoing basis.”

The non-stop multimillion dollar international homosexual promotion fund is intended to “further the aims of the Feminist International Assistance Policy,” according to a Global Affairs press advisory.

Adopted in June 2017, the Trudeau government’s FIAP has as a key goal the promotion of global legal abortion.

Indeed, the Liberals earmarked $650 million over three years in March 2017 to push abortion in the developing world, including funding campaigns to legalize abortion in countries where the unborn child is protected.

Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life, pro-family group and the political arm of the pro-life movement, denounced Bibeau’s Thursday announcement as more of the same.

Funding the promotion of the LGBTQ agenda as part of international aid is another example of the Liberal government’s “ideological colonization” of nations it purports to help, says Campaign Life vice president Matthew Wojciechowski.

“Similar to their ongoing funding for abortion advocacy in countries where abortion remains illegal, the Trudeau government continues to waste Canadian tax dollars on aggressively targeting the deeply held beliefs on sexual morality and the traditional family of those living in the developing world,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“It’s disturbing, and frankly unconscionable, that the Liberals are bent on pushing an unwanted ideology in countries where essential needs, such as clean water, maternal healthcare, and basic sanitation, are often lacking,” added Wojciechowski.

But the Liberal move is unsurprising given Trudeau’s non-stop advocacy, both substantially and symbolically, of the homosexual and transgender agenda at home.

The first Canadian prime minister to march in a homosexual Pride Parade, Trudeau most recently green-lighted the Royal Mint’s release of a new one-dollar coin designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his father’s decriminalization of homosexuality. A petition to protest the coin has 37,344 signatures to date.

More substantially, the Liberals codified the unscientific gender identity theory in law in June 2017 with Bill C-16, which added “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code’s hate crime section.

Critics warned that under Bill C-16, Canadians face jail time for disavowing gender ideology, and free-speech advocate Jordan Peterson rose to fame for arguing the bill will result in “compelled speech.”

Trudeau also anticipated Thursday’s announcement by declaring in November 2017 that Canada “will stand tall on the international stage as we proudly advocate for equal rights for LGBTQ2 communities around the world.”

That was during his tearful apology in the House of Commons for Canada’s alleged past mistreatment of LGBTQ persons, including apologizing to Canadians convicted under former laws against buggery, gross indecency, and running bawdy houses.

He vowed then to put “systems in place so these kinds of hateful practices are a thing of the past. Discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be tolerated.”

The Liberals introduced a bill the same month to expunge and destroy criminal records of those “previously convicted of consensual sexual activity with same sex partners,” he said.

They also paid out a $145 million settlement on a class action lawsuit launched on behalf of LGBTQ persons fired from the civil service or discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, a settlement described by media as “the largest of its kind in the world.”

Moreover, the Trudeau Liberals are actively pushing the LGBTQ agenda in the public service.

In February 2017, Canadians learned the Trudeau government is forcing public servants to take a pro-LGBT “gender equality” test, with unspecified consequences if they refused or failed to provide the appropriate “feminist” answers.

The Canadian military under Trudeau responded to Trump’s 2017 ban on transgender military members by declaring they actively recruit LGBT people.

To respectfully express your views, contact:

Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister for International Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
K1A 0A6
Telephone: 613-995-2024
Email: [email protected]

Chrystia Freeland
Minister for Global Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
K1A 0A6
Telephone: Telephone: 613-992-5234
Email: [email protected]

For contact information on your MP, go here.

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Nick Sandmann is shown gesturing to hush up a student just behind the native American camera man to the right of Sandmann who had been swearing and making racist comments to the student. Lin wood video
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Nick Sandmann’s lawyer: ‘Nathan Phillips will be sued’ over lies against Covington boys

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By Steve Jalsevac

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -  One of the attorneys representing Covington High School student Nick Sandmann and his parents confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Native American activist Nathan Phillips, and some of the others who have received notices from the attorneys, “will be sued.” 

Lin Wood, an Atlanta-based lawyer, told LifeSite yesterday that Phillips’ “lies and false accusations” against Sandmann and the other Covington students are “well documented.”

He also said they would be filing the first round of lawsuits "within two weeks." Todd V. McMurtry, a Ft. Mitchell, Ky attorney, is also representing Sandmann and his parents. Doug Schloemer, a Ft. Mitchell, Ky attorney, represents a number of other students and Robert Barnes, a California attorney, is also representing families and students of Covington High School. 

A January 25 press release issued by attorneys Wood and McMurtry stated,

On January 18, in the span of a few hours, Nick Sandmann’s peaceful attendance with his Covington Catholic classmates at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. was turned into a personal nightmare when Nick became the focus of false and defamatory accusations published and broadcast across the nation and the world. A mob comprised of activists, church and school officials, members of the mainstream print and broadcast media, and individuals on social media, including elected public officials and celebrities, rushed to condemn and vilify this young man by burying him in an avalanche of false accusations, false portrayals, and cyberbullying that have threatened his reputation and his physical safety.

Nick Sandmann is 16 years old. He is an eleventh-grade high school student. He is not the face of evil and he did absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate in connection with the incident to deserve the heinous accusations made against him by uninformed or agenda-driven individuals and media entities. 

The legal action by  Sandmann’s attorneys is ramping up after notices demanding preservation of evidence for possible defamation litigation were recently sent out to more than 50 media, dioceses, and celebrities.

Wood told LifeSite that the list of recipients of the notices “continues to grow in number” and that the legal team is “in the process of sending formal written retraction demands in conformity with statutes in states in which litigation may be filed.” They expect to advance to the next stage and “file the first round of civil lawsuits within the next two weeks.”

Asked about why the Diocese of Covington is still investigating the Washington incident involving the students, Sandmann’s attorney responded: 

We have no idea why the investigation by the Diocese has not been concluded but we are confident that any objective review of the evidence will conclude that Nick did nothing wrong. Nick remained calm and well-mannered despite being confronted by an activist beating a drum within inches of his face while chanting loudly.  Nick did not utter one word except to quietly urge a classmate to refrain from making any comments that might aggravate the situation created by Phillips and the Black Hebrew Israelites.

Additionally, Wood confirmed rumors that Sandmann had been prevented from returning to the school for several days after the students returned from Washington. Wood stated to LifeSite, "Nick was prohibited by the school from attending classes for 6 school days in the two weeks following the incident "and

his return was only allowed on February 1 after his lawyers made clear to the school that we would not tolerate Nick being isolated and singled out based on specious claims that he first needed to give a statement to the school without his counsel in attendance and that there were ongoing security concerns (all other students had already been allowed to return to classes). On Saturday, January 19, Nick provided the school principal with an unsolicited email describing the incident. Nick had also previously released a 3-page, detailed statement concerning the incident.

Video produced by Lin Wood - Nick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 minutes

Wood has also created a videoNick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 minutes, to reveal what really happened during the incident in which the students were victimized by two groups of activists while the students were waiting for their bus.

There are significant items in the video that have not been reported by mainstream media that heavily covered the incident with the Covington students and American activist Nathan Phillips.

Most seemed to rely almost entirely on statements made by Phillips and especially on a short initial video posted on social media that went viral. The video appears to have been deliberately edited to portray the Covington students as accosting and disrespecting Phillips.

The video was initially pushed through what has been revealed by Breitbart to be a likely Democrat activist controlled, anti-Trump fake Twitter account. It has since been suspended by Twitter for violating its fake account policy. Experts say the use of the account to so effectively promote the video had "the hallmarks of a disinformation campaign."

That social media impact resulted in Sandmann and his family, the Covington High School and even one of the lawyers for the Covington students receiving numerous threats, including death threats. 

The video produced by Lin Wood reveals that there was an ongoing confrontation in the Lincoln Monument area, where the students were to assemble after the March for Life, between an Indigenous People’s March group and five black men who identified as Hebrew Israelites.

The Israelites, a known hate group, were preaching vulgar racial slurs at the Indigenous marchers. Other video records have indicated that this confrontation may have been going on for over an hour and had become increasingly heated before most of the students arrived. 

When the first several Covington students arrived, they are shown watching the confrontation between the Black Israelites and the Native Americans. When the Israelites started to turn their insults to the students, the students are shown immediately turning around and walking away. 

Later, many more Covington students arrived and the Israelites ramped up their hateful taunts toward the students.

A student, with several girls near him, is shown stating, “It’s not rape if you enjoy it”and immediately another student says, “He’s not from Covington.”  That initial statement has been one of the incidents used to condemn the Covington students. However, it does appear in the video that the student who made the vulgar comment is not from Covington. Lin Wood explained to LifeSite:

We do not believe this person was a Covington Catholic student. We have not been able yet to identify him and no one at the school knows who he is. There were students from Paducah, Kentucky mixed in with the Covington Catholic students. The statement that the person was not from Covington Catholic appears to be an excited and spontaneous utterance of truth.

Covington Catholic is an all-male high school. A Covington student we asked did not recognize the girls. He did not think they were from Northern Kentucky. 

After about an hour of enduring the verbal attack from the Hebrew Israelites, the boys asked their chaperones if they could do one of their pep rally chants to drown out the hate group.

The chant attracted a group of native Americans led by veteran activist, Nathan Phillips. Though Phillips later claimed he was trying to get to the Lincoln Monument, he is shown clearly bypassing a wide-open pathway to the monument and instead moving straight to where the Covington boys were standing. The boys began to celebrate by dancing and chanting to the beat of Phillips’ drum.

The narrator in Wood's video asks at this point, “Is it possible that the boys saw the Native Americans as allies stepping in to drown out the Israelites” who had been constantly shouting hate messages at both the native Americans and the students?

The video continues to present the happy, smiling, young Covington students with voice-overs of later comments by Phillips to television media that are totally contradicted by the video evidence Wood compiled.

Then the smiling boys are shown doing what is known to sports fans as the Tomahawk chop. Attorney Lin Wood explained to LifeSite that “As far as the tomahawk chop goes, I am an Atlanta Braves fan and the tomahawk chop is a fan cheer at baseball games that is intended to support the team and is not intended to disparage Native Americans.” Some media have claimed that the chop motion was a sign of disrespect for the native Americans.

Phillips is shown moving right up to Nick Sandmann and heard later having claimed to media that he tried to go around Sandmann. The video evidence is that he made no such attempt. 

In a television interview, Phillips is shown claiming repeatedly that the students chanted “Build that wall. Build that wall.” However, The Truth in 15 Minutes narrator notes that, after a thorough viewing of all videos of the Covington incident that day, no video has shown any student saying “Build that wall.” However, there is video evidence of the Black Israelites repeatedly shouting, “Build that wall.”

The native American who was filming Phillips is shown telling one of the students wearing a Make America Great Again hat, “So if you want to make America a great cause for you white people, go back to Europe where you came from. This is not your land.” The student tries to respectfully make a counter point and the native American is seen telling the young student, “Get the F*** out of my face with that sh**t.”

The student tries to argue back and then a critical moment happens in the video where Sandmann is shown gesturing to the student to stop arguing with the Native American. “We were here already,” says the Native American to the now silent student. 

The video shows Phillips being questioningly told by a reporter, "What broke this up is someone calling to the students and saying their bus was there, that's what pulled them away?" Phillips incredibly responds, "In my mind well yes, they could say they are running to the bus, but if you look at it from another angle, they're running from the police." 

There was no police presence whatever seen in any of the videos and the recordings clearly show the students being told their bus was now available and then immediately running to the bus, seemingly happy to get away from the intimidation they had been experiencing. 

 The narrator notes that Phillips did not then advance up the stairs which he had claimed he was trying to do, but instead turns around to face the other natives to celebrate their victory. The native cameraman shouts “I got him man. I got him, man, I got him.” Then later, “We won grandpa, we fu**** won grandpa.”

The video then shows Phillips responding to a news reporter question about his military service saying that he has “never stepped foot in South Vietnam” and at another time he is shown saying, “I’m a Vietnam vet.” 

Another news person says to Phillips, “You could hear the Hebrew Israelites shouting things..” and Phillips immediately responds, “and the white people were shouting racist things back at the Black Hebrews.” The journalist then says that “no video evidence has been found supporting his claim.”

