All articles from July 5, 2019


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Undercover video proves Google interfered in Irish abortion referendum

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By Martin Barillas

DUBLIN, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Google admitted to interference in Ireland’s 2018 abortion referendum but claimed that it was merely to “help voters.”

In revelations made by pro-transparency website Project Veritas, YouTube “blacklisted” a large number of videos on its platform in advance of the referendum while also interfering with search results. YouTube is wholly owned by Google. When voters searched for specific terms on YouTube, the results of their searches were manually altered by Google, thus assuring that the videos selected by Google reach the top of the search results.

Among the searches affected by interference from Google were “irish catholic,” unborn life,” and “abortion is wrong.” The interference in search results came within one week of the referendum, which allowed abortion nationwide. Sources leaked the news to Project Veritas, which was later corroborated by the Breitbart news organization. Some observers have noted that there may be similar manipulation of Google search results with regard to searches related to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her use of a non-classified internet server for her top-secret communications during her stint in the Obama administration.

Among the blacklisted phrases related to the referendum were:

  • abortion is barbaric
  • abortion is wrong
  • abortion is murdering
  • Repeal the 8th
  • Murder of innocent babies
  • Right to life
  • abortion and Down syndrome
  • child murder
  • abortion and the Catholic Church

An undetermined number of media and YouTube users were affected by Google’s blacklisting.

However, the Irish Catholic, which is published in Ireland, noted that it was among the media affected.

Google denies inappropriate activity. In a statement to Breitbart, Google declared: “In the midst of the Irish referendum on abortion, our systems brought authoritative content to the top of our search results for abortion-related queries. This happened for both pro-choice and pro-life queries, there was no distinction.”

Pro-life groups in Ireland were incensed by the news. According to the Irish Catholic, pro-life campaigner Namh Uí Bhriain said she is concerned about Google’s secretive behavior. Saying voters were manipulated by Google, she added, “[W]e do not know which content was blocked, and which was promoted. This is obvious interference in a democratic vote.”

“We simply do not know which videos were promoted, and which were pushed down the order, or what impact that had on voter choices,” said John McGuirk of the pro-life group SaveThe8th. He added, “The result of the referendum was lopsided, so it is almost impossible to imagine that this decision by Google was single-handedly responsible for it.” Writing in The Irish Catholic, McGuirk said the impression remains that Google was seeking to change what voters saw on YouTube in the crucial days just before the referendum vote. At the time, newspapers tried to convince Google to eliminate “misleading” ads and content from its platform. At the same time, pro-abortion groups proclaimed they would hold Google responsible should they lose the referendum.

In the end, the pro-abortion campaign in Ireland emerged victorious. In a document released after the referendum, the Life Institute of Ireland blamed Google and the media for perceived bias. The document identified six reasons why the media could be blamed — for example, that the media were hostile to the campaign to retain the pro-life provisions in the Irish constitution and were “massively biased” in favor of abortion.

In addition, Life Institute blamed “The Google Factor” for the loss. By banning advertisements from both sides in advance of the vote, the group claimed, Google was effectively favoring the pro-abortion side. “Google claimed that they were playing fair by banning advertisements from both sides, but that’s nonsense. The Yes campaign didn’t need Google,” the study said, noting that pro-abortion campaginers had all the major media outlets on their side “giving millions of euros worth of free advertising day after day to abortion supporters."

Some conservatives in the United States have expressed concerns that Google and other social media platforms are engaging in political manipulation. In April, for example, U.S. senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said during a Judiciary Subcommittee hearing that some Americans believe that some tech firms are biased against conservatives. “If we have tech companies using the powers of monopoly to censor political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues,” Cruz said.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have denied that their platforms are politically biased.

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Marchers at the Jan. 18, 2019 March for Life in Washington D.C. Tyler Orsburn / Twitter
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Gallup poll shows pro-life support climbing as states pass laws to protect babies

Michael New
By Michael New

July 5, 2019 (National Review Online) — Last week, Gallup released its annual public-opinion poll on abortion policy, and its results contain some good news for abortion opponents. According to the survey, a plurality of Americans now identify as pro-life, with 49 percent of respondents calling themselves "pro-life," and 46 percent calling themselves "pro-choice." This is the first Gallup poll since 2013 in which a higher percentage of respondents identified as "pro-life" rather than "pro-choice."

The new survey also found that the percentage of Americans who think abortion should either be "illegal in all circumstances" or "legal in only a few circumstances" increased from 53 to 60 percent between 2018 and 2019. A Gallup poll conducted in May, meanwhile, found that the percentage of Americans who consider abortion immoral reached 50 percent for the first time since 2012.

This gain in public support for the pro-life position is more significant than many observers realize. There is some evidence that pro-life sentiment tends to wane during Republican presidential administrations, as well as when abortion opponents are poised to make substantial policy gains. Some pro-life observers have been concerned that efforts to enact abortion limitations in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and a handful of other states might result in a public-opinion backlash. This new Gallup poll illustrates that this likely has not been the case. In fact, it is entirely possible that aggressive efforts by Democrats to make abortion policy more permissive in states such as New York, Vermont, and Illinois actually might have resulted in gains in pro-life sentiment.

Americans' attitudes on abortion and other life issues inevitably fluctuate from year to year, which is why it's important to remember the long-term gains the pro-life movement has made in public-opinion polling over time. In 1995, Gallup found that only 33 percent of Americans identified as "pro-life," but since 1997, pro-life sentiment has reached at least 40 percent in every Gallup poll. In both 2009 and 2012, majorities of respondents to Gallup's survey identified as "pro-life," and pro-life efforts to educate the public likely have been an essential reason why the U.S. abortion rate has declined by more than 50 percent since 1980.

Published with permission from National Review Online.

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Canadian public broadcaster interviews children for documentary about drag

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

OTTAWA, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A lithe, long-legged dancer performs for the camera, rolling onto her back. 

She looks like a pre-teen girl and, surprise, she is one. Twelve-year-old Bracken Hanke is one of the children being interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for its upcoming documentary for children about children who do drag. 

CBC Kids News tweeted a three-minute video yesterday in which the “four stars” of the promised show squirm artistically for the camera and explain what drag means for them.   

The tax-funded broadcaster presented the short promo with the statement: “What's it like to be a KID #DRAGQUEEN? ������ @CBCKidsNews spoke with the four stars of CBC's new #DragKids documentary to find out what #drag is, and why they do it. #lgbtq #queer #kiddragqueen @cbcdocs.”

Bracken describes herself as a “hyperqueen, a female drag queen” and drag as a performance.

Jason, 11, says his “drag name” is Susan B. Anthony. He says drag is “showing who you are.” 

Nemis, 10, who is a celebrity drag queen from Montreal known as Lactatia, holds a large stuffed elephant throughout the promotional spot. Although otherwise wearing boys’ clothes for his interview, he is wearing heavy eyeshadow. 

“Drag is a performing art,” he says, clutching the toy, “because you are the canvas.” 

Stephan, 9, who wears lipstick for the video, says his “drag name” is Laddy Gaga.   

“A man transforms into a woman for entertainment,” he explains, “and a woman transforms into a man for entertainment.” 

Stephan breaks into song, imitating Lady Gaga singing the refrain of “Shallow.”

The children discuss their favorite performance songs -- Bracken favors “No Excuses,” a spirited song in which a woman fends off aggressive sexual advances, their favorite celebrity drag queens, and their favorite drag expressions. 

Tellingly, Bracken identifies her favorite “drag queen,” Alaska, as having appeared in two seasons of TV show “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” Bracken spares her audience Alaska’s full “drag name”, which cannot be printed in a family newspaper or, surprising under the circumstances, pronounced on the CBC. 

The children say they hope kids who watch the documentary will learn that it’s “OK” and “not weird” to do drag. 

Nemis says he now performs for crowds, whose cheers lead him to believe he is “doing all right.” Bracken says drag has helped her express herself in a way that she is not able to in everyday life and that it is part of her journey of self-discovery. Stefan says drag helps him to be himself.

The CBC’s tweet has met with a twitterstorm of shocked responses. 

“The parents of these kids, and the producers of this documentary, should be in prison for child abuse,” Mark Dice tweeted to the CBC. 

“This is absolutely disgusting,” chipped in a Twitter user calling himself Nate. 

“Everyone involved in this piece needs to be fired immediately, and you should lose all your funding,” he continued.  

“Canada needs a national broadcaster, but the CBC is too broken at this point. Time to start from scratch.”

