All articles from June 11, 2019


News

Opinion

Blogs

The Pulse

  • There are no pulse articles posted on June 11, 2019.

Podcasts


Featured Image
Dominic Chikhani
Bree A. Dail Bree A. Dail

News ,

Thousands in Lebanon join in Eucharistic procession, Marian consecration

Bree A. Dail Bree A. Dail
By
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

HARISSA, Lebanon, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As Christians around the world celebrated Pentecost Sunday, the Christian minority of Lebanon — once ravaged by civil war (from 1975–1990) and persecution — united in public prayers of solemn reparation, consecration and national Eucharistic procession.

LifeSite connected with Dominic Chickhani, one of the lead organizers of this historic event, for an exclusive look into the “Triumph of Lebanon under the mantle of Our Lady.” Chickhani, who is the lead anchor on Nourasat Telelumiere (the main Middle Eastern Catholic land and satellite TV program), is also the lead for media and communications for the “Consecration of Lebanon to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Patriarchal Committee.” Chickhani is an author of various Catholic Apologetics media, a speaker on Mariology, and a media influencer.

LSN: What took place today, and why on this date?

D.C.: June 9, 2019 marked the seventh Consecration of Lebanon (sixth consecutive renewal) to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. We have consecrated our country to her and under her protection since 2013. The consecration included a Solemn Mass, taking place in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon, as has been the tradition each year. This year, however, we included a key feature — one that we pray will be repeated throughout the world October 13, 2019 by member nations of the Holy League (HolyLeagueofNations.com) — a national Eucharistic procession which embedded solemn acts of repentance and reparation throughout the way.

The title and theme of this historic national event was “Country March for Repentance and Salvation.”

LSN: How long did it take for you and your team to prepare for this event?

D.C.: As a small “blitz” team, we have been actively preparing for three consecutive months.

The team was formed from leaders belonging to diverse traditional Marian groups.

As for the final groundwork, through these groups, we organized a national novena with three days of perpetual adoration throughout the country, bringing with us the relics of the four Evangelists, the day of the event.

LSN: We’ve seen photos emerging with what looked to be thousands of participants. Do you know how many people attended?

D.C.: Between 7,000 and 10,000 people participated (1/100 of the total Christian population in Lebanon). The majority were Catholics, but we were very happy that some Orthodox patriarchs from different Eastern Rites were in attendance as well. Even though only two Maronite bishops (out of thirty) showed up, we consider the success of this event to be a historical act of God — a miracle. This is the fruit of Marian consecration and resolve!

LSN: Tell our readers what you experienced today, what events took place, and any graces you received.

D.C.: The event was similar to a celestial wedding — indeed, Heaven on Earth! Marching in unity for the Divine King and the Celestial Queen. We surely felt as if the Spirit of God was scintillating on all and in every heart! Not just this, but we sensed, in a particular way, the protection of Our Lady’s mantle during the procession itself (“the power of the Most High,” Luke 1:35), covering us even from the heat. Indeed, temperatures were at 22 degrees Celsius (71° F) while it should have normally been at 35 degrees (95° F) — just as it had been the day before and as is normal for this time of year.

It’s key noting here that we’ve been experiencing significant signal graces for years — as a direct result of national Marian consecration — but as we started to plan this major endeavor, we have witnessed in significant ways that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart is indeed unfolding! She is exposing the enemy and crushing his traps. Whatever plans our team endeavored to accomplish on behalf of Our Lady — we have witnessed them take shape quickly and surely while the Enemy’s snares (from both within and without) were dissipated. All of this was done so easily, rapidly, as if the time we have left is short.

The faithful had the impression that all the might of God was being poured out upon our tiny flock, “the rest of Mary’s offspring” (Rev. 12:17), “all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). We had the sure conviction — the encouragement that it is possible to triumph within this seemingly fallen Earth, that we were seeing this triumph taking place. We saw, in this event, that it is possible to overcome “the Enemy’s authorities, the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). We know now, in a particular way, that because we are consecrated and live by it, victory is our only option. When we are “all in,” when we are “all for the Immaculate” no matter what, we cannot be defeated! As St. Paul writes, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete” (2 Cor. 10:4–6). Mary is the awe-inspiring Lady of the Sun standing strong ahead of us, leading us and protecting us before the terrible Dragon. She is “like an army with banners” (Song of Songs 6:10)! 

I believe that the graces earned this day will be translated into protection and blessings — both spiritual and temporal — in the days, months, and years to come, both in Lebanon and, I am sure, worldwide! At the same time, we were all humbled and in deep awe before the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist — Who was encompassed by heavy clouds of incense and the holy chants of His people, while the blessed statue of Our Lady of Fatima, surrounded by flowers, was being held on shoulders uphill (some 6 km).

LSN: What does Marian consecration mean for the people of Lebanon?

D.C.: Our Lady’s call to consecration is God’s call to conversion (Fatima 1917). We believe that consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is the solution in this “battle for souls.”

To be consecrated is to offer Our Lady our lives for the salvation of others (Ex. 24) and the defeat of Evil (Gen. 3:15): Mary’s triumph is united to the kingship of Jesus (Rev. 19:16)! God, in His infinite justice and as our last recourse, has put in front of Lucifer (who is corruption) Mary (who is immaculate). As such, consecration to Mary gives us:

-  the grace of knowing the full truth of God,

-  the power to live the intensity of the Christian life

-  the authority to overcome evil

Consecration to Our Lady, in both by words and action, is paramount!

LSN: What types of acts of reparation were done, and what does reparation mean for the people of Lebanon?

D.C.: We prepared a full-fledged program for the procession and Mass. The procession included many stops where all kneeled, head down in repentance, and the bishops prayed prayers of reparation for both the sins of the nation (systemic sin) and personal sins (private sin). These prayers of reparation were inspired by the ones prayed by Bishop John Keenan (bishop of Paisley, Scotland and head of the “Rosary on the Coasts” initiative of the U.K. — member of the Holy League of Nations) in Westminster Cathedral last year. We also wanted to insert some exorcism prayers as well, like the ones prayed by 300,000 Polish faithful at their national shrine (Jasna Góra) in 2016, the year prior to two million faithful gathering for their Rosary to the Borders event.

LSN: Why Eucharistic Processions?

D.C.: The Eucharistic procession (that normally starts at one holy place and ends at another) is a public witness of the veneration toward the Most Holy Eucharist. This “earthly journey” reminds the Catholic faithful of their spiritual journey toward eternal life with God.

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI eloquently noted in a homily in 2007, “It was born for the very precise purpose of openly reaffirming the faith of the people of God in Jesus Christ, alive and truly present in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist. It is a feast that was established in order to publicly adore, praise and thank the Lord, who continues ‘to love us to the end,’ even to offering us his body and his blood.”

By processing with the Holy Eucharist in a reverent, prayerful, and joyful manner, we as Lebanese people honored Christ in the Eucharist and served as witnesses to the intimate presence of God in the world and in each individual.

Adoring our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, and all-loving God in a Eucharistic procession is to touch grace — a power infinitely greater than nuclear power, the sun, or the Big Bang. As Dr. Peter Kreeft notes, “adoration is more powerful for construction than nuclear bombs are for destruction.” We so need that today!

LSN: You have used "D-Day," sounding quite like you and the participants see yourselves in active warfare. Tell our readers about that.

D.C.: The conflict is real. The deadliest war ever — for the stakes are eternal!

