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Pro-life org blasts school board chair candidate for misrepresenting Catholic views

Campaign Life Coalition gave Markus de Domenico a 'green light' as an acceptable candidate based on his questionnaire answers. Now CLC says de Domenico was deceptive in his responses.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 8:46 pm EST
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Markus de Domenico (left) with Education Minister Sam Lecce. Instagram
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A trustee running for chair of the world’s largest publicly funded Catholic school board misrepresented his views on gender ideology and sex education to his voters, says Campaign Life Coalition.

Markus de Domenico is challenging Mike Del Grande for chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, a contest the 12-member board will decide on Thursday.

Del Grande has been pilloried in the press and social media in the run-up to the vote for chair for his opposition to adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” as well as “family and marital status” to the board’s code of conduct as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Specifically, Del Grande has been under fire for facetiously proposing an amendment that the board should add other categories of sexual identities, such as pedophilia, to the code in order to be truly inclusive.

But de Domenico is the one who needs to come under scrutiny before Thursday’s vote, says Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group and largest pro-life association.

De Domenico’s vocal support of adding gender expression and gender identity to the Catholic board’s code of conduct directly contradicts his response to the Campaign Life questionnaire, submitted a day before the October 22, 2018, municipal elections, Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

The incumbent for Ward 2, de Domenico checked “yes” to the question: “Do you oppose the teaching of the controversial and anti-scientific theory of gender identity in schools?”

De Domenico also said he would “support the total repeal of Kathleen Wynne’s 2015 sex ed curriculum” and would “personally uphold and work toward the public promotion of total fidelity to the faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church (current examples include the illicitness of abortion, contraception and homosexual practices).”

It was on the basis of these answers that Campaign Life gave de Domenico a “green light” rating as a supportable candidate.

That rating is now a red light, based on the fact that de Domenico has since voted to undermine Catholic teaching, says Fonseca, most recently to add the four terms to the code of conduct.

“Either de Domenico had a conversion to the LGBTQ cause after answering our questionnaire, or he misrepresented his true beliefs in order to get our endorsement before the election,” surmised Fonseca.

“If the latter, which does appear to appear to be the case, then it speaks to a lack of integrity, a lack of ethics, and a willingness to use outright deception,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“In either case, it makes it clear that this man is totally unfit to serve as chair of the board,” he said.

De Domenico was one of eight trustees led by chair Maria Rizzo who approved the policy change to the code.

They and their allies insisted that the board had to comply with the ministry directive PPM128, which mandated that all school board codes be in accord with the provincial and the Ontario Human Rights Code, and that not to make the change would harm students who identify as homosexual or transgender.

Concerned parents and groups opposed to the change argued that adding the terms would entrench the false gender ideology in Catholic schools and harm and confuse vulnerable students.

Moreover, they pointed out that publicly funded Catholic schools have a constitutionally protected right not to have to comply with government rulings at odds with Catholic teaching.

However, four days after the final trustee vote, the Toronto archdiocese conceded in a November 11 statement that it had accepted that the terms are included in the code, adding: “We do not accept the view of the human person which underlies this terminology, since that view is not compatible with our faith.”

It also said the TCDSB policy ensured that the terms would be “interpreted according to Catholic faith.”

Just how broad that interpretation will be was demonstrated at the November 7 board meeting, when de Domenico suggested that Catholic teaching has changed its former “judgmental” stance on homosexuality.

He contended that homosexual activist Kyle Iannuzzi, the former TCSDB student trustee who appeared before the board at least twice to argue for the policy change, was bullied because of Catholic teaching — not, as a parent pointed out, because of the cruelty of students.

“It was an older version of Catholic teaching that is a judgmental teaching, a version of Catholic teaching which didn’t accept a child or a young adult for who they are,” de Domenico said.

“Our system that we have now does not believe in the issues that gave Kyle and the folks like Kyle that kind of bullying problem. Fundamentally, we don’t believe in it,” he added.

When the parent suggested that de Domenico should “have the integrity to step down” because he was “vehemently opposed to the teachings of the Church,” the trustee retorted: “The reason I won’t step down is I do have integrity. I do believe in the system and I will defend that system against ignorance,” to cheers from LGBT activists waving small rainbow flags.

De Domenico also berated Campaign Life Coalition youth coordinator Josie Luetke at an earlier meeting, telling her several times she was “wrong” to assert that adding the terms is an endorsement of gender ideology, telling her it was intended to prevent bullying.

“I agree bullying is bad; we should try to prevent as much as possible in our schools. But I don’t think this is solely about preventing discrimination because there’s significance in the language that we adopt,” Luetke responded.

“This is about truth, and terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ convey a falsehood, so the Toronto District Catholic School Board should not convey a falsehood by adopting these terms in its code of conduct,” she said.

Meanwhile, trustees voted November 21 to dissolve the “Living our Catholic values” subcommittee, which recommended not adding the terms to the code.

LifeSiteNews called and emailed de Domenico for a response but did not receive a reply.

Here is how de Dominico responded to Campaign Life’s Trustee Election Questionnaire:

1. Are there any circumstances under which you believe a woman should have access to abortion? (note: a surgical or medical intervention, designed to prevent the death of the mother but which results in the unintended and undesired death of the pre-born child, is not an abortion. e.g. in case of tubal pregnancy or cervical cancer.)

Yes _____     No ___x__


2. Will you personally uphold and work toward the public promotion of total fidelity to the faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church? (Current examples include the illicitness of abortion, contraception and homosexual practice)

Yes __x___     No _____


3. Will you actively promote and defend the teaching of Catholic doctrine, the importance of prayer and a regular sacramental life?

Yes ___x__     No _____


4. Do you support the total repeal of Kathleen Wynne’s 2015 sex ed curriculum?

Yes __x___     No _____


5. Do you oppose the teaching of the controversial and anti-scientific theory of gender identity in schools?

Yes __x___     No _____


6. Will you work to ensure that Catholic schools do not invite guest speakers who have publicly expressed positions that contradict the morality and teaching of the church, no matter how great their achievements in politics, business, sports, science or the arts?

Yes __x___     No _____


7. Will you work to ensure that educational materials that enter the premises of Catholic schools (e.g. library resources, curriculum texts, awareness campaigns, flyers) and all approved school activities are consistent with and do not undermine the morality and teachings of the Church?

Yes ___x__     No _____


7. Will you promise as a trustee to implement a policy ensuring that charities supported by the schools do not publicly contradict Catholic moral teaching either directly or indirectly?

Yes __x___     No _____


8. Will you work to ensure that your Catholic school board enacts a policy requiring all agents and employees of the board to uphold the rights of custodial parents to direct and control the education of, and any medical treatment provided to, their dependent children attending its schools?

Yes ___x__     No _____


Candidate's Name:

Markus de Domenico

Name of School Board:

Toronto Catholic District School Board

Electoral District / Area Represented:    

Ward 2   Etobicoke Centre

City :   Etobicoke


Email:  [email protected]

Signature: M de Domenico

Date: Oct 21, 2018

To respectfully express your views, contact:

Joseph Martino
Ward 1: Etobicoke
Phone: 416-512-3401
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Ida Li Preti
Ward 3: North York

Phone: 416-512-3403
Phone: 416-222-8282 Ext.2660
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Teresa Lubinski
Ward 4: Parkdale-High Park, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Phone: 416-512-3404
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Maria Rizzo
Ward 5: North York

Phone: 416-512-3405
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Frank D'Amico, CD
Ward 6: York
Phone: 416-512-3406
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Michael Del Grande
Ward 7: Scarborough/ North York

Phone: 416-512-3407
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Garry Tanuan
Ward 8: Scarborough

Phone: 416-512-3408
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Norm Di Pasquale
Ward 9: Toronto

Phone: 416-512-3409
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Daniel Di Giorgio
Ward 10: Toronto
Phone: 416-512-3410
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Angela Kennedy
Ward 11: East York/Toronto

Phone: 416-512-3411
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Nancy Crawford
Ward 12: Scarborough

Phone: 416-512-3412
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Markus de Domenico
Ward 2: Etobicoke
Phone: 416-512-3402
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]


Experts reveal stunning truths about how transgenderism harms children

Pediatricians: Gender ideology is the latest assault on our children

Former ‘trans’ teens raise awareness of dangers of gender ideology

Telling kids they can ‘change’ sex is harmful: US Catholic bishops with other faith leaders

Sociologist: Evidence shows homosexual parenting harms children

‘Born that way’? New study undercuts LGBT movement’s key tenets

‘New Atlantis’ editors push back after gay advocacy group bashes homosexuality study

Lies and Bullying from the Human Rights Campaign

Pediatrician destroys transgender ideology: ‘Puberty is not a disease,’ shouldn’t be prevented

‘Transgender’ conditioning is ‘child abuse’

Pediatrician blasts study claiming that affirming kids’ gender confusion reduces suicide

Brown University nixes link to research showing peer pressure causes gender confusion

‘Cold, calculated, institutionalized child abuse’: Experts comment on gender ‘transitions’ for kids

Polish archbishop compares LGBT advancement to communist oppression

WATCH: Here’s the merciful way the Church deals with transgender people

Gender dysphoria diagnoses are too general, and they’re destroying people

Sex change treatments make me suicidal, but they’re my right, writes transsexual for New York Times

Cardinal Burke: Gender theory is ‘madness,’ transgender bathrooms ‘inhuman’

Indulging ‘transgender’ ideology has deadly consequences

Pediatric expert calls kindergarten transgender lesson ‘psychological abuse’

WATCH: Drag queen admits he’s ‘grooming’ children at story hour events

Twitter has declared war on biology by banning ‘misgendering’

Transgender tyranny is the next terrible step in the sexual revolution

University apologizes after grilling student over ‘transphobic’ thought crimes


  campaign life coalition, catholic, catholic schools, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, markus de domenico, toronto, toronto catholic district school board, transgenderism


Bishop apologizes to unrepentant adulterers, invites them back to the sacraments

The Italian bishop refers in a new letter to adulterous relationships as 'new experiences of union.'
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 7:04 pm EST
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Bishop Renato Marangoni of the diocese of Belluno-Feltre.
Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane
By Diane Montagna

ROME, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a remarkable pastoral letter, issued by Bishop Renato Marangoni of the northern Italian diocese of Belluno-Feltre, those who have separated from their legitimate spouses and attempted marriage in a civil forum have received an apology for the Church’s prior fidelity to her unbroken apostolic discipline, which had hitherto prevented them from receiving absolution and the Eucharist.