“This sexualization of children is criminal behavior by the CBC,” stated Jason Lee. 

David Cooke of the Canadian branch of CitizenGo told LifeSiteNews via email that he found the short video “heart-wrenching.”

“It is absolutely heart-wrenching to see young 9-, 10-, 11-, and 12-year- old boys and girls being exploited as cross-dressing sex objects, performing lewd dances for the entertainment of rowdy LGBT crowds,” he said.   

Cooke believes the children have been groomed into the “exhibitionist” and “immoral” performance art by influential adults in their lives. 

“I have a 10-year old daughter and a 13-year-old son, and I would never allow them to be used like this - not for all the fame and money in the world,” he said.  

Cooke believes that the CBC is “glorifying” child abuse and exploitation by “showcasing” the children.  

“Not only should these children's parents be investigated by police, so should the producers of this CBC documentary,” he wrote.  

“These kids should be in school, at home, in the playground - doing normal "kid things," not practicing erotic dance moves in drag to provide pleasure to audiences of deviants,” Cooke continued.  

“There needs to be an urgent uproar against this.“

The CBC documentary is merely the latest in a series of media and commercial celebrations of  children emulating performers known as much for their lewd routines as for their exaggeratedly “feminine” outfits. Nemis Quinn Mélançon-Golden was at the center of a controversy in January after posing with a nude man for Huck magazine. 

Nemis’ American counterpart, Desmond Napoles, or Desmond is Amazing, recently dressed in drag as a “spokeskid” for Converse sneakers. Desmond, who is autistic, has also been filmed dancing in gay bars and appeared with a convicted killer on the latter’s YouTube channel. Desmond also appeared on Good Morning America.

To make your views respectfully known, please contact:

CBC Kids’ News: [email protected]

Or: CBC National Audience Services 
P.O. Box 500, Station A 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada​
M5W 1E6  
1-866-306-4636

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This teacher told a student that he's required to accept that there are more than two genders. YouTube
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Student kicked out of class for saying there are only two genders is now expelled

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By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Support 10-year-olds suspended for asking to be excused from LGBT lesson Sign the petition here.

SCOTLAND, July 5, 2019, LifeSiteNews — The Scottish student who was suspended from school for posting a video showing him disagreeing with his teacher who insisted that there are more than two genders has now been expelled. 

For the first time since his initial suspension, the student, known only as “Murray,” went on the record with blogger I,Hypocrite, who had helped Murray’s video go viral. 

“Update: MURRAY EXPELLED!” announced the blogger via Twitter. “Two-genders kid has been kicked out of school for recording his marxist teacher!”

“We got called back in today for another meeting today,” said Murray. “They said that after having lots of talks with people higher up they said it’s not OK for me to finish my education at that school.”  

“And they told me that there’s no chance I can return,” he added. 

“This happened just this morning,” said Murray.  “I’m still kind of coming to terms with it.”

“I’m kind of in limbo at the moment. I don’t really know what’s going to happen,” said the 17-year-old, who now has to find a new school.

“This is definitely a big speed bump in my life,” said Murray.  

A GoFundMe appeal, which was set up for Murray earlier this week to help cover his expenses as he searches for a new school, was shut down two days later by the popular crowdfunding site. 

“So GoFundMe has cancelled the campaign and also banned my account. I have not been given any reason other than I violated the terms somehow,” tweeted I,Hpocrite. “All donations were refunded.”

A new fundraiser set up for Murray has raised about $1,500 so far.  

The now viral video captured by Murray on his smartphone three weeks ago shows his teacher at the Mearns Academy in Aberdeenshire lecturing him outside the classroom for not being “inclusive.”

“Why did you kick me out of class? It’s not very inclusive of you,” said Murray.  

“I’m sorry, but what you were saying is not very inclusive,” said Murray’s teacher, “and this is an inclusive school.”    

Murray then asked why what he said was not inclusive.  

“There are more than one gender,” answered the teacher.  

“That’s your opinion,” insisted Murray.

“That is my opinion and that is an opinion which is acceptable in this school,” said the teacher, appealing to Scottish national school policy. “And I think yours, saying there is no such thing as anything other than male or female, is not inclusive.”

Watch the full video exchange here.

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US bishops claim $750K grant to pro-LGBT org does not violate Catholic teaching

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By Michael Hichborn

July 5, 2019 (Lepanto Institute) — A week and a half ago, the Lepanto Institute published an article illustrating the rampant promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism by an organization called the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN). The US Conference of Catholic Bishops' anti-poverty program, Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is providing a strategic grant of $750,000 to ISN over the next three years.

A supporter of the Lepanto Institute contacted the USCCB to ask why the CCHD is providing three-quarters of a million dollars to an organization so steeped in the promotion of grave sin and depravity. Alexandra Carroll, the USCCB's Communications Manager for Social Mission, responded by claiming that ISN had not violated Catholic teaching, and in fact asserted that ISN's pro-LGBT conferences to high school children and young adults conformed with the Catechism's admonition that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" [Catechism 2358].

Carroll's response, which is provided in full at the end of this article, begins with an attempt to provide credentials that would indicate the merits of the organization itself. For instance, Carroll says:

ISN has been working … in partnership with the Society of Jesus as well as the larger Church — including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through their core membership with the Justice for Immigrants Campaign, as well as Church leaders like Bishop Gorge Murry, SJ.

At the outset, this would seem like more of an indictment of the organization than an acquittal. But it is interesting to note that in mentioning Bp. Murry, Carroll fails to mention that another prominent Jesuit has worked very closely with ISN, and that is the notorious Fr. James Martin, SJ. The agenda in this grant is already quite evident.

But in the second paragraph of Carroll's response, she explains very clearly how the $750,000 grant will help expand ISN's push for homosexual and transsexual inclusion in the Church. She says:

Through their Strategic National Grant, ISN will be enabled to significantly expand their advocacy capacity — forming leaders, networking and animating Jesuit institutions, and building on the success of existing ISN programs such as the Campaign for Hospitality and the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

As we explained in our initial article on this grant, ISN's Ignatian Family Teach-In is the program through which ISN has been promoting homosexuality and transgender ideologies to young people. For instance, in 2018, ISN's Teach-In workshop titled, "Transgender Voices in the Church," which was convened by the Vatican-condemned New Ways Ministry, specifically states its intention to send participants away with resources for conducting transgender activism. The description for this workshop says:

Catholics increasingly face questions of transgender inclusion, intersecting with issues like race and sexual orientation that compound marginalization. This interactive session will examine how trans voices are both present and silent in our communities. Participants will leave with resources for building trans justice in their communities.

So, as it stands, CCHD fully acknowledges and admits that the $750k collected from pew-sitting Catholics is going directly to conference workshops just like this one.

And appallingly, the CCHD claims that workshops such as this are NOT contrary to Catholic teaching. Carroll wrote:

On June 20, 2019, the Lepanto Institute published an article citing several allegations regarding speakers, workshops, blog posts regarding homosexual activity. The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) was not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching. The topics and workshops were designed to inspire inclusion and safety for those who are physically or emotionally threatened for being LGBT, in line with the Catechism's instruction that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (2358).

Where does one even begin with this? To claim that providing workshops to impressionable high school and college students that indoctrinate them in transgender activism is NOT "contrary to Catholic teaching" is nothing short of a lie! While Carroll cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2358 that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their [meaning homosexual] regard should be avoided," she completely ignores the preceding entry (2357) which states:

Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

At a conference where homosexuals are proclaiming their own homosexuality and encouraging others to "come out," and where students are being trained in transgender activism, it is abundantly clear that this organization is directly violating the Catechism where it says, "Under no circumstances can they be approved."

The situation here couldn't be more clear … the CCHD is attempting to redefine Church teaching regarding homosexuality and it is attempting to advance the false notion that all discrimination against sexual deviants is to be avoided. The truth, however, is that the Catechism's admonition against discrimination is qualified with the word "unjust," which infers that there is a justified form of discrimination. For instance, as a parent, I would never allow my children to attend a transgender story-hour at a library, nor would I allow a homosexual couple to babysit. As a parent, my first obligation is to preserve and protect the purity and innocence of my children, which means I must discriminate against those whose pose a threat to these things, including those claiming to be homosexual or transgender.

This grant by the CCHD is not only in direct conflict with Catholic moral teaching, but it poses a clear and present danger to Catholic parents everywhere! The reasoning employed by the CCHD in support of these perverted workshops leads to the conclusion that justice somehow demands participatory inclusion and embrace of those who are living lives in accord with one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.

