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Twitter approves ex-CNN pundit’s calls to ‘eradicate’ Kellyanne Conway

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A former CNN employee tweeted over the weekend that Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is an “evil” whom Americans “need to eradicate,” yet Twitter has decided the comment doesn’t violate its own standards against posting hate.

In the wake of the weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Conway tweeted a call for Americans to set aside partisan differences to “understand depraved evil & to eradicate hate”:

Reza Aslan, whom CNN fired in 2017 for calling President Donald Trump a “piece of s‑‑‑,” responded Sunday with a tweet stating simply, “You are ‘the depraved evil’ we need to eradicate”:

The tweet is still up, and The Daily Wire reports that a Twitter official who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record told them that “this tweet does not break our rules at this time.”

Twitter’s tolerance seems to be the latest case of political double-standards at the social media giant, which holds the mere act of “misgendering” someone — i.e., referring to a user by his sex rather than his preferred “gender identity” — to be “hateful conduct.”

Aslan has a history of inflammatory comments on social media, including his infamous tweet that Covington Catholic High School Student Nick Sandmann has a “punchable face,” for which he currently faces a defamation suit. He has dismissed criticism of his “eradicate” tweet as “b‑‑‑‑‑‑‑” and instead argues that his call to “eradicate” a specific person was not at all different from Conway’s call to “eradicate hate.”

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Joshua Harris, center, at a homosexual 'pride' parade. screenshot / twitter.com/treypearson
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‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ author who renounced Christianity appears at LGBT ‘pride’ parade

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By Calvin Freiburger

VANCOUVER, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Josh Harris, the infamous self-help author who famously announced he no longer considers himself a Christian, revealed on social media that he attended a Canadian LGBT “pride” parade a week after apologizing to the “LGBTQ+ community” for having espoused his former values.

The author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Harris was already controversial for the courtship-like dating model he advocated in his book, which he eventually disavowed. In recent weeks, he announced his divorce from his wife of 21 years, Shannon, then announced that “by all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”

“I have lived in repentance for the past several years — repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few,” Harris declared. “But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry.”

Over the weekend, Harris revealed that he had attended the British Columbia LGBT “pride” parade, the Christian Post reports, sporting a t-shirt with a rainbow Union Jack design, and taking pictures with LGBT activists such as Queerology podcast host Matthias Roberts and rocker Tray Pearson. “Enjoyed swapping stories, gentleman!” Harris said.

“What's very sad for me is that Joshua has not only given up on the faith, he's given up on all of the principles he has stood for so long,” Regent University School of Divinity dean Dr. Corne Bekker told CBN News. “The Scripture says that when we see somebody fallen and trespassed like this, that we should correct them. But do it in a spirit of gentleness. And then watch ourselves as well.”

The Post notes that Harris’ departure from Christianity and its precepts led Dr. Heath Lambert of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville to cut a foreword Harris had written from Lambert’s upcoming book on sexual purity.

“In Finally Free I am trying to be clear about a Christian approach to sexuality. Joshua’s recent actions and statements only confuse that attempt at clarity and will lead others astray,” Lambert explained. “Was Joshua a Christianized unbeliever who never knew Christ? We do not know, but God does. Is he a Christian who has fallen into grievous sin, and is in need of restoration? We do not know, but God does.”

“What we do know is that Joshua Harris is in absolute spiritual peril,” Lambert concluded. “He needs our love, and he needs our prayers. He has mine, and I trust he will have yours as well.”

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LIFE Runners begin their annual A-Cross America Relay at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of four starting locations. LIFE Runners
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LIFE Runners crisscross US in pro-life event spanning entire world

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By Martin Barillas
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San Francisco kickoff.
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Grand Forks kickoff.
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The map route.
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San Antonio kickoff.
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OMAHA, Nebraska, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Four teams of runners in the United States and other parts of the world are in the home stretch in the annual A-Cross America Relay, where runners and walkers seek to end the practice of abortion.

Wearing jerseys proclaiming the scriptural message “Remember The Unborn — Jeremiah 1:5,” which reads, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I set you apart,” participants from the East started their course at New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge; the West “arm” began at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge; the North “arm” began at Grand Forks, North Dakota; and the South “arm” commenced in San Antonio, Texas. The four groups will converge in Kansas City, Kansas.

Dr. Patrick Castle is the founder and president of LIFE Runners. He told LifeSiteNews in an interview that participants are now less than a week away from the finish of the 7th annual A-Cross America Relay. “This is the largest spanning Pro-Life event in the world with 5,359 miles completed from July 4th to Aug 11th...all wearing REMEMBER The Unborn jerseys to impact hearts and minds for saving lives.”

Castle said he is confident that the relay constitutes the largest pro-life event in the world because it spans so many countries and distances.

According to its website, LIFE Runners has more than 120 chapters in dozens of countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Poland, and Spain. Supporters of LIFE Runners all over the world can run a 5K course “remotely” in their own countries while wearing the LIFE Runners t-shirt at any time during the 40 days of the event. Castle said that if supporters are not able to join the runners on the course, they can “adopt 5K legs of the Relay” during the event. “The roster around the world now is 12,057 teammates,” he said, “ages 0.1 to 101. All of those teammates are involved in some capacity: prayer, sponsorship, running, and walking on the course or off the course.”

About half of the miles of route, Castle said, are physically completed on the course, while the remainder is accomplished by “remote runners or walkers” who participate elsewhere. “On the island of Fiji, there are about 500 LIFE Runners,” he affirmed, who adopt the state of Utah, who complete the 5K segements in their own country as a chapter.

Castle added that it is significant that 35% of the participants are aged 22 years and younger, while 25% are aged 18 and younger. “Those are interesting stats for the team demographic, and that’s good news for the prolife movement,” he said. Castle said young people are wearing the team jersey, not only on their runs, but also at their schools on the first Wednesday of each month in testimony to their commitment. In the Omaha area, Castle said there are 11 school chapters of the LIFE Runners.

Among the members of the team are auxiliary bishop Joseph Coffey of the Military Archdiocese of the United States, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City, and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. Bishop Coffey serves as the spiritual director of the team. Altogether, there are 14 bishops who have endorsed LIFE Runners.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, the former Air Force officer and science educator said LIFE Runners is the largest pro-life “team” in the world because its members wear identical jerseys and gather in “huddles” to prepare for participating in runs and prayerful vigils at abortion facilities. Their team cheer is “All in Christ for prolife!” Team members pledge to pray, and to recite a creed that says, inter alia:

We believe in the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.

We run as a Prayer, to defend children in the womb, so that they may be born and united with our Christian community.

We run to build Endurance, for the race is long and we must keep our eyes fixed on You Lord ...

We pray and run in Your name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The official route through the U.S. offers participants opportunities to pray at abortion facilities to witness their rejection of abortion. Castle told LifeSiteNews that team members’ jerseys serve as a sign that many post-abortive women say they wish they had seen before undergoing an abortion. In an earlier interview with LifeSiteNews, he said the shirts are “a sacrificial prayer offering, to help our neighbors choose life and heal from the scourge of abortion.”

Dr. Castle holds a Ph.D. in nano-analytical chemistry and served as an Air Force officer. He had an assignment in weapons of mass destruction (WMD) defense and advised members of Congress during his military career as a scientist. He told LifeSiteNews in an interview that abortion is effectively a WMD because of the extent of its lethality. He mused, “Isn’t it interesting that, strategically, I am still a weapons of mass destruction defense officer with the WMD of abortion? Abortion has claimed at orders of magnitude more life than all WMD in the history of the world. It is the most potent WMD the world has ever seen.” He noted that the U.S. has lost approximately 1.2 million to combat in its history. By way of comparison, he said that in 1991 alone, there were 1.6 million abortions. “At the current pace, we are at 900,000 per year,” he said.