Jacintha Marto, the 8-year-old visionary from Fatima, Portugal, tells us that it was revealed to the Fatima seers that most people who died went to Hell. Almost all of them! That was then, at the turn of the 20th century. Now it must certainly be worse! Sadly, all the suffering of all the lives who ever lived is not equivalent to the torment of one single soul falling in Hell. So, yes, this is war! We are behind enemy lines in this combat. This was, truly, a “spiritual D-Day” for Lebanon!

St. John Bosco predicted that the Church will be saved through the Eucharist and devotion to Mary. That’s why we need to get back the spirit of holiness and true spiritual militancy in the Church! We have become lukewarm. The state of things in the Church and in the world is deplorable, to say the least. Someone must sound the “clarion call” — the enemy entered our holy places long ago. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lamented, “The Church is on the verge of capsizing.”

LSN: Last year, you helped organize and lead Middle Eastern countries in the worldwide rosary events under the new “Holy League of Nations.” Do you believe that today was the fruit of these prayers, and do you anticipate leading again for the planned October 13 events?

D.C.: Of course, for nothing is lost in the spiritual realm! A single Hail Mary resonates infinitely at the hour of our death and even to eternity! We’re building up. Every battle counts. Every prayer counts. Every soul counts. The time has come for the consecrated children of Mary to unite and fight under our queen’s banner.

The 2018 Global Rosary (the 2018 Lepanto, as we call it) undoubtedly disarmed many of our Enemy’s strongholds and enabled unfathomable graces to enter in and around us. That’s how God’s power is unleashed! The next Global Rosary (which will hopefully include Eucharistic processions and acts of reparation) will be on October 13, 2019. We urge all countries to join forces with us within the Holy League of Nations (HolyLeagueOfNations.com) and replicate our Lebanese consecration, procession, reparation!

Time is of the essence!

Editor’s note: All photos courtesy of Dominic Chikhani.

Featured Image
Archdiocese of Detroit / Facebook
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

News ,

New priest calls for ‘radical fidelity’ after Church scandals, gets standing ovation

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

DETROIT, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Newly ordained to the priesthood, Fr. Derik Peterman said his generation of priests are encouraged despite the current climate in the Church but see the need for “radical fidelity” as a response.

Celebrating the Mass for the presbyteral ordination on Saturday was Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit. He ordained Adam James Nowak, John Maria McKenzie, and Derik Edward Peterman to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Archbishop Vigneron and other clergy laid hands on the three men, dressed them in priestly garments, and anointed them, calling on them to serve the Church.

Vigneron noted to the hundreds of people in the church that the ordinations came on the vigil of Pentecost, which, he said, is “a time when we totally dedicate ourselves to the responsibility to be missionary.” “In a few weeks, you will start your assignments on a mission to re-found your parishes,” Vigneron said. “Your mission will be to celebrate this new Pentecost, to continue the work of the new Pentecost. This is God’s work; He made you a missionary priest.”

Calling on all the clergy and laity to join the newly ordained in evangelization, Vigneron announced the next phase of the archdiocesan efforts to spread the Gospel in Michigan. “We in the archdiocese have a sense of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “God heard us and answered us abundantly as we prayed for a new Pentecost. In the next few days, we’ll enter a new stage of the missionary journey. We thought about calling it ‘Unleash the Gospel 2.0,’” Vigneron as some members of the congregation chuckled in response. “See, you laughed, so that’s why we’re not calling it that. It’s called ‘Sent on Mission.’ We’re asking our parishes to be re-founded so that everything we do at the parish is about how we pray, serve and teach the Gospel message to be more effective witnesses to Christ.”

The newly ordained Fr. Peterman then proclaimed from the front of the cathedral, “Thank you, Jesus!” He thanked Cardinal Adam J. Maida, Detroit's archbishop emeritus, for his presence as well as Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes of Guam and Detroit Auxiliary Bishops Gerard Battersby, Arturo Cepeda, Robert Fisher, and Donald Hanchon and retired auxiliary bishop Francis Reiss.

“We cannot express how filled we are with both gratitude and amazement,” Fr. Peterman said — “gratitude, that God has called us to be priests; and amazement, that God has called us to be priests. It is a ministry we are not worthy to take on. But like so many priests before us, we offer to God the little we have so that he might multiply it; and that by remaining in Him, we might bear much fruit.”

Acknowledging the scandals that have rocked the Church and the confidence of faithful Catholics in their leaders, Fr. Peterman made a pledge to his listeners. “In His Providence, the Almighty Father has called us new priests to serve Him during a very unique moment in Church history,” Fr. Peterman said with evident emotion. “There are a number of challenges we face — some of those are as old as sin, as they say, and the Church has been dealing with them since the time of the apostles. But there is also a new context to this issue of today, which requires a unique response.” 

“It is no news to you all that the actions of many of our brother priests have devastated the integrity of the priesthood and scandalized people throughout the world,” Fr. Peterman said. “Every new story of scandal that comes out pierces my heart. But that has not left me hopeless, because Jesus our Lord had His heart pierced, too,” he said.

“It is no news to you all that the actions of many of our brother priests have devastated the integrity of the priesthood and scandalized people throughout the world,” Fr. Peterman continued. “Instead of discouraging us, the current climate of the Church has brought about a greater courage in my classmates and I. We see the need for radical fidelity to the Gospel; to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I can assure you, people of God, that we will do our best, with His grace, to restore the trust that has been lost and to fight against the sins which plague the Church.”

Asking the laity’s prayers for all priests, Fr. Peterman said, “We ask for your continued prayers that we might remain faithful to our promises. Pray that we will be prayerful and holy. Pray that we will be courageous in our preaching. Pray that we will be joyful, missionary disciples. Pray that we will take refuge in Mary, mother of priests. And pray that God will call more men to pick up their cross and follow Him in the priesthood.”

Following his remarks, members of the clergy and the congregation gave him a standing ovation.

Featured Image
Twitter video screenshot
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News ,

Abortion facility director: Saving babies with anomalies a ‘waste of resources’

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – During last week’s Democrat House committee hearing purporting to assess the future of “reproductive rights” in America, the medical director of a controversial Alabama abortion facility suggested that attempting to resuscitate newborn babies with fetal anomalies would be a “waste of resources.”

Dr. Yashica Robinson, an OB/GYN and medical director of Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWC), was testifying before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to advocate for the continued availability of abortion in Alabama, which recently enacted a near-total abortion ban.

In comments highlighted by the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, Robinson claimed that most third-trimester abortions were for babies that could not survive outside the womb anyway. She claimed that leaving healthy infants to die does not happen, and current laws suffice to deter it (in fact, abortionists have been filmed admitting they would commit it, and current federal law lacks specific criminal penalties for withholding treatment from a newborn after a failed abortion).

However, Robinson went on to say that while she would transfer a healthy newborn to a hospital after a failed abortion, trying to save a severely unhealthy one wouldn’t be worth the time or money.

“For those that are born because of fetal anomalies, they can’t live outside the womb, so I would be against implementing any heroic measures in transferring to the hospital. It would be a waste of resources,” she said.

Despite Robinson purporting to speak from a position of medical authority, she and AWC have a troubled medical history. In 2013, health inspectors found that her facility had failed to fully clean procedure tables and blood pressure cuffs between patients, failed to remove expired medications, and may not have been complying with the state’s ultrasound informed consent requirement. The next year, Robinson was indicted for allegedly fraudulently billing Medicaid over $60,000 for misbranded intrauterine devices (IUDs). 

AWC also faces a wrongful-death suit by a man whose preborn child was killed there despite his pleas to his girlfriend to let their baby live.

Featured Image
Knights of the Order of Malta at the Sanctuary of Fatima during the 2014 celebrations of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal shutterstock.com
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

News

Order of Malta bans traditional Latin Mass for its liturgical ceremonies

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

ROME, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has banned liturgical ceremonies in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Mass.

