All articles from July 4, 2019


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Two Canadian cinema owners receive death threats ahead of Unplanned screening

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By Lianne Laurence

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Police are investigating death threats sent to two Canadian independent theatre owners because they are screening the pro-life movie Unplanned on July 12, LifeSiteNews has learned.

Unplanned dramatizes Abby Johnson’s conversion from Planned Parenthood abortion facility manager to pro-life advocate and was written, produced and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman. 

As a safety measure, the movie’s producers have now removed from their website the comprehensive July 12 listing of 46 Canadian theatres — independents, Cineplex and Landmark locations — that will be showing Unplanned, Konzelman told LifeSiteNews.

They did so at the request of B.J. McKelvie, pastor and president of Fredericton-based Cinedicon, the Canadian distributor of the film.

McKelvie confirmed to LifeSiteNews that two Canadian independent cinema owners contacted police after receiving death threats they perceived as credible, and that they are “fearful for their families.” 

Another Canadian independent theatre owner “has been harrassed to the extreme.”

One of the two owners who contacted the police has cancelled the Unplanned screening, but all the rest “are holding their ground,” McKelvie said.

He did not want to identify the locations, particularly because “it’s a police matter,” he told LifeSiteNews.

The alleged death threats are aimed at independent theatre owners because “they didn’t get anywhere with Cineplex, or they didn’t get anywhere with Landmark,” McKelvie said.

McKelvie told Canadian Press last week that the owner of the Movie Mill in Lethbridge, Alberta, had received threats and arranged to have security for the movie screening, but told LifeSiteNews he could neither confirm nor deny if this was one of the incidents police are investigating.

“It’s unfortunate it’s come to that,” McKelvie added. 

“It’s just a movie. The topic is certainly a hot topic. However, it is just a movie. I find it ironic, they talk about choice, pro-choice, pro-choice, pro-choice, but they’re not giving people a choice to go see the movie.” 

Indeed, Canada’s liberal media has been highlighting the allegations of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada that Unplanned is “propaganda,” spreads “vicious falsehoods,” and could “incite fanatics to commit acts of harassment or violence against clinics or doctors.”

Unplanned was released in U.S. theatres on March 29, but despite hostility and opposition in certain quarters, there were no incidents of any theatre receiving death threats, Konzelman said.

The movie reached No. 4 and grossed more than US$18 million at the box office, has an “A+” rating on CinemaScore, which tracks audience reaction, and led to many people changing to a pro-life position.

But in Canada, Unplanned was effectively banned from theatres because no Canadian distributor would agree to take it on.

After a groundswell of support grew into an ad hoc campaign Canada Wants Unplanned, which launched a boycott of Cineplex, McKelvie reached out to Unplanned producers, “annoyed” by “misinformation” online the movie had been “banned” in Canada, Canadian Press reported.

“I was walking down the hall grumbling and I heard the Lord say to me, ‘Well, why don’t you distribute it?’ and that was rather different,” McKelvie told Canadian Press. 

With the film generating such hostility, pro-life advocates expect protests at some of the screenings, Grandin Media reported.

However, Landmark told Canadian Press it had not heard of planned protests and has not increased security, and Cineplex said it will be monitoring the situation.

“We have been showing movies for over 100 years and controversial films on the big screen are not new to us — that said, we of course understand and can appreciate the concerns some have expressed about this film,” Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications for Cineplex Entertainment, said in a statement to Canadian Press.

“We have a long legacy of not censoring content and our role as a film exhibitor is to provide our guests with movie choices,” she said.

Moreover, pro-lifers should not let the possibility of protests dissuade them from going to the movie, Faytene Graschesi, a member of Canada Wants Unplanned, told Grandin Media.

“Let’s not back down. If you see a crowd outside of a theatre, all the more the reason to go,” said Graschesi. “Pretty soon people are going to wake up and say, ‘Wow, these pro-lifers aren’t what I thought they were. They actually care.’”

“It’s really important that we stack these movie theatres,” echoed Campaign Life Coalition president Jeff Gunnarson in an email to supporters. “It’s time for Canadians to see what Abby saw that changed her life.”

Johnson believes Canadian pro-lifers have been inspired by their success in bringing Unplanned to theatres, Grandin Media reported.

“I think people in Canada … their pro-life voices are absolutely being silenced. Bringing Unplanned to Canada was sort of a way for them to feel like they’re getting their power back. They’re getting their voice back,” she said during a July 2 webinar with supporters.

Johnson also announced she has filed paperwork to open a Canadian chapter of her proactive ministry to abortion workers, And Then There Were None, but no further details are available at this time, Grandin Media reported. 

At press time, Unplannedtickets.com’s search feature still listed a number independent theatres where the movie will be playing, but no Cineplex or Landmark locations. 

According to the July 2 list, the movie will be shown from July 12 to July 18 at the following Cineplex and Landmark locations:

British Columbia 

Cineplex Cinema, Langley 
Cineplex Silvercity Mission Cinemas, Mission
Landmark Cinemas 12 Guilford, Surrey
Landmark Avalon Cinemas, Nanaimo
Landmark Grand 10 Cinema, Kelowna

Alberta

Cineplex South Edmonton Odeon 16, Edmonton
Cineplex Scotiabank Chinook 17, Calgary
Landmark Cinemas 10 Shawnessy, Calgary
Landmark Cinemas 16 Country Hills, Calgary 

Saskatchewan

Cineplex Cinemas Normanview, Regina
Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, Saskatoon

Manitoba

Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, Winnipeg
Landmark Cinemas 24, Winkler
Landmark Cinemas 9, Brandon

Ontario

Cineplex Yonge & Dundas, Toronto
Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan, Vaughan
Cineplex Winston Churchill 24, Oakville
Cineplex Silvercity London 12, London
Cineplex Silvercity Windsor, Windsor
Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, Ottawa
Landmark Cinemas 12, Kitchener
Landmark Cinemas 24, Kanata
Landmark Cinemas 24, Whitby

Nova Scotia

Cineplex Cinemas Dartmouth Crossing, Dartmouth

Check Unplannedtickets.com for updated information, and local listings for Unplanned at independent theatres beginning July 12.

Groups can arrange a theatre buy-out for a screening if Unplanned is not showing in their area; for information on this option, go here.

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These are some of the items given out to kids at a library event in Renton, Washington. Mass Resistance
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Moms expose library’s shocking ‘Youth Pride’ event: homosexuality, transgenderism, drag queens

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July 4, 2019 (Mass Resistance) – Have you ever wondered what REALLY goes on at “gay” high school and middle school clubs and other “youth pride” programs for schoolchildren? We’re constantly told that it’s all about tolerance, anti-bullying, “AIDS education,” and especially feeling “safe.” We’re told that we must trust the adults running these events – who are unsupervised and lacking background checks. Virtually all of these programs take place at schools or offsite locations where parents (and the public) are easily excluded.

The short answer is: It’s a nightmare – and it’s anything but “safe” for children!

'Teen Pride' event planned at a public library

But on Saturday, June 22, the local LGBT groups in Renton, Washington scheduled a “Teen Pride” event at the local public library.

In early June when some parents in Renton first noticed the library promotion for the “Teen Pride” event, they were very worried. Among other things, it advertised “safer sex presentations” and a “drag show,” as well as an introduction for kids to local LGBT organizations. They also were shocked that it was advertised for “teens and tweens.” This can include children as young as nine years old and as old as 19.

Of course, there's no way this was "designed by teens." It's all adult driven.

The parents contacted MassResistance for help, and our Washington MassResistance chapter got right to work. The parents first wanted to protest the event. But instead, we told them that the best thing would be to get inside and take photos and video of what happens. They agreed, and we worked with them on planning for that.

In the days leading up to June 22, as word of the event spread, there arose a big pro-family push to force the library to cancel it. In particular, The Activist Mommy Elizabeth Johnston asked her thousands of followers to call and email the library – resulting in a flood of phone calls. But the library refused to relent.

