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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

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Trump judicial pick who went after Christian farm for ‘discrimination’ withdraws nomination

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorney Michael Bogren has withdrawn from consideration to be President Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal judgeship for the Western District of Michigan, following conservative objections to his role in a Michigan religious liberty dispute from 2017.

Last month, freshman Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri grilled Bogren over his handling of the case, which concerned the City of Lansing’s attempts to bar Steve and Bridget Tennes, owners of Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, from its local farmers’ market due to the Christian family farm’s refusal to host same-sex “weddings.”

Representing the city’s efforts to keep the family out, Bogren wrote a brief in 2017 arguing that “discriminatory conduct” being “based on sincerely held religious beliefs does not insulate that conduct from anti-discrimination laws,” noting that members of the Nation of Islam or Ku Klux Klan who opposed interracial marriage “would not be able to ... avoid the anti-discrimination provisions of federal, state and local laws that apply to public accommodations if interracial couples were refused service."

Hawley argued that the remarks demonstrated “impermissible hostility” toward religious beliefs; Bogren defended his remarks as simply explaining that a religious motivation is immaterial to whether an act is discriminatory, and argued he had been duty-bound to zealously defend his client’s (the city’s) position.

“The fact that you stand by these comments is extraordinary to me,” Hawley said. After the freshman Republican’s questioning, numerous conservative groups rallied to oppose Bogren’s confirmation. Longtime conservative leaders including Attorney General Edwin Meese, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Penny Nance, and Dr. James Dobson signed an open letter declaring that Bogren’s “suspect judicial philosophy as it relates to America’s First Freedom renders him unqualified for this position.”

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina joined Hawley in opposing Bogren, as did conservative groups such as Heritage Action and the Judicial Crisis Network. Other GOP senators, including Judiciary committee chair Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said they were undecided.

Late Tuesday, Bogren requested that the White House withdraw his nomination, the Detroit News reports. He declined to comment publicly on the matter.

“I think it is an unfair situation that has taken legal advocacy and presented it in a very unfair light: Assuming that someone who has been a zealous advocate cannot also hold views contrary to what they are espousing in court,” lamented Margot Cleveland, a conservative writer and adjunct business professor at the University of Notre Dame who is also Bogren’s cousin. She called Bogren an “amazing attorney” with “no anti-religious bias.”

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru differed, arguing that critics were justified in considering which clients and causes an attorney chooses to take on and noting that Bogren “opposed letting the Catholic Church file a brief in the case, an unusually aggressive move that could be read as suggesting animus”; “gratuitously criticized the plaintiffs for their allegedly selective fidelity to Catholic teaching”; and “misstated the law at issue.”

Bogren isn’t the first Trump judicial nominee to concern social conservatives. Last year, he nominated assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Bumatay and Illinois Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland to the federal bench, both of whom belonged to or worked for LGBT legal organizations that have staked out left-wing stances on LGBT and religious liberty issues. Nevertheless, some on the Right have criticized Hawley for criticizing Trump’s picks.

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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

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Texas town votes to ban abortion, declaring itself ‘sanctuary of the unborn’

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASKOM, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The small eastern Texas town of Waskom voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ban most abortions within its jurisdiction and declare itself a “sanctuary city of the unborn” amid a packed city council meeting.

The Waskom City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning abortion within the city, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life, ArkLaTex Homepage reports, as well as a resolution declaring Waskom a sanctuary for preborn babies. Supporters say the exceptions were a necessary compromise to hopefully get the ordinance to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The measures passed to the cheers of community members in attendance. Some expressed concern about the legal expenses of a likely lawsuit, which the city could not hope to cover, but supporters said it was worth the risk.

“We decided to take things into our own hands, and we’ve got to do something to protect our cities and to protect the unborn children,” declared Right to Life of East Texas director Mark Lee Dickson. The pro-life organization spearheaded the legislative push.

On the preceding Sunday, Right to Life of East Texas and First Baptist Church Waskom held a pro-life rally to present the sanctuary resolution, during which Rusty Thomas of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America delivered a stirring case for protecting life from conception to natural death:

“God puts no difference in value when it comes to the born child and the preborn child. Do we understand that, brothers and sisters?” Thomas asked. “He really puts no difference. Who’s the one putting difference here? We are! We’re acting like that child in the womb has less value than you and I. God doesn’t, and he looks for consistency. At one time, our nation reflected that: equal justice under the law, equal treatment under the law.”

Last month, the city council of Roswell, New Mexico voted 7-1 to pass its own resolution declaring itself another sanctuary city for preborn babies.

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Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. and Scott Schittl

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Petition against Drag Queen Story Hour goes viral

Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. and Scott Schittl
By Gualberto Garcia Jones Esq.

PETITION: Tell U.S. libraries to stop pushing 'drag queens' on our kids!. Sign the petition here.

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — LifeSiteNews and Personhood Alliance have launched a massively successful petition campaign against the perverted “Drag Queen Story Hour” (DQSH) phenomenon.

Personhood Alliance Education’s research has uncovered the fact that these offensive and dangerous events are actually partly funded and orchestrated by none other than the American Library Association (ALA).

To read more about Personhood Alliance Education’s research, please CLICK HERE.

The petition, therefore, urges the ALA to stop promoting homosexuality and the LGBT agenda and start promoting literacy again.

At the same time, the petition also lets people know about a Prayer Vigil that Personhood Maryland’s Georgia Kijesky is organizing against a planned DQSH in southern Maryland. (For more info on the Prayer Vigil, click on this link.)

And, with the help of the The Activist Mommy, Elizabeth Johnston, who posted and shared the story on her Facebook page, the petition has now gained over 7,000 signatures.

That number is still climbing rapidly.

So while it may appear to the average person that these Drag Queen Story Hours are an “organic” part of a large popular cultural movement, nothing could be farther from the truth.

In reality, these events are part of a plan by a small, radical group of LGBT activists to corrupt America’s youth with their dangerous and perverted notions of human nature.

And they are using the American library system to do it.

In part, because unsuspecting parents instinctively trust the library not to corrupt or pervert their children, and also, in part, because a lot of libraries have non-discrimination clauses in their bylaws that allow groups of all types to use their facilities.

Thankfully, there are several stories, from around the country, of parents and communities pushing back against this egregious use of taxpayer-funded facilities.

READ: How libraries are being used to corrupt children and what you can do about it

In places like Texas and Ohio, parents, supporting groups like the Personhood Alliance and MassResistance, have been telling library and school boards that they will not tolerate drag queens coming into their libraries to read to children.

This petition is part — BUT not the end — of this push-back.

The Personhood Alliance and LifeSiteNews will seek to present this petition both to the American Library Association and to members of the Trump administration and Congress — all with a view to putting a stop to these drag queen visits to public libraries, and to have the ALA’s public funding cut until it starts focusing again on literacy rather than LGBT indoctrination.

Not only is the Drag Queen Story Hour both morally and spiritually perverse, but it is also physically dangerous, too.

Indeed, on different occasions, some DQSH participants have been found out to be convicted sex offenders!

But is it really any surprise?

That’s not to say that all drag queens are sex offenders, leering at America’s children through all of the make-up and big hair, but, as we’ve learned, they could be!

There’s a reason why the mainstream media don’t want to touch this: because they, themselves, also know that this is perverted. And that if they have to show the drag queens in pictures, with children, most average Americans will start thinking, “HECK NO. Not in my library!”

So we now need to spread this story far and wide, starting a popular movement against this cultural nightmare.

This petition is a good start, but Personhood Alliance and LifeSiteNews aim is to take this issue to President Trump’s advisers, as well as to sympathetic members of Congress, who can help us address this matter with the American Library Association, especially looking at their federal, state, and local funding.

Please join us in telling the American Library Association, and those promoting the corruption of our children, that we will NOT go along with their subversive activities.

1. SIGN and SHARE this petition so we can deliver the signatures to the American Library Association’s Washington, D.C. offices.

2. If you are close to the D.C. metro area, come to our peaceful prayer vigil on Sunday, June 23 at 1:30 P.M. in Lexington Park, Md.

May God bless you and protect our children.

Personhood Alliance, Personhood Maryland and LifeSiteNews.com

FIND OUT more about the Prayer Vigil here.

SIGN the petition here.

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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Archbishop exhorts thousands of pilgrims to fight for good in a time of great ‘confusion’

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Last Monday in the French cathedral of Chartres – where for centuries pilgrims have venerated the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Archbishop Andre-Joseph Léonard, former Primate of Belgium, celebrated the Tridentine Mass in front of thousands of pilgrims who had walked more than 60 miles from Paris in the now traditional three-day Pentecost pilgrimage.

Archbishop Léonard electrified the worn-out pilgrims with his vigorous homily, given without notes from the fullness of his heart. Yes, the Catholic Church is holy despite being made up of sinners, he said, “because the Holy One of God, Jesus, is her head, because the Holy Spirit is her soul, because the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is her heart.”

God sent His Son to save the world, he recalled, letting him be “identified with sin” and descend into the abyss so that all can know he can “reach every man and woman, however profound be their disgrace.”

Msgr. Léonard also insisted that while Our Lord gives us His peace, this peace also requires fighting for good. He acknowledged that this is a time of great “confusion,” even within the Church, regarding the “indissolubility of marriage,” “homosexual acts” and “priestly celibacy.”

“We must be grateful when on some of these points our current Pope, Pope Francis, speaks clearly,” he said. “And we can also continue to be inspired by the very clear and also very merciful teaching given to us by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and by Saint John Paul II.”