Therefore, the Lepanto Institute is reiterating its call to bishops to demand that this grant be rescinded and those responsible for making it and utilizing false arguments in favor of it be fired immediately.

Here is the USCCB's response in full:

All Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) funded initiatives have gone through a thorough application process and are groups we believe reflect the social teaching of the Catholic Church. This organization, the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) has been working for over 15 years to network, educate, and form advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions. This work happens in partnership with the Society of Jesus as well as the larger Church—including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through their core membership with the Justice for Immigrants Campaign, as well as Church leaders like Bishop Gorge Murry, SJ who recently spoke at one of ISN's gatherings on racism.

The project that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is funding strictly involves immigration and migration work and is granted on a go-forward basis. CCHD recognizes the dire circumstances associated with immigration and migration and has engaged a leader with a sizable network to help organize, and strengthen the churches work. Through their Strategic National Grant, ISN will be enabled to significantly expand their advocacy capacity — forming leaders, networking and animating Jesuit institutions, and building on the success of existing ISN programs such as the Campaign for Hospitality and the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. The ultimate goal of these grant-funded efforts is the development of a broader network of individuals, many of whom will be immigrants themselves, and institutions dedicated to standing with and supporting immigrant communities and passage of humane comprehensive immigration reform.

On June 20, 2019, the Lepanto Institute published an article citing several allegations regarding speakers, workshops, blog posts regarding homosexual activity. The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) was not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching. The topics and workshops were designed to inspire inclusion and safety for those who are physically or emotionally threatened for being LGBT, in line with the Catechism's instruction that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (2358).

Catholics can be confident that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development does not fund groups that violate the moral teaching of the Church. In the rare case where a group subsequently violates the explicit conditions of its grant by engaging in such activity, funding is immediately terminated.

Attached is a document of commonly asked questions about the CCHD grant and review process that may help to answer any questions you may have.

The content on this webpage may also be able to provide some additional insight: //www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/frequently-asked-questions.cfm

Published with permission from the Lepanto Institute.

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UK forced abortion ruling: 22-week-old unborn baby ‘not a physical presence’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

WESTMINSTER, London, England, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The English judge who ruled that a forced abortion should be carried out on a mentally disabled woman remarked that her unborn baby was “not a physical presence.” 

Thanks to Right To Life UK, LifeSiteNews has obtained an electronic copy of the June 21 Court of Protection decision by Madame Justice Nathalie Lieven, which was stopped by a Court of Appeal before the child could be killed. It is clear from the document that the judge based her ruling partly on the belief that the then-22-week-old unborn baby was not yet a “physical presence” to the mother, and she would suffer less from an abortion than from having the baby taken away after birth.

Because of the mother’s disability and history of erratic behavior, Lieven assumed that the local government would remove the baby from his or her mother, were he or she to be born. 

“In terms of predictability of impact I think it is likely that AB [the pregnant woman] would suffer great trauma from the baby being removed; that is the known experience of most women,” the judge stated.  

“It will be a real baby which she will probably have met and touched, and it will go,” she continued.  

“In contrast the pregnancy, although real to her, does not have a baby physically before her, and the impact is in my view likely to be. As Ms Paterson [solicitor for the National Health Service] puts it, the baby is not a physical presence.”

This statement was in contradiction, however, to the judge’s earlier remark that the 24-year-old mother could see and feel evidence of the baby.

“The sense I have from the evidence, including that of CD [AB’s mother] and Ms R, is that as the pregnancy has developed AB has more understanding that she is pregnant, and that means she has a baby inside her, and that it will be born,” Lieven said. “This is unsurprising as she sees her stomach grow and begins to feel the baby.”  

“A few very worrying things ring through from this judgement,” said Clare McCarthy, a spokeswoman for Right to Life UK. “One especially resounding thing was that the rights of the 22-week-old baby in the case were not considered in any way, or carried no weight at all in the judgement.”

“A baby this late in gestation would in some cases be able to survive outside of the womb and yet Justice Lieven dismisses the baby as ‘not a physical presence.’” 

McCarthy pointed out that although the woman wanted the baby, as the record attests, and although Lieven admitted that a court-ordered abortion was “immensely intrusive,” the judge “nonetheless imposed her pro-abortion agenda on this woman by overriding her wishes and ruling that she should be forced to have an abortion.”

‘Gross violation’ of rights

While expressing her relief that Lieven’s ruling was subsequently overturned on June 24 in the Court of Appeal, McCarthy said that it should never have been made.   

“This ruling was a gross invasion not only on the rights of the pregnant woman but also on the right to life of the unborn child who the mother could feel growing and moving inside her womb,” she said. 

According to an NHS webpage of advice for expectant mothers, a 22-week-old unborn baby is roughly the size of a papaya.

“Your baby, or foetus, is around 27.8cm long from head to toe, and weighs about 430g. That's approximately the size of a papaya and the weight of five tangerines,” it reads.  

The NHS article provides an illustration of the infant that shows that at 22 weeks he or she resembles a newborn and may be sucking his or her thumb. 

Thanks to the publication of the Court of Protection decision, more details of the case have come to light. 

The mother of the baby is 24 and was born in Nigeria. “AB” was adopted as a newborn by her legal mother, also from Nigeria, and moved to the UK around 2007. She attended special schools during her childhood in England and has been diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability (ICD10). She speaks both Igbo and English although she has some difficulty making herself understood in her second language.

“AB” was discovered to be pregnant shortly after returning from a trip to Nigeria. 

“In late 2018 AB travelled to Nigeria with her mother, and stayed there with family whilst CD returned to England,” Lieven recalled in her decision. 

“When she returned to the UK in April 2019 it became apparent that she was pregnant. The circumstances of her becoming pregnant are unknown, but there is no doubt that she did not have the capacity to consent,” she continued. 

The justice did not make any formal declaration of the young woman’s ability to consent to sexual relations but mentioned that police are carrying out a safeguarding investigation. From Lieven’s remarks on this aspect of the case, it seems that the pregnant woman’s mother’s ability to care for her is also in question.

“Although I do not wish to pre-empt the police investigation or any formal decision made by the local authority, I have no doubt having heard her that CD has nothing but AB's best interests at heart and is devastated by the fact that she has become pregnant,” the judge said.  

The fact that AB seems to have behavioral difficulties, controlled with medication, was discussed during the case and gave weight to the consideration that she would not be permitted by the state to live with her child. 

Lieven’s ruling indicated that “AB” is young and healthy and, although mentioning the possibility that the mother would suffer from “postpartum psychosis” after giving birth, the justice admitted that there was no evidence that she would. Technically, every mother is at risk of suffering from “postpartum psychosis” and postpartum depression. It also revealed that the young woman is likely to give birth by cesarean section. 

Clare McCarthy directed LifeSiteNews’ attention to the fact that none of the NHS personnel commenting on the case had ever “managed a pregnancy,” as Lieven called the ante-natal care, with someone with learning difficulties as “severe” as those experienced by “AB.” The consultant obstetrician, called “Ms T,” worried how “AB” would cope after a caesarian section, given that it is “major abdominal surgery,” but why “AB” was unlikely to be allowed to give birth naturally was not explained. Late-term abortions are also major surgery. 

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Pride Mass being celebrated outside Stonewall Inn, June 27, 2019. Religion Unplugged / Youtube screen grab
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WATCH: Priest in rainbow colors celebrates ‘pride’ Mass outside Stonewall Inn’s gay bar

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By Martin Barillas
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Two male attendees dressed in matching pink shirts at the 'pride' Mass being celebrated outside Stonewall Inn, June 27, 2019. Religion Unplugged / Youtube screen grab
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Father Gilbert Martinez celebrating the 'pride' Mass outside Stonewall Inn, June 27, 2019. Religion Unplugged / Youtube screen grab
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NEW YORK July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic priest wearing a rainbow stole celebrated a pro-homosexual “pride” Mass outside New York’s Stonewall Inn, a historic gay bar, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the riots against police that gave birth to the “gay rights” movement. 

On the table that served as an altar, there was a bouquet of flowers that imitated the rainbow flag of the LGBTQ movement. On the fence that forms the perimeter of the park that has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the federal government, there were gay pride flags fluttering. Nearby, gay pride flags, clothing, and paraphernalia were available for purchase from street vendors. 

A video of the event shows men kissing and taking photos of themselves in front of the famed tavern. 