Instead, one of the library employees contacted the Antifa chapter in Seattle and urged them to take action against the local parents opposing it. We’ve already seen that Antifa makes it a point to attack parents who protest Drag Queen Story Hours. Maybe it reflects their own dysfunctional backgrounds, but individual Antifa activists seem very obsessed with protecting those who push homosexuality and other kinds of deviant behavior on children.

The event takes place – here’s what the mothers saw

On the day of the event, there was no pro-family protest outside the library. Instead, three local MassResistance mothers were able to walk inside the event with their cameras. Although the event was for “youth” ages 9-19 – and the room was almost filled with them – there were several other adults there, mostly involved with the presentation.

Our activists said most of the kids looked like they were around 12-15 years old. A few looked like they were about 10. Many looked sadly lost. The main presenters were two women in their 20s.

Surprisingly, the mothers were able to take videos and photos quite openly during the event, in full view of everyone. What they saw was ghastly. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that people do this with children.

The largest part of the presentation was about helping the kids be comfortable and “safe” while performing homosexual sex acts. This included instructions on using lubricant and condoms for anal sex, flavored condoms, and dental dams for lesbian oral sex or anal “rimming.”

Besides condoms, lubricant, and all the rest, they even gave the kids two types of penis-shaped bookmarks.

The presenters led the younger kids through various exercises to introduce and instruct them on the details of how to use their condoms properly. The reason for this was, "if you are performing oral sex, or anal sex, or vaginal sex." It was horrible to watch.

In one exercise, several children along with one adult were lined up with signs describing the steps of using a condom during sex (see photo below). From left to right the signs read:

Pintch tip of condom
Roll condom down erect penis
Intercourse with condom
Ejaculate with condom
Hold condom on penis while pulling out
Take condom off penis

These children (with one adult, second from right) were part of a "condom" exercise led by the "Teen Pride" presenter.

Another large part was devoted to transgenderism – making the children comfortable about “changing” to the opposite sex. Planned Parenthood representatives spoke about their “gender reformation services” that involve “giving testosterone and progesterone to young people.” They wanted to let the children know that this was available to them to make their “transitioning” easier. Make no mistake: This is recruitment.

At one point, the presenters gave away “breast binders” to several of the girls. Breast binders are large straps that tightly cram a girl’s breasts flat to her chest – so she can look more like a boy. In fact, it is now recognized that these can cause serious damage to girls’ bodies. But the LGBT movement heavily promotes these to girls who may be “questioning” their “gender.”

Eight girls got gift cards for chest/breast binders, as if this is something they should want to have and use.

There was also an effort to get the children to take an active role in the LGBT movement. There were “pride” buttons and various propaganda pamphlets.

Finally, there was a “drag queen” presentation. Four bizarre men dressed as women performed lewd, sexually provocative dances for the kids. One sang, "If you feel like a girl then you really are a girl ... sh*t, f*ck." Then they talked to the kids about how they can become drag queens themselves. One drag queen revealed that he mentored a current drag queen from the age of 12. All four of them shared their Twitter handles with the children, to follow their “careers.” (That, of course, will lead children right into a triple-X-rated world of depravity and link them up with predators in that “community.”)

Here's what kids will find when they look at the drag queens' social media posts. (CAUTION: Disturbing images.)

All of this was portrayed as a normal and positive experience for children by the presenters and the adults working with them, as well as library staff members who were in the area. It was only the three mothers who saw anything wrong at all.

"The big focus seemed to be sex, getting into drag, hating your body and being everything you're not," said one of the MassResistance mothers. 

At 5 p.m., the presenters suddenly announced that “all adults not accompanying a teen must leave.” This was clearly aimed at the MassResistance mothers who were filming the event. It was hard to tell if the other adults there were parents of any of the kids.

The presenters told the two mothers with cameras that they had to go now. (The third mother who was not filming apparently escaped their notice and was able to stay and watch.) The two mothers said they were refusing to leave because, they said, this is was a public building and this was a public event, and they were concerned about the children.

The police came and forcefully escorted the two mothers out, informing them that they were guilty of “criminal trespass.”

“We didn’t talk to any of the kids, we didn’t harass anybody. We were polite,” one of the mothers said. “I saw kids that looked like they were 10 years old. It was horrifying.” But the police were quite hostile and not interested in their explanation of what the kids were being exposed to. Sadly, this attitude by police has been our experience across the country.

There were four police officers on hand to make sure that these two mothers didn't go back into the library.

Note: Our advice to the activists prior to the event was to strongly insist on their right to record in a public place, but ultimately to obey the orders of police (and make sure to get their badge numbers, etc.). We certainly understand that in the heat of a situation that doesn’t always happen. Luckily, the library told the police they were not pressing charges and the police let the mothers free once they were outside the building.

The two mothers walked to the parking lot. They were quickly surrounded by four men – Antifa thugs – who began screaming at them and threatening them, calling them vile names. They said they were going to photograph them and their license plates and put it on social media. One began to blow a loud shrieking whistle at them. The mothers had to call 911 for police to come and escort them safely to their cars. Of course, none of the Antifa goons were arrested or charged with anything.

After the two mothers left the event ...

The mother who was able to stay until 7 p.m. told us that kids were referred to Lambert House, "community center for LGBT youth" in Seattle, where the kids were told they are "recruiting performers ages 13-22." The MassResistance mothers have found out that Lambert House has a legal team informing kids of their "rights" - and hosts drag shows and dances for ages 13-22. 

Getting the news out!

We train our people not to be intimidated by the Left’s disgusting tactics. Antifa hooligans and thugs will not stop our MassResistance activists! The mothers went right home and began getting the word out about this hideous event.

Within a day, it was covered in one way or another by several national conservative media outlets, from PJ Media to Fox News. Though those media focused on the drag queen part of it, the mothers’ effort was still a success!

Final thoughts

We all hear a lot about what the LGBT movement is doing to the schoolchildren it targets across the country. But it’s rare for parents – or the general public – to see it firsthand. It truly boggles the mind how revolting it actually is.

Sadly, this trend is not new. For many years, MassResistance has been exposing the content of “LGBT youth” events.

But let’s be painfully honest: The most evil people in all of this are the ones we all trust to protect children – the school officials, the elected school board members, the teachers, the library staff, etc. But they are doing just the opposite, actually helping these horrible special interest groups prey on the children. In addition, their efforts recruit vulnerable kids into the perverse LGBT “community.” Good people need to recognize this and act accordingly.

Reprinted with permission from Mass Resistance.

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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VICTORY: German homeschooling parents win back custody of their children

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

DARMSTADT, Germany, July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A family court has decided that a married homeschooling couple should be allowed custody of their minor children. 

Homeschoolers Dirk and Petra Wunderlich lost legal custody of Machsejach, Joshua, Hannanjah and Serajah in August 2013 when police removed the children from their home. Thanks to the recent court decision, the guardianship of Hannanjah and Serajah, now the only minors in the family, has been returned to their parents. 

The girls have indicated that they want to be educated at home. 

According to CBN News, a Christian news website, the judge who ordered the removal of the children in 2013 was replaced in the case “on the grounds of bias.” 

The surprise decision follows the Wunderlich family’s unsuccessful attempt to regain custody of the children through the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier this year. The court refused to concede that parents have the right, under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, to educate their children exclusively at home. Refusing to send children to school is against the law in Germany.

Robert Clarke, director of European advocacy for ADF International, was the lead counsel for the Wunderlich family at the ECHR. In response to the German court’s new ruling, Clarke reiterated that parents have the right to determine their children’s education.

“The right of parents to direct the education of their children is a fundamental right, protected in international law," Clarke said. 

"We are pleased to see that the German court respected this right and acknowledged that the Wunderlich children are doing well,” he continued.  

“As we wait for referral to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, we hope that, there too, the rights of the Wunderlich family will be safeguarded," Clarke said.

According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, the Wunderlichs’ long struggle with the German justice system began in 2006 when a court fined the parents “several hundred euros for homeschooling.” 

In 2008, the devout Christian family left Germany to continue homeschooling in France. In 2009, after intervention by the German government, French authorities removed the Wunderlich children from their home but returned them a few days later. In 2012, after being unable to find long-term employment, the Wunderlich family returned to Germany.