Visibly moved by the many thousands of young people who made up the largest part of the 14,000 pilgrims who came from Paris to Chartres (another 7,000 walked the other way with the Society of Saint Pius the X on the same dates), Archbishop Léonard called on them to be open to the will of God, to found a family, to live in true celibacy if single, or to answer the call to the religious or priestly life.

When the Apostles’ Creed was sung, Archbishop Léonard visibly and forcefully punctuated the words “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic” with his right hand.

Another moving moment was at the beginning of the consecration, when Bishop Christory of Chartres, who presided at the Mass from the throne, moved to the steps in front of the altar together with his assistant priests in order to kneel before the Real Presence, then returning to his place after the Elevation. All in the Cathedral were turned toward Our Lord in adoration.

Among the hundreds of priests, monks and other religious present, from traditional communities and societies but also from French dioceses, was Father Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain of the Paris firefighters who saved the Most Holy Sacrament and the Holy Crown of Thorns from Notre-Dame de Paris at the height of the fire that destroyed its roof a month ago.

But the flame of the faith also burns in France. In its 37th edition, the Paris-Chartres pilgrimage registered a five percent increase in pilgrims, who meditated this year on the theme of the social reign of Christ. All is not lost!

Below is the full transcript of the homily of Archbishop Léonard in Chartres, Pentecost Monday 2019.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!

We all know, my brothers and sisters, the multinationals that trade all over the world. Well, and this is a scoop, the most impressive multinational in the world is the Catholic Church that spreads among all nations. And we owe it to the Holy Spirit and to St. Peter, in the reading the Acts of the Apostles of today. Peter went to Cornelius, a pagan, a Roman soldier, and all his entourage; he entered his house – which is forbidden for a Jew! – and lo, at Cornelius' request, Peter evangelizes him, he speaks to him about Jesus, true God, true man, crucified and risen. As soon as he finished his sermon, the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and all his family … and Peter was faced with a problem. They had already received the sacrament of confirmation, how could they be denied the water of baptism? So Peter baptized these pagans after an extremely short catechumenate.

It is thanks, therefore, to the Holy Spirit, and thanks to Peter and then to Paul that the Church has become a true multinational, no longer bound to one people but the multinational of faith, hope and charity throughout the world. And this is what allowed us here, Gauls, Celts, Attuatians, Nervians and Eburons and other peoples of the time to finally enter the Catholic Church. And this Catholic Church, we dare in the Creed to say that it is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. I sometimes hear people, in this day and age, after the revelation of so many scandals that have hurt us, say, “Can we still say that the Church is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic?” Well, yes, it is holy, even though it is made up of sinners – the proof of that is that we are here. It is composed of sinners.

But she is holy because the Holy One of God, Jesus, is her head, because the Holy Spirit is her soul, because the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is her heart, because to guide her on the path of history she is supported by the Holy Tradition that comes from the apostles, and she is illuminated by the Holy Scriptures, and because at the heart of the life of the Church there is what we do now: there is the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. And moreover, over the centuries, the Church, from the sinners who compose it, is capable of producing saints – and we will all have the duty to become that sooner or later.

And to fulfill her mission, the Church has as a source of hope and as a source of peace the words we heard in the Gospel: these are the two most precious verses of the whole New Testament: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but instead have eternal life, for God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world but that the world may be saved.” They are a pure marvel.

St. Paul summarized that in his second letter to the Corinthians in chapter 5, verse 21, when he said, “He who had not known sin, the Holy One of God” - this is how the demon addressed Jesus, “we know who you are, Jesus of Nazareth, you are the Holy One of God” - well, says Paul, “he who was without sin, the Holy of God, God identified him for us with sin, he put him in the rank of sinners so that we sinners, can have a part in the holiness of God.”

If we realize this, if we realize why Jesus descended so low into an abyss of loneliness, dereliction, fear, anguish, feeling abandoned by his disciples, and even, apparently, abandoned by his Father to the point of crying: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”; if he descended so low, it is to reach every man and woman, however profound be their disgrace.

Well, he who believes in this, he who puts his faith in Jesus who descended to the bottom of the abyss, is inhabited by an inextinguishable hope and receives the gift of peace – but at what a price! The price paid by the one who saved us. On Easter evening in John's Gospel, Jesus twice addresses the disciples saying to them: “Peace be with you.” And he shows them the wounds of his hands and the wound on his side – the price he paid, coming up from the abyss, to give us the gift of peace.

This was the theme of your pilgrimage: to be a missionary of peace. But there is a price, and a price we have to think about. For it is said in John's Gospel in the verses following the words that I just quoted: “Men have preferred darkness to light,” and we must choose light and conform to the will, act according to the will of the Lord upon us. And it will be a fight.

Jesus came to give us peace. He said it explicitly on the evening of the Last Supper: “I give you peace, I give you my peace. I do not give it as the world gives it.” And in the synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke – we hear these somewhat surprising words: “Do you think, says Jesus, that I have come to bring peace? No, but rather division and combat.”

Well, my brothers and sisters, missionaries of hope and missionaries of peace, there will be a battle to fight anyway. We are currently experiencing great political confusion in Europe. There will be a battle to be fought.

There is also a lot of confusion at the moment in the Catholic Church on important points that affect the indissolubility of marriage, the relationship of the Conjugal Alliance with the Alliance of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the question of the indissolubility of marriage, the question of homosexual practices, the question of the celibacy of priests in the Latin Church and so many other subjects: a great confusion. And it's going in every direction. And we must be grateful when on some of these points our current Pope, Pope Francis, speaks clearly. And we can also continue to be inspired by the very clear and also very merciful teaching given to us by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and by St. John Paul II. We will have to fight with firmness, kindness, listening and mercy, but there will be battles to be fought.

And Jesus warned us: in the world you will have to suffer, but trust me, I have overcome the world.

I will close with a little message. I was very impressed to see all the families who are gathered here with people who already have their state of life, who are married, or who are single by choice, or who are single because of life's circumstances. There are ordained ministers, there are consecrated persons... But also so many young people!

So, my dear young people who are present here, stay always very close to Jesus. That is a source of peace, but it can also be very disturbing. He will ask a majority of you to found a solid home one day, that is, a man and a woman and the Lord in the middle: a beautiful “ménage à trois,” a man, a woman and the Lord who is the deep unity of a couple. He will ask some to live out a forced celibacy that wasn’t chosen because they never found a soul mate in life. And he will ask these people to live their celibacy in truth.

But he will certainly want to find, among you young people, girls who think that Jesus is the most beautiful, and who for the sake of his beautiful eyes will embrace one form or another of consecrated life. Be on your guard, and be welcoming, ladies! And among the young boys, he will want to find some who will accept to become priests for the service of the Church. In all the dioceses of France and Europe, starting with the diocese of Chartres, there is a need everywhere for young people who are so passionate about Jesus that they decide to dedicate their whole lives to him and the people he loves.

Do not be afraid. In the world, you will have to suffer and make demanding choices but trust, Jesus tells us, “I have defeated the world.” Amen, alleluia!

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand shutterstock.com
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Dem 2020 candidate Gillibrand compares pro-life to racism, anti-Semitism

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By Martin Barillas

DES MOINES, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York suggested that pro-life beliefs are “not acceptable” and compared them to racism and anti-Semitism.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Gillibrand was asked whether precluding pro-life judicial nominees would endanger judicial independence. Gillibrand, a presidential contender, has said that as president, she would nominate pro-abortion judges. “I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable,” Gillibrand said. “Imagine saying that it’s okay to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America — I don’t think that those are political issues anymore,” Gillibrand said.

“And we believe in this country in the separation of church and state, and I respect the rights of every American to hold their religious beliefs true to themselves, but our country and our Constitution has always demanded that we have a separation of church and state,” Gillibrand continued.

Gillibrand said President Donald Trump and “ultra-radical conservative judges and justices” are seeking to unconstitutionally “impose their faith on Americans.” This was on top of her assertion of last month that Trump has appointed “anti-choice extremists” to the federal courts. In the Des Moines Register interview, Gillibrand said, “I believe that for all of these issues, they are not issues that there is a fair other side. There is no moral equivalency when you come to racism, and I do not believe there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom.”

Last month, Gillibrand claimed that the Democratic Party still has room for pro-life voters but added that “imposing faith on other people” is “against Christian faith.” Speaking to a Democratic Party conference in Atlanta, Gillibrand said, “But if you are a person of deep Christian faith, one of the tenets of our faith is free will.” She went on to say, “One of the tenets of our democracy is that we have a separation of church and state, and under no circumstances are we supposed to be imposing our faith on other people, and I think this [state pro-life laws] is an example of that effort. It’s against our Constitution and it’s against our Christian faith.”

Gillibrand, a nominal Catholic, has vowed that as president she would hinder states from passing pro-life laws. She also committed to preventing states from passing anti-abortion laws as president and called President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments “anti-choice extremists.”

Gillibrand is currently a long shot among the Democrats who have announced their presidential ambitions. While all of the other female Democrats had already met the required threshold of donations in order to participate in the first presidential debate, Gillibrand managed to do so only this week. All of the Democrats currently in the hustings support abortion in nearly all circumstances.

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Saskatchewan caves, becomes final province to fund abortion drugs

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By Lianne Laurence

REGINA, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Saskatchewan has become the last Canadian province to pay for abortion drugs under its provincial health care insurance plan.

Saskatchewan Party health minister Jim Reiter announced June 7 that his government is fully covering Mifegymiso effective immediately, Global News reported.

The Saskatchewan government’s move came shortly after Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives announced June 1 that it would be covering the cost of the two-drug combination.

