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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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British MP will try to open the door to assisted suicide next week

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

June 28, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — A debate on assisted dying is to take place next week in the House of Commons. The debate has been brought forward by Nick Boles MP (Independent Progressive Conservative, Grantham and Stamford) and will take place on Tuesday 4 July.

Concerted Effort

The debate will be on the functioning of the existing law relating to assisted dying, and no division is expected.

However, John Deighan, Deputy CEO of SPUC, said that the debate still needs to be taken seriously: "This motion is part of a concerted campaign to legalise assisted suicide," he explained. "Mr Boles has said himself that he hopes it will lead to a Private Member's Bill. In the last few days we have also seen moves for medical bodies to drop their historic opposition to doctors helping patients to end their lives."

SPUC is calling on members to write to their MPs as a matter of urgency. This document briefing (94 KB) sets out how to do so.

Unacceptable Pressure To Choose Death

The last Private Member's Bill which aimed to legalise assisted dying was the Marris Bill in 2015, which was soundly defeated by 330 votes to 118. However, if Mr Boles or any other MP receives a majority for a bill, there could well be moves to introduce assisted dying into a Government Bill, which could reach the statute book.

Mr Deighan said that there were good reasons why the Marris Bill was defeated. "The current law protects every citizen, especially the elderly, sick and disabled. Offering people the choice to end their lives creates unacceptable pressure for them to choose death. This can be seen in jurisdictions where it is legal — for example, in Washington State, 56% of people who were killed by assisted dying said a reason behind it was being a burden on family, friends and caregivers."

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Mom takes school to Human Rights Tribunal for traumatizing child with gender ideology

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The mother of a six-year-old girl traumatized by gender ideology lessons that parents weren’t told about beforehand says she is taking the school board to Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal because “it’s an issue of moral conscience.”

“We felt that, look, we have a valid point of view on this particular issue that no one seems to be ready to listen to,” Pam Buffone told LifeSiteNews.

The Buffones filed a complaint against the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board; the Grade 1 teacher; and the principal, Julie Derbyshire of the Devonshire Community Public School, after the teacher showed her class “He, She and They?!? — Gender: Queer Kid Stuff #2” in January 2018.

The video states that “some people aren’t boys or girls” and that there are people who do not “feel like a ‘she’ or a ‘he,’” a view the teacher then echoed.

The Buffones found out about the lessons only because their daughter became increasingly upset, telling them her teacher said “there’s no such thing as boys and girls.” She then asked if she could go to the doctor so she wouldn’t have to be a “mommy” when she grew up.

When a concerned Buffone met with the teacher, she confirmed she told the class “there’s no such thing as boys and girls” and that the topic of sex change had come up for discussion.

READ: Teacher traumatizes 6-year-old by telling her ‘there is no such thing as boys and girls’

The parents took the matter to principal Derbyshire, who said, as had the teacher, that the lessons were taking place because another student in the class expressed some confusion, Buffone told LifeSiteNews.

“But we know the parents of the little girl who was saying, once, as far as I know, that she felt like a boy,” she said.

“And they had been in to see the teacher a month before we had, to request that she focus on principles of kindness rather than gender.”

The Buffones also contacted the superintendent and the curriculum superintendent, to no avail.

“The school board did nothing to ensure the lessons being taught were inclusive of the female gender. When we tried to raise our concerns we came up against a one-way conversation and we were handed their policies as justification,” Buffone said.

“We were told all kinds of personal opinions from various people, the principal in particular, about gender non-conforming students,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“We were told that educators know best and that they were doing a great job. And that did not match with our understanding of the situation from our daughter’s point of view.”

Ontario College of Teachers: “Curriculum is an ideology”

The Buffones then filed a complaint with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) in July 2018 — just after Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party June landslide victory.

“The OCT dismissed the complaint, explaining that even if it were proven true, it would not result in a finding of professional misconduct,” Buffone told LifeSiteNews.

An OCT representative told her that “a lot of discretion is given the teachers in the curriculum.”

Buffone asked the representative: “Are not teachers not taught … to help kids accept themselves rather than push an ideology that might nudge them in one direction?”

“[T]he curriculum — it is an ideology,” the OCT representative replied.

“This will come up, whether in Grade 1 or Grade 8 — I don’t think we can get around that. As we’re looking through this curriculum document it reflects a certain way of thinking. I see that in the language that is there.”

The school board’s lawyers are using a similar argument in requesting that the Buffones’ complaint be dismissed, stating that the education ministry has endorsed the teachers’ right to teach gender identity as they see fit, wrote Barbara Kay in the National Post.

That’s echoed by Tanya Granic Allen of Parents as First Educators (PAFE).

She says ministry officials admitted as much when defending the Ford government against a Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario lawsuit over its alleged repeal of the Liberal sex ed curriculum.

“Premier Doug Ford referred to this theory as ‘liberal ideology’ and committed to repealing the Wynne sex-ed, but his government has sanctioned teaching the unscientific gender identity theory at any grade level,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Parents afraid to speak out

“I regularly hear from many parents whose children have been traumatized by the teaching of gender identity theory in classrooms,” Granic Allen said.

But the scope of the problem is hidden because “parents of gender dysphoric children are terrified of speaking out for fear their children will be removed from their home,” she said.

That’s thanks to Ontario’s Bill 89, which added “gender identity and gender expression” to child welfare legislation.

Moreover, because of Bill 77, which bans reparative therapy for minors, “parents of gender dysphoric children cannot even consult with a physician on options — the only option is to affirm the child’s transitioning to a new gender,” said Granic Allen.

And the mainstream media have their own perspective on the subject.

There has been little reporting on the Buffone case since Kay first broke the story in the Post Millennial, aside from Jordan Peterson pointing out in the National Post that gender ideology has no place in schools.

Kay also penned a follow-up in the National Post calling for “an investigative task force” to evaluate how to teach gender ideology.

A parent told Kay her son claimed “out of the blue” to be “pansexual” and a “demi-girl.” When she and her husband took him to a therapist, the therapist told them: “You are the seventh set of parents from that class who have come to me with this problem!” Kay wrote.

“We lost complete trust in the system”

Buffone has heard from parents whose children claim to be the opposite sex and are desperately seeking support and afraid to go public.

“These families are just in complete crisis mode and they are concerned about their privacy,” she said. “Parents have told me they feel very, very isolated and they don’t know where to turn for help, and that’s got to be very scary for people.”

She hopes her effort “will give other parents the courage to speak up…we need to know what’s going on here.”

Meanwhile, the Buffones enrolled their two daughters in another school last September, even though it was a “heartbreaking” decision.

“We lost complete trust in the system,” Buffone said. “If you can’t trust the people who are taking care of your children you have to take them somewhere else.”

“It’s definitely an issue of moral conscience. She was still questioning me, this was in October, six months after the last gender lesson — ‘Why did my teacher say that girls are not real?’” Buffone said.

“I tried to say sometimes kids get confused and the teacher was probably trying to support another child in the class and she said, ‘But mom,’ and that’s when she pointed to her night table beside her, ‘my table is real,’” she said.

“We’re still concerned about what lasting impact that’s going to have, when a teacher undermines a child’s belief in reality itself” added Buffone.

“We just don’t know. We’ll have to see how life plays out.”

Buffone blogs at www.adulthumanfemale.com and tweets at @PamelaNBuffone.

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Benedict XVI asserts Francis is pope in new interview

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

July 4, 2019 update: Several media outlets around the world have reported that Benedict XVI asserted in a recent interview that "the Pope is one; it is Francis," but there is no evidence for this in the actual interview. Read LifeSiteNews' report on this matter here: No evidence Pope Benedict said ‘the Pope is one; it is Francis’

VATICAN CITY, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Concerned for Church unity, the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, has stated in a new interview that Pope Francis is the only pope.

Massimo Franco, a reporter for Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, published an Italian-language interview with Benedict XVI that was conducted in the Vatican gardens. According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the pope emeritus, 92, asserted that Pope Francis is the only Roman pontiff.

“The Pope is one; [he] is Francis,” he is reported to have said.

Benedict also spoke about the unity of the Church.

“The unity of the Church has always been in danger, for centuries,” he said. “It has been for all its history. Wars, internal conflicts, centrifugal forces, threats of schisms.”

“In the end the awareness that the Church is and must remain united has always prevailed,” he continued.

“Its unity has always been stronger than internal struggles and wars.”

According to an introduction to the interview, the men discussed how “too many among those discontented with the Francis pontificate” look to the pope emeritus “as a sort of alternative spiritual and moral leader.”

It was unclear from this introductory article if these particular quotations were from the reporter or Benedict XVI himself. The article also asserted that the pope emeritus has always resisted attempts to make him an “alternative” to Francis and that during the interview, he “reaffirmed his loyal and affectionate relationship with Francis, despite their striking differences in personality, approach to doctrine and liturgy.”

According to CNA, Franco suggested that future historians and biographers of Benedict will have to write about prelates who sought the pope emeritus’s advice during Francis’s pontificate.

“It will not be possible to disregard the highly reserved cardinals and bishops who have come to his door looking for reassurances  and expressing their criticisms and their perplexity towards the current pontificate,” he wrote.

Benedict XVI shocked the Church and the world on February 11, 2013 when he announced that he was resigning from the Petrine office. Historians will also have to address the fears of some Catholics that the pope emeritus was compelled to step down and is mistaken in his belief that he is no longer the pope.

According to Franco’s introductory article, Benedict spoke in a voice that was little more than a whisper but was not at all intellectually impaired. He was attended by his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, 62.

Tomorrow, June 29, is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul and the 68th anniversary of the pope emeritus’s ordination to the priesthood.

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Trump praises Down syndrome pro-life advocate at Faith & Freedom conference

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By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump recounted for Christian supporters his pro-life achievements but cautioned that the political landscape is “fragile” and could change abruptly if the “wrong person” is elected president in 2020. 

On Wednesday, President Trump kicked off the four days of the Faith & Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference in Washington, D.C., telling the mostly evangelical Christian audience, “We’ve done things that are so good and so righteous and also so fragile,” and warned, “The wrong person in office, in this office right here, can change it very quickly.”

Addressing the Coalition’s policy conference for the second time as president, Trump praised it as the biggest grassroots organization among people of faith. Trump said that when he ran for the presidency in 2016, “Americans of faith were under assault. But the shameful attempt to suppress religious believers ended the day I took the oath of office.”

Trump spoke about the successes of his administration in naming more than 140 federal judges and two Supreme Court justices. Touting advances in job creation, defending religious freedom, and criminal justice reform, Trump warned, “This could all change very quickly.”

In an apparent appeal for increased turnout at the polls by Christians, he said, “We have done things that nobody would have thought possible. We have done things that are so good and so righteous but so, so fragile. But the wrong person in office … could change it very quickly.”

Trump said of his administration, “We’re building a society that values the limitless potential of every person. And we’re strengthening the bonds that tie us together in the wondrous tapestry of creation.”

Calling on a pro-life advocate he hosted around the time of the March for Life, Trump thanked Katie Shaw of Indiana for her presence at the conference. “We had a great meeting — right? — in the Oval Office. Thank you, Katie. You look well, really well. Thank you very much. Thank you. So nice. She was in the Oval Office and really made a great impression on everybody.”

Trump said of Shaw, “She was born with Down syndrome and now works at a local store, does a fantastic job; volunteers in her community; and has testified before lawmakers. As Katie said, ‘It’s a wonderful life. I’ve made the world a better place.’ And, Katie, yes, you have. You have.” 

To the applause of the audience, Trump said, “Our nation is uplifted by incredible Americans like Katie who fight for the dignity of all humanity. My administration has also taken historic action to protect Americans’ rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

Pointing out the risks facing voters in the 2020 election, Trump added, “Democrats are determined to pack the courts with radical-left judges who will impose their own far-left views on the American people. That is why I will soon appoint my 145th judge to interpret the Constitution as written.”

Trump’s recognition of Shaw was especially poignant because of radical pro-abortion laws approved in several states, including New York, that allow abortion until delivery for nearly any reason, including a diagnosis of Down syndrome. A 2012 medical study showed that at least 67 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

Going on to other political issues, Trump spoke about border security and the migrant crisis for which Democrats have blamed him. Despite reports about inadequate conditions in government detention facilities for migrants, especially children and minors seeking asylum, Trump said, “We are taking care of them, much better than President Obama took care of them.” Trump told the conferees, “I can tell you that. Much better. He was the one that had separation. I am the one that keeps them together.”

Blaming Democrats for causing the conditions that attract migrants who bring children as a ticket for crossing the southern border, Trump said that if Democrats had a “shred of moral decency,” they would change immigration laws.