That October, a German district court took legal custody of the Wunderlich children away from their parents and gave it to German social services.

In August 2013, the children were removed from their home for three weeks.

Dirk Wunderlich described his anguish on that occasion to Deutsche Welle this January, saying “August 29, 2013, as 40 officials stood before our door, was the most horrible day for us."

Apparently, the authorities had been contacted by neighbors who claimed Dirk had said he would rather kill his children than send them to school. He called the allegation “nonsense” and “invented.”

On September 19, 2013, the children were returned to their parents on condition that they attend public school, and their passports were revoked. The following August, the passports and custody of the children were returned to the family by order of a German court. The following month, the Wunderlichs resumed homeschooling.

Then in April 2015, both the Homeschooling Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the Wunderlich family. The following year, the ECHR decided to take the case. In January 2017, the German government presented its defense to the ECHR. In April 2017, the HLDA and ADF presented their response to Germany’s arguments. 

However, on January 10, the European Court of Human Rights sided with the German government against the Wunderlich family. According to newsmagazine Deutsche Welle, the court found that the family “had not had not provided sufficient evidence that the children were properly educated and socialized” and “that a government removing children from their parents to ensure they receive an education did not violate Article 8” of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

In an interview with CBN News, the older Wunderlich children indicated that they thought their stint in public school was a waste of time.  

"When there are so many children and they are talking about all kinds of things, it's really loud,” Joshua said. 

"In homeschooling, I felt like we were able to learn a lot more in a shorter time,” Machsejach added. “In school, they always make it so long and still you learn less than in homeschool." 

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Bishop Joseph Strickland visits Catholics rallying outside USCCB meeting Nov. 13, 2018. Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews
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US bishop demands investigation into Viganò’s latest accusations of Vatican sex-abuse cover-up

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

TYLER, Texas, July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― An American Catholic bishop is calling for an investigation into a Vatican whistleblower’s most recent allegations concerning the Vatican and Pope Francis covering up of clerical sexual abuse. 

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the ordinary of Tyler, Texas linked on Twitter to a recent LifeSiteNews article containing material cut from an interview Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò gave the Washington Post

“Faithful Catholics who believe in the Eucharist & pray the rosary need to demand an investigation of this & a clear reporting of the truth,” Strickland tweeted.

Twitter users responded with both agreement and disagreement, some indicating that they believe Viganò and others strongly expressing antipathy for the former papal nuncio. 

The bishop responded to one Twitter user who demanded to know how ordinary Catholics could demand an investigation into Viganò’s allegations.  

“How do sheep demand it?” asked John Lewandowski. “Our bishops do nothing to get to the truth and our Pope remains silent,” he continued, adding: “Faithful shepherds, bishops who believe in the Eucharist & pray the rosary need to join and together force the truth be shared while preaching the Christ’s Gospel, not another gospel.” 

Strickland replied by saying that Lewandowski was right, but that the faithful also have “a strong voice.”  

Like others who responded to the Bishop of Tyler, Lewandowski asked for suggestions for concrete action. 

“First pray, then write letters: keep them brief and to the point,” Strickland answered.

Viganò had told the Washington Post that Pope Francis is “doing close to nothing” to expose and bring to justice leading churchmen who have covered up clerical sexual abuse. The former nuncio named Cardinal Donald Wurel as an example. He also detailed a “horrible case” in which a Polish seminarian wrote to Pope Francis to complain of sexual aggression he had witnessed at a Vatican pre-seminary. 

Viganò alleged that leading prelates including the then-Bishop of Como, Diego Coletti;  Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Vicar General of Pope Francis for Vatican City; and Cardinal Coccopalmerio, then president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, tried to quash an investigation into the complaints. Ultimately the whistleblower, Kamil Jarzembowski, was expelled from the seminary, and the seminarian he accused of abuse was ordained in 2017. 

The former nuncio also stated that Francis had “essentially ignored a terrifying dossier” outlining crimes allegedly committed by Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the pontiff’s choice as the new Substitute at the Secretariat of State. 

“You ask me if I see any signs that the Vatican, under Pope Francis, is taking proper steps to address the serious issues of abuse,” Viganò said to his Washington Post interviewer. 

“My answer is simple: Pope Francis himself is covering up abuse right now, as he did for McCarrick.”

After LifeSiteNews published Viganò’s first testimony last August, Bishop Stickland wrote to all the priests of his diocese saying that he found the allegations against Pope Francis and some senior cardinals to be “credible,” and called for a “thorough investigation.” He asked his clergy to include his letter in the masses on August 26,  2018, and to post it on their websites and other social media.

“Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible,”  Strickland wrote. “Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible.”

“I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that it’s findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church,” he added.

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Irish doctor campaigns for conscience rights: Govt cannot ‘bully’ physicians into doing abortions

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

DUBLIN, Ireland, July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A senior Irish obstetrician-gynecologist will call for conscience rights for his fellow Irish doctors when he addresses the All-Ireland Rally for Life this Saturday.

According to Ireland’s The Life Institute, Dr. Trevor Hayes will tell the pro-life witnesses “that politicians cannot and will not bully doctors into performing or facilitating abortions.”

Hayes believes that Taoiseach Leo Varadkhar’s pro-abortion government is attempting to violate the rights of medical professionals who conscientiously object to taking part in abortions.

“This is a form of bullying that is absolutely unacceptable because a person’s conscience is not subject to majority rule,” he said. 

Ireland was once the safest place in Europe for unborn babies. However, after the 2018 referendum on removing the Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution, unborn children lost their right to life in the Republic. The referendum was swiftly followed by a law allowing abortion on demand.

Northern Ireland still has laws that forbid abortion except when deemed necessary to save the life or the health of the unborn child’s mother.

A medical veteran of over 20 years of practice, Hayes believes the Irish health system is suffering from a lack of personnel, which makes the governmental bullying of conscientious objectors “particularly appalling.”

“We have a huge crisis in the health service, and that crisis is especially acute in staffing, so it is particularly appalling that staff in both nursing and medicine feel that they will be forced out of medicine because their right not to participate in abortion is not being respected,” Hayes stated.

The OB-GYN said the issue is simply being ignored and suggested those most loudly demanding that pro-life doctors violate their consciences would never bloody their own hands with the grisly procedure.

“A great many of my colleagues are unwilling to perform surgical abortions, and they say they will not be forced to carry out this life-ending procedure,” Hayes said 

“Would the politicians who so vehemently insist that we must perform abortions be willing to carry out one themselves?” he asked rhetorically. 

“Would the GPs who are attacking pro-life obstetricians on Twitter perform a late-term surgical abortion? I suspect they would not, so why are they trying to force other people to be involved in something so repugnant to those of us who adhere to the first principle of medicine which is to ‘Do No Harm?’” 

Hayes explained that while doctors have no objection to providing life-saving medical treatment to pregnant women, abortion is life-ending, not life-saving.

"It's not healthcare, and no amount of spin can make it healthcare," he said.  

In The Life Institute’s press release, the pro-life doctor also contrasted pro-abortion Health Minister Simon Harris’ eagerness to force Irish hospitals to commit abortions to his apathy regarding the crisis rocking the national health system.

“Our health minister, Simon Harris, recently enthusiastically tweeted that he was “On it,” when abortion campaigners complained that St. Luke’s Hospital was not carrying out elective terminations in Kilkenny,” Hayes said.  

“Almost every doctor in the country would agree that we wish Minister Harris had the same enthusiasm and drive in addressing the serious, life-threatening crisis that has developed in the health service on his watch,” he continued.

Hayes is one of four consultant obstetricians at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny who wrote to local doctors and hospital group administrator to say abortions would not not be committed in their workplace. 

According to their letter, the four doctors “decided unanimously that the hospital is not an appropriate location for medical or surgical terminations.”  

The consultants also said it was “also adjudged that, in the event of professional and values training of staff willing to participate in such procedures, the hospital remains an unsuitable location for these services.”