According to an official letter from Fra Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the leader of the Catholic lay philanthropic group, “Henceforth, all the liturgical ceremonies within our Order must be performed according to the ordinary rite of the Church (rite of St. Paul VI) and not the extraordinary rite (Tridentine rite).”

He is the Prince and Grand Master of the Order, the descendant of the medieval Order of Saint John or Knights Hospitaller founded in Jerusalem in 1099. The 12,500 members of the order sponsor hospitals as well as provide services to refugees and disaster victims, employing some 42,000 people.

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, as it calls itself, maintains diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries and the European Union. Cardinal Raymond Burke is patron of the Order, offering spiritual guidance to its members while interceding for the Order to the Vatican.

Cardinal Burke is well known for his love and promotion of the traditional Latin Mass. During his time as bishop of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Burke founded the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, who celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively.

In Fra Dalla Torre’s June 10 letter, he does not betray his reasoning for barring the Latin Mass. Citing Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificium, he wrote, “This decision applies to all the official liturgical celebrations such as investitures, Masses during our pilgrimages, memorial masses, as well as the feasts and solemnities of the Order.”

He also called on the Order’s superiors to ensure that his wishes should be “immediately put into practice.” The letter claims that Summorum Pontificum allows priests permission to utilize the Traditional Latin Mass and that likewise the Major Superior of a religious institute may decide on its use within their community.

“As you all know, Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificium, albeit leaving every priest the freedom to celebrate privately in the extraordinary form, nevertheless states that inside a religious institute the matter is to be decided by the Major Superior according to the norm of law and their particulate statutes (Summorum Pontificium, art. 3),” he wrote. “I have thus decided, as supreme guarantor of the cohesion and communion or the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of which Providence made me Grand Master, that henceforth all the liturgical ceremonies within our Order must be performed according to the ordinary rite of the Church (rite of St. Paul VI) and not the extraordinary rite (Tridentine rite).”

Catholic News Service reported that the Order’s press officer, Marianna Balfour, said Fra Dalla Torre’s letter was a reaffirmation of certain guidelines within the Order and that it contained “no novelty.” It was intended to foster “unity” in the Order, said Balfour.

The members of the order have the right to participate in any celebration preferred, according to Balfour, who said the letter refers only to celebrations within the Order and to encourage “uniformity and cohesion."

Fra Dalla Torre has been leading a reform of the Order since his election to the lifelong post in 2018. This was preceded by the resignation of the former leader of the Order, Fra' Matthew Festing, who had previously removed the chancellor of the Order, Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, and faced an investigation. Von Boeselager was later reinstated.

In January, Fra' Dalla Torre told diplomats in Rome that reforming the Order "has led to the definition of some key themes for the order's life, and in particular, its religious members." Reform of the Order, he said, includes a focus on “the importance of a spiritual life, which for a Catholic order must remain a guiding inspiration."

Some of the terminology used in the letter, such as the misspelling of “Summorum Pontificum” and a reference to the “Rite of St. Paul VI” caused some comments that doubted its authenticity. However, the Order later verified it.

Pope Benedict XVI’s publication of Summorum Pontificium was greeted with approval in 2007 by traditionalists. However, Pope Francis has suggested his annoyance with traditionalists, especially young people who are devoted to the traditional rite. In an interview with Fr. Antonio Spadaro of La Civilta Cattolica that accompanied a compilation of homilies he delivered as bishop in Argentina, Francis said the reformed version of the Mass that came after the Second Vatican Council is here to stay. Acknowledging that Benedict XVI was “magnanimous” toward traditionalists, Francis added, “But it is an exception.”

Responding to a question about why young people, who have no experience of the Latin Mass as children, are attached to it, the Pope said, “I always try to understand what’s behind the people who are too young to have lived the pre-conciliar liturgy but who want it. Sometimes I’ve found myself in front of people who are too strict, who have a rigid attitude. And I wonder: How come such a rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, sometimes even more. ... Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News

AMA reaffirms its opposition to doctor-assisted suicide by huge majority

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

CHICAGO, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The American Medical Association has once again rejected physician-assisted suicide by an overwhelming majority, despite lobbying by euthanasia supporters.

After intense discussion, delegates at the annual meeting in Chicago voted 392-162 on Monday to reaffirm the AMA’s existing policy, which states that “Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Delegates also voted 360-190 to adopt the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) report, which recommends the AMA keep its opposition to physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, according to MedPage Today.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, described the vote as “great news.”

The AMA have reaffirmed that assisting the suicide of patients is not ethical or a part of medicine,” he told LifeSiteNew in an email.

“We can only hope that the decision of the AMA will result in an understanding that doctors should never be involved with killing their patients.”

Delegates voted in 2016 to ask CEJA to review the AMA policy on assisted suicide. CEJA upheld the AMA policy in May 2018, but in June 2018, delegates again voted that it continue to review the assisted-suicide policy, Schadenberg noted in a blog.

“In October 2018, CEJA adjusted the language of its recommendation while upholding that the AMA maintain its opposition to assisted suicide,” Schadenberg said.

“In November 2018, AMA delegates once again decided to ask CEJA to continue reviewing the AMA policy on assisted suicide.”

CEJA was also asked “to consider the need to distinguish between ‘physician-assisted suicide’ and ‘aid-in-dying,’” MedPage Today reported.

CEJA concluded it “believes ethical deliberation and debate is best served by using plainly descriptive language,” its report stated.

“In the council’s view, despite its negative connotations, the term ‘physician-assisted suicide’ describes the practice with the greatest precision.”

The issue sparked a long and often impassioned discussions at this year’s annual meeting, reported MedPage Today.

“(The report) clearly speaks the truth as to what this involves — it is directly enabling a patient to end his or her life,” said Dr. Diane Gowski of Florida at a Sunday committee meeting, it reported.

“We would not give our patients a gun or revolver ... so we should not be supplying them with lethal drugs. Physician-assisted suicide violates natural moral law,” she said.

“We urge the AMA to stand firm, as any change from the current position will only confuse the public as to the intention and role of their physicians,” added Gowski.

Another delegate pointed to Canada and Oregon in warning of the dangers of legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

“Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1997 with repeated assurances that it would stay contained and would not become euthanasia,” said Washington delegate Dr. Shane Macaulay at Monday’s plenary session.

“Just last month, the Oregon state House of Representatives approved a bill to allow patient death by lethal injection, showing the inevitable progression from assisted suicide to euthanasia once physicians have accepted the idea that taking a patient’s life is permissible,” he said.

Since Canada legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia three years ago and “euthanasia has become a runaway contagion in Canada, with over 4,000 deaths last year,” observed Macaulay.

“These alarming developments show us that the wheels are coming off the bus on assisted suicide. We do not have the luxury of time to continue to fail to act on the CEJA report while the real-world situation deteriorates,” he told fellow delegates.

“Unless we’re willing to embrace widespread euthanasia, we must accept the CEJA report and reaffirm this policy now as a firewall against what is (happening in) Canada.”

Meanwhile, the House of Delegates’ Medical Student Section endorsed a resolution to change the AMA’s position to one of “engaged neutrality” — that is, “neither for nor against physician-assisted suicide,” MedPage Today reported.

That view was hotly contested, however.

“The Medical Student Section of the AMA does not speak for me on this issue,” said Indianapolis medical student Matt Becker at Sunday’s meeting.

“I would argue that choosing to kill oneself is contrary to the human condition and never morally acceptable,” Becker said.

“I also express concern for the autonomy of those coerced into suicide, which is a legitimate concern, especially with regard to the progression to euthanasia. If even one person is killed due to coercion, that amounts to murder.”

