All articles from August 2, 2019


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Carole Novielli

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University offers abortion training program using fruits to make it ‘fun’

Carole Novielli
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UCSF Innovating Education Papaya Workshop teaches abortion
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UCSF’s Jody Steinauer Papaya Workshop
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Aspiration abortion Papaya workshop
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Abortion provider Zoey Hill Papaya Workshop (Image: Twitter)
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UCSF abortion training uses melons and Papaya
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UCSF abortion training uses pitaya of dragonfruit to simulate abortion complications
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TEACH UCSF abortion training uses pitaya of dragonfruit to simulate abortion complications

August 2, 2019 (Live Action News) — A program at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) trains students to commit abortion using various fruits like papayas and watermelons to allegedly simulate the procedure. Live Action News previously documented how abortion advocates attempted to drum up interest in providing abortions by simulating a first trimester surgical abortion during a public event, using a watermelon. A series on abortion training published previously by Live Action News introduced readers to Innovating Education, a UCSF abortion training program by the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which also includes a "Papaya Workshop," which uses papayas to simulate abortion. It is designed to "engagingly teach[] manual vacuum aspiration, IUD placement, and other gynecologic skills, using papayas as uterine models."

Ending the life of a child in the womb is no joking matter, yet the website claims the Papaya Workshop "uses a fun and inexpensive model to innovatively teach intrauterine procedures to health students or clinicians..."

But a UCSF workshop document indicates there are limitations to using the fruit to teach abortions, because (as should be obvious) "the papaya is not a perfectly realistic model of a uterus. The fruit model, while sharing many characteristics of a uterus, does not mimic some anatomical features such as the tone of the cervical os or the attachments to the uterus. This may limit teaching of anatomy and cervical dilation, for example."

Part 8: Anesthesia, Dilation, and Aspiration from Innovating Education on Vimeo.

A separate UCSF document reminds instructors to emphasize that "[p]apaya is a fruit, not a muscle/organ" and "is not connected to anything," such as:

a) blood supply
b) nerves
c) ligaments
d) peritoneum/broad ligament
e) fallopian tubes
f) vagina

Despite this, the simulation is gaining traction in various places including New York City, where abortionist Zoey Thill described to a Vice reporter why the papaya is a desired simulator: "The narrow part of the papaya, where the stem would be, is like the cervix, she said. The broader portion of the papaya is like the upper area of the uterus known as the fundus — and it's that part we would want to avoid puncturing with our tools when, in just a few minutes, we would practice performing an aspiration abortion on our own papayas."

Thill demonstrated the abortion procedure, which Vice described:

When the papaya was fully "dilated," she placed a plastic tube called a cannula inside and attached it to a manual vacuum aspirator, a plastic, syringe-like device, sucking out the inner contents of the papaya: what, for our purposes, was the pregnancy. From start to finish, the procedure had taken no more than three minutes. Thill admired the seeds in the plastic tube.

The use of the fruit seemingly makes light of a procedure which takes the life of a preborn human in the womb.

Sickeningly, Thill stated to Vice after finishing the simulation, "It's even more satisfying when it's a real abortion." She added, "The more I can minimize the way we think of this as a 'dangerous' procedure, the more people will have better abortion experiences."

But using a piece of fruit is beyond an oversimplification of the procedure, and papayas don't hemorrhage.

According to Vice, Thill hoped "participants might capture some of the buoyant energy they felt while extracting seeds from fruits and use it to undo some of the seriousness and reverence we've placed around the procedure." She also hoped to hold the events for "people providing underground abortions."

UCSF's Innovating Education program also suggests various melons to simulate later D&E abortion techniques. The simulation document demonstrates how training abortionists involves dehumanizing preborn children, stating how "learners extract a fetal model from a hollowed melon. The fetal calvarium is simulated with a clay-covered egg and limbs are simulated with dried pasta and pepperoni sticks (to reflect various stages of bone calcification). Mushroom is used to simulate placenta. Evaluation consists of complete fetal extraction."

But even UCSF knows there could be complications, so it has a solution. Since papayas don't hemorrhage, the program recommends using pitaya (dragonfruit), which is supposed to train for "management of hemorrhage" because, according to TEACH documents, "it is inexpensive, mimics the size, shape, and grittiness of a uterus, and is often red on the inside (mimicking blood)."

Abortion is a grisly procedure which involves either the chemical poisoning of a preborn child, the dismembering of the child limb from torso, or the injecting of a heart-stopping drug into the baby's heart before inducing labor to deliver a dead but intact baby.

None of the fruit-laden simulations can prepare a student for the reality of the blood and human body parts they will come in contact with during an actual procedure. And, while abortion is intended to end the life of preborn children, complications can and have cost women their very lives.

While using watermelons and papayas might demonstrate some level of ways to commit an abortion generally, the reality is that these simulations are just an oversimplification which masks what the procedure is intended to do: kill a baby.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

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White House confirms Trump’s LGBT support in multiple pro-gay tweets

Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
By Stefano Gennarini J.D.
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U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and his diplomatic staff officially participate in the annual “Gay Pride Parade” in Berlin

August 2, 2019 (C-Fam) — The White House confirmed the launch of a global U.S. campaign to promote acceptance of homosexual acts last week after several months of confusion and misinformation surrounding the administration's position on LGBT issues.

"The Trump Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invites all nations to join us!" read a tweet from the White House last week. The tweet was a message of support for the LGBT advocacy of openly gay Richard Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

The tweet confirmed conservative concerns about the Trump administration's position on LGBT issues.

Last year the Friday Fax reported that State Department representatives pressured governments to accept "sexual orientation and gender identity" in international law. Additionally, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council made an impassioned plea during the General Assembly for homosexual issues. What's more, the U.S. under President Trump has remained a member of the UN LGBT Core Group of nations that push for homosexual and transgender issues.

When Ambassador Grenell announced a U.S. campaign to "decriminalize homosexuality" in February, a conflict emerged within the administration on how to proceed on LGBT issues.

Speaking to the press, President Trump initially denied knowing about a global campaign to repeal sodomy laws when Ambassador Grenell announced its launch in February. Some in the administration were caught off guard. Others called the campaign a "rogue" initiative by Grenell. For his part, Ambassador Grenell all the while claimed support from the White House and Vice President Mike Pence in television appearances.

Then, for the first time since taking office, President Trump tweeted a message in support of "Pride Month," and in a subsequent tweet confirmed the launch of the global campaign to "decriminalize homosexuality."

But confusion and misinformation about the campaign continued in June, as the State Department directed U.S. embassies not to fly the rainbow flag — a flag that is increasingly a symbol of political oppression for Christians in Western countries. Even so, many U.S. embassies chose to display the flag, including at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

The White House's tweet in support of Ambassador Grenell on July 26 shows the Trump administration's commitment to promoting acceptance of homosexual acts internationally. It followed a string of tweets from Ambassador Grenell and the U.S. Embassy to Germany about their participation in the annual Berlin Gay Pride Parade.

Homosexuality is a controversial topic in the UN General Assembly. Over 70 countries outlaw homosexual acts or even the promotion of homosexuality. These governments say that all individuals are entitled to the same human rights protections, including individuals who identify as LGBT, but that homosexual acts are not protected by human rights law.

They may find the Trump administration's campaign inconsistent with President Trump's statements in the General Assembly about respect for sovereignty and family values.

Homosexual acts, like all nonmarital sexual activity, are not protected by internationally agreed human rights law. International law only protects sexual autonomy in the context of the equal right of men and women to marry and found a family.

Published with permission from C-Fam.

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Trudeau visits gay bar as Liberals ramp up abortion, LGBTQ advocacy before fall election

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By Lianne Laurence

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made international headlines this week for conspicuously dropping in at a “gay” bar in the heart of Vancouver’s homosexual district.

The 15-minute photo-op was heralded by many as historic.