The All-Ireland Rally for Life, which alternates between Belfast and Dublin, will take place in Dublin this year. The crowds of pro-life witnesses, which last year in Belfast numbered in the tens of thousands, will meet at 2 p.m. at Parnell Square. They will then march to Custom House Quay to hear speeches by Hayes and other pro-lifers. 

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No evidence Pope Benedict said ‘the Pope is one; it is Francis’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, Italy, July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Several media outlets around the world have reported that Benedict XVI asserted in a recent interview that Pope Francis “is the one pope,” but there is no evidence for this in the actual interview. 

Thanks to reader Fr. Alfredo Morselli, LifeSiteNews has obtained a PDF of Massimo Franco’s interview with Benedict XVI for the Corriere della Sera’s Sunday supplement, “Sette [7]” magazine.

The interview, which first appeared in the print edition of the magazine on June 30, is also available online. 

Although articles about the interview, including one produced by the Catholic News Agency, stated that the Pope Emeritus had said in this interview that “the Pope is one; it is Francis,” evidence cannot be found in the interview itself. LifeSiteNews published a report on this matter on June 29 drawing on material from the Catholic News Agency report.  

The actual paragraph in which the phrases can be found does not seem to be a direct quotation from Benedict XVI but a suggestion by the interviewer of what the Pope Emeritus says to Francis’ critics. 

Found on page 28, the paragraph has been recently translated for LifeSiteNews by Diane Montagna. Purporting to describe the six years of Benedict’s retirement in Vatican City, Franco wrote: 

"When the history of these hidden years in Mater Ecclesia is written, it must not leave out the confidential visits from cardinals and bishops who knocked at the door looking for reassurance and voiced their criticisms and perplexity about the current pontificate. And one will discover how much was done to avoid lacerations. Bergoglio’s adversaries, who are often conservatives desperately searching for a word from Benedict that sounds like a criticism of Bergoglio, have invariably heard the response that ‘the Pope is one, it is Francis.’"

A trusted source told LifeSiteNews yesterday that Franco is refusing to confirm that the Pope Emeritus really did say those words. 

In April 2019, following Benedict’s surprise statement about the clerical sex abuse crisis, Cardinal Gerhardt Müller made an assertion very close to the one Franco claimed for Benedict. Müller, a former prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that it was not possible for a “true Catholic” to oppose Benedict XVI and Francis. 

“I must refuse absolutely this false game of opposing the two people: we have now only one Pope who is Francis, and Benedict is not the pope anymore,” the Cardinal told television interviewer Fabio Marchese Ragona on April 13, 2019 (at 13:24).  

The Corriere della Sera ran an advertising campaign for Franco’s interview with Benedict XVI prior to its publication in Sette magazine. However, in reality, expectations were dashed as Franco provided very little by way of direct quotations from the retired pontiff. It is unclear from the text that Benedict knew that he was participating in an interview; the pontiff’s most revelatory statement is that he prefers Italian holidays to Italian politics. Most of the article describes the visual details the journalist noticed in his outdoor meeting with Benedict, the retired pontiff’s day-to-day life, and Benedict’s amusement when given a cartoon of himself by cartoonist Emilio Giannelli, whom Franco said accompanied him to the interview.

On June 27, the Italian version of Vatican News, anticipating Franco’s interview, seemed to suggest that the Pope Emeritus had said “the pope is one, Francis” to the Corriere della Sera reporter.  

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NYPD officers carry in the remains of a discarded baby to the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bay Ridge, June 29, 2019. Brooklyn News 12 / video screen grab
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New York police officers assist in funeral of discarded baby

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa
By Lisa Bourne
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July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A baby girl born prematurely and discarded on a Brooklyn street earlier this year has been named and this past Saturday was given a funeral and proper burial with local law enforcement taking part in the ceremony.

The Life Center of New York offered to provide a funeral for baby Monica, named after St. Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, the New York Daily News reports. Members of the pro-life group said the name Monica was chosen because Augustine’s mother is said to have told her family on her deathbed, "you will remember me at the Lord’s altar, wherever you be.”

"We decided to give her that name,” said Fred Trabulsi, one of the funeral organizers. “Baby Monica, like all of us, deserves dignity and respect in living and dying.”

Six NYPD officers were pallbearers for Monica’s service at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the New York Daily News report said, processing her little casket past parishioners and members of the Life Center of New York, while an NYPD officer played a solemn bagpipe.

Several hundred attended the Mass, News 12 Brooklyn, reports.

“It’s kind of sad, a bunch of strangers are burying the kid,” Life Center member Eileen Bolger said.

Baby Monica had been found dead under a tree near the Nathaniel Greene School in East New York in February. She was inside a bag encircled by bloody clothing, according to witnesses. The city medical examiner estimated she was about 20-weeks old and would not have been viable outside the womb.

A cause of death for baby Monica was not immediately released, though it’s been thought that her mother miscarried, deciding to dispose of her and not tell family or authorities.

Trabulsi received the remains from the medical examiner’s office about a week before the service following completion of all the necessary tests. 

Life Center of New York supports women in crisis pregnancy, striving to help them make a choice for life.

“As we are living in a "culture of death" and a throwaway society, the Life Center wants to show that life is sacred from beginning to end,” the group’s website says of its efforts the honor baby Monica, “praying that what we do here will advance the culture of life.”

Some parishioners from Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish attended the funeral to pay respects to baby Monica.

“It was a beautiful Mass,” said Theresa Tuhoy. “It was very sad. They wanted to give her a proper burial.”

“It’s very sad to see what’s going on,” Mercedes Jerez said. “(But) this is our community. We’re together.”

Baby Monica was escorted to Resurrection Cemetery in Staten Island, where she was buried in the Guardian Angel section of the cemetery, which is dedicated to stillborn and abandoned babies. The Life Center of New York will have a cemetery stone placed with her name inscribed on it.

“Please remember to pray for Baby Monica's mother,” the pro-life group’s website entreats visitors, “who, like Baby Monica and countless others, is a victim of the culture of death that has darkened our city, state and nation.” 

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Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra with Pope Francis
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

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Pope Francis ignored ‘terrifying dossier’ on top Vatican official’s sex abuse: Abp. Viganò

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal ambassador who has accused Pope Francis of covering up sex abuse, has stated that the Vatican’s third most powerful prelate, Archbishop Peña Parra, was never given an “open and thorough investigation” for troubling accusations of sex abuse that date back decades. Archbishop Viganò said the high-ranking prelate was not investigated despite the existence of what he calls a “terrifying dossier” sent to Pope Francis that gives names and dates regarding his alleged misbehavior.

Archbishop Viganò told the Washington Post in an unpublished section of an interview that was recently obtained and published by LifeSiteNews that Pope Francis "essentially ignored" the dossier on Archbishop Peña Parra while appointing the Venezuelan to a top position in the Vatican.

Viganò states that one accusation, involving Peña Parra seducing two candidates for the seminary in 1990, was reported by the alleged victims’ parents to the police, and the veracity of the accusations were confirmed in writing to the Secretariat of State by both the rector of the major seminary and by seminary’s spiritual director. Viganò told the Post that “I have seen these documents with my own eyes,” and the documentation as well as that of other accusations should still be on file in the Holy See, “if it has not been destroyed.”

Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, who was installed in October of last year as the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, the second in charge of the most influential Vatican dicastery, has been under a cloud of suspicion following reports in the Italian media in 2018 of an investigation made by his bishop in the 1980s regarding accusations of homosexuality made against him anonymously. However, the accusations mentioned by Archbishop Viganò are far more serious, including sexual predation against seminarians, adultery, and even a deadly sex game.

“This might even be a scandal surpassing that of McCarrick, and it must not be allowed to be covered by silence,” says Viganò.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Archbishop Peña Parra for comment but did not receive a reply.

'Terrifying dossier' on Archbishop Peña Parra

According to reports in the Italian media, in 1985 a letter was sent from Peña Parra’s then-bishop mentioning anonymous accusations of homosexuality against him as a seminarian, and calling him a “sexually sick person.” The letter was sent by Domingo Roa Pérez, Archbishop of Maracaibo, to Pío León Cárdenas, Rector of the Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Palmira, Venezuela, where Peña Parra had been a student. Roa Pérez expresses concern about the accusations and asks if León Cárdenas can confirm or deny them.  No further correspondence has emerged to indicate the outcome of the investigation. LifeSiteNews has obtained copies of the anonymous letter containing the accusations as well the letter of inquiry written by the archbishop in response.