The bishop also invites them to attend a “friendly and familiar meeting,” where they will reflect on the words of Pope Francis in his 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Chapter 8 of the document, titled “Accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness,” ignited a doctrinal dispute over fundamentals of the Catholic faith on marriage, the sacraments, and the moral life. 

Addressing divorced Catholics who have begun “new experiences of union” through civil remarriage or without attempting marriage to their new partners, Bishop Marangoni opens his letter (see full text below), saying: “There is a first word I wish to confide to you: Sorry! This word contains our awareness that we have often ignored you in our parish communities.” 

Implying a recent change in the Church’s unbroken doctrine and discipline, Marangoni, 61, who was appointed bishop of Belluno-Feltre, near Venice, in February 2016, writes: “For a long time, we have also said that you could not be fully admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, while in many of you there was a desire to be sustained by the gift of the sacraments and by the warmth and affection of a community.” 

“In this we have become rigid in a very formal vision of the family situations you are in,” the prelate says apologetically.

Bishop Marangoni is not the first Italian bishop to issue such an invitation. 

In recent days, his counterpart, Bishop Corrado Pizziolo of the neighboring diocese of Vittorio-Veneto, announced in the diocesan newspaper what he called “a novelty.” The bishop said it consists in “providing for certain couples who do not live Christian marriage fully the possibility of access to sacramental participation.” 

And in an Advent letter to the faithful of his diocese one year ago, Bishop Gianmarco Busca of the northern Italian diocese of Mantua said: “[T]he faithful who are divorced and remarriedor who live stably in a second relationship, can embark on an ecclesial journey of reconciliation which, in some cases, can lead to the possibility of gaining access to the sacrament of Penance and Eucharistic Communion.”

Busca, also appointed by Pope Francis in 2016, presented his new directives as the fruit of Amoris Laetitia.

Here below is an English translation of Bishop Marangoni’s letter.

* * *

To you who have chosen to be a family and have gone through situations that have led to separation or even divorce and, beyond this, to begin new experiences of union for which some have chosen to remarry civilly or not to marry ... to you is this letter addressed!

I address you with a greeting meant to open a relationship of knowledge, esteem and dialogue. I speak to you on behalf of the diocese of Belluno Feltre, whose bishop I am.

There is a first word I wish to confide to you: Sorry! This word contains our awareness that we have often ignored you in our parish communities. Perhaps you have also suffered from attitudes among us of judgment and criticism towards you. For a long time, we have also said that you could not be fully admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, while in many of you there was a desire to be sustained by the gift of the sacraments and by the warmth and affection of a community.

In this we have become rigid in a very formal vision of the family situations you are in. We were wrong not to consider as much the personal situation, the dreams that you had nourished, your vocation to married life with the life plans it entailed, even though you had to face troubled family events, where many factors may have been decisive in hindering all of this. It is precisely in these complex situations that personal responsibility needs to be supported and helped in its frailty.

To those of you who have been discouraged and left our parish communities, we are here to confide that we miss you and that we feel that we need you and your witness of life. We know the troubled events that you have gone through and that have disturbed and wounded your family relationships, can help us all to consider life as a gift that should never be taken for granted, as a responsibility that never ends, as a way to begin again down the path of life for the promise that it represents.

A word from Jesus resonates with us: Take heart, rise, he is calling you! It is a word he pronounces over every life, even when it seems compromised in its roots.

It is because of his word that we would like to meet people who feel open wounds in their family relations or who have rebegun a life together and wish to place it alongside Jesus’s word of life.

Here is the invitation we wish to give you: on the afternoon of Sunday, December 1, at 3:00 p.m., at the Pope Luciani Center in Col Cumano of Santa Giustina. We will meet together with other people, including some married couples, who are dedicated to the pastoral care of the family within the Diocese of Belluno Feltre.

Believe it... Believe it...: it will be a friendly and familiar meeting, where we will also listen to the Word of Jesus and also rediscover the encouraging words of Pope Francis, that he wrote in one of his exhortations: Amoris Laetitia.

We are waiting for you!

Belluno, November 22, 2019

Renato, bishop


Bishop promoted by Pope Francis pledges to return to Argentina to face sex abuse accusations

After a prosecutor asked for international assistance in Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta's arrest, he decided to come back from Rome and face a Wednesday court date.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 6:23 pm EST
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Pope Francis greets Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta. El Tribuno
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A bishop promoted by Pope Francis and who now stands accused of having assaulted seminarians will appear in an Argentine court on Wednesday to face charges after a prosecutor in Argentina had asked for international assistance in apprehending him. 

Fr. Javier Belda Iniesta, the spokesman and canon lawyer for Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, 55, informed Argentinian newspaper La Nacion that both he and the bishop will travel to Argentina. They will land Tuesday at an airport near Salta, the capital of the province of Salta, and the bishop will attend his November 27 court date.  

Zanchetta was at the center of a new controversy last week when prosecutor María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo asked for international assistance in the bishop’s arrest. Cuezzo had alleged that Zanchetta had not answered official emails and phone calls. The bishop’s spokesman subsequently issued a statement saying Zanchetta had not received any message requesting a response and he had always kept his court dates. 

La Nacion reported that Zanchetta has again asserted, through his spokesman, his “total availability” to the judicial process and denied being “in rebellion” against it. He repeated his declaration that he is innocent of the charges against him and also that he is not a fugitive from justice but living “in the residence indicated to the authorities when he was summoned by them.”  

The bishop resides in the Casa Santa Marta, the modern Vatican City hotel in which Pope Francis also lives. 

Zanchetta was appointed the Bishop of the Argentinian Diocese of Nueva Orán by Pope Francis in August 2013, just over four months after the pontiff’s election. According to Associated Press (AP), the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires knew Zanchetta well. The priest had been the executive undersecretary of the Argentine bishops conference, of which the then-Cardinal Bergoglio was president from 2005 to 2011. The pontiff was described by Zanchetta’s former vicar general as the bishop’s “confessor” and Zanchetta as Francis’ “spiritual son.”

Zanchetta’s tenure as bishop of Nueva Orán was short. He resigned his post in August 2017, citing “a health problem” that did not allow him to “fully carry out” his pastoral ministry ―“especially given the vast extent of diocesan territory, and the enormous challenges we have as a Church in the north of the country,” he wrote. Pope Francis accepted his resignation and created a role for him in Rome as the “Assessor” of the Holy See’s financial management office, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. 

But Zanchetta was dogged by something other than ill health: accusations of sexual misconduct starting in 2015. Warnings of his “strange behavior” began when photos of young men engaging in homosexual sex and “naked selfies” of Zanchetta were found on the bishop’s cellphone. 

Chancellor Secretary Luis Amancio Díaz discovered the pictures after Zanchetta asked him to copy a folder of photos from the phone in order to post several of them on the diocesan Facebook page. This incident was reported indirectly to the Vatican by the former vicar general of the diocese of Nueva Orán, Fr. Juan José Manzano. 

“It was an alarm that we made to the Holy See via some friendly bishops,” he said. 

“The nunciature didn’t intervene directly, but the Holy Father summoned Zanchetta and he justified himself saying that his cellphone had been hacked, and that there were people who were out to damage the image of the Pope.” 

In an interview he gave to AP, Mazano said Zanchetta returned to his diocese so much “improved” that “no one even investigated how those photos got to Rome.” As time passed, however, the bishop “became more aggressive and took impulsive decisions, manipulating facts, people, influences to reach his goals.” 

Manzano told the AP that Zanchetta started visiting the seminary at all hours, drinking with the seminarians, and taking a seminarian with him whenever he visited a parish, even without asking the rector for permission.

“The rector tried to keep the students in order, being present when the bishop appeared, but the monsignor looked for ways to avoid his attention and to discredit him in front of the young guys,” Manzano told the AP in an email. 

“The bad feeling was aggravated when some of them left the seminary. It was then that the rector investigated and warned of harassment and inappropriate behavior.” 

The rector, Manzano, and another priest brought the matter to Monsignor Vincenzo Turturro, the deputy to the papal nuncio for Argentina, in May or June of 2017. As a result, Pope Francis requested Zanchetta’s return to Rome that July. Upon returning home, Zanchetta wrote his resignation letter. Pope Francis appointed him to his new role in Rome that December.  