“This is the first time a sitting Canadian PM has visited a gay bar, and may even be the first instance the leader of a country has done this,” tweeted Taran Parmar of 1130 News.

A number of the patrons took selfies with an unflaggingly grinning Trudeau, “gay” website Instinct declared “The King of the North Wins Our Hearts Again Just by Showing Up” and NBC posted a laudatory video of the moment as further evidence of Trudeau’s LGBTQ advocacy. 

One Instagram photo elicited this response: “So jealous of your Prime Minister. #Trudeau #Smart #Kind #Empathetic #TrueLeader

Trudeau was Canada’s first sitting prime minister to march in a homosexual “Pride” parade in 2016. The following year, he delivered a tearful apology in the House of Commons for the government’s alleged past discrimination against homosexual individuals in the military or civil service, and his Liberal government agreed to a $145 million out-of-court settlement of a class-action lawsuit launched on their behalf.

Last June, the Liberals passed a bill to expunge records of individuals convicted under Canada’s past law prohibiting homosexual acts. 

This June, the Liberals repealed Section 159 of the Criminal Code, which prohibited anal sex for individuals under age 18 (unless between husband and wife) under Bill C-75

This has effectively lowered the age of consent for anal sex to 16.

Trudeau showed up at the homosexual haunt in advance of the west coast city’s “Pride” weekend, tweeting: Vancouver is gearing up for #Pride weekend right now, but the spirit of pride and inclusivity is strong here all year long! Thanks to the folks at @fountainheadVAN for the warm welcome today.

But it would seem there’s more going on than another “Pride” weekend.

With Canada’s federal election just three months away, there has been a notable uptick in the Trudeau government’s abortion and LGBTQ advocacy, even though the House of Commons adjourned at the end of June.

Last week, Liberal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor sent a letter to all provincial health ministers warning them that not paying for abortions at a private clinics violates the Canada Health Act, and berating them for not providing greater access to the abortion pill.

The letter’s timing was not lost on David Akin, Global News chief political correspondent, who tweeted:

Travis Kann, spokesman for Ontario’s Conservative health minister Christine Elliott, told the Globe and Mail in a statement that the federal health minister was trying to “play politics with such a sensitive issue.”

“She knows what she is saying is false and we will not dignify her misleading claims by engaging in this debate,” said Kann.

Campaign Life Coalition echoed this, tweeting:

The health minister’s letter on increasing abortion access came out two weeks after the CBC obtained and reported on Liberal letters to provincial and territorial ministers of health and justice urging them to ban “the shameful practice” of what is known as “conversion” or reparative therapy.

Signed by Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Justice David Lametti, and Alberta MP Randy Boissonnault, Trudeau’s special adviser on LGBTQ issues, the letters refers to conversion therapy, which aims to help people overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion, as “a cruel exercise that can lead to life-long trauma.” 

It said the Liberals are considering changing the Criminal Code to outlaw the practice. 

That letter’s timing and content also provoked questions.

CTV News reported that it “has asked for clarification as to what prompted the government to consider these changes now.” 

Moreover, the Trudeau Liberals in March dismissed a petition asking for a federal conversion therapy ban, stating that the “issue primarily implicates the regulation of the health profession, which is a provincial and territorial responsibility,” noted National Post columnist Chris Selley.

“ … it’s completely ridiculous that the Liberals should be trying to make political hay out of the issue, let alone succeeding,” added Selley.

The “Liberals may simply be seeking to discredit Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on the eve of the federal election campaign,” observed Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson.

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Satanic Temple sues Missouri over informed-consent requirement on when life begins

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The left-wing secular advocacy group Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit against the state of Missouri in hopes of overturning its requirement that women be given critical information before going through with aborting their children.

Missouri law places a 72-hour waiting period on abortion and requires abortionists to provide women considering abortion with information about its medical risks and the humanity of the preborn child, including a definitive statement that “the life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

The Satanic Temple, which doesn’t believe the supernatural literally exists but embraces Satan’s name as a “symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority,” announced this week that it’s suing over the law on behalf of a member who was subjected to its provisions while seeking an abortion (the statement doesn’t mention whether she ultimately aborted her child).

The law’s affirmation of preborn life is a statement of fact backed by settled science, but the Temple claims it was actually “religious content,” the requirement of which was deemed constitutes “impermissible state adoption of a theory when life begins” by the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals in 1989.

“The only way for The Satanic Temple to lose this case is if the Eighth Circuit reverses itself, which is highly unusual, or goes to impossibly great lengths to avoid ruling on the issues it is being presented with,” Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves claimed. “While I don’t put it past the courts, I am optimistic that the Eighth Circuit will adhere to the law and The Satanic Temple will prevail.”

The challenge appears to be a repetition of a claim the Satanic Temple has tried and failed to advance in the past. In 2015, then-Attorney General Chris Koster noted in response that the Temple could not “cite a single opinion from any state or federal court holding that a state’s expression of a value judgment about abortion constitutes an establishment of religion,” and that the “Eighth Circuit decision on which they rely was reversed by the Supreme Court 26 years ago” (emphasis in the original).

While the Satanic Temple’s legal intervention may be no more potent than that of any other pro-abortion group, it has found greater success with its cultural protests. In April, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) formally recognized it as a church despite its explicitly-secular nature and failure to meet the IRS’s usual criteria for churches. The new status is expected to aid the group in its legal claims in cases such as its placing of Satanic statues in the state capitals of Arkansas and Illinois.

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
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Ky. governor: Opponent won’t defend pro-life laws because he took ‘blood money’ from abortionists

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Republican Gov. Matt Bevin leveled a blistering critique against Attorney General and Democrat gubernatorial opponent Andy Beshear on Thursday for refusing to defend Kentucky’s pro-life laws in court, suggesting that Beshear was essentially bought off by the abortion industry.

Kentucky has enacted numerous protections for preborn babies under Bevin, including a ban on abortions sought specifically due to a child’s race, sex, or disability; a ban on second-trimester dismemberment abortion procedures; a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected; and a requirement that women be offered ultrasound images of their children before aborting them.

All of these laws have been tied up in court by legal challenges by pro-abortion groups. Beshear, who identifies as “pro-choice,” defended the ultrasound law on behalf of the state but has refused to do the same for stronger abortion restrictions, for which Bevin has previously criticized him. The incumbent governor intensified that criticism at a Thursday press conference, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“This is a state where we value the sanctity of human life,” Bevin said. “It is the job of the attorney general to defend those laws, whether it’s a heartbeat law, dismemberment law, the eugenics bill, whatever they are.”

“The Marshalls, Mr. and Mrs., maxed out to (Beshear) back in March ... in his primary,” he continued, referring to Ernest Marshall, owner of the Louisville abortion facility EMW Women’s Surgical Center, and his wife. “Four days later after they max out to him, he removes himself from the lawsuit. These people are funding their very profitable abortion clinic by funding Andy Beshear’s campaign.”

“This is blood money, straight up,” Bevin declared. “There’s no other term for it. This is the exact definition of it. They are using monies that they have earned from killing Kentuckians to fund a guy whose job it is to defend the laws of this state but refuses to do so.”

“Reasonable and good people can disagree on choice,” but Bevin’s “outlandish language is dangerous and unacceptable,” Beshear campaign manager Eric Hyers responded. 

Beshear has claimed the laws he refused to defend were unconstitutional; pro-lifers argue the heartbeat law in particular was meant to challenge Roe v. Wade’s flawed constitutional interpretation, and that attorneys general have a duty to represent duly-enacted laws regardless of their personal opinions.

Cook Political Report and Inside Elections rate Kentucky’s November 2019 gubernatorial election a toss-up, and political analyst Larry Sabato maintains that the race still leans Republican. In June, a Gravis poll found Bevin leading Beshear by six points.

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Dr. Ben Carson, President Trump, and Dr. Alveda King at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. NBC News YouTube Channel
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‘Trump is not a racist’: MLK’s niece rebukes liberal DC archbishop

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By Pete Baklinski
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Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece took Washington, D.C.’s Catholic archbishop to task for characterizing President Donald Trump’s recent comments on Baltimore as racist.