However, according to Archbishop Viganò, the Vatican for decades has been in possession of much more damning accusations against Peña Parra, information which has never been revealed publicly. Viganò mentions a “terrifying dossier” sent to Francis by a group of faithful Catholics from Peña Parra’s home diocese of Maracaibo in Venezuela, led by one “Dr. Enrique W. Lagunillas Machado.” The document was titled: “Who really is Msgr. Edgar Robinson Peña Parra, the New Substitute of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican?”

Viganò says that the accusations made in the letter have been known by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State since 2002, and that Viganò himself learned of them while he served as a Delegate for Pontifical Representations. LifeSiteNews has obtained a copy of the dossier from a trusted source and can verify that its contents match Archbishop Viganò’s descriptions.

In addition, Viganò claims that a journalist from Maracaibo, Gastón Guisandes López, made “serious accusations” implicating Peña Parra and other priests of the diocese in the sex abuse of minors and other “possibly criminal” acts, in 2000. He says that the following year, Guisandes López went to the apostolic nuncio in Venezuela, Archbishop André Dupuy, and although the nuncio refused to receive the journalist, he reported to Rome that he had made hair-raising accusations against Peña Parra, accusations that were partially confirmed by a diocesan official.

The nuncio reported that Peña Parra was accused of seducing two students from the minor seminary (a high school that prepares students to study for the priesthood), in September of 1990. The accusation included the specific location of the sexual abuse, which was a parish church led by a friend of Peña Parra’s, Fr. José Severeyn. Viganò says that the abuse was reported to the police and confirmed by the seminary rector, Enrique Pérez, to the Secretariat of State, adding “I have seen these documents with my own eyes.”

Even more horrifying was a second accusation reported by the apostolic nuncio, who says that Peña Parra and another priest were vacationing on an island together in Lake Maracaibo when they were involved in the death of two people, both presumably males, who were killed by electrical shock. The Maracaibo dossier also mentions this accusation, and adds that “the two corpses were found naked, with evidence of macabre homosexual lewd encounters,” in the words of Viganò.

Although the accusations were “grave,” writes Viganò, “not only was Peña Parra not required to face them, he was allowed to continue in the diplomatic service of the Holy See” – an accusation that would apply to the curia of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. Viganò considers the case of Peña Parra to be so bad that it “might even be a scandal surpassing that of McCarrick,” and notes that the archbishop is a close associate of the scandal-ridden Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, and the cardinal’s now-disgraced former auxiliary bishop, Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, having formed a strong friendship with the latter while serving in the apostolic nunciature in Honduras from 2003 to 2007.

Viganò writes that these accusations were reported to the Secretariat of State in 2002 by the then apostolic nuncio in Venezuela, Archbishop André Dupuy, and they have remained on file both in Venezuela and in the Vatican ever since, accessible to high officials of the Holy See. Viganò names “the Cardinals Secretaries of State Sodano, Bertone, and Parolin and the Substitutes Sandri, Filoni, and Becciu,” among those with access to the information, “if it has not been destroyed.”

Viganò regards Cardinal Parolin as particularly culpable in the matter, given his earlier assignment as Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela.

“Particularly egregious is the behavior of cardinal Parolin who, as Secretary of State, did not oppose the recent appointment of Peña Parra as Substitute, making him his closest collaborator,” he writes. “Even more: years earlier, in January 2011, as apostolic nuncio in Caracas, Parolin did not oppose the appointment of Peña Parra as archbishop and apostolic nuncio to Pakistan. Before such important appointments, a rigorous informative process is made to verify the suitability of the candidate, so these accusations were surely brought to the attention of cardinal Parolin.”

Viganò adds that “cardinal Parolin knows the names of a number of priests in the Curia who are sexually unchaste, violating the laws of God that they solemnly committed themselves to teach and practice, and he continues to look the other way.”  He regards Pope Francis’ as having even more “grave” responsibility, for “having chosen for an extremely important position in the Church a man accused of such serious crimes, without first insisting on an open and thorough investigation.”

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Vincent Lambert
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

News

Vincent Lambert’s mom horrified to watch French hospital murder her son

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – “I would so much like to be with him when he breathes his last breath…” Viviane Lambert, has fought tirelessly for six years for the life of her son, but since Tuesday evening, July 2, she has also been preparing for his death. The tetraplegic and brain-damaged 42-year-old man has been deprived of food and water since Tuesday evening in order to make him die.

France has refused to react to the United Nations Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons’ (CRDP) repeated demands in view of provisional measures that would give it time to assess Lambert’s case by suspending all irreversible acts – of which the deliberate deprivation of food and fluids are the most irreversible of all.

The CRDP reiterated its request to France for the third time this Wednesday, but to no avail.

Together with her husband, Viviane was by Vincent Lambert’s side in the hospital room in Reims where he has been locked away for six years, Tuesday evening and on Wednesday. During the coming days, things will be even more difficult than usual. Vincent’s legal guardian, his wife Rachel, has drawn up a strict schedule, fixing the times of day and night when different family members will be allowed to visit him to say goodbye. Viviane fears that her son may die alone.

During a lengthy phone call on Wednesday evening, Viviane, spoke to LifeSiteNews about her son’s situation. 

“Last night was horrible. I felt I couldn't stand it any longer. Today I feel better: I went to see my doctor and cried a lot. I'm trying to put things in perspective: I tell myself that Vincent will be with the good Lord. But he is unhappy… He was looking at us, we could see he is suffering. Is he suffering from not having drunk anything? He hasn't had anything to eat today.”

How could Vincent Lambert be looking at his mother more than 24 hours after his feeding tube was pulled, when the end-of-life protocol he is so eagerly being put through requires deep sedation? That is the procedure described by the so-called Leonetti law which organizes death by dehydration for severely ill persons or people incapable of expressing their will who have left advance directives. Deep sedation is what was given Vincent on May 20 at the beginning of the previous attempt to make him die through lack of fluids and food.

 Things appear to be going very differently this time.

“They said they gave him very mild sedation,” Viviane Lambert told LifeSiteNews. She added that one of the doctors specialized in the care of brain-damaged, minimally conscious patients who has supported Pierre and Viviane Lambert’s battle for the last six years told her there is no such thing: a patient is either sedated, or he is not.

It appears that Vincent Lambert is being dehydrated to death while remaining sufficiently conscious for his mother to perceive his reactions and to see him looking at her. She says requests for information from the doctor who initiated the death procedure, Vincent Sanchez, are often met with the response: “I can’t answer that.”

David Lambert, Vincent’s brother and one of his four family members were fighting for his life, was told that the procedure could last from two days to one month, said Viviane. It seems the doctor does not want to “go too fast” and wants to avoid Vincent having “epileptic seizures.” One can only imagine the stress this protracted and deliberate death process can cause to Vincent's loved ones.

Viviane told LifeSite about the “sadness” in her son's eyes since yesterday evening. “It was as if he were drowning – and they’re pushing him under water,” she said.

“We do what we can to reassure him, telling him that we love him,” she added. As a convinced practicing Catholic, Viviane, who seemed astonishingly serene after a very difficult day Tuesday, was happy to share that she has been able to pray at her son's bedside. He has received the last sacraments, she said, thanks to the Bishop of Reims who sent a chaplain for the last rites, but his family was not present.

“I trust the good Lord, really. Really, we are not alone, and that's what helped us fight too. People ask me how I can hold on. Yes, it's my faith, and also, he's my son. He is the flesh of my flesh. But we are supported by so many people, by Holy Masses, sacrifices and fasting: Vincent surely has the potential to go to heaven! It's not that I'm clinging to his life. It would have been a relief if he had departed naturally. But it is he who is clinging to life, and all the while it's as if his head is being pushed under water. It’s unacceptable. They’re burying Hippocrates,” she said.