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

RELATED:

Nick Sandmann’s Lawyer Goes NUCLEAR, And The Media Is In Big Trouble
 

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Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

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Cardinal Müller issues Manifesto: A quasi correction of Pope Francis’ pontificate

By John-Henry Westen

Support Cdl. Müller's doctrinal manifesto amid Pope Francis' confusion. Sign the petition here.

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, has released a Manifesto which reads like a correction of many of the doctrinal errors Pope Francis has taught during his tenure as Pope.

The cardinal's intention was to release the manifesto on February 10. That date is the eve of the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s announcement in 2013 that he would abdicate his papal office, as well as the eve of the cardinal's own ordination to the priesthood. However, a Polish website broke the embargo and thus the document is being released today.

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Müller from his post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2017 after he had served in that capacity since he was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2012.

In the manifesto, Cardinal Müller does not mention the Pope but says that he was asked to make a public testimony of the truth “in the face of growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith.”

The manifesto was released in the wake of Pope Francis’ highly controversial joint document with an Islamic leader which says that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom” – a statement many believe contravenes the Catholic Faith.

Cardinal Müller takes a contrary stand when he says in the Manifesto:

The distinction of the three persons in the divine unity (CCC 254) marks a fundamental difference in the belief in God and the image of man from that of other religions. Religions disagree precisely over this belief in Jesus the Christ. … Therefore, the first letter of John refers to one who denies His divinity as an antichrist (1 John 2:22), since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is from eternity one in being with God, His Father (CCC 663).

The cardinal is releasing his manifesto to a worldwide audience, in seven different languages, thus allowing for a widespread affirmation of the orthodox Catholic faith.

To this end, LifeSite is hosting a petition at its LifePetitions platform so the Catholic clergy and faithful of the world, in all language groups, can make a visible sign of their support for the full and unvarnished faith and for the Cardinal’s initiative.

Read the full Manifesto in English at the bottom of the article, or in PDF form here. Download PDFs of the other languages here: ItalianSpanishPortugueseFrenchGermanPolish.

Support Cdl. Müller's doctrinal manifesto amid Pope Francis' confusion. Sign the petition here.

Providing clarity on the Church's view of Islam, Cardinal Müller rejects the Muslim view that sees Christ as a prophet, rather than the Messiah. “We are to resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist,” the Manifesto says.

The Manifesto also addresses several other points which can be seen as corrections of Pope Francis including the impermissibility of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as that for Protestants; the eternity of hell; the ban on female priests; and priestly celibacy.

The Manifesto says “divorced and civilly remarried persons, whose sacramental marriage exists before God, as well as those Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Faith and the Church” are “not disposed to receive the Holy Eucharist fruitfully (CCC 1457), because it does not bring them to salvation.”

The Manifesto adds, “Therefore, the Holy Scripture admonishes with regard to the reception of the Holy Communion: ‘Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord's cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27).”

In his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis wrote “no one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel” and in interviews he went so far as to suggest that those who want no part of God are annihilated rather than in hell.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Müller attests, “He who dies in mortal sin without repentance will be forever separated from God (CCC 1033).” The Manifesto says, “The eternity of the punishment of hell is a terrible reality, which - according to the testimony of Holy Scripture - attracts all who ‘die in the state of mortal sin’ (CCC 1035).”

“To keep silent about these and the other truths of the Faith and to teach people accordingly is the greatest deception against which the Catechism vigorously warns,” says the Cardinal. “It represents the last trial of the Church and leads man to a religious delusion, ‘the price of their apostasy’ (CCC 675); it is the fraud of Antichrist.”

The Pope’s recent opening to a non-celibate priesthood and winking at female ordination also seems to be covered, as the Manifesto says, “priests voluntarily opt for celibacy as ‘a sign of new life’ (CCC 1579).” The Church, says Cardinal Müller, is “bound by the choice made by the Lord Himself. That is why it is not possible to ordain women (CCC 1577).”  The Cardinal adds: “To imply that this impossibility is somehow a form of discrimination against women shows only the lack of understanding for this sacrament, which is not about earthly power but the representation of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church.”

Furthermore, Cardinal Müller also restates the inseparable link between the Faith and the moral law which needs to be followed “to do good and reach this goal [of promised blessedness],” and he points to certain parts of the Church's moral teaching “which are often ignored today.” Here, he references several parts of the Catechism's moral teaching “which may not be relativized” without quoting them explicitly. Among them are such statements as “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (no. 2270) and the explicit rejection of the following  grave sins: abortion (no. 2271), contraception (no. 2370), euthanasia (no. 2277), suicide (no. 2280), cohabitation outside of marriage (no. 2350), masturbation (no. 2352),  fornication (no. 2353), pornography (no. 2354), and adultery (no. 2380-2381). Cardinal Müller also explicitly references those parts of the Catechism (no. 2357-2359) which describe “homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” and which call upon homosexual persons to live in “chastity.”

While he never mentions Pope Francis by name, the Manifesto’s criticisms are so pointed they leave little doubt about the identity of at least one of the intended members of the hierarchy Cardinal Müller hopes to correct. “The admonition of the Apostle is still valid today, that cursed is anyone who proclaims another gospel, ‘even if we ourselves were to give it or an angel from heaven’ (Gal 1:8),” the Manifesto reads. “The mediation of faith is inextricably bound up with the human credibility of its messengers, who in some cases have abandoned the people entrusted to them, unsettling them and severely damaging their faith.”

Read Cardinal Müller's entire Manifesto in English below. Download a PDF of the seven language versions here: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Polish.

Manifesto of Faith

“Let not your heart be troubled!” (John 14:1)

In the face of growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith, many bishops, priests, religious and lay people of the Catholic Church have requested that I make a public testimony about the truth of revelation. It is the shepherds' very own task to guide those entrusted to them on the path of salvation. This can only succeed if they know this way and follow it themselves. The words of the Apostle here apply: “For above all I have delivered unto you what I have received” (1 Cor. 15:3). Today, many Christians are no longer even aware of the basic teachings of the Faith, so there is a growing danger of missing the path to eternal life. However, it remains the very purpose of the Church to lead humanity to Jesus Christ, the light of the nations (see LG 1). In this situation, the question of orientation arises. According to John Paul II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a “safe standard for the doctrine of the faith” (Fidei Depositum IV). It was written with the aim of strengthening the Faith of the brothers and sisters whose belief has been massively questioned by the “dictatorship of relativism.”[1]

1. The one and triune God revealed in Jesus Christ

The epitome of the Faith of all Christians is found in the confession of the Most Holy Trinity. We have become disciples of Jesus, children and friends of God by being baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The distinction of the three persons in the divine unity (CCC 254) marks a fundamental difference in the belief in God and the image of man from that of other religions. Religions disagree precisely over this belief in Jesus the Christ. He is true God and true Man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Word made flesh, the Son of God, is the only Savior of the world (CCC 679) and the only Mediator between God and men (CCC 846). Therefore, the first letter of John refers to one who denies His divinity as an antichrist (1 John 2:22), since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is from eternity one in being with God, His Father (CCC 663). We are to resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist. He is first and foremost the Word that was with God and is God, the Son of the Father, Who assumed our human nature to redeem us and Who will come to judge the living and the dead. Him alone, we worship in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the Only and True God (CCC 691).

2. The Church

Jesus Christ founded the Church as a visible sign and instrument of salvation realized in the Catholic Church (816). He gave His Church, which “emerged from the side of the Christ who died on the Cross” (766), a sacramental constitution that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved (CCC 765). Christ, the Head, and the faithful as members of the body, are a mystical person (CCC 795), which is why the Church is sacred, for the one Mediator has designed and sustained its visible structure (CCC 771). Through it the redemptive work of Christ becomes present in time and space via the celebration of the Holy Sacraments, especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Holy Mass (CCC 1330). The Church conveys with the authority of Christ the divine revelation, which extends to all the elements of doctrine, “including the moral teaching, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, and observed” (CCC 2035).

3. Sacramental Order

The Church is the universal sacrament of salvation in Jesus Christ (CCC 776). She does not reflect herself, but the light of Christ, which shines on her face. But this happens only when the truth revealed in Jesus Christ becomes the point of reference, rather than the views of a majority or the spirit of the times; for Christ Himself has entrusted the fullness of grace and truth to the Catholic Church (CCC 819), and He Himself is present in the sacraments of the Church.

The Church is not a man-made association whose structure its members voted into being at their will. It is of divine origin. "Christ himself is the author of ministry in the Church. He set her up, gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal (CCC 874). The admonition of the Apostle is still valid today, that cursed is anyone who proclaims another gospel, “even if we ourselves were to give it or an angel from heaven” (Gal 1:8). The mediation of faith is inextricably bound up with the human credibility of its messengers, who in some cases have abandoned the people entrusted to them, unsettling them and severely damaging their faith. Here the Word of Scripture describes those who do not listen to the truth and who follow their own wishes, who flatter their ears because they cannot endure sound doctrine (cf. 2 Tim 4:3-4).

The task of the Magisterium of the Church is to “preserve God’s people from deviations and defections” in order to “guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error” (890). This is especially true with regard to all seven sacraments. The Holy Eucharist is “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324). The Eucharistic Sacrifice, in which Christ includes us in His Sacrifice of the Cross, is aimed at the most intimate union with Him (CCC 1382). Therefore, the Holy Scripture admonishes with regard to the reception of the Holy Communion: “Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord's cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27). “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion” (CCC 1385). From the internal logic of the sacrament, it is understood that civilly remarried divorcees, whose sacramental marriage exists before God, as well as those Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Faith and the Church, just as all who are not properly disposed, cannot receive the Holy Eucharist fruitfully (CCC 1457) because it does not bring them to salvation. To point this out corresponds to the spiritual works of mercy.

The confession of sins in Holy Confession at least once a year is one of the Church’s commandments (CCC 2042). When the believers no longer confess their sins and no longer experience the absolution of their sins, salvation becomes impossible; after all, Jesus Christ became Man to redeem us from our sins. The power of forgiveness that the Risen Lord has given to the Apostles and their successors in the ministry of bishops and priests applies also for mortal and venial sins which we commit after Baptism. The current popular practice of confession makes it clear that the conscience of the faithful is not sufficiently formed. God's mercy is given to us, that we might fulfil His Commandments to become one with His Holy Will, and not so as to avoid the call to repentance (CCC 1458).

“The priest continues the work of redemption on earth” (CCC 1589). The ordination of the priest “gives him a sacred power” (CCC 1592), which is irreplaceable, because through it Jesus becomes sacramentally present in His saving action. Therefore, priests voluntarily opt for celibacy as "a sign of new life" (CCC 1579). It is about the self-giving in the service of Christ and His coming kingdom. With a view to receiving the ordination in the three stages of this ministry, the Church is “bound by the choice made by the Lord Himself. That is why it is not possible to ordain women”(CCC 1577). To imply that this impossibility is somehow a form of discrimination against women shows only the lack of understanding for this sacrament, which is not about earthly power but the representation of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church.

4. Moral Law

Faith and life are inseparable, for Faith apart from works is dead (CCC 1815). The moral law is the work of divine wisdom and leads man to the promised blessedness (CCC 1950). Consequently, the "knowledge of the divine and natural law is necessary" to do good and reach this goal (CCC 1955). Accepting this truth is essential for all people of good will. For he who dies in mortal sin without repentance will be forever separated from God (CCC 1033). This leads to practical consequences in the lives of Christians, which are often ignored today (cf 2270-2283; 2350-2381). The moral law is not a burden, but part of that liberating truth (cf Jn 8:32) through which the Christian walks on the path of salvation and which may not be relativized.

5. Eternal Life

Many wonder today what purpose the Church still has in its existence, when even bishops prefer to be politicians rather than to proclaim the Gospel as teachers of the Faith. The role of the Church must not be watered down by trivialities, but its proper place must be addressed. Every human being has an immortal soul, which in death is separated from the body, hoping for the resurrection of the dead (CCC 366). Death makes man's decision for or against God definite. Everyone has to face the particular judgement immediately after death (CCC 1021). Either a purification is necessary, or man goes directly into heavenly bliss and is allowed to see God face to face. There is also the dreadful possibility that a person will remain opposed to God to the very end, and by definitely refusing His Love, "condemns himself immediately and forever" (CCC 1022). “God created us without us, but He did not want to save us without us” (CCC 1847). The eternity of the punishment of hell is a terrible reality, which - according to the testimony of Holy Scripture - attracts all who “die in the state of mortal sin” (CCC 1035). The Christian goes through the narrow gate, for “the gate is wide, and the way that leads to ruin is wide, and many are upon it” (Mt 7:13).