“I’ve read the statement by Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory suggesting that President Trump’s [tweets] about squalor in Baltimore are racist and I have to disagree,” said Dr. Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life. 

“President Trump is not a racist. A racist is a person who doesn’t get Acts 17:26: ‘Of one blood God made all people.’ I know President Trump understands that and I’m sure Archbishop Gregory does as well.”

Last Saturday, Trump tweeted that Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings should spend more time cleaning up his district than criticizing the administration’s immigration policies at the southern border.

“Rep[.] Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……,” tweeted Trump. 

“….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,” he added in a second tweet. 

Archbishop Gregory criticized the President’s remarks in an August 1 piece that appeared in the Catholic Standard.  

“I fear that recent public comments by our President and others and the responses they have generated, have deepened divisions and diminished our national life. In particular, I join my brother Archbishop William Lori in sadness and deep regret for the ways our Maryland neighbors in Baltimore have been denigrated in recent public attacks,” Gregory wrote. 

“We all need to reject racism, disrespect or brutality in speech and action,” he added later in his piece. 

King, in an open letter to the archbishop published today on NewsMax, called out the archbishop for not understanding what racism is. 

Seemingly, all too many people don’t understand what racism is and who is racist and who is not. Actually, regarding racism, the problem is not skin color. Science and religion both affirm that as human beings, we are all one blood, one human race.

“[Creator] God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth” – Acts 17:26

The words “racism” and “racist” are terms recklessly bandied about in the race card game; all of which is a deceptive, socially engineered decoy, creating oppressors and victims. This deception stirs the emotions while denying the much needed transformational civility, equality, justice, and freedom for all.

Sir, with all due respect, by scientific and spiritual definition, a racist is someone who denies scientific and spiritual evidence; that humans are one race.

As one who has encountered and resisted racism all of my life, I know a racist when I see a racist. I can assure you President Trump is not a racist

King noted in a press release about her open letter that Dr. Ben Carson made similar comments about Baltimore. 

“As my friend and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson has said, there are some areas in Baltimore marred by squalor and the people of the city are suffering because of it. It was not racist when he said that in driving through the city, he saw able-bodied young men sitting idle on porches. It was not racist to suggest these men should be put to work cleaning up the city, to everyone’s benefit.”

“We all need to acknowledge that Baltimore and other inner city areas across our country have problems. It is not racist to acknowledge these problems and President Trump is not racist for pointing them out,” she said. 

Cummings confirmed today that there was an attempted burglary on his house this past Saturday – “about four hours” before Trump began tweeting about his high-crime district, according to Fox News.

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Hungary offers married couples $33,000 if they have three children

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By Martin Barillas

BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Hungary’s pro-family government is offering married couples a 10 million-forint (about $33,000 USD) loan that won’t have to be paid back if the couple has three children. 

The measure is part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s plan to encourage population growth in a country with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. So far, according to a government spokesperson, thousands of families have applied for the loans or other pro-family subsidies during the month of July. 

Eligible couples would receive the funds in the form of a loan, which they would have to repay until they become the parents of three children. The loans must be paid monthly. However, if the married couples should have a child within five years, the interest on the loan is suspended, while repayments are suspended for three years.

There are specific criteria that couples must meet in order to qualify for the loan, reported Euronews.com.

These include that the couple must be married, that the marriage must be the first one for at least one of the spouses, that the woman be between the ages of 18 and 40, and that one of the spouses must have paid at least 180 days worth of tax contributions in Hungary.

Married couples taking advantage of the loan who do not produce their first child or no child at all within the first five years would be compelled to repay the full amount of the loan within a four-month period unless they can produce a medical certificate.

According to Katalin Novák, Hungary’s Minister of State for Family, Youth, and International Affairs, 1,300 couples have already received the loan. Describing Hungary’s “family protection action plan, Novak said that most of them had applied for the maximum, 10 million forint ($33,000 USD) loan. Couples who apply for the loan after the 12th week of pregnancy can automatically have the repayments on it suspended for three years. 

The loans are not the only policy that the Hungarian government pursues in support of marriage and childbirth. For example, the government has received about 3,000 applications for write-offs of outstanding mortgage credit, while 6,400 large families have submitted applications for subsidies to buy cars, according to Novak. As of July 1, Hungarian families can apply for a $33,000 government mortgage write-off when the second child is born, followed by a write-off of more than 4 million forints ($135,000) in write-offs for a third child, followed by another 1 million forints in write-offs for each subsequent child.

Affirming the Fidesz party-dominated government policies, Novak said in a press conference that the 2020 budget allocates 2.5 times the amount of funding for families than the 2010 budget did. Novak, who is also vice-president of Fidesz, said that the 2020 budget will be “the budget of families.” She asserted that the pro-family policies will afford 162 billion forints ($54.9 million) next year in savings to families with children, while her government will issue loan-based subsidies to them amounting to 700 billion forints ($2.30 billion).

The government loans constitute a plank in the Hungarian government's pro-family policies and budget, which was announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Orban’s government in an effort to address the Central European nation’s birth dearth without having to rely on mass immigration from outside. Hungary has been notable in recent years for strict border controls and passing on the hundreds of thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, to neighboring countries such as Austria and Germany. 

In May, Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, criticized Hungary’s pro-family approach, as well as its immigration policies. Expressing displeasure over the status of gender rights in Hungary, she warned against the country’s family protection action plan. "Although the government seeks to empower women through labor market participation, the focus of the newly adopted family protection action plan lies on women as child bearers," Mijatović said. "This carries the risk of reinforcing gender stereotypes and instrumentalizing women," she added.

According to Breitbart News, a government spokesperson said that Western Europe is addressing its demographic decline that will yield “catastrophic consequences in the long run.” Instead, Hungary is encouraging births, the source said, by focusing on families. The alternative, the source said, is to encourage immigration. The fertility rate in the European Union is 1.6, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1 that is needed to sustain a population. Hungary has a rate of 1.57 in 2017. The highest birth rates were found in France and Germany. 

State Minister Novak wrote a letter to Annika Strandhall, Sweden’s Minister of Social Affair, in which Novak “firmly rejected” Strandhall’s accusations that Hungary’s pro-family policies were reminiscent of Nazism. On Monday, Strandhall tweeted that the “alarming” policies were “reeking of the 1930’s.” Standhall said that Prime Minister Orban wants to see “more true Hungarian” babies, defining him as a “right-wing populist trying to obscure the consequences of those policies to the independence women have fought for.” 

For her part, Novak stated that she was “shocked to learn that on Twitter you claimed that the family protection action plan announced last Sunday by Prime Minister Viktor Orban recalls Germany’s thirties, and that our government exploits Hungarian women.”

Novak said that Hungary respects Sweden’s decision that migration is “your answer to the demographic challenges.”

“In Hungary, we believe in strong families as the basis of our community. We have driven family-friendly governance and gained two-third parliamentary majority three times in a row at democratic general elections. Hungarian citizens have many times expressed they will and entitled us to stop illegal migration at our borders, not to let in a mass of economic migrants but instead empower Hungarian women and men to be able to have as many children as they wish to and have them as soon as they wish to,” she said.  

On Thursday, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said “Hungary spends money on families rather than migrants.”

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Supreme Court to hear ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity’ case Oct. 8

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Supreme Court has selected October 8 as the date it will begin hearing oral arguments on whether longstanding anti-discrimination laws should be reinterpreted to cover homosexuality or gender confusion.

