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Carole Novielli

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Facebook used these two abortionists to ‘fact-check’ pro-life message

Carole Novielli
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Robyn Schickler abortion provider (Image: Twitter)
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Abortionist Daniel Grossman authors fact check against pro-life group (Image: Twitter)
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Daniel Grossman abortionist questions Live Action president Lila Rose (Image Twitter)
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Abortion Pill Manufacturer DANCO LLC (Image: DANCO website)
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Packard Timeline shows it invested in abortion pill distributor
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Daniel Grossman works with Ibid funded by abortion pill mfg Danco
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Buffett funds UCSF Bixby Ryan program where Grossman is staff and Family Planning Fellowship

September 6, 2019 (Live Action News) — Abortion is big business for Facebook's "independent fact checkers" and for the fact checkers' financial backers — despite claims of impartiality. Last week, Facebook relied on the word of two abortionists to target Live Action and Lila Rose's pages over the statement "abortion is never medically necessary." This targeting resulted in penalties to the pages — or as Facebook put it in its limited communication with Live Action, "reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news."

This situation is even more disturbing given the fact that thousands of Board certified OBGYNs agree with Lila Rose and Live Action's statement. Over 1,000 physicians have signed the Dublin Declaration, declaring in part, "As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion — the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman." According to its website, "the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health was written and signed by a select panel of the Committee on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, in September 2012." In addition, the membership of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists — about 2,500 strong — also holds this position, and has for years.

So, who are these "fact checkers," exactly, and how are they connected to Big Abortion? 

As previously noted by Live Action News, Facebook's "fact checkers" are two abortionists connected to organizations that are either directly funded by the abortion pill manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, or are funded by Danco investors.

Robyn Schickler

Daniel Grossman

  • Admitted abortion provider who "provides clinical services, including abortion care, as a consultant to Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific"

  • Provided abortions up to 20 weeks' gestation at St. Luke's Women's Center
  • Board of Whole Woman's Health Alliance (WWHA) abortion chain (WWH has a history of violations)
  • Board of NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • Liaison member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Medical Committee
  • Consultant (2016) for Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Member of International Planned Parenthood Federation Safe Abortion Action Fund Technical Review Panel (London) and member of Medical Development Team, Marie Stopes International (London)
  • Director of University of California San Francisco's (UCSF) Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
  • Board of the Later Abortion Initiative (LAI)
  • Leading the push for so-called "self-managed" abortion
  • Member of Editorial Board of Journal Contraceptionfunded by the Packard Foundation (an investor in abortion pill manufacturer Danco), where Grossman publishes his abortion studies
  • Professor at UCSF (which is sponsoring Grossman's clinical trials)
  • On staff at Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which trains abortion providers

On Twitter, Grossman questioned the knowledge of Live Action president Lila Rose for not going to medical school, yet he advocates for self-managed abortion and for allowing non-physicians to perform abortions.

Who is DANCO, the abortion pill's manufacturer? 

  • Danco Laboratories is manufacturer of the abortion pill (RU486), known as Mifeprex or Mifepristone.

  • In 1994, with encouragement from Clinton administration, French pharmaceutical manufacturer Roussel-Uclaf assigned the US rights of marketing and distribution of the pill to the eugenics-founded Population Council.
  • The right to distribute was later handed over to Danco Laboratories, a sub-licensee of the Population Council.
  • The company and its investors have been cloaked in secrecy for years by the FDA.

Despite a Danco spokesperson once promising that the abortion pill "won't be available through pharmacies because it's a medical procedure and proper counseling is really important," Grossman is conducting clinical trials to dispense it in pharmacies.

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

George Soros (Open Society Foundations) 

Aside from offering Danco financial assistance, Open Society funds many abortion projects, including:

  • $383,000 to Population Council to support clinical trials of abortion pill Mifepristone (abortion pill) in 2000.
  • $200,000 to National Abortion Federation for integration of medical abortion into programs in 2000, $150,000 in 2001
  • $50,000 to Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) for support provider education on early abortion in 2001 and in 2002
  • Funded report to incorporate ''abortion pill'' into mainstream medicine.

Warren Buffett (Buffett Foundation)

  • Foundation gave funding for "development of mifepristone [abortion pill]"
  • The Washington Post reports Buffett gave at least $2 million in interest-free loans to the Population Council for clinical trials of RU-486, according to tax documents filed in 1995.
  • Funds many abortion groups like Planned Parenthood
  • In 2016, Philanthropy News Digest wrote, "Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation ... helped finance development of the abortion drug RU486 in the 1990s and from 2001 to 2014 contributed more than $1.5 billion to abortion causes, including at least $427 million to Planned Parenthood and $168 million to the National Abortion Federation."

Connections

Schickler's PRH association is key because PRH is funded by original investors of Danco, namely, the Packard Foundation (a foundation associated with billionaire abortion funder Warren Buffett) and Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.  Grossman is currently on staff at Ibis Reproductive Health, which, according to its website, is funded by Danco Laboratories.

The Population Council was funded by Packard and Open Society at the same time Grossman was a council Program Associate. Danco financier, the Buffett Foundation, funded Grossman-reviewed studies and others authored by Grossman (here and here). In past years, Buffett gave $78 million to the University of California — and according to the New York Times, Buffett is the primary financier of the Bixby Center's Ryan Residency Program at UCSF (where Daniel Grossman works) as well as the Family Planning Fellowship (a program Robyn Schickler is part of). In 2016, ProPublica revealed that "Buffett's main academic partner (receiving at least $88 million from 2001 to 2014) has been the University of California, San Francisco..." where Grossman is on staff.

Packard has also funded Grossman authored studies (here and here) including a study promoting the University of California's ability to dispense abortion pills on campus. Packard funded UC for years, including regular grant dollars to UC. In addition, Packard funds Ibis Reproductive Health and UCSF where (as previously stated) Grossman is on staff.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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Center for Medical Progress legal team with David Daleiden outside San Francisco Superior Court. Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
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StemExpress CEO admits selling beating baby hearts, intact baby heads in Daleiden hearing

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By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Support pro-lifers who exposed Planned Parenthood's sale of baby body parts Sign the petition here.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The CEO of StemExpress essentially admitted in court Thursday that her biotech company supplies beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

She also admitted at the preliminary hearing of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or “could be torn away.”

Watch this special report where LifeSite Managing Editor Patrick Craine speaks with reporter Lianne Laurence who is on the ground in San Francisco covering the criminal case against pro-life investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.


“That is an especially gruesome admission, but it begs the question: how did they get these fully intact human children?” says Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, which is representing Daleiden at the hearing.

“If you have a fetus with an intact head and an intact body, and intact extremities, that is something that would indicate that child was born alive, and then had their organs cut out of them, or that that child was the victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Both of these are gruesome and violent acts.”

CMP’s Daleiden and Merritt are charged with 15 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential information in connection with undercover videos they released in 2015 after a three-year covert investigation into the buying and selling of baby body parts, which is a felony.

The covertly recorded videos exposed StemExpress as the go-to in California for Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts, and the biotech company cut its ties with Planned Parenthood shortly after these were released.

CMP’s legal team is arguing in the preliminary hearing that the law does not consider conversations that can be overheard confidential and that covert recording is allowed when done to investigate violent crimes.

On Thursday, the court saw video clips of the StemExpress CEO, identified as Doe 12, meeting in May 2015 with Daleiden and Merritt, who were posing as owners of a biotech company.

Doe 12 says in the video there’s a great demand for “raw fetal tissue,” and that the “insanely fragile” neural or brain tissue is best shipped in a “whole calvarium,” or head, whereupon Daleiden says, “Just make sure the eyes are closed.”

“Yeah,” laughs Doe 12, “Tell the lab techs its coming…it’s almost like they don’t want to know what it is.”

Doe 12 was far less forthcoming in her testimony Thursday, as Breen noted.

“One thing we’ve observed throughout these proceedings is that these witnesses were much more candid when they spoke to David and Susan on the undercover video than they are on the stand,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“However, we have been able to establish certain facts that are important through their testimony, and when they deviate from the video, we’ve been able to use the video to show that they’re not telling the truth on the stand,” Breen said.

“That’s important to show that the attorney general is using witnesses who are willing to stretch the truth, and our side is exposing that truth.”

Breen told the court that StemExpress was mentioned in connection with Stanford University studies where Langendorff perfusion was used, a technique that “requires a beating heart.”

“Does StemExpress supply fetal hearts to Stanford?” he asked Doe 12.

She hesitated to answer because, she said, “there’s so much targeting of researchers.”

However, Judge Christopher Hite told her the question was relevant.

“Yes, we have provided heart tissue to Stanford,” Doe 12 said.

She also admitted that CMP photos are accurate and that sometimes a baby’s intact calvarium is attached to the baby’s body and sometimes it is not.

In another key exchange, Doe 12 testified that her company requests that parties sign a nondisclosure agreement or NDA before discussing business.

But while Doe 12 met with Daleiden and Merritt in late May, the NDA for the meeting was signed in late June, according to an email from StemExpress to CMP that Breen produced in court.

Nor was Doe 12 able to produce evidence the NDA had been sent to Daleiden and Merritt before the meeting.