To keep silent about these and the other truths of the Faith and to teach people accordingly is the greatest deception against which the Catechism vigorously warns. It represents the last trial of the Church and leads man to a religious delusion, “the price of their apostasy” (CCC 675); it is the fraud of Antichrist. “He will deceive those who are lost by all means of injustice; for they have closed themselves to the love of the truth by which they should be saved” (2 Thess 2:10).

Call

As workers in the vineyard of the Lord, we all have a responsibility to recall these fundamental truths by clinging to what we ourselves have received. We want to give courage to go the way of Jesus Christ with determination, in order to obtain eternal life by following His commandments (CCC 2075).

Let us ask the Lord to let us know how great the gift of the Catholic Faith is, through which opens the door to eternal life. “For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: The Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when He shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38). Therefore, we are committed to strengthening the Faith by confessing the truth which is Jesus Christ Himself.

We too, and especially we bishops and priests, are addressed when Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, gives this admonition to his companion and successor, Timothy: “I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober.” (2 Tim 4:1-5).

May Mary, the Mother of God, implore for us the grace to remain faithful without wavering to the confession of the truth about Jesus Christ.

United in faith and prayer

Gerhard Cardinal Müller

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 2012-2017

 

[1] The numbers in the text refer to the Catechism of The Catholic Church.

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Devin Crosland dressed as 'Clare Apparently' performing 'magic school bus' routine.
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Library to host drag queen who dressed as ‘Ms. Frizzle’, simulated gay sex with magic school bus

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WARNING: Disturbing sexual details are included in this report. 

VANCOUVER, Washington, February 8 (LifeSiteNews) – A drag queen who performed an x-rated obscene show dressed as a children’s beloved television character is scheduled to read to children at a public library this weekend. 

Devin Crosland, who goes by the stage name “Clare Apparently” when he dresses as a woman, is scheduled to appear at Vancouver Community Library’s “Drag Queen Story Hour” in Vancouver, WA Feb. 9 from 2:30 PM until 3:30 PM. 

In 2017 the drag artist performed a pornographic routine dressed as teacher “Ms. Frizzle” from the children’s television show The Magic School Bus. The act, [WARNING: link leads to explicit material] recorded and posted on Youtube by the performer, is accompanied by the 1980s pop song “I Think We’re Alone Now,” a celebration of underage fornication. 

In his performance, “Clare Apparently” flirts with a cardboard reproduction of the TV show’s school bus until Magic School Bus actor Lily Tomlin’s recorded voice says, “Okay, bus, do your stuff.” At these words, the assistant holding the cardboard bus presents a lifesized imitation of an aroused male reproductive organ. Clare Apparently then simulates a number of increasingly explicit sexual acts with the object as the audience cheers. Following a bout of mimicked anal penetration, “Ms. Frizzle” pretends to smoke a cigarette. 

The performance was part of a burlesque show called “Death of Glitter: Genderf#ck Cabaret”. According to the event’s website, the show was created in 2015 “to raise funds for Portland, [Oregon] based gender non-conforming non-profits.”  

Last year, drag queen Dylan Pontiff told a committee that the drag queen story hour events are deliberately for "grooming" the next generation to accept LGBT ideology. 

"This is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation," said Pontiff, who when dressed in drag goes by the name Santana Pilar Andrews, to Louisiana's Lafayette City-Parish Council during a Sept. 17, 2019 meeting. 

The Vancouver Community Library’s decision to host a “Drag Queen Story Hour” for children was already controversial before Clare Apparently’s obscene performance came to light. The Library is defending the drag queen's invitation even after being made aware of the disturbing video. 

A stream of comments on social media, eventually removed by the Library, showed that people objected to the event for different reasons. Some women were distressed by the ways in which drag performers enforce stereotypes about women. Others were concerned that children would be confused and disturbed by the presentation. 

However, commentators who had seen Clare Apparently’s “Ms Frizzle” act were particularly incensed.

“If you want to celebrate inclusion and diversity, you could do a lot better than having a man who simulates pedophilic acts in his shows interacting with children at your library,” wrote Christine Daly Hawes. 

“The sloppy vetting of your programming is astonishing,” she continued. 

“At the very least we can protect our children from people who celebrate pedophilia in any form! This is inexcusable.”  

Mary Price added, “If this person does adult shows like this, will you have a stripper in half naked next week? How about porn stars? Sexualizing our kids is not ok.” 

The Library has re-posted a promotion for the event on Facebook, and the debate continues.

Dan Duringer is among the critics of Drag Queen Story Hour who believe that Clare Apparently’s Magic School Bus performance was a celebration of pedophilia, the school bus being a symbolic representation of children. 

Duringer, a local school bus driver, told LifeSiteNews that “facilitating gender dysphoria is bad enough, but for FVRL [Fort Vancouver Regional Library] to allow the sexualizing of young children in drag queen story hours is even worse. Beyond belief is to have child-molestation-promoting Clare Apparently the trusted adult in the room.”

Duringer lives in the nearby city of Washougal, which is served by the Fort Vancouver library system. He learned about Vancouver’s Drag Queen Story Hour through a Facebook group that discusses family policy in Washington state. Eventually, a member posted a video of Clare Apparently’s Magic School Bus routine, and Duringer contacted the library’s trustees.  

Amelia Shelley, the Executive Director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries (FVRL), told Duringer via email that “Drag Queen Story Hour” was paid for by the Friends of the Vancouver Community Library and “intended to be a one-time event.” She indicated that it was for families who were interested. Apparently, it has been scheduled at a different time from the library’s usual storytelling event to avoid confusion. 

Shelley did not address Duringer’s concerns regarding the Magic School Bus act  

LifeSiteNews reached out to Amelia Shelley but did not receive a response. 

Duringer told LifeSiteNews that the FVRL has a history of supporting so-called “left-wing causes”. Over ten years ago, pro-family activists fought the library system for making pornography available to viewers of all ages. In 2006 FVRL promised to install filters on its computers to keep its premises “family-friendly.”  

There will be a rally outside the Vancouver Community Library tomorrow during the Drag Queen Story Hour. The library is located at 901 C St, Vancouver, Washington, 98660. 

To respectfully make known your views on the issue, please contact:

Amelia Shelley 

Executive Director
Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries – Operations Center
1007 E Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver WA 98663

Phone: 360-906-5011
Email: [email protected]

Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
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Bishop Schneider: Abuse summit will be ‘doomed’ if it doesn’t address homosexuality

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By Martin Barillas

KAZAKHSTAN, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan said that the upcoming Vatican abuse summit is “doomed to failure” if the “predominant role” of homosexuality in the crisis is not addressed.

“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,”said Bishop Schneider to LifeSiteNews.

Schneider made these comments in the context of giving his support for the “Stop Homosexual Networks in the Catholic Church” petition, which is being circulated by LifeSiteNews and the Pro Ecclesia organization of Switzerland.

Bishop Schneider wrote that facts show 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,” he said. The Feb. 21-24 summit on clerical sexual abuse at the Vatican will fail unless homosexual behavior is addressed as an issue, he reasoned.

Pope Francis called for the “Protection of Minors in the Church” Summit, which will be organized by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and will bring together leaders from all of the bishop’s conferences from around the world. 

In speaking of the “abominable” sexual abuse committed by clerics, Bishop Schneider said “homosexual vice” is at the very root of the homosexual networks within the worldwide Church.

“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 [‘You shall not commit adultery’] 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,” he said. 

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9 senators seek to halt US funding to pro-abortion orgs in Latin America

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By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Nine U.S. senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in December demanding an end to public funding to two organizations that promote abortion in Latin America.

The letter notes that it’s against U.S. law for tax dollars to be going to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Commission on Women (Comisión Interamericana sobre la Mujer - CIM) because these bodies promote abortion.

The jointly signed letter to Sec. Pompeo said that the Siljander amendment to the Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1981 specifies that “no U.S. funds appropriated under the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act may be used to lobby for or against abortion.”

That law is “currently not being properly enforced by the U.S. Department of State, which continues to fund organs of the Organization of American States (OAS), such as IACHR and CIM, while they aggressively lobby pro-life sovereign nations to legalize abortion.”

The OAS is a diplomatic organization, funded by the U.S. government, where the 35 independent nations of North and South America discuss regional concerns and security.

“Time and again,” the letter states, IACHR and CIM have lobbied for legalizing abortion “in a region where a great majority of the member states have chosen to protect the right to life in their constitutions and laws.” This is “especially egregious,” the letter says, because the American Convention on Human Rights, the region's primary human rights treaty, “recognizes that ‘[every] person has the right to have his life respected...from the moment of conception.’”

“I am proud to fight for the precious lives of the most vulnerable among us,” signatory Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, told LifeSiteNews via email. He noted pro-life progress made under the Trump administration, but said there is “more to be done.”

“We have made progress, like our work with President Trump and his administration...reinstating the Mexico City policy, overturning an Obama-era rule that required states to fund Planned Parenthood and expanding the right of health care workers who decline to participate in abortion services, but there is more to be done. I believe that the right to life of each human being – especially the unborn – is to be preserved and protected.”

The letter identifies a litany of pro-abortion activities taken by the two international bodies. The IACHR supported legalizing abortion in Argentina, Chile, and El Salvador, for example. Also, an OAS press release noted that IACHR welcomed Chile's law decriminalizing abortion, while the body also urged El Salvador to do the same.

 

The IACHR Commissioner visited Argentina during its national legislative debate over abortion, saying, “women have the right to autonomy to decide how they use their bodies, and the state has to ensure those rights.” In the case of CIM, the letter said that it “routinely misrepresents the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication against Women by asserting that the agreement created a ‘right’ to abortion and ‘sexual and reproductive rights.’”

An October press release from IACHR claimed that “laws criminalizing abortion...have a negative impact on women’s dignity and their rights to life, to personal integrity, and to health, and...live free from violence and discrimination. IACHR Special Rapporteur Soled García Muñoz stated that girls and women should be guaranteed abortion...to protect their health, their physical integrity, and even their life.”

The senators’ December letter asserted that nations have the right to live “according to their own values.”

“No right is more central to the self-determination of a nation than the right to life,” they wrote, while pointing out that the Siljander amendment recognizes that principle. The senators called on Sec. Pompeo to stop the taxpayer funding of IACHR and CIM. The denial of funding, it said, should remain until they comply with the Siljander Amendment.

The letter was signed by Republican senators Inhofe, Lankford and Tillis, as well as Sen. Michael B. Enzi, Sen. Michael S. Lee, Sen. John Kennedy, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Sen. Joni Ernst.

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War of words: World Health Organization sneaks pro-abortion language into resolutions

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By Rebecca Oas Ph.D.

February 8, 2019 (C-Fam) — The United States pushed back on attempts to insert abortion into the World Health Organization's resolution on universal health coverage at the agency's just concluded executive board meeting.

The executive board adopted the resolution on February 1st. The issue has become a priority for UN agencies.

The resolution mentioned existing international commitments to provide "universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services" and "integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs." This sparked intense closed-door debate. After its adoption, the United States dissociated itself from "reproductive health terminology" which "has evolved to include abortion." The U.S. delegate's statement explained that such language has been used to pressure countries to change their abortion laws and normalize teenage sexual activity.

The resolution will be presented for adoption by the World Health Assembly, which meets in Geneva this May.

Abortion advocates were also disappointed with the resolution, which they said did not go far enough to promote universal access to abortion. Women Deliver declared that the discussion of universal health care would be "fruitless" if it did not include "sexual and reproductive health and rights" which "includes ... access to safe abortion [and] comprehensive sexuality education." That is a different formulation than the one included in the resolution.

Other abortion groups submitted statements to the executive board calling for governments to remove "laws that criminalize certain services, such as abortion [and] third party authorization requirements, such as parental or spousal consent."

Despite a flurry of editorials expressing their wish lists, feminists and abortion advocates admitted they failed to achieve most of their goals in the final resolution. For example, in the board meeting, the Netherlands was disappointed that the WHO report on achieving the UN's 2030 agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals, referred to Goal 3 on health, but not Goal 5 on gender equality.

