All articles from June 4, 2019


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‘I told them why too’: Prominent priest joins boycott of pro-abortion Netflix

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By Martin Barillas

PETITION: 'Dump Netflix' over their attack on unborn babies.  Sign the petition here.

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Catholic priest, commentator, and author Msgr. Charles Pope of Washington, D.C. announced that he canceled his Netflix account in the wake of the media giant teaming up with the ACLU to oppose Georgia’s fetal heartbeat legislation.

“Just Canceled my Netflix account. Feeling better already. I told them why too,” the priest tweeted on June 1.

Tens of thousands of Netflix users have signed a petition launched by LifeSiteNews telling Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos​, that they are “outraged by Netflix’s decision to ‘work with the ACLU,’ to fight against Georgia’s newly-signed Heartbeat Law.”

“It is, therefore, my intention not to use your services from this point forward,” the petition states. It has been signed by 22,000.

Last week, Sarandos told Variety magazine that the media giant has “many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights … will be severely restricted” by the Georgia law. He acknowledged that Netflix will work alongside the leftist ACLU against the heartbeat law, which goes into effect in 2020.

“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” he added. “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (HB 481) prohibits abortions in Georgia once the unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected, usually by six weeks gestation. Cases of rape and incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger, are exceptions to the law.

Another petition circulated by Right to Life U.K. on CitizenGo calls on the media streaming company to cease its opposition to Georgia’s ban on aborting unborn babies with a detectable heartbeat. By Tuesday, nearly 7,500 people had signed the petition.

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UN human rights official: ‘It’s clear’ US pro-life laws are ‘torture’

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By Claire Chretien

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s “clear” that American laws restricting the starvation, dismemberment, and poisoning of preborn humans are “torture,” according to United Nations deputy high commissioner for human rights Kate Gilmore.

“We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question,” Gilmore told The Guardian, lamenting recent pro-life legislation in some U.S. states and the Trump administration’s refusal to advocate for abortion abroad.

“It’s clear it’s torture — it’s a deprivation of a right to health,” she said.

Pro-life groups “[ignore] evidence in their pursuit of ideological goals,” the British outlet summarized Gilmore as saying. Gilmore also claimed that pro-life laws are “an assault on truth, science[,] and universal values and norms.”

It is a scientific reality that at conception, also called fertilization, a whole, distinct, living human being begins to exist.

READ: ‘I need 4 intact limbs’: Planned Parenthood abortionists describe beheading, ripping apart babies to sell body parts

The U.S. has no federal law restricting late-term abortion, although some states limit it. Abortionists like Leroy Carhart, Warren Hern, and Curtis Wayne regularly abort third-trimester babies who feel pain and could survive outside the womb. This year, states like New York and Illinois have moved to enshrine in their laws a fundamental “right” to abortion.

In January 2019, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam defended infanticide of babies born alive after failed abortions. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have repeatedly blocked a vote on a bill requiring doctors to give the same medical care to a baby who survives an abortion as they would to any other baby of the same age. The governor of North Carolina vetoed a state law with the same requirement.

Commissioner Gilmore also claimed that “young women and minority women ... are really under the gun” because of pro-life laws. Gilmore’s metaphor makes for a contrast with the plight of unborn babies, who find themselves not figuratively, but literally under a number of non-gun weapons, including high-powered suction machines, forceps to pull off limbs, and needles containing heart attack–inducing drugs.

Undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress have shown employees of Planned Parenthood, one of the world’s largest abortion vendors, discussing how to deliver aborted babies intact so their body parts can be harvested, admitting that the work they do is “killing,” complaining about how “difficult” it is to tear apart a fetus, and lamenting that they’re not given a place to discuss the “heads that get stuck that we can’t get out.”

READ: Dismembering living unborn babies is ‘very humane,’ Planned Parenthood backer tells Congress

One abortionist, Dr. DeShawn Taylor, joked to undercover investigators that she needs to “hit the gym” before committing some abortions because it “takes more force” to dismember a baby who has not first been killed by a digoxin injection.

“My biceps appreciate” when the heart-stopping drug works, she said.

Before being appointed the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, Gilmore worked for Amnesty International and the United Nations Population Fund, two pro-abortion entities.

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Ohio library cancels LGBT teen event after state GOP leader speaks out

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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

COLUMBUS, June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Public libraries in Ohio have canceled LGBT-themed teen events after the Republican speaker of the state House publicly assailed the plans as a “stunningly bizarre breach of the public trust.”

Next week, Emerson R. Miller Library in Newark was slated to hold “Galaxy of Diversity: A LGBTQ Teen Event,” while the Delaware County District Library would host a “Drag 101” class led by former “Miss” Gay Ohio America and local drag queen Selena T. West, Cleveland.com reports. Organizers billed the former as an arts and crafts project and “safe sex” education program with an “optional make-up tutorial.”

West claimed that the purpose of the “Drag 101” class was to show that “drag is for everyone,” including children, and is neither scary nor sexual, the Columbus Dispatch adds. Speaker Larry Householder responded to the plans with a letter to the Ohio Library Council declaring that he “expect[s] this to end immediately”:

“Each and every day across Ohio, libraries are playing an important role in helping our students through literacy programs, book clubs and other enrichment activities,” he wrote. “These and other initiatives, like educating young people on the dangers of drugs or teaching them technology skills, are the types of programs and activities on which the taxpayers hope to see their libraries focused.”