“How do you have thousands of thousands of children?” he asked. “We have them because the law incentivizes criminals to bring children up and use those (children) to get people into our country. Can you ever imagine this? We are the only country in the world that has this.”

Ralph Reed, head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, warmed up the conference before Trump’s speech to say the president’s job approval rating is at 83 percent among evangelical Christians in the U.S. and is the “highest ever recorded.”

Reed, a leader among conservative Christians for decades, said, “We have had some great leaders. There has never been anyone who has defended us and fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump” despite a hostile media. He added that Christians support “this good man” because “we have seen his heart and he is everything he promised he would be and more.” 

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New Spiderman movie includes Marvel Studio’s first ‘transgender’ actor

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By Martin Barillas

LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Newcomer Zach Barack will appear in the new Spiderman film as Marvel Studio’s first openly transgender actor.

In “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Barack — once known as Katelynn Barack — will play a school chum of the Spiderman character Peter Parker, who is played by actor Tom Holland. In an interview with Variety magazine, Barack said “there’s something very inherently trans” about comic book heroes, especially those “where identity and hidden identity” play a role. 

In the latest cinematic chapter of Spiderman, Holland plays Peter Parker — a high school student who joins his classmates on a class trip to Europe, which will see him swinging over the venerable canals of Venice instead of New York’s skyscrapers. Parker has to balance his life as an otherwise ordinary high school boy with his other role as outlier superhero.

“For example, Peter Parker’s journey is a lot about balancing being a teenager and having this other part of your life,” Barack told Variety. “And that is just so trans, it’s something that I absolutely think I’ve felt on a daily basis sometimes – especially being a transmasculine person because sometimes there’s a pressure to be a different way than I feel naturally inclined to do because I want to fit in, and I have to actively fight that instinct.”

“But the fact of the matter is, being in this movie is so beyond incredibly meaningful and I hope that it means something to other people,” Barack added.

However, the character Barack plays is not described as transgender on screen. But Barack said in the red-carpet interview that the role is “open for interpretation.” She said her appearance should open up characters to be played by other “transgender” actors.

“I also want intersectionality,” Barack said. “I’m also hoping that these characters can exist in a nuanced way. … I do want to see myself represented on screen, so I do want to see a trans superhero or a queer superhero. And I want it to be hopefully someone who can draw from their experience in real life in that way – (to show) queer people are getting work too. But at the same time, I’m just happy these stories are being told.”

Marvel Studios has signaled that it will produce more films with an LGBTQ agenda. Producer Victoria Alonso and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige have said they plan to have more homosexual characters in future Marvel productions.

“I do want to see myself represented on screen,” Barack told Variety, “so I do want to see a trans superhero or a queer superhero. And I want it to be hopefully someone who can draw from their experience in real life in that way – (to show) queer people are getting work, too. But at the same time, I’m just happy these stories are being told.”

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Doctor pens NYT op-ed about ‘symbiosis’ of being an abortionist and a mom

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By Lisa Bourne

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An abortion provider has penned an op-ed for the New York Times that endeavors to justify abortion with the argument that coherence exists between becoming a mother and ending the lives of other mothers’ children in one’s work.

Against the “it’s a tough job but someone has to do it” backdrop, Christine Henneberg flirts with guilt over being an abortionist on the way to floating the idea that while becoming a mother demonstrates the veracity of life in the womb, the job of aborting children is in accord with motherhood and still must be done.

“How do I continue to do this work?” Henneberg asks.

“The answer is that there is a connection between my work as an abortion doctor and my work as a mother,” she says, “it’s just not what most people imagine. It’s not a tension or a contradiction to be reconciled. It’s a symbiosis, a harmony.”

The abortionist shares that she thought she was good at keeping boundaries and compartmentalizing, as a doctor should, until she encountered motherhood. 

“As a doctor, I can draw a distinction, a boundary, between a fetus and a baby,” Henneberg states. “When I became a mother, I learned that there are no boundaries, really. The moment you become a mother, the moment another heartbeat flickers inside of you, all boundaries fall away.”

“Nevertheless, as mothers, we must all make choices,” she says. “And we must live with the choices that aren’t ours to make. We can try to compartmentalize. We can try to keep things tidy and acceptable.”

She goes on to say that everything is messy, whether the work of an abortionist, a mother, “and the love of each one of us for our children.”

“And yet somebody has to do the work,” Henneberg says.

She recounts how she was nervous at first about what her clients would think or say when she started showing in her pregnancy.

“But they always expressed genuine happiness for me, even in the midst of their own difficulties,” she says, offering anecdotes of expressed support, from a mother of three about to abort, along with a 19-year-old woman in for her first abortion, who smiled at Henneberg through tears, saying, “It’s your time.” 

17-week-old baby she aborted ‘came through the cervix intact’

When Henneberg and her husband were trying to conceive a child and were unsuccessful after three months, she broke down, she says, telling her spouse she was worried about “bad karma,” that she was the abortionist who couldn’t get pregnant. 

But Henneberg says this demonstrated only that she didn’t have as good a grasp of boundaries as she thought, dismissing the idea of penalty for committing abortions.

“At the time, the fact that I would even consider such an idea — as though I deserved some type of punishment for the work I do — should have told me that my boundaries weren’t as neat and tidy as I thought,” she says.

The single instance when she almost fell apart was when “performing a 17-week procedure” on a mother while she was in her second trimester of pregnancy. 

“The fetus, which is normally extracted in parts, came through the cervix intact,” Henneberg recalls. “I dropped it in the metal dish and I saw it move, or thought I did. It was all I could do not to run from the procedure room crying.”

‘There is the fetus in the dish, the perfect curl of its fingers and toes’

But the hardest moment in the quandary of ending life vs. producing and fostering life wasn’t that one time she came close to falling apart while aborting someone’s child, or worrying over what her abortion clients would think once her pregnancy began showing, she says. 

It was when the proverbial “anti-abortion protester” berated her in the abortion facility parking lot after seeing the baby stroller in her car. She recalled holding back tears as the protester noted the paradox the stroller represented, while calling her a baby killer and telling her to repent.  

“I do not mean it’s an easy job,” she says. “Of course it’s not.” 

“There is the protester on the sidewalk,” says Henneberg. “There is the fetus in the dish, the perfect curl of its fingers and toes.” 

“Sometimes it reminds me of my daughter,” she continues. “How could it not? But that is precisely the point.” 

There are countless resources and ample support for mothers facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies.

Click HERE for more information. 

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Joan Chittister holds up one of her books JoanChittister / YouTube screenshot
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Feminist nun says Catholic conference disinvited her. Org says she was never invited

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A world-famous feminist theologian says that her invitation to speak at a Catholic education conference in Australia has been rescinded.

American Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., a prolific author and past president of the left-leaning Leadership Conference of Women Religious, gave an interview to The New York Times this Monday in which she expressed her displeasure that she will not be speaking at Australia’s National Catholic Education Commission’s annual conference in September 2020.  

According the the NYT, Chittister received an email a few weeks ago telling her not to come to the conference because her invitation had not been “endorsed” by Archbishop Peter Comensoli, the ordinary of Melbourne. 

The conference is being hosted by Catholic Education Melbourne, an archdiocesan organization.

Chittister, 83, believes that this is a “pathetic” attempt to censor her ideas and rob Australia’s Catholic teachers. 

“It is pathetic,” she told the USA’s preeminent liberal newspaper. “These teachers for the next generation of thinkers are being denied the right to pursue ideas.” 

The best-selling author, who has written over 50 books, has a dozen honorary degrees, even more press awards, and a literary archive bearing her name at an American university, believes this episcopal refusal to greenlight her as a speaker indicates a “dangerous” attitude. 

“I see it as a lot bigger than one conference,” Chittister stated. “I see it as an attitude of mind that is dangerous to the church.”

However, the acting executive director of one of the groups organizing the conference has stated that no speaker has yet been invited to the 2020 conference. Jim Miles of Catholic Education Melbourne told LifesiteNews today via email that there had been a “miscommunication” regarding Chittister’s appearance.

“The 2020 National Catholic Education Conference will explore a number of ideas relevant to Catholic education in Australia, including Catholic identity, community engagement, school improvement and leadership and governance,” he wrote.  

“As expected with any Conference like this, a number of staff have been tasked with identifying guest speakers and checking their availability,” he continued.  

“It is ultimately the decision of the Conference organising committee, in consultation with the Archdiocese of Melbourne and the National Catholic Education Commission, to decide who the speakers will be in 2020. As of 28 June 2019, no one has been invited to speak at the 2020 event.”

Miles expressed regret that Chittister had been led to believe she had been invited. 

“It is regrettable that Sr Joan Chittester may have been given the impression that she was invited to speak at the Conference. The Conference organising committee is working to ensure that this type of miscommunication does not occur again,” he wrote.   

Miles wrote a similar statement to the NYT. Nevertheless Chittister insisted that she had been invited and provided a passage of the email that the NYT found “apologetic.” 

“I am very saddened to say that while our organizing committee strongly supported the inclusion of Sr Joan as a speaker at the conference, the Archbishop of Melbourne has failed to endorse her inclusion,” it said. 

A spokeswoman for Chittester told LifeSiteNews that the theologian “does not know anything about the relationship between the National Catholic Education Conference of Australia and the [Arch]bishop of Melbourne and for that reason does not want to comment on it.” 

The New York Times took aim at Archbishop Comensoli, identifying him as a “conservative moral theologian” who had served Cardinal Pell as an auxiliary bishop. It wasted no time in reminding readers that Pell has been sent to prison after being convicted of the abuse of two altar servers. It did not mention that Pell has always protested his innocence, that he was convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of one man, and that many Australians believe his trial was a travesty.  

Born in 1964, Comensoli became Australia’s youngest bishop when he was ordained in 2011. His extensive education includes a doctorate in moral philosophy from Edinburgh University. Comensoli wrote his thesis dignity of the intellectually impared, defending the right to life of unborn children with Down Syndrome and of people with dementia. He also earned a degree in moral philosophy at Scotland’s St. Andrew’s University and took a License in Sacred Theology at Rome’s Alphonsian Academy, which specializes in moral theology.

The publicity around Comensoli’s refusal to endorse Chittister as a speaker may help sales of her new book. The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage is available for sale in English-speaking countries – including Australia. Although not boosted by the Archbishop of Melbourne, it has been praised by television host Oprah Winfrey. 

Chittister is a high profile member of what has been called the dissident wing of the Church. In a 2010 interview with LifeSiteNews, the author agreed that she held positions that diverged from the Church’s magisterium. She asserted that magisterial teaching is “sexist” and that the Church lags behind in placing women in roles traditionally belonging to men.  

“We have a Church that is based, like the rest of society, admittedly, on a patriarchal system – men are at the top, men are the last word, men are the first authority in everything,” she told LifeSite’s Patrick Craine.  

“The problem is – it seems to me, as a follower of Jesus, when I look at Jesus and the way Jesus dealt with men and women in his society and I look at the way the Church excludes women from the heart of the system, both in the Vatican, and in chanceries, and in dioceses, and in seminaries everywhere, that I have to wonder how it is that secular institutions are leading the development of women in society, rather than churches,” she continued. 

“I think that's shameful.”

In that interview, Chittister also indicated that she believes women should be invited to discuss and decide on doctrinal issues that she believes affect them in particular.

“It's a matter of saying, you know, everything written about us is written without us,” she said. “If a woman is a full moral agent, then she should be part of the decision making process on those questions.”

While underscoring that she does not believe in abortion as a birth control measure, Chittister said she believed that a refusal to discuss a possility that it is ever excusable was “anti-Catholic”.

“In every other dimension of moral, of the moral life, we recognize grades and degrees of innocence and guilt,” she continued. 

“This is the one place where we say there are no grades or degrees of innocence. There's only total absolute evil and sin. I don't understand that.”  

Fr. James Martin, S.J. of America magazine tweeted his dismay that Chittister will not be appearing at the 2020 Australian conference. 

“Sister Joan Chittister has been speaking truth to power, with grace, for decades. A more mature church would listen to her, like it eventually listened to Catherine of Siena and Hildegard of Bingen. And cancelling her events will just increase her crowds,” the LGBT activist said over Twitter. 

According to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Archbishop Comensoli is “away at present so will not be able to provide comment on the NYT story.” According to the Archbishop’s Twitter feed, he has been in Rome for the Australian Bishops ad limina visit with Pope Francis. 

