All articles from October 3, 2019


News

Opinion

Blogs

The Pulse

  • There are no pulse articles posted on October 3, 2019.

Podcasts


Featured Image
Michael Hichborn Michael Hichborn Follow Michael

News , ,

Kenyan bishops promote condom use after condemning condoms a year prior

Michael Hichborn Michael Hichborn Follow Michael
By Michael Hichborn
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Note from the Editors: LifeSiteNews sent multiple emails to the Kakamega diocese of Bishop Joseph Obanyi, and the Nyahururu diocese of Bishop Joseph Mbatia, the two Kenyan bishops who signed the letter referenced in Michael Hitchborn's September 24 report, reprinted below, requesting confirmation that the bishops have endorsed condom use and asking why they have changed from their former position opposing condom use as contravening Catholic teaching. LifeSiteNews also sent emails to the secretary general of the Kenyan bishops with similar questions. LifeSiteNews has not to date received any response.

October 3, 2019 (Lepanto Institute) — The Conference of Catholic Bishops in Kenya (KCCB) has officially encouraged the use of condoms as means of preventing the spread of the Human Papilloma Virus. A July 2019 letter from the KCCB's Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK) was primarily written as a formal endorsement of the controversial Gardasil vaccine, but on page 5 of the 7-page letter is a list of "Other Modes of Prevention that have been adopted." Third on the list is a statement regarding condom use:

Use of latex condoms every time during pregnancy every time during sexual intercourse. But keep in mind that HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact — not through exchange of bodily fluids. This means that while condoms may not always prevent the spread of HPV, they could reduce your risk.

The letter is signed by Bishop Joseph Mbatia, Chairman of the KCCB's Catholic Health Commission of Kenya; Bishop Joseph Obanyi, vice-chairman of the CHCK, Doctors Bernhards Ogutu and Daniel Ochiel, both KCCB representatives to the Ministry of Health, and Jacinta Kathamu Mutegi, the Executive Secretary of CHCK. The entire KCCB letter can be read by clicking here.

The condom endorsement in this letter is a radical departure from the KCCB's staunch opposition last year to the use of condoms for any reason. In October of 2018, at a health conference on Mombasa, the bishops of Kenya strongly condemned the use of condoms. Speaking on behalf of the KCCB, Bishop Joseph Obanyi, whose name appears on the KCCB letter, said, "The use of condoms is immoral and is not one of the ways we would embrace in our campaigns." He continued:

The church has its doctrines of what it teaches and it is the greatest advocator fighting against AIDs but the use of condoms is not part of the agenda of the church. The church is at the front line to see how we can reduce the spread of the disease … Condom [use] is not part of moral teaching and therefore, the church can never advocate for things that are not moral.

Given that the letter was sent by the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya on behalf of the bishops, it is entirely possible that the bishops never even reviewed the letter before it was sent. Jacinta Mutegi, the CHCK's Executive Secretary, is directly connected with several organizations that are heavily committed to the distribution of condoms. Mutegi's profile on LinkedIn shows that she is a member of the Board of Directors for the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and a member of the Global Fund's Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM).

The NACC's website indicates that Mutegi is a member of the "Secretariat," which is another way of indicating the Board of Directors. This means that Jacinta Mutegi plays an integral role in the leadership of the organization, helping to direct policy and coordinate activities. A site search of the NACC website yields over 2,000 references to condoms, including this FAQ for adults on HIV and AIDS (right). That twelve-page FAQ makes 23 positive comments about using condoms, recommending it for vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

In June of 2019, NACC produced a video regarding its own week-long advocacy work on HIV and AIDS in Meru National Polytechnic.

At 20 seconds into the video, NACC indicates that it "engaged youth in HIV and AIDS education, awareness and HIV testing." Then, showing a photo of a condom demonstration at NACC's event, the caption says that "uptake of condoms within and outside the college was tremendous with over 246,000 male condoms and over 1,000 female condoms distributed."

Another NACC video recommends at the 50 second mark that individuals using an antiretroviral drug called PEP should "continue using condoms with sex partners while taking PEP."

That same month, NACC published a video that actually provides graphic instructions on how to use a condom. (WARNING, IMAGES ARE SEXUALLY GRAPHIC).

As indicated above, Jacinta Mutegi is also a member of the Global Fund's Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM). As with NACC, there are multiple references to condoms on the KCM website, but the most telling is this KCM Oversight Field Visit Report from November 2018. In the report, Jacinta Mutegi is identified as a "KCM member and the leader of the oversight team." Included in this report, which was intended to "ensure that resources, both financial and human, are being used efficiently and effectively for the benefit of the country's citizens," was an overview of whether condoms and lubricants were provided in adequate amounts or not.

The point in illustrating Jacinta Mutegi's involvement with these two radically pro-condom organizations is to provide a possible explanation as to why the KCCB would appear to contradict itself by strongly condemning the promotion of condoms only to produce a document endorsing condom use less than a year later.

Despite the apparent contradiction between the recent letter and the bishops' condemnation of condom use in 2018, this isn't the first time controversy regarding the use of condoms has appeared in the Catholic Community in Kenya.

In March of 2015, the Lepanto Institute and the Population Research Institute published a joint study into Catholic Relief Services' federally funded project called "Support and Assistance to Indigenous Implementing Agencies" (SAIDIA). SAIDIA was a six-year project intended to "improve quality HIV care" for the people of Kenya. As the primary organization on the project, all programs implemented in it are the responsibility of CRS, and one of the programs we discovered was called Healthy Choices II, which was heavily involved in the promotion of all forms of contraception. One of CRS's implementing partners in this program was Caritas Nyeri, the development arm of the Archdiocese of Nyeri. On Caritas Nyeri's website was a brief summary of the SAIDIA project, identifying CRS as the financier of the project. The summary indicated that Caritas, through CRS's direction, was implementing Healthy Choices II, specifically identifying the inclusion of condom promotion.

As a result of our investigation, CRS engaged in an active attempt to cover up its promotion of condoms, even having the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) change the public record to remove all traces of CRS's work in promoting condoms. You can read the full report here.

A year and a half later, the KCCB was roped into CRS's cover-up attempts. In October of 2016, CRS caught wind that Michael Hichborn was in Kenya conducting some investigations into CRS's activities. In a rush to discredit the forthcoming report, without having any clue as to what was contained in it, CRS obtained two identical letters of support from African bishops' conferences; one from the Catholic Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other from the KCCB. LifeSiteNews reported on the letters showing that the KCCB gave a blanket statement that "the work of CRS has always been faithful to Catholic teaching and supports the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Given the fact that the KCCB's Catholic Health Commission of Kenya has now released a letter endorsing condom use (in direct contravention with KCCB bishops' condemnations of condoms), and the fact that the CHCK's Executive Secretary, Jacinta Mutegi, is intimately involved with two agencies heavily committed to the spread of condoms, it is becoming increasingly clear that the right hand is unaware of the left hand's activities. At the very least, it casts a serious shadow over its endorsement of Catholic Relief Services and calls to question what else may be taking place without the bishops' knowledge.

The Lepanto Institute is urging faithful Catholics in Kenya to contact the KCCB and their local bishops to ask them to swiftly condemn the condom promotion in this letter and to thoroughly investigate why this letter was allowed to be published to begin with.

P.O. Box 13475-00800
Tel: +254 444133/4/5
Fax: +254 4442910
[email protected]

Published with permission from the Lepanto Institute.

Featured Image
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

News

Big Brother getting bigger in China: Citizens must pass facial-recognition test to get internet access

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As part of its increasingly onerous social credit system, Chinese citizens will soon have to undergo a facial-recognition scan to prove their identities before being permitted to install internet access in their homes or on their smartphones.  

The new rule issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) goes into effect on December 1 and is, ostensibly, a move to increase internet security and prevent terrorism.  

Critics, however, detect the workings of an autocratic, totalitarian state and claim that the measure will further restrict the freedom of the Chinese people and potentially violate their human rights.    

“The reason why the Chinese regime asks people to register their real identities to surf the internet is because it wants to control people’s speech,” U.S.-based commentator Tang Jingyuan recently told The Epoch Times.  

“MIIT’s new rule on using facial recognition to identify an internet user means the government can easily track their online activities, including their social media posts and websites they visit,” Tang said.“Then these people become scared of sharing their real opinions online because their comments could anger the authorities and they could get arrested for it.”

“I think MIIT’s new rule takes away freedom of speech from Chinese people completely,” Tang said. 

Big Brother is getting bigger and invading private lives

China already has the world's largest facial-recognition surveillance system, which it uses to monitor the daily movements and actions of its citizens.  

According to market research firm IDC, by 2022, China will have a staggering 2.76 billion surveillance cameras in operation. That means that within three years, there will be two surveillance cameras for each of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.  

Matt Schrader, editor of the Jamestown China Brief, has cautioned, “While the smart cities of the future could be better, more efficient cities, they could also provide authoritarian regimes with previously undreamt of tools of surveillance and control.”

“China is rapidly adopting CCTV (closed circuit television) surveillance as a means to monitor the movements of its population at a huge scale,” Paul Bischoff, a researcher on surveillance topics, told MailOnline

“CCTV in China is not just about stopping crime, but also enforcing social norms and behaviors that the government approves of,” he added. 

The extent of China’s activities currently in place to monitor ordinary citizens and control their activities is mind-blowing, pushing its reach into the most intimate aspects of their lives.   

In some public restrooms, users must first undergo a facial recognition scan before being allotted toilet paper.  

Facial recognition technology is also employed in “smart” classrooms, tracking students' attentiveness and even their facial expressions.

And if a pedestrian jaywalks, facial recognition systems immediately charge the offender a fine and subtract points from their social credit score. Additionally, their images and names will get projected onto large LED screens as a means of inflicting public shame.   

“What we have now in China is the nightmare of the world’s first truly totalitarian state,” observed Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and a frequent guest on EWTN’s “The World Over” as an expert on Asian affairs. 

“The Left has always said that true totalitarianism is impossible to achieve because there are never enough minders,” Mosher told LifeSiteNews previously. “That’s no longer true.” 

“Is it now ever going to be possible for the Chinese people to organize a demonstration like Tiananmen Square?” he wondered. “It’s hard to see how dissidents can get ahead of the government.”

“The cyber walls are closing in.”

