All articles from September 11, 2019




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Operation Rescue
Cheryl Sullenger


9th woman hospitalized in 8 months at Planned Parenthood’s flagship NYC abortion center

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

September 11, 2019 (Operation Rescue) — While pro-life activists watched and prayed, a woman was brought out of the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Manhattan for transport to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The ambulance arrived at the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood located in a high-rise on narrow Bleecker Street near Margaret Sanger Square on August 22, 2019, at 10:03 a.m. Witnesses noticed that the ambulance turned off its siren about a block from the abortion business.

The woman was wheeled out on a gurney partially covered with a sheet and was loaded into the ambulance. 

The ambulance pulled away with flashing lights only, then turned on sirens when it was about a block away, as is usual for this particular Planned Parenthood abortion facility.

This is the ninth medical emergency documented at the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood abortion facility in the first eight months of 2019. The facility targets poor urban women of color for abortions.

Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, for whom Planned Parenthood's flagship New York abortion facility was aptly named, was a well-known racist eugenicist, whose goal was to exterminate "undesirable" races through birth control.

"I'm sure Margaret Sanger would be proud of Planned Parenthood and her name-sake high-volume abortion facility, but we are ashamed of it. We are ashamed that New York named a city square after this racist woman, and ashamed that the State of New York has embraced Planned Parenthood's desire for abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. "Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to gaslight the American people into thinking Planned Parenthood has the best interests of poor women of color in mind, when that is actually that is the farthest from the truth."

Other known medical emergencies that have taken place in 2019 at the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood are linked below.

More information about medical emergencies at this Planned Parenthood abortion facility and others around the nation can be found at

Note: This article has been edited to remove "and abortion" to the sentence about Sanger's support for birth control as a means of eliminating people of color. Abortion was not legal in America in Sanger's time and she made statements against it. However her eugenics philosophy ultimately inspired Planned Parenthood — the organization she founded — to embrace and promote abortion.

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.

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Solothurn Cathedral, bishop's seat of the Diocese of Basel, Switzerland. Taxiarchos / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

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Swiss diocese officially applauds govt’s efforts to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits


September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic diocese of Basel has applauded current initiatives in Switzerland to legalize same-sex civil “marriage.” Official spokesman Hansruedi Huber was quoted on August 30 by the Luzerner Zeitung as saying the diocese supports the efforts of the Swiss National Council in that direction. Huber also made clear, according to the press article, that the diocese is not opposed to a form of blessing for same-sex relationships.

Huber’s words were a reaction to the debate presently dividing Swiss society after the Swiss National Council’s legal commission’s February decision approving the possibility of a same-sex civil “marriage” law by 19 votes to 4. On that same August 30, the legal commission approved same-sex “marriage,” rejecting by a single vote, however, aims to allow lesbian couples to obtain sperm donation. The draft law is expected to be examined by the Swiss Parliament during its next term. Reformed church leaders will meet in November to discuss the issue and remain divided, although the Swiss Protestant Churches Federation’s president has shown himself clearly in favor of the new law.

Now a part of the Catholic Church in Switzerland also appears to be leaning more and more heavily in that direction.

“We welcome the planned regulations that provide homosexual partnerships with stable and reliable legal security. It is important to us that children who grow up in same-sex partnerships are given a legal framework that serves the welfare of the child,” Hansruedi Huber of the diocese of Basel was quoted as saying.

At present, Switzerland already recognizes same-sex civil partnerships with legal, fiscal, and patrimonial rights that guarantee same-sex couples a status almost equivalent to civil marriage itself, apart from filiation rights. Registered partnerships do not allow for adoption. Present efforts to go a step farther would include legislating on filiation rights, so what is Huber actually “welcoming” if not a push to make “homo-parenting” legal?

The Luzerner Zeitung article does not speak of possible reservations Huber may have expressed regarding same-sex parenting itself. In the present media context, it would probably have quoted them and offered comments. Instead, it shows a high-ranking Catholic representative of the largest diocese of Switzerland as sympathetic to homosexual couples with children.

Huber is even quoted as having merely answered, when questioned about the diocese’s judgment on special blessings for same-sex couples: “These must differ in content and form from the church wedding.”

This was apparently not quite enough for the Luzerner Zeitung, which concluded its story with the remark, “how big this difference should be is obviously not clearly regulated.” It added: “When a parish priest in Uri blessed a lesbian couple in 2014 — with rings and witnesses — he was asked by the then bishop of Chur to resign. The Council of Churches and large parts of the parish gave the parish priest their unconditional backing. After the priest had promised the bishop to refrain from such blessings, he was able to keep his position.”

But the diocese of Basel’s support for the LGBT cause in general is clear enough. New Ways Ministry, the LGBT-friendly purportedly “faithful Catholic” pressure group that in its own words “educates and advocates for justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger church and civil communities,” was quick to report on Huber’s declarations under the title: “Largest Swiss Diocese Endorses Civil Marriage Equality, Blessings for Same-Gender Couples.”

New Ways applauded the statements as “the latest step in the German-speaking church’s ongoing progress towards LGBTQ equality.” It also recalled that Bishop Felix Gmür, who heads the diocese, said last April that while a clear difference between sacramental marriage and same-sex partnerships should be preserved, it is a task for the universal church “to find meanings for these relationships as well.”

Felix Gmür, who was ordained a bishop in 2010, has become well known in gay activist circles for publicly setting up “Rainbow Pastoral Care” in his diocese in 2017. The Regenbogenpastoral’s presentation on the Basel diocese official website makes clear that the initiative wishes to respond to Pope Francis’ calls against “discrimination”:

Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken out against discrimination against people with a different sexual orientation. The diocese of Basel wants to improve its pastoral care for these people. The Rainbow Pastoral Working Group, founded by Bishop Felix Gmür in 2016, came into being on request and in cooperation with committed lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*persons and intersexuals (LSBTI). This working group wants to better understand the reality of life of LSBTI people, create places of ecclesial encounter and accompany LSBTI people with their relatives in a spiritual way according to their needs. The working group also advises Bishop Felix in the area of rainbow pastoral care.

Rainbow Pastoral sees the diocese of Basel as a target group-specific pastoral service, e.g. for young people, foreign speakers and migrants.

In another rainbow flag–illustrated article on the diocese’s website, “Rainbow Pastoral” expands on its mission without a single mention of Church doctrine on sexual morality and in complete acceptance of the language of gender ideology:

Greater than all else is love: we all want to be accepted — regardless of whom we love and how we identify. We are part of the great diversity of being human. Whether we are homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual, whether our gender is unique or not, and whether this gender attributed to us at birth is really ours or not — we all wish a fulfilling life. Life in abundance was promised to us. That’s where we’re on our way together.

It goes on to say that “transgender refers to persons in whom the gender attributed at birth to physical characteristics does not match the gender identity. The star stands for all variants of being trans.”

It also claims that the working group includes pastoral workers, counselors, and adult educators, both male and female, as well as people who are attracted “to people of the same sex and/or people of the opposite sex.”

It openly aims “to connect the life and spirituality of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans people and intersex people from a holistic fulfillment perspective; to recognize, take seriously and address the reality of life of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans people and intersex people in church and society; reduce prejudice and discrimination.”

Another article on the diocese’s website addresses the issue of a “gay theologian” living in a registered partnership who was denied a “missio” (an official mission order) by Bishop Gmür in June 2017 to work in a psychiatric clinic. Christian Leutenegger, the “Catholic” theologian, reacted by sending an angry public letter to the press in which he claimed: “If someone unofficially lives with his partner, he gets the mission. But whoever is honest and gives his partnership a binding and official framework runs aground in the ecclesiastical profession.”

At the time, Hansruedi Huber spoke of a tension between ecclesiastical norms and the recognition of homosexuality in today’s society, according to the Basel diocese website. “Bishop Felix Gmür laments this gap. Our bishop is very concerned about the further development of the church. This is also shown by the emergence of the ‘rainbow pastoral,’” Huber indicated. According to the article quoted by the website, the bishop faces the issue of “a lack of scope.” “He may support certain changes in norms, but he still has to guarantee the applicable ecclesiastical law,” it claimed.

Huber also made a parallel with female priests in the wake of the Leutenegger affair: “In the diocese of Basel, for example, there are women at all management levels. The fact that there are still no priestesses, is not ‘deceptive advertising,’ but simply an ecclesiastical process which is not yet complete.”