The case will consolidate three separate cases into one: that of a skydiving instructor who was fired after informing a customer he was gay; a Christian funeral home that fired a male employee who insisted on dressing as a woman on the job, and a county child welfare services coordinator who was fired after his employer learned he was gay. All hinge on whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends its nondiscrimination protections to the categories of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”

The Supreme Court has set October 8 as the day oral arguments will begin, Washington Blade, a homosexual paper, reports. Attorney Chase Strangio of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) declared it would be “one of the biggest days in LGBTQ legal history”:

In March, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII’s prohibition of “employment discrimination based on...sex” covers not just biological sex but whatever sex an individual feels him or herself to be. The Trump administration disagrees, and 16 states have filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reverse the 6th Circuit’s decision.

“Unless and until Congress affirmatively acts, our Constitution leaves to the States the authority to determine which protections, or not, should flow to individuals based on gender identity,” the brief argues. “The term ‘gender identity,’ or as the Sixth Circuit labels it, ‘transgender’ and ‘transitioning status,’ are not found in the text or legislative history of Title VII,” and at the time of its adoption, “gender identity” referred to “social and cultural roles” rather than to physiological reality or psychological self-image.

Democrats in Congress are also currently attempting to achieve the same result legislatively. The so-called Equality Act, which passed the U.S. House in May, would amend the Civil Rights Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” among expressly recognized nondiscrimination categories in both its employment and “public accommodations” provisions. The Equality Act isn’t expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, but will be an issue in next year’s elections.

Whether the LGBT lobby succeeds via a new law or by judicial fiat, conservatives warn that the change would do far more than merely protect homosexual or gender-confused Americans from tangible harm.

Rather, it would likely force other Americans such as photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex “weddings”; force employers and businesses to fund practices like sex-change treatments regardless of their own values or policies; and to force women and girls to share sleeping quarters, showers, changing areas, and restrooms with gender-confused males (or “cis” men merely claiming trans status to get easy access to vulnerable women).

Since President Donald Trump’s nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed, the Supreme Court has delivered social conservatives a modest victory on anti-Christian discrimination and allowed the Trump administration’s ban on transgender soldiers to take effect, but neither was a definitive ruling on the core legal questions of either case. The October case will be the new justices’ first major test on LGBT issues.

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Report: Hollywood abortion depictions ‘way up,’ becoming more ‘unapologetic’

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As major entertainers and Hollywood studios ramp up their pro-abortion advocacy, a new study by left-wing researchers from the University of California has found a significant uptick in positive depictions of the “choice” to abort a child in film and television.

The University of California-San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) is a think tank known for pro-abortion research touted by the media yet heavily critiqued by pro-lifers. Recently, ANSIRH sociologist Gretchen Sisson told the New York Times that the group has found a significant change in both the frequency and tone of onscreen abortions.

“You’re definitely seeing more of the matter-of-fact ‘I am pregnant, I don’t want to be, I’m going to have an abortion,’” Sisson said. “And it’s gone way up in 2019.” 

Twenty-one characters have discussed abortion this year so far, outpacing 2018’s total of 18 for the full year, and on track to match or outpace ANSIRH’s record tally of 34 characters in 2017. This year’s abortion subplots or mentions have occurred on shows including Hulu’s Shrill, HBO’s Veep, and Netflix’s She's Gotta Have It.

According to the Times, abortion storylines used to feature characters who “usually agonized about what to do or, if the show was set in the past, weighed back-alley procedures. Babies were often carried to term or lost to miscarriage. Terminations led to psychological or physical problems or death.” In recent years, however, characters are more likely to be “decisive and forthright” about aborting their children, then move on to other storylines.

“Shonda Rhimes opened it up so it can be on network prime,” Sisson said, referencing the producer of ABC’s Scandal, which in 2015 infamously featured a lead character aborting a child she conceived during an extramarital affair, in a scene intercut with a voiceover about how “family is a burden” and a Christmas choir singing “Silent Night.”

The favorability of onscreen abortions has been a recurring interest of ANSIRH, which in 2014 released a study objecting to the fact that nine percent of onscreen abortions ended with maternal death, when the real-world rate is much lower (albeit not as low as the abortion industry claims). The authors claimed the rate helped “stigmatize” abortion, despite the fact that many of these deaths were pre-Roe v. Wade and meant to further another misleading pro-abortion narrative.

The latest trend comes as numerous Hollywood actors and companies are threatening to boycott Georgia in protest of the state’s law banning most abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. While Hollywood may be doubling down on abortion, pro-life filmmakers say there’s a disconnect between the industry’s values and those of general audiences.

“Nobody’s speaking for us, Hollywood doesn’t speak for us,” Nick Loeb, director of an upcoming film about Roe v. Wade, told the Times. “But when people make movies for us,” such as the recent Gosnell and Unplanned, “they’re loved and they’re adored.”

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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò at the Rome Life Forum on May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
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Archbishop Viganò: ‘The figure of Christ is absent’ from Amazon synod working document

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By Martin Barillas

ROME, August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that the upcoming Amazon synod is the triumph of a decades-long effort by Jesuits and their supporters to re-make the Catholic Church.  

“Where is the Christian message here?” Archbishop Viganò asked of the synod’s working document, which former Vatican doctrine chief Cardinal Gerhard Muller and dubia signer Cardinal Walter Brandmüller have criticized for spreading “false teaching” and as “heretical,” respectively. Archbishop Viganò discussed the working document in an interview with Dr. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican.

“In fact, the figure of Christ is absent,” he noted. “The Synod working document testifies to the emergence of a post-Christian Catholic theology, now, in this moment. And this is very troubling. It is against everything I have worked for and believed for all my life.”

Viganò also charged that the working document shows influences of liberation theology, a theology developed in Latin America in the 1960s that sought to reconcile Catholic teachings with elements of revolutionary Marxism. Viganò suggested that Pope Francis, a Jesuit, is sympathetic to liberation theology. Jesuit priests have long been active in social causes in impoverished places in Latin America such as the Amazonian region. In his book The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Malachi Martin chronicled the example set by Jesuit priests in armed struggles and revolutionary governments, such as Sandinista Nicaragua. 

Viganò is now carefully studying the history of the Jesuit order, he said. He called the current situation the “triumph of a 60-year-old plan, the successful execution of a well-thought out plan to bring a new sort of thinking into the heart of the Church, a thinking rooted in elements of Liberation Theology containing strands of Marxism, little interested in traditional Catholic liturgy or morality or theology, but rather focused on ‘praxis’ in the field of social justice. And now this plan has achieved one of its supreme goals, with a Jesuit on the See of Peter…”

Viganò, who formerly represented the Vatican to the United States as papal nuncio, gained attention in 2018 for a letter he wrote about the Vatican cover-up of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual predation. He revealed Pope Francis had reversed sanctions Pope Benedict XVI had privately placed on the now-disgraced prelate.

In July, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan told LifeSiteNews that proponents of the Amazon synod care little for the spiritual needs of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. They are instead, he asserted, seeking to implement “their own ideological agenda, which is a married clergy in Europe, and then to have it in the whole Latin Church.”

In June, LifeSiteNews interviewed author Julio Loredo, who wrote Liberation Theology, a life jacket for the poor made of lead (Teologia della liberazione. Un salvagente di piombo per i poveri) (Cantagalli, 2014). Loredo said the “untold” backstory of the Amazon synod is that it is intended to “change the whole Church” along the lines of “so-called indigenist and ecological theology” and from an “‘Amazonian’ point of view, which is nothing else than the culmination of liberation theology.” While much of the media is focused on issues such as the ordination of women, Loredo said, “This Synod is being prepared and staffed by a well-organized network of ‘indigenist’ associations and movements.” He asserted that key persons involved in the synod are connected to liberation theology. 

The Amazon Synod will take place in Rome from October 6 to 27.

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John Paul II Institute students launch website to voice objections to schools’ sweeping changes

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, Italy, August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Students at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute are using a blog to voice their objections to the changes sweeping their beloved school. The Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family was renamed and re-purposed by Pope Francis in 2017. The changes include new statues, the firing of key professors, and the elimination of courses that are strongly tied to the legacy of John Paul II.