Mifegymiso, the Canadian brand name for a combination of Mifepristone (RU-486) and Misoprostol, is intended to be prescribed to kill unborn children up to nine weeks gestation.

Saskatchewan has been paying for medical abortions in some circumstances since 2017, with “registered low-income earners” eligible “for a $2 prescription” of the abortion drug, which has an estimated retail cost of $360, according to the CBC.

“This is a very divisive issue. It’s not going to be an issue [where] you can make everyone happy,” Reiter told Global News.

“This is simply I’d say a less invasive way of doing that, and I hope people understand. These are [the] kind of issues not everyone is going to agree on. The decision is landed on now and we’re going to move forward,” he said.

A group of University of Saskatchewan medical students had been lobbying for full coverage of the abortion drug. 

READ: Saskatchewan under pressure as last province not fully funding abortion pill

Lara Witt, a member of the group, told Global News that women would “have to drive all the way to the centres” in Saskatoon and Regina “and go through approximately a million referrals” to abort their children.

A medical abortion “is actually cheaper for the province” than a surgical abortion, Witt said.

“It’s a bit safer, because it’s not a full-blown surgical procedure, and it’s a little bit more private for that woman. She can do it in her home community in her house,” she said.

Dr Megan Clark from Women’s Health Centre, the abortion facility at the Regina General Hospital, stated in a brief to the Ministry of Health that a medical abortion costs $450 less than a surgical abortion, Global News reported.

Clark estimated that if Mifegymiso “was used for the 93 abortions the centre provided last year in the drug’s effective time frame, it would have saved $42,000 at the publicly funded facility,” it stated.

Saskatchewan’s rural and remote health minister, Greg Ottenbreit, green-lighted by Campaign Life Coalition as pro-life, said his views would not affect the coverage decision, Global News reported.

Pro-life groups have been warning for years that Mifegymiso is not only lethal to the unborn child, but dangerous for the mother.

Heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and painful uterine contractions are common side-effects of RU-486, one of the two drugs that make up Mifegymiso. As of 2011, fourteen U.S. women had died after taking RU-486, and a total of 2,207 reported adverse effects after using the drug have been noted, according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Other cases of maternal deaths linked to RU-486 can be found here, here, here, and here.

“Besides having the purpose of killing an innocent human being, Mifegymiso is also well-known to have dangerous side effects on the women who take it,” Campaign Life’s Josie Luetke told LifeSiteNews in an earlier interview.

That’s “especially concerning given the many rural women in Saskatchewan who do not have easy access to a hospital,” she said.

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Bishop Joseph Strickland of Texas speaks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore. YouTube
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Bishop urges fellow U.S. bishops to hold errant ‘Catholic’ politicians accountable

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By Doug Mainwaring

BALTIMORE, Maryland, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — When Bishop Joseph Strickland addressed the urgent need to challenge politicians who claim to be Catholic but whose voting record and rhetoric remain at odds with Church teaching on the sanctity of life, his statement was ignored by the assembled body of U.S. Bishops.

During a Q&A period after back-to-back presentations by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, on the USCCB’s projects to create materials to help form consciences for ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and a report on the Bishops’ Working Group on Immigration, Strickland said:

I truly hear the Holy Spirit moving among us as both those topics come together on our agenda, ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and the tragic reality of immigration in our nation today.

To me, what I’m reminded of is that it really deals with the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. The threats and the conflicts in the world with that basic belief that we have are overwhelming to all of us.

I guess I just wanted to ask a question about faithful citizenship, and ask if we can bring that focus — certainly to the faithful in the pews and the voting booths — but also to the Catholic representatives and politicians throughout the nation; to look for ways to really call all of us to faithful citizenship.

I think in the immigration issues and virtually all of the sanctity of life issues, too many of our Catholic politicians are not leading with faithful citizenship.  

I think we as shepherds have to challenge that in all the ways that we need to.  

Many (politicians) claim to be Catholic but still are at opposition to the basic sanctity of life -- in all the dimensions, whether with immigration issues, or with abortion, or with sexuality -- al the different issues.

I would ask us all the question of how we can call our politicians that claim to be Catholic, that want to be part of the Catholic community, to faithful citizenship because until we bring them into the truth and living it with all the challenges that we face, I think many of the faithful don’t really see a consistent message.

I just wanted to ask us all to consider how to help politicians to be faithful citizens, and to really pay attention to the truth that we are ordained to support and promote for the people of God.”

“The working group is aware of that,” said Archbishop Gomez, adding, “We are careful to call all those issues from conception to natural death. They are in the letter and the video scripts,” referring to the four 90-second videos and a short letter his committee has been working on.

Gomez completely ignored Strickland’s main point about challenging Catholic politicians whose public lives stand against the sanctity of life, and Strickland returned to his seat.  

None of his brother bishops rose to support him, or to second his concern.  

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

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Mark “Vince” Busenbark Liberty Counsel
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‘Transgender’ male teacher ‘comes out’ to elementary school kids without a warning

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By Martin Barillas

MADISON, Wisconsin, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A male elementary school teacher identified himself in a video as “transgender” and called on his students to refer to him with the suffix “Mx.,” according to Liberty Counsel.

Previously known as Mark “Vince” Busenbark, the science teacher said on camera that he is neither male nor female. He asked his students at Allis Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, to use pronouns such as “them” and their” instead of “him” or “her” in reference to himself. According to Liberty Counsel, a non-profit law practice that specializes in religious tolerance cases, Busenbark’s video was shown to K-5 students on May 16.

Parents were neither informed in advance of the video nor offered the option to exempt their children from viewing it. Liberty Counsel alleges the video may be in violation of the school district’s policies that say "all instruction should be 'age-appropriate, medically accurate, non-stigmatizing, and inclusive for all students.”

Busenbark now calls himself “Vica Steel” and asked students to call him by the suffix “Mx.”, according to Liberty Counsel.

“You know me as Mr. Busenbark or Mr. B,” the long-haired, disheveled Busenbark says in the video. “You've known me as the person in the science room, as the person with the plants and the animals, as the person who builds and helps you build. Most of what you know is true. Most of what you know won't change. But there is one truth that I've hidden from you — until about a month ago from my fellow teachers and friends from family.

“I am transgender,” Busenbark said. “Do you know what that means? Maybe you don't. Maybe you've only heard those words through the filter of those who hate and fear.”

Busenbark referenced the book They Call Me Mix by author Lourdes Rivas, and comments: “This is really my story.” Reading from the book, Busenbark says, “Are you a boy? Or a girl? How can you be both? Some days I am both. Some days I am neither. Most days, I am everything in between. When I was born, everyone decided and agreed that I was a girl. So, they named me Lourdes … As a kid, I never felt like just a girl.” The character in the book has as a “non-binary teacher” who teaches respect for all “genders.”

At the end of the video, Busenbark said he hoped the book allowed his students to understand the word “transgender” better and to understand him as well.\

“I am going to take my wife Stella Steel’s last name and I am going to use not ‘Mr.’ and not ‘Mrs.’ but ‘Mx.’ So you can call me Mx. Steel.” Finally, at the end of the video, captions appear that read: “I am not just a boy. I am not just a girl. I’m both! And I am everything in between. I am Mx. Steel!”

In a letter to school district authorities, Liberty Counsel requested information about the video and whether there were any parental notification forms.

“The video appears to violate several district policies, as well as the constitutional prohibition against schools enforcing any kind of orthodoxy,” the letter stated.

Quoting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. Barnette, the letter read, “‘If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.’”

According to Liberty Counsel, “This principle applies to manipulative ‘requests’ by a male teacher that children refer to him as a member of or mixture of the opposite sex; as well as to fabricated prefixes or titles like ‘Mx.;’ and to false or grammatically improper ‘pronouns’ like ‘they.’ The classroom is not a forum for Mr. Busenbark’s activism.”

In a statement, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel declared, “It is outrageous that school administrators would allow a male science teacher to expose children to propaganda that promotes confusion about basic biology, and to instruct students to address him by a false name, title and pronouns.”

Staver went on to say, “These impressionable students do not exist to validate Busenbark’s sexual identity. Parents send their children to school trusting that they will be taught academic curriculum, not become participants in a teacher’s play acting.”

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Cartoon Network blatantly promotes gay lifestyle to kids

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By Martin Barillas

LOS ANGELES, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cartoon Network, a popular television channel viewed by millions of children worldwide, is promoting the LGBTQ lifestyle.

On Twitter, Cartoon Network expressed solidarity with “pride month” in June. Thousands of LGBTQ activists and allies are attending rallies and marches in cities all over the world this month, which they have designated to promote the LGBTQ lifestyle and issues. Cartoon Network is joining them by using Steven Universe, one of its widely popular shows, to encourage support.

“We want to wish everyone a HAPPY PRIDE and encourage all of our LGBTQ+ fans to stand proud all year long!” the network tweeted. It included emojis representing a heart, rainbow flag, and a unicorn. The tweet also featured characters from the popular reboot of the smash children’s hit show “Powerpuff Girls” and included hashtags “#powerpuffyourself,” “#pridemonth” and “#powerfuffgirls.”

Cartoon Network has described itself as “the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for youth and families.” Along with the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network is a children’s favorite because of the large number of shows it distributes every day. The network is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia.

Some of Cartoon Network’s programming has included controversial content. In 2018, "Steven Universe” featured a same-sex wedding proposal on the children’s show. Also last year, the  “Adventure Time” series had a scene featuring two female characters kissing each other on the lips. Viewers understood the scene to confirm that the two characters were lesbians.