As to Bishop Gmür, he was, according to “Voice of the Family,” one of the three Swiss bishops who attended a “Shadow Council” held in May 2015 at the Jesuits’ Gregorian University in view of the second Synod on the Family in October of that year in order to promote a revised morality, where extramarital relationships and remarriage after the divorce from a legitimate partner, use of contraceptives, and homosexual acts would be seen under a potentially more positive light.

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Trump-endorsed Republican who fought trans bathrooms wins North Carolina election

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By Calvin Freiburger

NORTH CAROLINA, September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Republican state senator Dan Bishop won a special election to the United States House of Representatives Tuesday night, in a defeat to which LGBT activists are taking special umbrage due to Bishop’s key role in North Carolina’s 2016 fight over people using bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.

A special election was called for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District seat due to allegations of fraud in last year’s midterm race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. Harris declined to run in the special election, opening Bishop’s path to the nomination and eventual victory over McCready, 50.7% to 48.7%.

The self-described “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall” Bishop credits President Donald Trump for his victory, telling Fox News, “We really only were competitive in terms of funding for about six weeks. So the president and the vice president stepping in and committing the way they did to this race was tremendous.”

The GOP also won the other seat up for grabs in North Carolina with Republican Gregory Murphy’s defeat of Democrat Allen Thomas in the 3rd Congressional District. But for the LGBT lobby, Bishop’s victory especially stings.

Left-wing and LGBT publications such as The Advocate, Out, and Metro Weekly highlight the fact that in 2016, Bishop was the lead sponsor on North Carolina’s controversial H.B. 2, the so-called “bathroom law” that required public schools in the state to limit restrooms and locker rooms to actual members of the designated sex. The law became a subject of intense national protests from LGBT groups, boycott threats from left-wing businesses, and pressure from the Obama administration, leading the state in 2017 to enact a “compromise” bill that repealed the ban on transgender school bathrooms while leaving in place language that prevented localities from imposing transgender bathrooms on private entities.

His leadership in the transgender bathroom battle was “something that the media is fascinated by,” Bishop said last month. “And I, on occasion, hear people comment on it as an indicator of my having fight in me, which some people like to see.” The bill wasn’t a major part of either Bishop’s or McCready’s messaging during the home stretch of the campaign, though Bishop did reference it in campaign emails.

“They want to make us into a national example — SO THAT NO ONE WILL EVER STAND UP to the radical transgender agenda again,” reads one Bishop campaign email obtained by the Charlotte Observer.

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Mgsr. Charles Pope on EWTN, Nov. 8, 2018. EWTN / Youtube screen grab
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American priest to Pope: I’m ‘wearied from being scorned and demonized by you’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A widely-recognized and respected American priest has responded to Pope Francis’ recent remarks on “young, rigid priests,” saying in a social media post addressed to the Pope that he must “honestly and painfully say that I am wearied from being scorned and demonized by you.”

On his way to Mozambique, the Argentinian pontiff stated that he considered it to be an honor to be attacked by Americans. In a prepared speech to the bishops of Mozambique on September 7, he warned them against “young, rigid priests.” On his return to Rome yesterday, Pope Francis again mentioned “rigidity,” saying that “we have many, many schools of rigidity” in the Church. The pontiff also said that he does not “fear schisms” and said that there had been many schisms in the Church. 

While advising the bishops of Mozambique on choosing men for ministry, Pope Francis said: 

“I would like to emphasize an attitude that I do not like, because it does not come from God: rigidity. Today it is fashionable, I do not know about here, but in other parts of the world it is fashionable, to find rigid people. Young, rigid priests, who want to save with rigidity, perhaps, I don’t know, but they take this attitude of rigidity and sometimes – excuse me – from the museum. They are afraid of everything, they are rigid. Be careful, and know that under any rigidity there are serious problems.”

In response to Pope Francis’s remarks about Americans and “rigid young priests,” Monsignor Charles Pope wrote on social media: 

Santo Padre, I'm not feeling the love here, I don't feel accompanied by you. Make room in your heart for me and others like me. I am not a young priest, but I know you don't like my type of priesthood. Further I am an American and this mere fact seems to also make me troublesome in your eyes. I am not afraid of everything a you state, but I do have concerns for the ambiguity of some of your teachings and severity of some of your actions. Yet when we, your less favored sons, ask you questions you will not answer or clarify. In all this I am still your son and share the priesthood of Jesus with you. I await the solicitude and gentle care from you that you say I, and others like me, lack. Meanwhile I must honestly and painfully say that I am wearied from being scorned and demonized by you.



British blogger-priest Fr. Raymond Blake circulated the cri-de-coeur on Twitter, adding, “I don't see this continuous criticism from our beloved Holy Father as Christlike, I find it painful and destructive of faith and unity, and contrary to the action of the Holy Spirit's action in the Church.”

Mark Lambert, an American Catholic lay blogger and father of five, posted Msgr. Pope’s message on his blog. He believes millions of Catholics feel the same sense of being abandoned.

“As a son abandoned by a father who chose immorality over paternal duties, I recognise the tone of these comments,” Lambert wrote. “They are as [by] a wounded child to his father, trying to understand his abandonment.”

“I sense this is a feeling millions of Catholics are feeling as this papacy rages on, seemingly completely unstoppable. Pope Francis’ rampage appears all powerful, with no one even interested in commenting.”

Lambert sees this expression of power as a “stark contrast” with the helplessness of Pope Benedict XVI, who reportedly told Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X that his papal “authority ends at that door.”

‘A fair criticism is always well received, at least by me’

Lambert also joined a chorus of Catholic voices disturbed that Pope Francis claimed he welcomes criticism and also that he would speak glibly about a schism in the Church. 

Following up on the furor caused by the pontiff’s off-the-cuff remarks about Americans, Jason Horowitz of The New York Times asked Pope Francis if he is “afraid of a schism in the American Church.”

“On the plane to Maputo, you acknowledged being under attack by a sector of the American Church,” Horowitz said.

“Evidently, there are strong criticisms, and there are even some cardinals and bishops, TV [stations], Catholics, American web sites – many criticisms. Even some very close allies have spoken of a plot against you, some of your allies in the Italian curia,” the NYT reporter continued.

“Is there something these critics don’t understand about your pontificate, or is there something that you have learned from the criticisms [coming from] the United States? Another thing, are you afraid of a schism in the American Church and if yes, is there something that you could do, dialogue to help avoid it?”

In response, the pontiff said that he sees the value of criticism and that he likes it when people criticize him directly. He thinks that to write articles critiquing him and asking for a response is fair and “love for the Church,” but “to criticize without wanting to hear the response and without dialogue is not wanting the good of the Church.”

“It is to go backward to a fixed idea, to change the pope, to change the style, to create schism, this is clear, no?” he continued.  

“A fair criticism is always well received, at least by me.”

In an editorial entitled “The passive-aggressive papacy continues – and the Synod approaches,” Carl Olson of Catholic World Report pointed out the obvious: Pope Francis still has not responded to criticism regarding Amoris laetitia

“... There have been respectful and reasonable concerns—some expressed in critical but not outrageous ways—that Francis has pointedly ignored,” Olson wrote. 

“The famous dubia submitted by four cardinals (two of whom [are] now deceased) is an obvious example. The dubia were submitted in writing, the cardinals asked respectfully for a response, and they wanted an answer,” he continued. 

“None came, and none will, I’m convinced. As I noted in June 2017: ‘I’ll be shocked—and I don’t use that term lightly—if Francis agrees to meet with the four cardinals, or if he formally responds to the dubia. I believe Francis is content to create the mess that is currently spreading throughout the Church, and even, at times, to encourage it even more by way of dubious assertions.’”  

Olson also cast doubt on the assertion that Francis does mull over good criticism in a “mature, pastoral manner.”

“... While Francis makes distinctions between good and bad critics, he and his closest collaborators (not to mention his defenders on Twitter, who are equal parts passive and aggressive) rarely, if ever, really address or consider good criticism in a mature, pastoral manner,” Olson wrote. 

“In many cases they misrepresent it or attack those who put it forward in good faith,” he continued. 

“Put another way, Francis and company make it quite clear, in the end, that any and all criticism is motivated by some irrational, ideological, political, and unCatholic hatred of Francis. They would rather stonewall, deflect, and even insult rather than actually dialogue. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it several dozen times.”

However, Pope Francis’ English biographer, Austen Ivereigh, thought the pontiff had described his supposedly “well financed” American critics very well. 

“Francis’s description of those who dispense criticism via ‘arsenic pills’ & of those who ‘throw a stone and then hide their hands’ is a perfect description of the well financed US opposition,” Ivereigh wrote on Twitter. 