However, the Vatican stated twice that it didn’t know until 2018 that allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against Zanchetta. Meanwhile, Pope Francis’ continued patronage of the bishop has led some commentators, including Phil Lawler, to doubt the pontiff’s commitment to combating clerical sex abuse. 

civil investigation into Zanchetta’s conduct began in February 2019. On June 10, Zanchetta was formally charged with sexual assault, and he was forbidden to leave Argentina. However, on August 28, despite the protests of prosecutor Cuezzo, his travel ban was lifted and he flew to Rome. Zanchetta had been allowed to leave Argentina because he had a document saying he had a position in Vatican City. In reality, Zanchetto had been suspended from his job since January.  

According to Catholic New Agency, Cuezzo said she had had to ask the apostolic nuncio to Argentina for help in getting Zanchetta to appear in court for his hearings.  

On November 7, Nueva Orań’s Economic Crime Unit raided the diocese’s offices. The bishop emeritus is also now being accused of fraud, embezzling diocesan charity funds, and selling church property.

  argentina, casa santa marta, catholic, clergy sexual abuse, gustavo zanchetta, maría soledad filtrín cuezzo, pope francis, prosecutors


Cardinal Müller warns ‘hundreds of thousands’ will leave Church over Pachamama idolatry

The shocking display reinforced the feeling in the Amazon region and elsewhere that Catholics are idol worshipers.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 5:28 pm EST
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Cardinal Gerhard Müller speaks at the Lateran University in Rome Courtesy of Ed Pentin
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Vatican’s former head of doctrine has warned that “hundreds of thousands” of Catholics from the Amazon region will leave the Church as a result of being scandalized by seeing videos of the pagan idol “Pachamama” being worshiped in ceremonies during the recently-concluded Amazon Synod in Rome. 

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, 71, told Die Tagespost, a German Catholic newspaper, that photographs of the “Pachamama” carvings used during celebrations at the recent Synod on the Pan-Amazonian have exacerbated anti-Catholic feelings in the region and will spark a mass exodus. 

“This whole sad story will give support to many aggressive, anti-Catholic sects in South America and elsewhere who in their polemics maintain that Catholics are idol worshipers and that the Pope who they obey is the Antichrist,” Müller said. 

“Hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the Amazon area and wherever the videos of this Roman spectacle have been seen will leave the Church in protest,” he continued. 

“Did anyone think about these consequences or did they just assume this was collateral damage?”

Müller was chosen by his friend Benedict XVI as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012. He was dismissed from his post by Pope Francis in 2017. 

In a previous interview with Die Tagespost, the cardinal praised the actions of Alexander Tshugguel, the young Austrian layman who removed five copies of the “Pachamama” statue from the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and threw them into the Tiber River. 

Returning to the subject, Müller noted that the prophets of the Old Testament had behaved even more forcefully against idols, as had St. Boniface, apostle to the Germans, when he felled an oak sacred to the god Thor and made a Christian chapel out of it. He suggested that if the apostles had belonged to this “age of self-secularization” in the Church, they would have condemned Christ Himself for property damage and battery when he cleansed the Temple of the moneychangers. 

The mysterious wooden figures, which were eventually identified by Pope Francis as “pachamamas,” were used in ceremonies in the Vatican Gardens, in churches and in a Roman street. In a ceremony held in the Vatican Gardens on October 4, worshippers prostrated themselves before the images. On this and other occasions, they danced around them.  

The cardinal stated that these ceremonies could not be explained away as an exercise in inculturation. 

“You cannot downplay the fuss, which was sponsored by many Euros, as inculturation, or respect for other cultures, or even recognize the painted female fertility figures as a pro-life symbol,” he said. 

The cardinal drew a boundary between the veneration of Christian saints and the worship of pagan symbols. He said representations of the saints and their relics are only “remembrances” of them, and they are honored as witnesses of God’s grace. They are not worshipped and glorified as if they were God. 

The worship of idols has no place within the Catholic faith. Suggesting that some of the people who took place in the Pachamama rituals in Rome might not have been Catholic, the cardinal said they had no right to perform “their pagan or non-Catholic rites” in Catholic liturgies.  

Müller also quoted St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, saying “that no idolator has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5 ). 

The use of the Pachamama statues was condemned by a number of other prelates, including Bishop Emeritus José Luis Azcona Hermoso of the Brazilian city of Marajó.  

“Mother Earth should not be worshipped because everything, even the earth, is under the dominion of Jesus Christ. It is not possible that there are spirits with power equal or superior to Our Lord or of the Virgin Mary,” the Bishop Emeritus stated in an Oct. 20 homily at the cathedral in the state of Pará.

Addressing a suggestion by an English journalist that the wooden images represented the Blessed Virgin Mary, Azcona said,“Pachamama is not and never will be the Virgin Mary. To say that this statue represents the Virgin is a lie. She is not Our Lady of the Amazon because the only Lady of the Amazon is Mary of Nazareth. Let’s not create syncretistic mixtures. All of that is impossible: the Mother of God is the Queen of Heaven and earth.”   

“The invocation of the statues before which even some religious bowed at the Vatican (and I won’t mention which congregation they belong) is an invocation of a mythical power, of Mother Earth, from which they ask blessings or make gestures of gratitude. These are scandalous demonic sacrileges, especially for the little ones who are not able to discern,” he added later.

  amazonian synod, catholic, gerhard müller, idol worship, josé luiz azcona hermoso, pachamama, pagan, pope francis, vatican


Shocking UK data: 718 women, including 5 teens, have had at least 6 abortions

'Alarm bells should be ringing loudly when teenage girls are having repeat abortions,' said the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 5:22 pm EST
Featured Image
Dr. Israel Shapiro / Youtube
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

LONDON, England, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Government data obtained through Freedom of Information requests indicate that five teenagers were among the 718 UK women who underwent their sixth abortion in 2018.

In 2018, 143 UK women had their eighth abortion.

“A woman seeking her seventh or eighth abortion could easily be in an abusive situation where she is being repeatedly coerced into having an abortion,” said Antonia Tully, Director of Campaigns for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). “Alarm bells should be ringing loudly when teenage girls are having repeat abortions. Is anyone asking questions about why a teenager, possibly underage, keeps presenting for abortion?”

SPUC reported that the numbers also show:

  • Five teenagers were among 718 women who had at least their sixth abortion in 2018
  • 143 women had an abortion last year having previously had seven or more terminations - a 19% increase on 2017 and a 27% rise on 2016
  • 172 women had their seventh abortion in 2018 - a 26% increase on 2016
  • 403 women had their sixth termination - 10% up on 2017 and a 33% increase on 2016
  • 1,298 women - including five teenagers - had their fifth abortion in 2018, while 4,389 women - including 23 teenagers - had their fourth termination
  • Overall, 84,258 repeat abortions were performed in Britain in 2018, including 3,332 on teenagers - with the overall figure up 7% on 2017 and an 11% rise on 2016

“Among the reasons for the increase in repeat abortions is almost certainly the dangerous propaganda that abortion is safe and simple. Women in Britain can have abortions at home, away from any medical supervision,” said Tully, referring to the abortion pill. “This harmful policy ignores the evidence that women aborting at home, often alone, can be left with serious mental health problems.”

Abortion company Marie Stopes UK was dismissive over the numbers of women having undergone eight abortions, according to SkyNews, because they were but a tiny fraction of the 205,295 women who aborted their unborn children throughout England and Wales in 2018.

Abortion is legal through 24 weeks of pregnancy in England. Ireland voted to legalize it in 2018, ending its legacy as one of the world’s most pro-life nations. The UK government imposed abortion and same-sex “marriage” on Northern Ireland last month after the Stormont assembly failed to fully assemble.

In 2012, the Daily Mail reported that British taxpayers were funding repeat abortions to the tune of £1 million a week.

  abortion, england, marie stopes, repeat abortion, united kingdom


Priests found guilty of sex abuse of Argentina deaf children in case ignored by Pope Francis

The priests were convicted of rape and sexual abuse of former students at the Provolo Insititute for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 5:12 pm EST
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Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

WARNING: This article contains explicit and disturbing content.

BUENOS AIRES, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Two Catholic priests and a lay worker were found guilty and sentenced on Monday of serial sexual abuse and rape of children at a school for the deaf, where victims’ denunciations had gone unheeded by church hierarchy, including Pope Francis.

Rev. Nicola Corradi (83), Rev. Horacio Corbacho (59), and lay worker Armando Gomez (49) were silent as an Argentine court passed sentence for abusing at least 25 children under their care. Corradi sat in a wheelchair as he received a 42-year sentence from the three-judge panel in Mendoza, a city in northwestern Argentina bordering the Andes. Corbacho was likewise silent as he received a 45-year sentence. Gomez got 18 years. No appeal of the sentences was immediately made by the defense attorneys.

The three men were convicted of rape and sexual abuse of former students at the Provolo Insititute for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired in Luján de Cuyo, a town near Mendoza, the capital of the province of the same name. The two priests were also accused of beating the children. Two nuns are also accused of covering up the abuse.