China’s “Social Credit System” is set to be fully operational next year. Citizens who have a high trustworthiness rating will reap benefits while those with low ratings will be shamed and excluded. The system goes way beyond camera surveillance. 

For example, a participant loses points if he neglects to cancel a reservation to a restaurant before his no-show, spends too much time playing video games, makes frivolous purchases, or walks a dog without a leash.  

A citizen’s social credit score can be lowered simply by associating online with people who themselves have low scores. 

However, he or she wins points for paying bills on time, doing volunteer work, or donating blood. 

Rewards to citizens with “high social credit” have included discounts on transportation and shorter waits at hospitals. However, citizens with “low social credit” have found themselves unable to purchase airline tickets, get passports, or reserve any but the least comfortable seats on trains.

Featured Image
Dr. David Mackereth
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News , , ,

British court declares Biblical understanding of sex ‘incompatible with human dignity’

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A British court ruled against a doctor working for the government who was fired for refusing to use transgender pronouns, declaring in the process that a Christian understanding of sex is inherently unjust.

Dr. David Mackereth worked as a disability assessor for the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Last year, the department fired him after being questioned by an employment agency official about how he would handle clients who asked to be referred to as members of the opposite sex.

“What would you do if you were to assess someone who is obviously a man but asks to be referred to as ‘she’ or ‘Missis’ in the report?” Jason Owen asked according to Mackereth, specifically positing the scenario of “a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs.’” Mackereth replied that as a Christian he would be unable to comply, for which he was fired. 

Mackereth subsequently retained the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) to represent him in suing the DWP for religious discrimination. But an employment tribunal ruled that the DWP was within its rights to terminate him, the BBC reported.

“Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals,” the ruling declared.

"Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended," Mackereth said in response to the ruling.

“This is an astonishing judgment and one that if upheld will have seismic consequences not just for the NHS and for Christians but anyone in the workplace who is prepared to believe and say that we are created male and female,” CLC chief executive Andrea Williams responded in a press release. “It is deeply disturbing that this is the first time in the history of English law that a judge has ruled that free citizens must engage in compelled speech. Here Judge Perry has ruled that Christianity is not protected by the Equality Act or the ECHR, unless it is a version of Christianity which recognises transgenderism and rejects a belief in Genesis 1:27.”

A DWP spokeswoman claimed the department merely “acted to protect claimants from behaviour that would have failed to treat them with dignity,” and expects “all assessors to approach their work sensitively." But CLC argues that the ruling will have a far-reaching impact on British society.

“The ruling will have profound ramifications for Christian professionals and all medical professionals, as it dictates the language that professionals must use in the workplace,” CLC warned. “It also excludes foundational Christian beliefs from the protection of human rights and anti-discrimination law. The ruling itself puts a belief in the Bible on a par with the racist and neo-Nazi ideologies which have been held to be 'not worthy of respect in democratic society' in earlier judicial decisions.”

According to modern biology, sex is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected by hundreds of genetic characteristics. CLC explains that Genesis 1:27 establishes that God created both sexes in His image, and therefore men and women both “have great value and dignity. The teaching is foundational to Judeo-Christian thought and was highly influential in political history as concepts of tolerance and human rights were first developed.”

Mackereth says he feels obligated to appeal the ruling, because if it stands, “then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practise of medicine in the UK."

Featured Image
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

News

Pro-life docs refute American College of OBGYNs’ claim that elective abortion is ‘medically necessary’

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON D.C., October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Three healthcare organizations representing over 25,000 pro-life medical professionals corrected the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH) for stating without qualification that “abortion can be medically necessary” to save a mother’s life.

The pro-life American College of Pediatricians, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical Dental Association issued an Oct. 2 joint statement that declared “unequivocally that there is a difference between elective abortion...and the separation of the mother and the baby in order to save the life of the mother.” 

“ACOG leadership is deceptively hiding behind the confusion,” the statement said, “about the meaning of the word ‘abortion’ to imply that such treatments to save the life of the mother are the same as elective abortions.” 

ACOG and PRH released a statement on September 25, titled “Abortion can be medically necessary.”

It said: “As physicians, we are focused on protecting the health and lives of the patients for whom we provide care. Without question, abortion can be medically necessary.”

The two organizations argue that “medicine is not subjective” while a strongly held personal belief should never outweigh scientific evidence, override standards of medical care, or drive policy that puts a person’s health and life at risk.” Pregnancy can exacerbate, the statement read, underlying or preexisting conditions such as renal or cardiac disease, and even cause death. It said: “There are situations where pregnancy termination in the form of an abortion is the only medical intervention that can preserve a patient’s health or save their life.”

Seeking to correct the statement by ACOG and PRH, Wednesday’s statement noted that a procedure to separate a mother and her baby “INTENDS to save the lives of both the mother and her baby if possible.” Elective abortion, however, “INTENDS to deliver a dead baby. That is why a baby born ALIVE after an elective abortion is called a ‘Failed Abortion.’” Again drawing a distinction between procedures to save mothers and babies to failed elective abortion, it said, “What failed to occur is that her baby ‘failed’ to be killed.”

While acknowledging that ACOG and PRH leadership recognize that separating a mother and baby are sometimes necessary to save the mother’s life (which can result in saving the baby’s life as well), the statement by the pro-life medical professionals said that it is disingenuous to say that “life saving procedures are the same as elective abortions.” 

Moreover, the statement said that ACOG’s advocacy for elective abortion does not represent the majority opinion of the obstetricians and gynecologists and ACOG members in the United States. 

The statement by the pro-life doctors was signed by Dr. Donna J. Harrison of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Mike Chupp MD of the Christian Medical Dental Association, and Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians.

Featured Image
YouTube screenshot
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News ,

Alabama pastors protest new abortion center, built in defiance of upcoming ban

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

MONTGOMERY, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of Birmingham, Alabama pastors made clear their opposition to a new Planned Parenthood facility in Birmingham Wednesday, speaking outside the Alabama State House to unveil the pro-life Birmingham Proclamation.

Planned Parenthood Southeast is currently constructing a new 10,000-square-foot location in Birmingham it hopes to open by the end of the year, to replace an older facility in the city. Alabama is down to three abortion centers in the state. Going ahead with the project has been seen as an act of defiance against the state’s ban on nearly all abortions, which will take effect in November unless blocked by a lawsuit.

Signed by over 100 ministers from multiple Christian denominations, the Birmingham Proclamation “expresses clear opposition to the expansion of abortion in the state,” “calls for unity among churches and encourages the Christian community to continue being a refuge for the preborn and their mothers and fathers,” and “addresses Planned Parenthood’s targeting of the African American community,” according to a press release from the Metro Birmingham Life Forum.

“As shepherds of our city, we the pastors and clergy of Birmingham, Alabama, cannot remain silent in the face of such evil,” the proclamation reads. “Birmingham is where we make our stand. Abortion is not welcome here. Planned Parenthood is not welcome here. We declare this city a sanctuary for preborn children and for their mothers and fathers, and will work in prayer and unity to keep it abortion-free.”

The document goes on to call for recognition and protection of the sanctity of life, for support for women tempted by abortion, and for forgiveness and healing for women who have committed abortion.

“It’s life, from the conception all the way to when the Lord calls somebody home, that is our commitment, is to life,” Rev. Harry Reeder III of Briarwood Presbyterian Church said at the State House, AL.com reports. “And that’s why we do not want to see this abortion clinic opening up in Birmingham.”

At the event, Terry Gensemer of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life read a statement of support from Republican Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, which declared, “Abortion is murder. Those three simple words sum up my position on an issue that many falsely claim is a complex one.”

The pro-life pastors said they intend to deliver the document to the offices of several state leaders including Ainsworth, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, and Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, as well as to the state Department of Public Health, which is responsible for abortion facility licensing.

“State and city officials should take note of the unity, dedication and determination exhibited by these courageous pastoral leaders,” Gensemer said. “The people of Birmingham do not want Planned Parenthood operating in our city. Instead, we desire to see Birmingham become a national leader in protecting and upholding the sanctity of all life, every life.”

Featured Image
'Gay couple' Orka and Flix of Star Wars Resistance. Disney Channel / Youtube
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

News

Disney confirms ‘gay couple’ in Star Wars Resistance kids’ show

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

LOS ANGELES, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Disney confirmed viewers’ suspicions that two characters on its Star War Resistance animated series for children are indeed a “gay couple.” 

As the series heads into its second season, Disney executive producers Brandon Auman, Athena Portillo, and Justin Ridge said on the Coffee with Kenobi podcast that they are “proud” the two characters, Orka and Flix, are a “gay couple.” 

When Ridge was asked about the link between the two characters, he said, “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item.” Ridge added, “They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.” 

Orka is voiced by Jim Rash, while Flix is voiced by Bobby Moynihan.

Moynihan said later on the podcast that he was glad to speak openly about Orka’s tendencies. 

“I have had a sentence prepared for a year and a half,” he said. “If someone would finally ask me, I would say, ‘All I can say is that when Flix says I love you, Orka says I know.’ … They’re the cutest.”

Orka and Flix are non-human, but fans had assumed that they are homosexual. In an episode titled Dangerous Business, in the first season of Star Wars Resistance, there is a moment that was perceived to reveal the pair’s proclivities. 

The show begins its second and final season on October 6. It was nominated for an Emmy last year for outstanding children’s program.

In an email response to LifeSite, Monica Cole, Director of OneMillionMoms.com, wrote that it is “not shocking” that Disney is “proud” that there is a “gay couple” in the animated children’s series. One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association

Cole said having a homosexual couple in a children’s show is “extremely disappointing” for numerous families and “completely unnecessary.” She said that it is also disappointing that the series was nominated for an Emmy Award. 

"By choosing to abandon family-friendly entertainment, Disney’s move toward more adult fare may ultimately prove to be a huge mistake,” Cole declared, adding: “The Disney Channel is deliberately choosing to promote adult content to children, while the entire Disney media empire is sacrificing children’s innocence.” 

Under pressure from LGBTQ advocates to advance an agenda in entertainment, there have been other moments of assumed homosexual relationship in Disney’s productions. For example, in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, there was a fleeting glance between two male characters that was proclaimed to indicate homosexual ties. Disney is behind Marvel’s production of Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be released in 2021 and will feature Valkyrie as the first openly bisexual character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Oscar Isaac, who portrayed the heroic Dameron in 2015’s The Force Awakens, has hinted that there is a romantic relationship between two characters of which the film provides only hints. Given the intense relationship between Dameron and Finn, portrayed by actor John Boyega, there have been some who presumed there is a homosexual tie between them.