‘I don’t fear schisms’

Regarding threats to Church unity, Pope Francis told the NYT there have been many schisms throughout Church history, including the “best known break of [Archbishop] Lefebvre.”

“There is always schismatic action in the Church, always, no? It is one of the actions that the Lord always leaves to human freedom,” he continued.  

“I don’t fear schisms, I pray they don’t exist because there’s the spiritual health of many people [to consider], right? [I pray] there will be dialogue, that there will be correction if there is some mistake, but the path of schism is not Christian.”

Mark Lambert was horrified by Francis’ tone. 

“It seems frankly inconceivable to me that any pope would speak of one of the very worst things to happen to the Church in the way this Pope is speaking of possible schism,” the blogger said. 

Lambert stated that expressing no fear of schism was “the very antithesis to” Francis’ role as Pope for, as Lumen Gentium states, the Bishop of Rome “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (LG 23, CCC 882).

Lambert recalled that in 2016, the pontiff was reported as having said, “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church,” and wondered if Francis sees schism “as some sort of plan for his papacy.” 

Pope Francis’ remarks about not fearing a schism were widely reported in the worldwide Catholic and mainstream media. 

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Canadian pro-life champion Mary Wagner convicted of ‘mischief’ for defending babies

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By Martin Barillas
Mary Wagner (third from right) with supporters after release, Sept. 11, 2019, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Famed Canadian human rights defender Mary Wagner was convicted of trespassing and interference with the operation of a business, following months in jail after she entered a Vancouver abortion facility to inform expectant mothers about alternatives to abortion.

In a statement on Facebook, Wagner said, “This conviction is nothing I am ashamed of. On the contrary, I am pleased that the court has found there is enough evidence to conclude that I interfered with the business of destroying helpless unborn children, who remain unprotected and abandoned by the courts.”

According to the Facebook account, Wagner is to be released today but remains in custody of the court.

In a telephone conversation with LifeSiteNews, defense attorney Peter Boushy said the Vancouver court found Wagner guilty on charges of mischief under section 430 of the Criminal Code but sentenced her to time served in jail. She had been in jail since her arrest on April 17. According to Boushy, she served 148 days in prison. Canadian law credits each day served in jail pre-trial at the rate of 1.5 to one, which means that Wagner has already served more than the maximum sentence allowable for the offense attributed to her. While the Crown asked for three years of probation, the court allowed only two years.

During the sentencing, Judge Mark Jette said to Wagner directly, “I appreciate that you come from a strong and good family and that you are a good person,” said Boushy. While the Crown had asked for 30 days of community service as part of the sentence, the judge said, “I’m satisfied that you give back to the community on a daily basis. It’s in your DNA.” Boushy said that he had never heard such a compliment from the bench before. He noted that the judge referred to Wagner as a “warrior” during his remarks. Wagner will not have to render community service as part of the sentence.

Boushy said cases such as Wagner’s “bring into sharp focus Christian witnessing.” He noted that her supporters are a handful of Christian women, whom he described as “gentle, humble, graceful, loving and truthful.” They exhibit the same characteristics as the female followers of Jesus Christ who were with Him on the road to Calvary, he said. “At the end of the day, a true Christian is imbued with the Holy Spirit and can actually ‘see’ the horrors of abortions.” In apparent reference to the Gospel of St. Mark, Boushy said Jesus used parables because his listeners could not otherwise “see” what He was talking about. “That whole idea is brought into focus in these cases,” Boushy said and noted that Wagner’s supporters are joyful. “Thank God for them,” he said.

On Monday, according to her mother, Jane Wagner, Wagner took the stand and said that she had entered the abortion facility in Vancouver in April to “offer hope and love to the mothers about to abort their children,” while describing options and support that are available. While witnesses summoned by the abortuary said she had interfered with their business, slowing down the process of killing and wasting their time, attorney Boushy said his client was doing nothing but communicating with the patients, which is not unlawful.

In a summary of the proceedings offered by “Alba,” who was present in the court, Boushy said Wagner had come to the abortion facility to speak to the patients, while giving away roses and papers that offered contact information about available help. According to Alba, Wagner was not forcing patients to do anything, and she provided information that they might not have known about otherwise. “Mary didn't push, touch or hurt anyone, she was only communicating,” wrote Alba.

In Wagner’s defense, attorney Boushy cited for the court what had been done in similar cases in the past. According to Boushy, Canada’s criminal code provides that if mischief was committed for the purpose of communicating, it can afford a defense for the accused.

According to Jane Wagner, her daughter was “astonished” by the support she received from pro-life advocates abroad. Jane wrote that she “doesn’t care if she is found guilty. She is proud to be guilty of interfering with the enjoyment of their grisly business.” Pro-life campaigners prayed and left roses outside the Canadian embassy in Argentina in tribute to Wagner’s practice of bringing the blossoms to the abortion facilities where she intervenes. They also lit candles and brought images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Mexican people and all of the Americas, whom pro-life campaigners have adopted as their own. The miraculous image of the Virgin Mother of God is said to depict her during her pregnancy with the Savior.

Support for Wagner came in the form of prayer from many quarters. In Argentina, pro-life champion Mariana Rodríguez Varela organized a group of pro-life advocates who assembled outside the Canadian embassy in Buenos Aires on Tuesday evening. In Washington, D.C., Fr. Bill Kuchinsky of West Virginia and other pro-life campaigners stood outside the Canadian diplomatic mission in support of Wagner’s witness. According to her supporters, people gathered at churches in Poland to offer prayers for her release. Rodríguez Varela told LifeSiteNews that Argentines gathered in churches all over the country to pray for her release.

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New Australian law forces priests to break seal of confession

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By Martin Barillas

MELBOURNE, Australia, September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- A state legislature in Australia passed a law on Tuesday that would impose sentences on priests who fail to report child abusers who come to them for the sacrament of confession.

New legislation passed the upper house of the Victoria state parliament on Tuesday evening with bipartisan support. On Wednesday morning, state premier Daniel Andrews said the intent of the bill is to send a message to the Vatican and impose requirements on sacramental ministers to report abuse or mistreatment of minors, regardless of how they learn about it.

The bill amended the Children, Youth and Families Act of 2005 and made priests and representatives of various religions mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse. According to the amendment, it defines "person in religious ministry” as “person appointed, ordained or otherwise recognised as a religious or spiritual leader in a religious institution.” Examples included rabbis, imams, monks, pastors, nuns, priests, religious brothers and sisters, and even Salvation Army officers.  

"The most important thing is to send a message that the law is to be taken seriously; if people don’t obey the law, then the penalties are very significant," Andrews said, according to The Age. “The culture is one where people have taken the laws and their responsibilities in terms of mandatory reporting very seriously." 

"I've made it very clear that the law of our state is written by the Parliament of Victoria, it's not made in Rome, and there are very significant penalties for anybody and everybody who breaks the Victorian law," said Andrews, who is reportedly Catholic. He introduced the legislation in early August.

He told reporters upon the passage of the bill: “There’s been some controversy in recent weeks and months about churches, particularly the Catholic Church. We believe this is exactly what needed to happen.”

He went on to say, “The seal of the confessional, no one, no politician, no priest … has any reason, any right … to put their faith, or the laws of their church above the protection of kids. That's the most important thing.”

Priests who inform authorities of what they learn in confession are subject to automatic excommunication, according to the canon law of the Church. In the laws of the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, Canon 983 states, “The sacramental seal is inviolable. Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion.” 

In 2017, an Australian priest was excommunicated for breaking this law. Fr. Ezinwanne Igbo, a native of Nigeria, was found to have broken the seal of confession, after a Church investigation and more than a dozen complaints. The sanction can, however, be lifted by the Pope. Excommunication means that the priest can no longer celebrate the Mass and the sacraments, or can he receive the sacraments. 

Canon 984 states that a confessor is “forbidden to use knowledge acquired in confession to the detriment of the penitent, while it also says that Church authorities may not use, “for the purpose of external governance,” knowledge of sins that come from the hearing of confession. 

While the new laws would make priests mandatory reporters, as are physicians, police, teachers, nurses, school counselors and youth justice workers, lawyers remain exempt.

After the vote, Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said, "The special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported."

Victoria state Attorney General Jill Hennessy rejected objections that the law would endanger religious liberty. According to a press release, she said, “I don’t think in contemporary and mainstream times, knowing what we know now, that we can do anything other than say the rights of children trump anyone’s religious views.”