“Our libraries are an incubator for thought and ideas, for debate and discussion,” Householder argued. “On this point, we all can agree. But I can also assure you the taxpayers aren’t interested in seeing their hard-earned dollars being used to teach teenage boys how to become drag queens.”

Soon afterward, “Galaxy of Diversity” was canceled and “Drag 101” moved from the library to a local comic shop. The Delaware County library says it received hundreds of calls about the event, including “veiled threats,” while the Newark library claimed that it had gotten too difficult to repel “misinformation” surrounding its event.

The Newark Ohio Pride Coalition responded to Householder’s letter with a statement stressing that no public money financed the “Galaxy of Diversity” event and insinuating that the speaker was opposing LGBT Ohioans’ “freedom of expression and speech” and “civil liberties.”

While the organizers insist that their events promoted only healthy, age-appropriate messages, the world of drag is infamous for heavy sexual content. A related trend, Drag Queen Storytimes directed at children in public libraries, has been described by performers themselves as meant to give children “unabashedly queer role models” and to “groom” the next generation.

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Catholic university in Houston funds campus LGBTQ group

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By Martin Barillas

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

HOUSTON, June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Student Government Association of the Catholic University of St. Thomas allotted funds for the newly organized Diversity and Inclusion Organization to promote two LGBTQ events later this year.

At its April 30 meeting, the SGA allocated $1,500 after receiving a request from the DIO. The allocation came with a stipulation that the Catholic identity committee and campus ministry be involved in all planned LGBTQ events on campus that receive SGA funding, which is derived from student activity fees.

The newly formed DIO is a student organization that is part of a restructuring led by Assistant Dean of Students Amanda Villanueva and passed by a student plebiscite. Because it does not have its own president, the DIO reports to the student body president. Apart from the DIO, the university has no official diversity and inclusion office, as do other Catholic campuses.

Requests for funding DIO were submitted to SGA. Funding for the LGBTQ events, according to the student newspaper Celt Independent, was requested by DIO vice president Samaria Herbert.

The SGA told Herbert at an April 16 meeting that she should request funding from the university’s treasury board for the planned events. SGA parliamentarian Joseph Nemec expressed concern over the types of LGBTQ events that Herbert was contemplating, stating that he hoped that they would be “tasteful.”

According to the report, Nemec said student senators hesitated because LGBTQ events “went wrong” on other Catholic campuses, even with campus ministry guidance.

Herbert then submitted an appeal for tabling the request, claiming discrimination while arguing that LGBTQ events should be funded as are various student ethnic groups. Ultimately, SGA approved a budget totaling more than $45,000 out of the $82,000 requested in 2019-2020 for the DIO and various other student activities, such as the still to be determined LGBTQ activities, Earth Week and a formal dance party.

According to the student newspaper account, the university’s in-house attorney, Gita Bolt, counseled the SGA in an April 23 closed-door meeting about the “legal implications” arising from requiring details in order to decide about funding future LGBTQ events.

In a May 15 Facebook post, Nemec provided clarification about the events that led to the allocation of funds to the LGBTQ activities. He wrote that “no clear plans” have been set for campus LGBTQ events. Student senators, he wrote, voiced concerns that events about that are “not conducted very carefully could present ideas which are contrary to the teachings of the Church as true.”

Several student senators expressed skepticism that the office of campus ministry cannot “be trusted to guarantee the orthodoxy of such an event.”

Nemec wrote that on the basis of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the Apostolic Constitution governing Catholic universities, “the Senate decided not allocate DIO the full amount of money requested, subtracting the cost of the event from their overall allocated amount.” While “LGBT outreach was not necessarily something that could not be approved,” he wrote, student senators wanted assurance that the university’s “Catholic identity would be upheld.”

Subsequently, Nemec noted that “university administrators requested, seemingly as an intimidation tactic,” that Bolt address the student senate at the April 23 meeting. He wrote that Bolt “more or the less implied” that failing to fund the LGBTQ request amounted to “discrimination” and that it may be “illegal.” Nemec wrote that the student senators understood that they were being “pressured to comply."

The DIO then sued the student senate through the student judicial council, “claiming violations of the student constitution.” After mediation between student senators and DIO, the compromise funding for LGBTQ events resulted.

“The idea behind it was that the event could go on but the Catholic Identity chair of the senate would be in the preparation to help ensure compliance of the event with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Nemec wrote.

Founded in 1947 under the Basilian order of priests, the University of St. Thomas is among the Catholic institutions recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society in its guide to Catholic education. The university is located in the Montrose area of Houston, which is known among some as the ‘gayborhood’ of the Texas metropolis.

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Over 13,500 support bishop calling on Catholics to ‘not support or attend’ LGBTQ events

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By Lisa Bourne

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An online petition in support of Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin after he was recently smeared by mainstream media for calling on Catholics to “not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events” had received more than 13,500 signatures in just one day.