After receiving a tip from a deaf female victim who communicated through an interpreter, authorities arrested the men in 2016 and raided the school. It was after this that authorities uncovered the extent of abuse committed by Catholic clerics, which included a network that stretched from Europe to South America. The Provolo Institute operates several schools for the deaf in Argentina and Italy. The boarding students, some of whom came from the poorest families, were targeted for abuse, especially at night in dormitories and at a chapel. 

Vulnerable children were raped, fondled, forced to view pornography, and sometimes tied up. In one case, a girl was forced to wear a diaper in order to conceal bleeding that resulted from rape. The sister of one of the victims wept in an interview earlier this year with LifeSiteNews as she recounted the abuse her loved one suffered at the hands of priests and religious at the Provolo Institute. Prosecuting attorney Sergio Salinas told LifeSiteNews in an interview in Argentina that Church authorities would not cooperate with his investigation. As sentences were announced on Monday, prosecuting attorneys and victims’ family members wept openly.

According to multiple witnesses, deaf children at Provolo Institute were not taught sign language but were instead taught to speak like the hearing. This meant that many were not able to communicate with their parents and the outside world. One of the few signs that the children knew was the raising of an index finger to the lips in order to signify a demand for silence.

Corradi was among clerics accused of abusing children at a similar school for the deaf in his native Italy. Fifteen former students testified that they had been sodomized as children at the Provolo Institute school in Verona. Twenty-four priests and other faculty were named in their testimony. While diocesan authorities of Verona asked forgiveness from the accusers, Corradi’s name was not among the priests and faculty who were sanctioned by the Church in 2012. Neither Corradi or the others faced criminal sanctions in Italy. But Corradi had already been transferred to South America.

Corradi left the Provolo Institute in Verona in 1969 and left for Argentina in January 1970. 

Abuser transferred to South America

Victims wrote a letter to Pope Francis in 2014 and warned him of the dangers posed to children by Corradi in Argentina. This was seconded by a letter that a victim gave to the Pope personally in October 2015, which named Corradi and 13 other priests. But it was not the Church that shuttered the school: it was Argentine prosecutors who shut it down two years after Pope Francis was advised of the abuses. 

While confined in a rest home in Italy, Fr. Eligio Piccoli -- a priest who worked at the Provolo Institute in Italy -- boasted in an undercover  2017 video about his sodomitic exploits. In addition to laughing as he admitted to sexually abusing boys at the school, he said that when the first accusations of abuse were aired at the school in Verona, he was told by Church authorities, “You had to choose ‘go home’ or ‘go to America.’” While Piccoli was eventually ordered by Church authorities to live a life of prayer and penitence, Corradi left for Argentina and was first stationed at another Provolo Institute school in La Plata, a city near Buenos Aires. There he remained until 1997, when he was transferred to the school in Mendoza as its director. Corradi may also face charges for his time in La Plata.

After the Provolo Institute school at Lujan de Cuyo was closed by law enforcement in Mendoza, two priests were sent by the Vatican in 2017 to investigate the accusations. A canonical investigation was undertaken by judicial vicar Dante Simon. In 2017, his report to the Vatican recommended that Corradi and Corbacho should receive the maximum sentences allowed under Church law, which would mean laicization. The recommendation is still being reviewed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 

Pope Francis and other Church authorities are being criticized for moving too slowly with regard to the accusations in the Provolo case and others. Corradi, for instance, was in contact with children for decades despite the serious allegations against him during the time that the Pope served as archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope’s judgement and involvement have also been questioned in the case of disgraced Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who stands accused of “aggravated continuous sexual abuse” of two former seminarians. He is also accused of defrauding the government of Argentina. 

A statement from the Mendoza diocese expressed its “solidarity and closeness to the victims and their families.” It went on to say: “What these people have expressed has horrified the entire society of Mendoza...All of us are ashamed and aggrieved.”

  argentina, catholic, clerical sexual abuse, instituto próvolo, nicola corradi, pope francis, provolo institute, sex abuse crisis, sex abuse crisis in catholic church, sexual abuse


Critics warn popular U.S. public school history book full of left-wing bias, propaganda

An examination of 'The American Pageant' shows blatant examples of Republican presidents painted in a bad light.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 4:29 pm EST
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A popular U.S. history textbook describes Ronald Reagan as 'no intellectual,' and Donald Trump is called a 'swaggering colossus of ignorance, vanity, and vulgarity.
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Partisan indoctrination by ostensibly-neutral public schools remains an issue of grave concern to parents across the United States, and a new report details several glaring examples from a prominent history textbook.

Now in its 17th edition, The American Pageant is a U.S. history textbook that has been published since 1956 and is commonly used in Advanced Placement history classes. But its prominence as a purportedly-authoritative resource is actually part of the problem, argues Education & Research Institute board chairman Daniel Oliver at The American Conservative.

Oliver contends that the textbook is teeming with “divisiveness” and “devotes almost twice as much space to liberal politicians as their conservative counterparts,” and quotes several examples of Pageant editorializing about Republican presidents with demeaning subjective rhetoric, rather than merely presenting the facts of both sides in a neutral way.

Ronald Reagan was “no intellectual,” the book tells students, Herbert Hoover was “standoffish,” and Dwight Eisenhower exemplified “the bland leading the bland.” Donald Trump, meanwhile, “bullied, belittled, and bamboozled 16 rivals to snag—some said hi-jack—the Republican nomination,” while his “legions of critics, including many Republican grandees, considered the brash billionaire a swaggering colossus of ignorance, vanity, and vulgarity.”

“Franklin D. Roosevelt garners a staggering 299 mentions in the book,” Oliver notes. “Nixon, who is the lucky subject of the most detailed section on a Republican, counts 135 mentions, but most of that coverage is about Watergate.”

In an extensive review of Pageant’s 12th edition, Hillsdale College historian Burt Folsom argues that the book is full of “distortions,” “contradictions,” and “defective historical methods” feeding a false conclusion that “the United States is fundamentally corrupt, and that the world is often worse off because America exists and has so much global influence.”

Among the examples cited by Folsom are instances of Pageant caricaturing serious policy disagreements, glossing over information that contradicts favored narratives, and caricaturing political ideologies it purports to explain.

The ubiquity of such textbooks demonstrates that the problem of biased education runs deeper than individual educators with agendas, Oliver argues. “Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, a public school’s funding has depended partially on the regurgitation of government-endorsed facts,” he says. “That’s often left educators without the time to teach their subjects any other way, even if they want to.”

The American Pageant is not the only politically-biased textbook used in AP history classes, and textbook bias is just one manifestation of left-wing agendas in education. The National Education Association formally endorses and contributes to a variety of causes unrelated to education, including abortion on demand. There are also controversies across the country over sex education curricula crafted by Planned Parenthood and containing material that promotes promiscuity, homosexuality, gender confusion, and other radical secular values.

More information on political bias in public school textbooks can be found at the Education & Research Institute’s website,

  education, history, indoctrination, left-wing bias, public schools, textbooks, the american pageant


Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

Canada’s largest newspaper tells Catholics to accept LGBT agenda or lose Catholic schools
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 3:46 pm EST
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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding.

The Toronto Star’s Monday editorial also excoriated beleaguered Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustee Mike Del Grande and called for the board to censure him. 

Del Grande — along with Teresa Lubinski, Garry Tanuan and Nancy Crawford — voted November 7 after months of bitter debate not to add “gender identity, gender expression, family status and marital status” to the TCDSB’s code of conduct as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

The many delegates and opponents of the policy change argued that adding the terms endorses spurious gender ideology in Catholic schools in contravention of Catholic teaching, leading to great harm to students.

But eight trustees led by chair Maria Rizzo voted to include the terms, arguing that the board had to follow a ministry directive to align its code of conduct with the provincial code and the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

And now LGBTQ activists are piling on in an all-out attack on Del Grande, who is running for chair of the board in an upcoming election that will be held November 28.

He’s under fire for proposing — in an act of mockery to make a point — an amendment duing the night of the vote that the board add other categories of sexual identities to the code, such as pedophilia, bestiality, sadism, polygamy, and cannibalism, arguing that doing so would be truly “inclusive.”

Del Grande later described the amendment — which was ruled out of order — as a “Howard Moscoe thing” referring to a former left-wing Toronto city councillor known for outspokenness, and “hyperbolic.”

However, not only did parent-activist Nicole Richard launch a petition asking for Del Grande’s removal, but Maura Lawless, executive director of the LGBTQ activist group The 519, sent a letter to Rizzo asking the board to publicly denounce Del Grande and ask for his resignation.

The 519 letter is notable for documenting the homosexual advocacy group’s “long working relationship with the TCDSB” in order to “provide a wide range of programming since 2012.”

“The 519’s primary contacts are the Superintendent of Equity, Diversity & Indigenous Education, Community Relations Department, Nick D’Avella and the Superintendent Areas 7 & 8 Settlement Services & Newcomers, Jodelyn Huang,” Lawless wrote.

Now the Toronto Star has weighed in, calling for the TCDSB to “publicly denounce” Del Grande and “affirm the rights of LGBTQ students” in order to “heal the rift his actions — and the board’s endless bickering over these basic human rights — have caused.” 

“It bears repeating that if this board continues to leave open doubts about its commitment to rights for all, support will only grow for another option: an end to public funding for Catholic schools,” the Star opined.

It’s far from the first time Canada’s biggest newspaper has pushed for the dissolution of Catholic education.

In a November 10 editorial, the Star berated the four TCDSB trustees who voted against adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the code, noting that “even the Archdiocese of Toronto...rightly understood the need to include those terms.”