The legislation in Victoria came as a response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which recommended in 2017 that clergy and confession no longer be exempt from mandatory reporting. South Australia and the Northern Territory have introduced similar mandatory reporting laws. Tasmania and western Australia are expected to do the same. 

Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne has stated in the past that he is ready to go to prison rather than break the seal of confession. 

In August, he said, "For Catholics, confession is a religious encounter of a deeply personal nature. It deserves confidentiality."

Father Bob Maguire of Melbourne said in response to the legislation, "They'll have to get the prisons ready." He told the media that his fellow priests will refuse to report abuse to police. He added that while he understands the motivations behind the law, he asserted that “restorative justice,” rather than “retributive justice,” for sexual predators, is preferable. 

In August, Archbishop Comensoli wrote to his flock saying he was committed to safeguarding children and was working closely with Victoria’s Commission for Children and Young People. “I am strongly committed to reporting to the appropriate authorities, and have already exercised that duty here in Melbourne. I am also strongly committed to upholding the seal of confession. I have begun conversations with our public authorities about finding a way in which these two principles can be upheld, for the sake of the safety of all. Tomorrow I will be meeting with the Clergy of the Archdiocese, where I will reiterate my commitments and priorities, and seek their full cooperation in our common task ahead.”

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Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota
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Vatican allows U.S. archbishop to investigate claims against a fellow U.S. bishop

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By Lisa Bourne

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September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Vatican has authorized the investigation of a Minnesota bishop under new norms for addressing clerical sexual misconduct issued by Pope Francis in May.

Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner faces charges that he impeded a police or canonical investigation of clerical sexual misconduct in the Crookston diocese, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported.

St. Paul Archbishop Bernard Hebda will investigate Hoeppner. 

He is the first sitting bishop in the United States to face investigation under the new standards put forth in Francis’ document Vos estis lux mundi.

“I have been authorized by the Congregation for Bishops to commence an investigation into allegations that the Most Reverend Michael Hoeppner, the Bishop of Crookston, carried out acts or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Crookston,” Hebda told CNA on Tuesday.

“Law enforcement has been notified of the allegations,” Hebda said. “The allegations were reported to me under the procedures set out in Pope Francis’ recent legislation addressing bishop accountability, the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.”

Francis’ document directs allegations of abuse by bishops to be sent to to the Holy See and the metropolitan bishop, the head of the ecclesiastical province. 

Vos estis lux mundi was promulgated May 9 and went into effect on June 1. Critics have said it falls short because it leaves bishops accountable only to other bishops. The document allows for lay involvement in investigating bishops, but it does not require it.  

Hebda did not say directly what charges against Hoeppner he would investigate, according to the report, though the Crookston bishop has been accused of pressuring a former candidate for the diaconate in the diocese, Ron Vasek, to retract an allegation that a Crookston priest molested him in 1971.

Vasek signed a letter in 2015 withdrawing the allegation and told CNA in 2018 that Hoeppner had pressured him to sign the letter.

Hoeppner has denied Vasek’s charge.

The Diocese of Crookston referred inquiries to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to the report.

The diocese announced in July that a $5 million settlement had been reached in 15 sex-abuse lawsuits filed against it, including the stipulation that the diocese release the transcripts of depositions from Hoeppner and other diocesan officials.

Hebda told the news outlet that he has “appointed qualified lay persons to assist me in carrying out this investigation, to provide an independent review of its contents, and assist in its examination and analysis. 

“All involved in this investigation have been encouraged to respond to the investigators’ requests and provide accurate information so that the truth in this matter may become clear,” Hebda added.

Hoeppner will remain at the helm of the diocese, at least until Hebda sends the initial findings of his investigation to the Vatican.

“This investigation is a preliminary one and not a full canonical process,” the Twin Cities archbishop said. “As such, a limited time period has been established by the Holy See to gather information that may substantiate (or not) the truthfulness of the allegations. 

“The gathered information will be forwarded promptly to the Apostolic Nuncio, who is the Pope’s representative in the United States,” he said, “and to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome for a determination whether a subsequent process is warranted.” 

“Those who filed the reports have no obligation to keep silent and the accused is presumed innocent,” said Hebda.

News of the Vatican authorization for Hebda to investigate Hoeppner comes as Buffalo Bishop Joseph Malone faces calls to step down over his handling of clergy sex abuse in his diocese, and also three new allegations of sex abuse against retired Cheyenne Wyoming Bishop Joseph Hart.

The three allegations against Hart were announced Tuesday by the Cheyenne diocese, bringing the total against him to six, Crux reported. Hart could be the first U.S. bishop to face criminal prosecution for sexual abuse.

Catholics continue to call for accountability from Church leadership more than one year after news broke in June 2018 of the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Theodore McCarrick.

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The sexual revolution: a pandora’s box for the problems plaguing society

September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – This week on The Van Maren Show, Jonathon Van Maren speaks with Mary Eberstadt about the sexual revolution. Eberstadt provides an intellectual and precise commentary on current culture, philosophy, and the fate of the post-modern man. She is the author of the new book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics, and also wrote How the West Really Lost God and Adam and Eve after the Pill.

The sexual revolution is a topic that Van Maren has covered extensively on his LifeSiteNews blog and on The Van Maren Show. The sexual revolution has impacted every corner of society, from the so-called LGBT movement to pornography and sex-education to attacks on freedoms of speech and religion. 

Eberstadt dives into the concept of “the loneliness epidemic” and how it relates to the sexual revolution. According to Eberstadt, to say there has been an explosion of loneliness in every single advanced country is not at all an overstatement. It is traceable to the fact that a lot of people simply aren’t having children. She states that children and marriage are nature’s solution to loneliness. However, more and more people are not getting married and are deciding against having children.

“This is, to me, one of the most poignant manifestations of the revolution’s fallout. And it’s something that we’re going to be dealing with for a long time to come,” she explains.

Van Maren and Eberstadt spend some time discussing the #MeToo Movement and third-wave feminism, which are consequences of the sexual revolution. Eberstadt summarizes the rage that we see all the time in the third-wave feminism movement by stating that “the problem is the sexual revolution has unleashed predation and made it harder to find what most women, even now, will say they want most, which is marriage and family.”

Despite the far reaches of the sexual revolution and the massive impact it has had on today’s culture, Eberstadt wraps up this episode with a good bit of hope: “I think there are all kinds of reasons for hope, including that we are rational animals.”

She cites several examples of positive social transformation in history, and argues that young people today being more likely than their Baby Boomer parents to be pro-life is evidence of a rollback of sexual revolution ideology. 

Eberstadt’s commentary is simply amazing. This episode of The Van Maren Show is a must-listen. Additionally, be sure to read Eberstadt’s books, available at Amazon or her website. 

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloudYouTubeiTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe via various channels, visit our Pippa webpage here.

To receive an email when a new episode is uploaded, click here.

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Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Washington Post / YouTube
Calvin Freiburger

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GOP senators write Mark Zuckerberg challenging Facebook’s suppression of Live Action

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger


September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Four Republican members of the U.S. Senate spoke out Wednesday against Facebook’s suppression of two Live Action videos based on a “fact-check” by abortionists, calling on the social network to reverse the action and submit to an external audit of its practices.

Last week, Facebook notified the pro-life group that it would be subjected to “reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news,” a determination reached because two abortionists affiliated with the pro-abortion advocacy groups Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) and Physicians for Reproductive Health disputed two videos featuring Live Action founder Lila Rose and neonatal-perinatal medicine specialist Dr. Kendra Kolb.

In addition to pointing out the fact-checkers’ conflict of interest, Live Action responded with a detailed explanation of how they misrepresented the videos in question, from “debunking” claims Live Action never made to positing contested claims of abortion’s medical necessity as if they were undeniable fact.

On Wednesday morning, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Mike Braun of Indiana released a letter sent to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressing their disapproval and calling on the company to set things right.

“You claim that your fact-checkers are ‘certified’ through the ‘non-partisan’ International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN),” the senators wrote. “Listed first among the IFCN’s ‘Code of Principles’ is ‘A commitment to Nonpartisanship and Fairness’ that requires ‘signatories do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues they fact-check,’” a standard using these two abortionists clearly fails to meet.

“Your company, like Twitter, Google, Pinterest and so many other major Silicon Valley social media firms, has been repeatedly confronted with evidence of bias against those with conservative viewpoints, especially on the issue of abortion,” the letter said. “And in response you have repeatedly insisted that these numerous incidents of discrimination, censorship, and suppression of speech are merely glitches, not evidence of systemic bias.”