LIFE Runners is organizing its annual Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which will be held November 23–24. According to Castle, Alan Webb, who holds the American national record in the mile, and his wife Julia, an Olympic trials qualifier in marathon, recently became team members.

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Early warning signs of McCarrick grooming young victims were evident, abuse experts say

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

NEW YORK, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Abuse prevention experts consulted by a major news agency have confirmed that Theodore McCarrick’s notes to his alleged victims are consistent with grooming. 

The Associated Press released photographs of postcards and letters the disgraced ex-prelate wrote to two seminarians and James Grein, the first child he ever baptized. McCarrick was a close friend of the Grein family and allegedly took advantage of the intimacy to abuse the boy, beginning when he was 11. 

James Grein told LifeSiteNews via social media that the former cardinal was a predator.

“McCarrick is the definition of a predator,” he said. 

“Experts across the world recognize the characteristics used by McCarrick as classic moves.”  

He believes McCarrick sent him postcards in letters to his father so as to lower his father’s guard. 

“I’m down here for some work ― there’s no place like it,” McCarrick wrote to Grein in 1970. The teenage boy was at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley, California, at that time. 

“Time is close for your visit back East,” the then-priest added. “I’ll be calling home one of these days to check on arrangements. See you soon. Love to all. Your uncle, Father Ted.”

Abuse prevention expert Dr. Monica Applewhite pointed out that McCarrick was confident the boy would see him and his family would ensure the visit. She also noted that by writing openly in a postcard, McCarrick was sending the message that there was nothing wrong in their relationship. 

“To send it in a postcard says ‘I have nothing to hide,’” Applewhite told AP.

Grein was not, in actuality, McCarrick’s nephew, and neither were the chosen seminarians McCarrick courted, flattered and called his nephews. The correspondence that AP published provided evidence to some seminarians’ claims that McCarrick wished them to call him “Uncle Ted.” In letters to one Metuchen seminarian, whom the AP did not name, McCarrick frequently referred to himself as “your uncle.”

Applewhite suggested to AP that this “nephew-uncle” conceit was a way to create an “informal family relationship that would make it very difficult” for the seminarians to complain about the then-bishop’s conduct. 

The samples of letters to seminarians published by AP were written on American Airlines’ Admirals Club, Washington Plaza-Hotel and Rome’s North American College letterhead. One missive was written on a plane from Warsaw to Gdansk, both exotic and high-profile places in 1987, thanks to the Polish pope, the Solidarity movement and the decades-long Cold War. 

A second expert consulted by AP suggested that McCarrick had been trying to awe the seminarian with his business travel .  

Professor Elizabeth Jeglic of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice said, “It’s reminding him of his position of power, that he has all this access to special privileges.”  

His message to the seminarian, she believes, was "‘You stay with me, you get access to that.’” 

This seminarian has alleged that had he witnessed sexual misconduct by McCarrick and other seminarians on a fishing trip, and also that McCarrick had made sexual overtures to him one night at the then-bishop’s apartment in Manhattan. The grope so distressed the seminarian that he vomited.  

In one of the letters, McCarrick referred to a restaurant in which an acquaintance they had met there had been murdered by the mafia.

“Your uncle has great spots to take you to!” he joked. 

He referred to the murder again in his Warsaw-to-Gdansk letter, saying, “Did you read all about our friend (sic) who was murdered? You stick with your uncle and you’ll really meet exciting people.”

Jeglic thought the reference was an attempt to “bond” with the young man through a shared, illicit and therefore secret experience. 

What is clear through this series of letters is that McCarrick had taken the young man to a restaurant and was not seeing him as often as he would like. He provided dates of his availability and made suggestions for future meetings. Twice he suggested that the seminarian and other young men come to his brother’s place for pizza. Once, he asked if the young man had received his letters.  

McCarrick also emphasized the wide gulf in their respective statuses as bishop and seminarian with much avuncular advice about rest and studies. 

The then-bishop combined flattery with piety in a manner that has become sadly familiar in news reports. “There is a lot of goodness in you, and I hope the Lord wants to use it for His Kingdom,” he said in one letter. 

“You’re a great kid, and I know the Lord will continue to bless you.” 

Grein told LifeSiteNews that the AP article may have centered on McCarrick, but there are many others in the world. 

“The AP article uses McCarrick are the center for this definition, but predators are everywhere in all walks of life,” he wrote. 

“We are all vulnerable to a predator who has been trained to use us.” 

He believes the article will help “vulnerable men and women,” other abuse victims, learn and recognize what has happened in their lives.

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Apple News backtracks, re-enables LifeSite’s channel

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By LSN

Aug. 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) - Last week, Apple News abruptly disabled LifeSite's channel, and deleted all of our content from their platform. Today, the Apple News team informed LifeSite that they have "re-evaluated" our channel. LifeSite's channel and articles are once again available on the Apple News app.

(NOTE: To "follow" LifeSite on Apple News, click here on an Apple device)

Apple's original decision to delete LifeSite's channel came only a week after they originally approved LifeSite's application to publish on the Apple News platform. In the e-mail informing LifeSite that they were removing our channel and all our content, Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel “didn't comply with our Apple News guidelines.” Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s “[c]hannel content shows intolerance towards a specific group.”

Apple did not clarify which "specific group" LifeSite's content allegedly showed intolerance towards, nor did they point to any specific articles that they believed violated their guidelines.

Since last week, over 57,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Apple re-enable LifeSite's channel. Approximately 1000 of those signatories also opted to send a physical postcard to Apple's heardquarters, demanding LifeSite's channel be re-instated. 

Apple News is an app that is available on all Apple devices. It aggregates news content from thousands of publishers. Apple users can “follow” their favorite news sites and receive customized updates.

LifeSiteNews first applied to publish on the Apple News platform last November. It took over six months, and dozens of follow-up requests, before LifeSite’s channel was finally approved last month.

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Archbishop bars annual Mass at formerly Catholic school that refused to fire gay ‘married’ teacher

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By Martin Barillas

INDIANAPOLIS, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Archbishop Charles C. Thompson has refused permission for Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School to celebrate an annual Holy Spirit Mass after stripping the institution of its Catholic identity earlier this summer in a decision the school is appealing. 

In June, Archbishop Thompson decreed that the Indianapolis archdiocese was cutting official ties with Brebeuf after administrators refused to fire Layton Payne-Elliott, a Catholic male educator who is in a same-sex “marriage” to another teacher, Joshua Payne-Elliott. The latter was fired by Indianapolis Cathedral High School and is now suing the archdiocese despite having reached a settlement.

Unlike Brebeuf, Cathedral is a diocesan institution and therefore comes directly under the archbishop’s authority. Because Brebeuf is a financially independent school operated by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, it can appeal to the Vatican.  

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, provincial for the Midwest Jesuits, said the archbishop’s decision to sanction Brebeuf was "disappointing," and began an appeal process. When the archbishop declined to rescind his decree, according to a letter sent to Brebeuf parents, the school decided to take its case to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. 

The letter expressed the hope that the decree will be overruled by Church hierarchy and that its effects will be suspended during the appeals process. When Brebeuf announced its rift with the archbishop in June, administrators expressed confidence that the impact would be minimal. Principal Greg VanSlambrook told The Indianapolis Star at that time that families may not notice the effects. 

However, that may change. According to the school’s August 4 letter to parents, the two priests serving the Brebeuf school community must request special permission to celebrate Mass at the school. While the archbishop has granted permission for a 7:45 a.m. daily Mass, he declined to give permission to celebrate other Masses at the school. This includes the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit to kick off the new academic year for students and faculty.