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ACLU, Planned Parenthood fight to stop Georgia’s six-week abortion ban from taking effect

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By Lisa Bourne

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion activist organizations are challenging Georgia’s pro-life heartbeat law in court, claiming it is unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Georgia, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood filed a joint complaint Friday, CBS News reported, arguing the law "practically bans all abortions" because most women don't know they are pregnant at the gestational time the law bans abortion.

The pro-abortion groups also claim the law disproportionately affects "low-income Georgians, Georgians of color, and rural Georgians, who are least able to access medical care and least able to overcome the cruelties of this law."

"This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional under nearly 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent," Sean J. Young, legal director for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. "Politicians have no business telling women or a couple when to start or expand a family."

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 481 into law May 7, banning most abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks. The law allows exceptions for rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies considered “medically futile.” It is set to take effect in January 2020.

Pro-abortion film studios, other industry groups and celebrities have threatened to boycott the state over the law.

Georgia's pro-life law is among several heartbeat laws passed recently by state legislators. Several other states have introduced or passed them as well, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio

Alabama passed a total ban on abortion in May. 

The laws are viewed as attempts to bring about a judicial review of Roe v. Wade.

None of those measures have gone into effect and judges have blocked some.

"None of these laws are in effect, and we are fighting to keep it that way," Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. "For nearly half a century, the Supreme Court has protected the right to abortion, and we know the majority of Americans continue to support abortion access."

The pro-abortion group tweeted Friday morning about the suit, again calling the law unconstitutional.

“Dear Georgia,” the group’s graphic said, “We won’t let you ban abortion. See you in court, Sincerely, ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood.”

“Abortion is still legal in Georgia,” the ALCU tweeted. “We’ll be in court to keep it that way.”

Additionally, states under pro-abortion legislative and gubernatorial control, such as New York, Vermont, Illinois and Rhode Island, have acted to enshrine codify abortion, including radical expansions of abortion in the their respective state laws should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the Supreme Court.

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Vatican OKs Chinese clergy ‘registering’ with communist government

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By Martin Barillas

ROME, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Holy See today released “Pastoral Guidelines” to help bishops and priests decide whether registering with the Chinese government is a betrayal of their faith.

According to the guidelines, Catholic clergy may comply with the communist government’s demands without betraying Catholic doctrine. The document recognizes the “complex” reality of the relations between the Vatican and China and invites laypeople not to judge their pastors’ decisions, whatever they may be. Calling on the government to refrain from intimidating faithful Catholics, the document calls for “discernment,” “patience” and “humility” in a spirit of “faith and unity.”

According to the document, clergy may register with the government of the People’s Republic of China, but if “the text of the declaration required for the registration does not appear respectful of the Catholic faith,” a priest may clarify that he is acting “without failing in his duty to remain faithful to the principles of Catholic doctrine.” When such a written clarification “is not possible,” the guidelines indicate that clergy may do so orally and “if possible” in the presence of a witness. In any case, they must inform their bishop or ordinary of the “intention” with which the registration was made.

The document says registration by the clergy is “always understood” as having the aim of fostering the “good of the diocesan community and its growth in the spirit of unity, as well as an evangelisation commensurate to the new demands of Chinese society and the responsible management of the goods of the Church.”

This comes after the signing in September 2018 of the provisional agreement between Vatican diplomats and China that allows the communist government a say in the appointment of new bishops, among other concessions. Vatican sources portrayed it as a great advance in relations, while critics warned that it would not improve conditions for believers in China. Ever since the onset of the communist government, which introduced murder and systematic persecution of all Christians, relations between the Vatican and Beijing have been poor. In the 1950s, China created the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), a parallel ecclesial grouping that is not in communion with the pope and appoints its own bishops and priests.

Faithful Catholic clergy and laity who are in union with the papacy have long operated in secret in what has been called the Underground Church. The Chinese government has imprisoned those suspected of involvement in the Underground Church, as well as congregations of other Christians. China’s government has sought the “sinicization” of the Catholic Church in China to eliminate foreign influences and bring the Church to heel.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired archbishop of Hong Kong, has been an acute critic of the agreement and Pope Francis. In his book For the Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent, Zen wrote they he doubts that such agreements can be reached without compromising the Catholic faith. He asks, “Could the underground community join the official community [the CPCA]?” Zen adds, “This is the great problem that we must face directly.” Zen wrote, “But in actual fact, things are more complicated, because the government ‘almost always’ [as Pope Benedict XVI wrote to the Chinese people in 2007] imposes conditions that no believer can in good conscience accept, such as joining the CPCA, supporting an independent Church with episcopal ordinations without pontifical mandate, or concelebrating with illegitimate bishops.”

This week, Zen is participating in mass demonstrations in Hong Kong, where thousands are repudiating further controls imposed by the mainland government. China continues to commit serial abuses of human rights, including the persecution of Christians, Uyghur Muslims, and adherents of Falun Gong. China also forces women to abort children deemed surplus.

In March 2018, six months before the inking of the Sino-Vatican deal, Steven Mosher, the head of the Population Research Institute and columnist for LifeSiteNews, warned Cardinal Pietro Parolin against the agreement, saying it would be better to have no agreement. In May of this year, Parolin told an official Chinese newspaper that while criticism of the agreement could be expected, “criticisms which come from prejudiced positions and which seem to seek to preserve old geopolitical balances are another matter.”

According to the new guidelines, the Vatican “does not intend to force anyone’s conscience” regarding registration with the Chinese government. Referring to the Underground Church, it said “the experience of clandestinity is not a normal feature of the Church’s life” but that it comes with suffering and to “maintain the integrity” of Catholics’ faith, in a reference to Pope Benedict’s letter. The Vatican calls on the government to show “respect for the conscience and the profound Catholic convictions of the persons involved” for the good of Chinese society and the unity of the Church.

The guidelines say the constitution of communist China supposedly guarantees religious freedom, while the provisional agreement with the Chinese government underscores the “independence” of the Church in China and the particular role played by the pope. The provisional agreement leads the Vatican to interpret the “‘independence’ of the Catholic Church in China not in an absolute sense, namely as separation from the Pope and the Universal Church, but rather relative to the political sphere, as happens everywhere in the world in the relations between the Universal Church and the particular Churches.”

Affirming that relations between the Vatican and China have advanced beyond the chill of the 1950s, the guidelines say all Chinese bishops are now in communion with Rome and want integration with all the other bishops of the world.

In light of the above, the guidelines say a “new approach on the part of everyone” can be expected and that the Vatican continues to dialogue with the Chinese government “about the civil registration of Bishops and priests in order to find a formula that, while allowing for registration, would respect not only Chinese laws but also Catholic doctrine.”

However, the guidelines apparently recognize that China’s government continues to persecute Christians who remain defiant. Until China’s “civil registration of the clergy” is more respectful of Catholic doctrine and clerics’  “consciences” is established through dialogue, the Vatican asks that no “intimidatory pressures be applied” to the Underground Church, even while recognizing that this has already happened. Finally, it says all clergy and laity are “called to discern the will of God” during this “part of the journey of the Church in China, marked, as it is, by much hope but also by enduring difficulties.”

The official translation into English of the guidelines is below:

Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China

For some time requests have been received by the Holy See, from Bishops in Mainland China, for a concrete indication of the approach to be adopted in relation to the obligation of presenting an application for civil registration. In this regard, as is known, many Pastors remain deeply disturbed since the modality of such registration – which is obligatory, according to the new regulations on religious activities, on pain of inability to function pastorally – requires, almost invariably, the signing of a document in which, notwithstanding the commitment assumed by the Chinese authorities to respect also Catholic doctrine, one must declare acceptance, among other things, of the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China.

The complex reality of China and the fact that there does not appear to be a uniform praxis with regard to the application of the regulations for religious affairs, make it particularly difficult to decide on the matter. On the one hand, the Holy See does not intend to force anyone’s conscience. On the other hand, it considers that the experience of clandestinity is not a normal feature of the Church’s life and that history has shown that Pastors and faithful have recourse to it only amid suffering, in the desire to maintain the integrity of their faith (cfr. Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics of 27 May 2007, n. 8). Thus, the Holy See continues to ask that the civil registration of the clergy take place in a manner that guarantees respect for the conscience and the profound Catholic convictions of the persons involved. Only in that way, in fact, can both the unity of the Church and the contribution of Catholics to the good of Chinese society be fostered.

In what concerns, then, the evaluation of the eventual declaration that must be signed upon registering, in the first place it is necessary to bear in mind that the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China formally guarantees religious freedom (art. 36). In the second place, the Provisional Agreement of 22 September 2018, recognising the particular role of the Successor of Peter, logically leads the Holy See to understand and interpret the “independence” of the Catholic Church in China not in an absolute sense, namely as separation from the Pope and the Universal Church, but rather relative to the political sphere, as happens everywhere in the world in the relations between the Universal Church and the particular Churches. To affirm that for the Catholic identity there can be no separation from the Successor of Peter, does not mean making the local Church an alien body in the society and the culture of the country in which she lives and works. In the third place, the context of the actual relations between China and the Holy See, characterised as they are by a consolidated dialogue between the two Parties, differs from that which saw the birth of the patriotic structures in the 1950s. In the fourth place, a factor of great importance should be added, namely, that over the years, many Bishops who were ordained without the apostolic mandate have asked for and received reconciliation with the Successor of Peter, so that today all Chinese Bishops are in communion with the Apostolic See and desire an ever greater integration with the Catholic Bishops of the whole world.

In light of these facts, it is legitimate to expect a new approach on the part of everyone, also when addressing practical questions about the life of the Church. For its part, the Holy See continues to dialogue with the Chinese Authorities about the civil registration of Bishops and priests in order to find a formula that, while allowing for registration, would respect not only Chinese laws but also Catholic doctrine.

In the meantime, bearing in mind what has been noted above, if a Bishop or a priest decides to register civilly, but the text of the declaration required for the registration does not appear respectful of the Catholic faith, he will specify in writing, upon signing, that he acts without failing in his duty to remain faithful to the principles of Catholic doctrine. Where it is not possible to make such a clarification in writing, the applicant will do so at least orally and if possible in the presence of a witness. In each case, it is appropriate that the applicant then certify to his proper Ordinary with what intention he has made the registration. The registration, in fact, is always to be understood as having the sole aim of fostering the good of the diocesan community and its growth in the spirit of unity, as well as an evangelisation commensurate to the new demands of Chinese society and the responsible management of the goods of the Church.

At the same time, the Holy See understands and respects the choice of those who, in conscience, decide that they are unable to register under the current conditions. The Holy See remains close to them and asks the Lord to help them to safeguard the communion with their brothers and sisters in the faith, even in the face of those trials that each one will have to face.

The bishop, for his part, “should nurture and publicly manifest his esteem for his priests, showing them trust and praising them, if they deserve it. He should respect and require others to respect their rights and should defend them against unjust criticism. He should act swiftly to resolve controversies, so as to avoid the prolonged disquiet which can overshadow fraternal charity and do damage to the pastoral ministry” (Apostolorum Successores, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 22 February 2004, n. 77).

It is important, then, that also the lay faithful not only understand the complexity of the situation, described above, but in addition accept with an open heart the anguished decision taken by their Pastors, whatever it may be. The local Catholic community should accompany them in a spirit of faith, with prayer and affection, refraining from any judgement of the choices of others, maintaining the bond of unity and demonstrating mercy towards all.

In any case, until such time as a modality for the civil registration of the clergy that is more respectful of Catholic doctrine, and thus of the consciences of those involved, is established through a frank and constructive dialogue between the two Parties, as agreed, the Holy See asks that no intimidatory pressures be applied to the “non official” Catholic communities, as, unfortunately, has already happened.

Finally, the Holy See trusts that everyone can accept these pastoral indications as a means of helping those faced with choices that are far from simple, to make such choices in a spirit of faith and unity. All those involved – the Holy See, Bishops, priests, religious men and women and the lay faithful – are called to discern the will of God with patience and humility on this part of the journey of the Church in China, marked, as it is, by much hope but also by enduring difficulties.

From the Vatican, on 28 June 2019, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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Canadian bishops pull books they published by Vatican adviser guilty of plagiarism

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

OTTAWA, Canada, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has formally withdrawn works it published with former Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica in the wake of a plagiarism scandal. 

In a “Notice of Retraction” published last Friday, June 21, the Canadian Bishops (CCCB) indicated that they had been made aware of irregularities in the Basilian Father’s publications. 

The CCCB statement reads as follows: 

“Given that the works authored by Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., which were published by CCCB Publications, failed to provide all the appropriate citations, as well as bibliographic references, and did not acknowledge a number of original sources, CCCB Publications has retracted said works and apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Works Rosica submitted to CCCB Publications included his three-volume Words Made Flesh series. The books contained meditations on the readings of the contemporary Catholic liturgical cycle. They were a spin-off of the three-year cycle of reflections Rosica finished for the ZENIT news service in 2011.  