“After talking about how important a NDA is, the only evidence in the record is that  the NDA was not sent out until a month after this supposedly highly confidential meeting,” Breen told LifeSiteNews.

“So that was a really significant point. That’s why there was so much argument on it,” he said.

“At the same time, the statute is clear: if there is a reasonable expectation that the conversation can be overhead, then it doesn’t count as a confidential conversation,” he said.

“So our contention is, if you’re sitting there at a restaurant with wait staff around you and coming and going as they please, you can be overheard,  that’s a clear exception to the statute.”

Breen also quizzed Doe 12 about the Planned Parenthood consent form that StemExpress used in 2015.

Former StemExpress technician Holly O’Donnell supplied the PP consent form to CMP. She also is featured in two CMP videos describing in graphic detail the process of sorting through dismembered arms and legs of aborted babies.

The form states there will be no changes to the abortion procedure because of the decision to donate blood or fetal tissue.

When Doe 12 said she couldn’t recall what the form said, Breen played for the court “a portion of the video tape where she bragged about memorizing the [PP consent] form down to the control numbers,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Doe 12 also told the court she couldn’t recall what the current StemExpress consent form stipulates.

“She wouldn’t admit that patients are not told their abortion procedures could be changed, but we know it to be true,” Breen told LifeSiteNews.

“So we’re using the videos to be able to show these people are not being straight with the court,” he said.

“And so you shouldn’t believe them with anything they’re saying.”

The hearing resumes Tuesday, and Doe 12 returns next week to complete her testimony.

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Abp. Chaput receives positive ratings from bishop accountability website

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Charles Chaput is this week’s Bishop of the Week for Faithful Shepherds, a site launched by LifeSiteNews in August of 2018 to hold bishops accountable and to encourage them to be faithful to the perennial teachings of the Church.

When Chaput was only 44 years old, he was elevated to Bishop of Rapid City, S.D. in 1988. In 1997, he was appointed as archbishop of Denver. He currently serves in one of the largest sees in the country, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. 

Learn more about Archbishop Chaput’s past actions and sign up for the Faithful Shepherds newsletter. Click here

In July 2016, just two months after the release of Amoris Laetitia, Chaput issued diocesan guidelines that stated that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive Communion unless they “refrain from sexual intimacy.” Allowing such persons to receive Holy Communion “misleads people about the nature of the Eucharist and the Church,” Chaput wrote.

His Excellency has also been a strong defender of the Church’s teaching on contraception. In 1998, on the 30th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Chaput affirmed that Pope Paul VI was right about both “the consequences deriving from contraception” and “contraception itself.” More recently, Chaput personally added his name to the “Humanae Vitae at 50 Declaration.” This declaration, organized by laity in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, expresses support for Humanae Vitae’s teachings on contraception and human life and offers commitment “to the fullness of its truth and natural beauty.”

In addition to rejecting artificial contraception, Chaput has worked extensively to help restore the culture through pro-family actions. While archbishop of Denver, Chaput became the first U.S. archbishop to require engaged couples to complete an entire Natural Family Planning course as part of their marriage preparation. In 2017, Archbishop Chaput was a featured speaker at the Napa Institute conference where he bluntly stated how young people can change the world: “love each other, get married, stay faithful to one another, have lots of children, and raise those children to be men and women of Christian character.”

Learn more about Archbishop Chaput’s past actions and sign up for the Faithful Shepherds newsletter. Click here

Chaput published a column in 2017 that rejected many of the ideas put forth in Fr. James Martin’s pro-gay book, Building a Bridge. Chaput wrote that “Jesus didn’t come to affirm us in our sins and destructive behaviors — whatever they might be — but to redeem us.” However, he did not stop Fr. Martin from speaking at a gay-friendly parish in his diocese. Also, he said the term “intrinsically disordered” is “language [that] automatically sets people off, and probably isn’t useful anymore.” At the same time, he said any substitute terminology should not obscure the Church’s view that “same-sex attraction is not part of God’s plan.”

Chaput has issued new diocesan guidelines that state that “under no circumstances” may priests and deacons in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia “take part in, witness or officiate at any civil union for same-sex persons.” Chaput continued by stating that “there is no truth, no real mercy, and no authentic compassion in blessing a course of action that leads a person away from God.”

Archbishop Chaput has also called out pro-abortion politicians. Just recently, Chaput rebuked former vice president Joe Biden for retracting his support of the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal funding of abortion. Chaput correctly noted that “the unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders.”

If you would like to send Archbishop Chaput a postcard or learn more about his past actions, please visit FaithfulShepherds.com.

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Gender transition poses ‘serious and irreversible damage’ to kids, top psychiatrist warns

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By Calvin Freiburger

LONDON, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent UK psychiatrist is speaking out against subjecting gender-confused children to “transition” treatment, warning that debate is being “shut down” about practices that could subject children to “serious and irreversible damage.”

Dr. David Bell, a consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and former president of the British Psychoanalytic Society, believes the medical field is being pressured to accept claims that children “declare themselves as being in the wrong body” without “sufficient investigation for its basis,” due in no small part to the fact that such cases have almost quadrupled over the past four years, The Telegraph reported

Gender dysphoria is a “highly complex problem with many causal pathways,” Bell wrote in the foreword to the book Inventing Transgender Children and Young People, an upcoming collection of essays by clinicians, psychologists, and sociologists. But transgender activists are pressuring providers such as Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) into accepting a “damaging simplification” of the subject, he says.

“Many services have championed the use of medical and surgical intervention with nowhere near sufficient attention to the serious, irreversible damage this can cause and with very disturbingly superficial attitudes to the issue of consent in young children,” he argued. Yet doctors who “refuse to accept the dominant ideological position” are accused of being “transphobic,” which “has been remarkably successful, resulting in a simplification of a very complex problem that needs to be understood at both individual and socio-cultural levels.”

Bell called for an “urgent investigation” into the various factors contributing to these referrals to “transition” minors.

A range of scientific literature indicates that reinforcing gender confusion often fails to prevent significant emotional harm up to and including attempted suicide (with or without surgery), because fixating on “gender affirmation” tends to distract from exploring other issues that may be the actual root of a patient’s mental or emotional unrest.

In July, the UK’s Health Research Authority (HRA) announced it would investigate the GIDS-University College Hospitals that was used to justify giving puberty blockers to children as young as 11 after the BBC program Newsnight uncovered evidence of key information being withheld from the participants’ parents and from health officials, as well as methodological problems.

That revelation followed five former clinic workers resigning from Tavistock in April, accusing GIDS of carrying out “life-changing medical intervention” for children and teens “without sufficient evidence of its long-term effects” and sometimes without even diagnosing a cause for their confusion or establishing that they truly suffered from gender dysphoria.

Last year, the NHS came under fire for administering puberty-blockers to as many as 150 children who were incorrectly diagnosed with gender dysphoria when they may have instead been autistic.

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Left-wing election commission chair calls tech giants to summit on ‘fraudulent news’ crackdown

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Democrat chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) wants to meet with representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter this month to discuss how to “minimize the disruption and confusion” of fake news, which conservatives fear is code for suppressing information inconvenient to Democrats ahead of the 2020 elections. 

"The goal of the symposium will be to identify effective policy approaches and practical tools that can minimize the disruption and confusion sown by fraudulent news and propaganda in the 2020 campaign," FEC chair Ellen Weintraub wrote in an invitation for the three top tech companies to meet with her on September 17, Politico reported.

So far, Facebook and Twitter are confirmed to attend the event, which is being cohosted by Stanford University and the free-speech nonprofit PEN America, and will also involve scholars, journalists, and lawmakers of both parties.

One unnamed FEC official told Politico the event is based on concerns about “home-grown disinformation” impacting the election. “Under the First Amendment, we don’t ban false statements in advertising and social media, but there’s a difference between the right to speak and the right to be disseminated” online, the official claimed.

That’s a controversial premise that appears to presuppose that government can and should be trusted with the power to determine what counts as “real” news. “The FEC has no business policing the truth or accuracy of speech of any kind by American citizens on the internet,” former Republican FEC chair Lee Goodman told the Washington Examiner. “The FEC’s only role is prohibiting foreigners from spending money to influence American elections, and foreign propaganda should be policed by the FBI and Department of Justice.”

During Goodman's tenure, he fought efforts to crack down on conservative media outlets like Fox News and the Drudge Report. At the time, Weintraub appeared to agree that “coverage of our political system is fully protected, generally by the First Amendment, and specifically by the Federal Election Campaign Act and Commission regulations.”

“I concluded (during that fight) that conservative speakers and press would always be held to a double standard if government got to regulate them,” Goodman recalls. “Now the hook to get Drudge is something vaguely defined as ‘disinformation,’ however that might be defined. The FEC has no business regulating the internet or browbeating internet platforms to censor American citizens.”

Ever since President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory spurred the current push for tech giants to police fake news and “election interference,” conservatives have argued Google, Facebook, and Twitter are too active in that area as it is – and too biased.

Dr. Robert Epstein, a research psychologist with the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, estimates that Google’s search results swung 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016 (potentially accounting for the Democrat nominee’s popular-vote margin of just under 2.9 million). Epstein also testified that he has identified “nine different blacklists Google maintains to suppress information worldwide.”