On its website, Cartoon Network is pushing its Steven Universe “made of love” collection, which includes rainbow and LGBT-themed apparel and gifts. Merchandise includes rainbow LGBTQ pins, a rainbow “made of love” patch, and a “kissing tote bag.” Featured are two female characters kissing. The listing reads: “Love is in the air! This multicolored pillow celebrates the Ruby and Sapphire on their wedding day.” It goes on to say: “Double sided, this pillow features the happy couple at the altar on both sides.”

Cartoon Network joins other networks to promote LGBTQ relationships. For example, Nickelodeon had a same-sex couple on “The Loud House” show in 2016. More recently, the Hulu network announced that it has ordered 13 episodes of “The Bravest Knight,” which depicts two homosexual men who together are raising a girl as a daughter. According to a press release, the character Sir Cedric tells stories to daughter Nia that promote “important values such as honor, justice and compassion.”

In a May press release, Hulu said, “The Bravest Knight continues Hulu’s commitment to connecting with kids and families through bold approaches in storytelling, and continues to be a supporter of LGBTQ content and creators.” Playing Sir Cedric is actor T.R. Knight, a homosexual “married” to another man. Also to appear are lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes and famed cross-dresser RuPaul. Streaming of the show starts June 21.

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2020 Dem candidate Biden insists flip-flop on abortion funding wasn’t politically motivated

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – 2020 Democrat presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that his abandonment of his past support for restricting federal funding of abortion had nothing to do with political calculations, despite his very recent support for the Hyde Amendment drawing the ire of his competitors for the Democrat presidential nomination.

Biden stirred controversy last week by saying he still supported the annual budget language that forbids most taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for cases of rape or incest, or to save a mother’s life. After a video showed him answering “yes” to an activist asking if he would “commit to abolishing” Hyde, the Biden campaign claimed he had misheard the question and still supported the amendment – while reserving the right to change his mind depending on the progress of “draconian attempts to limit access to abortion.”

Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and most of the 2020 Democrat field pounced on his remarks, leading him to announce just a day later he was changing his position. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code,” Biden declared.

The sudden reversal was met with mockery and skepticism from both sides, but Biden insisted Tuesday that it represented a sincere reevaluation of his policy views in comments to NBC 13 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“It’s a legitimate criticism for them to look at,” but the “truth is, the majority of the American people agree with the Hyde Amendment,” Biden said. “So the idea that it’d be helpful to change is not accurate in terms of being able to win an election.”

Biden claimed his reevaluation was due to a combination of witnessing the latest wave of aggressive pro-life laws and reviewing the ramifications of his own healthcare plan, which would dramatically expand the federal Medicare and Medicaid health programs.

“That means it’s federally funded, so how could if we say you could not use any federal funds, what means by which could a poor woman ever exercise her constitutional right under Roe v. Wade?” Biden asked. “That’s why I had to change my position, and why I think we have to change.”

While forcing federal taxpayers to fund abortions is unpopular with the general public, as the vice president admitted, many believe the hardline pro-abortion stance was necessary for any Democrat hoping to make it to the general election in the first place. Many of his Democrat competitors are currently working to demonstrate the most pro-abortion stance possible with proposals to codify and expand Roe in federal statutes (Biden himself had already endorsed such a plan).

Even so, Biden already had a radically pro-abortion record; as a senator he generally voted in lockstep with Planned Parenthood and NARAL. As former President Barack Obama’s running mate, Biden spent eight years in what was arguably the most pro-abortion administration in American history, during which he told a Chinese audience he “fully understand[s]” and was “not second-guessing” the country’s practice of forcing families into abortion and sterilization.

Biden, who claims to be an observant Catholic, said in 2015 that he was “prepared to accept as a matter of faith” that “at the moment of conception there's human life and being,” but wasn’t prepared to “impose” a “rigid” or “precise” view on abortion that was “born out of my faith” (ignoring that science is equally conclusive on when life begins). He didn't explain why he's against the law protecting preborn children he acknowledged are human.

In an article earlier this week, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia rebuked Biden 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. 

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Teen Vogue tells 16-year-old how to get abortion against parents’ wishes, bypass state laws

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

NEW YORK, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A popular girls’ magazine has published an article explaining to a pregnant 16-year-old how she can abort her baby despite her parents’ pro-life values.

Teen Vogue, which often serves up titillating and harmful advice to its young audience, contains a regular sex-and-relationship column by Nona Willis Aronowitz. Most recently Aronowitz published a letter from a pregnant 16-year-old who wants to get an abortion without informing her pro-life parents.

The advice columnist, who is neither a doctor, nor a lawyer, nor a professional counsellor, told the girl that she had nothing to be ashamed of in being pregnant, not because parenthood is the natural outcome of sexual intercourse, but because “accidents happen.” Aronowitz also confused biological maturity with psychological immaturity by telling her readers, “it’s only logical that if teens are mature enough to become parents, they are mature enough to decide whether or not they want to give birth.”

“Having access to abortion should be your right, regardless of your parents’ beliefs,” Aronowitz added.

The writer acknowledged that the laws of many American states do not agree with her, and so advised the teen, if she did not live in one of the states that permits minors to get abortions without parental consent, to consider telling her parents.

Aronowitz then suggested that pro-life parents, including pro-life activists, are hypocrites who change their minds on abortion when their own daughters become pregnant.

“One thing I’ve learned while researching and reporting on these issues is that supposedly anti-abortion Americans often get abortions,” she wrote.

“They often help their children procure abortions. You know those activists who stand outside clinics holding signs adorned with Bible verses and pictures of fetuses? Even they sometimes get abortions.”

As evidence she quoted an Alabama abortionist who claimed to have performed abortions on pro-life witnesses.  

Aronowitz then suggested that if the girl was afraid that her parents might react with violence or kick her out of the house, she could consider the “judicial bypass procedure,” “a legal option in 36 states that would let you get an abortion without parental approval.” She suggested that a “clinic” would help the girl go through the legal procedure and also provided a link to a pro-abortion legal advice group. Aronowitz then provided a link to groups that will help pay for the abortion. She concluded her article with an attempt to normalize the deadly procedure by saying that one in four women will have had an abortion by the age of 45 and that everyone loves someone who has had an abortion.

This is only the latest in a series of Teen Vogue articles that shills for abortion. In 2017, it had published 63 abortion-positive articles by the end of February.

In 2017, the UK’s Guardian newspaper interviewed the magazine’s editorial staff about their publication’s shift from a focus on clothing and make-up to left-wing politics. Editor Elaine Welteroth described Teen Vogue’s audience as “woke,” a current slang buzzword indicating opposition to perceived social injustices and sympathetic interest in feminism and identity politics.    

“This is somebody who is sophisticated, conscious,” Welteroth said of her average reader. “We say ‘woke’ here. We’re a woke brand, and our readers are woke, too.”

But despite Welteroth’s pride in capturing part of what she called the “sweet spot” of the 18-24 year old market, the online magazine is still marketed to teens.

In May 2019, Aronowitz devoted her advice column to answering a question about when it’s “safe” to send naked photos to a romantic partner (“if you’ve done your due diligence, the feelings are mutual, you feel comfortable with the person, and trust them to guard your nudes with their life”), while acknowleding, “if you’re under a certain age, sending sexy selfies can count as distributing child pornography, and can even be considered a felony in some states.” In 2017, it published an article on “thoughtful” gifts to give to a friend who’s just had an abortion. Later that year, it pushed an anal sex tutorital.

In response to the latter article, “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston publicly burned a copy of the magazine, and evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, called upon parents and grandparents not to allow this “kind of trash [to] be pawned off on our children.”

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Nigerian pro-life leader exposes Western plot to undermine Africa’s pro-family values

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By LSN

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Obianuju Ekeocha is an internationally known pro-life speaker and strategist. She is the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, “an initiative dedicated to the promotion and defense of the African values of the sanctity of life, beauty of marriage, blessings of motherhood, and the dignity of family life.”

Most recently, Ekeocha has become a much more recognized name within the pro-life movement. She’s advised African U.N. delegates, ambassadors, and other decision makers and policymakers on life and family issues. She’s worked with African religious leaders who are attempting to oppose the onslaught of “Western Values” onto their countries. 

In this episode of The Van Maren Show, Ekeocha and Van Maren begin by discussing her rise within the pro-life movement and move into drastic differences between African culture as a whole and Western culture. She says the West is working really hard to be an educator to African countries. The more Westernized people are becoming, the fewer children they’re having, because that’s what they’re seeing as ideal; however, the “regular African who has not been so bombarded by the Western message still sees the large family as normal.” Ekeocha details that people in Africa truly don’t understand how big abortion is in the West.

Ekeocha is the author of Target Africa: Ideological Neo-Colonialism of the Twenty-First Century, which reveals exactly what the West is currently doing in Africa. She also has a documentary titled Strings Attached. Learn more about the work Ekeocha is doing with Culture of Life Africa by clicking here.

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloudYouTubeiTunes, and Google Play.

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

To receive weekly emails when a new episode is uploaded, click here.

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BREAKING: Illinois gov signs extreme law repealing partial-birth abortion ban

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By Calvin Freiburger

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday morning, Illinois’ Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a measure allowing virtually unlimited abortion in the state, in what many pro-life advocates say is one of the most extreme bills of its kind.

The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) codifies a “fundamental right” to abortion, establishes “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law,” and repeals numerous restrictions and regulations on abortion, including protections against taxpayer funding of abortion and protections for infants born after failed abortions.

“Let the word go forth today from this place that if you believe in standing up for women's fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” Pritzker declared, ABC 7 reports. “We trust women.”