The website is called “Gli studenti GP 2 informano” (“The students of the Giovanni Paolo 2 shall inform”) and carries both their letter of protest and an invitation for readers to sign it. So far the students have collected 647 signatures, 434 of them from students or former students of the Institute. 

The students founded their blog as a response to the Institute’s July 29 press release, which they believe fell short of answering their concerns. The institute largely downplayed the student's concerns in the press release. 

“The purpose of this blog is, first of all, to spread and make public the letter sent on July 25 (dated July 24) to the dean of the Institute, Mons. Pierangelo Sequeri, given that the “Press Release” published on the official website of the Institute on Monday, July 29, not only does [...] not respond to our well-founded questions and fears, but completely ignores the requests that we explicitly make and that seek to safeguard our rights as students: the continuity of our studies for those of us who have entered with the old Ordinance,” they wrote. 

“Secondly, we want to inform and keep updated the students and former students of the Pontifical Theological Institute Giovanni Paolo II about the events that are happening (and their development) in the Institute after the unexpected publication of the new Statutes and the new Ordination of Studies on Tuesday, July 22, 2019,” they added. 

“It is also addressed to all those who, aware of the wealth that the teachings provided by the [John Paul II] Institute means to the Church and the world, want to help protect it.”

Among the changes to the Institute was the temporary suspension of the entire faculty and the dismissal of seven key professors, including the former president of the Institute, Monsignor Livio Melina. The new statutes give the Grand Chancellor of the Institute, currently Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the right to fire and hire faculty.

'You don’t have the right!'

Ante Vrhovac, who enrolled as a doctoral student at the Institute after completing its licentiate program, attested on the blog to the frustration he feels, having already chosen courses in June for the 2019-2020 academic year. The then-new study guide, which was published both on paper and online, included courses by both Monsignor Melina and Father Noriega. 

When Vrhovac discovered that both professors had been dismissed, he contacted the Institute to find out how he could continue his doctorate under the old study program, which is his right under Article 89 of the new statutes. 

“I received the reply that at the beginning of September the new list of seminars would probably be published at the beginning of September and that I will have to change my previous choice,” Vrhovac reported.

“Thus I ask myself, in what sense do we talk about the right to continue for those who wish to continue with the old program if some of the professors chosen by us for our studies are no longer part of the Institute?”

Vrhovac believes that the press release was a “lie beautifully wrapped for those interested in the future of the Institute.”

”The government of the Institute has assured us all about our rights, but when they receive concrete questions they say that they haven’t received these questions (as with our letter) or they don’t answer (the questions presented in the letter haven’t received answers) or they answer that in reality the old system can’t be literally maintained for us who want it (as in my case of the seminars chosen for next year),” he wrote.   

The doctoral student extolled both Melina and Noriega, who had had a profound effect on him, and declared that the Institute had no right to remove them. 

“You cannot take from us the fathers, the teachers, the parents of our hearts! You don’t have the right,” he stated. 

“With the firing of Monsignor Melina and Fr. Noriega … I have implicitly received the message: ‘Dear Ante, that which you wished to find in your future studies by choosing these two professors you shouldn’t search for anymore. This teaching doesn’t belong anymore to the Institute’s reality.”

Vrhovac concluded that he did not want the Institute without “this teaching, without these teachers, without a clear proclamation of the Truth of Love.”  

'Internal Revenge'

In contrast to the student’s impassioned announcement, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. tweeted a message today advising that the public take no interest in what he says is a “vendetta” within the Institute.

“The strategy is in fact obvious: to frame the expected renewal of the [JP II Institute] as a purge of ‘orthodoxy’ by the ‘modernists’. This nonsense is just a form of internal revenge. Forget about it,” wrote the consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. 

Meanwhile, Fr. Ricardo Mensuali, the spokesman for Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the Grand Chancellor of the Institute, has stated that the school would not be answering questions regarding the new changes.   

Writing for the UK’s Catholic Herald, Christopher Altieri reported today that Mensuali explained that “this unavailability is momentary because we want to be absolutely serious” when they do answer the questions.

Altieri noted that the Institute’s July 29 press release had stated that “The press office is always available for clarifications and information.”

“On Tuesday and Wednesday, phone calls and emails to the institute’s press officer went unanswered, while officials at the Academy for Life promised answers that never came,” the journalist added. 

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Bill to protect pre-born babies with beating hearts introduced in U.S. House

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As states across America enact and litigate measures to ban abortion on any baby with a beating heart, legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last week would do the same for the entire country. 

Introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), HR 3985 would prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and would therefore ban abortion starting at around six to eight weeks. The bill is currently pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

HR 3985’s text has not yet been published, but it appears to be the successor to a bill introduced in January by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), which would do the same thing and apply in all cases except to save a mother’s life from physical threats. While a leading pro-life voice on Capitol Hill, House Republicans stripped King of all his committee assignments in January over a New York Times interview in which his critics claim he defended white supremacism (King says the Times misquoted him).

LifeSiteNews has reached out to Rep. Flores’ office for comment, and will update this report as further details come to light.

Heartbeat legislation bans abortions much earlier than allowed by Roe v. Wade’s current threshold of fetal viability outside the womb. Numerous states including Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio have enacted heartbeat laws over the past year, provoking lawsuits from pro-abortion groups.

While some Republican politicians have been wary of incurring the costs of a legal battle they expect to lose, others advocate heartbeat bills specifically as vehicles to provoke challenges they hope will reach the U.S. Supreme Court. 

There, pro-lifers hope that President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees will provide a majority to finally overturn Roe, thereby freeing states to decide abortion’s legality at the ballot box instead of in the courtroom. Justice Clarence Thomas is the only confirmed anti-Roe vote on the current court, though most pro-lifers are confident that Justice Samuel Alito would do so as well. The other three right-leaning justices, particularly John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, have given mixed signals on their likelihood of overturning Roe.

HR 3985 doesn’t stand a chance of passing the current Democrat-controlled House, which has consistently blocked votes on legislation that would merely require abortionists to give basic medical care to infants who are delivered alive after failed abortions, and is unlikely to win the 60 votes necessary under the Senate’s current filibuster rules. But it could be a potent issue going into next year’s elections, which will decide whether Republicans keep the presidency and Senate and retake the House.

In April, pollster Scott Rasmussen released survey results finding that, upon being informed that a “fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy,” 56% of registered voters support a heartbeat abortion ban.

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Former prof laments ‘destruction’ of Rome’s John Paul II Institute

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A respected psychiatrist and now former professor at the John Paul II Institute in Rome is speaking out about the recent controversy surrounding the institute, calling it a “terrible suppression” and “destruction” of a world-renowned academic community. 

Dr. Monika Grygiel, daughter of Stanislaw Grygiel — a Polish philosopher, great friend of Pope John Paul II, and until recently, a professor at the JPII in Rome —  has said the “violence” with which the “abolition” of the institute was carried out is “something unheard of in academia.”

In a front page article she authored for the July 31 edition of the Italian daily, Il Foglio, Dr. Grygiel also said the newly-styled institute has been built on “the injustice of dismissals, on non-existent, totally questionable or even defamatory grounds.”

Dr. Grygiel’s article appeared under the title: “The suppression of the project wanted by Wojtyla and the clumsy attempt to bury the truth,” and continued on page 4 under a second headline: “The Wojtyla Institute is suppressed, the new is built on sand.”

 

Here below we publish an English translation of the full article by Dr. Monika Grygiel.

We are witnesses of what we cannot experience except as a terrible suppression of the Pontifical Institute John Paul II, and as an attempt to erase, even with untrue information, what this great academic family has been and has represented for almost forty years of its existence. The destruction of a university institute of world renown and of high scientific, religious and human profile, will not erase the memory of a history imprinted in thousands of people around the world and rooted in the teaching of the Church and St. John Paul II, Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church.