The Reims university hospital where Vincent Lambert is being put to death is under heavy protection, with vigils checking visitors’ identities both in and outside the building, while all cars entering within the hospital enclosure are also being screened.

The Lambert’s lawyers have not given up their fight and are still aiming to obtain the implementation of the United Nation’s request for provisional measures.

Contact information for respectful communications: 

Reims Hospital
CHU Reims, 48 rue de Sébastopol, 51100 Reims, France

Dr. Sanchez’ email address: [email protected]

French Health Ministry
Ministère des solidarités et de la santé 
14 avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris, France 
Ph: + 31 1 40 56 60 00.

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A 'Pride Mass' in New Jersey appears to be sparsely attended despite the organizer's claims. Twitter
Phil Lawler

Opinion

Our first front in the fight against LGBT propaganda is inside the Church

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

July 4, 2019 (Catholic Culture) — “Pride Month” has come to an end. And for the first two days of July, the first readings at Mass told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d call that a coincidence — if I believed in coincidences.

Just after the middle of the month, Joseph Sciambra posted a very provocative comment on his Facebook page. Sciambra knows whereof he speaks; having once been caught up in the homosexual underworld, since experiencing a conversion he has made it his special mission to reach out to homosexuals, helping to heal their wounds. And they are wounded. The grotesque excesses on display at “Gay Pride” events are evidence that these people need help. Sciambra observes:

"But there is a far greater evil (than any 'Pride' Parade) that goes largely unchecked and mostly unchallenged in the Catholic Church: the ongoing problem of priests and prelates and their lay underlings who openly disseminate their own spin on LGBT propaganda. What makes their actions grossly evil — is that they do so in the name of God."

Building on Sciambra’s argument, let me suggest that when Catholics complain about the “Pride” activists, they are aiming at the wrong target. Not because the complaints are unjustified — they are not — but because we have a more pressing problem on our hands. Before we lament what is happening on the city streets, let’s address what is happening in our own churches. We Catholics cannot restore sanity to society until we have restored integrity in our Church. We cannot continue fighting a two-front war.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, a Catholic parish capped the month with a “Pride Mass,” encouraging members of the congregation to join the parade in New York. In Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop John Stowe offered a “celebration of Pride” prayer card, featuring a crucifix bathed in rainbow-colored light. How can we expect to gain a hearing for Catholic moral teachings, when the Church issues such confusing messages?

Unfortunately, those examples in Hoboken and Lexington can no longer be considered exceptional. If you think your own diocese is free of such problems, you should probably think again. Are there one or two parishes that welcome and encourage LGBT activists? Has Father James Martin come to speak to a parish or college group? Are there gay-straight alliances in parochial schools? If so, then you should address that situation before you begin to worry about the secular activists. We must speak with clarity. We must show unity in support of Christian morality. We must display the integrity that comes only when we practice what we preach.

Liberal Catholics scoff at bishops and priests — yes, and internet pundits — who they dismiss as “culture warriors.” But that characterization begs the question. Is there a culture war going on: a battle for the soul of our society? If you answer that question with a No, I probably can’t convince you otherwise. But if you say Yes, then don’t criticize the “culture warrior” Catholics. On the contrary, you should criticize those who do not earn that sobriquet.

The battle is real, and the conflict is escalating. As a presidential candidate, just a bit more than a decade ago, Barack Obama opposed legal recognition of same-sex "marriage." Today, that stand would disqualify him as a Democratic candidate. A decade ago, a frat boy might have earned guffaws from his classmates by suggesting (in jest) that biological men should have legal access to abortion; this year, a Democratic presidential hopeful made that point in all seriousness.

And while the sexual revolutionaries continue to rack up victories, the middle ground is shrinking. Anyone who dares to oppose the LGBT agenda is subject to public denunciation for “hate speech,” perhaps barred from social media, or even “doxed” and harassed at home.

“Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold,” wrote Yeats in what is probably his most-quoted line. Look down just a couple of lines in that poem (“The Second Coming”) and the Irish poet seems to be speaking of our own time:

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

We adults will survive these culture wars, one way or another. But think of the children; think of “ceremony of innocence.” We owe it to our children to preserve their innocence, to preserve a culture in which they can find stability, serenity, and strength.

Do you want to know why I am a culture warrior? The Left will tell you that I’m consumed by fear. In a way, that is true. I am afraid that if I remain silent, I shall have no defense when I am asked, “What did you do during the culture wars, Grandpa?”

Don’t ask whether or not there is a war going on: a war for the soul of our society, a war for the integrity of our Church. There is. The right question to ask — first of yourself, then of your pastor and your bishop and your Catholic friends — is: Which side are you on?

Reprinted with permission from Catholic Culture.

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Doug Ford at his victory speech at the moment he says 'God bless,' June 7, 2018. screen grab
Tanya Granic Allen

Opinion

Doug Ford promised to ‘repeal and replace’ Ontario’s sex-ed. We’re still waiting

Tanya Granic Allen
By Tanya Granic Allen

July 4, 2019 (Parents as First Educators) –We just passed the one year anniversary of Doug Ford being sworn in as Premier of Ontario, liberating Ontario from the anti-parent and anti-religion, bigoted Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne.

Ford, you remember, partially won the 2018 PC Leadership, and the ensuing general election campaign, on a promise to “repeal and replace” the Wynne sex ed curriculum.

Well, one year later, the “repeal and replace” exercise amounted to nothing. Despite much publicity and a very noisy court fight between the teachers’ unions and Ford’s hand-picked first Minister of Education, nothing was repealed. The entirety of the Wynne sex ed is still there, for every teacher to utilize with Ontario children.

In some ways, the situation is now even worse than it was under Wynne. Late last year, Minister Lisa Thompson instructed her lawyer in the court case to proclaim what I call the “Thompson Doctrine”: when it comes to sex ed – or just about anything else – any Ontario teacher can teach anything they like, at any age or grade level, using any resources they like, so long as they only “examine” or “test” the children on the material at the specified grade level. Click here for more information.

So much for “repeal and replace.”  Either Lisa Thompson made a liar out of Doug Ford, or Ford’s promise was a lie from the very beginning. Take your pick.

But there is a sliver of good news!

In late June, Ford finally dumped Thompson as Education Minister. (And thank you to the thousands of you who signed our online petition that called for Thompson’s ouster as Minister!)

What of the new Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce? I wrote about him last week. Click here for my initial, negative assessment.

In any case, Mr. Lecce is the new Minister, and I note that the school year has now wrapped up for the summer, and the new curriculum has still not been formally released. Perhaps there is some hope.

Therefore I have, today, sent a detailed letter to Minister Lecce, outlining his predecessor’s “reign of error” at the Ministry of Education and have asked him to suspend the release of the new curriculum. In short, Minister Lecce needs to “start over”.

To read my letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, click here.

Editor's note: This letter was reprinted from a Parents As First Educators' (PAFE) email. It is reprinted here by permission. To subscribe to PAFE's email list, click here. To download and sign the paper petition demanding the repeal of Ontario's radical sex-ed, click here.

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Julia Meloni

Opinion

St. Gallen Mafia’s long war to change priesthood will have decisive moment at Amazon Synod

Julia Meloni
By

"The shortage of priests is only an obvious pretext to abolish practically (not theoretically) celibacy in the Latin Church. This has been the aim since Luther." —Bishop Athanasius Schneider 

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Forty-four years before he successfully led the crusade to elect Pope Francis, then-Fr. Cormac Murphy-O’Connor—a future member of the St. Gallen mafia—attended a 1969 synod under Pope Paul VI.  Listening to all the radical speeches challenging clerical celibacy, he suddenly felt “a rush of blood to the head,” as he recalls in An English Spring.  In “execrable Latin,” Murphy-O’Connor made an impromptu speech announcing that “perhaps the ordination of married men should be considered.”

“Everything seemed to be up for grabs” in that heady post-conciliar moment.  One priest even told Murphy-O’Connor: “I was quite sure there would be a change in the celibacy rule, and I took my vows with that in mind.”  In the lead-up to a 1971 synod on the priesthood that Murphy-O’Connor helped plan, the future mafia member wrote an article arguing that “ultimately the preaching of the word and administration of the sacraments are of much greater importance than an ecclesiastical law of an unmarried priesthood.”