In March 2019, LifeSiteNews discovered over 30 examples of plagiarism in Words Made Flesh: Biblical Reflections for Year B A close reading of the volume’s first 100 pages showed that Rosica had taken sentences, paragraphs, and even passages from different sources without attribution. The work included uncited material from Fr. Paul Scalia, Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, and the CCCB’s own 1986 Letter “New Hope in Christ.”  

The CCCB’s retraction of Rosica’s works is likely to affect several libraries across North America, particularly those belonging to seminaries and theology departments. It appeared without fanfare four days after the priest announced his resignation as CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation.   

Some scholarly journals, including The Bible Today, Worship, Seminary Journal, Ecumenism, Ecumenical Trends, and The Priest, have formally retracted Rosica’s essays. Several newspapers and magazines, including Canada’s Globe and Mail, Britain’s Catholic Herald and the USA’s America magazine, have removed some of his articles from their online editions. 

Mount St. Mary philosophy professor Josh Hochschild is one of the journalists and academics who began to investigate Rosica’s works after LifeSiteNews discovered irregularities in a speech the former Vatican spokesman gave at the Von Hügel Institute at Cambridge University this February. Hochschild told LifeSiteNews today by email that it was “inevitable” that the CCCB would retract the material it published with the priest. 

“Like the other retractions, once the extent of plagiarism was exposed, this was inevitable. Publishing integrity requires it,” Hochschild wrote. 

In his notice of resignation, Rosica apologized for not “properly acknowledging” his sources. 

“I ask forgiveness for errors in not properly acknowledging individuals and attributing sources in my writings,” he wrote.

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Steve Bannon speaks at an event hosted by Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche on March 6, 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland. Adrian Bretscher/Getty Images
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Exclusive Interview: Steve Bannon clarifies his position on Catholic moral teaching

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By LSN

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. political activist Steve Bannon, a baptized Catholic, is clarifying what he holds when it comes to hot-button issues of the Catholic faith, specifically when it comes to topics such as married priests, ordaining women, homosexuality, and the Church’s moral teachings in general. 

Bannon’s clarification comes in light of Dr. Frederic Martel, a homosexual activist and author of the controversial book In the Closet of the Vatican, recently claiming that Bannon had endorsed “changing profoundly” the Church’s sexual doctrines and other moral teachings. 

President Trump’s former strategic adviser and Martel had met in Paris on May 19 to discuss Martel’s book on homosexuality in the Vatican and about the possibility of making a film about it. 

Martel told LifeSiteNews about the meeting with Bannon and about the conversation they had, stating that Bannon thinks “if the majority of bishops are either homophile or gay, there are no solutions to change the Church without changing profoundly her doctrine on celibacy, chastity and marriage." Martel also made similar statements about the meeting pertaining to what he said Bannon thinks about Catholic moral teaching to BuzzFeed on June 25 and in an article in the online French magazine Slate the following day. 

LifeSiteNews reached out to Bannon for comment about Martel’s reconstruction of their conversation, asking questions specifically pertaining to Bannon's position on various Catholic teachings. Bannon answered those questions, later telling LifeSiteNews that he is “no theologian, just an average Catholic.”

The full interview is below

***

LifeSiteNews: Do you believe that the introduction of married priests would solve the abuse crisis, or are you rather only open to discussing this as a possibility?

Steve Bannon: The modern media-saturated world is making formation of young men more difficult with each passing year. Married priests are not the solution to the sexual abuse scandal, nor are they the solution to the massive vocation crisis we see in the Church. The Orthodox Church, where priests are expected to marry, is also suffering a virtually identical crisis.

Married priests are a solution offered by the Progressive wing of the Church to problems it has created. The Traditionalist wing does not need to consider married priests, because it does not have a vocations crisis. This needs to be addressed with brutal honesty — we no longer have the luxury of turning away from reality. 

In fact, this reality may be the main legacy of Francis's papacy: that both wings have now been entrenched — the Traditionalists and the Progressives. This makes the dividing lines of the forthcoming battles much more sharply drawn, and easier for people to take a side. The paradigm is between Traditionalists and Progressives, i.e. between Catholics who believe the Vatican Council is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. 

And here’s the rub — the demographic crisis over the next two to three generations is going to totally wipe out the Progressive Church. All that will be left going forward is that section of the Church in the West that never fatally compromised itself with modernity — the Traditionalists; and in the global south, those churches which are not the heirs of the ideals of cultural Marxism.

LifeSiteNews: Do you support the idea of ordaining women?

Steve Bannon: There seems to be unanimity among the popes that the Church does not have the authority to ordain women. Regardless, the real issue isn’t women’s ordination — it's genuine lay leadership irrespective of gender. 

LifeSiteNews: Could you re-state to me, for quotation, that you are not anti-homosexual, but that you believe that homosexuals in the clergy are a problem? 

Steve Bannon: Men with same-sex desires are not the problem in the way outlined by Dr. Martel. According to Dr Martel's book, In the Closet of the Vatican, it's the homosexual cabal controlling the Vatican; their behavior and their actions — their lack of transparency and their lack of accountability to the laity — that is the problem.  

If the Church is to regain its lost credibility on human sexuality it has to ordain men capable of visibly living the Truth they are trying to proclaim. But someone's sexual tendencies are not the problem if they practice celibacy and chastity.

To my mind, we need to return to clear doctrine and making the priesthood a vocation again. I read constantly of many young men who left the seminary after being harassed.  The atmosphere in these seminaries appears to have been toxic. There is no "one solution," but getting things right in the Church will go a long way to making the priesthood attractive again. 

LifeSiteNews: Do you consider, similar to Frederic Martel, that the Church should dwell less on moral issues and concentrate more on social issues?

Steve Bannon: The Church has to dwell on moral issues -- that's why it's a living institution with a daily impact on people's lives. The central problem is that the Church hierarchy loses credibility every day on moral issues because, according to Dr. Martel’s book, it isn’t living what it is preaching. We must confront this, and we must confront this now -- or we risk losing everything. It's the reason Dr. Martel’s book is invaluable: despite all of its obvious faults and regardless of what devout Catholics think of the doctor, his lifestyle, or his motivations, he has done a service in showing Catholics and the world the scale and depth of the problem. 

LifeSiteNews: Do you have anything else to add?

Steve Bannon: I'm no theologian, just an average Catholic, but something extraordinary has happened over the last 90 days: an onslaught of charges of heresy against Pope Francis by some of the leading theologians in the Church today. 

In the Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church19 theologians, led by the renowned Father Aidan Nichols — the first lecturer of Catholic theology at Oxford University since Henry VIII and the Reformation — accused the Pope of heresy.

Yesterday Cardinal Brandmüller, a wise and holy man, accused the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon of heresy and apostasy.

Per LifeSiteNews, as of June 26, 2019, 94 theologians have accused the Pope of heresy.

The Church is now at an inflection point that we haven’t seen in 700 years: the Pope is walking on a razor's edge. If this continues, we are on the road to a major schism in the Church.

Editor's note: Maike Hickson, John-Henry Westen, and Pete Baklinski contributed to this report.

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Bishop John Stowe | Pro-LGBT 'prayer' card
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US bishop promotes ‘celebration of Pride’ with prayer card, rainbow crucifix

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By Doug Mainwaring
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June 28, 2019, (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. bishop has issued a “prayer” card that celebrates homosexual “pride” and includes an image of a crucifix with rainbow colors coming from it. The card, to be distributed this weekend at pro-homosexual events, was released via social media on Friday, the feast day on which Catholics celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Pro-homosexual Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, issued the card to commemorate the “celebration of Pride.” The prayer card features a San Damiano Cross on the front, and on the back is a brief letter issued to those who celebrate “Pride.”

“Dear sisters and Brothers, I greet you warmly and offer you my prayers on your behalf during this celebration of Pride,” wrote Stowe on the back of the card, which includes a rainbow flag with the words “You are God’s beloved” imposed on top of the flag

The remainder of the card suggests that God creates people to be homosexual and transgendered, etc., and that God looks at such “works” as “wonderful.” 

Psalm 139, a prayer attributed to King David, celebrates God’s intimate knowledge and deep love of each son and daughter he has made in his image and likeness.

In part, the psalm reads, “you formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!”  (Psalm 139:13-14) New American Bible)

My prayer is that each of us can celebrate that glorious discovery of how we are made and loved by God who knows us intimately and who calls us to a deeper relationship with Himself.

When we acknowledge this in ourselves, we have to be able to see this beauty in each other. There are so many things which can divide us, let’s all come together in the recognition that we are wonderfully made and we are made to reflect the glory of God.

Peace and all good,

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv.

Catholic Diocese of Lexington

“With Lexington Pride underway, I am grateful for the presence of people of faith reaching out to those who have been turned away or felt rejected by the Church. Our arms are open to all who seek the Lord with good will!” the bishop commented on Twitter. 

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

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” and they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.”

“Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 2357).

The Church also teaches that same-sex attraction itself is “objectively disordered” since God created sexual attraction to be between a male and female for the sake of procreation. The Church teaches that God does not make people homosexual. 

“Two persons of the same sex sin gravely when they seek venereal pleasure from each other (see Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Rom 1:24-28; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7),” states the “Declaration of Truths” recently released by some cardinals and bishops in the Catholic Church. 

“Hence, the opinion is contrary to natural law and Divine Revelation that says that, as God the Creator has given to some humans a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the opposite sex, so also He has given to others a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the same sex, and that God intends that the latter disposition be acted on in some circumstances,” they add. 

The Church teaches that everybody, including those with a disordered sexuality — often expressing itself in lust, masturbation, fornication, pornography, homosexuality — are called to chastity, that is to the moral virtue of a rightly ordered sexuality integrated within the person. The Christian faith holds that homosexual acts, along with murdering the innocent, depriving a laborer of his wages, and oppressing the poor, are one of the four sins that cry to heaven for justice. 

Pro-homosexual priest Fr. James Martin promoted the card on social media, noting that the bishop “marks #PrideMonth in his Diocese” by means of the card.

The late Pope Saint John Paul II in 2000 spoke strongly against a pro-homosexual "pride" parade that marched through the streets of Rome, calling it an “offense” to Christian values.

''In the name of the Church of Rome I can only express my deep sadness at the affront to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and the offence to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics throughout the world,'' he told pilgrims in a Sunday July 9 message one day after thousands had marched in the event. The Pope then went on to reaffirm Church teaching on homosexuality, stating that the Church "cannot be silent about the truth, because she would fail in her fidelity to God the Creator and would not help to distinguish good from evil.''

Stowe famously dissents from Church teaching on homosexuality, has a record of collaborating with a group that rejects Catholic moral teaching, and has indicated that individual parishes in his diocese may decide if they want to promote the homosexual cause.

Stowe is one of five bishops who endorsed Fr. James Martin, SJ’s book, “Building a Bridge,” and was also a featured speaker not long ago at a conference for New Ways Ministry. The gathering was titled “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.” 

New Ways Ministry was condemned in 2010 by then-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and in 2011 by Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, USCCB chairman of the Committee on Doctrine. Additionally, in 1999 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “permanently prohibited” the group’s co-founders, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, “from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons,” after ruling that their teaching was “erroneous and dangerous” and “doctrinally unacceptable.”

Editor's note: Pete Baklinski contributed to this report. 

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Supreme Court lets dismemberment abortions continue, won’t hear Alabama case

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By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court today decided not to hear a case on Alabama’s dismemberment abortion ban, allowing a lower court ruling overturning the pro-life law to remain in place.

“Once again the Supreme Court has punted on abortion, this time refusing to take up Alabama’s humane law protecting unborn children from gruesome dismemberment abortions in which a child is torn apart, piece by piece,” the Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion in which he agreed the court shouldn’t take up the case, However, he called it a “stark reminder that our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control.”

“Earlier this Term, we were confronted with lower court decisions requiring States to allow abortions based solely on the race, sex, or disability of the child,” Thomas wrote. “Today, we are confronted with decisions requiring States to allow abortion via live dismemberment. None of these decisions is supported by the text of the Constitution.”

“Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous ‘undue burden’ standard, we cannot continue blinking the reality of what this court has wrought,” he added. 

SBA List said Thomas’ assessment is “absolutely right.” 

“Unborn children and mothers will continue to be victimized by the abortion industry while the Court does nothing,” the group added.

Leana Wen, the President of Planned Parenthood, called the Court’s letting a lower court ruling remain an “important victory” for the pro-abortion movement.