The legislation “allows abortion throughout pregnancy, up to the moment of birth, for any reason. It allows abortions by a non-doctor in a facility that's not inspected and doesn't have to report injuries,” said Susan B. Anthony List National Campaign Chair Jill Stanek, an Illinois native and former nurse who rose to prominence after exposing infanticide in Chicago. “It strips away conscience protections for pro-life health care workers and forces all health insurance policies to cover abortions, including religious organizations.”

“The bill Illinois lawmakers passed is so radical, they even went out of their way to repeal the state’s ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions,” noted Stanek. “There is no pride or glory in being the most extreme pro-abortion state in the nation.”

Federal law still prohibits partial-birth abortion, a method of late-term abortion. However, other methods of late-term abortion are legal and readily available at facilities in states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Maryland. Illinois already has abortion facilities that advertise their willingness to commit abortions past 20 weeks, after a preborn baby can feel pain, such as Family Planning Associates of Chicago and Hope Clinic for Women.  

ABC 7 says that post-viability abortions would still be allowed “only if necessary to protect the health or life of the pregnant woman.” But pro-lifers have long warned that so-called “health exceptions” are defined by Roe v. Wade’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, in which the US Supreme Court defined “health” in the context of abortion as encompassing “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”

Laws such as the RHA are meant to insulate abortion-on-demand from a hypothetical future Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe, which would reactivate old abortion bans that remain on the books in several states and free states and Congress to directly ban abortion.

At the end of last month, Pastor Corey Musgrave of Fairfield’s New Beginnings Church devoted his opening prayer before the Illinois State House to admonishing pro-abortion lawmakers for advancing the RHA. He asked God to “rise up...and judge Illinois for the sanctioned destruction of the innocent unborn. For when Your judgements are in this state, the inhabitants of Illinois learn righteousness.”

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US bishops’ National Review Board chairman wants more independence for sex abuse investigations

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By Doug Mainwaring

BALTIMORE, Maryland, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In an address to the bishops of the U.S., the lay chairman of their National Review Board (NRB) expressed concern that the systems now being set in place by the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to handle episcopal sexual misconduct still leave “bishops policing bishops.”

He also urged greater lay participation and independence from bishops in conducting sexual abuse audits.

“We find ourselves at a turning point, a critical moment in our history, which will determine in many ways the future vibrancy of the Church, and whether or not trust in your leadership can be restored,” said Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D.

“Because of the actions or inactions of some bishops, some in the general public have lost confidence in the body of bishops, despite the sincere efforts of many of you,” noted Cesareo.  

Cesareo reminded the bishops that last November, the NRB recommended improvements to the Audit – the mechanism in place to review how dioceses deal with sexual abuse allegations – and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which could only be addressed at the national level.  

“Any delay in revising the Charter, or in implementing an enhanced Audit, would not only put children at risk, but could signal a step backward in the Church’s efforts.”

“The Audit should be more thorough, and independent,” asserted Cesareo, “and the Charter should be revised immediately to explicitly include bishops and demand for greater accountability.”   

Lay commissions conducting sexual abuse audits need to be truly independent

Through its deliberations, the NRB concluded that the Audit needs to be “truly independent.”

“Your dioceses have received the same basic Audit for close to 10 years,” noted Cesareo. “A more thorough and independent Audit process would more effectively insure the accountability of your diocesan procedures in conformity with the Charter.”

“Virtually all your dioceses, including those where problems came to light under the microscope of the media or attorneys general, have easily passed the Audit for years, since the bar is currently so low,” continued the NRB chairman.

“Now is the time to raise the bar on compliance to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated,” he declared. “The Audit process itself should be developed by the vendor, not bishops.”

Auditors should have the independence to ask the questions that need to be asked, examine the documents they determine need to be examined, and probe where they need to probe to answer questions, resolve issues, and determine compliance with each article of the Charter.    

The NRB spokesman strongly urged the bishops to support an independent and improved Audit process immediately.  

“Any delay in implementing a new Audit process would be detrimental,” he reiterated. “We cannot afford another crisis as we have just experienced.”  

The Charter needs to be revised immediately

Last year’s Charter revision called for the next review to take place in seven years.  

“With all that has happened over the last year, we cannot wait until 2025,” said Cesareo.

While the newly issued the moto proprioVos estis lux mundi” establishes and defines Church law regarding clerical sex abuse and episcopal accountability, Cesareo said that Charter revisions need to be able to step beyond reflecting the language and spirit of that document, and address the reality of the Church in the United States.

Cesareo wants the bishops to reconsider past NRB proposals to:

  • Require all allegations of the sexual abuse of minors to be reported to diocesan review boards;
  • Ensure review boards meet at least once per year to assist with diocesan policy reviews, plus whenever an allegation is made;
  • Provide ongoing supervision and monitoring of offenders who have not been laicized;
  • And implement an Enhanced Audit Process, designed to be more independent and thorough in measuring compliance with the Charter across all dioceses, including individual parishes.

“The looseness of the Charter has allowed for problems that could have been avoided,” said Cesareo.

‘Bishops should be held to the same standards as other clerics’

Turning his attention to the accountability of the bishops gathered before him, the chairman asked, “Why should allegations involving priests and deacons be subject to the Audit, but not those involving bishops?”

“Common sense, especially after experiencing the events of last year, tells us that oversight of these processes is necessary,” said Cesareo. “Bishops should be held to the same standards as other clerics.”

Cesareo said that the moto proprio, as well as a new document to be voted on this week by the bishops, titled Affirming Our Episcopal Commitments – which admits past failures and makes prelates subject to the Charter – “begs the question whether these new processes which involve bishops’ accountability should be audited as well.”

“The NRB remains uncomfortable with allowing bishops to review allegations against other bishops as this essentially means ‘bishops policing bishops,’” declared Cesareo.

“The Metropolitan will gain greater credibility if a lay commission is established when allegations come forward to assist in the process as has been the case with lay review boards on the local level.”

“Lay involvement is key,” said Cesareo, “to restoring the credibility of the Church.”

“Not involving laity with competence and expertise in leading the review process would signal a continuation of a culture of self-preservation that would suggest complicity.”

Cesareo noted that while the moto proprio allows for the inclusion of laity in investigations, “This must be the case in the United States, through the establishment of a lay commission either on the national or local level.”

While current Church law calls for a majority lay review board to review allegations against priests and deacons, Cesareo said a similar requirement should be established to deal with allegations against bishops.

An opportunity to show the world how it’s done

“You have a great opportunity to lead by example,” he continued, “and to help show dioceses and episcopal conferences around the world, not only how important it is for lay involvement to ensure greater accountability and transparency, but also how laity and the episcopacy can be co-responsible for the Church’s well being.”

“A review board, whose membership includes laity, must be tasked with the review of allegations against bishops to restore the trust of the faithful in the bishops, and even in the Holy See’s own processes for holding bishops accountable.”

“The Metropolitan should not be the sole gatekeeper of allegations,” said Cesareo. “This could lead to the same type of mishandling of an allegation as we saw in the case of former Archbishop McCarrick.”

The need to know what the Vatican knows about McCarrick

Cesareo reminded the bishops of the proposed resolution at last November’s meeting calling for the Vatican to release all the documentation regarding the sexual misconduct of disgraced former Archbishop McCarrick. That resolution was ultimately rejected.

“The salvation of souls is the supreme law of the Church,” said Cesareo. “It is more important to heal the rift with the people of God than any perceived divisions you might have with the Holy See.”

Cesareo told the bishops that as the one year anniversary of the eruption of the McCarrick  crisis approaches, an update on the status of the McCarrick investigation from the Holy See is much needed.

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Report calls for sending child-porn viewers to ‘workshops’ instead of punishing them

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A controversial new report out of the United Kingdom recommends that pedophiles should no longer be prosecuted for viewing child pornography, but rather sent to “workshops” akin to remdial programs for drunk drivers.

The 132-page report, released by the think tank Justice and overseen by retired judge Peter Rook, argues that “for some types of sexual offending, prosecution and prison can be ineffective,” with the “shock of the arrest and confirmation that what they are doing is wrong” often sufficing to get offenders to stop, the Daily Mail reported.

It calls for first-time child porn viewers with no prior convictions for sexual or violent crimes to be eligible for a “deferred prosecution scheme,” under which they would have to attend five “educational meetings” over a four-month period, then a follow-up session in another eight months.

This would be “just as effective as a post-conviction sentence, if not more, without the need to use court and prosecution resources,” claims the report, which has the support of England and Wales Victims' Commissioner Dame Vera Baird. 

The plan was put forth in part as an idea to relieve the strain on government resources as the UK combats a dramatic increase in sex crimes. In 2018, 159,740 rapes and other sex attacks were recorded, more than triple the number from just a decade earlier.

“Why would we consider not prosecuting some of the most vile criminals in society just because we can't cope with the numbers?” National Association of People Abused in Childhood founder Peter Saunders asked in response. 

Saunders has previously taken issue with the idea of softening treatment of child porn viewers by noting there is “one thing abusers in all their forms do not want and that is to be caught out and identified (...) I dispute the use of the term 'low level'; anyone who looks at these images is buying into the vile trade of child abuse and must pay the full consequences.”

While calls to normalize pedophilia is still a relatively fringe view, the past few years have seen a handful of mainstream publications and institutions give platforms to the topic, from the Springer-published academic journal Sexuality & Culture to a TEDx Talk last year to the University of Toronto.

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Pro-life Unplanned movie finally coming to Canada after months of demand

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By LifeSiteNews staff

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — UNPLANNED — arriving in independent Canadian theaters and other venues nationwide July 12, 2019 — is the dramatic account of a former Planned Parenthood superstar. Abby Johnson was one of its greatest allies as the youngest director of a clinic in the United States, until she walked out after assisting in an abortion of a 13-week-old fetus.