Multiple analyses have found that Facebook’s algorithm changes instituted at the beginning of 2018 disproportionately impacted conservative politicians and websites. Earlier this year, an insider revealed that Facebook “deboosts” traffic to several mainstream conservative sites, and the social network has come under fire for numerous instances of censoring conservative content under questionable pretenses. 

Twitter, meanwhile, 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,” yet has let stand violent and hateful tweets directed at conservatives. There have been a long series of bans and suspensions affecting non-violent, non-obscene tweets from right-of-center perspectives (including LifeSiteNews), and Twitter insiders have admitted to intentionally targeting conservative accounts and topics.

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Catholics to gather near Vatican next month to pray for Church in her hour of crisis

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, September 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Catholics from around the world are being invited to assemble, on Oct. 5, near St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, to pray for the Church as she lives through what many see as the hour of her “Passion.” 

Register for the free live stream of the Historic Amazon Synod Roundtable.  Click here.

The announcement came in a letter published on Sept. 6 on Stilum Curae, a blog hosted by respected Italian journalist Marco Tosatti. According to the letter (see full text below), an international public prayer gathering will be held at 2:30pm, on Saturday Oct. 5, 2019, at Largo Giovanni XIII in Rome, located between St. Peter’s Square and Castel Sant’Angelo.  

Set to take place on the eve of the Oct. 6-27 Amazon Synod, the event will also coincide with an Oct. 5 Consistory at which Pope Francis will create 13 new cardinals. 

The letter’s author, “Fr. Giuseppe,” explains: “This powerful gesture comes in response to a common sentiment: The Church is going through her Passion.”

The letter continues: 

This Passion dates back well before 2013, as Benedict XVI himself has said on several occasions. The last two years of his pontificate were also a time of intense suffering for believers; the obstacles placed along his path by open or hidden enemies were evident to all. Yet Benedict somehow acted as a dam (perhaps, in some way, he is still doing so today), but after his resignation the flood arrived.

The author notes that, little by little, Catholics have been waking up to the current crisis in the Church, and over time many people have become convinced that something “more powerful” (on the human and supernatural level) is needed than the “usual” conference.  

Catholics from around the world are therefore being invited to “mobilize,” so as to offer “all believers a sign of hope, by praying to Our Lady for our beloved Church.” 

Today’s invitation comes on the second anniversary of the death of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four Dubia cardinals and the founding president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.  

dedicated Facebook page, called “Let’s pray for the Church,” has been launched in several languages to spread the word about the prayer initiative. In a recent post, organizers say: 

The time has come for a public gathering of prayer, offered with a supernatural vision and spirit, because the Church belongs to God and not to men. Our prayer is moved by an awareness: The Church is going through an unprecedented crisis and is surrounded by a confusion that “only a blind man could deny,” as Cardinal Carlo Caffarra once said. 

This idea (in a more or less similar fashion) has been bouncing around for months and months, and now it has come true. On October 5, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., a gathering of public prayer will be held in the vicinity of St. Peter’s!

While public demonstration is not new to Italian Catholics, the October assembly will take a decidedly more peaceful tone than in centuries past. 

During the conclave that elected Urban VI (1378-1389), a huge mob gathered outside the conclave shouting, “Elect an Italian or die!” This occurred shortly after Pope Gregory XI, at the prompting of St. Catherine of Siena, moved the papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

Rome had been in state of chaos for decades because the pope (the ruler of the papal states) had effectively been on holiday in France for 70 years. By this time, the cardinals were all French and were keen to move the papacy back to Avignon. The Italians, by contrast, were desperate that the papacy not be exiled again. 

As there weren’t actually any Italian cardinals left, they had to elect someone who was not a cardinal, and so they elected a curial official who took the name Urban VI. He shared the view of the crowd that the papacy had been hijacked by the French and soon started treating the French cardinals with contempt. His plan was to ignore them and to replace them with Italians.

The French were furious, and claimed they were under duress when they elected him (and therefore did not do so freely). On these grounds, they elected anti-pope Clement VII and went off to Avignon, plunging the Church into the Great Western Schism for 70 years.

Here below is an English translation of the full letter on the Oct. 5 prayer initiative.

***

Dear Tosatti,

On October 5, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., a gathering of public prayer for the Church will be held in Largo Giovanni XIII, Rome. This powerful gesture comes in response to a common sentiment: The Church is going through her Passion.

This Passion dates back well before 2013, as Benedict XVI himself has said on several occasions. The last two years of his pontificate were also a time of intense suffering for believers; the obstacles placed along his path by open or hidden enemies were evident to all.  

Yet Benedict somehow acted as a dam (perhaps, in some way, he is still doing so today), but after his resignation the flood arrived.

Today this is clear to everyone, but it took time to become aware of it. In April 2018, I decided to go to a conference in Rome titled “Catholic Church, where are you going?” held in honor of [deceased] Cardinal Carlo Caffarra. Only a few people from my prayer group came with me, and yet the success of that event convinced me that something was starting to happen.

When, on the other hand, I announced the October 5 meeting to my prayer group, in approximately the same words used by those who had first spoken to me about it (“The time has come for public prayer, offered with a supernatural vision and spirit, because the Church belongs to God and not to men...”), they answered me with one voice: “We will be there!”

Nothing more really needs to be said. Over time the need for a more powerful act on the human and religious level, and one more effective than the “usual” conference, has matured in the hearts of many people. Therefore, we will do so, knowing that the Lord “needs” us, and everyone, to save his barque [the Church]. I also invite your readers to mobilize. We will give all believers a sign of hope, by praying to Our Lady for our beloved Church.

Thank you for hosting my letter, 

Fr. Giuseppe

Translation by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews.

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CNN, Human Rights Campaign to host Democrat town halls on LGBT issues

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By Calvin Freiburger

September 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Next month, CNN and the LGBT lobbying group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will be joining forces to host a town hall marathon specifically for the 2020 Democrat presidential field to discuss issues pertaining to homosexuality and transgenderism, the two organizations announced this week.

The event will take place on October 11 in Los Angeles, CNN announced, to coincide with National Coming Out Day. Consisting of a series of “back-to-back town halls throughout the evening,” it will be open to Democrat candidates who have won at least 2 percent support in four consecutive national polls, and received contributions from 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors apiece from 20 states.

Qualifying candidates to accept so far include former Vice President Joe Biden, openly-gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, and Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren. The event will not be open to the public; the audience will consist of invited guests, “LGBTQ stakeholders,” and members of civic organizations, according to HRC.

“Today, at a time when our most basic civil rights and democratic values are under attack, our work has never been more urgent,” HRC president Alphonso David claimed in a press release. “We are eager to hear from this field of Democratic presidential candidates about how they plan to win full federal equality, defend the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people, and protect the most vulnerable among us -- both here in the United States and around the globe -- from stigma, institutional inequality, discrimination, and violence.”

All of the 2020 Democrat candidates are doctrinaire leftists on LGBT issues, from supporting the so-called Equality Act (which would impede the religious liberties and conscience rights of religious adoption agencies and businesses, as well as force women and girls to share sex-specific facilities with men) to opposing the Trump administration’s ban on gender-confused soldiers. Several have even added their “preferred pronouns” to their social media bios, in a show of solidarity with gender-identity activists.

Harris has bragged about forcing religiously-owned companies to violate their consciences, and last year suggested judicial nominee Brian Buescher’s membership in the Knights of Columbus was problematic because of its, pro-marriage stance. Warren has advocated for homosexuals to be allowed to donate blood despite increased risks of HIV.

Castro has participated in LGBT “pride” marches since 2009, Sen. Cory Booker has made a habit out of grilling Republican nominees over their views on homosexuality, as well as officiated same-sex “weddings, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke has been caught on tape berating a Catholic priest for defending the Biblical view of marriage.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard actually opposed same-sex “marriage” as late as 2004 but apologized for her past conservative stance in 2012. Even so, some left-wing activists have attacked her as insufficiently “progressive.”

The announcement comes after CNN hosted a seven-hour “town hall marathon” for Democrat candidates to discuss climate change, during which Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested he would support funding abortions worldwide as part of his environmental plan.

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Catholic university’s alumni magazine showcases pro-abortion Trudeau minister 

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean
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TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A pro-abortion politician is the cover girl on the most recent issue of a Canadian Catholic university’s alumni magazine. 

Catherine McKenna, Justin Trudeau’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, was the subject of the lead story for the University of St. Michael’s College’s (USMC) “St Michael’s” magazine. McKenna is herself a USMC alumna, having graduated from the University of Toronto-affiliated institution in 1994. Wearing a jacket coloured Liberal Party red, she posed for the cover photograph with USMC President David Sylvester.

The article about McKenna, 48, and her April 2019 visit to St. Michael’s College was titled “Living Your Passion.” It described in glowing terms McKenna’s activities both at USMC and afterward. McKenna studied at the London School of Economics and then took a law degree at McGill University. She wrote the New York State Bar Exam and worked for the UN in East Timor. In 2015 she was elected to Canada’s House of Commons. 

“I’ve always tried to work on things I’m passionate about,” she told the article’s author, Paul Krzyzanowski. 