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

News ,

Pinterest labels Live Action’s pro-life content as ‘porn,’ then permanently deletes account

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence
Image
Lila Rose of the pro-life group Live Action. Live Action

June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pinterest permanently suspended Live Action’s account early Tuesday morning after first tagging the site as “pornography” and then claiming the pro-life group’s content violated its policy on “misinformation.”

“We don’t allow harmful misinformation on Pinterest. That includes medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment and violence,” the Pinterest message read.

Live Action’s Alison Centofante, director of external affairs for Live Action tweeted the news later that day:

Pinterest’s move followed revelations that a high-level Pinterest employee put LiveAction.org on the list of blocked pornography sites in February 2019, as Centofante tweeted out also on Tuesday: 

“Because 'http://LiveAction.org' was added to the list of pornographic sites, users cannot create pins that link to 'http://LiveAction.org .' Live Action has the largest and most active online following in the pro-life movement, with over 3.3 million followers,” Centofante tweeted.

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas investigated Pinterest’s alleged blocking Live Action as a porn site based on information from a Pinterest whistleblower, Live Action reported.

Live Action employees confirmed that “as of Sunday,” they could not create pins linking to LiveAction.org.

“Only on Monday, after Project Veritas reached out to Pinterest letting them know of the whistleblower’s claims and asking for comment, were pins able to link to LiveAction.org,” it reported.

And then suddenly today without warning, Pinterest suspended Live Action’s account.

The Project Veritas report alleges that Megan McClellan, Pinterest’s Law Enforcement and Government Operations (LEGO) Program Manager, placed LiveAction.org on the porn domain blacklist.

It also documents that there was an appeal in late May that Live Action be removed from the porn domain blacklist, and that one Pinterest employee, Genet Girmay, stated in an online thread: “I don’t think it should be…” and another, Carina Iverson, advised it was best to follow up with the person “that initially blocked the domain to see if there was a specific reason other than it was abortion content.”

Live Action founder Lila Rose blasted Pinterest in a press release for putting her organization's website on the porn domain block list.

"Based on the evidence provided, it appears that Pinterest intentionally added ‘LiveAction.org’ to a ‘pornography’ blocklist in an effort to suppress our pro-life content from being shared on the platform," she said. 

“By secretly applying the label of 'pornography' to Live Action’s pro-life content, Pinterest demonstrates a concerted effort to sideline a leading pro-life organization the only way they knew how. This does not appear to be a simple mistake. When confronted with an appeal, their employees doubled down and kept LiveAction.org on the pornography list. What exactly is Pinterest attempting to block? Inspirational messages to pregnant mothers, ultrasound images showing the science of prenatal development, medically accurate information on the abortion procedure, and images saying women deserve better than abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood," she continued. 

"Pinterest has targeted Live Action, I believe, because our message is so effective at educating millions about the humanity of the preborn child and the injustice of abortion. Pinterest says that their mission is to “help empower people to discover things that they love,” but despite the fact that millions of people love babies and the pro-life cause, they are secretly censoring our life-affirming messages. Pinterest users deserve to know the truth and our messages deserve to be treated fairly. If Planned Parenthood can promote their message on Pinterest, then Live Action should be able to as well," she added. 

Rose also commented about Live Action's Pinterest account being permanently suspended while abortion accounts remain untouched. 

"Pinterest Logic: You can freely pin if you’re Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider. But if you’re a pro-life group & pin about the beauty & humanity of a baby in the womb, you’re banned and seen as a threat to 'Pinner’s health or safety,'" she said. 

At least one Live Action critic denounced Pinterest for censorship.

“While I oppose Live Action with every fiber of my being, I don’t support this social media ban,” tweeted Dr. Eugene Gu. “What happens if Pinterest or any other site is bought out by Republicans? They can do the same thing right back. I hate having to defend my enemy but social media censorship is wrong.”

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

News ,

Bishop calls out ‘Catholic’ 2020 Dem candidate Joe Biden for backing abortion funding

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas
Image
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews

PHILADELPHIA June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia rebuked Joe Biden, a Catholic who is running for the presidency, for caving into the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion doctrine when he declared that he now opposes the Hyde Amendment banning federal funds for abortion.

“The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy,’” stated Archbishop Chaput in a June 10 column that appeared on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website where he called Biden out by name. 

“It will have a candidate’s allegiance and full-throated reverence...or else,” the Archbishop added. 

Biden (76), a former vice president under the country’s most pro-abortion president, Barack Obama, was once mildly supportive of the human rights of unborn children. He was among several members of Congress, including some fellow Democrats, who participated in the first pro-life marches in Washington D.C. In 1974, for instance, he said, “(W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother.” In the wake of the high court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to allow abortion, he said, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.”

Chaput took Biden to task for caving to pro-abortion forces over the course of 24 hours. While Biden once upheld the Hyde Amendment (a ban on most federal funding for paying for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life), after being slammed by campaign staffers, benefactors and pro-abortion celebrities, he reversed course. 

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

On Thursday, Biden told Democrat donors in Atlanta that he now opposes the Hyde Amendment. He attributed his reversal to the success of “heartbeat” legislation in states such as Alabama and Georgia that recognize the humanity of the unborn and outlaw most abortions. "If I believe healthcare is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code." 

Biden thus joined the other Democrat presidential contenders in calling for the Hyde Amendment’s abolition. Saying that the new obstacles to abortion made necessary an alteration in his thinking, Biden said, "I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.”

Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, applauded Biden’s reversal.  

"Happy to see Joe Biden embrace what we have long known to be true: Hyde blocks people—particularly women of color and women with low incomes—from accessing safe, legal abortion care. Thank you to our RJ partners for leading the charge in repealing this discriminatory policy," she wrote on Twitter. 

Chaput referenced in his column a 2016 speech he gave at Notre Dame University when Hillary Clinton appeared to be poised to become the next U.S. president. Chaput said then that the apparent “price” for Catholics to join the ruling class has meant “the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new ‘Church’ of our ambitions and appetites.” Naming names, Chaput singled out Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, Sen. Tim Kaine, as well as Biden.

“They’re part of a very large crowd that cuts across all professions and both major political parties,” the Archbishop said. These are among the politicians, Chaput added, who have turned their backs on their faith, committing what Pope Benedict XVI called a “silent apostasy.” Chaput recalled that apostasy in its original Greek refers to “a means to revolt or desert; literally ‘to stand away from.” 

Chaput noted that the 2016 speech angered Biden’s supporters who believe he is a moderate Democrat, a Catholic and a “well-intentioned, decent man.” Chaput asserted that Biden has now revealed what he really holds on the abortion question.

Chaput recalled a line from the classic film  ‘A Man for All Seasons,’ in which martyr Thomas More says: “‘When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their own public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.’” Chaput concluded, saying in reference to Biden possibly winning the 2020 race: “We can’t say we weren’t warned.”

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News ,

Maine governor signs bill to let non-doctors commit abortions

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

AUGUSTA, Maine, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation expanding the ability to commit abortions from actual doctors to physician assistants and some types of nurses, which critics argue will only increase the risks to women considering abortion.

Mills, a Democrat, proposed the measure in March, calling for advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants to be allowed to perform medication-administered abortions on the grounds that it would increase abortion “access” in more rural parts of the state. She signed it into law Monday, Fox News reported.

In addition to opposing the law “on philosophical grounds,” Christian Civic League of Maine executive director Carroll Conley expressed concern to The New York Times that the healthcare practitioners covered by the new law would be unable to receive sufficient medical training by the time the law takes effect in September, and whether those with moral objections to participating in abortions would see their rights respected.