UNPLANNED, the controversial independent U.S. feature film, was released widely in American theaters on March 29, 2019, and earned a coveted A+ CinemaScore and No. 4 ranking at the box office, grossing more than $18 million to date despite the fact that the MPAA categorized the movie with an R rating and multiple television networks and digital platforms refused to run advertisements for the film.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW NEW TRAILER  

Written, produced and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, (GOD'S NOT DEAD, GOD'S NOT DEAD 2, DO YOU BELIEVE) and produced by Daryl Lefever (I CAN ONLY IMAGINE), UNPLANNED puts the story of Abby Johnson, the most prominent defector from the abortion industry, on the big screen at a time when the life issue is hanging in the balance amidst a divided political landscape worldwide.

"This is the most important movie anyone will ever see on the most controversial issue of our time," said Solomon and Konzelman. "When UNPLANNED comes to Canadian theaters, this movie will make abortion unpopular. This is the movie that no one wants you to see and it took a petition, a boycott and a brave independent distributor who would boldly bring this movie to the people of Canada."

In April, producers and the film's lead actress, Ashley Bratcher, screened the film on Parliamentary Hill for members of Parliament and country-wide activists in Canada's pro-life movement. Since that screening, the demand for UNPLANNED erupted, sparking a petition that has garnished more than 100,000 signatures, and resulting in Abby Johnson coming to Canada to speak and rally pro-lifers at the National March for Life. In May, nearly 3,000 Canadians were able to view Canada's only public screening of UNPLANNED in Edmonton, hosted by Harvest Ministries International. With the demand for UNPLANNED increasing daily and no firm distribution offers, a Canada Wants UNPLANNED boycott ensued, led by Faytene Grasseschi, a Canadian pro-life advocate and television personality.

UNPLANNED will be distributed throughout Canada in theaters and other venues by Cinedicom, an independent distribution firm.

"UNPLANNED is a movie that Canadians want and need to see," said BJ McKelvie, president of Cinedicom. "What Abby saw is what changed her. That is why Canada needs UNPLANNED. I complained to God that I was hearing that UNPLANNED was banned in Canada and I heard His voice loud and clear, 'Why don't you distribute it?' It was a defining moment for me."

UNPLANNED stars Ashley Bratcher (WAR ROOM, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN) as Johnson; Brooks Ryan as her husband, Doug; Robia Scott (CSI, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) as Abby's superior at Planned Parenthood; Emma Elle Roberts (HUNGER GAMES:MOCKING JAY, I AM NOT ASHAMED) as Marilisa Carney, Kaiser Johnson (LITTLE BOY, VAMPIRE DIARIES, SLEEPY HOLLOW); and Jared Lotz (OF LITTLE CONVENIENCE, THANKSGIVING) as Shawn Carney.For more information on UNPLANNED, visit www.unplanned.com.

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A grueling Pentecost pilgrimage to Chartres mortifies the body, renews the soul

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean
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CHARTRES, France, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Every year, thousands of Catholics who love the traditional form of the Latin Mass walk on foot from Paris to Chartres between the Vigil of Pentecost and Pentecost Monday. This year, I was among them again. 

For 37 years, Catholics from France and, increasingly, other countries have taken the difficult journey. Divided into “chapters,” they usually follow a 70-mile route from the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris to the cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres.The “Pilgrimage of Christendom” is  organized annually by the society of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté.

This year, 14,000 pilgrims met outside the Church of Saint-Sulpice instead because of the extensive fire damage to Notre Dame de Paris. Saint-Sulpice also fell victim to a mysterious fire earlier this year but was less badly damaged.

My own Scottish-led chapter, “Our Lady of Aberdeen,” was not one of the groups admitted into Saint-Sulpice, but stood outside in the front courtyard with thousands more. We followed Saturday morning’s Pentecost Vigil Mass with microphones and an enormous screen set up outside.

Each pilgrim was given a fat “pilgrim’s booklet” on his way to the church, which contained meditations on the themes of the pilgrimage, the propers (readings and specific prayers) of the three Masses of the Pilgrimage, the ordinary of the Mass, and a host of prayers and hymns. These were all in French, but the propers and ordinary were also in Latin. The pavement was rather hard on the knees, so I was glad I had brought a piece of rubber mat as a kneeler and could employ my booklet for its proper use.

I was not always so comfortable, and indeed, I was not meant to be. The Chartres Pilgrimage, although celebratory, is also deeply penitential in nature. It is also a form of radical poverty: for three days, over ten thousand people, mostly young but many middle-aged and elderly, walk at a blistering pace under the broiling sun or the pouring rain, ordered to rest and eat, ordered to walk again. The Knights of Malta supply wonderful first aid stations every few miles, but the medics won’t treat blisters, because everybody gets blisters. The pilgrims queue for the portable toilets, run to catch up with vanished chapters, and finally at night are ushered into the campground, where, for most of the French ― and all of the foreign ― pilgrims, crowded communal tents await.

You can have a shower if you’re willing to walk as far as the showers ― but you’re too tired. You can have a cup of soup ― but only  if you happen to have a cup with you when you trudge past the soup table. You get to bed as soon as you can ― which is always later than I wish ― because at 5 A.M., a recording of “Pie Jesu” will blast over the massive camp. A French voice will begin shouting instructions in French, English, Italian, and German: “Good morning, dear pilgrim friends. You begin leaving at 6 A.M. Hurry up.”

Every chapter must leave camp when its name is called. Sometimes the chapter captain is not informed when this is until mere minutes before. On Pentecost Monday, my chapter was bumped up from 82nd place to third. I heard our marching orders when I was still rolling up my tent.

Ah, my tent. My chapter captain doesn’t want anyone to know about my tent, but as usual with LifeSiteNews, the truth must come out. I had brought a small tent with me on my first pilgrimage, three years ago, and it was my greatest comfort.  I was thus disappointed to hear very early on Saturday morning, as I waited with other pilgrims to get my ID bracelet and to put my night baggage onto the foreigners’ luggage truck, that foreigners’ tents had been banned. Thanks to a steady increase in the number of foreign pilgrims, there was no longer enough room to accommodate our personal tents in the campgrounds. (According to French media reports, at least 1,200 “étrangers” took part this year.)

We discovered on Saturday night that there was no longer enough room for everyone even in the communal tent assigned to the women of “Our Lady of Aberdeen” chapter. Thus, I slipped away and found a flat place to put up my personal tent, ceding my space in the communal tent to a beaming Australian.

On Sunday morning, I did my best to pack up and roll up my tent before “Our Lady of Aberdeen” was sent back onto the route, but I was stalled behind dozens of other foreigners queued up behind our baggage truck. I had to hurry past a long column of French, German, Dutch, Polish, American, and Welsh pilgrims before I found my group again. Walking over 20 miles a day for two days (and about 15 miles the last day) was hard enough without having to hurry through wet, tick-infested forests and fields, but that is what I had to do.

“Why am I here?”

“Why am I here?” I scrawled in my notebook at 11 P.M. on Sunday. At about 5:30 P.M., I had joined the growing number of pilgrims who couldn’t walk any more that day and had to be shuttled by bus or car to the campground after a three-hour wait in a churchyard — a great mortification of my pride. My feelings about the pilgrimage veered between liking it and hating it, which is also how I feel about reporting on the scandals that are so badly hurting the Church.

I did not know this until Pentecost Tuesday, but I was on the pilgrimage to confront spiritually both my work for LifeSiteNews and my faith as a Catholic. Before I left for France, I was deeply shaken by two things I had recently had to do. The first was to ask a famous composer whose works I happily sang at my theological college if he still believed Catholic doctrine about sexuality, marriage, and the family. The second was to ask a bishop who had been accused of sexual and financial impropriety by the Washington Post how he felt about it. When I was a child, talking about homosexuality was taboo, and I was so much in awe of bishops that I never dared to approach my own. Now I ask famous strangers if they are closet LGBT activists and successors of the apostles if it’s true they’ve molested seminarians.

When I first began to suspect that this ambivalence was why I was on the pilgrimage, I decided to talk to a clergyman about it. An English-speaking seminarian had been sent to minister to our group on Sunday afternoon, so I consulted him. Hesitantly, he acknowledged that writing about the sins of others ― that is, of clergy ― is a serious thing.

“Some saints have said, ‘Never say a bad thing about a priest even if it’s true,’” he told me, and I suddenly realized that a big reason for the clerical sexual abuse scandal is Catholics, clerical and lay, repeating to each other that they must never say a bad thing about a priest even if it’s true. David Haas is a layman ― throw him to the wolves. Michael Bransfield is a bishop ― look the other way.

My worry about the ethics around saying “bad things” is not about clergy, but about people in general, but the seminarian’s old-school response helped me understand why my job, though stressful and heartbreaking, is important.

The next day, as the spires of Chartres Cathedral were almost visible on the horizon, I talked in a roadway confession to a seasoned priest about work. He was comforting as well as helpful, and I felt a lot better. 

The greatest joy of the Chartres Pilgrimage is the wonderful Pentecost Monday Mass in Chartres Cathedral. There is always some heroic bishop there to give an inspiring homily, and the ceremonies and music are glorious. This Mass really is, in the words of Fr. Faber, founder of England’s Brompton Oratory, the “most beautiful thing this side of Heaven.” Wonderfully, the “Our Lady of Aberdeen” chapter was assigned pews relatively near the front of the central nave, so we could see everything this year, including the gestures of Belgian Archbishop Emeritus André-Joseph Léonard as he thundered that despite all the sinful people in it, “the Church is holy.”