One photo of McKenna in the feature envisions her sprouting St Michael’s angel wings.

LifeSiteNews reached out to a spokesman for USMC but did not receive a response.   

A former St. Michael’s President believes that McKenna was a “disappointing choice.”

“McKenna’s voice is one of the loudest in the Liberal chorus promoting abortion at home and abroad,” former USMC President David Mulroney told LifeSiteNews via email.  

“Sadly, the University is displaying that unhealthy propensity at “progressive” Catholic institutions to crave secular authority, whatever the damage to Mission and Identity,” he continued. 

“I would have felt better—although not entirely happy—if the University had encouraged a debate with the minister, challenging her to justify her current views in the context of Catholic teaching, something she must, at some point have encountered in the course of her Catholic higher education.”

Early last May McKenna denounced Conservative MP Ted Falk for saying that abortion is not a right. 

“The Supreme Court upheld this right more than 30 years ago today,” she said in the House of Commons. “These comments serve to take women’s rights backwards.” McKenna demanded that the Leader of the Opposition denounce Falk’s comments and “clearly voice his support right now for a woman’s right to choose.”  

In the 1988 Morgentaler decision, however, the Supreme Court of Canada threw out the 1969 abortion law on the basis that it was “unconstitutional.” This created a legal vacuum in which, to this day, no abortion law exists in Canada and there exists no “right” to abortion. 

The Canadian MP also backed the repeal of the pro-life Eighth Amendment from Ireland’s Constitution and was in Ireland during the Referendum.  

In a Tweet criticizing both pro-life laws and St. Michael’s College in the 1990s, McKenna wrote, “As evidence shows, making [sic] abortion illegal in Ireland didn't stop Irish women from having abortions, it just made it unsafe & criminalized women. Just like removing condoms from frosh kits in my day didn't stop university students from having sex, just made it less safe.” 

Mulroney told LifeSiteNews that he had fallen out with McKenna over her support for abortion in Ireland. 

“I myself wrote a friendly note to McKenna when I first arrived as President and her government was new,” he wrote by email.  

“But I pulled back when her government’s true colours became clear. We had a terse Twitter exchange when I complained, as a former diplomat and a Catholic, about a photo of her high-fiving our Ambassador to Ireland after the Irish abortion Referendum,” he continued. 

“I said that the photo was offensive to me as an Irish Catholic, as a Canadian and as a diplomat.”

In her visit to USMC students, McKenna mentioned that climate change particularly hurts the poor. Mulroney, however, thinks there is an even weaker group of people that environmentalists should consider. 

“The failure of Catholic universities to serve as lights in the darkness, defending an enlightened and truly Christian humanism, is one of the tragedies of our time. And doesn’t concern for the environment include concern for the most defenceless among us?” 

For respectful communications

Dr. David Sylvester, President
The University of St. Michael’s College 
81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1J4
Phone: 416-926-1300
Email: [email protected] 

Ken Schnell, Advancement Manager, Annual [Fundraising] Campaign 
Phone: 416-926-7281
Email: [email protected]

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Peter Meijer
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Republican targeted with civil rights complaint for canceling Down Syndrome ‘drag show’

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By Stephen Kokx

PETITION: Tell theatre to cancel manipulative Down syndrome drag show. Click here to add your name!

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The leftist American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a civil rights complaint with the State of Michigan against a Republican Congressional candidate for canceling a “drag show” featuring people with Down Syndrome at a property he owns in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Peter Meijer, who is seeking to unseat Republican-turned-Independent Justin Amash, scrapped the controversial ArtPrize event several weeks ago because he said it “felt like exploitation” of “the differently abled.” 

The ACLU alleges Meijer is discriminating based on the disabilities and sex of the persons participating in the Drag Show. Meijer could be fined if found guilty by Michigan’s Civil Rights Commission. The 31-year-old has since tweeted that he won't apologize for “doing what’s right.”

Meijer is an Iraq War veteran and the grandson of local supermarket scion Frederik Meijer. In 2015, he gave $5,000 to a Jeb Bush Super PAC called “Right to Rise.” He’s also served on the board of a veterans group with George Schultz, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State. Schultz was listed as one of Bush’s foreign policy advisers during his failed presidential run.

Meijer told Frank Camp of The Daily Wire that he reached out to disability advocates in West Michigan and to parents of children with Down syndrome before making his decision to cancel the event. They “all shared my same concerns around exploitation,” he said. “And so, I put a stop to it. I didn't want it to be political.” 

“I cannot know, and neither can an audience, whether the individuals performing for Drag Syndrome are giving, or are in a position to give their full and informed consent," he’s also stated.

Meijer says that the group organizing the event leaked to the media the private letter he wrote to them explaining his decision. Since then, he’s been called a bigot, an ableist, a homophobe, racist, and a transphobe. Meijer told Camp that the reaction by the left to his decision is proof they “cannot handle a nuanced argument. No one has actually tried to address my underlying concern.” 

After Meijer canceled the event, Wealthy Street Theatre, a rustic, smaller venue located near the city’s bohemian “Eastown” neighborhood agreed to host the drag show. In years past, the theatre has been home to many liberal and pro-"LGBT" events.

Tickets sold out in record time for the two-and-a-half-hour show, which is scheduled for 7 PM Saturday, September 7. A second performance was added for Sunday night, beginning at 6 PM. There are rumors that protesters could show up outside the theatre over the weekend. A LifeSite petition calling on the show to be canceled has received more than 4,000 signatures. 

Drag Syndrome” is the UK-based group organizing the event. LifeSite has previously reported that “Drag Syndrome” performances include Down Syndrome men who wear women’s dresses, garish makeup, wigs, and in some cases fake breasts, largely in order to mock stereotypes of womanhood and femininity. Women sport beards and men’s clothing as well.

The Drag Syndrome “performers” arrived in West Michigan on Thursday night. Local NBC affiliate WOOD TV 8 was on scene to capture what reporter Barton Deiters described as a “joyous welcome that included press and fans.” One of the young men told the media he has a right to self-expression and that people “have to recognize me.” Drag Syndrome’s Creative Director Daniel Váis said he “didn’t expect this controversy. I didn’t expect this hate toward them.”

West Michigan is one of the state’s most religious and socially conservative areas. Home to the Christian Reformed Church in America and a large Catholic population, the community boasts several prominent Christian colleges and universities, including Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Kuyper College, and Hope College. Grand Rapids’ “Westside” neighborhood has so many churches it is informally referred to as “Steepletown.” The area has not sent a Democrat to Congress since 1993 and reliably votes for Republican presidential candidates. President Trump has visited Grand Rapids on several occasions, including the night he won the presidency in 2016.

Contact information for respectful communications:

Wealthy Street Theatre

Ph: (616) 459-4788 ext. 130

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: @wealthytheatre

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WATCH: Millennials will sign petition to save baby eagles, but not baby humans

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By Calvin Freiburger

LOS ANGELES, California, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Many on the political Left are passionate about humane treatment of animals while favoring the destruction of preborn human beings, an inconsistency highlighted this week in a new video by Prager University (PragerU).

In the video, PragerU’s Will Witt presents several Los Angeles residents in Echo Park with a petition to protect eagle eggs from destruction (something that is already illegal under federal law). The reactions are uniformly positive, from “of course don’t kill eagles” to “for sure, yeah, definitely” to “I hope you save the eagles.” But those same signatories all change their tune when Witt reveals a second petition advocating the same protection for preborn humans.

When first told about the petition to “stop the killing of humans too, like babies,” respondents initially respond with “oh my God” and “I hate killing of babies,” but once they realize the question refers to abortion, they change to “wait, no, I don’t agree with that...I’m pro-abortion” and “oh no, I don’t agree.”

“I fully support abortion,” one young woman says, “I think because there’s specific, like, rape isn’t considered when you’re talking about—eagles aren’t raped.”

“Why do you support not the killing of unborn eagles, but the killing of unborn children?” Witt asks another woman, who doesn’t dispute that abortion kills children. “Um, I think it’s the mother’s decision,” she answers instead. “A human woman should have more rights probably than a bald eagle.”

“Anyone can make their own decision about their body,” argues a third respondent, who joked earlier that she had been drinking. “Babies are gross. You know what it does to your body? You’re not a woman so you’d have no idea.”

“If I wanna have a baby in like 10 years when I fall in love or whatever, like maybe yes I would want one baby, but I would never have more than one because I feel like that’s f***ed up,” the third woman says later. Will interjects to ask, “because of climate change?”

“Yeah, like we’re all gonna f***ing die soon,” she agrees.

In March, Democrat lawmakers embraced legislation to ban killing kittens for scientific research, while at the same time almost uniformly opposing legislation to require basic medical care for human newborns who survive failed abortions. Pro-lifers have long lamented the double-standard of left-wing subcultures passionately championing the inviolability of animal life while enthusiastically supporting abortion-on-demand.

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Abortionist exposed on video trafficking in baby body parts tries to deny it all at Daleiden hearing

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By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Support pro-lifers who exposed Planned Parenthood's sale of baby body parts Sign the petition here.

SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A Planned Parenthood abortionist exposed in a Center for Medical Progress (CMP) undercover video as a baby body parts trafficker admitted the CMP video clips played in court Thursday were not altered. 