The petition, titled Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride', was launched by LifeSiteNews yesterday.

“Your Excellency,” states the petition, “Thank you for speaking out against 'pride' events! We appreciate your clear guidance in this area for Christians and Catholics.”

“We appreciate you, as a religious leader, speaking out against ‘Pride’ month, and defending Christian Catholic teaching. Thank you, especially, for reminding all Christians that these events promote a 'culture' and activities which are against Christ’s teaching, and against the morals of anyone trying to live as a good Christian,” it continues.

“Your clear and compassionate teaching gives hope to Catholics and Christians everywhere. I support you and will keep you in my prayers, especially at this time,” the petition adds.

Scott Schittl, LifePetitions' campaign manager, said there is great interest in the petition thanking Bishop Tobin for his pastoral stand against the LGBT pride events. Schittl noted that this interest isn't limited to the usual subscribers to LifePetitions and LifeSiteNews.

"While faithful Catholics who subscribe to our news and petitions sites have shown huge support to Bishop Tobin — with twice the number normally signing by this point — there has also been explosive growth in signatures from new subscribers, who have signed this petition as a result of being asked by their friends or family," he said.

The swift and significant response demonstrates notable backing for Tobin in the face of backlash against a bishop who used his office to teach the Catholic faith and defend his flock.

The Rhode Island bishop tweeted June 1 that Catholics should not take part in “pride” events due to their conflict with the Catholic faith, making special note of the danger to children, and has been the target of high-volume vitriol since from LGBT adherents and supporters.

“A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June,” he said. “They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”

As of press time, the tweet had some 92,000 comments, roughly 7,000 retweets and approximately 27,000 likes.

Many Twitter users attacked Tobin in the comments over the Church’s clergy sex-abuse crisis, and made lewd or otherwise profane remarks.

The LGBT movement has had an observance in June in some fashion since 1970, the year after the infamous Stonewall Riots, with the pride month observance gaining more prominence in recent years.

Pride events, in particular parades, have a reputation for extremely vulgar dress and behavior, often including public sex acts. Children are frequently present, and thus exposed to the morally repugnant spectacles.

Where the LGBT movement celebrates pride in its principles each year in June, Catholics observe the month as dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost, this year on June 28.

The "Sacred Heart of Jesus" denotes the entire mystery of Christ, according to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, “Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.”

It is one of the most extensively practiced and renowned Roman Catholic devotions.

The Catholic Church differentiates between human beings and the sexual urges they experience, and it does not identify individuals by sexual inclinations. The Church teaches that while same-sex attraction is not a sin, homosexual acts are sinful.

The Church says sexual relations are reserved for marriage, which is between a man and woman (CCC 2360). Church teaching also holds that homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered, and that individuals who experience them “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC 2358).

However, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and they “are intrinsically disordered," and further that “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357). The Church states as well that “homosexual persons are called to chastity” (CCC 2359), which is also what its teaching says about all people.

The day after Tobin’s tweet and resulting backlash, the bishop issued a statement as LGBT activists planned to convene outside his Providence, Rhode Island chancery and demonstrate against him.

While some have taken his response as backing down, the substance of the statement did not yield on Church teaching.

It said:

I regret that my comments yesterday about Pride Month have turned out to be so controversial in our community, and offensive to some, especially the gay community. That certainly was not my intention, but I understand why a good number of individuals have taken offense. I also acknowledge and appreciate the widespread support I have received on this matter. 

The Catholic Church has respect and love for members of the gay community, as do I. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and our brothers and sisters.  

As a Catholic Bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues. That is what I have always tried to do - on a variety of issues - and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise. 

As the gay community gathers for a rally this evening, I hope that the event will be a safe, positive and productive experience for all. As they gather I will be praying for a rebirth of mutual understanding and respect in our very diverse community. 

Bishop Tobin tweeted a similar message last year about pride events at the beginning of June, in that instance advising Catholics to be cautious of them.

“Catholics should be very wary of events in the June LGBTQ month,” he said then. “It’s not a fun-filled, family-friendly celebration of respect. It promotes a lifestyle and agenda that, in the extreme, is morally offensive.”

His tweet attracted pro-LGBT venom then as well.

Schittl expressed the need for a continued stand behind Bishop Tobin for his upholding of the Church’s moral principles.

"With a little more effort on our part, and with a little more sharing on the part of our subscribers — old and new — we think we can reach 20,000 signatures,” he said, “which remember, represents A LOT of support for Bishop Tobin and his defense of the Catholic faith and morals."

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

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Russia cuts ‘gay male sex’ scene from Elton John’s ‘Rocketman’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

MOSCOW, Russia, June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Russian version of Rocketman, the authorized biographical film of homosexual singer Elton John, is missing its “gay male sex” scene along with a caption near the end of the movie about the singer raising children with his same-sex partner. 

The Russian media company that distributed the film edited the film to comply with “local laws,” the UK’s Guardian is reporting. Russia's 2013 “gay propaganda” law forbids the indoctrination of children under 18 into homosexual ideology.

"While shocking, it’s not terribly surprising that the homosexuality has been diluted from a film about one of the world’s most iconic gay men because of the Russian government’s desire to marginalize and demonize the LGBT community," wrote 
Philippa H Stewart of Human Rights Watch. 