There would be many considerations to make and truths to underline. I will dwell on one, which as a psychiatrist and at this point former professor of the institute, touches me in particular. It is presented, for example by Don Pagazzi in the Osservatore Romano, as a great novelty of the new institute John Paul II, the insistence on the church-family relationship. Thus, it is thought to cover up the truth of what was taught and to justify a presumed precedence of human science over theology. 

It must be said, first of all, that the extinct John Paul II Institute had developed the ecclesiology of the family. Let us think of prominent teachers such as Cardinal Scola, with his approach to the nuptial mystery, or to Cardinal Ouellet, who insisted so much on the link between marriage, the Eucharist and the Church. Both saw in the “family-church” bond an essential element of “Christian ontology.” And think also of the different courses offered in recent years by Professor Melina on the ecclesial place of conscience, or by Prof. Diriart on the states of life in the Church or marriage in ecclesial communion.

Don Pagazzi also writes about the need for the Church not to detach itself from the flesh of the world. The Church, according to him, “will succeed to the extent that it does not detach itself from its flesh, that is to say, from the ties with people and things that constitute the story of every family (even the most complicated) and of all reality.” I fully agree with him, but I also think that the preference which he maintains will be given to the human sciences, will only make sense if something more original is not forgotten: the Church will succeed in its task to the extent that it does not detach itself from the flesh of Christ, which contains within itself the fulfillment of every original language of the flesh. The Church will be faithful to the family only if she is faithful to Christ. The human heart, and therefore the bonds it weaves in life, are, if we look at them in their truth, the incarnation of the Father's primordial plan.

Precisely in relation to the concreteness of the flesh, it is disconcerting to see how in the new plans of study, although not yet very clear, courses have been cancelled, among many others, in Psychology on relational dynamics in the family, on generativity, the one on paternity and even an innovative project, born out of the request of the students themselves, of Psychology laboratory for priests entitled “Alongside the lives of families.”

These brief lines show how, in reality, the question of the abolition of the John Paul II Institute does not consist in a new look, but rather concerns the violence with which it was carried out something unheard of in academia. How can one build a Church “not detached from ties with people” on the injustice of dismissals, on non-existent, totally questionable or even defamatory grounds? Or on the imposition on already enrolled students, at the end of July, of a curriculum, which does not even respect the statutes in force, and an almost entirely new teaching staff, of which the students were not aware at the time of enrollment? 

Those who will be called to teach at the new Institute, in a situation presented as “exceptional,” and therefore appointed teacher without the collegial opinion of the other professors and without the process [concorso] provided for by the current statutes, will have to decide whether to believe in the dignity of university work, freedom of thought and the family essence of the Church or to participate in the “exceptional” imposition of power on the common search for truth.

Those who have built a family, or other bonds, who experience the Church and Christ as an experience of family experiences and the bonds of love, well know the difference between foundations built on sand and those, instead, that respect the identifying structure, the true heart of a home.

Dr. Monika Grygiel is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and a former professor at the John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family. Translation from the Italian by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews.

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Fr. James Martin is a false teacher, must be rebuked by all faithful Catholics

Matt Gaspers
By Matt Gaspers
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Screenshot captured from the home page of the “NYC Pride 2019” official website. Notice the apprehensive expression (and rightfully so!) on the little girl’s face.

August 2, 2019 (Catholic Family News) — Every year on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, which fell on June 30 this year, the faithful who attend the traditional Roman Mass hear a powerful duo of readings from Holy Scripture.

The Epistle, 1 Peter 5:6–11, focuses our attention on the reality of spiritual warfare, with the Prince of the Apostles exhorting us, "Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world." In short, "The life of man upon earth is a warfare" (Job 7:1) — a battle we must engage with "the armor of God" (Eph. 6:11, 13) — and precious souls are at stake, a message which is at the heart of the Gospel for the day.

In Luke 15:1–10, which immediately precedes the famous prodigal son parable (Luke 15:11–32), Our Lord is confronted by "the Pharisees and the scribes" who are repulsed at the sight of "publicans and sinners" approaching Him and listen to His preaching. "This man receiveth sinners," they murmur, "and eateth with them." As the Good Shepherd, Our Lord replies:

What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing? And coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. (Luke 15:4-7)

The message is clear: Our Lord did not fraternize with sinners as a means of pacifying them in their sins. He reached out to them with true charity as lost sheep in order to call them to repentance and conversion. Thus, His ministry of "doing good" to sinners and "healing all that were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38) was aimed primarily at the salvation of souls. This was His program — "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10) — and it must be ours, as well, if we call ourselves His disciples.

Confronting False Shepherds

The clergy, or "ancients" (Greek presbyteros), as St. Peter called them (1 Pet. 5:1), are obliged above all others to set the example in this regard. "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it…being made a pattern of the flock from the heart" (1 Pet. 5:2, 3). These men must be conformed to the Heart of the Good Shepherd and commit themselves to feeding His flock with sound doctrine and a holy example (cf. Jer. 3:15).

The problem, however, is that there are "false prophets" and "lying teachers" among them who "bring in sects of perdition and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction" (2 Pet. 2:1). And not only upon themselves, but "many shall follow their riotousness, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" (2 Pet. 2:2).

In other words, many souls are led away from "the way of truth" because of false shepherds who distort the truth, especially when it comes to matters of sexual morality. This has been the case throughout Church history, even going back to Apostolic times (cf. Apoc. 2:12–16, 18–22), but in our days there seems to be, in the words of Sister Lucia of Fatima, a "diabolical wave" of perversion "sweeping over the world" [1], as well as "a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls!" [2].

There is perhaps no greater manifestation of such "diabolical disorientation" in the world and Church today than the so-called "LGBT" movement, which Bishop Athanasius Schneider has rightly called a "neo-Marxist dictatorship" that breeds "a kind of apostasy from the Christian faith" [3]. Longtime CFN editor John Vennari (R.I.P.) likewise spoke out against the dangers of the movement, exposing its detailed plan for winning over public opinion through subversion:

And arguably the most prominent activist for this movement within the Church at present is Fr. James Martin, S.J., the American Jesuit who has attained celebrity status under the Jesuit Pope — even being named a consultant to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication by Francis — allegedly due in part to his subversive "LGBT ministry" [4].

Those who understand the threat posed by men like Fr. Martin have a duty to speak up and oppose his agenda — not for the sake of vain argument, not to puff oneself up at his expense, but for the good of the souls he is deceiving, including his own.

Father Martin's Tweet

On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (Saturday, June 29). I was browsing my Twitter feed and happened upon a tweet from Fr. Martin regarding a then-forthcoming "Pride" event at which he would be present:

In his tweet, Fr. Martin lamented that "a man [had] ripped down and stole" banners made by the "LGBT outreach program at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in NYC". The purpose of those banners, Fr. Martin explained, was to help advertise the "5:15 PM Pre-Pride Mass" for which he was the scheduled celebrant (see here for highlights from his pro-"LGBT" homily). This ideologically driven liturgy was called "Pre-Pride" because it both anticipated and encouraged participation in the NYC Pride March the following day (Sunday, June 30) — one of the largest public displays of licentiousness and depravity in the world, held annually on the last Sunday of June since 1970 in commemoration of the infamous Stonewall riots (June 28, 1969) [5].

"No matter," Fr. Martin concluded his "Pre-Pride" tweet. "Love always wins. And I will see you all there! #PrideMonth"

Those who follow Fr. Martin online can attest that the 58-year-old Jesuit, ordained in 1999, does little else on social media than push a leftist agenda. As the editor-at-large of America magazine, a liberal Jesuit periodical supportive of Communism, Father is constantly posting content and remarks indicative of support for unrestricted immigration, arguing that the Bible — especially the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy — obliges nations to allow unfettered access to migrants and refugees (more to come on the irony of his reliance on those books).

Regarding female leadership in the Church, he opined earlier this week that women should be allowed to preach during Mass, even invoking the intercession of St. Mary Magdalene, on whose feast he posted his comment (July 22), for the allowance of this novelty that contradicts both Scripture (cf. 1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11–14) and Tradition.