But she made every effort to avoid admitting the videos implicated her personally in the buying or selling of human body parts, which is a federal felony.

Watch this special report where LifeSite Managing Editor Patrick Craine speaks with reporter Lianne Laurence who is on the ground in San Francisco covering the criminal case against pro-life investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

The former director of medical services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, identified in court as Doe 9, was a prosecution witness at the criminal preliminary hearing of CMP’s David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

The pro-life investigative journalists are facing 15 felony charges of illegal taping of confidential information in connection with undercover videos they released in 2015 that unmasked Planned Parenthood’s involvement in selling baby body parts.

Their legal team is arguing the law stipulates that conversations that can reasonably be expected to be overheard are not confidential, and that surreptitious taping of confidential information is allowed when those doing so have reason to believe they are investigating violent crimes. 

Doe 9 is infamous for drinking wine and eating salad while telling Daleiden and Merritt in a covertly recorded video that, among other things, she and Planned Parenthood abortionists dismember babies in utero in such a way as to keep marketable organs intact. 

“I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she told the pair, who were posing as owners of a fetal tissue procurement firm.

Particularly as the CMP video evidence spoke for itself, defense lawyer Brentford Ferreira regarded their examination of Doe 9 as successful, even though deputy attorney general Johnette Jauron frequently objected to their questions as irrelevant, and Judge Christopher Hite tended to agree.

“With some success – the judge shut me down quite a bit – with some success, we got evidence of babies born alive and dying, and of partial-birth abortion and of changing the technique without the consent of the mother, and in a way that creates a battery on the woman,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“If the only reason...to change the [abortion] technique is to get the baby parts that you want to sell to the supplier, then that is battery.”

Ferreira’s initial interrogation established that Doe 9 did not regard the lunch meeting with Daleiden and Merritt as confidential. 

“It was a business meeting and she fully intended that people who were not present would hear about it,” he said. “She put Mr. Daleiden in touch with other affiliates, she wrote emails for him.”

“She actually was texting another doctor during the interview,” Ferreira said. 

“It was no different than if she’d called her on the cell phone and said, ‘hey, I got this Robert Sarkis here; he’d like to buy body parts from you.’”

The defense also moved to impeach Doe 9 twice because her testimony contradicted her deposition in the Planned Parenthood lawsuit against CMP.

In the first instance, Ferreira asked Doe 9 if she’d ever had “a complete fetal expulsion” occur in her presence during an abortion.

“No, I have not,” answered Doe 9.

Ferreira then produced a transcript of Doe 9’s deposition, in which she was asked if she had encountered “complete fetal expulsion” in her career.

“I’m sure I must have had one at one point” in 20 years as a doctor, Doe 9 said then.

In the case of a fetal expulsion, did Doe 9 check the baby for signs of life, Ferreira then asked.

“Sir, I don’t recall observing fetal expulsion,” Doe 9 replied. “I said it must have happened. I didn’t say I recalled or observed it.”

Doe 9 later admitted when questioned by Jauron that “hypothetically,” if there is a fetal expulsion during an abortion, then “hypothetically” there is a fetal heartbeat.

Horatio Mihet of Liberty Counsel, who is representing Merritt, also caught Doe 9 contradicting previous testimony.

She testified Wednesday she was “shocked” by the CMP video when it was released four years ago because it was edited to misrepresent what she said at the lunch meeting.

But in her deposition in the civil case, Doe 9 said she “didn’t get the big deal” about the video, Mihet said. “I didn’t think there was anything wrong in the video,” she said then.

Under questioning from Mihet, Doe 9 admitted the video clips were accurate depictions of her conversations with Merritt and Daleiden and not edited or altered.

Doe 9 explained the discrepancy by telling the court she “didn’t get the big deal” about the “content” of the video. 

“That doesn’t mean I can’t be shocked that people lied about who they said they were,” she said.

“I don’t think she’s an honest person at all, and I think the judge got that,” Ferriera told LifeSiteNews.

In the secretly recorded CMP video, Doe 9 explained that Planned Parenthood abortionists would change the baby’s position to breech, or feet first, in order to extract an intact calvarium, or head.

That fits the description of the federally banned partial-birth abortion method.

Doe 9 told the court that when she described switching the baby’s position to breech, she was referring to “some people, not talking about myself.”

“Have you ever switched to breech to obtain an intact calvarium?” Ferreira asked.

“No, I have not in that context,” she said.

Mihet asked Doe 9 if she informed women when she altered the abortion procedure in order to obtain intact fetal tissue.

“I do not tell the patient where I’m going to grasp the tissue so I don’t tell them about a change,” she said.

The preliminary hearing continues on Tuesday, and the defense intends to recall Doe 9 after their expert witnesses testify.

CMP refers to the prosecution as the “Kamala Harris Planned Parenthood Videos Case” because it was initiated by Harris, now a Democratic presidential nominee, when she was California’s attorney general. 

RELATED:

Former Planned Parenthood medical director caught in contradiction at undercover video hearing

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Maria Martinez

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Equality Act will force people into homosexuality, then destroy free speech

Maria Martinez
By Maria Martinez

September 6, 2019 (American Thinker) — As a teenager, Nate Oyloe was attracted to other boys. Hoping to change his sexual attractions, he sought therapy. Today, he is happily married to a woman. Most people would be glad that Nate has achieved the life he wanted. But not everyone is. Lawmakers in his home state of Minnesota recently passed a law banning the kind of therapy Nate received to help him overcome his unwanted same-sex attraction.

To date, twenty states and many cities have made it illegal to offer therapy for minors unless it affirms the LGBT agenda — and several more are considering similar bans. In these jurisdictions, therapists may help a child or teen accept same-sex attraction or a different gender identity, but they will not help a teen who aspires to change his same-sex attraction or sexual identity. It is illegal even to ask questions to help a child explore underlying issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

And if the federal Equality Act is enacted, it will be illegal across all states.

The Equality Act has already been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is now under consideration in the Senate. If it passes, it will amend the Civil Rights Act to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes, like race and religion.

The Equality Act uses the controversial term "conversion therapy" and specifically bans it as "a form of discrimination." That term is often used to refer to outdated forms of therapy such as electroshock or aversion therapy, techniques that used to be common for a variety of psychological issues but have long been discontinued.

Today, counseling offered to people like Nate is simply talk therapy, and the client is in control. The goal is to help the client align his behavior with his own goals, values, and aspirations. As Nate says, contrary to the picture painted by critics, "I was not coerced or abused — I was honored and loved. I was given the power of choice and the dignity to think for myself."

This is the type of counseling the Equality Act would outlaw. You don't need a law degree to see that this would be a serious violation of free speech rights. It is also an unconscionable incursion of the state into the therapist-client relationship. In a free society, the state should not be telling people what therapy goals they are allowed to have.

The Equality Act's ban on gender counseling will violate the rights of anyone seeking help but will be particularly devastating for minors. For example, Jay Keck writes about his 14-year-old autistic daughter's sudden decision to become a boy. He had his daughter evaluated by a psychologist approved by the school district who said "it was very clear" that Keck's daughter's sudden transgender identity was "driven by her underlying mental health condition," but he could not state it on the record for fear of losing his license.

The implications of such a broad ban at the federal level are staggering. Counselors, therapists, pastors — anyone who counsels people who have unwanted same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria — would be subject to criminal penalties and potentially charged with hate crimes and discrimination.

The Equality Act is more draconian that any state or city conversion therapy ban to date because it takes away the traditional constitutional exemption for religious freedom. The act specifically states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may not be invoked as a defense, marking the first time in history that Congress has limited the reach of RFRA. This means that it could become illegal for Christian pastors, churches, schools, and ministries to communicate a message that sexual orientation or gender identity can change. The Equality Act is unprecedented in its overreach, impacting even adults who are willingly seeking counseling.

By contrast, therapy of any kind that pushes a person toward same-sex attraction or gender transition is not impacted by the law at all.

Banning counseling isn't the only thing the Equality Act will do:

  • Parents could lose custody of their children if they decline to assist in their gender transition. Parents in Ohio recently lost custody of their female child because they would not give her testosterone supplements to help her "transition" to look like a male.
  • Doctors and hospitals could be subject to lawsuits for refusing to perform so-called "sex change" surgeries. In California and New Jersey, Catholic hospitals are already being sued for discrimination for refusing to perform these surgeries.
  • Battered women's shelters could be required to admit members of the opposite sex. In Anchorage, Alaska, a male who was refused access to a shelter for abused and trafficked women sued the shelter for "gender identity discrimination."
  • Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that believe that children do best with both a mother and a father could be forced to shut down. This has already occurred in at least six states in this country.

The Equality Act is now in the Senate. House speaker Nancy Pelosi claims that it will bring the nation "closer to equal liberty and justice for all." In reality, the bill will actually eliminate individual liberty — the freedom to seek help for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion; the freedom to raise our children according to their sexes; the freedom to conscientiously object to certain practices in the workplace...and ultimately, the freedom to disagree with a state-approved orthodoxy.

The Equality Act will override the constitutional freedoms of all Americans and violate the very civil rights it purports to protect. America's anti-discrimination laws were enacted to protect us from arbitrary and malevolent discrimination, not to be used as a club to silence dissenting opinions.