The June 27 Mass was celebrated by Father Gilbert Martinez, the former pastor St. Paul the Apostle parish, which has long had an LGBTQ-affirming ministry known as Out at St. Paul’s. 

“Pride is a moment of grace,” the priest said during his homily. “Because after 50 years, a sea of change has come to this country… but there’s a long way to go still," he added.

"Christ called us here today to this sacred space to commemorate the sacrifice of those who came before us,” Martinez said. “Fifty years ago queers, considered the lowliest of the low, made a stand for their dignity. And though they were beaten by police, they were not broken. Their hope, faith, and rage built the revolution of which we stand. Take a moment to pause and look around you, see their legacy in the faces of those around you. See what God is doing in our world.”

As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, the Stonewall Riots broke out after New York police raided the establishment, which was being run at the time by the mafia without a liquor license, on June 28, 1969, on a morals charge. The raid did not go as planned. Seymour Pine, a deputy inspector with the Morals Division at the time, said that his six officers were surrounded by thousands of homosexuals and supporters who threw bottles at them, slashed police car tires, and left officers running for their safety.

“We had maybe six people and by this time there were several thousand outside,” remembered Pine, who led the bust. “The other side was coming like it was a real war. And that's what it was, it was a war…It was as bad as any situation that I had met in during the army.”

Homosexual men, many dressed as women, came to the bar that night after hearing of the raid and began pelting police with bottles, slashing police car tires, and attempting to overturn cars. The homosexuals were joined by the Black Panthers and anti-Vietnam war protesters.  They broke windows and attempted to set the Inn ablaze. 

Video of the Mass shows homosexual couples standing side-by-side. Many attendees sported pro-homosexual slogans and rainbow colors on their clothing. The video revealed liturgical abuses taking place, such as a man dressed in plain clothes lifting up a chalice and drinking from it. 

A request from LifeSiteNews for comment from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York went unanswered by close of business on Friday.

Martinez told those attending the Mass: “You are the light of the world and you are the salt of the earth. Those are not conditional statements by Jesus. You are already enough right now. You are the light of the world right now. There are no conditions on that. That's very important because our faith flows from this closeness to God who came to us in our flesh."

"Our hearts are a city on a hill that has been lightened by this human experience of being queer,” said Martinez.

He continued: “This is the first thing that is very important about this WorldPride celebration. It is a celebration that calls us to more, in a particular Catholic way, where pride seeks human rights. That is a fundamental central part of Catholic Church teaching. What happened here, fifty years ago, began something that people, not just gay people, people all over to awaken to human rights.”

According to St. Paul’s website, its Out at St. Paul group serves to “enrich the spiritual and intellectual needs of G&L [gay and lesbian] Catholics,” “build a positive community spirit and provide a safe and nurturing environment for G&L parishioners at St. Paul’s,” and “leverage the talents of G&L parishioners to focus on needs within the G&L community in NY.” The organizational website for Out at St. Paul’s shows that the group attends “Pride Masses” and a mass at St. Paul’s to “pray for the intentions of the LGBT community.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved." It adds: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity” (CCC 2357).

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons says Catholics have a “duty” to oppose same-sex “marriage.”

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

Martinez is a member of the Paulist congregation of priests and serves as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Community in Los Angeles. In 2016, Martinez celebrated Mass for participants in a “Pilgrimage of Mercy” organized by Notre Dame University alumni who were celebrating the Supreme Court decision that allowed homosexual “marriage.” A promotional video notes the New York parish’s commitment to “engaging” young people and “gay and lesbian Catholics” while also touting the Paulists’ ministry in publishing, videos, radio and on the Internet.

Contact information for respectful communications: 

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Use online contact form here.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimothyCardinalDolan/
Twitter: @CardinalDolan

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to U.S.
Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC  20008-3610
Office: 202-333-7121
Fax: 202-337-4036
Email: [email protected]

Editor's note: Pete Baklinski contributed to this report

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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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‘If you don’t get me out of here, they’re going to kill me’: Elderly woman detained by hospice

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By Claire Chretien
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Marian Leonard before (left) and after (right) she was forced into hospice care. Her eye is now swollen shut and she is heavily sedated. LLDF

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An 103-year-old woman with no terminal illness named Marian Leonard is being held at an Alabama hospice against her will, where her daughter says she’s not being properly fed and a state-appointed “guardian” has authorized doctors to give her powerful antipsychotic drugs despite no history of mental illness.

According to Leonard’s daughter, Nancy Scott, and Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), “the state of Alabama placed Marian in protective custody and appointed a third-party guardian to take over Marian’s care after erroneously believing Nancy moved her mother to home care against a doctor’s recommendation. Ms. Scott says she had the ‘full permission and blessing’ of the doctor to move her mother from a nursing home in Tennessee back to the family’s home town in Alabama.” 

Over Scott’s “strong objections,” her mother was placed at Diversicare of Riverchase, a hospice facility in Jefferson County. Diversicare is a chain of nursing homes with dozens of centers around the Southeast. The company offers “short-term rehabilitation,” “complex medical care,” “long-term care,” “memory care,” “hospice care,” and “assisted living,” according to its website.

Scott is now prevented from seeing her mother more than twice a month for 1 1/2 hours per visit – and she’s only able to see her at all because of the work of her local attorney.

According to LLDF, “The last time Nancy (Scott) went to see her mother, Marian pleaded with her to take her home, saying, ‘If you don’t get me out of here, they’re going to kill me.’”

“We are appalled that Alabama’s Department of Human Resources would consign an elderly woman to a facility against her will and then allow her condition to deteriorate so rapidly,” said LLDF executive director Alexandra Snyder. “Life Legal will do whatever is in our power to ensure that Marian Leonard receives the care she needs, including frequent visits from her daughter.”

“I have heard that Marian is receiving better care at the nursing facility since we posted the story (on June 26),” Snyder told LifeSiteNews. “However, the guardian has not budged on visitation and we are concerned he may again prohibit Nancy from seeing her mother.”

Federal gov’t report: Diversicare of Riverchase wasn’t providing patients with regular showers

A 2018 federal inspection of Diversicare of Riverchase, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, found “the facility failed to routinely provide showers as scheduled to residents who required ADL (Activities of Daily Living) assistance.”

The same deficiency report that revealed Diversicare of Riverchase wasn’t providing regular showers to patients who needed help bathing also indicated the facility violated numerous U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Diversicare of Riverchase failed to, among other offenses:

  • Maintain clean food preparation equipment; 
  • Store leftover food in a sanitary manner with timely discarding;
  • Accurately calibrate the food thermometer;
  • Use sanitary techniques in the testing of food temperatures; and
  • Ensure all foods were labeled with a use-by date in pantry refrigerators.

At least one Diversicare employee also prepared a patient’s ready-to-eat food with her bare hands, against FDA code.

A 2016 inspection report found Diversicare of Riverchase “failed to ensure residents were informed of and invited to their care plan meetings” and was deficient at having a “program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.” The latter offense involved a staffer wearing soiled gloves while caring for a resident with incontinence issues, putting the patient at risk of a urinary tract infection.

The Google reviews of Diversicare’s Riverchase facility are similarly dismal. As of press time, it has 2.6 stars out of 5. Reviewers call the center “filthy,” “deplorable,” “non-responsive,” “incompetent,” and a “dump.”

Marian Leonard’s gov’t ‘guardian’ authorized Diversicare to give her drug used to treat schizophrenia 

“Nancy has reported that her mother is not being given sufficient food and that the guardian had authorized Marian to be given antipsychotic drugs, including Haldol, even though Marian has no history of mental illness,” according to LLDF. “When Marian was first placed into the guardian’s custody, she could walk, was energetic, and was able to eat a regular diet. Now, she is bedridden, lethargic, and suffers from bedsores.”

“Bedsores are ulcers that happen on areas of the skin that are under pressure from lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, or wearing a cast for a prolonged time,” Johns Hopkins Medicine explains. “If an immobile or bedridden person is not turned, positioned correctly, and given good nutrition and skin care, bedsores can develop.”

Haldol is used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. According to rxlist.com, some of the most common side effects of this drug are extrapyramidal disorder and Tardive dyskinesia, common reactions to antipsychotics. These side effects cause uncontrolled muscle spasms and twitching.

The “prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women,” according to rxlist.com, although it’s impossible to predict which patients will suffer from it. Other common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Newly introduced federal legislation could provide relief 

The Patient Rights Act, a bill recently introduced by U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, would potentially mitigate Marian Leonard’s situation if passed into law. Healthcare facilities could lose Medicare or Medicaid money for not exercising “the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of any patient as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to a patient in a different state of functionality, development, or degree of dependence.” 