While some European countries and pro-abortion organizations were outspoken about the need to include SRHR, the enthusiasm was not widespread. The greater debate focused on issues such as balancing intellectual property rights with the provision of access to medicines for all.

Meanwhile, the fight over SRHR language will continue at the UN General Assembly. In December the UN resolved to hold its first high-level meeting on universal health coverage later in 2019.

The U.S. delegation's strong condemnation of "reproductive health" terminology accurately describes the way seemingly innocuous words in obscure resolutions can have harmful effects around the world. But the words remain in the resolution regardless. The U.S.'s dissociation from them does nothing to stop the WHO from promoting abortion in other countries. The phrase "reproductive health" is widely interpreted as including abortion, both in the U.S. and internationally. As an example, the recent state law in New York expanding abortion rights is titled the "Reproductive Health Act."

The United States took a similar position last year with the Astana Declaration on primary health care. While the phrase "reproductive health" appeared in the declaration, the U.S. insisted on the inclusion of a clarifying footnote. It recalled the caveat from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development stating that "in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning."

It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will go beyond making statements and disassociating from the language and block consensus on an agreement in order to make sure the controversial phrase gets deleted.

Published with permission from C-Fam.

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New Mexico House passes ‘most extreme’ pro-abortion bill in America

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By Calvin Freiburger

SANTA FE, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday the New Mexico House of Representatives joined a wave of states passing measures meant to insulate abortion-on-demand from future Supreme Court rulings, with a bill critics are calling the most radical of its kind to date.

By a 40-29 vote, the Democrat-controlled House passed House Bill 51 which would repeal multiple unenforced, pre-Roe sections of the law that criminalized abortion, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Six Democrats crossed the aisle to vote against it; every Republican voted against it except state Rep. Paul Bandy, who was absent.

“It simply removes an antiquated law that criminalizes health care,” Democrat state Rep. Joanne Ferrary, a cosponsor of the bill, claimed. But New Mexico Alliance for Life argues it would not only effectively permit abortions up until birth and eliminate restrictions such as parental involvement, it would also erase “the only explicit conscience protection for doctors and other medical professionals that protect them from being forced to participate in abortions.”

“HB-51 is the most extreme bill in the nation because it keeps elective abortion-up-to-birth, and also seeks to force medical professionals to participate in this practice by stripping away explicit conscience protections from the current statute," the group’s executive director Elisa Martinez told Fox News.

“Doctors in New Mexico don’t want to be forced to do this … to do something that sickens them,” Republican House Minority Whip Rod Montoya agreed. According to Fox, Ferrary conceded the bill would allow abortions through all nine months, on the grounds that "abortion is provided for health care.”

HB 51 next goes to the state Senate for consideration, where Democrats have a 26-16 majority. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already endorsed the pro-abortion measure.

New Mexico’s efforts follow the introduction of similar bills in Rhode Island and Vermont, their passage in Massachusetts and New York, and a Virginia bill that was tabled after Democrat Del. Kathy Tran admitted it would allow for aborting a baby moments before giving birth, and embattled Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide under the bill (he later claimed he was only referring to cases such as a “nonviable pregnancy” or “severe fetal abnormalities”).

The bills are a response to speculation that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe in the near future, a possibility pro-life states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee, and West Virginia are also preparing for with measures that either affirm no state-level “right” to abortion or express their intent to ban abortion upon Roe’s fall. Other pro-lifers in Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and elsewhere hope to force the court to review Roe by enacting bans on abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

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New York gov. defends abortion-until-birth law: ‘Roman Catholic values are my personal values’

By Martin Barillas

NEW YORK, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed his Catholic identity while denouncing President Donald Trump’s proposals to limit late-term abortion and defending the Empire State’s new abortion-until-birth law this week.

Recalling that he once served as an altar boy, pro-abortion Cuomo, a Democrat, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that as a Roman Catholic, “I am intimately familiar with the strongly held views of the church. Still, I do not believe that religious values should drive political positions.”

In his State of the Union message, Trump referred to a radical abortion bill that Cuomo signed in January: “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.”

According to Cuomo, Trump was making a ploy to gain favor with the “religious right” and “inflame” his base.

Arguing that the United States is based on “pluralism,” Cuomo wrote, “Roman Catholic values are my personal values. The decisions I choose to make in my life, or in counseling my daughters, are based on my personal moral and religious beliefs.”

However, “my religion cannot demand favoritism as I execute my public duties,” he claimed, ignoring the fact that many people are opposed to abortion not because of religion but because it ends the life of a whole, distinct, living human being.

Cuomo has, however, cited his alleged religious identity in the past to justify other political positions. In 2018, he said that Pope Francis was promoting a “more righteous world” by changing the Catechism of the Catholic Church to label the death penalty “inadmissible.”

“Today, in solidarity with Pope Francis and in honor of my father [former Gov. Mario Cuomo], I will be advancing legislation to remove the death penalty – and its ugly stain in our history – from State law once and for all,” Cuomo said in August.

Cuomo said in his New York Times op-ed, “While Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and the Catholic Church are anti-choice, most Americans, including most Catholics, are pro-choice,” including “59 percent of Catholics.”

Recent polling suggests that Americans do want restrictions on abortion. According to a Marist poll, 75 percent of Americans – including 60 percent of self-identified Democrats and 61 percent of those who favor abortion – want abortion restricted to the first trimester of pregnancy at most.

Nebulous ‘health’ of the mother excuse used to justify late-term abortion   

Cuomo used his New York Times op-ed to claim that the law he signed, the Reproductive Health Act, “does not allow abortions minutes before birth, nor does it allow third-trimester abortions ‘for any reason.’”

“The Reproductive Health Act guarantees a woman's right to abortion in the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy or when the fetus is not viable, and permits it afterward only when a woman's life or health is threatened or at risk...The option is available for exactly the reason stated in Roe and successor cases: to protect the life or health of the woman,” he wrote.

Cuomo neglected to mention that thanks to Roe’s sister case Doe v. Bolton, “health” can be interpreted to mean almost any reason. Cuomo admitted, though, that his state’s new law was “merely codify existing federal law and firmly established practices,” something pro-life observers will note is true. Late-term abortion is already legal and widely available across the U.S., although some states restrict some abortions after 20 weeks (five months into pregnancy).

Cuomo also confirmed in his piece that the pro-abortion left is panicking about the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he signed the pro-abortion law to “protect against the Republicans’ efforts to pack the Supreme Court with extreme conservatives to overturn the constitutional protections recognized in Roe v. Wade.

The presence of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the court means that “the question is not if Roe will be overturned, but when.”

Cardinal Dolan responds

In the wake of Cuomo’s signing of the Reproductive Health Act, Cardinal Dolan said in a television interview that he received “wheelbarrows” full of letters demanding Cuomo’s excommunication, something he has indicated he will not do.

Dolan responded to Cuomo’s linking him with the “religious right” by retorting that the governor had not considered him part of the religious right when seeking help to pass the “minimum wage increase, prison reform, protection of migrant workers, a welcome of immigrants and refugees,” and other progressive issues. The cardinal said, “we were happy to partner with him on” those issues, “because they were our causes too. I guess I was part of the ‘religious left’ in those cases.”

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Ex-Cardinal McCarrick may be defrocked next week: report

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By Martin Barillas

VATICAN CITY, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Unnamed officials at the Vatican have told Reuters that the Vatican will decide next week on discipline for the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick over allegations of sexual abuse.

Unnamed sources had previously told Reuters that McCarrick’s faculties as a priest will be removed, thus making the former Archbishop of Washington the most senior cleric to be so disciplined in nearly 100 years.

On Thursday, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria, who leads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), met with Pope Francis. While Cardinal Ladaria would issue a ruling on McCarrick, it is the pope who will have to approve any decision about the American cleric’s fate.

The development comes just two weeks before the highly-anticipated summit organized by Pope Francis on the “Protection of Minors in the Church,” which has garnered criticism. Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, for example, told LifeSiteNews that the summit is “doomed to failure” if it does not focus on the “predominant role of homosexual behavior in the clerical sexual abuse cases…” The heads of the various bishops’ conferences will meet at the Vatican for the conference, which is being led by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.

Allegations against McCarrick, 88, date back decades while he was a rising figure in the Church’s hierarchy in the United States. He served as archbishop of Washington D.C. from 2001 to 2006. Currently living at a friary in Kansas, McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals was accepted by Pope Francis in July 2018. McCarrick was ordered by the pope to refrain from public ministry and to live in seclusion, prayer and penitence.

McCarrick has responded to just one of the various allegations against him by survivors of sexual abuse, including seminarians. According to McCarrick, he has “absolutely no recollection” of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy that allegedly occurred more than five decades ago. Several priests and former priests have alleged that he abused his authority to force them to sleep in his bed while they were studying for the priesthood.

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Republican State Sen. Jason Rapert, sponsor of the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act
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Arkansas Senate passes bill to ban most abortions once Roe v. Wade falls

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By Calvin Freiburger

LITTLE ROCK, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Arkansas State Senate voted 29-6 Thursday to pass an abortion ban that, if signed into law, would take effect as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

SB 149, the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act, declares it is “time for the United States Supreme Court to redress and correct the grave injustice and the crime against humanity which is being perpetuated by their decisions in Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.” The Act cites post-1973 advancements in embryology, additional knowledge of abortion’s harm to women, safe haven laws that mean women don’t have to raise babies they give birth to, and increased support for adoption.

The Act provides that after Roe’s central holding is either overruled “in whole or in part” by the Supreme Court, or nullified by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, legal abortion will be “abolished” in the state except to save a pregnant woman’s life from a “physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.”

Abortionists who violate the law would face a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to ten years in prison. Women seeking abortions could not be prosecuted, and the bill says it would not apply to the use of contraceptives administered “before the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing.”

"The state of Arkansas is clearly a pro-life state and our citizens have spoken clearly time and time again that we should protect the lives of unborn babies," the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert said, the Associated Press reports. Three Democrats broke ranks to join every Senate Republican in supporting it.

The state Senate saw a heated debate before the vote, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. Democrat state Sen. Joyce Elliott raised the scenario of a rape victim whose emergency contraceptive failed; Rapert responded by noting that the vast majority of abortions have nothing to do with rape, and saying a woman in that situation would have “until the time the pregnancy could be medically detected.”

Democrat state Sen. Linda Chesterfield asked if pro-lifers would introduce an “accompanying bill eliminating the death penalty [...] Since you're asking folks to value life before birth, should we not be valuing it after?" Rapert retorted that he “was hoping that the same place in somebody's heart that would want to save a murderer who killed an innocent person would be the same place in their heart that they would want to save a little innocent human being."

Another bill supporter, Republican state Sen. Missy Irvin, relayed her own story of an unintended pregnancy and the result of her choosing life.

"I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant and I wasn't married. I come from a Catholic family, a big Catholic family. I knew what the consequences of my actions would be, but I still made that choice," she explained. "I didn't know how I was going to tell my mom and my dad, I didn't know how I was going to tell my family. I didn't know how I was going to tell the man that I was dating. I was so scared." But now "I have the most amazing beautiful daughter because of that choice.”

Because it wouldn’t take effect until after Roe falls, the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act won’t impact future abortion deliberations at the Supreme Court, but supporters say it’s important to prepare state laws for a favorable ruling they hope President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees will deliver.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, four states currently have “trigger laws” that would automatically ban abortion upon Roe’s invalidation, while another seven have legislatively expressed their intention to restrict abortion as much as the Supreme Court will permit.

The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a 76-24 majority. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has previously signed a dismemberment abortion ban and canceled the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.

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‘Madness’: Pro-lifers react to SCOTUS blocking Louisiana pro-life law from taking effect

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life leaders and analysts are responding with concern and disappointment to the U.S. Supreme Court’s order Thursday evening to block the implementation of a Louisiana law requiring basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities, particularly regarding Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal wing.

In September, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Act 620, the state’s law requiring abortion centers to make arrangements for admitting women to hospitals within 30 miles in cases of life-threatening complications, and ordered a lawsuit against the law dismissed, reversing a previous ruling by a federal judge in Baton Rouge. Attorneys representing abortionists appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing the law is no different from the Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Last night, a majority of the justices granted their application for a stay, delaying the law from taking effect pending a future ruling on the merits of the case. Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined proven conservatives Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in indicating they would have rejected the stay and let the law take effect.