Conley also disputed the idea that the law was responding to actual evidence that any residents of rural Maine were unable to obtain abortions.

Pro-lifers object that letting non-doctors commit abortions puts abortion-seeking women in greater danger by subjecting them to abortionists with less training or experience. Infamous Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell delegated parts of the abortion process such as administering anesthesia to non-physician employees, one of whom was only 15 years old.

Pro-lifers also fear the law will increase the number of abortions in the state. The Bangor Daily News reported that the bill would effectively increase the number of locations in Maine that commit abortions from three to 18.

Nevertheless, enacting the measure represents a victory for Mills, who pushed for a similar measure last year as state Attorney General, and for pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, who have tried to force the state to allow nurse practitioners and licensed midwives to commit abortions since at least 2017.

Featured Image
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott GregAbbott.com
Calvin Freiburger

News ,

Texas prohibits cities from doing business with abortion providers like Planned Parenthood

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

AUSTIN, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that forbids localities from doing business with Planned Parenthood or any other abortion business, enacting what is said to have been one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s top legislative priorities.

Senate Bill 22 forbids city and county governments from “enter[ing] into a taxpayer resource transaction with an abortion provider or an affiliate of an abortion provider,” such as reduced tax or lease agreements, except as specifically required by federal law. It also bars localities from engaging in “advocacy or lobbying on behalf of the interests of an abortion provider or affiliate.”

Before passage last week, it was tweaked to clarify that it “may not be construed to restrict a municipality or county from prohibiting abortion,” CBS News reports.

Texas Right to Life thanked Abbot for signing the measure on social media:

"While they may not be doing abortions [at a Planned Parenthood building leased by the City of Austin], those dollars can still pass through to prop up the abortion industry, so this bill does inhibit local municipalities from contracting with an abortion facility," GOP state Sen. Donna Campbell has explained.

“Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the abortion industry with their tax dollars, abortion providers unnaturally end the lives of almost 60,000 of our tiniest and most vulnerable Texans every year,” Campbell added.

"As governor, I will fight for every child to have a chance at life,” Abbott previously declared. “Working together, we will keep Texas the most pro-life state.”

Featured Image
Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri. cbsnews.com / video screen grab
Calvin Freiburger

News ,

Missouri’s scandal-plagued last abortion mill allowed to stay open until June 21, judge rules

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

ST. LOUIS, June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A scandal-plagued abortion facility in St. Louis can keep its abortion license at least until June 21, thanks to another temporary injunction from Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer.

Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region has been fighting the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services over its annual license renewal, arguing the state is trying to “intimidate” abortionists by making renewal contingent on interviewing them about patient complaints. 

The abortion giant filed a lawsuit at St. Louis Circuit Court seeking a restraining order to preserve its license, without which it would have had to stop committing abortions once its current license expired at midnight. Health officials want to interview five contract physicians regarding seven incidents flagged by inspectors, which Planned Parenthood opposes on the grounds that their answers could lead to criminal charges.

Last month, Stelzer granted the facility a temporary restraining order allowing it to keep committing abortions, and on Monday he ruled that the center can stay open at least until June 21, WDAF reports. The judge is giving state health officials until a court hearing on that date to make a final determination as to the facility’s license.

“Today’s ruling gives doctors like me the ability to wake up tomorrow and continue providing safe, legal abortion in the last health center in the state that provides abortion care," abortionist Colleen McNicholas said, Politico reports. "For patients, that means for now, they can continue to make decisions about their bodies, lives and future in their home state."

Republican Gov. Mike Parson had previously said it “would be reckless for any judge to grant a temporary restraining order ruling before the state has taken action on a license renewal.”

“It was a patient complaint that actually prompted the investigation into the clinic, and they found multiple violations,” Susan B. Anthony List vice president for communications Mallory Quigley told PBS in support of pulling the license. “A woman who went in for an abortion actually remained pregnant. There's talk of botched abortions, failure to do proper informed consent."

“Actually, an ambulance has been called to this particular facility in Saint Louis more than 70 times since 2009,” she continued, adding that “we know what happens when public health officials don't inspect abortion facilities. It happened in Pennsylvania for 17 years,” invoking the case of the notorious Kermit Gosnell.

If the St. Louis facility is ultimately forced to stop committing abortions, the next closest abortion facilities will be in Granite City, Illinois (ten miles from St. Louis) or Kansas City, Kansas (260 miles from St. Louis).

Featured Image
Vice President Pence at CPAC 2019 YouTube screenshot
Calvin Freiburger

News , ,

Pence defends Trump admin ban on LGBT ‘pride’ flags from US embassy flagpoles

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vice President Mike Pence is defending the Trump administration’s refusal to allow U.S. embassies across the globe to raise LGBT “pride” flags on the same flagpoles hosting the American flag, framing it as a matter of maintaining the preeminence of the Stars and Stripes.

Last week, three U.S. diplomats revealed that the administration is denying diplomats’ requests to raise the rainbow banners on the building’s official flagpole, though they are still allowed to display the flag elsewhere, including on embassy walls and inside buildings. The requirement to seek permission first marks a reversal of the Obama administration giving embassies full discretion to fly rainbow flags during June’s “Pride Month.”

“I support that,” Pence told NBC News Monday. "As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American, and we both feel that way very passionately. But when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, having the one American flag fly, I think is the right decision.

“And we put no restrictions on displaying any other flags or any other displays at our embassies beyond that,” the vice president added.

Diplomats at several embassies are running with that loophole, draping LGBT flags on the side of their buildings, displaying the flags inside buildings, releasing photos and videos of embassy staff demonstrating for “pride,” and illuminating the U.S. embassy in New Delhi in rainbow lights. One unnamed diplomat speaking to the Washington Post called it a “category one insurrection.”

The policy of keeping rainbow flags off the main flagpole but allowing pro-LGBT imagery everywhere else is reflective of President Donald Trump’s mixed record on LGBT issues.

He has defended religious adoption agencies, opposed gender ideology in the military, public schools, and homeless shelters, and staffed his administration with various pro-family leaders.

At the same time, Trump has nominated a variety of pro-LGBT figures to judgeships and other government posts, and continued a number of Obama-era pro-LGBT policies, such as an executive order on “gender identity nondiscrimination.” He also declared after the 2016 election that the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling forcing all fifty states to recognize same-sex “marriage” was “settled law.” 

Most recently, the president tweeted his support for LGBT Pride Month, touting the “outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation.”

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

News

LifeSite is on a mission to change the world. But we need you to do it

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

Today is the first day of our 2019 Summer Fundraising Campaign!  

As a reader of LifeSite, you are without a doubt far better informed than those who rely solely on mainstream media regarding life, family and faith-related issues.

Our journalists do an incredible job of getting stories out quickly and truthfully. Their variety of backgrounds and experience, strong faith life and deep commitment gives each of them a unique perspective and insight that sets our news apart from the rest. 

Christian civilization is under attack like never before. This summer, we need your help to continue our unique mission and arm more people with LifeSite’s absolutely critical news and information!  

The reality or the current cultural meltdown should be emboldening our resolve. Instead, more and more people are fearful, turning away, burying their heads in the sand and, in essence, denying Christ while liberal and viciously anti-Christian forces increasingly repress our pro-life and pro-family beliefs.  

We are told our deeply cherished beliefs are antiquated and that we are on the ‘wrong side of history.’  But the truth is, if we don’t amplify our efforts now, we may find ourselves on the side of a history of our worst fears.  

You can help fight back against this growing tide.  

We must raise $275,000 by June 28. Can I count on you to help us reach this minimum goal with a gift of $500, $200, $100, or even $35 today? 