The senators conclude by calling on Facebook to “immediately issue a correction, remove any restrictions placed on the pages of Live Action and Lila Rose, and submit to an external audit” that includes access to “internal Facebook documents and procedures” as well as the ability to “question employees and senior officials.”

This audit, they stress, “should be real and meaningful, not like last month’s ‘audit’ that was nothing more than a summary of complaints against Facebook and its responses,” a reference to the first interim report released last month by a Facebook-commissioned audit team. It detailed a broad range of conservative grievances but rendered no verdict on their veracity and pledged few concrete reforms beyond greater “transparency.”

Media Research Center (MRC) president and longtime conservative leader Brent Bozell responded that the report “stunningly fails to admit fault or wrongdoing,” and its proposed solutions were “empty and insulting.”

“Thank you to Sens. Hawley, Cramer, Cruz, and Braun for their leadership in condemning Facebook’s decision to make two abortionists the arbiters of the national debate on abortion,” Rose responded in a statement. “Facebook’s attack on Live Action and me is an attack on the entire pro-life community. The platform should be a place for the free exchange of ideas, not one where only pro-abortion arguments are allowed. Live Action has asked Facebook to rectify this situation by rescinding their fact-check, sending a new notification to all users about the change, and apologizing, as well as reforming their ‘fact-check’ process.”

After the letter’s release, Live Action revealed via Twitter that Facebook sent out another notice Wednesday accusing the group of pushing “false” content:

This is far from the first instance of Facebook suppressing pro-life content. Other individuals and organizations to see ads rejected or posts censored include Save the Storks, the Susan B. Anthony List, the American Pregnancy Association, Choice For Two, Elizabeth “Activist Mommy” Johnston, and recent pro-life films about Kermit Gosnell and Roe v. Wade. Facebook also opted to block foreign pro-life ads in Ireland’s 2018 abortion referendum, despite Irish law not requiring such a ban, nor did Irish officials request one.

Facebook also recently removed a LifeSiteNews post linking an article that argued against subjecting young children to transgender hormone treatment, on the grounds that it supposedly violated the platform’s Community Standards against “hate speech.” The company even temporarily suspended (but later apologized to) LifeSiteNews digital marketing assistant Madeleine Jacob for posting the article.

In addition, 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.

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LifeSiteNews reporter Lianne Laurence (left) on steps of court house with some of David Daleiden's (second from right) legal team. San Francisco, CA, Sept. 10, 2019. Jim Hale /


Judge denies California AG request for gag order to restrict pro-life reporting on Daleiden hearing

By Lianne Laurence
Johnette Jauron, Assistant Deputy Attorney General (right), is the prosecutor and the one who requested the gag order, claiming LifeSite's reporting caused one of the Does to be a victim of road rage. Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews
An assistant attempts to cover Johnette Jauron's face from being photographed by LifeSiteNews. Special Agent Brian Caldwell is on the far right. Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews

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

SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge denied a gag order to California’s attorney general that would have muzzled David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt’s lawyers from referencing the aborted-baby body-parts traffickers in “public comments” to media. Granting the order would have ultimately restricted reporting on the preliminary criminal hearing of the pro-life investigative journalists. 

Filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron, the motion cited a LifeSiteNews article on the testimony of “Doe 12,” the CEO of StemExpress, when it asked for a gag order “to protect the safety of the Does witnesses.” (Read the full motion here.)

“Ultimately, the judge did the right thing and denied the motion,” said Brentwood Ferreira, lawyer for David Daleiden. 

“This was at least the fourth attempt in as many court days to silence the defendants,” Liberty Counsel’s Horatio Mihet, lead attorney for Sandra Merritt, told LifeSiteNews.  

The California Attorney General “attempted to relate a purported incident of road rage that one of the witnesses claims that she encountered fifty-five miles away from the courthouse,” recounted Mihet. “Without any evidence whatsoever, they tried to allege that it was inspired by a LifeSiteNews article that was published the next evening after the incident,” said the Liberty Counsel attorney.  

Mehit said that the AG also blamed the defendants’ attorneys’ comments which were also made after the road rage incident had occurred. “This was a preposterous and ludicrous motion,” said Mihet. 

“Fortunately this morning the court denied this motion as well and the defendants and counsel remain free to discuss publicly outside the courtroom the testimony that takes place inside the courtroom,” he added.

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 undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s buying and selling of baby body parts.

The motion had asked Judge Christopher Hite to “order the defendants to not reference the victims or any matter which may be taken to identify them or their livelihood in any matter. We request an order to protect the safety of the Does witnesses.”

The order had also asked that the court “exercise its discretion to limit the statements the parties may make in public in regards to the witness testimony until after the conclusion of the preliminary hearing.”

Hite had previously ordered that the names of the 14 accusers of Daleiden and Merritt remain sealed during the prosecution, but said all testimony heard in court can be published.

The motion for the gag order had stated that California Department of Justice Special Agent Brian Cardwell, who testified at the preliminary hearing Tuesday (see related story), interviewed Doe 12 “after her preliminary hearing testimony on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in this Department. In that interview, Doe 12 expressed fear and harassment she and her company have suffered immediately after her testimony.”

The motion also cited LifeSiteNews, averring that the “news site lifesite news [sic] quotes one of Daleiden’s counsel discussing, inaccurately, testimony of Doe 12.” The motion also cited the Center for Medical Progress Twitter account for "describing testimony by the Does in an almost live feed."

LifeSiteNews reported that Doe 12 essentially admitted in her testimony last Thursday that StemExpress supplies beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers. She also admitted that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or “could be torn away.”

Jauron told Judge Hite during the hearing that Doe 12 “among all victims has been particularly targeted” and said the “inflammatory, inaccurate, almost insane analysis of this victim’s testimony” appealed to a “fringe element of people out there" who are "willing to believe whatever they read on the internet."

But Hite pointed out that "The the order of magnitude you're requesting is frowned upon as a burden on an individual's First Amendment right."

However, he did have some concerns about “witness intimidation, which is a crime,” he said.

Hite suggested he might issue a criminal restraining order against Daleiden and Merrit, something to the effect that they stay 150 feet away from Doe 12. That drew strenuous objections from Brentford Ferreira, lawyer for Daleiden, who argued the judge had no legal grounds for such a stay-away order.

“It’s extremely insulting,” Ferreira said, pointing out that Daleiden and Merritt are not responsible for what other individuals publicly said on the case. If Hite issued a stay-away order on Daleiden and Merritt, the defence would ask for an emergency petition to stop the preliminary hearing to fight it, he said.

“We can’t have the court treating my client like a criminal,” Ferriera said, and issuing a protective order against him could very well prejudice him in the criminal matter he’s now charged with. He also argued that it was the attorney general’s decision to have a public preliminary hearing rather than seek an indictment through a grand jury, which is a closed-door process. 

Doe 12’s lawyer Jeffrey Einsohn argued she had a constitutional right to be “free from intimidation, harassment, abuse” and “these things happened” after people from CMP had been “tweeting all day. 

“That’s a constitutional right to tweet,” Hite responded.

“I can’t stop the general public from tweeting about a court proceeding. You know that.”

Peter Breen, lawyer for Daleiden and vice president and senior counsel with the Thomas More Society, which is defending Daleiden pro bono, had called the motion “outrageous.”

“We’re going to fight it very, very hard. It’s an incredible violation of the First Amendment, of the people’s right to know, of the right to a public trial,” Breen told LifeSiteNews in a previous report.

“Everything that Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation have been trying to do is to shut down anyone knowing about their scheme to sell fetal parts and organs for profit which involves babies born alive, manipulating abortion techniques without telling women that they’re doing that to them, terrible things that they’re doing for money and not for the best interests of the patients,” he said.

“And of course, for us who are pro-life, they’re taking and treating these poor little children like they’re cattle to be chopped up and shipped out,” he said.

“It’s disgusting and so we’re fighting very hard on that front to get word about it and we’re doing it in a way that’s legal and appropriate.”

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Elizabeth Warren endorses ‘LGBTQ+ equality’ as only Dem at drag queen convention

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By Calvin Freiburger

NEW YORK CITY, September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the only Democrat presidential candidate to accept an invitation to RuPaul’s DragCon this weekend, a celebration of cross-dressing closely tied to the “gender fluidity” movement.

The event featured drag performances as well as panels on “topics ranging from drag tips to art, culture, and political resistance.” Warren was the only Democrat in the 2020 field to have a presence at the convention, The Hill reports, including a booth where RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Shea Couleé spoke to attendees on Warren’s behalf, and a video message from Warren herself.