"The anti-gay propaganda law is clearly to blame," she stated, adding: "The cuts to Rocketman fuel the idea that homosexuality is somehow wrong." 

Russian lawyer Ilya Kotlyar told LifeSiteNews over social media that even though the 18+ age restriction already limited the movie to adults, the homosexual sex scenes were likely cut to give the distributors "the opportunity to widen the potential audience."

Elton John and people associated with the production of Rocketman have voiced their disappointment that the film was edited for its Russian audience. 

According to the Guardian, John and the filmmakers released a joint statement saying that they "reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today.”

“That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people,” they continued.  

“We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world.”

In 2015, John indicated that he wanted to have a meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin to ask him to strike down the law forbidding the inculcation of young people with LGBT propaganda. This meeting has still not taken place. 

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Hollywood mogul helping raise $15 million for ACLU campaign against Georgia heartbeat law

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Hollywood producer and financier is lending his influence to the campaign against strong pro-life laws recently enacted in Georgia and across the country, vowing to raise money to get the laws struck down and encouraging other wealthy figures to do the same. 

Peter Chernin, head of the Chernin Group, is circulating a letter to studio executives as well as influential figures like Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announcing a campaign to help the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reach its $15 million fundraising goal for challenging the laws in court, The New York Times reported. A spokesperson confirmed the letter’s authenticity but would not comment further.

Last month, Georgia enacted a law banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.” If allowed to take effect, it will ban abortions in all other cases as early as six weeks into a pregnancy starting in January 2020. Numerous other states have also passed heartbeat laws, and Alabama recently enacted a near-total abortion ban.

Most of the pro-abortion ire over these laws has revolved around Georgia, where the film industry generates substantial jobs and revenue. Dozens of celebrities have threatened a boycott to punish Georgians for enacting it, as have director Ron Howard, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. parent company Warner Media, the streaming service Netflix, and a handful of smaller studios

“We have a moral responsibility to act immediately,” Chernin declared, noting that his company and family foundation had personally contributed a total of $1 million.

“Firing workers, most of whom oppose this legislation, does not seem like a just response,” Chernin wrote, explaining why he was not following the lead of other Hollywood names boycotting Georgia. “Taking action against only Georgia felt like a highly narrow and targeted response to a national battle. Abandoning and isolating parts of the country that we don’t agree with strikes me as a dangerous response.”

Films produced by Chernin include the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy, The Greatest Showman, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and the recent J.R.R. Tolkien biopic that downplayed the author’s Catholicism. Chernin Group film producer Jenno Topping had previously accused Georgia of having “declared war on the rights and freedom of its women.”

In response to Hollywood’s efforts to pressure Georgia into abandoning preborn babies, many critics have noted that companies like Disney and Netflix continue to film in foreign nations where abortion is illegal, and are willing to market films in China despite the country’s actual human-rights abuses such as its one-child policy. LifeSiteNews is currently circulating a petition encouraging pro-lifers to cancel their Netflix subscriptions.

Despite the pressure, pro-life leaders are remaining defiant. U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia) emphasized that despite Hollywood’s threats, the Peach State has once again been “rated for the sixth year in the row as the best state in the country in which to do business” by the trade publication Site Selection.

“We’re elected to do what’s right – and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do,” Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said. “We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.”

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Trump supports ‘Pride Month,’ again pledges to overturn laws criminalizing homosexuality worldwide

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. President Donald Trump has signalled that he believes the month of June is dedicated to homosexual rights and asked the world to “stand with” same-sex attracted people in countries where homosexual conduct is illegal.

In tweets he published on Friday, May 31, Trump also recalled that his administration is working for homosexual rights worldwide.

“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation,” he wrote. 

“My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”

Trump’s campaign to overturn foreign laws criminalizing sodomy began this February in Berlin with a “strategy dinner” with European LGBT activists sponsored by the U.S. embassy to Germany. The homosexual American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is Trump’s pick to spearhead the effort.

Grenell told the UK’s Daily Mail that “President Trump has never wavered in his support for decriminalizing homosexuality. This is a clear message to the 71 countries that would arrest people like me for being gay.”

When the initiative was announced, a U.S. official involved in the dinner clarified that these foreign laws concerned self-disclosures and sexual acts.

“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBT status or conduct,” he told NBC.    

In May, Trump underscored his support for same-sex “marriage” when in an interview with Steve Hilton, aired on Fox News, he said he believed it was “great” that it seemed “normal” for Pete Buttgieg for campaign with his same-sex “spouse.”

“I think it’s absolutely fine, I do,” he said. “I think it’s great...Perhaps some people will have a problem with [it]; I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.”

However, Trump’s recent tweets have not won over left-wing LGBT lobby groups, some of which took the opportunity to criticize the president once again for his policies regarding people who identify as “transgender.”

President Trump’s pro-homosexual tweets were in contrast with the social media messages of Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin, who reminded Catholics the next day that they should not go to “Pride Month” events.

“A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June,” he wrote.

“They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”

Bishop Tobin has been pilloried online for this pastoral message.