In May, actor Donald Glover, who played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and co-screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan appeared to confirm that Calrissian is “pansexual.” 

“How can you not be pansexual in space?” Glover said on SiriusXM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio

“There are so many things to have sex with. I didn’t think that was that weird. Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody. I mean, yeah, whatever. It just didn’t seem that weird to me ‘cause I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, no, only guys or girls. No, it’s anything. This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have a good time out here,” he added. 

Featured Image
Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków, Poland. Maciek.malek / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 (cropped)
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

News , , , ,

Polish archbishop compares LGBT advancement to communist oppression

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

KRAKÓW, Poland, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Archbishop of Kraków identified LGBT ideology as a new form of totalitarianism threatening Polish freedom in a pastoral letter released on September 28.

“Currently we are living at a time in which the next great threat to our freedom has appeared,” said Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, “and it is of a totalitarian nature.”

“Its source is — just like the totalitarianisms of the 20th century — a radical rejection of God,” he continued.

“As a consequence of this rejection, a new vision of man is being proclaimed in which he becomes a caricature of himself. As part of gender ideology, there are attempts to obliterate the natural differences between woman and man. Moreover, through the aggressive propaganda of LGBT ideology in the name of so-called ‘tolerance’ and ‘progress,’ that which is most sacred to us is mocked.” 

Jędraszewski also declared that people, “people of faith” among them, are being forced to spread LGBT ideology. Their freedom of conscience “broken,” they are encouraged to turn away from “the principles of their Christian faith.”  

“This clearly reminds us of the totalitarian times of the [communist] Polish People’s Republic, when social advancement was guaranteed only to members of the Communist Party, and [Christian] believers were treated like second-class citizens.”

The archbishop also warned that some local governments had introduced sex education programs recommended by the World Health Organization to schools and kindergartens, resulting in great spiritual harm to children and young people.

“All of this is clearly an offense to God the Creator,” he wrote.

He counseled the people of his archdiocese against indifference about this “anti-morality offensive” that threatens “individuals, families, societies, and nations.”

As archbishop of Kraków, Jędraszewski is a successor to Karol Wojtyła, now known as St. John Paul II, who was the metropolitan of the ancient diocese from 1964 until 1978. Jędraszewski began his letter with a reminder of two important anniversaries linked to the life of the Polish saint: the 40th anniversary of his first visit home to Poland as pope and the centenary of his 1920 birth. The archbishop noted his predecessor’s “great struggle” for Christian and national values and said these struggles had been shared by all Poland. He cited the saint’s deep gratitude to those who had fought for Polish freedom in 1920 and declared that the saint had not only “repaid the debt,” but also “multiplied the treasure Poland was to him.”  

Jędraszewski encouraged the people of his archdiocese to imitate St. John Paul II in paying  “back the debt” to the saints and other heroes of Polish history by defending Poland’s Christian values, which it has possessed for over a thousand years.

“This is not only a duty to the noble achievements of our ancestors, but also to future generations of Poles,” he wrote. 

“This is especially the responsibility of parents, who above all should care about the happiness and prosperity of their children.”

Parents who are indifferent to or even support gender ideology, LGBT propaganda, and the WHO programs are most likely to see their children become their victims.

“And for parents who truly love their children, there can be no greater tragedy,” the archbishop declared.

Jędraszewski concluded his letter by announcing that from November 2019 until the end of 2020, there will be silent adoration in all churches and public chapels in the archdiocese for half an hour before the evening Mass, followed by a decade of the rosary and prayers asking the intercession of St. John Paul II.

“There’s definitely a culture war in Poland right now, and in recent months the archbishop has become a major symbol in that war,” said Filip Mazurczak, an American student in Kraków, to LifeSiteNews.

Mazurczak indicated that Polish media reaction to the archbishop’s speech was predetermined.

“Polish society is extremely polarized right now, as you know, so the Polish papers’ reactions are predictable,” he said. 

“[Archbishop Jędraszewski is] a hero to Gazeta Polska, Do Rzeczy, Fronda and so forth, but he is the bête noire of Gazeta Wyborcza, etc.”

Mazurczak suggested that Poland is in the grip of a “religious cold war.”

“I think we are seeing another religious cold war in Poland, similar to that of the 1990s, although maybe a little less ugly,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“In the early 1990s, the main battlegrounds for the religious cold war were abortion, religious education in public schools, and references to Christian values in the Polish constitution. Now, it's LGBT,” he continued. 

Mazurczak believes that although the LGBT movement has a lot of money and political influence, Catholic Poland will not be as easy to defeat as Catholic Ireland.

“In Western Europe (Ireland, for example), [LGBT ideology] has been storming through society with little resistance,” the student noted. “[But] while Warsaw hipsters may love LGBT as much as they love veganism, bands nobody else has heard of, and not shaving, a large part of Polish society is conservative and Catholic and opposes this,” he continued.

“So what's happening in Poland is the same thing that's been happening around the world, but it's faced much more resistance [here] than in Western Europe.”

Featured Image
LAST CHANCE: Register now to watch Amazon Synod roundtable tomorrow Giulio Origlia/Getty Images
LifeSiteNews staff

News

LAST CHANCE: Register now to watch Amazon Synod roundtable tomorrow

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

Register to watch the Amazon Synod Roundtable live stream on Friday, October 4th beginning at 9am U.S. EST! Click here

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The long-awaited Amazon Synod is nearly here. In just three days time, Catholic clergy from all over the world will gather in Rome. From the looks of it, there is going to be an all-out war on core teachings of our beloved Catholic faith.

Be sure to tune in to tomorrow’s Amazon Synod roundtable, hosted by Voice of the Family. Although the roundtable is taking place in Rome, it can be live-streamed for free online.

Click here to register for this truly unique event aimed at defending the faith of our fathers.

Coverage begins at 9:00 am U.S. Eastern Standard Time and lasts until 12:00 noon (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m Rome Time).

Now is the time for prayer. Now is the time for action. Catholics cannot sit idly by as liberal and modernist bishops plot and scheme their way towards abolishing centuries of established Church doctrine and traditions. The Mystical Body of Christ has to be defended. 

Some of today's top defenders of Christ and his teachings will be at this one-of-a-kind gathering. John-Henry Westen, Dr. Taylor Marshall, Professor Roberto de Mattei, Michael Voris, and more are participating.

This is a must-watch event. Do not miss out!

Other speakers at the roundtable discussion, which will be moderated by John Smeaton, chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (UK), include, Michael Matt (The Remnant, USA), Jeanne Smits (Journalist, France), Marco Tosatti (Stilum Curiae, Italy), José Antonio Ureta (TFP, France), and Riccardo Cascioli (La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Italy) 

The discussion will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Italian. If you’re unable to tune into the roundtable at the time it’s being live-streamed or in its entirety tomorrow, registrants will be able to access a replay later. 

Click here to register for this truly unique event.

Featured Image
Live Action News
Calvin Freiburger

News ,

Kamala Harris demands Twitter ban Trump for ‘targeted harassment’

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has written to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, urging him to ban the President of the United States from the social media platform over his tweets about the anonymous accuser who sparked Democrats’ latest impeachment push.

“Twitter’s user agreement specifically states that users ‘may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so,’” with harassment including efforts to “silence someone else’s voice,” Harris’ October 1 letter read. She claimed Donald Trump violated those terms with a series of tweets pertaining to the controversy over his request that the Ukrainian government investigate Vice President Joe Biden pressuring the country to fire a prosecutor investigating his son’s company:

Trump’s complaints stem from reports that the as-yet-unidentified “whistleblower” who first made the allegations coordinated with the office of Democrat House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff before submitting the complaint, despite Schiff having denied advance knowledge of its contents. Trump’s fourth tweet references Schiff reciting an inaccurate depiction of Trump’s phone call that he defended as “meant to be at least part in parody.”

Harris called Trump’s tweets “blatant threats” that “represent a clear intent to baselessly discredit the whistleblower and officials in our government” while “making blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger.” She wrote that “Twitter should consider suspending his account.”

A Twitter spokesperson told CNBC that the company plans to respond to the letter.

“It is not surprising that Kamala Harris, someone who believes in bigger government and more regulation, would like to silence her political opponents,” a White House spokesperson replied. “In fact, it’s rather authoritarian of her. President Trump’s use of technology to communicate directly with the American people and share his Administration’s unprecedented accomplishments should be praised, not criticized.”

Several public figures criticized Harris for her request, including two other Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 presidential nod:

RealClearPolitics’ polling average currently puts Harris in fifth place among the top 13 candidates of the 2020 Democrat field, with 4.8 percent of the vote.

Featured Image
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

News ,

Stillborn babies ‘remain part of the mother,’ British abortion giant insists

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

October 3, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — BPAS, Britain's largest abortion provider, has opposed "life-saving" change to inquest rules for stillbirths, because this could give legal rights to the unborn.

Determined To Protect Abortion At All Costs

A spokesperson for SPUC said: "We are seeing the true colours of the abortion industry. They are terrified of any move which could give legal protection to unborn children."

Mothers who have experienced the devastation of stillbirth have also hit out at BPAS, after the abortion provider opposed plans which could prevent future tragedies.

The Ministry of Justice has been consulting on whether to allow coroners to investigate stillbirths, in response to "calls from bereaved parents, charities and others for a more transparent and independent process for determining the causes of, and learning from, stillbirths."

But BPAS, which carries out about 60,000 abortions a year, has opposed the move because it threatens abortion.

Stillbirth "Only Happens To The Mother"

Michelle Hemmington, of the Campaign for Safer Births, who lost her son due to medical mistakes, said: "This change could save babies' lives." 

In an astonishing statement, BPAS said that the change "risks fundamentally undermining the uncontested legal understanding that a stillborn child remains part of the mother."

"This, in turn, risks endangering the legal understanding of women's rights to her own body during pregnancy and birth — conferring a degree of foetal personhood which can only be attained by removing fundamental, long-standing rights from women."

BPAS insists that stillbirth is something that happens solely to the mother, "rather than an independent person".

SPUC said: "This flies in the face of the fact that a baby before birth is a unique, new human being who has never been part of his or her mother's body. BPAS will not acknowledge the humanity of the unborn baby because their work is destroying these little ones."