Eventually, both he and his mafia predecessor, Basil Hume, received letters from Rome for saying what Murphy-O’Connor describes as “vaguely provocative things” about ordaining married men.  “I’ll tell you what, Cormac,” Hume said, “why don’t we go to Rome and we’ll confront them?  We’ll go together and sort this out.”   

Meanwhile, their future mafia comrades Walter Kasper and Karl Lehmann signed a 1970 document demanding a “serious investigation” of the law of celibacy and the possibility of ordaining married men.  But at the turbulent 1971 synod on the priesthood, a narrow majority of bishops voted against ordaining married men even in “particular cases.”  As one cardinal argued, introducing any type of change would make it “impossible to confine the ordination of married men even within the limits suggested.”  

“One could not allow it for one European country and exclude it from the rest of Europe.  One could not exclude it from Europe altogether and allow it in some countries elsewhere in the world,” the cardinal said.  According to The New York Times, his argument “hit home” with many “because, with one or two exceptions, even those who favored ordaining married men under some circumstances have warned against the more radical change of permitting those who are already priests to marry.”

“A fitting moment, a kairos, was missed,” Lehmann later lamented in his memoirs.

Decades after the synod, however, multiple mafia members started making strangely confident, prescient remarks about the ordination of married men.  At a press conference shortly before the 2013 conclave, Murphy-O’Connor announced that the issue “very well might come up,” though it wouldn’t be “first on the agenda” (21:38).  Then, a year after he successfully led the effort to elect Pope Francis, Murphy-O’Connor declared that he’d ask Rome “to ordain suitable married men” if he were a bishop with a small number of priests.  Cardinal Kasper, meanwhile, proclaimed that the new pope favored the proposal.

Today, we face an Amazon synod that, as Cardinal Walter Brandmüller puts it, “intends, above all, to help implement two most cherished projects that heretofore have never been implemented: namely, the abolition of priestly celibacy and the introduction of a female priesthood—beginning with female deacons.”  In the lead-up to the synod, Pope Francis has forebodingly praised the radical work of Bishop Fritz Lobinger, who seeks to ordain married “elders” for the “whole Church.”  By vastly outnumbering regular priests with these married elders, Lobinger hopes to proliferate “group-conducted” Masses celebrated by “the bank manager, the bus driver, the carpenter.”  Lobinger openly admits that some existing priests will ultimately be granted exceptions to marry, and he has repeatedly suggested that his “community-based” model of the priesthood will pave the way for women’s ordination.          

Pope Francis has thus chosen a synodal muse who embodies the aspirations of the “ante-pope” and leader of the St. Gallen mafia, Cardinal Carlo Martini.  At a 1999 synod, Martini announced his “dream” of using “synodality” to solve, among other things, the “shortage of ordained ministers,” the “role of women” in the Church, and the “need to revive ecumenical hopes.”  In Night Conversations, his later blueprint for the Francis pontificate, Martini praised the ordination of married men, the idea of “deaconesses,” and other churches’ agenda to ordain women. 

As he explained:

In Canterbury during the nineties, I visited Archbishop Dr. George Leonard Carey, then Primate of the Church of England.  His church was suffering tensions because of the ordination of women.  I tried to give him courage to take a risk that could also help us treat women more fairly and understand how things might develop further.  We should not be unhappy that the Protestant and Anglican churches ordain women and are thereby introducing something important into the arena of wider ecumenism.

In Edward Pentin’s 2015 book The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?, Cardinal Brandmüller prophetically outlined the revolution’s arc and its connection to radical ecumenism.  As he put it:

Communion for the divorced and ‘remarried’ [comes] first.  Then abolition of priestly celibacy, second.  Priesthood for women is the ultimate aim, and lastly unification with the Protestants.  Then we will have a national German church, independent from Rome.  Finally, together with all the Protestants.

That same goal is found in Kasper’s glowing book on Martin Luther, which finds ecumenical hope in Luther’s “statement that he would…kiss the feet of a pope who allows and acknowledges his gospel.”  That pope who allows Luther’s gospel, Kasper’s book openly suggests, is Francis himself.  Hence this pontificate’s Luther-inspired agenda to de-Catholicize the Church, weakening markers such as clerical celibacy for the sake of radical ecumenism.

Just recently, Kasper attended a secretive pre-synodal meeting encouraging both the ordination of married men and a reconsideration of the female diaconate.  No fellow mafia members were there; nearly all have died too soon to see the revolution’s late fruits.  But through Kasper a very long war—a war reaching back to Luther himself—rages on.  

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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Young people pushing back against transgender nonsense has LGBT activists alarmed

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

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite nonstop promotion from corporations, the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, and progressive politicians, a new set of polls seems to indicate that younger Americans are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the growing extremism of the LGBTQ movement.

Additionally, as the movement shifts into the post-gay "marriage" era and begins to radicalize around gender fluidity, transgenderism, and the rejection of science in favour of self-identification, many of those who were neutral or supportive are deciding that this is where they get off the train.

The statistics are genuinely surprising. According to the annual Accelerating Acceptance report, the number of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 who are “comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people” dropped from 53% in 2017 to 45% in 2018, which is already a decrease from 63% in 2016. Especially surprising is the fact that this is the only age group that is growing more uncomfortable with the LGBTQ movement—and this is the famously “tolerant” generation. Young women in particular are driving this change, with their comfort levels dropping from 64% in 2017 to 52% in 2018 according to a recent Harris Poll commissioned by the gay activist organization GLAAD.

Other findings triggered dire warnings from John Gerzema, the CEO of The Harris Poll, who stated that the polling was “very alarming” and could “signal a looming social crisis in discrimination.”

For example, 34% of young people said that they would be uncomfortable to find out that their doctor was LGBTQ, as opposed to 27% a year earlier. A full 39% were not comfortable with their child receiving a lesson in school on LGBTQ history, which is a nearly ten point jump from 30% in 2017. And 36% of young Americans indicated that they would be uncomfortable to learn that a family member identified as LGBTQ, as opposed to 29% in 2017.

USA Today pinpointed the reasons for the surprising shift: “The negative shift for the young is surprising, said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO. When GLAAD delved into the numbers, the group found that the younger generation was coming into contact with more LGBTQ people, particularly individuals who are non-binary and simply don’t identify as lesbian or gay. ‘This newness they are experiencing could be leading to this erosion. It’s a newness that takes time for people to understand. Our job is to educate about non-conformity,’ she said.”

In other words, the LGBTQ movement may have pushed the culture too far. Many people accept the idea that the government should stay out of people’s sex lives. A majority of Americans also came to believe, over the past two decades, that gay people should be permitted to get "married" (a process described incisively by Darel Paul in his 2018 book From Tolerance to Equality: How the Elites Brought America to Same-Sex Marriage.) But most people simply do not believe that women can have penises, that men can get pregnant, or that gender is fluid. The simple fact is that to most people, “non-binary” and other ever-shifting and multiplying categories are simply nonsense.

Young people also have a front-row seat to the chaos the LGBTQ movement is wreaking on their schools. Biological males in the girl’s bathroom, biological males destroying the female competition at women’s sporting events, the utter confusion of transgenderism, transition, and the LGBTQ indoctrination—they have lived these things, and it is notable that much of the pushback to this agenda is coming from young people, not from adults. It is teenage girls who are suing their schools over bathroom privacy and biological males in female sports competitions. Their childhoods are being turned into battlefields in the culture wars, and many of them are profoundly unhappy with this.

The LGBTQ movement has now surged forward so swiftly that even many activists who championed same-sex "marriage" find themselves bewildered and out of step. LGBT activists are attempting to use an entire generation as the guinea pigs in a massive social experiment with gender fluidity and sexuality, and many of those guinea pigs, as GLAAD’s own polling indicates, are very unhappy with it. I only hope that the pushback to the LGBTQ agenda will strengthen, persevere, and herald a return to sanity.