Dismemberment abortions are typically committed on babies during the second trimester of pregnancy. They involve using a sopher clamp to pull an unborn child apart limb by limb.

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Last Call: Can you donate just $10?

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By John-Henry Westen

We still have $103,000 left to reach our minimum fundraising goal for our Summer Campaign.

This is our final campaign plea; you will not receive any more of these appeals after today. Will you give today?

Keep in mind during this critical stage of the campaign, without LifeSite, where would readers go to find a comprehensive news source that reports on often very controversial developments related to life, family, culture, AND faith that most others will not, or more often, are not permitted to report on?

We are the only pro-life and pro-family news agency with a team of heroic, professional reporters with the training, experience, and depth of personal spiritual lives to be able to cover what the mainstream media deliberately ignores... or completely distorts. 

Take for example the ex-transgender movement. Do you ever hear mainstream media talking about this movement of transgender people who have left the LGBTQ lifestyle? LifeSite covered the Freedom March from on the ground in Washington, D.C. to highlight the courageous men and women who have left their former lifestyles and accepted Christ.

That same week, The Van Maren Show, one of LifeSite’s new podcasts, featured Jeffrey McCall, co-founder and CEO of the Freedom March who left his life as “Scarlet” and is now living for Christ, bringing the message of freedom to thousands across the US every year.

These are the stories that no other media outlet is telling. In fact, they don’t want you to know that these people and their stories exist. Or they are frightened of the inevitable hatred and threats that they will receive for merely reporting on this very real, and thankfully growing, movement. 

Will you help us continue to tell these stories and many similar types of stories and give truth a voice?

You can also call our office or send a donation by mail. We’d love to hear from you! And remember, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the U.S., your donation to LifeSite is 100% tax-deductible.


If every reader pitched in whatever they could afford (even just $10!), we would easily surpass our goal. I hope you will consider joining the LifeSite giving family with a gift or any amount today.

There is an ever-present darkness in our culture today, but we have hope because we know that darkness can never dim our light or put it out. The truth shines brighter amidst the darkness! The truth is powerful and that is why there is so much hatred directed towards moral truth-tellers. 

By supporting our mission at LifeSite you will simply make our light brighter as we seek to transform our culture through the power of the media.

I urge you to consider becoming a part of this incredible mission - there is no better time than now!

A gift of any amount will make a significant impact for our mission. It would only take less than 1% of our monthly readers to donate even just $5 to get us all the way to the necessary goal!

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Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Francis consulting in Synod hall during Synod on the Family Lisa Bourne/LifeSite
Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane

News ,

Pre-Amazon Synod private meeting calls for female diaconate, Vatican in attendance

Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane
By Diane Montagna

ROME, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A final report from this week’s private and unannounced Pre-Amazonian Synod “study meeting” is openly calling for the Church to reconsider the female diaconate and to ordain married men in the Latin Rite. It is also urging the Oct. 6-27 synod of bishops to put in place the necessary structures to implement this agenda.

The report, published by REPAM (The Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) on June 26, is the fruit of a private symposium organized and attended by key German prelates and Vatican officials, including Cardinal Walter Kasper and the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. 

REPAM was set up in 2014 by the nine Churches of the Amazon region, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela. Inspired by Pope Francis and backed by the Latin American Bishops’ Conference, CELAM, the network aims to “bring to the world’s attention the fragile situation of indigenous people in the Amazon and the critical importance of the Amazon biome to the planet — our common home.” 

According to the REPAM report, the purpose of the three-day symposium was to “look in depth” at the Amazon Synod’s controversial working document [Instrumentum laboris]. The document, which will form the basis for discussion at the October Synod, came under unprecedented criticism on Thursday, when German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Science and one of the four dubia cardinals, issued a statement calling it “heretical” and approaching “apostasy.”

The Pre-Amazonian Synod “study-meeting” was held at a gated hilltop convent on the outskirts of Rome on June 24-26.  News of the meeting came to light on June 25, through independent reports by respected Italian journalist Marco Tosatti, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, and Maike Hickson of LifeSiteNews. 

On June 26, LifeSiteNews obtained the list of participants, which may be viewed here

Below are the key paragraphs on celibacy and the female diaconate from the REPAM final report:

A glance at the history of the Church showed us that the ordination of married men does not break with ecclesial tradition. Since the beginning of the Church, together with celibate ministers, the possibility of married ministers has been maintained, as is the case in the Eastern Catholic Churches and, in some cases, where married ministers of other Christian confessions have asked to be part of the Latin Church.

This symposium suggests that married men with Christian experience be ordained to the priestly ministry to serve the community from their profession and family life, and to celebrate the Eucharist, penance and the anointing of the sick in their community. It is requested that “instead of leaving communities without the Eucharist, the criteria for selecting and preparing ministers authorized to celebrate Eucharist should be changed” (IL 126c).

We appreciate celibacy as a charism at the service of the Church. At the same time, we are aware that its obligatory nature for priestly ministry is a law of the Latin Church. We also note that in the Latin Church itself, dispensations have been granted to ordain married men. Therefore, considering the needs of the Church in the Amazon, not only celibates, but also married men should be admitted to the priestly ministry.

From listening to the reality of the Amazon, the indispensable mission that women have is evident. Therefore, [the working document] urges the Church to “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role that they play today in the Amazon Church.” (cf. IL 129a3). In this sense, we propose that their leadership be recognized, promoting various ministerial forms of exercising service and authority, and in particular, that reflection on the female diaconate be taken up again in the perspective of Vatican II (cf. LG 29, AG 16 IL 129 c2). With persistent hope, we trust that synodal dissertations will contribute to promoting the dignity and equality of women in the public, private and ecclesial spheres (IL 146).

The report concludes by recalling one of the final proposals of the Instrumentum Laboris, which adresses how its proposals ought to be implemented. Quoting the working document, the report says: “Given the specific characteristics of the Amazon territory, the need for an Amazon episcopal structure to implement the Synod ought to be considered.” (IL 129 f 3).

The full final report may be read here in Spanish. A working English translation of the REPAM report may be read here below. 

 

REPAM FINAL REPORT

Rome, June 26, 2019

On October 15, 2017, Pope Francis announced the meeting of a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon region. With his visit to Puerto Maldonado (January 19, 2018) in the same region, he began the process of synodal listening. According to the Constitution Episcopalis Communio,a synod unfolds in three successive phases: preparation; celebration; action. Now we are passing through the stage of preparation, consultation and listening aimed at the realization of the synodal assembly.

  1. On the journey of the Synod

The Synod has a single theme: AMAZONIA: NEW WAYS FOR THE CHURCH AND FOR AN INTEGRAL ECOLOGY. The theme considers the Amazon not only as a socio-cultural territory, but as a Church with its own face, as a new ecclesial subject. The decisive aspect is the search for new paths both for ecclesial life and for integral ecology.

At this stage, we are studying the Instrumentum Laboris(IL), which is the fruit of this long process of listening, and its purpose is to develop the synodal theme in an orderly but provisional way. The document clearly expresses that the process will continue with the stage of reception and action: “This process must continue during and after the Synod, as a central element of the future life of the Church” (IL 3).

“The Working Document consists of three parts. The first involves seeing-listening and is entitled ‘The Voice of the Amazon’; its purpose is to present the reality of the territory and its peoples. The second part, ‘Integral Ecology: the cry of the earth and of the poor,’ sets out the ecological and pastoral problems, while the third part, ‘A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: challenges and hopes,’ is devoted to ecclesiological and pastoral issues.” (IL 4).

Our symposium was convened by REPAM to be a space for reflection, dialogue and proposal in this phase of preparation for the synodal assembly. In the framework of the third ecclesiological part of the IL we reflected on ecclesial ministries from biblical, historical, systematic, pastoral and canonical perspectives. This contribution wishes to collaborate with the Synod Fathers and all those interested in the Synod.

  1. In our symposium we consider that

The Amazon is a “locus of theological thought” [locus theologicus] (IL 144), a region where God calls us, a place of paschal experience, a “wounded “place (IL 23) of the poor and others, a place of migration, of “discord and extermination of peoples” (IL 23), but also a place of hope and “good living” (IL 24). At the same time, the Amazon is a place of great geographical distances, biological diversities and cultural differences which, in the pastoral care of the Church, have not yet been adequately taken up.

The Synod asks us to listen to the “Voice of the Amazon” (IL part I), to listen to the cry of the disputed land, of the poor and of others: indigenous people, urban dwellers, riparians, mestizos, land occupiers, afro-descendants and peasants, social groups differentiated by their multiple cultures (IL part II), and at the same time to listen to the challenges and hopes of a prophetic, Samaritan and dialogical Church (IL part III).

The Amazon is a land disputed not only by multinational economic groups, but also by groups that propagate a theology of prosperity based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible. These groups are attractive to people even though they do not value their cultures positively.

To a great extent, these movements have made headway through the lack of a presence of Catholic ministers for a long time, and the lack of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is constitutive of the Church, and is the source and summit of Christian life. This absence of the sacraments puts the sacramental structure of the Church at risk.

A glance at the history of the Church showed us that the ordination of married men does not break with ecclesial tradition. Since the beginning of the Church, together with celibate ministers, the possibility of married ministers has been maintained, as is the case in the Eastern Catholic Churches and, in some cases, where married ministers of other Christian confessions have asked to be part of the Latin Church.

  1. From our symposium we propose

That the Synod begin its work by assuming a threefold conversion (cf. IL 5, 102, 103):

(a) the “pastoral conversion” of a Church that wants to be Samaritan and prophetic (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium),

(b) “ecological conversion: (integral ecology proposed by the Encyclical Laudato Si), and

(c) “synodal conversion” (Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio) which structures the episcopal function as that of “master and disciple” and recognizes the participation of all the baptized who make up the People of God, and who have received the Spirit which makes them “infallible in credendo” (EC 5,3; 20).

“The process of conversion to which the Church is called involved unlearning, learning and relearning. This path requires a critical and self-critical regard that allows us to identify what we need to unlearn, what harms our common home and its inhabitants. We need take an inner journey to find the attitudes and mentalities that prevent us from connecting with ourselves, with others and with nature.” (IL 102).

The Synod should not be content with dealing with this or that symptom of the ecclesial situation. We must change our mentality. We must go to the causes. We need to look and act differently, more evangelically and with the sense of Pentecost: “The cosmovision of the Amazon’s indigenous peoples includes the call to free themselves from a fragmented vision of reality, which is not capable of perceiving the multiple connections, interrelations and interdependencies” (IL 95).

This different outlook demands a Church in missionary departure to and from the peripheries, overcoming the colonizing mentality in search of “a more robust incarnation in order to embrace different ways of life and cultures” (IL 113). This more robust incarnation of the Amazonian face of the Church “is manifest in the multiplicity of its peoples, cultures and ecosystems [...], in all its activities, expressions and languages” (IL 107). The Instrumentum Laboriscites the Document of Santo Domingo: “the goal of an inculturated evangelization will always be the salvation and integral liberation of a given people or human group, which will strengthen their identity and confidence in their specific future, opposing the powers of death” (DSD 243). In Puerto Maldonado, Pope Francis pointed to the subjects of this inculturation: “We need the native peoples to shape the culture of the local churches in Amazonia” (Fr.PM).

In proposing the Amazonian peoples as subjects of inculturation, we adopt the direction of Pope Francis to “overcome the rigidity of a discipline that excludes and alienates, and practice a pastoral sensitivity that accompanies and integrates" (IL 126b; AL, 297 and 312).

In the Amazon, as a consequence of great distances, but also because of a theology of the local community and the people of God, everything points to a “healthy ‘decentralization’ of the Church” (IL 126d; EG, 16), which demands that “a ‘pastoral ministry of visiting’ give way to a ‘pastoral ministry of presence’,” in order to “reconfigure the local church in all its dimensions: ministries, liturgy, sacraments, theology and social services” (IL 128). But to shape a Church with an Amazonian face “awaits a specific, missionary and prophetic pastoral ministry” (IL 132), with the parresia of the Spirit.

From a Church that welcomes diversity (IL 112, 124) we propose a more robust incarnation in all activities, expressions, languages (IL 107) that rejects a colonial tradition that is monocultural, clericalist, imposes itself, and fearlessly embraces diverse cultural expressions (IL 110, cf. EG 184, EG 40).

Bearing in mind that the Church has reshapen ministries throughout its history in response to socio-cultural changes, “Amazonia: New Paths” urges us to dialogue with Amazonian communities about the various ecclesial ministries and those of indigenous peoples for the service of life.