To respectfully contact the White House click here.

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Texas sues San Antonio for documents pertaining to Chick-fil-A snub

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the city of San Antonio on Monday, demanding it turn over records related to its decision in March to exclude Chick-fil-A from Texas’s San Antonio International Airport.

The Christian-owned food chain was one of several vendors the company Paradies Lagardère proposed adding to the airport’s Terminal A, but the city council voted down its inclusion 6-4, with Councilman Roberto Treviño accusing the company of a “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” and claiming that its mere presence would harm travelers’ ability to “feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”

Like many liberals, the council was retaliating against CEO Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to same-sex “marriage” and the company’s donations to social conservative groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Despite pro-LGBT activists’ insinuations that the company’s values translate to “excluding” or otherwise mistreating anyone, many homosexual employees and customers have attested to positive, welcoming experiences with Chick-fil-A.

In response, Paxton sent letters to the city council announcing that he has “directed my office to open an investigation into whether the City’s action violates state law,” as well as to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao requesting that her department investigate whether the decision “violates various federal statutes and regulations to which the City is subject as a recipient of Department of Transportation grant funds,” which have among their conditions a ban on discrimination against religious creed.

The Department of Transportation announced last month that it is looking into the matter, and now Paxton’s office has followed up by seeking a court order for records the city has previously refused to provide, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

“The City of San Antonio claims that it can hide documents because it anticipates being sued,” Paxton said in a press release. “But we’ve simply opened an investigation using the Public Information Act. If a mere investigation is enough to excuse the City of San Antonio from its obligation to be transparent with the people of Texas, then the Public Information Act is a dead letter. The city’s extreme position only highlights its fear about allowing any sunshine on the religious bigotry that animated its decision.”

The lawsuit argues that the city has an obligation to turn over the records because the state’s Public Information Act dictates that “each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.”

“It is clear from the strident comments in his press release that any ‘investigation’ would be a pretense to justify his own conclusions,” San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia responded. The city also argues that Paxton’s suit is premature because the state’s Open Records Division has not yet rendered its verdict on the validity of the city’s exemption claim.

As the investigations and legal wrangling continue, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign recently-passed legislation forbidding government from taking “any adverse action” against individuals or businesses on the basis of their religious beliefs, dubbed the “Save Chick-fil-A bill.”

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Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), leaves out 'so help me God' from oath Feb. 7, 2019. C-Span3 / video screen grab
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WATCH: Democrats remove ‘so help me God’ from House committee oaths

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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats controlling the U.S. House of Representatives have removed “so help me God” from the oath witnesses take before testifying before several of the committees they control, months after backing down from a proposal from one committee to strike the phrase.

“I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TX), chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, explained, the New York Times reported last month. He claimed that Republicans’ support for the longstanding language constituted “using God,” and “God doesn’t want to be used.”

“We do not have religious tests,” declared Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chair of the Judiciary Committee.

Striking the religious language is the most controversial of the procedural changes ushered in by Democrats after winning the House majority last November. Lesser changes include replacing “chairman” and “chairwoman” with the gender-neutral title of “chair,” and the Natural Resources Committee replacing plastic water bottles with reusable glassware.

“I am a sinner, I make mistakes every single day, but I do think that we could use a little more of God, not less,” Rep. Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican, told his colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee in response to dropping God.

“The intention behind [‘so help me God’] was to express the idea that the truth of what was being said was important not just in the moment, but would go into eternity, and someone was watching and would ultimately be our judge,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) argued. “Some would call that mere symbolism, but to many of our founders, it was deeper than that.”

In January, a draft of a rules package from the Natural Resource Committee was leaked to the public showing “so help me God” marked for deletion, replaced with the phrase “under penalty of law.” At the time, Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) claimed the proposed cut was simply a “mistake.”

“We need more of God, not less!” Rev. Franklin Graham said of the controversy, the Christian Post reports. “God is our Creator & the maker of the universe. He is present everywhere; He is not limited to churches or temples. The root of the issue is that many politicians don’t want God in any part of their politics or our country’s business because His standards condemn their sins.”

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

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Adonis Aurelio Bemish at the 2nd Annual Freedom March in Washington, D.C. Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews
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Ex-homosexual: ‘I’m not denying who I really am because I was never that in the first place’

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By Doug Mainwaring
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Adonis Aurlelio Bemish's 'freedom' haircut Adonis Aurlelio Bemish / Facebook

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Adonis Aurlelio Bemish traveled across the country from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C. to be part of last week’s Freedom March, adding his voice to the chorus of those who have been “set free from the LGBT lifestyle.”

To those who remain in the LGBT world who might accuse him of self-loathing, Bemish said, “I’m not denying who I really am because I was never that in the first place.”

“It’s not my Christian upbringing that convinced me that living a gay life is wrong because I definitely thought about it long and hard and considered it multiple times,” he said. “It’s been the Lord who has transformed me and has called me by my name” and “not by my struggles.”   

“He’s given me identity, hope, and a purpose,” he added.

Bemish is so certain of the freedom he’s found in Christ to abandon his homosexual practices that before coming to the nation’s capital, he had the word “Freedom” inscribed into his haircut.