The vulnerable people the Patient Rights Act would protect include the “unborn, newly born, born prematurely, pregnant, elderly, mentally or physically disabled, terminally ill, in a persistent vegetative state, unresponsive or comatose, or otherwise incapable of self-advocacy.” 

It would seem that not providing elderly and/or disabled patients with adequate access to showers, as detailed in the 2018 deficiency report, and denying them proper nutrition, as alleged by Leonard’s daughter, are exactly the types of abuse this bill is designed to prevent. 

“The legislation also creates a right of civil action for patients and families to sue if a federally funded health-care group fails to respect a patient’s rights,” Alexandra DeSanctis wrote in a summary of the bill on National Review.

Contact information for respectful communications:

Diversicare of Riverchase
2500 River Haven Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35244
(205) 987-0901

Alabama Department of Human Resources
Adult Protective Services Division
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-1350
Adult Abuse Hotline 1-800-458-7214
[email protected]

Jefferson County Adult Division of the state Department of Human Resources
(205) 423-4900
Online contact form

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Cdl. Zen warns Pope Francis that Vatican directives for China church may lead to ‘death of true faith’

Bree A. Dail Bree A. Dail
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HONG KONG, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong has spoken out forcefully against the Vatican’s newest “pastoral document” for the Chinese Church which gives reasons for why priests should register with the communist government. Cardinal Joseph Zen presented nine criticisms to Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin on a recent trip to Rome, July 1, that outline his concerns about the document. 

"A text is signed against the faith and it is stated that the intention is to promote the good of the community, a more suitable evangelisation, and the responsible management of Church assets. This general rule is obviously against all fundament[al] moral theology! If valid, [it] would justify even apostasy!" stated the Cardinal in his criticisms which were published on his website today. 

"This document has radically turned upside what is normal and what is abnormal, what is rightful and what is pitiable. Those who wrote it hope perhaps that the pitied minority will die a natural death. By this minority I mean not only underground priests, but also the many brothers in the official community who have worked with great tenacity to achieve change, hoping for the support of the Holy See," he stated later in his criticism of the pastoral document. 

Cardinal Zen had been deeply involved in the recent protests that opposed the Chinese State imposition of extradition laws in Hong Kong. Many believe these laws would continue the methodical takeover of the former British colony, now acting as an independent “Special Administrative Region”. His absence, however, was noted in the recent protests. In his statement, issued this morning, His Eminence explained what caused him to remain silent until this week. 

“On the evening of June 28, I received notice (that) the Holy See (had issued the newest pastoral document for the Church in China). As a bishop and a cardinal, I cannot accept this quietly. I must raise my doubts. It was (for this purpose) that I boarded a plane to Rome on the evening of the 29th.” 

He continues: “At noon on Sunday (June 30th), I handed a letter to the Pope, to the security guard at Santa Marta dormitory (the Papal Residence) asking the Pope to let me (and the author of the statement) discuss the (document) in front of him. As I had not received a response by 4 pm on Monday, (July 1) I wrote another letter to the private secretary of the Pope, where I also attached my 'dubia'. The secretary confirmed that my initial letter to the Pope had been received.” 

Cardinal Zen finally received a response from the office of the Secretary of State, the evening of Tuesday, July 2. His Eminence was told by an official that “the Pope said my question could be discussed with the Secretary of State. I said, 'Then it is (lost). I have absolutely no confidence that meeting him (Cardinal Parolin) will have any impact.'" 

Wednesday evening, however, Cardinal Zen received an invitation by Pope Francis, to have dinner with him and with Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.

He writes: “It is impolite to argue at dinner. We spoke (only) about the situation in Hong Kong. As for the pastoral document and my statement, I only mentioned it to the Pope in the last few minutes. The Pope said several times, 'I will pay attention to this matter.' This is the only sentence I (have) brought back to my people. I also handed my 'dubia' to the Secretary of State, who did not say anything at the dinner.”

In his criticisms, listed below, Cardinal Zen provides commentary on why, section by section, the newest Sino-Vatican “pastoral document” falls well short of any real pastoral care of the members of Holy Mother Church, in China.

"When brothers from China ask me what to do, I have always given the answer: respect the choices of others and to remain firm in the conviction of one’s conscience. This is because I have no authority to impose my views on others about what is right or wrong. But doesn’t the Holy See have the authority and therefore the duty to clarify precisely this to the members of the Church? Are the Pastoral Guidelines doing that?"

Zen ends his criticisms with the following exhortation, “May the Lord not allow the fulfilment of the wishes of those who want the death of the true faith in my dear homeland.”

The following are the English translation of the nine criticisms presented by Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong to Pope Francis. The English translation, Italian, and Chinese may be found on his website.

LifeSite has reached out to Cardinal Joseph Zen, and will report on any developments or statements from him.

***

“Dubia” by Cardinal Zen on the pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of the clergy in China

First of all I find strange that the document is issued by “The Holy See”, without specifying which Department and no signature of the responsible Officer.

In paragraphs 1 and 2 the document explains the problem and the general solution.

1. The problem is that the government has reneged on its promises to respect Catholic doctrine. In the civil registration of the clergy, it almost always requires the clergy to accept the principle of self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation of the Church in China (this could be completed with what the letter from Pope Benedict XVI says in point 7.8: “to adopt attitudes, make gestures and undertake commitments that are contrary to the dictates of their conscience as Catholics.”

2. Faced with this complex situation, which is not always the same everywhere, the Holy See provided a general outline on how to behave: on the one hand, it says it does not intend to force people; hence calling (but omitting to explicitly say “the government”) for respect for the conscience of Catholics. On the other hand, it states as a general principle that “The clandestine condition is not a normal feature of the Church’s life”, that is, it is normal for her to come out of it.

With respect [to] the quotation from Pope Benedict XVI’s letter at 8.10, I took the liberty of taking almost the entire paragraph:

(a) “Some of them, not wishing to be subjected to undue control exercised over the life of the Church, and eager to maintain total fidelity to the Successor of Peter and to Catholic doctrine, have felt themselves constrained to opt for clandestine consecration.”

(b) “The clandestine condition is not a normal feature of the Church’s life,”

(c) “and history shows that Pastors and faithful have recourse to it only amid suffering, in the desire to maintain the integrity of their faith,”

(d) “and to resist interference from State agencies in matters pertaining intimately to the Church’s life.”

Fr Jeroom Heyndrickx and Card Parolin like to cite only part (b); Pope Francis also adds part (c); but it seems to me that parts (a) and (d) are also important.

The paragraph clearly shows that non-normality is not the choice of the underground clergy, the choice is inevitable. It is the situation that is abnormal! Has this situation changed now?

3. The third, long paragraph tries to prove that which is suggested in par. 5.

First test: the Constitution which guarantees the religious freedom.

What does the long history of persecution tell us, the Constitution notwithstanding?

Second test: After the Agreement, “independence” logically should no longer be understood as absolute independence, but …

First of all, if I cannot see the text of the Agreement, it is difficult for me to believe that they have really recognised the “particular role of the successor of Peter”.

Is there something logical in totalitarian systems? The only logic is that, according to Deng Xiaoping, a white cat is the same as a black cat, as long as it serves the purposes of the Party.

In the immediate post-agreement period, nothing has been changed. Everything has been officially restated and the facts prove it.

Third test: The context of the “consolidated” dialogue

Does the document not acknowledge that the government has reneged on its promises, as noted in both in the first and ninth paragraphs of this document?

Fourth test: All bishops are legitimised.

This only proves the unlimited generosity of the pope or perhaps the all-powerful pressure of the government, but we see no change on the part of the forgiven and “rewarded”; no sign of repentance; only clear acts of bold triumph, laughing at others who have bet on the losing horse.

4. Paragraph 4 states that the aforementioned reasons justify a new attitude. Here at least there is the honesty of saying that what is proposed is something new, and that it is thus not in continuation with the past, but a denial of the past as something already bygone, something no longer valid.

It is also said that the Holy See is trying to agree with the government on a formula (and have it both ways).

But our question is: “A formula“? What is being asked and accepted is not the statement of a theory: it is an entire system, a regime in which there will be no pastoral freedom, in which everyone will follow orders of the Party, including minors under 18 banned from taking part in any religious activity.