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

The letter said Brebeuf must "acknowledge the authority of the Archbishop with respect to the celebration of Mass within the Archdiocese." The school will instead hold a schoolwide prayer service on August 15 -- the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- one week after students return. 

In an open letter posted on the archdiocese’s website, Archbishop Thompson affirmed the Catholic understanding that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman wherein children can learn "values and virtues" in a Christian environment.

"Religious liberty, which is a hallmark of the U.S. Constitution and has been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledges that religious organizations may define what conduct is not acceptable and contrary to the teachings of its religion, for its school leaders, guidance counselors, teachers and other ministers of the faith," the archdiocese website said.

In another statement, the archdiocese affirmed that all Catholic schools under its authority must enforce contracts and embody the teachings of the Catholic faith.

“To effectively bear witness to Christ, whether they teach religion or not, all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching,” the archdiocese said.

In a series of tweets, outspoken Fr. James Martin SJ expressed his disconcert over the bishop’s decision to forgo the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Decrying what he said was the archbishop’s denial of the Holy Eucharist to the Brebeuf community, Martin tweeted: “The only employees whose lives are placed under a moral microscope are LGBT people. This is clearly discriminatory. Denying the Eucharist to schoolchildren for this reason only makes it worse.” 

Martin has frequently denounced what he sees as a lack of understanding for people living the LGBTQ lifestyle. He tweeted, “To put it in context, the Archdiocese has said that both the public and private lives of school employees must ‘convey’ and ‘support’ Catholic teaching. But they do not require schools to fire Catholics who are divorced and remarried without annulments, who use birth control … who use IVF, or who do not attend Mass every Sunday (all against Catholic teaching). Nor do they require schools to fire Protestant, Jewish or agnostic employees (whose lives don't convey Catholic teaching).”

Martin’s critics include Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has said the Jesuit priest’s views about homosexual relations are “not coherent” with the teachings of the Catholic faith. LifeSiteNews has launched a petition to support Archbishop Charles Thompson here.

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Elizabeth Johnston, also known as the Activist Mommy.
Elizabeth Johnston

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Success: Venue cancels child drag queen event after call from Activist Mommy

Elizabeth Johnston
By Elizabeth Johnston

August 6, 2019 (Activist Mommy) — Over the last few years, we have shared with you several incidents of Drag Queen Story Hours taking place at public libraries, cases of child drag queens performing in a highly sexualized manner for adults in bars, and all manner of pro-crossdressing, pro–gender confusion events for children.

We share all this with you for two crucial reasons: to protect children and to empower parents to do so.

Our one single word of encouragement in the face of these types of events, which seem to be multiplying by the day across the US, particularly in the heartland, is that you can make a difference. 

The longer we stand idly by while it becomes normalized for men dressed like women to read stories to little children the more our children will be exploited.

The time to stand up and regain our country is NOW.

We've got a great instant success story to share with you that reflects the power of this platform, which you have helped us to grow.

This week, Elizabeth Johnston, the Activist Mommy, received word that a venue in Ohio was hosting an all-ages Drag 101 event, reportedly set to feature "Miss Mae Hem," the 9-year-old drag queen whose exploitation inspired local lawmakers to try to get child drag events banned.

In April, AP reported:

The drag queen performance of a 9-year-old boy at a bar outside Ohio's capital city has prompted a state legislator to propose a law aimed at closing what he says is a "loophole in child exploitation laws."

The Blade reports legislation proposed by Rep. Timothy Schaffer, a Lancaster Republican, would update child endangering laws to prevent performances by children that simulate sexual activity and appeal to "the prurient interest."

Schaffer says Ohio can "do better" to protect children.

When Elizabeth caught wind of this event, which would feature the young "Miss Mae Him," she took matters into her own hands and called up the manager.

"I called management this morning and warned them that we would start a national campaign giving them bad press if they did not cancel the event," she says.

Well, what do you think happened?

Within a few hours, they called her back, and told her the event had been canceled!

"The sheer size of our audience is enough to scare the mess out of private business owners!" Elizabeth says.

Woohoo!

This, dear friends, is the power of parents who are willing to stand up and defend what is right, wholesome, and good.

For far too long, parents and Christians have lacked the backbone to stand up to the progressive left's gender insanity and fascistic political correctness. But no more!

You CAN make a difference and you CAN help us take this country back. Are you with us?

Published with permission from the Activist Mommy.

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Carmel Kookogey

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Maryland boots school from voucher program, demands $100K for supporting marriage

Carmel Kookogey
By Carmel Kookogey

August 6, 2019 (Daily Signal) — When the state of Maryland found out that Bethel Christian Academy affirms the biblical view of marriage in its student handbook, officials last fall cut the Baltimore-area school from a state-sponsored school voucher program, arguing it practiced sexual discrimination. 

Now the principal says at least six students no longer can afford to attend Bethel, a K–12 school in Savage, Maryland. 

And in an effort to live up to its own standard, Bethel is taking its case to court, claiming religious discrimination by the state.

Bethel Principal Claire Dant told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that in addition to the six students who were unable to attend Bethel this past school year, others likely were interested in enrolling but didn't after finding out they couldn't use a voucher to cover tuition costs. 

Bethel sent a copy of the "discriminatory" handbook passage to The Daily Signal. It reads:

Bethel Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

It should be noted, however, that Bethel Christian Academy supports the biblical view of marriage defined as a covenant between one man and one woman, and that God immutably bestows gender upon each person at birth as male or female to reflect His image.  (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 2:23-24) Therefore, faculty, staff, and student conduct is expected to align with this view. Faculty, staff, and students are required to identify with, dress in accordance with, and use the facilities associated with their biological gender.

Maryland is one of 14 states that provide a school choice program for K–12 students in which funds go to eligible students in the form of a voucher that can be put toward the family's school of choice. Maryland students can receive up to $4,400 each school year to use toward tuition. 

Bethel has been a part of the voucher program known as Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today, or BOOST, for two school years, Dant said, and has received approximately $102,000 in total aid from the state. 

Bethel complied with all the requirements of the voucher program, she said.

Since the state disagrees, in addition to removing Bethel from the voucher program, Maryland also is demanding that the school repay $100,000 of the funding.

'Truly Hostile'

Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based legal nonprofit that specializes in religious liberty cases, took up Bethel's case in late June and is suing Maryland for targeting the school's religious values. 

"What Maryland has done in picking out Bethel from the [school voucher] program with no reason is truly hostile to Bethel's position on sexuality," Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel representing the school, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

State law says Maryland cannot require a religious entity to change its policy or change its beliefs. But, Holcomb said, that is essentially what the state is insisting Bethel do in order to participate in the voucher program.

"It's sad that a government is so hostile to traditional marriage that it is willing to harm students in the process," Holcomb said. 

No School Choice Without Religious Choice

Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that "if private schools cannot operate according to their beliefs, we don't have school choice anymore."

The state of Maryland does not require students to attend any particular school through the voucher program.

No student is forced to attend Bethel and accept its particular religious views, which Burke noted is the purpose of school choice.

"No child is assigned to a private school that holds beliefs with which they disagree," Burke said. "Private schools are simply providing their services in exchange for tuition. Families can then choose to pay for the services they offer."

Tip of the Iceberg 

When Maryland cut Bethel from the program, it affected more than just tuition costs, Dant said. 

The principal said the program is also tied to the non–public school textbook and technology program, which helps lower-income students afford the books and tools they need for school, and the Aging Schools grant program, which provides funding to older facilities for maintenance and upkeep. 