Most of the dissenters didn’t elaborate on their reasoning, but Kavanaugh penned a dissent that rejected the abortionists’ complaint on technical grounds, while appearing to concede their underlying premises about the “undue burden” standard.

He noted that the law has a 45-day transition period before taking effect, during which “both the doctors and the relevant hospitals could act expeditiously and in good faith to reach a definitive conclusion about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges,” and therefore it was premature to block the law before competing predictions about the law’s impact have been proven or disproven.

If abortionists cannot, obtain admitting privileges, Kavanaugh continued, “even the State acknowledges that the law as applied might be deemed to impose an undue burden for purposes of Whole Woman’s Health,” and the abortionists could then bring a new case.

Responding to the news, Americans United for Life attorney Rachel Morrison framed the decision as simply giving the justices “more time to look at all of the specific factual nuances in the case,” after which “AUL is confident that the Justices will vote to uphold Louisiana’s common-sense safety measure that will protect Louisiana women from substandard abortion doctors.”

Others are more pessimistic. Without discussing specific justices, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser lamented that the “Supreme Court continues a disappointing trend of avoiding their responsibility on decisions concerning abortion [...] The Court should not prevent state legislators from doing the job they were elected by their constituents to do.”

Live Actions' Lila Rose said she was disappointed with the decision in a tweet.  

William Jacobson, a Cornell law professor and conservative legal commentator, concluded it was “unlikely the law ever is going to be allowed to go into effect in the current configuration of the court.”

“Remember, in the Hellerstedt case, Roberts joined with the other conservative justices to say that such regulations are totally within bounds, even under the Roe and Casey precedent of a right to an abortion. Why is he reversing himself now?” Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz asked.

“When lower courts issue injunctions against Supreme Court precedent, including decisions Roberts himself recently wrote, he has no problem taking a hands-off approach to those lower courts,” he continued. “But somehow, when a conservative lower court merely allows a state to mind its own business in a case that might brush up against a recent Supreme Court decision he himself disagreed with and now has the votes to overturn, Roberts parachutes in to overturn the lower court.”

Daily Wire editor-at-large and First Liberty Institute attorney Josh Hammer argued the ruling was another reminder that pro-lifers must do more to change the legal climate than simply appoint more judges:

Whatever their full thoughts on the matter, Roberts and Kavanaugh appear to take seriously the Hellerstedt precedent, which was seen as a major victory by pro-abortion activists and a new low for judicial activism by pro-lifers.

Despite Hellerstedt accepting the abortion industry’s narrative that admitting privileges are medically-unnecessary burdens, 32 nonpartisan medical associations – including the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Committee for Quality Assurance, and covering fields from surgery and anesthesiology to dermatology and radiology – affirmed at the time that admitting privileges are a legitimate medical standard. The pro-abortion justices also ignored the plaintiffs’ own record of health and safety violations.

Last year, a Texas Department of State Health Services report identified numerous offenses at Whole Woman’s Health from 2011 to 2017, including rusty equipment, failing to properly disinfect and sterilize instruments between use, lacking proper written operation procedures, improper storage of hazardous chemicals, unsanitary surfaces, failing to follow up with patients, holes in the floor, and more.

This week’s ruling has not reassured pro-lifers still trying to discern whether Kavanaugh, who expressed significant respect for Roe v. Wade’s status as “precedent” during his confirmation hearings, will ultimately be a reliable pro-life vote. It has also intensified pro-life doubts about Roberts, who has disillusioned conservatives ever since he voted in 2012 and 2015 to uphold Obamacare using intensely controversial reasoning.

In December, Roberts and Kavanaugh joined the court’s liberal wing in declining to hear Kansas and Louisiana’s appeals defending their efforts to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, a decision Thomas excoriated as “abdicating our judicial duty” because of the case’s connection to the “politically fraught issue” of abortion.

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Wrongful death suit filed for Alabama baby aborted against father’s wishes

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By Calvin Freiburger

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Personhood Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWC) abortion facility on behalf of a man whose preborn child was aborted despite his pleas to his girlfriend to keep the baby.

Ryan Magers filed the lawsuit in Madison County Wednesday, ABC affiliate WAAY 31 reports. The abortion happened in 2017, while his girlfriend was six weeks pregnant with the child the lawsuit calls Baby Roe.

“I just tried to plead with her and plead with her and just talk to her about it and see what I could do, but in the end, there was nothing I could do to change her mind,” Magers said, adding it was “like my whole world fell apart” and declaring that “every child from conception is a baby and deserves to live.”

“I'm here for the men who actually want to have their baby,” he explained of his lawsuit. “Even though there's nothing I can do for the situation I was in, there is something I can do for the future situations for other people.”

The suit is seeking damages from AWC, three unnamed “agents, employees, directors, representatives, contractors, or servants of the Alabama Women’s Center,” and the pharmaceutical company responsible for the abortion pill AWC dispensed to Baby Roe’s mother.

AWC owner Dalton Johnson told WAAY he was unaware of the lawsuit, but stressed that abortions at six weeks are legal.

Citing statute, judicial precedent, and the Alabama Constitution, the suit notes that under “Alabama law, an unborn child is a legal person,” and a press release from Personhood Alabama notes that “just this past November Alabamians approved an amendment to the state constitution declaring that it is the ‘public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.’”

“During the last decade, the Alabama Supreme Court has issued seven decidedly pro-life decisions which recognize the personhood of the unborn,” the press release continues. “Three of these cases, Mack v. Carmack, Hamilton v. Scott, and Stinnett v. Kennedy involved wrongful death suits and interpreted the world ‘child’ in the Wrongful Death Act to include unborn children as well as born children.”

In addition to Alabama voters enshrining the sanctity of life and rejecting a “right” to abortion in their state constitution last fall, the state currently has a dismemberment abortion ban working through the court system.

“Baby Roe's innocent life was taken by the profiteering of the Alabama Women’s Center and while no court will be able to bring Baby Roe back to life, we will seek the fullest extent of justice on behalf of Baby Roe and Baby Roe's father,” Magers’ attorney Brent Helms said. “The time is ripe for consistency in Alabama’s jurisprudence: either we fully acknowledge the personhood of the unborn or we cherry pick which innocents we protect and which ones we trash for profit.”

Helms told WAAY he believed this case was the first of its kind in the state, and expressed hope that it could establish new precedent for the preborn.

While recent controversies in New York and Virginia have put the spotlight on late-term abortion and infanticide, Personhood Alabama spokeswoman Hannah Ford argues the Baby Roe case is a “timely reminder that every single abortion committed is a chilling assault on a precious and innocent human life – an intolerable violation of the most basic, God-given human right, the right to life.”

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Bishop removes parish priest for causing ‘division’ by bringing back incense, bells, chant

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean
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Fr. Edwin C. Dwyer

BAY CITY, Michigan, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Michigan bishop has removed a priest from his parish after he blamed the priest for causing "division" by extolling and implementing traditional Catholic liturgical practices.

Bishop Walter Hurley, 81, the apostolic administrator of Saginaw, removed Father Edwin C. Dwyer on January 29 from Our Lady of Peace parish in Bay City, MI. 

After contemplating the precipitous drop in Mass attendance in his diocese, and the growing popularity of such traditional Catholic sacramentals as incense among the young, Dwyer announced in December that he would re-introduce such distinctively Catholic aspects to one of his Masses.

In a homily later published on social media, Dwyer asked his parishioners to notice that few people in the pews were his age, 36, or younger. Stressing the importance of young people for the future of the Church, Dwyer said that he wanted to do whatever worked to “embolden” younger Catholics and attract young non-Catholics to the faith.

“Believe it or not, tradition works,” he said.

“So-called ’old ways’ are quite popular among younger Catholics. Smells, bells, classic hymns, chant, prolonged silence, and, hold on for this one, Latin are all largely embraced by the younger generations of the Church,” he continued.  

“Furthermore, when younger non-Catholics experience these traditions they are struck by how different they are from everything else they experience in a noisy, secular culture. These ‘old ways’ are beautiful to them, and beauty is a great place to introduce young folks to Jesus Christ.”

'We need to embrace what works with the young'

Dwyer then announced that he was going to restore beauty to Sundays at the Church.

“We are going to make Sunday beautiful at Our Lady of Peace. That’s not to say it isn’t now. I have nothing but respect for all who help with our worship, but we are going to make it more beautiful with tradition,” he explained.

“We are going to look, and sound, and smell vastly different from the rest of the world on Sundays. It will be a religious experience that, at the very least, will be memorable to the young who encounter it,” he continued.

The priest observed that the changes he had already made had had an impact.

“I have not been here long, but folks tell me they’re noticing more young families, and crying babies. And if the church ain’t cryin’, the church is dyin’,” he joked.  

“My goal is to hear a chorus of crying babies before my time here ends. To do that, however, we need to embrace what works with the young. We need to more greatly embrace timeless traditions. We cannot keep the status quo.”

Unfortunately, Dwyer’s plan to inject youth and beauty into his church met with resistance from some of the elderly members of the congregation.  

According to Catholic website UCatholic, Dwyer’s  “...minor and gradual changes were met with resistance by a small portion of entrenched parishioners at Our Lady of Peace, but met with joy and hope by younger members of the parish. The vocal minority forced a ‘town hall’ parish meeting on Jan. 21 to complain, and the meeting was marked by acrimonious statements, sometimes becoming blatantly disrespectful, from a handful of discordant and disrespectful, mostly baby-boomer generation parishioners.”

Christ is King over all matters: Church, state, and otherwise.

Father Dwyer’s address to the meeting can be read here. From his remarks, it is clear that at least one parishioner objected to his stance against abortion.

“I have never preached about how to vote. I went out of my way to say that my homily was not about voting. I was preaching about our spiritual responsibility to fight against the evil of abortion,” the priest said.

“The closest thing I said to anything about voting is that we will be held accountable for how, and why we voted in the next life,” he continued.

“The overarching point of my homily is that Christ is King over all matters: Church, state, and otherwise.”

UCatholic reported that after this January 21 meeting Bishop Hurley suddenly removed Dwyer from his post as chaplain at Saginaw Valley State University. Dwyer was told “that his work at SVSU was causing ‘conflict’ at his parish.”

After SVSU students protested their chaplain’s January 31 removal, Hurley announced that Dwyer would be leaving his role as parish administrator, too.

In a letter to the congregation of Our Lady of Peace, dated February 1, Bishop Hurley stated that “issues” were dividing the “parish community.”

“For some time now I have been aware of a number of issues, particularly with the Liturgy, that have divided the parish community at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Bay City,” he wrote.

“This is a serious concern in that our worship should draw us together, rather than divide. It is important that we seek ways to unite the parish in our common mission of being evangelizing disciples and grow in our relationship with Christ, each in our own way,” he continued.

“On January 28 and again on January 29 I met with Father Dwyer to discuss divisions within Our Lady of Peace. This meeting was preceded by earlier meetings with our Diocesan staff, including Father Bill Rutkowski, Vicar General and Father Peter Gaspeny, the Regional Vicar.”

The bishop related that he then told Dwyer to “step away from the parish for a brief period” and Dwyer “declined” the request.  

Reflecting on the controversy the diocese was now embroiled in, the bishop said that he had decided to remove the young pastor.

“I have withdrawn his present assignment as Parochial Administrator, effective February 8, 2019. The Diocese will have responsibility for his salary, benefits and housing as he awaits a new assignment,” Hurley wrote.

A request for comment to the Diocese of Saginaw by LifeSiteNews was not returned.

Fears for Fr. Dwyer’s safety

According to Church Militant (CM), Dwyer has been housed in a rectory in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Saginaw.  

“Holy Family is directly across the street from Hoyt Park, a place known for drugs, prostitution and even murder,” CM reported.

“The parish itself has suffered several break-ins, and rarely holds evening events out of concerns for people's safety,” it continued.  

“So notorious is the violence that the current pastoral administrator of Holy Family does not even live at the rectory, but off site.”

Bishop Hurley is now being inundated with correspondence from Catholic incensed at the unjust treatment of a priest guilty of nothing more than wishing to make Sunday worship--and Catholicism--more attractive to young people. Not new to controversy, Hurley has been accused of protecting clerical sexual abusers in the Archdiocese of Detroit before being appointed as Bishop of Grand Rapids.