But immigration and feminism aside, the most pressing issue for Fr. Martin, as previously mentioned, certainly seems to be the normalization of all things "LGBT" within the Church. Instead of centering his attention on the Sacred Heart of Jesus during the month of June, for example, his focus was clearly on celebrating "Pride Month" (a hashtag he used repeatedly on social media), beginning with his June 1 tweet:

(Note the implication that God makes some people "LGBT", i.e., that homosexuality is a matter of genetics — an unproven hypothesis he repeats incessantly.)

Responding with Truth, Pressing for Clarity

Upon seeing Fr. Martin's June 29 "Pre-Pride Mass" tweet, I decided to respond:

Much to my surprise, he replied: "Seriously, why do you enjoy excluding people from God's love? Is there one thing in that post that is reveling in an 'abomination'? Is that what you'd say to a teenage LGBT person who is suicidal because they think God hates them? Go and learn the meaning of the word 'mercy.'"

Notice how Fr. Martin, a skilled sophist, takes the focus off of his notorious celebration of sexual disorders (about which he feigns ignorance) and proceeds to accuse me of "excluding people from God's love", implying that I am unmerciful for expressing concern about the gravely sinful behavior he refuses to condemn. Whereas in reality, it is sin that "excludes" or separates souls from the love of God (cf. Isa. 59:1-2), which is why admonishing sinners is among the spiritual works of mercy.

Furthermore, Fr. Martin knows perfectly well what I meant by saying that he revels in homosexuality. His popular book, Building a Bridge, contains multiple exhortations to "rejoice in the gifts and talents, the joy and enthusiasm brought by LGBT Catholics" [6], as if their "orientation" is the cause of their gifts and talents. He even goes so far as to compare Our Lord's self-revelation as the Messiah in Nazareth (cf. Luke 4:16–30) to persons afflicted with same-sex attraction (SSA) or gender dysphoria revealing their "true identity" [7].

Thus, in my counter-reply, I cut to the chase: "Do you believe that homosexual behavior is sinful or not? YES or NO, please." No answer. "'But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.' (Matt. 5:37)". Still no answer. Hence, I told him that "since you refuse to affirm with a simple 'yes' that #sodomy is a sin — which is what God and His Church infallibly teach — I will assume you believe the contrary. This is exactly why you are accused of #heresy," after which I provided a link to an article that discusses the legitimacy of those accusations against him.

At this point, Fr. Martin decided to respond (perhaps the "H" word got his attention): "Asked and answered many times. Give it a rest. Then find some LGBT Catholics to welcome into your parish." But if he has truly "answered many times," then why did he refuse to answer me? Very strange and uncharitable, indeed.

Challenging False Teachers

I share this brief encounter of mine with Fr. Martin for a few reasons. First off, to stress the importance of challenging those who dare to preach a false gospel — with charity, of course, but also with firmness.

Fr. Martin claims to follow the example of Our Lord, Who supposedly placed "community first — meeting, encountering, including — and conversion second" [8]. (And yet, Christ's first public proclamation was, "Repent and believe the Gospel." —Mark 1:15). Father no doubt excels in the "meeting, encountering, [and] including" department, but he never seems to get to the part about conversion — at least, not that I have seen or heard. Nowhere in his book does he even hint at the truth, rooted in natural law and Divine Revelation, that homosexual acts are wrong. Rather, he implies the opposite in a couple of ways: first, by supporting the notion that the phrase "objectively disordered", in reference to the homosexual inclination, should be deleted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, para. 2358) [9], and second, by calling upon the "LGBT community" to "give the institutional church the gift of time — time to get to know each other" [10], as if time can somehow change an immutable precept of the natural law. (For more details on the problems with Building a Bridge, see here.)

Fr. Martin would do well to familiarize himself with the work of another Jesuit, Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J. (1901–1975), the longtime Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Santa Clara in California, who wrote in his classic book, Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice (originally published in 1953):

Artificial birth control is wrong for the reason that it is an unnatural vice of the same sort as solitary vice and homosexuality. These sins are attempts to secure sexual satisfaction while at the same time evading the responsibilities which nature attaches to this pleasure. ... To seek the satisfaction while at the same time defrauding nature is what is meant by perversion. Other animals, having no free will and guided only by instinct, cannot abuse their faculties and there are no unnatural vices found among them. Man alone is able to act unnaturally, but is bound not to do so by the natural moral law. [11] (emphasis added)

Real Charity Requires Truth

Secondly, I share my exchange with Fr. Martin to emphasize that his routine failure to mention the "grave depravity" (CCC, para. 2357) of homosexual acts is neither charitable nor merciful. On the contrary, it is grossly negligent and completely devoid of real charity towards God and neighbor — not only due to moral subversion, but also because of the serious health risks associated with living the "LGBT" lifestyle.

Real charity, as St. Paul tells us, "[r]ejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth" (1 Cor. 13:6). This is exactly why I asked Fr. Martin if he wants souls to end up in hell, because that is the horrible fate of unrepentant sexual sinners, including sodomites, according to the testimony of the same Apostle:

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterersnor the effeminatenor liers with mankind [i.e. sodomites], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9–10, emphasis added)

As mentioned above, Fr. Martin relies upon the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy to support his position of virtually open borders for migrants and refugees (see 0:57–1:07 in the video below):

Aside from his contradiction of St. Thomas Aquinas on the application of those Scriptures, the supreme irony is that he mocks those who uphold God's prohibition against sodomy in the Book of Leviticus (cf. Lev. 18:22, 20:13), claiming that such individuals take those verses "out of context" (see 6:05–11:06 in the video below):

In his remarks at Georgetown University (above), Fr. Martin not only demonstrates profound ignorance on the difference between positive law (subject to change based on the will of the lawgiver) and natural law (based on human nature, which does not change) [12], but also tells his audience that God's permanent prohibition against same-sex behavior — rooted in human nature itself, which He created "male and female" (Gen. 1:27; Matt. 19:3–6) — is merely "one teaching of the Church…so I don't think, for example, that you should say, 'I cannot be Catholic because I don't follow that.'"

Whereas the Code of Canon Law (1983) states:

Those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by Tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn [i.e. extraordinary] magisterium of the Church [e.g. dogmatic definitions of Popes and Councils], or by its ordinary and universal magisterium [including the moral law], which is manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful under the guidance of the sacred magisterium. All are therefore bound to shun any contrary doctrines. (Can. 750, emphasis added)

Fraternal Support for Faithful Catholics

Finally, I offer this article as an expression of my fraternal support for those faithful Catholics who suffer from SSA or gender dysphoria yet courageously resist temptation and pursue growth in holiness, especially those whom I know personally [13]. They are truly heroes "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation" (Philip. 2:15), and as such they deserve our admiration and friendship.

Similarly, I express my thanks to individuals and organizations who devote themselves to helping people afflicted with SSA or gender dysphoria, Catholic and otherwise, while upholding the truth about the pathological nature of those conditions. As numerous witnesses can and do testify, deep healing and lasting change are possible (see here and here for examples).

May we all cooperate with God's grace, which "is sufficient" (2 Cor. 12:9), and become the saints He created us to be! 


[1] Sister Lucia, letter to her nephew (Fr. Jose Valinho) dated Apr. 13, 1971; see Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III: The Third Secret (1942-1960), trans. John Collorafi (Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990), p. 753.

[2] Sister Lucia, letter to a friend (Dona Maria Teresa de Cunha) dated Apr. 12, 1970; see ibid., p. 755.

[3] Incidentally, one of the "fathers" of the homosexual movement in America was Harry Hay (1912–2002), an active member of the Communist Party USA. Hay was also an ardent supporter of the pro-pederasty group NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association).

[4] In his initial testimony last August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò identified Fr. Martin as part of "the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality," a "well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, chosen to corrupt the young people who" gathered "in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families" (see here for a transcript of Fr. Martin's WMF speech).