"Our building is a historic building which requires upkeep," Dant said. "That grant program was extremely valuable to us in upgrading windows and those sorts of things. The state tied both of those programs to the [Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today] program."

"So we have also been denied that funding, and that was another tens of thousands of dollars," she said.

Dant was careful to note, however, that the state's actions will not sink the school financially.

Published with permission from The Daily Signal.

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Victoria’s Secret hires male ‘transgender’ lingerie model

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By Calvin Freiburger

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-two-year-old Valentina Sampaio of Brazil will be the latest lingerie “Angel” for Victoria’s Secret, and is generating buzz for a politically-correct milestone: “she” is actually a man.

Sampaio, a man who “identifies” as a transgender woman, announced via Instagram he was modeling for the company’s “VS Pink” line last week, the New York Post reports. Fellow Angel Lais Ribeirio confirmed and celebrated the news via Twitter:

In 2016, Sampaio appeared in a LOreal ad on how womanhood “transcends the body,” announcing “this is my first Woman's Day...officially.”

The hiring decision follows through on L Brands (the parent company of Victoria’s Secret) chief marketing officer Ed Razek’s public apology after telling Vogue in November 2018 he didn’t support adding “transsexuals” to their fashion show because “the show is a fantasy” and “we don’t market to the whole world.” 

Days later, after backlash from various pro-LGBT voices, Razek declared that the brand “absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show”:

Sampaio was previously Vogue Paris’s first transgender cover model.

The news comes during a time of relative challenge for the lingerie brand. In December, the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show experienced record-low ratings at 3.3 million viewers, down from the previous record low of 5 million the year before.

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Michelle Kaufman

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Proposed extreme law would legalize abortion on demand up to birth in New Zealand

Michelle Kaufman
By Michelle Kaufman

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, New Zealand’s Labour government undertook a radical move to reform the country’s abortion law. The bill introduced sets in motion a process which will potentially legalize abortion on demand up to birth with very few restrictions.

During a press conference, the Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, stated that the legislation seeks to “modernize” current law and ensure that abortion is “treated as a health issue” outside the “criminal framework that it currently sits in.”

The bill’s release follows a report of the Law Commission in October 2018, which recommended three alternative approaches to abortion law. The approaches included abortion on demand throughout pregnancy with no restrictions, with some restrictions, or a combination of the two.

Labelled by pro-life groups as extreme and anti-human rights, the abortion bill will be read in Parliament this Thursday after which a conscience vote will be taken. If it succeeds, the next step is a select committee where the public will be able to make submissions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her happiness that legislation would be going before Parliament, saying it was the furthest any government had gone since the late 1970s. Ardern said that this bill has the “greatest chance of succeeding in parliament.”

The new legislation permits abortion on demand up to 20 weeks. After then, a woman would be able to obtain an abortion if her health practitioner, taking into account her physical and mental health and well-being, “reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in the circumstances.”

In all situations the health practitioner is required to ensure the woman is making an informed decision and gives informed consent.

‘Virtually any request’ for abortion ‘could be acceptable’ under proposed law

Dr. Catherine Hallagan, Chair of the NZ Health Professionals Alliance, expressed dismay at the concessions. Calling it a “travesty of antenatal care,” Hallagan pointed out that the “well-being grounds… are so broad that virtually any request could be acceptable.”

“The purpose of an abortion is to kill a human being who is small and vulnerable,” she stated. “It is not a health treatment in the usual sense.”

A woman will be able to self-refer for abortion, removing the current regime of referral and the approval of two certifying consultants.

Counselling remains non-mandatory, although the service must be offered.

Health practitioners who do not wish to participate in abortions are given the right to object. However, they must refer the woman to the Ministry of Health for a list of practitioners who are willing to commit abortions.  

While no one can be dismissed because of his or her objection to participating in an abortion, an employer can decide whether that objection impacts their ability to provide the service. If so, the objector’s employment may be lawfully terminated.

Abortion will be removed from the Crimes Act, which currently stipulates the specific circumstances when the procedure can legally be obtained. The exceptions have been lawful since 1977 and more than 500,000 unborn babies have been aborted because of this legislation.

The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act will remain in force, although with substantial amendments. As a result of these changes in the two Acts, the Abortion Supervisory Committee will be disbanded and the Director-General of Health will take on the responsibility of collecting data and developing standards of care.

It will remain a criminal offense for the unqualified to commit or supply the means to procure an abortion. Likewise, anyone who harms a pregnant woman and causes the death of her unborn baby will be charged with killing an unborn child.

Free speech restrictions around abortion centers may be enacted

Pro-life political lobby group Family First slammed the new legislation, calling it anti-human rights.  

“Under the current law, an unborn child is at least afforded some recognition and minimal legal protection,” stated Family First spokesperson Gina Sunderland. “In contrast, these proposals will give the unborn child the same status as an appendix, tonsils[,] or gall bladder – simply tissue removed as part of a ‘health procedure.’”

Independent polling conducted in January found there was “strong support for the unborn child having human rights and being legally protected once a heartbeat is detected.”

“The real question we should be debating is: at what point does the unborn child become a human being deserving of the same human rights and protections that we all receive and enjoy?” said Sunderland.

Kate Cormack, spokesperson for Voice for Life, pointed out the move “is simply wish fulfilment for a tiny minority of very vocal abortion ideologues.” She noted that the process “will waste valuable Parliamentary time and resources that should be spent on more pressing issues.”

Of concern to those who offer alternatives to women outside abortion centers, or who peacefully pray there, is the establishment of “safe areas” restricting their rights to go near abortion facilities. Decided on a case-by-case basis, the area would encompass no more than a 150-meter radius around the premises.

In designating a “safe area,” the Minister of Health must be satisfied that it is necessary to protect the safety, well-being, privacy, and dignity of abortion clients and staff. It must also be shown that the safe area can be “justified in a free and democratic society as a reasonable limitation on people’s rights and freedoms.”

Little explained during the press conference that despite the Law Commission not finding enough evidence to support exclusion zones, he had received many complaints about inappropriate behavior.

Family Life International, an organization that has facilitated prayer vigils and peaceful presence outside abortion facilities for more than two decades, is dumbfounded by Andrew Little’s comments regarding behavior.  

“Where does he get his evidence from?” asked the organization’s Director, Dame Colleen Bayer.  “Many of our volunteers are elderly or parents with small children, hardly menacing.”  

“Prayer volunteers often put up with disrespectful, loud, and abusive behavior by angry pro-abortion protestors and others on the street, but rarely complain.”

Bayer explained that at AMAC in Auckland, only a few people gathered during the day on the opposite side of the road from the building. Larger gatherings, such as candlelight vigils, always take place outside office hours, in the evening or on weekends.

Suggesting that the government is desperate to stop effective pro-life outreach, Bayer revealed that many babies have been saved throughout the country through the peaceful presence of people who genuinely care.  

“Their mothers and fathers attest to this and are always extremely grateful that someone was there in their greatest hour of need,” she said.

Ken Orr from Right to Life summed up the pro-life position on the bill, saying it is “an unprecedented attack on women and their precious unborn disguised as health care. Pregnancy is not a disease and abortion of not health care. This bill constitutes an increasingly lethal attack on the family, by attacking and killing its weakest and most vulnerable members, our unborn children.” 

New Zealanders are being urged to contact their MPs and ask them to vote no this Thursday when the first reading of the Abortion Legislation Bill takes place.

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Acclaimed author says Church is ‘bleeding’ from her wounds in book featuring essays by Benedict, Cdl. Müller

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

COMBERMERE, Ontario, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― When will the clerical sexual abuse crisis end? When powerful churchmen stop enabling it, says author and artist Michael O’Brien.   