“I know I’m not alone, and to see all the lives transformed by Christ is proof enough for me that it’s not Christianity that’s calling people out of their gay lives, but it’s Christ alone,” he asserted.

The 31-year-old Bemish told LifeSiteNews that after attending last year’s Freedom March, he now sees “how much this movement has grown and how God is using it to impact the world.”  

“I’m just blown away by it,” he added.

Wounded manhood

“God met me right where I was at,” said Bemish, whose life was transformed by the love of Christ five years ago.   

Bemish, whose father died when he was nine years old, later struggled with alcohol and drugs while engaging in homosexuality. “For so long I had thought that I was just too far gone for God to love me,” he said, “or to even come back to God.”

“In my manhood, I was wounded,” said Bemish. “I didn’t know what being a man really meant [and] I didn’t even know who I really was.”   

Bemish said that he’s not controlled by his flesh anymore.

“God is my strength; He is my rock,” and “I turn to Him when I struggle, versus turning to another man, turning to a form of relationship that never fulfilled me in the first place.”  

As “Pride” month begins, Bemish was moved to recount on Facebook his path to true freedom in Christ.

Bemish said that as a young man he desired “to be ‘out’ because I thought it would bring some kind of freedom.”

“Although I may have struggled in silence, I acted on it very publicly and went out frequently to pursue hookups and the club scene thinking it would give me some purpose and I could truly be ‘who I was’ but it never satisfied,” he continued.

“People have called me self hating since starting to share my story of redemption in Christ and others have said I’m denying who I really am and telling me to just be gay and proud about it,” he added. “I’ve been told because of my Christian upbringing that this is the reason I can’t find happiness in pursuing the gay lifestyle. Because I’ve never fully let go of my church upbringing that I can’t ‘break free’ from that belief system.”

“I can honestly say though in all my searching and grasping, trying to find identity seeking relationships with...the same sex has never brought me anything but more confusion and self loathing,” said Bemish.  

“I remember as a kid when I was made fun of so much for my feminine mannerisms or just being called gay and faggot,” recalled Bemish. “Before I even knew what these names meant I was branded.”

“I hated who I saw in the mirror so much that I literally stopped looking in the mirror because I thought I was ugly and worthless [and] no one could love me or want to love me. I struggled with suicidal thoughts and tendencies.”

“I thought as I grew older if only I could be attractive and wanted by the same sex, that would bring me fulfillment and acceptance. I learned very quickly in gay culture that even if you were the most attractive or in shape there was always someone else more attractive or in better shape and was desired more than you. You were never fully and truly accepted in the culture because you were always labeled and had to fall into some category to be acceptable and only in that category could you be accepted.”

“I experienced more rejection and self hatred trying to live that life,” explained Bemish. “I was desiring relationship and love from this community that said they accepted everyone and still found none. I felt like I was always looking for something more and never finding satisfaction, but for maybe a moment. I became more and more depressed as I got deeper into it and as I questioned myself and God for making me the way I thought He had. I would yell and scream at God for making me go through so much pain and anguish from losing my Dad to making me have such an awful cross to bear.”

“I couldn’t love myself because I was convinced that I was unlovable,” noted Bemish. “But God in His still small voice began speaking through these things most of the time when I was drunk out of my mind. I could sense Him calling me back.”

Bemish said that he would wander off a lot at parties “when super wasted and find myself crouched down in the woods or a corner somewhere crying out to Him and asking Him to help me to do something in my life. I felt condemned already though for living the life I had lived. That I had gone too far down this road to come back, but yet He still pursued me.”

“To see and know all the many others who’ve left [behind] the LGBT lives they were leading to pursue God...has been so amazingly encouraging to me. It has given me so much hope and knowing where my life once was and where it is now is simply amazing and so satisfying.”

“He’s meeting us all exactly where we’re at and calling us each by our names,” concluded Bemish. “He has so much planned for us and it’s amazing to see who God is raising up in this generation for such a time as this!”

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Media celebrating ‘Gay Pride Month’ ignore victims of the Sexual Revolution

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By Jennifer Roback Morse

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

June 4, 2019 (Daily Signal) — June has been declared "Pride Month," and we're supposed to celebrate those "coming out" and living a "gay" life.

June 12 will mark the third anniversary of the Pulse gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead. Some will no doubt connect those two things to claim America hates people who have same-sex attraction and to make new demands for affirmation of homosexuality.

But that's not the only lesson one could draw from these events. The media will not tell you this, but in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, some survivors began to give their lives to Jesus Christ.

Pulse survivor Angel Colon offered this account of his experience:

[Lone gunman Omar] Mateen didn't shoot me quick. He gave me a few minutes, and at the moment, I started to do a prayer, and I started asking God for forgiveness. I started asking God, 'Please forgive me for everything I did, please. I'm sorry.'

Suddenly, Colon changed his prayer.

God, You promised me that I have a calling. You promised me that I have a purpose. You're getting me out of here alive.

Besides being active in his church, Colon's "calling" includes speaking out for people who have left the LGBT subculture.