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 Jason Jones about the pro-life movement. Jones began working in the pro-life movement while attending the University of Hawaii. His work within the movement progressed from forming the Pro-Life Student Union to include Director of Hawaii Right to Life and Public Relations Director for Human Life International. He is the president and founder of HumanRights Education Organization and Movie to Movement. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

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Karl-Heinz Menke www.vaticannews.va
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Prof explains why it’s theologically impermissible for laity to govern Catholic diocese, parish

Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A German priest and theologian said that the powers bestowed on a priest at ordination, namely the power to confect the Eucharist and the power of government, may not be separated such that the power of government alone could be bestowed upon laity.  

“The power of ordination (potestas ordinis) and the judicial power (potestas jurisdictionis) may not be separated,” Karl-Heinz Menke, a priest and retired professor of dogmatics at the University of Boon, told LifeSiteNews. 

When a bishop, for example, is appointed by the Pope, he receives his “jurisdiction over his diocese not from the Pope, but through his episcopal consecration [i.e., through Holy Orders],” the theologian explained. The same applies to a priest and a deacon. A priest, for example, is appointed by the bishop, but “exercises his jurisdiction not because of this appointment, but because of his priestly ordination.” 

Professor Menke is a member of the Vatican's International Theology Commission who was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the 2016 Study Commission on the history of the female diaconate. LifeSiteNews reached out to him and asked him to comment on the working document for the upcoming Amazon Synod calling for bishops to “reconsider the notion that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. (number 127)”

In other words, the Amazon Synod will reflect upon the idea of having laymen – male or female – rule over parishes or dioceses, thereby putting into question the hierarchical-sacramental structure of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, in his strong critique of the working document, stated that the hierarchical and sacramental aspects of Holy Orders may not be split apart. He called this section of the working document a “direct attack on the hierarchical-sacramental constitution of the Church.” 

Professor Menke commented that “if one would want to entrust to a woman the governance of, for example, a diocese or a parish – without being able to ordain her as bishop or as priest – then we would return into an age (from the Middles Ages up to the Reformation), in which dioceses were ruled by prince-bishops who did not receive episcopal ordination and who had auxiliary bishops at their side to take care of the pastoral tasks.”

“This abuse had already been removed by the Council of Trent, and the Second Vatican Council (see LG 28) strictly binds the judicial power to the reception of the analogous [sacred] ordinations,” he said. 

Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium states, in paragraph 28, that bishops, priests and deacons all exercise, on different levels, the “ecclesiastical ministry,” and this includes not only the teaching and sanctifying offices, but also the governing office. Lumen Gentium states: 

Thus the divinely established ecclesiastical ministry is exercised on different levels by those who from antiquity have been called bishops, priests and deacons.(63*) [….] By the power of the sacrament of Orders,(65*) in the image of Christ the eternal high Priest,(177) they [the priests] are consecrated to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful and to celebrate divine worship, so that they are true priests of the New Testament.(66*) Partakers of the function of Christ the sole Mediator,(178) on their level of ministry, they announce the divine word to all. They exercise their sacred function especially in the Eucharistic worship or the celebration of the Mass by which acting in the person of Christ (67*) and proclaiming His Mystery they unite the prayers of the faithful with the sacrifice of their Head and renew and apply (68*) in the sacrifice of the Mass [….] Exercising within the limits of their authority the function of Christ as Shepherd and Head,(69*) they gather together God's family as a brotherhood all of one mind,(70*) and lead them in the Spirit, through Christ, to God the Father.

As Catholic News Agency's canon law expert, Ed Condon, also just pointed out in a critique of the upcoming curial reform, “Canon law defines ordination as a necessary qualification for the exercise of the power of governance. Lay people – according to the Code of Canon Law – can 'cooperate' in the exercise, but not exercise it in their own right.”

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Why honoring Francis as the Pope means showing concern for his errors

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

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – With so many popes in the Church’s history who are duly venerated as saints, it would be inconvenient to celebrate special Masses for all of them. Accordingly, the traditional Roman calendar wisely set aside a particular day—July 4th, as it turns out—for the Commemoration of All Holy Popes, with its own Mass propers, starting with the Introit “Congregate illi sanctos.”

I will not try to force a symbolic connection between this July 4th observance and the much more familiar Fourth of July celebrations in the United States of America, especially given that the Commemoration of All Holy Popes has fallen on different dates at different times. Nevertheless, the two occasions do have something crucial in common: each is an expression of the virtue of pietas or tender devotion to one’s father or fatherland.

When the Open Letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy was first released on April 30, many commentators accused the signatories of rejecting the pope or failing to hold him in proper esteem. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we rejected his claim to the papacy, as some do, there would be no grounds for complaint, since he could not then be guilty of abusing his office, as a madman who thinks himself the emperor of China is not really guilty of international crimes. If we failed to hold him in proper esteem, we would not care so acutely about what he is doing and saying; one does not bother with a person one holds in contempt, or about whose fate one cares nothing.

In reality, it is because he is the pope that we cry out against his errors; it is because we reverence him that we decry his abuse of power. An anarchist throws a bomb at the target of his hatred, but a Catholic raises his voice in prayer and protest for a shepherd gone astray, who is loved with a charity that seeks out remedies, natural and supernatural.

I know some of the signatories personally, and I am friends with many others who concur with the content of this Open Letter. Not a single one of us fails to pray for Pope Francis. He is the common father of Christians—whether worthily discharging his paternal office or not—and we owe him our urgent and oft-repeated prayers to God.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest exemplifies this correct attitude. Almost every day of the Church’s year, the Institute’s canons add the Commemoratio pro Papa to the orations of the Mass. This old custom, abolished (like much else) in the middle of the twentieth century, is well worth reestablishing. Indeed, can we fail to notice that the most precipitous decline in papal orthodoxy began right around the time of the abandonment of this custom? It’s as if the Vatican officials in charge of the liturgy had said to God: “With all due respect, the popes don’t need Your help as much anymore.” And God said: “Okay, let’s see how they manage with less of it.”

The orations read as follows:

Collect. O God, the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, look down favorably upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast willed to appoint pastor over Thy Church; grant, we beseech Thee, that he may benefit both by word and example those over whom he is set, and thus attain unto life eternal, together with the flock entrusted to his care. Through our Lord…

Secret. We beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thou mayest be appeased by the gifts we offer, and govern by Thy continual protection Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast willed to appoint as pastor over Thy Church. Through our Lord…

Postcommunion. May the reception of this divine sacrament protect us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and ever save and defend Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast willed to appoint as pastor over Thy Church, together with the flock committed to his care. Through our Lord…

The Institute’s restoration of this custom is admirable. They understand that Pope Francis will be pope only for a short time; he is the 266th in order from St. Peter, and, however painfully the years drag on, there will someday be a 267th, a 268th, and so forth, until Christ returns in glory to judge the living and the dead. Accordingly, the attitude we have towards the papacy should remain highly respectful. When Our Lord sees fit to come to the aid of His Church by providing a better shepherd, we need to have retained all along the right dispositions towards the Sovereign Pontiff. We cannot let our righteous and reasonable anger about Bergoglio, who passes like a shadow, contaminate our grateful and prayerful relationship to the office that abides.

How different is this terrifying example of neo-ultramontanism: a “Prayer for the Pope“ disseminated by the movement Regnum Christi, associated with the scandal-haunted Legionaries of Christ, who owed part of their great success to John Paul II’s blind endorsement of Marcial Maciel and the latter’s cultivation of a robotic obedience among his rank and file:

Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.

Seen with squinted eyes, this prayer could be given an orthodox interpretation, but when we read it in light of the milieu out of which it comes, and consider the stubborn refusal to acknowledge the reality of papal errors characteristic of “conservative” movements, we cannot but regard it as the epitome of a certain extreme, that of papolatry, which is as false as its contrary, Protestant antipapalism. The golden mean of virtue, so beautifully expressed in the traditional Roman orations pro Papa, lies in a reverent adherence to the pope as the transmitter of the deposit of faith and of the Catholic tradition that precede and govern him, even as he presides over and rules the body of the faithful.

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