Contact your members of Congress and tell them to vote no on the federal Equality Act.

Maria Martinez is an attorney in Texas.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Steve McCann

Opinion

Did China coerce Joe Biden into running for president?

Steve McCann
By Steve McCann

September 6, 2019 (American Thinker) — On April 25, 2019, Joe Biden declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Seven days later, on May 3, 2019, the Chinese sent a diplomatic cable to the Trump administration blowing up a 150-page draft agreement that had taken many months to negotiate. The cable was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands. In each of the seven chapters of the trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, forced technology transfers, competition policy, access to financial services, and currency manipulation.

A coincidence or a premeditated scenario?

Joe Biden, in his days in the Senate, was very partial to China, as he voted against revoking China's "most favored nation" status and in 2007 opposed the idea of applying any tariffs to China despite its obvious unfair trade practices. It was as vice president that he became wholly enamored of the country and its leadership.

For example, while in China, Biden, in August of 2011, defended and approved of China's one-child policy, which brutally used forced abortions to implement the law. In the same year, Biden was given the assignment, by Barack Obama, to be the point man on China due to his close personal relationship with Xi Jinping, then vice president and heir apparent to the presidency. (Xi Jinping is currently president and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the most powerful figure in China's political system.)

Due solely to Joe Biden's influence, in 2011, less than a year after starting Rosemont Seneca Partners, essentially a three-man investment firm with Chris Heinz (stepson of John Kerry), Biden's son Hunter, who had no previous experience in private equity, was in China to explore business opportunities with Chinese state-owned enterprises. These meetings occurred just hours before Joe Biden met with the Chinese president in Washington. Later in the same year, Hunter had a second meeting with many of the same Chinese financial powerhouses — just two weeks after his father, the vice president, conducted U.S.-China strategic talks in Washington with Chinese officials.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden never missed an opportunity to downplay China's threat to the United States. In May of 2013, during a commencement speech, he assured those concerned THAT the Chinese were "going to eat our lunch" that they had nothing to be alarmed about, as China had immense problems and an inability to think differently. In May of 2014, Biden described China as a nation incapable of producing innovative products and ideas. (Two weeks after declaring his 2020 candidacy, Biden, in Iowa, said, "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man...they can't even figure out how to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they're not bad folks, folks. But guess what: they're not competition for us." After a massive backlash, he walked back some of those comments a few days later by saying, "I don't suggest China is not a problem.")

In December 2013, Biden flew to Beijing on Air Force Two with his son Hunter on an official trip, ostensibly to discuss tensions over disputed territories in the East China Sea. Joe and Hunter were ushered into a red-carpet meeting with a delegation of various Chinese officials. Hunter remained with the delegation while his father met with President Xi Jinping. During these meetings, Joe Biden struck an extremely conciliatory and friendly tone with the Chinese leadership — much to the dismay of America's allies in the region.

Ten day later, Hunter's company, Rosemont Seneca, signed an exclusive $1-billion (later expanded to $1.5-billion) deal with the state-owned Bank of China, creating an investment fund called Bohai Harvest, with money guaranteed by the Chinese government. As Peter Schweizer, who was the first to unveil these conflicts of interest, wrote in his book Secret Empires, "the Chinese Government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America's most powerful decision makers." Rarely has there been a more stark illustration of being "compromised by a foreign power."

And in 2014, another arm of Hunter's budding business empire, Rosemont Realty, began negotiating multi-billion-dollar deals with Gemini Investments, a Chinese firm with ties to the China Ocean Shipping Company Ltd., which reportedly operates as an extension of the Chinese military and who eventually acquired 75% of Rosemont Realty in order to purchase commercial real estate in the United States.

Anyone who has dealt with the Chinese government or the myriad of entities controlled by the government can attest: any foreign business transaction with China always has a requisite or implied quid pro quo that oftentimes does not involve monetary considerations. Once entangled in this web, it is nearly impossible to escape. It would be naïve to believe that the Biden family, particularly Joe, are not embroiled in this labyrinth of expectations and demands.

In the years and months before he decided to throw his hat in the ring, it had to be obvious to Joe Biden and in particular those close to him that his mental acuity is rapidly failing, not to mention that his and Hunter's questionable business activities in China and Ukraine would be exposed on a grand scale. Why, then, would he willingly take on a grueling 18-month marathon of running for president? As the timing of Biden's announcement and the Chinese abrupt volte face on the trade agreement implies, one must assume he was coerced into declaring his candidacy as a pawn in the chess game the Chinese are playing in order to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

If Xi Jinping coerced his old friend Joe Biden into running, then he placed his prestige and fate on the line that China would be able to hold out in the ongoing trade war and achieve a favorable outcome in any negotiations with Biden at the helm. While Xi Jinping is powerful, he still is one of seven members of a standing committee of the Politburo (25 members) who can oust him. At this point, Xi Jinping cannot be perceived as losing face by caving to Donald Trump and reinstituting the agreement made in the spring of 2019. 

Therefore, while the threat of further escalation in the trade war will recede, there is little chance of anything substantive happening, as intransigence will be the rule the day between now and November 2020. However, China's growing internal problems and failing economy will dramatically escalate, which could force the Politburo to either remove Xi Jinping or accept, with clinched teeth and a renewed determination to defeat Donald Trump, the basic terms of the May 2019 trade agreement.

Joe Biden's everyday performance on the campaign trail reinforces the reality that he will not be the Democratic Party presidential nominee. Thus, whoever is nominated by the Democratic Party will, by default, be backed by the Chinese — who will do whatever is legal, illegal, or unethical to defeat Donald Trump. The actions the Russians were falsely accused of in the 2016 election will be child's play by comparison.

It appears that the Chinese may have made a major blunder in April and May of 2019 — a blunder with potential major ramifications for China and, if Donald Trump is defeated in 2020, the United States.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Why ‘gender theory’ is ruining today’s Shakespeare productions

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — By the time I finally stopped watching television, more than a decade ago, even the shows I liked best were being spoiled by the producers’ need to include politically correct themes, issues, and characters. There can be no objection to having, for example, bad people, in fiction, who are nominally Christian, or good people who are same sex–attracted, but if they invariably turn out that way, one begins to wonder if something strange is going on. At the same time, writers were having to make their plots more and more macabre to maintain a constant level of shock value. Between the obeisance to political correctness and the display of dismembered corpses, the human interest of the drama seemed to have slipped away.

The decay of modern culture manifests itself in a different way in theatre. I watch a fair number of plays, including open-air Shakespeare and student productions in and around Oxford. The summer season has just come to a close, and while some of the productions have been excellent, others have been problematic. When presenting classical drama, a view has taken hold, less so at the top level of professional theatre, but elsewhere, that the sex of a character does not affect the relationships between that character and others.

A few years ago, I saw what was in many ways a powerful production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. One of the most important relationships in the play is between Brutus and Cassius. Cassius manipulates Brutus into joining the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar, but they retain a deep friendship, and the scene of their arguing and being reconciled, toward the end of the play, is moving. In this production, “Cassius” was a woman.

I don’t mean that the character of Cassius was played by a woman. I mean that the character Cassius had been turned into a female character. I have seen Fiona Shaw (no relation) play Richard II; an all-female Taming of the Shrew; and Mark Rylance play Cleopatra, and Olivia in Twelfth Night, all with great success. For an actor to play a member of the opposite sex is a challenge, but it can work. If the problem is that classical drama lacks female roles, that is one solution. Turning male characters into female ones, or vice versa, is something completely different.

Is an intense male friendship, as between Brutus and Cassius, interchangeable with a friendship between a man and a woman? I would have thought the last people who would imagine such a thing would be those concerned with presenting such relationships on the stage. Of course men and women can be friends, but the nature of the relationship is not the same as the friendship between two men, or between two women.

But this confusion has taken hold. This season I witnessed Romeo’s friend Benvolio, in Romeo and Juliet, turned into “Benvolia”; a male witch (one of three “weird sisters”) in Macbeth; and the complete gender confusion of Oberon and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (The last of these was a disaster, with a large proportion of the audience not returning after the interval.) The most egregious example I have seen was the turning of the judge in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury into a woman. At the end of the opera, the judge couples up with the jilted bride, who had taken her fiancé to court for breach of promise. It is supposed to be absurd: it is a comic opera. But it still has to make sense on its own terms.

The idea seems to be that the fluidity of sex is such that a male-female relationship can plausibly stand in for a relationship between two men, and same-sex attraction can stand in for heterosexual attraction. Perhaps all we have to do, on this view, is to shed some preconceptions and inhibitions, and we will all become pansexual. After all, was it not just prejudice, or chance, or something, which led to each of us being “assigned” a “gender” on our birth certificates?

Readers can answer that question as they wish. As far as classical drama is concerned, we have, like it or not, a set of texts composed by people who did not take that view. When Shakespeare, or indeed homosexual playwrights from Oscar Wilde to Joe Orton, present a relationship, they believe that its dynamic is influenced decisively by the sexual identity (and the sexual orientation) of the two parties. It is because, as the older generation of feminists would say, women have particular experiences in common, that women are convincingly portrayed as having friendships and conversations with each other that differ in kind from the friendships and conversations they have with men. And so on.