“I’m in this fight for full LGBTQ+ equality,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure that everyone is free to be who they are and to love who they love. A record number of trans Americans were killed last year, disproportionately trans women of color. We need to call it out, and we need to fight back. Everyone should be able to go to school, to walk, to get healthcare, or to just walk down the street without fear of discrimination or violence.”

Warren was referring to a report by the left-wing Human Rights Campaign (HRC) finding “at least 26 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means” in 2018 (the total number of murders in the U.S. the year before was 17,284). However, HRC’s list admitted that there were no suspects in at least two of the cases (meaning the motive is unconfirmed) and is vague about the details of several others. 

In May, The Federalist’s Chad Felix Greene detailed how pro-LGBT media misrepresented three 2019 murders of transgender victims as examples of “transphobic” violence when in fact the evidence indicates they were killed for unrelated reasons.

“I’m honored to fight by your side,” Warren told the gathering of drag enthusiasts. “I hope you all have a fabulous time at DragCon.”

Every early entrant into the 2020 field was invited to DragCon but Warren was the only one “who made it happen,” Couleé said. “For me, that speaks volumes. She’s shown herself to be a great ally.”

Like the rest of the Democrat field, Warren is running as a doctrinaire “progressive” on LGBT issues, so much so that she has advocated for homosexuals to be allowed to donate blood despite increased risks of HIV, and in July added “she/her” to her Twitter biography, a display of “preferred gender pronouns” meant to signal solidarity with the transgender movement.

According to RealClearPolitics’ polling average, Warren is currently second to former Vice President Joe Biden with 18.7 percent of the vote.

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David Daleiden speaks with his lawyers outside the San Francisco courthouse on September 10, 2019. Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews
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California AG seeks gag order to restrict pro-life reporting on Daleiden hearing

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
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 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — California’s attorney general has asked for a gag order against the lawyers for David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt during the preliminary criminal hearing of the pro-life investigative journalists.

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 Planned Parenthood’s buying and selling of baby body parts.

Filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron, the motion cited a LifeSiteNews article on the testimony of “Doe 12,” the CEO of StemExpress, when it asked for a gag order “to protect the safety of the Does witnesses.” (Read the full motion here.)

The motion also cites the Center for Medical Progress Twitter account for "describing testimony by the Does in an almost live feed."

The motion asks Judge Christopher Hite, who is presiding over the hearing, to “order the defendants to not reference the victims or any matter which may be taken to identify them or their livelihood in any matter. We request an order to protect the safety of the Does witnesses."

The order also asks that the court "exercise its discretion to limit the statements the parties may make in public in regards to the witness testimony until after the conclusion of the preliminary hearing."

Hite had previously ordered that the names of the 14 accusers of Daleiden and Merritt remain sealed during the prosecution, but said all testimony heard in court can be published.

The motion for the gag order states that California Department of Justice Special Agent Brian Cardwell, who testified at the preliminary hearing Tuesday (see related story), interviewed Doe 12 “after her preliminary hearing testimony on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in this Department. In that interview, Doe 12 expressed fear and harassment she and her company have suffered immediately after her testimony.”

The motion states that the “news site lifesite news quotes one of Daleiden’s counsel discussing, inaccurately, testimony of Doe 12.”

LifeSiteNews reported that Doe 12 essentially admitted in her testimony last Thursday that StemExpress supplies beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

She also admitted that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or “could be torn away.”

Jauron filed the motion at the end of the day on Tuesday, and Hite requested the defendants be prepared to argue their case 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.

“The prosecution had given us an indication they might be doing this at the close of the day,” said Peter Breen, lawyer for Daleiden and vice president and senior counsel with the Thomas More Society, which is defending Daleiden pro bono.

“They filed a motion for a gag order against defence counsel. We’re going home tonight to be back in front of the judge  at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning to address it,” said Breen.

“We think it’s outrageous,” he added.

“We’re going to fight it very, very hard. It’s an incredible violation of the First Amendment, of the people’s right to know, of the right to a public trial,” Breen told LifeSiteNews.

“Everything that Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation have been trying to do is to shut down anyone knowing about their scheme to sell fetal parts and organs for profit which involves babies born alive, manipulating abortion techniques without telling women that they’re doing that to them, terrible things that they’re doing for money and not for the best interests of the patients,” he said.

“And of course, for us who are pro-life, they’re taking and treating these poor little children like they’re cattle to be chopped up and shipped out,” he said.

“It’s disgusting and so we’re fighting very hard on that front to get word about it and we’re doing it in a way that’s legal and appropriate.”

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:

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Huda Essa. TEDx Talks /
Thomas More Law Center

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Hundreds of Michigan schoolteachers subjected to Islamic propaganda

Thomas More Law Center

PETITION: Stop Islamic propaganda sessions in America's public schools Sign the petition here.

September 11, 2019 (Thomas More Law Center) — The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has uncovered evidence of a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign aimed at teachers in school systems throughout Michigan and several other states.

Concerned about a two-day mandatory teacher-training seminar on Islam conducted by a Muslim consultant hired by Michigan's Novi Community Schools District, TMLC filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the workshop.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented on the results of their investigation, "We found that the teachers were subjected to two days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed — all funded by Novi taxpayers."

Moreover, during the past five years the school district has presented no teacher-training seminars focusing on Christianity, Judaism or any other religion — only Islam.

The hired Muslim consultant was Huda Essa, a resident of the Dearborn area and of Arab descent. She appeared before the Novi teachers in a hijab, the Muslim headscarf, billing herself as an expert in "cultural competency" and "culturally responsive teaching."

Most disappointing was the fact that of the more than 400 teachers attending the workshop, not one teacher challenged Essa's denigration of Christianity or attacks on America.

TMLC inspected dozens of internal school documents, including audio recordings of Essa's presentation.

The information on Islam she provided to Novi teachers was riddled with falsehoods and errors of omission that were clearly meant to deceive.

Essa provided no truthful information on Sharia law and jihad, two of the most important aspects of Islam. All references to terrorism were dismissed as having nothing to do with Islam. White Christian males, she suggested, are more dangerous than Islamic radicals.

Essa is the face behind Culture Links LLC, a Michigan-based consultancy. She describes herself on the Culture Links website as an advocate of social justice who encourages children to "take pride in their many identities."

But, as TMLC discovered from the Novi documents, the one identity Essa does not celebrate is that of patriotic Americans who believe in our nation's exceptionalism. 

And her message extends far beyond Novi.

Essa's client list reveals she has been spreading her "trash America first" philosophy to colleges, universities, schools and professional educator associations throughout Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Florida and beyond. In Michigan alone her website lists nine school districts as clients — Oakland County Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, L'Anse Creuse Public Schools, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools, Farmington Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, Birmingham Public Schools and Melvindale Public Schools.

Under the banner of promoting diversity, inclusion and a multicultural approach to education, Essa sets about comparing Islam to Christianity, calling them "mostly similar." The one big difference, she claims, is that Islam is the world's "only purely monotheistic religion."

Islam's holy book, the Koran, came straight from Allah to the prophet Muhammad and, unlike the Jewish and Christian scriptures, has never been altered or changed, she told the Novi teachers. Significantly, the Koran commands Muslims to "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war." (Koran 9:5)

Her message was clear: The Koran is superior to the Bible. But she did not address the fact that it calls for the extermination of Christian and Jews.

While quick to indict America as guilty of "cultural genocide," Essa was silent on the 1,400 years of actual genocides, also known as jihads, in which Muslims wiped out Jewish tribes on the Arabian Peninsula, and slaughtered millions of Christians throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the European Continent. Referring to Islam, Winston Churchill wrote, "No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."

Novi's Islamic teacher-training is just the latest example of professional Islamic indoctrinators infiltrating U.S. public schools even as Christianity has been forced out of the classroom.

"This type of infiltration amounts to an Islamic Trojan horse within our public-school systems," Thompson said. "No other religion gets this kind of special treatment in our schools."

Only action by patriotic American parents will put a stop to the indoctrination of teachers and students. They must attend school board meetings and call their board's attention to the existence of unconstitutional Islamic propaganda whenever they find evidence of it in their children's schools. And when their board is unresponsive, they must be willing to take legal action to stop it whenever the law permits.

TMLC has several active cases involving public schools bending over backwards to promote Islam while trashing Christianity.

In New Jersey, seventh-grade students at Chatham Middle School were taught "Islam is the true faith," required to learn the Shahada, or Muslim creed, and forced to watch videos that sought to convert them.