O’Brien contributed an essay to the English-language release of sociologist Gabriele Kuby’s Abuse of Sexuality in the Catholic ChurchAlso included in the book is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's famous April 2019 letter on the abuse crisis as well as a Manifesto of Faith issued earlier this year by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 

“Mrs. Kuby and I have been friends and colleagues for many years now, and have closely followed each other's work,” O’Brien told LifeSiteNews via email. 

“Her own work as a writer and worldwide lecturer on the destructiveness of the sexual revolution (and its latest stage the gender revolution) have paralleled portions of my own work,” he continued. 

“This book on the abuse crisis was originally published in the German language, and when it came time for an English edition she thought it would be enriched by my personal experiences and insights.”

In his essay in the book, titled “The Scandals and the Shepherds”, the author of Father Elijah and over two dozen other books introduces readers to the living nightmare that was his exile, as a 13-year-old, in a residential school in the Canadian Arctic. O’Brien believes that the fact that he, unlike many of his older schoolmates, was not sexually abused by “the very fallen” supervisor of his Catholic residence, Martin Houston, was literally miraculous.

What is decidedly not miraculous is that after serving a nine-year prison sentence for abusing boys, Houston applied to a Canadian seminary and was accepted. The bishop who accepted him was fully aware of Houston’s past, as was revealed when, now ordained, Houston stood another trial for the abuse of other victims of his past.  

“For the remainder of his life Houston lived in the archdiocesan chancery, and was given a glorious send-off funeral, with glowing praise from the current archbishop,” O’Brien writes.  

“As far as I know, there has never been a call to prayer for Houston’s victims,” he continued. 

“Clearly, in the brave new liberal church, some of us are more equal than others, to borrow a phrase from Orwell. Plenty of mercy for the abuser, silence regarding his victims.”

O’Brien described the long-term effects verbal, psychological and sexual abuse has on child victims and the hatred one of his schoolmates, now an old man, still harbours for the Catholic Church and his seducer/abuser. But O’Brien believes that opportunists are using the crisis of clerical sexual abuse to promote a liberal agenda. 

“Liberal Catholics (irony of ironies) are using it to promote the cause of married priests, women’s ordination, neo-liturgical blessings of same-sex ‘marriage’ and the integration of active homosexuals into ministry,” he observes. 

O’Brien sees in the Church a culture of unrepentance for sexual sin―Fr. Houston never once apologized to his victims―which is engendering new evils, and a “huge industry of public blame” that is drumming up “outrage and hatred.” 

He believes the way forward can be found in the address by St. John Paul II to the cardinals of the American Church on the scandals. In this speech, the pontiff linked true pastoral care to fidelity to Church teaching on chastity. 

This is key to O’Brien, who describes spiritual fatherhood as an impulse to protect children from both abuse and false teaching. O'Brien's essay leaves the reader with a sense that there existed an absence of spiritual fatherhood in too many American parishes and Canadian residential schools. 

Meanwhile, the author does not ignore the findings of the John Jay report that 81% of the underage victims of Catholic priests were male. Nor does he refrain from pointing out that there is a “more widespread problem of sexual promiscuity of homosexual priests with consenting adults.” 

And if clericalism is part of the ongoing scandal, it is because it is driven by homosexual clericalists and their friends.  

O’Brien writes: “The current utterances from Rome about the root cause being ‘clericalism’ ring hollow to most ears, for at best this kind of response merely inflates associated dimensions into supposed first causes, deflecting close scrutiny away from the core problem.”  

“Yes, remnants of clericalism exist here and there in the Church, but note that in those countries where the scandals are worst, the clericalism is driven by homosexual clericalists and their enablers,” he continued. 

“Overwhelmingly, the root cause of the abuse scandal is homosexuality in the priesthood and episcopacy, which is a direct result of deliberately disobeying Canon Law’s specific directives on the matter (men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to seminaries, and not ordained to the priesthood), as well as papal reinforcement of these directives by John XXIII and Benedict XVI—and, need it be said, God’s laws.” 

O’Brien told LifeSiteNews that despite Catholics’ anger with abuse and corruption in the Church, we must remember that most priests are honest and that the Church remains the Bride of Christ.

“We all must keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of priests are honorable men of true faith, who love Christ and their flocks with authentic priestly hearts, pouring out their lives for others,” he said.  

“At the same time, we must understand that the Church, the Body of Christ in this world, is bleeding from grievous wounds,” he continued. 

“She is the Bride being prepared for the return of the Bridegroom. Humiliated, betrayed from within, compromised in places, now is not the time to abandon her. We must love her with a profound love for her true nature—praying and fasting all the while for her purification and strengthening.” 

When asked to describe how the different essays in Abuse of Sexuality in the Catholic Church complement each other, O’Brien gave a helpful summary of the book.

“Gabriele Kuby's extraordinary skills as a researcher and commentator bring an intelligent, informed approach to the crisis of sexual abuse of the young and the more widespread problem of homosexuality in the priesthood,” he replied.  

“My own contribution is a combination of personal account and reflections on the crisis. Pope Benedict's approach is a profound examination of the historical roots of the crisis, in its ecclesial, theological, and social-revolutionary origins,” he continued.  

“Cardinal Müller's ‘Manifesto’ is a clear proclamation of authentic Catholic teaching, cutting through the cloud of confused obfuscation that blurs the issues and contributes to the spread of evil under the guise of ‘pastoral sensitivity’ and ‘openness.’”

“In summation, each of the approaches taken by the four contributors bring a unique lens or eye to the problem, which, combined, offers a kind of depth perception.” 

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Senate confirms lesbian judge tied to radical LGBT legal group

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Mary Rowland is the latest of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed by the U.S. Senate, though her background offers anything but confidence to his social conservative supporters.

Rowland, a federal magistrate judge in Illinois who spent 12 years in private practice and 10 years in the Chicago federal defender’s office, was Trump’s nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She stands out among the rest of the president’s selections for being an open lesbian who is “married” to a woman and has two adult children.

The Senate confirmed Rowland by voice vote last week, the Washington Blade reports, meaning no Republicans opposed her. Democrat Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois praised the smoothness of the process leading to her confirmation.

The Bay Area Reporter highlights several aspects of Rowland’s professional background overlooked by Republicans, particularly her memberships in the Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the latter of which called Justice Neil Gorsuch “dangerous” for defending Hobby Lobby’s conscience rights, has sued to attempt to force Catholic Charities to place children in lesbian foster homes, and sued Arizona over a law banning pro-LGBT prosyletizing in HIV/AIDS education.

The Reporter also notes that Rowland “has worked on several Democratic campaigns,” further suggesting opposition to the various policy stances and legal views for which voters elected Trump.

Rowland isn’t the only gay jurist with a questionable professional background Trump has nominated. Last fall he announced the nomination of U.S. Attorney Patrick Bumatay to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Bumatay is a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, an organization dedicated to the “advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues throughout California and the nation.”

The Homann Association has staked out a number of left-wing positions, including disappointment that the Supreme Court upheld Christian baker Jack Phillips’ right to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex “wedding,” and “unequivocally denounc[ing]” the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service.

President Trump’s record on LGBT issues is mixed. In addition to the trans troop ban, the administration has protected women from having to share close quarters such as homeless shelters with men claiming to be transgendered, moved to define sex based on strictly biological criteria, and made religious freedom a priority.

At the same time, Trump has also appointed a variety of pro-LGBT officials to government posts, continued Obama-era pro-LGBT policies such as supporting international recognition of homosexual relations at the United Nations Human Rights Council, and has declared that same-sex “marriage” is “settled law.”