If the great writers of the past are to continue to speak to us from the stage or the screen, this irrational and outmoded prejudice of theirs — if that is what it is — cannot simply be ignored. It is embedded too deep in their thought and in their works.

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Cast of Downton Abbey pose in the press room at the 2013 Screen Actor's Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
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How Downton Abbey illustrates our abandonment of Judeo-Christian values

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By Jonathon Van Maren

September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Every so often, a pop culture phenomenon reminds us just how thoroughly we have abandoned our Judeo-Christian heritage in the year of our Lord 2019. The latest example is an upcoming Downton Abbey film, a cinematic accompaniment to the wildly popular six-season period drama that followed the lives of the Crawley family and their assortment of servants in a magnificent Edwardian manor around the turn of the last century. Since the trailer was released, my Twitter feed has become littered with breathless news stories about a prominently featured gay kiss and speculations about the potential of a same-sex romantic storyline, many of them published by once prestigious news organizations.

This is nothing new, of course. Most TV shows and films now feature gay characters, and the LGBT lobby painstakingly takes note of these things and targets those film companies (like Disney, which GLAAD gave a “failing grade” on LGBT issues as recently as March despite Disney’s recent efforts) that are being too subtle in their attempts to mainstream the LGBT agenda. But the creators and producers of Downton Abbey have consistently gone the extra mile in their attempts to appease, kicking the series off with a same-sex kissing scene in the very first episode of the first season. The film trailer indicates that they intend to continue this track record, and LGBT activists are pleased with this state of affairs.

There is another aspect to all of this. Many fans of Downton Abbey noticed — I read about this first in Mary Eberstadt’s brilliant book It’s Dangerous to Believe — that Christianity was virtually absent in a period drama about a period where Christianity was still prevalent. As it turned out, the show’s historical adviser, Alastair Bruce, has revealed that this was intentional. According to the Telegraph, Bruce was explicitly told to “leave religion out of it.” Even the smallest references to religion were banned. In fact, the show’s producers refused to allow Bruce to have napkins folded in the shape of a bishop’s mitre on the tables, as even that religious reference was apparently too much for the show’s audience, which was clearly presumed to be emphatically post-Christian.

That is why, Bruce explained, the show never depicts the Crawley family sitting down for dinner — because historical accuracy would compel the producers to show them saying grace before they ate. “In essence you hardly ever see a table that isn’t already sat at,” Bruce explained. “We never see the beginning of a luncheon or a dinner, because no one was ever allowed to see a grace being said, and I would never allow them to sit down without having said grace[.] ... I suggested a Latin grace, but they decided that was too far, and no one would’ve known what was going on.”

Of course, it was impossible to keep all religious references entirely out of the show—although Bruce, who took such a large role in the show’s making he’s been profiled on both sides of the Atlantic, says the title of the show was even discussed at length for fear the term “abbey” was too religious—and holidays such as Christmas, weddings, christenings in church, and several other references ended up being included. These references, however, were introduced with caution and reticence (except for Christmas, which is no longer seen as exclusively Christian territory)—attitudes which did not apply to starting the show off with a scene of passionate same-sex kissing and groping.

Consider that for a moment: a TV show that kicked off with a romantic scene between two men felt that showing a family saying grace “was too far” and too inappropriate for audiences. What a profound statement about our culture’s plunge: prayers are now considered virtually obscene, while behaviors that would have been considered biblically immoral a very short time ago are front, centre, and celebrated. Sexual behavior can be depicted — even explicitly — without qualm, but TV audiences have to be shielded from something that was once an almost universal practice: praying before meals.

Now, I am someone of the unpopular opinion that the entertainment industry is morally bankrupt and intentionally poisonous, and that we should not be allowing anti-Christian storytellers who despise our beliefs have access to our families. But sometimes, pop culture serves as a helpful barometer for how far we’ve come — and the storytellers of today’s entertainment industry hate Christianity so fervently that they actively attempt to rewrite history to avoid allowing even a flicker of truth to contaminate the celebrations of sexual liberation they offer to their willing audiences.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Alessandra Bocchi, a journalist who just returned from Hong Kong, where she was reporting on the protests. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

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Pro-abortion vandals spray-paint pro-life billboard, make message even more powerful

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By Pete Baklinski
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September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – You couldn’t miss it if you wanted to. Driving in Chicago’s north side on Ashland Avenue is a massive billboard with an image of a most beautiful baby.

She has her eyes closed. She is wrapped in a warm knitted blanket. One hand with tiny fingers rests on the gray blanket while the other touches her face. She has light blondish hair.

The caption on the billboard reads: “A baby is a baby! Born and unborn.”

A smaller text within a red heart symbol reads: “Heartbeat: 18 Days from conception.”

All beautiful and true.

But not so for pro-abortion advocates. Someone decided to vandalize the billboard and change the message.

On the baby’s beautiful face the vandals sprayed with black paint the words: “My body, my choice.”

They likely failed to notice the extreme irony of painting this often-used slogan of abortion defenders on the baby’s face. It is quite obvious that this baby has her own “body” and that she is not the mother’s “body.” The baby has her own brain, heart, DNA that is completely distinct from those of the mother. In fact, the mother and baby may have different blood types. And, if the mother is pregnant with a male child, then certainly his organ of reproduction can in no way be her “body.”

The ugly spray-painted words on the baby’s beautiful face actually reveal how utterly unconvincing, how absurd is the claim that the baby’s body is somehow the mother’s “body” for her to do with it as she pleases.

In fact, I think the vandals made the pro-life billboard even more hard-hitting. Drivers going down the road and seeing this beautiful baby defaced with horrible pro-abortion words will have to admit that the image and words don’t match.

They’ll begin to question their own position on abortion. And, if they’re honest, they’ll have to admit that maybe there’s something terribly wrong with the whole abortion movement, because it’s clear that this baby has her own body.

Many may find themselves agreeing with the billboard’s statement that a “baby is a baby,” whether that baby is “born” or unborn.”

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Bishop Marian Eleganti
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Swiss bishop: Abu Dhabi declaration signed by pope, imam, eclipses Jesus as mediator, savior

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By Maike Hickson

September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Swiss bishop has come out strongly against the Abu Dhabi Declaration signed by Pope Francis and a Muslim leader earlier this year, which among other things, states that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.” Bishop Marian Eleganti stated that the “unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ is eclipsed” in the declaration.

“From a Christian point of view, the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ is eclipsed in the Abu Dhabi Declaration, due to the double signature. This is astonishing for a Pope,” said Bishop Eleganti, the auxiliary bishop of Chur, Switzerland, in his statement. (Read full statement below)

Bishop Eleganti criticized the declaration for making impossible statements about God. 

“Since God is not a Being that is contradictory in Himself,” Eleganti stated, “He cannot want a heterogeneity of ideas about Him and thus the plurality of religions which contradict each other.” Islam is “an explicitly anti-Christian religion that denies exactly what constitutes the essence of Christianity: the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ and the Trinity of God associated with it,” he explained.

In his later reflections upon the matter of establishing a “kingdom of peace” without Christ, the prelate pointed out that a similar “egalitarian, relativistic, ecumenical kingdom of peace” is promised by the character of the “Antichrist” in Vladimir Soloviev’s 119-year-old apocalyptic tale.

“The only one who is God and who can truly renew the human heart from within is Jesus Christ and His Gospel,” the bishop stated.  

“Ironically, the all-reconciling Antichrist in Soloviev's narrative of the same name promises such an egalitarian, relativistic, ecumenical kingdom of peace, in which none of the participants in the discourse need to sacrifice the least in their own views to the absolute truth, but, rather, get to hear from the Antichrist exactly what he likes to hear and what he already believes in. The peaceful coexistence of the religious contradictions among them in the kingdom of brotherhood has only one catch: the denial of the mediation of Jesus Christ as a condition of the existence of the kingdom of peace,” he added.

Critics of the February 4, 2019 declaration also include Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The latter only recently repeated his critique and stressed that this declaration is tantamount to “promoting the neglect of the first Commandment” and a “betrayal of the Gospel.” 

Bishop Eleganti pointed out that since Islam rejects that Jesus is the Son of God, such a joint declaration is only possible at the expense of Christ's unique salvific role. He wrote that “as always, the new fraternity is established at the expense of the universal mediation of Jesus Christ: His claim to truth and His mediation must step into the background. This is the prerequisite for the Declaration. Otherwise the Grand Imam would probably not have signed the Declaration.”

Eleganti called it a “pious wish” when the declaration states that “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved.” 

A look “into the self-understanding of the religions based on their basic documents and their history shows us that this is an assertion that is not covered by historical facts and that therefore remains an illusion or a pious wish.” For example, the idea to love one's enemy – a Christian tenet – is, according to the Swiss bishop, alien to Islam. “Such an idea, e.g., also to love the so-called ‘enemies’ or ‘opponents’ of Islam, seems to Islam to be completely unreasonable and incomprehensible.”

The prelate goes on to explain that “only Muslims are genuine (faith) brothers to the believing Muslim. They form the Umma (religious community). The non-believers and the unbelievers in Islam are per se second class citizens.”