[5] This year, the Solemn Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday after Corpus Christi) happened to fall on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall (June 28), the event generally recognized as the beginning of the "gay rights" revolution in America. Thus, as "LGBT" adherents were celebrating 50 years of "sexual liberation" (enslavement), Catholics around the globe were praying the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart prescribed by Pope Pius XI in his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, which includes the following: "We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent..." (emphasis added).

[6] Fr. James Martin, S.J., Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (New York: Harper Collins, 2017—First Edition), p. 39.

[7] Ibid., pp. 119–124.

[8] Ibid., p. 45.

[9] Ibid., p. 46–47.

[10] Ibid., p. 65.

[11] Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J., Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice Second Edition (Rockford: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 2000), p. 367.

[12] For an orthodox summary of the various kinds of law, see ibid., pp. 167–168. Concerning the immutability of the natural moral law, Fr. Fagothey explains: "God could not change the natural law without contradicting Himself. As Author of human nature, God wills that we live according to our nature; this is the natural law." (ibid., p. 185).

[13] For examples of such individuals, see the documentary film The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church.

Published with permission from Catholic Family News.

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Prominent psychotherapist slams Germany’s plan to ban therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction

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By Maike Hickson

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Well-known Catholic psychotherapist Christa Meves has written a commentary for the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost in which she criticizes Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn and his plan to criminalize so-called conversion therapies for homosexuals who want to overcome their same-sex attraction. 

Such therapists, Meves writes, are to be “forbidden by law.” “Our government once more seems now to lose it,” she comments, and asks why one specific therapy is here being singled out, while citizens may otherwise choose whatever therapies they are interested in.

Meves, who is 94 years old and is the author of more than 200 books, first mentions in her essay that there are several initiatives being taken in Germany that aim at “introducing sexual diversity a la genderism” and at promoting Early Sexuality as well as children's rights that undercut parental rights. Some of these ideas, Meves adds, “had been discussed already years ago and then rejected.” “But today,” she continues, “where the family has already been so terribly weakened, and this for a long time, this unspeakable idea unfortunately has many more chances now to be implemented.”

Next to these “measures that are destroying our future,” Meves adds, the Health Minister Spahn is now proposing a new law, “which will have, among others, as its consequence that homosexuals, who are dissatisfied with themselves and their gender, are also going to be hindered from seeking help from therapists who have a proven competency for their concerns.” Such therapists, the author adds, “are even to be forbidden by law.” 

On June 11, Minister Jens Spahn announced that he wished to implement, by the end of 2019, a legal interdict for so-called conversion therapies for homosexuals. Spahn, who himself lives in a homosexual relationship, stated that “homosexuality is not an illness and thus is not in need of a treatment.” 

At the time, Spahn presented to the public two studies that claim that it is possible to forbid such therapies, because it is medically necessary and because the constitutional law would allow it. The Magnus-Hirschfeld-Foundation – which is named after a pioneer promoter of the homosexual cause in Germany from the 1920s and 30s – claims that such conversion therapies lead to depression and suicide. This foundation is counseling the German health minister.

Such a legal ban on these forms of therapies that are meant to help people with unwanted same-sex attraction could include punishments from financial penalties up to criminal prosecution. Such a new law has also the support of Germany's Federal Council which represents the individual federal states.

Further commenting on this new political initiative, Christa Meves explains, “people who are not anymore satisfied with their homosexuality … are not anymore able to find help!” And those therapists who continue their work will have to face “not only monetary penalties, but also professional consequences and further restrictions.”

Meves asks how, in a democracy, it can be that suddenly there is “one single group, for which one declares a therapy ban.” “Every citizen,” she continues, “can turn in thousand different ways to any kind of expert or healer whatsoever and to seek counsel for his problems and to let himself be encouraged to a behavioral change. Why can a minister be so presumptuous to want to make here an exception in one single area?”

“Can there really be in our society a legislative authority which would permit such an idea? Or did we also here lose touch with reality?” Moreover, Meves is also concerned that the German physicians already signaled their compliance with such a potential restrictive law.

“What?” she asks. “Did the physicians lose their minds?” For her, it seems rather that the physicians show compliance out of fear for “losing their reputation, yes, in this specific respect also their approbation and, with it, their existence.” This fear, according to Meves, is rooted in the fact that already in the past, and “on the international level,” such “eliminations in this field … have repeatedly become reality.” With the help of “simple strategies of lying,” a whole array of aid worker's “public voice” has been “simply turned off.”

As a final comment, Meves states that “the situation in the [Catholic] Church is not better: Why did the Vatican call all the shepherds to a conference on sexual abuse in Rome, but then simply leave out the key aspect?” Clergy sex-abuse reports indicate that homosexuality, not pedophilia, is the root cause of the crisis. 

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Actor Mario Lopez is another victim of the LGBT lynch mob

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By Jonathon Van Maren

August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Most of you will have already seen the controversy swirling around Extra host Mario Lopez, who found himself the target of the LGBTQ lynch mob this week after making a handful of utterly reasonable comments on the Candance Owens Show, a conservative podcast, back in June. In a discussion about actress Charlize Theron’s decision to raise one of her children transgender, Lopez noted that he had concerns about children who are very young choosing their own gender identity.

“I would say if you come from a place of love you really can’t go wrong,” he said. “But at the same time…if you’re three years old, you say you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl, whatever the case may be, I just think its dangerous as a parent to make that determination then, ‘Okay, you’re gonna be a boy or a girl’…I just think of the repercussions later on.”

The LGBTQ groups came gunning for Lopez first, with GLAAD accusing him of making “dangerous” statements against a “vulnerable group of children.” GLAAD helpfully offered him re-education on the issue of transgender children (or else.) The rage mob obediently followed, demanding that he be fired from his TV job and changing his Wikipedia page to read “Mario Lopez Jr. is a transphobic and misogynistic American actor.” Media outlets published blatant lies, claiming that Lopez had opposed “supporting transgender children.” In a matter of hours, Lopez faced a crisis: His comments could very well see his career burned down overnight.

And so Lopez did what the mob demanded, coming out to confess that his remarks were “ignorant and insensitive” and that he now has “a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were.” Additionally, Lopez noted, “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.” Lopez’s re-education was complete in short order: Grovel, or else. The totalitarianism of the LGBTQ crowd wielding the club of cultural power is so powerful that panicky celebrities thank the mobs demanding that they be fired for the “opportunity” to apologize and confess.

Many other commentators have already pointed out the obvious fact that Lopez was right (the first time), and that the vast majority of reasonable people agree with him. Responsible parents do not even let their three-year-old children choose their meals or their bedtimes, much less their gender. To say that a three-year-old’s claim of being the opposite gender before they can even understand what gender actually is—that is insane, it is dangerous, and it is going to destroy the young lives of a lot of children before this horrifying experiment is over. 

But there is something inherently insidious about what happened to Mario Lopez, something that everybody knows but that nobody can say out loud: Lopez probably hasn’t changed his mind on the issue. Lopez, like most Americans, probably still believes it is dangerous to take the word of a three-year-old on something that a toddler by definition cannot understand. But the LGBTQ mob presented him with a choice: Confess your sin, show your penitence, and we won’t destroy your career. And so he could stick to his guns and end up with his head on a stick, or he could give them the statement they demanded and hope that his turn in the news cycle would be over quickly.

There’s something creepy about compelling panicky people to repudiate something they’ve said by blackmailing them and threatening to destroy their lives, with all the insidious sickly sweetness of a sadistic interrogator who has arrived with the sole goal of forcing you to say something you do not want to say. If you believe that little children should be left alone and permitted an uncomplicated childhood unpoisoned by the insane post-modern ideologies of their delusional parents, then you must be forced to shuffle the public walk of shame while everyone screams at you before the high priests of the LGBTQ movement will grant you absolution.

This week, it was Mario Lopez. Next week, it will be somebody new. 

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