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US priest: Leaving God out of politics is ‘illogical, immoral, and un-American’

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By Lisa Bourne

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Florida Catholic priest told a recent GOP political gathering that leaving God out of politics is “illogical, immoral and un-American.”

Politics is something that pastors usually stay away from, Father Michael Orsi said.

“However if your pastor is staying away from politics, tell him he's an illegitimate pastor,” he said. “The reason I say that is because politics affect our lives. And when we talk about our lives, we necessarily have to remind ourselves that we are called to be moral creatures.”

“And the important part about politics is that God is important in our political life,” Orsi said.

A lot of people think it's not chic to talk about God, he told the Collier County, FL, Republican Executive Committee in a July meeting that was published on YouTube August 2.

“Let me tell you, Republicans, if you want to win, I think it's time that you talk openly about God,” the priest said, “openly, because that's what people's hearts are and people know what's right when they hear the truth.” 

He continued saying that people urge sugarcoated language that excludes mentioning the Creator, adding that if Republicans do that, and do not mention God, then they're going to lose the battle - which is what the enemy wants. 

“I'm convinced from what I have seen when I have seen the devil has his hand in this,’ said Orsi. “The devil has his hand in this. This is illogical. It is immoral it is un-American.”

Orsi, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, who currently serves as parochial vicar for St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida, is also a writer and host of the weekly cable television series on pro-life issues, “Action for Life TV.” He is the former chaplain of Ave Maria School of Law in Naples.

Now more and more God is trying to be removed from the public square and from the political discourse, he told the GOP gathering in an address last month, continuing that this was, “Very foolish, very stupid, very un-American.”

This is because our country is founded on the principle that there is a God who guarantees our rights, he explained. 

The men who composed the early documents of our country were God-fearing men, he added, “And they realized that in order to have a virtuous country you have to believe in God. Why? God guarantees you your rights.” 

“Without God guaranteeing you your rights, who gives you your right?” Orsi questioned. “The state? The politicians?”

“God gives you your rights,” he stated. “They are anchored in God.” 

“And so God sets the standard for what is right and what is wrong,” continued Orsi. “And in order to have a healthy political system, in order to have America as we know America, God has to play an important role in our civil discourse.” 

God is there in the national motto of “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” said Orsi, and thus if your pastor is not talking about politics and God - he is failing you. 

A lot of people have the idea that as long as you’re a nice person, get along with everybody and be politically correct that they’re going to be saved, he said.

“Well maybe not,” Orsi stated, “because you’re called to speak the truth.”

“Where do we find the truth? Where's our nation rooted?” he asked. “In God, but God in the Bible, in the Judeo Christian tradition. That's where God is found and that's where we learn how to live as good human beings.”

Orsi listed specific current examples where pastors should be invoking God and thus influence the political realm and the nation’s culture, including the just war theory, immigration and gender ideology, and explained the Church’s approach to each.

These examples are right out of the Bible, he said.

“I want to tell you to speak openly about our rights given to us by God,” Orsi told the republican group in conclusion. “Our obligation to live as God-like people, following God's instruction to us in the Bible.”

“Tell your pastors,” he said. “Tell your pastors that you want to hear the truth. Because it's only the truth that will set you free.”

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WATCH: Polish archbishop decries LGBT ‘rainbow disease’ that’s spreading across country

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By Lisa Bourne

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The archbishop of Krakow, Poland, has said that his country is under siege from the “rainbow disease” of LGBT activism.

While his country is no longer beleaguered by the "red plague" of Soviet communism, Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said, it is now afflicted by the "rainbow" plague of LGBT ideology, which denies human dignity and aims to control the souls, hearts, and minds of the Polish people.

"A red plague is not gripping our land anymore,” the archbishop said, “which does not mean that there is not a new one that wants to control our souls, hearts and minds.” 

"Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit, neo-Marxist," he said. "Not red, but rainbow."

The archbishop’s remarks came in his sermon during Mass at St. Mary's Basilica marking the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, CNS News reports.

Jedraszewski recalled in his homily the heroism of Poland’s Home Army against Nazi occupation, and the country’s struggles under fascism and then decades of 'Bolshevism' rule as a Soviet satellite state, a report from the Irish Times said.

He said that “promoting LGBTI ideology denies human dignity” because the “rainbow disease” was “neo-Marxist” in its absolutist ambition.

The day before at the Polish Catholic pilgrimage site of Czestochowa, Jedraszewski had urged the Catholic faithful to “defend the truth about the creation of a woman and a man to live together and to have children.”

Jedraszewski’s homily remarks about LGBT ideology drew denunciation from U.S.-based LGBT activist Jesuit Father James Martin, who called the archbishop’s comments incendiary, adding that they promote hatred and violence toward LGBT individuals.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are "objectively disordered," and that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," against natural law and cannot be approved under any circumstances.

People with same-sex attraction are called to chastity, the Church’s teaching says, as are all people.

Same-sex sexual activity has never been criminalized in Poland and its legality was reconfirmed in 1932. Homosexuality does not have special protection in Polish law, and gay “marriage” and the adoption of children by gay couples in Poland remain illegal.

The majority Catholic country is having turmoil and tension between LGBT activists working to advance their agenda and traditional Poles.

Jedraszewski, 70, was appointed auxiliary bishop of Poznań in 1997 by then Pope St. John Paul II, just before Jedraszewski’s episcopal consecration. The two clerics were close friends, CNS reports. 

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Jedraszewski the archbishop of Lodz in 2012, and in 2017 Pope Francis named him archbishop of Krakow. 

In remarks made in 2013, Jedraszewski said gender ideology is the "direct path to the self-destruction of our civilization."

"It is an extremely dangerous ideology that leads directly to the death of our civilization," he said.

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A calculated media campaign is gaslighting the world on transgenderism

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By Jonathon Van Maren

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As the culture wars heat up between the American Left and Right, progressive journalists are increasingly falling back on a powerful and succinct statement to push the public into a nostalgia for the Obama years: This isn’t normal. None of this, they write and tweet and blog endlessly, is “normal”: Not the erratic presidential tweets, not the belligerent presidential tone, and not what they claim is Trump’s “treasonous” behavior. I’m not unsympathetic to many of the arguments being made about civility, decorum, and the rest of the things that keep George Will up at night. But I do think that the media are engaging in a sophisticated game of gaslighting in the meantime.

What the media is doing while shrieking about our vanishing standards of normalcy is waging an all-out war on the idea of the male-female gender binary itself. While they are highlighting the abnormal nature of a president who tweets out spur-of-the-moment policy, they are pushing child drag queens and transgender children and pregnant “men” and “women” with penises as if these things were not an absolutely revolutionary attack on the social fabric of the West. We are supposed to believe that a president lashing out at the media is a catastrophic assault on The Way Things Were, and a child drag queen is a symbol of our liberation.

When I write about the latest manifestations of transgender ideology, some people ask a very reasonable question: Why can’t we just ignore all this stuff? To many, following the media’s strange “human interest” stories about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner feeling “broody” and wanting children with a partner a half-century younger seems like Jerry Springer-style voyeurism. And in many ways, that’s what it is. But it is important to realize that the media are utilizing America’s obsession with the vapid lives of celebrities to normalize transgenderism. Pretty soon, things that once made people gasp will make them shrug. That’s already starting to happen. People who were once outraged by Drag Queen Storytime and gender ideology in schools are becoming desensitized. 