“The Church is holy!” he repeated.

Mass ended with the assembled thousands, both inside and outside the great Gothic cathedral, singing “Christus Vincit” as one and then, with differing accents, the Chartres pilgrim’s sweetest hymn to the Mother of God: “Chez Nous, Soyez Reine.” I cannot hear this last without wanting to weep, and sure enough, tears poured down my face.

In our home, be our Queen
We are yours;
Reign as a sovereign
In our home, in our home.

Be the Madonna
Whom we beseech on our knees
Who smiles and forgives
In our home, in our home.

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Pope Francis’ ‘flirt’ with heresy could provoke ‘schism’: Prominent German Catholic novelist

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By Maike Hickson
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Martin Mosebach

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On April 30, 2019, 19 scholars and clergy published an Open Letter to Bishops accusing Pope Francis of heresy and asking the bishops of the world to undertake a serious investigation of this charge for the good of the Church. In the following weeks, more people, among them more than 20 priests and some theologians and canon lawyers, added their signatures to this Open Letter so that the number of its signatories is now 92.

On May 13, Martin Mosebach also added his own signature to the Open Letter. Mosebach is a well-known German novelist and essayist who has received the highest national literary award in Germany, the Georg Büchner Prize which is being given by the German Academy for Language and Literature. Mosebach, who was born in 1951, also authored the book The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and its Enemy, in which he argues in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass. In the U.S., Mosebach is known for his essays published in First Things.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Mr. Mosebach explains why he signed the Open Letter to Bishops and says that the Church finds herself in an “unprecedented” situation which therefore is “lacking instruments” of how to deal with it. He hopes for a “broad debate about the question of what is Catholic and what is not. The result could be dramatic – a schism – because the progressivist party is very strong, but the small traditionalist party cannot, according to its own principles, make any concessions anymore.”

Mr. Mosebach hopes for more bishops to respond to the current crisis in the Church, adding that “I simply do not want to believe that in the whole Orbis Catholicus, there should be only these four [dubia] cardinals and the three Kazakh bishops who got worried about the Roman zig-zag course.”

He sees that under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church “has assumed the character of the western Liberalism of North American Democrats and of the German Green Party,” thus presenting herself as being “anti-sacramental, anti-hierarchical, committed to the ultra-liberal claims of societal diversity.”

Describing Pope Francis's style of government as “paradoxical,” Martin Mosebach highlights that Francis “is a ruler who demands submission and blind obedience in order to destroy, especially by this means, the spiritual foundation of all obedience.” In the German author's eyes, Francis uses “the papal authority in order to undermine the papal Magisterium. It becomes more and more clear that he understands himself as an agent of a revolution from the top down.”

***

Full LifeSiteNews interview with Martin Mosebach:

LifeSite: What were your reasons for signing the Open Letter to the Bishops, even though there were already many commentaries which dismissed this letter as “extreme”? Which aspect of the Open Letter most appealed to you?

Martin Mosebach: Indeed, the Open Letter to the Bishops is extreme – a witness of a historical moment which is unprecedented in the Church's history. It describes the situation that was not foreseen and for which, therefore, also the instruments are lacking. It is true that one should, in principle, be very careful before calling someone a heretic. The Catholic Church is old and she justly makes the claim to universality, and this means that within her midst, there have been very different, in part also contradictory, movements. But the Magisterium of the Popes always prevailed, after a shorter or longer period of dispute, by turning to Tradition and then making a decision in its spirit, thus ending the dispute. 

And now for the first time, we are dealing with a Pope who, far from ending a theological dispute, even furthers it and removes himself from his duty to settle it. The means which he uses seem to me to be especially fatal: he flirts with heresy; shows, with the wink of an eye, some sympathies for it, then expresses himself continuously in such an ambiguous manner that the “heretics” may thereby feel reinforced, while the papal “loyalists” still hope to be able to prove the existence of an orthodox kernel in his statements. 

It seems to me that it is now necessary to open up a broad debate about the question of what is Catholic and what is not. The result could be dramatic – a schism – because the progressivist party is very strong, but the small traditionalist party cannot, according to its own principles, make any concessions anymore.

LifeSite: In the face of the fact that bishops most probably would not respond to this Open Letter with an investigation of the possible heresies of the Pope, what can be accomplished with such a letter? 

Mosebach: It moves me that here, finally, all prelates of the Church are being addressed. They take part in the Magisterium and thus have to make a statement when it is about the essence of Christian doctrine. They all have to present their questions to the Pope – when they are in doubt as to whether they have understood him correctly – and not only the four courageous cardinals with their “dubia.” I simply do not want to believe that in the whole Orbis Catholicus, there should be only these four cardinals and the three Kazakh bishops who got worried about the Roman zig-zag course. 

Let us remember: the bishopric is the highest office that a Catholic can reach, one is bishop by divine law, called by Jesus Christ – what can one still fear then? By which disgrace could he be reached and touched? I do not wish to hope in vain that the lips of those bishops in the world who are aware of the disaster – and they exist, we do know them! – continue to be sealed by a false understanding of unity.

But even if fear and the desire for a career should prevail and none of the addressees responds, the letter still has an important function: it keeps open the wound and increases the chance that a next pontiff will deal with these questions. 

LifeSite: Can a simple Catholic recognize when a Pope teaches heresy – or that he supports it indirectly – or do you think that one has to be a deeply learned theologian in order to be able to come to such a conclusion?

Mosebach: The Catholic religion is perhaps the most complicated religion in the world, and that is why her doctrinal system, her philosophy, is only known to a small part of the faithful, but [knowing all] this is not necessary, because the Church has, in the form of the Catholic liturgy, an instrument with the help of which everybody, regardless of their education, is enabled to encounter God; and such an encounter with God stands far above all doctrine.

Indeed, there are theological questions which are difficult to settle even for an expert in the field. Because the discussion about truths of the Faith in the Church will never end, the Magisterium has gained this special significance: the thoughts and the life conditions of each century have to be measured again and again according to the standard of Tradition. 

But there are also some simple sentences, for whose understanding one does not need to be a deeply learned theologian. “Go ye out into the world, teach all nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost” really does not mean “Let all nations keep their faith because God wished it so and created them with it in mind; it is thus not necessary to baptize them.” The sentence  “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” most probably does not mean “What therefore God has joined together, man is permitted to put asunder.”

LifeSite: As an attentive, literary observer of your age, how would you describe the “Francis effect”? How has the Catholic Church and the world changed under his pontificate? 

Mosebach: The Catholic Church has become more and more bourgeois, she has assumed the character of the western Liberalism of North American Democrats and of the German Green Party. She presents herself as being anti-sacramental, anti-hierarchical, committed to the ultra-liberal claims of societal diversity and so on. But from these secular movements, she also adopted a strict authoritarianism which fancies itself with the motto “no tolerance for intolerance.” And according to it, what is intolerant is everything which corresponds to the Tradition of the Church.

LifeSite: How would you describe Pope Francis' style of government? 

Mosebach: His style of government is paradoxical: he is a ruler who demands submission and blind obedience in order to destroy, especially by this means, the spiritual foundation of all obedience. He uses the papal authority in order to undermine the papal Magisterium. It becomes more and more clear that he understands himself as an agent of a revolution from the top down. With this, and in retrospect, it is becoming finally and hopefully very clear even to the last optimist that the whole post-Conciliar era has already been such a revolution from the top down which, after certain Ritardandi [delays], is now finally standing before its fulfillment. 

LifeSite: Some commentators say that Francis is now being accused of things – such as the clerical abuse crisis – for which he is not really responsible since the developments go back for decades? How do you see his approach with regard to the abuse crisis?

Mosebach: It is true that the Pope originally was only very little responsible for the crisis that was caused by the exposure of moral scandals, but he has given away this advantage. Fatally, it turned out that those prelates who are most embarrassingly involved in these scandals belonged to the favored pillars of his pontificate. That is why he had, and still has, difficulties in disclosing or abandoning them. 

That is also the reason why he is not willing to name the true causes of the crisis, but rather invents phantoms such as a purported “clericalism.” The Pope of Mercy, of course, cannot return to the old canon law that had been abrogated in a tragic fashion by Pope Paul VI, with the help of which one could have mastered the problems in a very different manner. I fear that the Pope recognizes the abuse scandals first and foremost as a useful occasion to throw overboard as much Catholic Tradition as possible – which had shrunk already considerably under the last Popes.

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Vatican’s new doc on ‘gender theory’ enraged LGBT activists. But it should alarm Catholics too

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By Pete Baklinski

ANALYSIS

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican’s newly released document on what should be done about “gender theory” when it comes to Catholic education of children is proving to be a source of anger for LGBT activists. But it should also be a cause of alarm for faithful Catholic parents.

The document, titled “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education,” was released by the Congregation for Catholic Education June 10. It was released five months after Pope Francis stated that “we must provide sex education in schools.” It was signed by the congregation’s head, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, and by the secretary for the same congregation, Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani. 

LGBT activists are criticizing the document for its clear affirmation that God made human beings only as either “male” or “female” and that maleness and femaleness are a “given” by nature and and constitute a “biological fact.” 

They are mad that the document critiques “gender theory” as a “confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence.”

Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of the pro-homosexual New Ways Ministry, slammed the document as a “harmful tool that will be used to oppress and harm not only transgender people, but lesbian, gay, bisexual people, too.” 

DeBernardo said the document “associates sexual and gender minorities with libertine sexuality, a gross misrepresentation of the lives of LGBT people which perpetuates and encourages hatred, bigotry, and violence against them.” The document reveals that the “Vatican remains in the dark ages, promoting a false teaching that relies on myth, rumor, and falsehoods,” he added. 