You can also donate by phone or mail  

Newer readers may not know this, but these online quarterly fundraising campaigns are by far the main source of funding to cover the substantial costs of running this world-class LifeSite mission. That is, we are entirely reader supported. (Advertising brings only a comparatively tiny amount of income.) 

As a completely independent news organization, we rely on readers just like you. We are not tied to any outside or third-party entity, not even Church organizations - and this is what gives us the freedom to report on the truth - no matter what!  

This is your opportunity to ensure that our fearless, independent, and uncompromisingly pro-life and pro-family news service will have an increasing, critical impact on the culture.  

Please consider becoming an important member of the LifeSite team with a one-time gift today.  

With record-breaking readership already this year, we are on track to have our greatest impact since LifeSite began 22 years ago.  

That in turn will lead to more reader actions to positively change the culture.  

Exceptionally well-informed readers of the crucial issues that LifeSite uniquely covers become powerfully armed with truth and motivated to undertake actions that they previously would never have considered doing or thought themselves capable of doing.  

We hear about that from readers all the time. Ultimately, it is grace that gives them the insight, confidence and courage to do battle with evil and proclaim the truth that is denied the public by the media, educational institutions and secularist and even religious elites. 

You may also be interested in supporting our news on a monthly basis by joining our Sustain Life monthly giving program. Becoming a monthly giver, or Sustainer, enables you to make an ongoing investment in our greatly needed pro-life and pro-family reporting.  

Will you strengthen our efforts with a monthly gift of $100, $50, or $35 today? 

You can also donate by phone or mail.

We don’t know what the future holds for our culture. But we do know that the world is in frightening turmoil. We also know that it is beyond crucial to proclaim the truth and raise awareness on events taking place globally on the issues most precious to all of us.  

Those issues are where a historically great battle is now raging.  

With your help, we are confident we can eventually win the culture war. We have learned from amazing experience that truth, presented well, far and wide, and with the indomitable armor of God’s grace, has great power.   

That is, we are not fighting alone or foolishly relying only upon ourselves. Jesus Christ told all mankind, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light.” There is no greater power than this. 

LifeSiteNews has been reporting on breaking stories for years – stories that often lead the mainstream media! This separates our news from the rest. 

Will you answer the call to support our mission? 

As a reader of LifeSiteNews, you care about the future of our culture and your families. it is crucial that each of us faces the reality of the odds we are up against. These recent events stand out as signs of the times to come:  

  • Twitter blocking the account of a gender expert for claiming that transgenderism is a mental disorder 

  • YouTube removing the ad revenue from an evangelist’s videos dealing with the topic of homosexuality and transgenderism  

  • Mainstream media ignoring facts and science to go all in on a story claiming that ‘a man gave birth’  

  • Federal judge striking down bans on gruesome abortion practices, despite majority votes in favor of more pro-life laws 

It’s tempting to overlook everything going on around the world and in our own neighborhoods because of the extreme saturation of the anti-human, anti-faith agenda in our media and institutions – but you can take a stand today!  

By supporting our pro-life and pro-family news service you can help us change the world through our unique mission. 

Please consider a gift of $35, $100, $250, or even $500 or more today. Every amount helps bring us closer to our goal.  

We cannot maximize LifeSite’s unique media mission to transform our culture without you. Thank you in advance for your prayerful and financial support. 

Featured Image
Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), leaves out 'so help me God' from oath Feb. 7, 2019. C-Span3 / video screen grab
Christina Marie Bennett

Opinion , ,

My mom wanted to abort me but changed her mind. Democrat congressmen don’t care

Christina Marie Bennett
By
Image
Image
Image
Christina at a Bound4Life prayer meeting outside of the U.S Supreme Court

June 11, 2019 (Live Action News) — On Tuesday, June 4th at 10 a.m., I spoke before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee for the "Threats to Reproductive Rights in America" hearing, which was called to address the pro-life legislative victories across the nation. I was on a panel with seven other women. Representing the pro-life position, there were two of us: me and my friend Melissa Ohden — President of the Abortion Survivors Network and survivor of a failed saline solution abortion. On the pro-abortion side were three times as many speakers — six — the most recognizable being actress Busy Phillips. Along with Phillips were abortionists Yashica Robinson and Owen Phillips, NYU professor Melissa Murray, teen activist H.K. Gray, and the ACLU's Jennifer Dalven.

The Democrats were allowed more witnesses, so we anticipated being outnumbered by those in favor of abortion. In spite of my concerns about this, I was honored to testify. I'm alive because my mother left her abortion appointment. Melissa is alive because a nurse saw her breathing after a failed abortion and rushed her to the NICU.

This past February 14th, Melissa and I were among a group that met with President Trump and White House staff. We testified in the Roosevelt room and listened to the President voice his frustrations regarding New York's radical abortion law. Little did we know that months later we'd be together again to testify before Congress.

We didn't plan our outfits but we both wore red jumpsuits. I wore red to symbolize the red "life tape" I used for years as a prayer missionary in Washington, D.C., with Bound4Life.

Melissa and I were seated in the middle of the panel, right next to each other. On my right was Owen Phillips, the abortionist from Tennessee. I introduced myself to both her and Dr. Robinson.

When I shared my testimony, I noticed that Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) had a strange smirk on his face. Before we testified, he called his pro-life fellow Congressmen arrogant for their beliefs. I was disturbed that Chairman Nadler gave a creepy grin when I spoke about my mom's appointment to abort me, but I wouldn't let that intimidate me. During my allotted time, I said:

The sacrifices my ancestors suffered to achieve the civil rights I enjoy today are not able to protect future generations because of legalized abortion. I'm burdened that the 14th amendment which gave us liberty was unjustly used to invent a supposed right to destroy a human life. Sojourner Truth in her day said, "Am I not a woman?" And in mine I say, "Am I not a person?"Abortion is not a victimless act. We just can't hear the voices of those who've been silenced and discarded.

Melissa testified after me and shared how abortion survivors are often kept out of the national conversation. She said:

Yet, largely ignored in the abortion narrative that is woven so skillfully throughout our culture, behind even the words in the title of this hearing, "reproductive rights," are stories buried beneath the narrative of abortion that has been sewn since Roe v. Wade.

Is there space for stories like mine, women who are alive today after surviving failed abortion procedures; for stories like my biological mother's, women who have been coerced or forced into an abortion? Do we ever create space for the stories of women who regret their abortions?

The pro-abortion congressmen, such as Chairmen Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), used part of their five minutes of questioning to ask the other witnesses to refute our points. Even though Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently laid out the history of eugenics and abortion, abortionist Dr. Yashica Robinson expressed frustration that I would dare to inject the topic of race into this subject in an attempt to take away 'women's healthcare.' But I, along with my friends from the National Black Pro-Life Coalition, know the tragic and well-documented truth that the Black community has been targeted by the abortion industry.

The pro-life Republicans, such as ranking member Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Congressman Ben Cline (R-Va.), asked us questions that allowed Melissa and me to speak in detail about the abortion industry's eugenic targeting of the black community and the abortion survivors we knew. At one point Melissa became emotional when discussing how hard it is to be an abortion survivor.

Later, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) asked actress and panelist Busy Phillips if Melissa Ohden deserved a right to life. Phillips stumbled to give an answer, then dismissed the question with a joke about not being a doctor but playing one on TV.