In a further display of insensitivity to families who have lost a baby in the womb, BPAS goes on: "We also believe it is inappropriate to refer to foetal demise as 'death' in relation to legislation as this indicates a legal personhood which the stillborn baby did not have."

Costing Unborn Babies Their Lives

One of the mothers who hit back at BPAS' response was Caroline Tully, who lost her daughter Clara to stillbirth; her case led the Ministry of Justice to dub the proposed law change "Clara's law".

Mrs Tully said: 'I am very disappointed that a theoretical risk to allowing legal rights to non-viable foetuses could undo all the hard work put in to support the need for Clara's Law. Their move could come at a cost to the lives of unborn babies, by allowing unsafe practices to go unchecked.'

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

Featured Image
Julian Smith, M.P., secretary of state for Northern Ireland. Bart Lenoir / Shutterstock.com
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

News , ,

UK launches ‘awareness campaign’ to prepare Northern Ireland women for abortion access

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

October 3, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — In a move that a SPUC spokesman says "undermines any consultation process", the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is planning to launch an awareness campaign related to the likely change in the law on abortion.

"Duty To Legislate"

Julian Smith MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said in the House of Commons Monday night: "The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 requires the UK Parliament to introduce laws on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships, abortion and victims' payments. This House has spoken, and the duty to legislate will come into effect if the Executive are not back up and running before 21 October. My Department will shortly begin an awareness campaign to ensure that women and citizens across Northern Ireland are clear as to how we plan to proceed to regulate for these new legal duties."

Abortion will be decriminalised in Northern Ireland if the devolved Assembly at Stormont is not reconvened by 21 October, after Labour MP Stella Creasy hijacked the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act to impose abortion on the Province.

Accurate Information?

Philip Lynn, SPUC's Northern Ireland Development Officer, said: "The NIO's decision to launch an awareness campaign on the changes to Northern Ireland's abortion law pre-empts any effort at public consultation and undermines the credibility of any future consultative process. The campaign appears to be aimed at directing women to abortion services. It will not provide women with accurate information on the humanity of the unborn child nor the overwhelming evidence of the mental and physical risks associated with abortion."

Mr Lynn continued: "Not one of Northern Ireland's sitting MPs voted for these changes, and tens of thousands of people have already taken to the streets, written letters, or signed petitions in protest​. By imposing an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, Westminster has ridden roughshod over the devolution settlement. The Secretary of State has a duty to respect the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland and set a date for the reformation of a Stormont Executive before the 21st October."

Still Hope?

In response to a powerful intervention by pro-life DUP MP Ian Paisley, Mr Smith did give some indication that the Government are prepared to facilitate the reconvening of the Assembly, saying: "We all have to do everything we can to get things up and running in the coming days and weeks. That is important for the issue of abortion, which I believe is best dealt with by the Executive in Northern Ireland for the people of Northern Ireland, but it is also in the best interests of all citizens across Northern Ireland to get decisions done and political decisions made."

SPUC is asking members to contact their MPs, asking them to write to Julian Smith, calling on him to reconvene the Assembly.

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

Featured Image
everything possible / Shutterstock.com
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

News

High Court rules Northern Ireland breaches human rights by protecting unborn babies

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

October 3, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — In a decision that "turns justice on its head" the High Court in Belfast has ruled that Northern Ireland's abortion laws breach the UK's human rights commitments.

The High Court judge found in favour of Sarah Ewart, a woman from Northern Ireland, who travelled to England for an abortion after she was told that her baby would die before or shortly after birth.

Justice Or Eugenics?

"This judgement effectively says that severely disabled children, with life-limiting conditions, have no right to exist," Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland political officer, explains. "They can be deprived of the most fundamental human right by having their lives taken from them. This is not justice, this is eugenics."

In making her judgement, Mrs Justice Keegan followed the opinion of four justices of the Supreme Court in London, who said last year that Northern Ireland's ban on most abortions was incompatible with Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights, (the right to respect for private and family life), in prohibiting abortion in cases of rape and incest and "fatal foetal abnormality".

The 2018 case was dismissed, as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which brought it, had no legal standing to do so.

Although the judge found in favour of Mrs Ewart, she did not make a formal declaration that Northern Ireland's abortion laws are incompatible with human rights. This is because of impending legislation, already passed at Westminster, which will decriminalise abortion if there is no deal to restore devolution in Northern Ireland by 21 October.

No Right To Abortion

Commenting further on the judgement, Mr Gibson said: "Any claim that by providing legal protection for children before birth the law in Northern Ireland violates human rights obligations turns justice on its head. Not one of the nine core UN human rights treaties even mentions abortion.

"Yet, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the seminal document of the human rights project, recognises that 'the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth'.

"No court, no parliament and no government has the legitimate authority to brand any section of the human family as non-persons so they can be killed. This judgement is wrong and eventually it will be overturned."

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

Featured Image
LifeSiteNews staff

News

Amazon Synod’s working document is ‘invitation to apostasy’: Catholic author

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

Watch online for free as lay Catholics from across the world address critical Amazon Synod issues TOMORROW, October 4th.  Click here to join.

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — José Antonio Ureta says he is “very much concerned” with the upcoming Pan-Amazonian Synod, primarily because its working documents are “an invitation to apostasy” and “an application of indigenous theology, which is nothing but a post-Marxist surrogate for liberation theology.”

Ureta will be speaking at Voice of the Family’s Amazon Synod roundtable, which will be held at Hotel Massimo D’Azeglia in Rome on Friday, October 4. The gathering, titled “Our Church – reformed or deformed?” will feature some of the most well-known Catholic voices in the world. The discussion will be live-streamed online at no cost by LifeSiteNews from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m Rome Time (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

Ureta is a senior researcher for the French Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. Tradition, Family, and Property is a traditionalist Catholic organization founded in Brazil by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in 1960. Oliveira was a Catholic politician, writer, and intellectual who helped conservative, anti-communist bishops who attended the Second Vatican Council. In 2018, Ureta published Paradigm Shift, a book that assessed Pope Francis’ first five years in office.

Ureta made his remarks in a promotional video for the Amazon roundtable. Ureta believes the synod’s working documents “summarize all the theological, pastoral, anthropological, cultural, and socio-economic praxis that Pope Francis and the promoters of the synod want to promote inside the Church and in society at large.”

Click here to register to watch the roundtable online for free!

The Pan-Amazonian Synod will take place between October 6 and 27. At stake are the gifts of celibacy, the nature of the priesthood, and the concept of evangelization itself. Given the gravity of the synod, this roundtable discussion is too important to miss! Click here to register to watch the roundtable online for free!

Participants in the roundtable discussion, which will be moderated by John Smeaton, chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (UK), include:

  • John-Henry Westen (LifeSiteNews, Canada)
  • Prof. Roberto de Mattei (Corrispondenza Romana, Italy) 
  • Dr. Taylor Marshall (author, USA)
  • Michael Matt (The Remnant, USA)
  • Michael Voris (Church Militant, USA) 
  • Jeanne Smits (Journalist, France)
  • Marco Tosatti (Stilum Curiae, Italy)
  • José Antonio Ureta (TFP, France)
  • Riccardo Cascioli (La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Italy) 

The discussion will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Italian. 

Featured Image
Brandt Jean forgives and hugs Amber Guyger, the female cop convicted of murdering his brother.
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

News ,

WATCH: Young man stuns courtroom by forgiving brother’s murderer, urging her to seek Christ

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring
Image
Amber Guyger testifies at murder trial, Sept. 27, 2019.
Image
Brandt Jean, brother of deceased Botham Jean, tells Amber Guyger that he forgives her, Oct. 2, 2019.

DALLAS, Texas, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In an incredible display of human compassion, a young man whose brother was shot and killed forgave the cop who had been found guilty of his murder.  

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger shot and killed an unarmed man in his apartment, claiming that she had mistakenly thought she was entering her own apartment located one floor below and had encountered an intruder.       

After Guyger, 31, was sentenced to ten years in prison for the death of Botham Jean, the judge permitted his brother, Brandt Jean, to address Guyger in the packed courtroom.  

What came out of the young man’s mouth stunned those present and has captured the attention of the entire nation. 

He spoke deeply from his heart. 

“I forgive you,” said Brandt Jean, “and I know that if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you.”  

“I’m speaking for myself and not behalf of my family, but I love you just like anyone else,” said the young man.

“I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I personally want the best for you.”

“I don’t even want you to go to jail,” he declared. “I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do ... and the best would be:  Give your life to Christ.” 

After wiping away tears, Brandt Jean turned to the judge and asked, “I don’t know if it’s possible, but can I give her a hug please?”  

When the stunned judge failed to answer, Brandt again pleaded, “Please?”

The two then met and embraced in the center of the courtroom. Guyger, fell into Brandt Jean’s arms and sobbed as he spoke into her ear.  She clearly did not want to let go of the man who had just lightened her heavy burden of guilt.   

“Everyone was humbled”

“The feeling in court changed in that moment,” said a TV journalist who was present in the room.

“This trial was tragic, salacious, raised questions about police practices, and has received attention worldwide,” noted the Fox4 reporter.  “But in that moment, everyone was humbled, watching a teenager forgive the person who killed his brother.”

Perhaps inspired by Brandt Jean’s Christ-like forgiveness, Judge Tammy Kemp retrieved her own Bible from her chambers and gave it to Guyger. 

“You can have mine. I have three or four more at home,” said Judge Kemp. “This is the one I use every day.”

“This is your job for the next month,” continued the judge.  “It says right here. John 3:16. And this is where you start. ‘For God so loved the world …’” 

According to Fox4,  Judge Kemp then guided Guyger through accepting Jesus Christ into her life.  

The two prayed together, and during that time, Guyger did just as Jean's brother said he would have wanted, asking for salvation there in the courtroom. 

Featured Image
YouTube screenshot
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

News ,

Fox News drops Todd Starnes after guest challenges pro-abortion Democrats’ faith

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Popular conservative radio host Todd Starnes has parted ways with Fox News Channel, days after an interview in which a guest suggested that Democrats worship a pagan god of child sacrifice.