5. In par. 5 we find the pastoral guidelines proper. In short: It is alright to sign everything the government requires, possibly with a written clarification that denies what is signed. If the written clarification is not possible, let it be done verbally, with or without a witness. As long as there is the intention of conscientiously not accepting what was actually signed.

A text is signed against the faith and it is stated that the intention is to promote the good of the community, a more suitable evangelisation, and the responsible management of Church assets. This general rule is obviously against all fundament[al] moral theology! If valid, [it] would justify even apostasy!

6. In par. 6 it is said that the Holy See understands and respects those who, in good conscience, do not accept the aforementioned rule. Obviously, this is compassion towards a “stubborn” minority that still fails to understand the new rule.

7. Par.7 speaks of certain duties that fall on bishops, citing a document that has nothing to do with our issue.

8. In par. 8 it is said that the faithful should accept the decision of their pastors. What does that mean? That they do not have the individual freedom to choose? Mustn’t their conscience be respected?

When brothers from China ask me what to do, I have always given the answer: respect the choices of others and to remain firm in the conviction of one’s conscience. This is because I have no authority to impose my views on others about what is right or wrong. But doesn’t the Holy See have the authority and therefore the duty to clarify precisely this to the members of the Church? Are the Pastoral Guidelines doing that?

9. In par. 9 it is said that in the meantime the Holy See asks (and omits again the word “the government”) that unofficial Catholic communities not be placed under undue pressures, like in the past.

The decision not to use the word “government” is almost like the traditional reverence in not mentioning the name of the emperor.

Finally, it is recommended that everyone discern God’s will with patience and humility. I wonder though: did the steadfastness of the faith get lost somewhere?

Then it says that “the journey of the Church in China, [is] marked, …, by much hope in spite of enduring difficulties”. It seems to me instead, that the facts have destroyed every foundation of human hope. As for hope in God, it can never be separated from the sincere desire to suffer in accordance with His will.

This document has radically turned upside what is normal and what is abnormal, what is rightful and what is pitiable. Those who wrote it hope perhaps that the pitied minority will die a natural death. By this minority I mean not only underground priests, but also the many brothers in the official community who have worked with great tenacity to achieve change, hoping for the support of the Holy See.

May the Lord not allow the fulfilment of the wishes of those who want the death of the true faith in my dear homeland.

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Vatican says priests must defend seal of Confession ‘to the shedding of blood’

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Priests are called to defend the seal of Confession even to the point of “shedding blood,” the Vatican has said amid increasing pressure from secular authorities to force clergy to reveal what they hear during the sacrament.

In a note released this week by the Apostolic Penitentiary (the tribunal of the Roman curia tasked with overseeing matters related to the internal forum), Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said “the confessor’s defense of the sacramental seal, if it were necessary usque ad sanguinis effusionem, represents not only an act of dutiful ‘loyalty’ towards the penitent, but much more: a necessary witness – a ‘martyrdom’ — given directly to the salvific uniqueness and universality of Christ and the Church,” i.e. to the sacredness of the sacrament.

Cardinal Piacenza, who serves as Major Penitentiary, said the Vatican tribunal considered it “urgent” to reaffirm the “importance” and promote “a better understanding” of the seal of confession, which today he said is “widely misunderstood or even, in some cases, opposed.”

The new Vatican document comes in the wake of Australia and the California state Senate advancing legislation which seeks to force Catholic priests to violate the seal of Confession in certain circumstances.    

Nature and origin of the sacramental seal

Commenting on the nature and origin of the sacrament of Penance in this week’s note, Cardianal Piacenza reaffirmed that “the inviolable secrecy of Confession” comes directly from “revealed divine law” and is rooted in “the very nature of the sacrament, to the point of admitting no exception in the ecclesial or, even less, in the civil sphere.” 

“In the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” he said, “the very essence of Christianity and of the Church is enclosed: the Son of God became man to save us and decided to involve, as a ‘necessary instrument’ in this work of salvation, the Church and, in her, those whom he chose, called and constituted as his ministers.”

To express this truth, the cardinal said the Church has “always taught that priests, in the celebration of the sacraments, act in persona Christi capitis, that is, in the very person of Christ the head.”

“Christ allows us to use his ‘I’, we speak in the ‘I' of Christ, Christ ‘draws us into himself’ and allows us to unite, he unites us with his ‘I’,” he said. “It is this union with his ‘I’ that is realized in the words of the consecration.”

The Italian cardinal explained that the same is true for the “I absolve you” [Ego te absolvo] a penitent hears in confession. “None of us can absolve sins – it is the ‘I’ of Christ, of God, who alone can absolve.”

The cardinal pointed out that “the priest confessor, acting in persona Christi capitis,” therefore “knows the sins of the penitent ‘not as a man, but as God.’"

Expounding on the point, Cardinal Piacenza said: 

In fact, the priest learns of the sins of the penitent ‘non ut homo, sed ut Deus— not as a man, but as God,” to the point that he simply “does not know” what was said to him in confession, because he did not hear it as a man but, precisely, in the name of God. The confessor could, therefore, also “swear,” without any prejudice to his own conscience, that he “does not know” what he knows only as God’s minister. By its peculiar nature, the sacramental seal even binds the confessor “interiorly,” to the point that he is forbidden from voluntarily remembering and he is required to suppress any involuntary memory of it.

Pointing to the divine origin of the sacraments, the cardinal said: “Every penitent who humbly goes to the priest to confess his sins bears witness to the great mystery of the Incarnation and the supernatural essence of the Church and of the ministerial priesthood, through which the Risen Christ comes to meet men, touches sacramentally — that is, really— their lives and saves them.”

This, he said, is the reason why priests are called, if necessary, to defend the secret of the content of Confession “to the shedding of blood,” not only through “loyalty to the penitent,” but, moreover, “out of respect for the sanctity of the sacrament.”

The cardinal also noted that the seal of confession cannot be waved even if a penitent agrees to or demands that its content be disclosed. 

“The secrecy of confession is not an obligation imposed from the outside, but rather an intrinsic requirement of the sacrament and, as such, cannot be dissolved even by the penitent,” the Major Penitentiary explained. “Once the sacrament has been celebrated, [the penitent] does not have the power to relieve the confessor of the obligation of secrecy, because this duty comes directly from God,” he said.

“The penitent does not speak to the confessor as a man, but to God, so to stake a claim to what rightfully belongs to God would be a sacrilege,” he added. 

Cardinal Piacenza stressed that, given the divine and supernatural origin of the sacrament of Confession, its seal cannot be compared to “professional secrecy required by doctors, pharmacists, and lawyers, etc.” It is “essential to insist” on their incomparability, he said, “in order to prevent secular laws from applying to the seal, which is inviolable, the exceptions legitimately applied to professional secrecy.”

He said any “political action” or “legislative initiative” aimed at “forcing” priests to violate the sacramental seal would therefore constitute “an unacceptable offence against the libertas Ecclesiae” [liberty of the Church], which does not receive its legitimacy from individual states, but from God.”

“It would also constitute a violation of religious freedom, which legally underpins all other freedoms, including the freedom of conscience of individual citizens, both penitents and confessors,” he said. “Violating the seal would be tantamount to violating the poor man who is in the sinner.”

Sacramental seal under attack

In March, the Australian Capital Territory passed legislation requiring everyone in the territory to report allegations of sexual abuse, including Catholic priests who hear of the allegation in the confessional. 

Shortly after the legislation passed, Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn issued a statement saying that priests will not violate the seal of Confession despite the new law.  “In the unlikely case of unreported child abuse being disclosed during confession,” he said “priests will, without breaching the seal of Confession, take the opportunity to encourage and assist the person to report to civil authorities.”

A similar piece of legislation, Senate Bill 360, is currently being reviewed in the California State assembly. Archbishop JoséGomez of Los Angeles called the bill “an unacceptable violation of our religious freedoms.” The California archbishop said it “denies the sanctity of confession to every priest in the state and to thousands of Catholics who work with priests in parishes and other Church agencies and ministries.”

To those who would suggest that the refusal to violate the seal makes a priest complicit in evil, Cardinal Piacenza said in this week’s note that the sacramental seal and the sanctity of Confession “can never constitute some form of connivance with evil.”

“On the contrary,” he insisted, “they represent the only true antidote to evil that threatens man and the whole world; they are the real possibility of abandoning oneself to God’s love, of allowing oneself to be converted and transformed by this love, learning to correspond concretely to it in one’s own life.” 

“In the presence of sins that constitute a type of crime, it is never allowed to impose on the penitent, as a condition for absolution, the obligation to turn himself in to civil justice.” 