Hemant Mehta at "Friendly Atheist" called the document a “slap in the face to many LGBTQ people.” In the document, she wrote, the “Vatican took a position on gender identity that effectively dismisses the very existence of intersex and transgender people.” 

By far the most interesting reaction came from Jesuit priest and pro-homosexual advocate James Martin in the pages of the Jesuit-run America Magazine. Martin, author of the pro-LGBT book Building Bridges, drew attention to the document’s “explicit call for dialogue” as an “approach to the question of gender theory.” 

“It speaks of a ‘path,’ which indicates that the church has not yet reached the destination,” wrote Martin, adding: “It focuses on the ‘question’ of gender theory in education, which leaves some degree of openness.”

Martin noted how the document’s conclusion “speaks of the path of dialogue, which includes ‘listening, reasoning and proposing.’ As such, it leaves open room for further developments and also avoids some of the harsh language of other Vatican pronouncements on sexuality and, especially, on homosexuality.”

Martin said that “all should welcome” this approach.

In the end, however, the Jesuit priest had sharp criticism for the document in that it “restates the traditional Catholic view of sexuality,” a view that he said was “contradicted by what most biologists and psychologists now understand about both sexuality and gender” and that “ignores the real-life experience of L.G.B.T. people.”

While the document faithfully restates Catholic teaching about the human person regarding sexuality, being created as “male and female,” and “unity of body and soul,” many Catholics, myself included, are alarmed by the documents call for “dialogue” as a legitimate “path.”

Dr. Robert Moynihan said with respect to this that “spending so much time and so many pages to stress the need to ‘dialogue’ with the proponents of this modern 'gender theory' is in some ways worrisome.”

I’d go further than that and point out that the document’s emphasis on dialogue, which in the Francis pontificate is a word that is largely used to mean that other perspectives and even opposing view points have something to bring to the table that the Catholic Church lacks, suggests that the Catholic Church is deficient in her understanding and teaching on the human person as male and female. 

As Fr. Martin pointed out, as noted above, to speak of the “path of dialogue” indicates that the “church has not yet reached the destination” with regard to her understanding on the topic. 

But this is simply not the case. The Church’s teaching on the duality of the sexes and its rejection of “gender theory” was restated simply and beautifully recently by a group of cardinals and bishops

What took the Congregation for Catholic Education some 50,000 words on 31 pages to state was summarized in a small paragraph consisting of 576 words by cardinals and bishops who recently issued a “declaration of truths” of the Catholic faith. 

About gender theory, the declaration states:

The male and female sexes, man and woman, are biological realities created by the wise will of God (see Gen. 1: 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 369). It is, therefore, a rebellion against natural and Divine law and a grave sin that a man may attempt to become a woman by mutilating himself, or even by simply declaring himself to be such, or that a woman may in like manner attempt to become a man, or to hold that the civil authority has the duty or the right to act as if such things were or may be possible and legitimate (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2297).

The Congregation for Catholic Education’s document fails to mention the word “sin” even once in relation to its copious statements on gender theory. 

Another alarming aspect of the document was the ambiguous statement that there is a “need to educate children and young people to respect every person in their particularity and difference, so that no one should suffer bullying, violence, insults or unjust discrimination based on their specific characteristics (such as special needs, race, religion, sexual tendencies, etc.).”

Teaching children respect for those with different “sexual tendencies” is language closer to LGBT propaganda than Catholic teaching. This is the language of sexual perverts and groomers. Should children be taught to “respect” adults with “sexual tendencies” towards other children (pedophilia)? Should they be taught to respect those who have “sexual tendencies” toward corpses (necrophilia) and animals (bestiality) too? Children should be taught to run away from such perverts and have nothing to do with them. 

The document then immediately goes on to praise an education for children that provides them with the “ability to welcome all legitimate expressions of human personhood with respect.” Fr. Martin called this ambiguous passage “another positive aspect of this document.”

The most alarming part of the document for me as a Catholic parent was the document's insistence on a “positive and prudent sexual education” for children within schools. This, after all, seems to be the main point of the entire document coming from the Vatican congregation that deals with education of children. 

The document calls for an “educational alliance between family, school and society” that can “harmonise the primary responsibility of parents with the work of teachers” to make this education a reality. The document rightly recognizes the “primary right” of parents with respect to the “sexual and affective education” for their children and the “subsidiary role” that schools play in that process.

“If they succeed in working together, family, school and the broader society can produce educational programmes on affectivity and sexuality that respect each person’s own stage of maturity regarding these areas and at the same time promote respect for the body of the other person,” the document states. 

This vision is utterly naive and unrealistic in today’s sexually overcharged and toxic culture. This vision is utterly utopian in a world that gleefully accepts homosexual “marriage,” countless sexually deviant practices, and abortion. What, in the end, this document provides is more firepower to those calling for sex education in schools while taking away firepower from parents to defend their children from such programs – all couched in the language of "dialogue" and "respect."  

Sex education, in reality, has from its beginning been used as a wedge between parents and their children. It has been largely used as a tool of sin to indoctrinate children into evil sexual practices. This proves to be the case whether such “education” is taking place in public schools or publicly funded Catholic schools (as is the case here in Canada). Where such education may have begun with good intentions, it has largely been co-opted by activists and used to advance a diabolical agenda and destroy souls. 

The Vatican appears not to be immune to this trend. Three years ago, the Vatican released its own problematic sex-ed program for teens called “The Meeting Point,” which handed the sexual formation of young people over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation. The program contained sexually explicit and suggestive images, failed to name and condemn deviant sexual behaviors (such as fornication, masturbation, adultery, homosexual practices, etc.) as sinful, and failed to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons said the program “constitutes sexual abuse of Catholic adolescents worldwide.” One pro-family leader commented at that time that the program revealed the Vatican’s “surrender” to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. 

Instead of releasing ambiguous documents that once again trot out the modern Church’s disastrous experiment of “dialogue” with the modern world as a way of winning souls for heaven, the Vatican should follow the example of the cardinals and bishops who recently stated clearly the truths of the Catholic faith and left it to listeners to decide what side they were on. What is not needed is another document that gives LGBT activists like Fr. Martin hope that the Church will one day “evolve” in her moral teaching. And what is certainly not needed is a document that pushes the failed experiment of sex education on another generation of Catholic children.

In the end, no one can dialogue with the devil and come away better for it. The Vatican should know this. 

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These parents are suing because their daughter with Down syndrome was ‘wrongfully born’

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By Jonathon Van Maren

June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Last month, an Australian couple was granted an extension by the Supreme Court in Brisbane to sue the medical staff of a Gold Coast ultrasound clinic. The pending lawsuit is expected to be an enormous one, with extensive damages being sought as well as a personal injury suit on behalf of the mother. An initial reading of the preliminary details makes the case appear to be extremely serious, causing one to wonder what the doctor and the ultrasound technicians might have done wrong.

That question has a stomach-turning answer. As it turns out, the couple’s daughter – now a little girl of four years old – has Down syndrome. The couple had not been expecting this, as both a doctor and a sonographer had told them during an appointment in August of 2014 that the risk of a chromosomal abnormality was in the “low range” and that further testing was unnecessary. They turned out to have been mistaken, and the child had to spend several weeks in intensive care with a feeding tube following her birth.

While most parents would simply have felt overwhelming relief that their daughter turned out to be okay, one suspects that these particular parents did not: They are now suing both the clinic and the attending doctor for “wrongful birth,” claiming that the failure of the medical staff to alert them to their daughter’s condition was a mistake that allowed her to be born. If they had known she had Down syndrome, they would have ensured that she did not make it out of the womb alive by procuring an abortion. The “damages” that the couple are seeking include the cost of raising their unwanted little girl.

They are also suing for “maintenance costs” and the loss of future earnings that they anticipate as a result of being the parents of a child with a disability. In short: Their daughter is an inconvenience, and they would like the medical professionals who failed to let them know she had Down syndrome so that they could have her killed to pay for their daughter’s upbringing. After all, if they’d had their way, she would be dead, and they would be free. But because she ended up in their arms rather than in a dumpster, they are suing a clinic.

This is not, of course, the first so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuit in the West. Back in February, I wrote about the story of the parents who were suing the abortion clinic that failed to abort their son, now a toddler. The very concept of “wrongful birth” is a horrible one with no place in any civilized society, as it enshrines in law the idea that some people are not worthy of being born, that their very birth constitutes a mistake of some kind, and that their existence should have been abruptly ended by abortion. It is naked eugenics without even an attempt at donning the guise of humanity.

It is a shame that so few advocacy organizations that represent people with Down syndrome have the courage to take on the abortion industry. A huge majority of children with Down syndrome who are conceived die at the hands of abortionists before they ever see the light of day, and these organizations are fully aware of this fact. Despite this sad reality, they shy away from actually naming the tool of eugenic extermination that threatens their community with extinction, even while putting out sad adverts comparing children with Down syndrome to endangered species and begging for protection.

Disability activists should be shouting their heads off about stories of parents suing clinics for “wrongful birth” because their children have Down syndrome. And if these awful people actually manage to win their lawsuit, they should riot and demand change in a way that the government cannot ignore to drive home a simple message: We have the right to exist.

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 Obianuju Ekeocha, author, documentary marker, and founder and president of Culture of Life Africa. She’s advised African U.N. delegates, ambassadors, and other decision makers and policymakers on life and family issues. They discuss the imposition of anti-life “Western Values” onto African countries and Ekeocha’s work to preserve the continent’s principles. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

 

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