On Monday, Starnes interviewed First Baptist Church’s Pastor Robert Jeffress who, amid a discussion of Democrats’ support for abortion, suggested that the “god they worship is the pagan god of the Old Testament, Moloch, who allowed for child sacrifice. The God of the Bible doesn’t sanction the killing of millions and millions of children in the womb. I think the god they are worshiping is the god of their own imagination.”

“We just assume they’re praying to God,” Starnes himself said earlier in the exchange. “I’m not quite sure.”

Most federally elected Democrats, including most of the 2020 presidential field, overwhelmingly oppose any restrictions on abortion, even legislation to mandate life-saving care for newborns who survive failed abortions.

On Wednesday, The Wrap reported that Fox News has dropped Starnes as a contributor to TV segments, website commentary, and Fox Nation subscription content. Fox didn’t elaborate on a reason for the decision, but a source told The Wrap that it “was in the works well before Monday.”

Starnes himself wrote a Facebook post Wednesday saying simply that he has “departed Fox News” after “15 amazing years” and is “excited to announce the launch of Starnes Media Group, a multi-faceted broadcasting and digital company focused on delivering authentic conservative news and commentary.” LifeSiteNews has reached out to Starnes for comment.

He also tweeted Wednesday that he is a “rock-solid conservative and I do not compromise my beliefs. Period”:

While it’s not yet known if the departure was a mutual decision rooted in Starnes’s career plans or if he was forced out over his forceful conservative commentary, speculation is buzzing about the latter in light of reports that former House speaker Paul Ryan, now a board member at Fox, feels “embarrassed” about Donald Trump and is lobbying the network to “decisively break” with the president.

Featured Image
LifeSiteNews staff

News

Previewing the Amazon Synod: A new crisis point for the Church

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

Urgent Prayer Pledge: JOIN the 9-Day Novena leading up to the Amazon Synod Sign the petition here.

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The spiritual battle for the Catholic faith is in full swing in Rome this month at the much-anticipated, and highly-controversial Pan-Amazonian Synod, and LifeSite has a team on the ground for the whole Synod. In this video, LifeSite's managing editor, Patrick Craine, speaks with co-founder John-Henry Westen for a preview of the Synod and how LifeSite is standing for the faith during this crucial moment for the Church.

Read more about the Synod here.

Sign up here to watch the livestream on Oct. 4 of the Amazon Synod Roundtable Discussion.

Featured Image
A petition created by The Moral Outcry that was 125 feet long and 5 feet wide containing 250,000 signatures was unrolled before the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1, 2019. CBN News / video screen grab

News

WATCH: 250,000 Americans petition Supreme Court to ‘overturn’ Roe v. Wade abortion decision

By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life advocates unrolled a giant scroll containing over 250,000 signatures outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday demanding that it reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that has allowed abortion throughout the country. 

The petition effort, launched by a group called the Moral Outcry, is asking the Supreme Court to “reverse, cancel, overturn and annul Roe v. Wade” so as to “redress and correct the grave injustice and the crime against humanity which is being perpetuated by your decision.” 

The petition, which when unrolled was 125 feet long and 5 feet wide, was submitted as the Supreme Court gears up to begin its new term next week.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life joined other pro-life leaders on Tuesday to present the petition. 

“The Moral Outcry is giving a national platform to the voices of countless Americans who want Roe v. Wade reversed,” Father Pavone said. “We’re doing it now as the Supreme Court begins a new term.”

Almost twenty pro-life groups are involved in the petition, including Missouri Blacks for Life, Anglicans for Life, Human Life Alliance, Red Rose Rescue, the Justice Foundation, Priests for Life, Human Life Alliance, Center For Bio-Ethical Reform.

In a press release, Priests for Life said that the petition is allowing “countless Americans” to voice support for reversing Roe v. Wade. It noted that the Supreme Court will hear cases as soon as this week that provide the Justices with an opportunity to weaken, modify, or reserve the watershed decision, even if the cases do not directly address core questions of the decision. 

“This is so because any case dealing with abortion ultimately finds its foundations in the case that legalized it to begin with,” the press releases stated.

While the pro-life organization noted that the Supreme Court is not a usual target of “lobbying,” it recognized that the court is not “disconnected from the views of the American people.” 

This week, the court may look at two life-related cases from Indiana and Louisiana. The court will consider a case involving the First Amendment rights of sidewalk pro-life counselors in Illinois who try to dissuade women from abortion. 

The 2014 Louisiana law that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion facility where they work is being challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing two Louisiana doctors and an abortion facility. The Center argues that if the law were to go into effect, Louisiana would be left with but "only one doctor to care for every woman seeking an abortion in the state." While a federal appeals court upheld the law, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with four liberal colleagues to put it on hold until all nine justices could consider whether to take up an appeal.

A similar Texas pro-life law was overruled by the court in 2014. Louisiana has argued that its law requires a higher level of competence for physicians than required by Texas, even while critics such as Planned Parenthood claim that there is no medical justification for the requirement. A spokesperson for the Center for Reproductive Rights told CNN that this Supreme Court system is crucial, having concluded that Louisiana seeks to “unlawfully” restrict abortion.

During this term, the Supreme Court may also examine a 2016 Indiana law that requires expectant mothers to be offered an ultrasound image of their unborn baby, as well as an opportunity to hear the baby’s heartbeat at least 18 hours before an abortion. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU oppose the law, claiming that it places substantial burdens on women. Soon after the bill went into effect, lower courts blocked its implementation. 

Even with the two justices added to the court during President Donald Trump’s administration, there is still no pro-life majority on the court. The confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh was said to herald a new five-member pro-life majority on the nine-member court. However, Kavanaugh joined Chief Justice John Roberts in voting with the four-member liberal justices in refusing to review lower court decisions allowing individual patients to challenge states’ exclusion of Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. 

While Justice Clarence Thomas has argued that Roe was wrongly decided and that there is no right to abortion contemplated in the Constitution, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan are expected to rule in favor of the Roe precedent. Bader Ginsburg signaled that the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, and the admission of Trump’s picks, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, has increased the stakes for those promoting abortion. She said this spring that Kennedy’s retirement will prove to be "of greatest consequence for the current term, and perhaps for many terms ahead."

Featured Image
Screen shot from video explaining the Nexplanon implantation process. Design Science / YouTube
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

News , , ,

Mom solves daughter’s mystery illness: School nurse secretly inserted birth control implant

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

BALTIMORE, Maryland, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A mother is furious after discovering that her 16-year-old daughter’s headaches and soreness were caused by a birth control implant inserted by a school nurse without her consent. 

Nicole Lambert was shocked to learn from her daughter’s pediatrician that the pain her daughter was experiencing had been caused by a tiny tube containing the contraceptive  “Nexplanon,” which had been improperly inserted in her daughter’s upper arm.

Not only did the doctor recommend that the tube be removed to alleviate the child’s discomfort, but he further warned that the contraceptive could cause far worse side-effects, such as blood clots.

“I actually started crying because just to hear that your child, anything could happen to your child and you don’t even know what’s going on,” Lambert told WMAR-2 News. “It’s a scary feeling.”  

“I actually went to the school. I was furious. I was mad, so I went to the school and the nurse told me, ‘I don't have to talk to you about absolutely nothing,’” said Lambert. “I’m like that is my child, I take care of this child, you can talk to me about my child.”

“And they put me out of the school,” said Lambert. 

“They call me for Tylenol, but they don't call me about birth control,” continued the concerned mom. “You gave my daughter this insertion so she might be suffering from that, but do they even look at that?”

“Other kids out here could be going through the same thing and their parents don’t know about it. And I just think these kids, if they have it incorrectly or whatever it is, they should be checked because anything could happen to these kids,” she added.

Disturbed that her daughter — and others — could, without parental notification, undergo such an invasive medical treatment that comes with potential serious side-effects, Lambert has hired attorney David Ledyard to investigate.    

“Ms. Lambert wasn’t given the choice to pick the medical provider where her daughter would feel comfortable going and receiving these services, who she knew did a comprehensive medical exam, who she knew knew her medical history,” Ledyard explained.

“There's no transparency in the training or certification of the school health centers,” Ledyard told PJ Media.

“Are they looking at the medical history of the students and doing a full workup before implanting these devices?” asked Ledyard. “What is the certification process and training of the nurses?”

Lambert’s daughter attends Digital Harbor High School, which is home to one of Baltimore City’s 17 School-Based Health Centers (SBHC), several of which offer birth control to students. 

According to the Baltimore City Health Department, 164 students were using birth control provided at school during the 2017–2018 school year, including oral contraceptive pills, Plan B, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, and Nexplanon.

Maryland’s health code states, “A minor has the same capacity as an adult to consent to treatment for or advice about contraception other than sterilization.” Minors are also able to consent to treatment for or advice about drug abuse, alcoholism, venereal disease, and pregnancy, as well as to consent to physical examination and treatment of injuries from — or to obtain evidence from — an alleged rape or sexual offense. 

According to PJ Media’s report, the surgery to remove the Nexplanon implant from Lambert’s daughter also entailed removing skin and tissue damaged by the device.

Although the Nexplanon implant was inserted into her daughter’s body without Lambert’s knowledge, a doctor could not remove it without Lambert’s consent.

Featured Image
Shelina Begum, mother of five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb. Good Morning Britain / YouTube
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

News , ,

Judge rules UK hospital can’t kill 5-year-old girl, hospital appeals decision

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, England, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Little Tafida Raqeeb has had a stay of execution.

Today, a High Court ruled that the dangerously ill child may be removed from the hospital where doctors wished her to die and be taken abroad for treatment in Italy.

Tafida, 5, has been on life support in London hospitals since February of this year, having suffered a sudden and rare rupture in her brain.

A brain stem test has shown that she is not dead, but her London-based doctors are convinced that she will never recover from her minimally conscious state. They planned to cease all treatment and remove her from a ventilator, thus bringing about her death.

Tafida’s parents, construction engineer Mohammed Raqueeb, 45, and lawyer Shelina Begum, 39, disagreed with this plan, and made arrangements with the Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Genoa to continue their daughter’s treatment.

However, representatives of the Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes Royal London Hospital, where Tafida is currently lying, went to court to argue that it was in the child’s best interests to die.

When defending their right to take Tafida to Italy, her parents cited their religious faith, arguing that Tafida belonged to a Muslim family and that, according to Islamic law, only God could decide to end her life.

In his judgement, Mr Justice MacDonald alluded to the family’s Islamic faith when he explained why he was deciding to allow Tafida to go to Italy.