Throughout the hearing, pro-abortion congressmen expressed their shock over having to hold a hearing because 'abortion rights' are under assault. They are confused as to how we got to this hour but I'm confident it's because of our prayers and faithful pro-life action! The real threat to abortion is a growing pro-life movement that refuses to quit until we see Roe v. Wade overturned.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Cassy Fiano-Chesser

Opinion

Australian couple sue ultrasound clinic for not helping to kill their daughter

Cassy Fiano-Chesser
By Cassy Fiano-Chesser

June 11, 2019 (Live Action News) — A couple in Australia is suing an ultrasound clinic and their doctor over their daughter’s birth, claiming they would have undergone an abortion had they known in advance about the diagnosis of Down syndrome. The Supreme Court has given them extra time to prepare their case, in a horrifying example of yet another wrongful birth claim.

In 2014, the parents visited a clinic to determine if their baby had any chromosomal abnormalities, and were told the risks were in the “low range,” so further testing was not necessary. Then, in 2015, their baby was born with Down syndrome and spent a few weeks in the NICU. The child’s parents are suing for “child-rearing and maintenance costs, as well as for loss of future earnings while caring for a child with a disability” according to 9News, with the mother also suing for personal injury.

While it is not known what specific testing was used for the child, first trimester screenings are just that: screenings. They are not diagnostic, and something like a nuchal translucency screening gives an odds-based result based on an ultrasound and blood test. The only diagnostic test, an amniocentesis, is performed in the second trimester, and carries a risk of miscarriage — which is why most doctors are not willing to have a patient undergo the procedure without a serious reason to do so.

Had the parents been able to find out prenatally, they would have most likely undergone a D&E abortion, or a dilation and evacuation, the most common second trimester abortion procedure. It takes several days, and the procedure begins with the abortionist inserting laminaria into the mother’s cervix to begin dilation. After several days, the mother returns to the facility, where the abortionist uses a sharp instrument called a sopher clamp to rip the baby apart limb from torso, at a time when she can almost certainly feel pain.

Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains the procedure in this non-graphic video:

This kind of eugenic mindset — that doctors should be held liable for not delivering a prenatal diagnosis, and thus allowing a parent to kill her preborn child simply because of a disability — is disturbing, and yet indicative of the ableist mindset that continues to flourish today.

Children with disabilities have lives worth living, yet these wrongful birth suits send the message that they’re better off dead. Worse still is that these parents are publicly telling the world they wish they could have killed their child when they had a chance, and regret that they can’t do so now. How will their child feel when they inevitably grow up and see that their parents feel this way...and will their parents even care?

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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

Blogs , ,

WATCH: Brooklyn conservative Jew explains how she became a Catholic nun

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

June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Today, I had the great honor of sitting down with Mother Miriam. Starting on June 17, you will be able to watch Mother Miriam’s show live on her Facebook page. Afterward, the recording will be available on LifeSiteNews, on the Mother Miriam YouTube channel (in video format), and on the Mother Miriam podcast page (in audio format).

I can’t tell you how excited we at LifeSite are to introduce you to such an inspiring and enlightening woman. Mother Miriam grew up in a Jewish household and later embraced Jesus Christ.

"The most Jewish a Jew can be is to be Catholic," she tells people. 

Mother Miriam Live will be available in both video and audio format. It is co-produced by LifeSite and Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network and will kick-off Monday, June 17th at 10 am EST/8 am PST and will continue every weekday from 10 - 11 am EST/8 - 9 am PST.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so we can notify you every day when we post the recordings. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the Mother Miriam YouTube channel, where you’ll be notified by YouTube when new content is uploaded (make sure also to click the bell to enable notifications). 

The John-Henry Westen Show appears every Tuesday. It is a short weekly commentary on the most important news developments in the Church and culture. 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 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 a new episode.

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

Featured Image
Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips YouTube
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

Blogs , ,

Rainbow ‘thugs’ sue Christian baker 3rd time for refusing to do ‘transition’ celebration cake

Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The LGBT movement’s talk of tolerance has always been a joke: They fully intend to achieve cultural dominance, and then attempt to “punish” those who publicly disagree with them and crush those who refuse to go along with their agenda. That is why they actively seek florists and photographers and bakers who disagree with them: Because they need to make an example of people to warn the rest of us that if we do not submit to their ongoing transformation of the nation, they will hoist our heads on pikes.

The most prominent example of this is Colorado baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who has unfortunately found himself in their crosshairs for a third time.

Most of you will remember Jack Phillips, who fought all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission punished him for declining to create a same-sex "wedding" cake due to his Christian beliefs regarding marriage. After a years-long battle, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission that the Commission had violated Phillips’ right to freely exercise his faith due to the fact that the Commission had disparaged his religion in their ruling.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the very justice who wrote the decision legalizing gay "marriage" (and was replaced by Brett Kavanaugh) excoriated the Commission, writing that: “To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical—something insubstantial and even insincere. This sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law—a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation.”

LGBT activists were outraged by this decision. Phillips barely had time to take a breather before they were after him again.

Autumn Scardina, a biological man attempting to transition to female, demanded that Phillips bake him a cake celebrating his “gender transition” after Phillips faced a long list of absurd requests designed to harass and upset him, including being asked to bake a cake with Satan smoking weed, another with an upside-down cross beneath Lucifer’s head, another featuring a pentagram, and a fourth with Satan engaging in sodomy. Incensed that their intended victim had gotten away, the LGBT activists let their true colours wave proudly.

And so Scardina filed another complaint with the same Commission that had been rebuked by the Supreme Court, and Phillips sued Colorado to again re-establish his right to freedom of conscience. In March of this year, Colorado and Phillips agreed to drop the case on all sides. This, of course, infuriated Scardina, who still wanted his pound of flesh.

Scardina is now suing Phillips (his third major legal battle) for refusing to bake him a cake celebrating his transition, a cake with blue on the outside and pink on the inside to symbolize his journey from male to female. Scardina’s lawyers have expressed the view that although perhaps Phillips may have been able to get away with not creating a gay "wedding" cake due to his religious beliefs, this case may finally take Phillips down.

Phillips’ lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom have pointed out that this latest lawsuit simply rehashes similar issues, but the LGBT movement will continue to target Phillips until they break him, bankrupt him, or drive him out of business. The fact that Phillips continues to work as a baker proves that there is limits to their power, and they will not allow him to live and work in peace.

Unless the Supreme Court steps in and delivers a ruling that protects religious freedom in a far more definitive fashion than the first Masterpiece Cakeshops ruling did, we will see Phillips hounded by the rainbow thugs until they bleed him out. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Mark Bauerlein, who 10 years ago warned against the dangers of technology in his book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30). The thesis of his work was the rise of technology and the elimination of reading books has made our culture stupid. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

Featured Image
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

Blogs ,

This 15th-century Russian icon is a window into the Holy Trinity

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

June 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As we approach the great feast of the Most Holy Trinity, which falls on the Sunday after Pentecost, we may fittingly meditate on this most fundamental of all of the mysteries of the Christian faith with the aid of Russian iconographer Andrei Rublev’s Trinity icon, completed sometime between 1411 and 1427, at the same time Fra Angelico was painting his first masterpieces in the vicinity of Florence.

This image, like the mystery to which it points, is inexhaustible in its riches: every detail carries layer after layer of meaning. In this article I shall follow, even word for word at times, the analysis of Paul Evdokimov (The Art of the Icon: A Theology of Beauty, 243–57), as well as insights from Fr. Gabriel Bunge (The Rublev Trinity). My purpose is to walk through the main features of this icon so its message may become for us a companion in our prayer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

First of all, what is it that we are seeing? Is this a depiction of the Trinity itself? No. The mystery of the invisible Godhead cannot be depicted by man; only the incarnate Christ can be depicted as He appeared in flesh, and the Spirit can be rendered under the form of a dove and flames, but the Father has never been sent into the world in a visible mission, and the Trinity in itself cannot be portrayed except in metaphors that gesture towards it.