Supporters of Fr Dwyer have also turned to social media to ask for prayers.

“Please pray for Fr. Eddie Dwyer,” tweeted a Carmelite friar named Father Nicholas, aka the Frank Friar. “He is a priest in my home diocese who has been removed from several parish assignment because of his efforts for renewal. I’ve known him for years. He is a loving priest. His work at a university has truly been impacting many lives for the better.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider
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Bishop Schneider on Pope’s statement with Muslims: ‘Christianity is the only God-willed religion’

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider has issued a statement on the uniqueness of faith in Christ, to remedy confusion arising from the controversial document Pope Francis signed with a Grand Imam earlier this week in Abu Dhabi. 

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

The document incited controversy among Christians for asserting that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom” – a statement many believe contravenes the Catholic Faith. 

According to the auxiliary of Astana, the document is a sign of a real “climate change” and “migration” crisis threatening the spiritual world of souls. Bishop Schneider writes: 

The most urgent task of the Church in our time is to care about the change of the spiritual climate and about the spiritual migration, namely that the climate of non-belief in Jesus Christ, the climate of the rejection of the kingship of Christ, be changed into the climate of explicit faith in Jesus Christ, of the acceptance of His kingship, and that men may migrate from the misery of the spiritual slavery of unbelief into the happiness of being sons of God and from a life of sin into the state of sanctifying grace. These are the migrants about whom we must care urgently.

“Christianity is the only God-willed religion,” he writes. “Therefore, it can never be placed complementarily side by side with other religions. Those would violate the truth of Divine Revelation, as it is unmistakably affirmed in the First Commandment of the Decalogue, who would assert that the diversity of religions is the will of God."

“There is only one way to God, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: ‘I am the Way’ (John 14: 6). There is only one truth, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: ‘I am the Truth’ (John 14: 6). There is only one true supernatural life of the soul, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: ‘I am the Life’ (John 14: 6),” Bishop Schneider writes.

“True universal brotherhood can be only in Christ, and namely between baptized persons,” he insists. And “outside the Christian Faith no other religion is able to transmit true supernatural life: ‘This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’(John 17: 3).”

Here below we publish the full statement from Bishop Athanasius Schneider, entitled The Gift of Filial Adoption.

***

The Gift of Filial Adoption

The Christian Faith: the only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to mankind. One obtains it, however, only through a personal faith in Christ and through the reception of baptism, as the Lord himself taught: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (Jn 3:5-7).

In the past decades one often heard — even from the mouth of some representatives of the Church’s hierarchy — statements about the theory of “anonymous Christians.” This theory says the following: The mission of the Church in the world would consist ultimately in raising the awareness that all men must have of their salvation in Christ and consequently of their filial adoption in Christ. Since, according to the same theory, every human being possesses already the sonship of God in the depth of his personality. Yet, such a theory contradicts directly Divine Revelation, as Christ taught it and His Apostles and the Church over two thousand years always transmitted it unchangingly and without a shadow of a doubt.

In his essay “The Church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles” (Die Kirche aus Juden und Heiden) Erik Peterson, the well-known convert and exegete, long since (in 1933) warned against the danger of such a theory, when he affirmed that one cannot reduce being a Christian (“Christsein”) to the natural order, in which the fruits of the redemption achieved by Jesus Christ would be generally imputed to every human being as a kind of heritage, solely because he would share human nature with the incarnated Word. However, filial adoption in Christ is not an automatic result, guaranteed through belonging to the human race.

Saint Athanasius (cf. Oratio contra Arianos II, 59) left us a simple and at the same time an apt explanation of the difference between the natural state of men as God’s creatures and the glory of being a son of God in Christ. Saint Athanasius derives his explanation from the words of the holy Gospel according to John, that say: “He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn 1:12-13). John uses the expression “they are born” to say that men become sons of God not by nature, but by adoption. This shows the love of God, that He Who is their creator becomes then through grace also their Father. This happens when, as the Apostle says, men receive in their hearts the Spirit of the Incarnated Son, Who cries in them: “Abba, Father!” Saint Athanasius continues his explanation saying, that as created beings, men can become sons of God in no other manner than through faith and baptism, when they receive the Spirit of the natural and true Son of God. Precisely for that reason the Word became flesh, to make men capable of adoption as sons of God and of participation in the Divine nature. Consequently, by nature God is not in the proper sense the Father of all human beings. Only if someone consciously accepts Christ and is baptized, will he be able to cry in truth: “Abba, Father” (Ro. 8: 15; Gal 4: 6).

Since the beginnings of the Church there was the assertion, as testified by Tertullian: “One is not born as a Christian, but one becomes a Christian” (Apol., 18, 5). And Saint Cyprian of Carthage formulated aptly this truth, saying: ‘He cannot have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother’” (De unit., 6).

The most urgent task of the Church in our time is to care about the change of the spiritual climate and about the spiritual migration, namely that the climate of non-belief in Jesus Christ, the climate of the rejection of the kingship of Christ, be changed into the climate of explicit faith in Jesus Christ, of the acceptance of His kingship, and that men may migrate from the misery of the spiritual slavery of unbelief into the happiness of being sons of God and from a life of sin into the state of sanctifying grace. These are the migrants about whom we must care urgently.

Christianity is the only God-willed religion. Therefore, it can never be placed complementarily side by side with other religions. Those would violate the truth of Divine Revelation, as it is unmistakably affirmed in the First Commandment of the Decalogue, who would assert that the diversity of religions is the will of God. According to the will of Christ, faith in Him and in His Divine teaching must replace other religions, however not by force, but by loving persuasion, as expressed in the hymn of Lauds of the Feast of Christ the King: “Non Ille regna cladibus, non vi metuque subdidit: alto levatus stipite, amore traxit omnia” (“Not with sword, force and fear He subjects peoples, but lifted up on the Cross He lovingly draws all things to Himself”).

There is only one way to God, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: “I am the Way” (Jn 14:6). There is only one truth, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: “I am the Truth” (Jn 14:6). There is only one true supernatural life of the soul, and this is Jesus Christ, for He Himself said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6).

The Incarnated Son of God taught that outside faith in Him there cannot be a true and God-pleasing religion: “I am the door. By me, if any man enters in, he shall be saved” (John 10: 9). God commanded to all men, without exception, to hear His Son: “This is my most beloved Son; hear Him!” (Mk 9:7). God did not say: “You can hear My Son or you can hear other founders of a religion, for it is My will that there are different religions.” God has forbidden us to recognize the legitimacy of the religion of other gods: “Thou shalt not have strange gods before me” (Ex. 20: 3) and “What fellowship has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor 6: 14-16).

If other religions likewise corresponded to the will of God, there would not have been the Divine condemnation of the religion of the Golden Calf at the time of Moses (cf. Ex. 32:4-20); then the Christians of today could unpunished cultivate the religion of a new Golden Calf, since all religions are, according to that theory, God-pleasing ways as well.

God gave the Apostles and through them the Church for all times the solemn order to instruct all nations and the followers of all religions in the only one true Faith, teaching them to observe all His Divine commandments and baptize them (cf. Mt. 28: 19-20). Since the preaching of the Apostles and of the first Pope, the Apostle St. Peter, the Church proclaimed always that there is salvation in no other name, i.e., in no other faith under heaven by which men must be saved, but in the Name and in the Faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 4:12).

With the words of Saint Augustine the Church taught in all times: “The Christian religion is the only religion which possesses the universal way for the salvation of the soul; for except by this way, none can be saved. This is a kind of royal way, which alone leads to a kingdom which does not totter like all temporal dignities, but stands firm on eternal foundations.” (De civitate Dei, 10, 32, 1).

The following words of the great Pope Leo XIII testify the same unchanging teaching of the Magisterium in all times, when he affirmed: “The view that all religions are alike, is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions” (Encyclical Humanum genus, n. 16).

In recent times the Magisterium presented substantially the same unchanging teaching in the Document Dominus Iesus(August 6, 2000), from which we quote the following relevant assertions:

Theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance” (n. 7). “Those solutions that propose a salvific action of God beyond the unique mediation of Christ would be contrary to Christian and Catholic faith” (n. 14). “Not infrequently it is proposed that theology should avoid the use of terms like “unicity,” “universality,” and “absoluteness,” which give the impression of excessive emphasis on the significance and value of the salvific event of Jesus Christ in relation to other religions. In reality, however, such language is simply being faithful to revelation” (n. 15). “It is clear that it would be contrary to the faith to consider the Church as one way of salvation alongside those constituted by the other religions, seen as complementary to the Church or substantially equivalent to her, even if these are said to be converging with the Church toward the eschatological kingdom of God” (n. 21). “The faith rules it out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another’ (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris missio, 36). (n. 22)

The Apostles and the countless Christian martyrs of all times, especially those of the first three centuries, would have been spared martyrdom, if they had said: “The pagan religion and its worship is a way, which as well corresponds to the will of God.” There would have been for instance no Christian France, no “Eldest Daughter of the Church,” if Saint Remigius had said to Clovis, the King of the Francs: “Do not despise your pagan religion you have worshiped up to now, and worship now Christ, Whom you have persecuted up to now.” The saintly bishop actually spoke differently, although in a rather rough way: “Worship what you burned, and burn what you have worshiped!”

True universal brotherhood can be only in Christ, and namely between baptized persons. The full glory of God’s sons will be attained only in the beatific vision of God in heaven, as Holy Scripture teaches: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:1-2). 

No authority on earth – not even the supreme authority of the Church – has the right to dispense people from other religions from the explicit Faith in Jesus Christ as the Incarnated Son of God and the only Savior of mankind with the assurance that the different religions as such are willed by God Himself. Indelible – because written with the finger of God and crystal-clear in their meaning – remain, however, the words of the Son of God: “Whoever believes in the Son of God is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:18). This truth was valid up to now in all Christian generations and will remain valid until the end of time, irrespective of the fact that some people in the Church of our so fickle, cowardly, sensationalist, and conformist time reinterpret this truth in a sense contrary to its evident wording, selling thereby this reinterpretation as continuity in the development of doctrine.

Outside the Christian Faith no other religion can be a true and God-willed way, since it is the explicit will of God, that all people believe in His Son: “This is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life” (Jn 6:40). Outside the Christian Faith no other religion is able to transmit true supernatural life: “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3).

February 8, 2019

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

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Roberts joins SCOTUS liberals to block Louisiana pro-life law from taking effect

By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court has voted five to four to block the implementation of a Louisiana law requiring basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities, potentially hinting at the justices’ disposition to affirm a key pro-abortion ruling from 2016.

Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh indicated they would have denied the application and therefore allowed the pro-life law to go into effect. The Supreme Court still may take the case, in which case it would be heard sometime after October, but in the meantime, the law mandating abortion facilities uphold basic safety standards remains blocked.

Justice John Roberts, previously thought of as a reliable pro-life justice, joined his liberal colleagues in preventing the law from taking effect pending a ruling on the decision.

Kavanaugh dissented from the grant of application for a stay, focusing largely on technical points.

If the Supreme Court does end up taking the case, it seems likely Roberts will be the deciding vote. If the Supreme Court ultimately decides not to take the case, then the stay will be lifted and the pro-life law will go into effect.

In September, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Act 620, the state’s law requiring abortion centers to make arrangements for admitting women to hospitals within 30 miles in cases of life-threatening complications, and ordered a lawsuit against the law dismissed, reversing a previous ruling by a federal judge in Baton Rouge. Earlier in January the full Fifth Circuit rejected an appeal to rehear the case, and attorneys representing abortionists filed a petition with the Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog reports.

They wanted the Court to block enforcement of the law (which was set to take effect February 4) while they prepared a petition for review, arguing the law is no different from the Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and that it would reduce Louisiana to one abortionist for the entire state.

However, 5th Circuit Judge Jerry Smith noted in September that while the laws may be similar, its impact would be different as most Louisiana hospitals didn’t have the Texas requirement that doctors must see a minimum number of patients per year to qualify for admitting privileges. He also concluded there was no evidence that any abortion centers would be forced to close as a result of the law, and that there was only one abortionist who was currently unable to comply.