“[W]here a child is not in pain and is not aware of his or her parlous situation, these cases can place the objective best interests test under some stress,” he said.

“Tests must be looked for in subjective or highly value laden ethical, moral or religious factors ... which mean different things to different people in a diverse, multicultural, multi-faith society," he said.

Tafida’s parents are said to be “thrilled” by the ruling, and their legal counsel said it was an “enormous relief” for them. They now want to go ahead with Tafida’s transfer from London to Genoa.

However, Barts Health NHS Trust has indicated that it will appeal the ruling.

Tom Evans, the father of doomed toddler Alfie Evans, told LifeSiteNews that he was pleased by the decision. "I think it’s great news, and I’m really pleased for the family. I had ... great faith in [Tafida's] legal team," he wrote.

Caroline Farrow of CitizenGO U.K. told LifeSiteNews that the judge’s recognition of cultural and religious beliefs was “extremely encouraging.”

“CitizenGO has been supporting Tafida’s family and like them we were overcome by emotion following the Mr Justice Macdonald’s ruling today,” she said via social media.

“It is extremely encouraging to read that the judge has determined that cultural and religious factors must not be ruled out when it comes to the consideration of human dignity,” she continued. 

“Tafida’s family should never have been put through this ordeal and we hope that this ruling will curb the enthusiasm and haste of doctors to make ethical judgements to remove life-sustaining treatment for children without having due regard for the wishes and rights of the parents.”

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has issued a press release calling the judge’s decision a “victory for human life and justice.” 

“Our hearts go out to Tafida and her parents, whose precious daughter has been allowed to live,” said Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC’s director of research.

“The court ruling sends an important message to the doctors at the Royal London Hospital that their view of Tafida’s life was wrong. It has always been clear that ventilation and transferring Tafida to Italy would not in fact have been harmful and any costs would not have fallen on the NHS.”

The news that the Barts Health Trust will appeal the decision has tempered SPUC’s joy somewhat.

“The decision to appeal shows that elements of the medical profession are sticking to the sinister path on which the most basic rights of citizens have been repeatedly overturned by those on high,” McCarthy added.  

But today Tafida’s family, friends, and well-wishers have reason to celebrate.

“Happily today we have seen a just resolution. Mr and Mrs Raqeeb’s reasonable request to do the best they could for their child has been upheld, albeit with the prospect of further anguish and struggle to protect Tafida’s life,” McCarthy said.

“We wish these loving and valiant parents every success in caring for their child.”

Featured Image
Cardinal Gerhard Müller
Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike

News

Vatican’s former doctrine head: Ban on female deacons, priests an infallible Catholic ‘dogma’

Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

Urgent Prayer Pledge: JOIN the 9-Day Novena leading up to the Amazon Synod Sign the petition here.

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican’s former head of the congregation tasked with preserving the Catholic Church’s doctrine from error has stated that it’s an infallible teaching of the Church that must be held by all the faithful that women cannot receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of its three degrees – deacon, priest, bishop.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated that it’s an “error” for anyone who claims to be Catholic to “demand” from the upcoming Amazon Synod (beginning in Rome on Sunday, Oct. 6) that it “must rule that the Sacrament of Holy Orders – in its first degree, the diaconate – may also be validly administered to women.”

The Cardinal, in a statement to LifeSiteNews (published in full below), said that it is “certainly without doubt” that Saint John Paul II’s 1994 teaching on the impossibility of women receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees is a “dogma” of the Faith of the Catholic Church.

John Paul II declared in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church has “no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.”

Stated Cardinal Müller: “It is certainly without doubt, however, that this definitive decision from Pope John Paul II is indeed a dogma of the Faith of the Catholic Church and that this was of course the case already before this Pope defined this truth as contained in Revelation in the year 1994.”

“The impossibility that a woman validly receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees is a truth contained in Revelation and it is thus infallibly confirmed by the Church's Magisterium and presented as to be believed,” he added. 

Cardinal Müller made this comment in reaction to a recent claim made by Bishop Erwin Kräutler, one of the key organizers of the Amazon Synod, that John Paul II's teaching about the impossibility of female priests was “not a dogma.”

“But, even if the Pope explained at the time that 'all the faithful of the Church are definitely to hold this decision,' it is nevertheless not a dogma,” Bishop Kräutler stated in an interview with Blickpunkt Lateinamerika, the journal of the German relief agency Adveniat – a group which heavily funded the preparations for the upcoming Synod. Kräutler also stated in the same interview that the Amazon Synod “must” allow a female diaconate.

The Amazon Synod's controversial working document proposes “to identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role which women play today in the Amazonian Church” (14). But the participants of one preparatory meeting for the Amazon Synod – among them Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops – explicitly called for the allowance of female deacons. 

“In this sense, we propose that their leadership be recognized, promoting various ministerial forms of exercising service and authority, and in particular, that reflection on the female diaconate be taken up again in the perspective of Vatican II (cf. LG 29, AG 16 IL 129 c2),” the participants wrote.

Cardinal Müller goes on in his statement to explain in detail that not every dogma of the Catholic Church needs to be formally declared as such. 

“When it comes to a dogma, one has to differentiate between the substantive and the formal side. The revealed truth which is being expressed in it – and whose denial is being sanctioned with an “anathema sit” or which is being pronounced 'ex cathedra' by the Pope alone – does not therefore depend upon the external form of the definition,” he stated. The Creed is such an example. 

Next to this doctrinal question, the German prelate also addressed the current activities of Catholic progressives and their “manipulations” happening within the Church. 

After mentioning the fact that today some theologians, and even bishops, question the infallibility of John Paul II's 1994 declaration, Cardinal Müller goes on to discuss the current problem that, under the pontificate of Pope Francis, there seems to be a growing number of theologians who desire to promote a sort of “ecclesial absolutism.” 

“Some people,” he stated, “being themselves factionists, misinterpret in an ideological fashion the dogma of the primacy of jurisdiction and of the infallibility of the Pope in matters of faith and morals; and they turn these dogmas into a heretofore-unseen ecclesial absolutism, as if – also outside of questions of faith and morals – the Pope could properly demand 'religious submission of mind and will” with regard “to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff' (Lumen Gentium 25).”

These people, according to Müller, pretend that there is, “next to the Word of God, an additional source of Revelation, either in the Pope or in the People of God, to whom the Shepherds should listen.” Thus, man would be placed above God's Revelation. “Such new sources [of proposed revelation], they say, would allow us to go beyond Scripture and Tradition and even to know better than the heretofore Magisterium as to what Jesus really had meant and what He would now say were He alive today.”

Without explicitly saying so, Cardinal Müller may have been referring to the working document of the Amazon Synod which claims with reference to the Amazon region that “territory is a theological place where faith is lived, and also a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God” (19).

In the context of this false “ecclesial papalism” and erroneous teachings on the sources of Revelation, Cardinal Müller also pointed to the “shocking dilettantism” in today's theology, but also to the “brutal contempt of man” that is to be found in Church politics. “He who has an independent mind,” he explained, “is being mercilessly taken out and discarded in an inhuman way without taking into consideration his achievements for the Church and theology.”

True unity in the Church cannot be achieved by using such methods. 

“But the unity in the truth can only be received from God in prayer, and it can only be realized in the obedience of the Magisterium toward God and His Revelation, but it cannot be reached by manipulations, nor with the help of violence and deceit,” he stated. 

With these words, Cardinal Müller noted that changes to the Church's teachings go along with manipulations and deceit, and they do not foster unity. The Magisterium has to obey God and His Revelation. In this context, the German cardinal stated that “in theology, theological and philosophical arguments are what counts.” 

“The truth is not a function serving political and ideological claims to power,” he added.

The prelate highlighted that the recent methods of manipulations come from the progressivist camp. 

“And this popular trick of our progressivists has been understood for a long time and thus rendered ineffective. Namely, they use personal attacks, instead of putting forward for discussion their substantive arguments, and they help themselves in their embarrassment with the help of absurd insinuations that lack any intellectual honesty,” he stated. 

For Modernism, the Cardinal explained, “a dogma of the Catholic Faith is not the definitive and irreversible insight of the Church that a truth is contained in Revelation and therefore needs to be accepted by each Catholic 'with divine and Catholic Faith,' but it is, rather, an expression of the dominant opinion which has gained, with the help of journalistic strategies, the authority of the Pope who then happens to be reigning.”

These modernists now “wish to turn the ecclesial loyalty of each Catholic toward the Pope into an unconditional submission under this one man and into a senseless sacrificium intellectus.” But this “ideological camp” does not realize that they “undermine, with their politicization of the papal authority, the theological foundation of the Petrine Office. Catholics are not anymore to believe in God, but in the Pope, whom the mainstream ideologues inside and outside the Church present as 'their Pope.'”

Cardinal Müller warned against those who politicize this papacy. He said that Catholics must remain loyal to God's teachings, even if Church leaders fail at being good shepherds. The Cardinal pointed out that “‘the obedience of faith … by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of the intellect and of the will to God who reveals’ (Dei Verbum 5), can never apply to a human being – even if it be the Pope or a bishop.” 

The authority of Church leaders, Cardinal Müller added, is “merely deduced and in its substance completely and totally dependent upon God's authority, 'because they do not receive any new public revelation as part of the depositum fidei' (Lumen Gentium 25).”

With these words, the Cardinal provides Catholics with a guide that helps them to know where the limits of papal authority lie so that they can properly orient themselves in the confusing times the Church is now facing. In this context, he outlined the “Incident at Antioch” where St. Paul “contradicted St. Peter to his face” (Gal. 2:11) on account of Peter, the first Pope, falling into error.

The Cardinal ended his statement with a pledge of loyalty to the Pope. 

“We Catholics are, without exception, loyal to Pope Francis and to the bishops in communion with him. This is the essence of the mandate of the Pope, that he assembles again and again anew the disciples and that he unites them in the profession of St. Peter who, when asked by Jesus what people think Who He is, makes the profession of the Church of all ages: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God’ (Mt. 16, 16). And this he said without paying attention to the fickle opinions of the people,” he stated. 

***

Full statement of Cardinal Gerhard Müller on the 'impossibility' of female ordination

October 3, 2019

The demand that the Amazon Synod must rule that the Sacrament of Holy Orders – in its first degree, the diaconate – may also be validly administered to women, contains several errors. 