If trustees insist on “digging in their heels there is, of course, an alternative,” the Star noted. “That’s an end to public funding for Catholic schools.”

Public appetite for the constitutional amendment required to dissolve Catholic schools may grow, the Star warned, “if members of the Catholic community continue to use religious doctrine as an excuse to oppose necessary progress in what are, first and foremost, public schools.”

Education Minister Sam Lecce also called out Del Grande at Queen’s Park Monday, tweeted the Star’s reporter Kristin Rushowy:

But Crawford and Tanuan came to Del Grande’s defense, saying he was trying to make the point that the consequences of opening the door to gender ideology in Catholic schools will be far-reaching.

That was echoed by executive director of Parents As First Educators (PAFE) Teresa Pierre in an email to supporters.

Del Grande’s comments have been taken out of context, she said.

The proposed amendment was a “clearly facetious motion intended to draw attention to how absurdly long a listing of grounds of discrimination could potentially become,” and “a rhetorical strategy to make his point that separating people into groups by shared characteristics is reductive and not consistent with a Catholic view of the human person,” noted Pierre.

Del Grande is a “courageous advocate for preserving Catholic education,” Pierre said, with which Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group agrees.

“Del Grande should be praised by every Catholic for his heroic defense of the Catholic faith, especially in the face of this type of hatred from the left-wing media,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

He blasted the Star for “anti-Catholic bigotry” and dismissing the traditional beliefs held not only by the Catholic Church but other Christian denominations as well as Muslims and Jews.

“Today, the Star is ghettoizing Christians, calling for their democratic and civil rights to be stripped from them, and even the benefits of their own tax dollars with respect to funding of Catholic schools, which they themselves pay for,” said Fonseca.

“The bigotry of the media must end.”

A report appended to the agenda the night of the board’s final vote stated the Toronto archdiocese had approved the terms, provided these were understood through a “Catholic lens.”

In a November 11 statement, the archdiocese conceded it accepted the terms are included in the code, but added: “we do not accept the view of the human person which underlies this terminology, since that view is not compatible with our faith.” (See full statement here.)

That is trying “to have your cake and eat it too,” Campaign Life Coalition’s youth coordinator Josie Luetke pointed out.

“If the archdiocese does not accept the view of the human person which underlies the terminology, then it should not have accepted the terminology,” she told LifeSiteNews in an earlier email.

“Gender identity” and “gender expression” are “inherently misleading terms which cannot be redeemed,” Luetke added.

  catholic, homosexuality, lgbt agenda, mike del grande, the 519, toronto catholic district school board, toronto star


Cardinal implicated in Vatican financial scandals blasts respected journalist for ‘false article’ 

Catholic News Agency is standing behind its report and has asked Cardinal Becciu for an 'on the record' interview.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 2:16 pm EST
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Cardinal Angelo Becciu
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

ROME, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has publicly criticized an American Catholic journalist for a recent article linking the cardinal with major financial corruption and scandal at the Vatican. 

Cardinal Becciu took to Twitter yesterday to lambast Dr Ed Condon, a journalist for Catholic News Agency (CNA), for his article last week which reports that the Cardinal “attempted to disguise $200 million loans on Vatican balance sheets” including funds from a disreputable Swiss bank and that he subsequently reprimanded Cardinal George Pell, then Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy, when he began asking questions about the balance sheets. 

Dr Condon has subsequently received the public support of J.D. Flynn, CNA’s editor in chief and Damian Thompson, associate editor at The Spectator and former editor of the Catholic Herald.

In a reply to Condon posting his article on Twitter, Cardinal Becciu responded: “Mr. Condon shamefully misled the faithful with another FALSE article (based on the same unreliable “sources” Card. Parolin recently corrected) claiming my involvement in financial impropriety “discovered” by Card Pell. I am shocked by such a way of convincing readers!”

In response to Cardinal Becciu, Flynn issued a public statement of support for Condon’s piece and invited the Cardinal to speak “on the record” with the news agency.

“Your Eminence, CNA stands behind our reporting, and I stand behind Dr Condon’s work. I repeat our multiple invitations for an on the record interview with you, at your convenience. God bless you,” Flynn stated. 

Condon’s article reports that “sources inside the Vatican’s Prefecture for the Economy” claim that credit was used from a Swiss bank, which has subsequently been found to have been in breach of its due diligence requirements with regards to money laundering, as part of $200 million gathered in loans in order to purchase a luxury property in London, England. 

The article then goes on to cite “[s]enior officials at the Prefecture for the Economy” who claim that after Cardinal Pell began asking questions about these loans he was reproved by Cardinal Becciu (at that time Archbishop Becciu) who the sources claim “shouted at him [Pell] like he was an inferior”. At the time of the reported incident Cardinal Pell was Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy and, in theory, second only to Pope Francis in matters of Vatican financial business. Cardinal Pell was imprisoned in Australia earlier this year for alleged historic child sex offences. Cardinal Pell has always denied the allegations and is expected to appeal them next year.

The bitter exchange on Twitter comes after Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, last week claimed responsibility for organising a 50 million Euro loan to help the Vatican purchase a scandal-ridden Italian hospital and for requesting a subsequent $25 million grant from a US-based Catholic foundation in order to cover that loan. Cardinal Parolin reportedly claimed responsibility for the loan and subsequent grant after Cardinal Becciu had denied rumours that he was in fact responsible for the controversial financial dealings. The US bishops, whose influence on the board of the US-based Papal Foundation it is thought was responsible for securing the grant, clearly suggested in a letter to their dissatisfied donating members that Pope Francis had been personally involved in requesting the grant.

Dr Condon also received notable support from Damian Thompson, the well known Catholic journalist who earlier this year tweeted that Pope Francis is “deeply implicated in terrible scandals” and is a “corrupt pope”. Thompson has given his public support to Dr Condon, by tweeting: “Dr Condon is in my opinion one of the finest and most scrupulous journalists in the Catholic world”.

In response to Cardinal Becciu’s tweet, Thompson asserted that it is Cardinal Becciu, rather than Cardinal Pell, who should be facing criminal charges and even claimed that another Cardinal shared the same conviction. He wrote: “As another cardinal – far more distinguished than you – told me recently, it is you, not Cardinal Pell, who should face criminal charges.”

  angelo becciu, catholic, catholic news agency, ed condon, vatican financial corruption, vatican financial scandals


Pro-abort billionaire Michael Bloomberg joins presidential race, worries other Dems can’t beat Trump

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, is known for funding abortion advocacy and persecuting pro-life pregnancy centers.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 12:51 pm EST
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Former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a 2012 Planned Parenthood lunch. The abortion company awarded Bloomberg its 'Walk the Talk' award that year. Mike Coppola / Getty Images
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

November 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is joining the race for his party’s presidential nomination, the Democrat billionaire confirmed in an announcement this weekend.

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,” Bloomberg said in his announcement. “We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead.” 

The announcement touts Bloomberg’s heavy investments in left-wing causes including Democrat congressional races and gun control and climate change organizations, adding that he will self-fund his campaign without accepting any donations.

Like the rest of the 2020 Democrat field, Bloomberg is a doctrinaire liberal on life and LGBT issues. Planned Parenthood awarded him its Global Citizen Award in 2014 for his pro-abortion record, including investments to decriminalize abortion abroad and enacting a “gag order” against pro-life pregnancy centers in New York City.

Bloomberg’s presidential campaign site boasts about his pro-LGBT record, from helping enact same-sex “marriage” to having “presided over New York City’s first official same-sex marriage the day it became legal.”

Bloomberg’s entry into the race follows reports that he had previously ruled out a presidential run, but was reconsidering out of diminished confidence that the current slate of Democrats could defeat Trump.

“He thinks Biden is weak and Sanders and Warren can’t win,” a source told the New York Post earlier this month. Bloomberg advisor Howard Wolfson confirmed the former mayor’s thinking to the Post, explaining that “we now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”

  2020 democrat prmary, abortion, democrats, michael bloomberg, same-sex marriage


Belgian Salesians sent sex abuser priest to Africa ― to work with vulnerable kids

Fr. Luk Delft is accused of abusing two boys in the Central African Republic.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 11:20 am EST
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Fr. Luk Delft CNN YouTube / screenshot
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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

Updated November 25, 2019 at 1:39 p.m. to include a statement from the Salesians.

KAGA-BANDORO, Central African Republic, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Salesian order sent one of its Belgian priests convicted of possessing child pornography and two counts of child abuse to work with vulnerable families in Africa, where he is alleged to have abused more children.

Fr. Luk Delft, 50, a member of the Salesian order, was convicted of two counts of child sexual assault and of possessing child pornography in 2012. Given a suspended sentence, Delft was forbidden from contact with children for ten years. Nevertheless, he was sent to the Central African Republic (CAR)  in 2013, where he worked with internal refugees in Kanga-Bandoro. Now two men from the town of Kaga-Bandoro have accused Delft of having assaulted their sons.

“There are plenty of women that he could have had sex with,” the father of alleged victim Alban Onono told CNN. “He preferred to sodomize my son.”

A reporter from CNN confronted Delft before cameras in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, and then reported the allegations to Caritas Internationalis and the priest’s superiors. 

CNN has accused the Salesian order of endangering children by covering up for Delft. 