What we see, instead, is a created likeness of the Trinity — namely, the theophany narrated in Genesis 18, the so-called “hospitality of Abraham.” In the biblical story, three mysterious pilgrims visit Abraham, who, by the oak of Mamre, welcomes them into his tent, sacrifices a calf to prepare a meal for them, and sets the food before them on a table. An Eastern liturgical text says of this story: “Blessed Abraham, you saw them, and you received the divinity, one and three.” In the iconographic tradition there were many earlier depictions of this scene that gave Abraham and Sarah significant roles, but Rublev omits them altogether. Their very absence in this portrayal invites us to penetrate deeper into the icon and to pass over to the second level.

The “Eternal Council of the Three” have before them the economy of salvation, God’s plan unfolded in history. The landscape changes its meaning: Abraham’s tent becomes the temple-palace; the oak of Mamre becomes the Tree of Life; the cosmos is represented by a schematized cup placed on an altar; in this cup is the head of a calf offered as food, the Eucharistic sacrifice for the life of the world. That the altar and cup represent the cosmos is emphasized by the four corners of the altar and the small rectangle placed on it, which call to mind the four compass points.

Since it is transcendent and inaccessible, God’s inner life as Trinity is only hinted at. All the same, Rublev finds ways to point towards it, following the time-honored truth that the economy of salvation derives from and, in a way, mirrors the processions of the Persons within the Godhead.

The three persons are shown in conversation, possibly about the verse in John’s Gospel: “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.” God is love in Himself, in His triune essence, and His love for the world is the reflection of His trinitarian love, the continuation or extension of it to the furthest reaches of being. God’s gift of Himself never arises from or results in a lack or loss; it is rather the overflowing of the superabundance of His love. This gift of Himself is represented by the cup, which we may envision as a well that never runs dry.

The angels are grouped around the divine food. Even if this food is a calf’s head, in keeping with the story in Genesis, we are immediately reminded of the Lamb, about which the book of Revelation says: the Lamb has been slain from before the foundations of the world. Love, even the sacrifice and immolation that flow from love, preceded the creation of the world and are its source.

The three angels are at rest: the supreme peace of being in oneself yet being entirely for another or towards another. See how the image of the Son (in the center) and the image of the Holy Spirit (on the right) bow their heads gently and graciously towards their common origin, the Father (on the left), who, for His part, gazes steadfastly towards them.

Yet this rest is also motion. The movement starts with the outstretched foot of the angel on the right and continues through his inclined head. It passes through the middle angel and irresistibly pulls the cosmos with it: the rock and the tree. The movement terminates in the vertical position of the angel on the left, where it enters into a resting position as in a container. Even so, the circular movement continues with the feet of the left figure, which stretch out towards the right figure, thus completing the circle and showing that this motion is continuous: it always arises afresh, and the circle is not broken.

Alongside this circular movement, whose completion orders the whole work, as eternity gives order to time, we have the vertical movement of the temple and of the scepters. These designate the aspiration of the created for the uncreated, the earthly for the heavenly, where all upward movement finds its completion. Perhaps we could say that we see in these two movements agape or self-giving love and eros or yearning love, the former pouring out from abundance already possessed, the latter arising from a need to be filled.

Rublev’s way of painting the angels shows us their unity and equality: one angel could be substituted for another. In this way he confesses the coequality and essential identity of the divine Persons. The difference between them comes from the personal attitude of each one towards the others, yet there is no repetition or confusion. (The glowing gold on icons designates the divine nature, its superabundance. Unfortunately, the gilding on this icon from the year 1425 has worn away, but you can see where it would have appeared in the halos.)

The angels’ extended wings envelop and cover everything. The interior outline of all the wings, a tender blue, puts the accent on the unity and the heavenly character of the divine nature. One single God and three perfectly equal Persons: this is what the identical scepters and thrones express; they are signs of the same royal power with which each angel is endowed. They are also clothed in the same types of garments, but they are colored differently, to bring out the distinction of persons. The one color they have in common is, again, an intense blue.

The angel who represents the Father, on the left, wears a robe that is pale purple and tending towards invisibility; He is totally invisible for us, the radiance of his personhood almost completely veiled (notice how hidden is His blue chiton). The house rising immediately behind him points to the Father, for “in my Father’s house are many rooms” (Jn. 14:2).

Over his body, the angel who represents the Son wears a dark purple chiton, decorated with two gold stripes (only one is visible, representing the two natures — one visible, the other invisible), while for overgarment he has a chlamys of deep azure blue. The Incarnate One is depicted as king and prophet: kingship signified by the purple robe; prophecy, or the revelation of God, by the azure mantle, because in the Son the “glory” of God has been revealed to us, and the disciples have “seen” it and “testify to it” (Jn. 1:14, 1 Jn. 1:2). The tree emerging behind the Son symbolizes the Tree of Life, the Wood of the Cross, since, as St. John teaches, the Passion is the “hour” when the Son manifests the glory of God.

The angel who represents the Spirit wears his chlamys so that it leaves an arm free — the left arm. Notice that the angel representing the Son wears his chlamys so that it leaves his right arm free. This is meant as a reference to the teaching of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who says that the Son and the Spirit are the “two hands” of the Father, through which He works everything. The chlamys of the Spirit angel is pale green, which is the liturgical color used in the Byzantine Pentecost season and in the post-Pentecost season of the Western Church, because it is the color of new life, fresh life in the Spirit, who is the “Lord and Giver of Life.” (The ground on which all the figures find themselves is also pale green.) Behind this angel a rock rises up, a symbol of the earth, whose “face is renewed” by the Spirit (Ps. 103:30). The age of the icon makes it hard to discern, but there is evidence that Rublev painted the rock as split, a reference to the rock split by Moses’ staff, causing living water to flow out for the thirsty people (Ex. 17:6). Christ interpreted the streams of living water as the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:38). However, as the Son and the Spirit are inseparable, so their symbols are mutual: the green tree above the Son is also a sign of the life given by the Spirit, and the rock above the Spirit is also a sign of Christ, the “spiritual rock” (1 Cor. 10:4).

Several other features in this masterpiece are worthy of notice. The angels’ bodies are fourteen times the size of their heads, compared to the normal seven times in human beings. This elongation adds to their ethereal, otherworldly character. The angels’ wings and the schematic way of treating the countryside give an immediate impression of immateriality and weightlessness. The angels rest their feet on slabs, which remind us of the empty tomb in the Resurrection icon. There are no shadows. No element reflects natural light but rather each emits its own light, a light that wells up from secret roots. We are peering here, as through a mirror, into the very source of light, “with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration” (James 1:17).

As do all Byzantine icons, this one employs inverse perspective — things farther away are larger or, at least, do not diminish — in order to abolish the distance and depth in which everything disappears at the horizon. This is a horizon marked by fullness of being, not diminution of being, as the horizon appears to an egocentric perspective. The figures are close up and almost rising off the panel, to show that God is here and everywhere. The perspective also necessarily invites the viewer, who is the “vanishing point,” into the picture. There is a projected and implied “fourth chair” waiting for you to be seated and to take your place at the table of the Three.

Podcast Image

Episodes,

Mother Miriam discusses her conversion to Catholicism

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

Starting June 17, you will be able to watch Mother Miriam’s show live on her Facebook page. Afterwards, the recording will be available on LifeSiteNews, on the Mother Miriam YouTube channel (in video format), and on the Mother Miriam podcast page (in audio format). I can’t tell you how excited we at LifeSite are to introduce you to such an inspiring and enlightening woman. 


View specific date
Print All Articles