The first error consists of the opinion that the Magisterium stands above Revelation and that a synod of bishops (with merely a consultative character), an ecumenical council, or the Pope alone could alter the substance of the sacraments (Council of Trent, Decree on Communion under both species, DH 1728).

The second error lies in the opinion that the Sacrament of Holy Orders really consists of three Sacraments, so that one has accordingly to decide whether the declaration Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994) merely applies to the ordination degree of the bishop, or of the presbyter (= the priest), or of the deacon. 

The third error consists of misleading a theologically uninformed public by putting forth the thesis that the definitive decision of Pope John Paul II, namely “that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful” (OS 4), is not a dogma.

It is certainly without doubt, however, that this definitive decision from Pope John Paul II is indeed a dogma of the Faith of the Catholic Church and that this was of course the case already before this Pope defined this truth as contained in Revelation in the year 1994. The impossibility that a woman validly  receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees is a truth contained in Revelation and it is thus infallibly confirmed by the Church's Magisterium and presented as to be believed.

Upon the request of the doctrinal commission of the German Bishops' Conference, I once collected during the time of Cardinal Wetter [who headed the doctrinal commission from 1981 until 2008] the most important documents from Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium: The Recipient of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Sources Pertaining to the Doctrine and Practice of the Church to Confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders Only on Men (Würzburg 1999). The International Theological Commission also expressed itself in a competent manner in this matter, and there exist notable monographs on this matter, as well.  A discussion is only of worth on the basis of the knowledge of the sources. He who negates it might perhaps be welcomed by the uninformed and often anticlerical media – who only rejoice about strife and division within the Church – but he cannot be taken seriously on the academic level.

When it comes to a dogma, one has to differentiate between the substantive and the formal side. The revealed truth which is being expressed in it – and whose denial is being sanctioned with an “anathema sit” or which is being pronounced “ex cathedra” by the Pope alone – does not therefore depend upon the external form of the definition. The essential statements of the Creed, for example, have not been formally defined, but they have been defined in their substance and in an exquisite manner, and they are presented by the Church as statements that have to be believed for the sake of salvation.

Some people now suggest that the doctrine that only a baptized man (who meets the necessary objective and subjective preconditions) may validly receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders is instead to be relativized, namely as an intermittent, private opinion of John Paul II, because some theologians or bishops are of the subjective opinion that this doctrine is not a dogma. And they hold this view, even though Pope Francis himself has always stressed the binding character of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Some people, being themselves factionists, misinterpret in an ideological fashion the dogma of the primacy of jurisdiction and of the infallibility of the Pope in matters of faith and morals; and they turn these dogmas into a heretofore-unseen ecclesial absolutism, as if – also outside of questions of faith and morals – the Pope could demand “religious submission of mind and will” with regard “to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff” (Lumen Gentium 25). They do so as if there was, next to the Word of God, an additional source of Revelation, either in the Pope or in the People of God, to whom the Shepherds should listen. Such new sources, they say, would allow us to go beyond Scripture and Tradition and even to know better than the heretofore Magisterium as to what Jesus really had meant and what He would now say were He alive today. When faced with Imperial Chancellor Bismarck's deceitful misinterpretation of the dogma of the infallibility of the First Vatican Council, the German bishops stated that the Magisterium of the Pope and of the bishops is “bound to the content of Holy Scripture and of Tradition, as well as to the magisterial decisions as they have already been made by the Church's Magisterium” (DH 3116). Pope Pius IX gave this declaration his full support (DH 3117).

It is shocking what kind of dilettantism is currently to be seen in theology and what a brutal contempt of man is taking place in Church politics. He who has an independent mind is being mercilessly taken out and discarded in an inhuman way without taking into consideration his achievements for the Church and theology. But the unity in the truth can only be received from God in prayer, and it can only be realized in the obedience of the Magisterium toward God and His Revelation, but it cannot be reached by manipulations, nor with the help of violence and deceit. Ad intra et extra, it applies: “The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power” (Second Vatican Council, Decree on Religious Liberty, DH 1). 

One could not even convince a child that these political and media phantasies of omnipotence still have anything to do with the defined doctrine of the First and Second Vatican Councils concerning the Pope and the Church. One certainly could not do so with “the mature [in the Faith], for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). All those who either overestimate or underestimate the primacy of the Roman Church and her bishop should urgently read the text of the Congregation for the Faith (1998): The Primacy of the Successor of Peter in the Mystery of the Church. It is to be found as an attachment in my 600-page study The Pope. Mission and Mandate (Herder 2017). The book is also available in Polish and Spanish and soon will be published in English and Italian, so that no one could excuse himself by claiming a lack of knowledge concerning my own considered position. In theology, theological and philosophical arguments are what counts. The truth is not a function serving political and ideological claims to power.  And this popular trick of our progressivists has been understood for a long time and thus rendered ineffective. Namely, they use personal attacks, instead of putting forward for discussion their substantive arguments, and they help themselves in their embarrassment with the help of absurd insinuations that lack any intellectual honesty.

According to the thesis of Modernism as condemned by the Magisterium – a pseudo-Catholic version of the cultural Protestantism of the theology of feeling according to Schleiermacher – a dogma of the Catholic Faith is not the definitive and irreversible insight of the Church that a truth is contained in Revelation and therefore needs to be accepted by each Catholic “with divine and Catholic Faith,” but it is, rather, an expression of the dominant opinion which has gained, with the help of journalistic strategies, the authority of the Pope who then happens to be reigning. The Word of God in Scripture and Tradition and the fact that the Magisterium is bound, in substance, to the unique and unparalleled Revelation in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of the Faith, is here being replaced by an ecclesial-political loyalty to the line of the actual Pope – but only under the condition that he is in accord with their own opinion. These same “false brothers” (Gal. 2:4) – who now wish to turn the ecclesial loyalty of each Catholic toward the Pope into an unconditional submission under this one man and into a senseless sacrificium intellectus – belonged to the most ruthless enemies of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI. However, a loyalty to the Pope that has a theological foundation looks entirely different.

However, the Manifesto of Faith (as it can be found in my book: The Power of the Truth. The Challenges to Catholic Doctrine and Morals Today – Ignatius Press 2019), which I had issued in the face of the chaos in the teaching proclamation and which, in accordance with the Apostolic Tradition, presents the key truths – Holy Trinity, Incarnation, Sacramentality of the Church, the Seven Sacraments, the unity of faith and discipleship, and the hope for eternal life – was demeaned as “half truths of a subjective and arbitrary character.” Someone who usually is a glowing admirer of Luther then even had thought himself able to accuse me of being a Lutherus redivivus, that is to say a revenant Luther. This Luther had, shortly before his death and in a language that does not invite a dialogue – had let himself go and had spoken about “The papacy in Rome, instituted by the devil” (1545). 

Moreover, this same ideological camp now presents itself in their well-known magazines, websites, and so-called non-fiction books as defender of the reform Pope, without noticing that they undermine, with their politicization of the papal authority, the theological foundation of the Petrine Office. Catholics are not anymore to believe in God, but in the Pope, whom the mainstream ideologues inside and outside the Church present as “their Pope.” These ideologues themselves then condemn, in a shocking fit of religious mania, every clear-minded Catholic, faithful bishop, and priest as enemy of “their Pope.” But “the obedience of faith … by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of the intellect and of the will to God who reveals” (Dei Verbum 5), can never apply to a human being – even if it be the Pope or a bishop. Their authority is merely deduced and in its substance completely and totally dependent upon God's authority, “because they do not receive any new public revelation as part of the depositum fidei” (Lumen Gentium 25). This applies also to the relationship of bishops and Pope. In their episcopal ordination, the bishops promised directly to God to preserve faithfully the Catholic Faith. In their consciences, they are duty-bound solely to God and His Revealed Truth (against any form of papalotry). But in the context of episcopal collegiality and of the orientation toward the Pope as the perennial principle and foundation of the unity of the Church in the revealed truth of the Faith (Lumen Gentium 18;23), the directness to God also in the community of the Church and in the communal responsibility for the whole deposit of the faith of the Church (against Protestant individualism) is being realized. It was only this way that St. Paul could “contradict St. Peter to his face” (Gal. 2:11), because the latter was in his teaching in fact loyal to the “truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14), but then “stood self-condemned” by his ambiguous practice. But St. Paul did so without fundamentally questioning the authority and mission of St. Peter. The so-called incident at Antioch, therefore, cannot be used as an argument against the existence of the papacy as of divine right.

After some negative experiences, Pope Francis has to be aware that the relationship between Pope and bishops (and within the Holy Roman Church his relationship to the cardinals) has to be determined by the Catholic understanding of the Church and that it may not be abandoned to the sensationalism of the journalists or to the opportunism of flatterers. It is an unspeakable arrogance when “Vaticanists” publicly and with gestures that seek approval hand to the Pope their books, in which they “uncover” – but in reality merely construe – oppositions and conspiracies against the Pope in the Curia and in the Church, and when they then allow themselves to be celebrated, similarly to the “heroes of the Soviet Union” of the past, for this folly that undermines the Faith. Let us remember here the “dove sellers and the money changers who had turned the Father's House into a marketplace,” who are, according to Jesus' example, to be driven out of the Temple and whose money (earned with their concoctions) is to be poured out – “and whose vending tables He overturned” (see John 2:15 seq.). In any event, this is not a form of literature which promotes harmony among the faithful and which contributes to the increase of morale.

If the Amazon Synod is to become a blessing for the whole Church and to strengthen her unity in the truth, instead of weakening it, the thinking along the lines of parties and ideologies has to stop. When in a struggle everybody “says something different” and legitimizes himself by saying: “I hold on to Paul, but I hold on to Peter, I hold on to Apollos, I to Christ,” then the counter question of the Apostle is justified: “Has Christ been divided? …. Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:13) “Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine” (1 Cor. 11:19) – but “Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks!” (Matt. 18:7).

We believe in the one God; “who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”; “there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:3-7). And we know that the Apostles and their successors, the bishops, are installed as “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Tim. 2:7).

We Catholics are, without exception, loyal to Pope Francis and to the bishops in communion with him. This is the essence of the mandate of the Pope, that he assembles again and again anew the disciples and that he unites them in the profession of St. Peter who, when asked by Jesus what people think Who He is, makes the profession of the Church of all ages: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16, 16). And this he said without paying attention to the fickle opinions of the people.