It is necessary to move from a pastoral visit to a pastoral presence, with native ministers, so that the Church may be a Church with an Amazonian face, in close dialogue with the cultures and religions of the peoples.

This symposium suggests that married men with Christian experience be ordained to the priestly ministry to serve the community from their profession and family life, and to celebrate the Eucharist, penance and the anointing of the sick in their community. It is requested that “instead of leaving communities without the Eucharist, the criteria for selecting and preparing ministers authorized to celebrate Eucharist should be changed” (IL 126c).

We appreciate celibacy as a charism at the service of the Church. At the same time, we are aware that its obligatory nature for priestly ministry is a law of the Latin Church. We also note that in the Latin Church itself, dispensations have been granted to ordain married men. Therefore, considering the needs of the Church in the Amazon, not only celibates, but also married men should be admitted to the priestly ministry.

From listening to the reality of the Amazon, the indispensable mission that women have is evident. Therefore, it urges the Church to “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role that they play today in the Amazon Church.” (cf. IL 129a3). In this sense, we propose that their leadership be recognized, promoting various ministerial forms of exercising service and authority, and in particular, that reflection on the diaconate of women be taken up again in the perspective of Vatican II (cf. LG 29, AG 16 IL 129 c2). With persistent hope, we trust that synodal dissertations will contribute to promoting the dignity and equality of women in the public, private and ecclesial spheres (IL 146).

Regarding the relevance of the local Church for the universal Church, the Instrumentum laboris followsthe considerations of the EG: “We do not defend ‘a project of the few to the few, or of an enlightened minority’” (EG 239, IL 37). In dialogue let us weave together “an agreement to live together, a social and cultural pact” (ibid). For this pact, the Amazon represents a pars pro toto [part for the whole], a paradigm, a hope for the world” (IL 37). The great questions of humanity arise in the Amazon.  “The Amazon invites us to discover the educational task as an integral service for all humanity in view of an ‘ecological citizenship’” (LS, 211) (IL 96). The Amazon is a place of macro-relationship: everything is connected, all humanity is family with each other (cf. IL 20ff).

We conclude by recalling one of the final proposals of the Instrumentum Laboris: “Given the specific characteristics of the Amazon territory, the need for an Amazon episcopal structure to implement the Synod ought to be considered.” (IL 129 f 3).

 

“Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water” (Mt 14:28).

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Jonathan Alexandre, director of public policy for Liberty Counsel Action. Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews
Jonathan Alexandre

Opinion , ,

Even if we are hauled before the courts, we stand against same-sex ‘marriage’

Jonathan Alexandre
By Jonathan Alexandre

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — On the fourth anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” across the country, Liberty Counsel’s Jonathan Alexandre issued an impassioned plea, urging people to resist the court’s ruling in the name of “faith, freedom, and the family.”

* * *

Today, June 26th, will always be marked as a day when this court attempted to rewrite millennia of human history and dismantle the granite cornerstone of society in favor of an experimental construct that was deeply flawed.

They did this four years ago, and that experiment was deeply flawed then and is deeply flawed still today.

The court played lawmaker with Obergefell, a decision which has been used since then to stretch the bounds of what is well-ordered and decent and defendable in society: the family.

It has taken the very definition of marriage and made it ambiguous. And then replaced it with a social construct. And now it seeks through the Equality Act to use the force of the federal government to rewrite basic biological norms and to trade privacy and safety for junk science and jurisprudential perversion.

The only benefit to this deeply flawed decision is that it sounded an alarm to freedom-loving Americans. It put us on alert, it awakened us, it acted as a witness — an external manifestation of where a culture would be if law, if a faction within the culture, wanted nothing more to do with religion. It told us what would happen when the guiding morals of religion were no longer desired and if faith were to no longer to have a protected place in guiding society’s ethics.

If Obergefell was good for anything, it let us know what our culture would be like if religion was removed.

A hearing on the Hill just yesterday, right across the street, demonstrates this point, as legislators seethed at the opportunity to decry the so-called ills wrought out by religion as they challenged the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a committee hearing — a hearing which, at its core, like the Obergefell decision, was just another attempt to tear down what is well-ordered, what is defendable, and decent in society: the principles of faith.

And as warned by the good justices who dissented in the Obergefell decision, the end goal of the LGBT agenda is to limit our teaching and our advocacy, to limit it to the four walls of our churches, and to render it silent in the privacy of our homes.

That’s what the anti-family agenda seeks to do.

They seek to limit our ability to believe one way in our hearts and dare to live that out in the public square. They seek to limit our ability to work out and to live the rights of thought, of freedom, of speech, of belief, and of free exercise.

My friends, that is a far cry from what was intended at the origin of this country and a far cry from anything that we are willing to tolerate.

The court may have tried to convert our morals through this decree, but they fail to realize one thing. When they contend with our beliefs, when they contend with our convictions on this matter, they aren’t just waging war and a dispute against flesh and blood; they are confronting the very laws of the universe.

And it will take more than just a shaky, half-baked, shallow opinion to compete with the solid rock and firm foundation of Truth.

Believers everywhere were awakened to this fact, and they know this truth and are ready to defend traditional marriage regardless of attacks, regardless of slander, regardless of persecution.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to the words of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who defied the order from this court and refused to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses on the day the decision was rendered:

I was not about to violate my conscience just because five attorneys who wear robes thought I should.

Whatever the cost, I said there is no way I would issue same-sex licenses. For me, this was a heaven and hell decision. It was black and white, there was no grey at all, no room to straddle the fence.

And while Ms. Davis did feel sorry for inconveniencing some, she did not apologize for the Word of God — a defense of her beliefs that ultimately led her to be thrown in jail.

Our client, Kim Davis’s, story became an archetype as many more around the country are emboldened in the same manner to do what she bravely did that day and what we are doing once again here today: challenging the power of this court to place any law above the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God — and, like her, being prepared to suffer the consequences, wherever and whenever they may come.

Unfortunately, the proponents of the LGBT agenda are also motivated by this garbage decree and they have sought to enshrine in our laws further erosions of religious liberty to promote a culture which places same-sex lifestyle above God’s design for marriage.

In their latest attempt, the so-called Equality Act, is a proposal which hijacks true civil rights and places sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class as if to make it similar to race.

It’s a proposed law that has already passed in the House of Representatives, and it intends to gut religious liberty protections while it promotes the LGBT agenda, forcing conformity to all their radical culture-changing goals while seeking to crush dissent all along the way.

This bill, H.R. 5, attacks religious liberty head-on as it places religious freedom and belief as subservient to the aims of the LGBT agenda and won’t even allow claims of violations of religious freedom as a valid cause or defense against it.

That’s the sort of policy that Obergefell wrote.

That the lawlessness that Chief Justice John Roberts warned of in his dissent.

That’s what freedom-loving Americans are up against.

But that, my friends, is the very place where we have chosen to take our stand.

Even if it means that we are called names, we will take a stand.

Even if it means that all manner of evil is spoken against us, we will take a stand.

Even if it means that we are hauled before magistrates and judges and before this very court, we will continue to take a stand, like we are doing today.

We will withstand the boos and the hisses, the scorn and the mocking, because we’ve developed a resilience born through endurance.

Because although the Obergefell decision is merely four years old, Truth is ageless.

And our ultimate goal of restoring Faith, Freedom, and the Family is everlasting.

Jonathan Alexandre is senior counsel for government affairs for Liberty Counsel Action, where he consults with and advises law- and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels across the nation.

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'First Ovariotomy,' 1878. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq.

Opinion ,

NY Times needs an education on the true history of abortion laws

Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones Esq.

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — On June 23, 2019, the N.Y. Times published a guest editorial by John Irving, the Oscar winning screenwriter of the Cider House Rules, in which he proclaimed that “abortion opponents don’t care what happens to an unwanted child, and they’ve never cared about the mother.”

During the month when America is being carpet-bombed with propaganda pushing inclusion and tolerance, Mr. Irving proves what social conservatives have known from the beginning: the tolerance of the godless Left is very often a one-way street. “All are welcome,” proclaim the rainbow-colored banners, unless, of course, you happen to believe that children in the womb deserve fundamental human rights.  

Condescension or guilt?

Mr. Irving’s essay is dripping with the condescension of a person who believes he is superior to those with whom he disagrees. It is reminiscent of Obama’s famous quote describing those who challenged his policy views as bitter people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” His essay also expresses similar sentiments to Hillary Clinton’s famous description of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” So much for inclusion and tolerance. 

One has to wonder whether Mr. Irving’s pro-abortion tirade isn’t just his way of “explaining his frustrations,” or perhaps, instead, a result of his guilty conscience from something in his own past. Of course, no one is immune from making bad choices, but it is how one reacts to those bad choices that demonstrates his maturity as a person. 

I was once oblivious to the plight of the child in the womb. As a teenager caught up in what I thought was an unplanned pregnancy, I once said the words, “I’ll support you in whatever choice you decide to make.” 

I thought I was being a real man, when, in fact, I was putting all of the responsibility of a reckless lifestyle on my girlfriend. Thankfully, I didn’t become the father of a dead child. But I could have, and maybe if I had, the weight of that choice on my conscience would have left me bitter and resentful toward those who proclaim the painful truth that abortion is murder.

I don’t wish to make the same mistake as Mr. Irving by condemning and demonizing him as a hopeless proponent of child murder. Instead, I would like him to know that no one is beyond redemption and that the greatest sinners have often become the greatest saints.

I would, however, like to set the historical record straight, because while personal experience and emotions matter to all of us as human beings, facts exist apart from ideology, and truth and history are objective things that exist apart from our feelings.

Setting the record straight: A matter of policy preference

Mr. Irving asserts that pro-lifers don’t care about unwanted children and rhetorically asks: “Aren’t the same people who sacralize the fetus generally opposed to any meaningful welfare for unwanted children and unmarried mothers?” The answer is no, of course. Generally, people who recognize the pre-born child as a person are the same ones who lead adoption agencies for children and crisis pregnancy centers for unwed mothers. They fund private school grants for low-income children and immigrants, and they advocate policies across the board that provide meaningful ways to improve the welfare of children.  

When Mr. Irving refers to “meaningful welfare,” he means government-funded, socialized welfare and health care. Unfortunately, Mr. Irving making the same error as Obama and Clinton, which is to demonize those who disagree on a particular policy preference.  

I genuinely believe, and I am happy to back up my belief with solid evidence, that free-market capitalism built upon a solid moral foundation provides the greatest meaningful welfare for the greatest number of people, especially for those who would benefit the most from merit-based upward mobility. However, I also know that the majority of those who believe in socialized government welfare have a genuine concern for the welfare of the vulnerable and disadvantaged. My policy preference does not prejudice me against those people. Instead, I hope that, from a position of respect for the other person’s motives, I can convince him of the strength of my beliefs.

Unfortunately, respectful disagreements are rare, especially when it comes to abortion. The fact that the N.Y. Times published such a vitriolic, prejudiced (and, frankly, bigoted) opinion-editorial is evidence of how far we have fallen as a society.

Setting the record straight: The history

The second objective point that needs correction in Mr. Irving’s essay concerns the historical evolution of abortion laws in America. Mr. Irving states that the reason behind the advancement of America’s 19th-century anti-abortion laws is, at best, unknown:

Doctors were establishing their new profession; midwives and homeopaths were their competition. But why did doctors lobby for abortion to be illegal? What was their logic? Did doctors underestimate how great the need for abortion was? We know what the doctors wanted, and they achieved it; they became the arbiters of women’s reproductive health care. We don’t know the doctors’ reasons for making abortion illegal. In the 1840s, the fetus wasn’t yet sacred. Fetal life was still defined by “quickening” — when the woman felt the fetus move, not before the fourth or fifth month. From the 1840s to 1900, we know the results of what the doctors did — not their thoughts.

In fact, we know precisely what doctors were thinking and why they, and not priests and pastors, were the ones who led the crusade to criminalize abortion in America. Mr. Irving, and anyone interested in this history, should read Frederick Dyer’s excellent book, The Physician’s Crusade Against Abortion, which details the life and work of Dr. Horatio Storer, the Harvard-trained physician who led the American Medical Association’s opposition to abortion.  

Dr. Storer was not just a 19th-century pro-life doctor. He was one of the fathers of the modern practice of gynecology. He developed and performed some of the most revolutionary procedures of the time and published extensively on the topic of prenatal and maternal health in the most prestigious contemporary scientific journals. His “reason for making abortion illegal” is crystal-clear for anyone wishing to do a minimal amount of research. Dr. Storer, who was not Catholic, was guided not by papal encyclicals (which Mr. Irving quotes extensively with an obvious anti-Catholic bigotry), but by the perfectly reasonable medical ethic of protecting and healing human beings. To Dr. Storer, the American Medical Association, and a majority of physicians at the time, it was clear that a pregnant mother presented them a case with two patients, and that both deserved care, and that neither should ever be killed intentionally.