The Court’s decision could be a grim omen for current Supreme Court precedent on abortion, of which the Hellerstedt ruling was seen as a major victory by pro-abortion activists and a new low for judicial activism by pro-lifers. There remains the possibility of the Court deciding to hear the case while the law is still blocked from taking effect, in which case pro-lifers would have fresh reason to hope Roberts might rule on the side of life.

Despite Hellerstedt accepting the abortion industry’s narrative that admitting privileges are medically unnecessary burdens, 32 nonpartisan medical associations – including the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Committee for Quality Assurance, and covering fields from surgery and anesthesiology to dermatology and radiology – affirmed at the time that admitting privileges are a legitimate medical standard. The pro-abortion justices also ignored the plaintiffs’ own record of health and safety violations.

Last year, a Texas Department of State Health Services report identified numerous offenses at Whole Woman’s Health from 2011 to 2017, including rusty equipment, failing to properly disinfect and sterilize instruments between use, lacking proper written operation procedures, improper storage of hazardous chemicals, unsanitary surfaces, failing to follow up with patients, holes in the floor, and more.

Today’s ruling helps reassure those still unsure how pro-life Trump appointees Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are – but indicates that Roberts may now begin to rule with the Court’s liberal, pro-abortion bloc.

In December, Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh joined the court’s liberal wing in declining to hear Kansas and Louisiana’s appeals defending their efforts to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood. Justice Gorsuch voted to take the case, although his own position on abortion remains unknown.

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Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as late-term abortion

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By Calvin Freiburger

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The abortion lobby was already less-than thrilled that loose-lipped Virginia politicians provoked a renewed conversation about late-term abortion, and then President Donald Trump went and used his State of the Union address to amplify the spotlight even more.

All of this talk of killing viable children who are largely indistinguishable from newborns was undermining pro-aborts’ preferred narrative that abortions are almost never done on recognizable babies, and when they are it’s only in response to some nightmarish medical emergency. So in an attempt to cast themselves in a better light, they’ve resorted to one of their most time-tested strategies: lying.

Specifically, multiple articles and tweets have popped up (entirely coincidentally, I’m sure) preaching the same line: that “late-term abortion” is somehow medically inaccurate. Yes, really.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists health policy VP Dr. Barbara Levy and Physicians for Reproductive Health fellow Dr. Jennifer Conti told CNN that late-term abortion is “medically inaccurate and has no clinical meaning” and an “invention of anti-abortion extremists to confuse, mislead and increase stigma,” respectively. Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an abortionist and pro-abortion writer who bills herself as “the Internet’s OB/GYN,” claims anyone who uses “late-term abortion” is either illiterate or a liar:

New York Times “health and science” writer Pam Belluck says “(l)ate-term abortion is a phrase used by abortion opponents to refer to abortions performed after about 21 weeks of pregnancy. It is not the same as the medical definition obstetricians use for ‘late-term,’ which refers to pregnancies that extend past a woman’s due date, meaning about 41 or 42 weeks.”

For good measure, Kaiser Health News rounded up these and other headlines in a Thursday morning briefing titled, “‘Late-Term Abortion’ Is Medically Inaccurate And Has No Clinical Meaning. Here’s What Else Experts Say Trump Got Wrong About The Issue.”

Pro-abortion propagandists have practically elevated nonsensical talking points to an art form, but this one is in a league of its own. Whether “late-term abortion” is a medical term or not has absolutely nothing to do with any of the factual elements of the abortions we’re talking about, or the substantive questions of the debate we’re having.

As should be so obvious that part of me can’t believe pro-aborts are making it necessary to write this, “late-term abortion” simply denotes abortions that are committed late in a pregnancy. In the context of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would mean past 20 weeks or five months; in the context of the abortion bills pushed in New York, Virginia, and elsewhere, it would refer to abortions in the third trimester.

“Late-term abortion” is an easily understandable, perfectly reasonable layman’s term to capture the concept; it’s also worth noting that it’s a pretty value-neutral term too (certainly more so than “dismemberment” or “partial-birth” abortion, which liberals also throw a fit about), making it all the more remarkable that pro-aborts are petty and desperate enough to try to stigmatize it.

Indeed, for a perfect example of just how insincere all of this is, just consider Dr. Conti’s preferred alternative: “The appropriate language is ‘abortions later in pregnancy.’” If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out a meaningful difference between “late-term abortion” and “abortion later in pregnancy,” you’re not alone.

Late-term abortion’s defenders point to 2015 CDC data finding that just 1.3 percent of abortions are performed past 21 weeks in a year. What they don’t point out is that 1.3 percent of 638,169 reported abortions is still more than 8,200 dead babies, and that federal abortion statistics are woefully incomplete; the CDC doesn’t get any abortion data from California, Maryland, or New Hampshire, meaning the actual numbers of both overall and late-term abortions are much higher.

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute notes that the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute puts its most recent annual U.S. abortion estimate at 926,200. “Even using the low estimate of 1.3 percent from the CDC, that translates into an estimated 12,040 late-term abortions in that year,” it writes. “This exceeds the number of deaths due to homicides by firearm in 2013.” And we all know what liberals think about that number of gun deaths.

As for whether late-term abortions are done out of medical necessity, pro-aborts are pulling a bait-and-switch. As pro-life OB/GYN Dr. William Lile and reformed ex-abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino have explained, it’s sometimes necessary to deliver a baby early, but losing a child as an unintended side effect of life-saving treatment is very different from intentionally applying lethal force to the child in an abortion.

Lozier cites another reason to doubt this persistent narrative, in the form of a 2013 study published in the Guttmacher journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. After comparing 272 women who aborted after 20 weeks with 169 who aborted before 20 weeks, they admitted that the “data suggests that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” The typical reasons for most abortions – financial concerns, aversion to single motherhood, etc. – largely applied to late-term abortions, as well.

It would be naïve to infer from all this that pro-aborts are losing in any meaningful sense; their greatest assets remain judicial insulation of their policies and the media’s assistance in changing the subject. But pro-life politicians should take this as a reminder of how weak pro-aborts know their own arguments are, and aggressively dismantling them is sure to reap dividends in the eyes of any fence-sitters paying attention.

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Gay organizations need to be subject to federal investigation under RICO

Robert Oscar Lopez
By Robert Oscar Lopez

February 8, 2019 (American Thinker) — Gay men Ed Buck and Terry Bean donated huge sums to Democrats and played leading roles in LGBT activism. Now they find themselves under scrutiny for misconduct with younger men. David Daniels and Scott Walters befriended Ruth Bader Ginsburg and inspired her to defend gay rights eloquently. Recently, they were accused of raping a young man in 2010.

To add to the trend of famous gay Democrats in trouble, now Bryan Singer came under harsh scrutiny in the Atlantic over allegations of abuse. Together these men paint a horrifying picture. They are far from the worst one finds in the gay community.

Ed Buck's case deals with two black men, both younger, who died in his California home during some sort of drug-induced sex play.

Terry Bean's case points to troubling congress with younger men, possibly including a minor.

Bryan Singer's case involves lots of boys with Latino names. These point to a possible preference for younger, vulnerable Hispanic men. I wrote about the common occurrence of white men delighting in submissive Latino boys in the novels Johnson Park and Melville Affair. (Some details are reviewed in this post.) I endured years of this cultural dysfunction as a kid growing up in the LGBT community. I wrote those novels without realizing how shocking and nauseating they would feel to average viewers.

Before I took them off the market, a few people got a hold of both novels. Gay critics slammed them quickly as badly written and homophobic stereotypes (of course!). In November 2014, an undergraduate activist shouted me down after a presentation at Catholic University, alleging with his friends that I "wrote a book that claimed all gay men are pedophiles." Later I tried to approach Richard, one of the shouting undergraduates, to see what he was referring to. He held in his hand a profile on me by one of the usual gay websites that track "homophobes." Because I wrote fiction based on abuse of Latino boys by white men, which I saw in real life, I had been blacklisted as a homophobe.

Ex-wives of gay men, ex-gays, and kids of gays know this routine. The gay community enables abuse. If you speak publicly about how the community harmed you, they double down on the abuse by destroying your career and reputation in the public square.

When I compiled Jephthah's Daughters with sixteen other writers, we carefully assembled accounts of people who grew up with gay parents. We found similar stories of abuse that the children saw around them. Despite the rigged social science research, what I found in interviews came across loud and clear: having gay parents is difficult not because of external homophobia, but because the gay community's abusive habits filter into the home.

What feels banal and unremarkable in the gay world outrages people with a mainstream American mindset. The gay community has known this for a long time. Gay leadership has worked deliberately to prevent the truth about its inner workings from reaching a broader audience.

After decades silencing whistleblowers, gays face the terrifying prospect of losing their "untouchable" status. When the truth unfurls, the gay political movement will lose almost all its credibility, because the whole community worked together to hide its abuse for so long.

Why has it taken so long?

I blogged countless times about the problem of abuse in the gay male community. For example, I mentioned Terry Bean in this 2015 piece

I recorded a commentary about Ed Buck in 2017 after reading about the first black man found dead in his apartment, available here.

Consider how many articles I wrote on American Thinker.

On sexual abuse in the gay community: July 18, 2011May 14, 2012November 1, 2012December 4, 2012December 24, 2012February 9, 2013July 6, 2013August 9, 2013December 22, 2013May 11, 2014May 12, 2014May 21, 2015September 23, 2015October 15, 2017November 27, 2017September 6, 2018.

On gay culture's racism: January 27, 2013August 18, 2013October 20, 2013December 27, 2013March 24, 2014June 25, 2014July 2, 2014September 29, 2014May 1, 2015November 30, 2015June 15, 2016November 27, 2016December 22, 2018.

Ed Buck and Terry Bean did not act in a vacuum.

The overwhelming majority of gay abusers benefit from a pro-gay press, a pro-gay judiciary, and pro-gay academia, all of which shield them from scrutiny. Decades of propaganda have made it taboo to notice abusive patterns among homosexuals. People internalize myths of gay innocence and stay quiet when they see disturbing things happening.

But things change. Buck and Bean cannot hide from public outrage the way they used to. Years of conservative whistleblowing by ex-gay refugees like me, in combination with current MeToo obsessions, have changed the game forever.

When informants called out problems in the gay community, they were standing up to forces as massive as the Vatican. For how long have Catholic officials played the victim and cried "anti-Catholic" hatred?

For how long did the Democrats protect Bill Clinton et al. by calling their critics right-wing prudes, fundamentalist wackos, anti-sex puritans, or closeted self-loathing homosexuals?

When you do not want people to know bad things about your friends, you use guilt, threats, mind games, and whatever tricks you can come up with.

People who lob charges like "bigotry" and "hate speech" are not overly zealous snowflakes or hypersensitive crybabies. This is where Ben Shapiro and his "facts don't care about your feelings" followers get everything wrong. We are not dealing with snowflakes. We are dealing with criminals devoid of any feelings. They silence criticism to preserve an elaborate racket of exploitation, fraud, and abuse.

GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Right Wing Watch knew exactly what they were doing when they smeared anyone criticizing homosexual abuse as homophobes.

When Claire Potter rushed to discredit my abuse history in the comments section of Inside Higher Education in 2015, she was not a marginal nobody in the gay community. She was a well known lesbian historian who had run a public blog in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The people at Inside Higher Ed obviously sympathized with her. Moderators deleted all my comments responding to her.

Through her blog, Potter drew me into her conversational circles. Using information she got from my engagement on her public Chronicle forum, she wrote to California State University Northridge and compounded my problems there. These are not casual frictions. They are premeditated moves.

Gay organizations — indeed, the entire gay community's leadership — need to be subject to federal investigation under RICO. I am 100% serious. Not only do FBI statistics reveal a harrowing percentage of boys who get molested by men while underage. Also, untold numbers of people have lost their jobs, livelihoods, and reputations due to the smears that the community's cover-up necessitated.

At this point the research cannot be trusted. The encroachment by LGBT activists into children's education and entertainment poses a massive risk we cannot afford to accept blindly.

People on both left and right have overlooked the reality of gay abuse because, if I analyze this charitably, the essence of the gay community has remained hidden.

I would explain it this way. You cannot discuss education effectively if you have never set foot in a school. You cannot discuss religion effectively if you have never set foot in a place of worship. And you cannot discuss homosexuality effectively if you have never set foot in a bathhouse.