Colon, along with another Pulse survivor, Luis Ruizcontribute to the Changed project, a compilation of stories from people whose lives have been radically transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth Woning, one of the organizers of the Changed project, spoke at the Ruth Institute's recent Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution on April 26 and 27 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

She says that the "born gay" narrative is "largely a gay male narrative." Some women become comfortable with loving other women as a result of being molested by men. The "born gay" narrative most emphatically does not apply to these women's experiences. 

Woning states flatly "women are the victims of conversion-therapy bans." At the urging of generously financed advocacy organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit mental health professionals from therapy that attempts to change their patients' sexual orientation.

While these bans vary somewhat from state to state, many are so broad that they could outlaw the very sort of therapy these women most need — namely, therapy that confronts the abuse that led them to reject their femininity and embrace a lesbian identity.

But you're not likely to hear about Woning in the news media coverage of Gay Pride Month, nor about Colon, in the coverage of the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

That's because their stories do not fit the grand narrative:

· Everyone who experiences same-sex attraction was "born gay."

· "Sexual minorities" cannot change. They can neither live an abstinent lifestyle, nor a heterosexual one.

· Embracing an LGBT identity and a sexually active life is the only "healthy" choice for them.

The experiences of people such as Colon and Woning provide a stark counternarrative to those claims. That's why you won't see them interviewed on major TV shows or featured in puff pieces in major magazines.

In my book "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and How the Church Was Right All Along," I show how today's LGBT activists have their roots in the Sexual Revolution. The easy-divorce and abortion activists of a half-century ago also rebelled against the natural organic connections between marriage, sex, babies, and the gendered nature of the human body.

Each of those ideas has its own grand narrative.

1. Abortion is harmless, no more traumatic than having a tooth pulled.

This narrative cannot acknowledge the women who are traumatized by their abortions. As a matter of fact, we've known since 1990 that between 10% and 30% of women are deeply upset by their abortions.

The sexual revolutionaries have nothing to say to them.

2. No-fault divorce is good for mature, sensible people who just want to call it quits.

What about the 70% of divorces that have a reluctant spouse, who would like to stay married?

At our summit, we heard testimonies from abandoned spouses who are living faithfully to their marriage vows, in spite of a civil divorce, and in some cases, a Catholic annulment.

They do not care to "move on." Some refer to themselves as "standers," meaning they are "standing" for their marriage.

Theirs is a voice of nobility and commitment — and that's something you will seldom hear in the mainstream media.

3. The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy.

Leila Miller, the author of "Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak," a compilation of stories from adult children of divorce, begs to differ. 

Her stories were bolstered by a number of successful adults who told our audience that their parents' divorce put them through the proverbial wringer.

The kids don't just "get over it," even though they may appear to be doing OK.

The sexual revolutionaries give the same dismissive reply to all these people: You don't exist. Your opinion isn't real. You are a victim of "false consciousness." We will not listen to you. We will not let anyone else listen to you. 

That's why the Ruth Institute is creating platforms and opportunities for the victims to tell what the Sexual Revolution really did to them.

We will no doubt be hearing plenty of stories about anti-gay violence and the need for more protections for the LGBT community during "Pride Month." But when you hear those calls, remember there's more to the story than the mainstream media are reporting.

Remember Colon and all the contributors to the Changed project. Think about people you know whose abortion experiences or divorce experience do not match the grand narrative.

They deserve a platform, too.

Published with permission from The Daily Signal.

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VIDEO: Vatican’s former doctrine chief: Contraception is ‘intrinsically bad,’ Church can never allow it

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By John-Henry Westen

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Muller has been called by his detractors the "#1 enemy of the Pope" for issuing a “manifesto of Faith” that some say reads as a correction of Pope Francis. The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has not stopped speaking out in defense of truths of the Catholic faith — now under assault from within — despite being asked to step down from his post by Pope Francis in 2017. 

Today, on Episode 12 of The John-Henry Westen Show, I'm speaking with Cardinal Muller about his “manifesto of Faith” and what it means today for a cardinal to fulfill his duty to advise the pope. Join us as Cardinal Muller shines a ray of clarity on the unprecedented crisis that is unfolding in the Church under Pope Francis’ watch.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel, and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and Pippa. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe for the audio version on various channels, visit the Pippa.io webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected]

Watch Episode 12 here:

Listen to Episode 12 here:

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A Christian’s guide to modesty in the hot summer months

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.

Editor's note: Read Part II on this subject here: How modesty protects men, women from abuse, manipulation, and disorder 

June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Each year as we enter the warm summer months, the problem of modesty in dress arises—ever more acutely, it seems, as Western people lose even the minimal moral bearings and social customs that once guaranteed a modicum of self-respect and consideration for others. We need nothing less than a moral revolution, a rebuilding of our most basic concepts of virtue. This will be difficult, needless to say, and we may not be able to turn the tide of the general culture, more correctly described at this point as an anti-culture. Yet it is by no means impossible to rebuild these concepts within Christian communities, if only there is a courageous willingness to address the issues at stake, with clarity and calmness. I shall attempt an overview in this week’s pair of articles.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the notion of “modesty” in dress, speech, or behavior is derived from the notion of moderation, of doing something in a fitting, well-considered manner that observes a mean between extremes. In this instance, the extremes are shamelessness (far more common today) and prudery or unhealthy inhibition.