In a statement published on a Belgian Salesian website, Salesian spokesman Carlo Loos said that the order never attempted to hide Delft’s record. 

“CNN's suggestion that the Salesian Order attempted to hide [Lukas Delft’s] background, or provided incomplete information, is not correct and tendentious," he stated in Flemish. 

Loos said that the Salesians had kept both Belgian civil authorities and a bishop in the Central African Republic aware of Delft’s situation. 

“It is the Belgian court that has authorized the person involved to take up a task in CAR, with guarantees from the then bishop in Central African Republic that [Luk Delft] would be under supervision and further fulfill its conditions,” Loo stated.  

“[After] the first reports about possible new facts, we ourselves called in the authorities." 

In 2015, Delft was appointed the director for Catholic charity Caritas Internationalis within CAR.  Thierry Bonaventura, a spokesman for the charity, told LifeSiteNews that Caritas has not been in contact with Delft since June 2019.  

Caritas Intenationalis’ Secretary General, Aloysius John, was more forthcoming. 

“Caritas is saddened and outraged by the child abuse reported by CNN in its story on Luk Delft, a Belgian religious priest who was a previous national director of Caritas Central African Republic,” John stated on Thursday.  

“We express our compassion and solidarity with the children and their families. We thank those who have come forward. They have our full support in telling their truth,” he continued. 

“At Caritas, we are constantly working to improve our safeguarding of children both in the Central African Republic and in the rest of the world where Caritas works to help people in need. Our first duty is to protect those we serve.”  

John added that the accused Salesian is no longer in the Central African Republic, and that both civil and religious authorities are now investigating the allegations. 

“Caritas Internationalis has asked all national organisations worldwide to vet their governance, staff, volunteers and international staff,” he stated. 

Spokesman Thierry Bonaventura told LifeSiteNews that Caritas Internationalis Safeguarding Policies consist of a series of documents, which include: the Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy, the Complaints Handling Mechanism Policy and Procedure; the Code of Conduct; and the Anti-harassment Policy.

“The CI Safeguarding Policy has language about safe recruitment,” he wrote.  

“Prevention includes safe recruitment – referencing and vetting prospective applicants with emphasis on impeccable track record in carrying out their work in conformity with the Code of  Conduct. Caritas Internationalis is adhering to the sector-wide referencing scheme called [the] inter‐agency misconduct disclosure scheme,” he continued.  

“The breach of any of these policies is managed by member organisations and may lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.”

Bonventura explained that Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of autonomous member organizations under the responsibility of their respective Episcopal Conference.     

On Friday the United Nations announced that it has suspended work with Caritas operations in the Central African Republic. The UN itself has come has come under scrutiny in recent decades for rapes committed by its staff and peacekeepers across the world. 

“As Salesians, we condemn sexual abuse and are committed to securing and promoting the safety and well-being of children. We also want to stress that we take abuse very seriously and sympathize with the victims and their families,” Carlo Loots, a spokesman for the Salesians, stated in an email to LifeSiteNews. 

“When the facts came to light in 2001, we immediately suspended the confrère in question and removed him from the boarding school. In addition, our provincial head obliged the Salesian in question to go into therapy,” he added. 

“Priests who are accused of or tried for these kinds of offenses cannot simply be removed from the order.”  

Loots reiterated to LifeSiteNews remarks he earlier made concerning the awareness of both Belgian authorities and Caritas of Delft’s criminal record.

“After his conviction, the priest received permission from the Belgian Probation Committee to carry out a logistical mission in the Central African Republic,” the spokesman said. 

“The responsible persons from Caritas Centre afrique were aware of the priest's past history. Clear agreements were made with them regarding the employability of the Salesian.”

Loots said that this priest’s history has been recounted and emphasized several times and also that he was not sent to Africa to teach children. 

“The priest in question did not perform any pedagogical tasks but was responsible merely for fundraising and the development of the organisation,” he told LifeSiteNews. 

When the Salesians were informed of the new allegations against Delft, they acted immediately to “ensure the safety of the local children,” Loots said. 

“The priest in question was recalled and the necessary authorities, including the Public Prosecutor of Leuven (Belgium), were informed.” explains Carlo Loots. 

The Salesian order says it has also started an ecclesiastical investigation although Loots warned that they are not responsible for any decision to return Delft to the lay state.  

“It is often expected that priests who are guilty of sexual abuse would be removed from their priesthood,” he wrote. 

“Only the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith can make such a decision after an ecclesiastical investigation has been completed and the accusations have been proven.”    

Loots added that Delft has been suspended from the performance of his priestly duties.

  belgium, caritas, caritas internationalis, catholic, central african republic, child abuse, homosexuality, salesians, sex abuse crisis in catholic church


How Islam plans to conquer the West without using weapons

Islamists see our century as the time to make their move if they are going to have a realistic opportunity to Islamize the West.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 8:09 pm EST
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FS Stock /
Mario Alexis Portella
By Mario Portella

November 25, 2019 (American Thinker) — Many in the West today are grappling with how Islam has been able to get a foothold in our society. We know of Islamists' present-day means to get government officials to capitulate to their whims through lobbying and the mainstream media, presenting themselves as victims of the same Western society that has helped them. But how have they been able to acquire such political leverage? Apparently, there has been a willful lack of circumspection or foresightedness.

Back in the 1970s, the late archbishop Marcel Lefebvre said:

As long as Muslims are an insignificant minority in a Christian country, they can live on friendly terms, because they accept the laws and customs of the country that receives them. But as soon as they become numerous and organize, they become aggressive and try to impose their laws, which are hostile to [Western] civilization.

Protagonists such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both supposed allies of the United States and the European Union — have been able to forge or manipulate situations involving politicians and the mainstream media directing attention to military conflicts in the Middle East, such as Syria and Afghanistan, or "exclusively" focusing on the Iranian regime as the principal source of terrorism. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained, because of the West's obsession with terror, we have become blind to the broader threat of the dawa (Islamic proselytizing), the ideology behind the terror attacks — and what drives numerous Muslims to Islamize us. In other words, by leading us to believe that the threat of Islam is only in distant lands, Islamists have been able to conceal their ultimate weapons of Islamization: exploitation of democracy and pluralism, immigration, and the multiplication of progeny.

Since its foundation, Islam has always been transnational as it spread across the world, when the nation-state and national identity were at best inchoate and more often nonexistent. This has impelled many Muslims, regardless of their views of democracy, to utilize the democratic instruments of pluralism and freedom of expression to insert themselves into society with the goal of propagating Islam at the expense of others. The most salient example has been the election of Ilhan Omar to the House of Representatives. Notwithstanding marrying her own brother, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, to get him a green card to the U.S., even before being sworn into Congress on a Quran, she successfully demanded that Congress reverse a 181-year ban on the wearing of any headgear on the floor of Congress. In her case, she was able to wear the hijab, a piece of religious attire, when lawmakers cannot even display a cross.

Like a Trojan horse, Islamists have been able to infiltrate, for example, the Western field of education, creating an environment of receptivity and understanding for the next generation of Americans to accept their sharia-based lifestyle. Saudi money has financed institutions alongside multitudes of other Islamic organizations across the world and within the United States. (Eighty percent of 1,200 mosques operating in the United States were built after 2003.) Qatar's equal vision for America is being peddled through our children's classrooms, targeting a pliable population with a long shelf life.

This has reciprocally occurred with the assistance of terror-linked NGOs, such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, which have bought off Washington influencers and think-tanks to have them capitulate to Islamic "needs" in our society.

Reading the collapse of Western demographics, Islamists see our century as the time to make their move if they are going to have a realistic opportunity to Islamize the West. While a key strategy has been immigration, a more effective weapon, as already indicated, has been the multiplication of progeny in opposition to the demographic collapse. As of 2017, there are about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, according to the Pew Research Center — nearly one fourth of the world's population — making Islam the world's second largest religion after Christianity. Within the second half of this century, Muslims are expected to become the world's largest religious group. The Pew Research Center estimates that by 2070, Islam will overtake Christianity, due to a faster birth rate (2.7 children per family vs. 2.2 for Christian families).

According to some experts, a reason for the latter is that Millennials are not having or postponing having children because of financial strains. Yet those with a family income of less than $10,000 had a birth rate of almost 50 percent higher than for those with family incomes of $200,000 or higher. As Jeremy Carl, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains, "[t]he lack of commitment of middle-class and wealthy Americans to having and parenting their own children goes hand in hand with our elite's casual approach to other issues — in particular, mass immigration." The understanding that we can simply import foreigners to make up for the child-rearing job we have refused to do ourselves completely ignores the cultural, civic, and economic impacts of immigration — as well as the impacts to ourselves when we bring in foreign adults as a substitute for raising our own children. In any case, in 1970, there were one hundred thousand Muslims in America; today, there are nearly four million.

The fact that the most popular name for babies born in both Belgium and Berlin last year was Muhammad is reflective of what former Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gaddafi stated in 2006:

We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe — without swords, without guns, without conquest — will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

Chilling words, but this had been foreseen already by Algerian then-president Houari Boumendienne. In an address to the United Nations, he stated:

One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.