The media are flooding the airwaves with non-stop stories that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The Pasadena Star News ruminated about whether the city might be open to nominating a transgender Rose Queen, a story virtually created by the media (a journalist asks an official whether it might be considered, the official responds with ambiguous language, and there’s your transgender story). Another story outlined the fact that “sperm production for transgender women” might yet be possible, while Victoria’s Secret announced that they’d hired a transgender lingerie model – a biological male presenting as a women. A couple in Berkeley, California came out to announce that both of their children, at ages four and eight, were transgender, and that they were going public to “normalize” hormone blockers and the rest of the devastating “treatments” that view puberty as a threat. 

Not a day goes by without one media outlet or another pushing a story that treats the transgender ideology as fact. I’m not sure precisely when the media moguls met behind closed doors and collectively decided to begin using phrases like “her penis” and “his breasts,” but a quick look at any article dealing with the transgender issue lately proves that such meetings and such directives did, in fact, happen. What we’re seeing with this calculated media campaign – even with the crazy transgender celebrity stories – is an effort to overload a skeptical public until they go from recoiling to rolling their eyes. But politics is downstream from culture, and the LGBT movement is not simply seeking acceptance – they are demanding a particularly totalitarian form of power.

I don’t enjoy writing about the transgender insanity that is gripping the West, especially not when it involves keeping up with these sorts of stories. But it is essential that we recognize what is going on here. While they rage about Trump’s tweets and advocate for a return to “normalcy,” the Left is attempting to normalize an ideology that fundamentally upends our understanding of family, gender, society, and humanity itself. This is nothing short of a revolution, and the consequences of this revolution will be the destruction of our society as we know it now. Things, as it turns out, can always get worse. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. The latest episode takes a look at the pro-life movement in Northern Ireland as it stands right now, and what the possibilities are moving forward. Jonathon Van Maren interviews Bernadette Smyth, founder of the largest pro-life group in Northern Ireland, Precious Life. She also founded Youth for Life, which is a project of Precious Life, whose aim is to equip the next generation with the skills needed to keep abortion illegal in Northern Ireland.

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VIDEO: Taylor Marshall discusses the plot to destroy the church from within

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By John-Henry Westen

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Taylor Marshall is a bestselling Catholic writer and co-host of the hit podcast The Dr. Taylor Marshall Catholic Show. On this episode 20 of The John-Henry Westen Show, he talks with me about his new book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Our fascinating discussion covers everything from his conversion to Catholicism, Freemasonry, and the Saint Gallen mafia.

Marshall told me that after studying the Catholic faith he became “drawn to the magisterium of the Church,” which he said was “a bedrock" he could rely on. He began writing Infiltration because the Catholic Church had never changed its teaching on marriage but that there “seems to be some changes going on in the Church” in recent decades. Marshall says he was shocked and wanted to research where the “confusions” today came from. 

Marshall says the crisis doesn’t begin with Benedict’s resignation or with Paul VI or Vatican II. “It actually goes back a lot longer than just a few decades,” he said. It “really began in the 1830s, 1840s with an infiltration of humanist secular ideals of people conspiring…to attack the church from the inside.”

“What we’ve seen is an internal corruption, which ultimately will fail — by the grace of God, the Holy Spirt will overcome this,” he said.

Marshall points to the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita as the starting point of the infiltration. The Alta Vendita is a document the Church acquired in the mid 1800s. It was credibly believed by several popes to have been written by the Italian Carbonari, or Italian Freemasons. The document, Marshall says, lays out a 100-year-plus plan for corrupting Catholic clergy with humanist secular ideals. Its  ultimate goal is to elect a pope who, believing he is promoting Catholicism, is actually advancing the principles of Freemasonry. Marshall believes Pope Francis seems to be that pontiff.

Infiltration is a sort of history book that covers the papacy of Pius IX, Leo XIII, Our Lady of La Salette, St. Pius X, all the way up to Vatican II in an effort to lay out the crisis in the Church. The internal corruption in the Church, Marshall said, is in its “philosophy, theology, morals, and liturgy.”

Today, Freemasons are seen as "a joke," Marshall told me. But in reality their ideas have "permeated society." Aleister Crowley turned Masonry into a religion when he created the Gnostic Catholic Church, which was founded on sex magic and the occult. He established his "church" in St. Gallen, Switzerland. And yet, Marshall says, St. Gallen is where Theodore McCarrick "found" out he had a vocation. It is also where the liberal St. Gallen Mafia secretly met to discuss electing Jorge Bergoglio as the next pope. He "was their number one candidate," Marshall told me.

Marshall says lay Catholics are the foot soldiers in the battle to preserve the faith. The laity must understand the "deep, deep, problems in the Church" but must "rebuild the Church, and rebuilding the Church means returning to the traditional norms of Catholicism — going to confession every two weeks...rediscovering the traditional forms of the liturgy...the novenas, the fast days." Catholics must rediscover "what it means to be a Catholic." "Our Lady will lead us," he confidently told me.

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Swiss bishop warns against ‘destruction of the priesthood and of the sacred character of the Church’

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By Maike Hickson

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Marian Eleganti, the auxiliary bishop of Chur, Switzerland, delivered a video message on his Kath.net blog defending the sacred character of the priesthood, which is not a “profession like any other.” Eleganti points out that the mission of the priest is threefold: “to govern, to preach, and to sanctify.” Any attempt at separating these three offices of the priesthood, he adds, would lead to “the destruction of the priesthood and of the sacred character of the Church.”

Bishop Eleganti responds indirectly to the working document of the upcoming October 6-27 Amazon Synod, which dubiously proposes to “reconsider the notion that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.” This separation could lead to the possibility of women governing a parish while the priest’s duty would be limited to celebrating Mass and administering the Sacraments.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, in his own strong critique of the Amazon Synod’s working document, also recently stated that the hierarchical and sacramental aspects of Holy Orders may not be split apart, calling this egregious idea a “direct attack on the hierarchical-sacramental constitution of the Church.” 

Moreover, Professor Karl-Heinz Menke, a member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, said at the beginning of July that “the Second Vatican Council (see LG 28) strictly binds the judicial power to the reception of the analogous [sacred] ordinations.” 

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

In his new video statement, Bishop Eleganti – who has expressed his strong support for Cardinal Brandmüller’s recent critique of the synod’s working document – insists on the sacredness of the priesthood.

The priest is “not a social worker, not a psychologist, nor a manager, nor a mediator,” he added. Through ordination, the priest “receives something that stems from above, and not from below, from God Himself who calls him and chooses him.” This ordination “empowers him for a three-fold office which then sets him apart from all the other baptized people.”

Thereby, explains Eleganti, the priest receives “something sacred” – the rite of ordination – and then passes on to others “something sacred, which stems from God alone and which no one else can give in the Church.” The three priestly offices that come with ordination – to govern, to preach, and to sanctify – “cannot be split apart,” the Swiss prelate explains, “so that the priest would only...stand at the altar,” and someone else (male or female) preaches and yet another one (male or female) would govern. 

“This is at heart the destruction of the priesthood,” he says, adding that this constitutes a “dismantling that has to stop.”

“The priest has to be that which he is from God,” Eleganti adds, “by virtue of his ordination.” At ordination, the priest receives a special character which cannot ever be removed. 

“That is why he is a sacred figure,” said Eleganti. “This is the truth about the priesthood.” 

Bishop Eleganti calls upon Catholics to give back to priests this “sacrality,” to accept this “difference,” so that “he truly is a man of God and so that he also meets us as a man of God.” The Swiss prelate reminds us that we should not regard a priest as “something profane, purely sociological or psychological.” At the same time, he insists that this sacredness of the priesthood “has nothing to do with clericalism.” On the contrary, says the 64-year-old prelate, a priest must receive his ordination “with humility” and with an awareness of his own sinfulness. Thus, a priest may not “elevate himself,” but at the same time, he also should not “deny himself.”