The bishop said that one has only to “look to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia” to see how Islam, in fact, treats non-believers and the unbelievers.

Bishop Eleganti warned that a “kingdom of peace” was being established with such a declaration, but at the cost of Christ's unique mediation, promoting a sort of religious relativism. He pointed out that a true reign of peace and a “brotherhood of all human beings,” however, would, “from a Christian point of view,” only be possible in the Universal Church.

“It is also not surprising,” the Swiss prelate goes on to state, “that the Freemasons applauded, for the Document proclaims exactly that theistic brotherhood between all people which they propagate, and with the simultaneous relativization of all religious claims to truth except their own, Masonic ones.”

Bishop Eleganti indicated that there is danger in the attempt to create a reign of peace without Christ. 

“Such humanitarian, basically purely political, concepts of peace,” he stated, “have been proclaimed and implemented by revolutionary means again and again in the course of history. In reality, they are built from parts of the Christian Faith, or, rather, of the Gospel. Until now they have all failed and did not keep what they promised and aspired to. The best example of this is Communism.”

“The peaceful coexistence of the religious contradictions among them in the kingdom of brotherhood has only one catch,” Eleganti wrote, that is: “the denial of the mediation of Jesus Christ as a condition of the existence of the kingdom of peace. I personally therefore do not believe in its success – also because the indispensable help of the Sacraments, of God's justifying Grace in the Faith, and of the mediation of the Virgin Mary – who is highly cherished in Islam – is simply missing.”

***

Full text of Bishop Eleganti's statement

The Abu Dhabi Declaration has weaknesses. I shall limit myself to the following ones:

1. Why do the Muslims not simply sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without any Sharia reservation? In contrast, what can such a declaration do that has been signed by authorities who are neither recognized by all Muslims, nor by all Christians?

2. Since God is not a Being that is contradictory in Himself, He cannot want a heterogeneity of ideas about Him and thus the plurality of religions which contradict each other. Above all, Islam is an explicitly anti-Christian religion that denies exactly what constitutes the essence of Christianity: the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ and the Trinity of God associated with it. Here, it is about God's self-revelation.

3. The assertion that “religions never incite war, do not arouse feelings of hatred, hostility, and extremism, nor do they call for violence or bloodshed” is an inadmissible falsifying simplification, a generalization of heterogeneous, incommensurate beliefs within the different religions and therefore a false claim and a misrepresentation of history. It contradicts in particular the founding documents of Islam (Quran and Hadith) which explicitly call people to violence. Also Christians have loaded guilt upon themselves and did not always act in accordance with the Gospel. The Church's Just War doctrine cannot be discussed here, but it certainly signifies a cultural progress.

4. In the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint John, the sonship with God is not founded on natural belonging to the human family (not based on the will of the flesh), but on Faith in Jesus Christ and on Baptism in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (born of the Spirit and water, that is to say, born of God). Only the recognition and the acceptance of the unique  mediation of Jesus Christ enable this sonship with God: “But to all who received Him, He gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in His name, who are not born of blood, not of the will of the flesh, not of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) One cannot have God as Father if one does not have the Church as Mother (Cyprian of Carthage).

This brings me to my central point of criticism. In the foreword, the Abu Dhabi Declaration begins with the first sentence: “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved.” At this and other places – as I have said – it speaks indiscriminately of “faith” (in Christianity: a supernatural, poured-in Grace, not a natural-religious attitude). Whose faith? The one of the Muslims? Of the Hindus? The Buddhists? The atheists? Any kind of true religious faith (what distinguishes such a one?)  establishes – according to the assertion and the desire of the Declaration – a universal brotherhood among all human beings, inasmuch as God is the Creator of all human beings. But a look into the self-understanding of the religions based on their basic documents and their history shows us that this is an assertion that is not covered by historical facts and that therefore remains an illusion or a pious wish. 

The phrase that faith lets the faithful see in the other a brother could also be signed by faithful Muslims in this wording if it refers exclusively to Muslims. Who guarantees that it is being understood by the Muslims in the world in the universalistic, Christian sense, and that it has also been signed with this sense in mind?  In any case, this idea is completely foreign to Islam, to see a brother in every human being, that is to say also in Christians, in Jews and in unbelievers (Kuffãr). How the Abu Dhabi Declaration could change the self-conception of Islam, which divides the world into a House of Peace (Dãr al-Islãm), where Islam rules, and a House of War (Dãr al Harb), where this is not the case, can be doubted. Christians, on the other hand, have internalized the parable of the Good Samaritan, on the basis of which they see a brother in every neighbor. This is absolutely normative and necessary for them, and it is also a reason why Christianity has contributed to the humanization of the world as no other religion has. Christ Himself, in the parables of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), has shown solidarity with every human being who, in principle and always, can become my neighbor. Jesus died for all people. For Christians, this establishes a completely different relationship to all people, regardless of their faith and world view. The charity of Christians goes so far as to include their enemies (inclusion). Such an idea, e.g., also to love the so-called “enemies” or “opponents” of Islam, seems to Islam to be completely unreasonable and incomprehensible. What can a declaration change here that is not at all of an authority that is normative and that can speak for all Muslims and for Islam as a whole? Why is it that the Pope does not explicitly mention in the Abu Dhabi Declaration Jesus' teaching to love all mankind – a teaching which has implicitly to be the source of the idea of a universal brotherhood among all man? At least, Jesus is also considered by Islam to be a prophet, but, paradoxically, without thereby truly incorporating His teaching and His self-conception. 

In the self-understanding of Islam, the statement that faith lets the believer see the brother in the other refers first and foremost to Muslims. Only Muslims are genuine (faith) brothers to the believing Muslim. They form the Umma (religious community). The non-believers and the unbelievers in Islam are per se second class citizens (people?), because man was born, according to the conception of Islam, as Muslim, by virtue of his creation (Islam as primeval religion of Adam or Abraham), and Jews as well as Christians have falsified the true faith in the course of history, according to Muslim conviction, otherwise they would have remained Muslims. This is the foundation for a fundamental inequality between them and believing Muslims, which the Abu Dhabi Document will not eliminate. One would have to ask the converts, e.g., in Egypt – where the faith school or the so-called University Al Azhar is located – or to look to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

From a Christian point of view, the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ is eclipsed in the Abu Dhabi Declaration, due to the double signature. This is astonishing for a Pope. As always, the new fraternity is established at the expense of the universal mediation of Jesus Christ: His claim to truth and His mediation must step into the background. This is the prerequisite for the Declaration. Otherwise the Grand Imam would probably not have signed the Declaration. This is not only the case in this context. It is also not surprising that the Freemasons applauded, for the Document proclaims exactly that theistic brotherhood between all people which they propagate, and with the simultaneous relativization of all religious claims to truth except their own, Masonic ones. Once again it is about the attempt at a peaceful coexistence of all religious and philosophical contradictions (religions) as the maximum that can be dreamed of politically (coexistence). But the fact that all creatures come from the same Creator has never before in history led to a brotherhood of all human beings in peaceful coexistence. This is – from a Christian point of view – only possible in the Universal Church.  But since the Christian idea of the mediation of Jesus is foreign – even repugnant – to Islam and to other religions, the universal brotherhood of all people remains for them a desideratum without justification in their self-understanding and in their own, non-Christian, religious foundations (e.g., Koran, Hadith and Sharia). The rights and duties associated with universal brotherhood (human dignity and human rights) remain without viable foundations. 

The Abu Dhabi Declaration propagates a kind of secular “Kingdom of God” idea, which does not presuppose the Christian Faith (the rebirth in Spirit and water), but, rather – as explained above – a universal brotherhood alien to Islam, but nourished from Christian roots. It is presented as a naturalistic, generally human and political kingdom of peace. Such humanitarian, basically purely political, concepts of peace have been proclaimed and implemented by revolutionary means again and again in the course of history. In reality, they are built from parts of the Christian Faith, or, rather, of the Gospel. Until now they have all failed and did not keep what they promised and aspired to. The best example of this is Communism.

This is the case because they did not convert man's heart to the truth about God and man, but because they followed human theories falsified by their own revolutionary history at the cost of acts of violence of unknown proportions and of millions of deaths (cf. The Black Book of Communism). 

The only one who is God and who can truly renew the human heart from within is Jesus Christ and His Gospel. 

Ironically, the all-reconciling Antichrist in Soloviev's narrative of the same name promises such an egalitarian, relativistic, ecumenical kingdom of peace, in which none of the participants in the discourse need to sacrifice the least in their own views to the absolute truth, but, rather, get to hear from the Antichrist exactly what he likes to hear and what he already believes in. The peaceful coexistence of the religious contradictions among them in the kingdom of brotherhood has only one catch: the denial of the mediation of Jesus Christ as a condition of the existence of the kingdom of peace. I personally therefore do not believe in its success – also because the indispensable help of the Sacraments, of God's justifying Grace in the Faith, and of the mediation of the Virgin Mary – who is highly cherished in Islam – is simply missing.

I remember here the considerate words by Pope Francis, which he himself spoke at his first Holy Mass, on 14 March 2013. One should assess the Abu Dhabi Declaration according to these words:

Thirdly, professing. We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.

Translation by LifeSiteNews' Dr. Maike Hickson

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