Like all moral virtues, the habit of modesty not only gives an aptitude for wanting and choosing what is right in this regard, but it urges us to do so; it becomes a second nature, an energetic disposition. Thomas would remind us, too, that modesty helps us to appreciate bodily goods in their rightful place. When person, place, and time call for it, concupiscible passions are good, instruments of virtuous action intended by God.

The modest person is one whose actions and appearance consistently reflect self-mastery, good judgment of what is appropriate, a firm command over feelings, a serene ability to express and to “be” oneself without self-advertisement. Hence, true modesty begins in the soul and only later catches the eye’s or ear’s notice. This inward modesty consists in regulating one’s entire life in a manner that is calm, gentle, reverent, and pure. Putting on modest clothing or avoiding immodest dancing is something that “spills over” from that interior condition.

Modern Western societies have discarded the modesty most required for the basic health of society: dressing and comporting oneself in a manner that will not excite the wrong kind of attention from the opposite sex—an animalistic, possessive, reductive attention. Indeed, as is obvious, the opposite vice is flaunted. 

Sadly, many sincere Christians who want to lead a chaste life seem to be unaware of the link between purity of heart and modesty in appearance, between commitment to virtue and the way the body is presented to others—an ignorance all the more surprising in that the connection is rather obvious and, in consequence, has been clearly understood in every age other than ours.

There are, for example, young Catholics who try to be pure but who continue to dress as their secular peers do, in provocative or inappropriate styles of clothing. One sees this vividly at World Youth Days, where, in addition to immodesty, an astonishing lack of awareness of what is appropriate for a sacred and solemn event is all too common. 

Modern-day people seem to have adopted one criterion alone: physical comfort. Anything that could cause the remotest discomfort or inconvenience is rejected out of hand. As a result, when dressing in hot weather, Christians all too often fall into the bad habits of their secular peers who do not think about what would please God or help oneself and others to remain chaste, but only about what is coolest or easiest. As a small part of sound asceticism, Christians ought to reject this sort of pampering of and pandering to the body. St. Paul describes the believer as one who is “always carrying in [his] body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Cor 4:10). 

Who has not been struck by old black and white photographs of pioneer settlers who, in the midst of sweltering summer heat, wore all-covering, full-length outfits? I don’t suggest we return to the same wardrobe, but I do say that we would do well to heed their witness of propriety and stamina. Obviously, circumstances of hot weather and activities such as long outdoor hikes have to be taken into account, but there are modest and immodest solutions to any situation. With our modern materials, dressing modestly need not mean dressing oppressively; for example, dresses of cool, lightweight, opaque material are available that cover the shoulders and come down to the ankles.

We cannot pretend that how we treat ourselves bodily, how we eat and dress and look and move, whether we do so with restraint or abandon, with polite regard or thoughtlessness, with responsibility or naïveté, are spiritually irrelevant “fine points.” On the contrary, they are essential. They, too, will either manifest the life of Jesus to the world, or promote a contrary spirit. How someone treats, displays, and makes use of the body reveals much about the workings of the soul: who one thinks he (or she) is, what one thinks about oneself and others, what one wants from oneself or others. In more ways than people realize, looks are not deceiving: the medium is the message.

As with every topic of importance, divine revelation is not lacking guidelines. “I desire then … that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion” (1 Tim 2:8–10). There is a way of behaving and appearing which is inseparable from the Christian way of life; it is one of the marks of the believer in the world. Modesty, like peacefulness, though primarily a good of the soul, does not stop at the soul, but has an effect on all aspects of social life. The modern world needs models of self-control and dignified self-presentation; Christians can and must set the example. The very absence of excess is worthy of making its presence known.

The virtue of religion, whereby we give back to the infinite God what we are able to give, includes the offering up to Him of our persons, our bodies and souls, in faithful love. This is why modesty is both a consequence and a safeguard of religion.

St. Thomas says that holiness denotes two things: being clean and being firm. “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God”: blessed are they who firmly preserve their purity of soul and body, for the sake of loving God with their whole being. The sight of God, the great goal and joy of Christian life, is the ultimate reason we must keep our hearts, our words, our movements and appearance, pure, undefiled, simple, restrained. In so doing, our way of life is conformed to that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and makes present in a fallen, soiled world something of the bright innocence, the serene peace, the incorruptible freshness of the Holy Spirit.

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Vatican’s former doctrine chief: Contraception is ‘intrinsically bad,’ Church can never allow it

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

Cardinal Muller has been called by his detractors the "#1 enemy of the Pope" for issuing a “manifesto of Faith” that some say reads as a correction of Pope Francis. The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has not stopped speaking out in defense of truths of the Catholic faith — now under assault from within — despite being asked to step down from his post by Pope Francis in 2017. Today, on Episode 12 of The John-Henry Westen Show, I'm speaking with Cardinal Muller about his “manifesto of Faith” and what it means today for a cardinal to fulfill his duty to advise the pope. Join us as Cardinal Muller shines a ray of clarity on the unprecedented crisis that is unfolding in the Church under Pope Francis’ watch.


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