At the same time, he added, “sincere repentance, together with the firm intention to amend and not to repeat the evil committed, belongs to the very ‘structure’ of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as a condition for its validity.” 

“If a penitent who has been a victim of the evil of others is present, it would be the duty of the confessor to instruct him about his rights, as well as about the concrete juridical instruments to be used to report the fact in the civil and/or ecclesiastical forum and to invoke its justice,” the head of the Vatican tribunal explained.

The sacrament of Confession was instituted by Christ to be a “safe harbor of salvation for sinner,” Cardinal Piacenza said. “If trust in the seal were to be defrauded, the faithful would be discouraged to access the sacrament of Reconciliation, which would obviously lead to serious damage to souls.”

“It is precisely this concern for the salus animarum [salvation of souls] that moves the Church to establish the most severe penalties for those who violate the seal,” he said.

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Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Steve McCann

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Democrats have become the party of abortion and euthanasia

Steve McCann
By Steve McCann

July 5, 2019 (American Thinker) — After watching the first two Democratic Party presidential debates last week, it has become crystal-clear that there are embedded in this nation's body politic prospective oligarchs who are overwhelming threats to the future of the nation. The Democratic Party and its puppetmasters are unquestionably a clear and present danger to the United States.

The primary threat to this nation is not Donald Trump nor his supporters but an evolving autocratic oligarchy made up of the hierarchy of American Left, which includes elements of the political class; the mainstream media; the education establishment; and, most recently, the titans of Silicon Valley. Over the past 25 years, while the bulk of the Republican Party and the hierarchy of the conservative movement myopically extended the hand of friendship, this cabal has been overwhelmingly successful in its stealth takeover of the Democratic Party, which is now the vehicle being utilized to manipulate the "unenlightened and inferior" masses with utopian promises and empty rhetoric. 

They are doing so by promoting a so-called benevolent and just central government (i.e., socialism) dominated in perpetuity by the "enlightened" while promoting their brand of socialism and obliterating any opposition. Additionally, their evolving position on abortion and euthanasia reflects the mindset that deems virtually all human beings as mere pawns of the state.

The common mindset of all those determined to seize power in perpetuity, either by force of arms or the ballot box, is a profound contempt for the dignity and sanctity of human life. This is a philosophical necessity in order to view the bulk of the populace as inferior and therefore servants and wards of the state to be exploited or restrained for political or economic ends. Over time, this mentality inevitably and rapidly descends into the abyss of malevolence and the indiscriminate taking of life. The first irreversible step in the evolution of this mindset is unfettered abortion at any stage of gestation or immediately after birth as well as the acceptance and promotion of unrestrained government-sponsored euthanasia.

Additionally, over the past 90 years, virtually all potential oligarchs or tyrants have utilized the following six political stratagems, which do not require armed conflict, in order to permanently obliterate any opposition. They were first employed by Adolf Hitler and documented by renowned American psychoanalyst Dr. Walter C. Langer:

  1. Keep the public in a state of constant turmoil. Pre-identify favored groups by race, economic status, ideology, or religion and, through constant repetition by allies in the media and entertainment cabal, establish that any perceived disadvantage within those assemblages is solely the fault of another pre-identified and isolated group, particularly Jews, traditional Christians, and the capitalists.
  2. Never concede that there may be some good in your political enemy. State loudly and often that they are a permanent adversary because they are determined to oppress the favored groups identified in 1) above as well as being racist, avaricious, treasonous, etc. (i.e., the worst people on Earth). Thus, abrogation of their free speech privileges and their right to own firearms and to freely assemble is not only acceptable, but a necessity.
  3. Never miss an opportunity to repeatedly and loudly blame one's political enemy for anything that goes wrong, regardless of how inane or unreasonable. Faux crises must be orchestrated as often as possible in order to blame the other side. Further, any natural disaster or any aggressive action by a foreign adversary must also be attributed to one's political adversary. 
  4. Never acknowledge or divulge that your side is at fault or wrong, regardless of the situation or issue.
  5. Never, under any circumstances, leave room for civil discourse regarding alternative societal or governmental policies by proclaiming that those promoting any alternative have a hidden treasonous agenda. Continually maintain the assertion as being irrefutable that a central government, in the hands of the enlightened, can resolve any issue and make life better.
  6. Finally, always utilize the ultimate tactic in promoting dogma or denigrating one's opponent: the Big Lie. People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if it is repeated frequently enough, people will sooner or later accept it as the truth. The fabricated dire consequences of so-called climate change, the contrived narrative of Donald Trump colluding with Russia, the myth of rampant white nationalism, and the illusion that this is a virulently racist nation are recent examples of this stratagem.

Even the least politically involved Americans can see that over the past two decades, the hierarchy of the American Left and its appendages as well as many elected officials in the Democratic Party have been shamelessly utilizing all these tactics. 

Further, this clique, in its disdain for human life, is not only exploiting gullible and ill educated armies of illegal aliens as pawns in an attempt to create a new and reliable voting bloc and rend the fabric of the nation, but also is unabashedly in favor of unfettered abortion at any stage of gestation, upon birth or shortly thereafter, and has also begun promoting unrestrained euthanasia. 

As confirmed by all 24 candidates presently running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination singing out of the same hymn book, this potential oligarchy, in order to assume power in perpetuity, is continuing its attempt to hoodwink the electorate with deceptive and unrealizable utopian promises straight out of the Marxian socialist playbook.

Hence, the American Left, and its political arm — the Democratic Party — is the ideological and spiritual offspring of the callous authoritarians that ran roughshod throughout the twentieth century. The American Left may not harbor the murderous and tyrannical urges of many of those despots, but their determination to control all the levers of power is not at all different. Over the past century, socialism, regardless of its many names and faces, is a contrived Ponzi scheme utilized by those with either megalomaniacal or ruthless inclinations in order to permanently insert themselves at the helm of a nation's ruling structure.

During the more than two years of his presidency, Donald Trump has not employed these self-serving tactics. He is unabashedly a promoter of pro-life causes, and he has been a champion of liberty and capitalism. As someone who has firsthand experience with the tyranny of Nazism or National Socialism, I can say with confidence that Donald Trump is the antithesis of a potential despot and that the vast bulk of those who support him are patriots and the polar opposite of fascist sympathizers.

Because of the unique structure of checks and balances set out in the Constitution, this nation can only function with two major political parties. One of these, the Democratic Party, as these dreadful debates reinforced, is now controlled by authoritarian oligarchs. Never in its 243-year history has the United States faced such a stark political contrast or threat to its founding principles. 

Unless and until the Democratic Party permanently rids itself of those in the thrall of socialism and afflicted with megalomania or is discarded on the ash heap of history, the American people, and in particular many elected Republicans and the myopic self-serving NeverTrump faction in the hierarchy of the conservative movement, must understand that there is no option other than Donald Trump in 2020 and a vibrant, combative conservative pro-American or nationalist movement for the foreseeable future.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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A child performs at a drag show in the new CBC documentary 'Drag Kids' Twitter / screenshot
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Preteen ‘drag kids’ gyrate, dance for adults in creepy new CBC documentary

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By Jonathon Van Maren

July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In today’s world of failing media operations, Canada’s state broadcaster the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation only survives for one reason: It is funded by the taxpayers, who have their wages garnished to pay for a largely left-wing network that champions every progressive cause and has been promoting the Sexual Revolution with great gusto for years. I had not realized until this week, however, that the CBC also runs a platform called CBC Kids News, in order to cater directly to children. And as it turns out, one of the things they want to promote to children is the idea that little kids can become drag queens.

In a promo video posted to their Twitter account, the CBC attempts to make drag shows sound as if they are precisely like children playing make-believe, and then shows children gyrating, throwing their heads back and giving the camera what are supposed to be seductive looks, and dancing in a way that provocative adults might. These little children, who have perfected the model dead-eyed-with-mouth-slightly-open look, are presented as the stars of a new (again, taxpayer-funded) CBC documentary, Drag Kids

There is a 12-old female drag queen, and an 11-year-old boy named Jason who poses as a drag queen named Susan B. Anthony. CBC featured a photo of him in the video wearing a female wig, looking over his shoulder, and waving a hand-held fan with the word Slay painted across it. A 10-year-old boy named Nemis moonlights as a drag queen with long blond hair and heavy makeup and the drag name “Lactatia.” Then there’s a nine-year-old boy named Stephan with the voice of a small child who dons thick eyeliner, lipstick, and a shaggy blond wig to transform himself into “Lady Gaga.”