Perhaps this is why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his fellow Muslim Turks who are already living in Europe: "Have not just three, but five children." Apart from the observance of polygamous marriages, the fact that Muslims for the most part do not practice abortion or artificial contraception and the increase of the child rate per family in comparison to the low birth rate in the West mean that Muslims are geared to take over. At this rate, unless Western society finally wakes up, it may be just a matter of a few generations before this happens.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

  birth rates, christianity, islam


Growing tide of outraged parents move to demolish perverted California sex ed program

Parents were led to believe that this was a benign program. But when the ugly details about it were revealed, the parents were shocked and horrified.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 7:33 pm EST
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Mass Resistance
One of the flyers that parents passed out in front of various Downey schools to alert parents about the outrageous curriculum and invite them to a MassResistance meeting. Photo credit: MassResistance

November 25, 2019 (MassResistance) — Back in mid-September, MassResistance began exposing the horrors of the "Teen Talk" graphic LGBT/sex-ed curriculum that the Downey, CA School Board had recently approved for the high school and middle school. 

Dishonest school officials led parents in this largely minority, working-class suburb of Los Angeles to believe that this was a benign program. But when the ugly details about it were revealed, the parents were shocked and horrified.

Informed parents insisted that this must be stopped! But the biggest problem was that most people in the community had no idea what was happening (and the School Board took advantage of that)!

Photo credit: MassResistance

So the new Downey MassResistance chapter led by Sandi, a district mother, got right to work reaching out to more parents, local churches, and city leaders to raise alarm about this upcoming curriculum — and mobilize them to take action immediately.

1. Leafletting outside of schools

Within days, Sandi and other parents began passing out flyers (see above) in front of some of the Downey schools. The flyers described the curriculum and invited parents to a meeting about it at a local church in Downey. Many of those parents were outraged about what was going on and they wanted to learn more.

When some parents took the flyers to their school principal, the principal and other school officials told parents that MassResistance parents "were lying" about the curriculum, and tried to discourage parents from coming to MassResistance's planned information meeting. Soon the pastor of the church where the meeting was scheduled began receiving threatening phone calls. (This is similar to the pattern we saw in Chula Vista, CA.) But he stood firm, and the meeting was a success. Nearly 40 new people came to that first meeting.

2. Meetings to educate and mobilize parents

MassResistance held several meetings for parents and others at various locations in Downey over the past two months. Arthur and Shanda, the head of our Southern California Mass­Resistance chapter, brought them up to speed on the sex-ed issue and gave them some valuable activist training.

Starting a meeting in a local church. Photo credit: MassResistance

In their presentations, Arthur and Shanda talked about the terrible lesson plans and sexually explicit pictures in the "Teen Talk" sex-ed curriculum. They explained the Planned Parenthood origins of "Teen Talk," including the appalling philosophy of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and the corrupt and medically false sexuality research of Alfred Kinsey (who claimed that children are "sexual from birth").

Arthur Schaper leading a meeting. Photo credit: MassResistance
Slide from the PowerPoint presentation quoting Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. The group's philosophy has changed very little, it appears. Photo credit: MassResistance

Arthur and Shanda urged Downey parents to attend the next series of School Board meetings. They provided them with talking points. They told them about their rights at Board meetings. In many cases, parents are afraid to speak out or even bring signs because they don't know what their rights are. California actually has very good open meeting laws, and Arthur explained those rights. He also described action plans to get rid of the curriculum.

We have had great success getting local Downey churches to work with us to get the information out as well as host our MassResistance meetings.

A pastor talks to a MassResistance gathering at his church. Photo credit: MassResistance

At one of the meetings, several local business leaders and church leaders attended. They offered to allow Arthur, Shanda, and Sandi to present their PowerPoint presentation to more churches, and before more community leaders. Those meetings were a great success!

Local business and church leaders at a MassResistance meeting. Photo credit: MassResistance

3. Hitting the streets — sidewalk demonstrations

Parents prominently demonstrated and protested, including outside of the local office of their State Assembly member — who voted for the horrible "comprehensive sex ed/LGBT" bill that is causing all this trouble. It raised awareness got a lot of positive reaction. Many people stopped and signed up to get involved.

Photo credit: MassResistance
Photo credit: MassResistance
Photo credit: MassResistance
Photo credit: MassResistance

4. Canvassing door-to-door and in public venues

For the next step, Arthur, Shanda, and Sandi organized parents to walk various precincts on the weekend, going door-to-door, informing as many parents as possible in the Downey community.

The flyer, written in both English and Spanish, encourages residents to contact the School Board and demand they repeal Teen Talk — or get voted out in the next election. It also invites people to get involved with MassResistance and to go to the upcoming School Board meeting to let them know in person how offensive this is to them.

The English and Spanish versions of the main flyer passed out door-to-door in Downey. Photo credit: MassResistance
One of the door-to-door canvassing teams. Photo credit: MassResistance

Residents were quite receptive to our message, and many eagerly signed up to get involved. People were shocked that their school district would implement a sex-ed curriculum that was so explicit, vulgar, and inappropriate. Several immediately began contacting their School Board members by phone and email.

Arthur (right) and a local parent during a canvassing session. Photo credit: MassResistance
Photo credit: MassResistance

Building up the army — a big success!

To say the least, it's been an exhilarating two months in Downey. More parents, church leaders, community leaders, and business leaders than we hoped for have joined this effort!

Coming up next: The parents confront the School Board!

When parents are educated about the issue, know their legal rights before a School Board, and are unafraid of the Left, that's a very powerful combination!

Coming up: You'll see photos and video of parents aggressively confronting their School Board — and making progress.

Published with permission from MassResistance.

  california, child abuse, downey, education, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, massresistance, planned parenthood, pornography, public schools, sex ed


How redefining medicine has redefined the family

Purposeful ignorance of the definition of reproductive health and basic embryology has initiated family medicine's decline.
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 7:22 pm EST
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Peter Bleyer

November 25, 2019 (American Thinker) — Today, largely due to government policy, doctors' offices have been transformed into a big government–controlled business, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the leading body for family medicine in the United States, appears to prefer it that way. As older doctors like me leave the field, young idealistic physicians bypass family medicine; they are neither interested in working for a business nor motivated by a stifling code of political correctness that fails to recognize the dignity of every human being.

Over 50 years ago, purposeful ignorance of the definition of reproductive health and basic embryology initiated family medicine's decline. Embryology teaches that after an act of sexual intercourse, sperm and egg unite in the woman's fallopian tube, and a human life is created. Seven days later, that human implants in the woman's womb, and nine months later, the mother delivers her child. Ensuring that this process works as natural law intends is reproductive health care, just as ensuring that the heart pumps blood is cardiac health care. For family physicians, however, 1965 brought with it a new discovery about the beginning of life. No longer at fertilization, doctors now declared that human life began with uterine implantation. The new beginning was based not on Nobel Prize–winning medical research, but rather on a desire to cash in on the contraceptive pill, which occasionally prevents a human life from implanting in the womb. It was more lucrative to simply lie about the beginning of human life than to explain to patients the pill's abortifacient potential. Although appearing innocuous, this unscientific declaration demonstrated that family medicine was willing to sacrifice scientific excellence and medical ethics for consumerism. It set a precedent in which select people can claim something to be a medical fact and redefine it as such without any type of scientific analysis. And finally, it began the involvement of medicine in practices purposefully designed to prevent a human organ system from working properly — the antithesis of health care.

This deception, led by physicians and amplified by governments, has led the world to believe that the reprophobic practices of contraception, abortion, and sterilization are the main elements of reproductive health care. The absurdity of this belief could best be compared to a government proposal in which physicians would prescribe alcohol as the main component of neurologic health care. Without ever entering into dialogue within the medical community about the pros and cons of enticing people to be more sexually active by unnaturally inhibiting the reproductive system, reprophobics became an essential element of health care. Although lucrative, the negative effects on the family of such treatment, including increased teen sexual activity, infidelity, and the death of family members, should be something family medicine physicians are particularly concerned about. But the AAFP is not, preferring to virtue-signal about the politically correct subject du jour while keeping the "family" in family medicine devoid of any real meaning.

So integral to family medicine has contraception become that not to prescribe it makes working as a physician difficult. Unable to afford the bureaucratic expense of private practice, I have felt required on multiple occasions to proclaim religious beliefs as an excuse for my prescribing practices, while groveling before a prospective employer. In retrospect, this was always a weak argument, as it suggested that if not for my unscientific belief in a supernatural deity, I would prescribe reprophobics day and night. In reality, it is my medical beliefs that determine how I treat my patients; God did not order me to have them. They reflect extensive study of the family and sexuality, based on the natural law and its realistic consequences, which my wife and I do our best to put into practice.

Religious belief is just another term that progressives have cleverly co-opted to devalue convictions that are consistent with orthodox Christian values. Beliefs including that life begins at conception, homosexual "marriage" is wrong, and abortion is murder are dismissed as religious. Beliefs that life begins at some other time, gender is fluid, or abortion is great are not and therefore considered of higher importance.

My medical beliefs have helped to keep my family healthy; I want the same for my patients. 

Control of prescription contraceptives makes physicians big-money players in the commercial side of sexual activity. The imperfection of contraception in preventing unwanted pregnancies gives medicine another opportunity to profit, in this case through abortion procedures. The importance of these procedures in American medicine is clearly illustrated by a May 2019 joint public statement that condemns state laws limiting abortion, complaining that they "inappropriately interfere with the patient-physician relationship" and "unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine." The underlying but unstated premise of the statement, promulgated by the AAFP and five other large medical associations, is that human lives are of different value, especially unborn family members. For unborn lives of higher value, the mother and child become patients, and it is (as it should be) the physician's responsibility to do his best to ensure a healthy delivery. For those of lesser value, the doctor is directed not only to walk away from the doctor-patient relationship, but, moreover, to enable child extermination.