TMLC is representing another student at La Plata High School in Maryland, where pupils in world-history classes were taught that "Most Muslims' faith is stronger than the average Christian" and "Islam at heart is a peaceful religion."

Jihad, meanwhile, was introduced to La Plata students as a "personal" spiritual struggle, having nothing to do with using violence to spread the faith. And, like in New Jersey, the Maryland students were forced to learn the Five Pillars of Islam and memorize the Shahada.

A Series of Deceptions

Essa spent a great deal of time in her Novi presentation talking about Muslim women, whom she described as victims of Islamophobia on the part of bigoted Americans.

She said her own mother's decision to wear the hijab was met with "rage" from random Americans. Other hijab-wearing Muslim women have been spat upon, had hot liquids poured on them, been beaten and even killed because they wear the hijab, Essa said, without giving details of when or where these atrocities supposedly occurred.

Essa presented no statistics on hate crimes to back up her claims. FBI crime stats show that anti-Muslim attacks are relatively rare in America and actually fell by 17 percent in 2017. Anti-Jewish hate crimes that year outnumbered anti-Muslim offenses by nearly four to one.

Globally, Christians are the most persecuted of all religious groups, according to the watchdog Open Doors. Of the top-ten most dangerous countries to be a Christian, all but two of them are Muslim-majority nations, according to Open Doors' 2019 World Watch List.

But Essa's attempts to con Novi teachers into accepting her anti-American, pro-Islamic worldview didn't stop with the idea that Muslims are the most persecuted and victimized people.

She said any poor treatment of women in Islamic countries should be attributed to "cultural" differences, not the religion of Islam.

She failed to mention that Muhammad, Islam's prophet, is reported to have said that the majority of hell would be populated by women (hadith by Sahih Bukhari Vol. 1:28, 301, Vol. 2:161, Vol. 7:124-126). Also absent from her presentation was the Koranic instruction for husbands to beat a disobedient wife (Sura 4:34).

Exercising the art of deception, Essa said Muslims love Jesus and refer to him as "messiah." 

But the word "messiah" has a different meaning for Muslims than for Christians. When Christians speak of Jesus their Messiah, they are referring to God's "anointed One," who has the power to forgive sin and grant salvation.

Muslims confer no such divine authority to their Jesus. Under Islam Jesus was only a man, a lower prophet under Muhammad, not the Son of God, and he did not die on a cross or rise from the dead as documented in the gospels.

Essa hammered Novi teachers with the Islamic teaching that the Jewish and Christian scriptures are not to be trusted. Although once pure, they were gradually "corrupted" by unscrupulous men. Only the Koran contains the final, "pure" words of God, she said.

Essa also schooled teachers in the proper use of the phrase "Allahu Akbar!" or "Allah is greatest!" While this is widely known as the battle cry of Muslim terrorists, Essa said it's really just a refrain that Muslims use to convey feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, or thankfulness while praising Allah.

Essa said the word "Islam" is an offshoot of the Arabic term "Salaam," which means peace. This is a common ploy used by Muslim apologists to deceive uninformed Westerners.

"Islam" is more accurately translated as "submission" and good Muslims know they must submit to Allah and his Sharia (Islamic law), above all other systems of law.

Essa noted Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion without mentioning that Muslims are forbidden from leaving the faith. Considered apostates, those leaving the faith are subject to severe punishment, up to and including death. And forced conversions have been a well-documented fact of history.

The Middle East and North Africa, once overwhelmingly Christian, were Islamized by a series of jihads starting with Muhammad, his successor caliphs and later by the Ottoman Turks.

She completely ignored the jihadi terrorist attacks conducted on U.S. soil: The 9/11 attack that murdered nearly 3,000 people, the Fort Hood massacre of 12 U.S. soldiers, the Pulse Nightclub attack that killed 49 Americans in Orlando, the San Bernardino attack that killed 14 at a Christmas party, the Chattanooga shooting that killed five at a Navy recruitment and reserve center, the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and left hundreds wounded, and the Chelsea, New York, pipe-bombing that injured 30 innocent Americans. Not to mention the countless terror attacks that have been foiled by the FBI.

Here are some other facts uncovered by TMLC's Freedom of Information Act requests:

  • Novi school district has no guidelines for the selection of presenters for teacher-training events.
  • The school district did not fully vet Huda Essa before selecting her as a presenter and providing her with data about the school district and its students.
  • Essa was given access to data from student and teacher surveys.
  • The school district said it had no records that would indicate it ever conducted a factual analysis of Essa's presentation.
  • The school district signed a contract on August 2, 2017, agreeing to pay Essa $5,000 for her two-day seminar on August 28 and 29, 2017.

Published with permission from the Thomas More Law Center.

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Fr. Serafino M. Lanzetta


Why Catholics must stick close to Virgin Mary to survive the great apostasy

Fr. Serafino M. Lanzetta

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September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – “It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world,” writes St Louis Grignon de Montfort in the introduction to his masterpiece, True Devotion to Our Lady. The fact that Jesus must reign through Mary is linked by our Saint with the peculiar presence and action of Our Lady in the latter times. St Louis explains that:

the salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ so that men, as yet insufficiently instructed and enlightened concerning the person of her Son, might not wander from the truth by becoming too strongly attached to her. […] But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. The reasons which moved the Holy Spirit to hide his spouse during her life and to reveal but very little of her since the first preaching of the gospel exist no longer. (n. 49)

Among the reasons given by St Louis to explain why Our Lady has to be made known in these latter times, so that we can be endowed with a special Marian assistance, there is the following: 

Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary’s faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others. (n. 50)

Our Lady must be known and loved so that we are embraced by her to live with her and in her through the latter times with no deceit or discouragement but persevering in faith. In fact, these are the times of a special battle against the enemies of God, first of all that “mystery of iniquity” which is sin. The Catechism, in describing the Church’s ultimate trial, teaches clearly that “before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.” (675) 

This deception might regard principally the way people believe without actually believing, led by religious authorities into comfortable indifference.

Are these final times already unfolding in our present time? We don’t know. It is neither our intention to speculate about it – only God knows the time and the moment. Nevertheless, this our present moment shows many of the signs that move us to think that a sort of terrible and crucial battle has been engaged.  The battle is between the serpent of Genesis and the Woman who can crush his head. Only the Woman as immaculate and ever virgin can win over the malice and the shrewdness of the serpent and his allies.

Just a few examples can help us realize the range of this spiritual battle that has to be fought. God appears to be absent, even within the Church. This might sound surprising, but the reflections of Benedict XVI on the theological roots of so numerous sexual clerical abuses in the Church, in the last 50 years, have highlighted this. Benedict XVI denounced the root of this great scandal, an unprecedented moral evil, which lies in the oblivion of God. Moral responsibility declines and dies out when our freedom is no longer orientated by the love of God, by his Word. “The death of God in a society also means the end of freedom, because what dies is the purpose that provides orientation,” he wrote. 

It seems that we live in a great apostasy in which social engagement with the world has taken the place of supernatural faith. Is it irrelevant that some matters of faith concerning marriage and family life are true and Catholic in Poland, but not for example in Germany, where there are different pastoral policies in place?  At the very heart of our pastoral care there is now a preoccupation with the preservation of the Amazon rainforest, which is held as an idyllic environment, the type of any good and sound life. What is more bewildering is that the Amazon as a territory is presented as a “theological place” where we should learn about the (new) Revelation of God and live our faith in a more ecological way. No importance is given to Christ as the Saviour or to sin. 

While we still use the word “salvation” in dealing with these human problems, we no longer understand its supernatural meaning – the only proper one – that has to concern us: the salvation of our soul from eternal damnation. If we lose our soul, one of the greatest works of God’s creation is lost, and there is no longer any point in saving the environment. Creation is hierarchical and at the very top there is man and man is for God. A misleading new concept of “dignity of the person” has caused us to see the person as worthy simply as a human subject and no longer as a creature of God elevated by grace. The consequence of this new Kantian approach is that we have overcome human dignity and in its place we have put the dignity of the territory. But, according to the Church Fathers, man loses his human and original dignity when he sins against God.

This time is challenging indeed. It is precisely for this reason that in these times we need to discover the precious pearl of our devotion and consecration to Our Lady. Jesus wishes to reign through Her. Jesus can reign only through Her because He came through Her. She is the door of God into this world, the same one that lets people into Christ’s Heart. She is the antidote to the eternal perdition of souls.