Stephan, the nine-year-old, tells the adult filmmakers that drag is about “transforming from a man into a woman for entertainment,” although nobody mentions that Stephan is not a man. In fact, he is not even an adolescent – he is a child, and these ideas have obviously been planted in his head by adults, who are facilitating and assisting his transformation into a drag queen and allowing him to be exploited by the filmmakers who need “drag kids” to make their documentary. 

The doc makers then ask the children to share their favourite pop song to “perform” to, and who their favorite drag queen is. Light, upbeat music in the background is inserted to assure the viewer that there is nothing horribly creepy about all of this, and one of the children says that he wants the Drag Kids documentary to ensure other children that they can do drag, too – and this is interspersed with shots of the children, dressed in little dresses, heavy makeup, and wigs, dancing for adult crowds and attending Pride Parades. 

The filmmakers accidentally give the game away at the end of the promo video, when they ask the children a strange, leading question: “How has drag helped you?” Nemis, the 10-year-old, responded by saying perhaps more than he meant to: “I perform in front of crowds now and they cheer, so I know I’m doing alright.” In other words: Adults encourage me, adults cheer me on, and that is how I know that being a child drag queen is okay. It is adults who introduced these children to the hyper-sexualized world of drag, it is adults facilitating the cross-dressing children for adult crowds, and it is adults making films attempting to mainstream small children dancing like provocative adults for adults. 

It is nauseating that the idea of child drag queens even has to be condemned. It is infuriating that Canada’s state broadcaster is using taxpayer money to create films promoting the exploitation and grooming of children. And the only thing I found hopeful is that in the more than 1,000 comments beneath the video CBC Kids News posted to Twitter, nearly every one of them was expressing horror, outrage, and fury at what was being done to these children.

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Trump’s 4th of July celebration highlighted everything liberals hate about America

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By Stephen Kokx

July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump’s “Salute to America” was exactly what the country needed. The last two weeks have been a total drain on the nation’s soul thanks to the left.

From Nike’s decision to cancel their Betsy Ross shoes to a Democratic debate that saw candidates talk more about what they would do for illegal immigrants than out of work Midwesterners, the president’s enemies seem to think there is nothing good in these United States, if there ever was.

But the president gave the people something to be proud of Thursday with his patriotic event, an event that, much to the chagrin of the left (who incorrectly claimed it would be a display of authoritarianism and an ode to Trump’s ego), was about everything other than himself.

Highlighting the various heroic figures of America’s past, the president’s nonpartisan remarks at the Lincoln Memorial accomplished something not one of the Democrats currently running for the highest office in the land could ever do — give Americans a reason to love their country.

Try, for a moment, to imagine Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders praising General Douglas MacArthur, touting the accomplishments of the armed forces, and embracing the Christian-themed Battle Hymn of the Republic, as Trump did yesterday.

You can’t. For them, America is not exceptional. It’s a racist, xenophobic, and mysognisitc country that should apologize for its past. America needs radical change if she really wants to be great.

Such extremist views are exactly why Democrats are in big trouble in 2020 and may well lose in a landslide. Americans don’t want to be lectured to about the faults of their past, even if they have previously fallen short. They, like a good Catholic who just confessed their sins to a priest, want to be inspired to move beyond their bad behavior. They want to be encouraged to achieve great things. Trump’s speech did that, even if he himself doesn’t always live up to the rhetoric he laid out.

Trump’s “Salute to America” served as an antidote to the deep-seated hatred liberals have for our country. The president's talk about God and his celebration of good ol’ fashioned Americana undoubtedly triggered every last one of them. At the same time, it reminded middle-class, hard-working Americans of the fact that they have a president who shares their love of country and is unapologetic in showing it. In other words, the event was a win-win that Trump needs to make an annual tradition.

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Amazon bans books on gay ‘conversion therapy’. Is the Bible next?

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By Dr. Michael Brown

PETITION: Tell Amazon to reverse censorship of alternative views on homosexuality. Sign the petition here.

July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a very disturbing move, Amazon has removed the books of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the psychologist whom critics have dubbed “the father of conversion therapy.” In other words, for claiming that change is possible for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction, Dr. Nicolosi’s books must be banned.

This leads to the logical question: Will Amazon ban the Bible next? There is no hyperbole here.

After all, it is the Bible that condemns same-sex relationships and the Bible that speaks of those who once practiced homosexuality but do so no more (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). These people, today, would be known as “ex-gays.” And it was Dr. Nicolosi’s life work to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions.

Why, then, should Amazon ban his books but continue to sell the Bible, which provides the theological underpinnings for Dr. Nicolosi’s scientific work? 

After all, gay critics of the Bible refer to the so-called “clobber passages,” referring to verses which have been used to speak against homosexual practice. If these verses, then, have brought such harm to the gay community, why shouldn’t the book containing these verses be banned?

Not only so, but there are numerous books on Amazon written by ex-gays, sharing their wonderful stories of transformation. Will their books be banned next?

And what about the books that come to different scientific conclusions than the LGBT activists and their allies? And the books that challenge the goals of LGBT activism in society? And the books that reiterate the Scriptural prohibition of same-sex relationships?

Will those books be banned next?

What makes this especially frightening is that it appears that one man, Rojo Alan, based in England, was responsible for getting the books removed.

As reported on Pink News, at first, after sharing his concerns in writing, he got no response from either Amazon or the British outlet, Wordery. But after he posted his concerns on Facebook, he got an immediate response from Wordery, which quickly pulled Nicolosi’s writings. 

Amazon, however, claimed that the books did not violate their guidelines.

Alan explains that “since then, I had been working on getting these books pulled. I contacted Amazon regularly to speak to them about the books, about how unethical they are.”

He “used social-media sites to ask people to leave bad reviews of the books, and also began researching the ways in which they violated Amazon’s rules of publishing.”

And, he continues, “Once I gathered everything I went back to Amazon and I threw all the information I had at them in several conversations. Yet I was given the same ‘we will refer this to the relevant team.’”

Not long after this, the books were removed, and Alan was moved to tears.

Of course, I could produce scores of testimonies from former patients of Dr. Nicolosi who were greatly helped by his counsel. Some experienced profound changes in their attractions. Others were freed from shame and self-harm. That’s why he remained in demand until his sudden passing in 2017.

Why don’t these voices matter?

But that is not the real issue here. The issue is one of banning books that violate certain guidelines, in this case, guidelines created by LGBT activists. Amazon is now playing a very dangerous game of censoring that which is not politically correct. Where will that lead next?

Amazon carries thousands of books (perhaps, several hundred thousand books) that many readers find harmful and distasteful. Amazon carries a staggering array of material which offends many buyers or which raises serious concerns among others.

There are books which encourage behaviors that I believe are destructive. There are books and other materials that attack and mock ideologies which are sacred to me. Should Amazon ban these books too?

Should Amazon ban books encouraging atheism and mocking the Bible? Or, conversely, should Amazon ban books challenging Darwinian evolution?

Should Amazon ban books that encourage sexual experimentation and the casting off of conservative morals? Or, conversely, should Amazon ban books that decry the dangers of legalized marijuana?

Should Amazon ban books that lead people into religious cults? Or, conversely, should it ban books that help people get out of these cults?

Should Amazon ban books that provide unhealthy food recipes? Or, conversely, should it ban books that encourage healthy eating and potentially “fat-shame” people?

To repeat: Amazon has crossed a very dangerous, precarious line. It needs to make an immediate about-face, admitting its error, and making Dr. Nicolosi’s books available again. 

The readers can decide what to buy and what not to buy.

It’s one thing if a book encouraged illegal, life-threatening behavior, as in a terrorist’s manual for making a bomb.

It’s another thing when a book, written by a respected psychologist, is banned because it violates LGBT sensibilities. Is this also a fruit of Amazon working with the notoriously left-leaning SPLC?

I have been a long-term Amazon customer, purchasing tens of thousands of dollars of books from them over the years, along with everything ranging from computers to headphones to random household items. As an author, I also recognize the importance of selling books on Amazon and getting good reviews written. And for me, personally, Amazon’s customer service has been second to none.

All the more, then, do I appeal to Amazon: please set this right.

We know Jeff Bezos supports the LGBT cause, and that’s his prerogative. But when political leanings influence censorship decisions, we move a step closer to burning books in the streets.

Amazon, please reverse your course.

(If you agree with this article, post and share it widely, sign our petition here, and share your concerns with Amazon as well. Email [email protected]

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