I have gone into bathhouses and worked in them, both as a housekeeper and as a less illustrious type of worker. Inside the bathhouse, affairs are not random or scattered. Gay tastes are not individual expressions of personal rights. Gays form a network, an organized coterie, with its own hierarchies, economies, and rituals. Gayness is collective; it "exists" not because gay individuals exist, but because a milieu exists to connect one man to scores of other men. To get what passes for sex, gays must enter the gay spaces and expose themselves, which means they become beholden to gays who can blackmail or stalk them.

In the bathhouse, the only hedge against danger is to join in the nudity. If you engage in sodomy in a semi-public place, you find more safety than if you bring a man to somewhere secluded, where he may overwhelm you physically. The economy of the bathhouse is heartless. Fat men must be rich and pay for a larger room if they hold any hope of cavorting with a young fit man. Whites have more power. Men of color often appear available because they exchange sexual favors for money or some other way to stay alive. The bathhouse inducts you into the map of the whole city. You know who's gay in each church, company, neighborhood, and ethnic enclave.

Don't let lesbians say this is only the male side of things. Lesbians yoked their case to gay men long ago and have helped gays cover up abuse for a long time.

Many will protest that we cannot generalize from the bathhouse. But we can, since that is the place where homosexuality exists most honestly.

One thing unites everyone in the bathhouse: the need to keep everything secret. In other words, shame. You will not find love, support, or redemption there. You will find homosexuality in all its harmful brutality, as I explain here. Society will likely react to the news of gay sex abuse by trying to isolate the abusive practices from a mythically non-abusive and healthy homosexuality. But there is no there there. As you learn in the bathhouse, homosexuality consists of a preoccupation with genitals. Unfortunately, while they are preoccupied with genitals, theirs cannot match the type of activity everyone in the community wants to pursue. This paradox breeds misery. To the extent that homosexuals seek to normalize and naturalize their paradox, particularly to young people, the misery leads to a system of abuse and cover-ups.

Contact your senator now and send a clear message. "Big Gay" is not a homophobic myth. The abuse has thrived because of an organized system crushing whistleblowers and enabling exploitation. Government should not involve itself in everything, but it should protect us from this kind of racketeering, influencing, and corrupt organizations. We need a Homo RICO now.

Robert Oscar Lopez writes at English Manif.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Vatican abuse summit committee member: ‘Real problem is…abuse of power’

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By Maike Hickson

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Father Hans Zollner, S.J. –  one of the four clergymen called by Pope Francis to prepare the upcoming February Abuse Summit in Rome – has stated in an interview that the underlying problem of the crisis is not homosexuality, but “abuse of power.”

“The real problem with sexual abuse,” he said, “is not the sexual orientation, but abuse of power.” Zollner, President of the Centre for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said the discussion is “too one-dimensional” when focusing on the aspect of sexual orientation. The Abuse Summit is to take place in Rome Feb. 21-24, where presidents of the world’s nearly 130 bishops’ conferences will gather with Pope Francis to discuss clerical sex abuse.

It appears that Fr. Zollner has not always maintained this position. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in his momentous 2018 testimony, had quoted Fr. Zollner as telling the newspaper La Stampa that regarding clerical sexual abuse “in most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”

Zollner’s comments to Dr. Benjamin Leven were published in the February edition of the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz.

The Jesuit priest also made some disparaging remarks about both Catholic leadership and Catholic laymen in the U.S. He said that the U.S. bishops, with their attempt at establishing new rules in November of 2018 – “irritate” him “a little,” claiming that this is an easy way out by overlooking the need of a supportive  “personal attitude.” Commenting on the ongoing abuse discussion in the U.S. he said that he finds the “level of discussion in the U.S. really unsettling.”

Father Zollner said in the interview that the most important message is that “prevention is effective,” meaning that wherever the Church takes stronger “preventive measures” against clerical sex abuse, much fewer cases of abuse are then to be found. Among the countries addressing the sexual abuse problem, he named “Ireland, the U.S., or Australia” as the “leading countries in the world.”

Zollner said that for the sake of the protection of the young, the Church should establish unified standards, but at the same time somehow leave enough “scope” for individual cultures and for their “local particularities.”

When asked about the November 2018 meeting of U.S. bishops and Pope Francis' restrictive instruction at the onset that they not establish new rules concerning sex abuse matters, Father Zollner replied that “rules alone are much too little.”

“One can establish as many rules as you wish,” he said, but it will not take hold as long as there is still needed a supportive “personal attitude” and a “personal intention.”

“The call for rules sounds good,” the Jesuit priest stated, adding: “But frankly, I am a little bit irritated when one thereby, in part, makes it very easy for oneself and overlooks – or intentionally ignores – those aspects that I have just mentioned,” namely: the need for a different personal attitude, as well as the need for “structures and processes” that “determine jurisdictions” and “describe competences with regard to support and control.” While it is easy to set rules, Zollner said, “the difficult part is to persist with them, and sustainably to implement them.”

Later in the interview, Father Zollner again singled out the United States for criticism. When Dr. Leven mentioned the current discussion in the U.S. concerning the abuse crisis, and also claimed that this topic was being used as a “weapon” against one's liberal or conservative opponents within the Church – with the conservatives claiming that the post-conciliar period is responsible for the abuse crisis – Zollner responded: “I find the level of discussion in the U.S. really unsettling.”

For Zollner, “the manner of debate is not appropriate, especially because the abuse victims are not at the center.” “There are a few reasonable voices on both [liberal and conservative] sides,” he added, “which warn us not to exploit the abuse for the sake of Church politics.” The German priest insisted that “there also have been crimes on both sides – liberals and conservatives.”

However, he rejected the specific claim of some conservatives that there exists a link between the sexual revolution of the 1970s, the Second Vatican Council, and the abuse crisis. “If one looks at the U.S. American statistics, this impression can indeed arise,” Zollner said. But, the case of Australia shows the peak of abuse cases in the 1950s and 1960s, “that is to say a time, where the world was still in order, according to the conservative viewpoint.” Further countering the purportedly conservative argument, Zollner referred to some conservative communities, such as the Legionnaires of Christ, and its own problems with sexual abuse cases.

“It is really unbelievably damaging for all sides now to instrumentalize this topic for the sake of Church politics,” Zollner concluded.

Speaking about the causes of clerical sex abuse, Father Zollner summarized the findings of Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna from the year 2010. Scicluna, as the abuse expert at the Congregation for the Faith (CDF), saw that only 10% of the abuse cases were cases of pedophilia, while 90% were cases of ephebophilia, that is to say, cases with adolescents as victims. Among these 90%, Zollner explained, Scicluna found 70-80% of the cases to be related to boys. “Similar findings are to be found in all studies,” Zollner added.

This abuse expert, however, contradicted those who say that these findings point to a homosexual link to the abuse crisis: “But it is not clear whether homosexual assaults also always point to a homosexual orientation.” Here, Zollner claims that such abuses were related to the fact that, in earlier times, priests “barely had any contact with girls.”

“The real problem with sexual abuse,” he added, “is not the sexual orientation, but abuse of power.” For him, the discussion is “too one-dimensional” when focusing on the aspect of sexual orientation. Zollner further discussed the aspect of clericalism and of “structural dimensions” such as the role of leadership positions in institutions.

Father Zollner explained that Pope Francis had issued, in 2016, the motu proprio Come una madre amorevole that aimed at establishing ecclesial procedures for bishops accused of sexual abuse, but then added that this papally proposed project had not yet been accomplished. 

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Honest questions for New York Gov. Cuomo about abortion

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By Dr. Michael Brown

February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – According to a February 6, 2019 op-ed in the New York Times by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, “The president and the religious right are spreading falsehoods about abortion laws to inflame their base.”

My questions to Gov. Cuomo are simple. First, are the president and religious right really spreading falsehoods about abortion laws? Second, how does Gov. Cuomo determine what is right and wrong when it comes to abortion?

Gov. Cuomo speaks of “the far-right’s escalation of its assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.” And he claims that President Trump, who was once “very pro-choice,” now “shamelessly courts the religious right to win votes.”

He explains, “I just signed the Reproductive Health Act into law to protect against the Republicans’ efforts to pack the Supreme Court with extreme conservatives to overturn the constitutional protections recognized in Roe v. Wade.”

And he notes that Roe has been “repeatedly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, in multiple decisions.”

But, he claims, the law only applies to abortions before the baby is viable.

Regrettably, “As part of their attack on women’s rights, Mr. Trump and his allies are intentionally spreading lies about New York’s Reproductive Health Act.”

What, then, does this Act allow?

“The Reproductive Health Act,” Gov. Cuomo writes, “guarantees a woman's right to abortion in the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy or when the fetus is not viable, and permits it afterward only when a woman's life or health is threatened or at risk. Contrary to what its detractors claim, the Reproductive Health Act does not allow abortions minutes before birth, nor does it allow third-trimester abortions ‘for any reason.’ Third-trimester procedures are extremely rare, making up only about 1 percent of all abortions. The option is available for exactly the reason stated in Roe and successor cases: to protect the life or health of the woman.”

Ironically, despite Gov. Cuomo’s derogatory assault on tens of millions of Americans – our positions are repeatedly described as “extreme” – what he succeeds in doing in his op-ed is confirm exactly what we have been saying. Under this new law, abortions can be performed until the last minute of pregnancy “to protect the life or health of the woman.”

That is precisely our point, and that is why there has been such national outrage.

Gov. Cuomo claims to support “pluralism,” yet in the name of pluralism, he insults all people of conscience who disagree with him (and, for the record, agree with the historic views of the governor’s church, the Catholic Church).

He speaks of the president’s “diatribe” in his State of the Union and of the “far right’s escalation of its assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.” He writes of efforts to pack the Supreme Court with “extreme conservatives” and describes Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as “two extreme-right justices.”

He claims, “Mr. Trump and his allies are intentionally spreading lies” and that, “Mr. Trump and the religious right are spreading falsehoods about New York’s law to inflame their base. Activists on the far right continue to mislead with the ridiculous claim that the act will allow abortions up to a minute before birth.”

But, to repeat, this is what the law allows, with the totally ambiguous reference to “the health of the woman.”

As explained in a Catholic report on the New York law released on January 30, “In effect, it means any reason whatsoever, if the woman and the abortionist consider it relevant to her emotional or psychological or family health.”

Why can’t Gov. Cuomo admit to what the legislation allows? And, since he is a zealous proponent of a woman’s alleged Constitutional right to abortion, why not defend it in full? Why defend the “right” to slice up or burn up a 26-week-old fetus (therefore, at the end of the second trimester) but not at 27 (or, 34) weeks (during the third trimester)?

And if fetal viability outside the womb is the big issue, why allow a last minute abortion when the baby could just as well be delivered (and given up for adoption)?

He writes, “I do not believe that religious values should drive political positions,” although he notes that both the President and “the Catholic Church are opposed to state actions like the Reproductive Health Act.”

But would his presumed religious opposition to something like infanticide not drive his political position? Do none of his religious values drive his political positions? Are they that easily separated?

For Gov. Cuomo, however, a major issue is this. Our “objections aren’t about the rare occasion when a woman has an abortion to protect her health or life. This is about the desire of Mr. Trump and allies on the right to outlaw abortion entirely. It is about bringing America back to the pre-Roe days.”

Actually, while we moral conservatives do not believe in a woman’s “right” to abort the baby in her womb, the reason for our fervent response to the New York law is because of its extreme provisions.

We have been campaigning to overturn Roe v. Wade for decades. That is nothing new.

We are responding to the New York bill specifically because of the new bloodshed it will bring, with all respect to the governor’s denials.

And that, again, brings us back to the crux of the matter.

Gov. Cuomo, we are not spreading lies about the wrongly-named “Reproductive Health Act.” Our statements are accurate and true.

Our claims are not inflammatory. The law itself is.

And since, sir, you signed the bill into law, with pride and gusto at that, that means you affirm a woman’s right to abort her baby one minute before delivery if it is deemed in the interest of her “health” (which would include her mental or emotional health).

By what morality, religious or other, can you possibly defend such an action? And by what morality, religious or other, did you not insist that babies that are viable outside of the womb be delivered rather than aborted?

These, sir, are questions you need to consider before God, the one who formed these babies in the womb – for life, not for death.

Your real battle, then, is not with the President or the religious right or even the Church. Your battle is with the Lord.

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