Furthermore, Bishop Eleganti explains that a priest may not effectively deny his ordination, for “he has been taken into possession by God, and he acts in the person of Christ, the head of the Church, the Bridegroom of the Church.”

Here, Eleganti adds that this is the reason why a priest has to be a “man, just as Jesus Christ is a man – very concretely so – in His Incarnation.” 

The priests’ mission is to help reconcile man with God, the bishop continues, and thus the priest has a mandate and an authority “which no one else has: to forgive sins and to speak validly, in the person of Jesus Christ, the words of consecration, so that what then happens is not anymore something human, but something Divine.”

Moreover, such a change of character and of being, Eleganti explains, “also happened with the priest at the moment of his own ordination,” just as there is a change during the consecration of bread and wine at Holy Mass.

“Let us be careful not to split apart and to destroy and merely to functionalize the priesthood in its integrity. Neither ought we create a ‘priesthood lite,’” Eleganti continues. “There is not a priesthood lite that the electrician next door could exercise” after an ordination for the sake of celebrating Mass for a specific parish, “or a far distant region,” and who would “not have the fullness of the priesthood to govern, to sanctify, and to preach.” For Eleganti, it is about the “whole priesthood, indivisible, with all three offices which cannot be split up into [different] functions.” 

“This would be the destruction of the priesthood and of the sacred character of the Church which is led and sanctified by the priesthood,” Eleganti concludes.

Bishop Eleganti's remarks in defense of the Catholic priesthood come not only in the context of the Amazon Synod, but also in the context of a call from Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, to discuss letting male or female laity preach during Mass.

“How does the homily of the future look like? May only the priest preach? Things have to develop further,” Marx told an assembly of lectors of his own Archdiocese of Freising-Munich. 

Bishop Eleganti is so concerned about such developments in the Catholic Church, especially in light of the upcoming Amazon Synod, that he stated at the end of June 2019 that he fears the October meeting “will contaminate the whole Mystical Body of the Church – and gravely damage it.” 

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Remembering the awe and terror of Our Lord’s Transfiguration

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Today the Church remembers the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor. Although the Gospel of the Transfiguration is also read on the First Sunday of Lent, the Church in her wisdom wished to give us a separate opportunity, outside a penitential season, to enter into the timeless meaning of this event.

Centuries of Christian civilization and fine art can make believers so accustomed to beautiful depictions of biblical stories that we lose a sense of the shock and dismay that accompanied these events when they first happened. This is no reason to abandon the art or the culture that produced it, but it is a reason to pause and ponder what it must have been like to be there.

The Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration do not shy away from telling us about the fear and confusion that seized the three hand-picked apostles who ascended the mountain with Jesus, as they beheld the glory of His divinity shining through His humanity, and heard the thundering voice of the Father. It was not a pleasant picnic with a scenic mountain vista, but a humbling, searing, unforgettable experience. Much later on, St. Peter would write in his first epistle:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Pet 1:16–18)

At the time it occurred, however, Peter and his companions by no means understood what was going on. Peter proposed to erect booths or tents for Moses, Elias, and Jesus. “He knew not what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid” (Mk. 9:6). The patristic author Origen suggests that Satan was at work here, as elsewhere in Peter’s impetuous career (cf. Mt. 16:23), with an offer of comfort or delay:

It should be considered whether perhaps Peter spoke this in an excessus mentis [a temporary madness or ecstasy], by the motion of a certain spirit not his own — namely, whether perhaps that spirit who wished, as far as in him lay, to be a stumbling-block to Christ, so that He might shrink from that Passion which was the salvation of all men, did not here work as a seducer and wish under the color of good to prevent Him from condescending to men, from coming to them and taking death upon Himself for their sakes. (cited in St Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea on Mark, 9, §1)

Origen could be right, but it seems more likely that Peter was simply overwhelmed and said foolish things in an effort to do something — for he is more of a doer, rather than John, who is more contemplative.

St. Luke (9:31) preserves for us the precious detail that it was the mystery of Christ’s saving death and resurrection, His humiliation and glorification, that Jesus, Moses, and Elias were conversing about. The lawgiver and the prophet were speaking to their Lord “of His departure” — exodos in Greek, excessum in the old Vulgate, “decease” in the Douay-Rheims, and “death” in Ronald Knox’s version — “which He was to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Christ was speaking of His going out of the land of slavery on behalf of fallen man, out of this world of sin by His death and resurrection, in a superexcessive manifestation of the divine love that knows no beginning and no end.

In his commentary on Luke 9:31 — “they [Moses and Elijah] spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem” — St. John Chrysostom says Christ called upon His servants Moses and Elijah “to show forth the glory of the Cross, in order to console Peter and the others who feared the Passion.” The exodus of Christ would be one of unspeakable suffering (passio). This suffering puts a man outside himself, observes St. Thomas:

For just as a cup of wine makes one drunk, so too passion by its bitterness places a man, as it were, outside himself [quasi hominem extra se ponit], as we read in Lamentations 3:15: “He has filled me with bitter things, and made me drunk with absinthe.” And the Lord used this manner of speaking when He spoke about His Passion, as is evident in Mt. 26:39: “Let this cup pass from me.” (Sent. IV.8.2.2.2)

Indeed, for Aquinas as for other medieval authors, the mystery of the Passion is most directly expressed in the consecration of the wine into the redemptive Blood of the Lamb, and it is for this reason that older Western rites of Mass have the priest whisper “mysterium fidei” in the midst of the prayer over the chalice.

Peter’s excessus mentis or “being out of his mind” resulted from the great fear or amazement that seized him and his companions at the momentary unveiling of the eternal glory of the Son of God shining through mortal flesh. This certainly is not to be wondered at, when many passages of Scripture show that the manifestation of spiritual beings infinitely inferior to God — namely, the angels — provokes a fear no less profound. When the prince of the heavenly host appeared to him, Joshua “fell on his face to the earth, and worshiped, and said to him, ‘What does my lord bid his servant?’” (Josh. 5:13–14). Gideon thought he would perish for having seen the angel of the Lord face to face, but the Lord comforted him: “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die” (Judg. 6:22–23). When Raphael disclosed his identity, Tobit and Tobias “were both alarmed, and they fell upon their faces, for they were afraid. But he said to them: ‘Do not be afraid; you will be safe’” (Tob. 12:16–18). Several such visitations occurred to the Prophet Daniel. The archangel Gabriel “came near where I stood, and when he came, I was frightened and fell upon my face. ... And I was overcome and lay sick for some days” (Dan. 8:15,27).

In a vision that strikingly reminds us of the Transfiguration itself, Daniel relates:

I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz. ... So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me; my radiant appearance was fearfully changed. ... Then he said to me: “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.” When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face to the ground and was dumb. ... And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” (Dan. 10:5,8,12,15,19)

The mysteries of the Christian religion are strengthening and consoling, yes, but they are also, we must remember, fearful, awesome, and challenging. At Christmas, we remember “tidings of comfort and joy”; on the feast of the Transfiguration, we remember blinding light, amazement, bewilderment, and the voice of majesty that silences our all too human discourse.

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Taylor Marshall discusses the plot to destroy the Church from within

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Taylor Marshall is a bestselling Catholic writer and co-host of the hit podcast The Dr. Taylor Marshall Catholic Show. On this episode 20 of The John-Henry Westen Show, he talks with me about his new book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Our fascinating discussion covers everything from his conversion to Catholicism, Freemasonry, and the Saint Gallen mafia.


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