Despite the public statement's grandiloquent description of family physicians as "informed by their years of medical education, training, experience, and the available evidence," none of that is considered in the final decision about the value of an unborn family member. It is rather the often flawed analysis of a distraught teenage girl with a SpongeBob level of medical knowledge that leads to the life-or-death decision.

Without ever providing a rationale, AAFP directives strip the family physician of his role as true advocate for every pregnant mother and her child. Unable to defend its position on the basis of medical ethics, generally regarded as medicine's highest standard, the AAFP chooses rather to highlight abortion as evidence-based medicine. Voluminous evidence, most recently from the Planned Parenthood baby parts trafficking case, does at least support this claim, demonstrating the deadly effectiveness of this unethical and disturbing medical procedure. However, rather than interfere with the doctor-patient relationship as these organizations claim, recently passed laws mandate the establishment of such a relationship with a child whom doctors would otherwise have cruelly and unethically chosen to discard. 

Since 1973, government has legalized a "religious" belief that unborn family members do not automatically deserve the right to life. At the time and continuing today, rather than stand up for the humanity of the unborn, something in which the physician has honored expertise, the AAFP produces condescending and illogical criticism of those voters who do. American medical organizations have allowed government to establish itself as a permanent intrusive member of the doctor-patient relationship and given credence to those who believe that some American lives have less value than others. Hidden behind terms like "reproductive health care," "evidence-based medicine," and "intrusion into the patient-doctor relationship" is our willingness as an organization to sacrifice human life for financial and political gain. When professions whose reputations are established based on Christlike ideals of helping the weakest among us attempt to prosper at the cost of the weak, failure is inevitable — except, of course, for those with lives of higher value.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

  abortion, american academy of family physicians, contraception, freedom of conscience, medicine, roe v. wade


Pope Francis’ version of evangelization without ‘convictions’ makes no sense

What do we make of Pope Francis's constant insistence, recently repeated in his meeting with the bishops of Japan, that we must witness to Christ but 'not with convictions, not to convince'?
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 6:35 pm EST
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Pope Francis visits Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images
Eduardo J. Echeverria
By Eduardo Echeverria

November 25, 2019 (The Catholic Thing) — "In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15) This clearly means that one way in which we honor Christ as Lord is by persuasively defending the truth of the faith, by giving reasons supporting faith's rationality and truthfulness.

This defense is crucial because the response to the Gospel should be reasonable. Indeed, Vatican I's Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Filius (1870), affirms that the assent of faith is reasonable, such that this "assent is not a blind movement of the intellect; nevertheless, no one can 'assent to the preaching of the Gospel', as he must to attain salvation, 'without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all a sweetness in consenting to and believing in truth'."

What do we make, then, of Pope Francis's constant insistence, recently repeated here, and in his meeting with the bishops of Japan this past Saturday, that in an evangelical encounter with those who do not know Christ we must witness to Christ but "not with convictions, not to convince [or persuade], [and] not to proselytize"?

I have always found this claim idiosyncratic, not to say inconsistent with the Catholic tradition's emphasis on the interdependency of faith and reason (from Leo XIII's 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris to John Paul II's 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio). Inexplicably, Francis thinks that evangelical witness excludes not only the power of persuasion, reason, and arguments, but also claiming that one asserts, affirms, and holds certain beliefs to be true.

How can we approach the unbeliever without convictions? Faith involves both the fides qua creditur ("the faith with which one believes") and the fides quae creditur "the faith which one believes"). Therefore, in bearing witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we evangelize with the beliefs we hold to be true, and these beliefs are constitutive of the message of the Gospel.

The message is not content-free and empty. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14) "God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved." (Eph 2:4–6) "Jesus Christ is Lord." (Phil 2:11) "Christ is risen from the dead." (1 Cor. 15:20) "We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:20)

Other examples of truths that are asserted and held to be true in the evangelical encounter may be taken from First Timothy: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1:15). "God our Savior ... desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2:3–4). "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (2:5).

Thus, a "personal encounter" with Christ involves a constitutive relation with beliefs, involving an assent of the mind to their truth, beliefs that we come to hold to be true.

Thus, there is no personal encounter with Jesus Christ that does not include certain beliefs about Him. Of course, how truth is authenticated — i.e., lived out, practiced, carried out — our lives cannot be reduced to being merely believed, asserted, and claimed. Benedict XVI understood this point very well in his 2013 Encyclical Lumen Fidei (§45).

Although Pope Francis signed on to this encyclical with his own contribution, clearly — unlike Benedict — his view sets up an opposition between the truth that is to be lived out, practiced, carried out, on the one hand, and the truth that is to be believed, asserted, and claimed on the other. Francis seems to think according to a scheme wherein faith begins with the personal encounter with Christ and subsequently, as a secondary matter, ends with beliefs, convictions.

Francis's view is not that of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, however, where doctrinal beliefs are the actual content of the encounter: "Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed." (§150) It is also not the view of John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor. Regarding the question of how truth is authenticated as existential truth, John Paul correctly notes, that it is not merely about propositional truth, but also how this truth is borne out in life.

It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of his commandments, and a truth to be lived out. ... Faith is a decision involving one's whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6). It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as he lived (cf. Gal 2:20), in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters. Faith also possesses a moral content. It gives rise to and calls for a consistent life commitment; it entails and brings to perfection the acceptance and observance of God's commandments. (§88)

Lastly, absent in Francis's view is the truth-oriented dynamic of evangelical encounter. As Vatican II put it, man is ordered by "his nature to seek the truth, especially religious truth." He is also "bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order [his] whole life in accord with the demands of truth." (Dignitatis Humanae §2)

This absence of the epistemic justification and truth of Christian beliefs is particularly evident in Francis's view of the "dialogue" of religions. His view not only creates confusion, but runs the risk of degenerating into outright religious indifferentism.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.

  catholic, evangelization, japan, pope francis, proselytism


Porn director sounds alarm: Female strangulation, choking dominates mainstream porn

'Face slapping, choking, gagging, and spitting has become the alpha and omega of any porn scene.'
Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 2:40 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

WARNING: The following contains disturbing content of a violent and sexual nature.

November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The ugly influence of digital pornography is in the news cycle once again, this time in a brutal article in The Star noting the social impact of porn use bleeding into the bedroom in real life.

On the heels of a report in The Atlantic that warned of a sharp rise in the practice of choking during sexual acts (with almost a quarter of adult American women reporting that they felt fear during intimacy as a result), Lyndsay Nyawira of The Star interviewed several people who confirmed this trend.

One woman in her early thirties, speaking under a pseudonym, noted that she passed out after her date asked for permission to choke her. When she came to, the man apologized. “I’m sorry I got carried away,” he told her. “When I saw you hurting, it really turned me on.” 

This is a direct result of pornography, produced for the explicit purpose of arousing the viewer, that showcases and mainstreams violence against women—so much so that women report getting regularly asked if they can be choked or strangled, as people decide to try out what they are watching online. One key culprit in all of this, The Star noted, is the torture porn trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, which introduced to tens of millions of people the idea that inflicting pain on a sexual partner was normal and even romantic. 

In fact, these trends are escalating so quickly that even some porn directors are sounding the alarm. One female porn director who calls herself “Erika Lust” told The Guardian that the “strangulation and choking scenes now dominate porn,” and this is having a predictable real-world effect on relationships and sexual interactions in society at large.

“Face slapping, choking, gagging, and spitting has become the alpha and omega of any porn scene, and not within a BDSM context,” she noted. “These are presented as standard ways to have sex when, in fact, they are niches.”

Just to translate what she is saying there: This sort of violence is taking place not simply in select categories of pornography, but is now standard across the board. In short, this is what the majority of people are consuming when they use digital porn, and that is why so many women are reporting that sexual intimacy is often accompanied by fear. 

As The Star put it:

When a direct threat to life is slowly normalised, “it means that a woman whose partner chokes her might not report it – and if she does, it might go nowhere,” says Erika. “It means that if a woman dies this way, judges and juries feel ‘this is how people have sex now’ and questions aren’t always asked.”


“Many people’s first exposure to sex is hardcore porn”. This, she says, teaches kids “that men should be rough and demanding, and that degradation is standard.”

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: The pornography that is mainstream today is far more violent and depraved than the pornography that was mainstream barely a generation ago, and it is inculcating new sexual values into our society at large that frame violence against women and girls as simply another fetish or sexual preference, rather than the reprehensible and indefensible assault that it actually is.

One hopes that the reader of this column would recoil at the story of a man apologizing to a woman after hurting her by explaining that her pain had “really turned him on.” But the reality is that every day, millions of people are logging on to arouse themselves to the sight of women and girls, some acting, some reacting, in fear, pain, and agony to the horrific sexual violence that now dominates the porn industry that has successfully conquered and colonized the minds of a generation. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In today’s special episode, Jonathon speaks with Covenant Eyes leader Dan Armstrong about Lamar Odom’s exclusive interview highlighting his pornography addiction. Odom spoke with Covenant Eyes about his severe addiction to pornography. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:

  50 shades of grey, bdsm, pornography, violence