Featured Image
Zolnierek / Shutterstock.com
Maureen Collins

Opinion , , ,

After ruling, Anchorage gives up crusade to force women’s shelter to admit men

Maureen Collins
By Maureen Collins

October 3, 2019 (Alliance Defending Freedom) — The Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska is now free to continue its ministry to hurting and homeless women.

The Hope Center does so through its women's shelter, and there is good reason this shelter specializes in helping women.

Many homeless women in the area have survived sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. For these women who have been brutally victimized by men, sleeping or changing clothes in the same room as a man causes severe anxiety, making it difficult to breathe and impossible to rest.

But the Hope Center's ability to protect the vulnerable women in its care was challenged by Anchorage.

Thankfully, today, Anchorage agreed to end its crusade against the shelter.

Why was a city commission going after such an important ministry in the first place? Because it would not permit a man to sleep mere feet away from these vulnerable women.

In January of 2018, a drunk and injured man dressed in a pink nightgown tried to gain access to the women's shelter. The Hope Center sent the individual to the hospital to get needed care, even paying for the taxi.

Soon after, a complaint was filed against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming that the center had discriminated against this individual based on "gender identity." But the Hope Center never violated the law. In fact, it helped this individual receive needed care.

The Hope Center is a Christian non-profit that serves everyone because of its love for Jesus. During the day, it provides daily meals, laundry and shower services, job skills training and clothing for both men and women in need. But in order to provide a safe space for homeless women — most of whom have survived abuse by men — the Hope Center keeps its overnight shelter women's only.

But in a rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, an Anchorage commission twisted a law to try to force the Hope Center to admit biological men into its women's shelter. Anchorage's actions threatened to close the doors of the overnight shelter, potentially leaving the many homeless women it serves out in the cold.

To stop Hope Center's shelter from being shut down, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in federal court on the Center's behalf. And in August, the court issued an order that temporarily stopped the city from misapplying this law against the Hope Center. Now, Anchorage has agreed to end its attempt to force men into the shelter. Praise God!

This is a win for the religious liberty of every American, protecting our right to freely live and serve others according to our beliefs without fear of unjust government punishment.

That's all the Downtown Hope Center wants to do.

Because to the many homeless people in Anchorage, it's easy to feel like an outcast — like they don't matter. But written on the windows of the Hope Center is an important message: "You matter. You are loved." And, no doubt, these words will continue to provide true hope to the many people the Hope Center serves.

Published with permission from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Featured Image
Jackson, Miss. City Council member Melvin Priester. Trip Burns / YouTube
Hunter Estes

Opinion , , ,

After voting to suppress speech, pro-abortion lawmaker mocks Christian families

Hunter Estes
By Hunter Estes

October 3, 2019 (Mississippi Center for Public Policy) — The Jackson city council has passed a controversial ordinance aimed at curbing pro-life counselors and protesters from standing outside the city's abortion clinic in Fondren. 

The new ordinance bans individuals from approaching within eight feet of any person, unless that person consents to receiving a leaflet, bans people from protesting, congregating, or picketing within fifteen feet of the abortion center, and bans any amplified sound.

The council held a long meeting last Thursday, and eventually addressed the ordinance in a packed room, open to the public, after eight hours of other scheduled discussions.

Following this meeting, one council member, Melvin Priester, took to his official Facebook page to make some comments about the day. After addressing some of the other issues that were on the docket, he turned to the controversial new ordinance and had this to say (please note errors are his own as the statement appears unedited): 

I am absolutely, 100% convinced that give or take 20 years from now, one of these bored kids that gets drug to City Council meetings to wait for their parent to make a public comment will be in a bar on whatever 2039's version of a Tindr/Grindr date is. His/her date is going to ask 'so, why did you move here?' And this person is going to reply, 'As a kid, my family was SUPER-religious. I didn't even go to school, they just posted me up outside the only abortion clinic in a 3-hour radius day-after-day. Anyway, I'm 12 or 13 and my folks would always take me to Jackson City Council meetings to protest abortion. We'd sit there for HOURS so dad could talk for like 3 minutes. It was soooooo boring. He made me sit there and film it on my cell phone even though it was a televised meeting. Anyway, I swore to myself at like the 4 hour point of dying on one of these hard benches for the millionth time that as SOON as I turned 18, I'd get sooooo far away from Jackson and never look back. So here I am, living in San Francisco, working for planned parenthood. You know how it turns out.

Priester suggests that religious families will see their children turn against their views, turn against them, turn against Jackson, and will seek a life working for the nation's largest abortion provider.

The comment is incredibly hurtful for the thousands of faith-filled Mississippians who seek to imbue in their children the values that they hold dear. These good people attempt to pass on what's important to them, teach their kids to get involved in the community, and to defend the most innocent among us, the unborn. 

These values deserve to be praised rather than shamed.

The question must be asked: would Priester fire off such a one-sided and belittling analysis of this situation if the shoe were on the other foot? I would think not, it seems much more likely that he'd praise people for exercising their civic duty, had they not had the gall to disagree with him.

Priester, himself, has tweeted that, "[I]t's the citizens of Jackson and the families they raise that truly make Jackson great." Apparently this doesn't apply to those who dare to raise their children in "SUPER-religious" or pro-life houses.

Regardless of where you stand on the newly passed ordinance, many can probably agree that belittling those who show up to council meetings to participate in their civic duty and suggesting that their kids will turn against their views, probably isn't the way to foster respectful dialogue on a controversial issue. 

Published with permission from the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

Featured Image
Cardinal Müller's Manifesto of Faith film illustrates 'dire crisis' in Church
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Blogs

Cardinal Müller’s ‘Manifesto of Faith’ film illustrates ‘dire crisis’ in Church

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — "Manifesto of Faith: The Movie" has been released by Arcadia Films. This beautifully illustrated movie is a 22-minute cinematic presentation on Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s February 2019 manifesto of faith, which he wrote in order to combat what he called "growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith" in the Church.

Watch the film for free by clicking here. You will be re-directed to the Arcadia Films website.

Cardinal Müller was the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He served from 2012 until 2017, when he was dismissed by Pope Francis for being too faithful to the Church's doctrines.

This film is, simply put, a must-watch. It comes not in the midst of rosey times for the Church, but in the midst of the most severe crisis of faith inside the Church in her 2,000 year history. It stunningly presents the events surrounding Cardinal Müller's decision and the crisis in the Church.

I asked some friends of mine to comment on the movie in this Special Edition of The John-Henry Westen Show.

Michael Voris of Church Militant said it is "well worth watching" and that we are living in a time of "catastrophe in the Church." Voris also said a "nightmare scenario" is unfolding under Pope Francis, as traditon-minded members of the hierarchy like Cardinal Müller are being "sidelined." Voris believes that the Francis papacy "focuses more on concerns of the natural world as opposed to the supernatural."

Elizabeth Yore is an international human rights and child protection attorney. She said the film is an "inspiring testimony" that is "beautifully presented." It is a "stunning visual for our faith." Catholics need to "watch it on your knees in prayer."

Guillaume de Thieulloy, head of the popular Catholic French publication, La Salon Beige, said he is “greatful” for Cardinal Müller’s defense of Church teaching. I have "admiration" for him "telling the truth" in these "times of confusion," Guillaume told me. "The truth is no longer promoted and defended by those who are supposed to promote it, especially the pope."

Stephen Payne, the film’s director, has previously said he is “delighted to have had the opportunity to create this new cinematic presentation of Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s magnificent text.”

“In a time of proliferating confusion about the eternal truths of the Catholic faith, which today reaches to the highest levels, its clarity is much needed,” he added.

Watch this amazing film about Cardinal Müller for free by clicking here.

Featured Image
Bill Perry / Shutterstock.com
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

Blogs ,

Should we pray for ‘our Holy Father’s intentions’ even if a pope has bad intentions?

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — I was in a car driving with a friend, and he said to me: “You know, it’s really hard in this pontificate to know what to do in front of the children. I mean, you can’t just pretend that everything is fine with Pope Francis. Kids are smart, and they hear stuff. They ask questions. They know something weird is going on. One day when I led the rosary, I said we would pray ‘for the pope’s good intentions.’ But this also struck my older kids as odd. Does that mean he has bad intentions? And the answer to the question is pretty obvious: yes, some of his intentions seem very bad, as the Vatican presents them in its little videos. So what are we supposed to do when we are seeking to gain a plenary indulgence, which requires praying for the pope’s intentions?”

I have noticed this question come up many times in recent years. Some families have stopped praying for the pope’s intentions altogether. Some pray for his conversion instead. That’s certainly not a bad idea, but I think we can all give a deep sigh of relief about the main question.

In the past year, I heard two different traditional Catholic priests — on different continents — give a homily on this subject. Their explanation of what it means to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father was virtually identical.

According to the Church’s longstanding book of indulgenced prayers, the Raccolta (which can be purchased in its last English edition of 1957), the pope’s intentions always include the following objects:

1. The progress of the Faith and triumph of the Church

2. Peace and union among Christian Princes and Rulers

3. The conversion of sinners

4. The uprooting of heresy

Patrick Hawkins, creator of the excellent homiletics resource Sermonry, cites these four general intentions and then observes:

Whenever you pray for the pope’s intentions, you are praying for these extremely Catholic intentions. You are even praying for these intentions if you are praying in the sede vacante period between different papal reigns. ... [W]e can with confidence pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father whenever this is required of us. We should do what the Church enjoins us to do to receive a plenary indulgence. If we do this with faith, and unite our will to God’s, only good can come of it.

In the same spirit, a canon of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest explains:

It is very good for you to have these specific intentions in mind when you pray for the Holy Father’s intentions. Even if you do not think of them specifically, however, your prayer is still valid, as they are included in the intention of our Mother the Church. Of course the Pope may have other personal intentions, and these can form part of your prayer as well, but this is not necessary.

So, then, we should be at peace. An individual reigning pope is not the only one who determines what are “the Holy Father’s intentions” for which we must pray; the Church herself tells us what they include, and we know they must always include the welfare of the Church in the four ways sanctioned by tradition and by approved publications. If a particular pope happens to have some wayward intentions of his own that conflict with the Faith, his intentions will be invalid, and we will not be praying for them.

View specific date
Print All Articles