At Fatima, Our Lady promised: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” We don’t know here when this “end” comes or is about to be revealed, but what we know is that if the latter times are characterised by a particular presence of Mary, they might also coincide with the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Surely “the end” of Fatima marking the triumph of Mary is not the Parousia – the second coming of Our Lord, but the moment of the reign of Mary and through Her of Jesus Her Son. Those who belong to Her will be given a special grace to defeat the enemy, to uncover the maliciousness of all threats to our salvation.

Our Lady will reign. She must reign. This triumph will bring about a renaissance of our Faith in society and in the Church. Our Lady will give back to our Church Her distinctive role as disciple of the Lord and teacher of all the people, faithful to his Word, to the perennial Tradition. 

We wish to hasten this triumph. Yet, it is not about being triumphalist or merely passive waiting for a solution to be given by Heaven, or, even worse, mixing up the salvific intervention of God in history with human progress in all areas of man’s life, not least the enhancement of a green lifestyle. The only possible way forward to be partakers of this triumph which is supernatural and not controlled by man, but that still requires our cooperation, is to belong to Mary, to become her property, her filial slaves of love. Consecration to Her by which we surrender ourselves to Mary as her humble servants is necessary. We need to replace our own ego with Our Lady’s in order to let Her possess our being, our intellect and will, our heart. 

The advantage of being of Mary is to be victorious with Her and in Her over the devil, over sin and eternal death. We will share in her faith and She will transform us into the likeness of Jesus. In heaven Our Lady has no longer the faith since she lives in the beatific vision. However, according to St Louis Grignon, by a special concession of God, she has preserved her divine faith for her faithful servants in the Church militant (see n. 214). Her Immaculate Heart is the place where the faith of the Church and her doctrines are kept safe. Outside this Heart there is ruin and deception, a place where the devil is free to machinate. 

“My dear brother,” St Louis Grignon asks, “when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae: ‘Lord, that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!’” (n. 217)

This “when” that everyone is anxious always to know seems to be destined to remain unanswered. When will this triumph come about? When can we finally see a restoration of the Faith after a very long and unbearable decay? All these questions can only be answered with another one, the capital one, the temporal but vital question raised by our Saint Louis Grignon, who asks: “When will souls breathe Mary as the body breaths air?” (ibid.) To ask this question is already to enter into these latter times and live in the hope of that Marian promise. Then all our “whens” will be answered too.

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VIDEO: Pope Francis is harming same-sex attracted Catholics

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By John-Henry Westen

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September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis is causing massive confusion on what the Church teaches on homosexuality. LifeSite’s Washington, D.C. correspondent Doug Mainwaring discusses this and other topics, including his past life as an active homosexual who came back to the faith, on this Episode 26 of The John-Henry Westen Show.

Doug told me the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are “a great beacon of light” for those struggling with same-sex attraction. When he was a freshman in college as an 18-year-old, he confessed to a priest that he was same-sex attracted. “My life was saved by God through that priest.” If the priest had told Doug to just go and live out those desires, “I’d be dead from AIDS.” But he didn’t. “He told me the Church’s teachings.”

Doug’s story is truly an inspiration. After the charismatic Catholic community he was involved in fell apart, he and his wife separated, despite having adopted two children together. He lived as a gay man for a dozen or so years and told me, “It was very freeing. I thought, ‘This is great!’” 

But slowly he realized that many in the gay community had “adolescent” behaviors and saw others only as “sexual objects.” He found his way back to God, but only after realizing “I did tremendous harm to my kids and my wife.” 

Doug told me that his long, “miraculous” journey back to God involved a lot of searching and looking into non-Catholic religious groups. But he said the Catholic Church’s teachings ultimately were what he needed to hear.

Those who think they are nice when they “affirm” someone in his homosexuality are not loving that person, he told me. The “opposite is true.” Same-sex attracted persons “need to hear the truth...we need to hear about sin.” There is “so much joy not giving in to the weakness of the flesh…but demonstrating you have mastery over it.”

Doug said this is why Pope Francis and others are doing such a “tremendous disservice” to homosexuals. It’s “dangerous,” he said, when the pope doesn’t call on persons who are same-sex attracted to leave behind that lifestyle. “They need affirmation as children of God...not affirmation in their deep-seated tendences.”

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel, and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and Pippa. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe for the audio version on various channels, visit the webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics, by emailing [email protected]

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A Gentoo penguin
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Media, LGBT activists cheer ‘genderless’ chick being raised by ‘lesbian’ penguins at London Aquarium

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By Jonathon Van Maren

September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – When I first spotted the headline on Sky News, I genuinely thought it might be a joke. “An adopted Gentoo chick raised by a same-sex penguin couple will become the world’s first penguin not to have its gender assigned,” Sky News tweeted out. “At 6:40 am we will be speaking to Charlotte Barcas, a [sic] Aquarist at the London Aquarium who looks after the penguin.”

This seemed like one of those hoax stories that a clever progressive trickster might invent just to trigger mockery and outrage on the Right, only to point out later that it was obviously a trolling exercise and that of course progressives are not imposing brand-new (and increasingly stupid) gender ideologies onto wildlife locked up in zoos. But then I saw the headline over at CNN: “London Aquarium to raise ‘genderless’ penguin.” 

One might be justifiably confused by this headline into thinking that the penguin in question has no gender. The truth, of course, is that the zookeepers have decided to attract attention for their penguin program by using woke language and marshalling their animals into battle for the LGBT crowd—who, incidentally, are delighted. Pink News ran the story with the headline, “Penguin chick raised by same-sex penguins revealed to be gender neutral,” going so far as referring to the penguin pair as “lesbians.” All of that is, strictly speaking, nonsense.

But the story is already taking off as media outlets, eager to pretend that there are implications for the current conversations about LGBT issues our culture is having, produce breathless stories with ideological agendas so obvious that they would be laughable if they were not intended to be taken so seriously. The Metro UK’s headline humanized the penguins, gave them moral agency, and put them at the head of Penguin Pride: “Gay penguin couple adopt first gender-neutral penguin at London Aquarium.” See? Another one of those lovely trans families we’ve been hearing so much about these days.

The details of the actual story (if one can call it that) are substantially different. Two female penguins were given an egg taken from the actual mother to ease the pressure of raising two chicks, and for the time being, Sea Life London has decided not to tell anyone whether the chick is male or female (leading to some confusion in the mainstream press, or at least among the headline writers, that we have a non-binary bird on our hands). The decision, as I mentioned, was an obviously political one, in keeping with the media’s insistence of infusing gender ideology into every story they can find. From CNN:

Experts at the aquarium usually give newborn penguins gender-based names, but in this case "decided it was more natural for the chick to grow and develop into a mature adult as genderless which is normal in the wild until they mature," the centre said in a press release. The chick has been fitted with a purple tag on its wing so it can be identified.

"While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation, however, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults," said General Manager Graham McGrath. "What makes us really proud at the aquarium is the success of Sea Life London's Gentoo breeding program and the amazing job of same-sex penguins Rocky and Marama who took the chick under their wing and raised it as their own."

Rocky and Marama were given the responsibility of raising a chick after showing themselves to be a "close couple" for the past six breeding seasons and proving that they could create nesting conditions to raise a chick, the aquarium said.

The penguin may later be incorporated into Sea Life London's breeding program, "depending on the gender its biology determines," the aquarium added.

And just like that, CNN ruins everything. As it turns out, this penguin does in fact have a gender—and it is determined by biology, not ideology or self-identification (as if animals were even capable of that). Despite the novelty of a gender-confused penguin that the media are falling all over themselves to promote, even the zookeepers can’t stick to the script long enough to hand the trans activists a win. 

I wish I could say that this story was an eye-rolling anomaly, but somehow I doubt it. LGBT activists are declaring a total war on reality and everybody—and everything—will be pressed into service. Even, as it turns out, the penguins.

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The sexual revolution: a Pandora’s box for the problems plaguing society

By Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

This week on The Van Maren Show, Jonathon Van Maren speaks with Mary Eberstadt about the sexual revolution. Eberstadt provides an incredibly influential, intellectual, precise commentary about current culture, philosophy, and the fate of the post-modern man. She has a recently released book titled “Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics,” but also wrote, “How the West Really Lost God” and “Adam and Eve after the Pill.”

The sexual revolution is a topic that Van Maren has covered extensively on his blog on and in The Van Maren Show episodes. The sexual revolution has impacted our society from the so-called LGBT movement, the effects of pornography and sex-education, and attacks on freedoms of speech and religion. 

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloudYouTubeiTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe via various channels, visit our Pippa webpage here.

To receive an email when a new episode is uploaded, click here.

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