As his own published scientific studies and those of other medical pioneers of the time showed, the child in the womb was recognized as being alive from the moment of conception. Again, this was not a religious belief, but a scientific reality. In the mid-1800s, medical science was advancing at a pace that would be matched only by the advent of modern genetics. As a result of these advances, Dr. Storer and his fellow physicians at the American Medical Association concluded that the old medical standard of “quickening,” which marked the beginning of life from the moment when the mother could feel the child move, was unscientific and obsolete. In fact, it was also dangerous for both mother and child, as the lack of criminal penalties and regulation left open the door for unscrupulous quack doctors and midwives who profited in a manner not unlike Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

Thanks to Dr. Storer’s successful advocacy, the child in the womb would be protected by law until the sexual revolution created the demand to legalize abortion as a way to sanction sex without consequences. This move to decriminalize abortion would see its climax in the unconstitutional decision of Roe v. Wade, which ignored basic human biology and legal precedent and dehumanized the child in the womb. 

Abolitionist history

America has had to grapple with the dehumanization of an entire class of human beings before. The clearest example was the institution of American slavery, which claimed the lives of countless slaves and hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Civil War.

Interestingly, during the same time that Dr. Storer was advocating for the protection of prenatal children in the various states’ criminal codes, the United States was responding to racial bigotry with the promise of equal protection in the 14th Amendment. It is an accepted historical fact that while many of the slavery abolitionists were Northern Christians, their motivation to oppose the institution of slavery was not a desire to impose their theology on the South. Likewise, while it is true that physicians like Dr. Storer were Christians who felt a moral obligation to combat the grave injustice of abortion, their motivation was not to impose a theological belief upon others, but rather, like the slavery abolitionists, to combat injustice. 

Mr. Irving’s thesis that the timeline of abortion opposition can be boiled down to a “long cruel history” of misogynistic religious zealotry is a figment of his own anti-Christian imagination. In fact, it is fair to say that if the criminal abortion laws that were passed as a result of Dr. Storer’s campaigns are to be considered a violation of the 1st Amendment, then the 14th Amendment would also have to be considered unconstitutional for the same reasons.

An entirely different movie

In 2012, I wrote and produced a short film titled Emancipation that explores the interplay between slavery and abortion. You can watch it here. It is set in a Western town in the 1850s, before Colorado became a state and when tensions over slavery were at their peak. In my film, the life of a runaway slave crosses paths with the life of a prostitute when they fall in love and conceive a child.  As was commonly the case with prostitutes in the West, the female protagonist had been lured and trafficked into the life of a saloon prostitute and was kept there as a sex slave. The antagonist is the local saloon owner, who is also the town veterinarian and quack abortionist. I don’t wish to spoil the film, so suffice it to say that in Emancipation, the protagonists are set free from bondage through a life-affirming twist that resembles the true stories of countless women who overcome difficult circumstances surrounding their pregnancies to become heroic mothers.

Like the film Cider House Rules, which earned Mr. Irving his Oscar, his glorification of renegade abortionists is pure fiction. The reality is that even Mr. Irving’s hero, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, initially advocated for contraception as a way to avoid the crime of abortion precisely because she recognized that a child was being killed and a pregnant mother’s life was being endangered.

The clear anti-religious animus displayed by Mr. Irving’s editorial is a sign of the times. It has led him to an erroneous historical conclusion and an equally erroneous characterization of pro-lifers as misogynistic “zealots.” I am convinced that in time, his essay will be read as an example of the gravest moral failing of our era.

Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. is the president of the Personhood Alliance and a licensed attorney in the commonwealth of Virginia. He is a human rights adviser to the Holy See Mission to the Organization of American States and works in Washington, D.C. to stop the expansion of abortion in Latin America.

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Americans vastly overestimate the size of the LGBT population

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Gallup Report, June 22, 2017 (blue highlight added) / Screenshot

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) –– In what is a testament to the marketing acumen of LGBT lobbyists and promoters, U.S. adults, on average, continue to believe that about 25% of the population is gay or lesbian, more than five times the actual number.

Overall, a full 90% believe in an inflated number, with 54% of Americans estimating that gays and lesbians constitute more than 20% of the population, according to a June 17, 2019 Gallup poll. Only 8% of those polled come close to accurately estimating the LGBT population.

In reality, LGBT individuals constitute less than 4.5% of the population.

“Overestimations of the nation’s gay population may in part be due to the group’s outsized visibility,” suggests Gallup, citing a GLAAD report that found that 8.8% of primetime TV characters are LGBT.   

Overlooked Gallup Data Tell a Bigger, More Important Story

This most recent Gallup report was issued one day after the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling which instituted same-sex “marriage” across the country.

Two years ago, Gallup published survey results that found that two years after the Obergefell decision, 10.2% of LGBT adults were “married” to a same-sex “spouse.” This was the last time such a survey was undertaken.  

The findings were greeted with much fanfare. 

Here are the data as charted by the Gallup organization, collected over a couple of years, most recently in June 2017:

Buried in this chart are important data that no one dared to report:

1. While it is accurate to observe that the number of gay and lesbian couples calling themselves married has increaed in recent years, and that “61% of same-sex couples who were sharing a household were married [sic],” the data also show that 13.1% of gays and lesbians continue to choose true marriage — that is, to an opposite-sex spouse — and that 4.2% choose to live with an opposite-sex partner.

While progressive pundits tout that 10.2% of gay couples are now calling themselves married to members of their own sex, they ignore the fact that a larger number, 13.1%, choose a true spouse.

Combining the stats for those who live together with those who chose marriage, here are the totals:

  • Gays who choose to “marry” or live with a same-sex partner: 16.8%.
  • Gays who choose to either marry or live with an opposite-sex partner: 17.3%.

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court nationalized same-sex “marriage,” despite its universal availability, the number of gays who prefer a spouse or a partner of the opposite sex has remained fairly constant. They outnumber gays choosing “gay marriage.”

2. The second significant finding from this portion of the Gallup data is that the total percentage of same-sex couples has actually declined since the Obergefell ruling. Pre-Obergefell, the total was 20.7%. Now it is 16.8%, a significant, a nearly 19% drop in the total number of gay couples. 

3. And here is perhaps a more startling statistic revealed in the Gallup data: since the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling, the percentage of gays who are single or never married has increased, not decreased. In fact, that number has increased nearly 15%, from 47.4% to 55.7%.

Is it perhaps that a large number of gays and lesbians are spooked by the availability of same-sex “marriage”? Do younger gays choose to live singly because they don’t want to give the impression to their families that they are part of a “serious couple,” in order to dissuade nosy moms, dads, siblings, and friends from nudging, “So, when are you two going to get married?”

Since Obergefell, there has been a 19% drop in gay couples and a corresponding 15% increase in the percentage of gay singles.

It seems Obergefell has had an impact on the LGBT world that no one wants to acknowledge.

Four years after the Obergefell ruling deformed the definition of civil marriage for all, many gays and lesbians continue to live lives that contradict the “wisdom” of the U. S. Supreme Court.

As it turns out, the combined wisdom and experience of millions who identify as gay or lesbian is greater than the wisdom of the five Supreme Court justices who decided for the entire country that “gay marriage” is a constitutional right. 

At least for now, they continue to realize that they are not meant for “marriage” to a member of their own sex. Their life choices reflect their respect for and innate understanding of complementarity: that men and women are created for each other. 

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Vincent Lambert
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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France’s top court decides brain-damaged Vincent Lambert must die

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The French Court of Cassation has decided that Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, must die. 

At the end of a whirlwind procedure, it published its arrest of cassation at 5 p.m. Friday in Paris, agreeing with the French state that the administration had in no way violated the tetraplegic, brain-damaged young man’s rights by a form of legal “assault” in refusing to sustain his life regardless of provisional measures demanded by the UN Committee for the Protection of Disabled Persons (CDPH).

The stopping of his food and hydration can “resume” immediately, according to the mainstream media.

Bishop Xavier Malle of Gap and Embrun in the south of France immediately published a tweet recalling that “hydration is not a disproportionate treatment but an elementary right of man.” He also spoke of his “great sadness.” “Are we once again going to witness an almost live death?”

The Court of Cassation’s role is to judge not the facts but the proper application of the law. In its most solemn configuration comprising 19 presidents of chambers, it has handed down a decision which, in practice, constitutes a death sentence.

It is also a highly political decision. The Court was faced with a demand intent on making it justify all the actions of the government, the health administration and a hospital whose agents are civil servants, in order to make Lambert die of thirst, because human life must not be considered sacred in France.

Is this the decision of last resort, the real endpoint of this case, as Rachel Lambert's lawyer, Patrice Spinosi, told the press? How soberly he talked to the press, expressing himself with utmost seriousness on behalf of Vincent's wife, who also exercises guardianship over him.

There were no cries of victory, as when Jean Paillot and Jérôme Triomphe learned Vincent’s life had been saved on May 20. But his satisfaction was obvious. 

This decision is, however, not the end point of this case, for two reasons.

First of all, there is still a glimmer of hope at the time of this writing, and it stems from the wording of the arrest of the Court of Cassation. As Triomphe pointed out, the supreme judges did not rule on France's duty to respect the provisional measures requested by the UN Committee for the Respect of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) from France, which was asked to refrain from taking any irreversible action until the CRPD has been able to examine the case.

However, there is nothing more irreversible than death, and France as a signatory to the optional protocol by which it undertook to respect the decisions of the said committee, would violate its own international commitments by ignoring them.

That battle is not over, and Viviane Lambert, Vincent’s mother, will have the opportunity to speak at the 41st ordinary session of the UN commission on human rights to plead for her son’s life on Monday, July 1. She will be accompanied by her lawyers, who will give a press conference to diplomats and accredited journalists at the UN.

By law, Dr. Vincent Sanchez of Reims University Hospital should therefore respect these provision measures that remain standing and on which the Court of Cassation has not ruled.

The second reason is that even if Vincent Lambert were to die of thirst – while France is smoldering in a heat wave and vulnerable persons are being encouraged to drink – after being subjected to deep and legally irreversible sedation, the Lamberts’ lawyers will demand accountability, in particular on the basis of the CRPD's decision.

“If the government were to go against this request, we would immediately initiate criminal proceedings against the ministers concerned. If Dr. Sanchez makes to restart the death process, we will sue him as civil parties for the premeditated murder of a vulnerable person,” Triomphe warned at a press briefing at the Paris Palace of Justice on Friday evening, minutes after the decision of cassation without remand was made public.

A word about that. The whole Vincent Lambert affair was marked by the constant disdain of a certain political, medical and judicial class for the members and friends of Vincent's family who wanted him to be treated according to his needs as a disabled and severely brain-damaged person. The first attempt to kill Lambert by stopping feeding and almost stopping hydration in April 2013 was thus made without his parents being informed. They would only discover the fact after two weeks and complained that he be fed again 31 days after the procedure began.

Medical experts have commented on the fact that a severely handicapped and brain-damaged person who wants to die – as the supporters of Lambert’s supposed desire not to live as he is now – cannot survive for such a long time in those conditions if he does not have a strong will to live.

On May 20, after the appeals before the Council of State and the European Court of Human Rights failed and despite the CRPD's request for interim measures, Sanchez, the head of the gerontology and palliative care department at the Reims hospital, once again refrained from informing Vincent Lambert's parents before subjecting him to deep sedation in the early morning and pulling his feeding tube.

These lethal proceedings were interrupted that same evening by the miracle decision of the Court of Appeal condemning the “assault.”

Deep sedation, by the way, is a requirement of the Leonetti-Claeys Act of 2016 as part of these let-die decisions, which are in reality slow euthanasia. This sedation is meant to avoid any suffering for a patient even though he is claimed to be in a vegetative state, without any awareness of the world around him.

This perhaps explains why the doctor did not even consider it useful to inform the mother of the person he was going to kill on the eve of the execution.

As for the judges of the Court of Cassation, they also acted as if Viviane and Pierre Lambert no longer existed, tweeting their decision on the absence of “assault” on the part of the French state at 5 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the same time posting on the Court's website, without the lawyers even taking the time to share it with Lamberts’ parents and two siblings, Triomphe told LifeSite. This was despite the judges’ commitment to give the family a bit of time. Even this small manifestation of humanity was denied them.

But it is humanity itself that is the victim of this abominable and protracted judicial battle for the life of an innocent man. Humanity has been denied and flouted in the person of the profoundly handicapped Vincent Lambert, whom the mainstream press falsely insisted is in a “vegetative state.”

We have here a “vegetable” who cried during the first attempt to killing him in 2013, who cried again in front of his parents on the eve of May 20 when his feeding tube would be pulled. (His doctors probably had, because treatment protocols require it, to tell him what they were going to do.)

This “vegetable” sometimes responded clearly and in his own way to his mother's requests. He was a “vegetable” who followed people with his eyes. He was even recorded swallowing spoonfuls of cream or yogurt given by his mother under the watchful eye of a camera, when the doctors kept declaring that he was unable to swallow.

However, there was nothing more urgent than to decide to put him to death and the French state succeeded in having the Court of Cassation rule with unprecedented speed in order to approve it.

This victim was needed to confirm that human beings in France do not benefit from constitutional protection of their right to live. General Prosecutor François Molins urged the Court of Cassation not to accept that the French state should have been found guilty of “assault” for violating Vincent Lambert's fundamental freedom. And he also explained why, saying they should not put into jeopardy the French abortion law and the Leonetti-Claeys law on the end of life by recognizing a fundamental right to life. So these are death laws, without question.

Suspending the death protocol - merely suspending it! - for Vincent Lambert would have deprived him of the effectiveness of a patient's right not to be subjected to unreasonable obstinacy, France claimed before the UN when refusing its provisional measures

France’s justice is now imposing this "right" to die with an iron fist on a helpless human being. In a country that suffered so much under the 1789 Revolution, this is a new form of terror.

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Swiss bishop: Amazon Synod could ‘contaminate whole Mystical Body of Church…gravely damage it’

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By Maike Hickson

PETITION: Support Cardinal who is condemning Amazon synod working doc as ‘apostasy’. Sign the petition here.

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Marian Eleganti, the auxiliary bishop of Chur, Switzerland has come out in support of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller’s June 27 critique of the Vatican’s working document for the upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod, saying that, if adopted, such ideas “will contaminate the whole Mystical Body of the Church – and gravely damage it.”

The prelate explained in comments to LifeSiteNews (see full comments below) why he supports Brandmüller’s criticism of the document, which the Cardinal called “heretical” and an “apostasy” from Divine Revelation.

Bishop Eleganti said that the Church must have the “Face of Christ,” not “an Amazonian face.”

The Amazon synod, Eleganti added, should not be used as a tool in order to change either the priesthood or the “sacramental-hierarchical structure of the Church.” 

“I agree with Cardinal Brandmüller,” he stated, “when he criticizes that we should not speak of the Amazon region when we in reality mean and target the Universal Church.” The Bishop opposed the idea of establishing for the Amazon region a sort of “priestly ordination lite,” adding that since the Council of Trent, there is no possibility to separate the different characteristics of the power of ordination, that is to say to separate Holy Orders from the governing power in the Church. 

“The sacramental priesthood is not a matter that can be decided upon – or re-defined – in the Amazon region. The last councils since Trent have clearly linked jurisdiction, ruling authority, and sacramental ordination. They may not be separated if we wish to remain loyal to the will of these councils," he said. 

"The question of women may not be abused as leverage in order to depart from it and to create new offices for women. The hierarchical-sacramental structure of the Church is not up for consideration. It is not possible that, already fifty years later, council statements should not be any more normative, in order to start a laboratory experiment in the Amazon region, which in turn then will contaminate the whole Mystical Body of the Church – and gravely damage it,” he added. 

The Swiss prelate explained that the Amazon region should convert to Jesus Christ and thus adapt its rites and culture to Him, not the other way around. He called for an evangelization of the Amazon region. Eleganti used the image of Christ's “dough” which “permeates and changes” every culture in the world.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller issued on June 27 a critique of the recently published working document for the Amazon synod. In it, he distances himself from this text and says that he even detects in it heresy and apostasy. He firmly rejected the idea of ordaining married men to the priesthood or of ordaining female deacons.

LifeSiteNews has started a petition in support of the German cardinal's statement, also out of gratitude for his strength in the Faith. So far, more than 8,700 people signed the petition. Bishop Eleganti told LifeSiteNews that he has signed the petition. He is the first prelate of the Catholic Church to publicly support Cardinal Brandmüller's critique of the Amazon Synod’s working document.  

LifeSiteNews reported today that a pre-synod meeting organized by the secretariat of the Amazon Synod under Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri called for the ordination of female deacons.

***

Full statement by Bishop Marian Eleganti to LifeSiteNews

As the face of the Church, I wish that we have the Face of Christ as presented to us in the Gospels. In this sense, there exists for me not a Church “with an Amazonian face.” And it is also not desirable that a certain region in the world imposes its own face upon the Universal Church. Rather, the Face of Christ should become visible in all cultures of the world. But for this, they first have to convert to Him. The Gospel is the salt of the earth and the light of the world: in this sense, there is also always cultural criticism.

This is valid also for the Amazon region, which direly needs such criticism based on Revelation, in order to be able to reflect the Face of Christ and so that it does not in reality distort it with the help of their own cultural ideas and rites. The Gospel changed and humanized the culture of antiquity in the Mediterranean region at the time. This was so then and is not much different today. This applies to all cultures in the world. Jesus understood His Gospel as dough, which permeates and changes the heart of man – and with it, the culture.

Let us, therefore, not turn upside down the situation and the spiritual order of truth, as if in the culture of the Amazon region, the Holy Ghost precedes the Gospel, and as if it (the Gospel) frees itself with the help of the indigenous culture, and not the other way around!

I agree with Cardinal Brandmüller when he criticizes that we should not speak of the Amazon region when we in reality mean and target the Universal Church. The sacramental priesthood is not a matter that can be decided upon – or re-defined – in the Amazon region. The last councils since Trent have clearly linked jurisdiction, ruling authority, and sacramental ordination. They may not be separated if we wish to remain loyal to the will of these councils.  The question of women may not be abused as leverage in order to depart from it and to create new offices for women. The hierarchical-sacramental structure of the Church is not up for consideration. It is not possible that, already fifty years later, council statements should not be any more normative, in order to start a laboratory experiment in the Amazon region, which in turn then will contaminate the whole Mystical Body of the Church – and gravely damage it.

The power of ordination (priesthood: munus sanctificandi; magisterium: munus docendi; governing office: munus regendi) is indivisible and cannot be limited to certain tasks or sacramental actions. There cannot be – in theological terms – a sort of “priestly ordination lite” sui generis for “married Elders” as some people already have started to consider.

Also celibacy has an interior (exclusivity of the bond with God and Christ respectively) and an exterior characteristic (unrestricted availability for the Kingdom of God) for the sake of which Jesus Himself remained unwed. 

How can one put this at risk so carelessly and depart from Jesus's way of living, from His example? Especially the priest should first and foremost full-heartedly follow the example of Jesus, without any hesitation or objection, and be His likeness. Who else?

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Rise of violent porn is making women fear being intimate

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By Jonathon Van Maren

WARNING: Graphic content. 

June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this week, I wrote a column on the stomach-turning sex crimes (one of which included the murder of a young teenage girl) that were fueled by pornography, and the fact that violent pornography has become a ubiquitous part of our youth culture. A few days ago, The Atlantic published an article by Olga Khazan detailing this disturbing trend even further. The title says it all: “The Startling Rise of Choking During Sex.” While physical intimacy is generally seen as a beautiful thing, Khazan writes, “for many women, one sexual feeling that comes to mind is a darker one: fear.”

A stunning study by Dr. Debby Herbenick, a sex researcher and professor at the Indiana University of Public Health, uncovered the fact that almost a quarter of adult American women have “felt scared during sex.” Out of 347 women who responded, 23 said that their fear was rooted in the fact that their partner had suddenly attempted to choke them. Some women described their partners grasping their throats and cutting off their air supply.

It gets worse. According to Herbenick, a growing number of sexual assault cases at Indiana University include men choking their female partners, and her research in this area indicates that a full 13% of teen girls between ages 14 and 17 have been choked. Young boys want to choke young girls as part of their standard sexual experience, and girls are either resigning themselves to the fact that this is part of their culture or submitting to these acts being forced on them.

What is the reason that even young kids see choking as a violent sex act? Experts agree across the board: Violent pornography. In fact, senior editor of The Atlantic Kate Julian added that during her research into the impact of porn on youth culture, she spoke with many women who said that porn-inspired behaviors were often pushed on them, including unwanted anal sex. I’ve heard this from young girls in high school as young as thirteen-years-old after giving presentations on pornography—and this is in Christian schools.

According to Kate Julian, the results of this porn-inspired behavior is an ugly thing to see. She related that one university health center was concerned about a possible rise in sexual assaults due to the number of females coming in with vulvar fissures, which usually indicates sexual violence. But, says Julian, these young females hadn’t been technically raped: “They just had been having sex they didn’t desire. They didn’t know it was supposed to feel different.”

In short: Violent pornography has transformed the sexuality of a generation, and now women are being physically hurt during sexual interactions as a matter of course—and they don’t even know that intimacy is “supposed to feel different.” I’ve written this before, and it is essential that people understand it: Pornography is not creating a rape culture by simply spiking the numbers of rapists. It is creating rape culture by mainstreaming sexual violence in the romantic context. It is making sexual violence a part of our culture, and girls are quite literally getting hurt every day.

Pornography is killing intimacy, it is victimizing women and girls, and it is destroying men. The masculine instinct to protect women is being transformed into something carnivorous, with pornography feeding them a 24-7 digital diet of toxic sexual material that teaches them that girls are something you extract pleasure from at their expense rather than someone you love. It is staggering to consider that a full quarter of women in the United States say that they feel fear during sex, but that these women simply accept that this is how things are now. 

It shouldn’t be. 

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 John Zmirak who gives a rundown of what he calls, the official war between Conservatives. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

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Social services brainwashed kids into thinking they were abused, sold them to foster parents

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

July 2, 2019 update: Multiple Italian media outlets are reporting (e.g. here and here) that a key figure in the "Angels and Demons" investigation is LGBT rights advocate and social worker Federica Anghinolfi. The 57-year-old is a keen supporter of same-sex couples adopting children. One of the foster "families" mentioned in the case was formed by a same-sex female couple and, according to Il Giornale, a few of the foster mothers under investigation have been previously involved in a lesbian affair with  Anghinolfi.

REGGIO EMILIA, Italy, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― This may be the worst story you read today. 

Eighteen people have been arrested in relation to a case in which children were brainwashed into believing they had been sexually abused by a parent and then sold to foster families. 

The paying clients, friends or acquaintances of the child trafficking ring included sex shop owners, people whose own children had committed suicide, and people with mental illnesses. 

At least two of the children were subsequently sexually abused by their new guardians. 

According to Italy’s Agenzia ANSA, those arrested include Andrea Carletti, the mayor of the small town of Bibbiano, politicians, doctors, social workers, psychologists and physiotherapists. The police operation, codenamed “Angels and Demons,” centered on a network of social service workers from the Val D’Enza area, “accused of having made false reports to take children away from their families and to place them in foster care.” 

Investigators believe that hundreds of thousands of euros changed hands. They accuse the child trafficking ring of having manipulated children in psychotherapy sessions to create false memories of abuse. Sometimes they used electric shocks to do so.   

According to ANSA, the investigation turned up “children’s drawings falsified with added details of a sexual character; homes falsely described as falling apart; emotional states of children reported in a misleading way; therapists’ fairy tale villain costumes used with children to represent parents wishing to do them harm; and denigration of the paternal and maternal figure.”  

Apparently, these were only some of the methods used to take kids from their parents and give them to the syndicate’s paying clients. Meanwhile, ANSA also reported that police found letters and gifts sent to the stolen children by their real parents through the social workers. 

The UK’s Independent provided a translation of a harrowing detail in a report by La Repubblica: the protest of a little victim who couldn’t remember why she wasn’t allowed to see her father: 

“But don’t you remember you said you didn’t want to see him? I remember this,” a psychologist told her.

“I didn’t say that,” the girl replied.

“Yes, you said you didn’t want to see him because you were afraid that he would hurt you … ” the psychologist is quoted as insisting. “That he might seek vengeance … or take you away. Do you remember the fear you felt? Do you remember now?”

The child allegedly said she didn’t remember and that she cried because she missed her father.

Lorenzo Fontana, Italy’s Minister for the Family and the Disabled, said that emerging from the investigation was of an “unprecedented gravity.”

Charges against the child trafficking syndicate include abuse of minors, serious injuries, abuse of office, embezzlement, attempted extortion, fabricating evidence, and private violence.

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